Jun 26, 2015

Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer

 Isn't it almost annoying when a fashion designer comes out with a makeup line that is THIS good?  It's like enough already, we get it, you're super chic and a brilliant designer.  Stop making me spend all of my money!  Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer is for the girls that love gloss.  As the name implies, these are about high shine.  I'd almost use the word dazzling.  And being the gloss lover that I am, I think these are fantastic.  I think there are about 18 shades, but here are swatches of the 3 that I received here:
From left to right; Uproar, Love Drunk, and Moonglow.  Uproar is the sheerest of the 3; a super pretty sheer coral with some sparkle to it.  Definitely a great summer color.  Love Drunk is my FAVORITE of the 3.  It's a super universal mauve shade that has just a touch of bronze in it.  Moonglow is a light pink shade that I feel like the nude-lovers and the Kim Kardashians of the world will love.  I have pale lips already so I usually don't like to add more paleness on top of them, but I'll reserve this for a night when the dramatic makeup is coming out.  They are all super creamy for comfortable wear, and they actually smell faintly of mint.    
The Marc Beauty team came up with some suggested hi-shine pairings (almost like how delicious a wine and cheese pairing is for your mouth, these lip and nail pairings will have you looking sexified in an instant).  
Some Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers from left to right; Le Charm, Jezebel, and Petra.  They suggest pairing Le Charm (a rose copper with a ton of shimmer) with Uproar.  Jezebel (not just a great name, but a great black cherry color) goes back to Moonglow for an ultimate date-night look.  And, not surprisingly, my favorite of the nail shades, Petra, goes back with my favorite lip shade, Love Drunk.  
Here's a close-up look of Petra, a bronzed-purple with enough shimmer to make it look textural.

Jun 16, 2015

Cool Stuff Happening Over At MAKE UP FOR EVER That You Need To Know About

Where do I even begin?  With the fact that MAKE UP FOR EVER is launching cool and revolutionary products to keep up with the demands of today's technology?  Or with the fact that they are the first beauty brand to have a trans woman as a spokesmodel?  I could almost pass out from this awesomeness, but I must continue on and tell you all about it.   

Let's start with the makeup, shall we?  I do not pretend to be technologically advanced by any means.  I still have an Iphone 5 because I refused to upgrade to a 6 and give up my amazing Stella McCartney shark case.  I will admit that when I heard about 4K technology I had ZERO clue that this was a thing.  Apparently it's the next generation of photography and displays on all our digital devices, that allows people to see amazing clarity compared to the HD technology we're used to now.  (I mean, seriously?  This means I will have to upgrade everything and bye, bye shark case).  Well, with the launch of 4K technology, if you haven't guessed already, that means that our makeup must be on point.  Don't worry, though, MAKE UP FOR EVER has our backs.  They've developed a new ULTRA HD FOUNDATION with a "4K Complex" specifically for this upcoming technology.
Basically, for this new technology, you need something with good coverage, but still looks natural on the skin.  This is the daily struggle, isn't it?  MAKE UP FOR EVER's new formula is made with Amino Acid Coated Pigments, to give you that airbrushed quality without feeling heavy, Hyaluronic Spheres for hydrated, comfortable wear, and Sericite (not that I have ever heard of this before) to give a luminous effect to the skin.  The bottom line?  Good coverage that still looks natural on the skin, and actually doesn't feel like you're wearing a mask.  Oh, and it's available in 40 shades!  That's huge. Where else can you find such an extensive shade range?

And the fun continues, because MAKE UP FOR EVER is launching its first real major brand campaign, that is all about individuality and self-expression.  The campaign features blogger and actress, Jamie Chung, as well as transgender fashion model, Andreja Pejić.  All the makeup in the campaign is done by celebrity makeup artist, Mélanie Inglessis.
The campaign's slogan is “Be Bold. Be Unexpected. Be You.”  It is meant to redefine beauty by celebrating individuality.  The campaign launches July 16th with limited edition eye shadow palettes that were curated by Pejić and Chung.

Oh, just hangin with my girl Lorna (of The Fabulous Report), Andreja Pejic, and Jamie Chung.  No biggie.  Just a regular day in the life.  My bangs were not cooperating with me, clearly.   

