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ThisThatBeauty Reviews

I’m often asked lots of questions about my naturally curly hair:

“How do you go from curly to straight?

How do you keep your hair so sleek?

How do you prevent heat damage?

Amla Oil Spritz

And the truth is — there’s no one magic thing that I do to keep my hair healthy and amazing. It’s actually a collective effort of many things:

1)     Regularly using the right hair care products for my hair type

2)     Minimizing the amount of heat styling

3)     Caring for my hair in a way that encourages health and growth

So you see, there’s no ONE thing. But, since most of my readers are looking for advice on the first steps to happy, healthy hair, I’d say – start with good products with good ingredients. And while I love luxe as much as the next girl, I’ve come to realize that high quality hair care need not carry a luxe price tag.

Amla Oil

Everyone’s talking oils these days…and for good reason. Oils multi-task a myriad of skincare needs from head to toe. An Oil that I’m particularly into is Amla Oil, a natural hair conditioner that visibly (and immediately) revives and rejuvenates hair upon application. First discovered by Indian women thousands of years ago, Amla Oil is touted as the key to unstoppable length, enviable fullness and super glossy shine. Rich in vitamin C, proteins, minerals and anti-oxidants, the super fruit Amla Oil is hugely beneficial to not just hair, but scalp health as well.

Hair with Amla Oil

Think you have to travel to India to experience the wonders of Amla Oil? Think again! Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil brings the power of Amla Oil to your boudoir…or wherever you do your hair (I admit to washing in the kitchen sink sometimes…eek!). Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is my daily go to for treating, protecting and styling. If I’m doing my hair, I’m using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil. Shampooing my hair? I add a few drops as a pre-poo. Blow-drying my hair? I add a few drops to damp hair as a nourishing drink of moisture. Flat ironing my hair? I apply a few drops as a heat-protectant. Styling my hair? I rub in a few drops for added shine. Prepping for bedtime? You guessed it!…I apply a couple of drops and reach for my super sexy (not sexy at all) satin bonnet.

Amla Oil

Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is formulated specifically to address the concerns of dry and damaged hair…. which makes it perfect for winter (when EVERYTHING is in need of more moisture). I’m no oil newbie. I’ve tried them all – For hair care, Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil definitely outperforms other popular oil extracts like Olive Oil or Argan Oil. Its do-it-all abilities (pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, finishing treatment, scalp treatment, shine booster) make it the clear winner in my book.


Amla Oil Many Diff Styles

And as you can see from my pictures (I’ve been using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil daily all year) my hair is able to go from curly to straight and back to curly again, without missing a beat. So as for the Amla Oil hype, I say – believe it!

Want to see my shoulder length hair transform into an amazing Faux Bob? — THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL IS FOR YOU

Want to learn more about Optimum Amla Legend ? — www.optimumsalonhaircare.com

Also, follow @Optimum_Care on Instagram for a surprise giveaway happening soon (very soon) !!

Skincare is sort of my thing, no? Let’s all agree. I mean, I’ve been writing ThisThatBeauty for over seven years, and while we’ve evolved to cover lots more fashion, lifestyle and baby – the core has always been skincare (many years later and THIS Hyperpigmentation blog post is still the most read post on my site). We love to ooh and ahh over pretty colors, but beautiful skin – that’s the thing! So when I learned of Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System, a cleansing brush that claims to clean skin ten times more effective than hand washing alone – I was intrigued. And when I learned that Philips PureRadiance also incorporates Sonic Technology with Advanced Dual Motion, well…I was ready for a trial run!

Philips PureRadiance

Slightly apprehensive, I plunged face first (pun intended) into a four-week trial. When the brush arrived, I first inspected the bristles and thought, “Wow, so soft.” You see, I’ve seen other brushes on the market with rotating bristles and yikes, they all scare me just a little bit…stiff, prickly bristles make me very nervous. But I immediately noticed that the Philips PureRadiance was different. In addition to super soft bristles that gently rotate to dislodge yucky blackheads, surface dirt and debris, two frequencies of sonic pulses go deep down into skin to further break up dirt, dead skin cells and leftover makeup. The gentle rotations don’t tug at or irritate skin…even with twice daily use!

