Review: bareMinerals READY Foundation SPF 20

As a bareMinerals fan, I was so incredibly excited when I first learned that the rumors of a solid mineral foundation were true. Don’t get me wrong—I love my original bareMinerals foundation as much as the day is long—but I think a solid version is just so much more convenient for me personally. I had wondered if this would be the same foundation as the original, only in pressed form, and as it turns out, it’s not. It’s a brand new formula with new features and benefits, so let’s explore the new READY Foundation SPF 20!

bareMinerals READY Foundation SPF 20 in Medium Beige

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Review & Swatches: Make Up For Ever Black Tango Palette

Aqua Cream devotees will likely rejoice this season with Make Up For Ever’s new Black Tango Palette. This stunning piece for fall contains four new jewel tone shades of Aqua Creams in a sleek palette, embellished with lace and inspired by the passionate art of Tango dancing. After a trip to Argentina, Make Up For Ever founder, Dany Sanz created this bold palette based all on the eyes, since Tango dancers always want their eyes visible, no matter how far away the audience may be.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Aqua Creams are pigment rich, waterproof creams, that can be used as liners or eyeshadows. (A few of the core shades have been approved for use on the lips and cheeks, too.) Combined with shimmering mother of pearl particles, Aqua Creams are luminous and incredibly long lasting shades that don’t crease or smudge. They set very quickly, and last all day (or night)! I’m already a fan of the formula, and have several shades of Aqua Creams in my personal collection, so I was very excited for this release.

Make Up For Ever Black Tango Palette

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Review: Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Exotic Body Scrub

The name says it all! I couldn’t think of a better way to describe Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Exotic Body Scrub—other than “exotic”—and it doesn’t get any better than that. The scent is a uniquely subtle citrus fragrance, the quality of the scrub is nothing short of luxurious and the way my skin felt afterwards was…amazing. I started off thinking I was just taking a shower, but I left the bathroom feeling like I had a spa experience.

The main reason this stuff is so fantastic, is the Paraguayan sugar which helps exfoliate the skin and sloughs off those lackluster dead skin cells. Grapefruit, orange, and tangerine extracts work together to purify and brighten skin. Afterwards my skin felt invigorated, dewy, and refreshed.  [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Pieces From the MAC ‘Styleseeker’ Collection

When I first received the preliminary information and images for the new MAC Styleseeker Collection several weeks ago, I thought, “Now THIS is what I call fall!” Full of warm, richly pigmented hues, Styleseeker is home to gorgeous pieces for all to embrace fall with, no matter what’s your pleasure. Like a bold eye? Check. An opaque, full color lip? Check. Eye liner in brilliant tones? Check. See what I mean?

MAC says…

M·A·C interprets a vivid fall colour collection in tones influenced by the spirit and style of a global wanderer. Translucent, buildable, Powder Blush adds glow. Eye Shadow Duos create brilliant, sultry effects punctuated with Fluidline. Classic Mattene Lipstick is revived for dramatic, dense colour that lasts for hours. Lipglass gets fresh flair in new shades, and Nail Lacquer in jewel tones and metallics extend the opulence to the tips of the fingers.

While the collection contains an assortment of four eyeshadow duos, four Fluidline shades, five Mattene Lipsticks, four Lipglass shades, three Powder Blushes, and three Nail Lacquers—I have a few key pieces to share with you. So keep in mind, that when you visit your local MAC counter, you’ll be amazed at just how much MORE there is to love for those in love with fall color!

MAC Styleseeker Collection Eyeshadow Duos in Culturalized, On The Hunt

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Review: JOICO Smooth Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner

When I write my reviews, I make it a rule to not research the MSRP for any of the products I test. I don’t want the dollar signs to sway my opinion one way or the other. However, JOICO Smooth Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner got the best of me. I was guessing it was around $30 for a 10.1 oz. bottle. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised—shocked actually!

I have thick, coarse hair that is getting pretty out of control with layers and length. It’s been a challenge all summer to keep my locks tame during this sweltering heat—it’s been a battle of the frizzies all summer and I’ve been losing desperately.

After one use of their shampoo and conditioner, I experienced a noticeable difference in the smoothness of my hair. My hair stayed down but still maintained body and bounce. After a quick check of ingredients, I would bet that’s due to the hydrolyzed keratin in the shampoo. It not only protects hair, but forms a strong, flexible shield on the hair’s surface. [Read more…]

Fab Find: Freeman Bare Foot Peppermint & Plum Heel & Callus Balm

With as neurotic as I am about my cuticles and nails, I’m equally as neurotic about my feet. Especially my heels! Often, a lotion doesn’t cut it, so I turn to thicker creams and balms to work their magic on my feet.

A fab find, Freeman’s Bare Foot Peppermint & Plum Heel & Callus Balm is a nice treat for dry and tired feet! This creamy balm smells like plums and has a slight cooling effect due to the peppermint which is a refreshing sensation. And it’s not too tingly, it’s actually just right. It also contains tea tree oil—often known for its antiseptic qualities, but I think it just adds a little bit more of a soothing factor here.

After a summer of wearing sandals, you’re going to need this to soften callused heels! And at less than $5, it’s a great beauty basic to keep your arsenal to apply before bedtime as a preventative measure.

Price & Availability…

About $4.49, drugstores,

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.

Currently Loving: mark Make It Rich Lip Color Crayons

Pigmented, pretty, and budget-friendly? That’s the name of the game here with mark’s Make It Rich Lip Color Crayons. I got my hands on these and have been a fan of their rich color and full-coverage capabilities ever since. Is it a lip gloss? Is it a lipstick? You decide! This hybrid formula stays put for me for a few hours of wear and feels creamy. Your shade selection might play a role in determining length of wear however, as Hot Sauce lasted 2 hours longer on my lips than Naturally—but I was still impressed by these!

mark Make It Rich Lip Color Crayons

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Review: It Factor Quick Blowdry Shampoo & Conditioner

I know I’ve said this on the blog before, but in this case, it bears repeating. I am a former hairstylist that absolutely loathes blow-drying her own hair. I dislike it for a few reasons—one of them being that I’m just not coordinated enough to twirl a brush in my own hair enough to make it look professionally done. The second reason—time. It takes me 15-20 minutes, of standing in my 100 degree bathroom, breaking a sweat, just to have a fresh blowout. I’ll do anything I can to get myself out of that situation! So if you tell me there’s a way around this (aside from spending $35 at Drybar), I’m all over it.

I’ll admit, I had my doubts about this—but enter It Factor Quick Blowdry Shampoo & Conditioner. It Factor promises that by using their shampoo and conditioner in tandem, you will cut your blow-dry time by up to 50%. So maybe it wouldn’t solve my dexterity problems, but it would solve my timing problems, and I gave it a go. And you know what? It worked like MAGIC. My 15-20 minutes was cut to eight minutes. Less time holding a blow-dryer up to my head and sweating in my bathroom? Sold. (In full-disclosure, I have fine hair, so your time may be longer depending on texture!)  [Read more…]

Review: Dove Clear Tone Antiperspirant & Deodorant

I’m not trying to brag here, but I’m a really good resource when it comes to testing deodorant.  Between teaching Zumba classes several times a week, running around the house chasing my son and working in a high-pressure job…well that is the perfect combination for somebody who needs an effective deodorant like Dove Clear Tone Antiperspirant & Deodorant. Hence, I’ve got the perfect pits for the task.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Dove deodorant line so I was very excited to try this product, especially because it promised to help diminish uneven skin tone—in other words getting rid of those pesky red or dark marks under your arms caused by lack of moisture.  [Read more…]