Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Products for June 2012! (Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil, Eminence Tinted Moisturizer, and Youngblood Mineral Foundation)

During the past couple of months that Jen and I have been MIA from our blog, I have been trying new beauty products that I have fallen in LOVE with!!!  Now that I have finished or given away some products I owned, I have been researching and purchasing products that won't irritate my skin and will even out my skin tone.  So far, so good!  I will do my best to describe how amazing these products are because they make you look spectacular on the outside and they make you feel good in the inside.

Kahina Giving Beauty - 100% Organic Argan Oil (30 ml - $36)

Before, I was using Pure & Basics Vitamin E oil to reduce the appearance of acne scars.  Although I have great respect for Vitamin E for its healing properties, the consistency was a little bit too heavy for my liking, and I decided that I wanted to use a product that would give me better results without the greasy feeling.  This is when I came across Kahina Giving Beauty, a company known for its argan Oil and philanthrophic endeavors; a portion of their proceeds go to the women of Morocco making these products.  How awesome is that?!?!  You can look beautiful knowing that you are also helping a great cause.  That said, the product is wonderful and I think I'm in love!  The design of the bottle is very modern chic and the argan oil has a luxurious feel.  The consistency is just perfect, and when you rub it on your face, your face feels like a baby's bottom, but even better.  I did not detect a strong scent (I'm not even sure there is one) which I know is good news for many who like unscented products.  So far I have only used the argan oil for my face even though you can use it for your hair as well.  After using this product in the evenings, the texture of my skin has improved tremendously and my scars have faded.  If you are looking for high-quality argan oil, I recommended you take a look at

Product Description:
Extremely rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, argan oil hasbeen shown to: minimize fine lines, restore elasticity, improve skin tone,soothe irritation, neutralize free radicals that cause signs of aging, andprotect the skin from harmful environmental agents.  Light and non-greasy, argan oil absorbs easily, instantlygiving skin a radiant glow.

Eminence Cocoa Latte Tinted Moisturizer - SPF 25 (1.2fl oz - $48)

Let me begin by saying that ever since the tinted moisturizer craze, I have purchased four tinted moisturizers: Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer, Youngblood Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint, and Eminence Cocoa Latte Tinted Moisturizer.  I bought the tinted moisturizers after researching each one and ensuring they were oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.  Unfortunately, the Smashbox TM in Tan was too dark for me and made me look very oily, and the Youngblood TM in Amber was a nice product but the pump stopped working after a few uses and the fact that it didn't contain SPF was starting to bother me.  I was about to give up on tinted moisturizers when I came across Eminence Cocoa Latte Tinted Moisturizer.  Even though I couldn't find many reviews on this product, I decided to take  a chance and I'm so happy I did!  Although many might think this product is pricey for a TM, it is definitely worth it.  The scent is amazing, it contains SPF, and it blends in really well with my skin.  My skin also looks great  throughout the day; instead of looking oily, my skin looks dewey.  Call it what you want, but this product is soufflé for my skin.  I highly recommend this product because the ingredients are organic and great for your skin! 

Product Information:
Eminence Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25 offers sheer coverage with UV protection to shield your skin from daily extremities.  The lightweight texture contains softening vitamin E, soothing aloe vera and nourishing plant extracts.  Free of harmful or harsh ingredients, your skin remains healthy and vibrant with a natural finish. 

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics - Natural Mineral Foundation in Toffee (.35 oz/10 g - $42)

During the past few years, I have tried many mineral powders.  As always, I'm always searching for a better product that can help my oily and acne prone skin, and a product that doesn't contain harsh chemicals, while giving me a flawless look.  Fortunately, this mineral foundation does everything I would hope for in a product.  The design is sleek, light-weight, and great for traveling.  In addition, the packaging prevents you from making a mess, which is always a problem with other mineral powders.  The mineral foundation powder itself is finely milled making the consistency silky; it also serves as a concealer and powder all in one.  Sometimes I forget I'm wearing makeup because my skin looks so radiant and healthy.  Even more amazing is the fact that this foundation does not accentuate my acne scars and it doesn't make me oily; it doesn't even make me break out.  YB mineral foundation is non-comedogenic, talc-free, and fragrance-free, all of which allow the skin to breathe. You can also find a wide array of shades for all skin tones.  In my opinion, YB mineral foundation is the BEST mineral powder I have tried on the market!  Youngblood Cosmetics offers quality products that truly make you look fabulous. 

