Thursday, October 29, 2015

Are you ready to #GetMuddy?

It's almost Halloween, and I have a treat for you. I love a good face mask, especially when there's a discount involved. I'll give the code at the end of this post, but first let me tell you all about it.

I've been following Muddy Body on Instagram for a while now, anxiously awaiting their official launch. Lucky for me, I was offered a chance to try their products, which are 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan. They are made in small batches with a combination of powerful plant extracts, refining clay, and botanical and essential oils.

Above are the Clay Masks, which come in Detox (Activated Charcoal, Coconut and Cacao), Refresh (Cucumber, Aloe Vera and Matcha) and Relax (Rosehip, Chamomile and Lavender). The names suggest exactly why you'd use each one. Detox draws out toxins, while maintaining moisture and a healthy glow. Refresh hydrates, tones and gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it refreshed. Relax is calming, cleansing and moisturizing. These powdered masks are sold individually or as a set.

Today, I'm using Refresh, which is perfect for my aging skin. It draws out impurities without drying me out. Cucumber and aloe plump my skin and soften fine lines, while still clearing up any potential breakouts (yes, I still break out from time to time).

All of the masks need to be mixed in a separate container with a small amount of water or other liquid of your choice (similar products tend to recommend yogurt, coconut milk or honey). For easy mixing and application, this cute little Muddy Body brush is available for sale on the site. For a limited time, the brush is free with your mask purchase. Just so you know, the brushes are 100% synthetic/vegan/cruelty-free.

So how do I look after using the Muddy Body (I keep wanting to call it Muddy Buddy, which would be a really cute name) Refresh Clay Mask?

Well, I've been leaving it on for about 15 minutes, as recommended. My skin tends to be slightly pink right after removing the Refresh Clay Mask (which usually happens with any mask that contains Matcha; I just have very sensitive skin), but it quickly calms down to a healthy, even glow, as you can see (I'm not wearing makeup in the above pic). My skin is smooth and clear.

You can test out this mask, too, at a 20% discount through this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 with the code: BOODORABLE. Happy Halloween my pretties! *Now that Halloween over, you can still get 10% off with the code: RAWDORABLE10.

Let me know if you get a chance to try these Muddy Body products and share your results with me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable). Hashtag #GetMuddy so Muddy Body can see it, too.

*Muddy Body sent me this face mask and brush for review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Not-So-Slutty No-Bake Brownies

The other day, Lauryn of The Skinny Confidential posted a recipe for "Slutty Brownies," and I've been craving them ever since then. Basically, they're a layer of cookie dough, topped with Oreos and baked into a brownie. They're not just double yum; they triple or even quadruple yum, if you top them like I did.

Okay, so I'm getting ahead of myself. I first heard about these amazingly decadent treats during one or perhaps both of Jessica Simpson's pregnancies. Apparently, they were a major craving for her, as I can totally understand. When your hormones are raging, these really hit the spot (oh yeah; your "Aunt Flo" could really use one of these).

When I have naughty brownies on the brain like these, I want them gluten-free, dairy-free and asap. That means I'll usually opt for a semi-homemade unbaked version, as you'll see in my recipe. I wasn't in the mood to whip up some of my raw vegan sandwich cookies or no-bake cookie dough, so I took advantage of the yummy bars I got from Jordan of the Balanced Blonde and Aloha (thank you). The Vanilla Almond Crunch Protein Bars and Dark Chocolate Coconut Aloha Bars are good on their own, but when combined with no-bake brownies, you can take them to another level.

And now for the recipe; start by adding 1/2 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup soaked dates, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a dash of sea salt to a mini food processor.

Give the ingredients a spin in the mini food processor until it forms a dough, as shown. Set this aside, while you form the base of your layered brownie creation.

The bottom layer of your Not-So-Slutty (because they might be a tad better for you) No-Bake Brownies is made out of just three Aloha Vanilla Almond Crunch Protein Bars. In a small rectangular pan or on a standard plate, put two of your bars side-by-side, as shown. Then, cut the third bar so it lays flush against the ends of the two bars. The result should be a rectangle base.

