Thursday, October 29, 2015

**REVIEW** Deluxe Botanicals Castor Oil

This 100% pure & organic castor oil by Deluxe Botanicals surprised me. Pleasantly.

It's not the first castor oil I've used, of course, but it's the first "clear" castor oil I've used since I was a kid and my Mom and one of the Grands would make us kids eat a spoonful everyday. Ick.

This one is not for ingesting. It's for the hair, skin and nails.


When I got it, I noticed that unlike, the castor oils I've been buying locally (black ash oils), this one was in a bottle with a dropper. I love having a dropper for oils because they make it easier for dispensing and adding to other bottles.

Where this oil surprised me right off the bat is with how freaking thick is is!

The other castor oils I've used are not thin or watery, but this one is so thick that it reminds me of corn syrup. And that is part of the beauty of it.

Because the oil is thick, I thought it would be too heavy for using as a moisturizer. I don't want a thick, greasy mess left on my hands, and I really don't want to use anything like that on my face, right?

No worries. I did test it on my face (and neck) and it really didn't bother my pores. I just rubbed some water and a drop of the oil in my hands and patted it onto my face and neck before bedtime. I think it helped a lot because the house is really dry with the heat turned up for winter. Ugh!

Of course I mainly wanted to test this on my hands and nails. The Deluxe Botanicals goes on thick, but not too sticky and, after about 2 or 3 minutes (maybe less), it has absorbed completely. I mean completely. My hands (and nails) were very nourished without any sign of greasiness.

When I tested the oil on my body (legs and feet), I got the same results. I just let the castor oil absorb before I on clothing.

Because thisi is a 4-ounce bottle, I'm not going to waste it using it full-body. I added several dropperfuls to a bottle of the lotion I'm taking with me on vacation and left it at that. I'm saving the rest to use on my hair and nails (and my feet).

When I'm not sponge-curling my natural hair, I like to do a 2-strand twist of cornrows overnight. Tonight, I did my twist-rows, then used the castor oil on my scalp in between rows. I want to see how my scalp feels tomorrow when I take my hair down. I will let you know at the finish of this review.

My pre-bed look:
Looking like Celie! LOL

I just oiled my scalp bewtween the twist-rows
This oil is also supposed to be good for acne treatment, but I can't test for that. I do know that when I remembered to try it on my lips it felt great. (If your lips are currently chapped and peeling, apply the oil and let it set for a minute, then do a mild cloth or sugar scrub. I noticed that this worked excellent with some sugar for a scrubbing.) There isn't a strong taste to it, thank goodness. I'm going to try using it a few minutes before I apply lipstick because, for some reason, some lipsticks suck all the moisture right out of my smackers.

Finally, the $14.48 Prime price seems reasonable to me for the 4-ounce bottle because I will be adding this to other products and saving some for direct application. This works well enough to add to my oil purchases in the future and I'm glad that I got to try it out.Also there is a 30-day guarantee. If you don't see results, you get your money back. Good deal.

I checked out Deluxe Botanicals Facebook page and noticed that they share some nice tips and hints. I especially like the "Essential Oil Conversions" chart.


DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Let's Talk About Lipstick (Dark Ladies Editon)

I've threatened before to blog about lipsticks because I have such a hard time finding shades complimentary to my, um, deep shade of dark! I don't even want to think about the time I spend searching out foundation.

Next time, I will focus on foundation. For now, let's talk lipcolor.

Any woman who buys cosmetics know that prices aren't a great indication of quality. I've spent up to $20 for, say, lip color that was no better than the $2 and under selection at a beauty supply store. I think the main thing any of us want in our makeup is basic:

  • A complimentary shade - or at least one that doesn't indicate we should be wearing a rubber nose and comic shoes.
  • Something that sticks. To our lips or face and not to our teeth or clothing.
  • A decent price.
  • Availability.
I have the best luck finding good shades of lip and face color at those little neighborhood beauty supply stores. Unfortunately the neighborhood is usually in a zip code that requires I buy a plane ticket. The best blusher I ever found was in a shop right down the block from a niece of mine who lives in Arizona.

Online shopping is only an option for replenishing shades you've already tried. A shade that looks perfect on my computer screen is not always even close to what I get when USPS delivers the package.

Here are some of the lipsticks that I have used (or tried to). 

The shades are:

 Black Radiance


 Pur Minerals

 Lorac (lipstick)

Lorac lipstick only
Lorac (gloss)

Lorac gloss only

Lorac lipstick and gloss



Urban Decay

My fave!

See what I mean? All of those are great colors, but not all of them work with my skin hue. I lke to put on my liptick once I'm outside in whatever light there is. So far, my favorite is Urban Decay's "Shame". I like it for whatever time of day it is because it makes me feel fierce. Seriously, I just have a thing for very deep reds.

