Pampered Joy – Update

529403_560659263965296_23743744_nA few weeks ago, I posted the following review of Pampered Joy skincare. Since then, owner Felicia Thomas has opened a shop on Etsy! Please check out her site and look for an upcoming sale in order to make way for her Fall collection. 

Felicia Thomas is a Brooklyn, New York-based makeup artist with a passion for beauty. Her company, Pampered Joy, specializes in “naturally handmade body products to rejuvenate and replenish your skin.”

Her products include handmade whipped body and hair butters, foot and body sugar srubs, body massage oils and bath salts in a variety of exotic scents, such as Lavender with Lemongrass, Fresh Mango, Peppermint with Eucalyptus, Coconut Litsea and Vanilla with Sandalwood and Frankincense. Pictured below are her whipped body butter and sugar scrub.

Whipped Body Butter, Body Sugar Scrub

Whipped Body Butter, Body Sugar Scrub

I finally got to purchase two of her products, the Whipped Shea Butter and Body Sugar Scrub, both in Coconut Lavender. I have used whipped shea butter in the past, but never of this kind of consistency. Imagine a product just slightly denser than whipped cream, and a tad lighter than fluffy cake frosting. This body butter is MAGIC! The scent is just strong enough without being overpowering, and the consistency is to die for! I use it SPARINGLY – as if it were a pot of gold that I want to keep forever. By the way, her prices are very reasonable; each jar was only $10. The essential oils added to the butter leave a nice sheen that melts onto your skin, leaving a dewy, not greasy glow. And the scent…my my my!!!

I usually use sugar scrubs sparingly, but this one is SO natural, I think it’s just sugar and essential oil! It’s gentle enough to use daily. It does a wonderful job exfoliating the skin, using natural abrasion and leaving your skin feeling smooth and not stripped. Again, the essential oils provide the luscious scent as well as lock in moisture.

As in past product reviews, there is usually something that stands out OTHER than the products themselves. Pampered Joy is often found participating in community programs. Below is a photo of Pampered Joy products on display at a local church event. She recently joined forces with a Brooklyn elementary school teacher who sponsored a day of pampering and trip to the American Girl store in New York City for 27 young girls. (Read about the event here)

PamperedJoyDisplayI wish Felicia much success in her venture. Pampered Joy will continue to grow and thrive as it continues to provide natural products made not just by hand, but with love!

(31WriteNow Challenge Day 25)

No More Makeup Masks!

Cosmetics

Cosmetics (Photo credit: My Sight, as You See.)

A couple of years ago, I published a post entitled, “Makeup or Mask?” I described a mini makeup party my business partner and I hosted, where we encouraged the aspiring makeup-wearers to never feel they need to cover their natural beauty. I love working with women who don’t usually wear makeup – there’s a real rush I get from teaching women to put on makeup and then see the look of surprise on their faces when they see how natural it looks! Come on, no one wants to look like a clown.

Once you learn the basic techniques, there are some other basics that are nicely outlined in an article I discovered from The Beauty Department, “To See or Not To See.” This article gives two major lists – makeup that should not be detected easily (foundation, concealer, bronzer, illuminator, eye/lip liner, blush and mascara).  and makeup that should be bold and statement-making (lipstick, bright shadow and bold liner). Read and apply these tips liberally! Wear your makeup, not a mask!

WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes

– Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Quick Beauty Tips: Applying Liquid/Cream Foundation

Makeup_wedgesI was watching a makeup application video and cringed a little when I saw a young lady use a foam sponge to apply her cream foundation. I stopped using foam sponges a few years ago, mainly because I started using brushes for everything. But recently, I learned that you actually waste product when you use those cute little white wedges. The foam soaks up liquid and cream foundations (after all, they are ‘sponges’!) So much of what you pick up on the sponge will stay on the sponge, and less will end up on your face. What the wedges are better for is correcting makeup mistakes – think about it, if they soak up all your makeup, wouldn’t it make sense to use it to clean up edges and make corrections? To apply foundation evenly, you should use a synthetic brush, similar to one pictured below.

Synthetic Foundation Brush from Motives for LaLa Cosmetics

Synthetic Foundation Brush from Motives for LaLa Cosmetics

Afrobella’s Beauty Picks

Beauty Products

Photo credit: VancityAllie

The other day, a young lady from Facebook mentioned she was looking for a new lipstick shade and asked for suggestions. I immediately pointed her to my March 27, 2013 blog post, “Afrobella’s Essential Lipstick Collections For Women of Color.” Here I provided links to two awesome posts by Patrice Grell Yursik, a.k.a. Afrobella, where she listed both MAC and drugstore lipstick choices for women of color. In fact, I still plan to print the list and take it with me to my local MAC counter.

Well, my beauty guru of gurus has done it again, publishing “Afrobella’s Obsessions. Hair, Beauty, and Bath Edition – Summer 2013.” Check out her new monthly column where she’ll be giving her recommendations for hair, makeup, skincare and other beauty products. Head over to Afrobella’s site and get your summer beauty advice.

(#31WriteNow Challenge, Day 3)

This and That This Week: Pampered Joy

529403_560659263965296_23743744_nFelicia Thomas is a Brooklyn, New York-based makeup artist with a passion for beauty. Her company, Pampered Joy, http://pamperedjoy.tumblr.com, specializes in “naturally handmade body products to rejuvenate and replenish your skin.”

