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Best of 2014 – Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care

Well, 2014 has come to a close and if I’m completely honest, I think I’m really glad about that. It’s been a bit of a rough year. It started strange and ended equally odd, though there were plenty of highlights in the middle. But now is that time where we put all that to the past and look ahead to the fantastic future that must surely be awaiting, right? J However, the year wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of the Best Products of 2014 now, would it?! Because it’s so hard to include everything in a single blog post without it becoming an epic novel, I’m going to break this up a bit. Today I’m going to share my favorite picks for Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care. I am trying not to repeat things from previous years (all of which are linked at the bottom of this post), but if I do it will be noted and it will only be done because I really haven’t found anything better. I don’t have items to fit into specific categories either – for instance, I don’t have a favorite foundation for 2014 so you won’t see one. I have just stuck to products that truly stood out to me regardless of their categories. So, without further ado, I bring you the Best Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care of 2014! J

Something that I’ve actually never ever mentioned that has become a definite staple in my routine is up first. It is the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil from The Body Shop. It is by far the best makeup remover I’ve tried. I use it for my entire face, including my eyes, and it makes everything disappear with the littlest of effort. Of note for quick touch-ups is the Camomile Eye Makeup Remover. Works like a charm as well, but without any oil left behind to ruin further makeup application. The Body Shop is definitely a fantastic choice for removing makeup.

I have discovered an eye cream that I absolutely adore this year as well. It is from Ole Henricksen(which is cruelty free to the best of my knowledge, but I cannot get a response from the company directly). Their Total Truth Vitamin C Eye Cream SPF 15 is everything I needed in a daytime eye cream. I am such a fan of the fact that there’s SPF included because it seems so rare that eye creams include it. I don’t need sun damage and wrinkles around my eyes when they’re already prone to such ailments! If that’s not enough for you, I swear it immediately brightens and lightens the insanely dark circles under my eyes. It’s a fantastic cream – a bit on the thick side, but it blends beautifully. I definitely recommend the Total Truth Vitamin C Eye Cream from Ole Henricksen!

Moving on to body care, my absolute must have, cannot live without find of the year has to be Coconut Oil. Any brand will do, just give me some Coconut Oil if you expect me to have smooth, hair-free legs! I cannotshave my legs without it. That’s really the main reason I use Coconut Oil, though it has about 1 million additional beauty uses. For me, shaving my legs is just a no-go without Coconut Oil (I wrote all about it here).

Another fantastic find this year has been the Hang Ten Sunscreens. I mainly use them in the summer because I’m super lazy in the winter, but Hang Ten makes the best sunscreens I have ever found – and I’ve tried all of their variations, each with fantastic results. They are just so easy to blend, non-greasy, no white cast, great protection, and so on. If you’d like to read more about Hang Ten Sunscreens, I have written more about them here, here and here.

My favorite body moisturizer this year comes from Deep Steep. It’s a product that I wasn’t at all sure I would like using, but it has proven to be the nicest, quickest way to hydrate and soften my skin! What is it? It’s the Dry Oil Body Spritzer! They come in the most amazing scents – my favorite is the Brown Sugar Vanilla – and are so easy to use. Just spray, rub in and go. They actually are dry oils, so no grease here and I can’t say enough great things about the Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzers (for more about them, check out my full review here).

Perhaps the weirdest find of the year comes from a brand called Flexitol and it is the Diabetic Foot Balm for Rough, Dry & Cracked Feet. Yup, you read that correctly. I still have not actually tried this on my feet, but I love it for my insanely dry and flaky elbows. It works wonders. If you want to read my full rave, check it out here and then run out to find the Flexitol Diabetic Foot Balm for all your troublesome dry spots! J

Sticking on the dry skin train, I have a hand cream love of the year. It’s not a new find this year, but I definitely fell in love with it this year. It is from Out of Africaand it is the Pure Shea Butter Hand Cream. I love the Verbena scent because it’s light, fresh and clean with a bit of zest. The cream itself is a nice thick and nourishing texture that manages to melt into the skin nicely without leaving behind a lot of grease. If your hands are dry and even cracking, the Pure Shea Butter Hand Creamwill soften them right up! It’s fantastic stuff!

