NewBeauty TestTube – The Ultimate Product Sampling Program- Fall 2012


Yay, yay! The Fall 2012 New Beauty Test Tube has arrived. Loaded with great products, I had a blast digging in. *Don’t know what the New Beauty Test Tube is? Pop over HERE to read my first review, where I tell you exactly how it works. I’ll wait… What do you think?Cool, huh?*

Now read on to find out about the goodies. Several full sized items, and terrific deluxe samples.

Olay Deep Wrinkle Treatment: Full size $40.00- $44.00

I’ve used this before and liked it. There are other Olay products I just don’t like but this one is good. This cream is light but rich, and absorbs quickly. Targeting the deeper wrinkles, this is drugstore option that actually works.  Will probably buy again since I have in the past. Great to get the full size.

Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask:  Deluxe Sample Size

You know how everyone always loves the after color conditioners that come in drugstore hair color boxes? This super thick mask gives you that same oh-so-soft,  touch-my-hair feeling.  It’s totally fabulous. The sample is a great big deluxe size- enough for several treatments. The scent is beautiful, too. I’d buy it.

IT Cosmetics- Bye Bye Undereye: Sample

A truly incredible concealer. It covers even the darkest circles, even covers that little vein o the side of my nose (!!!) and you only need a dab. Blends, covers, lasts. I will buy. Definitely.

dr. brandt-dark circles away: Sample

This is a nice enough eye cream, and I know it gets rave reviews, but I don’t love it. Feels a little too watery, and my make up doesn’t really apply well over it.  Probably wouldn’t buy. So it’s great to get a chance to find that out, before you lay out the cash.

Philosophy-Hope in a Jar: Sample

This is actually a moisturizer I almost always have on hand. Since I try so many products that have anti-aging and exfoliating effects, I like to take a break every now and then with my skin care regime. I use this as a nice, light but very moisturizing stand in. Very nice to get the sample, since it’s a shade spendy.  Will buy again, since I’m a regular, if sporadic,  user.  


Yon-Ka- Masque N*1: Full size $58.00

Wowsa. This was my first time trying anything in this line, or even knowing about it for that matter. I decided to try it after an at home microdermabrasion session. All I can say is wow. Wow. My face felt so …supple. I am head over heels and now want to try the entire line. It goes on more like a lotion than a regular mask, and I left it on overnight. I adore. Adore! Will buy as soon as I have some mad money. It’s spendy. But… well, I’m Worth It. LOL.

CellCeuticals PhotoDefense Color Radiance SPF 55+:Full size $47.50

I love everything about this. I ran out of my SPF lotion the day before the tube arrived. I was happy, happy to see this full size item, and I remember thinking “oh, please be a good one!” It is. Super light, with just a touch of sheer color to lightly brighten your face. I am obsessed with SPF because of all those baby-oil and iodine years with tin-foiled cardboard splash screens. Oh yes I did!!! I held my breath for two days waiting to see if I would break out with this formula (I never did back when I was abusing my skin…go figure!) but, luckily no blemishes. For the price, not sure if I would buy again, but I do like it very much.

Kneipp Eucalyptus Herbal Bath 

This is for a relaxing bath or a clearing bath when you feel sniffles coming on. I have actually been adding a drop or two to the water on our wood stove! It seems refreshing and invigorating combined with a few drops of lemon juice, just simmering away throuh out the day. I’ll certainly try it the next time I have a bath, too. I’d buy it.

All in all, another INCREDIBLE value- over $150.00 worth of products, for less than $30.00…plus the New Beauty magazine. Fun, fun, fun!! This would make such a great gift, folks. Christmas is almost here….

As always, you can go HERE to read what other users have to say, and you can find New Beauty on Facebook and Twitter, so you don’t miss a thing!


I Tried Tilth Beauty And I Liked It


I was recently given a chance to try two products from Tilth Beauty, namely the Anti-Aging Firming Moisture Cream and their Flawless Serum.  Verdict?  “Go get some now!!”  The End.

LOL. Really though, I’m scoring both a 9 out of 10. Read on to find why, and how you can get yours. Because, trust me, you want some. Normally I would start by telling you what Tilth Beauty offers, but this time I’m going to start by telling you what they don’t.

