All About Brandi

Black Mineral Mask Review

Check out my review of Clearskin Pore-Penetrating Black Mineral Mask.

So I tried this a while back. I really liked it and I’ve continued to use it about once a week. I’m really rough on my skin during the summer. So a deep clean is good for keeping my skin healthy.

This mineral mask contains an oil-absorbing blend of mineral clays that attract oil like a magnet. This mask is suitable for all skin types. 


The mask comes out of a tube a dark grey color. The instructions say you should apply a thin layer to your freshly-washed face. 

This is not a peel-off mask. It must be washed off once it turns light grey. I’ve always heard with masks like this one that the first part of the mask that turns grey is the spots on your face where the mask starts working first. I can’t aay if this is true or not, but funny enough- the mask always dries and turns grey in my problem area which is the creases of my nose. These seem to be where blemishes will show up, when they show up.

The mask has a cooling effect on the skin and a clean smell that isn’t too strong.

Also the skin around my mouth usually dries very quickly. This ia another problem area I have. 

Once the mask is completely dry it will look like this:

The directions say to leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes. Once the mask is completely dry you should rinse off with warm water and pat your face dry. 

I would recommend this product to my family and friends. I’m sure my boys will be using this mineral mask soon enough (they’re super lucky to live with their very own Avon lady!).

The reviews on this product are pretty impressive. Click here to see over 100 reviews of people who have tried this mineral mask or had someone in their home try it

Keep checking back. I plan to try and provide feedback on most of the Clearskin products over this summer, in an effort to keep my face clean and clear in this Florida heat.

Facial Extraction Strip… Necessary! 

Check out my personal review of the Clearskin extraction strip. Extracting dirt and cleaning pores one strip at a time.

So this new active lifestyle I’ve been living hasn’t been wonderful for my face. I walk for exercise or work in my yard everyday. Which means I sweat everyday. Not to mention- pool side and beach days include pore-clogging sunscreen.

 In an effort to keep my skin clear of blackheads and pimples, I ordered and tried out Clearskin extraction strip to pull out dirt and oils from problems areas on my face (the t-zone and chin areas). 

So the strip comes out in a liquid form, very thick and very sticky. It reminded me of wax for eyebrows. As the instructions stated- I put a very thick layer on the t-zone (betweem eyebrows and on nose) and I also did my chin. (Excuse my makeup-less, fresh-out-of-the-shower, sunglass-tan face). & yes, my eyebrows are a work in progress. Lol

And just for fun, I had Hubs try it too (but only with the stipulation of an embarassing photo). 

Excuse his “haven’t shaved in months” beard. Haha!

The directions say it takes about 20 minutes for the strip to dry. It took a bit longer for the really thick spots to dry enough to be peeled, but I didn’t mind. It was relax time. So relax I did. 

I noticed the strip felt cool as it started to dry, like a refreshing feeling. 

Removing the strip was a bit of a task for me. Hubs is much tougher and had no troubles. My skin is more sensitive so I had to go slowly. One thing was clear immediately: nothing can stay in your pores when you remove this strip! I removed the chin strip first and the skin looked like brand new skin. Quite impressive. 

I had gotten some of the strip in my eyebrows and was concerned that I would struggle to remove it and possibly forfeit some of my eyebrow(s). Lol This wasn’t the case. The strip came right off and did not pull out any hair in my eyebrows. 

I will definitely continue to use the strip and would recommend it to my friends or family. And it would probably be very beneficial to young teens who struggle with acne and blackheads. The strip is meant to be used 1-2 times per week. Using it more frequently could cause drying skin and pores.

Click here to see all of the Clearskin products and read customer reviews. And feel free to share your embarassing review photos as well! 😉

The Facial Hair Struggle

Check out my review of Skin So Soft’s facial hair removal cream.

So all this time- 34 years- it’s hasn’t happened. I’ve had a few gray hairs. I noticed an angry wrinkle in the middle of my forehead a few years ago. I’ve had smile wrinkles for several years. But I have never had a stache until recently 😦 

Its started when I got some sun a few weeks ago. And the skin on my upper lip got dark… and the little hairs got lighter. So the first comment came from my husband. I looked and kind of agree with him and moved on. In any case, my makeup can hide just about anything! So I started taking more time with my makeup.. lightening up this area when I applied. Now worries.

Then one day, sans makeup, my stepson mentions my mustache. I start getting concerned. Within 3 days of this 2nd comment, one of my twins says something to me! I start getting upset. And It’s time to DO something! 

Luckily for me, it was time to send in my Avon order. The wait for my shipment to arrive was painful this month. My patience had almost run out when my package arrived!!

