Aveeno Daily Challenge Week Two

For the Aveeno Daily Challenge, I have been doing two things:

Sleeping Beauty

1.  Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

2.  Using Aveeno Daily Moisurizing Lotion every day

I have to say, I am noticing a big difference in how I feel throughout the day. I am actually more productive and get more done that I did staying up an extra two hours. It’s easy to get up in the morning (I can’t believe I am not hitting the snooze six times anymore) and I am not struggling to stay awake on the drive in to work.

As for my skin, it is definitely soft and smooth. I tend to have dry patches on my upper arms, and those are going away. Plus, it is officially “Lisa Bronzing Season”, as my wonderful partner Marcia calls it, and I am finding that faux tanning is much, much easier with already hydrated skin.

So far so good…in fact, I am wondering if nine hours of sleep per night might be even better??  - Lisa

keep-calm-and-get-some-beauty-sleep

#AveenoDailyChallenge

*sent for editorial consideration

I need more beauty sleep! Aveeno Daily Challenge Week One

photo from sleepsense.net

photo from sleepsense.net

As an Aveeno Ambassador, I was honored when asked to participate in their new three-week long Daily Challenge to integrate one additional healthy habit in my life.  Who doesn’t want to be healthier and more beautiful?

One way I can better navigate this path is by getting more sleep.  Right now I average 5 hours of quality slumber per night.  How do I know this?  I have been tracking my sleep with my Fitbit Force.

Fitbit Fitgear

Fitbit Force

This fantastic device is a watch, plus it tells me how many steps I take each day, how many miles I travel, how many calories I burn, how many times I go up and down stairs, and how many minutes I spend in vigorous exercise.  All of it comes in handy, but when I started using the sleep monitoring feature I was shocked when I realized how little sleep I am getting.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

I pledge to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night for the next three weeks.  In addition, I also plan to use AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion every day for three weeks.  AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion has natural oatmeal and tons of emollients, so I hope it will make my skin happy.

Here’s hoping more beauty sleep and consistent use of body lotion will lead me to a healthier, more beautiful me!  - Lisa

#AveenoDailyChallenge

*sent for editorial consideration

9 money-saving products for spring

Spring is officially here! How about some awesome products for the season that won’t make your wallet wince? Here are nine great items that are also affordable.

1.  Garment Saver Makeup Guard

Garment Saver

Garment Saver Makeup Guard

saving your clothes from your makeup!

saving your clothes from your makeup!

This handy little net keeps your makeup from staining your clothes. Put it over your head then slip on even the most expensive silk shell without fear of the dreaded foundation stain. The best part? A pack of 3 is only $9.50.

2.  Flats to Go!

With the snow and slush drying up, it’s time to break out the heels…but feet are still used to comfy flat winter boots. This handy solution will help you out when your feet are killing you.

Flats to Go in a cute little purse

Flats to Go in a cute little purse

Flats to Go

Flats to Go!

A little purse holds stylish flats that fold down into nothing for easy traveling. These cute gems are only $9.99 and they come in four different kinds of ballet flats: patent, snake print, alligator print, and fleecy leapord print.

3.  Kushyfoot Tights

These are some of the best tights ever! Pick up some fleece tights for colder days and some sheer body shaping tights for warmer days.

Kushyfoot Tights

Kushyfoot Tights

Fleece for colder days...

Fleece for colder days…

I can’t even begin to tell you how comfy these tights are. I feel like I am wearing my jammies to work when I have these on. They keep my legs warm, but they aren’t stifling in warmer weather.

Massaging soles keep feet happy

Massaging soles keep feet happy

And how fantastic to have massaging soles in tights that also shape your tummy, hips, and thighs? This version is more sheer than the fleece ones and both are super affordable at only $26.97 for three pairs – about $9 a pair!

5.  DIY DYE:  Bright and funky hair coloring you do at home

Having your hair colored can be very expensive. This book is full of awesome and creative ideas for coloring your hair at home.

DIY DYE

DIY DYE

DIY DYE

food coloring as hair dye

Even Kool Aide can work as hair color

Even Kool Aid can work as hair color

all the techniques

all the techniques

for beautifully colored hair!

for beautifully colored hair!

Who knew food coloring or Kool Aid could be used to color hair?? These ideas and so many more are in this book, along with great step-by-step instructions and photos of the finished product. Your investment? Only $16.95.

6.  Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Easily found in drugstores, this huge bottle of springy smelling body wash is pure heaven. Coconuts and hibiscus combine for a fabulous fresh scent and this creamy wash lathers up beautifully and leaves skin clean and moisturized. A hefty 13 fl.oz. bottle is only $8.99.

