Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Neutrogena Mask Collection "It's in the Gel"


I recently received samples from Neutrogena, for their Gel face mask line.  Before I do my review, I am going to go over the bran a bit.

About the Product
Get to Know the Neutrogena® Mask Collection

Neutrogena® Hydrogel Sheet Masks
Innovative technology from South Korea fuses nourishing essences with a polymer derived from seaweed to form a translucent, flexible sheet. Easy to apply, wear, and remove, Hydrogel conforms to the contours of the face.
The mask creates a barrier, helping intense hydrators and other ingredients work with skin. 

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask: This moisturizing face mask with hyaluronic acid instantly quenches dry skin and contours to your skin for optimal absorption, leaving it supple and hydrated.

Radiance Boost Brightening 100% Hydrogel Mask: Boosts skin’s radiance and smooth skin’s texture. This innovative hydrogel face mask with vitamin B3 leaves your skin looking luminous, evenly toned, and radiant.

Deep Clean® Purifying 100% Hydrogel Mask: Instantly hydrates for refreshed skin. This peel-off hydrogel face mask with seaweed extract contains 50% more essence than ordinary paper masks leaving your skin purified and healthy looking.

Neutrogena® Single-Use Mask Shots
Each Neutrogena® individual mask shot contains one dose of a formula tailored to the needs of different skin types.
Packaged in neat, portable pods, they’re perfect for travel or use on the go. 
Each mask shot is sealed for maximum freshness until it’s opened and applied.

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask: Wake up to hydrated, supple skin. This moisturizing overnight face mask with hyaluronic acid wraps skin in a deep gel cream while you sleep for smooth, soft skin. 

Deep Clean® Purifying Wash-Off Clay Mask: Gently cleanses and purifies skin. This wash-off clay mask targets 100% of impurities to leave your skin feeling soft and healthy looking.

Learn About the Brand
Neutrogena, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, began its success story when, in 1930, founder Emanuel Stolaroff, started a small specialty cosmetic company called Natone. In the early years, Natone was a supplier to beauty salons usually associated with the glamour of the film industry. By the 1940's, Natone began manufacturing and distributing cosmetics for the retail market.

In 1954 on a business trip to Europe, Stolaroff heard of an unusual soap developed by Dr. Edmond Fromont, a Belgian cosmetic chemist. Fromont's patented formula produced a mild, clear soap that rinsed quickly and easily from the skin, leaving essentially no soap residue. Eleven minutes after washing with this unique soap, the skin was able to return to its normal pH - just one minute more than if it had been washed with only plain water!

Stolaroff believed there was a market for such a high quality soap and arranged to import and distribute the Neutrogena brand product in the United States. Setting the course for future growth, he emphasized the transparency of the soap to clearly communicate its difference. In addition, he targeted sales to new distribution channels-department stores and better drug stores.

By 1962, Neutrogena soap was so synonymous with the company image that the company was officially changed to Neutrogena. Lloyd Cotsen, an Integral member of the Neutrogena family, became president of the company in 1967 and made another key decision that would profoundly influence the future of the company-to promote the benefits of Neutrogena soap to the medical profession. The strong relationship between Neutrogena and dermatologists gave the company an exceptional competitive advantage.

As Neutrogena gained a unique acceptance by the medical profession, a new emphasis was directed toward marketing and research efforts to create a line of safe, mild, premium quality skincare products. In 1973, the company went public and by 1980, Neutrogena entered the haircare market.

Today, Neutrogena manufactures and markets a line of premium priced skin and hair care products which are distributed in more than 70 countries.

Now, more than ever, today's consumers equate health with beauty. Neutrogena stands naturally poised for tremendous future growth and an ever increasing number of satisfied customers.  

*There is also these products*


For the Brightening Mask to be completely honest I didn't notice a difference as far as tone wise, but then again we all know I can't girl and I wasn't sure what I was looking for. With that aside my face did feel smooth and extremely hydrated which is amazing because im still struggling with the winter weather dryness.

Wash off clay mask- omg I love this stuff!! the sample came with enough for me to do is a good 3 times.  I feel like it made my skin so clean, and this is weird considering I was my face daily.  Not only did it feel so clean my skin looked healthy and was so soft.

