February 28, 2014

b-leve b-exquisite Body Brush & b-vibrant Rejuvenating Day Lotion

Hello, Beautiful!

I had this review sitting in my drafts for far too long (it some how was forgotten), so thought I'd get this published before I let it sit there even longer! In this post I have two b-leve products that I tried out: the b-leve b-exquisite Body Brush and the b-leve b-vibrant Rejuvenating Day Lotion. I've reviewed a couple b-leve products in the past and have been happy with them all. I really like the Body Brush, but I had just okay thoughts about the Rejuvenating Day Lotion. Check out all the product info, along with my full review, after each set of pics!

b-level b-exquisite Body Brush

b-level b-exquisite Body Brush Info & Review:
Cost/Availability: $8.99. Available on the b-leve website and at fine grocers. Click here to find a retailer near you.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!

Product Info...

The b-leve b-exquisite Body Brush has a bamboo handle. Made in China.

Use with your favorite body wash or soap for a luxurious bathing experience. Great for those hard to reach places - like your back. Rinse and air dry when finished using it.

My Review...

I haven't really been a body brush user up until about a year or so ago when I started to incorporate an anti-cellulite brush into my life -- the Mama Mio Body Brush, that came in my Bootcamp For Butts kit. The Mama Mio Body Brush is great for dry brushing, but I never took it into the shower - plus, it doesn't have a long handle so it wouldn't be good for hard to reach places.

The b-leve b-exquisite Body Brush is great! It's not the most soft brush in the whole wide word, but it's effective for sure. It's also inexpensive at just $8.99, so for the price this is a great body brush!

It makes scrubbing my back a breeze with a body scrub - which I typically can't do myself, as I can't get the middle of my back with the scrub or effectively use the scrub myself. But if I put it on this body brush and then use it, I'm good to go. I use it with body wash too, but I honestly prefer to use it with a body scrub because the brush provides that extra bit of exfoliation.

Final Thoughts...

If you like body brushes, or want to start using one in the shower, then this is a great one to get. It's effective and leaves my skin softer than if I just used my hands, wash cloth or one of those shower puffs (which is what I normally use). Would recommend!

b-level b-vibrant Rejuvenating Day Lotion




b-level b-vibrant Rejuvenating Day Lotion with SPF 15 Info & Review:
Cost/Availability: $18.99 (4 fl oz full size). Available on the b-leve website and at fine grocers. Click here to find a retailer near you.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Kisses

Product Info...

Infuses skin with lightweight moisture and protects skin against UV damage. With SPF 15. Natural grape extract technology, which revitalizes damaged skin cells damaged by UV-induced stress. This gentle yet effective formulation delivers unparalleled antioxidant benefits to the skin. Enhances skin tone and balances complexion. Antioxidants provide intensive repair and protection. Moisturizes, firms, balances and rejuvenates. Paraben-free. No animal testing. Made in Canada.

Directions: For enhanced skin rejuvenation, gently massage into skin 2 to 3 times daily as desired.

My Review...

As I mentioned as the start of this post, I've reviewed a couple b-leve products in the past here on my blog - like their Tranquil Body Lotion, Tranquil Body Wash, and their Moisturizing b-hydrated Shampoo & Conditioner. I've really liked them all, and I even liked the Body Brush too - but I just wasn't as big of a fan of this Rejuvenating Day Lotion.

At $18.99 this is a pricey product from the b-leve line, which are typically around the $7.99 price point for their hair and body items - but their face skin care is more within the higher price range of $14.99 to $19.99, with the exception of their cleanser that is $7.99 and their facial wipes that are $3.99.

For me, this just wasn't hydrating enough. It was very lightweight and it did absorb into my skin nicely and had a light scent but it just didn't feel all that hydrating on my skin when I did use it. It may work better for me in the summer when I like to wear a lighter moisturizer during the day. This also may be a great choice for those of you with oily to very oily skin who like a lighter moisturizer.

Final Thoughts...

This was just okay for me. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. It just wasn't a good match for me. I think for the price I could get a different moisturizer that would hydrate my skin type more. It has good reviews on the b-leve website, so it obviously works for some people. This just wasn't a love affair for me and something I personally wouldn't re-purchase but would still say to check it out if you are a fan of the b-leve products and want to try their skincare out with a light moisturizer.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this body brush and day lotion? Have you tried either of these products or are they now on your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below.

