Introducing BayUnity.com

The other day I received an email from Jason of bayUnity asking me if I would be interested in blogging about the company, which he is the Founder and CEO of.  I took a lot and instantly knew that bayUnity would be a great company to feature on this blog!


Simply put, bayUnity is a website with reviews for natural products, which aims to help consumers avoid costly mistakes.  Jason has been in the natural product industry for over seven years, and was inspired to create bayUnity after attending the Natural Products Expo.  The overwhelming number of products available can seem daunting, so bayUnity is there to help shoppers sort through the best of the natural market.

I think that bayUnity is an excellent resource for the eco-friendly consumer because the reviews are "for the people and by the people," in Jason's words.  Anyone can leave a review, which I like because that format usually leads to truthful and honest reviews.  I want to know what the average guy or gal thinks about a product, since their lifestyles are probably similar to mine.
A Matcha Tea set that's reviewed on the website
Here's what Jason has to say about what makes bayUnity unique:

  • bayUnity lets the users do the talking. Our rankings aren't based on our opinions, they are based on feedback from customers. We give you the tools such as video, images, ratings to narrow down your search , but you'll have to read the reviews to see if the product is right for you.
  • bayUnity strives for transparency. Positive or negative, all views are encouraged on BayUnity. Unless a review is profane or violates our terms, it will not be shown on bayUnity. If a reviewer works for a retailer, we let you know. Reviews written by certified owners of the product are called out.
  • bayUnity is not a retailer. We do not sell products ourselves. If you have questions about price, stock or shipping, please contact the seller directly. Of course if you see problems with any information about a product on our site, please let us know.


Bottom Line: bayUnity is here to help the green-minded shopper share their opinions, read reviews, and promote products.  Their database allows for easy searches of a plethora of information, whether that be for buyers or sellers.  Companies can list their products for free on the site, with unlimited pictures, videos, and contact information.


*Disclaimer: I was asked to write this post by bayUnity.com, but any opinions expressed are entirely my own. I was not monetarily compensated for this post.

Sweet Surprises Card Kit Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I have a new review and giveaway that steps a little outside of the norm for this blog but is still really cute and fun.  After posting my May Conscious Box review, I was contacted by Carol, a Close To My Heart consultant.  She offered me a few products to try, and I ultimately chose the "My Originals® Sweet Surprises Card Kit" because it reminded me the most of scrapbooking, which is something I've dabbled in before.


I loved trying all types of crafts when I was younger -- coloring, stamping, painting...anything and everything!  I kind of fell out of practice as I got older, but I did attempt a scrapbook during high school.  It remains unfinished, but it's something that I definitely enjoy doing.  This card kit is kind of like scrapbooking, in that you can decorate the cards any way you'd like.  It comes with the following:
  • 10 – 5¾" × 5¼" Tri-Fold Kraft Card Bases
  • 10 – Kraft Envelope Boxes
  • 10 – Clear Adhesive-Backed Treat Cups
  • 10 – Dimensional Elements Sentiments
  • 1 – 12" x 12" Printed Dimensional Elements Sheet
  • 2 – 12" x 12" Printed Adhesive Sheets
  • 2 yds. – ½" White Daisy Grosgrain Ribbon


What I liked the most about the kit was the bright colors and fun designs.  It's predominantly flowers and cupcakes, with little accent stickers to go along with them.


The cards can be made for a variety of events, from birthdays to simple "thinking of you's."  I think that these would be so much fun as a party activity, especially since you fill them with candy (or another small treat of your choosing)!


Here is my finished card.  I'll have to admit that I wish that the kit included clearer instructions, because at first I wasn't quite sure what to do with all of the pieces.  That might sound silly, because it really is a simple construction, but I think I was over-thinking it.  I'm the type of person who likes to know exactly what I have to do, so I'm still not entirely sure if I assembled the card correctly.  But it looks cute, right?  The candy cup stays attached via an adhesive around the base of it, which attaches to the card.

  • Check out Carol's website and see the full line of Close To My Heart products, which has everything from digital and paper scrapbooking to stamps, other card kits, and tons more!

Bottom Line: The My Originals® Sweet Surprises Card Kit is a super easy and fun craft for anyone who wants to put a smile on someone's face, including their own!  The card I made took less than 5 minutes, and I love the way it turned out.  I think this kit would be great for someone who might not have a ton of time to devote to crafting, but still wants to try something new.  It retails for $19.95.

