Body Care


Scrub for the Sun – EcoTools Dry Body Brush

As the weather improves and the sun shines while the temperatures soar, most of us start showing a bit more skin. That means its time to get exfoliating! To some this is a tedious chore, but I kind of enjoy it. There’s something satisfying about scraping away all that old skin and feeling baby soft when you step out of the shower. Fortunately, there’s a new tool from EcoTools that is an excellent addition to anyone’s exfoliating routine! It is their new Dry Body Brush.

EcoTools’ new Dry Body Brush is very well designed. It has a round bamboo base with gentle yet firm cruelty free synthetic fiber bristles. There is also a cloth strap attached to the back to make it even easier to hold. The size is perfect in that it’s not too big to fit in your hand, nor is it too small to cover large areas of your body in one go. The bristles, though firm enough to remove dead skin, are somehow still soft on the skin. I think part of the secret is that the bristles are not too densely packed, allowing them to spread out and move a bit while in use. I would have to say it is quite possibly the perfect dry brush! Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing. J

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of dry brushing, it basically just refers to sweeping a relatively firm brush in upward motions over dry skin, typically before bathing, to help remove dead skin and improve circulation. It is best to always move towards your heart. It can actually feel quite nice and kind of invigorating. I have been dry brushing on and off for a few years now and I have definitely learned that the brush you’re using can make a world of difference!

I originally had been using a Tampico brush for dry brushing that had a handle. It was very stiff with rather inflexible bristles and was very difficult to maneuver due to its long handle. I often ended up up knocking over anything and everything in my way. It left my skin red after use and, though I didn’t mind it, it is probably way too harsh for many people.

Everything that I found fault with in my Tampico brush seems remedied by this new EcoTools brush! My skin is left looking soft and healthy, not red and irritated. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend dry brushing in general for those with highly sensitive skin, the EcoTools Dry Brush is the perfect balance of gentle and effective without being highly irritating. If you have an interest in giving dry brushing a go, definitely start by trying the new EcoTools Dry Body Brush. Retailing for only $4.99, it’s a steal and your skin will thank you for it! J

Confessing My Love…For frank.

I have a confession to make. I am in love. I just can’t keep it a secret any longer. My love? Well it’s a bit unconventional. His name is frank and, well…he’s a coffee scrub. That’s right. I’m in love with frank Coconut Coffee Body Scrub! I had heard a few people mention frank here and there and finally decided I should give him a try too and, well, I’m hooked! frank is just the most amazing, body smoothing, healthy-glow giving thing that I have ever found! The gushing has only just begun, so let’s count the ways that I love frank. J

Firstly, if you’re still a tiny bit confused (which I doubt since you’re all amazing and intelligent people, but my dad was lost when I tried to explain this), frank is a coffee-based body scrub that is intended to be used in the shower. The marketing around this product is sheer genius in my opinion. The scrub is made to sound like a real person and after ordering, you’ll receive updates about where frank is on “his” journey. The back of the package says:

“If you do something for me…” (and it continues with directions on how to use frank) …”I’ll do something for you:

  • like scrub away dry, flaky skin with my roasted robusta coffee and sea salt blend, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.
  • I’ll cleanse and clarify with brown sugar, coconut flakes and coconut oil.
  • Then I’ll soothe, moisturize and tone with grape seed oil and jojoba beads.
  • I’ll love every inch of your bod, because that’s just the kind of guy I am.”
And there you have the basic claims from frank (the body scrub).

frank was born in Melbourne, Australia but fear not if you live elsewhere in the world. He will travel for free to the US and will also go on international excursions! He departs from a warehouse in LA, so you won’t be waiting 60 years to greet frank on your doorstep (at least for US customers). frank is simple in not only his ingredients (they were all spelled out above), but also in his simple foil-lined paper packaging. It’s a really cute, clever design and simply states “frank“ on the front. I think it’s an unusual and appealing way of packaging a scrub. I like the rather simple, albeit rather advanced paper pouch, in that it repels water and keeps oils safely contained inside. frank seals with a standard Ziploc-type closure…he reminds you to “Store me in a cool, dry place with my fly done up.” So cute! No frills. None needed!

