Monday, October 31, 2011


Hey everyone! I hadn't intended to post twice today (you can check out my Halloween FOTD here!).. but when Chris checked the mail there was a box from the wonderful Maria over at Cult Nails and I was so excited I knew I'd be posting again... because UNICORN PUKE IS HERE!!! BEST. HALLOWEEN. PRESENT. EVERRRRR!!! :D

Unicorn Puke is a limited edition polish.. Only 275 bottles of it were made and it sold out super fast. Last week, Maria asked who didn't get to purchase a bottle of UP on Twitter and I replied that I didn't because we were between pay periods when it was released... and she surprised me with a bottle! I was so shocked and excited! Chris was like "Well, I'd ask you if you're happy, but you won't stop bouncing up and down.." haha!

Needless to say, I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my precious Puke. And now it's here! Let's all take a moment to bask in its beauty and gloriousness (yes, I totally just made that word up):

Cult Nails polishes come packed in cotton balls as part of their sustainability efforts.. which is great because I was running low on them!

My bottle is 176 out of 275.
Look at all the flakies! :drools:
Without a doubt the best bottle shot I've EVER taken. ♥
I was actually so excited to try out Unicorn Puke that I couldn't even wait to take my current polish off before I swatched Puke.. so I ended up layering it over Ulta's Envy...

Envy before Unicorn Puke.. gorgeous on it's own.
Envy after Unicorn Puke... AMAZING. Look at those flakies! This is only 1 coat of Puke! :swoons:
I actually rather like Puke over Envy.. the flakies against the green background remind of of lights on a Christmas tree. And yes, I know it's entirely too early for Christmas talk, but we did have our holiday meeting at work last night so I have a little residual holiday cheer.

And finally.. here's UP over Color Club's Pucci-licious. Pucci-licious really helps to bring out the "blurple" in Puke.

It. Is. SO. Amazing. I just don't have words. :sigh:

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If you've fallen in love with Unicorn Puke and are bummed that it's limited edition, don't fret! The only thing unique about Puke is the name! The exact same formula will be re-released with the Cult Nails' Winter Collection under the name Clairvoyant sometime in November! So keep your eyes on the Cult Nails FB page, website and blog for the release date!

Cult Nails polishes are B4 Free, not tested on animals and completely vegan friendly. The company also has a very strong green/sustainability initiative which I love.

Many thanks go out to Maria and Cult Nails for making my dreams of owning Unicorn Puke come true! You can bet I'll also be ordering a backup bottle (or 2!) of Clairvoyant when it comes out!

FOTD -- Halloween Inspired Eyes

First and foremost... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! I hope everyone is having a great day so far! Have you dressed up? I decided not to this year, and opted for some themed makeup instead. Chris and I aren't doing anything special tonight. In fact, we might just go out to dinner and have some drinks to avoid the hoard of Trick-or-Treaters. Yes, we're the horrible people that have the lights off and don't give out candy. But it's mainly to save Emma from having a coronary because she completely flips out and goes into "protector mode" every time the the doorbell rings. Bless her furry heart.. she's special. ♥

Anyways.. I thought I'd quickly share my FOTD with you. I decided to keep it simple and just do an orange lid with a black cut crease and black liner. Before I show you the closeup, please excuse my eyebrows. They're overgrown and out of control.. but I'm holding off on taking care of them because I'm waiting for an eyebrow shaping wand to get here so that I can review it for you! Now for the pictures:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
  • Cover Girl AquaSmoothers Tinted Moisturizer -- 805 Fair to Light
  • Mabelline Cover Stick Concealer -- Fair
  • NYC Loose Powder -- Naturally Beige
  • ELF Bronzer Quad -- Golden Bronzer
  • Rimmel Blush -- Pink Sorbet
  • NYX Eyeshadow Single -- Iced Mocha (for brows)
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil -- Milk (on lid)
  • NYX Eyeshadow Primer -- Flesh Toned (crease to brow bone)
  • Shany 96 Color Palette -- Bright Orange shadow (bottom color on 3rd row from left)
  • L'Oreal Studio Secrets Project Runway 'Audacious Amazon's Gaze' Shadow Quad -- Orange Shadow (on top of Shany shadow)
  • Wet N Wild -- Greed Palette (sparkly black shadow to cut crease and in bottom lash line)
  • Wet N Wild -- Vanity Palette (lightest matte shade for highlight and inner corner)
  • ELF Cream Liner -- Black (on bottom water line)
  • Palladio Waterproof Retractable Eyeliner -- Black (on top water line)
  • Maybelline Line Stiletto Liner
  • Maybelline Great Lash Mascara -- Blackest Black
  • Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
  • Essence Lash Mania Mascara
  • Essence Lipstick -- Creamy Nude
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Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

