How to Care for Your Leather

Most fashionistas have some leather pieces in their closet. Whether its that treasured designer leather purse, a leather biker jacket, or belt, the key to making these pieces last is properly caring for them over the years. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m pretty bad about caring for my leather items, example A being the leather seats in my Mustang. But ever since the hubby bought me my first Michael Kors purse for our anniversary a couple of years ago, I’ve taken care and upkeep more seriously. So I’m going to walk you through how to care for a leather handbag today with products compliments of Leather Nova. You would use this same approach for your other items as well.

Leather Nova Products | Dana Renee StyleTo clean my leather, I chose to use this three piece system from Leather Nova. Whatever products you use, the two important aspects of caring for leather are cleaning and conditioning. These Leather Nova products are excellent on both fronts and this three-piece kit will have all your bases covered.

Leather Nova Cleaning 1  Dana Renee StyleThe first step is to thoroughly clean your leather. To do this, you’ll need a leather cleaner and a microfiber cloth. This step removes all of the dirt and grime that has built up on your leather, which makes a huge difference in its appearance. Especially when it comes to a piece like a purse that you are constantly handling, setting on the floor, etc, its important to give it a good clean every once in a while. I really like using the Leather Nova leather cleaner because its a no rinse formula and it dries quickly.

To clean the leather, start by spraying a small amount of cleaner on the microfiber cloth. Never put products directly on your leather piece. Then use the cloth to clean the leather using gentle rubbing and circular motions. Be sure to patch test any new products on a small, inconspicuous location to be sure that it won’t cause any damage. Use a dry section of the cloth to blot off any excess product, then allow the leather to thoroughly dry (should only take a few minutes).

Leather Nova Cleaning 2  Dana Renee StyleFor deeper cleaning (like removing stains) and simultaneous conditioning, the job may be better suited for a cream cleaner and conditioner. The Leather Nova Conditioner and Cleaner is a non-greasy formula the I like for this purpose. To use it, you place a small amount on the microfiber sponge and rub the product thoroughly onto the leather. Use a clean cloth to remove any excess product and allow the product to absorb into the leather and dry completely (about an hour). At this point, you should start to see your leather start shining through! This deep cleaning and conditioning helps soften the leather, restore its flexibility, and restore its natural finish.

Leather Nova Cleaning 3  Dana Renee StyleThe last step is to condition your piece using a Leather Conditioner oil. I’ve always been pretty good about wiping down my pieces, but actually conditioning them with a proper oil is a step I wish I would’ve taken more seriously in the past. This step will help nourish the leather of your pieces and preserve them as they wear over time–especially the straps! Again, you apply the product to the sponge and then rub it gently onto the leather. Allow it absorb and then blot off any excess with a clean, dry cloth.

Taking these steps will preserve the beauty and life of your pieces. High quality products like this Leather Nova line makes the process that much simpler. These products are easy to use, come with the applicators, and have a non-greasy and quick drying formula. In addition to leather, these products can also be used on vinyl and plastic. Each individual product costs between $16-18 and the full set runs about $52. That’s a lot cheaper than trying to replace my Michael Kors purse.

Disclosure: I received the products mentioned in this post gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own based on my personal experiences with the product.


Learning Aromatherapy // Peppermint Oil from InstaNatural

I while back, I started a learning aromatherapy series and introduced tea tree oil and its many uses. Today, this series is back to talk Peppermint Oil. My friends at InstaNatural were nice enough to provide the oil for this installment. Second only to lavender, peppermint is one of my favorite essential oils.

Disclaimer!: I am not a doctor and this overview is based on my own research and experiences. It is possible to experience irritation from essential oils and you don’t want to ever use them internally. If you have concerns, especially if you have allergies, be sure to address them with your physician. 

InstaNatural Peppermint Oil | Dana Renee Style Peppermint OIl

What it is: Mentha peperita, or peppermint oil, comes the peppermint herb plant commonly found in North America and Europe. (I grow some in my garden each year and it smells amazing!)

How to buy: As with any essential oil, you want to look for a pure oil that is natural and free from additive filler oils. This Peppermint Oil by InstaNatural, available on their website and at Amazon, is a great example. It is made in the USA, not tested on animals, and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

How much does it cost: The InstaNatural Peppermint Oil is $19.97 for a big 4 ounce bottle. This amount will last you a long time (product has a shelf life of at least 24 months) and is a good value. Similar sized bottles from various retailers range from $15-45.

What other oils does it pair well with: There are many oils that you can blend peppermint with, but my favorite combinations include eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and lemon.

How to use it: There are so many ways to use peppermint oil, that I’m only going to highlight a few of my favorites here. I encourage you to do some research to see how you can incorporate it into your routines.

  • In a bubble bath or to infuse bath salts. Peppermint has been proven to helps with muscle aches, fatigue, pain, nausea, and a plethora of other symptoms and conditions. Use sparingly, i.e. a couple of drops, a little goes a loooonng way (trust me from experience).
  • Blend a couple of drops into massage oil.
  • Use it on cotton balls on your countertops and window sills to deter pesky ants in the spring and summer.
  • Use it, by itself or as part of a custom blend in a vaporizer or diffuser to scent your space. It has been shown to increase energy and improve concentration. It has also been shown to help with jet lag.

How much do I need: Peppermint oil is potent, so use it sparingly! Start with a drop or two and build up from there as needed. The InstaNatural Peppermint Oil comes with a built in dropper, making it easy to measure and disperse. This 4 oz. bottle will be more than enough to get started.

I am a big fan of InstaNatural products and highly recommend this oil, along with the other oils they carry, as a quality and affordable way to start experimenting with essential oils. My suggestion is to pick one or two that interest you and keep building your collection as you become more familiar with the oils and how to use them.

I hope that you are enjoying this series and I plan on doing more installments in the coming months. Please let me know if there are any specific oils you would like to see featured or questions you have!

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned gratis from the company for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience with the product.

InstaNatural Dead Sea Mud Mask

I love a good face mask and mud masks are some of my favorites. If you’ve been reading my blog the last few months, then you know I’ve been working with InstaNatural to share some pretty great products. Their Dead Sea Mud Mask was at the top of my wish list and they sent it over to try.

InstaNatural Mud Mask Review | Dana Renee Style 1

The Dead Sea Mud Mask runs about $25 for a 16 oz. jar. The formula contains mineral rich mud from the Dead Sea, along shea butter, aloe, and a combination of oils like jojoba and calendula that work together to cleanse and smooth skin. To use, apply a layer of the mask to the face and allow to dry for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry.

The product packaging is consistent with all of the other items in the InstaNatural line. It comes in a sturdy jar with a twist off cap. The mask itself has a smooth, almost gel-like texture, that easily applies to the skin. The mask has a clean minty scent that’s not overpowering. It also rinses off easily and doesn’t leave behind any residue. I loved the product itself and I was really hoping it would work for me.

InstaNatural Mud Mask Review | Dana Renee Style 2

As for effects, my skin did not react well to this product. After each use, I developed red bumps on my cheeks. I’ve mentioned before that I have pretty sensitive skin, but I can’t pinpoint what ingredient in this product might have caused this. This is the first InstaNatural product that I’ve had this sort of reaction to. That being said, I did notice that my skin was tighter and smoother after using the mask, which is what you hope for when using a mud treatment. I would definitely recommend trying this product out for yourself to see if it would work for you. Maybe buy a jar and have a girls’ night in, and if it works for you buy a full size one for yourself!

Disclosure: I received this product gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience with the product.

His Thoughts // Smooth Viking Beard Treatments

I’ve been trying to get my hubby involved with my blogging projects in some form or another since I started blogging back in 2010. Well I was finally able to convince him to share his perspective on some guy-centric products. In this “His Thoughts” series, he’ll be reviewing items that your guy might buy or would make a great gift for him. For the first post in this series, I teamed up with Smooth Viking via Brandbacker and they sent over some beard treatment products for him to try out. His beard is really a constant disagreement between the two of us. I would prefer a clean shave, but he is attached to his goatee and on occasion (like now) a full beard. The compromise? If you’re going to insist on the beard, at least take care of it. Enter Smooth Viking. Here’s what he had so say… Smooth Viking Review Products  | Dana Renee Style Hi, I’m Dana James (the other Dana) otherwise known as DJ or the hubby on here. I try to take care of my face and my facial hair so I was really looking forward to trying out these products. Smooth Viking sent over their Beard Oil, Beard Conditioner, and Beard Balm. I hadn’t heard of Smooth Viking before this review and I learned that this brand is all about helping guys take care of their facial hair with products made from all natural ingredients. The products arrived neatly packed in individual burlap bags. Each product is 2 ounces, which will definitely last for a while. The liquid Beard Oil comes in an eyedropper bottle that makes it easy to dispense and apply and the Beard Balm and Beard Conditioner, which are both balm-type products, came in metal tins with screw-on lids that keep the products from drying out. Just don’t try to open one of the tins after using the oil or you’ll really feel like a butterfingers. All of the products had about the same musk and citrus scent. IMG_2741 Smooth Viking Beard Oil $16.95 for 2 oz. This beard oil is meant to soften your whiskers and stop beard itch. To use it, just drop a few drops onto your fingertips and massage into your beard. It was easy to apply and I noticed that my beard was softer after the first use. I also felt like it moisturized the skin under my beard. IMG_2738 Smooth Viking Beard Conditioner $16.96 for 2 oz. The Beard Conditioner offers mostly the same benefits as the Beard Oil, but in a different formula. This balm conditioner also helps soften the beard, prevent itching, and moisturize the skin. To use this, you just scrape a little bit out, rub it between your fingers, and massage into your beard. It absorbed into the whiskers well and didn’t leave any sort of noticeable residue. I also saw results from this right off the bat. I enjoyed alternating between this and the beard oil throughout the week. IMG_2740 Smooth Viking Beard Balm $15.95 for 2 oz. The Beard Balm contains many of the same natural ingredients as the other two products and has some of the same benefits, but this balm also helps shape your beard and strengthen brittle hairs. My beard doesn’t need too much shaping because I keep it on the shorter side, but I found that it helps strengthen the hairs while you’re growing in your beard. You use this product the same way as the Beard Conditioner–scrape a little out, rub it between your fingers, massage in, and shape. It’s best used on a damp beard after showering or shaving. So which of the three was my favorite?Smooth Viking Review  Dana Renee StyleThe Beard Conditioner was the winner for me. I liked that it was easy to apply and I found that my beard was soft and looking good! I think that this would make a great gift for a guy that takes pride in his beard. Stay up-to-date with what’s going on with Smooth Viking over on their Facebook page. Disclosure: These products were provided gratis to Dana Renee Style for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are our own based on our personal experiences with the products.

Pura d’or Hair Care Review

March is going to be all about beauty here on the blog and I have loads of products to share to get ready to put away those hats and scarves for spring! First up are some products from new-to-me brand Pura d’or. They sent over a shampoo, conditioner, and argan oil for me to try out and share.

When I first looked up Pura d’or, it was their vision statement that really drew me in and got me excited about this brand.

Our products are artisanally handcrafted by a hybrid team of artists and scientists, not by machines. All our ingredients are grown on trees, not in test tubes. Some say that this is a step backward, but we believe it’s s a step in the direction of how the world should be.

Their products are certified organic and all start with a 100% pure argan oil base. They then incorporate natural ingredients like aloe, calendula, cedar wood, grapefruit, juniper berry, and others to create a range of products to meet different needs.


The three products they sent me to try were the Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo, Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Conditioner, Lavender Vanilla, and 100% Pure Argan Oil.

Pura dor Shampoo and Conditioner

Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo $24.99 for 16 fl. oz. 

The first thing I loved about both the shampoo and conditioner is the packaging. The pump bottles are incredibly convenient and dispense an ideal amount of product per pump.

The shampoo has a gel texture and a savory herb scent. It works up well in the hair and rinses clear with no residue. It’s also free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, DEA, gluten, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and harsh preservatives, which is a big bonus in my book. It also formulated to prevent hair loss by using ingredients designed to strengthen hair strands and promote healthy hair growth. I haven’t been using it long enough to see if there’s a difference in this respect, but if it’s a concern for you, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Premium Organic Argan Oil Based Conditioner, Lavender Vanilla $24.99 for 16 fl. oz.

This was my favorite of the three products. I absolutely love the lavender vanilla scent, one of my favorite scent combinations. The conditioner has a thick consistency that coats hair strands and delivers lots of moisture. This product also rinses clear and doesn’t leave a residue.

This shampoo and conditioner combination left my hair shiny, smooth, and smelling great and worked a boost of hair healthy ingredients into my routine. You can’t get much better than that!

Pura dor Argan Oil

Last, but certainly not least, is the Pure and Organic Argan Oil $24.99 for 4 oz.

If you haven’t tried argan oil yet, you’re missing out. This 100% pure and cold pressed argan oil has so many uses. You can use it on to moisturize dry cuticles, diminish the appearance of scars, as a scalp treatment, or as a moisturizer to get smooth skin. This certified organic oil is a high quality product and you will get a ton of use out of a little bottle. The bottles also have eyedropper tops or pumps depending on the size, making the product easy to disperse.

I’m loving these products and am excited to introduce you to Pura d’or. They have more amazing products on their website and are currently offering 20% off to new customers, a free bottle of cold pressed argan oil with a purchase of $19.99 or more, and free shipping on all orders to the U.S. Pretty sweet deal!

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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