Tilth Beauty does NOT have:
Petrolium based anything
Synthetic fragrance
Artifcial coloring
Animal Testing

They do offer safe and effective products, that blend natural ingredients with cutting edge technology. Their packaging is green, their products are animal-friendly, they’re made in America, and there are no questionable ingredients.

Their products include:

A Flawless Serum
Anti-aging Firming Moisture Cream

Intense Restoration Moisture Cream
Resurrect Eye Cream* really want to try!
Eye Wondrous Serum* really want to try!
Sea Origin Serum
Refresh Peptide Mist
Argan-Tangerine Deep Cleansing Lotion
Rose Protection Cleansing Gel
Anti-oxidant Foaming Cleanser
Gentle Poppy Seed Exfoliator
Berry Extract Toner* really want to try!

And many more. Like I said, I tried the Anti-Aging Firming  Moisture Cream and their Flawless Serum. 

From the site:

A Flawless Serum is the flawless blend of encapsulated Retinol, Myrtle Leaf Extract and Adaptonyl® that gives skin a flawless complexion. Adaptonyl® lifts and restructures the appearance of cell barrier function, resulting in healthy younger looking skin.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Retinol (Encapsulated) – Stable retinol to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore the look of UV damaged skin. Improves  the appearance of skin elasticity by 20% and the appearance of wrinkles is diminished by up to 17% after 12 weeks.

First, the serum. I am a huge fan of serums. I don’t have clue one as to how many I’ve tried, but it’s a big number.  This one is quite different, mostly in regard to how quickly I began to see results and in the feel/texture. I was initially bummed out when I put it on…where was that silky feeling? This serum has a “water-y” feel to it. It absorbs almost instantly, but it didn’t leave behind that silked up skin feeling I am used to when I think of serums. It doesn’t really have a scent either. Hmm. Well, since it’s a review,  I continued to use it, and within a few days, I was over my preconceptions about how a serum should be, and understanding more about what a serum could be. There is a noticeable difference- I am seeing results at just under 3 full weeks. I feel like my face feels more taut, with my jowl  area especially feeling firmer. Now I don’t give a flying fig about the scent, or the “silk” effect. I just love the serum and I’m excited to keep using it to see how I stand in 3 more weeks of use. And, since it absorbs so fast, I don’t need to wait before applying the Anti-Aging Firming Moisture Cream.

The cream (the site says it will help reduce the appearance of unwanted facial folds and lines) also had me unsure the first time I tried it, again, no real scent and although it is really rich- at this price point it’s shocking how luxe it is in terms of thickness, but still, after application, I wondered how can this moisturize? My skin didn’t feel dewy. Another Hmm. In fact, this cream has a “mattifying”  effect after you apply it.  As with the serum, I continued to use it, and also like with the serum, I quickly became a fan.  My skin is moisturized, it does look dewey, but not because I put something on my face that gives that appearance,  it feels like it’s coming from the inside out, now that I’ve used these a while. I am noticing so many great things between these two  products,  firmer skin,  smoother skin and an overall more taut look. I admit it took me a few days to get used the texture differences in these products compared to others, but I am converted. I have had no issues with breakouts, and it’s gentle enough for my super sensitive skin.Now,  here’s my cheapskate observation- The serum goes for $62.00, the cream for $55.00, but there is a LOT of product in the bottle and jar. A LOT. I do wish is was about $10-15.00 cheaper for each-but given the really generous size- I guess I’m okay with it- and that’s my ding. Both would be a perfect 10- if they were just a little less expensive.  I’m on a budget just like everyone else, and I would feel easier spending say… $40.00 for the cream and $50.00 for the serum. I do have a list of several other products from Tilth Beauty I’m dying to try! Mad money jar time, lol.

I receied the sample products with compliments from, but my review is my own, objective opinion.

