Thursday, June 30, 2016

Play It Safe: How to Care for Bee or Wasp Stings

bee on a flower.jpeg
You could smell too sweet and be mistaken for a flower.

I don’t want to put a damper on your outdoor summer activities and picnics that you have planned, especially with the upcoming July Fourth holiday.  However, you’re not alone out there.  As you’re having fun with friends or family or just soaking up the sun, bees and wasps could spoil a day. Though I hate to be a pessimist, I just wanted to pass along some helpful tips on the best ways to treat a bee or wasp sting.  After all, it’s always better to be prepared with a little knowledge than suffering longer.

The first thing that you want to do is get that stinger out as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more that bee’s buried sac with venom continues to spread through your system. 

Nonetheless, you need to be careful in how you handle this. Try gently forcing the stinger up with something thin and flat like one of the cards from your wallet instead of squeezing it up with tweezers or fingers.  Too much pressure could make it that much worse by releasing more venom.

If you happen to be wearing jewelry in the area of that sting, take it off immediately because you may unable to remove it easily later like a ring on a finger.

Clean the area next to prevent an infection.  

Then apply ice, ice packs, or even a bag of frozen vegetables can do in a pinch for help numbing pain.  Keep icing from 15-30 minutes because it will bring down the swelling.

You could also try neutralizing that bee’s or wasp’s acidic venom by making a paste of baking soda and water to apply.  

A meat tenderizer is another that helps since it contains papain, which is ideal for breaking down the venom’s proteins.

On the other hand, call 911 to seek emergency medical treatment if breathing becomes difficult, hives develop, or your tongue swells. Don’t delay because serious allergies can be life-threatening so get to the emergency room.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Are You Wondering How to Get Your Eyeliner on More Precisely?

woman with closed eyes and nicely done eye makeup.jpeg
This beauty knows how to lay down a thin line.

Though some like a thick, heavy line around the eye, I prefer keeping my daytime look more natural with a thinner line.  Of course, if you do it with a pencil, then laying down that line is easier to control or for smudging away any mistakes. On the other hand, liquid and gel eye liners that I also use, but more for nights are more complicated, especially if you’re trying not to overdo and exaggerate the eye. 

I originally shared how to pencil in your own pattern before going over it with your liquid or gel liner.  This can give you a nice line–that is, if you can draw  it skinny enough and keep your hand steady. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to Change the Texture of Your Blush for a More Youthful, Dewy Glow

makeup products with cream blush.jpeg
Age or skin type can benefit  simply by changing the texture of your blush!

The more we age, the more we keep needing to rethink our makeup and skin care products to adapt to our changing faces as they tend to dull, lose elasticity and often dry.  Perhaps, you have been noticing that some blush shades that you used to wear now seem too harsh and exaggerate problem areas.  If so, I have a great way solution that can easily change all that for you by customizing your own blush mix to mute the color for a softer, healthy glow.

To do this, you need a cream blush and tinted moisturizer.  Though any tinted moisturizer will do, I found the illuminating formulas are especially wonderful for adding radiance.

What you can do is mix some of each the cream blush and tinted moisturizer in the palm of your hand so you’ll have enough for both cheeks, then apply and blend with your foundation, BB cream or tinted moisturizer that you wear.  The end product that you’ll see once you glance into the mirror is a beautiful, more translucent effect that will be much kinder to your face.

Regardless of how old you are, anyone with a dry complexion can benefit from this makeup trick as well.  Try my makeup tip because it does help take some years off and who doesn't love that?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sally Hansen’s NEW Royal Splendor Miracle Gel Collection (Can’t Take Back Royalty, Plush Blush, Regal Rose) Review + Swatches--A Summer Beauty Must!

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

Sally Hansen's Royal Splendor Miracle Gel Nail Polishes of Plush Blush, Can’t Take Back Royalty, Regal Rose, and Top Coat.jpeg
Starting on the left is Sally Hansen's Plush Blush, Can’t Take Back Royalty, Regal Rose, and Top Coat on the right.

Just as a great statement piece of jewelry can update your wardrobe to make it current, new cosmetics and nail polish can help do the same for a fresh new look for your face and nails.  Sally Hansen’s Royal Splendor Miracle Gel Collection, set to debut in July 2016, has the summer chic shades and durability that can demand attention.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Why You May Want to Avoid Lip Gloss When Spending Time in the Sun

modeling red lip gloss.jpeg
Red lips, especially orange-toned reds, are huge this summer 2016, but wear them wear.

Though lip gloss can beautifully enhance lips, you may want to avoid this particular lip product if you plan on spending some time in the sun.  The reason is how its shine can more easily attract the sun’s rays compared to a less reflective matte, cream or lacquer lipstick. Those can obstruct that light a bit more, but not totally.

