Goodbye for Now

Hi everyone:

I’ve been putting some major thought about what I want to do in relation to blogging lately, and have ultimately come to the sad conclusion to lay this blog to rest…

Does this mean I’ll be gone forever? Hardly not. But I’ve just lost a lot of my juju for this blog and I can’t devote the time and energy it needs to be properly maintained right now. I think ultimately I’ll start fresh with a new blog, and let this blog switch back to it’s original wordpress address (myclosetisfull.wordpress.com) once my annual domain registration runs out.

I feel sad and yet, at peace with this decision, as this has been a long time coming every since it’s original purpose was fulfilled last September. If you are interested in following me when I kick off a new (likely beauty-themed) blog, please let me know below and I will come back here and contact you guys once it’s official.

Thank you to all who have followed along the last 2 years. Your encouragement, advice, and blogs have given me so much energy and love that it wouldn’t have been possible without you. I’ll still follow along your blogs and maintain my Instagram account, so please keep in touch!

I’ll be adding another post soon in regards to some (brand new) items that will be for sell via Paypal, and I’ll include the instructions if you’re interesting in buying anything. I’ve been cleaning out my beauty collection and just need to clean house a bit on some items that I’ve never even opened! I have more than I’ll ever use.

Till then…

XO Ali

Argan Oil + Radha Beauty Review

Hello my lovelies!

I’ve been at it again…DIY that is πŸ™‚ This time, I wanted to share with you some of the benefits of a product you have undoubtedly heard of from time to time: argan oil! What exactly is argan oil?

argan2

Argan oil is a plant-based oil extracted from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L). It is often used in many high-end, heart-healthy food and beauty recipes. I first learned of the benefits of argan oil when I received a sample of Josie Maran’s Pure Argan Oil, and have been in love with the product ever since! I’m sure it is a key ingredient in many products I already own, but it touts its own benefits in its purest form: pure oil!

I will be focusing on the cosmetic uses since that is my primary experience with this oil.

Radha Beauty 100% Pure Argan Oil

“Naturally freshens, hydrates and softens dry skin, it also repairs and beautifies hair, from roots to split-ends and improves scalp health”

I know I’m repeating myself to some of my followers, but to anyone who is new here: I have recently decided to make the switch to cruelty-free products. What first drew me to Radha’s Argan Oil is the fact that it is 100% pure, organic, and cruelty-free. There are no added fillers and the product is not tested on animals.

I decided to try this argan oil in some DIY recipes I found in a natural beauty “cook” book:

Argan Oil & Oatmeal Facial Cleanser: “Argan Oil is rich in vitamin E, phenols, carotenes, and essential fatty acids making it the perfect oil for all skin types…” (excerpt from 200 Tips, Techniques, & Recipes for Natural Beauty).

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Rejuvenating Argan Oil & Rose Balm: “Great for all skin types. This hydrating facial balm quickly absorbs into the skin and leaves it smooth, silky, and hydrated” (excerpt from 200 Tips, Techniques, & Recipes for Natural Beauty).

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*The finished product hardens to a balm at room temp.

I also mixed some of the pure oil in with my normal conditioner in the shower and my hair dried so soft and smooth, that I didn’t even need to blow dry/straighten it!

Radha Beauty Fractionated Coconut Oil

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“Odorless…colorless…non-greasy…non-staining”

In addition to the argan oil, I was sent Radha Beauty’s Fractionated Coconut Oil to review as well. This coconut oil is great. I have used two other types of coconut oil and unlike the others, this one has no scent because it is fractionated. Coconut oil comes directly from the meat of the coconut. Unrefined coconut oil in it’s purest form is solid at room temperature, and is a milky-white color. When fractionated or refined, it goes through a process to remove the impurities and maximize the shelf-life of the product. It becomes clear and liquid at room temperature.

I have found coconut oil very easy to work with in DIY beauty/makeup recipes. I used this coconut oil in place of dimethicone as a more natural alternative for my lipstick molds. It helps the lipsticks to slide right out of the mold without sticking, breaking, or losing product. Overall, I highly recommend this product to someone looking for coconut oil who may want to skip on the “smelly” factor.

PS: If you head on over to Radha Beauty’s twitter page, you can find a coupon that will allow you to get the coconut oil for just $5!

What do you think? Have you ever used argan oil/coconut oil before? What did you think?!

XO Ali

This sponsored post was powered by Brandbacker.

