Battle Of The Natural Deodorants – New Series

When Debbie and I first started this blog, one of the first ideas was to pin products against each other in a battle to see which product is the best. Hence, the Battle Of series is born! The first post of this series is all about natural deodorants. Ever since I heard aluminum, which is commonly found in most deodorants can possibly cause breast cancer (FYI, I’m high risk for breast cancer!), I decided to find a natural way to stay sweat and odor free! The contenders today are: Tom’s of Maine, Kiss My Face and The Honest Company!

Tom’s of Maine Natural 24 Odor Protection Long Lasting Deodorant in Soothing Calendula 2/10

Price: $3-$4.50

Smell & Effectiveness: The first natural deodorant I’ve ever tried and is probably the worst deodorant I’ve ever used in my entire life. Stay away from this product, unless you want to smell so bad that no one wants to be near you. Believe me, I’m trying to save you from the embarrassment!! It just doesn’t work, you’ll smell good for maybe a few hours and then you’ll start smelling awful. It does not help with body odor or help decrease sweating. I’ve only gave it 2 points because the smell. When you initially apply the deodorant, it is actually smells quite nice. It has an herbal flowery smell, I can’t exactly figure it out, but if I could explain in my own words, it reminds me of rosemary/thyme mixed with lavender. Even though the label clearly says Soothing Calendula–I’m not sure what a calendula flower would smell like. Such a disappointment! I would say the best thing about this product other than maybe the smell, is it’s price point.

Bottom Line: I do not recommend this product, save your money and try something else.


Kiss My Face Natural Active Life Deodorant in Cucumber Green Tea 5/10

Price: $4-$7

Smell & Effectiveness: I really wanted to love this deodorant because it’s smells wonderful. It reminds me of Cucumber Melon from Bath & Body Works, back in the old days. You can really smell both the green tea and cucumber! A super fresh and clean scent, not heavy at all. However, it doesn’t work that much better than the Tom’s of Maine deodorant. While, it does to a better job with body odor it only lasts for maybe a quarter of the day, about six hours before you start smelling a little gross. Maybe, if you are willing to reapply throughout the day, you’d be fine using this deodorant. But I think for most people, including myself, would rather apply their deodorant once in the morning (and or once at night) and be done with it, not having to worry about smelling funky for the rest of the day. It’s not an awful product but it isn’t the best either, pretty mediocre. Though, considering the price, depending on where you purchase it, this product might not be worth your time.

Bottom Line: I do not recommend this product, at least not by itself. Or only if you are willing to reapply every six hours.


The Honesty Company Deodorant in Bergamot Sage 8/10

Price: $8-$9

Smell & Effectiveness: One of the better natural deodorants I’ve tried. I was starting to become dishearten because the natural deodorants I’ve tried thus far just didn’t work for me. This deodorant is much different because it’s in a spray bottle versus the typical stick deodorant. Can’t say I love the idea of using a liquid deodorant, I feel like it wouldn’t last as long as a stick deodorant. Also, I have problems with the spray nozzle, sometimes I would spray it elsewhere than my armpits. That’s more of a personal thing I’m sure, since I’m rather clumsy. That said, I really love the smell! However, if you don’t like herbal scents, this deodorant also comes in Vanilla Lavender and Vetiver (a grass, which has an earthy & woody aroma). But, if you’re like me, who loves earl grey tea (btw, bergamot is in earl grey! But, you knew that! ^. ~)) and the smell of fresh herbs, this deodorant is a great fit for you! I have to say this deodorant lasts the longest, I usually stay odor free for half of the day, about 12 hours. Though keep in mind, if you sniff your pits by end of the day, you’ll smell just a little, faintly funky, but I don’t think anyone will notice unless they are straight up trying to smell your pits. It does work, but it still isn’t anything like your typical deodorant with aluminum in it. But, I’m still quite happy with it’s performance compared to the other two natural deodorants I’ve tried.

Bottom Line: Yes, I recommend this deodorant! It’s a worth a shot!

