Product Reviews

Sephora is on the scene!
I am thrilled to be off the waiting list for Sephora Play subscription box!  It's been a long time coming.  Maybe I was a little overly excited that this month's Sephora box was considered to me okay.  The concept of all natural products was appealing to me. Could it be that I was spoiled by the other boxes that I just wasn't as impressed as I expected?    Well, you be the judge.   When unboxing, I noticed that the box consisted of actual sample sized products.  The other subscription services do have sample sized items, however you will receive quite a few full-sized or close to full sized products. 

Anyhow, I was eager to get my hands on what others deemed to be the Best lipstick in the world!  Again, maybe I was just expecting too much.  I cannot honestly say that this is the best lipstick ever.  I could be biased because of the bright fuchsia color, but it was like any other lipstick.  To be honest, it was sort of on the dry side. The first application, I had to apply in a swiping manner for it to look okay, it was chalky looking on my lips. The next application, the weather was warmer and so was my room.  The lipstick slightly melted.  Hence the picture of the lipstick looking lopsided.  It toppled over after application.
Next, I saw the minuscule lip liner. Teeny, tiny! I didn't know liners could be that small.  Once again, in comparison to other subscription boxes, this was small. Look at the difference in the picture.  The other lip liner was from Allure. 

There was a sample of Wild Rose brightener cream.  This cream has vitamin C and suppose  to moisturize the skin for 24 hours. After applying it to my face, my skin did feel smoother and smelled like roses, blended lotion.  Personally, I don't like "Rosy" type aromas in products.  However, I love this scent! As you know, I would have to use the product overtime to test its claims.  However, a full-sized bottle at Sephora is $38.

I wish I could say the same for the sample sized fragrance of Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne.  The cologne is a heavy blend of bitter oranges and geraniums.  Not what I typically think of wearing in the summer months.  Summer is for lighter, refreshing citrus scents. This cologne should be worn in winter.  At Sephora, a full-sized bottle is $120 for a 3.3oz bottle.  Yikes!

Don't Despair Repair by Briogeo is the other product included in the May box.  I did apply to my hair and put a plastic cap on top of my head to allow the product to deep condition.  It does have my seal of approval.  After 30-45 minutes, I rinsed and my hair was visibly moisturized and softer than usual.  This is my fav in the box so far. I have thick, coarse curly-kinky hair and this worked fine on my hair.  I like to use only natural products on my hair.  This is one of the products I will consider purchasing in the future.  
I am ending this review with the last sample that I have not tried yet.  But, I am super excited because this company has been around for years.  A few of my favorite Youtubers have raved about Origins. Now this has 3 small packets attached to each other.   The first is Maskimizer for prepping the skin before applying the Clear improvement Active Charcoal mask. I have
heard positive comments about Active Charcoal mask from men and women.  I can't wait to try.  The last package is called "Drink Up" Intensive, an overnight mask to quench skin's thirst.  So I will be trying soon.  

Overall, I was expecting larger sized products, and neutral or colors that everyone can wear.  However, I do note that this is Natural products subscription box.  So hopefully, we will receive the regular beauty products next month. Please compare the products from the other subscriptions services to this box and comment below, which one was best or just feedback on what I wrote is fine too!  Thanks!
Alluring Products!

April Box lived to my expectations....Great!  Allure amazes me with the quality of name brand products included with each box.  Even one of  my favorite brand of perfume Bvlgari.  Love it!  Got two new perfumes in two months.  It's like Allure knows me and what products that define me.  Please take a moment and look at this months goodies.  I have tried most of the products in the box and I am definitely pleased.  

Got my beauty box from Allure and I am excited!