Lastly, we have a lonely hair care item. I would add a couple more, but check my December Favorites here if you’d like to hear more about them and the reason I didn’t really want to include them just yet. But back to the definite hair go-to for 2014 – Giovanni’s Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Since I seem to get a touch of the white flakies now and then, I add a bit of this Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in with whatever other shampoo I may be using at the time to nix the white bits. I like to combine it with another shampoo because my hair is heavily bleached and I try to stick with color care type products for the best results (lately it’s with a purple color-correcting shampoo). I find that even without using this full strength, it does a great job at controlling dandruff. Plus it is mighty difficult to find an affordable cruelty free anti-dandruff shampoo! But this fits all bills. JIf you’re suffering from dandruff, or even just a dry or irritated scalp, definitely look into the Giovanni Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.

I think that’s going to do it for my 2014 Skin, Body & Hair Care Favorites! There are a few other mentions I could add (I’m looking at you Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter!), but I don’t want to repeat too many prior annual favorites. Should you be interested in what some of my picks were in prior years, they will be linked at the end of this post and should open in a separate window. Anyway, I hope you found this enjoyable, as I always love writing these types of posts. It is so interesting to go back through the year and see what I’ve loved and forgotten and what’s stayed a diehard favorite day in and day out. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other Annual Favorite Categories because more are headed your way soon! JThank you so much for joining me in 2014, and I hope to see you again throughout 2015!!! J

July Favorites!!! – Hang Ten, Tarte, Milani, Anastasia, Giovanni, Badger Balm, Fitness & Cats

Another month has come to a close, which means it’s time for my July Favorites!!! JSummer is seriously flying by, which makes me sad because I love the sunshine and warm temps…though I could do without the humidity! J I must say that I am beginning to feel a hunger for some deeper shades and jewel tones too, but I don’t want the cold! Enough about the weather, let’s just get into the Favorites. And, I must apologize for my erratic posting this month. It’s been rather hectic and if I manage to find the time, I just do not have the energy to write anything. Hopefully August will be a bit better, but back to the topic at hand – on to the Favorites! J

I’m going to start with one of the most important things for Summer beauty – the sunscreen! I have absolutely been in love with the Hang Ten Sunscreens. I have been switching between the three that I have – the Mineral Sport SPF 50, the Classic Sport SPF 50, and the Classic Sport Spray SPF 50. I’ve decided my favorites are the Mineral Sport and the Classic Sport Spray. If I’m in a rush, I grab the Spray – not that the Mineral version takes any time either, it’s just not as convenient. I think I’ve finally decided that the Mineral Sport is my all-around favorite. It’s a great consistency that rubs into the skin quickly and easily, and it is never greasy. It’s absolutely fantastic! The Spray is all those things as well, I just always feel like using the spray in the bathroom leaves a sunscreen film all around me, and it’s just kind of troubling for my semi-OCC brain. JAs for the regular Classic Sport, it’s wonderful too, but it’s so thin that I’m always afraid it’s going to drip all over the place. It just seems messier than the others to me, but I’ll definitely continue using it as well. If you’d like to learn more about SPF and the difference between the formulas, check out my post here. For more detailed thoughts on the Mineral Sport SPF 50 and the Classic Sport Spray SPF 50, check out that post here. And for one last shameless plug, if you’re interested in the traditional Classic Sport SPF 50, you can find that post here.

Wow, that was long! So, moving on…I’ve gone back to using my Tarte Colored Clay SPF 15 Liquid Foundation, but I have found my favorite way to apply it is with a Beauty Blender. That makes two favorites in one! JI have never really used my Beauty Blender much because I never find it to give enough coverage and I feel like it’s such an expensive gimmicky product, but for some reason I really love it with the Colored Clay Liquid Foundation. The two really work well together to create a fantastic finish that looks like natural, healthy skin. The foundation does lose a bit of coverage when applied this way, but it still has a fantastic and buildable medium coverage that works well enough to cover my giant blemishes to the point where just a bit of concealer takes care of any remaining discoloration. Plus, it never looks too heavy or cakey as it sometimes can when applied with a brush or your fingers. If you’d like to read more about the Tarte Colored Clay Liquid Foundation, check out my review here. As for the rather new appearance of my Beauty Blender, I simply wash it right after every use and it comes clean really easily. I know, it’s a pain in the arse, but I feel like germs and bacteria are just waiting to grow all over the thing and at least having it lookingclean makes me feel a bit better about it.

