Restaurant Review: Mardi Gras Fun at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tantalizing seafood and a fun, festive atmosphere are just the beginning at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill in New Orleans, LA. Whether you find yourself in the French Quarter of the Big Easy during the Mardi Gras festivities or any other time during the year, the Red Fish Grill is a must-see restaurant no matter how you spin it.

Bright, bold colors bedeck the walls of this casual seafood eatery and eclectic décor featuring fish and sea life themed works of art hang along the walls above the bar and all around the restaurant. Choices of seating accommodate a cozy table for two to a large group of friends vacationing together and everyone in between.

Tasty libations on the beverage menu get your meal started off on a fun and social note, with such great concoctions as specialty lemonades, Mojitos, and more. The bar begins serving at 11 a.m., just in time for the perfect lunch at a casual seafood restaurant on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. With lunch entrees at just $7 – $12, you can really enjoy your experience to the fullest, also sampling the savory soups, salads, and appetizers on the menu. (Dinner entrees at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill range from $13 to $22, a great price for delicious New Orleans seafood!)   Whether you are in the mood for a classic New Orleans bite like the crusty, breaded Shrimp Po Boy or a more involved, yet just as cultural meal, such as the jambalaya (Pasta jambalaya here, with delightful bowtie pasta during our Mardi Gras luncheon), you’re sure to enjoy what the Red Fish Grill has to offer. If you visit the Red Fish Grill during the Carnival season, be prepared that the menu may be scaled back to accommodate the larger than normal crowds the city of New Orleans experiences during this time. Not to worry – the amended menu still offers something for everyone, from fish to sandwiches, salads, and more. Our group visited the Red Fish Grill on our friend’s recommendation. A Louisiana native, Brandy knew the restaurant received much acclaim in Louisiana as being a great seafood restaurant, but also that it had received an award for being the Best Seafood Restaurant four years in a row. The tempting Mardi Gras menu, while condensed from the standard lunch menu at Red Fish, still posed a number of perplexing decisions, with many enticing entrees available for lunch, not to mention soups, salads, and appetizers. I opted for a Louisiana treat of a soup of the day and sandwich, consisting of a delicious crab soup, which I will forever dream of as being the best I’ve ever had, and a Shrimp Po Boy, featuring golden battered, crispy shrimp on a crusty Leidenheimer po-boy loaf. I ordered my meal on recommendation by our Louisiana pals as being one classic New Orleans dish you couldn’t pass up on your vacation, and I was not disappointed. (I’m also quite sure the strong bread component of my meal helped me through the rest of our day of parades and traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.) My husband went for the full Monte in ordering the Jambalaya (with pasta instead of rice: cleverly dubbed “pastalaya”), which boasted “sautéed Gulf shrimp, roasted chicken, and Creole Country andouille sausage tossed in a rich tomato natural reduction sauce with spirali, Creole seasonings and topped with Parmesan cheese.” Thanks to a great first taste, jambalaya fast became his meal of choice for the remainder of our visit to the Big Easy. Although I must admit, he tried jambalaya in two or three other restaurants during our stay, none of which even compared to the dish he enjoyed at the Red Fish Grill. If I am ever fortunate enough to find myself in New Orleans again – whether on business or pleasure – I fully plan to visit Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill again, perhaps for dinner next time. From superb food to excellent service and a great atmosphere to share with your sweetheart or a group of friends, family, or colleagues, this restaurant will forever remain one of my favorite casual seafood dining experiences. I highly recommend visiting the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans if you ever find yourself in town.

About the Restaurant: The Red Fish Grill is located at 115 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130. For more information, call (504) 598-1200 or visit the Red Fish Grill online at www.Red Fishgrill.com.

Summer Make-up Review: Lacura Cosmetics launching at ALDI

Aldi - Lacura Cosmetics

What if I told you that you can purchase popular cosmetics for less than $4.00 per item? What if I told you that each item was of the highest quality & available at ALDI’s across 30 states? Would you believe me?

I was just introduced to Lacura Skincare and cosmetics the other day and I am astounded by the quality of their products; not to mention the sleek, impressive, shiny packaging that each item was presented in.

Lacura Cosmetics can be purchased for just $1.99 to $3.99 per item. Each item is comparable to (if not better than) those $12-$13.00 products normally bought at a department store. That’s up to 75% less than what you might be spending now!

Lacura was developed by German skincare specialists and are made with the same top quality ingredients found in most expensive labels, but they don’t share the same price tag. The best part is…ALDI (a select assortment discount grocer) is introducing the Lacura cosmetic collection in stores across 30 states in the country…talk about a great deal available right at your fingertips!