Product Information:
Create the naturally flawless look you've always coveted with this ultra-fine, luxurious powder. The lightweight formula provides buildable coverage and a soft radiance — without any glitter or shimmer. Its exclusively designed container dispenses the precise amount of powder. 

Can't wait for you guys to try these products. Let us know what you think!


Monday, April 9, 2012

AcneFree Products Review

A few months ago, I wrote about how much I loved my Eminence skin care products. After testing out the products for about three months, I have come to the sad conclusion that it is “too” natural for my oily/aceneic skin. When I am under a lot of stress or when it’s that time of the month, like many who share similar skin problems, I break out frequently and then I’m left with unpleasant scars. Although Eminence products maintain my skin clean and healthy, it doesn’t do the job for preventing new and horrible breakouts. Unfortunately, Eminence products alone do not work for my skin type, but I do believe it’s a great line that one can alternate with other acne treatments. Since the Eminence products were not doing the job for me, I had to resort to (and I hate to say it) chemicals. 

About four weeks ago, my skin was breaking out like crazy due to stress and I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted a cheap and quick fix but I didn’t know which skin care line I wanted to buy next seeing I have tried many products (at drugstores, high-end stores, and dermatology offices/medi-spas) in the past. As always, I began researching various products online and listened to reviews on YouTube (3layerzdeep and ericaleigh777) until I came across the AcneFree Severe system. At first, I was somewhat hesitant because it reminded me a lot of the ProActive system, and the word “severe” made me wonder if this system would be appropriate for my skin. I also wasn't thrilled with the packaging and the bright orange bottles. Nevertheless, I went with my gut instinct after listening to great reviews, and bought the 24-Hour Severe Acne Clearing System ($29.99) at CVS, really hoping it would work.

The products in the system include the following:

Antibacterial Cleansing Wash ($7.49 ONLY sold online)
Corrective Toner ($7.49 ONLY sold online)
Maximum Strength Repair Lotion for AM ($8.95 ONLY sold online)
Retinol Renewal Complex for PM ($7.49 ONLY sold online)

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that I have been using the AcneFree Severe system for over a month now and I absolutely love it!!! I have seen a DRAMATIC difference and improvement in my skin. This system has prevented breakouts, cleared up my skin and lightened my scars. I have seen a few reviews where people have mentioned the system drying out their skin but I have not experienced extreme drying or scaling. I guess this shows I have resilient skin, or perhaps it takes a lot for my oily skin to experience dryness. So far I love the AcneFree Severe system, but I want to give it another month (just in case) before I call it my holy grail. I’m really surprised this product hasn’t received more hype.

Anyhow, if you have my skin type and have used many products, stop wasting your money on expensive acne products and buy AcneFree! I truly believe that this product is a great match for oily and acne prone skin (of course, don’t forget to test it first since every skin reacts differently to products).

Good luck to you and I really hope the AcneFree Severe Acne Clearing System works for you. If you decide to purchase this system, please let me know what you think. I would love to hear about your experience.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get it RIGHT...get it TIGHT;)

Ever since I moved out to the bay area early last year, I have been on and off with my fitness regimen. I was inconsistent for over a year and now I am taking control over the way I look and feel.  Not only am I exercising regularly, but I am also eating healthier and incorporating more healthy habits into my lifestyle.

To boost my progress and also to provide me with more motivation, I decided to hire a personal trainer.  I am currently doing strength training twice a week with him.  All other days, I try to incorporate 30-60 minutes of cardio with the exception of one or two days off.  In addition to doing this, I also am integrating sauna sessions and “vibrating” machine workouts.  ZAAZ STUDIOS, is a whole body vibration studio that recently opened in San Francisco.  I typically go into the sauna for 15 minutes a day (week days only). 

ZAAZ STUDIOS recently launched a few locations in California, and I am sure they will be opening more locations in other states and CA cities.  Here is some information about their sauna and 20k machine, per their website:

“We call the ZAAZ Infrared Sauna the “Ten Minute Vacation.” Deeply soothing, profoundly relaxing, and entirely satisfying, many customers compare the feeling of stepping out of our sauna to having spent a day on the beach in the tropics. One thing we can say for sure: the ZAAZ Infrared Sauna allows you to experience the soothing heat of a traditional sauna without the humidity and sweat, meaning a change of clothes is not even necessary. Unlike a normal single heat source sauna, infrared heating panels perfectly distribute safe infrared rays to heat the body from the inside, without heating the air in between.”

