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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Secret and Not So Secret Beauty Tips

Hey Beauty Scholars!!! It’s Friday night and it is about to storm in the Chicago area so, I thought I would giveaway some of my best secret and not so secret beauty tips for your weekend enjoyment 🙂 Some tips I have heard from friends, some from beauty mags or beauty segments; none the less…they are great tips and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me…enjoy!!!

I was watching Dr. Oz one day and he had a beauty secret that I could not pass on and I have only shared this publicly once so you are in for a treat!!! If your feet get sweaty or stinky, use deodorant on the bottom to keep them dry!!! Yep, that’s right, deodorant is not just for keeping your underarms dry and smelling fresh, it is also for feet too!!! LBVS…don’t judge me but it works.

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Even though I have beautiful brown skin…I sometimes want that sun kissed look!!! So, instead of laying out in the sun, I use a liquid bronzer on my body to give my skin that beautiful bronzed glow!!! Mmm, hmm it is one of my best-kept secrets for fake hosiery on my legs…LOL

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Did you know that if your skin is oily that you could blot it with a toilet seat cover??? I know, I know…it sounds crazy but the paper is made out of the same material as blotting papers. Who knew??? If you are a little leery using those, try a paper napkin, it is not the same but it helps the shine and keeps you from looking like an oil slick…LOL. But remember to blot not rub or the paper will be all over your face and then you will look a little crazy…IJS.

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You want whiter teeth quick fast and in a hurry??? No problem, apply your best red lipstick and wallah…just like magic; you have the appearance of whiter and brighter teeth!!! Easy, breezy, amazing, I know!!! Giggles

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Do you have shampoo/conditioner or shower gel that you purchased and did not return??? Use them as shaving cream or use the shower gel or shampoo as hand soap. No need of wasting it or throwing it out. It does the same thing, the same thing, the same thing…LOL.

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Speaking of shaving your legs, to get a closer shave, use a body scrub before you shave to remove the dead skin cells. This will give you super soft skin and if you use self tanner, it will prevent you from having that streaky look. You know that uneven look you hate; well, it’s all gone if you scrub before you tan!!! I know, thank me later 🙂

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Last but not least, stop using a towel to dry your hair. Why??? Well, the little loops in the towel catch onto the hair and pulls it. Towels absorb a lot of moisture and you need a little moisture if you are going to blow dry the hair. Plus, when you rub the towel in your hair it causes the hair to get frizzy and tangled…boo!!! So what should you use, you ask??? A cotton t-shirt will save the day and your hair!!!  And who doesn’t want great hair???

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So there you have it…my secret and not so secret Friday night beauty tips!!! MUAH

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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!!!

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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!!!

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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!!!

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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!!!

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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 ajcrimson.myshopify.com. Happy blending!!!

 

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Beauty Talk Live Spa Party

Hey Beauty Scholars!!! Tonight is the night for another Beauty Talk Live Spa Party hosted by Gia Marie with several guest and a special appearance from yours truly…*giggles*.

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Tonight the party will be all about skincare with an amazing skincare giveaway from Tilth Beauty for the most interactive person who tweets live during the show!!! Yep, that’s right…you could win just by participating and sharing!!! So be sure to tune in tonight August 15th at 10:00 PM EST. *(mask below is not the featured DIY mask or from Tilth Beauty)*

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Prepare yourself for the party early and get the recipe for a DIY Red Velvet facial mask (mmm…sounds good) by stopping over at Beauty Talk Live for your ingredients and directions. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of your favorite wine or drink of your choice, a candle or two and a slice of red velvet cake to complete the theme!!! LOL

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Be ready to have fun, learn about skincare and relax all at the same time!!! Oh, and be sure you tweet using the hash tag #BeautyTalk and follow @giabeautytalk, @beautyschoolscarlet and @tilthbeauty!!!

MUAH…chat with you later!!!

