5 Reasons Why Tarte Rocks

*This post includes a paid link.



“What’s the type behind Tarte Cosmetics, B?” I get asked this alllll the time. Mainly because I feel like some brand ambassador for Tarte. I am always bragging about one of their products and claiming how I just can’t get enough. And it’s true. If I had to pick a brand that embodied everything awesome and then some, it would be Tarte. And here’s why…

They have the best packaging!  

Every time Tarte releases something new, I am blown away at how beautiful the packaging is. They use actual bamboo and sustainable items and every product just feels very REAL in your hand. The use of natural products goes with the natural concept and it’s as if the brand really puts a lot of thought behind how a product looks from the inside and out.

They have brown girl friendly cosmetics. Kinda.

Okay, so they don’t have an enormous amount of darker concealers and foundations but they have a good selection and this is HUGE for a natural cosmetic brand. Many brands seem to exclude the fact that we live in a multi-ethnic world and so beauty lovers of a darker hue are often left out when it comes to shade selection. I am happy to see that Tarte caters to women and men of all complexions. Kinda.

Their holiday sets are just fabulous.

You’ve seen their holiday sets, haven’t you? They are mind blowing! Even if I already own the products, I still make it my business to purchase at least one of the sets. Again, it’s just the packaging that sells me. Tarte has this really nifty way of making you feel like they’ve created an entirely new product just because of how gorgeous the holiday sets are.

They really are fragrance-free.

I’ve come across so many brands that claim to be fragrance-free but yet their lipsticks or glosses have just a faint vanilla-y smell. Tarte really is a fragrance-free brand and this totally speaks to my can’t wear fragrances because they’ll trigger a migraine soul. If Tarte ever decided to toss fragrances in their products, I know they’d pick natural fragrances and not any of that synthetic stuff.

Maracuja oil is everything.

Yeah, I know Tarte didn’t invent maracuja oil but they brought my attention to it and I can’t thank them enough for it. I’m an oil lovin’ girl and I just don’t know where I would be without that magical serum. I have never come across a more perfect all-purpose oil.

Any other Tarte lovers out there?

Get Yummy Skin with Vermont Soap’s Choco-Luscious Organic Skin Smoothie

I don’t think I’ve formally reviewed anything from Vermont Soap before but this brand has been on my radar for a few years now. As a stalker of all things natural (you know when it comes to skincare, cleaning products and shtuff like that…) brands like Vermont Soap are my fave because with my sensitive skin I know that every ingredient in their products are going to pure and without any additives. They recently released this Organic Skin Smoothie and I was sent a sample to test drive…

Vermont Soap Choco-Luscious Organic Skin Smoothie

You know I was all over it. I mean, look at the ingredients.

Vermont Soap Choco-Luscious Organic Skin Smoothie ingredients

Simple. 3 ingredients. That’s it. I love it. What VS says about this luscious smoothie…

“Choco-Luscious Skin Smoothie is the choco-licous way to keep you skin smooth and moisturized throughout your busy day. Easily spread and absorbed, doesn’t leave a greasy feel or film. Your skin will love you for it! And you’ll smell choco-yummy too!” (source)

Vermont Soap Choco-Luscious Organic Skin Smoothie 4oz jar

I’ve been on the cocoa butter train since, um…birth. My Mom slathered us in that nutty oil for years. And of course I’ll be doing the same for Elle. Best thing about this stuff? It takes no time to put on because it literally melts onto your skin…
Vermont Soap Choco-Luscious Organic Skin Smoothie on skin

PRO’s

-Super moisturizing. Especially for those who suffer from eczema.
-A little goes a long way. This 4 oz jar should last you for quite sometime.
-Gentle enough for baby skin. Given that baby doesn’t have any allergies to the ingredients, of course.

CON’S

-It’s super greasy so I find it better to use at night than during the day.
-If you’re not a fan of the nutty smell, you may not like this.
-It’s a bit pricey at $14.98 a tub.

I’ve been slathering this stuff all over Elle and I. Esposo won’t let me slather it on him. That’s okay. This is why my skin will glow, glisten and be wrinkle-free forever. He will look 80 years old next year. Ha!! You can scoop up a tub of this stuff at VermontSoap.com.

Josie Maran Adds Shimmer!

Welllll, we all know how much I love Josie Maran. Yes, I’m still on her adoring bandwagon. I recently got some new products of hers to review and while I’ve featured them before, these are different because Josie has added some shimmer to her products!

Josie Maran Radiance

Now I’m not gonna lie…I’m no fan of sparklin’. Especially when said sparkle is overwhelming. But the added shimmer in these JM products are subtle. Yay! I knew Josie would get it right. I’m still a fan of her original products because they are fragrance free but these are fun if you’re looking to try something different.

The Body Butter has a nice “natural” fragrance to it…

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter with Radiance

And it is just beauuuuutiful to look at.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter with Radiance jar

I find that the shimmer is very apparent on my skin so I’m not a fan of wearing it daily. It really POPS.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter with Radiance on skin

The hair serum smells as good as the original hair serum and the shimmer isn’t as proponent.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum with Radiance

And if you haven’t tried JM’s Hair Serum, hop to it because it smells divine and is great at keeping the hair slicked down. Of couse everyone’s hair type is different but I like how it worked on my afro.

The Argan Oil is different than the original because it contains honey lavender and chamomile.

Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil with Radiance

Pure Argan Oil with Radiance

Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil with Radiance on skin

I really do like the original better. I just find it to be, I don’t know…pure. But these limited edition products are great for shimmer lovin’ guys and gals.

Beauty Stats:

Prices:
Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter with Radiance – $65 on Ebay.
Argan Oil Hair Serum with Radiance – $30 at Sephora.com.
Pure Argan Oil with Radiance – $48 at Sephora.com.

Steep prices? Well, yeah…but that’s typical for Josie Maran’s products. I’m excited to see her stepping outside of the box a bit with these but I think I’m a sucker for her simple products more. Whatcha think? Shimmer or no shimmer?

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.

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.

Mascara Monday: Pixi Large Lash mascara

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Yay for me reviewing Pixi for the very first time ever on Clumps of Mascara. I’ve seen this brand several times in Target stores and while I’ve always bee captivated by their pretty packaging, I never really gave the products much of a chance because they were a bit of on the expensive side. Even for a budget-friendly place like Target. But alas, here we are with Pixi Beauty!

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Price: $18 at Target stores and at Target.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Specialized, buildable formula along with oversized brush delivers extreme volume & intense colour in one sweep. Separates, lengthens, and plumps each lash for a false lash look without clumping. Smudge-proof. Water-resistant.” (source)

The Truth: I wouldn’t call it Large Lash mascara.

What I Loved About It: It’s a very natural mascara. Meaning if you prefer wispy and not so dramatic lashes, it’s a great steal.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me enough volume.

Overall: From packaging and what little research I’ve done, I like the Pixi brand. I do, however, think their prices are just a tad bit steep for the Target market and I would love to see more versatility in their foundations as they only seem to carry 3 shades. But, the brand fits the au naturale market and I ain’t mad at that. Most, if not all, of their products are cruelty-free and paraben-free and so I know that’s a big perk among many consumers. Large Lash mascara is their most recent mascara and it totes some pretty hefty claims. And a hefty wand too.

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If you know me, you already know how I feel about this wand. But I had a feeling it would be this large. After all, the tube is big AND the name of the mascara was a bit of a giveaway. I’m not a fan of the big fluffy wands unless the formula of the mascara is on the thicker side. Mascaras with thick formulas can handle these bad boys. Mascaras that aren’t as thick generally don’t help the mascara. And that was the case with this baby.

The formula was just so so. It wasn’t thick and it wasn’t thin but it wasn’t thick enough to really sit on that mascara wand. Because of that, I was unable to pick up enough of the mascara. And what I did pick up really didn’t provide much to my already short and stubby lashes. This mascara would likely be a better fit for someone who already has long lashes and just wants a tiny bit of poof to ‘em. But for ladies and gents like me who love those drag queen lashes? Yeah no. It just doesn’t make the cut.

I would have loved to see more length as well. It gave me just a little but I expected more after 3 coats. More than anything, I just saw more defined lashes which is great but it was just a subtle definition. But on a good note, despite how lightweight the mascara is, at least it held around for more than a few hours. I always feel like lightweight mascaras seep away off of my lashes for awhile but at least this one stuck around. I admire the Pixi brand and what this mascara is trying to do but it just wasn’t the best fit for my lashes.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Sure. It didn’t work for me but I know many mascara lovers can appreciate lighter mascaras like this one. It doesn’t suit my fancy but good thing for options, uh?

Have you tried any Pixi Beauty products before?

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

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.