“The premier model of oscillating vibration machines, the ZAAZ 20K purrs from our strongest, smoothest and most effective motor available. A masterpiece of engineering, the 20K features a pulse reader, calorie counter, step counter and our signature handlebar design. Not to be outdone in innovation or performance, the 20K automatically adjusts for varying weight loads and offers 99 unique speed adjustments and 8 pre-set programs. For those who will settle for nothing but the best, we present to you the ZAAZ 20K.”

Since I started using this machine, I have noticed that my levels of soreness are minimized.  The company claims that the machines were FDA approved for some of the following benefits: increased muscle strength, toning and firming of muscles, improved flexibility, etc. In addition, the company cites feedback reported by users of the machine, claims like: decreases weight, improved circulation, relieves stress, improves sleep, etc.  When hopping on this machine, I make sure to grab some dumbells and focus on "holding in" my abs - I even incorporate some side bends and squats while on the 20k.

This year, so far, I have lost 4 pounds.  I can’t confirm whether using the ZAAZ machines (20k and the Sauna) have contributed to this weight loss or if it’s due to personal training.  I will tell you, that I am less sore, which allows me to work out more and I feel good.  I am getting more toned, and I strive to get in better shape.  Following this post,  I will do an entry regarding my favorite exercises. 
We all need some motivation and I hope my posts provide you with a little fitness boost.

<3 JM

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I can't believe it's February 2012!! Where does time go? I was supposed to start my detox last month but I guess I didn't think of it until this month. Haha. 

This particular year, the year of the dragon, is the year I have been waiting for. Many expect this year to bring interesting and life-altering changes, and I'm quite excited after having a very stressful and challenging year. I really did not like it one bit!! Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, I'm so ready to get rid of the old and anything that has weighed me down in the past. I'm ready to work with a clean slate, and to paint it with beautiful and vibrant colors. However, before I officially start this year, there are few items I need to take care of. 

To begin, I will need to detox/cleanse my body by doing the following:

-Drink more water (I will need to add lemon or cucumber to make it more appealing). 
-Take vitamins (Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D3, and Luminous & Brilliance vitamins)
-Drink Metamucil to help with digestion (I know, I sound like an old lady).
-Detox every 6 months (with Magnesium Citrate).
-Exercise 3 times a week. 
-Eat better (more veggies and fruit; eat less meat).

Aside from all the things I want to do to rid my body of toxins, I want to finish some products I've had for the past year that I did not like, but stored instead. I want to focus on natural and organic products that aren't so harsh on the skin and hair. Once I follow and stick to a healthy regimen, I know I will feel 10x's better. 

Pile of products I so desperately want to 
throw away but don't want to waste:
-Nivea Express Hydration (too sticky)
-Issey Miyake Eau de Toilette Spray (smells OLD)
-Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Deodorant 
(not "extremely" effective)
-Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner 
(replacing it w/ Eminence Ston Crop Toner)
-Aceite 3 Olive, Almond, Castor Oil
(already have Almond Oil, Castor Oil, 
and Rose Water to replace it)
-Cargo OneBase Concealer+Foundation 
-Stila Kajal Eye Liner
-L'Oreal Le Kohl Pencil (not dark enough)
-Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara (Discontinued)
-Jane Iredale Lash Conditioner (old and I didn't like it)
-CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara (I've used better mascaras)
-CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stains (ehh...)

-End result after using some of the products listed above. 
(Yes, I know....I need a good camera that won't make me look orange!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ladies, what are your GO-TO Jeans?

I am a denim junkie.  I love jeans and I work at a company that does not allow us to wear jeans, we don’t even have “Casual Fridays”.  *DISLIKE*

However, every weekend I make it a point to put on some denim.  I tend to enjoy a mixture of different brands, different colors and different styles.                                                                       

Some of my favorite brands include:
-True Religion;
-J Brand;
-Levis (Curve ID Line ROCKS); and
-7 for all Mankind. 

I currently LOVE my skinny jeans from Bebe, they seem to hug your body in all the right places and they do a GREAT job of accentuating your stems.  I just purchased my second color of the Signature Stretch Skinny Jean.  These are my go-to jeans, specifically for a night out.  These jeans cost $89.00 and definitely look high quality = SO WORTH IT.  Rock a pair of these jeans, either with boots, pumps, flats, etc., and you are guaranteed to look stylish.  To boot, they are so comfortable that I feel like I am wearing leggings every time I put these jeans on.

Try on a pair and who knows you may find your new favorite jeans. 

