Just a reminder, resubscribe and enter to win!

Just a reminder my blog address has moved and I now have a nail polish giveaway going on over there….but you have to check out my new page:


All articles have been transferred over including some new ones!  Don’t miss out on what little ol’ me has to say, resubscribe by hitting the link above and signing up at the top left of the page.

Want to just get to the giveaway post?  Here you go: Nail Polish Haul Giveaway

This blog that you are visiting now is: http://www.iliketotalkalot.wordpress.com. It will not be updated really beyond this point so don’t waste a minute and click up above!


Announcement: New Website Address

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I have decided to host my own blog instead of using wordpress! So what that means is that I need you to resubscribe if you would like to continue to follow my blog. This blog that you are visiting now is: http://www.iliketotalkalot.wordpress.com. It will not be updated really beyond this point, and all the same juicy articles have already been transferred over.

I am now the owner of the new website: www.iliketotalkalot.com

If you would be so kind to please visit the new site and scroll all the way down to the bottom to find the subscribe area. Sorry for the mid-maintenance update,but I didn’t want you to miss out on any new posts I plan for this week!

******update, a subscriber told me they see the subscribe button on the top left, sorry if it’s difficult to find, hopefully you’ll see it too******

Thank you for subscribing to my blog, and if you are from a company I have previously worked with, thank you for being a great addition to my little piece of the net.. hope to see you all over there :)


Claudia C
Claudia@iliketotalkalot.com (new contact email address for all inquiries into this or the new blog)

Freaky Friday Home Remedies That’ll Make You Say Wha…

Dun…Dun….Dun….. <que the crazy music> it’s Friday the 13th, and to make a big deal outta nothing, I decided to put together a list of home remedies in celebration of the day!  I searched the web high and low, left and right, and click and after click to find these babies, and I have to say, some of them sound quite interesting to try! I myself have made at-home beauty recipes, like scrubs using my own kitchen ingredients.  What was also nice to find was remedies for cleaning and fixing things so it doesn’t just stop at beauty. I bring to you, my Top 20 Home Remedies found on the web:

You may also listen to me discuss some of these remedies on Daytime With Donna by following this link here.

Home Remedies Found On The Web

1. Duct Tape On Warts: Does it Work? My research on the Internet says most likely, yes!  But how does it work?  It seems as though, duct tape stimulates irritation of  the skin while stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the virus that causes warts.  What people do is place a piece of duct tape over a wart and leave it there for 6 days.  At the end of 6 days, the tape was removed carefully. The  wart is then soaked in water for 5 minutes and filed down with an Emory board or pumice. and left un-taped overnight.  Repeat the process the following morning and continue to file the wart down.  If no change is seen within the first two weeks, don’t bother, it’s just not going to work.  Grey duct tape is suggested, not clear. less painful alternative to liquid nitrogen method.

2. Toothpaste on Zits: Does it Work? My research on the Internet says most likely, no! Wha? Let me explain friends… toothpaste can be considered a drying agent.  With a dab of paste on a zit, yes,  it may soak up excess oil–however, remind yourself of what a pimple really is.  An inflammation and infection of a pore on your skin.  Toothpaste contains fluoride which can cause extreme burns when left on the skin. Ouch! Why add irritation on top of inflammation? no thanks!  You’re best bet is sticking to long-time approved acne killing ingredients like BP or SA (Benzoyl Peroxide & Salicylic Acid)

3. Save a Cell Phone With Rice: Does it Work? My research on the internet says most likely, yes!  For those of us with butter fingers and a cell phone, there is hope if you have dropped your cell phone in toilet, pool, or even a cycle in the clothes washer!  Reports all over confirm that by burying  a cell phone in uncooked ice after the battery and sim card have been removed have revived a once water-logged cell.  Don’t get your hopes entirely up though, it’s also rumored that if the phone shorts out before removing the battery your out of luck. Another cheap alternative to try? Desiccating Packets or Silica Gel can also do the trick in a zip lock back and a few packets. More importantly DON’T use heat from a dryer or oven it will damage the phone entirely.

4. Save a Scratched CD or DVD with Brasso or a metal polish: Does it work? After several sites were visited I say mostly likely, yes! Brasso is a polish used to remove tarnish from copper and stainless steel.  It also works as a fine abrasive to wear out scratches on CDs and DVDs.  Looks like the claim is to polish the disc wiping from the inside out. Major scratches or grooves cannot be repaired, but simple scratches possibly can.  The key is in the direction you polish so be sure to look up an example before giving it a go.

