What’s In My Shower: Current Shower and Body Care Products

I am a notorious long shower taker; this fact has made me strive to become quick and efficient at taking showers to prove my roommates and mother wrong. Yes I can shower quickly and get everything done, just watch. It has taken me a while, but I would like to announce I have almost achieved this goal, I can now shower much quicker, but I still take around a half and hour, which totally beats my hour to an hour and a half showers in the past. I love shower products, but strangely am not a huge fan of showers themselves, not the getting squeaky clean and de greasing my hair part but the part that where it take me forever to shave my legs and rinse the conditioner out of my super thick hair, putting on lotion and waiting for it to dry before I get dressed and the exhausting feat of drying/ partially drying my super thick hair. Not to mention not wanting to get undressed in the freezing fall/winter weather to get into the shower.

Needless to say I have tried my best to buy and use, what I think are really good and effective, shower/body care products to help make my showering experience more beneficial.

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Lets start out with my favorite and arguably one of the most important things in the shower, shampoo. I absolutely love my shampoo. I have Acure Moroccan Argan Stem Cell + Argan Oil Shampoo and to me it smells like almond extract, almond extract is literally the last ingredient listed in the shampoo, I checked, but still that’s the smell that stands out the strongest and to me it smells great. This shampoo was raved about on several of the YouTube channels that I watch and I wasn’t very satisfied with the one I was using at the time, so I decided to give it a try and I haven’t regretted it since. I have bought and used other shampoos, but I always come back to Acure. I love the formula and it does lather up, a bit, like conventional shampoo, which is nice. Plus the smell, don’t forget about the smell. It cleans my hair and keeps it clean for days, with the help of dry shampoo, for the grease, I wash my hair about three times a week and that seems to work pretty well for me.

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Right now I don’t really have a conditioner that I love I was using the Acure one and liking it, but I ran out, and my mom had extra of her Alba Botanica Hawaiian Conditioner in Mango, so since I’m lazy and cheap I decided to use that, instead of buying another conditioner for myself. The conditioner works fine, however once I use it up I will most likely buy another one from Acure or try out a new brand.

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About a year ago I switched from using body wash or body scrub to just using bar soap, I may write another post on why I decided to make the switch and why I like bar soap better, but for now I’ll just say I use bar soap, right now I am using an olive oil bar soap, from Kiss My Face, which is purely made of olive oil and water, it works well, I switch up my soap all the time just for the change, but I am liking this one. I have this cool homemade loofa, that you can put your bar of soap in, that I got from a craft show, it is really handy and helps the soap to last some much longer, it also gives me a gentle exfoliation as well. When I want a stronger exfoliation I use my homemade coconut oil body scrub. I do this once every two to three weeks.

For my face wash I alternate between a scrub and a cleanser, depending how my skin is feeling. At the moment I am using Acure Organics’ Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scrub, which is a dark green color and smells of peppermint and I really like it. On the days where I feel like being a bit gentler on my face I am using Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, it’s okay, nothing to special about it, but it gets the job done.

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The shaving cream I am using right now is The Honest Company’s Sweet Orange Vanilla Shampoo and Body Wash. The reason I am using this is because I bought it to use as shampoo, but I didn’t like it very much, it left my hair feeling greasy and I felt like I needed to wash it every day, I just didn’t feel like it was getting my hair clean. However I didn’t want to let it go to waste, so when I ran out of my shaving cream I decided to repurpose it. I actually love this product as a shaving gel, it works great and leaves my legs feeling smooth and soft, plus it smells great too! It wasn’t that expensive so I honestly (no pun intended) might buy this product again to use as a shaving gel. Before using this, I was using Dr. Bronner’s shaving gel, which I thought was great too.

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Well that’s it, the contents of my shower have been revealed, I hope that you have found some products you might like to try, or found out a few products that we both seem to love, if any one has recommendations on shaving gel or conditioner or really any shower products that you love and think I should check out, please let me know!

 

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DIY: Essential Oil Calming Blend

Making an oil blend is simple and easy. One of my favorite blends to make and use is a calming blend. You can rub it on your pulse points or your neck or even just smell it when you are feeling stressed, anxious or worried. It is a great blend to keep on hand, in your purse or by your night stand; it can always come in handy for you or a friend.

What you need:

  • Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Lemon Essential Oil (Optional)
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Roll-on refillable glass perfume bottle
  • Fractionated coconut oil

This combination of oils works great for a calming blend because they all have similar calming and relaxing therapeutic properties. Each oil is also has a very subtle smell that blends well with other oils; no one oil in this blend will over power another, I find the smell is refreshing and relaxing.

