Cargo Cosmetics is some kind of awesome…

So like a realllllllyyyyy long long loooong time ago, I was all obsessed with the brand CARGO. Some people are obsessed with shoes, some folx like hats (you know, like the ones people rock at the Kentucky Derby when they bet on horses), I obsess over cosmetics. Obviously. I’m not sure what happened but my love affair with them just…ended. Don’t you hate when that happens? It’s like one minute you’ll be obsessed with a song and then the next, you’re just like…over it. Okay, so fast forward a few years and CARGO and I are friendly again thanks to these press samples being sent to me. Yaaaayyyy!!!!

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CARGO is  currently sold in Ulta and at cargocosmetics.com, but I’m almost positive that they used to be sold in Sephora. I wish they’d go back to good ole’ Seph. But whatever – I’m just happy that I can buy them whenever now because it seemed to be that they weren’t so widely available years ago.

One of my faaaavorie things about the brand is their AMAZING bronzers. Mark my words – CARGO rules in the bronzer department. This Beach Blush in Echo Beach is absolutely lovely.

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Don’t be silly and try to use each individual  color. No no, loves. Simply swirl a brush in there and apply it all over the cheeks.

 

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Yep, that’s Elle’s little head at my chin. I’m a multi-tasking mama! Packing-wise, I love these bronzers but it’s really the longevity that make them stellar. I can use this bronzer on top of a powder and it will last a good 8 hours. Fo reals!

And then there’s the Essential Palette…

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Who knew CARGO did eyeshadows so well? Priced well at $32, this palette in Warm Neutral is the perfeeeect everyday palette. I love how all of the shadows are matte but they weren’t chalky. In fact, the only issue I had was with the Browbone color. It was a bit frostier than I would have liked. I managed to tone it down a bit using a primer but by itself…wowsers.

Lippy-wise, I was sent the darling coral and shimmery darling.

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A simple gloss, yes but it’s dainty and would probably be fantastic over a highly pigmented lipstick. It’s the kind of gloss that is appropriate for outdoor fancy affairs but it also works well if you need something subtle but nice.

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Prices:

Bronzer – $30
Essentials Palette – $32
Lipgloss – $14

Availability:

CargoCosemtics.com

I am beyond impressed with what CARGO has been doing lately. I’ve got some mascaras of theirs that I can’t wait to review so stay tuned for those reviews. Any CARGO lovers in the house? Have you ever tried the brand?

 

*This post contains a paid link

 

Iman BB Creme – is it better than the rest?

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I received this product to review so sooo very long ago. I’ve really been putting it through the ringer before I did my review. I wanted to be able to deliver a solid review to y’all. And so bam – here we go. Another BB Creme. Just about every brand that considers themselves to be somethin’ have come out with a BB Creme. Quite frankly, I’m over it. But if there is one to be excited about, it’s this one. And for one main reason…

The shade selection is brown girl-friendly! Finally, right? Brown girls everywhere have been hesitant about jumping on the BB Creme bandwagon because come on – most brands seem to neglect shades for those of us with darker hues. I realize that BB Creams weren’t created with those with dark brown skin in mind so I don’t take too much offense to it. But since it has become relatively popular here in the States, it was only a matter of time before a brand that produces products for brown folx would come out with a BB Cream. And so Iman’s Skin Tone Evener BB Crème SPF 15 was born.

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First, let’s rap about what this product SAYS it’s supposed to do:

  • EVENS with Skin Tone Evener Complex enriched with Acai, Licorice and Grape Seed
  •  PROTECTS with SPF 15 & antioxidants.
  • HYDRATES with Kokum, Almond, Aloe and Vitamins A, E and C
  •  PARABEN-FREE
  • COMPLIMENTS your skin tone with a hint of color in 5 perfect-match shades

(source)

Decent and and achievable claims, I’ll say. I do like that this one is paraben-free and the hydrating properties are great for those of us with dry skin. Consistency-wise, this one seems to be a bit thicker and not as watery as some BB Creams that I’ve tried. In fact, it leaned more on the tinted moisturizer side than anything.

There are 6 shades to choose from – Sand Light, Sand Medium, Clay Medium, Clay Medium Deep, Earth Medium and Earth Deep. I was Earth Medium and it seemed to be a decent match.

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Perfect? Not really because I noted a bit of redness when it was on my skin.