 

 

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5 Beauty Travel Tips to Keep You TSA Approved

*This post was originally posted on Ms. Travel Chic*

Do you ever have trouble packing the right beauty products for your vacation??? Do you get confused on what to take and what to leave??? Do you have to check your bag EVERY single trip because you just have too many products??? If you answered yes to any of these questions…then you need to continue, read on and join the club…LOL. These are Beauty Blogger problems that I face on constant basis and I am tired of the TSA making me check my bags all the darn time L. I have decided to take matters into my own hands and share my top 5 beauty tips to help us all overcome this problem J.
Tip #1: This tip is easy but it took me forever to see what was right in front of my face (don’t judge me, I have seen the light and opened my eyes). If you are taking a trip, when you shop for your beauty products, always shop the travel section. Every store has one these days from Target to Sephora and everything in between. The travel section offers sizes that are TSA approved. My go to travel section for skin and hair products is the Beauty To Go area in Sephora. They offer the brands that I love and the products that I use.
Tip #2: Forget the Ziploc bags and get a plastic see through bag from a drug store to fill all of your travel sized products. A see through makeup bag holds more than a Ziploc bag and they last longer…trust me I know!!! As a Beauty Blogger, I can never get all my travel size products in a Ziploc bag as I am always adding more…LOL. I found a great bag from Walgreens that had plastic travel size bottles inside. I chucked those because they would leak in my bag and replaced them with old bottles as I finish the product inside…genius, I know!!! LOL
Tip #3: Utilize the space inside your bag for non-liquid items like deodorant, pressed powder, toothbrush and liquids like contact lens solution (yes, this is okay…the TSA will not tell you but I will). You can have contact lens solution in a travel size inside of your suitcase and get through security. Trust me…a TSA Agent informed me on this tip J…Winning!!!
Tip #4: Purchase multifunctional beauty products that will allow more room in your suitcase like a makeup palette with eye shadow and blush or eye shadow, blush and lips. Trust me, you are not going to use 10 colors on vacation (if you do, then you are a bigger makeup junkie than me and I am not sure that I can help you)…IJS. You can also purchase makeup wipes that cleanse, tone and moisturize so you do not have bring a cleanser, toner and moisturizer.
Tip #5: If you don’t have sensitive skin or if you are not picky, leave your shower gels and shampoos behind. You can utilize what the hotel offers or you can do what I do…shop when you get to your destination. These days a lot of hotels offer decent brands for shower gels and shampoo for free (and if it is a good brand and it’s free…then it is totally for me)!!!
So there you have it, the top 5-beauty travel tips from a Beauty Blogger!!! I hope this has helped you as much as it as helped me J. I travel just about every week and it is not always that easy. BTW…I always have 2 of everything in case I have to check my bag and the airline misplaces (I mean looses) my bag!!! I keep 1 set at home and 1 in my suitcase and this is what works for me. Happy Packing!!! MUAH



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My Guest Post on Rachel O. Beauty: My Summer Lovin’ Facial Cleanser

Today I am going to do something a little different I am going to give you the final grade first and then tell you how and why I came up with this rating (warning…spoiler alert). GIGGLES

As you can see in the title, the Checks and Balances Cleanser by Origins is one of my faves so I give this cleanser… click the link to continue to reading…

http://www.rachelobeauty.com/my-summer-lovin-facial-cleanser/

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My Guest Report Card Review on Rachel O Beauty: The Pursuit of the Perfect Sunscreen

Neutrogena is an oldie but goodie brand that I can always count on as a go to for my drug store products. The skincare is dermatologist recommended and they have a wide range of products to choose from with very affordable prices. So when I was on the hunt for the perfect sunscreen, it was sort of a no brainer to include them in my search.

Click the link to continue reading…
http://www.rachelobeauty.com/neutrogena-spf-review/

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A Beauty Book Review – Jump Start Your Esthetics Career

