Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little Announcement

Right now I have a little "lull" in my product reviews and giveaways, so I am going to take this time (shouldn't be more than a week) to do some much-needed cleaning, re-organizing, and re-vamping of my blog.

I'm not sure what all this will entail, but I really want to organize things and continue from here with a clean and well-functioning blog. :-)

If you have any advice for me -- any ideas or blog posts you would like to see in the future -- fashion tips, makeup tutorials, monthly favorites, etc -- PLEASE share them with me in the comments below! I want to write posts that are helpful and useful for you!

I hope you guys will like how things progress when I come back. :-)

Stay tuned!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Paula's Choice Skincare is Filled with Safer Ingredients for Your Skin! (Skin Care Review)

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone's fourth of July is going well! Here's a skincare review I did on Paula's Choice products to help you close out this wonderful day! :-) I'll see you all next week!

 Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 

About Paula's Choice Clear Acne 2 Week Kit...
Retail Price - $13

When your skin clears up, everything takes a turn for the better. Your self-esteem lifts. The cranky-meter takes a dive and you catch yourself smiling again. The right skin-care formulations can make a world of difference.

Whether your skin is experiencing a breakout or you want to keep pimples from popping up again, it's important to use products that are gentle yet effective. That's why our formulations are clinically proven to be non-irritating. We don't use alcohol or add fragrances that can irritate your skin. Our products are 100% guaranteed. We don't test on animals. And, there is no commitment or subscription required.

With the Clear system you really can make every day a “good skin day.” That’s a reason to smile, and maybe head out to the store without wearing makeup.

My Review...

First Impressions & Packaging...
So far this review I was sent several of the CLEAR 2-week Trail Kits from Paula's Choice about 2 months ago and have been using it in my skincare routine for a solid month now. My skin has been going through a lot recently with the transition from Florida to California. The humidity out here is extremely dry -- so while I've always had oily skin, I've been having extremely dry skin out here. Add to that, my acne-prone skin does not react well to flying. So I've been dealing with a lot of break outs after each flight.

With all that said, I was very excited to give this acne-fighting skincare routine a try. I was a little worried about the size of the products. It said 2 weeks, but I was kind of being a 'doubting Thomas' with whether that was accurate or not. However, after going through two of their 2 week kits, I can honestly say that they do last that long -- if not a bit longer! The treatment can definitely carry you beyond the 2 week mark, depending on how bad your acne is. :-)

Product & Application...
The kit comes with a cleanser, exfoliator, and treatment. I used these twice a day -- morning and night -- except for the exfoliator. I felt my skin was too dry to use it twice a day, so I only use it at night. Each of the products work very well and I liked using what felt like a toner to gently exfoliate my skin every day. I think that really helped it, especially in recent months with it being so dry .

I have already been using benzoyl peroxide in my skincare routine to combat my acne, so I knew I would like that aspect of it. salicylic acid doesn't work as well when I use it alone, but in this kit -- using both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide -- I think it's a really great combo and does wonderful things to my skin.

My skin isn't totally perfect yet, but it is on the mends! And I really believe it's because of Paula's Choice CLEAR Acne Kit!

Major Likes & Dislikes...
Well, a very big and MAJOR like is that it's been helping my acne! lol! :-) But besides that, I like that this 2-week kit comes with a generous amount to try out. I feel if you were to purchase 2 or 3 of these trail kits, you would be able to know if the kit will work for your skin or not.

As for dislikes...I really don't have any to point out. The full size products are slightly more expensive than your average drugstore. But for my skin, I've left off going cheap and go for what works, even if it costs a little more. And really, when you think about it, you shouldn't put a price on the health of your skin. I really want to take care of it with the best products I can afford. :-)

Final Thoughts...
All in all, I really like this kit. If it continue to work for my skin and eventually gives me clear skin, I will definitely be repurchasing this skin care routine. And for those who are also suffering from acne, if you haven't tried using a mix of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, I definitely recommend you purchasing the Acne Clear 2 week trial kit and seeing what it does to your skin. I've only ever experienced good things using benzoyl peroxide. And Paula's Choice products pride themselves on using gentle, non irritant ingredients in their products -- which is really important for your skin! So give it a try and get ready to experience clearer skin. :-)

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

Question for my Readers: What is your main skincare concern? Acne? Redness? Flaky? Hyper-pigmentation? Large pores? Share them below! Mine is most definitely acne! And I also have dry, flaky skin and hyper-pigmentation from previous outbreaks of acne.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A CC Cream that has AMAZING Coverage! (Beauty Review)

 Disclosure: I received this product for reviewing purposes. 

