The Sweaty Betty Diaries: How a natural deodorant saved my pits.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with deodorant for as long as I’ve been allowed to wear it. Love because the stuff keeps me from smelling like a goat and hate because although it keeps the funk at bay, it wrecks havoc on my sensitive underarms. And then I got to thinkin’…the skin under the arms happens to be super sensitive. Why then are we using deodorants and antiperspirants with super harsh ingredients in them? Especially after shaving? A light bulb went off and to my beauty bin I went to retrieve a natural deodorant I’ve had for some time but stop using.

I received the Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal to review almost a year ago. I tested it for a good week but found absolutely no results. Fast forward to a few months ago and now you couldn’t pay me to go back to a traditional deodorant.

Here’s the thing about natural deodorants…you have to prep your pits for using them. No matter how hard you scrub, it is often pretty hard to remove deodorant from under your arms. I gave my pits a good scrubbing using baking soda. It took a good 5 minutes per pit, but I was ready! While a traditional deodorant have waaaay too many ingredients listed, this deodorant crystal has two. Dos. 2. That’s it.

My pits were already breathing a sigh of relief. The crystal looks just like, well…a crystal.

Cool, uh? To “activate” it, you wet the top and apply a generous amount under your arms. My issue was always that I’d be left with wet underarms but they dry pretty quickly. Ohmigoodness y’all…when I tell you this stuff works, I mean it WORKS. Aside from it keeping me from stinking, I found that it has kept my pits in so much better condition. My underarms are smoother and not as dark.

Pro’s

-It’s affordable. Retailed at $5.99, this crystal will last for months and months and months.
-It doesn’t have a fragrance.
-It is gentle enough for even the most sensitive of underarms.

Con’s

-It loses its power after 10+ hours
-It may be hard to find.

“Yo B, what do you mean it looses its power after 10+ hours?”

Good things don’t always last forever. The same can be said for this natural deodorant. I’ve been in situations where I went from smelling fresh to smelling less than pleasant in 3.2 seconds. What happened? The deodorant simply wore off. I have no shame in tellin’ y’all that me without deodorant is stinky. Funky. I mean, it’s bad… I have since learned and keep the Spray Mist version of this deodorant in my purse at all times. The Spray Mist is super small and tote-able so it makes transferring it to different purses a breeze. If I feel like I’m going to be away from home more than 8 hours, I head to the ladies room and attack the underarms. And bam…the stinkies stay away. I’ve also learned that I have to continue to thoroughly scrub my pits every time I shower. I scrub with a combination of my body wash and baking soda. A good cleansing creates a nice clean base for another fresh application.

I’m a believer and as much as I’ve loved my traditional deodorants, me and my pits are just happy rolling with Naturally Fresh’s Crystal Deodorant. I’ve heard many guys and gals say they’ve given up on the natural deodorant because they simply…don’t work. I say give ‘em another go ’round. If you’re interested in using gentler products under your arms, it may take some time and diligence on your part. Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal comes in crystal, Spray Mist and Roll-On. You can grab it at Whole Foods and other natural food stores as well as online.

Any natural deodorant lovers in the house? If you aren’t one, would you give one a try?

Amor de Lacquer: Are Julep’s handcare products worth the price tags?

Remember when I did that post on Julep nail products for Beauty Stat? I have since had the opportunity to test drive some of their products. Their hand treatment products to be exact. Here’s the thing about hand scrubs and creams…they have to be almost as amazing as kale for me to say good things about them.

Why, you ask?

Because, let’s face it…the truth is, if you’ve got a good body scrub and good body lotion, then who’s to say you can’t use the them on your hands? Do you see where I’m getting at? That said, while I think Julep’s nail care products are wonderful, I’m not sure if they are worth their steep price tags.

Let’s start with the Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub that retails for $32.00.

Well now…$32 is pretty steep for any kind of scrub, much less one that is specifically for hands. What makes this scrub so special? According to Julep, “Potent glycolic acid combined with apricot seeds provides powerful double exfoliation that leaves your hands feeling noticeably softer and looking younger after just one use. Naturally scented with orange oil for a refreshing aromatherapy boost with each use.” (source) This paraben-free scrub feels absolutely wonderful. The apricot seeds feel so good and feel even better if you’ve got someone to massage your hands for you. It’s a nicely fragranced scrub that leaves your hands feeling beyond smooth.

To follow up with that scrub there’s the Everyday SPF Hand Cream that retails for $28.00.

I love that this cream has SPF in it. While I’m always sure to use facial moisturizers with SPF in them, I always forget to apply a moisturizer with SPF in it on my hands. This streak-free and paraben-free moisturizer smells just like a sunscreen; a smell that I know shouldn’t bug me but does. I do love that it’s not super greasy. I’d love to see a smaller version of this. I think I’d be more inclined to use a hand lotion with SPF in it if it was small enough to throw in my purse, car or desk at work.

And then there’s the Julep Essential Cuticle Oil that retails for $18. This product is my favorite out of the bunch. It’s perfect for using on the go.

I’m obsessed with constantly moisturizing my cuticles and the rollerball makes it super easy to do so.

The fragrance smells just like an essential oil blend that my Mom would mix up.

Products-wise, I think Julep does a phenomenal job. But their prices can certainly use some work. When purchased together, the scrub and hand cream go for a whopping $60. Wow-sers. The cuticle oil, while nice, I don’t think is worth $18. From a consumer’s point of view, I think these products would be a lot more appealing, if the prices were slashed in half. Would I spend $30 on a hand scrub and moisturizer? Sure. But would I spend $60 on them? Absolutely not.

That said, if you’re in the market to try something new and don’t mind the splurge, give Julep’s hand and nail treatments a try. You’ll definitely get what you pay for. Head on over to the site to start a buyin’.

What do you think? Have you tried anything from Julep yet?

 

Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests,
suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Specific Beauty: A skincare brand I’ve fallen in love with

Oh snap. There’s a fairly new skincare brand on the market. Weeee! But what makes this brand more unique than others? This line is specifically designed for multi-hued skin tones. Hollers!!

Designed by dermatologist Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, Specific Beauty promises to alleviate some of the issues that those with multi-hued skin tones deal with. Be it more even skin tone, improved skin texture or more moisturized skin, when used together, the Specific Beauty products result in better all around skin. Do I think it works?

I used 5 of these products together for 6 weeks and I was shocked at how well each product was. One of the things that draws me to this brand is that all of the products are paraben and fragrance-free. As someone who suffers from adult acne, hyperpigmentation and eczema, I always require and desire gentle products. I didn’t detect any bit of fragrance from the cleansers, moisturizers and wipes. Yay!!

Daily Gentle Cleanser ($8.99)

I love how reasonably priced this cleanser is. A cleanser for under $10 ain’t bad, uh? I found this one to thoroughly cleanse without drying. It’s a thick cleanser so a little goes a long way.

It is non-foaming and it always takes me some time to get used to cleansers that don’t foam. While it may not be a big deal for some, I love that there’s a pump to dispense the cleanser. Specific Beauty gets 10 cool points for that!

Skin Brightening Serum ($24.99)

The color of this serum threw me off. I was expecting it to me white. Ha!

According to the Specific Beauty website, this serum uses a special multi-benefit complex of licorice, anti-oxidants, retinol and niacinamide – to provide the skin with the ultimate brightening benefits. (source) I didn’t experience any brightening or the lightening of dark spots after my 6 weeks of use but I always feels it takes months and months to see the results of these kind of products. The good news is, the serum feels light and non-pore clogging making it easy to use daily. This product is a little more on the expensive side but still less than most skin brightening serums I’ve seen on the market.

Daily Hydrating Lotion, SPF 30 ($17.00)

The consistency of this lotion, I found, to be nice and thick.

