This Little Cleanser

A few months ago a friend of mine received an invitation for an afternoon of brunch and beauty at Bloomingdales from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. She invited a few of her gal pals to tag along for mimosas and makeovers and being the beauty junkie that I am, this was an offer I could not refuse!

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I was so excited because this was first time trying Bobbi Brown; it was on my must try beauty list and now I finally get to cross it off! Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Just in case you are not familiar with the brand Bobbi Brown, let me give you the beauty 411. Bobbi was a young beauty junkie who idolized her mom while she applied her makeup. When she was old enough to work, she applied for a job in cosmetics where she received formal training. She then went on to earn a B.F.A. in theatrical makeup and went on to become a professional makeup artist. Her first big break was the American Vogue cover, which featured the soon-to-be supermodel Naomi Campbell.

While working as a successful makeup artist, Bobbi found that the cosmetic brands she worked with looked artificial and it was impossible to create a flawless non-makeup natural look. Several years into her career, she had an idea to create a lipstick that didn’t smell, wasn’t dry or greasy. She soon met a chemist and shared her idea. With Bobbi’s specifications, the chemist created a pinky brown-based lip color. Soon after, nine other colors followed and the lipstick line was complete.

In 1991 Bobbi debuted her line of lipsticks to the elite department store Bergdorf Goodman. The line was forecasted to sell 100 in a month but to everyone’s surprise, she sold 100 on the first day! From there she has expanded her brand, appeared on Oprah and created a New York Times bestseller beauty instructional guide.

Now that you know about the brand and its trend-setting creator, let me go back to my makeover experience and the purpose of this review…LOL! Whenever I get a makeover, I usually have something I want to focus on and on this day, it was my brows. I am on a mission to perfect the shape of my brows and I needed a lesson or two to complete my mission.

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Even though the makeup artist did an awesome job, it was the cleanser she used to remove my makeup that impressed me the most. So here I am today to give you the Glam it or Slam it and my final grade on the Soothing Cleansing Oil by Bobbi Brown.

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The Glam: It lives up to its name of soothing! It feels so luxurious on my skin and leaves it feeling clean. It removes every ounce of makeup without that tight uncomfortable feeling. A little goes a very long way and it removes eye makeup too! It’s perfect for my sensitive skin and it has been a lifesaver on my extremely dry skin during this harsh winter weather.

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The Slam: Hmm, let me see. I can’t think of one single issue with this cleanser; it’s just fab!

My final grade for the Soothing Cleansing Oil by Bobbi Brown is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH! I am so in love 🙂 If you are interested in purchasing this product, you get in at Bloomingdales, bobbibrowncosmetics.com, or any other major department store for $42 (and yes, it’s worth every single penny) Happy Cleansing!

I am a Beauty Maven, Speaker and Women’s Empowerment Strategist! I have a balanced background in social media, retail management and cosmetics. My love for the beauty industry has expanded my career towards women’s empowerment  by focusing on beauty from the inside out.

As a Women’s Empowerment Strategist – I speak at events to educate women and young girls to embrace their beauty from the inside out through empowerment events and workshops. Every woman should know: “Beauty is not complicated or complex; it is simplistic” and they will gain a better understanding of this as well as other topics in my presentations and workshops. 

If you would like to hire me, I am available to speak at schools, youth/women’s organizations and companies who seek to embrace beauty from the inside out! Send all inquires to info@beautyschoolscarlet.com

 

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Eco-Friendly and/or Natural Beauty Faves

Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, I want share some of my eco-friendly and/or natural beauty favorites!

Coconut Shea Leave In By: Eden Body WorksIMG_3554

Great leave in conditioner with Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil just to name a few. It ‘s also Paraben and Sulfate free! It helps to detangle my hair before I blow-dry.

Black Castor Oil By: Tropic Isle LivingIMG_3555

A great conditioner infused with Shea, Red Pimento and Rosemary. It helps to detangle hair before I rinse and leaves my hair feeling smooth!

The Healthy Deodorant By: LaVanila IMG_3556

This deodorant is healthy and keeps me smelling fresh! Soothing essential oils and antioxidants help to soothe and nourish. This product is vegan free, no animal testing or harsh chemicals.