About It Cosmetics' "Your Skin But Better" CC Cream with SPF 50+... 
Retail Price - $38

It's your full coverage foundation, brightening color, anti-aging serum, pore minimizing primer, dark spot corrector, moisturizing day cream, plus UVA/UVB broad spectrum physical only SPF 50+ all in one easy step! Infused with cutting edge anti-aging technology and is clinically proven to improve skin texture, brightness and increase skin hydration by 179%. Formulated with plastic surgeons to merge high-performance skincare with the benefits of color-correcting makeup. Plus, it delivers luminous and healthy looking skin with powerful anti-aging repair benefits for perfect coverage. Your supple and flawless skin but better!

• Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum ( 50+ Hydrating Anti-Aging Peptides, Essential Lipid-Rich Oils, Vitamins, Extracts & Soothing Botanicals)
• SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Physical Only Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

My Review...

First Impressions & Packaging...
Looking at It Cosmetics' CC Cream on the website, I didn't realize how much product actually comes in this tube. There's just a little under 2 ounces of product -- almost double how much product typically comes in foundation bottles. I love that this tube has a pump on it! It ensures that no bacteria can get in and contaminate the rest of the product. And, all around, it just makes it easier and cleaner to dispense the product onto my hand or brush.

Product & Application...
The product itself has a very thick and creamy consistency. I've handled a few CC creams from the drugstore before, and I know none of them had the thickness and opaqueness of this product! And it's not just opaque in appearance -- It Cosmetic's CC Cream has amazing coverage! I was very, very surprised by how well this covers my acne and redness. Even more than some of my drugstore foundations ever have! Which is awesome, considering that this is better for your skin than typical foundation. It's a total win-win! :-)

Application is awesome! I've applied it with a brush, sponge, and my fingerss -- and with each method it blends almost flawlessly into my skin. I personally tend to prefer using my fingers, as I feel the warmth from my hands really helps it melt into my skin. When the CC Cream sets, it has a very dewy finish. It's not straight-up shiny, but it does give the skin a very healthy glow. I typically set this with a light powder on top, to cut away some of the shine. But, in recent days (with my move to dryer climates), I haven't been using the powder as much and have really been appreciating the glow and moisturize it gives my skin.

As far as how long this CC Cream lasts once on your face, I've put it to the test both with and without primer. And both times it has held up very, very well. With primer, it stays more fresh-looking for longer, but even without primer it will last the majority of the day. For example, I put it on in the morning (without primer) and it will look great all day, though I will usually touch up a few acne-areas right before my husband comes home. Just to ensure everything stays covered.

Major Likes & Dislikes...
There are a LOT of things I like about It Cosmetics' CC Cream! I think I've already touched on them all above -- consistency, blend-ability, longevity. While the price may seem rather expensive at $38, it's actually not a horrible price considering that it has double the product of most drugstore foundations (which can range between $10-$15). And this is definitely a very high-quality product, so you are definitely getting your money's worth out of this! As for dislikes...there is nothing I can think of! I've been using it for about 3 or 4 months, and haven't come across any cons. Which is pretty awesome!

Final Thoughts...
If you haven't been able to tell yet...I totally love this product! For being just a CC cream, this has amazing coverage! Depending on how bad my acne is flaring up, sometimes I doesn't even have to both with concealer. That's pretty awesome, in my eyes! :-) All around, I highly recommend you try out It Cosmetics' "Your Skin But Better" CC Cream! Once it sets, it doesn't even feel like you are wearing anything on your skin. Whatever It Cosmetics' did to this product...they did it right and have a BIG fan (me!). :-)

