Product Review: Melodic Elements

Melodic Elements Natural Deodorant

Melodic Elements

Natural Deodorant

$5 for 2 oz stick

Available on Melodic Elements website

Jasmine, Lavender, Peppermint Lemongrass, Patchouli, Orange scents

ing: shea butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, essential oil fragrance.

I know simple ingredients list right? That is one of the reasons I switched to using natural deodorants. I wanted to simplify my life by using more natural products with ingredients I could recognize. I also wanted to move away from antiperspirants that contain harmful ingredients that may be cancer causing. I made that switch for good over 3 years ago.  And while I have not regretted my decision, there have been times that I have been less than fresh and that is not okay.  Along this path of hits and misses I was happy about Melodic Elements which is not only Kentucky proud and a Louisville original, it is a Black female owned small business *triple word score* [full disclosure the owner is a friend of mine].

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. Simple all natural ingredients. There are several natural deodorants on the market but many of them contain a long list of ingredients that I have to research. I love that the ingredients listed are readily understood.
  2. Smells divine.  I purchased the Jasmine scent for myself and the Peppermint for my son. They both smell very pleasant but are not overwhelming.
  3. It works. More than wanting to use a natural product I need the product to actually work and this one does. All day long. It has been proven by lasting all day on my pre-teen son. He no longer smells like “outdoor” when he comes home from school.
  4. It lasts.  I can apply this deodorant in the morning and get at least 12 hour wear. Actually I just smelled myself and I still smell good so make that 14 hour wear.
  5. The applicator. I just don’t care for scooping out deodorant with my fingers, I need an applicator.  Not only does it come in an applicator but it works and does not get stuck.

In addition to these things the shea butter base formula glides on easy no crumbing or caking and it absorbs well into the skin.  I have not had any issue with build up or yellowing on the inside of my shirts. I still exfoliate under my arms weekly before shaving but I have not had a concern of build up. I will repurchase this product again and plan to soon actually because I am almost out however one stick lasted for 2+ months.

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Product Review: Thayers Witch Hazel Pads

Thayers Witch Hazel Pads

Thayers Witch Hazel Pads

60 pads, about $7

Available at drug stores, health food stores and online

ing: Purified Water, SD Alcohol 40-B (Natural Grain) 10%, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet of Aloe Vera), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Glycerin (Vegetable), Fragrance (Natural Witch Hazel), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Citric Acid.

Skincare is super important and creating a skin regimen that adjusts to the changes in your skin can be challenging.  Many of you found awesome products in your teens and just kept using them. I need y’all to do better.  One thing that should be included as part of your regimen is witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that works to tone, cleanse and tighten the skin, read more about here.

Thayers Witch Hazel Pads are reminiscent of old school Oxy pads except they don’t feel like they are going to burn your face off.  I use them after cleansing my face nightly to make sure the excess oil and makeup are removed and to shrink my pores.  The cool soothing sensation is an amazing feeling.  I also take these pads with me while traveling for a quick facial cleanse when I cannot do a full wash.

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. It cleanses gently without burning. I’ve used these to clean cuts and scrapes on my son without him hollering and wincing.
  2. You can actually feel your skin tightening after use however it does not feel excessively dry.
  3. The pads also soothe. After long days on the beach in the sun I wipe down my face with one of the pads it feels so good.
  4. The pads come in a plastic container so they won’t dry out.  The one thing I hate about face wipes is those packages is that they never stay sealed and they always end up drying out.
  5. My favorite thing is that the pads of a scrubby side and a smooth one. I like to use the scrubby side on my T-zone and the softer side on my cheeks and around the eyes.

I am sure some of you are thinking the product seems great but the $7 price tag is a bit expensive as compared to $3 alternative.  But I promise you it is worth it. Also using one pad a day this jar will last you for two months. You are worth it and your skin will thank you.

DIY Coconut Avocado Sugar Scrub via @the_WildSeed

Yesterday while talking about my skincare regimen, one of my tweeps @The_WildSeed chimed in commenting that she makes her own exfoliant and was kind enough to allow me to share her recipe.  I like to exfoliate my skin (face included) one to two times a week. Such a small gesture can have wonderful effects on your skin.

diy sugar scrub

@The_WildSeed’s Coconut Avocado Sugar Scrub

What You’ll Need:

  • glass jar with lid
  • coconut oil
  • avocado oil
  • essential oil
  • sugar

Mix equal parts of coconut oil and avocado oil with a few drops of essential oil (I like lavender) set aside.  Place sugar into glass jar then add the oil and mix. As a rule, you want just enough oil to coat all the sugar, you still want the exfoliating properties of the sugar.  Add a couple drops of tea tree oil if you suffer from severe skin issues (eczema).

