Tag Archives: surprise

Skin Care Surprise

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Skin Care Surprise

Hi everyone and happy weekend! One thing that I am passionate about in the world of beauty is really good skin care products. I love my staple serums and moisturizers from The Body Shop, but I am always willing to try out new, cruelty free products if the opportunity presents itself.

I have grown increasingly more impressed with the beauty section of TJMaxx during every shopping trip that I make there. Every single time, there seems to be new brands of makeup, skin care, and bath and body care products to try out. And, the fact that they have the bath and body goodies from The Body Shop for a fraction of the in store price is a definite plus, too!

I was running low on my staple skin care products of my Vitamin E moisturizer and Vitamin C Skin Boost from TBS, so I thought that I would try to find something new from TJMaxx. Unfortunately, there is no longer a Body Shop close by to me, as the one near my home closed down. Because I was too low on my supplies to order online, I ended up with these two products from TJs, instead. Take a look:

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  • Dermapeutics Vitamin C Serum – $8 (Originally $45!!)
  • Spa Cosmetics Vitamin C Day Cream – $6

Skin care that offers an extra boost of radiance is very important to me when it comes to protecting my pasty pale complexion. It’s very easy for pale skin to take on an almost pallid and dull appearance when it’s not cared for properly – and that is so not the look that I’m going for! To prevent this from happening, what better method to use than some skin care products chock full of Vitamin C?!

I swear by my Vitamin C Skin Boost from The Body Shop, but I have to admit that I am looking forward to trying this new serum by Dermapeutics out. After a closer look at the box, I saw that this serum was originally FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS!! That’s crazy! I’ve never used a skin care product before that I would consider overly expensive, so it will be exciting to see what an almost fifty dollar serum feels like and if it differs greatly from what I normally use.

As for moisturizers, I’m not exactly married to the Vitamin E one from TBS, although it definitely might seem that way. Honestly, it doesn’t matter that much to me what kind of moisturizer I’m using, because my skin type is extremely normal. I usually just stock up on my Vitamin E if TBS has a good deal on it, though, because it’s easier than searching out a new moisturizer every time that I need more. Am I excited to try my new Spa Cosmetics moisturizer? Sure – it’s always fun to try something new. Do I care all that much, though? Not really, lol.

No matter how I feel about my new products either way, it will definitely be a Skin Care Surprise! I’ll be sure to report back on the products once they’re all finished up in my monthly empties post. Which skin care products do you swear by? Where do you usually shop at for skin care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Assembling A Grooming Kit For The Man In Your Life

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Assembling A Grooming Kit For The Man In Your Life

There’s no denying that women get the best stuff when it comes to beauty. We get the clothes, shoes, and accessories. And, to top it all, we get the beauty products. While more men are admitting to using moisturizer, it’s still not the norm. And, male makeup is even less so. While we get to luxuriate in lipsticks and explore with eyeliner, men get funny looks if they put so much as a splash of foundation on. It’s a shame.

A more intense grooming routine might not be on your guy’s radar. But there’s no better time than the present to introduce them to one! If you feel bad your man doesn’t have a beauty kit to match yours, it might be time to treat him to one of his own. Of course, you need to specify to his needs, so why not focus on shaving? If he’s seen this as a purely practical part of life thus far, he’s sure to appreciate a little added luxury to his routine. Here are a few ways that you can provide it:

A New Razor: Start by stocking up on new razors. He may already have one that is functional – but, functional won’t cut it. Instead, get him the best choice possible by looking at reviews like the ones on iwantashaver.com. During your research, look out for options that have something special. Perhaps they’re tailored for comfort or have a few extra clip ons. Either way, you want something that stands apart from what he’s already got to add that extra sense of luxury.

Beard Oil: Recent years have seen a significant boost to beard oil sales. These wonderful smelling oils give any beard a much-needed shimmer. Encourage your man to add on to his morning routine by buying him a kit with a few different oils. This is an added touch of pampering, which he’ll surely grow to love!

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Fancy stuff!

Shaving Cream: As with the razor, your man probably has shaving cream already. But, any old option isn’t going to help him enjoy shaving sessions. Instead, look into some more upmarket options. Something scented with a smell he adores is sure to go down well. Find a scent that’s invigorating for his morning routine to dissipate any grumpiness before that first cup of coffee!

Brushes: Of course, that cream won’t do any good if he has no way to apply it. He could always us his fingers, but it’s hardly the best way to a winning beauty routine. Instead, it’s worth buying him a set of shaving brushes. If you don’t fancy a whole set, you could choose a top-quality standalone which will provide the same experience.

