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A real mom of 4 reviewing various products & services with honesty & integrity. From natural beauty products to household items to groceries - the truth - so you can save dollars, time & sanity. No flames, no games, just a real mom reviewing.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pixi Eye Bright Primer Review

  Once upon a time,
I received a deluxe sized sample of
Pixi Eye Bright Primer
in one of my beauty box subbies (Birchbox or Glossybox, don't remember which).
I wasn't really sure what to do with it, because the packaging wasn't very clear, so I used it as a shadow primer AND as an under eye concealer.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thankful Product Junkie Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to
Amy M. 
from
Louisville , Kentucky
 
She is the winner of over $300 worth of products/samples in the Thankful Product Junkie Giveaway.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Living Proof No Frizz Line Review

Living on the Gulf Coast and having naturally wavy/curly hair can be a hideous thing.
I seem to battle frizz more often than not.
I was very excited to try the Living Proof (supposedly a HIGHLY scientific brand) "frizz" line (pronounced "no frizz").
I bought the trial size kit from Sephora for $29 and had high hopes that this would be Holy Grail anti-frizz stuff.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Comparing Natural, Non-sugar Sweeteners

I eat low carb, low sugar.
I've been eating this way for over 3 years.
I still like my coffee with sweetener and I still like some "sweet" things in my diet, so I must use non-sugar sweeteners.
 
I really LIKE the flavor of Splenda; however, I am trying to get away from using it because it is not natural and supposedly is very harmful to our health. I've read quite a few things about Splenda that I don't like, so I'm always on the hunt for an alternative way to sweeten things.
 
I've bought liquid Stevia, and while it was "do-able", it was bitter.
I've bought granular Erythritol (weird sounding but in fact natural), but it has this weird "cooling" effect on the tongue.
 
So when I spotted Skinnygirl (Sg) natural sweeteners on my local store shelf the other day, I gladly bought both types:
Stevia extract (with erythritol), and Monk Fruit extract.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Product Junkie Giveaway!

My name is Jean and I'm a Beauty Product Junkie.
I have too many.
Too many nail polishes.
Too many lip glosses & lipsticks.
Too many face creams.
Too many BB & CC creams.
Too many hair products.
Too many blushes & highlighters.
Too many eye shadows.
Too many lip liners, brow liners & eye liners.
Just too, too many.
I'm thankful to be so blessed.
But I'm overwhelmed sitting at my little vanity. I decided to share my abundance with you. I'm thankful for you, dear readers, so I want to give it to one of YOU!
 
Would YOU like it?
If so, enter my giveaway on the Rafflecopter form below.
 
Here's a rundown of what you'll receive:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ulta's Inexpensive "Double Duty Primer & Foundation" Gets Reviewed

 Again I was lured in by the promise of great deals.
Ulta's sale catalog often works well on me, enticing me into the store with the promise of 2 things I really like:
saving money
&
loads of beauty products!
They had a buy one, get one free on the Ulta line, and my skin is changing color, lightening from the lack of sun, so my BOGO choice was foundation.
I swatched about 12 different ones in varying types and shades and ultimately bought the
and the
Double Duty Wet & Dry Pressed Powder Foundation.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Organix Smoothing Treatment, Round 2, 1 Year Later

Over a year ago, I used the Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy
30 Day Smoothing Treatment.
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Living Proof's NO FRIZZ Style Extender Review

Recently I ordered a trial kit of Living Proof's Frizz
Discovery Kit from Sephora.
 
I also cashed in on a special, filled makeup-bag Freebie which included in it the Style Extender for the frizz line (Reviews coming later on the other products, but for now, we'll focus on the Style Extender).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

One BAD Dry Shampoo. AVOID!

I like dry shampoo. It's very, very convenient.
You can read all about why I like it at THIS POST.
Anyway, I "earned" a freebie at Ulta for past purchases and one of the items I could choose was KMS Dry Shampoo.

 It's supposedly for "dry cleansing and style maintenance".

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pixi Mascara, POP Mascara & Mica Eyeliner Reviews

Some things make a mascara great, and some things make them trash-worthy.
Same thing goes for eyeliners.
 What make them trash-worthy may be different for each of us, but I'll bet transfer (to the top of the eyelid) and smudging (down your face) are deal-breakers for any of us. Can I get a witness??
 
I've got 2 mascaras and one eyeliner I'm reviewing today.
To start, I'll show you what happened when I wore the Mica Beauty Cosmetics Cream Eyeliner and the POP Beauty Mascara.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Color Me Happy? My Experience With The Color Run

2 Days Ago I ran my first 5K.
I chose The Color Run
to be my goal race when I decided back in June
 that I was going to celebrate my 40th birthday
 by making my body obey me and run a 5K.
 

