Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beauty Scoop: Favorite Spring Products!

Spring is here! Can we sing this from the rooftops? If so, does someone have a rooftop I can borrow?

I am loving the warm weather we're having in California. Especially after all the chilly rain!

There is one thing about Spring you can count on and that is unpredictable weather.  Below are three of the products I've been reaching for this Spring:
  1. MyChelle Clear Skin Spot Treatment
  2. Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Dry Shampoo
  3. Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer in Aloe Fresh
These products are great because A) they are all under $10 each, and B) they are helping protect my skin and hair during this spasmodic weather!

Here's the scoop on all three:

MyChelle Clear Skin Spot Treatment is different from other spot treatments because it's main power agent isn't the typical salicylic acid. Sulphur and Zinc Sulfate are the active ingredients to note. The rest of the ingredients also sound like real things from the planet Earth, which is always welcome news for face products. But does it work? Yes! I love this little tube. I dab it on a blemish and it's gone within two days. It is definitely great for women in their 20s to keep skin clear for those post-acne-prone years.

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Dry Shampoo has single handedly made me fall in love with dirty hair. I used to use Oscar Blandi's dry powder shampoo, which worked great for the morning time, but always made my hair feel gross by day's end. The Nexxus Dry Shampoo has a perfumey scent, and is in an aerosol can. I simply hold it an arms length away from my head and spray. A little goes a long way. I also use this on CLEAN hair to set my style on days I curl my hair. I like it much better than hair spray as I can still brush it and mess with it. It works great, I'm on my second can and I'm never looking back!

Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer is addicting, because it's so easy. I literally step out of the shower and spray it all over my body. That's it. You don't have to rub it in, just let it melt into your skin and you've got your moisture for the day. I will say, do use this on moist skin. It definitely has more moisturizing power on wet rather than dry skin. I'm giving it a thumbs up for all the busy workday mornings this has gotten me through.

Which products are you reaching for right now? Let me know on Twitter @danielle0090.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Beauty Scoop: Quiet As Chamomile Aromatherapy & Natural Remedies

Hello everyone and Happy Super Bowl Sunday! 

I am excited to introduce a new brand to you coming from the SF Bay Area, called Quiet As Chamomile. The Etsy shop owner, Jillian, happens to be my very talented cousin. She creates products from natural remedies to help you look and feel fantastic, from body butters to aromatherapy.

I will be reviewing a few of her products today, including the:

Flax Seed Heating Pad
Aromatic Oil
Natural Cocoa Butter

The Flax Seed Heating Pad has been a big a hit with me. I've been using heated pads for over a decade for muscle soreness and for extra warmth in the winter. I like the size of Quiet As Chamomile's Flax Seed Heating Pad since I can easily warm up my feet with it, or apply it to my back. It retains heat well, and is still warm to the touch after an hour. It comes in a velvety soft flannel cotton cover in a variety of charming designs. Also, when I lay flat on my back with this underneath, it doesn't feel bulky.

If you've been visiting The Scoop over the years, then you know I am obsessed with aromatherapy. The power of aromatherapy extends beyond sensual smells and can be used to relieve a multitude of ailments. I personally turn to aromatherapy when I have a headache. I used Quiet As Chamomle's Aromatic Oil last night when I had an awful headache that Advil was not helping. Per Jillian's instructions, I applied the oil to my temples and the base of my neck, and immediately felt relief. Aromatherapy may not get rid of headaches all together, but you really can't beat their effectiveness! Before last night, I've been using the oil on the bottom's of my feet after getting out of the shower. I simply dry my feet, and apply the oil before putting on my socks. My feet are softer, and I love the scent!

The Natural Cocoa will surely be a bestseller. I feel like I've tried every body butter out there. They're addicting, especially during the super dry winter we've been having in California. Quiet As Chamomile's Natural Cocoa has just a hint of cocoa scent, but it's the consistency that really stands out. It's has a creamy feel, with a touch of oil. Simply scoop out a small amount using the applicator stick (this keeps the jar free from germs), and rub it between your fingers before you apply. This helps the butter spread out evenly when applied. It's similar to coconut oil in that way, which also starts off as a solid and turns into an oil when you apply it. I've been using this on my elbows, knees, and hands, but it can definitely be used all over.

If you'd like to check out Quiet As Chamomile, then head on over to the Facebook page for news on all new products, and see the current product listings on the Quiet As Chamomile Etsy Shop.

Are you addicted to Etsy? Tell me your favorite Etsy shops on Twitter @danielle0090

FTC DISCLOSURE: The above products were sent to the blogger from the product owner for purposes of honest review.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 3-Day Raw Vegan Cleanse (REPOST)

Photo Credit: Kaeng Raeng
It's the new year, which means a lot of us are setting goals for a healthier body and soul. Below, you'll find the most-read post from this blog. I highly recommend the Kaeng Raeng Natural Detox Cleanse and hope this helps you in your new year resolutions.

