Month: June 2014

Thought Questions, day 105: What are three moral rules you will never break?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too! 

Day 105: What are three moral rules you will never break? 

  1. To not harm another being, human or animal, except in self-defense. This is the principle of Ahimsa (which means “noninjury” in Sanskrit).
  2. To be truthful, except in situations where telling the truth would being harm to another person.
  3. To not cheat or steal, which I think are kind of the same thing. If you cheat on a person that’s the same as stealing their trust; if you cheat on a test you’ve stolen a score that didn’t belong to you; etc. 

    Thought Questions, day 104: What is the meaning of ‘peace’ to you?

    I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too! 
    Day 104: What is the meaning of ‘peace’ to you? Usually, I think of sitting in the house in quiet and stillness, being relaxed, probably listening to the rain or to the cats snoring. It seems like we’re always on the go, so that moment is the most peaceful to me. And honestly it’s hard to not feel peaceful with a snoring cat snuggled up to you–they’re hardcore relaxers.

    Product review: Beautisol Medium Self-Tanning Mousse

    (Disclosure: I received a sample of the product(s) mentioned below in order to write a review. I was not compensated for writing this review and as always any opinions expressed in this review are my own.)

    The product: Beautisol Medium Self-Tanning Mousse; $39/8-oz. bottle. Available through the Beautisol website (purchase here). Get 15% off through 8/15/14 with the code “BBLOGGER”.

    The claim: Get a flawless faux tan in a single day with this lightweight, quick-drying mousse. Low-odor and tinted so you can see where you’ve applied. Paraben- and propylene glycol-free. Vegan.

    Ingredients: Water (Aqua) Dihydroxyacetone, Ethoxydiglycol, Caramel, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance (Parfum) Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Yellow 6 (CI 15985) Red 40 (CI 16035) Green 5 (CI 61570).

    I tried it: If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that last summer I tried out an almost identical product from Beautisol. For a fun throwback, remember how dark I got with that tanner?

    This one gave my legs a nice glow but it was a teense less dark; I also think it had a bit less of a “tanner” smell. Otherwise, they’re practically identical in formula, so I was really able to fine-tune my application techniques this time around to get an even better tan.

    One of the biggest things you’ll quickly realize when using a mousse is that it is 100% unforgiving, as opposed to a lotion formula, which usually gives you at least a little leeway for errors. You cannot skip any of the prep steps: exfoliating all over with an oil-free scrub, shaving, and applying a light body lotion to the really rough areas (ankles, elbows) so the tan doesn’t soak up and turn splotchy in those areas. (If you’ve ever skipped this with a lotion and though “no biggie”–you can’t do it with the mousse. It’ll soak up quicker than you can say “spots”.) I’ll apply the mousse itself with an applicator mitt like this one to avoid getting the dreaded orange palms. I would absolutely not recommend that you go bare-handed with this stuff; it is much more staining than a lotion, and you will regret it!

    Here’s the other major thing I’ve realized about mousse: while the super-quick absorption means it dries in a snap, it also means drier skin types will have to do extra prep and maintenance to avoid streaks or patchiness later on. Take your time with the application and go lightly on the feet, hands, and face, so you don’t wind up with dark patches; it’s best if you use the leftover mousse on the mitt to do those areas, rather than using a whole blob of mousse, which can turn too dark. I do think the mousse requires extra buffing, since it can be difficult to blend into the skin; I kept a clean mitt on hand to buff any spots that looked too dark, which really helped even things out.

    Finally, don’t skimp on application; work on one body part at a time (calf, thigh, arm, stomach, etc.) and use a large blob for each area so you get full coverage before moving on to the next. I would recommend you set aside at least 30-45 minutes to do your whole body, especially if you plan to contour the legs or any other areas. I should point out here that if you’re interested in contouring, I find it much easier to do with a mousse than with any other formula–just be sure to blend the edges.

