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Why do you buy candles? Is it for the scent, the look, the cozy feel they create? Well now you'll have yet another reason to purchase a lovely candle to brighten up your decor and your spirits. Bella j. gives you all those reasons plus a little surprise! Inside each of their fragrant candles is a little pouch that holds a collectible charm bracelet or necklace. 

Bella j. Surf Shack 1.7.14 Certified FabulousI currently have the bella j. Surf Shack candle - the chic design and soft green color of the candle is just the visual pick me up I need to get through the depths of winter here in Maine. The refreshing scent of white florals, leafy greens, and honeydew with woodsy notes of sheer amber and white patchouli will have you dreaming of a calm, rustic beach. Close your eyes and soothe the tension with this comforting and refreshing candle. But bella j. candles are more than just the look & fragrance. As I mentioned above, they include a collectible charm bracelet or necklace.

Here's how it works:

Bella j. step 1Light your candle and let it burn until the "charm pouch" is revealed. Blow out the flame and let the candle cool.

Bella j. step 2

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Most of us use all types of nail polish. From the ones we pick up at CVS to our higher-end brand purchases. You can easily become obsessed with nail polishes as you can buy and change your nail style quite easily. Not to say painting your nails is all easy – you have to attend to chips and breaks, multiple coats, quality of color, etc. But the nail polish you use can also affect the health of your nails, sometimes contributing to nail discoloration and brittleness.

If you are noticing such changes in your nails, you might want to switch up the polish that you are using. To what you say? Well let me introduce to you Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Care

Drs Remedy Soothing Slate 1.5.14 Certified FabulousNow this really is a “Dr.’s Remedy” as two board certified & practicing podiatric surgeons (Dr. Adam Cirlincione & Dr. William Spielfogel) founded Dr.’s Remedy (www.remedynails.com). As practicing podiatrists they found that patients were coming to them with brittle and discolored nails, often associated with harsh chemicals found in nail polish (www.remedynails.com). Thus, they founded Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Care to address such concerns.

Infused in each of their products, is a special blend of ingredients that includes: wheat protein, tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, lavender, and Vitamins C and E. With the vitamins & protein (which help with nail discoloration) and the naturally occurring anti-fungal ingredients, Dr.’s Remedy provides a healthier and safer nail polish.

Drs Remedy Nurture Nude Pink 1.5.14 Certified FabulousDr.'s Remedy Nail Polishes retail at $17.00 and there are 30 different shades to choose from, along with a few other nail care products. What's also a little different about this nail polish is the names of the shades; they use wellness words to inspire and empower you to feel good about yourself and your nails. Who couldn't use a little inspiration? I tried two colors, Dr.'s Remedy Soothing Slate & Dr.'s Remedy Nurture Nude Pink. Both shades went on smooth and with good coverage. It took me 2 coats to get the color I wanted, but the dry time was quick compared to other polishes, and once again, the polish was very smooth making it easier to apply multiple coats. The Soothing Slate had a rather metalic touch to it, while the Nurture Nude Pink was a glossy neutral - so with 30 shades to choose from, you should be able to find color and finish you like in no time!

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Top 10 Beauty 2013

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Karin Herzog - World Leader in Oxygen Skincare. What is oxygen skincare? Well to start, Doctor Paul Herzog was the first scientist to successfully stabilize active oxygen. This "propels essential nutrients to the collagen producing cells" (Karin Herzog). Doctor Paul Herzog and his wife Karin found that the stabilized active oxygen had amazing benefits for the skin. Together Paul & Karin worked to create an "anti-aging and restorative skincare line" - Karin Herzog

I had never heard of this skincare line before it was introduced to Certified F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. But this skincare line that combines science and beauty is worth a try. I had the opportunity to try three great products from Karin Herzog. These are three basic products that you would find in a skincare regime, but they take the basic to a whole new level.  

karin herzog cleansingThe first product up on the list is the Karin Herzog Professional Cleansing. This gel is a facial cleanser and makeup remover in one. This will effectively remove face & eye makeup while removing impurities and conditioning the skin. This is a much thicker gel than any other cleansing gel I have used. Other gels tend to be rather thin and spread easily over your face as you work it into a lather. This gel is different - you massage it into your dry skin (do not wet your face) and then remove the gel with warm cotton wool and warm water. When I removed the gel I could see all of my face makeup and dirt. I could see the line where my clean skin stopped and the gel that was collecting dirt began. With this cleanser you can really see the results right then and there. You know that you got your makeup off and your skin massaged clean! It also did not irritate my eyes at all while removing the makeup. 