I wish I was one of those intensely dedicated types that could have done this without the assistance of meals, but I just feel so much better with meals I can chew. I recommend the Kaeng Raeng detox smoothies for anyone struggling with lack of energy, acne, or sleep problems.  It helps me cut back on caffeine, clears my skin, and gets rid of my insomnia (because I drink way too much coffee!)

The best thing about this cleanse is that it makes you think about EVERY single thing you put into your body.  I usually eat super healthy for a month or so after because I get into the habit of avoiding processed, unhealthy foods during the detox.

Here's what you're supposed to do:
Have three smoothies a day, each mixed with 24 to 34oz of water. You can add in ice, raw fruits and veggies to blend to give the shakes more substance (which I recommend). Just make sure you're drinking at least 24 oz water each time!  The shakes replace your meals, so in between shakes, drink lots of water and snack on raw veggies or fruit to get through the day (I recommend apples, snap peas, carrots, and almonds.) The reason I recommend Kaeng Raeng for a detox instead of  home-made green smoothies is because the packets have all the nutrients (probiotics, vitamins, minerals, protein) you need on a daily basis--which is why detoxes that only involve lemon juice, water, and syrup are NOT healthy. You don't want to deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function, even for a few days!

Side effects:
Be prepared to use the bathroom more frequently since you're drinking more water. Also, if you're anything like me, be prepared for some weird food dreams! If you're addicted to caffeine, you're going to have a headache the first day. I didn't find myself craving "bad" food (brownies, ice cream, cheese-its), but rather flavorful "good" warm food (roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and veggies, etc.)

There are PROS and CONS to going raw for a few days. 
The PROS are pretty obvious: it is so good for you and it takes barely any time to prepare meals. It's also only THREE DAYS of your life. This is a very achievable and realistic goal.

The CONS: It can be expensive if you don't already have a lot of the ingredients on hand (kaeng raeng starts at about $50 and raw produce can especially add up when you buy them all at once). For me, it also felt restrictive -- you probably won't want to eat with friends during the detox to avoid temptations.

My Experience:

What I did:
I went on a raw vegan diet for three days and only had two smoothies a day. My roommate did the detox with me, making it 1000 times easier than the first time. It is so much easier if you have someone for emotional support, even it is just so you can laugh about your weird food dreams together.

Breakfast and Lunch:
I had a Kaeng Raeng smoothie mixed with 32 oz of water and a fruit (pineapple or apples) and veggies (spinach, kale, carrots). Each smoothie took me about an hour to drink and filled me up! However, by dinner I didn't want to drink any more. I'd drunk water and smoothies all day and needed something I could sit down and chew.

Remember, the smoothies replace meals, so if you're going to have one raw vegan meal a day like I did, you will only need two smoothies a day (or you'll probably take in too many calories).

Day 1: Sweet and Sour Veggie salad
I used any raw veggie I had in the fridge: carrots, cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet onion. I also added some strawberries and apples. I chopped it all up and squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it and sprinkled on some pepper.

Day 2: "Couscous" salad
Throw some cauliflower in a food processor and blend it until it is the texture of couscous. Add garbanzo beans and finely chopped carrots, cucumber, and crimini mushrooms. The dressing was a mixture of nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), olive oil (raw, cold-pressed), and raw agave nectar. This recipe was modified from Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less . This was seriously delicious, I will be making this again for dinner at least once a month. [EDIT June 2012: this does not keep well in the fridge, best to eat it the night you make it, or eat without the dressing the next day]

Day 3: "Creamy" Mushrooms Soup 
Also adapted from Everyday Raw Express. In a food processor or blender, combine two handfuls of mushrooms (baby bellas, criminis, what ever your have), 2 handfuls of cashews, handful of walnuts, some fresh taragon, spoonful of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white miso, and cold water until consistency is to your liking (around 2 Cups). Add salt and pepper to taste. After blending, I chopped up more baby bellas to give the soup more texture. This soup was pretty good taste wise, but I found it too watery. My recommendation is slowly add in water until you reach the desired consistency. The original recipe called for 6 cups.

Major KUDOS to those of you who eat raw all the time (or even vegan). You are super humans! 

Have you ever done a cleanse or detox? I want to hear about your experience! Tweet me at @danielle0090.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Beauty Scoop: Josie Maran Argan Oil


In the spirit of the whole "new year, new you" theme that takes over our lives this time of year, I wanted to share this beauty scoop with all of you.

Over the past few months, I have used a bunch of Jose Maran products. I find the best price for this brand is usually when it is on QVC. (Like most beauty junkies, I love QVC!)

The one product that has really stuck out to me is the Argan Oil.

