Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aveeno Nourish + Revitalize Shampoo & Conditioner

Aveeno has come out with it's Nourish+ Hair Care Collection.  I just tried the Nourish + Revitalize and had to tell you about it right away.  It touts,  "Smoothes and helps repair everyday damage to hair, invigorating it with new life."   Now, I haven't tried it for three washes as recommended for maximum results as I only have a sample.  I'm liking the results a lot though.  When I put shampoos through my test, I completely blow out my hair dry.  If my hair feels soft and it is smooth with no flyaways without using any product, it passes my test.  Aveeno passes! And it has a lovely scent.  It contains Wheat Germ Oil and Maurita Flexuosa Fruit Oil.   I definitely would like it even more if they eliminated the Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, I can do without a rich creamy lather now that I know a rich creamy lather is not what cleans and nourishes your hair.  Ahh, I digress...

There are a total of 4 formulas in the collection.  Nourish + Moisturize, Nourish + Volume, Nourish + Shine and Nourish + Revitalize.  I definitely will be picking up the full size Nourish + Shine Shampoo and Conditioner as soon as I run out of my other stuff.  You can only have so many bottles of hair product in the shower mind you!

Plus, if you have been following my blog, I'm desperately trying to use up 75 products and samples before I purchase anything more in the beauty department.  It has been tremdously difficult, well tremendously might be a tad bit dramatic, but there have been all these crazy sales.  However, I was in Target last night and I walked right past the cosmetic aisles.  I looked as I walked by, but I didn't stop!  How's that for will power?  But as my list for "wants" grow, I just remember that I am comitted to the Project 75 Pan Challenge.

Waste not want not!

NIVEA body Happy Sensation

Happy Sensation indeed!  This lotion is divine I tell ya!  It's smells delicious and absorbs super quickly which hasn't been my experience in the past with NIVEA.  Don't get me wrong, NIVEA is great for some skin types, mine not so much unless we are in the dead of winter and my skin is flaking off. 

I'm in love with this lotion.  It is made with bamboo extract and orange blossom scent.  You certainly don't smell like a citrus tree though.  I would be even happier if it had a little SPF in it.  The sun has been strong in recent years and I'm trying to reverse past damage, not receive any more!   Please, please please NIVEA make a Happy Sensation lotion with SPF 15 or better yet, 25 or 30 for us of the fair skin variety! Thank you!

You can grab a bottle at your local drugstore for under $6.

elf Shimmering Facial Whip

Another awesome product by elf.  I had this in my cart months ago in a previous order but I deleted it at the last moment with some other items I didn't think I needed at the time.  Boy was I wrong.  This stuff is amazing.  You can use it anywhere.  On the eyes as a primer, eyebrow bone as a highlighter, on the lips for a little shimmer, of course on the cheeks for a highligher or your blush, inner eye corner to brighten the eyes, the list is endless.  All for a $1.  I'm definitely going to order all the colors.  I have swatched out the Lilac petal for you.

elf Mineral Infused Face Primer

So far elf has yet to disappoint me in the price/quality department.  You can always get some coupon code for free products, free shipping, a free magazine subscription, 50% off, etc.  You can only use one coupon code at a time so sometimes it's a difficult choice! 

The elf Mineral Infused Primer is truly a steal at $6. It goes on clear and instantly mattifies.  "Developed to combat excess oil, flaky dryness, enlarged pores and fine lines to result in a natural and youthful looking radiance."  I have the excess oil at times and can have enlarged pores if I'm lazy in my skincare routine, and a few fine lines here and there. The bottle is 14g, .49 oz. so I will see how long it lasts me.  But since I purchased my order at 50%, $3 is a steal.  I should have ordered more!

A primer is an important step to your make-up routine.  It provides a smooth, even surface for your foundation to adhere.  Any primer that you find that works with your skin type will make your makeup last longer.  I tend to use less makeup with a primer which is an added bonus!

Covergirl Lashblast Volume

I've been a big fan of AVON's superSHOCK mascara for about a year now.  I've also gone through about 4 tubes of it.  The formula seems to loose it's integrity after a couple of months.  It starts to dry out and get clumpy.  It could of course be user error.  I do tend not to "pump" the wand when I am applying because this method does indeed introduce air into the tube, which would cause drying.  And at the same time, I think you are supposed to replace your mascara after 3 months anyway?

I tried to get a picture of my lashes for comparison of AVON superSHOCK and Covergirl Lashblast Volume but of course I couldn't get it to turn out well.  They are both very similar in formulations as far as I can tell.  The Lash Blast is brand spanking new and goes on really beautifully.  The superSHOCK is of course a couple months old.  But all in all I'm happy with the results of both.  Both lengthen, add volume and hold my curl.  My lashes are super straight and need to be curled with a little blast of heat from the hairdryer for maximum results.

So you can purchase superSHOCK for $8.50 or when it is on-sale for about $4.99.  Which again, AVON always has sales.  Lash Blast will run you about $7.  I think Target has a 2 pack for $10.99 right now.  Both work great and a great price too!