The Beauty Of Elure



As we age it’s normal to develop brown spots, called age spots, and to see the tone of our skin become uneven and hyper-pigmented. This darkening and unevenness tends to make you look older, because we associate clear looking skin with youth and vitality.  Trying to achieve an even looking complexion is why, according to the New York Times, 64% of women wear foundation!  Of course any make up artist will tell you that wearing too much foundation actually makes you look older. Great. When you need it the most, you are  supposed to wear less. Cindy Crawford recently said that she wears less makeup as she ages, to look younger and fresh. Of course if you look at Cindy’s incredibly beautiful face- her skin is even and clear and it doesn’t look as if she needs to wear anything anyway.

So what do you do? Just because it can be a normal part of aging,you don’t have to be stuck with spots and hyper-pigmentation  Even if you have sensitive skin, there is a way to even things out, fade those spots, and reclaim a glowing complexion. A product that delivers real results, and has been winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty Award for two consecutive years, Elure is an excellent choice as a solution to lighten and brighten your skin. The extra beauty benefit of Elure Advanced Skin Brightening  Technology is that it’s  all-natural and vegan, ideal for people with sensitive skin.  Elure does not contain hydroquinone, so you can feel good about applying it to your skin. Best of all, Elure does not make the skin more prone to sun damage like alternative products. In several clinical studies, Elure produced results for most subjects in just 28 days.

The Elure ADVANCED SKIN LIGHTENING LOTION is safe to use twice a day, and this would be my pick for the easiest, fastest results.

Elure also makes an ADVANCED SKIN LIGHTENING NIGHT CREAM, that you can use in conjunction with the lotion.

Both products are available at and can be found  here.

By fading sun damage spots, dark  areas and evening out the overall look and tone of your skin, you can skip the heavy make up and just let your natural beauty shine through.


Just Good Stuff 4 You And Your Family

I introduced you to JustGoodStuff in my mini- review of their Pet Shampoo bar, but now I want to go more in-depth and let you get to know Joy and Ginny, the creators, as well as tell you about the incredible products they shared with me.

In the fall of 2010 Joy and Ginny were inspired to create non-toxic and nourishing skin care items, because they just didn’t want to keep adding toxins to their bodies. There are a lot of products out there that feature really good ingredients, but then a few “bad” ones are mixed in, defeating the idea. Wanting something with “just good stuff” led them to spending untold hours researching ingredients and trying out their “recipes,” and after sharing their creations with friends and family, the response was overwhelming! They are now sharing the results of their journey with you! Joy and Ginny typically make their products 3 or 4 times a month on weekends, even some weeknights, to keep up with the demand as their products are discovered. Originally, they worked from Ginny’s home as they built their confidence and learned the best techniques, but now they each also mix and prepare their creations independently.  I have met both women in person and they are incredibly nice. Smiling, fun and knowledgeable about their business. Their love and passion for what they are building is evident and really moving to witness. I found myself grinning a lot when I was around them because their upbeat personalities just rub off on you. I left with an awesome goodie bag of products to try out, and I am sooo glad.

Not me- just a random happy lady.

As those of you who regularly read my reviews know, I often tell you about a new find that becomes a personal favorite, and I have switched to a reviewed brand several times because it impressed me so much. Well, after spending about two-plus weeks using a bunch of their products, I have 7 (!!) new products that I will be buying and using, either completely replacing my prior brand or product, or incorporating into my life.  Yeah, I am THAT blown away!

Read on, and I’ll describe each item I used and I’ll also let you know which ones are now MUST-HAVES! Just because of space, if you want to see a full ingredient list for an item, head over to their storefront  or their ingredients list and you can view it there.


Herbal Deodorant Stick:

MUST-HAVE!  This is actually kind of ironic, because when I was chatting with Ginny and Joy I told them I’d have hub or my son try this, since I like a beachy, cool or fresh type of scent for my deodorant. After I had used the lotion bar on my way home, tried the basic soap when washing up to start dinner, used the Mango/Avocado soap as a body wash in my shower that night and followed up with the Mango Body Butter, I stood in the bathroom and thought, “Okay, I GOTTA try this, too.” I used it, and then kept on using it – I can tell you that I am converted! I adore this deodorant stick. While not my normal scent like I said, I love how it barely leaves any scent at all- completely different from my old normal preference. It does have Essential Oils of Clary Sage, Lime and Lavender, and it does smell fresh and pretty, just very, very subtle. It works wonderfully. I tried it when stacking wood, and I always work up a sweat doing that, half from exertion and half ’cause it hurts my shoulder. I’ve worn it when on my treadmill, and during workout DVDs. Amazing protection! It feels wonderful, it’s clear, and best of all, every single thing in it is good stuff! No aluminum!  I seriously could never go back to any of my previous brands.  I just think it’s funny that the one thing I basically said I wouldn’t try turned out to be practically my favorite!




