Category Archives: bath

REVIEW: Dead Sea Mud Mask & Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer from InstaNatural


We’ve known for a while that the waters of the Dead Sea have some sort of beneficial effect on skin.  The salty water and earth of the Sea have been used in tons of beauty products lately, such as scrubs, soaps, toners, and more.  I got the opportunity to try out a Dead Sea Mud Mask from InstaNatural, as well as an Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer!




Manufacturer Information about the Dead Sea Mud Mask:

InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier and purifier that comes from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea. More than a million visitors each year flock to this extraordinary body of water in the Mediterranean, which contains many minerals beneficial to the skin, such as magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium. Once applied, this mud mask treatment starts working to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. It is great to expunge acne, pimples and blackheads. It also helps to restore an even skin tone for a smoother complexion. When used as a body treatment, the mud mask can soothe and relieve muscles aches and pains. Whether used on the face or the body, our Dead Sea Mud Mask is a superb in-home spa treatment that will reveal more vibrant, refined, healthier skin.


This mud mask is a huge jar, and I can tell that it will last me a very long time!  Just from one use, this is all that was removed…and I could have gone with less, as I think I put it rather thicker than it should have been.


The texture is not unlike that of chocolate pudding, to be honest, although there are some small bits that don’t offer much in the way of grittiness.


There’s not really any scent to be noted.  Upon first putting the mask on, I noticed a cool tingling.  I liked it quite a bit.  My main issue was that as the mask went through the process of drying on my face, it began to itch.  This irritate me to the point where I definitely had to wash it off before the full 15 minutes was up, but I think my skin may be more on the sensitive side.

I did feel an immediate softness on my face after using the mud mask.  I think I will be most interested in using this mask on the rougher parts of my body, such as elbows and feet!



I had heard of retinol before, but I was never really sure what its’ benefits were. That’s why I was excited to test this moisturizer.

Manufacturer Information about the Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer:

Harness the extraordinary power of retinol with InstaNatural’s Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer… perfect for night and day. InstaNatural’s restorative cream contains a robust formula of handpicked ingredients designed to improve your complexion. Retinol (Vitamin A) promotes healthier skin and helps to reverse the signs of aging, while Vitamin C & Green Tea strengthen skin to protect against external aggressors that cause damage. In addition, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil & Shea Butter deeply moisturize the skin to provide long-lasting hydration.

Using InstaNatural’s moisturizing cream daily will help to transform older, damaged skin into a healthier and youthful appearance by: diminishing the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines; reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots, age spots and dark spots; helping control breakouts and reducing blemishes, restoring firmness and elasticity of skin, evening skin tone & texture; and delivering ultimate moisturize for soft, supple skin.


I love that this moisturizer dispenses from a pump, and one pump dispenses just enough to cover my face.  The texture is perfect, not too thick but not too thin.  It glides easily on the face and take very little time to absorb.  I began to feel that my face was softer and more hydrated after only a couple of uses.  One important thing to mention about using a facial product with Retinol–being out in the sun can lead to more damage.  So, I will be using this as strictly a night time moisturizer.

I was very impressed with both products I received from InstaNatural.  I’m also happy to say both the Dead Sea Mud Mask and Retinol Moisturizer are made in the USA and animal cruelty free!

Best of all, InstaNatural offers a 100% money back guarantee for all its’ products.

**DISCLAIMER: I received free product from the company above to test for this post.  No other compensation was given, and my photos and opinions are my own. Powered by BrandBacker.

REVIEW: Dial Acne Control Face Wash

As an adult who sometimes gets the occasional breakout, I don’t always like to wash my face with medicated washes because they can be harsh.  I do, however, need something powerful when those breakouts show up!

That’s where new Dial Acne Control Face Wash comes in!  With its’ active ingredient of salicylic acide, it can give you clearer skin in just THREE DAYS.

My face did indeed start to clear up within a day after I began using this face wash.  I like that it’s in a rather plain bottle, no funky lettering or colors like those face washes marketed towards teens would be.



I will continue to use this face wash when my skin is breaking out…which tends to be around a certain week of the month :O  But for day to day, I found it to be a little drying for my skin.  I would recommend only using this as a daily wash if you have more severe acne or a strictly oily complexion.