Botanic Spa

So I'm always looking for a bargain...  I was checking out this website and they had some pretty good deals.  I decided to try a few products.  The price was right too.  I got the entire lot of 8 products for $14 with free shipping.  I also used a coupon code for $10 off $20 purchase.  They offer a variety of supplements and skincare products and very reasonably priced.  I decided of course to go with the skincare...

I grabbed the Puffy Eyes in a 1 oz jar.  It is a clear greenish tinted gel.  Similar in consistancy to my MaryKay Indulge Soothing Eye Gel that I am in love with.  I keep the Mary Kay in the fridge for those super puffy eye mornings.  I'll be comparing the two in an upcoming blog post for sure.

The Green Tea Repair complex has a nice clean scent to it.  It is made with of course green tea but also lemongrass and I love the way it makes my skin feel.  It's a night cream but it seems to be light enough as a day cream as well.

The Aloe Vera Moisturizer Cream has very pleasent smell as well.  Not perfume, but a natural botanic smell.  it is made with Aloe vera juice concentrate, avocado oil and cucumber extract.  It also contains Lycium berry and lycopene which are great antioxidants.

I love the scent of rose oil and the .5oz for 58 cents seemed like a good deal.  I'm going to put a few drops in my Lubriderm and see how that goes.  I love scented lotions but I need one with some SPF.  So I'll just make my own!

I've been wanting to try out a cold cream as a make-up remover for some time now.  This one contains Avocado oil, sweet almond oil, cucumber oil and chamomile oil among the ingredients.  Sounds good to me!  All good things, right?

Of course I'm a sucker for masks.  Who with oily skin isn't?  The European Facial Mud smells the same as Sejaa but a different consistancy and color but I will compare the two in a review down the road.  The Botanic Choice is made with avocado oil, vanilla,  peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, alfalfa, elder flowers, kola nut, violet leaves, lavender and aloe vera among other ingredients.

I was really excited to try the Chamomile Eye Serum.  It comes with a roller ball applicator which is nice.  It goes on a little sticky but work it in and it leaves the skin around the eye area soft and smooth.  The directions say not to rub but I gently worked it in with my pinky finger as I do all my eye creams.  It contains cucumber extract, safflower oil, chamomile, soluble collagen, and Vitamin E.  Can't go wrong with that list to fight fine lines around the eyes.

So as you can tell from the picture below, no frills, no fuss packaging, which is fine with me when the price is right.  The price of higher end products includes the packaging, advertisements and the name, hence the expense.  But I'm not knocking all higher end products because some are really wonderful and are very effective.  Plus I own some and love them!  At the same time, not all inexpensive products are cheap in quality.  Different products work best for different skin types. 

All the products from Botanic Choice smell lovely and natural and for the most part have all natural ingredients.  They do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee of effectiveness, quality and potency.  So I'll give them a go for a week or two and let you all know the outcome!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sassy lady!

Kristen Stewart's new look on!  Looks gorge.  Re-thinking growing out my hair now and going back to red. 


Saturday, June 26, 2010

L'OREAL Bare Naturale

I think I talked about this kit before I ever really got around to trying it out.  I had picked this up on a whim from a pile of clearance items in Walmart for $5.  The kit came with Bare Naturale Mascara in Black, Bare Naturale Eyeliner in Defining Onyx and Bare Naturale Eye Shadow in Lavender. 

The smell of the mascara brought me back to my L'OREAL Voluminous mascara days of old.  I'm not super wowed but it does dry soft which I do like.  I have to curl my lashes because they are super straight so I have to watch out for heavy mascaras that weigh the lashes down as they dry.  The two mascaras I am working on right now do just that.  They look great as I put my make-up on but then 5 minutes later when I look back in the mirror, the curl is gone and my lashes are straight again.  This will be a great replacement during my challenge.  I forgot I even had it!

The brushes that come with the eyeshadows are soft, but I found them hard to work with since I didn't have a long handle but in a pinch, they could get the job done.  The lavender is a really nice shade, I find it to be pretty neutral and potentially flattering on most. 

All-in-all it was a great $5 purchase.  I say it over and over again, you don't need to spend a bundle on cosmetics.  I just happened to browse through the clearance at the end of an aisle.  You never know what you will be able to find. 

Paula's Choice

So I'm always on a quest to find a perfect foundation.  It has been Bare Minerals for a number of years until last winter when I wanted to give liquid foundations another try.  I started off with Revlon PhotoReady in Shell.  I loved it but the shade was too light and when I returned to the store Nude was sold out.  I had read some reviews on Revlon ColorStay so I decided to go with that and it was a few dollars cheaper.  I grabbed the shade Buff in the Combination/Oily skin formula.  It worked out great through the winter and spring but now the summer humidity has made it impossible to use for me.  Back to Bare Minerals... 

