Giveaway alert! Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

gettyimages.com

gettyimages.com

November always makes me a little panicky. I know that the holiday season will be here in a flash and with my son in college, the expense of gifts is especially daunting. This year I am focusing on DIY gifts and with our Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar giveaway you can too!

Nielsen Massey Sugar

Besides the fact DIY gifts are pocket-book friendly, they are also so much more personal than a gift card. Nielsen-Massey has truly beautiful vanilla products that aren’t just yummy, they make perfect ingredients for beauty treatments that are so easy to make! I love their Vanilla Body Scrub recipe that uses Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar (Nielsen-Massey sent us the product to test).

NielsenMassey Vanilla Scrub

Vanilla Body Scrub

1 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 or 2 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, etc.
Decorative, waterproof container

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

Spoon into a decorative, waterproof container.

Wrap in decorative paper.

Instructions for use: Apply a small amount to damp skin while in shower or bath. Gently scrub skin with a soft washcloth. Rinse thoroughly.

This is a heavenly body scrub that leaves skin wonderfully soft and smooth. My favorite essential oils to use are either lemon or jasmine.

beautiful packaging!

beautiful packaging!

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is awesome for baking

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is awesome for baking

Of course, the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is also a great gift just by itself. It’s a combination of gourmet baker’s sugar and Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract. Use it as your sugar in baking, sprinkle it in your coffee or hot cocoa, or sprinkle it on some fruit for a delicious dessert. It comes in a beautiful 8.5 oz. glass jar, and it is all sorts of yummy!!

Here are some more great packaging tips from Nielsen-Massey for personalized handmade gifts:

  • Package homemade biscotti, cookies, or even body products in vintage tins or jars. A beautiful container is an additional gift that the recipient can keep long after the handmade gift is gone.
  • Instead of using traditional wrapping paper or gift bags, wrap boxes in craft paper and decorate with pens and markers. Wrap jars and bottles in fabric, burlap, or a pretty kitchen towel and secure it with colorful striped baker’s twine.
  • Attach a Christmas ornament to the outside of the package in lieu of a traditional gift tag. Ornaments can be treasured for years to come.
  • Include a hand-written note or card with the recipe for your gift – it is the gift that keeps on giving!

individual-recipes-banana-bread-pudding

Check out the Nielsen-Massey website for more product information and additional recipes, including more DIY gift ideas such as:

  • Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
  • Decadent Holiday Fudge
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Almonds
  • Gourmet Blueberry Vanilla Granola
  • Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub
  • Chocolate Coffee Biscotti

And don’t forget to visit the Nielsen-Massey Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NielsenMasseyVanillas and Twitter at https://twitter.com/NielsenMassey.

Enter our giveaway today and you can make a Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Body Scrub or your own DIY holiday gift!

This fabulous US giveaway runs through November 11/23/14 at 11:59 p.m. (If comments aren’t open please comment on our Facebook page or email me at marciaandlisa@gmail.com). — Lisa

*giveaway prize courtesy of Nielsen-Massey #NMVHolidays

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HTY Gold Cleansing Coconut Scrub

I am a huge fan of the HTY Gold line.  HTY Gold is dedicated to a cause that is becoming more and more of an issue for me…eliminating crepey skin.  I have tried several of their products and used every last bit that I could scrape from each jar and bottle because I loved the results.  I was, of course, thrilled when HTY Gold sent a new product to test:  the Cleansing Coconut Scrub ($24).

HTY Gold Coconut Scrub

HTY Gold Cleansing Coconut Scrub

inside the jar...coconutty scrubby goodness

inside the jar…coconutty scrubby goodness

The Cleansing Coconut Scrub is a sugar scrub that is infused with organic virgin coconut oil and vitamin E.  Sugar scrubs are my favorite exfoliant because they are gentle but still effective.  I am a huge believer in coconut oil – it’s an excellent emollient and it also works as an anti-inflammatory.  A handful of this scrub will exfoliate your whole body and leave it glowy and moisturized.  I leave the jar in my shower, but during the day I scoop out a bit and use it as a quick hand treatment.  I am always astounded at how soft and moisturized it leaves my hands.