Secret use! This soap is like the others in that it leaves your skin feeling soft, but for makeup mavens, here’s a tip: having used a different makeup-brush cleaner with hemp and almond oil, I decided to give this a try as a brush cleaner. Whoa Nelly! It does work, and I love how soft and clean my brushes are! I just wet the bar and my brush(es), swipe them back and forth across the bar a few times to get the soap evenly on the brush, then proceed as normal. Awesome!

Basic Soap-

MUST-HAVE! This is the first thing I tried after the lotion bar. I knew right away it was special. With only 4 ingredients, yes, it’s basic, but it lathers so beautifully (a feature each of the soaps I/we tried all share) and leaves your skin soft, but clean. It smells pure and clean, too. And get this- my son actually asked if he could take the bar to the kids’ bathroom to use as their soap! When have you ever heard of a teenage boy, who spends his days in the woods getting dirtier than dirt, request to use a certain kind of soap? He said it really felt good on his dry, cracked skin and I said, “Take it!”

The Basic Soap.



MUST-HAVE! I tried this first as a body wash and I will also continue to buy this soap. As a body wash it’s amazing. I’ve griped to you before about how picky I am about body wash – I want to feel clean, but not dried out, and yet I don’t want to feel greasy either. This bar lathers like a dream, and leaves your skin so soft, you don’t actually need lotion- I use lotion anyway and always will, but the point is, the two times I tried going without after-shower lotion when using this bar, it was okay! My skin didn’t feel like it would crack, and it wasn’t tight; I just felt soft and, yes, supple! Kudos to Joy and Ginny on this recipe! Winner, winner! When I buy more this will also be my kitchen sink hand soap. I just totally love it.

Shea/Almond- This soap is also ultra-moisturizing. If I wasn’t so gaga over the Mango/Avocado, this would be my favorite. This is the one hub says he likes most.

Shaving Soap-

MUST-HAVE! I hardly have to shave at all, since using my *Remington iLight, but on the very few occasions I do – WOW! I couldn’t go back to a gel or shave cream after using this. It leaves your skin mega soft, and I felt like my razor was just gliding over my skin. Hub says it’s worth the extra second or two to lather up with this instead of cream from a can because he thinks the same as me- his shave just felt closer and smoother, and his razor seemed to glide. Total winner!




Facial Products:

Rhassoul Facial Bar-

MUST-HAVE!  A FANTASTIC detox facial bar! I have a daily glycolic cleanser I’m hard-core hooked on right now, but I like this so much I’m alternating with it. Deep, deep clean feeling, plus really clear-looking skin when you are done cleansing. Not just for your face, but I’m putting it here since that is how I’m using it. Tops!

I love the Rhassoul Facial Bar- I like to use it with my Pretika Facial Brush.

Detoxifying/Calming Facial Mask-

I really liked the mask. With Rhassoul, other clays, and chamomile tea, it really does do a great job of pulling impurities from your skin. You steep the tea bag in about a tablespoon or so of boiling water for 5 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from the tea bag, then take the liquid and mix it with the powdered clay. Apply to your face and neck, and relax until completely dried. Rinse. Ahh. Feels lovely, and is a  wonderful treat once a week.

Fabulous  Facial Moisturizer-

I’ve been using a few drops of this oil with my night cream and really like the moisturizing boost it gives. A combination of only two oils, it  won’t clog pores, but it really amps up the moisture on your face. I like to massage any excess into my hands each evening, too.

The Facial Moisturizer and the Night Time Eye Balm.

Night Time Eye Balm-

It says night time, but I have this sitting out on the kitchen counter in easy reach, next to lip balm #7, and I dab a little under my eyes throughout the day. It’s a handy little stick for quick and easy application and I really like how moisturizing it is and how good it feels.

