Archive for Face – Page 2

Summer Beauty Essentials :: My Top Six Favs

It’s officially summer time and around this time, I always receive a lot of questions asking about the perfect makeup for the hot and humid season of summer.  I know a lot of you, like myself, don’t want to be bothered by makeup, when it’s hot and sticky outside, yet, we still want to look our best.  For this season, I strongly believe, less is more.

Here’s my list of summer beauty essentials:

1. REMEMBER, protecting yourself from the sun is vital for healthy skin.  Neutrogena’s  Wet Skin Sunblock Spray is perfect for the pool, beach and humid climates.  No white residue, sweat proof, water proof, oil-free and PABA-free.  Just spray it on, rub it in and go!

2.  Waterproof mascara!! Never go to the beach and/or pool without it!

3.  Who wants to feel caked up when its 80+ degrees out?? If you’re looking for good coverage, but want something light weight, try Smashbox’s Cream Ready BB Cream SPF 35.  It’s a 5 in 1 (concealer, primer, foundation, tinted moisturizer & sunscreen), that provides good coverage, and yet doesn’t look or feel heavy.

4.  Natural looking waves are in around this time of year and if you read my previous post, than you know Shea Moisture’s Organic Coconut & Hisbiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and Organic Coconut & Hisbiscus Curl & Hold Smoothie are great products to use for the beach wave look.

5.  Get the sun-kiss look and keep it simple with bronzer. A little bronzer can go a long way!

6.  While keeping it simple, you can always turn things up a notch with a vibrant lip color.  Coral, is color of choice for summer.  With coral, you can keep it chill with a pink tone or liven things up with an orange shade….there’s a hue for every woman.

If you a product or a list  of beauty essentials for the summer, I’d love to hear about them.  Tell us about them!

She Bangs, She Bangs :: The Right Bangs For Your Face Shape

Since forever, (5th grade, to be exact), I’ve always rocked bangs.  They were a great way to minimize my huge forehead.  Over the years, I let them grow out a little, but recently I decided to bring them back.  I wanted a mini-makeover, so I opted for a blunt bang.  I have an oval shaped face,  and usually any style of bangs can be worn for oval shapes.  So, I’ve been having fun rocking every look from choppy to swept, up dos to bone straight.

If you’re thinking about giving bangs a try, here are some great tips on finding the right bangs for your face shape:


Worn just below the eyebrow these forehead bangs are cut precisely straight across from side to side.  Oval shaped faces can be strengthened by opting for a blunt brow hugging bang that softly caress the sides of the face


These bangs will have widely varied lengths with one side being a lot shorter than the other side or the middle being a lot shorter than either side.


Cut so that the hair tapers from shorter to longer lengths and is extended generally from a side part with the hair brushed to sweep across the forehead.  Side swept bangs are best on heart-shaped or square faces and the hair length for this look should be shoulder length or longer.


Choppy bangs are another version of blunt bangs, yet, these bangs are often cut with a scissors and then texturized for a choppy look.  Choppy bangs provide increased depth to the facial features and are perfect for round faces.

Which look will you be banging this season?

Review :: KORRES Pomegranate Regimen Kit

About two weeks ago, my skin had gone haywire! If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know, that’s pretty typical (READ:  Face Going HAM, Connect the Dots, PMS Sugar Cravings & Acne) from time to time.  I’ve tried acne products from Dr. Brandt to Dr. Murad , and as beauty enthusiast, I’m always interested in trying something new.  I came across KORRES Pomegranate Regimen Kit at ULTA .  The $39.50 kit included:

  • Pomegranate Moisturizing Cream-Gel 20ml
  • Pomegranate Cleansing Mask 20ml
  • Pomegranate Cleansing Scrub 20ml
  • White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser 20ml
  • Evening Primrose Eye Cream 10ml

I’ve used Korres products before (READ: Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging PrimerI Don’t Love Dem Holes, Holiday Glam Look #1 : The Glow Look) and I’ve been very satisfied with them, so I didn’t hesitate to give their Pomegranate Regimen Kit a try.

Here are the claims:

Power of Pomegranate

The Korres Pomegranate Regimen Kit is essential for anyone with combination or oily skin. This refreshing, perfecting collection will keep oil under control all day. Put your best complexion forward with the power of pomegranate.

  • A skin balancing kit enriched with pomegranate
  • Keeps oil under control all day
  • Ideal for combination and oily skin
  • Kit includes cleanser, eye cream, cream-gel, mask and scrub

Especially Suited For: Combination and oily skin

Free of: Petro-chemicals, silicones, phthalates, synthetic dye

For Best Effect:Use entire regimen daily and weekly as indicated by the product type.

