Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Final Thoughts: J'Adore Voxbox

If you follow me anywhere else you've probably noticed how swamped I am (hence no unboxing post). Book promotions work. Trouble with our menagerie. My side business. My kids and husband. The worst part was that I was super eager for the arrival of my #JAdoreVoxBox but when it arrived I was in chaos central. Very little time to do more than test the products inside. And it was such a GREAT box!

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Tea
Hershey's KISSES
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
KISS Looks So Natural Lashes
John Freida Frizz-Ease 3 Day Straight Flat Iron Spray
Vaseline Men Spray Lotion Fast Absorbing

It was a little bit like Christmas to be honest. My favorite voxboxes always have beauty booty and tea but my favorite part of the box was that there was something in it to share specifically with my man.

The only product I really didn't do anything with was the Flat Iron Spray because my hair is straight. I don't even own a flat iron. So there really wasn't much I could do with it. Once my daughter is older something like this might be perfect for her if she ever wants to tame her curls but those skipped some generations before she got them. lol

Monday, March 17, 2014

Beauty Rhi-view: Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask #powerofplants

It's going to reveal just how old I really am when I admit this... once upon a time I used to slip down to a bookstore near where I worked to buy magazines. One of those magazines was some teen-centric thing from the UK where I was first introduced to the Boots brand. I remember bemoaning that we couldn't get it here in the states and years later when it came to one of my fave retailers I spent a long time scouring the shelves to see what they had. Fast forward to the #JAdoreVoxBox and I seriously did a little happy dance when I saw that I'd received Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask.

If you've been following RhiAlistic for a while you've probably noted how much I loooove facial mask treatments. They're kind of addictive, no? ☻

About Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask:
Treat your skin to deep cleansing with this mineral-rich clay mask. Designed for use on normal skin, the unscented, hypo-allergenic formula absorbs excess oil and deeply cleanses skin. The oceanic clay exhibits a negative electrical charge, which helps to draw out impurities without overdrying, skin is left looking clearer whilst feeling softer and smoother. Willowbark, a key ingredient in the Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask, is nature’s champion clarifier. The bark of the willow tree is a natural source of salicylic acid which helps to refine skin texture and actively target imperfections. 
How to Use: Shake well before use. Apply to cleansed skin and leave to dry for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Before I get into it let me just say that what I loved about this mask is that it does focus on the #powerofplants versus a bunch of synthetic chemicals. As a bit of an eco-nerd who prefers to go Earth friendly when I can I was really pleased to see their approach.

My skin tends to run on the combination side with a heavy propensity for acne break-outs so any mask that focuses on getting the stuff that is going to cause more breakouts to take a hike is exciting for me. With the insane weather we've had the past several weeks (going warm and then back to subzero) my skin has been such a mess!

Seriously it's so bad right now you have to jump behind this cut so it's not showing on my blog's front page.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beauty Rhi-flection: KISS Looks So Natural False Lashes

KISS introduces a new brand of lashes. Made with a revolutionary technology that creates tapered ends, KISS Looks So Natural lashes blend seamlessly with natural lashes. Significantly lighter in weight than traditional lashes, the wearer can barely feel them on; 97% of women who wore these lashes felt the difference! These feathery, soft lashes are available in various styles, from natural to dramatic looks.
Ahhh the mythic falsies. The secret in every celeb makeup artist's bag. The reason your favorite actress looks stellar in magazines and on the red carpet. Trust me ladies, if you've seen my cover image on my book blog's Facebook page... they make a HUGE difference. But not all falsies are up to the challenge of making you look glam while still being comfortable.

I was very excited to find a set of Looks So Natural Lashes from KISS in my #JAdoreVoxbox. I'd been seeing them mentioned on the company's Facebook page and wanting to try them but for me they're a special occasion kind of thing. I love them, but don't have the patience to put them on every time I wear makeup. That and my eyes are super sensitive. Many eye makeup products irritate my eyes so much I can't wear them. Fortuntely, KISS' Looks So Natural say right on the box that they're contact friendly so chances are they will be right for you if your eyes are as sensitive as mine can be.

They're pretty easy to apply once you get the hang of it but I honestly had to do them 3 times before I got them decently.

How to Apply:
  1. Check fit of lash to your natural lash line; trim if needed.
  2. Apply KISS adhesive to lash line; wait 30 seconds for glue to become tacky before applying for better adhesion.
  3. Use the applicator to apply lashes along natural lash line and hold, allowing adhesive to dry completely.
My biggest issue was the glue, not the lashes. I prefer clear eyelash glue and the one included is white. White's good for practicing using falsies but if you get even the littlest bit too much it shows really bad along the lash line.

I decided for the sake of writing up a blog post about these that I wanted to show you guys how to rock a very simple almost-no-makeup makeup look. I've been trying to go makeup free for a couple of weeks because my skin has been very stressed out with the weather changes so when I have been wearing makeup I've been trying to go very light. Plus, the idea of such a glamorous lash style as the center piece of my look sounded fun.

What you'll need for this look:

• Primer (optional)
• Lightweight Foundation (I like a mineral powder foundation for this look)
• Concealer, if needed (I recommend liquid for this look)
• Set of Looks So Natural false eyelashes in Sultry
• Matte brown eye shadow
• Brown mascara
• Nude lip gloss
• Finishing powder
• Foundation brush, angled eyeliner brush, eyelash curler, powder brush

Start the look by applying your primer, foundation, and concealer. You want a very clean palette for this look. Once you have a clean slate apply your falsies following the directions on the package.

As you can see with the Looks So Natural set, the glue goes on very white. As it sets it gets more translucent but if you have too much it gobs up making for gummy spots. Try to use a minimal amount and don't be afraid to apply it and remove it a few times until you get it right. Just make sure you gently remove the dried up glue between applications. It's tedious but you don't want mounds of dry glue around the base mucking up your lash line.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Recipe: Cherry Lemonade Cobbler

Dear readers,

It's been a while, huh? I wish I'd had time to photograph this one properly but it's a long story and this was a last-minute dish I made up. We were cutting into it for taste testing—I won a contest with it!—and sampling it before I remembered I wanted a photo. Whoops! But it was yummy, so yummy I've been begged to share the recipe so here it is...

Cherry Lemonade Cobbler

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) very soft butter

  • 1 egg

  • 21 oz. can cherry pie filling

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Mix Citrus Sugar Cookie Mix and the included sugar packet with butter and egg with a fork until crumbly. Spread pie filling in a greased 8 x 8 baking pan; sprinkle Citrus Sugar Cookie mixture over top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 9 servings.

    For the sake of legalities, I have to note that I am a Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant. The Tastefully Simple products I featured here in my recipe can be purchased through my website if you'd like to try them in your version of it. 

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Beauty Rhi-flection: My Shining Moment

    Since my #VioletVoxbox arrived in my mailbox I've been buried under that thing known as life. First it was the hub-bub of the holiday season. Then the new year began and things started going back to a somewhat more manageable pace. I still haven't quite reached my usual self yet, but I'm getting there. You see... 2013 was a difficult year. Not the worst I've experienced and though it did have many high notes, it was more sour than sweet. I don't always cope so well with tough things and so when my box arrived filled with exciting goodies I was really in the dumps. Not even getting to feed my polish addiction and my strange penchant for teal shades was enough to conquer it.

    Sure, I took time to attempt a mani one afternoon when I had a bunch of other things I needed to be doing just to be my rebel self but look at it! Just looooook at it. Definitely not well done. I'll let you guys in on a little secret... I will NEVER be a nail art blogger. Never ever. My hands shake. A lot. Like leaves on trees in a thunderstorm. Okay, maybe not that bad but when you're trying to paint your nails doesn't it feel like that?

    I love the color I received—DIVE IN, such a cute name—and how glossy everyone else's manis looked on social media. But I couldn't get mine to dry. So I tried the cold water trick, which I'd recently found thanks to Pinterest and had tried with other polishes to great effect. OMG it was the WORST thing I could have done with Sally Hansen Triple Shine. I assumed since it's supposed to be water resistant it would work even better. Instead it formed hideous little cracks all over it. *facepalm*

    So I patted my nails to get rid of the water cracks and did another coat and another and another. I'm honestly not even sure if when I took my instagram shot they were even dry. I had a mini meltdown and went and removed it all once I had the photo taken. I was just so upset between the shaky edges, the darned polish taking too long to dry, and then having to keep trying to fix it for a photo. It was definitely #NOTmyshiningmoment.