Aldi - Lacura CosmeticsI was happily gifted with 2 eye-shadow compacts;  801 Velvet Rose and the 21 Opal shades, 1 Mascara; Volumizing in Black, 1 lipstick; 200 Cool Sand, and 1 nail polish; 200 Cool Sand. Every single item was beautifully packaged in stunning lids and cases. I became excited the minute I received the box and, well, it was all I could do to get some pictures of these items before I ripped into them.

Once I accomplished the obvious (ripping into the packaging), it was off to trying these wonderful products out. I felt great! It didn’t feel or look like I was coated with too much color. The eye shadow shades had a soft shimmer to them, so when applied- it shined. I had the same result from the mascara, nail color and lipstick. The colors were soft yet vibrant. The mascara was light-weight and showed no signs of clumps. The lip color was soft enough to see shine and color but not so soft that you couldn’t tell I was wearing any. I even found that after a day’s worth of wear, I still managed to hold that freshly “just applied” look. My nails have gone chip free also without losing its luster or shine, and that’s without a base or top coat.

Overall, the experience was great! The cosmetics are wonderful and I recommend these cosmetics to even the savviest of shoppers.

What you can find at your nearest ALDI:

Aldi - Lacura CosmeticsEYE SHADOW: assortment of four eye shadows, each sells for $3.99:
o        101 Cocoa
o        801 Velvet Rose
o        302 Lilac Lady
o        21 Opal

MASCARA: Assortment of two mascaras, each sells for $3.99:
o        Waterproof in Black
o        Volumizing in Black

FOUNDATION: Assortment of four foundations, each sells for $3.99:
o        10 Translucent
o        20 Beige
o        30 Sun
o        40 Bronze

COMPACT POWDER/BRUSHES: Assortment of three compact powder/brushes, each sells for $3.99:
o        10 Translucent
o        20 Beige
o        30 Sun
o        76 Sunset Blush

LIPSTICKS: Assortment of five lipsticks, each sells for $3.99:
o        100 Coral
o        200 Cool Sand
o        301 Red Velvet
o        402 Deep Red
o        503 Truffle

NAIL POLISHES: Assortment of six nail polishes, each sells for $1.99:
o        104 Rum Raisin
o        300 Sweet Pink
o        402 Cherry Red
o        405 Classic Red
o        406 Salsa Red
o        800 Clear Base & Top Coat

Aldi - Lacura Cosmetics

ALDI is simply; a leader in the international grocery retailing industry. They began in the United States in 1976 and today, there are more than 1,000 U.S. ALDI stores (primarily from Kansas to the East Coast). ALDI was also named 2009 Retailer of the Year by PL Buyer. They sell more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items and help save customers up to 50 percent on their grocery bill through their select assortment of discount grocery practices. For more information on ALDI, go to www.aldi.us.

Product Review: Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner

For that salon quality look, feel, and fragrance, consider trying out new Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner, both meant to tame frizz-prone curls using aloe-e. If your hair tends to go frizzy on those muggy summer days or just about any time it rains, this de-frizzing duo could be just the product set for you. Combat the frizz and free your hair from its crazy ways with this fragrant shampoo and conditioner set, just in time for the warmer months of the year.

Upon first sight, Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner each boast a vibrant, bright green bottle with flip-top lid. To help you remember which is which, the shampoo bottle opens on the top and the conditioner bottle sits on its lid.

Both products carry a light and slightly fruity aroma that lingers long after your shower concludes. The shampoo’s and conditioner’s fragrances are reminiscent of the same kind of fragrant products your hair enjoys at the hair salon. Another nicety – when you walk by someone within a few hours after washing your hair, the delightful fragrance catches a passing breeze and lingers for all within a nearby radius to enjoy the enticing scent.

 

Perhaps the most striking thing I noticed about Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner is the condition of my hair after washing it with these products. I found my hair soft and fluffy immediately once my hair dried and the softness lasted all throughout the day. I truly enjoy these products and the way they make my hair look, smell, and feel.

Unless it’s an optical illusion, the Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner products both boast a soft, very pale minty green color and a shimmery sheen, with an overall creamy consistency. These beauty potions are pretty and effective at the same time.

By including Aloe-E, Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner hydrate your hair, leaving it softer, silkier, and frizz-free. The products allow hair to take on its own natural wave or curl, minus the sometimes frizzy texture. If you want to get sexy natural curls and waves, give Sunsilk Captivating Curls a shot. The results are great and the price can’t be beat.