Winner of Anavita Giveaway!

Congrats to the random winner of my giveaway with Anavita Skin Care: Miranda W. Thanks to all who participated!

IMG_2557Don’t forget! Anavita is offering a $5 off coupon right now that you can use to get your very own jar! The price is approximately $30 on Amazon, with the coupon bringing it down to about $25. The coupon code is FEBBAC28. The code is good until March 22, 2015 and must be used during the checkout process on Amazon.com.

Have a wonderful day πŸ™‚

XO Ali

Zenwise Labs Advanced Green Tea Extract

I was recently sent a full-size bottle of Zenwise Labs’ Advanced Green Tea Extract for review. I’m torn at the idea of reviewing a supplement that I’ve only had for a few weeks, as I think most supplements show their effects over a long-term period, and I don’t want to be misleading. I plan on updating this review once I’m about half-way through the bottle or further, however, I will review what I know so far!

IMG_2532Zenwise Labs

Zenwise Labs is a company whose exclusive selling platform is on Amazon. While they don’t have an official website, they do have a Facebook page that can be accessed here. They sell a few other products such as probiotics supplements, hair growth vitamins, and digestive enzyme supplements as well.

This particular product is vegetarian and cruelty-free (not tested on our animal friends!), which is what drew me to the supplement in the first place. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 6 years and have recently switched to cruelty-free products, especially in beauty products. In addition, there’s tons of science behind the health benefits of green tea. Over the two weeks I have taken it, I have not noticed a substantial difference in myself. Some people take the supplement to aid in weight loss, but I wanted to try it primarily for its natural energy and health benefits.

The Amazon sales page states the following about the Green Tea Extract:

  • An Advanced Supplement for Enhanced Results – Our Advanced Green Tea Extract capsules are formulated to help promote weight loss, cholesterol reduction and healthier living in men and women.
  • The All-Natural Power of Green Tea – 120 capsules that contain our specialized caffeine-free Green Tea which acts as a natural fat burner to help optimize your physique and well-being.
  • A Boost of Vitamin C – Our diet pills also feature Vitamin C, which works in tandem with the polyphenols of the Green Tea to increase antioxidant protection against harmful free radicals that can attack the immune system.
  • A Supplement You Can Trust – Our powerful supplements are crafted in a cutting-edge FDA-registered facility that is NSF and GMP certified, and all of our products are manufactured in the USA.
  • Manufacturer Guarantee – We offer a 100% no-hassle Manufacturer Guarantee for all of our products. If you do not get the results that you were looking for, simply let us know and we will provide you with a full refund.

I do run a lot and was hoping to see an increase in performance, but I think that will come over the long-term, with the nutritional benefits of this extract. I have noticed an extreme bloating in myself over the last few weeks, and I have been nonstop thirsty. However, I started my annual half-marathon training (this will be my 7th) at the same time as starting this pill. I do not know if the bloating is related to either, but I’ve never bloated like this in the past while training.

IMG_2534The pill is bigger than my other supplements, but it goes down very easily. Also, it’s a four month supply! Huge bottle. My bottle looks exactly like the one pictured on Amazon. I wish Zenwise Labs would have an official website for more information on their products and their company. All I have been able to find are reviews, their facebook page, and their Amazon page.

IMG_2537This sponsored post is powered by Brandbacker.

Xo Ali

InstaNatural Essential Oils + I’m a DIY-er!

Hello lovelies!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the warmth of spring! Or maybe just not all this snow and ice πŸ™‚ At least it has been impacted and frozen over enough in our backyard that I can take Yoshi out in my slippers without actually getting them snowy/wet, haha! Win.

I recently partnered up with InstaNatural to try out a few of their essential oils! I was really excited when it was decided that the scents would be peppermint and lemon, because those are some of my favorite scents in beauty products that I use.

IMG_2562bInstaNatural

“At present, InstaNatural is a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products. All of InstaNatural’s products are produced in small batches and packaged in FDA-certified facilities in the USA to ensure freshness and safety for customers. With results-driven products backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, InstaNatural is focused on providing the best collection of beauty products to address a wide variety of skincare needs” (InstaNatural website).

InstaNatural sells its products exclusively online, using their website and Amazon as their sales platforms. In addition, their products are cruelty-free, which is a big yes-yes for me! All of their products are either vegetarian or vegan as well, with the exception of their 100% emu oil. They sell a huge variety of products including retinols, oils, moisturizers, masks, hair treatments, serums, the list goes on.