5. Remove Odors From Shoes and Lunch Containers with Newspaper: Does it work?  Research on the web suggests most likely, yes!  Newspaper is a great way to absorb spills and wipe down windows for a lint-free shine.  Its fibrous properties allow odors to be absorbed with a little time.  To remove odor from shoes, loosely stuff your shoes overnight.  Same goes with Tupperware or lunch containers that have contained a fragrant meal.

6. Steak On a Black Eye Reduces Swelling: Does it work?  Yes, but mostly no.  Why?  Steak on a black eye is really a creation of hollywood.  In the old cartoons we would see someone slap a raw steak on their eye and presto it healed the eye.  The idea originated from the fact that steaks in a freezer would be the equivalent of giant blocks of ice.  The cold from the steak would reduce blood flow to the area and reduce swelling.  It doesn’t absolutely nothing for the bruising that occurs. Not to mention raw meat on your eye? Probably not the best idea.  Next time you need an ice pack,wrap a zip lock bag filled with ice cubes in a hand towel.

 7. Peanut Butter Gets Gum Out of Hair: Does it work? My research on the internet concludes that yes, this definitely works!  It may seem weird to put something sticky in hair, but the oil in peanut butter attracts the gum base in chewing gum.  Apply smooth peanut butter to the wad of gum in hair and work the gum out with long brush strokes with a tooth brush.  Wash with shampoo and rinse. Presto, gum gone!

8. Clear A Clogged/Slow Drain with Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar: Does it work?  Research on the internet says most likely, yes!  This method requires one cup of each (in that order) followed by a rinse with hot water.  How does it work?  Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar are also the three ingredients needed for a typical volcano science project.  Allow the mixture to fizz and bubble up into the sink and eat away at the gunk left in there.  If your drain is severely clogged, contact a plumber asap!

09. Tobacco on Bee Stings: Does it work?  I know it sounds crazy but yes, wet tobacco draws out the poison and helps with pain! However, as much as everyone says this works online, I could not find one site explaining how.  If it was so simple, I would imagine it would be repeated all over the place.

10. Vodka As A Fabric Refresher: Does it work?  Most definitely, yes.  Because vodka is alcohol, it kills bacteria that is odor-causing.  Although, I would recommend using a cheaper brand and save the Goose for a cocktail. It may also help to add a few drops of essential oil to add a fragrance of your choice.

11. Banana Peels on Mosquito Bites: Does it work? Several websites agree yes, bananas are a wonderful way to ease the itch of a mosquito bite.  The inside of a banana peel can soothe a mosquito bite and stop the itch.  Just rub inside of the peel on the bite and the itching should go away, this is in part due to the potassium, which gives the fruit and peel it’s anti-itch benefits.

14. Papaya or Pineapple to Reduce Swelling & Bruising: Does it work? Research shows this is a widely used method for reducing swelling and bruising in a natural way. Both fruits contain Bromelain or Papain, protein-eating enzymes that can break up a bruise, along with a few other added benefits: anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, facial mask.  Popular enough where you can also get it in pill or cream forms.

15. Beer as a Hair Treatment:  Does it work?  Research and personal experience say  yes, temporarily.  Beer contains proteins that can act as thickeners for hair, while the sugar (which I think are in the alcohol), tighten the cuticle plates making it appear shinier.  Oh, how fun is the science behind all this?  Beer, in my opinion did make my hair feel thicker, but never anything that made me continue doing it.  Most likely due to the fact that your hair is washed daily so if anything is deposited on the hair it would be washed out the next time in the shower.

16. Sugar as a Face & Body Exfoliant: Does is work? Yes, but not recommended for sensitive skin or skin with open wounds,  Sugar is a great non-drying exfoliant that you can use for face and body.  It can be mixed with just water into a scrub or a paste with a base like olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or your favorite liquid soap to aid in exfoliation.  Sugars contain an natural form of alpha-hydroxy acids that help slough off dead skin.  I’ve used the sugar packets in my hotel rooms when I felt like I needed an extra scrub when I’m away from home. Cheap, fun to use, and rinses down the drain.

17. Treat Insomnia with Milk or Bananas: Does it work?  The internet says yes, milk and bananas can help you get a better nights sleep.  But how, you ask?  Milk contains calcium and magnesium which calms frazzled or stressed nerves. Melatonin production is kicked into high gear with a glass of warm milk so drink up.  Banana’s contain high levels of tryptophan, the same chemical in Turkey that in part makes us nice and lazy after a thanksgiving meal.

16. Baking Soda as a Body Deodorizer: Does it work?  Many people swear by this all-natural deodorant as an alternative to sprays or sticks.  A mixture of baking soda and water dabbed into the armpits will prevent odors from forming.  But how does it work?  Baking soda works in two ways, for one,it’s weakly alkaline so it neutralizes acidic scent molecules.  It is also suspected that the salt in baking soda attacks bacteria on the skin, thus removing the smell they (bacteria) produce.  I’m trying this one for sure!