Of course, you need not worry if your lip gloss or lipstick happens to have SPF protection.  However, you may want to buy a fresh tube since sunscreen in that lip product may have lost its effectiveness since you originally bought it.

What else that you can do is to buy is a lip balm with SPF to layer under your lipsticks. This is another way that you can keep your lips safe. Just from your same old stash of lipsticks, you can get a multitude of new lip color looks simply by sheering them out.  Be as creative as you like to use one shade or several colors to change at will like a chameleon!  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Recipe: My Delicious Mediterranean Tuna-Bean Salad is Another Ideal Light, Make-Ahead Summer Meal!

 Mediterranean Tuna-Bean Salad.jpeg
My Mediterranean Tuna-Bean Salad is no-work, delicious, cool when it's hot, and can free up a summer day!

Instead of being cooped up in your kitchen around a hot stove cooking, I have a wonderful light meal that you can use also as a side dish that is perfect to make ahead and enjoy later with fresh vegetables. Another nice thing about my recipe is that it is perfect to take with you for a lunch at work. 

My Mediterranean Tuna-Bean Salad is easy, protein packed with hardly any fat while being absolutely delicious and bursting with flavor from sweet Vidalia onions, oregano, a little garlic, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar flattering tuna and white beans.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Select Great Tasting, Figure and Skin Beneficial Melons

smiling beautiful woman with a piece of watermelon.jpeg
This beauty knows and appreciates the benefits of eating melons!

Fresh melons are abundant right now and friends of your figure, skin, and overall health with all their vitamins and minerals that they provide.  However, they can be confusing when you are trying to pick out a good one.  

When you are looking for a ripe watermelon, you want one that has more of a nice, uniform shape and a creamy yellow underside.  Those that are all green in color haven't fully ripened.  The bit of yellow at the bottom is a sign that the melon had a chance to better mature for as long as it sat on the ground.  Another sign of sweetness is looking for marks where a bee might have stung it.  Some people like to tap their melon to tell if it is ripe.  I never had much luck with that method, but my friend swears by it.  If you hit that watermelon and hear somewhat of a hollow sound, then this is another indicator of a good melon.

Watermelons not only have ample vitamin C and A that you can get a fifth of your recommended daily supply, but are low in calories with 46 per cup so you can enjoy snacking and dessert more freely.  This fruit cleanses the toxins.  Equally impressive is that this particular melon doesn’t cause bloating like what you can experience when eating peaches or plums with the way it breaks down the sugars in your system.

Cantaloupes, on the other hand, need a different sort of inspection.  What you want to do is carefully examine the indented area where the stem was.  If that stem end fails to look sunk in enough, then pass that one by because it is not fully developed.  It should have stayed on the vine longer!

What I really love about cantaloupes is what it can do for your skin with all its antioxidant power and carotenoids for beauty for protecting and renewing tissues, but also for its anti-inflammatory phytonutrients for general health.  

To pick out a great honeydew melon, make sure that the rind has an even texture with white, pale green or some yellow color to it.  Those that like to judge a melon by smell, a good honeydew is one that has somewhat of a light fruity aroma.  Avoid ones that are overly fragrant or have a hard stem end.  You want to find a bit of softness near the stem.

Besides having just 60 calories per cup, honeydews are just helpful for your system as watermelon with all the water this melon contains.  Believe it or not, honeydews and bananas are comparable in potassium. They also are rich in B vitamins like thiamine (B1), niacin (B3),  pantothenic acid (B5), including copper to further benefit your complexion.

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of what the melon has to offer with their healthy deliciousness and nutritional capabilities for what they can do for our bodies and skin!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Your Choice of Workout Shoe Can Either Help Or Hinder Your Weight Loss Efforts

woman jogging in fitness clothes and workout sneakers.jpeg
This beauty knows a comfortable fit can help her extend her run or workout.

If you want to perfect your body and get in shape, then you might be thinking about new sneakers.  Despite a hefty price of the style that you like, there are some considerations that you need to keep in mind. Otherwise, you could be shortchanging yourself from your best workout in ill-fitting shoes. 

You want a shoe that gives you ample toe room through all that moving that you’re going to do.  After all, you don’t want your toes banging against the front of the shoe if the toe box is too short or too angled.  Instead, give yourself a little extra room to take that impact from all those varied movements.  

How much extra toe room is enough? A good length to aim for is a size about the width of your thumb.  A broader toe box also is a better bet for comfort through your workout because the toes won’t be pressed so closely together as a more angled toe box.

Shoes that have leather steppers are always better for feet since they allow them to breathe more over synthetic materials, which hold sweat in.  

Be sure to always shop dressing the sore areas of your feet such as corns, bunions, heels, etc. before you buy that shoe. The shoe may fit differently with your protective wear or that bandage with adhesive tape that you will be wearing through your workout than just trying the shoe on without them.  

