**The above picture is from Wate-TV, it is not mine**
You may or may not have heard of the outbreak of wildfires the past month or so, that were in not just East TN, but also Kentucky, North Carolina and so on along our mountains. I'm happy to say that as of today we have finally gotten some rain. I'm sad to say that one of our large tourism areas Gatlinburg and our Smokey Mountains suffered a lot of devastation with winds picking up to 60-80mph in the mountains while the fires were going. As of right now 4 people have lost their lives and 4 dozen or more have been injured. Wildlife in our state parks and mountains are in danger as well. There's also a lot of missing people as well. Fire fighters, EMS, Red Cross, Law Enforcemant, and Search and Rescue teams from all over have went to help and have been working around the clock.
There's several things that we can do ourselves though to help the victims and evacuees. Over 150 buildings and homes were damaged or lost and I believe over 1400 people were evacuated (last I had heard yesterday that is) and had to go to shelters in the area. So as of last night the Red Cross said they were filled to the brim with everyones item donations which was greatly appreciated. Many resturants and hotels in the area were at the service of those working around the clock to help the victims or put out fires and so on. However like I said there is still some things we can do.
1st: I'm gonna ask you to pray for victims who lost loved ones, and the ones that they're searching for. As well as the family's who lost their homes and businesses. Also, the ones that are working to help attend to people, find people, and also working in these areas that were so heavily damaged and putting theirself in possible danger. If you can't do anything but this then that is enough.
2nd: Red Cross is asking for monetary donations so they can buy supplies they need in bulk. Things that we can't give them. So, if you're in East TN any Kroger grocery store will have the option to donate to local Red Cross efforts, you can also donate online redcross.org/donate. You can also text "REDCROSS" to 90999 for a $10 donation that will be added to your cell phone bill. **IF YOU ARE UNDERAGE PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR PARENTS OR GAURDIANS ABOUT OR BEFORE MAKING A DONATION**
3rd: There is now a missing person hotline set up by TBI to report missing loved ones in Sevier County. That number is 1-800-TBI-FIND. Give as much information as you can and they will pass it along to local law enforcement immidiately. They ask that you do not call to ask about personal properties please. Feel free to share that number if anyone needs it or hasn't yet seen it.
I know there have been several Go Fund Me accounts set up as well. If you look on the Go Fund Me website you'll find Go Fund Me pages for anything concerning Gatlinburg, Not all will be related to the fire so keep that in mind and read carefully.
I can't begin to imagine what the victims have seen or are dealing with. Even though most of East TN has been affected by wildfires for the past month or more, some very close to me as well only minutes away. Still, they're suffering on a mass scale. Along with wildfires there was a tornado that hit last night in Athens that done a lot of damage as well. So I want to include that too, they aren't lost amongst the Gatlinburg fire. We have such small worries when we see mass devastation and disaster. It's very sad that it has to hit so close to home for us (myself included) to even realize it. There is work to be done and people to help all over this nation let alone this world.
With all that being said, if you have been affected by one of these tragedies I am so very sorry, I'm praying for you and yours, and I love you.
**My information is coming from my local news channel and website so if you want to verify anything or read more please go to WATE.com**
For the last month I've been trying the Revive 3 Part system in my hair care routine. They were kind enough to send this to me for testing. The reason I was interested in this was because it's "Clinically Proven to visibly reduce hair loss, increase hair strength by 300% and improve scalp health, leaving it looking fuller and with more volume"
I don't have thin hair but I lose hair a lot. Mainly because of health issues but it got to a point where your could tell by my part in my hair that I had lost a lot of hair. This addresses thinning hair specifically around the hair line so I was very intrigued. The 2nd thing that intrigued me is this is focused on overall scalp health. If you've been with me for a while you'll know that I tend to think that a clean scalp, free of build up let's your hair follicle breath and thus lets your hair grow and so on. Which is why I don't use many styling products except occasionally some dry shampoo. I hate product build up on my scalp. This company provides a more natural and "therapeutic" option for a healthy scalp and in turn healthier hair.
These products are:
This 3 part system is good for all hair types. They use "Shielded Micro Technology" which "allows the combining of active ingredients to effectively improve the scalp skin environment in natural and chemically treated clients".
So the claims are if you use this system it is "clinically proven to grow healthy hair that is 3x stronger in 30 days using ingredients found in nature"
I have used this for right at 30 days and my hair is definitely stronger. It's also looks quite healthy. I have blue streak in my hair as you may know and it didn't seem to mess with that very much, but keep in mind I do use a weekly blue mask treatment to re-deposit color and keep it fresh in between colorings. As far as the thinning hair that I had noticed, it wasn't overnight results by no means. I was getting a bit discouraged but I kept using it. I noticed this week when I did a side by side comparison that it actually had helped quite a bit. So I do fully think it has improved my hair overall from look to condition.
