Beauty by Arielle

8.29.2014

Natural Deodorants Stink...Literally

Since switching to all natural products, I have had the worst time trying to find a deodorant that works. I have now tried 6 different types and have been struggling!


My problem is I'm stinky but not sweaty. Apparently finding a deodorant that helps with stanky ass pits but doesn't irritate them is like finding a needle in a haystack. I thought I would go over the ones I have used in hopes this helps other people with similar body chemistry. If anything, I am learning which types of formulations don't work for me.



Crystal Body Deodorant Stick, $5.99 drugstores: This was the first natural deodorant I tried because there were hundreds of great reviews. It's a mineral salt based product that you dampen and work into the pits. Unfortunately, this did not work for me whatsoever. It was painful to apply and I smelled horrific within 30 minutes to an hour. I did a full review of it here. EWG rating: 1 (low hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 10 (best)




Crystal Body Deodorant Roll-On, $4 drugstores: I picked this up after the Crystal stick because I thought if I was able to apply more product, it may work better. Well, I was wrong. It was just as bad as the stick. I have a full review here. EWG rating: 1 (low hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 10 (best)






DIY Formula: I found several recipes for deodorant. The one I had been using was 4 tablespoons each of coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch with 4 drops of essential oil. In terms of stank repellant, it was amazing. It was actually better than the clinical strength ones I used to use. Unfortunately, it irritated the hell out of my pits. They were red and itchy. It's also difficult to travel with because it melts easily. I have a friend testing it and she loves it. She's had no reactions to it. EWG rating: 0 (low hazard)




Dr. Mist Deodorant Body Hygiene Spray Fragrance Free, $6.99 drugstore.com: After my pits were throughly irritated by my DIY formula, I bought this. Again, the reviews were good. Plus, it had won a Geneva award for invention and innovation. This is another mineral salt based formulation but you spray it on. Similar to the Crystal roll-on, it took forever to dry. Within 30 minutes, I smelled like a barnyard. After three tries with these types of deodorants, I learned that my body chemistry does not agree with mineral salt based formulations. EWG rating: 2 (low hazard)





Jason Purifying Tea Tree Deodorant, $5.99 drugstores: Since the DIY formula worked with my stank, I thought the Jason may work because it had similar ingredients. Yeah, I was wrong again. It lasted much longer than the salt formulas but I had to reapply 3 or more times per day. Plus, it was very sticky. It didn't irritate my pits, though. It also doesn't rate well either, which is a bummer. EWG rating: 4 (moderate hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 5 (average)






After failures with two more store bought deos, I made the DIY one again but reduced the baking soda and corn starch by half. I also added more tea tree oil. It didn't irritate but I was smelly again!! I ended up going back to a chemical laden clinical formula.

If y'all can help a lady out, I would really appreciate it. Please leave me your recommendations! By the way, Lavanila is often recommended but I won't go for it because it does not rate as well on EWG (4, moderate hazard) or GoodGuide (6, above average) as I prefer (btw those are exact the same ratings Secret Clinical Strength has).

xo,
arielle

8.27.2014

How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WalgreensBeauty #CollectiveBias

There are two things I love to indulge in: pedicures and massages. For my summer beauty routine, I find it important to keep my feet sandal ready. I go for a pedicure about once a month but the price adds up quickly! To save some cash, I decided I needed I needed to do a little at home pampering in-between pedis. I found, at Walgreens, the Studio 35 Manicure and Pedicure kit which includes all your needed tools for an at home pedi.



Walgreens carries an array of products to help you with your nail care needs. Their Studio 35 line has kits, pumices and buffers. The line is a bit less expensive than the brand names, which is another win for me. My entire mani/pedi kit was less than $10!

Walgreens is also offering a free gift with purchase until 8/30/14. If you spend $20 on beauty or personal care (excluding baby) you can get a free travel sized brush kit. To get the coupon, click here.


In addition to my pedi kit, I picked up a new Essie polish and L'oreal topcoat.


