Best makeup remover: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser review

 

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*This is NOT a sponsored post*

I’ve had bad skin since I’m a teenager. Lots of little white heads all over the place and the occasional volcano. Sometimes too oily, sometimes too dry, and the classic blackheads all over the nose. I know, I know. TMI, right? Right? So, in that situation, you would think makeup remover was my best friend.

But here’s the thing. It’s definitely NOT easy to keep my skin imperfections under control. In all honesty, it got to a point where I didn’t even care anymore. Long story short, I even stopped washing my face before bed. That’s like the 1st capital sin of beauty, trust me, I know! But it was just hard and there were tons of steps to follow just to go to bed with a clean fresh skin.

First of all, you gotta use makeup remover, second, a cleanser, a tonic, a moisturizer, blah, blah, blah. It is overwhelming at times. And I’m kind of lazy when it comes to beauty rituals. So, something that has changed my life forever is coconut oil. I use it as a makeup remover, cleanser, AND moisturizer. You can learn how in this post.

But, you know, even that coconut oil routine can be a bit tedious, especially if you come home late after a long day or a party. The last thing you wanna do is even think about coconut oil.

So I found literally THE BEST alternative. It is a makeup remover and a cleanser in one! It is the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. It is a dermatologist tested formula that removes dirt and oil without over-drying.. It is also a makeup remover, and it even removes waterproof eye makeup without irritating your eyes. Does that sound too good to be true?

Well, I’m here to tell you that this makeup remover is gonna become your best friend. It is so easy to clean up your face and makeup, even your waterproof mascara in one easy step! You can’t beat that! It does what it says it does. Trust me on this one. I know one thing or two about skin care products. And even when you are not wearing makeup, it is still your typical–but not typical–cleanser.

It is 6.7 ounces, and if you wash your face every night and use 2 pumps, it will last about 2 months. Not bad, right? And you wanna know what is even better? The price! You can buy it from Amazon here for only $8.72.

So next time you come home and don’t feel like going through a 30-minute beauty routine, make sure you have this awesome makeup remover at hand and you can thank me then!

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Coconut oil: 5 ways to benefit from it

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It appears that coconut oil is trending lately. People swear by its health and beauty benefits. And of course, probably most of us have tried at least one or two of the hundreds of tips and remedies people suggest throughout the web.

But, even though its benefits may be hundreds(I might be exaggerating a bit there), in this post I will share 5 ways to use coconut oil in your favor. Some of these tips are good for your health, and then some of them are gonna make you look great.

In the kitchen. People tend to believe that the healthiest cooking oil is olive oil. And it might as well be. I have read many articles about it and some pick olive oil over coconut oil and vice versa. But let me tell you why I believe that cooking with coconut oil is better for you.

See, 1 serving(around 14 grams) of each oil contain 14 grams of fat. And even though olive oil contains way less saturated fats, the saturated fats found in coconut oil are plant-based and are actually beneficial. One of them(and the main one) is lauric acid. It is a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. So, both oils are healthy, but coconut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. So, when we are cooking, oil starts to break down and its structure changes, which can lead to loss of nutrients. So coconut oil is better when cooking foods at high temperature, if you wanna keep its health benefits.

Makeup remover. Now, I know this can sound scary, especially for us ladies with oily skin. And this could be a hit or miss thing, but, trust me, its worth the risk! Most of the girls who have done this swear by its great results. All you have to do is warm the oil on the palm of your hands and massage your entire face and neck with it for a couple of minutes. After that, put a hot(careful not to burn yourself) face cloth on your face for up to 60 seconds(you can put it under hot water running). And let the steam open up your pores. Then all you have to do is wipe off the oil with that same cloth(and repeat this last step at least once more to remove any oil residue). The science after this ‘technique’ is that oil dissolves oil. The coconut oil will dissolve the oil clogged in your pores and you will be able to remove it when you wipe it all off. It works! Try it. I do not even need a moisturizer before bed after this.

