review: fresh rose face mask

fresh_rose face mask

I love a good face mask so when a sample of Fresh’s Rose Face Mask landed on my desk I wasted no time in trying it out. Fresh promises that this mask will hydrate and tone the complexion to restore radiance and suppleness to all skin types.
fresh rose face mask
Meant to be applied after cleansing your face, the first thing I noticed was how cooling the formula was. Infused with real rose petals, they practically melt onto your skin as you massage it in. I love using this in the morning, after a shower, while getting ready for work. It really does hydrate the skin and I wish I had this during the winter when my skin was just suffering. It smells like roses but isn’t overwhelming or “mature” like some rose scented products. Overall, I’m impressed and loving this mask.

Fresh Rose Face Mask is available at Fresh locations, online, and at Sephora.


review: tatcha cleansing oil

A last minute lunchtime beauty shopping spree led a coworker and me to Barneys where we browsed the beauty floor and trouble began. I, the kind and gentle beauty soul willing to help a friend in need, offered my assistance when she asked for guidance for a new cleanser. Little did I know that I’d leave the store $48 poorer. Oops.
Tatcha cleansing oil
The Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is a blend of camellia and rice bran oils designed to melt away your makeup, leaving skin clean and fresh. Unlike other cleansing oils it doesn’t contain mineral oil- which some believe clogs pores although others suggest otherwise.

I’ve been using it now for the better part of two months (maybe more?) and I do like it. Quite simply, I apply this on dry skin at night to remove my makeup. It’s gentle yet effective enough to remove my makeup, even pesky waterproof mascara (okay, not pesky but dang, Benefit Rollerlash!). It starts off as an oil but once you add water, it becomes a silky milk-like texture and easily rinses off. The scent makes it feel like a mini at home spa ritual, which doesn’t hurt.

Although the brand states no double cleansing is required, I still find that I have to go in with something that lathers afterwards (currently I’m using Nubian Heritage Black Soap) to remove stubborn foundation. The best way for me to use this? In the morning when I’m looking for something gentle but don’t want anything harsh like a soap. At night, since I do tend to cake it up (#cakeface) I much prefer going in with my Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water to remove makeup and then the black soap.

Verdict: A-. If you’re looking for a luxury beauty skincare product and don’t wear full coverage foundation, go for it! This product is truly good at its job. If you’re like me and tend to go for a full beat, you may end up using more than one product which sorta defeats the purpose.


make every day #earthday with neutrogena naturals (+ a giveaway!!)

neutrogena naturals cleanserWhen my eye allergy sent me to the doctor a few months back, I became weary of everything in my beauty closet so off I went in search of new products. I picked up the Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser because it was made of naturally derived ingredients (coconut, corn, willow bark, guar bean) and I saw the words “allergy tested.” Bingo! It was gentle and didn’t leave my skin dry or irritated. The products in the Naturals range do not  contain any harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes and phthalates. It’s one of the few cleansers that I’ve completely finished in my medicine cabinet.

Well, things have come full circle since I’ve now partnered with the brand for 2014 and first up — a giveaway featuring select products from the Neutrogena Naturals product lineup! Read on for more about the line and how to win.

The line features bionutrients, which are highly concentrated chemical compounds found in nature and are are proven to support healthy skin, and to promote replenishment & detoxification. One tidbit I learned from the brand is that the Neutrogena® Naturals’ website is powered by 100 percent clean energy that includes 12 solar panels and a 50-foot windmill in an effort to reduce its footprint and sustainability #commitment.

Luckily for you guys, I’m giving away THREE sets of Neutrogena® Naturals products! Simply leave a comment (bonus points/entries if you follow me on Twitter or Like my FB page!)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Neutrogena as I’m a beauty ambassador for the brand. Giveaway open to US residents age 18 or older. Not open internationally (sorry!). Giveaway ends 4/29. Giveaway closed and winners have been notified. Thanks to all who entered!

new in über luxe skincare: orlane b21 extraordinaire

B21 Extraordinaire White BGIt’s not every day I venture into the world of super luxury skincare but when invited to a cocktail party hosted by Orlane, I couldn’t say no! In between light bites and champagne, I learned about the new B21 Extraordinaire, a serum/ moisturizer hybrid that contains 21 amino acids from organic iris flowers and works to make your skin look younger and more refreshed.

B21 Extraordinaire claims to repair the damage done to skin cells by the natural aging process. According to Orlane the product reduces progerin, a toxic protein, while causing the cells to re-energize and act as they did when you were younger. The product retails for $250 and can be purchased at or

updated skincare routine

For the past two months my skin decided to join the rebellion and go nutso without my consent. Between breakouts galore, dull skin, and an overall blegh look I was not in my element at all since I typically pride myself on the care I take of my skin. Alas I allowed myself to sleep in makeup and stay up way to late coupled by the fact that I practically ran out of all of my holy grail skincare products and relied on testing new products (not ideal). After noticing that my makeup just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, I knew I had to whip it back into shape. I’m a firm believer that your makeup can only do so much and if your skin isn’t on point, your makeup won’t be either.

And so began the updated skincare routine you see below.


Dermalogica breakout clearing foaming wash ($19): yes, the Clear Start line by Dermalogica is geared towards teens and no, I don’t care. Since its main role is to wash away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils that clog pores and cause breakouts I figured why not give it a go. It contains salicylic acid (known to clear skin), 8 botanicals including Tea Tree and Lavender (soothes skin), and Orange Peel extract (revives skin) this is gentle enough to use every morning.

Olay Fresh Effect {Bright On Schedule!} Eye Awakening Cream ($13) this isn’t pictured as it’ll be available in January 2014 but I just received a sample of this and I fell for the tri-rollerball applicator that cools and massages my gentle under eye area.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream ($60): this is nothing new but after trying other moisturizers for day I had to go back. Lately moisturizers have been leaving my skin feeling tight and dry but not this. With ingredients like vitamin E and squalane, my skin is left feeling hydrated and supple. It’s honestly a great moisturizer to use underneath makeup because it’s not greasy so nothing is sliding off.

Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen SPF 55 ($32): I received samples of Hampton Sun products over the summer but was too stubborn to let go of my Kiehl’s Activator Sun Protector Sunscreen to try anything new. Well, after finding sample packets of a few of the brand’s items I decided to go ahead and order a full sized product to layer over my Rosa Arctica cream. What I love most is that it offers oil-free broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and doesn’t make my skin feel heavy or greasy. I simply spray it over my face and rub it in to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Sounds like a lot, but I swear it isn’t. This stuff is gold.

As part of the whole time-to-show-my-skin-who’s-boss project I went out and bought the Murad Acne Complex® Kit ($60) after having a TERRIBLE reaction to the Clinique Acne set (it literally burned me and I had scabs around my eye area…never again!). The Murad kit is pricey but worth it in my opinion because I’ve already fallen for the Clarifying Cleanser ($26 if purchased outside of the set) and Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel ($54). You can already see the value as the treatment gel alone costs nearly as much as the entire set. Though the cleanser left my skin a little bit dry, my skin simply looked better after one use. The breakouts were calmed and I’m now in week two of use. The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel is good for controlling and preventing breakouts so I’ve been applying right before bed only. I do use the Skin Perfecting Lotion (not pictured) but only every other night as it doesn’t really moisturize as much as I’d like.

Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil ($50; launching on soon!): absolutely no secret that I’m obsessed with argan oil so when we came out with this product I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s non-greasy, contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and absorbs pretty quickly into skin. I use it prior to bed because I wake up with soft as a baby’s butt skin.

Disclosure: samples were provided for editorial consideration. Also, I work in digital for Moroccanoil.