Unzip frank’s “fly” and you’ll find basically a bunch of oil-laced finely ground coffee with a touch of salt, sugar, coconut and jojoba beads to scrub away all of your lumps and bumps. It should be said that if you do not like the smell of coffee, you WILL NOT like this scrub at all! It smells strongly of coffee with, in the case of mine, a touch of coconut. There are 4 versions of frank, each with slightly different ingredients, which create a different addition to the coffee scent. I chose the Coconut Coffee Scrub because I absolutely adore coconut and it had so many different awesome exfoliants included! J Anyway, back to the contents. I’m not quite sure how this scrub works so well, but it not only scrubs away any traces of dead skin, but it leaves the skin soft, smooth, moisturized and just all-over healthier looking. I swear it really does help improve the appearance of cellulite as well – I’m sure it’s the caffeine. It’s so fantastic that I find moisturizer almost doesn’t make a difference in the softness of my skin! It’s that softening! You will seriously feel like buttery soft silk when you get out of the shower, after you dry off, and even days later…even if you skip the moisturizer all together! It’s incredible what frank does.

frank does require you to put a little effort into your skin softening endeavors however. As you may have figured out by now, coffee grounds do not simply dissolve or immediately rinse down the drain like a sugar or salt scrub. Fear not though! I find that if I use frank mid-shower, as I usually do, by the time I’ve finished rinsing my hair and am ready to towel off, most if not all of the grounds have found their way down the drain. You willsee a bit of brown from the ground coffee dripping down your skin while scrubbing away, but again nothing that doesn’t wash off. I find the easiest way to use frank is to put a small amount in a little jar and leave the actual package outside of the shower. That’s not necessary, I just find it easier to scoop a bit out of a little travel size jar and keep it in the shower at all times. Perhaps the most unusual part of the process comes when you are to actually start scrubbing. You are meant to turn off the water (so it doesn’t just rinse away as most scrubs do), rub the coffee all over – you can even gently use it on your face if you so choose (and it seriously softens your face too) – and wait about 5 minutes without turning the water back on. I didn’t think I could handle this step fearing I would be freezing by the end of the time, but it actually isn’t bad at all. After this 5 minute period, feel free to resume showering as usual and you will be so happy with the texture and appearance of your skin when you get out! One tip that I will add is that if your hair is long enough to pull up, you probably want to do so just to keep any oils or coffee grounds from getting trapped in your locks. Before I grab frank, I put my conditioner on my hair, twist it up and cover it with a shower cap. Then while scrubbing away, my hair is getting a nice, deep conditioning treatment with no extra time or effort on my part. Win, win! J

That’s pretty much all I can think of to tell you about frank. He leaves me somewhat speechless. J I highly, highly recommend giving this scrub a try! I feel like frank is even more effective than other body exfoliating methods, including dry brushing! The Coconut version costs $17.95 (includingshipping) for a generous 7oz/200g and you need a pretty small quantity per shower. If you have easily irritated or highly sensitive skin, frank might be a bit harsh for you, but otherwise, this is hands down the best body scrub I have ever come across! If you want soft, smooth, silky, moisturized, touchable and just healthier looking skin that will last for days, you should definitely give franka try!
You can purchase frank through their website here. Fear not. I gain nothing from you clicking the link! If you’re more comfortable typing it yourself, it’s simply

Giovanni’s Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub vs Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub – Which is Best for You?

Giovanni is a fantastic cruelty-free brand that is totally affordable and rather easy to find in local stores. They just happen to make some of my favorite body scrubs – not too harsh, but scrubby enough to be effective. They are absolute perfection! The two scrubs Giovanni makes are the Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub and the Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub. A scrub is a scrub, right? Well, not exactly. Though these two are quite similar, there are subtle differences that may make one preferable to the other. So let’s examine the two so you can find the one that’s best for you!

