Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oral Sanitizer

For my friends who care about oral hygiene as much as I do, I bring you:

:: The Dentek Toothbrush Sanitizer ::

I saw this at Target for $19.99 and had to have it. I am SO paranoid about shit getting on my toothbrush. Now I don't have to be. You just slide open the case, insert your toothbrush (I have a power toothbrush and it still fits), and close the case to activate the UV light. The light will work for about 8 minutes to sanitize your toothbrush so it's ready for the next use. It takes two AAA batteries, not included.

The other bonus is that your toothbrush is ready for travel.

Now, let me also state that I am NOT a huge fan of antibacterial/antimicrobial everything. Germs are good and eating day-old pizza that's been left out to collect bacteria is actually GOOD for you. We're getting rid of too many germs and the super germs are going to rise up against us. That being said, I draw the line at feces on my toothbrush, so I'm loving Dentek for this.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Clear Plum Polish

:: Orly Beverly Hills Manicure Polish ::

I bought this on a whim because it just looked yummy in the bottle (think the color of the flesh of a plum mixed with the color of pink grapefruit flesh). It's a sheer, plum color that looks a bit more unique and polished than just using clear. It gives your nails a healthy, plump look, and by plump I mean it looks like the blood is flowing well into your finger tips. I also love that Orly polishes have a rubberized handle/grip. Great design.

*Pictured second from right.

HIP Shadow

Loving these shadows. They aren't the kind of thing I wear every day, but when I'm feeling foxy I pull these out. I am in love with the deep, jewel tones that somehow manage to stay subtle. I own three: the two above, and a bright green with a darker, olive green. I use Clinique's Touch Base for Eyes underneath to make sure the color stays put all day. If you haven't used Touch Base, you should try it. It's magic.

:: L'Oreal HIP High Intesity Pigment Shadow Duos ::

Good things:
  1. Gorgeous colors, go on pretty transparent despite the name. I dampen the brush a bit for a more saturated application.
  2. Cute packaging.
  3. $6.99 a piece. Cheap!

Bad things:
  1. When I see the name High-Intensity, I kind of expect a lot of pigmentation. It's annoying that these aren't more vivacious, but it does prevent you from leaving the house looking like a freak.
  2. I've read reviews where people have allergic reactions to this, so be careful if you have sensitive eyes/skin. I have both, but these didn't bother me at all.

Natural Snatch, er Match.

First off, I want to confess that I originally bought this for one reason: Penelope Cruz has a crazy sexy voice and when I see her in a commercial saying something to me, I believe it because I want her desperately.

Now, moving on... my natural hair color is a medium auburn. Most of the time I love my real color. But, I am a creature that loves variety, so I often color my hair as a means of dealing with crisis, or injecting drama into a boring period, etc. etc.

Lately I am addicted to chocolate brown hair. The problem with at-home coloring is that my hair always ends up either dark, reddish brown, or black. Not *chocolate* brown. The red always wants to come out and going darker just makes it look flat and black.

L'Oreal Natural Match in shade 4C (Dark Ash Brown) is the first hair color I've had success with at home. I've used this twice now and have been extremely happy both times. The Natural Match line gives you the option of going cool (eliminating red or brassy tones), warm, neutral, or red.

:: L'Oreal Natural Match Hair Color ::

Good Things:
  1. The colors are true to life. They look like your hair, but better. The 4C for me is a deep, rich, velvety chocolate brown.
  2. It makes my hair shiny. I have naturally shiny hair but coloring usually dries it out. My hair looks better after using this.
  3. Smells good.
  4. At less than $10, very affordable.

Bad Things:
  1. The first few days it seems darker than it should, but after a few washings it tames down to the luscious color you're expecting.
  2. The whole idea of this hair color is that you don't stray too far from your natural color. Not recommended if you're looking for drastic change.
  3. Penelope Cruz was not in my box.
*All hair responds to color differently. Please do not blame me if you use this product and don't like it.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pomegranate Love

I have a very weird obsession with pomegranates. I don't even recall when it all began. There is something about those little seeds bursting in your mouth that does it for me. I enjoy anything pomegranate scented, especially this new line from B&BW.

:: Bath and Body Works Midnight Pomegranate ::

Right now, I am using the hand soap in my bathroom. It makes me happy every time I wash my hands.

Sexy. Mother. Pucker.

Leave it to hottie Micala to recommend one of the best products I've used on my lips in ages.

If the name alone doesn't suck you in and make you buy it, the fact that is feels like bee stings on your lips should be enough to convince you. Found this at Target for $9.99.

:: Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss ::

Good things:
  1. Comes in clear, and nude, and maybe others that I didn't see. I bought the clear.
  2. Has a delightful chocolate/orange scent that is subtle, not too cupcakey.
  3. Marketed as a lip plumper, but I think it should be seen more as a "vibrator for the lips." For the first few minutes it feels like any other gloss, then you start to feel a massive tingling that makes your lips feel like they were stung by bees. Scary? Maybe. But not for those of us into a lil bit of pain. It *does* smooth out lip texture and give you plumpy, juicy lips.
  4. Cute, retro packaging and marketing.

Bad things:
  1. Sticky, which is good for staying power, but bad if it's a windy day and you have long hair.
  2. A tad expensive for a gloss, but I would have spent twice as much.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Stress Control

I've been using two of the products from the new Neutrogena Stress Control line for the past month. I have to say, I haven't adored products like this in a while. I think they're putting crack in it because I *so* look forward to using these twice a day. Usually my adoration wears off after a couple of weeks.

:: Neutrogena Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Treatment ::

Good things:
  1. Gel-like consistency that moisturizes but also leaves you with a matte finish.
  2. BHA helps to clear acne and prevent it, and exfoliate skin.
  3. Has a soothing effect that I can't really describe with words.
  4. The smell is light and refreshing, though I normally detest fragrance in face products.
  5. Recommended by Paula Begoun, who researches products scientifically and ignores marketing.
  6. Comes in a very nice, sanitary squirt-bottle.
  7. Around $7 and available everywhere.
:: Neutrogena Stress Control Power-Clear Scrub ::

Good things:
  1. I *rarely* enjoy a scrub, as most are too harsh for my skin. But this one is fantastic. I use it every morning and sometimes at night too.
  2. Does not irritate or dry out skin, but leaves your skin even-toned and refreshed.
  3. Has a cream base that makes it easy to put on and leave on throughout your shower, so the medicine has a longer time to work into your face.
Bad things:
  1. Something in it is tingly, which feels nice but sometimes those ingredients can be irritating, so be careful.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hyper. Shine.

LooooOOOOoooOOOooooooOOooOoOOOOve this lip glos. Love. Love. Love. You can find this at most Target stores or online.

:: E.L.F. Hypershine Lip Gloss in Nude ::

Good Things:
  1. It's $1.
  2. Ultra shiny, but not ultra sticky.
  3. Nice scent and taste.
  4. Fairly long lasting and conditioning.
  5. Brush-on applicator is very nice.
  6. Similar to the Stila glosses.

Bad Things:
  1. For $1, nothing is bad about this.

Chick Flick Cherry

A quickie post today. Love this gorgeous red polish from OPI. I have to say, even when I was sweaty, dirty, and mosquito-bitten in Alaska, the fact that my toes looked fabulous kept me going. It didn't chip once, and I was wearing hiking boots almost every day.

:: OPI Nail Lacquer in Chick Flick Cherry ::

I've blogged about these polishes before. They are a tad more expensive than regular drugstore lines, but so worth the few extra bucks. They go on smooth, don't chip, and the bottle lasts a long time. This shade of red is deep but also sort of retro cherry-red at the same time. Brilliant.

You can find them in specialty beauty stores, and even grocery stores, which is where I got this one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shower Caddy Love

Somehow I always end up starting these posts by apologizing for what a slackass blogger I am. I'm sorry. I really am. I'm like that boy-toy who doesn't call for two months, then shows up at your door with a smile and a condom in his pocket. It's not fair to you, but listen: I only feel like blogging when there's something that I *really* love. It's not like I wake up every morning thinking, "Man, I wonder what I can recommend today?" I wait until I love something so much I can't stand it anymore and then I bring it to you justthewayyoulikeit.

Okay, so this isn't a beauty product, persay. But I am creaming my jeans over it.

A little back-story...

Anyone who has visited my house knows that I have a blajillion products in the shower. I need variety and so I have at least three sets of poo/conditioners and about 5 soap/gel thingies and then tools. Not to mention the stash in the hall closet which is quite frightening. It's really not healthy, but I can't fight it. I tried. So anyway, my landlord came to fix my shower while I was in Alaska (during which time I had a weird sexual dream about him). The new head would not sustain my old hangy basket of products so I had to venture out to BB&B and find a new one. Sigh. Luckily, I came upon this and started swooning when I digested just how well-designed it is.

:: The Simple Human Shower Organizer ::

Good things:
  1. These people thought of everything assinine about shower caddies and then fixed all the problems. There are so many little fabulous things about the design of this caddy that just puts all the other ones I've owned to shame.
  2. It has a foam-padded screw-tightened mount at the top, so it stays in place *firmly*....nothing worse than when your damn caddy slips and throws bottles at you.
  3. The trays move up and down, and left and right, to accommodate different sized bottles.
  4. There is a razor holder built into the right side and a toothbrush holder built into the left...which you can also use to hold tools. (Who the hell brushes their teeth in the shower? Comment me if you do.)
  5. Rust-Proof for at least 5 years, guaranteed.
  6. Suction cup at the bottom is hard-core and it swivels in case you have tiles that would prevent good suction.

Bad things:
  1. At $40, it's a little steep. But I am not regretting it one bit. Take a coupon...those ones they send every few weeks.
  2. I wish it had more shelves, but that's cause I'm a shampoo whore.
This really makes me want to check out more Simple Human products. I get a boner for great design.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Giada's Nails

So my friend and I were watching the Food Network the other night and TOTALLY ORGASMING over Giada DeLaurentis' nails. She always has on a sheer, simple pink color that looks polished, refined, and sexy. We agreed that we wished we knew what polish she uses so we could get our hands on it.

I was eating lunch the next day and still thinking about Giada so I Googled "Giada DeLaurentis' Nail Polish" and imaginemysurprise that other women were curious too. I found a blog somewhere that a woman was at a book signing and asked Giada what polish she uses. She said she uses OPI Bubble Bath because it holds well for her when washing dishes/cooking/etc.

OMFG I totally HAVE and LOVE OPI Bubble Bath. It's such a classic color and I'm so psyched that Giada and I have one thing in common besides our amazing breasts.

:: OPI Bubble Bath Nail Laquer ::

Good things:
  1. The sheer pink color is that perfect shade for YNBB (Your Nails But Better). It's creamy/milky enough to look sophisticated but not so milky that you look washed out.
  2. One coat gives a subtle, clean sheen. Two coats is perfect for tailored, more opaque nails.
  3. OPI brand polishes are notably fabulous.
  4. Hello, Giada wears it. Enough said.

Bad things:
  1. Probably a poor choice if you skin is darker than fair or medium. There are slightly darker colors in the OPI line that may work better.
  2. Tends to pool in the cuticles a bit if you're not careful to apply thin coats. I thinned mine out with a few drops of remover.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Soft Hands

I love lotions. Love them. If they had AA-type meetings for lotion and lipgloss addicts, I'd be needing a handful of sponsors.

:: Johnson & Johnson Softcream Extra Care Healing Hand Cream ::

Good things:
  1. Extremely good moisturizer...ranks better than high-end brands like L'Occitane.
  2. Really does last throughout the day. May need to reapply if your hands are especially dry, but for the most part it's the type of lotion you can put on once and feel the effects throughout the day even after washings.
  3. Scent is lovely. Relish anything that is warm and cozy like babies.
  4. Nice small tube goes great in a purse/bag.
  5. Reminds me of the Neutrogena Norwegian formula except WITHOUT the excessive greasiness. It's not very greasy at all because there's just a touch of baby oil.
  6. Cheap

Bad things:
  1. I can't think of a single one.

Eye Brightener

It's been a long time. Since I left you. Without a dope beat to step to. Step Step.

Yes, I know I am the world's most horrible blogger. It's been too crazy and busy for me to post for a long-ass time now, but summer is here and I'm hoping to pick up the pace again.

:: Physician's Formula Eyebrightner in Natural Eyelight ::

I bought this a few months ago, and I swear to God everytime I wear it, at least one person compliments me on my eyes. It's just a simple base shadow but it seems to have magical qualities. I only like the lightest color...the reviews on the darker ones were not too good and so I wouldn't recommend them. I love using white shadow on the brow bone and center of the eyelid to highlight, and this is great all over the lid and brow with extra added to those areas.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bar Soap

I went through a phase where I only used body washes. Who didn't love their big, fat, lathery poof? It was the thing to do.

Over the past few years, I've grown to love bar soap once again. There's just something old school about it: rolling that slippery little bar around in your wet washcloth, watching the little bubbles rise up to greet you, knowing that it's going to be there waiting for you in the shower when you get back.

:: Caress Exotic Oil Infusions Moroccan Bar Soap ::

Good things:
  1. Okay, this was totally an impulse buy. I did not read any reviews before buying this. When I smelled the soap in the box, I knew it was going home with me.
  2. The scent is light and intoxicating.
  3. The ingredients are top notch. They spared no expense.
  4. Huge amounts of moisture here, but not greasy in any way like some of those oil/cream body washes. I would say it moisturized well enough that I didn't need lotion and I felt moisturized until my next shower. Kudos for a bar soap.
  5. Great for shaving.
  6. Very inexpensive. ~$7 for 6 bars.
Bad things:
  1. Scent doesn't last long after the shower, but that's expected.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Liquid Liner

Oh, Wet 'n' Wild. You dirty bitches. How do you do it? Making products that are better than departmentstorepiecesofcrap for a fraction of the cost. Take me now.

