New Launch from IT Cosmetics -- Special Price on QVC TODAY only!

Friday, March 27, 2015

I love IT Cosmetics. I have been a fan since I tried my very first product -- Celebration Foundation -- and I cannot get enough of their brushes.

Earlier this week, the beautiful folks over at IT Cosmetics sent me the new CC+ Your Way to Radiant Skin Five Piece Collection. It launches TODAY on QVC at a stellar price! It is on QVC as I write this, so go check it out!

Times on the air today are 12am, 9am, 2pm and 9pm (EDT).

I was so excited to see how gorgeous the boxed collection is -- it really is perfect for gift giving. I will be back next week with reviews after I have had a chance to try everything out, but the two products of the 5 I have tried are fabulous.

What is in the Today's Special Value?

  • Your Skin But Better Anti-Aging Full Coverage Physical SPF 50 CC+ Cream Illumination
  • Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disk
  • Heavenly Luxe Radiance Wand Brush
  • Luxe High-Performance Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Trio in Pretty in Spring
  • No-Tug Dual Airbrush Eyeshadow Brush
This collection has a retail value of $172 and with the special is less than $60! Did I mention that this is on EASY PAY?

Check it out. You won't be disappointed in the quality of IT Cosmetics by Jamie Kern.

*Disclosure: I received the collection at no cost for possible mention on the blog.

Everyday 5 Minute Makeup: Favorites from drugstore to high end

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Today was a lovely day. It was spent doing some brainstorming for a new writing project I am working on, having coffee at Stir at I-Square with a dear friend, and trying out some new products for the blog.

First of all, do you see how shiny my hair is here? I think I have found one of the best shampoos ever. I have only used it once, so I will be following up, but it made my hair feel so soft, silky & amazing. The conditioner is a dream, too.

Have you heard of Ava Anderson Non-Toxic before? My friend, Holly Petrie (consultant #6132), is a consultant and I cannot speak highly enough about her. Next week, I will be doing an in-depth review of the products, but I did just want to share what I am enjoying so far.

What do I have on this cold, but sunny Thursday? Everything here took me less than 5 minutes to apply.

 I am wearing the new Ava Anderson BB Cream in Ivory. I have it on over Benefit That Gal Primer, Urban Decay The Naked Concealer in Light Warm and under e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder.

I swept a bit of bareMinerals Clear Radiance over my face and my lipstick is Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick in Mystic Plum. Looking for a consultant? Jenifer Beldue is stellar!

As an aside, I have not been a Mary Kay fan in YEARS. In late 1994, I started selling the products from my dorm room. That is when the kit was a boxy pink bag and consultant had to wear skirts or dresses. I remember wearing a fuchsia bucle blazer from the Limited for my dorm Mary Kay parties. Back then, all of the packaging was pink. That only lasted until I started working freelance for Lancome. I have to tell you-- the company has REALLY stepped up its game. A friend gave me a lipstick (seen above in the picture) and I just ordered some other things from my consultant, Jen. This lipstick is better than my beloved Cargo lipstick. It is creamy, long-wearing, and I just LOVE how it makes my lips feel.

On the brows, I have on Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Soft Brown, with the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. I curled my lashes with the Tarte Eye Lash Curler and put on two coats of black Ava Anderson Mascara, which is REALLY nice! It reminds me of the one from Honeybee Gardens. I set my makeup with Perfectly Posh I've Been Set Up! Setting Spray. Get all your Posh from my friend Cassandra.

Do you have any new favorite products to share? I'd love to hear!

Reclaim your skin's youthful glow

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One of the biggest skin concerns of women as we age is that loss of radiance. As we get older, cell turnover starts to slow down dramatically. One of the effects? Dullness. Don’t fret because I have searched high and low to bring you my favorite products -- from drugstore to high-end. Let's get your glow back!

First things first: before you start buying “brightening” makeup products, you have to make sure yourr skin is in tip-top shape. When it comes to achieving a brighter skintone, exfoliation is going to be your #1 priority.

I have had many women sitting in front of me in my chair to get their makeup and skin care done over the years. My own frustration is the curious look I have received when I ask, “How often are you exfoliating?” Friends, you MUST exfoliate!

Dead skin cells accumulate on the skin. It’s just something that happens to us all. However, you can exfoliate the skin to slough off the dull, flaky cells. Unfortunately, many people skip this step and try to remedy the problem by slapping on more moisturizer. You cannot moisturize away dead skin cells-- you are only trapping them in with your skin creams.

My first face scrub was St. Ives Apricot Scrub back when I was a teenager. Looking back, I cringe, as this product had nutshells and a heavy artificial fragrance. Nut shells are harmful to your skin, as they can cause it to be scratched or even tear. 

Another popular ingredient in exfoliants are plastic microbeads-- Polyethylene beads. These hurt our ecosystem. Besides, do you really want to rub plastic beads into your skin?


Here are my favorite products for glowing skin:

Splurge: Foreo Luna -- I much prefer this cleansing tool to the popular Clarisonic for hygienic purposes. The T-sonic technology removes dead skin cells (I use mine with my Exuviance facial cleansing creme). Here is my original review of the Foreo Luna. I use the pink Luna for sensitive skin and I have been using it for almost two years. $199
Bargain: The Makeup Eraser facial cloth is will exfoliate your skin nicely without a more expensive facial cleansing device. I recommend using it in a gentle circular motion with your favorite creamy cleanser. $20

Splurge: Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA10 gets stellar reviews on the Ulta website with good reason. This is, without a doubt, the best one step at-home peel I have ever used. It contains 10% citric acid, arginine & more  and leaves skin dewy and radiant. $65
*ALERT: This product will be part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty TOMORROW (3/18) and will be 50% off for one day only!
Bargain: Avon Anew Clinical Retexturizing Peel is an affordable, yet effective, alternative to higher priced products. There is glycolic acid, camellia, honey, algae extract and wheat germ in this popular product. Need a consultant? I recommend one of my friends, Melissa Marcellette. Enter her name at checkout. $22 (on sale now for $14.99)

Splurge: Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum has achieved holy grail status for this skin care product junkie! Infused with antioxidants Vitamin A, C & E, as well as grapefuit extract, marine botanicals and polyhydroxy acids, this serum has made a noticeable impact on my almost 40 year old skin. It is really, really amazing. A little goes a long way and I have seen an impact on this pesky brown spot that I have from childhood sun exposure. I cannot say enough about Vespera! $75
Bargain: Avalon Organics Age-less Illuminating Serum is another winner in my book. I blogged about  this in November, comparing it to a $220 product from Tata Harper. The Avalon was, in my eyes, far superior. If you are on a budget or just do not splurge on skin care, give this one a whirl. You will not be disappointed. $20

Splurge: Clarins Bright Plus HP Brightening Repairing Night Cream is a rich, yet silky, night cream with Raspberry and Alchemilla extracts, as well as potent Vitamin C. There is also Sea Lily Extract, which is grown exclusively for Clarins in Brittany. $69
Bargain: Boots Botanics Complexion Refining Light Night Cream is more proof that you can find high quality products on a shoestring. If your skin is more acne-prone or oily, please do not hesitate to try this product. It contains willow bark extract, which is a relative of salicylic acid, to unclog the pores and exfoliate the skin. Additionally, it contains antiseptic Rosemary. $13.99 -- ON SALE NOW for $5.60 on the Boots website!

The Best Facial Cleansers

Monday, March 16, 2015

Best Bar Cleanser

Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap Rose Clay Facial Bar is incredible. I think I first tried this bar about 6 or 7 years ago. It is a fabulous value at $6 for a high-quality facial bar. This is NOTHING like a bar of Dove or Irish Spring. It is real handmade soap. It contains olive oil, coconut oil, wheat germ, rose clay and more. There are no synthetic fragrances and it makes your skin feel oh so smooth!

Best Cleansing Wipes

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One Step Facial Cleansing Cloths are ideal for travel and for those of you who sometimes skip removing your makeup before bedtime. I do not think that wipes should be used exclusively in place of cleanser, but these are super handy for travel and those late nights when you consider hitting the sheets without removing your makeup.

Best Drugstore Cleanser

Boots Expert Sensitive Cleansing Lotion is affordable, gentle, fragrance-free and rivals department store brands. I buy this one at Target and highly recommend it for those whose skin needs some extra TLC. It sells for under $5, typically. Right now, though, on the Boots site is is under $2!

Best Gel Cleanser

Yes to Cucumbers Daily Gel Cleanser is free of sulfates, petrochemicals and parabens. It is packed with beneficial ingredients, including green tea and cucumber. I would recommend this one for oily to acne prone skin types. Note that this does contain fragrance.

Best Exfoliating Cleanser

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser features gentle sugar crystals and sloughs dead skin cells without harsh beads or nut shells. Colloidal oat flour, calendula and seaweed extract are also present in this product, which I recommend for normal skintypes.

