Thursday, February 24, 2011

Swatch Wars!



I'm a huge fan of barely-there opaque pink nail polishes. Since my nails are usually on the short side, I like colors that make my hands look nice and professional, but don't call attention to the fact that I can't maintain long, pretty nails. :(

So, naturally, I had to get OPI Bubble Bath. Only, I was a day late and a dollar short to the OPI Bubble Bath train and apparently they changed the formula just enough to send nail enthusiasts into a tizzy. And I was not about to track down the original and spend a fortune. So, I kept it because it still works for French manicures.

Then I heard that Sally Hansen's Pink Slip was reportedly a dupe for Essie's Ballet Slippers and Essie's Ballet Slippers was reportedly a dupe for the original OPI Bubble Bath. Lots of dupin' going on.

Clearly, I had to compare Pink Slip with the reformulated Bubble Bath, just to see how much of a difference there really was. Right? Right.



Sally Hansen Pink Slip vs OPI Bubble Bath - three coats each. I figured it would be easier to see on my arm than on short little fingernails side by side.

So there we have it.

Pink Slip = milky pale pink.

New Bubble Bath = pale, creamy nude. Some people say it's pink... but... not to my eyeballs.

Both bottles are 0.5 fl oz and will cost about $8, depending on the store/sale.

So, the winner...? For me, it's Pink Slip. I like that it's an all-in-one formula and it just looks nicer with my skintone. I think, anyway. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heat Protectant Sprays

I didn't really give much thought to "heat protection" for my hair until I started using a flat iron a couple years ago. Until then, I would curl and blow dry my hair with no regard to any heat damage I was doing. Now I'm a little older and a little wiser and I'm trying to take care of my poor hair and make up for some of that neglect.

I try not to blow dry my hair too often. And I usually only bust out the curling irons for special occasions or if my hair already has some curl to it because I a) scrunched it or b) put it in a bun while it was wet.

My flat iron gets the most love and attention, whether it's to smooth out my whole head or just tame my bangs and the shorter pieces of my layers into submission.



When I first got my flat iron, I got the CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray (8.5 fl oz for $13). It was my first foray into heat protectant sprays and I didn't really know what to think. I quickly found out that CHI was kind of sticky. It also had a weird smell. I finished the bottle, but quickly went in search of another product.




I told my stylist about my CHI woes and she recommended that I try the Matrix Vavoom Gold Heat Iron In Control Protective Dry Mist. For another $13, I got another 8.5 fl oz bottle and gave it a go. The smell was much better with Matrix (I'm a fan of their various shampoos/conditioners, though, so I wasn't really worried) - one of those "professional salon" smells that doesn't linger very long. What I liked instantly about the Matrix one, though, was that I really thought it made my hair look shiny. Not greasy, but healthy and kind of glossy looking.
....
But... what about when I blow dry? Matrix didn't market this product for blow dryers, too (although, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt), so even though I was happy with the results, my fickleness kicked in and I wanted a product that protected my hair no matter what heating element I took to it. I finished my bottle and then kicked it to the curb in search of something better.




My search led me to TRESemme's Heat Tamer Spray. $4 gets you a bottle with 8 fl oz and a cool trigger-looking sprayer that I found much easier to work with than classic pump-sprayer of the other two bottles. Of the three, TRESemme's smells the best. It's not overpowering, but it is a sweeter smell that may bother some people. I like that it didn't leave my hair sticky and that you can use it for blow drying and curling and flat ironing ... and anything else you feel like torturing your hair with. I don't know if it's the best on the market, but so far it's working pretty well for me and I'm almost out of my first bottle. Unless I stumble across another multi-purpose heat protectant, I'll probably end up repurchasing this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beauty Tag: Q & A

I just stumbled across this Q & A tag on another beauty blog and I thought I would pass it on. :)

SKINCARE

-How many times do you wash your face daily?
Once, really, at night. In the morning I just splash some water on my face.