REVIEW -- Blinc Mascara

Hey everyone! Today I'm going to review Blinc's "revolutionary" mascara. I heard about this a while back, but actually got a sample in my September Birchbox.. so I was excited to try it!

Blinc Mascara (formerly known as Kiss Me) is the original mascara invented to form tiny water-resistant "tubes" around your lashes, rather than just coating them with product like conventional mascaras. It retails for $25 and can be bought on the Blinc website, as well as at Sephora and various salons and "med spas." It has been clinically tested to be non-irritating, making it ideal for people with sensitive eyes and contact-lens wearers.

But now, let's get to the claims.. because this product makes a lot of them.
  • Once applied, the tubes bind to your lashes and cannot run, smudge, clump or flake.. even if you cry or rub your eyes.
  • Adds both volume and length to give you a radiant natural look that lasts all day.
  • When you're ready for removal, the tubes will effortlessly slide off your lashes into you hand without the use of a harsh makeup remover.
Since a mascara like this is unfamiliar for most people, they were kind enough to include application and removal instructions:

Use on clean and dry lashes. Within 2 minutes, apply one or more coats. Keep applying coats until the desired lash volume, length and separation is achieved, before Blinc mascara sets. Once set, additional coats cannot be applied.
Neither water alone nor pressure alone will remove Blinc mascara. Only the combination of lots of warm water and gentle pressure, from your fingertips, a washcloth or water pressure (i.e., shower), will slide the tiny tubes effortlessly off your lashes. Upon removal, you will actually see the tiny tubes in your hand! 

The first thing I noticed about Blinc mascara is how wet it is. The formula is very thin and completely different than any mascara I've ever seen before. Next, the applicator on my spoolie/wand is very large.. about half the size of my entire sample tube, to be exact:

I should have known the wet formula would be a problem during application. I applied 2 coats to my upper lashes, blinked my eyes.. and immediately got mascara all over my skin. It's true that once the mascara dries, you can't add any more product on top of it, and it really does stay put which is awesome for people who wear contacts. I hate when mascara flakes off into my eyes!

Unfortunately for me, it didn't really add volume to my lashes at all. It kind of just darkened them and made them shiny. It's a nice enough natural look, but I don't like the look of natural lashes. I do everything I can to make sure mine are sky-high and very thick! I also really despised the way it made my lashes plastic-looking and shiny. I mean, I guess that's what you get for having your lashes encased in tubes, but if I rubbed my eyes, my lashes literally felt like hard plastic. Gross! Another thing I wasn't fond of was that the Blinc mascara seemed to make my lashes stick together waaaayyy more than normal. Here's a picture of my lashes before and after the mascara was applied:


For the picture, I used no eye liner or eye makeup and I didn't curl my lashes.. so you could truly see only what the mascara does by itself. Granted, it does make my lashes "stand up" but I feel like I have more volume to my lashes BEFORE I add the mascara.

And now, let's talk about removal. Um, yea. I was ready for them to come off, but it certainly was anything but effortless. I tried the whole "warm water and gentle pressure" thing. Totally didn't work. I eventually had to use makeup remover to try to dissolve the bond between my lashes and the "tubes" but even then they still didn't just slide right off. I had to tug and pull and I was actually very concerned that I was going to rip my eyelashes out by the root! And, as a matter of fact.. I probably did just that.