Best Creamy Cleanser

This is the one I use. You'll find it on my bathroom counter as I type this. As I get older, the more I prefer a milky cleanser. I highly recommend Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme. It feels ultra luxurious, is creamy & is among the most gentle products I have ever used on my face. It is soap free, dye free and removes makeup, to. You can tissue off or rinse (which is what I do). I love the fact that is contains Polyhydroxy acids to help improve skin texture. This feels similar to two other creamy cleansers I have adored over the years-- from L'Bri and Clarins -- I just see a much greater difference with this formula.Hypersensitive types will adore this, as it contains chamomile, aloe and cucumber.

Tuesday's Green: Spotlight on Rosemary

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today on the The Beauty Blogger, I'd like to talk about a natural ingredient that is highly beneficial in  so many different ways: Rosemary.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a water-loving evergreen shrub and the oil used in skin care is extracted via steam distillation from the flowers on these shrubs.

In natural skin care, Rosemary can help to alleviate puffiness and treat acne -- as well as various forms of dermatitis. I particularly like this oil for acne care, though, because it contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

It also has many wonderful properties for the hair and scalp. Rosemary is invigorating and many believe that it can promote hair growth, making it a natural alternative to harsh chemicals applied topically to the scalp.

Rosemary doesn't just help the condition of your skin and scalp. Did you know that Rosemary Essential Oil also helps to keep bugs away? That's right! It's a key ingredient in Badger's eco-friendly, kid safe Badger Anti Bug Balm. This is the product I trust to use on my children.

Other worthy products containing this fabulous essential oil:

Avalon Organics Rosemary Shampoo has wheat protein, chamomile and vitamin E and helps add life to limp locks. It's budget-friendly, too.

Shea Terra Organics Rosemary & Herb Facial Steam Syrup is a lovely at-home spa treatment to help you feel pampered. If you are acne prone and would like to help get some of the "gunk" out of your pores, this is a safe bet.

I have been telling you about Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap now for seven years. I still have yet to find a better bar of handmade soap--in fact, there is no need to look anymore because I am a Nan Fan! Try her Herbal Rosemary soap-- it's a great bar for kitchen use and for gardener's work-roughened hands.

I first told you about the next product nearly three years ago on this blog -- it's the Therapeutic Blend Body Oil from (seed). I am as smitten with it now as I was then. This is a truly light oil. It isn't going to leave a film on your skin.  I love how it sinks right into my arms and legs and leaves my skin feeling like silk. It contains beneficial essential oils such as peppermint, ginger, rosemary and clove to help ease muscle soreness and help you feel invigorated. Tip: This even helps my husband's aching back.

What are some of your favorite products containing rosemary? Share in the comments section below.

The chemical free beauty sham

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Our products are CHEMICAL FREE!"

"And you can feel safe knowing that our skincare products are all free of chemicals."

"No chemicals!"

The above quotes were found by me on Facebook today. Just today -- and just on pages I am connected to. More than meriting an eye roll or sigh from me, it goes deeper. The claim of "chemical free" is making natural beauty and skin care companies lose their credibility.

In fact, it has made me shy away from products I have used in the past because I truly believe that false claims, lack of understanding when it comes to ingredients, and  gimmicky ad copy is to the detriment of the entire natural products industry. And I really believe that consumers are catching on.

Let me set the record straight. Guess what? The idea of "chemical free" is a bunch of bunk. When you see a company saying "chemical free", put your guard up. Either they are trying to mislead you or their sales staff is just completely unaware of what constitutes "chemical free" -- water is a chemical, friends. Water. H20. Find your friends Hydrogen and Oxygen on the Periodic Table.

Today, I saw a product on Etsy for a "chemical free" toner. Guess what is in this product? Vinegar.  

Wikepedia Commons

Acetic acid (above) and water make up vinegar. They are both chemicals. I was in Ulta yesterday doing freelance work and was engaged in conversation with a woman who told me she only uses "chemical free" skin care, makeup and hair care. She told me how she uses Arbonne -- you know, the "chemical free" line preserved with Phenoxyethanol. Then she proceeded to spray herself with Philosophy Amazing Grace perfume and walk over and buy some Bare Escentuals. I am not insulting BE. I actually use a few of their products and mention them here. For those who believe mineral makeup is chemical free, this is the chemical compostion of Mica, the key ingredient:

XY 23410(OH, F) 2 with X = K, Na, Ba, Ca, Cs, (H 3O), (NH 4); Y = Al, Mg, Fe 2+, Li, Cr, Mn, V, Zn; and Z = Si, Al, Fe 3+, Be, Ti

Those essential oils you are using because you "don't do chemicals" are -- CHEMICALS. I saw someone post on Facebook the other day talking about why you need to buy Young Living Essential Oils. And why is that? It is because they are "essential in any chemical free lifestyle". Did you know that the typical essential oil contains over 100 different chemical compounds?

