Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Night Masking: Balea - Detoxifying Face Mask

Another pick up from VanCan at Shoppers Drug Mart.  Cheap thrills!  At about $2 each, you get a full packet that is more than enough for your face.  I usually do a weekly mask on Sunday nights, when the week starts off and you want to have a fresh face.  

I was able to apply this on my face and neck and had extra that I should have saved, but ended up tossing.  This mask had a cool tingling effect, I was worried that I might have an adverse reaction and should have tested this on my arm before my face.  Ooops.  Well, good thing nothing happened and maybe it was the ingredients doing their thing and detoxing my face.

Cost: $2 CAN

-Enough product in one pack for 2 treatments

-I have only seen this brand in Canada
-Even with mostly natural ingredients, this was rated dirty on Think Dirty.

Would I recommend this to a friend?  No since it has a high dirty rating.  :(

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saje Natural Wellness - Goddess Euphoric Bath Salt Soak

I don't get the opportunity to take a bath often enough, but when I do, I want to use good quality products with great scents.  During a Sissynanigans trip to Canda, we stumbled up on Saje Natural Wellness and picked up a couple of bath salts.  The Goddess Euphoric Bath Salt Soak not only sounded awesome, the smell was divine.  

What the website says:

Pamper your inner goddess, soothe anxiety, and celebrate your unique femininity.

Key features & Benefits

A goddess is most radiant when she is relaxed. Soak away the stress of the day and cultivate your feminine glow. Essential oil of ylang ylang, known to "awaken femininity," helps balance hormones. A known aphrodisiac, neroli essential oil instills feelings of peace and harmony. Essential oil of the delicate jasmine flower, or "Queen of the Night," warms the emotions, encourages feelings of confidence, and is thought to increase attraction. Rose, the queen of all increase attraction. Rose, the queen of all oils, symbolizes love and purity, and comforts the heart like no other oil can. All-natural Goddess Bath Salt Soak is a euphoric blend that pampers the skin while balancing the emotions and soothing anxiety.

Cost: $8.95 CAN

-Richly scented
-Enough for 2 baths in one packet

-I don't think this is enough for 2 baths.  Maybe adding in more epsom salt would be beneficial.
-Scent dissipates quickly

Would I recommend this to a friend?  Maybe.  I would probably use an entire packet for one bath instead of trying to make it two.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Facial: VannEdge Salon

***Note***: Oliver has decided to pursue his career in his own establishment and as of 12/1/14 is no longer at VannEdge.  Be on the look out for updated information when he launches in about a month.  Congratulations Oliver and much success in the next step to your career!

This does not affect my review of VannEdge Salon.  This is a wonderful business and if you are in the Belltown area needing services, please do consider checking them out.

Scheduled some me time for a facial at VannEdge Salon, an Aveda concept salon that offers a full menu of hair, nail, skin and spa services in the Belltown area of Downtown Seattle.  I met Oliver through a friend and found out we had other mutual friends and may have kicked it before.  "Where's my jewelry box?!"  LOL!  Fast forward, we connected and he invited us to visit and experience a facial with him.  His calling card was also a coupon, I can't resist a good deal.  Ha!  Made my way to Seattle on a sunny Sunday that was also home game day for the Seahawks which meant, parking was terrible.  Glad I left early and allowed myself time to find a spot since it took about 20 minutes.  Ugghh.  The good thing though is street parking is still free in Seattle on a Sunday.

Easy to find, but I still used GPS to get here.  Just to be sure!
You walk in and the layout is very open.  All the products are neatly arranged up front and you are greeted, checked in and offered a beverage while you wait.  The middle portion is the salon area for hair.  
Loved the glittery, puffy stars that are hung from the ceilings.  I think these are holiday decorations.  There are also some puffy orbs, maybe also holiday decorations?  

I had a 60 minute Results Focus Facial.  The Elemental Nature Facials are described as, "fully customizable to the guest's skin-care needs; every treatment includes a thorough skin analysis, cleansing, refinement, balancing techniques and massage."

