Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fractionated Coconut Oil Review

I received this item in exchange for an honest review. Image and blurb source

I've heard some absolutely wonderful things about using coconut oil for beauty purposes, so I was really excited to be given the chance to review fractionated coconut oil by Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals. Allure has complied a pretty good list of things you can use coconut oil for, but my readers will be interested to know it can be used as a cuticle oil (which I didn't do, oops!)

Incredible Multi-Purpose Carrier Oil Product On The Market!
Best Carrier Oil for Massage, Therapeutic Recipes and Essential Oils
- Great therapeutic benefits
- Excellent on skin; a natural and very safe moisturizer, softener and non-irritant lubricator
- It can be mixed with other carriers and essential Oils
- Wonderful balance of saturated fats helps stimulate hair growth
- Fractionated coconut oil is a carrier that never goes rancid
Advantages of Fractionated Coconut Oil Coconut oil has long been used all over the world for its many therapeutic and other benefits to the skin. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, a wonderful balance of saturated fats in its natural form and helps stimulate hair growth. Many aromatherapy recipes use coconut oil for the various therapeutic benefits it offers. Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very long shelf life and greatly increased stability. In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect.
100% Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil - Many aromatherapy recipes use coconut oil for the various therapeutic benefits it offers
- It leaves skins smooth with no greasy feeling
- Odorless and colorless. Does not stain and easily washes out of clothing and sheets
- Low production costs make it cost effective
- It does not aggravate skin problems or clog pores


I mostly used this as a lotion to treat my horrible dry skin on my hands. When I received this, my hands were extremely sore, cracked and red from our cold Wisconsin weather. Unfortunately I wasn't really too impressed. If anything, it seemed to dry out my hands even more so I stopped using it in this manner and then my hands did begin to heal. It did seem to get rid of some of the redness at least on a temporary application. I do have sensitive skin and I respond to herbal remedies very well so I suppose it's possible I just used too much.

Mostly now I've been using this to treat my chapped lips and it is doing a wonderful job of healing them! I've tried every product I can get my hands on to heal these sore lips and nothing has ever healed them completely.  This coconut oil is doing a wonderful job of repairing my lips and for that I am ecstatic. I can't remember my lips every being as soft as they are now, even though they are still a bit chapped, they're obviously healing.

I also used this to treat a small burn on my finger, and it did seem to help the burn heal pretty quickly.

The bottle is 16 ounces. I used maybe a fifth of it in about a month, so for me that's not too bad a value. Depending on how I use this, it will easily last several more months. My sole complaint about this oil is that no matter how careful I am, it seems I always get some of the oil outside of the bottle. There is always a residue on my stand where I keep this - but then, I suppose I could use it as wood polish as well.

I will point out this oil is for external use only so unfortunately you can't use it in your cooking, which is too bad - I need to get some coconut oil to cook with as well because it's definitely very healthy! On that note, just like the Emu oil, my cat Winslow was absolutely in love with this oil and licked my fingers after I used this and yes, tried to lick the bottle. Like the Emu oil, he appears to be fine :P

My thanks to Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals for providing me with this product to sample. You can purchase this oil on Amazon, where it retails at $28.95 for a 16 ounce bottle. It is currently on sale for $14.95 and eligible for free shipping on $35+ orders.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Awakening Review + Giveaway

I received this item in exchange for an honest review. Image and blurb source 

Good Saturday everyone! I've been feeling pretty fatigued lately so that's why I haven't been blogging quite as much. Also, I mentioned I wasn't going to be painting my nails for awhile? Well, it's been about 2 weeks and it is seriously driving me crazy! I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep this up, but since my nails keep breaking.. ah, I guess I can wait. But anyway, today I have another book review for you - I have a mess of book reviews lined up for this next month so fatigue or not I will be busy with those :) Today's review is Awakening by Andi O'Connor and I received an actual physical book, not an e-book, for this review. Normally I would have completed this review weeks ago, but I discovered something very interesting while reading Awakening - I really hate reading books! Physical books, of course. I can read so much faster reading e-books so for me it's much more fun that way. So nothing against O'Connor's work, but no more physical books for me!  

Darrak's magical adventure that began in The Lost Heir takes a gripping twist in the second novel of Andi O'Connor's trilogy - The Dragonath Chronicles!

With the aid of Andillrian, Ipzaag, Selantia, and Anarra, Darrak continues his fight to save Earth and Dragonath from the destruction of Halla Magic. But after the appearance of a dragon who could change the tide of war in their favor, Darrak learns that not everyone’s oath to protect him was genuine. Deserted by two of his companions and facing a cunning and powerful army, Darrak realizes the enemy forces no longer answer to their former master.

A darker power has emerged from the shadows.

Payton Niemel has returned, and his intense hatred for Darrak’s ancestors remains. He will stop at nothing to finish what he began centuries before; to destroy the Keera bloodline and claim dominance over all of Dragonath. And this time, he has the power to see it done.


At the time, I didn't realize this was the second book in a series and since I haven't read the first book, it was just a little bit confusing at first. It took me a while to get into the story because I was a bit confused about some of the things happening, but overall it could have been a worse experience on my behalf.

I really enjoyed Awakening, and numerous times throughout the story I was struck by how some of the characters reminded me very much of some of Terry Goodkind's characters. Some of the themes and ideas are even similar to some extent, and perhaps this is partly why I did enjoy the book.

While O'Connor's writing style is very easy to read and I found only a handful of grammar errors, in the large picture Awakening was just a wee bit difficult to get through. There are a lot of characters involved in this story which means there was a lot going on. Some of the names are a bit unique which for me made it a bit difficult to keep track of what was going on with who. I felt it was just a little lacking in character development for this reason. I'm looking forward to picking this book up again sometime to read it through once more so hopefully I can follow along better. I would consider reading the first novel as well as future stories in the series.

Awakening is available on Amazon for pre-order at $15.45 or from Barnes and Noble for $15.16. Release date February 5, 2015. You can also purchase a signed copy of Awakening on O'Connor's Web site for $15.16 plus you get a free copy of her other book, Redemption!

Ends January 27, 2015. Book will be shipped January 29, 2015.

US and Canada only.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance (ebook) Review

I received this item in exchange for an honest review. Image and blurb source

I've been approved to review a bunch more of Rayne Hall's collections of books, and I'm starting with a review for one I really enjoyed, Seers.

Is clairvoyance a gift or a curse?

Imagine getting a glimpse of what the future holds, and ask yourself how you would deal with the burden of this foresight.

Is it right to interfere with the pre-ordained? Is it your duty to avert the doom, or will your meddling make matters worse? Is it even possible to change the future?

What if those with the power to prevent a disaster disdain your warnings? What if you see what will happen, but have no idea when it will come to pass? Is your vision to be trusted? What if your interpretation of what you see is wrong?

In this book, ten authors share their visions of what it means to be clairvoyant, each with their individual way of telling a story and their own writing style. They seek to entertain you and at the same time to make you think.

Some yarns take place in the distant past, some in fantasy lands, and others in our familiar modern world.

Each seer in this book is different. They interpret dreams, read the tarot, consult the stars and gaze into the crystal ball, or simply receive visions in their mind. Some are professional future-gazers, others dabble or are even caught unawares. Some welcome the experience, some seek it, and others try to close that channel of their mind.

Many of the stories in this book have been previously published in magazines, ezines, anthologies and collections. The authors stem from all over the world and use different versions of the English language with variations in word choices, spellings, grammar and punctuation.

Enjoy the ten glimpses into seersʼ minds. But beware: the visions may be disturbing.

1.BEWARE OF TUESDAYS by Frederick Langridge
Would the railway ghost still show herself?

2.A GOOD TRADE by Tracie McBride
Nadia does not say exactly when her prophecy will be fulfilled.

3.THE VISION by April Grey
Cherie foresees her future husband – a monster.

Ho Bian can ride the winds, speak to fishes, and read the stars.

5.DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Carole Ann Moleti
Taina won’t rest until she finds out who murdered her family

6.THE WATCHER by Jeff Hargett
“I don’t frighten for fun. What I see for you is bad. Very bad.”

7.SENSTORY by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
What courses in the girlʼs veins – death or hope?

8.EZRA’S PROHECY by Deborah Walker
The old hermit writes down what she hears – then casts the prophecy into the fire

Does Janie know when the Rapture will happen?

10.PROPHETESS by Rayne Hall
I am cursed to see the future, always to speak the truth, and never to be believed.


