Sunday, July 27, 2014

KIND Nuts & Spices - NEW Flavors! Review

Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond: Dark Roast coffee and whole almonds blended with honey and drizzled in dark chocolate to form a bar that, with just 5g of sugar, only tastes indulgent.

Caramel Almond and Sea Salt: A seemingly indulgent blend of savory sea-salt and sweet caramel melted over crunchy almonds, this bar is a delightfully low-sugar healthy snack that only tastes like dessert.

My review: WOW. Wowee wow wow. Is it possible to be in love with a snack bar?? Is it reasonable to be sort of sexually attracted to it??!? Because these two new flavors from Kind Snacks are phenomenal and they make me feel very, very loved.

Kind is a brand I am definitely familiar with and have tried before; their products only use wholesome, all-natural ingredients and are based entirely off of of nuts, fruits, and cereals; no sugary fillers or syrups used here! Prior flavors I've tried never stood out to me in particular, but these two hit it out of the ball park. I was blown away by how delicious they are, and as much of a foodie as I am, that normally doesn't happen to me...

The Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond, as I expected, was fabulous. I am crazy for dark chocolate, so I found that its deeper, richer flavors go perfectly with the subtle hint of coffee in this almond-based bar. It isn't overly sweet, is low carb (only 5 grams of sugar!), is packed with protein, and is made out of ingredients you can actually pronounce—I'm hooked! The only thing I didn't like was how chewy it was. For some reason—maybe it's the honey?—this bar was really, really tough to chew. Beyond the crunch of the almonds and the chocolate glaze—it made my jaw hurt. But it was delicious!!!!

The Caramel Almond and Sea Salt bar was unexpectedly scrumptious. I am not a huge caramel fan; I don't hate it, but won't go out of my way to eat it either, so I wasn't anticipating too much, but I found I loved them equally! The texture is perfect—not too chewy like the Dark Chocolate bar—and the sweet and salty combination is something I never would have thought of, but it's amazing. I was surprised by how much I liked it, perhaps even more than the Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond!! ......nah. I loved them both the same.

Disclosure: these are nut-based bars, so their fat content is actually quite high. If you are on a low-fat diet or watching your calories, these may not be the best for you, as one bar contains something like 25% of your daily fat intake :/

I follow a very low-fat diet regularly anyways, so I can squeeze this bar in, especially as a meal replacement, but just a little warning for anyone else! I love almonds and eat them all the time anyway, so I DEFINITELY will be purchasing these two flavors on my own.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. A HUGE thank you to the fabulous folks at KIND Snacks for sending me samples!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Simply Essentials's Kabuki Brush Review

The densely packed synthetic brush allows for moderate to full coverage of liquid, cream and powder foundation. The angled brush allows for easy application for the angles of the face. Simply Essentials designed the angled kabuki brush for a flawless makeup application. The dense bristles make it easy to apply your liquid, cream or powder foundation. The long handle adds ease to your makeup application. The brush is also uniquely designed for stippling, contouring, covering imperfections and blending out your makeup. Create a luminous glow with the application of your make up! You will get an even application, natural looking coverage, every time. The synthetic fibers are ideal to be used with liquid, cream and powder products and can be easily cleaned. Vegan-friendly!

My review: Simply Essentials's Kabuki brush is a makeup brush for foundations and other face makeup like primer, BB cream, powder, etc. It has super soft bristles that are compact, so you get good coverage with face makeup, without causing irritation or any streaking or unevenness like you would if you just used your fingers.

I think this is a very reasonably priced brush, and is perfect for beginners. It applies foundation and BB cream very smoothly, and makes your foundation less cakey. I would recommend washing it after every use, just because of the potential bacteria buildup on the bristles if you leave makeup and residues from your face sitting in them for too long. Immediately after usage, just rinse it with gentle soap (like baby shampoo or body wash) and warm water. Scrub the bristles a bit, but don't displace them as they could fall out. Be gentle with it and let dry completely before using again.

I would also recommend you only use this for liquid or cream based makeup products. It isn't a huge fan/powder brush, so it made my powder foundation application a little clumpy. I would not use this with powder foundation or finishing powder again, there are different makeup brushes for that.

