Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cheap Thrill: Dr. Teals Epsom Salt for your Bath

Ok so if you've read my blog, then you already know I'm a total bath person.... as in every night of my life pretty much.  It's the way I wind down, relax, and have alone time.  So, for that reason, I'm always searching for bath products and aromatherapy items to make my bath time more enjoyable (and relaxing!).  Pictured above are two of my faves, although there are other scents.

I stumbled across Dr. Teals at Walgreens of all places.  I love epsom salt baths to relieve sore muscles (and throughout my pregnancy I desperately needed to relieve my sore back!), so I went through so many expensive bath salts (which... don't be fooled... I still love! Especially THESE). However, I wanted a cheaper option for almost every day use.  After using the regular non-scented, store-brand epsom salts for awhile, I came across these.  They run you about $6 for a bag.  

For storage, I store mine in a glass jar with a cork on the top.  I usually add about half a cup to a cup per bath.  You can get these glass jars at a craft store or search online...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Daily Facial Peel

I recently tried a few samples of these peels and I really liked them.  It is a peel you can use daily, so it isn't anything drastic that makes you peel like crazy.  But at the same time, it is powerful enough to take that dead skin off your face and make it feel super fresh and clean.

The towelettes are pre-soaked, so application is super easy.  You just rub the pads on your face until they are dry... and voila, you're done!  My skin had never felt more clean after using these for a few days.  (I must note that I did not use them consecutively.  Due to the fact that I use other anti-aging products pretty rigorously I did not want to overdo it.  I used them every other day.)

They are a little pricey, but for the convenience and quickness of these, they are totally worth it!  You can purchase a set of 30 treatments or as little as 5.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Obagi Exfoderm Forte

A product I cannot live without...

secret to radiant skin

Adding Obagi Exfoderm Forte to your current skincare routine will be the best thing that ever happened to your skin.  I currently use Rodan + Fields products, and adding this stuff (an oldie but goody- I used with the Obagi system previously) definitely helps my R+F products work more effectively.  

Because Exfoderm Forte is 6% Glycolic Acid and 4% Lactic Acid, I do not use it every day... I stick to every other day or every 2 days- it really depends on the sensitivity of my skin.

Although it says to use in the a.m., I use it at night.  My routine is as follows:  R+F daily cleansing mask, R+F Toner, Exfoderm Forte (I let it absorb for a few minutes), R+F Night Renewal Serum, R+F p.m. renewing cream and eye cream.  The Exfoderm Forte has DEFINITELY made my Night Renewal Serum more effective!!

As I've said before, exfoliation of your skin is KEY.  Read more about the importance of exfoliating your skin in this post (it also includes my favorite scrub!).  Exfoderm Forte ensures that your skin cells are turning over more rapidly with its alpha hydroxy acids and helps your other skincare products penetrate better.

The Break Down:

  • contains a high percentage of alpha hydroxy acids: (6% Glycolic Acid; 4% Lactic Acid)
  • exfoliates dead skin cells
  • smoothes and tones skin
  • helps with fine lines
  • great for dull skin
  • avoid eye area
  • for normal to oily skin (try Obagi Exfoderm for normal to dry skin)
  • helps other products penetrate more deeply

PURCHASE w/ Free Shipping:
  • Obagi Exfoderm Forte  
  • (you can also purchase from a dermatologist or other doctor's office; this is a link to get a discounted price on Amazon... my friend and I have both ordered separately from this Amazon vendor, and the product was not expired and the exact same you get from the doctor!)
  • If you have dry skin:  Obagi Exfoderm

About my Rodan + Fields skincare regimen:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh snap. Clarisonic Sale for $99!

Guys, Sephora has the Clarisonic Mia on sale for $99.00!! (While supplies last; with free shipping)

Seriously, the Clarisonic is one of the best things that has ever happened to my skin... read why HERE.

Get it as a treat to yourself...or as a Christmas gift!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You are more beautiful than you think you are.

I absolutely loved this video.  Too often we do not appreciate ourselves and see the ourselves for the beautiful women that we are.

Please watch.  I hope you guys love it as much as I did.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Set Your Makeup & Make it Last

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray 

(the secret to long-lasting makeup)

It has just recently come to my attention how many people are unaware of this glorious product.  My friends have been using this spray for years, and I recently jumped on board and cannot believe I have been living without it for so long.

It is very lightweight spray... it does not mess up your makeup at all when you spray it on.  Just hold the bottle in front of your face (not too close... I'd say 6 or 8 inches away) and spritz in a circular motion around your face- I usually spray 3 or 4 times.

And voila- it sets your makeup... the claim is that it lasts up to 16 hours, but I cannot say that I've ever worn makeup that long.