Chamomile

  • Therapeutic, calming effect on the skin, mind and body

Lavender

  • Calming and relaxing qualities
  • Eases muscle tension
  • Therapeutic properties

Lemon

  • Uplifts your mood

Peppermint

  • Stress relief
  • Clears breathing
  • Calming effect

Sandalwood

  • Enhances mood
  • Grounding and uplifting properties

What you do:

  • Fill the glass bottle half way with the fractionated coconut oil; I got mine on Amazon for pretty cheap.
  • Next, put 5 to 8 drops of each oil into the bottle.
  • Finally, screw in the roller ball top and shake the bottle until well combined.

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That’s basically it, now you have a homemade essential oil therapeutic calming blend, to use whenever you need a bit of a stress reliever or when you are practicing yoga or even meditating.

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Mini Haul and Review: Integrity Botanicals

I just recently placed an order with the online beauty boutique Integrity Botanicals. This was my first time ordering from this site and I had a very good experience. All of their products are good quality, natural and eco-friendly products. The site’s design is sleek and professional and I enjoyed looking through the products. A nice feature that the site offers is that you get 3 free samples with every order. I think that this is a great way to get people to try out new and different products and to get them to come back to the site. The order came fairly quickly and was packed securely and nicely. They wrap each item and send you a little note; it was like receiving a present from a friend in the mail. Without further ado here are the products I got and a short little review on them.

 Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Cream Deodorant

  • I have heard a lot of great things about this deodorant, so I decided to give it a try. Before this I was using Schmidt’s deodorant, which I really liked, but I was starting to get an allergic reaction, big red itchy bumps under my arms, from the baking soda in the formula, so when I saw that Meow Meow Tweet had a baking soda free option, I knew I had to try it out. I have only been using it for a few days, but so far this is what I think. The formula is creamier than Schmidt’s and easier to apply. However, it doesn’t come with a little paddle to apply it like Schmidt’s did, so you have to use your fingers, or save the paddle from your Schmidt’s like I did. The only other thing so far is that I wish that there were more options in the baking soda free formula. From what I can tell, there is only the grapefruit scent available. I do like the smell, but it would be nice to have options, like lavender for instance.

Description (from site)

  • Made the switch to natural deodorant but struggle with underarm sensitivity from baking soda? Meow Meow Tweet has taken their well-loved classic deodorant cream and made a few modifications to create this new formula.  Perfect for those with sensitive skin and just as effective. Designed without baking soda and clay, this recipe uses dietary magnesium and arrowroot powder to help control moisture and odor. Nourishing plant oils and butters soothe and condition the skin, and a potent blend of citrusy essential oils keeps you smelling fresh throughout the day.

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 Aster & Bay Green Glow Mask

  • I really wanted to get this mask because of all the amazing ingredients in it. It contains matcha and spirulina, which I was super excited about. Matcha green tea has chlorophyll and is healing for acne and spirulina is very nutrient dense and contains tons of antioxidants. It also has peppermint leaf in it which is an antiseptic and antibacterial, which is calming and cooling to the skin. I haven’t used the mask yet, but I am very excited to try it out and reap its many benefits.

Description (from site)

  • This versatile mask helps unclog pores by drawing out impurities while infusing it with healthy and healing nutrients and free-radical fighting antioxidants.  Four green super foods are blended with French green clay to purify, detoxify and nourish skin.  For normal-combination skin types, especially beneficial for congested, oily and acne-prone skin.

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SkinnySkinny Grapefruit & Cardamom Organic Dry Shampoo

  • I really needed a dry shampoo. I have never used a natural dry shampoo yet, so I don’t really know what would be good or not. All I know is that after a few days my hair gets kind of greasy, but I don’t want to wash my hair yet, the solution, dry shampoo. I’ve used this product a few times since getting it and it seems to do well with masking the oil in my hair. I have nothing to compare it to so I’m not sure if it is compatible to other products, but it seems to do the trick and it smells nice. I’m sure I will experiment with a few different brands before I choose one that I love. Hopefully this one works well.

