With the New Year well on its way towards the four month mark, and the early year holidays and festivities being but a memory, it’s about time to take charge of our health once more.  With all the party food, cocktails, and countless other holiday treats here are 5 bSmart tips to make your skin look brand new!



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1) Water

This may seem like the most obvious tip ever, but water is one sure way to get rid of all the toxins that may be inside your skin post-party season.  Not only does it flush out the unnecessary waste left in our bodies, it also acts as the best substitute to drinks like coffee and tea, which can leave your skin dull, dry and dehydrated.

2) Scrub a dub dub!

Exfoliation is one of those beauty rituals that may seem like a luxury, especially on those mornings when you’re running late for work, or finally stumbling indoors at the end of the day.  It can often be difficult to find time for anything more than a simple face cleanse.  However, exfoliation is one of the key steps to keeping toxins (like bacteria, oil, sweat, dust and other gunk that might make its way onto your face) from manifesting into the dreaded spots where acne or even certain forms of dermatitis can form.  Personally, I try not to exfoliate everyday, as this is too abrasive on my skin; however, three times a week, I definitely pull on my exfoliating gloves and give my face and body a good pamper session!

3) Glisten up!

Our skin, just like our hair and nails, is a living organism and thus needs to be fed the right type of diet to stay healthy and happy.  Finding the right kind of oils, creams or serums is the perfect way to keep your skin glowing all day long.  For instance, if you’re more prone to breakouts and have hypersensitive skin, a good start would be tea tree oil, as its natural components help to quickly relieve spots and redness.  Similarly, coconut oil is another natural oil that can act as an acne and dermatitis skin savior, relieve itchiness and soreness, and keep you glowing.  A quick visit to the dermatologist or even a quick scroll online could help reveal the ideal combination of products to keeping your skin healthy and beautiful!

4) Keep moving!

After the past few months spent lounging around, spooning in the mince pies and cuddling by the fireside, a run around the block, hike with a friend, dance party, or power walk every now and then could do more good for your body than you might anticipate.  This is because exercising increases blood flow to your cells and in doing so, carries oxygen and other vital nutrients to your skin cells and other organs.  By increasing blood and oxygen flow, you’re nourishing your body and helping yourself appear and feel radiant!  Now if that’s not motivational enough to get you onto the track, I don’t know what is.


Our skin, just like our hair and nails, is a living organism and thus needs to be fed the right type of diet to stay healthy and happy.


5) Take a chill pill!

Ever noticed how bad days at work can only get worse when you find yourself having to deal with a rash or breakout?  Well, one of the contributing factors for this is stress hormones, which send signals to the body to produce cortisol and other hormones that cause your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.  Excessive oil on your skin can block your pores, which can cause infections and thus lead to painful pimples, acne, rashes that will only frustrate you and your skin further.  Now, I am well aware that it’s not that easy to just neglect stressful events, especially since they are a natural part of everyday life.  However, healthy coping mechanisms like exercising, talking it out to friends, and  treating yourself to pamper days are a few steps you could take not only for your skin but for your well-being as a whole!


Lisa Nang’ayo is a recent graduate of Law with a penchant for writing. She enjoys writing about fashion, beauty and fitness, and everything else in between. Other than that, she is obsessed with photography, running and a good cup of hibiscus tea. You could catch up with some of her write ups on her blog; theginghamco.com.


My first job after moving to Chicago for college was as a beauty adviser.  At first, I wasn't set on this job, but it's something I kept doing all throughout my time as an undergrad as an extra source of income.  Since then I've worked at a couple of different popular cosmetic retailers and in that time, I’ve learned the nitty gritty about beauty sales.


Purchase Georgia Perry Lipstick Pin here!

1) Testers Are Gross

When you're paying more for a product, one of the things you're paying for is the ability to try it out first.  It was a rare day when I didn't leave with swatches on my hand from showing clients colors.  However, these testers can be dangerous.  Those beautiful lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes are available for everyone to use.  The FDA recommends not even sharing eye cosmetics with your family or close friends.  One of my managers used an eyeshadow palette from our own store and got a nasty case of pinkeye.

So what can you do?  Ask for help.  If you want to try something on your face, ask for an associate to sanitize the product and find you an individual applicator.  Also, be wary of creams and skincare products.  If something looks bad or old, don't be afraid to ask someone to make a new tester for you.

2) Skincare Is Everything

Even with pore-filling primers and lifting foundations, it's all about what's underneath.  If you're not taking care of your skin, it will show, and there's no makeup that can cover it up. If your beauty adviser asks, 'what skin care do you use,' take a hint, but don’t take offence.  He or she mostly likely wants to fix the problem that your foundation can’t.

3) Return Policies

Most stores have great return policies.  I've seen stores take back anything from lipsticks to at-home wax kits.  Generally, if the product is not more than 3/4 used, you won't have a problem taking it back.  Take a look at your receipt.  You still may be able to take back that blush that looked cute on the back of your hand, but made your face similar to that of a clown’s.

You would also be surprised how many people lie about using things, even mascaras and liquid lipsticks.  It’s super easy to tell, but a less experienced cashier/employee may put it back on the shelf without second thought.  Just tell the truth.  Also next time, take a look around the inside rim of a product next time you take it out of the box.  If there's pigment anywhere outside, it's probably been used before.

4) Discount Stores

I'm not hating on a good deal, but watch out for stores that sell luxury goods at a lower price.  Cosmetic items can be tampered with, watered down, or even expired, and that may be why it's so cheap.  Hair products are especially prone to this — I've seen "Chi" wrappers peel off to reveal a drugstore hairspray underneath.  Sometimes discount products are authentic, but use your judgement.