MAKE UP FOR EVER wants YOU to participate in the campaign as well.  The #BeMakeUpForEver Challenge on social media encourages fans to create and share three of their most bold, unexpected, and creative makeup looks, inspired by the campaign visuals. They will be selecting weekly winners that can win a personalized eyeshadow palette featuring images of their winning looks, as well as  $500 in MAKE UP FOR EVER products.  That's pretty epic, don't you think?  Many kudos to a brand that is really encouraging people to embrace their individuality.  I can't wait to see the makeup looks you all share.  

Jun 15, 2015

More Urban Decay Summer 2015

I was so enamored by Urban Decay's Summer 2015 color collection that I had to go out and get some more.  Since I had gone of the super intense colors before with the Afterglow 8-Hour blush, I decided this time to go with these 2 delicious everyday blushes; Video and Rapture.  Video might honestly be my favorite blush I've picked up in a long time.  Redheads and freckled gals?  Video is for you!  
Afterglow 8-hour Blush in Video and in Rapture
Since I'd already delved into the blushes from the collection, I figured trying the Revolution High Color Lipgloss wouldn't hurt, right?  I need more lipgloss like I need a hole in the head, but I have zero regrets about adding these to my collection.  I could have easily gone the route of one of the more subtle colors, like Kinky (nude), but NO MA'AM.  I figured go big or go home, so I went with Vice and Assassin.  Vice is one of several purples in the collection, but it's my favorite, hands down.  It's everything dreams are made of.  Purple?  Check?  Glitter?  Check.  Totally wearable on so many skin tones.  CHECK.  And I feel the same about Assassin, which is a red glitter.  If you're going to wear color, go for it.  These are the glosses to do it with.  Also they are  actually hydrating for the lips and I don't feel like my hair is getting stuck in them all the time.  I have a feeling I will be adding a few more to the collection like I did with the blushes. 
Revolution Lip Gloss in Vice and in Assassin 

Jun 10, 2015

Rodial Makeup Is Coming To The U.S.!

Fans of Rodial skincare should be very excited for what's to come in July.  Rodial's "sculpting with colour" collection is coming stateside, and it's exactly what you would expect.  It's all about flawless SKIN and skincare benefits.  This is something I can get on board with.  Getting overly made up seems to be a trend that's not going anywhere, unfortunately, but equally as exciting is the people who still believe in no-makeup makeup and letting the skin look radiant.  The folks at Rodial are in the latter group, giving us sheer washes of color for the lips and cheeks, products for the face that are nourishing, and easy-to-use, unique textures.  I haven't tried all of the products yet, but here are the favorites so far:

Eye Sculpt 
What's not to love about this product?  The taupe shade looks good on a multitude of skin tones.  The coverage is totally buildable, so you can go for a sheer wash of color, or build your way up to a full-on smoke.  The formula can be applied with your finger or with a brush.  If your eyebrows are on the lighter side, you can even use it to fill in your brows.  For me, personally, my favorite part of this product is the texture.  It's a super lightweight, whipped cream formula so it goes on easily and gives a comfortable wear.

Instaglam Skin Tint
This tinted moisturizer gives a surprisingly nice amount of coverage, but still manages to feel light.  SPF 30, Hyaluronic Acid, and Hydromanil protect and plump in just the right way.  It doesn't feel cakey, greasy, or heavy.  It's just right!  It comes in 5 shades: Aspen, Capri, Hamptons, St Bart's, and Rio, so definitely more shades than your standard light, medium, and dark that we're used to from some other companies.

Instaglam Compact Deluxe Bronzing Powder
First of all, how sexy is the case for this bronzer?  I'm a sucker for good packaging.  The inside of the package is just as good, though, because this is not of the orangey-bronzer variety.  It's a really nice tone that doesn't leave you looking like a dirty pumpkin, like most other bronzers do.  I have about 20 bronzers in my apartment if I had to guess, all of them being just a little bit disappointing.  I always love them for a while, but they all end up in my bronzer graveyard eventually.  One has too much sparkle.  Another one is too orange.  Another one too muddy.  I feel a bit like Goldilocks with a bowl of porridge, to be honest.  I don't dare say it yet, but this bronzer might be the answer to my prayers.  There's nary a fleck of glitter to be seen in this formula, but it still leaves the skin luminous, and the powder is super fine so application is basically foolproof.       

