My daughter’s middle name is Vaselina. After Vaseline Lip Therapy cocoa therapy.

Okay, I’m lyin’. Esposo would never forgive me. Although I am of the belief that if a woman has to go through the pain that is pregnancy, labor and delivery, she should be able to name her child whatever she wants to.

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But I would marry the man that thinks otherwise. Ha! Okay, sooooo basically it was getting kinda chilly here in Central Florida. I say “kinda” because to us, cold is like 60 degrees. Meanwhile, I know some of you gals have been dealing with freezing temps for a good little while or so. And this Floridian feels foolish complaining about our winter because it really isn’t a winter, ya know? But still. The colder air does a number on my skin, hands and lips. And for that reason, this mini Vaseline baby has been a staple in my cosmetic bag.

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Cute, ain’t she? Every dry skinned sista and brotha should have one of these. It just makes sense. I mean, yeah, I love balms like all beauty junkies, but there’s something nothing like Vaseline because you KNOW it’s going to work. Plus, I love how portable lil’ mama is.

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Everyone and their mama had those HUGE tubs of Vaseline back in the day so I’m lovin’ the portability of this smaller one. And it says it’s for the lips but don’t think I don’t slather this on hands as well. But because I’m cautious about germs, I usually wash my hands each time I dip the fingers in the tub. I highly recommend doing that if you have any lip products that require putting your fingers in ‘em.

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Oh! The pores on my nose say, “Hiya!” So yeah. These are cute, adorable and practical. And only $1.99. If you spy these in your drugstores, I’d load up on ‘em. Chances are you may be living in a cooler climate than me (unless you live in Caribbean, and if you do, I’m jealous) and you’ll be needing these babies.

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.

A New Mommy’s Must Have – Concealerrrrr!

When we had our babies, veteran moms would offer their unsolicited advice and say sleep when your baby sleeps. Not helpful. What we needed was a hot meal, a babysitter and a great concealer. Our new babies weren’t the only additions in our lives. Dark under-eye circles took on a life of their own. We needed a one-two punch to deal with these babies (the dark circles, not literally the baby): a corrector and a concealer. When concealer isn’t enough to lighten the under-eye area, a peach or pink corrector is useful. It counters the purple or green tone. . So in honor of Brittany, here is what we wish someone handed us with a hot casserole.

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Ivory’s Favorite: My favorite concealer is Josie Maran Argan Duo Blend Concealer in the shade, sand.

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The corrector is a pink color, which tends to work best for lighter tones. I use the corrector to fake the look of being rested. I use the concealer to even out my skin and camouflage any flaws.

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I love this because it is so creamy and hydrating. With the use of Retin-A (remember not to use this if you are a nursing mom), my skin tends to be dry. This not only helps the drying, it doesn’t highlight it. It stays put for around 6 hours and doesn’t spotlight my (mom worry) wrinkles.

Olive’s favorite: Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer are my go-to’s.

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I am amazed at the difference a corrector can make when my dark circles need more than just a concealer.

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Because I am an Olive skin tone, I use a Light Peach. Darker skin tones should choose a darker peach. I use my fingertip to lightly dab the corrector to the inner corners and underneath my eyes. The warmth from my finger allows the product to blend naturally. I then use the same method to apply the concealer in Natural. To set the concealer, I use a small fluffy brush and dust a yellow-toned powder onto the area.

One of the perks of being a mom is problem solving. Consider this one solved.

Sweet Dreams!

Kim Carroll (Ivory) and Dina Ziemian (Olive) are blogging, opposites attracting, skin tone differing, product reviewing, trend following, witty humor appreciating, makeup loving friends that decided to share our discussing with the world. Visit their blog at IvoryAndOlive.com.

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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No more dark circles thanks to Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

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Sometimes I’m a responsible blogger and do BEFORE pictures of myself on products that promise to make changes “over time” and sometimes I forget. AND, I lost the product and so I don’t even have pictures for you. *tears*

I’ve been on the Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector bandwagon for quite some time. In fact, the only reason I stopped using it is because I’ve ran out of 2nd bottle of the serum and I’m too cheap to buy another one. True story. I got all kinds of excited when I found out that they had the same product except it’s targeted specifically for the eye area. It’s not only supposed to help lighten those dark undereye circles but it’s supposed to hydrate the area too. Well cool, man.

I started seeing results around 2 weeks later. My eyes didn’t appear to be as dark. I mean, yeah…I could use concealer to cover them up, but if I can fix the problem without HAVING to use concealer, then I’d be one happy gal. And I can confidently say that the Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector did a dynamite job at helping lighten those dark circles. Why, yes, I’m pretty sure they’ll return with a newborn a comin’ in like 7 weeks or so but shoot, I’ll take the temporary relief as I can get it.

PRO’s
-Fragrance-free
-Metal nozzle feels nice and cooling on the skin
-A little goes a long way
-Doesn’t interfere with moisturizers and foundations
-Nice consistency that was sensitive-skin friendly

CON’s
-May be a bit pricey to some
-Requires regular use to be effective
-Dark circles may return if you stop using product

Price: $39.50
Where to snag: Sephora, Sephora.com and Clinique counters

I’m a believer. And I’m going to keep using this stuff. This plus my drinking like 90 oz of water a day and tryiiiiing to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night should help with dark circles, right? Right?

Do you have any issues with dark circles under your eyes? Oh…and wanna send me to Germany? Vote for me…pretty pleaeeease! Click here

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.