To Buy or Not To Buy A Hair Steamer

A few months ago I attended The Little Black Dress gala for the In Her Shoes Foundation and they held a silent auction to kick off the event. I noted many things I wanted to place a bid on but I only wanted to win one. The Huetiful Hair and Facial Steamer was up for grabs and there was no way that I was going to let someone out bid me (in the name of charity…of course)! I stalked the list several times throughout the night to ensure that I would go home with the prize.

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At the end of the night, they called my name. I won; I won the bid on the Huetiful Hair and Facial Steamer! I was so excited to try this steamer as it has been on my wish list for quite some time and I had heard so much about it at the Huetiful grand opening in Chicago.

So, it’s been a few months and I have tried it a few times to see if this steamer was all that it claimed to be. Now I have only used the steamer for my hair and not my face so this review will be on that and the Huetiful Straightening Hair Masque. So, with no further ado, I give you The Glam it, The Slam it and The Final Review.

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The Glam: When I used the Huetiful Hair Steamer with the Straightening Hair Masque, I had less shrinkage with my curls. I also noticed that my hair was easier to blow dry and it was softer than usual. The best thing is, that when I worked out, my hair did not get as curly from the sweat as it normally does. Now when I used it without the Straightening Hair Masque, I had the normal amount of shrinkage, my blow dry time was not as good and my hair was not as soft. It’s easy to assemble and there is an automatic shutoff so the steam won’t burn you.

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The Slam: The cover for the steamer does not extended that far up so I have to slouch in the chair to keep my head under the hood. The Straightening Hair Masque was not as effective without the hair steamer.

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My final grade for the Heutiful Hair and Facial Steamer is 4.5 out of 5 smooches…. MUAH! If the hood was easier to adjust and if you could experience the same outcome with your hair without the Straightening Hair Masque, then my final grade would be a 5. I have come to love my steamer and conditioner and I use it every week. This steamer and masque together, is just everything to my hair! If you are interested in purchasing the Huetiful Hair and Facial Steamer and Straightening Hair Masque, you can head over to huetiful.com or the Huetiful Salon located in Chicago or Atlanta. But hurry because it is currently on sale for $116.95 from $129.95 and the conditioner is $18. Happy Steaming!

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

Countless Color Pigments by Stila

It’s funny how time flies when you are having fun with makeup! Last year I attended The Makeup Show Chicago and I stopped by the Stila Cosmetics booth to paly with some products and have a little fun.

I remember as if it were yesterday, the brand had recently launched their Countless Color Pigments. I had seen them in Sephora but I had not had time to test the colors. Luckily for me, the Stila team was ready to take action and play.

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Because of the marbled effect with the product, at first glance, I wondered what the heck do I do with this stuff? Do I wear it as a shadow or blush? Do I utilize all the colors or do I just try one? Are there different ways to use this or not? My mind was spinning with so many questions and I couldn’t wait to find out the answers.

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One of the makeup artist said it’s simple to use, you just, “blend, swirl and swipe on your eyes or cheeks. You can use it as a shadow or blush and you can use one color, a few colors or custom build your own.” Bingo, ding, ding ding another multifunctional product, I hit the jackpot! So with that said, let me give you The Glam, The Slam and my final grade.

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The Glam: This is the multifunctional product of all multifunctional products! The Color Pigment is a beauty goldmine! As the makeup artist stated, you can use this as a shadow or blush. You can use one color or several as well as custom blend your own. This product not only allows you to use it in many different ways, it allows you to be creative and sort of become your very own product developer by blending, swirling or swiping! YES…I am here for this! Can you say #winning? Oh yeah, the colors last long, they don’t crease and they offer great pigment just like the name states.

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The Slam: Although you can create your own shade of colors, you may not be able to recreate it on the opposite eye or cheek. And most importantly, that super stunning look you just created today, you may not be able to replicate it tomorrow or next week. Insert sad face here >>>:-(

My final grade for the Countless Color Pigments by Stila Cosmetics is 4.5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH. I love this product but I want to be able to recreate a fly look from last week and in the future…IJS. If you are interested in purchasing the product, head over to stilacosmetics.com Sephora or Ulta. They are available in eight shades and they are on sale now for $8.00 only on stilacosmetics.com. Happy blending, swirling and swiping!

 

 

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

Can You Restore Lashes?

A few months ago I received a sweet little surprise that I have been dying to try inside of my monthly beauty subscription box, Birchbox. It was the new Restorative Lash Treatment and Mascara by Ojon. It has been on my must-try list and I was considering purchasing this product just a few days before its surprise arrival. Can you say #Winning?

