Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Huge May Empties: Health, Beauty, Makeup, and Skincare!



I love reading empties posts as well as sharing what I've used up. 

As someone who is constantly trying out new products, it isn't always easy to finish up products. This month I definitely did well in finishing up quite a few items.

Here is a link to last months empties with a lipstick purge if you are interested in checking it out.

Let's start out with skincare.

Skincare



Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask- There are 6 masks in this pack. It's a 10-minute sheet mask and I find these very convenient. The masks were very saturated and left my skin feeling smooth and hydrated. I found it on sale for a great deal. I do like the mask and would re-purchase for the right price but unfortunately, I find the regular price in stores is far too high.

Lise Watier Hydraforce Hydra-Protective Comforting Creme- I received this product for trial purposes from Glamsense. I really like the product and found it very hydrating. It did not irritate my reactive skin and I didn't experience any breakouts at all. I would purchase this product if I wasn't constantly trying out new skincare. It definitely does what it says. Full review can be found by clicking this link.

The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Mask- I received this sample from The Face Shop in my local mall. I got 2 uses from the little pot. This definitely isn't the right product for my skin as I woke up with deep acne forming. Luckily, once I stopped the product the acne disappeared.

Oz Naturals Super Youth Under Eye Gel- I received this product for review purposes and I fell in love. It's loaded with advanced skincare technology and although it didn't help with my under eye puffs, it did help with my hooded, over the eye puffs. I love the hygienic dispenser except for the fact that I couldn't tell when I was about to run out. I would purchase this eye gel and I can see why it's an Allure beauty winner! Full review can be found here. 

Kirkland Daily Facial Towelettes- These were one of my go-to makeup removing wipes. They are a good wipe and get the job done. However, I recently discovered a much better value that does the same job. So I probably wont be repurchasing these. A review of my new, budget friendlier makeup wipes can be found here. 

Cotton Rounds- I buy my quilted cotton rounds at the dollar store. There are 100 in a pack and I find they are just as good as the ones in the drugstore. So, for only $1, I will keep repurchasing these.

Makeup




Elf 6pc GEO 2nd Version- Besides the odd name for this palette, it is not a bad palette but it's not great either. Some of the colours are very chunky and just crumble. The one colour that I would use is in such a small corner that it's difficult to get my brush into it. I have so many other neutral shadows that I reach for more often, so I am giving this one away.

Essence All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder- I liked this powder but it did leave a tiny bit of a white cast on my skin. I think this is best to be used for touch ups throughout the day instead of using it to set my makeup. I would repurchase it to be used as a touch-up product. Note: Once I hit pan on it ,the product shattered shortly after when I dropped it into my sink. It may be too fragile of a powder to carry in my bag.

Beauty Sponge- This was an Ebay purchase that was supposed to be a dupe for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I am so happy that I've repurchased my Real Techniques sponge in a money-saving 2 pack as this "eBay dupe" didn't even come close to being a dupe. Full review can be found here.

Other



Triaxon Ionic XP KeraPro CMC13 Inner Core Reconstructor- I purchased this product EONS ago from The Shopping Channel here in Canada. I always used this product as a leave-in treatment before I would go in for my quarterly highlights. I felt that it helped to protect my hair from the damaging effects of the bleach and hair dye. Sadly, I haven't been able to find this product to repurchase it. 

Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant- This is an aluminum free deodorant which is what I like to use on a day to day basis. I try to stay away from aluminum based deodorants/ antiperspirants and save those for certain days where I need more protection. I'm constantly trying new, natural deodorants. I liked this one and would repurchase when I'm not trying something new.

Now Foods Xyli White Toothpaste- Anyone who's seen my hauls or empties posts has seen this one before. This is hands down my favourite toothpaste. It's fluoride, SLS, gluten, and paraben free! I've had better dental check ups since I started this toothpaste. The active ingredient for healthy teeth in this product is Xylitol at 25%! It does come in mint flavours, but I like the cinnamon. 

Supplements



Madre Labs CocoCeps- I repurchase this every month. I use it in my protein drinks. It has heart-healthy antioxidants like organic dark cocoa and immune-boosting organic cordyceps and reishi mushroom powders. This product is unsweetened, so I use stevia to sweeten my beverages. It tastes delicious too! 

Now Foods Kelp Powder- This superfood is rich in iodine and great for thyroid support. I like to add it to my protein drinks with the Cococeps powder mentioned above, and I can't even taste the kelp powder. It's also a vegetarian product. Note: you use so little of this kelp powder that I recommend sharing the bottle with someone. Mine expired before I could use it all.