Glamstick Instaglam Glow
If you need me, I'll just be over here trying to replicate a JLo glow.  If you haven't jumped on board the lumizer train yet, then I don't feel bad for you.  It's THE best thing you can use to emphasize your favorite features.  You don't need all that krazy-Kardashian-kontour.  All you need is a little pretty lumizer, like this delectable rose gold tone, on the tops of your cheekbones or the inner corners or your eyes. 

Hyaluronic Cheek Sculpt
I saved my favorite for last.  This tinted cheek product is the most lightweight cheek color I've ever felt.  It feels like you have nothing on.  Granted, I only use a little for a subtle flush, but the color is super buildable.  But even when you have a TON on, it still feels weightless.  It blends so easily into the cheeks and it has hyaluronic acid in it to keep those cheeks looking as plump as a babe's.  This pretty coral shade is good on a multitude of skin tones (and I know because I forced other bloggers to put it on so that I could see).  I'm not even quite sure how to describe the texture.  I wouldn't call it a gel texture because it's lighter than that.  It's certainly lighter than a cream blush, which is usually my favorite type.  It's almost like a liquid blush, which I've never heard of before using this particular product.  I don't think you can get a blush that is lighter on the skin with the exception of just tattooing blush onto your face.  (Please don't do that.  Ever.)  I think this is a great product for just about anybody, but even people who don't like blush or are scared of it can rest easy with this product.  It's going to be a new daily-use product for me.             

The line also includes eyeliners and mascaras that are amazing.  The brushes are great as well, ranging from $28-$46.  They're synthetic, so that means easy clean-up and less waste, and, duh, animal friendly.  I'm definitely enjoying the Highlight Brush, that is full of short, densely-packed brush hairs to make blending concealer or highlighter a breeze.  I will probably end up using it for cream brushes as well because I just love it so much.  I'm gonna have to put this out there: Rodial Sculpting With Colour makeup is a must-try.

Jun 2, 2015

Get It While You Can: The Sephora Sun Safety Kit

Of course this guy came out when I was on vacation last week and is already temporarily sold out online.  I had to run to a store to get one while I still could, but totally worth running out to grab one.
The Sephora Sun Safety Kit is crucial to my life because, as I told you before my last vacation, I am sensitive to a lot of sunscreens, so one of my strategies is to buy mini sizes and test them out before committing to a full-size purchase.  Not to mention you're getting to try out all the premium stuff at a nice price before committing to spending $50 on a bottle.  
This is the 9th year that they're doing this seasonal offering, and, dare I say it, it might be the best one to date.  It's endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation, and $20 from the sale of each kit (over 60% of the profits from the $32 kit) goes to research for prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer through the foundation.  So basically you look glamorous, you're protecting your skin, and you're donating to skin cancer research, when you buy the kit.  Everybody wins.  This year's kit, housed in a cute pink mesh bag, includes:
Origins VitaZing™ Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen 
An antioxidant-rich moisturizer with SPF, that makes it a perfect daily-use item.  
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light Medium 
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 
An Argan oil-infused daily moisturizer that will leave your skin feeling like a baby's bottom.
Shiseido Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ 
A surfer's best friend, this stuff has really cool technology that makes it one of the most water-resistant sunscreens on the market.  A must-have if you spend a lot of time in the water.  
Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
If you live in a major city, or even if you don't, get on board with an anti-pollution product.  Ya know, cause Global Warming is real.  
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15
I think I have about 1,000 of these lying around my home, my office, and my purses, because they're the best and I can't stop buying them.  
Ole Henriksen Total Truth™ Vitamin C Eye Crème SPF 15
There's a reason Ole Henriksen calls their Vitamin C products "the truth".  
Murad Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++ 
This is the beauty blogger world's pick of the moment.  Who doesn't want to look photoshopped, without actually being photoshopped?  No Instagram filter necessary.   
Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen 
Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense® Lotion SPF 30 
Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 
Supergoop! SPF 30+ City Sunscreen Serum With Uniprotect PT-3 
Again, if you live in a major city, you need to get acquainted with products that protect you from environmental stressors.  It can't take away the stress of your job, but it can help your skin, and that's a big win in my book.  
Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argan Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 
I had no idea about this stuff until buying this kit and it is AMAZING.  
AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30 
Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30 
St. Tropez One Night Only in Light-Medium 

May 22, 2015

My Vacation Beauty Essentials For Costa Rica

I am jumping out of my skin with excitement for my upcoming Costa Rica trip!  I started mentally packing weeks ago, but now that the trip is only a day away, I can actually start physically packing my suitcase.  First and foremost on my one-track mind is what beauty products I will be taking with me.  For clothing I will be packing little else besides bathing suits and a couple dresses, but my beauty blogger brain will not allow me to go lightly on the products.

