3 Reasons Why You Need to Add Micellar Water to Your Skincare Routine

If you’re unfamiliar with micellar water, you’re not alone. I’ve found that outside of my fellow beauty editors and bloggers, not many women are familiar with the French toiletry staple.

I remember trying it a few years ago, but it didn’t make its way into my skincare routine—until now. This time I picked up a different brand, Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser. The look and feel of the bottle just screamed purity. I don’t know about you, but there’s something incredibly satisfying and promising about a product that’s completely clear and has the word “water” in its name—I was sold.

After using it daily for a couple of weeks, I noticed that my skin looked clearer, not as oily and was virtually blemish free. I’m now convinced that this “miracle” water is responsible for my newfound fresh-faced look.

garnier-micellar-water

Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser available here, $6.99.

Here are three reasons why you need to make space for this product on your bathroom shelf or toiletry bag.

  1. Easily removes makeup in a single swipe. I’m a huge fan of makeup removing wipes, but most dry out my skin or irritate my eyes. Simply squirt a little micellar water on a cotton pad or ball and viola, stubborn mascara and makeup dissolves and disappears effortlessly.
  2. Works well for oily skin. Since I have super oily skin and am prone to breakouts, I’m always worried that certain formulas will clog my pores. This gentle cleanser purifies my pores and provides a bit of moisture without making it greasy.
  3. Cleanses without overly drying. Even though I have oily skin, sometimes cleansers can strip my skin of its natural oils leaving it tight, which irritates my skin leading to breakouts.

BONUS: It also serves as an awesome makeup brush cleanser!

If you’re looking for a simple cleanser that can remove makeup (even waterproof), won’t clog pores and cleanse without irritation, give micellar water a try!

Have you ever used micellar water? If so, what’s been your experience?

IT Cosmetics’ New Serum Foundation Puts Your Best Face Forward

When it comes to foundation, I’m not the biggest fan. Sure, I have my fair share of blemishes that need to be masked, but concealer has always been my coverage of choice.

That all changed when IT Cosmetics launched its new Confidence in a Compact last month. See, I’ve been obsessed with the brand’s Confidence in a Jar moisturizer for a while now. So, when I heard that they were formulating a foundation that was infused with the moisturizing serum, I had to give it a try.

I’m always stressing the importance of packaging and the vital role it plays in winning me over. Well, IT Cosmetics always delivers in that department. The chic, luxe compact is impeccably designed in a shiny silver case that conveniently holds the makeup sponge on top of the foundation. Plus, unlike most foundations, you don’t have to worry about messy drips or spills because of its sold-to-serum formula.

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Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ available here, $38 (sold separately).

The scent was the second thing I noticed, it had that same fresh lemony fragrance that I loved from the moisturizer. One of the reasons why I never got into foundations was because of the heavy, cake-y, overly made up look it typically creates, but this one goes on so translucently that it’s like a second skin. The virtually weightless, anti-aging formula can be applied with the accompanying sponge or brush for full coverage. Since I’m still not big on full-face makeup, I do like to blend it with my concealer using my fingertips.

Oh and it keeps skin hydrated without making it greasy or overly shiny (I have super oily skin so I swear by mattifying primers). Available in seven complementary shades, there are four that cater specifically to melanin-rich skin.

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If you’re looking for a convenient foundation to even out your skin tone, definitely get with it – get it? “It” as in IT Cosmetics!

Do you wear foundation on a daily basis or simply for special occasions?

The Mane Choice Founder on Growing Her Hair Care Empire

They say necessity is the mother of all creations. For Courtney Adeleye, The Mane Choice founder and CEO, that statement rings true.

Unable to find adequate products to meet her hair care needs, the Alabama-based entrepreneur took matters into her own hands—literally— and concocted various products to treat and care for her hair. Through sharing the results of her homemade mixtures, Adeleye’s videos attracted a large following and gained the trust of countless viewers.

