Moroccan Mystery: From The Body Shop, With Love Giveaway

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How’s a little mystery for today sound? A Moroccan Mystery no less! The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Mystery that is!

Courtesy of our friends at The Body Shop today I’ll be hosting a one day/24 Hour Giveaway that’ll feature many of the brand new items from The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Spring Collection! Jump ahead to read how you can enter to win!

The Body Shop decided to spoil you with a little love this year which includes a gift pack from their brand new Moroccan Rose Collection which includes all of the following fabulous goodies listed below.

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Each day, one of 14 different beauty blogs is giving out a clue to a different product on The Body Shop website. Simply follow the clue to the yummie Body Shop treat and than post the product name into the widget below. Remember the name of the product goes into the widget box not my comment box. Since the widget box allows one entry per ip address I’ll be personally adding a secondary entry for anyone who heads over to The Body Shop Blog and comments on this post about why they like the new Body Shop Moroccan Rose Body and Makeup Collection and why they’d like to win it!

This contest runs for one day only so you must hurry to enter as tomorrow it’ll move on to a new blog which in turn gives you a brand new chance to win the gift set from a different blog. For a list of other blogs that will be taking part in The Body Shop Moroccan Mystery please visit The Body Shop Blog.

Here’s your clue for today:

“When you’re ready to get up and go, your hands get tingly with anticipation. Don’t bite your nails, though, even if you think they’ll taste like a toasted flavorful treat. You’ll go nuts for this special treatment.”

Clickie for the answer!

Remember put the answer, your name, and email address into the widget to be entered to win and don’t forget to visit The Body Shop Blog to tell ‘em what you love about the collection and why you’d like to win it. This contest is open to US residents only.

Good Luck!

By entering your name and email address below you are giving me permission to share your name with The Body Shop so that your prize package will be sent to you. Please keep this in mind prior to entering the contest. The contest is open to US Residents Only, I’m sorry about that one guys!

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Pieces of Life: The Comment Edition

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Hey girls!

Welcome to Pieces of Life The Comment Edition! This is basically a post to say, “Oh Hai! How are you today?”

I’m a bit remiss with my comments this week as I’ve been very busy please forgive me? I’m slowly catching up and promise I’ll do my best to get to ‘em all shortly. I also have some really super posts all written up and ready to go. These posts will go live later tonight for your reading pleasure.

So what’s the agenda for this weekend? Anyone have good plans? I’m heading to Comic Con this weekend to get my geek on and prob do the normal weekend stuff…movies, dinner, etc….

Hope everyone has a super weekend! I’ll see you all Monday! Check back later for the new posts believe they are scheduled to go live at 7 or so plus tomorrow I’ll have an extra special contest so you’ll want to stop by as it only runs for 24 hours!

Lots o’ Love!
-Your Muse

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Steam Cream Review and Interview

Remember when I told you the solution to life, the universe, and everything was held within a tin of Smith’s Rosebud Salve?

The Muse has decided that although she loves Smith’s Rosebud Salve she might have been wrong about it being the solution to life, the universe, and everything.

In actuality she’s come to the conclusion that the secret and solution to life, the universe, and everything is actually SteamCream.

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Got ya curious now right? Wondering what SteamCream is? Jump ahead you’ll see!

A few months ago the Muse discovered a little product called SteamCream. Steamcream happens to be a multipurpose cream that can be used on your face or your body.

I know, I know you’re screaming in agonizing pain at the idea of using one cream for your face AND your body. How horrifying right? How can one single product be used on the delicate skin of your face plus the rough parts of your body like elbows and knees? Rest assured the Muse promises it’s a miracle in a cute little tin.

