Skincare 101 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Behind the Ingredients

Skincare 101

There are good ingredients and there are bad ingredients but it’s the bad ingredients that are ugly! Knowing the features and benefits of your skincare products is one thing but understanding the function of the ingredients is another. It can sometimes be overwhelming because in some cases, you have never heard of the ingredient, it is hard to pronounce like some medical terms and there’s not a quick definition to reference.

Today, I am going to share the good, the bad and the ugly behind some of the most popular ingredients.

Coconut oil is moisturizing, nourishing, and anti-aging. The Good: It is so moisturizing, it is great for dry hair/scalp and it helps to nourish damaged hair. It works wonders on extremely dry skin like dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema.  Most importantly, it can be used as massage oil.

Glycolic Acid, one of the most popular acids is derived from sugar cane. The Good: Anti-aging, clear acne breakouts, even out the skin tone while making the skin brighter, softer and smoother.

Peptides are amino acids also known as protein molecules, which boost the natural production of collagen and elastin. The Good: They help plump the skin and give it elastin as the skin starts to age, wrinkle or sag. Think of an old sweater and how loose and stretchy it gets over time, if you were to apply peptides, the sweater would go back to its original shape as if it were new.

Silicones are derived from plastics; they coat the hair, which does not allow the product to penetrate the hair shaft. The Bad and the Ugly: It can cause buildup and does not prevent breakage; it disguises it.

Silicones have similar properties to rubber and plastic. Do you know what happens to rubber and plastic when you heat them? They burn!!! So when you continuously use products with silicone and apply heat, you can burn and damage the hair. Silicone also clogs the pores, which can cause breakouts on the skin.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is chemical used in detergent, soaps, shower gels and shampoos; it allows the product to foam and lather. The Bad and the Ugly: This ingredient strips the skin of its natural moisture, which causes dryness and irritation to the skin and scalp. It is also known to cause hair loss.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (poison). You can usually find this in nail polish and hair straightening/smoothing products (like the Brazilian Blow Out). The Bad and the Ugly: It is known to be an irritant on the skin and cause allergic reactions like dermatitis. The chemical can also cause sensitivity to nose and eyes as well as breathing difficulties.

So there you have it: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Behind The Ingredients! Did anything surprise you? Will you take a closer look at the ingredients during your next beauty excursion? Comment below and share your thoughts…



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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

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 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 and


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Formula X by Sephora A New Brand of Nail Polish

A few days ago I stopped in Sephora to pick up 1 thing… my favorite brow pencil from Hour Glass Cosmetics and the new nail polish setup of the Formula X by Sephora sidetracked me. This is the brand I have been telling you about since the spring!!! It’s allegedly the reason Sephora ended their relationship with O.P.I.


This polish is reportedly the end all to be all for nail lovers. It is supposed to be chip-free, one coat, high shine polish that is resistant to both water and detergent!!! Yep, that’s right…it’s supposed to be the Bentley of nail polishes.  In fact, one of the cast members (beauty advisor’s) said that she had been wearing her polish for 7 days and there were no chips in sight after careful inspection (from me of course). Don’t worry ladies because I’ll be the judge and jury on the final results before you make your purchase…LOL.

In case you are wondering how all this is possible, from my understanding, you have to purchase the special cleanse polish to get the full affect. And then there is the prime polish, the color you choose and the shine. However, they have a little kit where you can purchase the cleanser, primer, the shine and you pick your color.


But before I try it and review it, I must tell you the assortment of colors (200+) is amazing and I was quite impressed!!! They also had a few kits to choose from ranging from $39 – $59.  And they have nail stickers as well as polishes with embellishments.


Now before you go running to your nearest Sephora…please note that the actual launch is not until October 10th. So don’t be mad if you go tomorrow and it is not available…just wait a few more days! 🙂 BTW…the polish ranges from $10.50 – $12.50 per bottle. The stickers are $15 and the treatments are $14.


So what are your thoughts??? Are you adding the date to your calendar??? I picked up a pack from a store with an early launch. Giggles

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Copyright 2013 Beauty School ScArlet

My Beauty Play Date with Mary Kay

Last week I had a makeup play date with my new favorite Mary Kay Consultant, Curtrice. I can’t believe how much fun I had testing, trying and playing with the new colors and the Mary Kay at Play line. It’s funny because I was not a huge Mary Kay fan because the brand did not appeal to me. I tried it years ago and it was just…blah and it never occurred to me to try it again until I met a consultant by the name of Curtrice.

