Winter Proof Skin

[tweetmeme source=”socialitedreams” only_single=false]

Sunday I decided to go to Sephora and browse around a bit with the intent to purchase some skincare goods. Even with my holy grail items such as the Big Girl Cosmetics Ginger Almond Body Butter, I am a product junkie through and through, always on a mission to add more to my stash. I hope that I never end up on that show hoarders with all of the beauty products I have! Wouldn’t that be a sight? “Woman found mummified in her home filled to the brink with Lancome, Kinky Curly, Nars, and Urban Decay (no pun intended, har har). Story at 9.”

With fall and then winter approaching, why not weather proof my skin?  First on the list was Carol’s Daughter Body Jelly.  After a long warm shower, I rubbed this on and mmph mmph mmph, I am loving the way that my skin feels!  I can tell that this body jelly will do wonders against flaky dry skin in the harsher cold months, so it is a worthy buy for those who suffer from that!  The ingredients are natural, such as Sweet Almond, Soy, and Jojoba Oils for smooth, glowing skin.

For the face, I was drawn to the Korres line of moisturizers.  I went in with the intention of getting the Yogurt Moisturizer and found myself drawn to the Thyme Honey Moisturizer instead because it said “real Thyme Honey acts as a hydro-regulating agent, ensuring optimal hydration levels all day” so that made sense for a cold weather approach!  I used it last night after washing my face with the African Black Soap and this stuff is AMAZING!!  With a tiny pea size, it covered my whole face, making it hydrated for 24 hours!  Smooth, soft, moisturized skin. I am in HEAVEN and can’t recommend that as a face cream enough 🙂

What’s your colder weather skincare routine?   Of course, it’s not winter YET (can’t believe it’s going to be fall soon) but a girl can never be too prepared!  Have to give our skin a fight chance, don’t you say?

bloglovin

Tried and True Beauty Finds

[tweetmeme source=”socialitedreams” only_single=false]

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?

bloglovin

Bourgie Buys

[tweetmeme source=”socialitedreams” only_single=false]

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.

bloglovin

African Black Soap

[tweetmeme source=”socialitedreams” only_single=false]

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!

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to Twitter

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

On the Quest for Perfect Skin

One thing that I’ve never had in my life is beautiful, smooth, clear skin.  There is always some type of bump or dark spot(or 20, really) marring my skin, making it a necessity to wear foundation if I want to at all appear attractive.  My skin type is pretty dry in the Winter (more like extremely sand paper cracking dry) and normal in the summer.   I just took photos so that I could keep track of my progress on this “new” quest and had to fight with myself about posting them because, honestly, who likes to put themselves out there looking like crap?  Alas, I decided that I may as well because can’t have before and after progress with no before, right? They will be posted below.

As for this “new” quest, it is simply renewed vigor on finding a holy grail system that makes me radiant and doesn’t cost a billion dollars a year to maintain.  The past couple of months I have had amazing growth and health with my hair since paying it the adequate attention and researching instead of just throwing any old thing into it, so why shouldn’t I treat my skin the same way?  My hair has thrived because I actually read labels now, making sure that I can pronounce and KNOW what most of the ingredients of a product are.  Coconut oil? Check.  Olive oil?  Check.  Marshmallow Root?  Check and etc etc.  Now if I could make my hair lush by being diligent in its care and well being, seeking out the right products, why shouldn’t I have the same be true of my skin?

Hair is thriving! Wish my skin was!

I’ve used pretty much everything in the drugstore, proactiv and a couple of brands from Sephora, but nothing has given me that POW, that dance of triumph over my skin being blemish/hyperpigmentation free and smooth.  So now I will be on a mission, thoroughly vetting products, reviewing them here, overall being DILIGENT!  I am armed with my Clarisonic face brush and now just need a go-to cleanser/moisturizer/spot corrector that will meet my goals.  So I challenge any of you skincare mavens out there, tell me your best product recommendations.  Skincare/beauty lines, take your best shot!  This will be quite a journey with in-depth commentary along the way.  Hopefully it helps lots of others conquer their “bad” skin, so that covering with mounds of foundation and concealer isn’t the only option. I thought that acne would be a thing for my teenage years, get it over with, and voila, beautiful adult skin.  Now at 23, almost 24, I still have the shoddy skin but I guess it goes along with the fact that I look all of 14 on any given day anyway!

Today I sat and researched many products, reading pages of reviews and garnering a couple of suggestions.  Laura from So Far, So Chic was kind enough to point me in the direction of Mir Cosmetics and Liz Earle skincare products.

Mir comes across as a well researched line and the website gives an in-depth guide to skin maintenance.  My only concerns with them is that the listing of “ingredients to avoid in cosmetics” and the rest of their info seems to be such a hard sell of “Use our products or be DOOMED!!!!! Everything else will annihilate your skin, because it’s full of eeeeevil ingredients.”  I mean, I understand that of course you want your products to stand out and be the go-to for people, but holy scare tactics batman!  And then there’s the price.  They are a U.K. company, so the prices are already in pounds which is more than the dollar, then there’s shipping to factor in, which they base on a per item basis.  I would be interested in testing out trial kit, which costs 14 pounds (so roughly $25 or so?) with 7 pound shipping (maybe $12 shipping? I hate converting, lol) which is doable somewhat, but say that I love the line?  The kit of all the products is a whooping 103.50 pounds, so about $220 something with shipping and tax!  I wouldn’t even WANT to love the products at that price because there’s no way I’d be able to upkeep it.  😦  Anyone used the Mir line by Gisele Mir?  Would love to hear your thoughts!

The other line, Liz Earle, started in the U.K. as well, but has a US presence so the shipping and prices will be in a format that I can easily handle.   Her line includes a cleanse and polish cleanser that includes a muslin towel for proper cleaning, a skin boost tonic for toning, and a variety of moisturizers.  At the moment, I am contemplating buying her essentials try me kit, in order to become acquainted with the line for $39.  If I fall in love with that company, like I hope that I will, then at least the full sized kit of essentials is $73.  Not dirt cheap, but not $200+!!!!  Used any Liz Earle products?  Please dish!

A lot of the natural hair chicas that I’ve talked to enjoy using black soap for their face and have noticed good results, so that too may be tested!

So those are my top considerations at the moment.  Liz Earle will be at the top of my list to try, and then if that isn’t my HG product line, I will scour Sephora for more options, such as DDF. Hopefully I don’t melt my face off through this process and I look forward to sharing the results with you all!   Bon voyage, we are embarking on a journey to pretty!

Products and more products

Stopped at Walgreens on the way home last night and wouldn’t you know it, the Organix conditioner that everyone has been raving about was on sale, buy one, get one free!  So I got the Coconut that was at the of the people’s list, and tried the shea butter one as well.  Both have things like yogurt, avocado, egg white proteins, yada yada yum yum.   I’ll use it to cowash I suppose and follow up with my tea tree cholesterol.  I still need to get a good deep conditioner and the aubrey organics protein conditioner for sporadic use.  Once these kinky twists come out, I’ll post reviews of things and develop a routine.  Until then, I just use my lavender gel no water shampoo and my frank juice.

Also got Ambi even and clear to use with my Clarisonic brush and some Nadinola.  Used them last nite and I liked it, no weird dryness and stuff that other people had complained about, so let’s see if it actually WORKS and I’ll be a happy girl with great skin 😀

hair hero: Tempestt Bledsoe

%d bloggers like this: