Authors Posts by Felicia

Felicia

Felicia
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------------ Felicia Walker Benson is Editor in Chief for ThisThatBeauty and Social Media Beauty Editor at Bergdorf Goodman (her glorious day job!). For Felicia's complete bio, click on the "About Felicia" tab. Follow Felicia on Twitter @ThisThatBeauty From time to time the good folks from various brands, PR companies, and marketing firms graciously provide product to ThisThatBeauty for editorial consideration. Much appreciated! However, ThisThatBeauty readers can take comfort in knowing that gratis product has never nor will it ever guarantee a mention on my little old blog. Simply put, I write about whatever I darn well please. Thank you very much! For less sassy verbiage on how products make it to the prestigious pages of ThisThatBeauty, click the tab in the upper right hand corner labeled "Disclosure".

Every month we (myself and the other Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Girls)  gush with excitement over what’s cool and new. Here’s the May run down of the beauty you need now!

 Tom-Ford-Fragrance-Noir-Extreme-Eau-de-Parfum

FRAGRANCE
Don’t tiptoe into Spring…go boldly with two extraordinary new scents from Tom Ford Beauty and Diana Vreeland Parfums. For him, Tom Ford Noir Extreme (212 872 2813) is unapologetically masculine. The woody oriental with feels warm and intensely elegant — just like the perfect man! For her, Diana Vreeland Daringly Different (212 872 2733) is just that…a daringly different and unexpected iris oud. Created as a tribute to Mrs. Vreeland’s passion for the Middle East, Daringly Different showcases a slightly lighter side of oud with bright accents of violet and a heart of iris and lily. 

Want more May Beauty Picks?  Head to the Bergdorf Goodman Blog

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Ahh, seasonal routines. I actually love all of the little seasonal shifts that I make in my beauty routine. It’s sort of like a quarterly New Year — four annual opportunities to start fresh and reboot everything. With the start of Spring, I typically make several changes to my beauty routine. For my skin, I cycle off all of the super active ingredients (like retinol, glycolic, alpha hydroxy acids) I’ve used all winter. I know my skin well enough to know that I need to switch to calming products for Spring/ warm weather.

Similarly with my hair, Spring is the time to be a bit more relaxed and not rely on heat styling as much. Yep, it’s time to embrace my natural curl and flaunt my God-given coils.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Get into Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair!

In preparation for Spring, I’ve recently transitioned to Biolage CLEANSING CONDITIONER, a low lathering all-in-one cleansing product and conditioner. The 5-minute treatment (which is all the time I have with a 20-month old demanding my undivided attention) cleanses my coarse, coily curls without stripping my hair of natural oils…or leaving a weighed down feeling on my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Genius! A formula specifically for curly hair…

If you’re new to cleansing conditioners, I highly recommend that you get involved. The formula is suited for most hair types… there’s a Cleansing Conditioner formula for every hair type: fine, medium, coarse and curly. What I like most about Biolage Cleansing Conditioner is that I’m able to match the formula to my hair type and texture. Prior to trying Biolage, I’ve certainly tried other cleansing conditioners in the past, and I must say — having four different formulas to choose from is a major point of difference that impacts your end result.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The texture is creamy and nourishing without feeling heavy.

If you’re new to cleansing your hair with this type of product, there’s a small learning curve…but after one wash session, you’ll be a pro. Here’s how I use Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair: I wet my hair from root to tip. Apply Biolage Cleansing Conditioner from scalp, to hair root, to hair tips. I use between 6 to 8 pumps.  I massage gently and give it about five minutes for the conditioning agents to nourish my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The pump makes a world of difference in the shower…

After five minutes, I rinse. It’s at this stage that the cleansing conditioner transforms into a soap-free cleanser. As I rinse, dirt and build up goes down the drain. With my first use, a few changes in my hair were immediately apparent:

– My curls were springy-er. The formula definitely awakens my tightly wound curls and coils.  I rarely wash and go, but Biolage Cleansing Conditioner makes my curls feel that FIERCE!

– My hair feels more manageable. I’m able to finger comb and detangle without drenching my hair with a separate detangling product.

– My hair feels deeply nourished and hydrated …as if I’ve done a deep conditioning treatment. But really, I’ve only invested 5 minutes — amazing!

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Curls are so springy!!

I’ve been a fan of cleansing conditioners for quite a few years now…so trying Biolage Cleansing Conditioner was not a hard sell for me. But what intrigues me the most is being able to pair a cleansing conditioner formula with my specific hair type. That’s a first for me!

So, is Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for you? Well, if you have fine, medium, coarse or curly hair — there’s definitely a formula for you! If your current hair wash routine leaves your hair dry and brittle, perhaps it’s time to make the switch to a product that’s a lot more gentle and hydrates as it cleans (seriously, who needs the extra steps?)

I’m hooked! I love the ease and I certainly love the results. After months of blow outs and lots of heat styling, it’s nice to go slightly low maintenance for Spring with a product that gets the job done and also makes my natural curls feel incredible.

LEARN MORE HERE: https://www.youtube.com/matrix

I’m not gonna lie — Being a new mom is, at times, filled with lots of self-doubt and worry over what you’re doing or not doing. So when I hear the old saying, “Mother knows best”, I can’t help but think, “Really? Me?!!”

12_Sophie

But, once you take a breather and a step back, it’s true: Moms really do know best…because we do what we do with love and care — and that truly is the best you can give. This Mother’s Day, Mustela is celebrating mom and sharing motherhood advice from real moms, like YOU and ME!