:: Wet 'n' Wild Megaliner Liquid Eyeliner ::

Good things:
  1. Sweet Lord this is a great eyeliner. I don't wear eyeliner often, but when I do I like to vamp it up and make it dramatic. Liquid liner is best for that, but dang if you can find one that doesn't look like a 9-year-old applied it. This is the best liquid liner I've ever used and it's bone-cheap.
  2. Lasts all day.
  3. $3.
  4. Brush is perfect for creating a gorgeous, rich, thick line that isn't gonna make you look like you got hit with a softball. It makes my eyes look pretty and cat-like. Meooow.
  5. I like the black, it's very, very black. Which is exactly what I want black to be.

Bad things:
  1. Once the bottle starts to dry out you'll know it, because the shit starts flaking and going all schizo on your eyes.
  2. It's not waterproof. Just something to keep in mind.
  3. If the brush is getting too long for your taste, just cut the end off a bit with a sharp pair of scissors.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lip Inflation

It is sinful how many lip glosses/balms I own. I am ashamed of myself.

Anyway, decided I needed more this weekend and picked up the Sally Hansen Lip Inflation BOGO at CVS.

:: Sally Hansen Lip Inflation ::

Good things:
  1. Okay, one thing straight, I am not looking for puffy lips. Anyone who *thinks* they can get puffy lips from a plumping gloss is out of their noggin. That being said, on this day, at this moment, I decided I wanted to know how it feels to have cinnamon tingling on your lips. And I don't regret that one bit.
  2. This is a really nice gloss and does give your lips a hint of plumpness. Not so much making them bigger, but maybe making the lines on your lips fill in a bit. It stimulates with peppermint/cinnamon so it doesn't last long and it's not that intense. It's more like the feeling that maybe someone was just nibbling on your lips and that is quite nice, thankyouverymuch.
  3. Hydrates lips. Cleared up a small case of chapped lips that I had.
  4. Never feels sticky.
  5. Colors are nude/natural. Works for me.
  6. Packaging is nice...square shape doesn't roll off of tables/desks/sinks. Brush is great versus the sponge stays where you put it.
  7. Cheap.
Bad things:
  1. Doesn't *exactly* do what it promises to do, but it's not like anyone is stupid enough to buy that line anyway.
  2. Some gals may prefer darker shades.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Easy Breezy

I had a coupon for the new Venus Breeze razor, but was hesitant to try it out. When I saw it on sale, I figured it was worth the plunge.

:: Gilette Venus Breeze 2 in 1 Razor Plus Shave Gel Bars ::

Good things:
  1. The best part of this razor is that you don't have to use shaving cream with the razor, you just zip it over your legs after wetting it. The Shick Intuition razor was sort of the same idea, but I always found the bar around the razor to go down quickly and the razor itself would cut the shit out of my legs. Good concept, poor design. But I've always loved the triple blade action of the Mach 3 and Venus razors, so the fact that they're combining two great ideas is good news for us.
  2. It really does glide over the leg and leave it semi-moisturized (not that you could skip lotion, mind you). It also bends so well that I didn't get any nicks or cuts. Yay.

Bad things:
  1. This is really best for lazy days or travelling. It doesn't give you the close shave of a traditional razor and good cream/lotion, but you can be damn sure I'll be using this and buying refill packs.
  2. A little on the expensive side, but worth every penny if it makes the heady task of shaving easier. God I hate shaving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tinted Moisturizer

Today is the vernal equinox, and with the changing of the seasons I usually change my foundation. In warm weather, I prefer tinted moisturizer over foundation. It's light and natural and just feels right.

This one is by far my holy grail.

:: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer ::

Good things:
  1. Covers up problem spots without being too cakey or fake.
  2. Evens out skin tone.
  3. Has ingredients that improve the look of your skin.
  4. Nice consistency and even application.
  5. SPF formula is great.
  6. Has natural, yellow undertones (hard to find in drugstore products...many are far too pink).
  7. Love the pump bottle. Very sanitary and clean.
  8. Great price.
Bad things:
  1. Only bad thing I can think about is that it looks darker than it should in the container, but that's just an annoying thing and it goes on the color it should.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Anti-Aging, Anti-Wrinkles, DISCUSS!

Okay, I got a comment from Becky that goes like this:

I don't think you've covered anti-wrinkle creams yet. I just discovered that a bunch of my 25-30 year-old friends use anti-aging creams reguarly. Personally, I thought these kinds of things were for when you got old and actually had wrinkles...not as a preventative measure. Also, I am doubting the science of anything that promises to take away (or prevent) wrinkles. Please discuss oh-holy-maven-of-beauty-products.

Here are my thoughts on anti-aging/wrinkle creams and products: THEY ARE A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY AND WOMEN FALL FOR IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN. We are so desperate to look young we will pay for anything that promises to tighten, firm, or fill-in those cracks. I personally do not have many wrinkles yet, but I do notice my skin aging a bit and I certainly think my eye area could use some perking up.

There are only two things we know for sure:
1. Sunscreen is a must. Every day. Every single damn day. Get over wanting to look like a golden goddess...pruning your skin in the sun or even worse in a tanning bed. You are aging your skin exponentially. Wear sunblock (I prefer foundation/moisturizer with SPF of at least 15 included), and stay out of the sun when you have a choice.
2. Aging skin usually lacks moisture. Give your skin moisture, and it will look more plump and young.

Beyond that, you should take good care of your skin every day. (I personally recommend using an AHA product to keep your skin looking healthy.) There are no miracle products that are going to make your skin stay forever young. Sometimes the most expensive products are the biggest pieces of bullshit.

My single best resource for skincare science is Paula Begoun. Reading her books changed my life. She knows her shit and relies on FACTS, not hype, to make recommendations. Go to her site, check out the links on the left, particularly "Dear Paula" and "Skin Care Facts"...and sign up for her free email newsletter! She rocks my world. I can't say it enough.

Buff nails

Love, love, love, love, love this stuff.

I am a fan of the nude, buffed nail look. This stuff by Neutrogena is perfect for that "gosh your nails are nice" in that totally natural way.

:: Neutrogena Instant Nail Enhancer ::

The premise of this stuff is that you put it on once a day, it dries instantly, it's not a polish so you don't ever need to take it off with remover, but it builds a healthy nail and prevents peeling (which I personally have a huge problem with...hate peeling nails!)

At $7.99, it's a tad more than I'd want to pay, but it's worth it because it's a unique product and it lasts a long while. It comes in two colors, a clear "buff" and a more white pearlescent.

This is nice under polish too.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


You need to check out my friend Grooveburgh's new blog, Fluckr. He finds random photos on Flickr and writes zany stories to narrate the moments.

Go now.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Voluptuous Volume

I have been lax in my blogging. I know. It's not easy to keep this up, people. And I'm starting to feel like I'm alone in an empty room writing shit that nobody reads (save for 3 people who I *make* read this blog).

That's not the point. Today I'm back on it, bringing you a rock star product that you've GOT to try if you have fine/limp hair. Usually styling products give you a trade-off: either something adds volume but makes your hair sticky or crunchy, or it makes your hair sleek and shiny but flat. This one gives you the best of all worlds.

:: Got 2 Be 2 Sexy Voluptuous Volume Mousse ::

Good things:
  1. For a cheap drugstore mousse, this product kicks the ASS of all the salon "volumizing" products I've tried! It totally gives you volume and lift without being sticky or greasy at. all. Believe me when I say I've tried *everything* under the sun to give my fine hair a boost, and nothing ever delivers. This is one exceptional exception.
  2. Lasts throughout the day, doesn't start failing at lunchtime like my caffeine buzz does.
  3. You can still run your fingers through your hair. Doesn't feel "coated" at all.
  4. A small, liquidy amount on your palm rises to become a massive mountain of mousse, but it sinks in the hair nicely and gives it volume and shine.
  5. Tones down frizz when applied to wet hair.
  6. Smells goooood.
Bad things:
  1. The name. Okay, nobody wants to have a bottle of "Got 2 Be 2 Sexy" sitting around in plain view. I hate when companies think they can name their products with IM abbreviations like "2" or "ur". It's insulting. But I still love this product.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Til it Shines Like the Top of the Chrysler Building!!!

I was moseying around the CVS this weekend waiting for my mom to print her digital pictures, which is an hours-long endeavor. Like a badger, I am easily distracted by shiny new things. In the hair-care aisle, this bubble-gum pink bottle had me at hello.

:: L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Shampoo/Conditioner ::

Good things:
  1. Claims to leave hair ultra shiny and bouncy, and I must say it mostly delivers on that promise. It contains a fair amount of protein and *does* leave hair with a nice sheen and ample bounce. I don't think you're going to look like Monica Gellar (Courtney Cox) with mirror-shiny hair, but it's sort of akin to using a regular shampoo followed by a nice shine mist.
  2. The conditioner is great! Rinses clean and left my hair so soft and manageable, but with lots of volume.
  3. Best thing of all...the smell! It's the same scent as the discontinued Fresh Vive. It's great when you can sit on the couch at the end of the day and catch a whiff of your still-delicious hair.

Bad things:
  1. Probably causes buildup over time. I always use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to remedy this.

Apparently this is so new that they don't even have it up on their web site yet. I cannot find a picture of the bottle anywhere. So I am posting a German version that I found. Those damn Europeans get all the good stuff first.

Since this is so new, it may be difficult to find. Make sure you do not confuse this with the "style infusing" Vive Pro which SUCKS ASS and makes your hair flat and greasy looking. The Nutri Gloss has a bright pink bottle and the "ass infuser" has a darker pink bottle.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

It rubs the lotion on its skin.

I am an avid hand-washer, and in the winter my hands become so dry they crack and bleed. I need a really good lotion that isn't greasy and this is one I LOVE. Holy grail status.

:: Dove Regenerating Night Lotion ::

Good things:
  1. Super emollient but not greasy, absorbs insanely well and quickly.
  2. Smells wonderful.
  3. With continued use, my skin feels like a babys...put it on at night and in the morning your skin is still silky and smooth.
  4. I noticed a more even tone in my skin as well.
  5. Has shea butter beads...which absorb superbly well compared to regular shea butter, which is notoriously sticky and lays there on your skin.
  6. Cheap

Bad things:
  1. Some women don't care for each her own I guess.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sensual Amber

I love this fragrance line from Bath and Body Works. It's a very sophisticated yet simple smell that is warm and sexy, sweet and spicy. B&BW doesn't always produce winners, but this has inspired me to try some more of their new lines. I can't wait to get my hands on the Midnight Pomegranate line that just came out...I'm crazy for pomegranates.

:: Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber ::

Here is my stream of consciousness about this: women are raving, can't keep it in stock, smells much more expensive than it is, amber/vanilla/coconut/woods/smokyness, nice to go out in, or to wear to bed, deep, heady, intoxicating, not overpowering, what smells so nice?

I am using the cream and the EDT and it layers nicely. The cream is lovely on it's own and has more complex layers in my opinion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Red Red Wine You Make My Feet Smell Fine

I loooooooove this shampoo/conditioner combo. I found it at the GreenStar Market in Ithaca, NY.

:: Desert Essence Italian Red Grape Shampoo/Conditioner ::

Good things:
  1. Sulfate-free shampoo. WoO! Won't strip hair.
  2. Silicone-free conditioner. WoO! Won't coat hair.
  3. Smells like grape soda and/or wine. Very devine.
  4. Unlike most "natural" shampoos, doesn't leave hair feeling greasy or tangly.

Bad things:

  1. A bit hard to find; check organic sections or health food stores or search online.
  2. A tad pricey compared to most drugstore brands, but worth it for the quality ingredients.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pure Makeup

Stacey turned me on to this foundation and I've been digging it for a while now.

:: Maybelline Pure Foundation ::

Good things:

  1. This is more like a tinted moisturizer (with more pigment in it) than it is a real foundation. Feels like lotion going on, covers imperfections but doesn't have what I would consider full coverage.
  2. Nice and light, nothing in it that will irritate skin or cause breakouts (it's been said you can even fall asleep in it.)
  3. Love the packaging...hygenic squeeze tube.
  4. Cheap! ($5.99 at Target)
  5. It can be a bit sticky but if you set it with powder, it feels so nice and smooth and face looks flawless.
  6. Blends very well and the colors are true, not orangey.

Bad things:
  1. Doesn't seem to last all day if you touch your face at all.
  2. Some women have said that the color turns on them mid-day, but I think this is if you have truly oily skin.
  3. Like I said, coverage isn't full but if you use a concealer on spots that need it, this will be light on your skin and natural.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Skincare 101

I've written before about my skin care routine, but in talking to a few of you folks I realize I wasn't entirely clear about all of the steps, so today I'm gonna break it down for you real sweet and simple. Someone I know (who shall not be named) was using Hydrogen Peroxide instead of Benzoyl Peroxide. :O| Okay if you burn your face off do not hold me responsible.

Night Routine:
1. Wash with gentle cleanser. (Summer: Basis Gel Cleanser; Winter: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser)

On lazy nights, I use CVS Brand Exfoliating Pre-Moistened Face Wipes. (Any face wipe will do, just check to be sure there isn't OIL in the ingredient list. You'd be surprised how many contain castor oil or mineral oil.)

2. Apply 5% Benzoyl Peroxide all over the face in a thin layer. Allow to dry before touching or rubbing with anything, as it will ruin towels and clothes.

There are many different brands of Benzoyl Peroxide products. Check the active ingredient list. Most come in 10% formulas because apparently Americans will only buy things that are Maximum Strength. But 10% is far too drying and irritating for most people, so try to find a 5% formula if you can. Ones to look for: Oxy Standard, Neutrogena On the Spot, Paula's Choice 2.5% BP, Paula's Choice 5% BP, Generic Brands.