    Once you’ve showered off the guide color, slather on a super-rich body cream or even pure coconut oil (my fave) to really hydrate the skin and keep your color from fading in patches. Continue to use a rich moisturizer on the days you don’t tan. I find that exfoliating every few days (be sure to do it evenly) and moisturizing well will keep the color looking healthy for several days, so unless you want to go darker, you probably won’t have to reapply more than once a week. I did need to do touch-ups on my face, but that’s the norm for me with any tanning product.

    Now I’m ready for summer and can wear my favorite brights without looking translucent. Even Max approves of my 100% safe and sun-free tan.

    My final review: 9/10. Overall, I still think this mousse requires a lot of work, but it also delivers the most natural-looking tan this pale girl has ever encountered.  I think it really just boils down to how much work you want to do to get that tan; if you don’t mind spending a lot of time on it, then you’ll love this stuff. If you’re more of the quick and easy type of person, you’ll probably want to stick with gradual tanning lotions, since they’re more forgiving (though they also give much lighter results).

    (Disclosure: I received a sample of the product(s) mentioned below in order to write a review. I was not compensated for writing this review and as always any opinions expressed in this review are my own.)

    Thought Questions, day 103: Are you happy with yourself?

    I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too! 
    Day 103: Are you happy with yourself? Most days. I think I could use a lot of improvement but I’m actively working on that. :)

    Product review: Instanatural Pure Argan Oil and Pure Rosehip Seed Oil

    (Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.)

     

    The product: Instanatural Pure Argan Oil, $49.95/four ounces (currently on sale for $21.95; available here), and Instanatural Pure Rosehip Seed Oil, $49.95/four ounces (currently on sale for $21.99; available here). Visit the company website here.

    The claim: Touted as multi-use oils perfect for hair, skin, and nails. Softens and moisturizes.

    Ingredients: Exactly what it says on the bottle; no added fillers, preservatives, fragrances, etc. Certified organic and suitable for vegans. Because these are preservative-free, they’re best stored in the fridge.

    I tried it: The oils come in four ounce dark glass bottles with droppers attached inside the screw-on caps. I really love this packaging since it’s practical and sturdy. The dropper lets you dispense the product a few drops at a time, which is perfect, since a little goes a long way. It’s a myth that you can only use oils on very dry skin; as long as you’re only using a few drops, these oils work well even on combo skin like mine and won’t turn you greasy or make you break out.

    The argan oil has a light amber color and a very faint nutty scent. This works great for moisturizing the cuticles or for softening dry, rough patches of skin. It’s a slightly “dry” oil, so it doesn’t leave the skin feeling super-slick. I also like using it on the ends of my hair, before applying a leave-in conditioner, to help tame any split ends or roughness. If you want a good makeup remover that won’t stink, sting or dry out the skin, try a few drops of this on a cotton pad before washing the face as usual. (Be careful around the eyes–anything stings once it’s in the eyes, natural or not.)

    The rosehip seed oil has a darker amber color and a very strong, earthy scent; it makes me think of freshly brewed tea. I personally like this type of scent (I call them “hippie” scents), but if you prefer unfragranced products, it probably isn’t for you, just because it’s so strong. Note that it isn’t an artificially added fragrance, nor do I think it smells bad–it’s just something to keep in mind if you don’t like products with a distinct fragrance.

    The rosehip seed oil is also slightly dry and works great on the face. It can also be used on hands, nails, feet, and body. This type of oil is supposed to help with scars, sunburns and sun damage, thanks to high levels of vitamins A and C, though I haven’t been using it long enough to say for sure if that’s the case. I do know that it’s an excellent day or night moisturizer, layers well under makeup, and leaves my face very soft and glowy without any shininess or grease. I felt like my face looked more refreshed after using this as an overnight moisturizer, like I’d gotten more sleep than I really had.

    My final review: 10/10. These are a great value and are excellent multi-taskers to boot. I’m particularly fond of the rosehip seed oil, though if you dislike strong scents, the argan might be more up your alley. Either way, they do a great job of replacing a host of other less natural products, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking to “green” your beauty routine and don’t want to drop a lot of money on tons of different skin and hair care products.

    (I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)