Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I have a new blog!

I switched over to Wordpress and now blog at www.mygreengypsy.com.

Go check it out!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Get cash back when you shop online: Ebates really works!


A couple of years ago I discovered something I think EVERYONE should know about, especially if you do a lot of shopping online.  Have you heard of Ebates? This website is amazing! It takes 15 seconds to sign up online, and it's free.  The way it works is simple: Whenever you want to shop online at Nordstrom, Sephora, The Body Shop, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, eBay, or thousands of other stores, go to Ebates first, and link to the retailer through them. You'll get a percentage of CASH BACK on every purchase! Right now, you'll get 10% back at The Body Shop and 6% back at Teavana for example. Plus, Ebates will tell you if there are any coupon/promotion codes to use for extra discounts/free shipping/etc.!

Every 3 months you'll receive a check in the mail or a credit to your PayPal account. Here's the payment schedule:




Purchases Posted Between                       Big Fat Check Sent

Jan 1-Mar 31                                                  May 15

Apr 1-June 30                                                 Aug 15

July 1-Sept 30                                                 Nov 15

Oct 1-Dec 31                                                  Feb 15



I've been using Ebates for about 2 years, and always receive my money on time.  As a matter of fact, I already received my Big Fat Check (via PayPal) for November.  It's like a little bonus for the shopping I do online! This is especially handy during the holidays when it saves time to shop online and there are so many sales going on.  Do yourself a favor and do your shopping online, and use Ebates.  The rebate you get every couple of months is such a pleasant surprise!
You can also earn bonuses by referring friends. It's a win-win situation, because when your friend signs up for Ebates and makes their first purchase, they will receive a $5 bonus, and so will you!

Are you convinced?  It's free to signup, so go and get your $5 bonus and use Ebates next time you purchase something online. 

My link is  http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=QF%2BXG5%2BWaM2v7EtWF%2BNTyA%3D%3D


This is seriously amazing for those of us who love shopping online! The only catch...you have to remember to use it!! Instead of going to Sephora/Nordstrom/etc. directly, go to Ebates first, and click on the link to your store. That's how they track your cash back, so you can't forget to use Ebates. Another note: this works internationally, as long as the vendor ships to your country. 




Let me know if you have any questions about this amazing website. 





Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miessence Body and Hair Care Products: Wonders from Down Under

A few months ago I was contacted by Erin from elyorganics.  She wanted me to try out some body and hair care products from a brand called Miessence.  I had never heard of this company, so I did a little research before I agreed to give them a try.  Miessence is an organic beauty company based out of Australia, and they sell their products through direct sales reps (you're probably familiar with other direct sales businesses such as Avon and Mary Kay).  The wonderful thing about Miessence is that most of their products are certified organic (the organic products are labeled Miessence Certified Organic).  So this is something very unique and special, and I was certainly up to try it!

Erin has been using the products herself since 2005, is extremely knowledgeable, and available to answer questions.  Her website is elyorganics.com, and I would definitely recommend purchasing Miessence products from her.

Here are my thoughts on the products I tried:

Miessence Dessert Flower Shampoo
I really like this product.  Since I've switched to sulfate-free shampoos, I'm already used to the lack of rich lather, but this one does lather a fair amount and left my hair feeling clean, voluminous, and manageable.  The panthenol and organic avocado oil do a great job of adding moisture. 




Miessence Shine Herbal Hair Conditioner
I was pleasantly surprised by this product.  It doesn't have that heavy, greasy feeling of most conditioners, which at first worried me, as I thought it wouldn't be unable to detangle my hair and leave it feeling soft.  But I was wrong.  With just a small amount of product, it worked through my hair effortlessly, while untangling any knots and rinsing cleanly. I loved it! It has a light scent of herbs and a hint of apple cider vinegar. 


Miessence Sunflower Body Wash
With a delicious scent of citrus/grapefruit, this body wash foamed beautifully and left my skin feeling soft and smooth. 


Miessence Tahitian Breeze Deodorant
As long as you're aware that this is a deodorant and NOT an anti-perspirant, you'll have the proper expectations.  It worked fairly well at controlling odor, but does not control sweat.  It has a musky, masculine scent (likely from the patchouli oil); goes on very wet but dries quickly, and lasted about 5-6 hours before I could detect any, ahem, "natural" odor. 



Miessence is manufactured in Australia by the Organic and Natural Enterprise Group (ONEgroup). Another great thing about this company is that you can purchase most of their products in sample/trial size before committing to the full-size versions. 
As a special offer to my blog readers, you can use the code elyo20 for 20% off your purchase!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EOS Shave Cream in Lavender Jasmine- Is it a smooth move?