PROs

-I love the shade ranges.
-It has a lightweight feel to it.
-It’s fragrance-free.
-Application is simple as I found it smooth enough to apply all over using my fingers.

CONs

-The price point is a bit UP there considering it’s a drugstore BB cream. It retails around $19.99.
-It didn’t seem to last that long on me. Within hours it seemed to have dissipated a bit. A powder on topped seemed to help it last a bit longer.
-May be difficult to find. Your best bet is to order online at Target.com.

 

In this pic I have the BB Creme on just the left side of my face.

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The BB Creme added a bit more color to my face but I don’t know…does it look a little TOO warm? Also, my dark spots didn’t cover up as much as I would have liked them to…

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But does it work well in a pinch? Yuuuup. I have this BB Creme tucked away in my travel bag and find that this baby plus a powder is perfect for daytime and nighttime wear. So yes, I’m a fan!

The Beauty Basics

Price: Between $18-$20
Availability: Target.com and ImanCosmetics.com.
Do I Recommend?: Yep! Especially for my gals who’ve been looking for BB Creams for their complexions. Chances are if you are a brown girl, one of these shades will fit you beautifully. 
 

Whatcha think? Any Iman Cosmetics or BB Cream lovers try this one?

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

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This review would have been appropriate for Valentine’s Day but um yeahhhh, I totally forgot to put it up. Worry not. This darling little blush is still available on TooFaced.com. TF ruuuules in the packaging department. 9 times out of 10, my attraction to the brand starts at just a simple glare of their beauty baubles. Like this Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush. I recently received her for review.

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Presh, isn’t she? And she sits nicely in the balm of my hand…

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It’s been awhile since a blush has wooed me. And this is sad because I adooooore blushes.

What Too Faced says about this baby,

“Three swatches of rose, coral and peach packed into one pretty heart. Baked color formula allows the blush to be applied as a beautiful buildable finish. Blush works on all skin tones.” (source)

Oh. And if you’re an ingredient snob, it’s paraben-free too. I’m a bit of a rule breaker when it comes to products like these. You can probably get away with applying this blush as 3 separate shades but naw…I swirl them altogether and pop it right on the cheekies. Yeah.

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Frostier than I’d like, this is the kind of blush that works best with a highlighter.  I can probably get away with wearing the shade with the most pink in it best, but I find that they do better when used altogether. Plus, it’s just easier to apply that way? I mean, who has time to strategically apply only 1 or 2 of these shades? Yeah no. Keepin’ it simple is the way, yo.

Worn alone (meaning without foundation, tinted moisturizer or some kind of base) means she won’t last long so I definitely like to wear this on top of a lil somethin ‘somethin’. See…

Very subtle but it still gives my cheeks a nice dose of color in a pinch.

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Love love love.

Where To Buy: TooFaced.com
Cost: $29

Price is a wee up there but she’s a speciality item so I get it. And she’s adorbs. Whatcha think? Are you in love?

Tales of the Makeup Remover That Didn’t Remove

I was actually kind of excited about trying and falling in love with this eye makeup remover. I’ve been using expensive eye makeup removers for years now and I’m sick of it. I can go budget for practically anything but when it comes to removin’, I can’t help it if the expensive stuff seems to be better for me.

But I knew good ole’ Mayb wasn’ going to let me down with this innovative gel makeup remover. I knew I was glaring at a winnah!

Or so I thought.

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At first glance, the remover looks pretty stellar.

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Gorgeous packaging? Check.
Affordable? Check.
Stellar claims? Check.

She promises to not only remove makeup but to also soothe the skin as well. Having a lousy eye makeup remover just isn’t an option for me. I need a spectacular one. IF you tell me you’re going to remove every trace of my eye makeup including waterproof mascara, then I expect you to. Period. Wellllllls, this remover wasn’t so hot. But let’s talk about her pros.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a remover with a formula like this so I can appreciate Mayb pushing the envelope a bit. I popped the top and I was impressed with the housing there…

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This allows you to only put a teeny bit amount on a cotton ball, swap or Qtip. Cool, right? But it was really the fragrance that threw me for a loop. Okay, granted I am sensitive to fragrances but this stuff was stroooong. It smelled floral and just…nauseating. I get it. People like scents, but come on – do you need a makeup remover with a fragrance? I don’t think so. Fragrance-free is the way to go with stuff like this. The consistency was interesting…

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And I found that it wasn’t as effective as a remover with more of an oil or watery consistency. In fact, it took almost an ounce of remover to complete remove my eyeliner and mascara. Plus, I just didn’t like how the “gel” felt around my eyes. Soothing, yes? But I felt like it kept seeping in my eyes. It’s a personal thing, I guess because I know some people can’t get down with removers with an oil consistency.