Lately I have been using Josie Maran Argan Oil along with a retinol cream on a nightly basis as my skin treatment. That's all! I wash and exfoliate my face, and then apply it.

Here's how I do it:
- I squeeze out a pea sized amount of retinol cream
- I squeeze about 2-3 drops of Argan Oil
- I mix the two between my finger tips
- I apply it to my face and neck, dabbing in small circles.

This has been working wonders for me. Other than a breakout from too much sugar and junk around Christmas, I haven't had any major breakouts since starting this routine and I feel like I am finally able to get the retinol cream to cover my entire face by mixing it with the oil. Before, I would get concentrated amounts in one spot and this would cause peeling. I've been using this routine since October so I feel confident in saying that it's working well.

TIP: If you have sensitive skin like me, try to fight the urge to exfoliate every day. I find that exfoliating every other day with my Prosonic actually makes my skin look better than doing it every day. Just make sure on your in between day you're washing your makeup off really well. I've been using the St Ives "Blemish Control Green Tea Gel Cleanser", but any basic cleanser that doesn't leave your skin feeling dry and tight will do.

What are your go-to skin products? Share then with me on twitter @danielle0090

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year! Strive for a Better You!

Photo Credit: MSN News
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2014. I can't believe how fast 2013 flew by. I don't know if you all set resolutions every year, but I definitely do. This year, I tried to aim for smaller for accomplishable goals so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

Here they are:
1.) Hike with my dog more often, in more places.
2.) Make healthier lunch choices

If you'd like some guidance on setting goals, then check out this article: "New year, new you – how to achieve your goals in 2014" by MSN News.

If you're up for more substantial reading, then I'd recommend reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. There are tons of great tips regarding planning and motivation that you may find helpful.

Good luck in 2014! May you realize all your goals!

Feel like sharing? Send your resolutions to me on Twitter @danielle0090!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Beauty Scoop: Weekly Roundup on Winter Beauty

Pumpkin lattes, Christmas cookies, joy and family are a few things that come to mind when I think about winter. But what about dry skin, fading tans, and dull hair? Yeah...not nearly as fun.

Well, the temperatures have dropped, and we're working our scarves, boots, and sweaters overtime. Just make sure to leave time in your schedule to pencil in a little TLC for your skin and hair. Check out the articles below for ways to combat common winter beauty conundrums.

Problem: Chapped Lips
Solution: Finding the right moisturizing lip balm.
Seventeen Magazine:  "15 Best Balms To Banish Chapped Lips"
Still haven't found your go-to lip balm? This list will help you narrow in on it.
Read it here:

Problem: Dry Skin (face)
Solution: Gentle exfoliation, moisturizing facial wash, and a good moisturizer. 
For gentle exfoliation, I always turn to St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, which I use year around. You can find it at most drugstores and at Target. Check out LifeStyle Mirror's article "The 5 Best Face Washes for Dry Skin" for recommendations on the best moisturizing facial washes. Read it here:
If you haven't found the right moisturizer for your skin type, then refer to Elle Magazine's article, "The Best Cold Weather Moisturizers for Every Skin Type." Read it here:

Problem: Dry Skin (body)
Solution: Add dry brushing to your routine before hopping in the shower. 
Dry brushing can be done year around and has many more benefits in addition to helping with dry skin. For all the details, refer to Shape Magazine: "The Dirt on Dry Brushing". Read it here:

Problem: Dry Scalp
Solution: Switch to a more moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.'s "5 Ways to Winter Proof Your Hair" also recommends leaving the house with dry not wet hair, and keeping your hair covered on particularly cool days. Read the full article here:

To combat any winter beauty conundrum, it is essential to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet, preferably high in Omega 3s. That is exactly what Beauty Frizz suggests in "Essential Winter Skin Care Tips." Read it here:

What are your winter-friendly beauty routines? Share it with me on Twitter @danielle0090.

Photo Credit: Beauty Frizz.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Sevilla Travel Tales

Maybe I should start calling these Travel Thursday since that seems to be what I always want to throwback to! I wanted to share my trip to Sevilla with all of you for a couple reasons. 1. It was super warm there, and I am currently freezing. 2. It was one of the first places I visited in my entire life that took my breath away.

I took hundreds of photos in Sevilla because I was there for four days, and here are a few. Man was it hot there! It was in the high 80s and mid 90s all week and it doesn't cool down much at night. I learned the importance of siesta in Sevilla, its almost required to deal with the heat. Also, everything closes so napping or walking around were my only choices. Overall, I absolutely loved Sevilla and hope I can return someday for a longer stay.
View from Seville Cathedral

View from Seville Cathedral
Plaza de Toros

Inside Alcazar

Inside Alcazar

Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana
Have you been to Spain? Tell me about your experience below!