You have a shampoo, conditioner and then a Micro Activ3 Treatment Spray. The shampoo is very gentle. I wash my hair twice back to back as you know. This is sulfate free so it won't lather like most shampoos that have sulfate but that doesn't mean your hair isn't getting clean. This targets product build up, DHT, environmental residue, and toxin on the scalp and also protects from UV rays. Next is Moisture+ Conditioner. This protects the scalp and protects hair color, controls frizz, and also protects against Natural Thermal and UV damage. I focus this mostly on the scalp and then bring it through the hair. I leave it on for about 2 minutes. You can leave it on for 1-3 minutes.
The Micro Activ3 Treatment is to be sprayed on the entire scalp and it is a leave on treatment you then comb it through your hair. This can cause redness on the scalp but it never did on me. This is to be used daily to breakdown residue and build up from all causes and is formulated with antioxidant vitamins. This is safe for your hair color as well.
Overall I like this and I do see a difference hopefully you will too. They offer more products that just this 3 part system. Check them out.
I've leave the link for this website here: www.reviv3.com
I recently got to try some of the Hask Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I hadn't tried Hask products before but I seen the "chia seed" part and was immediately intrigued because I add them to everything. Typically my smoothies and my salads. So I thought it was really interesting that they were added to hair care.
The idea behind the chia seed in the hair care is because chia seeds have "hair volumizing proteins, antioxidants, and shine enhancing nutrients like Omega-3s". Which is all we're really asking for right?? Also these products have a complex called "Hydra Boost" which is weightless to help create volume and adding in moisture to the hair that isn't then weighted down because of the moisture. Still pretty sweet right?
These products are free of:
⦁ Drying Alcohol
⦁ Artificial Colors
⦁ Not Tested on Animals
It does have fragrance added to it but I find that it's quite mild and very pleasant. Actually I personally think it's a dead on dupe ,scent wise, for the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White dry shampoo. Which I happen to love, so if you love that scent, you will love these as well. I find using them are equally as pleasant. It gets the task of, cleaning my hair done very well. For reference my hair is pretty long, has blue streaks, pretty thick but very manageable and easy to style. With a slight wave to it. I don't have a lot of buildup either because I'm not one to use many styling products or lots of dry shampoo. The conditioner is really thick and I like that. I let it sit for about 2 minutes and then rinse it out. It doesn't make my hair super oily or anything out of the ordinary in a bad way. Actually, my scalp tends to itch a lot where it's gotten colder and the air is drier and this helps a great deal with that. Since I have blue hair I do use a weekly hair conditioning mask that is blue to keep my blue streaks fresh in between colorings. I just wanted to add that in there to be completely honest. I've used it for almost a year so it's nothing new as you know. These products however doesn't disrupt my blue color or strip it so I feel really comfortable with that. I find that my hair has more volume for longer. What I mean is that I typically don't have an issue with volume or body the first day or two after washing my hair however on the third day it starts getting weighted down. I wash my hair about twice a week. This seems to keep the volume stable more so than my regular routine. Which means even less products I would have to use if I were going somewhere where I needed my hair too look awesome on day 3. So I wouldn't have to use volume boosting sprays that sometimes are required in a pinch. If I did need to use them it would be very little. Now typically what I do with my hair on day 3 is a braid or a bun of some sort so that it still looks pulled together even though it's not "fresh". I try to not use a lot of styling products in general I want to be very clear about that. Also when I wash my hair I wash it twice with shampoo to really get it clean because while sulfate free does lather some it doesn't lather as much as a shampoo that has added sulfate so I always wash my hair twice. Then I go in with my conditioner and leave it on for about 2 minutes. You don't have to leave it on for two minutes but I do.
Lets talk about the brand a bit now. I'm gonna leave a quote from their website below.
"HASK is a collection of hair care products featuring exotic oils and other unique ingredients from around the world. The range includes shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners and shine oils based on the key ingredients of Argan Oil, Monoi Coconut Oil, Charcoal Citrus Oil, Macadamia Oil, Keratin Protein Oil, Bamboo Oil, Kalahari Melon Oil, Chia Seed Oil, Superfruit and Mint Almond Oil. HASK Shampoos, Conditioners and Shine Oils are free of sulfates, parabens, drying alcohols, phthalates and gluten. Each system was developed to target and solve specific hair care needs. Initially introduced in Europe in 2012 with great success, distribution of the HASK Exotic Oil range has expanded worldwide over the past four years. The range appeals to women around the world of all ethnicities and with all hair types. Utilizing high quality ingredients, luxurious fragrances and fresh packaging, the HASK Exotic Oil range provides consumers with high-performance, salon quality results at an affordable price."