17. Honey as a All-In-One Facial Mask: Research on the internet, and reports from friends conclude that yes, Honey can be used as a facial mask!  Honey has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, brightening and moisturizing properties.  As weird as it may seem, this sticky material has been reported to help with mild acne/blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, and soothing irritated skin.  Time to make a trip to the market!

18. Teeth Whitening with Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide or Strawberry Paste:  Sorry to burst everyones’ bubble….but unfortunately, all of these are slightly deceptive, and in my experience working in the dental field–no, there are more effective ways to brighten your smile.  Baking soda works effectively as an abrasive agent, polishing away stubborn stains, thus, making your teeth “whiter”– but not in the way bleaching gel would. Brighten is the key word, not whiten.  Carbamide peroxide  is the key ingredient in bleaching gels–however the liquid form we buy at the drug store is not the same as Carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide.  Hydrogen peroxide needs to sit on the teeth to produce any results.  A rinse or weekly brushing with peroxide may help loosen stains, but is not strong enough to lift deep stains or “bleach” teeth.  Your teeth will be brighter, but nothing drastic. You also have to be careful using hydrogen peroxide, make sure its diluted. Strawberry paste is one of the craziest ones I’ve ever heard.  Some sites suggest that malic acid found in strawberries (also apples) naturally lift away stains and discoloration.  What they don’t remind you of is that fruit has sugar and you are going to rub sugar on your teeth?  Strawberries may brighten a smile temporarily, but will not produce the same results as using bleaching gel. They also do recommend doing it too often due to its tendency to eat away at tooth enamel.

19. Lemons for Bleaching and Cleaning:According to several sites on the web, yes, lemons are an excellent way to clean household items such as counter-tops and copper pots.  It doesn’t stop there though–depending on whether you use a lemon cut in half, diluted, or full-strength, lemon juice can also be used to brighten your fingernails, make chrome faucets gleam, and get grout scrubbed bleach-y clean!  A great alternative for those who want to go as chemical-free as possible. The secret is the fruits low pH (making it acidic) and antibacterial properties. Combine with the cleaning power of Baking soda, and your house will be clean from tip to toe.

20.  Milk of Magnesia for Acne: Does it work? I wish this was a cure all, but it only works in one way, soaking up excess oil.  Milk of Magnesia or MOM is a saline laxative you can buy at most grocery and drug stores.  the key ingredients that does all the magic is the magnesium hydroxide which soaks up excess oils for hours and can serve as a makeup primer for a smooth start.  I have read through tons of personal reviews on MOM and I conclude that this will help someone with oily skin.  Some users suggest only using Philips Milk of Magnesia Original formula–no flavors, no special formula–the added ingredients can possibly further aggravate pimples. I have yet to determine which type of acne this will benefit- mild, moderate, or cystic, there appears to be reports from all sorts of acne sufferers.

21.  Homemade soft-scrub for household cleaning: Does it work? Yes! Several environmentally conscience people out there have relied on this homemade method to clean sinks and tubs.  All it requires is ½ cup baking soda, and a few teaspoons of liquid vegetable-based soap (Think Castile Soap, like dr. Bronners).  You can add in a few drops of essential lemon oil if you wish, but is not necessary.  Mix until it forms a nice paste you can clean with and rinse away when done.  There are various recipes on the web that also include borax or vinegar, but the main ingredient here is the baking soda.

22. Vitamin E for Stretch Marks: Does it work? By itself, not 100%, but it does help skin protect itself with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  We’ve heard it countless times, vitamin E topically applied to a scar or stretch mark can reverse its appearance.  Unfortunately, it is very difficult to explain HOW it would reverse a scar.  Scar tissue and stretch marks look the way they do because of a couple of reasons.  Scar tissue does not always heal in flat perfect layers.  Bumps and bunches in the healing skin can create an uneven appearance giving it a scar-look.  Stretch marks look the way they do because the skin has been pulled and the collagen/elastin fibers that give our skin some of its structure needs to be replaced.  Vitamin E indirectly stimulates collagen production.  What it does do is increase the function of your SPF cream, further protecting the skin from UV damage.  It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that may calm the area allowing it to heal better–but nothing set in stone on the web.  My suggestion for scars or stretch marks is to seek the advice of a dermatologist if the appearance is bothering you.

23. Clove oil for a Toothache: Does it work?  I didn’t think this one would, but yes, clove oil reportedly can help in dealing with a toothache.  Clove oil has analgesic and antibacterial properties which can help with a toothache. It was actually widely used in the dentistry field, long before anesthetics took its place.  While this wont replace a trip to the dentist, it may allow you to buy some time over a weekend while waiting for an appointment. I will warn you, it doesn’t sound like it tastes all that great from the reviews I read, but its worth a shot to try!

What home remedies do you rely on?  As I type this post I’ve learned of Vick’s on the soles of feet covered with socks will dissipate a cough. Ha! And I’ve heard this from countless people in “real life”. This one, i MUST try the next time. It makes absolutely no sense to me, but it somehow even only works in my mind, then it has somehow done its job.

#Influenster Holiday VoxBox December 2011

Do you know about Influenster?  I only just found out about them in the last month when I was contacted to be part of their reviewing community. Influenster’s community is a select group that gets to try out a variety of new products out there and give my honest feedback.  No one is paid, but we are rewarded with more VoxBoxes if we offer insightful reviews.  I happen to love trying new things out…yes,that..and receiving packages in the mail. Oh the fun!

Holiday VoxBox 2011 Arrival Influenster

The day I got the box I immediately took photos for my unveil and shared them on my sister Facebook page, Claudia’s Health & Beauty Community. I now get to give you a more detailed breakdown of the items and what I really think of them. Really.  

influenster holiday voxbox 2011

P.S members also receive special deals and coupons for brands we test out!


mentos influenster holiday voxbox 2011

The claim behind this gum is that it will instantly freshen breath with its unique green tea exctract core and candy shell.  The container is also supposed to be perfect for carrying in my purse.

[Review]  I was excited to try out Mentos gum because I was already familiar with the candy from before and I figured it would taste good.  However, not much of a review I can do considering I can’t open the darn container.  The little tab snapped off immediately and after fuddling with it and trying to pry it open with pens and then my nails, I then stopped after I completely ruined my nails. It reminds me of the impossible Gatorade bottles you do your best to open but you swear have been sealed shut with superglue. Kinda like this guy ….

Because really…what women wants to mess up her nails trying to crack open an impossible container of gum.  I’d rather go for something wrapped in foil if its going to do this to my nails:

Sorry Mentos, I need something easier to open. But the gum smells good from the container. Oh well. Love Mentos? Did you know they’re on twitter? You can follow them at: @mentosus   #mentosready  


larabar holiday voxbox influenster

I should note that this picture (above) was taken minutes after opening the voxbox.  What did it look like right after the picture?

A LARABAR is made from only a few ingredients making it a wonderfully yummy fruit and nut bar to munch on as a simple snack.  It is also available in 19 flavors, wowee, that’s a big selection. wanna know more? follow them on twitter at @larabar   #larabarsnacksavior

[REVIEW] This little LARABAR didn’t stand a chance in my house.  I love fruit bars and eat all kinds of brands, all the time.  I loved that this one attempts to stay as natural as possible,  and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free for those that prefer that sorta thing.   And being a healthier fruit bar, I’m glad it didn’t go overboard on the nuts.  I’ll eat nuts, but not by the handful.  Cherry pie was an awesome flavor, but so does apple pie, pecan pie and tropical fruit tart!  The price seems decent at approx. $1.50 per bar if bought in a pack and can be easily taken along in your purse or lunchbag. Would I purchase? Yes, I would if I saw it at the market where I shop. Pssssssstt. That would be Ralphs



Softsoap is widely known for their liquid hand and body soaps, but did you know they also have a line of bar soaps in their fragrance collection? The collection has three scents: Coconut, Sweet honeysuckle & Orange Peel, and Juicy Pomegranate  & Mango Infusions.  The coconut scrub bar has crushed coconut extracts and gentle exfoliants embedded to into the soap to renew the skin, all while helping the skin retain moisture. Like Softsoap too?  Follow them on Facebook here#crazyforcoconutsoftsoap

[REVIEW] I’m a sucker for all things flavored or scented coconut.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for the house, or myself, I already love it.  I was interested to find out if the crushed coconut was worthwhile at all at exfoliating, and realized when I was using it, well, not really.  I typically use a shower poof when I’m in there so I use that to scrub myself and use my le edge tool for most of my body exfoliating. I think this bar caters to someone who prefers a lighter less-fragranced soap than I’m used to.  I love taking a hot shower and smelling the bath gels I use.  If I don’t smell it…ehh..  SoapSoap‘s Fragrance bar in coconut is very light in scent, but it does make up for it in moisturized skin.  I thought for sure my skin would crawl when it knew I was going to use bar soap, but I was left surprizingly OK and didn’t have dry, tight skin on my legs afterwards. Yay!  I would most likely opt for the liquid soap version if I was at Target, I just don’t like fuddling with a bar, ya know?