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)
It used to be combination, but now it's dry.

-What is your current facial wash?
Purpose Gentle Cleanser

-Do you exfoliate?
Everyday with my Olay spinny brush. And I use a glycolic acid a couple times a week.

-What brand do you use?
A lot. Purpose, Acne.org, H2O, Grassroots, Philosophy, Dermalogica, Clinique, Olay, Aveeno... I think that's about it.

-What moisturizer do you use?
Still on the hunt for the perfect one for winter. Lately I've been switching between Philosophy's When Hope Is Not Enough and Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance. Summertime is always H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment, though.

-Do you have freckles?
Yep.

-Do you use eye cream?
When I remember. :) It's usually Grassroot's Blue Algae.

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
Unfortunately. And it seems to be getting worse as I get older. I like to think it's a lovely combination of stress and hormones.

-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
Never tried it, only because I've heard the reviews aren't so hot.

MAKEUP

-What foundation do you use?
Clinique Perfectly Real

-How about concealer?
Face is Makeup Forever's Full Coverage. Undereye is Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller.

-Do you know your undertone color?
Having had multiple SAs/MAs in multiple stores tell me a variety of things, I'm going with neutral, since no one can make up their minds.

-What do you think of fake eyelashes?
They look nice, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've put them on. They're just too much of a PITA for me, personally.

-Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes. Do I? It depends. I only have two mascaras in rotation (not including waterproof for "special" tear-jerking occasions), so when they dry up (which usually takes a couple months), then I pitch them.

-What brand of mascara do you use?
Cover Girl and Maybelline

-Sephora or MAC?
I'd have to say.... Sephora. I like variety.

-Do you have a MAC Pro-card?
Nope.

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Everything from my fingers to sponges to brushes. And my brushes range from Sonia Kashuk to Clinique to MAC.

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Usually. It's either MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

-For the face?
Nope.

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
Can I just say brown? Anything in the taupe-bronze-copper range makes me happy.

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Depends on the look. But usually pencil, because I'm lazy and it's quicker in the mornings.

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Not often. My biggest issue is my eyes watering when I try to tightline.

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
Love the concept/color payoff, but I find loose shadows to be annoying. Too much fallout.

-Do you use mineral makeup?
I used to, but then my skin started drying out, so I stopped.

-What is your favorite lipstick?
Either Flirt! in Dainty or Obsess, or Maybelline in Nearly There, or maybe Lancome's Pink Organza... it's really hard to say.

-How about lipgloss?
I don't really have a favorite. I just grab whatever.

-What is your favorite blush to use?
Probably Lancome Miel Glace or Clinique Iced Lotus

-Do you buy your makeup on ebay?
No.

-Do you like drugstore makeup?
Yes. I don't buy it exclusively, but there are some good products.

-Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)
Yep!

-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?
Yeah, but I think I would get too nervous trying to put it on other people.

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
Only on other people!

-Name a makeup crime that you hate?
Foundation masks. Blend that crap out, already!

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
Neutral. Definitely.

-Which celebrity always has great make up?
Kate Winslet. Kate Walsh. Cate Blanchett. (Could I fit any more Kates on the list?) Dianna Agron. Nina Dobrev. Stana Katic.

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?
Mascara.

-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?
I have. Didn't like it. But they were emergencies, so I figured people wouldn't be judging too harshly.

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
I lose definition in my features, which is what I don't like. I like seeing my eyelashes, for example.

-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
It's really hard to say. I think each brand has some great hits and some terrible misses. It just depends on what you're in the market for.

-What do you think of Makeup??
I love it. It's fun. I love that it can build people up and give them confidence. No matter what anyone says, the first thing people notice is another person's face - why not put your best face forward?

Monday, February 14, 2011

LOTD Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Bamboo Pink

I think it's safe to say that Clinique has a few iconic products to choose from. Bamboo Pink is definitely one of them. So, in honor of Valentine's Day (and because I already went through all of my red lipsticks), here is a cult classic for the nudey-pink fans.

Clinique calls Bamboo Pink "the most popular silvery pearlized dusty pink." It's a Long Last formula, which is to say that it lasts longer than most, but certainly won't get you through a full day without having to reapply. Overall, they have some pretty nice lipsticks for only $14.50 a tube.


Nekkid lips.


Clinique Bamboo Pink - one swipe


Clinique Bamboo Pink - two swipes

Friday, February 11, 2011

EOTD Clinique Lucky Penny

Years ago in Glamour magazine I read an article on Clinique's Lucky Penny eyeshadow. It was supposed to give the wearer a "bedroom eye" effect, something that looked gorgeous but didn't scream "I'm wearing makeup!" Well, I don't know if it does all of that... but it's still really pretty. :)

Clinique's Colour Surge Eye Shadow Super Shimmer (don't let that scare you off... it's not that shimmery... and they have two other versions - matte and soft shimmer) retail for $14.50 and come in pretty silver, mirrored compacts that hold .07 oz of product and a really nice, sturdy sponge applicator.



Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
Undereye powder: None
Base: None
Lid color: Clinique Lucky Penny
Highlight: Clinique Buff
Eyeliner: Clinique Cream Shaper in Chocolate Lustre
Mascara: Maybelline Full 'n Soft in Dark Brown

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NOTD Sally Hansen Pink Slip


I decided to test good ol' Sally's claims that her "Complete Salon Manicure" was a base coat, color, and top coat all in one. So, I slapped on three thin-ish coats to my bare nails and waited.

And waited.

Aaaaaaannd waited.

Five days later, my nails still looked perfect. Granted, they're not really long (long nails on me = bending = chipping), but I was still impressed to see that after five days, the color was doing great on its own. Then, I got bored at work and started picking at the little "ridge" that started to grow out from my cuticle... Bad habit, I know...

But I was really happy with how Pink Slip looked and lasted. Some people have complained bitterly that this streaks on them and I'll admit that it did take me three coats to get a completely opaque-streak free finish, but it wasn't like my world was crashing down because I had to do three coats - especially since I didn't do any bases or tops.

Likewise, some people have complained that it looks white as opposed to pink. Well, I guess to the naked eye, Pink Slip is on the milkier side of pink, but it's not the stark-white that it could have been. But that's what I love about it. It's not "Look at me - I'm PINK!" It's subtle. Sophisticated, even. Classy enough for any occasion, but demure enough for everyday wear. I'm definitely a fan and Pink Slip is here to stay in my collection.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LOTD Lancome Color Design in Designer Bloom

If you're in the mood for a sheer-but-buildable pinkish berry lipstick, look no further than Lancome's Designer Bloom. It's a very soft, rosey berry that looks good on just about everyone. Another bonus? It doesn't dry out your lips like crazy. Of course, it will fade with eating/drinking and even excessive talking, but the sheer formula is so nice that you won't really mind re-applying ... or the $22 price tag. But it's Lancome, so beware the "rosey" smell if that's not your thing. Personally, I like it. :)


Nekkid lips.


One "swipe" of color. It didn't go on as evenly as it normally does, but I think my lip balm was to blame for that, or the fact that I didn't add another layer.. whoops..


Swatch, indoors, but in sunlight. Now that is how it normally looks!


Monday, February 7, 2011

American Beauty Beauty Boost Overnight Radiance Cream


I really, really love the idea of American Beauty's stance. I love Ashley Judd (their one and only spokesperson) and I love what they're trying to portray with their line. That being said, almost none of their skincare has worked for me. :( It is fragrance galore.

American Beauty's Beauty Boost Overnight Radiance Cream is described as: An intense emollient night cream that not only provides moisture but also firms, soothes and brightens skin as you sleep.

A 1.7-oz regularly retails for $28, but you can get it cheaper during sales or with Kohl's coupons.

Pros: lightweight for a cream, no SPF, made my skin softer (but I didn't use it long enough to determine any firming or brightening qualities), absorbed quickly.

Cons: It's very, very perfumey. Those sensitive to fragrance should either do a patch test or just stay away. It didn't take away all of my flakes and the icing on the cake was when I woke up with a painful cystic pimple on my chin. Oh, and it also made the pores on my nose (usually small, thankfully) look ginormous. :( Back to Kohl's it went.

I couldn't find a full listing of the ingredients anywhere online (and I wasn't doing any ingredient sleuthing at the time that I had the actual product in my possession), but this is a partial list of ingredients, per Kohl's website.

•Key ingredients:
•Linoleic Acid - barrier repair complex
•Acetyl Glucosamine - exfoliator
•Mulberry Root, Plant & Yeast Extracts, Vitamin E and Vitamin C Derivative -skin brightening complex
•Shea Butter - emollient
•Sodium Hyaluronate - moisturizer

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Olay Sensitive Skin Therapy Lotion



I used to use Olay in high school and it worked great. But, the grass always looks greener and I ventured off to other products. During the Great Moisturizer Hunt, I decided to try Olay again because I a) remembered how much I liked it b) it had great reviews and c) my mom uses it and she definitely does not look her age - so how could I go wrong?

Well... first there was the problem with the name. The great reviews were for the "Sensitive Skin Moisture Therapy Lotion." The reviews for the "Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid - Sensitive Skin" were not so great... And Olay's website only shows the Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid, not the other one. I asked myself, what gives? So, I e-mailed them.

Here is their response, which I hope will clear up this issue for anyone out there searching for one version or the other: The Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid for Sensitive Skin and the Sensitive Moisture Therapy Lotion are the same product. The Sensitive Moisture Therapy Lotion is the Canadian name for the Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Sensitive Skin.

Okkkaaayyy. Now I'm with ya. But there's still the issue of one product/name having great reviews, while people slam the other. I decided to take a leap of faith anyway.

After serious searching, I finally found yet another version called Sensitive Skin Therapy Lotion at my local Target. No one else (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Jewel-Osco, etc) had the kind I was looking for (SPF free, sensitive skin lotion, not cream). It was only $9.49 for 6 oz, which I thought was quite a steal.

Pros: It did moisturize well, absorbed quickly, didn't contain SPF (which is important to me because I tend to break out from it), and fragrance-free.

Cons: It broke me out. :( Whenever I try a new skincare item, I make sure that I don't change anything else in my regimen, so I know what's working and what's not. Within a day, this lotion gave me little whiteheads in areas I don't normally break out (like my temples and cheeks). So, back to Target it went.

I've also become really concerned with ingredients because of this website, so I'll try and list them wherever possible so people looking for them can find them. :)

Ingredients: WATER, GLYCERIN, ISOHEXADECANE, NIACINAMIDE, DIMETHICONE, ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE, POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE, SUCROSE POLYCOTTONSEEDATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, POLYACRYLAMIDE, PANTHENOL, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, DIMETHICONOL, ETHYLPARABEN, SORBITAN STEARATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE, PROPYLPARABEN, LAURETH-7, PEG-100 STEARATE, STEARIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, STEARYL ALCOHOL, BENZYL ALCOHOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLATE.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Great Moisturizer Hunt

In the wake of the massive blizzard that just swept through Po'Dunk, all I can say is... "whoa." I hope I never have to go through that again. And while we're on the topic, could Spring just get here already?!?! I'm so sick of the cold.

Cold + my skin = unhappiness all around. Which leads me to the point of this post: I'm on the hunt for a great moisturizer. I don't know why, but suddenly everything I've been using lately has hated me. It's either not moisturizing enough, too greasy, or it breaks me out. :(

I've been meaning to do a ton of reviews and then I somehow managed to lose track of time. I think the blizzard is mostly to blame because work has been beyond crazy. But my game plan for this week is to actually review the things from my skincare haul as well as some other ones that I've tried. I promise. :)