Why The Color Run?
To be honest, I saw the pictures of other Color Runs on Facebook and it looked absolutely fun as heck.
 
Why run a plain, boring 5K when you can come out of it looking like rainbows barfed all over you. Am I right?!?!
40 and Fabulous? I'll take that!
 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Benefit's Oxygen Wow Foundation...Is It Wow?

I got a deluxe sample of Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup (boy that's a mouthful) in my Birchbox a few months back.
 
 
Disclosure: Birchbox is a paid subscription. You pay each month and receive deluxe samples via mail. I did not receive this item free, nor was I compensated for this review. My opinions are my own, as always ;)  If you are interested in joining Birchbox and would like me to get credit for referring you, there is an affiliate link on the top right side bar of this blog. Click away!
 
I really like most of Benefit's stuff, so I had high hopes for this foundation. I just hoped it happened to be the right shade for my skin. And it WAS. Yay!
 
So, over the last month or so, I've thrown in using it repeatedly among my other foundations. I wanted to give it time to see how it performed.
 
Here's what my face looks like with nothing on it (left) and then with Wow on (right):

Friday, September 27, 2013

Freeman Facial Paper Masks Fail

Disclosure:
I bought these items through my Ipsy subscription. I pay for the subscription, and therefore paid for these items. I receive no compensation for this post. My opinion is entirely my own.
 
Generally, I like Freeman's masks. Over the years I've bought several different kinds and enjoyed using them. I was excited to receive these 3 different masks in my September Ipsy Bag.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Want White Teeth? Will Distinctly White Work?

Disclosure:
I received a free product from BzzAgent.com. They sent me a box of Luster Premium White Distinctly White Dual Action Whitening System to try out, free of charge. I received no compensation for this post. My opinion is entirely my own.
 
It's been a while since I had a teeth whitening treatment. Like, several YEARS. I need it.
I don't smoke or drink wine, but I do drink 2 cups of coffee every day. And I eat tomatoes and other such "culprits" that supposedly discolor your teeth. So, yeah, even though I always use whitening toothpaste regularly, I could definitely use a good whitening procedure.
That's why I was so excited to have received the Distinctly White System.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sephora Anti-Shine Foundation Primer Review

My newest attempt at maintaining "Grown Up Skin"
(also known as NON-OILY skin):
Sephora's Anti-Shine Foundation Primer.
 
High hopes...let's see...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mediocre Products (High $ and Not Worth It!)

There are so many products I try out that I neither hate nor love. They are just "ho-hum".
 
If they were cheap, they might be worth buying, because, hey, they would get the job done fairly well in most cases.
 
But, since they are expensive, why waste your money on less than stellar performance?
 
Here's a run down of some of my "Mediocre Products" from the last year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eyebrow Tool Duel! Pencil vs. Marker

Long story short:
I don't hardly have any eyebrows.
No, I did not pluck them.
It's genetic.
I wish I had thicker ones that I could actually shape into beautiful, stylish arches. But I don't, so I try to darken them a bit, which makes them appear a bit thicker and more "there".
 
I do NOT do the heavily drawn-on  (or powdered on...or whatever) eyebrows that some ladies do.
It looks really fake, made-up, and ridiculous on me. It's like, "Hey, HERE'S my eyebrows...lookie, lookie!"
So, when I enhance my brows, I'm going for a subtle upgrade, not an overhaul.
 
Here are the tools I use:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sephora's "Outrageous Volume" Mascara Review

You know I love mascara. I'm addicted to trying new ones.
I've never found the PERFECT one (at least not yet), so I keep on looking!
My latest "try-out" was Sephora's house brand volumizing mascara:
Sephora Outrageous Volume Dramatic Volume Mascara $15

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Does Hemorrhoid Cream Really Depuff Eyes?

Most of us have that One Thing we wish we could change about our appearance.
We spend big money to try and fix it...might even be willing to have surgery to change that One Thing.
For me, the One Thing is my eye baggage.
 
They appeared in my late 30's.
They are not caused by late nights, too much salt, or inadequate sleep.
 They're genetic.
The derm told me that they are "fat pads" under the eyes, and you can camouflage them SOMEWHAT with makeup/concealer, but the only way to get rid of them is to have surgery. (No, losing weight won't work either). Basically, they make an incision in the inside of the under eye and remove the fat.
Sounds scary, costs about $2500, and it's not in my foreseeable future.
So, even though I know the best I can really do is camouflage with concealer, I still occasionally try remedies I've heard rumors about (yes, I'm a sucker).
One of those widely circulated remedy rumors (supposedly endorsed by models everywhere) is using hemorrhoid cream to shrink puffy eyes.
Sounds plausible, right? I mean, it functions similarly for hemorrhoids.
I figured, what the heck...I'll give it a go.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Facial Scrubber Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to
Kathy P of
Sherman, New York!


