ORGAIN & My FAVORITE Smoothie Recipe!

Featured

10334454_10203477154036924_6969581393387980370_nI’ve always been a fan of daily smoothies (particularly as my after workout snack) but gave them up during pregnancy since I’m not a fan of the insane amount of chemicals and crap found in conventional protein powders (have you looked? EEK!) I even tried switching to straight Greek yogurt for my smoothie protein base instead, but it’s just too sour tasting for me and I can’t add sweetner since I have Gestational Diabetes. :(

While doing our weekly Costco run the other day, my husband and I came across this Orgain Protein (plant based protein powder sweetened with Stevia!!) in Creamy Chocolate Fudge! I think I literally screamed, “HONEY LOOK!” when I saw it because we were both prior fans of Orgain’s ready to go meal replacement drinks. LOL. :-D Needless to say we bought it after skimming the list of good-for-you, plant based, organic ingredients and quickly looking on Google at the endless positive reviews.  I am SO glad we did! I’ve tried the powder now in a variation of different recipes (even just plain old water mixed with the powder) and was amazed at how delicious it was. :-D :-) :-P ;-)

Below is my absolute FAVORITE creation I’ve made with it thus far…it’s so good, I had to share! This doesn’t even taste like it’s good for you! Yet it is. Totally and completely – a nutritious power drink. This particular recipe tastes like a chocolate, banana, raspberry milkshake – only it’s not! You can actually feel good about drinking it. At 300 calories, 31 grams of carbs, and 26 grams of protein for the recipe you can either use this to refuel your body after a workout, as a meal replacement or just when you’re craving something naughty but don’t actually want to give in! ;)

10371534_10203481598148024_8865482219695555870_n

I put the following in my Vitamix blender: 7 ice cubes, 2 cups of kale, 1 scoop of Orgain Protein powder in Creamy Chocolate Fudge, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 cup of frozen organic berries, two slices of frozen Dole Banana Dippers (half of a 100 calorie pack of them basically – they are just banana slices covered in 67% cocoa and nothing more.  Find them in the freezer section next to frozen berries), and a little water…maybe half a cup. Blend all together and pour in a frosted cup. HEAVEN!!!!!! :-D

It’s $30 at Costco. The container says it serves 20 but that’s if you’re using the two scoops with water.  My recipe above pairs it with a little Greek yogurt, so for me it serves 40!!!! :)

Enjoy! XO

 

Jani Banani Infini-Tees Review & Giveaway!

Featured

Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 3.17.37 PM

I’m very excited to share this review and giveaway with all of you.  Not just because I love hosting giveaways, but because this company is extra close to my heart.  My family is my world, my everything, and when I see any of them create greatness (like this tee shirt company for example) it brings a special kind of joy to my heart. :-D

Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 3.17.56 PMI come from a line of extremely intelligent, talented, creative, classy and spiritual women and my Auntie Janice proves she is all of the above and more with these spectacular tees! She is bringing this line to the world in hopes that we will all remember to appreciate our connection to everyone on the planet as well as the importance of living in the present moment. Wearing these shirts will make you a walking, talking positive breath of fresh air, reminding everyone you come in contact with to see the greater good. ;) Photographed in the “Love Rules” shirt is my beautiful mother, “Jani Banani’s” sister! :-P

In my opinion, you will get three things out of a Jani Banani Infini-Tee:

  1. Beauty as each design is created from the mind of a true artist with love, placed onto a tee-shirt and then embellished with Swarovski crystals.
  2. Inspiration as your shirt of choice will inspire you and those around you.
  3. Comfort as my Auntie only makes these tees on good quality material.

These are a couple of my personal favs:

Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 3.19.12 PMScreen shot 2014-05-27 at 3.20.26 PM

Jani Banani is currently in the process of setting up her site to have a percentage of her profits go directly to a food bank nation-wide charity and will update her site when it’s a go. She has also so kindly offered up TWO giveaways to two of my lucky readers. Whoever wins will be able to select whichever shirt they want from JaniBanani.com!

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, June 6th at noon.  You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the continental United States to enter. I will select two winners at random using Rafflecopter below.  If you complete these three entry tasks below, you will unlock a change to have 20+ additional entries into the contest!! GOOD LUCK LADIES! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your Beauty Junkie’s Future: LIFE WITH YBJ

Featured

(Reposted from my Facebook account)

VERY LONG BUT VERY IMPORTANT!! PLEASE READ:

So I’ve come to a decision about Your Beauty Junkie’s future, and I realize I may see some of you go because of this and as much as that saddens me, I completely understand and wish you all well. Obviously my lack of posting lately is apparent and will continue to be until after my son arrives as I’m busy preparing for him. Once he’s here and I get into a stay at home mommy rhythm I plan to change the theme of this blog…although I kind of already am now, it just won’t completely be changed over until he’s here and I’ve found my balance with caring for him and everything else.  Please consider this blog “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” until late August 2014. It will still be a “beauty blog” per say, but it will be more driven towards moms/pregnancy/etc. Helping busy mamas still feel pretty without breaking the bank…also sharing great finds, recipes, health and fitness tips, etc. Pregnancy and mommy tips (as I learn them too!) ;)  Beauty product reviews and giveaways WILL NOT STOP though, they will just be in addition to everything else. I am not deleting any post I’ve written thus far either they will still be archived on the site. I’ll be changing the logo and layout of the site once he’s here and I’m ready to jump back in…but the name change will be LIFE WITH YBJ (with formally known as Your Beauty Junkie underneath) effective immediately – it just won’t show until the web address and logo changes.  As this pregnancy progresses I’m just realizing that as much as I still am passionate about all things beauty, I’m also very passionate about pregnancy, my growing son, being a homemaker, yummy recipes I’ve created, good health and so much more. I am a mega-sharer who already sees all of that passion taking over the beauty page and I just don’t want it to confuse people any longer lol. I’m personally very excited about the changes and looking forward to it all. There will still be sporadic posts and giveaways in the meantime too while everything is under construction. Thanks for reading and hopefully understanding!!! Lots of love. :-D XO

10401420_841363815891879_7870212914201005609_nphoto

 

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Spoiled Mama – Organic Skincare Line!

Featured

photo 1[4]

This is one of those posts I’m actually really excited to sit down and share with you.  Whether you are pregnant or not, The Spoiled Mama skincare products are in a class all their own and I guarantee everyone who tries them will fall in love as I have.  I actually wrote a post about this amazing company earlier in my pregnancy.  I had done some research online for the best anti-stretch mark products I could find since genetically I’m predisposed to have them, and ended up giving their Tummy Butter and Bump Gloss a shot due to the high ratings and reviews from others.  I loved them so much I wrote a review which the company saw and in turn asked me if I’d be interested in trying more of their products! Ummm…duh! Yes please! LOL. What they sent me I loved equally as much as their Bump Gloss (which is a pregnant body GOD SEND)!!! But more on that below…

photo 4[2]I was sent their Indulge Peppermint Body Polish, more of their Bump Gloss (I was almost out!) and their Rehab Serum for acne.  The Peppermint Body Polish is almost orgasmic..and I’m not exaggerating! Pregnant or not, this is a MUST HAVE! It’s an organic, peppermint sugar scrub for the body.  After cleansing like normal in the shower, I take a hefty scoop of this body polish and scrub down my entire body from neck to toes…and omg…the sensation of the scrub against my skin is magical and when the sugar dissolves and you rinse off, you are left with a layer of the healthy oils from the polish that will keep you moisturized for the ENTIRE day! This seriously makes for a heavenly shower experience. I actually looking forward to my showers now thanks to this, whereas before they were just an annoying chore. lol. :-D

photo 2[4]The second product I’ve already semi-covered but it’s so good I will talk about it again.  The Bump Gloss. If you want to either prevent stretch marks or get rid of existing ones – you need this!!! I actually prefer this product over their Tummy Butter which was a previous favorite of mine because it’s extra, extra moisturizing!! It’s a mix of organic oils which I massage all over my tummy, breasts and booty after showering and toweling dry.  In combination with the body polish used in the shower you will be in awe at the silkiness and elasticity of your skin.  My skin looks more youthful than ever, I don’t have a single stretch mark at 26 weeks pregnant and the small stretch marks I had on my breasts and sides of my butt from gaining and losing weight in the past have faded so much I have to really look hard to even see them at all.

I highly, highly, highly recommend these products…and if you don’t want to take my word, Google them to see how highly rated they are.  Absolutely AMAZING!!! And I can’t say enough – ORGANIC! Chemical-free! I used Bio Oil in early pregnancy and wasn’t too fond of the ingredients listed once I read them…filled with crap and chemicals which seep into you, and if pregnant – baby.  No bueno. :-/

photo 3[2]The final product is so good I want to say I hold it in top place of all of the products I’ve mentioned so far – The Rehab Serum for Pregnancy Acne.  Which again, can be used even when you aren’t pregnant and I personally plan to continue using it when I’m not.  I was already using a combination of other natural skincare products I really liked when I received this but I was excited to give this one a shot since it was specifically MADE for acne and was the only acne product I’ve seen so far that was pregnancy-safe.  All I can say is WOW.  This is one of those products that I noticed an instant difference with.  After first application, my face looked smoother, more even toned and my pores almost non-existant.  After using it for a week now, I don’t even so much as have a tiny blemish anywhere on my face or hairline.  To top it all off, this is the ONLY product I have to use now after cleansing my face.  I literally wash my face with my Clarisonic and facial cleanser, pat dry and tone (so, I guess I do use a toner..so two products! LOL) then I apply this serum and voila! It keeps my face moisturized too so I haven’t needed a moisturizer.  The last few days whenever I get a glance of myself in the mirror I am pleasantly surprised for a change.  My other products I was using were wonderful, but the differences were more subtle.  Seriously an amazing product!

photoThe Spoiled Mama so generously wants one of you to experience this organic skincare heaven as well, so they are giving away a $50 online gift certificate to a lucky YBJ reader!! The winner can get whichever product they want from TheSpoiledMama.com! They will give me a code to give to the winner to shop with once I draw the name at the end of the giveaway.  You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  This giveaway starts now, and ends Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at noon. Enter below! If you complete the first three entries you will unlock a TON more chances to win! GOOD LUCK!!!  :-D :-) ;-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

YOUNIQUE: Full sexy lashes WITHOUT Latisse, falsies or extensions…and some pretty gorgeous makeup too! ;)

Featured

younique

Over the two years I’ve ran Your Beauty Junkie, a slew of direct sales beauty companies have tried to recruit me to sell with them, and although I loved a product or two of theirs I just never felt strongly enough about any of them to want to sell the product myself. I had sold other lines in the past and hated it…mainly because you really had to convince people of what you were selling them…the products never spoke for themselves. Until now.  Have any of you tried Younique?! If so, you will understand my excitement! :-D :-) :-P

photoThe quality and pigment has these mineral shadows hanging with the best of them.  See the swatches to the left – these are JUST on my hand. Over primer on your eyes they pop even more that this! The colors are pictured from top to bottom: Regal, Sassy (my personal fav), Angelic, Playful, Heavenly and Precocious. The sparkly ones are Pigments and the matte ones…well, they are Matte. LOL.  These are just some of the colorful ones I like but there are TONS of gorgeous neutral shadows too! They are only $10 each. ;)

photo 2[2]As gorgeous as the shadows are, my absolute fav product (and the main reason I started selling this brand) – the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara!!!! OH EM GEE. I’ve been sad because my natural lashes are barely there.  I used Latisse before pregnancy but it isn’t recommended to use while pregnant so I had to give it up…and while I do love the look of false lashes, we just DON’T get along…lol. So after hearing about this product repeadedly from other beauty bloggers and sites I finally gave into the hype and gave it a try.  Thank GOD! You can apply as many layers as you want to make them as long and full as you want! You start with one coat of your regular mascara, then use this easy two step system for va-va-va-voom lashes!! In this photo I put on three layers and curled my lashes.

Nothing I ever post is photoshopped or altered (with the exception of toning and brightening photos) so what you see on my photo is what you get.  For only $29 you will no longer have to struggle with falsies or spend boat loads of money on extensions or Latisse. I should probably add too that the Moodstruck is their new formula that just came out in April 2014.  So if you’ve tried a previous formula, I promise you this one is a thousand times better! You will not be disappointed. :-) Here’s another photo from Younique’s site:

US-1017-00-alt5

As if these two products weren’t enough to sell me, I ended up trying the Younique face and eye primer in one and their face wash – again, was blown away by each item.  Everything just WORKS like it’s suppose to! This is major to me when it comes to makeup as I’m so over false promises from other beauty products. The Glorious primer keeps my face AND eye makeup in place all day and my makeup never ends up looking oily at any point during the day like it did with other primers.  The Awake face wash I use with my Clarisonic and have had the most flawless, blemish-free, glowing skin ever since! I really can’t wait to try the foundation and report back next!! :-D Did I mention the Rose Water?! I could go on and on….

US-1051-00US-1072-00

Needless to say, I was instantly SOLD and signed up immediately to become a presenter. How could I not? First of all, the products really are amazing so you won’t feel slimy selling them to people (I am actually excited to get people to try the mascara in particular lol!) They sell themselves through photos so you don’t have to host those annoying parties at your home…everything is done online! You get paid every single day for the commissions you earn. And lastly, for only $99 look what you get in your kit when you sign up to sell:

photo 3[1]

ALL OF THAT! Too many eyeshadow pigments to count, really good quality eyeshadow brushes, mineral concealer, mineral blushes and most importantly – the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara!!! All in a sexy case to boot. ;) Click here to see the full run down of what’s included. Even if you don’t consider yourself a sales person it’s worth signing up just to get this kit alone in my opinion! And once people start seeing your gorgeous makeup and lashes they’ll want to buy from you anyway. ;)

photo 1[2]

To purchase the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara, click here. To shop any of the Younique products, click here. To join my team, become a presenter and get your fabulous kit for $99, click here.  To host a Younique Facebook Virtual Party and earn half priced (or even free!) product, click here. To learn more about Younique, click here.   :-D

Feel free to ask me any questions whatsoever! I am obviously very passionate about this line and have fully educated myself.  :-)

signature

MALLY CANCELLATION CONCEALER SYSTEM: From tired to rested in two minutes!

Featured

photo 4

Yet another BIG BIG thanks to Birchbox! This time for the Mally Cancellation Concealer System! I am a mega concealer junkie and this is just as good if not better than some of my tried and true favs you’ve read about on my blog over the years.  This little “system” comes to you in a darling little pink case with a heavy duty concealer, a setting powder and a dual headed brush inside (one to apply the concealer, and one for the powder.) :-D

I actually don’t have the worst dark circles right now thanks to being pregnant, well hydrated and rested, but they aren’t bright eyed and bushy tailed either which is the look this product achieves. :-) It’s so simple to apply too! I simply prep my face for makeup first. Then I apply an all over primer (this holds your concealer and foundation in place and aids in a flawless finish!) Next I use the concealing side of the Mally brush to apply the concealer under my eyes ensuring that I cover any darkness whatsoever, and blend it well. I noticed that this included brush is fabulous for applying, but not blending so much…it would just continue to build on more product so apply with the brush then use a Beauty Blender sponge to pat-to-blend to perfection.  Lastly, I used the powder side of the brush to apply the brightening finishing powder to my under eyes over the concealer.  This really made a world of difference! I finished by applying my foundation to the rest of my face and applying the rest of my makeup.  As a final touch I even used the finishing powder to set my entire face because I like it that much! I obviously used a bigger powder brush though…not the tiny one meant for your under eyes and blemishes..LOL.  Can you imagine?

You can even use this product as the “highlight” portion of your contour and highlight routine if you do one as it would work fantastic for that as well! It is also obviously a great concealing choice for any blemishes and imperfections.  Another A+ product in my book. :)

signature

BEAUTY PROTECTOR: Smooth Hair Heaven!

Featured

photo 1A big shoutout to Birchbox for sending me this amazing product to try! I’ve been in the hair dumps lately because my hair is long (loooong) overdue for cut and color.  I’ve been pushing it off on purpose because I don’t want to get it done more than twice during my pregnancy…my hairdresser uses ammonia-free products and my doctor has okay’d it, but still…just don’t want to overdo it when it comes to chemicals.  Anyway back to my point, my balayaged hair is completely fried, dry and brittle at this point and it seemed that no matter what products I used (I was using L’Oreal Professionel even) nothing seemed to help.  It would look “okay” but lacking in it’s usual sheen, luster and bounce…so naturally I am ALL OVER any hair products being sent my way that promise to rid me of this nightmare, and Beauty Protector has done just that! I almost couldn’t believe it because like I said, I’ve used TOP salon quality products to no avail so I didn’t hold a lot of hope in anything. :-/

I will first say that I do not just use the recommended couple of pumps of this product…I have way too much hair! LOL. I use about six pumps after washing, conditioning and toweling drying my hair (right before blow drying) and then about seven MORE pumps on my hair after it’s been dried and styled.  Also, I NEVER EVER EVER put any kind of oil, smoother, or conditioning type product near my roots or scalp – that is a recipe for looking greasy headed and is a sure fire way to achieve the world’s flattest hair.  No.  I only apply these types of products about half way down my head to the ends making sure to get the ends of any layers I have as well.  Here is my hair after using Beauty Protector.  Not a SINGLE flyaway or crispy end! :-D

photo 2

Needless to say – va va va voom! I haven’t loved my hair this much in a long while.  I no longer feel like I’m overdo for getting my hair done (well – aside from the 100 gray hairs sprouting up at my roots like weeds…grrrrr!) because my hair looks polished and healthy! I am still over the balayage style though and will be going back to all black (my natural color) on the 30th of April! I CAN’T WAIT! And this product will stay forever in my arsenal whether my hair is light, dark, long or short. LOVE! ;)

signature

CATE AND CHLOE REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Chic, classic accessories delivered to your door TWICE monthly!

Featured

photo 2Some posts I’m extra giddy to hop on my computer and write about.  This happens to be one of them.  So much so that I just barely received this package in my hands thirty minutes ago before jumping online to share with you!  I was THAT impressed. :-P Have you heard of Cate & Chloe? I hadn’t before they reached out to me and I seriously feel like I’ve been missing out! It’s what Birchbox and Ipsy are to makeup, but to jewelry instead! :)

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 3.02.42 PMThey sent me this absolutely STUNNING necklace!  I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning unwrapping the gorgeous box they sent it in too.  This particular Diana “Divine” Necklace took my breath away too. I’ve never been a big CZ fan but I’m telling you, photos do not do this piece any justice.  It’s absolutely GOOOORGEOUS in person! So sparkly and clean looking on it’s equally gorgeous 18″ sterling silver chain. Wowza! :-D

photo 5They sent this item to me for review purposes, but I will now be becoming a member myself. LOL. I can’t help it! If you also decide to join, then for only $39.99 per month you will receive $200 worth of designer jewelry!! You will get one of their most popular pieces sent to you every two weeks (free shipping!) The membership also enables you to take 20% off any other item in their online shop, including sale items. ;) Probably photo 4one of the most deal binding things for me is the fact that you can exchange the items you receive if you aren’t a big fan of one of your deliveries. That’s something that the makeup subscription services don’t do…and should. Last but not least, every new membership will receive a free welcome item worth $100 (that’s three pieces of jewelry worth $300 for only $39.99 that first month.)

My contacts over at Cate & Chloe are also doing two things for Your Beauty Junkie fans; 1) 20% your first month’s membership by using the coupon code YOURBEAUTYJUNKIE upon signing up…and 2) A GIVEAWAY! See details below. :-P :-D :-)

i9du88tqltfljo1658rsdlm0k71396043686

Cate and Chloe are giving away a piece of jewelry to a lucky YBJ reader! The item will be a surprise (maybe this same necklace I got?) but will be worth $100 or more. This giveaway begins NOW and ends Monday, April 7th at noon! You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter.  Complete the tasks below (complete the first three tasks to enter and to unlock a TON more entries for yourself) to be entered to win! I will announce the winner after noon on April 7th, 2014 and they will have up to 48 hours to respond via email.  If they do not, another winner will be chosen. Have fun and GOOD LUCK! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

Express Organic Home Facial featuring Living Nature!

Featured

photo 1My love for this organic skincare and cosmetics company is never ending.  The latest allotment of products they sent me to review were an absolute GOD SEND! If you’ve read previous skincare posts I’ve written during this pregnancy, then you know how absolutely wretched pregnancy hormones have made my skin. I had been following a new regimen I put together for myself (you can read about it a few posts back) that seemed to be doing the trick…but I was still getting a zit here or there and not all of the products used were organic (which is important to me this pregnancy).  What I consume, baby consumes.   ;)

About a week ago my esthetician friend Kat, an angel from heaven who blesses me with monthly brow shaping house-calls (she use to work for Anastasia Beverly Hills and knows her ish!) also gave me a much needed facial.  My skin looked flawless and glowing when she was done and it made me even more anxious to find a way to keep it that way for the remainder of this pregnancy! Luckily the following day my Living Nature package arrived and my prayers were answered! :-D

photo 2I immediately went upstairs the second I received these goodies and tried them all out, starting with the Skin Minis! Inside the cute box was a purifying cleanser, a hydrating toning gel and a balancing day lotion.  I will have you know I looked at every single ingredient in each of these products and Google’d the ones I didn’t know…call me psycho if you want but it’s important for me to know what is soaking into my body.  Not only are these items organic, they are ALL naturally derived (from plants, fruits, etc.) No fishy chemicals here! :-D

photo 5I first splashed my face with hot water to open up my pores, then squeezed some of the cleanser onto my CLARISONIC ‘Mia 2  and lastly I let this fabulous beauty tool work the wonderful CLEAN cleanser into my skin.  The Clarisonic helps to exfoliate while cleansing which is really important when trying to avoid acne and blemishes! When my face was thoroughly lathered up, I rinsed it off with hot water yet again (as hot as I can stand it) then splashed cold water onto my face to close my pores.  I patted my face dry with a clean towel, then moved onto the next step – the Deep Cleansing Mask! :-D

photo 4This box contains individual use face masks which is AWESOME as it prevents you from drying out the clay every time you open the packaging.  There is a perfect amount inside each packet to liberally cover your face with this blemish and dirt sucking clay! The directions state to leave it on your face for 10 minutes, but I lost track of time as I started working on laundry and household chores with it on…lol.  It dried solid within about 7 minutes though making moving my face completely impossible! :-D According to the Living Nature website, “Deep Clay Cleansing Mask will detoxify the skin, leaving it clear and balanced, with pores refined. Antimicrobial Manuka extract helps cleanse and heal and Active Manuka Honey nourishes and repairs. A weekly ritual of deep purification to restore your skin’s health and balance.”

I rinsed the clay off my face photo 2-1with hot water and then splashed cold water on my face to re-close my pores.  I patted dry and moved onto the second product in the Skin Minis package – the hydrating toning gel! I smoothed a dime sized amount all over my face and neck and allowed it to air dry for about 5 minutes before applying the balancing day lotion.  I like to give each product applied to my face time to soak in completely before piling on other items.  The lotion completely surprised me! I half expected it to be kind of watery/runny.  I usually avoid anything with “lotion” in the title and stick more to “cream” labeled products. However this was every bit as thick as a cream and was 110% moisturizing to the point of making me “ooh” and “ahh” while massaging it in! I photo 3-1absolutely LOVE it! I finished everything off with the Active Manuka Honey Lip Balm.  This “balm” is shiny enough to be used as a lipgloss and every bit as moisturizing and nourishing to pass as a balm.  Multi-purpose! :)

This entire skincare routine took me a half hour from start to finish! I won’t do every step of it every day (like the mask for example, I will limit to once per week), but these products took my face from tired and drab to completely glowing and energized as though I just had a professional facial (mind my HORRIBLY filled in brows in this photo -I was in a hurry to wrap up this post LOL)! This “Express Organic Facial” is something I will definitely be doing every week between my professional Kat facials! :-)

signature

NO MO-STACHE: A Hilarious Beauty MUST!

Featured

photo 3

Those of you who follow me on social media already know about my quick obsession with this amazing product! No Mo-Stache is both effective and hilarious at once.  They’ve found a way to make an embarrassing problem for some, both lighthearted and quickly non-existant! Little wax strips that you warm between your hands, stick to your upper lip and pull off like a bandaid to reveal truly hairless skin – heard of this type of thing before? Yeah, me too…and I’ve tried the products in the past only to be disappointed. They’d remove like 10 hairs and leave a sparce mess of hair behind. Blegh! So imagine my surprise when I received this ADORABLY packaged product that actually does what it promises – and beyond! Want to know another embarrassing secret aside from my hairy upper lip? This pregnancy has given me a hairy tummy! :( So you better believe while I was sitting watching TV this morning I used about 5 No Mo-Stache strips and removed every last hair from my stomach! LOL! Seriously! They worked and it only took about 5 minutes. It hurts about as bad as ripping off a bandaid hurts too (ie: not at all – a quick sting!) :-D

At only $16 I highly recommend every beauty junkie adds this little gem to their arsenal (Click here to purchase)! That’s how much about two salon visits to get your “stache” removed will run you, only these will last you 12 waxes (unless you use them in other areas like I did…lol!) I will never be without these! Thank you No Mo-Stache for allowing me the opportunity to review your wonderful product.  Can’t wait to hear what others think about them too. XO

signature

My Valentine Surprise from Mario Badescu!

Featured

photo

This post is a little late, but I wanted to give a HUGE thanks to Mario Badescu for the thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift.  My bad skin has really spun out of control.  If you’ve been following me since before my pregnancy you would know that I had really clear skin (minus the occasional that-time-of-the-month blemish)…until I got pregnant. If I do not keep on a twice a day (morning and night) routine, all hell breaks loose on my face…I’m talking little cluster zits AND the deep, painful cystic ones.  Which just recently happened because I’ve been home, not feeling well and extremely lazy with keeping myself up. :(

When I was working everyday it was habit to wake up and cleanse my face prior to putting my makeup on and heading out the door, and then of course at night I’d wash my makeup off and cleanse my skin again…so I never had an issue. While home and sick however, I’ve been lucky to wash my face even once a day.  Luckily now I’m feeling much better and have my energy back so I’ve found a new routine that – HALLELUJAAAAAAH – is working for me…as long as I stick to it! ;)

Since I’m preggers and overly cautious with skincare products, I’ve finally after much trial and error, found a routine using natural (or pregnancy-safe) products that is clearing up my skin and giving me that sought after pregnancy glow! Mario Badescu had no idea, but they completed this search for me with these two products.  Here’s what I do every morning and every night now:

I cleanse my face and pat dry. I then use Oil of Olay’s Oil Minimizing Toner because it has witch hazel in it (as opposed to salicylic acid which is what my pre-pregnancy astringent had in it. Salicylic acid is not pregnancy safe. Witch hazel is an all natural astringent made from a plant.) Once that air dries, I spritz on my Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater and also let that air dry/soak in.  I LOOOOVE the smell of this and I can actually feel my skin soaking in the natural moisture and cleansing properties of this product.  It’s only $7 too so I will definitely keep this in my daily routine. Then I mix three pumps of my Manomai Around the Clock Facial Serum with three drops of the Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil (which lucky for me happens to be a natural antiseptic for your skin!) I massage this mixture into my face and neck and – you guessed it – let it soak in! At only $20 and knowing how safe and effective it is during pregnancy, I will keep this in rotation for sure! My final step is spot treating any blemishes I do have with my Living Nature Manuka Honey Gel for Trouble Spots (an all natural acne medication free spot treatment that REALLY works!) And that is it. It may seem like a lot but this all takes me under 5 minutes and since last week my acne is fiiiinally going away, my skin is always baby soft and I’m finally seeing a bit of a glow. :)

Follow me on social media by clicking here.

signature

My New Favorite Hair Product Line: Toni&Guy!

Featured

photo 2Birchbox so kindly reached out to me about trying some haircare products from Toni&Guy.  I had never heard of the line prior, but my hair was in dire need of some TLC and nothing I was using was really working for me.  Especially since going even lighter with my balayage. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give the products a try…and I am certainly glad I did! Two of the products in particular seriously rocked my hair world!  The Volume Plumping Whip (to DIE) and the Shine Gloss Serum.  Before I continue, I have to first tell you that these products smell so good you may want to eat them…lol. Well, maybe not quite (I am pregnant keep in mind) but they seriously smell better than any line of haircare I’ve personally ever used.  I always thought nothing could beat Oribe in scent but Toni&Guy has won me over! :-D

photo 1Glamour Volume Plumping Whip: Did I mention the smell? Okay, okay.  Equally as good as that, is the big, sexy volume this product will give your hair! Toss your root boosters in the garbage.  Seriously. This works even better.  I apply it from roots to ends after shampooing, conditioning and towel drying.  I then blow dry with my hair turned upside down.  Va-va-va-VOOM! Hello BIG hair! Since I don’t have blow-n-go hair I take a curling iron to it afterwards and am obsessed with my results; I do not have to use hairspray OR texture spray to hold my curl.  This amazing product is enough to not only volumize but to hold curl and style too! It’s like a two in one! Now, it does leave a bit of a funny texture to your hair if you use too much (which I like to) but I got use to it after a couple uses since my hair has never looked better. I seriously highly recommend this yummy hair winner! Best part? $16.99! :-P

photo 3Shine Gloss Serum: Again – YUM.  They all have the same scent FYI. ;) And this is the creme de la creme of smoothing serums.  Just a couple pumps went a long way for me.  Well a couple of pumps – twice.  I put in about two pumps right after the plumping whip and before blow drying, and then another two or three pumps after styling – just to my ends.  It locks in moisture, eliminates frizz and leaves a beautiful shine! This is huge for my royally fried out hair.  I love lots of other smoothing serums too, don’t get me wrong, it just takes a lot more to make a big difference than with this one. The price is about HALF the price of most other quality hair serums too at only $15 through Birchbox! :)

Last but not least, the Sea Salt Texturising Spray! This is probably my third favorite of the three but ONLY because I don’t use it as directed.  It’s meant to be used on wet hair to give a “day at the beach” kind of a look…but wash and go hair and me are not friends. No matter what the product.  LOL.  I end up looking like I stuck my fingers in a light socket mixed with some nice beach waves. ;) So instead, I used this product my own way – by lightly spraying it as a holding finish to my dried and curled hair (focusing on the ends) and I REALLLLLLY liked the outcome. It leaves a nice polished finish. At only $16.99 I will continue using it too.  Below is my weekly pregnancy “bump-date” that I share on my social media pages (I do these every week so that after my little guy is born I can make him a little book of them).  My hair in these photos is after having styled with all three of the above mentioned Toni&Guy products to give you an idea of the final outcome! :-D

1618693_789444464417148_674536855_n

signature

Manomai Around The Clock Facial Serum for your Blood Type

Featured

photo 11When Manomai approached me about reviewing their Around The Clock Facial Serum for my blood type, I was a little skeptical for three reasons; 1) I’d never heard of this company, 2) I thought skincare designed around blood types was kind of “gimmicky” and 3) I’m pregnant and am very nervous about anything I put on my skin.  Well, I can officially say that all of my worries were put to rest with a quickness! The reason I’d never heard of Manomai is because they are based and proudly made in Thailand! The name actually comes from the Thai words “mano” mind/spirit and “mai” – succeed…”Succeed through mind and spirit.” Love that. Their Thai founder spent years searching unsuccessfully for a moisturizer with ingredients which would suit her own blood type and not harm her health, and since she could not, she created her own.  Her theory is this, “Your skin is the largest organ in the body, providing a natural barrier against the outside world. For truly healthy skin you need a cream that works from within, in harmony with your blood type.” Being that I’m not a scientist, I still really can’t say for sure that my Type A serum wouldn’t work wonders on a Type O person for example, but what I can say is that the serum I used (Type A) was fabulous from first use and I’m totally sold regardless if it’s for my blood type or not! :-D

photo 2After cleansing my face with my Clarisonic, I pat my skin dry then apply a pea size amount of this serum all over my face and neck.  I let it dry/soak-in before applying my moisturizer.  As soon as it’s on, my face is left looking much more radiant, youthful and taut (without feeling tight!) And using this definitely can’t hurt! See the photo to the right of what it DOESN’T have in it? Most skincare products do have the majority if not all of those items, and you all know that I (ESPECIALLY now being pregnant) am trying to stick to natural skincare products.  Here’s what my Type A intensive serum does have: antioxidants and anti-aging from Malt Extract, Green Tea Extract, Edelweiss Extract, Cherry Extract, Certified Organic Argon Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10. Supposedly this particular blend of ingredients is highly suitable for Blood Type A skin and over time will lead to the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. ALL of the serums are made to protect your face against free radical damage and will strengthen cell membranes, aid collagen production and improve micro-circulation, brightening the skin and improving it’s texture! :-D

gp49uneb5a43bnunll1ed5oa531390259890

Oh yeah baby! This is an AWESOME giveaway so many, many thanks to Manomai! They are not just giving away one full-sized serum worth $93…they are giving away EIGHT! 2 of each blood type! How awesome is that?! When I select the eight winners I will be selecting based on blood types so be sure you know what yours is before entering! ;) This giveaway begins NOW and ends Friday, February 14th at noon (just because I love Valentine’s Day and want to make 8 of you my Valentines…heehee!) You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Again, you must also know your blood type to enter. Good luck beauties! :-D

This giveaway has ended! Congrats to the following winners (they have all been emailed!)

Jamie Jorgenson, Gisela Matta, Stephanie Mejorada, Alyssa Fitzgerald, Jessica Gilliland, Megan Fisher, Gail ?, and Tori ?.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

THE SPOILED MAMA TUMMY BUTTER: Pregnant or not, this product is wonderful!

Featured

photo 2-1This product was not sent to me for review, I just read so many amazing reviews from others about it online that I tracked down their website and purchased it myself! You all know I was using Bio-Oil to prevent stretch marks during this pregnancy, and I really love it, I just didn’t love that 75% of the ingredients were chemicals and things I couldn’t even pronounce…so, I sought out a natural alternative that was highly rated.  One particular review I read online stood out from the rest for me.  A woman stated that both her mother and her sister got horrific “Freddy Krueger attack” style stretch marks during their pregnancies and she was terrified of the same happening to her, so photo 3after researching stretch mark prevention she gave this cream a try…and she swore up and down she did not get a SINGLE stretch mark on her stomach, breasts or butt after giving birth to her child.  Now, I’ve always thought that if something is hereditary, it’s hereditary and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  I gave my own mother really, really bad stretch marks when she was pregnant with me, so I figured I’m destined for the same…and honestly, I will take the worst stretch marks on earth in exchange for a healthy baby, but I figured attempting to prevent them couldn’t hurt.  Especially if the product is natural. :-D

I also read another review from a woman who wasn’t even pregnant but had stretch marks from losing 60 pounds so she bought it to fade them…and it worked! This is actually something I can relate to.  I’ve always fluctuated 25 pounds since my mid-twenties.  I go from 115 to 140 and back again what seems like yearly so I’ve got ugly little stretch marks on my butt and sides of my breasts…not really on my stomach though.

photo 1The cream was pricey for a fairly small jar ($34 for 4oz) but again, the reviews gave me hope, so to me it’s worth a shot! The product came really fast after ordering (3 days) and was accompanied by 3 samples of other The Spoiled Mama products.  I started using the stretch mark cream immediately upon receipt.  It smells okay. Directions state to use it three times a day, so this might get me in trouble because I’m only using it once per day (after showering) but then again maybe it won’t? After all, in just three weeks it’s already faded my existing stretch marks from my weight gains/losses with my once per day use. I do use it pretty liberally though. I have faith it’ll work! ;)

From TheSpoiledMama.com: “Our Best Seller! Our Tummy Butter for stretch marks is made with the finest ingredients available. We start with pure cocoa butter and then added organic Rosehip oil, organic Tamanu, and Kukui Nut oils which contain Vitamin A and E, and high amounts of essential fatty acids. Together they promote collagen and elastin levels to increase cell regeneration. This results in firmer skin with greater elasticity and helps defend against pregnancy stretch marks. Mama’s Tummy Butter stretch marks lotion penetrates into the deepest skin layers, while creating a protective shield that locks in moisture and nourishes your growing belly. Our Special stretch marks Butter blend will help fade scars and pregnancy stretch marks and prevent new ones from appearing. A perfect pregnancy stretch marks treatment. Works wonders on C-Section scars too!:-D

I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this product whether you already have stretch marks or are looking to prevent during a pregnancy! And now I’m really wanting to try out their pregnancy acne product and buy a full size of the body wash (really loved the sample!) Did you use any special products or do anything to prevent stretch marks during a pregnancy? :-D

signature

Designer Skin Nail Polish & Lip Gloss!

Featured

photo 1-2Many thanks to my beautiful friend Mimi for getting these fabulous products over to me.  Mimi is the owner of my all time favorite self-tanner product that most of you longtime readers probably remember from last summer, CaliGirl Tan.  Well she now has an online shop on Amazon and is selling Designer Skin products. Designer Skin is generally known for their indoor tanning lotions however Mimi sent me an array of gorgeous nail polishes and lip shimmers by them and I must say, I’m impressed!

photo 2-1Most of you know I only wear gel polish for multiple reasons.  My nail beds get really oily so standard polish just doesn’t work for me.  It always rubs off or chips within a day or two. Plus, now that I’m pregnant, I am really trying to avoid doing my nails more than once every couple of weeks (chemicals) and the only way for me to do that is to go the gel route. I would go without polish while pregnant if I could, but my nails are so flimsy and weak, they tear and create painful hangnails.  So, it is what it is.  I had to try out at least one of these colors for Mimi though and I chose the red because well, red is my fav. I LOVED it! A gorgeous, classic red perfect for any season.  The other colors look just as beautiful as this one,  although I haven’t tried them.  Instead I’m going to give them away to a lucky reader! I’d rather these polishes get use out of someone who can wear regular polishes without issues like me. :(

photo 1Now, the lip shimmers I am totally in love with!  They go on sheer with a sparkly hint of color.  Summer is right around the bend and these are just the types of lip products I go for in the summer time…nothing too heavy or sticky.  Something fun I noticed is that these are not lip plumpers by any means, but the shimmer factor does give the illusion of fuller lips! I simply line my lips with a nude liner and fill in with this gloss and am left feeling a little bit poutier! ;)

To order any of these products, please check out Mimi’s Amazon store by clicking here. The lip glosses retail for $15 each but are only $5 on her site! Great deal. :-D

gp49uneb5a43bnunll1ed5oa531390259890

photo 2-2

For those of you who want to test your luck, I am giving away three of the polishes in the colors pictured above and one of the lip shimmer click pens in the color “Pinch Me Pink.” I’ve also thrown in a tinted lip balm from Mica Beauty in the color “Fiesta” that I received in my last Ipsy bag.  This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, January 31st at noon.  You must live in the continental United States to enter or win and you must be at least 18 years or older. Good luck! :-D FYI: COMPLETE THESE TWO ENTRIES BELOW TO UNLOCK MORE CHANCES TO WIN!! THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! CONGRATS TO AMANDA LAWSON! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birchbox vs. Ipsy

Featured

Birchbox-logo VS. logo_ipsy_Hq41iQOvARqkKCe2HV2VsnOBpaOwwHmAsmxPtd1GtFO

Well beauties, this one is tough! I’ve been getting Birchbox for years and Ipsy for only two months.  When I received my first Ipsy Glam Bag last month I was WAY happier with it than I was with my Birchbox and was actually starting to tell people I preferred it.  And then this month the opposite happened.  I liked my Birchbox better than my Ipsy Bag.  So, I can’t really say one is superior to the other until I continue to get both of them for at least a year.  What I CAN say however, is that at only $10 a month for both services, I think it’s worth it to get both.  That’s a whole LOT of beauty goodies for only $20! And after doing a pro’s and con’s list for each, they are equal in their highs and lows.  In my opinion anyway.  I know some of you are VERY vocal on which services you love and “hate”. LOL. To me, there’s really not much to hate when spending $10. Some are going to be awesome and some are meh, but at the end of the day you’re still getting to try out beauty products you may otherwise never know about.  Some of these products I’ve received have changed MY whole beauty world!

JanuaryBirchbox-logo

photo 1

My January Birchbox was mighty pleasing! Tons of fabulous items, all of which I will use. I’m most excited to try the Nail Rock Glitter product! You simply paint your nails with two coats of the polish, then roll it in the included glitter, allow to dry and voila! Gorgeous nails. Most people know I generally either wear my nails red or French so they couldn’t have sent me a better color! Also, my hair has been a dried out frizzy nightmare so I’m always glad to see hair smoothing products.  I haven’t used any Fekkai products in my hair before, but I’ll definitely give this one a shot and will report back if I’m happy with the results. The Inika eyeshadow looks really pretty too! I’m not generally a fan of loose mineral shadows but this organic shadow vows to “stay vibrant for hours” so we shall see.  The four packets of coconut body cream and the tea were awesome additions as well.

I have to say Birchbox has a history of sending more smaller one time use packet samples than they do bigger deluxe samples and full-size products, but this box took that complaint and punched it in the face! Hoping to see more Birchboxes like this one going forward! :-D

Birchbox

Januarylogo_ipsy_Hq41iQOvARqkKCe2HV2VsnOBpaOwwHmAsmxPtd1GtFO

photo 2

This was my second Ipsy Glam Bag delivery and I loved it (although not as much as last months.) The delivery bag was adorable as usual.  I actually love having a little collection of makeup bags. They are useful for so many different things aside from just makeup.  I consider it an extra product, rather than just the packaging for the Ipsy beauty items.  The eyeshadow pencil this month was FABULOUS! Glittery, pigmented and long wearing (over primer.) I’m also loving the face lotion.  It’s a great light-weight everyday face lotion. That was pretty much all I was excited about with this Ipsy delivery, but check out what I got in my Glam Bag from last month! I loved ALL of it (POP shadow palette, Be a Bombshell blush stick, an AMAZING blending brush by Mirabella, false lashes – always good, and a J. Cat Big Lip Pencil in the puuuurfect red).  Oh and the bag was just as fab as it’s contents:

Screen shot 2014-01-18 at 5.53.15 PM

Ipsy

Well, there you have it! I plan to continue my comparisons of the two boxes each month to see how they continue to differ from each other.  For now though, I recommend getting both! Why not? What else are you going to spend $20 on this month? 3 and a half coffees?  I’d personally rather make my coffee and have the beauty.  Plus it’s like your birthday or Christmas twice a month when your Birchbox or your Ipsy is waiting for you in your mailbox. Heehee. ;) CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BIRCHBOX & CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO IPSY 

signature

I’m Living Naturally with Living Nature!

Featured

logo

Whenever I see a package on my doorstep from New Zealand, I smile big because I know exactly where it’s from.  One of my very favorite all-natural beauty companies, Living Nature. They could not have picked a better time to send me some of their fabulously pure and wonderful skincare products.  You all know I’m striving to be as clean as possible during this pregnancy and with Living Nature products I can rest easy knowing they are free of any toxins or damaging chemicals.  Pure, clean skincare. :-)

Ultra_Rich_Body_Cream_Bottle_Box_NR_grandeThis allotment gave me two products I actually really needed.  An AMAAAAAZING body cream and an acne spot treatment.  The Ultra Rich Body Cream is nothing short of heavenly.  It’s as thick and luxurious as a body butter with a nostalgic scent that makes me smile.  Do any of you remember those old school Smarties candies?  Those tart little candies that were big back in the 80′s (maybe they still are?)? Well, the instant I twist off the cap I get that EXACT scent from the body cream.  I personally love it! A little goes a long way too as this is a very thick, rich cream…probably why it’s named “Ultra Rich Body Cream” LOL. Duh, Jamie.  Anyway, after showering I apply this cream and am left feeling silky soft and smooth all day.  I get REALLY dry skin and dry skin makes my skin crawl, so it’s nice when I find a good product to keep the skin crawling at bay from morning to night. :-D

Manuka_Honey_Gel_10ml_Tube_Box_NR_1cbfd21a-0345-4b7c-bfb6-dd461ac08b43_1024x1024The second item was also a MASSIVE score! This pregnancy has graced me with wretched  skin.  I’ve always been one to get an occasional zit or two around my period, but never like what I’ve seen since entering pregnancy.  It’s hideous.  Acne on my chest and all over my face.  Acne medications (even topical over the counter ones) are not okay during  pregnancy.  I’m sure you remember my last post where I explained that I even had to give up my favorite Neutrogena astringent because it has salycic acid in it.  Well, this beautiful little answer from God is called Manuka Honey Gel for Trouble Spots.  It’s acne medication FREE, yet naturally heals blemishes with Manuka Honey.  Heard of it?  From Living Nature’s site: “Active Manuka Honey is one of nature’s miracle healers, and anti-microbial Manuka Oil is a super protector – both with proven skin benefits.” Feel free to Google it for more info on it.  I did and this truly is a miracle product.  I’ve been using it for only 3 days and every SINGLE blemish spot has already tamed down tremendously and I’m guessing, will be gone within a few more days.  I absolutely recommend this to anyone with acne prone skin.  It’s very cost effective too at only $16.11. :-D

Feel free to click on the photos above to be linked to the items. Hope you all have a great weekend! Lots of love. XO CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK

signature

Where Have I Been? PREGNANT!

