Beauty Enhancing Epsom Salt At-Home Recipes for Facials and More

Affordable, available and easy to use, Epsom Salt provides the beauty-conscious with a wealth of fun and healthy home remedies and beauty treatments.

“In Grandma’s day, Epsom Salt was largely used as a laxative. That’s no longer the case,” says Jim Hill, a member of the Epsom Salt Council. “Epsom Salt, a pure, time-tested mineral compound, is actually Magnesium Sulfate, which absorbs easily through the skin and boasts a whole host of modern-day uses, from beauty to health.”

Epsom Salt occurs naturally, although most of what we buy in the stores has been manufactured. Even still, the Epsom Salt still retains its pure, natural and healing characteristics.

To take advantage of the health and beauty related functions of Epsom Salt, the Epsom Salt Council suggests the following tips:

Epsom Salt to exfoliate: Mix together two cups of Epsom Salt and ¼ cup of petroleum jelly. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a pleasant fragrance. Apply the mixture to gently scrub away old cells and encourage a healthier-looking complexion.

For an Epsom Salt facial: Mix ½ teaspoon of Epsom Salt into a deep cleansing cream so you can reap the benefits of this mineral deep inside your skin. Massage the mixture onto your skin and then rinse with cool water. Pat dry.

Epsom Salt to accompany a pedicure: Before you go to the trouble of painting your nails, soften your feet by soaking them in a bathtub or plastic basin with warm water and Epsom Salt for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The salt will help to smoothen your feet, giving them a relaxed and refreshed feel.

Relaxing Epsom Salt bath crystals: Mix two cups of Epsom Salt with a few drops of a delightful fragrance to create a custom bath crystal. To dress up your bath crystals, add a few drops of food coloring or ½ teaspoon of glycerin. Store the crystals in an airtight container.

Soothing Epsom Salt spa treatment:
After showering, the Epsom Salt Council recommends massaging handfuls of Epsom Salt over wet skin to exfoliate the body. “It’s the same treatment many upscale spas use, without the upscale price!”

For a tranquil
Epsom Salt soak: Fill your bathtub with water at a comfortable temperature that you enjoy. As you’re filling the tub, add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water (if it is a standard-sized bathtub – make adjustments for larger tubs). Soak for at least 12 minutes, three times a week for best results. As an extra treat, the Epsom Salt Council recommends adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil for an invigorating aroma.

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the beneficial uses of Epsom Salt. You’ll learn everything from how to coax out a splinter to a soaking relief for sore and tired muscles.


Product Review: Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Emotional Balance Aromatherapy Hand and Body Lotion with Shea Butter

For a fruity and energizing pick-me-up, Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Emotional Balance Aromatherapy Hand and Body Lotion with Shea Butter (photo courtesy of nubar)try Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Emotional Balance Aromatherapy Hand and Body Lotion with Shea Butter. This healthy hand cream boasts antioxidant contents as well as essential oils, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Emotional Balance Aromatherapy Hand and Body Lotion delivers a truly provocative fragrance that lifts the senses and your mood.

Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion carries enticing hints of citrus in its fragrance. The lotion has a pale pink hue and a vibrant color label introducing the citrusy components. The aromatherapy element is said to enhance emotional balance and increase well-being.

When I tried out Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion, I immediately fell in love with the fragrance. It offers a youthful yet demure aroma that lasts beyond the initial application. I found myself searching for a connection to this fragrance – something that may have triggered my memory on this particular scent. The closest thing I could come up with is an old type of fruit snacks my mom used to pack in my school lunches in the 1980s, which seem to be no longer available these days. At any rate, the scent of this lotion is appealing, to say the least.

In using Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion, I found that my hands soaked up every drop that I applied. Winters in Pennsylvania can be fairly brutal, so I find myself reapplying every so often when my skin shows signs of dryness again. For best results, I would recommend applying Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion generously to your hands and body as desired.

As a company, Nubar prides itself on using only healthy ingredients while avoiding harmful ingredients such as parabens, toluene, etc. Nubar also commits to being a cruelty free company. With this in mind, you can really count on healthy and humane products by Nubar.

A two-ounce bottle of Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion is available for $4.99. You can buy Nubar Skin Essentials Hypnotic Hand and Body Lotion at

Rave Review: LUSH Cosmetics Emotibombs for the Chinese New Year – Double Fast Luck

Start off the Chinese New Year on the right foot with a lucky coin that turns your shower into a spa with potent aromatherapy effects. LUSH Cosmetics Double Fast Luck Emotibomb for the Chinese New YearThe Double Fast Luck Emotibomb is a special limited edition product celebrating the Chinese New Year, which began on January 26, 2009.

