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Friday, March 30, 2012

Mani/Pedi Time is an EVENT in This House...

...because it takes all day! No, really. I've got 3 girls, so whenever they see me paint my nails, they want me to paint their's too. So that means I have up to 80 nails to paint (and we're talking base coat for me, at least two coats of color/glitter for everyone except the baby, and a top coat for Peyton and I), and it is somewhat of a ritual in our home. Application takes forever, not to mention dry time (just visualize trying to make a 3 year old and a 15 month old stay still for long enough to paint and then dry their nails), but it's a real bonding opportunity for all of us, so all in all I truly enjoy it.

I'm very particular about color selection for the little ones. I like bright, bold colors for myself, and even though Peyton and London love my selections, they're not always age appropriate for them. I tend to choose glitters and pastels for Lo...

NYC In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in 294 Lexington Yellow



Peyton longs to wear some of the same adventurous shades that I use, but I want to keep her as youthful and innocent as long as I can, so sometimes I have to veto her color choices. She likes to choose one main color and a glitter to use on her pinkie as an accent nail...

Revlon Top Speed Fast Dry Nail Enamel in 860 Metallic and  a random glitter from Sally Girl

Originally, I wanted to use Neon Celtic Sun from China Glaze...


It was so bright and pretty and different, and it reminded me of tennis balls, which instantly reminds me of summer, so I had to have it! But then I tried it out and was sadly disappointed :(



The color came out as brightly on the nail as it appeared in the bottle, but the application was kinda sucky. This is 2 coats on top of a base coat, and it still came out extremely streaky. Womp, womp... It will be going back...

I also got Neon Orange Knockout...


The application of this one was much better, but I was kind of disappointed when it dried matte instead of shiny. Nothing a coat of top coat can't fix though!



I was looking forward to having a neon themed mani/pedi combo and with how Celtic Sun turned out, I was short a color. So I perused my collection and found this...

Sinful Colors in Innocent 
And though it costs only $1.99 (compared to China Glaze's $4.99), this is how it applied...


Not quite as bright and yellow as Celtic Sun, but it applied this opaque in one coat, so for me, it's a winner!



Side by side comparisons



I ended up using Innocent on my toes (yeah, I'm so not taking pictures of my feet) and I used 3 colors on my hands...

Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Orange Knockout, and OPI DS Reflection


Long story short, it took all afternoon for me to do everyone's nails! But we had fun, and we're girls, this is what we do! 

What nail trends are you loving right now? Are you into nail art and accent nails like we are? What shades and brands do you gravitate towards? Comment below, my inquiring mind wants to know! Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Use It or Lose It!

Hello, my name is Quinn and I'm a product junkie. I love makeup, skincare, nail polish, and hair products and am always researching and purchasing new products. I have quite the collection and am in the process of figuring out the best way to store everything so that every product gets it's day in the sun (and isn't a total waste of money). As I sort through my bounty of treasure and attempt to organize everything, I've come to the realization that I have to let some of my cosmetics go. Not because I no longer want them or have no "need" for them, but for health/safety reasons.

Did you know that cosmetics, hair products, and skin care products expire just like food? Some products actually have their shelf life printed on them in the form of a little jar symbol with the number of months it's good for on it. While that information is really helpful, I find that because I do purchase different products quite often, I have a hard time remembering when I bought stuff and then have no idea if I should keep it or toss it. So I bought some little circular labels and whenever I bring something home, I simply write the month and year on the label and affix it to my new acquisition. I do this for EVERYTHING now, but I had to do a little research to find out how long to keep items that don't come with the handy dandy shelf life info. And now I'm going to share my research with you!

Perfume is good for up to 3 years, and maintains its scent and color best if you store it in a cool, dry place.

Sunscreen is good for 2 to 3 years, but often times there is a shelf life listed on it, so make sure to check it.

Body lotion and Shampoo and Conditioner are good for about 2 to 3 years. Try to avoid getting water from the shower or bath in the containers, as it can breed nasty bacteria.

Deodorant is good for about 2 years before it loses its potency.

