My Josie Maran Starting Line-Up

Still obsessed.

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Those are two words that sum up how I feel about every Josie Maran product I’ve ever tried. And I really need to stay away from when Josie herself goes on QVC because I become someone I don’t even know. I get all faint and feel like I HAVE to buy something. Aaaand, I always do. Yah. JM’s products are just so freaking awesome, y’all. These two babies are my absolute favorite. If you don’t try anything else from the line, you’ve got to try the argan oil…

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Argan oil is synonymous with Josie Maran as every single one of her products has argan oil in them. It works out beautifully because argan oil is a fantastically rich oil but doesn’t feel greasy. It doesn’t have much of a scent either.

What Sephora says about the Argan Oil,

This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. (source) 

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A little of the oil goes a long way and like most natural oils, it has many different uses for hair, skin, nails, etc. I am loving this all over on my face at night. It’s the perfect end to the day and gives my skin that hydration I need without making my pores feel all clogged up. It retails for $48 so it isn’t exactly the cheapest oil on the market but dang…argan oil is like beauty superfood.

If you really want to dabble into JM without breaking the bank and want to get a product that you KNOW you’ll get some serious use out of, check out the Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40.

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Yes. Yes! I am living for this moisturizer. First of all, it is haaaaard to find a daily moisturizer that is preservative-free AND has enough SPF but doesn’t leave my face with that white film. You know the film I’m talking about, don’t you? My brown sisters can attest to having a hard time getting products with SPF to reallllly sink into the skin. You’re left with an unsightly ‘ghost face’ even after you spent 2 minutes vigorously rubbing moisturizer in the skin. It sucks but I so don’t have that problem with this moisturizer.

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What Sephora says about it,

“Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 is your skin’s first defense against premature aging. This natural formula physically deflects UVA rays that can cause up to 80 percent of premature aging. It also shields from the harmful UVB rays that we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sunscreens, this natural formula is infused with Josie’s signature ingredient, Argan Oil. This sunscreen is extra mild and fast absorbing and it can also double as a great makeup primer. Argan Daily Moisturizer is lightweight, paba free, and suitable for all skin types.” (source)

While I don’t actively purchase products that have anti-aging properties, I do believe in preventative care. The magical argan oil is dumped in the moisturizer and despite it having SPF 40 in it, it doesn’t smell too SPF-y. I can wear it daily without feeling like I’m prepping up for a day at the beach. It’s such a divine moisturizer and I can’t wait to see how it’ll act in the warmer months. It does darn well in the cooler season.

This moisturizer is priced at $32, but honestly, I only use 1/4 of a pump of it daily. It’ll last fooooorever. JM is sold at Sephora, Sephora.com and QVC.com and if you haven’t tried anything from the brand, hop to it.

But don’t be like me and get all addicted to QVC, y’all. And if you do – so help your wallet.

A ‘Baby Elle’ inspired nail look

Hi, I’m Nidia, and I have a little beauty blog called Lit From Within. Thanks, Brittany, for inviting the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida to help you out while you spend some time with your little Baby Clumps!

All of us BBCF members have been awaiting the arrival of Baby Clumps, who we know now is named Elle. I wanted to do a little nail art as homage to our newest member. It was a celebration of Indies on my blog this January, so I wanted to bring a little of that celebration to Clumps of Mascara!

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This is PolishTBH Tiny Dancer, a sheer iridescent pink with bright blue squares and small glitters. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate polish – it’s soft and pretty, and I’m sure Elle was dancing around in Brittany for these last few months!

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Tiny Dancer had a great formula, and I was pleasantly surprised by the pink shimmer. With two coats, there was still a little visible nail line, but I loved the sheer softness of it so much, I didn’t mind. I knew some nail art was coming, anyway!

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I used Essie Mink Muffs and a nail art brush to make some Baby footprints! I learned the technique from watching a YouTube video. Basically, you make a little bean shape and add toes.

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Few things are cuter than baby toes!

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And a little personalization for Baby Clumps! Congratulations, Brittany, I’m so happy for you and your little family. I wish you all every happiness, and look forward to getting to know Elle.

Nidia Doherty is the writer for her blog, Lit From Within, which focuses mainly on nail polish and art, but also features beauty products. As much as she loves makeup, she believes that the most beautiful thing a person can wear is a smile.

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.

Makeup Wars: 3 Travel Tips for the Beauty Obsessed

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I could write a book about Traveling While Addicted to Cosmetics. I mean, honestly – it ain’t easy trying to decide which nail polishes, blushes and eyeliners to bring on a 2-day trip. And don’t even get me started if I’m traveling for more than 2 days. I’ve hit the highways and airways enough to finally know how to pack efficiently. Plus, when you keep loosing your luggage at airports or have that $26 lotion spill out over your new sandals, you learn a thang or two.

And yes. Those things have actually happened to lucky ole’ me.

 

So first things first: Use travel-sized bottles

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Yeah, I know it seems like an obvious tip but there have been plenty of of times where I’ve been lazy and thrown an entire bottle of shampoo in my luggage. Aside from adding to the weight of the luggage (which sucksssss if you’re flying), you risk the chance of  something spilling over. Your favorite body wash doesn’t come in a travel size? Purchase a smaller bottle or re-use one. Label them accordingly and POW – smaller bottles.

Don’t forget the Qtips!

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I know. I’m so obsessed with these things. We already know how awesome they are but they double as makeup brushes, exfoliating tools and eyelining. Taking Qtips with you means you can likely leave some other beauty stuffs behind.

Keep the essentials IN the travel bag

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For the most part, when I travel, I don’t have to “pack” any of my essentials. Every thing is ready to go and all I need to do is add whatever extras I want to take. Plus, who really has the time to constantly pack and re-pack the essentials each time you travel? I’ve got my own set of cleansers, tweezers and makeup products that reside in my travel bag.

And if you learned nothing else, darlings – whatever you do, if you can help it, don’t take your most expensive beauty and skincare products when traveling. Just don’t. You’ll never forgive yourself if that Dolce & Gabanna lipstick you took to the Bahamas never made its way back to the States.

Never.

*sigh* On to happier times – check out what my fellow Makeup Wars chicas have to say about beauty bloggin’ travels.

Beauty Blogger Packing

Mascara Monday: Maybelline The Rocket by Volum’Express mascara

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Oooooh yeah, Maybelline has a new mascara in town. I’m mad late on reviewing it but ya know…that whole “having a baby” thing kinda threw me off a bit, ya know? 😎 But alas, here we are with a review of one of the most popular mascaras to hit shelves this season.

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Price: $5.94 at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara’s patented supersonic brush with micro bristles loads on big, sleek volume instantly. Its fast-glide formula keeps lashes smooth. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara: The most explosive, beautiful lashes ever, 8x bigger, Explosive volume in rocket time, Smoother Zero clumps” (source)

The Truth: It’s not my absolute favorite Maybelline mascara but it’s okay.

What I Loved About It: Super awesome wand that helps with separating wonky lashes. .

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t volumize the way I really needed it to.

Overall: This mascara totally took me by surprise. I felt like I just reviewed a Volum’Express mascara not too long ago and then along comes The Rocket. The hype didn’t seem to be as prevalent with this one than with other Volum’Express releases. I mean, think about it – the Falsies was everywhere. This kid? Not so much. The thing is, Rocket’s claims aren’t all that spectacular and she isn’t toting any special tricks. She’s just another ‘VolumExpress mascara that promises volume and a pretty awesome wand to boot.

And the wand IS awesome.

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It’s an awesome wand if you really need to separate your lashes. I mean, this baby gets them out there. This is actually my favorite kind of mascara if my lashes are doin’ crazy thangs and looking all wonky. Which, by the way, is all the time. And as great as this wand is when it comes to separating, it isn’t so hot in the volumizing department. Plusher wands are better in this regard.

But that doesn’t mean The Rocket sucks. She doesn’t. I just think her volumizing power is mediocre. Lengthening too. Her strength does lie in longevity though. I didn’t get the waterproof version of this mascara but I found that it did a darn good job at lasting throughout the day without any flakes or smudges. Which is always HUGE in my book.

So if you’re bored enough and just want to try something new, this is a great mascara to holla at. But if you’ve got huge expectations, meh…brace yourself to be a tad bit disappointed. Or, Maybelline’s the Falsies mascara. That kid is truly the winner in the Volum’Express department.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Only if you reallllllly want to try something new.

Whatcha think? Have you tried this mascara yet? Is it just me or do some of the other ‘VolumExpress mascaras seem to do a better job?


Urban Decay’s Theodora palette

My my my my my my myyyyyy – Urban Decay does it again. They’ve released another palette that you pretty much NEED in your life. This is what they do. They produce beautiful and sparkly palettes and your wallet goes, “Seriously?” Yeah. That is UD’s goal in life. To make your wallet moan and groan.

