Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

Acne Skincare: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty Review

It was never my intention to fall in love with LUSH products.  In fact, I started making my own bath bombs last year in hopes that I could never have to spend money at LUSH, mostly because I’m cheap. But acne is no joke. And neither is your acne skincare routine.

However, desperate times can make a gal do desperate things– like spring for a face mask in a fit of super low self-esteem to help her f!*#ing acne.  I didn’t want to love it.  I didn’t want to fall victim to the glory of LUSH products, and start handing them all my money.  But unfortunately, the face wants what the face wants.

Which is how I ended up with LUSH’s Mask of Magnaminty as an irreplaceable part of my skincare routine.

Mask of Magnaminty (Mag-na-mint-y) is a face and body mask. It is “packed full of peppermint, kaolin, and scrubby aduki beans for deeply cleansed skin”. It also contains bentonite gel, honey, evening primrose seeds, and african marigold oil, and a few other ingredients.

Let me break it down for you:

Peppermint oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A & C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamin C is great for the skin, as we all know.  And peppermint oil has antiseptic, and regenerative properties that are good for restoring your skin. The menthol that makes peppermint cooling and soothing is also good for the skin.

Kaolin is a soft clay. It helps exfoliate and cleanse skin.

Aduki beans are used as an exfoliant to cleanse and polish the skin.  Ground aduki beans also help absorb excess oil.

Honey is moisturizing and antiseptic.

Bentonite gel is soothing, absorbs dirt and oil, and promotes smoothing of the skin. It is used mainly for the base of a lot of LUSH products for it’s texture.

Evening Primrose Seeds are another exfoliating ingredient, with anti-inflammatory properties.

African Marigold Oil is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and has antioxidant properties that is good for soothing blemishes and inflammation.

Basically this mask is chalk full of skin soothing and cleansing goodies to help problem skin.  The exfoliants remove dead skin while the other ingredients pull dirt and oils, cleanse the skin to remove any dirt and bacteria that is causing breakouts, and then moisturize, sooth and reduce inflammation.

And let me tell you, it works.

Though I can’t get the change I can see in my skin to appear on camera with a before/after, I can assure you that my skin just glows and looks so much healthier after using this mask.  My skin tone is much more even, the redness from my blemishes and scars has softened, I don’t look as textured, and my skin just feels better. I use this about once per week in the evening, and love the results.

Also, a little bit goes a long way, so it is definitely worth the price for something that is not only a natural skincare product, but also effective. I got the smaller version, 4.4 oz, for around $14.00(ish)at the LUSH in Water Tower Place in Chicago. I have had it for a few months, have probably used it 10ish times, and still have maybe 3-5 more uses out of it. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Bonus: LUSH runs a recycling program. If you bring back 5 empty/clean LUSH pots with their little recycling logo on them, you get a free Fresh Face mask. How cool is that?

(Also, this is not a sponsored post what so ever, but hey LUSH, I’d definitely be open to it.  Make me a believer, huh? What other acne products do you have for me?!)

If you have acne prone skin, or have been feeling like your skin is just off lately, I would recommend trying out this mask.

What are your favorite LUSH products? Let me know!

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The Easiest Way to Eat Healthier

Let’s talk about healthy eating.

One of my 2016 Resolutions was to eat healthier. I’m one of those and I’m not ashamed of it. (Okay, maybe a little ashamed). And I’m also the kind of person who likes to take the easy way out.  So you can bet the first thing I do is search for some healthy eating hacks that don’t break the bank.

Easy Way to Eat Healthy

 

To do so, I vowed to do more at-home cooking and experiment with healthier recipes.  Which brought back an old best friend into my life:

The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Easy Way to Eat Healthier
Affiliate link!

And no, that is not the name of some new sexually transmitted disease.  It is the name of my favorite kitchen apparatus. And what will be your favorite very, very soon.

This hand-held little wonder will turn vegetables into pasta for just $10 dollars, and five minutes of cranking. And I know that sounded dirty, but that’s not how I meant it so I’m going to pretend I don’t see it even though I called it out. Moving on.

My easiest and go-to meal is sweet potato spaghetti and meatballs.  After work, I can toss some delicious Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs and Trader Joe’s pasta sauce (not sponsored, but totally open to the idea, Joe!) into the microwave to heat up. While doing so, I grab a sweet potato and start twisting it through the Vaggetti, creating sweet vegetable noodles.  If I have them on hand, I’ll crank a carrot or two through there as well.

It takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat over a skillet with some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to soften the noodles, and voila, you’ve got yourself a guilt-free but totally satisfying dinner. Toss some parmesan on there too, who cares. You’re eating NOODLES made of VEGETABLES. A little cheese is just your reward for filling up on the good stuff, man. Enjoy that beta-carotene with a size of delicious cheese.

And this is all done in with very little preparation in about 15 minutes– which includes eating time as well. That is, if you’re me and inhale your food before it’s even cool enough to touch.

The possibilities are endless. Prefer something other than a sweet bowl of noodles? Make some zucchini noodles instead and get your greens. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve also seen other suggested noodles include parsnips, squash, eggplant, and turnips.  And spaghetti squash is another personal favorite of mine, so I really don’t think you can go wrong with some Squoodles. Plus, you get to say Squoodles!

Once you have a spiralized slicer, just do a quick Pinterest search and marvel at the dinner ideas. It’s almost absurdly easy to get your vegetables when you have one of these bad boys. Invest in one and you won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll get to add “oodles” pretty much anything, which is always fun.

To get you started, here are some awesome recipes to test out:

BRB while I wipe the drool off my computer keyboard.

Do you have a favorite kitchen appliance that encourages you to eat better, or another healthy eating hack that you swear by? Tell me what it is. I love gadgets!

 

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Christmas Countdown: 3 Last-Minute (Super Easy!) Holiday Desserts + A GIVEWAY!

It’s no secret that I am Queen of Procrastination, sitting on her Royal Throne of “I Can Do It Later”. I’m really good at waiting until the very last moment to get things done, usually to my own detriment.  I can only imagine that others are also in my camp.

And as the holidays can be hella stressful, I thought I’d give you something I know everyone needs this holiday season: a few super quick and easy last-minute holiday dessert recipes!  Convince your friends and family that you totally planned ahead with these easy to throw together sweets.  Nobody has to know you bought the ingredients two hours before the party.

3 Last Minute and SUPER Easy Holiday Desserts

You’re welcome!

1.  These delicious sugar cookies from Katrina’s Kitchen that I’ve become obsessed with.  They’re super easy to prepare and the dough doesn’t need to be chilled for hours like other sugar cookie recipes, so you really can make them in a snap! And, if you’re really pressed for time and don’t have time to decorate, they’re moist and flavorful enough without icing,  Just skip the cute cut-out designs, form them into flat cookie shapes and sprinkle on some sugar before you bake.  Nobody will be the wiser!

I’ve made them twice in the past two weeks, and my mom made them once this week.  It’s replaced our old favorite sugar cookie recipe.

2.  This Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge recipe from Cookie + Kate.  It’s freezer fudge, so it whips up super quickly. And who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together? Awful people, probably.

Honestly, I have yet to try this recipe, but it’s book-marked for the dessert I plan on bringing to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve! I really don’t see how you can go wrong when the ingredients are chocolate and peanut butter.

3. If you want to really wow them, try some S’mores Bark.  This is a great basic recipe, but it’s so simple you really can’t go wrong.  My mom and I made this all the time when I still loved at home.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay down an even layer of melted chocolate, toss on some broken up graham crackers, and mini marshmallows.  If you want to get super fancy, add some melted white chocolate, almonds, or caramel.  Whatever you’re feeling, go for it! Let it cool and harden, then break into coarse pieces.  Serve with a smile and enjoy the compliments. You’re such an amazing chef!

And to reward yourself after rounding up an awesome dessert, how about another kind of little treat? I’ve teamed up with Jessica and a few others over at SomethingWhimsy.com and we’re giving away a $300 Target gift card! Enter on her blog here!

And now that I am super craving something sweet, it’s a good thing I’m on my way home to Ohio for the holiday where there will be plenty to go around. Anyone else been dreaming of holiday food for the past week or so?

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Homemade (Spirited!) Peppermint Hot Cocoa

What’s the best thing ever to have in the winter? Hot chocolate.  What is even better? Peppermint hot chocolate.  And how can you make that even better? If it was just a tad bit boozy.

Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate; A Boozy Cold Weather Cocktail

Thanks to the leftovers in my cabinet from the beautiful lady I am subletting my apartment from, I found myself with all the ingredients to create some delicious spirited hot cocoa.   Not so surprising, it’s super easy but SO delicious.

This is the perfect amount of boozy goodness to warm you up, but not make you afraid of walking a straight line from couch back your kitchen to get more. Though, you could always help it get to that level with just a splash of vodka.  I recommend vanilla-flavors.

I made mine originally with almond milk, and it was tasty; very rich.  I later tried it with regular milk, and it was equally as good.  I think pretty much any milk substitute will work for this.  Probably any sugar substitute as well, I just happen to like raw sugar more.  (I know, I hate me too.)

Enjoy!

 

Homemade (Spirited!) Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk, or milk substitute of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Raw Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 shot Peppermint Schnapps

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small pot, slowly heat milk. Add cocoa and sugar, stir until combined, then add vanilla extract and Schnapps. Add to giant, winter-themed mug and add a candy cane for garnish!
  2. Makes 1 large mug of delicious, minty (and slightly tingly!) hot chocolate!

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

The best soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe ever! No finicky instructions and so easy to make! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

 

I consider myself an authority on chocolate.

If it comes in a cookie, cake, cupcake, pastry, drinkable form, or spread, you can pretty much bet I have tried it and can tell you how it stacks up against other chocolates.  It’s a talent, you see? It doesn’t take a trained dessert expert.  It just takes a girl from the Midwest with a tongue, and a deep passion for greatness. And chocolate chip cookies recipes.

So I can say on pretty good authority that this chocolate chip cookie recipe from Pinch of Yum that I tried two weeks ago was the best cookie I’ve ever had. Even with my mediocre baking skills, and very limited resources, they were so delicious that I never want to taste another cookie ever again.

And even though they came out a little f*cked up thanks to using my microwave convection oven (because my shoebox apartment doesn’t have a real oven LOL), it still kicked every other cookie’s ass.  This is a powerful damn cookie. Super Cookie. It deserves it’s own movie franchise, I’m telling you.

For the most part, the recipe is not too finicky, not too many crazy ingredients or directions, just a good cookie recipe. This is my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it has been officially taped to the fridge. I’ve already made it twice, and used all of my chocolate chips. Which may actually be a blessing in surprise because cookies for 2/3 meals of the day probably isn’t the healthiest.  I’m kind of grateful I’ve been momentarily cut off.

Have at it, friends.  Go forth and make these, dunk them in milk, and rejoice.  You are welcome.

P.S. While you’re taking a look at this recipe, check out Pinch Of Yum‘s other foodie delights.  Her recipes are bomb.

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