Lip Balms by formula #


A nice all-around lip balm- not too shiny, not too matte.


If  #7  wasn’t available this would be my next choice. Very similar to 7, but just a little less gloss. Very nice.

#7 –

MUST-HAVE!! I love this! Super luxe feeling, glossy, and shiny, and my lips are so soft and pretty! Love this balm!!

#9 –

This is the only thing I tried that I didn’t fall for- I like my lip balms slick, and I like them to leave a gloss or shine on my lips. This is a drier feel. While it’s not for me, my hub really, really likes it- he called it a “man-balm,” lol. Since it is drier with no real sheen, it is nice for a guy who’s dealing with chapped lips but who doesn’t like the typical balms that feel filmy and leave shine.


Coconut Milk Shea Body Butter and Mango Body Butter

The Mango Butter and The Coconut Milk Shea  Butter are rich, whipped butters that leave your skin soft and subtly fragrant  in an earthy, fresh way. I have been using both of these after bathing. The only reason I’m not adding these as must-haves is because I have a different butter and daily lotion set that I adore and love, and that I was using before I started using these… and I have a back up set for when the first ones are gone ;-p  So I know I won’t re-purchase the mango or coconut butters for a while, but I might down the road.

Luxurious Lotion Bar- MUST-HAVE!

This is the first product I tried. While waiting at a red light in the car, I pulled this out and began rubbing it between my hands to help it liquefy from the warmth of my skin. I knew I loved it from the get go. Super silky feeling, and it really leaves your skin soft and conditioned- I took a tip from the creators and I always rub a bit into my cuticles. I will keep buying this to keep in my purse. I’m hooked on this little flower-shaped gem!


The Lotion Bar- I used their pic because not a single one of mine turned out. Aren’t the bars cute?!

Whew! I really got going, huh? All in all, I am loving the products- I’m going to buy quite a few of them myself to keep using, and I hope you will try them, too! Visit them on  FacebookTwitter and Pinterest to stay up to date on specials and new products!

Ginny and Joy want to give a Howard House Reader the chance to win a goody bag of their own, so hop over HERE to enter, Good Luck!!

Just Good Stuff Giveaway!

Howard House Reviews and Just Good Stuff are offering you a chance to win a wonderful goodie bag full of incredible products from Just good Stuff!!
One winner will get:
Lotion Bar
Detoxifying/Calming Facial Mask
Herbal Deodorant
Luxury Soap-Of Choice
Eye Balm
Lip Balm
In this cute gift bag:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We All Need A Little Lift Now And Then



When we think of plastic surgery, most of us think about Michael’s nose, Meg Ryan’s cheeks or Pamela’s bosom. Actually, for centuries there have been people who’ve stretched their earlobes and necks, enlarged their lips with different items like discs or plates, filed their teeth, had tattoos  or scarred  their skin, and bound their feet, among other things. These are all forms of body modification, a type of prelude to modern techniques. Historians tell us  that the first recorded account of “reconstructive plastic surgery” is found in ancient Indian Sanskrit texts that describe procedures to repair noses and ears that were lost (due to battle or punishment for crimes). The  Hindu surgeon Sushruta even described what he called the “attached flap” method in his 600 B.C. text Sushruta Samhita.  The ancient Egyptians and Romans also performed cosmetic surgery; the Romans were able to perform some simple techniques, like repairing damaged ears,  from around the 1st century BC.

While I’ve never had the urge to file my teeth into points or get Triple E implants, I am totally open to plastic or cosmetic surgery. If I hit the lottery, I would definitely  look into scar revision for my awful c-section scars, or some type of laser or other resurfacing technique to lighten and fade my stretch marks. And I love the different lasers available to tighten facial skin.  A subtle lift, nip or tuck can have an incredible impact on someone’s appearance. And for so many people, being insecure about a certain feature or aspect of their face or body can cause them to be much less open and unable to interact with people. Fix the issue and suddenly they bloom and begin to really experience life instead of hiding from it. Of course, like I mentioned, we often picture certain celebrities who went way too far. Joan Van Ark is one celeb who really looked worse after her numerous surgeries- you gotta say when!


