Archive for August 18, 2010

3 Miracle Skin and Health Benefits of Chocolate/Cocoa

There is no pleasure like the kind I get when enjoying my favorite chocolate bar: Godiva Chocoiste Dark Chocolate with Raspberry filling. This chocolate bar is amazing. Not only is the chocolate bar amazing, but because it is dark chocolate and only a couple of ounces, I am actually getting a good dose of bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants. If you don’t know already, antioxidants are amazing for cellular protection against exterior harms such as free radicals. They protect your cells including your skin cells from free radical damage. They are also just plain good for you! Be sure to keep your chocolate as dark as possible, meaning the cocoa content is upwards of 50% or more. Unfortunately, milk chocolate does not reap these antioxidant benefits because of its milk content, which counteracts these health benefits. Remember to keep your chocolate intake under 5 Oz. as anything over that will not increase your antioxidant benefits, but will actually be detrimental to your health at that point.

Another great way to get these flavonoids/antioxidants to your body that can improve the health of your skin and body is by drinking 1/2 cup of Hot Cocoa daily. This is great for those of you who are not big on dark chocolate, but enjoy Hot Cocoa and still want the antioxidant benefits in a fun way. Simply make your hot chocolate with about 2 tablespoons of cocoa and you’re giving yourself a healthy does of bioflavonoids! Drinking this daily can provide some amazing cardiovascular benefits. As long as you don’t go overboard with this, you can enjoy some great health benefits while sipping on a delightful drink. You can even add a few baby sized marshmallows to your cocoa if you want!

Another thing you can do is mix 1/4 cup of cocoa with 1/4 cup of sugar, add a few tablespoons of honey until the mixture is completely distributed throughout, and you have yourself a homemade moisturizing body scrub! If you like, you can even add milk (use sparingly) to this mixture to help soften your skin. Be careful not to add to much honey or milk as both will make your scrub soggy and watery if overdone. It’s a great scrub I like to use to get rid of dry skin on my legs and arms!

Did you know you can use cocoa powder as bronzer? Simply dip your makeup brush into a small amount of cocoa powder and powder over your cheeks and decollete as desired! Check out the link below and watch the amazing Lancome online makeup artist, Michelle Phan, who can show you how!

Who knew chocolate could be so fun and multi-useful?

If you’re not a chocolate fan, easy ways to get those much sought after antioxidant benefits are by eating a variety of fruits, leafy green and other deep colored vegetables. Some foods that offer great antioxidant and diverse nutritious benefits include: Strawberries, Oranges, Blueberries, Blackberries, Spinach, Beets, Kale, Carrots, Russet potatoes, Pecans, Cinnamon, Beans, Cranberries, Artichokes, Oregano and Garlic. Adding any or all of these is a sure way to get your daily dose of all the amazing antioxidants you need to live a happy, healthy, long and satisfying life.

Enjoy and good luck!


So, after much perusing online for a cheaper alternative to the ultra expensive and over-priced line of Skinceuticals, I have finally found the perfect solution: Cosmetic Skin Solutions. This surprisingly reasonable alternative to Skinceuticals carries the almost all the same serums/treatments that are made with the same exact ingredients as the Skinceuticals line, but for a fraction of the price. They are not carrying all of the Skinceuticals line, but do carry most popular treatment items. I recently purchased their Phyto + Gel, CE Ferulic Serum and Hydrating B5 Gel. After using these 3 in rotation and sometimes combination or as night or after-mask treatments, my skin has improved greatly. The texture of my skin has improved and softened thanks to the Hydrating B5 Gel and my under eye dark circles and discolorations are greatly improved if not nearly eradicated thanks to the Phyto + Gel and CE Ferulic Serum. I definitely recommend this line of products as a cheaper alternative to Skinceuticals for all those who want the benefits of these serums, but are on a budget or don’t want to spend the money for the pricey Skinceuticals line.

