Saturday, November 29, 2014

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub


This Peppermint Sugar Scrub is amazing! Whether you want to make it for yourself or as a Christmas gift, it definitely embodies this holiday season. It smells delicious- like a York Peppermint Pattie! You will literally want to eat it! This scrub leaves your skin feeling super soft and moisturized.

(Makes four, 4 oz. Jars)

~Ingredients~ 

1 cup Coconut Oil (or a different oil of your choice), softened in microwave for 45 seconds
2 cups Sugar 
40-50 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

~Instructions~ 

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Distribute into your four jars. You can decorate your jar any way you would like! I tied a bow around the lid with twisted gold rope. I also created a tag and attached it to the rope. I wrote Peppermint Sugar Scrub on it in red sharpie with a little zigzag design.

This recipe can be customized to your liking. You can replace the coconut oil with another oil of your choice. You can also replace the peppermint essential oil with another essential oil of your choice. You can even combine essential oils! I do have to say though that the coconut oil and peppermint essential oil combination is fantastic! What do you think of this recipe? Will you give it a try? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

These are the perfect Southern Buttermilk Biscuits! They are light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious! You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! They are very cost-effective and the dough can freeze for up to a month. This is the biscuit recipe you will be using for years! 


~Ingredients~ 

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking power w/o aluminum 
1 teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold 
1 cup buttermilk (approx.) 

~Instructions~   

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. If using a food processor, pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet. 

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently pat (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out with your hands until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to 1 inch thick. The key to amazing biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds. Gently knead the scraps together to make a few more.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you like soft sides, place them touching each other. If you like "crusty" sides, place them about 1 inch apart. These will not rise as high as the biscuits placed close together. 

Bake for about 10-12 minutes. The biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not over bake.

Note: A food processor is ideal because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of over mixing. I did not use a food processor, so the biscuits in the picture above were achieved without one.

You can make these biscuits, cut them, and freeze them for up to a month. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.
This recipe is by P4 on Southern.Food.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Masters Organics Review- Skin Care!


I tested out four John Masters Organics skin care products*: Calendula Hydrating & Toning Mask, Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil, Rose & Aloe Hydrating Toning Mist, and SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen. I love all four products, especially since my face is becoming dry and flaky due to the cold, dry weather in my area.

~Calendula Hydrating & Toning Mask~

This mask is said to be super-hydrating and nutrient-rich. It is also said to help keep skin oxygenated, protect against free radical damage, regenerate collagen, and balance the production of sebum. This mask is for dry and weather-damaged skin. It can be used after skiing or any other drying activity. It contains calendula, which is an antiseptic and antibacterial, and rice, which softens and heals while helping to prevent wrinkles. It also contains shea butter, aloe vera gel, and aspen bark. 

Snow is here and my face has been unusually dry lately. I would definitely say my face is beginning to get weather-damaged because of the cold, dry air. This mask is amazing! It left my skin moisturized and soft. There were no flakes. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has dry skin or to anyone who lives in cold, dry weather. Love, love, love! 

Price Description:  
2 oz. $26

You can buy this product here.

~Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil~ 
  
This oil is said to provide ultra hydration, as well as improve skin elasticity. It can be used for the face, hands, feet, and body on dry and mature skin. It is rich in antioxidants. It contains 12 organic oils such as pomegranate seed oil, which is a powerful antioxidant, and rosewood oil, which naturally rejuvenates dry, dull skin. It also contains olive oil, which binds moisture to the skin, and geranium oil, which balances oily and dry skin. 

I used this oil after I washed off the Calendula Hydrating & Toning Mask. It is a heavier oil, so a little goes a long way. The mask and the oil together is a match made in heaven! They are an amazing combination! The oil is very hydrating and smells amazing. Along with using it on my face, I used it on my hands and feet. The oil nourished my skin and left it super soft. I definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants to moisturize and hydrate their skin!

