Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Lately, I have been cleansing my face with Murad’s Redness Therapy Soothing Gel Cleanser and have noticed great results. I realized I needed a more gentle cleanser recently when my skin was extremely red after continued use of a stronger cleanser containing AHA and Salicylic Acid. I researched Murad as a company and found that not only do they have effective products, but they are an animal friendly company, so I decided to try their Redness Therapy Cleanser in conjunction with their Correcting Moisturizer.

Murad Redness Therapy Soothing Gel Cleanser contains a patented formula that reduces irritation in your skin while still thoroughly cleansing makeup and impurities. Just a dime sized amount foams up well and is enough for your entire face, though I always recommend cleansing twice to remove makeup. Inside the cleanser are very small, undetectable moisturizing beads meant to soften rough skin and remove flakiness. The Soothing Gel Cleanser also contains Goji Berries which are supposed to provide even more protection and relief for irritated skin.

While there is no extreme cooling or tingling feeling involved when using Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser, your face feel squeaky clean but not tight or dry. In fact, immediately after beginning to use it, my face felt calmer and the flakiness had disappeared. I was concerned that perhaps eliminating a break out fighting ingredient from my daily cleanser would cause some acne, but after one month my face is clear, more even toned and definitely happier. For extreme irritation, a creamy cleanser may be more beneficial, but I would highly recommend Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser to even those without much redness as a great face wash for mild to moderate sensitive, irritated skin. The foaming gel feels especially nice when it’s warm outside and is very effective in removing makeup- even mascara. It’s a great summer cleanser for sensitive skin!

Click here to see more products from Murad.

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Great Facial Moisturizer for Red and Irritated Skin

I recently discovered Murad Correcting Moisturizer SPF 15, which claims to reduce redness and irritation in facial skin. I have been using it for a month, beginning when I noticed my skin flaking and maintaining redness from irritation caused by stronger products. I decided to switch to a product for more sensitive skin to see if it would help.

Murad Correcting Moisturizer is a lightly tinted green shade in the bottle but goes on sheer and untinted on your skin. The green tint is meant to counteract the redness on your face. But being green isn’t the only thing this moisturizer has going for it. Murad Correcting Moisturizer has several soothing ingredients to calm sensitive skin, such as Peppermint, a known soothing agent, and Licorice which reduces redness. Murad Correcting Moisturizer also contains sunscreen elements link Zinc to provide protection from the sun, and therefore less irritation, with an SPF of 15.

This moisturizer feels good on, and for combination skin, the texture is light but moisturizing. Although Murad Correcting Moisturizer is not thick or greasy, I would not necessarily recommend it for extremely oily and acne prone skin as it might feel just a bit too heavy. I have been using it under my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and believe it has made my skin less red and definitely less irritated. By using Murad Correcting Moisturizer in combination with a cleanser for sensitive skin, I recently noticed that the redness on my face had definitely decreased and the flakiness was gone. However, if you are suffering from extreme Rosacea Murad Correcting Moisturizer will probably not provide a dramatic enough result for you. I would recommend it to those with slightly oily to slightly dry skin with mild redness and irritation, especially during the summer when a lighter moisturizer is preferred.

All in all? If it does not alleviate all of your redness, it still feels great on your skin and protects you from the sun!

Click here to see more products from Murad.

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Best New Mascara Innovation – Spinlash

Spinlash MascaraA mascara wand that spins is quite frankly the coolest thing I have seen in a while!

Recently, a reader sent me a new product to try called Spinlash. I did some research and learned that Spinlash is a mascara wand that rotates 360 degrees to apply mascara without clumps and to separate your eyelashes, resulting in perfection. I could not wait to try it out!

The directions enclosed explained how to use Spinlash clearly. Spinlash is basically a battery operated mascara wand with buttons that spin the applicator in two different directions for your top and bottom lashes. The wand has synthetic bristles which always work better to separate your lashes. The rotating wand moves slowly, at just the right pace to make application easy. It’s a little tricky figuring out how to hold the base of the wand at first, but once you become accustomed to it, it is very easy to use.

When I used Spinlash the first time, I could not help but say out loud “this really works!” I was so surprised to see that Spinlash worked exactly how it had been described. I barely had to move my hand up and down; the brush did all the work. The result? Perfectly applied mascara and lashes that look longer, thicker and beautifully separated.

The mascara that comes with Spinlash is a really nice formula; it goes on smoothly and does not dry too quickly so you can reshape your lashes or apply more coats. Once dry, Spinlash mascara feels soft to the touch and is safe for contact lenses wearers. It does smudge a little and if you blink a lot you might have some mascara under your eyes at the end of the day. I would recommend using a primer before using the Spinlash mascara.