Sunsilk Hairapy Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner retail for under $4 each. This product line by Sunsilk includes shampoo, conditioner, cream gel, scrunching mousse, and de-frizz leave in cream. The products are available at drugstores, supermarkets, and mass retailers near you. You can also buy these Sunsilk products in bulk at Amazon.com.

Compare and Contrast Product Review – Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel vs. Suave Naturals Sweet Pea and Violet Indulgent Body Wash

Suave Sweet Pea & Violet Indulgent Body WashBath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower GelIn case you were wondering, both Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel and Suave Naturals Sweet Pea and Violet Indulgent Body Wash offer a delightful aroma of fragrant and flowery sweet pea essences. They are both a lovely shade of pink and also produce a rich and foamy lather to enhance your bathing experience.

Both Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel and Suave Naturals Sweet Pea and Violet Indulgent Body Wash offer benefits and a pleasant showering session, from the fragrance to the softness of your skin after the shower. You might notice other similarities about the two shower gel products or you might find that you like one product over the other.

In my experience, I found enough similarities between the two sweet pea shower gel products that I would not necessarily place my loyalties with one over the other, except perhaps if I had to pay full price for the Bath & Body Works product. Then I would more likely spend my money on the Suave equivalent, as there is not a strong enough difference for me personally to want to pay $6 or $7 more for two ounces less of one product over another.

To give you a clear picture of the similarities and differences of both Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel and Suave Naturals Sweet Pea and Violet Indulgent Body Wash, I’ve decided to compile some data below. Enjoy the findings! I hope this helps you to decide if you must stick with the name brand or if you are willing to save a few bucks and go with the cheaper product.
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;}

Category

Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel

 Bath & Body Works Pleasures Sweet Pea Shower Gel

Suave Naturals Sweet Pea and Violet Indulgent Body Wash

Suave Sweet Pea & Violet Indulgent Body Wash

Availability

Purchase at Bath & Body Works stores and at various online merchants.

Purchase at your favorite drugstore, supermarket, mass retailers, or online.

Color

Very pale, clear pink color

Pinker in color than Bath & Body Works, but still transparent

Fragrance

Delightful fragrance – only very slightly muskier than the Suave counterpart.

Bottle notes “Fragrance appeal of Bath & Body Works”… The fragrance of the Suave product seems a bit sweeter to me, but it is just as pleasant and enjoyable.

Ingredients

  • Infused with real sweet violet extract
  • Also contains: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract.

Infused with sweet pea and violet extracts

Lather

Rich and foamy

Rich and foamy

Size

10 oz / 295 mL

12 oz / 355 mL

Type of container

Bottle with screw cap that you press in to release product.

Standing bottle with flip-top lid for pouring / dispensing.

Retail Cost

$9.50

$2.79 – $4.99

Where to buy:

You can order this product online at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ALZKA8?ie=UTF8&tag=danceswithwor-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001ALZKA8

Get a larger size, 33.8 oz, for $19.99.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001N1DZWA?ie=UTF8&tag=danceswithwor-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001N1DZWA

You can order this product online at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ALZKA8?ie=UTF8&tag=danceswithwor-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001ALZKA8

In my experience, I found enough similarities between the two sweet pea shower gel products that I would not necessarily place my loyalties with one over the other, except perhaps if I had to pay full price for the Bath & Body Works product. Then I would more likely spend my money on the Suave equivalent, as there is not a strong enough difference for me personally to want to pay $6 or $7 more for two ounces less of one product over another.

Whatever you decide, I am confident that either of these products would make a fine quality bath gel or shower gel, making cleansing a breeze. Enjoy!

Book Review – “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert

A novel with an interesting tale to tell, “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert is a book for those who enjoy reading as much for the style as for the tale. altDespite this fact, this is not a story for those who enjoy an easy-to-read novel that one cannot bear to put down. Far from the light and breezy style of a Harlequin romance novel, “Stern Men” offers a sedate story that winds through several generations of the heroine’s family. If one can hang in there for the finish, it is worth the wait.

Although I did indeed find myself laughing out loud at times, I also found myself wishing that these moments were more frequent. Perhaps I’ve changed in my likes and dislikes as far as reading goes because this is exactly the type of novel that I used to enjoy thoroughly and completely. Unfortunately, I cannot say this is true anymore. If you want to read a book of substance, then this is a book that you should pick up. If you want a quick read, visit the corner store.

Set off the coast of Maine, the novel traverses the lives of strong women who must undergo discrimination, recrimination, and the lot that befalls them simply because of birth. The tale takes one along the lives of women who suffer much while trying to find a few moments of happiness. It involves the lives of people who live separately on two remote islands. Despite the separate nature of these lives, they become intertwined in a not-so-happy manner.