Blush, Face Powder, Lipstick, and Lipgloss are all good for 2 years. Using clean brushes and applicators EVERY TIME will ensure that your products do not become festering grounds for bacteria.

Foundation can be used for up to 2 years.

Nail Polish is good for up to a year (but there are different methods you can use to extend the life of your polish if you'd like).

Antiaging and Acne Treatments can be good for between 3 months to a year before their active ingredients lose their effectiveness.

Natural Beauty Products are good for up to 6 months.

Mascara  the shortest shelf life and needs to be tossed 3 months after opening to avoid eye infections.


These guidelines are not gospel; if something looks or smells different or funny, it's always better to be safe than sorry, so go ahead and throw it out. Storing your products in a cool, dry place and ALWAYS using clean and sanitized utensils will increase the longevity of a lot of your beauty necessities. Also, finding somewhere other than your bathroom to store things like makeup brushes and even your razors is a good move over all; the constant steam from bathing can cause those items to spawn various bacterium as well.

I hope you find this informative and helpful. I now have the task of rummaging through my beloved stash, and letting some of my oldies (and formerly goodies) go. Sigh. I guess I can look at it, not so much as letting stuff go, but more like making room for new stuff! Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Daughter and Carol's Daughter :)

I know Carol's Daughter has been a popular brand for quite some time now, but I really don't have much practical experience with the brand. I am familiar with Lisa's story and she is actually one of my professional inspirations, but as far as using the products, I had never actually purchased any ( True Story: I actually went to Lenox Mall in Atlanta, GA for the grand opening of her stand alone store a while back, where she was making an appearance; I was going to make my first purchase there, but there was so much bedlam that I didn't get within ten feet of the door). It's not that I wasn't interested in trying them; my mother had Lisa's Hair Elixir and every time I went over to her house, I would sneak to her bathroom and put a healthy dose in my tresses. I guess (until recently) I've been more of a drugstore girl, because I'm a bit of a product junkie and experimenting with lots of new and different things is way kinder on the budget at Target than at the department stores.

My oldest daughter, Peyton, even has her own stash of Carol's Daughter products! Someone graciously gifted her with the cutest shampoo and conditioner set that featured the character's from Disney's The Princess and The Frog, some time ago. So it seemed only fitting that when I got the opportunity to test out some products from Carol's Daughter, they just happened to be perfectly suited to her hair condition.



Like I've mentioned before (here), my hair is naturally curly and I've never had a chemical relaxer. However, someone other than myself took it upon themselves to give Peyton a relaxer when she was around 5 or 6. It was maintained for a couple of years, but a few years ago she decided that she wanted to grow it out. And what a journey it has been  since then. 

To make a long story short, we were REALLY EXCITED when I received Carol's Daughter's Olive Oil Infusion Kit! It's a softening and detangling treatment, that's great for all kinds of hair, but especially hair in the delicate "transition" of growing from relaxed to natural. Just right for Peyton!








The kit is super user friendly; you just apply the oil directly to the scalp and then work it through to the ends, then divide the hair into four sections and work the smoothie through, using your fingers (and NOT a comb) to detangle the hair. Then you put on a plastic cap (also included in the kit) and let the products soak in your hair for 30 minutes. Then you wash it out (preferably with a sulfate free shampoo) and condition if necessary and style as usual. 

I wish I had pictures to show off the results, but Peyton got a little camera shy at the end. We were very happy with how the kit worked in her hair; it literally resurrected the texture that has been lost for years! She was so happy to see that she could be a curly girl like me and her little sister, London. While her natural hair curled BEAUTIFULLY, the ends were still super straight, so it was difficult to style in a way that was wearable. While we did end up using a flat iron to straighten her hair, we are so optimistic about continuing to use the kit as her hair grows out and look forward to when she can wear her hair curly and proud. 

The Olive Oil Infusion Kit is something that I highly recommend whether your hair is natural or relaxed and whether you plan to wear it curly or straight. It was so nourishing and highly moisturizing and the smell was divine (kind of herbally, with a minty undertone). 

