Friday, January 29, 2016

Jimmy Choo - ILLICIT

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Allure and mesmerize your Valentine with ILLICIT perfume by Jimmy Choo. It's a seductive fragrance with top notes of ginger and bitter orange, heart notes of rose and Sambac jasmine, followed with bottom notes of honey-amber accord and sandalwood. It was developed by Master Perfumer Anne Flipo and launched August 2015. Model and actress Sky Ferreira represents the brand for Jimmy Choo.

You can watch Sky's interview about the Jimmy Choo brand and ILLICIT scent here:

It comes in a beautiful crystal bottle that mirrors the architectural silhouette of an art deco style crystal glass tumbler that would look striking on anyone's dresser or makeup table. They sent me a bottle to check out and it's a really sexy scent that lasts a long time.

Prices & Availability
3.3 fl. oz. Eau de Parfum   $112
2.0 fl. oz. Eau de Parfum   $ 85
1.3 fl. oz. Eau de Parfum    $65
5.0 fl.oz. Perfumed Body Lotion  $48
0.33fl. oz. Eau de Parfum Rollerbal  $27

You can find Jimmy Choo ILLICIT at stores like Macy's, Boscov's, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom and others, or you can just order it off the Jimmy Choo site here:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kissed By Maui Lipsticks

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Need a hot new color for your lipstick collection? Kissed By Maui is a small company that makes all natural, handmade, luxurious lipsticks with mostly organic ingredients. Robin Kory was living in Hawaii when she was inspired to start the line because she was concerned about the number of toxins used in some beauty products. Kissed by Maui lipsticks are made with pure ingredients like beeswax, organic castor oil, organic jojoba oil, organic shea butter, vitamin E oil, pikake 100% absolute essential oil, candelillia wax, and grapefruit seed wax.

They offer a Hawaiian rainbow of magnificent colors like Hula Girl Pink, Hawaiian Spice, Island Girl, Haleakala Nights, & Exotic Orchid to name a few. The lipsticks comes in a beautiful eco-friendly bamboo case, complete with cute etched flower. The lipsticks are cruelty free. They sell for around $17, and they come beautifully wrapped.

Robin sent me a few colors to check out. The lipsticks go on smooth and feel moisturizing. Don't feel fooled by the colors either. You would think Haleakala nights would be a dark rocker look, but it's not. It comes out like a shiny dusted rose. Same with the pinks. I was a little scared I was going to have an 80's flashback and need to crimp my hair, but that was not the case! They are not eye popping OMG that's pink, they are subtle shimmers and I like how they look. Natural looking, not dramatic (if that's the look your going for). I would recommend trying the brand out if you are looking to try a new non-toxic brand.

You can find out more about the company, and order online here:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rosebud Perfume Co.

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Since 1895, the Rosebud Perfume Company has been making "Rosebud Salve"that can be used to treat various minor skin irritations. The salve was created by the founder, Dr. Smith in Woodsboro, MD, where the company still operates as a family business. The salve can also be used as a lip balm, it can be used to soothe minor burns, or you can dab it on elbows & knees to relieve dryness. It's also said to be an excellent remedy for diaper rash.

The company's mission is to provide simple, multi-usage products that are both affordable and effective. Rosebud Perfume is cruelty free/no animal testing. they have vegan friendly options, and all products are gluten free & made in the USA. They have a number of salve and lip balms available.

We tried out the Rosebud Salve and the Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm. I understand quickly why it has thousands of five star reviews on sites like Amazon, Sephora, & Ulta. They both smell wonderful and the salve is not greasy. It comes in a small cute portable tin. It's perfect for a skin pick me up during the dry winter months right now and I look forward to using them.

You can find out more about Rosebud here:

You can order their products online at the following stores: Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Ulta, & Charlotte Russe. To view the complete listing, please go to:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Need more healthy protein in your diet? Need a Superbowl or Valentine's Basket of snacking goodies to pick from? If you have been to a Farmer's Market in New Jersey, you have probably come across Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit LLC. If you can't make it to one of the over 40 Farmer's Markets they sell at in the Northeast, you can now order them online.

Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit is a family run business that offers over 63 different varieties of fruit and dried nuts, and they are based out of East Hanover, New Jersey.Todd Lieberman was just out of high school when he started this company in 2009 and he now works alongside his parents, sister, and uncle. Nowadays, during peak season they can go through about 2,000 to 3,000 pounds per week.