Teeth whitening. I am sure you have heard of this one. But I am not talking about oil-pulling. No. This is what you are gonna do. For one part of coconut oil, you are gonna add two of turmeric and make a little paste and brush your teeth with it(I do this after my regular toothpaste) for about a minute or two. It will turn your toothbrush yellow, but your teeth whiter! Give it a try. And do not worry! It doesn’t get messy.

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Brush your teeth with coconut oil and turmeric

Hair mask. On a little bowl or plastic container, add one tablespoon of organic coconut oil and one tablespoon of raw honey. Mix them together until you have an almost liquid texture(some people like heating the mixture in a saucepan, but I am able to get the texture needed only by stirring and mixing), and apply it to wet hair from top to bottom, focusing on your hair and not your scalp. Wrap your hair in a bun(or a shower cap) for 30-45 minutes. Wash it out in the shower using your shampoo and conditioner. Do this at least once a week.

Smooth skin. You are gonna love this one. Sometimes the skin on our elbows, knees and heels can turn really rough, like sandpaper. It looks and feels unappealing. Just apply coconut oil on your elbows, knees and heels(or all over your body really) after your shower and gently massage it for a minute. This oil absorbs deeper and smooths your skin leaving it soft and smelling nice.

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Apply organic coconut oil after your shower for soft skin

So that’s it guys. Try all this home remedies and let me know how you feel about them after one week or two. I personally can’t live without coconut oil anymore. Can you think of another way to use it? Let me know!

 

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Make your own coffee station

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Me and my husband moved to our new place a month ago. I was very excited because although it is a smaller place, the space is very well distributed and it is really nice. We were both very busy unpacking everything that same weekend.

So, as I was unpacking our kitchen appliances, I noticed there were not enough outlets in the kitchen. Whaaaat?! I have my blender, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker, and I had ONE outlet!!! At first I was very disappointed because I want to have everything at hand and looking nice.

Anyway, I was thinking about a solution to the lack of outlets and, I came up with a pretty good one! I decided to plug the microwave on the only outlet that we have, since it is the only appliance(besides our coffee maker) that we use everyday. We use the toaster only the weekends, and the blender is rarely used.

So, one outlet, two important appliances. Hmm… I decided to make a coffee station in the dining room! And I love how it turned out! So I am gonna share with you everything I have on my coffee station, but you can pretty much make it to fit your taste, space and needs.

First of all, you need either a kitchen island or a cart. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can also use one of the corners there. I used this cart from IKEA (this is not an affiliate link).

Second, you need, guess what? A coffee maker! This one is up to your preferences, but since mine is in the dining room, it would not be practical to be pouring hot water from a glass jar  into the cups or bringing the hot glass jar to the table. So I decided I would give the Keurig k-55coffee maker a try. And we love it so far! I did a lot of research and found out this is the best when it comes to potency, quality, size and practicality. Plus, it is not as expensive as you’d think!

And of course you need your ground coffee, creamer if you like it, sugar packs, or your k-cups. See, with this machine you can either use k-cups or brew your own coffee with the K-Cup Reusable Filter .

And besides those main items you can add whatever you want. In my case I also have:

A coffee mug holder that I got from this Etsy store (not an affiliate link).

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K-Cup Holder for easy access. And it looks nice.

I have a Coffee Mugs Set that comes with its rack. It looks really colorful and pretty!

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A cute cookie jar. I won’t share a link for this one because you will find it much cheaper at wal mart. I f you like it just look up “Charlie cookie jar” by the pioneer woman. Or, you know, any cookie jar!

A jar with creamer, a jar with sugar packs, and 2 jars with ground coffee and decaf. Napkins, tea bags and cups to go. All I need are some stirrers and I will be good to go!

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And this is the finished product (drumroll please):

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So, there you have it. It is a good motivation to wake up in the morning to your pretty coffee corner, and when you have friends over they will feel like little kids trying to decide which mug they want to use, and which coffee flavor they’ll have!