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

Adovia Pure Shea Butter Review

  • #1 RATED SHEA BUTTER ON THE MARKET! Natural Relief from Dry Skin, Psoriasis Dryness, Eczema and Acne. Excellent for Stretch Marks for Pregnancy or Other.
  • 100% Natural and Organic Pure Shea Butter - Made with Hand Selected Finest Nuts of the Shea Tree in Ghana.
  • Deep Moisturizer for Skin - Contains VITAMIN A, VITAMIN E AND VITAMIN F - DOES NOT CLOG PORES - Highly Moisturizing and Long Lasting - Beneficial for Hair & Skin Health and Beauty
  • Used by Top Skin Care DYI Experts for DYI Soap, DYI Lotions, Body Butter and More - Highest Quality Guaranteed
  • 1 POUND - Packaged in a Resealable and Recyclable Container for Easy Access and Storage

My review: This one-pound tub of Adovia Cleopatra's Choice Shea Butter is 100% pure African shea butter with no added preservatives or chemicals that most lotions and body butters contain. Shea butter is a common ingredient in a lot of beauty products, and it is a natural moisturizer for the body and face.

In raw form, it is quite hard, like a hardened bar of soap, but melts very gently if you press it against your skin, kind of like coconut oil. I had a hard time really rubbing this into my skin, but the trick is to get it warm in between your hands before spreading it on. It does not slather on like a lotion or cream, you really have to rub it in.

While it is a great all-natural way to lock in moisture, it made my skin a bit itchy. I'm not sure why this happened... perhaps it is an allergic reaction? Or maybe I applied too much on my legs. I have never had shea butter sensitivity before so I'm not sure. The formula isn't really greasy like coconut oil, but it definitely makes your skin tacky. I could tell my skin was moisturized but it wasn't immediately soft, it was just sticky and waxy in texture, which I didn't like. However, it kept my legs moisturized for a long time. This stuff is non comedogenic so I will try using it on my face in the future.

I did not care for the scent (or rather, lack thereof). It smells like an unscented candle, waxy and almost woodsy, but it's not a "pleasant" fragrance. However, for not having any added fragrances or chemicals, I suppose I can tolerate it.

A huge advantage of Adovia's shea butter is that it comes in an enormous tub. A little goes a long way with this body butter, so the one-pound tub will definitely last a long time. My only concern is how it is stored. I scoop out a little with a spatula when I use it, but I'm not sure if that is sanitary since the tub is just left in the open, even with the resealable cap. A tube would have been more sanitary.

Overall I'm a little torn over this product. On one hand it is all-natural, relatively inexpensive, and provides long-lasting moisture for dry skin, but on the other hand, it doesn't smell so hot, and did cause a little bit of irritation, because of its raw form. I would recommend this for people who don't want to use regular lotions or creams because of the added chemicals.

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Freedom Superfoods Cacao Powder Review

  • Great taste and blends well, just one tablespoon brings a delicious dark chocolate flavor. Customers have said "smells like chocolatey heaven!"
  • Perfect for raw treats! Or even baked treats. The secret to a really good homemade chocolate or mocha. Enjoy the smooth rich dark texture in all your recipes.
  • Being rich in nutrients, minerals & flavonoids our cacao powder is highly alkalizing. As a result many customers report excellent sleep and energy. Marvel as your chocolate cravings disappear. Some buyers have even noticed their appetite has decreased significantly as well.
  • You know this has been created with quality in mind because we only source from small sustainably run family owned farms in the most secluded, untouched, ancient rainforest in remote parts of the Dominican Republic. The result is the purest of raw organic cacao powder. Which is then processed in our FDA approved facility free of the 8 major allergens including GLUTEN.
  • Delivered in a heavy-duty, re-sealable stand-up pouch. This makes it easy to store and doesn't take up much space. Also helps your cacao stay fresh. When you order now, know that you're protected by a 60 day, no questions ask money back guarantee - even if you return the pouch completely empty. Your satisfaction is our goal.

