3 Organic Products That Will Change Your Beauty Routine

I wanted to take a moment and share three game-changing organic products under the $15.00 price point.  Not only have I personally sampled each recommended product, they have now replaced other beauty staples in my daily routine.  While some organic products can be more expensive than their chemically treated counterparts, these are a splurge, if you can even call it that, that is worth the upgrade.  Be good to your body and it will be good to you!

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Charcoal Soap

I’ve been wanting to try charcoal soap for a while after hearing that it removes toxins, pulls all the gross stuff from your pores, and helps with skin issues like my eczema, which conventionally flares during the winter months.  While walking through Atlanta’s  Krog Street Market, I came across this lovely handmade soap shop called Mama Handmade Bath & Body that has since become one of my favorite places to explore there.  While playing with sample oils and inhaling the fabulous scents of the different types of soaps, I found several bars of raw handmade charcoal soap.  I purchased a bar for $8.00 so I could give it a try.  For almost 3 weeks, I have washed my face with this vegan soap and follow-up with the Cerve moisturizer every morning and night.   I knew that it was a naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial soap but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was loaded with moisturizing oils like avocado, jojoba, and wheat germ.  My face is so clear and smooth and  I have gotten so many compliments on my skin (check out my IG for my Jan 19th selfie…no foundation at all with a little blush!!!) I love that I am not clogging my pores with unnecessary ingredients. 

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Organic Argan Oil

Argan oil, produced from the kernels of the Argan tree, is becoming very popular in the cosmetic world because of the restorative benefits for hair, skin, nails.  I hear it also does wonders for pregnant women with stretch marks.   I was asked to try out a sample of 100% pure Moroccan Argan oil from a brand called Actually Organic and I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

Around the same time the 1 oz bottle of  Argan oil arrived, I have weening myself off gel manicures and was suffering from soft and brittle nails that would break if you just looked at them.  I started moisturizing both my cuticles and my nails and guess what happened… my nails started to grow again. I could even look at them and they would not break.  I then started to use the oil to help heal dry eczema patches on my body and I have really enjoyed the results of smooth nourished skin in these dry winter months.  I originally thought that $12.00 a bottle was a little steep for a 1 oz bottle, but I quickly learned that a little product goes a long way.  This bottle will last me through the August, which is perfect considering Argan oil in its pure form has a 12-month shelf life.  I apply oil to my nails about once a week and I use the oil on my skin to heal specific problem areas like my elbows, inside of my ears (strange, I know), and the crease of my hands. ~ Thank you to the Actually Organic team for providing the She Makes Cents team with this product ~

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Organic Nail Polish Remover

I will be honest, I have had a sample bottle of organic nail polish remover from an old Birchbox for a few months now.  I was cleaning out the house in one of those Kondo Method type of purges when I decided that I would do one of two things with the stockpile of unopened beauty products- use it up or donate to a local women’s shelter.  My 4oz bottle of Soybean and Tea Tree Oil organic nail polish remover from Karma Naturals was on the chopping block because I have always used a standard nail polish remover.  Yes, traditional removers are full of all sorts of harsh chemicals but they always got the job done.  As it was going into the pile of products that would soon be donated, I decided to keep it to see how it removes pink nail polish from my toes.   Compared to traditional removers, it takes a little longer to remove nail polish but that was okay with me once I felt how moisturized my bare toenails were.  It was amazing!!!  I now even take my own bottle of organic remover with my when I go to the nail salon so that they don’t use the harsh remover that I was used to.  This is a vegan and cruelty-free product that has replaced my previous brand FOREVER.

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{Splurge or Save} Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick & Brush Review

Vanish Hourglass Foundation StickA few weeks ago, I received the Vanish Foundation Stick & Brush from Hourglass Cosmetics via Influenster for testing purposes.  Its claim to fame is having the coverage of a concealer, fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder for undetectable full coverage.  Well….I put that to the test.  First, I selected the color from a computer screen so I worried if the foundation would even match my skin tone.  If you are a frequent reader of shemakescents.com, you know that I never leave the house without mascara or a spritz of perfume. PERIOD.  Those are my beauty standards and I take them very seriously.  Lately though, with the surge of regular women rocking fully contoured faces on the daily, I have been compelled to add to my makeup repertoire.  In the past few months, I have spent a good bit of money for drug store foundations/concealers in an attempt to discover a perfect color match and consistency.  The sad part is, I spend money on those foundations that I use   occasionally  since foundation isn’t normally in my daily routine.

