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

[Contest over: a winner has been selected]

My Josie Maran Starting Line-Up

Still obsessed.

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Those are two words that sum up how I feel about every Josie Maran product I’ve ever tried. And I really need to stay away from when Josie herself goes on QVC because I become someone I don’t even know. I get all faint and feel like I HAVE to buy something. Aaaand, I always do. Yah. JM’s products are just so freaking awesome, y’all. These two babies are my absolute favorite. If you don’t try anything else from the line, you’ve got to try the argan oil…

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Argan oil is synonymous with Josie Maran as every single one of her products has argan oil in them. It works out beautifully because argan oil is a fantastically rich oil but doesn’t feel greasy. It doesn’t have much of a scent either.

What Sephora says about the Argan Oil,

This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. (source) 

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A little of the oil goes a long way and like most natural oils, it has many different uses for hair, skin, nails, etc. I am loving this all over on my face at night. It’s the perfect end to the day and gives my skin that hydration I need without making my pores feel all clogged up. It retails for $48 so it isn’t exactly the cheapest oil on the market but dang…argan oil is like beauty superfood.

If you really want to dabble into JM without breaking the bank and want to get a product that you KNOW you’ll get some serious use out of, check out the Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40.

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Yes. Yes! I am living for this moisturizer. First of all, it is haaaaard to find a daily moisturizer that is preservative-free AND has enough SPF but doesn’t leave my face with that white film. You know the film I’m talking about, don’t you? My brown sisters can attest to having a hard time getting products with SPF to reallllly sink into the skin. You’re left with an unsightly ‘ghost face’ even after you spent 2 minutes vigorously rubbing moisturizer in the skin. It sucks but I so don’t have that problem with this moisturizer.

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What Sephora says about it,

“Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 is your skin’s first defense against premature aging. This natural formula physically deflects UVA rays that can cause up to 80 percent of premature aging. It also shields from the harmful UVB rays that we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sunscreens, this natural formula is infused with Josie’s signature ingredient, Argan Oil. This sunscreen is extra mild and fast absorbing and it can also double as a great makeup primer. Argan Daily Moisturizer is lightweight, paba free, and suitable for all skin types.” (source)

While I don’t actively purchase products that have anti-aging properties, I do believe in preventative care. The magical argan oil is dumped in the moisturizer and despite it having SPF 40 in it, it doesn’t smell too SPF-y. I can wear it daily without feeling like I’m prepping up for a day at the beach. It’s such a divine moisturizer and I can’t wait to see how it’ll act in the warmer months. It does darn well in the cooler season.

This moisturizer is priced at $32, but honestly, I only use 1/4 of a pump of it daily. It’ll last fooooorever. JM is sold at Sephora, Sephora.com and QVC.com and if you haven’t tried anything from the brand, hop to it.

But don’t be like me and get all addicted to QVC, y’all. And if you do – so help your wallet.

The QVC-exclusive Tarte Journey To Natural Beauty collection

Confession. I have messed around and become just a wee bit obsessed with QVC. I’ve made a good 3 purchases in the past month and that is soooo unlike me. Pregnancy insomnia has turned into newborn sleep deprivation and I’m just not in my right mind, y’all. And it doesn’t help when my favorite beauty brands have these QVC-exclusive deals.

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Like this one from Tarte. This journey to natural beauty 6-piece collection is so ridiculously swoon-worthy that it don’t make no sense. Sometimes when things are so awesome, you have to drop the formalities of proper grammar ‘n stuff. Available TODAY only, this darling collection contains the following…

The NEW Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement mascara (retail price – $23)

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I am beyond excited about trying this out. The last Tarte mascara I tried rocked my freaking world so I’ve got high hopes for this one. Oh. And it says it’ll increase lash volume by 752%. That’s a lofty promise but dang, I’d be okay with like 492%. Ya know?

Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation (retail price – $32)

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Ma’am and Sirs – if you have never tried a Tarte brush, you need to hop to it. I will likely be using this brush for all over powder because it is just so so soft.

Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Fearless (retail price – $26)

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Well, we all know how I feel about those Amazonian clay blushes. Obsessed isn’t even the word. Fearless is the newest shade on the block and this warm pink looks like it will compliment all skin complexions beautifully. See…

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It’s got a nice pop of golden shimmer too.

