Affordable luxury with Essenza Luxury Hand Soap

EssenzaIf I had to pick one product that my family goes through faster than any other, it would be liquid hand soap. Every sink in the house has a bottle of hand soap on it, and when I think about how often two adults and three kids wash their hands…no wonder liquid hand soap is always on my shopping list!

Essenza Luxury Hand Soap

Essenza Luxury Hand Soap

Essenza recently sent me their Luxury Hand Soap line to try. These hand soaps have beautiful packaging and look amazing in every room. If you want to match your hand soap to your décor, there is an Essenza Luxury Hand Soap for you!

Not only are these hand soaps beautiful, they are also affordable at only $4.99 each. The soap is quite moisturizing with a blend of essential oils, shea butter and aloe. No matter how many times I wash my hands, they never get dried out. The Luxury Hand Soaps have no artificial dyes or colorings, and the scents are very elegant.

Rosemary Mint and Pear Glace

Rosemary Mint and Pear Glace

My husband and I recently renovated our first floor bathroom in an Arts & Crafts style with nature-inspired shades of greens and browns. The gorgeous green versions of the Luxury Hand Soap fit perfectly. The darker green is Rosemary Mint with top notes of lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Middle notes include spearmint, celery, and geranium, and base notes include amber and vanilla.

Essenza Rosemary Mint Luxury Hand Soap in my new bathroom!

Essenza Rosemary Mint Luxury Hand Soap in my new bathroom!

The lighter green version is Pear Glace, which has top notes of sugared pear and casaba melon. Middle notes include violet and cassis, and base notes include muguet and sandalwood. The fragrance also includes these essential oils: orange oil, mandarin, and lemongrass.

Pomegranate Acai and Mango Agave

Pomegranate Acai and Mango Agave

If your décor features red accents, go for the Pomegranate Acai. I have this one at my kitchen sink, which perfectly matches my Tuscan-inspired decor with yellow walls and red window sconces. The Pomegranate Acai fragrance includes top notes of pomegranate and acai, middle notes of strawberry and jasmine, and base notes of peach and vanilla. In addition, essential oils included are orange oil and anise.

Mango Agave is in the beautiful, grown up orange bottle. This fragrance has top notes of peach nectar, pink tangerine, and guava. Middle notes include tropical mango, cassis, and ruby grapefruit, and base notes include pomegranate, apricot preserves, and sugar cane.

French Lavender and South Pacific Waters

French Lavender and South Pacific Waters

The final two fragrances are housed in pretty bottles of purple and blue. The purple is the French Lavender fragrance with a top note of green fresh lavender, a middle note blend of light sweet florals, and a base note of subtle earthy wood.

The blue bottle is the South Pacific Waters fragrance, a gorgeous tropical scent. The fragrance has top notes of marine accord and citron. Middle notes include green floral and awapuhi, and base notes include olive and ginger.

I love the way the Essenza Luxury Hand Soaps look, I love the moisturizing soap, and I love the price! These fantastic hand soaps are very expensive looking and the bottles match almost any décor. You can find Essenza at Safeway, HEB Grocery, Duane Reade, Bed Bath and Beyond and online at DrugStore.com.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Puracy Natural Hand Soap review and giveaway!

Look ma, clean hands….and all naturally, too!

Puracy Natural Hand Soap

It’s cold and flu season, so I find myself saying “Wash your hands…did you wash your hands?  Be sure to wash those hands.”  Over and over and over.  A terrific choice for clean hands that don’t get stripped from overwashing is Puracy, who sent us a bottle to try and a bottle to give to one luck Beauty Info Zone reader.

Puracy Natural Hand Soap ($6.99) is indeed all-natural, made from plants and minerals with lavender and vanilla essential oils.  Even if you aren’t a fan of lavender you will like this soap because the fragrance is muted and very pleasant.  It has great packaging, as the labeling is pretty and it looks good in the kitchen, bathroom, or wherever you have running water.

Puracy says, “Our hand soap is tough enough for grease, gentle enough for children, and pure enough to naturally recycle in the environment.”  It doesn’t get any better than that!  The formula has vitamin E, sea salt, and aloe vera.  The bottles are eco-friendly and there are 576 hand washings in each one – that will take my kids through a whole lot of reminders from mom!

Puracy All Natural Hand Soap

A few other fun facts about this hand soap:  it has no triclosan, parabens, phosphates, SLS, MEA, DEA, TEA, animal by-products, petrochemicals, dyes, or caustics; it is all natural, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and biodegradable; the lavender essential oil has a naturally antiseptic quality; it is safe for greywater and septic systems; and it is never tested on animals.