The heroine of “Stern Men” has a mind of her own and finds a way to combat the idiosyncrasies of island living. Embracing her heritage and doping with the provincial minds of men set in their ways, she breaks out of the mold and uses her wits and intelligence to forge a life for herself on the islands that have been so dominated by men all of these years.

One of the facets to this book that I did thoroughly enjoy are the little tidbits of lobster lore at the beginning of each chapter that were culled from various sources including “The Lobster Fishery of Maine,” “The American Lobster: A Study of Its Habits and Development,” and “Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Lore.” Each of these tidbits is interesting and educational at the same time.

For readers who can smell the salt of the sea almost upon command or taste the flesh of expertly cooked lobster at will, “Stern Men” is the read they are looking to enjoy. In fact, for readers who enjoy seeing women get the best of men, this is a story that is sure to please.

Editor’s Note: You can order “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert online at Amazon.com as a paperback at a bargain price.

Product Review: Bring a Tropical or Exotic Atmosphere to Your Home with Febreze Destination Scents

If you are Febreze Destination Scents are available at Amazon.com.looking for a fun and fragrant way to spruce up your home for the spring and summer, give some thought into the little details rather than a big, extravagant plan. Sometimes the simpler things in life can have the greatest impact. One such example is the new line of Destination Scents by Febreze.

These lovely room fresheners, sprays, and candles may seem small, but they go a long way to freshening up more than just a room. You can really liven up your home and its atmosphere with Febreze Destination Scents.

Febreze NOTICEables Destination Scents Fragrance Warmers to Plug in
Order Febreze Destination Scents products online at Amazon.com.As one example, the fragrance from the Febreze NOTICEables Moroccan Bazaar fragrance warmer traveled throughout much of the first floor of our two-story home. The unit is similar to a Glade Plug-in, but of considerably higher quality and craftsmanship. The fragrance traveled from the bathroom to the laundry room, kitchen and beyond, so much so that my husband noticed the wonderful fragrance and commented about how nice it made our home smell.

The Febreze NOTICEables Moroccan Bazaar fragrance warmer infuses the aroma of fresh-ground ginger and nutmeg, among other ingredients to simulate the bags and barrels brimming with spice at the Moroccan Spice Market, which inspired the creation of this particular item by Febreze. The interesting thing about this product is that it alternates between the two individual fragrance bottles and a little green light illuminates to tell you which scent is currently diffusing through the air.

The Febreze NOTICEables fragrances should last roughly 30 days (or more on low) and each fragrance warmer offers a built-in intensity dial that allows you to increase or decrease the amount of fragrance diffusing at any time.

Febreze Destination Scents Hawaiian Aloha Odor Eliminating Candle
Another exotic and tropical item you might like to try for freshening up your home is the Febreze Hawaiian Aloha Odor Eliminating Candle. This pretty and fragrant candle offers a lovely and appealing design in a round glass votive. The fragrance is light and tropical, inspired by the yellow Hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii.

Although I haven’t yet burned the candle, the fragrance still manages to freshen up our upstairs bathroom. The Febreze candle is designed to last up to 30 hours of burn time and works to eliminate odors in one hour intervals (i.e., burn for minimum one hour at a time).

Febreze Destination Scents Brazilian Carnaval Odor Eliminating Air Effects® Room Spray
Febreze Destination Scents product review - buy products online at Amazon.com.Finally, one more enticing product from the Febreze Destination Scents line that you simply must try is the Brazilian Carnaval Room Spray. This fragrance comes in a pretty aqua blue metal spray can with a plastic nozzle and trigger. The Brazilian Carnaval scent is inspired by the lush green groves of acai berry palms that are found deep within the Amazon.

The Brazilian Carnaval Room Spray delivers a simply delightful aroma that may just make you want to spray rooms for the sheer bliss of enjoying the wonderful room spray. To fully get the effects of this product, you should spray each room with a sweeping motion to bring the freshness to your entire home. This room spray works to eliminate odors and freshen up rooms as needed. It’s especially great for the kitchen and bathroom, but don’t neglect your bedrooms, family areas, and the rest of your home. In fact, your car can even benefit from a little Brazilian Carnaval fragrance.

The Febreze Destination Scents product line includes the three authentic scents of Hawaiian Aloha, Brazilian Carnaval and Moroccan Bazaar. Retail prices for each of the different products in the line vary, but you can find coupons and discounts online at www.febreze.com.You can also find a variety of Febreze Destination Scents products for sale online at Amazon.com.

Product Review: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner for Frizzy, Dry, and Unmanageable Hair

If you are looking Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo, Sleek & Shine - 25.4 Oz - Buy online at Amazon.com.for a good everyday shampoo and conditioner set, you might consider Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner. These products eliminate frizz and leave hair soft and smooth and smelling great for the duration of the day.

The products rinse clean through hair and in my experience, did not seem to leave buildup. I really enjoyed the fragrance and lather produced by Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner.

The Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner products offer the following benefits to your hair:

–    Contains Vitamins B3 and B6.
–    Contains Apricot and Avocado oil.
–    Smoothes hair from root to tip for long lasting frizz control.
–    Improves hair’s texture.
–    Moisturizes and softens hair.
–    Makes hair smoother, stronger, and shinier.

Boasting a delightfully fruity and fresh fragrance, the Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner Sleek & Shine products leave hair looking, feeling, and smelling great. The smell of the shampoo and conditioner is sweet and pleasant, and keeps hair smelling fresh all day long.

These Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner products would be equally well suited for females and males. In fact, I am convinced this is a kind of shampoo and conditioner that the whole family would enjoy using.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner are available in their traditional bright green 13 oz. regular size or 25.4 oz family size containers. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner products retail for between $3.49 and $7.00. You can buy Garnier Fructis products at your favorite drugstores, supermarkets, superstores and mass retailers, as well as online.

For more information about Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner Sleek & Shine and other Garnier Fructis products, visit online at www.garnier.com. You can buy countless Garnier Fructis products online at Amazon.com.

Product Review: SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash with Essential Oil

SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash with Essential Oil delivers a delightful spa-like fragrance that is enticing yet subtle at the same time. The fragrance features light floral notes of and the body wash potion itself soaks in, leaving fresh, soft skin.

The color of the SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash is a pretty lilac purple tone with a shimmery sheen and a soft, silky consistency. The body wash itself makes skin soft and smooth with each use, also moisturizing skin rather than drying it out like some types of body wash cleansers.

The SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash formula is fortified with essential oils and works with the steam of your shower to lock the moisture into your skin, leaving it soft and smooth and silky. The Moisture Wrap formula is creamy and produces a full and rich lather with lots of soft, soapy bubbles. The lather envelopes your body from head to toe, leaving a soft and sexy fragrance that lingers very lightly even after your shower.

To use this product, simply squeeze a small amount onto your pouf, loofah, or washcloth and lather as much as desired. SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash with Essential Oil is gentle enough to use every day and you can even use it as a shaving cream.

The Dermatologist tested SoftSoap Spa Radiant Body Wash is also available in two other Spa Radiant varieties – Exfoliating with Mineral Sea Salts or Purifying with Aromatic Botanicals. SoftSoap Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash with Essential Oil retails for between $4.49 and $5.99 for an 18 oz bottle. You can buy SoftSoap Spa Radiant Body Wash in your favorite drugstore, grocery store, or super store / mass retailer.

You can also order SoftSoap Spa Radiant Body Wash online at Amazon.com.

For more information about SoftSoap Spa Radiant Body Wash, visit www.softsoap.com.

Best of SPRING 2009: Shē Essential Beauty Product Review

Imagine – lying in the center of a grassy field… She Essential Beauty Cuticle Butter (Photo Courtesy of She Essential Beauty)gazing at the sky as it blankets you with soft warm breezes and a blissful view of the clouds above. Surrounding you is the sweetened intense aroma of fresh cut lemons and fragranced grass… the aromas are breathtaking and the feeling of serenity comes over you.

This is the feeling that lavished me when I opened a jar of cuticle butter from Shē Essential Beauty {I also received the facial serum, which was no less enchanting than the first experience}. The smells are tantalizing; they grab you the moment you open a bottle (or jar) and whisk you away to unimaginable places… And all of this happens before you’ve even begun to use the product.

Shē Essential Beauty is a formulation that harnesses the healing power of Chinese herbs. It maintains a luxurious smell and touch that triggers a sense of well-being, and again, serenity. Shē is founded by Laura Kauffmann and Beth Hooper (licensed acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists). Together they have created a brand that centers on the concept of “beauty from within.”

She Essential Beauty Cuticle Butter (Photo by Barbara Baker)Shē Essential Beauty products are made from organic and natural ingredients. They are free of *parabens and other *synthetics. They also use recyclable packaging that supports the “green philosophy.”

When you use Shē, you will see substantial transformation in the overall well-being of your mind and body. Shē lines include: balms, toners, scrubs, washing grains, body serums, cuticle and body butters, herbal bath salts, and calming room sprays.

