Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Makeup Tips You Can’t Afford to Miss to Look More Rested After Partying All Night!

New Year’s Eve parties and all that celebrating while fun can take a toll on your face when you look at yourself the next morning.  Instead of trying to avoid everyone or hiding behind a pair of dark sunglasses, I have some makeup tips to give you a more rested look.

Instead of letting tiredness show, these tips can help.

Since your eyes are far from your best feature today, you’ll find that softness over more dramatic eye makeup is the key to pulling off a dazzling, bright-eyed look.

An eye cream with caffeine can help with some puffiness.  I do recommend starting with that type of eye cream followed by curling your lashes.  This will open up and widen your eyes when you need it the most. 

You should avoid using dark or black eyeliners now.  Instead, you should try lining with some color like blue or green, which works better to liven up your eyes. 

In order to pull off purple, it would need to have some blue tones to it.  A shade like a red-plum would only call attention to the red in your eyes.

To help counteract those red lines in the white of your eyes, get a nude eyeliner pencil–not a white color and line the inner rim.   This trick never fails to freshen up the appearance of your eyes.

Avoid bold or dark eye shadows now.  Something you should try is a shimmery sweep of a taupe or a champagne color over your lids instead.  The subtle color and delicate gleam will work better.

Don’t be heavy handed with mascara today.  Give yourself a light coat only and focus more attention elsewhere today.

A concealer with light-reflecting particles can make a big difference to eyes but also to your entire face.  This concealer helps more because it can redirect light as well as hide the darkness.  The important thing to remember is strategic placement of working the concealer under the eyes but also into the inner corners and up the sides of your nose.

Be sure to apply your foundation to even out your complexion since it may be off today. Use a sheer, but dewy foundation or one with light-reflecting pigments to do the trick because you want to keep your look fresh, but light.

As to a blusher, I suggest staying away from dark shades at this time and opt for a brighter shade of pink or peach.  Look for one with a hint of gold for instant radiance.  

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Out With the Old Makeup and Time for the New Makeup!

This current year is about to end with a new one soon to start.  This is the perfect time to clean your makeup bag and toss out the old products and make way for the new.  After all, you don’t want to risk your beauty to cosmetics with preservatives that might have started to break down or already deteriorated.  

Since cosmetic manufacturers aren’t required by law to include expiration dates, you probably won’t find a date on most of those products.  A good idea is to jot down the date that you opened it and record that information in a small notebook with all your other makeup and skin care products to keep track of their expected shelf life.  

Another thought is to use an indelible marker to date it directly on the product, provided you have enough room to write. Regardless of the method you choose, this extra step will be very useful later when you need to remember how long you used the product to best judge whether to keep it.

Eye makeup that goes closest to the eye like mascara and eyeliners presents the most risk. Therefore, you should replace them every three months because once opened, bacteria start growing that can lead to an eye infection.  You may want to toss sooner if you like to share those cosmetics with your friends or are in the habit of pumping your wand in and out of the tube. 

Liquid and creamy forms of cosmetics and skin care basically are good for about a year but lipsticks can last even longer–closer to two years.  However, if you see the product separating, notice an unusual smell, or the color changes somewhat, clumping, settling at the bottom, you need to pitch it.  Throw out your lipstick once it becomes dry or tastes odd.

Just remember, you introduce fresh bacteria with every application of those types of foundations, cream eye shadows and blushes, concealers, lipsticks, moisturizers, and eye creams simply by touching them.   

Pump dispensed products are a bit more sanitary, but they do not end the contamination threat since every pump draws in air, which also has particles of dust, mold, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander if you have a pet. 

Lip glosses are trickier business since they are a breeding ground for bacteria to better incubate due to the sponge.  Play it safe and toss glosses after a year is the general rule. Replace sooner if you happen to notice the formula becoming excessively stickier than it was.  