Puracy Natural Hand Soap is wonderful, so be sure to enter our giveaway to win a bottle for yourself.  The US only giveaway ends on 1/12/15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. If the comments close just comment on our Facebook page or email me at beautyinfozone@gmail.com so you can continue adding your Rafflecopter options. Come back daily to retweet, it definitely increases your odds of winning!  – Lisa

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*product reviewed and giveaway prize from Puracy

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Vegetable Glycerin (Plant-Based Skin Softener), Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aloe Vera (Plant-Based Skin Softener), Citric Acid (Citrus-Based Preservative), Sodium Citrate (Plant-Based pH Adjuster), Lavender Essential Oil, Vanilla Essential Oil, Benzisothiazolinone (Biodegradable Preservative)

10 Budget Friendly Back-to-School Beauty Essentials

Whether you or your kids are going back to school or off to college, it’s the perfect time of year to find deals on essential beauty products.  The Meijer Beauty team challenged me to find my top back-to-school picks, and it was gratifying to see my must-have bath, body and color items with wonderful prices.  Considering I work in a high school and have kids in both college and middle school, I am all about finding the best products at the right price.  Drumroll please…my top ten recommendations for essential (and budget friendly) back-to-school products.

Soap for school:  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love...Coconut & Cream Shower Gel

Soap for school: J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream

1.  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap ($4.99, I got it at Meijer for $4.49)  The reason I first bought this hand soap was for the awesome vintage label.  The reason I keep buying it?  It’s excellent foaming hand soap, especially for the price.  The soap in public buildings like schools is usually pretty rough stuff, I wash my hands all the time.  My solution is to bring my own.  I keep this soap in my office, and it would fit nicely into a locker.  I like the Aloe and Green Tea scent as a real mood enhancer to help get the school year off right.

2.  I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream ($7.29)  This British brand is soooo good…doesn’t the packaging look like the Philosophy bottles?  I actually prefer the I love… brand, and it is so much more affordable.  I start my day with a shower then end it with a bubble bath, and the Coconut & Cream scent takes me right back onto vacation.

Necessities for school

Necessities for school

3.  Goody 50 piece Ouchless No Metal Elastics ($2.19, but I got mine at Meijer for $1.10!)  The perfect way to hide morning bedhead is with a ponytail or bun…and these Ouchless Elastics don’t snag, pull, or break hair strands.

4.  Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream Kiss ($3.99)  This super cute lip butter has only been available in the U.S. for about a year, and I am so happy it’s easily found now!  It has great slip and keeps lips soft and moist, plus it tastes like caramel toffee.  Yum.

5.  Meijer Hand Sanitizer ($1.19)  This is simply a must-have for purses and backpacks.  You never know who was sitting in that desk or what nose they were picking…eewwwwww.

Perfect colors for back to school!

Perfect colors for back to school!

Nudes and deep pinks

Nudes and berries

6.  Cover Girl Bombshell Volume by Lashblast Mascara ($9.39)  I think this is the best drugstore mascara out there.  One end is the base coat, which gives definition and length perfect for casual days.  When I want more oomph – and I mean fantastic oomph – I use the other end, the intensifying top coat.  This side darkens lashes and provides mega-drama without any flakes or smearing.

Physician's Formula Nude Eyes

Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes

Nude Eyes - gorgeous.

Nude Eyes – gorgeous.

7.  Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes ($9.99, but I got mine at Meijer for an incredible $6.99)  I am loving neutral, nude eyes with berry cheeks for the fall, and this nude eyeshadow palette is to die for.  Is it reminding you of the Urban Decay Naked2 palette?  Yup, me too, but this is way cheaper with the same quality.  Use these shadows dry or wet for more intensity, and keep the palette sitting out because the packaging is stunning.

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

8.  Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose ($8.29)  Just check out the gorgeousness of this mosaic highlighter/blush.  The soft, creamy shades can be used alone, but I like to swirl a big brush over the whole thing for a beautiful berry glow on my cheeks.

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

9 and 10.  Nicole by OPI Nail Polish in Sing You Like a Bee and Cocoa a Gogo ($5.99 each)  Going back to school is an awesome reason to treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure, and these two shades are perfect for a nude and berry combo.

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee is from the Carrie Underwood collection.  This is a gorgeous sheer white with golden shimmers.  It is a beautiful shimmery nude look by itself, and it makes a perfect top layer over pretty much any color.

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo is a shimmery chocolate-brown that I love for pedicures…and it is the perfect color for transitioning into cool days and cozy nights by the fire.  Even better, it smells like cinnamon!

