Stretch Marks: Attempt to beat ’em or ignore ’em?

Stretch marks. For some, they are like the WORST thing that can happen to your body. And for me…they’re just a a part of life. They come around if you’ve lost some weight or gained some weight. Or you could be one of those lucky ladies who have amazing genetics and don’t get stretch marks at all. In which case, I don’t like you.

Hahaaaa! I’m kidding. I’ve got two different brands of oils here that have a ton of claims but they both claim to help fade stretch marks over time. And well uh, with my growing belly, I figured why not give these bad boys a whirl? Say hello to the ever so popular Bio and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil.

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This review won’t be comparing the two (because I’ve only got 1 body to test drive ’em on. Ha!) but rather give a brief intro into their claims, if they rock and if they perform well enough to motivate a consumer to use time and time again.

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Let’s start with Bio Oil.

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Price: $19.99
Where To Purchase: Ulta stores and at Ulta.com
Size: 4.2 oz and 2 oz ($11.99)

I didn’t know it before, but pregnant women everywhere swear by this stuff. I’m not even kidding. Visit a pregnancy forums or store and chances are, you’ll see people bragging about this oil. In fact, just check out Ulta’s review section of this oil and you’ll see a ton of testimonies from users everywhere. This stuff is popular for a reason, uh?

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Like any kind of oil, it has a greasy consistency but I found it to sink into the skin nicely.

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It has a pretty prominent floral smell. If I had to guess I’d say roses? It’s a bit too much for me (y’all know how I feel about fragrances) but after a few days of wearing it daily, I actually got used to it. I used this oil on my belly but it can also be used as a makeup remover, hair oil and alllll over the body. I’ll likely only use it on the belly though.

Then there’s Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil.

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Price: $10.99
Where to Purchase: Most drugstores
Size: 5.1 oz

Everyone knows about good ole’ Palmer’s and their Cocoa Butter Formula products and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they will donate 15 percent of the sales (with a minimum donation of $100,000) of specially-marked bottles of the following classic Cocoa Butter Formula products to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Cool stuff!

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Like Bio Oil, this is a, you guessed it, oil. Performance is similar in that it’s greasy going on but smooths out once you rub it in.

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Fragrance-wise, if you love the smell of cocoa butter, you’ll love the smell of this stuff. I also dig the pump dispenser.

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It makes distribution easier. It’s an oil that you could easily use all over if you wanted to. Like the Bio Oil, I’ve been using this just on my tummy

I’m going to keep going back and forth with both products to see if overtime my stretch marks will fade. Can I be honest though? I’m a bit skeptical and I don’t think anything can make ’em disappear. And I’m okay with that. But I’m a beauty blogger who loves beauty stuffs so I’ll keep slathering to see if I get any results. I’m cray-zay like that. 😎

Are you a stickler about trying to beat stretch marks?

Biore’s new look!

Okay, so we all know how ridiculously sensitive my skin is and how I very rarely change up my skincare regimen. But just because I can’t use a product doesn’t mean I don’t want to sound the horn and tell y’all about ’em. Such is the case with Biore.

Biore has been busy yo! Look at that redesign. This certainly isn’t the Biore that I grew up with but I’m okay with that. The packaging is cleaner, classier and definitely hipper. Fine by me. I haven’t personally tested any of these products but I did want to showcase them for my Biore fans. The best thing about Biore? The fact that they have SO many skincare products for various skincare needs.

4-in-1 Detoxifying Cleanser

This multi-tasking face wash that cuts your routine down to one step, gently removes dirt, oil and makeup from skin without over-drying or stripping skin of its natural oils. The formula cleanses, tones, stimulates and detoxifies to help restore a healthy glow.

 

Steam Activated Cleanser, with SteamActiv™ Beads

Esposo LOVES these kind of cleansers. This invigorates skin with a cooling mint extract complex that contrasts against the warmth of the steam to revitalize the senses.

 

Pore Unclogging Scrub

My fellow acne suffers will dig this one. This creamy pearlized formula is designed to lift away pore-clogging dirt and oil. The cleanser contains spherical exfoliating microbeads that gently remove dull, lifeless surface cells without damaging skin and Salicylic acid to help prevent blackheads and breakouts from forming.