For the review, we were supposed to get a lavender “sample” (and I use the word sample lightly, as we were sent the full-size products to review which has really helped me to try it in a variety of settings) as well, but there has been a temporary shortage. However, I will say that I loved the lemon and peppermint so much, that I ordered the lavender oil on my own dime when it was back in stock!

My Experience + DIY

I was really excited to try out these essential oils, as ever since I have made the pledge to go cruelty-free, I have been researching DIY beauty products like crazy! I love the idea of researching, obtaining the raw materials, and developing something on your own that you wholeheartedly love and know how it was made πŸ™‚ Essential oils are one of those ingredients that can be used in almost anything you make: soaps, bath bombs, scrubs, candles, etc.

These oils from InstaNatural are cold-pressed which helps increase the longevity of the scent and its elements. There are no added ingredients or fillers, and the bottle comes with a dropper which is perfect for when recipes call for just a small amount of the oil. Although essential oils are safe to apply directly to the skin and for use in room diffusers, I have used mine exclusively for DIY:

IMG_2622Bath bombs using the lavender essential oil & some blue food coloring (I didn’t have red to make purpe). Recipe here.

IMG_2625Peppermint-cocoa lip balm using a recipe from this book.

IMG_2628Terrific tinted lip gloss (w/ added lemon essential oil) using a recipe from this book.

The scent came through quite nicely into the finished product, and I can’t wait to experiment with these oils in the production of hand scrubs, face scrubs, lotions, soaps, masks, conditioners, the list goes on and on and on!

IMG_2561The only somewhat “problem” I can think of is that the bottle has a difficult time containing the smell. Even with Amazon’s excellent packaging of the sealed bottles taped in bubble wrap, separated by air packs, the smell was pervasive in opening the box. I had them stored in a cabinet in the kitchen, but I could smell them every time I was in the kitchen. Nothing had leaked, it’s just 100% pure extracted oil, and with a little going a long way, it’s easy to see how strong the scent is in the entire bottle. I will trying putting them in ziploc bags to see if that helps, as I don’t know if the objects/ingredients around them will absorb the smell.

Overall, I am confident putting my reputation on the line to support these oils. The bottles go a long way, and at a little under $20/piece, the value is extraordinary! If you consider trying some essential oils, give this brand a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Although this is a sponsored post, powered by Brandbacker, I am excited to try more of their products and share what I learn about them with you!

XO Ali

March Check-In: New Years Resolutions

Hi there!

I know I mentioned to a couple of you that I was planning my very first vlog/haul video, and I was sincere in my promise. It took me several takes, but I finally got enough footage together to edit and put out my very first video! However, editing has been a nightmare. I purchased an outdated video-editing software sometime last year so I wouldn’t have to pay big bucks for the newest version (since I’m just starting to get my feet wet in vlogging). I finally felt like I was getting some work done after hours working on a 20 minute video, and I lost everything. Twice.

bbhaulI was so mad, and decided to try something simple like Windows Movie Maker (laugh if you must!), but it was so much more user-friendly. Until I lost all of my work again. It’s not a saving issue, there’s something corrupt in the files or programs I think…so I apologize for the false promises. Hopefully I can learn more and develop a better one in the not-so-far-since-I’m still-upset-future. Tips are welcome!

Anyhow, I’m here today to check in on some New Years resolutions I set early in January. What good is a resolution if you don’t periodically monitor it to see how you’re doing?!

Resolution #1: Run my first marathon.

IMG_9581Well there’s not much I can do to complete this resolution until my race arrives in September! However, once marathon training starts in May, I should be averaging 25-30 miles per week to start out. In order to make a smoother transition (and not to wuss out), I signed up for a half-marathon in early May! This means my training will start NOW! πŸ™‚ I’ve already got in a couple good 3-4 milers in the past few weeks, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic about getting back into shape.

Resolution #2: Be a better person.

This one is harder to “check in” on. I am definitely more conscious of the words that come out of my mouth, but I still have a lot of room to improve.

Resolution #3: Be responsible.

I am happy toΒ report that I have been doing pretty well in this category πŸ™‚ I’ve been really good about just leaving my phone in my purse while driving, just to keep the temptation out of reach. I did thoughtlessly respond once or twice before realizing what I was doing, but I find I feel much more relaxed and free-minded when my electronic device is stowed away.

