Fabulous Fitness Wear from Macy’s. Aren’t I brave to model like this?

FACT: I’m in the gym. Like ALL the time. Remember that post I wrote when I was all like, “I’ve gained weight, blah blah blah blah”? Well, I got my bum in gear. I don’t mess around when it comes to health and fitness. Sure I have my insecurities like most women and may fall off track a bit, but honey, I ALWAYS make my way back to making fitness a priority. Right now I’m in the “zone” and I was beyond thrilled when GigaSavvy asked me to review some of Macy’s workout fits.

And why?

Because if you ever ran into in the gym, you may laugh. I don’t get all cute with my workout gear like some girls. Oh no. I’m that woman that’s all up in the gym with raggedy t-shirts from college volunteer events.

And if you catch me on a good day, I may be wearing something that actually matches.

But usually it’s just me in an old t-shirt that should probably be turned into a carwashin’ rag. And girl, don’t judge me…I am ca-learly very proud of my arms.

Having new workout clothes has turned me into a new woman though. Why haven’t I invested in some before? It just makes sense. Let’s rap on the Ideology Yoga Top first.

I got this seamless ultraviolet cami in an XL because I’ve a woman with a rack on her. I also wear two bras when I work out (the DD’s require this) and so I was hoping the XL was large enough to be comfortable and functional. Aaaand, it is! This top is comfortable, functional and breathable. I’m not sure how confident I’d feel it in by wearing it solo but it does fantastic for layering. Plus it was on sale for $12.99 (originally priced at $19.98) so guess who will be getting more of these on the ASAPness? Yep!

Then there are the Ideology Flared Leg Yoga Pants ($23.99 – regularly $43).

I’ve never actually owned a pair of yoga pants. Which is ridiculous since yoga and I have been tight for quite some time. And speaking of tight, I got these pants in a Large and they are hugging my curves beautifully. They aren’t just for yoga, of course. I comfortably ran and lifted weights in these. And my favorite thing about ’em? They’re long enough! Nothing sucks more than buying workout pants just for them to turn into workout capris after 1 wash. P.S. – my stretch marks say hi. 😉

And lastly are the Ideology Cropped Active Leggings ($27).

Leggings are everywhere and while some fashionistas say they aren’t for working out, I beg to differ. Actually, after trying out these leggings, I want to wear them EVERY time I work out. These are so so comfortable. I found them to be flattering to my figure, moveable and comfortable. I got ’em in a Large and kinda glad I did. At first I thought the XL would have been more comfortable for my size 12/14 hips, but I was able to squeeze into these without any problems.

I know my friends at the gym (anyone else have friends at the gym that they’ve never actually talked to?) will be SO happy to see me in some new unfaded and fancier workout gear. You know…because they care about these things. Ha! And I’m glad to see affordable workout wear. I never felt the need to invest in workout clothes because I always felt they would be too expensive. And what’s the point? I’m just gonna sweat ’em up anyway. But I’ve seen the light and who knows? Maybe for every 10 pounds I drop, I’ll take myself on a mini shopping spree? I think that sounds like a GRAND idea!

Any workout lovers in the house? What do you typically wear when you workout?

A Rose Is Still A Rose. And I smell like one!

Remember that song “Roses” the rap group Outkast had back in the day? I used to looooove that song. That whole Speakboxx/The Love Below album was jammin’ in my car the entire year I was in 11th grade. Oh. Don’t even ask me what the Outkast reference has to do with JASON Pure Natural Rosewater Body Wash. I’m random like that.

You’ve heard of the brand JASON, haven’t you? I spot this brand alllll the time at Whole Foods and other natural food stores and shops. This is my first time playing around with one of their body washes.

I’ve never been a gal who likes floral fragrances. I’m more of a woody blend mixed with citrus notes kind of woman. But this wash, dare I say it, ain’t too bad. This ginormous 30 oz bottle retails for $13.99 which means the entire family can use it daily and it will STILL last for a few weeks. Well, months for Esposo and I since we are the only ones who use our bathroom.

