Manuka Magic Review

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing BunchaFarmers‘ Manuka Magic Facial Cream With Bee Venom, for a sponsored post, along with their Manuka Honey Oatmeal Soap.

The soap is actually made right in Ontario, where I’m from, and this particular bar includes saponified palm, coconut and olive oils- then there is oatmeal in there for an exfoliant.

#ManukMagicwithBeeVenom

I actually noticed the oatmeal kernels during use and, in one particular spot, that wasn’t entirely pleasant because it stuck out sideways on an angle. I had to pry it out, to prevent it from scratching me, and ended up making a bit of a mess out of the bar. I assume this wouldn’t happen regularly, and it hasn’t since, but I may lean more towards one of the other types in the future. I did, however, love that it is unscented and I could use it on my girls too. We’re a household big on using products that are safe for the whole family, while still addressing particular skin care needs. My babies, obviously, have baby soft skin- my husband has eczema and my boys are more on the greasy side, whereas I have more dry skin. This bar is moisturizing, although it does not add any additional slick to your body, it’s gentle enough for the girls, will not irritate my husband and it won’t clog pores either. It eliminates the need for 4 different bars, or body washes, in our house and frees up space in the shower. All around, I love it and it’s longevity isn’t bad either. You’re paying $3.99 a bar so it’s on par with most of the natural products out there but it includes Manuka honey, sourced from New Zealand. As the company pays import charges for this “healing honey”, I think the pricing is great compared to other, more easily sourced soaps. I find it lasts quite a bit longer than my usual olive oil soap does and I would definitely try out anything else from their line.

Upon first receiving the face cream, I was a little put off by the fact that it includes bee venom.manuka

We all know that bees are dying off at an alarming rate (thanks Monsanto!) and, initially, I was ticked right off thinking that we were killing thousands more for venom, just to slap it in some cosmetics. This prompted me to do a little research and I actually found that the venom used in this cream is gathered in a bee-friendly manner and you can follow this link to find out how it’s done. How cool is that?!

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I’m not usually one to use face creams of any kind, as I find that I break out or look greasy. I’ve tossed Vichy, Nivea, Neutrogena, Olay, some from the Avon line and a bunch of other ones because I get acne, where I have never had it previously (even in high school). I was a little hesitant to try Manuka Magic but can honestly tell you that it works like magic! Not only is my skin more smooth, I’m even pregnant and not dealing with break outs and I’ve found a decrease in fine lines on my face and forehead in particular. I was really hoping it would help combat dark circles too but, hey, a girl can’t have it all. Perhaps they’ll come out with something for that because, after this experience, I would certainly be buying it.

Upon doing some further reading, I discovered that BunchaFarmers deals with all organic and natural items and they’ve been around for over a decade in my country. They are listed in the Top 200 Ethical Companies from Ethical Ocean and their stain remover received the Top 10 Green Household Items by Canadian Living. Why, on earth, have I not heard of them before now?! If you’re as interested in their line as I am, check out their website– you’ll be able to use the code 2016MemorialDay for an additional 10% off until the 30th!

#ManukMagicwithBeeVenom

Who stinks? Natural Deodorant by Routine

Oh, you know that scent…then one we all dread; It smells a bit like a stir fry, a bit like a raw onions and, depending on the person, it can be somewhat reminiscent of feet, Play-Doh or corn chips.
If you’re really lucky and trapped in an enclosed space with this person, you will get a combination of all of the above!

I know, personally, I never want stink like that and I was, up until recently, willing to sacrifice my health via antiperspirants in order to make certain that I did not. Then, I read a bit about it. Parabens? Triclosan? Aluminum zirconium and chlorohydrate, or propylene glycol? Does that sound healthy to you? It’s not! Google it- then avoiding trying not to stink after you’ve crapped your pants.

The harsh reality is that these cancer causing agents, proven contributors to Alzheimers (as if my husband doesn’t already have enough difficulty remembering to do things I have asked him to) and chemicals with a variety of other negative effects to our health are in our day-to-day products. They are part of our routine.

Sadly, however, it is very difficult to come across a natural deodorant that is effective, long-lasting and smells good. I mean, really, I want to smell like a dewy, fresh rose while sweating like a hog. Who doesn’t?
I am not that chick in the gym who pretends to wipe sweat off of her face while sneaking a pit sniff (yeah, I saw you lady!) but I want to make certain that I don’t stink to high heaven when I go to hug the hubbs once he returns home from work. As a result of the aforementioned facts, I also like doing that without a lot of chemicals.