 She won the Facial Scrubber Giveaway.

I hope you enjoy it Kathy!
 
Thanks to all who entered.
 
Didn't win? No worries!
There will be another giveaway before long.
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Want Hair Volume? Picture Proof That A Mousse Can Deliver

Back in February, I received Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Thickening & Strengthening Mousse in my Birchbox.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Try Me" Summer Cosmetics Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to
Tanya W of
New York!
 
 
She won the "Try Me" Summer Cosmetics Giveaway.
 
I hope you enjoy it Tanya!
 
Thanks to all who entered.
 
Didn't win? No worries!
The Facial Scrubber Giveaway is currently underway. Go enter today, HERE.
 
~Jean

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Strivectin-SD for eyes...is it worth $65?

Many of us are on a quest.
A quest for the ultimate eye cream.
You know the one...it will make dark circles disappear, crows feet a memory, "chicken skin" under eyes smooth like a child's, and perhaps, even, make puffbags go poof!
Strivectin has been around for some time, and seems to get good press, and hey, it costs a small fortune, so it must work, right?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Facial Scrubber Giveaway

It's giveaway time!
I have this facial scrubbing set and I really like it.
 
At $19.99 MSRP, it's much, MUCH more affordable than the Clarisonic.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Try Me" Summer Cosmetics Giveaway

Time for a fab
Summer Giveaway!
I've got a box full of some great products that beg you to "Try Me".

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Perfect Nude Lip Revealed?

Last year I fell in love with a lip duo I received in one of my Glossyboxes.
It was my introduction to a Nude Lip. I'd never done a nude lip before, and really wouldn't have known how to create one, other than lip balm, which really doesn't qualify. Why? Because
a nude lip isn't truly nude, it's just a very muted color.
I tend to be drawn to colorful lipsticks, so I probably wouldn't have run across the makings of a nude lip on my own...
so thank you Glossybox!
 
Let me introduce you to ModelCo's Lip Duo in Dusk & Striptease.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bronzers: Inexpensive Version of Benefit's Hoola? YEP!

I love bronzers.
They can help sculpt cheekbones where there are none, thin out a nose, slenderize a face, lift a jawline, add oomph to your shoulders or d├ęcolletage, or simply add sunny color to perk up your bland complexion.
 
Let me admit here that I'm not a fan of shimmery bronzers. I do have one by Victoria's Secret, but I rarely use it. It looks goofy on me, in my opinion. Perhaps dusted on my body for a special occasion; but on my face, it looks like I'm a teenage, oily, disco queen. Not good.
IMO, shimmery ones are not good for sculpting work, anyhow. They should be used to achieve sun-kissed coloring.
So, we need MATTE bronzers, ladies.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Waterproof Eyeliner Fail (no water required)

I like waterproof eyeliners best.
Why? Because, typically, those are the only ones that even stand a chance at staying put on my lid, much less my waterline (the inner rim of your eye).
I won't even waste my time with non-waterproof versions.
 
 Well, I got a waterproof eyeliner in my
Glossybox not too long ago, so I excitedly tried it out.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pretty Awesome Low Carb Wrap and Crackers: Lavash Bread

I've been eating low carb since April of 2010.
That's 3 YEARS.
Most likely, I'll be eating this way for the rest of my life. 
What I do to make it all work for me, is to find amazing recipes, amazing new foods, and constant support from my friends(you know who you are, ladies!), and even from the online community. I also really like a FREE app, MyFitnessPal, that helps me keep track of things like carb counts, exercise quotas, etc.
I want to introduce you to a little gem I found recently:
Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Bread.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

HAIR: Summery Beach Waves? Alterna Bamboo Boho Waves Review

In a recent beauty box subscription I received
a deluxe sized sample of
Alterna's Bamboo
Boho Waves spray
 
I was excited to try it out. I've never used a "Beach Waves" hair styling product before, except for a homemade recipe I found online, which didn't really work for me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Boscia Be Brilliant Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to
Annemarie Z of
Georgia!
 
 
She won the Boscia Be Brilliant Preservative-free
Skin Care Kit.
I hope you enjoy it Annemarie!
 
Thanks to all who entered.
 
Didn't win? No worries!
I have another giveaway scheduled for very soon.
~Jean

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Breakin' With Bad Brows?

If you recently took a Spring Break vacation and tried to save space in your train case by not bringing along your usual eyebrow grooming products, assuming that if you plucked right before you went, you'd be okay for a week, I'll bet you found out you were wrong!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boscia Be Brilliant Skin Care Set Giveaway & Review

I bought myself a great little kit to try out
Boscia's products for the first time.
 
