Sunday, June 22, 2008

Face the Facts Part 2

I realized after I completed my last post that I completely forgot to talk about toner. So, I will fix my mistake right now.

The toner I've been using is an Organic Peppermint and Green Tea toner from 100% Pure. I've been very impressed with this toner (as was Lisa at the spa). There is nothing but good good stuff in here. Here's the ingredients list from the 100% Pure website:

Organic Infusions of Green Tea, Peppermint, Spearmint, Eucalyptus, Pomegranate, Lemon and Orange Peels, Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate), Vitamin E (a-tocopherol)extracts of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry and grapefruit seed, Peppermint Essential Oil, Natural Food Preservatives from Cranberries and Salt (less than 0.1% of Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate).

No alcohol to dry your skin (there's many a toner out there that has alcohol).

I was using this the normal way, with a cotton round. I found the Peppermint to be really invigorating on the skin. But, Lisa told me to stop using the cotton rounds/cotton balls. She told me this because most of the toner gets sucked into the cotton round/ball and doesn't get absorbed into your skin. Lisa told me to get a small spray bottle (I found mine in the travel size section at Target for 99 cents). I was like, "spray bottle?" and she said yes. By spraying the toner on your face instead of using the cotton round/ball, your skin gets all the good stuff. She told me that other clients of hers started doing this and their other skin care products started working much better.

This toner from 100% Pure will run you $15 for an 8.6 ounce bottle. I know, I's pricey but sometimes you gotta give something a try to see if it's good for you. I have felt such a difference in my skin from using this toner and using it w/the spray bottle. When I used the cotton round, it felt like it just say on my skin and never felt like it went anywhere. When I use the spray skin just absorbs it like crazy. I find that my face serum and moisturizer go on easier and really sink into my skin better.

100% Pure has all kinds of facial products from cleansers to toners to peels to eye well as many other products..even fruit pigmented cosmetics (that means no artificial coloring folks!).

I've also tried their lotion. So, just a little of the topic...Now, I was skeptical about the actually scent of the lotion. Most lotions have fragrance oils in them, even the "fruity" ones. 100% Pure uses pure fruit aromas in their lotion. I bought the Blueberry and wow it smells great. It smells like true overly fruity smell. They sent me some samples of other lotions and shower gels and they all smelled fantastic. I am very impressed by their products. The lotion runsd $17 in a 7.5 ounce pump container.

If you'd like to skip the shipping and handling..and I wish I had known this before I bought from the website...if there's one of those upscale Bath & Body Works near you..check there. After I had gotten my order I was at the mall getting a birthday gift for a friend and found 100% Pure products at Bath & Body Works. And, they started out as an Indie etailer too :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Face the Facts on Facial Produts... Watch Those Ingredients

Back on Mother's Day, my husband got me a GC to yet another spa. This was the 3rd different spa I had been too. That's ok, cause who am I to turn that down :-) . I almost always get a facial. Little did I know that this would be the best facial I ever received and the best Skin Care Specialist I had ever been to.

The spa is Christy's Serenity Spa in Gainesville, VA. The Skin Care Specialist there is Lisa O. The first thing they do there is to ask you about what products you use on your face. Let me tell you it is very very educational. I had never gotten any kind of skin care information (other than the spa's products they always tried to push on me) and this to me was solid gold. After my facial was done, I found out that I got to come back in 3 weeks for my free consultation. I was told to bring all my facial products with me. That I did. Let me tell you, if you live in my area and read my blog...and want a good facial and Skin Care Specialist...go to Christy's. Lisa gave me the run down on every product I used, the ingredients (what's good and what's bad) and in what order I should use them in. She was impressed with all of my "all natural" products made by my indie friends. She likes to get information on other products out there. She told me the products they sell at the spa are excellent, but they don't always work for everybody. So, she likes to find other products out there to recommend to clients. I was there for an hour and a half at my "free consultation". No one ever took the time before to give me any kind of information, let alone this gold mine that Lisa did.

So...which of my products made the cut and which ones was I told to throw away?..... Well, you'd be surprised.

I was using Aveeno's Positively Ageless Firming moisturizer )...that I was told to chuck immediately. Lisa told me that Aveeno makes really good body care products, but they should have stopped there. Alot of these "anti-aging" products contain Alcohol (check your ingredients ladies). Alcohol will temporarily plump up those little lines, but will eventually dehydrate your skin. In my Aveeno cream, alcohol based ingredients were up in the beginning of the the fifth ingredient. You know what the closer to the beginning of the list, the more of that ingredient is in there. So, Alcohol is a no no. If it's towards the end of a list and there' s alot of good stuff in front of it..then that is ok.

My cleanser is made by Avalon Organics and is a Vitamin C based cleanser. I paid about $7 for it at Target. This cleanser got the ok from Lisa. It's got vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, lemon bioflavinoids, melatonin and a bunch of other ingredients that are good for the skin.

The serum I had been using is Cleary C by Avon. I had used it before (before Avon took it off the market) and tried it again after Avon brought it back. I had really thought it did some good for my skin, especially during the summer. Then I looked at the ingredients.....alcohol is like the first ingredient and the Vitamin C is the fifth ingredient. Besides, Lisa told me I was getting more than enough Vitamin C from my other products.