Bumble and Bumble Don't Blow It (H)air Styler 
Normally the order that I put these in means nothing, but not this time.  This product is first because, not only is it going to make my life so easy in Costa Rica, but because even when I come back this product is my #BAE.  I know "undone" hair is trending right now, but since that's how I like to live my life regardless of whether it's cool or not, I have a feeling this is going to be my go-to for a long, long time.  Basically it's a cream that makes air-dried hair look flawless.  It is formulated with lightweight polymers to enhance hair texture, without weighing it down or feeling to product-laden.  Great for soft, bouncy curls, or to scrunch into straight or wavy hair for a beachy feel.  It has plant-based conditioners in it, like cactus flower and prickly pear, that allow the hair to dry smoothly.  Cause that's the biggest problem with air-drying, isn't it?  The frizz.  Well they've taken care of that, and they've also added UV filters to protect the hair from sun damage.  All in a lightweight cream with of bumble's typically fresh-smelling scents.  It's recommended for fine to medium hair, like mine, so I will clearly be luxuriating poolside all summer long with this in my hair.  

Sun Bum 3 in 1 Leave In
This is basically the only other thing I'll be putting in my hair the whole trip.  It's all about the UV protection this week.  And to help my hair survive 5 days of salt water, sand, heat, and chlorine.  This super-moisturizing leave-in conditioner is formulated with coconut oil, banana (from the pulp, the peel, and the leaf), quinoa protein, and sunflower seed oil.  I plan on leaving vacation with hair that's healthier than when I got there.

Tata Harper Iridescent Revitalizing Body Oil
My beauty routine will clearly be pretty low key while I'm there, but I am going with my boyfriend, so hopefully some romantic dates will ensue.  For those occasions, I'm fully prepared to have gorgeous, bronze limbs courtesy of this product.  It's a super lightweight oil (seriously, it's almost water-like) that absorbs right into the skin leaving you hydrated, but not greasy.  There's so many great ingredients, so I won't bore you with a full list, and will just give some highlights.  Calendula and Arnica oil help inflammation and puffiness, rose extract helps with skin elasticity, and apricot kernel oil nourishes.  It gives a subtle bronze glow, and is enhanced with their best-selling Love Potion aromatherapy.  The scent comes from 10 essential oils that are known aphrodisiacs (hey, don't judge.  I'm on vacation!) including jasmine, sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, and violet leaf, to name a few. I won't just look good, I'll smell good too.  There's no shame in my game.  

Privai Calming Aloe Hydrator
While I fully intend to protect my skin from the sun, there are always some snafus that happen in life.  Sunburns, bug bites, wind burn, and any other random skin irritation could happen so I'm taking this stuff with me.  I usually take aloe with me on vacation, but I'm a convert since I discovered this formula that is infused with sodium hyaluronate.    

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid 
Obviously we need to take sunscreen, kids.  There's no other way.  This one is a personal favorite because, besides the fact that it's super small and portable, the name is not misleading.  It's one of the lightest sunscreens I've found.  See how they don't even call it lotion?  They call it fluid because it's so light!  It's not just that it's so light that makes it amazing for the face though.  It also dries to more of a matte finish that most sunscreens you've probably used, so you don't have to walk around with a greasy face all day.  Maybe it's because the formula has a reduced number of ingredients from a lot of the sunscreens on the market, to make it easier to tolerate for the sensitive skin folks out there, like myself.  

Alba Botanica spray sunscreens
I'll be damned if I could choose just one, so I'm just bringing a bunch of them.  Alba is a brand I know and trust so that I'm not putting any weird chemicals on my body.  Plus they're inexpensive!  I just get all my Alba at Whole Foods, or a local drugstore wherever I'm at, and I'm golden.  (Literally in this case).  For this trip I picked up the Active Kids Clear Spray, because I figure there will be some sort of activity that I engage in besides lying by the pool, and my skin is fairly sensitive so you can't lose with a kid's formula.  I'm also bring the Fragrance Free Clear Spray because I have no idea what the bug situation will be on any of our excursions, so I am guessing it can't hurt to have.  And last, but not least, I'm bringing the Hawaiian Clear Spray Sunscreen because I'm obsessed with their entire Hawaiian line.  The whole line has ingredients like coconut, green tea, pineapple, and hibiscus, all of which have great skincare benefits on top of being a nice natural option.  This sunscreen has coconut, avocado, ginseng, and shea butter, so you're getting a truly good-for-you skincare experience along with your sun protection.      