4_Crib

From May 1 – 10, Mustela is asking moms to share their best piece of advice to new moms or moms-to be. Each winner (2 winners per day) will win an assortment of Mustela products, including Stretch Marks Care Oil, Stretch Marks Double Action, Hydra Bebe Body, Dermo-Cleansing and PhysiObebe (a ThisThatBeauty FAV!!).

Mustela Moms Know Best: http://bit.ly/1QJiPlq

Pheebs and Mom

So, seeing that I have a little bit of motherhood experience (20+ months) under my belt, I thought I’d share and answer some of the Mustela Moms Know Best questions. Let me be 1,000% transparent – I do not know it all. I can only share what has worked for me…with the hope that it will, in some small way, be helpful to you ☺

What’s your best piece of advice for new moms?
I cannot stress the importance of learning to depend on your own abilities and know that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Motherhood unleashes a whole new level of emotions and potential insecurities. You’ve birthed this amazing little being and you’re constantly panicked that you’re not doing or giving him/her the very best. But repeat after me: I AM ENOUGH! Because you truly are. Learn to turn off the influences that make you feel less than enough. For me, it’s social media and, shockingly, BLOGS! I follow very few “mom blogger types” on social media. Sure, I follow women who are moms…but I don’t follow many who make a living as mommy bloggers or women who spend a large percentage of their time mostly sharing mommy things. Why? Do I hate mommy bloggers? No. It’s sort of “It’s not YOU, it’s ME.” I know myself and it’s neither productive nor healthy for me to spend too much time observing the social ramblings and shares of women who mainly do mommy things. And again, it’s not about them (more power to them if they are doing what they love), it’s about me. I begin to feel less than enough when I spend too much time with Uber Moms. So I turn off my triggers.

What’s one thing you wish you knew before becoming a mom?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know if there’s some magical pre-knowledge that would have made a difference. But I would say: Ask for help and don’t be crazy…let others bond with your child. You’ll regret it later if you kid is too attached to you and only you.

What’s the best tip to stay healthy while pregnant?
Manage your cravings as healthfully as possible. For example, if you crave sweet, instead of going hard on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, reach for Greek yogurt with honey and a few nuts sprinkled it. This way, you’re giving your body what it needs (something sweet) but you’re not loading up on extra calories that you can do without. You can’t avoid the guilty treat all the time…we’re human and sometimes we all need to just give in and live a little! But, for the most part, try to satisfy your cravings with the healthiest possible choice. Your post-baby body will thank you….because, when baby arrives, making time to shed those extra calories will be low low low on the list of priorities.

What was your favorite product to use while pregnant?
I loved using Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil while I was pregnant. It’s so soothing and really helped to relieve itchy skin. Honestly, I think stretch marks are mostly genetic…but there was no way I was going to NOT try a cream or oil. I made it through pregnancy stretch mark free. Maybe it was Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil, maybe it was genetics. I’ll never know for certain, but if I’m blessed to have another maybe, I’m definitely sticking with Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil. NOTE: Continue using your stretch mark cream of choice for a couple of months post-baby too…..I have a cousin who didn’t get stretch marks until AFTER baby arrived (possibly because she stopped using her cream).

What is the best thing about being a mother?
The best thing is looking into Phoebe’s eyes and thinking: I DID THAT. It’s a major “wow” moment to know that you desired this little human, and here she is – as perfect as can be and all yours!

What’s you best advice for moms or moms-to-be? Share with Mustela!
Mustela Moms Know Best: http://bit.ly/1QJiPlq

Want to know my Mustela Must-Haves?
CLICK HERE

Spring’s perfect flush is subtle, yet impactful. It’s a healthy wash of color, and not a heavy-handed dusting of pigment. As the weather continues to warm up, think: delicate layers of rose, peach and pink. Keep reading to find The Perfect Blush!

Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Blush For a soft celestial glow, try a cool peachy tone like HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING BLUSH in Incandescent Electra. Infused with just the right amount of illuminating powder, this blush/ luminizer hybrid delivers a flawless flush every time.

Need help perfecting your blush and bronzer technique?

Join Hourglass for a two-day artistry event on the Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Level, featuring National Director of Artistry, Joel Canales. May 2 and May 3, 10:00AM – 6:00PM. RSVP 212 872 8842

More amazing blushes this way –>> Top Picks for The Perfect Blush

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BeautyStat.com and NEST Fragrances. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.

When I give birthday cards (or any type of celebratory card), I always say something to the effect of “I hope this is your best {insert occasion} yet”….because it’s truly my desire that the recipient’s special occasions get better with time. This is my third Mother’s Day….and I must say – Mother’s Day has truly gotten better with time. For my very first Mother’s Day I officially announced my pregnancy to the world via social media. Wow! That was really something.

ThisThatBaby

For my second Mother’s Day, Phoebe was about 9 months old and I was finally starting to hit my stride as a new mom and balancing the rest of my life.

ThisThatBeauty x NEST Fragrances

And now, my third Mother’s Day, I find myself focused, not just on my own personal joy as a mom, but also focused on the community of mothers and mother-ers (those who mother but aren’t actual moms) around me…and really making sure that they feel recognized and appreciated every day.

Wine, Food and Family

I’m at that point in my life where simple gestures mean the most. Once you amassed a fair amount of “stuff”, you find that it’s the memories and gestures that really matter. And so, this Mother’s Day, I find it hard to focus on “things” and the usual round up of “things” to buy for mom. Instead, I’m shifting focus to the concept of crafting thoughtful gestures of love and gratitude…which brings me to NEST Fragrances and the art of the handwritten note.