Seers is probably my favorite of Hall's collections of short stories so far. I've been interested in the paranormal since... well, since before I could do multiplication and division. There's something about the occult I've always found to be intriguing, and these stories did not disappoint.

I enjoyed every single story. There wasn't a single one I disliked, but best of all I really loved the majority of them. Most of these stories I just simply found easy, fun to read. At times, I could relate to several of the stories which of course always makes them more fun and interesting. Senstory and Ezra's Prohecy (is this meant to be prophecy?) were my least favorites, not that they weren't well written or anything of the sort. In this collection, there were just too many stories which stand out in my mind as being thoroughly enjoyable.

Beware of Tuesdays I found to be strange, in a good way. A Good Trade was interesting as long as you don't mind reading about incest. The Vision was probably among my favorites, most likely because I could relate to the story. The Tale of the Aggrieved Astrologer I found to be interesting, different and funny at times. Dance with the Devil was also a favorite but I was disappointed by the ending as I was left wanting more. I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's work soon! The Watcher I felt to be weird with an interesting twist - and it seems to be inspiring my own writing which is always cool. I Could Have Heard You From Across the Street was just OK, but it was funny. Lastly, Hall's own Prophetess I found to be quite good and interesting - plus it inspired me to study up my knowledge of the Trojan war.

I found myself sitting down to read just one or two of these stories and reading much more than that. They really were quite good and I have to recommend this book as a great buy for just 99 cents on Amazon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 first mani! Banggood review

I received these products in exchange for an honest review.

Today I have my first manicure of the year to show you and unfortunately I think it's also going to be the last one I do for awhile. My nails have been breaking horribly for over a year now so I'm making it a personal goal to leave them alone for awhile so they can have a break from all of the harsh chemicals. Of course, since my timing is always off with everything - I am now finally on Instagram! Woohoo! There's nothing there yet and obviously I won't have any polish pictures for awhile but if you'd like to follow me I'd appreciate it :)

So today I have some very cool gel polish to share with you. Banggood provided me with a gel polish to try out, but they were awesome enough to provide me with the primer and top coat which goes along with it as well. At the time I thought they were just helping to promote their products but once I tried these out, I understood!

The color polish itself is pretty unique for a gel polish because you don't have to use it as a gel. That's right. This one dries as a normal polish if used without a UV lamp. I tried both methods, simply because I was curious and the results are actually pretty cool. When used as a normal polish, it does dry in decent time. For some reason I got some bubbles when using this as a gel but not when used as a normal polish which is kind of weird. Otherwise, no problems.

 (image: used as gel)

(image: used a regular)

When I used it with the gel primer and top coat, I only had to dip the brush once to cover all 5 nails. Moving on to use it with regular base coat, I had to dip the brush once per nail. Wow how cool is that? So by using it with the gel primer, you actually use less polish! It gets even better - the gel manicure actually turned out more opaque than the regular manicure! How strange is that?? I used less polish and got better coverage? Whhhhaaattt?? Yep, pretty cool! So while I think it's absolutely awesome that you can use this polish without the lamp, I don't see any reason why you should! Except, it is pretty neat you can get 2 different looks from this same polish depending on how it is used.

Now it's really important that I mention the technique for applying this polish is actually a bit different than normal. The video can be found on the product page, but here's the breakdown:
Apply 1 coat of the primer, set for 2 minutes under the lamp
Apply 1 coat of the top coat, set for 2 minutes
Apply 1 coat of the color, set for 5 minutes
Apply 1 coat of the top coat, set for 3 minutes (I had to do it for 6 minutes because it didn't seem dry to me at 3.)

So it's a bit strange using the top coat twice, and using it before the color. My boyfriend compared it to candy coating so if I think of it that way I suppose it makes sense. There must be something to this technique which reacts with the color to stretch out the paint as well, I would think. I don't know, I'm not a chemist but the result and the application was pretty neat and definitely fun to try out!

For this manicure, I decided to try out these template stickers I had gotten as part of a BPS grab bag a few months ago. I'm not crazy about the design and the stickers were kind of hard to remove from the backing. I just took one template and reused it on each nail which caused the template to actually kind of melt so the design didn't turn out true to the template but in this case I don't care! I also used this rhinestones which I got from BPS and I have no idea why I received them :P I used butter London Bluecoat with Leccy on the accent.