I am really impressed with the Cleansing Coconut Scrub, and I know you will be too.  Check out HTY Gold for this and other wonderful face and body moisturizers, and kiss any crepey skin goodbye.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ingredients:  Sucrose (Cane Sugar), Cocos Nucifera (Organic Virgin Coconut) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Seed Oil, Red Elaeis Guineensis (Red Palm Super Olein).

Have some good sense and look into Two Good Scents (giveaway too)

The first thing you need to do when the postman comes ringing with your package of Two Good Scents bath and body products is to hide all spoons, serving utensils, and probably even bowls. When you open up a jar of goodness from Two Good Scents your nose will go into overdrive and you’ll be tempted to eat the items. Do not eat. You’ll enjoy your products for a much longer time if you use them as directed.

Two Good Scents

Two Good Scents

When Two Good Scents offered to send a sugar scrub for review and to share with 3 of our readers as well, I gladly read over the list of Sugar Body Scrubs that they’ve created and fell in love with the descriptions of several. I was very excited when I received 2 full size scrubs plus a sample. The scents sound so amazing and they are better in real life.

Two Good Scents

Two Good Scents

Two Good Scents is a company founded by two sisters who have always loved bath products. They put their brains and noses together and came up with a delicious list of fragrances including food, floral, tropical, and clean. They’ll be adding in some seasonal ones too. The scrubs are 8 oz each, cost $10, and there’s free shipping.

Two Good Scents yumminess

Two Good Scents yumminess

Sweet Pineapple Sugar Scrub is like being on a vacation. Take a sweet pineapple, add in some mango butter and jump in the shower. You won’t want to get out. Two Good Scents does the work for you, they just won’t be there to scrub you. You’ll want to do that yourself anyway.

Two Good Scents Sweet Pineapple Sugar Scrub

Two Good Scents Sweet Pineapple Sugar Scrub

I chose Lemon Cookie and I’m in love. It smells just like it sounds – sweet, lemony and vanilla. This scrub has aloe butter in it. You just won’t believe how it makes your skin feel. You’ll get out of your shower and just want to touch your skin.

Lemon Cookie Sugar Scrub from Two Good Scents

Lemon Cookie Sugar Scrub from Two Good Scents

The sample they added in to my package is Peaches & Cream. Talk about cute! Talk about luscious. This embodies it all. It’s a juicy Georgia peach with fluffy white marshmallow cream – side by side. I’m surprised this hasn’t been confiscated by my spouse.

Peaches and Cream - oh my

Peaches and Cream – oh my

These are not oily scrubs, they are a fine sugar that dissolves in the shower just leaving behind the smoothness of the butters used in the product (i.e.- aloe butter, shea butter, mango butter and more). Your skin will feel wonderfully soft and the lingering fragrance will delight your senses even though they do fade away. It’s hard for me to believe I’m sad when a fragrance is gone but the three I have are so wonderful I’m changing my ways. — Marcia

Two Good Scents ingredients

Two Good Scents ingredients

For our GIVEAWAY you’ll get to pick your own scent from the list available. You’ll have trouble narrowing it down but you must pick one for the giveaway (and you can buy as many as you like from their list). This is open through 8/30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. There are 3 winners and this is international!!

*products for review and giveaway are courtesy of Two Good Scents

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Good clean fun with Skinplicity

If you haven’t discovered Etsy.com yet, it’s time to take a look. There are tons of amazing etailers with truly fabulous products from jewelry to clothing to bath and body. Whenever I have some time, I just go and browse through all the fantastic shops. Skinplicity is one to visit – I can’t rave enough about their beautiful vegan soaps and natural bath and body goodies!

Skinplicity

Skinplicity goodies

Diana, the owner of Skinplicity, is an esthetician who creates all of the fantastic, quality soaps, scrubs, and lotions. The look and feel of these products is totally high-end, but the price point is wallet friendly. Diane sent a few items to try and good clean fun commenced. True story – I was talking to my mom and going on and on about how great these were, and she jumped in her car, drove to my house, and tried to take them from me!