Here’s my outtake:


Cleanser – I love it! It doesn’t strip my skin from it’s natural moisture.

Moisturizing Cream-Gel  - Very light

Mask – My skin felt very soft after using it

Scrub – Skin felt soft and hydrated after use

Eye cream – I have to admit, I was consistent with using it, but the cream was light.



I just wished the kit came in a bigger package, but at $39.50, you can’t beat it.

Overall, my skin has looked and felt amazing, compared to two weeks ago.  I think next time, I’ll buy the full size products.

KORRES Pomegranate Regimen Kit is available at ULTA.

Review :: Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

I’ve been hearing all the fuss about bb creams and decided to try it out to see if it really lives up to its hype.  BB cream, which stands for Blemish Balm Cream, was initially used by dermatologist whose patients underwent laser surgery.  The cream helped to protect, soothe and regenerate their highly sensitive skin, while providing great coverage for post-laser scars and redness.  Shortly after, Korean cosmetics companies caught onto the popular cream and it eventually made it’s way into Western markets.

The benefits of bb creams include:

  • Produces a  natural, “no makeup” look
  • Provides good coverage like foundation, but not as thick, and it doesn’t clog the pores
  • Works pretty much like a tinted moisturizer
  • Conceals all types of pigmentation, discoloration, acne and other blemishes
  • Has healing properties that soften, smooth and refine skin
  • Encourages skin regeneration to create and maintain youthful skin
  • Contains UV Protection for healthy skin (SPF levels differ for each brand/product)
  • Anti-wrinkle and skin-lightening benefits (available for some variants)

Brands from Garnier to Smashbox are in on the bb cream craze and depending on the brand you choose, you could have an all in one product (moisturizer, concealer, foundation and sunblock).

I tried Smashbox’s Cream Ready BB Cream SPF 35 in medium (1 oz. $39).

Here are the claims:

What it is:
A five-in-one set secret for achieving flawless skin on camera and beyond.

What it does:
This multitasking tinted cream formula with SPF 35 moisturizes, primes, perfects, controls oil, and protects for flawless skin on set and beyond. Formulated with emollients and optical pearl pigments, this BB Cream gives skin a glowing, ethereal look and provides a hydrating veil for the complexion to maintain moisture on the surface of the skin. With its ultra-smoothing finish, it instantly re-texturizes to create a smooth canvas. Especially when worn under foundation, it enhances the wear of makeup for up to eight hours. Ideal even for oily complexions, this expert formula with UVA/UVB protection helps inhibit oil to prevent the complexion from getting shiny throughout the day without the typical chalky matte finish.

What else you need to know:
Smashbox first heard about Asia’s hottest beauty craze in the photo studios from makeup artists, who had just been on location, and found it was the best tool to perfect skin on set without all the typical layers of product such as moisturizer, primer, concealer, and foundation, which can irritate sensitive skin. This unique formula creates “progressive” coverage, which means you can achieve different levels of coverage depending on how you wear it. Appropriate for all skin types, this product is free of fragrance, dermatologist tested, and non-acnegenic.

So here’s my outtake:


Long lasting – Usually by the end of the day my makeup basically disappears, but as the the claim stated “enhances the wear of makeup for up to eight hours”. It actually lasted longer.

Non-Oily – Usually I would have to blot my face several times, throughout the day, but once or twice is

Lightweight – You don’t get that caked-up/heavy look or feeling

Goes on smooth – Easy application because it spreads like butter

Good coverage – You could actually wear this without foundation, depending on the type of coverage you’re looking for



Pricey – At $39 it is a little costly compared to Garnier’s $12 bb cream

Color selection – With only 5 color selections, they don’t offer that many color options.

One more thing I want to add, although it does provide good coverage, if you have acne-prone skin, like myself, you may still need to use a concealer and/or a little foundation to help conceal your acne.  Overall, I’d have to say, it’s worth the $39.

Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 is available online at SmashboxSephora and ULTA.


Color of the Year :: Tangerine Beauty Trends

Move over seafoam green (Read: Fast Foward: Color Trend for Spring 2012), there’s a new color everyone’s obsessing about this spring season — tangerine orange.   This zesty and bright color has been named the hue of the year, by magazines like InStyle and Cosmopolitan. Just take a look through any of your favorite beauty and/or fashion magazines, I guarantee you’ll see a ton of ads featuring tangerine.  Take a look at how you can add this beautiful color in your beauty routine:




I’ve rocked the look myself  using:

NYX Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick ($6)

NYX Powder Blush in Cinnamon ($6)

OPI in Atomatic Orange ($8)

So, what do you think about this trend?  Will you be sporting tangerine this spring?