 I was sent the product mentioned above for free from It Cosmetics' in order to review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Question for my Readers: Do you have a tried-and-true CC or BB cream that you love to use on the days you don't want to pack on the foundation? Share your favorites with me in the comments below. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Facial Serum Infused with Mineral Goodness! (First Impression Review)

Sorry for my absence the last week -- Dan and I flew back home for my older brother's wedding! :-D Everything went very well at the wedding -- it was so beautiful! I enjoyed the time I spent with my family SO much! But Dan and I are back home in California now, so just trying to get back into the groove of things. :-) I hope to do a post with pictures from both weddings very soon, so keep on the lookout for that! :-)

But for today, I have a fun first-impression review to bring to you. :-)

 Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 

About the Adovia Mineral Lift Facial Serum...

  • Firms and Tightens skin with a visible lift that can be felt immediately
  • Highly concentrated serum infuses skin with Dead Sea Minerals, Green Tea, Seaweed, Vitamin C and much more.
  • Protects skin from pollutants and weather damage that can clog pores and cause wrinkles and breakouts.
  • Feeds skin the nutrients it needs to look youthful and naturally beautiful
  • Use as a base under your moisturizer or anti wrinkle cream for maximum anti aging effect or use just the serum.
Imagine taking all the legendary beauty properties of The Dead Sea Minerals and salts and concentrating them all into a highly potent serum. Now imagine adding to that an advanced formula of anti-aging ingredients and vitamins including Bearberry, Green Tea, Seaweed, Vitamin C and more. What you get is our highly concentrated, mineral rich serum designed to effectively smooth and firm the skin.
This deep absorbing, light gel is formulated with natural ingredients to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing your skin's elasticity and firmness. Based on a unique formula of Vitamin C, Evening Primrose Oil and Dead Sea minerals, it instantly moisturizes to improve your skin's texture - giving you a radiant, smooth and even complexion. Amino acids combined with Green Tea extract and Vitamin C help your skin naturally regenerate - creating a firmer, more youthful appearance. Additionally it protects skin from daily pollutants and weather damage that can clog pores and cause wrinkles and breakouts.
All these natural, age-defying ingredients are what make this serum so powerful and effective. A little goes a long way with this highly concentrated product; just a tiny bit every day will make your skin look fantastic and revitalized. This unique, light gel will absorb deep to reduce signs of aging and your skin's elasticity and firmness.
With amino acids, essential vitamins, and Green Tea, it moisturizes and softens skin. Just apply a few drops to the skin on your face and neck; be sure to reach the areas around the eyes and mouth where wrinkles develop. Using the Mineral Anti Age Serum daily will help skin naturally restore its youthful health and appearance.

My First Impression Review...

I've been able to review a few of Adovia's products and I like how they package all of their products. It's very clean and polished looking. The Adovia Mineral Lift Facial Serum was in a smoky-glass bottle with a pump to dispense the product. I love liquid products that come with a pump, as it allows the product to stay clean and bacteria-free, so that was a major plus with this item. The bottle came encased in a really attractive box that ensured it arrived to me undamaged - and it did. They were really fast about shipping out this product, which is another bonus!

Product & Ease of Use...
For some reason, the pump on my original bottle wouldn't work, which was unfortunate. But I contacted the company, to let them know of the error, and they were quick to offer my a replacement bottle at no extra charge. I really appreciate good customer service, so definitely loved how quickly they solved the problem. :-)

The product itself is a very light-weight and thin in consistency. This allows for very easy application, and it doesn't take long for this serum to soak into your skin and be dry enough to put another product on. I really like that! It can be irksome to have to wait several minutes between each step of your skincare routine as you wait for something to dry, so I always appreciate and love products that don't take a lot of time to dry into the skin. :-)

Any Major Likes & Dislikes...
Well, the fact that the bottle came broken might be seen as a dislike, but I can't really make that claim -- it was probably just a fluke, and since they were so quick to offer me a replacement, I in no way thought this downgraded the product. I liked the way the serum felt on my skin. I've never used a serum of any kind before this, but I certainly like having it in my routine now. :-) The price for the Adovia Mineral Lift Serum is on the high-end side -- $49 -- but if you are the type who wants to spend the money on worth-while skincare products, then this might not be so steep for you.

Final Thoughts...
I haven't been using this product enough to see how much of a difference it made to my skin. I don't really have skin that needs a 'lift' yet, but appreciate that those ingredients are in this serum -- you can never start too soon on your anti-aging products, so I've heard. :-) All in all, this is a really wonderful product. If you are in the search for a moisturizing serum that will give your skin the vitamins it needs, I would recommend looking into this product, for sure!

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.

Question for my Readers: How much do you spend on your skincare? Does drugstore do it for you? Or do you shop more high-end for your sensitive skin? I know I do a fair mixture of both for my picky skin. :-)

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Sleek and Stylish Food Scale, Perfect for Any Kitchen! (Product Review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

About Kitchen Guru's Glass Top Kitchen Food Scale...

Easy to read
Easy to read 2.4" high contrast LCD display.

4 high precision sensors provide reliable, accurate measurements every time.

Weight loss and Diabetes Management
Let our scale assist you in tracking your special diet requirements such as calories, carbs, sugars or fat. Measure portion sizes to know what you're really eating.

Bake By Weight
Cook like a pro, and measure ingredients perfectly every time when baking. Make your own nutrition-packed breads and foods

Hassle Free
We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and stand by our product with a 5 year warranty. We're not perfect and occasionally a product is defective or broken in transit. Those times is why we're here! Just email:

Product Specs:
1. Easy to Clean, Durable Tempered Glass Construction (11lb capacity)
2. Measures Grams (g), Ounces (oz), Fluid Ounces (fl oz), Kilograms (kgs)
3. Tare / Zero feature to add additional ingredients or remove container weight.
4. Designed in the USA!
5. Easy to Read, Large 2.4" High Contrast LCD Display
6. Auto-Off Technology
7. 4 High Precision Gauges with 0.1lb resolution
8. 1 Lithium Long Lasting Battery (included)
9. Touch Sensitive Buttons
10. Low Profile Design (15mm thin)
11. Responsive Customer Support
12. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

My Review...

Packaging & Appearance...
I was really excited to get the opportunity to try out the Kitchen Guru's Glass Top Kitchen Food Scale. When I first pulled it out of the box, I really liked the edgy, sleek design that makes it both nice to display on the counter and easy to store in the cabinets -- whichever you want to do. I received the black one and love the appearance of it! It's really thin and compact, and the digits on the screen are a good size so that you can easily see them.

Ease of Use...
It was pretty easy to figure out -- there aren't any buttons you can press, so it's all touch/heat-sensitive, I guess. It has two buttons to tap on either side of the digital screen. One says "zero" and has the power sign and the other says "units". I like that you can easily switch between seeing it in 'ml', 'g', 'oz', 'lb&oz'. I really like everything about this scale and know I will be getting very good use out of it in the near future. :-)

Any Likes & Dislikes...
There is honestly nothing about this scale that I consider a 'dislike'. The price is normally $35, but right now it's on sale for only $25. Which is a pretty good price on a high-quality scale that will last you forever! My biggest 'like' for this is definitely the design. I LOVE how sleek and smooth it is!

Final Thoughts...
I love it! It works well, I can easily see the digits, it's thin and easy to store! All around, an awesome product and definitely worth the price you pay. I would highly recommend that you check this product out on Amazon. If you are in need of a scale, The Kitchen Guru's Glass Top Kitchen Food Scale is the one to go to! :-)

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.

Friday, June 13, 2014

QVC's 'Today's Special Value' will be featuring BRAND NEW It Cosmetics Products SOON!

I've got some really fun and exciting news for you all today! I've done this before in the past -- with QVC's last It Cosmetics deal (that I will be reviewing on here very soon!). If you missed that money-saving deal, you'll like what I'm about to tell you. :-)

It Cosmetic's new All About You! Collection will be launching for one day only on QVC next Saturday, June 21st!

Yep, that's right! And this time, I'm able to bring the news to you sooner, so you can be ready to tune into QVC or hop on bright and early on June 21st. :-) 

About IT Cosmetics®: IT, which stands for Innovative Technology, is all about Clinically Proven, Skin Loving, Problem Solutions! Founder Jamie Kern, who suffers from Rosacea, Sparse Brows, Hyperpigmentation and problematic-skin works hand-in-hand with a team of plastic surgeons to create innovative, high performance products laser focused on solving women’s beauty problems.