Janice Dickinson is another celeb who needed to stop.



I was looking through the WestLake Dermatology site, browsing some of their before-and-after photos of real people who underwent different procedures and who still looked real afterwards, but with amazing transformations. Pretty incredible. Just look at the difference in this woman’s face after a nose job.  She was already lovely, but in the before image her nose sort of takes over her face, while afterwards she looks in balance and you really notice how pretty her other features are.  Obviously, choosing the right doctor and the right practice is about the most important part of the process. You don’t want a doctor who has a fast food menu of services and just repeats the same thing on every person. You want the physicians who really take the time to explain what is realistic.


Reading about the physicians at Westlake Dermatology I was struck by the sheer number of combined years of experience they bring to the table. I actually started to add them up, realized I was doing math and stopped immediately! Suffice it to say it’s a big number. Not only do the various doctors have the time in, they have a broad range of knowledge.  It’s not surprising that Westlake Dermatology is a leader in dermatology and cosmetic procedures in the United States, with services such as juvederm, breastaugmentation, and laser treatments.  In fact, I noticed this statement : “Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has earned a “Gold Seal Approval” outpatient surgery center accreditation by the Joint Commission. Joint Commission accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.”  That is exactly the kind of practice I would be looking for if I were getting ready to trust someone with modifying my appearance!


Of course, I had to visit their store,, and take a peek,  pen and paper ready to jot down a want- to- try list. So into the brands they carry! Naturally I found a few products I really, really want. They carry Pyratine-6™, Vivite®, iS Clinical (which I love!) and several other lines that I have either sampled or want to! Having the iderma store means that taking care of your skin post-procedure is easy. And you know how I feel about taking care of your skin. The right products could even delay your decision to have surgery if you are able to see a real difference in your skin texture, laxity or discoloration.

The decision to set up a consultation for laser treatments or surgery is pretty personal. We all need a little lift now and then, and I guess the key is to make sure that the one who does the lifting knows his onions!

National Skin Care Awareness Month Is Ending – Eucerin Review


September is National Skin Care Awareness Month!


Being a skin care junkie, I am always interested in tips and tricks for keeping your skin in the best possible condition. In honor of National Skin Care Awareness Month, I want to share a few of my favorite tips.

1. Cleansing. This is the foundation of any skin care regime. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on lotions or creams if you don’t cleanse properly.  Choose a cleanser suited to your skin type. If you have oily skin, choose one specifically made to deal with that. Mature skin? Choose a moisturizing wash.  Cleanse daily. I always wash my face thoroughly at night, even if I just stayed home and didn’t wear make up. Don’t skip it because you are tired. Our skin heals as we sleep and you want to give it the optimal environment- so clean your face! I often just use a rose water toner in the mornings, unless i used a heavy duty night cream. 

2. Exfoliate. Get those nasty dead skin cells off your face! Exfoliating encourages new cell turnover and your skin looks glow-y and prettier when you exfoliate. It also helps your skin absorb nutrients and the active ingredients in your skin care treatments. Don’t forget  to exfoliate your body when you bathe. Elbows, knees and feet. Those areas tend to get discolored and thicker skinned with age. Help your body look good!

3. SPF. Wear it every day.You have to. Period. Don’t forget to apply to your arms, legs, neck…those are exposed to the sun, too.Not just your face.

4. Hydrate. Drink your water. Your skin needs to stay hydrated to look it’s best. You need to stay hydrated to feel your best. If you want- dress up your beverages with sliced citrus or frozen blueberries. Just drink up!


5. Moisturize. Use a quality face cream or lotion and don’t forget body lotion to keep the moisture in your skin. It’s just as important in the cooler weather as in the summer. In fact, as the weather turns colder our skin dries out faster due to the heaters running and the air getting so dry. 


For me, and my family, I like Eucerin lotions. Although I adore boutique brands, I always have bottles of Eucerin on hand. It’s my favorite mass market brand. In fact they have been around over 100 years! Dermatologist recommended and they have formulations that meet every need. For a light weight, every day lotion, meaning it’s one I apply every AM, is Eucerin’s Daily Replenishing Lotion. Fragrance free and light, it’s a perfect protective shield for my skin. It absorbs fast and doesn’t ever feel greasy. I keep a bottle by the kitchen sink, too. Even hub uses this lotion. Since there is no scent, he doesn’t balk, lol.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body…take care of it!