Hask has been around for about 50 years and they are best known for repairing and restoring damaged or chemically treated hair. What I like about this is first that they have something for everyone, every ethnicity, every concern or need they got something for you. The second thing is "sulfate free" which is a very big thing right now. Sulfate is essentially a detergent kinda, it's what makes shampoos lather and also used in many household cleaning tools as well. The reason you're seeing "sulfate free" so much now is because it's been linking to causing frizziness and also damaging colored hair. So where if you had colored hair like myself, you would've had to search for shampoos and conditioner labeled safe for color treated hair. Where as now, sulfate free labels, have opened up a lot more avenues for us in terms of what we can use on our hair.
Parabens are essentially synthetic preservatives. They've been around since the 1950's.They're used in around 85% of cosmetics and other products to maintain their shelf life. They're also very inexpensive and more efficient than natural preservatives which is why so many choose to use them in everything from food to deodorant, to skin and hair care. They can mimic hormones like estrogen and their are some articles and studies that state that being exposed to too much estrogen can increase your likelihood for breast cancer. The reasoning is because the body can not break down synthetic estrogen as easily which can then possibly turn into fat cells much like breast tissue. Parabens have also been found in breast tumors but there's not a direct link that they "cause" tumors. They can also affect endocrine systems and might possibly be a cause for early puberty. Also they may be a cause for early menopause. So if there's a choice I would choose the "better safe than sorry" route in most everything
However, I will say that it would be very very hard to get away from everything that is synthetic or unnatural we are literally surrounded by it. Advanced skin care for examples has a lot of unnatural ingredients that do wonders for the skin. So while I think it's better to be without parabens if you can, don't let this lead you into a panic about things you've not paid attention to in the past. Instead just start paying more attention to things now. That's why I included the reasoning behind "sulfate free" and "paraben free". Awareness is our best friend here.
These products are 12 oz bottles each. Made in the USA. You can also mix and match your products if you want so don't think you have to buy the matching shampoo and conditioner if that's not what you want. Their ingredients come from literally all over the world. Major heavy hitters like: Jojoba, Argan, Almond, Coconut, Shea, Charcoal, Bamboo, Mangosteen, Avacado, etc, etc. You can buy Hask at Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Rite Aid, Kroger, Walmart and K-Mart. That is just for those buying in the US. They are available outside of the US as well and I will leave the link to help you find where you can find some for yourself. Just gohere . Another really cool this is that you can check out their products by the ingredient in that you're looking for like for example if you want something with Keratin Protein they have that as a category and you can see what products they offer specifically for that ingredient. My duo came in an awesome canvas drawstring bag with their slogan "Sure, life isn't perfect but my hair is." which is really cute.
Be sure to follow Hask on their social medias:
**This post was powered by Brand Backer*
This is my hair with no volume sprays or anything just curled with a little bit of light hold hair spray on the ends. Also, this was day after I had washed my hair.
This is how long my hair actually is and also this was probably a day 3, if I was just guessing.
So it's time again for another Sephora Play! box. By now, you probably understand the subscription process and what not so I won't get into that. This month's theme is "Best In Glow". You of course get your 50 extra bonus points card (in store purchases only).
So this box includes:
So starting with the Stella Mccartney Pop Parfum Sample, I really like this. It's different than the other scents they usually put in. It's very fun, fresh, but bold scent. Doesn't give me a headache and I think that's because it's so "fresh" smelling. I'm very pleased with this. Again I don't care for "parfum" samples. They're like the devil's candy if you find one you like, cause next thing you know your shelling out the big bucks for it. Alas, here we are though.
Next up is Sephora Collection Lip Gel. It's very very bright pink in the container. It has a cool applicator, quite thick in formula, could be very pigmented if you layered it but mainly it's a sheer pink when thinned out. It's also quite sticky and it kinda smells like cherry cigars actually. lol It also leaves a bit of a stain behind and a sticky residue. Not too keen on this.
Glam Glow Youthmud. I've not used this. I hear good and bad things about it. There's mostly claims of uncomfortable irritation when it's used especially on sensitive skin. So I'm not super psyched about it.
Cover FX Illuminating Primer. I love the Cover FX primers and I'm excited to try the illuminating one. I think it'll be just as good as the others from their line.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. This is loaded with antioxidants and it's super thin. I actually really like it. It has no fragrance listed on the ingredient deck. I really think this is ideal for daily "day time" wear.