So yeah – this definitely wasn’t up my alley.

The Basics

Price: $4.99
Availability: Scoop it up at any drugstore both online and in stores. Target and Walmart too!
Do I recommend?: Nope. I wasn’t a fan.

Have y’all tried this? What makeup remover are you currently using?

The Man Repeller GLOSSYBOX

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I haven’t reviewed a GLOSSYBOX since last year and it’s already March. Time freaking flies. Cliche, I know but it’s always really apparent when I’m playing around with beauty stuff. This month GLOSSYBOX partnered with blogger The Man Repeller. I’m not familiar with this blog so I’m not sure how it all went down. It appears to be a fashion blog that focuses on a lot of International fashion. If you have some insight on The Man Repeller, please let me know. In the meantime, let’s check out this GLOSSYBOX…

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As in all of the boxes, we’ve got a magazine that features season trends and whatnot…

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And then the main event…

At first glance, I was excited because for the first time in a while, it looked like this GLOSSYBOX contained items in which I was interested in using them allllll.

Le Metier de Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution -full size $225

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I’ve featured LMdB products before but I haven’t tried any of their skincare products. Aaaand for obvious reasons. They are a bit the expensive side. I haven’t tried this yet but I don’t think I want to. Because then what if I like it? Then I’ll be stuck having to spend THAT much on a skincare product? Nah bro.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her Eau de Toilette Spray – full size $77

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Okay, so we all know I kicked wearing perfumes to the curb years ago due to the fact that they give me migraines but even if they didn’t, I wouldn’t re-open my love affair for ‘em with this one. It smells like old ladies. No bueno.

Living Proof Prime Style Extender (hair primer) – full size $20

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I’m not a fan of hair products in beauty boxes (mainly because they are almost never geared toward my hair type) but this is a decent sample size if I were interested in using a hair primer.

Vincent Longo Lipstain – full size $23

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Yay! I full size product. I love everything about this richly pigmented red lipstick. It is definitely the star of the box for me.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume mascara – full size $25

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mini mascara in a beauty box so yaaaaay for that. I’m a mascara snob in that I’d much rather use a full size mascara than a mini one but for a sample box, it works. Plus, I can use this mascara in my cosmetic bag for travels.

OPI Can’t Let You Go Liquid Sand nail polish – full size $9

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Fantastic choice! It’s not only a full size nail polish but it is OPI’s newest formula.

Fresh  Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum – full size $35

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I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m excited to. It’s a good pick for a beauty box because it’s large enough to let you try out the mask the serum at least 2-4 times.

Overall:
I always judge the value of a GLOSSYBOX by the variety of products and if what is given has a value that reaches or exceeds the cost of the $21 box. Looks like this one did a darn good job. We got a hair, nail, skincare, cosmetic and perfume sample. Two of the samples were in full size and together they cost more than the cost of the box. Not a bad box for this month. The lipstick and nail polish are true winners in my book.

Are you a GLOSSYBOX subscriber? What did you think about this month’s? Oh! And if you aren’t a subscriber, head on over to the site and sign up.

 

Feature: The 3 Step Foundation Routine

I’ve got a video for youuuuuu. Not of me, of course. Y’all know how badly I am with keeping up with my YouTube channel. And it’s unlikely that I’ll get back on it in 2013. Just bein’ honest. Buuuut, my girl Safia Michelle over at Lipstick Mixtapes was kind enough to do a video for me in which she shows us a 3 Step Foundation Routine.

Class is officially in session. Pay attention. Safia Michelle is one of the best makeup artists in the game!

 

 

Garnier’s New BB Cream for Oily/Combo Skin

Hey, everyone! If you thought that the BB cream craze was over, brace yourself. There’s a whole new crop of BB creams (and CC creams, plus I’ve heard rumblings of a new DD cream…) hitting store shelves in 2013! Today, I’ll be dishing on one that’s particularly interesting since it’s made specifically for oily and combination skin: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin. Whew, that’s a mouthful!