Featured

photoHello friends! First off, I want to thank all of my readers for your patience.  I took a little hiatus from YBJ at the end of November and am just now getting back.  A LOT has happened in the two months I’ve been gone.  The most important being that Aaron and I found out we were PREGNANT on December 2nd! This will be the first baby for us both and was 100% planned as we started trying immediately after the wedding.  I’m just about out of the first trimester (11 weeks yesterday) and it’s been a rough start, which is what’s kept me away from blogging.  From intense all day “morning” sickness, horrific migraines and extreme exhaustion it was a battle just getting through each day.  I also quit my full time job and will be staying home now to build Your Beauty Junkie, work on finishing my real estate school and of course, taking care of my growing family.

1557558_757969644231297_45372260_nNow that I’m feeling better I have a rapidly growing to do list to tackle since I basically did NOTHING for two months straight! LOL.  I have to take everything one step at a time though and it’ll all get done.  I have to completely baby myself during this pregnancy as I’m high-risk for multiple reasons.  Praying all goes well and I have a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby.  We’ve already chosen our name for boy or girl.  If it’s a boy, we are naming him after Daddy – Aaron Nathan Thomas, Jr. But we will call him “AJ” for short.  Not only does that stand for Aaron Jr. it also is the first letter of Daddy’s name and the first letter of Mommy’s name.  Love it.  Oh yeah, our girl will also be AJ – Ava Jayne Thomas or AJ for short. We should find out the sex the week after next. I’m in love already.  Because I’m high risk we had a very early ultrasound back at 9 weeks to ensure baby was growing okay and the heart was beating.  Hope you like the first photo of AJ looking more like an alien than a baby…LOL! :-D

I’m doing weekly “Bumpdate” photos and messages to AJ (I’m sharing them on my social media pages) so that after he or she is born I can put together a little book for baby that shows my belly growing with each week.  I think as an adult, AJ will appreciate my little weekly love letters I wrote throughout pregnancy. Here’s an example of this weeks:

1525080_10202518110581437_579160724_n

Don’t worry, I won’t ONLY be blogging about pregnancy now (or only baby after birth) however a lot of the products I’m using now have to be all-natural and pregnancy-safe so there are some items I will be avoiding during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  I will do an occasional pregnancy posts here and there too though as I know some of you are interested in following along with AJ and I, but for the most part expect business as usual around here. ;)

Obviously my AM and PM beauty routine has changed.  For example, I am OBSESSED with Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil Eliminating Astringent but I can’t use it because it has Salycic Acid in it and that isn’t considered safe in pregnancy. GRRRRR! It was the ONLY thing that made my face feel 100% clean so I’m currently on the hunt for an acne medication-FREE astringent to replace it.  Aaron helped ease my loss of having to give up my beloved astringent though by getting me a Clarisonic as one of my Christmas gifts.  Talk about a deep clean. It’s like having a professional facial everyday.  I still want that safer astringent (it’s a mental thing) but the Clarisonic truly cleans my face unlike anything.  If you don’t have one yet, I STRONGLY suggest getting one.  I honestly can’t believe I went as long as I did without one with as many of my fellow beauty bloggers out there raving about.  It’s a magical beauty wand. :-P Click photo to research or purchase

Another thing I’ve given up are body lotions and butters that have parabens, mineral oil or other nasty chemicals in them.  Instead I’m using a combo of two things; Bio Oil and organic or all-natural (with ingredients I understand) body butters/lotions.  My mother got really bad stretch marks with me and my brother and I hear they’re hereditary.  So after doing some research I’m giving Bio Oil a try…it’s suppose to completely prevent stretch marks if used from the first trimester through birth.  After showering I dry off then massage the Bio Oil all over my stomach, sides, breasts and butt.  Then I use my natural body creams for my legs and arms.  This combo leaves me thoroughly moisturized throughout each day. I’ve heard about a combo of natural body butters that you can make yourself to prevent stretch marks and I will probably give that a try when my Bio Oil is gone, but I’m not sure yet.  So far I really like it. :) Click photo to research or purchase

I am also assuring that I’m only using Naturally Fresh deodorant.  I blogged about it a long time ago.  I’ve gone back and forth between standard ones like Secret and such, but during pregnancy I’m really trying to avoid the non-natural ones since they are jam packed with cancer-causing aluminum and other chemicals.  Anything you put on your skin seeps in…and baby is in there. People ask me all the time if Naturally Fresh actually works.  For me, it does – but there’s a technique to it.  I first apply it and let it dry, then I apply it again.  For some reason just one application doesn’t work, but two does.  I’ve used Tom’s and other natural ones before and they didn’t work for me at all (just left me smelling like peach scented BO…lol) but I honestly really do like this one.

As far as my makeup goes I haven’t really made many changes.  To be quite honest I haven’t really worn makeup the majority of this pregnancy so far since I’ve been so sick in bed most of the time. But when I do, the products I use are pregnancy safe. I do want to find a good natural line of nail polish but for the time being have continued with the gel polish – I just don’t soak them off with acetone.  Instead I do what I tell everyone NOT to do and peel them off when it’s time to re-do them *gasp!* LOL.

That’s it for now my loves.  Thought you’d all want a little YBJ life update. so there you have it.  I’ve got product reviews and giveaways coming out of my ears (I am SO behind) so please stay tuned! Lots of love! XOXO

signature

SMILE BRILLIANT LED TEETH WHITENING: Review & Purchase Information!

Featured

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 3.31.05 PM

Yet another product SUCCESS! I received this teeth whitening kit from the amazing people over at Smile Brilliant today.  I had heard such rave reviews about LED teeth whitening but my expectations were exceeded by leaps and bounds!  This system is meant to be used for 20 (or more) minutes once per day until desired whitening results are achieved.  I did just one session so far though and my teeth are as white as if I had done five straight days of Crest White Strips! I can only imagine how they will look in another week.  Looks like my dress will not be the only white at my wedding! ;) :-P :-D :)

Here is a photo of me trying out the system as well as a photo of my teeth after my first session. I’m an idiot and forgot to take a before photo (sorry).  They weren’t yellow to begin with by any means, but they weren’t even CLOSE to this white! I’m totally blown away.  And FYI the second photo is completely unfiltered! ;)

65606_614669411894655_2084420526_n

photo

Here is a review of this same system from a YBJ fan who purchased it after reading this post! Thanks Trisha! :)

404683_619324534762476_1866083745_n

Smile Brilliant is one of the friendliest companies I’ve come in contact with since starting my beauty blogging journey and I’m so excited to be working with them.  Communicating with them is like talking with old friends.  Such a great experience.  If you want to just purchase this NOW is the time because they are discounting it from $129.95 to $39.95! I’m about to sound like an infomercial, but IS THAT ALL? NO! LOL.****UPDATE ON 5/31/13 AT 1PM: THE FIRST 25 PEOPLE TO ORDER WILL GET 25% OFF WHICH BRINGS THE ALREADY DISCOUNTED PRICE TO $29.96!!!! THE ORIGINAL TOTAL IS $129.95 SO THIS IS HUUUUUGE! YOU MUST ENTER 25at25off TO GET THIS DEAL!**** If you weren’t one of the lucky 25 to get that deal, don’t fret – enter BEAUTYJ at checkout to get 15% off indefinitely! This brings the final total to $33.96! I’m even going to purchase a few more kits myself (one for Aaron, and a few extras as future gifts for people)!  If you want to purchase, click any of the photos above, or this link here to be directed to their website.

u6nuorrtgff60id1n6s3a886371361850318

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! Congrats to the winner Jasmin R Wilson! She has been notified via email. :)

And now the fun portion! This giveaway begins NOW and ends Tuesday, April 30th at midnight.  You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  As usual, be sure to complete the first three tasks to unlock a ton more! a Rafflecopter giveawaysignature

BooHoo.com Style for Less!

Featured

My Boohoo.com delivery was by far one of my favorite deliveries of the year! When they reached out to me to review their site, I felt like a kid in a candy store..an overwhelmed kid in a candy store! How could I decide what I wanted?! There were adorable item, upon adorable item…and pages and pages of them! I finally was able to narrow it all down to a few things I loved and they arrived only TWO days later! :-D

Every single item was just as darling as it was on the models online…and we all know how rare that is! ;) Everything fit perfectly and brought on compliment after compliment throughout my days. The quality is not the greatest, but the prices are low so you can get a LOT of clothing for your money! I would compare Boohoo to Forever21…only I find Boohoo’s selections to be way cuter personally.

My favorite item of the bunch was DEFINITELY the fleece jacket! OMG it is probably the coziest coat I’ve ever owned!! I’ve always had a really weird phobia of clothing with silk lining. Well, I guess it’s not a phobia but I despise the way silk feels against my skin…like nails on a chalkboard!! Ewww. Gives me goosies. Especially when it’s cold out because I swear it makes me even colder! I have found the warmest, cutest looking coats in the past and if I open up and see silk lining, I won’t get it.  Anyways, I digress. My POINT – this coat is lined with the waaaaaaarmest fleece-like material. It literally feels like you’re wearing around a blanket all day! And let’s talk about how warm it keeps you…it’s like a little toaster oven. Absolutely LOVE this. Check out this lining for yourself:

I want to buy the coat in the other color now too! *sigh* My other favorite was of course, the big oversized brown sweater.  I am a forever fan of oversized sweaters and leggings though.  Even if they go out of style, I will be the one person left out of style still wearing them.  It’s the easiest way to feel cute, confident and be comfortable all at once! This brown sweater arrived just in time for me to wear it on Thanksgiving and it’s so perfectly Fall so I’m sure I will wear it all season long, every Fall.  Super cozy and equally as cute!

The other pair of leggings and the studded headband were just as big of hits as everything else and they are all items I will definitely wear more than once! I am pleasantly pleased that every single item I received was such a hit! I will be Boohoo.com’ing it up every time I need lots of cute new clothes and don’t have a lot of money to spend!  Had you ever heard of this online clothing site?  Have you purchased from here before? Would love to hear your thoughts as well! :-D

Click on any of the photos of me to be directly linked to the items on the site!

 

R.E.I.G.N. Beauty will leave you feeling like Miss America!

Featured

photo 1-1

I LOVE THIS COSMETICS LINE!! So completely fabulous! Gorgeous pigmented colors, high-quality products and adorable packaging. Have you ever heard of R.E.I.G.N.? I hadn’t, but that’s probably because they just launched their new skincare and cosmetics collection in 2013 by Joshua Brands in partnership with the Miss America Organization.  The proceeds for all products sold (which are aptly named from the state flowers of the State Titleholders who compete for the crown) photo 2-1go to help support the Miss America Organization’s Scholarship Program.  All R.E.I.G.N. products are proudly made in America and the brand aims to inspire everyday girls and young women from all walks of life. This company not only leaves us looking beautiful, but IS beautiful. :)

I fell in love with the products they sent me at first use.  My absolute favorite of the bunch is the Lasting Luxe Lipstick in “Apple Blossom Red.” Such a perfect, classic, sexy red that will leave you looking and feeling confident and glamourous.  The perfect color isn’t even the best part about this lipstick…it literally stayed put for HOURS.  The Lasting Luxe Lipsticks are an honest to God long-wear line of colors.  I put mine on before work one morning and by lunch it still looked as perfect as it did when I originally applied it hours photo 4-1earlier.  It faded a bit after eating, but not a lot.  It just needed a little touch up and was as good as new.  I have had so many ladies ask me both what my favorite red lipsticks are over the years, as well as what the best long wear lipsticks are, and I can honestly tell you all that this covers both of those needs, in one pretty little tube. ;)

My second favorite of the bunch is definitely the Lip Nectar! This lip balm is deliciously moisturizing and tastes oh so yummy! I have been applying it after brushing my teeth and before going to bed.  I use a liberal amount and try not to mess with it.  I wake up every morning now with the most supple, soft smooth lips ever! :-D

photoThe Glazing Dual Lip Gloss is my third favorite.  It’s VERY sheer, gorgeous and uber shiny without any stickiness (which I totally despise in lip glosses!) I use either a nude or light pink lip liner to line my lips and slightly fill them in a bit, then I apply this gloss over the top.  I apply the pink side of the dual gloss as an all over color, and then I use the clear, sparkly side as a highlighter just in the center of my bottom lip. This product is NOT a lip plumper but this technique in which I apply it makes my lips look so much fuller than your average lip gloss does. Absolutely love this!

I also ADORE the Chunky Lip Crayon! The nude color is perfect for my everyday “Light Makeup” look.  It obviously also works as a liner and gives just enough color to leave your kissers looking subtly full and pretty. :-P

I’ve yet to try the mascara but I’m sure I will love it after experiencing the awesomeness of these other items! I’m so glad I’ve discovered a cost effective line of cosmetics that actually has pigment and lasts! I really want to try their foundations next.  I will report back.  Have you tried R.E.I.G.N.? Have you heard about them?

signature

Perfect “SkinAgain”

Featured

photoOne thing I never take for granted in my life is this beauty blog and all of the opportunities it has presented me thus far, including all of the beauty products, cosmetics, and fashion items I get to test.  When I am introduced to or discover an amazing new product, my fingers itch to get to my computer and share my experiences with all of you.  Believe me, there are plenty of items I try and sadly don’t end up liking at all, so I don’t review them…but sharing my experiences about the products I not only love, but also feel they’d improve the confidence and beauty in others, is something that genuinely excites me. For those of you who haven’t read my “About” section, this site is negative-free and every item reviewed is something I’ve given a 5-star rating.  :)

SkinAgain is a company I’d never heard of prior to their reaching out to me. Their products contain the highest grade of active ingredients available for OTC Function Skin Care remedies…their formulations actually include the highest percentage of active ingredients allowed without a prescription.  These products are fragrance-, paraben- and cruelty-free and their mission is to contribute happiness and self confidence to their customers by healing skin with compassion. LOVE.

My new daily face cream from SkinAgain is called Youth and it is meant to reduce fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles and restore elasticity in the face.  I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks after a month or so of using a different face cream that I really wasn’t crazy about.  It’s amazing what a difference it’s made in such a short amount of time! The elasticity in my face is what I’ve noticed the most, but my fine wrinkles and dark spots definitely have softened too so I can’t even imagine how my face will look after a month or two of using this everyday.  I honest to God feel like I look younger when I look in the mirror. I also love that my skin is always silky soft and smooth now and never gets oily anymore.  This product is EXCEPTIONAL as a makeup base too…I have not needed a primer since using this! Everything about Youth is WOW worthy and will not disappoint! :-D

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 11.30.31 AM

Skinagain also so graciously sent me their Vanish product to try.  This is a body cream meant to prevent and reduce the appreance of scars, stretch marks and cellulite. I cannot honestly say I’ve noticed any difference with this product yet, but again, it’s only been a week – and I’ve got some deep rooted cellulite under my booty. Ugh. LOL. In addition to exercise, I have faith in this product after how wonderfully the Youth has worked for me. Regardless though, even without any appearance bettering benefits, I LOVE this cream and the way it feels on my skin.  It leaves me feeling cool and silky soft.  I don’t use it everywhere, just areas where I have imperfections; my butt and sides of my breasts (stretch marks). Since Aaron and I are trying for a baby this product will definitely be my bff as my tummy grows in hopes of preventing stretch marks! Stay tuned for a future review of this after I’ve used it longer. :)

CLICK HERE TO SEE BEFORE & AFTERS

At only $49 per product, they don’t break the bank either! If you’re reading this review prior to Cyber Monday you’re in luck because by entering “CYBERMONDAY” at checkout, you’ll receive 50% off your entire order! ALSO, DO NOT miss out on my YBJ’s CHRISTMAS  SHOPPING GUIDE while doing your Cyber Monday shopping…RIDICULOUS deals on my highest rated products. :-) ;) :-D :-P
signature

Don’t Exfoliate Without Dermasuri!

Featured

photo 3-2Do you exfoliate your body? Do you realize how important it is to exfoliate your body? I really didn’t until recently.  I love body scrubs and things of that nature, but I thought actual exfoliating was bad for your skin for so long.  I thought it caused tiny bumps on the backs of my arms and legs so I avoided it.  Then I realized what I was using to exfoliate were really just chemical filled products that clogged my pores, hence causing the bumps.  True exfoliation will actually reduce ingrown hairs, bumps and clogged pores! Exfoliation also improves circulation, stimulates collagen, fights aging, evens skin tone, prevents dullness, removes impurities and rejuvenates skin.  Feel free to research more for the endless benefits of exfoliation. :-D

The Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt is my new favorite tool for exfoliating my body, so many thanks to them for sending me this product. It’s so easy to use too! I use it once a week while showering.  I first get into a hot, steamy shower and let the water run over my skin for a few minutes to open up my pores and soften the dead skin.  I then turn off the shower, ring out my Dermasuri mitt, then I exfoliate using vigorous, upward and downward strokes until I actually see the dead skin cells rolls away, per the instructions.  I do this all over my entire body and then turn the water back on and wash up with a good organic body wash and rinse.  My skin is left RIDICULOUSLY soft, glowing and smooth.  This is the closest you will ever come to having baby soft skin again and you CAN quote me on that! If you haven’t tried this product yet, it’s only $19.99 and I highly recommend it! Would make an awesome stocking stuffer too! ;)

signature

All-Natural MUST HAVES from Living Nature!

Featured

photoOkay, so we all know I’m a massive skincare product junkie. Well, here is yet another Living Nature product that didn’t disappoint. As a brief reminder, Living Nature is an all natural skincare company based in New Zealand who is the maker of one of my all time favorite face serums, Radiance Night Oil, that I’ve been reviewing since I started this blog almost two years ago.  Every product of theirs I’ve tried since has been just as spectacular as the last and this Extra Hydrating Toning Gel is no exception. :-D

After cleansing my face and patting dry, I apply a dime sized amount of this gel all over my face and neck and let it dry and soak in before applying my moisturizer.  For starters, this product smells SO good and really familiar to me for some reason, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Hmmmm…Anyway, after it soaks in, my face is left looking incredibly hydrated and even-toned without looking greasy and/or oily at all.  I could totally go without moisturizer because this leaves my face moisturized on it’s own but I love mixing products for added benefit.  ;)

photo 2-3Now how freaking CUTE is this smokey eye kit? What a great gift or stocking stuffer idea! Everything you need to create the ultimate smokey eye.  And it’s not just a bunch of crappy cosmetics stuffed in a pink box.  It’s Living Nature’s high quality, all-natural cosmetics. You will receive three shadows (a highlight color, crease color and a black), an amazing creamy pencil liner, a fab mascara and a little compact which the three eyeshadows that come with photowill magnetize into! LOVE! It’s fun to open up, fun to put together and of course, fun to use.  It looks amazing on! I am the self proclaimed Queen of the smokey eye so this little package just sings to my heart! :-P

Whether you’re a die-hard all-natural product junkie, or someone just looking for great quality products, Living Nature will leave you smiling and definitely satisfied.  All products are shipped from New Zealand, but all of my packages from them come really quickly! CLICK HERE TO BROWSE THEIR SHOP.

signature

Glossybox? Yes Please!

Featured

photo 1Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service, similar to Birchbox and Ipsy.  The pricing is higher than the other two (click here) but you get what you pay for! No paper samples here…only high quality full size beauty products and deluxe sized samples!  I had never heard of this particular monthly beauty box until I was approached to review it on YBJ and I’m oh so thankful that they reached out to me.  Add this to my list of monthly must haves! :-D

The box I received for review was amazing!  It was their November 2013 “Holiday Romance” box.  Apparently each box has a theme.  I have no other boxes to compare it to, but I will say that this particular one was worth WELL over the cost of the box itself.  Inside I found a face wash that would become my new favorite, a highly pigmented black eyeshadow, a
photo 2hair treatment which I’ve been told from others is amazing (I will report back), an awesome eyeshadow brush, and a two in one eyeshadow/thick liner. You typically receive five full size products and or deluxe samples in each box.  Here’s a quick run down of my favorite products in the November Glossybox that I received. :-D

The Aloe Source face wash is freaking SPECTACULAR! I had never heard of it prior to Glossybox but I am in love.  It’s a “Jojoba Radiance Cleansing Polish” so it gently exfoliates as it cleanses.  I use this product by getting my
face wet, then massaging it in and wiping it off with a hot, wet muslin cloth (you can use a washcloth if you prefer.) My face is left silky soft and thoroughly clean! I should mention that it removes makeup really well too! This is something I will continue to use, I loved it THAT much. :-)

photo 3My second favorite product was the Emite Micronized Eyeshadow in a matte black color. This is a highly pigmented fabulous black shadow.  Everything you want in black shadow.  Makes for a sexy smokey eye and when worn over an eyeshadow primer, it lasts all day!  This eyeshadow alone is worth more than the entire box! It would be $27 if I were to buy it so that alone goes to show what a fabulous deal you are getting with a monthly Glossybox subscription ;)

My third favorite item was definitely the Jelly Pong Pong 2 in 1 Eyeliner and shadow! This also is highly pigmented and goes on smoothly and easily! I received the pencil in “Steel” and I love it.  I used it to photocomplete a subtle Thanksgiving Day smokey eye in conjunction with the Emite black shadow.  I’m going to try the pencil today for an all over color too and will share results on my social media pages. LOVE! :-D

The other products I received I’ve yet to use, but I will say the Nicka K New York Eyeshadow brush I received is gorgeous and of high quality! I highly doubt it will disappoint.  The final item, Color Protecting Leave in Oil Treatment, I’ve also yet to use personally, but when I posted about receiving a Glossybox on my Facebook page, MULTIPLE ladies informed me that this particular item was amazing! So obviously, I’m excited to try it out now!  As usual, I will inform you of my thoughts on social media. :-P

There you have it! Glossybox is simply fabulous and even though it’s double the price of other monthly beauty boxes, you really do get what you pay for.  If I could go back in time I would have definitely added this to my GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE for sure! I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with a Glossybox.  Do you subscribe? If so, what are your thoughts?? :)

signature

This is a TRUELY Amazing Kit from Mario Badescu! A MUST HAVE!