Overall: Seems like the more expensive the deodorant is, the better it performs. I guess, you get what you pay for, as they say! While it’s not always the case, there is some truth to it. Since, I still have plenty of the Kiss My Face Green Tea Cucumber deodorant left, I use it in conjunction with The Honest Company Deodorant in Bergamot Sage. I don’t know if it really does anything to boost the effectiveness, but it seems to work, so I can’t complain. While I haven’t found a deodorant that can beat one that contains aluminum, I think The Honest Company did a great job! I know that there was controversy over their sunscreen products lately, but I seeing how this was the first product I’ve ever used by them and it works, I feel I can’t judge them too harshly. I feel like with every product there is a chance it doesn’t work for you while it may work for someone else. But, I do feel for those who put their trust into this company and were rewarded with adverse reactions. I guess, that’s all the reason to do lots of research before purchasing, but that’s not always possible. It’s unfortunate that it’s a trial and error kind of process but hey, that’s kind of just life, isn’t it?


The Winner: The Honest Company in Bergamot Sage!


They Say, We Say – An Illustrated Excerpts Series

While I know this blog is primarily about beauty and lifestyle, I’ve always wanted to also document certain moments from my life in a fun, non-sensical kind-of-way. Which is why I decided to start this illustrated series based off quotes that were said by friends, family, strangers even random sayings I’ve happened to stumble upon.


This particular quote was from my good friend, Esther Narae Rusch. She saw it during her vacation in Korea and we both thought it was pretty silly. Engrish can be pretty much seen everywhere and it usually yields a lot of laughs. Honestly, we aren’t even sure what they actually meant. ^^;;;

I hope you look forward to more from this series! I have another one already in the works!

– Marissa

NOTD – Cherry Blossoms: Wet n Wild Megalast & Maybelline Color Show Jewels

After long days of gloomy weather in SoCal, the sun has finally come out! It has inspired me to create this simple gradient look and since winter is coming to a close and Spring is just around the corner, I feel it’s very appropriate. 🙂 The base is Wet n Wild Megalast in 203B 2% Milk with Maybelline Color Show Jewels in 600 Precious Pearl on top. I kind of feel like a princess wearing these nail polishes. I seem to gravitate to this style a lot! Remember the Etude House Juicy Cocktail Gradient Nail Kit?! Lol. I like pink! Though I don’t prefer wearing pink clothing, accessories and everything else is too cute not to love. To each their own, right? Anyway, even though this mani is so cute, it didn’t really last that long. But, I’m not surprised considering how much I paid for these two polishes, which was less than $5. lol. You pay for what you get for, as they say! Well, good thing I get bored of my manicures quite easily! Haha.

Onwards to the pictures!


Review: bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne-Clearing Foundation in Clearly Pearl 02


Happy Holidays, everyone! Xmas is just right around the corner, how crazy is that!? I’ll say Happy New Years to you all in advance! I hope to see you in the new year! 🙂

Alrighty, backstory time! Debbie shared her Sephora VIB 20% off friends and family discount with me, so I just had to get something (though not really). I initially wanted to purchase the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil, because everyone raves about it and I thought it would be great for my eczema. But, when I smelled it in-store, I absolutely hated it and I wasn’t going to spend $25 on a product I didn’t like the smell of–doesn’t matter how amazing it is! I’ve been wanting a higher-end foundation and when we were browsing around the bareMinerals area we both found something that interested us. Debbie found the bareMinerals Jumbo Size Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Collector’s Edition and I found the bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne-Clearing Foundation! I remember BubzBeauty from YouTube was using this product in one of her vlogs, so I just had to have it–I just love her recommendations! I had no idea it was a new-ish product; so today, I thought I’d share my experiences!


When you first open the lid you’ll find this little protective tab. Do you ever check your product if it’s been tampered with, before you purchase the product? I tend to do that with beauty products. I once went home with a nail polish that someone opened and swatched because all of the nail polish was all over the rim. -._.-


I’m in love with this packaging! It’s so pretty and shiny! I’m a sucker for anything shiny.


This little stopper makes sure your foundation doesn’t go all over the place! Perfect for my clumsy self.


This mesh filter keeps the foundation in place! This packaging is really clumsy-proof!


Here’s another shot of the foundation, with its lid. It’s seems like not much product (6g/0.21oz) but a little goes a long way.