The very NEW Amazonian butter lipstick (retail price – $24)

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Oh geez, this is wonderful and I’m hoping tarte releases a ton of these in various colors. I thought I loved those Amazonian lipsticks and I do, but this creamy lipstick follows the balm meets lipstick concept and you’re left with pigmented but super moisturized lips. Yassss! And the shade Plummy Rose isn’t too bad.

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Brow Architect Shaper, Liner & Definer (retail price – $25)

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A 3-in-1 product for brows? Um…wow. Way to go, Tarte!

Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation (retail price – $38)

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Stay tuned for a full review of this baby but considering THIS comes in the set and the retail value is more than half of the price of the entire collection, well…that pretty much means you NEED to get this QVC-exclusive. Just sayin’…

This entire collection of fabulousness comes toted in a gorgeous travel-friendly bag. This really is one of the best Tarte QVC-exclusive collections I’ve seen in quite some time.

Lé Deets:
Availability – Available on QVC on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 ONLY
Cost – $59.94
Pre-order Item # – A233578
February 5th Item # – A231029

This will likely sell out so if you feel like you can’t live without this collection (totally understandable yo), get to pre-orderin’.

Any Tarte lovers in the house? How wonderful is that butter lipstick? ZOMGGGG.

Elessa Jade’s Cupcake Approved Makeup Brushes!

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My girl Elessa Jade of Pursebuzz is such a show stopper. She is seriously one of the hardest working women I know. Not only does she have a hugely successful YouTube channel, but she is also a makeup artist, travels around the world to speak at events and she has also developed her own brand of makeup goodies, jewelry and accessories. She is one ball of sparkly awesomeness and I am so glad to have crossed paths with her so many times.

We both sat on the same panel for the inaugural The Makeup Show Orlando and right after we finished, I ran straight to her booth where these gorgeous brushes greeted me…

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Okay, okay…pick your mouth up off the floor. These cruelty-free brushes are just perfect for makeup newbies and professionals alike. And they not only feel insanely soft but look…

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Do you see that cupcake? ZOMGGGG! Adorbs, right? Of course I wouldn’t expect anything less from Elessa.

12 Piece Sweet Temptations Professional Brush Set has enough brushes to crank out an entire look and then some. See look…

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The brushes are super soft, cruelty-free and I love everything about how they feel in the hands. I’m so proud of Elessa Jade for launching such a quality and affordable set of brushes. They were insanely popular at The Makeup Show Orlando and it looks like they are still doing fantastic but they are currently sold out online. I know…I hate featuring products that you can’t get right away but I wanted to put these on your radar when they do come back in stock. Because sure enough, I’m sure they’ll sell out quickly again. The entire set goes for $69.99 but you can also buy some of the brushes individually.

And don’t even get me started on some of the other awesome jewelry pieces. I ended up buying THREE at the show. Check out her store and if you make a purchase, tell her B sent you.

No more dark circles thanks to Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

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Sometimes I’m a responsible blogger and do BEFORE pictures of myself on products that promise to make changes “over time” and sometimes I forget. AND, I lost the product and so I don’t even have pictures for you. *tears*

I’ve been on the Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector bandwagon for quite some time. In fact, the only reason I stopped using it is because I’ve ran out of 2nd bottle of the serum and I’m too cheap to buy another one. True story. I got all kinds of excited when I found out that they had the same product except it’s targeted specifically for the eye area. It’s not only supposed to help lighten those dark undereye circles but it’s supposed to hydrate the area too. Well cool, man.

I started seeing results around 2 weeks later. My eyes didn’t appear to be as dark. I mean, yeah…I could use concealer to cover them up, but if I can fix the problem without HAVING to use concealer, then I’d be one happy gal. And I can confidently say that the Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector did a dynamite job at helping lighten those dark circles. Why, yes, I’m pretty sure they’ll return with a newborn a comin’ in like 7 weeks or so but shoot, I’ll take the temporary relief as I can get it.

PRO’s
-Fragrance-free
-Metal nozzle feels nice and cooling on the skin
-A little goes a long way
-Doesn’t interfere with moisturizers and foundations
-Nice consistency that was sensitive-skin friendly

CON’s
-May be a bit pricey to some
-Requires regular use to be effective
-Dark circles may return if you stop using product

Price: $39.50
Where to snag: Sephora, Sephora.com and Clinique counters

I’m a believer. And I’m going to keep using this stuff. This plus my drinking like 90 oz of water a day and tryiiiiing to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night should help with dark circles, right? Right?

Do you have any issues with dark circles under your eyes? Oh…and wanna send me to Germany? Vote for me…pretty pleaeeease! Click here

Reason #86 Why Boscia Rocks

Oh Boscia. Oh Boscia, how do I love thee? Boscia is so on my list of Top Favorite Natural Skincare Brands. They rock so hard and they’ve been doing so for years. Like that Detox Mask? And that Black Mask? Still in love. I’ve also been known to keep their blotting liners in my makeup bag.

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And now they’ve got an adorable set that makes blotting oily skin even more…fun. Because it is fun,right? 😛

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Before I discovered blotting papers, I realized that those paper toilet seat covers in public restroms could be AS good as blotting liners. And they’re free. But do they work? I guess it depends on your skin but I’ve found Boscia’s Blotting Liners to 10x more effective and more hygienic (obviously). And let’s face it, they are just more attractive. And I’m sorry but you can call me vain or whatever but I like attractive things. Just sayin’… If you’ve been wanting to try Boscia’s Blotting Liners, this $22 kit is the best way to give ’em a whirl. You not only get 100 Sheets Green Tea Blotting Linens and 100 Sheets Fresh Blotting Linens but a pretty little linen holder as well.

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…and the pretty holder.

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The holder is no larger than a cell phone or wallet and will fit nicely in a makeup bag, purse or shoot…even your pocket. I love these so much, y’all. You might even catch me usin’ them even when my face isn’t oily. Yeah, I’m weird like that. And the funny thing about the Green Tea Blotting Liners is – they actually SMELL like green tea.

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I’m not even lyin’. You’ll have to buy them and sniff ’em to see what I’m talkin’ about.

*sigh* Boscia stays winning.

Tales of an Elizabeth Arden bronzer…

Oooh Elizabeth Arden. Can I be honest? You’re a brand that I never gave much thought to before. Of course, your products are legendary because they’ve been around for ever. Your longevity in the beauty arena shows that you have what it takes to help women feel beautiful and provide them with quality cosmetics, skincare and fragrances. But are you made for the younger generation? I’m not sure.

When I think of Elizabeth Arden, I always think of products that my Grandmother would wear. But clearly that’s sheer ignorance because this Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronzer Powder was SO made for me.

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This is why you can’t go around judging brands until you actually do your research and try some of the products. That’s okay, you don’t have to research anything. That’s my job. 😎

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I got the opportunity to try this bronzer and I’ve been wearing it faithfully all fall long. The thing is, there’s nothing super innovative about it. It’s like most bronzers in that it contains subtle shimmer to give you that natural glow. It’s lightweight and according to ElizabethArden.com, it is infused with green tea, white tea and minerals. So it’s not only pretty on the skin but it has healing and moisturizing properties as well. Niiiiiiice. Packaging the wise, the palette is stunning, classy and attractive.

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But of course, darling. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Elizabeth Arden, now would you? The bronzers come in 3 shades: Soft Radiance, Deep Radiance and Warm Radiance. I was all set to be disappointed with Warm Radiance (because let’s face it…sometimes these higher-end brands don’t really cater to the darker skinned beauties of the world) but you know what? It worked very nicely with my skin.

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Granted bronzers don’t have to be DEAD ON when it comes to matching your complexion but I’ve found that bronzers that are too fair make me look washed out. This bronzer, however, it works beautifully on me. Impressed? Heck yeah, I am!

See how nice and subtle the shimmer is?

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Very nice. I will definitely be playing with more Elizabeth Arden products. This bronzer retails for $38 so it’s ideal for my higher-end brothers and sisters of the beauty world. You can scoop it up at ElizabethArden.com or at select Elizabeth Arden counters at department stores.