This coin-shaped bath goodie releases an incredible fragrance of patchouli, ylang ylang, lavendin, orange, and lemongrass for a citrusy, relaxing shower. The Double Fast Luck Emotibomb emits a delightful fragrance that not only wraps your shower in pleasurable aromas but also wafts into neighboring rooms or areas, leaving a relaxing scent lingering there as well.

LUSH Cosmetics created The Double Fast Luck Emotibomb especially to celebrate the Chinese New Year and to bring good luck and fortune. This year (2009) is the year of the Ox. This crafty shower treat is said to possess a spell to bring growth, prosperity, vitality, and energy.

On a personal note, I tried the Double Fast Luck Emotibomb during a shower one day and absolutely loved it. My husband was already at work, so when he arrived home, he raved about the delightful fragrance in our master bathroom and our bedroom. To be honest, I didn’t expect my hubby would fawn over a bath and shower product as much as he did with this one. Now I feel kind of guilty I didn’t wait for him so he could also enjoy a luxurious, invigorating spa like shower! Ah, well, maybe next time. Lucky me, I got to enjoy the immediate effects of the emotibomb and the lingering fragrance.

LUSH Cosmetics Double Fast Luck Emotibomb for the Chinese New YearNot only did the powerful spa fragrance last all day, but it lasted well into the week. About four or five days later the fragrance finally dissipated, but we loved the lasting effects of the Double Fast Luck Emotibomb and look forward to using them again and again.

Directions for Using the LUSH Cosmetics Double Fast Luck Emotibomb
To enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of LUSH Emotibombs, simply turn on your shower and place the Emotibomb on the floor or on a soap shelf where the water can hit it, releasing the aroma that brings you out of your bathroom and shower, into a serene spa setting. When you exit the shower, the potent aroma remains to delight your senses.

Tip: When the water hits the emotibomb directly, it dissolves at a rather fast pace. If you’d like your emotibomb to last for more than just one shower, place it on a soap shelf where the water hits indirectly or less frequently. You may not experience the same depth of fragrance, but you can enjoy the emotibomb on more than one occasion!

Cost: $3.95

Buy Lush Emotibombs: Online at
Or Buy Other Awesome Bath and Shower Spa Products by LUSH at


Spa Lovers Gift Guide: Pampering Presents for Any Occasion

Pampering products and spa treatments make excellent gifts for loved ones and friends. When it comes to a special gift for pampering and providing soothing beauty treatments, spa related gifts make a great choice for gift recipients of any age.
Spa gifts are perfect presents for any occasion, but especially Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, and for new moms.

Check out our spa lovers gift guide for ideas on spa themed gifts and spa themed stocking stuffers to pamper the ones you love.

Spa Lovers Gift Guide – Beauty Tools & Pampering Products

Beauty tools of all shapes and sizes can be fun gifts for girls who love the spa and beauty in general. Pampering products like mud masques, lotions and creams, and pedicure kits also make lovely gifts for the right person. Consider these exciting gift ideas for spa lovers.

Auromere Spa Mud, available at

Auromere Spa Mud

Blending 13 powerful herbs and minerals, Auromere Spa Mud Bath is an Ayurvedic beauty remedy shared from generation to generation.

Meant to draw out toxins and impurities, the Auromere Spa Mud Bath can be used in the bath and shower in place of soap or as a facial mud masque.

Cost: varies due to size

Buy Auromere Spa Mud: online at or at

Johnson's Melt Away Stress, available at

Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Line, including Relaxing Lotion and Relaxing Body Wash with lavender& chamomile

Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Relaxing Lotion with Lavender & Chamomile delivers a healthy dose of hydration to dry or tired winter skin. This lotion is creamy and thick, leaving skin soft, smooth, and touchable. Dry and cracked skin beware – Johnson’s Body Care Relaxing Lotion offers a remedy for perfect winter skin.

Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Relaxing Body Wash in Lavender Chamomile features a creamy body wash potion that smells great while pampering the skin. The body wash leaves skin silky smooth and radiant. Johnson’s Relaxing Body Wash can be used all over the entire body, but avoid contact with eyes.

Both Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress products come in pretty lavender bottles, which note that the products are meant to help calm your senses.


Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Relaxing Body Lotion: $5.49 for 11 oz.

Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Relaxing Body Wash: $5.49 for 20.3 oz.

Buy Johnson’s Melt Away Stress Line: At food, drug, and mass market chain stores, or on

Moen Rainshower, available at

Moen Showerheads and Rainshowers

For an at-home spa experience, a rainshower or multi-function showerhead makes a great gift to enhance the showering experience. Enjoy five high-powered settings with Moen Inspire showerhead, with its easy-to-change spray settings and easy-to-clean spray face. This showerhead features relaxing spray, invigorating spray, refreshing spray, energizing massage, and targeted massage for your showering needs and water therapy on sore muscles.