Philips PureRadiance
Philips PureRadiance is now a staple in my daily skincare routine

In a two-week clinical trial (Philips’ findings), women reported 90% deeper pore cleansing, 88% softer skin, 87% more radiant skin and 81% more even tone. And my results are similar – from the very first use, I noticed cleaner, brighter skin. Over time, my skin’s texture feels smoother and my complexion appears more vibrant. I’m also pleased to report not a single pimple emerged during my four-week trial! In addition to the normal and sensitive brush heads, there’s also an exfoliating brush head that I love to use before doing a mask…my skin is just glorious afterwards.

Philips PureRadiance

With cleaner skin, my skin care products are able to penetrate deeper and work even better…making Philips PureRadiance a really nice complement to my existing skin care regimen. So, if you’re super committed to your current skin care lotions and potions, adding Philips PureRadiance to the program will help boost product efficacy without having to swap out your favorite cream or serum.  No matter what your skincare routine (I know I change products seasonally) Philips PureRadiance is the ideal add-on to make sure you’re getting the most out of your products.

In this video I share a bit more about my experiences with Philips PureRadiance and why it’s my new BFF (Beauty Friend Forever). Take a look!

Philips PureRadiance is currently available in select Bed Bath and Beyond retail locations, online and on Philips.com for $149.99.

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I’m not one to go around haphazardly willy nilly making holy grail claims. Every product I try is not “OMG amaze” or “theeee best”. Don’t believe me? Just peruse my blog. I give fair and honest product reviews. And from my Instagram feed, you get a glimpse into the items I keep in my regular rotation (hello: ReVive, SKII, Murad). But please believe me when I say: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads = the best anti acne product I’ve tried all year. And while the year is youngish, I’ve already tested at least four anti acne products this year — and First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads is definitely the best and here’s why:

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads

1. I haven’t had a single pimple since I first started using, 60 pads ago

2. The pads do not dry me out

3. Did I mention they’re pre-moistened pads?…so they’re super convenient to use.

Beyond reason #1, I don’t think you need further encouragement to hit up your local Sephora and try these bad boys out. I seriously cannot imagine my skincare routine without them.  I ran out the other day and immediately got the shakes. Scary stuff, yo.

PS: Not that I’m trying to get way down deep into your pocketbooks, but I’m currently testing FAB Radiance Pads and, welp — so far so good. But a full review is in the works.



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Dealing with my natural hair can be quite a chore.  Don’t get me wrong,  I love my hair because when it’s awesome, it’s really awesome! However, at times it can be very unpredictable.  Sometimes a slight change in the weather can render once loved products almost useless, while products that were relegated to the “throw away” shelf suddenly become the star of the show. The unpredictability of my hair is the reason I blow dry/flat iron at least twice per month and wear it mostly in a bun or top knot. While I know the downside of heat styling, especially my very porous 4b and 4c type hair, it is the right choice for me at the moment.  The only thing I can do to counteract the effects of heat styling is to find products the will protect my hair and tools that will do as little damage as possible.  Enter the Red by Kiss Handle-Less Blow Dryer.

Kiss Handle-Less Hair Dryer

In the video below I talk about the Red by Kiss Handle-Less dryer, the benefits of using it and compare it to my previous dryer. (You’ll need to turn your volume all the way up…in addition to having very little video making/editing skills, I’m a low talker :/)

The Red by Kiss Handle-Less Blow Dryer  is available here,  Walgreens and your local beauty supply store.  It has a suggested retail price of  $29.99.

Have you tried the Red by Kiss Handle-Less Dryer?

What were your results?

Find  me, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and my personal blog.

I’m a bit of a connoisseur of facial wipes. . . . A staunch supporter of the waterless cleanse. I wash my face daily. . . have done that for years, over 30 to be exact — but water isn’t always involved. And if we’re being 100% honest, given my hectic life as a new mom, water is involved less and less these days. So when I’m relying so heavily on facial wipes to get my skin clean, I want to feel like I’m doing a good thing and not a ‘lazy’ thing for my skin. For this reason, I’m currently super into Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths


With a household name/ top Dermatologist-recommended choice like Cetaphil, I could probably end this review right here. Why? Because we have come to trust Cetaphil over the years. It’s one of the few do-no-harm product lines out there. You just know that if you use Cetaphil, your skin is probably going to be A-OK.

