Monday, January 31, 2011

better than a fairy godmother? i think so!

     During the winter months it feels like I'm constantly on a quest for something, anything to soothe my dry skin. Just when I'm on the brink of giving up all hope... poof! These little beauties work like magic, saving the day (and my skin!) This post is a testament to my favorite skin- care items for winter.

Dionis goat milk lotion and bar soap in Virginia Hyacinth

 Dionis bar soaps, lotions, & lip balms (not pictured)
     Dionis is ran by a mother- daughter team out of Charlottesville, Virginia. All of their products include nourishing goat milk and smell absolutely heavenly. Fragranced soaps and lotions are usually a no- no for sensitive skin, but so far I've had no problem out of these products, which is a very pleasant surprise. Right now I'm using the Virginia Hyacinth scent, but I have used the Cucumber and Mint, which may be a better option for those worried about irritation. 
     The first product from Dionis that I ever tried was their Milk & Honey lip balm, which smells and tastes lovely, and has turned out to be one of my tried and true favorites for all seasons. Not only is it super moisturizing, but it feels rediculously luxurious. I use the bar soap as my night time facial cleanser. It leaves my skin very clean yet buttery soft. The lotion is my night time moisturizer I only apply a small amount and work it into my skin well; it is so hydrating that it doesn't take much.
     The packaging of the soap is just too cute. Each bar is wrapped in paper and has a sticker label, which, of course, features a nanny and her kidd. There is also a goat stamped into the soap, along with other designs. Dionis looks and performs like an expensive brand but is really quite affordable. I paid $3 for a bar of soap and $5.50 for a bottle of lotion at a local drugstore. Dionis products are also available at Cracker Barrel (the perfect excuse to go have a yummy meal!) & on their website, .

 Isn't the tin just adorable?

 Just from reading the print on the sides of the tin, you would never guess that this is a great product for those us us who aren't exactly... livestock.... hehe. 
Bag Balm
     My next pick is from a family run company in Vermont and coincedentally has to do with farm animals as well! Bag Balm was originally developed to heal the chapped udders of dairy cows during the harsh Vermont winters. According to lore, farmers' wives started noticing their husbands smooth hands and decided to start using the product their selves. The result? A legend was born! Today this product is endorsed by all sorts of people, from veterinarians to Oprah (not that I'm an Oprah lemming, but it is true!)
     I had been using Bag Balm on my super- rough feet at night, hoping that it would give me results. And what results I got! In just a few days my feet transformed completely. Each night I massage some onto my feet and put on socks to keep from rubbing it off on my sheets. Another place I use Bag Balm is on my eyelids. I have what my optometrist refers to as "eye scales," which just means that the skin around my eyes is very dry and flaky. Before I got to bed each night I massage just a dab onto my eyelids and up to my brown bones. After just one use, I haven't seen a single flake and the skin around my eyes has stayed soft and smooth.
     Bag Balm comes in an adorable tin, but of course it's what inside that counts. This product contains lanolin, a natural emoilent that comes from sheeps' wool. I have felt this ingredient first hand, and it really is something else. Bag Balm can really be applied anywhere externally; the only body part that I'm not sure about is lips, and that's just because you may not want to ingest it. It is pretty widely sold, especially at farm supply stores (I feel like this was something that y'all could've figured out for yourselves, but I was just wanting to cover all of the bases, lol.) I bought mine at Tractor Supply Company where it is currently on sale for $5.99. The only real downside to this product is the smell. To me, it's unnoticeable (plus, I use it at night, so who really cares?), but some people notice a slightly medicinal aroma.  For more info, check out .

 This photo is from 
 C. O. Bigelow's lip balms
     The only place that I'm aware of selling this is Bath and Body Work; they are available in- store and online at . They are normally $7.50 each (for the ones in a squeeze tube- balm sticks are available too, and a little bit cheaper.) I usually buy mine on sale or when there is a special offer, which is pretty often. I use them almost every day to moisturize my lips before applying any sort of color product. The ones I own are colorless, but there are tinted ones available. "My Favorite Lip Balm" is a true balm and contains shea butter and sweet almond oil. The "Mentha Lip Shine" is nice and glossy, but still very moisturizing and as an added plus, it freshens your breath. It contains natural vanilla extract and peppermint oil.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resurrection 2011

   Last weekend my youth group went on a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenessee for a youth event called Resurrection. It's a Christian youth conference that I've been to about six times now. Every time is different, but I don't think that I've ever left with my mind not blown. This year the message was from Adrian Despres, who was just as funny as he was moving, and there was music from the Wayne Kerr Band and Roger Williams. Every year the music is great, but this year the bands did more than just play music; they did an amazing job at leading worship. If you're interested in learning more, you can visit the website: Also, if you search "Resurrection 2011" you'll find several videos featuring the youth talents, Adrian, and the bands on youtube.
 Wayne Kerr Band

 Adrian Despres
  Roger Williams

While the bands played there was an artist that painted a portrait of Jesus on a canvas that was nearly as tall as he was, just using his hands.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

my favorite thing about winter

     To me, the best thing about the winter time is feeding the horses. Sure, moseying around in a usually snowy, often muddy mess doesn't seem like much fun, but it is. There is something about the sweet smell of molasses- infused feed and the tickle of over- grown whiskers and velvet noses on my cheek that is irresistable. And just walking outside of my house and watching them watch me with alert ears and soft neighs lets me know how important I am to them. It is an incredible feeling, to know that a creature so utterly magnificent relies on me to take care of her.

