Product Review…Dr. Brandt Pores No More Cleanser


For All Your Beauty Advice…

I’ve been using this cleanser for about 3 months now, and thought I would give you my thoughts.

Dr. Brandt skin care is a well-known skin care line that is known for its quality products, with high performance, without a prescription. Usually that means expensive! The entire “Pores No More” line is pricey, but overall, I think it’s worth it.

This cleanser is designed for combination to oily skin, and since my skin falls into that category, I thought I would give it a try. It’s a really nice consistency with small granules to gently scrub on a daily basis. It’s not heavily scented, and I know that’s important to a lot of you.

It did a great job of keeping my oily skin in check, and over the 3 months I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed a big difference in the texture of my skin, and my pores looking smaller.

It costs $35 for 3.5 ounces, but a look at the website today showed a sale price, so if you are looking to try it, now is the time! Even full price, I don’t think this is too bad for a cleanser, when you think about how long it will last.

But, there is ONE thing I need to warn you about…most products have the disclaimer on them to “keep away from the eye area”. If you try this cleanser, this is something you want to take VERY seriously! Get this product anywhere near your eyes, and you’ll think you’re dying! I’m not kidding! When you’re washing your face, it’s impossible not to get water near your eyes, but I’ve never used a cleanser that has burned my eyes this much. So, if you try it, hold a wash cloth over your eyes while you’re cleansing.

Bottom line: I would buy this again because of what it does for my skin, but the excruciating eye pain would make me think twice before I spend $35 on it!

Have you used this cleanser, or anything by Dr. Brandt? Tell me your thoughts!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside out…Days 20 & 21


Well, my challenge is over today. Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to do this, and to all of you who followed my days!

Day 20: Not a bad day. I did get hit by the snack monster on this day, but I’ve realized this is a huge sign of boredom. I get bored, I snack, I feel like crap when I’m done. A clear indication that I have to get a hobby and keep my mind and my hands busy!

Day 21: Today has been a good day. I had my chocolate/almond breakfast shake to start my day, did day 4 of my new workout, and only snacked a little on some Special K popped chip/rice cake things. Big victory for me when I passed the box along to share with my kids instead of inhaling the whole thing!!

I haven’t checked yet to see if there was any weight lost with this challenge, but I have noticed that taking care of me on the inside has affected what’s on the outside when it comes to hair, skin, and nails.

My hair looks healthier…shiny and it doesn’t feel lifeless. My nails look great. I keep them pretty short for a few reasons: #1 long nails get in the way of typing, and #2 I tend to be a biter! (Horrible, I know!) But they keep growing, and they haven’t been splitting or peeling.

I noticed the biggest improvement in my skin. It feels less oily because I’ve been drinking so much water, it’s been pretty clear of any breakouts, and it just has a healthier glow than it did 21 days ago.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is, how fast 21 days goes by! I’ve looked at challenges in the past and thought there was no way I could do something consistently for 21 days or more. Well, I proved myself wrong! I did it, and that’s a victory in itself!!

So, what’s next? Well, I’m doing a new workout and it starts with a 28 day challenge and I am 4 days into it. It’s fun, but it’s hard! I won’t be documenting that on a daily basis, but I will mention it every now and then. Now that I finished 21 days of paying attention to what I’m eating, 28 days of following a workout program doesn’t seem so daunting.

Other than that, it’s back to product reviews! Once I started this challenge, I was truly amazed at how many people told me to get back on those reviews. Well, I have a bathroom full of products I can’t wait to tell you all about! Thanks again for all the kind words and encouragement!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 19


Today was day 2 of my new workout program I started, and all I can say is, WOW and OW!!! My muscles are on fire! So far, they’re fun workouts, so let’s hope it stays that way so I don’t get bored.

I got a little “snacky” today, and I had a heavier lunch than I should have. Dinner is very light for me, and of course, my friend Chardonnay will be paying me a visit…or two…or three. I really hate that you have to count wine in your points, but it does open your eyes and make you realize how much you have, and it sucks to see those extra weekly points dwindle because of a drink…or two…or three!

That’s about it for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey so far. It’s amazing that my challenge is over in just a few days; this went by really fast for me!

Have a great night everyone!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 18


Staying on track was good today. Like I’ve said before, I’m not a breakfast person, but I’ve started to realize that when I make the effort to eat breakfast, I usually eat well for the rest of the day. Today I started my day with a chocolate breakfast shake with almond butter in it. Chocolate covered almonds are a weakness of mine, so to have something for breakfast that tasted like one of my favorite treats was definitely a plus.

Along with eating right, I know it’s important to work out and work up a good sweat. Working out makes you feel good, and it gets the blood circulating, and that makes your skin look good, and over time, it helps with your hair and nails.