3. Moisturize if necessary with an oil-free moisturizer. I usually skip this step unless my face is drying out. Sometimes I'll just do a plain honey mask if I have the time. Other good moisturizers: Wet 'n' Wild Fresh Face Oil-Free Moisturizer, Olay Moisture Therapy Cream for Sensitive Skin, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer.

Morning Routine:
1. Wash with gentle cleanser. (Summer: Basis Gel Cleanser; Winter: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser)

2. Apply chemical exfoliant like AHA Souffle or another lotion with glycolic acid. Allow to dry completely before applying anything else.

3. Apply moisturizer with sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen.

What is all of this for? This routine is for someone with blemish-prone skin. If you have clear skin, you may not need the benzoyl peroxide but you may wish to use the AHA.

Gentle cleansers are necessary because you don't want to upset the balance of your skin or use harsh detergents that are found in many cleansers. Benzoyl Peroxide penetrates the skin and hair follicle and kills the bacteria that cause acne. It's better to use it all over the face to prevent acne rather than to use it as a spot treatment as often marketed. To get rid of the dead skin that's created it's necessary to use an exfoliant. I prefer the chemical variety because they are gentle and thorough, as opposed to physical exfoliants that are gritty and harsh. AHA is a great chemical exfoliant and it makes you skin look renewed, which is essentially what it's doing. For a gentle physical exfoliant, mix baking soda or brown sugar with your cleanser.

Sometimes using all of this stuff will cause your skin to start reacting by drying out or getting reddish or feeling funny. If this happens, just try to figure out what's causing the irritation and back off on that step for a little while...maybe do it every few days instead of every day. Most of the time, it will be the Benzoyl Peroxide that causes irritation.

It's best to get your routine down and stick to will take a few weeks for your skin to calm down but once you start doing this all the time, your skin will be radiant. Don't stop doing these steps once your skin is clear...keep it up and you won't be sorry. Fuck ProActiv® Solution.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winnie the Pooh was onto something.

I am here to convince you that honey is the ultimate skin and hair care product you will ever own.

Yes, honey. I prefer raw, unfiltered honey (look in the organic section of food stores) but sometimes I like the kind in the plastic bear just as well.

There are so many things you can do with honey, it ain't even funny. I'll just tell you a few of my faves here.

  1. Plain, as a face mask: Honey is a perfect moisturizer for oily skin with dry patches. With a slightly damp face, rub honey on your skin, and leave it on 30-45 minutes before rinsing. If you put it on 15 minutes before showering, you can rinse by the time you are done showering. It's going to feel icky, and maybe stinky, but it is well worth it! It will leave your face glowing and moisturized. It also reduces pore size and helps eliminate black heads. The best part: pimples go down in it's presence!
  2. Mixed, as a face mask: Try mixing 1 part honey to 2 parts brown sugar for a wonderful exfoliating mask. Replace the brown sugar with baking soda for another version. Also, mix honey with some crushed aspirin and plain yogurt for a great acne mask. (The honey is a natural antiseptic/antibacterial agent and moisturizer; the aspirin reduces redness and inflammation; the yogurt is a gentle exfoliant.)
  3. Mixed with shampoo: Mix 1 part honey to 2 parts shampoo to make even the cheapest shampoo luxurious. Honey will combat dandruff and dry/itchy scalp. It also moisturizes hair and leaves it softer and smoother.
  4. Topically, to heal wounds: Apply to burns, cuts, and irritated skin. Honey reacts with skin's fluids to disinfect without harming surrounding skin. Whether, it's wind burn, a bad chemical peel, or just a bad cut, honey will help heal the wound gently and quickly.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If honey isn't part of your beauty regimen, you need to give it a try. As with any product, if your skin reacts badly, stop using it. Even natural ingredients can cause a reaction in some people.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Red Velvet Cake

I normally post about drugstore products exclusively, as I'm not a fan of paying high prices and frankly, if it's not at Target I don't really need it. But I am making a rare exception here.

Run, don't walk, to get Philosophy's newest 3-in-1 scent, Red Velvet Cake. I almost passed out in the shower; it was that good.

:: Philosophy 3-in-1 Red Velvet Cake ::

Good things:
3-in-1. You can use it as a shampoo, shower gel, or bubble bath.
The scent is indescribably good. In the bottle it just smells like chocolate and cherries. In the shower, oh my god, it smells like somebody opened up a French bakery and started massaging me with world-class baked goods.
As a shower gel, it cleans but doesn't leave you feeling dry and violated, like some soaps do. Very skin-friendly.
Lathers extremely well.
The scent lingers longer than most shower gels do, which is nice. But it's not so strong that it would be noticeable by anyone who's not sniffing you directly, which is also nice.

Bad things:
A tad expensive at $16 for 16 fl. oz.
Not easy to find if you don't live near a Sephora or something. I bought it on with a coupon.
The red looks a little like blood when you put it on a light wash cloth, but I kind of like that.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Marshmallows Gone Sexy

I like to think that I've outgrown the desire to smell like food. Scents like cookies and fruit were the hallmark of my teens and early twenties. But I was too curious to resist when I saw that Calgon's Marshmallow line for Holiday 2006 was getting such rave reviews from ladies over on MUA. Some are seriously buying it by the caseful.

This scent is highly erotic and addictive. If you can find a set on sale (try Wal-Mart, Target, or CVS), pick it up. Ebay has them too. Not sure when this will be out again.

:: Calgon Marshmallow Gift Set ::

Good things:
Try this if you are a vanilla lover.
It's nice but not sickly sweet.
Faint hint of cocoa.
Slight sparkle/shimmer.
Only $8.99 for body mist, lotion, and lip gloss.

Bad things:
Scent doesn't last all day.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Red Lipstick

Every girl needs a tube of red lipstick that looks drop-dead gorgeous on her. I ask you, what's your favorite red lipstick? Post a comment, and be sure to mention your coloring (hair/skin color) so that others can benefit from these recommendations.

Me? My current fave is New York Color Ultra Moist LipWear in Retro Red. I have a fair, somewhat rosy complexion and reddish brown hair.

Monday, January 8, 2007

She's baaaaaaaaaack

Well kids, I've been gone a long time. And I've missed you. Tons. But, I've had a lot of time on my hands to get bored and make late-night runs to buy new makeup, which means I have tons of things to blog about in the coming weeks. So all that time apart will have done us good.

For some reason lately I've been obsessed with concealer. I've never been one to use it, as I never quite found it necessary. I've always concealed blemishes using foundation and a small brush or Q-Tip. But a new day has dawned. I am now completely sold on the idea of using concealer to "highlight" your face. You apply concealer to the shadowy parts of your face (see photo) and it makes you look dewy and glowy and like someone could eat your face like a peach!

So, on the search for a great new concealer, I decided on L'Oreal's True Match Concealer because of the good reviews it's gotten, and also because I loved the L'Oreal Air Wear but they discontinued it. Because CVS had a BOGO on L'Oreal face products, I picked up the True Match Blush as well.

I never wear blush. Ever. I've always had rosy fact "Rosy Cheeks" was my nickname at the nursing home where I worked in high school. So the thought of adding color to cheeks that were already chubby and red was outside of my reality. But for some reason, on this day, in this CVS, I wanted that blush. I needed it.

I went home and immediately washed my face to redo my makeup (only other addicts will understand this sort of mania). The combination of my new concealer and blush (with my already fabulous foundation and Cornsilk Powder) made me feel so hot and face-forward that I had to be seen by the world. So I drove out to Uni-Mart to buy a magazine from Apu. He dug my face. Believe me.

So here are these two new products I've been raving about. The True Match products come in three different shade areas: Warm, Cool, and Neutral. The color card they give you sucks. Here's a tip: The Warm shades are yellow based, the Cool shades are pink based, and the Neutral shades are a balance between yellow and pink. If you can't see a yellow or a pink undertone to your skin, then you're probably a Neutral like me.

:: L'Oreal True Match Concealer ::
I got this in the lightest Neutral shade. You should definitely get one a little lighter than your foundation if you want to use it as a highlighter.

Good things:
Nice consistency, very blendable and not cakey.
Color is great.
Applicator is a nice brush (as opposed to those cheap spongies) but I prefer to apply it with my foundation brush.

Bad things:
I'm still not convinced this is a holy grail concealer. I'll still be on the search for a better one.
For the price, they should give you more product.

:: L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush ::
I got this in Precious Peach, which is a fabulous peach shade that also is pink enough to look completely natural, not orange at all. The Innocent Flush shade also gets HIGH MARKS from reviewers, so you may want to check that one out. A few days ago I was at my friend's house and I spotted this in her makeup bag. I squealed and said, "I LOVE THAT BLUSH!" and she goes, "I FUCKING KNOW IT'S FANTASTIC!" I love when two people unknowingly love the same thing.

Good things:
Holy grail status, for me.
Not super-pigmented, so it's easy to apply without looking fake, but it also shows up in one-to-two sweeps.
Makes you look like you're glowing, but without the use of shimmer. I HATE shimmer. It makes you look like a 13-year-old whore.
Nice packaging, large surface area for optimal brush-use.
There's magic in it. I swear.

Bad things:
Not a single thing. Worth every penny.