InTruBeauty: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ShopStyle: We Search, We Find, We ShopStyle {sponsored}
All the stores you love. All in one place!

ShopStyle by POPSUGAR is a social shopping website for anyone who loves fashion, giving style-conscious consumers a place to shop the online stores they trust, all in one place. There are categories for women, men, bags, beauty, jewelry, kids, home and more!

ShopStyle makes online shopping and browsing even easier. You can go to their homepage and type in something like "red heels" and a bunch of selections from different brands will all come up right at the tip of your fingers! I can then narrow all the selections down by style, brand and price. It also lets you refine the results so you can shop just red heels that are on sale! ShopStyle also brings you special offers to your favorite stores like Sephora! It links you to the actual website where you can purchase and provides the coupon codes right on their site! This is truly a revolution in online shopping and a perfect place to start your holiday shopping!

Inspired by ShopStyle, I created a board of some of my favorite fashion and clothing items! 

The items I picked:
  • Polka dot short sleeve hoodie from Torrid
  • T-shirt from ShopStyle
  • Headphones for ipod
  • My favorite pair of glasses
  • Bright red polish from Michael Marcus
  • A couple favorite brushes from Make Up For Ever
  • Pair of black leggings with gold button detail 
  • Dexter brand red high heels 
  • Pearl necklace from my great aunt with intricate clasp
  • Printed scarf
  • Charles David clutch 

I try to keep my style pretty simple, casual and classic. I often have to dress professionally, but I don't want to be boring either. I like to add in some pops of color whether it be with red heels or a bright red lip. I will stick with one main color like I have above but add in some of those fun details like the printed scarf. What is your personal style? 

Learn more about ShopStyle here:

Start searching and finding those red heels or that perfect black clutch for your holiday party at! Comment and let me know what you think of this website!

Post Sponsored by Popsugar

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LUSH Cosmetics Rose Jam {Review}

LUSH Cosmetics Rose Jam
I'm working on a post of all my favorite winter fragrances, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a review of one of my new favorites. This is perfect for the holiday season and is a great gift for pretty much anyone! It has a very unique fragrance that I think even the pickiest of people will enjoy this holiday season. This is a great stocking stuffer since you can purchase it in different sizes and it is also limited edition as a shower gel! 
Press Sample
Sweet, tart and wonderfully fresh. You begged and pleaded with us to make Rose Jam available for Christmas and we listened: it’s here for a limited time! A decadent, rosy shower gel made with vanilla pod infusion, goji berry juice and nourishing argan oil, Rose Jam leaves your skin soft, hydrated and sweetly-scented. Lovers of our Rose Jam bubbleroon and Ro's Argan body conditioner will recognize its gorgeous rose absolute and lemon fragrance. Lathering up with this shower gel is a truly indulgent way to wash!

My thoughts:
  • This is a very unique scent 
  • On my first try of this, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. It is a much heavier scent than what I'd normally use. I normally gravitate to clean linen type scents, citrus or berry. This was quite different than what I would normally use. For some reason it also reminds me of camping! 
  • BUT, the more I used it, the more I loved it
  • I now keep this in my shower for a special treat after extra stressful days or special occasions
  • The actual scent is hard to put into words. It does have a sweetness to it, but it is a much deeper mature sweetness. I can smell the rose more than I can detect the vanilla or lemon.
  • This is a scent that you will be able to smell on your skin throughout the day. 
  • This is a limited edition scent in shower gel form, so I recommend picking this up and picking it up soon! It's a great holiday gift for pretty much anyone you know. It isn't too feminine, although I would guess that women would be drawn to it more than men, but it could be uni-sex. 
  • A little goes a long way, so you can make the bottle last awhile 
  • This is very moisturizing for my skin as well 
Have you tried the Rose Jam scent from LUSH yet? Comment and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser {Review}

Indie Lee is one of my favorite natural skincare brands. When winter is about to hit, I especially like to have an arsenal of winter skincare products to fight against the harsh weather. Keep reading for my thoughts and review of Indie Lee's Rosehip Cleanser! 
Press Sample
This gentle, effective cleanser removes impurities and makeup (including eye makeup). Rich in Vitamins A and C, it helps retain moisture. Perfect for all skin types. $32, 4 fl oz. Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, Sulfate Free, Artificial Fragrance Free, No Animal Testing.

