Tried and True Beauty Finds

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Today I want to showcase the tried and true beauty items that I’ve found to work consistently and can therefore highly recommend!

FACE

Big Girl Cosmetics Dual Foundation in #45 – I’ve used this foundation all summer because it’s light enough to not make me sweat or feel bogged down like liquid foundation during these HIGH temperatures, yet provides good coverage for my dark spots/skin imperfections.  Generally I use it dry straight out of the compact, but you can wet an applicator and apply it like that for a more dewy look, hence why it’s a “dual” foundation.   It comes in a wide variety of shades so check them out.

Covergirl Lash Blast – I’ve tried a bajillion mascaras out, from Dior Show to Rimmel Bold Curves and many more in between, but I have settled on loving Lash Blast.  When I first started using it, I was underwhelmed, but I noticed the amazing lashes that my best friend had and she swore by Lash Blast.  I’ve figured out to just keep applying and the lashes will POP.  I love the brush, that was a selling point because I feel that it separates the lashes so that they don’t clump.

Make Up For Ever Lipstick – I can not sing the praises of their lipsticks enough!  The Blue Red 205 color is one of my favorites ever because it is a rich red that makes your teeth look whiter with the blue undertones (doesn’t look blue on, it’s just a more rich red than say an orange red).  I’ve just ordered more of their lipstick and know that I will love that too!  It’s highly pigmented, smooth and creamy, long lasting….can’t ask for more than that!

Big Girl Cosmetics Diva Gloss – I love these because they don’t need chap stick or something under them because they are made with vitamins A and E for moisture.  They also don’t give that nasty looking gloopy string between the lips while talking, HATE that!  My favorite color is the Bling Diva, Diva’s Peach is fun too.  All of the colors can be sheer with a touch of color or build up for more color.  Good for everyday type looks to school or the office.

BODY

Naturally Victoria’s Secret body polish – I love the smell of this product and it leaves my skin silky smooth and soft!  When I wash my hair, while I’m letting the conditioner soak in, I’ll do a body polish and the results are fabulous.

Sabon Body Oil in “Musk” – I love to spray an oil on after a hot shower, letting it sink into my skin and making it touchably lush.  Well this is the oil for the job!  It has a sexy warm scent, feels good, smells good, win win win!  The bottles look like they belong on Marilyn Monroe’s vanity or something, so chic!

Musk Body Oil

Big Girl Cosmetics Ginger Almond Body Butter – If you can’t tell, I like reallllly silky skin!  This body butter is my favorite because it smooths on easily, leaves me smelling DELICIOUS, and has everyone rubbing on my arms, lol.  If you don’t mind being accosted by all of your friends, then I’d suggest slathering this on, especially since fall is coming and the skin tends to be dryer in colder months.

There ya have it folks, some of my faaaavorite beauty items!!  What are some of yours?

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New “Be Featured” Opportunities

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I am now doing features/showcases on this blog to highlight other bloggers, entrepreneurs, beauty gurus, fashion mavens, etc.  What do you think about that, sound interesting?  I figure that it should be a fun way to get to know about people that you may otherwise not have known about.

So here’s how it shall go: email contact – socialitedreams@gmail.com

-Makeup, fashion, hair, beauty bloggers feel free to contact me if you’d like to be featured!  I’ll send back a questionnaire and information to go from there.

-Companies with products to have reviewed or featured on the blog need to email me for my contact details so that items can be sent.  Also, please forward along information about your company.

-I’m not leaving out the normal readers who don’t have a blog!  Have an awesome makeup look that you want to show off?  Great hair day that needs to be seen?  Fashion look that is oh so haute?  Hit me up with photos, what products were used, and maybe a tutorial of the cool look that you want to display!

So that’s that, feel free to email me at socialitedreams@gmail.com and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Bourgie Buys

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So in a previous post you guys commented and tweeted about your favorite low-cost yet effective drugstore finds.  This time around, with noses in the air, let’s get bourgie!  By that I mean, what are your snobby must have purchases, the designer skincare/makeup/hair products that you REFUSE to deviate to a lower cost item for?