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Just in case you are wondering about the brand Ojon, let me spill the beauty tea! As you know, the air is filled with smoke, smog and pollution, which cause damage to the hair along with regular styling, the sun, diet and stress. Ojon’s mission is to help you transform your hair to perfect health with their hair treatments formulated from a 500-year beauty secret from the remote regions of the rainforest in Central America. The key ingredient inside of the treatment is the golden elixir obtained from the nut of the Ojon tree.

The golden elixir is hand extracted precious oil with natural ingredients, which creates natural affinity for the hair to restore radiance, bounce and body. It also offers vibrancy to repair even the most damaged hair. The products are made with natural ingredients that are 100% essential oils. The products are made without parabens, mineral oils and other harmful ingredients.

Okay, so now you know all about Ojon and their mission, let me give you the Glam it or Slam it and my final grade!

The Glam: This product is pretty cool because it’s multifunctional and we all know I love products that serve more than one purpose. It’s a treatment on one side and mascara on the other. The treatment side conditions the lashes to give them life and yes, it did that. The conditioning treatment seemed to separate my lashes more than if I had applied mascara alone.

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With Mascara (Brand X on the left and Ojon on the right)  and Restorative Lash Treatment 

The Slam: The mascara side is supposed to offer long luscious come hither lashes but when I used it a few times, I got regular lashes and irritated eyes. The mascara side was a disappointment to say the least. Even with three coats, it was just blah. This was quite the disappointment because the conditioning side was nice. Boo…Hiss

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No mascara or Restorative Lash Treatment

My final grade for the Restorative Lash Treatment by Ojon is 3 out of 5 smooches…MUAH. This multifunctional product is not so multifunctional after all. The conditioning side is good but the mascara, not so much. If I am going to pay $21 for mascara it better give me long, full luscious lashes that I can’t live without and won’t irritate my eyes plus the conditioning side should offer the benefit of growing my lashes…IJS! If you are interested in trying this mascara, head over to birchbox.com and make your purchase at your risk…LOL. Happy Shopping!

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

Gleam, Glimmer and Shimmer

June is my favorite month because it’s the start of so many things, events and celebrations. The month of June brings warmer weather, summer, my birthday and every beauty blogger’s and makeup artist’s favorite, The Makeup Show!

Yaass…The Makeup Show was in Chicago June 7th – 8th with a Blogger Preview event on the 6th with a bag full of beauty swag presented by the amazing Celebrity Makeup Artist James Vincent. He shared some of his fave beauty products and I must say, they were all pretty impressive and I could not wait to get my beauty play date on.

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While I have tried a few of the products, the one that I am reviewing today is the Body Radiance from Gleam by Melanie Mills. I had never heard of the brand until James introduced it at the Blogger Preview event. So here’s a little beauty training to get you acquainted.

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The creator of Gleam, Melanie Mills is an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and one of Hollywood’s leading sought after beauty consultants. With over fifteen years of experience, she has perfected her craft of sculpting faces and bodies through the art of makeup. In 2007 she was selected as the Makeup Department Head for Dancing With the Stars and in 2008 she won an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup Design.IMG_4613

Now that you have been formally introduced, let’s get to The Glam it , The Slam it and The Final Grade.

The Glam: Gleam Body Radiance is a multifunctional product; that can be used on the face and body. This is a makeup, moisturizer and glow all in one. It gives a sheen and shimmer on the skin that leaves you looking sexy, sultry and sensational. Forget playing in the sun this summer for your sun-kissed goddess bronzed look because Gleam Body Radiance will put your natural tan to shame. Oh yes, it’s just that good!

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It will not rub off on your clothes and the shimmer last all day long. It’s available in four shades so it’s great for all skin tones. Because we received the light gold in our beauty swag bags, I used it as a highlighter on my cheekbones and I love it! This product may be the 7th beauty wonder of the world. #IJS

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The Slam: Well, I really don’t have a slam because I really like this product. However, the website does state that Gleam Body Radiance is a wrinkle filler, skin tighter and can diminish flaws like varicose veins, small stretch marks and discoloration but I am unable to confirm this; because the shade I tried is too light to cover my imperfections with my skin tone. I would need the Bronze Gold to put that statement to the test.

My final grade for the Gleam Body Radiance in Light Gold is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH! It looks and feels great on my skin and the shimmer power is amazing! If you are interested in getting your gleam on, head over to gleambymelaniemills.com. It’s available in four shades and three sizes with prices ranging from $15 – $40. Happy Gleaming!

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

A Clarisonic Beauty Review

A few months ago I finally broke down and purchased a Clarisonic Mia 2 and I am proud to say that I did not pay full price. I caught one on sale on a cool discount website for $99 and the regular price is $149. So needless to say, I wasted no time to get this deal before they sold out. I was totally winning!