Cost: $27 and up

Buy Moen Showerheads and Rainshowers: at Lowes nationwide or at

Moen 6320 8″ Rainshower Double Function Showerhead, Chrome

Peppermint Pattie Pedi by Klean Bath and Body

Peppermint Pattie Pedi

Klean Bath + Body offers the Peppermint Pattie Pedi, a complete kit to pamper your feet. The kit includes Devil Made Me Do It chocolate sugar polish, Peppermint Dream Whipped Shea Body Butter, Peppermint Bath Syrup and Peppermint Dream KLEAN Mist, pumice stone OR pumice paddle, scrub brush, toe separators, and a pair of socks.

Cost: $55

Buy the Peppermint Pattie Pedi: online at Klean Bath + Body.


Elegant Roots

Countless adorable products await at Elegant Roots. From a natural baby spa set to hand-dipped beeswax candles and other aromatherapy gift sets, there’s surely something everyone can enjoy.

Cost: varies based on product selection

Buy Elegant Roots Products: online at


Spa Sister Foot Spa Essentials Gift Set, available at

Spa Sister Gift Sets

Spa Sister Gift Sets include all sorts of pampering spa essentials such as pedicure kits, plush fuzzy slippers, eye masks, creams and lotions, bath salts, and much more. Adorably coordinated in colorful sets, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for any fabulous female on your list.

Cost: varies based on product selection

Buy Spa Sister Gifts Sets: online at

Mr. Steam Towel Warmers, available online

Mr. Steam Towel Warmers

Your loved ones can turn their bathroom into a spa like setting with a towel warmer. Towel warmers hang on the wall just like a normal towel rack, but these racks warm the towels for you just in time for when you exit the shower. Some models also include a well for essential oils for an even more authentic spa experience.

Cost: $599 and up

Buy Mr. Steam Towel Warmers: online and at external Web sites through

YogaPro Toasties

Toasties Foot Warmers by YogaPro

For people with chronically cold feet, Toasties may be the perfect gift to provide warmth and relaxation. Simply toss Toasties in the microwave for a minute and enjoy the lasting warmth delivered right to your soles.

Toasties feature heated rice, which delivers moist heat deep into the feet. The fleece lining is soft and warm on bare skin and socks alike. The aromatic herbs inside the soles of Toasties include Cinnamon, Allspice, Clove, Cayenne Pepper, and Mustard Seed.

Cost: $54.95

Buy Toasties: online at

Read on to discover additional spa lovers gift ideas, such as aromatherapy gifts and stocking stuffer or gift basket spa items…

18 Tips on Hair Removal via Waxing

When it comes to smooth, soft, and touchable skin, women – and more recently, even men – are willing to put their bodies to the test to get it. Hair removal via waxing offers one way to get smooth and silky, hair-free skin on the legs, underarms, bikini area, face, back, chest, and more. At-home waxing tips (Photo courtesy of as a form of hair removal can be painful, but many will argue that the results are worth the temporary discomfort.

If done correctly, hair removal with wax removes the entire hair from the follicle to leave the skin smooth and hair-free. Hair removal waxing is relatively inexpensive and fairly convenient, as you can choose to visit a salon or purchase an at-home waxing hair removal kit. No matter which type of waxing hair removal you choose, keep these important tips in mind:

Tips for Waxing Hair Removal in General:

•    Make sure you have grown out all stubble from previous shaving adventures.
Quarter of an inch is great.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    For first time bikini waxing, try a salon for professional waxing.
This will give you great professional results and will provide longer term hair removal (2-4 weeks). Once the bikini hair regrows, for subsequent hair removal, you can always try an at-home waxing system.
– Parissa Wax

•    Determine the best style of wax or sugar product for your hair type and body part you wish to wax. Pre-coated wax strips are best for quick and easy hair removal, particularly for beginners or first time waxers. Sugaring waxes are great for washable, mess-free hair removal, particularly for people with sensitive skin or light hair growth. For ultra-effective results and the removal of short or coarse hairs, salon waxes are best. (Parissa offers effective versions of these styles of wax to ensure perfect, long term hair removal).
– Parissa Wax

•    Wax regularly for improved hair-free results. Waxing as a hair removal method should provide hair-free results between 2 – 6 weeks. Regular waxing will delay and reduce hair growth. Waxing removes hair from the roots and weakens the hair follicle. A weak hair follicle produces weaker, lighter hair growth and over the long term fails to produce new hairs.
– Parissa Wax