During our makeup play date, she showed me the new colors, trends and the at play line. The colors are vibrant, fresh and exciting. The application was smooth, the eye shadows did not crease and the staying power was long lasting!!! I enjoyed the products so much that I purchased a few 🙂


My favorite product so far has to be the Lash Love Mascara in Plum. It offers a different option to the normal black or brown colors. It helps my brown eyes sparkle just a little bit more and it extends the length just a little bit more.


I also have a fondness for the Mary Kay at Play Eye Crayon in Purple Smoke.  It’s a multifunctional product and we all know how much I love products that have 2 or more functions…LOL. You can use this as a liner or smudge it into a shadow. The color is very soft purple with a hint of silver/gray smoke. It glides on very easy and has great staying power.  I liked it so much that I purchased 2 of them.


I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with my Mary Kay products. I also purchased some skincare but I have not had a chance to try it out. But, when I do…a review will be following!!! LOL. This just goes to show that even if a brand does not appeal to you or if you don’t like a few products…it doesn’t mean the whole brand is not worth a try. If it were not for Curtrice, I don’t think that I would have tried the products again. Thank you Curtrice for all of your help and excellent customer service!!!





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Sugar is More Than Just a Kiss

Last year I became of VIB (a very important beauty insider) at Sephora.  For those of you who are wondering who is VIB and what does (she), I mean it do, let me tell you about (her), I mean its features…LOL. VIB is a loyalty rewards program from Sephora for people who spend way too much money and need to have an intervention.  Please don’t judge me as I am a product junkie and I just can’t help it :-). VIB’s get special discount days, access to early sales and invitations to exclusive events from time to time. I guess you can say that membership has it perks and yes, I love the perks that come with this program!!!


Anywho, I said all that to say that I received the Sugar Kisses Lip Duo by Fresh as a gift for achieving VIB status and today this is my product of choice to review. Fresh was one of the 1st companies to use natural ingredients in their products with the launch of their artisanal soap collection. Now, they have a full collection of lifestyle products ranging from skincare, bodycare, haircare and makeup.

I was so excited because I received 2 Sugar Kisses lip treatments and this was a product that I had on my must try list (as a girl can never have enough lip balms to keep her lips kissable soft)… Right???


I have been using the lip treatments for several months and here is what I like: Both treatments offer a great deal of moisture that last for several hours. I usually wear one of them to bed and my pout feels very soft, smooth and most importantly, kissable…LOL. They contain Grapeseed polyphenols, which is one of my favorite ingredients because Grapeseed is an antioxidant that smells good and protects against smoke, smog and pollution (which causes your skin to age and no one wants old, dry, crusty lips…IJS). It also contains an SPF 15, which also protects against aging and burning rays from the sun (yes, lips can not only get chapped and dry, they can also burn in the sun)!!! Most importantly, the product contains sugar, which prevents moisture loss (so the lips always look soft and supple…*teeheee*). I really loved the tinted Rose’ treatment the best because it offers a hint of color that make the lips look like they have a natural tint. Last but not least, the lip treatments are not sticky and they feel really good.


Yes, I really liked almost everything about the lip treatments except for the packaging. I know this sounds a little weird but… stay with me as I explain…LOL. The container was so hard to open. I had to twist and turn and pull several times before I could open it. I became so frustrated that I almost threw it away :-(. Once I did get it open, I was scared to close it all the way as I thought that the lid would get stuck and I would have trouble opening it up again. So, the product is never fully closed and which means, I can only use it at home (and that is really disappointing…whomp, whomp…epic fail). Now I am not sure if they are all this way, it could be a defect on the one I received but that is not my fault and it will affect the final grade. Finally, it is a tad expensive for a lip balm, if I am going to pay $22.50, I want it to be the Mercedes Benz of lip balms and offer more perks than an SPF, moisture and a cute tint…. LOL.


With that said, my final grade is 4 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! I love the overall product but the packaging was not user friendly for me and the price is a little expensive for 1 lip balm. If you are interested in purchasing the Sugar Kisses Lip Treatment by Fresh, you can go to Sephora or for $22.50. Happy Shopping!!!

