Thursday, October 31, 2019

Sistar Cosmetics: Haunted Cemetery Makeup Look

Happy Halloween, dear readers! My favorite holiday is here, and I am enjoying every minute of it! My costume is hanging up in the closet in preparation for trick-or-treating with the kids, and I am so excited about it! My mother-in-law is currently visiting and will be dressing as Snow White, so I decided to dress as the Evil Queen to coordinate with her. Of course my costume isn't a dead ringer for the Evil Queen as I'm taking liberties to make it my own, including a black jeweled mask for my eyes, but hey, this is about me and this is what makes me happy. Until then, I have a quick makeup look I created to share with you. I've been wanting to play around with some items I had purchased from Sistar Cosmetics, and I had a cute Halloween idea come to mind. Check it out!

I wasn't really feeling spooky and dark eyes, which is shocking for me, especially today, but I still wanted to add a little something that screamed Halloween to my pink eye look. I didn't have a lot of time to play around, and I thought turing my eyeliner into a little cemetery scene and adding in a ghost would be the perfect solution!

I used both shades in the Half Moon Blush Duo in "Rosy Cheeks" on my eyes and then deepened it up in the corner with the darkest shade of the "Deep Palette" Contour Palette. I then lined my eyes (at the lids only) with the Ultimate Define Gel Eyeliner in "The Galaxy". I had hoped to use this eyeliner to extend out a wing and make my tombstones, but the sharp pointed pencil didn't give me quite as much control as I needed. I ended up creating my cemetery wings with Dip Liner Matte by Mesauda Milano. I then used the Sistar Cosmetics Ultimate Define Gel Eyeliner in "White" to add in my ghosts.

After using the contour palette and blush duo on my face, I finished off the look by lining and filling in my lips with Sistar Cosmetics' Smooth Touch Auto LipLiner in "Kiss Me Red". I topped it off with Sexy Lip Paint "Passionate Lovers."

This is such a fun and wearable look for Halloween! It's not going to work with my costume for tonight, but if you're in need of an easy makeup look yet that isn't scary or doesn't require special effects makeup know-how, this is a great way to go!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Trick or Treat Yourself this Halloween with Yubi Beauty

We are *thisclose* to Halloween, and I am so excited about it! Costumes for the kids have long since been ready, I picked up final accessories for my own today, and the house is decorated. I had all these great plans to really spookify my house this year, but time ran away with me, and I discovered a lack of outdoor outlets at my new house. I've managed to scramble and get the pieces I needed to get everything to work, but seriously though, WHY would you not have a single outlet outdoors? This is going to have to be remedied ASAP if I want to have lights up for the Christmas holiday season. Until then, let's enjoy Halloween for a bit, shall we?

Press Sample

After a rough week and finally seeing some success, I live by the mantra "Treat Yo-Self". Given that Halloween is about treats, mixed with the occasional tricks, what could be better timing for this post! While attending Cosmoprof North America this summer, I became acquainted with Yubi Beauty. Named for the Japanese word for "finger" Yubi is an innovative makeup brush system that incorporates elements of a makeup brush with the ease of application with your own fingers. I'll have my buddy Hector demonstrate. And yes, I am that person that names everything!

Simply slide your index and middle fingers into the Yubi device and the plastic backing will hold it securely to your fingers. This allows you to apply makeup naturally to your own face, rather than handling brushes, which can be awkward for some, or using your fingertips, resulting in patchy, uneven application and product messing up your hands. The Yubi is the answer for convenient, mess-free makeup application that can be done anywhere!

I prefer the coverage of brushes most of the time, so the Buff Brush in particular is my most used attachment. This device may be small, but this baby is packed with 275,000 vegan bristles that are oh-so-soft! Densely packed, this attachment works great at not only applying my foundation, but I can also use it to apply my serum, moisturizer, or even for the gentlest manual exfoliation to the face while washing! Even better, I can start my skincare process with this tool and move on to the next without having to wash between steps or switching over to a new one. Now that is some serious beauty on the go! I also really like this particular tool to rub bronzers and highlighters onto the rest of my skin. You want dressed up shoulders? This attachment is perfect for it!

If you prefer to use a sponge when it comes to your makeup application, Yubi has you covered with their Blend Sponge. After you've completed your initial skincare steps with the Buff Brush, simply pull the tab upwards at the base of the brush to release it from the Yubi Beauty device. The Blend Sponge readily pops into the open slot so you can jump right in blending your foundation. I'm very particular about sponges and dislike a lot on the market as they absorb so much product, but this sponge is actually quite nice! While some of my foundation is absorbed, most of it stays on my face, letting me actually USE more of my makeup rather than having it end up in a sponge that gets washed and rinsed down the drain.

Both the Buff Brush and the Blend Sponge wash easily with warm water and a gentle soap. As I mentioned above, I've even used my Buff Brush while washing my face, so that helps to keep it clean too! If you are hunting for a gentle cleanser for your Yubi (and eye brushes too, for that matter!) Yubi Beauty offers a Deep Clean cleansing solution that is free of dyes, harsh chemicals and perfumes. This is for weekly deep cleaning. I will note the final ingredient is Rosemary Extract. I cannot detect the scent of rosemary in this cleanser, but those that are sensitive or allergic to it should proceed with caution, if not avoid it altogether. Yubi Beauty also offers One, Two, Fresh, a spray for daily quick cleaning. This dries remarkably fast, a feature I appreciate for those days when I discover I have to quick touch up a section of my face after I've already cleaned my Yubi.

I have really enjoyed trying out the Yubi Beauty brush device! As much as I love to sit down and spend a lot of time working on my makeup, there are just as many days where I need to get my face done quickly. These work perfectly to get my makeup in place, and the final result is gorgeous! Yubi Beauty has several options when it comes to purchasing the device. If you know you're only going to want to use the Buff Brush or the Blend Sponge, you can purchase that my itself. If you're like me and tend to mix it up from time to time, you can purchase a set of the holder with each attachment. Also, you can buy replacement brush and sponge heads should you lose one, need to replace your sponge (you really should every three months), or just want an extra around the house or in your desk at work. I love to use makeup brushes, even the traditional paintbrush style, but there is just something so comfortably familiar about the Yubi Beauty device that makes me want to use this above all other makeup brushes. The compact size and ease of use is an extra bonus that I can appreciate, especially while on the go! It's no wonder it was a Time Magazine winner for best invention!

Are you familiar with Yubi Beauty? How do you like to apply your skincare items or foundation? Is this something that would appeal to you? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful night!

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Jack O'Lantern Halloween Nails with Literary Lacquers

Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to a fabulous start! It's been a hard several days for me as I've been closely watching the wildfire situation in Sonoma County. I remember two years ago typing up a blog post while sitting in my in-las kitchen after evacuating for the Tubbs Fire at the time. While we may have sold our house and relocated ten months ago to Arizona, Northern California is still very much in my heart.  The latest Kincade Fire is far from over, but I feel as though I am breathing easier today for the friends and neighbors we left behind. Now let's hop in to today's blog post!

Halloween is only four days away, and I am only just now getting around to creating nail art! I had all these great plans, but the month just ran away from me. Thankfully I've got a look to share with you today.

To create this look, I started off with Every God and Devil There Ever Was by Literary Lacquers. This particular shade was created exclusively for the September Polish Pickup, and I made a mental note then that this polish would have to be used for a Halloween design. I fell in love with the way this nail lacquer played with a matte top coat and knew I would have to stick with the matte finish for my final look.

Once my nail polish base was dry, I paired UberChic Beauty Halloween 01 and Halloween 03 stamping plates with Black Stamping Polish by Powder Perfect and Bright Yellow Sprouts and Tulip Celebration Stamping Polishes by Born Pretty Store.

The final step was to add top coat, and for that, I used the Matte Top Coat by Glisten & Glow.

