Beauty Buffs Go Ga-Ga For Haus of Gloi Bubbling Scrub

This guest post is courtesy of

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I'm a big fan of exfoliating scrubs. In fact, it's gotten to the point that I don't even feel fully clean without using a scrub cleanser. Of course, while deep cleansing is a great pampering process to banish impurities, it's not an everyday sort of treatment, and over-scrubbing can certainly lead to dry, overworked skin. So when you do take the time to treat your body to an exfoliating scrub, you might as well go all out, right? Beauty mavens all over are obsessing over Haus of Gloi's Bubbling Scrub, a water-activated lathering exfoliating treatment that cleanses and soothes with aromatherapy while moisturizing and sloughing off winter-worn dead cells for smoother spring skin!

The Oregon-based company churns out products of all formulas and scents (I especially love all their season-festive aromas, especially around the holiday season!), but their Bubbling Scrub is definitely the most buzzed-about! For a seasonless, year-round relaxing scent, try their
Litchee Milk Tea Scrub, which combines natural ingredients like black tea and coconut milk with the slight tangy scent of lychee fruit. With pricing at only $3.50-8 for a 2 or 6-oz jar, you can't pass up the opportunity to give it a shot and see what the buzz is about!

- Alex Gambardella

Nominate your favorite fashion brand for the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards by February 1st! Complexion Perfection

Beauty Find - SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Like many beauty bloggers and beauty editors, I've long heard the legend of SKII, and about the devotees to the line, in particular the SKII Facial Treatment Essence product.

At the end of last year, I was lucky enough to attend a wonderful SKII event in which we learned about the origins of the SKII miracle ingredient - Pitera, (made from fermented yeast), as well as hearing directly from Actress Cate Blanchett's (who is the face of the brand) personal makeup artist about how much she loves the products and uses them faithfully. The result, said the makeup artist, is Cate has radiant, beautiful skin at all times that looks much younger than her chronological age.

So I set about testing the product, which is a very thin liquid skin treatment meant to smooth skin, improve skin tone, hydrate skin (but it is not specifically, a moisturizer) and provide a glow.

I was very impressed with the SKII Facial Treatment Essence, enough so that I have continued to use the product daily as part of my skin care routine after the test period. It's a luxury purchase to be sure, but this is one of the best products that can really make a significant difference in your skin, and so worth every penny.

Here's what you need to know:

The product does appear out of the bottle as a thin, "water-like" liquid. The best way to apply it is to add one or two pours (about a teaspoon is all that's needed) from the frosted glass bottle into the palm of your hand. Then, cup your hands together quickly to spread over both and apply in a pressing motion to your face. The formula will immediately evaporate into the skin, so you don't have to worry about it running down your face. Note: since it is made from yeast, the smell when you first apply it is a very earthy, almost "mushroom" -like scent- but is does fade fairly quickly.

I applied the treatment each morning and evening after cleansing my skin and before moisturizer/primer and then makeup. Within just a few days I could see that my skin was much more supple and smooth - particularly in the t-zone. After about two weeks, I loved the beautiful glow my skin had - even without makeup.

It has a very cool, refreshing effect - it's also great after working out, and didn't clog my pores or cause any breakouts. Another plus for those of you with oily/very oily skin is that this can be used as your treatment and your moisturizer in one because of the thin, liquid texture. It's also great for very warm weather environments.

I've been converted! - RLB
Go--> SKII Facial Treatment Essence

*This product was provided by SKII PR for reviewing purposes.

Beauty Find - BlackUp Cosmetics Banish Beauty Blunders BlackUp is a wonderful French cosmetic company which has created a wide-ranging cosmetic line for all women of color, globally (despite the name this line is for women of Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Asian backgrounds as well).

They have innovative skin-prep, as well as color cosmetic products that you're going to love!
In addition, one of my favorite celebrity makeup artists who I have the pleasure of knowing, Mylah Morales (Rihanna's makeup artist) is now helping to launch the brand in the U.S.! Expect even more exciting developments from this partnership. Read on for some of my favorite picks from the line that will become staples in your makeup kit.