Does this look like something you'd be interested in trying?  Carol was kind enough to provide me with an extra kit to use for a giveaway!  You can enter below with the Rafflecopter form.

Zoya Jem vs. Zoya Valerie

I recently won a giveaway for four Zoya nail polishes which was awesome because I'm a Zoya addict!  "Valerie" had been on my list to buy for a while, so this was a great opportunity for me to grab her.  I saw Temptalia's swatch and thought she was so pretty, and I especially loved the black base.


Valerie was the first of the four polishes I chose that I painted on when I received them, and I was disappointed with what I found.  She's still a beautiful color, but in my eyes she's almost identical to Jem, which I already own.  I was glad that I at least didn't pay for the polish, but had I realized they were so similar I would have picked a different shade.



These photos might not be the best guides, but the only visible difference between Jem and Valerie is that Valerie has a blacker base, and even then it's hard to tell unless you really look up-close.


Bottom Line: Valerie and Jem aren't exact dupes (I don't think Zoya would ever do that to us), but they're so similar that I don't think there's any need to buy both of them.  If you want a redder base, go with Jem; if you want a black base, go with Valerie.  Either way, you're getting a beautiful purple polish with great shimmer!

May Kara's Way Review

As you all know, I'm a sucker for subscription services.  I want to try them all!  When I found about Kara's Way, a brand new monthly service, I was intrigued because it's an eco-friendly subscription.  Each month, for $15 you can receive a box of 5-10 hand-picked natural beauty products.

I contacted Kara's Way to see if they would be interested in sending me a box to review, and much to my delight they were more than happy to send one my way.  I feel lucky to have been able to review this box, and I loved it so much that I'm seriously considering subscribing!  The only thing that's holding me back is whether or not I want to spend another $15 a month, but based on quality alone I would 100% recommend this service.


The first thing I noticed about the package is that it was taller than any other service I've subscribed to, which was a good sign because I figured, that probably means more products!  The box is a normal cardboard box, and upon opening there isn't a second box inside.  I like that because then I only have to worry about breaking down one box to recycle.  Oh and I loved how quickly it arrived--I got my box two days after receiving the shipping notification, and it ships from San Francisco (I'm in Rochester, NY).


I was pleasantly surprised to find a handwritten note sitting atop of the items!  It was a thank you from Maria, who I'm assuming is the founder of Kara's Way, for taking the time to review the box.  I thought that was such a sweet and personal touch (photo of the note to follow).


Another thing I noticed about the packaging is that they used a lot of tissue paper (the dark green section folded out to two large sheets).  That might be off-putting to some, but I don't mind because it's all easily recyclable.  I also loved the green, since it's my favorite color.  The tag in the photo above is printed on seed paper, so it can be planted and will sprout flowers.  I have a bunch of similar papers saved up, but I have yet to plant any of them.


And here are the items!  I was very pleased with the selection for the inaugural box.  I recognized some of the brands, specifically Keeki Pure & Simple, which is one of my favorites.  I was also excited to receive a nail polish, because as you may know I'm slightly obsessed with nail polishes.  If you count each individual item, the box contained 10 total.  I think that is a really good value for $15.  One tiny complaint I have is that there was no card included that described the items, but a day after receiving my box I got an email with descriptions so that voided my complaint.  Here is the list:

  • Naturelle D'Argan Argan Oil Elixir - I have heard so much about Argan oil but had yet to try it for myself.  I've been using this on my hair and it's been pretty effective at smoothing it out so far.  I really like this a lot (in the photo it's the glass bottle with blue tape on the top).
  • Native Touch - Three items were included in a reusable mesh bag, they're at the top of the photo.  I haven't used any of them yet, but I think I'll love them.  There is also a mini-pamphlet about the "green foot challenge," and I love pampering my feet with scrubs and salves.
    • Blue Corn Sugar Scrub
    • Rooting Bear Rub
    • 100% Natural Soap
  • Keeki Pure & Simple Organic Shimmer Stick - I have two Keeki lip balms, but hadn't tried their lip shimmers previous to receiving this one.  It was definitely on my list of items to try, though, so I was super excited to get one.  It's my favorite item from this box!  The color I received was "Sassy," a nude-like shimmer.
  • Beyond Coastal Daily Active Sunscreen - I needed a new sunscreen, so this one arrived just in time!  I haven't used it yet, but it seems promising.  It's SPF 15 and full of moisturizing ingredients.
  • Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel - I had a bottle of witch hazel that I used a long time ago, but it's not a product I've really used much of.  I don't generally use toners, but I'm curious to try this.  It has a nice, light cucumber scent to it.
  • La Fresh - Two wipes were included, an Oil Free Face Cleanser and a Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover.  I used the cleanser this afternoon and I loved it.  It took off all of my makeup and smelled very fresh and light.  I haven't tried the nail polish remover one yet.
  • Honeybee Gardens Watercolors Nail Polish - This polish is water-based instead of solvent-based, so it can be removed with grain alcohol or rubbing alcohol.  The color I got was "Burlesque," a shimmery red/fuschia.  I tried it on my toes because I had a difficult time removing a similar formula in the past from my fingers.  I left it on for a day and it took some scrubbing to remove with rubbing alcohol, but eventually it all came off.

Bottom Line: I've tried many subscription services, but Kara's Way is truly special!  I'm so impressed by this first box that I definitely want to subscribe in the future.  I like that not only do they feature natural, eco-friendly products, but it's all beauty products.  It's perfect for people who want to try going green, but still want to receive fun makeup, skincare, and haircare!


Two more photos are behind the "read more"

It's Me! Peter Pan $200 Amazon GC Giveaway! [CLOSED]


Relive a classic fairy tale starring your child! Use your child’s face as Peter Pan and embark on an adventure with the lovable Tinker Bell, Wendy, John and Michael where they meet Peter Pan’s arch nemesis, Captain Hook.

Can your child become the Hero of Neverland? Download It’s Me! Peter Pan for FREE from the iTunes store here:
To celebrate, It’s Me! Peter Pan will be giving away a $200 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky reader! Giveaway is open worldwide and ends May 31st at 11:59 PM EST.

Enter this great giveaway after the "Read More" using the Rafflecopter form

May Birchbox Review - Gossip Girl Box

I have been unsubscribed from Birchbox since January, with December 2011 as my last box.  But I got an email a little while ago advertising their special Gossip Girl box for May and I figured, what the heck?  I'll give it another shot.


And here she is.  I've always liked the Birchbox branding, I think the design is simple and chic.  Boxes past were usually bright pink with a white square logo, but this one was black for the GG theme.  I like the contrast a lot.


The actual box, inside of the outer package, had a fun little GG sleeve.  It was a little difficult to pull off, but that's probably just because I'm an idiot when it comes to simple things.


I peeked on the website before I got my box, so I knew what I was getting before I opened it.  I was on the fence about it, but then when I actually got my items I realized that I was completely underwhelmed.  I had a few reasons for cancelling Birchbox in the first place, and they were all present yet again with this box.  I had high hopes for the Gossip Girl box because the March Teen Vogue box seemed really great, but no.  This one was pretty lame in my opinion.  Anyway, here is what I received:

  • Color Club Foil Collection in Disco Nap - This is the only item in the box that I genuinely liked.  I have a few other gold nail polishes, but Color Club is a decent brand and it's definitely something I'll use.  The bottle is half the size of full-sized bottles.
  • beautyblender blendercleanser - When I saw this on the website I thought it was a facial cleanser, and I thought, "meh, another cleanser."  But no, it's for cleaning your makeup brushes so I don't feel that it's a true beauty product.  I can use soap and water to clean my brushes, send me makeup instead.
  • Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm - This was the only other item in the box that I was interested in trying.  But then I actually got it and realized that the bottle isn't even full.  I mean, there was barely enough in it for two applications.  Check out the photo below to see what I mean!  Completely disappointing and a waste of packaging.
  • Arquiste L'Etrog - I HATE PERFUME SAMPLES.  I am so tired of them.  I can get them for free at any makeup counter, so I don't want them in a box I spend money on.  Also, they always seem to be completely impractical because they're just stopper bottles, and when I pull off the cap it just spills everywhere.  At least give me an atomizer!
  • Twistband - This ugly gray headband is one I'll never use.  It's a piece of elastic and not nearly strong enough to hold my thick Asian hair.  Into the garbage it goes!
  • Notecard - A little notecard with an envelope.  Cute idea, but it probably won't get used.

Overall I am not pleased with this box.  Could you tell?  But on the same hand, I'm still on the fence about Birchbox as a whole. It seems that with every box I've gotten, my interest and pleasure has gone steadily downhill.  I loved my first one, but then I got a whole bunch of skincare and perfume that I still haven't used (since last October).  But then I remember that it only costs $10, so for that price the brands are usually a great deal.

Oh and then there was the whole issue with the Dr. Jart+ BB cream being not even close to full.  I stumbled upon this fact accidentally when I was opening the box, because I caught it through the light of my lamp.  You can clearly tell in the photo that there isn't much product in the tube.  And those dark spots aren't filled all the way through, it's just cream stuck to the sides.

Seriously?  Are all bottles like this and I just didn't realize it until now?
Okay, well I have one more complaint: why does it take so long for my box to arrive?!  I live in Rochester, NY, which is on the western end of the state (an hour east of Buffalo), and Birchboxes ship from near New York City.  It takes an average of 5-7 days for my box to arrive, which baffles me because I've had two subscriptions that ship from California that arrive in 2 days on a consistent basis.  So what the heck takes so long?  Why does my box start out in NYC, go to Ohio, and then come back to me in Rochester?  I know there's probably a good reason why Birchbox needs to ship in that pattern, but it is a bit frustrating when people in the Midwest get their boxes before me.  Wah wah wah, I'm done complaining now :)

Check out more photos of my products up-close after the read more, including a comparison of the Color Club sample and a full-sized bottle.

TheraNeem Nail & Cuticle Oil Pen Review & Giveaway [CLOSED]

I'm really excited to share this product with all of you because it's wonderfully effective.  I was selected to review the TheraNeem Nail & Cuticle Oil Pen from OrganixSouth, America's foremost manufacturer of organic, Neem-based products.

What is Neem?  The Neem tree is one of the oldest medicinal herbs on the planet and has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners.  The tree is native to India and Southeast Asia, and is commonly referred to as the "Village Pharmacy."


The TheraNeem Nail & Cutical Oil Pen is a twist and dispense pen that's packed with the power of Neem.  The pen contains a liquid oil solution and dispenses very easily.  Usually I'm wary of the twist dispensers like these because they never really dispense for me.  I've tried a few lip glosses that had applicators like these and they were terrible.  That's definitely not the case with this pen!  I haven't had to even twist the pen once, every time I go to apply it there is already an ample amount of oil at the tip of the brush for me to use.


The oil has a very light scent that I like.  I found that it dispensed the perfect amount of oil--not too little, not too much.  The brush applicator is really easy to use on the cuticles, too.  Some of the key benefits of the pen are:

  • Supports healthy and strong nails while soothing and softening cuticles
  • Antioxidant-rich formula featuring Neem Oil, Neem Leaf, Sea Buckthorn, and other essential oils
  • Contains ingredients traditionally used to protect and prevent common nail, toenail, and cuticle challenges
  • 2 methods of application: .5 oz oil with pump or .17 oz click-style pen with brush (I am reviewing the brush)

The main reason why I wanted to try this pen is because I do some pretty hefty damage to my nails because I change my nail polish color so often, and the constant polish remover doesn't help.  My cuticles are in pretty bad condition, and using this pen felt like giving them a little bit of luxury.  I really like the oil formula because it just leaves my nails and cuticles feeling so soft.  I've been using it daily for about a week and I'm very pleased with the results!  I plan on continuing to use the TheraNeem Nail & Cuticle Oil Pen for a long time.


Bottom Line: This pen is an excellent choice for nail and cuticle health.  It leaves my cuticles looking much healthier, and it also helps ward off fungal infections.  It's also all-natural and certified as cruelty-free by The Leaping Bunny!

The kind folks at OrganixSouth have offered a TheraNeem Nail & Cuticle Oil Pen to one of my readers.  Just use the Rafflecopter form after the cut to enter!  You can also use coupon 25OFF0512 until May 31st for 25% off of your entire purchase.

May Conscious Box Review

Last month I temporarily cancelled my Conscious Box subscription because I wanted to change the date on which I was charged each month.  The date on which you originally sign up becomes the date you'll be continuously charged, and for me it coincided with my new car insurance payments so I didn't want to have two bills taken out on the same day.  I considered skipping a month before signing up again, but I'm so glad that I didn't because May's box is amazing!


The theme for May was "Spread Your Blessings," reflecting the idea that spring's soil nurtures its seeds the same way a mother nurtures her child.  Once again, I'm really impressed by the array of items included.  I feel like with each month I say, "This is the best box yet!," but each month really has been so great.


Here is a list of what was included for May:

  • Mate Factor - Two packets of Yerba Mate tea, I received Chai and Lemon Ginger.  I'm a huge fan of chai, so I'm going to enjoy trying that one.
  • Vaska Perfect Scent-Free Laundry Detergent - This detergent is all-natural and made from plant-based surfactants and filtered water.  The sample is enough for one load.
  • Bambooee Reusable Bamboo Towel - I love the idea of these, they're 11.5" x 11" and can be used for up to a week and a half.
  • Wembe Yerba Mate Exfoliating Blend - I think this might be a full-sized soap, and I love soaps.  Its aromatherapy effects are energizing and detoxifying.  I'm not quite sure how to describe the scent, but it's slightly spicy and clean.
  • Dr. Tung's Toothbrush Sanitizers - These are the second Dr. Tung's sanitizers I've gotten from Conscious Box and I think they're so cute!  You can't tell from the photo above, but they're shaped like paws and have lions on the front.  I love them.
  • Better Life Lotion - This is a pretty big packet of lotion.  It's the same size as most lotion samples, but I feel like they filled it a lot more than most.  The scent is Citrus Mint, but it's really light.  The texture is smooth and moisturizing.
  • CANFO FlushMe - These are a week's supply of detoxifying supplements.  I want to try them, but I'm going to wait until next weekend.
  • Good Nature Tea - I received a Cranberry flavored tea, which is something I've never tried before so it'll be interesting to see how I like it.
  • Mayesa - I haven't tried this cacao drink yet but I'm really excited too.  I love chocolate, but sometimes raw cacao is too bitter for me.  I have it chilling in the fridge and will probably take it to work tomorrow to try.
  • Natural Vitality - This package is a vitamin-packed liquid that you can drink alone or in juice, etc.  It has more than 200 antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and health-boosting enzymes.
  • Ultima Replenisher - This packet is a zero-sugar, "health power" supplement.  The flavor I got was Red Raspberry.  These are usually hit-or-miss for me, so I hope I like it.
  • TDPO Unlimited Soap - This little soap is the extra item for the month.  If you share any thoughts about the box on the Conscious Box Facebook page, you will automatically receive the bonus item.  It's a glycerin-based soap that's organic cedarwood.
Bottom Line: A home run for Conscious Box again!  I'm so glad that I didn't decide to skip a month.  Now my payments are on a different date than my car insurance, so I'm looking forward to staying a subscriber for a long time!  Sign up for your own box at their website.

*Disclaimer: I purchased this Conscious Box with my own money and was not asked to review it. I didn't receive any compensation for this review and the honest opinions here are entirely my own.

Balmbini Vol. 2 Review and Swatches

I was lucky to win a giveaway that included theBalm's Balmbini Vol. 2 recently, and I was really happy because I've fallen in love with theBalm.  Of the products I've used, I feel that they're very high-quality and underrated.


At the theBalm website, the Balmbini palettes (there are two volumes) are described as "The Babies of theBalm."  I'm not really sure why they call them that, but I think it sounds cute nonetheless.  Volume 1 is currently sold out on the site, so you'll have to look elsewhere if you're interested in purchasing it.  These palettes retail for $28, which I think is a very fair price considering what's included.


The products in the Vol. 2 palette are:

  • Promiscuous Pearl Highlighter/Shadow
  • Jinxy Jasmyne Shadow/Liner
  • Manic Maribel, Open to Offers Olwen, and Lavish Latoya Shadow/Liners
  • Strawberry Lip/Cheek Cream
  • Nude Lip Gloss
My favorite is Manic Maribel because I love gold, shimmery shadows.  Lavish Latoya is also a really fun shade.  I don't think I'll use Open to Offers Olwen, but it's still a beautiful and vibrant shade.


I think that the pigmentation and color payoff on these shadows is very nice.  Olwen and Latoya were a bit less pigmented than Maribel.  All of these shadows are shimmers, so if you're looking for different textures you won't find them with this palette.


I have to get a good eyeliner brush before I can use Jinxy Jasmine, but I definitely love it!  I take back my statement in the above paragraph--this is a matte shadow, but it's jet black, so I personally wouldn't use it on my eyes other than as a liner.  But I know a lot of people like to play around with black shadows so I think they'd be happy with the payoff on this one.  I'm on the fence about the two lip colors.  The Nude shade doesn't look good on me at all, it's too light.  Strawberry, however, gives a nice wash of color, but if you want a bright pop of pink you'll have to layer quite a lot on.

Bottom Line: For $28, I think the Balmbini Vol. 2 palette is a really good value.  There is a good mixture of shades, but a majority of them are shimmers so if you want texture you might want to look elsewhere.  The two lip colors are nice, but nothing fantastic.  Overall, if you're looking for a fun and affordable palette, theBalm's Balmbini is a great place to start!

April Eco-Emi Review

I've been an Eco-Emi subscriber since October, but this box will be my last for a little while.  I recently got a new car, so I wanted to cut down on my monthly spending a bit since I'll have a car payment now.  I decided that I needed to give this service a break for a little while, but I will definitely miss it because I've never gotten a box I didn't love!


Eco-Emi costs $15 a month, and for that price you get a box with 8-10 eco-friendly items.  While it's technically a lifestyle box, there are usually a decent amount of beauty products each month.  I really enjoy how the boxes are packaged, you can tell that a great deal of care is taken when they're assembled each month.  There is a lot of tissue paper, but it's recyclable.


The theme for the April box was India.  On the description card, Christine (CEO and owner) wrote that "the beautiful architecture, animals, gorgeous fabrics and patterns, bright colors, tropical flowers, and warm, cozy spices were the inspiration..."  Here is what was included:

  • Baby Me Goat Milk Soap - This soap is in the brown packaging pictured above.  I haven't opened it yet, but it's an unscented and vegetarian.  I'll probably wait a while before using it because I'm up to the ears in soaps at the moment.
  • Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Plum - I'm on the fence about Burt's Bees.  I have their original lip balm because I like the tingly feeling, but I recently made the decision not to purchase any of their products anymore because I don't like that their parent company (Clorox) tests on animals.  Even though Burt's Bees doesn't test, purchasing their items supports other subsidiaries that do.  The plum shade on this is also too dark for me, I prefer more natural-looking colors.
  • Catalyst Gourmet - The sample pack included Enchanting Chai Gourmet Enhancers, Finishing Sugars, and Spiced Chocolate.  I haven't tried the sugars or enhancers, but I liked the spiced chocolate bark.  It had a great chai spice flavor, which is one of my all-time favorite tastes.
  • Dr. Collins Natural Toothpaste - I've been using Lush's Toothy Tabs recently, but I'm willing to give this a try.  The flavor is Vanilla Mint & Goji Berry, and it's vegan and gluten free.
  • The Seaweed Bath Company Seaweed Body Wash - The scent of this is Eucalyptus and Peppermint.  Haven't tried it yet, not sure when I will.  It has all-natural ingredients and is good for those with rough skin.
  • Shea Radiance Whipped Shea Butter - When they say whipped, they mean it!  The texture of this is so luxuriously light.  The scent is Kalahari Melon, which is okay.  One thing I didn't like about this is that since it's whipped, there's more air, so it doesn't spread very well.  I'm more a fan of products where a little goes a long way.
  • Mate Factor Yerba Mate - Tropical Lime flavor, nothing special to me.  It tasted good and I'm a tea fan, but I'm tired of getting so many tea samples.
  • Lauren Brook Cosmetiques Bronzer - I didn't really care for this bronzer.  It's more of a matte, and I prefer ones that are a bit shimmery.  The shade is "Golden."
  • Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Raw Fair Trade Honey - I don't really eat honey, so I'm not sure when I'll really try this.  It came with a pamphlet that had recipes in it, though, so maybe I'll give those a try.
Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoy Eco-Emi.  For anyone who is interested in learning more about living a green lifestyle, this is a great service.  April's box was no disappointment, as always.

*Disclaimer: I purchased this Eco-Emi box with my own money and I was not asked to review it.  I did not receive any compensation for this review and the honest opinions here are entirely my own.

$500 Cash Giveaway

I like money.  I've never met anyone who didn't like a little extra cash here and there.  Want to try your hand at winning an extra $500 (USD)?  Here's an easy sweepstakes, sponsored by ContestChest.  Just use the Rafflecopter form after the cut to enter.