 

Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser

I’ll be holding on to this one for when after Baby Clumps is born. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a warming cleanser! This powerful blackhead-fighting cleanser is formulated with Zeolite, a special mineral clay that warms on contact with water, to help open up pores and clear out dirt, oil and makeup.

 

Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (available in 8 and 14 count nose strips)

Clean a week’s worth of dirt build-up in by using these once a week. The strips are the deepest way to clean pores in just ten minutes.

 

Daily Cleansing Cloths

These ultra-convenient, pre-moistened wipes are infused with grapefruit and pomegranate. Each cloth is double-sided, featuring a textured side for mild exfoliation and a smooth side to wipe skin clean.

 

These products are moderately priced between $5.99-$11.99. The pore strips are the most expensive of the bunch but you can score the cleanser for close to nothing at $5.99. I’ve seen these products are over drugstores and you can scoop ’em up at Drugstore.com.

Any Biore lovas in the house?

15 Melbourne: All Natural Skincare

Natural skincare lovers – I’ve discovered another brand that I think you’ll love. There’s a special place in my heart for brands that who pride themselves on using natural ingredients. Many have jumped the bandwagon but there are only a few that have done it well.

File 15 Melbourne under “pretty spectacular”. I’ve only tried a few products from the line but color me impressed. Let’s start with a product that I know all too well.

Castile soap! I’ve raved over this magical stuff for years. I use it for EVERYTHING. Regrettably, I had to stop using it for my skin a while back (it can be too drying for us eczema suffers) but castile soap has a gajillon other uses. How does this compare to Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap? The difference is the formula. Castile soap is made from 100% olive oil and Dr. Bonners uses a blend of oils but it’s not true castile soap.

I find them to be pretty comparable in look, feel and overall performance. 15 Melbourne’s 16 oz bottle runs for $15 and I believe Dr. Bronner’s is a little less than that. If you’re not familiar with castile soap, please oh please introduce yourself to it. This stuff is fantastic for body and hair as well as using as a cleaning agent for household chores. There really isn’t anything it can’t do. And since I’m a fan of lavender, I just love how relaxing and calming this smells.

Lavender & Chamomile Creamy Shea Butter Soap ($5)

Bar soap lovers rejoice! This bar of soap is currently sitting in my guest bathroom and the gal pals that come to visit can’t stop complimenting me on it. If you’re not a fan of lavender (I know many aren’t), you’ll appreciate how lightly scented this is. In fact, both the lavender and chamomile are subdued. Which is nice. This soap gives off a very nice and creamy lather.

Unlike many bar soaps, it doesn’t leave the hands and body streaky clean but cleansed and moisturized instead.

Organic Whipped Shea Butter-Pink Grapefruit ($7.50)

Oooooh how I adore shea butter! Especially white shea butter. I find it to be less nutty in smell in comparison to yellow shea butter. While I’m okay with my shea butters being fragrance-free the subtle whiff of pink grapefruit bodes well with me. It’s really hard to scent shea butter so it isn’t a prominent smell. The pink grapefruit really doesn’t last long on the skin but it smells pretty and citrus-y at first application.

Peppermint Lip Butter ($5)

Oooh la laaaaa. While I’m not a fan of dipping my fingers into lip products, I have actually just take this tin and rub the product over my lips. I’m not sure how much more sanitary that is but hey….it works. The primary ingredients of this lippy are shea and mango butters, argan and avocado oil. Oh, and that decadent essential peppermint oil too. It feels divine on the lips and I find myself using it more than my beloved Sugar Lip Balm. It works beautifully as a base for lipsticks too.

15 Melbourne has a ton of lovely homemade products and I think most have a nice price point. I love supporting smaller independent brands so it was my honor to feature this brand. I love how a great deal of the products are unscented and I’d also love to see some more products in their line-up. Maybe a natural body splash and body oil? Hmmm…

Check out 15 Melbourne and if you make any purchases, tell ’em B from Clumps of Mascara sent you!

The NEW Clarisonic Aria. My wallet groans…

I have a love/hate relationships with Clarisonic. And I’m not ashamed to admit this either. We all know why I LOVE the brand. I’ve publicly bragged about them  more times than I can count. I’ve purchased the Mia, played with the Plus and swooned over the Mia 2’s newest colors. Any time I’m asked about my favorite skincare products, I tell folx to save their pennies and get a Clarisonic.