Featured

This kit totally and completely blew me away! I have to start by saying that I almost sent it back (so glad I didn’t!) When the company told me they were sending me product to test/review I was SUPER excited because Mario Badescu is one of my absolute FAVORITE skin care lines.  When the package arrived though, I noticed it was an acne kit. I was a little confused so I immediately wrote my contact at the company and informed her that I don’t have acne so I would have a really hard time reviewing the kit for her and then offered to send it back to them. :(

Well, I honest to goodness think she cursed me because the very next day (I am not even joking) I woke up with THREE zits! One hideous ugly cystic zit on my cheek, a smaller one by my nose and some tiny ones kind of in a cluster under my mouth.  WTH?! I seriously don’t get zits aside from the occasional hormonal blemish so this must be a bad month I’m approaching – OR, I’m pregnant. LOL. Either way, I had a nasty breakout and suddenly found myself running for the Mario Badescu kit I received just one day prior! :-D

photo 2At first I was totally perplexed by the Acne Repair Kit.  First glance had me thinking it was an acne system like Proactive or something, but at closer look I saw that there were actually three separate spot treatments inside. Who needs more than one, right?! Well, then I read the back of each bottle.  The first one titled “Drying Lotion” was a little glass bottle with half clear and half pink separated liquids inside.  This one is meant for small little surface zits and white heads.  You are directed NOT to shake or mix the separated solution, so I stuck a Q-tip all the way down to the pink, pulled it out and dotted my smaller zits with it.  The second product titled “Drying Cream” is an AWESOME Aloe Vera rich cream meant to disinfect and dry up underground blemishes as well as HEAL already erupted pimples.  The final (and my personal favorite) of the bunch is the “Buffering Lotion” which I’m pretty sure is a magic potion.  This one is meant for those nasty, scary cystic pimple(s).  After washing, toning and moisturizing my face, I squeezed some of this milky solution out onto a cotton pad and wiped it over my deep photo 5painful zit, all over my nose and gave all of my other zits a quick swipe of this too.  It goes on clear and smells like alcohol. I then used the Drying Lotion and covered each zit then went to bed.  The next morning all of my blemishes were DRASTICALLY smaller! I did the same routine the following night and by morning they were all almost gone. I am being 100% honest with you! :-D

This was Friday mind you.  It’s now Monday and I do not have a single zit or even a semblance of one anywhere on my face.  Typically the cystic ones will last longer than a week on me until I’m able to pop it, and then I will inevitably pop it because I can’t control myself and will be left with a disgusting scar for well over a year.  This is absolutely a magical, one of kind product and I now realize why I was told this is one of their most popular kits.  Everyone should keep this on hand! It will SAVE you and your face, believe me!  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE :-D

signature

Step out of your shower feeling SEXY with Splurge Skincare!

Featured

photoThere are very few things I love more than a good quality, heavenly scented, all-natural body scrub. GAH. They take an everyday shower from a chore to an experience.  So naturally, I said HECK YES when Splurge Skincare asked if they could send me a few products to try/review for them. :-D

There comes a point in time in the life of a busy beauty blogger where I’ve over-promised and there are multiple items that need to be tested – and if loved – reviewed my me. What I do is line them up in order of what I received first and try them in that order.  My shower specific products I line up on this shelf we have next to our shower.  So, apparently my darling husband didn’t know about this system of mine and steps out of the shower one morning saying, “WOW! That Splurge body scrub is like heaven in a jar!” LOL. I was like, “Awesome, thanks for ruining my lineup and doing my review for me!!” No, I honestly love when he gives me input on products because I don’t ever ask him for his thoughts on them, so he very rarely says anything…and when he does, that just tells you how good the item is! ;)

therubSplurge sent me two scents of the body scrub, “Winter” and “Almond” and also a totally fab lip balm called “Lip Buttah” in Peppermint. My favorite of the two scrubs was definitely the “Winter” aka Peppermint. The scrub down was almost euphoric.  After cleansing my body, I massaged the scrub from the bottoms of my feet all the way up to my neck. I scrubbed and scrubbed until the rub melted down from a rough sugar scrub to a moisturizing body wash.  Aaron was right, everything about the experience was utter heaven, and I didn’t even need moistuizer on my body after toweling off.  The scrub completely exfoliated me from head to toe and left my skin lipbuttahsilky smooth and feeling incredibly sexy! It even put me in a good mood! Absolutely wonderful product.  The Lip Buttah was equally as awesome! You all know I am an EOS a-d-d-i-c-t, but this is a top front runner. A fun, oval-shaped tube and an extremely cool, tingly balm that smooths onto your lips with ease and keeps those kissers in tip-top shape! I keep it on my bathroom counter as part of my pre-bedtime routine. :-D

If you are looking for a great Christmas gift, add this to your list! The recipient will most definitely love it. Also, don’t forget to check out my “YBJ GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE” for all of your Christmas shopping needs! Quite a few YBJ discounts on some of my favorite products of 2013! Whether you need stocking stuffer ideas, gift ideas for your mom, sister or wife, or gift ideas for your dad, brother or husband. Lots to choose from.  Happy holidays! :-D ;) :-) :-P

signature

VITAMINO: My Current Shampoo & Conditioner!

Featured

I have been extremely pleased with my hair these passed couple of days (for a change)! Ever since going lighter six months ago, it’s been a battle to keep my hair looking silky and shiny like it was when it was all dark. And every time I go back in and get it even lighter, the texture gets even worse! I LOVE the color, I just wish the texture would remain the same as it was when it was dark. As you all know bleach (in any amount) is EXTREMELY damaging. :(

My salon, Teze Salon in Tacoma, WA had an event about a week ago called “Girl’s Night Out” where they opened their doors to their clients and friends of their clients in hopes of spreading the word about the new location. They taught us how to do GORGEOUS and very easy hairstyles on ourselves (big pin curls for sexy looking vintage waves was my FAV and I tried it in the photo of me above), served wine and appetizers and handed out gift bags.  I threw my gift bag in my purse and didn’t really think about it until I got home…not realizing that bag would soon change my hair world! ;)

I decided to try out the items in the gift bag the next day.  There was a deluxe sized sample of a L’oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color Shampoo and a Masque inside, along with a hairspray.  I’ve used every shampoo and conditioner combo as of late, from salon quality hair products to drugstore products and haven’t really been THAT impressed with any lately…so even though this was a high-end product, I didn’t get that excited over it…until I used it! :-D

Shampoo is a b-word on lightened hair. Trying to scrub my scalp can be excruciatingly painful and not to mention frustrating, when my hair is getting tangled and stuck the entire time…and I am a lather, rinse, repeat kind of a girl so it’s a long process.  This shampoo was different however! Washing my hair was actually an easy, pleasant experience…and it smells really good too! I was able to scrub my scalp with ease – twice! I also used the L’oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color Masque that I received.  After shampooing and showering I didn’t condition AT ALL.  I got out of the shower, towel dried my hair and then put in a hefty amount of the masque.  I left it on and wrapped my hair back up in my towel while I got dressed and did my makeup.  When I was done with everything else I had to do, I dumped my head over the side of my tub and rinsed the masque out with cold water then towel dried, blow dried and styled as usual.  My hair was left totally silky yet still full of volume! The ends don’t look even remotely fried anymore and it feels like it did before it was lightened! :-D

If you are in need of a heavy duty shampoo and masque this is it! You can find it online or at Teze Salon in Puyallup or Tacoma, WA. Your hair will thank you! :-D

signature

YBJ’s 2013 GREAT BIG Christmas Shopping Guide!

Featured

cooltext1270666976

The time has finally arrived! My absolute favorite time of year…big sweaters, leggings, tall boots, scarves, fires, cozy blankets, hot cocoa and the holidays. All of those items envoke happy thoughts…but one unfortunately also brings along a world of stress. The HOLIDAYS. The act of giving has got to be one of the most fulfilling feelings you can experience, but when you have no idea what to give, it can make a cheerful happy time, a pain in the rear. ;)

Let me try to ease your pain this year.  I thought long and hard about these lists.  Every item is something I personally would be OVERJOYED to recieve as a gift. There were tons more beauty products I fell in love with in 2013 aside from the below mentioned, but these were the top 10 of each category – for me, and the top 15 for Aaron! ;)

Below you will find three shopping sections: Top 10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas, Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Women, and Top 15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Men (also including some electronics!) The men’s list was created by my husband.  Being married to a beauty junkie has benefited him greatly in the men’s beauty department especially! LOL ;) HAPPY SHOPPING! :-D

If you are looking for something in particular beyond these three lists, don’t hesitate to ask for our thoughts/opinions on other items! We’re glad to help. :-D

Stockings

  1. eos Smooth Lip Balm - Sweet Mint in particular, but I’ve linked you to a great deal on a variety pack! I am lost without these delicious, organic lip balms.  They can be found all over my home, car and desk at work and will continue to forever.
  2. Beautyblender Makeup Sponge - These completely changed my makeup routine and my world.  I no longer use foundation brushes to apply my foundation or concealer…these fabulous sponges do it all! Apply foundation by patting on with the large edge of the sponge and pat on concealer with the smaller edge.  You will be left with an airbrushed flawless finish, regardless of the product you’re using!
  3. Benefit Fakeup – My new favorite undereye concealer.  It’s a concealer with a ring of balm around it.  It not only covers up any undereye flaws but leaves a smooth finish that prevents the concealer from settling into any creases.  I even use this to highlight now and am loving my results! :-D
  4. FLO Refillable Perfume Atomizer- MUST have.  Fill these darling little spritzers up with your favorite perfume so that you can have a travel size to carry in your purse or take on vacation with you!
  5. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer - Also known as the world’s most gorgeous highlighter! When I highlight and contour my face, I use a concealer underneath my highlight areas and then I dust this Mary-Lou Manizer over the top.  SO gorgeous. SO flawless. It can also be used as an eyeshadow…a very pigmented one mind you! ;)
  6. Dior ‘Addict’ Lip Maximizer – Okay, well this one is one of my all time favs…not just 2013…but I couldn’t leave it off the list! It’s truly amazing! Takes my mediocre lips to va-va-voom full, sexy and glossy! A lip plumper that definitely works! I wear it over lipsticks and sometimes just on it’s own.
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Brow Wiz’ - I cannot do my eyebrows without this product.  The skinny tip is so fine that it looks as though you’re drawing tiny hairs back onto my sparce brows.  I have multiple bald spots but you’d never know by looking at me thanks to this product! You can literally draw on a perfectly shaped brow with this tool and make it look absolutely, completely natural! :-D
  8. Benefit they’re Real! Mascara – I will no longer use another mascara. The End.
  9. Furlesse Elevens - Now these are just plain old fun! Apply a patch between your brows (covering those deep #11 wrinkles so many of us have) before bed and wake up in the morning to find the wrinkles gone! No, it’s not a permanent “Botox” like fix, but it lasts for the day after you use it! Great for special occassions when you want to look your very best!
  10. Eylure Naturalites Evening Wear Lashes, – My absolute favorite brand of falsies.  I’ve tried them all from MAC to Ardelle and these are by far my favs.  Easy to apply and look like real hairs! :)

Slide1

  1. Smile Brilliant Custom Trays – This is my absolute #1 MUST HAVE gift idea! Who doesn’t want bright white teeth – and quickly?! This incredible deal is for a kit that contains everything needed to create your custom fitted trays as well as pre-filled syringes with 22% dentist grade whitening gel! You or your recipient will LOVE this gift. BE SURE TO ENTER BEAUTYJ AT CHECKOUT TO RECEIVE 15% OFF THE ALREADY DISCOUNTED PRICE ~ JUST FOR MY LOVELY FANS! ;) For more info, read my review about it here. :-D
  2. Folle de Joie eau de parfum - If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m obsessed with this scent.  It’s now known as my “signature scent” by those close to me because it’s the only scent I ever want to wear (and I own more perfume than anyone in their right mind should). From the website: “…blend of calming citrus and a light woodsy floral, giving away to playful hints of cognac. Its middle notes—jasmine and Damascenia rose—give the fragrance a carefree vibe. Finally, warm base notes of spicy woods and rich leather add a seductive finish.” It’s heaven in a bottle and you can take my word for it without needing to smell it first. :-D
  3. Birchbox Subscription - This will be on my list every year.  For only $10 per month you receive a monthly delivery of high-end deluxe beauty samples and often full size products worth WAY more than the box itself! The best part about Birchbox for me, is that I discover these new amazing products I would otherwise not know about, and when I go online to purchase the full-size, I earn points toward future products. $1 = 1 point and can be redeemed after 100 points, or $10 off.  LOVE. :-P
  4. Jurlique Ultimate Skin & Body Collection - I have never met a total body (from head to toe) skincare line that I love more than Jurlique.  Every item I’ve ever used is rich, luxurious and intoxicating.  To make matters better, Jurlique is an organic skincare line so you can rest assured you aren’t jamming your skin full of chemicals.  I personally would do backflips for this gift package so I know just about any true beauty junkie would do the same! :)
  5. CLARISONIC ‘Aria – Candy Apple’ Sonic Skin Cleansing System - If you haven’t yet had the chance to use a Clarisonic, you are truly missing out! Your face has never felt or been as clean as it’s been after using a Clarisonic. This is the ULTIMATE Christmas gift for any lady in your life (or yourself of course!) ;)
  6. Benefit Cosmetics It’s A Love Fest - Benefit Cosmetics, in general, was my discovery of the year! I’d used plenty of their products in the past but I went on a couple big “Benefit Hauls” in 2013 and have officially decided that it’s my all around favorite cosmetics line. From the PERFECT quality of the products to the absolutely adorable packaging, there really isn’t another cosmetics line that compares in my eyes.  This particular gift package includes a couple of my favorites too! ;)
  7. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette - There is not another eyeshadow palette more perfect or complete than this.  Every shade you could need and so deliciously pigmented.  A MUST have for every woman’s cosmetics arsenal.
  8. Keranique Hair System – This was sent to me for review about a year ago and fell in love at first use which you can go back and read in my previous reviews.  This is technically a hair system to give volume to women with thinning hair (which I do not have) but any woman can and SHOULD experience these products.  There really is nothing like it..from drugstore hair products right on up to the creme de la creme high-end salon brands, Keranique WINS in the YBJ book! :-D
  9. Murad Environmental Shield Intensive-C Radiance Peel, 1.7 fl oz - The ultimate face mask/peel! Your skin will look so youthful and radiant after first use and will stay perfect with time! If you haven’t read the review I wrote on this, you really should take the time to do so! It’s amazing.
  10. Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Skin(TM) Transformer Body SPF 20 Sheer Enhancer - Lets just say that I don’t leave the house with my legs or arms showing WITHOUT this product! Who wears nylons these days (no one!), instead make your legs, arms, whatever part of your body you want – flawless by rubbing this in.  I always use it on my legs and am always in awe of how flawless and airbrushed it leaves them. ;)

Presentation1

  1. Birchbox Man Subscription - At $20 per month it’s twice as much as the women’s subscription but that’s because the men get quite a bit more as well as multiple full size items in their boxes.  My husband looks forward to his Birchbox each month and it has turned him onto multiple items he might otherwise know nothing about! This is my #1 Men’s Gift suggestion for this Christmas! :)
  2. Smile Brilliant Custom Trays – (COPIED & PASTED FROM ABOVE – AMAZING GIFT FOR BOTH MEN & WOMEN!) This is my absolute #1 MUST HAVE gift idea! Who doesn’t want bright white teeth – and quickly?! This incredible deal is for a kit that contains everything needed to create your custom fitted trays as well as pre-filled syringes with 22% dentist grade whitening gel! You or your recipient will LOVE this gift. BE SURE TO ENTER BEAUTYJ AT CHECKOUT TO RECEIVE 15% OFF ~ JUST FOR MY LOVELY FANS! ;) For more info, read my review about it here. :-D
  3. The Art of Shaving ‘Fusion Chrome Power Shave’ Collection - Something I’ve heard every man in my life (not just Aaron) rave about! Supposedly the most luxurious, rich shave a man has ever had.  DEFINITELY an excellent Christmas gift!
  4. Vitaman Products – Aaron recieved the face wash in one of his Birchboxes and has been non-stop raving about it ever since! If your man is looking for (or you feel he needs) a good quality skincare line, make sure to check out VitaMan first! :-D
  5. Viktor & Rolf ‘Spicebomb’ - OKAY. So you ladies LOVE Flowerbomb, right? Well, here is the men’s version.  I, Jamie Lee Thomas, will vouge for all, that this is the absolute sexiest scent for men on the market right now.  *Panting!* YUM.
  6. Burberry Brit ‘Rhythm’ - Another incredibly sexy manly scent! My second fav after Spicebomb! ;)
  7. Billy Jealousy ‘Combat Lines’ Face Moisturizer - Aaron loves this moisturizer! Before my time I don’t even think he knew what the word “moisturizer” was (lol), but thanks to Birchbox Man, he’s finding new treasures like this one, and raving about them!
  8. eos Smooth Lip Balm - It’s not just for women! Sweet Mint is Aaron’s fav too!
  9. Skiva External Cell Phone Battery Pack – Okay, so I’ve basically stolen this from Aaron (sorry honey!) It’s a sexy little device that holds two full charges for any Apple or Android phone! Just plug it in to it’s charger or a computer’s USB port to recharge it and never again be stuck somewhere with a dead cell phone! ;)
  10. OSCAR BLANDI ‘Pronto’ Dry Sculpting Pomade - Once upon a time when Oscar Blandi sent me hair products to review for them, they so kindly threw something in for Aaron too…this pomade.  Ever since he refuses to use anything else in his hair.
  11. Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Anti-Fatigue Cooling Eye Gel  – The best undereye product for men. Period. Cools, removes puffiness, and brightens.
  12. Traeger Grills – This goes down as the discovery of the year in our home! If you have over $1,000 to spend on your honey, THIS is the gift to get! It is the future of BBQ’s! Wood pellet smoker grills that take grilling to a whole other level! These grills cook up the absolute TASTIEST meals by way of flavored pellets and electric heat.  There aren’t enough words in the universe to describe the amazingness of this item! Aaron didn’t step foot in the kitchen the first two years we were together, and now he cooks 5 nights a week.  Reason enough to spoil your man with this! ;)
  13. Nest Thermostat - Coolest item ever! We officially live in a Jetson’s world! Simply install this where your old thermostat use to be, download the “Nest” app to your iPhone, and change the heat in your house whether you’re in the comfort of your own bed, or out of the country! It’s a learning thermostat too so it will automatically adjust the heat whenever you normally would.
  14. Apple TV - Access to endless entertainment and so small it fits in the palm of your hand! We were just able to get caught up on a new TV show that just came out by finding all of the episodes on our Apple TV! Watched a few downstairs then moved it up to our bedroom to watch the rest.  Love this thing!
  15. Google – Chromecast - Now I personally am unsure what Chromecast is, but after doing some research, I see that it’s very similar to Apple TV (and a lot cheaper!)

935985_10201769960638156_934144777_n

For more information on any of the above mentioned beauty items, just go to my home page above and type the product name into the search field and press enter.  That will bring up every review I’ve ever written about the product in question! :-D

There you have it! Hope you were able to get a little shopping done! I know I’ll be using these lists to do mine.  Don’t forget to spoil yourself too…I’m postive you’ve all been good girls and boys this year. LOL. HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM YBJ & FAMILY! :-D

signature

 

Make a STATEMENT: Ruffles with Love!

Featured

1460178_722954731066122_1887183066_n

How absolutely darling! When Ruffles with Love reached out to me to tell me about their Etsy shop and to ask me to try a couple of their items, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The shop was started about a year and a half ago by a girl named Vanessa who was getting married. She made workout shirts for herself that said “Sweating For The Dress” and everyone loved them so much that photostarted selling them on Etsy. After a while she branched out into other fitness shirts. They now have a huge selection of high quality tees, tanks and sweatshirts with empowering, funny and inspirational messages.  They even have sports team apparel for the female sports fan (GO LAKERS!!) :-P

It took me forever to settle on two tops that I wanted but I finally did.  These racerback tanks are super cute and of high quality material!! Whether you’re looking for some new workout gear, loungewear or some Christmas gift ideas, check out Ruffles with Love on Etsy.  Be sure to enter BEAUTYJUNKIE10 at checkout for 10% off! :-D Happy shopping! XO

 

signature

Get on my EOS Sweet Mint wagon people!

Featured

1380306_714448401916755_1079850805_nI  fell in love with these little bulbs of heaven quite a while ago after giving into the hype and picking one up.  I purchased the Pomegranate Raspberry at the time and immediately became addicted (so did my husband because I’d always find mine on his side of the bed! grrrrrr.) :( Anyway, we went through it pretty quickly both using it every day so I picked up a few more – specifally the “Summer Fruit” and the “Sweet Mint”.  I, being the nice wife that I am, gave Aaron his very own and then kept one for me.  I ended up keeping the Sweet Mint. 

Ok, it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for packaging and this product is just about at the top of the list! Something about the silky smooth little colored balls are just so fun (that sounded bad) that I’ll actually catch myself messing with them when I’m stressed or bored.  They just feel so freaking cool! And then you open them up to the most insanely incredible lip balm to ever grace your lips! 95% organic and 100% natural, these are packed with antioxidant rich vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil. For the past ten years my favorite lip balm has always been Burt’s Bees, but they have sadly dropped down to second place.  Not because of these EOS balms in general, but because of the Sweet Mint flavor in particular! WOW! It leaves that cold, tingly, soothing feeling you expect from a mint balm and leaves your kissers super baby soft.  I put it on probably 100 times a day now.  When I first wake up, underneath my lipstick, throughout my day and then right before bed.  I do love all of the different flavors but this one has them all beat! It even tastes good! :-/ LOL

I just found a great deal  on Drugstore.com for you all too! Only $10.99 for 4 different flavors (including the Sweet Mint!) They are normally $4.19 each so this deal has them at $2.75 each! Click the photo of the package above to purchase and enjoy! If you haven’t tried these yet you will thank me later! ;)

signature

SpaLife Wake Up Under Eye Revitalizer!

Featured

photo 1I received these heavenly little under eye strips from SpaLife yesterday and couldn’t wait to test them out! I suffer from severe puffy “tired” eyes from time to time (they’re especially bad in the mornings and during allergy season) and am always looking for a good, natural remedy.  Packed with Vitamin E and Espresso these soothing, healing little eye strips don’t only make for a relaxing experience but a beneficial one too! The package says that this product “Hydrates & Perks Up Tired Eyes” and I really couldn’t have said it any better myself. I am a believer! 

