Monday, February 22, 2016

Elba Naturals Eye and Face Cream

*I received this product free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Every once in a while I get sent a product to review that leaves literally no impression on me, good or bad. I'm sad to say that today's review is one of those times. I was sent the Elba Naturals face and eye cream and I'm just so "meh" on it I've actually been putting this review off. I just need to get it over with though and move on to better (or at least interesting) items.

This is suppose to be an advanced firming cream, which is something I've really been into lately. The best defense is a good offensive as the saying goes so I've been really focused on anti-aging and good for you skincare items lately. But this really didn't seem to do anything, good or bad. I don't know if it needs more time to really have results, but as of right now I just haven't noticed anything. It hasn't broken me out either, so I don't hate it. And there are lots of good for your skin ingredients in it, which is a plus. But I just don't see any difference in my skin after using this, and for $45 it better do a whole lot more than "meh". Maybe I'll give it another chance later and be wowed by it, but for right now I'm tossing it into my stash and focusing on the products I love.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Yoga....The Game!

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

Physical fitness and activities is an important part of my life and I count myself truly blessed that I get to share that with my son. And since he's only 4 having a physical activity that feels like a game makes it even more fun for the both of us. That's why I was super excited to be sent a yoga card game to test out and review.

Yoga Cards the Game is a card based yoga pose game created by Thinkfun. You can play with 2-4 players, though my kiddo entertained himself for about 20 minutes just trying to do all the poses by himself. You don't need any equipment to play, though obviously having a yoga mat will make it a bit more comfortable than doing it on your carpeted floor.

The green Cards are the pose cards, and include both the regular name and the official name for each pose. The pictures are cute and easy to follow for the most part, though there were a few I had to look at for a few minutes before I figured out how they bent their body into that particular shape.

Each player gets a red mission card, which list what your goals are for that game. An example would be for goal number one you need to do poses with both palms touching the ground. You have to collect so many cards for each goal (7 total) in order to win. The way you collect cards is you play a card from your hand and you have to hold that pose for 10 seconds. With certain poses that can really feel like 10 minutes at times.

The instructions were clear and the game was pretty simple to play. I enjoyed doing it but more importantly my kiddo LOVED it and begs to play it every day. I just sprained my ankle so I'm benched for now but we've managed to find other people who are willing to play with him. This is a really great game and I highly recommend it for people with kids. Best part is it's super cheap! Only $4.99 on Amazon, basically the price of a coffee one day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ELF Poreless Face Primer

While I'm typically a pro ELF cosmetics person I've been a staunch hater of their face primers. They're gross and greasy and really do nothing for me. But a favorite YouTuber was praising one of their new primers and compared it to a NYX product I've been meaning to try so I swung by my local Target and of course they were out. So I went to the other local Target and they were out. At which point this became some weird thing and now I REALLY wanted to get it so I basically stopped by Target (which granted is on my way home from work) basically every few days until there was finally ONE in stock. I snatched that baby up so fast even my husband was like "what is wrong with you?"

Curious as to what primer I searched almost a whole month for? The new(ish) Poreless Face Primer by ELF. Like all ELF primers this comes in the frosted clear pump with an obnoxious lid that I swear never stays on and always breaks. I get that they're only $6 but come on, can the packaging not fall apart after a week?

There is also significantly less product in there than it looks. The frosted part in an outer tube, if you unscrew it you'll see the tube that actually holds the product is much much smaller. There are only 0.47 oz in it, which is 0.20 oz less than the NYX one. And much less than most high end primers, which typically have 1 oz in them. Price breakdown though this is still the best deal per oz by quite a bit, which makes up for the smaller size. But on the other hand you will run out of this pretty fast. I think after about a month of constant use I had pretty much used the whole bottle. It would be empty now if I wasn't so busy with work and skipping my makeup routine.

As an actual primer this one is pretty good. It does a decent job of filling in my pores and helping my makeup last longer. It goes on really smoothly and makes the skin feel like velvet without feeling like a heavy silicone, which is my only complain about the Smashbox primer that pretty much the whole world loves. There's a slight eucalyptus scent to it as well, but I never notice it on my skin. And the best thing about it is it doesn't break my skin out.

