Monday, December 27, 2010

HCB Product Spotlight: e.l.f Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets

e.l.f Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets
Price: $1.00

From e.l.f
Absorbs oil and shine, mattifies shiny skin, pore minimizer, woven texture eliminates shine and keeps skin-matte for hours. Green Tea Extract helps re-texturize skin, masking facial imperfections.

The other day during my weekly Target run I found that my local store is now carrying the e.l.f brand. This isn’t a brand that I usually purchase because I like to see and feel a product before I buy it, and this brand wasn’t readily available in my area. However these oil blotting sheets are just what the doctor ordered. You know you start off with a perfect face when you leave the house in the morning, then in a few hours or so, if your t-zone gets oily like mine does, you need to “powder your nose”. This is a great alternative to blotting powder or to adding extra powder foundation to your face throughout the day.

Each little packet contains 50 sheets. They work well for me and I only use them once or twice a day. For this price I need to go buy a few more packets.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let's Talk Shopping

Did you get gift cards and cash for the holidays? Do you like to get more for your money? Do you want to go to the mall and “throw it in the bag”? Then do what I do! I only shop BIG at certain stores twice a year. Why? That’s when they have their semi-annual sales. The sales are usually in June/July and December/January and the discounts are MAJOR. Stores that I save for these times of year are…

Bath and Body Works

I love their candles and the True Blue Spa collection. As for their regular products, I’m not going to spend $10 on body wash or lotion in February when in June I can that very same product for $3.

Victoria’s Secret

If any of you HBC’s need to step your undergarment game up, this is the time to buy. Why spend $7 on one pair when you can get that same pair for $3? Also the Pink collection clearance deals are just about half off. Their beauty products are also on mega sale. So stock up!

Nordstrom, H&M, Macy’s and other mall stores

If stores like Nordstrom or Macys aren’t usually in your price range don’t fret. Now is a great time to go get things on clearance. Keep an eye out for classic pieces and party dresses that have been marked down. New Year’s Eve dress perhaps?

1.      Go to multiple stores and go to the stores often. Sometimes they have weekly specials so if you only go once you will miss out on a deal.

2.      Chat it up with the sales associates and develop a relationship with them. They can let you in on special sales and promotions.

3.      Sign up for emails and newsletters. I have an email account that is just dedicated to emails from retailers. Many of us can have emails sent directly to our phones which is perfect for conveniently checking them right away. This way you won’t miss out on deals because you haven’t checked your email in weeks. (I’m guilty on about of 400 counts of not checking emails)  Creating a separate email account also helps so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with “junk” in your regular email account.

4.      Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it! Stay on budget and only buy it you need it, are going to use it and/or really gotta have it.

5.      Stores get merchandise a season before that season comes out. So bathing suits come in around February, when you go in July looking for one they have all been clearanced out. Don’t wait too late and miss out on exactly what you need.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Skin Care

Now that winter is officially here, (did you see the lunar eclipse? Gorgeous!) it’s time that all of us HCB’s keep our skin soft and supple. Just because we’re not showing as much skin doesn’t mean that our skin can’t be glowing. Here are my favorite winter skin savers.

Infinite Aloe: Advanced Formula Skin Care

This has been a staple in my family for years.  My niece and nephew have extremely sensitive skin and this is the only thing that works for them. I use it on my face as a daily moisturizer and on problem dry areas. It smells like…old ladies*…strange I know but that’s the only way I can describe it. It fades soon after you apply it so feel free to put on your favorite perfume or body spray.

Price: $50.00
Packaging: it comes in an 8oz plastic jar
Where to Buy:

100% Unrefined African Shea Butter

This is by far the best overall moisturizer especially if you’re on a budget. It’s great for your hair and face and as an all over body treatment. You can buy it whipped or in a semi solid form. You have to warm it in your hands then apply it to your body.

TIP: Buy it in chunk form and put it in a plastic bottle with a little olive oil. When you take a shower in the morning but the bottle in the shower tub, the heat will warm it up and make it easy for you to smooth all over your skin.

Price: 4.99 and up
Packaging: most that I have seen come in a plastic tub.
Where to Buy: your local beauty supply and they have several sites where you can buy online.

Bath and Body Works
True Blue Spa
Lay It On Thick intense moisture body cream with shea butter

This has been a winter must have for me since the collection came out. It’s a thick rich cream that leaves your skin feeling amazing! My only issue is the smell which is too strong for my taste. They now have an unscented version that packs the same punch without the overpowering smell. I love it.

Price: 20.00
Packaging: 10oz plastic bottle**
Where to Buy: Bath and Body works in stores or online

Lastly: Make sure to exfoliate with a loofa or body scrub and drink plenty of water. Getting rid of dead skin cells with scrub and hydrating from the inside with water are key to great skin.

* old ladies aka White Shoulders perfume.
** this isn’t the normal packaging, I bought this one during the holiday season.