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I want one of those for me! 😀

Somewhere To Keep It All: Us women keep our makeup in bags or vanity cases. But, men more often than not shove their shaving stuff wherever it fits. Stop that habit by buying him a bag of his own, like this one at www.sleepypandapieces.com. Not only is this more practical, but it ensures that his beauty routine will feel like more of an event. Just like you, he’ll have to get his kit out before he can get ready each morning!

Everyone needs a little pampering in their lives and it’s easy to forget that guys do, too. Surprise him with a shaving kit just in time for the end of No Shave November for extra brownie points for days!

Featured Image By: Maxpixel

Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition

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Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous weekend and are beginning your week feeling refreshed and ready to go. So, as most of you have gathered by now, I am far from a religious person. This is ironic, considering I spent my years up until high school attending school and church in a Roman Catholic setting. But from as young as five years old, I knew that religion just wasn’t something that I was interested in.

Despite these feelings (which is not what this post is about), I do have a deep appreciation of the beauty of churches as well as religious imagery. Specifically, rosaries. I can remember being really young and loving to wear rosaries and to this day have a special drawing towards them. This has led me to beginning my collection of rosary style jewelry, a la Bono, my U2 front man celebrity crush.

In my collection, I actually have a beautiful black rosary that was blessed by Pope Francis, which was gifted to me by my brother. But the other two in my arsenal are from my beloved mama, who knows my style all too well thanks to hundreds of shopping trips throughout the ages.

My mom knows exactly how to make someone feel special. Whether it be through her kind words, lending an ear to listen to your problems, or picking out a treat just for you when she’s out shopping – my mom does it all. I can’t tell you the amount of times that she’s come home from trips to Target or the grocery store with a box of hair dye for me or a new shade of nail polish for my sister and, of course, a new makeup or polish shade to treat herself with, too.

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Ever since I was little, I can remember mom coming home with her shopping to tell me or one of my siblings that she has a “surprise” in the bag for one of us. As a child, I lived for that. And as a twenty-three year old adult, I still do. Knowing that someone picked something out special for you is a delight that I treasure so deeply. Finding out that someone saw a piece of jewelry or a color that reminded them of you so much as to purchase it for them is a marvel that never gets old to me. Kindness is something that I value beyond all other qualities and, to me, this exudes such divine kindness and generosity.

This past weekend was really rough for yours truly. My mom knew this and saved an afternoon of us running errands last Sunday to tell me that she has a “surprise” for me, which she had been carrying around in her purse. She waited until we were done with our shopping and in the car to leave for home to gift me with the most gorgeous necklace that I’ve ever seen:

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I literally gasped out loud when I opened the small black box that my mom presented me with and saw this amazing rosary necklace sitting inside of it. This Louisa L brand necklace was made in Italy and on the back of the charm with the Blessed Mother features the Italian “Ruega Por Nosotros” or “Pray for us”.

My new rosary necklace has everything that I love – the color, the style, and the thought behind it, which made this the most wonderful gift to receive. My mom had gotten this present days before my unfortunate weekend, but waited until a “rainy day” to give it to me. I am so happy that she did, because it left me feeling infinitely better and so loved. Thank you, mom!! I LOVE YOU! ❤

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Sweet Surprises Edition! What is something that makes you feel better when you’re feeling down? What is the best “just because” present that you have ever received? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Surprising Truths About Coming Off Of Birth Control

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4 Surprising Truths About Coming Off Of Birth Control

Birth control has offered women more freedom than our forebears would have ever been able to imagine. Not only does it give us the chance to take full control over our reproductive choices, but it can also be used to ease the suffering that painful periods can cause.

However, with every up there tends to be a down – and birth control has its downsides. For some women, the side effects can be severe. Rather annoyingly, those side effects can be similar to the hormonal problems that they were hoping birth control would help – there’s never any predicting with synthetic hormones! The much-vaunted male contraceptive injection actually had its trial stopped as the subjects were struggling so much with the same side effects that female birth control can produce (Boohoo!)

Side effects aside, there are other reasons for coming off of birth control. The most obvious, of course, is in an attempt to get pregnant.

Whatever your reason for ditching the birth control, it’s not as simple as letting it run out and going back to normal. While using the medication, having the injection, or implant – your female hormones have been being controlled in a synthetic manner. Your body is thus going to need a little time to adjust back to normal – which can be quite the shock if you’re not expecting it. So in an effort to ensure that no one comes off of birth control uninformed, here are a few of the problems that you might find yourself experiencing:

#1 – It’ll Take a While to Become Fertile Again

If you have come off of birth control in pursuit of pregnancy, then you’re going to have to be patient. It can take up to six months for your body to regulate itself and settle into a reliable menstrual cycle. Only at this point can you begin to think of conceiving. The clock doesn’t start the moment you get rid of your birth control, it starts six months down the line.

