Posts filed under ‘beauty’

Purging Unwanted Products: What Should I Do With Them?

Bubble BathA week or so ago I purchased baby bubble bath from an eco-friendly website that specializes in organic products. I’ve been slowly replacing all of the body washes, shampoos and other assorted bathroom products with safer versions. After ordering I decided to verify the products safety against the environmental working group’s database and found it was ranked with moderate hazards.

Of course I should’ve researched the product before I purchased it, but what can I say better late than never. I tried to cancel the order, but there didn’t seem to be an easy way to do that. My son only gets a bubble bath one night a week, and the product wasn’t rated too horribly, so I waffled back and forth between using it on him and getting rid of it.

As luck would have it the manufacturer shipped the wrong product. Rather than receiving the bubble bath I ordered I received a bottle of body wash, which was ranked much better. I was able to cancel the original order and keep the incorrectly shipped item free of charge.

But this got me thinking about all of the other products in our home. I’ve received my fair share of bath products as gifts from friends and family. Many of the products contain chemicals that I would prefer not to use anymore. So what should I do with them?

It seems like I have a couple of options:

  1. Use the products I currently own, but make certain not to buy or accept any more.
  2. Donate the products to a local shelter.
  3. Donate the products to my local donation center.
  4. Try to sell the products on eBay.
  5. Discard them (which would be incredibly wasteful)

I’m leaning towards donating the products I don’t want to use anymore. I certainly don’t want anyone else to use products with less than perfect ingredients, but I also know that there are a lot of people who need products like soap and shampoo.

I’m sure someone out there has been in a similar situation. Have you ever purged similar products in your home and if so what did you do with them?

October 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM 2 comments

Spa Week: $50 Spa Treatments

Spa Week

I love to be pampered. I’m not a girlie girl by any means, but few things make me as happy and relaxed as a day at the spa. Of course, as we all know spa treatments are ridiculously expensive. In my area the nicer spas cost $110 for a massage or facial.

I’m too thrifty to spend money like that, so instead every Christmas I ask my mother-in-law for a gift card to the Red Door Spa and every year I wait for Spa Week to use it. Spa Week is typically held twice a year, once in April and once in October.

During this limited time you can receive spa treatments for $50. Spas get booked quickly, so my advice is to put your name on the email list and book as soon as you receive the Spa Week email.

My mother-in-law typically buys me a $100 gift card, which means if I’m willing to wait for spa week I can receive two treatments for the price of one! I’ve already booked my appointments for October!

October 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM Leave a comment

That Little Thing I Can’t Live Without

Most of us have something in our lives we feel we can’t live without. Some women can’t live without makeup or a closet full of shoes. My grandmother, as strange as it sounds, can’t live without her earrings. Of course, we all know we CAN live without these things, but many of these items make us feel more attractive and/or provide us with greater confidence.

Over the past 365 days I’ve discovered my own ‘can’t live without’ product. It’s not fancy or expensive. It’s not decadent or intriguing. These days my can’t live without product is facial cleansing towelettes. You know those moist little cloths that you can use to clean your face. I am a fanatic about washing my face, brushing my teeth and on most occasions flossing my teeth before heading to sleep.

It’s something ingrained in me from my mother. I never went to bed as a child without doing this and as an adult I find it extremely difficult to slip under the covers without these three steps.

When my son was born, just over a year ago, I was often so exhausted that I hated the very idea of dragging myself to the bathroom to scrub my face. Unfortunately, since I couldn’t seem to fall asleep without feeling that silky smooth clean skin I would force myself into the bathroom hating every single second of it.

That is until I discovered those wonderful, moist, little towelettes that help you feel clean even when there is no water or soap in sight. I purchased a collective buying coupon for Yes to Carrots a few months back and recently ordered a whole box of towelettes so I never have to worry about being too tired to wash my face again.

These won’t replace a good-old washcloth and soap on most occasions, but on those nights when I want to feel clean, but also feel exhausted, I think these magic cloths will do the trick.

Is there something in your life you feel you can’t live without? Do you have a nightly beauty routine and do you ever skip it?

November 8, 2012 at 9:42 PM Leave a comment

Do You Rotate Products to Keep Your Hair Looking Healthy and Shiny?

Let’s face it. We all have something about ourselves that we’d prefer to change. Some attribute handed down genetically from our parents that makes us look in the mirror and sigh.