Product Review Video :: Bobbi Brown’s Buffing Grains for Face

Flaky, dry skin…welcome to Winter! The frigid temperature, harsh winds, with little moisture, can do damage to the skin.  As you may have read in some of my previous posts, exfoliating plays a huge factor in fighting the winter skin blues.

I started using Bobbi Brown’s Buffing Grains for Face a few weeks away, twice a week.  Buffing grains is formulated with Japanese Adzuki Bean Powder, which helps remove dry patches and encourages skin cell turnover.  It’s also a 2-in-1, you can combine it with your cleanser or apply it with water.  It comes in a .99 oz/28 g. glass bottle with a pour top and priced at $42.

Check out my review:

For more information about Buffing Grains for Face, visit


Face Going HAM :: My Dermo Visit Recap

Over a month ago,  I explained how I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist because my acne was getting out of control (Connect the Dots).  I booked an appointment with Dr. Agnes Chang from the Integrated Dermatology of K Street.  I had to wait a whole month until I could get in to see Dr. Chang, but according to her ratings on, evidently, she was worth the wait.

Based on my experience with most doctors, I expected that Dr. Chang would simply ask me what was wrong and she’d just prescribe me medication and tell me to be on my way.  She exceeded my expectations.  When she walked in,  she was glammed out — forget the lab coat, she rocked a faux fur trimmed sweater, hair shiny and wavy, makeup neutral yet radiant and a fresh gray polished manicure.

She was very attentive, engaging and proactive.  She asked about my skincare concerns and questions about products I have been using, allergies, etc.  She then examined my face and told me, “Melissa, we’re going to get your skin cleared up!”.  That’s all I needed to hear to feel optimistic.

She prescribed me with antibiotics that I must take once a day and Atralin, a gel that I apply to the problem areas at bedtime each night.  She informed me that changes won’t happen over night, that it may take some time, but with consistency, it will clear up.

I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Chang at the end of the month.  I have to bring the products that I have been using to this visit.  Along with the meds, I’ve decided to cut back on the sweets and drink more water.  Hopefully things should improve by next visit..  Either way I’ll keep you guys posted.

Holiday Beauty Inspiration

It’s the Holiday Season, get inspired!

I Don’t Like Mondays ::Tips for Fighting Monday Blues & Getting Beauty Rest

“It’s just another manicMonday 
I wish it was Sunday 
‘Cause that’s my funday 
My I don’t have to runday 
It’s just another manic Monday” The Bangles

I won’t go as far as to say I HATE Mondays, but let’s just say, Mondays is my least favorite day of the week and here’s why:
  • After sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday, it’s a little difficult trying to drag myself out of bed at 5:30am.  
  • It’s the beginning of the work week, so I’m bombarded with all the work/messages/e-mails that were leftover from the weekend.
  • Playtime is over! All the leisure time, weekend getaways, football parties
  • I have to anticipate 4 more long days until the weekend.  

Interesting enough, I came across a great article in the October issue of my “Beauty Bible”, InStyle Magazine 
“Wake Up Gorgeous!  How to Turn Sleep into Beauty Rest”.  The article offered ten steps that will help you awaken well rested and fabulous the next morning.  Although these tips can help with any day of the week, I think they can be especially helpful with MONDAYS!!!!

1. PREP HAIR BEFORE BED In the article they suggested using dry shampoo the night before, if your hair looks greasy to suck up the oil.  One thing I have tried to absorb the oil in my hair is baby powder and believe it or not, it works!  So if you don’t have dry shampoo, try baby powder.  Before I go to bed, I usually spray it with sheen, wrap or roll my hair and cover with a scarf, so that the next day, I can just comb it down or take out the rollers and go.

2.  PUT DOWN THE POPCORN If you must have a late night snack, avoid salty foods and opt for grapefruit with ginger. Grapefruit will hydrating, while ginger is an anti-inflammatory that also calms the skin.  I’m not a big fan of grapefruit, so I would probably substitute it with berries.  Also, I have been using Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash   Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub which has worked wonders for my skin.

3.  POUR SOME FENNEL TEA If you’re waking up feeling a little bloated in the morning, the seeds in fennel tea help fight gas.  I love my coffee in the morning, but 

4.  GIVE YOUR EYES SOME CAFFEINE Puffy Eyes?  Try a caffeine-infused cream at bedtime.  It reduces water accumulation overnight and constricts blood vessels so dark circles appear lighter. Instead of going out to buy some expensive cream, I would suggest buying Preparation H  at your local drug store. 

5.  FAKE A SUNRISE  I am not a fan of loud alarm clocks, but, let’s face it they do the trick.  Nicolas Ronco, CEO of N.Y.C.’s Yelo Spa has a better solutions.  Ronco says the light in simulated sunrise clocks “increases gradually, signalling your brain to slowly bring you out of sleep, so you wake up more fresh-faced and alert.  

6.  MAKE YOUR OWN STEAM ROOM  After washing your face, turn your shower on hot, close the door, and let your skin soak up the mist.  

7.  CLEANSE, RINSE, REPEAT The article suggest washing your face twice in the evening, first with a milky cleanser to remove makeup and lastly with a gel cleanser to eliminate oily residue.  Depending on what skin type you have, maybe this will work for you.  People with sensitive or dry skin, may not want to use a gel cleanser.  Personally, because I have oily skin, I don’t like using milky cleansers.  It just seems like it just lays there, so I’d much rather use a wipe, or black soap to remove my makeup.  

8.  STICK A BANDAGE ON IT If you have a pimple, before bed, apply an anti-inflammatory cream, then seal it with a water proof bandage.  Dr. Sherber  says, “this intensifies the potency, so the next morning the pimple will be smaller and less red.  It’s nearly as effective as getting a steroid injection.”  As someone who suffers from occasionally breakouts, I think I might try this.

9.  PAMPER YOUR RINGLETS  For my curly hair divas, if you wash your hair at the end of the day, coat your curls with gel.  Your curls will soften overnight.  

10.  SKIP THE BOOZE, BUBBLES AND JUICE  Alcohol is dehydrating and it causes blood vessels to dilate which leads to flushing and puffiness. So if you plan on going hard the day before, avoid mixing liquor with carbonated beverages or sugary juiced that can worsen fluid retention and remember to drink a glass of water for every cocktail you down, to help stay hydrated.  

I have two more to add…

11.  STOP SLEEPING IN  I know, I know, it’s so much easier said then done, but sleeping in will only disturb your body clock and leave you tired on Mondays.  Read the article

12.  FIGHT THE MONDAY BLUES  According to a study by Marmite, you can beat the Monday Blues, by “indulging in activities like watching television, having sex, online shopping, buying chocolate or make-up, or planning a holiday”.

Moment of Clarity Using African Black Soap

I had been hearing about the wonders of African black soap for while — how it works miracles on oily/acne prone skin and after months of procrastinating, thanks to a street vendor in my neighborhood, I was finally able to try it.  I purchased a bar of DuDu Osun’s African Black Soap for $5.  

I started using it on Monday and immediately I could see the benefits.  When using my regular cleanser, I would either have to wipe my face first or use a toner afterwards to remove my makeup, but with the black soap, it removes all the product from my face, and has it feeling fresh and clean.  Also, usually around this time, I start to notice a few break outs or two, but since I’ve been using the black soap, I haven’t noticed any acne.  Finally,  I’ve noticed that it has helped brighten my skin, giving me a natural glow!

Two things worth mentioning is that it be a little messy, I would suggest storing it in one of those plastic soap containers.  Also, it has a strong fragrance — smells like cologne if you ask me, which can be good or bad, depending on the individual.

Here are some added benefits of using black soap (via

1.Helps to remove scars caused by acne.
Since acne is not caused by dirt, but due to the release of excessive oils within the skin, the soap cannot remove acne. But use of African black soap helps to remove scars cause due to acne.

2.Helps to remove skin irritations.
Use of black soap helps to remove skin irritations like rashes.

3.Suitable for all skin types.
Black soap can be used for the treatment of problems on all types of skin including the dry and rough, oily and moderate skins.

4.Beneficial for skin diseases.
Black soap is very beneficial for reducing the discomforts that are associated with skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema

5.Helps in removing make-up.
Black soap not only cures skin problems but can also be used as a perfect cleanser for removing make up. It removes every bit of chemicals that can spoil the skin and help to make it clean and fresh.

6.Delays ageing on the skin.
Regular use of black soap helps to remove facial lines that are mostly early signs of ageing. Thus black soap can be used to delay ageing of skin.

7.Benefits to oily skin.
Regular use of black soap helps to remove extra oils form the skin. It is thus useful in preventing the formation of pimples and other problems associated with oily skin.

8.Benefits to the hair.
Black soap can be used for cleaning of hair. After cleaning use your regular conditioner for shiny lustrous beautiful hair.

Where to purchase black soap:

DuDu Osun’s Black Soap can be purchased online through Amazon or Afrikan Republic

Shea Moisture’s Organic African Black Soap Facial Regime is available at Target and Walgreen’s

If I missed a brand, please feel free to add it by responding.  Also, if you have tried black soap, let me know how its worked for you.

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