May 21, 2015

Non-Boring Ways To Incorporate Sunscreen Into Your Routine

Ah, sunscreen wear.  It's a little bit annoying, isn't it?  (Yeah, I said it).  But it is a necessary evil.  I happen to be really sensitive to sunscreen, so I'm constantly looking for new/different ways to incorporate it into my routine in the hopes that I can avoid itchiness, burning, redness, or skin irritation of any kind.  Sun protection technology has gotten super efficient and convenient over the years, so I've put together a list of my favorite sun-safe products.
Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion 
Yes, I do love anything in a pink bottle, but that's not what this is about!  This is more skincare than suncare, so skin feels moisturized after use, rather than irritated.  This is an all-mineral, non-chemical SPF 30 product, while somehow being lightweight and easily blendable so it doesn't leave behind a yucky white residue.  Tarte's "skinvigorating™" formula is made of maracuja, apple, soybean, red algae and honeysuckle extract for a plethora of skincare benefits.  Dark spots, wrinkles, and many other side effects from the sun are combatted both with the skincare formula and the added sun protection.  Not to mention it smells good and doesn't smell like a typical sunscreen.       

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen SPF 50
Another great antioxidant formula is this La Roche-Posay AOX serum.  With this formula you get all the benefits of a serum (which you should be using in your skincare routine anyways), but with added SPF50 benefits.  Aka, it's a two-in-one, so save yourself some time in the morning, and money, and just use this instead of multiple products.  Don't be fooled by its light weight though, it's packed with good-for-you skincare ingredients like Vitamin Cg and Vitamin E.  Plus, like all La Roche-Posay products, it's great for sensitive skin because it's free of parabens, fragrances, and other icky stuff.    

Susan Posnick Brush On Block 
I've now used all types of liquid and oil forms of sunblock, but this is the first powder sun protection I've ever heard of.  This product was actually brought to my attention for the most random of reasons. My desk at work has a giant window, and while my computer blocks most of the sunlight from my face and body, my mouse hand is basically in the sun all day if it's shining.  I didn't want to use a typical sunscreen all over my hand and then accidentally rub it in my eyes.  Someone suggested this to me as something I can brush on my hand and never have to apply with my fingers.  After applying to the back of my hand once I realized that I couldn't just let the fun end there, and now I'm using it on my face every day.  It's a natural, mineral sunscreen, but so portable since it's in this brush form.  You have no excuse to not carry it on you, so you can always stay protected.  And no white stuff!  You can wear it over or under makeup, but I like to use it as a finishing powder, the same way I'd use any other powder makeup, except this one protects.      

Nios Shield Leave-In Conditioner 
Ok so I know a leave-in doesn't sound like it's reinventing the wheel, but this product is actually for your SCALP.  I have had exactly 1 scalp burn in my life, and I refuse to repeat that experience.  I thought I had done everything right by putting sunblock on my face, and a sun protection in my hair, but I put nothing on the severe side part that I had made in my hair, and I suffered the consequences. NEVER AGAIN.  Nios Shield leave-in has got my back though.  I came to the website for an awesome leave-in, and stayed for the scalp protection.  This is one of those leave-in's that is awesome and lightweight, leaving your hair frizz-free for summer, so you wouldn't even know that it's protecting your scalp too.  It's got Argan oil, which we know is key for moisturizing while still being lightweight, but the SPF protects your scalp AND your hair color, so everybody is winning.  Simply spray it on to the hair, including the roots and scalp, and you're golden.  You can use on wet or dry hair.  It's pretty much perfection.  