Do you have a coffee station? What other ideas do you have? What would you add to mine? Share your thoughts!

 

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Supplements for women: which are the best

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No, you don’t need to be a gym rat to need supplements. Truth is, at this time and age we can’t get enough fuel from food only. But our bodies need enough of certain vitamins and nutrients to function properly. And of course the supplements we should take depend on our age, activity level and general health, but in this post I will share with you the must-haves for any woman, no matter how old or active they are. This are the best supplements for women:

Antioxidants

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According to MedLine Plus, antioxidants are either man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. You can get them separately, or stacked in one pill. Out of all these, in my opinion, you should always consume enough Vitamin C, because not only it is important for your skin, but it also helps healing your bones, and connective tissue. Other antioxidants are:

Lutein
Lycopene
Selenium
Vitamin A
Vitamin E

 

Melatonin

This supplement is good if you have trouble to go to sleep. It is a naturally occurring hormone that takes place in the sleep cycle process. It is drug-free, and a short-term treatment of prolonged-release melatonin is effective and safe in improving sleep quality and daytime alertness.

Biotin

There are mixed feelings about this supplement. Now, it is supposed to improve your hair, skin and nails. But some people find it useless since they have not experienced any good results from it. Others, swear by it and cannot live without it. And a few others, like myself, are somewhere in-between. I always had bad skin so I do not expect any supplement to do wonders for my skin appearance. But biotin certainly has improved my hair growth and my nails. There are some other good brands out there, but my hair grows on average 1cm a month when I am taking This gummies, if not, 5 months could pass and I would not notice any growth whatsoever. And before the gummies I tried biotin pills, and I noticed NOTHING. So, my suggestion here is, try it and see if it works for you. But you need patience. It can take up to 3 months to start showing results with any brand( I saw results with these in less than 2 weeks).

Fish Oil

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Fish oil contains omega-3, and it is like health in pill form. It literally has dozens of benefits for men and women, it lowers your cholesterol, it reduces joint pain, it promotes fat loss(it literally turns your body into a better nutrient partitioner and along with proper nutrition it does change your body composition), it is an anti-inflammatory, it improves brain function, it is good for your heart, etc. Also, this the brand I use, it is the best out there in my opinion. I like its purity(meet standards for heavy metals), potency(adequate amount of EPA and DHA) and cost. But if you find a better one, do share please!

The next 3 supplement recommendations are for those who are very active or into fitness.

BCAA’S

Branched-chain amino acids is a supplement that prevent muscle breakdown, it helps with protein absorption and promotes endurance. It is a must-have if you lift or train hard.

L-Carnitine

This supplement is also an amino acid, and it helps mediate the transfer of fatty acids across your cell membranes, where they’re used for healthy energy production according to this source. Again, there are L-carnitine pills, but in my opinion the best is liquid form and the one I use is this one.

Protein

I recommend getting your nutrients mostly from whole foods. But sometimes we need that extra protein boost and we can get it from protein powder, and even replace a meal(occasionally), the point is not to skip meals, especially not skipping your protein.

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5 websites to exercise from home

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“People will do ANYTHING to lose weight, except for eating healthy and exercise”. It sounds funny but it is so true. I constantly hear conversations about “the magic pill” or these shakes, or those products. And people spend hundreds of dollars in supplements just to feel better about themselves, but more often than not, they end up poorer and fatter.

Now, there is nothing wrong with taking supplements here and there, I have my own stack that you can find here, but we simply cannot rely on supplements only to see results.

There is a lot of information I can go through with you as far as how the body works, but I will stick to the basics since this is not the main subject here. Calories in vs. calories out. That is the logic. Consume more calories than what you spend and you will gain weight. Consume fewer calories than what you consume and you will lose weight.

Of course there are some other factors that affect our body composition, such as what type of foods we consume, how much water do we drink, what type of exercise we do, our age, gender, height, hormones, etc. But we will focus in one aspect now, as I mentioned calories in vs. calories out.

