Forgive me, Readers.

For I have committed the faux pas for not writing in a year and a half. It has been a long time and for that I apologize. I am sure many of you have forgotten me and I deserve it. Though I decided I’d pop back in as we bid adieu to 2015 after a friend of my sister’s told me she missed reading my ramblings.

It has been quite the year point 5. My hubs and I moved moved twice, I got pregnant, had a son, and now am just juggling wife/mom/teacher/obsessive beauty product hoarder. It hasn’t been easy but it has been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my identity but let’s get to the nitty gritty here- I want to talk about beauty.

After the Carrie Fischer debacle (good for her), I took a long look in the mirror today. My grandmother, age 88, always says she looks in the mirror every morning and says, “I’m an old bag.” Since I am 53 years her junior, I took a hard look myself. Stuff is sagging. I spy some crinkles around my eyes but hell, I look pretty good. I’ve managed to keep my skin looking youthful (good genes, good product hoochie-ness), my hair healthy (with a good dose of gray coverage), but I do still worry. Have I hit the time in my life of thinking that I am styling myself age appropriately? And what does that even mean?

At 35, beauty is still a mystery to me. The definition is not exact, yet we are bombarded of what it should be as opposed to what it could be.  It’s something I think about often as I am raising a son that will struggle with his own image as he grows. The ideals of beauty defy what we are taught and the idea that we are enough is easy to think but maybe not carry out.

As the new year progresses, maybe I will be back to discuss trends. Like the liquid lipstick trend that I love (but why does that stuff get so crackly and crusty?) Maybe I won’t but know I’m still here in this web of beautiful curiosity.

Until then, have a fabulous 2016!

Keep Calm & Primp On!

Beauty Blogger of the Month Award (and Some Nominees)

the-beauty-blogger-of-the-month-award

Melissa of Pink Lady Beauty nominated me for a Beauty Blogger of the Month Award. Cecilia of Cecilia’s Corner created this award and it’s great that she wants to spread some love among the blogging community. Being that I am trying to get back in the Beauty Blogging Saddle, this is a fun way to reconnect. All entries have a chance to win a prize- very kind of Cecilia! She even has a prize for anyone that comments on her original post.

A blogger can win Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner.

 

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Readers that comment can win a Love Alpha Mascara set.

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I also get to answer some fun beauty related questions. Beauty related questions are my favorite.

1. Where does your makeup inspiration come from?

. I think I just like the way I can use my face as an art project- a little paint here, some glitter and glue there. I’ve always been fascinated by beauty items in stores. I love color but I also like the feel of certain products. I love looking at packaging and testing out products. I think I approach make-up the way I approach my life- trying and learning about new things.

2. What are 3 of your makeup Holy Grail products you cannot live without?

Oh. You’re making me choose! One for sure is Sephora’s 12 Hour Contour Eye Pencil. For about $12 USD, you can buy two just for about the same price as an Urban Decay eye pencil. I swear the Sephora pencil stays on better, too. The second would be NYX HD Eye Primer. I’ve converted a number of folks that were buying expensive primers but the white in this primer makes for vibrant and long lasting eye shadow. The third would have to be a tinted lip balm. I personally love lip products- they are my favorite in the cosmetics department but I keep tinted lip balm in my bag for a quick and easy shot of color.

3. What is your makeup signature look which you have on most of the time?

My “signature” look recently changed. Usually, I would use some tinted moisturizer to even out my skin and then line my eyes with a colorful pencil. I curl and mascara my lashes and add a little lip. Now, I still use tinted moisturizer but I’ll just play with some neutral eye shadow and put on a bit of a bolder lip. Really depends on the day and the time!

4. Let us know your favorite makeup brands?

I love Urban Decay eye shadow. For lipstick, I enjoy BITE or NYC lip products from the drugstore. Too Faced is fun and Smashbox is a guilty pleasure.

5. Your ultimate makeup pet peeve?

Ugh. Chipped nails, dark liner and light lipstick, and harsh eye liner make me shudder.

6. You’ve heard about all the hype on this makeup item, bought it, tried it and don’t understand what all the fuss is about…Name that product!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder- I don’t get it. Even the smallest amount makes me look like a light bulb. I also do not like the texture.

7. Concealer OR foundation ONLY for the rest of your life. Choose one and tell us the reason! Concealer all the way- I can dab it where I need it. I don’t like the feel of foundation.

Now for the seven nominees!

