Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

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This review would have been appropriate for Valentine’s Day but um yeahhhh, I totally forgot to put it up. Worry not. This darling little blush is still available on TooFaced.com. TF ruuuules in the packaging department. 9 times out of 10, my attraction to the brand starts at just a simple glare of their beauty baubles. Like this Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush. I recently received her for review.

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Presh, isn’t she? And she sits nicely in the balm of my hand…

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It’s been awhile since a blush has wooed me. And this is sad because I adooooore blushes.

What Too Faced says about this baby,

“Three swatches of rose, coral and peach packed into one pretty heart. Baked color formula allows the blush to be applied as a beautiful buildable finish. Blush works on all skin tones.” (source)

Oh. And if you’re an ingredient snob, it’s paraben-free too. I’m a bit of a rule breaker when it comes to products like these. You can probably get away with applying this blush as 3 separate shades but naw…I swirl them altogether and pop it right on the cheekies. Yeah.

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Frostier than I’d like, this is the kind of blush that works best with a highlighter.  I can probably get away with wearing the shade with the most pink in it best, but I find that they do better when used altogether. Plus, it’s just easier to apply that way? I mean, who has time to strategically apply only 1 or 2 of these shades? Yeah no. Keepin’ it simple is the way, yo.

Worn alone (meaning without foundation, tinted moisturizer or some kind of base) means she won’t last long so I definitely like to wear this on top of a lil somethin ‘somethin’. See…

Very subtle but it still gives my cheeks a nice dose of color in a pinch.

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Love love love.

Where To Buy: TooFaced.com
Cost: $29

Price is a wee up there but she’s a speciality item so I get it. And she’s adorbs. Whatcha think? Are you in love?

Tales of the Makeup Remover That Didn’t Remove

I was actually kind of excited about trying and falling in love with this eye makeup remover. I’ve been using expensive eye makeup removers for years now and I’m sick of it. I can go budget for practically anything but when it comes to removin’, I can’t help it if the expensive stuff seems to be better for me.

But I knew good ole’ Mayb wasn’ going to let me down with this innovative gel makeup remover. I knew I was glaring at a winnah!

Or so I thought.

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At first glance, the remover looks pretty stellar.

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Gorgeous packaging? Check.
Affordable? Check.
Stellar claims? Check.

She promises to not only remove makeup but to also soothe the skin as well. Having a lousy eye makeup remover just isn’t an option for me. I need a spectacular one. IF you tell me you’re going to remove every trace of my eye makeup including waterproof mascara, then I expect you to. Period. Wellllllls, this remover wasn’t so hot. But let’s talk about her pros.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a remover with a formula like this so I can appreciate Mayb pushing the envelope a bit. I popped the top and I was impressed with the housing there…

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This allows you to only put a teeny bit amount on a cotton ball, swap or Qtip. Cool, right? But it was really the fragrance that threw me for a loop. Okay, granted I am sensitive to fragrances but this stuff was stroooong. It smelled floral and just…nauseating. I get it. People like scents, but come on – do you need a makeup remover with a fragrance? I don’t think so. Fragrance-free is the way to go with stuff like this. The consistency was interesting…

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And I found that it wasn’t as effective as a remover with more of an oil or watery consistency. In fact, it took almost an ounce of remover to complete remove my eyeliner and mascara. Plus, I just didn’t like how the “gel” felt around my eyes. Soothing, yes? But I felt like it kept seeping in my eyes. It’s a personal thing, I guess because I know some people can’t get down with removers with an oil consistency.

So yeah – this definitely wasn’t up my alley.

The Basics

Price: $4.99
Availability: Scoop it up at any drugstore both online and in stores. Target and Walmart too!
Do I recommend?: Nope. I wasn’t a fan.

Have y’all tried this? What makeup remover are you currently using?

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.

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.

Reason #86 Why Boscia Rocks

Oh Boscia. Oh Boscia, how do I love thee? Boscia is so on my list of Top Favorite Natural Skincare Brands. They rock so hard and they’ve been doing so for years. Like that Detox Mask? And that Black Mask? Still in love. I’ve also been known to keep their blotting liners in my makeup bag.

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And now they’ve got an adorable set that makes blotting oily skin even more…fun. Because it is fun,right? :razz:

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Before I discovered blotting papers, I realized that those paper toilet seat covers in public restroms could be AS good as blotting liners. And they’re free. But do they work? I guess it depends on your skin but I’ve found Boscia’s Blotting Liners to 10x more effective and more hygienic (obviously). And let’s face it, they are just more attractive. And I’m sorry but you can call me vain or whatever but I like attractive things. Just sayin’… If you’ve been wanting to try Boscia’s Blotting Liners, this $22 kit is the best way to give ‘em a whirl. You not only get 100 Sheets Green Tea Blotting Linens and 100 Sheets Fresh Blotting Linens but a pretty little linen holder as well.

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…and the pretty holder.

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The holder is no larger than a cell phone or wallet and will fit nicely in a makeup bag, purse or shoot…even your pocket. I love these so much, y’all. You might even catch me usin’ them even when my face isn’t oily. Yeah, I’m weird like that. And the funny thing about the Green Tea Blotting Liners is – they actually SMELL like green tea.

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I’m not even lyin’. You’ll have to buy them and sniff ‘em to see what I’m talkin’ about.

*sigh* Boscia stays winning.

Tales of an Elizabeth Arden bronzer…

Oooh Elizabeth Arden. Can I be honest? You’re a brand that I never gave much thought to before. Of course, your products are legendary because they’ve been around for ever. Your longevity in the beauty arena shows that you have what it takes to help women feel beautiful and provide them with quality cosmetics, skincare and fragrances. But are you made for the younger generation? I’m not sure.

When I think of Elizabeth Arden, I always think of products that my Grandmother would wear. But clearly that’s sheer ignorance because this Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronzer Powder was SO made for me.

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This is why you can’t go around judging brands until you actually do your research and try some of the products. That’s okay, you don’t have to research anything. That’s my job. :cool:

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I got the opportunity to try this bronzer and I’ve been wearing it faithfully all fall long. The thing is, there’s nothing super innovative about it. It’s like most bronzers in that it contains subtle shimmer to give you that natural glow. It’s lightweight and according to ElizabethArden.com, it is infused with green tea, white tea and minerals. So it’s not only pretty on the skin but it has healing and moisturizing properties as well. Niiiiiiice. Packaging the wise, the palette is stunning, classy and attractive.

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But of course, darling. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Elizabeth Arden, now would you? The bronzers come in 3 shades: Soft Radiance, Deep Radiance and Warm Radiance. I was all set to be disappointed with Warm Radiance (because let’s face it…sometimes these higher-end brands don’t really cater to the darker skinned beauties of the world) but you know what? It worked very nicely with my skin.

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Granted bronzers don’t have to be DEAD ON when it comes to matching your complexion but I’ve found that bronzers that are too fair make me look washed out. This bronzer, however, it works beautifully on me. Impressed? Heck yeah, I am!

See how nice and subtle the shimmer is?

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Very nice. I will definitely be playing with more Elizabeth Arden products. This bronzer retails for $38 so it’s ideal for my higher-end brothers and sisters of the beauty world. You can scoop it up at ElizabethArden.com or at select Elizabeth Arden counters at department stores.

Review of the Tis The Season’ GLOSSYBOX

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Yep! I’ve got another inside scoop of the GLOSSYBOX. It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed one but with the holidays rollin’ around, I figured it would be a good idea to remind you about one of the most popular beauty subscription boxes. These boxes are hit or miss (depending on your preferences, of course) but the average beauty lover will likely get giddy over receiving a subscription as a gift. You wouldn’t hear me complaining.

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Plus, GLOSSYBOX is one of the more higher-end boxes so if I were to gift a subscription to a friend, it would be this one. GLOSSYBOXes are always decked out beautifully and the GLOSSYBOX Mag provides pretty pics of trends and products.

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Sooo, let’s see what we’re working with this month:

Illamasqua Lip & Eye Medium Pencil

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The full size version of this pencil retails for $20 and with Illamasqua being a higher-end brand and all, we’ve already gotten our money’s worth with this pencil. Score! I’ve always been really impressed with Illa’s products and this pencil is no different. The color is called Honour and it’s a rich and chocolate-y brown. It’s definitely a product that I would use regularly.

Incoco Nail Polish Applique

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Shout out to nail strips and stickers. These are so popular these days so it’s good to see GLOSSYBOX staying on trend. I’ve actually used these strips before and they are one of the better ones because they are made of actual nail polish. They retail for $8 and the 16 double-ended strips can make for a nice holiday nail look. Especially in this shade. Sinderella is a rich burgundy and it’s nothing fancy but it’s rolling with the season.

Kryolan for GLOSSYBOX

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The brand Kryolan is likely more known among beauty professionals instead of everyday consumers. I’ve actually never tried any of their products but this blush in Glossy Rosewood looks like it can do some good. It seems pretty pigmented and it doubles as an eyeshadow.  Regular price of this is $9.