Here’s where Routine De-Odor-Cream comes in, a natural deodorant, which I received free in exchange for this review;
It looks like icing, smells like cake and is not meant for eating but, considering the ingredient list, you actually could. You’ll be tempted, believe me. A very cool fact about this particular scent is that it’s comprised of flavour oils and not essential ones, which is completely safe for pregnant, or nursing, Mamas as well. Yay for that!
Now, I wish this stuff came in a handy, dandy stick but it doesn’t. Luckily, you need very little in order to get the job done and simply apply it with a finger tip. The jar pictured above lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how much you require each time. The initial investment may seem rather large but, when you consider how long the jar of natural deodorant lasts, it is worthwhile.
The Woah Blackberry Betty smells a lot like blackberry cake or the fruit itself mixed in with a vanilla icing; not that gross, synthetic vanilla smell either but one that makes your mouth water. It is very richly scented and stays with you for quite some time.
I found that it lasted through the day, although the scent did diminish and that was preferable to me. It was a bit strong for my liking at first but my husband loved my skin smelling of dessert. He said that he has never come across a deodorant that made him hungry before and thought I smelled like a jam-filled doughnut.

The above picture is the Maggie’s Citrus Farm scent option and this one was my least favourite, as well as the least effective, of all of the options that I received. I was not the biggest fan of the orangey aroma and I felt self conscious as the day wore on. It’s made of the same, beeswax base that the other is but I was just not a big fan.

This little, blue bird covers Routine Cream’s clay based option for deodorant, which I found kept me more dry throughout the day than the beeswax one. This particular kind is called Sweet Jane and it most definitely smells very sweet, with a couple of notes being similar to the Woah Blackberry Betty kind, with the hint of baking from the vanilla, but it includes pears as well. Sweet Jane is also scented with natural and organic flavour oils, instead of essential ones, and is my personal recommendation for the nursing Mamas.
I really loved this one and it was the sample that I went through the quickest, as I wore it daily.
I am not sure if it is due to the formula difference, or just the way the little trial sizes are packaged, but these ones were a bit more wet than the large, glass jar. I didn’t mind that but the one is decidedly more solid.
The pink bird above labels their Sexy Sadie scent and it is one of the best sellers from the brand. It, to me, is also one of the most complex but I actually thought it was slightly less pleasing than the others. This one includes patchouli, which is fantastic for skin conditions and as an antifungal addition but it does not appeal to me personally. I don’t like anything with herbaceous, musky tones and find it’s cousin, lavender, more pleasing. For ladies who wear perfume on a regular basis, you would be used to this and probably enjoy it. Just not my thing.
I use ylang ylang quite a bit in the household, in my diffuser or topically, so I was reminded of that from this one too. This scent is actually fantastic for uplifting moods, inspiring feelings of joy, relaxation or hope and for treating depression. If you happen to have any underarm irritation from shaving, this would also be excellent for helping to sooth and heal that due to the addition of ylang ylang to the ingredient list. I think the name may come from ylang ylang being used as an aphrodisiac but I could be completely off the mark with it. Either way, it’s fitting.
Speaking of the hubby, Routine Cream also sent along their Napoleon Dynamite blend for him to try out. The bitty, birdy buddy on that one is black, although I do not have a picture of it because he took it to work for his locker.
Now, when I first opened this one I did not enjoy the way it smelled in the slightest, then it grew on me once my husband applied it and it mixed with his own scent. It was similar to the Maggie’s Citrus Farm, only even more reminiscent of oranges or grapefruits, and then included some undertones that I figured were more feminine. This one includes bergamot oil, however, and you can wear that on it’s own as natural deodorant so it’s duplicity in scent makes for a great deodorant for the ladies who are more worried about odour. Try the men’s line! Bergamot is proven effective and, as an inclusion in the ingredient list, it helped to make sure my husband could wear a natural deodorant without smelling like part of the wild. Considering he’s a sexy, albeit occasionally stinky, beast and this one kept the latter at bay- it earned my approval.

Routine De-Odor-Cream can be found online here and you can also check out their Facebook page for more information.

 

Skin Care Products Every Woman Should Own- Vitamin C

I’m always afraid to walk into the liquor store because, although I love wine, I really hate being asked for ID. I hate being asked for it even more when, often times, I’m not carrying a piece of it on me and have dashed from our vehicle with only cash in hand. Although I am nearly 30 years old, I am constantly told that I’m far too young to have children or asked for my skin secrets because I don’t have any blemishes. I’m not tooting my own horn here but simply stating what qualifies me to make a post regarding a few facial secrets. I’m often complimented on my skin and, although I never thought much of it before, I’m now desperately trying to cling to my youth like a starving man wrestling for a turkey leg.

