Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Amari Vitamin C serum

I've been incorporating Vitamin C serums into my daily skin care routine for almost a year now, and have tried multiple different brands across a large spectrum. In my experience, most of them have almost the exact same ingredients lists and product descriptions, just different labels/companies selling them. Generally, these serums have been safe for my sensitive skin but there have been a few select ones that have irritated my skin too much.

Fortunately, Amari's serum is a pretty standard serum that does not break me out and is great at evening skin tone and reducing dark spots. You can feel your skin soaking in the nutrients whenever you pat this stuff onto your clean face. Like any skin care product, you won't see instantaneous results, but you will definitely seem improvement if you use it consistently and take care of your skin (adequate cleansing, moisturizing, drinking plenty of water, etc.) in the long term. Remember, this serum itself is NOT a moisturizer, so you should always follow with one (a lotion, emulsion, oil, or anything like that) to lock all the healing properties in.

Btipsy Lemon Squeezer REVIEW

This is the first lemon squeezer I've ever tried (I used to have one of those manual twisty juicers, and it was a pain in the neck to use!) and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works and how fuss-free it is. The metal is sturdier than it looks, so you can squeeze your citrus pretty hard and get maximum juicing benefits without popping a vein.

I'm glad it's made out of stainless steel so you don't have to worry about scratching it or rust.

The design is a little clunky which makes it difficult to store, but at least it's simple, so it's easy to clean.

Overall, I'd recommend it as a basic squeezer. I'm not sure how many uses I'd get out of this since I don't cook with lemon often, but it's still nice to have in the kitchen drawer.

Btipsy Cocktail Muddler

All cocktail aficionados have muddled citrus or berries for their drinks sometime in their life. I always used the back of a spoon, since the only time I'd actually seen a muddler was in bars or lounges, but it's nice to own one for a change! It makes me feel very professional ;)

It's a standard, no-nonsense tool. Not dramatically life-altering, but very easy to use (all you really have to do is pound any food item by grabbing the handle..... caveman style) and even easier to clean. I was surprised by the quality based on the price. This would be a very affordable, very appropriate gift for any of your cocktail-loving friends... or alcoholics. Just kidding (sort of).

Azure Naturals Retinol Serum

This review took me a little longer to write than my normal beauty reviews because when I first tried it out, I absolutely hated it. I applied it only at night because retinol/retinoid products are known for drying out the skin and even causing redness in sensitive people like me. It made my skin smooth at first, but after a few days of usage, I would break out terribly in small, white pimples across my forehead and cheeks! My acne is typically in control; I get the occasional hormonal breakouts, but it's usually not a main skin concern for me. Once I stopped using the serum, the acne disappeared almost immediately, so I knew this was a product-related issue. I tried again a few weeks later and got the exact same results, which was frustrating. I was almost about to toss this serum once and for all, when, one day, I discovered the most amazing thing:

I realized I had been using the serum wrong.

For people with sensitive or acne-prone skin, retinol may be a little harsh for daily use, even if under heavy moisturizers and only in the evening. What I changed in my skincare routine gave me great results with no irritation!

The secret: I only apply this serum 1-2 times a week. I'm almost 100% sure the offending ingredient is pentylene glycol, since that is a common solvent in beauty products that irritates or causes breakouts. It's not a major problem for me because I do use another essence that contains propylene glycol (a similar ingredient); while I try to avoid it when I can, it is generally known to be safe, so I use it if I must. Only applying the serum a couple times a week discourages buildup of any comedogenic materials on the surface of the skin = no breakouts! Genius!

I am a huuuuge fan of Azure Naturals's other products (Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, Argan oil... they are my holy grails!) so it's no wonder I'm in love with this stuff too. I love what it does to make my skin smooth and wrinkle-free, and am comforted in knowing it is a great preventative anti-aging treatment since I don't quite fit into the "mature skin" category yet ;) This is the best stuff you can get for this quality and price, so I highly recommend. Just don't use it every day if you have sensitive skin like me!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Optimal Omega 3 Fish Oil Review

