Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get in with skin with The Body Shop Skin Care Test Drive

During the month of my big 3-O, something less than magical happened to me: I found gray hairs (yep, that's plural) and I found wrinkles. Needless to say, getting older was taking its toll. It was then I also realized that being ignorant about what "stuff" I needed to be putting on my face was no longer a real option. I needed to take responsibility for the future in front of me and learn really what I was doing (or in my case, not doing) for my skin. 

So recently, when I got the opportunity to actually learn about how to take care of skin (rather than just randomly trying all the free products I got in my free Clinique Bonus bag), I was ecstatic. Finally after years of school, I felt like I was going to learn something I really should have learned when I was 12 - how to take care of my skin.

Let me be clear; I'm not completely stupid about skincare. I just have so many other things going on I don't take care of it the way I need to. Many times once I sit down it doesn't take long for my body to completely go limp and my eyeballs to roll into the back of head, so washing my face is not even an option. Then once I wake up in the morning, I'm happy to splash on some cleanser to get off the leftover mascara and baby slobber from yesterday and then slap on another topcoat (my husband's reference to foundation) to start it all over again the next day.

As part of Galleria Dallas' Beauty Live 2012, a three-day event totally devoted to all things beauty, The Body Shop had asked a few friendly volunteers to commit to a four-week test drive to use their products and then share what we thought when we were complete. Always happy to take on a challenge, I was happy to finally learn what type of skin I really had, what it really needed and most of all, what it was doing to my skin. After all with all the products out on the market with so many promises, I'm not sure what is really what I need. 

My consultant, Lori, was amazing. She sat me down, cleaned off my makeup and instantly got down and dirty about my skin. Once she was able to assess my skin type, she developed a custom skin care regime to help combat my problem areas and keep potential issues at bay. During our consultation, she told me about The Body Shop's commitment tofair trade practices and using natural products. Considering our skin absorbs almost 80 percent of what we put on it, I was happy to begin using products that were as healthy on the inside as they are the out (and mucho points for environmentally and economically friendly business!) And best of all -- she wrote on the bottles when and what order I needed to apply the products (who would have thought this would be so helpful.)

All I had to do was promise her that I would commit to a four-weeks, 2 times a day skincare regimen using the following products:  
1.   Seaweed Purifying Facial Cleanser $14.00
2.   Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator $15.00
3.   Seaweed Clarifying Toner $12.50
4.   Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream $16.50
5.   Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment $20.00
6.   Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask $22.00
7.   Seaweed Pore Perfector $21.00
8.   Tea Tree Oil $ 9.00
9.   Vitamin E Eye Cream $18.00
          *******For a total of $150

Now that I have promised another human being, I'll be held accountable for being good to my skin (what a thought!) Best of all after being treated like a total queen, she let me know that anyone can come into the store and get the same type of one-on-one time to help you find what you need for your skin type. Two points!
So ready for the big reveal? You're gonna have to wait!

For my own benefit, I'm not going to post my before photo at this time, but I will tell you tell you that after four weeks, I hope to be happy to show you a great post-photo. Also, you can come out and see me talk about the product at BEAUTY LIVE at Galleria Dallas on March 19! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

They have a strap for that?

Have you ever discovered something that you never heard of, but once mentioned it, saw a need for it everywhere?
I have lots of great things that cross my plate at work or for product review, but recently a company called “mod.” emailed me and asked to review some of their new products. Well, of course, my first question was, “what is mod?” and found out they developed unique camera accessories like camera straps, bags and cap savers. Being that my favorite camera is my Iphone or my little compact camera, I figured I was not the best person to check out their product line. However, after I received the samples, I found out how wrong I was.
 Once my box arrived, I pulled out the items thinking, “These are really cute fabrics but what do I need with these items - a strap, a bag or a cap saver - since I’m not a professional photographer?” Once I opened the compact camera bag and matching strap, I became much more excited after I attached the strap to my camera. It was totally adorable and like when you get a new purse, I wanted to take it for a spin. So when my kiddo had an upcoming milestone I needed to record for the scrapbook, I brought my camera with me - now all decked out! As soon as I pulled it out, I received so many compliments asking where I got it and how cute it was.
It was later on in the day, I looked around the room at the other moms and their cameras.  I was surrounded by big professional-like cameras even though none of these ladies were professional photographers. However, that’s not all I noticed. No matter what brand of camera around the neck every mom in the room, every camera was attached with a big, black, ugly strap. Now, all of a sudden, I saw several moms I knew who could tell me exactly where my mod. samples could goJ
After my little experience that day, I took a look at the products in a totally different way. I saw how relevant they were for everyone, especially moms. The strap wrap with places for credit cards and i.d. cards as well as the cap savers seemed like it would make things so much easier like when you’re handling kids. Of course, with a huge selection of bright colors and soft fabrics, they appeal to anyone who spends any time with a camera – no matter the size.
If you think you’re ready to be strapped by mod., one lucky reader will win a special gift certificate for $40 towards any mod. products! Just share with us by commenting:  “what type of camera you use.” Also, please make sure to like my new Mama’s Game Plan Facebook page and the mod.’s Facebook page. to be entered in this contest. This contest ends will be given on 1/31 just in time for Valentine’s Day. SWEET!
Disclosure: I was provided these products for purposes of this review. However, the opinions are all my own.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can This Yummy Make My Tummy Smaller?

New Year’s always brings hope of new habits, new changes and for me (and many other women) – a new (smaller) waistline. However, this year I have decided not to follow the newest celebrity diet, sign up for a “gotta eat my food” plan, or vow to never eat a piece bread again. I’ve gone nuts I know, but I’m going to try to eat healthy food that my family can eat and I can actually make without doubling my budget or my time in the kitchen. However, if it was that easy to say “let’s eat healthy” then my family would be in tip-top shape.
I have the knowledge about what is healthy, but there’s one thing that seem to get me most (in addition to pressing snooze for getting up to go to the gym) and that’s portion control. Lucky for me, I got a little help from the people at YumYum Dishes to help with figuring out portion control. I’ll admit I was skeptical about how a dish that was sectioned off with portion sizes could really teach me something new and even waited a few weeks before I used it. But I was surprised when I did.
As an experiment I actually didn’t use the YumYum 9Plate. I placed my dinner on a normal plate with what I thought was the perfect size. Then I took the food from the normal plate and placed it on the YumYum Dish to compare. I actually was off considerably. My carb portion was right on with the suggested guidelines, my protein was a little much and my vegetables were way under the recommended serving. Actually, I was allowed to eat more food! Not what I expected at all!
It was after this I realized the intent of the YumYum Dishes. For a few days I had tried to use the dish, but based on our dinner menu – spaghetti, chicken tortilla soup and salad – it was hard to really see how the dish worked. However, when you have a more traditional meal like a meat, rice/potatoes and a veggie, it really does help guide you with what you amount you should be eating. This should be a helpful tool for me as I relearn how to gauge portions! Now, I’m excited to start using the snack bowl and see if it helps me like it helped the woman who started the company, Tracy Adler.
All in all, this plate is a nice handy reminder about eating healthy. It’s still up to you to make good decisions and to wake up for spin class, but at least when you’re done with your plate, it does tell you “YumYum Time is Over.”
***Disclosure: I was provided a 9Plate and snack bowl from YumYum Dishes for the purposes of this review. The commentary and thoughts provided are 100% my own.