Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Beauty Favs!!

Suave Naturals body washes:

I got these body washes in Walmart on sale for $1.50 each. I like that they are very strongly scented and smell great. The scents I got are:
* Milk and honey which is infused with milk protein and on the bottle it says that it can be compared to Bath and Body Works warm vanilla sugar.
* Cocoa butter & shea, which is also enriched with milk protein, cocoa seed butter, shea butter and honey extract. This scent can also be compared to Bath and Body Works warm vanilla sugar.
Tropical coconut, infused with real coconut extract and can be compared to Bath and Body Works creamy coconut shower gel.

Wet N Wild lipsticks:
I have a ton of these Wet n Wild lipsticks that I got at an average price of $1.47 each. They may be inexpensive but they come in some flattering shades and the formula is pretty good and non drying.
Here are some swatches
Hard Candy cream eye shadow in the color Midas Touch

eos lip balm: sweet mint

I have mentioned the eos lip balms before but this month my favorite scent was the sweet mint. It smells like mint chocolate ice cream and leaves my lips tingly and moisturized.

Conair double pronged comb:

I love my double pronged comb which is designed to detangle curly hair. I like how the teeth glide through my hair and doesn't snag and pull out hair unnecessarily. I purchased this comb at Walgreens and I believe it was about $6

Xpress liner and shadow pencils:
Xpress is a new line I have been trying out. I purchased these two pencils for about $2.49 each. They can be used as eye shadows or eyeliners. The colors show up nice and bold but you do have to wear an eye shadow primer under them so that they last all day. They also go on quite creamy and I didn't have any issue with creasing. I purchased these at my local beauty supply store.

St. Ives deep restoring body lotion:
I go through body lotion very quickly, this month I have been liking this one by St Ives. It leaves my skin nice and soft and the effects last a long time. It was also under $5!
*Clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours 
*100 % natural moisturizers 
*Fast absorbing
*Non greasy
*Contains shea butter and sweet almond oil

Freeman Anti-stress dead sea minerals mask:
*Purifies and clears pores
*Contains sea salt, dead sea minerals, bergamot oil and lavender
*Replenish moisture balance
*Helps smooth skin
*Ideal for all skin types

Other Favorites this Month:

Arthur's pineapple coconut real fruit smoothie:
I like smoothies but I usually don't feel like making one before heading off to the gym in the morning, and I definitely don't usually feel like cleaning up after I blend. These smoothies especially the pineapple coconut is delicious.
*Contains 11 essential nutrients
*No added sugar
*Each bottle contains 1/4 of a pineapple, 1 whole apple, 1 whole banana, and 1/4 of a coconut. 
*Source of fibre  
*Not from concentrate

Turbana garlic plantain chips:
These are by far my favorite plantain chips, all I can say is that they are delicious. I purchased them from Winners.

Special K chocolate crisps:
These chocolate cookie bars are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while having a low calorie snack. They also come in strawberry but the chocolate is my favorite.

My favorite book of the month was: The Twentieth Wife.
This book tells the tale of a woman's love for an Indian king and a lifetime of hardship and struggle before finally claiming her spot in the empire.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Benefits of Hot Yoga

I try my best to workout and heat healthy but sometimes a routine program can get a bit boring. It is also beneficial to add new elements into your workout for best results.

I decided to give hot yoga a try. Hot yoga is basically yoga that is performed in a studio where the temperature is about 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit. It feels similar to a sauna except the heat isn't as dry. 
The Benefits:

The yoga movements and postures in combination with the heat causes your body to sweat and flush out toxins.  It also encourages you to drink more water during and after the session to keep you hydrated.

Yoga can be a great way to relax and for me hot yoga provided the ultimate feeling of rest and relaxation. After a hot yoga session I felt at ease, my muscles felt loose and I had a positive sense of well being.

Hot yoga classes also improved my sleep. Because I felt more relaxed after my sessions I was able to fall asleep with more ease and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

Benefits for your skin:
I loved the way my skin looked and felt after my hot yoga sessions. Sweating out those toxins while essentially having my face steamed was a wonderful combination.

Great for your body:
There are postures in the hot yoga session that stimulate different organs and promote a healthy metabolism.

Other benefits:
*Promotes weight loss
*Appetite control
*Improves posture and coordination
*Helps with anxiety
*Improves flexibility and balance

I have also tried Hot Pilates in the same studio and found that it also yielded positive results although it was a different type of workout and had different benefits for my body.