Recently I ordered some samples from Paula's Choice.  The owner Paula Begoun has a few books out and reviews skincare products and I think I saw her on Oprah once.  I purchased the Advanced Skin Balancing System for Normal to Oily/Combination Skin sample.  It came with a little makeup case and 3 samples.  I decided to try the Best Face Forward Foundation in Best Bisque.  Here's the description from the website:

•Ultra-light liquid texture is ideal for normal to very oily skin
•Silky, long-lasting matte finish with light to medium coverage
•Blends impeccably
•Long-wearing formula helps keep skin looking fresh & even
•Protects skin with am in-part titanium dioxide SPF 15 sunscreen
•100% fragrance-free

I've been wearing the foundation for 3 days now.  It feels wonderful and it does stay matte throughout the day.  I'm really impressed and I can't believe I picked the correct shade the first time.  That never happens.   My skin is very tough to match perfectly and I really have to get it right because my neck is so white and then my chest is a little darker.  Believe me, it's tough.  I plan on purchasing a full size when my Project 75 Pan Challenge is over!  One of the samples will last me probably 5 days and I'll have 2 more after that.   I just needed a small amount for the coverage that I was looking for.  Oh and the samples came with a $5 gift card for my next purchase.  The foundation costs $14.95.

I haven't tried the samples to the skin care line yet.  I will do that through the weekend and get back to reviewing them.

Vitamin E Oil

This is my secrete weapon against fine lines around my eyes.  I swear by it.  I'm in my early 30's now and I have less fine lines than I did in college.  Back then, I remember loading up on this $30 Neutrogena eye cream with retinol.  I looked in the mirror one day and discovered wrinkles around my eyes, not fine lines, but deep set lines.  I have forgotten now the name and I'm not sure if they still make the exact same product.  But it was very expensive especially on a college budget.  My lifestyle back then was of course no sleep due to studying, waitressing and going out.  My diet consisted of pizza and restaurant food, can you say salt?  I worked out a little but I barely drank water, probably mostly sports drinks.  I didn't know it at the time, but my skin was so dehydrated, I was aging myself rapidly.

What I like to use now, a decade later is Vitamin E oil around my eyes while I'm using a mask.  I picked up a bottle of Vitamin E oil when my daughter had stitches removed from her upper eye.  I put the oil on her eye every night before bed.  Her scar is barely noticeable and should be nearly invisible when she is older.  I happened to be reading the back of the label one night and decided to put it under my eyes.  I'll admit, it is a bit sticky for overnight use and not something you could put on under makeup.    But while the mask is drying, the oil absorbs and penetrates the delicate skin around the eye.  When the mask is dry, I wash everything off with a soft towel.

Vitamin E can also be used for cold sores, scars, including acne scars and even stretch marks.  The oil comes in a variety of strengths.  You can always contact a dermatologist to find out what is the best for you.  Especially if your skin is sensitive and prone to adverse reactions, you should always contact an expert and seek out their advice before trying anything new on your skin.  Just a quick public service announcement!

How to Get Gorgeous Skin

Even the best cosmetics need a smooth canvas in which to adhere.  Truly gorgeous skin comes from within.  Hydration and rest are the biggies and of course the most difficult.  You may think that diet coke is quenching your thirst and you only need five hours of sleep a night...  Sure you can cover those dark circles with the $30 concealer in your stash but that's just masking the underlying issue. 

Here are my top ingredients to achieving the healthiest looking skin... 

1.  Water.  Skip the juice and sugar free drinks.  Aim for at least 2 liters.   If you are currently drinking zero ounces of water during the day, start off with 1 liter.   Begin the process gradually!  And remember, whole fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of water, though difficult to calculate the amount.

2.  Sleep.  If you are getting less than 5 hours asleep a night, try for 6.  8 is usually ideal for most, though usually unobtainable.  But the key here is try.  It takes some time to unwind the stress induced body.  The body heels itself from all the stressors it sustains during the day while you are sleeping.  It is an important physiological process. 

3.  Minimize salt.  The advent of convenience/packaged/frozen foods and meals has really set us up for disaster in terms of heart disease and other ailments.  But in the short term, too much salt retains water and causes bloating and puffiness, especially around the eyes.

4.  Load up on fruits and veggies.  Seems like a no-brainer right?  Easier said than done.  Just by adding an additional serving a day to start will be enormously beneficial.  Whole fruits and veggies contain so many vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.  Great examples are avocado, blueberries, spinach, carrots...  The more colors of the rainbow you can pack in during the day the better!

5.  Eat breakfast.   We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It really is!  Sure you grab for that cup of joe but substance is the key.  It revs up the metabolism, gives you real energy from within, not the fake caffeine high that fizzles after a couple hours later leaving you reaching for another cup.  Oatmeal is your best choice.  Sprinkle on some raw sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup.  Throw in a few blueberries or slice up a banana.  Add a splash of milk.  Doctor it up anyway you like but try to limit the cream and sugar!  Even a bowl of Cheerios is amazing for you.  They are not just finger food for babies!  Add some skim milk and some fruit. 

6.  Eggs.  I know, I know, but what about all the cholesterol?!  Well I'm not talking a 3 egg omelete with sausage and cheese, 1 or 2 eggs scrambled, over-easy, sunny-side up, fix them anyway you like them with some multi-grain toast.  Eggs are jam packed with nutrition.  Protein, Vitamins A, B and E and selenium.  Anyone out there taking Vitamin supplements?  Get your vitamins from whole foods first, then supplement accordingly.  Your body absorbs the forms differently and consequently absorbs the vitamins fom whole food sources more readily. 

