Monday, April 25, 2011

You Asked: Sally Hansen Salon Effects-Real Nail Polish Strips

I've always been horrible (and I mean horrible) at painting my own nails. I have shaky hands and I'm extremely right-handed, so using my left hand to paint is a disaster. Furthermore, polish never sticks to my nails for long, even when I pay for a manicure. One of you asked me to review this product, so i thought it would be a good opportunity to see if these are a good option for my polish-challenged nails.

Description of the Product

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips are made of real nail polish and are made to stay on your nails for up to ten days. While they look like stickers, they have to be removed with nail polish remover. They come with detailed and easy to understand instructions. I bought them in Frock Star color. The benefit of these strips....

1) You can look like you've had a manicure without going to the nail salon
2) No dry time! So you don't have to worry about smudges
3) For those of you with shaky hands, you won't have any nail polish to clean off of your skin after applying these strips.

Applying the Product

First you can use the included cuticle stick to push back your cuticles. I would suggest soaking your hands in warm water first to get the best result. Then clean your nails with nail polish remover to remove any excess dirt or oil. Then to actually apply the nails...

1) select the correct size strip for each nail
2) peel off the protective film
3) detach the polish strip from the backing
4) press on to the nail and file off the excess

Review of the Product

I was pleasantly surprised with these nail polish strips! I had no idea how they would work and I hadn't even heard of them until recently. They were a little difficult to apply, but once I got the hang of it the process went a little quicker. I didn't have any problem with the strips tearing. They look good and they have stayed on for 2 days without any chips (seriously, my nails usually chip within 24 hours). The benefit is that I get a smooth line of polish whereas normally I would have a lot to clean up because I'm not good at painting my nails. The designs are also fun and playful without looking cheap. I would say that the downside is that they are a little pricey ($10) so I don't think I will purchase them in a plain color, but I will definitely be buying more of the patterns in the future.

Recommend (y/n): Yes

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade

Today the hot and humid weather rolled into the DC Metro area. While it probably won't stick around permanently with some cold weather surely to return again before summer, a girl should always be prepared for hair disasters.

Description of the Product

Aveda's Anti-Humectant Pomade is a styling pomade produced to protect hair against frizz and flyaways caused by humidity and other weather anomalies. This is some serious stuff that isn't made for people with a little frizz. We are talking about curly haired, bushy tailed, I-Might-Be-Mistaken-For-A-Wild-Animal kind of frizz. 

Cost: $19.00

Applying the Product

This product is thick so it should be used sparingly. Although the directions say that you can use it before or after styling, I always use it after. In my previous review, I talk about Bumble and Bumble's Straight, which I use when wet. On really hot and humid days I will apply this product after I am finished straightening my hair. Take a little pomade, rub it between your hands, and apply to hair from roots to tip . Do not start at your roots! You will look like you didn't wash your hair. Use as much pomade as you think necessary for how frizzy your hair is, how curly it is, and weather conditions.

Review of the Product

While this product is pretty heavy duty and can weigh down hair, it really works. It is the only thing that will keep my hair straight on a hot and humid (and I mean really humid) day. Besides controlling frizz, it keeps my straight style. I would recommend it to anyone with thick or unruly hair. I would not recommend this product for anyone with fine or limp hair, as it is a heavy pomade rather then a light cream or serum. Although the directions say that it can be used on curly hair I will admit that I have never tried this. On humid days I just give up on wearing my hair curly, and if I do I will put it up. My sister on the other hand does use this to style her curly hair and she likes it. 

Recommend (y/n): Depends. Yes if you have frizzy unruly hair that is affected by the humidity, No if you are looking for light frizz-control.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Covergirl Wetslicks Amazemint Gloss

Description of the Product

Covergirl's Wetslicks Amazement Gloss is meant to go beyond the ordinary lip gloss. Covergirl advertises that it will actually brighten your smile and freshen your breath while it makes your lips shiny, but not sticky. Covergirl achieves these goals by adding Crest peppermint oil to the formula

Applying the Product

Applying this product is not too difficult...use it like you would any other lipgloss. I purchased it in the "No Care Bare" shade as a nude lip color to compliment a smoky eye.

Review of the Product

Sadly, I was disappointed with the product. I purchased it mostly for the nude shade rather then the extra benefits of whitening my smile etc...There isn't much color saturation to the gloss so it didn't give me the desired shade of nude. Furthermore, I dislike lip glosses that claim to freshen your breathe. Like others, this one was overly sweet and the gloss was indeed sticky. I don't think it made my teeth brighter either. This gloss is a no-go.