And that’s another thing – as nice as this body wash smells, it’s so floral that the same men who don’t mind a little dirt under their fingernails, proooobably won’t like how “girly” it smells. And it definitely smells girly.

Pro’s
-It’s got a pump! Makes for super easy dispensing.
-It has a nice and gentle formula.
-Lathered up nice and foam-y.
-Rinsed with ease and didn’t leave the skin insanely dry. Thanks to the Vitamin E!
-Free from parabens
-Fragrance isn’t too strong after rinsing off. Which I appreciate.

Con’s
-The fragrance is a bit too strong for me. Then again, most fragrances are. I see “Fragrance” on the Ingredients list and I wish the only “fragrance” that was included only came from real roses.
-It definitely isn’t portable. But that may be a good thing.
-The price point may be too much for some.

There’s a first time for everything and while I’ve spritzed rose water in my hair and have used rose water as a toner, I’ve never used an actual rose body wash. The fragrance took a bit to grow on me but now I’ve been using it daily.

Whatcha think? Would you bust suds with rose body wash?

You can get this one from natural retailers and online at JASON-Natural.com.

Vanilla lips, charcoal cheeks and an ocean breeze in a jar – Thanks LUSH!

I don’t think I’ve played around with LUSH alllll year. How lame am I? Ah well. Better late than never. Since summer has rolled around these parts (Florida totally skipped Spring), I’ll be baring more of that skin. Not in a “It’s so hot, I’m just going to go nekkid.” kind of way but have I been struttin’ in my skirts, shorts, bathing suits and strappy tanks? Oooooh yeah. These LUSH goodies are perfect for scrubbin’, exfoilating and moisturizing your skin all while getting it ready for the warmer weather.

Vegan Sweet Lips Lip Scrub in Vanilla
($8.95) – get it here

Oooooh how I love these lip scrubs. Prior to using the ones from LUSH, I was scrubbing my lips with my toothbrush. Which ain’t exactly sexy. But this scrub? Oh my words!

I love that it contains only a few ingredients. Sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa absolute and organic jojoba oil. Short and sweet ingredient lists are the best. LUSH says this scrub tastes like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and I totally agree. And did I mention that it’s edible? Yes girl…if scrubbin’ on the go is your thing, you can dab some of this on your lips and lick it right off.

Oh, one thing though: be sure to close the top nice and tight. For if you don’t, the sugar will harden and become un-usable. Such was the case with my last jar of this scrub. Womp.

Dark Angels Facial Charcoal Cleanser
($11.95) – get it here

While it wouldn’t win the Sexiest Cleanser award, this cleanser is actually pretty effective. Even for those with sensitive skin like meeeee. Yeah. I get super excited when I come across cleansers that don’t make my skin go nuts. This cleanser is for those who have blocked pores and want to combat breakouts. Who knew black sugar and powdered charcoal could be so divine together?

There’s also a dose of rhassoul mud and organic avocado oil, both which do a great job and moisturizing the skin. Fragrance-wise, this stuff is…different. It’s got sandalwood and rosewood oils in it and while I’m a fan of both, the earthiness of this throws me off a bit. The fragrance dissipates after rinsing it off but still…when it’s on there, it smells funnnnyyyyy. But it works. And so I plug my nose and get to slathering.

Ocean Salt Facial and Body Scrub
($19.95 for 4.2 oz/$34.95 for 8.8 oz) – get it here

This Florida girl loves anything that attempts to capture the essence of the ocean. Of course nothing beats actually going to this beach, but this scrub isn’t half bad. Scent-wise, it is amaziiiing. Both refreshing and invigorating, I find that this coarse sea salt scrub is great for the face AND body.

It’s smooth and slick enough to go on the face but still coarse enough to be used on the body. It’s also a great unisex scrub as I find that the fragrance has a bit of a masculine whiff to it. With avocado oil, grapefruit and fresh lime infusion, this scrub gives a darn good job at giving the illusion of being at the beach.

LUSH never steers me wrong….

Are Burt’s Bees’ gud products…good?

I’ve been a fan of Burt’s Bees since like….high school. Speaking of high school, I can NOT believe my 10-year class reunion is coming up. Like…just where in the world did the time go? And is it just me or does going to a high school class reunion seem like a waste? Thanks to Facebook and peoples’ over-sharing updates, there won’t be any shock values, ya know? So I doubt if I’ll go to mine.

If I had to classify gud products, they’d be Juniors. They aren’t as cool as Seniors (or Burt’s Bees) but they aren’t on the diss-levels like Freshmen and Sophomores are. There’s a whole ton of products of varying fragrances in the gud family but I’ve just just three of ’em here for ya.

First up is the Vanilla Flame Natural Hand Cream. It comes in a 3oz bottle and retails for $7.99

The fragrance was nice and vanilla-y. A little too strong for my liking but then again I’m a gal who can proudly row in the “Unscented” boat. It’s a nice and thick hand lotion.

I was glad to see it wasn’t watery. Nothing in life sucks more than a watery lotion.

Then there’s the Natural Body Mist. You get a 3oz bottle for $5.99.

I can’t lie on this one, y’all. I don’t wear body mists. Did the girls in high school wear them after gym class instead of actually taking a shower? Yuuup. The good news is, while body mists aren’t up my alley, I can appreciate that this one doesn’t have a strong alcohol-scent to it. A lot of mists do.

The scent of Floral Cherrynova, like the hand cream, is a bit on the strong side – which for some works. But alas, like most mists, it isn’t long lasting. Your best bet is to use the coordinating body lotion with the mist to get the scent to stay around for longer.

Aaaaand lastly we’ve got the Natural Body Butter in Orange Petalooza. The 6oz tub goes for $11.99

Body butters. I love ’em. While they are super effective at busting ash during the colder months, I actually use them year round. Especially right before bed. This butter isn’t as thick as I like ’em.

My skin is insanely dry and requires premium ash busting agents like cocoa and shea butters. Anything outside of those usually doesn’t work. On a good note, this is perhaps my favorite fragrance of ’em all. It’s citrus-y and isn’t AS in your face as the other fragrances are.

Pro’s
-Each product is cruelty-free and paraben-free.
-For paraben-free products, these are priced nicely and you get enough bang for your buck.
-There are several fragrances to choose from: Floral Cherrynova, Orange Petalooza, Vanilla Flame and Pearanormal Activity.
-Easy to spot in the U.S. You can get ’em from drugstores nationwide.
-If you’re big on organic ingredients, a few of these products have some.
-Packaging-wise, the products are small enough to toss in purse or bookbag.

Con’s
-Fragrances are stroooong.
-The lotion and butter weren’t AS moisturizing as I thought they would be.
-These products don’t come off as super high quality skincare products. They get the job done but they aren’t products that I could see myself using regularly.

Overall thoughts:
If you’re a Burt’s Bees fan, I say give gud a try. I’ve come across better drugstore skincare products but I think this brand is mostly geared towards younger girls. The packaging is girly and whimsical and I could see middle and high school girls toting gud products. If you’re like me and have a dry skin, you may want to go with other products. On a good note, if you only like to use paraben-free products, these products are free of ’em. Which is definitely a perk in my book.

Whatcha think? Have you tried any gud goodies?

 

Vegan Aftershave for the fella in your life…

Esposo isn’t the kind of man that feels the need to slather on cologne every day of the week. Which is a shame because I’m a woman that loves a man who smells good. But I get it. Esposo works in a high-energy industry where he’s liftin’, programmin’ and moving around for 12 hours a day. Cologne is so not needed.

But still. Being the husband of a beauty blogger means I can subtlety push products on him. Such was the case with Aubrey Organics’ Men’s Stock City Rhythms Aftershave.