You may think these few pointers don’t amount to much-–that is until you do your workout.  Your feet will thank you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

For Real Change That You Can See, Lighten Up Dark Under Eye Circles From Within

partial woman's face with dark circles standing near a fence.jpeg
Natural darkness can be improved, if you know where to start.
Under eye darkness really can be depressing when you look at yourself in the mirror.  Though you can’t prevent the hand that heredity may have dealt you with how your body reacts to allergens, stress, or even processes the nutrients from foods you eat for playing a part in developing dark circles, there is another solution besides concealers and eye creams with vitamin K or caffeine to free up that trapped blood lurking beneath.

Instead of just working on the outside to mask the problem, you might want to try working on the inside as well.   What I suggest is to supply the body with plenty of the nutrients it needs to strengthen blood vessel walls from leaking to that delicate eye area through eating more antioxidant rich foods.

Berries such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and blackberries are excellent sources. Pomegranates, dark varieties of grapes, pecans, almonds, legumes, sweet potatoes, dark green vegetables, and parsley are just some others that can help build up the structure of blood vessel tissue.

Drinking more water to flush out toxins and keeping the blood circulating more freely also does seem to help. 

My allergic shiners are still there, but I am noticing my under eye area has brightened somewhat since starting this. Mary is happier that I now added more antioxidants to my day with the improvement I have had so far.  Try it yourself and hopefully, your own under eye darkness brightens up your look and mood as it is doing for me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why You May Want to Pay More Attention to Detoxifying Agents in Anti-Aging Creams When It Comes to Looking Younger

wrinkled portion of a woman's face.jpeg
Taking preventative steps is important.

You may be thinking that you’re doing everything possible to beat the aging clock with the latest anti-aging skin care products.  Even though you are vigilant and slather on plenty of beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants, what if I told you that there may be even more that you can do by firing up a certain enzyme called proteasome.  

What this particular enzyme is able to do is remarkable in how it can deep clean and repair cell damage from accumulated oxidized proteins that age us over time.  

When you are scanning those anti-aging creams and serums for ingredients, you might keep a close eye out for ingredients like alpha longoza, tocopherol (vitamin E), phaeodactylum algae extract, and amino lumine that can help speed up protesasome production to trigger that desired skin response that we all hope to see.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Korres Black Sugar Oriental Lilly Violet Eau de Toilette Review–A Delicious Way to Get Your Sweets!

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

Korres Black Sugar Oriental Lilly Violet Eau de Toilette.jpeg
Korres Black Sugar Oriental Lilly Violet Eau de Toilette

Modern Greek Apothecary, Korres, came out with some lovely natural fragrances to tempt us with like this darkly luscious fragrance that arrived for this review.  Imagine the sweetness of a gourmand and the haunting notes of a woody-floral in perfect harmony is how I would describe their new Black Sugar Oriental Lilly Violet Eau de Toilette.

This fragrance opens deliciously with its sweetness.  Yet, it is not overdone but more of a sprinkling of sugar to coat the lily, which adds a delectable quality to balance the floral along with a splash of inviting vanilla.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Most Effective Foods to Help Your Complexion Thrive

salmon dish with vegetables.jpeg
Your food choices play a definite role in the health of your skin.

Some people are born with great genes that give them a perfect complexion while others battle with skin conditions.  Though the body’s chemical makeup plays an important role, food choices also contribute a lot toward what the skin looks like.  If you want to give your complexion a fighting chance, then you need to start eating more of the following foods.

A small amount of protein at every meal is essential since it has amino acids of L-lysine and L-proline for collagen development.  When you don’t have enough protein, your skin suffers, losing that plumpness that leads to wrinkling.

An ideal portion size of a piece of meat is about three-ounces, a size that could fit in the palm of your hand. One egg would be enough or an eight-ounce cup of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese is just an example that you could get creative with. 

Fruits and vegetables are also very critical because of all their antioxidants and help in fighting free radicals that our skin encounters daily.  Try to eat five each day and your complexion will thank you.  Skin-boosting fruits are blueberries,  blackberries, strawberries, darker varieties of grapes are the best with the most phytochemicals and antioxidants. Citrus fruits, especially oranges also help firm up the skin’s outer layers as well as heal as it delivers oxygen and nutrients where needed.

You need to also add more yellow and green vegetables to your diet while reducing some starchier ones like potatoes, which can affect your blood sugar levels in how quickly your body breaks its down.  How sugar is regulated in your body can impact the appearance of the skin in addition to your health, mood and energy levels. 

Leafy, green vegetables like kale, which is rich in vitamin C, A, and K helps address aging.  Spinach is another winner, not only for its vitamin A, B vitamins but also for having anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats to keep skin flawless. Broccoli is another great source.  Avocado (though technically a fruit) is wonderful for its anti-inflammatory properties as well to improve the skin’s health with its bounty of vitamin C, A and K.