Aqua, Sodium Olivate, Glycerin, Rosa Rubiginosa seed oil,
 Chondrus Crispus, Eriobotrya Japonica extract

My thoughts:
  • Super gentle on skin
  • I had no irritations or break outs 
  • It is easy to use since you apply it to your face with a cotton ball or with a face washing brush and then rinse off with warm water. Since this has a gel texture it doesn't make a mess or get all over
  • My face felt really clean after use and more importantly, it did not feel tight or dry which is one of the top qualities I look for in a face cleansing product. 
  • I love the ingredients in this and the quality of products Indie Lee always puts out. This is no exception, but you will have to decide for yourself if the $32 price tag is worth the investment. 
    • You only need a small amount of this, so I know this bottle is going to last awhile! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment {Review}

Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment 
"The Best Darn Deep Treatments Period!" 

This once weekly intense luxurious deep treatment is the essential weapon for ensuring that your curls regain their healthy shiny bounce week to week. Rich Shea butter and avocado cream oil penetrate for a radiant sheen that reinforces a smooth tangle free curl. Quite simply, your curls just behave better with a weekly dose of Rapid Recovery Treatment™.

Press Sample
Instructions for use:
Once weekly scoop out a golf ball sized dollop in your hand. Smooth onto damp curls section by section from the root downward. Run a wide tooth comb through your hair to detangle. Leave in for at least 10 minutes, and then rinse out. Proceed to styling with your favorite Miss Jessie's styler. Great for: Restoring moisture and supple elasticity to damaged, curly, tight curly, kinky or transitioners hair. Its essential, intense deep treatment is a natural curl's secret weapon. 

My thoughts:
  • This is super thick and creamy and has a pleasant vanilla cookie type scent
  • I think you can squeeze probably 3 uses out of the 2 oz size if you use a golf ball sized amount as the description indicates
  • While this was on my hair, it was one of those products that just felt so creamy and silky. I knew when I rinsed this out, my hair was going to feel great
  • I let my hair air dry with little additional products because I really wanted to see if this made a difference on it's own and it sure did! 
  • My hair is super soft, shiny and silky. 
  • One unique feature of this product is that while my hair is super soft and almost fluffy, my curls are still defined which I LOVE! Usually when a product makes my hair super soft, I actually have to flat iron it because my hair turns out undefined and super fluffy. This combines softness with definition. 
  • I did have some frizz which is typical for my hair, so after my hair was dry I did use some argan oil to smooth that out. I could still see some split ends as well. 
  • Overall I thought my hair looked great and would really take minimal styling to be ready to go after use. Again, I love the combination of softness and definition this product provides. I definitely noticed a difference in the texture, feel and look of my hair after use of this. 
Right now this is 40% off on for the holidays.
 All products over 2 oz are 40% off for a limited time, so this is the time to stock up ladies!! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ADORAtherapy Mood Boost Spray {Review}

ADORAtherapy Mood Boost Spray "Smart"

I received the Smart Mood Boost spray which contains lemon and grapefruit in a base of distilled water. This was a perfect fit for me as I'm a huge fan of aromatherapy and lemon is one of my favorite scents. I use lemon nearly daily to flavor my water and for use in cooking and I always breathe in the scent and feel instantly better. That's pretty much the point of aromatherapy, to make you feel better and give you a "quick fix" when it comes to dealing with stress in your life in a natural and holistic way.
Top Notes: Lemon & Grapefruit. 
Enhances Concentration, Energizing, Refreshing & Cleansing. 