If you visit the Eucerin Facebook Page, you can Pledge for a Free Sample of Eucerin lotion.

And, if you’d like to win a bottle of Daily Replenshing Lotion- you can click HERE. Good Luck!


Hair Removal At Home With The Remington iLight! Second Treatment


It was hard waiting the 2 weeks till my second treatment with the Remington iLight!  I just can’t imagine any other cirumstance where I would be all happy to jump in the shower to shave, lol. So I did my legs and bikini area on a level 1 for my first IPL  treatment. Did I notice any difference? Well, yes and no. On my legs I can see that the hair is little bit finer and there are a few areas where it grew back sparser. Which means that the dreaded black dots aren’t as noticeable after I shave! YES!  My bikini area hasn’t changed as far as I can tell, then again, it’s a lot easier to examine your legs than… well you know.

Not me. Just a random pic of someone shaving. With a bad razor.

So like I told you in my first Remington iLight post, I prepared by shaving the areas I plan to treat, making sure my skin was clean and dry…and I had an assistant this time. More on that in a minute.  I also decided to do my underarm area this go round. I’m not sure why I skipped it before? Not thinking I guess. I decided to go for level two today. It felt the same, until I finished my legs. I felt it a little more in the bikini area, since that is more sensitive. I went back down to level 1 for my underarms. It was the first time I zapped there so I started at the lowest level.  I again followed with an aloe-based lotion. Time-wise it still took me about 20 or so minutes, even adding another treatment zone. I am just as impressed this week at how easy the whole process is. The thought of dramatically reducing body or having permanent results is just too wonderful. I am already looking forward to the 3rd time with the Remimgton iLight as I should certainly be seeing some real results by then! There are several ways that the iLight is different than other home use machines… get the facts HERE.

Oh, and I forgot to say that I got a pair of tanning goggles after my first time. The light is bright when it flashes and my sunglasses were fine but with the goggles, the strap keeps them in place when bending. Just an FYI.

See you in two weeks! Smoother….



October 15-21 Is Spa Week!! And 4 Giveaways From Spa Week To Enter!

Spa Week NYC is a Bi-Annual Event that allows you to enjoy luxurious full-service spa treatments at the finest spas across North America for just $50 each. Booking begins now! Go here for more info and to locate a spa near you. Bliss!!


PLUS… go to the SpaWeek Facebook page to enter 4 great giveaways. You can enter them all at once! Good Luck!

Hair Removal At Home With The Remington iLight!



Not too long ago I was getting a pedicure. I was zoning and relaxed when the leg massage began. It should be one of those moments in life when you just succumb to bliss and deliberately ignore any and all stresses you are dealing with. That’s what a pedicure is for…to have pretty feet and no worries. Too bad the gentleman who was working on me said “Oh, you no shave your legs to come here? Ladies always shave their legs for pedicure!” Huh? Well, actually I DID shave, just last night in the shower before bed. It was barely 11Am, but I already had a nice crop of stubble. And my hair is dark, so not only did it feel scratchy, it looked as though it had been a week since my legs had seen a razor. So I was out of my happy place, and worrying about him rubbing my stubble, up  and down, side to side, little circles….STOP RUBBING MY STUBBLE!!!!  I get it, my legs are hairy! I tipped extra just because he had to massage my scritchy legs.  My leg hair has always been a major issue for me in the spring and summer months. No matter how close the shave, my hair is always visible as dark little dots all over. Sunless tanner helps a great deal, but I am self-conscious about the 5 0’clock shadow I’m sporting on my legs. It just takes away from the little summer sundress, you know? I have waxed, but although the first few days of smooth are nice, I don’t enjoy growing out the hair to get a good wax, and I dislike the mess. To get waxing done at a spa, it can be $40.00 to $50.00 per session. Ouch and Ouch! Threading, which I’ve tried, is painful over a large area (I don’t mind it at all on my chin) and it’s also spendy for results that don’t last. $50.00 to $85.00 per session, and you still have to let the hair grow to get the best results. Hair removal creams are not even an option for me because of the mess and the uneven hair removal. Just no.