I am routinely sent free products to review, such as the Oz Naturals Facial Toner or the Tangerine Lilly Vitamin C Serum, and don’t always put a ton of stock into what’s passing through the vanity at any given time. I can’t stop to enjoy any one thing for a long period of time before the next, similar product arrives at the door. However, with how often vitamin c is discussed in the media, on other blogs or on television, I have used many creams and serums of this nature. These are two that I’ve stuck with, each having their own unique properties and value, as well as being affordable, easy to use and effective. I want their collagen stimulation and I enjoy the healthy “glow” that I’ve noticed since bringing them on to my age fighting team;

Tangerine Lilly has actually been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway, for one lucky Canadian reader to receive their serum and you can enter below for your chance to win.
Please check out my video for the full review and be nice! I’m new to video reviews and know that I have plenty of work to do but I’ll improve- promise. If you like the products, I would truly appreciate you using the above affiliate links to purchase them. It helps support my blog!

Tangerine Lilly Vitamin C Serum Giveaway

DISCLAIMER

Springtime Self Tanner

I’m probably about as pasty as they come- you know you’ve got serious pale girl problems when the lightest shade of foundation is too dark, okay? I’m not even an “ivory”, I’m more a “corpse white” but, sadly, vampires don’t have a make up line so I’m left to literally mix white Halloween make up with a foundation so my face matches the rest of my body when I go out. I do, however, tan a fantastic shade of brown and was lucky enough to pass this on to each of my seasonally pasty children.

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Not a bad colour for someone who’s normally as white as a ghost.

This is hard work, however, and I’m a mother of four now- if I had time to tan, I would use it to catch up on the Mountains of Madness aka my light and dark laundry pile. I’ll either walk around looking gaunt or I’ve got to go with a self tanner. I would much rather use a sunless tanning method, as I’m not capable of investing hours in the sun to tan naturally and I don’t want to use tanning beds, but I don’t like slathering my entire body in a chemical soup in order to not look like my brand of sunblock is called roof.
Luckily, I was sent a bottle of Thermalabs organic self tanner free for review and discovered that not all sunless tanning products on the market are made up of complete garbage. I will note, however, that “parfum” is included on the label and that is the last thing that I want to see included when I’m buying something for the organic attributes. I would rather it had no scent, or even a somewhat unpleasant one, than include synthetic ones and I was disappointed to see that.
I’ve used a few different sunless tanning options and I’ve ended up every colour from orange to Obama- I can honestly say that Thermalabs was one of the best self tanners and I’ve taken a billion photos to try to get a decent shot. I can’t really capture the bronzed brown of my hand now but, just note, this colour is more brown in person than gold or orange;

self tanner, sunless tanning, best self tanning products, organic tanner

Clearly, there’s a massive difference and I intentionally did only the top of one of my hands because this was the easiest way to show a before and after for you. That was two thin coats and, looking back, one would have sufficed but I worried that I had washed some of it off so I applied a second. I’m going to have to do my whole body now, which the bottle will cover without issue, and I’m going to be darker than I have in years. We’ll have to see how this goes.

All in all, Thermalabs provides a product that contains more natural ingredients than any other on the market, it’s safe for all skin types and the application was not streaky or difficult in any way. If you’re someone who invests in these types of products on a regular basis, I would definitely recommend checking this one out. I like the shimmer of the brown, as it looks more sun-kissed than Kardashian-kissed and doesn’t go overboard with bronzers. The tanner dries fairly quickly, smells less offensive than any other tanner that I have used in the past, and they sell it with a money back guarantee. I have no complaints, with the exception of the “parfum” addition, and I will leave you with these words of advice; If you can’t tone it, tan it.

Sunscreen- For Skiing or Swimming

It’s winter time now and, when I say “winter time”, I mean that you can’t see the ground where I live. Ever. For around 3 months straight. During these months, product reviews give me something to pass my time while cooped up- this one came as a result of a free product and it may contain affiliate links.

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I live in Canada so it’s snowing like a mofo outside but I at least get to bust out all kinds of boots. Short ones, high ones and super clunky crappola footwear for when the snow has reached a FML depth that vertically challenged individuals, like myself, have trouble slugging through.

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I don’t often don the big, proper winter boots because I choose to boycott the season by passionately displaying displeasure through coffee drinking and blanketed couch snuggling.

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That being said, once in a while I’m required to leave my cave home in order to attend pre-planned appointments, such as the recent eye test that I went to. Thankfully, my eye sight is fine (which I expected) but I found out that I have very little pigment left in the back of my eye. This explains why they’re already becoming lighter before I have even hit 30. I used to have deep blue eyes, which changed to a lighter blue in my younger years, then blue-green in my teens and they have turned a pale, light green this past six months. I figured it was genetic, as my grandmother’s, mother’s and uncles’ eyes have lightened up in their latter years but it turns out that we may all be losing pigment sooner than an average person. The solution? Protect what little pigment I have left by way of polarized, super sexy Versace sunglasses through my insurance company! Woot woot! I have to wear them every single time I’m in the sunlight because the sun is pigment’s enemy.
As a super pale person of British heritage, it’s not like the sun and I were great buddies to begin with.