Her products include handmade whipped body and hair butters, foot and body sugar srubs, body massage oils and bath salts in a variety of exotic scents, such as Lavender with Lemongrass, Fresh Mango, Peppermint with Eucalyptus, Coconut Litsea and Vanilla with Sandalwood and Frankincense. Pictured below are her whipped body butter and sugar scrub.

Whipped Body Butter, Body Sugar Scrub

Whipped Body Butter, Body Sugar Scrub

I finally got to purchase two of her products, the Whipped Shea Butter and Body Sugar Scrub, both in Coconut Lavender. I have used whipped shea butter in the past, but never of this kind of consistency. Imagine a product just slightly denser than whipped cream, and a tad lighter than fluffy cake frosting. This body butter is MAGIC! The scent is just strong enough without being overpowering, and the consistency is to die for! I use it SPARINGLY – as if it were a pot of gold that I want to keep forever. By the way, her prices are very reasonable; each jar was only $10. The essential oils added to the butter leave a nice sheen that melts onto your skin, leaving a dewy, not greasy glow. And the scent…my my my!!!

I usually use sugar scrubs sparingly, but this one is SO natural, I think it’s just sugar and essential oil! It’s gentle enough to use daily. It does a wonderful job exfoliating the skin, using natural abrasion and leaving your skin feeling smooth and not stripped. Again, the essential oils provide the luscious scent as well as lock in moisture.

As in past product reviews, there is usually something that stands out OTHER than the products themselves. Pampered Joy is often found participating in community programs. Below is a photo of Pampered Joy products on display at a local church event. She recently joined forces with a Brooklyn elementary school teacher who sponsored a day of pampering and trip to the American Girl store in New York City for 27 young girls. (Read about the event here)

PamperedJoyDisplayI wish Felicia much success in her venture. Pampered Joy will continue to grow and thrive as it continues to provide natural products made not just by hand, but with love!

Quick Beauty Tips: Easy Every Day Smoky Eye

L'Oreal HIP Color Truth Creme Liner in BrownThis is a great work-friendly, daytime smoky eye from Simonne Devon. Last year, I created my own “lazy” neutral look for days when I didn’t feel like choosing colors, blending, etc. I simply used concealer, foundation and/or bronzer, eyeliner and mascara. On my lids, I used L’Oreal HIP Color Truth Eyeliner in Brown, which is very close to my complexion.

When I watched Simonne’s tutorial, I decided to incorporate her look into mine, by using the creme liner as a base, and then adding the same lid colors she used. Needless to say, I wore this look to work three times this week! Enjoy Simonne’s video below, and let me know if you decide to try the look!

Quick Beauty Tips: Warm Weather Makeup

Spring time

Spring time (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

Spring has been with us for a few weeks, but many of us have not seen too many signs of the warm weather just yet. Here in New York City, next week’s weather forecast includes temperatures in the upper 60’s and 70’s, so this is a great week to practice some quick warm weather makeup tips! During the spring/summer, it’s harder to get up and out in the morning, so I’ve also included a few shortcuts to quicken your morning makeup routine.

Aveeno Positively Ageless Moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Ageless Moisturizer (www.aveeno.com)

Moisturizer – Just because the weather is warm, and skin tends to appear more “dewy,” that does not mean your skin can go without moisturizer. Even though your skin doesn’t feel dry, sunnier days can lead to dry skin – perspiration leaves salts on the skin that can have a drying effect. So don’t leave home without moisturizer, preferably one with SPF.  (Don’t forget to properly layer your products – read my quick beauty tip here)

Foundation – Many of us don’t want to be weighed down by foundation in the spring and summer. Don’t worry, you can still achieve even skin tone without using a lot of product. My advice – don’t spend money on tinted moisturizer when you can easily make your own! Take your favorite liquid or cream foundation and on the back of your hand, mix one part moisturizer to one part foundation (change the ratio to achieve your desired coverage). Apply to your face as usual for a light-coverage treat!

Milani Baked Bronzer (www.milanicosmetics.com)

Milani Baked Bronzer (www.milanicosmetics.com)

Bronzer –  There is no rule that says you have to use foundation, so go ahead and skip it. Use your favorite bronzer instead! This will give your skin a sun-kissed glow. For many years, I was afraid of bronzer because the only application tip I ever read was, “Brush bronzer on the places where the sun hits your face.” Whaaa? Well, it never hurts to ask questions, so thanks to the lovely young woman at the Estée Lauder counter, I learned the quick way to apply bronzer. Starting at your temple, create a ‘three’ by sweeping the brush in a semi-circle down toward your cheekbone, then complete the bottom of the three by sweeping the brush down along your jawline. For an added highlight, quickly sweep bronzer on the apple of your cheeks, the tip of your nose, the ball of your chin and on your forehead, right between your eyebrows.

lipglass and new kuromi make up case for purse

(Photo credit: Knitty Cent)

Lipwear – In a previous column, I encouraged you to revitalize your lipsticks by pairing them with a different lip liner. Or, skip the lipstick altogether and just use your favorite lip gloss for a quick color application to your lips, with our without lip liner.

Do you change your makeup routine when the weather gets warm?