NEST Fragrances Notes for Mom

Fragrance is such an integral part of our memories. This Mother’s Day, don’t just give a gift…gift memories — But more importantly, gift a message of love, gratitude and thanks. A NEST Fragrances candle, with the added touch of a personalized note card, written in your prettiest penmanship, adds a level of charm and care that cannot be matched. It’s nice to receive “gifts” but personal messages are next level “I love you”. At this stage, Mom has seen it all…she’s been there & she’s done that. But your thoughtful words, partnered with such a luxe gesture well…she’s going to just melt.

NEST Fragranges Notes to Mom

I use fragrance in my home to express warmth, love and comfort….and for the past four years, I’ve used NEST Fragrances in my home every single day. From candles to diffusers…hand soaps and lotions, NEST Fragrances rule the roost. It all started with Peony Blanche, the cheeriest, floral candle ever. It was love at first burn. And actually, before lighting a NEST Fragrances candle, you’ll immediately notice there’s a difference. The luxe scented candles have a way of filling a room before the wick is even lit….I discovered this when I gifted Moss & Mint to my Aunt Tina, entered her home and was welcomed by the beautiful scent. I said, “Ahhh, Aunt Tina, You’ve been burning your candle!” She said: Oh, no…it’s to pretty to light. It just sits there.” *WELP* I mean, that’s how good these candles are! Made of premium, cosmetic-grade wax, these candles are well worth the spend and they never ever disappoint the recipient. I’ve been gifting NEST Fragrances for years and my mom, aunts, cousins and girlfriends can’t get enough.

NEST Fragrances Hand Soap and Lotion

As a Beauty Girl/ Editor, I always get the inside scoop on what’s new with NEST fragrances…but I encourage you to sign up for the NEST Fragrances newsletter. This will keep you in-the-know with new product launches, promotions and special offerings.

You can find NEST Fragrances online and also at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide.

Want to learn even more about NEST Fragrances? Meet Laura Slatkin, founder of NEST Fragrances

#NESTFragrancesNotes  #NESTNotesToMom

Want a chance to win NEST Fragrances? Click to enter NEST Fragrances #NESTNotesToMom Giveaway

*I received products to review and compensation from BeautyStat.com for this post. My opinion is my own and not edited by BeautyStat, please read my Disclosure Policy.

NEST Fragrances Giveaway

The title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” is actually a real question…one that I’ve asked myself for at least a year. The product is actually not new…it first launched in January of 2014. And as a brown girl with natural hair…(natural hair that took over a year to grow out my relaxer)…I am immediately skeptical of any “straightening kit” that comes in a “box” — Uhmm, I like my curl pattern very much, thank you! And I don’t want a “straightening kit” to irrevocably change the texture of my natural hair.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit

So….having said that — when Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit first launched, I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon to test it out. But, earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend time with Strength of Nature, the parent brand behind Beautiful Textures (and about 11 other brands dedicated to consumer hair care education and products for Women of Color).

Felicia Leatherwood

In learning, first hand, about Strength of Nature and the brand’s DNA, I was immediately intrigued and suddenly felt more drawn to the line of products. I also had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with Felicia Leatherwood, Beautiful Textures’ Brand Ambassador, Celebrity Stylist and Trainer. During our talk, I got to ask all of the important questions:

– Girl, is this kit going to rob my curl?
– But how does it straighten without damaging my hair?
– Will I end up bald?

Laugh if you want, but I’m a 40 year old black woman who grew up in the era of bone straight hair….I KNOW what a straightening kit in a box can do to your hair. Shoot!

Thankfully, Felicia graciously answered all of my questions and explained that the straightening kit, enriched with Enriched with Aloe Vera, Coconut, Olive, Soy, Argan Oil, Shea and Mango Butter, temporarily relaxes the curl pattern without reversing it. There are no harsh chemicals involved.

Well, I decided to take the plunge for a variety of reasons:

1. Felicia definitely enhanced my comfort level with her thorough explanation of how the product works
2. I was so impressed by Strength of Nature as a brand that truly cares about the hair care needs of women of color, that I really truly wanted to try more of their offerings and share with my readers. With 12 brands under the Strength of Nature umbrella, and all very value-based, I wanted to shed light on products that are both affordable and effective. Hair is such an important part of the daily routine…every woman deserves to have great hair products without compromising other aspects of her life.

Ok, so let’s get into my experience with Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit ($8.99):

beautiful-textures-texture-manageability-system-ThisThatBeauty

The 4-Step Process Is Pretty Simple:
“This system allows you to go from curly to straight styles, without harsh chemicals and without permanently changing your natural hair texture.  Go back and forth between natural and straight styles with unparalleled touchable softness, movement and shine.”

1.  I cleansed with the Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. Nothing earth shattering there. I will add that the shampoo is totally pleasant and doesn’t smell offensive in any way.
2. I applied the Inner-Active Leave-In Conditioner from root to tip. I was told it’s important to not over saturate.
3. Next, I blow-dried. I use (and LOVE) this dryer for super thick, coily hair like mine!
4. I flat ironed with my trusty Sedu (we’re going 4 years strong!).

NOTE: Since the initial application, I’ve followed up with the Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Shampoo and Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Conditioner.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit - Anti Reversion Products

Here Are My Observations:

See. This is why my reviews take so long…I really truly need to try, wait, watch, observe then report. And in doing all of that, I must say – my loss-of-curl fears were unfounded. Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit helped me to achieve a super smooth blowout like I love, but it did not permanently change my natural curl pattern.

Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You

In fact, my natural curls now appear a bit more defined.I love that this system allows me to go from curly to straight, without horrible chemicals or unwanted changes to my natural texture. The results last for 4-6 weeks….if you maintain with the Anti-Reversion shampoo and conditioner included in the kit.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit  x  ThisThatBeauty

Bottom Line:
To return to the title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” – Yes, if you desire hair styling flexibility without permanently reversing your hair’s natural texture. I think this product also works well for women who are transitioning from a relaxer to natural. Dang! I wish Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit was around when I was transitioning. If there’s a woman in your life who’s transitioning, I’m sure she’d appreciate you sharing this post!

It’s hard to believe, but my sweet little Phoebe is almost 2. Yes, 2! Technically, she’s 20 months…just 4 months shy of her first birthday. But any way you slice it — Holy Moly! I’m the mom of an almost 2 year old!

Mustela X Phoebe

With 20 months of mothering under my belt (not counting the in utero mothering), I definitely feel I’m acing certain things on the mommy checklist (and other things I’m failing miserably…but that’s another blog post). Being a card-carrying Beauty Girl, I feel I’ve hit my stride in the ‘self-care’ category for Phoebe. In the beginning I was CLUELESS…there are so many different washes, creams, ointments, lotions, OH MY! But again, as a Beauty Girl, I feel I have a bit more insight and intuition in this area (versus, let’s say “colds”…I call the pediatrician for EVVVERYTHING!). And the one brand that I’ve stuck with from day one (August 19, 2013) is Mustela

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d take this time to share the Mustela products that have been with us from day one to present. I love simplifying my life, and self-care for Phoebe is no different. I can’t do a ton of products. I like to streamline Phoebe’s skin care as much as possible, and this is one of the many reasons why I’ve stuck with Mustela.

Dermo-Soothing Wipes Fragrance Free

Dermo-Soothing Wipes Fragrance Free
Dear God, you have no idea how much you will rely on wipes. It’s like, next to the boob (if you’re breastfeeding) the wipe is like the second most important thing you’ll need…and need often. From day one to month-20, I still use many many wipes on a daily basis. I rely on Dermo-Soothing Wipes Fragrance Free because they are thicker and softer than most wipes I’ve tried. Yes, they cost a little more…but, I honestly feel that the quality of these wipes stand up to most diapering tasks. I’ve tried wipes that aren’t as pricey…and I’ve only ended up using double the amount. Dermo-Soothing Wipes Fragrance Free are super delicate for newborn skin. The alcohol free formula is composed of 98% of ingredients of natural origin. They get the job done and they’re oh so kind to baby’s bottom, face and other precious little body parts.

PhysiObébé

PhysiObébé
Let’s talk ‘explosive diapers’ (sigh, who am I?). No, but seriously. Every mom, dad and caregiver has been there. Girl! The content of that diaper is just everywhere…and soap and water are a delightful distant fantasy. PhysiObébé will save your butt…well, your baby’s butt. Ideal for quick clean up situations, PhysiObébé is a no-rinse cleansing fluid for face and body. I use this at home, on-the-go…and my mom especially appreciates that I toss it in Phoebe’s diaper bag when she’s watching Phoebe while I run errands. It’s such an easy way to clean up super dirty diapers. It’s also really soothing and does not irritate baby’s skin.

2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash

2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash

Motherhood is about multi-tasking (remind me to tell y’all how my mom broke that little lesson down for me as she cooked a full three course meal and tended to Phoebe at the same time. I was in awe!). It’s really important for products to serve more than one function…especially at bath time. Just picture it – baby’s all slippery and you’re juggling like 3 or 4 products plus your wiggly little tot. Just, no! 2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash works perfectly because it’s a tear free gel that’s great for both hair and body. The formula is soap-free and formulated especially for baby’s delicate skin. This dual-purpose product is such a lifesaver!

Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm

Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm

While Phoebe does not have eczema; she is prone to dryness on her legs. Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm is my go-to for soothing her skin post-bath. I’ve tried other products, and this is the only one that keeps her from scratching her dry, itchy skin. Again, she doesn’t have eczema – but if your little one does, you should know that this product is recognized by the National Eczema Association for its efficacy.

Phoebe-and-Mom

So when it comes to caring for Phoebe’s skin, thanks to Mustela, I feel like I’ve got it covered. Now there are plenty of other things I’m still figuring out, like:

– How much milk is too much at this age? Phoebe still likes a big ol cup of milk at bedtime. Is that ok?
– How much TV time is ok? She has none during the day, but I admit to letting her watch a little Doc McStuffins while I cook. Is that fine?
– She used to love brushing her teeth, but now fights me so much. How do I make sure her teeth stay healthy?

You see! There’s a lot I’m STILL figuring out. But, as for baby’s skin care – I’ve got Mustela!

Oh, and if you love Mustela as much as I do, you definitely want to participate in the Mustela Loyalty Program.
Sign up and earn rewards today!

AND!! As a ThisThatBeauty reader, you can receive $5 off your first Mustela purchase with the code: TTB5
Shop, shop, shop !!