In less than four years, The Mane Choice, which offers a wide variety of multi-cultural hair care and bath and body products is sold in several major retailers including Target, Sally Beauty, CVS and most recently Walmart. In fact, the brand made history by being the first hair vitamin to be featured in the hair aisle (they’re usually reserved for the vitamin aisle). In 2016, the company garnered over 6.5 million dollars in sales, making Adeleye a self-made multi-millionaire seemingly overnight. But we all know that it takes a lot of hard work, determination and business skills to make it to this level.

Earlier this month, I caught up with the nurse-turned-entrepreneur to talk about her rise through the hair care ranks, advice for entrepreneurs and more.

Courtney Adeleye

CEO/Founder of The Mane Choice, Courtney Adeleye

Below, check out our Q&A:

BGG: Describe The Mane Choice customer.
Courtney Adeleye: Here at The Mane Choice, we pride ourselves on providing premium healthy hair care products at an affordable price. Our mission is to create the best solutions for all hair care challenges and total body needs in the beauty space. Like our comprehensive approach to hair and body care, our consumers are very knowledgeable about products and look for items that can remedy multiple hair care concerns. We are just happy to be their main choice for a solution.

BGG: Was working in the beauty/haircare industry a lifelong goal? 
CA: No, I didn’t have an interest in working  in the beauty industry. My background is in science–nursing, specifically. As a YouTube personality, I created a video showcasing my length and shared my deep conditioner recipe, which was partially responsible for my length. I received SO MANY responses and feedback suggesting that I sell my deep conditioner. I had no intentions of doing that, but long story short, I eventually did. One order became two, three, and so on…

BGG:  Did you take any supplementary business courses as a result of pursuing entrepreneurship?
CA: No, I did not formally take any business courses. However, I did my homework on the industry and took what I learned from my nursing background to get to where I am today.

BGG: Did you have mentors in the business prior to launching The Mane Choice? If so, how has their mentorship impacted your business?
CA: Other than past experiences, working closely to the owner/CEO at my former jobs and studying how other business owners conducted business, I didn’t have any mentors prior to launching mine. In my experience, my faith and family were two of the biggest impactors on my business. I have been blessed with a powerful support system and a committed team at The Mane Choice. It becomes easier when people support and buy into your vision. I am especially thankful.

BGG: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner?
CA: I strive to commit to having a positive outlook on life and my company, and focus all of my energy on new ways to best serve The Mane Choice customers. However, doubt from others, not myself, can often try to negatively impact how you view your success and what you’re striving towards.

BGG: What advice would you give a fellow entrepreneur who suffers from self-doubt?  
CA: If there is someone who feels doubted, I would tell them to be so good that they can’t ignore you! I think it’s especially important to focus on and hone your strengths and abilities. Always strive to be the best, the hardest working, and the most knowledgeable. It’s hard to ignore value. I would also remind he or she that in times where there isn’t a way that there is always the option to make one. I think the evidence of this is shown through the multitude of girl [and men] bosses around the world.

BGG:What advice do you have for women, particularly women of color, who want to pursue a career in the beauty/haircare industry? 
CA: My advice would be to strive to be the best at what you do. Do your research and make sure the presentation is just as great, or better than the product or service that you offer.

BGG: Is there any significance behind “purple” being incorporated into your brand or is it simply just a design choice?
CA: We chose purple because it is a regal/royal color. Royalty is what our brand embodies. Royalty depicts the consumers we represent.

BGG: What’s the single most important thing a woman can do to promote healthy hair growth?CA: Consistency is key. Developing a healthy hair growth regimen is paramount to a successful hair growth journey. Using quality products made with quality ingredients, such as The Mane Choice, and adopting great hair care practices will get you to your goals in no time!

BGG: Outside of the hair vitamin, what’s your most popular product? Why do you think it’s a top seller?
CA: Our 3-in-1 is next in line. There’s no other product on the market like it. It’s co-wash and detangler that you can leave-in. Talk about a game changer!