For the eyes, I’ve been absolutely loving my Milani Shadow Eyez in Brown Deluxe. It’s the perfect bronzey shade for Summer and it is so easy. I just scribble it on my lid and a bit under my lower lash line, blend it a bit, add some mascara and maybe a liner and call it a day (these are my fancy days lately btw). It gives kind of a grungy effect that I actually love. Plus, it’s so easy that I can do it in no time – andit’s waterproof! J

For my brows, I finally caved and tried the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Blonde. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swatched this in a store and thought it was just the complete wrong shade for me and the texture would make for such a strong brow that I’d never use it. Well, I swatched it yet again and decided it might not be so bad after all, and I gave it a shot. It is quite creamy so it can be easy to go a bit too heavy handed, but if you don’t get too much on your brush, the consistency spreads beautifully and fills in my brows with ease – and it’s a lot faster than I would have expected. I’ve really been loving it! I use it with the Anastasia #12 Angled Brush which is perfectfor my brows. It’s quite thin – as are my brows – so it’s great for getting a precise brow shape, or (at least in my case) not going outside the natural lines of your brow hairs. The spoolie on the opposite end is a must for me too, so together, the two have been great for my brows – and the Pomade really is budge proof! Seriously, I have trouble getting it off even after a sweaty workout or even a shower if I don’t use an oil-based makeup remover. Great for sweaty Summer days! J

For my limp, lifeless hair, I’ve found a new combination that’s actually helping! Both products are from Giovanni. The first is the Giovanni 2Chic Tangerine & Papaya Butter Ultra-Volume Leave-In & Conditioning Elixir. It helps condition my hair while taming flyaways and I think it actually does help a bit with volume. After that, I add the Giovanni Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam. This definitely is adding volume to my hair. We’re not talking ‘80s hair or anything, but nice, natural looking body that’s never over-the-top (though I’m guessing you could do that too if you really wanted). I believe this is alcohol-free, which is fantastic since alcohol will dry your hair out – the last thing I need. It can get a little crunchy if you get too much product in one spot, but I use about 2 pumps and start with the lengths of my hair, then use what’s left at the roots since I’m aiming for thicker hair all-around, and I never have trouble with crispiness. I find if I start at the root, they can end up a bit stiff if I’m not careful. But once you figure out how these work best for your hair type, they are fantastic for just adding a bit more life into your locks. Love, love, love Giovanni this month! J

I ran out of my Badger Balm Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in Vanilla Bean, so I grabbed my old favorite this time – Creamy Cocoa. I don’t know if or how the formula between these two differs other than the flavor, but I forgot just how insanely wonderful the Creamy Cocoa version is! It actually seems to be more hydrating and conditioning than the Vanilla Bean for some reason. It makes no sense to me, but I am 100% addicted to the Creamy Cocoa formula! If you’d like to see a full review on this lip balm, check it out here. (I believe this is my third replacement tube, plus I have a few others stashed in various places that are only used occasionally.)

For something I don’t normally include in my Favorites, I’m going to give you a Fitness Favorite and a Cat Favorite. For the Fitness Favorite, I have been addicted to FitnessBlender.com, or just FitnessBlender on YouTube. I cannot stress how much I dislike exercising, but I do like feeling stronger, more toned and in better shape so I’m trying my best to keep it up – I’ve been doing pretty well too despite knee and ankle issues. I actually started with the Tone It Up videos about 2 or 2 ½ years ago, but was getting sick of them. Plus, I was having trouble doing a lot of the exercises when my knee was acting up. I somehow stumbled across Fitness Blender on YouTube and tried a few of their workouts and really enjoy them (as much as I can enjoy exercise). Granted, they’re not as personable as Karina & Katrina from Tone It Up, but they’re better at explaining how to – and how not to – do the exercises correctly for the best results. I swear, in the few months I’ve been doing more workouts from Fitness Blender I’ve noticed more results. Not to mention they have about 6 billion work outs, and if you go to their website, they have an awesome search feature where you can specify workout time, type, intensity, calorie burn, etc., and the results are displayed for your sweating pleasure. If you’re at all interested in working out at home – be it yoga, pilates, strength training, HITT, and more – definitely check out Fitness Blender.

