We’re Making Lip Scrubs with Nature’s Garden!

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Welcome to another edition of Tutorial Wednesday~! Today we’re making some moisturizing and exfoliating Lip Scrubs with Nature’s Garden!!! These Lip Scrubs are a luxurious treat for the lips – giving your lips natural exfoliation while also hydrating them! Add to that, the fact that these Lip Scrubs are so easy to make, and don’t have all the extra added chemicals that you find in the products at the stores! So stick with me, and check out this step-by-step process – maybe you’ll find something new to add to your repertoire~!

Have you ever made your own beauty products? I’m still officially a newbie in the world of making beauty products, however I can now say I’ve made a few! The first item I made was Homemade Lip Balm, and I made that a few weeks ago with the Nature’s Garden Lip Balm Kit. Then last week we made Sexy Edible Massage Bars with Nature’s Garden Products and their recipe too! SO much fun!!! If you haven’t seen those recipes and tutorial – you should check them out!! :)

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We’re Making Sexy Edible Massage Bars with Nature’s Garden!

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Are ya ready for it??? Doesn’t this sound like fun??? Yes my friends, this is our “Weekly How-To” with Nature’s Garden!! Aaaand this week we are making Sexy Edible Massage Bars~!!!

Now if you haven’t seen the past couple of articles I’ve done with Nature’s Garden, you’ll definitely have to check them out! A couple of weeks ago I did an article on the background and an overview of Nature’s Garden, which also features an interview with the CEO herself – Miss Deborah Ward!!! And last week we made Homemade Lip Balms with Nature’s Garden products and their recipe!!!

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Nature’s Garden – A Company That CARES!

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In today’s day and age of Big Box retailers, chain stores,  supermarkets, and drive-through just about everything – a company that actually cares is a very rare thing. But that really does describe this company, as well as the team behind Nature’s Garden!

Who is Nature’s Garden, Let’s Rewind to 1997….

Nature’s Garden is a Wholesale Candle and Soap Supply company, which was created in 1997 by Deborah and Mike Ward after turning their homemade candle making hobby into a business. Growing their business initially from home parties, retail and wholesale sales, Ebay, Fundraisers and Open Houses to a company in 1998 that had more than 40 independent sales representatives selling Nature’s Garden Candles and Bath Products.  Then on May 21, 1999, after previously coming up against several “road-blocks” within the candle and toiletry supply industry (inadequate customer service and support, lack of unique products and a “secrecy” within the industry) while trying to expand their product line, Nature’s Garden Candle Supply Company was born.  The company’s anagram C.A.R.E. (Customers Always Remember Excellence) was embraced by its employees and Nature’s Garden set out to “de-mystify” the industry.  Improving customer service voids within the industry,  while also creating unique fragrance oils, materials and support, manuals and classes for businesses in this industry.

 

 

Now Fast-Forward to 8 Months Ago….

I started buying homemade bath and body products from a dear friend.  With my allergies, and the fact that I’m extremely picky, I was getting frustrated with my local bath and body chain retailers carrying products that did nothing for my skin, while often giving me headaches from the smell.  Well, needless to say I instantly fell in love with the homemade body products!  These products felt amazing and luxurious on my skin, while not only smelling fabulous~!   The other huge draw for me was the fact that they were more natural, containing less chemicals and additives that you find in the mass produced products! I was instantly hooked and very intrigued! So I began trying other products from small bath and body businesses, as well as “Liking” them on Facebook, and several seemed to have one thing in common – Nature’s Garden!

The beauty junkie in me was instantly fascinated. So I began doing more research – surfing soaping websites, as well as Nature’s Garden Website and their Facebook page. What I discovered was a company that was extremely interactive with their customers. Not only that, but after spending a lot of time on their Facebook page and Twitter, seeing HOW they interacted with their customers! Always answering each and every question with great care and compassion – which is a great feat considering their large customer base! Since beginning my blogging journey, I’ve made a point to spend time on other big business Facebook/Twitter pages, and  that’s how I’ve seen other businesses very rarely, if at all, acknowledging customer concerns or questions. We, consumers, often feel like our input falls on “deaf ears”. Or at the very least, “ears” without enough influence or knowledge to help out.