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, lutein,  beta-carotene and minerals to feed the skin so it can thrive. 

Fish is a good choice.  Oily fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel with all their omega-3 fatty acids are ones that you might want to jot down on your grocery shopping list.  Try eating these at least twice a day.

Nuts are excellent for a beautiful complexion with all their protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fats, vitamin E and minerals.  However, you need to be careful of the amount you eat.  Otherwise, you will pack on pounds.  

Seeds are amazing with all the protein and nutrients they have for glowing skin. Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds or the butters made from them are something you should start thinking about adding to your diet.

Make it a habit to start using healthier oils like olive oil and canola oil in your cooking and baking over margarine and butter.  I bake a lot with both of those oils and often substitute them in my recipes that called for margarine or butter without any problems. The extra virgin olive oil has the beneficial antioxidant ability due to its polyphenols.

Try to get enough of the right sort of grains into your life.  Oats, quinoa, brown over white rice, whole wheat instead of white bread has more nutrients, but also helps the skin in another way.  They provide needed extra fiber, which can help clean your system of toxins, lingering in your system to congest the skin.

Try a fiber-drink like Metamucil daily also is helpful for getting that fiber to clear your system.  The longer that you don’t move that old food out, the more it can ferment to affect the condition of your skin.

Dark chocolate is abundant with antioxidants like catechins and phenols to help skin’s circulation and defending against free radical damage.  Again, you need to watch your portions or prepare to buy larger size clothes because these can be hard to resist.  The higher the percentage of cocoa solids in a dark chocolate bar, the better it is for your skin and health.  A 70-percent is a good bet–-that is, if you can limit yourself to one square of the bar.

Though we all aren’t blessed with perfect genes, the right foods can tremendously help
renew a problem complexion into one that you might be surprised to see!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Another Makeup Trick You’ll Love to Know When You Use Too Much Powder Blush or Bronzer

blushes and brush.jpeg
We learn by our mistakes, but if you can avoid them even better!

Though it is never intentional, makeup blunders happen.  I have made more makeup mistakes than I like to admit, but we do learn by them.  Earlier, I shared an easy way to tone down too strong cheeks when using powder blushes or bronzers with this great blush adjusting tipToday, I want to fill you in on another way that I also found helpful, especially if you hate using too much loose face powder.  

However, it does require having extra clean brushes ready.  All that you need to do is to grab a clean blush or powder brush and take it to where all the heavy pigment landed.  Dust some off and then grab a tissue or clean washcloth and wipe as much of the blush or bronzer as you can off.  Keep on swiping a second time into a fresh tissue or clean section of the washcloth to further lighten your mistake.  You can do as many swipes with that brush to mop what you need until you get the desired effect!

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Fix Hair Serum Overload When You Are in a Rush and Need Beautiful Hair

frustrated woman with packing tape attached to her greasy hair.jpeg
This beauty will never experience this problem again now that she knows the fix.

Perhaps, you started a new brand of hair serum.  You apply some just as you would normally like your last brand, but somehow it doesn’t add the same amount of gloss.  Frustrated now, you decide to apply just a little more, hoping it would finally provide that glistening shine that you were promised. The only problem is instead of making your hair look better, but you got the opposite.  Your hair now looks greasy.  So what are your options?

You might be tempted to give yourself a fresh wet or dry shampoo and start all over, but you are short on time.  Still, there is a quick way to get that rid of that slickness that you may not have thought of–-hair spray!  
Hair spray can get that greasy gunk out of your strands because of its ability to absorb oil.  However, the only variety that is capable of the job is a non-aerosol pump spray since the product won’t instantly evaporate like the fine mist that aerosols deliver.

The next time you find yourself in this predicament, the easiest thing to do is to divide your hair in sections and then spray one area at a time.  Before you move on, take out your hair dryer and blast it for about a minute or so.  This does help clean up the hair very nicely.

I hope that you don’t need to use this hair tip, but it is good to know just in case this does happen.  To prevent this hair tragedy in the first place, you might want to read my earlier post on how best to apply hair serums.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Beauty Box 5 June 2016 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 June 2016.jpeg
Beauty Box 5 June 2016 ($54.62 value!)

The other day my mailman brought me my new Beauty Box 5.  This month’s theme from the monthly beauty subscription is Made in the Shade with five cool beauty products to keep gorgeous this summer.

If the name is still new to you, then let me briefly fill you in on how Beauty Box 5 works.  Each box has five full and sample size items from cosmetics, skin and hair care, fragrance, tools to nails products for just $12 a month with free shipping.  The price can go even lower, depending on how long you want to commit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to Help Minimize Your Contact With Poison Ivy

poison ivy.jpeg
Poison ivy doesn't require direct contact before you develop it.