As for the cats, Bailey has had a lot of belly issues so I’ve been trying to find something that helps to keep her regular. Emerson also has had tummy troubles her whole life, but they have never really been addressed too much because she started with a different vet that gave her an enema and sent her on her merry little wet-bummed way. During my research, I found tons of Probiotic products for cats (although apparently there’s no evidence one way or another that shows such things do anything for cats at all). Figuring I had nothing to lose, I settled on some treats hoping that at least one of the cats might simply enjoy them. Well, all five cats seem to love them! They are from Greenies and they are the Smart Bites Digestive Care in the Salmon Flavor. Even little Miss Clover comes running over to get her share, and she never eats any treats! There must be crack in these or something because I have never seen a treat that every one of my cats absolutely devours (they’ll even lick my fingers to get all the dust) – and they generally don’t even like the Greenies treats. As far as aiding their digestion, I don’t know if they do anything, but they certainly do love them. I had to include these because they are apparently the greatest treats on earth in my cats’ eyes!

And that’s it. If you made it this far, I feel like I owe you something. There’s not a lot included here, but I certainly had a lot to say! J I hope you enjoyed seeing my July Favorites and if there’s anything you would like to know more about – more about the DipBrow, my favorite FitnessBlender workouts, a Bailey update, something entirely unrelated, etc. – let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks so much for sticking around through my spotty posting and I hope to get back to a more regular schedule soon. Thanks so much for reading this far, and let me know what you’ve been addicted to this month! J Until next time, love you all!!!

Hang Ten Sunscreens by Coola – Reviews & Comparisons – Mineral, Classic Sport & Spray – Part 2

As promised, today I’m bringing you a review of the Hang Ten Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen, and the Classic Sport Sunscreen Spray. If you’d like to learn a bit more about howthese different formulas work, check out my last post (you can find that here – it’s kind of interesting to my nerd brain, so check it out!). Since you’re here for the actual review portion, just keep reading to see my thoughts on the different formulas!

So, now that we’ve gotten a mini science lesson out of the way, let’s talk about these specific sunscreens from Hang Ten. Each one I have tried is for the Body and retails for $12.99. They each have a Broad Spectrum (meaning it protects against UVA andUVB rays – you need this in any sunscreen) SPF 50 that carries the claim of being water resistant for 80 minutes. Awesome in my book! If you prefer a lower SPF, Hang Ten makes each version in SPF 30 too. I always go for the highest protection I can get and the water resistance is important to me too. If you sweat at all, this is important. And, let’s face it, we allsweat – especially in the Summer! I’m losing my point here. J What I’m getting at is that I tried to compare apples to apples within the various formulas.

Let’s start with the Mineral Sunscreen. Many Mineral Sunscreens are known for their white tint that can be difficult to get absorbed into the skin. The Hang Ten Mineral Sunscreen blends in like a dream! It iswhite like other Mineral Sunscreens, but it is absolutely no trouble getting the cream to melt right in, eliminating any potential white cast with virtually no effort. It also feels amazing! It almost seems more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen. It is a bit thicker than the Classic Sunscreen, but kind of like the difference between a cream and a lotion. They both blend into the skin without trouble, and neither feels heavy on the skin. It absorbs almost as soon as you rub it across your skin so there is no sticky or greasy feeling left behind. There is a subtle cucumber-aloe-like scent that isn’t offensive or obtrusive; it’s actually kind of refreshing. This is by far the absolute best Mineral Sunscreen I have ever used! I should add that though the two have the same retail price, the Mineral Sunscreen contains 3.4 fluid ounces (100mL), while the Classic Sport variety contains 6 fluid ounces (177mL). If I had to choose between the two, I’m not really sure what I’d pick because they both feel quite similar and are absolutely fantastic! J

I’m not going to review the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen since I have already done so here. Check out that review for more info.

That leaves us with the Hang Ten Classic Sport Spray Sunscreen. Obviously this is a spray formula that comes in an aluminum can for added convenience, especially on the go. I love that the cap twists to “shut off” the nozzle should you want to throw it in your beach bag and avoid spraying its contents. Again like the Classic Sport version, the spray contains 6 fluid ounces (177mL). The formula is also fantastic! Many sprays seem kind of heavy, greasy, or sticky on the skin, but this is quite the opposite. The fine mist is barely detectable on the skin and it sprays out in a way that doesn’t make you feel the need to rub it in to ensure it’s absorbed or evenly applied. It absorbs on contact so there’s no waiting around to throw on your clothes either. It’s so light that you almost don’t even realize you’ve just sprayed it on your skin! Again, it’s got to be the best spray sunscreen I have ever tried! It has a faint cucumber-aloe scent like the rest of the Hang Ten Sunscreens that is pleasant and doesn’t linger or interfere with other scents. It’s fan-freakin’-tastic! J