What I like most about Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths is that they’re much larger & thicker than traditional facial wipes. So where I’d normally need two traditional wipes, just one Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloth gets the job done.

Net-net: It’s a facial wipe. It’s Cetaphil. It won’t break you out, nor will it break the bank. You need these!

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Blemishes, ugh.   The bane of my oily-skinned existence.  Just when I finish treating one, another one pops up to take its place.  Delightful.  I am constantly on the hunt for products to help me deal with my breakouts without the harsh side effects such as dryness, flakiness and redness.  Sometimes my face ends up looking worse before it looks better!  Rock – me – hard place.  But throughout my trials and tribulations to help treat my acne, I have found a few products I love, so I was a hesitant to try something new.   Shocking, I know, since I am such a beauty product guinea pig.  No need to thank me, I’m very selfless.  I am happy to report that the results I got after using the new Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel were well worth the risk of trying a new product.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Review

The active ingredient in this formulation is salicylic acid, it helps to unclog pores and decongest skin.  The texture is a thin liquid-like gel that can be used up to twice per day on targeted areas or all over the face.  Since I only break out in certain areas, I have been spot treating with the gel rather than using on my entire face.  When first applied it, there was a slight tingling sensation which made me worry that it would dry out the area, but it went away within a few minutes.  Some other acne treatments bring the blemish to a head (gross but true), and while this can do that as well, for my specific cystic chin rudeness it cleared up the inflammation, reduced the size of my pimples and made it almost non-existent by the next morning.  *cue the angels singing*

As far as any redness or flakiness, it was minimal at most.  And the best part was it applies so thinly, that I was able to wear it under my makeup to keep treating that rude pimple all throughout the day.  In the past when I have tried wearing making with other acne creams or gels, my makeup would pull or pill around the area.  However, Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel (when applied very lightly) allowed my makeup to glide over it seamlessly. To add another successful acne treatment to my arsenal feels like I’m winning at everything.  Well, at least winning at clear skin.  If only Clinique made a product for the rest of my life.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel retails for $25.00 and is available at Sephora.comClinique.com and department stores.

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

Clinique has become synonymous with easy, gentle and effective skincare and now they have expanded their line to include an entire range of products for men.  They put cleansing, toning and moisturizing on the map and are now lending a hand to all the men out there by launching products designed specifically for them.  And frankly, it’s about time!  There are various lines out there that carry products for men but what I love about Clinique is that they are already known for having a systematic approach to their skincare, and this type of thinking is exactly what men need to help them take better care of their skin.  While my husband wants to use better products for his face, he is often lost as to what products to use and in what order, leaving him discouraged and unwilling to take any initiative at all.  When I introduced him to the Clinique for Men line, he felt it was easy to understand, simple to use and after a few weeks under his belt, he saw great results.

The premise of the entire range is still the Clinique system of (shave)/cleanse, tone and moisturize.  Within each category there are various products that cater to different skin types, and then a few additional products that target specific concerns such as dark spots and aging skin around the eye.


Clinique for men face wash

In this category there are both liquid and soap options, both methods offering non-drying cleansing that builds into a rich lather and rinses off easily.  Both prep the skin for shaving, as well as remove any dirt and debris from the face.  Available in both Regular and Oil Control, both cleansers are $16.50 and available at Clinique.com.


CLINIQUE FOR MEN Exfoliating TonicSince men often have to deal with shaving regularly, exfoliating is key to making that process easier.  Clinique has introduced two different exfoliating tonics, one for normal skin and one for oily skin.   Daily use after cleansing will help to control excess oil, and remove dead skin which will significantly reduce the occurance of ingrown hairs and blemishes.  Both retail for $13.00 and are available at Clinique.com.


clinique for men moisturizing lotionThe last step in the skincare routine is always the moisturizer – and there are a few different options  for both day and in the evening use.  The Moisturizing Lotion is suitable for normal skin and helps to control oil for a matte, shine-free look, and just happens to be my husband’s favorite.  Women may love a glowing and dewy complexion, however, men typically do not.  The Oil-Control Mattifying Moisturizer is designed for oily skin types,  and provides hydration while still helping to normalize oil production.  For those men who want to address aging concerns, there is the Anti-Age Moisturizer that is a multi-puprose, all day hydrator that helps to fight dullness, lines and wrinkles.  But because I am such an SPF fanatic, the most important product in this category (in my opinion) is the Broad Spectrum SPF 21 Moisturizer.  I feel that most men do not reach for sun protection daily so this is a great way to give them both in one product.   All moisturizers range in price from $25-$36 and are available at Clinique.com.

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For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.






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Today’s Topic — Skin Care. If you’re anything like me, your routine requires many steps. First I cleanse to remove the grossness of the day. Then I tone to balance my skin and rescue it from the rude, hardness of New Jersey water. Next I treat with a next-big-thing miracle serum of some sort (a girl loooves her miracle serums!!). Then there’s a moisturizer. . . and if it’s daytime, that moisturizer better include a broad spectrum SPF. Phew! So many steps, so little time. But if forced to narrow down my routine (and yes, new mommy-hood does force me to pare it down at times), I’d have to say that it is the “protect” step that’s really critical. SPF, as I’ve said many times before, is my beauty non-negotiable. Even if you just splash your face with water and simply apply SPF, you’re protecting your skin from hyperpigmentation, lines, wrinkles, and all sorts of pre-mature aging. But what if you could use one product to cover at least three of your skin care steps? Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector might offers such promise. . .


The do-it-all correcting treatment combines:

  • Argan Oil to moisturize
  • SPF 20 to protect
  • Pro Retinol to soften and de-age
  • Self-adjusting micro pigments to immediately relax the appearance of imperfections

So is Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector the multitasking skin care workhorse that you seek? Well, thanks to the Pro-Retinol formulation, with continued use, skin will absolutely see a reduction of texture and a softening of fine lines. Retinol is, in my opinion, the gold standard anti-aging ingredient for diminishing lines…but the key is continued use, so stick with it for at least eight weeks. With Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector your skin will immediately feel more hydrated and the SPF 20 offers a good level of protection…SPF 30 would be even better, but SPF is certainly sufficient (remember to re-apply every two hours if you’re out in the sun). The self adjusting micro pigments, also provide immediate improvements…primarily for fair to medium skin tones…deeper complexions should note that a tiny bit of product goes a long way and you might want to layer a lightweight BB Cream on top. All in all, for fair to medium skin tones, Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector is a solid choice for getting your moisture, sun protection and anti-aging all in one smart little product.

Have you tried Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector? I’d love to hear your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

I always have mixed feelings about skincare or beauty products that have “big” names — names that promise the world in results, but may not deliver on their word.  However, when a product lives up to the extravagant title, I feel such a sense of accomplishment, as if I am somehow responsible for the stellar results.  I know, I know – a little dose of humble pie wouldn’t hurt, right? My personal self esteem matters aside, I recently had an aforementioned experience after trying the L’Occitane Divine Collection Skincare line.  The name alone drove up the hype for me, but thankfully the experience and results truly made me feel it was worth it.

L'occitane divine collection

The L’Occitane Divine collection is comprised of 4 products – a toning lotion, an eye cream, an extract and a luxe cream, and is formulated with 7 plant-derived active ingredients that are designed to give skin a youthful and radiant glow.  The primary ingredient is the immortelle flower, which has unique anti-aging properties and gives this collection its swoon-worthy results.  Though the line is quite decadent and luxe, the products themselves are surprisingly lightweight and work well with my oily skin.

L'occitane divine lotionLOCCITANE-Divine-CreamL'occitane divine eye cream

My two favorite products from the L’Occitane Divine Collection are the Divine Lotion and the Divine Cream.  I initially was thrown off by the “lotion” name (yes, even beauty gals mix it up once in a while), and thought this may be a lighter version of the cream.  But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see this was a toner – and we all know how I feel about toners (pssst…if you don’t know, I LIVE for toners), so naturally I was excited to try. L'occitane divine extract

The Toner has milky texture which I appreciate since most toners are often clear,  It made my skin feel hydrated and smooth immediately after cleansing, when my skin can occasionally feel a bit tight.  I finished my nightly routine with the Divine Cream, and ‘Divine’ it was – in richness, scent and feel.  With a texture that felt decadent, nourishing as well as lightweight, my skin absorbed it immediately, and felt unbelievably soft the next morning.  Wait, correct that.  Unbelievably DIVINE.