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6 Days and Counting

OMG!!! I have been wearing this nail polish for 6 days and I only have a chip because my nail broke. Can you guess the brand???


Here are a few hints:

  1. It’s not a gel polish
  2. It is a high fashion luxury brand
  3. Chip resistant, non-streak and free of toxic and harsh chemicals
  4. A vegan-friendly socially responsible brand
  5. Only available online and specialty spas and boutiques
  6. The brand releases about 6 colors per season

So what do you think??? Who is the brand??? I will do the big reveal as soon as it starts to chip :-). Stay tuned…MUAH

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Universal High Pigment Shadows

*This post was originally posted on Rachel O. Beauty*


A few months ago I attended to The Makeup Show Chicago, which is the end all to be all for a beauty junkie like me as there are brands galore to showcase their products and industry icons to share their knowledge through workshops and seminars. It is so exciting but one could become overwhelmed with all the amazing sights to see and people to meet!!! However, I did not let that stop me…I made a plan of who, what, when and where I wanted to see and meet and then I quickly put that plan into action!!! LOL

During my exploration of new brands (at least for me)…I came across Magnolia Makeup, a beauty brand based out of New Awlins (and I say this with love in my most Southern Gal drawl…no, for real, I used to live in the South…LOL). They are devoted to color that is high in pigment and they believe in quality as well as fun for every occasion!!! Yep, this sounds like a brand I want to explore; so I did…*giggles*.

It is funny because I had this brand on my list to investigate but, before I could get to it, several of my blogger friends kept telling to make sure I stopped by Magnolia before I left…so I hoped that it would be all that and then some!!!

When I approached the booth, I was amazed at all the colors. I was like a kid in a candy store and the all the makeup were my sweet treats…LOL!!! Any who, as you can read, it was love at first sight but the true test will come during my trial of wearing the product for a few weeks. While there was so much to chose from, I was able to narrow my selection down to 3 eyeshadows and 2 lip colors in a pot to purchase (and believe me…that was hard to do)!!!


Today, I am only prepared to share my analysis on the Individual Pigment shadows and here is what I liked: I absolutely positively loved the pigments!!! While all you MAC girls are ranting and raving over their colors and pigments, I suggest you stop, look and listen to a new sheriff in town!!! Now, before you MAC junkies go all crazy on me, for the record, I’m not hating…IJS, give this brand a try because MAC is not the end all to be all when it comes to colors and pigments. Not only that, Magnolia is not as expensive as MAC and the overall quality is great!!! The loose pigments are easy to use and they will work on all skin tones. A little goes a long way and the color last a long time without creasing or fading…FTW!!!


Now, I know this sounds like a match made in makeup heaven but there are a few dislikes and here they are: I am not one for loose shadows and or powders as they can get a tad messy but this is not a deal breaker for me if the product is great (and this is…teehee)!!! I am not sure if the Individual Pigments are mineral based or not as there is nothing on the website or the product which indicates a yay or nay and to my understanding, loose shadows are mineral based. Again, this is not a deal breaker; inquiring minds would just like to know…LOL, IJS!!!


So after several weeks of the trial investigation, I have my final grade for you… I give the Individual Pigment shadows by Magnolia Makeup 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! If you are interested in purchasing the shadows, you can do so at for $10 each (the colors featured here are Truffle, Citrine and Gold Nugget). I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…Happy blending!!!



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My Quest for the Perfect BB Cream Continues

*This post was originally posted on Rachel O. Beauty*IMG_5298

A few weeks ago I attended The Makeup Show in Chicago and I was introduced to a whole new world of brands and products…I was in “Makeup Heaven” and I did not want to leave…LOL. On the first day, I stumbled across AJ Crimson and the public debut of his version of a BB Cream; he calls it the BB+D Cream.

AJ Crimson is a celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of a brand of lip-gloss named Kissable Couture and he has recently launched a new brand of products called AJ Crimson Beauty. He is a well-known expert in the makeup industry and he definitely has the skills to prove it!!!


