Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: The Body Shop Intensely Revitalising Sleeping Cream

*Disclosure* Product was provided for review, and post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always

Hey guys! A few months ago, I was very kindly sent the Intensely Revitalising Sleeping Cream from The Body Shop to try out. I was so ecstatic because if you've been here for a while, you all know how much I love The Body Shop products. 

Here is some info on the product from The Body Shop website:

A night time cream to deeply nourish, visibly revitalize and intensely firm while you sleep. We searched the world and selected 3 Precious Seed Oils known for their revitalizing and repairing properties. By infusing them with 7 Powerful Essential Oils, into a refreshing yet cushiony cream, we've created an Intensely Revitalizing Sleeping Cream that replenishes like a dream (almost).

The 7 Essential Oils this contains:
- Lavender Oil from France, known for calming and sedative properties
- Rosemary Leaf Oil from Tunisia, helps prevent free radical damage and improves skin tone
- Geranium Oil from South Africa, promotes radiant skin
- Roman Camomile Oil from Central Europe, a calming agent
- Marjoram Leaf Oil from Mediterranean countries, used to fragrance the product
- Orange Peel Oil from Southeast Asia, revitalizes the skin
- Lavandin Oil from Provence, stimulates the fusion of elastin and collagen

The first thing I noticed about this moisturizer was the strong scent. It's probably due to all the oils in this, but boy is it strong! It reminds me of a certain aftershave my great-grandfather used to wear, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Despite that, I do feel like this is a very effective moisturizer. It makes my skin feel so incredibly soft and I always would wake up with brighter, more smooth skin. This cream is thick and sits on the skin for a bit, but eventually it does sink in. You don't need a ton of product to get the job done weither.

Now with that being said, I have a problem with the ingredient list on the box versus the one on the website. 

Hopefully you can read this well enough. This is the ingredient list on the box, and the following is what is on the website.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Nylon-66, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Caffeine, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, t-Butyl Alcohol, Linalool, Eryngium Maritimum Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Callus Culture Extract, Citronellol, Crithmum Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Myristyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Limonene, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems like almost a completely different product online! I stopped using this moisturizer once I saw on the website that it contains Salicylic Acid, because I had already found out I was pregnant, and I'm not comfortable using that particular ingredient while pregnant. I also don't like when Alcohol Denat is in products that are supposed to be hydrating. It kinda defeats the purpose of you ask me. Also, unless it's under a different name on the box, I don't see any Caffeine on the list either. It's just so confusing to me and also a bit concerning. I've never had problems like this before, and I'm genuinely curious if there's some kind of typo somewhere.

I would love to continue using this because I really loved how it made my skin look and feel. The fact that the ingredient list is so inconsistent is putting me off of it until after I give birth. 

If the discrepancies with ingredient lists doesn't bother you, you can find the moisturizer here on The Body Shop's website for $39, as well as The Body Shop stores, and possibly Ulta. I've noticed more TBS products in my Ulta lately. 

UPDATE 6/30/16: I sent an email to The Body Shop just after posting this in regards to the ingredient lists being different. They emailed me back a couple days ago and said that the correct ingredient list is on the box, and the list online will be updated. I just checked online, and it is now updated! 

What kind of nighttime moisturizer do you like? Would two different ingredient lists put you off from using a product?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why I've Been MIA Lately

Hey guys! I'm sure you've realized that I've been a little quiet here on the blog. I've only been doing blog posts lately that have a deadline and not really doing reviews and such. I hope to get back in the swing of things soon, but I wanted to let you all know what's been happening in my life lately. 

If you're a regular reader here, you know that the past year has been a bit rough on me and my husband. We went through a miscarriage last July/August, I ended up in the hospital last October with what turned out to be a pulmonary embolism and was put on blood thinners, and my husband had his fair share of health issues as well. It was pretty safe to say that 2015 was not our year. 

So fast forward to the beginning of April. I wasn't feeling too good, but hadn't for the past 6 months while I was on blood thinners, but didn't really think anything of it at first. Something in my head was just telling me that things were off....