Price Description: 
2 fl oz. $30

You can buy this product here.

~Rose & Aloe Hydrating Toning Mist~

This mist is said to tone, hydrate, and protect the skin. It is also said to reduce the appearance of pores, stimulate blood circulation, and reduce inflammation. It can be used for these purposes or to lift your spirits throughout the day. It contains rose flower oil, which soothes sensitive skin, and rice, which softens and heals while helping to prevent wrinkles. It also contains white tea, which is high in antioxidants, and gotu kola, which heals and firms the skin.  

Recently, I have fallen in love with facial mists. I love spraying my face throughout the day. This mist is amazing! I use it to refresh myself through the day, to hydrate my skin, and to set my makeup. It is really universal and can be used in many ways. I love the smell! I also love how the ingredients are good for you! For instance, there is no artificial coloring. The ingredients are certified organic and cruelty free. 

Price Description: 
2 fl oz. $20 

You can buy this product here.

~SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen~

This sunscreen is said to provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, as well as moisturize and hydrate the skin. It is bio-degradable and reef friendly. It won the Very Best ELLE Essential Beauty Products award. This sunscreen contains titanium dioxide, which has UV-resistant properties, and zinc oxide, which is the broadest spectrum UVA and UVB absorber.  It also contains shea butter, jojoba, and green tea. 

I tested this product throughout the summer and I love it! It is very creamy and quickly sinks into the skin. It does not have a strong sunscreen smell. It actually smells really great! I love how this sunscreen is good for you and the environment. There are no harmful chemicals. This is really important to me.

It provides great protection from the sun. I do tan easily, so naturally I do not burn that quickly. However, I do burn on my shoulders, nose, and thighs if I don't apply sunscreen. I found that this particular sunscreen is amazing because I did not burn this summer! Instead, I got a nice, even tan! I am not going to say that you will not burn at all because everyone's skin is different; however, I can say that this is the best sunscreen I have used.

Price Description: 
2 fl oz. $32 

You can buy this product here

All of the factual information from this review was found on JohnMasters.com and on the back of the products. 

This concludes my John Masters Organics three part series! There were some hits and misses, but overall I love this brand! What do you think about John Masters Organics? Are there any products you are interested in trying? If you have already tried this brand, what are your favorite products? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Favorite Fall Nail Polishes


KleanColor Iridescent Fuschia ~ This is a true palatinate purple color. It's a deep shade, but still very pretty!
butter London Pillar Box Red ~ Two Words: Classic red. If you don't have that perfect shade of red for your collection, you need to purchase this nail polish! You will love it! I tend to only wear this nail polish during the fall time; however, it can double as a pretty red for the holidays as well.
Orly Close your Eyes ~ This is a beautiful wine nail polish with bronze shimmer. I have never seen a color with bronze shimmer until I saw this shade. It is truly unique! It epitomizes the fall season.
L'Oreal Violet Vixen ~ This is a gorgeous berry color! It is the prettiest shade of berry I have found in a while.


Sinful Colors Professional WinterBerry ~ This is a pomp and power purple (yes, that is the name of an actual shade of purple) with silver. It glistens in the light. I love it!
KleanColor Concrete Gray ~ This is a beautiful dark gray. This nail polish goes on perfectly because it is very pigmented. You only need one coat, however I usually paint two coats to be safe.
Orly Mysterious Curse ~ This is a purple nail polish with little blue specks. The purple and blue are combined so seamlessly that it is truly a mystery how they created this color! The nail polish looks purple and blue at the same time!
Borghese Euro Green ~ This is a gorgeous olive green with gold sparkles. The sparkles are not chunky at all. This nail polish looks absolutely stunning on the nails! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

John Masters Organics Review - Hair Products!


I tested out three John Masters Organics hair products*: Green Tea and Calendula Leave-in Conditioning Mist, Rose and Apricot Hair Milk, and Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Volumizer for Thinning Hair. I love two out of the three products!