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Rose Gold. I have several caviar sticks and there is actually a Cavier Stick Set that is out right now that has 4 minis in it. I have Amethyst and Khaki in them and I'm really happy they included Rose Gold in the box. These are really great as eyeshadow bases and as easy, simple, out the door eye makeup that you don't have to think about.
So here's my thoughts on the box as a whole. There wasn't much I didn't like or wasn't jazzed about. Again though, I'm seeing a lot of repeats of deluxe promo samples or point perks. Especially the Cover FX primer, Caudalie Sorbet, and I think the Glamglow. The parfum has been offered in a bigger size as a 250 pt perk and also as a deluxe sample here recently because I have one coming that was a promo. So from that respect it still bothers me that all these things seem like recycled freebies that you're paying for each month. Now if you don't shop at Sephora a lot then it's not a bad shake.
However, like I said I liked 80% of the box this time. Even though it's a lot of repeats. At least it's repeats that I like. So for instance I have 2 Caudalie deluxe samples of the Vinosource. They come in at .33 FL Oz a piece and a full size is 1.6oz or 40ml. So having two of these gives me .66oz or 20 ml. So that's half of a full size which runs for about $40. So I have half that already and I guess you could say it only cost me $10 but that $10 is split between 6 items. So it's really however you want to look at that.
"It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrr........", NO! It's the most stressful, wonderful time of the year, am I right? Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and I LOVE giving gifts but sometimes it can get overwhelming, especially if you wait till November/December to start. Nothing wrong with waiting though because you'll no doubt find a better deal and score some awesome stuff. I however, refused to be stressed this holiday season and literally bought my first Christmas present for this year, after Christmas of last year. I found a major sale so I picked something up for someone. Then I waited a bit and got started in February, yes that's right, February. So I've been buying a present or two each month and I've been done for quiet a while. Still have to pick up some candy though for my husband.
Anyway, since I know it can be difficult to decide what to get, I'm doing my usual gift guide. This year however, I went a bit different. Usually I only do Sephora I think but this year, I have stuff from Sephora, Ulta, MAC, Lush, etc. None of this was sponsored by the way. I just wanted to give you more options.
So starting with Sephora, let's talk makeup. There are several things out right now in their "value sets" that would be great gifts. I just narrowed it down to what I thought would be good gifts that I either have or would be super excited to get.
Skincare is tricky. So I don't usually recommend going that way unless you know what someone likes or they're just really wanting to try new stuff, or possibly they don't have a skin care regimen to begin with. So for that I found some things that I think would be good gifts to start with and then good gifts to just try and see if you would like it.
Next up is a couple really good sets for hair. Some people are makeup junkies, some are skin care junkies, and some are hair care junkies.
Now lets head on over to Ulta. I picked out a few things only because they have massive Black Friday sales. So definitely check that out on Black Friday online or in store.
MAC always puts out beautiful Holiday sets. They put out collections 24./7 but Holiday sets are always beautiful and you know there will be a pigment set, eyeshadow palette, lip sets, and so on. Those are the staples. Now I will say of all the stuff they release I stick to face powders like blushes, skin finishes, highlighters and so on, loose pigment sets (you can't go wrong there), and lip sets (again you can't go wrong). For gift's though I would stick to lip sets or the blush and highlight duo I've included. It's out of stock online but it's usually still available in store. I don't care for their eye palettes they just aren't the best quality if I'm being completely honest. I do however LOVE these lip gloss sets this year. I love all of them but especially the nude and the red set. They're mini but still pretty good sized and the colors are beautiful. I would give that as a gift for sure especially for a teen who's into makeup or a gift for a friend.
I'm also bringing in some bath products and the most unique bath products I've found have to be from LUSH. They make fantastic products period not just bath stuff and it's hand made I believe as well. They also always have gift sets. So I included some gift sets I thought would be the best value and looked the coolest. As you can see there are some that have more than bath bombs, bath melts, and bubble bars, they also have some soaps and shower jellies. There are more online of course that offer shampoo's, conditioners, and so on. So if you know someone who really enjoys their bath time and likes to pamper theirself. I would get them some LUSH products for sure. The bath bombs alone would make them enjoy it 10x more with all the colors and scents swirling around them. Also I find that unless you have an enormous tub it's best to break the bath bombs, bubble bars or bath melts apart so that you get more use out of them. So maybe half now, and half later sorta thing.