Now I'm using a serum from Karess Krafters etsy store called Karess My Face Orchid Facial Serum. It's got Squalane, rosehip oil (vitamin C), Abyssinian oil, carrot seed oil and orchid extract. It smells a bit funny, but a little goes a long long way in moisturizing your face. I use it in the morning and the evening (make sure it is completely absorbed into your skin before you put your moisturizer on). I paid $12.99 for my 1/2 ounce bottle...again, a little goes a long long way.
Lisa told me that Squalane is very very good for the skin.

For my exfoliation, I have been using another Avon product from their Clearskin line. It's more of an antiseptic exfoliant. I really only use it if I seem to be having a breakout. I will rub it in my skin and leave it there a little while and then rinse it off. I had been doing that in the shower, but Lisa told me exfoliate in the evening (no more than 2 times per week) and follow it with a facial mask (no more than 2 times per week). She tested the PH of my scrub (as with all my products) and the ph level was ok.

I am currently looking into new exfoliants. Right now I'm trying a product from Skin Journey (etsy). It's a microderabrasion cream with alphahydroxy and shea butter...among other things. I've only used it once, so I can't really give you a good review on it yet, but once I use it for awhile, I'm sure you'll hear from me on it.

The two products of mine that Lisa really raved about were my products from Manor Hall Soap Company. Manor Hall has new facial masks, which every woman should have, and I bought the Kelp and Sea Clay mask. Here's all the ingredients: white kaolin clay, sea clay, sea kelp powder, honey powder. I was told by Lisa that these are all fantastic for the skin. Use only once or twice a week though. And, this stuff really gets those toxins out. I had a really bad zit on my forehead that just wouldn't, you know, come to a head. I put a bit of this mask on that zit and just let it stay there. By morning all the crap in it had come up to the surface and was easily "removed". The jar costs $9.35 and you actually don't need much powder to make a mask for your face.

The other Manor Hall product is the Sea Buckthorn & Rosehip Peru Face Creme. I use this at night as it's a little heavier, at least to me. But it makes my skin feel nice and soft. A once ounce jar costs $11.35.

So, the best advice I can give you is to look at those ingredients. The more natural the better. And, I was also told that some of the not-so-natural products can totally undermine the products that have natural ingredients. Basically cancelling out those oh so wonderful benefits your skin is getting from those natural ingredients. I have given you only a few products that I use or don't use anymore. All I can really say the ingredients before you buy. If you see alcohol or sodium in anything then you'll end up with dry skin eventually. This was the best advice I have gotten and I'm going to stick with it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Your Bio on Your Chest

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Ron and Joe (and Robin too)...they make t-shirts. Ok, you say whoopie..t-shirts. But, I think these are cool t-shirts. You basically are putting your biography on your shirt for the world to see. I think it's a really cool concept for a t-shirt. It'd be great for a bride and groom (friends know them best right), or for your dad, best friend..whoever. Or just for yourself.

They have a huge catalog of artwork w/phrases or you can make up your own captions. You pick 9 different ones that fit your life and presto you have the Many Parts o'You. I have the Many Parts O'Jen which you can see from the photo.
Like I mentioned, you don't have to use the captions that are already there (I did), you can personalize it for your own needs. The captions fit me just fine so I didn't change them. You can view samples of other t-shirts at You can also peruse or download the catalog of images so you can take your time and look them over.

The t-shirts themselves are made of organic pre-shrunk cotton. It's very soft and washed easily (I should kid got melted chocolate on me the first time I put it on). Organic is always good. The final product will run you about $29 but it's a great gift/conversation starter etc. They say production time is about 2 weeks but I think that is more for those who personalize everything, including the captions. I got mine in just a few days.

If you have someone you need to get a gift for, I highly recommend one of Ron and Joe's shirts. I think the person you're giving it to will get a real kick out of it. I know I did and I've already gotten several comments on my shirt.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Announcing...the Best of Lip Balms Contest

It's been quite awhile since I had my last "Best of" contest so I thought it was time to have one.
This time it is the Best of Lip Balms. So, if you make lip balm and you think yours is the best, then this contest is for Y-O-U!

Here are the rules...

1. You must be the creator of the lip balm. If you buy lip balm wholesale from someone else, sorry but you will not be eligible to enter the contest.

2. You may submit any flavor lip balm you choose and you may submit up to 2 different lip balms. Pick what you think are your best.

3. If you wish to be in the contest, you must email me at and confirm with me no later than June 17th.

4. Entries must be postmarked by June 18th.

5. Judging will consist of the following criteria:
a. Application of the lip balm (ie: does it go on smoothly, does it drag roughly across the lips)
b. Flavor .... (ie: does the flavor of the lip balm match what flavor it says, does it have any aftertaste etc)
c. Feel of the lip balm (ie: does it feel smooth, is it gritty or hard)

6. The prizes...
First Place: Gets one year of free banner advertising on Products of the Day "Shop, Shop, Shop" section, plus one week per month for 12 months in the "shop of the week" section. Also, the bragging rights that you have the best lip balm anywhere.
Second Place: Gets 6 months free banner advertising on Products of the Day "Shop, Shop, Shop" section, plus one week per month for 6 months in the "Shop of the week" section.
Third Place: Gets 3 months of free banner advertising on Products of the Day, "Shop, Shop, Shop" section, plus one week per month for 3 months in the "Shop of the Week" section.

I will be inviting Indie etailers over the next few days. If you don't hear from me and you make lip balm, please contact me at