6 Summertime Beauty & Style Essentials

Now with the unofficial start to summer underway, what better time than now to share some of my fave warm weather style and beauty essentials?

From the best sunscreen to the most luminous lip gloss to the perfect pair of sandals. These summertime must-haves will keep you looking and feeling good too!

L'Oreal Sublime Sun Sheer Protect Sunscreen Oil Spray, SPF

Keep skin protected and sunkissed with L’Oreal Sublime Sun Sheer Protect Sunscreen Oil Spray SPF 15 available here, $8


A perfect mix of creamy and translucent tint makes this gloss my go-to for summer. jane iredale PureGloss Lip Gloss in Sugar Plum available here, $24Gap-Leather-Tote

This carryall will punch up any ensemble whether poolside or shopping. Gap Leather Tote in Neon Orange available here, $95


This protective serum provides sheen and moisture without weighing down hair. Carol’s Daughter Monoi  Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum available here, (1.7 oz) $30


This vibrant summertime shade puts a fresh spin on ordinary sandals. Aldo ‘Yanagita’ Flat Leather Sandals available here, $60


This oil-free night cream works wonders while you slumber, helping make skin look refreshed by sunrise. Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream available here, $16.49

What are some of your favorite summertime essentials?

Top 5 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Beauty Bargains

You won’t have to brave the crowds to get in on these must-have Black Friday (Nov. 23) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) beauty deals. Thanks to online retailers, shoppers can score major discounts from some of the top beauty brands without leaving their homes or offices. From bliss to Stila, the following steals will have you stuffing the stockings of all the beauty buffs on your list!

Check out some of these can’t-be-beat beauty bargains:

OUIDAD: Ideal for curly-haired beauties. Beginning Friday, November 23rd through Sunday, November 25th, head to Ouidad.com to receive 25% off all orders by using the code FFCURL during check out.

BLISS: The perfect gift for your spa-loving buddy. Enjoy up to 50% savings on select luxury items.  Also, save 30% on beloved bliss and Remede bundles and sets, and save 20% on a selection of Bliss, Remede and Elemis products. Offer valid Black Friday (Nov. 23 to Nov. 27) here.

URBAN DECAY: For your gloss-obsessed BFF. Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color Collection. They’re offering all SEVEN of their cult-favorite chubby lip pencils for just $49 (a $140 value). Available exclusively on Black Friday here.

STILA: This palette will prettify your sister’s peepers.  Stila will be offering a buy one, get one free promotion on the Jingle All the Way Travel Palette (via Facebook). The palette contains a Convertible Color and six stunning eye shadows for creating wintery looks or a bold smoky eye in a matter of minutes. Available exclusively on Black Friday here.

JANE IREDALE THE SKINCARE MAKEUP: A must-have for makeup mavens. Buy two New Limited Edition Glimmer Gift Boxes, and receive ONE FREE. (Enter code GLIMMER at checkout) Available Monday (Nov. 26) to Tuesday (Nov. 27) here.

If you are planning to shop this weekend, be sure to support Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24). Stop by your favorite local boutiques and restaurants in your neighborhood. Being a budding entrepreneur, I know firsthand the importance of helping small businesses. #shopsmall 

Are you planning to shop this weekend?

Skincare for Brown Skin!

As you guys know, I enjoy trying new skincare products; but if there’s one brand that I recommend for us brown-skinned beauties, it has to be Rx for Brown Skin by Dr. Susan Taylor. This line of products ranging from toner to body lotion was especially formulated for Asian, Latin and African-American skin tones. Since we often suffer from hyper-pigmentation and other skin conditions, it is necessary to have products with ingredients that won’t irritate our skin or exacerbate the problem, but combat our unique skin afflictions.

Have you ever tried any of the Rx for Brown Skin products? If not, would you? One lucky winner will win the following products, valued at $75! Just leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected.

Rx for Brown Skin Peel Kit available at www.sephora.com for $50

Skin Evening Body Citrus Body Lotion available at www.sephora.com for $25

**Sidenote, BGG extends condolences to my fellow Chicagoan, Jennifer Hudson and her family. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. My hope is that her nephew returns to them soon.

Zit Zapper

Some products get a lot of hype, but don’t always live up to their expectations. At first, I thought that was going to be the unfortunate scenario when I tried Mario Badescu’s drying lotion. This pink potion has been lauded in tons of magazines as the go-to-product for pimple prevention, which made me want to try it even though I’m well past the acne-adolescent years. In fact, after having it in my possession, I found myself waiting for one of those pesky imperfections to emerge. I never thought that I’d actually be anticipating the arrival of a pimple, but I couldn’t wait to try it – eventually I got that opportunity.

After dabbing a bit of the lotion directly on the zit with a Q-tip, I let it sit overnight. The next morning I was not impressed. I thought that it would have miraculously disappeared, but that was not the case. Usually when products don’t meet my expectations the first time, I usually toss them aside; but my ugly pimple made me reach for the drying lotion again. After applying it again the second night, by the following morning my blemish was just about gone! I was glad to see that this heavily praised product actually works (for me at least).

Have you ever tried this product? What do you use to get rid of unsightly whiteheads/blackheads or are you one of those lucky few who never get blemishes?

Drying Lotion available at www.mariobadescu.com for $17

Banish Oily Skin on the Blot!

We have all heard about having a nice dewy glow, but there’s a big difference between looking like you just returned from the beach with glistening, sun-kissed skin and just being plain and simple – oily!

I don’t know about you, but my skin can become quite “dewy” throughout the day, especially, during the warmer months.

That’s why I NEVER leave home without blotting papers. You can dab these tiny, oil-absorbing tissues on your face for an instant matte-finish while leaving your makeup intact and complexion flawless! Plus, they can easily fit into your purse or desk drawer for easy touch-ups.

There are some things that a girl can’t live without and for me blotting papers are definitely one of them!

Do you use any products to control unwanted shine?

Check out some of these cute oil-blotting packages:

Too Faced Re-Fresh Oil-Blotting Papers available at www.sephora.com for $12

Rose Blotting Papers by Nurturing Force (29 feet) available at www.smallflower.com for $13.99

Boujois Anti-Shine Blotting Sheets available at www.sephora.com for $13.50

MAC Blot Film (30 Sheets) available at www.maccosmetics.com for $12.50

Rice Paper Powdered Blotting Tissues available at www.sallybeauty.com for $3.99

Paul & Joe Blotting Paper available at www.asos.com for $21.63

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets (50) available at www.drugstore.com for $5.29

Chidoriya Japanese Oil-Blotting Face Paper (30 sheets) available at www.beautyhabit.com for $7.00

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (100 sheets) available at www.drugstore.com for $10