 

Interacting with Nature’s Garden and with their customers honestly felt like interacting with friends!

 

 <-Deborah armed with Nerf!  <-Nicole and Melissa

All the friendly, kind words and support of each and everyone’s unique businesses, coupled with the resounding praise their customers give Nature’s Garden with respect to their products and their customer service and support. Customers quite often are interacting directly with Deborah Ward (Nature’s Garden CEO) on their Facebook page!!  Interacting directly with a company CEO on Facebook, I would safely say is a rare occurance for most companies – but not Nature’s Garden!  And I’ve also had the pleasure of dealing directly with Deborah, and through this I see the driving force behind this company that actually does CARE! Its not just a motto, a mantra or an anagram. Its a passion for Deborah and the Nature’s Garden team. And we, the consumers, greatly benefit from this.

 

Without Further Adieu, Let Me Introduce You to Deborah Ward!


I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Deborah, and I’m SO excited to share it all with you~!

 Glam Wife: I read on your website that you started off in the Candle Making business. How did you get into that business?

Deborah: While I was an environmentalist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, I began studying naturopathic healing.  Several of my clients wanted aromatherapy candles, so I began making candles in my spare time.  When my first son, Matthew, was born, we found out that his skull bones were fused together, and that he would require surgery.  I quit my job at the county health department to stay home with my son.  In order to cover some of our bills, I started selling candles to friends and family.

Glam Wife:  How did Natures Garden Candle and Soap Supplies come to be?

Deborah: When I started making candles, the industry was very secretive.  Those who knew how to make candles kept the knowledge to themselves.  It was candle making that helped our family keep our heads above water during financially hard times, and I knew that there were more men and women out there who needed a way of making extra income and be able to stay at home.  My ambition was to help people make extra income for their families by telling them everything I knew about the candle market.

Glam Wife:  How did you choose the name for your business?

Deborah: I chose the name Natures Garden because of my interest in naturopathic healing.  I was into natural medicine way before it was popular.  I wanted a name that would allow for future diversification in other markets.  Natures Garden allows for that.

Glam Wife:  As CEO of Natures Garden, describe a typical work week.

Deborah: Natures Garden is a turn-key operation.  Every job at our company is well-documented, and each person has his/her own job responsibilities.  This form of operation, and the fact that I am married to the most wonderful man on earth, has allowed me to work from home; while my husband runs operations at the company.  We did this so that our sons would not have to have a baby sitter.  I work 7 days a week, rarely taking a vacation.  I simply love what I do…period!  I work while my sons are at school, and work while they are asleep.  My main focus is on the customers; listening to what they have to say, and answering any questions they may have.  I facebook, twitter, blog, do website development, product research/development, and hold meetings with vendors.

Glam Wife: What two or three things would be most important to you in your job?

Deborah: Every job at Natures Garden is equally important for our operation to run smoothly.  I guess my job is like the “mom” in the company; the role of keeping the family happy.  Many customers and employees rely on me to make the right decisions so that Natures Garden is around for many years to come.  I want people to feel confident that when they buy from Natures Garden, they are buying quality.  We are always looking for new ways to better service our customers.

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite part of business as a whole?

Deborah: Communicating with customers.  I love listening to their ideas, seeing what they create, and helping them when I can.

Glam Wife: What would be the most challenging part of the job/business?

Deborah: Business is the easiest job in the world.  You simply have to follow these two rules and it will work out:  1.  Focus on other people instead of yourself,  and 2.  Never get greedy.  If you follow these two rules, you are going to build lasting, happy relationships with other people.  What could be more exciting than that!

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite product (or 2 or 3)  from Natures Garden?

Deborah: I absolutely love the work our perfumist does!  He is one amazing man!!  I never get tired of smelling new scents!!  It is my passion!!