Sample Provided by
Whether you’re overworked, are finding it hard to communicate with your loved one, or need to find balance within yourself — smelling all-natural, non synthetic scents may be the answer!

NEW Gal on Go Mood Boost™ — 7 sprays let you be ready to take life on without slowing you down! Make sure you’re in a great mood when you take on the day!

ADORAtherapy Mood Boost™ is a line of aromatic sprays that invigorate and bring balance to your senses. The well-balanced power of mindfully selected essential oils has been proven to relax and realign your emotions.

Packaged in a matchbox style box with a fabric pull 
I really am loving this product. I do get an immediate mood boost from it and I love the therapeutic scent. It isn't irritating or too heavy. It isn't a perfume so it's not going to linger all day. I can still smell it after it is applied, but the most immediate relief I get from the product is right after spraying it. I love the mixture of grapefruit and lemon in this product. There are all different kinds of aromatherapy products available from this company in different forms such as a roll on and spray. There are different aromatherapy scents for different problems such seven blends which match up to your seven chakras and help create balance. There are seven Gal on the Go Mood Boost Sprays for Seductive, Beautiful, Smart, Balanced, Inspired, Awake and Peaceful. I'm sure you can find the perfect fit for your needs or find that perfect holiday gift for a special loved one. 

So, here is where you come in! 
You can help ADORAtherapy™ expand its line and bring its all-natural, mood-changing aromatic sprays to the masses. Be the first to say you found a great new company with a great mission. Be the first to try out the NEW Mood Boosts™. Be the first to tell your friends about ADORAtherapy™ and make a difference in their lives.

Check out the Indiegogo campaign to make a pledge and win prizes!

    PLEDGE $5 or more — “Adore Yourself™ “ Wristband, made of 100% silicone
    PLEDGE $15 or more — Gal on the Go Mood Boost™ in your choice of 7 scents
    PLEDGE $30 or more — Travel & Office Good Mood Boost™ (120 ml size/10 ml)
    PLEDGE $35 or more — Gal On The Go Mood Boost™ Spray & Screen-Printed T-Shirt
    PLEDGE $45 or more — Gal On The Go Mood Boost™ Spray & Two Tone Deluxe Tote Bag

Go to their Indiegogo site to see the other PRIZES you can WIN —> HERE!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Miss Jessie's Jelly Soft Curls {Review}

If you're a fellow curly haired girl, you've probably heard of Miss Jessie's since they make products primarily for women with curly hair. I've tried a bunch of their products and overall really enjoy the brand. It is one of the better lines targeted towards curls. I recently had the chance to test out the new Jelly Soft Curls. Keep reading for my review and results!
Press Sample
Specifically designed to leave your curls touchably soft and crunch free while at the same time giving your curls the shine and hold that you love.Simply squeeze out a quarter size of Jelly Soft Curls into your palm, and apply it section by section to your damp (not wet) curls covering your entire head. Get ready for your shiniest, smoothest, softest, and sexiest curls ever.
Instructions for use: Evenly distribute a capful or more to damp , freshly washed, conditioned and detangled hair. To dry: either air dry or use a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer.
Great for: Wavy, Curly, Tight Curly, Kinky and Transitioners.

My thoughts:
  • I'm kind of torn on this product.
  • It did provide definition, shape and hold to my curls and maintained them in their natural form.
  • However this wasn't completely crunch free and it did have a gelled look in parts. After my hair was completely dried and I had run my hands through many times, it did soften and loosen up. 
  • The scent was a little strong for me. It was a fresh laundry type scent, but it was definitely noticeable. It didn't really bother me and did fade throughout the day, but personally I prefer products with less of a scent. 
  • A capful of product is a lot of product to use! I think using this amount did leave my hair a little crunchy and sticky and I would probably use less next time. 
  • I did still have some frizz and felt I still needed a smoothing product.  
If you share in the same hair type and preferences as I do, I definitely recommend checking out Miss Jessie's Quick Curls. The scent is lighter and it leaves my hair softer and my curls looser. I like a looser curl rather than a small curl held very tightly. Second, I would recommend Miss Jessie's Pillow Curls. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding that perfect fit for your hair type. I know while I loved Miss Jessie's Quick Curls, my friend Justina at preferred Pillow Soft Curls. There is a deluxe value pack which has a lot of 2 oz samples for $64 total so you can test out and find your favorite! 