Monday, December 20, 2010

HCB Product Spotlight: VS Lipgloss in Hottie

Victoria’s Secret Lipgloss in Hottie
Price: $10.00 for .27oz

From Victoria’s Secret
Find gloss perfection. Lasting Shine and rich color in a variety of alluring finishes. Wear alone for pure gloss or layer over lipstick.
M46 Hottie: red with shimmer

I know a lot of you HCB’s are headed to holiday parties, and this is the perfect shimmer for your pretty pout. I bought this gloss a while ago on a random trip inside Victoria’s Secret, only recently have I been using it regularly (too much shopping). I love the sheer color and the shimmer reminds me of the holidays. I’m not sure how long it will last with everyday use as I’ve only recently started to use it again. It isn’t a super long lasting gloss so reapplying will be necessary throughout the day or night. You can purchase it in Victoria's Secret stores or online through their website.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favorite YouTubers

The internet is a very helpful resource for information. If you need hair and makeup help YouTube is a great tool to help with technique or getting new ideas. Here is a list of some of my favorite you-tubers. Each one brings something different and their videos are very helpful for ‘colored girls’ and otherwise. Check them out and learn.

Lilpumpkinpie05- She is a MAC cosmetics makeup artist based in SoCal. She is great for women of color who are afraid to play with color. If you’re one of those women that say “I’m too dark for bright colors” watch her and learn that you can make it work. Her brow videos are great and if you’re looking for ways to apply blues or greens she’s your girl.
XXTheIslandBeautyXX- A daughter of the islands and resident of Japan that is great with makeup and hair. Her foundation tutorial is great if you want to know about highlighting and contouring. I love her quick weave system, watch and place and order.

EyeXluvXmakeup- She is a Bay Area native that has great product reviews and makeup tutorials. She is a new natural hair beauty, she can help with products for people who are transitioning from relaxed to natural.

Mahogany252- Her videos are great for the woman who isn’t looking for a dramatic look. She has great foundation tutorials and reviews on products for hair and makeup. Her videos are great for the more practical girl.

ScandalousBeauty-Based in DC this Billy B lover’s videos are a must see for brown skinned beauties everywhere. She is a former MAC artist and really knows her stuff. She has great foundation tutorials and if you’re into natural hair she has beautiful locs and suggestions for products if that’s the hair journey you are on.

TheFancyFaced- Based in NYC this beauty’s makeup collection is insane. Check out her vids on her collection and storage for organization tips. She loves dramatic looks with lots of color, if you’re searching for a look that is a showstopper she is the one for you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aphogee Protein Treatment

In an attempt to stop breakage and split ends I recently bought the Aphogee 2-step protein treatment at Sally Beauty Supply. I wanted to try it out so I purchased the pack that comes with the protein treatment inside and the balancing moisturizer.

Price: $3.49 which isn’t bad especially since you’re supposed to use it every 6-8 weeks.

Bad: It made my hair feel much thicker like it was coated with something and it can make your hair feel dry and brittle. The actual protein step smelled awful and I hate sitting under the dryer.

Good: It was easy to do and in the end my hair has stopped breaking.

I started with shampooing my hair with the Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo. The next step was the actual protein which is quite watery and has a foul smell. That has to sit on the hair until it gets hard. I sat under the dryer, with my hair uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Then I rinsed it out and applied the Balancing Moisturizer, the 2nd step in the pack. That has to sit for 2 minutes. I rinsed that out and applied the 2 minute Keratin Reconstructor. I put on a plastic cap and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinsed that out and styled my hair.

Tip: The process takes time so make sure to do it on a day where you have allotted at least 3 hours to do your hair. 

*photos courtesy of Google

Monday, December 13, 2010

Healthy Hair Routine


1) Wash hair (Every 3 days)
2) Aphogee protein treatment (every 6 weeks)
3) Deep Conditioner: Elasta QP DPR-11, mixed with Aphogee Intensive 2minute Keratin Reconstructor 
    and olive oil/coconut oil (Once a week)

1)      Wide tooth comb: Comb out tangles when you have conditioner in your hair. That is the best time to avoid breakage and ripping your hair out
2)      Boar bristle brush: This is the best brush for distributing natural oils from the scalp through to the ends of the hair. It’s also soft and gentle on hair.
3)      Rat tail comb: This is the best tool for making small parts and scratching your scalp pre-wash.
4)      Spray water bottle: In case you’re doing a style that requires hair to be re-wet such as a twist out. Also some people like to take out twists or braids on wet hair.
5)      Shears: To clip split ends. Don’t use regular scissors to cut your hair.
6)      Clips: To section hair and hold in place.
7)      Magnetic rollers and large bobby pins: For some extra body
8)      Hooded Hair dryer: That you can sit under, for roller sets and deep conditioning.


Welcome to Haute Chocolate Beauty (HCB)! I am an African American woman living in the SF Bay Area with a passion for looking the best that I can, be that with professional help or being able to do things on my own. HCB will discuss hair, makeup and fashion with a focus on African American women. There are so many tips and tricks and products that I have used over the years and I want to share with other beauties. If you have any questions, products you would like for me to review or comments feel free to email me, formspring me, or leave a comment on the blog. Thanks and Enjoy!