7.  Whole Grains.  We all need some more fiber in our lives.  Look at all the foods now that come with it added.  Yogart, fruity water drink mixes, etc...  Skip the over-processed, bleached and stripped of goodness breads and cereals.  Better yet, bake your own bread.  It really isn't complicated.  Good bread consists of yeast, water, flour, pinch of salt, maybe an egg or honey for flavor.  Mix whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached white flour to start.  When is the last time you read an ingredient list on your package of bread.  It's astounding! 

8.  Sunscreen!  Don't leave home without it.  Even if it's overcast. Sure a nice summery glow is what we all want but there are a ton of products out there that can help you to achieve the look.  The sun is damaging, drying, causes wrinkles, not to mention the aging affects it has on the skin.  It's not worth it.  Again you can load up on the expensive lotions, serums and creams to counteract the effects, but they can only do so much.

9.  Omega-3 fatty acids.  These little buggers need to be obtained from food.  Your body cannot make them.  They are crucial for brain function and development, prevent dry patchy skin, and they reduce inflammation.  Inflammation that cannot be seen, inflammation deep within your body that can cause heart disease.  They can help against depression, help heal the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and help with the strength of your hair and nails.  Sources are salmon, tuna or fish oil capsules are a good source, but also walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

10.  Exercise.  Not running marathons and working out in the gym for 4 hours, but a simple stroll around the block, sets of 10 squats in front of the tv during commercials, lunges on the way to the kitchen for a snack.  Whatever you can do to strengthen those muscle!  More muscle means more calories burned when you are just lounging on the couch.  Yoga is the perfect choice, it encompasses the mind, body and spirit.  Just be careful though, the first time I followed a Rodney Yee DVD I could barely walk the next day.  It didn't even feel like working out!

So bottomline, no drastic changes here.  Moderation is the key.  Incorporate 1 or 2 things at a time and we will all be healthy and gorgeous together!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I've talked about Orglamix a few times and I finally have a swatch to show!  I'm reviewing the blush Anise and a whole grain mineral powder.  You can purchase Orglamix on Etsy.  I had sent Cheri the owner a message asking her if she had anything close to Nars Orgasm.  She said that Anise was close but more on the pink side.  Which is fine with my because I have very fair skin.  This color is perfect for my complexion.

I don't have Nars Orgasm to actually compare it to but this was the color I was looking for.  And at $4.99, you really can't beat the affordability of this line.  There is 1.5g of product in 8g jar.  I know it will last me quite a few months.

The other product I ordered was a Whole Grain mineral powder.  Since the humidity has been on the rise, I needed a finishing powder.  This powder can also be used as a foundation.  Organic products just give you that piece of mind that you aren't putting anything harmful on your body.  She has a ton of other shades of mineral foundation that will be trying out at some point. 

And Cheri is great.  Super fast shipping, always replies to your questions promptly and she gives out samples!  She sent a full size jar of an eyeshadow in Moss.  I'll be swatching that out soon along with the rest of my Orglamix collection which is becoming pretty sizeable.  Hence the Project 75 Pan Challenge!

Hair One Hair Cleanser and Conditioner

I've been talking about Hair One for a while now and I finally got around to Sally Beauty with a 20% off coupon of course!  I'm not sure which came first Wen or Hair One but they are both conditioning hair cleansers.  One I can afford, the other, not so much right now...  However, after using Hair One, I almost feel even more compelled to order Wen!

This stuff is great, when you get the hang of using it.  It took me a couple of days.  It might have been an unfair first day test because my hair was super unclean.  I had just colored it.  After coloring I wait a day to wash thinking my color will last longer.  I also had used some dry shampoo in addition to hair spray and my heat protector.  Needless to say, Hair One was going to be challenged on the first run.

So I prepared myself, read the directions thoroughly, not once but twice.  It's reeally not that complicated.  The instructions say to start off with 5-7 pumps for the crown, 5-10 pumps for the midshafts and ends and for me since my hair is a little past my shoulders another 10 pumps.  Your hair is obviously wet while incorporating the cleanser and you need to scrub pretty vigorously and keep adding small amounts of water.  The first couple of days my hair, which can be pretty oily, was looking greasy by noon.

I wasn't about to give up.  I really wanted this product to work!  Well by the end of the week I learned that 30 pumps was enough for my hair.  Which seems like a lot...  Wow 30 pumps, but it is really the same amount as using the normal amout of shampoo and conditioner.  My hair is not course in texture but really thick, I have a ton of hair.  Also by the end of the week I was able to work it up into a semi-lather.  It's sulfate free so it isn't going to lather like your traditional shampoo but it does lather.  The trick is to keep adding bit of water during your scrub.  Which is great for your scalp by the way.  The scalp is often neglected until we go to the salon and the shampooer spends all that time lathering and massaging.

So I really like Hair One.  What I didn't like about it was the smell.  It has a nice clean smell but nothing that wows the senses.  I bought the Jojoba for color treated hair.  Also this one product is really a substitute for four.  It replaces your conditioner for one.  Second, I didn't need hair spray to tame down my flyaways after blow drying because I didn't have any.  And lastly, I didn't use my smoothing serum either.  So it really conditions. 

