Thursday, January 5, 2012

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Natural Skincare? You Betcha! *And A Giveaway*

I’m a skincare product aficionado, I admit it. I’ve gone through who knows how many products that guarantee this or that, and most of them don’t really do the job the say they will (or I get frustrated and move on). At the age of 35, I’ve found that I’m more into ease of use and the natural qualities of my products than anything else. I’ve also found that I see things on my skin (lines mostly) that just make me cringe when I see myself smile in pictures or in the mirror.

It is possible to make your own skincare “stuff.” Goodmorning America talked to Dr. Jennifer Ashton and she gave some fantastic suggestions – using coconut oil for the face, safflower oil for the body, olive oil for the hair, and sugar scrubs to exfoliate (combining sugar, milk, and honey). She also suggests mixing sugar, honey, milk, and oatmeal for a weekly fifteen-minute facial mask. Some of us don’t have the time to put this stuff together (or we’re lazy which I’ll admit to), so we want to buy the products ready made for us. Here I can give you two suggestions for amazing companies with amazing products.


Every few years I find myself refocusing on my skin (and sometimes makeup) and buying more products (that get used then put in the box under the bathroom sink…a box which is pretty dang big and overflowing). I feel as if I can’t throw anything that’s not empty away! These past few months I’ve been using a lot of products from Lush, a handmade skin care company out of Canada that uses organic fruits and vegetables, essential oils, and safe synthetics in their products. I love that many of their products are vegan and that they use minimal packaging (that is recyclable).

So what are some of my favorite Lush products? I’ve been using their Aromaco deodorant bar and Coconut powder for anti-perspiring/scent. I love the Snow Fairy shower gel (it smells like cotton candy and has sparkles in it, how fun) and The Godmother soap (same scent as Snow Fairy) – they make my whole bathroom smell fabulous. I’ve also been using Lemony Flutter (designed as a cuticle cream but good for hands and elbows that are dry) with mixed results. I probably won’t buy that one again although Mike likes using it on his hands after he’s been working in the ceramics lab all day. Hair? I’ve been using Godiva Shampoo Bar (never tried solid shampoo? It’s pretty cool, I have to admit) which has a lot of cocoa and shea butter to mosturize. Mike uses the Cynthia Sylvia Stout, which helps with dry scalp but does NOT make hair poofy (which is one of his mail beefs with most shampoos for dry scalp). He’s still using it, so that right there says something! I also use R&B, which is a leave in conditioner – it helps with poofy curly hair especially in our high humidity area.

What about for my face? Well, I start off after washing my face with Tea Tree Water, and then I use Enchanted Eye Cream around my eyes and Lovely Jubblies (usually for use with skin on the chest) all around my face/chin/neck. After just a month of using these three I can tell you that my skin looks awesome – even (healthy) tone, no issues with oil or dry patches, and the little bumps under my chin (which I assume were due to soap residue) are gone. I also have some Pow Wow which is a lip scrub that can be useful especially in the morning to get the ugh off your lips which builds up overnight. It’s supposedly infused with caffeine too which could be helpful. I’ve used it a bunch of times and honestly don’t see a huge difference (although it tastes good).

My final and full favorite? Toothy Tabs. Yessir, solid toothpaste. Think that’s weird? We did too. So you get this small cardboard box that looks like a mint box, and inside are a bunch of, well, mint-looking things. Don’t suck on them, they’re not mints. You chew them up with your front teeth and then use them to brush your teeth. They lather just as well as your tube toothpaste and create a heck of a lot less waste. Mike isn’t a huge fan because there’s no fluoride in them. Check out your local Lush store/counter for lots of different flavors!

Delish Naturals

Also from Canada (hm…I see a natural skincare pattern) comes Delish Naturals created and produced by Krystal Clark. I actually received some Delish-ious Baby and Body Lotion as a Christmas gift, and loved it, so I started looking into her other products. The fabulous things about the Lotion are that a) it’s not greasy (I hate greasy lotion, that’s my #1 reason to stop using anything), and b) it’s a good “smell level” – some stuff is so overpowering that you’re thinking, who could wear this and not get a migraine?! But my Black Raspberry Vanilla is just a hint and I love it. Also fabulous? I can use it on Silas if I so choose (which I have with our dry weather) and not worry because it’s all natural.

Delish caries a lot of skin stuff for both mama and baby. Krystal created these products after her daughter was born and experienced skin troubles like eczema. She wanted to use natural ingredients and cloth diaper friendly materials to help her daughter, so she experimented and studied and came up with Yum Yum Butter (their most popular product). So CD-friendly diaper cream? Check. Bump butter for prego mamas? Check. Natural bug sprays and balms? Check. Sugar scrubs, shampoos, oh my! My current favorites are the Glam Glow Brown Sugar Scrub, the Baby and Body Lotion, and Pucker (lip happiness!). You can order from Delish’s Hyenacart or you can check out her retailers (both Canada and US) and of course browse the retailers’ other wares. Oh my PayPal account hurts…

Where do you find the best natural skincare products or suggestions?

Want to win a tub of Yum Yum Butter (which is good for diaper rash and other skin issues for the entire family)? Complete the following:

1. Make sure you’ve “liked” us on Facebook.
2. Like Delish Naturals on Facebook.
3. Fill out the entry form (which requires you to go to Delish's Hyenacart store and pick a favorite Yum Yum Butter scent).
4. A winner will be chosen randomly on January 15th at 11:59 p.m., so that gives you just over two weeks to enter. The winner will be emailed for their shipping information once the giveaway ends.
5. Smell fabulous and natural!

Thanks for all your support you guys.

**These product reviews were all written by me because I love these products and for no other reason than that. I was not paid to write these reviews, nor was I given these products to review. These are all my views and not based upon anything but my own personal experience with these products.**
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Now That’s A Manager

From the film 300:
Stelios: “It’s an honor to die at your side.”
Leonidas: “It’s an honor to have lived at yours.”

Mike’s watching TV tonight, flipping back and forth between 300 and 3:10 to Yuma, and I heard this exchange and it got me thinking. That’s some good management right there. Yeah, I’m a geek.

Every semester we talk about applications of psychology to my students’ future lives (work, family, etc.), and one thing we hit hard is management. Whether you like to admit it or not, in the work environment for the rest of your life you will either be managed or be a manager (or probably do a little of both at once). When we talk to people, when we watch people interact, we realize that one thing that they crave, that they NEED, to make them content is recognition. The Kudos bar from the boss in their publicly-visible mailbox will make an employee high for the week more so than any bonus or raise (wait, did I just say that money won’t make you happy?). Because it’s about me. ME (points to chest and pokes happily).

So take a look at the 300 quote again – now do you see what I was talking about? Even in death, the King told someone else (NOT the King) that they appreciated their life and serving beside them (also that death was not the important part of their experience but that living/working together was, so the process of work was more important, but we won’t go there tonight). And people wonder why all these guys died for Leonidas. Well? He was a good leader.

My students generally want to know how they can take what they learn in my classes and use it in “life” and we can even take this a step further – every day you will interact with other people, whether it be your boss, your significant other, your children, your parents. If we know that people want to be recognized and it makes them happy if you do so, take a look at your relationships with others. Where could you (and those around you) benefit from this? Would your significant other be happier, even marginally, if you actually told them you appreciated them and/or appreciated specific things that they did? You’re darn right they would. And the happier they are, theoretically, they happier they’ll be around you (and the happier you’ll be). Win/win.

Who can you “recognize” today and tomorrow? How can you put a smile on someone’s face just by telling them that you’ve seen what they’ve done and you appreciate their work and them as a person?