What you need:
  • A pedicure kit with tools. I like the Studio 35 kit because it has a file, buffer, cuticle pusher, scissors, brush and clippers.
  • A large bowl or tote to soak feet in
  • Towel
  • Polish remover and cotton balls
  • Polish and topcoat
  • Optional: bath bomb or essentials oils, pumice, lotion and/or kettle full of hot water


How to get your pedi on:
  • Start by removing any polish from your toes
  • Fill up a bowl with warm-hot water. Place a bath bomb or essentials oils in the water. If you want to keep the temp warm, have a kettle full of hot water nearby to periodically add in (without your feet in of course, you don't want to burn yourself!!).
  • Soak your feet for 5 minutes


  • Dry one foot and let the other continue to soak
  • Use the the brush to clean off your nails and foot
  • Clip nails to your desired length
  • File and buff
  • Push your cuticles back
  • Use the cuticle remover to carefully remove any dead skin around your nails
  • Place your foot back in the water and repeat the process on your other foot
  • Place both feet in the water and use a pumice stone on dry patches
  • Dry your feet and slather with lotion.
  • Finish with the polish of your choice!


A couple of tips:

  • Only file nails in one direction, otherwise you risk damaging nails.
  • Do not remove your cuticles!!! This is not good for your hands or feet, as cuticles protect your nails!
  • When buffing, use circular motions and only 1-2 swirls max. Again, too much buffing can damage the nail.
  • If you have the tendency to get polish on the skin, slap a little petroleum jelly or thick lotion on the skin around the nails. This will keeps the oops at a minimum.

What are your favorite pedi products?


xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Collective Bias and I received monetary compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own. For my full disclosure, click here.

8.25.2014

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner Review

When I first began switching to natural products, I was lured into Josie Maran. I had not used the brand but had read great things. I had been using the Blinc Eyeliner Pen to death, so I knew I needed  clean alternative to it. I picked up Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner in hopes it wold be a good alternative. 

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

The liner runs $22 and is available at Sephora or online. It's only available in one shade-ink. Here's a little on what the packaging claims:

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Ingredients: Water, Butylene glycol, Beheneth-30, Ammonium acrylates copolymer, Sodium polyaspartate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil,Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Aminomethyl propanol, Sodium dehydroacetate, Iron oxides, Ferric ammonium ferrocyanide, Titanium dioxide

I could not find an EWG rating for this one but GoodGuide gave it a health rating of 4 (here's a link to the report). A 4 is below average. This is a perfect example of one of those products I picked up before knowing about rating websites. The box has wonderful claims that lead one to believe it's clean but in all reality, it's not.

The liner itself comes with a thin applicator and the color is grayish-black. As I used it more, it became darker.

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

PROS:

  • very easy to use, packaging wasn't too bulky to create lines
  • very thin and precise applicator
  • pigmented
  • able to make it throughout the day without fading or smudging
  • good alternative to the Blinc liner I loved

CONS:

  • It's not actually a clean product
  • The color was not what I was expecting, I prefer a deep black

I have been a fan of this liner because I am able to create precise lines with ease. Plus, it lasts throughout the day. With some layering, I can get it to a deeper shade but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I tend to pull this out on days when I want a softer eye look. Having said that, I really wish the ingredients were cleaner. Once it's out, I don't plan on buying it again solely due to the ingredients. 

What's your favorite clean eyeliner?


xo, arielle

8.21.2014

Walk Your Way to Savings with Walgreens #BalanceRewards

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

Throughout my week I try to stay as active as possible and make healthy choices. I don't think going to the gym everyday is the only way to stay active. If all else fails, I think walking is an excellent option. I have found, personally, it's a great way to clear my mind. Plus, I have times when I know I can't make it to the gym but I know I can slip in a walk over my lunch hour.

Every morning, I wake up early and take my pup for a quick jaunt. She loves it and it's a great way to start off my day.



For my lunch walks, I was lucky because my office was near our local river walkway and the historic district. I loved taking a relaxing walk around these areas. It recharged me while I burned some calories!



My new office has treadmills, which I plan to use. I've also seen people walk around office buildings or up and down flights of stairs to get a workout in. Find what works for you and make the effort to fit it in!