Disclaimer: I have been compensated to review Jump Start Your Esthetics Career – A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians. The compensation that I have received has in not influenced the review or final grade in any way.
As you know I am the Siskel & Ebert of all things beauty!!! That means I review and rate anything that is related to beauty. So when I was approached by Grace Riley Esthetics to review her book: Jump Start Your Esthetics Career – A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians, it was a no brainer for me.
Grace Riley not only teaches esthetics but she also wrote a book to successfully navigate new graduates step by step through the start of their career. The book allows the new graduate to outline a clear career path as well as any licensed esthetician who is looking to change directions from owning their own business, working for a company or renting a booth to interviewing, advertising, work place issues and setting yourself apart.
Here is what I liked: Grace Riley emphasizes the importance of achieving client loyalty and the best way to make it happen. She addresses many questions that a new graduate may not know to ask or are afraid to ask starting from the beginning of the interview process to addressing why you should have liability insurance. This is an easy to understand, user-friendly guide with lots of great information. The best thing about the book is that some of the information can be translated to new professionals starting out or over in several different industries, not just esthetics. Believe it or not, I even learned a few things that I can apply to my blogging career in the advertising chapter.
So now that you know what I liked, let’s talk about what I did not like: There are a few times where I felt like she could have expanded on a chapter or two, for example: chapter 2 finding a job, I would have liked to have read more on what to do after the interview and follow-up but that could be the recruiter in me from my past life…LOL.
Overall, Jump Start Your Esthetics Career – A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians by Grace Riley is a great, easy to understand straightforward guide. My final grade for the book is 4.5 out of 5 smooches…MUAH!!! If you are interested in starting a career in the beauty industry or if you are a recent beauty grad, this is a must read!!! You can purchase the digital book on amazon.com for $6.99. Happy Reading!!!

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Skin for Life: The Importance of a Good Skin Care Regimen

Guest Post By: Grace Riley
When you ask most people what their skin care regimen is they tend to list all of the things that make most estheticians squirm. Many use drying bar soaps; some use over-the-counter creams; some don’t wash their skin on a regular basis; others use hot water directly on their face; many don’t use sun block; and a brave few admit that they don’t get bi-annual skin cancer screenings. All of these combined factors will lead to dull, lifeless, and haggard-looking skin, not to mention the risk of skin cancer.

We live in a world that demands quick fixes, and this is true in the skin care industry as well, people will spend years destroying their skin and then demand a doctor or esthetician fix it in five minutes. While we’ve come very far in terms of cosmetic skin care, it is far better to take a preventative skin care approach instead of the destroying and fixing it later method. Sure, there are many medical procedures that can fix skin issues, but why not save the money and the pain that goes along with medical procedures by using good preventative care? Here are my rules for great, healthy skin for life:

(1) Cleanse 2x’s daily with high quality, professional cleanser (my favorites: Bioelements, Eminence, & Image Skin)

(2) Exfoliate twice weekly (love Dermalogica’s Rice Exfoliant & Eminence Pumpkin Enzyme Peel)

(3) Steam a couple times a week and remove blackheads

(4) Use high quality masks for various conditions (clay for oil/acne—aloe or pineapple for sensitive—creamy/milk based for dry)

(5) Get regular facials-at least once a month.

(6) Use some type of Vitamin C on the skin—it helps with numerous conditions, but it also gives the skin a nice glow & taking Fish oil supplements is another good one for glow.

(7) Aging Skin-Use Prescription Retin-A—nothing beats it—it is the ultimate exfoliation and it combats both acne and fine lines. Over-the-counter Retinols are good, but not nearly as effective as the script Retin-A.

(8) Bleaching Cream (I’ve found Obagi to be the most effective)-to combat dark pigmentation patches or freckles, and to smooth out the skin.

(9) SUNBLOCK IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST & Get bi-annual or annual skin cancer screenings.

(10) Preventative Botox-I know this sounds absurd, but if there is minimal damage or fine lines, it is actually better to get Botox at that point to help freeze the muscles so they don’t develop into deeper lines later. Of course, Botox is a personal choice and I am not advocating it, but instead bringing the information to readers that I was given by a dermatologist.

Article’s Author: Grace Riley is the founder of Grace Riley Esthetics and author of Jump Start Your Esthetics Career: A Guide For Newly Licensed Estheticians. She is a licensed and oncology certified esthetician, and has a background in human resources. Her combined education and experience gives her the unique opportunity to dedicate much of her work to helping esthetics students and recent graduates across the globe find their way through the spa industry.

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Does 1+1=2??? A Double Duty Cleanser Put to the Test

Hey Beauty Scholars!!! Here is my Report Card Review as a guest post on Rachel O. Beauty. Click the link to see the final grade on if the Clarins 2 in 1 cleanser is really worth it!!!

http://www.rachelobeauty.com/clarins-2-in-1-cleanser/

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