I would definitely recommend adding a hot yoga session to the end of your day.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Purple and Silver Eye Shadow

Today I decided to test out the essence cream eye shadow that I purchased this weekend in the color Glammy goes to...
I have been looking for a bright silver eye shadow for some time now and I wanted to see how this would compare to the Maybelline Color Tattoos since these are a fraction of the price at just $2.99

I love how the silver looks and it has amazing lasting power but it creases a lot! This shadow sets into every  line of your eyelids so you have to have a light hand when applying it. I found that tapping it on instead of smearing it on thickly reduces the creasing somewhat.

Friday, April 26, 2013

e.l.f. Haul!!

I got some makeup this weekend from e.l.f., they have great sales going on right now on their website.

e.l.f mineral  everyday eye shadows: These eye shadows are beautiful and the quality is very good. This photo does not do them justice but I would highly recommend them. I got 3 for $5 the colors in the swatches from top to bottom are: Confident, Natural and Glamorous.

This shadow is not an e.l.f shadow but I got it today so I wanted to include it. It is the essence stay all day cream eye shadow in the color 02 Glammy goes to. It is a beautiful silver color. This shadow lasts a long time and definitely lives up to its name. It was $2.99
I got a new e.l.f. single eye shadow for my palette in the color Dusk. These eye shadows are $1 each and the magnetized palette is $1 each
Here are the palettes that I have custom made with these single shadows
I also got the e.l.f. Endless eyes pro mini neutral palette which some people have compared to the Naked palette. Although they are not quite the same this palette is great for every day use. This palette was $6
The next palette is the e.l.f Little Black Beauty Book night edition. This book is limited edition item. It was $6
I also got the el.f. lip lock pencil which is suppose to keep your lipstick from bleeding and feathering. It works pretty well at keeping things in place and was $3. I also got the e.l.f. eye shadow primer, I had high hopes for this primer but it does not even come close to making my shadows as vibrant as the Urban Decay primer potion it was $1
I also got the e.l.f. flawless concealer brush. This is my favorite concealer brush, it really gets into all the lines and grooves of the skin to help give you great coverage, this is the second one I have purchased and it was $3. I also got the complexion brush, the bristles are ultra soft and this brush is great to use for powder, blush and even contouring it was $3. This fan brush is not the one I wanted but they were sold out of the other, this was $1.
The last thing I purchased was this baked blush in the color passion pink. It looks nice in the pan but when you swatch and wear it the color looks like a sliver based shimmer highlight and none of the pink shows through. This blush was $3

Everyday Eye Shadow

Today I am going to the mall with my sister and then out to dinner. I usually do gold eye shadow when I don't feel like wearing anything to dramatic and bold. This eye shadow can go with pretty much any lipstick so today I am wearing the lipstick Embrace by Cover Girl. I used the color half baked from the Naked 2 palette all over my lid and the color aubergine by e.l.f for my crease. As a brow highlight I used foxy from the Naked 2 palette. It is pretty easy to do.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deep Blue Nail Polish: Saved by the Blue by Wet n Wild

Hi everyone,
This weekend I decided to do a deep blue manicure. I love this blue because it looks beautiful in the sunlight!
Wet n Wild 230 Saved by the Blue

Things that can affect your skin that you may not be aware of

 When many of us think about skin care we think about moisturizers, cleansing, facials and peels but we usually don’t stop to consider the other factors that play a role in what our skin looks like.

It is important that you remember to disinfect all the things that come into contact with your skin on a daily basis. By doing this you can help stop skin irritation, breakouts and unwanted blemishes and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Some of the things that come in contact with your face are loaded with bacteria and germs that can make their way into your pores and cause all sorts of issues.

Remember to:
*Disinfect your cell phone!
Many of us hold our phones to our faces without realizing that they may be crawling with bacteria. If you notice that you are breaking out on one side of your face and in a certain area more than another clean your phone.

*Always wash and sanitize your hands.
Many of us don’t realize how often we touch our faces throughout the day. 

*Clean your makeup brushes regularly
If you aren’t washing and disinfecting your makeup brushes on a regular basis chances are germs are multiplying. What I do is mix some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle with some water and sprtiz my brushes between uses. I also wash them with warm water and shampoo every few weeks.