Though they look very similar by sight, Urban Decay's "Shame" is a much deeper red than the "Dominatrix" from Lorac. "Shame" is a deep color even when applied with the lightest touch. plus it stays on longer than any of the other shades. If I need to tone it down a bit, I can use just about any of the lighter glosses. (Too bad about the name of my fave shade!)

Because I just recently got the Urban Decay lipstick (and it's the first ever time I've tried a U. D. product), I will be checking that brand for other cosmetics. I like that it's great quality and will last me a while - cos I don't have to use so much to get an effect that lasts a long time. 

Like I said, this post is just for lipstick (mostly because I got tired halfway through taking the photos!), but we'll get to foundations one day. 

One last thing about the subject: In the case of lip color, you can sometimes tweak one shade by adding another shade or product. With foundation, that can be a disaster. You might get a better matching shade but usually you end up looking painted up rather than prettied up. I prefer wearing all-over color that looks and feels natural. If I didn't mind being plastered with goo, I could get a great look all the time.

Do other women struggle as much as I do with the whole makeup issue? I hope not. I mean, I've just written a whole blog post on the subject...


* I might not have purchased the items shown from the same sources.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Encouragement (in song)

This has been a very rough couple of months and my little vacation is still more than a week away.

I've been playing this on repeat and it's so much what my soul needed. So I thought I would share the video and lyrics. Somebody out there needs to hear this as much as I do.

Lyrics are from Metro Lyrics

God's On Your Side Lyrics

by Mississippi Mass Choir

Verse I:
Listen, Some Days are weary
Choir: Some Days you're weary
Soloist: And you can't see your way
Choir: And you can't see your way
Soloists: Some nights are lonely
Choir: Some nights are lonely
Soloist: With no one to say
Choir: With no one to say
Soloist: It's Only a Test
Choir: This is Only a Test
Soloist: You can take it
Choir: You can take it
Soloist: And don't you think nothing less
Choir: And Don't you think nothing less
Sop & Altos: So wipe the tears from your eyes
Tenors: (wavering) Eyes
Sop: (Wavering) Eyes
Choir: God on your side
Chorus: 2x's
Choir: Hold On Don't quit, Gods on your side
Choir: He can handle it, Gods on your side
Verse I:
Choir: Some Days you're weary
And you can't see your way
Some nights are lonely
With no one to say
This is only a test
You can take it
Don't you think nothing less
Sop & Altos: So wipe the tears from your eyes
Tenors: (wavering) Eyes
Sop: (Wavering) Eyes
Choir: God on your side
Chorus: 2x's
Choir: Hold On Don't quit,
Woman Soloist: Hold on don't quit
Choir: Gods on your side
Woman soloist: Gods on your side
Choir: He can handle it,
Woman Soloist: He will handle it
Choir: Gods on your side
Repeat Chorus: woman soloist adlib
Woman: He's on your side Listen
Hold on
Woman Soloist: Hold on
Choir: Hold On
Hold On.. o.. on...
Hold on Don't, Quit, Gods On your side
Repeat 5 x's go up 5th -7th time
[Choir Repeat bridge while soloist adlibs]:
Soloist: Hold on to Gods unchanging hand
He'll never leave or forsake you
He will be there in the midnight hour
Look to the hills from whence comes your help
Your help comes from the Lord
Don't you get weary
He will
Can I tell you how to hold on
I'm a living witness that god will
Anybody know god will
I can do all things through Christ can anyone do all things through Christ
Look at your neighbor and say god will
Choir: Gods On your side (repeat till end)
Woman soloist adlib throughout

Good night, friends.


**REVIEW** Greens Plus Superfood Raw

When I mentioned that I was finally getting some energy back and would try catching up on reviews, this is something that I believe helped a little bit:

I got it because I want to get rid of some of this "sad weight" I've put on. I actually should calling it "saddage weight" since it is from mood and age! Ha!

Greens Plus Superfood Raw was a bit of an impulse buy. I was strolling through the local Carrs/Safeway store's health food section, trying to find something that would help with the whole "I seriously need energy" thing. When I saw the GPSR, I recalled reading something in a forum about such "superfood" blends helping with the immune system. Another benefit I could use. With a $25 dollar price tag, the GPSR should probably come with a blender and some utensils...

I googled to see where else the product might be available locally for cheaper, and... No such luck. Since I haven't really done anything frivolous with the recent PFD money I got, I went ahead and splurged. Because I will return for refund if something I buy doesn't work for me.

What almost made me return it was what it looks like.

Yuck, right?

What made me give the first taste a try was remembering how yucky my wheat grass powder also looks. It's not as yucky as it looks, so...

Let's check the label one more time to see if I might be able to use this stuff:

That's a lot of stuff - green and otherwise. Of course, I had to Google most of the ingredients.

Whenever I read an ingredient list like this, I realize how little I have lived, travelled or hung out with people who read nature magazines. 

