Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review Time! Simplicity Cosmetics: Primer & Foundation

Two words... Simply amazing! 
Simplicity Cosmetics are lite weight, offer great coverage, and most importantly allow your skin to breathe. These qualities cause me to forget that I am wearing makeup. Simplicity Cosmetics offers a rainbow of colors ranging from skin tones to bright blues and purples. Currently Simplicity Cosmetics  offers blush, eye shadows, foundation, finishing veil, primer, bronzer, and lip gloss. Each product is created by hand in small batches to ensure quality, which is also a plus when buying cosmetics.  This review will focus on the Primer & Foundation I purchased, and later this week I will post another review featuring eye-shadows.

Light - Mineral Sheer Primer:
Simplicity Cosmetic's Mineral Sheer Primer is great for covering blemishes and redness. This is an important product as it is designed to minimize oil and help keep your makeup in place. When using the primer I have found this to be very true, as it helps my makeup to stay in place all day. 
  • Type:  Mineral Sheer Primer - Light 
  • Shade: sheer light
  • Ingredients: silica, rice powder, mica
  • Packaging: Comes in a 30 gram sifter jar and contains 6 grams of product. Larger jars are used so the primer isn't so packed, making it easier to use. 

Mineral Foundation - Natural:
Simplicity Cosmetic's Foundation works best when used with a primer.  It's kind of like using a primer undercoat on a wall before you begin painting (you can paint with out a primer, but if you really want to hide blemishes use the primer first).  The foundation is very lite weight, which I personally find very impressive.
  • Type: Mineral Foundation - Natural
  • Shade: Light with neutral undertones (a bit darker than the ivory shade)
  • Finish: Medium to heavy coverage - matte finish
  • Ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica, magnesium stearate, silica, iron oxides
  • Packaging: Comes in a 25 gram sifter jar and contains 6 grams of product. The jar is wide and flat and works well with kabuki type foundation brushes.  

Artist Bio:
Based in Argyle, Texas Sarah expresses her passion for mineral cosmetics through making her own healthy, all natural cosmetics with as few ingredients as possible.  Her love of mineral makeup began 8 years ago, and since her discovery of all natural cosmetics she has used nothing else. After a few years of perfecting her formulas, Sarah began selling her products on Etsy -Simplicity Cosmetics- 6 years ago. Nearly all her products are vegan friendly and have the ingredients clearly detailed in each listing. Sarah's goal is to provide high quality natural mineral cosmetics at affordable prices while using the best ingredients. Healthy is her main concern as she states "I stay away from fillers and other ingredients that aren't necessary. There are a few ingredients that you will never find in my products: No Parabens, No Bismuth, No Micronized or Nano Minerals, No Talc, No Dyes & No Cornstarch."

Truly Hypoallergenic:
Since my late teens I have been unable to wear cosmetics due to asthma and allergies to wheat, soy, gluten, eggs, carmine (a dye derived from insects), fish oils and certain dyes (the infamous red 40 & yellow 5).  Go to any store that carries cosmetics, from Wal-Mart to Macy's, and you will find that all of these allergens are widely used in cosmetics (often under their chemical names).  Most brands do not have allergy warnings listed on the label as it is not required for cosmetics. You maybe wondering why this would be a problem? For those will allergies like mine an allergic reaction is not sneezing, but in fact can be life threatening. The allergic reactions I experience (and risk experiencing each time I hug family or friends who wear cosmetics or perfumes) ranges from severe itching and rashes to the more common reaction of asthma and swelling of the tongue and throat (which are very dangerous).  For this reason I have to be extermly careful about the products I use and whom I come into contact with. Please Note: The purpose of stating my health issues is to show how amazing Simplicity Cosmetics truly are. Unlike other brands I can wear Simplicity Cosmetics with out any problems what so ever!  Plus they are worry-free as I do not have to worry about my allergies, which for me is amazing.