Year round, I like to protect my skin from its rays and to make sure my wee ones have similar protection while outside. Sunscreen is necessary year round, even though it’s not commonly thought of during this chilly season. Did you know that the sun is actually closer to the earth during the winter while, at the same time, the ozone layer is actually at its thinnest? It’s true! The National Science Foundation Polar Programs UV Monitoring Network will tell you as much- so we’re actually at an increased risk for UV exposure, especially if you’re a winter sports enthusiast. According to skincancer.org, anyone hitting the slopes may want to remember; “Higher altitude means increased risk of sun-induced skin damage, since UV radiation exposure increases 4 to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice. This only increases the risk for damage.”

When heading out skiing or beaching, the above pictured is a new favourite for our skincare. The Sun ‘N’ Fun description reads that this;

  • Chemical free, non toxic, not greasy, no white cast, EWG Rating 1.
  • Natural with Organic ingredients, Zinc 20%
  • Contains fresh and inviting (natural) scent of marshmallow & chocolate, that kids love
  • Can be used by kids and adults alike
  • moisturizing with antioxidants

suncreen sun protection

The 1 rating means that this sunscreen has the lowest hazard rating possible, and when 75% of sunscreens and 90% of SPF moisturizers tested in the Environmental Working Group’s “2013 Guide to Safer Sunscreens” were found unsafe or ineffective, that’s a major plus. We typically use my homemade sunscreen for that reason but this one does appear to contain a fairly comprehensive ingredient list. It also includes the antioxidant tocopherol (from soy), which enhances sun damage protection.

When they say that it smells of marshmallow and chocolate, it smells EXACTLY like that and Peanut loved it. My husband loathes sunscreen and hates wearing it but he readily agreed to wear this one whenever asked as a result of the scent. He said, “I would be a walking dessert” and then many suggestive comments, full of innuendo followed. Men. Heh.

However, it is pretty chilly and curling up with him sounds fairly fantastic right about now so I will leave you to contemplate lying on a beach while I go and cuddle up in our bed. ‘Til next time.

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Jeunesse Instantly Ageless Review and Giveaway!

I was recently approached by a consultant for Instantly Ageless serum by Jeunesse and I, approaching my 30’s in the next couple of years, decided that it couldn’t hurt to demo a product that is supposed to work within just a few minutes of using it. Yeah, right- right?

Instantly ageless is a microcream that uses peptides to basically give a lady some botox without all of the gross needles. Botox, in cream form? Again, yeah right. I figured, with such seemingly outlandish claims, the worst case scenario would be that I got to write a scathing review about marketing towards the hopeless feeling we all have about in regards to our age lines. The best case scenario would be that my dark circles faded a bit, making me look less like a corpse and more like a very tired blood transfusion patient. I had high hopes people, high hopes.
‘Lo and behold, I’ve been pleasantly surprised absolutely freakin’ blown away by this stuff! Holy crappola it actually works! More than just works, it does so incredibly fast and exceptionally well.

Within seconds of using the cream, I could feel it start tightening and changing my eye contour. It’s not pleasant, with a stretching sensation that does not hurt but is noticeable enough that I wondered whether or not I would have to deal with it all day. It does fade within a few minutes, although the results last 8+ hours. Only a tiny amount is required to get the job done but do make sure that enough is applied for adequate coverage, or else the spots that were missed end up looking more dramatic when the rest of the area is wrinkle-free.

I couldn’t take a good picture of my eyeball so I used my mother’s. These are not retouched to make the effects more dramatic. I’m not that talented in the photo editing department, believe me. These were taken with the same model, on the same couch, in front of the same window and on the same day;

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I couldn’t even believe the results. The picture was taken almost immediately after application and you can see that the cream is actually still wet underneath her eye. The results became more dramatic about two minutes after this, only my toddler was desperate to have her hair braided and wouldn’t let up about it so the light was not as good for the second round of pictures. Still, I assume you can see the difference between the two eyes- and what a difference it was!

One lucky reader will receive 3 vials of Instantly Ageless Serum by Jeunesse. This giveaway will run for two weeks, ending on January 28th and be open to residents of Canada and the US. I can’t say enough about the effectiveness of the product and want to give a big shout out to our sponsor, Clark, for being generous with her products and sponsoring this giveaway. Be sure to check out her pages listed below and, for those of you not in the US (where you can order from the site), please get in touch with Clark via her Facebook page here in order to make sure you can get your hands on this mind-blowing product. Good luck!

Jeunesse Instantly Ageless Serum- 3 vials!