Some people don’t necessarily need direct contact with a poison ivy plant itself to develop it.  My mother happens to be one of those people.  Once she was just tending her small garden, not among bushes or wild foliage when it later struck.  Apparently poison ivy’s resin managed to carry in the wind or weather to transfer itself to whatever she was touching among her plants.

Ever since that episode, we always made it a habit to immediately wash exposed skin with Fels-Napa, the laundry soap bar that you also can use to treat stains.  In addition, we also wash all gardening tools afterwards with a soap solution as an extra safety precaution.

Before throwing all your clothes to the laundry on your way to the shower, you also might want to take another preventive measure.  Try wiping yourself off with some rubbing alcohol first and then get your bath or shower. 

If you have a cat or dog that likes to roam or stays outdoors, then you might want to give them a bath. Though your pet won’t develop poison ivy due to their protective coats, they can carry that plant’s resin on themselves for you to pick up when you pet them.

Before you attempt giving your pet a bath, remember protecting yourself first by wearing gloves and a barrier cream with bentoquatum for the rest of your arms or legs that may be exposed.  After all, animals don’t particularly enjoy baths and will splash water that could contain that poison ivy’s urushiol oil on you.  

In case, you don’t have a barrier cream on hand, you want to try wearing long pants and longer sleeves while bathing your pet.  Sure, you will be soaked by the time that you finish, but it will provide better protection than nothing.

You can use your pet shampoo or even dish detergent that cuts grease like Dawn to lather them up.  Don’t neglect their collar and lease by cleaning those thoroughly since that urushiol could also be there as well. Rinse them several times to make sure that soap and remaining traces of oil are out of those coats.

If you have a cat, prepare for battle.  This is not a chore for one person so be sure to have an extra set of hands to help with the bath.

Despite everything, there is always a chance that you could still develop that poison ivy rash.  Besides a drying agent like calamine lotion, witch hazel or zinc oxide, you could wet Epsom salts and apply to the rash or aloe vera gel.  Hopefully, this will never happen.  Nonetheless, if it does then you'll probably have a less severe case since you got some of that poison ivy off.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Get the Most Protection From Your Sunscreen If You Intend to Stay Safe!

woman in sihouette admiring the sun at the beach.jpeg
This beauty feels good that she is properly prepared to keep safe in the sun.

Having practically a full bottle of last year’s sunscreen around does not mean that you should use it this year.  Sunscreens expire even though the formula may seem the same consistency as the last time that you applied it.  If you intend to safeguard yourself from the damaging effects of the sun, then replace it.

Before you plan on spending much time outdoors in direct sunlight, be sure to properly lube yourself up at least a half hour before.  The recommended amount that you should be going for is about an ounce of it.  An easy way to calculate this is pouring some water into a measuring cup will help you approximate the amount needed.  

By all means, do not leave your sunscreen in your hot car,  some patio table or next to you when you go to the beach, etc. where the sun can beat down on it.  Doing this will only break down the formula as you gently cook it through that powerful heat.  Instead, keep it in a cooler, insulated bag or styrofoam container with some ice packs to guard that formula so that it can keep you safe!  

No, ice packs on hand?  Try improvising.  You can always make your own by saving a clean bottle or jar then filling half way with water to freeze.  Peanut butter jars are great to pack in your insulated bag or cooler to keep food as well as that sunscreen in good shape.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

What You Need to Know About Natural Bristle Makeup Brushes That Can Help Before You Buy

huge row of makeup brushes.jpeg
A well-dressed face needs the right tools to help get the look you want.

Despite the best cosmetics you may have on hand, if don’t have the right tools to help perfect your application, then you are cheating yourself from looking even better as well as risking contamination to those expensive products when fingers are all you use.  Thus, a quality set of makeup brushes can help take those cosmetics one step further and practically alter your appearance in whatever way you wish when you know what you are looking for.
Natural bristle brushes can have goat, squirrel, pony, badger, sable or a combination of hairs and fall in all price ranges.   However, the more luxurious ones are usually the most costly ones of pure sable or blue squirrel.  Why are these so pricey?

The reason those particular hairs are so desired is due to how well their graduated pattern of hairs cling to powders that much easier.  Their cuticles have the ability to best absorb those types of cosmetics for ideal transfer to your face or eyes like any true makeup artist!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Sinus Relief Pillow, Citrus Facial Cleanser and Balancing Toner Review + ($37) Giveaway!–Ends June 30, 2016

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

Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Sinus Relief Pillow, Citrus Facial Cleanser and Balancing Toner.jpeg
Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Sinus Relief Pillow, Citrus Facial Cleanser and Balancing Toner

Taking the simplest approach to health and beauty can surprise you with a powerhouse of ingredients that originated in nature.  A company that understands how to draw upon the vast resources of herbs with luxury organic personal care products is Brittanie’s Thyme, all women-owned with headquarters in Cedar Springs, MI. The products are formulated by CEO, Nancy Metzger, a talented esthetician that truly knows her herbs if what I have tried for this review and giveaway are any example of what the rest of their line is like. 