NYC lipshine

New York Color‘s Liquid Lip Shine  is a non-sticky gloss that creates a 3D gloss effect using pure pigments and infuses vitamins into the delicate skin of the lips. The gloss is available in 10 shades from neutral nude, to berries & fushias, all at a price everyone can afford! (Thats $2.49) You can follow NYC on twitter at:  @nycnewyorkcolor  #shineonnewyorkcolor

[REVIEW] I honestly hesitated when I saw the color because nude frosty lips make me look sick and washed out.  It just doesn’t work well with me.   I was relieved to see that the color I got was sheer and gave my lips a nice shine.  It lasted a few hours before I ate something and licked it all off. Oh yea, the flavor. YUM! Thumbs up NYC, who doesn’t love a buttercream frosting flavor/fragrance?  I loved it.  Because I am a beauty addict and cannot go to a drugstore or Target without getting “just one thing” I can see myself getting this eventually.  I experiment with all brands in all price ranges.  Glad I found this one. Really.



Garden Botanika’s Lash Primer claims to lenghten and thicken lashes with Panethol while conditioning them to keep them nice and healthy.  This product is to be used over bare lashes and layered with mascara. Garden Botanika is Cruelty-free (Yay) and gentle to the environment.  #gardenbotanikaholiday

lash primer garden botanika

[Review] I love using lash primers to get my lashes looking their absolute longest.  I’ve recently been using one that has fibers and extends the lash ever so slightly longer, but I was curious what a non-fiber primer would do.  GB’s Lash Primer has a much more subtle effect in my opinion of lengthening.  It thickened my lashes ever so slightly, not quite as much as their picture on the site. HOWEVER– while this sounds like it didn’t live up to its word, it definitely conditioned the lashes.  I felt my mascara glide on more easily and had a slight lift or curl to it.  I did the test by coating my left eye with the primer and without on my right. What do you think? I have to say that I appreciate the fact that it’s conditioning my lashes unlike others that can make them feel dry and ready to break.

with without lash primer garden botanika holiday voxbox

Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask


Montagne Jeunesse is a line of facial masks filled with delicious natural ingredients and bursting with fragrances.  Of the available flavors available: Cucumber Peel Off, Passion Peel Off, Dead Sea Mud, Fruit Smoothie, and lastly, Strawberry Souffle. If you didn’t know, this company has heart, just take a look at their history, its pretty refreshing to see.

[Review] #maskeraid .  The mask comes out of the packet looking like a pale strawberry paste with real strawberry seeds and smells yummy.  I applied the mask to my face and waited the 20 minutes for it to do its magic.   The mask claims to purify and moisturize the skin with strawberries, betonite clay and cream. So, I slapped this baby on and checked my emails as I waited.

The mask does dry on the face letting me know that the betonite clay in the formula is soaking up excess oil, while the cream keeps the skin balanced as moisturized.  How did I feel when I rinsed it off?  Well, My skin did look fresh and felt nice afterwards.  Do I feel its a miracle worker? No, but that wasn’t my expectations.  I expected a fun mask that smells good and to hopefully have soft skin afterwards.  This mask lived up to its expectations.  I enjoyed using it (can you tell?), and would gladly try another one! The masks come in single use packets so you can really experiment with a few and not have to commit to a giant tub of unknown mask goop.


impress nails

Broadway Nails makes a variety of manicure and nail art tools; now, they bring you the revamped press-on nail.  The claim is that they will look salon-perfect in just seconds and come in 36 colors and patterns to choose from.  No mess, no waiting time, just fabulous nails.

[REVIEW] I was a little scared. Press-on nails? Would they stay? Or would one be hanging from my hair after running my fingers through it? Who knows, but I had a vibrant zebra-print pattern set to try with.  I’ll have to admit, I prefer polishing my nails. Afterall, I blog about it.  The process is too quick this way, and to be honest– there ended up being no review. I sat on this one for a long time.  I just could NOT get myself to put them on.  Listen, I work in a high-end cosmetic practice. I can’t have a finger nail come off when I am talking to a client, it wouldn’t work.  I couldn’t take that risk, and I wasnt willing to try.  I saw some other influencers like A Diva’s Perogative rocked them!  I even tweeted to my dear friend  Patricia for moral support–couldn’t do it. But at least I linked you to someone who did review them. Shame on me, i know. Sorry (hides behind door)  For those still interested they can be found in several locations.

Well folks, that was my first Influenster Holiday VoxBox. I’m not sure what to expect, and hopefully they find my review :)  Have any other influensters found this blog?  Do you agree with my reviews?  What was your favorite one?  And for those who aren’t in the program, what would you be most willing to try from this box?

You’re Pretty Beautiful: Online Magazine

Hey Everyone,  I just wanted to let you in on a little secret.  There is a new Online Magazine called You’re Pretty Beautiful and I was lucky enough to make the January issue.  Additionally, they are also looking for contributing writers at this time so check the page out and feel free to leave feedback.  Thanks Everyone!

