That M.Steves Exfoliator Makes My Skin Happy. Very Happy.

My skin has been a wreck lately. And I really have no one to blame but myself. I ditched dairy for almost a year but Thanksgiving did me in and I went on a dairy-overload. Same with gluten. Oh girl, trust me…I wish I could eat dairy and gluten with no problems, but the fact is, I can’t. My body just does better with keeping both out of my diet. I’m not sure if dairy is playing a huge part in my skin’s craziness, but all I know is, after going to town on my husband’s ah-maziiiiing macaroni and cheese, my skin has morphed into something that my 15-year old sister can relate to. It’s a mess.

And I love y’all too much to take pictures of it but I figured now was as good time as any to give to try out M.Steve’s Reviving Exfoilator .

M.Steves Reviving Exfoliator

I received a sample of this a while back and it has been sitting on my beauty bookshelf for quite some time. While I usually like to wait 4-6 weeks before I review something, I couldn’t wait to share this with y’all. This stuff is awesome. I mean, check out the stats…

-No synthetic dyes or fragrances
-Vegan
-No parabens
-No petrochemicals
-No phthalates

And then there’s the list of the things that it DOES include:

-Rose Hip Seed Oil
-Microdermabrasion crystals
-Walnut shell powder
-Glycolic acid
-Dead sea mud
-Fruit enzymes

M.Steves

The exfoliator is fantastic. It feels like something out of a spa. This 2-in-1 scrub not only works as a microdermabrasion treatment that really massages those pores, but it also acts as an alpha hydroxy acid peel. I’ve used it both ways and found that it completely transforms either way that it’s used.

As a microdermabrasion treatment: Easy does it when using this exfoliator on the skin. The microscopic crystals do so well at gently scrubbing the skin. It’s easy to scrub too vigorously so I found myself repeatedly saying “Go slowly, go slowly…” After rinsing, my skin felt reinvigorated and ridiculously soft.

Scrub in pot

As an alpha hydroxy acid peel: After applying all over, I left the exfoliator on the skin for 7-10 minutes and rinsed with warm water. I didn’t notice much of a difference until I woke up the next day. My skin seemed brighter, tighter and smoother.

Scrub on hand

I’m a fan, M.Steves. I’m a fan. Is this exfoliator worth the $48 price tag? I would say so. A microdermabrasion treatment at a spa could easily cost close to $100 per treatment. Having the option to do this at home and get the same results is just…amazing! And what do I use to follow up this exfoliator? That lovely bottle of Ultra-Nourishing Boost.  LOVE!

That Time I Posted Pictures Of My Scars On The Internet

I’m a klutz. And there’s no denying it. I have childhood and adulthood scars all over my body. And I used to be ashamed of ‘em, but whatever. Each scar tells a story and I’m not gonna pretend like I have this perfectly flawless skin because helloooo, I don’t. But at the same time, there are some scars that I wish weren’t so glaringly obvious. And when I got some samples of Mederma, I just knew I’d be puttin’ them to use.

Mederma Advanced

Please tell me you’ve heard of Mederma. They are only the “#1 doctor and pharmacist recommended brand for scars”. According to Mederma, regular use of their products will assist in improving the appearance of both new scars AND old scars. And since I’m a dork, I figured it would only be right to introduce you to a few of my scars, new and old.

Childhood scar

I got this one in 9th grade. I sat down in a seat at school and some metal pokey thing was sticking out and sliced my arm. Okay, “sliced” sounds dramatic but that’s how it felt when it happened. I remember trying soooo hard not to cry. And that’s when I knew I could handle getting 5 tattoos. Ha!

Childhood scars

That scar is a 2-in-1. One came from tripping on a sidewalk while taking a walk during my church’s summer camp. The other one came from when I was 12 and fell off of my bike. I’ll never forget the burn I got when my Mom poured hydrogen peroxide in that wound. I really should have gotten stitches, Ma. Seriously.

Bug Bite

And then there’s the newbie…got that one from a bug bite during a park day with Elle.

So yeah. I am totally going to be trying Mederma on all of those scars. And when my baby girl gets to being all rough, I’ve got Mederma for Kids on deck.

Mederma for Kids

Aaaand, Mederma has a Stretch Marks moisturizer!

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy

I’ve always been pretty skeptical as it relates to getting rid of stretch marks but at the same time, I never stop trying to get rid of stretch marks. Ha! Mederma products are sold at most drugstores and Mederma for Kids is sold at Target. If you’re not sure where to find it in your area, check out their website.