I’ve never been much of a hippie. Tree hugging has never been my thing. And as for being “green”… let’s just, say it was an afterthought – UNTIL – life has a way of swooping down and changing everything. I can, honestly, say that all attempts to be green or eco-conscious were lost on me until several pivotal things happened…

ThisThatBeauty in Montego Bay

1. I got adult acne around 21…and suddenly I cared about EVERYTHING I put on my skin.

2. I had a baby…and holy moly! If you’ve never cared about your carbon footprint and what you put in/on your body, NOW is the time.

So while these life events haven’t converted me into a full on hippie, I greatly respect the movement to be greener and more earth conscious. I like to think of myself as Eco Chic! And with Earth month in full swing, now seems like the perfect opportunity to bring together beauty, skincare and raise environmental awareness.

Complexion Collection

Which brings me to EcoTools…a beauty brand committed to helping you look and live beautifully.  The entire brand is based around their passion for helping you look good, while being good to Mother Earth. EcoTools believes that getting gorgeous and giving back can go hand-in-hand.
EcoTools x ThisThatBeauty

I gotta tell you – this brand really speaks to me! Sure, I’m a little (a lot) vain. I wanna look pretty…I’ll admit that. And I love that EcoTools is here for my vanity….but also with a dose of “Felicia, you know you can do better. Let’s look cute AND be cute to the Earth.” Hey, I’m not above a reality check. No shame here!

EcoTools x ThisThatBeauty

Just look at these brushes! Who knew “eco” could look this “chic”? Using an array of eco-conscious materials, EcoTools’ products are inspired by nature, and offer a wide range of beauty solutions. Currently I’m really into the brand’s newest launch: The Complexion Collection

 EcoTools x ThisThatBeauty

Given our current obsession with #FLAWLESS (I blame Beyonce), The Complexion Collection launch seems perfectly timed. Designed to help address the main skin concerns that make us feel less than #FLAWLESS, The Complexion Collection includes:

Mattifying Finish Brush: To softly reduce shine – Use with pressed or loose powder
Eye Perfecting Brush: For under eye coverage – Use with creams, moisturizers or concealers
Skin Perfecting Brush: For evening the skin tone – Use with BB/ CC creams or light weight foundation *MY FAVORITE*
Correcting Concealer Brush: For spot coverage of blemishes – Use with liquid or powder concealer

Overall, the collection helps blur the appearance of fine lines, conceal pesky pimples, cover unwanted under eye darkness and balance oily skin. Though available a la carte (starting at $4.99 – yes, only $4.99!), the Complexion Collection Bundle, at $24.99, is your best bet…saving you about 15%.  If you’re a brush newbie, investing in the Complexion Collection Bundle is a no-brainer, because:

– You need brushes
– These are affordable
– The set includes everything you need to get started
– The quality far exceeds the price tag

If you’re a brush vet (like moi), investing in the entire set makes since because the brush quality is really incredible. As a brush pro, you won’t be disappointed in how your makeup applies and how these brushes hold up wash after wash (very very little shedding). And if you’ve never tried eco-friendly brushes, the Complexion Collection Bundle is a great add to your repertoire.

EcoTools x ThisThatBeauty
The Skin Perfecting Brush is my favorite!

But let’s say you have allll the brushes you need, but ThisThatBeauty’s reviews are soooo compelling that you feel COMPELLED to try at least one brush – I’d put my money on the Skin Perfecting Brush. In my humble opinion, it’s the hero of the collection. It applies cream foundation so that the finish is super natural and all you see is perfect skin. I use a buffing motion to really get an airbrushed result. And because “doing good” looks good on you, I’d be remised if I didn’t mention that EcoTools will make a $1.00 donation to Global Green USA for every Complexion Collection brush sold (up to $100,000). How beauty-full is that?

Find EcoTools at Walgreens and ecotools.com

Follow EcoTools on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest at @ecotools

Want to learn more –

Mark your calendar for my #EcoInspire Twitter Chat:

April 16, 2015 8-9PM EST

#spon

Your skin care quick fix is just a sheet mask away. Apply, relax and 10 minutes later — better skin emerges. Read on as I share the best sheet masks for your specific skincare needs…

 

Guerlain-Super-Aqua-Sheet-Mask- 
Bid a fond bye-bye to slack, tired looking skin with Guerlain Super Aqua Sheet Mask. Enriched with Guerlain’s proprietary Desert Rose Flower Complex and active anti-aging ingredients, this fast acting moisture mask remedies fatigued skin in a flash. If there’s a long flight in your future, this is the mask to toss in your carry on.

Click here to see the other amazing sheet masks you need right now!

Spring 2015 beauty is a mashup of the classics. Eyes, lips and cheeks are redefined in a cool, modern way….nothing feels forced or extreme. It’s a gradual shift of the mainstays we’ve come to know and love. But there is one exception – Nails! Head to the Bergdorf Goodman blog where I help you navigate spring’s prettiest beauty picks from nails to lips and everything in between.

Bobbi-Brown-Hot-Collection

Spring  2015 Beauty

Times are a changing…and so am I. Over the years, I’ve worked a lot harder at incorporating natural/ organic/ botanically based products into my skin care routine. My search for green, green-er, green-ish products really intensified when I was pregnant — a point in time when one truly needs to carefully monitor what goes into and onto one’s body. While I was pregnant (and while breastfeeding) I ate mostly organic and used skin care that was free of certain chemicals.