We got snowed in this past weekend with a great sampler pack they send me over to check out. It was a great little basket and everything was nice and fresh and tasted good. I think I feel a batch of Date Nut Bars coming on soon.  All of these items can be frozen to extend shelf life. You can buy items in 1 pound increments, or you can buy in bulk starting at 25 pounds.

You can find out more about the company and order online here:

Items they offer:
  • Almonds Cinnamon
  • Almonds Raw
  • Almonds Smoked
  • Brazil Nuts Raw
  • Cashews Butter Toffee
  • Cashew Honey Roasted
  • Cashews Raw
  • Cashews Roasted Salted
  • Cashews Roasted Unsalted
  • Macadamia Raw
  • Peanuts Butter Toffee
  • Peanuts Roasted Salted
  • Pecans Toffee Butter
  • Pecans Raw
  • Peanuts Honey Roasted
  • Pinenuts (Pignoli) Raw
  • Pistachios Roasted Salted
  • Walnuts Raw
  • Pumpkin Seeds Raw
  • Pumpkin Seeds Roasted Salted
  • Sunflower Seeds Raw
  • Sunflower Seeds Roasted Salted
  • Pretzels Chocolate Covered w Christmas Sprinkles
  • Pretzels Yogurt Covered
  • Sesame Sticks Honey
  • Sesame Sticks Plain
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Coconut, Cashew, Almond Brittle
  • Nut and Seed Brittle
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Sesame Honey Brittle
  • Cranberry Nut Mix
  • Dyno Nut Mix
  • Fire Cracker Mix
  • Nut and Seed Mix
  • Oriental Mix
  • Raisin Pecan Mix
  • Tahitian Mix
  • Tropical Crunch Mix
  • Mixed Nuts Roasted Salted
  • Mixed Nuts Roasted Unsalted
  • Apricots Dried
  • Banana Chips Sweetened
  • Bananas Dried Whole-Natural
  • Blueberries Dried
  • Cantaloupe Dried
  • Cherries Dried Red Premium Tart
  • Craisins Dried (Cranberries)
  • Dates Dried-Natural
  • Figs Dried-Turkish
  • Figs Dried-California
  • Ginger Slices Crystalized
  • Guava Dried
  • Kiwi Dried
  • Mango Slices Dried low-sugared
  • Mango Slices Dried - Natural , Organic
  • Papaya Spears-Natural
  • Pineapple Rings
  • Pineapple Rings-Natural
  • Prunes Dried
  • Strawberries Dried
  • Strawberries Dried Premium
  • Nut & Dried Fruit Ball (5)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Honeybee Gardens - Cosmetics & Beauty Supply

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Since 1995, Honeybee Gardens has been operating to, "Create pure, all-natural bath and body care products made from only the finest organic ingredients, offer them at a reasonable price, and treat every customer like a friend." Author and herbalist Melissa Buckley started mixing batches of aftershaves back in the 90's for her husband because he was sensitive to store bought brands. She eventually stumbled upon a winning combo and developed her first product, the Herbal Aftershave.

Now, they offer a full line of organic cosmetics and beauty supplies. They do not test on animals, and they are PETA certified. They are also vegan and made with non-GMO ingredients. They company is based out of West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Items they make:

  • Eye Shadows
  • Mascara
  • Eye Liner
  • Lipsticks
  • Lip Liner
  • Lip Gloss
  • Pressed Mineral Foundation
  • Watercolors Nail Enamel
  • Handmade Soaps
  • Herbal Aftershave
You can view the full product line, learn more about the company, and order here:

They sent me the Ninja Kitty Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow to check out. It's really nice pale pink with a slight shimmer to it. A natural looking glow. I also tried the Truly Natural Lipstick in the color Paradise. It has a slight shimmer to it and it's a light neutral pink. I really like them both. Try layering the shadow to get more longevity out of it. These are really nice products, and I would recommend to try out when if get the chance. 

You can find the Honeybee Gardens at most Whole Foods in Connecticut. Check the store locator to find the closest location to you, and call to make sure they carry what you are looking for specifically:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lurk Perfumes

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Lurk offers luxury organic perfumes brought to us right out of Sag Harbor, Long Island by Anne Nelson Sanford. They are hand poured and hand blended perfumed oils and Eau de Toilettes. If you want to try out some non-toxic intoxicating scents, you should check out Lurk. Satisfy your inner "High End Hippie" with these green sexy fragrances.