February 27, 2014

Derma E Very Clear Scrub - pics, swatches, review

Hello, Beautiful!

If you've been a long time reader of my blog then you know I have adult acne. In past years it was much, much worse than what it is now. I try a lot of acne-clearing products, some good and some bad. In this post I have another acne-clearing product to share with you: the Derma E Very Clear Scrub. This is their new and improved formula, so if you've tried this in the past and it didn't work for you, then the new and improved version may be what you were originally looking for. This is a 100% vegan product and contains 2% salicylic acid. Check out all the product info, along with my full review, after the pics!

Derma E Very Clear Scrub

Derma E Very Clear Scrub Info & Review:
Cost/Availability: $13.95 (4 oz full size). Available on the Derma E website, on the Drugstore.com website, at some Ulta locations (it wasn't on their website for me to link you to), and everywhere else Derma E products are sold. Click here to find a retailer near you.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Kisses

Product Info...

This gentle exfoliating formula helps remove dead skin to unclog pores, draw out impurities and prevent future breakouts.

Scrub away bacteria, unclog pores, draw out impurities and prevent future breakouts with this highly effective scrub. The Derma E formula contains an Anti-Blemish Complex of natural ingredients: tea tree, willow bark, rosewood, lavender and chamomile - which are shown to be very effective on blemish-prone skin. Aloe, chamomile and walnut shell powder are included to soothe, calm and gently exfoliate skin.

100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, GMO-free.

Use once or twice a week to help keep skin clear and fresh. For best results, use with Derma E Very Clear Cleanser, Very Clear Moisturizer, and Very Clear Spot Treatment.

Success with Very Clear: After conducting a 4-week consumer trial on the Very Clear line, 96% experienced a reduction in blemishes.

My Review...

This is their new and improved version of their Very Clear Scrub. This has been around for awhile, and I know their packaging has changed and I believe they also adjusted their formula. Although not listed on their website in their description, this does contain 2% salicylic acid. On my tube it doesn't say the percent of salicylic acid - it just says salicylic acid on the front and mentions it on the back - but the tube on their website shows a slightly different label, which does say "2% salicylic acid".

Just by first looks and the type of product this is, it reminds me a lot of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub - but this is a more gel-like texture.

I do find this to be pretty gritty, which is nice for a scrub but can sometimes be too harsh for those of us with acne. When I have very active, open acne I like to avoid scrubs all together - which can often spread bacteria around your face and make things worse. Because of how scrubby this is, I wouldn't recommend using it when your acne is very acne/open. However, it does a nice job at making your face feel smooth, and because there is 2% salicylic acid, it will help to clear your face.

This was a nice gritty scrub that really made my face soft and smooth, but I would never use this if my face was having really bad breakouts that are active/open because this scrub is very gritty and that can actually irritate and make things worse, by kind of pulling out and spreading that bacteria around your face.

I wouldn't use this more than twice a week - once a week would be enough - and I would only recommend this to those whose acne is not active or open to help prevent future breakouts and get your face nice and smooth. If you have just a few small areas that have active and/or open acne, you can avoid those spots the best you can and use this everywhere else. It will come in handy if your skin has dry patches and you want to smooth them out. I recommend following up with a cleanser after using this scrub if you are worried that you may have spread some bacteria around.

The price point isn't too high, although a bit steep for a drugstore product when you compare it to the St. Ives scrub - which is around $4 for 6 ounces.

Final Thoughts...

This was a nice gritty scrub that really made my face soft and smooth, but I would never use this if my face was having really bad breakouts that are active/open because this scrub is very gritty and that can actually irritate and make things worse, by kind of pulling out and spreading that bacteria around your face.

I think this would probably work better if you use their entire Very Clear line, like they recommend. I think acne clearing products always work better when paired with all their sister products (at least that's how I typically see the most results).

I can't say for sure if this really helped to clear or prevent future break outs, since I did only use this once or twice a week (mostly just once a week) and I do use other products, but it certainly didn't make my skin any worse (but again, I avoided using this scrub - or any scrub - when my acne is active and/or open).

It's worth checking out, but not something you can't live without.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this scrub? Have you tried this or is this on your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below.

February 26, 2014

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust - all 4 shades - pics, swatches, review!

Hello, Beautiful!