It retails for $10.99 for 12 fl.oz.  A Sally Beauty card will save you 50 cents.  By looking at how much I used this week, it looks like I have about 3 weeks worth of product left.  So $10.99 for 30 days, sulfate free, and replaces 3 other products.   I also like the ingredient label.  Tons of natural plant extracts and oils. 

It's worth a try!

Body Shop Blush Trio Shade

Up for review is the Body Shop's Blush Trio in Cool Dusk.

I purchased this a couple of months ago during a 3 for $10 sale.  I ordered it with an eyeshadow trio which was unfortunately out of stock.  Not sure if this blusher is still available.

It is a perfectly light sheer shimmer.  Unfortunately my camera isn't picking up the true qualities of the blush.  It is very light and subtle.  I use it over other pigmented blushes to soften the colors and to give my cheeks a sheen.   I use it almost every day!  Great purchase if you can get it on another 3 for $10 sale!

AVON Big Color Dazzlers

Hmm...  Seems like I have a lot of AVON!  Well being the Savvy Beauty that I am, I don't like to spend a lot of money on cosmetics.  Believe that I do splurge every once in a while though... 

So these sparkling eye pencils have a nice creamy consistancy.  They aren't super pigmented, but a couple swipes will give you a nice color.  An eyelid primer is required for me when I use these pencils because they go straight for the crease. 

I've swatched out the charcoal, cream (looks gold), lilac (pink), and lightening (white).  They have a nice sheen to them.  They are soft and precise enough to use on your waterline which is nice.  I like to use lightening on my waterline and also in my inner corner.  I smudge out the inner corner and it really brightens up the eye. 

Retail I think they run about $6 but with AVON there will always be a sale and you could possibly pick them them up on a 2 for $7.99 sale or a BOGO.

Arbonne Intelligence

I've had this sample pack for a few months now and I am finally getting around to trying it out.  It came with 5 samples of the Intelligence line:  daily cleanser, exfoliating masque with thermal fusion, daily balancer, daily eye cream and daily moisturizing cream, day and night.

Here are my thoughts...

daily cleanser:  Great creamy lather.  Took off all of my makeup and most of my liner and mascara.  My skin
felt soft and smooth.

exfoliating masque:  The exfoliating grit was a bit large and harsh for my taste.  I don't have particularly sensitive skin thankfully or this stuff would have scraped my skin off!  I didn't feel the "thermal fusion" but again it was a sample and I've had it for a few months.  There really wasn't enough in the packet to give it a good test.

daily balancer:  I like that it didn't sting or dry out my skin.  It had a nice cooling feel about it. 

daily eye cream:  Plenty in the sample packet, I will use up the rest of it through the weekend.  It's a nice eye cream. 

daily moisturizing cream, day and night:  This cream is thick, a little goes a long way for my skin.  I thought it was going to be too heavy for my normal to sometimes oily summertime skin, but suprisingly it dries nongreasy and feels almost like a primer.

All in all the line is great but not great enough for a switch to the routine that I am currently quite fond of.  I really like the non-greasy formula of the daily moisturizing cream though.  That is a rarity for me. 

Project 75 Pan Challenge!!!

I know right, seems a little extreme.  Desperate times calls for desperate measures people!  I have a stockpile of products.  I'm sure I have enough stuff to get by for a couple of years.  We all know that the integrity of most products do not last that long.  So it just seems wasteful to me, at this moment in time anyway...  I'm sure I will be kicking myself in a week when I'm on shopping withdrawl.  I need to get my creative juices flowing and work with the colors that I have.  I may have less than most bloggers, but it's getting to the point that I forget about new products that I purchase.  So that's it.  I need to stop the insanity, get a hold of myself and do some clearing of the drawers!

So yes it means that I will need to finish 75 items (gulp...) from my arsenal before I am able to buy even the smallest of purchases in the beauty category.  However, I do reserve the right to use up samples.  I have a ton of those.  I haven't counted an exact amount but it is why I upped the challenge for myself.  I was originally thinking 50 was a good goal to work with.  Oh and I reserve the right to buy shampoo.  I have a quarter bottle of Organix, half of some Aveda, half bottle of Herbal Essences and some recently purchased Hair One that is currently undergoing a week's long trial.  Going well I might add.  So I'll probably run out of that first.  That's a basic necessity, but lotions, bodywashes, etc...  no can do!

So here goes!  Wish me luck!  It is definitely going to be a challenge but come fall, I will be getting an entire new cosmetic wardrobe and it will be so worth it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Upcoming Blog Posts

I swear, I am going to swatch and review my ever growing Orglamix collection.  I just ordered a blush and a whole grain mineral powder that I used as a finishing powder yesterday.  I was in the sun, high 80's chasing after kids.  When I got home, no shine!  I was impressed! 

I want to try out Hair One for a couple of days.  So far so good!

I just ordered a couple things from e.l.f.  including the studio line.  I was in need of some primer and mascara.  We'll see how it goes! 

Studying for upcoming finals so I will do my best!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sally Beauty!