    Then the holiday came and I was too busy doing things for others to even think about taking time for myself for this one simple beauty ritual that is so difficult for me but makes me feel good. The new year rolled in with social obligations and finally the teenager back in school only to have the hubs have to take use-or-lose time off from work. Where is the me-time, darnit?

    So here I was, looking at my Influenster profile and realizing the only thing I had yet to accomplish of my goals from the Violet Voxbox was to write about a shining moment I had while I was wearing the new Triple Shine I'd received. Oh gawd, that meant I had to get it on and make it dry again!!! [insert several hours of panicked excuse making before I got around to trying again] I had a very small amount of time before bed to squeeze it in and my hands were shakier than usual. Someone had ninja'd the batteries out of my little nail dryer. I was sweating bullets and probably looked like a circus performer as I contorted my body into the stablest possible position I could find. I'd have to get it on, get it dry, and then try to have a shining moment while I wore it... talk about pressure!

    It didn't go so well. Somehow I got polish on the side of my middle finger which smudged on my index. My index finger twitched just enough to bump into something and smudged the tip. I kept having to add coats to because it was looking a bit streaky. It was another disaster. I was frustrated and stopped with only one hand done. And just when I thought it was dry I smudged them on a towel!!!

    But here's where my shining moment comes in...

    To give you some perspective on what it's really all about I had to look up the word shine.

    Well, I definitely do not shine at painting my fingernails. If I could afford a daily mani I would pay for it just so I could enjoy my polish collection all year round—'cause let's face it a pedi is way easier. But today I realized that I DO shine at something, something that I've always kind of taken for granted... I persevere.

    I didn't let that I had only one hand with painted nails (and not such a great set I might add) get me down. Instead of taking it off to avoid people thinking I was weird as I ran my errands I decided that I had worked really darned hard for that one hand. I was going to rock it all dang day. And I did.

    It's a little crooked and my cuticles are nasty from the winter weather but I trudged on with my life single-handedly (pun totally intended) today. I let that determined part of myself keep on keeping on without shame over a less-than-flawless mani. So maybe my #TripleShine experience isn't looking quite as shiny as everyone else's but I took my shade's name to heart and let myself just DIVE IN.

    P.S. -- Check out this video for more about Sally Hansen Triple Shine nail polish including lots of the colors! I think I will go for a glitter when I shop for them because glitters tend to be a bit friendlier to mistakes and smudges... trust me, I've got a lot of experience with that. Plus, they have a top coat which might be a great choice for making your old favorites just as glossy!

    Note: I received this product through Influenster's Voxbox program which provides members with free products in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions shared here are my own and not influenced by the freeness of the product. If you'd like to know more about how Influenster works please visit their website.

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Beauty Rhi-view: Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas

    Not gonna lie... the VioletVoxbox from Influenster came at the WORST time of year for me to be trying to get lots of free time in for focusing on trying the new stuff. I love the holiday season but hate the stress that comes with trying to make it come together. Between shopping, financial stress, bad weather, menu planning, wrapping, and decorating... it all gets to be a bit much. I was so excited for my box to come but worried I was going to have just one more chore (on top of my many jobs and the holiday) to try and find time for. Thank goodness there was a spa treat from Montagne Jeunesse inside!

    I've reviewed Montagne Jeunesse masks before but the new Clay Spas have something special to offer, they're not just a packet of mud, they're fabric masks soaked in it!

    I received the Dead Sea Mud Spa version but there is also a Glacial Clay Spa and a Red Earth Clay Spa mask.

    "Breathe life back into skin with intensely invigorating and revitalising Dead Sea Minerals. We’ve harvested the oceans nutrient rich Seaweed and Kelp right from the source – A satisfying boost for thirsty skin and then some!"

