Monday, June 29, 2020

KBShimmer Brings Back Pimp My Pride for a Limited Time

Press Sample

Happy Monday, dear readers! I can't believe that June is almost over and this is a holiday weekend! I've not had the energy to do any nail art lately, but I have been able to get my nails ready thanks to KBShimmer's Pimp My Pride!

This polish was originally released in 2013 and had been retired, but brand owner Christy Rose opted to bring it back for a limited time with their new updated packaging.

Pimp My Pride is a white based polish filled with metallic red and blue glitters. The glitters are hexagon shaped as well as thin, short bars.

This polish applies easily, although you may have to push a glitter back up onto your nails or pull them off as they can sometimes hang over the nail bed. I used three coats to reach full opacity and topped my nails off with two coats of KBShimmer's Clearly on Top Quick Dry Top Coat for a smoother finish.

This polish is only available for a limited time, so be sure to snag this beauty before it is no longer available!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Doubledown Cosmetics Branches into Skincare

Happy Friday, dear readers! I don't know about you, but I am so glad the weekend is just about here! I don't have anything special planned, but my health has been on a downward swing this week, and I am looking forward to having my husband home to help with the kids. I am exhausted, but I still wanted to get this post p this week. Let's jump in!

Gifted Samples

Earlier this year, I shared a post featuring Doubledown Cosmetics on my blog, and I am so excited to bring the brand back today! Doubledown Cosmetics has branched out into skincare with two clean beauty products to have your skin looking its best. These products are simple, but they pack quite a punch! Let's get a closer look at them!

French Green Clay and Rosewater Mask

This face mask is literally two ingredients: green clay and organic rosewater. I really love clay based masks as clay draws impurities out of your skin. The result is clearer and calmer looking skin. Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties and can calm irritated skin as well.

I don't like to dip my fingers into my skincare products if I can avoid it, and I keep a small collection of spatulas on hand for scooping. This mask does not come with its own spatula.

The texture of this mask is light and a little thin, and even at room temperature, it still feels a little cool when I apply it to my skin. Simply apply to the skin, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

I have normal to slightly oily skin, and I have been using this mask once a week. Letting it sit on the skin too long can leave your face feeling a little dry, but if you follow up with your skincare routine, it leaves the skin feeling incredibly smooth and supple.

I've not made it a secret that I'm not crazy about rose scented products, but because it contains actual rosewater instead of a synthetic fragrance, I actually really enjoy this mask! I doubt that rose will ever make its way into being my favorite scent, but I really appreciate products that incorporate actual rose ingredients. My nose can definitely tell the difference between real and synthetic, at least when it comes to roses, and my response is radically different between them!

Retail: $22.99

Organic Rose Hydrosol Spray

Doubledown Cosmetics continues to stick to their standard of using high quality ingredients with their Organic Rose Hydrosol Spray. As the name implies, this spray is made from organically grown roses. It is such a great product for your skin, and it can be used as a toner, a hydrating boost in your skincare routine, or just as a quick refresher throughout the day. Some even use it as a makeup setting spray! I'm not really sure if its effectiveness as a setting spray varies due to skin type, temperatures, combination of other skincare products with cosmetic composition, or a combination of the above, so results can vary on that. It is not quite enough for me as a setting spray with our 110˚F+ days right now, but I will have to try it when it cools down again!

This spray bottle has arguably the finest spray I have ever come across for a non-aerosol pump. It dispenses a respectable amount of product with each pump, and I really like that it is dispersed nicely rather than localizing into a small area. Because it is very dry here, I like to do a spray on each side of my face for the ultimate hydration boost!

When it comes to keeping my skin hydrated, I am a big fan of using hyaluronic acid, but HA only works effectively when there is moisture from outside the skin cells. I get that moisture by spritzing on this rose hydrosol after HA application and again periodically throughout the day if I feel my skin needs a little refresh. I never really thought I would become a rose hydrosol fan, but here I am! Even my 7 year old insists on getting a hydration boost on his face whenever he sees me grabbing for my bottle!

Retail: $25.00

Both of these products are excellent for any skincare routine. If you're having trouble deciding which one you want or if you already know you want them both, you can pick up the set as a bundle and save a little money.