My review: Raw cacao powder is great for milkshakes, baking, or anywhere else you just need a protein boost. Gluten and nut free, this comes straight from cacao beans and is RAW, which separates it from cocoa powder, which is roasted. Raw cacao powder maintains all its nutrients and antioxidants from the cacao bean, most of which are broken down when the beans are roasted. That means this raw powder is a much healthier cocoa powder alternative.

To me, it tastes the same and I don't think I'd be able to tell the difference between this and dark cocoa powder! You could use cacao and cocoa powders interchangeably, but using cacao would be the much healthier option.

The powder comes in a resealable plastic bag, and a little goes a long way; I made homemade brownies with this and the recipe was much darker and richer with this cacao powder, just the way I like it! I love this powder and will be using it regularly. Next time I will try mixing it with almond butter to make "homemade Nutella" and even with some peanut butter to make "homemade Reese's spread." So delicious! This would make wonderful hot chocolate as well. Can't wait to experiment with the different recipes I can use this in.

My only complaint is that it is pretty pricey. 14 oz. is a LOT of cacao powder, but $18 is also a lot of money. I wish they sold this in smaller sizes at cheaper prices to make it more affordable.

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

Green Virgin Soap Nuts Liquid Review

What are Soap Nuts?
They are the fruit of the Chinese Soap Berry Tree. These amazing berries are harvested and then dried in the sun. No chemicals of any kind are added. We only sell Sapindus Mukorossi soap nutssoap-nuts-still-on-the-tree.jpg as this is the species that are the largest and have the highest saponin content of any other species.  Laundry detergent with toxic chemicals and carcinogens is replaced with something all natural and totally organic.
The shell contains a natural soap called saponin. It has cleaning abilities equal to toxic chemical detergents. Soap berries are extremely hypo-allergenic and can be used by people who are allergic to all other detergents. They are completely green and don't pollute our planet. 
high-tech-filters.jpgThe liquid is made with our USDA Certified Organic Sapindus Mukorossi Soap Nuts. We extract the saponin using only water. We then remove all the solids and tannins and deodorize it. This is all done using high tech filters using no chemicals only water. This is an important step and one that most of our competitors are not capable of.
Because this is the extract of a fruit, it has a short shelf life of about 2 weeks if no preservative is used. Therefore, a preservative is needed. Preseratives can be toxic. That is why we were hesitant to sell a soap nuts liquid because of our commitment to only selling totally non toxic products. Until now the least toxic preservative for soap nuts liquids has been rated a 3 on the Skin Deep Database. A rating of zero is totally non toxic, a 10 is very toxic. A rating of 3 is not too bad, but it is too high for us. We finally found a pair of non totally-non-toxic-eco-friendly.jpg toxic preservatives that working together make a non toxic and extremely effective preservative. The Preservatives we use are caprylyl glycol and phenethyl alcohol. These preservatives are rated a 0 and a 1 on the Skin Deep Data Base. That is about as non toxic as you can get. Our liquid has at least a 2 year shelf life.