*Change your pillowcase often
Washing your sheets on a regular basis and changing your pillowcase is also important for the health of your skin. If you sleep on a pillowcase that hasn’t been changed in a while it can cause you to break out and have skin irritation.

*Do not use the same towel you use for your body on your face and always change your face towel regularly.

*Make sure to wash and disinfect any facial cleansing brushes you have such as the Clarisonic or similar devices.

*If you use any hair removal devices on your face make sure you disinfect and clean them regularly.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Aveeno Nourish + Condition Leave-in Treatment Review

I will admit that I am a bit of a product junkie when it comes to hair and makeup products and I am always on the look out for a good conditioner.

This leave-in conditioner and treatment by Aveeno is targeted for dry damaged hair; and although I don't have extremely dry or damaged hair I find that I get the most moisture from these types of products. 

Info about this product:
*Infused with nourishing wheat complex
*Contains fruit oil
* Fusion of deep conditioners and moisturizers 
*Scientific studies show that 3 uses helps repair dry damaged hair
*Zeros in on the weakest part of the hair and fortifies it with protein 
*Gives you beautiful healthy looking hair

Spray all over hair, comb through evenly and do not rinse.

I use this leave-in after I have cleansed and conditioned my hair in the shower, I spay it onto wet or damp hair.

My results and review:
*I do notice that when I use this product my hair feels a lot softer than without it
*It makes my hair feel more moisturized 
*My hair is a tad more bouncy
* It smells great
*The only downside is that I go through it very quickly. There isn't much product in the bottle (5.2 FL. OZ) and for my long thick hair I can finish a bottle in about a week and a half.

I do think that this treatment helps improve the overall look and feel of  my hair. It helps combat dryness and makes my hair feel better to the touch. 

I would recommend giving this product a try. I purchase this product at Walmart for about $6 although when it goes on sale you can get it for about $4.97

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Whole Wheat Baked Pita Pizza

I love pizza so today I decided to make a healthier version for lunch. You can put anything you want on these and everyone can have their own individual mini pizza. You can also have these for dinner, they are very easy to make and very quick!
All you need is:
*Whole wheat pita bread
*Pizza sauce (I buy the spicy pizza sauce)
*Cheese or as a healthier option low fat cheese
*Whatever toppings you want! 

For my pizza I also used:
*Garlic sauce: I spread garlic sauce all over the pita before adding the pizza sauce and it gave it a delicious flavor. I got the garlic sauce at a Middle Eastern/Arabic restaurant. As an alternative you could try a bit of garlic spread from the grocery store. 
* Arugula
*Sauteed green pepper and red pepper
*Sauteed onion
*Budding spicy beef sandwich slices

Monday, April 22, 2013

Borage Oil Does Wonders for my Skin!

For  those of you who have read my post about the Dr. Oz show and the secrets the beauty industry does not want you to know, you have seem me mention borage seed oil before. If you haven’t seen that post you can find it by clicking- HERE

Since that program about beauty secrets I have done some research and I went out and bought some borage oil. Dr. Oz mentioned that borage oil was a great natural anti-aging oil that moisturizes, repairs and hydrates the skin. Also mentioned on the show was that you can use this oil on your eyebrows, lashes, lips and skin.

 First some basic info about borage oil:
*Borage oil is derived from a wildflower called a starflower
*Contains omega 6
*Reduces skin aging and roughness
*Suppresses chronic inflammation
*Can clear up various skin disorders such as (eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis)
*Restores the moisture and smoothness of the skin
*Helps restore damaged skin
*Aids with hair maintenance and hair loss

My results:
Since buying the borage oil I have seen immediate results in the appearance of my skin.

 Occasionally I will get a few annoying hormonal pimples that I can’t seem to do anything about during a certain time of the month. Sometimes those annoying flat little red dots take forever to go away. Thankfully I don’t get them often and my skin is not acne prone but this oil was the ONLY thing that I have tried that actually got rid of those pesky little pimples. The borage oil got rid of them in 2 days!

The first night I applied the oil to my face before bed I woke up and noticed a dramatic improvement in the texture and overall appearance of my skin. The pimples had almost vanished and the redness was gone. By the second day they were completely gone and my skin was clear again! I was in total shock and I thought maybe it was just a fluke so I got my husband to try it out. By the first morning he was raving about the borage oil and ready to go out and buy another bottle. He said he saw an immediate difference in the appearance of his skin.