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SteamCream is a unique formula that uses pure steam to create a moisturizing treatment that absorbs easily and without any effort leaving behind soft, silky skin that’s instantly soothed and healed. This is currently my staple facial moisturizer as it’s made my face smooth, soft, and flake free. I’ve NEVER in all my years of using skincare came across a moisturizer that absorbs this easily into skin. It literally melts into your skin and absorbs in a snap. Strangely enough the formula is quite thick for something that absorbs so easily. The texture is that of a gel almost with a slightly cool feeling that makes my skin say “ahhhhh” in appreciation once I apply. It’s quite like pouring a cup of cool water onto my skin. I’m absolutely in love with it for my face but it also happens to do an amazing job of soothing my dry, rough elbows and knees and my legs simply love how easily it smooths on and goes to work instantly smoothing and moisturizing. Absolutely zero effort goes into getting this applied as almost on contact with my skin it absorbs. Quite like a magnet really as the skin literally sucks it up.

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The scent of the cream quite reminds me of Lush Dream Cream as it carries an herbal smell that’s quite pleasant. The formula includes good for you ingredients such as soothing oatmeal, orange flower water and healing lavender oil.

Around this time of the year normally the skin on my face has a few problem areas. My cheeks begin to have a patchy dry feeling and the space between my eyebrows normally has gross flaky dry skin. After using Steamcream a single time I noticed an improvement on both areas instantly. My dry patchy cheeks were smooth and soft and the flakes between my eyebrows were gone.

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SteamCream has alot going for it in the ways of being a moisturizing miracle but it also happens to make the Muse happy with it’s uber cute packaging. SteamCream comes packaged in cute little tins that feature various designs. The tins are fun collectible pieces! I actually keep one tin of SteamCream for my body and one for my face as I prefer a pot to be solely for different areas and it’s especially important for me to keep my facial moisturizer away from my body parts…kinda weird to use a body cream and proceed to slather on my face. The cute designs make it easy for me to tell which tin is my body tin and which is for my face. At the price you can honestly afford getting two for the different places you’ll be using the cream! Steamcream introduces new tins every few months which is always particularly fun for a fan of the product. The cream is absolutely a deal at �9.95 per a tin. A little goes a long way so the pot should last you quite a long while. Steamcream’s website kindly ships worldwide and shipping is very reasonable.

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Like Lush, Steamcream has a shelf life of a little over a year so one tin should get you through an entire year for your face and I’d say a tin for your body should last about 5-6 months.

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One of Steamcream’s team players, Allison, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me and I thought I’d past them on here as much of what she said was quite interesting. So sit back, grab your cuppa, and read what Allison and the Muse discussed!

Where did the idea for SteamCream come from? Who’s the man or woman behind the Steamcream idea?

Andrew Gerrie (CEO for Lush) is the man behind the STEAMCREAM idea. For a long time, he wanted to create one cream that uses high quality ingredients, is effective and is honestly priced. A cream that didn’t promise the world but really delivered.

Was the concept for SteamCream born in the UK or Japan? Created by the British or the Japanese?

The cream was formulated in the UK and the tins designed in Japan. Getting onto the shelf was a joint collaboration with our team in Japan.

What sort of process is invovled to create SteamCream?

STEAMCREAM uses hot bubbling steam to fuse ingredients together at a speed that defies most traditional cream making methods. This process produces a beautifully textured, light and glossy cream. The emulsion is held together very loosely and gently, allowing the cream to break down immediately on contact with the skin and nourish the skin more effectively. It is steam process – thus the name!

What sort of skin types can benefit the most using SteamCream? Any skin types that should avoid it?

STEAMCREAM is suitable for all skin types. No skin types need avoid it and all can benefit from it!

Does SteamCream contain parabens? How about mineral oil? (Remember Lush also contains small traces of parabens in their products as well)

No to mineral oil but yes to two parabens – methylparaben and propylparaben.

And to answer any possible questions as to why…? I have taken the liberty to provide a little explanation. Sit back and fasten your seat belt… it’s a little long!

You may already know that Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as anti-microbial preservatives in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics products. They occur naturally in many plant sources, such as blueberries and carrots. Methyl and propyl parabens are synthetically produced because it would be too expensive to extract them from food, but they are 100% nature – identical molecularly, structurally and biochemically.