Glam Wife: Where do you see your business in the next 5-10 years?

Deborah: Currently, our creativity is exploding!  We look forward to expanding in multiple markets, becoming a premiere, handcrafting community.  Surprises will be around every corner!

Glam Wife: What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any~! ;) haha)

Deborah: My sons are quite involved in sports and music, so my spare time is typically spent watching baseball games, band concerts, or attending football games.  I also enjoy quiet time with my husband.

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite fragrance that Natures Garden carries?

Deborah: Right now my favorite fragrance is Honey Bunny.  It just makes me happy smelling it!

Glam Wife: As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone trying to start up their own business?

Deborah: The world is filled with negative people who will try to talk you out of going after your dreams.  Fear it and do it anyways!   Listen to your heart, follow your gut, and shoot for the stars!

 

I want to say a BIG thank you to you, Deborah, and your team at Nature’s Garden! Its been an absolute pleasure getting to know you, your team and your company! And for those of you, my beautiful blog readers, who think Nature’s Garden is JUST for businesses…Think again~! Nature’s Garden has a whole section on their website dedicated to different recipes for homemade body products and candles. So if you’ve ever wondered, wanted or been interested in crafting your own homemade body products or candles – go on over to the Nature’s Garden website; check out some recipes and pick up the amazing products and have FUN~!  Knowing that if you hit a stumbling block, have a question, or concern – they are always more than willing to help and guide you!

 

I’m excited to announce Deborah is going to be putting me to work. making some of her body products with Nature’s Garden recipes and products. So if this is something you are interested in but aren’t sure of,  stay tuned to upcoming posts where I’ll feature the whole process!  So you, Ladies and Gents, can take the journey with me and see first hand, just how to make body products! I do want to point out though, that I’m a beginner and have never made any before; but I have to say I’m extremely excited to try my hand at making some~! And I hope you will join me for the ride!

 

Nature’s Garden Contact Info:
Website:  http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naturesgardencompany?ref=ts
Twitter: @ngscents
Email: info@naturesgardencandles.com

Till next time friends, follow your passions, and shoot for the stars~! If you can dream it, you can do it! xoxo

Great Deals for Beauty Products?

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What do you get when you combine a manufacturer’s coupon, with a store sale and in-store coupons??? An AMAZING, if not FREE, deal!!! Yes that’s right folks – coupons really DO save you money. LOTS of money! I’ve been couponing back before it was “hip” to do so ;) …before the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”, before there were coupon classes, coupon websites and all the other amazing resources we couponers have available to us now.

Now its easier than ever to make coupons work for you – saving money off of your grocery bill each time you go to the store and not just for groceries folks! But I’ll explain more about the grocery couponing in a later blog post.  (Disclaimer: even tho I’m a die-hard couponer, doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder or any other similarity to those on the TLC show.) :) There are LOTS of coupons for beauty, skincare and haircare products,  and they are quite often substantial amounts off each product. So, I’ll lay out the key factors to helping you save money on all of your beauty purchases.

 

1. Flexibility


First thing is being flexible and willing to try new products. Most often when companies release the limited time products and or colors, they will frequently put out coupons in the Sunday Papers, In-store coupons and in Magazines. The flexibility comes into play more often in getting products for “free” – because usually companies don’t offer HUGE discounts for the top selling/regular products – its always the ones they are just putting out. You can still save a bundle on your regularly used “core” products, but if they’ve been around for awhile – chances are that the coupons available on those are not sufficient enough to get them for free. Although – keep your eyes peeled on blogs and websites, because once in a blue moon you might be able to find one of those for free too!

And although I definitely have my “core” beauty products (ie my foundation, mascara and certain color of lipstick), beyond that I’m always willing to try something new especially when its for free or at a greatly reduced price. That’s how I’ve discovered so many great products – because the great ones aren’t always necessarily the most advertised ones. That’s definitely something to remember. Because as you’ve read from my Beauty VIP Products blog post – one of my faves is Wet and Wild Eyeshadow and Blush. And when was the last time you’ve seen a Wet and Wild Commercial??? For me – don’t think I ever have. And that’s another reason they’re able to keep the prices so low, not because it isn’t a quality product! (Gee, they should be sending me free products for all this free advertising I’m giving them, right? haha just kidding!)

And with certain stores (Rite Aid, Ulta, Walgreens) offering money-back guarantees if you don’t like your product, its a win/win situation! (By the way – products usually must be returned within 30 days with a store receipt) That more than makes up for the fact that they often lack testers for their products – YOU get to be the tester at THEIR risk! :)

 

2. Sunday Papers


I also buy a couple Sunday papers each week (well, actually 4 ). But I figure, since I have a family of four, that’s more than reasonable. Although I will tell you I buy the Sunday papers, not because of beauty (manufacturer) coupons but largely for the grocery coupons. The beauty coupons are just icing on the coupon cake! So while organizing my coupons – I’ll have a special “beauty” section that I will keep separate from my grocery coupons – so I have these coupons at the ready for any “impulse” buying. ;) Cause you just never know when you are going to be out looking for something else – and find your fave lipstick or mascara on sale or clearance – gotta be ready to double up the sale with some manufacturer coupons!

Also in the Sunday Papers, aside from the manufacturer coupon inserts, are the weekly ads for your local stores (ie Fred Meyer,Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc) – and each week they’ll have special deals on certain brands of beauty products. The stores I’ve scored the BEST deals on beauty would definitely be Walgreens, Rite Aid and ULTA – because with each of these stores they’ll offer their sales, PLUS store coupons and often store rebates! And you’re able to use ALL three in a single transaction on a single item (note – only 1 manufacturer item per product per purchase – sometimes with a max of 4 in a single day. Check the terms and conditions on the coupons and store policies for specifics – cause in no way am I trying to promote breaking of/or abusing of the rules pertaining to using coupons.)

 

3. Magazines/Websites/Blogs

There are a few blogs that I check frequently, and you can actually subscribe to the ones you enjoy so it will just show up in your email everytime there is a new post. One that I love is http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ – this one is pertaining mostly to my area, so you might want to google coupons sites for your specific area and find one that appeals to you.  With these blogs – they do most of the work for you! They tell you which coupons you need and where to get them, to get any specific product for a certain price/free. Definitely a lot easier than when I first started couponing! :)

And it never hurts to keep abreast of certain magazines that will offer great coupons on beauty products – some of the ones I’ve seen that offer great beauty coupons on a regular basis are In Style, People StyleWatch, Allure, Glamour, and last but NOT least – “All You” Magazine (which is exclusive to Wal-Mart only).  I have a few subscriptions – so I’m definitely cutting out any coupons that are available in those magazines. And if you find yourself buying a couple of issues of any specific magazine throughout the year – you might want to weigh the price of a subscription against buying say 3 in any given year at the store. You’d be surprised how cheap the subscriptions are offered at vs store price. So definitely do your homework – on your blogs/magazines etc….

And for me – when I’m “trolling” ;) the coupon websites etc its usually for grocery coupons – but I always have my “beauty product” radar on! ;) So that’s when I’ll discover greatly reduced/free offers. Several coupon websites, blogs and even Facebook offer printable coupons on many of the top beauty brands – so check their websites and their Facebook websites as well. Several stores I’ve signed up for email and text coupons – so when a new set of coupons come out – I get them directly to my email inbox or to my phone via texting! Talk about techie couponing~! (Currently a few that I have coming to my inbox are Target, JcPenney, Fashion Bug, Ulta, and LOTS more!)

 

3. Check your Clearance Sections


Sounds so simple – but how often are you in a store for a specific item, buy it and leave? Wander over to the clearance section in any store and see what’s offered – often products are being clearanced to make room for new products. And to get rid of them quickly retailers will offer them at a huge discount,  these products still qualify for your manufacturer coupons (and sometimes even store coupons – refer to store/coupon policies for specifics).

