January is National Oatmeal Month!

We buy a lot of dandruff shampoo in my house. Ok, not that much, but I'm aware that folks with dandruff say shampoos like Head and Shoulders work. So when I read that Aveeno, one of my favorite brands was coming out with a dandruff line, I knew I had to try it. Or let my husband try it. I'll post his review in the next day or so.

Moving on to dry skin ... did you know oatmeal has many healing properties? Did you also know that January is national oatmeal month?

Most folks can relate to winter hands. My hands get so dry I've been known to use Crazy Glue to repair cracks. In fact I've got a slit on my right thumb right now. Had to reach for the CG for a little relief. In case you were wondering the glue bonds the cut and keeps moisture out.

Anyway, you can't use Crazy glue every day. That's why I am very excited to try Aveeno's new skin relief healing ointment. Right now it's on my hands and on my lips. I like this product. There's almost no scent, it's not greasy and absorbs easily. I checked out the ingredients: shea butter and oat kernel oil, but no lanolin. It's a good product for sensitive skin. I have a feeling I will also be using this on my son's chapped cheeks and right under his nose.

net wt. 3.0 oz ($7.50)


Drew and Wal-Mart

I just read that Drew Barrymore is a huge makeup fanatic and that she is launching her own beauty line at Wal-Mart. She's calling the line Flower, which is also the name of her film company.
photo: Donato Sardella
I wonder what Cover Girl cosmetics will make of Drew's new venture? The cosmetics should range in price from $5 to $14 and will also be available online.


Antibacterial Soap: Safe Suds or Snake Oil? | OnEarth Magazine

A recent article in Onearth highlights the need to rid our daily hygiene products of triclosan.

I could quote from this article, but I think it's author Laura Fraser did a very good job. In other words, read it now.


Carmex Lip Conditioner

I'm going to assume that many of my readers have heard of Carmex. It's a lip conditioner that comes in a small yellow metal pot. (It also comes in a stick too). Recently the Minnesota-based company has been expanding its product list to include hand and body creams. Their products are widely available online and in drugstores. Carmex has got to have one of the best pr-marketing-blogger outreach teams. These folks are dynamite. Honestly they should work for the US government. Probably solve more issues if these folks were at it. I digress. Anyway, the Carmex blogger outreach team, i.e. the makers of Carmex, just sent me a new product -- it's a lip conditioner. This is an odd product. It has an orange flavor, which I can't decide if I like or dislike. It's fast absorbing and yet still leaves a tingle. The company says you can wear it under lipstick because it has a matte finish. I've tried it a few times and I'm kind of unsure what I think about it. But now that I've read the accompanying press release and learned that it's packed with 13 moisturizing ingredients, I might give it a second try with more serious reflection. -- JB


The Woman Behind the Lipstick

As many of you know, I've been infatuated with makeup since I was a little girl. I used to covet my grandmother's Avon samples -- you know, the smaller-than-your pinky-sized lipsticks.
Last night I carved out some time to hear Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics speak at Montclair State University about her career path. Bobbi has lived in Montclair for many, many years. Her talk was fantastic. She began with pictures of herself as a child. She shared her metamorphosis from girl to teen to college student to freelance makeup artist to wife, mother and businesswoman. She shared with us how she started with one lipstick -- a nude color called 'Brown' -- later adding nine more shades. Bobbi -- as she prefers to be called -- is very casual. She walked in wearing a dark wash skinny jean and a denim top with her signature glasses. Her hair was long and straight. At just 5-feet tall, she's a pint-size powerhouse. "I'd rather be taller than younger," she said. I've always loved Bobbi's fresh approach to makeup, as she says, "the skin has to look like you’re not wearing any." Bobbi Brown celebrates the natural woman, "when I look at a woman, I don’t see what’s wrong with her. I see what’s right.” Amen.

You can buy her products in department stores like Bloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom, online and at her new pop-up store in Grand Central Station. You can also shop at her studio in Montclair, NJ. 

Bobbi and her company are big into philanthropy. One of my favorite moments last night came when she said she wants to make a lot of money so she can "give it all away."

Bobbi took a lot of questions last night. She was very generous with her time. She also laid out her rules for success and happiness, which I've copied here. If you want more on Bobbi, you can read her blog. I do. 

  • Always Be on time
  • Look people in eye
  • Tell the truth
  • Don’t smoke
  • Drink lots of water
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Read
  • Be nice
  • Never give up


Bobbi Brown at MSU

I snuck out tonight so I could hear Bobbi Brown speak about her career. More to come... She was fantastic!


Bobbi Brown's Biggest Cyber Monday

If you like makeup samples, you'll want to keep reading this post.


Pick 5 samples with ANY order at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

I'd buy this awesome lip trio set. Oh wait! I did buy it.  It was a post-Sandy pick-me up.


Get Straightened Out!

Over the years I've tried many products to help straighten my wavy locks. My hair straightens easily, or so they tell me at the salon, but I have a lot of trouble doing it on my own. I am unsure if I get tired, or bored, or overheated, but I can't seem to finish the job. A few weeks ago I was on a I'm-going-to-blow-my-hair-straight kick, and I bought a product from Sephora. It's from Bumble and Bumble ... and it's called Straight blow dry. It's kind of pricey, so I opted for the $12 (2 oz.) container. Also, I had a feeling I wasn't going to need a lot of product. I didn't. A small squeeze left my hair easy to dry and manageable. My hair wasn't weighed down and it wasn't greasy. I'm not saying I looked like Kate Middleton, but friends complimented me. I felt put together. It was a good day. Thanks B&B.


live clean (baby)

These days everyone is looking for products that are free of just about anything unnatural. That means no parabens, phthalates, phosphates, sulfates, petroleum or DEA. You're not going to find any of these chemicals in the Live Clean (Baby) product line. The company is Canadian. But you can buy their products in the States at Walgreens. I like the product line. A lot. It's gentle, has a light fragrance and is affordable. For example, a 10 oz. bottle of baby shampoo & wash will cost about $8. I'm used to buying California Baby products which are very costly (but also very eco-friendly).
 In addition to everything listed (or not listed) above, it is formulated with purified water, and enriched with certified organic botanicals of chamomile, lavender and aloe. The company has a decent website with a FAQ section for those interested in (more) specifics. Bottom line: I tried this with my 3 year-old son and would recommend it.


Carmex Healing Cream is a winner!

I know I have been delinquent in posting. But between teaching and a toddler, it's hard to find time to write about beauty products, let alone use them. But I recently received some new Carmex products in the mail, including their Healing Cream. I have very dry skin. My fingers crack in the winter. I get little paper cuts all the time, so I am always looking for a good cream. Trouble is, I hate greasy lotions that leave a slick residue. Carmex' Healing Cream is great. It's very thick and absorbs immediately. It smells like Carmex + vanilla, nothing offensive. I would definitely recommend this cream. I will keep a tube in my powder room for a quick fix.