•    Minimizing pain and discomfort: The bikini is a sensitive area; therefore, any method of hair removal for this area can potentially be uncomfortable. There are a couple ways to minimize discomfort with waxing (whether at home or at the salon):

o    Take an aspirin or ibuprofen half an hour before waxing. (This can help desensitize the area.)
o    Always keep the skin taut (tight) throughout your waxing treatment. (Parissa waxes include photo instructions with tips to get great bikini waxing results with minimum discomfort.)
o     Apply a soothing bikini ointment after waxing if needed. Azulene is the active ingredient of chamomile, it has great soothing and healing properties that can minimize discomfort after waxing. All Parissa waxes come with soothing and moisturizing Azulene oil for aftercare.
– Parissa Wax

Tips on Salon Waxing Hair Removal:

•    If you are going to an establishment to get waxed, make sure they specialize in it.
For instance, don’t go to a nail shop for a Brazilian Bikini Wax. They are not trained to do this.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    Get some referrals from friends/co-workers, etc.
You can’t always believe what is written online.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    If you are not comfortable when you get to your appointment, you can leave.
It’s your body.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    Exfoliate gently the night or day before your appointment. This will leave your skin debris-free, enabling your esthetician to take hair off more efficiently.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    Take an Advil/Motrin an hour before your appointment. Great pain / inflammation reducer.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    Trim hair on bikini line if going for a Brazilian wax. Hair that is too long is more painful to take up and some establishments (like mine) don’t trim.
– Jodi Shays, President of Queen Bee Waxing.

•    Apply pre-wax oil after cleansing skin. At salons, skin is cleansed before waxing for hygenic reasons. This cleansing action strips the skin from its natural oils. When the natural oils of the skin are removed, salon waxes may stick to the skin and result in an uncomfortable experience. Pre-wax oils are applied for this reason. When the skin is cleansed, a pre-wax oil is needed to create a buffer between the skin and the wax.
– Parissa Wax

At-home waxing tips (Photo courtesy of waxing tips (Photo courtesy of waxing tips (Photo courtesy of

Tips on At-Home Waxing Hair Removal:

•    Remove the hair from the root and prevent breakage if possible.
Waxing should always provide longer term hair removal so long as the hair is removed from the root (beneath skin’s surface) and does not break at the skin surface. To ensure that the hair doesn’t break during waxing, hair should be trimmed if longer than 1/4″.
– Parissa Wax

•    To ensure professional, effective results, always apply wax IN DIRECTION of hair growth and remove IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION of hair growth.
– Parissa Wax

•    For quick, no-fuss hair removal, try wax strips… like Parissa’s assorted size wax strips. This ready to use, express hair remover has a sensitive formula that’s tough on bikini hair, but gentle on the skin. Simply press-on and pull off for pro-style results. Parissa’s wax is effective for most hair types…even darker hair.
– Parissa Wax

•    For short or extremely coarse hair, try a heatable wax… like Parissa strip-free hot wax for very short or coarse hairs. Although heatable waxes are a little more challenging to use than wax strips, the results are identical to salon results.
– Parissa Wax

•    If your skin on the bikini area is too sensitive for any kind of waxing, numb the area first with a bikini analgesic crème or gel or an ice cube.
(Look for a product with 4% Lidocaine.) If using an ice cube, be careful not to keep it on the skin for too long.
– Life Love Beauty

•    Apply and remove hair removal wax
in small sections to avoid a painful mess.
If you apply hair removal wax to too large an area, you may have difficulty removing the wax in a quick motion – or at all.
– Life Love Beauty

Hair removal via waxing can be especially rewarding but it can also be a bit intimidating if you haven’t tried it before. The results can be well worth the troubles, but if you have a bad experience on your first time trying at-home or salon wax hair removal, you may not be inclined to give it a second chance. That’s why it is important to follow these tips and use your best judgment when deciding on your salon waxing or at-home waxing experience.

Remember – hair removal with wax eliminates some of the common flaws of shaving – like razor burn and almost immediate regrowth – but even waxing has its own potential negative side effects, like ingrown hairs, itchiness when hair grows back in, and painful removal when inexperienced. Take your time and discuss your concerns with your salon professional or read the instructions of at-home wax kits before attempting at-home wax removal. As long as you follow the best tips for hair removal via waxing, you should have a good experience and get beautiful, hair-free, and smooth, soft skin in no time.

