Thursday, October 27, 2011

100% Raw Shea Butter - Review

Shea butter comes from the nut of the Karite Shea tree that is indigenous to Africa. Raw, unrefined shea butter contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids. It has a creamy color and a very distinct smell. It has been used for centuries for its moisturizing, ant-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. 

I've heard nothing but good things about 100% raw and unrefined shea butter. I was going to purchase it off of, but I decided to purchase it at the French Market in the city instead cause it was cheaper and I wanted it right away. The natural one without fragrance added is kind of nutty and woodsy smelling, I didn't like that at all so I purchased the scented one which smells like the stuff you would buy in the store but much better. 

In it's natural form, shea butter is hard and has a bit of a grainy feel to it. It can be a little hard to work with, but you can heat it up a bit in the microwave for a few seconds. The way I use it is I apply a little to my hands and rum them together untill it melts and then I quickly apply it to my body. You only need a little bit of this so a tub this size lasts a long time. 

Here are a few beneficial uses for raw African shea butter:

• Daily skin moisturizer (face and body)
• Dry skin relief
• Skin rashes, including diaper rash
• Skin peeling, after tanning
• Blemishes and wrinkles
• Itching skin due to dryness
• Sunburn
• Skin cracks
• Soften tough skin on feet (especially heels)
• Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
• Minor burns
• Eczema
• Sun and wind protection
• Even skin tone
• Reduce blemishes and scarring
• Eliminate scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing
• Prevent bumps after shaving
• Reduce acne (especially in combination with African Black Soap)
• Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue
• Helps restore elasticity to skin
• Restores luster to hair
• Helps heal scars, burns, and stretch marks
• Prevents ashy skin, chapping, and skin rashes
• Protects scalp from sores and rashes and prevents dandruff
• Helps prevent weak hair from breaking, fading, or thinning out
• Fortifies cuticles and nails.
• Helps bruises to heal
• Helps drain toxins from sore muscles: perfect for sports participants
• Helps prevent skin irritation for babies: used for generations to help babies sleep better
• Ideal for dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, sunburn and athlete's foot
• Rejuvenates skin pores and adds elasticity to skin
• Firms up aging skin and helps clear wrinkles
• Helps relieve arthritis, joint pains, or other muscular aches: massage shea butter into affected areas

Left to right: just applied, slightly blended, blended in.

My thoughts: I really enjoy using this stuff, it may not be ideal when you in a hurry though because you have to work with it a bit to get it to melt before applying it. If you have dry skin I would definitely recommend it, just make sure you use a little at a time. If it feels greasy then you've used too much. I've even used this on my face a few times and didn't break out. It's hard to use on the face b/c your going to be tugging on your skin to try and blend it in. What I do is melt it in my hands and just press it in and it works fine. I tested this by just applying it to one hand and the next day that hand looked more even toned than the other. I asked my mom which hand she thought looked better to make sure it just wasn't in my head and she also picked the hand I had used the shea butter on. 

Have any of you tried this product before?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New purchases from L'Occitane

I've never been to L'occitane before, much less made a purchase there. I had a coupon for a free 30ml hand cream so I was really excited to try it out. The one they were giving was their best selling Cream Mains Hand Cream. I also picked up their Ultra Rich Face Soap w/ Shea Butter.

The lotion has a nice light scent to it and it feels really creamy and  moisturizing.  Even after I washed my hands they still felt nice and smooth. This hand cream retails for $10. 

Picture on left is slightly rubbed in, picture on right in rubbed in

Face Soap:
The box for the soap says: Formulated w/ a soft vegetable cleansing base, this ultra rich soap is perfect for daily face cleansing. Rich in shea butter (8%), it gently cleanses the skin w/out drying and helps to respect the hydrolipidic film. It's creamy foam leaves skin feeling comfortable, soft and fresh.

The soap is 3.5oz and is quite fragrant. Which I'm not a big fan of. I prefer my facial products to have little to no smell b/c my skin can be sensitive at times. I noticed that the fragrance didn't linger on my face for long though, maybe about 5 minutes. According to the sales lady, she says that this soap would be perfect for sensitive skin. I used it last night and didn't have any reaction to it. It lathered up nicely and my skin felt nice afterwards, not too dry or tight like how my Neutrogena cleanser leaves my skin feeling sometimes. At the same time I feel like this $10 cleanser doesn't necessarily out perform anything I can find for $5. I guess time will tell how this works for me, but so far I like it.

Have any of you made any purchases at L'Occitane? What is your favorite item from there?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I wouldn't want to get lost out here...

Over the weekend me, Jason and another couple went on a swamp tour together. This was a first for me so I didn't really know what to expect and didn't really have high expectations to say the least. I just figured since I live in Louisiana I should go one I found a deal for on on living social, 2 people for $10 !

We saw a lot of houses like this on the swamp. Our tour guide told us how the swamp is public property and anyone can tie up a boat or a house on a floating barge like this and live for free. There's no property tax out there. 

We saw quite a few houses like this out there too. These are houses that were abandoned after hurricane Katrina. Of course when your living on the swamp, you can't get flood insurance so if something happens to your home...we'll your up the swamp w/out a paddle. 
If you look closely you can see the turtle (middle of the pic) and an alligator (right side of the pic)

This boat was also damaged by Katrina. The owner of the boat was a shrimp fisherman who didn't renew his insurance on it so it now sits abandoned. 
Our swamp tour guide told us that after Katrina this boat house was stuck in a tree 20 ft high b/c that's how high the storm surge was. After the water receded, it stayed stuck in the tree for 2 years until it eventually fell and has been sitting there ever since. 
After spending my afternoon in the boonies I needed to get my ass to the city for a bit; and I was hungry lol. We went to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen which is in the french market.  Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the chicken pizza we had cause I was so hungry. It was delish though :)
On the way back to our car I noticed this super funny bumper sticker and just had to take a pic of it. I wonder if that would really work if you were to get pulled over by a cop lol. 

