Secret Natural Mineral Antiperspirant/Deodorant

Warning: I’m getting personal now (as if I wasn’t already personal about my scalp excema). But that’s the point right? Try a product and tell you what I think of it. Here goes…

A friend of mine once told me that someone told her that women don’t sweat… they “glow”. Yeah, ok, I like that. It sounds so much more “feminine”. Well, my “glowing underarms” end up not smelling like roses if I don’t cover them up with a good product. But who says women smell. They don’t “smell”… they “radiate scent”, but that doesn’t change the fact. Anyway, back to my review.

I tried Secret Natural Mineral in Lemongrass mint scent. What attracted me to it? The “natural” appeal, the fact that it’s an antiperspirant and a deodorant in one, and mint. I just like mint. It just says “yummy smell”, like a really good dessert. I was doubting the “natural” part since the first ingredient listed is aluminium. Is aluminium natural? I usually try to give a product at least a few weeks of adjustment before I pass judgement, so that’s what I did. I found that it worked pretty well to mask the odor and also reduce the “glowing”. But, one downfall is that is covers up the underarm so well that an almost impossible to remove sticky film gets, well, stuck there. Washing with a lathered loofa like it was coarse sandpaper wasn’t even enough to remove it.  Now that can’t be good… blocking my pores that badly. It seems extreme, so I stopped using it.

Final score: 2.5 out of 5

I’ll soon be writing reviews on the other brands I am trying, including a “pure & natural action, 24h gentle care” deodorant that should be banned from the shelves. Stay tuned.

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Centrios Speed to Sound Clock Radio for use with iPod/iPhone

A few years back, I was getting annoyed with waking up to the radio in the morning. I’d get up in a bad mood after having the morning news disturb my beauty sleep. I asked for a “Zen” alarm clock for Christmas, to help me wake up gradually. What a treat… for a few months. Until I had to move it further away from my bed as it was too easy to turn off. That worked, for another few months, until I just didn’t hear it anymore.

I’ve had an iPod Touch for about a year now and realized I could use it as an alarm clock and pick the music to which I wanted to wake up. So I went on a search for a docking station. My criteria: small, less than 50$, dull clock backlight (I like the darkness), dual alarm, and a “nice to have” sleep function to fall asleep with soothing music.

I found the Centrios Speed to Sound Clock Radio for use with iPod/iPhone. The box (and the sales guy) said it meets all my needs. And it does, but I discovered more needs as I started using it. Like being able to control the alarm volume… The Centrios doesn’t allow you to customize the wake-up volume and the default? MAX volume… on both the clock radio and the iPod. Even when you’re “sleep” function volume is low, you wake up feeling like you’re standing next to the speakers at a night club. I think I like the radio better.

I’m returning my Centrios and will keep looking. I might have to up my price a bit.

Final score: 2 out of 5

Tassimo vs Keurig

Ok, first things first… One word: Starbucks. The Tassimo brews Starbucks t-discs. Not just one type of Starbucks coffee, 5 kinds of Starbucks coffee, plus Starbucks Cappucino. What more can one want?
*** 2012/01/02 Update: Starbucks no longer produces Tassimo t-discs 😦 ***

All right, not everyone likes what I like. That’s why I will try my best to be objective about the Tassimo versus the Keurig coffee brewing systems. Honestly, I think both are just as good. It really depends on your personal taste and what you’re looking for in an individual coffee brewing system.

I suck at making coffee. Literally. Using a traditional coffee maker, my java was always either too strong or too watery. Whenever I had company over for dinner, I’d get one of my guests to make the coffee. How embarrassing is that?! Any single-serve coffee system would improve my coffee ten-fold, no doubt about it.

What I enjoy about the Tassimo (I’m on my second version of the machine) is the ability to make more than simple coffee or tea: Lattes, cappucinos, chai latte, etc. If you don’t like that stuff, then the Keurig might be better for you. Although I have heard Keurig users complain that its coffees are not strong enough. Personally, the Kahlua flavoured coffee is yummy.

Really, list what you want in a coffee maker to help you make a decision and buy your machine at a “client satisfaction guaranteed” store so you can easily return it if you don’t like it. My two-cents.

Tassimo final score: 4 out of 5

Ms Vicky’s Unsalted Chips

For health reasons, we’ve been gradually cutting out sugar and salt from our family’s diet. The toughest part for both my hubby and I has been chips. We already eat ealthy, so it hasn’t been a shock for us. But on occasion, we enjoy the crunchy, tasty, yummy little round potato slices as a snack. So cutting them out entirely was a little tougher.

One day, while doing the groceries, in the snacks aisle, I was grieving giving up my crunchy fav when I “stumbled” across what seemed like a beam of light coming right at me. Awe struck, I was mesmerized by Miss Vickie’s UNSALTED hand made style chips. No salt??? Really? I had seen “reduced salt” and “lighlty salted” but never unsalted. And these are kettle style chips, so they’re cooked so we can actually taste something other than salt.

I picked up a bag and we tasted them that evening. Yum-my!!! We ate the whole bag. Ok, so we actually shouldn’t be eating the whole bag – they are still starchy potatoes. But we just couldn’t resist.

These beauties are crunchy like no other chip, they taste like, well… potatoes. A lot. It’s just potatoes and vegetable oil. The oil being the only downside. I prefer sunflower oil.

The best part? 0 sodium, 0 sugar. And the fact that a lot of them are folded in half. Did you know you need to make a wish before you eat a folded chip?

They are more expensive than other brands, but they are totally worth the price.

Final score: 4 out of 5 (had to take a point for price)

Biolage Scalp Therapy Shampoo

I have recently switched my shampoo to Biolage Scalp Therapy Shampoo. Although I have colored hair (shhh… don’t tell anyone I have grey hair underneath), I started having a bit of excema on my scalp at the top of my neckline. Have I grossed you out yet? Don’t worry, it didn’t show. Now it shows even less, ’cause it’s gone!

Excema is related to stress and fear. Yes, I was feeling that way and using Biolage’s Scalp Therapy shampoo helped tremendously to get rid of it while I worked on my stress. It also smells really good. Bonus!

Overall, it works great on my hair. It looks healthy, it has plenty of volume and it’s easy to style.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for recommending it. She’s been using it for years.

I just read my review before publishing it and realize that it sounds like I was paid by Biolage to write this… I wasn’t. I just really like the shampoo.

Final score: 4.5 out of 5