I had fun creating this design, and I hope you enjoy it as well! I'd love to get another Halloween design on my nails, if only I can enjoy another look for the holiday, although it is likely not going to make it up on the blog. Be sure to follow me on social media (linked below)so you can see if and what I come up with!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

In the Mood for Halloween with Nomad Cosmetics and Dirty Mind Cosmetics

While October may be one of the longer months of the year, it always feels like the fastest one to go by for me. Perhaps it is my love of Halloween and trying to cram as many festivities as I can within the month, but I always wish for another two or more weeks in the month. My house has been decorated with assorted spoopy items, and I am still trying to get all my decorations up outdoors. It's our first Halloween at our new house, and I'm trying to stay a little low key this year while I sort out exactly how much I can get away with when it comes to our HOA. So far the neighbors haven't done much of anything, so my house just might be "that" creepy house, starting with next year as I didn't start planning, purchasing, and crafting far enough in advance.

Now that I'm surrounded by all things Halloween, it's no surprise I've been wanting to incorporate it more into my makeup. I have essentially no skills when it comes to special effects makeup, and I need to keep my makeup relatively normal looking on a daily basis so I'm not scaring my kids. It seems like a tall order to fill, but when I purchased the Berlin Eyeshadow Palette from Nomad Cosmetics, I knew I had the solution! I've worn it several times this month, and I wanted to share a couple of the looks I have created with you. Let's check them out!

When in doubt, wing it out!

I'm not normally a wing girl when it comes to my eyeliner, but I could not resist the urge to create bat wings this month. It's the perfect little something extra that screams Halloween without making my 4 year old run and hide. In fact, he's going to be a bat for Halloween this year and was so excited to see the bat wings on my eyes.

I really wanted to embrace the grungy vibe given off by the Berlin eyeshadow palette, and I am loving this shade combination. I don't know if I was just having off makeup days, but it took two days and four applications to finally get the look that I wanted. Thankfully, I woke up and today must have been the day because it was a "one and done" type of application day. I paired my eye look with Wanna Scissor? by Dirty Mind Cosmetics to carry the muted purple/gray look onto my lips.


I'm a fan of dark looks when it comes to Halloween, but the warm weather in Arizona has me alternating between continuing with brighter looks and switching back to something dark and moody. While the Berlin palette originally felt dark to me, I wanted to play around and see what sort of brighter looks I could create with it.

I had to pair my colourful makeup look with my bright orange and yellow wig!

 In the end, I'm feeling like I'm embracing my inner Poison Ivy!

I had a lot of fun with this look as well! I'm a sucker for a red lip, and I paired my eye look with Red Rocket by Dirty Mind Cosmetics. Since we're only a week out from Halloween, I'm likely to stick with dark and moody looks for the time being, but I will absolutely be recreating this one soon!

Have any of you been enjoying the Berlin eyeshadow palette from Nomad Cosmetics? I saw it was part of a recent Ipsy bag, although I dropped my Ipsy subscription years ago. Also, if you haven't tried Dirty Mind Cosmetics, you should check them out! The line currently consists of 6 lipsticks, 3 inspired by Tim Burton films, but they've been hinting at an addition coming soon. I'm excited to see what they have coming next!

Until next time, dear readers, have a great evening!

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog just reviewed the most incredible serum and has to share it with you! Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum reduces the signs of aging, softens fine lines, hydrates and leaves skin glowing and even in tone. It received an A+ rating from LSBB, and it’s definitely worth checking out!

Heather from Crazy Beautiful Makeup has been working with Straight UP CBD for her anxiety. They offer 3 amazing flavors you don’t feel like you are taking something medicinal.

The October Boxycharm is full of fall colors and vibes but did it impress Prime Beauty? Find out!

Are you giving your skin all the vitamins it needs to look its best? Ingesting your vitamins is good for your body, but they don’t always make it to the outer layers of your skin. Many topically applied skin care items only contain one or two vitamins, so you’re either layering like crazy or going without. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour reviewed the the MultiV6 line by Merlot Skin Care this week on her blog. This line contains SIX vitamins plus Resveratrol to give your skin the ultimate pampering treatment this week on her blog.

