Posts filed under Product Review

8 Foundations for Dark Skin

The right foundation is like a bit of magic.  Just a little can give you a fresh face glow and a couple of more layers can give you the base for the most glamourous look.  While I no longer have an issue finding my foundation shade, I realized that other woman with dark skin are still searching to find their correct, shade, formula and finish.  In this post I will highlight my favorite  foundations (those I currently use) in the shades I use in hopes that it will help you to find something that works for your beautiful brown skin.  

Cover FX Cream Foundation

Wearing Cover FX Cream Foundation in N100 (This picture is from 2012 -- my skin was !!!!)

Wearing Cover FX Cream Foundation in N100 (This picture is from 2012 -- my skin was !!!!)

Any foundation conversation I have, starts with Cover FX. I first met the brand at The Make Up Show New York where I bought my first cream foundation kit -- it was love at first swatch.  I Love the cream foundation because I can sheer it out and set it with their translucent powder for  light finish or build it up for more complete coverage.   Cover FX products are formulated based on undertones -- Pink (P), Neutral (N),  and Golden (G). I wear N100 in the cream foundation. $42

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick


Nothing beats a foundation stick.  I can literally draw four stripes (across my forehead, cheeks and chin) and use my flat top Kabuki brush to blend it in and have my base done in under a minute! Throw on a dab of concealer, a little blush and some mascara, quickly fill in my brows and my face is done in five-seven minutes. I wear shade 6.75 Almond and there are four other darker shades. I'm impressed.  Are you impressed?  You should be. This formula uses a transparent base and skin tone correcting pigments.  It is so smooth and light weight that you can hardly tell there is makeup on your face. $44

Black Up Cosmetics Full Coverage Cream Foundation

Wearing Black Up Full Coverage Cream Foundation in HC 08 and HC 09

Wearing Black Up Full Coverage Cream Foundation in HC 08 and HC 09

This is another brand I discovered at the Makeup Show New York.  As you might have guessed by now, I'm a cream or liquid foundation kind of gal. While I do occasional use powder, creams and liquids are it for me.  The Black Up  Full Coverage Liquid Foundation has kind of a neutralizing effect on my skin...out of the tube it looks like it will be kind of orange but once I blend it in, it's perfection.  It is light weight and wears beautifully.  It is formulated without oils and fragrance. I'm shade HC 08 and HC 09. The range goes up to  HC 15.  $42

ELF Cosmetics Moisturizing Foundation Stick

I love a good bargain and nothing beats being able to get your face beat on for pennies on the dollar.  This ELF foundation cost $6 but It is only available in 8 shades, i wear Coffee, the 7th darkest shade.  This foundation is "enriched with antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients Shea, Vitamin E, Cocoa, Grape, Avocado, Macadamia, and Aloe to nourish and hydrate the skin." $6

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H

Wearing Lancome Teint Idol 24 hr in Suede 520 W

Wearing Lancome Teint Idol 24 hr in Suede 520 W

This  is a long time favorite that i haven't used in a while (the life of a blogger.)  The Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation is said to provide 24 hours of wear (I have never worn it that long.) While I haven't put it to the true test, it wears beautifully whenever I wear it and when worn with a primer, it stays somewhat matte on my oily skin for about 4 hours. The formula is lightweight and coverage can be sheer to full, depending on application. It is available in 28 shades.  I wear shade Suede 520 W. $45.50

Diorskin Star Teint Studio

This is a new acquisition. The foundation is said to be "inspired by the professional illuminating techniques and expertise of Dior makeup artists." It is a super lightweight brightening foundation the cover beautifully and wears well. The Diorskin Star Teint Studio is available in 14 shades. I'm shade 070 - Dark Brown; there is one shade darker. $50

Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme

Wearing Becca Ultimate Complexion Cream in Sienna and Tobacco.

Wearing Becca Ultimate Complexion Cream in Sienna and Tobacco.

The  Becca Ultimate Coverage complexion Creme is one of the most pigmented foundations I have ever used. If my face is clear (i.e. pimple free,) a pea size amount or smaller can get me full's actually a little insane how well it covers. Acoording to Becca, the foundation is clinically proven to provide 24 hours of wear, but like the Lancome foundation with similar claims, I have never worn it for 24 hours.  Becca Complexion Cream  is available in 20 shades.  I wear shades Tobacco and Sienna.  $44 [You may see my full review here.]

Ruby Kisses 3D Face Creator

This foundation is seriously underrated.  The shade range is extensive and the coverage, wear and finish are exceptional.  This is the kind of product I would drop serious coins on but it retails for a mere $6.99. This was one of the first split pan foundations I used and it's still a favorite.  It was out long before the highlight and contouring game went mainstream. Ruby Kisses 3D Face Creator is available in 16 split pan combinations for a total of 32 shades. My exact match is level 15 but I also have levels 14 and 16 that I use to highlight and contour. $6.99

What's Your Favorite Foundation?



Posted on June 22, 2015 and filed under Product Review, How-to.

