Meet Monat! Product Review…Rejuvabeads

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Every now and then a product comes along that impresses me and I immediately fall in love. This was what happened when I was introduced to Monat. I’m sure some of you have heard about it, some of you may use it and love it, and some of you may be looking at your computer screen with your nose scrunched up saying, “What the heck is it?” In a nutshell, Monat stands for Modern Nature. They are an excellent company with not only premium hair care, but they’ve recently branched out into skin care.

RejuvabeadsOne of the products I was intrigued with right away is called Rejuvabeads, their split end mender. This got me interested because being a hairstylist for over 20 years now, I have been told my whole career that it’s not possible to fix split ends. The only way to get rid of them is to cut them. So, when a product can claim to fix that pesky hair problem, this girl was all about learning how it could be done.

There is a science behind it that is a little tough to explain, but take a minute to read the information in this graphic and you’ll get the gist.

Rejuv Description

The effects of Rejuvabeads will last you through 2-3 shampoos, but consistent use over time will enhance the results from this product. Check out this quick video on YouTube, it will show you how the product actually binds a split end back together. I was never much of a science lover growing up. It was only when I got into the beauty industry that I realized I have this thirst for knowledge when it comes to how a product works and which ingredients are responsible for certain results. Maybe if my teachers had approached their lessons with beauty products, Brooke would have paid more attention…just saying.

I really love this product. It not only mends split ends, but it also smooths down the cuticle (The outer layer) of your hair and leaves it looking smooth, shiny, and healthy. In case you’re wondering, yes I am a Market Partner with Monat. No, I am not trying to sell you something. If you know me, or if you’re familiar with my blog, you know I have extensive knowledge of all kinds of beauty products. Trust me when I tell you, this is one brand you need to look into. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Or check out my site. If you’re interested in trying Monat…I might have samples. All products are vegan and cruelty-free.

Thanks for stopping by! And as always…You’ve Been Beautified!

Product Review – Deluge Cosmetics

A few months ago I wrote a post saying goodbye to BrookeKnowsBeauty. Well, I lied. Even though I’ve been focused on sales for my first book, and getting ready to launch my second book, I realized I love talking about beauty products too much to walk away!

I love discovering new products. At the beginning of the year I joined a private group on Facebook that focuses on health and wellness. It’s been a life-changing experience to be among women who support other women, not just in their weight loss and health goals, but in their business endeavors, as well. Check out the VIP group here.

I was introduced to Deluge Cosmetics by one of the members of that amazing group! If you’ve read past posts, or know me personally, you know I love all kinds of skin care. Scrubs, moisturizers, serums, oh my! The list goes on and on. When I first saw Deluge and read about their coffee body scrub, I was immediately intrigued.

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Not only is the packaging cute and original, the product is amazing! The scrub is effective in exfoliating and minimizing the appearance of cellulite, but it’s also gentle enough for your face. Seriously, step in the shower with this product and scrub from head to toe. Your skin will feel renewed and so soft. Plus, you’ll get the closest shave you can imagine when you use on your legs before hair removal.

After the scrub, I used the body butter in the scent featured here. Tropical Paradise. I’ve always been a fan of body butter, but sometimes they’re too thick and leave your skin feeling greasy. Not this one. It’s moisturizing, absorbs quickly, and like the scrub, leaves your skin feeling so soft!

The third product I’ve tried in this line is the Anti-Cellulite Massage Oil with Coffee Beans.

I didn’t buy this for the anti-cellulite properties. I purchased this oil because I heard from someone that it helped their tennis elbow disappear. I deal with this on a regular basis…not because I play tennis, but because I’m at a computer all day and it sometimes causes the tendons in my arm to tighten and it hurts like crazy. The blend of oils in this product have definitely helped with that. Another element I love about this product is, the oil absorbs right away. It doesn’t leave behind a slick, greasy feel on your skin. It smells awesome, too! And there are actual coffee beans floating in the oil!

I hope you check out their site, and if you give their products a try, let me know! I always love feedback!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Stay Beautified!

The End

I think this post has been a long time coming, and probably not a surprise because of how quiet I’ve been.