So what are your favorite Carol's Daughter products? I'm definitely a fan now, and look forward to purchasing some of the brand for my own use. What are the products and brands you look too when you want to pamper your tresses at home? Are you a drugstore maven, or do you prefer high end goodies for your mane? My inquiring mind wants to know! Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q

PS-The Oil Infusion Kit was provided to me for consideration by a PR company. I was not paid to review it, or for this post, and the opinions stated are completely honest and my own (and Peyton's). 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Multi-Purposing Gem

This is just a quick little post I wanted to do so that I could talk about a new product I got to try and am absolutely in love with! I'm a Bzz Agent and from time to time they send me products relevant to me and my life (based on surveys that I fill out), and the latest thing I received from them is Garnier's Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (in Medium/Dark), and I have to say that I love it!






So here's the lowdown on BB Creams:


  • BB stands for "Beauty Balm"
  • They were originally created by a German dermatologist in the 1960's to sooth, protect and heal the skin and to cover redness after peeling treatments and other procedures
  • They've been a must have product throughout Asia since around 2006

Though BB Creams surfaced in the US market last year, Garnier is the first to bring it to mass market retailers (thus making it affordable for us budget conscience lovelies). Theirs is an "all-in-one" beauty solution that renews radiance, brightens your complexion, evens skin tone and blurs imperfections, hydrates for 24 hours and protects against UVA and UVB rays with SPF 15.

I love that it's kind of a no brainer product: I don't have to worry about whether it's going to blend into my skin or make me look chalky. It blends in so well; it really looks like me skin but better! I also love that it gives a little bit of light weight coverage, but more importantly it is good for my skin in so many ways. 

It's only available in two shades (Light/Medium and Medium/Deep) and while the Medium/Deep shade works perfectly for me, it will be nice if they expand the range of shades to include something a little darker (for my cocoa colored lovelies). Other than that, I can do nothing but rave about this product! I think it's great for someone who doesn't want to wear any actual makeup but wants to improve their skin tone, or someone who is just starting out wearing makeup and is a little intimidated about what to put on their face. 

Good news is, I'm including a coupon for any Garnier moisturizer (including the BB Cream) with the Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser prize pack (click here for details and to enter)! 

Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Time for a GIVEAWAY!!!



Lately, I've been doing a lot of research (and purchasing) to figure out a good skin care regimen. I've matured past the days of being able to get away with using a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and a spot treatment for the occasional flair up, but was left kind of in the lurch because I had no idea what to use next.

I've always had oily, acne prone skin. I'm finally starting to understand why my mom said I'd be happy for my oiliness later in life, because my 20's have come and gone but I don't have a single wrinkle! But my skin has adjusted with age; it's more oily in my T zone with some dryness on my cheeks. Do you know how difficult it is to treat skin that is perpetually and simultaneously at 2 extremes?!? Let's just say, it's still a work in progress...

Now, let's get to the good stuff! I have some goodies to give away especially for my lovelies out there with combination skin like me! Here are the deets on Bioré® Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser:



BALANCE YOUR SKIN THIS SPRING
WITH COMBINATION SKIN BALANCING CLEANSER
NEW FROM BIORÉ® SKINCARE

THINK: Achieve balance for combination skin.

WHAT IT IS: The must-have combination skin cleanser. Tired of juggling different cleansers for your T-Zone and your dry skin? Give your jam-packed skincare routine a spring cleaning and pare your cleansers down to just one crucial product: Bioré® Skincare’s new Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser. A unique cleanser designed to strip away dirt and impurities without stripping your skin’s natural moisture, Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser lets you treat the oily parts AND the dry parts of skin at once, bringing balance to your skin . The innovative formula was developed with Skin Purifying Technology, a revolutionary technology comprised of dirt-seeking cleansing molecules, the formula targets and cling to impurities.

FROM THE EXPERT: “Achieving balance is a goal that eludes a lot of women with combination skin,” says dermatologist Dr. Sapna Westley, Bioré® Skincare Consulting Dermatologist. “The key is using a product that truly cleanses oily skin without stripping drier areas. Bioré® Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser deep cleans oily T-Zones while thoroughly yet gently cleansing dry skin, leaving the complexion clean and refreshed.”