Not all of us have access to a gym, some are even intimidated by the idea of ever stepping into a gym. No worries! There are a lot of options to exercise from home and achieving decent results without spending hundreds in pills and all that other junk. Plus, you won’t have to feel intimidated by all those sexy ladies at the gym. Ready?

1. Fitness Blender

This is my favorite workout website. The workouts are fun, and they have either full body or targeting workouts. The site is managed by the cutest couple and they will make you break a sweat every single time.

2. GYM VIRTUAL

This one is in Spanish but it is one of my favorites. It has hundreds of videos categorized in time, difficulty and body part. It also has tons of helpful information about nutrition and tips. And if you do not speak Spanish do not worry, the videos are super easy to follow and you will be having fun no matter what!

3. BodyRock.tv

This website is so awesome too. It has a few different hosts, so you will find the proper workout routine for you. They constantly start challenges so you feel motivated and you need little to no equipment. Try it!

4. Workout Box

You will love this one. They have a lot of workout categories to choose from depending on your goals. They have muscle-building, fat burning, exercise from home, women, etc. They have gym versions too.

5. BeFit

Ok, this is a YouTube channel that has free high-quality workouts featuring the best trainers, like Jillian Michaels. Hundreds of routines depending on your level or goal.

So, that is it guys. No excuses. And remember, burn more calories than you consume with the help of these amazing websites to exercise from home, and start seeing results.

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Improve your self-confidence in 10 steps

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What comes to your mind when you hear the words self-confidence? Maybe a successful businesswoman who travels the world, whose family is perfect and lives in your dream house. Or perhaps you think of a beautiful tall girl, with very long hair, perfect makeup and fresh manicure. Or simply, this graceful, outspoken young lady who everybody loves. Well, all that is very nice. But does being rich, beautiful and funny mean being having good self-confidence?

According to dictionary.com, self-confidence is “realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.” In other words, know your worth, know what you are capable of, what you can do, what you can achieve. But it is certainly not easy to get to that point.

I’m going to share with you 10 steps I follow (and keep working on) to improve my self-confidence.

1. Wake up earlier.

If you normally wake up at 7am, start waking up at 6am. This will give you some “me time”, and you can use those extra minutes to read, to workout, to meditate, or simply to make yourself a delicious breakfast without the rush. Starting off your day in a more relaxed, calmed way will change your whole mindset for the day and you will have a better mood to deal with people and unexpected situations.

2. Read more.

Take at least 10 minutes of your busy day to nurture your mind and your thoughts. Reading will spread your knowledge and you will be more open to share your thoughts and opinions with others and starting conversations. You will also feel comfortable in your own company, which will help you to enjoy other people’s company without focusing in what they think about you, but what you can contribute to their life.

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3. Be kind.

People rarely relate kindness with self-confidence. After all, a self-confident person think mostly about themselves, get what they want no matter what, and no matter who they have step on to get it, right? Wrong. Being kind to others will increase your value as a person, because you will see the results of your good acts and efforts in other people’s lives, and you will see the difference your presence makes for them, and seeing them happy will make you happy, which will remind you of your power and worth.

4. Talk to a stranger everyday.

I know, I know. We grew up with our mommy telling us not to, but we are adults now, and I trust your good judgment, ha! The goal with this small thing is to become more confident taking the initiative, to feel more comfortable speaking in public, and to learn that most people won’t care if you are saying the right words, or if you are awkward, they will most likely focus in the fact that you started the convo, and will automatically think you are a confident person. Fake it ‘till you make it!

5. Be on time.

I know, life happens. But make it a goal to be on time for your activities, whether it is going to work, meetings, or coffee with friends. This will also change your mindset because when you are late, you give the impression of not being trust-worthy (because you cannot manage your own time), but if you arrive on time, people (and you) will know that you respect your own time and other’s and you will act more confident.