BGG: What makes the Mane Choice different from similar products on the market?
CA: As many may or may not know, my husband is a physician and I am a registered nurse. Together, our backgrounds in science have helped us to formulate our products based on extensive research, for all hair types and textures by infusing each product with vitamins, Biotin, and nutrients. We have successfully developed a comprehensive array of products that can cater to a multi-cultural demographic.

BGG: Describe the most rewarding aspect of your career thus far.
CA: The most rewarding aspect of my career and leader of my company is knowing that The Mane Choice has made such and impact in the lives of others! That impact has created such a demand for our products that we’re now in over 16,000 stores.

BGG: What’s next for The Mane Choice?
CA: You’ll just have to stay tuned. Trust me!

Have you ever used The Mane Choice? If so, what is your favorite product(s) and why?

jane iredale’s New Eyeliners Are In a League of Their Own

As a teen, beautifying my peepers was all about swiping on basic eyeliner pencils from the local beauty supply store. Perfecting my lash line came with much practice: shaky hands and countless crooked strokes, but it’s a skill that I eventually mastered.

While my love for eyeliner hasn’t changed, my penchant for quality has. As a working mom on the go, I need eyeliner that stays put and offers that deep, dark hue that I crave.

Enter: jane iredale’s new Mystikol® eyeliners. Not only do these uniquely designed pots of pigmented goodness provide a rich color, they go on seamlessly. Admittedly, I’m an application pro now, but the tiny brush affixed to the top makes applying simple for even the most amateur eyeliner fans.

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jane iredale Mystikol® eyeliners available here, $24 each

With a slight dip into the jar, the micro bristles are instantly covered in the powder-cream formula. With the precision and staying power of a liquid liner, it glides on effortlessly and flawlessly defines my eyes.

So far, I’ve only tried the jet black shade, but can’t wait to give the other three colors a go too. The royal purple shade will add an unexpected pop of color perfect for spring.

What’s your go-to eyeliner? Is it liquid, pencil or gel? 

Dove Celebrates 60 Years of the Beauty Bar

When it comes to classic brands that stand the test of time, Dove is one of the first to come to mind.

This year the trusted brand is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Beauty Bar—its iconic cleanser. Dove has been a mainstay in my bathroom for as long as I can remember and for good reason. The Beauty Bar works wonders on my acne-prone skin and it smells so darn good. Ah, that fresh, clean smell! For me the gentle cleanser’s scent instantly takes me back to my childhood when I was first introduced to the timeless beauty essential.

Dove 60th 6 Bar Pack (horizontal)

Find Dove’s Beauty Bar here.

Nostalgia aside, Dove’s Beauty Bar continues to evoke emotions from women every day. From the empowering commercials to the tried and true formula, the Beauty Bar is the unchanged standard.

To commemorate this milestone, Dove has released a limited-edition bar with the word “care” engraved on it.

To commemorate this milestone, Dove has released a limited-edition bar with the word “care” engraved on it.

In the spirit of the brand’s new campaign, #RaisetheBeautyBar, I plan to continue instilling confidence in my 7-year-old daughter and letting her know that she’s smart and beautiful inside and out.

They say, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” and this sentiment rings true for this cherished product. Happy Birthday, Beauty Bar—here’s to another 60 years!

Check out this cool retrospective video celebrating the contributions women have made in beauty throughout the years.

How do you plan to #RaisetheBeautyBar?

Say Hello to Your New Favorite Style Control Gel: Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar

I’ve been covering new hair care products for over a decade. Needless to say, throughout the years I’ve reviewed countless shampoos, pomades, puddings, creams, conditioners and more. So, when something earns a spot in my tried and true rotation, it’s GOOD.

Enter: Carol’s Daughter new Pracaxi Nectar Style Control Gel. Infused with acai extract and natural oils, this miracle in a tube instantly awakens my daughter’s curls.