Just before bed last night I opened up the little plastic bag containing 24 eye strips soaked in serum (12 total applications).  I stuck one under each eye, then crawled in bed to watch The Voice with my husband.  The entire experience was quite wonderful.  The sensation was cool, soothing and slightly tingly. I kept getting whiffs of yummy coffee every so often too, thanks to the espresso ingredient and I hardly even noticed they were there.  You’re suppose to leave the strips on for 20 minutes photo 2but I kept them on for a half hour.  I removed them, then patted any remaining serum left behind into my skin then went to sleep.  When I woke up this morning I had super smooth under eyes free of any puffiness! :-D :-) :-P

Luckily SpaLife sent me two packages of these strips, so I’ll be keeping one of them at my bed side so I can relive this experience every night, and I decided to give the other pack away to a lucky one of YOU on my Facebook page! I love when I have the opportunity for others to experience what I have which is part of why I love giveaways so much! This giveaway is open until Friday 10/25/13.  If you want to purchase for yourself they are only $15 on SpaLife’s website! :-D signature

No makeup without FAKEUP!

Featured

I had heard about, seen it and even swatched it…and all I thought was, “eh” because it wasn’t what I was use to.  Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up is an undereye specific concealer with a ring of hydration around the concealer.  I unfortunately let my first impression get the best of me with this one.  I typically like really thick, heavy duty concealers as I use them not only to conceal but also to highlight and I thought the hydration ring would take away from that.  Key word there – “Thought”.  All I can say is that I am SO thankful Birchbox  (<– a God send) sent me a deluxe sample of this product in my October box because it forced me to give it a shot, and I fell in LOVE! No, I don’t use is it as a highlighter too…just as an under-eye concealer, but it’s so wonderful that it’s worth using two separate products to conceal and highlight.  I use Fake Up under my eyes and to conceal blemishes, and I use a Sephora highlighting concealer to highlight my face.  Such a better finished look than using the highligher for both! This product is every bit as fabulous as it’s sexy packaging is! :-D ;) :-P

photoI simply prime my face (using The POREfessional) , apply my foundation (still obsessing over Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse), then take my Fake Up stick and glide it on thick under my eyes and on any area I have a blemish or spot.  I use the pointy tip of my beautyblender to pat until well blended.  Then I finish with a setting powder (currently loving Benefit Cosmetics ‘Hello Flawless!’ !) The appearence I’m left with is silky smooth undereyes minus any tired dark circles or puffiness! It’s amazing.  My prior concealers (which I still love) were great, but they did tend to settle a bit in the creases after a long day and had zero moisturizing qualities to them.  This gives you a flawless finish to your undereyes without looking like you’re even wearing concealer and it never cakes, creases or settles.  It’s seriously great and I will be purchasing a full size when I run out of my generously portioned sample tube. :-D

signature

SANS: Treat Yourself to a Naturally, Luxurious Experience!

Featured

photo 3

What an absolutely incredible at home spa experience I get to have every single day now, thanks in full to San’s! This 100% all-natural skin care line (hence the name San’s as in sans-chemicals) is not only great for you, but the experience it leaves you with is memorable and the packaging is beyond adorable.  I love companies that give so much attention to detail.  Upon opening each item, there is a darling little green wax leaf sitting atop the product, reassuring you that what you’re about to use is of the earth and nothing more. I love that! As for the actual experience…heavenly. The moisturizing sugar scrub and sugar scrub squares photo 1are pure luxury.  After cleansing my body in the bath or shower, I follow-up with a scrub down using one of these two products. It feels almost euphoric (like you’re getting a really good itch all over your body) just scrubbing and exfoliating away until the sugar breaks down leaving you with extremely moisturized skin! Even after getting out of the shower and towel drying my skin is baby smooth.  I follow it up anyway with the INCREDIBLE whipped body butter in “Gardenia” that they sent me. The scent is intoxicating and the silky, smooth feeling it leaves behind is unparalleled.  I swear, after showering with the scrubs and moisturizing with the body butter, being naked feels more like wearing silk pajamas.  It leaves my 33-year-old skin as soft and delicate as a newborn baby. The lip balm is so incredible too, that I’ve added it to my nightly regimine.  I apply a liberal amount to my lips just before going to bed each night and wake up with super soft and supple lips the next morning…no more dry, peeling, cracked lips! These reasons alone are enough to make me want to replenish when I run out, but there is so much more to San’s that makes their products so MUST HAVE worthy.

photo 2PART OF THE EMAIL FROM SAN’S CREATOR, RENAN KENNEDY, TO ME: “It’s really crazy how sometimes the universe points you in the direction into which you were meant to go! I began this line out of an attempt to find natural products for my beautiful, sweet mother who after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and undergoing heavy chemo began to develop very dry skin. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any all natural, pure, clean moisturizers to put on her skin. Every moisturizer I found contained water, and I knew when there is water in a formulation, there will be life in it in the form of bacteria, mold, and other dangerous pathogens, so because of the presence of water, there must be a preservative added to prevent these pathogens from growing. In my research I found that there simply are no all natural preservatives, some preservatives are only less harmful than others. I couldn’t find any products that didn’t contain water. The ones that did contain water and claimed to be all natural were preserved with essential oils, or Vitamin E, Rosemary Oil, Grape Seed Extract all of which I found out were not suitable for protecting against all pathogens that might grow in a formulation. I really couldn’t find anything so I decided to make my own creams for my mother. One thing lead to another and I started Sans! My formulations contain no water, and I am very careful to use the appropriate antioxidants to keep the formulations from spoiling. My formulations have a shelf life of up to a year because I use ingredients that intrinsically have long shelf lives. My sweet mother lived long enough to see my line go into its first store.”
 
Amazing story for this amazing product line.  Renan also started a baby line called ‘Sans Petite’ which will be out very soon! To shop her fabulous products click any of the photos above or here to be directed to the site.  Enjoy! :-D
 
signature 
 

BENEFIT HAUL: World’s GREATEST Mascara, Face Powder & Primer, OH MY!

Featured

IMG_1309

For the LOVE of this fabulous brand!! YOU GUYS! I am obsessed!!! It all started with my addiction to the Porefessional face primer (click here to read my previous post on it) and was followed by my discovering the mascara “they’re Real!” and then the “Hello Flawless” powder cover-up.  Beauty Junkies, you are in store for VERY happy faces if you take my word and try these products out for yourselves.  My mini Benefit shopping haul pictured above was some of the best money I have spent in a VERY long time! :-D

I HAVE to start with they’re Real! Mascara.  It is in a league all its own and has no competitors.  You have GOT to trust me on this!  I’ve reviewed some other pretty fabulous mascaras in the past, which I still swear by and love (like L’Oreal’s False Fiber Lashes) but they just can’t compete with this one.  It’s a combo of the actual mascara and the magic wand of a brush it comes with. I apply three coats and it takes my lashes from short little stubs to long, lovely seductive lashes reminiscent of my Latisse days.  My favorite LATISSEAFTERpart of the brush is the tip that is rounded making getting your bottom lashes a clean, easy experience as well as helping to elongate your lashes on the outer top corners. It really is a magical mascara and is worth every single penny of the $23 that it’s worth! You can find this at any department store that sells Benefit brand, or by clicking the photo of the mascara here. :-D

My next FAAAAAVE is the ‘Hello Flawless!’ pressed powder foundation! As you know I am currently using Living Nature and/or Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation as my base (my two current obsessions) but I always top my foundation off with a setting powder in the Fall and Winter to give more of a matte finish.  Well, the girl at the Macy’s counter had me SOLD on this one so I picked it up to give it a try.  It can be used as a foundation altogether by using a sponge to apply it on for max coverage, or you can use it as a setting powder only by dusting it over your face with a powder brush (my method)…Hello Flawless, is RIGHT! My foundation already leave a pretty flawless finish on their own, but topped with this it’s almost unearthly! It blurs everything and just looks so…flawless. There really isn’t another word to use! LOL. $34 VERY well spent! :-D Click photo to purchase.

I also tried the primer ‘That Gal’ known as a brightening face primer and I have to be real with you and say it’s on par with the Porefessional…in fact, it may ever so slightly beat it out?? I received a sample of it which I’ve been using everyday in place of my Porefessional but it really does add a brightness to your face when worn under foundation. Very subtle but brighter nonetheless. Gorgeous! I’m definitely going to pick up the full size when I run out of Porefessional! Gorgeocity!

So there you have it. My mini Benefit haul. I’ve yet to try “Sun Beam” or the “It’s Potent” pictured above, but you can be sure I’ll be posting if they are as amazing as their counterparts here! These products are not only incredible, affordable and quality, they also have just about the cutest packaging EVER (I’m a sucker for packaging) close only to theBalm cosmetics. Check out these items I’ve shared with you above when you’re in the market for mascara, primer or face powder and I guarantee you will be thanking me! ;) Lots of love my ladies!

signature

 

 

LIVING NATURE: QUALITY Natural Cosmetics & Skincare & Breast Cancer Awareness!

Featured

photo

If you’ve been following me for a while then you already know about my love affair with the New Zealand based cosmetics company Living Nature. It all started back when I had barely started up YBJ and I won a bottle of Living Nature’s Radiance Night Oil (<– click link to read my review of it) from a fellow beauty blogger’s giveaway.  I fell deeply, madly head over heals for this product.  It meets all of its claims and then some! I highly Radiance_Night_Oil_10ml_bottle_Box_NR_affb771d-3533-4572-a0e1-cb854d248a68_1024x1024recommend reading my post on it but here’s a reminder of its promises: “The luxurious formula is scientifically proven to stimulate structural skin cells up to 43% in 72 hours to increase the production of collagen and elastin. It also inhibits environmental damage to prevent premature aging. Skin is soothed, moisturized and softened for with a blend of regenerating rosehip, soothing calendula and antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E. One drop sparingly applied to the eyes, cheekbones, neck and upper lip will revive your skin as you sleep. Has a gorgeous rose scent.” This is a truly beautiful product. And I use 3 drops instead of 1, FYI. ;) Click photo of it to purchase.

I was so blessed that Living Nature not only loved my review but that they also wanted to start working with me.  They’ve always so kindly replenished my Night Oil as needed and are always on board for giveaways whenever I ask.  When they surprised me this month by informing me that they also make cosmetics, I about lost my mind! As you all know, I’ve been on a year-long hunt for GOOD quality organic and/or all natural cosmetics products and have had a little luck here and there, but nothing every mind-blowing.  The products they sent me are high-quality, natural and SO SO WONDERFUL!!

Illuminating_Foundation_with_NH_sticker_14_1024x1024The Soft Lights Illuminating Foundation is like a dream come true.  This is NOT a full-coverage foundation by any means but if you are like me and use more sheer foundations and bb creams by day, you will LOVE this.  ILLUMINATING is really the key word.  It makes my face look super radiant and fresh with a slight shimmer of pearlesence. I apply it with a beauty blender sponge over a good primer and voila! Beauty.  I do like full coverage foundations sometimes (at night and when it’s “that time of the month” and my hormones are raging) so all I do is put two pumps of this on my hand, followed by two pumps of my favorite full coverage foundation (Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse), mix the two, then pat on with my sponge.  The most flawless I’ve ever looked.  From their website: “WINNER: ‘Best Skin Perfector’, 2013 Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards, Jamie Lee Grace Awards 2011 Best Natural Foundation A wonderful light foundation tint in a medium shade, with a gentle shimmer or pearlesence. Gives your complexion a soft radiance and minimises the appearance of fine lines. Manuka Honey and natural oils give nourishment, and pure minerals provide the soft healthy glow.” I am seriously, honest to God in love with this! They have full coverage foundations too which I’m hoping to try next.  If it’s equal to or better than my favorite Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse then I’m switching! The more organic and natural cosmetics I can switch over to the better.  With our skin being our largest organ we really need to be more conscientious of what we are putting on it.  Chemicals seep in and chemicals cause disease. Food for thought. I will report back! ;)

photo

85249_NEW_Precious_Offer_IMAGE_copy_1024x1024They also sent along a gorgeous new lipstick which I love for more than one reason.  One is it’s obvious beauty (see the swatch on the photo of my hand above). Second is how creamy, luscious, and long-wearing it is.  Third is that it’s all natural and lead-free.  Fourth – last but NOT least, this particular lipstick, “Precious by Lorraine Downes” is a new natural pinkish-nude lipstick specially launched in support of Breast Cancer Network NZ by Lorraine Downes, New Zealand’s only ever Miss Universe! “Precious” joins nine other shades from nature to expand the already fabulous Living Nature color palette. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it hits home for me this year.  Sadly, I just found out that a friend of mine (co-founder of Fashion Lab LA who YBJ has partnered with on many occasions) was just diagnosed last week with stage 4 breast cancer. Please pray for her and support cancer research! The more awareness and research there is to rid the world of this wretched disease the better. I will always be inclined to spend my hard-earned money on beauty products whose proceeds help find a cure. :)

Big thanks again to Living Nature for this fabulous package and for turning me onto these new and wonderful products! They also sent along an “Ultra Nourishing Face Mask” which I’ve yet to try, but if it’s anything like their other products I’ve used so far, you can count on a review of it in the near future…and hopefully a Living Nature Giveaway sometime soon?? Hmm? ;) LOVE TO YOU ALL! XO

signature

Amazing Skincare Collection by DermaMD!

Featured

photo 5[3]

Yet another AMAZING collection of products that I not only had the honor of reviewing but the company is also sponsoring a giveaway of the same products to one of you! DermaMD is an Arizona based skincare company and these particular products are seriously L-E-G-I-T and worth all of the $450 that they cost if you buy them all outright! I’ve used them for the past couple of months in prep for my wedding and I have to say my skin felt and looked more youthful than EVER when I walked down that aisle.  I no longer feel 33 when I look in the mirror…my skin looks like I’m still in my twenties and most ladies 30+ will know how amazing that feeling is. The products are as follows:

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 8.40.05 AMPEPTIDE 3 EYE CREMEPrice: $58.  This product claims to remove puffiness, fine lines and under eye circles.  It also claims to make your eyes look firmer and tighter.  Well, the claims are accurate.  I noticed results almost immediately too!  This is considered an “Age Management Eye Cre’me” on DermaMD’s website and I’d say it’s categorized pretty darn accurately! I use it every night before bed.  After cleansing, toning and moisturizing my face, I then pat just a little bit of this wonderful eye cream under my eyes and up and around my brow bone and lid – NEVER rub over skin with any eye cream…this can actually create wrinkles with time. This eye cream is a MUST HAVE in my book! :-D CLICK ON THE PHOTO OF THE EYE CREAM TO THE LEFT, TO READ MORE ABOUT IT OR PURCHASE IT ON DERMAMD’S WEBSITE.

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 8.47.08 AMPINK SILK FACE FIRMING REJUVENATORPrice: $121.  This product is hands down my FAAAVORITE of the bunch. It’s no wonder why it’s their #1 best selling product.  From the DermaMD website: “A unique and one of a kind product that will change your skin forever! Reduce fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen synthesis, assist in tissue repair, hydrates, nourish the skin, reduce erythema (redness) and feels silky smooth. Formulated with the recently talked about ingredient, AstaXanthin (red algae), by Dr. Perricone, which is found to be potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant. You have it all in Just one Bottle! No other product can do all of this!” I personally use it both morning AND night after cleansing, toning, and moisturizing but it is so moisturizing on it’s own that you really don’t even need a moisturizer.  I apply it all over both my face and neck and not only does it make your skin look up to ten years younger seemingly over night, I’ve noticed another strange benefit to it (and this is HUGE ladies) – it makes even my makeup look better! I thought I was crazy and imagining things, and then I came across these other reviews online: “I love this product and have for 10 years. Being an aesthetician, I know that the properties of astaxanthin (red algae) is protecting my skin from free radical damage that will slow down my aging process. Also the feel of it allows my makeup to glide on, so it provides my skin with the appearance of looking flawless and more radiant.” -Shelia. “ Helps maintain normal levels of collagen AND actually feels like silk! BUT, if that wasn’t enough it also doubles as a makeup primer. I use this before I apply my foundation for a flawless look that lasts all day.” -Mindy. Whoa.  Yeah.  I use a face primer too, but this takes it up about 1,000 notches.  A MAJOR MUST HAVE.

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 9.04.41 AMS-CARGOT FACELIFT ANTI-AGING SERUMPrice: $160.  SO amazing. My second favorite product of the bunch.  I apply it morning and night after cleansing and toning and allow it to fully absorb before putting on moisturizer or my Pink Silk.  From the website:  “This unique (paraben free-no animal testing) product will help to reverse signs of aging, and result in skin that has a more vibrant, youthful and radiant appearance.  Apple Stem Cell Extract and Snail Secretion Filtrate work synergistically to promote collagen deposition, thus helping to reduce appearance of fine lines and unsightly wrinkles.  TRF (tissue respiratory factor) helps to increase oxygen providing a healthier cell which makes for healthier skin.  Snail Secretion Filtrate, is rich in vitamins such as A, C and E.  Found to be a natural source of skin-softening, allantoin, collagen and elastin work as active ingredients for skin repair, dead skin removal, and anti-bacterial treatment. This product reverses signs of aging in just one bottle!” It’s really hard to say since I’m using so many amazing products at once, but I’m telling you guys – MY SKIN HAS NEVER LOOKED OR FELT QUITE SO AMAZING. :-D ;-) :-)

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 9.10.37 AMUPLIFTING FIRMING NIGHT CREMEPrice: $86.  Ok, this product is fabulous too but I have to be honest in that I just haven’t used it enough.  Whenever I do though, it leaves my skin feeling UBER moisturized and silky smooth.  It’s quite heavenly and I’m going to start using it more to see what happens long term, although at this point my skin is looking so amazing that I can’t imagine what more could possibly happen?!?! LOL. From their website: “Designed to provide hydration, firm and tighten the skin, giving it an instant lift effect with the additional ingredients of Alpha Lipoic Acid with DMAE complex, and Syn-Coll.”

ldfeckv3ki4dnj0kbn0pulco361378916333

This giveaway begins NOW and ends September 30th at 9pm.  You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  As with all of my giveaways the first three entries below are mandatory…complete them to unlock up to 60 more entry options!! The more entries you complete, the higher your chances of winning.  GOOD LUCK!!! :-D

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATS TO ELIZABETH ALEXANDER COHEN! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

PRODUCT REVIEW: Model in a Bottle – Hairspray for your FACE!

Featured

L10350026I’ve been meaning to blog about this product for the past YEAR when I first bought it, but haven’t seemed to get around to it until now.  Model in a Bottle is seriously one of my TOP 5 MAKEUP FAVORITES of all time! After finishing my makeup, I hold this spray about 8 inches from my face and spray approximately 3 times.  It feels super weird and almost like you are ruining your perfectly done makeup, but you aren’t! It sets everything in place and keeps it from going anywhere – All. Day. Long. This is a MUST HAVE item especially for special occassions.  Just as you would spray your hair with hairspray to keep your hair in place, you spray Model in a Bottle to keep your makeup in place…it really is “hairspray for your face!” It smells SO good too! Like a yummy perfume. :-D The only drawback is that it stings just a teeny, tiny bit right after applying, but the benefits WAY out-weigh that very minor stinging sensation.  Plus they make a sensitive skin spray which I’m sure prevents that.  At only $18 there is no reason every beauty junkie shouldn’t have this in their makeup arsenal. Have you heard of this product or have you tried it? :-D

signature

CLOSED GIVEAWAY: Gelish Mini’s Fall Colors, BASIX Kit & Light!

Featured

gelishGosh it feels good to be back! I get SO excited to host giveaways more than anything else that I do on YBJ because I know how much you all love them, and because I only host giveaways of products I am personally obsessed with, so I know whoever wins will be beyond pleased! :-D On that note, my wonderful contacts over at Gelish Mini have sponsored a giveaway of their new Fall 2013 collection, “Under Her Spell”, a BASIX kit (everything you need to do a gel manicure: top coat, base coat, phBonder, etc.) and the light that sets Gelish-Mini-Basix-Kitthe polish! This is HUGE as it’s a very expensive giveaway and something that will save the winner HUNDREDS of dollars in nail salon visits long term. I just wrote a post about this collection two days ago, so check that out if you’d like more information on gel manicures.  In a nutshell, gel nail polish is unlike standard polish in that it lasts for up to 3 weeks without chipping, has to be soaked off and dries instantly when put under the special light. What’s better than no polish dry time?! Whoever wins will have everything they need in order to give themselves flawless gel mani’s and pedi’s at home and will only have to worry about adding to gelish_pro45_ledlight_cg_basegeltheir collection of colors whenever they so choose (can be found at Sally Beauty Supply or online)! :-D I bought my first Gelish kit about two years ago and it was some of the best money this beauty junkie ever spent! ;) I now have an array of colors to choose from and even when I do still want to go to the salon to get pampered, I bring my own polish with me now and they usually discount me! It’s awesome on multiple levels! LOL. :-D Below are swatches I found on Google of these amazing, dark, sultry colors so you can see what they look like on.  Gorgeous, right? :-)

gel3

Now for the giveaway! Good luck to you all.  Remember – the first three items are mandatory.  If you complete them, you will unlock 50 MORE entry options!!! Each one ups your chance of winning so try to complete them all! :-D This giveaway begins NOW and ends Monday September 30th at 9pm.  You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  Many thanks to Gelish Mini for sponsoring this amazing giveaway.  Have fun all, and again, GOOD LUCK! :-) 

CONGRATS TO THE WINNER SARAH PARANICH-GROSS! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

MUST HAVE: The ULTIMATE Body Cream ~ Souffle Body Creme by Laura Mercier!