The back is the spa area where facial and massage services are performed.  There are some couches for clients to relax before and after treatments.  There are plenty of magazines to peruse or you can browse some of the spa products that may be used on you.
Uggh! I need one of these!  I would sit at a desk all day with my feet in this pod.  Heat, compression and massage all in one.  It was so ticklish at first, but once I was able to get past the feeling of a dozen fingers tickling my feet, it felt great.  
Just before we started my facial, Oliver talked me through the process and asked questions about my current skin care routine and any concerns I had.  With the changing weather and cooling temperatures, I wanted hydrating products to be used and noted that I do have sensitive skin.  At any time during your treatment you feel your face or skin having a reaction, notify your esthetician immediately.  They have your best interest in mind when they perform the intake and want to ensure that you receive the best care and experience.  He also let me know that this facial will be different than other places since Aveda sees this as a full body treatment.  Meaning that not only will your face, neck and decollete receive attention, your scalp, shoulders, chest, lower legs and feet will also be treated.  I was surprised and looking forward to having relaxation from top to bottom.  

There are 2 spa rooms in this space.  The only downfall is the amount of noise you hear from the other room.  I didn't mind it since the conversation coming from the other room did stop, but it got a bit loud since the client was chatty.  The room was dimly lit and comfortable.  You even have the option to have the heating pad on for your comfort.  I wanted to feel as warm and snug as possible.  

All of the Aveda products used are naturally scented, the aromatherapy used at the beginning was my favorite scent.  I wanted a relaxing experience rather than an energizing one.  Mask, cleanse, tone and an examination are all a part of a usual facial and each step was done with care.  I was in and out of sleep during the process, I'm glad I didn't snore.  LOL!  I definitely was woozy after the facial.  Oliver met me with a glass of water and we chatted about the facial and he made a couple of product suggestions.  I have quite a bit of skincare products to utilize, but will definitely keep the recommendations in mind when it is time to add to my shelf.  As my skin ages, I should be looking for products that help support and fortify.  Ask your estheticians what products they suggest and also narrow down the needs versus what would be nice to have, but is not necessary.

The lighting was too good.  Its like glorious light beaming down on us.  #blezzed.

Cost: $85 for 60 minute facial; not including tip.  Also note, that you cannot tip on a card.  Bring cash!

-AMAZING facial.  I have not had a head to toe experience with just a facial.
-Aveda products are natural and smell heavenly
-Customized treatment based on what your needs/concerns/likes/dislikes

-Pricey - #treatyoself this is definitely a self-care indulgence
-Parking in Belltown can be tough, especially when there are events in the area, but at least it is free on Sundays in DT Seattle.
-Back spa area can be a bit noisy
-Can't tip on a card at the salon

Would I recommend this to a friend?  Yes!  My skin was pampered and I could feel it just drinking in all the goodness.  Oliver took great care of me and I would highly recommend him for a pampering facial.  I know I will be back to VannEdge for another facial!

Esthetician: Oliver

Vann.Edge Salon
2030 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

(206) 441-5511

I couldn't resist getting french macarons from The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. since it was a few blocks away.  A definite must try if you're in the area!  This was lunch for me and I sat outside in the sunny, brisk weather while reading a book.  Perfect solo Sunday.
Even with the temp in the 50s, it was still gorgeous out.  Blue skies, white clouds, golden sun and what sweetened up the day more was the SEAHAWKS win.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Updated Packaging: The Honest Co. Body Oil

Finally a pump bottle instead of the pull up cap of the older bottle.  Slippery hands while applying the body oil, not a good thing.  Klutz.  Fall/Winter, I mix this with Aveeno lotion and apply post-shower for super soft skin.  This packaging is a definite improvement!