Let’s start with how the two scrubs are similar. Both of these are emulsified body scrubs (my favorite type of scrub). An emulsified body scrub is simply one where the ingredients are actually sort of “fused” together. We’ve all seen the oil suspension scrubs where you basically have a pot of oils chocked full of salt and/or sugar. The Giovanni scrubs are basically the less messy cousins of these scrubs. They use a binding agent that blends the oils and the granules together making almost a paste-like texture. So, long story short, the Giovanni scrubs have a thick, not at all messy consistency that is scooped out of the tub and rubbed into the skin. The sugar or salt is a physical exfoliant that literally scrubs away flakiness leaving behind softer, brighter and more hydrated (thanks to the oils) skin. They are both stellar physical body scrubs and I would not hesitate to recommend either one to anyone looking for such a product!

So why this post? Well, let’s talk about the differences! J The most immediate difference between the Hot Chocolate Scrub and the Cool Mint Lemonade Scrub is the scent (let’s state the obvious, shall we? J). The two smell pretty much exactly as they sound – warm, hot chocolate or refreshing, slightly minty lemon goodness. They both smell insanely delicious and pretty dead on to the real thing. You really can’t go wrong, so it’s just a question of personal preference.

The other rather obvious distinction is that the Hot Chocoalte Scrub uses sugar to exfoliate, while the Cool Mint Lemonade uses salt. Both are scrubby and feel slightly rough, though gently so. However, using salt will actually help to kind of suck up the dead skin because salt is a drying agent. This doesn’t mean your skin will feel dry if you use it, it will actually aid in removing the dead skin. The drawback to that is that it’s salt, and salt can burn. If you have any cuts, you’ll find them when using the Mint Lemonade Scrub! Having a small army of cats, this can be problematic for me because I almost always have a tiny scratch somewhere. Because of that, I tend to reach for the Hot Chocolate Scrub most of the time. I don’t really like it any more or less, I just want to avoid scrubbing salt into a wound! J If that’s not a concern of yours, or your heart is set on using a salt scrub, you’re going to want to use it before shaving! Always, always, always use salt scrubs beforeshaving to avoid the horrifying burn of salt over freshly irritated skin! And should salt pose a problem to you for any reason, the sugar scrub will do just as good of a job at physically scrubbing away your scaly bits. J

Another fantastic aspect about the Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub, at least in the summer, is the mint! There are actually little bits of fresh mint mixed into the scrub. I’m not sure if this really serves any function as far as exfoliating goes, but it does have a fantastic cooling effect on the skin! It’s wonderful on a hot day or after a brutal workout. As you’re scrubbing, the mint will work its magic and you will feel kind of a tingly, cooling sensation. So, so nice when you’re hot and sweaty, or just looking for a really refreshing shower. However, during a bitter cold winter it may not your preferred effect. J The Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub adds crushed cocoa beans, but I don’t find that they really have any added sensation; it’s simply a fantastic all around scrub that won’t irritate cuts, scrapes or burns. Again, which of the two scrubs you chose will likely depend on the season and you’re general preferences.

Bottom line? I can’t tell you which scrub to choose, but I would bet that whether you prefer a cooling Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub or a comforting Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, Giovannihas a fantastic scrub for you!

So Long Summer! – August Favorites

::sigh:: Well, Summer is unofficially over. Though I am dreading the chilly days, the messy months of snow and sleet, the dying leaves, and the general malaise of Fall and Winter, there are some things I’m looking forward too as well. But that’s getting ahead of myself. Today we’re focusing on the last days of Summer and what I’ve been loving throughout August! It’s been kind of an uneventful month and I don’t have much in the way of makeup to share, but there are plenty of other goodies for your reading pleasure. Let’s just get into it, shall we? J

Where to start? I guess I’ll go with body products. I have absolutely been adoring my Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzers! My favorite scent so far is the Brown Sugar Vanilla, and it will be perfect as the weather starts getting cooler too. It just has that warm, comforting feel to it. I’m not going to go into it much more since I literally just reviewed these, and you can check that out here. Amazing scents aside, these dry oils are just the absolute best moisturizers I have tried probably ever.