Removing my eye makeup that night took about 5x as long as normal and I was really aggravated and frustrated by the time I was done. For the record, I also lost 4 eyelashes that night.. but they could have been about to fall out anyways. Regardless, two of the lashes were right next to each other so I had a huge hole in my lashes for about a week. :\

As you can see, I also lost three eyelashes this time.. but thankfully I didn't have any gaping lash holes so I guess that's a plus.

I really wanted to like this mascara. It's such a cool concept and makes so many great promises.. but I can't stand it! The mascara itself isn't that bad, but it doesn't do much for my lashes.. and it certainly doesn't add volume. At $25 a pop, I want more than a cool gimmick to make me purchase a full-size tube. I could even deal with using the sample when I go to the pool or something... IF removal wasn't as difficult as it is. And in the end, that's what completely kills this product for me. I honestly didn't want to even use it again to take the pictures for this post, but I knew y'all deserved to see the product in action.

Removal wasn't any easier the second time, even though I got in the shower versus using the cotton balls soaked in warm water I had previously tried. Unfortunately, I don't see myself using this product again and I think it says a lot that I didn't even want to use it a second time. I know there are people that love it and swear by it.. I'm just not one of them. For that reason, I've got to give Blinc's mascara 1 out of 5 stars.
RATING -- 1 out of 5 STARS

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I feel a little bad even posting this because I don't like doing negative reviews, but this is an expensive product and I'd want someone to be honest with me before I bought it. Plus, I also feel bad ONLY doing 4.5 and 5 star reviews. There are some products I just don't like, and I don't want y'all to think that I love everything or (even worse!) not trust my reviews because I say every product is all sunshine and rainbows. So I've been as honest and constructive as I can.

Have you ever gotten a sample of Blinc mascara from Sephora or Birchbox? Or even bought a tube to try? If so, I'd really love to hear your thoughts.. and any tips you have for getting it off!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

MUSINGS -- Do You NEED to Use a Face Primer?

Hey everyone! Today I have another "Makeup Musings" post for you. Have you ever wondered exactly what primer is and if you really need to use it when you apply your makeup? I used to wonder about it's effectiveness, too.. and I've tried my fair share of them.

Face primers prepare your skin for makeup application and create a base for you foundation to not only last longer, but look more natural and flawless on your skin. Most primers are silicone-based and oil and fragrance free. The silicone isn't able to be absorbed by your skin, so it sits on top creating a perfectly smooth layer for your makeup to adhere to by filling in any fine lines and wrinkles, instead of having those get filled in by your foundation. It also helps minimize the appearance of your pores. And think about this: since primers don't penetrate your skin, they provide a protective barrier and stop your makeup from clogging your pores, thus preventing future breakouts!

Primers work especially well for people with combination and oily skin, as they help control excess shine. However, people with normal and dry skin can also benefit from their use because they smooth the surface of the skin. They should be applied after your moisturizer and before foundation. I find it's best if I give my primer a few minutes to "set" before I apply my foundation or tinted moisturizer.

So, to conclude.. primers:
  • Smooth skin surface and even out skin tone
  • Create a protective base for longer-lasting makeup
  • Help keep oil and shine at bay
  • Fill in lines and wrinkles
  • Minimize the appearance of pores and
  • Prevent makeup from clogging pores

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Do you have a favorite primer? Mine is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I only need to use the smallest amount, so even though it's expensive, it lasts me forever! I'll put a picture of my current tube that I've been using for over a month with the amount that I use on a daily basis.. so you can see just how long it lasts me. I got my Smashbox sample in a Birch Box. For comparison, a travel size retails for $16 and is twice the size of my tube (0.5 fl oz).

If you're not currently using a primer, does this make you rethink them? I can honestly tell you that I was hesitant to try them, but now I would never do without them! As always, I love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, October 28, 2011

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- Nail Polish!!!

Happy Friday! I think it's NO surprise that at one point I'd pick this as be my Friday Favorite. I just.. :sigh: I can't get over how much I love nail polish!

I'm the girl that always has her nails painted. Always. And I've been that way for.. well, at least the last decade. I feel so naked without nail polish... it's kind of sad in a way, I guess.