Beauty Mail: Eco Emi

Thanks to My Subscription Addiction, I saw that Eco Emi was offering The Cosmetics Box.  Reveal and review soon on what I got!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blue Apron Review - Week 7

Another good week!  2 out of 3 were great!  The one with the lowest score was still not too bad.  My favorite was the greek-style braised chicken thighs that I cooked for my BFF Sissy on a Saturday night.  I'm always surprised by the quality of chicken and how well it cooks, but I did have to do some follow up warming to cook it through.  The pan-seared salmon was also good, although I am kind of getting tired of salmon as the fish protein in my boxes.  Maybe cod again or even shrimp for seafood.  The least favorite was the caramelized fennel & kale bucatini.  There just wasn't enough sauce for the noodles, even after being freshly made.  I drizzled black truffle olive oil for a little bit more flavor when I heated the leftovers.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge Sensitive Skin

I have seen other konjac sponges and wanted to see what the hype was and not have to order one online.  Sephora has a one from Boscia, but it is $15.  Found these at Ulta and there was a buy one, get one 50% off and used the Coupon Sherpa app for an additional discount with my purchase. 

There are 2 options, deep cleansing and sensitive skin.  Both are natural, 100% konjac vegetable fiber.  They come sealed in wrap and are porous, but once you add water, it becomes soft and squishy. 

I tried out the sensitive skin sponge first for a few weeks.  Usually I would use my Clarisonic a couple times a week, but thought this would be a good option for the days I don't use it.

What the website says:

A truly exciting innovation from EcoTools and a new way to clean your face!! This Sensitive Skin facial sponge hardens when dry and softens to silky smoothness when wet! Just add your favorite facial cleanser and water. Wash away dirt, oil, makeup and leave skin glowing without over-drying or causing redness. Sponge is gentle enough to be used morning and night!

This sponge fits nicely in the palm of your hand.  Having a narrow point makes this easy to clean the corners of your face.  I lather up my face first and then use the sponge to cleanse.  I only cleanse my face in the evening in the shower.  I only splash my face with water in the AM.  To keep this sponge sanitary, you should dry this out after every use.

After a few weeks, the sponge started to feel hollow in the middle, then it tore.  :(  Inside it looked like the sponge was starting to fall apart.  This lasted only about a month, what a waste!

Cost: $5.99 at Ulta

-Soft & gentle to use

-Poor quality

Would I recommend this to a friend?  No.  The sensitive skin one only lasted about a month for me.  That was with proper care of letting the sponge dry flat after each use.  I don't have high expectations for the deep cleansing sponge and think that will last about a month as well.  I'll have a review on that once I get to test it out.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Equitance Brightening Serum+Spot Corrector


My first VoxBox from Influenster!  I was very excited that my first to review was beauty related and skin care.  I have been on a skin care kick lately, trying out different naturally derived products.  Out of all that I have acquired, I did not have a specific spot treatment for dark spots.  Remember those freckles on my cheeks that are cute, but are actually age & sun spots.  Yes, those things.  *sigh*  This is my first impression of Equitance Brightening Serum+Spot Corrector and my first week's use.

Full sized product and booklet that describes all the products from the Equitance Brightening Regimen

The serum is more of like a cream that easily absorbed into my skin without any greasiness and best of all, no reaction.  I did do a swatch test on my arm for a night before testing on my skin.  I added this serum+spot corrector to my usual routine without issues.  In the evening I cleanse my face, then use eye cream, night cream and finally dab this around my cheeks, nose and forehead where there is hyperpigmentation.  What I liked first off was the scent.  Fresh and slightly floral, but more of a clean smell.

There are natural ingredients that are the stars to Equitance's Brightening+Spot Corrector including lineoleic acid for brightening, licorice for calming, glycosyl trehalose from tapioca and potato starch can help tone, cherry blossom leaf extract can soften rough skin, shell ginger extract can provide intense moisturizing and eggshell membrane for L-cystine to illuminate the skin.  

The microcapsules that hold the exclusive blend of brightening ingredients, helps to minimize the appearance of dark spots and discolorations as it improves the appearance of skin's tone and brightness.

There is an entire line to the Equitance Brightening regimen from Skin Radiance Dietary Supplements to Brightening Toning Lotion to support skin's inner and outer vitality.

What the website says:

This pioneering spot-targeting serum formula zeroes in on the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark discoloration.  It uses patented technology to continuously deliver the key brightening ingredient, linoleic acid.  With daily use, this essential step in the Brightening regimen, brings clarity, brightness and radiance to skin's appearance.

83% of women reported diminished appearance of dark spots

*Based on clinical study after 4 months. Study conducted and evaluated by dermatologist.