 

4. Do Your Homework


Armed with all of the above information – make sure you have the necessary coupons clipped, and your list neatly laid out and in hand so when you get to the store you know specifically which brands and products and sizes are the ones that match up with your coupons. Don’t rely on the store to always display their sale prices – I’ve been at the stores several times when these tags are missing, but if you have your list and your coupons it won’t matter.

 

5. Stay Current with the Sales and Coupons


As often the sales change weekly and even some coupons can – this is a key step. Another key factor if your seriously looking to score on these great deals on beauty products is to always be aware of the sales and coupons in your area. If you’re randomly checking sales once a month or say, when you run out of a product – chances are you will have to pay full price. What I always do is when checking the sales/coupons, if I find one of my core products a huge discount – I’ll pick up a couple and put them away till I run out of my current one. Ensuring I never have to pay full price. This also applies in the free product situations – if you are staying current with your sales/coupons – you’ll be able to score those free deals before they expire or even run out of stock. Which often does happen when a product is offered for free – you’ll see stock depleting fast in your store if you don’t jump on the deal as soon as possible.

In the event that you aren’t able to get it before they run out of stock,  sometimes certain stores will be able to offer you a rain check for the item at the sale price. Make sure and show them your manufacturer coupon at the time they issue the rain check – because certain stores will staple that coupon/coupons to the rain check and even if the manufacturer coupon is expired they’ll still honor it because they were out of stock. And for those of you with smart phones and app stores – I have a Coupon App for my phone (that I got for free) and it alerts me to all the deals and FREE stuff in my area – dining, coupons, shopping etc! Its a priceless resource!

 

6. Prestige Cosmetic/Department Store Brands


For those of you trying to score the top department store brands (Nars, Mac, Clinique etc) at lower prices, there are ways but you won’t find them as inexpensive as your drugstore brands. Often certain stores do offer clearances at the end of season on these top brands. Stores I’ve seen that offer great deals on these higher end cosmetics would be – Ulta, Sephora and even Cosmetic Outlet Stores. Also consult trusted online store (ie Amazon) and you just may find great deals on those higher end cosmetics and even cosmetics that have formerly been discontinued.  So keep your eyes peeled – you can score on these – but its a little more challenging and not as often.

Well that’s all for me gals. If I can think of anymore tips- I’ll definitely update this list. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two and enjoy scoring some AMAZING beauty deals in your area! Feel free to share any great/free deals you’ve been able to score – I’d love to hear about it! And remember girls – we can always keep it glam while also keeping it inexpensive~! ;)

Beauty VIP Product List – Best in Beauty for your Buck!

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So anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been a beauty junkie since I was 8 years old and applying it like a clown. ;) …..I’ll never forget as a kid (probably only 9 years old) my Grandma took me to a department store for a beauty lesson, after which she purchased a couple things for me to re-create the look the makeup artist had given me. She probably saw how I was doing my makeup and was thinking – uh – she needs some help! (haha) But turned it into a fun Grandma/Grandaughter experience! And I LOVED it – loved getting pampered, loved how glam I felt wearing the makeup, and loved learning about how to apply it. …..Aaaaand thus a beauty junkie was born~!

Fast forward (a couple of years later~or so) ;) and I’m still as in love with it as I was when I was a kid. Its one of the many fun parts about being a girl~! And yes, I know, I’m probably pretty high in the estrogen department – I’m as girly-girly as they come…But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about not only makeup application, but also which brands work the best for your money. We’ve definitely been blessed here in the USA with coupons and MAJOR sales – so I get to try new products usually for free – or next to nothing. So the fact that I’ve tried a lot (read A MAJOR AMOUNT) of different cosmetic brands, had my makeup done at the beauty counter/and by makeup artists several times – you definitely pick up a lot of tricks. And I’m going to share as many of them as possible with you~!