This is important to bear in mind when it comes to worrying about a perceived failure to conceive. What seems like seven months of trying without success can actually be only a month. There is still plenty of time before you need to think about delving into resources about fertility medications and taking medical advice. It’s advisable to wait at least a year after you have ceased using birth control before worrying about a lack of conception. While 20% of women are able to fall pregnant within a month of stopping birth control, medical professionals are unlikely to want to investigate too far until the oft-quoted six months has passed.

#2 – Hormonal Acne Makes a Comeback

One of the more pleasant side effects of birth control is that it can help reduce acne, especially if you’re taking the so-called “mini pill”. Of course, the moment that you stop using the medication, there’s a chance that your acne will return.

Hormonal acne is one of the more stubborn forms of acne. If you have more than a few zits per month or the ones that you do have are deep, cystic, and cause a lot of pain – then there’s no point continuing to suffer through it. Speak to your doctor about your options for managing the condition and start a skincare regime, with a specific focus on using BHA, a form of acid found in skin, to help get to the root of the problem.

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Whomp whomp

#3 – Be Aware of Your Need for Vitamin D

Rather surprisingly, scientific evidence has shown that women who stop using birth control are liable to see depletions in their Vitamin D levels. It’s important that you get to know the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, so that you can be ready for action should you begin to display any signs of them.

Of course, you can also just skip right to the obvious and begin taking a Vitamin D supplement when you finish your last round of birth control. If you decide to go the natural route, then Vitamin D is primarily derived from sunlight – but make sure that you keep exposure short, and continue to use an SPF when out in the sunshine for long periods.

#4 – You Might Experience Some Emotional Upset

Most of us are well aware of what hormonal changes can do to our moods. When you stop using birth control, you may find that you have a couple of weeks where you feel like you’re in permanent PMS. It sounds miserable, but it will pass. You just need to ride it out; eventually your natural hormonal rhythms will take over and you’ll return to feeling like your usual self.

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There’s no doubt that coming off of birth control can mean changes for your body – but it’s definitely a storm that you’re going to be able to weather!

Featured Image By: Wikipedia

New Earrings Surprise

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New Earrings Surprise

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! I hope that all of you are having a fabulous week so far. So this past weekend my mom surprised me and my sister with new matching earrings and they are SO pretty. She got my new little beauties from Target and I was pleasantly surprised because they are pretty hit or miss with their jewelry selection, in my most humble opinion. My mom hit the nail on the head with these dangling darlings so take a look and let’s discuss:

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^^^ Love.

It’s nice to know that my mom didn’t break the bank with these eight buck beauties for me and my sister. But, it’s even nicer to know that she saw these and thought of us enough to actually buy them. Little gifts and surprises like my new earrings make me so happy because everyone likes to be thought of every once in a while. To come home to my mom saying that she bought something special just for me automatically gave me the warm fuzzies. And I’m even warmer AND fuzzier considering that I’m beyond obsessed with my terrestrial themed earrings! :*)

I LOVE YOU, MOM!!!!!!!! ❤

So there you have it, my New Earrings Surprise compliments of my darling mama! What is your favorite gift that someone has given you? How do you like to surprise your loved ones? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Spring Surprise

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Spring Surprise

Hiiiii! This morning as I was leaving the house, I caught a little pretty something out of the corner of my eye while I was in the car. Among all of the brown leaves and dry grass, a little yellow crocus was popping out to say an early spring hello. I didn’t have time to snap a quick pic then but as I was taking the dogs out this afternoon I just had to take one! It was so cute and wittle and it made me so happy to see! Take a look:

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After kind of a blah few days, it was so nice to see a tiny pop of color as a Spring Surprise and a preview of hopefully some lovely blooms to come. There’s nothing like a brave little crocus showing off its petals to brighten your day and get you hyped for warmer weather, all floral everything, and a new spring season here on lifewithlilred!

Happy Tuesday!

Ruby Tulip Update

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Ruby Tulip Update

Hello! As you guys know, the final treat for my Think Spring guest bloggers series is a very special roll on fragrance oil brought to you by my dear friend, Angela, of Angie’s Bath & Body. Last week, I received the two potential fragrances for Ruby Tulip in the mail and let me just say, they smell good. Like…really good. This week has been dedicated to getting as many of my girlfriends to test out both fragrances to see which way the public opinion sways and it has been such fun introducing them to the potential Ruby Tulip scent.

As soon as I decide which fragrance is the winner, the Ruby Tulip roll on oil will be available to my readers. Angela and I also have a special promo code that will be posted when the fragrance launches to give all of you a fantastic deal! I am SO excited to have such a talented scentstress creating my very own fragrance line and can’t wait to share it with all of you!

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Which mystery scent do you think I will choose, fragrance one or two? Who is as excited as I am for the launch of Ruby Tulip? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah