Reviews on Lush products – Facial Products

My oldest daughter, Veronika, introduced me to Lush products. She has been using natural products for a long time. I have been searching for natural cosmetics now that I am cancer free. I decided to give the Lush products a try as they are all handmade, fresh and natural.

I have struggled with acne for most of my life. I have so much oil in my skin, that I could sell it. Or I wish I could to get rid of it. When I was a teenager and going through severe acne, I did not think that I would ever benefit from oily skin. I had severe acne on my face, chest, back and even on my scalp.

When I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I was told my skin would change and become dry.  I haven’t really seen that.   Perhaps it’s because I had so much oil in my skin that it protected me from drying out. Going through the Lush products for different skin conditions, I still tend to go with products that are for oily skin.  I have always followed a regimen of facial soap, toner and moisturizer both morning and night. I can say that my skin is now (at the age of 60!) blemish free and soft.  That would be the benefit of having oily skin.  My husband keeps telling me that I have the softest skin ever.  And he would know.

I purchased the Herbalism, face and body cleanser. The information with it says it is for problem skin and it contains rosemary and chamomile. At first, the price was a little off putting ($16.95 for 3.5 oz), however, you use very little and this container has lasted me three months and I am not done with it yet.

This is not a soft and smooth cleanser. It is a gritty cleanser which I really like. It does have an herb-like fragrance but it is not overpowering. Just a mild fragrance. You need very little.  For a full list of ingredients, check out all Lush products at www.lushusa.com.

After I wash, (both morning and night) I use the Breath of Fresh Air toner. A couple of squirts on a cotton pad and I wipe my face and neck. Do not forget to include your neck in your ritual. This product contains aloe vera, rose and a blend of herbs.

It does have a very light herbal smell but it does not linger. I will be trying the toner with tea tree oil next. I am not saying I am not happy with this current toner, I just wanted to see what the toner with tea tree oil would be like. Like the cleanser, you need very little and this 100 ml bottle has lasted three months.

 

 After the toner, I follow with the Celestial moisturizer.  Even with severe acne, I would use a really light moisturizer but just at night. Now I use the moisturizer both morning and night. This moisturizer contains almond milk and dove orchid.  It does have a really pleasant almond smell with something else mixed in.

Again, use very little. You will see that it goes a long way. I use this moisturizer both on my face and neck. It does not feel heavy at all but I use just barely enough to cover everywhere. You will know if you have used too much.

 

The last thing I do, is use my Enchanted eye cream. Less is more and I put it on underneath my eyes and on my eyelids. Ladies, start using eye cream, earlier rather than later. This eye cream has organic oils and honey.  It has a pleasant smell again but is not overpowering. Really smooth and light.

I have been using these four products for the past three months and love the way my skin looks and feels.  Now remember, I have gone through chemotherapy and radiation treatments. All of that has been rough on my body. But I am so happy with these products.

Lush Products fight animal testing. They use recycled plastic for their containers. There is a note on their container that says “Return 5 clean containers with this icon for a free face mask”.  I didn’t notice this before, but I will certainly check all my containers for the specific icon.  The first four facial products, I purchased in Canada and I am happy to note that those products are made in Canada.

Check out the full line of Lush products at https://www.lushusa.com/ . Right now I am very happy with my products and will write reviews on the body products that I have purchased.

Review of Living proof shampoo

I am a fan of the Living proof full shampoo.  (See http://www.livingproof.com).  I have been using this big container (24 fl. oz.) of shampoo for 8 months.

When my hair started to come back in, I wanted to use a good quality shampoo. I did want to use a natural product. Something that was not tested on animals and did not have a ton of chemicals. I can’t remember how I found Living proof and which one of my doctors recommended it, but I was impressed with what I read. It is not a natural product.

Living proof is technology with a conscience. Their products of free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, and animal testing. It is also non toxic. They only make hair products. That is it.