It works especially well with powder!  I usually dust on some powder after I apply my BB Cream, and this stuff ensures that my powder stays put and even looks better.  (I hate that dry powdery look you get right after you apply powder!)

Tip:  For real staying power, make sure you use a primer as a base for your foundation, powder, or BB Cream.  One of my favorites: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Shop this post:


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Best (& Easiest) Tomato Sauce Recipe Ever

The Simple Beginnings of a Magnificent Tomato Sauce.

I could eat Italian food pretty much every day of my life if I had to, so for awhile now I have been on the search for a great recipe for red sauce.  I randomly came across this one, and it was so easy I had to try it.  Trust me, I DID NOT expect it to be as good as it was.  I was beyond thrilled, and this will be my go-to from now on.  I will include the link to the original recipe since I made a few alterations to it.

It's inexpensive, simple, and much better for you than those jars of sauce!  It has such a fresh taste to it.

This recipe, "Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter," is from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

1 large can (approx 28 oz.) of whole tomatoes (try and find an imported kind)
5 Tablespoons of real butter
1 medium onion (peeled and cut in half)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (optional- original recipe did not include, but I love garlic)

Start by cutting up your tomatoes (saving the juice) and throwing them in your saucepan... pour the juice in there as well.  Add butter, onion, salt, and garlic.

Cook uncovered at a slow, but steady, simmer for an hour or until the sauce has thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.  (I let mine go for about an hour and a half to really let the tomatoes cook down- but be sure to keep an eye on it.)

Stir from time to time using a wooden spoon to mash up chunks of tomatoes.  Taste and salt to your liking.

Discard the onion before tossing with pasta.

And of course, you must serve with grated cheese (parmigiano-reggiano is the best)!

The finished product before I threw out the tomatoes (I left the sauce a bit chunky this time).
Not the best photo ever, but trust me... absolutely delicious and tasted so fresh!

Find the original recipe HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Does the Rodan and Fields AMP MD Roller Really Work?

Well, I guess there's a reason that there is a waiting list for it!

I have been dying to try the Rodan and Fields AMP MD Roller and this "microneedling" ever since it came out in 2011 and was on "The Today Show" morning segment as a must-have anti-aging product for 2011.  This pre-dates my knowledge of the R+F Products, and is actually how I first heard about the products.  I thought being able to do something they do at the dermatologist or plastic surgeon's office AT HOME was absolutely revolutionary (, I read Angelina Jolie used microneedling).

The AMP MD Roller was taken off the market for awhile so the FDA could approve it (or something like that) and is now finally available again.

My first question was:  Does the AMP MD Roller hurt?  

No.  Can you feel the needles?  Sort of... they are microneedles (not the size of regular needles) and you feel pressure, but it definitely does not hurt. About 10-15 minutes after use, my skin is red and tingling, which is because it is starting to repair itself and basically give you fresh, new skin (more collagen production).

What are the benefits of the AMP MD Roller and microneedling in general?

Before I used it, I searched a ton of websites to find a good explanation from a doctor that explains the principal behind microneedling... this was a great explanation from a plastic surgeon:
Microneedling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy(CIT). The idea behind CIT is similar to that of many other non-surgical skin-tightening procedures in that it aims to create a controlled injury underneath the skin's surface, thereby inducing the body to respond through the formation of new tissue layers of elastin- and collagen fibres (neo-collagenesis) as well as new capillaries for an improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) in the treated area. The skin plumps and thickens in response to this stimulus, ultimately reducing the appearance of scars, and fine lines and other skin texture changes. In addition to CIT, the channels made from the micro-needles allow topical gels and creams to be absorbed more effectively through the top layer of skin.
So, basically, it injures the skin (not in a noticeable way) so that your skin forms new, fresh skin tissue. And what is really awesome is that it allows the serum and/or cream (in my case, I use both) to penetrate your skin.  

The Rodan and Fields AMP MD Microneedle Roller is designed to be used with the Redefine Regimen, especially the Night Renewing Serum. (The roller comes with a 2 month supply of the Night Renewing Serum)

What do I use with my AMP MD Roller?

To order:

  • Due to the waiting list, only R+F Preferred Customers will be able to order the AMP MD Roller next month.
  • However, you can sign up NOW to be a Preferred Customer to participate in this special promotion and be one of the first people to get the microneedle roller as soon as it becomes available again next month!  (Becoming a Preferred Customer will give you free shipping on your monthly orders, discounted prices for all the products, and eligible for special promotions like this.)
  • Email me to join my wait list or ask any questions you may have: 
  • Although the AMP MD Roller was originally on wait list at time of release, it is now available!  Email me to order or for questions about the roller and tips on use.