Nail polish generally has a shelf life of up to two years.  Since quite a few companies have been coming out with non-toxic formulas, those varieties tend to expire sooner so be vigilant if that consistency changes.  A clue to look for is the need to continually shake the bottle to try to get the color to blend.  This is a sign to give up and toss that polish. 

Powder cosmetics like your blushes and eye shadows normally last at least two years. Then again, if you apply your eye shadow by wetting your brush first, the product can go bad sooner.  A good way to tell if those powders are contaminated is by examining the texture.  If it looks overly dry than you remember, it’s likely the product should be disposed of.

You can find many different thoughts on how long a typical fragrance can last.  Some believe a fragrance should be good for about eight years, if properly stored in a dry, cool, place away from the sunlight.  On the other hand, there are others who believe that two to three years is a more accurate answer.  On a personal note, I have some vintage perfumes that smell divine and have kept their staying power.  So, I truly do not believe anyone really knows for sure.  

Nonetheless, a good fragrance indicator is the color of the liquid itself.  If the color has lightened considerably, in all probability, the fragrance went bad.  Another way to tell if your fragrance is still good is by testing how long it lasts.  A fragrance that needs to be thrown away is one that suddenly fades too quickly unlike the strength of what it smelled like when it was new.

The information that I have given you here is a place to start.  Please keep in mind that how you store your makeup and skin care, such as too close to the heat or a window where sunlight can hit them, can further reduce their shelf life just as keeping products in a bathroom also can.  Please do keep all of the above in mind.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Mally Beauty’s 5-Piece Holiday Starlight Eyeliner Collection

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
Mally Beauty's 5-Piece Holiday Starlight Collection.jpeg
Mally Beauty's 5-Piece Holiday Starlight Eyeliner Collection

Anyone with allergies can relate to watery, itchy eyes and the problem of keeping your eye makeup intact.  If you also suffer or have a habit of unintentionally rubbing your eyes and are looking for a superior set of eyeliner pencils, Mally Beauty’s 5-Piece Holiday Starlight Eyeliner Collection is the way to go!
As I shared with you earlier, my favorite form of eyeliner is the pencil since it is easier to control the thickness of the line.  However, choosing one with delicate eyes is not always that simple.  I discovered the Starlight Eyeliner Dark Chocolate pencils last year and continue to wear these award-winning pencils because they fit the bill perfectly.

Besides how gentle the Starlight pencils are, I love the fact that they are creamy enough to smudge before the product dries and also can double as a crease-proof shadow.  Just as important, these eyeliners really are waterproof and long lasting for many hours even through tears.

Even if you have all of Mally’s other shades of this pencil, this new Five-Piece Holiday Starlight Eyeliner Collection has five brand-new colors.  The shades are as follows: Mally’s Glow (shimmery bronze), Hunter (shimmery deep green), Toasted Sugar (gorgeous shimmery pink), Midnight Affair (shimmery softer black), and Plum Sapphire (shimmery plum and navy mix).  Now, I can brighten, widen, and play up the look of my dark brown eyes even more with these beautiful colors.

This collection also came with a gold cosmetic bag to keep my pencils in and a sharpener.  

With all sincerity, you got to try this Mally Beauty 5-Piece Holiday Starlight Eyeliner Collection ($40) for yourself to see why I am so hyped about it.  Once you do, I’m sure that you’ll agree this set is a real beauty find that you can't afford to miss!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Skin Care Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Complexion and How to Avoid Them

pretty blonde with shy smile.jpeg
This beauty understands the secret of glowing skin.

Beautiful, glowing skin is what we all strive for. Therefore, we try to do our best to care for it through a healthy diet and the skin care products we turn to.  However, we can still be working against ourselves in those efforts and not even know the harm that we’re doing to our complexion.

