A Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strip is a man’s best friend.

Sooooo, he’s going to kill me for saying it but The Guy has an insanely flaky nose that is ridden with whiteheads. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is…he won’t let me do anything about it! He’d rather walk around with a flaky nose than have his beauty blogger of a girlfriend help him out. Men, I tell ya. He wouldn’t let me take pictures, but his nose knew no safety with me and my pack of Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips.

If you thought I loved the Clarifying Detox mask, brace yourself because these strips are a close 2nd in “Things I Love From Boscia”. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried nose strips. I remember when they first came out. The commercials had me begging Mama Clumps to scoop up a pack of them for me. When she finally did, I wasn’t impressed. Granted I was just 14 or 15 had didn’t know WHAT I was looking for, but still…underwhelmed teenagers turn into underwhelmed beauty bloggers. It’s a been a good 10 years since I’ve tried these and I considering I absolutely LOVE Boscia, I knew I would love these.

Just as I thought, they didn’t disappoint. Sans the preservatives including parabens, sulfates and the like, the strips do a fantastic job at thoroughly removing dirt and oil from clogged pores. A box of 6 strips will run you $15, which to me, is a good price point. After all, you don’t have to use these that often. Twice a month at best.

According to Sephora,

“Each adhesive strip attracts pore-clogging dirt and oil. Its full-contact delivery system instantly applies charcoal powder, an ingredient that draws out impurities and detoxifies the skin. Silica, a natural mineral, controls excess oil while witch hazel extract, a natural astringent, tightens pores. Effective yet gentle, additional botanical ingredients provide a soothing and cooling sensation upon adhesion. Skin is left exceptionally clarified.”

Why yes. Yes, it is. Exceptionally clarified is a bit of an understatement though.

I felt like I had a new nose after using these strips.

Pro’s
-Strip is wide enough to fit folx of all nose shapes, lengths and widths.
-While intended for the nose, you can probably use this anywhere on your face.
-Gentle enough for whiney guys to use.
-Free of fragrances.
-Works within minutes.

Con’s
-If you don’t wet the strip before removing, it can hurt a bit.
-May not be the best product for those with extremely sensitive skin.

The Guy won’t admit it, but these dramatically improved the skin around his nose. His nosey is clearer and those white heads are like…gone. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’ll be tossing these on his face at least once a month. Even if I’ve got to hold him down.

You can grab Boscia’s Pore Purifying Black Strips at Sephora stores and on Sephora.com.

L’Occitane, L’Occitane. How I love thee, L’Occitane.

I absolutely love L’Occitane. I love saying their name. I love walking into the stores and I absolutely adore the packaging of their products. I am in complete and total shock that I have yet to try their World Famous hand cream. Wellllls, I finally got my hands on it (hehe, no pun intended). I can totally see why just about everyone who tries it loves it.

Isn’t the packaging just beautiful? The limited edition packaging  for the Shea Butter collection, which includes Ultra Rich Body Cream, Hand Cream and Lip Balms are inspired by Bogolan traditional fabrics. I love when beauty products and packaging have some kind of meaning behind them.

But that’s not it…the scent of these products also come from an inspiration; more specifically flowers that are indigenous to the African continent. Desert Rose from Morocco, Hibiscus from Egypt and Cocoa Flower from the Ivory Coast are pleasantly placed in the Shea Butter collection products. Let’s rap about the Hand Cream first.

Retailing at $26 for 5.2 oz and $10 for 1 oz, this is perhaps L’Ocittane’s post popular product. Rightfully so. With a faint hint of hibiscus, this hand cream will find a permanent spot in my makeup bag. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side but if you don’t mind making a splurge on a skincare product, I’d definitely snag this hand lotion. The consistency is creamy and totally ash bashing.

It leaves the skin feeling moisturized without feeling greasy. It is absolutely perfect. Even more so because it’s an actual hand cream.

Meaning it fits in your hands; making it perfect for purses, pockets and briefcases. And then there’s the lip balm ($12)…

At first glance, this balm looks a lot like the hand cream. Even after you pop the top, it looks exactly like the hand cream.

I’m not digging that as a lip applicator. It doesn’t make application difficult, but it isn’t ideal. Lip applicators should be smooth, gentle and pleasant. This one, on the other hand, isn’t as pretty. In fact, I much prefer to put a bit on my finger and then apply on the lips. Which, of course, isn’t exactly sanitary. The consistency of the balm is a lot like Carmex.

It isn’t super thick nor is it super thin. It sits comfortably in the middle. I will say, though, the smell and fragrance are 10x better than that of Carmex. It’s a nice long-lasting balm that I think is great for every day use.