STEAMCREAM currently uses two preservatives – propyl paraben and methyl paraben. Propyl paraben and methyl paraben have a long history of safe use and are highly effective. Parabens are some of the oldest of cosmetic preservatives and have been used since the 1920s. They are used globally and are permitted by every world health authority (500 independent safety studies have been carried out over the decades). They are considered safe because of their low toxicity and how our bodies process them when eaten in foods. They don�t accumulate or get stored in the body and are eliminated normally.
A combination of mis-interpretation and flawed studies has caused a lot of worry associated with the use of parabens in cosmetics. The main sound bite often quoted: �parabens were found in breast cancer tissue� comes from a study that has been completely discredited by scientists. No causal link between parabens and cancer has been proven. You may also have heard that parabens show weak oestrogenic (oestrogen = female hormone) activity. This is true, but the effect is so weak that it is not significant. By comparison, whole grains, hops, soy beans and many other common foods show high oestrogenic activity.

Paraben-free products

Nevertheless, paraben scare-stories have spread via mass-emails, websites and the media, and several companies have started to sell their products by specifically promoting that they are �paraben-free�. The fact is that methyl paraben and propyl paraben are the safest cosmetic preservatives around � and using alternatives which may not have been proved to be safe or effective could be more dangerous than simply sticking to parabens.

Many companies are promoting �paraben-free� products as if this is a good thing. This demonstrates the danger of companies supporting unsubstantiated rumours. If a cosmetic product that contains water is declared to be �paraben-free� it will contain another preservative.

If it doesn�t contain an effective, proven preservative it is dangerous in itself as it provides a breeding ground for bacteria.

Both Propyl Paraben and Methyl Paraben are used to control the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We use less than half the maximum permitted level to ensure the product is as mild as possible and the skin�s natural micro flora is not affected. This low level of use also helps with the bio-degradability of our product and any waste material created during manufacture.
We constantly review cosmetic preservatives and consider any good sound scientific evidence. However, we believe that these Parabens are still the safest and mildest we can find. They are safe when used during manufacture and they guarantee the quality and safety of the product we want our customers to enjoy.

We are able to use such low levels of preservatives because:

Our product is made to order with ingredients that are really fresh, of the finest quality, and where possible organic and locally sourced.

We use top quality ingredients, like essential oils and herbs, which have the power to control the quality of the product.

We use minimal amounts of water.

STEAMCREAM has a shelf life of 14 months – considerably shorter than conventional cosmetics which are typically 30 months.

We assessed the need for a preservative by considering many factors. The type of product, its structure, manufacturing process, ingredients and application. Using this information and microbiological tests during the products� development, we then chose an appropriate preservative. At this point , we chose to use Methyl and Propyl Paraben in STEAMCREAM , which in combination increases the protection from microbial growth.

So if you’re still with me, that’s our view on why we use Parabens!

Does SteamCream expire?

Answered Above.

How long has Steamcream been in business? Was it available in Japan first or England?

STEAMCREAM launch in Japan in April 2007 and we launched it in Liberty here in the UK in October 2008

How is it I can use SteamCream not only on rough elbows and knees but also the skin on my face?

STEAMCREAM uses high quality ingredients to provide a long-lasting, effective form of skincare – first and foremost for the face. However, because its unique formula allows the cream to breakdown on contact with the skin it can penetrate the skin where needed – so it works on the face as well as dry, rough elbows. The gentle and loose emulsion works equally effectively as a body cream and because we kept our packaging to a minimum, we were able to invest in high-quality raw materials and still keep our price affordable. I’m sure you’ll agree that many face creams would be lovely on the body too but are just too pricey to use…we wanted to produce one cream that was good enough to use from your head to your toes AND affordable!

SteamCream’s packaging is part of it’s appeal, how often will you release new versions of the SteamCream tins?

Once our sales volume increases we hope to launch at least one new tin per month (on average) – maybe more!. Japan is currently releasing about two per month and we have just released three new tins for Valentines Day/Spring 2009 so we have a total of 12 designs now available in the UK. We’re quite excited though as we only have a few tins of Secret left in the UK which means we would have sold out of our first limited edition design!