I also noticed:
*Smoother skin
*More radiant skin
*A clear complexion
The oil comes in capsule form, you can take them orally or use them topically. I poke a small hole in the capsule and apply the oil directly to my skin. It doesn't have the most pleasant scent so I would recommend applying it before bed. One capsule lasts me 4-5 nights and the bottle we bought contains 120 pills!

I would suggest giving it a try if you can safely do so. You can test a small area of skin first to make sure you don’t have any reactions to it. This oil may not work for everyone and you may not have the same results I had but I am glad I found it.

You can purchase borage oil at health food stores, just make sure it is pure and contains no additives. 

Borage oil will now be a staple part of my beauty regime.

If you have tried this oil or know about it leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Check out my amazing DIY face serum and enhanced face cream recipe for: fading discoloration, reducing the signs of aging, adding moisture, firming skin, fighting acne, detoxifying, UV protection adding moisture and more! Find it HERE

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday at the Toronto Zoo

Hi everyone,
Today my mom, sister and I had a girls day at the Toronto zoo. We walked around admiring the beautiful animals and had a nice picnic. I really wanted to see the new panda exhibit but it wasn't open and some of the exhibits were closed. It was a nice day and all that walking was great exercise.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My new iPad case

I got a new iPad case from eForCity on Amazon.ca and all I paid for it was $12. I wasn't sure it was going to be good quality but so far so good. The color is suppose to be purple but it is more of a purple/pink. It has a built in stand which you can use to swivel the iPad in any direction and the stand is great for watching videos. The only downside is that if I don't use the strap the cover shifts and turns my iPad on and off constantly. Other than that I like it and I even added a little personalized sparkle, you can get all kinds of lettering from craft stores. The letter I used is a sticker.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Biotin for hair growth, strong nails and healthy skin?

There are many claims on the internet that biotin will help your hair grow, make your skin healthier and even strengthen your nails and make them longer. Some people say that biotin pills have produced amazing results for them while others don’t have as much success.

According to my research there is no proven scientific evidence that biotin or biotin shampoos will make your hair grow or become shiny and healthier. In fact biotin deficiency is rare and most people consume adequate amounts of biotin in their diet. I should also mention that if you consume more vitamins and minerals than your body needs they are usually excreted as waste.

Although there is no scientific proof that biotin can do wonders for your hair, skin and nails many manufacturers of the product claim that consuming biotin pills are beneficial.

Biotin is a vitamin B complex and can be found in many foods. Biotin is involved in energy production and is needed for the production of fatty acids.

Some of the bottles I had purchased also claimed that the pills would help metabolize fat, which is why some people decide to take it to help with weight loss. There is also no scientific evidence that biotin will in fact help you lose weight.  

The brand I took:

The bottle I have claims that it is “a factor in the maintenance of good health, supports healthy hair, skin and nails.”

I began taking biotin in order to make my hair and nails healthier and I am going to share my results.

I took 5,000 mcg, (1 pill) of biotin every day for about 7 months. The brand I used was GNC which cost $34.99 for 120 capsules. With a GNC gold card the price is $27.99

The pills contain no: starch, lactose, wheat, sugar, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or yeast.

Results for my hair:
I did notice a difference in the length of my hair and an increase in growth but I cannot claim that it was the biotin alone that caused this. In fact I think it was due more to the fact that I stopped using heat styling and I began taking many other measures to insure that my hair was healthy.

After I stopped taking the biotin my hair continued to thrive without it but I do think taking the pills in combination with taking care of my hair did help strengthen my hair and help it grow slightly faster; but it was not a drastic change solely due to consuming biotin.

Some info on hair growth:
*Potential hair growth is also based on your genetics, your hair will not grow longer than it is genetically programmed to. It will also not grow in any thicker or in a different texture than is genetically possible. If you are healthy and taking the necessary steps to care for your hair and you still see slow improvements then chances are your growth rate is just slow.

*Hair grows at an average rate of about 0.5 inches per month but this may not be the case for every person.

*Hair health and growth is also effected by: medical conditions, certain medication, hormonal issues, how you care for your hair and your nutrition and diet. 

*Hair is suppose to shed each day and the shedding and growth rate varies between individuals.

Results for my nails:

I did notice a big difference in the growth rate of my nails. My nails were growing twice as fast while I was taking the biotin pills. They were also a tad stronger, although the increase of growth was more evident than the increase in strength.