If you're a fan of the Gleam by Melanie Mills Body Radiance, or just a fan of a radiant glow, then you may want to check out this blog post on the Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust. I was sent sample jars of all four shades back in December, but I didn't want to write up a review until I was able to really try them all out. It took me longer than normal to try these out, but I did try them all several times and in several ways. I'm just going to come out and say this: I think I'm in love with every Gleam by Melanie Mills product that I've tried!!! I love her Body Radiance (Rose Gold is my favorite shade), I love her Lip Radiance glosses (Pop My Cork is my favorite shade) and her Glitter & Glam book (one of the best makeup books I own). She can do no wrong in my book! She makes some of the most beautiful, radiant, glowing products for your body. You'll look gorgeous in pictures and everyday life. So what do I think of her new Radiant Dust? Check out my full review below, including all the product info, after the pics!

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust
Shades: Deep Gold, Rose Gold, Light Gold, Bronze Gold
Continue scrolling down to see more pics of each individual shade.
*NOTE: These are MUCH prettier in person! Also, these are sample jars, NOT full size*

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust
Shade: Deep Gold

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust
Shade: Rose Gold

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust
Shade: Light Gold

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust
Shade: Bronze Gold

Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust Info & Review:
Cost/Availability: $59.00 (full size). Available on the Gleam by Melanie Mills website, and everywhere else Gleam by Melanie Mills products are sold. Click here to find a retailer near you.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!

Product Info...

This pure luxe, loose powder imparts shimmering glitz and glam. The world's most luxurious face/body luxe loose powder. Infused with her signature moisture rich ingredients to leave skin feeling like silk. Can be used as eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, and all over your body - with or without her Body Radiance.

Radiant Dust is finely milled face and body powder that imparts skin with a subtle shimmer and rich glow. Made from high grade pearls and all-natural ingredients that draw light in rather than reflect it, Radiant Dust is gorgeous on its own, or as a finisher with her Body Radiance.

Each shade of Radiant Dust blends beautifully and seamlessly, and can be used by every skin tone as a bronzer, blush, highlighter or eyeshadow. Apply with a makeup brush or powder puff to diminish fine lines and create a warm rich glow. Radiant Dust provides a dewy radiance and leaves skin with a warm scent of vanilla essence. Great for body in high humidity areas when you don't want to wear a lotion or liquid product - like her Body Radiance. This is a hydrating powder that blends beautifully and designed to work on all skin tones, as Radiant Dust comes in all four of her signature Gleam shades.

With potent anti-aging elements found in Green Tea and White Tea Extract, hydrating aloe vera, a skin nutrition blend of antioxidants, and the Gleam Hydroplex, Radiant Dust helps give your skin the appearance of a vibrant, healthy glow. With a silky texture, light vanilla scent, and ingredients that are good for your overall skin health, Radiant Dust is also talc-free and paraben, sulfate, GMO and phalate-free! All Gleam products are made in the USA and are also cruelty-free!

My Review...

I'm already a big fan of the Gleam by Melanie Mills Body Radiance, so I kind of expected to also love the Gleam by Melanie Mills Radiant Dust.... and I do! This is basically her loose powder version to her already amazing liquid/cream Body Radiance.

The colors are in her signature shades, so they can be layered on top of the Body Radiance for added glow and glam, or in combination with her Body Radiance -- such as using the Body Radiance on arms and legs, and then the Radiant Dust in the same shade on your eyes and cheeks. Also, can I just take a moment and just say that these smell yummy - like vanilla!

As you can see by the photos, I have sample jars of all four shades. This is the kind of product that is hard to photograph swatches and show how gorgeous they are. They're MUCH prettier in person. I think my favorite is Light Gold - it's the one I use the most, and the one I like best on my body - followed by Rose Gold. I like Bronze Gold and Deep Gold almost the same, maybe liking Deep Gold slightly more.

The price point is pretty high for a powder at $59 - and I'm honestly not sure how much product comes in a full size, as I only have the sample jars (and I don't see it listed on her website). HOWEVER, her products are formulated with some of the best ingredients. This isn't just a cheapo shimmer powder - oh no! Not at all! This has a nice silky smooth texture, blends beautifully, and has good-for-you ingredients. When a product feels nice, performs nice, is made with good-for-my-skin ingredients and looks great, then I don't care about price point. And for me, I tend to use this product more for my eyes so it will last awhile (since I don't have the opportunity to glam my body up with this powder -- maybe in the summer when more skin is exposed). I've used these sample jars mostly for my eyes and I have barely gone through them!