Start on the Outside and Examine How You Typically Care for Your Skin 

One of the worst skin offenders is sleeping with your makeup on.  Despite how long a night went, you may think skipping makeup removal just once won’t hurt your complexion, but you would be wrong.  Those cosmetics, especially the heavier, long-wearing formulas, can clog your pores or lead to a bacterial infection.  
A better idea is to keep a container of makeup wipes by your bed for those rare occasions when you just are too exhausted to properly remove your makeup.  Seeing that container of makeup wipes before you crawl in bed will remind you about taking those cosmetics off and save you from a possible skin problem later.

If you do happen to break out with a pimple and think squeezing will help the situation, then think again. What you are doing is pushing the bacteria deeper into your skin–not out, resulting in more pimples.  

Another innocent way that you are sabotaging your skin care efforts is not changing your pillowcases often enough because they harbor a lot of bacteria.  Make it a habit to put on a fresh pillowcase every few days, hopefully twice a week to safeguard your complexion.  

Speaking of linens, you might want to invest in a set of satin pillowcases.  The fabric will not pull your face when you sleep in the same way as a regular cotton pillowcase to promote wrinkles.  

Talking on your cell phone can even be causing you skin problems because it is a germ fest after all the places and objects that it comes into contact with on a daily basis.   Think how many times a day you put that phone to your face and then touch your face.  

You could be falling victim to rashes or breakouts along the line of the jaw by not sanitizing your cell phone. Instead, remember to pack a package of antibacterial wipes in your handbag to clean the surface of the phone, especially if you’re breaking out in those areas.

Something else that you may not have thought of is exfoliation.  Of course, exfoliation is important to get rid of the dead cells that build along the surface of the skin.  Otherwise, our complexions would dull.  Over exfoliating though can strip your skin of the natural oils it needs and lead to a dry, irritated complexion so limit exfoliation to once or twice a week only.

The type of product you use to exfoliate with also can play a part in the health of your complexion. Exfoliating products with grainy beads can leave uneven red patches on your face if you overdo it and scrub too vigorously.  You might want to try chemically exfoliating instead with glycolic acid for instance that will gently dissolve old skin more evenly.

Re-evaluate How You Care for Your Skin From Within Because It Matters

A beautiful complexion does not just happen on the outside. You must also take into consideration how you care for it on the inside.  You may believe that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet with all the nutrients for great skin. This may or may not be truth and I’ll explain.

Perhaps, you tend to skip meals when you get busy. By doing so, you are risking your skin to dryness and helping it age faster. Binging on unhealthier snacks when you can’t take time for a normal meal can also contribute to skin problems and added weight.  To keep your complexion radiant, you need plenty of vitamin C, B complex, E, and A.

If you find yourself constantly at the coffee machine, then you also could be drying your skin out at the same time due to all the caffeine.  You might want to curb it back, but  keep it between three and five cups a day since coffee has plenty of antioxidants from its chlorogenic acid and melanoidins.

Your skin can become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water.  Try to drink at least six to eight glasses a day.  Switch a few of your sodas to water to gradually ease into drinking more will make the transition less painful.

You might also want to keep a bottle of water at your desk.  When emptied, you can always fill it again to keep an exact count on the amount of water that you are consuming without needing to run out to buy more water.

Over the holidays, we all indulge in too much sugar.  Besides weight gain, that sugar could be robbing us of our skin’s collagen.  The smarter alternative when craving sweets would be go for a natural sweet like pigging out on pineapple, kiwi, mango, or even a sweet potato.

On the other hand, if you keep shaking on too much salt or just eat too many salty snacks, you could be on the road to dehydrating your complexion with all that sodium.  Try to use moderation and look for hydrating moisturizers with humectants that attract water to the skin for help.   
Not getting enough sleep can ruin your looks.  It can dull your skin and lead to clogged pores.  The only solution is sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding distractions like working on the computer before bedtime.

Stress is another way to hurt your skin.  It can cause facial lines, blemishes, rashes, and also dull your complexion.  Though easier said than done, you need to find the solution to relax and leave those problems behind that works the best for you.  Take up walking, meditation or join a gym might be something to think about.  

