Oh Laura Mercier…will you marry me?

Okay, I’m kidding. I’m not sure Esposo would be okay with me running away to marry one of the world’s most talented makeup artists. He doesn’t understand my love for all things Laura Mercier. I have yet to try a product that I didn’t like. Everything that has graced my skin has been sheer…love. I received the Secret Camouflage ($34) and Tinted Moisturizer ($43) for review and they have permament residency in my Beauty Headquarters. AKA the bathroom.

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I won’t ramble too much about these in this post since I’ve done a video, but these products are fantastic. The Secret Camouflage has an oil-free formula that plays nicely even in this very hot weather.

Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge

While I think the shade I got is too dark (I have SC-7), it really does blend nicely to conceal any dark spots and the lighter shade works well under my eyes. However, I think for better coverage under the eyes, I should been aiming for the next shade down. This is okay because there are 8 shades to pick from. Because remember, Laura Mercier likes to put out shades for various skintones. And then there’s the tinted moisturizer…


Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I feel like I’ve used this before (maybe in a former life) but wow wow. I am a lover of light coverage and this tinted moisturizer gives me that plus SPF 20. Pop on over to the video to get an idea of how I use these products and how nicely they work on my skin.

Have you tried anything from Laura Mercier? Any favorites?

I Finally Found Shea Moisture Cosmetics…In Stores!

I went to Virginia a few months ago and visited my husband’s side of the family in this itty bitty city. I’m not knockin’ small towns because I’m from one but y’all…I was SO surprised when I discovered that this city’s Target had Shea Moisture Cosmetics!


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Um…yay! I’ve had Shea Moisture Cosmetics on my radar for quite some time. The brand is most popular to the natural hair’d girls of the world because they make fantastic products for those of us with kinky and curly hair. They also have great skincare products for babies and everyone else.

The cosmetics line is really geared towards women of color because, get this, they have really dark foundation shades. This NEVER happens. I mean, ever. As a dark girl, it is beyond difficult trying to find a foundation. Most brands omit us completely. Yes, even in 2014. I always jump for joy when I see an affordable line of foundation for brown girls. I couldn’t help but scoop up a tube. I also grabbed a lipgloss.

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And okay, there isn’t anything crazy fancy about this lipgloss, but how cute is the packaging? I snagged a blush, too!

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I would have loved to grab more but this line is a bit on the pricier side. For Target, at least. The good news is, you’ll get your money’s worth because the products are really stellar. I did a video review showcasing everything I hauled!


 

Have you ever tried anything from Shea Moisture Cosmetics?

Iman BB Creme – is it better than the rest?

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I received this product to review so sooo very long ago. I’ve really been putting it through the ringer before I did my review. I wanted to be able to deliver a solid review to y’all. And so bam – here we go. Another BB Creme. Just about every brand that considers themselves to be somethin’ have come out with a BB Creme. Quite frankly, I’m over it. But if there is one to be excited about, it’s this one. And for one main reason…

The shade selection is brown girl-friendly! Finally, right? Brown girls everywhere have been hesitant about jumping on the BB Creme bandwagon because come on – most brands seem to neglect shades for those of us with darker hues. I realize that BB Creams weren’t created with those with dark brown skin in mind so I don’t take too much offense to it. But since it has become relatively popular here in the States, it was only a matter of time before a brand that produces products for brown folx would come out with a BB Cream. And so Iman’s Skin Tone Evener BB Crème SPF 15 was born.

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First, let’s rap about what this product SAYS it’s supposed to do:

  • EVENS with Skin Tone Evener Complex enriched with Acai, Licorice and Grape Seed
  •  PROTECTS with SPF 15 & antioxidants.
  • HYDRATES with Kokum, Almond, Aloe and Vitamins A, E and C
  •  PARABEN-FREE
  • COMPLIMENTS your skin tone with a hint of color in 5 perfect-match shades

(source)

Decent and and achievable claims, I’ll say. I do like that this one is paraben-free and the hydrating properties are great for those of us with dry skin. Consistency-wise, this one seems to be a bit thicker and not as watery as some BB Creams that I’ve tried. In fact, it leaned more on the tinted moisturizer side than anything.

There are 6 shades to choose from – Sand Light, Sand Medium, Clay Medium, Clay Medium Deep, Earth Medium and Earth Deep. I was Earth Medium and it seemed to be a decent match.

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Perfect? Not really because I noted a bit of redness when it was on my skin.

PROs

-I love the shade ranges.
-It has a lightweight feel to it.
-It’s fragrance-free.
-Application is simple as I found it smooth enough to apply all over using my fingers.

CONs

-The price point is a bit UP there considering it’s a drugstore BB cream. It retails around $19.99.
-It didn’t seem to last that long on me. Within hours it seemed to have dissipated a bit. A powder on topped seemed to help it last a bit longer.
-May be difficult to find. Your best bet is to order online at Target.com.

 

In this pic I have the BB Creme on just the left side of my face.

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The BB Creme added a bit more color to my face but I don’t know…does it look a little TOO warm? Also, my dark spots didn’t cover up as much as I would have liked them to…

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But does it work well in a pinch? Yuuuup. I have this BB Creme tucked away in my travel bag and find that this baby plus a powder is perfect for daytime and nighttime wear. So yes, I’m a fan!

The Beauty Basics

Price: Between $18-$20
Availability: Target.com and ImanCosmetics.com.
Do I Recommend?: Yep! Especially for my gals who’ve been looking for BB Creams for their complexions. Chances are if you are a brown girl, one of these shades will fit you beautifully. 
 

Whatcha think? Any Iman Cosmetics or BB Cream lovers try this one?

Feature: The 3 Step Foundation Routine

I’ve got a video for youuuuuu. Not of me, of course. Y’all know how badly I am with keeping up with my YouTube channel. And it’s unlikely that I’ll get back on it in 2013. Just bein’ honest. Buuuut, my girl Safia Michelle over at Lipstick Mixtapes was kind enough to do a video for me in which she shows us a 3 Step Foundation Routine.

Class is officially in session. Pay attention. Safia Michelle is one of the best makeup artists in the game!

 

 

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 Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics makeover

Part of being a beauty blogger means educating thyself. I mean, yeah…I could only showcase the saaaaaame products and brands year after year but what fun is that? I like sharing new innovations and new products and brands that you may not have ever heard of. Like the brand Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics.

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I know, I know. You’re probably like, “Seriously B…is this a French brand or something?” Actually no, it’s not. This brand sits stateside at the counters of Neiman Marcus and online for those who don’t have a Neiman in their area. I first heard about this brand when I attended that fabulous Beauty Blogger Bunch a few months back. Le Métier de Beauté and I have gotten more acquainted and I am so excited to share my findings (and makeover) with you guys and gals.

Le Métier de Beauté (which in French translates to to “the craft of beauty”) is a luxurious skincare and makeup brand that has found its place in the beauty world for a good 5 years or so. The brand was founded on 3 core principles: craft, design and quality. It’s a brand that if you see at a counter, you are instantly drawn too because their products are not only eye-catching but diverse as well. And by diverse, I mean you’ll see color, color and more color. This is such a rarity in higher-end brands. And call me nutty, but I didn’t know that Le Métier de Beauté did spa treatments.

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Yes darling, special masks and peels can be done in right in a nice and secluded section of the mall. I was actually going to get a peel but when my specialist noticed my baby bump, she thought that a makeover would be a better fit. And you know I wasn’t complaining about that. Speaking of my specialist…Irina was wonderful. She talked about each product in depth as she applied it to my face. Le Métier de Beauté didn’t appear to have a wide selection of brown-girl friendly foundations available, but Irina did a grand job at mixing up a lil’ somethin’.

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She told me about the beautiful liners…

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…and makeup remover.

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The kaleidoscope eyeshadows (love these!).

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And the mascara…

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The mascara, by the way, has a clear tube so you can actually see when you’re running out of product. Now why didn’t I think of this?

I’ll be a giving a closer look at some of these products later but I can say that their performances lasted beautifully in that 80 degree weather we had the other day. And the finished look?

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I look like a straight up news reporter with wonky hair in that last pic, uh? Either way, Irina impressed me and that is hard to do with a beauty blogger. I’m not always a fan of people doing my makeup but I could totally go back to Irina any day. Her and fellow counter-mate Melissa were wonderful.

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Stay tuned for more information about this brand! Have any of y’all heard about Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics?

ETA: Although I wasn’t able to experience the CHEM60 Pro-Peel & GLOW10ai Mask Set due to my being pregnant, many of my fellow beauty blogger sisters and had raving reviews about it. It is finally available for purchase at Neiman Marcus counters and at NeimanMarcus.com. It’s a bit pricey at $265 but it lasts for quite some times and hey, skincare is worth the investment, isn’t it? :cool:

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?

Guest Post: Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral foundation review

Hey everyone! I’m Monica, the 17-year old blogger from called Glitz n Glamour Makeup! I first wanted to that Brittany for allowing me to do a guest review!

The product I’m reviewing today is called Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral foundation. Typically $13.99 at drugstores it’s a bit expensive, but it was 75% off at my local CVS and I couldn’t resist picking it up :)

One of my favorite parts about this foundation is it comes with a little brush included in the lid! This makes it super convenient if you travel a lot or tend to lose things like me! The included brush was actually pretty high quality, surprisingly, and I really didn’t notice a difference between that and the one I usually use.

The foundation looks like a fairly typical powder foundation….so why is it called “aqua” foundation?? I had assumed it just meant it was moisturizing/non drying. However, it literally feels like you’re putting water on your face! It’s so bizarre, and definitely took some getting used to.

The foundation blends really well also. I tried to leave a sharp line here so you could see the foundation swatched on my hand. It looks a lot lighter than my skin, and that’s because my face is a lot paler than the rest of me. The foundation has a slight shimmer in it, which doesn’t bother me at all, but if you’re rather particular about your foundations you may not like that.

This is me wearing the Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral foundation on the left side of the picture, bare skin on the right. As you can see, the left side has less shine and redness than the right, and also less of an undereye circle.

I would consider this to be a light coverage foundation. It lasted for about 7 hours on me, which I thought was pretty good. It feels really natural, and hasn’t caked or anything even if I layer it a lot. Overall, I would recommend it if you’re looking for a foundation that won’t dry you out and looks natural. I think it’s great for summer because it’s always good to go light on the makeup when it’s hot out!

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Don’t forget to visit Monica over at Glitz ‘n Glamour Makeup!