Nature's Way Alive Once Daily Women's Ultra Potency- My diet is far from perfect. This is a fabulous once a day multi that fills in my nutritional gaps. It contains all the vitamins that I need plus so much more! You really have to check out the ingredients and I think you'll be impressed.  It's food based, has a heart blend of nutrients, plus enzymes, amino acids, fruit and veggie blend, CranRX,  digestive blend, organic mushroom blend plus hair, skin and nails blend. It comes in formulas for men and women, with iron or without plus formulas for 50+.  I'm currently testing out a new multivitamin but I would definitely repurchase this one in the future.

Renew Life Critical Omega- This was my first time trying out this particular fish oil. I try to take a fish oil capsule everyday. I find it helps with my skin and hair but it's also crucial for our hearts and our brains. My favourite fish oil is Jarrow Max DHA which contains higher amounts of DHA which is so important for brain health. 

From iHerb: " DHA is the predominant fatty acid in the brain, nervous system and retina of humans. DHA is important for fetal and infantile neurological development. DHA also supports neurological function in seniors."

Garden of Life Primal Defense- This is the best probiotic I have ever tried. I have a whole blog post dedicated to this wonderful product! I have had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and digestive issues my entire life. This single supplement has taken care of all of my digestive and IBS issues. I have been using it for over 18 years now and I will NEVER be without this product. It's worth its weight in gold. It is pricey but I stock up with the biggest bottle and I find I only have to take one a day now, so it lasts me for 216 days (the value size bottle usually gives you 216 caps).  You can start out with a smaller sized bottle to see how it works for you before you decide on purchasing the "big daddy." It also comes in a powdered form for those who don't like swallowing capsules, as well as a banana flavoured formula for kids

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I used up, what I liked and what I didn't. I tried to be brief with my reviews of each product but in some cases such as supplements, I know that more info is often warranted. 

Please remember to always check with your Doctor before implementing new supplements into your routine as everyone is different and some supplements can interact with some medications.

If you have an empties post I'd love to come and check out what you used up! Please leave a link in the comments!

*Some products have been gifted for review and some have been purchased by me, my opinions are always honest and my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Amy
xoxo



Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 7: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight! #injury



This is supposed to be my week 7 update on my get fit and lose weight journey where I list all my workouts and weigh in. Here is a link to last weeks post and also a link to the original post.

I have been pretty much incapacitated since last Wednesday. So, unfortunately, I haven't been able to workout at all.

If you read what I wrote in last week's post on day 2, you'll see that is when I must have caused the injury.

It's been really frustrating and scary too as I've been in chronic pain but didn't know why. I've had a bunch of tests run and after getting all the results in, the Doctor has diagnosed that the problems I have been experiencing are injuries from working out. He's a funny guy and said that the lesson here was that working out is bad for our health! haha

Until my body heals fully, I wont be able to do any working out. It's been very frustrating as I want to keep going with my workouts but I have let my body rest and heal first.

It was during a workout in week 6 when I must have caused the injury. I remember not being up to working out that day. I didn't have the energy to do it but I forced myself  to workout anyways and I know my form was bad because I didn't have any energy. I was really sore all over after the workout but it wasn't until 2 days after that workout that the pain became isolated and chronic.

I am still in pain but I'm letting my body rest, hoping that my body will heal itself and I can get back to working out etc.

My lesson is that if I don't feel the energy to workout but I force myself anyways if in the first few minutes I am still not feeling it, I will stop. It's better not to workout at all than have poor form leading to injuries. Please make sure you do the same!

I hope to be back to normal soon and able to continue working out as soon as I'm able.

Amy
xoxo

Beauty on a Budget: Equate Makeup Removing Towelettes/ Wipes #review



Okay, so where have I been? Or, how come no one ever told me about these? Or, are they brand new?

I was in the market for some new makeup removing/ cleansing wipes. I normally buy the big box of Kirkland wipes at Costco or stock up on Balea wipes when Shoppers Drug Mart has them on sale.


I was at a Walmart in a different town just picking up a few necessities and of course, I had to breeze by the beauty section. And, there on and end-cap were racks and racks of Equate brand wipes. They were in giant boxes for $14, so I had to check them out.



Inside you get 4 full-size packs of wipes, each contains 60 wipes. In total, you get 240 wipes for $14! 

This works out to .058 cents per wipe. Talk about savings!

They are made with chamomile, vitamin E, & Triple Tea Complex.




I find them gentle yet effective. Just as good as any other makeup removing wipe that I have tried! They don't irritate my skin or cause breakouts on my very reactive skin. I was leary because of the price but they proved me wrong. 

They aren't too thin or too small and they are saturated sufficiently. All in all, they take my makeup off just as good as the other wipes I've mentioned.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my skincare. I spend a lot of money of good quality products, but if I find a place where I can save some money and not sacrifice anything, I'm in!

If you want to save a few bucks (I mean, who doesn't!? It means you can buy more clothes! hehe), give these beauties a try.

What great bargains have you found lately? Please share in the comments.