You can check out the links to the various ingredients - or at least the links I found interesting - but I can tell you about the taste of this blend. It is not bad. Not bad at all. 

I'm pretty relieved about the taste because I read some of the Amazon reviews and, boy, some people went in!

While the taste is not bad, I hate the slight grit. Maybe if I blended the powder into a smoothie, it would be better, but I don't really have my own kitchen so that's kind of a hassle. I simply add the powder to about 8 ounces of any juice with a strong flavor of its own. Apple cider works best, but I also use regular apple juice. Yesterday, I added some to one of those sugar-laden aloe drinks and that didn't work out so well. For one thing, the powder clumped up with the aloe pulp. For another thing, too much sweetness. Ick. I will stick with the apple ciders and juices.

I think that blending this would help with the grittiness. For now, I just add a touch more juice to thin out the dregs. The taste would be pleasant if not for the grit. 

The suggestion on the label is to do 1 scoop,3 times a day. The first couple of days I stuck to that, but I forgot the third scoop until late last night. There does seem to be a bit of an energy boost - or maybe that's psychosomatic? - so I didn't want to use the powder so close to bedtime. However real the energy boost is, I will say that I don't feel so hungry all the time. 

My feeling is that this adds a lot of nutrients that I'm not getting (when I let my eating habits go downhill) so my body is not craving as much. Basically what I have been doing the past week is fixing a pot of pinto beans with seasoned ground beef and, throughout the day, eating four or five small servings with corn bread. Beans are fiber (filling), meat is good protein (and flavorful), and cornbread is, well... cornbread is just delicious.

I have just about 10 days before I travel. I'd like to not look like a half opened can of biscuits. My bloating is down (in spite of the beans) and I stay full longer.

So, if you are wondering about this product, I can tell you that it's really doesn't taste bad. It's probably yummy in simple smooties. Matter of fact, this might be great for when you only have some liquid and one fruit but want a smoothie as a meal replacement. ~shrug~

Finally, there is one HUGE negative I  see with this (other than the grit) is that it's sold by weight. I was  very disappointed at the cost when I opened the container and saw that almost  a third of it was just air. I mean, why the deception with the too-big container? That's something that will make me look around for a different brand next time.


P.S.: I didn't link to this brand because I am put off by the packaging. When I see a can that big, I expect more product for the money and the brands know that!

Friday, October 23, 2015

**REVIEW** Dr Sleepwell SnoreStoppers

This is probably the most fun I have had reviewing a product that I didn't actually use for myself.

First of all, I am trying not to call out the family member who snores so loud that the rest of us feel like we are sleeping around a giant boombox set to extreme BASS!!! Seriously, we love him to death, but I'm sure that his snores rattle the windows.

When I told Mister Snore's wife that I could apply to try these...

Those simple-looking little things in that photo are Dr Sleepwell Snore Stoppers.

She almost logged into my account to order them on the spot. Of course, I was really hoping that "Dr Sleepwell" and his 'Snore Stoppers' would work. I don't mind when I try something that I don't like, but the last time Mister Snore's wife tried a product with me, we both lost some hair. True story.

Anyway, there's not much process to figuring out if these little silicone (medical grade silicone) wonders would work. You insert them as instructed and go to sleep.

Mister Snore had to try the different ones in the pack to find the ones that felt most comfortable, but he had choices. This is what comes in the kit:

  • 1 pair of LARGE SIZE SnoreStoppers with rings for extra stability 
  • 1 pair of SMALL SIZE SnoreStoppers with rings for extra stability 
  • 1 regular pair of LARGE SIZE SnoreStoppers for extra comfort 
  • 1 regular pair of SMALL SIZE SnoreStoppers for extra comfort 
  • a TRAVEL & STORAGE box 
  • an INSTRUCTION MANUAL about HOW to use and clean the SnoreStoppers properly
To be honest, I didn't inspect the different sizes, but Mister Snore did and all I care is that they work. His wife is happy, I'm happy, the neighbors up to three houses down are happy... (Kidding. He's not that bad. Not quite.)

One of the things I didn't notice until after I'd given these to Mister Snore is that, wearing these Snore Stoppers, the user gets more airflow and oxygen with each breath. That sounds healthier to my layperson mind. More oxygen should mean better for the user all around, right? The product info does discuss this, along with the relief from sleep apnea.

The biggest thing about this giving everyone in the house some nighttime relief (especially Mister Snore's wifey) is that there are no medicines or supplements involved. Such a simple idea for amazing results.
Image result for snoring

These are a great bargain (especially at the Prime price, which is less than lunch for two) but, if you aren't happy with them, you will be happy with the guarantee:

"100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Since Satisfaction of our customers is our main priority we offer you a Hassle Free Money Back Guarantee."

That is straight from the horse's, um product page.


I received this product via Giveaway Service in exchange for providing a fair and honest review.