Living proof also has won beauty awards. Their Perfect Hair Day Body Builder hair spray has won the 2018 Allure Award. They also have a line of dry shampoos that have won awards. There is an explanation of how and why their full shampoo and conditioner line truly does add body and volume to fine hair.

When you get to the website there is a hair care quiz you can take. I did this. The full shampoo and conditioner line was recommended to me. My only gripe is that because I have gone through cancer treatments and my hair is different now, I wish that on these quizzes (or any quiz that can be taken) there would be an area for special concerns or special requirements. When I was looking for shampoos, I  was not certain what my hair would be like. Would it be straight? Would it be thick? Would it be fine? What color would it be?

I went ahead and ordered the full shampoo. Just the shampoo and not the conditioner. I don’t know why but I ordered the 24 fl. oz. bottle which came with a price tag of $59.  This was actually not bad. When I looked at other hair care products, this price came in at the lower end of some of the other products. Remember, I was looking at natural shampoos and conditioners.

I am very happy with this shampoo. The shampoo has a clean, pleasant smell. I only use one squirt of shampoo. Well, I am up to 2 squirts now. My hair is coming in better now but my hair feels soft and it does look full. The bang area could grow in a little better but it’ll do.  I am also glad I did not purchase the conditioner because I really don’t need it. I tend to shower and wash my hair every day. I tend to sweat easily but that’s because of the estrogen suppressing medication I am on. The products do say that your hair stays clean longer. I just know that after being at the barn and wearing a helmet, especially in the summer time, my hair isn’t a total ridiculous mess.

I am waiting for my hair to grow out more before I decide on purchasing other products. I did take their quiz again and I was given a number of different products I could choose from. But the full shampoo line was recommended again.  Will I order this product again?  Absolutely. I love the fragrance, the price and the fact that this bottle of shampoo will probably last me for a full year.

Lashes! Eyelashes! Lashes

As a woman who went through chemotherapy and lost every single hair on her body, I think I was most upset when my eyelashes disappeared. Sorry, no pictures of that.

I am happy that my hair is growing in very well, thank you very much. I just wish it would be growing in really thick and luxurious and blonde. That isn’t happening. It is growing in, yes. Just not thick and not blonde. I mean, really at my age, I was thinking blonde? Eyebrows are coming in slowly which is nice. I am hoping they will come in a little thicker than they were. In the 1970’s pencil thin eyebrows were in style. So my friend and I did our eyebrows. Then thin eyebrows went out of style and, I guess my eyebrows didn’t hear about it because they did not grow in very well. They are much better now.

Was I happy when my eyelashes started to come in. I was super happy when I could finally put mascara on something. I have been using the mascara from lush.com (I have included the link) which I truly love. But my eyelashes were just not growing in long enough, thick enough or fast enough.

My neighbor, Nancy, is a representative for Rodan & Fields (I have included her link as well). That is one thing I really notice about ladies, is their eyelashes, probably because I didn’t have them. But Nancy’s eyelashes were thick and long and just drop dead gorgeous. When I asked her about her eyelashes, she told me she was using the Rodan & Fields Lashboost. I wanted to get it right away, but, gasp! the price. I pouted. Nancy told me that she had used the Lashboost for eight weeks before seeing a difference. She said she had to stop using the Lashboost because her eyelashes were getting too long.

I pouted. And pouted some more. Then finally was able to purchase the Lashboost. I couldn’t wait to start using it. The Lashboost is very easy to use. You apply a thin line of the liquid along your lashline before going to bed. I have been doing it along the upper lid and the lower lid. While I was waiting for the results, we had a get together with the ladies of the neighborhood and I noticed another woman with the most beautiful eye lashes. She said she was using the Lashboost as well. My goodness!

I tried to take a picture this morning of my eyelashes but I guess it just wasn’t meant to happen. I can say that my eyelashes are much, much nicer now. I do wish they would be a little thicker, but that may still happen. My eyelashes are much longer. For someone who is against using any type of chemical product, when it came to having my eyelashes come in better, I was willing to not read the list of ingredients.

