3 Reasons Why Using Natural Skin Care Products Can Transform Your Skin

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As a beauty blogger, I like to review allll kinds of products; from the indie brands to the huge well known brands and everyone in between. But can I be honest? I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to the products that I use daily. If you check my medicine cabinet, you’ll probably see me usin’ some natural brand or all natural product. It’s just how I roll and how I’ve been rollin’ for years. Of course, I’m not above resorting to non-natural products either. I am of the belief that you have to use what works for YOU. And honey, I’ve come to find out that natural just works. And here’s why.

Sometimes less is more. I’ve come across some amazing moisturizers that contain all kinds of ingredients that promise to transform my skin. But you know what I also find transforming? Coconut oil. It’s cheap, easy to find and doesn’t make all of these promises about what it’ll do to my skin. It’s simple and sometimes simplifying our skincare routines without a ton of added ingredients is what we need.

Natural ingredients have healing properties. Don’t believe me? Buy yourself a bottle of tea tree oil and dab a bit of it on a pimple. I’ve tried my fair share of pimple poppin’ creams, gels and masks and nothing works as well as tea tree oil. I can say the same thing about baking soda, lavender oil and jojoba oil. I’ve never come across a commercial product that not only feels good on my skin but treats it gently too.

Natural ingredients can be gentler to use on problematic skin. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone but as an acne sufferer and with me constantly battling ezcema, I’ve found more success with products that contain natural ingredients than anything else. Coincidence? I think not. Sometimes nature knows best.

Are you a fan of natural skincare products or are you open to using anything? Check out http://www.betterskintoday.com for a wide range of all natural skincare products.

 

*Disclosure: This sponsored post is brought to you by Better Skin Today. 

Win A Suave Naturals Prize Pack + $50 Walgreens gift card!

Guess what? I’m taking showers now! Laugh if you want but no one told me that mothering a newborn may mean that you don’t get the chance to bathe as often as you’d like. I’m not even kidding. The first month Elle was born, I probably took a shower like…once a week. Yep. I smelled live divine regurgitated breast milk 24/7. Sexy, uh? Showers have become luxuries so I take ‘em when I can get ‘em. Luckily I can get them more often these days. Meeting me in those porcelain walls these days is this kid…

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I was sent this body wash to review and I gladly obliged because I love me some Suave products. Especially their conditioners. But that’s a story for another day.

There’s a reason why Suave’s products have been on the shelves for so long. They are affordable and cheap! And they are always coming out with something new that you feel like you HAVE to have.  Like this Rainforest Fresh Body Wash ($2).

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It smells so so sooo…fresh! I’m serious. I’ve placed this in the guest bathroom and Sticky Fingers Esposo snagged it and put it in our bathroom. He’s that enamored with it. Which says a lot since he’s a no fuss kind of guy when it comes to beautification. I find the scent to be a bit on the strong side so I can only use a little bit at a time but I do like the burst of tropical freshness.

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If you’re all annoyed with your current body wash, I totally recommend giving this one a whirl. And you’re in sweet luck, darlin’. I’m giving away one Suave Naturals prize pack to one lucky winner, which will include three Suave Naturals Body Washes and one $50 Walgreens gift card!

To be eligible to enter, all you have to do is let me know in the comment section which body wash you are currently using, and if you think Suave Naturals New Rainforest Fresh Body Wash would be better for you! Also, to be able to qualify make sure to use hashtag #SuaveScents on Twitter, letting me know you commented below!

I will be picking a winner on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, so get commenting! Good luck to all those who enter!

Give the Rafflecopter a chance to load and enter.

Buy Suave, Get Rewarded!

During the month of April, Balance® Rewards members get 2,000 points when you buy 3 Suave body wash products at Walgreens. Offer valid 3/31-4/30/13. Points add up quickly and can be redeemed for dollars off future purchases.

Not a Balance® Rewards member? Join today. It’s FREE! Learn more at bit.ly/WalgreensBalance.

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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.

 

My daughter’s middle name is Vaselina. After Vaseline Lip Therapy cocoa therapy.

Okay, I’m lyin’. Esposo would never forgive me. Although I am of the belief that if a woman has to go through the pain that is pregnancy, labor and delivery, she should be able to name her child whatever she wants to.