Matifying Base (Pictured, above)

For an all-day shine free look, this is the product that's going to give it to you. The base is an oil free gel, and just one pea sized pump gave me smooth and matte skin instantly. It didn't leave any residue, nor was it drying. It is especially helpful in the all important t-zone, and I recommend this highly for taking pictures. If you have very oily skin, don't worry, you can reapply without worrying about it caking, "balling up" or creating a sticky surface on the skin. Your makeup will continue to look fresh and bright even with reapplication. I had matte effects from very early in the am to late in the evening. I really loved this!

Two Way Cake

If you like 2-in-1 foundation products, this is another winner. It starts out as a pressed powder (more usually referred to as a "cake" formula in French), which was silky, smooth and lightweight and without fragrance.

I also used it wet with the included cosmetic sponge (stored in the bottom half of the compact), for more coverage, then adding it dry to just touch up areas on my face. The color I used was TW05 and it was a great match. The effect is
matte and it provides medium coverage, which can be increased with layering. I was very pleased with how it left a semi-matte finish with a lovely glow.

ere are 12 shades available, which have been carefully created to work for darker and lighter women of color, of all undertones, from orange/yellow, red, and olive/green. Since it has a mirror and included sponge, this is also great for tossing in your purse for mid day or evening touch ups as well.


I was very pleas
antly surprised with the gloss. It's for a high, vinyl shine effect, but it's completely non sticky, very moisturizing and comes in very flattering shades. I tried GT 05, which is a slightly metallic, sheer bronze with a touch of gold. It actually works quite well over both nude and more red shades. These do have a slightly fruity fragrance that's pleasant and not too over the top. - RLB


*These products were provided courtesy of BlackUp PR for reviewing purposes. Complexion Perfection

Impulse Buy of the Week - Crabtree & Evelyn Lip Butter About a week ago, I discovered some absolutely YUMMY lip balms that are also pretty enough to give as small gifts - and of course to whip out of your bag for a conversation piece!

Crabtree & Evelyn Lip Butters are rich, creamy lip balms which go on light, non-greasy and leave a sheen. In addition to their lip loving properties, they also have some of the most unique and delicious flavors.

Two of my favorites are the Vanilla Brûlée Cream and the Citron Creme & Honey. I love the soft pastel packaging, and how authentic the flavors are!
The Vanilla really does have the essence of a Brulee Cream, and the Citron Creme is zesty and sweet at the same time.

If you're watching those dessert calories, a dab or two of these balms will quell your craving (a bit at least!) - and leave you with soft, touchable lips - a great bonus, don't you think? - RLB

Crabtree & Evelyn Lip Butter

*These products were provided courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn PR for reviewing purposes.

Natural Beauty Find - Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes, Inc. For my first new wipes find for 2011, I want to tell you about Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes

Not only are these a great option for all of you who prefer to use natural/organic products - it's actually an amazing wipe that also gives a portion of the profits to help the polar bears

The wipes are thin, but strong - and wet, but not overly saturated. I loved the scent - a really light, fresh, authentic citrus (scented with all natural ingredients), and contains skin calming ingredients like cucumber and aloe. I also loved how it gently cleansed my skin without stripping it - or leaving a film that would make me want to actually rinse with water. I always felt that this was a 1- step cleansing solution.

It does a great job of getting rid of long wear/water proof makeup (a second may be needed if you really wear a lot of makeup).

With the soft pack and peel top opening, for best results, store in a larger zip lock bag to avoid the wipes from drying out.

Admittedly the pack is on the small side (30 wipes) (hopefully a larger pack will be made available soon!), but that aside, I really loved using these and plan on having some on hand at all times! - RLB

Go-->Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes 30 Wipes, Inc.

Brighten Up and Take Risks with Tangerine Lip Color

This guest post is courtesy of

While winter tends to lend itself to classic red lips and subtly shimmery shadow, the new year is all about taking risks beyond what's expected and welcoming oncoming trends, right? So before you dismiss the orange lip trend as too difficult to pull off, made just for the models, or just plain fug, hear me out! Tangerine lips are taking the beauty world (and the runways!) by storm, serving as an unexpected pop of color that instantly warms the features, as long as you're not afraid to go bold!

Sure, bright apricot shades aren't necessarily for everyone, so if you're too timid to go full-on opaque orange, opt for a sheer formula like Lipstick Queen's Glossy Pencil in Genre or a gloss like Paul & Joe Beaute in Tangerine for something that's more glossy than concentrated. To jump on the trend without too much color commitment, take baby steps with an orange-y coral shade that's not quite so harsh against soft skin tones. Try Estee Lauder Gloss Stick in Orange Poppy or Chanel Hydrabase Lipstick in Sari Dore. However, if you're ready for the real deal, test out high-impact runway color like Stila Long Wear Lip Color in Outrageous!