Haley’s Notes: When I make a scrub I use about a 1:1 ratio of liquid to exfoliant.  Start with 1/2 cup which should be enough for a few applications. You can use any kind of sugar. I suggest using a fine grain if using on your face or a coarser grain for feet/elbows.  You can use any type of oil you like or have laying around. Exfoliate your skin by massaging the scrub in small circles for several minutes then wash and rinse as normal.

Click here for more DIY hair and body recipes. 

Product Review: Buddha Balm

buddha balmBuddha Balm

Natural Plant Based Lip Balm

~$3 for .15 oz

Available online and select natural stores

ing: Soybean oil, Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Ozokerite wax, flavor oil, Lanolin oil, Vitamin E, Candelilla wax, Carnauba wax, Zinc Oxide, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Licorice root extract, organic Stevia, Propiertary herbal extract blend.

So I was introduced to this line by one of my subbies who commented on my Eos lip balm review.  I love my Eos but my subbie stated that Buddha Balm was even better.  Challenge Accepted.  I have to admit I had never heard of this product before it was mentioned.  I hit up the google machine to find answers.  Buddha Balm is not available in the Louisville, KY area at any B&M store so I asked them would they mind sending me the product. They obliged and actually sent me several balms to try.  I enlisted the help of some of my co-workers to help me review the products.

Buddha Balm PackageThe package I received included 5 lip balms, a button, sticker and a handwritten note.  The first thing I noticed is that Buddha Balm has awesome exotic flavors that I could not wait to try.  I used the Mandarin Orange Ginger, April used the Burnt Sugar Fig, Megan used the Lychee Pomegranate and Joey the Crushed Mint Pineapple.  I had each of the testers use their Buddha Balm exclusively for one week and report back.  April, Megan and I all sampled each others flavors and were all in agreement that the flavors tasted as delicious as they smelled.  We loved that the balm went on incredibly smooth and did not leave a waxy feeling.  It was easy to apply lipgloss, lipstick, etc over top and it did not feel heavy.  Megan liked it better than her normal lip balm her only complaint is that it is not a vegan product.  April said the lip balm made her lips very soft and that she felt the need to kiss everyone, lol.  Joey rarely uses lip balm unless it is cold and his lips are dry. He was the least enthusiastic about trying the product but he said it worked okay. He would buy it again if it was convenient for him but would not go out of his way for a lip balm.

5 Things I Loved About This Product

  • It applies silky smooth to the lips.  I hate when you feel like you need to blot your lips after applying lip gloss to get rid of the excess, but I did not have this problem with this product.
  • 5 fantastic flavors that taste and smell delicious; Mandarin Orange Ginger, Burnt Sugar Fig, Lychee Pomegranate, and Sweet Melon Coconut.
  • 100% natural ingredients, primarily plant based including shea butter and coconut oil.
  • Long-lasting product.  I received my lip balm in September and it lasted me thru November.
  • Super soft lips, that make you want to make out.

I super love these lip balms and I will be putting my money where my mouth is.  Right now Buddha Balm is offering 10% off + free shipping if you purchase from their website.  You can also check them out on FB and on Twitter.  Have you checked out Buddha Balm, what were your thoughts?

DIY Pineapple Beauty Treatment

Pineapple is a tropical plant who’s fruit and juice is used in cooking all over the world.  Pineapple contains a natural enzyme, bromelain, which is an exfoliating enzyme that digests dead skin cells.  You can use pineapple in your beauty regimen to remove dead skin cells, balance the skin and even overall appearance.

When using pineapple in skin care remember fresh is best. If you cannot get fresh pineapple opt for canned pineapple in its own juice with no added sugar or pineapple juice with no added sugar.

Pineapple Juice Toner

Apply pineapple juice to clean skin using cotton ball, allow to sit for 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly with water.

Pineapple Restoring Mask

Blend pineapple flesh on pulverize/puree setting until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and add a few teaspoons of honey.  Apply mask to face, massaging in circular motion and let sit for 5 minutes.  Rinse skin with warm water and pat dry.

Grab fresh pineapple, mash it up mix with a little honey to help form paste apply to skin. No rubbing required.

An here is a little tasty libation a la Lola Zabeth: Drunken Sponge Bob

  • 6 ounces fresh pineapple (or 1/3  can of pineapple in juice)
  • 2 ounces rum
  • sparkling water

Place pineapple into freezer until cold.  Blend pineapple flesh and rum on pulverize setting until smooth.  Spoon pineapple mixture into glass, add sparkling water and stir.  Sip and enjoy.  This also makes a delicious drink sans rum, but in my opinion everything is better with rum :)

Lola Zabeth has great recipes on her site including this one for a pineapple scrub.

Product Review: Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap

Kirk’s Natural

Original Coco Castile Soap

4 oz, ~$1

Available at drug and grocery stores

ing: Coconut soap, water, vegetable glycerin, coconut oil and natural fragrance.