Be sure to visit the Dial Facebook Page for more info on Dial Acne Control products, and to get a Digital Coupon for $0.75 off the Dial Acne Control Face Wash or Bar Soap!


**DISCLAIMER: I received this product free for review purposes from Smiley360.  I received no other compensation for my post, and the pictures and opinions contained within this post are my own.

REVIEW: Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash

With the scorching hot Louisiana summer we have had thus far, I was very much looking forward to trying a new body wash that seems perfect for cooling off. Luckily, new Dial Coconut Water body wash in Refreshing Mango scent seemed to be just the ticket.


Here’s a bit of product information about the body wash.

 Treat your skin to twice the tropical refreshment with every shower. The rich lather of this body wash is infused with coconut water, known to be rich in hydrating antioxidants and electrolytes. While the scent of juicy, ripe mango leaves skin feeling fresh, clean and delectably fragrant.

The juicy mango scent is definitely the star of this show!  Even before you lather up, you can tell that the scent is strong.  It becomes even more so when you put it on your loofah–lathering up is a fantastic sensory experience.  The scent also stays on your skin well after you’re done drying off.

Dial body wash always lathers quite well and generously for me, and this new formula was no exception.  With just a quarter sized squirt, you will have tons of rich bubbles that rinse off easily.


Dial Refreshing Mango is a great addition to the Coconut Water body wash line, and a perfect way to cool off and smell great after a super hot day.

Check out the Dial Facebook page for more info on their products, giveaways, and more!

REVIEW: Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash

I am definitely a bath and body product aficionado,  so I was really excited to try out the NEW Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash!

There are two varieties, Vitamin Boost B with Kiwi Extract, and Vitamin Boost C with Grapefruit Extract.  I received the Vitamin Boost B to try out.

Vitamin B is a natural humectant that gives dry tired skin the boost it needs.  New Dial Vitamin Boost Body wash is a new advanced formula that contains a moisturizing Vitamin Complex that helps draw vitamins and moisture directly to your skin.  This means healthier, softer skin.


First of all, I really liked the kiwi scent.  It’s not something you find often in body products, and it gives a little hint of the tropics during this long, cold winter.

I also liked that the body wash gave a nice lather, thick, and washed off my body easily.


The formula itself is creamy and flows out of the bottle easily.

I found Dial Vitamin Boost Body wash to be really hydrating!  I can see myself using this year round, because it gives enough moisture without leaving skin greasy.  I will for sure be grabbing a bottle of the Vitamin C Boost variety to try out when I am done with this one!

The really awesome part is, Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg!  You can get them for under $3 each at stores such as Wal-Mart.

Be sure to visit the Dial Facebook page for promotions and to learn about new products!

**DISCLAIMER: I received this product at no cost for testing purposes from Purex Insiders.  My opinions and content are my own.

Violet VoxBox from Influenster!

I am a member of Influenster, a program that allows socially savvy ladies to try out different companies’ products and give their honest feedback.

My most recent Influenster shipment was the Violet Voxbox!


The Violet VoxBox contained 5 cool items.  I’ll tell you my thoughts about each below.



Goody Athletique Headband

This is a black, stretchy, thick headband that secures with velcro.  I have hair that’s on the fine side, so I had a lot of trouble getting this band to stay put in my hair.  It definitely didn’t work when my hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but maybe it will be better if I wear it while my hair is down.


Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

If you didn’t know, dry shampoo is an aerosol spray that allows you to go one more day without having to wash your hair–it contains alcohol and powders that absorb oil and give your hair a clean look.  Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo works great and quickly–I liked that it didn’t make my hair feel stiff like some other dry shampoos have.


Montagne Jeunesse Red Earth Clay Spa Facial Mask

This is a really awesome one time use facial mask.  The red clay mixture is soaked into a paper mask, and you let it sit on your face while you relax for 15 minutes.  I have used these masks in the past and loved them–and the red clay version was no exception.  My face felt smooth and soft without tightness.


Sally Hansen Triple Shine Polish in Play Koi

I am a total polish addict, though orange is not one of my favorite colors.  Nevertheless, I didn’t mind the way this looked once it was on.  The shine was definitely there, but the polish didn’t last long at all for me–it was chipping and peeling after only 3 days.  I think this would be better to wear in summer, maybe.