I'm going to leave some honorable mentions here:
Morphe Gun Metal Brush Set has 7 brushes from the Gun Metal line that I love, and is $50. I'm sure there will be a Black Friday sell though. This will be under "Brush Sets" on their site. Pay attention to the shipping though. Shipping was $10 the last time I got something from Morphe and I won't lie that turned me off to buying from them lately. They went to USPS for a short while and it was great but now they're back to strictly Fedex I think. That may have been for just the palette I was buying though. Never the less, pay attention to that.
Bauble Bar Holiday Sets. Bauble Bar has some really beautiful boxed sets and jewelry pieces right now for the Holidays. I really love their boxed set of statement earrings they have. They also have a code for 30% off their Holiday pieces right now with code: Holiday30.
Makeup Geek has and is often releasing bundles of eyeshadows with palette included. They recently had a warm berry toned fall one. It almost always has at least 2 foiled shadows in it. Watch Marlena's twitter and also their Instagram for flash sales that pop up. I believe last year they did a 12 days of Christmas sale or something of the sort. You get 9 shadows typically and always for a good price. I love Makeup Geek shadows as you well know. **UPDATE** They have released the preview for Black Friday Sales which you can scope out now. It's killer! https://www.makeupgeek.com/sales.html
If you know someone who is a true makeup junkie then storage can be a good gift. Some people don't get excited over that but I do. Clear acrylic drawer containers are awesome cause they can be stacked and de clutter your vanity. Also a brush holder is always nice. I used wine glasses for the longest time until I found a turning six compartment pencil holder I guess was what it was designed for but I put my brushes in it and it works wonderfully plus I love that it spins around in a circle.
As always for the person who has everything, gift cards are great. I love gift cards. If you won't be able to see someone to exchange presents due to distance or whatever than you can send e-gift cards through email, I've done that as well. Some people say it's not personal or they just never use them but I always put mine to good use.
Here's some stores that will have black friday and cyber monday sales:
Happy shopping guys and be kind to one another. This is the season of giving. Merry Christmas!!
Sometime in October, Algenist sent me their new Luminizing Drops along with some more skincare. As you know, I'm a huge Algenist fan in general. I was so excited to see their Luminizing Drops which I had almost bought the day before. So as I looked at them I was immediately thinking "Pearl" was the shade I would use most. It's what I went to right off the bat. I loved it.
I apply these two ways, one is mixed in with a matte foundation. I love mixing it with the Marc Jacobs Re-marcable foundation. Especially Pearl and Rose those are my fave. In the summer I think Champagne would work just as good. Not that it doesn't look good now I just like the lighter shades.
My second way I love to apply this is with the Morphe flawless beauty sponge that's dry. I don't know why but that sponge, when it's dry, doesn't absorb the liquid and it's super easy to bounce and dab on the skin evenly. It's the only sponge I've found that works for that. The Beauty Blender nor Real Techniques does it the same way.
Next up I find that this does not emphasize fine lines or pores as much as a regular highlighter. It's the only illuminator that looks even and nice all the way around. That's why I feel like this is a good fit for all ages and all skin types. It's very soft but still noticeable. It's not as stark as the Cover FX drops cause they're like liquid metal, I actually like these better. Of course if you want more intense highlight these also work well as a base too. So they're very versatile. I've used them everyday since I've had them. I just genuinely love how they make my skin look. So smooth and yet lifted and luminous without being overwhelming. I'm going to insert some pictures below of me wearing them. Some are much more soft than others just depends on how I was feeling that day
It's kinda short and sweet I know, but I don't have anything bad to say about these I simply love them. No, this wasn't sponsored. They did send them to me but I did not have to talk about them. I just actually love love love these!
You can find them at Sephora and right now I think Sephora has a duo pack out that has two shades in smaller bottles and for reference I only use about 1 to 2 drops when I apply these. So a little goes a long way.
Lately, essential oils and "natural" alternatives to everything are making a huge impact on society. Even though I'm not "all natural" in the way I live, and products I use, I do really like some herbal and completely natural products. In which I'm going to talk about 2 today.
First off I want to talk about the company Apsara Skincare. If you are really wanting to change to a natural skincare routine, I strongly, STRONGLY, recommend you give this company a try. They reached out to me quite a while ago to see if I wanted to try some of their products. I was more than happy to but I try a lot of skincare so I knew it'd be a while before I could give this an honest try. As I began to use them I realized how much I really liked them and when I started reading the ingredients there was quite a few essential oils in them that I really liked. I'll get into that later in the post. Then I went on to read about the company and it's motto and drive. So I wanted to get into that first.
It's slogan which is on all products is: "Go natural. It is good Karma!"