Karin Herzog ScrubThe second product I tried was the Karin Herzog Mild Scrub. This is a very smooth, refined scrub that looks like a cream. You can hardly see the beads - it looks like a gel with a little luminescent glow. But you can definitely feel the beads once you apply the scrub. The refined, small beads effectively worked to get rid of the dirt, buildup and dead skin cells that can be left on your skin. My skin felt very smooth and looked bright after using this scrub! The super fine texture did not irritate my skin, and the cream helped so that it was not drying. Use this scrub once to twice a week for a smooth, clear, refreshed complexion!

karin herzog maskThe third and last product on the list is the Karin Herzog Essential Mask. Apply a thick layer of this cream mask and leave on for ten minutes. I loved the scent of this mask! It's smells citrusy but with a touch of perfume. I felt a bit of a tingle using this mask, but I have senitive skin and it felt as though my skin was absorbing all the mask has to offer. Since it is a cream mask, it did not feel drying at all and my skin felt smooth, hydrated, and brighter looking! This mask is great if you skin needs a little pick me up. This mask will bring back that tired or stressed skin. This mask is also anti-aging and will help combat blemishes. Use once to twice a week to give your skin the extra attention it deserves! 

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Torn dress? Spill your drink? Need to freshen up at a party? Lots of little things can have us stressing during our Holiday festivities this season. So to make your life a little easier and a little less stressful, Pinch Provisions Candy Striper Minimergency Kit has your Fashion, Beauty & Personal essentails covered! The Minimergency Kit includes 17 must-haves to get you through those holiday parties and events. This little pouch packs just what you need to get through a "minimergency" - throw it in your purse, or keep it in your car because you never know when this palm size package will come in handy!

Pinch Provisions In Hand

 Includes: hairspray, clear nail polish, nail polish remover, emery board, lip balm, earring backs, clear elastics, mending kit, safety pin, Shemergency® tape, stain remover, deodorant towelette, pain reliever, tampon, breath freshener, dental floss, and an adhesive bandage.

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit 12.24.13 Certified Fabulous

 So if you have any more events to attend this Holiday season, you should definetly look into getting one of these! I think the little pouch is adorable and with eight color choices you are sure to find one that suits you or a friend. Even once you run out of the essentails, you will now know what you need to refill and pack in your pouch for those minimergencies! This kit is also perfect for the last minute gift, anyone can always use a little help for those unexpected mishaps!

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Those beauty queens love their hair and makeup, more products mean more fun! So for the beauty queen on your holiday list here are a few products that are sure to impress!

Rowenta Beauty

Rowenta Beauty Versa Style Styling Iron 1"

This is a 5-in-one hair styling tool that works as a flat iron, a roller set, and 3 sizes of curling irons. It has curved edges with soft grip silicone strips that help curl or add waves to your hair without leaving any demarcation lines. It also has a digital screen that displays the temperature (ranging from 260F to 400F) and is easy to adjust and read the settings. The tourmaline-boosted ceramic coating produces gentle infrared ionic heat that creates smoother, shinier, frizz free results. As a flat iron, this styling tool works really well and is very easy to create a sleek, smooth look. To create curls, it takes a little bit of practice and playing around with the iron to discover how it truly works, but curly looks are definitely achievable! I was most happy to discover that I could create a casual wavy/beachy curl that I have found difficult to achieve with curling irons. I am still playing around with the styling tool to create all the various looks that are possible, but I love the versatility of this styling tool and it makes it most helpful to have such a wide range of styles at your fingertips with one tool!

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Buying gifts can be tricky business. When you don't know what to get someone, or perhaps your involved in a yankee swap, a gift set can be good go-to option. They're pretty, and usully not full size products to allow your gifted to try a few things out. So here's a couple of gifting ideas for this holiday season:

Crabtree & Evelyn Mini Duo Gift 

Crabtree and Evelyn Noel Small Fragranced Candle

Part of the Crabtree & Evelyn 2013 Secret Garden Holiday Collection, this mini gift set looks beautiful and is sure to make those on your Holiday list smile. It comes in a little flower garden decorated box, with gold trim and the image of a key on the front. It opens up to the Lavender Ultra-Mousturizing Hand Therapy (25g) & Hydrating Body Lotion (50ml). These are the perfect size to take on the go, or to try out the products before you buy full size. I carry the hand lotion in my purse all the time now and I love it! The lavender is very relaxing and soothing especially on a cold winter day. With beautiful packaging and lovely products, this is sure to make a great gift! If you want to add something additional to your gift set, or perhaps looking for something smaller to gift on it's own, Crabtree & Evelyn offer small fragrance candles to fill the room with a Holiday scents. The Noël®Fragranced Candle (small) is in a little red frosted jar with a Poinsettia design that will fit in perfectly with the rest of your Holiday decorations! It's festive fragrance will quickly fill the room and the soft candlelight will tap into your holiday cheer. This candle will make a great addition to any cozy holiday atmosphere!