I am not certain when I will stop using Lashboost. All I know is, this stuff works. It is well worth the price of $150 plus. I am not certain how long this will last as everyone I know who is using this product hasn’t been using it for any length of time. I am not certain if there are any side effects or if there are down sides to using this product. I just know that I really love my eyelashes now. (If this stuff works for my eyebrows, I wonder if I could use it on my scalp where my hair is a little thin?)

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

I am in Canada with my oldest daughter, Veronika, and my granddaughter, Eliora as I am writing this. My youngest daughter, Natasha, is also here with us. Unfortunately, my husband, Bill, could not get the time off to be with us.

Christmas will be different for all of us this year. Although, Christmas changed dramatically when I made the decision to leave my, now ex-husband of thirty plus years in 2013. We did manage to share Christmas together with the entire family (son, Peter and daughter-in-law, Carol included) in 2013. Then the following years, the children did Christmas with their father and then did either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with me.

Veronika and Eliora will be leaving December 23rd to meet Veronika’s husband, Joe, in the Netherlands and they will be celebrating Christmas in the Netherlands. Peter and Carol can only get Christmas Day off from their work schedule. Bill is only able to get Christmas Day off as well. I decided to come up to Canada prior to the 23rd so I could get some time with Veronika and Eliora. Natasha has a break from her college program and is in Canada with us. Peter and Carol did take a long weekend and we all managed to get together with my parents and had a small Christmas exchange.

Veronika, Eliora, Natasha and I also got together with very close family friends last weekend for a Christmas celebration. My parents and brother were also there. It was wonderful to see everyone and be with the babies.

My daughter-in-law Carol, is not happy that she only has Christmas day off and is pretty depressed that she can’t be with family. I suggested, to my son, that they help out at a homeless shelter and he is looking into that. Natasha is going to be with her brother and sister-in-law for the week. I wish I could be with my son and his wife Christmas Day but the drive back and forth is not comfortable for us. I want to be with Bill. I have invited Bill’s sisters, brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews over for Christmas cheer.

But I will not have my children with me for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I am still not sure how I will feel about that. I am grateful that I could spend time with my parents and the children when I could. Family time is what Christmas means for me. This is my favorite time of year.

Yes, it also means the birth of Jesus and that is important to me. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son to us. We have watched many nativity stories and I have cried over all of them. This is the greatest gift of all. For all the Christmas wish lists that everyone makes up, the giving is more important to me than the receiving. So when God gave us Jesus, I can only imagine the depth of love God has for us. This is what Christmas means to me.

Joseph, What Did You Think?

I wrote this poem several years ago when I heard the song, “Mary, Did You Know?” I love this song. Then I thought about Joseph and what his thoughts might be.

Joseph, What did you think

 

Joseph, what did you think

When you discovered what they were saying about Mary

What did you feel

When you thought she was to be yours

Only to hear that she may have broken your trust

You were to be her protector

You were planning a future with this woman

Who was not what you thought she should be

Were you angry and filled with sadness

Over a future that would no longer be

How your heart must have ached

Then what did you think

When that angel came to you

And let you know that out of all women

Mary had been chosen to be the one

How did you feel knowing what was to be

What did you think

When others scorned you and ridiculed the situation

Not having the same faith and trust

That you and  Mary now had

The steps you had to take each day wondering

Then what did you think as the months went on

Watching Mary’s belly grow with a child

Not yours, not hers

Nor would it ever be

You and Mary being human

And this child was the son of God

Did you wonder what you could teach this child

Did you ever wonder what would this child think of you

Did you dream of what you could do for this baby

Did you wonder how you would protect Him

Was there fear, was there even a little bit of anger

That your lives had been so changed

Or could you think about how so much would change

With this one small child

Was your faith that strong and sure

When you finally held the son of God in yours arms

What did you think?