 Sarah-Jane Vella

Love Anela

Fashion, Food and Flirts

The Luxe List

Fashion for Lunch

Simply.My. Thing

Blushing Beauty

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Getting LA Hair with Kim Kimble Beauty

Kim Kimble, celebrity hair guru, has developed a line of hair care products to help keep hair looking fabulous. I decided to try  her Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry Conditioning Masque. My hair has been super parched lately, so this seemed to be an excellent choice. A very durable shower cap was included with the conditioning masque.

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The Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry Conditioning Masque comes in an eight ounce squeeze tube. I think it can be used as a daily conditioner but I chose to try it out as a full on conditioning treatment.  The Kisses Shower Cap is very generous in size. It can even be used over rollers. The material is very thick and no water will get in, as the band keeps the cap snug without being tight.

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The product is easy to use. Get in the shower and wash your hair as usual. Squeeze a bit onto your palms and work from the ends of the hair to the scalp. The product instructions say to massage from the bottom of the hair up to the scalp- the treatment is supposed to help with scalp health.

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I found the product to have a slightly thicker consistency than the regular conditioner  I use for my color treated hair. The product’s fragrance is sweet but not overwhelming. I would say the scent is fruity with a dash of bubble gum.I started with a small amount- maybe about the size of a quarter, rubbed the masque between my palms  and worked it from the ends up. I then tucked the hair into the shower cap. You can use a clip to gather your hair before putting on the cap. Since the tube suggests to apply heat and I don’t own a hair dryer, I figured the steam from the shower would help the conditioner work its magic.  After about 10 minutes, I removed the shower cap and rinsed. I noticed my hair did not feel heavy or greasy. Sometimes when using a treatment, I feel like rinsing forever but not with this masque. It left my hair soft without making it weigh a ton.

Love the cap!

Love the cap!

I styled as usual (the true test). What did I find? My hair is way better today since my last color treatment (I dyed it myself using a semi-permanent drugstore brand. Never again.) My hair feels soft to the touch and the curls are back to their original form.

Interested in trying Kim Kimble products? Click here for a link to her products. Use code hair10 for 10% off your purchase. I do not yet see the conditioner available on the website provided by BrandBacker but you can search for the product online.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Sponsored by BrandBacker. Product provided free for review. All opinions are my own.

BA Star Gives Some Lip

I have tried a few products from BA Star in the recent months so when I noticed another BA Star goodie available on BrandBacker for review, I signed up. This time it was for their Holiday Red Lip Pencil. First of all, I love a red lip. Secondly, since I have been impressed by BA Star’s quality, I couldn’t wait to try a more pigmented lippy from their line, especially one that I will use pretty frequently.

The pencil. My lips.

The pencil. My lips.

The BA Star Holiday Red Lip Pencil is a chubby stick but not super thick. Since it is a bit thinner, this makes using such a pigmented color much easier. The slightly smaller size gives more control, important when applying such a bright color. I used a light hand in the picture above. The texture is not super soft but not drying. If you notice, the color has a semi-matte finish, which is great! Some super shiny reds end up all over the face and matte reds can look dry. The semi-matte finish gives a satiny look without being glaring and in your face. It also gives the color good staying power.

The left is without flash.

The left is without flash.

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I wanted to add a little glitz to the Holiday Red Lip Pencil so I grabbed my BA Start Zebra Glitter Gloss and added a layer of sparkle.

balip2Another great product, this glittery gloss isn’t too gritty, making it easy to wear.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

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The glitter shows up quite nicely over the Holiday Red Lip Pencil.

BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil will make an excellent addition to my fall and winter lip colors.  I love the versatility of the product, too, as I can create a light stain or really layer the color to make my lips pop!

Interested in trying BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil? Visit www.bastar.com and enter BBLIPS at checkout to receive 50% off!  Keep in mind that the discount is off the full retail price ONLY and cannot be combined with any other offers.

This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

Keep Calm  & Primp On! XOXO

Get a Life (Palette)!

A few weeks ago, I made a purchase from em Cosmetics by Michelle Phan. If you have never heard of Michelle Phan, you may have heard of ipsy, a beauty subscription curated by Michelle Phan. Anyway, Michelle is a serious make-up artist. She can pretty much become anyone or anything she wants with the flick of a mascara wand. Her talent did not go unnoticed and she was able to create her own cosmetics line. Through my ipsy subscription I was able to get a deal and since her products are expensive, I figured it seemed like a good way to try out her cosmetics. I was also automatically entered to win a Life Palette. A Life Palette is the signature em Cosmetics product. There are four “lives” to choose from, each containing four palettes that include eye, cheek, and lip colors.