Currently, I have 217 bottles and I can't say that I plan on stopping any time soon. I've completely overflowed the original massive storage container that I bought to house all of my pretties and Chris is holding firm on refusing to let me buy another one.. but I'm going to buy one anyways. My babies need a home! The good news (IS there good news when you get upwards of 200 bottles? lol) is that now I'm more selective on what I like and what I buy. I no longer buy bottles just to get a collection or when I have other things very similar already at home. A polish either has to be unique in my collection, different enough to warrant a purchase or I have to really love it for me to purchase it.

I've also noticed that my tastes have changed over time. I used to be ALL about pinks and reds, but lately I'm leaning more towards blues. Odd, isn't it?

I love that polishes are an inexpensive way to complete or make over an outfit and that it's so easy to make them a fashion statement with nail art. At my job, we can only wear solid black and white.. so I rely on my nails for that important "pop" of color. I mean, neon leopard print nails totally look amazing when paired with all black!

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What are your thoughts on polish? Love it? Or leave it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

REVIEW -- Essence Lipsticks

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of 5 essence lipsticks for you! Now, it's no secret that I love their glosses and nail polishes, so given my new lipstick obsession.. when I saw these at my local Ulta, I had to snatch them up!

These lipsticks are available in-store at Ulta and online at their website.. and retail for $2.49 a piece. There are 10 colors total, spanning shades like bubble gum pink, coral, red, berry, nude and brown.

Here are the swatches:

From L-R: Femme Fatale, FairyTale, Kiss You, Creamy Nude, Fifth Avenue
Click to enlarge picture for better detail!

The lipsticks are swatched in the same order they're displayed and numbered: Femme Fatale, FairyTale, Kiss You, Creamy Nude and Fifth Avenue. I know it's hard to tell from the picture, but all of the lipsticks have shimmer except for Creamy Nude. For reference, Kiss You has the most amount of shimmer to it (or glitter in it, depending on how you prefer to look at things!).

These lipsticks are full of so many wins, I can't even keep track of them all.. GREAT price, cute packaging, excellent quality, non-drying, no tugging during application, smooth and creamy, decent wear time, wonderful mix of wearable colors.. and I'm sure there are more positives that I'm leaving out.

I like that these are more like very moisturizing tinted balms versus a standard lipstick.. which I feel can get dry and icky. The only thing I wish was improved was the wear time, but I can get about 2-4 hours out of these, so it's not horrible.. and they definitely don't claim to be a long-wearing lipstick.

All in all, I've found 3 colors I really like (Femme Fatale, FairyTale and Creamy Nude) that are out of my general comfort zone.. but I decided to try them because they were so inexpensive. And I really like them! I think I'll now be exploring those colors in other brands now, too!

Therefore, I give the essence lipsticks 4.5 out of 5 stars!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 STARS

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Have you tried any of the essence lipsticks? Or any of their other products? I love them so much! I wish we could get the full-size polish bottles here in the States. :(

...Maybe one day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NOTD -- Orly's 'Fowl Play'

Hey everyone! Today I have Orly's Fowl Play to show you. It's the dupe to OPI's Merry Midnight, which I never picked up.. it came out before I began seriously collecting polish. And even I'd been on the fence about snagging Fowl Play, but all my polish blogging buddies convinced me it was worth it and that I'd kick myself if I didn't.. so I bought the last bottle from my Ulta.

In retrospect, I'm glad I did. Fowl Play is a gorgeous deep berry-ish purple jelly packed with silver microglitter and irregular shaped flakies. It is worth noting that this is my first flakie polish... ever!

Gratuitous bottle shot! See the gold-to-green color shift near the bottom? :swoon:
It's really pretty, but man.. if I'm gonna be honest.. application was a bitch. Plain and simple. Maybe I just got a dud bottle? I don't know. First coat refused to adhere to my basecoat, leaving HUGE unpolished sections on my nails. Second coat started covering bald spots, but gooped up at the free edge of my nails. Third coat finally started to make everything look presentable and I did a fourth coat just to be sure.

Drying time was good, and the polish stayed exactly where I put it besides the application issues I just told you about. So I still like it.. just don't understand why it had to be so difficult!