Never heard of ContestChest before?  It's a database for anyone to post giveaways and sweepstakes that are taking place around the blogsphere and beyond.  I've listed some of my giveaways there before, and I like browsing through to find out what other blogs are hosting.  Click here to check out the site and start browsing their myriad of giveaways!

Complexion MD Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I haven't had a sponsored post in a while, so here's one for you--with a giveaway!  I was recently approached by WrinkleReview.com and asked to review their Complexion MD anti-wrinkle cream.  I said that I would love to, as long as their products were cruelty free.  Their rep, Brenda, confirmed with their manufacturer that it was definitely not tested on animals, so here we are today with this review.


As you can see from the packaging, the cream states that it will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promote the stimulation of skin cell renewal and collagen synthesis, and revitalize and smooth the skin.  Brenda flattered me by stating that I'm young and don't need wrinkle cream, but I agree with her that it's never to early to start taking care of your skin.  I used this as a moisturizer after washing my face for about a week, and I can say that I'm impressed.


A week of usage isn't an incredibly long time to test out an anti-wrinkle cream, and I must admit that I really can't comment on how well it reduces the appearance of wrinkles because I don't have any.  But I can say that the cream feels incredibly luxurious, and it definitely made my skin feel hydrated and soft.  The cream itself is pretty thick, which I like because it means the jar will last me a while (with a little going a long way).  It's very lightly scented, but the scent itself is hard to pinpoint.  It's not very eloquent of me, but I'll say that it smells the way I would expect a skin cream to smell (it is pleasing, though).


The cream comes in a 1 oz glass jar.  The instructions state to clean the skin before use, then apply a moderate amount of cream onto skin and massage until fully absorbed.  It contains palmitoyl pentapeptide to stimulate collagen production and smooth the skin, hyaluronic acid to lubricate the skin and give a beautiful appearance, and acetyl hexapeptide-3 to relax the muscles of the face, which in turn helps avoid collagen breakdown.  I personally prefer to use more natural products (meaning natural ingredients), but I'm not disappointed with this cream at all.


Bottom Line: Complexion MD is a great little luxury for the skin.  I have enjoyed using it as a moisturizer; it leaves my skin feeling hydrated from within.  There is no greasy residue feeling at all.

If you are interested in trying Complexion MD, you can sign up for a 15-day trial period.  After that period ends, you will then be billed $99.99 for a 1 oz jar, which will be automatically billed each month following until you cancel.  Or if you'd like to try it for free, you can enter to win a jar, thanks to the kind folks at Wrinkle Review!  Rafflecopter form is behind the cut.

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review

Just when I thought I had all the Urban Decay eyeshadow I'd need for a while (see my BOS IV review here), my boyfriend surprised me with the Naked palette!  He gifted it to me this past weekend and I was, of course, very excited and thankful.  He knew I had been lusting after it because I'd always drag him into Sephora while we were at the mall so I could drool over it.  I chose Naked over Naked 2 because I just like the shade selection better.


Yes, you can tell in these photos that I used the shadows.  You really didn't expect me to wait to use it, did you?  You also may be thinking, "Why bother?  Everyone has seen the Naked palette already."  Very true, but I just wanted to be able to write about it because I'm so excited to have it!


The palette came with a Good Karma Shadow Brush and a mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion (the old packaging).  I LOVE THIS BRUSH.  The bristles are extremely soft.  I haven't yet invested in a good set of brushes (I know, I know, I really should), but now I'm definitely swayed toward purchasing some from the Good Karma line.  My only complaint about the brush is that sometimes the less-pigmented shadows don't have as much payoff; for those I prefer to use my finger to just smudge it onto my lids.

I haven't swatched the individual shadows yet, but I plan to.  The palette comes with: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, and Gunmetal.  My hands-down favorite shade is Half Baked because I love gold and glittery.  I'm also loving Gunmetal and Creep, both of which I wasn't quite sure I would like to begin with.

Bottom Line: If you love neutrals like me, I would recommend investing in this palette.  It's a bit pricey ($50), but worth the splurge if you can afford it.  The shades, as a whole, have good color payoff, so you won't need to use a lot.  The brush and primer potion are added bonuses, which I think helps to add to the value.  There is also a decent mix of shimmers and mattes, so you can play with texture as well as color.

I have up-close photos of the palette and swatches behind the cut.

09 10