Anyone else want to share their scars on the world wide web? Come oooooon. :cool:

What’s The Deal With Mario Badescu’s Peptide Renewal Products?

I’ve been on a serious skincare kick lately. Sometimes I really wish I could go to beauty school and get become a licensed esthetician. But dude, I’m not paying for any more schooling. I’ll be paying off my B.A. by the time Baby Clumps is in college. Ha!

Mario Badescu

A few months ago I got a sample of Mario Badescu’s newest skincare products and they both had me swooning. And I’m not sure why because I don’t even know what a peptide is. Hey! Don’t judge. I’m a writer. Not a chemistry whizz. Both the Peptide Renewal Cream and the Peptide Renewal Serum are aimed at fighting wrinkles, tightening and adding moisture to the skin. Cooler weather is just around the corner so I’m thinking this is about the right time to start usin’ these babies.

Mario Badescu Peptide

The Peptide Renewal Serum ($45) contains white willow bark, green tea and the ever so soothing chamomile. It feels absolutely divine and refreshing. And sometimes refreshing is what you need at the end of the day. I like using the serum first thing in the morning and at night but it is especially a treat at night. Texture-wise the serum doesn’t feel hydrating or greasy. It provided a bit of tackiness to my skin after application but man, it feels good.

Mario Badescu Peptie Serum

Awesome Ingdredients it includes:

•Palmitoyl Oligopeptide-7: Wrinkle fighting and lifting
•Nori (Algae) Extract: Firming
•Palmitoyl Oligopeptide: Wrinkle fighting and lifting
•White Willow Bark: Skin clearing
•Sorghum Bicolor Stalk Juice: Tightens and smoothes
•Green Tea: Powerful antioxidant
•Hyaluronic Acid: Improves moisture levels
•Chamomile: Soothes
•Yarrow: Healing and calming

Mario Badescu serum

The Peptide Renewal Cream ($35) is decadent and lightweight and contains nori extract. Call it overload but I actually like using this over the serum. Mario Badescu says it’ll improve my moisture levels and I totally agree because my chronically dry skin feels like hydrated and smooth.

Mario Badescu Peptide Renewal Cream

MB Peptide Cream

Of course, both of these fragrance-free products have to be used for quite some time before you’ll notice any dramatic differences. And I’m okay with using these until I’ve used ‘em all up. Mario Badescu has always done well by me and I think the Peptide Renewal line is the perfect addition to the MB fam.

Now ‘scuse me while I go drool at other cool stuff on the site.

Oil On My Skin All Year? Yes Please!

It took a good 5 years, but my skin has finally calmed down to the point where I can actually go a few weeks or months without a pimple. Yes, y’all. This is a big deal. Pregnancy gave me a mask and a few blemishes but the postpartum life of lactating hormones doesn’t seem to affect me too much so I’m as happy as a clam, yo. So happy. It’s around the 70’s this week in Florida and a gal pal of mine was asking me if I recommended any skincare products to prep her skin for the cooler weather. And so I gave her some suggestions.

Seventh Generation Skin Boosting serum

And it wasn’t until I finished blurting them out that I realized that everything I mentioned was an oil. I love oils. I do. Can’t deny it. Mother Nature knew what she was doing by giving us so many glorious plant-based, ground-based, nut-based and fruit-based oils. I have dubbed skincare oils as the other liquid gold. You know, because breast milk is the first liquid gold.

Why do I love ‘em?

Skin Boosts

They’re versatile

I’ve been playing around with these new natural skin serums from Seventh Generation. The brand recently launched 6 serums that help target various skin issues. The serums have oil bases as their primary carrier oil and then essential oils are dumped in. They are glorious and wonderful and I love that they have so many different uses. I’ve been going through the Clearing with Tea Tree oil serum and not only does it work well all over my face but I use it on dry patches on my skin too. Can’t say the same thing about your face cream. Most face creams just work…on the face. But a good oil, honey…a good oil can be slathered from head to toe.

They work for various skin types

My skin goes through changes during the seasons. My eczema goes crazy and I am practically moisture-less in the winter and during the warmer months, I sweat like mad and always have an oily T-zone. Oils work wonders year round for me. I tend to use a less greasy oil in the summer (like maracuja oil) but this winter, I’ll be all over my Seventh Generation Boosts.

They force you to pamper your skin.

