Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making the Switch (To All Natural)

Over the last few months, I've been more aware of the impact my lifestyle has on the planet. Recycling, producing less waste, eating local foods (when possible), etc. I even managed to cut down the amount of mail and catalogs I receive each month. 

Hardest of all, I've been switching from all my beauty products to natural, good-for-you,good-for-the-planet alternatives. For instance, using coconut oil in the place of expensive hair treatments and ineffective moisturizers, or apple cider vinegar to make my hair soft and manageable. And of course, I'm still a huge supporter of small businesses like For Sanity's Sake that make affordable, natural products (However, Meredith is off on vacation delivering a small child with her body. Check back with her shop in September!). Just today a friend of the family sent me a bunch of the homemade beauty products she makes and sells, such as Milk and Honey Shampoo & Conditioner. If she starts selling them online, I'll do reviews! 

The best thing I've noticed since I made the switch is how much more comfortable my skin feels. On the average day, my skin is red and dry and itchy and all kinds of awful. But not anymore! It feels soft and smooth, and hardly sensitive unless I do something different. Even my acne is starting to look better, which is a miracle quite frankly. 

Before you start complaining how much more expensive it is to buy natural products, let me correct you. The average bottle of body lotion from the drugstore costs $7, yes? If you go on amazon right now and check, you'll see that a 16 ounce jar of coconut oil is around $12. At first glance, it seems more expensive, until you consider this: a little goes a loooooooong way, and lasts nearly 3x as long as that lotion, plus it has a wealth of other uses. Now tell me which option is more cost effective. 

Do you use all natural products? Do you like them? If so, leave your recommendations in the comments!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

May/June 2014 Giveaway Winnings

Some pixie dust must have landed on me because recently I've won two giveaways from Beauty O'holic! This is just a quick little post to show you what I won, and after you read it, go check out the giveaway page on Beauty O'holic!

Sweet Retreats Giveaway

The first giveaway I won was the Sweet Retreats Giveaway a few weeks ago. It included three Bath & Body Works PocketBac Hand Sanitizers, a pink PocketBac Holder, a mini Ulta Facial Moisturizer, and 5 delicious smelling Yankee Candle Tarts! Did I mention I have a small obsession with candle tarts? 

Girls Weekend Giveaway

The second giveaway, more recently, had three winners, and I was lucky enough to be one of them! I won four more yummy Yankee Candle Tarts, furthering my candle tart obsession. Oops!

Be sure to check out Beauty O'holic's Giveaway page HERE to view and enter the current giveaways! Also, drop a line in the comments on the post telling me what you'd like to see in future giveaways on The Belle Beauty Blog.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading List

If you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you I spend 50% of my time reading (the other 50% involving sleep and food). This summer is no different! I've purchased and been given a ton of books over the last few months, and I plan to read as many as possible. Some of the books on my list are parts of series', but they span many genres, so there's no chance I'll become bored. The books are, in no particular order:

  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • Wither by Lauren Destefano
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

  •  The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  • Vampire Academy by Rachel Mead
  • Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
  • The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  • Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY Coconut Oil Scalp and Hair Treatment

Don't you just love coconut oil? I use it for so many things in my beauty routine, such as a makeup remover, post-shower moisturizer, and now, a hair treatment! I'm going to show you how to I use it for my hair, but feel free to get creative! This treatment is great for normal to dry hair, and can even cure dandruff/itchy scalp.

First things first: the ingredients. You'll need 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil, depending on your hair length, 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil, and any other essential oils you'd like to add. You should also grab a small bowl.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pamper for Summer Giveaway!

Remember my For Sanity's Sake Pamper Sampler review? Well, today I have exciting news: Beauty O'holic's new giveaway will give you the chance to try one for yourself! 


Three (3) individuals will win a For Sanity's Sake Pamper Sampler, which includes 3-8 randomly selected samples from companies all over the world. Rules:companies have even included discount codes for their sites, so you can save money if you choose to repurchase the products inside! Each box contains products from For Sanity's Sake Products, Nelly's Quilt RoomThe Merry Spinster, and Slippery Creek

Giveaway is hosted by:

Enter Here!


