Winter Revival: Beauty Picks 2018

Sunshine, streetcar rides, beignets, and temperatures well above 40 degrees, oh, New Orleans, how I will miss you. Unfortunately, I will be back in Pittsburgh come Monday after my impromptu trip to my home away from home in The Big Easy this weekend. (Want to see what I’ve up too in New Orleans this weekend? Be sure to follow me on Instagram and check out my Story Highlights!) Which that means along with missing my daily dose of sugar from having beignets for breakfast, I will also be coping with biting winds, dropping temperatures, hot showers and dry air from indoor heat, which does absolutely nothing for a girl’s skin and hair! However, in light of to the abysmal weather that the ‘Burgh has this time of year, I decided that this was a great time to sneak away for the weekend to enjoy some warmer weather, R&R, and treat myself to some skin and hair reviving treatments too! And since I’m sure many of my readers back up north are also feeling the winter beauty struggle as well, for today’s post, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top twelve winter beauty products for 2018 to share with you all. 

1. Harvey Prince Organics Ageless Exfoliating Bar Soap


To kick off my winter revival list, I decided to start with Harvey Prince Organics Ageless Exfoliating Bar Soap. This product is contains notes of BuPink Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Mango, Jasmine, Tuberose, YlangYlang, and Sandalwood, giving you a fresh, sensual, luminous scent that everyone will love. This soap also lathers nicely, giving you a nice thick foam to wash your face, body, and hands with, and Ageless Exfoliating Bar Soap also reduces dry skin by gentley exfoliating your skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

Buy It Here: Harvey Prince Organics Exfoliating Bar Soap

2. Fango Mud Therapy Mask


If you’ve been a long time reader here, you probably recognize this product from a number of Instagram posts last year, as well as a different, limited addition, version of this product from my collaboration with Harvey Prince Organics. You should also know that the reason this product is making my beauty essentials list for a second year in a row is because though Harvey Prince no longer provides their Fango Mud Therapy Mask, Borghese does and it is still the absolute best face mask out there! This mask leaves your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and unbelievably smooth after just one use. And though this product is great for year round use, its extra helpful in the winter due to the fact it provides deep moisturizing benefits, which is crucial for reducing dry or chapped skin from being out in the cold winter weather. 

Buy It Here: Borghese Fango Mud Therapy Mask

3. philosophy Miracle Worker Fix


Though I do not have an issue with wrinkles, I do occasionally have issues with bags under my eyes (I blame it on lack of sleep between working and being a college student), so this year I decided to try philosophy's Miracle Worker Fix, and I have to say that it really does work! I've been using it for about three weeks now, and again, though wrinkles (what this product is primarily used to reduce) are not an issue of mine, I have noticed a significant improvement with the bags under my eyes and a reduction of puffiness. 

Buy It Here: philosophy Miracle Worker Fix

4. Harvey Prince Organics Hello Body Butter


There are simply not enough positive things I have to say about Harvey Prince Organics Hello Body Butter. This stuff is absolutely amazing! For starters, you can use this body butter on both your body and face without fear of potential breakouts because this product is designed to help nurture sensitive skin. Next, just like all of Harvey Prince Organics products, it is 100% cruelty free making it a great choice for smoother skin without harming any of our fury friends. The reason I say this product is so amazing though is because it leaves your skin feeling very soft and smooth, which we all know can be hard to maintain in the winter time. It is also very easy to apply and isn’t overly heavy and oily like some other body butters. And last but not least, this body butter smells absolutely amazing. 

Buy It Here: Harvey Prince Organics Hello Body Butter

5. L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Hair Care Routine (Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave In Cream, and Lustrous Oil Serum)

These next products are again some of my all time favorite go to products that I have been using for years, and these products would be L'Oréal Paris' Extraordinary Hair Care Routine. This routine includes Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave In Cream, and Lustrous Oil Treatment. All of these products are infused with oils that help bring dry, brittle, weather damaged hair back to life. Each of them are light weight and apply easily, they also show immediate results— I'm talking shinier, softer hair after just one use! And in case you would like a cruelty free option, I have included Harvey Prince Organics Hello Shampoo and Conditioner as well. Much like L'Oréal's Extraordinary Hair Care Routine, this shampoo and conditioner set smell amazing, and give life back to damaged hair. 