 When I was pregnant
With Earth month upon us, now seems like the perfect opportunity to explore earth conscious products and reinvigorate the topic of green (or “green-er”) products.
Easter Egg Hunt with Phoebe
Now that Phoebe is a little over a year old and I’m no longer breastfeeding, I’ll admit that I haven’t stuck with an all organic skin care routine…but I’ll also admit that it bothers me when it’s night time, I have a face full of super-active-non natural-skin cream du jour….and I KNOW I don’t want my face anywhere near Phoebe’s face because I don’t want product to transfer to her precious baby skin. And while I can honestly say I’m not ready to go completely organic/ natural, I will say that I’m super happy to have discovered Boots BOTANICS.
Boots x ThisThatBeauty
What I love most about Boots BOTANICS is that it addresses the three main hurdles that most people (myself included) have when considering natural, organic or earth conscious products…1) cost 2) efficacy and 3) accessibility.
Boots x ThisThatBeauty
1 — Cost
Let’s just be honest. Generally — Organic is expensive and crap is cheap. That’s just the way it is. Higher quality, natural, responsibly sourced ingredients tend to cost more. But, not so fast — Boots BOTANICS start at roughly $6.29. And for example, a basic care care routine of cleanser, toner and face cream will run you about $7 for cleanser and toner and about $13 for a face cream. Not bad at all! And right now (and all month long) you can take advantage of the BOGO50 on Boots Botanics at Walgreens/Duane Reade stores. The BOGO50 basically means that you buy your first product at full price and you get your second item at 50% off. With a promotion this incredible, I balled out (not really because it’s SO affordable) and bought several items to test. I love the price points of these botanically based products. Even without the BOGO50 they’re really affordable….and proof that green-er skincare need not compromise Phoebe’s college fund.
2 — Efficacy
Now this is a biggie — high performing natural products are a rarity, in my humble opinion. And this is, partly, why I’ve gone back to non-green products over the years. But within the Boots BOTANICS range, I’ve found several products that perform just as well (if not, better) than the “conventional” products I normally use:
Cleansing Foam Wash ALL BRIGHT
Boots BOTANICS Cleansing Foam Wash ALL BRIGHT  ($7.49) is a surprisingly gentle cleanser. Yes, it lathers up…but it does not strip the skin of all moisture. Formulated with brightening hibiscus; this botanically based face wash contains natural exfoliants that help to deliver brighter skin with each wash. The effect is truly visible with the first use.
Hot Cloth Cleansing BalmBoots BOTANICS Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm ($8.49) is my “holy moly” product. I am a HUGE fan of cleansing balms…and my long time staple cleansing balm is priced at triple the price of Boots BOTANICS Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm. Sooo, Obvi I was anxious to test it it. And again, “holy moly”!! This 97% organic balm, enriched with nourishing rose hip, soothes and cleanses in one step. Shea butter and jojoba also add to the smooth feel this balm imparts on skin. Ideal for am and pm use, this cleansing Balm comes with a full size Muslin cloth to help aid the exfoliation process. I’m pretty much blown away by this level of thoughtfulness in a DRUGSTORE product.
Micellar Cleansing Solution 3-in-1 ALL BRIGHT
You thought the body needed H20 to live…but, no — it’s actually Micellar water. I’m being silly, but I cannot live with Boots BOTANICS Micellar Cleansing Solution 3-in-1 ALL BRIGHT. Also formulated with brightening hibiscus (like the cleanser), this is just the most amazing third-step cleansing product. I’ll admit that I’m a little crazy on the cleanse. I don’t might a good three step cleanse (cleansing balm, face wash and then Micellar water)….and Boots BOTANICS Micellar Cleansing Solution 3-in-1 ALL BRIGHT  ($7.49) is just perfect. You need this!
Boots x ThisThatBeauty
3 — Accessibility
What good is an amazing product if you can’t get it easily? I’ve struggled with this over the years…you stumble upon an amazing indie brand and then BOOM you can no longer find it anywhere. Been there, done that! Now that I’m hook-line-and-sinker seriously until Boots BOTANICS…I’m doing a little happy dance of joy because I know I’ll always be able to grab it at my local Walgreens or Duane Reade.
BOTTOM LINE — Clearly I’m on a theme of “brightness”. I am all for products that encourage glowy, luminous skin. I mean, who doesn’t love to #BrightenUp? Boots BOTANICS ALL BRIGHT line is great for a bright boost….but really, because of cost, efficacy and access — there’s sure to be a Boots BOTANICS collection to meet your individual skincare needs. And isn’t the current BOGO50 at Walgreens/ Duane Reade a great time to explore? Get involved!
#spon

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I’m just going to come right out and say it — I love products that make me feel like a makeup artist. I love mastering little beauty tricks that take my beauty routine to the next level. I especially love little insider tidbits that help me master my “no makeup” look. I work really hard on my skincare, so when I wear makeup, I want my skin to still be the focus. So when I heard about CoverFX Custom Cover Drops, a foundation-type product that allows you to customize your coverage by pairing with your favorite skin care — well, I raised my hand for a sample! I’m allll about that “model-off-duty glow”…and a custom foundation product sounds like the perfect thing for achieving the aforementioned, right? Or am I right?

CoverFX Custom Cover Drops x ThisThatBeauty

First, a bit more about CoverFX Custom Cover Drops — The “drop” form foundation [check out the #dropportunity digital campaign on Instagram…it’s toooo cute!] is part DIY and I LOVE IT! First things first…this product is not meant to be used on its on. I’m just going to go on and repeat that one more time because (and I’m guilty) we sometimes just pick up a product and apply. CoverFX Custom Cover Drops is not intended to be used solo. The highly concentrated formula is designed to be paired with your favorite skin care product, like a face oil, moisturizer or primer. The pigments in the product allow you to customize any product in your beauty regimen, and adjust the level of coverage accordingly. Just imagine — add to a facial oil for a dewy glow…add to a rich cream for a super hydrating foundation…add to a mattifying primer for a matte finish. The options are limitless…

custom cover drops N80

My shade is N80 (and possibly N90 as we approach summer and I get a bit more sun). Now that we have an understanding of how the drops work, let’s get on with the show — Y’all know y’all wanna see swatches!!!