You may remember that I did a bar soap challenge this Spring/Summer and while talking to a co-worker about it he recommended I check out this brand. He was so impressed that he actually purchased this bar for me and JK to try.  Though it is not advertised this product is Kentucky Proud, meaning it is made in Kentucky, and you know I love to buy local when I can.

The product boasts that it contains no animal by-products, synthetic detergents, yet promises a rich creamy lather even in the hardest water.  I actually received the scented version of this product which has a very mild scent, reminiscent of Ivory soap in my opinion.  While I would prefer a nice floral or fruity scent I do like the simplicity of this product.

5 Things I Liked About This Product

  1. Its cheap. I mean let’s just be real not everyone want to pay a lot for products.
  2. Its natural. Vegan, no synthetics and simple ingredients you can pronounce.
  3. It worked.  It got us clean and removed the everyday dirt and grime JK threw at it.
  4. Its readily available.  Kirk’s products are available at nearly 100 stores across the nation including Ralph’s, Kroger, Safeway, Meijer’s etc.
  5. It lathers well. IMO it really is like a natural version of Ivory soap. It worked just fine with our hard water here in Kentucky.

This soap was not moisturizing, did not smell amazing and the 4 ounce bar did not last as long as other bars we tried. However it is still a great value for the price.  I would recommend this bar to anyone looking for a standard soap bar at a value price.  Kirk’s has other products including glycerin soaps, body wash, shampoo and conditioner so you may want to check those out.  Check out their website above and like them on facebook.

DIY Hibiscus Hair Rinse via Anita Grant

You know I am a sucker for natural recipes.  This awesome hair rinse comes courtesy of Anita Grant.  This quick and easy rinse is great for covering greys and will add a deep rich red stain to your hair.  Ideal for those with red, brown or black hair as a natural hair stain that will work on all hair types and textures.  Along with staining the hair Hibiscus will also strengthen the hair, seal the cuticle and stop breakage.
Hibiscus Hair Rinse

In a medium sized pot bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add a handful (about 1/4 cup) of dried Hibiscus flowers and reduce heat to simmer for about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool. The water will turn a deep red/purple color.  Strain the flowers out and store rinse a clean air-tight container.

To Use: Cleanse your hair thoroughly careful to remove and dirt, oil and residue.  Pour the Hibiscus hair rinse over your hair careful to saturate your strands.  DO NOT RINSE OUT. Cover your hair with plastic cap then wrap in a warm towel.  Allow the rinse to sit on the hair for about an hour.  Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.  This rinse can be used weekly to maintain gray coverage.

Please note: Hibiscus is a STAIN, like henna, and it will stain your clothes, counter tops or other porous materials.  Take proper precautions by wearing old clothes, laying down newspaper on counter tops and/or wearing gloves.

New to Vitacost.com? Use my referral link for $10 off your first order.

Product Review: Eos Lip Balm

Eos

Lip Balm

$3.29 for 0.25 oz

available at drug stores

ing: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Beeswax (Cire D’abeille)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Natural Flavor, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract*, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract*, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract*, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract*, Linalool. * Organic.

About a year ago I saw a friend of mine rubbing this strange round ball on her lips.  I inquired as to what she was doing.  That is how I found out about eos.  Admittedly I thought it was weird:  why is it round, why does it clumped together as a mound, why can’t you twist it up and down? This thing was different and I don’t take kindly to different.  But then Walgreens had a sale so I grabbed one and my life has been changed ever since.

Eos lip balms are really the next generation of moisturizing your lips.  The mound shape is more conducive to even application and the lack of a twisting mechanism means there are no mechanical parts to break. How many times has your lip moisturizer gotten stuck in the up or down position and you had to force it to behave? Annoying. Well you no longer have this problem with eos.  Also its egg-shape makes it easy for me to find in my purse as compared to a typical lip moisturizer tube.

5 Things I Love About This Product

  • Paraben and petroleum-free. While some people are okay with using these chemicals on their hair and skin what you put on your lips is different as it can and will end up in your mouth.
  • 6 Great Flavors. Summer Fruit, Lemon Drop, Strawberry Sorbet, Honeysuckly Honeydew, Medicated Tangerine & Sweet Mint.  I have tried all except the Summer Fruit and Tangerine.  My favorite is Honeysuckle Honeydew.
  • 100% natural containing great ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin e.
  • Excellent design with no mechanism to get stuck or break.
  • Keeps lips kissably soft. Really, I’m not kidding.

I love these lip balms so much I included them in my favorite things gift bags at a meetup I hosted and the presenters loved them! I now have them all hooked on eos lip balms.  I also need to add that they last FOREVER! Okay not forever but much longer than traditional lip balms seem to last.  I love how smooth the balm glides on my lips, I never have to dab or use my finger to even out the application.