I can’t tell you which of the Hang Ten Sunscreens is best because they are all stellar! It really just comes down to personal preference. If you like a Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten is definitely my pick. For a chemical sunscreen (that’s mostly Organic as well – they all are), definitely pick up the Classic Sport. If you need a spray version, you can’t go wrong with the Classic Sport Spray. I seriously love all of the sunscreens! And can I just take a minute to point out the absolutely awesome packaging?!?! J They’re all printed with shades of neon that just screams Summer. So cute! My only difficulty with the Hang Ten Sunscreens is that they’re difficult to find outside of their website. I’m guessing this is going to change quickly since they’re amazing, but for now, you’re best bet is purchasing them online. Slightly annoying, but not really a big deal – and the shipping is quite reasonable as well. I highly, highly, highly recommend giving at least one of these spectacular sunscreens a try!!!

Hang Ten from Coola Sunscreens – Mineral vs Classic Sport vs Classic Spray – Differences? – Part 1 of 2

Recently I raved about the Hang Ten Classic Sunscreen (see the post here). Since I only had a sample, I knew I needed to place an order pronto. I decided to give all three of their formulations a try while I was at it. So, this post will include the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, the Hang Ten Mineral Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, and the Hang Ten Classic Sport Spray Sunscreen SPF 50. Yup. I tested them all so that I could share the finding with you…and satisfy my own curiosity! J

(Keep in mind that I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert in sun protection or the science behind it. This is just what I have learned from my own research.)

Firstly, let’s start out with the importance of sunscreen. Yes, we all know that we should protect our skin from the damaging rays of the sun. But really, we need to protect ourselves from the sun! Not only does it help reduce the signs of aging, but it can help prevent skin cancer. I’m no expert on either of these topics, but I do know that I want to avoid them both! To truly protect our skin, we need to wear it all day long, rain or shine! Even in the Winter, perhaps even more so, the sun’s harmful rays can still damage the skin. But fear not! That’s why sunscreen is so important to apply all year long! I’m not gonna lie, I tend to skip it in the Winter too, but I shouldn’t because the sun’s UVA/UVB rays are still hitting my skin. Enough of the lecturing though. Let’s get into the differences between the sunscreens.

As I said in the beginning, Hang Ten makes three different versions of their sunscreen. One is not necessarily better than the other and what you choose is really just based on your own personal preferences (or in some instances your skin’s sensitivities). So then what exactly makes the Mineral and the Chemical differentfrom one another? I never really gave it much thought, but there actually is a difference in how these formulas protect you from the sun.

Let’s start with Mineral Sunscreens. I always thought of Mineral Sunscreens as the “all natural” variety. And this is basically the case. They use naturally occurring mineral (or physical) active ingredients, predominately Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide, to block the sun’s rays. In fact, that is precisely how they protect us. Mineral Sunscreens actually scatter and reflect away the UVA/UVB rays. They almost keep the sun from even hitting the skin and they are immediately effective. Chemical Sunscreens do essentially the same thing, but go about it in almost the opposite manner.

A Chemical Sunscreen is generally considered every bit as effective as a Mineral Sunscreen, but it doeswork differently. A Chemical Sunscreen uses active ingredients (or chemicals) to absorb and diffuse the sun’s UVA/UVB rays. It basically creates a chemical barrier that prevents the sun from penetrating into the skin. The rays still don’t reach the skin, but they are not deflected like with a mineral sunscreen; the skin has more of an impenetrable shield surrounding it and keeping it safe. Because of this, a chemical sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes prior to being in the sun because it needs times to work it’s magic. The Chemical variety is no better or worse than a Mineral Sunscreen (at least in the case of Hang Ten), just different. Hang Ten’s Classic Sport and Spray Sunscreens are chemical sunscreens, so they work in this manner. The spray just allows the convenience of a spray application, versus the almost watery lotion-like texture of the standard Classic Sport. If you’d like to learn more about the science and how sunscreens work, check out these helpful bits on Coola’s website.