"a top 10 dark spot corrector"
review by Harper's Bazaar

"6 Beauty Secrets from Around the Globe"
review by Forbes

Cost: $125.00

-Fresh scent

-There are parabens

Would I recommend this to a friend?  I would like to use Equitance Brightening Serum+Spot Corrector for a full month before deciding if I would recommend this to a friend.  So far, so good and I am liking the results.  The only downfall I see is that there are parabens in this product and I am for safe skin care that does not include parabens, sulfates or pthalates.  Since the parabens are on the lower end of the ingredient list, there is less of this ingredient in the product.  

Thank you Influenster for starting this gal off right with a great beauty product!  I will be doing another entry soon with a comparison of the above before photos and after photos.

This product was provided for review through Influenster.  I have not been monetarily compensated for this item.  My write up of this product reflects my own opinion after a trial period and have provided an honest review.

@influenster @equitanceUSA #Equitance

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kiss Me Organics - Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder


Are you addicted to coffee?  I find myself drinking coffee for taste and for that caffeinated kick that we all love.  I don't drink it often, but I have wanted to try options that would give me the energy I am looking for since I'm not a morning person at all.

I had the opportunity to try out Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Matcha.  This is an organic powder that can be blended into drinks and added to other recipes including baked goods and even main dish recipes.  This is my first impression of this product and I am hoping to have it featured in other cooking posts.  

The warning that this matcha was fresh and had a STRONG aroma was right.  I took a big whiff as soon as I opened the bag and was kinda freaked out.  I know some green teas have a strong smell, but I was sort of scared to drink this.  LOL!  With this order, you also get a recipe book, including the recipe for the KissMe Matcha Green Tea Latte.

1 tsp. Matcha powder
¾ cup almond milk (or soy or cow or goat milk)
¼ cup boiling water
1 tsp. agave syrup

1. Place matcha in the bottom of a coffee mug or other heat-proof cup.
2. Bring almond milk to a simmer in a small pot.
3. Whisk boiling water slowly with the matcha powder in the mug, then pour in almond milk.
Tip the cup to up the foam factor.
4. Sweeten with agave syrup if desired.

Makes 1 latte.

I didn't have a small whisk and had to use a large one.  LOL!  I didn't get the nice frothy results that you would if you used the correct type, but it sort of worked.

I did use honey instead of agave syrup, but it was still a bit tart for my tastes, so I added a bit of organic sugar.  Next time, I will probably use sweetened almond milk instead and follow up with a little bit of honey.

What the website says:
  • ALL DAY ENERGY & FOCUS: Lift your vitality and concentration with the slow release natural energy from Organic Matcha
  • CALORIE BURNING BOOSTER: Support your weight loss goals with an all-natural way to increase your body's metabolism
  • LATTES | SMOOTHIES | BAKING: Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder arrives in an easy-to-use airtight health grade packaging allowing for as much or as little use as you need for any occasion. Enjoy a relaxing latte in the morning, bake a dozen cupcakes or simply add a small boost to your morning smoothie
  • 137x ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA: USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea can only be used in a powdered form because, unlike brewed green tea, it contains the entire tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content.
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE | We offer 110% MoneyBack guarantee if for some reason you are not satisfied with our Organic Matcha.

Cost: $25.00 on Amazon

-Gives you that boost!
-Rich flavor - for those that like matcha!

-STRONG taste.  If you have not had a matcha before, you may not like it.

Would I recommend this to a friend?  Yes and No.  No because of the price.  $25.00 is a bit much to be spending on 4 oz of matcha powder, but yes because it is an organic grade.  You could potentially find a less expensive brand, but would you be getting the same quality?  Hard to say.  Since you only need a small amount of matcha for the recipes, most requiring only 1-2 teaspoons, this bag should last you awhile.  

I am looking forward to trying out other recipes, including a main dish.  I want to see if the taste of the matcha will overpower or not.  Would also like to test this out baking and maybe whip up a batch of cookies.  I will have other posts on cooking adventures with Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder in the near future!


This product was obtained through Tomoson.  I have not been monetarily compensated for this item.  My write up of this product reflects my own opinion after a trial period and have provided an honest review. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.