So this morning, we decide to spend the 4th of July at the beach. I’ve read my instructions. I’m removing this stache (or hoping to!!) while I prepare my coffee before we head out. 

I read the instructions which say to put a thick layer on and do not rub it in. Leave for 2-8 minutes. I left on for about 5 minutes. Then wipe clean with wet washcloth and then rinse with warm water. 

So I come out if the bedroom looking like this…

I laughed so hard as I made my coffee when one of the twins asked me “Mommy, where did you get that milk mustache at?” So I announced to him and his brothers that it wasn’t milk.. I was working on my mustache. So then I laughed some more when he asked “So that’s lotion to grown your mustache?” Kids are a trip! 

So now for the review. I’m in holiday-beach mode so no after pick at this time. Lol But the hair removal cream did, in fact, remove all the fine little hairs from my upper lip. Apparently, there was quite a bit of “fuzz” there because now the skin feels a bald kind of weird. And I will say I probably should have done the hair removal a day or 2 ago because applying sunscreen on my face did burn just a tad on my upper lip, as well as the “just shaved now in the salt water burn” most women have experienced on their legs at some point. It wasn’t life-altering. And definitely worth having the stache gone. 

So I would definitely recommend Skin So Soft hair removal cream. It was more than worth the $7 I paid for it. I think when I’ve used all of this one I will get the sensitive skin hair removal cream. Especially if I remove the hair on beach day. Lol

Get Outside & Grow Something! 

Check out my latest blog with handy tools to get outside and get something growing this summer.

I love, love mowing our grass! And last summer I realized why I love it: because it’s relaxing and peaceful. It’s one of the few times in my crazy, hectic, boy-filled world that I can put in my headphones & think. Think about whatever I want!! The boys are usually outside with me so I can see them (another part of feeling relaxed as a Mama is being able to see your children & visually verify that they are fine!). So mowing the grass is a sort of therapy for me. 

This year though, grass mowing started a few weeks ago. And when I would get done with our 1-acre lot, I started working in our yard. Also something I learned a very long time ago is relaxing. Pulling weeds mostly. Trimming bushes is a bit harder and not so relaxing. But very rewarding. And again, I do have boys. So they help out. 

Recently I’ve started trying to grow my own lemons and watermelons. Update on this later, as the tropical conditions have been pretty serious here lately. And my plants aren’t loving it.. because their just babies. Lol

But anyway, below are some great ways to get outside. & grow something!!  😉

This tabletop greenhouse is only $34.99. & it’s great for little hands to help. 

This hanging planter basket is made out of cotten. Great for adding a little “green” to indoor or outdoor spaces. Only $16.99.

Water is essential for growing anything. This set of 2 bird bird stakes are a cute way to keep the H2O watering your plants. The set is only $12.99.

Love, love, love these cute metal planters! The set includes 3 planters with chains so they can hang for only $14.99. Also for use indoors or outdoors.

Ever thought of growing your own herbs? It’s becoming quite trendy these days to DIY. You don’t really go anywhere or click anywhere without seeing people getting healthier homes by going organic. Or growing their own. Or doing it themselves. This handy herb-eze container will help you do it all! This container helps you measure, strip, collect, and even store fresh herbs. And checkout these magic words: dishwasher & freezer safe!! These are just $5.99 each! I like fresh mint leaves in my lemon water. And now, I can grow my own!! 

Now if you’re super gardening then you need this colander bag in your life! Great for collecting fresh veggies frim outside. The design allows for extra dirt and soil removal at the bottom. Only $12.99. 

Lastly, mostly for decoration, check out this cute garden stake thermometer. Only $19.99.

Click here to see all of the Avon Living outdoor collection, including bird baths, rain measurer, and hummingbird feeder. And start getting some outdoor therapy today 🙂 Can’t wait to share what I’m growing!

Oh My Feet… 

Tired, achy leg and feet remedies for anybody who is super hard on the lower body.

Sooo it’s been somewhat of a secret that I’ve recently decided to get off the couch & get healthy. I have a few “go-to’s” who have been aware of my journey thus far. So I guess you could say the cat’s coming out of the bag. 

Recently, I’ve been taking the boys to the local park. They ride their bikes and I walk (eventually going to be a jog or a run). I usually do 2 or 3 miles per day. In addition the boys and I have been working out at home (they will confirm this is true Lol) and we’ve been spending time in the pool. They swim… I focus on water aerobics and let me tell you- I wondered if they were working on day #1 and day #2… but on day #3 I started swimming and doing donkey kicks under the water and my hips definitely let me know that day this yes, this is working!! 