They're based off the Ayurveda ( <- translation is "life" by the way **fun fact**) health and wellness system. Which is the worlds oldest Holistic (meaning whole body) healing system. Dating back about 5000 years and started in India.
"It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between mind, body and spirit"
Ayurveda has a lot to do with essential oils along with herbs and other natural ingredients. If you didn't know right now essential oils seem to be super popular. They're often used in Holistic medicine to treat the whole body being mind, body and spirit and used to "promote optimal health". I'm not going to get into the whole debate of the traditional medicine and holistic medicine. I'm just giving you a background on what Ayurveda is so you'll understand what it is and these products a bit more.
Apsara Skincare products reflect the belief and personal care needs so that you, the consumer, don't have to resort to harsh chemicals and synthetic active ingredients for results. They also work off "good conscience" which means they never test on animals and that it's suitable for a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. They also try to provide the best all natural skincare at an affordable price. Which I really love, because I really don't feel like you should be penalized for wanting to live healthier in whatever aspect of your life that is. You know? Like my example is a bottle of water is $1.50 and a Coke is .97 cents. Just like when you eat "clean" your grocery bill is sky high as opposed to getting fast food, or frozen dinners. Sorry I'm trying to stick to the point.
Back to the company...
They have 5 key points which are:
They sent me the "Neem Cleanser" and "Rosewater and Turmeric Mist".
The Neem Cleanser is a pH balanced gel cleanser. It purifies and evens texture. I also find it quite gentle and soothing/healing for when my skin is irritated. I find that it's almost like Aloe Vera on a sunburn type thing (metaphor) it makes my skin feel much better and doesn't leave it dry and in need of tons of hydrating products. It has essential oils in Eucalyptus, Neem, and Vetiver. The other ingredients being Deionized Water and Pro Vitamin B5. I actually have Eucalyptus and Vetiver essential oils that I like to diffuse or use in blends diluted with carrier oils. So this is a cleanser that actually replaced my Purity cleanser which was my stand by. I really prefer this one in all honesty. I feel like it just does a better job and has more benefits and feels SO much better on my skin both during and afterwards of using it. While still only having 5 ingredients.
The Rosewater and Turmeric Mist is a facial mist. It is a toner for normal skin types. It's "refreshing and pore minimizing" and an "instant face lift". What I can say about this is, first I love Rosewater spray in general for the soothing effect and second, I also feel like the skin looks brighter when I use this. The essential oils in this are: Neem, Turmeric, and Geranium. The other ingredients being Rosewater and Polysorbate 20 which is a dispersing agent. It holds products together by preventing oil and water from separating. Polysorbate 20 can be naturally derived from fruit and berries. I often use Turmeric in my smoothies, like a teaspoon full. Turmeric has antioxidant benefits along with very strong anti-inflammatory effects. Turmeric oil itself is also said to be very brightening. (I knew my skin looked brighter) Neem also prevents inflammation while it's other benefits include being soothing, anti-aging, protection for your skin, and speed up the healing process. Neem is in both the cleanser and toner mist. For me this has replaced the Mario Badescue Rosewater Spray that I used almost daily, as I feel this isn't as heavy and works better.
Apsara has a wide range of products for men and women. Ranging from skincare, body care, haircare, lips, eyes, babies and children, etc. Basically there is something for everyone.
I obviously do not have a youtube channel or video for you to see but I did find one if you'd like to hear more in which Sahur specifically talks about acne, discoloration and so on, it's a good video to watch.
Not long ago I talked about Studio Gear with you and their Dual Identity Mineral Foundation, Revitalizing Day Serum, and brush which I really enjoyed. They recently sent out their TLS Mascara, Invincible Gel Liner in Earth and the Multi Tasker angled brush.
So here's the high notes:
TLS Mascara: Thickens, Lengthens, and Separates lashes. I'm gonna insert some of the companies claims of the mascara.
• Naturally derived collagen, hydrolyzed wheat protein and antioxidants nourish, condition, and protect the lashes.
• Deep, rich pigments create high impact lashes
• Long wearing without clumping, flaking or smearing.
Invincible Gel Liner in Earth which is a deep brown shade. It's a cream gel liner in a pot, obviously. Here's the company quote on the gel liner.
• High performance, water/smudge proof formula
• Capable of creating intense, sheer or smoky effect
• Use as shadow or liner
The #31 Invincible Multi-Tasker Brush. This is an angled synthetic brush made from Taklon Nylon. Here's the company quote on the brush.
"This brush has an exclusive and unique ergonomic shape developed to fit perfectly into the corners of your eye. This brush moves naturally with the shape of your lid enabling you to effortlessly sweep the liner along your lashes creating a precise line. The flat, curved shape is perfect for applying liquid, cake, cream, gel and powder (wet or dry) products."