Having allergies, I had wanted to try their Organic Sinus Relief Pillow ($9) with its blend of lavender, peppermint, basil, eucalyptus, and essential oils.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure if a bag of select herbs along with essential oils would be able to cut it.  However, once I took that small pillow out of its plastic bag and started to crush the herbs, I could already feel my sinuses opening from its soothing vapors.  I really felt myself breathing better instead of being as congested.  Before long, the headache that I had was lifting enough that I fell asleep without the need to take an antihistamine.

No joke, people, I need to order another one for mother as well.  I was so excited by how well this little herbal pillow performed that I wanted my mother to test it the next night.  She also has her share of allergies and is always sniffling, despite medications.  This time I suggested that we didn’t crush as much because it can overwhelm.  

According to my mother, this was one of the most restful nights of sleeping in a long time.  Her nose felt clearer from how the vapors opened her nasal passages. She told me that she fell asleep almost instantly. We definitely want another and will regularly use these.  I do want to try their Organic Bug Spray and Organic Cold Comfort Crystals next.

They also sent me their Organic Citrus Facial Cleanser ($14.95), an award-winning product that won Shecky's "Beauty At Its Best" Award 2013.  This is a soap-free, hydrating cleanser meant for normal to troubled skin with aloe, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, witch hazel, grapefruit and rosemary that came in a dark glass bottle with a pump dispenser for best preserving the formula from light.  

As you know, I have a dry complexion.  I wasn’t sure if this cleanser would be too harsh for my needs, but it treated my skin tenderly when I used it to clean my face.  It doesn’t lather, but my makeup went down the sink and my skin felt refreshed, gently moisturized and without a problem of tightness.

The company also included their Organic Balancing Toner ($12.95) with peppermint, sweet orange and rose water among its other ingredients.  It is targeted also more for normal to oily complexions, but it felt just fine on my dry complexion.  One loaded cotton ball was enough to get rid of any remaining grime.  I liked that it was safe to use around the eyes.

What I really admire about Brittanie’s Thyme is that they manufacturer in small batches, only use certified organic ingredients and produce effective products that truly are affordable.  Of course, I am judging based on the three products I tested for this review and giveaway, but I really am a big fan.  

Anyone suffering with sinus pain, allergies or those congested that always are stuffy at night need to visit Brittanie’s Thyme or you’ll find other locations here and order an Organic Sinus Relief Pillow.  Trust me, but you will be helped!  You might want to start your introduction into a great line with that pillow.  Check this company out because you won't be disappointed.  This I promise you. 

Thanks to Brittanie’s Thyme, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the continental United States wins the Sinus Relief Pillow, Organic Citrus Facial Cleanser and the Organic Balancing Toner ($37 total value)!

Giveaway details and how to enter–

Prize: One (1) winner from the continental USA will receive Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Sinus Relief Pillow, Organic Citrus Facial Cleanser and Organic Balancing Toner ($37 total value)!

Dates of entry:  06/12/16–06/29/16 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

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

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 or to vote daily for Nuts 4 Stuff on Picket Fence Blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Recipe: You Won’t Miss Taste, Only Calories With My Creamy, Low-Cal Italian Salad Dressing!

plate of my Creamy, Low-Cal Italian Salad Dressing.jpeg
 A delicious plate of my Creamy, Low-Cal Italian Salad Dressing!

Though extremely appetizing, creamy salad dressings often can have more calories in a few tablespoons that a total meal.  Of course, you can always have the option of dipping a dry salad just for the lightest way to eat it.  Nonetheless, it isn’t the same.  But, what if I told you that the recipe that I have for you is more friendly for your diet and will fool your taste with its satisfying creaminess, spices and herbs while being more nourishing with cottage cheese in the base at the same time?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Very Oily Complexions Would Appreciate This Blush Trick for Better Wear!

Mineral Fusion blush in my hand.jpeg
If your blush keeps ending up in an oily section, try this trick because it will help.

My complexion used to be a lot oiler than it is now so I understand how frustrating it can be trying to wear makeup without looking greasy an hour or two later.   Yesterday, I shared some makeup tips on how to stay fresher longer if you have too much oil in your complexion.  If excessively oily skin is your problem, I neglected to give you this blush trick that can help with staying power and any problems you might have if you’ve been experiencing powder blush always managing to cling to your oily spots.

Instead of just applying the powder blush directly over your foundation before dusting with loose powder, you might want to try a little of the powder first and then sweeping on the blush before finishing with more loose powder over it and the rest of your face as usual.   