I do not know if I am becoming more jaded, but I think one of the reasons I have chosen to go much more mainstream is because of the false claims and mass hysteria caused by many in the natural products community. Before I started researching more and more balanced articles and studies that were peer-reviewed and based in science, I admit that I completely fell for many studies and scare tactics.  Maybe it was because I was a new mom, was worried about health issues or lost my dad to cancer that I wanted to find something to blame for it. And that makes ME -- and any other green beauty blogger -- part of the problem, too. That is why I cannot be a "green beauty blogger"anymore and am just a "beauty blogger."

Yes, there are horrible ingredients in the beauty industry. Lead in certain lipsticks, phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, triclosan and hydroquinone are among them. Do you know what is bad, too? Products with mold and staph or those sold to you without lab challenge testing.

I once read an article that the "chemical-free" movement can be compared to Jenny McCarthy and her uninformed, misguided claims about vaccines and autism or Food Babe and her influence without science or a background to substantiate her claims. I used to scoff at that, but no. Science is more credible than fear.

Chemicals aren't the enemy. Harmful chemicals are not a good thing. I know many will not or do not agree.

I am not completely cynical, though.

There ARE brands doing it right.

These are the brands who have never made claims that are simply not true. Ones who do not say "chemical free" and ones who preserve their natural products effectively are the ones I will always love and recommend. You can, indeed, use more natural products if you so choose. Just choose wisely.

Tuesday's Green: Who makes the best eye liner?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Let's talk about natural eye liner today. I cannot tell you how many different eye liners I have tried over the past - gulp - 25 years or so. As I get older, it is trickier to find an eye liner I truly adore.

Here is that I look for in an eye liner:

1. It must have a smooth and soft texture.
2. It must not irritate my eyes.
3. It must not smudge during the day.
4. It must perform well in heat and humidity.
5. It must apply without ease--no tugging.

My favorite eye liner is a natural one without talc, bismuth oxychloride, parabens or fragrance. It is non-nano and cruelty-free.

I am happy to say that my #1 eye liner is a super clean and green one. You will NOT find better ingredients and even the strictest ecobeauty lover will approve. This makes me happy because it performs very well. This is the *only* eye liner I can wear without smudging. Even my "smudgeproof" Cargo Swimmables, which doesn't budge on really anyone, would smudge by the end of the day.

This does not smudge, applies with ease, does not irritate my sensitive eyes and removes well with my eye makeup remover (which is actually Badger Unscented Sensitive Balm).

What is in Au Nature Eye Liner Pencils?

Ingredients: Organic castor oil, mica, wildcrafted euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, organic simmondsia chinsis (jojoba) seed oil, castor wax, iron oxides, kaolinite, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin

Color Selection

I wear Coco almost daily. This is the perfect shade of brown for my eyes. Many browns are drab, but this is rich and is absolutely beautiful. You will find Au Naturale Eye Liner Pencil shades: Coco, Amethyst, Meadow, Deep Sea, and Night (which I also own).


The eye liners are $18 each. This is very competitive among higher end liners.

The Beauty Blogger Rating: A+


I have tried several products from Au Naturale. The company is the creation of Ashley Prange and is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. If I could recommend only ONE ecobeauty brand to you, it would be Au Naturale. I use their lipstick and lip gloss and adore their creme concealer. Find Au Naturale at

Please pardon the dust!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hello beauties!

If you read my last post, you will see that Chic & Green is in transition and is, after nearly 8 years, becoming The Beauty Blogger. The blog is getting a complete girly makeover and design. This should be completed by Tuesday.

What is coming?  NEW regular features!

Monday will be Beauty on a Budget built around a theme or ingredient.

NO, I am not saying goodbye to GREEN BEAUTY -- it will just not be the main focus. Look for Tuesday's Green each and every Tuesday with posts dedicated to green or organic beauty.

Look for What's in it Wednesday every Wednesday. It will focus on the nitty gritty of products, as in the past.

Thursdays will be all about skin care, while Fridays will be devoted to makeup.

Saturdays and Sundays will not have a set theme, but will most likely be random :)

Thank you so much for your support over the past 8 years! I am really excited to begin the next chapter in C & G's life.

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