Featured

photo 2You KNOW a product is amazing when I take to my blog to write a review – off of a sample! On my wedding day, my super fabulous friend Kat Clark, aka my makeup artist, aka my eyebrow esthetician, gifted me a bag of beauty goodies from her new job as manager of the Laura Mercier counter at Neiman Marcus.  In that bag was this INCREDIBLE body cream – Souffle Body Creme by Laura Mercier. You all know, I’m a sucker for thick creams (there is almost nothing worse than a watery, runny lotion..BLEGH!) and this is as thick and luxurious as they come.  You will seriously feel like you’re massaging pure silk into your skin.  Heaven.  A single application keeps you moisturized for hours without having to reapply too.  What could possibly top all of that? Oh, the seriously INTOXICATING scent “ambre vanille.” It smells like vanilla made into a really high end perfume – not the normal headache inducing perfume scent that you get from most lotions though.  I get asked what I’m wearing constantly…even my husband comments when I put it on.  He actually thought I was trying to get fresh with him after moisturizing my dry hands after doing the dishes the other night! HA! I was like, “Calm down babe, it’s just my hand lotion!” :-D It’s that good! ;) Something about the mixture of the scent and the way it feels just makes me feel good all around.  Yes, the hand cream makes me happy.  I’ve been using it as my handbag lotion since receiving it and am forcing every last drop out of it.  You know it’s time to purchase the full size when panic ensures after realizing you’re almost out of a product! :-D If you are on the hunt for the PERFECT body or hand cream – this is a big time winner in my book! Yes, it is pricey – $55 – but well worth every scent, I can guarantee you that. Thank you to Kat for my brand new obsession. ;) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

From Nordstrom’s wesbite: “Laura Mercier ‘Ambre Vanille’ Souffle Body Creme
Just as milk nourishes your body, the key ingredients in Laura Mercier’s Souffle Body Creme instantly nourish your skin. The silky smooth creme, with its lightly whipped texture and delicious Ambre Vanille scent, enriches skin with much-deserved vitamin A, C and E derivatives….”

signature

MUST HAVE PRIMER: the POREfessional – for TRUE Beauty PROfessionals! ;)

Featured

photoI am SO in love with this face primer.  Since starting Your Beauty Junkie a year and a half ago, I’ve blogged about maybe three or four different primers…but I can honest to God tell you now that this trumps them all! My new must have favorite – Benefit The POREfessional.

The POREfessional is a tinted primer that glides on your skin like silk, filling in every wrinkle, pore and imperfection making for a smooth surface for your foundation to sit on.  It’s tinted unlike most primers which I feel makes for a more natural appearance.  Once you put your foundation over it, you will look like an airbrushed magazine page! My current foundation favorite is STILL my drugstore gem, Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse (I swear – BEST $10 money can buy…CLICK HERE to read my review of it) although I’m sure any foundation would go on amazing over this primer. :-P

My three “Must Follow Tips” for a flawless made-up face are as follows:

  1. Cleanse and tone face, then moisturize with a daytime Oil-Free moisturizer (stay tuned for my favorite day time oil-free moisturizer – review coming tomorrow!)
  2. Apply the Porefessional primer all over your face (about a dime size amount.)
  3. Using a make-up sponge (preferably a Beauty Blender) PAT ON your foundation all over your face until well blended; never rub on, smear or use your fingers! *cringe*

Voila! A perfect, flawless canvas ready for the rest of your makeup. You’re welcome! ;)

The POREfessional can be found anywhere Benefit products are sold (Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sephora, Ulta, etc.) You can also purchase by CLICKING HERE. One of the best $30 you can spend your hard earned money on. I LOVE it! :-D

signature

I’m Under Their Spell! Gelish’s 2013 Fall Line

Featured

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 3.49.47 PM

A big thanks to Gelish Mini for sending me their Fall 2013 line – Under Her Spell! I am IN LOVE.  I was just thinking yesterday how I was ready for Fall & Winter; boots, jeans, sweaters, fires, cocoa and the Holidays.  Then this package shows up on my doorstep.  Perfect! I immediately took of the peach color I had on my hands and feet from the wedding in favor of this gorge Fall color on my feet “A Touch of Sass” and a classic French Manicure on my hands.  I now feel a little less Summer and a little more Fall!  Going to try out the “My Nightly Craving” on both hands and feet next! I’ll be sure to share on social media, so follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you aren’t already.

In case you aren’t already aware, Gelish and Gelish Mini are gel nail polishes that require an LED light and a BASIX kit (includes base coat, top coat, etc.) in order to use them.  The polishes stay for up to 3 weeks without chipping and ever since I received my kit almost two years ago, I haven’t gone back to regular nail polish.  I highly recommend purchasing the kit for yourself if you haven’t already – ESPECIALLY if you pay a nail salon to give you a gel manicure every two weeks! The kit pays for itself rather quickly.  You can pick it up from any Sally’s Beauty Supply or online by clicking here. :-D

Also, just a heads up – I’m awaiting a return email from my contact at Gelish on a possible giveaway of this line, a BASIX kit and a setting light for one of you lucky YBJ readers! Keep your fingers crossed! Love you all. XOXO ;-) :-D :-)

NAILS

signature

I’M BACK! And Married! ;-)

Featured

1239964_10201500710787078_1284118429_n

Hello my beautiful YBJ Readers!!!! It has been FAR too long (two months since I’ve posted to be exact!) Thank you for allowing me time away to marry the love of my life and to work on a surprise that I will be able to share with you all in just a few short weeks! ;) We did not go on a honeymoon and after a week of getting back into the swing of life (we were married 8.30.13), I’m ready to get back to this second love of my life…my beauty blog, YBJ and all of you!  I have boat loads of reviews coming your way over the coming weeks, multiple giveaways and a couple of video tutorials I’d like to try and get to! Be patient as it still may take me a bit to fall back into the swing, but for now, count on at least three posts per week from me! :) Here are some photos from the best day of our lives…and I will share more when our fabulous photographer gets his over to us! :-D

 Just me gearing up for the day ahead!58831_10201512848010501_546247036_n

At the end of the night in front of our 1952 Bentley rental at our hotel! 1236652_10201500804469420_1857678022_n

One of my beautiful bridesmaids (Yoga Pants & High Heels) and I

KateandI

 The ceremony…*sigh*1236477_10201505171698598_2033934082_n

WE DO! ;)

1234744_10201505189139034_1600847321_n

My adorable best friends/sisters/bridesmaids!

1173784_10201505184298913_232352623_n 524501_10201505168018506_1835951726_n Bridesmaids

Belly dancer, first dance and reception fun!

1240230_10201505164538419_2053771019_n 1237498_10201505179098783_1776215697_n 1170962_10201505176778725_2108785471_n

My daddy & I :-)

1240565_10201505159378290_1752414883_n

My mommy and I :-)

1185106_10201505190099058_1470469926_n

Just a little of our flowers and decor…

1174569_10201505172098608_1489460975_n 1006345_10201505194619171_1998945764_n 1170711_10201511206169456_852804447_n

That’s it for now! I’ll do a “Part 2″ Wedding Post soon…when I get the rest of the professional photos and video of our first dance! In the meantime, stay tuned for tons of reviews and getting me back in your lives! LOL. XOXO

signature

Pur Minerals = Long term pure skin with a FLAWLESS instant finish!

Featured


Hello beauties! I really haven’t had time to post during this insane month of my wedding (3 more weeks!), but this beauty set was way too good not to find time to sit down and share with you.  My wonderful contacts over at Birchbox shipped me this package to review for them last month and I told them what I tell all of my contacts – “I would love to, but you’ll have to wait until September when my wedding and hectic life slows down.”

And then I received and started using the product.  WHOA! You all know that I was LOVING (and still do) my Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation as it provides an airbrush quality finish for a very small price.  I actually stand by my word that I like it better than the Dior Airflash foundation that is quadruple in price! Well, this Pur Minerals set gives the exact same airbrushed looking finish (a smidge better I might add) and actually is good for your skin at the same time. Yes – it is CLINICALLY PROVEN to improve your complexion over time.  I’ve been using it for two weeks and I can attest that it’s doing just that. ;)

8652_10201295180448948_1302271513_nThe set is awesome too.  It gives you everything you need for a naturally flawless base;  An amazing pore minimizing primer, a 4-in-1 pressed mineral makeup, a mineral bronzer, hydrating mascara and a chisel brush for foundation application.  It’s so easy to use! I start by using an oil free moisturizer, follow it up with the primer, then I use the chisel brush to blend the pressed mineral foundation powder in circular motions all over my face until I cover every square inch and it’s nice and flawlessly blended.  I add a little of my own favorite concealer under my eyes and highlight areas and blend well. Then I use the same chisel brush to blend the bronzer into my contour areas (under my cheekbones, sides of my forehead, sides of my nose, and my jawline.) I am left looking just as flawless as I do when I use my Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse or my Temptu Airbrush machine (I mean, what do you think? I used this kit in the photo of me above)! What makes this better than my other favorite foundations is that it’s better for your skin than the drugstore foundation, and it’s a fraction of the price of the airbrush foundation.  The entire kit is only $39 plus free shipping through Birchbox right now! LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE! :-D Click the photo of the kit above to purchase. You won’t be disappointed! ;) XO

signature

 

AUGUST 14TH: National Wear Your Hair Curly Day!

Featured

I received this email from my friends over at Garnier, and as an ethnic woman with naturally willd, curly hair, I was all over it! I alway love hearing new tips on how to keep my natural hair more curly and less frizzy so I had to share this email with you guys! Join me on August 14th – Wear Your Hair Curly Day! I will let it go au-natural using these tips given below! Remember to share any photos you share with the hashtag #WearYourHairCurly on the 14th ;) XOXO

923075_10200809942758309_1098033811_n

Curly Hair How-To Tips: by Celebrity Hairstylist Tommy Buckett  

 “I am a huge fan of curly hair. When done right, it can speak so much about your personality and beauty outlook. But textured hair requires the right care and styling products. You need the perfect amount of hydration, frizz-control and styling, otherwise hair just falls flat.” – Tommy Buckett

Tommy Buckett, celebrity hairstylist for Garnier Fructis, boasts an incredible roster of celebrity clients at the Serge Normant Salon in New York City. Here is his expert how-to advice for naturally curly and wavy hair:

  • “Curly hair tends to get tangled easily. To avoid stubborn knots and tangles always use a wide tooth comb to brush hair. Start at the ends working upwards and spray hair lightly with Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil. It gives instant smoothness and shine.”
  • “Invest in a silk pillow or wrap your hair in a silk scarf before going to bed. Silk is very gentle on the hair cuticle and won’t roughen hair fibers. You’ll wake up with great-looking hair every time.”
  • “With each new season, switch your hair routine just like you do with your skincare. The summer months call for lighter products which can be used on wet or dry hair to boost and define natural curls or give added definition and shine. Try Garnier Fructis Style Curl Shaping Spray Gel – it gives the perfect amount of light control for soft waves and curls.”
  • “If you’re beach bound, grab SPF for skin and Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment for hair. Saturate wet hair with it for extra conditioning and protecting benefits.
  • “Twisting hair after washing will break the curls and create frizz. Instead, gently squeeze excess water from hair using your towel and then apply Garnier Fructis Style Curl Calm Down Anti-Frizz Cream.  Work a big dollop of the product in your hands first to activate the ingredients, then gently massage into hair without pulling or tugging. Allow hair to air dry for frizz-free curls.”
  • “Color-treated curly hair needs extra conditioning. A weekly conditioning treatment like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment quickly reverses dryness and adds lots of nourishment to curls. Hydrated hair holds on to color longer and always looks healthier.”

For more tips and product recommendations, visit garnierusa.com

About Garnier:

Garnier believes in beauty through nature. Scientifically developed with selected natural ingredients, our products help you look healthy and feel better every day. Established in Paris at the turn of the 20th century, Garnier is the #1 beauty brand in France and a trusted leader throughout Europe, Asia, Canada and Mexico. Dedicated to providing a new vision for health with high quality beauty products, Garnier also provides a wide range of hair care, skin care and sun care products throughout the world. For more information, visit www.garnierusa.com.

signature

MURAD SKINCARE: You chose, I listened – and I’m so glad I did!

Featured

photo 4

A few months back I was contacted by Murad to test out and review some of their skincare products.  Unlike most companies who approach me, they told me to tell them what I wanted to try.  I went to their website and scanned page after page of endless amazing sounding products…I was totally at a loss! I decided to take to social media to ask you guys which Murad products you used (and loved).  Luckily I was flooded with responses!

I took the top three suggestions from you guys, then researched them more online.  I was pleased to find nothing but 5-star reviews for each of the items! The items were voted on in this order: 1) INTENSIVE-C RADIANCE PEEL, 2) COMPLETE REFORM & 3) RENEWING EYE CREAM. :-D

I started testing them out immediately upon receiving them in the mail and have continued using them over the past month.  When it comes to skincare items I always use them for at least 2 weeks to a month prior to reviewing them in order to give an honest review.  Here were my findings with these goodies! ;)

Please keep in mind since I review a TON of skincare products – when I’m testing products for review, I do not use ANY OTHER PRODUCTS IN COMBO WITH THE ONES I’M CURRENTLY REVIEWING. ;)

3q4ajaaki5hpjl929vcke7k0c71373509185

photo 1FROM THE WEBSITE: Primary Benefits 

“Actively smoothes and perfects skin to enhance luminosity. Reduces hyperpigmentation to restore clarity.”

This Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel truly was an OMG product from first use! This creamy, almost glue-like textured face mask is SUPER cooling from the second you put it on your face.  This is a feeling I hope for in masks and peels as opposed to the burning sensation you sometimes get.  In just ten minutes time this peel improved my skin’s softness, texture and left me feeling like I just left the spa. :-D

That was just after first use.  After using this three times per week consecutively for a month, I have seen incredible, noticeable results! My discoloration spots which seemed to have been minimally fading with the use of past products, have shown a massive difference with this peel.  I had a sun spot the size of pencil eraser under my left eye for years and it’s hardly noticeable now! Loving this, and at only $49.50 per tube, I can continue to use it forever and ever. :-D CLICK PHOTO TO PURCHASE 

3q4ajaaki5hpjl929vcke7k0c71373510066

photo 2

FROM THE WEBSITE: Primary benefits

“Increases firmness 61% after just one application. Improves skin texture to reveal softer smoother skin.”

UMMMM – YES! This Murad Complete Reform With Glyco Firming Complex is probably my favorite product of the bunch (although that’s a tough statement to make because I really love them all!) Honestly though, I did notice the most difference the quickest, with this.  I have used it for the past month every morning and every night – without skipping a beat (after cleansing my face and prior to moisturizing).  Look at the photo to the left to see for yourself.  After applying this, my skin instantly looks tighter, younger and overall more fresh! I’m actually sad that I have to stop using this for a while since I’m about to test another product for review but it will be sitting on my shelf calling my name in a few more weeks! :-D

I have had a TON of compliments on my complexion since using these Murad products and I don’t know if it’s the combination of all of them, or a certain product causing the positive change…but I’ll take it! And my hunch is that this Complete Reform is the reason why. It’s slightly more pricey than the peel at around $70, but well worth it’s money in gold! If you don’t believe me, read other people’s reviews too.  It’s truly amazing! CLICK PHOTO TO PURCHASE

3q4ajaaki5hpjl929vcke7k0c71373510622

photo 3

FROM THE WEBSITE: Primary benefits:

“Increases elasticity and firmness. Reduces wrinkles and sagging.”

Last but certainly not least – this Murad Resurgence Renewing Eye Cream is a solid eye cream! Can I shout from the rooftops?! This is why it was so hard for me to say the last product was the best of the bunch…because this one is soooo fa-reaking amazing too! This literally – ACTUALLY – takes away puffiness, crows feet AND dark circles.  It just plain does what it says. I don’t know if it’s allergies or the change in season but I wake up every morning with extreme puffy eyes with dark circles. Double UGH.

As soon as I wash, tone, apply my Complete Reform and moisturize, I dab a small amount of this eye cream to both under eyes.  At first use I was scared because it actually burned a little…and I have had TERRIBLE experiences with burning eye creams to the point where I refused to review them because they left my under-eyes red, MORE puffy and even caused them to peel!  This did just the opposite strangely enough.  Yes it burns for a few seconds, but almost as quick as that sensation passes I look awake, refreshed and ready to take on my day! Looking for a multi-purpose eye cream? Take my word for it – THIS IS THE ONE.  I don’t review products unless I feel passionate about them..and I really love this one because it really works. CLICK PHOTO TO PURCHASE.

Hope you ladies enjoyed reading about my experiences with these fabulous goodies! Thank you all again who gave me tips on what to try from this line…I really had no idea what to expect from Murad, but your sales pitches all really excited me! Now that I have seen the change for myself, I can’t wait to try more! Definitely a splurge worthy line. :-)

signature

YBJ’S #1 DRUGSTORE PICK!

Featured

photo

I’ve discussed Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation NUMEROUS times on social media outlets, but realized I’ve yet to do a blog post! I am seriously over the moon for this foundation and have been using it as my everyday foundation for the past six months! Get this: I gave up my $70 Dior Airflash foundation in exchange for this! THAT is how good it is.  It is second best only to my Temptu airbrush machine (which I only pull out for special occasions) and the results quite honestly are very similar.  It wasn’t until just recently that I even noticed the words “Airbrush Finish” at the bottom.  Accurate. :)

If you decide to give this a shot – for a whopping $8.79, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND applying it in the manner that I do for optimal results.  Wash and moisturize your face using an oil-free moisturizer.  Follow by using a good face primer (my current favorite: Benefit The POREfessional - review coming soon).  Last but not least, pump about 4 pumps of this foundation onto your hand, then dip a Beauty Blender sponge into it and begin patting the foundation all over your face until well blended.  NEVER DRAG. NEVER SMEAR.  NEVER APPLY WITH YOUR FINGERTIPS. Take the time to pat with a sponge, over a primed face, and you will end up looking as flawless as a magazine supermodel.  I promise! ;) And this is seriously just as amazing as an expensive department store foundation..if not better! Click the photo of the foundation to purchase this online, or get in your car and hit up your nearest drugstore.  And thank me later for saving you LOADS of money. XO :-D

signature

MY BRIDAL SHOWER: Dressed like a STAR – even on a budget – with RentTheRunway.com!

Featured

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.38.27 PM

NEW OBSESSION ALERT! RentTheRunway.com is like a dream come true for ladies with expensive taste but not a huge budget (like me :-P).  Do you ever find yourself flipping through fashion mags wishing you too could slip into that gorgeous Oscar de la Renta dress for an upcoming party? How about that stunning Herve Leger? The Vera Wang maybe? Rent the Runway is an online service that allows you to do just that – for a fraction of the price! How so? You don’t purchase the dresses, you rent them! That’s right, now you too can turn heads at upcoming events, parties, weddings, what-have-you, in the creme de la creme of designer dresses and accessories worn by the likes of princesses and movie stars.  What a brilliant idea!!! At first I thought renting a dress was a waste of money, but then I thought about it logically.  Usually when I buy a dress for a big party or event, I don’t wear it a second time because there are already a ton of photos of me in the dress, so I wouldn’t personally want to wear it again to another party where more photos might be taken.  Ridiculous? Maybe.  But I’m being honest and I know a lot of you feel the same.  When you think of it that way it actually ends up being more of a waste to purchase an expensive dress outright because after you wear it, it hangs in the closet forever collecting dust.  At least this way the dress is being recycled and you aren’t paying a fortune to be seen in it. ;)

The site is laid out beautifully and was so easy to use! I simply searched “Bridal Shower”, and from there I was able to sort down even further by choosing “white”…BAM! There were zillions of adorable dresses which I had a really hard time narrowing down from. They were all spectacular and really any of them would have worked out.  Here are the ones I liked for my bridal shower (notice the retail price, brand names and then the rental price…WOW right?!):

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.41.26 PMScreen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.41.04 PMScreen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.40.29 PMScreen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.42.02 PM

After thinking about it long and hard, I went with the second dress in the lineup above.  I felt it was the perfect, classy dress for a bride-to-be at her bridal party.  It looked very Charlotte from Sex and the City and screamed, “PICK ME!” :-D

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 7.51.42 PM

The process was so easy from start to finish.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED that they gave me the option of choosing a second size free of charge too because really, you just never know what is going to fit you when you order clothing online. I also read the reviews and felt reassured that I would love the dress due to the star rating from previous renters, plus I got to see others wearing it to their own events…and they all looked immaculate! After reserving the dress, the site also gave me options of accessories that I could also rent to go along with the dress.  I found some gorgeous earrings (that I would NEVER be able to purchase on my own) and just couldn’t resist.  ;)

The total for a 4 day rental was only $80 (for a $500+ outfit!)! They delivered the Friday before my Sunday event and the package included pre-paid packaging to send the items back in at the end of my rental on Monday.  The dress fit like it was made for my body and the earrings were absolutely DROOL worthy! I’ve never been complimented on an outfit in my life as much as I was in this one.  And the icing on the cake was that I felt like a glamourous movie star on my special day. :)

Here are some photos of myself and my loved ones at my bridal shower.  It was an absolutely perfect day that I will never forget.  My Maid of Honor did an amazing job and I was filled to the brim with love from the moment I walked in the door.  It was my last day as a single woman with every last one of my best friends and a handful of my close family all in one place.  The next time I will be together with them all again will be on my wedding day. :-D

Here I am in my rented dress! :)

1016157_10201079878746540_171015119_n

A couple close-up’s of the earrings I rented:

1044909_10201074777339008_1388961583_n

931249_10201075128827795_477457392_n

Me with my beautiful mother:

1001500_10201079661941120_1016356243_n

Me with my entire gorgeous bridal party:

1017375_10201079479296554_682012245_n

Me with my handsome groom who showed up to surprise me:

1001130_10201079593139400_1365676044_n

Me with my amazing, beautiful Maid of Honor, Leah:

1016822_10201079593019397_1676499701_n

Me with a couple of my bridesmaids:

1002245_10201086696276974_1119387592_n

Last but not least, my bridal shower turned into a baby shower! LOL! My family and friends are very hopeful.  I thought this onesie was adorable. “Habibi” means sweetheart in Arabic (I am half Middle Eastern) so it was really thoughtful and touching and has been placed in a safe place for future baby! Thank you to Katie, aka Yoga Pants and High Heels (a YBJ contributor) for this darling gift. ;)

1044289_10201079390854343_1143876209_n

Well there you have it! I hope you all enjoyed this post.  Lots of love to all! Life is crazy right now as you can imagine, but I will try to find time to tackle this pile of beauty product and fashion reviews I owe you guys! One down, 17 to go! LOL. XOXO

signature

FURLESSE: Number 11′s BE GONE!

Featured

8703_643792288982367_1586415210_n

I am obsessed with these Furlesse Elevens patches! I received three of them in my most recent Birchbox and after first use (worn at bedtime until the following morning) I saw a major difference! I’ve joked for years about my “Number 11″ between my eyes (two deep wrinkles between my brows) and have wanted to try Botox but I’ve managed to help them subside with my skincare regimen…these patches took it to a whole other level though! In just ONE night they are almost gone! I literally cleansed and toned my face last night, stuck one of these stickers between my brows covering my lines and went to bed.  I woke up this morning, peeled back the patch and…GONE! I was honestly confused and baffled.  I mean if you look close you can still see them very faintly, but I imagine if I use the other two patches tonight and tomorrow they will be gone gone. So crazy!

Google these Furlesse patches if you don’t believe me.  That’s what I did when wanted to know more about what they were and I found nothing but amazing reviews from shocked women.  Mark my words ladies, these little stickers are going to EXPLODE in the beauty industry the more women hear about, and then try them! No need to spend hundreds to inject poison into your faces regularly anymore.  At only $19.99 for 30 of these patches from Birchbox.com  I’d say this is a much cheaper (and safer) route to take that is just as effective! ;) I don’t know how long the results last but for what just one of these patches did for me, I’m willing to use them as long as I live to keep those pesky lines at bay! Check ‘em out – you won’t be disappointed, I promise! ;)

999381_643787162316213_987891210_nAnd if you still aren’t a Birchbox subscriber, you are missing out! I don’t care HOW much money you make, $10 a month is nothing. I’m sure most of us could scrounge that up in change from the bottoms of our purses…LOL. A year later and I’m still in love with this amazing service that sends me beauty samples once per month and has introduced me to SO many products (like this one) that I otherwise would never have known about.  I highly recommend it. :-D

signature

No time to dry and style your hair? No problem!

Featured

photo 2-12Thank you to Seven Sins for their new LUST Pre-Styling hair lotion! I am obsessed! Washing and going is a rare occurrence in my world thanks to my unruly, frizzy natural locks, but I’ve found the cure! I’ve blogged about some other great wash and go favorites over my YBJ journey, but this is by far my favorite! The process is SO easy and my natural curls are left without a single frizzy hair or any greasiness whatsoever! RARE in wash and go products.

The directions state to “pump 2 – 3 pumps” into your hand and then work through hair.  I however needed about 7 pumps because of the amount of hair I have.  I simply worked it in from roots to ends using a wide toothed comb, threw in a headband so I didn’t have to fuss with my bangs, and voila – READY IN FIVE MINUTES FLAT! :-D

I knew NOTHING about this company Seven Sins and even tried to Google them to see what else they sell or to find out more about the company but they are really hard to find any info on.  Then I remembered the product they sent me came with a press release so I scrambled to find it because I couldn’t believe that of ALL the hair products on the market, I’ve yet to find something as amazing as this, and I would never have found this had they not found YBJ (thank you Hair Gods for crossing our paths!) ;)

photo 1-18Seven Sins all started two years ago when it’s creator (hairdresser John Michael Zucco) realized he was having to “cocktail” multiple brands to achieve the looks he wanted for his clients.  It gave him the incentive to begin the creation of a line of products that contained everything needed for “infallible styling results” all in a single product line.  In doing this he realized he was using seven different products that actually translated into seven catagories that “all” hair styling products fit into; shampoo, conditioner, pre-styling, matte finish, satin finish, shine finish and fixatives (holding sprays)…hence how the name “Seven Sins” came into play! Each sin has a virtue! The sin is what is wrong, and the virtue is what to use and how to do it. :-D

The “sin” for LUST? Unruly, unmanageable, out of control, dull hair

The “virtue”? Smooth, controlled, shiny hair!

This is a definite MUST and at only $25 there’s no reason everyone can’t try it! The only place to purchase is online by CLICKING HERE.  Enjoy this secret treasure find ladies! If you try this out I KNOW you will thank me! ;)

signature

Give yourself an everyday facial with Oxygen Pur Serum!

Featured

photo-132Loving this product Oxygen Pur sent to me! I had NO idea what to expect and quite frankly thought it was just another face serum that wouldn’t do much (I’m not generally a fan of facial serums).  But, as usual, I did my research prior to use so I knew what to expect.  Apparently oxygen is REALLY good for your skin.  Scientific research has proved that it increases skin cell metabolism and maximizes skin’s regenerative powers.

I’ve been using it about week now morning and night.  I wash my face, tone, then apply a pea sized amount of this serum to my face, neck and décolletage.  I let it dry for about 10 minutes to ensure it’s soaked into my skin prior to applying my daily moisturizers.  One crazy thing I’ve noticed is that I barely even need moisturizer after applying the oxygen serum! It makes my face so incredibly soft, plump and tight looking all on it’s own – even after first use! Excited to see what will happen long term. :-D

Straight from the website:

“The oxygenated infused serums enter the dermis, immediately elevating tissue oxygen levels in excess of fifteen times the norm. The effects of this oxygen skin care product are profound, visible and lasting. The patented science and technology behind these ground-breaking, age-defying serums is the result of extensive clinical and laboratory research and testing, which proved that Oxygen Pur Skin Serums have the unsurpassed power to hydrate, stimulate and renew facial skin unlike anything else.”

Benefits of oxygen in skin care products when used regularly day & night:

• Optimizes cell repair
• Promotes cell renewal and healthier skin
• Stimulates collagen production
• Reduces the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, wrinkles, dryness, enlarged pores, age spots, uneven texture, and saggy, blotchy, pigmented skin
• Stimulates elastin production
• Plumps up facial skin from the inside out
• Rejuvenates and visibly firms skin for a more youthful looking, glowing appearance
• Reduces the effects of free radical damage from the environment/foods
• Increases blood flow improving vasodilation (widening of blood vessels from relaxation of smooth muscle cells in vessel walls), increasing blood flow in the body to tissues that need it most
• Reduces the effects of sun exposure and pollution
• Rapidly absorbed and non-greasy

I really highly recommend this product! It runs $80 through their website and is money well spent! Your skin will lap this fountain of youth right up! ;)

signature

SMILE BRILLIANT CUSTOM TRAYS: Professional teeth whitening for a fraction of the price!

Featured

photo 1I’m not surprised that the Smile Brilliant Custom Trays (and the process of getting them) completely exceeded my expectations! Most of you probably recall the last review I did for Smile Brilliant on their LED Light Teeth Whitening Kit.  I didn’t think teeth whitening could get much better than that – but it does! It’s called dentist-grade 22% carbamide peroxide whitening gel and trays that are made for YOUR teeth.  I still would highly recommend the LED kit if you don’t have much money because it’s a rockin’ deal, but if you are willing to spend a bit more, you’ve GOT to TRY this! Here’s how the process works:

1) First, purchase the custom tray kit by CLICKING HERE! ****UPDATE ON 5/31/13 AT 1PM: THE FIRST 25 PEOPLE TO ORDER WILL GET 25% OFF WHICH BRINGS THE ALREADY $40 DISCOUNTED PRICE TO $67.46!!!! THE ORIGINAL TOTAL IS $129.95 SO THIS IS HUGE! YOU MUST ENTER 25at25off TO GET THIS DEAL!**** If you aren’t one of the lucky 25 to take advantage of this offer, you can still enter BEAUTYJ at checkout, to recieve 15% off ($13.49) bringing your final total to only $76.46! You will NOT find deals like this anywhere for dentist grade whitening gel and custom fit trays! :-D

photo 22) A few days after purchasing you will receive your kit in the mail.  It includes the different clays and tools needed to make your custom tray imprints, your whitening gel in syringes and detailed instructions as pictured above. :)

3) Follow the instructions carefully to make your teeth molds.  Once they are done (see photo to the right, throw them in the pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope and put them in the mail.  You are sending them off to get made into your custom trays! ;)

photo 34) Only TWO days after sending my molds off, I got my trays back! I was so excited to start using them.  Following the instructions, I used the gel filled syringe and carefully filled my trays and slipped them on my teeth.  Putting them on was crazy! I literally barely slipped them onto my teeth and they SUCTIONED themselves covering every single tooth perfectly with gel! They strangley felt good on too.  I was able to keep them on for two hours while I went about my business.  I’ve never worn braces, but they remind me of what I would think Invisalign braces would feel like. I was able to talk, drink water and everything! :-D

Here are a few more photos of me showing you the gel syringe, my teeth with the trays on, and what my teeth looked like after my first use! To answer your question, NO – my teeth were not yellow before use.  Obviously not.  I’ve been using the LED whitening system so they were white already, but this definitely lifted them a few more shades, and I’ll continue to use the trays daily until I feel they are at their optimal whiteness! :-P The instructions state that you can leave these trays in for up to 3 hours at a time and you can whiten your teeth daily for 1-3 weeks (or until the desired level of whiteness is achieved).  Loving my new pearly whites! I need a good tan to go with them. ;)

photo 4photo 5photo

Here’s a before an after of my friend Isaiah Trufant of the New Jersey Jets after using the Custom Trays three times! Amazing! :-D

1470093_738609919500603_1555465465_n

Again, CLICK HERE if you want to order these and be sure to enter BEAUTYJ at checkout to get your extra 15% off! ;) Enjoy the discount while it lasts lovelies and BIG thanks to Smile Brilliant for offering this to all of us! XOXO

signature

EMINENCE COSMETICS: An Organic Junkie’s Dream Come True!

Featured

photo 2-1Thank you to Eminence Cosmetics for hearing my cry for help.  Not too long ago I reached out via social media asking for recommendations on high-end quality organic cosmetics lines.  I was given a few tips and I tried a few brands, but they were just kind of “eh”. I had yet to try a line that would make giving up my standard department store and drug store favorites worthwhile.  Why is finding an organic cosmetics line so important to me? Because I eat very clean, I workout daily, and I use organic and/or natural skin care products yet I still, every morning, cake on the chemical-filled cosmetics like it’s no big deal…when in reality, it is a big deal! Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and whatever we put on it soaks in.  I so badly wanted to stop being so blind and mindless about cosmetics particularly because we plan to start trying for a baby at the end of the year and I want to be as clean as possible on every level.  No, I don’t think this will make a difference in how my child turns out, but it’s a mental clarity thing for me personally. ;)

Needless to say, Eminence Organic Skin Care heard my cry and sent me three fabulous products that I am now completely addicted to and fascinated with! :-D

The Carmel Latte Tinted Moisturizer is wonderful! I generally use a full coverage foundation, and this is very light coverage but it gave me a glow that I just love! I’ve been using it as my everyday foundation since receiving it and I love knowing my face is chemical free.  I apply it just as I would apply a foundation (first I prime my face, then I pat this on with a Beauty Blender sponge).  I still need to find an organic full coverage foundation (thinking about trying out their Antioxidant Mineral Foundation) for nighttime and events, but this is PERFECT for the daily grind.  :-P

photo11My FAVORITE product they sent is the Chai Berry Glow Mineral Illuminator! This takes the glow the tinted moisturizer gives to the next level.  I use it as an all over powder to set my foundation (or tinted moisturizer).  Just a light dusting controls oil all day long and the natural illuminator gives sheer highlight and contour…I’m talking SERIOUS glow like you-don’t-miss-your-8-daily-glasses-of-water glow! LOL! :-D You can apply this heavier in your contour areas too and voila, you’ve got a fabulous bronzer! If you haven’t watched my latest video makeup tutorial, CLICK HERE to view it so you can see how these cosmetics products work for yourself.  ;)

citrus-lip-balm-203_zoomLast but not least, they sent me a wonderful Citrus Lip Balm! Who doesn’t love lip balm? As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have enough good lip balms lying around the house, and this one rivals Burt’s Bees (which is pretty hard to do).  If I could give awards for packaging, this would WIN the Lifetime Achievement Award for Lip Balm Packaging! LOL. I’m in love with the little bronze domed container and find myself reaching for it constantly.  LOVE! :-D

Needless to say, I am crazy about this company and am very excited to try out other products they make now that I know the quality is superb and they leave me looking and feeling great! If you too are on a quest for cleanliness, or if you just want to try out some really great products, give Eminence a chance to leave you smiling too. :)

signature

Achieve perfect, sexy brows with Billion Dollar Brows!

Featured

photo 3I have been eyebrow obsessed since as long as I can remember.  I discovered at about thirteen years old that eyebrows truly make or break a face.  Being that I’m half Middle Eastern, I was blessed with HUGE (and I mean HUGE) naturally bushy eyebrows.  Obviously as a young girl I couldn’t do anything about it, but I never really felt “pretty” when I looked in the mirror.  I remember BEGGING my Aunt Judy to manicure my brows for me and she finally obliged when I officially hit my teenage years.  She cleaned them up beautifully with a simple pair of tweezers and for the first time in my life, I felt confident and beautiful when I looked in the mirror.  I remember getting complimented by all of my friends at school which really upped my confidence levels.  Isn’t it crazy what a difference good eyebrows can make? Well, that confidence didn’t last forever.  At eighteen years old, I went to a nail salon to get my brows waxed for the first time…need I continue?  They waxed my perfect, thick, exotic brows off and left me with two pencil thin mis-matched, halfmoon-shaped lines above my eyes. :( It took me ten years to get them back to (somewhat) normal too.  I may now finally have my shape back, but they are forever sparse in spots so I’ve had to learn how to make them look normal again with makeup! ;)

photo 1

photoI am absolutely IN LOVE with Billion Dollar Brows products! They recently sent me their Take Back Your Brows Kit which includes my two new favorite brow products; their Universal Brow Pencil and their Brow Powder in “Taupe”.  The awesome thing about the Universal Brow Pencil is that whether you have blonde brows or black brows, this same pencil will work for you! I use the pencil to create my brow shape, then I use the powder to fill in my brows.  If you haven’t seen my latest makeup tutorial video, CLICK HERE to view it.  At 3:56 in, I show you how to do your brows using these two products! ;)

photo 2At only $45 this is a kit every beauty junkie should invest in! Not only do you get the brow pencil and powder, you also receive an AMAZING set of tweezers, trimming scissors and a Brow Buddy.  In case you aren’t familiar, a Brow Buddy is a tool created by BDB which shows you where to start, arch and end your brows with precision and ease. It makes both shaping and styling your brows quick and easy! I personally haven’t used the Brow Buddy yet as I have finally perfected my brows and know how to fill them in, but those of you who struggle with achieving great brows – this tool will be a lifesaver! :) Have you tried BDB products yet? :-D

signature

PERFUME OF THE YEAR: Folle De Joie!!!

Featured

photo-131Move over Flowerbomb. So long Jimmy Choo. HELLO Folle de Joie! If you follow me on social media then you are already well aware of my obsession with this scent – probably to the point of annoyance. LOL. Not all of you are on social media however, so I just couldn’t keep this treasure a secret! I’m telling you guys, this is the best scent I have ever owned to date…and I am a perfume junkie who is constantly falling in love with new fragrances (I currently own about 12 different perfumes). This is the first time I’ve found a perfume that has literally made me care less about the rest of my perfume collection! Many thanks to Birchbox because had I not received a sample of this in my last box, I would never have known about it. I think Birchbox described it best, “There are two spots that feature prominently in our wanderlust-fueled daydreams: SoCal beaches and Parisian sidewalk cafés. Luckily, we can live vicariously through Joie’s refreshing new fragrance. Folle de Joie, which translates to “crazy with joy,” evokes both the relaxed and playful vibe of California and the seductiveness and refinement of the City of Light.” :-D

This scent combines a blend of calming citrus with light woodsy floral and hints of cognac.  It’s middle notes are jasmine and damascenia rose and it’s warm based notes are of spicy woods and rich leather.  This perfume is seductive, intoxicating and perfect for EVERY season (an every season perfume is so hard to come by)! It also lasts ALL day.  I spray a spritz behind each ear, on my décolletage, and on each wrist in the morning and at the end of the day I still smell it on me! It DOES NOT fade! My fiance loves it too. I’ve never heard him comment on how good I smell as often as he has been lately. The icing on the cake is the packaging (which, you all know I’m a sucker for)! The vintage-inspired glass bottle is super chic and looks like gorgeous decor atop your vanity or bathroom counter. Perfection in every sense of the word. ;)

I HIGHLY recommend purchasing this fragrance by CLICKING HERE! You will have a really hard time finding it elsewhere since they unfortunately don’t sell it in any department store as of yet. I’ve purchased this as a birthday gift for two of my girlfriends already since they always die over the way I smell when we hang out. LOL! It’s pricey but what good perfume isn’t? Enjoy ladies. Let me know if you’ve have the pleasure of smelling this yet! Can’t wait to here others thoughts. :-P

signature

ROCK YOUR HAIR!

Featured

photo-129What completely FABULOUS hair products – in every sense of the word! As you all know I’ve been in a torrid love affair with Keranique. I’ve always heard though that you should switch up your products from time to time but until now, there just wasn’t another line of products I loved as much that was worth trying.

From the moment I opened up my shipment from Michael O’Rourke Rock Your Hair I was in love.  I am a SUCKER for packaging and appearance and it doesn’t get much better than this! Pink products with sassy white writing and bedazzled rhinestone hearts on every item! SO cute.  What’s better? Oh, how about the hilarious and creative names they gave each product; names like “Size Matters” for the root lifter and “Spray It Hard” for the hairspray. LOVE! :-D

If packaging could matter less to you, you’re still in luck because the products are just as perfect as they look.  The first thing I noticed was the smell! Just plain yummy.  I had a couple of girlfriends over when I opened this up and we all kept passing around the shampoo taking turns smelling it going “MMM!” if that tells you anything…LOL! ;)

photo-130They work wonders too! They are all great, but my favorites of the bunch have to be the conditioner, the leave-in conditioner and the root lifter! I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to conditioner. I have a crazy amount of hair and now that I’ve been lightening it, it’s super coarse.  I need a thick conditioner that easily detangles as I run my fingers through my hair.  If a conditioner is even remotely thin and watery or causes me to have to tug and pull it through my strands, it gets immediately tossed into the garbage.  This conditioner however was my dream conditioner; thick and easy to maneuver with a smell that just plain made me happy! :-D I use leave-ins in addition to regular conditioner to give my now coarse hair some extra softness and the Rock Your Hair Miracle Leave-In Conditioner lived up to it’s name! I threw in some of the “Size Matters” into my roots as a finish, blow dried and straightened and my hair was left looking full, fabulous and super healthy!

I obviously would REALLY recommend these products.  I know a lot of you will like the fact that they are actually affordable for most – every item is under $20! You can’t beat those prices for products that actually WORK…and that look cute sitting in your shower and on your counters! :-D ;-) :-P :-)

signature

Q&A: Jurlique’s Purely Age-Defying Refining Treatment

Featured

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 11.26.58 PM

jurliqueThis question could not have come to me at a better time! In my last package from Jurlique was this AMAZING Purely Age-Defying Refining Treatment I have now started using every other day.  Since I also do a mild organic chemical peel every other day as well, the exfoliater has helped to slough away the dead skin. I use it on the day off from the peel.  I first wash my face really well with my Cetaphil face cleanser, then massage about a dime size amount of this Refining Treatment all over my face and neck (for about a minute) then rinse it off.  My face is left feeling exceptionally clean, super soft and glowing with radiance! I absolutely LOVE this exfoliant.  I typically don’t exfoliate but once a month, however this is so gentle, yet effective that I will continue to use it on an every other day basis.  My reasoning behind not exfoliating often in the past was because it use to make me breakout, but this has not caused a single blemish…if anything it’s preventing breakout! Maybe due to the organic, gentle ingredients? Probably.  If you are looking for an everyday exfoliant, this is your bff right here. ;) :-P :-) :-D

Purley Age-Defying Refining Treatment is fairly priced at $35 through Beauty.com and the tube will last you quite a while since you don’t need much to get the job done! This is definitely YBJ “Splurge” worthy! :-) XO

signature

YBJ Hair Guru Chelsey Mares on 2013′s Hot Hair Trends!

Featured

418692_472788282740354_1405884724_nBefore I share Chelsey’s post, I want to give the newbies who aren’t familiar with her a quick rundown.  Chelsey Mares of Teze Salon in Puyallup (and now Tacoma) Washington, has been my personal hair stylist for the past six years.  I seriously can’t imagine my life without her. I have NEVER met another hairdresser who can work the magic that she can on my hair.  I honestly never even had someone I could call “my hairdresser” until I met her.  My hair isn’t easy to manage thanks to my Middle Eastern, Spanish and black Irish roots, but from  jump Chelsey handled it like a true pro and has consistently given me cuts and color I leave the salon drooling over.  This girl is going places – MARK MY WORDS. ;)

Those of you who have followed YBJ from the beginning remember last year’s post where Chelsey gave us a run down on the hot “it” trends of 2012 including ombre and balayage (before they even blew up in popularity).  Well that post is still one of my highest viewed posts to this day, and now she’s BACK – not only to tell us about this year’s hot hair trends, but she will be back more frequently as YBJ’s Resident Hair Guru! YAY US! :-)

cooltext1027722497

CHELSEY MARES: BANGS! They are smoking hot right now! Straight bangs, textured bangs, side bangs, long bangs, any bangs! It’s all in and everyone wants them. They give you immediate change and the best part of all?! Everyone looks good in them! The key is to have your stylist figure out what “type” of bang looks cute with your face shape, hair style, and also what your colic’s are telling us. We can’t change colic’s so it’s easier to just go with them, not against them. I encourage you to take the leap and cut some bangs! :-D

247487_624604674234462_637122978_nI don’t think a certain “length” is in for summer per say, BUT everyone wants airy, moveable, light, textured hair (see the latest cut I gave Jamie to the left)! Whether it means adding layers, or maybe it’s changing your nice straight perfect line premier to a controlled but softer jagged edge, texture is IN! :-D

As far as color goes….LIGHTER! Blonde, blonde and some more blonde!! Whether its adding a few highlights around your face for a nice soft, bright look, or maybe its being a little more on the daredevil side and going all blonde!!  As far as my “already blonde clients” going all the way to a bleach and tone – I’ve done more lately then ever! It gives those blonde clients a little bit of change without having to add dark. Talk to your stylist about this service before you take the plunge. Unfortunately not everyone can pull of this look, but adding blonde is one of my favorite things to do. Not only does it give you a brighter look it changes the texture of your hair. Ever feel like your hair is lifeless? Well add a few highlights and BAM – instant volume! ;)

602052_572850766067438_91630869_nWith that being said deep conditions are a must!! I can’t stress that enough. Going lighter with your hair will obviously be harder on it, but don’t be scared if you really want it.  There is always a healthy way to get you blonde (example: I am naturally really dark and go platinum regularly – see the photo of me to the right).  My best advice would be getting a deep condition the day of the service and also taking a mask home. My color clients won’t leave the salon without a mask. It is SO very important!