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In case you are wondering what’s so special about Clarisonic, let me give you the answer to your beauty question. The Clarisonic Mia 2 is a cleansing brush for the face made with two speeds and a one-minute pulsing T-Timer to clarify the skin. It’s a machine that is supposed to make exfoliation faster and easier for a more even, thorough and effective cleaning. It’s made with high quality technology to help you get the best skin ever.

There are seven different types of Clarisonic tools, which vary from speed, how you use them and what’s included inside the kit.

So now that you have the beauty 411, let’s get to the Glam it, the Slam it and the final grade!

The Glam: The Clarisonic Mia 2 is said to offer a gentle massage to exfoliate the skin. It felt a little abrasive on my skin the first time I used it and the second time, it was just a little but not as much. It is supposed to gently clean the pores without harsh abrasion. While I did not see a difference in my pores, I did see a difference with the appearance of my blackheads on my nose; they appeared to be clearer and my skin felt softer.

The tool is waterproof and can be used in the shower or bath. The T-Timer prompts you to focus on the next area on the face so you do not over exfoliate the skin.

The Slam: The kit came with a gel cleanser, which irritated and dried out my skin. Several weeks later, I tried it a second time with my regular cleanser and my skin was not as irritated but it did leave dry patches. I tried it again a third time and had the same results. I was super disappointed as I am using the gentle Clarisonic :-(.

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The Clairisonic Mia 2 cleanser is meh, okay. I think that it is hyped up and it did not meet my expectations. I will use it again as I need to get my money’s worth but maybe I will try it on other areas or I will not use it as long as the T Timer suggests. My final grade for the Mia 2 is 3 out of 5 smooches!!! MUAH If you are interested in purchasing the Mia 2 Clarisonic, you can get it for $149 on clarisonic.com, specialty cosmetic companies or department stores. Happy Exfoliating…MUAH

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

Highlight, Illuminate, Glow

A few weeks ago during our cold winter spell in the Chicago area, I had an awesome girl’s day at Mojo Spa in Chicago and it was an AMAZING day to say the least!

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Mojo Spa is cool spa where all the products are handmade. It all started with Amanda Kezios’s quest for the perfect lip balm. With her talents as a personal chef, she turned her passion into a business. She has created over 200 products with natural food ingredients and aromatherapy blends made with positive affirmations and healing crystals.

We popped in for manicures and pedicures. We were lucky they had a time to squeeze us in. Delia and Nikki were ready and set to make our nails and toes look new again.

The resident Makeup Artist Chelsea offered us a complimentary makeover with our service. She was very pleasant and chose a good selection of colors for our skin tones.

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The Red Velvet Lipstick was my fave because red is my signature color. But today, I am going to tell you about the lluminata Illuminating Herbal Makeup, so check out the deats in The Glam It or Slam it.

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Here’s the Glam: It is an herbal infused formula mixed with all kinds of goodness to help heal and rejuvenate the skin. It’s a 3-in-1 multifunctional product that primes, moisturizes and illuminates! It has light reflecting particles, which gives you a glow and highlight! The best part is, a little goes a long way and you can wear it alone or underneath your makeup. And if that was not enough…it’s handmade and smells some kind of amazing (but not overpowering). Oh yeah, drum roll please…it’s great for all skin tones (no ashy look here) and skin types!

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The Slam: Insert happy face here 🙂 because I love everything about this product! Plus we had so much fun at Mojo Spa and it was something that we really needed. Thank goodness for snow days, good friends and great customer service!

My final grade for the lluminata Illuminating Herbal Makeup is totally a 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH! If you are interested in purchasing the lluminata Illuminating Herbal Makeup it is $25, at mojospa.com or schedule a spa day with a makeover at Mojo Spa in Chicago… trust me, you won’t be sorry you’ll be refreshed… Happy Illuminating!

 

This post was originally posted on Rachel O Beauty

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

A Molton Brown Experience – A Luxury Shower Gel and Lotion

A few months ago, I flew to NYC to check out the beauty capital in the USA and the first thing I wanted to do was head over to the Molton Brown store! The company originated in London, England, 1973 and they are known as the bath, body and beauty specialist.  They infuse the products with exotic ingredients and sensual smells. This luxurious brand is definitely worth a try.

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Molton Brown is actually one of my favorite bath and body brands because the smell and quality is just so amazing! They recently opened a new flagship store in NYC and I wanted to take in the ambiance, linger inside and of course, make a purchase. Yes, I know, I am a total sucker when it comes to products and this time was no different…LOL.

