Section: Skincare & Fragrance

Burt’s Bees Radiance Lotion Will Have You Channeling Your Inner Queen Bee

Published in: Burt's Bees, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Product Reviews, Skin Care

burts bees, radiance lotion, body lotion

Holding court in my lotion kingdom…

So, here’s a bit of a confession, and I only call it a confession because you, dear readers, don’t know me that well, and my boyfriend is probably the only other one who knows this, but…I can be a grizzly beast in the winter.

Bodily speaking, I mean. Body hair, specifically. Body hair has become less and less taboo as the years have passed, and I find myself caring less and less in the winter.

I’m a habitual bikini waxer, but other than that, in the wintertime, it just makes things worse. I shave my legs, and my skin just dries out more. Who needs that?

testing-body-lotions-sparkle-meWell, despite my biggest excuses, I can’t resist trying a new body lotion, and if I’m going to try a new lotion, I want to feel like a baby dolphin when I do it. :)

Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion is part of the brand’s Radiance family of products, which consists of an entire line of skin care. formulated with royal jelly, as well as sunflower oil and aloe, which contribute to the amazing scent.

After a very long shower and the death of one very strong, very brave razor, my legs were once again hairless, and my body was ready to begin the testing. What I wasn’t ready for was how much I was going to sparkle! Radiance Body Lotion contains mica (a light reflecting mineral), and baby, does it reflect.

burts bees, radiance lotion, body lotion

Don’t doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion!


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Vera Bradley Shakes Things Up With New Scents in the Mini Eau de Toilette Spray Set in Multi 2016

Published in: Fragrance, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Product Reviews

As I was going through my products before my recent move, I realized something.

I am a serious hoarder!

I had a lot of expired products, and even for the ones that didn’t have an expiration date, I still knew they were due to be discarded.

This was further proven when boyfriend was putting away the kitchen items and found, and I quote, “Tea from 2007. 2007 BABE!”

I just hate throwing things out, guys. Like the authentic Chinese black tea from my old neighbor who invited me over for a traditional tea and chit-chat after I asked to borrow a screwdriver to put together my roommate’s shoddy Ikea bed? That was only two years ago. Who cares if the box says 2007 on it!

Tea aside, I really needed to go through my products before this move, and when I got to my perfumes, I noticed that I had almost completely full bottles of Victoria Secret Body Mist, something I had been into for a while, circa 2009.

I was an especially loyal fan of Fresh & Clean, with the matching body lotion.

Vera Bradley Mini Eau de Toilette Spray Set

I knew they were old, but I wasn’t sure just how old until I opened them and detected something quite unlike the apples and lilies described on the label. Instead…they smelled mostly like alcohol. I hadn’t kept them in the best places. They were often housed on windowsills where they were exposed to sunlight.

So away they went, along with an old bottle of Calvin Klein for women that had also seen better days.

Despite the fact that, nowadays, I prefer body oils and lighter perfumes, I don’t turn my nose up at unique sets from established companies, which is why I was curious about the new Spring Mini Eau de Toilette Spray Set ($48) from Vera Bradley.

vera bradley, perfume, Eau de Toilette, perfume set,

From L-R: Appleberry Champagne, Cotton Flower, Macaroon Rose, and Vanilla Sea Salt.


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Egyptian Magic Skin Cream: A Multitude of Uses for This Multifaceted Potion

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Skin Care

egyptian magic, skin cream, acne treatment, spot treatment

Positively magical…

Typically, I do everything I can to remove grease and oil from my face. At 25, with adult acne and a slew of medications to combat it, I never thought I’d actually slather my face with anything oil based. I’ve tried coconut oil, as well as oil-based cleansers, and they never seemed to perform any magic.

Egyptian Magic, on the other hand, might have a few tricks up its sleeve. Containing only six ingredients, the cult beauty favorite has been around since the early ’90s, and it’s easy to see why it’s become such a must-have item.

My first impressions upon investigation were that it did seem very similar in the style of packaging to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (with the prayers and simple fonts). The red font, coupled with the blue and white background, screams drugstore product, but EM seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Price/size wise, I would have to call it “lower to middle high end,” with a 2-oz. jar ringing in at $26 and a 4-oz. jar coming in just under $40 (though you can also purchase it at drugstores).

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream

Touted as an “all-purpose skin cream,” Egyptian Magic contains six ingredients that are said to be identical to a formula found in ancient tombs. While I’m not sure of that, I am sure that this formulation is somewhat of a miracle worker when it comes to difficult skin.

Here are just a few of the different ways I’ve used it over the past two weeks:

As an eyebrow tamer and conditioner

Seriously, I don’t know what possessed me to put this on my eyebrows, but something told me, “Marcy, put it on your damn brows. It’ll do them good.” And it did. I found that just dabbing my finger in the cream and applying before bed left my brows silky and soft (all the better for filling, my dear).

Note: it looks slightly wet if applied too heavily.