Resolution #4: Give back.

This is kind of something I’m doing for myself and not really something I want to share completely. I will mention that I have signed up to volunteer at a local animal rescue and had my orientation on Saturday πŸ™‚ I can’t put into words how happy and blessed it made me feel walking around feeling like I can make an impact on these animals’ lives, maybe even help them to learn to trust people again.

Can you imagine? Some of the work they need done is just to go in and pet the dogs and cats to get/keep them socialized. Best. Job. EVARRRR!

Ryan and I are also looking for a second dog, so it’s going to be dangerous being around so many cuties #crazydoglady

On another note, I have failed my no-new-spending for the first quarter of 2015… 😦 I was good for the entire month of January and what I thought was an innocent purchase of a limited Memebox spiraled into something else altogether. Surprisingly, I haven’t bought almost any clothes-items at all…haven’t even had the urge. I got 2 new pair of work pants from NY&Co. to replace some old, unwearable ones I got rid of recently, but that’s it! I did, however, make a couple purchases from Birchbox, Elf, and a couple of discretionary purchases here and there, including the aforementioned Memebox. I guess it’s not horrible, but it definitely feels like a fail. I haven’t decided if/how I want to continue this planned shopping hiatus.

IMG_2595Which brings me to another point: I have made the decision to go cruelty-free moving forward in regards to cosmetics and body care! I am thinking I’ll dedicate an entire post sometime this month about my reasons and how I plan on applying this in my life (hint: I’m not throwing everything out, but I will be strictly cruelty-free moving forward). I am also learning to DIY my own body-care (so far) and hopefully makeup too. How cool would that be??

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, even if it’s just to say hi! πŸ™‚ As always, thanks for reading!

XO Ali

Anavita Moisturizing Anti-Wrinkle Cream Review & Giveaway

Happy Thursday people!!

Shew, it’s been a while since my last post, right? Well, I’m here today to tell you about a new moisturizing cream I was sent to review! As the title indicates, it is a super moisturizing anti-wrinkle cream by the brand Anavita.

IMG_2557I received my full-size sample last week and have been using it daily after washing my face ever since. What first drew me to the company was the fact that they are a cruelty-free company, something I’ve been researching quite a bit lately. In addition, the formula contains absolutely no parabens, sulfates or drying alcohol.

Other claims include:

  • Super absorbent
  • Stimulates collage
  • Reduces fine lines and deep wrinkles
  • Can be used as an anti-wrinkle cream, moisturizer, day cream, night cream, peptide cream, and makeup base
  • Non-irritating and safe for all skin types (I have very sensitive skin!)
  • Visible results within 2-4 weeks and continuing improvement for 12 weeks or sooner
  • Leaves skin firmer, tighter, more toned, moisturized and youthful–looking

*I have bolded the claims I have been able to confirm so far

I’ve seen a lot of creams out there that claim to have similar qualities, so I was a bit skeptical, especially with how dry and sensitive my skin is, plus the formation of fine lines around my eyes as I get older. However, I am sincerely blown away by the results I have seen after just one week. With the dry winter weather and sub-zero temps, I have been applying this cream every evening after I cleanse my face, and occasionally in the mornings prior to makeup application. I think if I switch to the recommended twice daily application, it will help with my dry skin even more, as my makeup and cleansers still leave my skin a tiny bit dry.

IMG_2558I can already feel the firmness of my skin changing. I swear it feels bouncier than it has in a long time, and I have noticed the skin where my crows feet lay getting fuller and filling in the wrinkles. The texture of Anavita’s anti-wrinkle cream is very thick, non-greasy, and reminds me of a leave-in conditioner cream. When I applied it, it sat on top my skin for a few minutes, which worried me that I applied too much. However, it was completely absorbed within 5-10 minutes of application and served as a smooth makeup base.

Anavita is offering a $5 off coupon right now that you can use to get your very own jar! The price is approximately $30 on Amazon, with the coupon bringing it down to about $25. The coupon code is FEBBAC28. The code is good until March 22, 2015 and must be used during the checkout process on Amazon.com.

IMG_2554If you are interested, Anavita is offering my readers a chance to win a jar of this lovely cream. Click the link below to enter πŸ™‚ Giveaway opens today and ends next Friday (March 6th) at 11:59 p.m. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories, and you must register your entries on Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

To learn more about Anavita, check out their social media pages:

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This sponsored post was powered by Brandbacker!

XO Ali