Sticking in the realm of moisturizing oils, I’ve also fallen in love with Coconut Oil, specifically for shaving my legs. Again, I recently wrote about this as well so I’m not going to drone on about it, but you can check out that review here. I’ll just say that it has totally changed the way I view shaving and my legs are thanking me for it!
Bailey likes it too! 🙂
For my hands – wait for it – I’ve been addicted to the Soap & Glory Endless Glove 2-in-1 Moisture Mask & Hand Cream. And surprisingly, I also recently wrote about this as well! In case you missed that, check out the review here. Smells good, does what it says, keep hands soft and smooth, moisturizes. What more do you need to know? Excellent stuff. J
Moving on. Something I have not written about yet (I know, crazy) is Manuka Honey. I’ve been using it to wash my face in the morning and I feel like my skin really likes it. Manuka Honey is known for it’s anti-bacterial properties, so it’s great for acne-prone skin, but it also helps soften and hydrate the skin. I actually feel like my skin looks more youthful with a bit more glow, as well as maintains a better oil balance throughout the day when I use it. I’m not going to get into all the potential benefits and what-not of using Manuka Honey here because this would end up insanely long, but I have really been loving it this past month.
Sticking with the honey theme (and making an unintentional pun), I have also really been enjoying the Amber Honey Exfoliating Scrub from CSI, which I believe is part of VitaCost’s in-house anti-aging line. It is an intense physical scrub for the face. Just a tiny little dot will be plenty to exfoliate your entire face. It will definitely get rid of any dryness or dead skin lingering about. It is not for the faint of heart and I would run the other way if you have sensitive, or otherwise irritated skin, but if your skin reacts well to exfoliants, this one is definitely great for the occasional intense scrub.


Hard to see, but insanely effective scrubbing granules
Finally, I have one lonely makeup item. It’s another standard black eye liner from Butter London. It is the Wink Eye Pencil in Union Jack Black. It is a standard creamy gel pencil liner in the vein of Urban Decay and the many others out there, but this one I’ve just gravitated to this month. It stays put – even on the waterline – and is a nice rich black. What more could you ask for? I would say that it’s every bit as good as the NARS pencil, which I reviewed here, plus it’s a tiny bit less expensive. I would definitely recommend checking out the Butter London pencils based on this one’s performance – and they have a number of unusual shades along with the old standbys. Well done, Butter London! J
I think that pretty much does it for August’s favorites. There are some other new things I’ve been testing out, but haven’t settled on an opinion yet, so I don’t want to include them here. Besides, this is long enough already! JI hope you enjoyed this trip through August’s favorites and I hope to see you again next month (well, preferably before that, but you get the idea)! J Thanks so much for stopping by and leave me a comment with what you’ve been loving!!!

Deep Steep Dry Oil Spritzers for Seriously Soft Skin

Oh. My. Soft. Skin! I am completely obsessed with the Deep Steep Dry Oil Spritzer! I have never really tried a dry body oil – or any kind of body oil for that matter, but I am so glad I finally did! I guess I always shyed away from dry oils because I assumed they would be somewhat greasy. That’s rather silly of me since I know that not all oils are greasy on the skin. Having now tried the Deep Steep Dry Oil Spritzer, I’m not sure I can ever go back to a traditional moisturizer!

If you’re wondering what in the world a dry oil is, it’s simply an oil that leaves no greasy residue. That’s not to say that it does not leave the skin insanely hydrated, soft, smooth and, in the case of the Deep Steep versions, deliciously scented. Quite the contrary. Most surprising to me is that there is absolutely nogreasy, tacky or sticky residue left behind. You just have baby soft, smooth, moisturized skin. It’s a wonderful feeling!