Two Dark Chocolate Coconut Aloha Bars will act as the cookies in the center of the brownies. Either use a knife or a tiny cookie cutter to make four "cookies" out of each bar. You'll end up with a total of eight small "cookies."

Top the Vanilla Almond Crunch Bar base with the Dark Chocolate Coconut "cookies," so that they are equally distributed, as seen above.

Cover the "cookies" with the "brownie batter" you made earlier, and shape it to the same size as the bar base.

To make this brownie concoction extra special, spread some Jem Raw Organics Hazelnut Raw Cacao Sprouted Hazelnut Spread across the top ...

... and swirl in some organic natural peanut butter, as shown.

Put the finished brownies in the freezer or fridge for a bit to set, and then cut them into eight equal squares.

These are so good! Let me know if you get a chance to try them on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable). Happy unbaking :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Masking and Relaxing with Bird & 98th

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I teased these cute little packages from Bird & 98th, which is a handmade beauty line on Etsy. I also promised to blog about them tonight or tomorrow, so despite all the crazy after-school stuff (helping with homework, packing lunches, making dinner, laying out clothes for tomorrow, etc.), I still managed to get this review typed up for you. That probably doesn't phase you, but I'm happy to have kept that promise.

Anyway, did anyone guess what was wrapped up inside these tiny bundles? Does the small wooden spoon give anything away?

It all started with this Chocolate and Coffee Mask that I saw posted on Bird & 98th's Instagram page. I love chocolate and a pampering face mask, so of course I commented about this scrumptious combination. To my surprise, the shop owner, Suhey Saldarriago, offered to send me some for review, as well as samples of the Charcoal & Matcha Purifying Mask and the Palmera Balancing Facial Oil. She also sent her Facial Steam No. 1 that you probably already noticed in the first pic.

Let's start with the Chocolate and Coffee Mask, which comes with this cute wooden spoon for scooping out the product and mixing it. This mask is a combination of raw cacao and coffee, making it good enough to eat. It's packed with antioxidants and is supposed to provide a very gentle exfoliation.

You'll notice that this mask comes in a powder form to preserve the qualities of the mask, as it does not contain preservatives. Simply scoop a few spoonfuls of the powder into a non-metallic container.

Then, you'll need to mix it with water, yogurt or whatever you fancy to reach the consistency of your liking. I opted to use just water, but I also tried it later with raw honey. When I added water, I used the wooden spoon to measure out about the same amount as the powder and to mix it, as shown. It really does look good enough to eat, and when you use honey, it tastes great (when using honey, I also added a tiny bit of water to help stir it and thin it out).

Okay, now for the crazy looking pics. Here's what the Chocolate & Coffee Mask looks like on my face, after it dries. It's easy to wash off with your favorite cleanser (I used a basic argan oil cleanser), but I wouldn't recommend doing so with your nice white washcloths, especially if you added honey to the mix.

After I removed the mask, I applied the Palmera Balancing Facial Oil (this blend of pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, jojoba, calendula, olive-derived squalane, blue chamomile and lavender oils is cruelty-free, vegan and formulated to balance troubled skin). It absorbed nicely, and after more than a week of use, I have not experienced any breakouts. Keep in mind, though, I've also been doing regular face masks at the same time (the Chocolate & Coffee Mask, as well as the Charcoal & Matcha Purifying Mask).

You can also see that my skin is not irritated from the Chocolate & Coffee Mask, as it is quite gentle. It calms my skin, leaves it soft and smooth, and reduces the size of my pores. It also slightly tinted my skin for a bit, almost like a natural bronzer (I have used cocoa powder as a bronzer in the past). When I mixed this mask up with honey, I also found it to be quite moisturizing.

Before using the masks, I opened my pores and relaxed with this Facial Steam No. 1. I found this combination of dry flowers, including lavender and rose, to be quite luxurious.

To use, I boiled some water, poured it into a shallow bowl and added some of the dried flowers. The flowers will begin to steep and release their fragrance. Some of them actually open up like a flowering tea. I allowed it to cool slightly, and then leaned over the bowl with a towel "tent" over my head. At this point, I breathed in the steam and let it work it's magic. It even helped to open my nasal passages. I'd definitely recommend this, as long as you are not allergic to these particular flowers.

