Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Vital!

For my third Vox Box of the year, Influenster sent me the Vita Vox Box. This box was full of fun things that didn't necessarily connect in one way or another, but were all vital to everyday life, which I've realised after testing them for this semi-short period. If you've been reading my blog up until now you may have already seen a few things, so this will just round up my final points and thoughts on the products. So what did they send me and how did I like everything?
  • Playtex Sport tampons
  • Softlips lipbalm cube (missing from my package)
  • First Degree burn cream tube
  • Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Ceremide Capulet Serum
  • Pure Leaf tea, unsweetened
  • Bikini Ready Lifestyle gummy vitamin sample

A lot of what was included quickly became my favourite things, which may have been the work of the universe. "I have never even burned myself enough to use this," I said when I opened the box and discovered the burn cream, which quickly became my biggest need over the two months, Tampons, always good. The lipbalm cube had also come in my Spring Vox Box, so I was able to keep loving that and sharing it. Pure Leaf, well I've wasted all my money on that. Elizabeth Arden might not be for sensitive faces, so I've had my mum using it.

One thought I have is what is the proper rating for this box? 0/10 since Influenster didn't give me the full bottle of Bikini Ready haha. Totally KIDDING, of course! I rate each product separately, but I do give this box an overall A rating.

Playtex Sport: 5/5 VITAL
One of my previous entries was dedicated to Playtex Sport and my thoughts on the tampons. I recall, "For getting me to go from hating tampons to testing and loving them, 5/5. Definitely worth at least trying. I don't think there are any cons to this except maybe that they are scented and this can be irritating to the body - and I haven't seen any unscented ones. Other than that, everything is swell."

Softlips lipbalm cube: 4/5 VITAL
Though I'm not sure if I have ever given a proper rating for this product, I have found other lipbalms that I don't have to apply so frequently. We won't get into that now. However, I do love this product. "Though not conventionally shaped, it is very compact which I found convenient. Since I have skin that tends  to get oily, choosing a product can become problematic. I'd definitely recommend this after having used it."

First Degree burn cream: 5/5 VITAL
Oh where do I start? As I said before, I didn't think I would need this product. Within the first five days of having it around I did. Though not a burn, the cream really helped to heal a badly busted nail. Out of the three active ingredients, two of them can be beneficial for most types of cuts, scrapes, etc. I have since used this on food burns, scratches, open bug-bites, and even small open areas from hitting my toes on things. Perfection.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Ceremide Caplet Serum: 3/5 GOOD
If you've been reading, you have probably already seen an entry dedicated to this product. I have had my ups and downs with it, but it isn't a bad product. And my mum likes it. To get Flawless Future to a 5/5 I would probably have to test other products in the line as this particular one is not necessary to me personally at this time. If you find yourself stressed with wrinkles starting to show, however, I do recommend this!

Pure Leaf tea: 5/5 VITAL
I don't know what it is about this tea, but I feel like it is definitely better than the others. The price, not so much. But you do get what you pay for. After having a sip of the one sent to me, I did add a pinch or two of sugar as unsweetened really isn't my... cup of tea. (Pun unintended, really.) Anyways, I tried out both the unsweetened and sweetened on multiple occasions and decided I loved it. If you have the $2 per bottle to spend, do it! If not, you can always buy a package of Lipton tea bags and make your own at home~

Bikini Ready Lifestyle gummies: 5/5 VITAL
Yet another product I have dedicated a whole post to. "Out of all the supplements I have tried, I think this might be my favourite. I wasn't drained after the supplements wore off, and I didn't feel shaky while still at full energy." The only setback is that a bottle is about $15 plus shipping & handling + tax if a local store doesn't carry the line depending on the state, which is something I can't do. But, this doesn't mean this wasn't an ace product. I may have to get a bottle for when I go out of state, so I'm at full energy and in good spirits the whole time.

This is it~ This box of products sent by Influenster for testing is definitely VITAL! Be sure to tune in for a guest post, reviews of gifts Influenster supporting companies have sent me, and more~

Monday, 22 September 2014

Learn to feel Strong Body Love

Earlier in the month I was somehow extremely lucky to receive an email with the conference code for Ashley Burnett's self love conference. Since it was over the phone I, like many others, expected it to be something addressing a group of people who were very self loathing. What I got was the exact opposite.While on the line with Ashley and hundreds of other women I somehow felt that she was speaking directly to me and guiding me to the tools I really need. For an hour I took notes (five pages) and participated in meditation exercises - definitely not something I expected!

Ashley teaches about how despite women coming into power, there is still this aspect of not fulling loving ourselves. We have the ability to move towards beautiful and loving relationships with ourselves, so why don't we? For whatever reason(s) we are standing in our own way, and therefore missing out on the large amounts of people we can impact if we were in a space of complete love and confidence.