Here's the Story of How Chris and I Met The Gym Class Heroes...

Obviously, this post is completely non-beauty related, so feel free to skip it.. but I think it's a cool story and if I write it out here, when people ask me about it now I can be like "Oh, you can read about it on my blog!" instead of having to either type or tell the same story 50 times. Because.. I get kinda lazy after a while. I'm not even gonna try to lie. So.. here's how it happened:

The Gym Class Heroes were performing at The Masquerade on October 16th and a few days before, one of the local radio stations posted a caption contest on FB. The prize was tickets to the concert and a meet & greet with the band. So, you know, I gave it my best shot and then promptly forgot all about it. Because who would figure I'd end up winning?! Totally not me. A little while later, one of the station DJs messaged me on FB and told me I won.

There was a whole lot of screaming and jumping that resulted on my end of the conversation.. and I'm probably sure I damaged his hearing when he called me to confirm everything over the phone. Oh well.. hazards of his job, right? :)

"Artsy" picture of The Masquerade. Love that place!
Unfortunately, I was scheduled to work during the meet & greet time and there was no way I could get off.. but the band was nice enough to work us in before the show.. so Chris and I got there and the two opening bands were pretty good. We'd never heard either one (Out of Sight and The Dirty Heads).. so it was cool to experience new stuff.

Awww, we're so cute!
So.. The Gym Class Heroes let us hang with them during their "band time" right before they went on stage. Everyone was REALLY nice. Disashi was my favorite. He spent the most time with us and told us stories from being on Warped Tour.. He also told us to always believe in ourselves and to not be afraid of having a dream and following it. Great life advice, right?!

Unfortunately, Travie was running really late and we only got to see him for literally like a minute. But he was super cool and showed me his Hall & Oates tattoos when I told him I liked their music then he called me "Baby Girl" and he told me he liked the pink in my hair. Omg. Y'ALL. In my head, I was dying. I was all like "AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" but I totally kept it cool on the outside. You know how it is...

Then we took the picture with them that I posted above and went back out to the venue. By the time we'd made it to the front of the stage, Disashi was already onstage and their set had started. Totally cool.

Obligatory Travie pic because.. Omg, I absolutely adore him! ♥
The show was amazing. Obviously. They played all their old stuff, and the new song "Stereo Hearts" .. of course. Oh yea, and they all signed my shirt. No clue what the second half of Travie's signature says? It looks like "GUL (:"?? (He signed on the heart.) And as much as I love the shirt, I actually haven't worn it yet.. shocking, I know.

My totally awesome shirt. :)

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So yea.. that's pretty much the story. Seems kinda tame, but awesome at the same time. It was definitely an experience Chris and I will never forget, and The Gym Class Heroes are totally awesome in person. And really nice for accommodating us when I couldn't make the original meet & greet.

Have you ever won any cool contests or gotten to meet famous people? I'd love to hear your stories! 

PS -- We met Hanson back in 2010.. that was pretty cool. And I won a $500 gas card from another radio station back in like 2008 (I think). That was also pretty awesome. Maybe I should try my luck at contests more often!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

3 Things I'm Loving Right Now! -- Vol. 2

Hey everyone! Now, I know it's practically time for another monthly favorites video, but I have some goodies that I love so much I need to share them with you early! Thus, I bring you another installment of... Three Things I'm Loving Right Now! (Click here to see my first installment!)

First up: Freeman's Mint & Lemon Clay Mask. This stuff is so great! It's $3.99 at Ulta and smells so good! Plus, there's something fun about putting a green clay mask on every so often... It makes me feel like a girly-girl! I like that this draws impurities out of your face and also helps diminish acne and black heads. The mask spreads smoothly and gives a nice cooling sensation while it dries. Plus it comes off easily with warm water. I use this 3 times a week and it's something I definitely look forward to!

Next: Essence's Long-Lasting Eye Pencil #10 Almost Famous. All of Essence's products are amazing. I love Almost Famous because it's a perfect nude liner for my bottom water line. It really is long-lasting and it instantly makes my eyes look brighter, which in turn makes me look more awake. Plus the $1.99 price tag is beyond fabulous!