I can say all the clichés, and they’re all true. It’s with a heavy heart that I write this. I did a lot of soul-searching. My heart isn’t in it anymore. You get the drill. It’s time to say goodbye, my friends. My fashionistas. My beauty lovers. It’s only goodbye in a sense, because I’m not really going anywhere.

8 years ago, I started BrookeKnowsBeauty. I struggled to start. Would anyone read it? Would they like it? Would they make fun of me? Well, the answer to all three of those questions is, yes. People read it. People liked it. People made fun of me. Wait, what? You may ask. People made fun of me? Yes, they did.

One of my very first memories in life was when I was 3 years old. My family lived on a farm in Texas. Yes, me, the self-proclaimed city girl, living on a farm. But, hey, I was only 3. I had no choice in the matter. I didn’t know how to convince my parents to get a fancy condo in a high-rise overlooking the city. I remember after a rain storm, running outside to play in the mud. I didn’t make mud pies or even splash around. I pretty much bathed in it, ran it up and down my arms and legs, and wondered how it would make my skin feel. Seriously. Obviously, I had never been to spa at such a young age, but I had already grasped the idea of walking around in a fluffy robe and sitting in a tub full of mud with cucumber slices over my eyes.
My love of beauty only intensified over the years. I played in my mother’s makeup. When I was 5, a friend of my mom’s fanned my addiction by giving me a shoe box full, FULL of Avon samples. I gave my sister’s and my friends makeovers. And when going to a university after one semester just seemed too tedious to bear, I decided to go to beauty school. Actually, my mother suggested it. My grandmother was a hairstylist and since I had been obsessed forever, it was the obvious choice. So, why did my mom see that, but I didn’t? Because mother knows best. Sorry, mom. I guess I never appreciated that, but I sure do now!

I’ve held just about every job there is to hold in the beauty industry. I’ve worked as a receptionist in a salon. I’ve worked as an assistant and moved my way up to stylist. I’ve worked as a makeup artist, as an esthetician, as a skin care expert at a high-end department store, front desk at a spa. (I realize I said receptionist and front desk…they are different, trust me.) I’ve done just about everything and I learned so much along the way. I had the knowledge and the love, and I loved to write. Why not combine my passions and start a beauty blog? Why not??

With the encouragement of a dear friend, I took the plunge and was off to a great start. I wrote about homemade skin care, mask recipes you could whip up with ingredients you probably had on hand in your kitchen. I wrote about my experience in the industry. I wrote reviews, I did Q&A Monday, remember that?? Quick Tip Friday was also fun! I did giveaways and contests. I had companies reaching out to me and sending me their products, free of charge, either as a thank you for a review, or asking for a review. But it wasn’t without its challenges. Sometimes it was hard to come up with content. After a while, people stopped sending me questions for Q&A Monday. Keeping up with it became challenging.

Also, things evolved in the blogging world. People turned to video tutorials and videos of their hauls. I didn’t have an interest in doing a video tutorial, and as for the haul videos, well…I kind of thought they were in bad taste. “Look at me, I have so much stuff! Don’t you want to watch me dump out a bag of beauty loot so you can be jealous?” That’s probably not the message people were trying to convey, but that’s my opinion on the matter and I didn’t want to do that.

Let’s touch on that other nasty situation…people made fun of me.

I worked at Sephora for a while. It was great at first. I was surrounded by nearly every beauty product out there and almost every day I left with free stuff. You can’t sell it if you haven’t used it, and most of the vendors were generous with their gratis. Most of them…some of them were stingy bastards, I won’t lie. It got difficult at Sephora because my manager found that I was fast and efficient working the cash register. When I told her I wanted to move into skin care, I was met with a firm, “No! We need you at the register.” With all the knowledge I had in skin care, I started to dislike the monotony of ringing up sales. I also found myself surrounded with very immature people who thrived on gossip. One day, one of the makeup artists came up to me and said something to me that rubbed me the wrong way.
“So, Brooke, I hear you have a little blog.”
I won’t lie, the first thing that nearly flew out of my mouth was, “I hear you have a little penis.” But I held it together. I smiled at him and acknowledged my writing and my experience in the industry. His only response was a wispy, “Hmm.” From that moment forward, there were a lot of whispers among these young men and women about my “Little blog.”