For Additional Info:

Visit Queen Bee Waxing online at
Visit Parissa online at

Product Review: Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E Wards off Dry Skin

I am a big fan of cooking with olive oil, as I’ve learned its delicious seasoning ability from my late grandfather. Palmer's Olive Butter with Vitamin E, available at!Pair olive oil with some salt and pepper, rosemary, and garlic, marinate your chicken for a few hours and voila… the perfect entrée for a family meal. So we know olive oil has many excellent qualities in cooking… but is it also as phenomenal in beauty and skincare uses too?

I set out to determine the answer to this question by trying out Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E. My particular bottle of lotion came in a pink container, as it is part of Palmer’s campaign to fight for a cure to breast cancer. The company donates 10 percent of the sale price of their pink-bottled products to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Already, Palmer’s has found favor in my book.

The product’s packaging is sleek, sturdy, and attractive, boasting a baby-pink plastic bottle, a predominantly green label, and boasts all the juicy tidbits you might like to know about Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E. For starters, the front label confirms that this product is made with certified organic olive oil. Furthermore, the lotion is rich enough in antioxidants to also mention that on the front label.

In addition to certified organic extra virgin olive oil, Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E contains coconut oil and lots of antioxidants to keep skin looking young and healthy. The lotion features a unique lipid structure to moisturize skin instantly, according to the package, and I would have to agree. This time of year, the skin on my hands, legs, knees, feet, and elbows become especially dry and dull.

Palmer's Olive Butter with Vitamin E, available at!I am happy to report that immediately after using Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E, my skin stays feeling softer, smoother, and moisturized much longer than the average lotion application. The tone of my skin becomes brighter and even radiant compared to the dull and dry appearance it had only seconds ago.

The lotion is a pretty pastel green color that feels soft on the skin. Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E is lightly fragrant with a pleasant, organic aroma that lessens over time. This is an especially great quality for anyone who does not want an overpowering lotion fragrance.

All in all, I really enjoy Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E. I especially love that it contains certified organic extra virgin olive oil. I feel good about using this lotion because I feel like I am making a healthy choice for my body.

An 8.5 fl oz. bottle of Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula with Vitamin E retails for roughly $5 – $8. You can buy your own bottle of Palmer’s Olive Butter at

Best Tips for Shaving and Effective Hair Removal

Shaving away unwanted hair is a daily ritual for many women. Gillette Venus Embrace Razor, available at!Because shaving is done so frequently, it is important to protect our skin from nicks and cuts while also moisturizing to prevent excessively dry, flaky skin. By following tips for shaving and effective hair removal, we can protect our skin and bodies while also ensuring a close, smooth shave.

This article offers a number of the best shaving tips for hair removal. Ellen Kane is a representative for Gillette, the Gillette Venus Embrace razor, and the Satin Care Alluring Avocado shave gel. She offers the following tips on how to shave effectively:

Q. – Life Love Beauty: What are the top benefits of the razor and shave gel products?

Gillette Venus Embrace Razor, available at!A. – Ellen Kane: Venus Embrace razor’s five blades are positioned closely together and spring-mounted to create a shaving surface that adjusts to natural contours and curves, allowing the blade cartridge to sit flatter on the skin for a closer shave and a Protective Ribbon of Moisture surrounds the shaving surface for a smooth glide. This is the first five-bladed razor designed specifically for women, meaning that women will no longer need to borrow men’s razors for the extra blades!

Satin Care Alluring Avocado Shave Gel contains a unique blend of natural ingredients and avocado butter, leaving legs feeling satiny smooth. It features a light fragrance of aloe, jasmine, and orange blossom. When used with Venus Embrace, the shave gel cares for skin during the shave, leaving legs soft and satiny smooth.

Q. – Life Love Beauty: With this razor, are there any known risks or side effects, such as razor burn – and any known ways to prevent them?

A. – Ellen Kane:
As with any razor, there is always a risk of irritation to sensitive skin, particularly when used incorrectly; however, Venus Embrace’s five blades and Protective Ribbon of Moisture minimize the number of times women will have to shave, thus reducing any strain on the skin. Using a shave gel like Alluring Avocado helps keep water in the hair and ensures the razor glides easily over skin. We also suggest soaking in a warm bath or shower two to three minutes prior to shaving.

Q. – Life Love Beauty: Many women have a difficult time shaving knees, so what are your tips for shaving the knee and ankle areas? What techniques would help to ensure you get rid of the hair in those areas effectively?

Gillette Venus Embrace replacement blades, available at Amazon.comA. – Ellen Kane: One way to ensure you’re getting rid of hair in hard-to-shave areas is to leave them for last. Letting these areas soak in shaving gel (like Satin Care Alluring Avocado) as long as possible.  Also, Embrace has five curve-hugging blades individually adjust to stay in contact with the skin – even around such tricky shaving areas as the knees and ankles.