I'm sure you're curious what will be included in this 5 piece collection from It Cosmetics, right? Well, I'm happy to share with you that not only will this collection include 3 QVC® Customer Choice Beauty Award winning products, but the other 2 products are brand new launches that will be available for the first time ever in this bundle -- available from midnight ET June 21st until 2:59 AM ET June 22nd for an exceptionally low price, only while supplies last.

So let's break down the products for you!

IT’s All About You!  Your 5pc Customer Favorites
IT Cosmetics Today’s Special Value – 1 Day ONLY on QVC!

1) Celebration Foundation®  
Achieve your most flawless, beautiful skin with Celebration Foundation®, the 2013 QVC Customer Choice Beauty Award winner for “Best Foundation”.  This full coverage, lightweight anti-aging foundation rich in skin-loving peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, silk and more, helps you attain a perfect, airbrushed complexion in 30 seconds!

2) *Limited Edition* Heavenly Luxe™ Dual Ended Complexion Perfection Brush
Use the NEW multifunctional 2-in-1 Heavenly Luxe™ Dual-Ended Complexion Perfection Brush to swirl circles into the foundation and buff onto skin to get flawless silky full coverage that feels like you’re wearing nothing.

3) Brow Power® Universal Brow Pencil
Finish your most beautiful you with the most powerful step in your beauty routine, your brows! Brow Power® Universal Brow Pencil, is the two-time QVC Customer Choice Award winner for “Best Brow Product”. This universal, long wear eyebrow pencil is infused with cutting edge, brow-enhancing ingredients that coat each hair, while adhering to the skin, making it easy to naturally transform thick or thin brows to create the look of your brows but better™. In a universally flattering shade, Brow Power® Universal Brow Pencil is customized to work with all hair colors to create a bold look for everyone!  

For lighter hair, apply using lighter, softer strokes and for darker hair, apply pressing hard to deposit more color.  As a finishing touch, lightly brush through brows with the spooly brush to create a natural polished look. As always, for every Brow Power® Universal Brow Pencil sold, IT Cosmetics will donate one to the American Cancer Societies’ Look Good, Feel Better® program to help women face the effects of cancer with confidence. To date, IT Cosmetics has donated over $4 million in Brow Power Pencils to Look Good, Feel Better®.

4) CC+™ Radiance Palette (BRAND NEW!)
Now it’s your most radiant, luminous, perfectly lit skin in a compact! Introducing the NEW CC+™ Radiance Palette. This palette includes three new color correcting innovations! The CC+™ Brightening Finishing Powder, CC+™ Matte Bronzer, and the CC+™ Flush Blush, each anti-aging talc-free powder includes color correcting pigments that enhance and even out the appearance of your natural skin tone, while boosting the warmth and radiance of your skin. Real Silk and Collagen work to blur the look of fine lines and pores.  

-- The CC+™ Brightening Finishing Powder is formulated with Drops of Light Technology™, using light-reflecting microspheres to provide your skin with the look of healthy illumination without glitter or shimmer
-- The CC+™ Matte Bronzer is formulated with anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic-filling spheres to keep you skin smooth and hydrated.  Hydrolyzed Collagen, Vitamins A, C and E, Grapeseed, Green Tea, Silk and Aloe treat your skin to a powerful boost of antioxidants and healthy moisture, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.  
-- The CC+™ Blush not only flushes your cheeks for all day wear, but is also infused with anti-aging powerhouse ingredients including Amino Acids, Plum Oil, Cherry Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Pomegranate, Jojoba, Aloe, Seaweed Extract and Grapeseed that work together to give cheeks a boost of healthy hydration.

5) Waterproof Bye Bye Under Eye® Anti-Aging Concealer (BRAND NEW!)
Last - but not least - say hello to the NEW Clinically Proven All Day Waterproof version of two-time Customer Choice Beauty Award Winner for “Best Concealer” Bye Bye Under Eye®, now loaded with additional anti-aging skin loving benefits plus clinically proven for all-day 12-hr waterproof coverage. 