I started a new workout today; it’s a new dvd set I bought recently. Have you heard of Hip Hop Abs? I got it for a few reasons. #1, it was on a pretty good sale. (I got it through Beachbody. I’m not a coach, but I know someone who is, so if you ever need a connection there, let me know and I’ll pass her info on to you!) #2, the idea of the workout is to get good-looking abs without having to do sit-ups (sign me up!) and #3, Shaun T., the trainer keeps the workout fun, fast-paced, and he’s really easy on the eyes…OMG, is he easy on the eyes. He definitely keeps my attention! 🙂

Today’s workout was fun, and it went by fast…that’s huge for me! If you give me a good dance routine, I’ll go with it and not notice how long it’s going to last. If you tell me to do 100 squats, you lose me after 10.

So, my WW 21-day challenge is about up, but I might keep you posted with my new workout I started today. We’ll see!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Days 15-17


Another challenging weekend, but I survived! The funny thing is, my weekends are usually very calm, so the fact that I’ve had back-to-back challenging weekends is just perfect since I’m sharing with everyone, right? Here’s a recap:

Day 15: Date night with my hubby. My husband is a very busy man, so having an entire evening set aside for dinner and a movie was definitely special this week. He took me to a very nice Italian restaurant and then we went to a movie. Once I looked at the menu, I knew I was not going to be able to stay on track 100%. And you know what? That’s ok. That’s what I love about WW; it really supports the world we live in. We had appetizers, we had our main course, and we had dessert. Then we had popcorn at the movie. I’m not too worried because it was a special night and it’s not like we go out all the time. Fun night, good food, special time with my man.

Day 16: I made a pretty indulgent dinner for my family, but still managed to stay within my points. The big thing I noticed when I indulge is, I can only eat about half of what I used to eat when I decided to be “bad”. That is a victory in itself, because in the past I would eat and clear my plate and then feel awful. I stopped when I was full, and didn’t feel awful!

Day 17: Got right back on track today and had a good day. It feels good to cheat here and there, but getting back on the wagon and knowing I’m doing the right thing for my body (and my vanity) feels good!

Just a few more days with this challenge, but I will continue with WW. I’ve thought of a few other challenges I might want to share. Are you interested? Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 14


Officially 2 weeks into my 3 week challenge! Thanks for staying with me, if you’ve been reading along. I haven’t been perfect in this self-challenge, but I’ve learned some things in the past few weeks and I’ll take that knowledge and put it to use as I move forward. And yes, I do plan to move forward after the 21 days is over, and continue to count WW points.

Today was a good day. I had some cravings, but I’ve noticed when my cravings start to get out of control, that means I need to eat. I made a yummy smoked salmon pizza on a whole wheat tortilla for lunch today. Paired with a big salad, it was very filling and I didn’t have a huge urge to snack in the late afternoon. I did snack, but I kept it healthy.

I’m looking forward to going into this weekend with a clear head, and no obstacles since I will be home all weekend…yay! I haven’t moved as much as I should have this week, and I’m feeling lazy, so it’s time to get a good workout in tomorrow! I’m starting a new exercise program on Monday and I’m looking forward to that!

How was your day?

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 13


Today was a good day, but I’m wishing I was more active so far this week. I’ve been taking it easy, and I need to get moving more. I know eating right and exercising go hand in hand, and I know that those two lifestyle changes make for glowing skin, shiny hair, and healthy nails, but sometimes it’s hard to get moving.

I want to share a really good recipe with you! We went meatless today. My youngest has become a pescatarian and I’m doing my best to support her in this new way of eating. Tonight we had Greek Spinach and Feta Lasagna. It sounds a little odd, but it was really good. Here you go!

1 – 15oz. container of fat-free ricotta cheese
1 – 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups shredded fat-free mozzarella (the recipe calls for fat-free, I could only find low-fat)
4 oz. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
8 kalamata olives, chopped (the recipe calls for 8, my daughters love them, so they requested double that next time)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 – 24oz. jar fat-free tomato-basil marinara sauce
9 oven ready no-boil lasagna noodles (If you can’t find these, you can prepare the dish an hour or so before you bake it, giving the sauce time to get into the noodles and make them moist and then they’ll cook thoroughly when you bake it)

Preheat oven to 375, spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, olives, egg, oregano in large bowl and mix well.
Spread one-fourth (about 3/4 cup) of tomato sauce over bottom of baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread half (about 2 cups)of ricotta mixture over noodles. Spread one-fourth more tomato sauce. Repeat layering once more with 3 noodles, remaining half of ricotta mixture, and one-fourth more tomato sauce. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, the last of the sauce, and 1 cup of mozzarella.
Lightly spray sheet of foil with nonstick spray; cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese melts and lasagna is heated through and bubbling.