Not only are these ten products essentials, it also costs less than $55 to purchase them all at Meijer.  Get your style on for back to school and save money too!

Be sure to check out MeijerStyle.com the last week in August for a post with links to lots of blogger Back-to-School articles – one lucky person who comments on the MeijerStyle.com post will receive a gift basket of Back-to-School/Back-to-College products.  – Lisa

*products reviewed courtesty of Meijer, opinions and selection of items all my own!

Beautifully clean with Faith Aromatherapy

Faith Aromatherapy is a beautiful bath and body line based on essential oils that heal the body, mind, and soul. They avoid synthetic fragrances and chemicals in their spa quality products, instead using pure, natural ingredients that are genuinely effective as well as good for the environment. I love their products and there are three in particular that I turn to time and again: Tahitian Monoi Perfumed Shower Gel, Balneotherapy Salts in Just Breathe, and Lemongrass/Fennel Hand and Body Wash.

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel 2

The Tahitian Monoi Perfumed Shower Gel ($12.99) is a liquid soap that creates a soft foam. The main ingredient is Tahitian Monoi oil, known for cleansing and soothing skin while also soothing the mind and spirit. Sweet Orange Oil makes the natural scent even more delicious, while glycerin conditions and softens the skin. This shower gel is a beautiful way to get clean every morning.

When it comes to bath time, I absolutely love the Balneotherapy Salts ($10.99) from Faith Aromatherapy’s Apothecary remedy products. They have five different types of bath salts available, including Keep Your Peace, Just Breathe, Be Flexible, Flu Prevention Ginger, and Awaken Your Senses.  My choice is Just Breathe.

Faith Aromatherapy Just Breathe Bath Salts

Faith Aromatherapy Balneotherapy Bath Salts in Just Breathe

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Just Breathe has an awesome combination of eucalyptus and sweet orange essential oils. Along with the epsom salts, the combo clears my stuffy nose like nothing else. It also helps to ease aching muscles and sea salt is fabulous for clearing your energy and getting yourself back into spiritual alignment. This is strong stuff and it is perfect for when colds or allergies strike.

Faith Aromatherapy Hand Soap

Faith Aromatherapy Lemongrass/Fennel Moisture Rich Sanitizing Hand Soap

soapy goodness

soapy goodness

Last but not least, the Lemongrass/Fennel Moisture Rich Sanitizing Hand and Body Wash ($9.99) is a wonderful hand soap. It smells citrusy and clean thanks to the essential oils and Olive Leaf Extract. I wash my hands all the time and many soaps leave them parched. This one never does, and it smells so good – and that fragrance is what helps protect hands from germs, fungus, and bacteria.

Faith Aromatherapy is a wonderful line, particularly if you are into essential oils and the mind/body/spirit connection. They also have body scrubs, body lotions and creams, and natural deodorant. Plus, in the Apothecary you can fill out a questionnaire and they will make a custom blended essential oil just for you. Check it out and get calm, healthy, and happy!  – Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Nuture your inner hippie with hip E chick Organic products

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. I always seem to want to go back in time and hip E chick organic bath and body products lets me time travel to the groovy ’70’s! This is a very cool, ‘hip’ line that is all about eco-friendly living. Everything is hand crafted with organic, non-toxic ingredients. hip E chick recently sent the BIZ a few things to try and I am happy to report they are as practical as they are stylish.

hip e chick

hip E chick Maui Wowie Soy Candle

hip

totally gift ready!

The Maui Wowie Soy Candle ($24 for an 8 oz. candle) arrives gift-ready with a cheery lime ribbon bow. The scent is totally addictive, a mix of coconut, pineapple, and cilantro. It’s yummy and sultry and clean smelling all at the same time.

hip

Maui Wowie in the box

hip

100% hand poured pure soy wax

This beautiful, fun, and practical candle is 100% hand poured pure soy wax. It has a cotton wick so there’s none of that nasty candle smoke and it is free of synthetic dyes and additives. This is a great candle for you or for any hippie chick you know.

The Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap ($16 for 8 oz.) is a wonderful way to get a little boho into your day.

hip

hip E chick Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap

hip

super cute packaging!