All products are now available on usa.loccitane.com and range from $54-$116.

Working out is a real chore for me and I’m never in the mood to do it. However, my love of food and my disdain for muffin-tops and back fat pretty much guarantee that I will workout frequently. With that said, one might think I am all into gadgets and other contraptions to get results. I am actually the opposite. I like working with free weights and barbells. It feels more natural to me and I can modify and vary my range of motion according to how I feel and not get looked into the limitations or requirements of a machine. I’m not saying I have it right, it is simple what I prefer. The Workout Band from Hourglass Angel is perfect for my style of workout.



How The Workout Band  Works

The band is wrapped and hooked around the midsection from just under the breast to the top of the pelvic bone. It is very securely fastened and basically feels like you are getting a hug from a grandparent you haven’t seen in years, in other words — it’s pretty tight. According to the manufacturer, the band “creates compression in your core, stimulating thermal activity and ramping up perspiration. This process allows toxins and impurities to exit the skin, while mobilizing fat cells. Put simply, the band helps ensure that your workout is working for you.”

The Workout Band

My Results with The Workout Band

More than anything, The Workout Band provides me with support and helps me to keep proper form during exercises such as lunges, squats, dead-lifts and planks. I have a lower back injury which makes proper form imperative for me.  Keeping correct form helps me to reduce my risk of aggravating my injury and I can squeeze in a few more reps into each set.

I noticed an increased amount of sweating around my midsection but I can’t say I lost fat in this area at a faster rate than I did in the past. I started with The Workout Band in medium and fastened it at outer most hooks.  At the end of a month of use I was able to move to the inner hooks but it wasn’t as comfortable — I suspect I have a few more weeks to go before I can comfortably stay in the inner hooks. The band is cut lower in the back, so, it doesn’t restrict movement for back exercises. As expected it does restrict movement for core exercises, so, you might want to remove it before doing situps and crunches.


The Workout Band Construction and Care

The Workout Band is made from latex and has cotton exterior and interior lining. It has FlexiBonig anchors, similar to those found in girdles and other shapewear, that provide control and help to keep the band in place. Two rows of hook and eye closures allows you to find your most comfortable fit and adjust as you slim down. I wash The Workout Band by hand using mild detergent in lukewarm water and let it air dry.

The Workout Band retails for $52.99 and is available at hourglassangel.com in Blue: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL

Have you tried any workout bands? What were your results?

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog.



If you follow my daily beauty ramblings on the blog, Twitter and Instagram, you know that I’ve covered several new CC Creams to hit the market. After the explosion of BB Creams, CC Creams seemed to quickly follow – and all came with the ‘promise’ to work a complexion-perfecting miracle. And while I have evaluated several new CC Creams on ‘immediate results’, I’ve yet to find one that I wanted to go the distance with and truly test the skincare benefits claim – until now.


COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 is the first CC Cream that I am evaluating on the basis of instant complexion correction as well as cumulative skincare benefits. In preparing to begin my four-week trial, I read up on the formulation behind COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 and was really impressed with the science behind the product. Lots of cosmetics claim to improve skin quality with continued use, but the truth is, a lot of these bells and whistles are just that – bells and whistles….buzz words and claims that lead the consumer to believe she’s getting more bang for her buck. Over time, I’ve come to NOT rely on cosmetic products to deliver skin care benefits because, quite frankly, its rare that cosmetics deliver the skincare benefits that make a difference.

But, in going over the formulation and ingredients, COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 seems promising…so I took the plunge.

Based on clinical trials in an 8-week study, participants (via self-assessments) reported:

 92.9% of women noticed the appearance of fine lines reduced

82.1% of women saw an improvement in skin radiance

85.7% of women noticed an improvement their skin’s smoothness

64.3% of women saw an improvement in skin translucency

75% of women saw an improvement in overall skin appearance

My shades.

Well color me encouraged . . .