Oh the wonderful products that are included in this beauty box of Allure. There are many name brand items that quite honestly I love. Each month Allure includes top notch products that are easily a great addition to anyone's beauty collection.  The March beauty box from Allure included
  • DP Hue ACV-A vinegar based rinse for hair
  • Macadamia Professional Ultra Rich Moisture -Cleansing Conditioner
  • Julep Konjac Cleansing Face Sponge-Natural exfoliating sponge
  • Make Up For Ever HD Micorfinish Powder-Translucent loose finishing powder
  • Nunzio Saviano Anti Frizz Sheets- Oil infused hair smoothing sheets
  • Cargo Blush in Catalina/Cargo Bronzer in Medium (both in one split tin can)
  • LOREAL Pro-Last Lipcolor- Infallible 24-color intensify
Seven name brand products for $15.  Great deal. 

As you know, I like to test the products more than once or twice before I review them.  I am a lipstick/lipgloss kind of gal, so let me just say that I am a bit judgemental on my choices.  Naturally, I saw the LOREAL Pro-Last and screamed to the hills!  I thought to myself, what a cool idea.  One side has conditioner, the other side the matte lipcolor.  My lips tend to be on the dry side anyway, but it appeared to be drier after using this lipcolor.  I applied with the conditioner first, then applied the lipcolor.  My lips were still dry and the color seemed to cake into my lip lines.  However, I did like the color.  Great everyday matte color and it lasts a long time.  I think I will wear a lip moisturizer before applying the lipcolor and I should be fine.  I will be reviewing another product soon.


SK-II Facial Treatment Mask & Facial Treatment Essence

I don't know what SK-II stands for, but let me guess, Skin 2 the max!

Remember the days there were masks in tubes that you squeeze and a clay like product would ooze out into your hands.  You'd slather it on your face and wait for it to dry.  As it dries, you began to feel your face tightening.  Then your face feels like brick mortar was crumbling off your face.  You rinse if off  only to find dried out skin.  GONE, are those days!  Fast forward to 2016.  SK-II masks are the business.  I am so impressed with the quality of this product.  I was not expecting it to appear moisturizing and soaked in solution.  The packaging for the masks is in a foil like pack.  Once I cut it open, I noticed there was a lot of liquid solution and a white cotton mask. I carefully unfolded the mask and matched it to my facial features perfectly.  I felt the moisturizing solution sink into my skin like needed water.  It felt cool on the skin.  The scent is like aloe vera.    I had to lay down to let my skin absorb all of its vitamins and amino acids. This is the secret right here, Pitera (it is said to speed up cell renewal)  I believe it too. I can't put into words, but something was definitely going on.  After a few minutes, I patted my face a few times to partially remove the excess moisturizing solution.  It definitely made my skin feel refreshed and moisturized.  My skin had the dewy glow. You know after a professional facial kind of feeling.  But, you know that a facial costs range from $40 + for one facial.  SK-II is on $17 for one mask, $95 for 6 masks and $135 for 10 masks.  l save a lot of time if you have a special place to attend.  It is not like any mask I have ever tried.  This is an upscale, mask.    Try it for yourself . Visit    While you are visiting the website, you might want to add to your cart the Sk-II facial Treatment Essence.  Similar to water in texture and smells light airy scent, but don't get it twisted, it packs a powerful, hydrating blast of moisture to your skin.  It smoothes lines and moisturizes your face like crazy.  Why?  It is made from the same ingredient as the mask... Pitera, which is a yeast ferment that is said to speed up skin-cell turnover.  Knowing how effective the mask is you have to include this in your routine too.    It is a step between cleansing and moisturizing.  Does it work. Yes.  I didn't think it would have as much of an effect as it did, but it sure made me a believer.  Tell me about your experience after you buy it and try it for yourself.. I feel honored to try such wonderfully working products from Allure to review. Thank you.