I was going to review each version of the Hang Ten Sunscreens in this post, but it has gotten so long that I’m going to break it into two parts. Stay tuned for my next post, which will include a review of the Hang Tan Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen, and the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen Spray. Hope to see you in a day or two for that post and thanks for checking out this post! J


May Favorites – Bite Beauty, Lipstick Queen, IT Cosmetics, Sibu Beauty, Tarte & The Body Shop

Another month down, another round of favorites! This is always my favorite time of the month because I love to hear what other beauty enthusiasts have been obsessed with. That being said, let me know what you’ve been gravitating towards in the comments because I’m always itching to know! J So, enough chit chat, let’s just get into my favorites for May….

I’m going to start with foundation. I’ve been testing out a new foundation a lot of the time, but I haven’t settled on it being a favorite yet. However, I also pulled out my original Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation and fell back in love with it! It’s even better than I remembered it (see my initial review here). It just feels so nice on the skin while providing a good amount of coverage (I’d call it a medium coverage, but buildable). Somehow it still manages to look like skin, but better! It’s just beautiful and it isn’t making me oiler throughout the day as some foundations tend to do. I feel like my pores actually look a bit smaller too! (I’m not sure that was my original opinion, but now it seems to give a nice, almost airbrushed-like finish.) Absolutely back in love with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation!

To help hide any red spots, I’ve been using IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Color Correcting Cream. It really doesdisguise redness beautifully without that horrible green cast from a green concealer. At the moment I have a few pretty powerful red spots from prior acne, and this doesn’t cover them completely, but it definitely disguises them nicely and eliminates the red tone. It comes in a rather small pot, but the tiniest bit goes a long way, so I suspect it should last quite some time. It does accentuate pores, so if you need redness control over where you have larger pores, they’re likely to be more apparent. It’s a trade-off I suppose, but for my current redness, the Bye Bye Redness from IT Cosmetics is working brilliantly!

Another gem from IT Cosmetics is their Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder. This stuff is amazing for creating a flawless, airbrushed finish to your skin. My only problem with it is that it doesn’t keep me from shining throughout the day. Then again, nothing really seems to lately. It is definitely worth a look if you’re trying to create the smoothest skin possible and eliminate any texture issues. You definitely will say bye bye to your pores! I don’t find that it looks powdery or cakey either, plus it actually includes ingredients that are beneficial to the skin! Well done with the Bye Bye Pores Powder, IT Cosmetics!

When it comes to blush, I seem to reach for a different one each day. However, I noticed that I seemed to gravitate towards my two All-In-One Blushers from The Body Shop in May. I ordered “Guava” a while back, and I loved it so much that this month I decided to try out “Marshmallow.” They’re both wonderfully pigmented, they blend nicely and they wear well all day! There isn’t a Body Shop near me, so choosing from the crummy swatches online isn’t easy, but I’m happy with these two. “Guava” is a medium-deep bright pink, while “Marshmallow” is the perfect baby pink for that pinched cheek effect. Love, love, love the All-In-One Blushers from The Body Shop.

It wouldn’t be a favorites post without some lip products, although this month I seemed to be all over the place again. I think my most reached for lip product, aside from lip balm, was definitely the new Deconstructed Rose Lipstick in “Damask” from Bite Beauty. It’s a beautiful bright, but not overly bright or in-your-face rosy pink. I often blot it on a tissue for a more natural and less intense effect. The formula and the color are both gorgeous! It’s nice and creamy and socomfortable to wear, plus it lasts pretty well. The Deconstructed Rose Lipstick from Bite Beauty is just fantastic!

My other go-to lipstick in May was Lipstick Queen’s Endless Summer Lipstick. I have the shade “Stoked,” which is a nice popsicle-like wash of a muted pinky-red coral. It’s semi-sheer which I always like around this time of year. It’s lower maintenance and just looks more natural. The formula is fantastic as well! It’s very comfortable on the lips and wears well throughout the day. I definitely want to check out more from Lipstick Queen!

I’m going to include a nail polish favorite this month since I unexpectedly stopped my weekly polish picks. This month I actually wore Julie G’s Nail Polish in “Santorini” twice, which is unheard of for me! JIt’s a beautiful periwinkle blue crème and the formula is absolutely divine! It’s the perfect consistency – not too thick, but not thin and streaky either. It’s almost opaque in one coat – you could probably get away with it if you’re better at painting nails than I am. This shade is part of the limited edition Cruisin’ collection for Summer, so run to your local Rite Aid and check it out! J

I have a new skincare favorite as well this month. It’s the straight Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil from Sibu Beauty. It smells a little funny, but it absorbs wonderfully and seems to keep my skin hydrated without making it greasy. I feel like it would be great on any skin type, but my skin is combination to oily – more oily lately. I use about 3-4 drops at bedtime as my moisturizer and my skin drinks it right in, making it smooth, supple and just happy. It’s worth the funky smell for the wonders that are Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil from Sibu Beauty.

I think that’s enough for my May favorites. I have a couple more that I could add, but this is already too long! If you’re curious about what they are, one would be the Hang Ten Natural Sport Sunscreen from my Ipsy bag (reviewed here). Another would be the LVX 3-in-1 Treatment for nails. Absolutely genius stuff! Of course the Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Perfume is divine as well (reviewed here). May was a good product month! I hope you found some real gems as well this past month. JThanks as always for stopping by and I will see you with another favorites post next month!!!

Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen – A Sample I LOVE!!!

Today I’m doing something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’m reviewing a product from one of my sample boxes!!! J In my May Ipsy bag I received a 1oz sample of the Hang Ten Classic Sport 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (see what else I snagged here). I needed a sunscreen that day and this was fresh in my mind, so I grabbed it. I am so glad that I did because I loveit!

Usually I figure sunscreen is pretty much sunscreen, though I do have my favorites. Looking at the ingredients of the Hang Ten Sunscreen, I was intrigued because there are quite a few moisturizers included. Shea Butter is the second ingredient! It also contains Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil and Cocoa Butter – that’s a lot of hydration! (Full ingredient list is at the end of this post.) That could amount to a lot of greasiness, but it claims to be non-greasy. So I went about slathering the lotion on my arms and wow! This is not your average sunscreen!

First, let me get into a bit of background here. Hang Ten is a lifestyle brand that was actually founded in 1960, but has just recently teamed up with San Diego based organic facial sunscreen brand Coola. Coola aims to provide sunscreens that are good for the skin as well as for the environment, and has continued this philosophy with Hang Ten Sunscreens. Currently Hang Ten offers three different lines: Mineral SPF Lotions that are chemical free, Classic SPF Lotions and Classic SPF Sprays. Each line offers a Broad Spectrum SPF of 30 or 50 (the spray is available in SPF 15 as well) and is Water Resistant up to 80 minutes. Much to my surprise and pleasure, they are also available at affordable prices! They run about $13 for a full size. I was not expecting that because Coola’s face sunscreens are around the $35 mark I believe. I never thought I’d be all that excited about a sunscreen, but I really am! J

So, back to the sunscreen itself. It actually has a rather thin consistency, so it can be a bit messy if you’re not careful. The great thing about the thin, almost runny, sunscreen is that it is so easy to rub into the skin! It is in fact quite moisturizing, but it isn’t greasy at all! It does take a minute or two to absorb, but that’s not a huge deal to me. It’s not sticky or tacky like so many other sunscreens and it doesn’t leave any kind of white cast, nor does it take a lot of effort to spread it around. It has a subtle scent that is pleasant – a bit like cucumbers on the beach, if that makes sense! It’s not a scent that will overpower anything else you might want to wear, nor is it something that will overwhelm everyone else at the beach (though I dolove that traditional sunscreen scent).

Of course it has the traditional sunscreen benefits of Broad Spectrum protection against UVA & UVB rays – vitally important! It also leaves out the bad stuff like parabens, Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate, Synthetic Fragrances and Nano-particles. As mentioned above, it is water resistant up to the maximum 80 minute water resistance claim time that is allowed by the FDA! As an added bonus, the packaging is super summery and cute too. The Hang Ten Classic Sport 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ticks all the boxes and is by far the best sunscreen I have found!!! J
You can find the nearest retailer of Hang Ten Sunscreens on their website, or you can order directly from the site.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Octinosate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 8.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Acrylates Copolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (ORGANIC Shea Butter), Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (ORGANIC Coconut) Oil, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Flavor, Fragaria Vesca (ORGANIC Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Gatactoarabinan, Glycerin (ORGANIC), Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acryate/SodiumAcyloyldimethyl, Taurate Copolymer, PEG-100 Stearate, Phanoxyethanol, Propanediol, Rosmarinus Officinalia (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (ORGANIC Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum (ORGANIC Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Sorbitan Oleate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Theobroma Cocao (ORGANIC Cocoa) Seed Butter, Water, Xanthan Gum

(I hope I got that right – the print is so tiny!)

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