For style, 2013 is all about BRAIDS!  Especially right now being that it’s prom/wedding season. They are super fun to add to your updo to make it unique and stand out.  They are also hot right now as an everyday look! It only takes five minutes to do a braid and the best part of all? Flyways are in right now. Again, texture is in, so it really doesn’t have to be perfect. The messier the better! I’m borderline obsessed with braids! I’ll be sitting poolside all summer long with a messy braid in my hair, and you can count on that! ;) :-P :-D :-) Peep my braids here:

photo-128cooltext1027737798Last but not least, I just want to add that I strongly believe PERMS are coming back!!! I know it sounds crazy, and please don’t disregard what I have already told you because you now think I’m nuts! It’s not the typical perm you guys are thinking. Not super tight 80′s curls…LOL! They (the hair God’s) have just come up with a square rod, that gives soft, gorgeous waves and it doesn’t start at your roots! Cool right? Jamie and I will be showing you guys results very soon. YBJ is going to be my new generation perm guinea pig. You better believe we will keep you guys in the loop. Until then!  ;) XO

559346_572850429400805_167578955_nChelsey has been doing hair for six years at Teze Salon in Puyallup, Washington.  She is currently working to also add Lóreal educator to her resume (by September of this year!) Her passion is cutting but she also enjoys teaching her clients simple tricks they can do with their hair.  Chelsey loves making her clients feel beautiful and holds them all close to her heart. She is currently raising her nine year old son in Puyallup, Washington and in her words, “He is the coolest little dude ever!” ;) 

If you live in Western Washington and want Chelsey to also be your hairdresser too, then contact Teze Salon at (253) 864-8393 and ask for an appointment with her.  They are located in Puyallup and their brand new Tacoma salon (in the same parking lot as the Tacoma mall) will be opening any day now as well! They are currently taking appointments for either salon. :-D

Also, in case anyone is interested, Chelsey is teaching a class on Friday June 7th.  She will be teaching clients how to do beachy curls and fun braids! Teze’s makeup artist will be there as well teaching you guys how to do “a five minute face”! $20 to reserve a spot and there are currently only seven spots left! Call now to book. :)

signature

 

YBJ’s Workout Program

Featured

420688_10200734415030163_738206792_n

First of all – NO! I am not naked in this photo.  I’m wearing yoga pants and a sports bra.  I just love it because it shows the change in my body from working hard.  Just a cool photo of my sillouette. :) After sharing my recent weight loss on Facebook (I went from 140 to 133 in almost 3 weeks), a reader’s question inspired me to do another post.  I shared that 19 days ago, I weighed myself and for the first time in my life I had crossed the 140 barrier and I refused to go another pound higher.  I never felt worse; depressed, lazy, clothes weren’t fitting, was tired of the crash dieting program rollercoasters.  I was ready for serious change.  Don’t get me wrong – I by NO MEANS think 140 lbs is “fat”.  I just wasn’t happy in my own skin for more reasons than one.  I have a severe anxiety disorder and when I don’t exercise and eat right it takes over my life.  People say it all the time but exercise TRULY is the best medicine!  I haven’t had to take my medication in WEEKS! I’m genuinely happy and feeling great. It takes 21 days to form a habit, but at 19 days in – I am 100% positive that I’m NOT turning back.  Also, with my wedding in 3+ months and the goal to start trying for a baby immediately after, I want to achieve my ideal weight of 120 lbs beforehand.  I want to feel amazing in my dress, and have a clean healthy oven to grow my baby in.  And yes, I plan to workout and eat right my entire pregnancy.  I know I may feel differently when the time comes, but I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. ;) Basketball belly filled with a healthy little one and nothing more is my goal! :-P

I eat fairly clean; generally organic fruit, kale and protein smoothies for breakfast and a Starbucks protein plate for lunch (or something along those lines), then I eat whatever I want for dinner (for the most part – still no white flour carbs, processed foods or empty calories) but I eat it in moderation and am careful not to exceed my calorie allotment for the day. I only drink water and green tea.

I work out every single morning for an hour, 7 days a week.  To keep it from getting too monotonous, I change the workout up every morning.  I rotate between the following:

0001871355561_500X500

Elle Magazine’s Cardio Body with Brooklyn Decker.  It’s a 50 minute long High Intensity Interval Training workout and it’s NOT your fluffy run of the mill celebrity workout video.  It seriously kicks my butt and leaves me on the floor in a pile of sweat! :-P

p90x_plyometrics_2007 Plyometrics.  This is an hour-long and is probably THE most challenging cardio workout I’ve ever done in my life.  Ask anyone who’s done it and they will agree with me.  It’s serious.  I love it because it tones your body at the same time as giving you the best cardio workout of your life.  Whenever I wrap up this workout for the day, I feel proud of myself like I accomplished something – and what better way to start your day than that?

P90X-legs-and-back-1Legs & Back.  This is an hour-long intense workout focussing on your legs, butt and chest.  There is an entire P90X regimen to stick by, but I pick and choose my workouts from it because really all of the workouts I’m discussing work every muscle in your body.  The reason I love this one is because I L-O-V-E what it does to my legs and butt! In only two weeks it took my slowly drooping bubble butt and put it right back where it belongs while at the same time smoothing out the cellulite that was starting to form.  It works FAST because it’s HARD. LOL. Not gonna sugar coat it.  There are also a ton of back exercises too that also works your arms and chest! Full body baby! ;)

photoTreadmill at max incline.  We are very blessed to have our own “gym” in our home so I take advantage of our treadmill as my cardio a few days a week.  I put it on max incline and walk at 3.5 mph speed for 50 minutes.  Prepare to have wobbly legs and be drenched in sweat when you finish this one! Holy moly.  I love this workout because it’s mindless.  I turn on the news or a movie and just go and before I know it, it’s been 50 minutes! Treadmill days (even though they are an insanely good workout) feel like a break! :-D

So there you have it! I know people say you should give your body a day of rest, but I’m sorry; when you sit on your rear-end at a desk all day like me, I think it’s extremely important to get your blood flowing and sweat dripping seven days a week.  My new mantra is #nodaysoff! ;) If you need any motivation or inspiration, check out my healthy recipes HERE and follow me on the MyFitnessPal app.  You can find me under MissSerat. 

photo 2  photo 1

signature

A YBJ FAVORITE: Jurlique’s Calendula Cream

Featured

photo-127Jurlique Calendula Cream has been a big favorite of mine for quite some time.  I ran out of it a while back and was just reminded of it’s amazingness yesterday when Jurlique so kindly gifted me with an allotment of their fabulous skincare products (BIG thank you!) and this was hiding inside. :-D

A big part of my love affair with Jurlique products overall, is the fact that they’re organic, which is HUGE for me when it comes to skincare.  As I’ve said before – your skin is your body’s largest organ and I don’t know about you but I’d much prefer organic products soaking into my skin as opposed to chemicals.  I don’t only use organic skincare obviously (there are a lot of non-organic brands I’m in love with and blog about) but it’s nice to give your skin a break once in a while and baby it with high quality, organic goodness. :-)

Calendula Cream is one of my favorite everyday moisturizers because it seriously evens out my combination skin.  I have an incredibly oily t-zone and dry cheeks and this keeps my dry patches well hydrated and my oily patches matte…like magic! This soothing, non-greasy cream is rich in calendula and witch hazel, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin too and great as an after-sun moisturizer. This is PERFECT to use everyday under makeup (some of you have asked me recently what the best under-makeup moisturizer is – well, here is a wonderful option!)  I have officially gone back to using this as my morning/daytime moisturizer. :-P

White it is an expensive product (the 4.3 oz tube they sent me runs $93), it’s well worth every last cent.  Every girl that has taken my recommendation on this and tried it, has reported back that they fell head over heels in love!  I turned one of my best friends onto it about 6 months ago and still to this day when we hang out she reminds me of how much she loves it…lol.  It makes me happy when people take my advice on beauty products and end up loving the products as much as I do! ;)

Can’t afford $93? Don’t fret! They also sell this in a 1.4 oz tube for $37! Click here for the large tube: Jurlique Calendula Cream, 4.3 fl oz and click here for the smaller, more cost-friendly tube: Jurlique Calendula Cream, 1.4 fl oz.  Can’t wait to hear back on whether or not I’ve turned anyone else onto this! :-P

signature

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH & GIVEAWAY: I’m Fabulous Bio Gorgeous Peel

Featured

935028_624916877536575_1836396059_n

I did not plan to write this post today, nor did I take a before photo of my skin.  Why? Because I truly did not expect results so spectacular that I thought I needed to.  I received the products in the mail from a company in Europe called “I’m Fabulous”  with seemingly homemade labels and packaging so I didn’t think much of it.  Once again, NEVER judge a book by it’s cover!  The products are so amazing (particularly the full sized Bio Gorgeous Peel) they could write with a sharpie on them and it wouldn’t matter. ;)

Upon receipt of my package, I did some research online.  Being that it’s a peel I wanted to be very, very careful of how I proceeded as directions were limited.  I’ve had professional chemical peels done before and it took me two weeks to heal, so I wanted to be sure of what  I was getting myself into.  Luckily the BIO Gorgeous Peel is mild in comparison to their Gorgeous Peel product (that one is heavy duty like the one’s you’d go do a doctor’s office.) The reviews I read through online sold me before I even tried it.  Particularly one where the lady said she’s given up her regular Botox treatments in exchange for using this every other day, and another that said they wished they could buy this product by the gallon! :-P Here’s a before and after photo of a customer from their site:

aftergorgeous

From first go, I was impressed! I followed the one sentence instruction that stated to “Leave on clean face for three minutes then rinse.” I was happy but wanted more.  The next day after doing more research, I saw that it’s perfectly fine not to rinse it off at all so I put it back on and left it (I think they tell you to rinse it for people that have extremely sensitive skin and I do not.)

This product is like an INSTANT fountain of youth! My forehead instantly became smooth and shiny, my face looks like it’s lifted and tighter and it feels baby butt soft! I seriously am not a fan of going makeup-free due to wrinkles, sun spots and just overall tired looking skin, but this gave me a completely newfound confidence!  This photo of me is COMPLETELY makeup-free and unfiltered:

936318_624979230863673_421286355_n

The Bio Peel will NOT make your skin flake off, crack or bleed…there is literally NO down time.  It will give results so incredible people will ask you what you’re doing differently.  My fiance Aaron even wants me to start giving him this treatment today! :-D If you try this out my main two pieces of advice are: 1) Apply by squeezing a full dropper full onto a cotton pad and smoothing it over your face, avoiding eye area and 2) As I stated above, do not rinse after applying unless you have sensitive skin; it will burn, tighten and tingle a bit but will not get worse than that.  Your results will be much greater and quicker if you do not rinse.  I also suggest doing this before bedtime since you’re suppose to avoid the sun (can cause serious sunburn) and do not use ANY lotions or moisturizers after applying for at least 24 hours.  I plan to do this 3 times per week until my wedding! I am so thrilled with this product that I would do a backflip if I knew how. LOL. I LOVE I’M FABULOUS! :-D

They also sent me two sample’s I’ve yet to try.  Their DMAE Supreme Serum and their Ultra Lift Cream, both supposedly give you face lift type results (click the links to read up on them) so stay tuned for future reviews on these products.  I have JUST found my new favorite skincare line and I am SO excited about it! They are based in Europe so if you purchase any of the items, give time for shipping. :-D

u6nuorrtgff60id1n6s3a886371361850318

They were so kind to offer this peel to one of you lovelies as well! I’m telling you, you do NOT want to pass up the chance to win this.  You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  This giveaway begins now and ends June 1st at midnight.  Good luck! :-) :-D :-P ;-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

WANTED: MUA Tutorials, Fashion Posts & Guest Bloggers!

Featured

Hey Beauties!

SO, as you all know I have been insanely busy keeping up with my life these past few months.  From starting my more than full-time day job, to planning my wedding this coming August, to remodeling our home I haven’t have as much time as I’d like to have for YBJ.  My posts are so ridiculously sporadic…some weeks I post ten times and other weeks I don’t post at all.  This bothers me because being unorganized is just not like me, therefore  I am making a commitment to start posting at the very least once a week (but will shoot for three times per week) going forward.

In an attempt to keep my site more active on my off days I’d like to reach out to my fellow beauty bloggers, makeup artists and fashionistas to see who would be interested in doing guest posts for me.  If you are in the industry and interested in doing either a fashion post, a beauty review, a makeup tutorial, an interview of someone in the industry or anything along these lines please comment below and let me know! I will make a schedule for all interested parties and give each person a time-slot so at least one guest post will be posted each week in addition to my posts.  This will keep YBJ more active and will also help you out since in return for your post, I will promote your business (and/or your beauty blog/site) within the post! ;) Hope to hear back!

Love you all,

Jamie “YBJ” :-P

Use Naturally Fresh Deodorant and lower your breast cancer risk!

Featured

photo 1

I’m sure most of you know by now that aluminum-based deodorants (which are most all well known brands) can increase breast cancer risk.  If you aren’t aware or don’t know why here is an excerpt from the cancer.gov website:

“What do scientists know about the ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants?

Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects (3). Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (3).”

I’ve known this unsettling news for quite some time, yet it hasn’t prevented me from using my good ol’ Degree Antiperspirant.  I’ve tried many different “natural” or “organic” deodorants and have been SEVERELY disappointed every time.   I won’t name names because you all know I don’t bash or bad mouth companies, but I will say I’ve tried just about every alternative deodorant under the sun and was left every time with either wet underarms after only a few hours, or body odor lightly masked with a perfumey scent…blegh! Body odor and beauty junkie DO NOT coexist. ;)

Needless to say, I was pretty leery to try the Naturally Fresh Crystal Deodorant because I assumed it would be just like “the others” (I mean, why wouldn’t I?) Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I am SO glad this was brought to my attention because I would have never sought out another “natural” deodorant again on my own, and would have continued along through life upping my breast cancer risk!  This was sent to my doorstep to try and to review if I liked it, so I gave it a go.

No lie, I literally put this on in the morning (I double up – roll on first, then the spray over that for double coverage) and by the end of the day my underarms are still dry and stink free! These products are unscented but they make a lavender scent too which I’ll try when I run out of this.  The best part of all is that these are under $5 each! You can’t beat that! Why pay more and increase your risk of breast cancer? Right? I have to say, I haven’t tried this deodorant and exercised, so I’m not sure if it’s still as effective then, but I will test it out and report back! What I can say for certain is that it works wonderfully for me through a normal 16 hour day. :-P

In case you’re curious, here is more information on Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal from their website. And click on the photo of the deodorant if you want to purchase:

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 7.47.24 PM

 

signature

So long foundation brushes! Hello Winstonia sponges & the stippling technique for flawless foundation!

Featured

Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 2.46.18 PM      Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 2.46.38 PM

The people of Winstonia so kindly sent me one of each of the above pictured makeup sponges recently and I’m so glad they did! I had been applying my concealer and foundation with makeup brushes which worked great, but the outcome wasn’t even remotely as flawless as the makeup application achieved when using these sponges…major difference! ;)

Foundation applied with a Winstonia sponge is the next best thing to using an airbrush machine, regardless of the brand of foundation you’re using (yes, even if you’re using a cheap $2 foundation)! I personally tried the sponge with two different foundations on the opposite end of the spectrum from each other price-wise to see what the difference would be (I used Dior Airflash and Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse) and the outcome was exactly the same finish…which was as close to the outcome I achieve when using my $400 Temptu airbrush machine as you can get.  It’s flawlessly amazing! :-D

I was shocked that these little $4 reusable sponges could make such a difference.  My favorite is probably the blue sponge as the shape makes for super easy makeup application.  I first wet the sponge and squeeze all the water out. Next, I use the fat, bottom side of the sponge to apply my foundation then flip it over to the pointy side for concealer application.  Rather than dragging the makeup on, I bounce and roll it until the makeup is blended (this technique for makeup application is called stippling). After applying my makeup I wash the sponge with my favorite face cleanser and rinse until the water runs clear, then I set it aside to dry until I need it the next day. It’s so easy! I LOVE THIS THING!! :-)

To purchase either sponge, click on the photo above of the one you’d want to try.  I will be doing a video tutorial soon for the proper way to use, clean and store these.  Have you tried makeup sponges like these? If so, what are your thoughts? ;) :-D :-P :-)

signature

 

MUST HAVE: Caldrea Body Créme – Aloe Water Apricot

Featured

caldrea_bodycreme_aloewaterapricot_900x900

I received a couple of sample packets of this in a recent Birchbox and I couldn’t believe how much I loved it! Particularly this scent (Aloe Water Apricot).  I want to wrap myself in a blanket of it…seriously. It’s probably the most pleasantly scented body lotion I’ve used; not too sweet and not too perfumey…it’s juuust right! ;) To make matters better this thick mousse-like cream moisturized my body from neck to toe wonderfully, and without leaving a greasy residue like other body creams/butters do.  It’s pretty much perfect.  If you’re looking for a new body moisturizer, this is it! You will LOVE it and I can guarantee that! ;)

I was extra excited when I went to Birchbox to buy the full size product and realized I had accumulated enough Birchbox points to pick it up for close to FREE (it runs $28 in the Birchbox shop).  It’s well worth what they are asking though! I would pay $50 for this if that’s how much it was…it’s that good.  I’m so glad I’ve finally found this as I’ve been looking for an everyday body cream for my uber dry skin for quite some time.  I’ve found some okay ones, but nothing quite as luxurious as this.  Click the photo of it above if you are interested in picking it up for yourself.

Have you tried this? If so, what did you think? :-D

signature

YBJ’S 3K Giveaway!

Featured

Slide1

Hello ladies!  Those of you who have been following me from the beginning know that whenever I hit a 1K milestone on one of my sites (this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) I do a bigger than usual giveaway…and each time I try to top the last! Well, here I am around 2,800 Facebook likes which means it’s time to announce my 3K GIVEAWAY! So what do you think? ;)

This giveaway is to say THANK YOU for helping this little blog that could grow by leaps and bounds and for sticking around.  When I created this blog and all of it’s accompanying social media pages, I never expected for it to grow this quickly…YBJ doesn’t even turn 1 until the end of May! :-D

The products in this giveaway are either items I’m currently IN LOVE with, or are items I’m very excited to try and will reviewing soon.  I am beyond thankful to my amazing sponsors for without them this giveaway would not be possible.  The products in this giveaway are as follows…

u6nuorrtgff60id1n6s3a886371361850318

From Miracle Skin Transformer (an amazing sponsor of YBJ from the beginning and creator of truly miraculous products)1) Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 1) Miracle Skin Transformer ‘Vanish’ Instant Imperfection Corrector & 1) Miracle Skin Transformer Lip Rewind

From Birchbox (another Team YBJ company from the beginning and an all time favorite beauty company who without I would not know about half of the products I’m in love with): 1) Birchbox

From Fashion Lab LA (most fashionable online boutique with the hottest trends whose owners happen to be two beautiful friends of mine): 1) “Be Bold” ring

From Lollipops ‘n Lipsticks (one of my favorite beauty blogs and new dear friend of mine): 1) Dior ‘Diorskin’ Ultra Shimmering Allover Face Powder & 1) Dior ‘Diorshow Extase’ Mascara

From Belina (most gorgeous, trendy and hip online accessories boutique – OBSESSED):   1) “Carlie” Love Bracelet

From NeoCell (one of my favorite supplement companies – if you know me, you know I believe that beauty comes from within – take care of your insides to make your outsides gorgeous): 1) NeoCell Collagen Beauty Builder, Tablets & 1) NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer, Tablets

From me “YBJ” (this couldn’t be from me if I didn’t contribute to it! LOL): 1) Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette & 1) Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray 4 oz (this product has changed my hair WORLD – can’t live without it)

THE DETAILS:

There will be ONE winner who will win ALL of the above items.  The items will be shipped to the winner from the companies directly (except for the two items I’m contributing which will obviously come from me.) You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter.  This giveaway begins NOW and ends when I reach 3,000 Facebook LIKES or on April 30th 2013, whichever comes first.

YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL 8 OF THE MANDATORY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS TO UNLOCK THE REST!  GOOD LUCK! CLICK HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway :-D

signature

Shop Belina ~ My favorite online accessories boutique!

Featured

photo 1photo 2

Many thanks to Belina for this absolutely GORGEOUS necklace!  These photos do it no justice.  If you aren’t already familiar with this boutique, click on one of the photos above to get acquainted.  CLASSY & CURRENT are the first two words that come to mind when I think of Belina.  It’s one of those online boutiques that I actually get frustrated shopping on because I want it all and have to talk myself out of things as not to overspend. LOL.  Luckily they are extremely affordable (the “Alexa Gold Chain Necklace” above is only $32!) and the jewelry quality is similar to what you would find at a place like Nordstrom.

THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! CONGRATS TO THE WINNER AMBER SHAFER!

7rb6pgb27j6semd8r7ams5gdu31361330395

Belina is also so generously offering a giveaway to one of you. The most exciting part is that I’m not sure what it is so it will be a surprise from their website to whomever wins!  Believe me, whatever the winner ends up getting will be drop dead FABULOUS and will make all of your friends green with envy! ;)

You must be 18 years of age or older and live in the United States to enter. This giveaway begins now and ends March 15th at midnight.  Remember to complete the first three entry tasks to unlock a TON more and up your chances of winning.  Click this link to enter and GOOD LUCK MY LOVELIES!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

signature

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Soup with Cheddar Jalapeno Corncake!

photo

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 onion chopped up (2 if they are small onions)
  • 1 can of chili beans
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 15 ounces of frozen corn (an empty can is 15 oz so you can pour it into one of the empty bean cans)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 12oz bottle of beer (or 12oz of chicken broth if you prefer) I used Heiniken ;)
  • 2 10oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chilis (don’t drain)
  • 4 tablespoons of Wildtree organic taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • A few shakes of garlic powder and chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Greek yogurt (or sour cream if you prefer)

Directions for the soup:

Ok guys, you ready for this super complicated recipe? Get out your slow cooker.  Put the following inside: onions, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer or broth, diced tomatoes with chilis, taco seasoning, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder.  Mix all that up and lay the chicken on top.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Fish out the chicken, shred it then put it back in.  Mix well then add as much salt as necessary to taste.  Allow to cook for another hour or two.  Serve with the cheese on top, a sprinkle of cilantro and a dollup of greek yogurt.

Ingredients for the corncake

First let me say, this was going to be cornbread but we had corn flour instead of cornmeal so I literally just guessed at everything and this turned out freaking AMAZING!! But, it is more of a cake than a cornbread. LOL. :-D

  • 1 cup of cornflour
  • 1 cup of all purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sliced jalapenos from a jar
  • honey
  • butter

Directions for corncake:

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a small bowl then combine the two.  Mix in the cheese and jalapenos (you can even add a half cup of frozen corn if you want too!) Grease a 9X9 baking pan.  Pour batter in then bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (or until toothpick comes out of the center clean.) Cut into squares.  Serve with one square cut open with butter and honey! :-P If you prefer a quicker, healthier fix pick up my Wildtree organic cornbread mix, follow the instructions on the box and just add in the jalapenos, cheese, honey and butter like above.  Voila!

signature