.... And this is what happened! Turns out I was pregnant, and didn't really have any inkling other than feeling off and eating a bit more than normal. As time went on, the 24/7 nausea started and I just felt completely hungover for about 2 months straight, and have even lost weight rather than gain. It was pretty crappy, but because of my previous miscarriage, I did welcome it, as weird as that sounds. As of today, June 21st, I am just over 13 weeks along, and I'm due on December 24th. Yep, Christmas Eve! I can't really believe it honestly, but I guess it shouldn't be that much of a surprise because my husband and I weren't actively trying, but we weren't really careful either. 

Things seem to be going incredibly well so far, and I'm much further along this time than I was when I lost my pregnancy last year. Even dates of when we have appointments and whatnot mean something to my husband and I. The ultrasound picture above is from when I had my NT scan on June 16th, and that's our anniversary of how long we've been together. We find out the gender August 4th, which is 2 days before my husband's birthday. My birthday is December 8th, and we're due Christmas Eve. It all seems to be coming together, and I just have to remember that our little angel baby is watching over all 3 of us, making sure that everything is okay. 

Now that I'm almost in the 2nd trimester, I've been feeling so much better. I'm not nearly as nauseous as I have been and I can eat without getting sick. I think that's why I was losing weight, because I could hardly eat or drink anything. Like I said above I really want to get back in the swing of things here with product reviews and such, but I have put myself on a spending ban for pretty much the rest of the year. Crazy, I know, but babies are expensive so my priorities are going through a shift. I have been eyeing a few products that have come out recently, but I don't NEED them, so they can wait. I want to start up my YouTube channel again as well, but I'm no makeup artist, so I won't be doing tutorials. We'll see how things go!

To everyone reading this, if you could send over a little prayer or positive thought that things keep going well for us, my husband and I would appreciate it immensely. Going through a loss changes you, and I have my moments that something might still happen. I won't be out of the woods until I have a happy, healthy, screaming child to hold. 

Thank you to everyone who has stuck around! The last couple months have been rough on me, but I'm getting back in the game shortly!

Friday, June 17, 2016

How I Whiten My Teeth with Smile Brilliant + A Giveaway!

Teeth Whitening

*Disclosure* This post is kindly sponsored by Smile Brilliant, and contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hey guys! I had the awesome opportunity to try out a tooth whitening product by the company Smile Brilliant. I had heard of the brand before from reviews on blogs and YouTube, so when I was contacted to try out their product, to say I was excited was an understatement! Be sure to stick around for my review, as well as before and after pictures. 

Before using Smile Brilliant, I had used different tooth whitening products in the past. They're usually expensive for what you get, messy, and with sensitive teeth and gums, it can hurt. When you get your Smile Brilliant kit in the mail, it comes with trays to make molds of your teeth, Catalyst and Base Paste to make the actual mold, 3 packages of Professional Teeth Whitening Gel and 3 packages of Desensitizing Gel, as well as directions for use. There are other options for the kit as well.

Now, something like this can cost $500+ at the dentists office, yet you're getting all this from Smile Brilliant at a fraction of the price, starting at $119.95. 

Sending out the dental impressions is super easy, and you get your custom fitted trays within about a 2 week window, and for me it took about a week and a half. 

This is a close-up of my teeth prior to any whitening (scary, I know), and it might be hard to tell, but I have the most discoloration around my gums at the bottom of my teeth and my canines (the fangs as I like to call them). I hadn't done any kind of whitening for quite a few years, so I was really excited to see what kind of results I would have. 

What you do is to first make sure that your trays are completely dry, as moisture reduces the efficacy of the whitening gel. You then take the green syringe and place a thin ribbon of gel to the front inner surface of the tray that comes into contact with your teeth. You then have to make sure your teeth are as dry as possible by using a paper towel or tissue, then you insert the trays using a forward pressing motion to avoid dragging the gel down. If you have sensitive gums like I do, you can apply a small amount of Vaseline to them before inserting the trays. I didn't do that because I don't have any Vaseline on hand. 

The amount of time you can leave the trays in depends on your level of sensitivity. Times range from 15 minutes, and you can leave them in for up to 3 hours. Now if you know me and read my blog, you know I use sensitive toothpaste because I do have sensitive teeth and gums. I started out doing the whitening for 15 minutes to be on the safe side, and by the end of the 2 weeks I had to try the whitening, I made my way up to 45 minutes. I was honestly proud of myself that I could use a whitening product for that long, as strips and other whitening kits similar to this practically killed my teeth and gums after about 10-15 minutes.