We already know that COVER FX offers a wide range of shades and undertones to match a large segment of the population. The new CC CREAM comes in nine shades, with 8.5% pigment load to allow for buildable coverage. But COVER FX’s ability to match the masses isn’t really new news. So let’s talk formulation – the real story behind the story!

COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 incorporates Sea Fennel, a Retinoid like ingredient that delivers anti-aging results without the irritation or sun sensitivity commonly associated with Retinoids. Sea Fennel is a gentler way to relax the appearance of fines and wrinkles, particularly for sensitive skin types.


The time-relase formula treats skin over an 8-hour period. A wrinkle reducing blend of Portulaca and Ginseng Extracts, Resveratrol (Red Grape Extract), and a polypeptide complex (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5) all release and continuously treat skin over the course of 8 hours, thus ensuring long term treatment results. So you see, COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 works overtime!

If you follow my Hyperpigmentation Series, you know that skin discoloration has been a major focus of my blog for years. If you’re currently dealing with blotchy skin, unevern tone, old acne marks, you’ll be pleased to know that COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 is infused with Licorice Root Extract to naturally aid in the reduction of hyperpigmentation as well as prevent future discoloration from popping up.

Packed with Vitamin B and Vitamin CCOVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 is antioxidant rich and provides a powerful shield against environmental stressors. And the icing on the cake is a built-in primer (hello, one-step flawless skin!) and Broad Spectrum SPF 30…nothing combats the pre-mature aging like solid sun protection.


COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 could not have come into my life at a better time. When I started my four-week trial, I was nearing the end of my pregnancy…and already starting to think about how I would need to streamline my skincare routine with baby demanding so much of my time. I’ve never been an all-in-one cosmetic/skincare product type of girl…I love doing all of the steps – I swear! But with baby on the way, it was the perfect time to give an all-in-one product a try.

For my complexion, I use a mix of N Med Deep (inner face) and N Deep (outer face). My skin immediately looks fresh and bright. Instantly, minor flaws are diffused and no longer obvious. I like to build a little extra coverage on the outer areas of my face where I have a little discoloration from a recent breakout. I really like that I’m able to build the coverage of COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 and add a little more where I need it. Most tinted treatment products are not buildable…they’re generally very sheer so if you’re experiencing a rough skin moment, good luck. COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 is ideal for girls who want to modify coverage to suit your daily skin care needs.

While pregnant (and even now while breastfeeding) I became a stickler for ingredients, so COVER FX’s Paraben-free, Fragrance-free, Gluten-free, Mineral Oil-free and Talc-free formulation is a major plus.

Let’s jump into the the results of the skincare features and benefits. Here’s a picture of my skin after using COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 for four weeks.


Over the four-week trial period I very closely monitored two areas: 1) hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and 2) smoothness on forehead.

With once daily application, I can absolutely say that my hyperpigmentation was reduced. There was a tiny brown spot on my cheek from a recent pimple…the spot seems to have faded quite a bit. It’s not 100% gone but it is significantly reduced.

My forehead is also showing major signs of improvement. I have this one little pit/ crease that’s the result of an old acne scar. I’ve been monitoring it for at least a year. With very close inspection I can see that the scar has filled out a bit and is not nearly as pronounced…and this is just after four weeks of using COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30. I’m totally encouraged to continue for four more weeks and measure my results at the eight week mark.


Now that I am a busy mom (as if being a busy beauty girl wasn’t enough) I totally get it…not everyone has the luxury of time to get her act together in the morning…Hey, I’ll be the first to tell you — I didn’t wash my face with cleanser for about a week after my baby was born (who has time for cleanser?!). So I absolutely understand the usefulness of do-it-all products. . . .but here’s the caveat — they really must DO IT ALL. And COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 does. The skincare features and benefits are not just fancy unsubstantiated claims and marketing tactics. The formulation is actually quite good and COVER FX CC CREAM TIME RELEASE TINTED TREATMENT SPF 30 does what it says. I can’t imagine that my new life as Mom + Beauty Maven will be slowing down anytime soon — so I’m sticking with my new found one-step wonder!

I’m a huge COVER FX fan!