Finally: Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick #140 Fuchsia Fever. Y'all know that I've recently learned to love both lipsticks and bright colors.. so this is just full of epic win! I love the formula of the ColorSensational line.. they're long-lasting and non-drying. Plus this color is so bright and fun! You can see me wearing it in my Katy Perry Halloween outfit. I wore this at work the other day and I got so many compliments on it, I couldn't even keep count of how many people asked me what I was wearing! I originally only bought it to be a one-time use for my Katy Perry costume, but it's become a staple in my makeup bag for sure!

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Are there any products you're loving at the moment? As always, I love to hear what they are!

QUESTION -- Would You Be Interested if I Did the 31 Day Challenge?

Hey everyone! I have a question for you today. I have been contemplating doing the 31 Day Challenge that has been going around the blogosphere lately.. but I've been hesitant because I am a beauty blogger, so I didn't want to irritate y'all by only doing nails for a month straight.

To combat that, I thought about doing the challenge 2-3 days a week, instead of every day straight for 31 days. I know it kind of defeats the purpose of the "31 Day Challenge" but.. it's the best compromise I could come up with.

Now to my question.. would y'all like to see me take on the challenge? I'm posting the list of topics below so you can see them. There's a lot of cool nail art designs that I haven't tried before, and I feel like this would be a great way to expand my skill set. Take a look over the list and let me know your thoughts!

If I decide to do it, I'll probably start at the beginning of November.. And yes, in case you're wondering.. I'd still continue to do normal beauty posts in between the challenge posts. :) And if anyone else wants to do it with me, you're more than welcome to.. just let me know!

Monday, October 24, 2011

MUSINGS -- Are You Properly Managing Your Health?

Hey everyone! This is a non-beauty related post, but I feel like it's something that needs to be discussed. Are you someone who goes to the dentist every year? Or do your yearly cleanings turn more into an "emergency trip to the dentist only when absolutely necessary?"

Unfortunately, Chris and I have fallen into the latter category. I can't even tell you when the last time I had a regular cleaning was, and that in itself is really bad! Did you know that your dentist can detect more than just gingivitis? Heart attacks and strokes have both been linked to gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene. Yikes!

But what do you do if it's been entirely too long since you've been to the dentist and yours is no longer on your insurance? Or, even worse, you don't have one? There's a website called that lets you search for reputable dentists in your area.

I think this is such a fabulous idea, and I really like how much detail the website gives you. You can see pictures, contact information and bios of dentists, along with patient ratings and even before and after samples of their work. When it comes to your health, you can never do too much research on someone. Especially since you're putting your body in their hands! I definitely want to know the credentials of my medical professionals and all of mine have come through word of mouth. I like that Top Dentists includes the rating system so that you can read independent reviews on the practitioners listed on their site.

Another thing I think is cool is that it also has an information section where you can learn about procedures like crowns and bridges, cosmetic things like teeth whitening and veneers and Lumineers and even procedures like gum surgery and contouring and maxillofacial surgery. Again, y'all know I'm all for doing my research so a site that makes it one-stop and easy to understand is super convenient for me. (And if you're wondering, yes.. I finally learned the difference between a bridge and a crown!)

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I hope this serves as a reminder for you to go get your teeth cleaned if it's something you've been neglecting. Or go get a physical or an eye exam if you've been slacking on those too. I know it sounds silly and maybe even a little sappy... but it IS Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it's made me not only re-think my monthly self-exam, but my overall healthcare regime in general.

Yes, while the "don't fix it if it's not broken" adage does successfully apply to many things.. your health is not one of them! Anything that's left undetected for too long isn't good. For example: My grandpa hadn't had a physical or eye exam for 20 years and finally broke down to have his cataracts removed because he was almost completely blind.. but he had to get a physical before his eye doctor would do the surgery. Turns out, he had prostate cancer that had gone undetected for YEARS. No one knew because he never went to the doctor.

I know I got a little bit off topic there, but it's the best story I have to drive my point home. Don't wait til it's too late. Please be proactive about your health.. because you only have one body!

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