Crabtree and Evelyn Lavender Mini Duo

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Since the sun goes down a little sooner these days...who am I kidding, a LOT sooner, all I want to do is stay wrapped up and warm inside. So as you start to think about your Holiday gifts think about something that might bring a little more warm light to your gift receiver's evening...a candle! They are soothing and calming and won't cost more money on an electrical bill! In the Holiday Spirit, Certified F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. has received some lovely candles to test out and our office is very thankful for it! 

Bath & Body Works Snowday Candle 

We have been lighting this candle quite often in the Certified FABULOUS office. It will definitely put you into a holiday mood. The scent fills the whole office in a short amount of time! The fragrance combination of spruce branches, peppermint and sweet vanilla bring the feeling of a fun filled snow day inside! It's the perfect addition to your cozy day inside perhaps during a snow storm or a winter evening in. This will make a great Holiday gift and a scent that will be perfect for the rest of the winter!

This candle is made with:

the highest concentration of fragrance oils

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As we head further into the winter months, our dry skin will need much more attention and care. If you struggle with knowing what products to use and when, Eight Skincare has you covered with the 4-Step Rejuvenation Kit. To bring your dry dull skin back to life, follow these four steps and you'll have smooth skin all winter long. 

Eight Skincare 4 step rejuvenation kit 11.26.13 Certified Fabulous

Dry Skin Body Brushing

This brush will gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells, allowing your skin to keep the protective oil barrier. I have rather sensitive skin but I was still able to use this brush lightly and effectively on my skin. Use this dry brush before you shower - do not get the brush wet!

Eight Créme Body Wash

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Lifeline Skincare is the first brand that I have come across that has stunned me with it's incredible connection to science. Not being so well versed in scientific processes - I have my basic knowledge but hit me with some specifics and I need to do some research. 

Lifeline uses the "latest discoveries in the fields of stem cell biology, nanotechnology, and skin cream formulation technology to create the highest quality, scientifically tested & most effective anti-aging products." The highlight of their technology is creating human non-embryonic stem cells and taking extracts from them. Stem cells? Non-embryonic? This is some intense stuff for skincare. As I was reading their "about us" section and more about the brand, I wanted to do a little more research to truly understand this skincare and how it works. Their website offers this explanation "the non-embryonic stem cells in lifeline skincare cell serums are derived from unfertilized human eggs which are donated from in vitro fertilization labs and clinics." That's a lot to take in at first glance right? So for me to really understand this skincare line, I disected the previous explaination a little further. I want to share with you what I found so that it can hopefully help you wrap your head around this skincare line, which is one truly worth knowing and using.

In order to know what non-embryonic stem cells means, I need to know the basics of embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stems cells are typically derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro-in an in vitro fertilization clinic - not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman's body (StemCells.nih.gov). In vitro in Latin means "in glass" - an artificial environment in this case. In vitro fertilization is a technique that fertilizes the eggs in a laboratory instead of inside the female body (StemCells.nih.gov.). In order to obtain the embryonic stem cells - the early embryo has to be destroyed which has been surrouned with controversy as it is seen as destroying a potential human life (Eurostemcell.org). So you can see where there is difficulty in controversy with embryonic stem cells and it's research. But this background helps us understand the base of Lifeline Skincare. Lifeline DOES NOT use embryonic stem cells, they use NON-embryonic stem cells (non-fertilized stem cells), and as they state, "you do not need to be concerned that a human embryo was damaged or destroyed to create these skincare products" (Lifeline). The unfertilized human eggs are donated to Lifelife (as stated above) from in vitro fertilization clinics - they key here is that they are unfertilized, allowing them to create non-embryonic stem cells.

Lifeline Night Serum 11.24.13 Certified FabulousI'll admit, I was a little timid to use the products after learning about non-embryonic stem cells as it is far different from any skincare I have experienced. But nevertheless, I did try the Lifeline Skincare Recovery Night Moisture Serum and I am so glad I did! The human non-embryonic stem cell extracts have some major benefits in this night serum. Growth factors extracted from these human non-embryonic stem cells repair skin damage, can renew skin by replacing the damage cells, and accelerate your skin's ability to repair lines, wrinkles, weak, lax or dull skin. Other key ingredients:

Antioxidants - help reduce the appearance of skin redness, fine lines & wrinkles

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