This is me and my first horse, Ginger Snap. I've had her for the past 8 1/2 years; she's a Standardbred/ Quarter Horse.

The way she eats reminds me of a hungry calf going at a bottle... it's like it annoys her that she can't get the whole bucket worth of grain in her mouth at once :)

Snowy nose <3

I love how the snow sticks to their fur; on fairly nasty days their whiskers get frozen and they look almost like some sort of mythological ice creature!

This is my other horse, Silky Doll. She's a Paso Fino/ Quarter Horse & she'll be 3 in April.

It's easy to tell that she's the baby of the group because she is constantly being nosy!

     Feeding the horses comes with an occasional suprise. About three or four times this winter we have had a visitor. According to Dad, he needs to be exterminated, but according to me, his name is Leonard. I do feel bad, because I'm sure it's pretty hard for the little wild things of the world to find food this time of year. We have been making extra- sure that the feed bins are closed tight, but I like to think that he gets some of the grains that the horses drop.

I think he's pretty darn cute, with those big, innocent eyes. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hard Candy cosmetics hit the sweet spot

These are some of HC's retired products- in several other reviews I've noticed people complaining about how the new packaging is "too young," but in my opinion the retired packaging looks even younger (like for kids.)

Hard Candy is a cosmetics brand that used to be sold at stores like Sephora, so my interest was piqued when I saw it at Walmart a while back. However, I'm not usually drawn to super bright colors and much glitter, so I skipped over it until a few weeks ago. I was fairly impressed with most of what I purchased.

Sheer Envy Primer
The most dissapointing of the bunch was the Sheer Envy primer, and it wasn't horrible. I haven't been using it as a face primer (which is how it is discribed), but as an eyeshadow primer/ base.
Pros: This product is super easy to apply; I have just been using my finger, but I would say it's possible to apply it with a concealer brush as well. Also, because of the consistancy, its easy to work into your skin (just be careful to not use too much, because then it will feel greasy.) This product has such a unique, silky texture and creates a great surface for eyeshadow application.
Cons: After about a week the product starts to separate into liquid and chunks of gel. A vigorous shake is all it takes to fix this, but it's still annoying (especially when you forget to shake it!) It doesn't have a ton of staying power. After a few hours the eyeshadow color is still vibrant, but there is some creasing.
Stars: 3/5
Would I buy again?: If nothing better comes along. I'm planning on giving this to my little sister after my NYX eyeshadow base comes in the mail.

Blush Crush in Living Doll
I've been trying to incorporate different blushes into my make up "wardrobe", so I  purchased the Blush Crush in Living Doll. My first impression of it was that it was a darling pink that wouldn't look too severe. It has little veins of a pale gold running through it and also has a nice shimmer to it. The shimmer is quite soft, so unless you really pile it on, it doesn't look childish. The label says that it has been baked for 8 hours.
Pros: The color is lovely and really does invoke thoughts of a doll. Shimmer doesn't even descibe the glow this blush gives your cheeks.
Cons: If I use blotting paper, this blush usually comes off with it, at least partially :(
Stars: 4/5
Would I buy again?: More than likely. I want to try more colors, but the local Walmarts are usually out of everything but like the dark brown. And I don't want dark brown blush.

So Baked Bronzer in Tiki
Like the blush, the So Baked bronzer has been baked for 8 hours. It also has veins of pale gold. I bought this product because it looked like just the thing to add a touch of shimmer when I'm wearing a matte blush. It is a beautiful pearlized light tan called Tiki that would probably be flattering on any skintone, even light ones.
Pros: Like the blush, the glow that this gives your skin is just out of this world. It is just too pretty.
Cons: None.
Stars: 5/5
Would I buy again?: Definitely.

Welcome Matte Mattifying Pressed Powder
I had been wearing Physican's Formula powders, but I think that this product has me converted! The Welcome Matte mattifying powder is amazing. It comes in a compact that is practically identical to PF's, and even has the little compartment underneath the powder with a mirror and applicator.
Pros: I do have oily skin, but this product helps with that problem so much. It sets foundation beautifully and I've noticed that my skin doesn't look as oily at the end of the day and that it takes oil that does show longer to become noticable. The applicator included with the packaging is a pink heart- shaped peice of foam that is helpful for building coverage over a small area, but I recommend using a brush when applying to the entire face or a larger area.
Cons: None.
Stars: 5/5
Would I buy again?: Definitely.

On the right is a swatch of Living Doll & on the left is Tiki.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the maiden post

     Since this is my first post, I'm going to keep it short and sweet. :) I would like to give credit to for my fabulous background and header, and also for pointing me in the direction of (the best photo editor I've found on the internet thus far- for free, at least!)
      Last week was pretty fun, being the last week before having to go back to school and all. Thank goodness college has a longer interim between Fall and Spring semesters than primary school ;) On Thursday my daddy took my twin sister Sarah and I to the Wythe County Livestock Exchange and we had such a good time. I can't remember the last time just the three of us went out like that. Sarah and I both got to bid, and we each came home with a Hereford/ Angus heifer. Sarah named hers Bobbi Joe and mine is Marlena, even though Sarah begged me to name her Billie Jean. Every time I hear that name my thoughts can't help but go straight to Michael Jackson, lol. Both of them are expecting (mine in the Spring, Sarah's in the Summer.) So now I actually feel like I accomplished more than just eating my wieght in Holiday goodies over the break!
Marlena is on the left and Bobbi Joe is on the right.