Recommend (y/n): NO

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quick Update

Hi All,

I normally would like to aim for 2-3 posts a week, but obviously that hasn't happened this week. I've been sick this week and haven't been able to get anything productive done. I should be able to complete another product review this evening! So please check back later tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Covergirl Outlast Lipstain

Description of the Product
Covergirl's Outlast Lip Stain, which is part of Covergirl's Outlast Collection, is water-based and easy to apply. This Lip Stain is the lighter version of their other Outlast products, such as the Outlast All Day Lip Color which is meant to last up to 12 hours. The lip stain will last from one hour to a couple of hours, and you can put chap stick or gloss on top of it to add a little shine. 

Applying the Product

This product is easy to apply because it is shaped like a pen or marker. It is kind of like drawing on your lips with a sharpie. This should be the base product on your lips, and will not work if it is applied on top of gloss or lip balm. You can add either clear gloss on top of it after application to increase shine, or use a similar color gloss to increase saturation of the color. 

Note: Avoid using lip stains if you have chapped or dry lips. It will make the problem worse, so get your lips healthy before using this product!

Review of the Product

This stuff is awesome! I use the Everbloom Kiss shade because it's bright pink. Whenever my lips get sunburnt (which isn't good!) they become a great shade of sun-kissed pink, like I was sucking on a cherry popsicle; this lip stain gives the same color to my lips. I just throw on some lip balm afterwards and I'm ready to go. I can't use all day lip stains because of the shape of my lips, but this stain is light enough that it works for me and lasts for 2-3 hours then fades slowly. 

Recommend (y/n): YES

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Asked: Bumble and Bumble Straight

You asked for Bumble and Bumble products, which luckily I already use, so this week I will be reviewing Bumble and Bumble Straight.

Description of the Product

Cost: $20-$26

Bumble and Bumble's Straight is a silicone product that is meant to help straighten hair during the blow-out process; it also protects your hair from heat and humidity when your hair is dry. It is light and easily integrated into the hair. You can use this product anytime during your styling process. I started using it at the suggestion of my hair stylist in my hometown (Hershey, PA). I love Bumble and Bumble products so much that if I move to a new area and need to find a salon, I only trust salons that carry Bumble and Bumble.

Using the Product

Silicone can be heavy so you don't need to use much of this product for it to be effective. I have a lot of hair and I use less than a dime amount of product. I run it through my hair, starting at the bottom of my head and working my way up to the top, when my hair is completely wet. Try not to get too much product near your roots either because this can cause oiliness and product build-up. I then wait for my hair to air dry a little (usually 30 minutes) and blow out my hair in layers with a large round brush. Finally, I flat-iron my hair to smooth out any frizz.


Bumble and Bumble's motto for this product is "All you need is this, a blow dryer and a brush for the straightest, sleekest style on the street." While this may be true if you are a professional hairstylist and can blow out hair like it's nobody's business, I still need a little help from my flat iron after blow drying. That being said, I love this product and have used it for years. My hair never feels heavy from the product (unless I accidentally use way too much of it) and it does help straighten my hair. It also protects from humidity as much as possible, but if you have curly hair there is only so much you can do to fight the weather! If you need more help fighting frizz you can try products such as Bumble and Bumble Defrizz or Aveda Brillant Anti-Humectant Pomade, which I will review in the future. Overall, I would recommend this product to anyone who needs help in the straightening department.

Recommend (y/n): Yes, but only if you have wavy/curly hair. Straight locks don't need it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You Asked

I want to review products that you want to hear about, so if you have wanted to try a product but want to hear someone else's experience first, please leave a suggestion for products to review in the comments section, on my facebook, or on my twitter.  I will review one of these products a month under the title "You Asked."

Note: Please try to keep your suggestions to fairly inexpensive products. I am finishing up graduate school!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review: Smashbox Photo-Finish Primer Light

I am new to the primer world! As the weather is warming up I will be facing the challenge of trying to get my makeup to stay on in the suffocating D.C. heat and humidity this summer. I hate having to reapply my makeup around 5pm every day if I'm doing something in the evening after work; no one wants to go to happy hour sporting runny eyeliner with most of their foundation melted off. In the past I have used tinted moisturizers in place of foundation during the summer, but they never offer as much coverage as I like or need. So I did what I always do and searched the Internet for summer makeup solutions. Using a foundation primer popped up on my google search results and my research had begun!

Description of the Product:

Primers are meant to create a barrier between your skin and your makeup as well as providing a smooth surface for your makeup to adhere to. For you artists out there, you can think of how you have to prime a canvas before you begin using oil paints. Foundation primers smooth out wrinkles and fill in pores to make them less visible (as a side note, I've seen primers that are meant to smooth out wrinkles and they really do work before your eyes. it's amazing). They also claim to allow you to use less makeup because instead of absorbing into your skin, foundation will sit on top of the primer. The downsides of primers are that they are made of silicone, so this can feel heavy on your skin and even cause breakouts if its not the right product for the right skin-type. Some people also think that primer's aren't "worth the extra step" if you already have smooth skin.