 

 

DISCLAIMER3

Booty Balm! NuElle Triple Action Anti-Cellulite Concentrate

Disclaimer; Post contains affiliate links. I received my product at no cost in exchange for writing an unbiased, honest review regarding my experiences with Skin QR Organics. Photos within are not my own and come from the product Amazon page.



I’m a woman.
I’m a woman who’s had children.
I’m a woman that’s had children and now has far too much junk in her trunk as a result.
I own it!
That being said, I sometimes wish that I didn’t- or that the maintenance of cette trunk was a bit easier, that’s for sure. Coming across NuElle Triple Action Anti Cellulite Concentrate was intriguing although I’m never sold by the promises on a bottle.
After using this product for the past few weeks, I can honestly say that it works. I would post before and after photos, only I don’t make regular practice of sharing pictures of my behind. I think my hubby would lose his metaphorical shit if My Domestic Dish became My Photographed Tush but, then again, he might not. In any case, no one wants to see my butt right now so here’s another lady’s perfectly sculpted gluteal muscles for your viewing pleasure;

The ingredients listed down the side of that picture are “flub busters” and are supposed to contribute to an overall tightening of the skin, toning in appearance, as well as overall cellulite reduction. 

The smell is quite a bit like lemongrass and straight aloe, which is not exceptionally pleasant for me, but it dies down quickly and I would rather it smell like natural ingredients than some heavily perfumed synthetic.
I did enjoy the idea of the airless pump, which means that I don’t have to repeatedly attempt to get the pump to function properly and it comes with a satisfying amount dispersed each time.

                               
The cream is rich and takes a bit to absorb but it leaves a pleasant sensation on the skin once it is applied. The “sauna effect” has been mentioned and it did make me feel a bit clammy or heated in the areas where I put the cream on but it was well worth it due to the end result.
I’ve found, after numerous applications, that it does exactly what it is supposed to and am sold on the effects that it has had to date. If I am being honest, I can’t comment about how well it would work on a lot of cellulite, as I have been fortunate enough to avoid the orange peel look where my buttox is concerned, but I did notice that it has changed the overall size of my bum without any difference in my daily routine. Even my husband has commented, “Your butt looks smaller” more than once since I started using this cream. I’ve only been using it once a day, whereas you’re supposed to use it twice, and am sure I may notice better results when I bump up the applications.

If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it on Amazon via the photo below and be sure to check out the product page for other reviews. I am not the only person who has had a positive experience and you don’t have to take what I say at face value, of course. It’s good stuff!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Deserving Thyme Deserves Your Time

Hi all! I have some very interesting, incredibly different goodies to show you today and they arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Deserving Thyme, a Canadian based company that strives to bring a healthy approach to body care to the masses. 
I waited for the parcel with a bit of skepticism, as I had not used aromatherapy roll-ons previously and was not sure that I would like them. This is the first fragrance oil roll-on that I tried, called Be Sweet, and I was pleasantly surprised;

These little, organic fragrance sticks are blended with essential oils, or comprised of natural and organic scents, and they pack quite a punch. This one contains jojoba and I enjoyed that addition for the benefits my skin would reap as a result of it’s usage. Jojoba oil is quickly absorbed, not leaving any greasy residue and it’s absolutely fantastic for the body. Often referred to as “nature’s multitasker”, it’s great for a variety of topical uses and, when blended with this mouth-watering mix, it is perfect for date night too! My hubby has a sweet tooth and that was blatantly apparent as a result of his reaction to this scent. The aroma stayed a bit on the stronger side for a while but, when it dyed down, I found myself closing my eyes to inhale the remaining fragrance and I actually enjoyed it more at that point. The “Be Sweet” title is entirely appropriate, as the roll on is reminiscent of cotton candy or candy apples and smells a lot like pink sugars, without being sickening or overpowering. I found it much nicer than any spray of similar scent found in stores, which typically gives me a headache. I had no such reaction to Be Sweet and recommend this as a beginner perfume for a young lady or just for anyone who needs to boost their mood. I found the sweetness and candy-like notes instantly made me happy. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy smelling like memories of sticky fluff on a stick from the fair?

The second one I tried, pictured above, is the Clarity Oil Roll-On. This one’s made with jojoba oil, lavender and peppermint. I’m not sure what else it includes, if anything at all, but it is supposed to help you focus, or ease tension and help you to become inspired when necessary. I love lavender oil and I use it almost daily in the household so this was a welcome product and a nice treat to find in the parcel. I actually used this while suffering from a headache, finding it helped to provide distraction from the symptoms when applied to my temples, under my nose and to the pressure points on the back of my neck. The peppermint sensation is pleasantly warming and the fragrance is much more subtle than with the Be Sweet roll-on, lessening to that of just the lavender with a sweeter note than usual. 
My favourite part of the package was this little box of heaven; 

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not one for moisturizer. I just never use it, nor do I really feel as if my skin requires it. This product made me realize that I am a complete fool, I love being velvety soft and I ended up wanting to slather it all over my entire body, it’s just that good.