Breast Reconstruction

In August I had a mammogram done on the right breast. It came back normal. I was then scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram on my left breast two weeks ago. I then had an appointment with the surgeon who did the lumpectomy three days later.

Before the mammogram on the left breast, I thought I was fine. However, when I pulled into the parking lot, I started to shake. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. I called my best friend as I was starting to hyperventilate. She was able to calm me down. She said it was perfectly normal for me to be nervous.

I went into the appointment, had the mammogram done and then had to wait for the radiologist. I was fine until the wait for the radiologist. What if, kept running through my head. The wait was not long enough for me to get into a real panic attack and hyperventilate. The technician and the radiologist came in and she told me that everything was fine. Because of the lumpectomy, the chemotherapy and the radiation, the breast had changed and they would use this new normal to base future mammograms. I could finally let out a deep breath.

Three days later, I had an appointment with my surgeon. I love my surgeon. She is a wonderful person with a real feisty spirit. She was happy with the results from my mammogram. Then she did an exam and said now future mammograms could be scheduled to have both breasts done at the same time on a yearly basis.

I, then, pointed out the really large discrepancy between my two breasts. I asked her if it was normal for my left to be so much smaller than my right. I had noticed this about one month ago. (Takes a lot for me to notice things on my body.) But there is a big difference from my right to my left. My right breast fills the cup of my bra to over flowing while the left one barely fills it.

My surgeon told me that this is quite normal after the lumpectomy and radiation. The radiation tends to shrink things. (Wish they could have done that for my belly fat and nose.) I told her that the difference is pretty large. She agreed with me and is referring me to a plastic surgeon. She told me that he would not increase the size of the left. I told her I don’t want that. I want the right one reduced and maybe made perky. My surgeon smiled. She also said the surgeon would decide about the reconstruction.

So now I wait for the referral and finally feel balanced. Having one side larger than the other side, really throws off your balance. At least, that is what I am claiming for now.

 

The Art of Hair Coloring

I know now that I would not be a very good hairstylist. That is why I go to a good stylist to have my hair cut. I should also just give in and always go to a stylist to have my hair colored.

I was not going to mess with my hair. I am pretty happy that my hair is growing back in. It is coming in really well. The hair is very soft and quite wavy. It isn’t really curly. But it is coming in gray. I was done with hair dyes and all the chemicals. Since I was probably 20 years old, I have been enhancing the blonde strands on top of my head. Blondes have more fun, right? When I was a child, I had white blonde hair.

My husband prefers blonde. He was a blonde himself. I got bored with just the gray. I started to look around at organic, natural hair products and found henna. There are a lot of henna products out there but I use lush.com for my skin care. I am very happy with the products and the fact that it is all natural. I was browsing through the website, looking at all their products when I found henna.

All along, I thought henna was more to enhance red hair. Or to turn you into a red head. I read up on the product and being adventurous, ordered the red henna. I did go out and find a natural hair dye for blondes. However, it still does contain some chemicals. After my husband told me he would prefer me to be blonde again and I was in the mood for an experiment, I went with the henna.

The instructions were to cook the henna with some water. Since my hair is short, I didn’t use that much. Globbed it into my hair with rubber gloves. Did it all by myself and didn’t make a mess. Not even on me. Stuck a big baggie over my head and left it on for 2 1/2 hours. Instructions said to leave it on anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I wanted to be safe. 

Glad I went for safe. Took the baggie off. Showered out all the gritty stuff from the henna. Showered myself off. Wrapped a towel around my head. Dried off everything. Then took a look. I couldn’t really see anything with my hair being wet. But my hair dries pretty quickly.

I am just letting out big sighs right now that my hair has dried. It’s red. The henna is supposed to intensify or still keep working for another 24 hours. Wonder what it will look like tomorrow. I didn’t get all my hair. There are still some patches of gray. I have a doctor’s appointment and I’m torn between covering my head with my wig or a bandana. Or just going for it and going au naturel. My daughter in law keeps calling me the crazy old lady. Might as well prove her right for once. I mean there are a lot of little old ladies out there with blue hair. I might as well join them all with my red hair.

My husband did say he would prefer me to be blonde. This is all his fault. He should have said red. Then I would have gone for the blonde hair tint. This is why I would never make a good hair stylist.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6: 9-19.

I was given this prayer on a wall plaque when I was a child. I think it was my parents who gave it to me or it could have been my aunt and uncle. I can’t remember anymore. But this is the prayer that I was taught as a young child. I memorized this prayer and recited it many times growing up.

I don’t know that I knew exactly what it meant. It was good that I had it memorized and could recite it perfectly. I just knew that it was a good prayer. I also knew that Jesus said this prayer. That meant a lot to me as a child.

As I got older, I tried to analyze this prayer and what it meant. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. The first line is pretty easy. God resides in heaven and His name is holy. It is above all other names. It goes along with the fourth commandment. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. We are supposed to honor God. But God is also our Father. The one who loves us above all else.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We are supposed to honor God on earth as it is done in heaven. I am not sure what heaven is like but I know there are many angels who honor God all the time. He is given honor and reverence and glory. His word is the law and we need to remember that while we are here on earth. He created everything and we need to give God the respect that He deserves.

Give us this day our daily bread. I see this as not only our food but everything that we need to live. We need to trust God to make sure we have food, shelter, health, and money. If we could just trust God to provide for us, we would be rewarded ten times over. But most of us just can’t do that and we always try to get more, earn more, work more, do more. It is scary but when you trust in God, He will not let you down.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This does not mean that we should not pay back what we owe. It also does not just mean monetary items. I think it means whatever wrongs we have done, God will forgive us our sins as long as we ask for forgiveness. Then we also need to forgive those people that have wronged us. We need to look past the hurt and pain and forgive. At times, forgiving ourselves and others is extremely difficult. With prayer though, it can be done. I am still working on forgiving and forgetting. Letting go.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is a really hard one since Satan is constantly tempting us, luring us into sin. Look at the ten commandments. I don’t think any one of us can say we are not being tempted or have committed a sin. When you recognize that you have faults, you have sinned, asking God to help is a good thing.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and glory forever. God is the ruler over all the earth, the heavens and everything else that surrounds us. We have no idea what heaven will be like or how much there is. Our brains would explode if we tried to comprehend it all. We don’t need to comprehend it. God has our backs. He has got control over all of it. Something I just don’t understand so I am more than happy to let God have it. All of it just like He has all of me. Amen.

Chapter 5 – Stephen Feldman and Frank McKnee

Here I was, talking to two men at the same time. This was interesting. Really, very interesting. This had never happened to me before. Having conversations with two different men. I did not let either man know that I was talking to the other.

Stephen and I had long, interesting conversations. He was a contractor who was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Geez. I just cannot believe I kept talking to this person. Steven had a son who was overseas somewhere with his mother. I can’t remember exactly where but Stephen was trying to get his son into the United States with friends who were in Texas. He said his ex wife was not a fit mother and was willingly giving up the son to Stephen. I just kept listening to the stories and thinking, really, now? But I was getting pulled in. He kept promising that as soon as he was able, he would come to see me.

At the same time, I was having long conversations with Frank. He would call me at different times of the day. He was an artist and he did send pictures of his work. He was very talented and I told him he should keep painting. He did portrait work and he said he would paint a picture of me.

There were so many times I wanted to end it with both men. They both had distinct accents that I could not quite place. Eastern European, I thought. But both men just wanted to talk. Just wanted to get to know me and for me to get to know them. I was bewildered and did not know what to think. They did not talk about love or money or needing anything. Just wanted to talk. They kept making promises to see me as soon as they could. What could be the harm in that?

Lots. Neither one could meet me over coffee soon. It was always business trips, finish the contract, or under pressure to work. Frank’s father had died and left the business to Frank. So he needed to go to England, of all places, to sort through the details. Frank also had a daughter who lived in New York. The daughter had a daughter who visited Frank on occasion. He actually sent pictures of the granddaughter.  As I said previously, he recorded a song that he sang and sent it to me. I could see pictures and what appeared to be normal furnishings in a house in the background.

All of these conversations were happening not just over one or two weeks but two to three months. No talk about having or being in a desperate situation. Both men let me know they were well off. Not exactly how much but in general terms. Good, I thought. I’m not getting suckered in, I thought. Both men seemed to show genuine concern for me.

As time went on, I thought these men might actually be real. Stephen claimed to own a house in Texas. He also mentioned the city which I cannot now remember. Frank claimed to own a house in Miami, Florida. I googled both names and did not come up with anything. I tried to google addresses and houses but still came up with nothing. Also, when I googled their phone numbers, both were VoIP numbers with no name attached. That should have given me the best reason to block their phone numbers and have nothing more to do with them.

But I couldn’t do that. I kept answering their phone calls. I kept talking to both of them, and I was trying to decide between the two of them. Ladies and gentlemen, these things never end up well. But having a hopeful heart, I kept pressing on. More in Chapter 6.

 

Chapter 4 – Stephen and Frank

Yes, there is a chapter 4. Chapter 5 too. Probably Chapter 6. Unfortunately. You would think I would catch on and just leave it all alone. But after the ex’s comments and everything that I had heard through the years, I did hope that there was someone for me.

I did go out on a couple of dates. Dating is difficult after so many years of being married. Although, dating as a teenager and young woman was hard. Back in the 70s, everyone knew that going on a date with a guy meant that at the end of the night, you treated the guy back. You know. I just wasn’t willing to do that because I was a really shy teenager. Then when I started dating again, I still had those same thoughts. I just wasn’t willing to be a part of that.

I stayed with Christian Mingle. Bad idea but I was determined. Kept sending hellos to various men. I also tried out a couple other online dating sites. On one of them, I met several local men which was encouraging and actually met them over dinner. But, then one man who was in a city close to me suggested to meet for coffee. Great, I thought. Until he said that after the coffee if I was willing to go to his place. You see, he had strong sexual cravings and needed sex at least twice per day and if I was good with that.

You can imagine how quickly I ended that. It was as if my phone had thrown up on me. All I said was no and goodbye. I did not meet with him for coffee. I was debating about reporting him to customer service. But this was not Christian Mingle and, obviously, too many people would regard this as normal American male lustiness. I, obviously, was not a normal lusty female.

Then one day, I had emails from two men. Frank and Stephen. Interesting. Frank McKnee was dark haired and quite an attractive man. He was an entrepreneur and an artist who did paintings. He lived in Florida. Great. Stephen Feldman was blonde and drop dead gorgeous. Robert Redford is just so-so beside Stephen. But, get this, Stephen was a contractor for oil rigs and was currently working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He was out there until the project ended.

You know the expression, do as I say, not as I do? I just cannot believe I let myself continue with these two men. What was the possibility of meeting up for coffee with either Frank or Stephen? Zip when they apparently were con men. Why, oh why, was I so gullible and why did I keep talking to them? But I did. I thought, I know better. I will just chat with them and know this for what it was.

Except for a couple of things. I chatted with both men for a good month and during that time, neither one asked for money. In fact, Frank recorded himself singing a song for me. Frank also sent me pictures of his paintings. He was a really good artist. Stephen was so freaking handsome that I just wanted to keep chatting with him.

I am warning everyone, it was just the beginning. As is with all con artists, some just want to get the hook into you as deeply as possible so that you won’t be able to say no. If anyone thinks you can fall in love over emails and a phone line, please rethink that. Do not let yourself fall in love until you are actually face to face. I am so hoping to save you from the heartache of having your heart broken, and losing money in the process. I can safely say, more in Chapter 5.