Cranberry SoyJoy Bar

I did not like the taste of these at all.  I found them to be rather dry, but I appreciated that they contained real fruit.  maybe someone looking to get away from traditional nutrition bars would appreciate these–they contain less sugar than the usually chocolatey protein bars.

**DISCLAIMER: I received these products free to try from Influenster.  My thoughts, words, and pictures are my own.

Get NAKED with Herbal Essences!

Herbal Essences has released a new, invigorating collection to let you get your hair to its’ healthiest

–and it’s called Naked Volume!


The Volume collection lets you bare your softest hair! It has an invigorating blend of white grapefruit and mint extracts. It contains zero dyes to leave your hair naturally clean and full of irresistible volume.


Herbal Essences gave me the opportunity to order the new Naked Volume Hair Care set from!

The set includes these four items:

Naked Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

- Restores hair’s natural body.

- Made with zero heavy residues, dyes, and parabens.

- Light weight shampoo provides a clean luscious bounce.

- Conditioner keeps hair detangled, nourished, and maintains full volume.

 Naked Volume Dry Shampoo

- Great for days when you don’t have time to wash your hair.

- Refreshes your look for lightweight, clean hair — even on days when you don’t wash.

- The natural tapioca formula absorbs excess oil and transforms lifeless, oily hair into fresh hair.

- Delights senses with the crisp essence of citrus and mint.

- How to use: Gently spray on and work into roots, brush out as desired.

 Naked Volumizing Souffle

- Weightless, volumizing styler gives you a lift for fullness that lasts.

- Delights the senses with a boost of grapefruit and mint.

- How to use: Gently work mousse through wet hair for volume.


Here is a video of my super-easy ordering experience!


Herbal Essences is offering a chance for one of you to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card to get your own Naked Volume Set!



DISCLAIMER: The Walmart gift card and information have been provided by Herbal Essences.

REVIEW: Ivory 2 in 1 Hair & Body Wash

If you’re like me, your shower looks a lot like this:


I am a major bath and body addict, and my showers are filled with at least 4 or five different types of body wash, not to mention face washes, shampoo and conditioners, and my husband’s stuff too!

That’s why I was very happy to try out Ivory 2 in 1 Hair &  Body Wash, thanks to Influenster.  Not only does it save shower space, it offers all these benefits:

 –Cleans head to toe with dual action formula

–Washes away dirt and odor

–Leaves hair clean and conditioned

–Free of dyes & heavy perfumes

– 50% MORE than other 2-IN-1 brands

–Made in the USA

I first used it as a body wash, and I have to say I was quite impressed with the amount of lather it made–this is very important to be in a body cleanser!  It cleaned nicely and washed away easily, leaving a light, clean scent on my skin.  As a shampoo, it was just OK for me…I needed my shampoo to bee just a little less heavy.  My husband loved Ivory 2 in 1 for both his hair and body though!  I can see us having so many uses for this product this summer: beach days, overnight trips, pool time.  And we’ll only need to pack one bottle for the whole family.

You can find Ivory 2 in 1 Hair & Body Wash at Target, Walmart, and drugstores.

Be sure to check out Ivory’s Facebook page.

*DISCLAIMER: I received this product free of charge from Influenster in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way other than the free product.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lady Soma Antioxidant Berry Masque

I am definitely a face masque junkie.  I was so excited to get to try the Antioxidant Berry Masque made by Lady Soma, a manufacturer of natural beauty products for women.

The Antioxidant Berry Masque is loaded with antioxidant berries and Vitamins A, C, andE. The masque allows for a detox facial treatment using the antioxidant power of blueberries and cranberries, which enhance cellular renewal and collagen production.  The glycolic and alpha lipoic acids create a microdermabrasion-like effect that eliminates dead skin cells to reveal a fresh new layer.

The first thing I noticed about this masque was that it smells SOOOO delicious!  It is made with REAL blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate, and it definitely smells like fresh fruit…which makes for a very pleasant experience.  The masque is thick and creamy, with little exfoliating seeds throughout.

I loved that I could really feel this product working.  When it was on my face, I felt a cooling tingle, which felt nice and rejuvenating.  After 8 minutes, I rinsed the masque off, and I could immediately tell that my face felt so much softer.  After using this product for 3 weeks, I can tell that my skin is brighter and so smooth.