Bare
Bare skin with moisturizer only

Here I am…as giddy as can be and bare faced. I was super duper excited to try CoverFX Custom Cover Drops…and it shows!. See how my eyes are dancing? This girl is excited.

Now, before writing this post, I tried CoverFX Custom Cover Drops a variety of ways…because, ya know — that’s what I do! But, because you don’t have all day to read my blog, I am going to share with you my TWO favorite ways to wear CoverFX Custom Cover Drops.
N80 plus face oil
Cover FX Custom Color Drops N80 + L’Occitane Huile De Jeunesse Divine Oil

As I said earlier in this post, I am allll about the “model-off-duty glow”. I love skin that appears healthy and glowy. So naturally I experimented with mixing CoverFX Custom Cover Drops and a face oil — And Holy Glowy, Batman! This is my absolute favorite way to wear CoverFX Custom Cover Drops. The coverage is totally there (compare bare faced to the pic above)…but my imperfections are blurred in a soft way. Honestly, I don’t think it looks like I’m wearing foundation. It just looks like I have healthy, luminous skin. In the picture directly above, I am wearing CoverFX Custom Cover Drops and face oil ONLY (oh, and a little gloss).

For the pics directly below, I amp’d up the look just a bit with bronzer and blush…but still, it’s very soft and natural.

N80 plus oil blush and bronzer
Cover FX Custom Color Drops N80 + L’Occitane Huile De Jeunesse Divine Oil + Bronzer + Blush

For my next magic trick (HA!) I paired Cover FX Custom Color Drops with Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad SPectrum SPF30 PA+++ . This is a silicone based primer and the finish is rather matte, so in the picture below, you will notice that the texture/ finish of Cover FX Custom Color Drops is more matte/ a little bit flat. Note: This would not be the goal of the look on it’s own…BUT it’s a great base for a matte look, or something a bit more glam. This is also a good base for someone with oily skin.

N80 plus primer
Cover FX Custom Color Drops N80 + Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield

Again, this look is definitely a bit more matte…this is a mix of two drops Cover FX Custom Color Drops and one pump of Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. Now, take a look below after I added bronzer and blush. The look is no longer flat. In fact, it’s still rather natural, but slightly more polished. See, this is what’s so great about Cover FX Custom Color Drops . You can seize your #dropportunity and decide who you want to be today…while still looking like beautiful YOU!

N80 plus primer blush and bronzer
Cover FX Custom Color Drops N80 + Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield + Bronzer + Blush

Now it’s your turn – I’ve partnered with CoverFX to offer you 50% off a primer with the purchase of Custom Cover Drops: CCDROPSFWB.  Because the drops work BEST when paired with a skincare product like a primer, this is an awesome opportunity to seize your #dropportunity !!



When your mom is ThisThatBeauty, the bar’s set pretty darn high. I’m super discriminating when it comes to products that I use on Phoebe….particularly skin & hair. So, when I heard of the new hair care line, SoCozy, a salon-formula hair care line for kids, I perked up!

SoCozy

As I further explored (and researched the line) I learned that the formulations are non-toxic, meaning: free of the stuff that you generally don’t want anywhere near your kid. SoCozy is free of free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol…also gluten, wheat and nuts (if allergies are an issue). Available exclusively at Target.com, SoCozy is new to the marketplace this Spring…so I had a hard time finding product reviews online. So, I did what ThisThatBeauty ‘would‘ do — I purchased a handful of products to try out. Below are my favorites, but the entire line includes:

SoCozy x ThisThatBeauty

Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner Instantly detangle without pulling or tugging
Behave Styling Mousse For extra volume, bounce, and smooth shiny hair
Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash Nourishes and hydrates hair with keratin, soy protein’s and kiwi fruit extracts
Behave Styling Cream Keeps every strand in place, smooth and silky
Boo! Lice Prevention Spray and Shampoo Gentle enough for everyday use to help prevent the dreaded lice

Phoebe in SoCozy

I cannot stress enough how challenging it is to photograph a toddler – Lord! It’s tough. But here’s Phoebe immediately after using Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash. First of all, I love that this product is a 3 in 1…because, if you think it’s tough to get a toddler to sit for a photo, try getting the same toddler to sit for a bath while you incorporate product, after product, after product. Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is really light, which is perfect for my toddler’s needs. The product lathers quickly and rinses with ease…..a major PLUS, because, again – toddler’s have very little patience. As for how Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash performs as a body wash — It got Phoebe clean and it didn’t irritate or dry out her skin. Honestly, that’s all I ask for in a body wash. The real strength of Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash  is as a shampoo and conditioner because it gets the job done with very little effort. Phoebe’s curls are so soft after bath time!

I also tried out Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner. Much like the 3 in 1, this product is also light. Thanks to the efficacy of the 3 in 1, I actually need very little Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner post-wash because the 3 in 1 wash leaves Phoebe’s hair rather tangle-free. But where I find Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner performs best, is as a daily refresher. It’s a really nice way to wake up baby bed head. So I use Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner daily as a conditioning boost and a curl reviver. I should note that it dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about sending your little one out the door with wet hair.