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I came across this new gem while in Walgreen’s and was curious to try a BB cream for oily skin, plus I was pleased to see that Garnier had added a Deep shade to their BB cream lineup. So, let’s get into what the brand claims about the product. According to the box, Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin “immediately mattifies, minimizes pores, and conceals imperfections to give skin a naturally smooth, flawless finish.” So does it live up to its claims?

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In a word, yes. It truly does mattify skin skin upon application, which any oily skinned gal can appreciate. Much of the mattifying action in this BB cream is due to the inclusion of alcohol denat (it’s listed fifth after sunscreen) to act as an astringent. Even though my skin is oily, I typically don’t use skincare or foundation products with alcohol denat in them, as they have the potential to be drying and irritating to skin. I recommend applying a bit of moisturizer to your skin before applying this, especially if your skin is leaning more toward combination than oily.

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Despite the product’s watery texture, the finish and coverage were quite impressive. It made my skin look diffused, camouflaged some hyperpigmentation from a recent breakout, and evened out my skintone. The only problem was that it evened my skintone with a shade that didn’t match my own. Someone over at Garnier was a little liberal with their definition of “deep”. In actuality, the Deep shade was a caramel shade with warm undertones.

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My hand is a few shades darker than my face right now, but you can see in the photo that it’s too light for medium brown skin (I don’t know why, but my skin is still hanging on to a tan I got on a cruise last October. I’m so over it, y’all…). On my face, it matches the center where I’m lighter, but it looked too light on the darker areas of my face, like around my mouth and the perimeter of my face. Sadly, most brown girls won’t find a color match in this product.

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Shade matching aside, Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin really did make my skin look great. It’s a great option for those with oily skin who want light to medium buildable coverage in a lightweight formula. It would even be great as an oil absorbing primer before your foundation. If other BB creams were too greasy for you, you may want to give this one a try!

More About Amber:
Amber is the creator of Brown Bombshell Beauty, where she’s been blogging about beauty for brown girls since 2008. A bona fide beauty junkie, Amber has a serious obsession with huge natural hair, cute shoes, and has rarely met a red lipstick she didn’t like. Follower her on Facebook and Twitter.

CVS Beauty Fashion Week challenge + win a $50 gift card!

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Sooooo another Fashion Week has zoomed right on by and with her she dumped a ton of beauty trends that have beauty-obsesesd folx like myeslf going gaga.

Like last season, I’ve been trying to see if I can comfortably mimic some of those trends without lookin’, ya know, too cray cray. Aaaaand with the help of CVS/pharmacy, I think I can do it. If it turns out a total disaster, at least I’ll be covered with CVS/pharmacy’s 60-day Beauty Guarantee.

Trend #1:
Strong brows.

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Considering I was born with massive brows, I’d say that I’ve been rockin’ this trend for a good 28 years now. For serious. Big brows are back and if you’re like me and yours need constant defining, check out Maybelline’s Eye Studio Master Shape brow pencil ($7.99). Even a newb like me can fill in those sparse areas with ease. But remember – less is more.

Trend #2
Insanely bold lip colors.

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Yas! Y’all know I love to rock a bold lip and will do so no matter what the season is. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivids lipsticks are freaking ah-mazing. I’ll be reviewing them but in the meantime, how awesome is Vivid Rose? I scooped her up for $7.39 and got Neon Red for $3.69.

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Hollerssss. It’s easy to hoard these because every shade is super pigmented and goooorgeous.

Trend #3
Blue eyeshadow

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Say whaaaat? I didn’t see this one coming. I don’t have anything against blue eyeshadow. I just don’t wear it often. This trend has me being a bit more creative when doing my makeup in the morning. I’ve been trying to find ways to comfortably wear blue. I’m lovin’ this L’Oreal Colour Riche eyeshadow palette.

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Not bad for under $8.

Trend #4
White/neutral nail polish shades

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I love white nail polish. Like, luuuuurve. I just don’t wear it often because they can be a bit of a pain to apply. But if you find a good one like Sally Hansen’s Sheer Bliss ($7.79), you better rock it, sister.

Thanks to these affordable products, I hit 4 trends and stayed under $50. But remember, for every $50 spent on beauty at CVS/pharmacy, you get $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards!

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Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win 1 $50 CVS/pharmacy gift card to snag some products that you were inspired by this past Fashion Week. Good luuuuck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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