Since you might be breaking out due to the oil or acne, you also might want to check your blush ingredients for D & C red dyes.  Those particular dyes clog follicles that can only make the skin worse so you may want to replace your current blush as well.

I hope this helps you as much as it did me when I was suffering with that type of complexion.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Some Makeup Tips to Help Those With Oily Complexions Keep Looking Fresh

makeup assortment of products.jpeg
Making the right choices of products can be all it takes to look fresh longer.

If you happen to have an oily complexion or acne, you don’t want the cosmetics that you use to call attention to it.  Instead, you want them to work to your advantage.  Let me show you a few tips that can make a difference.

When deciding on foundations, you want to avoid oil-based products since they will only add more oil to the skin and you don’t want that.  A better alternative of liquid foundation is an oil-free or matte-finish one. Mineral makeup is another possibility since it won’t worsen acne.

Still, others with especially troublesome oily skin may also want to invest in an oil-controlling primer or mattifier to wear under makeup for additional help looking fresh.

Avoid cosmetics that go heavy on the glitter or are too dewy.  The reason this is important is because the shine they provide will only draw eyes to notice slickness or any skin eruptions.  

You’re safer with matte dry powder eye shadows as well as powder forms of blushes and bronzers without shimmers over cream types, which may turn blotchy or disappear on you. 

Loose face powders are a must to keep your foundation in place.  Try dabbing a cotton ball into the powder and press it into your skin.  This method lays down the most powder over randomly dusting it on first.  Don’t worry about looking like a ghost.  Once you finish, grab your powder brush and lightly sweep off the excess. 

Another useful product to keep in mind is oil-control blotting papers.  These can be far superior to retouching your makeup than just applying more makeup.  Your face will appear cleaner over a possible buildup that can give you a cakey look.  In a pinch, even pressing a tissue on an oily nose can help rid you of some of that extra oil.

Spritzing your makeup with a facial mist can help refresh your makeup through the day.  Rose water or a mist that has rosehip oil is wonderful for all, but more so for those with problem skin from acne or rosaceae since it has the power to combat bacteria while addressing inflammation. 

These are just a few ways that can help make sure that your beauty never flatters!  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Next Time That Your Beauty Gets Compromised by a Cold Sore, Try This Natural DIY Lemon Balm Treatment

lemon balm plants.jpeg
Lemon Balm

Cold sores are not only painful, but ugly once those tiny blisters take over a mouth.  In my case, they always liked to appear when you have something important scheduled like a dentist appointment or a big date.  

Of course, you can’t control when cold sores pop up since they are caused by a virus, the herpes simplex virus to be exact, but you can take several steps in limiting how long it stays.

The herpes simplex virus has to have arginine for reproducing in your system.  This basic amino acid is found in most proteins.  However, you can try counteracting the arginine from multiplying by taking a lysine supplement only while you have the cold sore and if not on medication.  You might want to try a 1000mg. lysine tablet twice or as much as three times a day, but no more.  You may want to check with your doctor first.  

Another way is using lemon balm.  If you have a garden, this is an easy herb to grow that is quite useful for help healing cold sores.  What you can do is dry some leaves (about three teaspoons) to later brew a tea in one cup of boiling water, not to drink but to dab on the cold sore with cotton balls once it cools.  You don’t have to keep making fresh cups for each treatment, but keep using this same one that day.  

If you don’t have the fresh herb handy, you could always try lemon balm essential oil better known as pure melissa essential oil. Also, you need to use a carrier oil like grape seed or jojoba oil to safely dilute it.  Use one drop of the melissa essential oil to a teaspoon of your carrier oil.  Again, you might want to check with your doctor if you have any health condition or on medications to see if this is safe for you. 

Having cold sores is no fun.  Nonetheless, if it happens to you and those drugstore remedies aren’t doing much to end this misery, what I shared is worth trying because it did help me.  Take care and I promise that you’ll be smiling with a pretty mouth again in no time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Best Ways to Protect and Deal With Mosquito Bites to Stay Beautiful and Healthy

mosquito on leaf.jpeg
Protect yourself because the effects of mosquitos are far from beautiful.  

Warm weather is a wonderful change from freezing temperatures for many of us that have winter to deal with.  However, it also means it’s mosquito season.  Itching from a bite was never pleasant, but it also can have serious health effects or even death once a mosquito gets a taste of you.  This year, we need to be especially careful now that Zika is on the rise.

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and family is to get rid of standing water around your home and property since this is where mosquitos breed.  Did you know that one mosquito can lay 250 eggs at a time that can hatch anywhere from 7 to 15 days?  Therefore, don’t give them a chance by dumping rain water that may have accumulated in any open containers or covering what you can.  Below are some tips for you.

If you have a recycling container for your cans, bottles, etc., make sure to check it after the rain and pour out the water, including what you find in each can or open bottle.  