As a cuticle cream

This was sort of a “duh” moment for me. Applying EM to my cuticles daily and letting it sink in (5-10 minutes) is like heaven for my constant hangnails. I typically do so before bed, but if you have to during the day, it won’t make too much of a mess.

A moisturizer

A few times during testing I found myself without my regular moisturizer, or that I had forgotten my moisturizer. I was also moving at this time, and at one point, all of my products, except this one, which was in my purse, were packed away. Enter Egyptian Magic. Slathered on my face and properly rubbed in, I could go about my day without looking greasy. I didn’t exactly look matte, but I didn’t look overly oily, you get me?

A spot treatment

Also packed away were my acne treatments. Dabbing this on any problem areas has kept the few spots that have reared their ugly heads (literally) away for the last few days. Stress zits are real, ya’ll, especially when you stay up until 5 a.m. on the day your lease ends moving the last of your possessions (and your terrified cats).

To relieve hives/allergic reactions

I have a severe mold allergy, and due to some wayward mushrooms I found myself with a tiny patch of hives. This product did the trick better than the prescription cream an allergist (that I spent potentially hundreds on) prescribed me. Additionally, my boyfriend had a strange allergic reaction at this time, resulting in red welts on his arms, and rubbing a little bit of EM on his arms daily helped the itching.

As a lip balm

The first thing I thought of to apply this as was a lip balm. NYC winters and the winds that come with them can be extra harsh, and up until a few days ago, it was mighty cold around here. When I applied the cream to my lips, it was slightly exfoliating at first (TMI, that might have just been because of all the dead skin on my lips), and then came the pillowy softness and the realization, IS THIS WHAT SOFT LIPS FEEL LIKE? Applying this before bed and after a lip scrub will have you ready for any lipstick.

(Here’s a more comprehensive list of the product’s possible uses.)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoy this product. The only thing I own that is similar that I have enjoyed is Lush’s Ultrabalm. For $14.95 for 1.4 oz., it’s just slightly more expensive per ounce than the 4-oz. jar of Egyptian Magic. While Ultrabalm is vegan, I feel it doesn’t have as many uses as its contender. EM is a thoroughly universal product that anyone can find a practical use for.


Marcella Yakalis


Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

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Must-Have Moisturizing Products

Published in: Guest Post, Kiehl's, Murad, Skin Care

must have moisturizing products

I have combination skin, and I LOVE pampering it with all kinds of moisturizing serums, potions and masks. I’ve found that keeping my skin moisturized is the best way to keep it happy and avoid minor irritations and redness (my skin is also pretty sensitive, lucky me!).

Even though we don’t really experience severe winter weather in the Bay Area, thanks to indoor heating and cooler temperatures, I still load up on moisturizers, and these are my current favorites for keeping my skin moisturized and soft:

moisturizing products

My nighttime skincare routine is sort of long, but I love it. I turn it into a mini pampering session, and I’ll double-cleanse, tone, add a serum, then a moisturizer, then a facial oil…and this is on my “low key” nights!

Lately, I’ve been using Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture at night (you can check out my nighttime skincare routine here). It’s packed with avocado, sunflower and olive oils, and even though it also has shea butter, it somehow manages to feel light. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, but my skin feels really soft and plump in the morning after I use it. I’ve noticed no irritation, either, so this is a definite winner. It’s available now at Sephora for $72.

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Get Clearer Skin in 5 Steps With Pixi

Published in: Elizabeth Arden, Guest Post, Pixi, Product Reviews, Skin Care

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I chase clear skin like I chase the donut food truck. Having the best skin possible is super important to me, as I’m sure it is for you too!

Weirdly enough, I’ve had way more skin issues in my 20s than I did in my high school years. Maybe that’s a blessing, because now I have the patience to experiment with different concoctions to find the best products and routines for my skin, and as of this moment, I think I’ve found it.

I’ve been using this routine now for several weeks and have been so happy with how my skin has been acting. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I use mostly Pixi, along with a lovely little Elizabeth Arden serum.

Let me take you through my skin care routine, which I follow morning and night…

Step 1: Cleanse

Keeping your skin clean is so important. Removing your makeup and the nastiness of the day from your pores will help keep the breakouts away.

First, splash your skin with warm water to open up those pores, and then work Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser into your skin. It’s a delicious recipe for clear skin packed with yummy ingredients like glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera.

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Step 2: Mud mask

This step, you only want to do two or three times a week. Shmear the Pixi Glow Mud Mask all over you face, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The rich mask is loaded with minerals to draw out excess oil and impurities from your skin. You can see all of the crud it pulled out of my pores!

So satisfying…

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Step 3: Toner

Toner is a step that a lot of people feel is unnecessary, but I don’t think so at all. You need a toner, and let me tell you why. Toner helps to balance the PH level of your skin, meaning that, depending on your skin type, it’ll prompt your skin to produce either more or less oil on its own, whatever it needs.

Pixi Glow Tonic is the best toner I have EV-AR used. I don’t know how it does what it does, but it has reduced redness and breakouts in my skin more than any other product ever has. You have to try this one.

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