All it takes to see your complexion gain new brightness are a few simple changes.  Hopefully, the information presented here will help you achieve that beautiful goal! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Recipe: Try My No-Bake Chocolate Treats Recipe Over the Holidays for Some Extra Holiday Cheer!

I have some friends that live out of state and were in town for the holidays.  Since I knew I would be seeing them later today, I made a fresh recipe of these quick treats knowing how their entire family loved them, especially the children.  

Unlike a traditional no-bake cookie, this recipe follows the same procedure but has some delicious changes that I made to it like mini-marshmallows, flaked coconut, and peppermint extract that turn these chocolate sensations into a completely different sort of chocolate cookie-candy.

No-Bake Chocolate Treats.jpeg
Here is a photo of my No-Bake Chocolate Treats.  You get about two dozen from this recipe.

My No-Bake Chocolate Treats

1 stick or ½ cup of butter or margarine (do not use one that is labeled a spread)
½ cup of milk
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup of grated coconut flakes
3-1/2 cups of rolled oats
1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1 cup of mini-marshmallows

Melt the butter, sugar, and milk together in your saucepan for about a minute or two until the crystals in the sugar dissolve.

Then add the marshmallows, chocolate, and peanut butter and stir through.

Remove from the heat and pour in the peppermint extract and oatmeal, a little at time, to mix through.

Drop onto waxed paper and let it harden.  This takes about 40-45 minutes or less time, depending on how small or large you make those treats.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Beauty Box 5 December 2014 Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
Beauty Box 5 December 2014.jpeg
Here is  a photo of  Beauty Box 5 for December 2014.

This month’s Beauty Box 5 revolves around indulgences to make the holidays even brighter with the assortment of products geared to do the trick.

If you’re unfamiliar with this monthly beauty subscription, then let me fill you in.  Each box usually has four to five beauty items from full sizes to samples.  The cost is $12 a month with free shipping, but you can reduce that price significantly if you get an annual subscription that brings it to a mere $8.25 a month.

As to what arrived, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.  Here is what I received in this new beauty box below.

Beauty Box 5 December 2014

1.  Jaqua Rose Bouquet Hydrating Facial Mist–FULL SIZE (1.69 fl. oz.)–$16.50

2.  Absolute! New York Nail Polish Remover Pads–FULL SIZE (32 pads)–$2.99

3.  Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer–SAMPLE (.26 fl. oz.)–$9.94

4.  Nanacoco Nail Polish–FULL SIZE–$3.95

5.  Lucky Brand Lucky Number 6 Perfume–SAMPLE (unspecified size)

Total Estimated Value–$33.38!

The Jaqua Rose Facial Mist was a hit with me.  I regularly use a rose facial mist year round after cleansing before moisturizing.  Sometimes, I also like to spray some on after I do my makeup and press a tissue over it.  This really does wonders for giving you a fresher look and does keep your makeup lasting longer.  

The Absolute! New York Nail Polish Remover Pads I got were the Peach scented pads. This worked very well for removing polish, but you can still also smell the stronger chemicals along with the peach.  I still liked this product.

The Nanacoco Nail Polish was Summer Nigh Festival, a mix of purple and blue glitter.  I didn’t try this yet, but it does look pretty in the bottle.  I will paint my nails soon.

I do adore organic skin care.  I didn’t get a chance to test this new Juice Beauty Moisturizer because I am currently involved in another skin care project, but this one is already on my vanity waiting.

The Lucky Brand Lucky Number 6 perfume sample was a lovely woody-floral with just enough spice to add to the magic.  I only wish we could have gotten a larger sample.

To sum it up, I would label December 2014 a good month!  Don’t you agree?

Have you tried Beauty Box 5  yet?  Do check it out!

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The IT Girl Set Limited Edition CC+ Lip Serum Holiday Collection Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

The IT Girl Set.jpeg
Here is a photo of the IT Girl Set.

Aging is not particularly kind to women.  Besides dealing with creases that are settling in and changes in our complexion, lips thin.  A way around that particular problem is with The IT Girl CC+ Lip Serum Limited Edition Holiday Collection that I have been using from one of my favorite companies, IT Cosmetics.

This IT Girl Set ($39.50) has three of their awesome CC+ lip serums in Snow Bunny (sheer pale pink), Joy to the World (pinkish berry-plum) and Under the Mistletoe (sheer red raspberry). I think these lovely shades would be loved by most, but my favorite was a tie between Under the Mistletoe and Joy to the World for how those colors lit up my fair complexion. 

The amazing thing about this trio is that your lips get beautiful color while receiving a treatment to heal and hydrate with anti-aging ingredients such as collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, essential butters, and oils.  These lip serums are also intended to deal with lip lines and for color correcting.  

Take it from me, these lip serums really are wonderful products with what they can do. My dry lips instantly felt that soothing moisture coming to the rescue and were left in better condition afterwards.  Furthermore, these have a pleasing, non-sticky texture, which is just as important to me.

If you haven’t ever tried any of the CC+ lip serums from IT Cosmetics, I truly do recommend them. In fact, this set is a great place to start at a bargain price.  If purchased separately, this $39.50 priced set would run $72!

Find the IT Girl Set Limited Edition CC+ Lip Serum Holiday Collection at IT Cosmetics, QVC and as well as ULTA stores and  Check it out!

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Save $10 on the Winter Box use Promo WINTER10

Review: Guess Dare Eau de Toilette -- I Love This Fragrance's Notice-Me-Vibe!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
Guess Dare Eau de Toilette advertisment.jpeg
Guess Dare

It may be winter, but I have a sure bet on how to stay warm.  You might want to get your hands on Guess Dare because this fruity-floral fragrance is wickedly irresistible in getting his focus on you with its flirty energy and fresh bold appeal. Created by perfumer, Bruno Janovich, this exciting new Guess fragrance originally launched July 2014 in collaboration with Coty Beauty. 
Guess Dare Eau de Toilette.jpeg
Guess Dare Eau de Toilette 

The opening fruity notes  of this fragrance are attention-getting with crisp citrus from kumquat  and lime flower against pear blossom.  The result of this marriage is a cleaner fruity scent with an unmistakable confidence coming through from that notice-me-vibe.

In the heart, however, this Guess Dare becomes even more of a flirt as well as feminine with cactus flower, jasmine, and wild rose.  The mix is relentless in its daring pursuit of romance as this fragrance warms and unfolds.

As Guess Dare dries down there is no refusing that sexy invitation it delivers so beautifully with the green and woody base notes of its blond woods against the coconut palm.

Guess Dare Eau de Toilette Unboxed.jpeg
Guess Dare Eau de Toilette Unboxed

Take it from this perfumista, this fruity-floral fragrance is fresh, but yet seductive.  It is also one that makes the wearer feel unstoppable in her sexiness.  I do love it and think you would to if you tried Guess Dare Eau de Toilette also.   It also would make a great gift, if you’re doing some last minute holiday shopping.

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stetson Caliber Cologne Spray for Men Review

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.
Stetson Caliber Cologne Spray for Men.jpeg
Stetson Caliber Cologne Spray for Men

Stetson Caliber Cologne recently hit store shelves in time for holiday shopping.  Unlike the original Stetson, this one is fresher and aimed at pleasing a younger crowd (men in their 30s and 40s) with its adaptation of a fragrance for the chivalrous and daring,  modern cowboy.

The clean opening notes demonstrate eager energy with key lime, mandarin, lavender, and artemesia.  Black pepper adds an element of daring as well.

The heart shows character from notes of cyclamen and basil while nutmeg and violet leaf lend a genuine warmth.

As this cologne dries down, you can sense the strength from the notes of red sequoia and oakmoss in the base.  Due to the sandalwood and ambergris, there is also an earthy, manly appeal to keep it interesting and sexy.

Stetson Caliber Cologne (1-oz.) retails for $27 at drugstores.  Do check it out for your own cowboy!

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lady Gaga’s Fame Eau de Parfum Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

This is a bold, but sexy fragrance.

Lady Gaga’s first fragrance, Fame launched Fall, 2012 from her own The Haus Laboratories Paris and in conjunction with Coty Beauty.  Just as theatrical as the singer herself, this fruity floral is meant to be just as boldly shocking as the performer on stage to attract attention.

This fragrance is about walking on the wild side and the price of her stardom both sweet and glorious as well as the dark, destructive aspect of fame. Thus, the color choice of the perfume of black for the liquid (that does change to clear on the skin), symbolizing the dark side of her pop stardom to the gold detailing and cap that represents the light side, sweetness and allure associated with it.

Fame is based on three accords so it comes off differently with a “push-pull” sort of effect than utilizing top, middle, and base notes.  The dark accord is composed of the Belladonna notes, and the sensual accord consists of the honey, saffron, and apricot notes, and the light accord covering the Tiger Orchid notes to create it.

Though I do not find Fame as cheap or outrageous as I was led to believe, I do feel this fragrance is quite unique and mystifying with how the fruit, floral, spice, and musk merge almost at once as it seductively plays against the skin.  There is a mild sweetness from the honey and saffron that has been kept in check by the apricot, but I would label this more of an oriental floral than a fruity-floral due to how the belladonna weaves through this fragrance to intensify the floral. And yet, the incense adds to its intriguing allure and sultriness due to those deep musky tones.

If you like a floral fragrance steeped in mystery, I think you would enjoy Lady Gaga’s Fame for yourself or give as a holiday gift.  The 3.4 oz. eau de parfum retails for $79. Do check this one out.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

L’Occitane en Provence’s First Beauty Sampling Box-- Discover the #L’OcciBox! (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

L'Occitane's L'OcciBox.jpeg
L'Occitane's L'OcciBox!

I have some exciting news, beauty lovers.  L’occitane en Provence has launched a beauty sampling box with mini versions of their bestsellers and newest must-have products!  Meet their newly launched L'OcciBox.

These boxes will come out once per season and sell for $15 each, but are valued at a lot more.  You can get that fantastic price without enrolling into a subscription program.  

With every box of these pampering L’occitane products, the company will include a gift from a partner that will vary season to season, which adds to the fun.

Take a look at the contents of this first set ($59.40 value) below: 

- Precious Cleansing Foam 1.7 fl.oz. 
- Shea Butter Body Milk 1.7 oz. 
- Arl├ęsienne Hand Cream 0.3 oz. 
- Almond Supple Skin Oil 0.5 fl.oz. 
- Immortelle Sample Divine Cream 0.05 oz. x 2 
- L'OcciBox Box 
- Shea ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 oz. 
- Cherry Blossom ELLE Hand Cream 0.3oz. 
- Verbena ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 oz. 
- Almond ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 oz. 
- ELLE Pouch 

Buy at a L’Occitane en Provence boutique or online through this link.  Apply promo code: ‘DISCOVER’ at checkout and that listed $59.40 price will drop to $15.  Furthermore, you can’t combine with other promotions.  Quantities are limited with one box per person. Hurry though because that reduced price on this first box ends December 31, 2014!

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Friday, December 19, 2014

Meet the Japanese Green Approach to Skin Care--Valia Skin Care Products (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
Valia Cleansing Milk.jpeg
Valia Cleansing Milk

A fascinating company that reached out to me was Valia with their approach to skin care based on implementing biotechnology and green chemistry through Japanese ingredients. I was sent the Cleansing Milk, Purifying Wash and their Yuzu Hydrating Creme to try out.

