Review: Shea Moisture Body Products

Today I’m taking a moment to cover a rather underappreciated category of beauty products: bath and body items. I’m typically a handmade soap kind of person (the kind that other people make, anyways), so I felt keen on exploring the avenue of bath and shower-time pampering just a bit more.

Shea Moisture is a drugstore brand that caught my eye. They come in pretty packaging and scents of all variety, but I chose the coconut and hibiscus because it was light, floral but not overpowering, and already vaguely relaxing. The sticker on each item touts their cute origins story, as well as a list of no-no’s these beauties are free from. *Ahem* No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates. And also–NO animal testing. Nice!

So how did they fare in my extensive trials? Good, for sure. Better than great, and just shy of grand. For the affordability factor, they can’t be beat. Each one ranges from $7-$10, and typically, they seem to be on sale. There was a nice one running when I stopped in, so I got all of mine BOGO 50% off!

SheaM3The best product, in my opinion, was the Dry Oil Mist. The label proclaims that it is for “brightening and toning”, but really, it’s just a quick, awesome way to add moisture to your skin. Phenomenal to spritz on in the morning, or just after a shower. This is probably my favorite item because it absorbs with such ease. Fantastic as a finishing touch to keep legs and arms silky smooth.

The Hand & Body Scrub was selected for my guy. He has issues with dry, sensitive skin, and whole-body exfoliating seemed to be the way to go! I sampled this once in the shower, but personally, I found it a tad too abrasive. For myself, the Foaming Milk & Body Wash was much better. Ultra rich and creamy, working this into a good lather makes me feel like I’ve stepped out of the spa every time!

SheaM4Back to the scrub. For a person who has rougher, drier skin, this number seems to work wonders. My boyfriend swears by it now, actually preferring it to the body wash (which is apparently too slick for him to really do anything). The first ingredient in this, and what it is largely made of, is sugar. Now I’ve never tried a sugar scrub at home, but I’ve heard of the exfoliating benefits of sugar before, and this stuff really takes the cake! Since using this, my boyfriend has noted less irritation, less flaking, and healthier skin overall. As I said, it is very abrasive, so it may not be for you if you already have naturally soft skin. But for the end results, it’s definitely worth a try!

Almost every product in this line contains a combo of vitamin E, coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, olive oil, and aloe–all ingredients your body will thank you for. They smell heavenly, and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. If I had to suggest just one item (an impossibility!) I would have to say to give their massage oils a try. Longest lasting product I’ve found, slightly warming, and sooo indulgent. Try this on yourself or a partner and be amazed. You can thank me later. 😉

Rating: 4.5/5


How to Hog the Bathroom, Effectively

Men are great. Truly, they are. But if there is one thing my man will never understand, it’s that sometimes, a girl just needs her privacy. The sound of him banging on the door is one I’ve come to loathe. Such is the way of things when you live in a two person household with only one bathroom. Usually, this isn’t something that bothers me. I’ve lived too long slapping an outfit together or some concealer on my face though, and I won’t do it again…  never again.

To quote the greatest video game of all time:

So how do you hog the bathroom, effectively?

Perhaps I should rephrase that. The real question becomes: How do you get the space you need for your morning/nighttime ritual, without offending the person you share half of your life with? And truthfully, that’s a hard question to answer. The key here, though, is in compromise–and some very careful planning. As Sun Tzu said, the path to victory is in knowing one’s enemies, as well as oneself.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.    -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

If you want the upper hand, then play to win. Getting to know my spouse’s schedule has been key in working around these little incidents. If I can anticipate when he’s most likely to need time to get ready, or wanting to shower and shave, less stress abounds for us all.

I know what you’re thinking… Should it really be that hard though?

Sometimes you give up certain privileges for companionship. And being in a couple means learning to live around each other. There are reasons people stay single; usually, finding happiness with someone just outweighs the little benefits of living alone. (I may revoke this statement periodically.)

The last piece that you need is: Communication. If there’s an issue, try talking to each other! I know if I just approached my guy and explained that I wanted time for some personal things, he’d be more than happy to give me that courtesy. Respect is a big part of a solid relationship, and one that you both should work to build upon. I think as girls, we fall into this mindstate of needing to look flawless all the time. It’s difficult, having someone see all your imperfections–especially when it’s someone who you only want to show your best to. Just be open and sincere. Homeostasis… that all comes in time. 😉

And to leave things off on a lighter note, Andy Grammer!

Living in a Dreamland

Exciting news… I picked out a new engagement ring!!

Spur of the moment, my boyfriend decided we should swing into a jeweler’s and try on rings for fun. We’ve been engaged a while, and I already had a small solitaire ring he’d gotten me after proposing. I thought it was just for entertainment; until he turned to me seriously and said, Why not get one?

Like a true rollercoaster ride, I’ve been down so long lately the sudden rush of being on top has successfully taken my breath away. Life is good; it’s better than good. I felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone as I tried to talk him out of the purchase. In the end, though, my will just wasn’t strong enough… 😀 It made my heart sing when I put it on. And walking out of the store wearing it, I noticed that he too was grinning from ear to ear.

It makes me feel good, he told me. He gets to see the symbol of our love and feel proud of the fact that he gave it to me. And I adore it beyond belief. This is the ring I’ve dreamed of since I was a child — a ring fit for a fairytale. I just had to share!


♥ Jenn

Review: Yes To Grapefruit – Eye Cream

I’m not one to purchase anti-aging products.

YTGThis dark circle correcting eye cream is the closest I’ve come. Yes To Grapefruit is a worldwide brand that, despite coming from Israel, is now as easy to acquire as taking a trip to your nearest pharmacy. I snagged this on a whim while running out for tissues. Glad for the cold to be over, I thought I’d now report what I’d found. A bit of good and bad.

YTG2I don’t have huge under-eye problems. My boyfriend, in fact, was quite insistent when I dropped this in the cart that it wasn’t something I needed. However, being inches from a mirror every morning grants me quite a good view. And while my eye area isn’t awful, it is something that I’d like to improve. That in mind, I was kind of hoping that for $13, this tiny little tube was going to be my miracle salvation. That wasn’t quite the case.

Here’s what I like:

Upon first use, I did notice a slight difference in skin pigmentation. In fact, almost immediately, my eye area began to look brighter. I was *astounded* with this change, and took it as cause to keep using it.

The product has a scent that is rather neutral to my senses; earthy, may be the right way to describe it. Licorice root is responsible for the smell, and while it won’t be for everyone, I found that it was for me.

YTG5The product comes in a squeeze tube that is easy to procure a tiny bit of product from. The cream itself is smooth and feels as though it should be hydrating. It absorbs easily into skin and leaves a light tingling sensation behind. This fades after a moment, and your skin will tighten lightly and take on a more youthful appearance. Sounds good so far, right?

Here’s what I didn’t like:

Drying under eye area and increased appearance of creases in makeup.

Limited effect/lasting power.

Worsened dark circles.

Unfortunately, this product works just above sub-par immediately after using it, and as punishment makes tired eyes a more prominent occurrence. After using this nearly a week, I can honestly say that other than adding unnecessary fragrance to my skin, it hasn’t done a thing. I suppose it’s nice to perk up your appearance if you’re leaving the house in a hurry; but I just don’t see a purpose for regular use of this item. I’m kind of disappointed, and I won’t be using it again.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tag: Beauty Bares All

I had so much fun with the recent Tag post I did, I decided to make one of my own! Here are a few questions I challenge all beauty bloggers to answer. Steal these and fill in the blanks on your blog!

Okay, let’s get started…

1. Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall?
Fall is my favorite season. The time for warm colors, chunky scarves, boots and soft sweaters! If I could live in one season, year round, it would have to be fall. Brisk enough that you want to cuddle close, but not so nippy you’re just hiding in your house.

2. What does your ideal date notice and compliment you on?
My impeccable timing. Alright, no jokes. I think I’d love it if a guy recognized how much time I spent on looking good. It’s one thing to feel fabulous for yourself, it’s another to have someone else appreciate all the effort that went into it! Also, I adore when someone complements me on my jewelry.

3. Would you rather give up lipstick, hair products, or mascara for an entire year?
I don’t think I could get by without something to control my hair. Lipstick, now that I could go without.

4. If you could leave just one message for the world to hear, what would that message be?
Stop fighting. No, seriously. We’re not 2-year-olds. You can learn to share.

5. A genie appears and offers you a wish. What one beauty task would you never perform again? First of all, I feel a bit gypped only getting one wish; but if I had to choose, I would probably wish that hair only grew on my head. No trimming, grooming, waxing, shaving, etc. Smooth from head to toe–other than some gorgeous locks. And did I mention, perfectly styled?

Wait, can I change my wish?

6. You have two options: Money or happiness? Additionally: Infinite wardrobe or flawless face?
I know some people are going to fight me on this, but money doesn’t equal happiness. They’re not exactly exclusive, either. But… if I was at the brink of having either all of my potential money or all of my future happiness stripped way, I would have to choose happiness. Oh, and clothes. I’d definitely want an endless supply of clothes; as long as I wasn’t cursed with never knowing what to wear.

7. Are you a tea lover, a coffee hound, or a fan of something stronger?
Coffee and I don’t get along. Two large cups once had me dizzy and disoriented for days! And I’m not much up on drinking, either. Tea is my happy place – my morning pick-me-up. I love it before breakfast, at lunch, and around bedtime. Also, it’s good for you. *cough* DRINK TEA!

8. Have you had a “perfect day”, and what did it entail?
I think I was 8. It was just me, my grandma, and a mickey mouse fanny pack (did I just admit to that?) taking on Disney Land. We rode on every ride I was tall enough for. I got to hug my superheroes, and had mint choc. chip ice cream for dinner. Yeah; I don’t think there’s any topping that.

If I had to choose a more recent memory, it would be Valentine’s Day, last year. My boyfriend and I woke up before the sun had risen, trekked through a huge, overgrown field, and watched the day break underneath this massive tree. We lit off wishing lanterns, which was terrifying surrounded by dry grass! And then, our lives no longer threatened, watched them float away across the sky. My V-Day present was a necklace he’d set with a stone I’d been holding onto for years. ♥ That’s my perfect day.

9. What do you splurge on the most?
It’s a close tie between skin products and jewelry. Jewelry takes the cake on this one though. It’s my fantasy to one day have one of those automated jewelry organizers straight out of the Princess Diaries.

10. I have not lived until I’ve seen ______!
Venice! The city on the sea.

And finally…
11. What are you guilty of doing when nobody’s watching?
Checking my hair/makeup in every reflective surface. *facepalm*

Give these ones a whirl and let me know your favorite in the comments below!

Window Shopping! Simply Different Jewelry

Flittering around the interwebs, I came upon a little inspiration I wanted to share with you all. Gemstone jewelry is a favored and precious must-have of mine. It’s great to add some Boho to your style, or spice up an ensemble with something truly unique. Plus, you get to make a statement with mother nature!

Here are a few pieces that had my inner accessorizer planning outfits for days.

The top image features a large, genuine Rose Quartz crystal, smoothed into an alluring heart shape. The necklace beside it is a raw formation of Kyanite. All pieces were curated from a small UK store called: Simply Different. More of their unique items here.

What do you think? Could you work one of these pretties into your wardrobe?
I’d love to pair that Kyanite with a navy blue blazer. ♥