Let's talk about how I liked this Radiant Dust for different uses...

I honestly LOVED these for my eyes. They are gorgeous - perfectly shimmery! They can be sheered out for a wash of color, used to top over other shadows, or apply more heavily (packing on the lid over an eyeshadow primer or creamy base). Light Gold and Rose Gold look gorgeous as an inner corner highlight or to highlight the center of the lid. Bronze Gold and Deep Gold make great all-over lid colors for a gorgeous bronzy gold lid look.

These make gorgeous highlight shades to your cheekbones - I like Rose Gold and Light Gold as a top of cheekbone highlight and even down the center of my nose. I will top with a powder if I want a more subtle shimmer glow, or apply last if I want more of that shimmer to be noticeable. You could use Deep Gold or Bronze Gold as a blush, bronzer or contour color - but since it does have shimmer in it, it doesn't make the best contour color (unless you want an all-over shimmer/glow look).

This product, of course - as you might expect, looks amazing as a body glow. Just like with her Body Radiance, this is essentially the same thing - just in powder form. Dust on your collarbone, decollete, arms, legs, and anywhere else you may have exposed skin that you want to glow. And if you don't own her Body Radiance, and want a more subtle glow, you could mix some of this in with your regular body lotion and you'll get a very subtle all-over glow!

You could even use this product and mix with a clear lip gloss, or tap onto your lips (such as just the center of your lips or all over) for a lip color highlight, depending on the look you're going for.

Could also mix a little with your face moisturizer for a subtle glow all over your face. Once you top with another face product - like a BB/CC Cream, Tinted Moisturizer, powder, or foundation - it will be less shimmery and more as just a radiant all-over glow.

As you see, there are many different ways to use this - not just on your body!

Final thoughts...

I loved this product, just as I have with every other Gleam by Melanie Mills product that I've tried - and come to think of it, I've tried every one of her products, except for the Face And Body Brush (but that's $85 so don't know when I'll try that - not in my budget at the moment). She makes some great products that make us women (and men) look absolutely beautiful! I would love to see her line expand to even more products, and her Lip Radiance glosses... yeah, please come out with more shades, I love these!

But back to the product in this post - her Radiant Dust.... I think this is a great alternative for people who prefer powders other liquid/cream products. If you have oily skin and liked the idea of her Body Radiance, but prefer powders, then you'll love Radiant Dust. Or if you just prefer to use powders on your face and/or body, then you'll love Radiant Dust. Also great if you already own her Body Radiance and want to amp up the glam by topping with Radiant Dust.

As with every Gleam by Melanie Mills product, I would recommend this to you if you're looking for a shimmer/radiant body powder that is also safe to use on the eyes and face!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this product? Have you tried this or is this on your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below.

February 25, 2014

Milani Rose Powder Blush - 4 new limited edition shades: pics, swatches, review!

Hello, Beautiful!

Milani has launched a second collection of their beautiful-to-look-at, Rose Powder Blushes. This time around they went bolder and brighter! I posted a photo of them on Instagram not long ago when they first showed up on my doorstep. My review from August 2013 of the original limited edition Coming Up Roses Powder Blush, in the shade Bella Rosa, can be found by clicking here. What do I think of the second release of these limited edition blushes? Well, I can certainly say I'm still a huge fan of their Baked Blushes - especially the new Matte Baked Blushes - but I'm not the biggest fan of this blush formula. Check out my review below, including all the product info, after the pics!

Milani Rose Powder Blush
Shades: 05 Coral Cove, 06 Lady Rouge, 07 Love Potion, 08 Tea Rose
Continue scrolling down to see more pics of each individual shade.

Milani Rose Powder Blush
Shade: 05 Coral Cove

Milani Rose Powder Blush
Shade: 06 Lady Rouge

Milani Rose Powder Blush
Shade: 07 Love Potion

Milani Rose Powder Blush
Shade: 08 Tea Rose

Milani Rose Powder Blush Info & Review:
Cost/Availability: $7.99 depending where you shop (0.60 oz full size). Available on the Milani website, and at select Walgreens and CVS stores beginning in March (but may be there sooner).
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Kisses

Product Info...

A luxurious matte powder blush that features rose petals micro-milled into the powder to bring out the natural rosy tones. This blush is multi-purpose: use to shape, contour and highlight your face. It's easy to use and streak-free. Suitable for all skin types and tones.