First off though, I’ll share with you my own personal list of VIP products. Beauty products that help accentuate our “natural” beauty – not cover it up. Ones that you don’t need a lot of to acheive a desired affect.  I subscribe to several beauty magazines so I’m always trying to keep abreast of the new products, trends and looks. And some of you are going to be surprised at my choices – because I’ve dabbled not just in drugstore brands – but also the department stores as well… And my list is devised to give you the best look for your buck. Of course you are always going to be able to find a $50 eyeshadow that performs amazingly well – but my list will help you navigate both department and drugstore beauty, so you’ll know where and on which products to splurge on. And where you can save your $$$ by getting a product of equal value at your local drugstore! And who doesn’t LOVE saving money, right?? So without further adieu, here they are: (in no particular order)

 

Foundation:


Steal:
Revlon Colorstay (the original) And still as amazing as ever – this is what I use and have used for years! I always go back to this one!

Splurge: Makeup Forever HD Foundation ( A makeup artist applied this on my face at 7am before a wedding I was in – and it was still on and looking amazing when we were dancing and having fun till 3:30am~!!!)
(I personally stick with using the Revlon Colorstay on a regular basis)

 

Powder:

Steal: Revlon Colorstay Photoready

Splurge: Makeup Forever
(I use Revlon Colorstay Photoready daily)

 

Eyeshadow:


Steal:
Wet and Wild (Their eyeshadow palettes are AMAZING – great colors, amazing pigments, and at under $5 a palette, you can’t go wrong!)

Splurge: Mac  (I go back and forth between both of my stashes, but actually get MORE compliments when I’m wearing my Wet and Wild shadows!)

 

Mascara:

Steal: Cover Girl Last Blast Volume
Splurge: Honestly – don’t bother – stick with the Cover Girl – its AMAZING~! And because you should be replacing your Mascara often, here is one of those places you’re going to want to save.

 

Blush:

Steal: Wet and Wild

Splurge: Nars
(I personally stick with the Wet and Wild on a daily basis – great array of colors and great pigment! Oh and at under $3 dollars a piece – can’t complain!)

 

Lipstick:

Steal: Maybelline Superstay (this stuff truly does what it advertises, stays on ALL day – as long as you are applying lip gloss after each meal)

Splurge: Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick (this one is rich in pigment and extremely moisturizing – and a multiple award winner too)
(I use the Maybelline everyday – love its staying power and the price can’t be beat either)

 

Lip Gloss:

Steal: Ulta Super Shiny, Bonne Bell Lip Lites, Wet and Wild Glassy Gloss, Maybelline Shine Sensational (ok – so it isn’t just one – but all of these are amazing and extremely well priced!)
Splurge: Honestly after trying several department store brands – and them being the same as (or subpar) to the drugstore brands, stick with the drugstore here!

 

Best Lip Plumper:

Steal: Honestly haven’t found one in the drugstore that actually does what its supposed too! LOL
Splurge: (TIE) between Too Faced Lip Injection and LipFusion …..these DO actually plump up your KISSER ;)
(This is a fun thing here and there – but I definitely don’t use these very often. And don’t try putting it on top of your lipstick – it will just dissolve your lipstick and won’t have the full plumping effect! That’s why I don’t wear this often – I prefer lipstick to lip plumping. haha)

 

Best Nail Polish:

Steal: Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure (Amazing for natural nails!)

Splurge: China Glaze 
I mostly use Sally Hansen – and if done properly you can stretch a “homemade” manicure to last 7-10 days lasting quite well! Which is quite the achievement for natural nails. I find OPI is made more for Artificial nails and chips quite a bit on natural nails.

 

So that’s an abbreviated list for now. I may add some more in the future – and feel free to post any comments with recommendations of products you love/can’t live without! I’d love to hear your feedback and maybe discover some new products I haven’t tried~! And by the way, look for a follow up article in the future to this one, on just how to score these products for rock-bottom prices!  Take care and keep it “GLAM” girls~!