What did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review - Merle Norman Powder Foundation VS. MAC's Studio Fix

I needed a new powder foundation since my MAC studio fix powder was running out and since that one was breaking me out and made my face oily by lunch time, I figured it was time to try another brand. A friend of mine raved about Merle Norman cosmetics and since they have a store right down the street from where I live I thought I would give it a try.

Ultra Powder Foundation
For all skin types.
Dual-function formula performs as a foundation and powder. Oil-absorbing pressed-powder makeup is great for oily skin and ideal for humid climates. Sheer to maximum coverage. Matte finish. Oil-free.     My color is the Ultra Cream and it's a perfect match to MAC's SF in NC 35                          

Price: This stuff is pretty expensive. 10grams for $30 whereas MAC's SF is 15grams for $26.50.

Performance: This foundation isn't as finely milled as MAC's but it does hold up longer. With SF I felt like my makeup was almost gone by lunch time since my T zone looked so oily. MN lasts throughout my 8 hours day without my face getting oily and when I get home it still looks pretty freshly applied. The coverage of this is good, but not as good as MAC's SF. I also feel like I have to use more of the MN foundation to get the coverage I'm looking for. It says that you can use this powder foundation wet for more coverage but I haven't tried that yet. 

Color Match: What I like about this brand is that they have a huge color selection. It's pretty hard for me to find a good match since I have a lot of yellow undertones and then when I have a natural tan it's more olive/yellow undertones. The ultra cream color is a perfect match for me. You literally can't tell where my skin starts and where the makeup ends. 

Overall: So would I repurchase this? Maybe. I do love how it matches my skin so perfectly, but I also wish it covered better without having to use so much. It wouldn't really be a big deal if it wasn't so pricey, but I can see myself running out of this pretty quickly since I use it every day for work. From what the sales associate told me about this product, it's the only powder foundation they offer with the most coverage. The rest of them are pretty sheer unless I want to switch to a liquid or cream formula. So overall I would reccomend this to those w/ oily skin and those who don't really need full coverage. I think for now, I will be on the look out for powder foundations  that can do all the things I need it too. Which is provide medium to full coverage, decent oily control and something that is yellow enough for me. 

Have any of you tried this makeup? Does anyone have any recommendations on a good buildable or full coverage powder foundation?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quicky Glitter Look

Here's a super quick 5 min look I did to try out the glitter and Wet n' Wild Fantasy Makers Palette I bought recently. You can see that post here . I used the white from the Fantasy Makers Palette on the lower lid and pressed the glitter onto it w/ a dense brush. For the black, I used the blk from the palette and applied some matte black shadow over it. The glitter is more finely milled than MAC's 3D silver glitter so It doesn't show up quite as sparkly, but for $2.99 I'm really pleased with it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recent Purchases & A Dupe

I was at K-mart the other day filling a Rx so I thought I would check out the Halloween makeup.  Of course I had to pick up a Style Watch magazine too, It's one of my favorite magazines to get the latest scoop on the trends of the season.

 I picked up this Fantasy Makers palette from Wet n' Wild thinking it would be similar to NYX's glitter palette. It wasn't :( This was was kind of dry, especially the top layer, when I pressed my finger in it a little more I noticed it was creamier, but the swatch of it was chunky and uneven and almost impossible to blend out evenly, kind of a waste of $3.99 if you ask me, but i'm still going to try again to make it work. The lashes aren't all that great either. They lashes kind of point downwards so it doesn't give my eyes a flattering shape and even if I curl them the curl won't last for more than 10 minutes (I've tried w/ similar styles). The glitter on the other hand was fabulous! 
The glitter is very fine and sparkly and I would even say it's a perfect dupe for MAC's 3D silver glitter. The best part is you get 5.4g for only $2.99! They also had this glitter in white, silver and red. I'm thinking about going back for the red one. 

Have any of you tried these Fantasy Makers makeup products?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September in Pictures

I know I'm a bit late w/ this post, but I wanted to share some of the things I've been up to over the past month. I actually feel like my life has been uneventful lately. Not in a bad way, but in an I-don't-have-much-to-blog-about kind of way. Which is also the reason for why I haven't been posting often lately. 

Saint's game Jason and I went to, they lost least the natchos were good lol
Penguins at the aqarium
Mascara fail, I think they forgot the stopper
Humus at Zea's for my birthday. so good!
Sorry this pic is so dark, but I wanted to show u guys the huge ass margarita at this mexican restaurant we went to. I actually drank 75% of it myself ha
Mocha frap from McDonald's, these are sooo good!
Sun setting over the bridge
Jason and I were at a restaurant down town and we saw this couple second lining down the street. It's something that actually happens often in N.O, but it's still so cool to see. After the couple gets married police will block the streets to keep cars from passing and the married couple, the wedding party and their guests will second line down the street w/ the band playing :)
This cockatoo was sooo cute! We heard him screaming from down the street and when we came up to his cage he stopped and started to sing and say hello. It was the cutest thing ever, he just wanted some attention. I think I spooked him when I took this pic w/ my flash on b/c he slide down to the bottom of the cage and got in the corner =( poor thing.  I seriously want one now!

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