Amy
xoxo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fun and Easy Beauty Hacks




I was thinking about some beauty hacks that I use and decided to compile a list.  I had so much fun putting this together for you!

Some of you are probably familiar with some of these hacks but hopefully you'll find some that are new to you.

Many of these are just tips to use when you're in a pinch and you can substitute your normal product or routine with the ones suggested.

  • Use an unscented lip balm to moisturize dry skin around eyes (keep this balm exclusively for this) use your finger to warm up product and pat onto dry skin around eyes as needed throughout the day
  • I'm sure by now everyone knows the tape trick for getting nice crisp lines with your eyeshadow
  • Coconut oil makes a fabulous hair treatment. Apply to dry hair, leave on as long as desired and wash out
  • Use your facial toner as a setting spray
  • Some concealers work great as eye primers. If you've run out of eye primer, try this trick
  • Add moisturizer to your foundation to customize your own tinted moisturizer/ BB cream (use a moisturizer with SPF to increase your sun protection).
  • Add a drop of any beauty oil to your foundation for hydration and to create a dewy look
  • Use olive or coconut oil to remove eye and or face makeup
  • Use hairspray on an eyebrow brush to tame eyebrows
  • Use a brow gel to tame fly away hairs if you're out of hairspray
  • I found Micellar water is great at removing lip stains from your pout
  • Micellar water makes a great facial toner
  • Use matte eyeshadows as brow powders
  • Use a taupe eye liner as a brow pencil
  • Bronzer makes a great eyeshadow, especially as a transition colour
  • Mix a little hair conditioner with water in a spray bottle and shake for a leave-in conditioner
  • Use blush as an eyeshadow
  • Use a shimmery eyeshadow as a face highlight
  • You can also use a shimmery eyeshadow to highlight the center of your lips for a larger looking pout
  • Spritz a tissue with rubbing alcohol to spot clean makeup brushes
  • To smooth out hair and tame flyaways, use a dab of hand moisturizer, rub into hands and gently smooth hands over your hair
  • Make a fab face exfoliator with some rice flour, MSM powder or ground oatmeal, just add water and massage away (mix with an oil or yoghurt for more of a facial. Leave on face, massage, then rinse)
  • A baby wash cloth also makes a great exfoliator, whether you've run out of your exfoliator or not, it's a great and gentle way to exfoliate! (recommended to me by a great esthetician)
  • Exfoliate your lips gently with a baby or soft wash cloth
  • Use olive or coconut oils as beauty oils (apply alone to damp skin, or on top of your favourite serums and moisturizers)
  • Use castor oil on lashes and add a drop to your shampoo for hair growth (I cleaned out a mascara tube and filled with castor oil and apply lightly at night)
  • Use cornstarch as a dry shampoo. This is best if you're hair is light in colour. For dark hair you can add cocoa powder, but you will smell like chocolate! (I like to use a shaker bottle to dispense. A salt or pepper shaker will do)
  • Massage your gums with baking soda for healthy gums and whiter teeth (I don't recommend doing this more than 1-2 times per week)
  • Braid your hair when slightly damp before bed and wake up with gorgeous waves, sans heat. For tighter waves make smaller tighter braids. For looser waves, make large, loose braids
I'm sure there are a ton more beauty hacks. These are just the ones that I use at the moment.

Please share your beauty hacks in the comments below. I'd love to learn some more!

ps. Come link up at fabulousandfunlife for Monday Makeup Madness and The best of blogosphere!

Amy
xoxo

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Week 6: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



Hopefully, this will be my quickest post ever. Not that I don't love blogging! I just want to get this post up for you.. maybe no one is even reading it.. lol

I may not be online very much for a while. Unfortunately, I'm sick and out of commission for now.

Here is last weeks post on my get fit journey in case you missed it. And, here is the link to the first post on this journey.

Here are my workouts for the week:

Day 1- Intentional day of rest for my body
Day 2- Jackie Warner Personal Training DVD - 40 minute Power Circuit Training (Very sore after this workout, and not in a good way. Hence the yoga the next day)
Day 3- Kundalini Yoga, Solar Power DVD - 50 minute Solar Power workout
Day 4- Sick and out of commission
Day 5- "
Day 6- "
Day 7- "

On day 2, I wanted to switch up my workouts so I didn't get bored. So, I broke out another Jackie Warner DVD, her Personal Training DVD. I was very low in energy that day and didn't feel like working out at all. But, I figured that once I got started, I'd get into it, but that didn't happen this time. I must have had horrible form from my severe lack of energy. As a result, I ended up very sore all over, and not that "sore in a good way" after a good workout. I was so sore that I decided to do some yoga. So, I decided to do some Kundalini yoga. I haven't done this type of yoga in at least a year.

My lesson here is that if I don't feel like working out and don't have the energy that day, I may try to do the workout but if I'm still not feeling it, it's better to stop than have improper form and end up with injuries.