Best of Beauty 2014

If I had to define 2014 by beauty or cosmetic product I would have to say it was the year of the lipstick. In 2014 I resolved to wear more lipstick and that I did. While reaching for multiple lipsticks was a conscious thing, the other products on my Best of Beauty of 2014 list came to be including based only on their performance and my subsequent love of them. To write this post I checked my list of empties, repurchases and products that showed serious signs of use. Here is my list of Best of Beauty Picks for 2014.



Posted on January 12, 2015 and filed under Hair Care, Product Preview, Product Review.

3 Shampoos I Love for My 4C Natural Hair

Prior to growing out my relaxer I never really gave much thought to shampoos.  Fast forward to present day and I'm borderline obsessed with finding the best shampoo for my 4C natural hair. If I get the shampoo step wrong my whole wash day can be ruined.  Dramatic, I know but it feels like the truth. If the shampoo is too drying or irritating I have to figure out the best conditioner and treatments to rehydrate my hair. Not only that, I also have to figure out how  to stop my scalp from getting excessively dry and flaky. More often than not, the only thing that stops the itching is another wash (Who has time for that? Not me!) The struggle to find the right shampoo is very real so when I do, I stick with them and then I most definitely have to share. I'm  currently loving these 3 shampoos for my 4C natural hair: 

Dark and Lovely Tension Release Shampoo

When I think about my kinky, coily hair I definitely get why  'tension release' is a part of this shampoo's name.  If my hair were less "tense" I would have an easier time dealing with it...or so I think. The Dark and Lovely Tension Release Shampoo is formulated to thoroughly cleanse  without drying out hair or scalp. It uses an anti breakage recipe that helps to "reinforce hair fiber for strong, flourishing, healthy-looking hair that can grow to its full potential."  There is no shortage of foam when using and I only have to shampoo once.  $9.99

Nude by Center Stage Cuts Hydrating Shampoo

I came across this brand through my COCOTIQUE Beauty Box and fell in love with several of their products after visiting their Newark, New Jersey salon.  The Nude by center Stage Cuts Hydrating Shampoo is a low foam botanical rich formula that cleans hair and scalp leaving both super soft and hydrated.  I do a double shampoo with this but I don't mind because the scent is amazing. (Use COCONUDE for 20% off. Expires November 29, 2014)

Leonor Greyl Shampooing Reviviscence

I am yet to use a Leonor Greyl product I don't like. Shampooing Reviviscence is a deeply reparative shampoo that works wonders on my hair and scalp. It is specifically made  for dehydrated, colored, damaged and brittle hair.  It contains hydrolyzed silk and quinoa, lactic acid, glycerin and several botanicals to help moisturized and repair damaged hair to restore shine and manageability. It lathers well and only requires a single shampoo to get hair and scalp clean. $67





Posted on November 13, 2014 and filed under Hair Care, Natural hair, Product Review.

The Best Leave in Conditioner for Natural 4b and 4c Hair

One of the biggest struggles for me with my natural hair is detangling. It is a process I dread when I'm prepared (i.e. using and army of products) and a process I absolutely loathe if I have to do it on the fly.  Since cutting my hair (for the second time) almost two years I have used one leave in conditioner consistently, a carry over from my relaxed days. I cocktail it with other products until I got the desired result...In short, it worked but wasn't ideal.

A few months ago beauty guru and digital diva behind Melton Digital, Nicole Melton, Instagrammed  Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in-Conditioner as one of the best Leave in conditioners for natural hair.  I bought it the next day.

The first time I used Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in-Conditioner  I got mad. Really mad. I was all, "why am I just learning about this product?  Why didn't someone tell me before now? Don't they know my struggle?" 

The product worked so great that it was a bit scary. I couldn't see all the ingredients because Sally Beauty stuck the security tag over ingredient lists. (Do better Sally Beauty, some of us like to read.)  Following my detangling and blowout in record time I took to the web to find the ingredients to see what kind of magic was in the bottle. I learned that it is "enriched with Aloe Vera, Coconut, Olive, Soy, Argan Oil, Shea and Mango Butter" but contains silicones, glycerine and propylene glycol. (See complete ingredient list below.) Honestly, none of that mattered because using only one product, my hair was soft, silky and manageable for the first time since I cut it. So, even if it contained essence of Lucifer, I would still use it. It is that good.

Bottom line, if you have natural 4b and/or 4c hair, run, don't walk, to get Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in-Conditioner. It will save you time, money and if it works for you like it's been working for me, you might even get a little mad thinking about how much better your hair care routine would have been had you found it sooner.

Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in-Conditioner retails for $6.99 or less and is available at Sally Beauty,, Walmart, Walgreens and other retailers.

Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in-Conditioner Ingredients

Aqua, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olive Oil, Argania Spinosa Nut Oil/Argan Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit/Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/Mango Butter, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract/Aloe Vera, Dimethicone, Panax Ginseng Root Extract/ Ginseng Extract, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Glycerin, DMDM Hydantoin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Phenyl Trimethicone, CI 15985/Yellow 6, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, d-Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Lyral, Methyl Ionone Gamma.