6. Eat healthy.

This has hardly anything to do with how you look. Yes, you will most likely shed a few pounds (a nice bonus if you ask me), but there’s much more to this than that. We are given ONE body to live our lives in. ONE. Fueling your body with the best of the best is so important. You are acknowledging that you deserve the best, and you take care of yourself because you are worth it. It will help you feel so much better on the inside, you will have more energy throughout your days, and it will be easier to focus. You will have a healthy body and you will be naturally more confident. This doesn’t mean you will NEVER indulge here and there, but try to follow the 80%-20% rule and you will feel better (I’m working on it too).

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7. Be more active.

You will look better, I guarantee you. But, again, that is not the main benefit of staying active. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins (endogenous morphine), a substance (endogenous opioid neuropeptide) that inhibits pain and produces a feeling of euphoria. Right after you finish your workout session, you will feel happy, fulfilled, energized and your mind will be clearer (all this with proper nutrition to go with). And sticking to your workout schedule has its benefits too. You will learn that you can be disciplined, have self-control and you can do anything when you put your mind to it (your body can do ANYTHING, it’s your mind that has to learn). This does not mean becoming a fitness fanatic or that you will be at the gym everyday rain or shine, no. You don’t even have to have access to a gym. Take a walk, go to the park and run, jump the rope. There are hundreds of websites like these where you can find workout videos of 30 minutes or less. NO EXCUSES!

8. Appearance.

We live in a society where looks are important. Maybe a little too much. So do not fall for it. Don’t ever pay more attention to your looks than to your inner person. That being said, there are a few things you can do to feel better about how you look. A) You might think I don’t even need to mention this part, but it is important. Take your shower, put on deodorant, brush your teeth, and wear clean clothes everyday. B) You don’t need to spend a fortune on the coolest outfits to look good. Shopping smart can help you to make dozens of combinations with just a few pieces of clothing, so organize your closet and even have fun planning your outfits ahead of time. C) Take care of your skin. I have struggled with acne for many years now. My skin is far from perfect. But I have now developed the habit of removing makeup and dirt before bed, and moisturizing my skin. It takes discipline to do this, especially if you come home late after a party, but it is worth it. Even though my skin will never be perfect, knowing that I am doing the best I can to take care of it makes me feel more confident.

9. Keep your surroundings clean.

Keeping your home, car and office (reasonably) clean will automatically make you feel better about yourself. Your things (like your thoughts) will be in order and where they should be. And it  makes a difference. For example, I’m constantly on the road, so I basically live in my car. I have lunch there everyday, I snack there. I also keep there my gym gear and other stuff I need. I struggle by the end of the day, being so tired and I simply do not feel like getting all that stuff out of the car. And many times I don’t. But next day when I get in the car, I feel a little down and embarrassed if I have to give someone a ride. On the other hand, if I make the effort of cleaning my car the night before, I start off my day proud of myself and happier. So, make the effort, do your dishes the night before, or clean your car, and you will start your day off happy and ready to eat the world!

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10. Tell more jokes.

If you are anything like me, you can crack up with the simplest joke another person tells, but you are so critical with the jokes that come to your mind, thinking: what a lame joke, nobody would laugh. But, try it! You will learn 2 things, people WILL find your jokes funny, they are having a good time just as much as you are. And when they do not laugh, you will get used to the idea of “rejection”. It’s ok if they do not laugh, you had the courage of telling your joke and that shows how confident you are.

And this is not one of the steps but it is VERY important: don’t be over critical of yourself. When you make a mistake, it is ok to think what went wrong or what could or should you have done. But do not dwell on guilt. Think about it, learn from it, and MOVE ON! That attitude will also help you to boost your self-confidence.

So, there you go! I hope you find these steps helpful, try them and you will see a difference in how you feel and how you do things. Have you been doing some (or all) of these? How have they worked for you? Could you add another step or tip to this list? Let us know in the comments. And of course, if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends!

 

 

 

 

 

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