Have you ever just slathered oil in 20 seconds and gone about your business? Naw. It doesn’t work like that. Oils require thorough application. Because I’m picky about an even distribution, I find that when I use oils, I gently rub them in my skin and give myself a mini facial massage. Dude, those 60 second long massages are the perfect start and end to my crazy long days. So yeah. If I’m not going to have a full blown body massage everyday, I am so grateful that my glorious oils force me to pamper my skin a bit.

Seventh Generation Boosts Clearing

If you’re in the market for a new oil but don’t feel like doing a ton of research and trying to find out what’s what…check out these Seventh Generation Boosts. They’ve got something for problematic skin (Clearing), to dry skin (Hydrating) and even those of us working on keeping those wrinkles at bay (Revitalizing). The oils are fragrance-free and wait for it, they contain..just oils. Nothing extra. No random synthetic ingredients. Just almond, grapeseed, apricot oils and luscious essential oils. You can use them solo (that’s what I do) or you can at a squirt or two to your current moisturizer or foundation. As an extra “boost”.

Seventh Generations Boots ingredients

They’re sold exclusively at Walgreens for $14.99 so you’ll have to track ‘em down if you really feel like you need these. And I think you do.

They really are that fantastic.

 

Eczema Suffers Unite! Eucerin Eczema Relief Instant Therapy is here to save us!

“Oh snap.”

That’s what I said when I found out that Eucerin was going to launch an eczema skincare line. I first learned about it while at their headquarters in Connecticut some months ago and I have finally gotten the chance to play with the products. I am so so excited about them.

Eucerin Eczema Relief Instant Therapy

As a Eucerin ambassador, I received these products to review and the timing was perfect because Elle’s skin was starting to break out. Yes, again. My poor chocolate dumpling of a baby can’t seem to run away from the eczema monster but that’s okay, I’ve got high hopes for Eucerin’s Eczema Relief products. She’s not alone in the fight either because apparently over 35 million Americans suffer from eczema. That’s a whooooole ‘lotta people and chances are you know someone that suffers from the itchy (and sometimes painful) condition. Or maybe it’s YOU that’s suffering from it. My Eucerin lovers will be happy to see these 2 new additions to the Eucerin line-up.

Eucerin Eczema Relief Instant Therapy

Eucerin Eczema Relief Instant Therapy creme

Of course my favorite thing about both products is that they are fragrance-free, free from dyes and don’t contain any steroids. The Instant Therapy Creme not only promises to calm eczematic skin, but it also helps to improve the appearance of irritated skin. This is huge for me because nothing says Mommy Guilt like your baby’s rough eczema plagued elbows. We haven’t used this on Elle yet but I’ve used it on my skin and I love the cooling effect that it provides. It rubs in easily and my skin feels moisturized. But it’s really the Eczema Relief Body Crème that has my heart.

Eucerin Eczema Instant Therapy

Clinically proven to improve hydration, improve the appearance of red, irritated skin and relieve itchiness of eczema, Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Crème is freaking amazing. I mean, seriously. I’ve been slathering this on Elle at night and have seen such improvement in her skin.

Eucerin

Her elbows are the roughest parts, mainly due to her scratching them but after quick warm baths, slathering her in this crème and covering her skin at night, she wakes up with elbows that are still moisturized and softer than they were the day before.

We’ll be buying this by the gallon in the next few months. Eucerin does it again! These products are available nationwide at drugstores and I’ve spotted the Body Crème at Target.com for $10.49. Pricey? Maybe but itchy eczema suffers know $10 isn’t TOO much when you’re in need of some relief.

* Disclosure: I am a Eucerin ambassador and while I do not get paid to write these posts I did receive these products and a gift card as gifts.

Visiting Orlando? Experience the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa!

It was a dreary day when I pulled up to Reflections Spa-Salon at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa. I was ready for a serious morning of pampering and I wasn’t let down. I was offered the opportunity to visit this spa and the timing could not have been more perfect. Yours truly has officially started working out again (yay but ouch!) and my body was torn to shreds. I was in desperate need of some help and I was beyond elated with what awaited me at Refections.

Reflections bath

First of all, location, location, location! The spa is nestled nicely in the touristy part of Orlando so if you think you’ll be visiting the area soon, you’ll be happy to know that chances are you won’t be too far from this spa.

Every spa that I visit has a theme and Reflections is no different. This spa’s treatments are “inspired by the powers of the ocean and healing elements of the sea”. You totally get that the second you walk into the lobby.