Want to read more of my COVER FX product reviews?…Click below:

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If there is one thing I wish I understood better in my teens, it would be skincare. Knowing what kind of skin you have, how to take care of it, protect it and ultimately how to preserve it is a skill that cannot be learned early enough.  Whether it is using SPF, always removing your makeup at night or how to properly clean your face – teenagers need to take care of their skin.  The Dermalogica Clear Start line makes it easy for teens to get started on a healthy skincare regimen that will hopefully stay with them for years.

Dermalogica Clear Start Line

The Clear Start line is designed to help both prevent and treat symptoms of mild to moderate acne, with 9 products in the range all sold individually or in a kit. Each item has easy to understand product names that help to identify when to use them and in what order – making it almost fool proof for anyone, including teens to use.  The full range includes: Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash, Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub, Breaking Clearing All Over Toner, Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment, Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer SPF 15, Breakout Clearing Emergency Spot Fix, Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque and the Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment.

Clear Start Cooling Masque

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acid are the two main active ingredients in the line and have levels high enough to be effective but gentle enough not to cause irritation.  As someone who still struggles with acne, I could not help but give the products a spin myself.  Though the products are designed for teens, they will work for anyone that suffers from breakouts and oily skin.

CS All Over Toner

My stand out favorites were by far the Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub, which made my skin feel refreshed and smooth, the Clearing All Over Toner because of its easy spray application, and the Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque for its ability to instantly soothe and eliminate any irritation.

All products are available at Dermalogica.com and range from $19-$24.

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With key notes of Bergamot, Coriander, Ceylon Black Tea and Cedar Wood I wasn’t expecting to be transported to the beach but that is exactly what happened when I got a whiff of Chrome United.  Created by perfumer, Richard Ibanez of Robertet , Chrome United is a linear fragrance (it wears the same from start to end) and was crafted for a generation of men seeking something “authentic, innovative and unique [….] they realize that life is in the living. Their bond is solid. They shine as individuals whose differences make them stronger.”


This cologne smells like a guy I would have dated 10 years ago, someone bold and confident who is always up for adventure.  (Who am I kidding, if I was still dating I’d date that guy right now.) Chrome United is quite noticeable for the first  three to four hours but gradually fades  as the day wears on.  By nightfall you’d have to be up close and personal to the man wearing it in order to get a proper smell.

Looking to finish summer on a high note? Chrome United is perfect for that!  It will also serve to bring some warm memories to mind as the temperature dips below freezing and you start longing for long sunny days and relaxation of the beach or your favorite outdoor adventure.

The Chrome United Range:

3.4 fl. oz. Eau de Toilette Spray: $76

1.7 fl. oz. Eau de Toilette Spray: $56

2.5 fl. oz. After Shave Balm: $36

Where to Buy Chrome United:

Chrome United is now available at Macy’s Stores, Macys.com and other department stores.

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and my blog.



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Now that the summer is coming to a close (I’m trying not to cry), we all hope that our efforts at protecting our body, face and hair were successful.  Did we wear enough SPF? Did we hydrate properly after a day in the sun?  How are our split ends?  Are they fried from too many hours in the pool?  The end of summer often means it’s time to repair any damage we may have done during our summer shenanigans.  And as if  our prayers were heard, L’Occitane Hair Repairing Line has come to save the day.

Loccitane repairing hair careEnvironmental factors as well as daily heat styling is often the biggest enemy of hair.  And no matter what type of hair you have, dry, oily, brittle, color treated – a repairing treatment and/or regimen is needed to help repair, strengthen and protect.  Formulated with five precisely dosed essential oils and a blend of plant-based restructuring amino acids, L’Occitane’s new line is designed to leave hair soft, light and repaired from root to ends.  The hair is able to regain and maintain resilience and strength.

There are four products to the ritual –  a shampoo, conditioner, masque and repairing oil.  My favorite product of the bunch was by far the oil since it was able to be used in multiple ways – either before shampooing, before blow-drying or on dry hair to help tame flyaways and reduce frizz.  The entire range has an aromatic scent derived from the numerous essential oils that make it not only effective but pleasurable to use.   Visit usa.loccitane.com to explore the entire range as well the site’s new features such as a skincare diagnosis and fragrance finder, videos describing the inspiration behind each collection and a Provencal VIP sign up to receive exclusive offers and invitations.

Available on August 21st from $20-$36.

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