TotalBeauty.com
Cellulite Creams that Actually Work

From Chanel to L'Oreal, which creams firmed thighs and which failed


Let's face it: Cellulite is a part of life most of us need to accept. Experts generally agree that while you can't completely get rid of it, you can minimize its appearance with the right products. But what are those? We had a panel test a variety of at-home approaches. Find out which products worked best for them -- and which were a waste of time and money.

See products

TotalBeauty.com
The Best "As Seen on TV" Makeup

These hits, from channels like QVC and HSN, have our readers running for the phone


We've all done it: you can't sleep, turn on the TV, watch a spokesperson rave about some new makeup, and the next thing you know you're pulling out your credit card. Problem is, not all of those late-night impulse buys are that great. However, after checking out this list of the top "as seen on TV" makeup, you'll know what's worth the splurge.

See makeup

No. 12: Dior Mascara Diorshow, $24

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.4*


"It gives me the most dramatic and thick lashes, and makes them look so long..."

No. 11: Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup/Foundation, $24.50

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9*


"It is a snap to apply, lasts a long time, doesn't look cakey or dry and really appears natural..."

No. 10: Laura Geller Balance & Brighten Compact, $29.50

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9.2*


"This is my go-to foundation whenever I am in a hurry and... don't have time for a full face of makeup..."

Want to see what's no. 1? Click here!

Would You Use This? Makeup for Your Feet

Sigh. Is it just me, or has the beauty industry run out of ideas?























Our latest foray in "Would You Use This" beauty comes from T!intalize, a concealer for your feet. You read that correctly. A concealer for your feet. I saw this over at Fushcia and just had to write about it. Created by a makeup artist for "The Bold and the Beautiful", Tintalize is supposed to cover corns, dark marks and other imperfections.

I suppose its a good idea if you feel super self-conscious about your feet, but the idea of slathering makeup on my feet gives me pause.

What do you think?

Would You Use This?

Natural Hair Nazis: Can't We All Just Get Along?

I read an article last night over at Clutch Magazine that really echoed some sentiments that I've been feeling for a long time.

If you don't spend much time on Black hair forums, you may not be familiar with the term "Natural Hair Nazi". A Natural Hair Nazi (NHN) is a person who belittles other women for relaxing their hair. The NHN feels that relaxed hair is a direct reflection of one's self-hatred and desire to assimilate to a White standard of beauty. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.

True, I have recently become natural, but I go to great lengths never to impose my decision to go natural on others. True, there are probably some Black women out there who dislike their kinks and curls, but there are also many women who, I think, just think of relaxed hair as a style. Nothing more. Nothing Less.

When I made the decision to go natural it wasn't because I wanted to make some political statement or connect to my "roots", so to speak. I wasn't experiencing breakage of thinning of any kind. Quite the contrary. I gave my hair a lot of TLC, switched to a gentler relaxer and my hair hadn't been that full since I was a little girl. So why did I make the decision to go natural? Curiosity, plain and simple. I wish I could say it was something more interesting or life-changing, but it wasn't. I wanted to see what I looked like with natural hair, so I went to my brother's barber and had him chop it all off. That's it.

I understand that a lot of natural women harbor some resentment because of the way they were treated when they first went natural. Having the people closest to you question your decision and make you feel like you've ruined your appearance can make you feel like people have an unhealthy obsession with straight hair. And some of us do. I just don't see how passing on that negative energy is helping matters. Fortunately for me, my family and friends were very supportive of my decision to go natural. My mother and best friend are both natural, and rooted me on, as did my friends with relaxers. Maybe they're just good friends like that. Heck, even my dad and brother passed on hair tips and product recommendations to help me style my newly cropped hair.

I send this message out to all hair forum participants, beauty bloggers, and regular gals, alike. If you feel so strongly about natural hair, why not give some of the support you wished you'd received. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so be a little sweeter the next time the discussion of natural hair comes up. Instead of going into attack mode and accusing her of being "addicted" to the "creamy crack", share your story and explain why you went natural. That is, if she asked for your opinion in the first place. And don't make assumptions. Don't assume that every relaxed woman is a few strands from baldness. Don't assume that every relaxed women hates her natural texture. For that matter, don't assume that of any natural woman who gets blow outs, or wears a wig or weave. It would be wrong for someone to dog you for wearing dreads or a fro, so why is it ok for you to dog someone for wearing a pixie or bob? Its simple. Treat others how you want to be treated.