Weight- down .5lbs (unfortunately, it's probably from being sick and not from working out)
Body fat- no change

I can't wait to be feeling better and getting back to work and blogging and such. Not to mention working out!

See you soon!

Amy
xoxo


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Oz Naturals Ocean Mineral Facial Tonic #Review



I've been using Oz Natural's Ocean Mineral Tonic for a few weeks now and have noticed improvements in my skin so I wanted to share my experience.

From Amazon: 
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE
  • PH BALANCED - This anti-aging toner is made using natural ingredients and is safe for most skin types Active ingredients include glycolic acid amino acids ocean minerals Vitamin C and plant extracts.
  • USES THE HIGHEST concentration of natural and active ingredients possible - Never compromising on quality and performance.
  • Natural - Fragrance Free
Using a well-formulated facial toner can supercharge the rest of your skin care regimen. Applied after cleansing and exfoliating, but before your serum and moisturizer, a skin toner can help boost the efficacy of the products layered over it. Our well-formulated face toner also helps to deliver superior benefits to the skin. OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Tonic is a natural skin toner containing a potent blend of glycolic acid, ocean minerals, Vitamin C + amino acids and is considered to be one of the most effective Vitamin C Toners available. The active ingredients in this spray glycolic toner help restore skin, as well as support a synergistic relationship with any skincare products layered on top of it          

My Experience: 

My skin loves this toner! I was afraid I might have breakouts or reaction since I already use Retin-A and this has glycolic acid in it along with many other active ingredients. I had zero bumps or breakouts and my skin looks clearer, brighter and more toned.

I use the toner after cleansing my skin and in between layering my serums, moisturizers, and any oils if I use them. It helps to make my other products absorb better into the skin.

The Glycolic acid turned out to be the perfect addition to my Retin-A treatment. They compliment each other perfectly as the Glycolic acid helps to slough off/ exfoliate the dead skin, making my skin brighter and clearer.

I find my skin is clearer than ever. My acne has cleared up, and old acne scars and other discolorations are fading and my skin is brighter overall.

This product is chocked full of other antiaging and antioxidant ingredients like Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, and Algae Extract. I've never found a toner with such active, anti-aging ingredients in it. I am really able to step up my skincare and anti-aging routine by adding this toner to my skincare regimen.

This toner has so many wonderful. active ingredients. that it's like a toner and treatment in one! If you are looking to step up your skincare game, I recommend this product to anyone who wants to improve the look of their skin.

I was also happy that even with all the active ingredients, the product does not irritate my eyes at all when I spray it on. It is also gentle on my skin yet effective. The product is fragrance free too, which is another added bonus.

Add in that the product is paraben free, 99.4% natural, and this company is cruelty-free and can I just say "winning!"

I received this product free for review purposes. This does not sway my opinion. As always the opinions in this review are 100% honest and my own.


Amy 
xoxo

Monday, May 16, 2016

I Won a Dave Lackie Beauty Giveaway!


I won a Dave Lackie Twitter giveaway!

I was so excited!

Thanks again, Dave!!!

Dave Lackie is the king of beauty gurus! I've watched him on Cityline TV for years. I've been watching Fashion Friday on Cityline for too many years to count. Plus, Makeover Madness on the first Tuesday of every month. They're such fun shows!

Dave Lackie is a makeup, skincare, and beauty expert. He gives insider beauty tips and hosts giveaways every day on Twitter, his blog, and his Instagram. If you're not already following him and you like everything beauty related, you really should!

Here's a link to his Twitter page and his blog. Oh, his giveaways are international, too! He's so generous and I really don't know how he keeps up with everything. 

Was I excited when I just finished baking (in the oven, not makeup wise) and saw that my phone practically blew up with messages of congratulations, and I saw that I won this fabulous Estee Lauder giveaway.  The package showed up the next day!

Here is what I won:


  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
  • Estee Lauder Little Black Primer


I had tried Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum way back when it first came out (it was a different version of this one). I was in my 20's and a friend asked why I was using something that I "didn't need yet." I guess the truth is I'm just a skincare junkie. I remember when my best friend and I would go to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy eye cream when we were 16 years old! The only one they sold back then was a pink gel eye cream by Loreal (I think).

Anyways, I've been using this Estee Lauder serum since I received it on May 12th. I've actually been using it during the daytime since I use Retin-A at night.

I swear I'm seeing and feeling a difference already! I need less makeup and my skin feels firmer. I was hoping I wouldn't love this serum so much, as it's much pricier than when I purchased the serum in my 20's. Okay, that was a long time ago so what can I expect, right!?



I've yet to try the Little Black Primer.

Look for updates on these products, either in a separate post or in my monthly empties post.

ps. come and join the blogger linkup over at Fabulousandfunlife!

Amy
xo