Let’s get one thing straight…to call someone’s project “Little” is condescending and bitchy. If you tell an aspiring musician that you hear they’re working on a “Little album” that’s rude. If you tell a chef you hear they’re opening a “Little restaurant” that’s rude. If you tell an artist you like their “Little drawing” that’s rude. You get the gist…and if anyone tells me they hear I wrote a “Little book” I might end up in jail.

It stung. Hearing that really hurt. I looked around at these youngsters…yeah, I said it…and told myself that I was selling $200 face cream while they were still in diapers. I almost quit writing after that. I’ve always been a sensitive person, but to belittle my experience in the industry and my writing was the ultimate blow. Miraculously, I shook it off and kept up with my “Little blog.” My time at Sephora was short-lived after that. Not because of the snide remarks and snarky comments I would get. Simply because I was done working in such an immature atmosphere, even if I did get a bunch of free products. My time at Sephora can be summed up nicely: It fed my addiction, but it didn’t feed my family.

I persisted. I wrote. I was given free products from companies I had never heard of. So why quit?

About a year ago, I tried to shift the focus to more of a lifestyle blog. Food, wine, accessories, fashion. Sounds like a good idea, but I couldn’t commit. I had relocated 2 times in 5 years and along the way I started writing a series of books.

I have put my heart and soul into the Heart & Soul series, and that’s where my focus has to remain. I published my first book and I’m working on the second book in the series. It’s an amazing thing to realize what you finally want to be when you grow up…at the age of 40! It’s been 4 years in the making and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. I love it too much. The floodgates have opened and I’m writing every single day. In the near future, I’ll be writing full-time and I can NOT wait for that moment.

So, even though the beauty blog is going away, I’m not. I’ll still leave the BrookeKnowsBeauty blog active, so people can search for and find my posts. Why? Because I’ve put a lot of good information out there, that’s why! But, I won’t be doing any more Q&A or product reviews and I’ll be removing the Facebook page. I know what I have to focus on. In closing, (Finally, huh?) I’m ready to pass the torch to all you video mavens!

Never give up, always follow your dreams and embrace the changes life brings!

I want to thank everyone for supporting me and for reading my blog. Now, I hope you read my book. It was a great ride and I hope you had fun!!

Check out my new website!! brookegillespietrout.com 

Stay Beautified!

Nectar of The Dogs – Wine Review

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IT’S NOT REALLY DRINKING ALONE IF THE DOG IS WITH YOU

 

If the label alone didn’t catch my eye, the catchy slogan would. Yes, I am reviewing wine! First of all, those of you who know me are probably wondering why I’ve never done this before, with my love of wine. Second of all, yay! I’m reviewing wine!!

I’ll address the first of all first. Makes sense, right? Well, while I’ve read about the skin benefits of drinking wine, I’ve never written about it. Mostly because I’ve been busy drinking it. Also, it didn’t align with what I was doing with my blog, but now in my direction of broadening my horizons and making my writing more about lifestyle than just beauty, it seems like a great idea.
And the second of all, well, yay! I’m reviewing wine!

Ok, let me make one thing clear…I’m not a wine snob. I simply tend to stick with what I know and like. Chardonnay if I want white and Cabernet if I want red. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good Zinfandel or Merlot, or even a Pinot Grigio every now and then, I just happen to be a creature of habit and grab what I’m familiar with.

I was recently gifted a bottle of  Nectar of The Dogs Sauvignon Blanc. While I was thankful for the gesture, me and my habitual ways were skeptical. Any time I’ve ever tried a SB in the past, they’ve been way too sweet, therefore, I tend to veer away from them.