Okay...I know what you are thinking.  The after pic doesn't look as straight as you may have envisioned.  But, let me explain. Firstly, my hair is natural, dry, coarse and curly.  I don't apply much heat on my hair, however, when I do, it is on a low heat setting, or cool setting.  Now, my after pic could have been straighter had a high heat setting.  My hair straightened within a few minutes and this was the outcome with the Bumble and Bumble blow dry cream.  If you blow dry your hair frequently, or you want it bone straight, I am sure you can get those results,  if you use the Bb All-style blow dry cream.  I read that it protects hair from heat damage.  However, I wanted to be positively sure.  I don't want my hair to break.  "Ain't nobody got time for that". There is a moisturizing Bb all-style blow dry cream available.  I think my hair would benefit from the moisturizing blow dry cream.  My hair was beyond dry in the pics.  I wanted you to see how effective the Bb cream without any other products.  This product would work best with fine, oily hair.  Which is not my hair type.  But the moisturizing cream is another story,  I am willing to write.

When I give a product review, I like to try the product for a few weeks.  In my opinion, the effectiveness of the product will prevail.  I received three products from Allure. 

The first product that I tested was the Cargo eyeshadow in the color flint.  Let me just say for the record that I love the "metallic" colors.  If you are like me, you will love Cargo.  Personally, I heard of Cargo, but didn't have the pleasure of trying it until now.  So I did a little research on the product line.  I discovered that Cargo has been in business since 1996 as a professional makeup line! You can purchase lip gloss, lipstick, eyeliners, eyeshadows, blushes, foundations and much more. What's so funny is my unfamiliarity of the company.  Then all of a sudden, there is a rush everywhere about people talking about their products.  Just the other day, I was watching a you tuber that was discussing makeup brush subscription.  While watching the video, I thought, what a beautiful lip and eyeshadow colors she is wearing.  I never done this before.  However, I contacted her to ask her about the lip color. She answered me shortly and stated it was Cargo in the color Dubai.  I was like, "You are not wearing any lip gloss or anything else?  She said just a lip liner but nothing else.  That color is gorgeous!  Here is the video   

You should visit their website to browse or purchase any one of their high quality makeup.  

Ok, back to the review.  Cargo has won various awards for having innovative packaging for their products and I see why.  The square packaging has an artistic flair of a landscape drawing that takes your breath away.  As I open the package, out pops this reusable tin can with a C engraved along with the name Cargo.  How economical, yet impressive.  I twisted the cap and behold a basic looking gray eyeshadow.  Not at all appealing.  BUTTTT...Don't be fooled by its color and dull "powder dusty"appearance in the tin can.  As you can see from the picture on the right, it has that sheen and metallic shine I absolutely favor.  In addition to the texture and sheen, it blends well with most colors on the spectrum.  I must say that I am excited that I had this opportunity to try this product and I encourage you to get your hands on it asap for a WOW factor on Valentines Day. 

Cargo eyeshadow in Flint
Here is a swatch of the Cargo Eyeshadow.

Review of the next two products will be coming soon. 


This is proof that what I post is true.  Yes, I did give a product review for Josie Maran beauty products.  Yes, I did give my stamp of approval for nearly all products received.  But, I am not the only one who is posting great things about on of her products.  I read a beauty blurb about the best cream blushes.   Influenster listed the Infinity Cream by Josie Maran. as number four.  I was confused as to why it was listed as a blush. Until I read:
"Josie Maran's innovative 99%-natural creamy formula has a seemingly infinite number of uses -- hydrating skin, conditioning the lips, and illuminating your complexion, of course."
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil 2.2 oz

anna k.
Dec. 9, 2013, 3:17 p.m.
anna k.
Dec. 9, 2013, 3:17 p.m.
Spreads so easily and absorbs right into your skin for maximum moisturization. It has a nice, light citrus smell that I am absolutely in love with. It leaves a nice dewy finish that gives your skin an amazing, radiant shine without a greasy look! Love this stuff, definitely buying more when i finish the tube.

As mentioned before this post, Josie Maran is a great brand and their products are natural and I am excited about their quality.