Skinplicity

Skinplicity Aromatherapy Body Scrub in Hawaiian Paradise

Skinplicity

inside the jar

The Aromatherapy Body Scrub ($12) is an emulsified sugar scrub that exfoliates with sugar and moisturizes with rice bran oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil. It is very gentle and rinses super clean with no oily or greasy residue. The Hawaiian Paradise scent is lovely, a floral/fruit scent with plumaria, melon, coconut, and pineapple. It leaves skin lightly fragranced and ready for a sunset at the beach.

The Aromatherapy Body Scrub is also available in Chocolate Truffle, Citrus Burst, Summer Melon, Lavender Chamomile, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass Verbena, Milk & Honey, and Garden Mint.

Skinplicity

Skinplicity Lavender Lip Balm

The 100% Organic Lavender Lip Balm ($4) made with fresh local beeswax is a great way to keep lips soft and moisturized. It has all kinds of vitamins and fatty acids that lips just love. Ingredients include shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and vitamin e oil. While the lavender essential oil treats lips, the lip balm doesn’t taste like anything in particular. It does, however, feel like heaven on my lips.

Just now I counted 11 different types of lip balm in the Skinplicity store, including Mango, Tea Tree, Honey Mint, Vanilla, Pecan Pie, Coffee, and even a lip balm for guys.

Skinplicity

Skinplicity Rosehip and Geranium Soap

Skinplicity

the top of the Rosehip and Geranium Soap

I can’t get over the beauty of the Rosehip and Geranium Vegan Soap ($5.50). This is a big, 4 ounce slice of soap encased in a delicate paper box that is so pretty I didn’t even want to remove the soap. The top of the soap has sparkles, ground rosehips, and rose geranium leaves. The scent is just an amazing combination of rose and geranium. It smells like a flower garden in bloom. Put this in a bathroom and it acts like a room freshener!

The soap is made from scratch in small batches. I am truly impressed with the big, thick lather that cleans and moisturizes at the same time. This particular soap has saponified oils of coconut and palm, which means the bar is not super soft so it lasts a long time and it also makes that thick bubbly lather. Rosehips have vitamin C and is a great antioxidant. Geranium is also a fantastic antioxidant for skin.

an even closer look

an even closer look

Oh yeah…did I also say that this bar of soap is GORGEOUS??  And it’s only one of many different varieties that Skinplicity offers. Diane makes soaps with essential oils as well as fragrance oils, so there is something for everyone.

If you love bath and body products, you will love Skinplicity. Head on over to Etsy.com and take a look…there is lots of good clean fun to be found there!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ixora Botanical Beauty – the word of the day is yummy

ixora logoWe need you to go take a look at Ixora’s site before you read this review. C’mon go do it. We’ll wait. Have you looked??? Now are we writing about cooking or beauty? You almost can’t tell when you start looking at the beautiful pictures that the owner has posted to show the products she creates. Ixora is a botanical beauty site that is fulfilling the dream of the owner. Ixora is the name of a flower grown on the island of St. Croix which is part of the US Virgin Islands. Sharing the beauty and botanical ingredients of these islands is the goal of Ixora Botanical Beauty.

Whatever you chose is handmade so everything is freshly made for you.  And many of the products on the site are sold in 2 oz. sample sizes so you can get a taste/feel of a lot for not too much money. They even have a section of Vegan products which is just so unusual. We love the idea of supporting an etailer especially when the products are as high quality as the ones that we tried.

Marcia’s Side:

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Lisa and I were each sent a product of our choice and I chose Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub. It just might be because it looked good enough to eat! Look at that gorgeous picture. It’s so delicious in my shower that I may never let it leave. I prefer a sugar scrub since I think they are gentler on your skin while still doing a great job of exfoliating. The sugar grains are fine enough that I can even use this without a washcloth or scrubby.