Start by warming up a pin sized amount on the back of your hand, then gently tap the concealer onto the areas that need extra coverage and blend with fingers or use the multitasking Dual Ended Complexion Perfection Brush to ensure flawless application.  Infused with anti-aging technology to not only cover, but to make your skin appear younger at the same time, Bye Bye Under Eye® Waterproof stays true to its original Bye Bye Under Eye® Concealer formula, providing crease-free coverage to camouflage under eye discolorations with ease, while hydrating to ensure a beautiful well-rested appearance.

IT Cosmetics® IT’s All About You! 5pc Collection will be a Today’s Special Value offered at an exceptionally low price while supplies last, for ONE DAY ONLY. 

You can get this deal on QVC, the QVC apps, and also on June 21st, 2014 from midnight to 2:59 AM ET the following day. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New from @RonieKendig | Raptor 6! Enter to win a Kindle HDX (Litfuse)

About the Author...

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married a veteran, and together their lives are never dull with four children and two dogs--a a Maltese Menace and a retired military working dog, Vvolt N629. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim.

More about Ronie Kendig...

About the Book...

His team. His mission. A mission that comes at the highest cost!

Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option.

Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the U.S. military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

Where you can purchase Raptor 6...

My Review...

You all know I am a HUGE fan of Ronie Kendig's books. I've read -- and loved -- each and every book that she's ever published, and I hope to continue to be up to date with her works. :-) Her newest release, Raptor 6, is another wonderful military suspense read that will keep you turning the pages long into the night!

Normally, Kendig's opening scene has you hitting the ground running -- and not slowing down until the final chapter! I felt Raptor 6 was a little different than this. It starts with an intense opening scene, but then goes back 6 months and shows how the character got there. But that's not to say that it was hard to get into or too slow -- oh no! There was still TONS of twists and surprises that kept me holding my breath throughout the book! I don't think Kendig could ever write a dull book! It's just not in her blood! But I did enjoy the change in tempo, teasing the reader with a sneak-peak and then allowing things to simmer and build before you find out what happens next. :-)

As a little caution for readers: there were a few torture scenes in this book. Wolfsbane had a scene, but this was a bit more intense. If you don't like to read any kind of torture scenes, this might make you a bit uncomfortable. But that's the beauty of a book -- you can skim over the torture scenes and still read enough to understand what's going on and enjoy the book! I, personally, am not really comfortable reading/watching torture, so that part of the book did have me shuddering and wincing.

With all that said, I highly recommend that you give this book a try -- especially if you enjoy military suspense books. This has it all, and more! There's a beautiful love story that blossoms throughout the book between Dean and Zahrah, and of course there is lots of humor sprinkled generously throughout the book. Everything about this book was great! I can't wait till the next book in the series come out! :-)

I reviewed this book for Shiloh Run Press via Litfuse. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.

The Giveaway...

Don't miss the first book, Raptor 6, in Ronie Kendig's new Quiet Professionals series! 

Ronie combines a dangerous romance and explosive action for a thrilling and satisfying ride. "Lock and load for this Spec Op, fighting under God’s 'rules of engagement.'" —Bob Hamer, veteran FBI undercover agent and award-winning author

Ronie is celebrating with a Kindle HDX Giveaway!


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced June 16th on Ronie's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Ronie's blog on June 16th to see if you won.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cleansing Oil that Leaves My Skin Moisturized (Skincare Review)

I love bringing reviews to you all on LoaW and I really hope they help you get a feel for the product/item so that it helps you in your shopping.

Today I have a skincare review on a relatively new product from Garnier. :-) If you've seen something new in the drugstores or online that you'd like me to review, drop me a comment below and let me know. I love hearing from you guys!! :-)

I wasn't given this product to review -- I picked it up myself to try out and wanted to share my thoughts with you all. :-)

About Garnier Clean+ - Nourishing Cleansing Oil...

Dry skin types have different cleansing needs in order to look and feel their best.