Upon first inspection, it doesn’t look like much;

Like with the organic roll ons, the Hand Revitalizer includes jojoba oil but that’s kicked up a notch by aloe vera, evening primrose oil and vitamin E. Added to the mix of oily goodness is rosemary, lemon and lavender, along with some little scrubby buddies. It smells a bit too herbaceous for my liking but, once I put it on, I stopped caring about that as much.

Application is much like that of a sugar scrub but the results are so much more satisfying, with my hands coming out baby soft and super silky. I never enjoyed this type of ritual previously, feeling that I would start moisturizing my hands once age crept up on them, but I wish I had started sooner and, after finding this, I won’t be stopping! Of all of the products I received, I can most definitely say that this one is quite unique and extremely enjoyable.

If you want to check out Deserving Thyme for yourself, you can find their website here and their Facebook page here

Be Clean Naturally Review

How to naturally clean is with Be Clean Naturally, of course!

A few weeks back, I was thrilled to receive a large assortment of little goodies from this company, based in Squamish B.C. (for those who have no idea what the heck I’m talking about and figure I’m speaking of a vegetable or a Bigfoot, it’s a place on the Western side of Canada) and have spent the past little while trying out their products. Of all of the soap reviews that I have done in past sudsy posts, I have to say that the scent coming from the Be Clean Naturally packages was most definitely the strongest in a very pleasant way. It smelled similar to laundry and lavender as soon as I opened the parcel, which was fantastic for me because it provided a scent that I have been missing after switching to natural products but it was still accomplished without synthetics. I was immediately impressed.

Upon first impression, their site BeCleanNaturally.ca is very easy to navigate, beautifully designed and includes cute, little family touches on the pages with brief introductions from Kirstin, her husband and their children. It’s on the About Us page that we find out how the company began and I thought this quote from the founder was endearing;
I’m Kirstin, the founder of Be Clean Naturally Soap Products. I started making soap because my beloved Shone is allergic to EVERYTHING! I thought that a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, but it turns out in this case that it’s through his skin, with a little jasmine.”
Be Clean Naturally began as a labour of love and it shows within their products which, speaking of, check this one out;

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I think they’re quite pretty and this is, as the stamp would suggest, called “Love” which has added lavender oils, Himalayan crystal salt and flowers to the base- that’s what you see embedded in the top of the bar. This bar was my favourite of the lot, looks-wise, as I enjoyed the addition of colour and the stamp made for a lovely decoration. As far as the scent goes, it’s exceptionally subtle and dies down in the bar as time passes. I found that it seemed to have no discernible scent whatsoever after a few days, which worked well for me because I could get my husband to use it without claiming that I was trying to hand him “girl soap”.

After he grew to love a previous hand soap that I reviewed, he was quick to pounce on this bitty bottle;

Be-Clean-Naturally
I have to admit, I didn’t fall for this one as a hand soap. I think it may be the olive oil blend for the base because I prefer that for body use, which you may love just fine. It was a similar consistency to a dish soap, in my opinion, and a bit more runny than what would normally be found in the bathroom. It was not at all unpleasant to use but a pump is most definitely a more desirable vessel, which they carry if you go with a larger size, as then I wouldn’t have to worry about using too much at once.
My hubby enjoyed it, saying that “It smells like I just ate a candycane!” and following that by looking as if he wanted to eat one. Anything that reminds that man of food is great in his books because, unlike Kirstin’s hubby, the way to Bear’s heart is definitely via his stomach. I also detected an herbaceous note to it, which ups the peppermint to another level and it makes for a mouth-watering experience, so I was not at all surprised by his commentary.
I think that I would love this one as a shampoo, more than for hand use.
Speaking of shampoo, this bar below can double as that as well as a regular body soap;
Be-Clean-Naturally

What a segue, eh?! It actually can though- be used on hair, as well as hands, face and body. When I first received the soaps, I was not as fond of the scent of this one simply because it was so subtle while dry but it definitely comes alive when used. I had such a pleasurable experience with the menthol and eucalyptus, without feeling as if I was inhaling a vaporub, and breathing in the aroma of the lather left me feeling like I was showering outdoors in dewy freshness- without the criminal charges for exposure, that is. This bar is rejuvenating and refreshing in a way that standard soaps can not compare to and I had the most pleasant experience with this one where body lather was concerned. My skin felt awakened by the menthol, as well as smooth and nourished due to the saponified oils.