If you are like me, you love beauty products.  Especially, when you can purchase various products within one bag.  I appreciate companies that allow "beauty bags" that includes a display of most beauty products being sold to get an overall picture of what the company has to offer.

This product review is showcasing Josie Maran beauty products.  Each of these products left a lasting impression.  The products are amazing!  Natural and Eco-Friendly are the two words that easily grab the attention of Naturalists everywhere.  I know you might think that because of these two factors that the products won't be as good quality as the competitors.  Definitely not the case with Josie Maran products.  I have tried the foundation (not included in picture or bag) before and I have bad acne.  Honestly, the foundation covered most of my scars after one application immediately! Oh...there is skin IMPROVED dramatically after using the product for weeks.  My skin felt softer, looked clearer and younger.  Now, how all of that can be done with foundation>  I don't know.  But, this is what intrigued me to buy other products by Josie Maran.

Back to the bag of goodies.  I was in search of a new lipstick/lip gloss (not included in bag, picture in the center of picture) and I found one that caught my eye on her website.  I call it the double edged sword!  Lol!  I am not a matte lipstick kind of person, however, one end of the tube is   matte and the other side is lip gloss.  Needless to say, I tried the gloss first.  The gloss was the perfect consistency.  It glides on with ease to behold a sexy, shine with a whisper of color.  At that moment of bliss, I hesitantly wiped off the lip gloss and proceeded to give the matte a whirl.  Do you know I actually like it?  Now, people this is a major milestone taking place.  Typically, matte lipstick was not my favorite at all.  Until a wonderful thing happened.  The matte was not dry, but moist.  Also, it had a dab of sheen and hint of color to it.  I am a fan for sure. 

Question:  Have you ever heard of a cream that turns into an oil when applied? 
There is such a product.  This miracle in a tube is called the Infinity Cream (In the middle, tube next to the black container).It has the benefits of Argan oil in a travel-sized tube. It has many uses like for hydration and prevents inflammation, conditions lips, etc. non-stop benefits in one little tube.

On to the next one, the Argan hair serum (The blue labeled product, left side).  The day I received these products, I washed my hair.  I am an African American female with long, thick, curly hair.  I try to use natural products in my hair, to prevent my hair being stripped.  I thought, since this is natural, let me try it.  Being the skeptic that I am, I just didn't believe it would help my hair than it was to date.  So let's give it a go!  I am ecstatic that I tried it!  Can you believe after I applied the Argan Oil Hair Serum, my hair felt so soft, just like baby hair. I am not kidding.  It is just that good! 

Another favorite is the nail polish remover pads (left side in the pink round container). You don't have to worry about opening all the windows to remove your polish anymore!  Yay!  This nail polish remover had a great scent.  That alone is a reason to purchase it.  But, here is another, moisture.  After applying one pad to remove the polish on my nails, I noticed that the nail bed was oiled. My nails polish was removed with oil.  How cool is that benefit.  Skip the middle man or woman! I don't have to apply oil to moisturize my nails with my natural oils anymore! 

This is the first time I tried the Argan Oil (front, right side bottle with dropper) ever.  I didn't have a basis to compare the  quality.  But, I must say that it is a light, clear yet, potent oil.  It packs a punch.

The face wipes (Packaging with the bears on the back left side) were pleasant smelling and thick.  The scent was not overbearing either. 

Josie you done it again.  You created a whipped body butter (black container, center)  that is ever so creamy, lightly scented (smells like butter) that glides on the skin.  It seems to melt in the skin, leaving a sexy sheen. 

My final product is the hand cream.  the packaging is cooler than cool.  The hand cream is not as thick as the body butter, and not as oily as the infinity cream.  It is just right in the middle.  The scent smells like a combination of vanilla, lemon and musk.

Overall, I encourage anyone who is reading this review to purchase Josie Maran Products.  She cares for the people who purchase her products.  She obviously is aware of harmful chemicals that some products use, but decided to protect the health of consumers.  We applaud you Josie Maran.



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