5) There Is No 'Best' Product

There are only best sellers.  Everyone has a favorite mascara, foundation, etc. and if you ask any employee, especially in a big store, they will each tell you theirs… or the one you're most likely to like based on sales. We’re all different so a mascara or moisturizer just might work better for some people.

In conclusion, next time you’re in your favorite beauty store:  consider some of these things and you’ll look like a pro.




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Summer makeup can be a tricky ordeal.  Here's my summer bronzed make-up routine to help you beat the heat and achieve that summer glow you've been searching for!  The look is bronzed, natural and simple.  Not to mention, all of the products in this video are affordable!  For more bSmart videos like this, be sure to subscribe to bSmart on YouTube!  

Purchase Clinique Rosy Pop Cheek Pop Blush here!




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Getting into makeup can be fun, liberating, and empowering.  But it can also be expensive; here are 8 ways to start your collection, while still maintaining a happy bank account.


Purchase Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation here!

1) Start At The Beginning

Foundation is literally the foundation of makeup, and you want one that's really going to be flexible as you’re getting started.  You don't want to spend your hard earned money on an expensive foundation you can't use.  Start with drugstore foundations like Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless.  They've just added 4 deeper shades, so this product is friendly for most skin tones.  Haven’t sold you yet?  The last bottle I picked up was five dollars, and it's great for everyday wear from light to full coverage.

2) Get Color Matched

When you are ready to splurge on that foundation, make sure to get color matched at a makeup counter like Sephora or Ulta.  They have a great system that will help you find your true shade across multiple brands.  That way, you lessen the risk of buying an item you can't use.  And when you buy from a large retailer, the items are easier to sample and return.

3) Save To Splurge

Do not buy multiple expensive items every pay check.  Seek out reviews, sample, and do your research before you buy something expensive.  Once you’ve decided which products are your must-haves, prioritize the list, and buy one or two items at time.  Or, put away a few dollars into a separate bank account, which you can use solely for makeup.

4) Reviews

Don't assume that what works for someone else will work for you.  Everyone is different and the chemicals of our bodies mix differently with the chemicals of the makeup we use, so sample when you can.  Take the time to find a blogger or YouTuber you really like, and do your research on products they recommend before buying them.  Even places like Reddit have forums dedicated to makeup where you can ask questions and learn about products before buying!

5) Try Different Shades

When you're first starting off, you’ll probably need practice with simple application and color swatching.  Check out sites like Shopmissa.com, here everything's a dollar!  This way, you can try a bunch of different lipstick shades or blushes for really cheap.  They may not last as long as higher end products, but at least you'll know what colors work for you before you spend twenty dollars on a matte lipstick in the shade silver metallic.

6) Boxes

Another way to try new things on a budget is subscribing to boxes.  Boxes like Ipsy run from as cheap as $10 a month for samples of really neat, and sometimes high end, products.  It's a quick way to get multiple products for way less than you would have paid buying them separately.  And, this method will allow you to try new things without dropping an entire paycheck on items you might not like or use that often.


Everyone is different and the chemicals of our bodies mix differently with the chemicals of the makeup we use, so sample when you can.


7) Free Products to Review

Signing up for sites like Influenster, allows you to also build your collection for cheap.  Influenster will send you products to review and all you have to do is review the products on various social platforms.  This method is another great way to try out products you might not necessarily like, or to find a gem you just have to have!

8) Practice Skin Care

When you're starting to try out new makeup products, it's important to make sure you're taking care of your skin at the same time.  Make sure to get a good makeup remover and face wash.  Face washes with charcoal tend to  extract dirt from your pores, so those are great for a cleanse somewhere between 2-3 times a week.  Daily makeup removers like Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are a great way to make sure your skin can breathe, and help prevent the development of acne.  You should also invest in a great moisturizing cream; Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Moisturizing Cream is a great product to keep your skin healthy and moisturized.




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Nail polish: gotta love it.  I have recently noticed an increase in fascination around nail polish and how it is being worn.  There was recently a cascade of videos and images that stormed my different social media lipstick and mascara have been put in the limelight recently as well by various media platforms, and it made me want to know what all the commotion was about.  What had the beauty trend scene come to?


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After watching countless short clips of ladies slowly putting 100+ individual layers of nail polish in different colors, textures and brands on each finger, I had to stop and think: why would anyone want to do this?  Was this a joke that had gone too far?  My curiosity led me to discover that it was a new craze which is causing quite a movement in the makeup world

It appeared that, for some ladies, this was a chance to take a stand in regards to how beauty and makeup trends are perceived.  They were wanting there to be less hate and more love toward one another  They felt that it should not matter whether we want to wear layers of makeup or none at all.  Putting on many layers can offer some a shield to avoid showing how they truly look, or  believe they look.  Alternatively,  it can be a way to express oneself  and be seen by other people. For others still, it was simply a gag, and they wanted to be a part of the next great beauty trend that was catching the media’s eye.

 Is layering on all that makeup worth it?


This trend has spiraled to include other makeup products, including mascara, lipstick, and more.  This expansion only goes to show how the media and news sources can have such an impact on something so menial  as how we apply makeup. Of course, as the word ‘trend’ implies, time will pass and this will all fade away. But for the moment, take a minute to watch these layering videos and really think: is layering on all that makeup worth it? Or is it time to step away from the makeup brush and embrace our natural beauty?




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