Purifying Toning Water By: Nude SkincareIMG_3557

This toner is made with ginger water, great burnet root and cinnamon bark extracts. It has probiotics to balance the skin for a clearer complexion. This toner softens and soothes the skin.

Goat’s Milk & Chai Hand Cream By: Nubian HeritageIMG_3558

This amazing hand cream is filled with multi-vitamins, rose extracts and healing vegetable oils. This cream soothes dry hands and smells refreshing!

Illuminata Illuminating Herbal Makeup By: Mojo SpaIMG_3559

It’s a 3-in-1 multifunctional product that primes, moisturizes and illuminates! It’s handmade and smells some kind of amazing! It contains 20 different herbs, fruits and herbs to help heal and rejuvenate the skin.

LVX Nail Polish IMG_3560

The polish has a long lasting, chip-free, non-streak formula that is free of toxins and harsh chemicals. The products are free of formaldehyde, resins and camphor, which can be harmful to the nails and skin. More importantly, LVX is vegan, socially responsible, cruelty- free and all products are made in the USA!

Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in Flamenco By: Josie MarinIMG_3562

This is a natural beauty brand created to be eco-friendly and toxin free. It’s also fragrance and paraben free.

Cheek Stain By: Tarte CosmeticsIMG_3561

They are known as a high performance natural brand. Their products are made without all the fillers that aren’t good for the skin! They are a cruelty free brand and they don’t test on animals.

So there you have it…some of my favorite eco friendly and/or natural beauty brands and products. These products are either good for the earth or good for your skin. Either way, they are good! Happy Earth Day! MUAH

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Winter Skin Care Solutions

As much as I would like to wish the winter away, I know that it’s not possible :-(. It is so cold in the Chicago area with the temps at 7 degrees but with a wind-chill factor it feels like a -12 degrees (insert a shivering body and long sigh here) LOL!

With the temperature being so cold, we need to protect our bodies and layer our clothes. We also need to protect our skin from the harsh winter cold and wind-chill. Here are a few of my favorite winter must have products that will keep you moisturized over the next few months!

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My F.A.B. Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty is so F.A.B.  and it is my go to moisturizer! The Ultra Repair Concentrate appears thick but it ‘s not once you emulsify it down in the palm of your hands. A little goes a long way, so this will truly last for quite sometime. It is very soothing to my dry irritated skin because it contains oatmeal, essential oils, botanical antioxidants and reparative ingredients. I love that it is so moisturizing yet lightweight and you can use it on the entire body!!! The best thing is, they have clinical claims that state, “Within 15 minutes of application, skin hydration is improved by 116%.” Just to test it further, let’s see if my dry parched hands see a difference in the picture below (they are very dry because I have been washing them like a crack head and not applying hand cream to moisturize…remember, no judging)…. LOL

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IMG_2494IMG_2497IMG_2498 More Moisture Please: As you can see from the photo above, my hands are so dry that they are peeling and they hurt because I don’t always have time to put on hand cream. The first time I tried Yu-Be, it saved my unappealing dry hands from cracking and peeling; from there I was sold. It gave instant moisture from the Glycerin, it was not greasy, it absorbed into my skin immediately and the Vitamin E and B2 help to heal my very dry damaged skin. I was so exited for the instant gratification that I have been using this as my go to hand cream for a couple of years.

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Yu-Be has stated on their website that the moisturizing cream can be used on the face, lips and body. While I have not tried it on those areas, I would not rule it out!!!

A Drink of Water for My Skin: Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask is like a drink of water for my skin. I use it on a regular basis especially during the winter. It has been my saving grace to give me the boost of moisture that I need!!!

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I apply a thin layer of the mask after cleansing, I leave it on through the night and my skin drinks in the moisture leaving it soft and smooth in the morning!!! 

Not only is this product the answer to my thirsty skin; it is very affordable as well.

Moisture Service for My Lips: Be Fine Food Skin Care Lip Serum is by far the best lip serum, balm, cream that I have ever used!!! It contains plant based amino acids and peptides to firm and boosts the skin on the lips; chamomile soothes and safflower seed oil gives moisture.  It also offers UVA protection as well.

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This miracle in a tube brought my pour, dry, painful dehydrated pout back to life overnight!!! A little goes a long way and it is long lasting. I was amazed and relieved all at the same time!!!

My Hair is Thirsty: Being Free Comes Naturally Island Breeze Whip is a moisturizing whip for the hair and or scalp that can be used on wet or dry 2-3 times per week or as needed. It contains Shea and Mango butters, Coconut and Avocado oils as well as Pro Vitamin B 5 just to name a few. It is very moisturizing but no too much that it leaves your hair greasy. It smells wonderful but it is not overpowering. A little goes a long way; it is very lightweight and great for dry scalp. It also gives great shine and it does not build up on the hair toward the middle or end of the week!!!

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Beauty Tips for Winter Allergy Eyes

So, I woke up this morning with a swollen eye :-(.  I applied 3 different eye creams to get the swelling down by about 5%. I was a little worried so I called the eye doctor for the first available appointment as I did not want it to get any bigger because the vain side of me has 3 events this week and I have to represent my brand. LBVS! (The swelling has gone down since this morning but you can still see it a little in the photo below).

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I had an early afternoon appointment and my diagnosis is winter allergies! Really??? I did not know there was such a thing but Dr. Reynolds informed me that mold is still very big in the winter, dust will always be a problem and allergies can be ongoing!

Here are a few tips that she shared with me today:

  1. Mold is forever present in the most unnoticeable ways.
  2. Clean the faucet in your face bowl; it can harbor mold. Use a cotton ball with bleach to keep it clean.
  3. Clean the showerhead as well. The little black stuff you see around the showerhead that builds up is mold.
  4. Clean all your drains as well.  Again…mold can build up.
  5. The black stuff around your window when you open it…mold.
  6. Clean your makeup brushes! Wash your brushes when you wash your hair; this way, you will never forget. (This tip is from Big Girl Cosmetics).
  7. Your furnace can push out dust. Clean your filters and dust often.
  8. If your symptoms continue, see a doctor.

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Dr. Reynolds suggested that I use a little ice for the swelling; over the counter allergy meds such as Claritin or Zyrtec and use my eye drops because of my dry eyes.

OMG…I didn’t realize that winter allergies existed like this let alone all the different areas where can mold hide. I am thankful that Dr. Reynolds continues to educate me. It helps me and I hope that it helps you too! If you live in the Chicago area, stop by and visit Concept Eye Care for your next eye appointment.

 

 

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Beauty Week in Review 11.30.13

Cover Photo Beauty Week in Review

I know it has been a while but the beauty industry has been a little quiet over the past couple of weeks until now! Here is what has been happening while you have been shopping, eating and giving thanks!

The L’Oreal brand Biotherm has introduced Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester as the new Brand Ambassador. Just in case you are scratching your head and asking yourself who is Biotherm? They are a French brand of luxury skincare products for the face and body. They have been around for several years and the brand is very popular in China.

I think this is a great move for Biotherm to have a fresh international face that is well known with the millennial age group. She can bring a younger audience to an older brand.

Nordstrom Beauty Department gets a makeover! The look will be contemporary to make the customer have a more individualized experience. Brands will now have key and trend products grouped together and Nordstrom will offer a beauty concierge service to allow a fuller shopping experience with the products. They will also offer more trial sizes, makeup applications and consultations. Two flagships stores in California have been completed with more stores to follow.

Wow, this is a smart move for Nordstrom! With their outstanding customer service and beauty makeover, this will make them a top competitor with Sephora! I know Sephora will be on their “A game” but this is a race I intend on watching!

Supermodel and Beauty Maven Iman takes a leap into the CC Cream world! The brand has launched five CC Correct & Cover Powder to Crème Concealer shades. The powder to cream formula will offer more coverage than the BB Crème. The CC Crème will cost $15 and designed to balance the skin tone, color correct the complexion with great ingredients like amino acids, protein, vitamins B, C, and E and beta-carotene. The launch is scheduled for December 15th online and in stores January 1st like Walgreens and Target as well as ulta.com.

Well Ms. Iman, you definitely have my attention with those ingredients! I am excited and counting down the days to find my shade with your free app where I can snap my pic and find the shade that fits my skin tone!