Lady Soma Antioxidant Berry Masque is a phenomenal product that I would recommend to ladies of any age!

Visit Lady Soma to learn more about all their natural health and beauty products.


Whipped Up Wonderful & Simply Sweet Skin

My post today is about two awesome bath and body vendors I’ve lately received products from!  Both of these ladies have their products listed on artisan websites (Artfire and Etsy), which are always great sources for finding unique products that are made with love.

The first shop I want to spotlight is Whipped Up Wonderful, run by the sweet Alexis.  Whipped Up Wonderful sells beautifully creative soaps and bath bombs.  When you receive one of Alexis’ items, it’s hard to actually open it and use it because it’s so pretty!

Candy Corn Cupcake Soap

Neopolitan Bath Bomb

See what I mean?  Everything in Alexis’ shop is that beautiful!  I had a coupon from completing a survey for WuW, and I decided to use it to purchase a Pumpkin Pie bath bomb.  The turn around time was wonderful, and I had received my item in less than a week.  Alexis does a great job of packaging her orders beautifully.

Package I received

First of all, this thing is huge!  It’s probably supposed to be used for one bath, but my tub is small so I kinda broke/crumbled it in half so that I could use it twice.  It was enough to lightly tint my water and give a good scent!  This tart smelled slightly cinnamony/spicy, but there was a smokiness I couldn’t put my finger on, that was kind of overwhelming.  I did like how the bath bomb made my skin feel soft and smooth!  I’d be open to trying another of Whipped Up Wonderful’s bath bombs :)

Another shop whose great items I’ve gotten to try is Simply Sweet Skin.  This Artfire shop is full of all kinds of goodies such as bar soap, sugar scrub, facial masks, and body spray.  Check these out:

Pumpkin Spice Foaming Scrub

Sweet Pink Icing bar soap

You are pretty much guaranteed to find something you like in Cat’s shop!  I was lucky enough to win a set of Coffee Sugar Scrub and Whipped Coffee Body Frosting from a giveaway.

The pair

I love that both of these little jars were shrink wrapped.  This makes it impossible for the jars to come open in the mail and spill all over the inside of the package!  The only thing I didn’t love was that when I opened the package and took out the contents, sequins came pouring out.  They were very cute sequins, I just wasn’t expecting them and they spilled all over the floor.  LOL :D

When I used this scrub, I was happy to find out that a little goes a long way.  Yes, there is actual coffee in it.  The coffee smell is very strong in this scrub–it’d be great to use in the morning to give yourself a pick me up!

The lotion–sorry, body frosting.  I.  LOVE.  THIS.  The scent was not overwhelming, and the formula was thick without being too greasy.  My skin felt fabulous for the rest of the night.  And just like the scrub, a little goes a long way.  I will definitely be hoarding this lotion for a while!

I have been a little stressed lately and I’m finding out more and more that it’s important to take a minute to pamper yourself.  With the wide variety of yummy bath items available from these two ladies, taking care of yourself is easy and fun!

Whipped Up Wonderful Etsy Shop
Whipped Up Wonderful Facebook Page

Simply Sweet Skin Artfire Shop
Simply Sweet Skin Facebook Page

Bath & Body Works Haul & Giveaway!! (CLOSED)

Way way before I ever knew what tarts were or thought of making a blog, I was a fan of Bath & Body Works.  When I was in high school, every girl had a little tube of the antibacterial lotion in their backpack pocket, and every girl had their signature scent.  Mine was, and still is, Sweet Pea. :)

Every year around this time, I make a trip in to Bath & Body Works to check out some of the new Fall scents they have added to the line, and some old favorites.  I never go in EXPECTING to buy anything, but somehow I always do!

Even though it was only August, B & BW already had up a large display of Fall antibacterial soaps.  At a price of 5 for $15, I decided to stock up.  One bottle lasts forever in my house, and the scents are strong and yummy.  Since I also found a $10 off of a $30 purchase coupon in my purse, I said, “Hey, might as well buy $30 of stuff for $5 more!”.  Then the cashier gave me a coupon for a free Signature body item with a $10 purchase, and well…here I am, writing this blog post ;)

My Bath & Body Works Haul

Starting with the back row, here are the scents I got:

Pumpkin Caramel Latte:  The caramel is strong in this one.  Latte is the back note, with the slightest hint of cinnamon pumpkin.