Available in four limited edition shades:
  • 05 Coral Cove
  • 06 Lady Rouge
  • 07 Love Potion
  • 08 Tea Rose

My Review...

I'll start by talking about the ORIGINAL release from over the summer of these limited edition Coming Up Roses collection, Rose Powder Blushes....

My review from August 2013 of the original limited edition Coming Up Roses Powder Blush can be found by clicking here. I had the shade Bella Rosa, which I really did like. I know a lot of people found these blushes to be chalky or dusty, or lacking pigmentation. I personally didn't really have issues with this blush. Sure, it may have been a tad powdery but I could easily work with it. I also didn't mind the pigmentation because I'm not a bold blush wearer - nor am I a huge blush wearer (I only wear blush when I don't have breakouts on my cheeks). I've also heard that some shades were more pigmented and less powdery than others -- from my understanding, the shade I had, Bella Rosa, was one of the shades that people seemed to either love or hate due to the pigmentation/application. In my review, I gave it a 4.5 out of 5 Kisses rating - but looking back I may have given it a 3.5 or a 4. Also, on a side note, I don't like that Milani re-used a shade name for the blush. I had this Rose Powder Blush in the shade Bella Rosa, and they just came out with their new matte Baked Blushes - and one of those is called Bella Rose (and the two shades couldn't be more different). But that's not a huge deal - just something I noticed.

Now let's talk about this release of Rose Powder Blushes...

These shades are much bolder in tone when you look at them, but as far as pigmentation goes, it's very much lacking.  I do think this release of their Rose Powder Blushes have way prettier colors than the original release.

They have the same packaging and style as the originals and I like it - they're large, have a nice clear top to the compact so you can see the beautiful rose design in the blush, and they're a flat bottom and top compact, making them easy to store/stack and not roll around as easily in my blush drawer.

The texture isn't as soft and smooth as I would like, and I do think the texture actually varies slightly between shades. Some shades were softer than others, but they all were a bit powdery and even a bit chalky.

The shades are much bolder and brighter than the original collection, but don't let that scare you in case you are into lighter/softer tones because these aren't as highly pigmented as they may appear - but that can be a good thing for a blush. You don't always need a highly pigmented blush - some people actually prefer a lighter wash of color.

Let's talk about how these swatched -- both finger swatch and brush swatch -- as well as shade description...

Coral Cove looks like a bold orange coral in the compact, but comes off more soft in tone when swatched. It was still a bit orange coral in undertone, but actually appeared a bit more pink on my skintone. When I tried to blend out the swatch on my hand it became a soft coral tone that was really pretty. When I did a brush swatch, it was very, very soft in tone. It was almost hard to see, even when the brush was packed with color. You can certainly still get it to show up on your cheeks, but it won't be vivid and bold unless you applied with your fingers and did a light blend.

Lady Love looks the boldest and most deep shade out of the four, but this was the one that was most disappointing to me. It had the worst texture and didn't blend very well. On the swatch it didn't blend out well - kind of patchy. When I did a brush swatch I was shocked that hardly any product showed on my cheeks. Again, you can work with it but why would you do that when you could get their new Baked Blush in Bella Rosa which has amazing pigmentation, amazing texture and shows up very easily.

Love Potion is a magenta pink type of shade, that actually was the best out of the four - even though blending it out on my hand made it look a bit patchy. It was the brush swatch that proved this was the best of the four, as it showed up a lot easier on my cheeks - still soft in tone, but it was easiest to get color payoff. It's also a really pretty shade. My favorite of the four.

Tea Rose is the most neutral of the four, being a soft mauve pink. It was almost as good in terms of how it swatched and blended, including the brush swatch, as the shade Love Potion. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as Lady Love, but I feel it may have been slightly better than Coral Cove. The shade itself wasn't my favorite of the four, only because I already have a lot that are similar and the other three colors are certainly more bold in tone.

Final thoughts...

I will say that these blushes are really pretty to look at, and I'm a sucker for packaging like this. I also like that you get a lot of product for the price. I may not like them anywhere near as much as Milani's Baked Blushes - their regular line and their new matte line are great - but I still can work with them. They are very powdery though, and some shades seem a bit chalky compared to others.

If you're looking for high pigmentation, then you'll want to skip these. They just won't do it. If you like a softer blush with less pigmentation, then these may be great for you.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of these blushes? Which shade is your favorite? Have you tried this or is this on your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below.