Trash containers also need attention.  Water can collect around their lids so be sure to make an inspection after it rains as well.

Mosquitos love breeding in old tires, even the ones some people use ornamentally in their yards to grow flowers.  Rain fills up in the crevices to invite mosquitoes.

Those that have a pond or a water garden on their property need fish.  Besides Goldfish and Koi, you might want to think of looking into a species known as the Mosquito Fish, which can consume large quantities of insect larvae. 

A lot of people like to collect rain water for their gardens, which can spell trouble.  If you happen to have a barrel outside under your downspout, be sure to cover it. 

Bird baths are another source that can be potential trouble.  I am not saying to deny our bird friends a drink, but merely to cover or dump the water from the bowl at night.  

For those times when you plan to do a lot yard work, remember to take precautions.  There are several options that you might want to consider from the clothes you wear to products for this purpose like a chemical mosquito repellent like DEET, Picaridin (also referred to as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin) or formulas that contain either of those or products with IR3535.  Though they can be hot while working, long sleeves and long pants can protect vulnerable skin from mosquitoes better than exposed arms or legs wearing sleeveless blouses, T-shirts or shorts.

Of course, you also go the natural route and try oil of lemon eucalyptus.  The essential oil form is known as OLE and is said to be just as effective for preventing mosquito bites as those commercial products that contain small concentrations of DEET. By the way, the pure OLE form is not recommended for use on children less than three according to the CDC.

However, you may want to think about picking up the commercial form of oil of lemon eucalyptus called PMD over the pure  natural oil of lemon eucalyptus form (OLE ).  The PMD made in the lab has tested for warding off mosquito bites for two hours at a time unlike the OLE.  

Just a word of caution, before using any essential oils do learn how to properly work with them. Understanding how to dilute them and finding out if they are safe for the ages and health conditions for you or members of your family first. Otherwise, you could suffer health effects like an allergy that may never leave you. 

Oil of citronella products can give some minimal protection.  Essential oils like lavender essential oil and oil of clove may also help.

Then again, if the worst happens and you get a mosquito bite, here are some solutions to reduce inflammation and swelling.   

Ice can help bring that itchy bump down.  

Also, try one tablespoon of Epsom salts to dissolve in a quart of hot water.  Once it cools off, immerse a clean cloth into this brew and place it over the bite for a few minutes.

Though you can’t stop the mosquito, you can do these little things that can help keep you and your family safe and beautiful in body and spirit!  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Here’s More Great Makeup Advice for Better Counteracting Darkness Under the Eye

Woman with under eye darkness hiding part of her face behind a door.jpeg
This beauty won't be hiding that lovely face now that she's aware of these concealer tips.

Whether you blame that darkness under your eyes from lack of sleep, heredity, too much sun exposure that causes the discoloration from melanin that is released, the aging process due to thinner skin in the area with fewer deposits of fat and collagen that formerly hid the blood vessels or allergies, it is one of the biggest problems most of us complain about.  

Living with allergies over the years has forced me to become somewhat of an expert in the art of concealment.  What I am sharing with you is through my accumulated experience of what worked the best in my case.

The blacker the darkness is, the more that you might want a heavier formula than a sheerer one that often can come in a wand.  Consider the color just one shade lighter than your skin tone.  Avoid the mistake of trying to whiten the darkness out with too pale of a color because it will only ring the eyes with a white cast instead.

What works the best for me on those days when I see a lot of dark blue-purple beneath my eyes is opting for one that has light peach to it.  Though you may be satisfied with the coverage, I always think that a formula with light-reflecting pigments does more than just conceal as it brightens up the area.

Invest in a concealer brush because it will allow you to ideally place coverage where a finger can be clumsy. The brush will give you more control than that finger ever could to maneuver in tight spaces near the corner of the eye.  I found using a narrow, firm brush with a tapered flat head works the best.

However, if you need to use your finger, stick to just the little finger because it won’t put as much pressure as you work on that fragile skin.  Besides, it is a better fit for this purpose.  Make sure to gently pat the concealer as your finger moves along its path.  After all, you want the product to stay put to do the job instead of transferring to your finger.

If you notice the concealer caking in your fine lines, the formula probably is too thick.  What you can do is slightly dampen your finger and gently smooth it over. 

I never thought dabbing some loose powder was as important as it is for keeping concealer in place, but it makes all the difference.  Champagne highlighting powder can further brighten up the skin while locking the product in place wonderfully.

When the darkness is especially at its worst, I found you do something else to distract away from it.  What I do is to concentrate attention to focus elsewhere on my face.  Try using a brighter lipstick or shade of blush that day will pull eyes more to where you look better. 

For more helpful information on the subject of concealing dark circles, do read my previous posts with tips and techniques that I picked up over time.