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Lori Lavender Luz

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Block Island Organics: A Family Owned Startup Skin Care Brand

What's an ayurvedic-living, ToeSox-wearing, essential-oil using, fair-skinned gal who wants to treat her epidermis well but not with synthetic chemicals to do? Especially when she lives in a semi-arid climate in a city that's a mile closer to the sun than NY or LA?

Block Island Organics to the rescue. When I was offered a full-size sample pack of three items, I said yes because I saw this:

"All of our products are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes and artificial fragrances.  We also don't do animal testing and use vegan-based formulas."

I've been trying out three products, with formulations touted as natural, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals, and suitable for all skin types. Here's more information supplied by Block Island Organics.

Block Island Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser

  • Cleans and freshens skin with gentle botanicals
  • Rosehip, chamomile, sunflower, burdock, avocado, olive and more combine to purify skin while maintaining its moisture balance
  • $19.79 for 4 oz
    http://www.blockislandorganics.com/Products/Organic-Purifying-Facial-Cleanser---4-fl-oz__PFC0001.aspx

    Block Island Organic Revitalizing Night Cream

    • Nourishes and revitalizes skin
    • Features gentle botanicals such as cocoa butter, caleendula, rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, jojoba, blueberry and more
    • Light enough to be used during the day, as well
    • $31.49 for 2 oz
    http://www.blockislandorganics.com/cleansers.aspx

    Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

    • Ultra lightweight, zinc only and vegan formula. Zinc is actually the best UV protector as it offers the broadest UV spectrum protection. Dermatologists often say zinc is the safest sunscreen ingredient for sensitive skin and babies over six months. It also has antimicrobial properties that help to enhance wound healing. It's even the main ingredient in diaper rash cream.
    • Nano particle-free
    • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
    • $17.99 for 3.4 oz

    http://www.blockislandorganics.com/suncare.aspx


    So far, each has lived up to its billing. I'm looking forward to pampering my epidermis through the rest of the spring and all summer.

    Friday, May 15, 2015

    HEX Performance Products: Samples, Coupons, and Demos -- Oh, My!

    It's not always pleasant on the nose to have an athlete in the house.
    My husband and daughter do their share of sweating for their activities, as well, and even I sometimes glisten while practicing yoga. The clothes, our shoes, their equipment, my mat -- STINKEEEEEEE.

    So I'm excited to try HEX Performance products. HEX Performance has...
    "developed the first and only system designed specifically to clean and protect today’s performance gear and apparel. We’re proud to announce our Ultra+Dual Action Gear Wash, Power+ Laundry Detergent, and On Demand+ Spray and Go."

    A sample set is on its way to me. 

    Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by HEX Performance in exchange for spreading the word about tomorrow's demo at Target stores in CO and GA.
    Tomorrow (Saturday, May 16), HEX Performance products will be demo-ed in ALL Target stores in Colorado and Georgia from 11 am – 4 pm. Free samples and $1 off coupons will be given out in store on Saturday.

    More on these three products, from the HEX Performance site:
    • Ultra+ Dual Action Gear Wash: HEX Ultra+ Dual Action Gear Wash is the first and only product guaranteed to clean and protect today’s high performance gear. HEX chemists have created a powerful formula designed specifically for high performance gear and apparel. HEX tech will ensure your gear stays clean, protected, and odor free, giving you clean performance.
    • Power+ Laundry Detergent: Is your performance apparel really clean? Ours wasn’t. Wash after wash,that funky smell remained. There had to be a way to restore high-performance fabrics. So we broke down the science behind sweat and created the first high performance detergent with a long-lasting odor eliminating technology, all while staying gentle on fabric and skin. HEX Power+ Laundry Detergent is also free of dyes, perfumes, and optical brighteners.....And if that wasn’t enough, HEX patent-pending technology is naturally antistatic and restores fabric wickability. This eliminates the need for dryer sheets and fabric softeners, which saves you even more time and money.
    • On Demand+ Spray and Go. It’s the perfect on-the-go solution for protecting and maintaining your gear and footwear. With all of the amazing benefits of HEX tech crammed into a spray that you can take anywhere, from your shoes to your yoga mat, you’ll never have to worry about odor again!

    My nose is quite excited at the prospect HEX Performance offers.

    Do you have any STINKEEEEEE clothes/shoes/equipment in your home or car? Get to a CO or GA Target tomorrow!

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    PowerExtra Yoga Mat: Great Value for Price

    Help -- I need a new yoga mat!