It was perfect for my combination skin. It has SPF in it which is GREAT. Not so great is that SPF-smell. I know it’s hard getting rid of that scent and SPF is an absolute must have but the SPF fragrance was stronger than I would have liked.

 Night Treatment Complex ($18.99) 

The Night Treatment Complex has more of a gel-like consistency that always felt so absolutely divine on my skin during the evening beautifying regimen.

This moisturizer comes without SPF making the fragrance a lot more pleasant for me.

 Exfoliating Cleansing Cloths ($6.99)


I am an enormous fan of these cloths. On one side they’e got little scrubby pads that are perfect at deep cleansing. They aren’t so good at removing waterproof makeup but if you’ve got another remover on hand, your best bet is to use that and leave these cleansing cloths to get rid of foundation and the daily grime.

Overall, I’m a fan of Specific Beauty. The products are gentle enough for us sensitive skin guys and gals. While the line is designed for multi-hued skin tones, don’t let that discourage you from using it. Because of how gentle the products are, I think it can benefit anyone. Not only can you get the brand online but you can also get them at at select Target and Walmart stores. The store locator makes it easy to find which stores in your area may carry Specific Beauty.

What do you think? Have you heard of this brand? Think you’ll give it a whirl?

NYFW S/S 2012: OPI Samoan Sand at the BCBG Max Azria show

It looks like the nude nail polish trend will still be with us Spring 2012. OPI was backstage at the BCBG Max Azria show putting the nail polish Samoan Sand on the models’ nails and toes.

If you’re a fan of the “mannequin nails” look, check out the post I did on Mannequin Hands for Brown Girls. I used OPI’s San Tan-tonio I can’t say this is my favorite nail polish trend but hey, if you’re going to rock it Samoan Sand and San Tan-tonio are the shade to roll with.

NYFW S/S 2012: Blue lips on the runway

I’ve been trying to catch as many runway shows as possible but that’s like…virtually impossible. I’ve only been able to get in 3 so far. But thanks YouTube and Maybelline, I’ve been peeping what looks to be gorgeous beautiful and fashion trends for Spring 2012. It’s only been Day 2 of this season’s Fashion Week and I’ve already made a commitment to step my game up in the Fashion Department. If you know anything about me, my fashion sense is practically non-existent. That said, while the Richard Chai show had beautiful looks (although, not many were my style), it was the makeup that took me away.

A few of the models were found sporting blue lips. Could this be a new trend? Who knows. I know one thing though…I wouldn’t be afraid to rock it. What about you? Would you wear a blue lip color?

 

Photo Credit:
Larry Busacca/Richard Chai – Love – Backstage
Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz/Getty Images

Clinique’s 8 hr-lid smoothie feels amazing. But does it last?

 

Anything that has the word “smoothie” in it makes me ridiculously happy. Y’all know how much I loooove smothies, don’t you? It was my love for smoothies that had me all giddy about Clinique’s new Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Colour. They are certainly cute enough to be all that and more, uh?

I love anything that allows me to look polished without doing too much work. Clinique describes these Lid Smoothies as…

“Creamy, crease-resistant eye colour wears for 8 hours. Instantly cools thanks to a unique applicator. Nourishing ingredients coax fine lid lines into a blanket of smoothness. Antioxidants help protect eye-area skin.” (source) 

Okay, so I’m not having to battle fine lines (not yet, at least) but I could so using nourishing properties on the lids. Every little bit helps when your skin is drier than the Sahara in the middle of summer. More than the product itself, I absolutely loved the applicator of these Lid Smoothies.