Q. – Life Love Beauty: How long should the hair-free results last before needing to shave again?

A. – Ellen Kane:
This will vary for each person, but Embrace helps to cut down on the frequency of shaves needed to achieve even better results than other razors.

Q. – Life Love Beauty: Does the razor have replacement blades? If so, how often should the blade be replaced?

A. – Ellen Kane: Yes, we have replacement blades (retail value $13.49 – $14.99). These should be used whenever the blades begin to feel dull, but on average women replace blades of a razor after about 10 shaves.

Q. – Life Love Beauty: Is it best to shave in the tub / shower or outside of it?

A. – Ellen Kane:
This is all about comfort in our opinion! The only thing that matters is making sure your skin has been able to soak in water and you’ve applied shave gel to trap the moisture.

You can buy the Gillette Venus Embrace Razor at your favorite drugstore or mass retailer, or at

About the Expert:
Ellen Kane is a representative for Gillette, the Gillette Venus Embrace razor, and the Satin Care Alluring Avocado shave gel. Visit Gillette Venus online at

Product Review: OFF! Skintastic Smooth & Dry Insect Repellent

I am a big fan of NOT getting bit by mosquitoes and other annoying insects, so I was very excited to try out this new formula of OFF! familycare Smooth & Dry by Skintastic. OFF! Skintastic Smooth & Dry, available at

My husband and I visited the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York twice in August this year. While we are up there, we spend a lot of time outdoors, so keeping bugs pray on hand is always a good idea. We tested the OFF! Smooth & Dry insect repellent several times during our vacation – on a hike through the woods on a mountain and also at the campfire at night.

The insect repellent went on easily and although it still smelled like bug spray, it did not smell as bad as most similar products smell. As product literature claims, the spray did not leave me feeling sticky or gross after application. In fact, after just a few moments, I had already forgotten I was wearing any bug spray.

OFF! Skintastic Smooth & Dry contains the active ingredient DEET in 15% potency. It of course carries a number of warnings and cautionary notices regarding avoidance of contact with eyes and mouth, extreme heat, and so forth.

OFF! Skintastic Smooth & Dry, available at

The back of the can notes that this product repels mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, biting flies, chiggers, and fleas. To apply the OFF! repellent to your face, the best practice is to spray some into the palm of your hand and then apply it to your face evenly, but avoiding your eye area. You can spray the OFF! on your clothing, too – in fact, it works really well on shoes and pant legs, wrists, hoods, and around the waist. You’ll do a good job protecting yourself from insect bites if you follow the directions and spray the repellent at any vulnerable spots.

I read some other reviews that mentioned a white powder / cornstarch residue when using this type of OFF! insect repellent; however I did not notice this on any of the occasions that I used the product. I suppose it is possible that I could notice this in the future use of the product. As long as it is easy to remove by washing, I don’t think I will mind too much. So far I am very pleased with the ease of use, cleaner feeling, and effectiveness of OFF! Skintastic familycare Smooth & Dry insect repellent.

OFF! Skintastic Smooth & Dry Insect Repellent is available at for $6.93 per can.


Product Review: Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm

What a perfect fall scent! Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm delivers a warm and delightful aroma to the body whenever it is applied. Juara Candlenut Hand and Body Balm, available at Amazon.comThe balm truly is rich and luxurious, boasting a thick and emollient consistency that offers full coverage of even the driest parts of your skin.

Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm protects skin from the elements – especially wind and water – by providing this defensive barrier. This product contains Vitamin E and also candlenut oil, which nourishes the skin deeply and moisturizes effectively for a soft and smooth finish.

I like the Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm because a little bit really does go a long way. When I apply this product to my skin, I don’t have to go back and reapply as often as I do with many other types of body crèmes.

Juara Candlenut Hand and Body Balm, available at Amazon.comJuara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm is on the Juara Web site’s list of fall and winter must-haves, and I must agree. If you like a mildly nutty fragrance that reminds of fresh baked goods, then this product may be perfect for you. The aroma is sweet yet subtle, and memorable.

On an environmental note, Juara is 100 percent vegetarian. The company does not engage in any animal testing and the products contain no artificial colorants, sulfates, or pthalates. It is also dermatologist tested and paraben-free. How’s that for healthy and environmentally sound?

Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm is available in two sizes – travel size (1.2 oz.) or full size (4.75 oz.). The candlenut fragrance is also available in a body creme and body polish. The packaging is stylish and appealing to the eye, featuring a chocolate brown background with a bit of floral edging.