Description (from site)

  • Free of talc, this easy to use organic dry shampoo effectively absorbs oil and leaves hair feeling soft, fresh and clean without weighing it down. Perfect for saving time and effort between washings; it also adds texture and volume to hair. Organic cornstarch, organic brown rice powder and white clay soak up oil and impurities while horsetail and orris root protect and heal with its astringent properties. Baking soda helps soften and clean without stripping hair of its natural oils. Grapefruit and cardamom essential oils banish smoke and other unwanted scents and leave hair smelling fresh and clean. Blends well with all hair colors, including dark brown and black. Safe for color treated hair.

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Aster & Bay Dandelion Face Grains (sample)

  • These just sounded really cool and unique to me and it was a free sample so I jumped at it. I haven’t used them yet, but I’m really excited to try them out. In the little personal note I received she said that these work well with the Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil sample that I got as well, go me, so I will probably try that combination out.

Description (from site)

  • Dandelion Face Grains from Aster + Bay is a blend of delicate botanical exfoliants chosen for their unique anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. Made with clays, resins, roots, flowers, and grains.  The star of this exfoliating powder, dandelion root is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent treatment for drawing toxins, soothing inflammation, eliminating blemishes, and brightening dark spots.

Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil (sample)

  • Speaking of this sample I have used it a couple times and it smells really nice and my face does feel clean and smooth afterwards. I have used it sporadically though and I think that I need to use it several days in a row to really get a feel for the product and decide if I like it or not.

Description (from site)

  • The Aster + Bay Cleansing Oil is a blend of softening and toning oils that penetrate the pores deeply to dissolve dirt, makeup and toxin buildup. Made with 100% plant and essential oils. *For all skin types.

One Love Organics Elizabeth Dehn Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover (sample)

  • I got this sample because I have heard such great things about it from almost everyone I watch on YouTube. They say that it is an amazing cleansing oil to remove makeup with. I haven’t been wearing much makeup lately since I’ve had a bit of an acne breakout and decided to go light on makeup until it healed. Anyway, I used it a few times and it seems to breakdown my makeup pretty well, I’m excited to use it when I am wearing more makeup, to test out its full potential.

Description (from site)

  • The ultimate in multi-tasking luxury, Active Moisture Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover effortlessly lifts away impurities and makeup while restoring skin’s natural moisture and pH balance. The unique, creamy formula features papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften skin, and a natural Vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone. Concentrated yet gentle enough for all skin types.

 

Overall I had a great experience with buying and receiving my products from Integrity Botanicals and I will definitely be going back to the site again to browse and purchase more products.

 

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Book Review: Yes Please

I have been reading the book Yes Please, by Amy Poehler for the past 5 months and I have finally finished it! To be honest I have no idea why it has taken me so long to read, I love Amy Poehler and I found the book to be very funny and interesting. No matter the reason, I did finally finish reading it and I loved it. Poehler is honest, emotional, hysterical and genuine and all of this rings true in her book and her writing. I loved learning about her life pre SNL (Saturday Night Live) and how she helped to start UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade). She talks about her struggles and how she pushed through to finally make it. I always get encouraged when I hear stories of how celebrities have to work hard and struggle for years before they make it big, not because I’m rooting for them to fail, but because it gives me hope for myself.

Near the end of the book she talks about her time on Parks and Recreation which is one of my all time favorite shows. I can re-watch every episode and still crack up every time; the writing and acting on that show was so smart and funny, it’s insane! I loved every single character and they were all so unique and funny in their own way. I could go on for an hour about how much I love the show, but instead I will just end it here and say go watch it on Netflix, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I think park of the reason I took so long to read this book was because of how heavy it is. No joke, this book weighs a ton and sometimes I just really didn’t want to lug it around with me. Another reason I lagged on reading was because there were a few sections the book that I didn’t’ find as interesting as the rest. These were the sections that Poehler talked about her earlier part of her life, her mom and her dad and their life. Don’t get me wrong, her family seems great and it is clear that she loves and respects her parents very much; it just wasn’t why I bought the book so it took me longer to read those parts. I didn’t find it as exciting as the rest of the book. If you are a book skimmer I would say here would be the place to do it. I, on the other hand, have a hard time skimming books. For whatever reason, I feel like I will miss something important if I just skim past it, so I somewhat dumbly read it all. Besides those few slower sections however I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a few laugh out loud moments, with lots of silent smirking to myself as well.

If you like Amy Poehler you will definitely like this book. It is literally Amy Poehler in the written form. You can definitely hear her voice in your head when reading the book and I think that it helped me to understand her better and also come to like and respect her more as a person as well. If you are looking for a funny memoir to read this would be a great choice.

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