Do you consider the tins somewhat collectible? Will some designs be re-released at a later date?

The tins are absolutely collectible as they are limited edition designs. Just recently I had an order from Japan for two designs that have now sold out in Japan!
The plan is to continue to release new designs but maybe one day we will run a retro promotion and bring back a few of the golden oldies. No plans for that just yet though!

Are some tins exclusive to Japan and while others are exclusive to the UK? I noticed a sequined tin was this a special release?

At this stage Japan is designing the tins and we are choosing to release works from their collection. We will be running our own 1st anniversary design competition so if all goes to plan we will have a UK designed tin this year. The sequined tin was a very limited edition tin decorated by a nail artist in Japan using Swarovski crystals. We are currently in discussions with Swarovski to do a promotion of some sort but it is very early days yet…. suffice is to say though we would love to do something with them because the tins look just fantastic. We hope one day to have limited edition designs from artists all over the world.

What is the price per a tin in Japan (yen is fine as I have many Japanese readers)? (I think I read 1500 yen is that right?)

Yes it’s 1500 yen and so follows the original concept of being ‘affordable’ for Japanese customers too.

Do you plan on opening a portal for US shoppers anytime soon (Please keep in mind that SteamCream UK ships worldwide)?

Yes, we’re in very early discussions at the moment so watch this space! Until then though please use our website. for your steamy purchases!

Is Steamcream UK and Steamcream Japan the same entity?

Not entirely as local management in both markets hold shares making it a slightly different entity.

Is there anything more you can tell us about SteamCream that hasn’t been answered in the above questions?

It’s a fairly straight forward product really……one cream, many designs, honest pricing. We hope that customers will try it, realize they can enjoy a high quality product at a sensible price and then come back for more!

Thank you Allison for a great interview and I couldn’t agree more, high quality with an awesome price tag.

Finding out that Andrew was the brain behind SteamCream really made the Muse’s spirits lift as she’s such a big Lushie. Knowing that someone who works with Lush has created a brand new product that’s innovative and unique really pleased me and made me an instant SteamCream fan girl.

I think Allison did a great job of answering pretty much any questions you might have about SteamCream. The Muse thinks it’s simply and amazing and it comes with my highest seal of Muse Approval and recommendation for purchase.

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If you’re looking for a miracle, SteamCream brings it to the table.

Visit SteamCream at www.steamcream.co.uk

All in all the Muse has decided that the solution to life, the universe, and everything is now packaged up in a cute tin and slapped with the SteamCream label!

Loves it! Loves it! Loves it!

What about you?

Tried SteamCream?

Want to?

Tell the Muse, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this one!

If you have any questions for Allison do let me know and I’ll forward them along.

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Disclosure: The following item was purchased by me for review purposes (and because I like flinging my money at makeup products of any kind) on Musings of a Muse. For further information please see my FTC Guidelines or my Disclosure/Disclaimer posts.

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The Lip Slip By Sara Happ Review

The Muse is like any other girl and loves being spoiled rotten. She’s particularly good at spoiling herself rotten of course. Recently, when she received The Lip Slip by Sara Happ she couldn’t help but feel extra special and spoiled.

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You may very well know Sara Happ from her extensive line of lip scrubs but recently she launched a brand new product entitled The Lip Slip. The Lip Slip is a super luxe balm that truly indulges a girl’s need for an extra pampering lip balm.

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When I got my Lip Slip it was packaged in a golden bronze box with pale pink lettering and a cute white ribbon, indeed this was like getting a diamond ring, can you say spoiled? I was so enthralled and delighted with the pretty packaging I almost forgot that the actually product was INSIDE the box. After setting the box by my computer keyboard and admiring it from afar for the better part of an hour I decided it was time to open it up. The box and ribbon somehow hypothesized me into being extra gentle and careful as I slowly untied the ribbon, lifted the sparkling box lid, and proceeded to peek inside.