    It's designed for Combination, Oily, and Normal skin types so I was a little nervous because while my skin is very much Combination it can be reactive. It was also in the process of breaking out at the time I decided to use the mask and I wasn't sure if it would help or make it worse. Figuring I deserved some pampering I ripped into it and quickly realized this is like no mask I'd tried before.

    Cleanse • Apply • Relax • Massage • Rinse

    The mask claims to be fabric but I think it's more of a paper than a fabric and I mean that in a good way. It's a bit like a thin baby wipe in weight and texture and it's saturated with the clay mask. Now that I've tried it I would recommend that you massage the mask around inside the packet before opening. By squeezing it a bit I think the clay mixture would be spread more evenly.

    It's a little tricky to unfold at first but the holes for the eyes and mouth are very big so once you figure out where all your holes go you're golden. The nose area is a bit weird and my long one was way too big to get properly covered by the mask. I carefully flattened it around my face finding that it was a little too short for my high forehead but way to long for my tiny chin—thanks a lot dad!—so it had to be tucked under it a bit.

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Beauty Rhi-view: Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

    Winter and my hair don't get along. At all. The air here in Montana is dry all year round but winter air is the worst (and for us, it's been 'winter' for about 6 weeks now). Harsh winds leave your hair snarly and stripped when you're outside and subzero temperatures mean a running furnace so your hair gets static-buildup inside. To combat the horror that is having super fine but thick hair I started shampooing only every other day many winters ago. The trouble with skipping a shampoo though is that my scalp is working overtime to keep itself from drying out and goes bonkers on the oil production. By mid-day on a shampoo day my hair is a flat, shiny, and stringy mess at the roots... but is still fly-away and dry everywhere else.

    Last year I bought my first can of dry shampoo in hopes of finding a solution to the second day horror. The big problem... it had a horrible smell that lingered not only on my hair but in my bathroom. My husband isn't one to comment on that sort of thing and even he said something. Not one to be wasteful I have continued to use it, but I've been unimpressed with the results and the stench just ruined any chance I'd buy it again.

    Just a week before the #VioletVoxbox came out I had been researching more dry shampoo products in hopes of finding a new brand that had good reviews and no smell. Talk about serendipitous when I cracked open my Violet Voxbox and found Not Your Mother's Clean Freak—the one I had decided to try next right there in the box!

    And I ♥ it! Not only is it unscented, the finish is a very light matte so it doesn't give my hair that funny dusty looking halo my other brand had. It's ridiculously easy to use and not only sops up the greasies, it provides a nice lift at the roots too.

    Earlier this week one of our children had a holiday concert at school and I was stuck with second-day hair so I decided to snap a few quick pics to show you guys my 5 minute quick fix using Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.

    Step 1. Spray Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo generously throughout roots, focusing on your greasiest areas (mine is my part) and specifically the crown. Do NOT brush or comb yet!!!

    Step 2. Whip it all up into a clip at the top of your head and find something to do for about 3-4 minutes. In this case I touched up my day makeup and put on some eyeliner, eyeshadow, and lipgloss really quick.

    Step 3. Flip your head upside down, un-clip it, then brush out your hair, holding your head upside down while you do so for extra volume.

    Step 5. Flip your head back up and, if needed, comb your roots a bit more. Style more if desired.

    I forgot to take a before photo but as you can see by the finished result... you'd never know I hadn't washed my hair in about 30 hours. Not only are the greasies tamed, my roots have added volume (my hair lays FLAT when it's this close to a regular shampoo) and most importantly, it didn't make my hair drier at the ends after I brushed it out. The secret is to make sure you're focusing on the roots since your scalp oils are the heart of why you're probably using dry shampoo.

    I will definitely be making the permaswitch to Clean Freak and recommend it for my fellow fine haired ladies suffering from the unpleasant combination of dry hair and a greasy scalp. Now I might have to look into other products from Not Your Mother's because I'm also in the market for a new hairspray brand. ☺

    Note: I received this product through Influenster's Voxbox program which provides members with free products in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions shared here are my own and not influenced by the freeness of the product. If you'd like to know more about how Influenster works please visit their website.
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