Top 10 Beauty Stocking Stuffers for 2014

With 4 days left of holiday shopping here are a few things you need to buy as stocking stuffers! This is a gift giving guide of beauty from the inside out!

  1. My new book, “#ImBeautyInspired A Keepsake Journal of Original Beauty Quotes & Affirmations!” 🙂 Yes, it’s a shameless plug but I think it will make an awesome gift. It’s filled with inspiration to empower young girls and women to embrace their inner beauty. Available on amazon.com for $12.99 paperback and $3.99 Kindle edition.#ImBeautyInspired abeauyscarlet_3d copy
  1. Beauty Blender Sponge: I have been using this product for over 2 years and this sponge is better than any makeup brush I have ever tried. It gives a fabulously flawless finish. It’s a great gift to give for the makeup savvy girl in your life. Available at Sephora for $19.95 for the original sponge.IMG_6749
  1. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Makeup Remover: I have fallen head over heels over the past year for Bobbi Brown makeup and Soothing Cleanser Oil! The entire makeup line is just gorg and natural looking. If you want a makeup that will give you a non-makeup look…this is it. Available at Macy’s prices range from $20 and up. If you’re in Chicago, go to the State Street location and ask for Viola. IMG_6748
  1. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and Secret Brightening Powder: These two products have saved me from looking a hot tired mess. It covers and gives life to my dark circles. I can’t live without these two. Available at Sephora for $24 each.
  1. IMG_6751Origins Skincare: Too many products for me to name but here are a list of my faves… GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream – brightens the eye area, $30 at Sephora. GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer – feels great and offers the perfect amount of moisture, $26.50 at Sephora. High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – calms and relaxes my skin before bed, $41 at Sephora. Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – Offers the perfect amount of balance on my skin, $21.50 at Sephora.IMG_6752
  1. Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator: It removes all the dead skin and leaves my skin extra soft and smooth feeling like silk. Available at Sephora for $35.IMG_6756
  1. LVX Nail Polish: This product will be on my list every year, as I have not found a better brand than this. The polish last up to 6 or 7 days without chipping or peeling. Available on shoplvx.com for $16.
  1. IMG_6755Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and Opaque Liquid Lipstick: The brow genius and the long lasting lippie are a match made in beauty heaven! Without the brow genius…my brows would not exist and without the liquid lipstick…I would spend all day reapplying my lipstick (and that’s no bueno)! Available at Sephora for $32 (brow) and $28 (lips).
  1. IMG_6753Eden Body Works Hair Care: This brand of products keep my tresses looking healthy and just fly! A few of my faves: Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo to remove the buildup and detox my hair. Coconut Shea Styling Elixir offers heat protection from heat styling. Coconut Shea Oil strengthens and adds shine without buildup. Available at endenbodyworks.com for $8.99 each.
  1. IMG_6759Green Smoothies: These are healthy treats full of fruits, veggies, vitamins and all sorts of goodness. They help to nourish the body, give great energy and boost beauty from the inside out! I love the book, “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by JJ Smith available on amazon.com for $9.59 paperback and $2.99 kindle edition.IMG_6760

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping! Enjoy your beauty purchases from the inside out!

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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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My Top 10 Stocking Stuffers Must Haves

Christmas is just a few days away and you still have time to purchase a few items for your stocking stuffers! Here are my top 10 suggestions that I have tried, tested and approved!!!

LVX: The No chip, no smudge nail polish wonder of the world! It last up to 8 days; Beauty School Scarlet tested, Beauty School Scarlet approved!IMG_2106Hair 180 Whipped She Butter: Gives lightweight shine and moisture without weighing the hair down!IMG_2110Beauty Blender: A makeup sponge that puts any makeup brush to shame with a flawless finish! It’s not your mama’s makeup sponge…LOLIMG_2115

Big Girl Cosmetics Grapefruit Foaming Wash: Gentle foaming face wash great fro combination skin. Removes excess oil without drying the skin.IMG_2109Josie Marin Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain: Long lasting lip power that you don’t need to reapply!IMG_2116Smashbox CC Cream: A genius lightweight makeup that moisturizes, corrects dark spots, evens out the skin tone with SPF 30!

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Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner: No smear, no smudge, waterproof eyeliner with fun colors for all skin tones!

IMG_4393Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel: Creamy clarifying shower gel that smells amazeballs!IMG_2108Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara: Long lasting no flaking mascara that makes the lashes look lushes!IMG_2119Peter Thomas Roth: The multifunctional Queen of Exfoliators! Baby smooth skin in just 5 minutes! IMG_1032

 

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My Luxurious Mani Monday

Last week I gave you a sneak peek of a nail polish that I had been wearing for 6 days!!! Today, I am here to give you the details on my journey, reveal the name of the brand and give you my final grade!!!

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A few months ago I attended the Simply Stylist event in Chicago and I met the owners of a nail polish brand by the name of LVX. LVX is a luxury brand of polish that recognizes beauty with a fashion forward outlook. They have developed their polish line with a unique understanding of fashion trends, which can be seen on the runway…. I don’t know about you but I am intrigued!!!

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I spotted the brand from across the room and I introduced myself to one of the owners, who then introduced me to his business partner – his sister. When I explained how I review and rate products, it was obvious that this was a match made in beauty heaven!!! I was surprised when they offered me every color within the summer collection to try and I could not wait to get home to put this polish to the test!!!

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The following week I make an appointment with my awesome nail stylist Char for my mani and pedi. When I arrived, she was surprised to see that I had a new brand with such vibrant colors. I think she became more excited than I was to try the new brand…LOL.

Now that you have the background information, let me share my likes!!! 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!!! I loved the opaque colors and longevity of the polish (after the 4th try…see the details in the dislikes).

Now this sounds like a winner but I would not be sincere if I did not share my total story of my journey with LVX polish. As I stated earlier…I tried this polish 4 times because I did have some issues with it on trails 1-3. The first time the polish lasted 1.5 days before it started to chip and peel. So I tried it a 2nd time and it lasted 2.5 days :-(. So I tried it a 3rd time because I figured the 3rd time has got to be a charm…right??? I am sure you may be wondering why I gave this a 3rd try??? Well, I am glad that you asked me that question. I tried it 3 times because every review I read was great and I didn’t understand why the polish did not work on me. Plus, the claims and the quality had me sold and I wanted it to work. After the 3rd time, I noticed that the polish lasted up to 4 days so, I knew that it was not the product that was not working, it was my nails that didn’t work with the polish.

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After the 3rd try, I saw one of the owners again and I explained my issue. She was surprised and concerned. She wanted to make sure that I had the best experience because she stood behind her brand and gave me the 3-in-1 coat to try. Impressed with her customer service and concern, I had to try it again!!!

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Okay, stop…let me rewind and explain before you give me the side eye…LOL. I have been wearing gel polish for most of the winter 2012 and spring 2013 without letting my nails breathe. I also picked the polish off instead of going in and letting my nail stylist remove it properly, which led to soft, brittle nails with ridges and that made to the polish peel as well as chip. BTW…the same thing happened with other brands as well so I know it was me and not the polish. So after the 4th try, I had success and the LVX polish lasted a total of 8 days!!! I was so excited that I shared day 6 with you, as well as with the owner as she was very excited to hear the great news!!!

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My final grade for LVX polish is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! LVX is an awesome brand worth trying and the customer service is great too!!! If you are interested in trying the new fall colors, you can purchase a bottle for $16 at shoplvx.com. Happy polishing!!!

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