Spinlash also claims you can use the Spinlash wand with your any other brand of mascara. I have tried to dip the Spinlash brush into 2 different mascaras, but unfortunately the wand is a bit too thick so the brush cannot enter deeply into a mascara tube. If you do find a tube that Spinlash fits into, simply dip the Spinlash brush into the tube and apply as usual using the spinning wand.

This product definitely gets a thumbs up and kudos to whoever finally invented it! It is priced about the same as any other mascara, but Spinlash gives you their amazing spinning applicator and a free mascara. Ladies, this is definitely a product to try!

(Spinlash is not tested on animals.)

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Best Tinted Moisturizer

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has long been described as the “grand dame” of tinted moisturizers. Of course I wanted to try it.

I was looking for a product that would smooth out my skin tone, provide sheer coverage and brighten the look of skin, making my makeup regimen easier. I was a bit shell-shocked at the price of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer first- a 1.5oz bottle costs around $42 – so I decided to try two other tinted moisturizers first.

I initially tried Peter Thomas Roth’s Tinted Mineral Moisturizer because I was familiar with the quality of the brand. This moisturizer costs about the same as Laura Mercier’s, but has an SPF 30 and is a mineral formula. The Peter Thomas Roth Tinted Mineral Moisturizer feels great to the touch, but left my skin looking washed out. The tint is light and may be better for very fair skin or for use as a facial sunscreen when at the beach (that’s how I will use it). As a tinted moisturizer it just wasn’t sheer enough.

I next tried the Body Shop’s Glow Enhancer which costs $14 for a 0.85oz bottle. The product description promised to brighten my skin, even the tone and cover fine lines, but this product is so sheer it did not cover much of anything. My skin did look a little brighter but not as even toned as I would have liked.

Ultimately I decided to try a sample of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It was love at first application and I actually looked forward to using it. Now I know why this product is notorious in beauty circles and widely used by makeup artists. I only needed to apply a thin layer and my skin looked naturally even and brighter; it was exactly what I was looking for.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer comes in an oil free and regular version. If you have very oily skin it is recommended to use the oil free version. I have slightly oily skin but am prone to breakouts, so I purchased the oil free version and apply my own moisturizer underneath. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is definitely the best in the business!

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Best Flat Irons

Get pin straight hair without using a blow dryer? That’s right! There are now flat irons that both dry and straighten your hair!

I recently had the opportunity to try a new straightener called the H2PRO Ceramic Flat Iron. The H2PRO combines huge functionality in a tiny size. This one inch wonder was originally created for professional use only but now you too can create straight hair with professional tools.

Probably the best feature of the H2PRO Ceramic Flat Iron is that it was specifically designed for damaged, sensitive and thick hair. The hair straightening plates are made of tourmaline and ceramic, which help to smooth and sooth your hair, fighting frizz and damage. It’s capability to attain higher temperatures, combined with materials meant to protect your hair, makes this a flat iron you can use often with less damage than other straighteners.

The H2PRO also has a “damp to dry” feature enabling you to skip the blow dryer! I LOVE this feature. My curly hair is stubborn, and after blow drying with a brush I am exhausted. To be able to skip this step just makes everything a bit easier and saves your hair from the breakage hair dryers can create.

It is my experience that a smaller sized straightener does not add more time, but actually helps you achieve smoother hair quicker. The smaller straighteners are easier to maneuver and allow you to get closer to your scalp. I like the H2PRO because it is small enough to create straight hair but also allows you to curl or create beachy waves with a flip of your wrist.

The H2PRO Ceramic Flat Iron has been compared to another great hair straightener called the T3 Tourmaline Medium Duality Flat Iron. Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty recently named the T3 Tourmaline Flat Iron the best on the market. It has many of the same features as the H2PRO, including tourmaline plates to counteract static and an ability to reach high temperatures. The T3 is a little bit larger than the H2, with plates measuring 1 3/8″, and is designed for longer hair. The T3 works great, but if you are comparing prices, the H2PRO costs a bit less.

There are so many choices when it comes to choosing a flat iron. However, with the evolution of hair straightening tools, even lower priced flat irons have many of the same characteristics as more expensive ones. It’s best to decide exactly what you want from your flat iron and do some comparison shopping before making a purchase. I would also ask your own hair stylist what he or she recommends. However, it is always best to purchase your flat iron online – you can always find a cheaper price.

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Best Eye Makeup Remover

I’ve spent years scrubbing, scouring and irritating my eyes trying to remove my mascara and makeup at the end of the day. Ladies, here is our solution: The Body Shop Chamomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover.

With a few drops on a cotton pad, my eye makeup was swept away. I held it for a few seconds on my lashes, and my mascara was easy to remove. I put a bit more on the pad and wiped my entire face with this cooling, ultra-sensitive makeup remover, making washing my face easier and faster. Better yet, the Chamomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover did not sting or irritate my eyes at all! And at about $12.50 for an 8 ounce bottle it’s a great deal.