Do you have long hair? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone has a Stylecraft curling iron that is going to change the looks of your hair.

L'Occitane's bestselling Divine Cream celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a special limited edition Grand Cru Cream! Pammy Blogs Beauty shares the scoop!

Take a stroll over to Notes from My Dressing Table and check out their feature on Luxie Beauty makeup brushes and enter their giveaway for a new four piece makeup brush set that would be a perfect little treat for yourself or someone special.

Do you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a digital screen like a computer, tablet or phone? Never Say Die Beauty who is addicted to her iPhone has been using cruelty-free multitasker, City Beauty Blue Defense Hydrogel, to block harmful blue rays while moisturizing and softening the look of lines and wrinkles.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Halloween Giveaway over on Instagram in honor of The Daily Nail!

Blogging is a labor of love. I enjoy it immensely, but there are definitely periods of time where I need to step away, either to deal with a sick child, my own illness, or just because I need a break. As I am approaching my eight year into blogging, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of my colleagues at various tradeshows and conventions. One of my favorite bloggers is Melissa from The Daily Nail. Melissa radiates such positive energy and always has the biggest smile on her face whenever I have the pleasure of seeing her, not to mention her nail art skills are incredible! This week, Melissa is celebrating an amazing milestone: her 10 year blogaversary! The years have certainly flown by, and I wanted to do a little something in honor of The Daily Nail hitting 10 years old. Because I enjoy Melissa's nail art so much and Halloween is right around the corner, I have put together a little giveaway to help someone create easy nail art for the occasion!

This giveaway prize contains a trio of nail lacquers by Seche Premium Colour; the shades are Assertive, Seductive, and Clever. To help with the nail art portion, I've also added Spider Web Nail Stencils and the Deadly Night Water Decals, both by What's Up Nails. I cannot freehand nail art in any capacity, and stencils and water decals make creating nail art quick and easy!

There is one major catch with this giveaway- it's being held on my Instagram account right now! Be sure to head on over to enter! I want to be sure to get this to the winner in time for Halloween, so the giveaway will ending at 10pm PST this Saturday, October 19th.

I hope you head on over to enter, and be sure to visit The Daily Nail to enter her blogaversary giveaways!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful evening!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

MultiV6: Vitamins for your skin!

I knew I was getting older when my fascination with just makeup products gave way to wanting all the quality skin care items I could find. Sure, I used to wash and moisturize my face when I was in my teens and early twenties, but that was it. To top it off, I didn't pay any attention to the quality of the products I was using, and I wasn't giving my skin one iota of attention that I do now! Thankfully, I have seen the error of my ways and now seek out products that give my skin the love and attention it deserves. After all, as the largest organ of the body, doesn't it deserve the best you can give it? Consuming a healthy diet is a good way to start taking care of your skin, but did you know that the vitamins you ingest make not be getting to the tough outer layers of your skin? On one hand, it's good having a tough barrier- it certainly keeps so many nasty things out of our bodies. The flip side is your outer layer may only be getting the minimal amount of nutrients. Thankfully, I can count on the skincare trio by MultiV6 to give my skin the extra boost it needs to look its healthiest!

Press Sample

The MultiV6 line was created by Wayne Beckley, the founder of Merlot Skin Care; all products from Merlot Skin Care, including the MultiV6 line incorporate grape seed extract. The MultiV6 line is aptly named as it contains six important vitamins to nourish the skin in addition to Resveratrol. Many other skin care lines use one or two key ingredients to target one specific need, but this line can address multiple issues as each vitamin addresses a different concern:

Vitamin A: reduces redness and fades brown spots

Vitamin B5: reduces moisture loss and boosts hydration

Vitamin C: smoothes & firms skin and fades sun spots

Vitamin D3: diminishes fine lines

Vitamin E: alleviates dryness and bolsters UV defense

Vitamin K: helps diminish under eye circles.

The addition of Resveratrol protects the skin from free radical damage.