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But I would marry the man that thinks otherwise. Ha! Okay, sooooo basically it was getting kinda chilly here in Central Florida. I say “kinda” because to us, cold is like 60 degrees. Meanwhile, I know some of you gals have been dealing with freezing temps for a good little while or so. And this Floridian feels foolish complaining about our winter because it really isn’t a winter, ya know? But still. The colder air does a number on my skin, hands and lips. And for that reason, this mini Vaseline baby has been a staple in my cosmetic bag.

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Cute, ain’t she? Every dry skinned sista and brotha should have one of these. It just makes sense. I mean, yeah, I love balms like all beauty junkies, but there’s something nothing like Vaseline because you KNOW it’s going to work. Plus, I love how portable lil’ mama is.

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Everyone and their mama had those HUGE tubs of Vaseline back in the day so I’m lovin’ the portability of this smaller one. And it says it’s for the lips but don’t think I don’t slather this on hands as well. But because I’m cautious about germs, I usually wash my hands each time I dip the fingers in the tub. I highly recommend doing that if you have any lip products that require putting your fingers in ‘em.

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Oh! The pores on my nose say, “Hiya!” So yeah. These are cute, adorable and practical. And only $1.99. If you spy these in your drugstores, I’d load up on ‘em. Chances are you may be living in a cooler climate than me (unless you live in Caribbean, and if you do, I’m jealous) and you’ll be needing these babies.

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.

A New Mommy’s Must Have – Concealerrrrr!

When we had our babies, veteran moms would offer their unsolicited advice and say sleep when your baby sleeps. Not helpful. What we needed was a hot meal, a babysitter and a great concealer. Our new babies weren’t the only additions in our lives. Dark under-eye circles took on a life of their own. We needed a one-two punch to deal with these babies (the dark circles, not literally the baby): a corrector and a concealer. When concealer isn’t enough to lighten the under-eye area, a peach or pink corrector is useful. It counters the purple or green tone. . So in honor of Brittany, here is what we wish someone handed us with a hot casserole.

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Ivory’s Favorite: My favorite concealer is Josie Maran Argan Duo Blend Concealer in the shade, sand.

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The corrector is a pink color, which tends to work best for lighter tones. I use the corrector to fake the look of being rested. I use the concealer to even out my skin and camouflage any flaws.

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I love this because it is so creamy and hydrating. With the use of Retin-A (remember not to use this if you are a nursing mom), my skin tends to be dry. This not only helps the drying, it doesn’t highlight it. It stays put for around 6 hours and doesn’t spotlight my (mom worry) wrinkles.

Olive’s favorite: Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer are my go-to’s.

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I am amazed at the difference a corrector can make when my dark circles need more than just a concealer.

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Because I am an Olive skin tone, I use a Light Peach. Darker skin tones should choose a darker peach. I use my fingertip to lightly dab the corrector to the inner corners and underneath my eyes. The warmth from my finger allows the product to blend naturally. I then use the same method to apply the concealer in Natural. To set the concealer, I use a small fluffy brush and dust a yellow-toned powder onto the area.

One of the perks of being a mom is problem solving. Consider this one solved.

Sweet Dreams!

Kim Carroll (Ivory) and Dina Ziemian (Olive) are blogging, opposites attracting, skin tone differing, product reviewing, trend following, witty humor appreciating, makeup loving friends that decided to share our discussing with the world. Visit their blog at IvoryAndOlive.com.

Newest Stuff from LUSH

It’s been a quick minute since I’ve dabbled in some LUSH stuff so why not start the year off featuring one of my favorite brands? This go ’round I am highlighting some of their super cool Emotional Brilliance cosmetics, a chunk of smell-good soap and one of their new lip scrubs.

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Let’s start with the soap first. His name is Mr. Punch…

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A cute little sucker, isn’t he? Let’s run the stats on him…

Price:$6.95 for 3.5 oz
Availability: In LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: When you turn it upside-down, this soap looks like a delicious bowl of punch with fruit floating in it. We were inspired to make a fruity, tropical, boozy punch scent for this soap, and we did so with juniper berry oil, blackcurrant absolute, lime oil and a splash of gin. That’ll cheer you up on dark winter mornings! (source)

Now we all know that I’m not a fan of super fragrant soaps and I was so glad to know that this one is subtle. It’s got a nice and fruity smell but is indeed quite reminiscent of punch. I can smell every bit of the lime and blackcurrant. The smell dissipates quickly after lathering up but it’s just so adorable to look at. I’ve got it in my guest bathroom just because it’s THAT cute and I love how it seems to double as an air freshener.