On the topic of menthol, or minty, additions to the household, this is the Be Clean Naturally Tranquil Room & Linen Spray and it smells a lot like peppermint;

Be-Clean-Naturally

I had been trying to find an organic, or natural, air freshener for ages and this one’s quite fresh. The soothing smell does dissipate fairly quickly and that is to be expected because the fragrance is natural. Things like Scentsy, or Glade, are filled with chemicals and they smell fantastic but will probably kill us at some point. It sucks, as the trade off is one that can cause some contemplation for myself (ah, hell, who cares if I die early if I can have it smell like Cinnabon in here?!) until I look at the babies and would prefer to refrain from using synthetics in the household. This provides the same type of pleasant, perfumed pick-me-up and allows me to run around in the same harried manner, spraying each room of the house for added freshness,  prior to company arriving. You do it too, I know it.
With this natural room spray, I would recommend using it when the little ones aren’t in the immediate area, as it could probably cause some eye irritation if little faces are looking up into the falling mist. The other spray options that Be Clean Naturally offers probably wouldn’t but I would suggest a better-safe-than-sorry approach to anything with peppermint, as it’s a very strong essential oil.
This blend of lavender, rosemary and peppermint is great for things like improving an agitated mood, or helping with insomnia. I went through nearly the entire bottle before I thought, “Duh, pain relief!”, as all of those ingredients provide relief for headaches, inflammation or pain, and I started using it as an absolutely fantastic muscle spray. It works just as well as A5-35 and I know what’s in it!

If you have other injuries and ailments to soothe, this is the wound balm;

Be-Clean-Naturally
Be-Clean-Naturally
Now, I have had no real reason to use this as part of first aid care since receiving it (knock on wood that I don’t, as my home is full of accident prone klutzes) so I can only speculate about the healing properties based upon the ingredients. You can do that kind of research just as well as I can and check out the page about this stuff here. I use some on the ingredients list for almost everything imaginable and firmly believe in the healing properties of essential oils; As such, I do think that a balm comprised of the best of the best of them would work well. It smells, to me, like beeswax and calendula, which is fantastic for rashes and other skin irritations. Texturally, it is a lot like beeswax but then goes on with a buttery-smooth layer that makes for an excellent barrier cream. I would go so far as to use this on baby bums, although diaper rash has not been a problem with our youngest two and I thank cloth for that!
Moving from soothing baby bums to washing bitty booties and bodies, this is the Baby Bar;
Be-Clean-Naturally
Would you like to know the ingredients? Of course you would, as a responsible parent! Olive oil. That’s it, that’s all. No dyes, scents, chemicals, parabens, sulfates and so on- just pure, natural, olive oil. It leaves skin soft (as if it wasn’t already), clean and moisturized with a rich and pleasing lather. Due to the composition of the soap, you really have to avoid leaving it in the water for too long and be sure to store it properly in between washes or it will become slightly more gooey and soft than other bars might. It is about half the size of the other soaps and not much cheaper, which does not make the most sense for our household budget. In all honesty, the rest of the bars do not contain anything that is not “baby safe” (although I would avoid mint for children and do not use tea tree oil on babies under 6 months) and I used the Love and Tea Tree bar on the girls too.
Be-Clean-Naturally
This was my favourite of all of ones that I tried due to the fragrance and the fantastic array of uses. Be Clean Naturally makes soap bars that can be used on the hair as well the body so this is GREAT for school-aged children as shampoo. Tea tree oil helps deter lice naturally, which has been pretty much my worst fear since my oldest started school, and has been added to our daily regiment. This tea tree oil soap makes for a quick, easy way to add the oil odour to my little ones’ hair without it being overpowering and it’s also an excellent solution for skin blemishes or acne. If you don’t have children to worry about, you could use it on the poochy to prevent fleas.

This, all around, is an excellent soap for value, skin, scent and suds. I most definitely recommend it.

Last but not least is the laundry soap;
Be-Clean-Naturally
Mhmm, lemony.
It smells a lot like lemons and a bit like tea tree oil so, of course, I had to quote and then impersonate Homer upon opening the bottle. I did not find that it was sudsy, which most natural laundry soaps are not, and was unsure about how clean our clothes would be until I opened the washing machine and could smell a lingering freshness. That set the soap apart from any natural product I have used to date, as there is typically no fragrance after a wash but this was noticeable, although light. Admittedly, the bottle was so little that I could only do one large load and do not have much experience with this but, at $2 for the small bottle, it’s worth trying on your own if it is something that you think you may like. I can not speak for stain fighting power, terrible grime or anything like that but it smells pretty decent and appears to do the job.
All in all, I had an excellent experience with Be Clean Naturally and enjoy the idea of supporting this family and their labour of love. I would have to pick the Tea Tree bar as my preferred of the lot, although so many on the webpage are incredibly intriguing for me and I would have a hard time choosing only a couple that I would love to bring home. The diverse line of products that Be Clean Naturally carries offers something for everyone and, if you’re wanting to do a bit of shopping but have a hubby who monitors the budget, bribe him with some Chubby Rubby if he keeps quiet about your purchasing decision. If he’s not confused enough by the offer to open up the webpage then I would be shocked. If he’s anything like mine, he would be immediately on board at the mention of the product name alone- aaand grinning like an idiot every time you looked at him for the rest of the evening.
Now you’ll have to head over to the site to read up on Chubby Rubby and see what the heck I mean by that. While you’re at it, be sure to stop by their Facebook page too.