Finding and Trying the Product:

Because I have combination skin, I knew that I would have to look at many primer reviews before choosing the right one. I settled on Smashbox's Photo-Finish Primer Light because it's meant for an oily complexion. It had many positive reviews so I ordered the .5 oz bottle from Amazon. I tried this product last night, before going out to a bar, and today when I went to see the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. I will include the steps for applying primer below. So far, I've been very satisfied with the primer. I could see a noticeable difference after I applied the primer and before I put on my foundation. It filled in the larger pores on my nose and my makeup just looked more professional. All in all, I had a smoother canvas to work with. Furthermore, after taking the metro downtown, walking around D.C., and taking my dog for a walk my makeup hasn't smudged or melted off yet. The product doesn't feel heavy on my skin and the extra time to add the primer to my daily makeup routine is worth it.

Steps for Applying Primer

1) Cleanse your face as normal.
2) Apply your normal moisturizer. I always use a moisturizer with sunblock to prevent sun damage, and so that I don't have to add this step in later on during my routine.
3) Wait 3 minutes, and then apply the foundation primer.
4) Wait 3 minutes, and then apply your foundation as normal. You won't need to use as much foundation as normal with a primer Tip: Always use a cosmetic sponge or brush to apply your foundation. This creates a smoother look and prevents the spread of bacteria from your hands to your face, therefor limiting breakouts. 


While I wouldn't say that this is a miracle product, I think that its a great product for those of you who don't have picture-perfect skin and are looking for that little extra advantage. I've heard that many other people can feel comfortable wearing just primer on those days that they don't want to wear makeup. I also think this primer will be a great solution for anyone looking to keep makeup on in the heat and humidity of summer.

Recommend (y/n): YES

Friday, April 1, 2011

Review: Pureology Anti-Fade Complex Pure Volume Shampoo

I will give a little background on why I buy salon-brand shampoo as opposed to the Herbel Essences that you can buy at your local CVS. As I stated in my first post, I have difficult hair. Genetically speaking, I should have nice hair; my mother has nice hair. But we all know that DNA is a crapshoot and you get what you're given. My hair is wavy and frizzy, but it's also thin and lacking volume. Thankfully I have a lot of it so it doesn't even look thin. My hair is very deceitful. To clarify, I do not have ethnic hair which is more difficult to deal with than my hair, but for an ango-saxon american I have pretty difficult hair. When your hair is long and not strong, you have to use good products so that it does not sustain more damage than it is already prone to. I started using salon-brand shampoos after high-school. Anyone I know who uses them never goes back to other brands. I justify the cost with the fact that I no longer color my hair anymore and only frequent my overpriced salon for trims (we will talk about expensive haircuts at another time). So, on to the product review!

I bought this shampoo at the recommendation of my last hairstylist. I use Pureology's Hydrating Conditioner, and my hair seemed to be getting too used to my other shampoo, so I thought I would try this. We chose the Pure Volume variety because hydrating shampoos can carry some weight and I hate weighing my hair down. Unfortunately, I've been disappointed with this product. For a volumizing shampoo my hair still feels heavy and almost like the shampoo leaves a residue. The only way I can avoid this is to shampoo my hair twice in the shower. For the record, the shampoo bottle does suggest this but I always think that it's a ploy to use the product faster so you have to purchase it again. While this shampoo may work for others, it's just not right for me.

Recommend (y/n): NO

My Beauty Blog

     Ah yes, the quest for beauty in the consumer society. I will admit that I am part of the never-ending search for the right product that will make my skin smoother, eyes brighter, and lips fuller. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people who can roll out of bed, brush my hair, slap on some lipgloss, and run out the door. I have difficult hair and I constantly battle with my skin even though I'm way past puberty. Despite all of this, the truth is that when I look good I feel good so most days I attempt to conquer the not-so-perfect aspects of my appearance. With the ease of the internet I have devoted myself to reading reviews of beauty products before investing in them (because, lets admit it, some of our products cost enough to be considered an investment). You wouldn't want to buy a $60 bottle of foundation without hearing from the majority of its users that it is worth it, would you?

     The other day while searching for a makeup primer, which I have never tried before, I came up with the idea to start this blog on all of the beauty products I use, try, and purchase. For some products, mostly cosmetics, I will be posting before and after pictures. Hopefully my friends, and maybe one day the general public, can benefit from the reviews I give to these products. Occasionally I may be commenting on developments and other articles related to "beauty culture" and body image issues. While you won't hear the juicy details of my love life on this blog, you may be able to make a decision on whether or not you really want to buy that Chanel lip gloss.