So in any case, for about 2 weeks my right foot has been bothering me. No trauma. No bruise. It’s hard for me to even explain the pain… but it’s worst in the mornings. I have been sorta walking around with my coffee cup in the mornings trying to determing if walking will be possible that day, while the boys follow me around, begging to load up their bikes so “we can go ride”. They love it! It’s a win-win-win situatuon! We’re all happy and all moving. Score. 

After a few days of this I had to evaluate my foot. Pretty sure I’m going to end up visiting the Dr. But in the meantime… I’ve been using Footworks products to sooth my aching feet. And they have kept me going (see below today’s walk):

Oh yesss! Almost 4.5 miles! Amazing! I feel wonderful! & although I seriously hate my scale.. I’m noticing other victories. NSV’s. Nom-Scale Victories. Great, great feeling. So what are these products that are allowing my feet to continue providing NSV’s? I thought you’d never ask:

The FootWorks Lavender Pampering Oil is amazing! I put some in some warm water and soaked my aching foot for a while. It was very soothing and rejuvenating. Put some life back into my poor foot. Lol

I think I love the peppermint reviving leg gel the most! I’ve mentioned it before in previous posts. I can’t say enough good things about it. I use it on legs and feet. It’s not too strong and not very tingly. Many people don’t like tingly feelings. But again… this stuff has definitely been putting some life back into my feet and legs from all this hard work I’m putting them through.

& lastly… nothing to do with aching feet. I live with a bunch of smelly boys & look at this…

This deodorizing spray is only $3.99 (so I bought 2!!) We definitely, definitely need and use this stuff!! & for Hubby with BIG feet problems & constantly wearing work boots at work 75+ hours per week:

Deodorizing foot powder. Also just $3.99. & totally worth it. 

It’s Summer… Almost!

Get ready fo summer. And summer bugs with Bug Guard.

It’s Summer… Almost! According to my calendar just 2 more weeks until Sunny days and beach trips.. Late nights and bonfires.. Boat time on the lake! Yep.. It’s almost Summer. 

Me and the boys are already enjoying some summer time. We been hanging at the park and preparing for some grass cutting (one of my favorite things!!). And looking forward to flip flop tans and swimsuits. 

We have lots to look forward to!! Something we normally don’t look forward to are bugs. Sand fleas and mosquitoes. Ticks. Although we don’t look forward to bugs we are always (& I mean ALWAYS) prepared for bugs. Lol

We, seriously, keep a bottle of Bug Guard in both trucks, as well as in the beach bag. 

The thing I love the most about Bug Guard is that it is DEET-free. Everybody loves bug repellants with deet… until they realize how harmful DEET is!

Now I’m on the “other side” of most of the warning labels these days. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground. You can’t go anywhere or talk to anyone nowadays without hearing how bad EVERYTHING is for you. Seriously… everything is bad. Sugar is bad for you… but so is aspartame (fake sugar). Sunburn is bad for you.. but so is spray and lotion sunscreen. Again, everything is bad and it will drive you crazy trying to keep up with warnings!

Luckily, we all get to choose what we give or don’t give and use or don’t use with our families. I like to think of myself as a smart person. I do my research before banning an item from our lives. I like to read up before deciding what’s best (or worst) for my family. I suggest everyone do the same. 

With that being said, I do try not to use DEET anymore. My children and I suffer from breathing problems and asthma. So that is one of the main reasons I choose DEET-free. If you do research on deet you will find that it can cause rash and skin irritation, as well as nausea, headaches, and dizziness just to name a few. 

This is an actual bottle of Off! I have in my home. The most concerning warning cautions that sprayed clothing needs to be removed and washed immediately when returning indoors.

Bug Guard uses a DEET alternative called Picaridin. Picaridin has been around since the 1980’s and is most popular for being lighter than DEET (not as greasy) and less harsh. Some plaatics and synthetics can actually be dissolved by DEET. Picaridin doesn’t have this effect. Let me also say that Bug Guard is safe for pets, when used properly of course.

Also… might I add that Bug Guard is available with sunscreen? And Bug Guard has a line of actual sunscreen products, as well. 

I like this one pictured. The lotion goes on blue and disappears once rubbed in. This is HUGE for allowing my boys to be more independent and also to free up some of my time, of course while they apply their own sunscreen. One of the many things I do  the boys.. & for me. Sadly, they must learn to take care of things.

So, in short, my family has officially switched. Click here to see all of the Bug Guard products and read tons of reviews! I don’t think Skin So Soft itself has as many reviews as the Bug Guard line! 

The Bug Guard line is a little pricey so be sure to catch them on sale! Right now the whole line is on sale- Buy one, get one free. Sales usually happen pretty often but BOGO is pretty rare. So shop now 🙂

I almost forgot one of my favoritr Buv Guard products. 

The anti itch spray. I published my blog while I was out with the guys for a short drive. As soon as I got home (9:00 p.m.) and got into the house I went to medicine cabinet for this little gem. & then a lightbulb went off! I just posted about Bug Guard and I left this out. Whaaat?? Lol

 We use this almost daily! I’ve been using this anti itch for bug bites so long that I’m not even sure what other Mom’s are using these days? This takes the itch out of bites almost immediately! The hydrocortisone is pretty much obsolete around my house. 

Meditation… Sort Of. 

Meditation. Brandi style.

So recently I visited the doctor. We discussed lots of healthy things I need to start doing. Or stop doing. Lol Most of her advice was already burned into my brain from tons of research on getting healthier. I expected most of what she said. But one thing did surprise me. She advised me to spend time, every day, meditating. Or praying. Basically- time alone. 

I asked questions and we discussed this for a little while because I wasn’t expecting it. So I had questions and wanted to understand what she was asking of me. 

She gave me the name of an app that she uses daily on her drive to work. You can decide which area of your life you would like to hear some motivational and inspirational tips (for example relationships or raising children or managing stress at work). Once you click a short 20-30 minute clip plays on your phone. 

So, I downloaded the app, signed up with my e-mail address, looked all of the information over one good time and haven’t clicked the app again in over a month. I haven’t listened to a single recording clip. Don’t get me wrong- I love motivational speakers like Les Brown. & I always feel empowered when I’m done listening. But the truth is my life is busy and I didn’t feel this app was how I wanted to spend my “alone time”. This “meditation method” clearly wasn’t for me. 

I thought about what the doctor had told me about spending time thinking or praying, because the truth is that stress is harmful to your health. In more than one way. I certainly understand this and I believe that minimizing stress is necessary for a healthier lifestyle. It just took me a day or two to decide how to spend my quiet time. 

I wouldn’t call myself a vain person; however, most of my blogs mention doing things for yourself (applying makeup in the morning, using face cream at night, painting your toenails) all for one main reason: to feel better. Any feeling can control your whole day if you let it. So feeling healthier or feeling happier is ultimately going to lead to being healthier and happier. What a simple concept!

So with all that being said, I decided that I would spend a few minutes each day doing something for me. I have four young boys in my home, a husband, and a dog. Most everything I do is for these guys- my family. And I don’t (usually) complain. But a few minutes each day spent on something for me has the potential to reduce stress in my life. Maybe not a ton of stress- but every little bit helps. And will eventually add up!

So I’ve been doing little, extra things lately when I have a chance or think about it. I love bubble baths. I usually get to enjoy a bubble bath once a month… or every 2 months. 

Something else I love is coconut oil. This evening, inbetween the madness that is my life, I made time to put a coconut oil mask on my hair. Now don’t misunderstand: I am NOT doing the new “natural hair” thing. I definitely would- but my hair is high-maintenance. Natural hair just isn’ta good look for me. Lol But coconut oil is really nourishing and replenishing. I’ll wash the mask out in the morning and get back to my toxin-bearing hair products. But I love the end result and ultimately, it was me time. 

My “me time’s” are generally sparatic, unplanned, & unscheduled. That’s just how it goes. Lol So the boys aren’t usually surprised to see me coming out if the bedroom with some sort of mask on my hair or face or some kind of homemade exfoliating creams on my legs. Lol

Face masks I like are firming sheet masks (yes, the royal jelly from the queen bee is true!) or black mineral masks. Again, I’m not on a schedule with these products. Scheduling is difficult at my house. Lol But I do use them. & I love them. 

Some other non-scheduled “me time’s” involve foot care. Sunny Florida is just amazing at catering to my love of flip-flops. It’s pretty great. Floridians are capable of flip-flopping in every season- all year long! My sandal collection is actually growing as well! Flip-flops and sandals are great.. except on your feet. And heels. Especially heels! So I like to pamper my feet ever so often. 

I normally go with overnight renewing foot cream. Mostly because who has time for a foot soak?! Lol Less than 5 minutes.. go to bed.. beautiful, soft feet and heels in the morning! Why can’t everything be so easy, like laundry? 5 minutes.. sleep.. done! Nice thought, huh? 

Reviving leg gel is also pretty great for “me time”. I’m not a huge peppermint fan. I don’t like creams or body washes that are minty; however, after a long day of chasing my kids around (going on bike rides with them or going skating at the skating rink) this stuff feels amazing! Yes… I really do skate with them when we go. & my lega aren’t what they were 20 years ago! Lol So aching legs are the cost. 

Perhaps one day soon I’ll set up a structured schedule that fits in with all of my other daily routines. If not, at least I get an ‘A’ for effort. Remember to get your meditation in per the doctor’s instructions… however you may spend it ♡