Intelligent Nutrients, Not Just for Geniuses.

Hey you! Glad to see you on the page and here’s what I have to show you today, my find of the season;

This is the Intelligent Nutrients Bug Repellent Perfume Spray, which I was sent to review,  and I was absolutely thrilled with this product for a variety of reasons.
I have been hunting around for an organic bug repellent for ages and had either very little luck with effectiveness or an oily, stinky and poor experience. My homemade mosquito repellent, admittedly, did not work nearly as well and was not as strongly-scented as this one either. The Intelligent Nutrients one smells like peppermint and cloves, as far as I am concerned, and my hubby thinks it smells “like an herb garden”. It’s not offensive, like many commercial products, and is gender neutral in aroma- always an important thing for two, little boys who believe smelling the least bit floral is the equivalent to being put in a dress.

What is important for me though, and a pleasant surprise, is that it works to help ward off ticks, gnats, flies, aunts and mosquitoes! We took it up north to Muskoka, where the bugs were so bad that going outside meant you were putting yourself up as feast for dozens of mosquitoes at once, and I used it every day. This picture was taken about five seconds after spraying it on and, as you can see, there’s no oily film or absorption issues and I found it left my skin quite soft. The sensation is pleasantly cooling and I believe that is due to the peppermint.

We were also provided with the handy, little pocket-appropriate bug serum;
https://www.intelligentnutrients.ca/shop/certified-organic-bug-repellent-serum
Both products smell exactly alike, only the serum is more oily and I found it was perfect for massaging on our youngest child. She loved the snuggly bonding time and it was a great moisturizer, on top of being an effective mosquito repellent.

My husband, like most any normal human being, hates bugs and thought that our OFF Family Care would be more effective due to the Deet content and the reputation. The boys, wanting to be like their father, opted to wear the same spray until we compared bug bites at the end of the night and the boys ended up with a lot more than the girls. The Deep Woods version is the only one that compared but I was not pleased with the boys using the less harsh Family formula, let alone that, and the only one who wore it was my husband.
The spray was my top choice of the two but I really liked the oily serum for in a diffuser, which I use on my front porch now. I can genuinely say that Intelligent Nutrients makes the best natural mosquito repellent that I have used to date and highly recommend the product!

I was also sent their Harmonic shampoo and conditioner combo and, although I do not normally review sample size items, I decided to take these away with me as well. They are the perfect travel sized bottles;

Much like the bug spray, there is an herbaceous undertone to the shampoo and the peppermint is prevalent, as well as cooling on the scalp. I love hair care products that include mint and have become somewhat addicted to the sensation- It’s so refreshing! My only complaint about this product is the packaging- the bottles are very stiff and it leads to the whole harsh shake, wiggle and squeeze to try and get the shampoo out. It would be fantastic if they were in soft tubes, or if the shampoo and conditioner came out easier.

I found the scent to be slightly more masculine, in my opinion, and loved the smell of it in my husband’s thick, beautiful hair after he showered. The conditioner is moisturizing but not overly greasy and rinses very cleanly away. All in all, I had a pleasant experience with this where scent and sensation were concerned.

Last, but not least, is the certified organic sanitizer;

It is always difficult to find a sanitizing product that is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances but this one contains none of those while still remaining 99% effective at killing germs. I found this to dry incredibly quickly and it was initially very pungent where the alcohol scent was concerned, then it quickly died down to smell a bit like vanilla and pumpkin. My husband said that the scent reminded him of Trix cereal, for some reason. He’s a strange man. What I liked most about this product was the fact that it came as a spray, not a runny liquid that you can squirt into your palm, and is therefore more difficult for children to use. I like the idea that my toddler will not get into this as easily as she could a bottle of the gel, although I would never leave her unattended around something like this anyways. An extra precaution, however, is always a bonus. I also like the spray for toting around in a purse, as it is less likely to leak and comes with the additional cap to put on top. Very handy.

Intelligent Nutrients was a company that I had not previously heard of and, upon discovering that they carry such a wide variety of Certified Organic health and beauty products, I am so very pleased to have come across them. If you want to find out more information for yourself, please check out their website here and stay tuned for a future review of their Renewal Complex Eye Gel this month!