The bottle includes a pump top. It dispenses an accurate measured amount each pump. So for an average load in an HE washer (front loader), use 2 pumps for the whole load. For an average load in a top loader, 3 pumps per load will do the job. If your washer has a detergent dispenser you can use that or just pump the liquid onto your clothes that are in the washer.
It has many advantages over the raw nuts. First of all, the liquid is much easier to use. No more wash bags to look for in your washer and you don't have to remember how manyi-really-love-saving-money.jpg loads you have done so far.
The second advantage is the effectiveness. In scientific tests done by an independent lab (Exova), this product out-cleaned raw nuts by a large margin. Plus it out-cleaned our competitors soap nuts liquid by over 300%. That is a noticeable difference. The liquid version is a little more expensive, but it is still a huge money saver and a lot less expensive than Tide and other toxic chemical detergents.
Dilute 50 parts water to 1 part soap nuts liquid to make the worlds best window cleaner. You won't believe how easy it is to clean glass with this dilution. It is also great for all kinds of light duty cleaning like counter tops. You wont believe how good it is for washing the car too.
Review: I'm really glad I got to try this product. It is an all-natural, eco-friendly, and chemically safe alternative to laundry detergent. The liquid is concentrated liquid from the actual soap nut plants themselves, so it is much more convenient to use (just use it like you would laundry detergent!).
One small bottle of Soap Nuts liquid (8 oz.) will last you 120 loads, but an average half-gallon tub of Tide would only last you about 30 laundry loads. You're saving money AND time because with soap nuts you don't need to use fabric softener. It's a detergent and fabric softener in one!
My experience with these were great. The liquid has as a slightly strong, medicinal plant scent to it, but it isn't intolerable and it doesn't add fragrance to your clothes. This would be great for people who are sensitive to the strong laundry detergent scent, because it cleans your clothes without making it smell like a perfume shop. I could tell it cleaned my clothes well, and they felt much softer without feeling stiff or "waxy" like some fabric softeners tend to do.
My only problem with it is that there are no instructions on the bottle! There is a description of soap nuts but no indication of how much or where you should add the soap nuts in your laundry. Thankfully, I found instructions on Green Virgin Products's website, but they really should include the info on the bottle itself so I don't have to look it up while doing my laundry. 2 pumps are recommended for a HE front-load washer, while 3 are recommended for traditional top-load washers. Then you dry as usual (no fabric softener sheets needed!). I didn't know the instructions prior, so I only used 1 pump for my entire load, but it was a pretty small load so things were okay. I will follow the regular instructions next time!

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

Pure Luxe Vitamin C Serum Review

This is not an actual review as I have not received my vitamin C serum yet, despite my multiple messages to the company about the problem. I was told a product was sent to me, but it's supposed to be delivered this week, which is obviously issue as my review is "due" today. Tomoson has strict review deadlines otherwise bloggers are impacted negatively. I will update this link with a real review once I receive and try out the product.

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotic Dietary Supplement

  • NUMBER ONE PROBIOTICS WORKS! Dr. Oz says probiotics are "Essential" to the body. A guest doctor at the Dr. Oz show said "Taking the pill form probiotic assures you to consume the right probiotic strains and the right recommended dosage". Taking probiotic pills saves you from consuming excess dairy and sugar present in many probiotic foods.
  • MORE THAN JUST IMPROVING YOUR DIGESTION ! Did you know that the GI track is responsible for 90% of the immune system`s health? When we improve the digestive function we are also giving a great BOOST to the IMMUNE SYSTEM. Fighting off the bad bacteria present in the GI track will also help the body to fight off INFECTIONS. Bringing balance to the Intestinal flora will also aliviate digestive discomfort, inflammation and BLOATING.
  • DO YOU THINK YOU CAN improve your DIGESTION ? Do you suffer from Digestive Discomfort? Irritable bowel disease? Bloated belly? Acid Reflux? Crohn`s disease? Cronic Fatigue Syndrom? Stress causing gut illnesses? Inflamatory Conditions? Do you want to improve your immune system? Do you want to manage your weight? If you can say YES to any of these questions or if you just want to improve your intestinal flora and be HEALTHIER you must try Number One Probiotic. EASY to do it. Two capsules a day with a light meal and you are on your way to a healthier life! No side effects. Our product is made with TOP QUALITY ingredients. 10 Billion CFUs. 7 extremelly effective strains. Made in the USA at a FDA approved manufacturing facility. 100% SAFE. Years of research went into perfecting this product to achieve best performance.

Review: Taking a probiotic supplement never really occurred to me until a few days ago when my friend, who was instructed to take antibiotics, got really really sick off them. Probiotics can balance out antibiotics' negative digestive side effects, so I told her to eat yogurt because yogurt is known for having probiotics—healthy bacteria. However, she told me she NEVER eats yogurt, which is probably why she may have had a sensitivity to the antibiotics.

When she started taking probiotic supplements, I realized I probably should too, especially since I seldom eat yogurt, and since I've had digestive issues like heartburn in the past. Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotic is a reasonable option. Each vegetarian capsule should be taken with a meal—up to two times a day—and the probiotics can help aid digestive and immune system functions.

So far, I have not had any adverse effects with these, and am happy to take them as a supplement to better my health.

I've only taken a few capsules so far, so the long-term effects are uncertain, but hopefully they will be positive.

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