Find Your Lip Magic With New Maybelline Color Elixir

I don’t know about you, but my personality can change at the switch of a lip. I received product to try for review purposes from Maybelline’s newest lippie out from the Color Elixir collection. Let me share the greatness! 

The new Color Elixir line by Color Sensational features 20 high-shine, super saturated gloss shades that give the color of a lipstick yet a feeling of a moisturizing lip balm. The applicator is easy to work with and best of all, it doesn’t leave a sticky residue rim along the inside of your lips. Don’t you hate that?

(L to R: (020) Signature Scarlet, (075) Fuchsia Flourish, and (030) Raspberry Rhapsody)

It’s funny because a new lip color can bring out different personalities in each of us. Red can make you feel sultry, pink can make you feel fun and flirty, nude can bring out your sensual side, and a deep purple can make you feel powerful and in charge. 

Lip colors are easily the finishing touch to complete an outfit before you head out for the day or night. It speaks to others and gives off a message as to how you feel at that particular moment. 

Signature Scarlet made me feel sultry and sexy…

Fuchsia Flourish brought out my flirty side, making me feel a bit vulnerable…

And Raspberry Rhapsody had me feeling just plain silly and fun!

The Color Elixir glosses retail for $8.99 each. You can check out all of the shades here

What personalities do your lip colors bring out of you?

*This post was sponsored by Refinery29, however all thoughts and reviews are original, honest, and my own.* #MyLipMagic

Review: Murad’s New Pore Reform Line (For Oily Skin)

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It’s official, I love Murad products and Murad products love me. The Summer season is over (le sigh), which means brisk breezy weather is on the horizon. Just like you adjust your clothes to fit the season, you should do the same when it comes to your skin care products. 

If one of your skin care concerns is dealing with large pores or oily skin, then I just might have the solution for you.

Murad just released it’s new Pore Reform line, which is,

a targeted skin care system with scientifically advanced products formulated to physically reduce the size of pores and combat the appearance of blackheads.

Let’s dive in!

Daily Cleansing Foam: $28

This is a dual action cleanser that cleanses and tones at the same time. I like to use it in the morning because it’s light and fresh. It also removes any dirt or oil that may have been left over from the night before when removing my makeup.

Clarifying Toner: $22

Now this isn’t included in the Pore Reform line, but it’s still a great toner! I miss more makeup than I think even after removing it with a makeup wipe, and cleansing after. This toner tingles a little (which I love because it makes me feel like it working lol), and controls an oily t-zone and shine for ladies with oily/combo skin. I’m not too keen on the smell, but it gets the job done for sure. 

T-Zone Pore Refining Serum : $42

This serum helps normalize oil production so skin looks and feels soft, not slick. The glycolic and salicylic acids encourage cell turnover for a refined complexion. After using the Cleansing Foam, you follow up with this t-zone serum prior to applying your moisturizer. Be sure to wait a couple of minutes before you moisturize, to really allow to serum to penetrate the skin for optimum results. 

Blackhead Remover & Pore Refining Sealer Duo: $49.50

This two-step treatment helps reduce blackheads and seals pores for the ultimate protection against pore clogging impurities. 

When I say AMAZING … I mean AMAZING! I have blackheads around my nose in those annoying little crevices that makeup can get stuck in. After I used this, just on my t-zone (nose, around my nose, forehead, and chin), and followed up with Pore Refining Sealer, my blackheads were noticeably smaller! The consistency is like a thick paste. I loved it!

Balancing Moisturizer with SPF 15 : $35

Y’all know how I feel about my moisturizers … they MUST have sunscreen in them because I don’t like two steps. I love this moisturizer because it is lightweight and also helps control oil production while delivering powerful antioxidant protection. Use this moisturizer as your last step and you are set to move on to your makeup … or just a clean, fresh face. 

I am definitely on the right track to controlling my combo/oily skin! I’ve already noticed results in the smoothness of my skin and I’ve been using these products consistently for about two weeks now. 

You can pick up the Murad Pore Reform line at Sephora, Ulta, and Murad.com.

Review: Nad’s Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips

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This is bound to be one of those “TMI” posts, so let’s get cozy together shall we?

Summertime equals poolside weekends and swimsuit destinations, making proper body grooming of the utmost importance! 

I was really excited to receive the Nad’s Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips because I’ve never attempted to wax myself at home lol. I usually prefer to take the professional route and visit the salon to let the pros handle everything. But heck, I’m a beauty blogger and part of my job is to test out what’s on the shelves and share with you ladies. So here it goes!

These Nad’s wax strips are created for sensitive areas of the body. The ingredients included a gentle formula containing honey and chamomile with a new and improved soft fabric technology. 

Let’s look at what’s inside the box!

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-There are two different strip sizes that total up to 24 strips.
-14 underarm (7 double sided)
-10 bikini (5 double sided)
-Plus x2 Nad’s Post Wax Calming Oil Wipes
-Plus 15g (0.53oz) Nad’s Moisture+Soothing Body Balm for after hair removal.

The Test: 

The directions instructed me to test out an area of wax on my legs first since I was an unexperienced waxer. But because I convinced myself that I’m a G and I don’t need practice, I went straight for the underarm area.

I thoroughly cleaned the area and made sure there was no left over lotion or deodorant residue, then proceeded to let the area dry.

You’re supposed to take one of the wax strips and rub it together between your palms to get the wax on the strip warm and ready for use. After warming it up, I peeled the strip apart and placed in on my underarm while rubbing it gently into my skin three or four times. 

I pulled my skin taught, then YANK! 

Now let’s fast forward…

The Review:

I love how the kit is easy to use, has simple instructions, and comes with the oil wipes and moisture balm to relieve pain. Because boy did I need it!

Did it hurt? Yes! My pain tolerance is very low. But I think either my underarm hair was too coarse for the strips to pull out or I didn’t pull hard enough because I was anticipating it. I just didn’t have very good luck with many hairs being removed. Someone with finer hair strands would have better luck with their underarms. 

Now on to the bikini area. I repeated the instructions above and had more success on my bikini line than my underarms. The thiner strips were useful for just the bikini area, but if you want a little more hair removed, then the bigger strips would be best. I liked that the strips were reusable up until the wax no longer stuck (I used one wax strip 2-3 times before it didn’t stick anymore).

Overall I would definitely say that the strips work, but they are not for me. I probably won’t attempt to wax my bikini area on my own again. I didn’t pull hard enough which caused me to have to wax the area again. Let’s just say it was uncomfortable. But thank goodness for the calming balm, because without that my skin would have been extremely irritated.

For you ladies who have a moderate to high pain tolerance and want to save a little money from going to the salon, I say go for it! It just personally wasn’t for me.

Price tag: $7-$8 for the kit available at Walgreens

Totally worth a try for that price.

Have any of you ladies ever tried the Nad’s Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips? What was your experience like? Did you get the results you were looking for?

Product Review: Murad Environmental Shield Line

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Skin care, skin care, oh how I love thee. I have a nice little Murad collection building up in my bathroom, so what’s the harm of adding three more to the mix?

It seems as though it’s the dead of the Summer for everyone. The heat waves are for real out in these streets! That’s why Murad developed their “Environmental Shield” line, to help restore and renew environmentally damaged skin.

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of the collection, consisting of the Advanced Active Radiance Serum, Instant Radiance Eye Cream, and Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35. 

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Advanced Active Radiance Serum 

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Benefits:
-Restores skin’s natural radiance.
-Reverses the visible signs of environmental damage while preserving clarity and defending against future damage.
-Has a stable Vitamin C technology that delivers 50 times the collagen-building, skin-brightening and cell-protecting power of ordinary topical Vitamin C. 

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Review:

I’ve been using this serum daily, both in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. It’s important that you apply this serum right after washing your face, and before you apply your moisturizer to really allow the serum to penetrate into your skin without barriers. I love that it feels light and smooth on my skin, and believe it or not, it’s helping to lighten my dark spots left over from popping pimples (smh)! My face does look more radiant, even when I’m not wearing any makeup. Love it!

Price tag: $89 for 1.0 FL. OZ 

Instant Radiance Eye Cream 

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Benefits:
-Light diffusers help reduce the appearance of dark circles by visibly brightening the eye for a more youthful, radiant appearance. 
-Minimizes the appearance of dark circles by 30% in 15 minutes and 48% with continued use.
-Improves smoothness by 48% after one application.

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Review:

Luckily I don’t suffer from severe dark circles, but lately I have been noticing little bags under my eyes from lack of the proper amount of sleep. In the past, my issue with a lot of eye balms is that it gets cakey when applied under my makeup. This eye cream does not! It’s smooth, silky, and I’ve seen an improvement with the smoothness under my eyes during the last couple weeks of use. You gently pat a small amount onto the brow bone, eye lid, and beneath the eye. Trust me, a little goes a long way, so you won’t be running out anytime soon!

Price tag: $68 for 0.5 FL. OZ 

Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35 | PA +++ 

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Benefits:
-Broccoli Extract stimulates skin’s natural defense against UV damage.
-Tangerine Butter locks in moisture and leaves skin silky smooth.
-Antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E defend and protect skin’s health.
-Glides on for easy application

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Review:

I have been looking for an easy, portable solid sunscreen that doesn’t leave your face oily after application, and I think this is the one! Not only is this balm easy to use but it’s perfect especially for areas prone to sun exposure such as your nose, forehead, shoulders, chest and hands. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy, and it doesn’t have that icky “sunscreen smell”. Definitely gets a thumbs up from me and my skin. I’ll be carrying this little balm around in my purse.

Price tag: $25 for 0.33 OZ

Overall, the Murad Environmental Shield line is perfect for the summer! Everyone needs to invest in taking care of their skin, because you can’t replace it once it has been damaged. And if you love to lay out in the sun to perfect your bronzy tan, then protection is a must. It’s all about prevention!

These products are all available at the Murad Inclusive Health Spa, Murad.com, Sephora and Ulta stores.


My Makeover Experience With Beautiful Textures Hair Care

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This past Saturday I was invited, along with six other beauty bloggers in Atlanta, to participate in the Beautiful Textures Salon Experience at Drexina Nelson Private Salon in downtown Atlanta. 

Beautiful Textures is a natural hair care line who just launched three new products in their collection; the Curl Definer Mousse, Curl Definer Styling Custard, and Edges to Ends Silkener. The line is designed to meet the hair care needs of multicultural customers with curly, wavy, kinky-coily and frizzy hair patterns.

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(**DISCLAIMER: I apologize for the “self taken photos”. I clearly need a photographer or friend to take photos for better quality photos. But you get the gist…)

During our experience we got a first hand look at the new products and a chance to play around with them. But my favorite part of this experience was our complimentary makeover! What girl doesn’t enjoy a great makeover? 

First step was the official “before” photo so we could really see the results from the products. Next, was over to the shampoo bowl where they used their Tangle Taming Moisturizing Shampoo and leave-in Conditioner. The products smell sooooo good and the conditioner has a little tingle to it which I love (because it gives me this feeling that it’s “working”) lol. 

I was most concerned about how to control frizz when wearing a wash-and-go style, so my stylist decided to focus on my strands using the Curl Definer Mousse and a touch of the Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Créme to give my curls some hydration. She did a coil twist on my damp hair and sat me under the dryer for about 45 minutes.

Beautiful Textures had a film crew come out and shoot our experience in the salon. Here are some snapshots of fellow bloggers during their hair experiences as well.

After I got out from under the dreadful dryer, my stylist took my curls apart with a little bit of the moisture butter on her fingertips and gently pieced apart the coils. I headed over to get my makeup touched up by a professional makeup artist and finished up my experience with my official “after” photo taken by the photographer in the studio.

I loved my makeup too! 

Aaaannndddd it’s a wrap! Here’s a look at my professional before and after photos! I saw a huge difference with the frizz and definition of my curls. Surprisingly, the products gave my color a nice little pop as well!

Thank you Beautiful Textures and Drexina Nelson Private Salon for the Beautiful Textures Salon experience! For more information on the products, you can visit their website here.

What do you think about my makeover? Do you see the difference?

Product Review: OSEA Oily to Combo Skin Travel Kit & Body Balm

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You ladies may have been wondering where I’ve been for the last week due to the lack of posts. I was on an amazing family vacation and told myself that I needed to take a total break from “work”. So I did. But now I’m back and I have a great product review to update you on!

While on vacay, I took the opportunity to bring along my OSEA skin travel kit and give it a shot. I have an oily/combination skin type so this kit included all of the oily to combo products.

OSEA is a 100% Vegan skin care line made with USDA Certified Organic Seaweed. The anti-aging line was inspired off the coast of Malibu, with the idea of uniting the elements — Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere — to refresh, rejuvenate, and restore skin to its highest level of healthy beauty. 

The kit is a 4 step process consisting of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and protecting the skin for clear, balanced results. I put the products to the test and here is my review:

1. CLEANSE- Ocean Cleansing Mudd: This cleanser is meant to cleanse and absorb excess oil.

PROS: I really liked the smell of the cleansing mudd. It was more effective when used in the morning to freshen up my skin prior to applying makeup.
CONS: I wouldn’t recommend using this cleanser to remove your makeup. It doesn’t have a sudsy consistency, so for oily/combo skin types, use only in the morning.

2. TONE- Sea Minerals: This toner is meant to tone and re-balance the skin.

PROS: I LOVE misting this toner all over my face! It feels very refreshing and hydrating, especially during these hot summer days.
CONS: None

3. TREAT- Essential Corrective Complex: This oil treatment is to be used on blemish-prone areas or as spot treatment directly on blemishes.

PROS: Low and behold, I had about four pimples pop up on my chin during vacation. This corrector did help to sooth my blemishes, and over a little time I’ll see if it helps lighten the dark spots as well.
CONS: None

4. HYDRATE- Atmosphere Protection Cream: A lightweight moisturizer used by patting onto moist skin.

PROS: Again, I love the seaweed smell from this moisturizer. It wasn’t too heavy, and left my skin feeling smooth and smelling great.
CONS: There is no SPF in this moisturizer and I personally don’t like to apply a separate sunscreen to my face. So I would recommend using this product at night unless you don’t mind mixing a dab of sunscreen into the moisturizer. 

5. Anti-Aging Body Balm: This is my first body balm and let me say it gave me a very “spa-like” experience. After exfoliating with this AMAZING exfoliator I just bought, I slathered on the OSEA body balm for a smooth, silky finish. Although it says you can use this balm daily, I only use it at night because it’s a little heavy. So it’s great to use on your skin after a fresh shower or bath in the evening to give your skin time to rehydrate over night. 

**Benefits:
-Rejuvenates dry and flaky skin and helps to firm and tighten skin on arms and legs.
-Helps heal psoriasis and eczema.
-Helps heal sum damaged skin and prevent wrinkles. 

You can check out more OSEA products here. The Oily to Combo Skin Travel Kit retails at $44 and the Anti-Aging Body Balm retails at $38.


Product Review: Black Opal New Color Splurge Collection

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Black Opal Cosmetics … you’ve heard of them right? You’ve probably past by the brand many times while perusing down the cosmetics aisle. Guess what? They have some new ish out and I’m loving it!

Let me introduce you to the Color Splurge Collection, consisting of the new Lustre Gloss Lip Gloss, Patent Lips Lip Color, and EyeShadow Duos.

I’ve become a big lipstick and lip pencil girl over the last year, but I will say the Patent Lips Lip Colors are my favorite because of the rich pigment and long-lasting color power. Hello again lipgloss :)

Let’s take a look at these poppin pigments shall we? Keep in mind, it’s all gloss, no liner or lipstick hidden underneath. I wouldn’t trick y’all like that ;)

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Now if you want something a little more subtle with a lot of shine, then you should go for the Lustre Gloss. These have sparkle in them and can be great to layer on top of a lipstick or liner for an extra pop.

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I don’t usually wear a lot of color on my lids day to day, I prefer to rock a bold lip because it’s easy, fast, and actually becoming my staple. But out of the eyeshadows I would totally rock these duo’s in the evening or for a little added punch during the day when I’m feeling a little spunky.

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Here’s the breakdown:

-Patent Lips: $6.75 each (10 shades to choose from)
-Lustre Gloss: $9.95 each (16 shades to choose from)
-Eyeshadow Duo: $6.95 each (12 shades to choose from)  

You can purchase these new Black Opal items from stores like Walmart, CVS, Rite Aide, Duane Reade, or online at www.blackopalbeauty.com

What do you think about the collection? Any favorites out of the bunch? For those who have tried Black Opal Cosmetics, tell me about your favorite products from the line!