The company practices sustainable resourcing and they try to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible. They have a store that is open seasonally out in the Hamptons if you ever get a chance to check them out.

They use essential oils like:

  • Cedarwood, Rose Absolute, Black Pepper, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Bergamont, Lemon Peel, Petitgrain, Jasmine Absolute, Balsam Peru, High Altitude Lavender, Ambrette Seed, Neroli, & Pink Lotus

If you can't decide which scent to go with, you can always try the sampler packs to check out and sample the whole line. Anne was kind enough to send me some samplers of her line. One of my favorites so far is the BS003* and it smells like Winter in the woods, with crisp citrus notes and sweet Bergamot. The Eau de Toilette is 30ml goes for around $185.00. The sample pack goes for $15 if you want to check it out before you commit.

100% pure essential oils with no additives, synthetics, compounds, fixatives, preservatives, GMO's, phthalates, or parabens.

You can find out more about Lurk and order online here: 

You can also purchase Lurk from these retailers online:
Grace and Parker
W3II People
Le Vert Beauty
Petal & Post
Integrity Botanitcals
Joy Provisions

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

SinfulColors - Valentine's Nail Color

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Express yourself this Valentine's Day with these sweet shades from SinfulColors, including the NEW Limited Edition Love Bombs glitter. The glitter is lavender and pastel blue with heart shaped sprinkles. These are made in the USA and they are 5 Free (Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, DPB, Camphor Free). The darker colors only need two coats, the lighter colors three. I tried a few of them out, and they are great colors with a fast drying time.

Colors Available:

  • Feeling Great - A Fierce Fuchsia
  • GoGo Girl - Hot Fire Engine Red
  • Love Bombs - Metallic blue heart shaped glitters in a shimmering violet base, sprinkled with silver, fuchsia and pink hex glitters. 
  • Pink Smart - Bright, Light and Pink
  • Sail La Vie - Dazzling Cornflower Blue
  • Tempest - Radiant Orchid
Pink Smart & Love Bombs
These colors are available January 2016 and February at various retailers including Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, and other drug and mass retailers. They are affordably priced at $1.99 per bottle. They also offer a SinfulShine Gel Tech Valentine's collection for $2.99 per bottle. SinfulColors has been bringing us great nails since 1991, and they offer up to 20 new collections every year. 

Feeling Great

To find out more about SinfulColors, please go to:

To find out where to buy them, please go to:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Righteously Raw - Organic Chocolates

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Looking for a sweet treat that won't sabotage your clean diet and working out? If you have a Valentine that likes to eat clean, you can give them these chocolates without feeling guilty. Righteously Raw makes a full line of raw, clean, chocolates & chocolate snacks.

Righteously Raw is brought to us by a company called Earth Source Organics. The company was started by Audrey Darrow on the premise that the food we eat is the essence of good health. Audrey is an eleven-year survivor of breast cancer, and the treatments and disease took a toll on her body. She made it her mission to learn about high frequency foods, and then educate the world about them.

So, what are high frequency foods? They are foods in their natural state, unprocessed without chemicals, pesticides, GMO's, and unadulterated by man. When the body eats high frequency foods, the body works better by creating more energy, more awareness, & therefore creating a better emotional balance. Eating processed white sugar in large amounts on daily basis has your body working overtime to fight off the rise in insulin levels in the bloodstream.

All Righteously Raw products are certified Organic, Kosher, Vegan, non-GMO, and Gluten-Free. They are hand made from raw, high frequency foods, and no refined sugars are used. They were kind enough to send me some of their best sellers to check out for myself. If you are a dark chocolate person, these are wonderfully tasty.