So I received a 20% off entire order coupon flyer a few weeks ago and have been dying to get in to Sally Beauty to grab some much needed products.  Of course I picked up some Hair One, the less expensive hair cleanser conditioner alternative to Wen.  I went with the Jojoba for color treated hair.  I will be reviewing it shortly.  I was suprised by the size.  12 oz will run you $10.99 but with the Sally card discount and 20% off, it is something like $8 or so.  Still cheaper than Wen!  So I'm keeping my fingers crossed... 

While I was waiting at the counter, I was intrigued by these mini sally girl baked eyeshadows.  For 99 cents, (94 cents with your card) I picked up a couple just to try them out.  Talk about pigment!  Consequently, the eyeshadows are nameless...  They looked great mixed as well.  I've been playing around with them all morning.

Next time I'm there, I will be picking up a few more.  99 cents for 0.05oz.  They are the perfect size.  I never get through any of my eyeshadows, they just seem to pile up! 

My favorite lipstick

I’m not a huge fan of lipsticks. I do not like the way that they feel, taste, smell etc… I also do not have a “perfect” lip outline. I always have several lipglosses on hand in my bag wherever I go. When I did put on lipstick in the past, it would be a delicate and time consuming process of applying a lip liner, dabbing it off, oops too much dabbing, re-applying, then smudging. The process of putting on the actual lipstick would be very similar and I would end up being annoyed and then wiping everything off and applying my tried and true cherry chapstick. That stuff is great by the way! Nice subtle color, it does the trick nicely. Things were much easier for me when lip glosses came into vogue.

With age comes some experience with makeup. Well not as much experience as other bloggers, but I have found some great lipsticks from AVON that do not have an offensive taste, smell or thickness. Smooth Minerals Lipstick with SPF 15.  They have a sheer but buildable coverage, perfect for the lipstick challenged. This smooth, creamy and non-drying formula makes it the perfect lipstick. The colors I have are Apricot Glow (right) and Plum Craze (left). Retail is $8 but if you know AVON, everything always goes on sale and you can probably pick them up on a Buy One, Get One special.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ah... the classics!

I'm always looking for the new when I head to the store.  But sometimes, the tried and true just seem more practical!  I'm talking Neutrogena Rain Bath Refreshing Shower and Bath Gel and Neutrogena Original Formula Transparent Facial Bar.  No crazy colors and scented perfumes.  Just the basics.  These products have been around forever and I do still pick them up from time to time.  Summer is upon us now and with it humidity.  To keep the oils at bay and the pores clear, the transparent facial bar works wonders in the shower.  I usually try to stick with cream cleansers as to not dry out my skin and have my pores overcompensate which truly happens with combination/oily skin.  Striving to cut through the grease per se but in doing so we strip our delicate skin of essential oils.  When faced with adversity, the skin does what it knows best to protect itself, produce more oil!  This oil is still generated despite our best efforts to load up an oil-free moisturizer.  Your skin is no dummy, it can tell the difference and it wants to feel comfort with it's own natural oils...  That's my public service announcement of the day!

As for the Rain Bath Shower Gel, I don't feel the need to lather up in lotion as soon as I dry off.  My skin is soft and moisturized.  Though I do always follow up every shower with Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15 Lotion on my arms, hands and chest.  My fair, sun-sensitive skin thanks me for this essntial step in my routine!  If I find myself at the beach, an SPF of 70 is a must for me but for everyday, walking to and fro the car, house, store, a light feeling 15 does the trick!  Oh and don't forget the backs of your hands.  Keep them young and youthful and protected from the sun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sejaa update

One week in to the trial and my skin looks, feels and smells fantastic!  I was worried that I woudn't have enough hydration around my eyes since there isn't a separate eye cream.  I usually load up on the stuff to prevent wrinkles of course!  The experts always warn against using facial cream on the delicate eye area.  And despite the lack of sleep and pregnancy, I do not have any puffiness or circles for that matter. 

Though the mud mask did caution that breakouts could occur due to the impurities of the pores coming to the surface, I haven't experienced any of that.  My pores seem a bit smaller as well.  I normally have medium size, some are larger on my nose.  Also it was dreadfully humid last week and my usual shiny oily face was pleasently subdued.  That makes me feel that my skin is taking a liking to Sejaa and my oily zones are in balance. 

The Pure Skin kit is a bit pricey even with the 25% off.  $120 for a 2 month supply.  However, it will take me 6 months to go through the stuff.  I only seem to need a tiny amount.  I also have piece of mind that I am not introducing harmful chemicals into my body.

Haute Look

For those that you that have never heard of Haute Look before, you need to check it out!  It's a website that offers exclusive sales from well-known designers of clothes, shoes, bags.  You can also get great deals on skincare and makeup.  Today Smashbox is having a sale exclusively through Haute Look.  You have to register on the site.  It's free.  You save roughly 50% off of retail price, sometimes more sometimes less. 

I'm looking at the Glowing Beauty Kit reg. $48, now $24 and the Gold Mine Face & Body Palette With Brush $36.50  Reg. $73.00.   I'm wondering the gold will tone down my redness...?  There is also a cream liner kit that I am thinking about as well.  Not that I need another eyeliner!!!