I wash my hands many times each day, so I want a soap that not only sanitizes but also moisturizes. Add in totally cute packaging and I am sold! Wellness Shot Organic Hand Soap has ingredients like Kangen Living Water, Strong Acid Water, and certified pure therapeutic grade oil blends of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. It leaves a very light, clean scent on hands and skin is wonderfully  cleansed and hydrated. If you love liquid hand soap, put this on your list because it’s a real winner.

hip E chick offers lots of other products, such as a sugar body scrub that sounds delicious, body wash, body oil, and even products for pets.

hip E chick’s do not only cultivate exciting and peaceful lives for themselves; but they always reflect upon how their choices are affecting the rest of the world.”  So what do you think – are you a hip E chick?  – Lisa

*pr samples

Pangea Organics Hand Soap

I am obsessed with hand soaps. I love bar soaps, liquid soaps, foaming soaps…anything that smells good and doesn’t dry out my hands from my (slightly OCD) hand washing habit. One I have been using constantly that was sent for review is Pangea Organics Hand Soap ($14) in possibly the longest scent name in the universe – Italian White Sage with Geranium and Yarrow.

Pangea

Pangea Organics Hand Soap

Not only does this soap clean your hands, it also uplifts your mind and balances your body thanks to the geranium and yarrow essential oils.

Pangea

So much more than a hand soap!

Hey every little bit helps. I can always use more rejuvenation and I definitely needs some calming down most of the time.

lovely, fluffy foaminess!

lovely, fluffy foaminess!

It does smell divine, fresh and herbally with a hint of floral from the geranium. And the fluffy foamy goodness is fantastic. The lather is a delight to wash with, and it leaves my hands feeling soft and smelling terrific. Ingredients include organic saponified vegetable oils, organic botanical extracts, and of course those amazing essential oils.

Other scents available include Canadian Pine with White Sage and Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom. Whatever your scent preference, I can tell you this is one terrific hand soap that you will thoroughly enjoy until the last lather.   – Lisa

*pr sample

Makeup Wars – my repeat purchases aka the holy grail


It’s that time again. Makeup Wars!  If you haven’t been keeping up with us, Makeup Wars is a series with over a dozen amazing bloggers on a variety of topics. Today we have decided it show you the items we buy over and over. I’ve chosen to call them Holy Grails since I prefer these to similar products. These are products I consistently purchase and assume I’ll continue to do so for years to come.
So what has Marcia chosen and why?

Mary Kay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover has been a constant for at least 10 years when I unwittingly ended up at an MK party. Actually I enjoyed the experience especially because I bought my first eye makeup remover there. Now I try to buy two or three at a time. The two items that I find the hardest to remove are gel eyeliner and mascara. No matter how stubborn those two are the Mary Kay works. I shake, squeeze it on my cotton square, hold it to my eye for a few seconds and wipe gently. I rarely need to add more since it’s so effective. Plus it’s not oily so if I’m redoing makeup I only have to pat on a little water and I’m set. The MK leads to the next item…makeup war repeat marykay

DHC Silky Cotton squares. I’ve used other brands of pads but this is what I stockpile. Since I hate paying shipping I always buy enough to avoid that charge and I’m set for a year. I like these because they are soft yet sturdy and they never shed fibers. I also buy Shiseido’s version because  those are super soft. But DHC stands up to eye makeup remover better. I usually only need one square for both eyes. I also use these for toner and other light liquids. These cost $5.50 for 80 pads and I now see that DermStore carries them.makeup war repeat dhc

Another type of cleanser I love having on hand all the time is J.R. Watkins Hand Soap aka Natural Home Care Liquid Hand Soap. This comes in about 5 fragrances and is my favorite item to wash my hands with. I keep these in all my bathrooms. It’s  natural earth-friendly formula that is moisturizing without being sticky. It washes off cleanly without a residue. It’s only $4.99 at drugstore.com or Rite Aid and lasts me about 6 weeks. I buy the yummy citrus scents of lemon, orange and grapefruit.

makeup war repeat soap

YSL Touché Éclat   Another product I buy again and again. I buy this kind of concealer/highlighter from other brands all the time. I  probably have half a dozen similar products in my stash. But when it’s all said and done, this is my favorite. It’s not the best concealer but it brightens under my eyes making me feel more alive. I’ve got a few new brands of this type of concealer/highlighter I will be using to review, but they’ll always be compared to YSL TE.makeup war repeat ysl

Last in this list is the BeautyBlender sponge aka Beautyblender Makeup Sponge- accept no substitutes. I’ve got this type of sponge from Sonia Kashuk and MAC and they don’t compare. Other brands will tell you that they are as soft but they aren’t. I love my “Pink Egg” and have gone through quite a few. Mine almost always stains but it’s not entered in a beauty pageant – its job is to make my foundation look perfect and it succeeds. They now produce this in black and in white so if you choose those colors just make sure they are genuine. I’m a bouncer ladies but only with my Beautyblender.makeup war repeat sponges

Now that you’ve read my 5 choices let me know what you’ve been buying over and over again. Then when you are done do some clicking (bouncing) yourself to see what my fellow warriors have selected. — Marcia