First a little bit about the brand:
Nectar of The Dogs Wine was established in 2015 by two women with an
entrepreneurial spirit, a deep connection to their dogs and a love for wine; Melanie
Garibay and Donna Graves. We create elegant, easy drinking wine for everyone to
enjoy, while also supporting our true passion of protecting four-legged angels across the
country. A portion of all sales are donated to selected dog rescue organizations, and our
goal is for each varietal we create (as a limited edition production) to be paired with a
specific charity.
Currently, Nectar of The Dogs Wine is partnered with All American Dachshund
Rescue and Barkparty. As the portfolio expands, we are in search of additional dog
rescue organizations to partner with. To learn more about Nectar of The Dogs Wine,
please visit www.nectarofthedogswine.com.

Now a little bit about the wine:
2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC
This wine is intensely fragrant, rich with aromas of sweet juicy pear, pink grapefruit
and lime zest. Accented with flavors of honeysuckle, pear-cider and a touch of crisp
minerality on the finish~ Perfect after a warm spring day walk with your best friend!

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Wine and dogs?!?! Seems to me life doesn’t get any better than that! I love their connection to dog rescues, and of course, dachshunds! (Best dogs, ever!) And, I love this wine. It was very light and refreshing and their description of it is perfect; crisp and fruity! An exceptional wine, certainly worthy of a pour! But, hard to share. My husband and I fought over the last glass, so it’s clear I need more of this in my life. You can order online, just click on the link to their website.
Currently, they only sell and ship within the state of California. If you live outside of California, you can contact them with questions.

Have you tried this wine? If so, I want to hear from you! If not, you need to try it and report back to me. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

You’ve Been Beautified!

 

 

LuLaReview

Every now and then I veer off the path of beauty. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m wanting to broaden my horizons. That being said, I’m doing my first fashion review, so bear with me and be nice to me. 🙂

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of LuLaRoe. And if you haven’t, well where the heck have you been?

I was first introduced to the clothing about a year ago. My first initial thought was, ok, leggings, good to know. I didn’t realize leggings were making a comeback. Or maybe they never went away, I don’t know. What I did know was that I hadn’t worn them in a long time. But, I understood the appeal of leggings for not only working out, but for every day wear. My love affair with leggings ended when yoga pants came onto the scene, so to hear this hype for leggings had me intrigued. What was so covetable about LLR leggings? (FYI, I’m not sure if covetable is a word, or not, but today I’m making it one!)
I was told they are so smooth and buttery soft and the most comfortable leggings you’ll ever wear. Not to mention, they come in a variety of prints and those prints are limited, therefore making them covetable! But, there are many other clothing options than just leggings. LLR has shirts, skirts and dresses, too! And you know what? They’re all crazy comfortable!

My friend Rachel has an amazing LLR business and she offered to let me try some of the pieces and give my honest opinion in my blog. I was excited for the chance to wear the clothing, so I said yes. Obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing this right now!

It’s funny how I’ve come to associate discomfort with work clothes, or better yet, comfort with frumpy. I didn’t think I could pull off the leggings and sassy shirt. Why not? Well, because I’m not the tiny size 4 I used to be in school. And before you can say, “Are any of us?” I can firmly say, yes, there are some people I know who are still the same tiny size they were in high school. And, because I love them, I can’t say that I hate them.

First up, the leggings. They come in two sizing options, OS (one size fits 00-12) and TC (tall & curvy fits sizes 10-22). They are super soft. I mean that. Any time I wear them, I keep running my hands over them to feel their softness, they’re truly amazing. And they keep you very warm in the cooler months. Right now, for me, it’s too hot to wear the leggings, but I’m looking forward to the cooler months so I can add them back to my wardrobe.