While I do actually really like this product, and you can't beat the $6 price tag, I refuse to order from the ELF website (I could do a WHOLE blog post on the awfulness known as ordering online from them). So until my local Target starts carrying more of them and I can constantly buy more, I'll need to find something else. What primer do you swear by?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Miss Landson Makeup Removing Cloth

*I received this product free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

If you spend any time on Instagram or YouTube you have probably at one point or another seen that magical pink cloth called the Makeup Eraser. Through some sort of sorcery it is suppose to remove all of your makeup with nothing but water! Amazing right? Well here at Best Beauty for Your Buck we are always on the lookout for cheaper dupes and I have one for you guys today. The Miss Landson Makeup Remover Cloth is a fuzzy pink cloth that will remove all of your makeup with just water! Sounds familiar right? Only instead of being $20 plus whatever shipping is to you, this one is $12.99 with free Prime shipping.

Did I mention it is SUPER soft and fuzzy?
So does it really work? Yes and no. Yes, it will remove 99% of your makeup, but it seems to struggle with makeup that's built to last through water, sweat, and whatever else you can throw at it. I put this to the test (you can watch the demonstration here on my YouTube channel) and it blew through all the powders, my mascara, the color correcting creams, and even my waterproof eyeliners. My cream eyeshadow slowed it down and my NYX Brow Gel (a Holy Grail product for sure) would not be budged without the addition of some Micellar water.

I'm actually really impressed by this and I have no idea how it works. I would imagine it has something to do with the fibers of the cloth, but for now I'm just going to say sorcery and unicorn tears. While I won't be throwing away all my makeup removers this is an awesome step one cleaner or the perfect travel friendly item. A cloth can't leak all over your bag now can it. And so long as it holds up after repeated uses and washings I'm sold on it.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Most Amazing Acne Cream Ever

*I received this product free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Every once in a while I get sent a product I love so much that it goes straight into my skincare rotation and I actually get so busy using it I forget to blog about it. I've actually had this particular product since like November, so I've had LOTS of time to test it out for you guys. And it has actually replaced a long time favorite it is that good. What product am I talking about? The Keeva Tea Tree Acne Treatment Cream of course.

This small jar is full of the most amazing acne busting cream I've ever used. I've been a huge fan of the ELF Zit Zapper for like 10+ years and this is so good I actually retired my trusty zit zapper. You put a little bit of this cream on whatever acne is threatening to ruin your week and typically by the next day it is significantly reduced if not completely gone. This stuff has been a lifesaver for the last few months, especially when the chemo made my skin go absolutely berserk.

The cream absorbs really well and doesn't leave a weird residue on my skin. It does kind of tingle/get warm for a minute or so after application, but that hasn't bothered me at all. This is more expensive than my usual acne treatments, but since you only use a little bit at a time the jar will last quite a while. I've been using it since November and I've only used maybe a third of it. If you would like to purchase your own jar, you can find it on Amazon for $25 with free Prime shipping.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rapunzel Rapunzel Let's Grow Your Hair

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

My hair is actually growing in now that all the chemo is out of my system, but we've reached the awkward "looks like an extra from a 70's porno" stage of post shaved head. It was really cute a month ago but now I just look ridiculous. I even got called Sir the other day, this hair no longer works for me. So I'm in a hurry to grow it out to a less weird length. Biotin is one of the best things you can take to help with nails and hair growth, and for the last week or so I've been testing out a liquid Biotin from a company cutely called Rapunzel.

This is a liquid supplement as oppose to the chewables I've tried in the past. You are suppose to place two droppers full under your tongue and let it get absorbed that way. I'd guess two droppers full is maybe a teaspoon, so your not going to have a whole mouth full of this stuff. And it tastes like cream soda, which is a big plus. Last time I had to take something under the tongue like this it tasted like battery acid. I figure one bottle will last you about a month, which seems to be the size choice of most supplements. I don't know whether a liquid will absorb better than a solid, but it is a different way to get your daily Biotin if you don't like the other options available.It looks like a serving is 300 mg of Biotin as well according to the bottle.

I feel like these sorts of items take the whole bottle to decide if they are really working or not, but I think my hair is growing in nicely right now and I haven't seen a ton of shedding so I like to thing it's working. Would I choose this over the NeoCell ones I love? This item is $18.99 with free Prime shipping. which isn't bad but the NeoCell chews are a few bucks cheaper. So unless I'm noticing a huge difference between the two once I finish the bottle I'll stick to my chews just because of the price difference.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sugar Creek Candle Company

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

There is something so soothing and pampering about a really nice candle. I love to have one burning on my desk when I'm writing my blog posts, or when I'm taking a pampering spa bath. They just elevate everything, and depending on the scent can make you feel different things. Now I'm way to cheap to pay for Bath and Body Works candles (seriously, why are they so expensive?!?), so I'm always on the lookout for awesome candles that won't break the bank and I think I've found my new favorite ones. Sugar Creek Candle Company is an online based candle shop available through Amazon that offers 100% soy candles in a variety of scents. They were kind enough to send me a 12 oz candle to review on my blog.