So how I can hate Clarisonic at the same time? Because these magicians keep coming out with MORE Clarisonics that I feel like I HAVE to purchase. And just how in the world do you justify having more than one Clarisonic? How? You can’t. And for that I both scoff and jump for joy every time I see a Clarisonic doused in a new shade. And in this case…an entirely new brush.

Her name is Aria. A beautiful name for such a beautiful device. These press photos don’t do her any justice but she’s a beaut. And she’s glossy. Glossy! That’s like a synonym for glitter. Beauty lovers love glossy and glittery packaging.

Check out some of the specs of Lady Aria herself…

  • three speeds make for a variety of customizable cleansing options
  • an illuminated bezel indicates speed selection as well as pause and charging modes
  • a USB enabled p-Link charger allows you to recharge Aria
  • the convertible drying stand, which can be used on your sink or in your shower, converts into a charging cradle by simply attaching the pLink charger
  • beautifully modern high-gloss finish
  • two-year warranty ensures longevity

 

Dude, this chick is fancy yo. She comes with a USB charger and an illuminated bezel? I mean…wow. Priced at $199, she sits comfortably between the Mia ($119) and the Plus ($225). *sigh* I hate that I feel like I need it. I hate that I’ll be dreaming about this bloody thing until it’s in my possession. But I love that it exists.

The Clarisonic Aria is currently available online and in Sephora stores. For Clarisonic lovers who are like me and can never say “no”, give my condolences  to your wallet.

 

Willa Naturals: Natural skincare for tweens.

Inspired by the delicate skin of her preteen, Christy Prunier has launched a natural skincare line of products just for the preteens and teens of the world. And the name of the brand is Willa!

Dear Mama Clumps,
How come you never developed a skincare line and named it after me? I guess it’s never too late to start. Bee’s Lippies, maybe? Let’s think about it.
XOXO,
B

Seriously though – what a cool concept, uh? I mean think about it – you’re 10, 11, 12 or 13…you don’t know much about skincare but you do realize you should be doing more than just splashing water on it at night. What do you use? Your Mom’s face wash has anti-aging properties splattered all over it and your younger sister’s products are for babies. And come on…you’re not a baby. And hence why Willa was born!

I think this line absolutely fills the market of young girls who are taking baby steps into skincare. And I just love that the brand omits the yucky ingredients It’s a paraben-free, cruelty-free and sulfate-free brand. I got to play around with the foaming cleanser and moisturizer. I wanted to use them and tap into my 11-year old self. Would I have used this back then?

Foaming Face Wash ($11 for 5.1 fl oz)

Developed to be a gentle face wash, the goal is simple: it helps to remove dirt from the skin. That’s it. And that’s really all a preteen needs in a face wash, right? The foaming action makes it easy to not over-distribute and it’s fun!

My 11-year old self would have had a ball with this. Scent-wise, I picked up on a ton of lavender but it’s not an overwhelming but pleasant enough for the young girls. I can appreciate that it doesn’t smell too kiddy. I would have cried if this smelled like bubblegum or somethin’ like that. Ick.

Clear Face Moisturizer ($11.50 for 1 fl oz)

While I think the packaging for this kid is a bit too small, I love the concept behind this moisturizer. Unlike most moisturizers on the market it isn’t super creamy or heavy. It’s a lightweight serum and has aloe, grape seed extract and has eucalyptus throughout. Genius! This is exactly what preteen skin needs. And by lightweight, they mean lightweight…

Of course my troubled skin requires more but this is perfect for the younger girlies. I love the scent on this one as it is very faint and dissipates after application. The moisturizer sinks in the skin but doesn’t feel oily or greasy.

What an adorable brand! The packaging is right up the alley of the preteens of the world and I think the products I’ve tried are pretty stellar. The price point is a little higher than what a parent may want to pay for but I’ll be one of those mommies that stresses healthy hygiene and so an investment of a “good” brand of skincare products is worth it to me.