Related Post: {Kiss & Makeup} The Shelf Life of the Makeup in Your Bag Right Now

Yesterday, the Mr. and I went to Sephora to pick up my birthday freebie and I decided to play with more Hourglass cosmetic products in person. As the Mr. patiently waited for me to finish, he took notice of the $46.00 price tag for the makeup brush and another $46.00 for the foundation stick.  Astonished and confused, he questioned me about who in their right mind would pay those prices.  Well, let’s look at the two products separately.

Related Post: :{Bday Swag} How to Get FREE Stuff on Your Birthday

Foundation Brush

I knew I was going to be reviewing foundation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a complimentary Hourglass Vanish foundation brush.   I used it with the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Almond and the “seamless finish” advertised came to life on my face.  The first week, I exclusively used the brush with the Vanish Foundation Stick and then I branched out to see if I would get similar results with brands under the $10.00 price point.  The brush created a flawless finish regardless of the foundation used with it.  Since #selfies and #usies are the millennial standard, having a secret weapon in your makeup arsenal that makes your skin look impeccable in photos and in person is worth the splurge.

Splurge or Save? : SPLURGE

Foundation Stick

As a woman of color, I often find it difficult to find makeup that doesn’t make me look chalky, too light, or too dark.  Nude doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone, you know. Like I mentioned before, I had to pick my color from a computer screen and magically, I picked the perfect color.  This is mind-blowing considering it takes me almost 20 minutes in Target to find something “close” to my skin tone.  I love that it is a foundation stick because I can use it right as I am running out the door and I don’t have to worry about a mess like what you have when you use liquid foundation on the go.  Instead of using it on my entire face, I have used it daily under my eyes to fake a “refreshed and youthful” look when I have been consistently running on 6 hours of sleep (not cool). Is it worth the $46.00 price point?  I think this one could depend on what you look for in a foundation.  I will be buying this foundation again, but it won’t be my exclusive foundation.  At a $46.00 price point, it is too expensive for daily use so I will mix it in the rotation of my drug store foundations.  

Splurge or Save? : SAVEHourglass Vanish Foundation Stick and Brush Review

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWhat’s Your Go To Foundation Brand? Please share below.

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{2015 Vision Board Preview} I Resolve Not To Be Cheap, Easy, Fast, or Fake!

A Vision in the Making

Happy 1st Saturday of the year lovelies!  I hope that it has been a good one thus far.  Hopefully you have had a chance get your Bingo Style Money Sheet and have crossed off your first box.  This morning, I am live blogging to you about a “vision in the making”.  With PJs on and a laptop in the bed, I have decided it is time to get my vision board together.  Instead of doing one large board, I have decided to break mine down into six categories and refine my focus in those areas of my life- Danielle Y. Boler as a Brand, Vocation, Health, Personal Relationships, Social, and Wealth.  I will have them printed and I plan to frame them in my office, closet, and in my day planner.  This morning I am focusing on being mentally, spiritually, and physically Healthy.  This photo below is just a glimpse of what I am thinking and positively projecting for this year and beyond:

fruit infused voss water

For me, this photo is a reminder to be more conscience of what I’m putting into my body.  Be knowledgeable about where my food is coming from, but most important to remember that you are what you eat.  That being said, I resolve to not be cheap, easy, fast, or fake!cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg

What are your more healthy resolutions?

Please share below!

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{Splurge or Save} Christian Louboutin Nail Polish


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Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I have an affinity toward nail polish. The Mr. once described my behavior in a Sephora on the Las Vegas strip as a “lioness approaching her prey”. With that being said, I have tried it all and I must say, nail polish should not be a splurge. Take the Christian Louboutin nail lacquer that was released yesterday. For $50.00 a bottle, that is smaller than the average nail polish bottle I might add, what are you getting?- A nice rouge polish that can be replicated with OPI or even NYX polish (which is becoming my new favorite because of how long it lasts). You see, you are paying for a name, cool branding with the spiked top, and for people to see you wearing Christian Louboutin. But unlike his shoes, which can be readily identified by their distinctive red bottoms, no one is going to recognize your Rouge Louboutin polish. Think about it like this, 12 bottles of polish could buy you a pair of Louboutin heels…which I would consider a better investment, by far.  

Splurge or Save? : SAVE

Danielle

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWould you spend $50.00 for nail polish?

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{Every Woman Should Have} 50 Fabulously Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits

{Beauty Cents} Have We Forgotten What True Beauty Looks Like?

Real Women, Real Reactions!

BuzzFeed asked women to take part in an experiment where they were treated to hair and makeup by a glam squad and then modeled in a professional photo shoot. After the shoot, a Photoshop expert retouched the photos to make the women look like the glamorous cover models we see on magazines.  They were thinner, lighter in complexion, and smoother. Each woman was shown the picture of their “transformations” and their reaction was not what many would expect.

I recently read a comment someone posted in reaction to the picture below of models and their “before” look (no makeup and pre-photoshop).  The person tagged the picture with the comment, “this should make you feel better about yourself”. I personally do not resonate with this reaction. As women we have to stop chasing perfection and start embracing ourselves and each other for the things that make us beautiful and unique. What is perfect, anyway? Beauty is the opposite of perfection; it’s about confidence, charisma, and character!

She Makes Cents

What makes you beautiful?

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{Health Cents} How Stress and Late Nights Are Making You Poor

Stress and Late Nights Make You Poorvia onlinephdprograms.com

{Kiss & Makeup} 3 Gorgeous Makeup Trends for Spring

Look Good, Feel Good!

My makeup kit runs the gamut of price points- from Stila to Maybelline to Chanel to ELF.  Why?  Because somewhere between my growing love for all things makeup and my seasonal makeup purge that I recommend every woman do, I have come to realize that it’s more about the look of the final product than it is about the brand name.   Below are 3 gorgeous looks for Spring from my tweeps and beauty experts over at Nordstrom.  Your goal should be to find colors and products that make you look and feel as fabulous as you are in whatever your budget allows.  Each look can be recreated using your favorite brands!     

Makeup Trends for Spring

make up for women of color

make up tips 2013

Photo Credit: My Twitter Friend Nordstrom

Looking for suggestions on where to find some great beauty products?  Check out my list of some of my favorites:

{Eat on the Cheap} Healthy Eating on a Budget

I got this question in from a reader who connected with me through my about.me!

Hello there! I am curious, I am wanting to start using the envelope method but I’m wondering how to go about spending the amount given for me in the grocery amount when on a diet. Diets are super hard to stick to especially when you are on low budget. Any advice?

MyKudos to you for making two great decisions eating clean and trying not to go into debt doing so. The envelope system, by Dave Ramsey, is such a wonder tool that has helped me reshape how I think about money. Truthfully, it may take a few visits to the grocery store for you to figure out exactly how much goes into your grocery envelope. My latest goal that I have implemented into my own life is to set realistic goals. Once you figure out how much is realistic to spend for your budget, lifestyle, and family size, then you are really to maintain a consistent amount every check.

My second recommendation would be to plan your meals on a weekly basis and make a grocery list based on the meals you plan to cook. There are a number of sources that provide recipes to help you eat cleaner by planning your meals in advanced. Choose My Plate is a government website that helps you plan motivational menus on a 2000 calorie diet, provides tips to help you save, and suggests foods that are great for your diet. Here is an example of a sample menu for the week. Another great source is Pinterest, which is filled with thousands of recipes from people across the web who share similar tastes and goals as you. Now that you have an idea of what you want to prepare for the week, then it is time to make the all important grocery list. I really like this grocery list from MomAgendga and I recommend never stepping into a grocery store without a completed list.

Other tips to consider:

  • Never shop on an empty stomach…it often causes people to over shop and over spend.
  • Wear your most fabulous heels to the grocery store: Look good, feel good, right? Well, yes… but wearing your most fabulous heels (which often ends up being the ones that hurt the most) will force you to stay on track so you can get exactly what you need and get out of there so you can get home to more comfy shoes or…no shoes at all. It may sound crazy, but I keep my heels on after work ONLY on days when I have to run errands where I may be tempted to spend!
  • Get a shopping/accountability buddy: My good friend, Kema and I used to make our grocery lists and go shopping together. It made the experience fun, we used that time to catch up, and we helped each other stay on target and budget.

For other tips, check out these 10 tips from Choose My Plate on Eating on a Better Budget

What is your favorite budget shopping tip?

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