Testing:
To test Simplicity Cosmetics for this review I applied a small amount to my skin and waited 15 minutes to see what would happen. To my surprise there was NO reaction.  So to put Simplicity Cosmetics to the test, to ensure that it is truly safe for those with allergies, I decided to wait until morning when all of my allergy medicines had worn off (currently I take 5 medicines) and repeat the test. I did this to ensure that the products were in fact hypoallergenic. I tried applying the products to the inner area of my wrist first to see how my skin would reaction.  I then waited a few minutes and I examined my skin carefully. The vegan products had no reaction at all. No itchiness or redness (and more importantly no asthma attacks). However, the non-vegan products were slightly itchy for me, but still no rashes or asthma attacks. I have talked with many women and found most people with sensitive skin can wear non-vegan products with out problems (I'm just one of the few who can't).  Personally I feel more comfortable using vegan products anyway, but this is a personal choice. Having past the first test, I moved on to the next; applying the make-up.

Although it has been around 6 years since I last wore make-up, I could tell right away that Simplicity Cosmetics are very different from the products I used as a teen. The first aspects I noticed was that Simplicity Cosmetics go on smoothly and have nice coverage with out feeling heavy. Even with the primer on under my foundion the cosmetics did not feel as if they are suffocating my skin (as I remember even my Mary Key make up doing). I wore these with out any problems what-so-ever, which considering how badly makeup has reacted with my skin in the past is amazing.

My Personal Opinion:
Personally I love using Simplicity Cosmetics because of the quality of the cosmetics and the simplicity of ingredients found on each label.  It is amazing being able to wear makeup again with out getting hives, or worse having an asthma attack. Simplicity Cosmetics feels nice on my skin, very lite and weightless, unlike traditional cosmetics which feel very uncomfortable.  I also love that Simplicity Cosmetics has a large selection of Vegan cosmetics (a.k.a carmine-free products). I appreciate that there are carmine-free products available through Simplicity Cosmetics, and I feel better knowing that carmine isn't used in these products. I wish that everyone of my friends and family would switch to Simplicity Cosmetics because of how well these wear, the way it allows your skin to breath, and because of how safe these products are for those with severe allergies. If  you or a family member suffers from asthma or allergies I highly recommend trying Simplicity Cosmetics as it is designed with the least amount of ingredients as possbile and is all natural.

Where to Buy:
All products featured in this review can be purchased from http://www.etsy.com/shop/simplicitycosmetics. Check out Simplicity Cosmetics on facebook to find out about special offers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review Time! Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham

"Living its self is a sacred act" ~ Scott Cunningham

Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham in an interesting look into the everyday lives of Wiccans; to whom food preparation and eating is considered to be sacred and magical. This book covers Wiccan beliefs on magic, energy work and the folklore attributes of many common and uncommon ingredients. Wicca in The Kitchen is also designed to be used as a cookbook and includes many recipes. 