I received the scent "Love Spell", which smells like candy and I LOVE it! I really like the sweeter scents or citrus based scents, so this was right up my alley. The candle boast a 75 hour burn time, which is pretty impressive for a 12 oz size. I prefer soy candle like this because they burn clean and there's no soot to clean off the jar. The art on the label is really cute too and feels perfect for Valentine's Day.

The candle itself is a lilac purple shade, which looks really pretty in the glass jar. The jar comes with a lid and is a really nice size so I'll probably save it and use it for something.

There was a small crack in the top of my wax but I really couldn't care less. It still burned just fine which is all I cared about. The wick caught fire easily and so far I haven't had a problem with it. It was melting really evenly till one night when the temperature dropped below freezing, then the side I had by the window didn't melt as quickly as the other sides. But that's a cold spot issue and not an issue with the candle.

I'm really happy with this candle, and for $16.99 with free Prime shipping this will probably become my new go to candle company. They have a ton of different scents available and did a really great job packing it for transport. I'm giving them two thumbs up for sure.

Your Yoga Mat, Upgraded

*I received this product free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

Throughout the years my opinions on yoga have changed quite a bit. I use to think it was super lame and I really didn't see the point in it. I was a "if it doesn't make me sweat buckets and leave me exhausted then it isn't an exercise" kind of person. And then I developed cancer and had two major surgeries within a few months. My body was broken and even sitting up from a prone position hurt. A lot. So I gave yoga a chance and found out I was being an unfair jerk about it. Yoga can be as gentle or as intense as you want it, which made it perfect for my recovering body. Years later my body is less broken but I still enjoy the flexibility boost I get from practicing yoga. Not all yoga mats are created equal though. so let me tell you about my new favorite mat that I just received.

The Bintiva Eco Mat is crafted from hypoallergenic materials to give you the safest yoga time possible. It's suppose to be odor free, but I think it still smells like foam. Not badly, but I wouldn't call it odor free, maybe after being open for a while it will be. The mat is 24" by 72", so big enough for all of your stretching/working out needs. And it is 7 mm thick, so comfy enough to support sore joints and bones but not thick enough to effect your balance. This is thicker than my old mat (almost twice as thick!) and I have to say it makes a huge difference on my knees especially. Much more comfortable to use.

One of the things I really like about this one is that is comes with a strap to keep it rolled up AND allow you to carry it on your shoulder like a regular bag. I love love love this feature, trying to lug an unstrapped mat around is just a huge pain in the butt, especially when you're trying to juggle bags and a small child. The strap Velcros on and is sturdy enough that I haven't had it come undone yet.

The two sides have a different texture, which I thought was interesting. The round dotted side goes against the floor and is suppose to be non-slip. The other side is textured to help you hold a pose without slipping. And the whole mat is high density foam, which is better for cushioning impact, like suddenly dropping down from push ups or some difficult pose.

I really like this mat, it is a touch higher price than I usually spend on stuff like this. Of course it is a lot nicer than my usual style of yoga mat, so there is some trade off. If you would like to purchase one for yourself you can find them here for $28.99 with free prime shipping.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dot&Dot Mesh Organizing Bag

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

If you ever work out on a regular basis you know you're left with stinky, sweaty, nasty clothes afterwards. And unless you happen to work out at home you have to transport them back home. I for one hate putting them back in my regular bag and I really don't want to haul a second large bag around. Dot&Dot, which is probably one of my favorite companies out there, of course has the perfect item to help you out.

Their mesh organizational bags are perfect to haul whatever you want, whether they are nasty sweaty gym gear or your spare change. They come in several difference sizes, I personally chose the large size so it would fit all of my work out clothes. The outside of the bag is mesh so you can see what's in it, but the inside is plastic lined for easy cleaning. There's a clip on one corner, which I use to hang the bag up on a hook or to attach to my backpack after the workout. That way, my actual bag doesn't smell like sweat. And like all Dot&Dot products these bags are incredibly well made and super versatile. I use this one a few times a week to haul all of my son's art supplies to work with us.