A few months ago I reviewed the spherical lip balm by EOS: Evolution of Smooth. When I purchased the product from Walgreen's, I also picked up the shave cream.  I went with the Lavender Jasmine formula because I liked the purple bottle and it smelled feminine and delicate.  I just finished the bottle, so I've had a fair amount of time to try it out and develop an opinion.  Will I purchase it again? No.  Here's why:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My new nail product love: Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

When I saw this product written up in SHAPE magazine, I knew it was something I had to try and report my findings to my loyal viewers and readers. I've always hated the way nail polish remover smells, dries out my nails, and gives me a headache.  I've used non-acetone varieties and brands that infuse vitamins into the product that supposedly make them less damaging to your nails, but the results were still the same: a stinky product (literally and figuratively) that left my nails and cuticles in terrible condition. 

This shows how much product I used

After I read the SHAPE article, I visited the company's website and sent an email to the owner, Nausil, to see if I could try a sample of the product to review for my readers/viewers.  I was graciously sent a full-size bottle of the unscented version to try. Upon receipt, I opened the bottle to take a whiff--no unpleasant odor. The magic truly began when I attempted to remove the week-old coat of varnish I was sporting on my tips.  I tipped the bottle over twice to get some product on a cotton round, and began to remove the polish as I normally would.  The first thing I noticed is that it does take a little extra elbow grease to remove, but within seconds, the polish began melting off.  The difference is, instead of dissolving any moisture on your nails and cuticles, this product actually leaves them shiny and moisturized.  And here's the clincher: I was able to remove the polish from all ten nails with only ONE cotton round (Update: When removing a darker color, another cotton pad was necessary to remove the dark residue on my cuticles/skin).  That's an amazing feat--standard nail polish removers evaporate so quickly and usually require 4-5 cotton rounds soaked in product in order to do the trick. 

The cotton pad after removing polish from 10 nails
After a quick handwashing to remove any oily residue, I was able to polish my tips with a fresh coat of lacquer.  I'm thoroughly impressed with this product.  It will last me a long time, save me from the stench and headaches of traditional removers, and also save me from wasting a lot of cotton rounds. 

* 100% Biodegradable

* 100% Soy based

* Non-toxic

* Non-carcinogenic

* Free of any Petroleum Ingredients

* Derived from Farm Crops which in turn supports American farming

* Packaged in 100% recyclable glass bottles

Ingredients: Propylene Carbonate, Soybean oil methyl exter, Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E)
I checked the Cosmetic Safety Database, and all ingredients are safe!
Retail price: $12.00 for 4 ounces


Friday, October 15, 2010

American Apparel Nail Polish Review

Because I don't have enough nail polish (yeah, right!), I recently purchased 6 nail polishes from American Apparel for $30 plus tax.  They offer a discount when you buy in sets of 3, so I thought that would make the most sense. ;) These polishes are DBP, toluene and formaldehyde-free and manufactured in the U.S.

The shades I purchased were Hunter, Passport Blue, Butter, Office, Peacock, and Mouse.  I must say, I'm quite impressed with these polishes.  I love the creamy formula- no sparkle, shimmer, or glitter in sight.  The formula itself is neither too runny nor too thick. Like Goldilocks said, "it's juuuuusst right!" 


Here is Office, a true pale mint green.  I've tried other mints, and this one is my favorite! Not too bright or cloying, it's a very soft and flattering tone. 


<>
Office- After 6 days of wear

Peacock
   I also love Peacock--a perfect mix between blue and green with a hint of dustiness to make it more wearable.  Very unique and truly gorgeous, and completely opaque with only one coat.


My only complaint about these polishes would be the size of the brush.  It's a little small/narrow, which increases your chances of a sloppy application with visible brush strokes. 

You can purchase these polishes at any American Apparel store, or on their website. Check http://www.retailmenot.com/ for coupon codes, as they recently just had 30% off plus free shipping! Their website current states that there are new shades coming soon, so I'll definitely be one of the first to check those out.



Monday, August 9, 2010

Product Review: Tarte Lifted Eye Primer

About two years ago, I didn't even know what an eyeshadow primer was, much less have it as part of my daily makeup routine.  I just accepted the fact that at the end of the day, I would have little lines and creases in my eyeshadow.  Boy, was I in the dark!!