Studio Gear was designed for makeup artists or MUA's, if you will. They wanted to create products that could be personal to the person wearing it. Like your own personal coat of arms or a jersey. Their main goal is your confidence and how you express yourself. Formulating products that it's easy to express yourself with. Their products are high quality, intensely pigmented and professional grade so whether you're a editorial artist, working on a set, freelancer, or someone who just really enjoys makeup, it'll be very easy for you to find your own creativity and let that come out when using their products. Plus the added longevity of their products make it easier to wear your customized look all day without the fear of it going anywhere.
As of right now, I can't talk about the gel liner. I'm waiting on a replacement that they're supposed to be sending out. I will update this post when I get that.
The #31 brush is an angled brush. I find it thicker than most angled brushes which makes it great for smudging liner, the lower lash line, and even sculpting brows. Like it says in their statement it was developed to fit the corners of the eye and move with the natural shape of your lid. I really love their brushes. They all are very nice and perform very well from what I've seen so far. So I would recommend them just by their self in general.
The mascara, is a bit thin in formula. If you don't like that you can leave the wand unscrewed over night and it should thicken the formula of any mascara. I find this mascara definitely separates. There is no clumping at all and it doesn't seem to budge once it's on your lashes. It coats them evenly. My lashes are very fine, thin and kinda short. They have a lot of volume on their own, which is why I never curl them. I think this is a good "building" mascara. It's thinner consistency makes it easier to layer until you get the desired effect you want. So I'm satisfied with that. I tend to where false lashes a lot, but the days that I've wore this, it worked just fine.
They did give you a discount code which is 10% "SGEYES"
I'm gonna leave the link for these below:
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The next installment of my Snapchat Filter Series is the Galaxy Mask. This isn't one that everyone would choose I'm aware but to me it just looked cool. Granted unless you've seen the filter people might not know what you are. So keep that in mind.
Getting straight into it. I use Milk Makeup Holographic Stick as my base. Which is a duo chrome cream. This whole look is going to rely on duo chromes, gliter, and pressed pigment shadows. You could actually do a lot more glitter than what I did. I just don't like putting too much glitter all over my face because it can be quite scratchy and also hard to get all that off. So I kept it on and around the eye lid.
The shadows I'm using in this are actually called Galaxy shadows from JD Glow. Pretty much all the shadows I'm using are from JD Glow cosmetics.
So for the pink and lighter areas like down the center of face, the forehead, and the outer areas of the mask is Pink Opal. Pink Opal is on the lips mixed with some gloss. For the purple I'm using Haze and Anomaly. Anomaly is mainly on the lid and Haze is around the eye. Atomic Pink is the pink on the sides of the nose and on the lower lash line as well.
For the constellations and starts I used a white gel liner. When in all actuality I should've just used my Ben Nye Aqua paint. Which would've made all the constellations thinner and not as large as how mine turned out. Of course if you had a super opaque white liquid liner that would work wonderfully.
My brows are basically not that defined, I just lightly filled them in with a brush. For extra sparkle I used MBA Cosmetics pressed glitter in Amethyst Moon, which is just a purple pressed glitter. A loose glitter would look great and work well but also other shades of glitter would look really good and more like stars like MAC Reflects Pearl, Violet Voss Wendy, so on and so forth. If you wanted to be extra you could also use really small rhinestones as well, sporadically. I also used some NYX Vivid Bright liquid liners in a lavender and cobalt shade for more dimension and extra "stars".
This one is easy if you have the correct shades, you definitely need some sort of duo chrome for the base of the mask and then just shimmer shadows will work after that. So even if you just have a duo chrome pigment or eyeshadow, as long as it's over a cream base and a light shade, it should work just as good.
I definitely recommend using a gloss that either is 90's Clueless frosty or just a regular gloss and then mixing in a frost eye shadow.
So stay tuned for some more looks in the Snapchat Series!
Probably over a month ago I was sent some hair vitamin supplements to try out. They are from the brand Be Biotin and they aren't just for your hair, they also improve your nails, and your skin. I had tried regular OTC Biotin before but it actually made my skin break out, as it did every other person I knew at the time so I was worried to start taking this supplement. However, this isn't just Biotin it's "Pumpkin seed, saw palmetto and pygeum (african tree bark) combined to naturally lower the hormone that's been directly linked to hair loss and thinning. " It's an herbal complex that works from the inside out (obviously) by fighting hair loss and it thickens your hair, while also increasing growth in your hair (and nails) and making your skin more radiant and in my experience much more evenly complected without any break outs at all. I can honestly say my skin has done remarkably well since I've been taking these supplements. My nails have been growing like crazy too.