The Body Shop describes the benefits of Chamomile as soothing and calming- and they are right! The best part is, The Body Shop does not conduct any animal testing and purchases fair trade ingredients from all over the world. The Organic Chamomile Water used in the Body Shop’s Eye Make-Up Remover supports small farmers who produce the organic chamomile in a rural area of in England. With the production and use of this ingredient, The Body Shop has helped to sustain their livelihood and continue their farming production.

So, feel good physically and mindfully when you take your makeup off at night! I swear, you will look forward to washing your face!

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Best Products are Animal Friendly

I have always been an animal lover, but it is just recently that I have begun to pay attention to which companies conduct animal testing and which do not. After doing some research, my idealized disagreement in this method has turned into a fact based determination that animal testing is both ineffective and unethical. The facts are indisputable: animal testing is completely inaccurate. The methodologies used, such as dropping untested formulas into rabbits’ eyes, or applying irritant skin care products on guinea pigs, mice, dogs and monkeys, do not produce the same results as on humans. More often than not, the way an animal reacts to a cosmetic chemical or ingredient is completely different from a humans’ reaction, sometimes leading to an animal having severe skin irritations or a fatal ingestion of massive doses of something that may be completely safe for humans.

I am not trying to preach or convert anyone, but in the interest of the animals I love, I will try to focus on purchasing animal friendly products in the future. There are so many wonderful alternatives on the market today, it really is easy to do. So, keep checking in for articles on beneficial and effective animal friendly products!

Thanks so much.

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Best Vitamin Water

Recently, one of my readers sent me new Snapple Antioxidant Water to try. Snapple has long been everyone’s favorite drink, making delicious ice teas, lemonades and fabulous other flavors. Now, Snapple has created a line of nutrient rich flavored waters. At first I was skeptical, thinking that it would be another overly sugary sports drink that didn’t contain much water at all. I am pleased to tell you I was pleasantly surprised!

I received four of the seven Snapple Antioxidant Water flavors: Strawberry Acai, Orange Starfruit, Grape Pomegranate and Rasberry Acerola. Most “vitamin waters” are so sweet you feel like you are having candy instead of something that is supposed to be good for you. All of the Snapple Antioxidant Flavors, had a pleasant, lightly flavored taste that did not overwhelm you and left you feeling refreshed. Each flavor I received tasted unique and delicious.

Snapple Antioxidant Water contains plenty of antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial to counteract aging and to keep your body and skin healthy and young. “Superfruits” such as acai and pomegranate provide vitamins A, B, C and E; minerals and electrolytes keep you more hydrated than water alone. Two flavors also have natural caffeine in the form of Ginseng and Guarana to boost your energy level. All in all, Snapple Antioxidant Water is a well rounded vitamin drink.

With a calorie content of about 140 per bottle, Snapple Antioxidant Water is not a substitute for plain water. But if you exercise, Snapple Antioxidant Water is a perfect complement to your active lifestyle; it will hydrate, protect and replenish your body with nutrients to keep you moving.

Feel free to send samples of your products – I would love to try them!

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Best Conditioner for Blonde Hair – Deva

It’s not often that you find a color-depositing conditioner for blonde hair. I tried Deva Care One Condition a few weeks ago and love it. Deva Blonde One Condition is made by the same company as my beloved Deva Curl products. It has a purple tint to neutralize yellow and brassy tones, while still providing rich, weightless moisture to your hair. Deva Blonde One Condition is perfect for color treated or natural blondes, as well as silver haired beauties.

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Best Body Balm and Salve – Egyptian Magic

best body balm

Egyptian Magic is exactly what it claims to be: magic. If the simple but effective ingredients of Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Honey Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Bee Propolis and Love don’t make you want to try Egyptian Magic, then let me tell you why I love it.

Egyptian Magic is completely multi-purpose. Recommended uses are as treatment for burns, scrapes, rashes, skin irritation, dryness, new scars, stretch marks, hair conditioner, eczema, lip balm and even as a personal lubricant, this balm does it all. And trust me, it works. At the first sign of a bug bite, itchy patch or mysterious looking mark I apply Egyptian Magic and it heals! I keep a bottle of Egyptian Magic on hand at all times for anything I might need it for. My dog once suffered from a nasty rash and not even the vet knew what to do. While taking antibiotics, I also applied Egyptian Magic to his rash and it went away faster. My dog also loves the taste of it for some reason, but I felt safe even if he did lick it because Egyptian Magic is natural and edible. Many mothers I know also use Egyptian Magic on their babies for diaper rash and other skin conditions.

The all natural ingredients leave nothing to mystery so you can rest assured that you are not putting anything harmful on your body. Olive Oil, Royal Jelly and Propolis are natural healing elements, and combined together with Love this formula works like magic!

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