Today's other vendors include Michael Kors, Organics, 7 for all Mankind, Radiance Pearl, Quicktrim, among others! 

Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Not sure if you are aware but the Smashbox site has a "Let's do lunch" happy hour type sale every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I figured what a great opportunity to try Smashbox and get some free stuff!   Well unfortunately my first Smashbox experience was just awful.  After consulting with an on-line rep, we decided on the Camera Ready Full Coverage Foundation in shade L2.  I'm pretty fair with pink undertones.  I have a couple broken capillaries here and there so we decided that the full coverage would be best.  The foundation is a cream to powder, matte finish.  After applying, I asked my hubby the usual, "Does it look like I have too much makeup on?"  He replies with, "You look like a dead person."  Horrified, I take the mirror to the window for some natural light and sure enough, it looked terrible on me.  The coverage was way to heavy and the shade was all too wrong.  But it was an easy return and I have no complaints about customer service.  I did however have to return my free gifts, which was fine with me.  I certainly do not need another brown eyeshadow palette.  I never wear browns! 

They do give out 3 samples with every order.  I received a mascara, which was hard to judge because the sample size applicator was terrible and I ended up with gobbs of mascara all over the place.  I also received a sample size of the Photo Op Under Eye Brightner.

Now this stuff is awesome!  Now that I am studying around the clock and sleep is on the backburner, my eyes are suffering!  I put a couple dabs over my usual concealer.  Well I'm not using a concealer at the moment per se, I use an extra helping of Bare Minerals in my faoundation shade of Fair and then a couple light dabs of the Photo Op. I've been up since 5, went to bed at midnight the night before.  I did not reapply and my dark circles are still covered!  Great stuff.  I will definitely be ordering a full size shortly.

Monday, June 7, 2010


AVON really has some really great, inexpensive products.  Especially in the outlet books!  You should definitely have a rep just to browse through their website every once in a while.  I found these two marimekko blushers, gems if you will, in the outlet for I think $3.99 a piece!  marimekko designs have been featured on episodes of Sex in the City.  I believe Carrie had curtains and maybe a few pieces of clothing like a bikini.  The Finnish company is known for their patterns and bright colors.

These blushers certain do not disappoint.  They are highly pigmented.  Poppy bloom is the darker of the two.  I swatched it heavy to see the color.  The lighter, Poppy bouquet is a great shimmer, perfect for highlighting.  The palettes are cute too!  Love the design of the flowers.  I've worn them both together.  You certainly do not need to pile on Poppy bloom but it can definitely be used for high drama!  I like to use Poppy bouquet for quick sweep of a highlight on my cheeks on top of any blush I decide to wear day or not.  I've also used it on my brow bone.

Hello Hydration!!!

So I've been dying my hair for a decade now.  It started in college with chunky platinum highlights that I wanted to cover up.  My hair was a gorgeous light brown that naturally streaked blonde in the summer.  It was multi-dimensional with reds, dark browns, light browns and blonde.  The summer glow faded one winter and the hair stylist convinced me platinum chunky highlights would be perfect.  Well they weren't. 

Sometimes I have gone to the salon and have had excellent results, but those times are far and few between.  I love blonde, but the upkeep is killer.  Love red, but it quickly fades to orange.  In addition, the $200 plus bill arrives and I just can't justify spending the dough if I'm going to be so-so about my color.  Do-it-yourself kits cost $6.  And of course now, the grey is kicking in.  I have been fortunate.  My first curly coarsed beauty arrived at 21.  12 years later, they have compounded but for the most part, they are invisible to the unkeen observer. 

The point of my rambling...  After my last cut I decided no more dying!  I'm going au natural.  I'm pregnant, the chemicals my baby may be potentially exposed to is just not worth it. I know what your thinking, Geez, I heard that dying the hair every one in a while is fine?  Well it is.  But I'm worried about hair dye plus all the other chemicals and preservatives and pesticides that I am also trying to avoid in beauty products and food.  Everything all together can't be good.  But I forgot what my real hair color was like.  I want it back!  I want the natural summer blonde streaks.  They will do so much better covering up those greys then dying them brown and then having them turn orange in a few weeks time as the dye fades.

Well I broke down and dyed my hair anyway, but that besides the point.   I had to even out my two-toned, light ashy brown roots to the ruddy, reddish, ends.  I couldn't stand it anymore.  Well I found a great color that did just that.  Saved the box top and everything.  But upon closer inspection, the brand name is omitted from that top and for the life of me, I have no idea what semi-permanent brand I used!  I remember it was supposed to last 36 washes?  Well it has lasted almost 3 months!  No reddness, ruddiness, orange.  The thought came to me in the shower the other morning.  Herbal Essences, Hello Hydration!  It's a blue shampoo. I bought it for the hubby and kids so they wouldn't use up my Aveda that I consequently bought at the salon of my last haircut.