7.  Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Get this to go with the body wash! It has the same heavenly scent and 13 fl. oz. of this heavenly light body lotion is only $7.99.

8.  Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

Keep that fresh and clean spring theme going with this citrus and ginger scented deodorant.

Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

What makes this deodorant really special is that it is aluminum-free. It keeps odor away with essential oils that kill bacteria, and it works for even the most sensitive skin.

9.  Zoya GieGie

The perfect springy pink nail color, GieGie is a ‘cherry blossom pink metallic’.

Essie Gie Gie

Essie GieGie

Essie Gie Gie

Essie GieGie

Nothing says spring better than cherry blossoms. And you can find this gorgeous shade for just $9.00.

Celebrate the coming warmth with some practical and pretty things for yourself – and feel good about all the money you have saved!  - Lisa

*some items sent for editorial consideration, some purchased by me

Save your skin with AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care (giveaway inside)

AmLactin (facebook page)

AmLactin (facebook page)

One day it snows and snows and snows. The next day the temperatures drop way below freezing. Then suddenly we have a warm up and it’s in the high 40’s. Who knows what tomorrow or next week will bring! We are all dealing with the colder temperatures and the drier winter air which is sucking the moisture from our skin. It doesn’t matter if you live in North Dakota, California or North Carolina because we all seem to be affected by the drastic changes in weather. Even with spring officially starting in a few days, we just can’t seem to trust Mother Nature nowadays.

the AmLactin line of products

the AmLactin line of products

Luckily for us (and for you) AmLactin® Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care has sent two products for the BIZ to review and have agreed to a giveaway for one of our US readers. AmLactin® has one major difference that makes it stand out from all the lotion companies around and that’s the power of lactic acid.

AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care has been a favorite of dermatologists for years. The strength of the AHA in the products they subscribe used to be the highest level of AHA you could get; now though the over-the-counter AmLactin products will help keep you from getting to the point that you need a dermatologist to relieve severely dry skin.

Marcia’s review of AmLactin® Moisturizing Body Lotion

I have one big problem with reviewing AmLactin® Moisturizing Body Lotion (approximately $13.99) and that is that I can never find it when I need it. There’s this man that I’m married to who thinks that this moisturizing body lotion is there for him. Since it doesn’t look girly and it has no fragrance, he often appropriates it.

AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion

AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion

I’ve learned to grab this and put it by my sink so that when I step out of the shower it’s ready to smother my body with. Since I’ve started using the AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion I’ve noticed much less itchy skin and no flakes either.

AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion

AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion

If you can read the label you can see what it does – gently exfoliates and intensely hydrates. For me it’s very important that it’s fragrance free and non-greasy. I have other products that I use on my legs. I don’t have others right now that I use on my body or arms though and that’s because I am so sensitive to smell.

AmLactin® Moisturizing Body Lotion has a special formula with clinically proven 12% lactic acid that’s pH-balanced for the skin. The lactic acid mentioned is a naturally occurring humectant for the skin. There’s an affinity for water molecules to help keep skin hydrated with this lotion. When your body retains moisture, it’s going to feel softer and smoother.

AmLactin Body Lotion

AmLactin Body Lotion

You won’t notice the exfoliation since it’s doing its job behind the scenes. It’s like a secret agent. It’s encouraging natural skin cell renewal through exfoliation and then delivering hydration to your skin. Tricky and wonderful at the same time.

 

Lisa’s review of AmLactin® Hydrating Body Cream

Do you have dry skin patches, Keratosis Pelaris (red bumps on arms or legs), or sun damaged skin? Then you want AmLactin® Ultra Hydrating Body Cream ($15.99).

AmLactin Ultra Hydrating Body Cream

AmLactin Ultra Hydrating Body Cream

Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy

Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy

This extremely thick, fragrance-free body cream is exactly what severely dry skin wants! The combination of alpha-hydroxy acid and super rich emolliants will cure your skin woes and make sure they never come back. The alpha-hydroxy acids exfoliate away those bumps and flakes, and the mineral oil and glycerin softens and repairs like crazy.

super thick!

super thick!

The ‘triple action’ is the triple-threat combination of alpha-hydroxy acid, rich humectants, and creamy emollients. This is a really, really, really thick body cream and you don’t need much – the swatch above is probably enough for my arms and legs with some to spare. One tube will last you a very long time. If you suffer from dry skin, even extremely rough dry skin, you are going to fall in love with this!

You can find AmLactin products easily online and at stores like Target, Walmart, drugstores and even Costco!