Retail: $45.00

I'm enjoying my one-a-week mask routine and using the rose hydrosol daily! Which one are you most excited to try out? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend!

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Get a Summer Glow with Cuccio Bronze Shimmer Butter

Gifted Sample

Since we're all reaching for an applying (and reapplying!) our sunscreen, we're having to look into using products to help give our skin that gorgeous summery glow. I've been trying out the Cuccio Naturalé Bronze Shimmer Butter in the Dark version, and I am obsessed!

The Bronze Shimmer Butters are available in both 4oz tubes and 8oz jars. The Bronze Shimmer Butter comes in both a light and a dark option, so you can select the version that suits you the best. I have a light-medium skintone initially, but I tan like there is no tomorrow no matter how often I apply sunscreen. I like to use an spf of at least 30, but my Mediterranean skin just loves to show off a tan once the word spring is mentioned.

When I first squeezed the Bronze Shimmer Butter onto my body, I was a little afraid it would be too dark for me, but it blends out and melts into my skin perfectly. The formula is so smooth and creamy, and the mango seed oil, moringa oil, and shea butter gives your skin an ultra hydrating boost. The addition of mica leaves a stunningly beautiful glow on the skin, so you can look radiant both indoors and out!

The Dark Bronze Shimmer Butter is such a good match for my tan skin and the shimmer is gorgeous! I have no doubts this particular version would look incredible on those with darker skin. My husband is paler than me, and he begrudgingly tested this out on his skin for me. While it did blend in well and not make his skin look darker, the bronze shimmer did stick out a lot rather than looking like a healthy glow. If you are paler then me, I recommend sticking to the lighter shade.

I really enjoyed trying out the Dark Bronze Shimmer Butter by Cuccio Naturalé! It's already become a go-to product for me this season. I love that the shimmers leave a radiant glow on my skin, and I can appreciate the extra hydrating boost as well!

Have you used the Bronze Shimmer Butter or other spa body products from Cuccio? I'd love to hear about your favorites!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Love Sun Body: A Truly Safe and Natural Mineral Sunscreen

Gifted Sample

Can.....anybody.....find me.....somebody

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Friday! Does anyone else have certain songs pop in their heads when it comes to product or brand names? I keep finding myself singing this line from Queen's song every time I think of the brand Love Sun Body. Thankfully this brand also allows me to answer the question with a resounding YES! Yes, you CAN love both your body AND being out in the sun thanks to this natural mineral sunscreen!

We all know we're supposed to be wearing sunscreen every day, and we're also supposed to be reapplying it throughout the day. I was gifted a travel sized bottle of Love Sun Body's Fragrance Free SPF 30 to try out, and I really enjoy this sunscreen. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sunscreens on the market to choose from, but many use chemical filters as their active ingredients along with inactive ingredients that are hazardous to your body. When I'm applying sunscreen so often, I want to know that I am protecting myself from the sun without causing other issues because of the included chemicals! Love Sun Body sunscreens are the first and only sunscreens in the US that have been certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural and both meets and exceeds the FDA OTC Monograph System, the European Commission's recommendation on UVA protection and Health Canada Natural Health Products Regulations. This sunscreen is reef safe, so I can use it without worrying about runoff destroying my beloved oceanic ecosystems.

The first thing I noticed about this sunscreen is it is thick. It came out of the bottle without much effort, but now that I'm on the last half of the bottle, I'm starting to struggle to squeeze product out.

I split the initial line of sunscreen from above between my forearms, and it is definitely covering my skin!

Between the thick formula and it being a mineral sunscreen, this sunscreen takes some work to blend it in. I have it mostly rubbed in here, but there is still a little bit of white cast on my skin. In the grand scheme of things, it's a price to pay for wearing sunscreen and protecting my skin from the sun's harmful rays, but I did want to note I still observed it on my skin.

This is a pretty good mineral sunscreen option for those that want a healthier sunscreen! I'm not crazy about the white cast, but those with paler skintones than me likely won't notice it. I would love for Love Sun Body to release a tinted version to help combat the white cast finish. It may not be a deal breaker for me, but I am less likely to grab for sunscreen as much as I should when I know it's going to have that effect on my skin.

The other drawback to this sunscreen is the thick formula is not particularly compatible with the packaging. As I mentioned already, I have about half a bottle left, and I'm really struggling to squeeze product out at this point. I'm not sure if this issue is observed with the full sized bottles, but I can only write about what I know, and that is this travel sized bottle.

Love Sun Body sunscreens can be purchased from their website here. They are available in SPF 30 and SPF 50 options as well as with a Fragrance Free and Lightly Scented option. The lightly scented option is a combination of tiare (a gardenia like floral from Tahiti, and one of the few floral scents I like) and vanilla. The Fragrance Free version does not have added fragrance, but because one of the inactive ingredients is almond oil, my sensitive nose can still pick up a hint of almond.

Have you picked up your sunscreen yet for this summer? How are you spending your time outdoors? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Testing out 3 products by Hard Night Good Morning

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed the weekend and your week is off to a wonderful start! For today's blog post, I wanted to share a few skincare products from the brand Hard Night Good Morning and give my thoughts on them. Please keep in mind that this post reflects my opinions after my use of the products. This is extremely important for me to mention upfront. I have very mixed feeling about writing this post, and I strongly encourage you to follow along and read my final thoughts at the bottom. Ready? Let's do this!

Gifted Samples

Since washing my face is the first step in my skincare routine, I figured this would be the best product to start off this post. As I've been holding off on writing this post for many months now, this cleanser has had a packaging and name revision. The ingredients list is the same.

I personally prefer to do my exfoliating at night, especially on days when I've worn a full face of makeup, and I have used this cleanser both in the morning and at night as part of my skincare routine. It contains jojoba beads to gently exfoliate the skin and a multitude of fruit extracts to provide a lot of antioxidant goodness to your skin. It also contains witch hazel and other extracts to help soothe your skin and heal acne. I actually enjoy a lot of the ingredients in this product although I am not crazy about washing them all down the drain rather than letting them be absorbed for full skin benefits.

This cleanser has a gel formula, and it did a great job cleaning my skin without stripping it dry. While not the most expensive cleanser I have tried, I don't like watching my money wash down the drain and think there are plenty of other face washes that work just fine for a fraction of the cost. The ingredients list is quite impressive, but I want them to be staying on my face to get the full impact.

Retail: $32

There's no doubt about it, you're going to be feeling fancy any time you are using skincare products that contain gold! Gold has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it is no wonder it has found its way into skincare over the years.

That being said, these eye masks are more than just gold! They also contain hyaluronic acid, algae extract, and licorice extract, ingredients that help hydrate, soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles.

They are easy to apply to your under eye area and stayed in place for me for twenty minutes. They are a little delicate and I did manage to push a fingernail through one of them during the application process, but they were a snap to use. I can't really say I saw any real changes to my under eye area after use, although the skin did feel nicely hydrated. It takes more than a single use to see any real noticeable results.

I was provided with a single set to try out, but these are purchased in packs of 3 sets. The individual packaging for the sets is so wasteful, and I hope Hard Night Good Morning considers repacking these in the future.

Retail: $15

This is another product that has had a name change since trying out this small sample jar. This products contains a lot of good ingredients to nourish, soothe and hydrate your skin: marine algae, argan oil, collagen complex, and jojoba seed oil.

I have combination normal to slightly oily skin, and a little goes a long way on my skin. A couple dots on my face is enough to rub into my skin and feel soft all day long.

I like that this moisturizer left my skin feeling soft, and I had no issues with applying my makeup after it was fully absorbed.

Retail: $40

I would say this is a great moisturizer and one I plan to pick up a full size, but I have a BIG PROBLEM for a sample that is so small. Not included in this post is a sample size of the eye cream I was also provided to try out. I used it for a little over a week and really enjoyed it, so much so that I actually bought a full sized jar at my local Whole Foods store. The quality between the sample I was given by the brand and the full sized jar I purchased was night and day.

The full sized jar I bought was part of my purged products list to end 2019. Yes, dear readers, as much as I loved the sample enough to actively buy the product for myself, the jar was so bad I threw it away LONG before finishing it. My purchased product created a horribly burning sensation under my eyes and left the area red and puffy. I had the opportunity to speak with someone from the company on the phone, but because it was purchased from Whole Foods, one of their suppliers, and not directly from them, they simply shrugged their shoulders and said there was nothing they could do to help me. When I enquired about leaving a lot number for the jar, I was told by the company representative that those numbers were meaningless. My under eye area thankfully returned to normal within a day or two, but to say I was left with a negative lasting impression of the company is an understatement. The discrepancy in product quality between gifted blogger samples and what is available for consumers concerns me. I'll probably never know why I had such a bad reaction from the jar of eye cream after such a positive experience with my sample only a month or two prior. I can only form opinions on products based on my experiences, and given the conflicting results with what should be the exact same product and their lack of customer service, I have no choice but the stay away from the brand. If I cannot trust the quality of my gifted samples will be the same as what is available for purchase, how can I expect you to do the same? I had high expectations from the brand and I was sadly left disappointed.

Have you tried any products by Hard Night Good Morning? I'd love the hear about your experiences!

Until next time, dear readers, have a great day!

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Greetings, dear readers! I have you have been enjoying your weekend! It's a toasty one around here, but thankfully between the pool and our misters that the hubby installed this past week on our porch, it's still enjoyable outdoors.

It's been a busy week for the Beauty Spotlight Team! Several of us are taking a break from blogging for the time being for various reasons, but there are still several posts for you to check out. As always, the direct links are included with each blurb to make it easy to head over to each post. 

Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog shares the 3 Most Covet-Worthy Vanilla Body Oils that are utterly delectable.

If your hair has grown long during the stay-at-home months, you need to check out Never Say Die Beauty’s review of Ivy & Elder Willow Bark Leave-In Hair Mask, a must for silky, shiny, healthy longer hair. Plus, find out about Tree Horoscopes while you’re at it.

With so many chemicals with questionable toxicity on our cosmetics, it is no wonder that clean beauty is becoming all the rage. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour tested out the cosmetic lineup from black-owned business Lovinah Skincare and fell in love with all three products! Be sure to check out her post and fall in love with the brand yourself!

Join Erika from Notes from My Dressing Table to check out her review of the Derma-E Skin De-Stress Calming CBD Skin Care. If you’re curious about CBD in skin care and how it can benefit your complexion, this affordable line is a great way to try it out. 

Done washing your hands over and over? Beauty Info Zone doesn’t think that’s done with. Read about a hand cream that leaves your hands silky soft and one that shields hands and feet. You’ll be convinced you need them!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Lovinah Skincare Takes on Cosmetics with an Incredible First Launch!

Happy hump day, dear readers! For today's blog post, I am excited to bring you not only a black-owned beauty business, but one that is all about clean beauty as well! Let's jump in so I can fill you in on Lovinah's cosmetic line!

Gifted Samples

Last year, I stopped by the Lovinah Skincare booth while at Cosmoprof North America, and I saw a sneak peek at something entirely new from the brand: an eyeshadow palette! I found the shades breathtaking then and swooned when I did a quick swatch on my arm. Lovinah officially launched their cosmetic line with two eyeshadow palettes and an eyeliner this past fall, and I recently got my hands on all three of them. Y'all, I own more eyeshadow than I could possibly use on myself, so it says a lot when I say these palettes immediately put Lovinah on my radar when it comes to cosmetic releases and I already know I want the next one sight unseen! Vegan and cruelty-free, these are nicely pigmented and blend to such a smooth finish. Let's jump in and get a closer look at all three products!

See No Evil Liquid Eyeliner

As someone with hooded eyes, eyeliner and I aren't exactly the best of friends. It probably wouldn't be so bad if my eyes were just hooded, but they get oily fast, and while my eyeshadow seems to stay put most of the time, the same can not be said for most eyeliners. There have been a handful that have stayed put, but they are far and few in between. In spite of my misgivings with eyeliners, I was still go hung about trying out the See Not Evil Liquid Eyeliner from Lovinah. Lovinah had promised me a matte, waterproof and long-lasting eyeliner that would apply without tugging or smudging. It's a tall order for an oily hooded lid gal like myself, but I am impressed- this eyeliner can deliver!

I found I could easily control the thickness of my eyeliner by adjusting the pressure. I didn't have any excess coming out on me and turning me into one sexy af raccoon (which has happened on me with a couple liquid eyeliners). The application truly was effortless! I am also happy to report that one swipe on an area yielded perfect coverage and pigmentation so there was no need to build it up either. I'm wearing this eyeliner in both my looks coming up below, so keep reading to check it out in action!

Retail: $21

Eye Magic Palette

If you are on the hunt for your perfect every day palette, the Eye Magic Palette may be just what you are looking for! A little bit nude, a little bit metallic, and a little bit of that something extra, this is the palette I want to be taking with me whenever I start traveling again. There are enough shade options in this palette to keep me creating multiple looks that look gorgeous, and it can easily take you from more natural daytime looks to more dramatic evening looks. While the colours are certainly gorgeous, what sets this palette apart from so many others I have tried is the formula. These eyeshadows are made with East African Shea Butter (Nilotica) and squalane, making each of these eyeshadows buildable and blend with ease. The colour payout is also phenomenal so you can create a colourful look quickly without needing to build up several layers.

I really enjoyed playing with this eyeshadow palette! And how amazing is the artwork on these products!

In addition to the Nilotica and squalane, these eyeshadows utilize a high percentage of pure pigment. Not only does that account for the pigmentation, it helps to keep the shadows in place for a longer period of time. The rockhound nerd in me is also excited that the formula also includes crushed gemstones like tourmaline, sapphire and amethyst and gold metal powder. I never would have guessed you could get gemstones to be so silky smooth, but that has been my only experience with these.

I created this look in the morning, and it did not budge until I removed it as part of my pre-bed nighttime routine. It's been hot here- well into the 100s, and that has not had any affect on the longevity of this eyeshadow. The only potential drawback with this palette is that it does not include a mirror. I personally never use mirrors that are part of my palettes so that has no bearing whatsoever for me, but it is something you should know. For a great price with several quality eyeshadows, it's easy enough to make sure you have a mirror handy for your makeup application.

Retail: $45

Goddess Glow Palette

While the Eye Magic Palette is more for your day-to-day looks, the Goddess Glow Palette is perfect for those who what a more dramatic look. Made with the same Nilotica plus squalane formula, the Goddess Glow Palette packs quite a punch.

While this isn't a look I would go for on the regular, I loved it so much that I might have to make this my go-to look for date night. How fabulous is this?!?

The Goddess Glow Palette also contains crushed gemstones, specifically tourmaline and diamond powder in addition to the gold powder. Oh yes, this baby is a little bit extra with that diamond powder, and I am here for it!

Like the Eye Magic Palette, the eyeshadows in the Goddess Glow Palette apply and blend like a dream. This is the palette you're going to want for that seamless blend you'll be checking out in your mirror ALL. DAY. LONG.

When I first created my look, I wasn't quite feeling the pinky nude lipstick I had originally selected with my eye look, so I opted to tap the shade Divine from this palette onto my lips. Now THIS was more like it!

I am obsessed with the formula of these palettes, and I find that I keep wanting to grab for them again and again.

Obviously you do you, and if that means creating a more simple look with just one or two shades, go for it! I've not been going my makeup frequently with my health issues, but when I'm feeling up to wearing it, I am a QUEEN.

Retail: $45

To say that I am awestruck with Lovinah's entry into the world of cosmetics is an understatement. All three of the products performed incredibly well for me and just feel luxurious. The eyeshadow palettes are in delightfully textured cardboard packaging, and the metallic artwork is stunning. You can really tell a lot of thought went into all the facets of the eyeshadow palettes and the eyeliner, and you will not be disappointed in the quality.

These are currently the only cosmetic items from the brand, but Lovinah has given a tiny peek of another eyeshadow palette that will be launching sometime next month. I believe it was called the Desert Goddess Palette (but don't quote me on that!), and this desert-living (and loving) girl is beyond excited to see it! I've not seen any other new products coming yet, but be sure to keep your eye on their social media account so you can stay informed!

Are you a fan of clean beauty products? Have you tried any products from Lovinah, either the cosmetics or their skincare line? Which of these appeals to you the most? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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