Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer – yassss!

Growing up, not putting on lotion was never an option. And when you have dark brown skin, everybody and their mommy could tell if you decided to go lotion-free. Ash talks, y’all and when she takes over, she practically screams. I would have soooo wished this Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer was out when I was a kid. This stuff is genius because guess why…

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You really do spray…and go! Like, fo real. There isn’t a secret behind it. It’s lotion in spray bottle. That’s it! It’s so simple that it almost makes you want to laugh.

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New to the lotion aisle, this Spray & Go Moisturizer doesn’t tote any lofty  claims. If you’ve ever used any of Vaseline’s lotion, you’ll like that the formulation hasn’t changed one bit. It comes in 3 familiar varieties  Aloe Fresh, Total Moisture and Cocoa Radiant. Does it work?

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Absolutely! Vaseline has what they call the bag-on-valve technology on this thing and it helps deliver a 360-degree spray delivery using compressed air. It not only feels good going on the skin, but it really does hit every area of skin it comes across. Here goes Esposo when I tell him about this cool new product…

“So wait – I just spray it on and keep going? I don’t have to rub it in?”

Of course, I laugh at him because come on..it can’t do ALL of the work for you. Some rubbing in is definitely required. But is this perfect for those who have to moisturize daily and can’t be bothered with the whole lotion thing? Well, yeah. And if you’ve used and loved Vaseline’s lotions before, then you’ll be happy to know that not much has changed as far as scent in the 3 different varities.

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I’m a fan and I think this moisturizer is perfect for traveling, gym bags and kids. And for lazy birds like me who don’t have an extra 20 seconds to lotion all over. I’m just sayin’…

Snag this for $7.99 at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. One bottle allows for 30 all over uses.

Whatcha think? Is this too gimmicky for ya or can you get down with some spray lotion?

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.

 

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Shea Moisture for the Holidays

Man. My skin is getting worse and worse. Total TMI? I think not. Y’all know I love sharing the inside happenings of my unappealing skin issues. From my acne, eczema and hyperpigmentation, you gals (and guys) have been there for me. That’s why I love the Clumps family. You guys get it.

My real life friends…they’re all like, “Eww Brit, seriously? Eczema? Grosssss!” Which is so dramatic and unnecessary because SO many people suffer from this chronic disease. I’m just the weirdo that doesn’t mind talking about it publicly. *shrugs* Anywho, so recently I came across this Shea Moisture little gift set and I thought Whoooooa!

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Will you look at that? Words can’t even express how much I love this brand. I mean, their products have NEVER failed me. They aren’t loaded with synthetic ingredients and fragrances, they’re affordable, accessible and they work. This holiday seaason, Shea Moisture has released a few holiday gift sets and this precious Aromatherapy Lavender gift set is one of ‘em.

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Now here’s the thing about lavender, the essential oil – you either love it or you don’t. It took many years for lavender to grow on me (I’m more of a woods girl) but now I’ve found it to be one of my favorite oils, mostly because of its healing and aromatherapy properties. It just rocks, y’all. And this gift set is the perfect treat for you or someone in your life that values high quality body care products. And it’s only $14.99. For that you get…

Lavender & Wild Orchid Bubble Bath

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I take baths as much as I can but I’ve also been using this as a body wash. It works surprisingly well! Like all Shea Moisture products, the fragrance is very subtle and isn’t overpowering. The orchid mellows out the lavender a bit so even if you aren’t much of a floral scent lover, you may actually be able to tolerate this one.

Lavender & Wild Orchid Bath, Body  & Massage Oil

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I love a good oil and this one is wooooonderful. I had Esposo give me a much needed prenatal massage with this stuff. It also didn’t make my eczema flare up but yet it moisturized my skin beautifully. It’s the perfect oil to slather all over the skin after a rough day.

Lavender & Wild Orchid Relaxing Fragrance Oil

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This is the one product I couldn’t use because I don’t use fragrance oils. They’re either all essential or nothin’ when it comes to me. I’m not a fan of the synthetic smell of fragrance oils and so while this doesn’t work for me, it still smells pretty. I think the inclusion of the fragrance will help the product last longer (because essential oils generally don’t last long scent-wise) and I think that’s what most consumers are looking for when it comes to body care products.

Quite the steal for less than $15, uh? I plan on scooping up 2 of these for some beauty gal pals of mine. I can’t say who because someone may be readin’ my blog, ya know?

I’m so in love with this brand. I recently found out that they had baby products and I almost did a cartwheel when I got some of ‘em as a gift.

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Um. Let’s just hope I can refrain from using them until Bean gets here. Unlikely though. Hey! I’m bein’ honest. :cool:

Way to go, Shea Moisture. You win AGAIN! You can scoop this gift set up at Target stores or on Target.com.

More reasons to love the natural brand Dr. Woods…

Remember that time I reviewed an awesome facial cleanser that I impulsively purchased while shopping at a natural food store? Yep. It happens, ya know? You go in a store with a list and end up picking up stuff you didn’t intend to. Freaking Target does it to me every time. The good news is, that Dr. Woods cleanser was spectacular! And since using it, I’ve gotten my hands on some more of their other products. Their availability in stores is tricky but you can find most of ‘em online and for A LOT cheaper than what they’d be in stores.

And y’all knowwww how much I love bar soaps.

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My skin is doing all kinds of craziness due to this pregnancy. My normally dry skin has gotten all weird and oily. This Shea Vision Naturals Tea Tree oily/combination skin ain’t too shabby.

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And like all Dr. Woods products, it’s vegan. I’m in love with the fragrance as I was with the cleanser made for normal skin. It’s got a nice woods-y since but nothing over the top. This cleanser also has a clear consistency making it ideal for those with oiler skin. This baby can easily go for over $10 in stores but I found it for less than $6 at LuckyVitamin.com. And as far as those bar soaps…

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I like them a lot. I’ve been using bar soaps more for hand washin’ than body washing simply because my eczema-ridden skin can’t get too much moisture from bar soaps. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy ‘em anyway. I love shea butter soaps and considering how moisturizing shea butter is in its natural state, I wish it was AS moisturizing in a bar. But alas, it’s not. These soaps are still pretty fantastic. Mostly because they smell all earthy and woodsy.

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Ingredients-wise, they follow the same preservative-free philosophy of all Dr. Woods products.

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I’ve got one bar in my guest bathroom and another in my bathroom but I tend to like the raw black shea butter best. The red currant clove has a nice and spicy fragrance but it’s a bit on the strong side. Like most bar soaps, it dissipates after awhile but while lathering up, these are very nice soaps. And they’re decently priced at around $3 online.

Dr. Woods rocks and I really wish I could see more of this brand in stores.

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But I don’t mind stocking up online either. If you’re a lover of natural products and lookin’ to try something new, you’ll like Dr. Woods.

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. :cool:

Are you a stickler about trying to beat stretch marks?

Neosporin Eczema Essentials review

Since getting pregnant, my eczema has gotten 10x worse. Pre-pregnancy, I was always able to keep it under control. The itchies were confined to my lower back and while I had a few patches on my arm and neck, for the most part, it was manageable. Lately though, eczema has taken over my chest, parts of my arm and practically my entire back. It’s starting to hurt my feelings but wearing outfits and up do’s in my hair that show off my neck are virtually impossible.

So when I was presented with the opportunity to try Neosporin Eczema Essentials, I jumped to it. Because after all – what harm could it do? My next step was going to the dermatologist AND allergist. I saw a commercial about these products a few weeks ago and Skeptical B was all like, “Yeah yeah…promises to bring fast relief to eczema suffers. Whatever.” And then I got the products in my hands.

There’s a line-up of 3 Eczema Essentials products. The Daily Body Wash, Daily Moisturizing Cream and the Anti-Itch Cream. I’ll review each product individually and then rap on how they work together. I’ve been using these regularly for approximately 2 weeks time.

First up, the Daily Body Wash ($7.99)…

What it says it will do:
This collodial oatmeal skin protectant is proven gentle and non-irritating even on eczema-prone skin. Effectively cleanses even the most dry, sensitive skin. Contains a lipid, humectant, emollient and botanical blend to help retain moisture essential for healthy looking skin.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Cocoglucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Beheneth 25 Methacrylate Copolymer, PEG 150 Distearate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Mineral Oil, Propylparaben, Polyquaternium 7, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Shea Butter, Glyceryl Oleate, Squalane, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Corn Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Cis 3 Hexenyl Salicylate, Dihydrocitronellol, Oat Kernel Extract, Cholecalciferol

What I thought:
Like all of the products in the Eczema Essentials line-up, this body wash is fragrance-free. It’s a creamy cleanser that lathers well and rinses thoroughly but doesn’t dry out the skin too much. I didn’t find it to be particularly moisturizing but it didn’t leave my skin super tight after drying off so that’s always a good thing. The price point is about right for a speciality body care product. I think I’m using too much of it because the bottle seems to be getting emptier after only 2 weeks. These thicker and creamier body washes seem to be better for my skin than the clear ones.

 

Daily Moisturizing Cream (about $11)…

What it says it will do:
Clinically shown to relieve itchy skin due to eczema on contact. Shown in a clinical study to be as effective as the leading prescription* (*vs. the leading barrier emulsion in subjects with mild to moderate eczema with twice daily (or as needed) use.) Contains colloidal oatmeal, a skin protectant that helps relieve dryness, itch and irritation due to eczema.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Panthenol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Ceramide NP, Steareth 20, Oat Kernel Oil, Oat Kernel Extract, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride

What I thought:
Packaging-wise, I would have loved to see more product in this cream. Because of the thick consistency of it, you’re likely to go out of product pretty quickly. Especially if you use it daily. Speaking of consistency, it feels nothing like a traditional lotion. In fact, at first glance, it looks like a creamy vaseline but once you rub it in, it feels like a greasy-less body balm.

Crazy description, I know. It turned me off the first time I used it but somehow it works. It takes some serious elbow grease to get it all over but to extend its use, I find myself only using it on my trouble areas and using coconut oil everywhere else. Of all of the products in this line-up, I found this to be the most effective. It kept the ash away and soothed my eczema. My condition of the skin on my lower back went from all alligator-ish to…smooth. Shocking! The eczema on my neck improved quite a bit too. I chuckled at the “Restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days” plug but I don’t know, y’all…by the 3rd day skin saw some serious improvements. WOW!

Hydrocortisone Anti-itch Cream (about $9)

What it says it will do:
Contains a dual-action formula to provide fast relief of itch flare-ups due to eczema while it moisturizes to restore visibly healthier skin. Clinically shown to improve dryness, flaking and the appearance of redness.


Ingredients:

Water, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ceteareth 6, Dimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Edetate Disodium, Methylparaben, Sodium Citrate, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Ethylene Brassylate, Oat Kernel Extract, Dihydrocitronellol, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Cis 3 Hexenyl Salicylate, Sodium Hydroxide

What I thought:
I didn’t actually use this because I’m not sure if hydrocortisone is okay for pregnant women. I’ve been meaning to ask my midwife if it’s okay but forget every time I see her. Either way, I’m going to err on the side of caution and use this after Bean gets here. It looks promising and I can’t wait to see how well it works in conjunction with the other products.

 

Overall:
Having used 2 of the 3 of these products for 3 weeks, I am geeked! I would still like to visit a dermatologist and allergist to see if my eczema could be alleviated in other ways but for now I’m okay with using these products. Especially the cream. I usually tear apart my skin with itching and haven’t been doing so lately. So yep! As a crazy eczema suffer, I would say that Neosporin’s Eczema Essentials line-up is definitely worth the time and investment.