Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

Some Opinions on Avon Products...

Dear Avon Execs,

Please stop formulating your best mascaras with parabens!

I have been searching for my "Holy Grail" mascara for over a decade.

I have found some great mascaras over the years: Maybelline Lash Out and L'Oreal Voluminous for the lower price formulas and Yves St. Laurent Faux Cils (and Rest In Peace to the great Yves St. Laurent, who recently passed on. What a legend he was) and Christian Dior "Dior Show" for the high-end. Truth be told, I liked the drugstore ones better ;)

I have tried literally hundreds of mascaras through the years, never having found the PERFECT performance and PERFECTLY SAFE ingredients.

I absolutely fell head over heels in loves with RIMMEL EXTRA SUPER LASH, only to have my heart stomped on when I discovered Rimmel engages in animal testing. Everything about that formula was perfection in a black tube.

I have since been using Dr. Hauschka. It is nice. Nothing great. I LIKE it, but don't love it. I actually adored it when I first bought it. Now it just seems ho hum.

My friend Tanya Adams from my online moms' group (a shout out to my close circle at RP Moms!) is a top Avon seller in Miami. She is one of the hardest working women I have met and she really should make Avon proud. She asked me to be a product tester for some new items, and I was happy to oblige.

She asked me to try out the new Jillian Dempsey Professional Mascara and it arrived last week. It is fantastic. It has a small brush on one end and a standard-sized brush on the other. Avon recommends using the mini brush for the lower lashes.

I asked Tanya to send me a tube of brown. I am very fair and stick to brown or black/brown during the day and go all out with the black at night.

I was very eager to try this new mascara because I truly admire Dempsey's work as a makeup artist.

I adore nearly everything about this mascara. The price point is wonderful--about the same as L'Oreal.

The mini brush is actually identical to the brush used in mark. Baby Lash mascara which the Avon company introduced in 2006. It looks and feels identical in every way.

I curled my lashes and applied my new mascara to the upper lash line with the standard wand. I didn't apply it yet to the outer corner lashes. I used the mini brush to apply the mascara to the outer upper lashes.

Why? When applied to the upper outer corners, the mini brush can be used to dramatically accentuate each lash individually. By doing so, you can easily achieve the look of individual false eye lashes. The effect is truly stunning.

This is a very impressive mascara. The two brushes allow you the flexibility to create a very subtle or quite dramatic effect with one product. My eyes are extremely sensitive and get watery and red easily. I wore this each day for about 12-14 hours per day without any redness, soreness, flaking or rub-off. No smudging in the humidity, either.

Once again, I thought I hit the mascara jackpot. I then spoiled my fun by going to the Avon website to check the ingredients since they were not listed on the product anywhere. PARABENS...Attention Avon! You do not need to use harmful parabens in your mascara. Get with the program and follow the lead of many other companies and stop using something so potentially toxic. Not only that, but there is TALC right near the top of the ingredients listing. Most companies stopped using talc years ago. Another irritant in this formula is TRIETHANOLAMINE. Being that this product is next to the eyes, I definitely would not continue to use this. I had found the PERFECT mascara, and you ruined it for me...Be a real "company for women" and stop using something that may contribute to breast cancer!

I am once again back on the quest for the perfect mascara.

Now I'd like to talk about an AVON product I absolutely adore and cannot be without. I use this nightly and have for over 2 years.

It's called Clinical Lift & Tuck and it is worth every penny.

I have two small children 21 months apart. The 25 pounds gained with Nick came off easily. My shape wasn't the same, but my starting weight returned. After I reached my goal, I soon became pregnant with Ben. Two close pregnancies can surely wreak havoc on your body!

I lost most of the weight I had gained while pregnant with Benjamin only to fall down the stairs and have a tibia/fibula fracture when he was 5 months old. This landed me in a wheelchair for 4 weeks and a fracture boot for another 6. Ten weeks with only physical therapy when you're used to walking and pilates is not good for the body!

In those couple of months, I gained back a great deal of the baby weight I had lost. I was able to start exercising again cautiously, but the pooch in my belly was really bothering me. I ordered this and I was honestly stunned by the results. I am not one who would go under the knife for the sake of vanity, but this is like a tummy tuck in a bottle without any pain or scarring. The plant-derived ingredients and caffeine in this make it truly effective when used DAILY and massaged in for several minutes. As we all know, no cream like this will work forever or have lasting results on its own.

I have since lost 34 pounds since that injury. I have actually lost half of that in 2008 alone just by a couple changes--adding back a full breakfast each day and no more ice cream on weeknights.

The up and down weight loss and gain could have been dreadful for my body. Lift & Tuck keeps my stomach smooth looking--there's no saggy pooch when I look in the mirror. My rear end is smooth and dimple-free. I am not a supermodel. I am healthy, though. I am a busy mom and I take very good care of myself. I exercise almost daily and eat well. I will tell you, however, that this body product from Avon--when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle--WILL do remarkable things for your belly and butt.

Best of all, it is PARABEN-FREE!

I know you'll laugh at this favorite AVON item. I laughed when I first saw it. I bought it on a whim and have now had this in my product arsenal for the same length of time as my LIFT & TUCK.

The name says it all: BUST SCULPT.

I obviously was hesitant to try this item. Did I really expect an Avon lotion to make my breasts appear firmer? NO.

I was, and am, pleasantly surprised! First off, those pregnancies and weight ups and downs caused some undesirable effects on my chest. At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I was a 36C. By the time my son was born, I was a 44DD. You can say, my boobs were strecthed and pulled drastically. Then I lost the baby weight and was a 36D. Right after they shrunk a bit, I got pregnant again. My breasts grew and grew and ended up a 44DDD when the second was born. 11 months later my breasts remained at a 38DD and were not youthful and perky...They were almost headed south :(

When "the girls" started to droop a bit, I explored my options. I am talking product-wise. I am too squeamish and would never have a lift or anything, but it was bugging me. After using this religiously for about 6 weeks, results were noticeable (well, to me)--that 38DD became a firm DD; they stopped their trip south.

I stopped using Bust Sculpt. Then I lost 34 pounds..."the girls" have reached their resting place at a 36D/DD depending on the brand. I started using Bust Sculpt again in early spring. I won't be without this product. I feel confident that my chest isn't going to droop to my belly button, or worse--look like Magda's on "There's Something About Mary" (that was the neighbor's name, right?).

Bust Sculpt somehow lives up to its claims. I use it now every other day for "maintenance". I cannot tell you WHY it works, but I just know that it works well for me!

Bust-Sculpt is also a PARABEN-FREE PRODUCT.