Often, the wrong face scrubs are used for specific skin concerns.  As a result, skin does not get the right care it needs to look and feel its best.  Customized Cleansing + Skin Type Specific Care-  Customized Cleansing:  Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil instantly dissolves impurities and long-wear makeup with no greasy residue.  Skin Type Specific Care:  Formula, infused with nourishing Jojoba and Macadamia Oil, helps replenish skin's moisture balance.  In 1 use:  Skin is deeply cleaned, hydrated and skin feels velvety soft.  After 1 week:  100% of women felt skin was smoother and softer.  Not just a Better Clean, Better Skin.

Made in USA

My Review...

First Impression...
Using cleansing oils in your skincare routine seems to be a new fad this year and I've been really intrigued to see if it would work well for my skin type. I have acne-prone skin and I hear that cleansing oils are a less-harsh method of cleaning your face, so I was all about trying this Nourishing Cleansing Oil out and seeing if it would help keep my outbreaks at bay.

It's in a really sleek, tall bottle with a white pump at the top. It dispenses a decent amount into the palm of your hand; I personal use about a pump and a half on my face when I go to take my makeup off. The bottle has 4.2 fl oz of product in it and for the price -- $7.99 -- that's a decent amount. Especially when you compare the price and quantity of other cleansing oils that are currently out there.

I do have one complaint with the packaging -- it leaks. I think it's something with the pump. I feel that each time I use it, a little leaks out from underneath the nozzle. Every time I pull this out of m drawer, there's a little oil puddle around it. It's not a significant amount that makes me worry it's being wasted, but just annoying. And I know it's not just me -- I've read other reviews that say this as well. So it'd be really nice if Garnier could figure that out and fix it. :-)

Product & Application...
As I said above, I use about a pump and a half of Nourishing Cleansing Oil to massage into my face for a few minutes. Then I get my hands wet with a bit of water and massage that in till I get a milky-white consistency. Then I just rinsed it all off. :-) It worked really well in getting ALL of my makeup off! And I mean all -- I checked with a little toning water and a cotton pad to make sure I had no makeup residue left over, and there wasn't any left over on the pad. So I'm very happy -- I like using cleansing oil to take off my makeup MUCH better than using the Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser.

Any Major Likes & Dislikes...
I like how well it cleanses my face, definitely! :-) I also love how moisturized and smooth-feeling it leaves my skin! Not in the least bit dry or tight. I almost feel like I don't need to moisturized (though I do, I promise! ;-).

I don't like that it leaks, which is probably the biggest dislike I have about this product.
Final Thoughts...
I love it! This is my first cleansing oil I've ever used, so I don't know how it compares to other ones out there. But I do know I like it more than cold cream cleansers or makeup remover wipes. It's a lot easier than the cream to wash off (and not be left feeling greasy) and it's more thorough and gentle on my skin than the wipes. I also LOVE that it includes macadamia and jojoba oil -- two oils that I really love! All around, this is a great product and I definitely recommend you check it out the next time you're at the drugstore. Especially if you want to try out adding a cleansing oil into your routine.

This product was purchased with my own money :-)

Question for My Readers: What do you like to use to remove your makeup at the end of the day? Have you tried any cleansing oils yourself?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The (Much Anticipated) FINAL 'Hairstyling with NuMe' Tutorial!

Yes! It's finally here! I am so sorry that this post took over a month after my marriage, but...I won't bore you with excuses. I promise you, though, I've been keeping super busy moving into our new home and settling on the other side of the United States with my new hubby. :-D

There's going to be a lot of information in this post, so let's just get right in with the final 'Hairstyling with NuMe' post!

Wedding Hairstyle Tutorial

First off, before we get into the fun information, let's talk about my wedding hair. As those of you who've been following my blog for a while know, I styled my own hair for my wedding using the NuMe Titan3 curling wand sets. And it turned out FABULOUS! So here's how I did it. :-)

Step 1: Curl!

As always, I like to start with curling my hair so that I have a lot of body in my style when I pin my hair up. :-) I used the smallest barrel out of the Titan3 set and it worked wonders at giving my awesome, long-lasting curls!

Step 2: Braid the Right Side & Pin

Okay, so what I wanted to do was combine both braids and twists into this curly hairstyle. So I decided to do a french braid starting near the front, right hairline and adding hair all the way back until I got just past my ear. From there, I just continued with a regular braid until I was almost at the end.