Buy These Products Here: L'Oréal Extraordinary Hair Nourishing Shampoo, L'Oréal Extraordinary Hair Conditioner, L'Oréal Extraordinary Hair Leave In CreamL'Oréal Extraordinary Hair Lustrous Oil Serum, Harvey Prince Organics Hello Shampoo, Harvey Prince Organics Hello Conditioner.

6. Harvey Prince Organics Keravegan Hair Masque  


To go along with my L'Oréal Extraordinary Hair Care routine, once to twice a week I pamper myself with a little something extra and that something extra is Harvey Prince Organics Keravegan Hair Masque. The reason why I feel this masque is essential for the winter time is because due to its soothing ingredients it really helps bring dry, dull, lifeless hair back to life. After just one use, much like the L’Oréal products, you see a difference. Your hair will feel soft and silky, plus with the added bonus of some extra shine.

Buy It Here: Harvey Prince Organics Keravegan Hair Masque

7. Julep Black Canvas Primer

Next on the list are my go to primers this year! I actually have both the Illuminating & Mattifying primers from Julep and I have to say I love them both. The Mattifying primer specifically, made my skin look so smooth and even, and it was incredibly light weight, which works great for me when I'm spending time down south. Each of these primers apply easily and are comfortable for all day wear. These primers also do not clog your pores and leave your skin feeling smooth and looking even. And the best part? This primer actually smells amazing and is 100% cruelty free!

Buy It Here: Julep Blank Canvas Mattifying Primer, Julep Blank Canvas Illuminating Primer

8. bareMinerals BarePro Liquid Foundation


I'm sure many of my long time readers know that my absolute favorite makeup brand is bareMinerals, and this liquid foundation is a great addition to their makeup family! Though I generally use their powder foundation, bareMinerals BarePro liquid foundation is perfect for winter because along with being light weight and comfortable for all day wear, it also benefits your skin. How, you ask? Since bareMinerals BarePro foundation has a SPF of 20, it protects your skin from sun damage as well as helping keep your face moisturized.

Buy It Here: bareMinerals BarePro Liquid Foundation  

9. Maybelline’s City Minis Palettes

This next item on the list was actually a surprise for me! Though I love eye shadow, I very rarely buy any palettes that aren't by Dior, TooFaced, or Chanel. However, recently in a campaign I had with Influenster, I received Maybelline's City Mini's Palette in Rooftop Bronzes and absolutely fell in love with it! The main reason I love these palettes is because they have such a wide range of color and are incredibly versatile. The colors are also rich and long lasting, which isn't that all a girl wants in an eye shadow?

Buy These Products Here: Maybelline The City Mini Palette Chill Brunch Neutrals, The City Mini Palette Downtown SunriseThe City Mini Palette x ShaylaThe City Mini Palette Rooftop BronzesThe City Mini Palette Urban Jungle

10. Dior “My Rose” Blush


Though this is not a new product on the market this year, Dior's "My Rose" blush is still my absolute favorite. This blush is light, easy to apply, and lasts all day (and night!) long. The reason why I am so partial to this particular color is because I feel the light pink tones compliment my porcelain skin tone nicely and keeps my daily makeup looks appearing fresh and natural.

Buy It Here: Dior “My Rose” Blush

11. Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Colour


Chanel's Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Colour is hands down my winter lipstick this year! Firstly, Chanel offers an extensive range of colors so its easy for people of all skin tones to find a color suitable for them, and each of the colors are incredibly rich, giving you the perfect pout. The other reason why i'm loving Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Colour is because much like the name suggests, this lipstick doubles as a lip balm and keeps your lips hydrated and prevents them from getting chapped, even in the cold winter weather.

Buy These Products Here: Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Colour

12. Olay Daily Facial Makeup Wipes


To finish off my winter revival beauty picks, I chose to share the latest makeup wipes I have been using and those would be Daily Facials by Olay! Though I used to get my makeup remover from Clinique, I made the shift to Olay's Daily Facials for a few reasons. One, Clinique's makeup remover, while it works great, comes with a hefty price tag. So, being a broke college student, I'm been scaling back where I can. Clinique's makeup remover also was not travel friendly, and with how much time I've been spending travelling back and fourth between the 'Burgh and NOLA, easy to pack makeup remove is a must. Which is how I stumbled upon and tried Olay's Daily Facials. These wipes honestly work just as great as my Clinique makeup remover and are a fraction of the cost. It's also important to note that these wipes are specifically for sensitive skin, meaning it will not dry out your skin and will help keep it soft and smooth.