Purifying Mask my face felt refreshed like it got a boost of energy.  it also felt hydrated and smooth.

I am looking forward to using these products long term and see the impact that it will have on my skincare regimen. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Coping with Infertility: How to Manage the Stress of IVF

Infertility can rob you of the joy of parenthood, temporarily or otherwise, but it can also cause you intense feelings of stress. 
Right away, you’re putting intense pressure on yourself. You may also have extreme pressure at work. The stress can be incredible. Fortunately, you can learn to cope with the stress of your current situation.
Intense Pressure for Successful IVF
In a research study, scientists evaluated both partners of couples dealing with infertility. All couples were in the process of trying in vitro fertilization. What the research showed was that all the people in the study were experiencing intense stress. The concentrated focus on having a child was the most stressful factor for both men and women. 
Work Pressures
Because in vitro is so costly, people who are going through it also felt stressed about work issues. They may need to put in more hours, take on more work, or move to a higher-paying job. The job pressures not only add to their stress, but also often leave them exhausted at a time when they want to be physically at their best.
The Effect of Stress on IVF
Another study found that both men and women had better results in the IVF program when they were less stressed. You can’t eliminate all the stressors. They’re just part of the package. What you can do, though, is to learn how to manage the stress better so that it has less of an effect on your body and mind.
Shift Focus at Times
If you’re in IVF, you’re there for a reason. You want a child so badly that you’re willing to go through the effort and expense. That’s a wonderful thing! However, dwelling on that goal constantly can hurt more than it helps. 
It’s a good idea to shift focus at times. Do activities that have nothing to do with children. Go on dates with your partner and do something you both enjoy. Concentrate on the moment you’re sharing rather than anything that might happen afterwards. 
Manage Your Work Life
Your job stress can be incredible at this time when you need to cover the cost of IVF, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover it. What can you do? You have to do what it takes, right?
While you might not be able to work less, you can probably reduce the pressure you feel at work. Take time to enjoy your breaks more. Go out for a quiet lunch with a friend. 
Do your job as well as you can, certainly, but when it’s done, don’t rethink what you “should” have done. Then, when the day is over and you’re back home, allow yourself to put your job out of your consciousness until your next workday.

Talking to a psychologist gives you a chance to understand the forces behind the stress you feel. It’s also helpful way to learn coping skills you can use now and apply to your life no matter how it changes later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Depression and New Moms: Is It Postpartum Depression or Just Exhaustion?

Parents are busy people. Always trying to make everyone happy and forgetting to take care of themselves. And if you are a woman who just had a baby, you have those hormones to deal with along with all of the other tasks and the list of to-do items on your plate every single day. Women tend to put everyone else first and we do not think about our own needs until they are pretty much staring us in the face. Especially when it comes to our health. Both physical and mental health is important, especially as a new mom. You cannot properly take care of your family if you do not take care of yourself. So, how can you tell if you are just tired and overworked or if you are suffering from postpartum depression
The Signs of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is more common than you may think. In fact, more than 10% of women are affected by postpartum depression at least once in their life. You really need to consider talking to a professional but right now you can just think about how you have been feeling lately. Have you been feeling sad or lonely? Thinking you just cannot do this anymore? Maybe you are starting to think that you are never going to be a good mom and that you are doing a horrible job. Are you feeling helpless or overwhelmed? These are some definite signs of depression. Here are some others:
  • Sudden bouts of crying for no obvious reason
  • Extreme fatigue (more than usual)
  • Being tired but you cannot fall asleep or wake up often
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Weight gain or loss (may be due to the above symptom)
  • Lack of interest in things you usually like to do such as your favorite hobbies or watching your favorite shows
  • Vague aches and pains or digestive issues
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions (even little ones like which socks to wear)
  • Feeling empty, useless, or hopeless
  • Avoiding your loved ones
  • Forgetting things more than usual
  • Irritability or anger for no obvious reason
  • Thinking of hurting yourself or others
Cause of Postpartum Depression
There is no specific cause of postpartum depression in general but there are several risk factors. Some of these include:
  • Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Family history of postpartum depression
  • Previous mental health conditions
  • Complications during birth
  • Premature birth
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Financial hardship
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Relationship issues
Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Although it may be difficult to admit, you have to seek help if you have any of the signs or the above risk factors of postpartum depression. You may think you are strong enough to get through it and while you may be right about that, you do not want to take that chance, do you? Your baby depends on you and so do the rest of your loved ones. And, believe it or not, there are many people who have gone through this and can help you. Talk therapy, counseling, or medication can all be helpful in this situation. Either way, you need to talk to someone right away and you can do this from the comfort of your own home now with online therapy. Just contact a therapist on and they will help you through this, no need for an appointment. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Parental Depression: Moms Need Help Too