As you know, BB creams are all the rage and every other cosmetics line has one. The product has grown in popularity because they are more than a primer or tinted moisturizer and they are not quite a foundation. They usually have anti-aging skincare benefits and even out the skin tone. They typically have a SPF and they usually offer a sheer to mid coverage with limited availability in the range of shades offered (usually 3-4)…I know, I know…whomp, whomp 🙁 don’t shoot the messenger, I am just giving you the 411!!! But before you get yourself in a tizzy, let me introduce you to something that is more than the typical BB cream!!!


As I stated earlier, AJ Crimson debuted his BB+D Cream to the public at The Makeup Show in Chicago. Being in pursuit of the perfect BB Cream, I was so excited to get a color matched to my skin tone!!! I was a little nervous when I saw the results as it was a little darker than what I normally wear but hey…they are the experts and I am the consumer so I made my purchase, shrugged my shoulders and said what the heck!!!


So, I have been wearing the BB+D Cream for the last several weeks and here is what I like: This is not your average BB Cream…it offers a matte moderate coverage but it’s a little sheer at the same time. It totally evens out my skin tone without the look of makeup…FTW!!! It feels lightweight and I can use my Beauty Blender Makeup Sponge to blend it. AJ offers a total of 11 shades for all skin tones from very light to dark unlike most of the big cosmetics brands that only offer 3-4. A little goes a long way; one pump will be enough for your entire face. Last but not least, the darker shade that hey matched for my skin tone…works :-)…happy, happy, joy, joy!!!


So those are my likes and here are my dislikes: There is no SPF and that makes me sad, as I love it when my BB Cream has sunscreen!!! The smell is not that pleasant but you get use to it after the first couple of uses (but it could just be me and my sensitive nose) LOL. I have searched high and I have searched low but I cannot find out what the heck the “+D” means or what skincare benefits are offered in the product. The first time I used the product, the airless pump got stuck but I played with it for a few minutes, I was able to wiggle it free (this only happened on the 1st use).

Overall, I really heart the BB+D Cream by AJ Crimson Beauty; it has definitely become my go to BB out of all the other brands that I have tried (and I must tell you that if a brand offers my color, I am going to try it). So it is safe to say…I have tried most of them as I am in the pursuit of happiness for the perfect BB Cream…LBVS!!! With that said, my final grade is 4.5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! In case you are wondering why I didn’t give it a 5, it is because it does not have SPF. If you are interested in purchasing BB+D Cream go to Happy blending!!!


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Liner and Lips With Glitter…Oh My

*This post was originally posted on Rachel O. Beauty*
I could not let another day go by without reviewing the brand Eye Kandy!!! I was gifted this product at The Makeup Show Chicago from the owner of the brand. Eye Kandy is a brand of glitter cosmetics that is safe to wear on the eyes and or lips. They offer a liquid adhesive base called Liquid Sugar, which helps the glitter adhere to your eyes or lips all day without flaking into your eyes or on your face.
As I walked around from booth to booth this brand literally and physically caught my eye because I love most things that glitter and or sparkle and Eye Kandy made my feet pump the brakes…LOL.
So there I was, standing in awe of the how the product can transform your eyes and lips in to something magical and sparkly in just a few seconds. I guess the Makeup Artist saw me drooling so she asked if I would like to give it a try. At first, I gave her a little nervous giggle and said no as I wanted to see how it worked on other people before I allowed her to try it on me. I also needed to ask a few questions before I allowed her to apply it on me like: Will it burn??? Is it drying??? Does it last all day??? Yada, yada, yada… You get the picture…right??? Right!!!
After five minutes of witnessing demos, the Makeup Artist asked again if I wanted to try and this time I said yes. Even though I was still a little nervous, I let her apply the Eye Kandy to my lips and just like that, they were transformed to a gorgeous glam ruby red just like Dorothy’s magical ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz!!! Liner and lips with glitter…OH MY!!! (Tee-hee) As I walked around The Makeup Show with my new glam lippie, I received so many compliments from fellow makeup junkies; some I knew and some were kindred makeup spirits…LOL.

I have been wearing the glitter Cherry Bomb for the past couple of weeks and here is what I like: It does not flake and it is long lasting just like the website says!!! It even stayed on after dinner and I did not have to reapply. It turned up my lip color to another level that I like to call “Diva Glam”!!! It did not burn or irritate my lips and it is multifunctional!!! As you know, it can be worn on eyes and lips but what you did not know, is that it can be used it as a body glitter. Believe it not, it is not that messy; you will not have glitter all over the place because the Liquid Sugar bonds to the glitter very fast. Last but not least, you can wear it on top of any brand of cosmetics and it is easy to remove…FTW!!!