  • This giveaway is currently open to US residents only.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter
  • Giveaway starts May 24th and ends June 14th, so be sure to enter before then!
Good luck!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Enter To Win Two More Beauty O'holic Giveaways!

It's that time of year again... Summer! You can feel it in the air already. So you know what that means? Another Beauty O'holic Giveaway? No, TWO! 

Beauty O'holic's Summer Break Giveaway

  • 6 Aeropostale Pink/Brown Necklaces
  • Neutrogena Beach Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 70
  • Blue Mini Lint Roller
  • ELF Eyeshadow Brush
  • ULTA Length Mascara in Black
  • Eucerin Lotion
  • Pink Makeup Bag
  • ULTA Maroon Nail Polish
  • Garnier Fructis Daily Care Shampoo
  • Nivea Body Wash
  • Sephora Blue/Green Eyeshadow Duo
  • Colorful Bobby Pins

This giveaway is open May 18th to June 14th, and limited to USA residents. Good luck!

Beauty O'holic's Sweet Retreat Giveaway

  • Country Lemonade Yankee Candle Tart
  • French Vanilla Yankee Candle Tart
  • Vanilla Caramel Yankee Candle Tart
  • Almond Cookie Yankee Candle Tart
  • Coconut Cookie Bar Yankee Candle Tart
  • ULTA Skincare Facial Moisturizer in Protect
  • Bath and Body Works I Love Cake Hand Sanitizer
  • Bath and Body Works Vanilla Cupcake Hand Sanitizer
  • Bath and Body Works Strawberry Cupcake Hand Sanitizer
  • Bath and Body Works Pink Pocketbac Holder
This giveaway is open May 18th to May 21st, and is open to USA residents only. Good luck!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Smart by Nature Smart Lips Lip Balm*

*Product provided for review by PR Company/Manufacturer

Last week I reviewed Smart by Nature Handcrafted Soaps, which were sent to me along two of Smart by Nature's Smart Lips Lip Balms. If you haven't read that post, you might want to go check it out, because those soaps were pretty awesome and I'd hate for you to miss that. If you have, then allow me to introduce two of their lip balms: Cool Mint and Telluride Truffle Belgian Chocolate (the name makes you drool, doesn't it?).

I'm usually not picky about my lip balms until early spring, when my lips become dry and disgusting from surviving winter. Then I need to constantly keep something on my lips to stay comfortable. These lip balms arrived right around that time, so I made the decision to use nothing but these on my lips until they were healed. I allowed the occasional bit or lipstick or gloss, but my EOS and Chapstick were going to stay in their box.

The first week of using these was heavenly; my lips, which had been so dry to the point of chapping, felt cushiony and well hydrated whenever I used the balms. There are those lip balms that you have to constantly reapply throughout the day to stay that way, but Smart Lips had the right idea. The texture was thick enough to stay on my lips but didn't feel tacky, and it kept my lips moisturized enough that I only needed to use it a couple of times a day.

After about two or three weeks, my lips were completely healed! They felt really smooth, and not at all dry. Downright kissable, even. I was able to start wearing my dark and bright lipsticks again, and if I put a bit of Smart Lips on before, the lipsticks lasted longer and looked much better.

Now to the part I was worried about: the taste and scent. I've never been a huge fan of scented lip balms, particularly chocolate ones, because they have the taste. You know the one. You slick a bit of flavored balm over your lips, no big deal, right? But then you open your mouth, and it tastes like plastic. We've all been there. I've only tried a few lip balms that didn't have that problem, and I'm happy to report that these taste and smell wonderful; exactly how they're named. I accidentally licked my lips while wearing Telluride Truffle Belgian Chocolate, and it actually tastes like chocolate! I'm not recommending that you eat it or anything, but still, how cool is that?

                                                   Price: $3.95 - $4.25
                                                   Performance Grade: A+

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