Since I have a lot of ways I try to stay fit and make healthy choices, I use severals apps to keep track. There's everything out there from calorie counting, pedometers and mapping. Little did I know, there was a way to track my healthy choices to earn rewards!

I recently discovered that Walgreens Balance Rewards program offers an app called BR for healthy choices. Walgreens Balance Rewards is a program where you rack up points to earn rewards. For every 10,000 points, you get a $5 coupon to use at Walgreens. With the BR for healthy choices, you can track all kinds of healthy choices such as steps, running, sleep or even blood pressure. You also earn points for setting goals for yourself.

I recently downloaded the app to check it out for myself. I had already been using Walgreens Balance Rewards, so I was excited to have another way to earn coupons through the program.



To join the program, first set up a Balance Rewards account, if you don't already have one. Then, download the Walgreens app and select the BR for healthy choices option. If you want to access it online, login to your account, select health services & info tab then Balance Reward for healthy choices.

Once you earn your points, you can go to Walgreens and use your Balance Rewards coupon! I stopped by my Walgreens to pick up some protein bars.




Have you used the BR for healthy choices app?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Collective Bias and I received monetary compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own. For my full disclosure, click here.

8.20.2014

Fitbit One Review

In July, I decided to plunge and go for a Fitbit. It had been something I contemplated for weeks. Well, I had it for a month but ended up returning it. If you're interested in why, read on on for my full review.

fitbit one review

You may have no clue what I'm even talking about when I say Fitbit. I know I didn't until I saw it popping up in my MyFitnessPal feed. A Fitbit is a fitness tracker. It tracks number of steps, sleep patterns, stairs climbed (on some devices), calories burned and activity. The app that you download with the Fitbit can track your food, weight loss and water intake. 

There are tons of devices out there that do the same thing as the Fitbit (Jawbone, Shine, Nike+ Fuelband, Vivofit, Samsung Gear Fit). There wasn't a rhyme or reason I chose the Fitbit over the others because they all basically do the same thing. I guess the only difference was I didn't want a wrist worn device.

There are three different Fitbits you can choose from. The Flex (which is worn on the wrist), the One (can be clipped to clothing or slipped into your pocket) or the Zip (can be clipped to clothing). If you want to see a comparison of each, click here

The Fitbit One tracks steps, distance, calories burned and stairs climbed. It also has a sleep band with a silent alarm. There is also a clip for attaching it  to clothing. It comes with the Fitbit one, clip, sleep band, charging dock and sync dongle. If you have a bluetooth phone, it will sync with their app. The dongle allows it to sync with your computer. 

fitbit one

The Fitbit One itself is a little rectangle shaped device. It's about an inch and a half long and half an inch wide. It runs $100.

fitbit one

The Clip
I always used the clip to wear it. I was concerned it would slip out of my pocket otherwise. I wore the clip on my pocket with the Fitbit facing my body. The one time I wore it with the Fitbit facing out, it fell off within minutes and I almost lost it. I read tons of reviews from people who lost theirs due to this. If you're going to wear it, I highly recommend wearing it clipped towards your body.

Sleeping
The sleep band is about 3-4 inches wide and velcros. The Fitbit slips into a slot. You wear it on your non-dominate arm. You hold the only button on the Fitbit down until it buzzes to begin tracking your sleep. When you wake up, you do the same. You can then sync it with your computer or phone to see your sleep pattern. It will tell you how long it took to fall asleep and how many times you were restless. 

The Fitbit has a silent alarm, which is really just a vibration. You control the alarm setting from your app or computer. 

Tracking
The Fitbit One's main feature is to track number of steps. It recommends you get in 10,000 steps per day. It will also track the number of flights of stairs. Their recommendation is 10 flights.

It will also track activity but only if you're running. Once you start running it will go into active mode and track number of minutes. It recommends getting 30 minutes per day. You can add other activities, like cycling, but you must manually put them in because the Fitbit itself cannot track it. You can also sync it apps such as MapMyFitness to report activity.