Bioré® Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser provides an even clean by addressing the complex needs of combination skin. The formula cleanses without depleting or stripping skin of moisture. After just one use, the cleanser delivers an all-over clean, lifting oil from the T-Zone while thoroughly cleansing dry areas. After two weeks of use, combination areas feel more balanced.


WHERE TO FIND IT: Select food, drug and mass merchant stores. For more information, visit www.biore.com


I have THREE cleansers to give away! The giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry international ladies) and it's really easy to enter. Subscribe to the blog using Google Reader Connect AND "like" Mama Fashionista on Facebook (there are widgets on the sidebar that will let you do both of those from here)! Leave a comment below letting me know that you did so. Please include your email address so that I can contact you if you win. For extra credit points you can recommend the blog and my Facebook page to your friends. If they subscribe or "like" me, you get an extra entry! Just leave an additional comment with your friend's name so that I can verify them. 

I'm so excited to be able to give something back to my readers! Who doesn't love a giveaway? The contest in open until Saturday, March 24th at 11:59 PM EST. I will notify the winners via email, no later than Tuesday, March 27th. The winners will be chosen at random, but the more friends you invite to join the fun, the higher your odds are for winning. So spread the word and share the love! Until next time...


Ciao, XxO

Q










Friday, March 16, 2012

Carol's Daughter Wants to Help You Through Your "Transitional" Phase!


Hair is sometimes inextricably tied to a woman’s sense of identity. When we have a bad hair day, inevitably our entire day goes downhill. When our hair is at it’s glorious best, we go through our day feeling like we can accomplish anything. We could spend all day talking and learning about the psychological impact a good/bad hair day has on your daily mood. Often times, the hair that we are born with is not the hair we want (see A Natural State of Mind). We  spend countless hours (not to mention dollars) straightening what was curly, curling what was straight, and altering the color to every shade under the sun.

While I am a fan of experimenting with your look and striving to look your best, as a mama to 3 young girls, it is also very important to me to convey the message that beauty comes from within and that one is beautiful just they way they are. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about Carol’s Daughter’s new contest. Here are the deets...


CAROL'S DAUGHTER IS SEARCHING FOR 3 WOMEN TO ENTER ITS "TRANSITION ME BEAUTIFUL" CONTEST & EMBRACE THEIR NATURAL HAIR!

Carol’s Daughter knows that transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to natural texture isn’t just about hairits a whole new outlook on life. Women across the country are starting their transitioning journey and Carols Daughter wants to share their experiencethe excitement, the challenges, the changes and the freedom. Thats why the brand is kicking off a search for three women to chronicle their journey as they transition on a new site from Carol’s Daughter.

To support the selected women as they make the total lifestyle transition, Carol’s Daughter has enlisted a savvy glam squad of renowned experts including Curly Textured Expert, Diane DaCosta, Author of Textured Tresses, , and Health & Wellness Expert Latham Thomas to equip them with the confidence and resources for their journey ahead.

The winner’s journey will be documented for one year on the new Carol’s Daughter website devoted to Transitioning, launching in Spring 2012.  “We are particularly excited to present this contest because through it we are able to offer women the guiding solutions, confidence and resources they need to transition and eventually find the freedom within their natural texture and new lifestyles,” says Carol’s Daughter Chief Marketing Officer, Olivia Scott-Perkins.

As part of their prize, the winning models’ 360o Transitioning Immersion Weekend in NYC includes an intimate dinner with Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price, a spa experience at The Back Room Hand & Foot Spa, a one-year’s supply of Carol’s Daughter products, a Flip Cam, a custom wardrobe by Sammy B, and a photoshoot!

Ten first prize winners will receive a Flip Cam to document their hair journey, Carol’s Daughter products, and an “I Love My Hair” t-shirt. Twenty second prize winners will receive Carol’s Daughter products and an “I Love My Hair” t-shirt.

You can enter the contest on Carol’s Daughter’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/carolsdaughter. The grand prize winners will be chosen based on their responses to the following:

1.       Why do you want to transition? What is your personal hair story?
2.     What particular moment in your life brought on this decision?
3.     What will transitioning mean for you?
4.     How long have you been transitioning?
5.     Photo submission


Winners will be announced by Lisa Price on April 6, 2012 on Facebook.