 

 

What looks to be a simple spout that emits smoothie goodness is actually a chrome’d out spout. Is chrome’d out a word? Not exactly but  I’m a fan of creating new words as needed. 8) I absolutely love the metal applicator of these things. They feel fantastic on the lids. I’ve never seen anything like this and I can only hope that other brands pick up this idea and do something similar. I would also love to see these on lip balms. Ohmigoodness, can you imagine using a chrome’d out applicator to apply a gloss on a hot day? Cool, uh? So yes. Clinique gets major cool points from me. This applicator is a total winner. While I was only able to check out 5 Lid Smoothies, there are 12 of ‘em. Most shades seemed to be a bit pastel-y. Shades like Bit O’ Honey and Cashew Later are perfect as primers as their colors will work great for applying darker eyeshadow colors without changing the colors too much. Then you’ve got shades like Impromtu-Blue and Currant Affair  which will be perfect for layering blue and purple shadows on top of. They have the potential to bring out the color intensity and pay-off.

(from l-r)

Currant Affair, Born Freesia, Cute-cumber, Pinkgo Biloba, Bit O’ Honey

 

While I’ve got super oily lids, a good creamy eyeshadow base gives me the opportunity to be lazy enough to throw it on the lid and move on and chic enough look like I spent 20 minutes doing my eyes. They are perfect for busy beauties on the go. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get 8-hours of wear-time with these kids.

Which made me SO sad. I tried wearing these two ways; by themselves and with an eye shadow on top of them. Both tests resulted in creasing within a few hours. Boo and double boo. I was hoping for more longevity but nope, I didn’t get it. That said, while pretty and practical, these aren’t the best for ladies looking to wear their eyeshadow and have it not budge all day. I would also like to see more shades with different finishes. These may do 10x better in a matte finish. If you’re in the mood to try something new from Clinique and don’t require long-lasting eyeshadow bases and shadows, then give these a whirl. Otherwise, if you’re like me and have super oily lids, these smoothies may not be up your alley.

That’s the bad news. But the good news is, green smoothies CAN be up your alley. Woo hoo!

You can buy these 8-hr Lid Smoothies from Clinique.com and at Clinique counters for $19.50.

Maybelline’s new wicked cream pencil!

Yours truly needed a black eyeliner and can I be honest? I am quite the eyeliner snob. While I’ll try almost any brand, I really only stick with Urban Decay’s eyeliners for everyday use. They just haven’t failed me. But alas my laziness and cheapness has prevented me from driving to Sephora and spending almost $20 on said eyeliner. Instead, a recent stroll through Walgreens had me swooping up Maybelline’s newest eyeliner. After all, it was only a good $7 or so.



These kids come in 6 shades; ranging from a gray, to a purple, silver, gold, blue and black. I so meant to grab the black (Midnight Master) but ended up with the Gray (Coal Commander) instead. Opps. I suppose the gray cap was a ringer, uh? I know. I’m so smart.

So yeah, Coal Commander is little grayer than I’d like. See how much darker Urban Decay’s Zero is compared to Coal Commander?

I’m one of those Must.have.dark.eyes kinda gals. For no reason in particular. I just feel like the darker the line, the more awake and sultry I look. *bats lashes* Funny thing about this liner though…when I applied one eye with Coal Commander and the other with what was left of my Urban Decay Zero, from far away, I couldn’t tell which eye had which. Can you tell?

The right eye (your right) is rockin’ Coal Commander. So despite my “I wanted black, not gray.” whines, I wasn’t too disappointed at CC’s payoff on the waterline. As you get closer, you can see a bit of shimmery sparkles in there.

My poor eyes can only do matte liners on the waterline. Anything with a sparkle or shimmer to it has me itching like mad. Coal Commander was no exception. For the sake of beauty reviews, though, I kept the liner on just to see how well it would hold up throughout the day. It did…really well! It lasted from 7:00 a.m. through a hardcore lunch break workout and right on through post-work meetings. Impressive, uh? Not a bad eyeliner if you’re in the need for a new one. Because of my super sensitive waterline area, I won’t be using it there anymore but I’l definitely be applying it on the lower lashline.

Way to go, Maybelline. Way 2 go!! Get more deets about this liner on Maybelline’s website. Oh! And watch the vid too.