Handsome, isn’t he? Men or their SO’s can scoop this fragrance and two others like it at natural health food stores for less than $10 for a 4oz bottle. Not too shabby. Esposo shaves almost every day so I thought he’d be a good candidate for using something like this.


Ingredients-wise, the aftershave certainly has a whoooole lot less than what many aftershaves on the market has.

INGREDIENTS INCI: Alcohol denat., aqua, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice*, glycerin, cedrus atlantica (cedar) oil, santalum album (sandalwood) oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) oil, cananga odorata (ylang) oil, panax ginseng root extract.
*Organic (source)

I love the inclusion of sandalwood and bergamont as those are some of my favorite essential oils. Witch hazel and aloe both have cooling properties, making them perfect for men to use after shaving. And while I proudly ride the “less is better” when it comes to ingredients train, Esposo just…well, he could care less.

Scent-wise I got more of an alcohol-smell in this more than anything. To the product’s defense, it iiiiis the first ingredient on the list. The cedar and sandalwood scents were there but seemed to wear off of Esposo’s cheeks and neck within hours. Boo.

What Esposo says:
I’m not one of these guys that really cares about the whole tree hugging, anti-artifical movement. I’m not against it either, but the whole #AllNaturalEverything schtick can get wearisome. Especially when it jacks up the price of products I’d otherwise purchase.

That being said, the concept of an all natural cologne/aftershave is pretty cool , but the execution was a bit underwhelming. Don’t worry guys, it doesn’t smell like flower petals or anything remotely feminine. It does however remind me of something my dad might wear, and that is definitely not the business. It feels cool and refreshing going on, but the scent is too mellow and old school for my tastes. I prefer something a bit brighter and spicier. It’ll probably work for some guys out there, but that’s not my bag, baby.

Ah well. Packaging-wise the splash is still sophisticated and sleek and perhaps the other fragrances are up to par.

Whatcha think ladies and gents? Yay or nay vegan aftershaves?

A great body scrub for when the sand at the beach isn’t available….

Did I tell y’all I went to the Bahamas a few weeks ago? Yep! Esposo and I took a quick 3-day cruise to one of my favorite islands. Too bad we didn’t get to do much because sooooomeone hurt himself after falling off of a scooter. The other someone has been playing nurse ever since. Womp.

I’m a Florida girl who loves beaches. For many reasons but primarily because the sand is so exfoliating. Yep. You heard correctly. I mix sand and water and exfoliate my feet, legs and hands right on the beach. I should probably be embarrassed about admitting this, but I’m not.

Since I couldn’t get my beach scrubbin’ on, I’ve been playin’ around with Pooka Pure & Simple’s Sugar Body Polish.

Oh girl. This is the bomb dot com.

Not all scrubs are the same, ya know. Some are great for exfoliating but in return they can leave the skin a bit rough. Which totally defeats the point of scrubbing, right? Pooka Pure & Simple’s Sugar Body Polish has cane sugar and coconut oil so I can get my scrub on and moisturize at the same time. It’s wonderful. Pomegrante and kiwi are two of my favorite fruits so the fragrance is definitely up my alley. But can I be honest? I’d love this just as much if it was fragrance-free.

Bits of kiwi seed greet me at each handful…

…and after sloughing away the dead skin cells, I am left with super soft and moisturized skin. The 12 oz tub goes for $20 and Pooka Pure & Simple also has Coconut Crunch and Guava Berry scents as well.

Yes girl. Yes. You can pick up a tub here.

A fan of body scrubs are you, darlings?

3 Beauty Treatments I Realllly Want To Do

You gals know how I am. As much as I looooove makeup, it’s really skincare that’s my first love. What comes next is a statement that I promise you’ll never hear me say (err, write) ever again. In a sense, having adult acne is a blessing because it has allowed to realize just how important my skin is. Yeah – I know. I just used “acne” and “blessing” in the same sentence. I promise this Florida heat hasn’t driven me mad.

What I mean is…I really care about my skin. Despite the adult acne, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, dermatitis, eczema and childhood scars, I really take pride in my skin. Which sounds crazy, but come on…considering it covers MOST of my body, how can I not love the skin that I’m in? Lately I’ve been dabbling around with the idea of treating my skin to luxurious treatments and I’ve narrowed down three that I want to plan to have this year.

Algae Body Treatment

Okay, I proooomise I didn’t make this one up. And I know it sounds weird and icky but if you’ve ever read a description of what an algae body treatment entails, I guarantee you, you’d be tossing your pennies over to a spa. Quite frankly, the thought of being covered in seaweed and relaxing while the seaweed goes to work to not only draw out toxins from my skin but ALSO provide moisture, sounds just divine. I’d attempt to do this at home, but honestly…how much algae can you gather from the ocean before you start to look like a creep?

Microdermabrasion

I’ve only had one facial in my entire life and while I don’t feel so inclined to have another one (it huuuurt!), I would totally do microdermabrasion. I exfoliate regularly, but microdermabrasion is like exfoliating to the 10th power. In a good way, of course. A good microdermabrasion treatment removes those dead skin cells and can reveal baby soft smooth skin for days and weeks at a time. Sign me up, yo! And while microdermabrasion can be a bit on the pricey side, I do like the fact that there are plenty of products on the market that can allow me to do microdermabrasion at home. Score! You can find a great selection of these products online, at retailers like ShopNBC.

Paraffin Wax Hand Treatment

Oooh how I’d love nothing more than super smooth hands. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that I have ’em. Because I find them uncomfortable, I don’t wear gloves when I lift weights at the gym aaaand so I’ve got blistered up gym hands.

Unsexy, I know. And despite my obsession of regularly moisturizing my hands, my hands still aren’t as soft as I’d like them to be. Regular dips into a tub of hot parrafin wax would do my hands some good. Mama Clumps used to have one back in the day. Maybe I’ll go rummaging in her garage to look for it the next time I visit. 😉

What about you? Any spa treatments that you’d drop your pennies on? Facials, scrubs, body wraps? Or how about pedicures where little fish eat your dead skin cells?

Anyone?

 

*This is a partnered post brought to you by ShopNBC, but all opinions are my own.

Buttah-licious with Pooka Pure & Simple’s Whipped Cream

Da butters. Have y’all ever seen that video of the lady on YouTube who was upset at Black people  (she was kidding, of course) for hiding what she called “the butters”? It’s a hilarious video. One that had me rollin’ for weeks. In said video, she mentioned that she recently discovered shea butter and cocoa butter and she was blown away at their amazingness.

The truth is, I’ve been using “the butters” for a looooong time. Years. Decades. Pooka Pure & Simple has an amazing blend of whipped butters that I have been using daily. Daily, ya’ll.

There are so many benefits that come with using shea and cocoa butters. From completely moisturizing the skin to helping fade scars and dark spots, the butters rock. And I love that Pooka has included some of my favorite other ingredients…

Gotta love products that have minimal ingredients. All of which you can name. That rarely happens. But it’s the norm among the preservative-free goodness that is Pooka Pure & Simple. I am sensitive to fragrances and so I love that this doesn’t have a darn thing in it. There is a bit of a nutty smell but it’s faint and dissipates after the butter is rubbed all in. Speaking of the butter…

…in sinks right into the skin. And the best part? There isn’t an oily residue. I usually only use buttahs during the winter time but considering this doesn’t leave my skin feeling super oily, I can get down with using it daily. And yeah – I know it’s technically wintertime but I live in Florida. Ain’t no winter here.

This 6.5 oz tub of whipped goodness goes for $16. Steep but it’ll last you forever. Aaaand, there are scented versions of the whipped cream.

This is hands down one of my favorite Pooka products.

Whatcha think? A lover of buttahs, are you?