Below is a comparison of the Cosmetic Skin Solutions items I purchased with their Skinceuticals equivalents as well as their ingredients lists:

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum= Cosmetic Skin Solutions CE Ferulic Serum

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Ingredient List (as stated by

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Cosmetic Skin Solutions CE Ferulic Ingredient List ( as stated by

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Who is CE Ferulic Serum for? Normal to Dry Skin / Combination Skin in Winter

Skinceuticals Phyto + Ingredient List (as stated by

Water, Thyme Extract, Arbutin Glycoside, Glycerin, Uva Ursi Extract, Kojic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cucumber Extract, Citris Bioflavanoid Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Herbal Fragrance.

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Phyto + Gel Ingredient List (as stated by

Water, Thyme Extract, Arbutin Glycoside, Glycerin, Uva Ursi Extract, Kojic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cucumber Extract, Citris Bioflavanoid Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Herbal Fragrance.

Who is Phyto + Gel for? All Skin Types

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Ingredient List (as stated by

Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pantothenic Acid, Pheonoxyethanol

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydrating B5 Gel Ingredient List (as stated by

Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pantothenic Acid, Pheonoxyethanol

Who is Hydrating B5 Gel for? All Skin Types / Good Alternative to Cream Moisturizers for Combination to Oily Skin

If you don’t know what either Skinceuticals or Cosmetic Skin Solutions are, feel free to check out either of them at the below websites:

Skinceuticals Line

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Line

Good luck!

If you like Asian skincare products, weight loss products etc. You will LOVE SASA ! The majority of their products are Asian brands, but they even carry Lancome and Dior items, among other USA and UK based companies. It is by far the best AND most affordable site I have seen. The company is based in Hong Kong, but they ship internationally at pretty decent rates. They have many different language options as well as currency conversion options. PLUS you can shop by price in each category you are interested in browsing. You can shop by price from lowest price -highest price OR from highest price-lowest price, which means anyone with any budget can shop with SASA. I found a whole set of shampoo, hair treatment and body wash for $2.20 on the site! I was so amazed. Granted they were small sizes, but they lasted for a pretty long time considering their small sizes (2-4 weeks).

PLUS they have tons of reviews on there of their products. Not to mention, they have a translate options for the ones that are made by women who live in China or other Asian countries. This is really helpful since the majority of product reviews are in Chinese and I don’t fully speak the language yet. Available on the site are a variety of skincare products including lotions, whitening lotions, toners, face masks, body lotion, skin firming items, slimming products for your body, your legs, even your face! I am always looking for new sites with good prices since I have to maintain a certain budget each month and this site has beat every site out there so far!

Check out SASA products here.

I tried eyebrow threading recently with my boyfriend’s mom who claimed it was better and more painless than waxing. The shop I went to get my eyebrows threaded at was all done by exotic looking Indian women. Threading not only looks like it is difficult to do to someone else, but is also difficult to sit through on your first time getting it done. I have to say that it hurt the first time. I think this is because I was not used to the sensation or the sound of threading. Unlike waxing, threading takes several times to get all the hair, similar to plucking/tweazing. So, imagine that there are 20 people with tweazers on you at once all plucking hair simultaneously with a “zrrrrrrrrrr” sound everytime they tweaze and that is what threading is like. My eyebrows got a little red/inflamed, but other than that there was much less irritation than waxing for sure. I also think my eyebrows looked better. I must say that the women who do the threading are super skilled at this. They use string to pull the hair out and if they don’t do it right, they can actually cut you up pretty badly. I got my eyebrows threaded for the low price of $8.00, which is cheaper than waxing. The shop I went (Ruby’s Bangles in Moreno Valley, CA) to also offers upper lip, chin, and whole face threading.

On a whole, I would recommend eyebrow threading and upper lip threading. I recently tried whole face threading and I cannot lie, it was SO painful. Apparently, the lady who helped me said it was because the hairs were long. So, note to all of you thinking about trying threading, beware long hair getting threaded because it HURTS like a SON OF A BITCH. I really wanted  to punch the lady in the face it hurt so bad. My facial nerves were on fire. If it hurts like that the second time I try facial threading, I doubt I’ll keep doing it, but alas Nous devons suffre etre belle. Or, we must suffer to be beautiful.

This girl does a pretty decent tutorial:

If you’re local to the Moreno Valley area, check out Ruby’s Bangles. Click here to see their site.

Coolest Makeup Finishing Spray Line: Skindinavia Wins!

So, Skindinavia is a line of makeup finishing sprays that claim to hold your makeup in place for long periods of time. This stuff is really awesome. Although I didn’t buy mine from their site (cause I’m cheap!), I did buy the Skindinavia finishing spray (only off Ebay for a lower price). This stuff retails at $19.00 for 2 Oz. or $29 for 4 Oz. on their site or you can find some on Ebay for as low as $10 plus shipping. This finishing spray really does help your makeup stay in place longer and does not do much to upset your skin. Take that to heart; my skin is sensitive acne prone oily combination skin. Therefore, if something is going to upset your skin, it will inflame mine here first.

Depending on what skin type you have or your lifestyle, Skindinavia carries a line of different types of finishing sprays, so you can choose based on what your skin needs. First off, there’s the original finishing spray (which is what I have atm) that is a general anyonee-can-use finishing spray. This spray was the first to be released by them and is oil-free. Now available Finishing Sprays for Normal, Oily/Combination and Dry skin types, all oil-free and non-comedogenic. So, you get a finishing spray fit for your skin type! I love it because with my sensitive combination skin, I need something that won’t make me break out.

They also have a Bridal one specifically for that Special Day, a finishing spray for 10 Years Younger Looking Skin, a “Cool Flash” spray that’s heat resistant and one that is called “Dance” that claims to hold even under active environments ie. dancing at a club/party and/or exercise. So that is really an awesomely customized line of finishing sprays! For more information, visit their site at

You can try this Velvet Skin Coat .52 Oz. for $21.00 at DHC, although I would not recommend it unless your skin is completely infallible to breakouts. This velvet skin coat primer is made with a silicone base that clogged my pores quite a bit. It didn’t do major damage, but it did enough to discourage me from using it regularly, if ever again. I hate breaking out, hate skin products that clog my pores. It’s possible that could work for you if you have either dry skin or nothing bothers your skin. It does what it claims to do:” smooths fine lines and wrinkles so your face appears flawless…” BUT I’m only 21; not old enough to really be needing much help in the way of smoothing my wrinkles that I don’t have yet. Anyway, I guess if you only want to use it to smooth out your complexion and appearance of wrinkles, it ISN’T a bad product, but I don’t think I’d ever shell out the $21.00 ever again for the measly little .52 Oz. of silicone that clogs my pores. Not good at all for my complexion, but if it works for you, go you! You officially have the most disassociated unaffected skin on the planet. I’m jealous.

A good alternative to all-too-heavy make up primers? A good moisturizer, whitening cream, or if you must, a light herbal primer like Palladio’s Herbal Face Primer for $11.99 here.

Silicone will clog any average person’s pores. So, unless you’re unnaturally perfect (and if you are, yes, I’m a heinous jealous monster), then stick to water based skin friendly products.

Also, a good side note, if you apply moisturizer to your face and then wave your blowdryer over your face for a good 20-40 seconds, it helps the moisturizer set into your skin better and dries it faster. Then you can apply your make up without the irritation of peeling from not dry sunscreen or fear and paranoia of smudgy, runny, pasty looking make up! Rock on Divas! 😀

Here’s the scoop on my latest and greatest product of Asia. HABA White Knight Cream. As well as, of course, being made with all natural skin-friendly ingredients, this cream also has Squalane in it. Squalane is a perfected form of shark liver oil extract. Now, I know what you’re thinking, sounds gross right? Actually, as gross as it may sound, this oil has been known to speed up wound healing and tissue regeneration. This helps acne-ridden skin especially, but can also help dry tired feeling skin and rejuvenate cells. May also help with acne-scarring! I also tried it for a bit on my stretch marks and it seemed to lessen the appearance of them. Now THAT is freaking awesome! Contains Vitamins A, E and C which help prevent clogging of the pores. Skin naturally will look brighter. My favorite part about this cream? The fact that it is meant for people with oily- oily combination skin. My skin is constantly oiling up and breakouts are a constant threat on my face. This cream doesn’t make my skin breakout, calms any inflammation and seems to help with blotchiness. Although this product is aimed toward people with oily to oily combination skin, I think it could be used on any skin type as it is gentle, nourishing and soothing to the skin.

HABA White Knight is available here for $28.00 with 160 TrueReward Points or here for $37.

I tried this toner last night and was amazed. This toner feels so refreshing, almost like water it’s so light, only it has a lot of ingredients/nutrients that replenish and balance your skin! The toner ” contains no parabens, flavors, mineral oils, synthesized tar colorings or petrochemical surfactants that can irritate the skin.” So, it doesn’t cause blotchiness, redness or any other irritation that may cause breakouts or rashes. Seaweed and bamboo are both main ingredients in this toner; the seaweed naturally removes toxins and the bamboo moisturizes. I recommend applying this toner with a cotton ball and applying it sparsely over your face. A little bit goes a long way, although if you prefer to thickly coat it over your face, I don’t think it would hurt you since everything in this toner is good for your skin. The best thing about this toner by far is the fact that there is no alcohol or anything so your skin won’t dry up, but it has ingredients to nourish and moisturize your skin without clogging up your pores like most other store-bought products will. You can use a moisturizer after using this toner, but if you have oily/combination skin, you might not need to. I LOVED this toner a lot. I definitely plan on buying this one after using the sample. Another similar toner is the VC Lotion II which is also alcohol free along with containing “no parabens, flavors, mineral oils, synthesized tar colorings or petrochemical surfactants that can irritate the skin.”” The ingredients of each and their benefits will help you decide what your skin needs and what is best suited to you.

HABA G-Lotion Skin Toner here at $25.00 with 130 TrueReward Points or here at $29.

VC Lotion Toner II here at $36.00 with 180 TrueReward Points or here at $43.

My boyfriend is a diabetic. This means that every time I go shopping, especially if it’s for something sugary, I check the calorie count, carb count, sugar count, etc. If he can’t have it, chances are, I won’t purchase it. So when I found this shaved ice syrup, I was really happy to find a healthy alternative to all the sugar syrups that have ridiculous sugar counts. Not only is this shaved ice syrup reasonably priced from $2-$3, it’s also MUCH healthier for you than the regular shaved ice syrups you would find at Target, Stater Bros. etc. For instance, my favorite, Hawaiian Blue Shaved Ice Syrup 13.05 OZ, is only $3.19 and has only 20 calories and 6 grams of sugar per serving. That means that, plausibly, my boyfriend could have a decent amount of this stuff (he LOVES shaved ice, icees, etc.) and not get sick from it. A healthier, sweet option for your Shaved Ice and everyone you love! AND it’s just tastes better okay!

Check out Shaved Ice Syrup here!

I recently was given one of these energy drinks by my step mom, who said she has them every morning to help get her going. Composed of vitamins B1, B2, B6, Taurine, Ginseng, and other natural ingredients that help you sustain a normal level of energy all day, this drink will not make you crash. I have been drinking these every morning and they don’t give me any of the side effects I’ve experienced with Monster and Rockstar. Side effects that SUCKED and included shaky hands, racing heart, and overall twitchiness. The Lipovitan drink is an energy drink that is popular in Japan and actually tastes really good. It doesn’t have any gross aftertaste that leaves a weird taste in your mouth like Monster does. It actually tastes pretty pleasant, very refreshing if refrigerated, and is really great in the morning. For someone like me who doesn’t really eat breakfast and is always on the go, this is THE best thing to have in the morning when I need to get going.  Comes in two versions: Regular and Sugar Free. I like the sugar free version. Available here for only $1.78 each! Also available in 6 packs at your local Cardenas. May be available on Ebay or Amazon.