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Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar Style Control Gel available here, $10.99

Although it’s formulated to reduce frizz and tame flyaways, it makes her dry hair super soft and moisturized—something that doesn’t happen with most gels. I don’t know about you, but in the past when I’ve used products that aim to “control,” I’ve been left with sticky and goopy concoctions that slick down hair making it hard and crunchy. Oh and let’s not forget that crusty white film that they create.

Well, this control gel defies the odds and manages to keep curls defined and hydrated. Plus, it smells so good! If you like tropical scents, this will become an instant fave. Coming in a little over $10 at Sally’s, you’ll want to stock up on this soon-to-be staple.

What’s your all-time favorite Carol’s Daughter product? 

Celebrity Facialist Shares Tips on Achieving Flawless Skin

Enviable skin? Yes please! And what better time than the start of the New Year to treat and pamper your skin like the special organ it is? But, don’t take it from me; I caught up with Shani Darden, the woman behind Kelly Rowland’s and Chrissy Teigen’s glowing complexions to get the deets on how to give your skin the TLC it needs to shine…not literally, but you get the point.

The highly sought-after facialist and Consulting Esthetician for Garnier SkinActive has been helping Hollywood’s elite achieve flawless skin for years and shows no signs of slowing down. The brunette beauty dished on teaming up with Garnier, what she’d tell her younger self about skin care and more!

Shani Darden is a skincare wizard who's worked her magic on Hollywood's elite. Courtesy of Shani Darden

Shani Darden is a skin wizard who’s worked her magic on Hollywood’s elite. Photo Courtesy of Shani Darden

Check out our Q&A below:

BGG: In a nutshell, how did you become one of the most sought after facialists in LA?

Shani Darden: I’m so lucky to have amazing clients that are generous enough to speak out about me!

BGG: Did you always know that you wanted to have a career in the skincare industry?

SD: I’ve been obsessed with skincare for as long as I can remember. I used to make face masks when I was little and begged my mom to take me to the dermatologist at an abnormally young age. 

BGG: Tell me about your partnership with Garnier.

SD: I teamed up with Garnier because the brand’s skincare philosophy aligns very closely with my own — simple and accessible skincare that really works. 

BGG: I know your skincare philosophy is “less is more,” can you elaborate?

SD: People don’t need to use too many products or always try the next “big thing.” Once you find a skincare routine that works, stick to it.

BGG: You’ve worked with some of the most notable and undeniably beautiful women in Hollywood. What are the top three things women can do/use at home to attain enviable complexions?

SD: 1)Use retinol. Retinol helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen in the skin, and helps make skin look younger and tighter. It also has amazing acne-fighting properties and helps alleviate discoloration. My Retinol Reform is a great option – it’s effective, yet gentle enough for almost all skin types. 

2) Exfoliate weekly. I recommend using a light, at-home chemical exfoliant weekly to help get rid of dead cells on the surface of your skin and give you an amazing glow. 

3) Incorporate an at-home microcurrent device into your routine. This helps improve facial contour, tone skin, and reduce wrinkles to make you look more youthful instantly. 

BGG: I know that you have extensive experience working with severe acne sufferers. If you could give them one bit of advice what would it be?

SD: Don’t pick! When you pick at pimples, you can push bacteria deeper into the skin and cause scarring. Avoid the temptation. 

BGG: What are the top three skin care offenses we should ditch in 2017?

SD: 1) Using the wrong products for your skin type. Talk to your skincare professional to get on a routine that’s right for you. 

2) Not washing off your makeup off at the end of the night. This leaves bacteria on your skin that can clog pores and cause acne.

3) Skipping sunscreen. The single most important thing you can do for your skin is protect it from the sun. 

BGG: What is the single most important skincare product every woman should be using no matter the season?

SD: Sunscreen. Never leave the house without first applying an SPF 30. 

BGG: What would you tell your 17-year-old self about skin care?

SD: If you lay in the sun now, you’ll have brown spots on your face by the time you turn 30. You won’t like them and they won’t all go away. Take care of your skin now, so it will stay amazing as you age!

How do you plan to take better care of your skin? More facials? More sunscreen? Please share!