I've got one just for you, too!
Why Boscia (BO-sha)?
"Originally developed in Japan 32 years ago and introduced to the United States in 2002, boscia is the world’s first 100% preservative-free skincare.
boscia products are formulated without the following:
- Preservatives (boscia contains none of the 150 industry-recognized preservatives – not just parabens – that can irritate skin and cause blemishes, redness, eczema and more).
- Ethanol alcohol
- Bactericides
- Synthetic fragrances
- Synthetic colorants
- Mineral oil
- Animal ingredients"
(all material in quotes above is directly from their website, http://www.bosciaskincare.com )
 
What's in the kit?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Every Woman Needs a Great Razor

Spring is here and where I live in the Deep South, we're already in shorts and even bathing suits on some days.
 
It's an unwritten rule that you MUST spare all others from having to look at hairy legs (or any other parts that ought to be shaved). So even though I shave year-round, I tend to shave a lot more as I wear less clothing. That requires a razor.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Garnier Triple Nutrition Dry Oil: Any Good?

A sample was provided by BzzAgent for consideration.
All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
 
Beauty Oils are all the rage.
On your face, on your hair, on your body.
They clean, they moisturize, they treat.
Many are all natural, too.
The BIG thing about them: they are usually multi-taskers.
For example, Josie Maran makes a 100% Argan oil that I really like.
I can use it on my face to hydrate at night.
I can use it on my lips to treat them when they are rough or dry.
I can use it on my hair while wet to seal the cuticle...and sparingly while dry to smooth and add shine.
It's all natural, does a lot & takes up only a little bit of medicine cabinet real estate.
BUT, it's really high-dollar.
When BzzAgent offered me a free bottle of Garnier's Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil, I was ready to see if it would be as good as my Josie Maran for less than a third of the cost.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Acne Treatment That Doesn't Dry Out Skin?

I'm about to turn 40, but I still get zits.
I know, I thought I'd be done with acne by now, too.
Sad, huh?
I got a new acne treatment to try out in my February Glossybox, so I figured I'd try it out when I got my latest zit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Does Olay Facial Hair Remover Work?

I bought the Olay Facial Hair Removal Duo months ago.
I wanted to test and see if it would effectively remove the unwanted peach fuzz I have.
 
Here's what I've discovered over the last few months of use:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bad Gal Lash. Another High End Mascara Review.

Okay. I love mascara. But I hate mascara.
Yeah, it's like that. Call me a mascara junkie. They intrigue me and I want to buy all of them in order to find that Holy Grail Mascara that transforms my lashes into "Wow!". I hate them because they often let me down, and none of them turn out to be Holy Grail Mascara like I dream of.
 
Well, I picked up a really cool set by Benefit, which had a deluxe sample of their newest mascara, Bad Gal Lash.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oily Skin? Do Mattifiers Work?

I have a very oily forehead.
I don't know why, but it is what it is. So I was very excited to try out each of 3 mattifiers that were sent to me through my various beauty box subs over the last few months.
The first one was OC8 Professional Mattifying Gel (through Glossybox).
 
It claims: 8 hour matte finish, evens skin tone, for all skin types.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Carol's Daughter Shea Souffle, Excellent Body Cream

Way back in October of last year, in my Glossybox, I received a nice large pot of Carol's Daughter Coconut Shea Souffle.
 
I'd heard of the brand, which touts its "naturalness". I'd never tried any of their products, though.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Great Hair Volume & Texture Can Be Yours!

Allow me to introduce you to Oscar Blandi Pronto, Texture & Volume Spray.
 
I received a sample in my November Birchbox.
 
The description says that it "builds lasting body & texture"...and "dry weightless formula for all hair types".

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hot Mama! the Balm's Shadow/Blush Review

Are you a Hot Mama?
I am!
 
Okay, maybe not really, but I wear Hot Mama!, the Balm's lovely shade of "eye shadow/blush" (yes, that's how they put it...shadow/blush, complete with front slash).
My December 2013 Birchbox
I'm glad to say that through my subscription to Birchbox, I've been introduced to several of the Balm's great products. Two I received within the last little bit, are Hot Mama! and Mary-Lou Manizer (MLM). MLM is touted as a "highlighter, shimmer, eye shadow".
I like MLM, too, and could go into the details of its merit, but let's save that for another review. Back to Hot Mama!...

Monday, January 14, 2013

$90 Makeover Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to
Joy Q
of Pennsylvania!
 
Her entry was the randomly selected winning entry via Rafflecopter.
 
Disclosure: The gift pack was provided by me. I received no compensation of any sort for this giveaway. Any opinion given is always my own and represents my honest assessment of the products.