Next is the Perfect T. It’s a fun swing shape with side slits and a little bit of a longer sleeve. It’s a very flattering fit and it’s comfortable. In fact, as I was unpacking the box of generosity Rachel sent to me, my oldest daughter snagged this item right out of my hands. Here is a pic of her wearing the Perfect T and black leggings. I have to say she looks pretty darn cute! (Leggings retail for $25 and Perfect T retails for $36)

LLR Em

I was sent 2 dresses. The first one is called The Julia. It’s a form fitting, knee- length, knit dress with mid-length sleeves and a high neckline. I think this is such a cute dress, but I’ll be totally honest, I don’t have the confidence to wear something that hugs my curves so nicely, so I passed this on to someone I knew would rock the look, and she does! With her consent, she let me use her photo. I think Katelynn is adorable and this dress looks fantastic on her. (Julia retails for $45)

Katelynn

The second dress is the Carly Dress. We all want a cute dress that lets us breathe and move easier. This is a swing dress that is very flattering. It’s flowy and breezy with a high-low hemline. The neckline is a low scoop and the sleeves are open so it’s perfect for the hotter months. I snagged this pic off Rachel’s FB page, and that’s her modeling Carly. She’s adorable, too! (Price on picture)

Carly

I had the pleasure of trying the Cassie Skirt. This is a pencil skirt that can be dressed up or down. I love when clothing gives you the option of taking it from work to play. Versatility is always a good thing! (Price on picture)

Cassie

The last item in my review is the Irma Tunic. It’s a loose-knit with a high-low hem and mid-length sleeves. I love the hem on this because it pairs nicely with the leggings and covers your booty at the same time! I love Irma, it’s so flattering! (Price on picture)

Irma

Yes, I know I didn’t include pics of myself wearing these items. Why? Because Brookie doesn’t do selfies, that’s why. So, thank you to my daughter and Katelynn for allowing me to share your picture, and thank you to Rachel for letting me use her pictures from her FB page.

LLR encourages mixing patterns and having fun with your look, making the options endless. But if you prefer to stay safe with your wardrobe (Like me!) that’s ok, too. There are plenty of solid colors that can be paired nicely with a subtle pattern. All the items come in various patterns and prints and are perfect for any body, no matter your shape or size. I think that’s the main thing that appeals to me with LLR; celebrating your figure. I’ll be honest, that’s something I need to relearn to do.

While I didn’t get into the tips and tricks on styling and wearing the clothing in different ways, there are so many creative options to try, just check out Rachel’s Facebook Page Let The Good Times Roe And if you want to pick up a few items, you can Shop with her, too! Be sure to catch her when she’s live, she’s fun to watch and will make you laugh! Here’s proof: This is us in high school cracking up! (The review aside, this is probably one of my favorite pictures, ever!)

High school

Thank you, Rachel, for introducing me to the world of LuLaRoe, I’m a fan!!! I can’t wait to introduce some other pieces into my wardrobe!

What about you? Are you addicted yet? Have you not tried LLR yet? I want to hear from you! And, as always:

You’ve Been Beautified!

 

Product Review – Urban Decay Vice

I am a huge fan of Urban Decay. On any given day, I use multiple products from this line. Eye shadow primer, face primer and the original Naked eye palette. The products are top of the line, excellent pigmentation; not to mention A+ for staying power.

In case you haven’t noticed, liquid lipsticks are all the rage right now. If I were to look at my list of Facebook friends, I could pick out at least a dozen of them who are Lipsense consultants and they can’t keep their colors in stock!

I had noticed UD going this direction not too long ago and when I was recently at Sephora, I decided to go ahead and treat myself and grab one of these babies and give it a go. The color I picked was Amulet. With my skin color, I have a hard time finding that beautiful neutral pink that doesn’t turn too pink or orange on me. But, this color spoke to me, practically begged to come home with me. Never one resisting to take someone in and give them a good home, naturally, I bought it!

Vice

Here is how UD describes this hot product: This is Vice Liquid Lipstick—a waterproof formula so life-proof, it’s not going ANYWHERE until you take it off. (Just imagine the possibilities.) What makes Vice different? Our high-tech formula provides longer-lasting wear with ZERO transfer. Like our original formula, Vice Liquid Lipstick lays down intensely pigmented color. And the comfortable, nondrying wear sets it apart from other liquid lipsticks. (Ok, I’m sold!)

This is how they tell you to apply it: Vice Liquid Lipstick gives you endless color in three steps. First, line lips with the precise applicator; then apply one coat to fill. Do not press lips together. If desired opacity is achieved, let dry. A little goes a long way, but for more coverage, apply a second coat. Let dry completely and you’re good to go. (Easy enough, right?)

I knew going into this that most liquid lipsticks can be very drying to your lips. According to an article I came across online, your lips only have 3 to 5 cellular layers of skin, as opposed to up to 16 layers of skin the rest of your body has. Translation: The skin on your lips is super thin.

I followed directions specifically and after I knew the color was set, I applied a moisturizing gloss to keep my pucker hydrated.

So, what’s the verdict? For staying power, this was amazing. The color lasted me all day. Even when I indulged in the #9, fully loaded from Jimmy John’s for my lunch, this color stayed put! However…………

I wanted to love this. I really, really did. I’ve not once been disappointed with anything UD has to offer, but the drying factor was more than a factor. I think out of the 3-5 layers of skin my poor lips have, I lost at least 2 of those layers after only one day of use! It’s taken me weeks to get my lips feeling normal again. And, what baffles me more than anything? All the 5 star reviews this product is getting online! The colors are beautiful, there’s no denying that! I realize that products affect people differently. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me.

Enough about me. What about you? Have you tried Vice by UD? Are you a lover, or did you experience the same fate that I did? Are you a UD makeup artist? If so, reach out to me, tell me what I did wrong or how to make it right! I hate not loving a product, especially by a brand I’ve supported for so long!

As always, I look forward to your responses!

You’ve Been Beautified!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Life has been pretty busy. I’ve relocated twice in four years and that takes a decent toll on a person. I tried to get back into blogging a few years ago, but then something happened.

I found myself in perhaps the most boring job, EVER. I was working front desk at H&R Block for tax season. During the height of the season, and by that, I mean April 10-15 when everyone is rushing to get their taxes done, it was a very busy job. But between January and April, it was boring. And by boring, I mean total snooze-fest. Internet access is extremely limited for the safety of the customer’s information, so really the only sites I could get on were Google and Amazon. But, if I browsed too often, it was clear Big Brother was watching, and soon the sites that I could navigate were blocked.
No music plays in an H&R Block office. Why? Because they say it can distract the tax pros, therefore it stays quiet. Even quieter than a library. You hear every sniffle, every subtle cough, the rustle of clothing as one reaches for a pen, the click of the pen as its put into use; even the sound of the pen as it swishes across paper. You could literally hear a pin drop.
I asked one of the tax pros how a person is supposed to keep their sanity with the silence, no internet and an already clean office, because 2 hours into a shift and that was taken care of. They had plenty of work to do, I did not. One day, one of them told me that a former admin used to do his homework to pass the time. Well, that’s all fine and good for him, but I wasn’t in school, so what was I to do? As I would sit, being bored to tears, I started to daydream. I’ve always been very good at daydreaming. My mind would drift into that wonderful world of imagination and fill my hours. Then I thought, hmmm, maybe, do I give it a shot? What happens if I do? Or, more importantly, what happens if I don’t? I had nothing to lose and plenty of time to kill, so I went for it.

Here’s what happened.

I wrote a book.

Oh, a beauty book, you ask? What a great idea since I have a beauty blog.

Um, no. I wrote a romance novel. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? What the heck am I doing writing a romance novel when I have such a passion for the beauty industry? If I ever figure out that answer, I’ll be sure to tell you, because I don’t know what happened. The floodgates opened and I went with it! And the funny thing is, I didn’t just write a book. I wrote a series of books. Mid-way through my outline, I thought maybe I had enough for a trilogy. Then I kept going and realized I had more than enough for a series.

So, hopefully you’re on the edge of your seat, waiting for the first book to come out, because it’s coming. It’s in the final edit and I’m self-publishing. As soon as it’s ready to go, I will share the news, and hopefully you’ll all help me spread the word.

In the meantime, I do want to post product reviews and offer any advice that I can. The platform of my blog will change slightly as I want to focus not only on beauty, but on fashion, accessories, lifestyle and anything that defines beauty. So, stay tuned, I have a few reviews I’m working on that are coming your way.

Tell me what you’ve been up to! What beauty products have you been loving lately? Looking forward to interacting with all of you again! And, as always:

You’ve Been Beautified!