 5 Steps to De-clutter Your Life

The NYE Resolution We All Have: To Get Fit Again

I know we all say it. Its time to get back into that routine.  I’m going to start going back to the gym, once its 2012.  I’m going kick that gyms ass like it never knew before. OK, maybe not that far, but I know I definitely feel my jeans a little tighter after taking a 4 month hiatus from the gym.  I started a new job and had trouble adjusting the the schedule, needless to say the first thing to be cut from my daily routine list was the gym and cardio barre classes.  Who had time (or energy) for that?  And now, here I sit writing an article to hustle myself into getting back to the gym.

So to help myself really, I have created this list of points to think about when starting a new years resolution work out plan.  I know its a struggle. I seriously hate the gym when I’m not going, but once I’m there, I’m fine and love the fact that I’m actually doing something active.  So let me motivate you a little bit. And if that doesn’t work, let me inform you that bikini season is only 4-6 months away, and it will creep up on you faster than you know it.  Is your heart pumping yet? Good. Now get reading.

1.  Get yourself some new workout gear.  Hey, who am I kidding?  Shopping for new running shoes sure motivates me, it doesn’t work for you?  How about checking out the workout wear you hope to buy two months from now after you’ve been working out for a while? There. I made it a goal for you.  In two months, you can get yourself a new cute pair of Capri’s to run in.

Check out these cute colorful sport bra’s (above) you can get a Target. These are a guilty work-out associated pleasure of mine.  They’re comfy, cheap, and from one of my favorite stores to visit when I’m bored, Target. Just $16.99 online and in stores!

2. Start stretching at home so you don’t pull an embarrassing muscle while at the gym.  I’m guilty of this. I go to the gym bright-eyed and bushy tailed in my new gear, and get pumped to do a great workout. I kick ass running and then hit the elliptical for an added calorie burn.  And when I wake up the next day I feel like I’m 90 years old need to sponge bathed.  You need to stretch.  And if your getting older (I’m talking to you people in their thirties and up), your flexibility is going to quickly disappear if you don’t try to maintain some of it.  Keeping flexible makes you feel better and will better prepare your muscles for a workout.  I happen to stretch on my living room floor while watch tv.  Sure the dog continues to jump on me while I’m huffing and puffing, but nothing is worse that a pulled muscle and trying to recover while on a “hitting the gym” streak.

3. Refresh the iPod with some new tunes.  I love new music. I actually rely on my boyfriend to find alot of the good stuff.  He has a really good ear and I usually make a copy of whatever he gets.  New music always motivates me at  the gym.  If it makes me want to get up and dance or move around the house then it will work.  I generally have a mix of electronic music like house or progressive with some pop or rock in there.  I will also usually only listen to a few songs as a time and listen to them to death until I have killed it.  When I get bored I create a new play list and grab a few different songs to run my heart out to.  Just make sure it isn’t a song you want to sing with, because you will lose your breath while running.

4. Find what visually motivates you.  I know what works for me, a couple of fitness magazines and seeing everyone in a two peice.  I used to keep pictures from different workout magazines along with different workout ideas to motivate me when I worked out in my room when I had roommates.  Seeing a six pack motivates me.  Seeing it daily reminds me even more. A good photo of my gut hanging out will do the trick also. Hey, its whatever works for YOU.  It doesn’t need to be a photo for you, but maybe a picture of an outfit you want to fit into.  Or a gift you plan to get yourself when you reach your fitness goal.  Just find something that you can look forward to and be sure to use it.

5.  Get a partner to work out with, or tell everyone your goal forcibly committing yourself anyways.  Having a actual workout partner works best, but I have also relied on the pride method as well.  I rave about my recent work outs when I’m on a roll and suddenly I fall out of routine and have difficulty getting back into it. And then what happens? Someone asks about the class I always take. Gulp.  Class? Oh uh, yea……its going fine (without me)…what about you?  What are YOU up to?  When you cannot find one friend to summon up enough energy to work out with you, or your schedule stinks so no one can come with, tell your friends what you plan is and ask them to ask you about it so you force yourself. I like to keep my word. Even if it means driving my butt to the gym because I told someone I’m going for the 4th time this week!!!!

6. Pat yourself on the back for the small accomplishments and know the big ones will come.  Be realistic about your fitness expectations.  Don’t think your going to drop a ton immediately and bum out on the couch with container of pringles to mope.  Getting back into shape can feel like hell in the beginning. Your weak, or your sore.  You feel gross. I get it.  But with each minute you add on the treadmill and every additional squat you do, you are getting closer to your goal. Those darn jeans from last  year. It’s gonna happen, just give yourself the time to build up a routine and fit back into those favorite clothes of yours.

