Before I get to the review, I just want to remind everyone to check out my Thanksgiving post (because it's not to late to plan that feast!). And now, on to the review....
I was sent a sample of Oz Naturals Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel in exchange for an honest review. This is one product I was very much looking forward to trying!
It comes in a small pump-top container, which makes it easy to dispense onto your fingertip. It has only the faintest scent, but that scent is pleasant. They say this product will "reduce the appearance of crow's feet", "diminish and fade the appearance of dark circles", and reduce puffiness.
Over the course of about a week, I applied this product around the eye area only (the packaging says it can also be used on the forehead and cheeks), twice daily. I focused first on the dark circles under my eyes, then fanned out onto the surrounding skin a tiny bit. I then dabbed what was left on my fingertip onto the upper eyelids. It goes on smoothly and requires only a little bit of the gel. Within a minute or two, I could feel it drying and tightening.
The directions say it "Can be used under makeup". This is the only real problem I had with it. I applied it and let it dry. Then I applied a colour corrector to the dark circles. It went on streaky, balled up a bit, and then settled in the cracks formed by the dried gel. Foundation over the top of that helped hide it some, but I was left looking scaly. I tried JUST foundation, and it didn't ball up or streak. But it still settled in those cracks. So I don't advise using it under makeup.
And how does it work? Well, a couple times during the test period, I slept poorly. Usually, I would have a LOT of puffiness around my eyes. But applying the eye gel before bed, I woke up to significantly less puffiness. The dark circles are a BIT less dark after a week of use. Not much, but enough to tell me that if I continue to use it, there will be quite a bit of improvement. But what impressed me most is what it did to the fine lines (yes, we all have at least a few....). Just a few days of using this eye gel, and the lines were almost entirely gone!
In summary: It's easy to use, subtly fragranced, starts to tighten in minutes, helps significantly with puffiness, lightens dark circles a bit, and REALLY works on fine lines. But don't use it under makeup unless you want to look reptilian. lol.
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For those of us here in the USA, Thanksgiving is fast approaching. For those who may be unfamiliar (after all, I can't assume NOBODY outside the USA reads my blog): It's a feast day, which is centered around a turkey, and often finished with pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving can get VERY expensive, even when you try to plan on the cheap. So here's a bit of help:
Let's start with a few affordable appetizers. Veg*ns can substitute vegetable or veggie "chicken" broth in the mushrooms, veggie dogs in the cheesy dogs, Worcestershire made without anchovies (there are a few brands, or you could make your own) and Vegan cheese/cream cheese (if Vegan) in the cheese ball.
And now on to the main dish. For non-Veg*ns, this is easy....turkey (here are some coupons for Butterball). But for those who don't eat meat? Well, you could buy a Tofurky, a Gardein Holiday Roast, a Field Roast Celebration Roast, a Quorn Turk'y Roast (if you can find one...availability varies wildly), or even (if you're not strapped for cash) a Vegan Whole Turkey! All but the whole "turkey" can be found in select stores (check the product locators at Tofurky, Gardein, and Field Roast [Quorn doesn't have a product locator] to see if you can get one locally).
But what if you don't WANT to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 (or more!) on a "turkey"? Well, here's a recipe for the Unturkey! The Unturkey had been incredibly popular until it was discontinued in 2006. I believe the company closed down, it WAS a small company. Another option is this seitan "turkey" which is described as being similar to Tofurky. For those who're gluten sensitive, here's a tofu "turkey" (when I made this in the past, I seasoned the tofu with vegetarian "chicken" broth powder and nutritional yeast in addition to the herbs).
Now, on to the sides! Most people I know think of potatoes right away. REAL mashed potatoes can't be beat. But for those pressed for time, there's always potato flakes. And if you're absolutely the DIY type, you could try these homemade mashed potato granules. Of course, you'll need gravy. Here's a Wild Mushroom Gravy. If you want a turkey-esque gravy, try using a broth of 2 parts "chicken" broth powder and 1 part "beef" broth powder, with a bit of nutritional yeast and some poultry seasoning. Add a tiny bit of oil for a rich mouth-feel.
While for some, Thanksgiving means mashed potatoes. For others, it's cheesy potatoes! And while Vegans could use Vegan cheese, sour cream, etc, that would be expensive. So here's a recipe of Vegan cheesy potatoes. You can't make cheesy potatoes without cubed hashbrowns. But did you know you could make your own? Here's how.
Another must-have for Thanksgiving is stuffing. Here's a Stovetop copycat (Veg*ns, simply replace the chicken bouillon with a Veg-friendly broth powder). For years, I always kept a batch of this on hand just in case. I've slacked a bit lately, what can I say? :-S
Another classic? The green bean casserole (did I really even need to give a recipe? lol). You'll need condensed cream of mushroom soup. You could buy it, usually it's on sale around this time of year. Or you could try the cream soup powder I shared before. Or make a Campbells copycat. And if you're Vegan, there's even a recipe for Vegan cream of mushroom! Of course, some people (myself included) will often use a condensed cheese soup, so here's a recipe for homemade. Probably the most expensive part of the recipe can be made quite easily...fried onions. And though it's a little too late for this year, you CAN can your own homegrown beans with a pressure canner.
You COULD open a can of cream-style corn. Or just make your own.
Some people will make squash or sweet potato casserole, topped with marshmallows. Now for those who don't eat gelatin, you can either buy Vegan marshmallows (expensively) at a natural foods store, or make your own.
Yet another Thanksgiving staple is cranberry sauce (for some unholy reason, lol). Here's how you can make whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce.
To go with all this food, you'll need rolls of some type. Here's a recipe for homemade crescents. And here's how to make homemade Brown & Serve rolls (I used to always make a bunch of cloverleaf and fantail to keep in my freezer).
And now, for dessert. Though people will serve anything from pecan to cherry, the main pie of Thanksgiving is pumpkin. Here's a tutorial on how to turn an actual pie pumpkin into a pumpkin pie. Now why would you do that instead of buying a can of the puree? Well, let's start with the fact that canned pumpkin isn't always pumpkin. Add to that the richer flavour from the fresh pumpkin.... Do I make my pies this way every year? No. Have I done so before? Absolutely! And you can taste the difference. Vegans don't have to miss out with this Vegan pumpkin pie recipe.
Another pie that many seem to love around this time of year is sweet potato pie. I've seen some in the store bakery, and mini boxed pies on displays at the aisle ends. But you can make your own affordably.
Some things you'll need for these pies: Pie crust, evaporated milk, and whipped topping.
One more thing: Several times throughout this post, I've mentioned broth powders. Rather than re-post an entire paragraph (links and all), I'm just going to ask you to visit my Homemade Cooking Basics post and scroll to the bottom.
See? I told you I had something special planned! lol. Until next time....
Yikes, it's been a REALLY long time since I posted last. I'm so sorry about that. Don't want to get into why. I DO still have some great things planned, and will try to get to them soon. For now, I want to share a link.
FREE photo prints (some may require you to pay shipping). This is great if you want to print pics to give/send to family members, frame, or even just put in an album. I've used some of these sites in the past, so I KNOW they work. And usually even the free prints are very nicely done.
Okay, until next time...(which hopefully won't be so long!).