Table of Contents:
  • Preface
  • Introduction
Part One: The Magic in your Kitchen
  • Chapter 1: Food power
  • Chapter 2: Magic
  • Chapter 3: The Tools of Food Magic & Magical Cooking
  • Chapter 4: The Ritual of Eating
  • Chapter 5 Vegetarianism
  • Chapter 6: The Practice of Food Magic
  • Chapter 7: Festival Foods
Part Two: The Magic of Food
  • Chapter 8: Bread & Grains
  • Chapter 9: Cakes, Sweetened Breads, Cookies, & Pies
  • Chapter 10: Vegetables
  • Chapter 11: Fruit
  • Chapter 12: Spices & Herbs
  • Chapter 13: Honey, Sugar, Chocolate, Carob, & Maple Syrup
  • Chapter 14: Nuts & Alleged Nuts
  • Chapter 15: Salt, Vinegar, Soup, & Noodles
  • Chapter 16: Food From Sea & River
  • Chapter 17: Beer, Wine, & Alcoholic Beverages
  • Chapter 18: Tea & Coffee
  • Chapter 19: The Mystic Egg
  • Chapter 20: From the Dairy
Part Three: Magical Food Diets
  • Introduction to Magical Food Diets
  • Chapter 21: Love
  • Chapter 22: Protection
  • Chapter 23: Health & Healing
  • Chapter 24: Money
  • Chapter 25: Sex
  • Chapter 26: Spirituality
  • Chapter 27: Psychic Awareness
  • Chapter 28: Peace & Happiness
  • Chapter 29: Purification
  • Chapter 30: Weight Loss
  • Chapter 31: Other Magical Food Diets
Part Four: Scott's Favorite Recipes
  • Introduction to Scott's Favorite Recopies
  • Chapter 32: Appetizers
  • Chapter 33: Beverages
  • Chapter 34: Desserts
  • Chapter 35: Main Dishes
  • Chapter 36: Salads
  • Chapter 37: Soups
  • Chapter 38: Vegetables & Side Dishes
Part Five: Supplemental Material
  • Tables
  • The Magical Uses of Junk Food
  • Symbols
  • Mail-Order Resources
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
About the Author:
Scott Cunningham practiced Wicca, a form of nature-based faith, actively for over twenty years. During his life he published more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction with sixteen of his titles being published by Llewellyn Publications. Mr. Cunningham's books reflect a broad range of interests within the New Age genre, where he is still very highly regarded. On March 28, 1993, he passed from this life after a long illness. Today, Scott Cunningham is renowned for his publications. His most well known book "Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" has become the primary text for those seeking to learn about Wicca due to his professional writing style and his flare for explaining difficult aspects in common terms. 


My Personal Opinion: 
Personally I found this book to be an interesting read because it covers many aspects of cooking. While it does cover a few unusual aspects, the main concept that I walk away with after reading this book is being mindful and thankful for each meal. Wicca in the Kitchen talks of being thankful for every meal and viewing the food we eat as a gift from the Divine. If you are looking for a book about Kitchen Witchery then this book is a must read as it provides in endepth look into this practice, while keeping it realistic. 

Why I Choose to Review this Book:
Have you ever wondered what Wicca is really about? This is a question I felt worthy of investigation, and you know how I am when I research something (I never stop until I find a REAL answer). So I have set out to learn what this religion is, not the stereotypical versions, but the religion it self. This has lead me to read more than a few books on the subject. And personally I have found this to be an eye-opening journey. I didn't find Satanic rites, human sacrifices or incantation for summoning demons. Instead I found everyday people like you and  me who are seeking to understand their purpose in life, and who also experience a deep longing to have a relationship with the Creator.

Over the next few months I will be reviewing the books I have read here so that others who are curious about Wicca can find books with real information from the view point of those who have practiced the religion.



Please Read Before you Comment:
For those who would argue that by reviewing these books I am doing something unethical, because it may lead others to Wicca...Know that this is not my purpose. The purpose of my reviews is to offer an unbiased critique that balances professionalism with fairness. I am by no means saying that Wicca is for everyone, but that we should have enough respect for them to learn about Wicca instead of condemning for rumors. It is my hope that through my reviews other Christians will learn that we must not condemn based on rumors (it is childish to do such a thing). Christ calls us to be wise and that is my goal to understand others, rather than allow hate to fuel my own self righteousness which leads only to one's own damnation.


YouTube: Egyptian Nights by Dina Staggs



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cotton Times Giveaway!

Check out "To Sew with Love" for a chance to win a $15 gift certificate to Cotton Times; maker of hand-crafted purses!

To Sew With Love: Double Birthday Bash Giveaway Galore!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Angel Light



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review Time! Wicca - a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

"Living its self is a sacred act" ~ Scott Cunningham
Have you ever wondered what Wicca is really about? This is a question I felt worthy of investigation, and you know how I am when I research something (I never stop until I find a REAL answer). So I have set out to learn what this religion is, not the stereotypical versions, but the religion it self. This has lead me to read more than a few books on the subject. And personally I have found this to be an eye-opening journey. I didn't find Satanic rites, human sacrifices or incantation for summoning demons. Instead I found everyday people like you and  me who are seeking to understand their purpose in life, and who also experience a deep longing to have a relationship with the Creator.

Over the next few months I will be reviewing the books I have read here so that others who are curious about Wicca can find books with real information from the view point of those who have practiced the religion.

The Review:
If you have wondered what Wicca is really about look no farther. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is a highly-regarded informative handbook that is viewed by Wiccans as an essential primer for understanding Wicca. The information presented in this book is written from the view point of Scott Cunningham, a man who practiced Wicca for over 20 years (this is something very important to look for when reading books about other religions). Scott Cunningham is also one of the best known authors on Wicca, and his book gives an  in-depth look into the life of the solitary Wiccan practitioner.  This book is written with common terms, not only in how Wiccans view magick, but also in how they practice their religion and live by their moral codes. Mr. Cunningham presents a realistic view of Wicca as a gentle, nature-oriented religion that seeks to "Harm None".

"Focusing on the importance of individualism in your spiritual path, Cunningham explains the very basics of Sabbats (holy days), ceremonies, altars, and other nuts and bolts of Wicca that a solitary practitioner may have trouble finding elsewhere. While Wicca shouldn't be your sole point of reference it is one of the best starting points." --Brian Patterson


Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction
Section I: Theory
  1. Wicca and Shamanism
  2. The Deities
  3. Magic
  4. Tools
  5. Music, Dance, and Gesture
  6. Ritual and Preparation for Ritual
  7. The Magic Circle and the Alter
  8. The Day of Power
  9. The Spiral of Rebirth
  10. Concerning Initiation
Section II: Practice
  1. Exercises and Magical Techniques
  2. Self-Dedication
  3. Ritual Design
Section III: The Standing Stones Book of Shadows
  • Introduction to The Standing Stones Book of Shadows
  • Word to the Wise
  • The Seasonal Festivals
  • A Ritual of Gestures
  • Recipes
  • An Herbal Grimoire: A Guide to the Uses of Herbs and Plants in Wiccan Ritual
  • Wiccan Crystal Magic
  • Symbols and Signs
  • Rune Magic
  • Spells and Magic
Appendix I: Occult Suppliers
Appendix II: Wiccan and Pagan Publications
Glossary
Suggested Reading
Index

About the Author:
Scott Cunningham practiced Wicca, a form of nature-based faith, actively for over twenty years. During his life he published more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction with sixteen of his titles being published by Llewellyn Publications. Mr. Cunningham's books reflect a broad range of interests within the New Age genre, where he is still very highly regarded. On March 28, 1993, he passed from this life after a long illness. Today, Scott Cunningham is renowned for his publications. His book Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner has become the primary text for those seeking to learn about Wicca due to his professional writing style and his flare for explaining difficult aspects in common terms.


My Personal Opinion:  
Personally this book has opened my eyes to what Wicca is truly about - a connection to the Divine combined with a form of personal empowerment. This book explains the fundamental beliefs and practices of Wicca and the meaning behind the rituals and moral codes witches live by.  It blows away preconceived stereotypes of witches as Gothic Emos while presenting a realistic view - that people from all walks of life are Wiccan. After reading this book I have a new found respect for those who are Wiccan, because those who truly follow their faith live by a strict moral code. Harm None is their one rule, which strongly reminds me of the "do unto others as you have them do unto you" rule of Christianity.  I have walked away from this book with more understand of another faith, which as helped me to reflect on my own faith with a little more clarity. 

If you are searching for a book about Wicca that shows a realistic view I highly recommend this book.

Please Read Before you Comment
For those who would argue that by reviewing these books I am doing something unethical, because it may lead others to Wicca...Know that this is not my purpose. The purpose of my reviews is to offer an unbiased critique that balances professionalism with fairness. I am by no means saying that Wicca is for everyone, but that we should have enough respect for them to learn about Wicca instead of condemning for rumors. It is my hope that through my reviews other Christians will learn that we must not condemn based on rumors (it is childish to do such a thing). Christ calls us to be wise and that is my goal to understand others, rather than allow hate to fuel my own self righteousness which leads only to one's own damnation.

You are welcome to speak your mind, but know that NO argumentative comments will be published on Review Time.




Celtic Pride!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Artfire Collection: Sweet Memories