Willa also has an Acne Spot Treatment Click Pen, Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30, Face Towelettes, Cucumber Masks, Body Lotion and cutesy glosses. Everything is under $17.50 so parents won’t be breaking the bank if their daughters (or sons) develop a Willa obsession.

Adorable, right? You can scoop up Willa products online and at select Target sotres and J.Crew’s.

 

Okay, admit it – who else wasn’t thinking about healthy skin betwen the ages of 10 and 13? Anyone?

The day a body wash changed my skin…thanks Eucerin body wash!

This post is in partnership with Eucerin. 

Lately my skin has been making me cry. And sorry y’all – I don’t feel all that petty about crying over skin. It doesn’t mean I’m vain. It just means that if my skin isn’t in perfect condition at any given moment – I’m liable to drop tears over it. Which seems fair, right?

No? Oh. Welllssss, along with my Eurcerin Healthy Skin Challenge, I’ve been using products that have been specifically recommended to me by  a Eucerin dermatologist. We had a Skype meeting and she was so sweet just listening to me complain about the eternal wreck that is my skin. I told her about my acne, eczema/dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, perpetual dry skin and the hormonal imbalances due to pregnancy. She listened intently and recommended that I try these two products.

Body Wash for Eczema

Also known as the Skincare Dream Team. Beautiful, aren’t they?

Say hello to Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash ($7.99). Yep, Eucerin bodywash! 

Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash

Eucerin Body Wash

[Read more…]

Giveaway! Softsoap Vineyard Escape Relaxation Package!

Yep, it’s still the giveaway season and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Hope you beautiful people don’t mind. As y’all know – I am a lover of fragrance-free and naturally-fragranced products. I’ve been this way for a few years and it’s not because I don’t like smelling pretty, because I do. But, I’ve found that heavily scented fragrances not only make me nauseous at times but can contribute to my horrible migraines. And so I got rid of my of bottles of eau de toilette, super smelly lotions and soaps and swapped them for products without scents. Which, okay, is not fun but I’m in a happier place without dealing with overwhelming scents.

However, I know most women enjoy pretty smells and that’s why I continue to review and feature products that I’m sure most ladies would love. Like this Softsoap Vineyard Escape body wash.

I love love LOVE when body washes have a scrub built-in. In this case, this body wash has exfoliating fruit seeds (I wonder what fruit…) and they do a fantastic job at cleansing the skin while exfoliating it. This body wash is all about indulging in the moment. Y’know…forgetting that you’ve got a thousand emails to check, dinner to cook and doggies to walk. The bathtub is a sacred place and I’m all for truly relaxing up in there.

Scent-wise, I don’t have too many aversions to this one. It’s got a sweet smell that doesn’t linger for hours at a time. It’s a refreshing body wash for those who have an affinity towards fruity fragrances.

Softsoap is going to gift one Clumps of Mascara reader with the following:

-Softsoap Vineyard Escape Scrub
-A sweet smellin’ candle
-A plush loofah

Yes girls ‘n guys…it’s a nice little package for you to take a few minutes to indulge yourself. How can you win this? I’ll be choosing one U.S.-based reader who has left a comment on any blog post in the past 2 weeks. It’s that easy! If you’ve been a commentin’, you’re already covered.

I’ll be announcing the winner on Wednesday, August 22nd!

Good lucky, duckies!

 

[Giveaway winner has been selected]

Take the Eucerin Skin First Pledge

Time to take a pledge, guys and gals! It’s a heavy commitment so if you don’t think you’re ready, give it some time and think about it. Y’all know how serious I am about skincare. I’ve even claimed to spend any amount of money on my skincare simply because I believe healthy skin is worth the investment.

I’m a wee bit late in posting it but last month’s challenge of my Eucerin Healthy Skin challenge was to encourage you beautiful people to take the Eucerin Skin First Pledge. What’s this pledge all about?

By taking the pledge, you are…

  • Choosing to put the health of your skin first.
  • Pledging to protect and defend your skin.
  • Making skincare a priority for yourself, your family and friends.
  • Deciding to treat your skincare more like healthcare.

I’ve already taken the pledge and you can do so as well by visiting EucerinUS.com and Eucerin’s Facebook page. I promise it shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds. If that!

Yay for making healthy and beautiful skin a priority!