The MultiV6 line consists of three products: a serum, a day cream, and a night cream. I really put this line through the test and have been using it for a full eight weeks now! Let's get a closer look at each of the individual items and then I'll give my final thoughts on the MultiV6 line.

Multivitamin Serum

I use serums after washing my face, so this is the best place to start. The serum is housed in an opaque pump-style container and is meant to be used both morning and night.

This serum is incredibly lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. One pump is enough for me to cover my face, although you can use a little more in your trouble areas if you would like. It smells like nothing, like the rest of this line, and I really appreciate that! The formula has a slight silky feeling although it is quite thin. It does not leave any residue or chemical feeling on the skin once absorbed: all you are left with is smooth skin.

Retail: $50

Multivitamin Day Cream

The MultiV6 Multivitamin Day Cream is packaged in a screw cap jar and contains 1.7oz of product. I am not a fan of this type of packaging as I worry about potential contamination from my fingertips, but I use clean scoopers I have saved from previous products to bypass this issue. Like the serum, this doesn't smell like anything to me. I can appreciate a product that gives me just what I need without the added fragrance!

This lightweight moisturizer applies smoothly to the skin and is absorbed very quickly. When I initially started using this line, I opted to use just these three products (after washing my face, of course). I quickly discovered that this day cream is not moisturizing enough for my combination normal to oily skin. While it made my skin feel great upon application, my skin then felt rather dry within about 10 minutes when I went to apply my makeup. After about a week of just these three products, my skin felt oilier and kind of dry. Once I brought back in some of my other products from other brands (hyaluronic acid prior to applying this cream), my skin went back to a more normal state. If you are wanting to just use this line, the day cream may not be moisturizing enough unless you have particularly oily skin. If you intend to add this in with other products, it may be enough for you. Those with very dry skin would probably be better suited towards a richer moisturizer, like the one coming up next.

Retail: $40

Multivitamin Night Cream

Like its Day Cream counterpart, the Multivitamin Night Cream also comes in a screw lid jar. It also contains 1.7oz of product.

The Multivitamin Night Cream is a richer moisturizer than the day alternative, but it is far from heavy. It absorbs relatively quickly into the skin and leaves it feeling incredibly soft. While the Multivitamin Day Cream left me wanting more, the Multivitamin Night Cream really won me over. It was a rough start the first couple of weeks as my skin was adjusting to not having enough moisturization, but trial and error helped me sort out what products worked best for me. I tend to prefer an even richer cream than this at night, but once I added back in my hyaluronic acid application and topping off with a couple drops of my trusty oil, my skin was a happy camper. I actually like this cream as part of my day application on the days I skipped my hyaluronic acid application, and I found my makeup applied nicely over it. It may be a little too rich for day use for those with oily skin types, but those with drier skin may want to test this out during the day. Ultimately, it depends on your own personal body chemistry and what other products you are using, but this is a great moisturizer to consider adding to your routine!

Retail: $45

Final Thoughts

I had some reservations about the MultiV6 line when I first stated testing it out, especially since it wasn't moisturizing enough in the beginning, resulting in my skin upping its oil production. I still wanted to give it a fair shot and opted to change a few things around, and I am so glad I did! On my skin, I found this trio was not enough on its own, and I really needed to add in extra products to get my skin to its happy place again. As a beauty fan, I'm always eager to use products so this is not a deal breaker for me, but it can be for someone that wants just one or two items and call it a day. The Multivitamin Serum in particular was a favorite for me, and I am likely to pick up another bottle when I finish testing out another I have in my lineup. The Multivitamin Day Cream was a big let down for me as it left my skin feeling dry until it overcompensated with oil production. Adding back in my hyaluronic acid product from another brand helped a lot, but even then I wasn't loving it. The Multivitamin Night Cream, on the other hand, I really enjoyed using, and I actually liked using it as part of my day routine. Using a slightly richer cream during the day has made my overall oil production go down such that my skin is far more normal these days instead of the combination oily it used to be. I started adding back in my two drops of oil as my final step before climbing into bed, and the final result is a more normal, balanced skin that is incredibly soft and looks healthy. I still get my usual hormonal breakouts during certain times of the month, but I've not experienced any addition breakouts beyond the first two weeks while my skin went into crazy oily mode. I would gladly use the serum and night cream again!