How exciting is that?!? My oldest daughter is transitioning and we had the chance to try Carol’s Daughter Olive Oil Infusion Kit (there will be a separate post about this WONDERFUL product) and it was amazing to see the beautiful texture of her natural hair after all of this time!


Photo via Carol's Daughter


Are you transitioning? What are some of the difficulties you are facing? What products are you using to pamper and care for your tresses in this delicate phase? Are you a Carol’s Daughter fan? Make sure to like them on Facebook (and Mama Fashionista while you’re at it) and enter the “Transition Me Beautiful” Contest!
Until next time…

Ciao, XxO

Q


PS: Check out Carol's Daughter's new website TransitioningMovement.com! Also the Olive Oil Infusion Kit was provided to me via PR but the opinion of the product is genuine and my own <3




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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Get Wellness Tips From Trainer to the Stars David Kirsch!




Heads up lovelies! We should all be health conscious and fitness savvy so that we can live long, healthy lives. But let's face it, the need to shed some extra poundage (especially as the weather warms and signals the return of shorter skirts, sleeves, and eventually, swim suit season) is usually the motivation that leads us to pay closer attention to our diet and fitness habits. 

Just in time to give us a head start and direction on the path to wellness, trainer to the stars David Kirsch is hosting a Facebook chat to help fitness novices (like myself), gym bunnies, and everyone in between.




(photo via David Kirsch's Facebook page)




FITNESS GURU DAVID KIRSCH WILL HOST FACEBOOK CHAT


IN HONOR OF NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH









On Wednesday, March 14th wellness expert David Kirsch will answer any and all questions from fans about health, well-being and fitness during a Facebook chat in recognition of National Nutrition Month, which takes place in March. David will also share his tips on maintaining optimal health and reveal his secrets and strategies for staying fit.






A true visionary in the field of wellness, David has becoming the leading authority on harnessing the powerful connection among mind, body and spirit. A highly sought-after trainer who has worked with countless A-list celebrities, including Heidi Klum, Anne Hathaway and Jimmy Fallon, David’s holistic approach to wellness consists of a disciplined exercise, nutrition and supplements regimen, and is rooted in his philosophy of “Sound Mind, Sound Body.”






In addition to authoring five books, including the bestseller The Ultimate New York Diet, David has appeared on numerous television shows to share his fitness and wellness expertise, including The Today Show, E! and CNN World News.










WHAT: David Kirsch’s National Nutrition Month Facebook Chat






WHERE: http://www.facebook.com/DavidKirschWellnessCo






WHEN: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


8 pm – 8:30 pm EST































I know I'll be tuning in; I can use all the tips I get to help me get my yummy mummy on! What are your biggest health questions? What are your fitness goals? What tools are you implementing now in your personal journey to wellness? My inquiring mind wants to know! Until next time...













Ciao, XxO






Q
















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Monday, March 5, 2012

A Natural State of Mind (aka A Curly Girl's Story)



I have naturally curly hair. When I was young(er), all I wanted was to have straight hair. When I was a little girl, my mother would wash and condition my hair, divide it into sections and then let it air dry at least overnight. The next day, we’d spend the afternoon in the kitchen, while she hot combed my hair. I’m talking old fashioned, put the comb on the stove to heat it up, hot comb. Then when I turned 11 or 12, I started to do the whole routine on my own, so that I could do it more often and so that I could get it STRAIGHTER.

 I never even thought to wear my hair in its natural state until I was in high school and I became good friends with another curly girl. She gave me the courage to finally wear my hair in curls too. I’ve been experimenting with different combinations and brands of products to achieve the perfect head of curls since then.

However, unlike my friend who always wore her hair in curls, I still preferred to wrestle with and tame my tresses until they were bone straight. I felt more “me” with straight hair. Curly was simply an alternative when I wanted to do something different, or felt too lazy to tackle the daunting task of washing, conditioning, detangling, braiding, treating, waiting to dry and the hour to hour and a half it took to actually straighten It (and it took that long even after I discovered the wonders of Frizz Ease and a flat iron). Yes, there were the several months during my senior year of high school when I was on the swim team and my hair was in a perpetual state of curls (it was plain unrealistic and just a waste of time to do all that work for it to be straight for half a day). But still, I felt most confident, pretty, and myself when my hair was long and straight.