No matter how many children you have or how old they are, just being a mom is tough. Whether you are a single mom or even if you have the most supportive and wonderful husband or partner. Anyone can be affected by depression, but moms are affected more often than others. In fact, women are twice as likely to have depression than men. As a mother, we tend to ignore our feelings and our health because we have to worry about everyone else but the problem with that is, if something happens to us, those people who need our care will not have us to care for them anymore. So, it is essential that you talk to someone if you think you may have depression
How Do You Know if You Have Depression?
Let’s face it: we, as mothers, do not like to consider that there may be something wrong with us. We are Super Moms” and nothing can stop us from our jobs of getting up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast, wake and feed everyone, make lunches, drive the kids to school, keep the baby happy while you do the grocery shopping, do the laundry, make dinner, pick up the kids from school, drive the kids to their soccer games and dance recitals, etc. Yes, it is a never-ending list of chores that you need to do every single day. And when you think you can relax on the weekends, you have to take the kids to their friend’s house, help with homework, do more laundry, make more breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and do more shopping with the baby. That does not even include the work we do to make a living in between all of our chores. Wow, it is no wonder why women get depressed more than men! 
Symptoms of Depression
Although you may just be feeling overwhelmed (for good reason), what you are experiencing may be depression. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:
• Lack of energy
• Feeling sad for longer than two weeks for no obvious reason
• Sleeping changes (sleeping more or less than usual)
• Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
• Eating more than usual or lack of appetite
• Low self-esteem
• Chronic fatigue
• Avoiding friends and family
• Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
• Memory loss
• Feeling hopeless or empty
• More irritable than usual
• Thoughts of suicide
Talk to Someone
When you start feeling like you just do not care about anything and cannot drag yourself out of bed, it is past time to talk to someone. You need to get treatment because it really does help. It may be that you have a chemical imbalance or that your hormones are out of whack. Or it may be that you just need to talk to someone and work things out in your mind on how to deal with the feelings going on inside you. Whatever you need, believe it or not, you can feel better. Many people with depression think that the feelings will pass on its own or that nothing can help you. But, studies show that over 80% of those people with depression who get treatment felt better within one month. Don’t you want to feel better? It is time to talk to someone. At, they have over 2,000 licensed therapists, counselors, and psychologists available without an appointment. And you do not even have to leave your home so you can do it from bed or that favorite spot on the couch. So, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

16 months strong

DISCLAIMER: In no way am I saying breastfeeding is better for everyone, fed is best! 

Let’s talk breastfeeding, when I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, heck prior to even getting pregnant I knew I wanted to do this. So when the time was right I got my prescription and got everything in place for a breast pump. I got the spectra s2 pump and the kindii twist system. I thought I was ready to go, that my body was going to do what it needed to do to continue supporting my babies. Isn’t that funny after knowing my body has a mind of its own with the whole fertility thing I had this silly thought that my body figured it all out. 

True to nature we had a rocky start to say the least. The twins were born early and ended up in the nicu. I was on all kinds of medicine due to my condition. So I didn’t get to start pumping or getting them to latch until the next day. Mind you when babies are born early your body needs time to realize it’s time to start making the “milkies” (nobody tells you this part until after the fact). You first have what’s call colostrum (liquid gold), this is actually the most potent milk and is really amazing for babies first few days. I assumed that my body would automatically make enough for not only one baby but two (there I go assuming again). Boy was I wrong, thank god they were on donor milk for the first few days so I could build up a tiny stash for them, or so I thought. 

We latched them every feeding before giving them what I managed to pump for them in hopes of them stimulating my supply to kick in and make more. There came the time that I had dreaded. I wasn’t keeping up to their needs and they had to be supplemented with formula, this was devastating and my first thought at giving up. My next came when neither of them liked my left side, to this day my left is my slacker. With supplementing them with formula there was two scenarios, either my supply would come in and we could take them off of it completely or the would have to be supplemented the whole time. I found an amazing product, Milky Mama Treats, and within a month of using them not only did my supply come in 10 fold but I was able to completely take them off of supplemental formula. 