~Green Tea and Calendula Leave-in Conditioning Mist~

This product contains green tea extract, which is rich in antioxidants and is a natural antibacterial, and calendula extract, which soothes and protects the hair and scalp. This product is said to add shine, tame frizz, strengthen hair, and build volume. It is both lightweight and safe for color treated hair. It won the betternutrition Best of Natural Beauty Award 2014. 

The first thing I noticed when I tested this out was that it smells amazing! I sprayed this mist on my ends while my hair was damp. After I blow dried it, I noticed that I had no static or frizz. My ends were conditioned and shiny. Since this is lightweight, my ends were not as shiny as using an oil. However, I would not hesitate to go out without putting any other product on my hair.

Overall, I love this product! It is best used as a lightweight conditioner or as a quick fix to any frizz and/or shine issues you may be experiencing.

Price Description:
4.2 fl oz. $24

You can buy this product here.

~Rose and Apricot Hair Milk~

This product is said to add natural shine, moisturize, and leave hair more manageable. It contains rose flower oil, which softens and nourishes hair, and apricot oil, which treats dryness. It also contains rosehip seed oil, which hydrates hair. It is safe for color treated hair and is best for dry or damaged hair. It is lightweight and may be used as a light-hold styling product. 

I used this product on my damp hair. After I blow dried it, I noticed that my hair was considerably shiny and soft. There was no frizz or static. My hair was really moisturized, but not greasy or weighed-down. I found that although this product is lightweight, it did leave my hair more shiny than the conditioning mist. I love both; however, this product is my favorite. It also helps that it smells like I am surrounded by a rose garden!

If you have dry or damaged hair, you will love this product! It does not matter if you have a greasy scalp, apply it to your ends and it will be perfect! You will notice that your hair is healthy and hydrated!

Price Description:
4 fl oz. $26

You can buy this product here

~Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Volumizer for Thinning Hair~

This product contains thyme, which is a scalp stimulant and an antiseptic, and irish moss, which is a natural detoxifier. It also contains arnica, which is healing to the scalp and anti-inflammatory. It is said to encourage healthy hair growth from the roots out and volumize. 

I unfortunately do not like this product. It made my hair matted and greasy. It requires you to spray it all over your hair and then massage your scalp. I have a naturally greasy scalp. This product made my hair greasy right away, and I had just washed it!

I would not recommend this product for anyone who has greasy hair. I did test this out on my mom who has a dry scalp and hair. She loved it!

Price Description:
4.2 fl oz. $23

You can buy this product here. 

I am going to review John Masters Organics Calendula Hydrating and Toning Mask, Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil, Rose and Aloe Hydrating Toning Mist, and SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen on 11/22. So, make sure to check back to see how the products worked for me! 

All of the factual information from this review was found on JohnMasters.com and on the back of the products.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Pop Of Color

 Coat: Billabong // Boots: Rampage // Purse: Sharif // Jewelry: Rue 21

There are the typical fall colors: browns, reds, oranges, greens, dark purples, and creams. Instead of dressing myself within these constraints, I digressed. I combined fall colors with bright, fun colors. I am wearing tan boots, a dark purple purse, and a mauve long-sleeve t-shirt. All of these pay homage to the fall time. I chose a heavy white coat because it was particularly cold outside. Anyways, no one follows the "don't wear white after labor day" rule anymore. I didn't pay attention to it even when it was in affect! Since I chose a white coat, I wanted to add some color by my face. My scarf has pinks, oranges, blues, purples, whites, and browns. The wide variety of colors tie my outfit together and make it livelier.

If you want to combine fall colors with bright colors, try to have your bright piece of clothing incorporate some fall colors in it. It will make your outfit more coherent. 