I personally felt a change; all the dry and flaky spots that were visible moments before just seemed to have disappeared; it instantly left my skin feeling soft, vibrant, and rejuvenated. The plus was that aromatic smell; because I added a small drop of the facial serum to my face, I was left smelling the fragrance all day long not to mention the soft silk feeling my skin expressed.

While I won’t go into much detail with every ingredient used to make these products such remarkable products, I will say this – the benefits you get are evident through the testimonials (and by what I’ve noticed in such a short period of time). I simply urge you to see what Shē can do for you.

If you’re looking for products that give you optimum benefits quickly, as well as something that will give you long lasting results, please go to Shē Essential Beauty’s official website and read on. While you’re there, feel free to shop around. There’s plenty to learn and a substantial amount of interesting information about the founders of Shē Essential Beauty along with their philosophy.

She Essential Beauty Facial Serum (Photo Courtesy of She Essential Beauty)The two items I reviewed were:
Facial Serum (ARV of $60.00) = Packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, this facial serum is naturally beneficial to all skin types. Inspired by the beauty regimes of the ancient empresses of China, Shē has blended the highest grade Chinese pearl with nutrient rich oils and silk amino acids for added skin rejuvenation benefits.

She Essential Beauty Cuticle Butter (Photo Courtesy of She Essential Beauty)Lemongrass Cuticle Butter (ARV $15.00) = All-natural butters combined with organic essential oils and Chinese herbs to create a powerful cure for dry damaged cuticles (as a note: I also used this product on my elbows and knees. I instantly felt a smoothness that I didn’t have before).

There are many other products available to shop for, and I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding what you’re looking for.

*Meanings (for your convenience):
Parabens [par*a*ben] = a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen. Evidence suggests that parabens can play a role in the development of breast tumors. Use: preservative in cosmetics, deodorants, food.

Synthetic [syn*thet*ic] = made artificially by chemical synthesis, especially so as to resemble a natural product.

Award for Uniqueness in Beauty Products for All Needs while Maintaining Company PhilosophyI give an award to Shē Essential Beauty for uniqueness in beauty products as well as producing a product that is suitable for everyone’s needs while standing behind their philosophy.

Best Anytime Grooming Tool for Between Waxings or Whenever – Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition)

If you are looking for an easy way to keep up with grooming your girl parts, legs, and underarms, look no further than the Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (spa edition). This personal and totable trimmer and groomer makes it easy to groom your own style down there or take it all off in only moments. Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe is a great blessing for keeping up with your grooming needs while on vacation, on your honeymoon, or even at home in between waxings.Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kit

I have to say, I am very pleased with the results I’ve seen using the Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe grooming tool. My favorite grooming attachment of the moment, the epilator head offers hair removal for weeks at a time, and with a considerably less painful method than waxing. I typically use at-home waxing kits for hair removal, but the epilator function of the Bikini Perfect Deluxe won over my heart in so many ways – the epilator process is much quicker, cleaner, and less painful than waxing. It’s yet to be seen if the results last exactly as long as waxing, but so far so good, and quite honestly, the benefits so far are more than enough to sway me.

Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kitThe epilator head is also great for removing hair from your underarms. Waxing the underarm area is usually much easier and quicker than waxing the bikini area at home, but with an epilator, the timing to complete the grooming task is slashed incredibly. And the hair-free results last and last. And allow me to reiterate – while some of the attachments are a bit more intimidating than others, this personal grooming product is very easy and gentle on the skin. I did not suffer any nicks, scrapes, or bumps.

If you aren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of the epilator, the Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe also offers five other attachments for grooming your personal areas. The six total grooming attachments include: Precision Trimmer, Micro Shaver, Precision Comb, Micro Trimmer, Epilator, and Eyebrow Comb. The functions performed by each of these grooming attachments are as follows:

Precision Trimmer – Grooms bikini line with precision and comfort.

Micro Shaver – Provides extra smooth and safe hair removal with hypo-allergenic foil.

Precision Comb
– Adjusts to five length settings to ensure even grooming.

Micro Trimmer – Works to shape and define eyebrows or removes a single hair.

Epilator – Removes hair by the root for weeks-long hair-free results.

Eyebrow Comb – Trims entire eyebrow to desired uniform length.

Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kitBliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kitBliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kit
Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kitBliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe (Spa Edition) personal grooming kit

The Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe kit also includes a cute aqua blue tote bag for taking your personal grooming kit on trips with you, as well as Bliss Ingrown Hair Eliminating Peeling Pads, Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter, and Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub. With the six attachments, carrying bag, and lotions and potions, this personal grooming kit is a steal at its retail price of $59.99… but you can currently order the Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe online at Amazon.com for $10 cheaper, $49.99 with free Super Saver Shipping.

The Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe HP6378 Spa-At-Home Grooming System is the perfect way to start the spring and summer off on the right foot, but truly, this bikini grooming kit is a blessing and the perfect beauty accessory to keep you in great, hair-free shape all year long. The unit is rechargeable and a single charge lasts longer than needed to complete your grooming on various areas (about 35 minutes per charge). The Bliss-Phillips Bikini Perfect Deluxe is also safe to use both in and out of the shower. It comes with a full two year warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee, but as far as I’m concerned, you will be thrilled with this handy beauty device and its miraculous results.

The Bliss-Phillips Bikini Perfect product line is available in the Bliss catalog, Web site, at spas, and at Sephora, and Ulta for $59.99. Or, you can order it for $49.99 with free shipping at Amazon.com!

Special Offer through 5/31/09 on Amazon.com: Save $10 when you spend $49 or more on select TRESemme Philips and Bliss-Philips appliances sold by Amazon.com. Use the following promotional code when you check out: PHLPSMY9. Offer valid through May 31, 2009.

About Bliss-Phillips:
Bliss, the celebrity beloved spa, and Phillips, the electronic grooming expert, teamed up to offer this convenient personal grooming accessory. For additional information about Bliss-Philips Bikini Perfect Deluxe, visit online and check out the fun and interactive site at www.bliss.philips.com.

Skintimate’s Moisturizing Cream Shave—A Splash of Hydration for Smooth, Springtime Legs

Product Review of Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave (Photo by Karin A. Kovacik)Nature’s most primitive creations — from trees and leaves, to flowers and stems — act as our indelible shadows, our ever-present Earthly neighbors with whom we co-exist in the surrounding world. We bask under one universal sky and sparkle in the same flints of sunlight. We undergo the same seasonal sensations — from the harsh, unforgiving winds of winter to the fresh, easy breezes of spring. Why is it then, that in experiencing these same conditions, we often react in such drastically opposing manners?

The trees of spring clothe themselves in abundant foliage as a tribute to the signs of warmth — covering their once barren limbs with thick layers of adornment. However, as we breathe in the first calming breath of spring, we think only of basking in that warmth, removing our burdensome coverings and exposing what had been hidden all winter long. As women, our limbs scream for release and we are undoubtedly ready to show off our long, beautiful legs to the world.

But in order to do this with confidence, we still need to take some hints from nature — and more specifically, from Skintimate. Skintimate’s new Moisturizing Cream Shave, infused with luxurious, natural ingredients, is a must-have for the warm weather season, as it effortlessly provides us with legs that are hydrated, silky smooth and ready for confident exposure under the sunny spotlight of spring.

The Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave line comes in two different formulas — providing women of all skin types with a suitable solution for healthy and hydrated legs. The Dry Skin formula, fragranced with a subtle hint of Cashmere Rain, is the perfect treatment for women needing that extra splash of moisture, after suffering through frigid months of the ever common winter itch. For those that dread the shaving routine and its seemingly unavoidable results of nicks and cuts, Skintimate’s alternate Extra Gentle formula, with a fresh scent of Soothing Petals, can provide that extra protection needed for sensitive skin. But no matter what the formula, both products expertly combine the aspects of a typical shaving cream with the lavish features of a lightweight moisturizing lotion — producing results drastically superior to the shaving gels of the past.

With a mere glance at the Skintimate bottles, my mind was instantly transported to the blissful, breezy evenings of spring. The tubes are splashed with soft, pastel colors and the bottoms of the bottles, which emit the shave cream, are shaped into the form of delicate, springtime flowers. A flip of these caps only enhanced this springtime experience, as the air was filled with fresh and flowery scents reminiscent of the season’s notable fragrances. The Dry Skin formula, infused with olive butter and soy, radiated a soft scent similar to vanilla or cocoa butter, and the Extra Gentle product, with Vitamin E and Soy, held a more poignant scent, like the radiating aroma of freshly cut flowers.

Product Review of Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave (Photo by Karin A. Kovacik)When finally dispensing the cream into my palms, I found a product drastically different than the Skintimate lines I’ve used in the past. Years ago, I had used the shaving gels packaged in aerosol cans, dispensing overflowing heaps of bubbling foam. Much to my surprise, Skintimate’s Cream Shave did not arrive in my palm with such a grand entrance, as it simply squeezed out of the bottle just like a regular lotion.  It didn’t bubble up, foam or even produce a lather when applied to the legs. But this cream does not need to produce such an extravagant show to get the job done. In a more demure and reserved manner, it provides all the results of those fancy foams — plus more.