While breastfeeding is not for everyone, and that is completely ok, for me it was something I felt so strongly and determined to do. I am grateful that we are now 16 months strong. I was determined to donate milk since the twins where given donor milk while in the NICU. I am so pleased to say that I was able to donate over 200oz to two different families in need.  This is something I am extremely proud and humbled by. Someone was selfless and donated to help my babies so it made me feel so amazing to be able to give back and help others. Not only that in the milk bath photoshoot we did to document this amazing journey, I was able to have my milk mixed in the bath. I am now on the hunt for the perfect breastmilk jewelry (if you have had pieces made please let me know your recommendations), I am excited to be able to have something made from my milk that will last a lifetime.  This whole experience is something that I am extremely grateful for as well as proud of.  I was able to nourish my children for 8 months in the womb and now another 16 while being earth side. The bond that I have made with these two will be my most precious gift. 

Photography credit: Jenny Murphy Photography 
Flower Crowns: Made By Mae

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

High Functioning Depression

High Functioning Depression doesn’t look like depression at all. In fact, you might not know that someone with this condition is depressed. Depressed people sleep a lot and are unmotivated. They are hopeless and don’t want to see friends and family. This is the exact opposite of someone with High Functioning Depression. The workaholic, the honors student and the champion gymnast are examples of people who have High Functioning Depression. They are overachievers and often seem like perfectionists. On the surface they seem to be highly successful and motivated individuals, but inside they are hurting. They are suffering but you would never suspect this to be the case. That’s because depression doesn’t look the same on each person. Depression is like a piece of clothing; it may look one way on one person and totally different on another person. Remember that even though your friend or loved one seems like they’re super busy and productive that doesn’t mean that they’re happy necessarily. They could be avoiding their problems and diverting themselves by overworking or excessively exercising. None of us want to feel hopeless. It’s important to learn the symptoms of High Functioning Depression. That way you can be mindful of them for yourself and others around you. Do you find yourself overworking to avoid your feelings? Does this sound like you or someone that you know? Read more about High Functioning Depression here.

Infographic credit:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Postpartum Depression or Just Overwhelmed?

Motherhood is hard enough without having to deal with postpartum depression. Everything that makes being a mother so wonderful can also make it the most stressful and difficult job on the planet. And, for those of you who say motherhood is not a job, you are probably not a mother. Women with postpartum depression have the usual feelings of soreness and tiredness of just having a baby plus feelings of extreme anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, sadness, and even suicidal thoughts. But, how do you know whether you have postpartum depression or are just stressed out from the usual new mother activities and hormonal fluctuations?
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Up to 20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. That is approximately 900,000 women in the United States every year. According to the American Psychological Association, about one out of every seven women experience postpartum depression at some point in their lives. There are serious differences between postpartum depression and normal stress or anxiety. Some of the most common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and being overwhelmed
  • Bouts of aggression or crying for no apparent reason
  • Sleeping less or more than usual, unable to stay asleep
  • Extreme fatigue or no energy at all
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Loss of interest in things that you usually enjoy
  • Vague aches, pains, and digestive disturbances
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Avoiding people or public places
  • Inability to bond with your baby
  • Afraid to be alone with your baby
  • Thinking you are not a good mother
  • Periods of rage or anger for no reason
  • Not wanting to care for your baby
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby

Get Some Help
You do not have to face this alone. Talk to someone right away even if it is a stranger. Some women feel so guilty about feeling this way that they are unable to talk to anyone about it. However, you should not feel guilty since this is not your fault. Postpartum depression is usually caused by an imbalance in your hormones or chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a common occurrence that often goes overlooked unless something tragic happens. Do not wait until something horrible happens. Talk to someone now to get the help you need. If you do not want to talk to someone you know, you can speak to a professional online who can help you. Online therapy is easy, very affordable, and you do not even need to leave your home. You can talk to someone today and do not even need an appointment. 

If you or someone you love has thoughts of suicide or harming someone else, you can call the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at 1-888-333-2377 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.