May 19, 2015

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

Sometimes I think that my love for Urban Decay can't be any greater, and then BOOM.  Super fun color collection for summer.  (And then they drop the mic and walk off stage).  In a world where contouring is trending, much to my dismay, it's a breath of fresh air to have something besides skintones be the focus.  Of all their summer collection, I'm particularly enthralled by the Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush.  The blushes come in 12 shades, some shimmer, some matte, and raging from super subtle to high drama.  They're not just cute in the package though, they are super soft and smooth (especially for a powder formulation, in my opinion) for easy application.  They also used light-reflecting pigments to give you... well... the effect of an afterglow.  Maybe your social (sex) life is a little stale, but at least you can fake the glow with these.  Silver lining people.
Check out some of my favorite swatches from the collection below.
From left to right: Score, Bang, Quiver, and Bittersweet 

Sally Hansen X Cosmopolitan Beachside Astrologer

 In Awesome Collaborations That You Need To Know About news, Sally Hansen's Global Ambassador, Madeline Poole,  has teamed up with Cosmo's Beachside Astrologer to come up with a nail collection based on Astrological signs.  Beachside Astrologer has long been giving us great summer advice on swimsuits to suit our signs, and the books that we'll be reading poolside, but now they're helping us get our nail game on point (and at drugstore prices nonetheless!).  
 For you feisty fire signs (from left to right): Leo in Rio, Cherries To My Aries, and Plumtarius.
 For the ever-thoughtful air signs: Gemincello, Age of Aquarius, and Lady Libra-ty
 For my water signs: Cancer Moon, Scorpio Sizzle, and Pisces of Me
And, last but not least, for the Earth signs: Vir-go-go Pink, Tempting Taurus, and Cup O' Capricorn

May 13, 2015

New Bliss Products To Get You Ready For Summer + A Giveaway!

It's dress season ladies and gents, so that means it's time to bring the legs out of their pale, hairy winter mode and into their Bronze Goddess mode.  (Come on people, let's not pretend you don't slack a bit on the hair removal during the colder months.  I know it's not just me).  Just in time for all the bare body parts that are inevitably on their way, Bliss has come out with some new products to help de-fuzz and add glow to our appendages.  

Bliss ‘fuzz’ off foam 
Frankly, I think this stuff is a lazy girl's dream come true.  I've tried a number of hair removal methods and am too much of a wimp to go with the painful, more permanent solutions, like laser hair removal.  Shaving leaves a lot of room for error for me.  And a ton of depilatories make my skin irritated.  Cue fuzz off foam, a spray-on depilatory formula that doesn't have that really strong weird hair remover smell, has a nice, direct spray so that you don't get it all over your bathroom, and doesn't irritate my skin.  Just spray it on and wait five minutes (maximum 10 minutes), and you have smooth legs.  It has a "hair inhibiting complex" to reduce future hair growth, but also has all these moisturizing ingredients so you can use it, rinse, and go.  Your legs aren't left all dry and crackly, but not greasy either.  It contains algae, marine extracts, shea butter, and cocoa seed butter to help soften your stems, while never getting your hands messy.  That is the kind of hair remover I need in my life.         

Blissfatgirlslim hide & glow sleek’ firming tinted body spray
Need to get glowy in a hurry?  Well, this is the stuff.  Think of this as a one-night-only spray that gives you a little radiance, but not that overly orange shade that you can get with self-tanners.  Now I love me some self-tanner, but sometimes you don't have the time to wait or want to deal with the smell.  This great for date night, a wedding, or if you just feel like wearing a skirt and realize that you're looking a little ghostly.  This is NOT a self-tanner, so you don't have to worry about spraying it on the wrong body parts and having gross splotches that you can't get rid of for a week.  If you mess up, just wipe it off!  (But you probably won't mess up because it's a really easy to apply spray.) Another bonus is that it's part of the fatgirlslim range of bliss products, so it contains caffeine, which is said to firm up the skin.  It also contains Vitamin E and Maracuja Oil to moisturize the skin.  No rubbing is involved.  It doesn't come off on your clothes, and it just gives a perfect JLo-esque finish to your legs.  Comes in 2 shades: fair to medium, and medium to deep.        
Now I can't keep all this goodness to myself (although I did consider it because I love it so much) so I'm going to give ONE lucky reader their own set of fatgirlslim hide & glow sleek tinted body sprays.  That includes 1 fair to medium shade and 1 medium to deep shade (so 2 sprays in total!).  Contest is open to US residents only.  
To enter:  
1. Follow @beautybybenz on Instagram
2. Follow @bliss_spa on Instagram 
3. Post a picture of your favorite Bliss product (or one that you'd like to try!).  Tell us why it's your favorite product, or why you want to try it, and make sure to use the hashtag #glowsleekgiveaway 
Yes, you can regram a picture I've posted of a bliss product.  Or get creative with your post.  It's totally up to you.  Just remember the hashtag #glowsleekgiveaway 

Contest will end on May 31st, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.  Winner will be selected at random.    