IMG_2151Anywho, I received great service from a guy (I can’t remember his name) but he was so patient with me as I smelled EVERYTHING in the entire store…LBVS! I must say that it was a little bit of an overload because there was so many products but I had to smell them all as I needed to find the perfect body wash to fall in love with 🙂 .

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IMG_2150Here’s the Glam: It was love at last smell with the Ambrusca Cleansing Shower Oil and Conditioning Body Lotion. The Cleansing Shower Oil hydrates and tones the skin. It is a fresh floral smell that lingers with an amazing aroma that last throughout the day. A little goes a long way and it leaves the skin so soft. And surprisingly, the shower oil gives a good lather but not as much as a gel.

The Conditioning Body Lotion is hydrating and leaves the skin silky and smooth! Both products are rich in antioxidants with grape leaf extract and Moroccan argan oil to help tone the skin. And the scent is just so amazing that it makes me heart shower time even more 🙂 .

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Here’s the Slam: There is not a Molton Brown store in Chicago; you can only order online and the body lotion is currently out of stock 🙁 , boo and hiss! It is a little on the expensive side but, it is totally worth the cost.

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My final grade for the Ambrusca Cleansing Shower Oil and Conditioning Body Lotion is…(yes you’ve guessed it) 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! If you are interested in purchasing these products, you can do so at moltonbrown.com or visit the store in NYC!  The shower oil is $34 and the body lotion is $39. Happy pampering!!!

 

*This post was originally posted on Rachel O Beauty *

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

A Lipstick with Color and Pigment

This post was originally posted on Rachel O Beauty

I am always in search of a new red lipstick to try and Sephora is usually at the top of my list. A few months ago I decided to try the brand Makeup Forever because they are known for deep pigments of color and long lasting products; two of the qualities I love in my makeup!

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Who is Makeup Forever? It’s a brand created by Dany Sanz a former student of fine arts who became a makeup artist. Later in life she became an instructor in a beauty school by day and created the products at night. Makeup Forever became popular with makeup artist and expanded through the years.

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Here’s the 411…I have been testing the Rouge Artist Intense Color Lipstick in Moulin Rouge for several months. The first time I tried it, I liked it. The second time, not so much because the color started bleeding around my mouth and I looked like a clown… LBVS. I had the biggest red ring around my mouth after 10 minutes of applying the lipstick. I had to try it a few more times to see if it was the product or the way I used the product. Maybe my skin was too oily or maybe I used too much moisturizer around my lips, I didn’t know so I had to try it again.

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Here’s the Glam: The lipstick is highly pigmented and the color is true to the shade shown. It is moisturizing and you can get a lot of color on the lips with just one swipe.

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Here’s the Slam: It does not last that long. After lunch, I had to reapply because most of the product ended up on the glass and not my lips. In fact, most of the lipstick was gone by the end of my meal 🙁 . After several uses, the color did bleed around my mouth but not as much. There is a slight perfume smell to the lipstick, it’s not enough to drive you crazy but it does linger.

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My overall grade for the Rouge Artist Intense Color Lipstick in Moulin Rouge is 2.5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH! While the lipstick is highly pigmented, it does not last very long. My biggest pet peeve in a lipstick is seeing more lipstick on the glass or my teeth than on the lips. Last but not least, I hate when I lipstick bleeds. If you are interested in purchasing this lippie, you can get at Sephora or makeupforver.com for $20. Happy Shopping!

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Copyright 2014 Beauty School ScArlet

Give it to me Straight

It’s been a little over a year since I have been wearing my hair natural. I have grown out my relaxer to be chemical free and healthy…WooHoo!

During this journey, I tried a lot of products to prevent hair breakage and maintain one texture of hair. You see, when you transition your hair, you can have curly, straight and wavy pieces which, can be very frustrating because you don’t know how to wear your hair. During this process, you can also experience a lot of breakage because the relaxed hair is damaged and growing out and the curly hair is stronger hair. When the curly hair grows more and more, it can make the relaxed hair snap and break.

During my transition, I tried new products from the Ojon Super Sleek line. It is a four-step process with the Super Sleek Smoothing Shampoo, Super Sleek Smoothing Conditioner, Super Sleek Hair Straightening Treatment and the Super Sleek Restorative Blowout Protector. I was so excited because I have been using Ojon for a long time and the products have helped me maintain healthy hair throughout the years and I knew these products would not be any different!

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So, I purchased the products in Spring of 2013 and I have been testing it since then. Yes, it has taken me over 6 months to test this product line and I will let you know why in just a moment.