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Next up is the yummy Popcorn Lip Scrub

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Price: $8.95 for 0.8 oz
Availability: LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: Mmm! A simply scrumptious sugar and salt lip scrub for the holidays. We haven’t been able to keep our hands off this one. Lips can get particularly dry and flakey in winter weather, so it’s especially important to exfoliate. Use this one and keep your lips sweet, smooth and tasty all season long. The sweet and slightly salty popcorn flavor will make you want to lick this scrub right off your lips; but that’s okay, we do it too! (source)

I’ve featured LUSH’s lip scrubs before (here and here) but I so didn’t know that they had a popcorn version of this awesome scrub. And seriously, y’all…it really does taste like popcorn. Like all of LUSH’s lip scrubs, this one is total edible. It’s salty and feels so divine on the lips. Honestly, I could stash a ton of these and still never get enough. I think this is limited edition so better snag it before they run out!

And then there are LUSH’s new kids on the block, their Emotional Brillance Liquid Lipsticks…

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Price: $18.95/ea
Availability: LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: Grab some Glamorous or prepare for a Passionate smooch with LUSH’s patent pending liquid lip formula. Super softening Ultrabalm is the base, which is a simple blend of organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax. Lips will be brilliantly coloured and left soft, smooth and deeply moisturized. (per press release)

These are interesting. For one, while the packaging is unique and flows with the LUSH concept, I’m not sure how practical they are as the applicator only allows you to go straight down in the bottle.

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Consistency-wise, they were a bit on the grainy side, have nice pigmentation and provide more moisture than the average lip product. Your best bet is to exfoliate those lippies before use though, because these tend to amplify cracks, splits and lines in lips. Each shade is actually an “emotion”.

Glamorous is a bubblegum pink.

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Strong is a blood orange.

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Confident is a deep plum.

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These wear well and I found Confident to be the most suitable for me.

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So I don’t know – I’m still on the fence about thgese. I think they are darling but a bit overpriced. They are  fun and LUSH has a ton of shades that I think will suit both tame color lovers and the adventurous alike.

 

Whatcha think? Have you tried any of the Emotional Brillance cosmetics? And how awesome is that edible popcorn scrub?

My newest obsession: Josie Maran Argan products

It takes a lot for a skincare brand to woo me. I am so beyond picky that it’s not even funny. I’m serious. Between all of my chronic conditions and issues (you know, like not being able to handle strong fragrances), I’m like the worst person in the world to please when it comes to skincare. But Josie Maran? ZOMG!

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First of all, why haven’t I heard of this brand? It has been sold at Sephora forever and a day and yet I’ve never made attempts to dabble into. This is more of a introduction to the brand. I’ll be back with formal reviews. I’m just so overwhelmingly excited to have come across Josie that I just, I just…I could seriously name my first child Josie.

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Okay, I’m kidding. Not really though because Josie is actually an adorable name. So anyway, a while back Sephora was selling a Josie Maran Moroccan Bazaar Argan Skin & Hair Bestsellers kit. It’s not at Sephora anymore, but you can get it from Amazon through Josie Maran. Quick tidbits about the brand:

-Cruelty-free
-Paraben-free
-Free of synthetic dyes
-Quality packaging…most are housed in glass bottles
-Higher-end brand with a conscience

Let’s just do a quick run through of what came inside…

Whipped Argan Oil in Vanilla Apricot

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Sweet, decadent, gently fragranced and moisturizing. This stuff is such a pleasure to use.

100% Pure Argan Oil

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The star of the show. I’ve been known to use this oil everywhere; for face, body, hair and nails. It’s such a great oil because it isn’t super greasy but still settles into the skin nicely.

Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer SPF 40

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It’s my current moisturizer and it’s wonderful. It doesn’t leave a white cast over my skin and doesn’t feel heavy either.

Argan Oil Hair Serum

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I can’t believe I actually fell for this. I choose my hair products wisely and would have never looked at this (because I would assume that it wasn’t made for my hair type) but this serum has all natural fragrances and sinks into my locs nicely.

Argan Cleansing Oil

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Haven’t actually given this a spin yet so only time will tell how great it is. I’ve got high hopes!

Argan Balm

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A fragrance-free and solid version of the oil. What’s to hate about this. It feels just as great as the oil and I’ve been loving it on my lips.

The dream team…

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You can get this set here for $69.99 but stay tuned, I’ll be back with a closer look of some of these products. All I know is Josie Maran = LOVE. I have seen the light, y’all.