Beauty Device Find - Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, inc. Last year I raved about the DDF Revolve 400x Micro-Polishing System, which made a significant difference in my skin tone and is the equivalent of a office microdermabrasion treatment - without the irritation. However, it's on the expensive side...

Olay Pro-X has used a similar design and concept to create the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, a much lower priced at-home skin care device for deep, yet gentle cleansing that you will love - and it's under $30! This system consists of the motorized, battery operating base, along with a detachable cleansing brush, and Olay cleansing gel (all Olay cleansers can be used with the device however).

The system was easy to use: I wet my face, applied the cleansing gel to a slightly dampened brush and then applied the brush to my face with a very light pressure going around my face in a circular motion. The brush was very soft and rotated at two different speeds, which allows you to control your cleansing.

After rinsing, my face felt fantastic - smooth, soft and well cleansed - but without feeling stripped or sensitive from the brush motion.
I used this anywhere from a few times a week, up to daily and loved the feel and how healthy my skin looked. Another great feature is that you can also use the brush on your neck and chest with equally great results, and it can be used in the shower as well. Because of it's size and light weight, it's also perfect for travel.

If you've never used a beauty skincare device, or are looking for more results from your cleansing routine, I highly recommend starting with this one! - RLB

Go --->
Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

Please read the instructions on the side of the box which explain how to remove the brush heads - you simply move it from side to side while pulling it up from the base.

This product was provided courtesy of Olay PR for reviewing purposes., inc.

Impulse Buy of the Week - CHANEL Black Pearl Nail Polish

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All you nail polish lovers have certainly heard about the latest CHANEL nail color, Black Pearl. This is a polish that certainly does live up to the hype - it's easily one of their best color creations in a few seasons now.

This is a beautiful dark shade that combines the beauty of a murky, mysterious black, with a teal metallic green with the effect being like that of a black Tahitian pearl.

It's truly beautiful and very flattering on many skin tones - especially very pale because of the intense contrast.
2 coats are needed to get the full depth of the color, and then with a good top coat, I got about 4-5 days of wear before seeing any signs of chipping. Treat yourself to this unique, sophisticated shade that's a great alternative to your basic dark, black or even green nail shades- you'll be glad you did! - RLB

CHANEL Black Pearl Nail Polish

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Hair Product Find - Redken Nature's Rescue Radiant Sea Spray, Inc.A hair spray that makes you feel as fresh as if you've misted perfume during the day? Well the geniuses at Redken have managed to create it with their new Redken Nature's Rescue Radiant Sea Spray, part of the new Redken Nature's Rescue line. It's a four-piece paraben-, sulfate-, and silicone-free range.

According to Redken, the Sea Spray contains a formula which will release an amazing, fresh "oceanic" scent whenever the hair is touched. It also works as a texturizer for naturally straight and wavy hair to create those beachy, "tousled" hair looks.

The scent is indeed fresh, light with ocean notes and a touch of white floral. It should be noted that the bottle does not have a "mist" nozzle, but instead it's a "stream" nozzle, so when it is sprayed, it's a very concentrated blast of product. I got the best results by aiming the nozzle into a hair brush and then brushing through the hair.
When it is first applied I certainly smelled the fragrance, and while it lingers softly during the day, when I brushed out my hair during the day, or in fact, ran my fingers though it I did get an additional "burst" of fragrance which ran past my nose. Very nice indeed!

This is also fantastic after a late night to help eliminate the dreaded "smoky hair" scent if you don't have time to wash your hair.
Note: If you have drier, curly or relaxed hair, you will get the best results by using just a few small sprays on a brush and then going through hair, since there is a significant amount of potentially drying alcohol in it.

If you have naturally straight or wavy hair, then you can use more, and apply directly on the hair. You'll be also able to use it to create a more "piecey" textured look, especially if you have longer layers, and it helps control flyaways

All in all, this is a great innovative product from Redken that you should add to your hair styling product collection. - RLB

Redken Nature's Rescue Radiant Sea Spray

*This product was provided courtesy of Redken PR for reviewing purposes., Inc.