Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: Pureology Antifade Complex Essential Repair Split End Treatment

We all know that growing hair that is long and strong is a constant battle. The main offender: split ends. You don't want to cut your hair because you want it to be long, but if you don't visit the salon every 12 weeks split ends will crawl up your hair shaft so far that you will have to get more cut off than you wanted. So split end repair treatments are all the rage in the cosmetic industry. They promise to repair your split ends until you have time to visit the salon. Now the question is: do they actually work?

Description of the Product

 Cost: $25-$35

Pureology products protect hair color and are sulfate-free (as are most salon brand products). I also believe that most, if not all, of their products are vegan (don't hold me to this statement though). The Essential Repair Split End Treatment is made to repair split ends while also making hair shiny and soft.

Using the Product

You don't have to use this product all the time. From my impression, you should use it when you start to notice split ends and are in need of a haircut. Therefor it should be useful for when you are trying to grow your hair out. Apply to the ends of your hair when it is wet. No need to apply it to your roots. That's it!

Review of the Product

Unfortunately, I found this product to be a waste of money. I didn't have less split ends and my hair wasn't softer or shinier. In fact, it left my hair a little stiff and heavy. I've used it many times all with the same result. If anyone has used the Nexxus Brand equivalent of this product, which is advertised on TV, I would love to hear your experience.

You know what gets rid of split ends? Taking care of your hair! Don't wash it every day, don't use too much heat, and for god sakes put down the hairspray. Maybe I'll write a post about proper hair care....

Recommend (y/n): No

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher

Sorry I have been AWOL for a while! I've been pretty busy trying to find a full-time job, so I've been writing more cover letters than blog posts.  I am back and this time I'll be talking about my quest for smaller pores! As I said when I reviewed the Biore Pore Strips, I truly believe that pore size is genetic, but keeping your pores clear will help them appear smaller! So in the world of photo-shop where celebrities don't even have pores (it's crazy, are they aliens?) we must all try our best to have skin that is fit for the cover of Cosmo.

Description of the Product

Cost: $47 for 1 oz.

Estee Lauder's Idealist is meant as a quick fix as well a long-term solution to reducing pore size and controlling oily skin. They describe it as "this exclusive complex of multi-hydroxy acids retextures skin to dramatically improve smoothness, clarity and radiance--in just one day". Multi-hydroxy acids usually increase skin turnover rate so that your pores don't have the time to become clogged-which eventually makes them appear larger. The product should immediatly make your skin feel smoother and with regular usage should help control oil and increase the rate at which your skin sheds (yummy!).

Using the Product

You should first cleanse your face with your normal cleanser. I've recently switched from an acne-fighting cleanser to a more gentle normal cleanser. Then put Idealist on before your moisturizer. The product is smooth and easy to apply so you shouldn't need to use an excessive amount. I would wait a minute and then apply your normal moisturizer. After this I always apply primer before putting on my makeup. As a reminder, this product is not a makeup primer. It may make your skin feel smooth like a makeup primer, but it is not meant to do the same job of holding your make up in place. Using both Idealist and a makeup primer will make your skin feel extra smooth!

Review of the Product

I've only been using this product for two weeks now but I think it does a great job of smoothing out my skin. In combination with regularly using the Biore Pore Strips I think the pores on my nose definitely look smaller. I've seen other claims that long-term usage really does help with oil control in the T-Zone, but I didn't want to wait 8 weeks to review this product. The only downside of Idealist is the cost. I wouldn't spend the money if you can't normally afford to buy department-store makeup or if  you already have great skin. If you are looking for a solution to large pores and oil-control this is a good product for you! Even better if you can find it in a sample (as I did...Thanks Mom!).

Recommend: Yes if you need pore and oil control, No if you have great skin already.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Great Way to Store Your Cosmetics: Make-up Magnet Board

Found this on another site today and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! When I get some time and money for supplies (which won't cost much) I totally want to make one of these things. You can find instructions here.

**Photo is accredited to laurathoughts81.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: OPI Shatter Nail Polish

I have a confession: I don't handle stress well. More specifically, my body doesn't handle stress well. Besides removing myself from stressful situations and avoiding dramatic friends, I have to do little things to de-stress before it starts to affect my life in major ways. Since I can't afford weekly massages or acupuncture, I get pedicures! This week I was feeling a little adventurous and asked for a design and the nail technician suggested crackle nail polish. I'm beyond excited about this product so I'll share my experience with you.

Description of the Product

Cost: $5-8
OPI Shatter Nail Polish should be applied on top of another nail polish color of your choice. As it dries, the nail polish creates a crackled pattern. The bottom color will show through the cracks of the crackle nail polish. 

Applying the Product

My nail technician applied a based coat plus two coats of bright pink/red nail color that I picked out. She then waited for it to dry. She then applied the white shatter polish and blew on the polish so it would dry and shatter quickly. Then she applied a top coat.

Review of the Product

I think this stuff looks pretty cool and it has kept up well so far. My only regret is that I put a reddish color on bottom with white on top.  I used to do ballet so this combination reminds me of bloody toenails; next time I'll do a different color combination. I'll keep using this crackle nail polish until I get sick of it because I think it's that cool. While I wouldn't suggest wearing it on your fingernails to work, you can always be a little more adventurous with your toes! So go out and get some OPI Shatter nail polish.

Recommend (y/n): Yes

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Lancome Exfoliance Confort

I love exfoliating my skin! It's one of the most important steps in skin care as it removes dead skin cells to prevent acne and it also opens up your pores so skin-care products, such as sunscreen and moisturizer, can be better absorbed.

Description of the Product
Cost: $25

Lancome's Exfoliance Confort is made with tiny micro-beads to exfoliate your skin without drying it out. The micro-beads are very small and not rough so they won't tear your skin. Other exfoliators, such as St. Ives, are made with rough particles that will tear the skin instead of gently sloughing it off. This can result in over-drying and then the skin overcompensating with oil, which eventually causes breakouts!

Using the Product

After cleansing, gently rub the exfoliater on your face in small circles. Rinse off with lukewarm (not hot) water and dry with a soft towel.

Review of the Product

While I currently can't afford the product, I have used it in the past and it is my favorite exfoliater. I love how the micro-beads are so small, gentle, and effective. To provide a construction-related example, it's kind of how fine-grain sandpaper actually does a better job than large-grain sandpaper. The only downside of this product is the price...but if you can swing it, it is worth it. This product will smooth your skin without damaging it. I exfoliate 1-2 times a week, but it depends on your skin-type and skin care regime.

Recommend (y/n): Yes

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Biore Pore Strips

Description of the Product

Cost: $8 for 14 strips

Pore strips: some people love them, some people don't see the point. Pore strips are meant to clear your clogged pores from blackheads, dead skin cells, and oil all at one time. Biore Pore Strips are the most popular brand of pore strips on the market and easiest to find in your local drug store.

Using the Product

1) Cleanse your skin. You can exfoliate your skin beforehand if you wish.
2) Wet the skin on your nose (or forhead if you are using the face strips). Your skin needs to be very wet for the strip to work.
3) Spread the strip on your nose and press down. Don't leave any air bubbles.
4) Wait 15 minutes. The strip will be hard and stiff when it's ready to be pulled off.
5) Pull off slowly. It may hurt a little, but shouldn't hurt a lot. If it does, wet the strip lightly.
6) Look at all the gross stuff that was clogging your pores!!!

Review of the Product

These strips have been effective for removing blackheads from my pores, or at least that's what I gather from all of the material stuck on my pore strip after the entire process. In all seriousness, I can see that my pores are now clear. Using the product doesn't prevent new blackheads from forming-only proper cleansing and exfoliation can do that. While I don't think that over time they make your pores look smaller, I do think that they are great for a rapid clearing of blackheads. In fact, I'm pretty convinced that pore size is genetic and there is probably nothing you can do about it, but that may be left up to another product review...

Even if you don't need serious blackhead patrol the strips are pretty fun to try at least once.

Recommend (y/n): Yes, unless you have extremely sensitive skin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Best Moisturizers For Every Occasion

Why am I an expert on moisturizers? Well let me tell you. Since I was a kid I had eczema, which is an inflammatory skin disease. While everyone's eczema is different, I had these itchy red bumps on my thighs, knees, and elbows. In elementary school most kids assumed I had poison ivy all the time and wouldn't believe me when I told them different. Overall the whole experience was horrible but I mostly grew out of it (which most people do), but it comes back if I don't use the right body wash or moisturize every single day. Therefor, I have tried and tested a lot of moisturizers on the market and I'm going to share my extensive knowledge in a few short reviews!

For every day...

Jergens Naturals Moisturizer

Simply put, I love this stuff because it does what you need it to do for an every day moisturizer. It moisturizes skin for 24 hours (or until your next shower, which I hope is in 24 hours), it isn't too runny or too thick when applying, and it has a light scent that won't interfere with your perfume. I also love it because it's made of 93% naturally derived ingredients and doesn't use parabens. I've talked about parabens before, but they are preservatives used in cosmetic products that are highly linked to certain types of cancer. Sometimes when you are using all-organic or all-natural products they don't perform as well as traditional cosmetic products so this is a nice compromise.

For the all-natural girl....

Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Lotion

All natural and lasts for 24 hours. While I don't think this goes on as smooth as other lotions, it smells nice and moisturizes properly. You can buy it in multiple sizes (small for travel, big if you use it every day). They also sell fragrance-free moisturizers if you don't like this particular smell.

If you want to smell yummy...

The Body Shop Body Butter

Creamy and nicely scented I love this stuff. It's thick and creamy but absorbs quickly and doesn't make you feel sticky. With over 20 scents ranging from Olive to Hemp to Blueberry, you can easily find something for you. Almost all of the scents are so delicious that you want to eat the body butter instead of spreading it on your skin. Unfortunately, it usually runs around $16 a container and it can go quickly. If you want to try out new scents you can usually buy the smaller containers at 2 for $10.

For really dry skin....

Eucerin Original Moisturizing Lotion

Every doctor I've ever seen for my eczema has recommended using Eucerin lotion every day, immediately after I shower. This stuff is super thick but it will repair your skin until you can get it back to normal and can use other daily lotions. Eucerin makes other formulas which may not be as thick, so keep this brand in mind when your skin needs serious repair.