Fast forward to having my first child-let’s just say it’s hard to find the time to regularly (and painlessly) wield extremely hot objects when you have a little one knocking you in the knees every five minutes. Curly finally became my regular state of being, but only by default. I still longed for and preferred my straight hair. Until now…

A few things have changed my opinion of my natural state. First and foremost was my hubby. He was the first (and I suppose, the last) man I was with that actually liked my hair curly. I knew he was special because he preferred me just the way that I was. Then there was the discovery that our first daughter was a curly girl too. To see the time and effort he (yes, HE does our daughter’s hair) spends on making sure her hair looks its best, from researching new products and washing and taming those tangles; the two of them have really helped me to embrace the texture I was born with.

And now I have yet another reason to be curly and proud! I truly have no idea how, but fairly recently I stumbled upon NaturallyCurly.com and I am hooked. They are an invaluable resource as far as the care, maintenance, and overall empowerment of curly and textured hair. I have learned more about how to make the absolute best of my tresses in the couple of weeks I have been making daily visits to the site than I have in my ENTIRE LIFE! Really, it’s that informative.

So I guess I’m saying, prepare yourselves for a lot of curly girl love and attention, including tips, techniques and product reviews galore. No, this won’t be a hair blog, and I’m not saying that you won’t catch me with straight hair every now and again. But for the first time ever in my life, I’m excited about the wild thing that is my hair, and I want to share it with you all. So stay tuned.
















Me, Curly


                                                                            
Me , Straight (and 8 months pregnant)




Until next time…

Ciao, XxO

Q

PS- The moral of the story is, although it’s great to experiment with new and different looks and forever strive to attain the best version of yourself, it is most important to EMBRACE and not be afraid to BE exactly who you ARE! 





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Friday, March 2, 2012

Introducing London (and a little bit of DIY)


Happy Friday All! I'm gearing up for a visit from my parents and finally persuaded London (my 3 year old daughter) to take off her satin cap. We bought it last weekend for her to wear when she sleeps, to protect her lovely curls and to make the daunting task of detangling her hair a bit easier. Anyway, she calls it her "bed hat" and wears it all the time now! I guess it could be worse; she could refuse to wear it, and I'd have to continue to deal with dry hair and nasty tangles (and London's wails that rival a banshee's).

She's wearing such a cute little shirt (my mother got it for her from Old Navy) and I wanted to add a little something something to her hair to finish her look. I found a stray piece of ribbon and attempted to tie it around her hair as a headband, but alas, it was too short. Then I had an idea...




Take a piece of ribbon and an elastic ponytail holder...




Tie one end of the ribbon to the ponytail holder...




Then the other end...




Now you have a headband!






I think she likes it!



And voila! We have a new hair accessory! It was so insanely easy to do, now I'm totally going to make more for all 3 of my girls. It's amazing what you can create with a little imagination and ingenuity. I hope this inspires you to get crafty! Look around you and see what you can put together. Take some pictures and post them on my Facebook page! I'll make a photo album with all of our DIY projects!

Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q

































Thursday, March 1, 2012

This Is Why Mail Excites Me...

Curse you BIRCHBOX! Lol! In my January box I received a deluxe sample of FIX Malibu's Immaculate Complexion Advanced Antioxidant Serum and I am HOOKED! I have never used a product that has made such a dramatic difference in my skin almost immediately (well, overnight to be exact)! Problem is, everywhere I search for it, it is either sold out or $125! But it's so good! Sigh... 




I'm trying to be more conscientious of my skin care routine as I get older, and services like Birchbox help me make great new discoveries in order to fine tune my regimen. After all, they introduced me to the lovely little gem above. What are your skin concerns? What products do you splurge on? What do you use on your skin that you just can't live without? My inquiring mind wants to know! 

Until next time...

Ciao, XxO

Q




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