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Was it a chocolate bon bon? A diamond ring? Earrings? Nope, better. It was a big chunky jar filled with a luscious uniquely scented pink lip balm! I’m simply at a loss for words how to explain what Lip Slip smells like. It’s a bit cakey, a tiny bit spicy, and maybe a hint of bubblegum? It’s interesting and very different to say the least.

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The Lip Slip is simply a glorified lip balm. This isn’t your everyday run of the mill balm, tis glorified people. Super emollient, extremely thick, amazingly moisturizing, oh and it’s pink with a tiny bit of sparkle. I always find that pink and sparkle are very important factors in the Muse’s lip balm world. The balm is really super thick and once applied your lips will be praising the gods in happiness for supplying them with such a gorgeous moisturizing lip treatment. Although The Lip Slip suggests wearing it all day or overnight the Muse is leaning towards overnight only. The formula is quite thick and I’m not a lover of anything thick on my lips throughout the day so I feel like this would make an amazing overnight treatment. At the moment it’s making a guest starring appearance on my night stand and probably will remain there all through the Winter when my lips need a quenching treatment to keep the evil dryness and cracking at bay! This softens and smooths and simply spoiled like no other balm I’ve tried, likey!

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Overall, the Lip Slip by Sara Happ is a spoiled rotten indulgence and a complete win for this Muse. By all means it’s, of course, Muse Approved for purchase!

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Who might love this?

  • Anyone who suffers from extreme dry lips
  • Anyone who walks to work in the cold, has to wait for the subway in the cold, or does anything else involving exposure to chilly weather!
  • Those who suffer from chapped lips in the Winter or the Summer
  • Anyone who likes pretty lip balms that come in gorgeous little boxes with ribbons!

Go spoil yourself www.sarahapp.com

Sara’s site is worldwide friendly and has portals within the US and a few other countries so if I just created a lemming for you, you can easily satisfy the itch by visiting your country’s portal!

Have you tried The Lip Slip by Sara Happ?

Love it?

Tell the Muse!

Write whats hidden here

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Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick Review, Swatches, Photos, and FOTD

Although the Muse is a known sinner she likes to think of herself in an angelic light or even saintly one if you will!

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In order to evoke her saintly nature she gets out her Lipstick Queen Saint!

I previously reviewed Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick for you and today I’m bringing you my review on the Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick.

You might be wondering what the different is between a Sinner Lipstick and a Saint one so allow the Muse to explain. Lipstick Queen Sinner is a matte, color rich lipstick with no shimmer, frosting, or anything else aside from straight, creamy, pigmented color.

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Today I’m reviewing Saint and Saint happens to be a color rich formula just like Sinner. It’s pigmented with a fantastic color pay off on lips however the formula is a tad bit different. The formula of Lipstick Queen Stain is much like traditional lipsticks you’d buy from many brands with a light, moisturizing formula. Now don’t let that traditional note fool you as this isn’t like any brand of lipstick you’ve probably tried before. What sets it apart from other brands? Pigmentation. Color payoff is amazing on these lipsticks be it the Saint version or the Sinner. It’s one of the key elements that makes Lipstick Queen such a hit and amazing lipstick choice.

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Color glides on perfectly with a nice moisturizing finish. If I had to choose I’d say I’m more saintly than I am a sinner as I like the moist feeling of this particularly formula when compared to the matte version of Sinner. Color payoff, as I mentioned a million times, is simply amazing. After trying two other Lipstick Queen products I’m still amazed and absolutely thrilled each time with how pigmented the products are! I’m wearing Lipstick Queen Saint in Berry below but I did think it looked slightly like the color I tried for Lipstick Queen Sinner but they are different shades however look pretty much the same. I assumed the shade was a sheer berry but it’s more of a deep peachy brown. Very nice and quite lovely with warmer eye looks!

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Overall, Lipstick Queen Saint is a heavenly formula and truly a gorgeous product! Any and all Lipstick Queen products are Muse Approved for purchase! This Muse is definitely a fan of Lipstick Queen Saint.

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Loves it!

Visit (and purchase) with Lipstick Queen at www.lipstickqueen.com

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