Giveaway information: One US subscriber will win these products- One full-size AmLactin Ultra (4.9 oz tube), One full-size AmLactin Foot Cream (3 oz.), One travel-sized AmLactin Cerapeutic (2 oz.), One travel-sized AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion (2 oz). Use the Rafflecopter to enter. This giveaway is open through 3/26/14 at 11:59 p.m. EST. When the giveaway is over Rafflecopter will be used to choose the winner. The winning entry will be validated and if it’s not valid then another winner will be chosen. This terrific prize will be sent by AmLactin to the winner.

*review products and giveaway supplied by PR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yummy! Lush Vanillary Perfume Gift Set

Vanilla lovers rejoice!

vanilla-lovers

Many great scents have a vanilla base with good reason. Vanilla smells sweet, but not too sweet. It is a warm, comforting scent that can be playful or sophisticated. It also pairs well with so many other scents.  The Lush Vanillary scent is a fantastic option for vanilla lovers. It combines deep vanilla with soft caramel notes, a pairing that adds up to a wonderfully rich scent that isn’t too sweet or too foody. Lush sent the BIZ their Vanillary Perfume Gift Set ($44.95 ) to try, a beautiful bouquet of products to layer for maximum lasting power throughout the day.

Lush Vanillary Perfume Set

Lush Vanillary Perfume Set

Lush Vanillary - the tin is awesome for storing makeup brushes

Lush Vanillary – the tin is awesome for storing makeup brushes

more retro cuteness

more retro cuteness

pics from the Ndali Estate

pics from the Ndali Estate

Mubuku vanilla farmers in Uganda

Mubuku vanilla farmers in Uganda

The set comes in a cute retro tin that can be repurposed – right now I am storing my larger makeup brushes in it. Inside the tin are three Vanillary-scented products that work perfectly together: Dee-Lite Body Lotion, Perfume Spritzer, and Solid Perfume.

inside the reusable tin

inside the reusable tin

Vanillary Solid Perfume, Dee-Lite Body Lotion, and Perfume Spritzer

Vanillary Solid Perfume, Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion, and Vanillary Perfume Spritzer

The Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion is a light, smooth, and hydrating body lotion that drenches the skin in a yummy vanilla scent.

Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion

Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion

swatch of Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion

swatch of Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion

The impressive ingredient list includes organic coconut water, kiwi fruit, coconut oil, illipe butter and hibiscus infusion. This body lotion has a divine texture that is truly a ‘delight’ for the skin.

Vanillary Perfume Spritzer

Vanillary Perfume Spritzer

After slathering on some Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion, make it a vanilla party with a few well-placed spritzes of the Vanillary Perfume. This vanilla fragrance has major sex appeal with notes of vanilla absolute, sandalwood, caramel, jasmine and tonka bean. Spray this on pulse points, behind the knees, and the back of the neck for an aura of absolute deliciousness.

Vanillary Solid Perfume

Vanillary Solid Perfume

Finally, stash the Solid Perfume in your purse or at your work desk for quick touch ups during the day. This version of the Vanillary fragrance has more pronounced caramel and toffee notes and wow does it smell amazing. The solid stick is awesome for travel and for overall convenience. I can quickly swipe this on without worrying about spilling or accidentally putting on too much.

If you or someone you love is a vanilla lover like me, this absolutely yummy gift set has the sweet smell of success.  - Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Their cows eat cookies! Farmhouse Fresh Backcountry Caramel Body Milk

My latest obsessions? Cows. Cows and caramel. I know, it’s weird…but I blame it all on Farmhouse Fresh.

Farmhouse Fresh Backcountry Caramel Body Milk

Farmhouse Fresh Backcountry Caramel Body Milk

Farmhouse Fresh, the Texas-based bath and body company, sent the Backcountry Caramel Body Milk ($28) to test and it is bovinely divine! It is one of the most warm and delicious body milks I have ever tried.

Backcountry Caramel

Backcountry Caramel Body Milk

milk and caramel goodness

milk and caramel goodness

Let’s start with the packaging. The box itself is a country hoot, with wonderful pictures of cows and the slogan, “Our cows eat cookies.” Inside, the adorably fat glass bottle is so whimsically attractive I actually keep this right in my family room. It also comes in a gorgeous 10 oz. glass cruet for $30.

Backcountry Caramel in a glass cruet

Backcountry Caramel in a glass cruet

The 8 oz size comes with a pump for the light, milky lotion that smells….oh my…delicious. This is a foody scent, but it’s not so foody that friends will think you just ate pancakes and forgot to brush your teeth. It is a warm caramel scent with a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

all put ttogether

all put together

The lotion itself is beautiful. It spreads like silk, sinks right in, and keeps skin extremely soft and hydrated. The lotion has no parabens and is sulfate free, and is 97.5% natural. It is a blend of rice bran, evening primrose, coconut, soybean and sunflower seed oils. The oils are amazing on my dry winter skin, and there is also lots of aloe and vitamin E to sooth and calm any chapping or skin irritation. I absolutely love it.