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Imagine my surprise when with my measly $27 purchase, I won. I chose the “Love Life” palette, which I thought to be most versatile.

Love Life Palette

Love Life Palette

Just a quick description- the center of each mini-palette is a blush. If you move clockwise from the top, you hit two lip colors and six eye shadow colors.

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The packaging is sturdy and I love that I can also easily depot each palette as needed. Do you see the little indentation on the right side of each pan? Included in the set is a nifty tool that slides right into that indentation, making it easy to depot and put in a special compact included with the palette. It makes every single pan travel friendly. The four lives of the Love Life Palette are:

Warm Fuzzies (neutrals with a pops of color and shimmer)

Warm Fuzzies

Warm Fuzzies

The Real Me (natural neutrals)

The Real Me

The Real Me

Girl Time (more color- purples, blues, pink!),

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Girl Time

 All Yours (smokey shades)

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All Yours

Each look has instructions. I found the step-by-step directions easy to follow and I loved my final look.

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I have used Warm Fuzzies and The Real Me and found the eye shadows and blushes to be of good quality. (I honestly did not try the lip colors in the palette yet.)

I am hoping to play around with my Love Life Palette and try more faces.

Would you purchase a palette like this?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Resvology to the Rescue!

 

eye before

Sorry to scare you with my eyeballs. With my schedule lately, I have been running around like a mad woman and it shows. I never complained about dark circles until I really gave the skin around my eyes a cold, hard look. Now, mine may not seem that bad but I am facing my mid-30s and I have already noticed the changes in my skin.  I am oily by nature so I don’t use face cream.  I do use eye cream. I was recently disappointed that my favorite cream had been discontinued and was sold on something else. I am not too happy with the current formulation so when I saw a campaign for Resvology Age Corrective Eye Cream on BrandBacker, I was excited.I received a 0.5 fluid ounce tube complimentary  through BrandBacker and got started using it right away.

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Resvology Age Corrective Eye Cream ($84 US) is “advanced gene science” that uses the 4-AR molecule, a stabilized and patented form of resveratryl acetate. The 4-AR molecule has been proven to activate over 85 skin-related genes in an in-vitro gene study.  This activity helps skin look more youthful. If you want it in Product Hoochie terms, this is luxurious skincare with a strong basis in science. It also just sounds like it works, but is there proof in the anti-puff pudding?

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The cream claims that it helps minimize wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circle. I only really have the latter but I am all about prevention. Their “unprecedented results” pretty much tell that 100% of users found fine lines to be minimized, and the eye area to be firmer and hydrated.

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I tried it out one night after I cleansed my face. I was surprised at how much thinner Resvology Age Corrective Eye Cream is to my usual thick like butter eye cream. It was more of a lotion- easy to apply with a little heft. I gently applied the cream around my eye, paying a little more attention to the nasty dark circles. I have to admit, the cream feels lovely and the scent is not strong or perfumey. I wouldn’t say it smells chemical either, which is a pleasant surprise.

photo 1 (1)A little goes a long way and after a week of use this is what I notice:

photo 2 (1)My circles are a bit lighter and I think looks a little brighter.

After two weeks, I found…

My dark circles seem to have lightened up a bit. I think that if I continue to use the cream nightly, I will see further improvement.  I also think that the skin around my eyes seems firmer to the touch.  Do I think the price tag is too high? Well, I paid $60 US for my current eye cream so $24 more for something that has shown improvement in two weeks might be a better investment.

My most recent picture- Sunday, October 20 8:37 AM.

My most recent picture- Sunday, October 20 8:37 AM.

If you want to learn more about Resvology products, pay them a visit at www.resvology.com. You can also “like” them on Facebook.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Falling into Fragrance- Bergamot’s October Collection

I received my second Bergamot box last Friday and gave myself some time to try each scent in the delivery. I think this month’s selection was better than last’s. Take a sniff.

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“Oh! the Indian Summer! it stirs up the flying embers-all the dead days of the year-into momentary new life!” ~Walt Whitman (This quote was in the pamphlet. Love me some Walt.)

October’s Collection is titled Indian Summer.  Since NYC has been trying to kick out those last dregs of humid days (I got a stupid mosquito bite yesterday), I am more than happy to use anything Fall-like.  The fragrances revolve around scents from “Autumn’s kitchen”- ginger, pear, and oolong tea, two are from brands I never heard from and one is available at some mass beauty retailers.

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The scent strips that are filed neatly beneath the mini-sprays are a most excellent addition to the box.