Will I be natural forever? I have no idea. I may do like my mother and switch back and forth every year or so. That's my prerogative. All I'm saying is, there are enough problems in the world. Lets not wage a war over hair relaxer! It's just plain silly. Women, and Black women especially, need to stop competing with one another, and support one another. And that includes supporting every woman's right to wear her hair how ever she wants.

That's why I created Beautè Noire. I want this blog to be a place for all women of color to revel in their beauty! So, yes, there will be tips and products for both relaxed and natural hair. If a relaxed woman emails me for help with her hair, I'm not going to turn her away. Same for my natural girls. Does that make me Pro-Natural? Pro-Relaxed? I think it just makes me Pro-Beauty!

Your Sister in Beauty,

-Amber


Photo: Clutch Magazine

Chanel Iman Covers Harper's Bazaar Dubai

I saw this cover over at The YBF over the weekend and thought Chanel Iman looked pretty fab.

This is a gorgeous cover, don't you think? Kudos to Chanel and HB.

Would You Use This? Battery Powered Beauty


I'm starting to think this whole battery powered beauty thing is getting a little out of control. First mascara, now this!

When I opened an email from Sephora this morning, I was a tad surprised (but not really) to see that Dior is releasing a new lip gloss with a spinning wand. Dior Addict Lip Polish, $30, is available in three shades, and only at Sephora to Beauty Insiders. Dior says that wand spins to give a perfect makeup artist application. Um, okay...

I like Dior glosses but I don't know about this one. Would you be willing to try a spinning gloss?

-- Sent From My iPhone

Halle's (Even Shorter) New 'Do

Halle's at it again. She's cut her hair even shorter for her upcoming film "Napplily Ever After" (which I can't wait to see, by the way). This time she's gone for a pixie haircut similar to the style she's most known for.

I wonder if we'll see her bald next...

Crazy for Nars

I'm crazy for nail polish and these vintage shades recenty re-released from Nars are my latest nail obsession. I'm dying to get my hands on Hunger (a creamy orange red) and Cha Cha Cha (a citrusy gold).

Pretty fab, huh?

-- Sent From My iPhone

Dove Visibly Smooth Deodorant

Okay, so when I first started trying out natural beauty products last year, one of the first things I weened myself off of was aluminum based deodorants (the whole deodorant causing breast cancer thing is not a good look). I had pretty good success with my natural alternatives, but being the true beauty fiend I am I couldn't resist something brand-spanking new.

Enter Dove's new Ultimate Visibly Smooth Deodorant in Wild Rose. First of all, the smell is amazing! I'm not one for heavily scented deodorants, but this stuff smells crazy good. Not only that, but it claims to minimize underarm hair! Perfect for these tank top wearing summer months, no? Its only been a week or so, so I'll have to see if the claims are true, but in the meantime I'm enjoying the fantastic scent and protection if gives. I'll go back to something aluminum-free eventually, I promise!

In fact, I think I'll be trying out the #1 reader fave on Total Beauty's list of the Best and Worst Deodorants. Click the link below to find out what it is!

TotalBeauty.com
The Best and Worst Deodorants

Which ones do readers say are guaranteed to stop the stink?


Deodorant is just one of those products you need to be able to trust. That's why we asked our readers to share which deodorants kept them sweat and odor free all day and which, well, didn't. Check out their picks, and say goodbye to stinky pits.

See deodorants

The Worst: No. 4: Crystal Body Deodorant Spray, $2.40

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.4*


"It was very messy. The nozzle would get clogged and the deodorant went everywhere except where I aimed it to go..."

No. 3: Clarins Gentle Care Cream Deodorant, $15

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.2*


Readers complain about the "hefty price" and the "odd scent." They also say "the cream is a little messy..."

The Best: No. 8: Secret Clinical Strength, $6.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.3*


"I have hyper-hydrosis, and it makes me feel disgusting," one reader says. "This is the only non-prescription strength product I can use, and it works!"

Want to see the rest of the list? Click here!

Beautiful Reading

Have a fabulous weekend!

Total Beauty Web Tour

The Informed Makeup Maven shares highlights from the NYC Makeup show and talks mineral makeup with Obsessed Minerals founder, Michael Huwe. Don't forget to join IMM's facebook group!