But how does one achieve such a thing? It seems really hard, but by the end of the call I was already feeling so much better about myself. Set your intentions. For me it was to be comfortable in all aspects of life. But you also need to establish what you would really like and why. Ashley offers quite a few programs, but the one she used to aid this call was her Body Compassion Boot-Camp. It is there that you will learn how to set your intentions in a very clear way and work on different ways to achieve these intentions. The course lasts six weeks and actually has a new session starting on Tuesday. If you feel that you are ready to or need to end a war with your body, stop negative thoughts about it, create a positive image of yourself, start eating clean, get to the next level of your physicality, or feel free in your body then this is definitely a program for you.

(Obviously) I also mean that if you are sick of diets that don't work and want to learn what you are doing wrong and how to take charge and make change, then this is how. Diets are designed to deprive and almost always backfire, she will teach you. You have to learn to love and respect yourself before any method of weight loss can work. Another thing she teaches you is that what you think can really impact how your brain reacts to things. If you've ever heard the saying "Telling a lie long enough enables you to believe that it is true yourself, though you know it is not," or something along those lines... this is exactly the same. If you say you hate your body enough, eventually you will. BUT YOU CAN REVERSE THAT.

"[Manifesting is] a process and always remember: thoughts grow stronger as they're shared, so say it out loud to the Universe, [write] it down, and share it with your friends!" she told me in an email. If you feel bad about your body but want to change that, than why not let everyone know? Since the call I've emailed back and forth with her a few times about if I would be able to participate in the program or not and also about blogging about her program. Never did I imagine that I would be so impacted by a call or further impacted by emails. I decided to ask her a few questions, so you can get to know a little bit more about her line of thinking:

BRIDGETTE: Would you say you're happier now that you've begun to help others?
ASHLEY: I've always known I've meant to do work that's of service to others...and in a way I always have.  Teaching dance, massage therapy, and coaching have all been areas of service based work that I've engaged in and it's all been very rewarding.  I will say that this does contribute to my happiness--to help people live more fulfilling, connected, and fully expressed lives.

B: In three words, can you describe Body Compassion Boot-Camp?
A: Strong Body Love (smiles) Or empowering, life-changing, and confidence-building.

TRIGGER WARNING: EATING DISORDERS. The following question is directly about eating disorders, but I felt it was an important question to ask, and I personally love her answer.

B: To any girl struggling with a disorder - anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder, EDNOS, etc - do you have any advice or words of encouragement?
A: I have not struggled personally with any of these disorders but here's what I'd say to these women: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, you are powerful beyond measure, and you are wonderfully imperfect. You have a beautiful body and it is truly, truly AMAZING. It’s worthy of your LOVE and affection—it’s done SO MUCH for you over your life so far and will continue to do so, it deserves to be your BFF... Think about all the time, over all the years that you’ve wasted on thinking negative thoughts about your body and yourself. All time spent in your head and not in your body, driving yourself seriously crazy. All the comparison and judgment began. Here’s the thing, it’s not your fault.  You weren’t born hating your body…you were taught to hate it. But now it's time to let go and LOVE, love, love.

She has also done an in-depth interview with Michelle Konstantinovsky of the Huffington Post which you can read here. If there's anything you can take away from this it is to just love yourself. Without loving yourself you cannot create change in yourself as a person, in your workplace, or in life. If you think negatively about yourself, acknowledge that you do so and work on learning to be positive when you think of yourself or look in the mirror. And always, always know that you have to forgive yourself for whatever harmful thinking you have done and be open to receiving love from yourself and the Universe. Check back in the next month for blogs about my personal reflections since participating.

Photos were taken from the Strong Body Love website. Unfortunately I myself am not participating in this program at this time - this is why - but she has been so helpful in trying to accommodate me and helping me over email, so I do encourage that if you can take any of her classes that you do so. Stay tuned for my final thoughts on my Vita Vox Box and blogs about some companies that I'm really loving.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

How do I #PlayOn? Let me tell you...

Finally, I'm back! Blogging may not have been the best choice for me, due to my fluctuating stress level, but I truly do enjoy it. The following may not be a review all of you care for (especially you males, I know certain biological female things make you uncomfortable.) Skip on if you don’t have a period, read if you do! 
As part of the current Vox Box - Vitality - Influenster sent me a box of Playtex Sport tampons. Although I’ve had my period for almost 10 years now, I’ve never found tampons to be comfortable. Occasionally recently I found myself using Kotex brand regular security tampons but still wasn’t quite satisfied. Receiving this as a product made be really happy because I knew they would be great (as always with Influenster) - and they were.

Not only has this been a good experience in the period department because of the ease of application and removal, but I think this might be one of the best products I’ve tested. I would recommend this brand to anyone, and let them know that these are comfortable in every aspect; they can hardly be felt. There are some times when I sit down and find myself in extreme discomfort if I don't slide down in a certain way, but this may just be my own personal problem. 

Because I take birth control to regulate my period, I was able to keep the same box for about three months - most people I know use one box per period. If you have a light period, then these would be perfect. I use them for long walks, when I go out for extended periods (pun wasn't intended), dancing, stretching, yoga, and swimming. So that's really everything I do, honestly. My sister ended up taking some since she didn't remember to ask for the ones she gets and said they were even better than her brand (I forget which, but I know they're a paper applicator; who likes paper applicators? No thanks!) From here on out, this will be the brand I stick to.

I have found that this product can be purchased wherever similar products are sold, and yes they are a little pricier than some of the competing brands but they are completely worth it. 
My rating: 5/5
For getting me to go from hating tampons to testing them & loving them. What a feat, but it went so well. Definitely worth at least trying! There are always coupons for Playtex products, so if you really don't want to spend that extra dollar then keep your eye out. I don't think there are any cons to this except maybe that they are scented and this can be irritating to the body - and I haven't seen any unscented ones. Other than that, everything is swell.

Pictured: iPod touch 5th gen, playing New Beat Fund | Playtex Sport lightly scented | Nike Fitsole for Women | Hum Nutrition, Runway Ready. For links or prices, tweet/IG dm @cosmicdear~

Monday, 8 September 2014

Are you ready to live the #BikiniReadyLifestyle? I wasn't!

Out of all the supplements I have tried, I think Bikini Ready might be my favourite. So what have I tried? There was the green tea supplements which are used primarily for weight loss but also boost energy because of the high amount of protien. I've taken Disney and superhero vitamins for children because they always give a good boost to my immune system and overall energy. Just recently I started taking Runway Ready from Hum Nutrition - which I will be blogging about soon.

But what I love about Bikini Ready is the small amount of caffeine in it. The amount is miniscule in comparison to the green tea supplements I was taking, yet I had a load of energy and my appetite was suppressed without a nagging feeling that I should have been eating. Not over-eating was the best thing in the world, because I tend to do that. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't given the whole bottle - probably the only disappointing thing about the box of products I was sent to test.

Make sure to eat before you take these, as it is extremely dangerous to lose your appetite on an empty stomach. I was so dizzy that even drinking water didn't help and I had to force myself I eat. Luckily it was my first day of job training and I was kept busy enoug not to notice until almost dinner time. But don't take any chances!

What are some things you can do if you don't work? Work out! A balance of eating healthy and activity whilst on these supplements has got to be a killer combo. The results I have both seen and felt are amazing. Personally, I fancy yoga, swimming, or forms of cardio that can be done in the pool or on the grass. 

My rating: 5/5
I loved how I wasn't drained after the supplements wore off, and didn't feel shaky while still at full energy. Definitely a supplement I would love to take consistently and could stay faithful too. When taken correctly I don't think there are any cons. Unfortunately for me there isn't a merchant nearby and I'm not sure how I feel about buying a bottle online for $15 + tax, shipping, and handling. Definitely recommend looking at nearby stores or seeing how tax, shipping, and handling are in your states, though, because if this is a price you can afford or don't mind then it is 100% worth it! 

Product received complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster. Photo taken from my personal Twitter account.

Elizabeth Arden #FlawlessFuture powered by ceramide caplet serum REVIEW

As someone who often finds herself stressed out, the Flawless Future ceramide caplet serum by Elizabeth Arden is a dream. This anti-stress skincare product is made to help aid in the slowing of early aging. For those of you that don't know - signs of aging may be sped up due to stress. To ensure that this is to the point, you can visit the Elizabeth Arden website for your country to get more information on the product, or email me!

The first time I used the product, my face was just clearing up from a break-out and ended up having some sort of reaction. Mortified is the only way to describe how I felt about my face breaking out all over, over night. "Mum, I might have to give this to you, I don't think my face agrees with it," and away the serum went. That point had me ready to give one of those one-out-of-ten-because-zero-isn't-allowed type of reviews because if it made a break out worse, what sort of face would it actually work on?

When I realised perhaps it would work in areas that weren't already irritated, half of the bottle had already been used. But that didn't stop me from further testing it! My whole life my eyes have been a tad sunken in, and when I have dark circles they show terribly. You can see what I mean below.

Why not use the product under my eyes only? So I dabbed a bit under one, a bit under the other, and rubbed the access under my temples. Immediately I could feel some sort of feeling in my skin, and I was impressed out how soft the patches of skin were. It even seemed as if they had puffed out in a firmer way, which was really nice. Unfortunately, I'm honestly scared to use this after the bad reaction I had the first time. It wasn't an allergic reaction, but the irritation to a few small pimples I felt was ridiculous. Because my face is so sensitive and reacts badly to even organic products at times, I think I will just let my mum keep this one and try out Elizabeth Arden when I am a bit older.

My rating: 3/5
Though I liked this, I wasn't able to use it enough to fully judge the product. There were no visible signs of change in my mum's face though she has used it consistently. I also tend to dislike anti-aging products that aren't made for all faces, and in my opinion, this product was not. Samples or travel sizes are definitely worth trying and if it works for you, then I would be glad that you've found a nice product!

If there is any more you want to know about the product, or if you're interested in purchasing it, you may do so here.

Product received complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster. Photos have been taken from my personal Facebook account.