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Ixora Sugar Scrub

Ixora Sugar Scrub

It does a great job of exfoliating my flaky legs while also moisturizing them. In the summer I don’t like to use another lotion since I prefer “one and done”. I save my lotions and body butters for non-showering days. The peppermint in this is luscious. It’s not sweetly sick like some that I’ve gotten tired of quickly (yes Philosophy, that’s you). Instead it’s a brisk, more natural smelling peppermint. This is a great shower treat.

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Ixora Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: Shealoe Butter, White Pure Cane Sugar, Extra Virgin Unrefined Pure Coconut Oil, Red Jojoba Beads, Beeswax pearls: white, Peppermint Fragrance

Lisa’s Side:

I was lucky enough to test the Whip It Up Shimmering Shea Butter ($15). It’s the same product as the Whip It Up Shea Butter ($14) with some added bling to give skin an extra gleam.

inside Ixora

inside Ixora Whip It Up Shimmering Shea Butter

Ixora swatch

Ixora Whip It Up Shimmering Shea Butter swatch

By the way, if you love body butters, Ixora is the place to go – I counted about 18 different types that are available and each one sounds better than the one before!

Whip It Up Shimmering Shea Butter is made from Shea Nilotica Butter. It’s super thick, but body heat melts it almost immediately and it sinks right into skin. This amazing moisturizer is the cure for super dry, itchy skin and it even works great on eczema and sunburns. In the swatch picture you can see how it started to melt. Check out the tiny golden shimmers in the liquid part. They are beautiful and add just the right amount of femininity to your look.

You don’t need much of this body butter to moisturize yourself from head to toe so the 8 oz. jar will last months. This is a great option from a line full of terrific body treats.

Ingredients: Shea Nilotica Certified Organic and Fair Trade, Avocado Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Gold Rush Mica Powder, Fragrance Oil (s) – Optional

4 oz, 8 oz

Ixora ingredients

Ixora ingredients

*sent for review purposes

Getting clean Hawaiian style with Lanikai Bath and Body

The gorgeous Lanikai Bath and Body line, located in Kailua, Hawaii, totally feeds my addiction to bath and body products.  I may not make it to Hawaii very often…well, ok, not EVER…but I can always have that Hawaiian experience just by going to Lanikai’s online store and placing an order.

Lanikai

Lanikai feeds my bath and body addiction!

All of the products created by Lanikai come from the great Hawaiian outdoors.  With fresh, beautiful ingredients like papaya, awapuhi, sea kelp, kukui and macadamia nut, every item is a one-way ticket to paradise.  The BIZ received several fabulous items from their line, and here are just a few of my favorite Lanikai ways to get clean.

Lanikai

Lanikai Coconut Loofah Soap

One of the most intriguing items from Lanikai is their Coconut Loofah Soap ($6.50).  Since I am a total coconut fanatic, I was beyond thrilled to get this particular version.  However, there are seven other loofah options available:  Coco Lime Verbena, Gardenia, Lilikoi, Mango, Pikake, Pineapple, and Plumaria.

The Coconut Loofah Soap is one of the coolest soaps I have ever tried.  Check it out, there is a vine-grown loofah sponge inside of the soap:

Lanikai

the loofah looks like modern art

Lanikai

coconut and loofah goodness

Lanikai

and one more view just because it looks so cool!

The loofah soaps are all handmade by Lanikai.  In addition to the loofah, ingredients include vegetable glycerin and Hawaiian macadamia nut oil.  It smells like fabulous natural coconut, and the soap is huge and incredibly long-lasting.  It’s also fantastic exfoliation for your skin.  It lathers up like a regular soap and scrubs away dirt and dead skin.  I adore it, and am eager to try some of the other scents!

Lanikai

Lanikai Tahitian Gardendia Hawaiian Cane Sugar Body Scrub

Another way to scrub yourself clean is with Lanikai Tahitian Gardenia Hawaiian Cane Sugar Body Scrub ($20).  I have to admit, I not normally a big fan of body scrubs – I have sensitive skin and they are typically too rough for me (everyone say, ‘awww, poor baby!’).  However, this is a scrub that works for me, and it will work for you fellow babies out there too.

Lanikai

so pretty!!