I’ll start with the first scent I tried, DSH Perfumes D’Anjou. At first spray I thought, “Ooooh! Freshly washed hair!” Pear, blended with notes of rose, lily, and cyclamen made for a really easy to wear fragrance that smelled so clean and delicious. I sniffed my wrists all day and found that though it did fade, I could smell it faintly. D’Anjou is my favorite out of the three selections for two reason. One- it really is a beautiful scent that is a bit unique and two- it is not overwhelming. The September collection I found to be a bit cloying so this was a refreshing change.

DSH Perfumes D'Anjou

DSH Perfumes D’Anjou

Tuesday morning, I spritzed myself with Ginger Ciao by Yosh. I was uber-excited for this fragrance. Tiger Lily! Ylang Ylang! Ginger! Coconut! A spicy, sweet, floral? It sounds fantastic… BUT it wasn’t for me. I’m not sure if it is my skin chemistry but it really smelled ummm… like Design. I wore Design in the 90s but it was created in 1985 by Paul Sebastian. I found Ginger Ciao to be an opulent scent and a bit strong for my liking.  Maybe the Ylang Ylang really came through on me. I don’t know. I think this may smell gorgeous on someone else and I will be sure to pass it along.

Ginger Ciao by Yosh

Ginger Ciao by Yosh

Last but not least is Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne. If I had to choose, I would choose D’Anjou but I have already used up half of this sample. Why, you ask? Since it is a cologne, it does not last very long. On the other hand, the dry down is spectacular so I didn’t mind. On first spray, you get hit with citrusy bergamot. Then Atelier Cologne used their noses. The dry down floats into Tunisian orange blossom, and gets edgy with smoke and leather. It is everything I want to smell like.

Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini

Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini

I will wear D’Anjou one more time but thinking about it, Oolang might just be for me! Agh! Decisions, decisions.

What scent do you prefer in the cooler months?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Princess Tag!

The gorgeous Melissa over at Pink Lady Beauty tagged me in the Princess Tag! I love, love, love high-end products so this tag is totally for me!

FOUNDATION: I’m not crazy for foundation but I do use Bare Minerals Original SPF Foundation. I think it tends to control the oil on my face the best.

CONCEALER: Honestly, I don’t use much concealer either. I currently have been giving Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil a go around my eyes. I find that it really lightens up the area nicely.

Lighten up.

Lighten up.

POWDER: Back to Bare Minerals. Their READY Touch Up Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15 helps sop up the grease that accumulates on my face. (I sound just like a princess, don’t I?)

BRONZER: Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer is my favorite hands down. It smells all cocoa-y AND is matte so my sun-kissed glow doesn’t also channel a disco ball.

The top right picture is with flash and bottom without.

The top right picture is with flash and bottom without.

BLUSH: Currently it is Benefit’s Hervana. There is something about that pink and purple swirl that makes me happy!

It's a pinwheel!

It’s a pinwheel!

HIGHLIGHTER: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer is seriously pigmented but when used correctly leaves skin with a beautiful shimmery sheen.

Get detained for being cute. Bottom picture is no flash.

Get detained for being cute. Bottom picture is no flash.

EYESHADOW: I love eye shadow. I love my Urban Decay Naked II palette– their eye shadows are smooth like buttah! Bobbi Brown eye shadows come in a close second. They blend beautifully.

In the nude.

In the nude.

EYELINER: Tarina Tarantino’s Eye Dream Hyperline goes on smooth and is super pigmented. Even on the most humid day, it does not slide off. And the colors are gorgeous! For a cheaper ($9!!!) yet high end version, Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof stays put all day with color vibrancy that puts any other HD eye product to shame.

Draw the line.

Draw the line.

Mascara: Benefit They’re Real Mascara pumps lashes up to 40s starlet status.

Lash out!

Lash out!

Lip Pencil: I rarely use a lip pencil so I keep Too Faced’s Borderline Anti-feathering Lip Pencil on hand. It is a clear wax pencil that keeps borders clean and it won’t alter your lip color.

LIPSTICK I have way too many to list BUT my one high-end favorite brand is Lipstick Queen. Sinners are 90% pigment and they are loaded with shea butter making for super moisturizing, super saturated color.

Love the bag, the tube, the box!

Love the bag, the tube, the box!

LIP GLOSS: Ummm…. I have been on a lipstick kick but Clinique Chubby Sticks offer up good glossy color.

BROW PRODUCT: Benefit’s Gimme Brow is a gel base formula that goes on with a short mascara brush. I received testers when I had the Lash Bash a few weeks ago and kept the lighter color for myself. It is a little light but if I work it right, it’s great!