This is before application! My skin as been doing pretty well these days, but I still suffer from acne every once in a while as you can see on my chin. As well as redness around my nose, chin and cheeks. Please, excuse my Hello Kitty attire! It’s very cold in my household! ^^


This is my face with a few layers of the bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation. As you can see, my redness is gone and my complexion is evened out. My blemishes are nearly gone, but not completely concealed.  (Gosh, my lips are a little chapped, ignore that too! Can you see my inspiration board behind me!? lol.)

Product Info: Comes in 12 shades, pretty varied from light to dark skin tones, with even variations of cool, warm, golden and neutral skin tones. Which is great, because I have a neutral skin-tone with golden undertones. The shade I use is Clearly Pearl 02, which is for skin-types with light skin with neutral tones. You’d think the shade, Clearly Cream 03for light skin with golden tones would fit my skin type better, be it’s actually too dark, almost orange on my skin. Thank goodness, for shade matching at Sephora! This is my number one qualm with drugstore foundations–I can’t try the product before purchasing! I hate guessing what shade would be best or buying more than one foundations of the same type, just in case the other shade(s) don’t work out. But, I digress. This foundation is dermatologist-tested and noncomedogenic, treats blemishes, reduces the appearance of redness and pores, and helps to prevent new blemishes from forming. Contains salicylic acid–it’s lightweight, non-drying formula creates a natural-looking coverage that you can feel comfortable wearing all day, everyday.

Price: $27 USD, without tax. But, with the 20% off it was about $23 USD with tax. Even at full price, that’s not too bad for a higher-end foundation. You get 6g/0.21oz of product! Granted, a little goes a long way.

Packaging: Genius! It comes in a reflective circular pot (makes it easy to find!), with a twist off lid. The lid has a stopper that prevents any product from leaking all over the place. Which I’m super happy about, since I can be clumsy with powdery makeup. The mesh filter contains the powder foundation. Just swish your brush against the mesh filter, tap off excess and apply! To be honest, I think I like this packaging because it’s shiny. I like shiny things! Don’t judge! 😛 Plus, I kind of feel the reflective packaging makes it a little more glamorous! Just me? No? Lol.

Coverage: Light-Medium. I’ve noticed this is the reason a lot people really didn’t care for this foundation, because it just didn’t give people enough coverage. While, it’s definitely not full coverage, I couldn’t disagree with them more. This foundation is buildable and looks natural on the skin! It has almost an satin finish on the skin. It’s doesn’t cake on you, but it will accentuate dry patches, so I don’t recommend this for dry-skinned folks. What I love is that it evens out my complexion, getting rid of most of my redness and blemishes. The coverage reminds me of a BB or CC cream. Which I love, because I don’t like my foundation being overly done, to the point where it looks like a mask. Don’t get me wrong, I like full coverage foundations for special occasions or when taking photos, but it’s a bit too much for everyday. Bottom line: This foundation makes it look like your skin but better!

Effectiveness (of Acne-Clearing): Most reviews said it didn’t do anything for their blemishes, but it also didn’t make their skin any worse. I have to say, it works for me! I don’t know what it is, but salicylic acid does wonders for my skin! I had a few pimples that shrunk in size after I used this foundation. I was ecstatic! Who doesn’t love killing two birds with one stone? Debbie is actually sensitive to salicylic acid, yet ‎benzoyl peroxide works for her. I’m the complete opposite! So, make sure you know what works for your skin or not! That’s a common rule with trying out any new products! Remember to test out any new product on your wrist first! Apply, wait for a few minutes. If there no irritation, then you’re good to go.

Overall: 9/10 I absolutely love this foundation! It’s the nearly perfect everyday foundation. Nowadays, I’ve been reaching for my bareMinerals Blemish Remedy over my bb creams and my heavy-coverage foundations. Granted, I’d probably won’t not use this for special occasions, unless my I’m having a really good skin day. But, it’s great for everyday or for those no-makeup-makeup-kind-of-days. It’s definitely natural looking. It’s your skin but better! For $27 I think it does a very good job. The packaging is really cool looking, all silver and reflective. Though I have to say, it is prone to thumbprints. That may annoy you, but for me, I just buff them off with a micro-fiber cloth–no biggie. This is not a full coverage foundation, so if you were looking for that, I suggest you continue looking. It wears more like a BB cream or CC cream. It’s very natural looking, as it evens out your skin tone, it also gives your skin a satin finish. Does not cake and is very buidable but it will accentuate any dry patches, so dry-skinned girls beware! As for the acne-clearing properties, it works on my blemishes and pimples because salicylic acid is quite beneficial for my skin type. But, I’m not you! You know what works for your skin and what doesn’t. I will say though, this foundation definitely won’t make your skin any worse. I haven’t broken out using this product, even when I accidentally slept with it on. (Please, don’t follow my bad habits!) For reference, I have oily/combination, sensitive and acne-prone skin. If you are looking for an everyday, no-fuss, natural looking powder foundation with acne-healing properties, I suggest you try out the bareMinerals Blemish Remedy! I hope it treats you well, as it has for me!