It also claims to track distance but this is in terms of steps that they convert into miles. There is not a GPS actually tracing your distance.

They will also give you a guesstimate of calories burned based on your activity. If you are using MyFitnessPal, you will get a Fitbit calorie adjustment based on your activity level.

Food, weight and water are all manually put in by you through their app or you can sync the Fitbit app with MyFitnessPal.

Syncing
There are two ways to sync your Fitbit. Either with your phone or online. Here is what each look like:

computer

app

Both the app and the website give you lots of data. I was impressed with everything it can tell you. You will also receive a weekly email with your stats:


What I liked about the Fitbit
The Fitbit did motivate me quite a bit. Since it sets goals for you, I was determined to reach them. I also found myself choosing to take more walks, go up the stairs and park further away from the door. I think it helped keep me accountable. It was cool to see the number of steps I was getting per day. I work in an office environment, so I was curious what I was doing in a day.

I also loved the app and website. I could get a ton of information from it that I didn't get before. I also appreciated that it could sync with other apps such as MyFitnessPal or MapMyFitness. 

So what was the problem?
For the first week or two I absolutely loved the Fitbit. I was happy with my purchase but that began to wear off, for a number of reasons.

Unfortunately, the software with the Fitbit is flawed. I began to realize that it was counting my drive time as steps. This was adding hundreds of steps per day to my count. I think it was miscalculating all over the place because there were times it said I went 2-3 miles and all I did was go to work and sit at a desk all day. I also began to notice it was miscalculating my active time. It would short me many minutes and miles. There was once where I didn't use the Fitbit at all and it said I had went up 5 flights of stairs. Plus, I noticed it won't count flights if you're using a stair climber at the gym. I found all of this incredibly frustrating. Before returning, I looked up more reviews and found many people experiencing the same issues.

These devices are marketed as a fitness tracker so I went in with the expectation to be able to track all of my activities (running, biking, weightlifting, yoga). To my disappointment, it doesn't. You have to use other apps to track these and manually add them. I felt like what's the point?!

I also thought the distance was highly inflated. I know there was no way I went 5 miles in a day on the day it said I did 10,000 steps. It was a day I was walking in a city and I know we went maybe a mile. As mentioned perviously, there is not a GPS tracking things. I don't feel the steps calculated to miles was close to accurate. 

I found the calories to be inflated, too. The Fitbit can sync with MyFitnessPal and I would get extra calories from the supposed daily activity. I didn't lose a pound during the time I was using the Fitbit. I think I was overeating because I was getting a lot of calories back from the Fitbit that I hadn't actually burned. 

The sleep feature was interesting but not particularly useful after a week. I sleep the same every night, so after the first week it was like ok cool but it soon became pointless. After a month, the sleep band was already starting to fray so that was disappointing too. 

I also found the clip poorly designed because as I said earlier, it fell of the only time I wore it Fitbit facing out. 

I was frustrated with how many thing I had to put in manually or through other apps. I came to realize I could get everything the Fitbit offered through free apps. 

Who is the Fitbit good for?
If you are someone who is breaking into fitness or a walker I think you will love this. It is an excellent way to keep your motivated and accountable. If you are someone who is a data nerd, I think you will appreciate this a lot.

Having said that, I found the Fitbit to be nothing more than a glorified pedometer. I firmly believe you could get just as much from buying a $10 pedometer and/or downloading some free apps such as MapMyWalk, MyFitnessPal or Pacer. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I returned the Fitbit. It did not give me what I wanted and the software was flawed. Since I was over the 15 day return policy, Best Buy gave me a store credit. Instead of buying something just like it, I ended up getting a heart rate monitor. I purchased a WaHoo. It has an app that tracks everything I wanted (heart rate, actual calories burned, distance, MPH and tracks all of the different activities I do). 

In all reality, I do not recommend the Fitbit. Go and buy yourself a pedometer, download some apps and maybe get yourself a heart rate monitor. If you are going to buy one, I recommend getting a used one on eBay.

What has been your experience with fitness trackers?

xo, arielle
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