As I mentioned earlier, when you transition your hair you will have all types of textures going on from curly, wavy and straight and it is frustrating to say the least! I was not ready to wear my hair curly so the only alternative was to wear it straight and I needed product to help me achieve my style because by the 6th month, blow-drying was taking too long and I was burning my hair by applying too much heat. I needed help!

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Here’s the glam: The Super Sleek Shampoo, Conditioner and Restorative Blowout Protector helped me maintain my straight hair for the first 5 months. The shampoo is sulfate free so it prevents dryness and it is very moisturizing. The conditioner is moisturizing as well and was easy to comb through my hair. The blow-drying cream was awesome! It kept my hair straight, smooth and sleek. I loved my hair until the sixth month during the core summer months! My hair swelled and it did not stay as straight even with the blow-drying cream :-(. So, I implemented the fourth step with the Super Sleek Straightening Treatment and I was in hair heaven! My blow-drying time was cut in half and my hair felt like silk. I was so excited to read that the product last up to 30 shampoos…FTW!

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I was a little nervous because the straightening treatment is like a keratin treatment but without all the bad stuff and I have tried a keratin treatment before and it did not work. By the second try, my hair was falling out. It was a disaster to say the least.  But this was different I was convinced and I loved it until it was time for the third application.

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Here is the slam: Right before the third application, my hair started breaking off. I have a major breakage in the front and a section in the back 🙁 Whomp, Whomp! How do I know that it was the straightening treatment? Well, it is the only product I have been using, I have not tried anything new and my hair stylist who is also a hair instructor said products like this are not made multi-ethnic hair. Even though the product is free from formaldehyde, lye and cysteine…anything that is like a keratin treatment is not good.

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Needless to say, I did not have her do a third application and my results are inconclusive for the Super Sleek line by Ojon. Here’s what’s interesting…I found out that the straightening treatment was discontinued for thick/coarse hair but I did not find out why. I am still using the shampoo, conditioner and blow-dry protector because I don’t think it is harmful and it worked for the first five months.

On my last visit to the hair salon, I got my hair trimmed to camouflage the breakage and it has been not been breaking since then. I will certainly keep you posted. I guess in this case, I took one for the team!

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Copyright 2013 Beauty School ScArlet

The Queen of Exfoliators

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A few months ago on one of my many trips to Sephora, I was introduced to a new product called FIRMx Peeling Gel by Peter Thomas Roth. Now, I was not in the market for a new exfoliator but one of the Cast Members who knows me (don’t judge me) raved about how much she loved this product and its multifunctional uses…needless to say, she had me at the word multifunctional…LOL.

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So there I was listening to one of my favorite Cast Members share her testimony on the FIRMx Peeling Gel but before we get down to the nitty gritty, let me give you a little background information on the brand. Peter Thomas Roth A.K.A. PTR has been a part of the beauty industry since birth sort to speak; his family owned and operated two spas in the early 1800’s and 1900’s in Hungary. And when he launched his company in 1993, he used the basic soothing and healing philosophies from the many muds found in the Hungarian thermal springs. PTR also wanted to find quality products with innovative technology for acne and anti-aging.  Today, the brand has 100’s of products with breakthrough formulas and astonishing results.

Okay, so now that you have been formally introduced, let’s get down to the nittty gritty of the likes and dislikes!!! I like  (no, let me change that) love how this product exfoliates. It removes the dead skin cells like none other and leaves the skin feeling like silk!!! I felt like my face was kind of like a snake that sheds its skin.  The gel was so amazing that I used it on my hands and feet as the Cast Member suggested. Yep…that’s right, this gel works on the feet too!!! Mmm, hmm…it left my heels feeling extra soft…better than the best pedi I ever had!!! LBVS. It is not drying and it works on my sensitive skin!!! FTW. And if that was not enough, it was easy to use and it did not smell. The dead skin rolls right off and reveals the newest of new skin…all I can do is scream, YES!!! Giggles

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So now that you know all the good stuff, let me share the bad… Oh wait, I could not find anything bad about this product because it gave my skin life and it is just amazeballs!!! Yes, this multifunctional exfoliator is just…EVERYTHING!!!

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My final grade for the FIRMx Peeling Gel by Peter Thomas Roth is 5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! Thank you Mr. PTR for your invention as I am now in love. You can purchase the FIRMx Peeling Gel at Sephora or peterthomasroth.com for $48. Yes, I know it is a little steep but you pay for what you get and this exfoliator is “Grade A” quality and worth every single penny!!! I can understand why it won the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval…Happy exfoliating…MUAH

 

Logo Photo Credit: Sephora.com

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Copyright 2013 Beauty School ScArlet