As if I needed another reason to love L’Occitane.

You can snag these from Loccitane.com.

 

Disclosure: I was compensated for the contextual link listed in this post.

The story of How I Misundersniffed the Cedar ZumBar

Never in your life should you judge a bar of soap. Especially one that is as beautiful as this Cedar ZumBar. I first spotted this soap in Whole Foods months ago. I tend to lean towards woodsy scents so Cedar, I thought, would be up my alley.

Um no. It wasn’t. I sniffed it and was completely turned off at how it smelled like a jungle. Branches ‘an all. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when a Soap Hope referral landed me a free bar of soap, I found myself glaring at Indigo Wild’s Cedar ZumBar. Again. Something told me to give it a try and so when I got it in the mail, I couldn’t wait to take a bath with it. Even though the scent of it was still unfriendly to my nose.

Now I can’t stop using this soap! How is this possible? How can I go from totally hating the way this bar of soap smelled to being in love with it? It’s magic, I tell ya. Magic. On the skin, the Cedar goat’s milk soap smells a lot like a Chai tea. It is absolutely delightful and I am so glad I gave it  a try.

Stay tuned as a I review more beautiful and naturally nourishing soaps from Soap Hope.

Oh! I asked The Guy to give this soap a try and he really liked it. That said, ladies, if you want to get your guy something nice for the shower, consider this ZumBar. It’s Dude Approved! For more information about the amazing organization that is Soap Hope, click here.

Too lazy to wash your face at night? Me too.

One of a travelin’ beauty’s best friends is makeup wipes. Words can not express how much I love these things, y’all. They are just SO practical. They take up very little space and are an all-in-one when it comes to makeup removing and cleansing the skin. Take Lumene’s Sensitive Touch Cleansing Wipes.

I have been in LOVE with these and they’ve been coming in handy on my road trips.

[Read more…]

As if the Clarisonic couldn’t get any better…

How much do I love my Clarisonic? A ridiculous amount, that’s for sure. I credit that face cleaning device for bringing my skin back to normal. While my skin likes to play tricks with me (one day clear skin, next day pimples galore), the Clarisonic’s love stays consistent. Clari always loves me. She is a total staple in the bathroom and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wellllll, the very cool b-glowing.com is now the first online retailer to feature the New Deep Pore Cleansing Clarisonic. I know, right? Didn’t think ole’ Clari could get better, did you? Using the same sonic oscillation technology as the original Clarisonic, the new kid on the block comes with a Deep Pore Cleansing brush head that was designed with a unique gradation of bristle firmness and dual-action movement. What does that mean? It means whether you’ve got oily skin, acne prone skin or suffer from large pores, the Clarisonic Blue Plus will work hard to gently smooth out your skin; leaving it softer and refreshed.

I am hands down loving this brush head over the brush head from my original Clarisonic. It cleanses so much better and even more thorough than I thought it would. I’ve done a video and written review of the Clarisonic and can’t imagine not using it at least 3 times a week.

I know, I know…it’s not cheap. It took a few months of saving for me to be able to afford my Mia, but come on, darling. Healthy skin is worth the investment, isn’t it?  Grabbing the Clarisonic from b-glowing.com will set you back a good $225 but you and your gorgeous skin are worth it. The Clarisonic Blue Plus also comes with a body brush head.

That’s riiiight, you can take it in the shower to for a spa-like treatment all over. If the Clarisonic Blue Plus isn’t in your budget, b-glowing.com has a Tangerine Clarisonic Mia and a Garnet Mia that are perfectly priced at $119. Woot!

How much do you love Clarisonic? Have you purchased one yet?

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?

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?

A night cream for a beauty queen

So remember when I told y’all Palmer’s Cocoa Butter was making facial care products too? Yep yep! In addition to a great Daily Facial Lotion, they also have a Night Renewal Cream.

But wait…that’s not the best part. The best part is that the jar comes in one of those cupcake papers. Eeeee!!

I know. But the smallest things bring so much joy to my face. Literally. But I digress…

The packaging of this cream is quite thorough. It covers everythiiiiing.


This cream goes for $8.47 at Wal-Mart. Not bad at ‘tal. Because it’s a night cream, it’s a bit thicker than a moisturizer you would wear throughout the day. In fact, I found it to be so thick that it did well as a hand cream.

According to Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula, the Night Cream has anti-aging properties. I don’t look for skincare products to have such but it’s always good to good to get an early start. I love how decadent that cream feels.

It practically sank right into my skin. I think I’ll hold on to this for when the winter months hit. Then again, I live in Florida. The winter months consist of December and January. 8) Either way, if you’re looking to add a night cream to your beauty routine, this isn’t a bad one.