If you are cautious as to what you put on your face and those suspect ingredients that could be less than healthy, then you would appreciate what ingredients are excluded in each of these three products.  There are no parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, MEA/DEA/TEA, artificial colors, alcohol, fragrances, fillers, and animal by-products.

Each of these plant-based products with its Japanese herbal extracts and essential oils treated my skin with utmost care.  Let me share my typical day on how I used this regime.

My day usually began with washing with their Cleansing Milk ($35) instead of soap that has aloe vera, coconut oil, and papain from the papaya.  This product is said to work well also for people with acne or eczema as well as dry skin like mine.  My skin felt comfortable afterwards without stripping any oils by using very little of this gel-cream cleanser.  It left only softness and a bit more brightness behind maybe due to the rice bran oil. 

At night, I tended to grab their Purifying Wash ($34) to cleanse and remove makeup. Other times, I went with the Cleansing Milk. This lighter weight product, however, felt like it cleaned deeper when taking makeup off. Being the wash had green tea, vitamin C and yuzu for helping with cell renewal, I thought it also was an excellent choice to prep for the Yuzu Hydrating Creme that came next.

Valia Purifying Wash.jpeg
Valia Purifying Wash
Unlike a rich, heavy cream, the Yuzu Hydrating Creme ($47) has a lighter souffle like consistency that melts quickly into the skin without any greasy or sticky feel to it and gave my complexion a soft rosy glow and soothing comfort after the first time I even used it.   This formula has sweet almond oil, licorice root, papain, and Job’s tears, which is abundant in amino acids, vitamins and skin-supporting minerals for moisturizing, revitalizing, improving skin texture, and brightness.

Valia Yuzu Hydrating Creme.jpeg
Valia Yuzu Hydrating Creme

I liked how these products worked on my complexion and the daily improvement I noticed over time.  Do check out these Valia  skin care products for yourself because they could be your own skin's solution.

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bioken Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo, Treatment and Heat Silk Essence Review + ($57) Giveaway!–Ends January 5, 2015

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

All the hair products on the market make it confusing finding formulas that work the best for you.  Some great ones that I tried recently were Bioken’s Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo, Treatment, and Heat Silk Essence hair products.
Bioken Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo.jpeg
Bioken Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo
My hair is very dry and color-treated.  I usually rotate with a few different products and deep condition my hair at least once a month to maintain it.  What I do like about the Bioken Enfanti line is the formulations are powered through nature to revive the look and health of the hair.  My first experience was with their Enfanti Curly Shampoo and Conditioner, which was very good also.

As to the Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo, it is a color-safe formula enriched with an organic blend of herbs and therapeutic botanicals that gently cleanses as it moisturizes and conditions the hair.  Two of its beneficial ingredients are glycerin, being a humectant, to draw moisture to the hair and panthenol for shine and softness. 

The Enfanti Treatment is what I applied afterward.  The ingredients include vitamins, bee propolis, proteins, and natural herbs to help damaged hair with new luster.  I thought it had a pleasant fragrance while I kept it on for thirty minutes before rinsing my freshly washed hair.  The company states only about three to five minutes, but I always keep my deep conditioners on longer, more like a half hour.
Bioken Enfanti Treatment.jpeg
Bioken Enfanti Treatment

Before I styled my hair, I tried some of the Enfanti Heat Silk Essence on my damp hair. On the back of bottle, a quarter size amount is suggested.  I have very thick, shoulder-length hair that needed just a bit more.

After I finished drying my hair and examined myself in the mirror, I thought my hair did look healthier with more gleam and softness.  I proclaim this Bioken Enfanti trio a winning combination in rescuing my hair.  

Have you tried any of the Bioken Enfanti line?  Do check these products out because if they helped my hair, I think they can also do your hair some good too.

*Disclaimer: Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Thanks to Bioken, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins the Bioken Enfanti trio of hair products ($57 value)!