You can check out my other Miss Jessie's Reviews HERE. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Metals by Lipstick Queen {Review}

I've been seriously obsessed with red lipstick lately. I love pairing it with eye makeup that includes a simple neutral eye (Stila Kitten smudge pot or Maybelline Barely Branded), a cat eye created with my Lancome art liner and a natural pink matte blush. I'm always on the search for a that perfect red lipstick color, especially for the holiday season. That's why I was so excited to be able to test out the Metal Red from Lipstick Queen's NEW The Metals! This is hot, hot, red hot
Sample provided for review 
Metal Red: metallic pillarbox red
Metal Nude: metallic rose-gold nude
Metal Wine: metallic deep burgundy 

This comes in a gorgeous metal mirror like case with bright red lettering. The packaging definitely makes this feel high end and makes this a special piece in your collection. Plus, it will be easy to find if you're like me and have way too many lipsticks!

Inspired by lipstick's own intrinsic magnetism, Poppy King has created three metallic lipsticks for the holiday season with an irresistible magnetic allure.  Intensely irresistible and glamorous, these lipsticks contain an overdose of ultra-fine metallic pearls and rich pigments for the ultimate magnetic allure. Enriched with high levels of antioxidant Vitamin E and Apricot Kernal Oil to nourish and comfort the lips, these lipsticks cannot fail to entrance you with their smooth, drag-free application, creamily comfortable wear and luxuriously rich coverage. Retails for $24.

This feels really nice on the lips. It does not feel weightless, but it also does not feel heavy. I really didn't feel any extra moisture from this product, but it is not drying or uncomfortable on the lips. There is no a discernible taste or scent. It was easy to apply, it was drag free and you will see pretty good pigmentation in just one application. There is glitter in this and a high metallic sheen. Wear was really great at around 5-6 hours.

This is not your ordinary red lipstick. The color plus the metallic sheen with some glitter makes this an extra hot red lipstick. I think of this color for Christmas and New Years Eve parties. For most women, this is not going to be a wearable everyday red color. But if you're looking for something to get you noticed and compliment your killer holiday outfit, then I definitely recommend checking this out. If you just like the metallic finish, but aren't sure you can pull off the bright red color with this finish, I'd suggest first starting with the Metal Nude which may be a more wearable color for you. 

What do you think of this color? What color will you be rocking on your lips for the holidays?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Get your Skin Winter Ready with this Miracle Skin Care Product!

Winter is a nightmare for my skin and with 30 degree temperatures this week, signs of the season to come are already becoming visible. But there is help out there! For the past couple weeks I've been testing out Mama Mio's O Mega Body Buff which has been helping me with dry winter skin. I think this is one of the best skin care products out there for exfoliating dry skin. Even better, this is a natural skincare product and doesn't contain petrolatum, parabens, synthetic fragrances or artificial colorants. If you're looking for some winter skin care remedies, then keep reading for my full review!
Spoiler: My review will be glowing, as your skin will be too!
Press Sample
Get buff and ready for winter with Mama Mio’s OMega Body Buff. This top to toe body exfoliator is super fast and effective, leaving your skin smooth and glowing in 60 seconds flat. OMega Body Buff ($33): Packed with omegas, aloe vera and vitamin E to nourish your skin; this star body scrub is a gentle alternative to harsh scrubs. It sweeps away the old to reveal fresh, new skin. Retails for $33 for 5.1fl oz, free delivery. 

Mama Mio OMega Body Buff can be purchased at

Why is this exfoliator different than others?
Exfoliation increases cell regeneration (younger skin cells = younger looking skin), improves strength and elasticity and makes your skin very touchable. OMega Body Buff was developed to avoid the 'big bits, little bits' problem with many salt/oil scrubs. These can make you feel well exfoliated but, in reality, the big shards of salt or sugar rake your skin. If you saw this under a microscope, you would never use chunky scrubs again! Our OMega Body Buff uses micro-ground pumice grains in a creamy Sweet Almond Oil moisturizing base. *from

My thoughts:
  • This is a very unique product in that you apply it outside of the shower on dry skin
  • The very fine exfoliator was really gentle on my skin
  • This also has a scent to it which is refreshing and it wasn't overpowering
  • I had noticed some scaly winter skin already, but after using this a few times a week, the dry skin has gone away
  • Those results seem to last a few days and so I've only been using this every 2-3 days 
    • Wow, I just checked the website after I wrote my review and I was right on with this! 
      • Use three times the first week; thereafter twice a week. Massage into DRY skin before showering off.
  • If you don't like scrubs with larger or coarser salt or beads, I would definitely recommend this! It really is gentle and feels great
  • Once applied and rubbed in a little bit, you simply jump in the shower with the water and it rinses off
  • I'm not exaggerating when I say your skin immediately feels soft and silky
  • I was worried as I showered that the feeling would decrease as all the product was washed off, I would get out of the shower, dry off, and my skin would be dry again. That was not the case!
  • I feel this is really one of those products that is true to it's product description and really works! 

Also, if you're going to be traveling for the holidays, I definitely recommend checking out Mama Mio's Try Me Trio. This trio basically contains all the skin care you will need for a weekend away including a foaming cleanser, day and night moisturizer and an eye serum. The trio is all sample sized making it super easy to pack up for your travels! I hate leaving town and either having to pack a ton of skin care or skimping on skin care and then just not feeling like yourself the whole week. This totally solves that problem and is everything you will need, no worries, just pack this up and enjoy your trip! 

What is your favorite skin care product once the weather turns chilly on us? Comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lancome Gloss in Love {Review}

Lancôme’s In Love 

I absolutely love lip products and I especially love finding that perfect gloss. You know, the one that provides the perfect tint of color, is long lasting, moisturizing and isn't sticky? That's why I'm absolutely loving Lancôme’s Gloss in Love Collection. Keep reading for my swatches and review and my favorite pick which you should make room for in your makeup collection as the perfect pink lip gloss
Samples provided for review

Lancome's In Love Collection added some newer members called the Gloss in Love which is a lip glaze in 18 vivid, eye-catching shades that provide six hours of hydration and lasting color. The exclusive one click applicator doubles as a lip liner and shaper, defining and enhancing lips with lush color. Retails at $27.

L to R: Mocha Queen, Blink Pink, Flash n' Fuchsia, Violette Paillette

New applicator hugs and defines your lips. This is a perfect fit for my lower lip and helps to define my upper lip. I've never seen an applicator quite like this!

These are all great pink glosses which can be worn alone as shown in the photo above or ontop of another shade. Mocha Queen is the most neutral and the only color that is 100% matte. Blink pink is that perfect must have light pink gloss with subtle shimmer. Violette Paillette is more sheer but packs a little more punch than Blink Pink as it contains more shimmer. The most pigmented of the shades is Flash n' Fuchsia and it contains a light amount of shimmer. This is the color I will probably wear alone the most out of all the shades. These have a perfect moisturizing formula with a bright sheen to them. They are not too sticky but you can tell there is something on your lips. They aren't necessarily weightless, but they are comfortable on the lips. It really is a good formula. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, I would recommend the Flash n' Fuchsia. 

Here is a quick cheat sheet for you when deciding which color you will get :) 
Mocha Queen: Classic Nude 
Blink Pink: Everyday Pink
Violette Paillette: Packs some shimmer
Flash n' Fuschia: Pink & Pigmented

Which color is your favorite? Comment and let me know! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide {Hair}

Gift Sets are one of my favorite things about buying gifts for the holidays. It's a great time when brands put together some of their best products in cute packaging with a savings over regular retail. It's also a great chance to test out some new items and share them with friends. Keep reading to find some of my top picks for holiday gift sets for hair!

If you've got any curly girls on your holiday gift list, I highly recommend checking out the gift sets Ouidad has for this holiday season. Ouidad introduces five kits, each one elevating hair to its best potential, leaving it healthy, shiny and hydrated, in a variety of price points. This is one of my hands down brands for my curls and I've tried A LOT of products targeted at curls. I'm sure you've heard your curly headed friend complain about the maintenance, frizz and numerous products out there that haven't worked. Make their holiday a happy one by giving them one of the below sets from Ouidad!
Joy to the Curl Kit – $30
Eat, Drink & Be Curly –$ 40
Winter Wonderful Curls – $46
Curls are Coming to Town – $27
Fa la la abulous Curls – $54
My hair after using Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel, Playcurl Volumizing Spray and Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing & Refreshing Spray. 

Organix is also a great line I've raved about lots lately. These products are at drugstore prices, yet they are housed in the cutest of packages, include tons of amazing ingredients and do what they say they're going to do! Organix 3 Piece Starter Kits pack the punch of a full hair care line, conveniently packed into one compact box. The Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Kit and Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Kit are packaged in stocking friendly sizes and are available for $9.99 at ULTA and Target. This 3 piece kit included a 3 oz shampoo and conditioner as well as a 1.7 oz travel size of the anti-breakage serum.
Featuring eight sets, each Philip Kingsley Jet Set contains a generous yet TSA friendly amount shampoo and conditioner and three Elasticizer sachets to keep locks looking fabulous no matter the destination. $35 at

Which holiday set would you want to receive the most? :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dinner for 5 in 5 minutes for under 5 dollars!

What you will need
-Whole Wheat Couscous (plain)
-Mixed Veggies
-Seasonings (pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne) 
-Cashews or Walnuts
-Black beans or lentils (optional)

When you come home and you're just starving and you need a meal like right then, actually like five minutes before right then, it can be hard to eat healthy. That is why I keep some staples in my pantry for these emergency situations. Before this, I would've popped in an unhealthy frozen dinner or picked up fast food. But eating great doesn't have to mean lots of extra time and money. 

The first staple I love to keep in my house is couscous. This is actually a pasta. I recommend getting the whole wheat pasta, it tastes the same and will leave you feeling fuller and eating less. You can find couscous at pretty much any grocery store. If you have a dry bulk foods section, you can chose just the amount you're going to need and since you aren't paying for a brand name or packaging, it's usually cheaper and is a nice switch from regular pasta or rice. A box of couscous at Trader Joes retails for $1.99 and contains 8 servings! That comes to about .25 cents per serving! 

Couscous is also super easy to make. You basically boil equal parts water and equal parts couscous. Once the water starts to boil, take it off the heat and add in the couscous. Cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and it is done! I don't mind eating it plain with some pepper, salt and amish roll butter or it pairs really well with veggies. I've been seriously loving my Organic Foursome from Trader Joe's. This is a mix of carrots, green beans, corn and peas. This cost $1.69 and contains 5 servings with only 50 calories per serving. I'm not a huge veggies person, but I have no problem incorporating the Organic Foursome into plenty of dishes and it ends up costing you .34 cents per serving! The couscous and veggies will run you a total of $3.68 and you can make at the very least 5 servings from that, costing a total of .74 cents per serving! 
What is black garlic?
-garlic that has been fermented at a high heat
-the taste is sweet with hints of balsamic, tarmarind and licorice overtones. 
-you don't have to cook this, it is ready to eat
-this has a much sweeter taste than regular garlic and does have a licorice type scent and feel, you can actually take a little piece and eat it to test it out which I definitely wouldn't recommend with regular garlic. It is smokey and yet sweet.
-Is basically a super garlic, containing TWICE the antioxidant properties of regular garlic including increased protection against infection, disease and cancer.
-I purchased from my co-op, they only have it at certain times from a local farm

I've eaten just the couscous and the mixed veggies with amish roll butter before. But if you want to create more of a complete meal for your family, add in some red onions, garlic, seasonings (black pepper, pink himalayan salt and cayenne pepper for a little kick), cashews or walnuts and black beans or lentils. Couscous is so versatile you can really play around with it and it is REALLY hard to mess it up! This dish would also pair well as just a side to a nice grilled chicken breast. 

I hope I've convinced some of you that you can eat healthy (and organic) and have it be affordable, quick and tasty! Comment and let me know what is your favorite way to make couscous or leave me a quick meal tip! I'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weight Loss Phase II: Completed

Wow, where did the time go? I can't believe I started my journey to health in late April and here I am already writing about Phase II of my journey. I don't consider this a diet plan as much as a lifestyle change with my main focus being on health.  You can follow along in my weight loss journey, on the left side of my blog you will see a topic "The Skinny" which will link to all my weight loss tips as well as "Healthy Living"  and "Food" which have a lot of recipes and tips for clean eating. I will be detailing my first year broken down into four phases, each consisting of three months and I will update you with my progress, tips and tricks after that phase. 

Check out how I started with my Phase I post! 

                               End of April through end of July: 16 pounds lost
                               End of July through end of October: 8 pounds lost
Phase I: Goals/Numbers 1900 calories per day 5000-7500 steps per day 1 1/2 pounds lost per week Workout 4 times per week Eat Clean 80% of the time, 20% cheat/lenient meals 

In Phase One, I had lost 16 pounds and had a lot of successes as well as a lot of challenges. My goal for Phase II was to kick up the weightloss and lose more weight than I had in Phase I and to amp up my workout and increase the intensity. Below were my numerical goals which I set for Phase II. 
Phase II: Goals/Numbers 1600 calories per day, 10,000 steps per day, 2 pounds lost per week Workout 5 times per week, increase intensity Eat Clean 85% of the time, 15% cheat meals Weigh-in limited to once a week 

I had figured in Phase II that I was ready to decrease my calories from 1900 to 1600, but I found that I usually went over that calorie goal as well as going over my allotted fat and sugar content for the day. I have now upped that through My Fitness Pal and my goal is now around 1800 calories per day which to me has been working much better than 1600 and I feel I'm making more progress.

In Phase I I had been doing excellent at being motivated to walk and workout. In Phase II, I was better with food than with exercising and have realized it really does take both of these hand in hand to see real progress. Part of the issue was fall is the worst time for my allergies as I'm allergic to grass, trees and weeds and often found myself just completely exhausted and with no motivation to walk. It's kind of hard to exercise when you can barely breathe. I had been walking by the river nearly daily but instead had to avoid it due to allergies and workout inside when possible. I also got both the cold and the flu within weeks of each other and that really derailed me. 

Phase III Goals: 1800 calories per day, 6-10K steps per day, 10K steps per day at least twice a week, 2 pounds lost per week, workout 3-5 days per week, continue with clean eating, increase organic eating to 80% total organic, continue to phase out all genetically modified foods. 

I can't say I'm not disappointed with my weight loss for this phase. I know the number on the scale isn't everything. I can see my body transforming and I can visually see that in the past three months I look healthier and I look like I've lost more than 8 pounds. I may be building muscle and losing fat and muscle weighs more. I know all of that intellectually, but the number on the scale is hard to swallow when I've worked really hard.

I also realize this is a journey to health. I can focus on the fact that I feel better, that I have less migraines and less inflammation and knee pain, that I'm more motivated and that my skin looks healthier and brighter. Whether it be slow or not so slow, I KNOW I will make my end goal and that's not something I've ever been able to say before with confidence. This is hands down the longest I've stuck to a "plan" and I have organic and clean eating to thank. I have the extra fire lit under me to avoid GMO (genetically modified) foods and support local business and farmers instead of big business who puts chemicals into our foods and only looks at their profit.

What is my "diet plan" aka lifestyle change? 
  • Eating Organic and non GMO
  • Counting calories, fat, sugar, etc through My Fitness Pal app
  • Scanning foods through Fooducate app
  • My focuses when grocery shopping are: 1) Do I need to buy this product organic? 2) What are the ingredients in this product? 3) Is this genetically modified?
  • Focusing on ingredients more than calories has been key to my success. I look for foods with no more than 10 ingredients, 5 or less ideally. 
  • I look for foods with ingredients that I can pronounce. This is not about depriving yourself. I still eat cookies, they're just organic and baked fresh from my local co-op, with ingredients posted. I eat a lot more vegan and gluten free foods. I still eat potato chips, it's just they are non GMO and the ingredients consist of potatoes, salt, peanut oil instead of 20 chemicals. 
  • I eat the real whole foods. This leaves me feeling full and satisfied. Try to avoid foods with MSG or yeast extract (hidden form of MSG) in it since this is made to keep you wanting more and the food companies know this! 
With the holidays coming up, I'm working with my family to create a completely GMO free and organic thanksgiving. I challenge you to do the same with your families!  I've got Christmas to look forward to as my next motivator to kick this into gear.

Here's to Phase III! I will write another update at the end of January, so stay tuned!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pur Minerals Untamed Glamour {Review}

sample provided for review
The pur minerals untamed glamour set is in partnership with National Geographic Wild. I think this is such a unique and great gift to give someone for the holidays who is an animal and makeup lover. Pur Minerals is of course a cruelty free brand. The set includes a Big Blink Mascara (.12oz/3.4g), Mineral Glow Bronzer (.280oz/8g), and the Cat Eye Liquid Liner (.04oz/1.1g). This limited edition set is inspired by the majestic felines featured on Nat Geo WILD's annual Big Cat Week. You can learn more at and tune in for Big Cat Week on November 29th! This set retails for $26. Plus, a portion of the proceeds goes to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, which is dedicated to halting the decline of big cats in the wild through conservation and awareness.

For me the star of this set is the limited edition bronzer. It comes in the most adorable packaging with a cat like design on the actual product. I was a little worried at first that this would be a little too dark on my fair skin, especially with winter coming, but this applied really naturally and was pretty light when applied with a fluffy kabuki brush. This has some shimmer to it, but it is not overwhelming. It didn't make my face look too shimmery at all, but gave me a nice natural look. Because of that, I feel this could double as a contour shade and also triple as an eyeshadow! I think the price for this set is pretty reasonable given one high end bronzer can cost $26 alone. I pretty much think of the mascara and liner as bonuses! Both the bronzer and the eyeliner are full size. 

The Big Blink Mascara brush kind of reminds me of Benefit's They're Real, except I like this formulation much better. I'm usually not a huge fan of rubber bristle mascara brushes, but this one did a good job at lengthening both upper and lower lashes. The wand is flexible as well. For me, it was however lacking in really volumizing my lashes.

The product that was the hardest to work with was the new Cat Eye Liquid Liner. Some liquid liners can be tricky and although I appreciate the pointed tip to this with the larger base for versatility, it felt a little awkward in my hand. I was still able to draw a cat eye with the liner, but this may be a little more difficult for makeup newbies. I found the staying power to be really great. When I swatched it on my hand, it wouldn't budge until I washed off with soap or makeup remover.

Which piece of this three piece set is your favorite? Will you be watching Big Cat week on Nat Geo Wild? Comment and let me know your furry thoughts. Also don't forget to check out my review of pur mineral's 6 piece show off collection! It would be a great compliment to this set! 

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