Have you tried any of the products in the MultiV6 line or any of the other lines from Merlot Skin Care, for that matter? If so, what are your favorites? What are your main concerns when it comes to your skincare routine? Do you prefer to use as few products as possible, or do you like the process of layering to get the desired effect? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, October 11, 2019

DIY Candles and Lip Balms, Oh My!: Simply Earth October Essential Oil Recipe Box

The past few months, I have done something I never really saw myself doing before: delving into the world of essential oils! Sure, I've picked up a couple years ago for a random craft project, but I wasn't sure what all I could do with them, not to mention they were expensive enough to mostly avoid. A few months ago, I was introduced to a new essential oil concept that caught my attention, and ever since, have blown me away! Let's jump on in!

Press Sample and Affiliate Links

I am definitely a craft person, and generally if you come to my house, you'll see a few projects I have completed out on display or in use, while at least one more is in progress and hiding out in the closet. When I heard about the Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box, my interest was piqued. Each month, Simply Earth designs a series of do-it-yourself projects based on a particular theme. A box of four essential oils plus any necessary extra items is then curated along with the recipes for these projects and shipped out to subscribers. Crafting with essential oils cannot be any easier than this!

October's Essential Oil Recipe Box is about candles and lip balms; the included essential oils get double duty use with included recipes to help with joint and muscle pain as well! I was excited about this box when I first knew I would be making candles and lip balm, but my shoulder and knee are extremely pleased with these other recipes!

This month's Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box comes with the following essential oils:

Balsam Fir
Sweet Orange
Focus (blend of Cardamom, Frankincense, Eucalyptus and Sweet Orange Essential Oils)

There is also a sticker sheet so you can label your products as you make them.

The extra items that will arrive in the October box include

Soy Wax
Lip Balm Tubes
Candle Wick

The Essential Oil Recipe Box is completed with six recipe cards to get you well on your way to a fall scented, natural home! I wanted to try out these recipes to see just how easy there were to use. When you first sign up for a subscription, you also are sent a "Big Bonus Box" that includes the multiple tubes, carrier oils, and other things to suit your crafting needs with the monthly recipe boxes. Between the original Big Bonus Box (check out the details on mine here) and the monthly box, there is little you would have to provide yourself to make the recipes. Let's check out what you'll be making this month!

Fall Diffuser Blend

Every month comes with a recipe for a diffusing blend, and this one smells so inviting and warm! Fall is arguably my favorite season as these types of smells are my favorite; I am currently typing away as my diffuser is filling my house with this blend! I've already made a master blend using this combination in a 5mL bottle so I can enjoy this scent in my house even sooner.

Cassia and Orange Candle

This was my first time making a candle, and I was impressed with how easy Simply Earth made it for me! Simply Earth made sure I had all the items I needed to make a candle between this monthly box and the Bog Bonus Box with one exception- you do have to provide your own jar. The recipe calls out for enough wax to make a votive-sized candle, so keep that in mind when following this recipe. I had saved a couple of these cute ramekin dishes from crème brûlée minis I had bought at Costco, and they were the perfect size! I also appreciate the wider opening to help prevent burning my fingertips when I cannot find my long lighter. This spiced orange combination is heavenly!

Focus Lip Balm

Technically you don't have to provide anything extra when it comes to making this recipe, but the standard recipe makes a fair bit of extra product. I have made my own lip balms before in the past, and I still had two additional tubes available to pour the extra mix. In the end, I ended up with 3 and 3/4 tubes of lip balm. I recommend holding onto those empty chapstick containers for excess melt. If you're a tin lip balm fan, this recipe will not work well as written as the final product dries very firm. I triple checked the amounts I was using, and I think the beeswax to oils ratio is too high for my preference. I personally prefer the recipe I used to follow, but I do like the Focus Essential Oil blend in the lip balm.