So do we have any other options?  Thank goodness the answer is yes. Laser and IPL hair removal are methods that DO work.  The main  difference between the two is that laser uses one specific wavelength of light, but the IPL uses a full spectrum. This means that unlike lasers, which can only deliver a single wavelength,  the IPL treatment  can release light over a wide range.  IPL is intense light pulses, which is just energy in the form of light, that destroys the hair follicle.  

If you don’t mind dropping anywhere from $150.00 to $225.00 PER treatment, you can go to a hair removal clinic or a med spa that offers hair removal/permanent hair reduction via lasers or IPL. You will typically need from 4 to 6 sessions, spaced from 3 to 4 weeks apart to get results. That’s a LOT of money for smooth hair free skin!


The route that I feel is the most cost effective, and convenient is to use a device that offers permanent hair removal and reduction, at home. Of course, if you have been a reader at Howard House for any length of time, you know that my hobby (ahem) is finding the best machines for home use, that mimic pricey derm and spa treatments. So, for hair removal at home, I’m trying out the Remington iLight. An IPL machine that I can use in the privacy of my own bedroom, and achieve the smoother legs I have always wanted! I really like the affordable price point, as it’s only $249.00, less than the cost of two treatment areas at a spa or hair removal clinic. Plus, I can treat ALL the areas I want from the neck down. Legs, arms, underarms, chest or stomach, even the bikini area. I don’t have to drive anywhere, make any appointments or endure a sales pitch for pricey after care products.  Here are the techy details straight from Remington: Light energy is generated by a Xenon flash lamp and applied to the skin by a handheld device. The light targets the melanin or pigment in hair follicles, gently heating them and disrupting the growth cycle without damaging the overlying skin. To protect the skin, unwanted rays are safely filtered out, so that only light within the desired therapeutic range is allowed to pass through.  Within a few weeks of your initial treatment the hair will begin to fall out and results should improve over time! Oh yeah!


My first treatment:

The iLight comes packaged in a really nice box, and contains an instruction DVD that you should watch. It contains all the info you need to get started, but I recommend reading the instruction booklet as well.  The Ilight features a nice long cord, too, so you can reach different body parts easily. Also included is a soft cloth for cleaning the unit after use.


After waiting 24 hours from my **skin test I began. According to the first use guidelines, I checked that the light cartridge was properly in place, before I plugged my iLight in. I shaved my legs and bikini area because shaving helps minimize any sensation felt via the flashes. I made sure my skin was clean and dry. Then I used the very smart, built in ***skin tone sensor that tells you if your skin tone is right for using the Ilight. This must be done on each area you treat in order to unlock the machine. I started at a level one intensity. Then I simply placed the hand piece on my skin, listened for the chirp to tell me it was making full skin contact, pressed the button and waited for the flash ( I used sunglasses btw, it’s a pretty bright light) After each flash, I moved the wand up or over in an imaginary grid pattern and repeated.  (Don’t draw a grid on your skin! Use your imagination!) 

I did both legs and bikini area, and it took me about 20 minutes. The feeling? On my legs I didn’t feel anything, but on the bikini area, I felt something similar to a light snap. Not even as much as tweezing a hair, it was pretty mild. I might bump up to a 2 level next time, as I will treat again in two weeks. My schedule is every two weeks for 6 weeks, then as needed. I used an aloe based lotion afterwards. Overall, it was easy and fast, not uncomfortable at all and I’m excited to see where I end up in a few weeks. There is not supposed to be any noticeable difference at first as the hair must fall out gradually. There are some great before and after pics on the Remington iLight site, HERE.


I will post again after my second and third treatments to let you know how this is going. My only regret?  That summer is over!!! If my results match those of other users, I WILL be ready for my summer dresses next year.



**I did a skin test 24 hours before my first use, just because I am into following safety directions.

***The IPL works best on fairer skin tones with dark hair. Blonde or white/grey hair will not respond well. Darker skin tones could change color or there could be swelling. The skin tone sensor is a safety feature that ensures only the right skin tones are treated!