To get started, you need only to apply a small dollop of this lightweight lotion — a portion just enough to coat your legs with one thin layer. Going over the cream with a razor, this lightweight formula proves to be a plus, since it does not quickly clog up the blades — saving you the time that comes with multiple rinses of your razor. With simply one swoop, the hair is instantly removed, and you can already feel the smoothness and deep-down hydration that the product provides.

When it came to Skintimate’s confident claims regarding the protection against nicks and cuts, I was initially hesitant to accept them as truth — until the product almost instantly removed my doubts. In a rush to get ready one evening, I threw caution to the wind when shaving, moving just a bit too quickly. I went over my ankle with the razor, felt a quick pinch of pain and instantly anticipated the usual damage which would occur soon after. To my surprise, however, no cut surfaced, and I continued my routine with a smile, as well as a feeling of shocking disbelief. When I got out of the shower, I saw a slightly red scrape, but it was not bleeding at all. It was as if the Skintimate cream shielded my legs with a protective covering, averting any potential shaving crisis. Having gone through the annoyance of cuts before, holding a tissue to my ankle for what seems like an eternity, I cannot stress to you just how much hassle this product saves.

Overall, the end result that emerges after the use of Skintimate’s Moisturizing Cream Shave is one to applaud. Legs become not only free of stubble, but instantly drenched with hydration and silky smooth to the touch. As part of my routine, I typically apply a lotion after shaving to guard against the razor burn or pesky red bumps that often arise soon after. However, with the Skintimate product, there is simply no need for this step. The cream acts dually as a lotion, guards instantly against any irritation, and keeps your legs feeling extremely silky for hours, even days, after shaving.

To prepare your legs for the shorts and miniskirts of spring, try out Skintimate’s Moisturizing Cream Shave. It is available at almost all drug stores for a retail price of $3.99. For more information about this product or others in the Skintimate line, visit www.skintimate.com.

White Sands Phase 1 Hair Care Products Review

Unbelievable; that’s exactly what you’ll say once you try Phase 1! White Sands Phase 1 Shampoo and Conditioner Product Review by Barbara Baker

Phase 1 shampoo and conditioner, created by White Sands, will completely transform your views on how real shampoo and conditioner is supposed to work. I was so impressed with the automatic results I experienced when I tried this combo that I just know; once you try them, you will feel the same way.

When most people wash their hair I’m sure it feels clean, but they’ve never felt a clean, clean like this before. The smell is fascinating and consumes you. It corrects the moisture balance in your hair; as well, it gives you just enough body and shine to captivate all who see you. It leaves your hair feeling extra soft, clean and weightless, which is something that I have always looked for in a shampoo and conditioner.

Phase 1 is developed for the colorist with a pH level 4.6 for blondes and brunettes. It contains Heliogenol, an herbal extract that protects tinted hair from color loss by neutralizing the oxidative radicals generated by daily UV exposure while slowing down hair-dye oxidation, leaving hair shiny and healthy without residue or buildup.

Let’s face it, most of us feel the ill effects from years of perms, hair coloring and the (oh so) beautiful environmental ailments we subject our hair to every day. It puts a real damper (no pun intended) on our looks and as a result, our hair becomes an eye soar for some. Most of us wish that we had younger, more vibrant looking hair. I’m sure there are a few of us out there that wish they had that natural sheen that embraces hair of the young and youthful; I know I do. I want my hair to look young again.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen drastic improvements in my hair. I am devotedly using White Sands phase 1 shampoo and conditioner and it’s proving to be well worth the time spent “babying” my hair. The feel, texture, and overall appearance of my hair is changing. My hair has become more manageable and lighter on my head. It shines much more than before and the feel is worth talking about.

White Sands Phase 1 Shampoo and Conditioner Product Review by Barbara BakerThe feel, oh the feel that is left after using this combo, is so-o-o nice. The tangles are virtually gone and I’ve found my girls are “petting” my head more often when they sit beside me. They’re bringing out hair brushes and brushing my hair for hours at a time. No kidding; they really like it and they’re telling me so.

They say my hair is so pretty and that it feels so-o-o-o soft (and that means a lot coming from a 5 and 7 year old). Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of reviewing White Sand’s Phase 1 products and recommend it to anyone wanting the same results.

If you are interested in finding White Sands phase 1 shampoo and conditioner; please feel free to check out the official website, www.whitesandsproducts.com.

White Sands Phase 1 Shampoo and ConditionerI gladly give White Sands Phase 1 Shampoo and Conditioner an award for being #1 in products that beautify hair; results you will see and feel from the using these products!