Farmhouse Fresh has all kinds of super cute and wonderfully effective bath and body products. Give yourself some time to check out the website…just looking at the products makes me happy, I mean who can resist cows that eat cookies? Not me, those sweet cows get me every time!  - Lisa

*pr sample  Farmhouse Fresh is sold at luxury retail boutiques as well as some of the top destination spas like Four Seasons Chicago, The Spa at Camelback Inn, and the Ritz-Carlton Orlando.

FF Backcountry Cararmel

Surya Brasil Sapien Women Shower Gel and Body Moisturizer

The beautiful Brazilian company Surya Brasil has a new line focused on women called ‘Sapien Women‘. I have been testing several items they sent to the BIZ and two that have really impressed me are the Shave Gel ($17) and the Body Moisturizer ($23.50).

Surya

Surya Brasil Sapien Women Shave Gel

Surya

slippery smooth and super effective

I am big on using my husband’s products for things like shaving, but this is a shave gel I want all for myself. It is a slippery gel that makes shaving (not something I typically enjoy) a pleasure. I am weird…I can’t stand stubble so I shave my legs every day. That means I need help keeping my legs from getting irritated and this totally does the trick. Ingredients like Cupuaçu butter, Pracaxi oil, Macadamia oil, and Vitamin E keep my legs soft, smooth, and happy. What is NOT included is notable as well:  no sulfates, parabens, BHT, EDTA, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, GMOs, phthalates, alcohol, or silicon.

Surya

Surya Brasil Sapien Women Body Moisturizer

Surya

thick and creamy goodness

While the Shave Gel leaves my legs moist and smooth, the Body Moisturizer is like icing on the cake. This is a thick, creamy moisturizer in a humongous tube. It smells pleasantly fruity and sweet, and the scent doesn’t linger. It has tons of skin friendly ingredients like Cupuaçu and Murumuru butters, Pracaxi and Açaí oils, Amaranth protein, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera juice. The moisturizer soaks in quickly and boy does it soften skin, plus it keeps skin hydrated all day long. It is a wonderful vegan option to soothe dry winter skin. Like the Shower Gel, it is missing a lot of stuff you don’t want in your skin care – no sulfates, parabens, BHT, EDTA, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, GMOs, phthalates, alcohol, or silicon.

Surya Brasil is truly a company you can feel good about purchasing from – just check out their certifications:

Ecocert the consumer’s guarantee that the product purchased is truly organic.

Certified Vegan, and are guaranteed not to be tested on animals or to contain ingredients of animal origin.

PETA cruelty-free certified given by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization dedicated to defending animal rights.

FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council) ensuring that paper production is made of the wood derived from reforested areas and other controlled sources, and assuring respect for the environment and for workers.  – more -

Cosmebio the French Professional Ecological and Organic Cosmetic Association guarantees that a cosmetic product follows the specifications for natural or organic products.

Fair Trade Certified which requires rigorous protection of local ecosystems and ensures that farmers receive a harvest price, which will allow them to practice sustainable agriculture and eventually transform into an organic agriculture for a better environment.

Surya Brasil is a member of the Brazilian Trade Association for Natural Products and Well-Being brings together companies that market natural products with environmental responsibility. The company is also a member of The Compact for Safe Cosmetics and Organic Trade Association.

Surya Brasil also follows ISO 14000 standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes etc.) negatively affect the environment (An integral part of the European Union’s Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

Take a look at the Sapien Women line for some excellent products that are also good for the planet!  - Lisa

*pr samples

Shave Gel Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, *Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Decyl Polyglucoside, Glycerin, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, **Sucrose Cocoate, Dehydroaceitc Acid Benzyl, Alcohol, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Citric Acid, *Penthaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Tocopherol, *Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, *Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter.
*INGREDIENTS FROM ORGANIC FARMING **MADE USING ORGANIC INGREDIENTS. 98,80% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 13,62% of the total ingredients are from organic farming.

Body Moisturizer Ingredients: Water, *Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Olivate Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin Stearate, Dehydroacetic Acid Benzyl Alcohol, *Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, *Penthaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Fragrance, *Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Saccharomyces Silicon Ferment, Sacchromyces Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces Zinc Ferment, Sacchromyces Cooper Ferment, Saccharomyces Iron Ferment, Sodium PCA, *Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Xanthan Gum, Tocophreol, Sodium Hydroxide, Carrageenan.
*INGREDIENTS FROM ORGANIC FARMING 98,88% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 18,88% of the total ingredients are from organic farming.