The blue colored shampoo has been very effective at keeping my color cool and not turning it the normal shade of orange as dyes normally do as they rinse out of my hair.  So Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moistrurizing Shampoo has been my savior and I have been clueless!  Unfortunately it does have the dreaded sulfate in it which I try to avoid but sometimes I just miss that lather that only sulfates can provide.  But this shampoo moisturizes my thick hair to perfection.  I usually only follow up with a leave-in spray conditioner for my ends.  I do switch off and use Aveda Damage Remedy on the weekends.  However, 23.7 fl.oz. for maybe $5 on sale, it's a steal!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Things I am dying to get my hands on!

So I just started nursing school.  2 weeks in.  It's crazy!!!  So I really haven't had the time to shop but my list is growing...

Hair One.  Late one night, I almost broke down and ordered Wen.  I'm so glad I didn't.  I have found that there is an alternative.  Hair One is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.  I will be picking some up shortly.

Nars Orgasm.  I know, I know.  I don't normally jump on bandwagons but I've been wanting to try this forever!  I just have 3 other blushers, similar in color and really need to finish them up so I can justify it!

Make-up brushes...  MAC are out of the question, unless I hit the lottery.  Sigma are more reasonable.  I really need some quality brushes.  I have a mismatched, generic set.  Mostly Bare Essentials going on 5 years old.  They get the job done but I only have a couple of sizes.  It's time.

Benefit powderflage...  Late nights and early mornings are taking a toll on my eyes.  I need some help STAT!

Costal Scents Ultra 88 Shimmering Eyeshadow palette...  I need some more colors in my life!

Things I'm lovin' this month!

Bare Essentials:  I have been receiving shipments of Bare Essentials for close to 5 years now.  They come every 6 months.  I'm totally stock-piled.  If I could change the frequency to once a year, it would be perfect.  I just don't go through the stuff that quickly.  Mineral veil yes, but foundations, no.  I did give away a few jars to my sister over Christmas.  I was getting really bored with it and over the winter I started experimenting with liquid foundations again.  Revlon ColorStay in Buff did the trick.  But now as summer is in full swing, I've been walking around with greasy face.  So my June shipment of BE came in and it is working perfectly again. 

Sejaa:  Gisele Bundchen's new skincare line.  Though I have only been trying it out for a day, it's wonderful.  It might be the exitement of trying something new again, but it really was a pick-me-up today.

Orglamix:  I still need to do a review and swatch. But these eyeshadows are so pretty and shimmery.  They really brighten the eye and make my blue eyes pop.  I'm almost ready to try their foundation line.  I meant to this month but then BE came in.  lol


Since the April issue of Vogue, I have been intrigued by Gisele's new skin care line.  I just really wanted to try it.  I've been doing a lot of research on "all natural" and "organic" products.  In quotes because sometimes, you really don't know what you are going to get quite frankly.  That argument aside, it has really been a wake up call for me as I started actually reading through ingredient labels.  And of course with the pregnancy, I just want to eliminate all those extra things from my diet and my skin care routine.

So back to Sejaa...  I read this website quite frequently.  Collin gives tips on how to save using coupons and constantly updating her website with amazing deals, basically free stuff.  She has the inside on free shipping codes, on-line coupon codes, and where to print off coupons for in-store savings.  You need to check it out.  Well Sejaa just happened to be the most recent giveaway.  It was last Friday night, first week of nursing school completed, I was totally stressed out and I just went for it! 

So this line is unfortunately very pricey.  Currently, there are 3 products, a mud treatment, day and night cream.  Nomally $180 for the set which includes a very soft dark grey face cloth and a wooden applicator for the mud mask.  The night I ordered, the set was priced at $120 and I was able to score 50% off with a hip2save coupon code.  So for $60 I just couldn't pass it up.  I was really hoping not to like it, really I was.  Because when I like something, I just have to have it!

So the mud mask is great.  It goes on smooth and very lightly.  You feel something like a tingle, but not really, more of a slight cooling sensation.  There is virtually no smell.  Which is nice b/c sometime the earthy smell of clay doesn't agree with me.   After 10 minutes of drying and a rinse, most of my pores were cleaned out.  I have combination/oily skin, oily in the summer, on the dry side in the winter.  The past week has been consderably hot and humid for upstate NY and my face was all clogged up.  It does say on the container that it may cause breakouts after the first couple of uses due to the impurities being lifted from the skin.  After continued use this is supposed to clear up.  I really hope that doesn't happen.  So far so good!

I followed up with the night cream even though it was only 3 in the afternoon.  Hey, I have a ton of studying to do, I'm not going anywhere!  The night cream is light and silky and again goes on super smooth.  My skin feels amazing.  Oh and the smell is amazing too.  I'm sure a fragrance line is coming out soon and hopefully they will bottle it up because I want to smell like the night cream.  It's clean, maybe light sandlewood, I can't describe it.  I'll use the day cream tomorrow and within a week's time, I'll update to let you know if I have seen any improvement.

I did read on the Sejaa facebook that there will be a cleanser coming out in the 4th quarter.  So the line launched in March maybe their 4th quarter is October?  Looking forward to it!  I don't like to mix and match products.  I like to stay consistant.  So if I don't like one of the pieces of a skincare line, I don't bother with the others.

So hopefully now that I am in the swing of nursng school, I will be able to update more regularly.  I have been trying lots of products, receiving make-up samples, etc...  I'll do my best!