Some of the products they offer:
  • Full Sized Bars - Maca, Goji, Caramel, Acai, Rose, Pure Dark
  • Mini Bites - Pure Dark, Divine Mint, Synergy Spice, Maca, Rose
  • Macaroons - Coconut 
  • Mouthfuls - Brownie, Caramel
  • Rawcholatl - Cacao & Spice drink mix
They also sell variety packs and gift baskets. You can find Righteously Raw at most Whole Food locations in Connecticut, or you can use the locator to find a store near you:

To find out more about the company or order online, please go to:

They also work with multiple organizations to give back and make the World a better place:
Doctors for Global Health - Human Rights
The Gentle Barn  - Sanctuary for abused animals
Unblind My Mind - Food we eat and growing health ailments
The Foundation for Healing Among Nations - higher quality life at local, national. and international levels
Yes On 522 - Labeling of GMO foods
Teens Turning Green - Teens making a healthier more sustainable future
Feeding America - 1 in 6 people in America is hungry
Center for Food Safety
Rooted in Peace
Breast Cancer Action
Food Democracy Now

Friday, January 15, 2016

ShiKai Natural Hair & Skincare

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
ShiKai has been making shampoo since 1970, when Dr. Sepp whom is a medicinal Chemist, worked with the shikakai plant in India where it is known for it's ability to clean hair, leave it silky, soft and shiny. He formulated a shampoo using shikakai over 46 years ago and it was hit. Now the company has over 50 different products, all made in the USA, right in California.

They offer a few different lines to pick from:

SKIN CARE: Borage Therapy for Dry Skin, Borage Therapy Facial Skin Care, & Hand and Body Lotions (a blend of aloe, apricot oil, shea butter, borage oil - 9 tantalizing fragrances to choose from)

HAIR CARE: Natural Shampoos and Conditioners, Henna Gold Highlighting, Color Reflect Shampoos and Conditioners, & Color Reflect Styling

GELS/SOAPS: Moisturizing Shower Gels, Biker Soap (removes tough grease and grim), & Very Clean Liquid Hand Soap

They offer the following fragrances for Hand & Body Lotion, and Shower Gels:
  • Cucumber Melon #2 Best Seller
  • Vanilla
  • Yuzu (Japanese citrus, invigorating, spicy,) #3 Best Seller
  • Sandalwood
  • Pomegranite
  • Honeysuckle
  • Starfruit
  • Gardenia #1 Best Seller
  • Coconut

You can find out more about the company,order, and view all the products here:

My local Whole Foods in Connecticut was where I originally spotted the brand. 
The products get great reviews on sites like Amazon and ShiKai Natural Everyday Shampoo got 5 out of 5 stars by over 60 reviews on 

The company was kind enough to send me some of the products to check out for myself. I am really enjoying using the products and I like them, I would recommend the brand based off my own experience and reviews of others as well. I received a compliment within minutes of trying on the Gardenia Hand & Body Lotion (strong scent that lasts a while).

I like to use the Color Reflect Shampoo Gold version to bring out my golden highlights and make them appear lighter and brighter. The Mist & Go Conditioner makes it easier for me to brush my color treated hair after showers (the hair products are lightly scented). My hands are extra dry this week so I have been applying the Borage Therapy Hand Cream and it instantly calms my hands and penetrates quickly.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mastey Hair Care and Hair Color

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
The Mastey Hair Care System will cleanse, condition and protect your hair color from fading. It has all-natural ingredients like Argan oil which is good for conditioning and heat protection, Olive Oil for softness and shine, and anti-oxidant Grape Seed extract to keep your hair looking vibrant. Mastey products are all sulfate free, contain no synthetic dyes, are DEA free, 100% Vegan, gluten free, have no parabens or harsh preservatives, and no animal testing.

I tried out a few of the COLOR PROTECTING products, and I like them. The Finishing Spray does not have a strong smell and it does not weigh down my hair. The Volumizing Foam adds lift and locks it in place. I like to use the Styling Gel when I want to keep everything in place with no flyaway hairs. The Defining Cream is probably great for people with curly hair, or if you are curling your hair for the day. 

To find out more about Mastey, please go to:

Want to find out how to do these totally sexy hot barrel curls? For products, and step by step instructions, visit:
Image provided by Mastey Hair Care

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ecokindness - Detoxify Your Home Organically

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Ecokindness has developed 28 USDA organic eco-products for cleaning, deodorizing, and freshening and they can powerfully detoxify your home without using harmful chemicals. They also have aromatherapy benefits since they are infused with essential oils from around the Globe. The products are environmentally friendly and they are safer to use in your home for your family and pets.