MAC teams up with Disney! Yes, this is truly an OMG moment as it is the first time the makeup giant has teamed up with a motion picture! They will offer a limited edition collection from the upcoming Angelina Jolie film Mistress of All Evil – Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty. The limited edition line will include products for the face, eyes, lips and nails.

It sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to see the colors!

The sexy rapper Pitbull is set to launch a fragrance! He will unveil the fragrances at his concert on New Year’s Eve in Miami. There is a scent for men and women and they are titled none other then Pitbull! The scent will be sold on amazon.com from the launch until February 14th. He also has plans to expand the brand in the future with fashion, accessories and beauty products.

If this fragrance smells as sexy as he looks…it will be a best seller! LOL

L’Oreal is launching a product called Hairchalk for those of you who love to color and change your hair on a constant basis. The product will be available in eight colors ranging from pink, blue to bronze. It will be applied as a liquid and dry as a powder and priced at $36.65. It will be launched in the US in March 2014.

Dear L’Oreal, I am officially giving you the side eye o-O. This does not sound interesting or fun but I wish you luck!

So there you have it Beauty Scholars…this weeks beauty news!!! What do you think??? Does any of this newness excite you???

Sources from WWD.com and beautypress.com

 

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DIY Face Mask By Rachel O Beauty

Have you ever wanted to try a DIY but you didn’t know where to start? Well look no further because today I had the pleasure of joining my mentor Rachel of Rachel O Beauty for her DIY Mask Segment on WGN Morning News! We whipped up the ingredients in the green room, placed them on set and in 3,2,1…. the segment started!IMG_1634

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Yours truly modeled the Hydrating Orange Facial Mask! Not only did it feel good, it smelled good as well…LOL. In fact, you can add the ingredients in a smoothie and have a healthy snack. To get the recipes and see the segment, head over to Rachel O Beauty now.

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Thanks again Rachel for having me in your DIY Mask Segment 🙂

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Beauty is…Living Your Dreams

Beauty is being able to #BeBold #BeInspired to live your dreams!!!

Beauty Scholars today I am excited to announce what I have been working on over the last couple of months. As you know from my morning beauty quotes, I am very passionate about beauty from the inside out!!! So I recently partnered with my Blogger friend, Toya Nicole of Ms. Travel Chic to create a company by the name of Boardroom Beauties!!!

Boardroom Beauties is a lifestyle and media company founded by two corporate beauties turned lifestyle entrepreneurs. We challenge the everyday woman to live her dreams live and in color through lifestyle and empowerment workshops and events. We want women to #BeBold, #BeInspired, Embrace Your Beauty and Live Your Dreams!!!

We have recently announced our upcoming inaugural event and today I want to share it with you!!! Saturday, December 14th from 11AM – 2PM join us at the South Loop Hotel in Chicago, IL. Come shop with our vendors, network and hear from our dynamic speakers on how to Dream Big, #BeInspired, Embrace Beauty and #BeEmpowered!!! *Early Bird Tickets are on sale now*

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If you will not be in the Chicago area on December 14th, like our Facebook page and receive information on a daily basis to #BeBold and #BeInspired and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on what’s happening in the boardroom!!!

Thank you in advance for your support!!! MUAH

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My NYC Beauty Experience – Beauty Week in Review Part II

I had such an awesome time at the beautypress Holiday Spotlight event that I did not want the night to end!!! As a matter of fact, I headed out to dinner with my new Blogger friends Laura of www.blushandbeakers.com, an awesome beauty blog about product development and product innovation and Wendy of www.sassncurlz.com, a fashion blog where you can fill up on fashion sass with a twist of curlz galore!!!

The native NYC girls decided we would walk to our destination and I would have been fine with that if it were around the corner (I had been wearing 4 inch heels since 11 AM and it was now 8:15 PM…need I say more???) LOL. We walked for as long as I could stand it (which was 5 minutes). Thank goodness Laura found a shoe store across the street and Wendy found a great pair of flats for me for $20…FTW!!! Me feet will be forever grateful to Laura, Wendy and the shoe store ShoeGasm!!!IMG_1365

Now that my feet felt comfort, I was ready to walk on to our beauty detour before dinner; a store called Harmon Face Values. Harmon’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bed, Bath & Beyond based on the East Coast and they offer some of the best prices on the most popular beauty brands with one of the largest selections (mostly mass retail).