    About every 3 years, I need to replace my yoga mat. I set out on a quest to find something that is:
    • Affordable
    • Nice to look at
    • The right size
    • The right squishiness
    • Sticky
    • Not noxious
    • Earth-friendly
    This is my year.

    I did some research but kept getting hung up on that first criteria above, "affordable." Yoga mats can be flipping expensive! Finally via Amazon I found the PowerExtra Yoga Mat for only $30 (at press time).

    http://www.amazon.com/Powerextra-trade-Irritating-Smell-Eco-Friendly-Double-sided/product-reviews/B00OPOBLGO/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=byRankDescending

    How does the PowerExtra Yoga Mat perform against other criteria?


    Nice to look at: Check. Love the two-tone colors. I chose the violet/light purple. The textures are different on each side, and I like the patterns on both. (And if you don't like the logo at the back of the mat? No worries. It rubs off within a few weeks.)

    The right size and squishiness: Check. The mat is 72" long, which is great for tall yogis. The width is standard, and the depth (thickness) is 1/4", which strikes the perfect balance between cushy on the knees but not too unstable for balance poses.

    A photo posted by Lori Lavender Luz (@lavluz) on
     
    Sticky: Not yet a check. The mat is not slippery, but it's not quite as sticky as my old yoga mat, just a typical mat. I am hoping I'll eventually adapt to the mat, perhaps requiring me to have better form.

    Not noxious: Unchecked for the first 2 weeks. After the mat had time to air out, though, I no longer detect a chemical smell. Check.

    Earth-friendly: Unknown. I did a bit of research on TPE (thermoplastic elastomers), and while much of the chemistry is over my head, there are may clues (smell being one of them) this is not a naturally occurring substance. It required significant processing (unlike the cotton mat I tried during my last search), yet it has "the potential to be recyclable."

    Thumbs Up for PowerExtra Yoga Mat


    Overall I'm pleased with my new PowerExtra yoga mat. Upward thumbs, upward dog.
     

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    SmileBrilliant: Professional Whitening at Home WITH GIVEAWAY

    When your day is bookended by a must-have cup of dark-roast coffee in the morning and a must-have glass of red wine in the evening, you might find yourself wishing your teeth didn't look so dingy.

    What are your options for whitening?
    • Strips from the drugstore? Tried 'em and didn't have the discipline to use them every day until they sloooowly made a difference.
    • Shopping mall kiosk? Laid there for 90 minutes in an uncomfortable position with a tech who seemed untrained in using the UV lamp that, for all I knew, was radiating me in ways I shouldn't be radiated.
    • Dentist's office? Did that, too. It required $$$ and more than one trip to get the molds made and delivered to me.

    Here's a teeth-whitening option: SmileBrilliant does what the dentist's office does, but I don't actually need to go into the dentist's office. The price is $120, and SmileBrilliant is giving away one set -- a kit to create upper and lower trays, as well as 3 syringes (which equates to 9 applications of whitening gel) to a randomly chosen commenter. Read on to enter the giveaway.

    A SmileBrilliant kit gives you all you need -- including very clear instructions -- to have your own trays made by a professional dental lab that does the same work for dentists who don't have their own lab.



    I was a little nervous but the instructions were very easy to follow. I was surprised how little time was needed to make dental impressions just like the professionals do.
     Base paste + Catalyst Past = fun to knead

    Within minutes I had made my own dental impressions.


    I popped the impressions into the mail in the envelope that was included and waited just a few days. Soon, I received these.
     (The white cast was sent to me just for illustrative purposes and is not typically included.)

    The kit comes with desensitizing gel, which I apply to my teeth via the trays just prior to whitening.  I rinse that out of the trays, dry, then put a thin strand of gel into the trays.

    Hint: To make the gels last a bit longer, I treat only the teeth that show when I smile and only the front side of those teeth. Why whiten those ones in the very back? I've not yet gone through one of the three applicators, and already I can see a difference.

    How cool is it that SmileBrilliant is giving away a coupon code for $119.95 (the value of a kit)? To enter, visit SmileBrilliant's articles and tell me which title is most interesting to you. Also:
    • Make sure to leave your email in some way so I can contact you if you win.
    • Enter by midnight September 24, 2014.
    • As I said above, visit SmileBrilliant's articles and tell me which title is most interesting to you.
    The randomly-chosen winner will be announced her the following weekend and I'll try to contact the winner (if I am unable to reach you after several days, I'll draw another name randomly).

    ** UPDATE** Random.org chose #2. Doreen, check your email! **

    Bonus chance: Visit Mom In Management for more chances to win!

    Disclosure: I received a sample for purposes of writing an honest review.

    More from SmileBrilliant:



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