Orchard Leaves:  Smells like walking through an apple orchard on a crisp Autumn day.

Marshmallow:  Very sweet true marshmallow fragrance.  Reminds me of Rice Krispies Treats!

Caramel Apple:  Nice balance of both notes, with the apple overtaking the caramel by a little margin.  Very sweet and sugary.

Creamy Pumpkin:  I bought this one because I wanted a break from the spicy, cinnamon-y pumpkins I melt all the time.  The “Creamy” part comes

from this scent being heavy on the vanilla, with a hint of some nutmeg.

I just love the foam Antibacs, they are so fun to use.  They also don’t leave that little drop of hardened up soap hanging off the end of the spout that always clogs it up!  This happens often when you use the other forms of B & BW antibac soap.

In the front row of the picture, you see the freebie body wash I got, Black Raspberry Vanilla.  I LOVE this scent in tarts, but for some reason I had never tried it from Bath & Body Works.  I’m not sure why!  The other body wash is Twilight Woods, which is my second favorite B & BW scent behind Sweet Pea.  Both Black Raspberry Vanilla and Twilight Woods somehow remind me of the Holidays.  They make me feel all warm and cozy.

I have plenty of tarts, but I could not resist getting these adorable little mini candles just to try out.  They were 3 for $5.

These little guys are just 1.6 ounces, about the size of a tart, actually.  I got 3 scents:

Stress Relief- Eucalyptus Spearmint:  I have been in love with this fragrance for a long time…in body products only, that is.  Whatever you do, don’t buy the fragrance oil for this scent!  It is so strong that it burns your eyes.  Hopefully that will not be the case with this tiny candle.

Caramel Apple- Same as the soap above.  Very sweet apple scent with a back note of caramel.

Salty Caramel-  OMG.  I wish yall could smell this.  Great balance of salt, buttery caramel, and popcorn.  I was so mad that this did not come in a fragrance oil.  I also wish they would bring this back as a body scent!! It was formerly in the Temptations line, and it was known as Crazy Caramel Corn.

Finally, I bought 3 home fragrance oils just because.  LOL.  I’m not really sure why, I just wanted them. :)

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin- To me this is your classic scent that you imagine whenever you think of Fall and pumpkins.  Very cinnamon-y of course, as the name implies.

Caramel Apple-  It will be interesting to see which note comes out on top when I burn this, but I’m pretty sure it will be the apple.

Creamy Pumpkin- Same as the soap above, just a non-cinnamon, more mellow pumpkin.

So, now to the really fun part of this post!  When I bought all this stuff, they put a coupon in my bag as they always do.  They like to keep you coming back for more!!  I am giving away this coupon to a lovely reader.  It’s actually 2 coupons in one.

The top coupon is to Save 20% on your entire purchase either in store, or online.  The bottom coupon is for FREE SHIPPING ONLINE with any purchase of $25 or more!  This is a great coupon for those of you who don’t have a B & BW near you.  They very rarely give free shipping codes for purchases less than $50.  I will also give the winner a few extra goodies!  Those are a secret though.  You have to win to see what they are!

Here’s how to enter:

1.  Comment on this post with your favorite Bath & Body Works scent. (Mandatory, 1 entry)

2.  Follow this blog through Networked Blogs.  See the little box to the left there? (1 entry)

3.  Follow this blog my email.  Also there on the left toolbar.  (2 entries)

4.  “Like” the brand new Sweet Southern Home Facebook page!  You can do this from the box at the left, or by going to Sweet Southern Home.  (1 entry)

Please leave a separate comment with your email address for each thing you do above.  (One comment with favorite scent, another comment to say you’ve followed the blog, a separate comment to say you’re following by email, one to say you’ve liked the Facebook page).  Winner will be drawn on September 19.  Good luck!

EDIT:  I decided to end the giveaway on September 19 instead, to give the winner a little more time to use the coupon!!

EDIT 2:  I also want to make it clear that the actual item I am giving away is the COUPON, not everything I listed in the post!  The coupon is the giveaway prize, along with some special goodies that may or may not be from Bath & Body Works!  I feel like some readers are confused about this.  Please make sure you are understanding you will not get everything I listed in my haul :)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 684 other followers