Juara Skincare Candlenut Hand and Body Balm is available in a 4 oz. size at for $25. You can also learn more at

Product Review: The Power of Plants BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish by Boots

BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish by Boots turned out to be not just another run of the mill facial cleanser. I really enjoy this product and I find that it leaves my face feeling cleaner and my skin feeling softer than any other product I’ve used.

Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish, available at The BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish has a pretty, pale green color and tiny scrubby microbeads that help to exfoliate your skin, buffing away the dry skin and dead cells, leaving behind soft, new skin. The facial polish’s fragrance is subtle, but despite being light, it is clean and pleasant. This cleanser is gentle on skin and enjoyable to use, as the tiny scrubby beads massage the skin as you cleanse.

 Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish contains box holly and ginger extracts, which aid in purifying and invigorating the skin and in the exfoliation process. The facial potion also contains beads of Vitamin E which burst during the cleansing process to provide additional care to the skin.Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish, available at

Although I use several different facial care products each week, Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish is my favorite because my skin is left feeling radiant, soft, and beautiful. The plant extracts and other botanical ingredients make me feel healthier and as if I’ve taken a good step toward living a better lifestyle.

Because it is so gentle yet effective in revitalizing the skin, Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish is appropriate for any skin type. One of my other favorite perks of this facial cleanser is that it is very easy and convenient to be able to use it during my shower. To use this product, simply apply a small amount to a wet face and gently massage in a circular motion on forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose. Rinse thoroughly.

My container of Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish is reaching the end and I will soon have to pick up another bottle. It isn’t often that I find a product that I like enough to establish a brand loyalty, but I think Boots may have me with its BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish. Kudos!

Boots BOTANICS In Shower Facial Polish is available at for $7.99 for a 3.3 Fl. Oz. bottle.

What Are the Benefits of Using Shaving Cream?

There’s just something about smooth skin. Women strive to rid their bodies of unwanted body hair, leaving behind silky smooth legs, hair-free underarms, and a neatly groomed – or even bare – bikini area. Gillette Satin Care Shaving Gel, available at Amazon.comShaving to remove body hair is a task that is done sometimes on a daily basis, if not every other day. To get the closest, most effective shave, many women turn to shaving cream to facilitate the shaving process. Shaving creams and shaving gels are available in a wide variety of brands, styles, and fragrances, and they truly do impact the quality of your shave.

Hair-free is a preference many women share, determined to free their legs, underarms, and even bikini area of body hair. Shaving can become a fairly mechanical process over time, but nicks, cuts, and missed hairs still prevail time and time again. Using shaving cream offers a number of benefits for a closer shave, as well as a more luxurious shaving experience than simply using soap and water to shave.

A variety of different shaving creams, razors, and shaving products saturate the market, so it is important to test different items until you find the ones that work best for your body. Even though using shaving cream may take a little longer than shaving with the soap suds on your loofah, you will find the benefits of using shaving cream or shaving gel to be well worthwhile.

The Benefits of Using Shaving Cream

Shaving cream provides a smooth, close shave that is both gentle and accurate. Due to its thick consistency, shaving creams and shaving gels tend to stick to the skin better than soap suds. Can you imagine a man trying to shave his face with just soap and water? The results could be painful and disastrous. Why should we give our own body parts any less consideration?

Women can enjoy the various fragrances available for shaving creams, as well as the products’ delightful moisturizing properties. Using shaving cream often leaves legs softer and free from dry skin longer than if using only soap and water to shave. Some shaving gels and creams actually contain nutrients and antioxidants.

eos shaving creamShaving Cream Product Reviews – Two Hot Products to Leave Your Skin Silky Smooth
As research for this article, I had the pleasure to test various shaving techniques and products to determine a few things I would like to recommend. My favorite new shaving creams are eos and Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel in Alluring Avocado.

Firstly, eos (evolution of smooth) ultra moisturizing shave cream is available in three delightful fragrances – Pomegranate Raspberry, Island Blue, and Vanilla Bliss. I must admit – some of the fun of using these products is that two of them also incorporate a pretty hint of color to the cream. The eos shaving cream easily dispenses from an ergonomic, rust-proof bottle with a convenient pump dispenser. The bottle is plastic and easily recyclable, which also scores major points!

I would be remiss if I failed to mention another great feature of eos – you can use it wet or dry. The cream is thick and nourishing, and contains natural ingredients like aloe, oat, and shea butter, as well as antioxidant vitamins C + E. The skin on my legs didn’t dry out after I dried off from the shower. In fact, my legs remained soft and smooth longer after the shave than when using just soap and water.

Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel in Alluring Avocado offers a full, foamy shaving solution, complete with aloe, jasmine, and orange blossom for a luxurious shaving experience. This product leaves skin soft and satiny smooth, and of course, moisturized to the max. The shaving gel comes in a traditional can with contents under pressure and a metal ring on the bottom, however, the pump releases gel in a smooth stream for perfect application directly on the body or dispensed into the hands.

I really loved the volume of Alluring Avocado’s foam – and a little bit really does go a long way. This shaving product makes an everyday shave more effective and less like a chore. Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel offers a pleasant, calming fragrance and a supremely rich lather.

The Gillette Venus Embrace Razor is the perfect companion to either of these shaving cream products. The blades stay ever-so-sharp for what seems like an eternity of uses, and the razor’s shape is perfect for contouring around the female anatomy.

The line of eos shaving cream retails for $4.99 and is available at Target, Wegmans and Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel in Alluring Avocado is available at for $2.99.

What Is Laser Hair Removal and How Does It Work

Don’t we all find the thought of never having to shave our legs again even the least bit enticing? All that time saved, no more nicks or cuts, no more ingrown hairs, razor burn, or panic at realizing we forgot to shave. Looking for more permanent hair removal options...? (Photo courtesy of women turn to laser hair removal when they get fed up with shaving or when they realize how much time they can save themselves in the long run. Laser hair removal also treats hair removal on other parts of the body for both women and men, delivering smooth and hair-free results over time.

But, in the long run, is laser hair removal really worth the cost? Is it permanent and effective? Is laser hair removal really a safe hair removal option? Read on to get the inside scoop on laser hair removal and how it works from Daniel N. Ronel, MD, a doctor specializing in laser hair removal.

Q. What are some permanent hair removal options?

A. Dr. Ronel: Although there are many temporary measures that can be used to remove hair (waxing, creams, shaving, plucking), the way to remove hair permanently is to destroy the bulb from which the hair grows. The only two methods are electrolysis and laser therapy. Electrolysis is a tedious, invasive, and painful process that involves inserting a needle into each individual hair follicle and delivering an electrical charge to them one at a time. Electrolysis often requires years of treatments at regular intervals. By delivering light energy to hundreds of hair follicles at a time, laser hair removal effectively treats an area in just seconds that would take over an hour with electrolysis.

Both techniques are not 100% perfect; that is, hair can occasionally grow back. These “regrowths” are easily treated.

Q. What are the risks, cons, or side effects of laser hair removal? Is it dangerous? Is it painful? Does the pain last after the procedure? Is there scarring?

A. Dr. Ronel: There are many different lasers that can be used for hair removal — some are more effective and gentler than others. The new lasers, such as the Cutera ProWave, can cause a mild pinching or stinging sensation. No local anesthesia or pain medication is typically required. Most patients experience few side effects, such as slight reddening and local swelling of the skin, similar to a sunburn. These typically last for several hours or less. In rare instances, blistering may occur. The more experienced the operator, the less likely it is that any side effects will occur, so it is important to check the credentials of the person operating the laser. Improper use can cause darkening of the skin, and even burning and scarring.

Q. How long does it take for laser hair removal to be most effective? (Hours, days, weeks, months, number of sessions?)

A. Dr. Ronel: Effects are seen right away. Laser hair removal targets growing hairs, so the therapy must be repeated as new hairs enter the growth cycle. This is usually every three to four weeks, depending on the individual. Underarms and the bikini line usually requires four sessions, legs typically require four to six sessions. After the sessions are completed, usually a smaller series of three sessions is required yearly, although this varies by the individual.

BEFORE laser hair removal (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ronel) AFTER laser hair removal (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ronel)

Q. Is the hair gone for good?

A. Dr. Ronel: It is not 100% permanent, but when hair grows back in between sessions, it is usually at half the thickness it was before.

Q. What does the patient need to do to prepare for this procedure?

A. Dr. Ronel: Shave the area; do not pluck or wax before the treatment (the hair has to be there for the laser to work on it). Dark hair, light skin, and coarse hair are the easiest to treat. People with dark skin may not be ideal candidates, but still benefit from treatment and may require more sessions. Blond, grey, and red hairs are difficult to treat with a laser, and tanned patients must wait until the tan fades before treatment.

People with psoriasis, cystic acne, and dermatitis are not good candidates. Those taking Retin A or Accutane should not be treated, and neither should people who have a pacemaker, who are pregnant, or who have metal screws in the area.

Additional Notes:
“Patients spent over $300 million on more than 780,000 laser hair removal treatments in 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,” Dr. Ronel adds.

“The new lasers can treat a wide range of skin types, and the large handpiece on the Prowave can quickly treat large areas, such as women’s legs and men’s backs.”