Thanks to the magic of YouTube videos, I saw all these makeup gurus talking about this miracle product, Urban Decay Primer Potion (affectionately known as UDPP).  I've tried it and think it's okay, but I have 2 complaints: 1) The packaging does not allow you to access the majority of the product in the tube 2) It leaves a chalky residue on my lids that can be difficult to blend.

Searching for an alternative, I stumbled upon the Tarte Lifted eye primer at Sephora.  It has sleek packaging, a doe foot applicator, and retails for $20. 

I've been extremely happy with this product and I'm now on my second tube.  The consistency is thin and silkly (easy to apply), my shadows last all day, and it's paraben free!

I will note that the product claims to also reduce eyelid wrinkles.  I can't say that I've noticed much of a difference, but in all fairness, I don't really have wrinkly eyelids to begin with (not yet at least!). 

What's your favorite eyeshadow primer? If you don't have one, give this a try!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean!



In my latest YouTube video, I'm wearing China Glaze's Peachy Keen polish on my tips. It has a cream finish with no sparkle or shimmer in a juicy shade of peach/cantaloupe.  It's very unique....I love it!

I know I'm way behind on this, but I wanted to share my love for this collection of nailpolishes from China Glaze.  This came out in their spring Up and Away collection, and I have several other shades from the collection as well. I've really been loving these creamy pastel shades this summer!  These polishes apply so perfectly....it's really easy to get a flawless manicure with them.



What do you have on your nails right now?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Natural and Organic: What Exactly Does That Mean?


Shopping for natural skincare, cosmetics, and body care products can be a somewhat daunting task. Because the words "natural" and "organic" are used so loosely and without regulation (contrary to popular belief, the FDA does not regulate the sale of skin care and cosmetic products!), there is a lot of confusion about what those terms actually mean.  Without any regulation, the reality is that many personal care products sold in the United States contain ingredients that have been BANNED in other countries!  Shocking, isn't it?
I hear beauty gurus on YouTube, makeup artists, and sales reps in department stores frequently describe a product as "organic" when it doesn't even contain a single organic ingredient!  There is so much bad information being passed around, it's hard to tell what is what, isn't it?  So as a consumer, what are we to do? Who can you trust if you're looking for truly toxin-free products to use?

Luckily there are organizations out there like the EWG and NPA that have created standards and definitions so that consumers can educate themselves in order to make informed decisions about the products we use on ourselves and our families.  So, in order to simplify things, I'm going to do my best to explain the differences in terminology so that you'll know exactly what you're getting. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

9 reasons to love summer

Besides the gorgeous warm weather, here are a few reasons why summer is my favorite time of year:

1. Watermelon. There is nothing like biting into a fresh, juicy watermelon and having the juice drip down your chin.  I love it; and to me, watermelon just SCREAMS summer!!
2.  PinkBerry.  I know I can have PinkBerry any time of year, but there is something about enjoying this      frozen delight in summer that is just.....amazing.  It's light, tasty, and when you cover it in fresh fruit like I like to do, it's a healthy summery treat!
 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bubble and Bee Organic Products- and a contest!

If you saw my YouTube video, you know how excited I am about Bubble and Bee Organic beauty products.  Now that I've been using the products every day for the past couple of weeks, let me just tell you....I'm obsessed!  I love everything about this company- the packaging, the scent of the products (omigosh, the SCENT!), the personal service, the company philosophy and dedication to safety in cosmetics, the wealth of information they provide about what ingredients to avoid, and the effectiveness of the products. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics

Wouldn't it be great if there were a short, hard-hitting video about toxic chemicals in cosmetics and what their impact on our health - a video that could reach millions?



It's coming! The Story of Cosmetics, a 7-minute film from the good people at The Story of Stuff Project, Free Range Studios and (of course) the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, launches July 21.





I'm a big fan of The Story of Stuff, so when I heard that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (a GREAT resource for info about detoxifying your beauty product stash) was coming out with the Story of Cosmetics, this made my day!  As consumers, we deserve to know and understand what ingredients are added to the products we use, so that we can make more informed choices about what we're putting on our skin (and ultimately in our bloodstreams, tissues, and organs).  Unfortunately our governmental agencies have been very "soft" in their regulations for ingredients used in cosmetics products, but fortunately there are some great organizations helping to educate consumers.  If you watch my YouTube channel, you know I'm a proponent for toxin-free beauty products.  Do yourself a favor and check out the website for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environment Working Group.  They offer a plethora of information!

Help spread the word, and tell your family and friends about The Story of Cosmetics, which is coming soon!
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