I always feared that body oils would be messy and/or difficult to use. Deep Steep has made them very user-friendly. Their Dry Oil Spritzers come in convenient spray bottles – hence the name – that easily mist out the oil without any fuss. The best way I find to apply the oil is right after showering/bathing. I gently towel dry so that my skin is still damp, but not dripping with water. Still standing in the shower so as not to coat my bathroom with the oily mist, I simply spritz the dry oil onto a section of my body and rub it in for even distribution and absorption. It spreads across the skin like a dream and sinks in almost immediately. It leaves a bit of a glow to the skin, but it’s not an overtly plastic-like shine. I find my skin just looks healthy, radiant and happy. J I actually find these Dry Oil Spritzers easier to apply than a lotion or cream…and I feel like they’re more effective!

As for the scents, they are to die for! I have two at the moment – Brown Sugar Vanilla and Passion Fruit Guava. Both smell delicious! In fact, I gave each of the seven scents a whiff at my local Whole Foods, and they all smell divine! As far as I know, the available scents are: Grapefruit Bergamot, Tangerine Melon, Honeydew Spearmint, Rosemary Mint, Lavender Chamomile, and the aforementioned Brown Sugar Vanilla and Passion Fruit Guava. The Brown Sugar Vanilla is a nice warm, comforting scent; the vanilla is very subtle, but the brown sugar is definitely there. The Passion Fruit Guava is a bright, fruity scent that’s perfect for Summertime. The scent doesn’t really last all day, nor is it terribly strong, but you can smell it for a good while after oiling up. J You may get whiffs of it throughout the day, but it’s nothing overly powerful or disruptive should you want to add perfume or avoid knocking people over with your scent. Basically you’re softly scented for the day, but you and anyone who gets real close to you are probably the only ones who will notice.

As far as ingredients go, they are quite simple! For the Brown Sugar Vanilla scent, they are as follows: Coconut Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Sugar Extract, Vanilla Plantifolia Fruit Extract, and Aroma (Organic and Wildcrafted Aroma Blend). Basically a blend of lovely oils with some scent thrown in. Deep Steep is, of course, cruelty free and is also PETA approved. According to Deep Steep’s website, their products are 100% Natural and use a 100% Natural preservative system, so no nasty chemicals in there. I believe all Deep Steep products are also Vegan and Gluten-free!

I will say that I’m not sure how long one bottle of the Dry Oil Body Spritzer will last. They contain 4 fl oz/118mL, which is a decent amount. You don’t need much, but by the same token, when you’re covering you’re entire body regularly, I feel like this will disappear faster than something like a body lotion. However, given the price point and the wonderful scents, I don’t really mind since I love having a new scent all the time.

On a superficial note, I absolutely adore the packaging too! It’s rather simple, but it looks somehow cute and elegant at the same time. And the little duck wearing a crown logo is soadorable! Also, each scent has it’s own color so you know what you’re grabbing should you develop a large collection of these babies. J

The Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzers retail for $13.95 for a 4oz misting bottle (check out VitaCost where they’re only $8.69!). They are available on the Deep Steep website, and I have seen them at my local Whole Foods too. There is a store locator on their website if you’re having trouble finding them in person. I absolutely 100% recommend giving these dry oils a try! Your skin will thank you for it. J

Shaving with Coconut Oil? Remedies for Sensitive Skin

I have what seem like the most sensitive legs in the world. I’m sure that’s not really true, but when it comes to shaving my legs, it seems that every nerve ending on my legs becomes the most sensitive things ever. Waxing? No problem. Hair removal creams? Big deal. Epilators? Well, not sure I’ve really tried any, but you’re getting the idea. However the second a razor nears my skin, my legs burn, sting, get raised bumps, get red bumps, you name a negative reaction and my legs will probably experience it. Whatever kind of shaving cream I try never makes much difference. It’s been an ongoing nightmare for most of my life. To add to the agony, the second I’m about to shave my legs, I undoubtedly end up with goosebumps all over my legs, which naturally increases the misery. I had basically just accepted my lot in life with razor burn and dealt with the irritation the best I could, but then I decided to give Coconut Oil a try. I’m not entirely sure why. I know it’s not an unknown use for coconut oil, but I hadn’t tried it before. I was completely dumbfounded after trying it just once and will never go back to anything else! J