Then I laid my braid back against my hair and pinned it in place. I made sure to taper of the braid just before I got to the left side. Don't worry about securing the braid with a pin -- just leave it loose. We will cover the braid over with a curl in the next steps so it all looks very seamless. :-)

Step 3: Twist Back the Left Side & Pin

Okay, so for the left side, I took the chunk of hair from my front hairline back to my ear and twisted it really tightly and distinctly against my head. Nothing special, at all, just try to make the twist really obvious and stand out. Pin it in place as you go.

Continue twisting your hair back until you overlap the braid that you pinned in the back. I twisted it till I reached about the middle of my head, then continue to place pins wherever I felt it needed more support.

Step 4: Tie on Your Pearls

Okay, so first off, let me explain how I made these. They are nothing pretty, and you could probably find them online already made for you, but since I had an old pearl headband that was falling apart...I decided to save the pennies and make them. All I did was use black string to tie the pearls onto a small elestic black band. Prest-o --- you're very own pearl ties. :-)

Now is when you can let your creativity show! Just start tying those pearls sporadically throughout the hairstyle. My mother's wedding dress had pearls on the front, and I really wanted my hairstyle to look like it had sprinkles of pearls throughout --- almost like pearls were just magically floating. :-D


Step 5: Add Random Braids

I wanted more braids in the hairstyle, so what I did was randomly go around my head and add really small, thin braids. I secure these (of course) with the pearl elestic bands and twisted them around the curling wand for a few seconds so that the braids blend easily into the curls.

Add as many or as few as you want -- I think I did about 5 or 6. Whatever you're feeling and however obvious you want it to be. Just make it our own!


And you're done! This is how it looks!!!!

Also, something I added right before the wedding, was to buy some pins that had pearls on the end and I slide them into my hairstyle along the twist and braid. So it kind of gave me a pearly crown on my wedding day, as you can see from this picture below :-)
I hope y'all enjoyed this tutorial. And when I do my post on my wedding, I'll be sure to add more pictures of my hair. NuMe's Titan3 did an OUTSTANDING job at keeping my curls fresh. I did my hair at 10 o'clock Saturday morning, and at 8 PM -- when we finally headed to the honeymoon -- they all still looked awesome. The picture you see of me above was at least 6 hours from when I originally curled them -- and they look awesome! I didn't need to re-curl any strands at all throughout the day. Loved it!

Curl Jam Giveaway Winner

I know it's been FOREVER since the giveaway ended, but I am FINALLY announcing the winner! As usual, I always use Rafflecopter to select a random winner -- and I went through and made sure all the entries were legit. ;-) Aaannnnnnnddddddddd.....

..........the winner is............

 ..........drum roll............

*****     LORI BUTLER     *****

Congratulations! This lady tweeted a BUNCH over the course of the giveaway -- wowza! As always, I've already emailed the winner and am waiting to hear back. So, if you're Lori and reading this...check your email!! :-D

Sad you didn't win?? Well, guess what -- I have ANOTHER NuMe giveaway for you all! Yes, that's right -- another chance to win!!! Many, many thanks to NuMe Products for their continued generosity.

Mega Star Flat Iron GIVEAWAY!!!

What's the Mega Star? Well, it's NuMe's best and most popular flat iron! I personally own it and LOVE it! Trust me --- whoever win's this is going to LOVE it, too! It leaves your hair feeling sooooo good!

The Boring Rules: This giveaway is only open to GFC follower of Legacy of a Writer, so be sure you are a follower! (And with the giveaway being this big a prize, make sure your picture is in my little GFC box -- because I do check! :-) This giveaway will run for one month, ending on Sunday July 6th, at midnight.

This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY -- except for the countries NuMe does not currently ship to, which are: Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Colombia, New Zealand, Portugal, Morocco, Romania, Spain. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, if you have been wanting to purchase a NuMe curling wand and were bummed that you didn't win the Curl Jam, NuMe has a fantastic sale that you should totally take advantage of! If you use the code "71CLASSIC" when you check out, you can get any one of their classic curling wands for 71% off! That is an AWESOME deal, let me tell you!

If you do buy one of the NuMe tools, please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from my readers!! :-D
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