I love this bag, I'm literally using it almost every day it seems like. I will probably pick up some of the smaller sizes for my makeup kit later, I feel like the plastic lining would make these super easy to wipe clean. You can find them on Amazon here.

Fat Busting or Wallet Busting?

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last your you've probably heard of/seen/tried one of those "wrap things" that are suppose to take your belly from squishy to sexy. There are a billion different versions out there I swear, and some can only be ordered through consultants ala Pampered Chef or Avon. Now I have nothing against those kinds of jobs (I use to sell Pampered Chef and Adult Only items),  but I'm cranky and don't like people sending me emails about their "super awesome product that you should try for a kajillion dollars!!" so I've never tried any of them. Then someone finally offered me a pack for free to try and I went "Hey, why not?" I'll try anything once, especially if it gets sent to me and won't make my bank account sadder than it already is.

The Slimmin Suzie Volcanic Clay Home Spa Kit can be purchased on Amazon, which is a major plus for those of us who don't always like interacting with other people or want a return policy in place in case they really don't like it. The kit comes with two large ace bandages and 8 packs of the clay powder. Normally there is also an instruction booklet but there was a mix up at the factory and a whole batch of them didn't get put in. The owner, who seems really nice, is releasing an eBook of the instructions for those who may receive one of the messed up batches. The only thing you need at home is plastic wrap and water basically.

The gist is you mix the powder with water to form a thicker paste, spread it onto the desired area, wrap it in plastic, then wrap it again in the ace bandages. Then you chill for like an hour, which is a great time to do a facial mask as well or maybe a mani/pedi. Now you rinse it all off and behold the results! Pretty straight forward no? But does it actually do anything?

This is my before picture, which I'm cringing at and may regret putting on the Internet. One of the fun side effects of chemo that I'm still battling is this weird stomach bloat issue. I swear some morning I wake up and look like I'm 6 months pregnant, it's awful. So I'm REALLY wanting to find something to help deal with that, since diet and exercise isn't really going to help.

And these are my after pictures. When I first looked it the mirror I wasn't impressed at all to be truthful. I couldn't tell any difference at all and when you see all these "miraculous results" pictures you kind of expect a big reveal. But looking at the before and afterwards side by side like this I can see some difference. Keep in mind this is only one application, I assume if I do all 8 over a week or two I'd see a bunch of results. But I can see some slimming down and tightening of the skin.

It was an interesting experience for sure, and I'll do all 8 treatments over the rest of the month to see just how much of a difference this will make. Do I think these kinds of things are the quick fix they are marketed as? No. But I think they can help you if you have a lot of water weight issues or bloating. But who knows, I could wake up to a flat stomach and some rocking curves. If you want to try this set out for yourself you can purchase it here for $45.99 with free Prime shipping.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

Oh man, I feel like I need about 10 extra hours a day lately to keep up with everything that's going on in my life right now! So let's dive right into my Thursday Thoughts Link Up with Jen of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.

So over the last week I've been hired for several jobs, which is awesome (yay paying work!) but is keeping me SUPER busy right now. I'm going to try and keep posts coming on a regular basis, but right now I'm basically going from job #1 to job #2 to home to do my blogging while juggling a 4 year old. I think busy might be an understatement, but I'm currently happy with what's going on and the exciting news that extra money means.

My hair is growing back nicely, I can actually style it most days now. I think once it gets a wee bit longer I'm going to do one of those half shaved hair cuts that have been so popular lately. I think it will look super cute, and if I hate it I can just shave it all off no big deal. DO any of my readers have short hair like this? Gimme all you styling tips please!

I mentioned in my January Birchbox post that my original box went MIA sometime during shipping, well guess what just showed up out of the blue? My original, slightly battered box! Since 90% of the box is single use items I'm pretty happy to have double now, but it is kind of funny that is showed up basically the day after I posted about it being missing. Hopefully there will be no issues this month with my Birchbox orders. I'm planning on ordering a few items this month, basically either things I need (no really, I do actually need them) or some stuff I've been drooling over for months now.

 My Pan that Palette is going super well so far. This (above) is my starting point, and the picture down below is what progress I've made. If you can't tell I've completely finished one, almost finished another, and hit pan on three different shadows. I'm hoping by the end of February to have finished two more shadows and hit pan on two more. I haven't been wearing a ton of makeup lately just because of how busy I've been but I'm pretty sure I can at least finish the two shadows I have planned.