Beauty Anonymous loves the fresh floral scents of Bond No.9 Astor Place Eau de Parfum.

Kyl at The Beauty Couch is seriously loving the new By Lauren Luke My Smokey Classics palette.

Get serious coverage that is no joke with these 2 fab concealers that Beauty Junkies Unite

Boutique Flair reviews the Kiss My Face Potent & Pure line.

A Little More Beautiful has 2 giveaways going onUrban Decay Primer Potion in Sin and Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture ending in May and June.

Fabulous Over Forty has a mineral makeup giveaway. Contest ends soon!

The Makeup Divas reviews the new Prescriptives Exhilarating lipgloss in Guava and lipstick in Raspberry.

Neon Bible's new guy writer talks about how to get your guy to get a haircut that costs more than $9.00.

Lipgloss Break has a double giveaway - Enter to Win Wrinkle Arrest DermaScyne & healthDropz!

StyleBell reviews the latest Damp to Dry Flat Iron by HAI Elite, the HaiDraStik. Read if StyleBell gives it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.


Beautè Noire discovers how to get the smoothest, softest, glossiest legs ever!


Jamie, The Working Girl from Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog, shares her after-work spa regimen.


Lipstickaddict makes a review on The Body Shop Productsfrom Spa Wisdom Line, Yes Yes Yes Tantalising Lip Butter and Body Focus Bust Firmer!


Alison at The Advice Sisters (follow her on Twitter - advicesisters) tempts you to try Treats for Summer by TARTE.


makeup loves me gives you the swatches you need to decide if MAC's new style warrior collection is right for you!

eye4style is glossy and fabulous, thanks to the Brazilian Blowout at Maria Bonita. Read about it here!

Hot Beauty Health show us how Shea Butter enhances women beauty.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings reviews the Rx for Brown Skin Absolute Radiance Intensive Exfoliating Serum.

Beauty in Real Life is having a giveaway with Beautyfix, click here to enter to win one of 15 sets up for grabs!!


LA Pretty is giving away a Fruits & Passion pedicure set for a luxurious, at-home foot treatment. Click here for contest details.


Maria at Beauty is Within reviews Eye Majic Instant Eyes.


addicted to lipstick is having a Kiss My Face Giveaway for Oily and Acne Prone Skin be sure to enter to win!

Summer Fun Locks easy fun curls get the scoop!

Andrea's Beau Discount!

When I first saw these fab hair accessories, the first thing I thought was "Weddings!". With all the spring and summer weddings and festivities coming up this season, these are perfect for special occassions (that feathered number is due for a night out with me and the girls!).

They're from Andrea's Beau, a boutique hair accessory collection. Made with ribbons, silk, and beads, these accessories remind me of a younger, trendier version of a church hat!

These headbands and hair clips are sold in Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom, but Andrea is giving Beautè Noire readers a special discount. From now until June 8th, Beautè Noire readers can recieve 20% off their online order when they enter beautenoireblog in the comment section at checkout (*the discount won't shown at checkout, but will be on your receipt).




Product Review: Clean & Clear Soothing Eye Makeup Remover

I think this is best product Clean & Clear has ever come up with!

In fact, their new Soothing Eye Makeup Remover, $8 is the best eye makeup remover I've ever used, and I've used them all!

Not only does it remove all my layers of eye makeup and primer super easily, but the aloe in it keeps my eyes from getting irritated. Plus, it leaves my delicate eye area in the perfect state: not too oily, not too dry. Just perfect!

I use it to take my makeup off at night, but since its not too greasy, its perfect to use if you made a mistake with your eye makeup and need to start over. All this and its from the drugstore!

Sigh. Don't you just love it when you find a perfect beauty product?

What 5 Beauty Products Can't You Live Without?

I was inspired by this post over at the Fashion Bomb, and decided to give it a beauty spin here on Beautè Noire.


Here's my five:

  1. Clarisonic Skincare Brush - This bad boy gets makeup off like nobody's business.
  2. Lip Balm - Either Rosebud Salve or Yes to Carrots
  3. Iman Second to None Cover Cream - Gives me an even, gorgeous complexion.
  4. Clean & Clear Soothing Eye Makeup Remover - A new fave. More on this to come...
  5. Kinky Curly Curling Custard - The best I've found so far to define my curls.
Your turn! What five beauty products can't you live without?