Is that enough to get you pumped for 2012?  What ideas have you come up with to help get back into your fitness routine?  Or what obstacles are you trying to beat?  Lets helps each other out!

New Beauty December 2011 TestTube

Over the weekend my New Beauty Testube arrived. If you aren’t familiar with the program you should visit

new beauty test tube

The New Beauty Testube program costs $29.95 for each tube that ships every 4 months per year. Each TestTube contains more than a handful of luxury sample sized or full sized beauty samples of high end brands like Kerstian Florian, Ahava, and Mally’s. While I mostly receive skin care items, they do include makeup and health supplements like gummi vitamins from time to time. I have been a member of the program for about two years now and love the surprise of a Testube on my doorstep. You can cancel the program at anytime and can even gift it for a friend! And if you ever watch QVC you would know they have their own special edition too. I also forgot to mention that the program includes a copy of their drool-worthy magazine and cute mini Testube product guide, giving you the skinny on a few items in your sample box.

….and for those of you lucky in the Los Angeles area, stop by a Fred Segal store so you can design your own TestTube at their beauty sample bar. The closest one to me is in Santa Monica which is a bit of a drive just for samples…but next time the boyfriend needs to get a nice pair of pants….I know which department I will be visiting. I really want to visit it, I’ve been hearing about it for a while and now that I saw it in the magazine It makes me want to go even more!

I now present you with the December/January Testube.

testtube new beauty

Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque & Healing Oil

macadamia natural hair oil masque Funny that I got this…because I already got this in a previous TestTube. Lucky for me, I actually like this stuff. Suitable for all hair types, but of course caters to dry, over treated hair, Macadamia Natural Oil uses argan and macadamia oils to nourish and tame frizzies. The masque can leave your hair feeling heavy is applied too close to the scalp, so be sure to keep it on lower portion of your hair. For added benefit, you can apply to slightly damp hair and then put a plastic grocery bag over your hair and tie it shut. Take you hair dryer and blow dry your head with the masque on for deep nourishment. It only takes a few minutes and you only need to warm the scalp, not get it burning hot. After you waited the desired amount of time fully rinse and comb.

The healing oil is applied to towel dried hair. It says you can also apply to dry hair but I like to use it after the shower. I switch between this oil and organix Shea butter serum to keep my hair shiny through daily heat styling. This healing oil has a faint incense smell to it so people bothered by fragrances beware.

Would I recommend this product: I would recommend it to someone who wants to splurge on a natural hair care item. All of us love a deep conditioning treatment, whether you heat style or not. I would however switch off with a cheaper brand like I am doing if money is a concern.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20

miracle skin transformer sarah mcnamara Miracle Skin Transformer is no new product for me. I’m already on my second bottle after I won some swag on Beauty Undercover. This stuff does exactly what the pictures show, hides imperfections of the skin as well as a soft focus silicone based makeup can do. The Testube description describes this product as one that gives a retouched photo finish effect with it’s 5-in-1 skin enhancer. Available in seven shades ( I stick to medium tan but got a medium sample which may do ok in the winter here if I mix with medium tan or keep it as a travel sized backup. So how does this stuff work? Well, it works as a hydrating base, offers build able coverage, mattifies, renews, and protects the skin all while smoothing out imperfections like scars or spots.

Would I recommend this product: yes, yes, and yes. Both Beauty collection and Sephora sell this product so I’m covered, and I love the smooth feel of this makeup. It may be only a tint, but I feel like it does the job for my skin. I don’t need much coverage but have some sun damage around my eyes. This stuff has SPF in it so I know I can go out into the sun also.

Immunocologie Treatment Cream Venomax

immunocologie treatment cream I’ve never seen this brand before, but always open to finding out what they have to offer. Immunocologies’s creator, Manzoor Jaffery developed the Bioferm process, an original fermentation process that ensure maximum efficacy of all it’s formulas. What does that mean for us? It means he wants his products to work, and produces them, or uses ingredients that provide maximum benefits to us. Venomax treatment cream uses natural plant extracts to mimic the polypeptide found in snake venom, relaxing fine lines and wrinkles. you hear that wrinkles around the eyes? I’m talking to you guys… The formula also elevates hyaluronic acid levels (that’s a good thing-hydration levels of the skin) while speeding up our skins response to fighting wrinkle formation. Sound good to you? Soouuunnnd good to me :)

Would I recommend this product: hard to say until I try it out. Stay tuned, I will update this post after I try it out and let you know.

dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Face Cream

dr brandt microdermabrasion cream Dr. Brandt‘s exfoliating cream reminds me of a trip to the spa for a microdermabrasion facial. You know those little crystals they use and you later find in your ears and on your neck? Well this stuff uses crystals just like those (pharmaceutical grade) but in a paste/cream form. Instead of going to the salon to and paying crazy amounts of money for ongoing treatments, start at home and save yourself some money. Whether it be at-home or salon quality dermabrasion, both help in fighting the signs of aging by resurfacing the skin revealing fresher, younger skin that glows. It also helps in unclogging the skin and can help clear pores when dealing with mild acne.

What I like about this formula is that it also has green & white tea extracts, as well as grape-seed to calm and soothe the skin while offering antioxidant benefits.

Would I recommend this to someone: anyone minus sensitive skin. Sorry sensitive skin people. No matter how nice the exfoliant is, this can possibly irritate your skin with the crystals. I will be passing this one off to the boyfriend since I currently used Atralin and cannot double up on a exfoliant. His combo skin will appreciate the fine scrub unlike mine at the moment.

Chella Anti-Fatigue Eye Mask Kit

anti fatigue eye mask Chella‘s eye mask is new to me, while eye masks are not. I have tried a Talika version before but had trouble remembering to apply the mask more than once a week. They did make a temporary difference in the skin around the eyes, but I felt weird with under eye patches on like a weirdo as I would cook dinner. I suspect these might be similar. The description reads that the mask uses soluble liquid collagen reinforcing hydration into the skin brightening the area. The liquid also features Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant that super charges cells and fights free radicals.

Would I recommend this to someone: I haven’t tried it yet, but will update this post once I have. Eye masks are great after a long tiring day…just do it when the boyfriend isn’t home so you don’t look funny.

Lumene Sensitive Touch SOS Cream

lumene sos cream Lumene describes their SOS cream as one perfect for protecting skin from the elements. The natural ingredients found in the cream survive the harsh cold conditions of the article climate. Perfect for the face,lips elbows and heels, SOS cream uses artic linen seed to calm and soothe the skin and repair the skin’s surface structure. All it takes in 5 minutes after application to restore the skins’ well being and make it resistant to external irritants. I am slathering this on my lips and hands as I type this post. It has a slick cream feel to it and absorbs nicely. No residue is left behind nor any grease. A full-sized tube costs $20 which isn’t much, and remember just five minutes to comfort. I’m liking this one already! And because it doesn’t have any fragrance to it, it s perfect for men and women.

Would I recommend this to someone: when you lips are chapped to hell and you’ve tried every Vaseline type product out there it’s time to up the ante and spend a little more, for your own comfort of course. I have spent way too much money trying out different lip balms and creams in search of something for my normal/dry body skin. I don’t ask for much, just that it friggin works. I can say that this stuff has a comforting appeal to it….I am waiting to see if it helps with hydration at all. I like that this stuff rubs into the skin and doesn’t sit on top to be wiped off on the first glass I drink from or the pair of socks I wear.

Glymed Plus Intense Peptide Skin Recovery Complex

glymed  Glymed was created by an Aesthetician who believed in using technologically advanced ingredients with certified organic botanicals to create amazing results. Glymed’s Complex promotes the regeneration of collagen in the skin, reducing wrinkles and inflammation, while increasing hydration by rebuilding the lips barrier found naturally in our skin.

The formula contains five amino acid complexes, along with sea whip extract which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps even with rosacea without the side effects of hydrocortisone. Glymed is available via your aesthetician or derma office. I have seen it sold online but would highly recommend getting a thorough recommendation for their products before jumping into it. Just like Obagi products, you want o make sure you are plunking down money on the right line for your skin.

Mirai Clinical Formula Purifying Body Serum

mirai body serum Mirai created one of the worlds most powerful purifying body serums that is filled to the brim with anti-oxidants and antiseptics that protect the skin and reduce inflammation. Wow, that’s a mouthful. But I’m willing to give this a shot. The natural oils in the formula prevent and diminish age spots while persimmon fights hormonal imbalance body odor.

While I don’t think I have a problem with body odor, I am curious to see what this stuff with do. And did I mention that this was a full-sized product? How sweet is that? A full-sized bottle costs $36 … And I will let you know if I see it do anything at all.

Would I recommend this to someone: haven’t tried it out yet,but will update this post when I have some more to say. I can tell you that it appears to be a gel cream with a light scent. I can’t pinpoint the scent but nice and not medicinal or incens-cy.

Well, are you interested in signing up for a Testube? I think I may try one of the QVC tubes next time. I was subscribed to other sampling programs but hoping to be introduced to some new ones? I know of Birchbox, My Glam, Dare to Vogue, Julep Maven…what else is out there? Do post in the comments below, thanks for reading beauty fans, until next time