Buy It Here: Olay Daily Facial Wipes

What are your go to cold weather beauty remedies this year? Let’s share our tips, tricks, and favorites in the comments below or you can tweet me about it at @StarkRavingChic. Later dolls, I have streetcar to catch and a smoothie to grab!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Love what I’ve been posting on my Instagram but aren’t sure where to get the goods? No worries! I am  a proud member of the rewardStyle and family! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what is all about? Learn more, here

Jolly With Julep: A Review

In case some of you did not know, awhile back I became an affiliate of the cruelty free beauty brand, Julep. However, I personally did not start using their subscription box service myself until last month, which is why this is the first time I am posting about them! More over, I am very pleased to say, unlike my last beauty review post, Julep is quite the little beauty box and I am very impressed with the products I have received. And since I did not have the opportunity to post last month's box (a combination of my February calendar being booked and wanting to make sure I wanted to continue the subscription after my second box), for this post today, I will be reviewing both my February and March Julep boxes. But before I get to that, let me tell you a little bit about Julep!

About Julep 

The company Julep began back in 2007 and is the brainchild of founder and CEO, Jane Park. Jane began the company with the vision that beauty should be a fun and fearless experience for all women. She highlights in her bio that all types of women are beautiful, whether you are the type of girl who commands attention by simply stepping in the room, or the plain Jane girl next door. And if you ask me, that is definitely a stance on beauty that I can back fully. So, what is Julep exactly? Well here's the scoop:

As I mentioned earlier, Julep, is a subscription box, much like my popular sponsor Rocksbox, that costs 24.99/Month. However, unlike Rocksbox, Julep is a beauty subscription box, is monthly, but the good news is you get to keep all the goodies that they send you. So lets see how it works!

First, much like Rocksbox, you simply take Julep's quiz so your beauty concierge can pick the right products for you. The quiz only takes about five minutes. 

As you can see above, you then just make a wishlist of products that you would like to try and then it ships right to your door for free! Not a half bad deal huh? Well it gets better because as I stated earlier, Julep is a 100% cruelty free brand, meaning none of our furry friends are harmed during testing. Also, all of Julep's nail polishes are vegan friendly, which is pretty sweet too. Now that I gave you all the deets, you're probably wondering what exactly comes in a Julep beauty box. Well wonder no more, because here are my reviews for my February and March Boxes!

February Box

Green Tea Konjac Sponge

The first thing I tried out of my February box is this green tea konjac sponge. The sponge itself is very soft and feels very nice to the touch, which is great because it is not rough at all on your skin. After using this sponge, my face felt very clean and refreshed.

April Boho Glam Nail Polish

Next up, I received this boho glam nail polish in "April" (you may recognize it from this Instagram post). I really liked this color nail polish because it is very bright and looks great on. This color is perfect for just about every occasion, and is also a great color for spring!

When Pencil Met Gel, in Sunset Gold

The last thing I received in my February box is this gorgeous gel pencil eyeliner. I first have to say I absolutely loved this color and that this eyeliner applies so easily. Once I get back from John and I's spring break vacation, I am hoping to do some fun makeup looks with it, as well as the other color liner I received in my March box! 

March Box

It's Balm, in Brandy Wine

So this lip balm/lipstick has hands down become my favorite color to wear! The balm also is very soothing for your lips and has totally kept mine from getting cracked and chapped from the cold weather.

When Pencil Met Gel, in Deep Raisin

This is the second color of eyeliner that I mentioned earlier, and much like that eyeliner this pencils color is very vivid and applies with ease. I really can't wait to combine these two colors for a bold, shimmering look.

Ange Boho Glam Nail Polish

This month, I received a cooler toned nail polish color, and absolutely adore it! The color is a bit darker than the photo but it still looks lovely on and is a great shade for fall or winter.

Sample Party's Over One Step Nail Polish Remover

Lastly, I received a sample of Julep's "Party's Over One Step Nail Polish Remover" and I have to say these little pads really do the trick and your nail polish really does come off in one swoop. And to top it off, it only takes 3-5 minutes!

Final Thoughts

After having Julep for two months now, I am happy to say that I will be keeping this service. I have been pleased with everything I have received from Julep thus far and strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a beauty subscription box to give Julep a try! And since I am one happy customer, you can expect monthly beauty posts about my new boxes. Pretty sweet, huh? 

Have you ever tried Julep and love them as much as I do? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Later, dolls. 

Xx, Bree

Living Proof: Restore Hair Care Routine (Compliments of Influenster)

As we all know, I am always up for trying out new beauty and hair care trends, even though as of recently doing so has semi-overflowed my bathroom's medicine cabinet. However, this sponsored opportunity I had from Influenster was just too good to pass up considering it included products from the wildly popular hair care brand, Living Proof's, new Restore Hair Care line. And since I am one to definitely to mix it up and try new brands (especially with all the rave reviews I have read and heard about Living Proof), I made some more space in my shower caddy, and gave Restore a whirl.

Living Proof

Considering I didn't know much about this company, I am assuming a handful of you might not either, and normally, this is the part in the article where I would give you background information on the company. However, much to my dismay, there wasn't much of that on Living Proof's "About Us" page, aside from their origin story, and by looking back at their press and awards page, I am assuming the company started sometime in the year 2007 or 2008.

And those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that another topic I try to cover about beauty companies when I review them (think Amika, L'Oréal Paris, Caress,  and Harvey Prince to name a few) is if they are or if they are not cruelty free. So for this post, I decided to email Living Proof and ask them since this information was not listed on their website and this is the response I received:

"Thank you for your inquiry. Our policy is as follows:

Safety is our top priority and we use the best and most advanced tools to achieve that. We do not test our finished products on animals, nor do we ask our suppliers to test them on our behalf. 

Thank you,
Living Proof

So, in other words, once everything is formulated they no longer test. Which is why they don't talk about it on their website and why they are not rated as "cruelty free". And though I am guilty of using non-cruelty free products, I found this revelation to be a bit disappointing. The reason why I find this disappointing is due to the fact they have unclear policies, no mention of their suppliers on their website, and seemingly beat around the bush in their automated responses, which just leads me to believe they are not cruelty free. Which to me, seems like a bit of a let down when their motto is "We are the science, you are the living proof." In my opinion, for a company with such an innovative statement, should perhaps be more innovative in their testing practices.

However I was still semi-eager to give the products a go because they were free after all, so here are my thoughts:

Restore Shampoo

The first thing I noticed about this shampoo is that it smells pretty good, though I still prefer the scent of the Amika or L'Oréal Paris products that I have, however this shampoo still had a light and fresh scent. However, unlike the other hair care products I have reviewed here, this shampoo did not lather as nicely and did not feel like much on my scalp. Then to top it off I found it to be a bit challenging to really rinse it out of my tresses, in my opinion the shampoo just seemed to cling to my hair, which is not a quality I look for in shampoo. So my consensus is at least it smells good.

Restore Mask Treatment

After finally getting the shampoo rinsed out of my hair, I proceeded to the next step which was the treatment mask. This mask did feel nice on my scalp, applied easily enough, and had the same fresh scent as the shampoo, so it was an enjoyable 5 minute "restoring" period. Unlike the shampoo, the mask surprisingly rinsed out easily and did leave my hair feeling smooth and refreshed. However, to be completely honest, I still prefer my Harvey Prince Keravegan Hair Masque  opposed to this one.

Restore Conditioner 

To follow up the mask, the directions called for the use of the Restore Conditioner. The conditioner, like the other products, smells great but its consistency is actually a bit thick and kinda goopy for my liking, which also made it a bit hard to apply. The reason I think this is, is because of the products thickness, which makes it a bit tricky to evenly spread throughout your locks. And then, much like shampoo, this conditioner took seemingly forever to rinse out of my hair and also seemed to just cling to my tresses.

Restore Perfecting Spray

Lastly, I finished this hair care routine with Living Proof's Restore Perfecting Spray, and was unsurprisingly, disappointed. I thought maybe, just maybe, this would be the one product I really liked out of the kit, but it turns out, in my opinion, all four products are duds in my book. The spray itself smells nice just like all the other products, however after applying it, it didn't seem to really do anything. Meaning I did not feel any of its smoothing effects to the touch like I had with L'Oréal Paris' lustrous oil, or Amika's leave in cream

Final Thoughts

As I am sure you can tell by this article, I am not overly impressed with Living Proof's products, and am certainly happy that I received them complimentary from Influenster and did not actually purchase them out of pocket (more on that in a second). And though I don't think these products are completely awful, I personally would not recommend them to my readers and here are my reasons why:

  1. As you can tell by my reviews of the products above, I felt that they were hard to work with and I also feel there is little to no difference in my hair, which to me seems to be a lot of work with no payoff, which leads me to my next reason...
  2. For the price (I'm talking $28 for an 8oz bottle of shampoo) it just seems like a waste of money. Honestly my kit from L'Oréal Paris that costs roughly $30 for all 4 products, works better for my hair than these Living Proof products did.
  3. As I stated earlier, I am pretty sure Living Proof is not cruelty free, which though I am guilty of using non-cruelty free products (duh, I use L'Oréal), I personally feel if you are paying that much money for hair care products, you might as well shop at Amika or Harvey Prince Organics. The reason I say this is because all three are within the same price range (Harvey Prince Organics actually being the least expensive of the three) but Amika and Harvey Prince Organics  both are 100% cruelty free, vegan friendly, and in my opinion work much better than Living Proof's products.

So, even though my personal experience with Living Proof was disappointing, I'd love to hear you opinions and experiences whether they are positive or negative! So let's chat about it in the comments below, or you can tweet me at @StarkravingChic. Later, dolls.

Xx, Bree

P.S. If you happen to like Living Proof, or want to give any of the other products I talked about in this article a try,  just head over to my SHOP page and click the corresponding Instagram image for this post to shop all the products!

Harvey Prince Organics: Fragrances

From a young age I was always very particular about fragrances, perhaps this is because my aunt and grandmother collected them when I was a child and each of them always wore amazing scents (for instance my grandmother was always a fan of Dior's J'adore). Due to this, I now have a great appreciation for quite the variety of fragrances, however I have also learned that scents are extremely personal and can even help sooth the person who is wearing them during stressful situations. (Aromatherapy, anyone?) So in my own perfume cabinet, I have many fragrances that I find soothing, each of which I generally reserve for particular situations (e.g. weekends, date night, work, photo shoots, and runway shows). And recently, I had the pleasure of working with Harvey Prince Organics, who sent me all kinds of goodies including a bunch of their awesome beauty products, and three full sized bottles of their most popular perfumes! Which all three I have come to love and wear quite often.  

Harvey Prince Organics

For those of you that may have missed my post last week about Harvey Prince Organics, you can read it in full here after this article, but let me give you the highlights about this company first before diving into the review:

  • Harvey Prince was founded by two brother whom were determined to make the perfect fragrance for their mother as a Mother's Day gift. 
  • The name of the company is the combination of the boy's alta maters, Harvard and Princeton.
  • The brand launched in 2007, but rebranded in 2015, changing their name to "Harvey Prince Organics" and is now committed to making and supplying the best cruelty free beauty and fragrance products on the market. Yep! That means none of our furry friends are harmed in the production of Harvey Prince's products!


The first fragrance that I tried by Harvey Prince Organics was their PerfumistaThe reason I decided to try it first was due to the fact it was the most potent scent of the three. This fragrance has hints of jasmine, lily of the valley, sandalwood, and amber, giving it a very daring feel. I would say that this is the type of perfume I would wear for a night out with my girl friends or to a party because this perfume will undoubtedly make you stand out (in a good way of course!)  and make you the star of the show due to its bold scent.


This next perfume, Hello, is a light, happy, and subtle scent. This perfume is absolutely perfect for everyday wear to the office, a business meeting, or to class. This fragrance consists of light hints of lemon, white grapefruit, mandarin, forsythia, and vanilla making it incredibly welcoming and greets people with a smile. I loved this perfume because it is incredibly welcoming and in my opinion is quite the conversation starter! (Perhaps it just lets the world around you know that you are as sweet as your perfume!)


The last fragrance that I got to try, Sincerely, is honestly my favorite of the three (though it was a close second to "Hello"). The reason this is, is because I love its exotic scent. Much like how this perfume is described on Harvey Prince's site, this scent let's the people around you know that you are invigorating, mystical, and often unpredictable. With notes of clove bud, sandalwood, and French bergamot, this scent is perfect for the boho babe who has soul consumed with wanderlust and a deep love of nature.

Final Thoughts

Much like Harvey Prince Organics beauty products, I also loved their perfumes and will be purchasing these fragrances again after I run out. I would recommend any of Harvey Prince Organics fragrances to my friends, family, and of course to you, my readers! So remember if you would like to try any of these three scents, or a different fragrance from Harvey Prince's vast selection, you can use my promo code "starkravingchic40" to get 40% off your order.

What are some of your favorite fragrances and some scents that you connect with? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic!  Later, babes!

Xx, Bree