Fab or Drab: NYC Edition!

Hey all! It's time for another round of Fab or Drab. This time we'll be checking out brown beauty from fabulous New York City!

Lets get to it!

FAB!

Sanaa Lathan looked absolutely gorgeous while promoting her new series "The Clevelands". Her hair was parted down the center and barrel curled for lots of body. Her understated, but glam, makeup was given a pop of color from her red lip stick. Who says brown skin can't wear bright red lip color?!

Deborah Roberts looked amazing at the NYC Ballet's Annual Gala. Her skin was bronzed to perfection, and her smokey eye was paired with lush black lashes. She wore another fave lip look of mine, a sheer pink nude, another great look on all shades of brown skin!

Rhinna was dangerously close to the danger zone in NYC with this hair...

But she pulled it out with this fab makeup! Her skin was absolute glowing perfection, and you know how I love a red lip!
(*Side note: I'm pretty sure that's my freshman dorm from college in the background with the green roof. Random, I know...)

DRAB...
Sadly, model Veronica Webb managed to slip to the Drab side of this beauty equation. I'm all for a natural look, but Veronica didn't quite manage it this time. Believe it or not, the natural look actually takes makeup! This totally naked face just isn't hitting it. Sorry V.

So, did it get it right? Let me know!

Super Glossy Gams

It's that time of year again. That time where we put away the heavy pants and thick tights, and pull out the sundresses and short shorts.
We also must resume our warm weather grooming routine, i.e. shaving our legs on a regular basis.

We all let a little stubble slide during the winter months, but now that our gams will be on display its time to pull out the razor. This summer, however, I'll be tossing out my usual shave gel in favor of my new favorite, Alba Moisturizing Cream Shave, $6.

This stuff is the truth! This creamy concoction is chock full of Aloe, jojoba oil, Vitamin E, and chamomile, and went on like a body cream to give me the best shave I've ever had. It actually made the hair stand up so I could get a super close shave. Not only that, but it left my legs super smooth and soft without needing any lotion afterward (a definite first!). Someone even commented on how "glossy" my legs looked. I'll be using this all spring and summer!

I got in in Unscented, but there are other versions like Aloe Mint, Coconut Lime and Mango Vanilla. Definitely pick some up before debuting your new spring wardrobe!

TotalBeauty.com
Seven Deadly Skin Sins

Want gorgeous skin? Start by making sure you don't commit any of these skin-damaging crimes


We hate to get preachy on you, but if you want your skin to look great well into your 80s, you'll follow this advice, courtesy of dermatologists and skin care experts. When asked what the worst possible things for our skin are, these topped their lists. So now, repeat after us, "thou shalt not"...

See sins

TotalBeauty.com
The 12 Best Waterproof Mascaras

Keep your eyes smudge-free with mascaras from L'Oreal, Maybelline, Lancome and more


There are certain times and places (weddings, the beach, a sudden emotional breakdown) when you just need waterproof mascara. The problem is, so many waterproof formulas can be drying -- or not waterproof enough. Thankfully, our readers shared which formulas got them through tear sessions, surf outings and more without a single smudge or flake. Find out which mascara will help you weather those soggy situations.

See mascaras

No. 12: Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara, $18

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.6*


Why it's great: "This is a great mascara that volumizes and lengthens my lashes..."

No. 11: Avon WASH-OFF WATERPROOF Mascara, $6.50

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.7*


Why it's great: Readers say, "this is perfect for daytime. It's not too heavy, but defines lashes..."

No. 10: Dior Mascara Diorshow Waterproof -- Backstage Makeup, $24

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.7*


Why it's great: "My eyelashes look huge, fake and melodramatic, but without clumping..."

Want to see what's no. 1? Click here!

ANTM Winner Teyona Taylor

A friend brought it to my attention that I haven't posted the newest winner of America's Next Top Model, so this is to remedy that!

20 year old NJ native Teyona Taylor was named the winner of ANTM Cycle 172, err, I mean, Cycle 12 (forgive me, I stopped watching ten cycles ago).

She is a gorge girl though, and this photo is stunning.

Much luck Teyona!

June Cover Girls

Jennifer Hudson covers the June Essence, and I'm loving this lush, sexy look on Jen!

Jada Pinkett-Smith covers the June issue of Ebony, while looking quite fab, might I add. Those shades of plum and berry in her makeup really suit her.