These polishes come in a bunch of different metallic colors. The only thing I can say about these which I don't like is that the bottles all look exactly the same and unless you can read Chinese, you'll have to go to the Web site to look at the instructions for telling the difference between the bottles! Oy vey! I labelled the plastic bags mine came in and I'm just going to keep them in those because otherwise I'll never be able to tell them apart. It's kind of strange the bottles aren't clear so you can't see the actual polish. At the same time, it's kind of neat. I just wish they were better labelled!

Check out all of the gel polish colors here. They're $3.99 for a 12 mL bottle.
The primer and top coat are $4.29 each for a 12 mL bottle.

Banggood asked me to provide you with some coupon codes, and this one is still good:

25% off Men’s Clothing Clearance — Code: BGM210(ends Feb. 27th 2015)

edit: I just want to add that this manicure only lasted 5 days before it started to chip... so not very good longevity, especially not for a gel manicure :(

Monday, January 5, 2015

InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer Review

I received this item in exchange for an honest review. Blurb source:

Today I am doing 2 things I normally never do - taking selfies and using moisturizer! My beauty regime typically consists of doing absolutely nothing. Honestly. If I'm going to wear makeup or if I'm taking a shower, I'll wash my face with soap but otherwise that's about it. Fortunately I have youthful skin so I really don't have to do much to keep it that way. However, with our wonderful Wisconsin weather I've noticed my skin has become awfully dry so when InstaNatural contacted me asking me to review their Vitamin C Moisturizer, I thought I'd give it a chance.


Experience the Strong Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin C in a Lightweight Daily Moisturizer.
InstaNatural's Youth Express Vitamin C Moisturizer is an advanced restorative blend that contains powerful ingredients to deliver results:
- 20% Vitamin C: Protects against external aggressors that cause damage
- Hyaluronic Acid: Deeply moisturizes the skin to provide long-lasting hydration
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Helps reduce appearance of discoloration and pigmentation
- Plant Stem Cells / Peptide Complex: Strengthens skin to fortify against the signs of aging

Using our Vitamin C lotion day and night will help to reverse the signs of aging and restore healthier, younger-looking skin:
- Diminishes the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines
- Reduces appearance of hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots, age spots and dark spots
- Restores firmness and elasticity of skin
- Evens skin tone and texture

With InstaNatural, rest assured you will receive the best customer care and highest-quality Vitamin C Cream around.
- Large 3.4 fl oz size
- Made in USA in FDA registered facilities
- Contains NO harmful parabens, sulfates or alcohol
- Cruelty-free

MANUFACTURER GUARANTEE: InstaNatural backs their products with a Lifetime Money Back Guarantee, no matter where you buy our product. If you're not satisfied, simply contact us and get a full refund.
Act Fast and buy with confidence!
While we try our best to stay in stock... InstaNatural's Youth Express Vitamin C Moisturizer is produced in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. We apologize if we're sold out.


Here is how this moisturizer looks. Yep, looks like pretty much any lotion.

 Here's my first selfie taken before I started using this product. I forgot to take my glasses off, oops. Ignore the headphones, I'm wearing those most days when I'm doing stuff around the house :P This picture was taken on December 20, 2014.

This one was taken today, January 5, 2015.

After using this product, I've noticed my skin is softer, more even looking. I believe my pores are a little bit smaller and best of all the dark circles under my eyes have faded, hurray! I don't have any wrinkles or age spots or any of that stuff so I can't comment on the effectiveness for those.

I like the product size - the bottle is large enough that it should last me quite a long time since I don't use this every single day. I didn't notice excessive greasiness and the smell wasn't bothersome. I like this uses natural ingredients, and that it is made in the United States. Mostly I just love that it helped get rid of those bothersome dark circles!

This moisturizer retails for $49.95 but you can get it for $19.97 on Amazon. Check out these special offers listed on Amazon also:
  • BUY 4 OF ANY QUALIFIED INSTANATURAL'S PRODUCTS AND GET 15% OFF YOUR ORDER TOTAL. Enter code 7K425249 at checkout. Here's how

Be sure to check out my review of some of InstaNatural's other products as well!

My thanks to InstaNatural for providing me with this product for review.