After whitening, you use the Desensitizing Gel to help with re-hydrating your teeth, and to cut down on the sensitivity. I'll be honest and say that I didn't notice it helping with the sensitivity I had, but it was so minimal that I wasn't too bothered by it

Because I wasn't able to make it up to the 3 hours for intense whitening, I don't think I got the full effect of the process, but I am definitely happy with the progress I've made. My fangs are more white and my teeth overall are brighter. Even my husband noticed my teeth, and he never notices anything. I've been so happy with everything Smile Brilliant has done for my teeth, and the company is super nice. I've never been more impressed with teeth whitening in my life, and that's something I never thought I would say! Seriously, doing this kind of teeth whitening in the privacy of your own home, for a fraction of the price at a dentist's office, is just incredible.  
Be sure to check out some testimonials on this product here, and also this video of beauty vlogger Danielle Mansutti of her amazing results from using Smile Brilliant! 

I also am very excited to say that there is also going to be a giveaway! If you click on this link here, it will take you to a page where you can enter to win a $139.95 store credit, which is equal to their Teeth Whitening Trays + 3 whitening gel syringes and 3 desensitizing gel syringes or the Teeth Whitening Trays + 6 whitening gel syringes. You can also change the selection by paying the difference if it comes to more than $139.95. The winner will receive a code to use at checkout. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks from today (May 17th).

The winner of the giveaway can be international, but if the winner is outside the US, you will have to pay the shipping cost for sending the impressions back to Smile Brilliant. 

If you're too excited about this product and want to purchase for yourself now, you can use the 5% discount code skinstuffbykaty on the Smile Brilliant website

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: Bonapiel Beauty & Youth Serum

*Disclosure* I received this product in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hey guys! Today I have a review on a facial serum from the brand Bonapiel, and it's their Beauty & Youth Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and MSM. My skin's been pretty good lately, but you all know I love a good serum to test out!

Here is some info about the product from Amazon: 

- Reduces and even eliminates fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reverses other signs of aging such as age spots and sagging skin.
- Restores a healthy, youthful glow and smoothes your skin. 
- Turns tired, dull skin into healthy-looking skin. Improves it's firmness and elasticity. 
- Protects against future signs of aging. 
Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and MSM help to activate collagen in your skin and smooth fine lines. I occasionally have fine dehydration lines when I don't drink enough water, but I'm only 27 and have no wrinkles. I don't think this would help with deep set wrinkles, but the fine lines I can see this serum helping. 

The serum is a thin gel consistency that blends and sinks into the skin nicely. It feels very nice going on, and has a faint lavender scent that I quite like. Lavender Oil is one of the last few ingredients on the list, but if you're very sensitive to scents, you might want to steer clear. I don't find it offensive at all honestly, and I do have a sensitive nose with certain smells. I do like that this product has helped with the brightness of my skin as well, as that's been an issue for me off and on for a while now. 

This costs almost $40 here on Amazon. For that price, it's a little on the high side in my opinion, but I do lie this product. 

What is a serum that you like?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

May 2016 Empties

Hey everyone! As you know, I've been a bit MIA here on the blog. I mentioned in my May favorites that I'll be able to talk more about what's going on in my life, so stay tuned. I'll be updating in the next couple weeks or so! Anyway, May wasn't great in the empties department either. Like I've said already, I haven't been interested in makeup much, and taking care of my skin has taken a bit of a backseat as well. I did manage to use up more than I thought, so lets see what I have!

I'll start off with some skincare. I finally used up the Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash that took me over two months to use up. This cleanser foams up like crazy even though it doesn't feel like it would. You only need a little bit to get the job done, and I used this in the morning. It helped to wake up my skin and prep it for the day. 

Next up is a konjac sponge. I don't know the brand, but it's your typical white konjac sponge, and I really liked it while it lasted. It started getting moldy in one spot, so I decided to toss it, even though I didn't use it for very long. 

I used up two lip balms. Yes, two! That never happens to me, but these tubes were pretty tiny. The first one is the Aquafina Flavor Splash in the Wild Berry scent. I loved this at night because it left my lips feeling nice and soft until morning. The second one is by Olive Natural Beauty and it's their Moisturizing Lip Balm in the Refreshing Rosemary scent. I didn't like this too much honestly. The hydration was fine, but I couldn't get past the smell and it kept making me nauseous. Luckily, I used this up within about a week and a half, so I didn't suffer too much. 

Next up is just a couple mini body washes. I absolutely loved the Dove Go Fresh Nutrium Moisture Body Wash in the scent Mandarin & Tiare Flower. Holy crap was this lovely! It smelled citrus-y and a bit flowery, but not over the top flowery. You all know I can't stand flowery smells. I'm very tempted to go and buy this in a full size, it's that good. 

The sceond mini body wash is the Bliss Lemon + Sage Soapy Sap Fresh Foaming Shower Gel. Absolutely loved the scent, but it didn't lather very well, so I used it up pretty quickly. 

Last few products are some random bath products. I finished two deodorants, one being the Dove ClearTone Deodorant and the second being the Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel in the scent Completely Clean. The Dove was nice, and the concept is that it's supposed to help with taking care of the darkness that some people get on their underarms. I didn't notice a difference in that area, but it kept me smelling nice and not sweaty. I did love the Secret Clinical Strength, and I was sent this in a little package a while ago. It's just a travel size that didn't have much use in it, but it's amazing and doesn't get white marks all over your clothes. 

Of course we can't forget about toothpaste! This is the Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste in the Frosty Mint Stripe flavor. It was nice, did what I expect from a toothpaste, so I have no complaints. My husband helped use this up so it went pretty fast. 

Number of products used up: 9
Total for the year: 75

Yeah, I didn't do too well in May. I was hoping by now I'd have used up closer to 100 products. I'm sure you know by now, but this is the year of decluttering and using up what I have. I made the goal of using up 250 products, and that will include samples and mini sizes of products. I can't even begin to count how many samples alone I have. It's quite ridiculous actually. I have a long road ahead of me, and please bear with me until I can finally talk about what's going on with life!

What did you use up last month?

May 2016 Favorites

Hey guys! I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't really been blogging lately. So many things are going on in the home front right now, and I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row. I'll be able to talk more about what's going on in the next couple weeks, so please bear with me! That being said, I have not been into makeup at all this past month, and aside from wearing lipgloss a few times, I've been bare-faced the entire time. I do have just a few standout products that aren't makeup, so I wanted to share them with you!

*Post contains affiliate links*
I just have these three products to talk about. The first two are from Derma e, and the first product is their Psorzema Creme. I was very generously sent a nice little package from Derma e and BrandBacker, and I did a sponsored post here reviewing this creme. This creme is basically a miracle worker if you have incredibly dry skin. It even has worked on the little keratosis pilaris bumps that I have on the backs of my arms. I love that this creme is unscented and it sinks in incredibly fast, but hydrates insanely well.

In the Derma e package, they had also sent their Scalp Relief Shampoo. I was excited to try this because I have mad dandruff that my usual dandruff shampoo wasn't taking care of like it usually does. For a shampoo that says it's sulfate-free, this stuff lathers up really well and makes my hair and scalp feel super clean. There is a minty tingly feel to this shampoo, which I've appreciated lately with the hot and humid weather we've been having. This has definitely helped to calm down my dandruff and has made my scalp less itchy as well. 

The last product I have just adored is The Body Shop Honeymania Lip Balm. You all know my love for The Body Shop products, and their lip butters are fantastic. I usually have an issue with the lip butters that are white in color, like the Coconut and Shea scents, where they leave a nasty white cast on my lips, so I'd reserve them for bedtime use only. This stuff goes on basically clear, and has got to be one of the most hydrating lip balms I've ever tried in my life! No joke, this stuff rocks. I even use it in the morning after brushing my teeth sometimes and it leaves my lips nice and soft for hours. There is no flavor but the scent is to die for, and it reminds me of when I used to work at The Body Shop many years ago. 

What were some of your favorites last month?