Joint Pain Roll On

Getting older is great for some things- you can rent a car, you don't have to pull out your ID while at a restaurant to get a cocktail, you're (hopefully) making more money with your career, and you really stop caring about what other people that don't matter think. The down side: your joints sometimes ache. I badly hurt one of my knees a couple years ago, and it's just never been the same ever since. It's definitely doing better, but after a lot of walking or an intense workout, it can start to bother me again. This Joint Pain Roll On is the perfect solution to help with those aches, and the roller bottle makes it convenient to toss in my bag before going to the gym or on a hike. I actually made two of these- one for myself and one for my mother in law.

DIY Aromatherapy Rice Bag

Now that your joints are covered, you can move on to helping sore muscles! Many year ago, I had made myself a heating bag by filling a knee-high sock with beans and popping it into the microwave to heat. My hubby used to think it was weird, but man did that feel good putting it on the back on my neck! In this month's Simply Earth version, you fill a sock with rice that has been mixed with essential oils. As I always found myself placing my original bean bag on a few specific small spots, I decided to make this rice aromatherapy bag with one of my kids' stray socks whose partner had disappeared long ago. Holding a cup of rice, this baby heats up nicely in my microwave in about 20 seconds. I actually used this earlier today on one of my shoulders (side sleeper, checking in) and then asked the hubby to massage my shoulder. The heat soothes the muscles quickly so he could get at the knot that was bothering me almost immediately. While my rice bag isn't fancy, you can opt to use a fun pattern or solid coloured socks and made a really awesome gift. Alternately, you can sew a fabric tube or go the simpler route of using sleeves from a long sleeve shirt. I always have random fabric extras around the house so I'm probably going to make myself a bigger version to place at the foot of my bed to prewarm the area when the nights are chilly. The Focus Essential Oil Blend is too uplifting for bedtime, but you can easily use different calming essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and/or bergamot.

Cassia and Balsam Fir Candle
(not pictured)

If you're wanted to get a jump start into the holiday season, this candle combination may be the one that appeals the most to you. Because my Essential Oil Recipe Box only came with one candle wick, I opted to skip this one in favor of the citrus option. I'm not sure if the October subscription boxes come with only a single wick, or if mine did because it is a demo box. There was plenty of wax to make two candles, so if your box only comes with one wick, you may need to pick up more at the craft store. Alternately, you can melt your waxes and mix with oils and pour into small silicone molds to create wax melts. A lot of my friends are more into wax melts than candles, so this is a great gift option. I even found my long-missing wax warmer during my move back to Arizona at the end of last year so I can even enjoy melting wax again!

The Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box is a subscription service with two subscription options:

The MONTHLY BOX is $39 per month, and you will receive a box every month.

The QUARTERLY BOX is $45 every three months, and you will receive one box every three months.

There is no additional membership fee for subscribing, and you can skip boxes if a particular monthly theme doesn't suit your needs.

If you decide to subscribe for the Essential Oils Recipe Box, feel free to use the code LAUGHLOVECONTOURFREE . This code will get you a $40 gift card with your first purchased subscription box and a free Big Bonus Box. Please note that this code is not a discount off your first box but an incentive for first time subscribers. The value can be applied to your next monthly box or towards individual items offered by Simply Earth. These boxes are fantastic for yourself, and the monthly themes makes these a fun gift for friends and family. The holidays will be here soon, and what better way to show you care than giving a handmade gift!

If you decide you're not in the market for an essential oils box but still want to pick up a few assorted essential oils, please consider using my referral link. I don't have any special discount codes to share for this type of purchase, but using my referral link helps to support my blog so I can keep bringing you the great content you enjoy!

As always, 13% of every purchase at Simply Earth is donated to help stop human trafficking. This month, donations are going to 5 Stones. This Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization works to raise awareness of sex trafficking as well as prevent victimization and working with other organizations to fight against human trafficking. I love knowing when money generated from my purchases is also doing good; this is just one of so many great things about Simply Earth!