When I was growing up that attribute was my hair. I have unbelievably thick, difficult to manage, curly hair. My mom has thick hair, but it’s wavy and much less prone to frizz. When I was a little girl she didn’t know how to tame my tresses. In fact, she was so clueless that she often brushed my hair over and over again. With each brush stroke my hair got bigger and bigger and the frizz and flyaways increased two fold. As anyone with curly hair knows the less you brush your hair once it’s dry the better!

It didn’t help that my mom kept taking me to hair dressers who didn’t have or know how to work with curls. I don’t blame her for this, it’s almost impossible to find someone who understands my thick curls, and to this day I struggle with bad haircuts.

Despite the bad haircuts and bad hair days I’ve grown to love my curls and if I am ever blessed with a daughter, (I have a beautiful son now), I hope she bounces around with little ringlets of her own.

I‘m not a fan of spending money on hair care products, but I often have to pay a pretty penny in order to purchase products that can make my hair shiny, soft and manageable. When BlogHer offered to send me a bottle of conditioner I agreed to try it, but didn’t think it would work for my hair type. I figured I would use it a handful of times and then start using my old, more expensive conditioner again.

I received a bottle of Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner in the mail and started using it in place of my regular conditioner. This summer has been particularly brutal. The record high temperatures and high humidity have left my hair feeling dry and brittle. A couple of days in chlorinated swimming pools didn’t help either.

I figured if anyone’s hair could use a little repair it was certainly mine. After just a few days of use my hair began to feel just a bit softer and silkier. The dry and brittle feeling has reduced dramatically and my curls seem smoother, sleeker and less prone to frizz and flyaways. While I certainly can’t speak for the science behind the product I can say that I can already feel a significant difference in the texture of my hair. Within two days it felt exceedingly softer.

I’m excited at the prospect of spending less money on hair care products. I don’t know about you, but I often find that I can’t use the same product indefinitely. It’s like my hair gets weighed down by a product after awhile, so I like to rotate products every few weeks.

So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised and very happy with the results of Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner. Even if I don’t replace my more expensive conditioner all together I will certainly add this one to my rotation.

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Be sure to visit Dove® to get a coupon for $1.50 off Dove Hair Therapy products.

September 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

What Are Your Favorite Summer Staples?

Every week the BlogHer community sends out a Life Well Lived question. This week they asked What are your favorite summer staples? How do you bring the summer sun to your wardrobe?

The funny thing is that my answer to this question is exactly the same as my answer to the last one. Two simple words: Nail Polish.

Painting my nails is an inexpensive pick-me-up and it always make me feel really good about wearing sandals or going barefoot throughout the summer. At a barbeque this weekend my sister-in-law commented on how great my nails look and asked how I have the time to paint them with a little one crawling around the house.

I told her it’s the one way I treat myself. I wait until my son falls asleep for the night. Then I ask my husband to keep an ear out for him. I head into the living room, grab a big glass of water, turn on the Food Network and paint my toenails.

No matter how stressful the week is I look down at my feet and immediately feel better about things. Some days I can barely find the time to shower, let alone put on a coat of mascara, so this is an important way for me to feel feminine and pretty.

Plus, what says summer more than a beautiful, bright shade of nail polish? Throw in a big sun hat, a sleeveless cotton dress and I’m all set for summer.

I’ve mentioned this before but I buy my nail polish from Zoya. It’s a bit more expensive then other brands but it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. If you’ve never purchased from Zoya before click on this link, create an account and receive a coupon for a free nail polish. You can find the coupon in the MY PROMOTION CODES tab of your account. If you use that coupon and add two other nail polishes to your order you’ll also earn free shipping!

What about you? What are your favorite summer staples?

May 22, 2012 at 8:27 PM 7 comments

Brightening My Day With a Little Bit of Color

Every week the BlogHer community sends out a Life Well Lived question. This week they asked How do  you incorporate color into your look?

My answer is simple. In the summer time I always paint my nails a bright shade of pink or purple. It’s an inexpensive pick-me-up and it makes me feel really good about pulling my sandals out of storage. This year I purchased a gorgeous new polish called Layla. The second I applied the first coat I felt like the happy days of summer were right around the corner.

I buy my nail polish from Zoya. It’s a bit more expensive then other brands but it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. If you’ve never purchased from Zoya before click on this link, create an account and receive a coupon for a free nail polish. You can find the coupon in the MY PROMOTION CODES tab of your account. If you use that coupon and add two other nail polishes to your order you’ll also earn free shipping!

April 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM 2 comments

Minimalist Makeup

I’m a minimalist when it comes to a lot of things including makeup. I’ve never been one of those girls who carries around a big bag full of products. Give me a bottle of non-gloppy mascara and a colorful eyeliner and I’m good to go for the day. Every once in awhile I’ll throw in eyeshadow and blush or bronzer for extra effect, but I can probably count the number of times I’ve used those products in a year on one hand.

I’m sure I save a lot of money this way. I have friends who buy their makeup from the counters of department stores. Not me. You’ll find me buying most products at the drugstore. Lately, I’ve been splurging on eyeliner at Sephora, but only because I’m in love with a particular color and have a gift card to help cover the cost of it.

To be honest I’m not sure where I came from. My grandmother and mother both love their makeup. At nearly 90 years old my grandmother still puts on a coat of lipstick every morning. She says she’s just not herself without a coat of paint and a pair of earrings. By the way she’s always telling me how beautiful I’d look with a touch of rouge and a drop of lipstick.

For the better part of my life I never wore makeup at all, but when I first found out that I was pregnant I started wearing eyeliner and mascara almost every day. In the beginning I was convinced I was carrying a girl. During the early months I started shopping for pretty dresses and wearing makeup. Two girlie things I’d rarely done before.

I felt more radiant during my pregnancy then I have at any other time in my life and I wanted to enhance that feeling. After reading an old wive’s tale that says women are most beautiful when they carry boys I became convinced a baby boy was inside of me. As my pregnancy wore on I was sure of it.

Needless to say I was right. My son is now four months old. These days I wear eyeliner and mascara to help disguise my tired eyes. In fact, I put on makeup even if I don’t intend to leave the house for the day. After a long night of waking every few hours I can’t stand to look at my tired self in the mirror and I’m amazed at how my day brightens by simply dolling up my eyes.

What are your best beauty tools? Join the discussion at and then enter to win a Kindle Fire and Amazon Gift Card.

February 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM 2 comments

My Last Inexpensive Pedicure for Awhile

I love, love, love, love, love to paint my nails. It’s something I do whenever I’m upset, in a bad mood or need to relax. I probably started painting my nails when I was in middle or high school, but it took on new meaning when I got sick a few years ago.

Shortly after my surgery I quickly got bored of lying around but realized there wasn’t a whole lot I could do from bed. One day, as a simple diversion, I decided to paint my nails. It was something I could do from bed and since I spent a lot of time laying down this simple act provided me with the added benefit of looking down at brightly colored toes. Painting my nails made me feel pretty in a time when I could barely muster up the energy to get clean or shower.

My husband began to realize how the act of painting my nails changed my mood. After awhile he would actually suggest I paint my nails if I was in a particularly glum mood.

Since I became pregnant I’ve been very careful about the types of products I put in and on my body. When a friend suggested I avoid typical nail polish I searched for vegan alternatives. I even asked for a bottle or two for my birthday, since they tend to be much more expensive than the cheap, chemical filled alternatives I used to buy at the drugstore.

I decided to paint my toenails a beautiful hot pink color this evening and quickly realized this might be my last inexpensive pedicure for awhile. It seems my eight month pregnant belly doesn’t make it so easy to bend over to paint my nails.

I tried a bunch of different positions and believe I can finish the job, but truth be told it won’t be easy. If I want another pedicure I might just have to pay a professional to do the work for me. Of course, the cheapest solution is simply to forgo a pedicure all together, but since I find myself elevating my legs in the later stages of pregnancy I sure would like to look down at brightly painted toes.

September 10, 2011 at 3:55 AM 4 comments

My Favorite $2 Purchase

I picked up a hair turban similar to the one pictured above from Marshall’s on clearance for $2. The version I bought is made from microfiber and has a button on the bottom that holds the towel perfectly in place on my head. It’s perfect for wrapping up my hair when I get out of the shower. This morning I applied leave in conditioner and left it on my head while I did chores around the house. Twenty minutes later I pulled off the towel and my hair was extra soft and curly.

March 31, 2010 at 3:37 AM 1 comment

All You Need is a Washcloth

After spending $50 on a facial at the Red Door Salon the clinician provided me with the most interesting advice. At first she prescribed four different products including cleansers, toners, exfoliators and masks. I laughed and said, “I’m here on a half price spa special, do you really think I plan to pay $250 for all these products? She laughed and said, “it’s my job to introduce you to new products that will help improve the appearance of your skin, but my best advice is simple… Wash your face twice a day with soap and a soft washcloth. It’s the cheapest and least harsh way to exfoliate your skin.” An interesting change of tone. From $250 worth of products to a $5 washcloth.

October 24, 2009 at 8:30 PM 1 comment

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