Results for my skin:
The biotin pills had the most negative effect on my skin. For some reason the excess amounts of this vitamin caused my relatively clear acne free skin to begin breaking out in small red flattened pimples that took a long time to go away. I had never had any prior ongoing issues with beak outs before taking the biotin.

Because of the effect it was having on my skin I decided to stop taking the pills, and eventually my breakouts ceased and my skin cleared up.

Everyone will react differently to certain vitamins and thus people will have different results. I cannot recommend taking biotin because that is something you have to decide based on your own health concerns. I can however say that I did see an increase in the growth rate of my nails and I do think it had slightly positive results on my hair but did nothing positive for my skin.

The only way to know if something works for you as an individual is to try it (if it is safe for you to do so). Taking multivitamins is also another way you can get in some extra biotin as well as other beneficial vitamins.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Orange manicure

Today was the first day that really felt like spring here in Toronto. It was warmer than usual and the snow has finally melted.

The nice weather inspired me to paint my nails in a nice bright shade of orange.

Wake up! by Essence is my favorite orange nail polish.

NYC Liquid Eyeliner

I finally got around to opening and trying out this liquid eyeliner by NYC. I purchased it on sale a while back and today I decided to do a simple winged look.
I didn't have any issues with it smudging during the day but I didn't like the formula; I found it to be too thin and watery. I had to repeatedly wipe the brush clean of the runny excess liquid because there was just way too much. I  also found that it applied a bit transparent in some areas so I had to go over it a few times.

The brush itself was okay, I liked that it had some flexibility and it was a good size to achieve a thin line or to build up a thicker line like I did. 

I can use this liner over other liners if I want to darken them up but overall I don't care for it very much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Review

I have wanted to try the Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper for some time now. I have read many contradicting reviews on whether or not the product works, so when I saw it on sale for $11.99 down from an average price of $17.50 I decided to give it a try.

 Ingredients: DI Water, PVP/VA Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Laureth 23, Glycerin, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Polyquaternium 10. 

This product is suppose to eliminate frizz and put moisture back into the hair. The directions instruct you to apply the product to wet hair and then not to touch your hair until it has dried. it also suggests that if you have very frizzy hair you can use it in conjunction with other styling products.

I don't have extremely frizzy hair, my curls stay rather formed and relatively frizz free but I did want to try this product to make my curls look even more polished and defined by getting rid of the slight amount of frizz that can develop during the day when exposed to wind and cooler temperatures. I also wanted to see how it worked so that I could possibly take it with me on an upcoming trip where my hair will be exposed to desert temperatures. 

The consistency of this product is a bit awkward in my opinion. It feels and looks like a combination of light oils and water. The scent is not the greatest; to me it smells like a combination of different oils and a mixture of many different hair products. It isn't a terrible smell but I wouldn't want my hair smelling like it. Fortunately the smell does dissipate fairly quickly.

*Light formula
*Contains no parabens, silicones, or sulfates
*Did not build up
*Leaves no greasy or heavy feeling behind
*Can be used every day and easily washed out 

*Not great smelling
*Makes my hair frizzy!!
*This product did very little for my hair unless I used a considerable amount. I applied it to damp hair as well as soaking wet hair. I also  experimented with how much I used and which products I used it with and my hair didn't like it at all!
*Leaves my hair feeling dry

I will not be repurchasing this product because after using it I find it completely unnecessary. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Silver and gold accessories

I have been loving chunky silver and gold accessories lately. There is just something about a big statement necklace with the right outfit or putting my hair in a messy ponytail and wearing big statement earrings that just works.
I got these pieces from Forever 21 and Burlington Coat Factory.
They have very affordable accessories!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yellow and green makeup look

I decided to try out a vibrant yellow cream eye shadow that I got from Hard Candy the other day. I really like yellow and green together so this is what I came up with.

To get this look I used
*Urban decay primer potion all over my lids
*I used my Costal Scents 88 shimmer palette for most of the eye shadow

*On my inner eyelid area I used this yellow cream eye shadow by Hard Candy called Midas Touch

*Under my outer waterline I used this green eye shadow and liner pencil by Ruby Kisses

*On my inner tear duct area I used my Faces sparkle dust as a highlight
*To line my top lid I used the black cream eyeliner by e.l.f.
*To line my bottom waterline I used the black colorstay eyeliner by Revlon.
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