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you look forward to more from us soon!

PS. I’m re-branding the blog! The logo is a WIP! But, enjoy the new bigger images!

– Marissa

My Experience With Invisalign So Far – Part Three: Final Thoughts

Don’t forget to read the first two parts of this series!

My Experience with Invisalign So Far & My Experience with Invisalign so Far, Part Two: Refinements

I first started my initial Invisalign treatment back in 2011 and I just finished refinements in June of 2014. I can’t believe it’s been that long! It’s been tough but I’m glad it’s finally over. The constant brushing and flossing was becoming very tedious and annoying. Imagine doing that everyday for three years! Not fun! As I mentioned before, if you think you won’t be diligent with all the brushing and flossing, I would reconsider choosing Invisalign or be prepared to deal with all the responsibilities. To be honest, my Invisalign experience has been full of ups and downs. I was careless and didn’t wear my retainers for the maximum 22 hours a day. Sometimes I would not wear them the whole day! I don’t recommend doing that by the way. My orthodontist probably frowned upon that! Anyway, I’d like to share my final thoughts with you! Away we go!

What to expect: I’ll say once, I’ll say it again! You will be brushing and flossing constantly! After every meal you should brush and floss before putting back your retainers in. You should wear your retainers for the majority of the day, about 22 hours. Do not eat or drink anything besides cool water when you are wearing your retainers. I usually take them off right before a meal, just so I’m wearing them as long as I possibly can. The huge plus is that you get to eat whatever you want, unlike with braces. Also, expect to be visiting your orthodontist often. Every few weeks you’ll need to visit your orthodontist to see if your teeth are moving properly.

What may happen: Attachments! You may need to get attachments aka buttons on your teeth. These attachments/bumps help anchor the retainers to your teeth; so the retainers can move your teeth around more effectively. No worries, they make the attachments match the shade of your teeth. Also, you might have to backtrack a bit. Which makes it important to keep your past retainers, just in case you’ll need them. Finally, you may need to have refinements. Refinements are made when you decide that your smile isn’t as great as you would like after your initial treatment. It’s like fine-tuning! In my case, I had also gotten epoxy placed on two on my front teeth, so it would line up with the rest of my teeth. That definitely cost me extra! But, it was much cheaper than veneers, which would cost me $1,200 per tooth!!!

What happens when you’re done: Yay! Congrats, you’ve made it through! If you had attachments your orthodontist will buff them off. Then your orthodontist will make sure your bite is lining up properly; shaving down the teeth so everything fits well. After all that, you’ll get impressions done for your Vivera retainers. These retainers are worn for the first three months just like your Invisalign retainers. Once the three months are up, you’ll only need to wear them at night. These Vivera retainers get kind of gross after a while. Thankfully, when they give you the Vivera retainers, you’ll also receive packets of cleaning crystals.

Enough with words! Here are pictures of my progression!


  I honestly can’t believe my teeth looked like this before! 


 After my initial Invisalign treatment! About a year and half later.


This is after my refinements! About 6 months later. As you can see from the last photo, I had my orthodontist apply an epoxy to two of my front teeth, so its leveled with the rest of my teeth.

Well, that’s my experience in a nutshell! If you want more information on go ahead and check out the first two posts of my Invisalign journey!

My Experience with Invisalign So Far & My Experience with Invisalign so Far, Part Two: Refinements

If you live in SoCal, then I’d like to suggest my orthodontist! He’s awesome and very patient!

Martin C. Courtney, DDS
18907 Nordhoff Street, Suite 38
Northridge, CA 91324

Phone: 818.886.6696


Monday-Wednesday 8:30-5:30
Thursday 9:00-6:30