May 12, 2015

Beauty Oils Are Going Nowhere. In Fact, They're Getting Better.

When Argan Oil hit the beauty scene a few years ago, I certainly didn't think it would be a passing fad, but I don't know if I could've predicted how big beauty oils would get.  Sure, pure oils that you buy in the health food store (like Argan, Almond, Coconut, and Rosehip) will always be where it's at, but now oils are making appearances in things you never would've thought of back in the day.  In self-tanner, in makeup primer, and in face wash are just a few cool ways that beauty oils can introduced into your beauty routine if you're too scared to go full-on 100% oil.  I basically bathe in the stuff, so I'm not scared, but these products make the prospect of oil a little less scary.  Here are some of my favorites:

Skin Laundry Nourishing Cleansing Oil
If you haven't jumped on the facial cleansing oil train yet, this is the one to try.  It's great for all skin types, even oily skin the tea tree oil helps prevent breakouts.  It's super gentle and doesn't smell too sticky sweet (again, the tea tree oil helps) like some others do.  Skin is left feeling clean, but not dry.  Moisturized, but not greasy.  And the oil is great for gently removing all makeup, even some of the harder-to-remove eye makeup that I tend to wear.  The pump bottle helps you to know that you're using the right amount.  I mean, any cleaning oil that doesn't come in a pump-bottle now is no longer on my shopping list.      
Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum
This is honestly one of my favorite products of all time.  It's an oil/serum so it moisturizes the skin and acts as a makeup base.  It's clear, so you don't have to worry about what it looks like underneath your makeup, but it makes your skin better over time, so I've started using it even on days when I don't wear any makeup.  It's call "No 28" because its 28 active ingredients are made of 14 essential oils, 10 nourishing plant oils, and 4 vitamins (A, B5, C, & E).  What is NOT in that number are a bunch of synthetic dyes and other nonsense that does nothing for your skin.  It's just highly-concentrated skin goodness.  It evens out the skin tone, moisturizes, calms, protects, and, for bonus points, it smells good.    

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo for Dry Scalp & Hair 
So I should mention here that Shu Uemura has been doing cleansing oils for the hair since before it was the thing to do.  This newest cleansing oil from their line smells ridiculously good because it's made with Neroli oil.  It's like having a mini-spa day in your shower every time you use it!  Or is that just me?  This oil gives you the benefits of a hair perfume, shampoo, and moisturizing oil all in one.  The scalp is purified, moisturized, but, most importantly, balanced.  Their is a common misconception that hair oils are heavy or greasy, but this leaves your hair anything but.  Using oils on the hair is clearly a science.  Obviously you wouldn't want to use coconut oil on the hair as a cleanser, but oils like Neroli work wonderfully for that.  But instead of you having to figure out all of that, Shu Uemura has done the work for you.    

St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil
This self-tanning product is more of a dry oil, so great for people who are a little scared of facial oils.  And we all know St Tropez tanning products are some of the best out there, so you can expect a non-greasy formula that gives you a glowy, natural-looking tan.  Nothing dramatic or scary.  You only need the tiniest bit, so the bottle lasts a long time for me.  I use one dropper full on my whole face and neck (and ears... gotta make sure to blend it onto the ears for a more natural effect!).  I use the body formula as well for getting a nice tan on my legs and arms, so I was clearly very excited when the face version came out.  If they were ever to discontinue this formula, I think I'd cry.    

Oil Essentials
Ok, so these are straight-up oils.  No frills.  No new technology.  Just age-old wisdom about caring for your skin and hair.  But what beauty oil list would be complete without?  All of their oils are free of harmful ingredients, synthetic fragrances, or drying sulfates.  And there is an oil for all of your needs.  SeaBuckthorn Berry & Borage is great for dry or UV damaged skin.  Omega 3, 6, 9 & Evening Primrose is great for people with blemishes, redness, or other skin discolorations.  I'm really into the Neroli & Avocado.  Did I mention above that Neroli is a natural stress reliever?  Well I'll mention it now, and then you get the avocado in there to provide all sorts of moisturizing benefits.  Basically there is an oil for whatever ails you, and since you can get it at the drugstore, it's a great intro into the oil world.


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