Nume Style Arganics by NuMe Argan Oil (full size: $59/4 oz – sample size is 10 ml)

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I’m just now getting back on the argan oil train and I can’t brag about it enough. Nume’s version of this contains Vitamin E and can be used on the body and hair. Most argan oils are scent-free and this one is heavily perfume-y and unappealing to me. I spot Fragrance in the Ingredients so boo to that. Otherwise, it’s a nice and non-greasy oil. Argan oil rules!

Skin & CO ROMA Truffle Serum: Hydro-Toning Day Face Serum

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This serum is supposed to help slow down the signs of aging. It has hyaluronic acid and I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy safe so I didn’t give it a whirl. However, it is fragrance-free and I think the 0.50 oz size is enough to give you users a good 3-5 uses.

Overall: Of course, you know reviewing beauty subscription boxes are tricky because everyone goes giddy over different things. You’ll never see me appreciate getting hair products whereas some love getting hair samples. I like to judge these boxes by their overall value and this month seemed to hit the mark. The samples were large enough for users to get a good amount and there’s a little something for everyone. Hate nail products? No problem…there are 2 samples of cosmetic products. Not a fan of skincare products but like nails? Bam. You got a sample. So yeah, not a bad way to end the year, GLOSSYBOX.

Consider gifting your favorite beauty guy or girl with a GLOSSYBOX subscription. Start here!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation – best liquid foundation EVER!

Look at me! I’m reviewing a foundation! It’s a well known Clumps of Mascara fact that I like to be foundation-free. Between being too lazy to applying it each morning, not wanting to deal with it potentially coming off in the Florida heat AND having this inherent fear that it’ll cause breakouts, I do just fine with applying concealer and powder. But every now and then, I can’t ignore the hype every time a brand releases a new foundation. Such was the case with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup.

Before I even get into my experience of using this foundation, let’s check out the specs.

-Gives a demi-matte to matte finish
-Includes anti-aging properties like Matrixyl 3000
-Hygienic pump makes for less product waste
-Formula is without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and phthalates
-Available in 18 shades
-Transparent bottle lets you know when it’s time to re-up.

Biggest selling point to me? The fact that it’s free from synthetic ingredients. Win, win and win again! If I’m going to slather a foundation all over my face, I’d much rather it be one that is on the gentler side. First impressions of this foundation were like any other that I’ve tried. It intimidated me. I stared at the bottle forever trying to figure out how to apply the foundation. What kind of brush should I use? Should I use a brush at all? These are the things beauty anxieties are made of. Fo real, y’all.

But honestly, application was really very easy. I grabbed my trusty ecoTOOLS skunk brush…

..and got to work. I squirted a bit of the foundation on the back of my hand, stipled the brush in the foundation and then dabbed all over my face.

I find this the easiest way to apply liquid foundation. I’m sure there are better or easier techniques but I’m an old lady who likes to stick with what she knows. Plus, applying liquid foundation this way feels so good on my skin. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m pampering my skin.

The first time I had this foundation on, I had to do a double-take because I just didn’t LOOK like I applied anything. In fact, I ended up washing my face and starting over except only applying foundation on one side of my face. See a difference?

I do too but it’s not a drastic change. And I’m not complaining because I hate nothing more than the obvious foundation look. More than anything, I didn’t FEEL like I had on foundation. I’ve been wearing this daily for a few weeks (with a few breaks in between) and haven’t had any problems whatsoever. Oh oh! And let’s not even talk about how dead on the color matches my complexion. I’m wearing 12.0 and even at first swatch, I knew it would be a match made in heaven.

So yes, Urban Decay…YES! Y’all knocked this foundation out of the park. Any time a self-proclaimed foundation hater can brag about a product, you know it’s good. I love how long-lasting this foundation is. And it’s not only incredibly lightweight, but it also wears well in the Florida humidity. Which says a lot.

Quite honestly? I can’t find one thing to complain about when it comes to this baby. Ah yes….the lack of sunscreen. That part does annoy me a bit because I feel like all foundations should have some dose of sunscreen in ‘em. But thankfully the powder I use to top off the foundation has sunscreen in so, so I’m covered there.

I can’t even complain about the price tag because at $38, it really isn’t THAT steep. You can grab a bottle of this magical foundation stuff at Sephora stores and at Sephora.com.

Have any of you foundation-wearin’ gals tried this foundation yet?