November Essential Oil Recipe Box Sneak Peek

While you are enjoying the October Essential Oil Recipe Box, you can be looking forward to next month's box too! The theme for November is.... Bath & Shower! In addition to your monthly diffuser recipe, you can look forward to recipes for 2 milk baths, chai tea bath, shower steamers, and a roll-on. The spicy aroma of chai tea is one of my favorites, and who doesn't enjoy a good soak in the tub? I've never used shower steamers although I have wanted to try them, especially with cold and flu season coming up! I'm really curious if the roll-on is going to have a therapeutic use or more for the aromatherapy benefits. I guess I'll have to wait to find out!

Are you a DIY crafter? Do you enjoy incorporating essential oils into your every day life? Would you be interested in the Essential Oil Recipe Box, either for yourself or as a gift? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Harmony Proteins: Mixing up a Magic Collagen Brew for your Hair, Skin, and Nails

We already know that what you put inside your body is going to have an effect on the way it behaves, including our skin. We drink our minimum of eight glasses of water a day and are sure to consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but have you given any thought into consuming collagen supplements? As we enter our 20s, our bodies start producing about 1% less collagen each year. This may not sound like a lot, but the effect is cumulative, and that means a lot when it comes to the most abundant protein in your body! Collagen provides strength and structure to your body, and the most obvious is our face as it starts to wrinkle and our joints start to give us issues. What if there was a magical brew to help combat these issues? Even better, what if this wasn't something magical and can be picked up from your local Walmart shelves? This is where Harmony Proteins comes in!

Gifted by the brand

Harmony Proteins offers easy, on-the-go collagen solutions, now in six delicious flavors. I'm partial to Dragon Fruit, although Watermelon and Blackberry come close behind. Dragon Fruit also includes 114mg Green Tea Caffeine Extract, so you can skip your morning cuppa joe in favor of this to help give you the extra boost you need to start your day. Watermelon and Blackberry do not contain caffeine, so those that are sensitive or need to avoid it later in the day (like yours truly), can opt for these options. These are also available in Crisp Apple, Asian Pear (with added probiotics to help those prone to stomach issues), and Honey Lavender (with added melatonin to help you relax and drift off to lala land).

Each Harmony Proteins Collagen Boost package includes either 5 or 6 individual portions that can be ripped open and poured into your water. These are great for adding to water bottles when on the go: pour in and shake; or consume from the comfort of your home by pouring into a glass of water and stirring. You can even add these to your favorite smoothie recipe for a subtle change in flavor and all the added benefits of collagen!

Harmony Proteins isn't the only collagen brand on the market, but they have a few key differences that appeal to me. Their collagen is sourced from cows that are pasture-raised and grass fed. Also, the flavors are all natural- no artificial flavors or sweeteners are found here! Harmony Proteins does not use preservatives or other artificial chemicals in their products, resulting in a clean and natural product to help improve your skin, hair, and nails, and maintain healthy joints.

Bottoms up! I'll drink to that!

I've started drinking the Dragon Fruit flavor with the added caffeine instead of my morning coffee, and my body is thanking me for it! I normally have to add a lot of sugar to my coffee to make it remotely palatable for me, and I really don't need the extra sugar in my diet. Harmony Proteins has made it easy for me to get the extra boost of energy I need in the mornings without the added sugar, all while providing me with the collagen boost my body needs. My mirror appreciates the delayed onset of wrinkles, and my bad knee definitely has noticed an improvement!

If you are interested in added collagen supplements to your diet, Harmony Proteins is a good brand to consider. It offers all the benefits I want from collagen in delicious flavors. If you're not the best at consuming your minimum of eight cups of water, the tasty flavors may even help you get one of those glasses in without issue!

Harmony Proteins are currently available for purchase at Walmart stores. They can be found in either the beauty or tea aisles depending on your particular store. Use the handy Store Locator to find the store closest to you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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