Giveaway Details and How to Enter–

Prize: One (1) winner will win the following Bioken Enfanti Hydrating Shampoo (8-oz.), Bioken Enfanti Treatment (8-oz.), Bioken Enfanti Heat Silk Essence (6-oz.) for a total value of $57!

Dates of entry: 12/18/14–01/04/15 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

Eligibility:  Open to USA.  No PO Boxes.  The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

How to Enter:  Please use the Rafflecopter widget if it works.  You can also enter by clicking this link or try to enter using another browser. You can return daily and log in again with your email to tweet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Moon Cats Blue Velvet Shawl Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Moon Cats Blue Velvet Shawl.jpeg
Moon Cats Blue Velvet Shawl

The trend is toward incorporating more scarves and shawls into our wardrobes than ever. They are functional besides lending an exciting fashion element to what we wear.  When Moon Cats, the scarf company, reached out and asked if I would be interested in reviewing something from their collection, I was more than happy to oblige.

With all the beautiful possibilities at their website, I had a challenge.  I debated between one of their lightweight scarves that I could tie like their Principessa to drape stylishly around my neck or a shawl.  I thought the long scarf would look spectacular to dress up a pair of jeans or basically anything.

Then, my eyes kept drifting back to their lovely shawls.  Honestly, all styles in that section appealed to me, but my top choice was between the Aztec Blanket since that design is quite the rage now and the Blue Velvet shawl. 

Finally, I selected the Blue Velvet because I love black as well as that glittering royal blue detail woven through this shawl and its finished scalloped edging.  It also looked cozy.  This shawl is 100% acrylic, washable by hand,  and is also a shorter length at 56" over the 78" Aztec Blanket with a wide cape-style sleeve.

I was pleased when I took my shawl from the box and got a good look at this piece.  It really was lovely with nice workmanship for a $49.95 shawl.  The even nicer part was cuddling up in it because it was soft and warm to grab on a chilly winter day.

If you’re hunting for new scarves and shawls, I think you would like what Moon Cats has to offer.  In fact, you can save 20% on all their scarves from now until January 15, 2015 when you enter NUTSFORSTUFF20OFF.   Scarves and shawls do make a great gift as well so check their site out!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: IT Cosmetics Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Eyeshadow Palette

Perhaps, age is starting to catch up with you with lines around the eyes.  Then again, maybe you just prefer the look of matte over shimmery eye shadows.  If either describes you, listen up because I was sent the ideal palette to help on both those fronts with IT Cosmetics Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette

Just as wonderful as IT Cosmetics original Naturally Pretty Matte Luxe Palette, this one consists of more darker neutrals that are on the cool side compared to the first that had some warmer and brighter shades. These 14 shadows are well-pigmented but somewhat sheerer than the original but look just as amazing and wear in the same incredible way.

Due to this company’s strides in formulating their shadows with anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, collagen, silk, green tea, acai, and antioxidants, these shadows blend and cling beautifully to your lid without looking dry.

These gorgeous colors included are: Snow Angel (soft creamy white with just a hint of peach); Champagne (pale beige); Cozy (light tan); Warm Wishes (dusty pink); Miracle (plum-taupe); Wonderland (pale brown with some plum); Peace (pink-toned brown); Hot Cocoa (dark neutral brown); Gingerbread (medium taupe-brown); Toasty (plum); Spice (plum-brown); Sugar Plum (medium purple); Starry Night (deep blue), and the last shade of Coal (nearly black-gray).   

-IT Cosmetics Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette Swatches.jpeg
Swatches of Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette

Another reason to love this set is if you ever tire of wearing mattes, you always have an option of shimmering eyelids again just by opting to use the Transforming Pearl shade along with the Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon over the shadow.

Now tell me can life get any better with IT Cosmetics Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Lux Transforming Eyeshadow Palette ($42) in your corner?  Take it from me, you will want one of these for yourself.  This palette would also make a great holiday gift for any woman on your holiday shopping list!