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MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCT: This is not high end but I will pretend (just like a good princess) and sing the praises of NYX HD Eye Shadow Base. No one needs to know it is budget!

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NAIL POLISH: Sorry, guys, but I refuse to buy any more nail polish over $10 a bottle. I find the quality to be worse than the cheaper drugstore brands. I have to save my money somewhere.

The Pretty (Pretty) Princesses I Tag Are:

Girl in the Glasses

Short and Sweet In Texas

And please do the tag! We share the crown. It is only good manners!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Keeping It #Realsies! Prepping for the Benefit #LashBash!

Hey all! This past Saturday, I was one of 1,000 throwing a Benefit #LashBash, sponsered by Benefit and ipsy. I just want to share a few photos of my prep for a girls’ night in! Bat those lashes and take a peek!

Our “real” reason for the #LashBash!

I received small tubes for each of my guests!

I received small tubes for each of my guests!

I started by setting up my apartment. Though it is pretty spacious by NYC standards, I was having seven guests plus the hubs- he hid in his office but treated for pizza. He is the best!  Anyhoo- my coffee table was a beauty extravaganza. I set up sample and perfume tester stations for my guests to play with and take home to try before they buy!

Here is a shot of the whole table.

Here is a shot of the whole table.

My "Try at Your Own Risk" sample bar!

My “Try at Your Own Risk” sample bar!

My #realsies frame- you'll see more of this in the next post- and my Fine. Brush Me off Station

My #realsies frame- you’ll see more of this in the next post- and my Fine. Brush Me Off. Station

There were sweet treats, too, along with a little bling!

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I’m a teacher- we need books, even at a party.

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I think the perfume sample bar was my favorite. I even had paper strips for testing scents!

Getting Testy Perfume Sample Station

You’re Getting Testy Perfume Sample Station

Carmella joined us, too!

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In case someone forgot their mirror, I had that covered!

I see you.

I see you.

I even made special gifts for each guest from my Product Hoochie stash plus a raffle for a skin brush or skincare set.

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I set up the gift bags from Benefit and ipsy…

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But this even isn’t half of it! My friends and I had a blast! Stay tuned this week for a post about the party and more goodies from Benefit & ipsy!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I was selected by Benefit and ipsy to host a Benefit LashBash. I received the Benefit products complimentary and this will have no influence on my review. All other items were purchased by me.

Scrub-a-Dub with Perlier

There are rocks in there.

There are rocks in there.

I recently received a jar of Perlier Volcanic Thermal Spa Thermal Scrub from ifabbo, a great site that provides complimentary products up for review. I love a good body scrub but have really not been using the one currently in my shower. It just seems like an extra step. I decided that I would have to start exfoliating those pesky dry spots again since I have noticed that with the weather change, certain areas need a little more attention.  This scrub seems to be right up my alley. First, it is Perlier. Perlier always uses fine ingredients and second, it has thermal stones. I just see the word “thermal” and hope this will warm right up and help get all those impurities out!

Blue Lagoon-like!

Blue Lagoon-like!

The scrub is housed in a sturdy plastic jar and holds quite a generous amount of product at 6.7 fluid ounces. Perlier Volcanic Stones is a skin treatment- micronutrients extracted from volcanic rocks deliver rejuvenating and smoothing action. Throw in some Thermal water and regeneration gets going in the epidermis while the the scrub sloughs away dead skin cells.

Italian QAPF diagram for volcanic rocks

Italian QAPF diagram for volcanic rocks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just looking at the beautiful blue color of the scrub, I can already tell this will make my shower experience definitely more luxurious. I find the marine fragrance to be a bit strong but It is better once you use it in the shower.  Application was easy enough. Take a dollop with your fingers and rub between your palms. Scrub in circular motion, concentrating on knees and elbows. The scrub rinses off very well.

The verdict? The consistency is terrific. It is more like a gel than an oil based scrub, making it less greasy and easier to work with. I do find that there was some bigger rock pieces that I could really feel sloughing away those dead skin cells. After use,  my skin is soft and glowing. It made shaving much easier to deal with- my legs felt really smooth. I also followed up with a nice moisturizer.

Click here to be directly taken to #PerlierOnHSN to order a jar of Perlier’s  Volcanic Thermal Spa Thermal Scrub. Enter iFabbo5 at checkout for $5.00 off your #PerlierOnHSN purchase!

I received this product complimentary from iFabbo. It had no influence on my review. If you are interested in joining iFabbo, click my affiliate link located in the sidebar.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO