Saturday, July 27, 2013

Curl CPR: My Story

i was in a hair rut. my fine, wavy/curly hair was soooo dry & the ends were fried from coloring and heat styling. seriously, my ends looked like dead christmas trees!! 

i was in a destructive pattern of overconditioning to soften, drowning and flattening my curls in the process -- i'm talking to you, L'Oreal EverCreme Deep Nourishing Masque. 

the option to wear my hair curly had pretty much been taken away from me and i was pissed!! for years, i'd been trying to limit the sulfates & silicones in my hair products, but after poking around (in desperation), i was serious about kissing them goodbye for good this time*.

i do a TON of research -- heavily influenced by consumer reviews -- before i buy things. in this journey, there have been some misses. however, this blog entry is about successes.

Blended Cutie Silky Swirls Shampoo
$18.50 AT CurlMart

i only shampoo once or twice a week -- when my roots feel gross or there's that product buildup feel going on. i was in love with this shampoo the very first time i used it. it really cleans hair (even the length!) without leaving it dry or tangled (tangling has been a HUGE recurring issue for me with shampoos). my waves/curls feel soft but not weighed down. it's sulfate & silicone free, so no stripping or buildup worries. yes, it's a pricey & i can only get it online, but i really don't want to wash my hair with anything else!
EDEN Peppermint Tea Tree Conditioner
$8.49 at Sally Beauty Supply
moisturizes & detangles without making my hair flat and limp. plus the peppermint/tea tree-ness of it all feels AMAZING on my scalp, which tends to get itchy (not shocking 'cuz my skin & hair have always been dry).
Nutress Protein Pack Conditioner 
$1.99 to $10.99
figured out quickly that my hair LOVES protein! about twice a week, i comb this treatment through wet hair and leave it on overnight or all day on a day off. when i rinse, bouncy hair with smooth ends. i prefer this product to Giovanni Nutrafix because i don't have to mix or follow it with conditioner. i've recently gotten creative and added in coconut & rosemary essential oils to create a "maskier" experience, which seems to assist with shedding, but i haven't done it for long enough to report on whether those additives will help me grow my hair super-long.

Nutress Stop Break Leave-In Enhancer

light moisture & protein in an easy, spray on format. stuff hair always needs, but not too much of it, and a short & sweet ingredient list. 

As I Am Curling Jelly

grabbed this at Sally's one day when i was having a hard time finding Spiral Solutions Curl Enhancing Jelly in-stock online. wow, am i glad!! this gives me the best curl formation of any product out there, hands down!! rake it through soaking wet hair. 

the drawback was that it takes FOR-EV-ER to dry, like hours, even with a little help from the hairdryer. i've started using less of it, shortening dry time, but then the hold isn't as good. so i add a little gel, like Giovanni Magnetic Styling Gel

despite plopping with a Turbie Twist for awhile immediately following a shower, then clipping up sections in butterfly clips during additional drying/putting my face on time, i really get the absolute best, all-day volume and hold results when i diffuse. especially since who *really* has the time to let their hair air dry completely before they have to rush out the door to wherever??

also, you're supposed to let hair dry COMPLETELY (which again, takes a million years) before you touch it. i've found that "scrunching out the crunch" too soon definitely deflates my curls. sad face.

Fairy Tales Coco Cabana Sun Spray
$10.95 at Ulta 
not an everyday product for me, but i do like it a lot. i use it when i'm headed to the beach or know i'll be outside all day in the summer. if i've heat styled, hairsprayed, and feel like my hair looks dull, i add this over top for shine. the coconut fragrance gives it a very beachy feel! =) 

Curly (and Healthy!):

* silicone & sulfate free as far as my basic cleanse/condition/treatment routine goes. i use styling products that may or may not be "curly girl"including styling gels, Redken Spray Starch, Garnier Volume Extend Dry Shampoo, and Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Humidity Blocking Hairspray.

7/27/13 FOTD

Borghese Prima Viso Face Primer

NYX  Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealers in Orange and Green

Cover Girl Simply Ageless Eye Corrector(230)

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW35

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in 855 Soft Honey

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in 02 Desert Sun

Laura Geller Ombré Baked Blush in Pink Blossom

Ben Nye Banana Powder

Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Nude (inner corner/browbone)

MAC Blackberry eyeshadow (to fill in brows)
L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Strawberry Blonde (lid)

Rimmel Glam Eye Quad in Smokey Brun

NYX Eye Shadow in Aloha (brow highlight)

Milani Eye Tech Extreme liquid eyeliner pen (upper lashline)

MAC Fluidline in Dipdown (lower waterline)

Milani Runway Lashes Mascara

Eylure Naturalites 110 false lashes

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Wicked 

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Pink Chic 

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Beige


Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 2013 - Beauty Steals - Eyeliner

Milani Eye Tech Extreme 

Liquid Liner (Pen)
i have more eyeliner than Jesus. primarily pencils & gels. i've used Jordana's Fabuliner liquid eyeliner pen before, but i'm just not impressed by its color intensity or staying power. is it weird that the Milani seems to get darker & longer-wearing the more i use it? it's also easy and fast. i think i almost have a cat eye down. almost.  

Rimmel Scandal Eyes
Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude
$3.99 at Target

you guys. this pencil is amazing!! i've used it every single day since i bought it, as an inner corner highlight color. usually alone, since it looks so natural yet so brightening at the same time. the even better news is that it can act as a fabulous base for times you wanna jazz it up & do a shimmery inner corner. so pissed that i shelled out money for the Pixi version years ago, and it's been collecting dust ever since. Rimmel's is way less expensive, creamier, and longer wearing.

NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in Azure
$7.99 at Ulta 

 a vibrant turquoise eyeliner for summer!!

July 2013 - Beauty Steals - Mascara

you should know that any mascara i love is going to be volumizing. until my early 20's, i was never really happy with any mascara i purchased (except maybe the old-school version of Maybelline Illegal Lengths in the 90's). i eventually figured out that this was because i had been buying lengthening formulas when the look i was going for was fuller, thicker lashes.
Prestige My Waterproof Lashes 
Defining Mascara
between summer weather & my obsession with YouTube beauty videos, finding a great waterproof mascara was an emergency. unfortunately, reviews of inexpensive waterproof mascaras are generally mediocre. i stumbled upon a blog entry for Prestige's, and was satisfied enough with that & the two reviews on Ulta's website to give it a whirl. So glad I did!! VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME. it's a bitch to take off, even with my HG Lumene Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. in fact, i have zero confidence that i've ever gotten all of it off. which in my mind means that it does its job.

Jordana Best Lash

Extreme Volumizing Mascara

i was perfectly happy with Cover Girl Super Thick Lash, $4.24 at Walmart. but i'm sure you can understand the insane habit of continuing to look for the next best thing anyway. this Jordana mascara is dirt cheap and has relatively good reviews. i have only worn it under the Prestige waterproof so far, so i haven't discovered whether it flakes & smudges when used alone. it does produce massive lashes though!!

Milani Runway Lashes
Instant Volume Mascara
$5.79 at CVS
while we're at it, why cheat on your HG non-waterproof mascara with one product when you can go all-out and juggle two on the side?? apparently Milani is made by the same folks as Jordana & this formula has even better online reviews. i've also only worn Runway Lashes under the Prestige waterproof, but my guess is that it's more smudge- and flake-resistant that the cheaper one??

July 2013 - Beauty Steals - Eyeshadow

Milani Eyeshadow Primer
$6.79 at CVS
where has this been all my life?!? just as good as my previous fave, NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, at a fraction of the cost!! eyeshadow stays intense & uncreased all day, and no itchy eyelids! Milani's squeeze tube packaging will definitely let me know when i need to repurchase, unlike NARS' doefoot wand in a hard plastic tube setup.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow
in Bad to the Bronze
$6.99 at CVS
so this eyeshadow has rave reviews all over the internet. the name is a little misleading, as its more of a not-too-cool-but-not really-that-warm taupe. the staying power is really good for a cream eyeshadow. Bad to the Bronze also makes a good base for intensifying a neutral eye look. and it is a super easy option if you wanted to just swipe it on your lids, add mascara (and maybe liner too), and go. i like it, just not sure if i like it enough to buy it a second time if i ever run out (a big if since there's so much product in the container).

Rimmel Glam Eye 
Eyeshadow Quads 
Mayfair & Smokey Brun
$6.29 each at CVS 

these caught my eye, and since they were buy one get one half, i went for it. more impressed with Smokey Brun on my olive skintone, but honestly, i reach for my Too Faced 'Natural At Night' palette way more often. still, i think these are great to pack for when you're going away & won't have access to your whole collection.

Wet N Wild Going In The Wild Palette
$4.99 at Rite Aid
i had seen this palette online, but when i spotted it at Rite Aid for $4.99, i felt lucky and scooped one up. the other palette in this collection, Nude Awakening, did not impress me at all - the colors were too warm/muddy for my taste. Going in the Wild fits in with the neutral eyeshadow kick that i'm on, and also feeds my love of color with flirty lilac & mint shades. 

Jesse's Girl (eyeshadows)
been looking everywhere for something to replace MAC Beautiful Iris, which looks fab, but needs serious layering to show up properly. it can also lean too gray (especially in the summer). haven't really found anything high-end that works (Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Morphine seemed promising, but the quality was horrendous and i returned it), so i picked these guys up.
Baked Eye Shadow in Rosemary Frost
$3.99 at Rite Aid
Eye Dust in Ultra-Violet
$4.99 at Rite Aid

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reef Flip Flops: 'Miss J-Bay' and 'Beach Haze'

YEARS ago, i bought a pair of black, leather, men's size small (i wear around a 9 in ladies) flip flops by Rainbow after hearing how they mold to your foot and feel wonderful, plus i wanted a basic pair that was comfortable, didn't look cheap, and/or wasn't made of rubber.

i recall being slightly traumatized about parting with the 50 bucks (for flip flops!), and also that the first few days of wearing them, they were definitely uncomfortable. but i fell madly, deeply, passionately in love with wearing them once i broke them in because slipping them on was heaven, especially after a long day in heels.

what i didn't like was how butch they looked. especially considering that my everyday style involves big hair, dresses, and a full face of makeup. so when my Rainbows had lived their life & needed replacing, i was looking for something just as comfortable and just as versatile/basic, but something much more feminine. i ended up with two pairs of flip flops by Reef:

Miss J-Bay
Miss J-Bay wasn't available in black, but i do enjoy wearing white, which also happens to be nice and neutral. i'm hoping that this pair manages to avoid getting that gross, permanently dirty look that i've experienced with cheaper white flip flops in the past, since the sole on these isn't white, and they're made of nice leather rather than rubber/foam and nylon.

got them in a 9 and they're a little long in the back, but i'm pretty sure that going down to an 8 would result in my long toes hanging over the front edge, which isn't cute (but IS an issue i experience with open toe heels regularly). i almost cried forking over $66 for these, but they look good, feel like the footbed padding will be like walking on a cloud, and i plan to love wearing them this summer.

Beach Haze
i'm a sucker for gold sandals! the past 2 summers, I've purchased Born Merlot in gold to wear to work.
sadly, both pairs detached on the same side on the same foot. but i digress...

obviously Beach Haze is not an appropriate pair of work shoes. but they have the same vibe as my Borns, for casual wear. the price point was a much friendlier $26, and they fit perfectly.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MAC Dish It Up (Lustre) Lipstick

i usually don't like MAC's Lustre lipsticks because they don't stay on! but as soon as i saw Dish It Up, i had to have it!

i'm thrilled to report that this shade is much more pigmented and long-wearing than any other lustre i've ever tried, and the color is a perfect, happy, pink that says "Summer!" and works beautifully on my olive skintone.

i pair Dish It Up with NYX slim lip pencil in Bloom (#836).