This serves 8 and is 6 WW points per serving. We loved it! Let me know if you try it, and what you think!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 12


You know what is challenging me right now? No, not chips and popcorn! Drinking enough water. I know how important it is for you, but it seems like such a pain to make it happen and I don’t like to chug it all day. I like seltzer water and I wonder if that’s ok to drink in place of regular water. Not sure, but it’s what I’m doing most of the time. I try to do things to make water more appealing to me, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Have any of you tried those water enhancers? Some of them come in powder to make your water a juice, and the trendy thing now is the flavored drops that you squeeze in your water. I’ve tried them, and I’m still not a fan! The ones I’ve tried leave a strange feeling in my mouth and have a funny aftertaste.

Staying within my points range has been good, now that I’m back home. I can’t believe how many obstacles I was faced with while I was gone. It’s amazing what getting out of your comfort zone can do to you!

I’m halfway through this challenge right now, and I feel good about it. I haven’t stepped on the scale to check if there has been any progress in that area, but my skin looks really good, and when I do drink enough of that darn water, I notice I have a lot less oil to deal with on my face. I’ve told people for years that oily skin is a big sign of dehydration, and now I’m seeing that first-hand. I’m not dehydrated internally, so externally that’s showing. Also, my nails seem to have grown pretty fast in the last 12 days and they’re not peeling or chipping. Victory!

So, tell me what you do to get more water into your body!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Day 11


Well, I’m still coming off my quick weekend trip and I did good today. I’m exhausted, so I’ll keep this short.

This is the first time traveling that I have ever felt so dehydrated, it’s crazy! I’m thirsty and tired, and I am ready for bed. I feel like an old woman! Ha ha! My day started good with a protein packed breakfast and a light lunch. I kept it all in check with roasted veggies and salmon for dinner.

This last weekend taught me so much! I realized how good I feel and look when I put the right foods into my body. Most important, I really understood the importance of water. I know it’s important, but most of the time I just don’t care because I hate water. I have gained a new respect for something so simple!

I am more than halfway through this self-challenge and even though I’ve had some challenges and a set-back this weekend, I feel good about it. A good night’s sleep is on tap for tonight and a good workout is on the agenda for tomorrow!

Have a good night, everyone!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty From The Inside Out…Days 8-10


Weekends are hard…very hard! When I first started this challenge, I started it on a Friday, so going into the weekend was a challenge, but I was still motivated and driven to get through the weekend.

Let’s fast-forward to this following weekend. I found myself in a situation that I hoped wouldn’t make me fall off the wagon, but fall off, I did!

I made a very fast trip back to Colorado to see my family for the weekend. For those of you who know me personally, please understand why I didn’t mention I was coming back to Colorado. My time there was very short, and when you throw a snowstorm in the mix, it was even shorter. So, here’s the recap by day:

Day 8: (The calm before the storm) I had a very small breakfast because I knew I would be eating lunch out, and I really didn’t do too bad at lunch. I shared an appetizer and then had a chicken and shrimp entrée, so I had the confidence that I was still on track. Here’s where Friday went Kaput! I met with my sisters for dinner at a very nice restaurant. Originally, we had a family dinner planned for Saturday, but we were pretty sure that white crap that falls from the sky had different plans for us, so to make sure I saw everyone in my family, the sisters went to dinner. It was decadent, it was yummy, it was way too much! I found myself feeling like it hurt to take a deep breath! I felt bad physically, but emotionally I felt satisfied…maybe it had to do with the wine, laughter, and yummy desserts.

Day 9: The snow came in as expected and didn’t let up all day. When I had planned my trip to see my family, we had planned on a big family dinner. Knowing the Colorado weather is really unpredictable, we went ahead and made our huge meal, hoping it would let up. It didn’t let up, but here we had a ton of comfort food that had been prepared all day, so what were we going to do? Eat it, of course!

Day 10: I slept like crap overnight before heading out of Colorado and back home to California (Yes, CA is home now). I had eaten too much the night before, and I was anxious about getting home and hoping nothing would be cancelled due to crappy weather. (FYI, I don’t care if CO needs the moisture, I HATE snow, and I didn’t care to see it, and I sure as hell didn’t miss it!) I met my kids at the airport because they had been with their dad, and we started our 5+ hour journey home. Again, I didn’t eat breakfast, I had a mediocre, yet horribly expensive airport lunch during a layover, so when my husband suggested McDonald’s for dinner when we finally got home, there was no argument from me.

The lesson learned this weekend was this: I am human (I’ll say that a lot!), I let stress and inconvenience get the best of me, and I felt like 100% crap that I had put all this indulgent food into my body. My skin looked bad, and felt extra oily, there were bags under my eyes that I could have packed my luggage in, and my stomach was in constant turmoil.

I am completely looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow and having some clean meals. I also really noticed how much traveling dehydrates you.

Word of advice, remember your fruits and veggies, drink water, and get your rest! Although I felt bad physically because of the weekend, I don’t feel bad emotionally. I’m learning how to do this! Plus, it was really good to see my family, even for a short time.

Have a great start to the week!

You’ve Been Beautified!