Here are some denim specifics, courtesy of the Bebe website:

Rise: 8". Inseam: 32". Leg opening: 10.5" ■45% lyocell, 29% polyester, 24% cotton, 2% spandex.
<3 JM

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nars Sheer Matte vs. Revlon Colorstay

So I'm on a quest to find the perfect foundation. I'm extremely picky when it comes down to what I "paint" my face with. I have oily/acne prone skin, and I'm always looking for foundation that is non-comedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, long lasting, and with medium coverage. If it is paraben-free, organic, and not tested on animals, even better! 

For a few years now, I have been using Revlon ColorStay on a regular basis. Even though I really like this foundation, I've been wanting to switch over to another foundation. I've watched countless YouTube reviews and read tons of reviews on various foundations. What I've realized is that every person's skin is different, and reacts differently to various products and ingredients. I've also learned that people have different taste and expectations from products. After much research (I seriously research EVERYTHING! Haha.), I decide to try Nars Sheer Matte, seeing that it matched my criteria for the "perfect" foundation. Many reviews RAVE about how AMAZING Nars Sheer Glow looks on them. I assumed that I would LOVE it too. Since I have oily skin, I decided that Nar Sheer Matte would be better for my type of skin. After a few test runs, I decided to compare it to Revlon Colorstay--my favorite drugstore foundation. 

Here are the results:

Syracuse - Medium/Dark

-The coverage is medium.
-The perfect skin tone match.

-Not long lasting. My skin is oily after four hours.
-The foundation is buildable but by the time I finish applying this foundation, my face looks cakey.
-I need to use concealer for my acne scars.
-The following day after using this product, I have some new undesirable bumps on my face. 
*Perhaps the Nars Sheer Glow is a better foundation but not for oily skin.


360 Golden Caramel - Combination/Oily Skin

-The coverage is medium to full, and it does a good job of covering my acne marks.
-The finish is natural looking; my face does not look completely matte.
-Although this foundation is not long lasting, I would say that it takes about 5/6 hours before I need to touch up again.
-This foundation does not clog my pores.
-I always return to this drugstore foundation.

-The color is a bit too dark for me; it almost looks like a bronzer.

Step 1:
Nars (above)
Revlon (below)

Step 2:

Step 3:

As you can see, Nars Sheer Matte is a better color match than Revlon ColorStay. However, at the end of the day, I prefer Revlon ColorStay. I will continue using this foundation until I find a "better" one. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.  :)

In case you're interested, I have tried following foundations in the past:

-Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Foundation 
-Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation-SPF 20
-Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder 
-Afterglow Cosmetics Organic Mineral Foundation (I want to give it a second chance.)
-Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder-SPF 20
-GloMinerals Makeup Loose Base
-Revlon Colorstay with Softflex
-Nars Sheer Matte Foundation

*My skin tone color is usually labeled as tan, caramel, or honey.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Noni 100 - Organic Noni Juice

About a month ago, one of my health conscious friends, Mayra, recommended that I start taking "noni shots", as she calls them.  While visiting a health and wellness store in Davis, CA, I decided I should give it a try. Although, she warned me that noni juice is not tasty and quite bitter.  Prior to my first swig, I started looking into the product information for Noni 100 and noni juice in general. I found the following product information online:

Benefits of Noni100:

• Very high in organic minerals, trace minerals, over 160 nutrients and other novel compounds, such as Damnacanthal, Anthraquinones, Acubin, Alazin, Asperuloside, Bioflavonoids, and Glycosides.*
• Supports healthy serotonin levels.*
• Supports healthy energy levels.*
• Supports healthy microbial balance.*
• Supports detoxification pathways of the body.*
• Supports healthy blood sugar levels.*
• Natural digestive bitter (nicknamed the "Ultimate Digestive Bitter"), rich in enzymes which may help support healthy digestion. Anthraquinones from Noni help support the natural activity of the entire digestive process.*
• Contains Scopoletin, which is believed to help support circulatory health. It also supports healthy immune function, as well as healthy inflammatory processes in the body.*
• Noni Juice is very acidic in nature and has a very low pH of 3.4-3.8. Despite Noni's low pH, its overall effect on the body is a balancing of proper acid-alkaline ratio, which is important to maintain good health.

I am on month #2 and bottle #2 of taking daily noni shots.  I can tell you that my energy levels are definitely up and this product provides me with a healthly detox system.  I am now a fan of noni juice, I urge you give it a try and see you reap any or all of the above benefits.

If you have any questions, please to do not hesitate to ask. =)

Disclaimer:  Noni juice tastes disgusting (I recently forced my room-mates to take a shot and they can both contest to the awful taste too).  I force myself to take a shot every morning when I wake up and the benefits are well worth the "pain".