Reflections Lobby

A gorgeous aquarium of bright colored fish are in the center of the room and the lounging sofas somehow curve into your body. Sweet beverages are at your service you have the opportunity of really relaxing before your treatments start.

I had a tropical hot stone massage and a manicure and pedicure and both services were wonderful. Service is everything at a spa and I don’t care how fantastic a spa claims to be; if the staff isn’t accommodating, the whole experience can be a downer. From the moment I walked in until the moment I left, I felt like the staff genuinely cared. Before each service began, questions were asked to make sure that I was comfortable.

Reflections manicure

And of course the answer was always yes, because who isn’t comfortable when they have warm rocks being massaged into their skin? A girl can certainly get used to this. Seriously. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, I hear their sugar scrub is absolutely divine.

For more information about Reflections Spa-Salon, visit their website. And if you’re thinking about coming to the Orlando area (which you totally should since the weather is divine!), staySky.com hotels and resorts are absolutely fabulous. Each resort has gorgeous amenities for the entire family.

 

Disclosure: I was treated to these spa services at no charge. I was not obligated to write this review, but why wouldn’t I? I mean, honestlyyyy…..

Gettin’ Healthy Skin with Green Smoothies + $125 Whole Foods gift card giveaway!

We’re back with our monthly Eucerin post and this time we’re talking nutrition and healthy eats. I love my skin care products like siblings, but let’s face it, if it’s trying to get your skin in better health, nothing works like a good ole’ diet. My skin is in the best shape of my life and I think a lot of it has to do with my ditching dairy, wheat, sodas and fast food. I only drink water and I drink my weight in green smoothies.

Fresh Fruit smoothie

Yep, you gals know how much I loooooove my green smoothies. Eucerin provided me with a gift card to Whole Foods and I scooped up a whole ‘lot of fruits ‘n veggies. We usually purchase our weekly bundle of fruit’s ‘n stuff from local farmer’s markets (cheaper and I love supporting small businesses) but it was fun shopping at Whole Foods for a change. Despite my being a hippie and all, I don’t really shop there because I find it crazy expensive but we managed to get quite a bit for our family of 3. And as soon as we got home I whipped up an enormous green smoothie for Esposo, Elle and I.

Green smoothie

It’s Skin Care Awareness Month so I tossed in ingredients that I know are going to help keep our skin healthy and clear. The spinach will help combat wrinkles, the avocado will help heal blotchy skin and those sweet strawberries will help keep skin clear. And I tossed in a dollop of almond butter for added protein.

Almond butter

And because it adds the right kind of sweetness to any smoothie.

Wanna get your own bundle of healthy eats from Whole Foods? Eucerin will give one lucky winner a $125 to Whole Foods AND Eucerin goodies. Press your luck by entering the Rafflecopter below. Remember, it takes a minute or two to get goin’ so be patient.

Good luuuuuck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Disclosure: I am a Eucerin ambassador and while I do not get paid to write these posts I did receive these products and a gift card as gifts.

Ma Mi Skincare: The Skincare Line For Mamas

A skincare brand for pregnant and nursing mamas? Holllllahhhh. I was sent some samples from the all natural Ma Mi skincare brand a while back and I am just now playin’ with them.

MaMi Skincare

No one tells who how much your skincare regimen has to change when you become pregnant. I’ve always had a pretty natural-centric skincare routine  and even after I found out I was pregnant, I found myself tweaking it some more. I so wish I had known about Ma Mi Skincare then. This Central Florida based skincare brand has such wonderful products!

MaMi Skincare cleanser

MaMiReawaken

-Hydrates skin
-Removes make-up and debris
-Prepares skin for exfoliation and moisturizer

Ingredients: Purified Water, Olive Oil Castile, Vegetable Glycerin, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Oil of Kumquat, Seaweed Extracts.

MaMiExfoilator

-Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
-Shed dead skin
-Improves oily and problematic skin

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycolic Acid.

MaMiMoisturizer

-Moisturizes, hydrates and oxygenates
-Nourishes and slows the aging process
-Keeps skin smooth and flexible – Improves dry skin

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MaMiNightshift

-A 42% improvement in skin smoothness and texture
-An observable reduction of dark circles and puffiness
-Enhances skin smoothness and firmness around eyes
-Reduces dark circle and puffiness around eyes

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

 

All of the ingredients are free of dyes and fragrances and  gentle to use throughout pregnancy (obvs) and while nursing. I’m lovin’  this line and I think it’ll make a perfect gift the new mama or mama-to-be in your life.