Firstly, some amazing things about coconut oil. The most basic and commonly misunderstood aspect of coconut oil is that it is often a solid block. That’s because it solidifies when it is under 76°F/24°C. Run the container under some hot, or even warm water for a minute or two and if will soften and eventually liquefy. Most oils actually do this at varying temperatures, but coconut oil is one that commonly hardens around room temperature. In the shower, it’s quite easy to warm up the oil so it can be scooped out and applied to the legs…or wherever else you may be shaving.

Another wonderful thing about using coconut oil in the shower is that it’s an oil! Since oil and water don’t mix, it will stay on your legs even with the water beating directly onto your skin! No weird positioning required to keep shaving cream out of the water and between your legs and the razor. And, as if that’s not beneficial enough, it moisturizes your skin too! Seriously, you can shave your legs, finish showering, towel off and your legs still don’t need moisturizer! They’ll be baby smooth – and stay that way for quite some time! It’s a great time saver.
Water beading up over a patch of Coconut Oil

Some things to keep in mind when using coconut oil in the shower: Because it is an oil, it is slippery. This is good and bad. It helps a razor glide over the skin like no other, but if you’re not careful and end up with some oil on the floor, it can get slippery. I rarely find this an issue, but be cautious. Another downside of sorts is that the oil can kind of clog your razor. Not to the point that it’s ineffective, but you will get a buildup on the razor blades. Simply rinse the razor regularly and it’s fine. Again, I feel like there’s a benefit to this as well…well, not the actual buildup, but the oil passing through the blades. It seems to me like it helps to keep hair and gunk from collecting in between the blades, as well as helping to prevent the blades from dulling as quickly, though I have no proof to back this up. All in all, I can’t really find a downright flaw in using coconut oil for shaving.

So on to the actual shave experience! I keep a tub of coconut oil right in the shower (I like the Nature’s Way Coconut Oil mainly because it’s in a plastic container, which is much safer in the shower and it doesn’t have a metal lid prone to rusting). When it’s time to shave, I just scoop out a bit of semi-solid or liquid oil and rub it over my legs like I would any other shaving cream. Then, it’s shave as usual. Simple as that! I don’t find my legs getting goosebumps at any point, there’s no burning or irritation when I pass over any areas and my legs, and they feel sosoft and smooth when I’m done! Plus it smells like delicious, fresh coconuts. It’s absolutely fantastic! I can run a razor over the same area multiple times without a problem, and as the hair grows back in (which to take longer than before), my legs don’t get irritated with itchy red bumps. I also have no issues when I get goosebumps post shave either, which was usually rather painful with standard shave creams. I seriously cannot tell you how life-changing this has been! That sounds so dramatic, but it really was so uncomfortable to shave my legs – and live with the regrowth afterwards – that I often found myself feeling disgustingly hairy for months between shaves…which also made the problem worse. Now it’s smooth sailing and my legs are thanking me for it! JIf you haven’t tried it already, I highly, highly recommend getting some coconut oil and replacing your current shaving cream! Your legs…or whatever else you’re shaving…will thank you for it! J

Coconut Oil can usually be purchased in most grocery store these days, and if that fails, you’re local Whole Foods or Health Food Store will definitely carry it. I buy the Virgin Coconut Oil because it maintains the most original properties, plus it is the only way to get the delicious natural coconut scent! I recently started purchasing mine from VitaCost because their prices are fantastic – also, check them out for all kinds of things for the household, cooking, beauty, pet, and vitamins. If you click on my referral link, you will receive $10 off your first order of $30 or more! It’s really a fantastic site – like Whole Foods at a discount! If you’re interested in cruelty free or natural beauty products, this is definitely a site worth checking out.

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