I decided to give this a shot because, my hair was in really bad shape. I was very very sick and I was losing tons of hair thanks to terrible nutrition, sickness, and stress. My hair was literally coming out by the handfuls. It looked dry and terrible, no matter what I done. So I went and got around 4-6 inches cut off of it. Totally cried when I got home because I didn't mean to have that much taken off but it needed it. Then decided to give these supplements a whirl because they were natural and safe vitamins that are different from OTC drugstore generic vitamins. It took me about 2 weeks to get in the habit of taking them everyday. I'm done with my first bottle (which is 35 capsules) and I can tell a major difference in thickness. So can my mom and hair stylist.
As far as growth I got my hair chopped in mid July and it's now November and I'm about 1 inch away (maybe) from having my super long hair back again. So from a growing stand point, I think it definitely helps but it's not over night miracles which nothing will be obviously, but like I said it definitely helps. Keep in mind though that your hair goes through cycles when it sheds more than normal and also grows faster than other times. For some people their hair never seems to get that "growth spurt", my friend Jamie being one of them. I don't care as much about how fast it's growing though because my hair looks and feels a lot better than it did before. With the added bonus of my nails and skin looking the best they have ever looked in my life.
I'm going to insert a statement from Be Biotin here about why their supplement is different.
"BE Biotin is a completely one-of-a-kind universal supplement that makes hair grow longer and stronger. The key to its effectiveness is a unique ability to lower Dihydrotestosterone (also known as DHT), a testosterone related hormone that naturally increases in men and women as we age. Unfortunately for our hair follicles, DHT is a kryptonite that causes the hair to become weak, thin, or fall out completely"
So before to combat DHT there was only a chemical treatment called "Propecia" which was effective. What BE Biotin done was found a way to replicate it naturally though. That's where the herb combination of Palmetto, Pumpkin Seed and Pygeum came in. They were proven to naturally lower DHT "safely and effectively". I can only speak from personal experience in which I do feel like my hair is much stronger, longer and I had no unpleasant side effects at all from taking these supplements and I did take the entire bottle and I'm working on my second bottle now.
Just as a background, my hair grows at a pretty normal rate. However, thanks to a crap diet and stress it seemed to have stopped growing all together when I got it cut. So to remedy that I got the Indie #Cleansweep shampoo, that I've mentioned before, which is sulfate free but lathers really really nice and really cleans your hair and scalp. I wash my hair back to back twice with that in the shower. I still swear by my Amika Nourishing Hair Mask. I use it as a hair mask or just as plain old conditioner whenever I shampoo my hair, which is honestly about 2 times a week. I don't over load my hair with dry shampoo or styling products, so that I don't have a ton of product build up. I really believe that one thing that can stall your hair growth is smothering out the hair root and not letting it breath. Which is why I love the Indie shampoo because it gently clarifies and gets rid of any and all build up with out the harshness of sulfates (plus it's great for color treated hair), and then I don't use that many products so that I avoid buildup that way my hair isn't smothering to death. I also let my hair air dry, and I don't heat style it too much, probably once a week or maybe twice. Only because my hair is very manageable and will keep curl in it very well but usually when it gets to a point of looking oily I tend to do a braid or a sock bun so that I can avoid using dry shampoo but still look pulled together. I don't care what they say about dry shampoos, some of them are great and better for your hair but at the end of the day it is causing product buildup. Don't get me wrong I still use them from time to time (my faves being Elizabeth and James Nirvana White and Not Your Mothers Clean Freak) but I do try to avoid them when I can.
So while I know there are other things that contribute to my hair looks and what not I can't deny that these supplements aren't part of the equation and helped it's growth and overall health. They were kind enough to offer my readers 25% off with the code "LOVEMASCARA", no I don't get any commission off that code, it's just something specifically for your guys.
Above is the day I got my hair cut. It's was about two inches below my collar bone, completely straight. Curled it was all the way up to my collar bone.
This picture was taken around the 1st of November and it is slightly curled as well. It's pretty much right where I want it and I've felt that way since the beginning of October I just hadn't had time to really sit down and collect my thoughts to give you as much information as I could on the subject.
**As with any supplement that you are thinking of using, read up on it and see what the ingredients are. I feel good about talking to you guys about this because it's a natural vitamin and herb complex. I take it everyday and have had no bad reactions or side effects for MYSELF personally.**
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to start blogging and do these things I love because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity. Thanks for stopping by and visiting with me!