For me, it’s perfumes.  I may have a body splash every now and again from Bath and Body Works, but best believe that the perfume game is on and proper 🙂  When I’m feeling happy and the sun is shining, I’ll break out with DKNY Red Delicious (smells of ripe sweet red apples, as you’d imagine by looking at it) or maybe Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue (clean fragrance with a touch of tartness). To exude quiet sophistication and femininity, I adore Prada Infusion d’Iris (a soft, light floral that begs to be worn on Park Avenue as a lady who lunches).   For pure sex appeal and feeling undeniably ravishing, I am a fiend for Dior Addict, truly addicted.  I was hipped to that scent by my girl JayBendy and have been hooked since first sniff.  Those are a couple of the many perfumes loitering my vanity.

So do tell, what are your snobby buys?  What MUST be designer, must be high end, MUST be top notch?  OR what are some high end items that you are just dying to have?  We’re waiting to hear, darling.

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Shockingly Good Drugstore Finds

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What product have you found for cheap in the drugstore that you are just shocked about how great it works? A long wear lipstick, amazing foundation, perfect shampoo….What low cost item just BLOWS your mind?

I have to say that I am in LOVE with V05 conditioner, that would be my holy grail drugstore purchase. Will you believe that it is only $.79??? 79 CENT ya’ll!! And NO other conditioner makes my curls as defined or so easily able to be detangled.  Another drugstore find that I adore is Covergirl Lash Blast. Good price and makes the lashes pop in girly beauty!  My last ultimate find is the Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat.  For around $5, it makes my nails dry in about a minute and provides pretty shine!  Can’t beat that.

Cover Girl 805 Lash Blast .44 OzProduct Image

We all have our designer makeup obsessions, spa grade skincare loves, and expensive organic haircare buys, but right now it’s time to give a little nod to the drugstore faves….LET’S HEAR IT! Dish dish dish, share your low cost secrets 😀

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African Black Soap

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Dear readers, I have discovered the magnificent powers of African Black Soap!  This wonderful product is often created in Ghana and contains plantain skins (rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin E), palm oil, roasted cocoa pods, shea butter, and water.

Although called African BLACK soap, the authentic good stuff should be beige and brown with flecks of black in it, not actually a bar of black soap.  If you are using the bars of black African Black Soap, then you are using a commercially manufactured variety that is loaded with dyes.  I wouldn’t suggest that one, try switching to the truly made in Ghana authentic variety for the true effects to kick in.  This soap is said to aid in healing acne, oily skin, eczema, and psoriasis.  I have been using it for a week and a half and already my skin is 90% bump free.  Also gets rid of makeup on my face and suds up like no ones business.  Feel so fresh and so clean after!

I am loving it!  It comes in a large bar that I slice smaller sections of soap from and I purchased from Butters-n-Bars.  Amazingly good deal at $3.99 for a bar that will last for months since I cut off individual servings of it.  In addition to the bar of soap, I also purchased their body wash, which comes in a variety of fragrances such as mango peach (the one that I have), baby powder, white tea and ginger, honey almond, and more!  Seriously, check out their body washes as well.

My skin is known for being quite wonky, so anything that helps to eleviate any of its issues is GREAT by me!  I know that many of you have sensitive skin, so don’t hesitate to give it a go.  There are many places to purchase it, but I stand by the quality of the one that I received from Butters-n-Bars, so it is the company that I would recommend as it is the brand that I have actually tried 🙂  Here’s to healthy beautiful skin!

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Updates and Reviews

Starting Weight: 186

Now Weight: 184

I have a gym setup in my house that includes weights, an elliptical, an ab lounger, fitness quality jump rope, and dvds such as hip hop abs and celebrity bootcamp, so those will be the main things that I utilize for workouts and mention on the blog.  Since dedicating to getting healthier on Saturday, I used the elliptical for 30 mins and the ab lounger for many repetitions , all while watching Law & Order to distract me from the fact that I was doing a dreaded workout 😛  I find that music is cool to work out to, but watching tv DEFINITELY makes the time go by much more quickly.  Which do you prefer, music, television, reading, silent meditation,  etc while working out?

A good resource that I’ve come across for tracking your progress while losing weight, getting healthy  is the website http://sparkpeople.com/ It tracks calories, progress, fitness, and gives good tips so I would highly recommend it.  Just remember to keep it updated!

On to beauty and hair product reviews 😀  I know that’s what you want!

Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme - Hand Cream - Burt's Bees

I have found the key to satiny soft hands!   Burt’s Bees Almond Milk beeswax hand creme is pure heaven because it smells good, feels like lush creamy goodness, AND garners awesome results.  My hands take a beating in the winter because of the harsh cold winds of Chicago, so it’s nice to pamper them with something that leaves the skin feeling healthy and moisturized.  Wish that I’d had this for the winter!  A+ for this product all of the way.  I purchased mine while at the Cracker Barrel waiting to eat, but it can be found online or anywhere that Burt’s Bee’s products are sold such as Walgreens.

Since my hands are looking and feeling so much better, I’ve been on QUITE the nail polish kick, changing the color practically every other day.  Part of that changing so often is because of my general restlessness with one look, but another is the annoying fact that so many polishes chip if you happen to even LOOK at your nails the wrong way.  So annoying, right ladies?  Well, Sally Hansen has created a godsend for those of us who may want a nail look to last for more than half an hour.  Their new Complete Salon Manicure really does have the effect of a base coat, rich polish, and top coat in one.  This stuff LASTS!  So far I’ve purchased in Choco-latte and Hidden Treasure.  Hidden Treasure is fun because it’s clear with flecks of grey, pink, gold depending on how you look at it and works wonders when used as a top coat over something else.  When I went to Jamaica last week, I put on a cream colored base coat with Hidden Treasure on top and it lasted the whole trip of 4 days and beach fun.   Definite A+ on this line of products as well and I WILL be getting many more of the colors which can be seen here: http://www.sallyhansen.com/product.cfm?product=385

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish, Choco-Latte

Remember when I posted about starting to take biotin to help my hair continue to grow?  Well dear readers, I am one of those people who had the unfortunate side effect that they say can happen, which is broken out skin 😦  I’ve curtailed my usage of the supplement because it has caused a massive slew of bumps along my jawline and on my cheeks.  NOT a good look, especially when my hair has been healthy anyway and not really needing the extra help.   So I just wanted to give the update that Biotin is not the route for me, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you because different bodies react differently to it 🙂

Now about this huge head of hair I am growing.  My beloved Qhemet’s Amla and Olive heavy cream is running low, so of course I had to go to the health foods store and replace it.  While there, I happened to notice Qhemet’s Olive and Honey Hair Balm and a light bulb went off.  I’d spoken “here” about wanting to incorporate honey into my summer program because honey is a humectant and therefore takes moisture from the air and imparts it into the hair!  So when I saw that, I bypassed the heavy cream which may be a bit much for the summer humidity and grabbed up the olive/honey balm.   Can I just say, this stuff is divine?  PARTY time, I LOVE Qhemet’s 😀  Hair is soft and pretty and smells nice.  So far I’ve just added some to dry hair that was in an old twist out, but when I was my hair tomorrow, I will use it out of the shower for a wash and go and see how that works and to do some two strand twists.  I have high hopes on it’s moisture potential!  😀

hair hero: Singer Nneka (Check her out here: LOVE this song – Heartbeat)

Bathing Beauty

This evening was to be a nice night of luxurious relaxation because I wanted to go for a spa feel since I had a batch of new products to try out.  I know I know, WHY do I have new products you may ask…..well…..I’m a beauty-holic, okay?  There, I said it, leave me alone!  😛

Victoria’s Secret was having a good sale on their new Naturally Victoria’s Secret line and I just had to check it out.  Not to mention I was carrying around a “get $10 off your purchase” card and the products were already buy 2 get 1 free so realllly, how could I pass that up? Check out their site because MANY things are on sale: http://www.victoriassecret.com/

The Naturally Victoria’s Secret line consists of body polish scrubs, lotions, fragrance mists, and body washes in the following scents:

-Goji Berry and Mango

-Hibiscus and Yumberry

-Acai Berry and Magnolia

-Vanilla and Sandalwood

-Grapefruit, Lime, and Mint

-Violet and Jasmine

-Honeysuckle and White Patchouli

I chose the grapefruit/lime/mint body polish, goji berry/mango body lotion, and the acai berry/magnolia body lotion.  Here are my reviews:

This body polish smells DIVINE!  It’s invigorating alright, perked me right on up.  I’m a sucker for citrus and this smells so fresh and lovely, quite clean.  Worth it for the smell alone, but WOW the effects of it.  I used it in a hot shower and skin turned to silk!  It turns into a white thin cream when rubbed vigorously into the skin and slips and slides over the body.  Wonderfully luxe!  It makes you feel smooth and pampered 🙂

The lotions are a bit more runny than I would like.  Rich and creamy is more my thing, so body butters for the collection would be really nice, but the thinner consistency is okay since it’s summer time and not winter.  If it were winter, this girl’s skin would LAUGH in the face of this lotion.  They have a light delicious smell and are a delight to put on because of the quick absorption.  Skin still feels soft and ripe for the caressing  😉

I would give the line an A-, only because I wish that there were body creams.  Hope that you enjoy the line as well!  Check them out

Chicago Natural Hair Meetup Part 2

Saturday May 15th from 11am – 2pm there will be another natural hair meetup in Chicago at The Little Black Pearl, hosted by Leila of http://bglhonline.com/ again!!  I can’t wait to see my fellow naturals 🙂  If you read my previous post about the first meetup, you guys know that it was a good time and I hope that anyone in the Chicago area will come to join us to share hair care info, beauty products, hair products and much more 🙂  Check us out!

I’ll be there selling wonderful products by www.biggirlcosmetics.com such as diva gloss, mineral eye shadows, body butter and more 😀  The owner is a fellow Chicago natural sporting gorgeous Locs, so we have to support our peeps!  Bree of http://www.shopboutiqueunique.com/ will also be in attendance and she always has fly jewelry, so have those wallets ready for everything!  I’m sure there’ll be goodies all around.

Skincare/Hair Products Reviews

As promised in my previous skincare posting, I am now updating with reviews of the products used.  For the most part, I am quite happy would recommend the products, but there were some blips and changes to a couple.

Kiss My Face brand citrus cleanser:

This cleanser is mild and wonderful, not much of a smell surprisingly.  I thought that it would have a strong citrus aroma (which I’d love, since I like citrus) but it’s soft and creamy without being overbearing.  Honestly, while using it, can’t smell at all and only can if I shove my face into the container.  The skin is not at all left feeling stripped or dry, in fact, VELVETY is the way that I would describe my skin afterwards.  Plush and supple skin is wonderful to have, wouldn’t you say?  I give this product an A+ I have normal to dry skin, so it works well and according to this review, it even works wonderfully for oily skin types!  Because of the wonderful experience with the face cleanser, I would quite like to try out the citrus lavender moisturizer

Invigorating Face Wash by Himalaya

This face wash has the texture of most body washes, gel type with a pick-me-up scent so it is quite invigorating!  I like it for the morning because the scent wakes me up and this too doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped.  The cinnamon is the main scent and is quite pleasant.  I give this product an A as well.  Clean skin that isn’t left dry or irritated!

Sea Tonic Toner with Rosewater and Aloe

Zia toner is pleasant, I spray onto a cotton ball and use it after either cleanser.  Skin is balanced and I can’t complain.  I also have some Skinceuticals dry skin formula, which also works well for me.  Toner can be left out of the regimen, I just happened to see the normal/dry skin formula and picked some up, but it’s really just like refreshment that isn’t necessary so don’t feel that it’s required.

Burt’s Bees acne solutions spot treatment

I give this product an F.  The scent is VERY overpowering, smells like black licorice and pine sol or something!  NOT what I want to put on the face, but then I said fine, I’ll choke a little bit if it can clear up my face.  Turns out the complete opposite happened, it broke me out and I’m not sure from which ingredient but perhaps salicylic acid and I don’t agree??  Even if I were perfectly fine with salicylic acid, the smell is bad enough and strong enough to get a huge veto.  I returned it because I wasn’t liking any bits of it.  F-

So instead, I went to buy Neutrogena on the spot Acne vanishing cream with benzoyl peroxide and that stuff is wonderful!  It doesn’t smell at all let alone overpoweringly so, is a nice cream that doesn’t feel harsh, and best of all is clearing up acne so I give this product an A+ Some products can make the skin feel tight and dry when it’s doing it’s work, but this doesn’t have that effect and I am GRATEFUL.  It promises maximum strength effectiveness while being gentle and it lives up to this claim.  Every time that I wash my face/tone,  I add some of this afterwards and before moisturizing, also sometimes if I am just sitting at home during the day.

So far it has been a week of this regimen and the only blip was the awful experience for 3 days with the Burt’s Bees.  I tried to give it a chance, thinking that maybe it gets worse before it gets better, but it ADDED acne, irritated my skin, BURNED on application, and nearly knocked out my sense of scent along with causing coughing fits.  The only thing that I feel is missing from the program is something that fades dark spots because I have many from past acne.  The products I am using now will perhaps keep the skin clear and smooth, but what about the hyperpigmentation NOW?  I need to find something amazing for that, that works for brown girls, and that doesn’t cost my first born child.

Now on to hair.  I experimented a bit this week with products, adding honey to my line-up as a pre-poo treatment before I shampoo’d with my new Trader Joes Tingle Tree Shampoo.

What is a pre-poo treatment, you may ask and it’s a valid question.  Pre-poo’ing is the process of using oils or other nourishing ingredients to deep condition the hair before washing with shampoo, which can sometimes strip the hair. Using a pre-poo imparts extra moisture and protects strands.  My pre-poo was a mixture of honey, coconut oil, and olive oil which I then let saturate under a heat cap for 40 minutes.  Upon removing the cap, I was mortified, lol!  The hair was sticky and hard with honey so I was terrified that I’d used too much and that it would have an effect like when someone gets gum stuck in the hair, so I thought that I’d ruined everything.  I hurried and hopped into the shower and you can not even imagine my relief when the water hit it and the hair became soft and manageable!  So don’t feel scared or worried if after conditioning with the honey that the hair SEEMS to be a hot sticky mess, because really it worked well.  I’d been warned that shampooing with the tingle tree could leave the hair feeling stripped and dry, but once the honey mask mixture was applied it protected the hair and there was no overly dry/stripped feeling!  Bravo 🙂  Generally, I cowash my hair which is washing with conditioner instead of shampoo because it is so moisturizing and can clean also if the scalp is paid attention to, but sometimes I like to shampoo with a mild, natural shampoo just to be sure that my scalp doesn’t develop scabs or sores from product build-up.

Skin Program Begins

In my previous post I talked about my desire for beautiful skin and the fact that I need to research into getting a glowing, healthy, even complexion.  Well readers, I went to the health store where I purchased all of my wonderful hair care items and stocked up on a new set of products aimed at completing that goal.  As I am apt to do, I spent the weekend looking into reviews and products, finding out the characteristics of my skin type, delving into knowledge about what products can aid hyperpigmentation for brown skin, and what ingredients to look for/be weary of.  Apparently lemon and lime oils can help with the fighting of dark spots, so I purchased a Kiss My Face brand citrus cleanser:

It has a very thick, rich appearance, like whipped cake frosting and smells mild and good.  Lemon, lime, and olive type of a fragrance, not at all unpleasant.  I will put a dollop of that on my clarisonic brush and use it with the hopes that it can brighten my complexion’s impurities.

Next up is the Invigorating Face Wash by Himalaya.  This wash made of cinnamon, lemon, and honey is more of a gel consistency with flecks of gold through it.  I plan to use one in the morning and other wash in the evening, haven’t decided on an order yet.  The scent is rather invigorating, I’d say….sort of cinnamon and mint I suppose I’d rate the fragrance as.

Post washing I will apply Burt’s Bees acne solutions spot treatment for any active acne that is present on my face.   It’s a liquid with a strong citrus slightly floral smell.  Not unpleasant, but sort of home cleanser like.

Last but not least, I have a Daily Essence 100% vegan Facial Moisturizer.  It’s just a basic moisturizer, creamy with jojoba oil and aloe vera.  Smells like most lotions such as Ponds, nothing stand out or bad.

Will review all of these products after I use them and keep you abreast of any progress!  Happy skin days ahead, hopefully

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