  • Premium Quality Fish Oil - Potent 600mg DHA and 800mg EPA (1,400 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids) per 2g serving. More than double than that contained in lower quality fish oils!
  • Maximum Purity - Optimal Omega 3 has been through the molecular distillation purification process which removes harmful toxins such as mercury and PCB
  • Enteric Coating ensures Maximum Absorption of Essential Fatty Acids by allowing the soft gels to pass through the stomach directly to the small intestine. This also prevents fishy burps!
  • Amazing Value for Money - 180 Premium Quality Softgels Provide 90 servings. So one bottle can last you up to 3 months!
  • Clinically Shown to Support Heart, Joint, Skin and Cognitive Health*

  • My review: As someone who's been taking fish oil for years now, I have pretty high standards for my fish oil supplements. Optimal Health Labs have come out with a fish oil that has a high concentration of Omega 3's all the while having gone extensive purification processes to eliminate toxins like mercury and PCB that are usually associated with fish consumption.

    Omega 3's are crucial for brain and heart health, and they are found naturally in fish and shellfish. However, if you either do not like the taste of fish, or can't have much of it due to high cholesterol, a fish oil supplement is the way to go. This supplement does have a fishy smell to it, but I've yet to come across one that doesn't (even the GNC brands smell/taste fishy). It isn't overwhelming, but if you absolutely hate the smell of fish, you may want to find a better option to get your Omega 3's in, such as using plant-based capsules.

    This 180-count bottle only costs $30 on Amazon, and is a three-month supply, which I think is a pretty good deal. It is recommended to take 2 capsules daily, but I usually only take one per day because I like and incorporate seafood into my regular diet, and to stretch my bottle out longer. It is not recommended to take more than 2 capsules per day.

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    The Bigger Better Nut Milk Bag Review


    - Ellie's Bigger Better Nut Milk Bag is the perfect size for small or large batches, made with professional grade nylon mesh, and triple stitched won't tear like other bags, letting pulp into your almond milk 
    - Become a perfect almond  milk maker every time, no double straining ever! 
    - Heavy-duty materials and construction prevents split seams and eliminates pulp from almond milk & green juices
    - The Bigger Better Nut Milk Bag is double the capacity of most & made to fit over pitcher mouths, medium bowls & large jars for easy pouring unlike small, messy bags
    - Rounded corners for easy milking and fast clean up
    - The perfect size mesh only lets the milk & nutrients through, ensuring smooth & delicious nut milks - NO GRAINY PULP - just thick, rich & nutritious milk 
    - All food grade nylon materials made to last & last


    My review: Ellie's Best nut milk bag is fabulous for all your straining needs, and is essential for recipes like nut milks, fruit purees, cheese, and so on. You can tell this bag is high-quality because of its fine nylon mesh that doesn't catch particles of food, as well as the sturdiness of its composition.

    I like the rounded corners because all you have to do is flip the bag inside-out to clean; no picking out food from pesky corners here. Overall I'm pleased with the size, quality, and price (currently only $9 on Amazon) of this Bigger and Better nut milk bag, and would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a strainer bag.

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Surpahs Shiny Small Lightweight Digital Bathroom Scale Review

    This Sachet Pink small, sleek, lovely digital bathroom scale measures your body weight and calculates your Body Mass Index (BMI), it can identify 4 pre-defined users, results are displayed on its 2.3" (59mm) diameter big round shiny LCD, with very nice blue backlight, supports easy reading in the dark. 

    The BMI scale features smart gravity point detect and auto-calibrate. The G-Sensor patent-pending technology embded in 4 TPU skidproof stands support more stable and accurate measurement from 11 lb to 330 lb. New "Sense-ON" patent-pending technology gets instant readings when you step on the scale.

    My review: This is such a cute, sleek bathroom scale that I've loved getting to use. It's a simple and to-the-point scale that tells your weight, and the base grips make it great for any hard (hardwood, tile, or linoleum) surface.

    I love the cheery bubblegum pink color and the shiny, classy feel to it. Every time I step on it, it feels like I'm stepping onto a luxurious surface, like in a spa, and the backlight of the scale isn't only pretty, but also allows for reading in dimmer light as well.

    Honestly I think it's a little expensive for a digital scale (currently $30 on Amazon) but if you really care about the appearance and quality of your scales, I'd definitely recommend this one.

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.