Are you loving these looks as much as I am?





Mrs. O Gives Us Sexy!

Dare I say it? Did the First Lady give us a little sexy at yesterday's poetry jam at the White House? I think she
did!

I saw these pics of Michelle Obama and was both surprised and impressed with the First Lady's sassy look.

Not only did she rock an off-the-shoulder blouse, chic white pants, and trendy earrings, but she also sexy-fied her makeup. I mean, when was the last time you saw a First Lady rocking glossy red lips!
Mrs. O paired her crimson lips, with a brighter, redder blush, and made the eye more smokey than usual, with an extra black liner and some fab, full lashes.

Very sexy, indeed!

Here's how to snag her look:

Cheeks
After applying your fave foundation and/or powder, sweep a little Black Radiance Sheer Finish Blush in Ruby Treasure, $4 on the apples of your cheeks.

Eyes
Next, apply Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow in Burnt Sugar, $20 from lashline to brow bone, then apply Revlon Matte Eye Shadow in Rich Sable, $5 to the crease. Line the upper and lower eyelids with Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in Mat Black, $17. Finish this sexy eye with a strip of Ardell Fashion Lashes in #110, $4 (Remember to apply them with dark lash glue. Duo is my fave).

Lips
Finally, line lips with Max Factor Vivid Impact Lipliner in Ms. Right, $6 and blend in with the attached lip brush. Use the same brush to apply L'Oreal HIP Jelly Balm in Delectable, $9 to center of lips. Press lips together, and you're done!

Get Her Look!
Kerry Washington and Viola Davis at the CHANEL Tribeca Film Festival Dinner Party, NYCMadonna, Rihanna and the Gossip Girl gang arrive for the Costume Institute Gala, NYCCelebrity arrivals at the Obsessed premiere in NYCRussell Simmons 2009 Grammy Awards Post Party

Got a favorite celeb whose look you love?

Seen a someone in a magazine whose makeup was fierce?

Email me a pic of a makeup look you'd like to achieve, or leave a comment describing your fave celeb, and I'll help you
Get Her Look
!

Sneak Peak: Cosmedicine Matte & Bronze

I love to sport a sexy bronze glow in the summertime, but I hate how bronzers can make my skin look like an oil slick. I mean, let's face it, oily skin + perspiration from the heat, does not = a sexy look.

Enter Cosmedicine's new Matte & Bronze! This ingenious powder gives you the gorgeous glow you crave, while keeping the oilies at bay. A plus, for even dry skinned girls in steamy hot weather.

This bronzer won't hit stores until July but, in their infinite ability to create a beauty frenzy, Sephora will be giving away lab samples to Beauty Insiders who make a purchase of $25 or more on Sephora.com. Check your email on May 23rd for the announcement and the coupon code to get a sneak preview of this bronze wonder.

Not a Beauty Insider? Where have you been? Go here to become one for Free!

Giveaway: Mineral Fusion Spring Blossom Kit!


Hey Lovelies!

Whole Foods (aka My Grocery Shopping Addiction) is rolling out a new line of natural cosmetics called Mineral Fusion. The line is free of icky chemicals and has natural antioxidants and UV Protection.

To celebrate the debut of this adorable new line, Whole Foods is giving away a Mineral Fusion Spring Blossom Kit ($90 value) to one lucky Beauté Noire reader!

Thr
ough the month of May, Whole Foods is running a podcast series about Natural Cosmetics, and they want to know what you think.

Here's How to Win:

  1. Go to the Whole Foods Blog and listen to the short podcast.
  2. After listening, leave a comment. Here's the important part! Make sure to enter www.BeauteNoireBlog.com into the "Website" field, so Whole Foods knows you're a Beauté Noire reader.
  3. On May 30th one winner will be randomly selected and announced on Beauté Noire!
The Prize:
A Mineral Fusion Spring Blossom Kit in Innocent Peach or Delicate Rose

Innocent Peach Kit includes:
Blush in Flashy
Lip Gloss in Dazzle
Eye Shadow in Prism
Blotting Papers
DVD: Tips and Techniques

Delicate Rose Kit includes:
Blush in Creation
Lip Gloss in Captivate
Eye Shadow in Unique
DVD: Tips and Techniques


Good Luck!

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Life-long beauty junkie. There's no 12-step program for this!

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