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Posts for April 2012

April 23, 2012
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Do Brown Girls Tan?

Recently, I mentioned to two (very) different people that I use self tanner/bronzer and "lay out" in the summer. They responded in two (very) similar ways: "Aren't you dark ENOUGH?"

More amused than offended, I responded in the same exact way, "Dark skin is beautiful...plus, I'm all about an even skin tone.".

So, does the cheese stand alone? Do brown girls tan?

April 22, 2012
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So Fresh & So Clean: Neutrogena Naturals Review

Going natural is everywhere. From organic instant pudding to the hair transitioning movement, natural is the new black. I carry around an earth-friendly tote every day and when I forget it, I have been known to walk out of stores with my purchase in hand. Awkward! Plus, I'm really into natural hair and skin products. Segue time...

I received a canvas (of course) tote bag filled with Neutrogena Naturals (made from post-consumer recycled plastic) and other green goodies; I took it as a sign to give it a go. So, I went.

Here are my thoughts:

Purifying Facial Cleanser

Normally, I save clear cleansers for the summer because they don't tend to deliver the moisture my normal-to-dry skin requires. This sulfate-free cleanser successfully removed my makeup and left my skin feeling clean, but not stripped of its oil. It not only includes vitamins B, C & E, but it also has naturally derived, detoxifying salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acid.

Two words: Balanced cleanser

Purifying Pore Scrub

I have whiteheads. Go ahead and judge me. As a result, I'm constantly looking for the "miracle product" that will make them go away and keep self-extraction at bay. See what I did there? Anywhoo, this 94% naturally derived scrub detoxifies pores and it has a really great consistency. It's not grainy like other scrubs.

Two words: Smooth operator

Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer

A lightweight-but-effective moisturizer, this is a go-to product for me. I like that my skin feels hydrated, but not like an oil slick. Plus, my skin absorbs it super fast! It's chock full of bionutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodness.

Two words: Moisture booster

Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream

We've all heard it. At night, our skin does its thing: heals, repairs, regenerates (is that starfish specific?).

Enriched with Inca Inchi Oil (it has the highest concentration of omega fatty acids) and Yerba Mate (Brazilian green tea), also known as "tea of life", this cream enhances skin's defense against dullness, leaving it glow-y.

Two words: Night Nurturer

In short, I'm in love with this collection (especially because I'm not a fan of perfume-laden products). I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to certain perfumes so it's probably for the best that I keep them off of my grill piece when possible.

All of the Neutrogena Naturals products I used had a barely there scent

My arrogant whiteheads were A LOT less oppressive and my skin felt amazing.

Score for team natural!


NEUTROGENA® Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer is a daily lotion that replenishes essential skin nutrients while providing continuous moisture throughout the day for healthier, younger-looking skin. It contains no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes or phthalates.

NEUTROGENA® Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream replenishes essential skin nutrients and is fortified with vitamins B, C, E and anti-oxidant omega bionutrients. This nourishing cream is clinically proven to boost skin’s defense against dullness and roughness, leaving it naturally radiant, healthier and younger looking today and in the future. It contains no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes or phthalates.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Neutrogena via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Neutrogena.

April 16, 2012
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Spa Week Is Here!

Trillions of zillions of $50 treatments are now available in a city near you! Well, not exactly a trillion, but you know the deal: facials, massages, manis, pedis, body wraps and more are on sale at SpaWeek.com for a one week only.

I was more than a little impressed by the Red Door hand treatment I experience at the Spa Week Media Event last week. See? I was stoked!


As you probably remember, Spa Week kicks off with a media party where guests receive complimentary beauty treatments (like blowouts, brow shaping & waxing), mingle, and dip delectables in the chocolate fountain. We also walk out with product-laden gift bags. Here's a glimpse of the magic that is the Spa Week Media Party.


Blowout by J. Sisters...


Lorna from The Fabulous Report, Spa Week's Michelle Joni, Kimberlee & More Bloggers...


The chocolate fountain & more snacks...

April 02, 2012
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Break Up to Make Up: KeratinPerfect Review

My dad's canary-yellow Lincoln Mark V is synonymous with R& B classics for me. Mostly because before I even entered it, I'd hear the music blaring and my dad belting out tunes. One of his favorites was "Break Up to Make Up" by The Stylistics. As I found myself nostalgically downloading the best of The Stylistics a little while ago, I remembered those days...visibly embarrassed, but singing along with him (in my head). Since then, after loving and losing, I can honestly say I understand the song. I get it now, Papa Brathwaite.

The concept of "break up to make up" doesn't relate only to romantic relationships.  I've oft-confronted my split ends with scissors, but recently I was introduced to keratin treatments. As I'm sure you know, over time our hair loses protein (chemical treatments and heat exacerbate this natural process). Protein-depleted hair is dull, rough, dry, frizzy, and lifeless. Sound familiar? I'd heard quite a bit about Brazilian Keratin Treatments and relaxed hair. I gotta' tell ya, from formaldehyde formulations to just god-awful results, I had no interest in joining that club.

Well, KeratinPerfect is different. It's called a "smoothing system" because it uses naturally derived protein (from sheep's wool to be exact) to infuse hair with much-needed strength and shine. So yeah, I was invited to an event where attendees were shown how to complete a successful DIY blowout using KeratinPerfect.

For the record, my DIY hair projects end up with me begging my gracious hair stylists (i.e. hair angels) to fit me into their busy schedules. I figured I'd cut out the trauma of trying to fit a hat over my stay-puft hair and just watch the professionals teach more able-bodied bloggers and editors.

I happily took my products with me to my one of my favorite hair angels, Shedelle Holmes. She used the sulfate-free Perfect Cleanse ($24), Perfect Silk Conditioner ($24), and Keratin Blowout Booster Cream ($34). As she shampooed she said, "you can feel the difference even when shampooing". As she blew out my hair, she marveled at its shine and said it actually looked stronger and more healthful...score!

I haven't tried the full, 30-day smoothing process, but it seems so simple...even I could do it (maybe):

Apply Clarifying Shampoo

Apply The Perfector & leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing out

Blow Dry using a dryer like the soon-to-launch in the US *ghd air. Here's a sneak peek!

Flat Iron hair using a tool that goes up to 430 degrees

Et Voile...this version doesn't hold a candle to my dad's, but I guess it'll do...


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