The other mask I've been using is this Charcoal & Matcha Purifying Mask, which also comes in a powder form. This sample came in this glass vile, which made it extra special. According to the description on the Bird & 98th Etsy shop, "the mask brings together the detoxifying properties of activated charcoal and Rhassoul clay with the antioxidant properties of matcha. It provides the perfect combination to cleanse and nourish congested skin."

Like the Chocolate & Coffee Mask, you need to mix the Charcoal & Matcha Purifying Mask powder with the liquid of your choice. I opted to go with water, mixing it in a 50/50 ratio, as shown.

Here's how it looks on my face. I applied just a thin layer, since I have very sensitive skin. It didn't bother me while I was wearing it, but when I washed my face with my usual argan oil cleanser (same as with the other mask), my skin appeared very red. It lasted for about 15-20 minutes, before fading away. This happened both times I used the mask, so maybe it's a little too detoxifying for me. I will say, though, that my skin looked amazing the rest of the day (both days). I'd even say my complexion was flawless (sorry, I forgot to take a no makeup pic after this mask). If you don't have sensitive skin, it's worth a try.

In the future, I hope to test out the Maca & Honey Mask, which is right up my alley. Has anyone else tried that one or any Bird & 98th products? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Bird & 98th sent me these products for review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Acure Organics Dry Oil Body Sprays

In my Skinnamon and Flora Body Care Scrub posts, I've mentioned following up with either Acure Organics Firming Body Lotion and/or one of their Marula + Argan Dry Oil Body Sprays. They come in such lovely scents, including Citrus Ginger, Coconut and Rose.

I was lucky enough to have all three Dry Oil Body Sprays sent to me from Business Cat over at Acure (we all love Business Cat around here). They come in these glass spray bottles (the bottle is glass, but the pump is plastic) with brightly colored designs.

They are so convenient to just spritz my body with when I get out of the shower (much like that commercial with that well-known lotion spray, except this product is more natural), especially since they fit perfectly in my small hand. The Coconut scent is my favorite of the bunch, which reminds me of being back at the beach (it's a tropical, subtle coconut fragrance that actually contains coconut). I tend to grab for this one after using my Flora Body Care Coconut Vanilla Natural Body Scrub (you can get 20% off this scrub with the code: RAWDORABLE20).

Now that it's fall, I find the Citrus Ginger to be a nice, warm scent (it smells like oranges and spice). This dry oil really moisturizes my skin (as my skin adjusts to the change in seasons) with a combination of olive, coconut, argan, sandlewood, sea buckthorn, eucalyptus, safflower, sunflower and marula oils. The best part is that it absorbs quickly, while still leaving me with that glistening look I love from body oil.

If I'm feeling especially girly, I reach for the Rose Dry Oil Body Spray. I like to spritz it in my hair for some added shine and to make my ends more manageable. You only need a little bit, and since it's a dry oil, it doesn't weigh my hair down as much as other oils. Oh, and did I mention that it makes your hair smell sweet (there's orange in this, too) and floral (from the rose oil, of course).

Just so you know, these Acure Marula + Argan Dry Oil Body Sprays are vegan, gluten-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, cruelty-free, petroleum-free, PEG-free, synthetic fragrance-free, 100% biodegradable and they won't clog your pores. They are also very economical at only $12.99 each on the Acure Organics website. I highly recommend them :)

Have you tried these dry oil body sprays? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Acure Organics sent me these Dry Oil Body Sprays for review.
All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Getting my Coco Detox on with Skinnamon

On Instagram the other day, I teased the new Skinnamon Body + Face Coco Detox with this fun doll in the bathtub pic, before heading up to my own shower to get my Coco Detox on. As you can see in the above pic, it's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Why? This 100% natural, chemical-free, vegan scrub/mask claims to exfoliate, detoxify, nourish, hydrate and moisturize your skin. According to the package, "it purifies skin, diminishes age spots, wrinkles, scars and blemishes. Fights acne-causing bacteria and tightens enlarged pores. Improves skin tone and texture. Stimulates collagen production. Enriched with zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, antioxidants, potassium, minerals, vitamin B complex, nourishing fatty acids, vitamin E. Leaves skin soft, renewed and glowing."

That sounds like a magic scrub/mask to me (I know I keep referring to it as a "scrub/mask," but you'll see what I mean in a minute), although it takes a little effort to use it. Basically, you apply it to damp skin in the shower, and be prepared to get dirty (it actually looks a little like dirt, as you can see through the package).

This cute wooden spoon is provided to help you scoop out this combination of European sea salt, activated charcoal, dead sea salt, organic raw cacao, sunflower oil, virgin coconut oil, apricot oil and vitamin E, although I find it to be easier to transfer just what you need to a separate container.

Transitioning to black and white to keep the next photos a bit classier, you'll need to massage the Coco Detox all over your skin in circular motions (don't do this after shaving, as the salt in this scrub will burn), starting with your feet and hands and moving toward your heart (those of you who dry brush may already be familiar with this technique).

Be gentle on your face and avoid your eye area (and if you get it on your lips, it does taste salty). After scrubbing, let the detox mask do its job for about 5 minutes before washing it away with your favorite cleanser (seriously, you need to use a cleanser to get all of it off your skin, but that's not a big deal when you still need to do that step in the shower process anyway). Then, moisturize your skin, as usual (of course, I'm loving Acure Organics Firming Body Lotion and their dry oil body sprays).

Although this scrub/mask (you understand why I call it that now, right?) is a bit messy, it does exfoliate well, helps to tone my skin, makes my pores appear smaller, clears breakouts and even got rid of the eczema patch I had the other day (I get them when I'm exposed to gluten). It makes your skin really soft and smooth, so it is worth the effort (especially if your significant other is willing to assist in the process).

According to Skinnamon, this product "works great with regular exercise, less coffee, more water, an apple a day, 8 hrs. of sleep" and "a smile in the morning." These are all good things I'd recommend, too.

Have you tried any of Skinnamon's products? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

*Skinnamon sent me this Coco Detox for review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Luminous RMS Beauty face, lips & nails

In a recent blog post about RMS Beauty, I mentioned that they were sending me one of their new nail polishes. Since I'm such a big fan of the Living Luminizer, I picked the matching Luminizer polish as my first one to try. Look at how perfectly it matches the Living Luminizer above; I made a finger swatch of the highlight and a painted polish heart for comparison.

The new line of RMS Beauty nail polishes are free from petrochemicals, parabens, xylene, formaldehyde, toulene, DPB, formaldehyde resin, camphor and animal products, and come in 10 shades, inspired by various RMS makeup colors, as seen above. They really do look exactly like their matching Lip Shines, Lip2Cheeks, Eye Polishes and of course, the Luminizer.

Although the Luminizer is recommended as a top coat over the other colors, I think it looks amazing on it's own. It's reminds me of the shiny inside of a shell. Here I only used the Luminizer nail polish without a top or base coat. It applies evenly and dries fairly quickly. It also holds up quite well to all my hand-washing and other mommy duties.

I love this color so much that it inspired my outfit of the day, as well as my lipstick of the day. It's gorgeous outside, so I dressed easy breezy. I layered this sheer striped Madewell button-down shirt from a while back (it has a slight shimmer, which made me think of the Luminizer) over a basic black camisole-style layering tank. Although this particular striped shirt is no longer available on the Madewell website, there is this Over-Sized Button-Down Shirt in Stripe on the site and another Button-Down Tunic Shirt with Pockets in Stripemix in the sale section as I type this. I'm also wearing my favorite Rip and Repair Denim Boyshorts and signature Arrowstack Necklace.

As for my lipstick, I'm wearing RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Promise, topped with the Living Luminizer for added shine.

Here's a closer look at the lipstick and nail polish together. I think they make a lovely combo, don't you?

Have you tried RMS Beauty's new nail polish? Which color would you pick? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or on Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

*RMS Beauty sent me this nail polish for review. All opinions are my own.