Lanikai

the sugar scrub up close and personal

This is a non-oily scrub made with Hawaiian cane sugar.  It also has sweet almond, jojoba, coconut, and kukui nut oils.  It’s fantastically moisturizing, and it very gently exfoliates skin without any irritation.  Afterwards, my skin feels incredibly soft and smooth, but not greasy.  And the scent?  Oh my goodness, what a divine Tahitian gardenia fragrance that truly transports me to a tropical paradise.

Lanikai

Lanikai Tahitian Gardenia Body Wash

Lanikai

layer on that Tahitian Gardenia

And to keep the Tahitian Gardenia experience going, follow your exfoliating sugar scrub with the Lanikai Tahitian Gardenia Body Wash ($16).  This body wash is gentle, made with all natural ingredients, and it cleanses without stripping the skin.  It has white tea, chamomile, sunflower and kukui oils, and also has the same magical Tahitian Gardenia scent.  I stand in my shower and just take a moment to inhale the fresh scent, and am instantly transported to a Hawaiian waterfall.  It’s heavenly.

I have lots more to tell you about, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you with so many fantastic options all at once.  I will be posting more reviews soon, but in the meantime, take a look at Lanikai’s online store and get your Hawaiian retreat started!  – Lisa

*pr samples

Have you tried the awesomeness of Artisan Naturals? Now might be your chance.

Artisan Naturals

Artisan Naturals – fabulous organic skin care!

Artisan Naturals is a fabulous organic line with skin care, body care, and candles.  I have used this line for years and it’s really terrific, I recommend it to people all the time. There are some products that I just won’t be without like the Lemon Cypress Toning and Exfoliating Mask (reviewed HERE). Lucky for us and for you, Stephanie Barron, the lovely owner of Artisan Naturals, is offering a wonderful giveaway for Beauty Info Zone readers. Keep reading, this could be the giveaway you win – and believe me, you want some of this!

AN Classic

AN Classic Rose Hydrating Mist

The Classic Rose Hydrating Mist ($25) is something I have used for years. The roses used in this toner come from the “Valley of Roses” in Bulgaria. It has organic Rose Hyrdosol in it to soothe and refresh your skin. I like to spray some onto a cotton pad to smooth on after cleansing or sometimes I spritz it on to freshen up and hydrate my skin. I use it before I put on my makeup and any time I want a little pick-me-up. It’s a beautiful product.

verbena

Verbena Blossom Hydrating Body Scrub

Verbena Blossom Hydrating Body Scrub ($28) is exfoliating deliciousness, a non-separating sugar scrub that feels like heaven as it softens and polishes your skin. It’s not the least bit greasy, it’s light and whipped into a state of perfection.

inside

sugar scrub awesomeness

It has essential oils like Litsea Cubeba, Lemon Verbena, and Ylang Ylang that are so good for your skin, and the scent? Fantastic!! I love this scrub, it puts a smile on my face and a glow on my skin. Follow this with the Verbena Blossom Anti-Oxidant Body Lotion and your body will thank you.

Verbena Blossom Anti-Oxidant Body Lotion

Verbena Blossom Anti-Oxidant Body Lotion

The Verbena Blossom Anti-Oxidant Body Lotion ($26) is a light but creamy lotion that moisturizes and nourishes the skin. It’s just perfect to use after the Verbena Blossom Hydrating Body Scrub. The elegant combination of anti-oxidants protect the skin from pollution and other environmental stressors, and the scent is gorgeous. It’s a fresh, citrusy, uplifting scent that I absolutely adore. Artisan Naturals is available at local boutiques so take a look at the website to find a store near you or you can also buy products online.

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win the Verbena Blossom Anti-Oxidant Body Lotion and the Verbena Blossom Hydrating Body Scrub. This giveaway is open in the US only (originally we said international but that was an error and we apologize). The giveaway runs through 1/10/13. If the Rafflecopter doesn’t appear please don’t enter until you see it appear, it seems to be a little fussy sometimes. You’ll be able to tweet daily to give yourself more opportunities to win too.  Good luck! – Lisa

*pr sample and prizes sent by Artisan Naturals

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