I’ve had my hands on this palette for a while but Elle the Belle doesn’t give a darn about the seriousness of getting product posts up. Worry not. I am slowly teaching her the important things in life. Like how to be nice and kind. And how to give Mommy at least an hour a day to work on Clumps of Mascara. Hard lessons but we’re learnin’ 😎

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So back to this gooooorgeous Theodora palette. Which definitely had me at hello because the art is just spectacular. Inspired by the Disney film, Oz The Great and Powerful, UD is giving us 2 limited edition palettes that represent both the good and evil witches. Of course Theodora ain’t nothin’ but evil but honey, if this is considered “evil” then, wooooow…

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Flip open the sturdy tin of a palette and you get 6 full-size pods of gorgeous eyeshadows. And 2 of the removable pods have two different eyeshadows. Cool stuff!

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TOP ROW:
Broken, Beware, Bewitch

BOTTOM ROW:
West, Spell, Jealous

You also get a Zero eyeliner pencil and a stunning Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color pencil.

Swatches

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This is my first time dabbling into UD’s regular shadows since they reformulated them and they are fantastic. They are just as creamy and pigmented as you’d expect and I found that each shade did a darn good job at popping up on my complexion

Color Descriptions:
Broken – Pale cream satin
Beware – Warm brown matte
Bewitch – Dark charcoal brown satin
West – Deep metallic brown shimmer
Spell – Black satin with green and gold shimme
Jealous – Pale green pearl

I think the color selection for this palette is consistent and not only sticks with the theme but also works well for neutral lovin’ folx and adventurous folx alike. I don’t wear green eyeshadows much but Jealous is a nice start and I love that it isn’t TOO intense, ya know?

And then there’s the Theodora lip pencil. Ooooh honey. These pencils regularly retail at $19 and if you think you’ve seen lip pencils before, you haven’t seen one THIS glossy. At least I haven’t.

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I love everything about this bright red cream. My camera may gives it a bit more orange but no brown girls, we can rock with red alllll day, baby. All day.

You can currently grab the palette online at Sephora.com and UrbanDecay.com. It retails for $49 which I think is a great price considering you get those full-size eyeshadow pods, an eyeliner and lip gloss. Stay tuned for my upcoming review of the Glinda palette. You’ll probably want that one too so go ‘head and save your pennies. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I know most people hate this commercialized holiday but I love love therefore Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother me too much. Plus, holidays now give me a reason to take embarrassing photos of Elle. Who puts their baby in a laundry basket for a photo shoot? Yeah. I’m a mess.

But I hope you love me for it.

XOXO

New on the scene: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss polishes

Well well well…look who is joining the reindeer games! CoverGirl did a little something that surprised us all and launched some beautiful new polishes. I’m almost positive that they had nail polishes back in the 90’s but I’m not sure if I dreamt them up or if they actually existed. Either way, me thinks it was a good idea for them to get up on the obsession that many of us have with nail polish.

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Good decision, CG.

The brand has a good 45 polishes that they’ve already launched and more will be making their ways to stores soon. I got my hands (haha, literally) on 4 of the polishes and wanted to show ’em off for you.

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Just a note: You can get these anywhere CoverGirl products are sold. I’ve been seeing them at CVS and Walgreens store locations for weeks now.

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Frosted Forever is a pale pink cream that almost looks white and it took a whopping 4 coats to get an opaque finish. But that’s usually the case with polishes like this. It’s a beaut. I found it to be super shiny without a top coat.

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Coy Coral – ohhhhh, it’s another coral. Coral polishes are actually growing on me and I really like the peachiness of this one.

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Golden Opportunity is a subtle gold foil that has a silvery hue to it. Depending on how the light hits it, it shifts from cool to warm.

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Wine Stain
is a dark burgundy creme and man, I don’t wear burgundy polishes enough but I should because this one is just fabulous. It has a squishy consistency and shines beautifully without a top coat.

These are just 4 of the 44 polishes that CoverGirl has currently developed. If you spy the stand in stores, you’ll see that they have a ton of different finishes; cremes, glitters, foils, shimmers…and I’m lovin’ them all. They are priced right at $5.49 and since CoverGirl products regularly go on sale in drugstores, you can easily get them cheaper.

Performance-wise, I would say that these are pretty stellar. I didn’t have any problems with the wand or formula. I found that all 4 polishes tended to be on the thin side so while you can get away with 2 coats, I think you’ll achieve a much better finish applying 3 coats of polish. And I can’t forget the shine factor. CoverGirl says that these polishes don’t need a base or top coat and I agree. I didn’t feel the need to wear a top coat with any of these polishes because they’re just so shiny. I haven’t pushed their longevity yet but then again, it’s hard for me to wear any polish for more than 3 days.

But so far…I’m impressed! I can’t wait to scoop up more of these babies. Have you spotted these polishes in store yet?