Although I have several reasons on why this product is so glam, there are a few things that I did not care for. The glitter felt a little heavy on my lips so it took a little time for me to get use to it. It takes a couple of minutes for the product to dry and sometimes I just want to keep it moving and not wait (I know, patience is a virtue but when you are in a hurry…(in my Sweet Brown voice, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”). LOL
Now that you know the pros and cons, let me tell you my final grade. I rate Eye Kandy Glitter Sprinkles 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! Even though there were a few cons, they were not deal breakers J. If you are interested in purchasing Eye Kandy, go to the cost is $7.50 for 1 or $24.95 for an Eye Kandy bag, which includes a glitter of your choice and a Liquid Sugar. Happy Shimmering!!!

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The Debut of Marc Jacobs Beauty

Friday August 9th was the official launch date for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Sephora and from the looks of the packaging and playing with the products in store and let me just say…it was well worth the wait!!! I was told that the Sephora cast had to set it up the night before and cover it like was a secret surprise for an unveiling the next day because Marc did not want any onlookers lurking in the windows the night before the grand debut. WOW…talk about a secret squirrel operation…LOL
Before I give you my 2 cents about my visit, I want to share some inside scoop about how the brand came to fruition. Marc Jacobs views this brand as more than just a luxury brand. It is a brand with next generation performance. For example: the concealer is like no other. The packaging has a silver tip that is cooling to soothe tired eyes. I have never seen such a thing before and I must admit that it is very clever…don’t you think???
The names of the products were inspired by some of Marc’s favorite music and movies. I love that one of the lipsticks (LOVEMARC) in named Surrender Dorothy in honor of The Wizard of Oz and ENOAMORED (the nail polish) a nail color is called Nirvana after the awesome 90’s band.
The beauty line has some great colors and from what I have read, the formulations have top-notch technology, ingredients and performance. All products were “boy tested and girl approved.” FYI…Marc Jacobs curated all the color products and wrote notes on what he wanted and how things should be cutting edge.  I so love that he was involved in the creative side of the business. You can certainly see the luxury and his vision come across in the brand.
So now that you have some insight on the brand, let’s have some fun!!! Sleek, chic and sexy is how I would describe the gondola (in my best Jay-Z voice…it is All Black Everything)!!! OMG…the nail lacquers are fast drying!!! I went to talk to a cast member about another brand and my friend polished both hands and her nails were dry by the time I walked back in less than 2 minutes!!! I know…I would not have believed it if I was not standing there to witness it with my very own eyes.
The lipstick colors look nice but the eyeliners…left me kind of speechless (I know…I am never at a loss for words…*giggles*). The colors are vibrant and they stay on. I played with the colors in the store; I tried to remove them with the makeup remover and…nothing. I washed my hands 5 times and…nothing, nada, zero, zilch!!! To say that the liners have staying powers is understatement!!!
Those were the highlights of my adventure but before I end this post, I must let you know that I was not that impressed by the makeup brushes. They felt soft but that was only by touch of the hand and not on the face. I guess in all fairness, I would have to use them to truly tell you if they are worth it. The foundations and concealers are not offered in darker colors. I think they may only go up to my skin-tone L.
Overall, my experience was exciting and I enjoyed my beautyplay date!!! While I did not purchase anything on Friday (because I have put myself on time-out from buying until I try some of the bag of things that I have) I look forward to trying some products soon. LOL…don’t judge me!!! I admit it, I have a problem, I am a beauty junkie but I do it for you so in all honesty, I am taking one for the team…LBVS!!!
If you are interested in trying Marc Jacobs beauty, stop in Sephora or The Marc Jacobs Beauty store in NY. Yep, that’s right…he opened his 1st store in Manhattan with more to follow in the very near future!!! It looks like Marc Jacobs Beauty is here to stay and I think I’m pretty giddy about it…teehee!!!
If you have tried the brand, let me know your thoughts or if you have plans to tell me what you think after your beauty play date!!! MUAH

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