I recently noticed the brand when I was at my local Whole Foods. They have a huge display with tons of products. I contacted the company to find out more information about them, and they were great! They did independent studies on their products to find that their products kill ecoli and staph at the same rate as bleach, 99.996%. This is important me not only as a mom with a family and pets, but as a Chef I need to make sure there's no cross-contamination on my equipment & cooking surfaces. They were kind enough to send a beautiful basket filled with an array of their best sellers and most loved products to check out for myself. My two favorites so far are the Six In One Wonder Cleaner and the Citrus Symphony Home Fragrance. The small Hand Purifiers are perfect for coat pockets, purses, and to stow in the car when you can't wash your hands.

You can find Ecokindness products at most Whole Foods in Connecticut, and at most Shop Rites in New Jersey. You can find out more about the company here:

You can order off Amazon if there are no locations near you:

Products they make include the following:

Organic Oil Multi-Cleaner
Toilet Eco-Cleaner
Purifying Spray
Sofa & Drapes Freshener
Mattress Freshener
Duvet & Linen Spray
Floor Eco-Cleaner
Citrus Symphony Home Fragrance
Blossom of Musk Home Fragrance
Trail of Spice Home Fragrance
Vanilla Sublime Home Fragrance
Mother of Pearl Home Fragrance
Carpet & Rug Spray
Car Interior Freshener
Clothing Spray
Dryer Freshener
Ironing Aid Spray
Laundry Pre-Wash Spray
Hand Purifier
Eco-Baby Nursery Spray
Eco-Baby Toddler Room Spray
Bed & Luggage Spray
Dog & Cat Spray
Corner & Crevices Spray
Personal & Outdoors Spray
Wardrobe & Closest Spray
Eco-Traveler Kit

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Maison Francis Kurkdijan Fragrances - Paris

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Francis Kurkdijan is referred to as one of the world's most talented perfumers. He started his career creating scents for leading fashion brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier. He became famous at the age of 26 for designing the scent of Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier, and it ended up becoming one of the worlds best selling perfumes. Francis also came up with over 40 creations for fashion brands over the years, some of these scents include: Joop-Muse, Burberry-My Burberry, Kenzo-Kenzoki Lotus blanc, & Giorgio Armani-Armani Mania to name a few.

In 2009, he took the plunge and launched his own high end line of alluring luxury scents brought to us all the way from Paris. The fragrances are made with rare essential oils collected from all over the world like white thyme from Morocco, lavender from Provence, and orange flower from Tunisia. The fragrances get an average 4.5 out of 5.0 stars from reviewers on Neiman Marcus and Birchbox.

Smells like money comes to mind since 2.4 fl ounces can run up to $245 a bottle depending which scent you choose. The scents last allll day, so you get what you pay for. The bottles are beautiful as well. If you can't decide on one, they offer sample packs and you can pick which one's you would like to try ($90-$195 depending which set you choose). These are high-end, high-quality fragrances and you can tell as soon as the smell hits your nose.

They also offer a Home Collection of perfumed candles, interior perfume, detergents and fabric softeners, and perfumed bubbles.

Maison Francis Kurkdijan fragrances can be found at Bergdorf Goodman (

Neiman Marcus (

Or you find out more and order from Maison here:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gelish Mini - Kung Fu Panda 2016 Collection

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
A few of my nieces came over this weekend and we had a Gelish Mini party and did gel on our own nails. I have never used gel before but it was pretty easy and the drying time can't be beat (dries in like 30 seconds).You will need the Gelish Basix Kit and the Gelish MINI pro LED curing light. Gels can last up to 3x longer than traditional nail polish with no chipping or peeling. As a mom and Chef, I am curious to see how long it holds up. I still walked around for two hours afterwards like my nails were wet, but it's hard to believe it dries that quickly and I don't have time to mess them up.

Bring out your polished warrior with these fab colors presented to us by Gelish Mini. These items are available for a limited time only in January 2016. They will be sold at select salons nationwide. They are also sold at Sally Beauty Supply stores for $13.99 each:

You can find out more about Gelish Mini's and all the colors they offer here:

The collection includes six NEW kickin' shades:

  • It's Gonna Be Mei - Rose Pearl
  • Kung Fu-chsia - Bright fuschia pearl
  • Tigress Knows Best - Hot Red créme
  • Warriors Don't Wine - Plum créme
  • Extra Plum Sauce - Amethyst pearl
  • Po-riwinkle - Light periwinkle créme

View the tutorial here on how to do your own Gelish mani:

Kung Fu-chsia with a Extra Plum Sauce pinky
Warriors Don't Wine
Tigress Knows Best