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.

Preggo Products: Clarins Beauty Beginnings Pregnancy Kit

Ooooh, the joys of pregnancy. You know, the one or two. I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy (compared to what most women go through) but after 8.5 months of carrying Bean, I’m just anxious and ready to see her little face. I’m all achey and bloat-y, sleepy and everything in between. But life must move on and I love how beauty brands are showing mommies love. Check out this Beautiful Beginnings Pregnancy Kit from Clarins.

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My friends that are already mommies tell me I’m crazy but I intend to continue to pamper myself throughout motherhood. I know life is gonna be crazy with a newborn but does that mean I’m going to let my skin, hair and nails go to hell? Um no. I’ve been makin’ it my business to pamper myself throughout this pregnancy and this kit has been niiiiice. You unzip the cute lil’ tote and the first thing you’ll see is a Preggo Chick book.

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This was totally up my alley and all beauty lovin’ mamas would love the little tips and tricks this booklet provides. I read it in one sitting. Which is easy to do because it isn’t THAT long. My skin has been going through crazy changes and the guide gave some insight as to what’s going on and how to help. There were also some helpful breathing techniques and exercise suggestions. Good stuff. As far the products inside…

There’s the Huile Tonic Body Oil Treatment (3.4 oz)

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I adore how this smells. It smells like a bunch of woodsy essential oils (rosewood and rosemary. Mmmm….) and it’s definitely up my alley. You know, since I’m all sensitive to fragrances and all. It contains plant extracts and regular use of it is supposed to help the skin’s firmness. And it isn’t super oily which is also a good thing.

Smoothing Body Scrub for a New Skin (1oz)

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If you’ve met one body scrub, you’ve met them all. This one has a nice consistency and the floral scent seems to dissipate after use.

Stretch Mark Control (1oz)

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I still don’t think you can fight stretch marks (I believe they are genetic) but I’m a sucker and don’t mind using products that say that’ll help them fade or diminish over time. This fragrance-free moisturizer isn’t greasy and moisturizes nicely.

Beauty Flash Balm (0.5oz)

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This was the one product where I found the scent to be a tad bit overpowering. The balm is super powder-y and floral but it feels niiiice on the skin. It seems to be just as hydrating as the Stretch Mark Control cream. This facial balm is supposed to help brighten and tighten over time.

Also in the tote is a soft baby blanket.

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Such a nice little kit, uh? As a first time pregnant gal, I’m lovin’ it. Sure I likely won’t use all of the products but the trial sizes are nice sized enough to make me happy. The Tonic Body Oil Treatment is the true star here. It normally retails for $54 so the $60 price tag on this kit seems about right. Especially for a higher-end skincare brand like Clarins.

If you know a pregnant beauty gal, consider scooping this up for her. You can get it from Clarins counters and at ClarinsUSA.com.

 

Wanna send me to Germany? Vote for me…pretty pleaeeease! Click here

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

The Evolution of B: How I Went from Not Caring to Being Obsessed with Skincare

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Confession: I didn’t get all that serious about makeup and skincare until my early-mid 20’s. While some little girls grow up dabbling in beauty stuffs and begging their parents to let them wear red lipstick at the age of 14, I was that girl that…just didn’t care. Toss me a lipgloss and I was good to go. I’d buy whatever skincare product looked pretty in the stores, use it and buy something else when it ran out. I was the Queen of No Fuss Beautification.

Until I turned like 23 or so. I went crazy over makeup. And then I realized it didn’t matter how extensive your makeup collection is if you didn’t take care of the skin too. So yeah, a late lesson learned but better late than never. So here’s how my beauty routine has evolved over the years…

I used to:

-Say “Screw it! I’m not washing my face tonight.”

Now I:

-Wash my face nightly. Or at the very least I use a cleansing cloth to remove makeup and daily grime.

I used to:

-Think any kind of skincare product would work.

Now I:

-Analyze  my skin and see what products work best for my specific conditions and the season.

I used to:

-Assume that I wouldn’t need anti-aging products any time soon.

Now I:

-Get myself in the habit of using them. If I start a regimen using eye creams to combat wrinkles, by the time I’m in my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, using them won’t seem too laborious.

See! I’m a big girl and my current skincare and makeup routines are a big proof of that. Has your skincare regimen evolved over the years or are you sticking to what has been working?

 

 

As a leader in skincare with an eye for emerging trends, Olay is bringing the first-ever mass market CC line of products to the United States {Canada} beginning in October 2012. CC, or Color & Correct, Creams have started to emerge in Asia as a new category and are designed for women who love BB Creams for their ability to provide a quick, flawless finish but are seeking skincare solutions that deliver long-term benefits.

The Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizers fight seven signs of aging, while also providing immediate color correction with tinted formulas that include UV protection and tone correction over time. The multiple, must-have instant and long-term benefits leave skin luminous and even-toned with the reduced appearance of discolorations, fine lines and wrinkles.

Olay

 

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Olay via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Olay”