SoCozy behave styling mousse

We also tried out Behave Styling Mousse, a finishing product for volume and shine. This is good for defining Phoebe’s curls…but probably better suited for little ones with fine hair. Phoebe’s hair is short, but voluminous (translation: fro), so I don’t necessarily use this product for her on a regular basis. But definitely consider this if your little girl or guy has fine strands.

BOTTOM LINE:
SoCozy is totally worth your time and attention. The line is multi-functional, super effective, and non-toxic. I’m all about products that make my mom-life a little easier…while being safe, smart, and easy to use. As with all things in our modern world, good-for-you products (and food) tend to come with a slightly higher price tag (sigh, but crappy fast food is oh so cheap!). SoCozy’s line starts at $11.95, so it’s an investment…but one that’s well worth it. SoCozy Value Sets are a great way to experience the line and save a little. And, SoCozy Stylers is a free loyalty program that rewards you for social sharing. Hey, every little bit helps!

Want to learn more about SoCozy, visit Twitter at @SoCozy_ & Instagram and Facebook at @SoCozy #SoCozyatTarget

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BeautyStat. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor. Please read my Disclosure Policy for additional information on sponsored posts.

Forget lines and wrinkles. Youthful skin is all about the glow. Healthy, radiant, lit-from-within skin is the goal. And if the only way you’re achieving the aforementioned is with your favorite Instagram filter or with a Photoshop tool, 1) Stop it right now and 2) Keep reading for tips on how to achieve your unique glow.

I'm grateful for ThisThatBaby
I’m grateful for ThisThatBaby

EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
I wholeheartedly believe that the glow starts from within. Each day, I try to practice having an attitude of gratitude. Now, this does not mean that I’m some sort of Pollyanna, but I do believe that having a thankful and gracious attitude shows…and GLOWS!

Too much sun? No thanks!

PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Nothing robs your skin of its glow like overexposure to damaging UV rays. Avoiding excessive sun exposure and applying a daily slathering of broad-spectrum SPF 30 is crucial to maintaining clear, even toned, glowy skin.

Guerlain Bronzers, ThisThatBeauty

BRONZER, BABY!
Let’s talk bronzer – your glow-getting secret weapon. And if we’re going to talk bronzer, the conversation begins and ends with Guerlain. These folks know glow! They launched Terracotta, the first bronzer, more than 30 years ago. Since that time, the iconic glow-getting franchise has grown to incorporate a variety of finishes and shades. And as a woman of color, I have to tell you – no one does bronzer for deep skin tones quite like Guerlain. What I love most about Guerlain’s bronzers is that there’s truly something for everyone. From fair to deep, there’s a bronzer to compliment your skin tone. There’s also a great deal of variety with respect to texture (natural, matte, shimmer), so you’re able to diversify exactly how you enhance your complexion. Who says there’s only one way to glow?

When creating glowy skin, my primary focus is to bring out my natural warmth. I do this with very light touches and strategic product placement. C’mon, let’s get glowing:

My personalized face chart from Guerlain
My personalized face chart from Guerlain

1. For a sun-kissed glow, I apply Terracotta Joli Teint Foundation SPF 20 All over.  It’s generally recommended to apply in sweeping motions from the center of the face outwards, but I usually start at my jaw line, and work my way inward…my personal philosophy is to start where I need the coverage most and thin out everywhere else. This is a medium coverage product so it’s opaque enough to cover minor skin imperfections.  (PS: For an added boost of radiance, prime skin with L’Or primer, a makeup base with pure gold – holy moly, skin looks beyond angelic!)

ThisThatBeauty in Guerlain
left: primer only, right: primer + foundation

2. To bring light to my skin, I apply Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator under my eyes, at the center of my forehead, down the center of my nose, center of my chin and a tiny bit at my cupid’s bow.

ThisThatBeauty in Guerlain

3. For the next to last step (which sculpts and warms up the skin) I apply Terracotta 4 Seasons. I prefer a classic bronzed look that’s somewhat matte. This palette is perfect because it contains a range of 4 bronzing shades to adapt to how your skin tone changes throughout the year…so all year long, this is the only bronzer palette you’ll ever need. And because the shades all vary just a touch, the palette works as a highlighting and contouring kit as well.

ThisThatBeauty in Guerlain Terracotta

4. For the final step, I use Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzer to soften the look and illuminate my skin. The compact contains 5 shimmering tones that I swirl together and apply across my forehead, cheeks and jaw line.  For a brighter flush, Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzer can be applied (in buildable layers) to the apples of the cheeks.

ThisThatBeauty in Guerlain Terracotta
Before and After: Note the subtle impact that bronzer can have

For an easy everyday look, I’d add lip balm and little liner…but for the purpose of this post (and because I love a good glam session!), I have completed the look with: Guerlain’s 6-color eyeshadow palette in 10 Rue des Francs-BourgeoisMaxi Lash mascara, Khôl Me Kajal eyelinerEyebrow KitThe Lip Liner #45 and Rouge G lipstick in 06 Garance

ThisThatBeauty in Guerlain Terracotta
Full and complete look

In a nutshell, the glow is the thing. I’d happily take a tiny line or wrinkle here or there…so long as my skin is happy and glowing. It starts from within, but thanks to Guerlain’s amazing range of products, enhancing your natural glow and bringing out your best you has never been easier.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Guerlain and Style Coalition. The opinions expressed are all my own.

© Copyright 2015 ThisThatBeauty