OMG!!! We were ready to play and purchase and as you can see in the photo below…we did purchase!!! This is our combined beauty purchase from Harmon Face Values.

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With all this shopping, we worked up an appetite and decided to eat at an amazing restaurant named Cafeteria. If you are ever in the NYC area…this is a must try; see the photo below!!!

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After all the food, we decided to call it a night and meet at noon to start our day of Beauty excursions and my beauty tour!!!

Day 2 started with a must see for me: a visit to the newly remodeled beauty department at Macy’s Herald’s Square. Macy’s has truly upgraded the department with new modern counters, tons of open space and a few new luxury brands. Now this is what a beauty department should look like!!! There was so much traffic, makeup artist painting faces and people buzzing around making purchases. I stopped for a quick touch up at Laura Mercier and of course made a purchase…LOL. I also received a free gift with my purchase…Yay me!!!

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After our beauty excursion at Macy’s, we scurried off to the new Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street. I was so excited because they were in the process of setting up the new holiday products. They had everything on my Christmas list: a bronzer with shimmer, red lipstick and a holiday eye trio!!! I just hope Santa is reading this and remembers to include all 3 products in my stocking this year!!! Here’s a photo of my mini makeover with all the products listed above and Laura photo-bombing me on the next photo…Hey Laura!!! LOL. Shout out to the Store Manager Waylon for be so amazing!!! Hey Waylon :-). Giggles

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After our beauty play date at Marc Jacobs, we headed over to a store that I had never heard of by the name of Aesop. The company’s origin is from Melbourne, Australia and they have products for hair, skin and body. They use both plant based and laboratory made ingredients using the greatest anti-oxidant properties. The sales person was so full of great information, she let us test a few products and when I tried the hand cream…I was sold. The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm is just EVERYTHING!!! IMG_1466

After we pampered ourselves, we walked over to the Elf Studio. Yes, Elf has a store and the products are the same price. I was amazed at how chic it looked inside. I found 2 eye shadow palettes that look exactly like the Sephora brand baked shadows. I know what you are thinking…and yes, I did purchase them. LOL, don’t judge me :-), I am a product junkie!!!

IMG_1467Our day of beauty was so much fun and I am so lucky to have had the best beauty tour guides a beauty junkie could ask for!!! Thank you Laura of www.blushandbeakers.com and Wendy of www.sassncurlz.com!!! You ladies are so amazing and I am glad we met at the beautypress event!!! I can’t wait for the two of you to come to Chicago so I can return the favor but riding around in a car instead of walking…LOL.

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Week in Review – My NYC Experience – part I

Hi Beauty Scholars!!! I am back from NYC and instead of sharing the usual Beauty Week in Review; I am going to share my beauty experience from my time in NYC. Don’t worry, there was not a lot going on in the world of beauty last week to report. My trip to NYC was far more exciting…LOL.

I flew to NYC on Tuesday and the first thing I wanted to do was head over to the Molton Brown store!!! This is one of my favorite bath and body brands because the smell and quality is just amazing!!! I wanted to see the new flagship store and of course, make a purchase…I know, I am a total sucker when it comes to products.

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Anywho, I received great service from a guy (I can’t remember his name) and he was so patient with me as I smelled EVERYTHING in the entire store…LBVS!!! It was a little bit of an overload but I needed to find a new body wash to fall in love with :-). It was love at last smell with the Ambrusca Cleansing Shower Oil and Conditioning Body Lotion. The Cleansing Shower Oil not only lathers but also hydrates and tones the skin as well. It is a fresh floral smell that lingers with an amazing aroma. The Conditioning Body Lotion is hydrating and leaves the skin silky and smooth!!! Ah…it makes me heart shower time even more.

Wednesday: I went to an awesome holiday spotlight event hosted by beautypress.com where I was introduced to new brands and products. I was so excited to have one on one time with the owners of the brands and hear how passionate they are about their products. It was also good to know that I was not the only product junkie in the room…LOL.

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I am glad that beautypress chooses to spotlight new brands and products as it helps me learn more information and pass the news on to you. Here are the brands that I had a chance to talk to:

Pour le Monde – A 100% natural, vegan Fragrance Company where every product shines a spotlight on some of the world’s most important charities. 10% of the sale of each fragrance is given back to a designated charity. The scents were amazing and my favorites were Envision and Together. I love how this brand is giving back on a continuous basis and how the names embrace giving!!!

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Menaji – A Skincare brand for the confident man. They offer Face and Body Scrub, Deep Cleansing Masque, Power Hydrator Moisturizing Aftershave, Lip Agent, Eye Gel, Anti-Aging Eraser and Concealing High Definition Powder. Yes, ladies…your man can stop secretly using all your products and have his own stash with masculine packaging. If he’s not convinced that this brand is for him, just tell him athletes, celebrities and politicians use the products and it will help him put his best face forward!!!

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M. Asam Cosmetics – A High-tech cosmetics brand made with tradition from Germany. The products are all about anti-aging with one of my favorite ingredients Grape Seed Extract. Although they had me at Grape Seed and anti-aging, I was impressed by how luxurious the products felt on my skin.

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Savane – An Organic Skincare brand from South Africa. The products are rich with some of the most powerful natural antioxidants and essential Omega fatty acids. The brand believes in ethical sourcing and uses only sustainable harvested wild ingredients to protect biodiversity. They let me try a scrub on my hand that I was able to taste as well because of the natural ingredients and I must say it tasted pretty good. It left my skin feeling soft and supple; I can’t wait to try more products.

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BioElixia – A range of skin and body care products that have been developed to firm the skin and contour and shape the body. I have not had a chance to try this product but I will and a review will follow. I received the Body Shaper Cellulite Contour Crème, which is scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite by an average of 57%.

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Brocato Supersilk – A revolution in texture control to reduce frizz and loosen the curl pattern to make the hair more manageable. The Nano Silk Complex takes texture management beyond Keratin formulas of the past and makes the hair smooth and sleek. I received the complete system and I am excited to give it a try!!! I will let you know my thoughts in a review of course…LOL.

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The day ended with a swag bag and an awesome cocktail party with a meet and greet of industry professionals. I had an amazing time and I am so excited that I was able to attend.

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Stay tuned tomorrow for part II of my NYC beauty week in review!!!

 

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Say Yes to Life, Love and Beauty: An Event by Fashion Fair

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Fair “Say Yes” to Life, Love and Beauty Party at the Pump Room in Chicago hosted by Linda Johnson Rice, Desiree Rogers and Mitzi Miller; the women who continue to lead and flourish the Johnson Publishing brand.

IMG_1332This was an amazing event to say the least! It was an opportunity to mix and mingle with industry leaders and talented peers to celebrate the short film “Say Yes” from the award-winning Sundance filmmaker, Ava DuVernay. The film encouraged women of color to “say yes” to life, love and beauty; a concept that I am happy to embrace and share through my blog. I believe that life is too short not to “say yes” and you should always do what you feel and have no regrets!

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The party consisted of 250 accomplished women who all chose to “say yes”. The dance floor was filled and the beats were jamming from the awesome celebrity DJ Kiss. There were special appearances from Chicago’s very own Actress Drew Sidora (Crazy, Sexy Cool: The TLC Story) and Michelle Williams (Broadway Star and former member of Destiny’s Child).

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There was also re-launch of the newly revamped Fashion Fair website. We had an opportunity to test some of the beautiful products from Fashion Fair and receive mini makeovers featuring the amazing Celebrity Makeup Artist and new Creative Director for Fashion Fair, Tia Dantzler with the Fashion Fair team.

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It was indeed a star-studded event with many accomplished women. But it was not about the star power or the accomplishments; it was about celebrating women of color “saying yes” to life, love and beauty! Thank you to the Johnson Publishing team for a night of connections and many memories that I will cherish; this was definitely a night of “Girl Power” x 3! Be sure to check out the new and improved Fashion Fair website and “Say Yes”!

 

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