Do you religiously stick to wearing the colors of the season or do you step a little bit out of the box like me? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

October Favorites

It's time for October Favorites! I have five beauty favorites, two food favorites, and four music favorites. 
I loved my Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Dazzle during October! The formula is really creamy. The color is a beautiful pink with extremely subtle sparkles. Since the sparkles are so subtle, you cannot actually see them on your lips; however, they do give your lips a little extra pizazz. I used my LORAC Cosmetics lip gloss in the shade Rock It many times! It is a gorgeous coral with pink and gold sparkles in it. The sparkles are not chunky at all. The formula is amazing! I wrote a review on LORAC Cosmetics lip glosses a few weeks ago. You can check out the review here. I combined the lipstick and the lip gloss a few times as well. It ended up looking gorgeous! The different colored sparkles in the lip gloss complements the lipstick perfectly. 

My birthday was in August. I redeemed my Sephora Make Up For Ever birthday set, which came with this mascara. Last month I ran out of the mascara I was using, so I switched to this mascara. I absolutely love it! The bristles on the wand are fat and then taper down. It allows you to really get in the inside corners of the eye. The formula is great. My lashes always look voluminous and long when I wear it!
I got a lot of use out of my Naked 3 Palette in October. This palette is so unique because there are a lot of pinks and neutrals that cannot be found in other palettes. Most palettes give you some neutrals; however, they all start to look the same after a while. 

The colors in this palette are gorgeous! I prefer neutral eyeshadows over bright and bold eyeshadows. I am a big advocate of browns and pinks because a neutral eye will always pair easily with any outfit day or night. 
This is my Victoria's Secret Eau de Parfum Mini Gift Set. Here are the perfumes it comes with: Victoria's Secret Angel, Dream Angels Heavenly, Noir Tease, Victoria's Secret Bombshell, Victoria, and Very Sexy. My favorite thing about this set is that I get to sample six of the VS perfumes. So, this is just what I did in October! I honestly cannot choose a favorite because they are all so different and so amazing at the same time! Love it!
Mmm. Nothing is better than soup during Autumn, especially when it is cold outside! I love this Progresso Heart Healthy Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup! It is low in sodium, which makes it healthier than other soups.  I have a few little tricks that I want to share with you all. First, I add 1/8-1/4 cup of water to the soup. I love chunky soup, so I also add cooked chicken, cooked potatoes, or both! By implementing these tips, one can of soup gives me two servings. I always add a dinner roll or half of a bagel toasted with butter on the side. 
This picture should look familiar to you! I recently posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They are absolutely amazing!! They are definitely one of my favorites for the latter half of October! If you would like to try these out, check out the recipe here.

~Music~ 
Where It's At by Dustin Lynch 
Leave the Night On by Sam Hunt 
Payback by Rascal Flatts 
Steal My Girl by One Direction 

What were your favorites for the month of  October? Make sure to leave a comment below or tweet me to let me know your answer!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

John Masters Organics Review - Shampoo!


I tested three John Masters Organics Shampoos*: Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo, Lavender Rosemary Shampoo for Normal Hair, and Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner. I have an oily scalp and dry hair. I do occasionally get dandruff. I realize this makes no sense considering I have an oily scalp; however, I defy all odds. I wash my hair every other day.

All three of these shampoos do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is what makes a shampoo lather.

~Spearmint and Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo~

This shampoo contains spearmint and peppermint, which stimulate the scalp for optimal hair growth. It also contains meadowsweet extract, which is a natural astringent, and eucalyptus oil, which removes bacteria. This product is said to remove build-up, provide a clean and refreshed scalp, and improve blood circulation in the scalp. It is also said to provide stronger, fuller, and more manageable hair.

It won “The Very Best ELLE Essential Beauty Products” award. I definitely agree with this award! I absolutely love this shampoo! I use it as my clarifying shampoo about once a week to remove build-up. It unclogs my pores and is very detoxifying. An amazing bonus to this shampoo is that it smells amazing. If you love mint, you will fall in love with it, as I have.

This product feels amazing on my scalp! It is very refreshing and almost “cools” it. The mint makes my hair feel very fresh and squeaky clean. My hair has grown significantly since using this shampoo. It just keeps growing as well! I have always had a problem with my hair not being able to grow and this shampoo gets the job done.

Overall, this shampoo is definitely a 10/10 for me! I believe it will work for anyone who is looking for a shampoo that will detox and remove build-up after a long week.

Price Description:
8 fl oz. $18
16 fl oz. $28

You can buy this shampoo here.

~Lavender Rosemary Shampoo for Normal Hair~

Two main ingredients in this shampoo are lavender, which normalizes scalp conditions and slows hair loss, and rosemary, which stimulates hair growth and adds volume and shine. This shampoo can be used for all hair types, including color-treated hair. It is supposed to gently cleanse and balance hair.

On a positive note, this shampoo smells amazing. I can really smell the lavender! The unfortunate thing is that this shampoo does not work for me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised! It is for normal hair, which I definitely do not have.

I have to shampoo my hair twice when using this product. On the second day, my hair is pretty greasy. I need to throw my hair up in a ponytail. The temperature is dropping, so my hair has a tendency to have a lot of static. This shampoo does not help with that. I do not find that it moisturizes my hair, which would definitely help with that problem.

This product is my least favorite out of the three. If you have a normal scalp and hair, this is for you. You will absolutely love it. If you have an oily or dry scalp and/or hair, this is not for you.

Price Description:    
8 fl oz. $16
16 fl oz. $26

You can buy this shampoo here.

~Zinc and Sage Shampoo with Conditioner~

This shampoo contains zinc, which is scalp-regulating (it reduces scalp irritation and is a natural sunscreen), and sage, which has clarifying effects (it is antibacterial, an astringent, and strengthens hair). Wheat amino acids help with comb-through and shine. Papaya makes your hair stronger and fuller.

It is said to prevent itching and flaking and be an excellent controller of dandruff.  It is also said that the conditioner will not weigh hair down. It can be used on all hair types, including color-treated hair. Your hair is supposed to be left shiny, manageable, stronger, and fuller.

After testing out this shampoo, I can say that it is amazing! It leaves my hair clean. There is no oil. My hair is shiny, hydrated, and moisturized. This moisture allows my hair to not have as much static after blow-drying as well.

In the intense sun, my scalp does not burn. My second day hair was a little greasy, but definitely manageable. I was worried about this shampoo being a 2-in-1. I had never tried a shampoo like this before. I always assumed that it would end up being a disaster. This shampoo does not weigh my hair down. It leaves it looking soft and healthy.

Now, drum roll please!! My absolute favorite thing about this shampoo is that it smells like vanilla cupcakes with sweet, vanilla frosting! The scent is too irresistible to deny. Do you have a shampoo that smells like cupcakes? If you just said no, which I am assuming you did, then you need to buy this shampoo even if it is just for the smell alone!

Price Description:
8 fl oz. $20
16 fl oz. $32

You can buy this shampoo here. 

Prior to using these John Masters Organics shampoos, I used Suave Rosemary + Mint Shampoo. I thought it was amazing because it worked really well for my oily hair. My hair would barely be greasy after during the second day, which is very unusual. After testing the John Masters Organics shampoos, I realize how much I was wrong.

The most important thing is that your hair looks and feels healthy. Looking back, my hair might have been “clean”, but it was not healthy. The ends were dry and straggly. Now my hair is growing! It is moisturized, soft, and shiny. It looks the best it has ever looked.

John Masters Organics has many other shampoos on their website. They also have other hair products and skin care. This review is part one of a three part series. Next week I will have a review on their Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Volumizer for Thinning Hair, Rose and Apricot Hair Milk, and Green Tea and Calendula Leave-in Conditioning Mist. On 11/22, I will have a review on their Calendula Hydrating and Toning Mask, Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil, Rose and Aloe Hydrating Toning Mist, and SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen.

All of the factual information from this review was found on JohnMasters.com and on the back of the products.


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