Friday, January 31, 2014

Product Review: Tis' the Season to beTan!!

I don't know about you but I am super white!!!

Winter sucks.  I get so paley pale during the winter I feel like I become translucent I am so fair.  For the past 3 years I have steered clear of tanning beds.  They work like a charm and are extremely relaxing however melanoma isn't worth the risk.

So I started to explore more and more fake tanning solutions.  Here are 3/4 that I wanted to review for a couple different reasons: good, bad, and ugly!!!

First let's start with the ugly: L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee.  Now this is a gradual self tanner and went on okay.  I wasn't too streaky with it.  The smell though was terrible.  It smells like an old man's cologne.  And that smell sticks to you.  It doesn't fade away quickly after it is applied.  As far as clean-up, as long as I washed my hands really well I was fine.  The worst part about this self-tanner was how it STUNG MY FACE!!  I don't know if it was the AHAs or what, but I was using this around the time that I was pregnant.  I was fine until I got pregnant and then it started to sting my face when I used it.  Boo to a stinking face.

Second we have the Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Face Moisturizer.  This is also a gradual self tanner for the face.  It feels exactly the same as the formula for the body so I am not sure if it is worth buying a different product.  It bought the fair to medium for my face.  It did add a nice tone and warmed me up.  There weren't any ugly dark spots were it might have clung to my dry skin.  However I did break-out with this formula.  I have started to try it again in conjunction with my new skincare routine and I will report back.  If you have oily skin I would not recommend this product.  My skin has changed to more normal - combination since I had my son so I am giving it a second look.  I will report my findings in a blog to come.

Third we have the body version of the Jergens Natual Glow.  For my body I used the Medium to Tan in order to get a bit more color.  I don't mind going bold on the body.  This lotion feels nice and does moisturize well.  The tanner though is very streaky.  It is a gradual tan, but you really need to make sure you exfoliate well.  But it does take the edge off nicely, I would just use it every other day and make sure yours knees, ankles and elbows are nicely exfoliated.  As far as clean up, even with a good wash I feel like I have stained nails.  I have to get in with a manicure brush to make sure it gets cleaned out or I will end up with tan nails.

Finally we have the winner.  The best self-tanner that I have used is the St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse.  Now this is NOT a gradual tanner.  This is the real deal when we think of instant self-tanner.  It is the knock off version of the St. Tropez tanner and it does an amazing job.  It is a light mousse that goes on easily and rubs in easily.  You can see everywhere you are putting it so it is easy NOT to miss an area.  It does take about 10-15 minutes to dry so you need to make sure you put in on when you have time to walk around naked because it will transfer and it will stain.  My face didn't break out with this.  You do need to exfoliate well because it will cling to those dry areas like white on rice.  As far as clean up is concerned, you need to spend that 15 minutes of dry time working on your hands to make sure they are clean because it is such a thin formula, it gets into those nails and cuticles so easily.  The big challenge with this product is distribution.  I don't know where you can find it in the states.  I order it off of Amazon and it comes from the UK.  There is a wait, but the product isn't too expensive compared to other high end ones ie. St. Tropez.

Hope this helps to keep you from the Curse of the Pasty Face!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Product Review: Avon Nail Splatter


Nail art is rapidly becoming more and more popular.  There are all kinds of fun tools available as well.  One new product on the market makes your nails look as those you have splatter them with paint.  Avon is one of the companies launching this new product and I love it.

Looks great with a color underneath, or on top of bare nails.  I like on the on top of bare nails look for some reason.

Tips: put on a top coat.  The splatter truly is chunks of some kind of plastic.  With a top coat the splatter chunks don't break off as easily.

What do you think?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tip: Being Wonderwoman

Ever wonder "How does she do it?"

Don't we all know those people who just seem to always be on top of things?  They just always seem to have 100 balls in the air and never seem to drop them?

They are the ones that always send gifts out on time, or write notes to friends.  I strive to be the person and I have a ways to go, but this is what helps.  GET A NOTEBOOK!!

The best thing I can recommend to anyone trying to keep a million things going is to write any and everything down.  This takes off a lot of pressure to remember every detail. 

I think we have all had that time when we thought of something genius, but forgot about it before we got home to tell our husband or wife.  The best way to avoid missing those opportunities is to write it down.

Put together a list of things you would like to accomplish through out the week and assign them to days.  One or two task on top of your job is reasonable.  Then check them off as you achieve them.  Simple as that.  It does two things for you: 1.) keeps you on track with your To Do List 2.) gives a sense of gratification when you get to cross out a task done and completed.

One of the best things I have received from this little tip, is when I don't get a task done on a certain day, that task doesn't just disappear into the ether.  I see that I didn't complete something and I just move it to the next day or to the weekend.

This whole process can be done on a calendar online or on your phone.  However, there isn't anything as gratifying as getting to take your pen and cross off an entire list of Saturday chores with time to spare!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY: Cabinet Project

Think you are stuck with an ugly cabinet because you have not doe?  Think again.

In my master bedroom, well throughout our new house, we have some ugly cabinets.  They were probably hot when they were built, but that was in the 70's.  I don't want to replace the cabinet just yet.  But I am tired of the tired looking stain on the cabinets.  So to give it a face lift, I re-stained the cabinets with a darker stain.  You could do any stain, or paint and you would only need to follow the same steps but just use your preference in color.  Here are the before, after and steps that I followed for the quick easy fix:

Step one:  Identify the ugliness!!

Step two: Take off the doors and hardware (no pics of this one, kinda self explanatory)

Step three: Sand away the ugliness.  Best to use an orbital hand sander.  You can do it by hand, but it will take a lot of elbow grease and time.  Start with sand paper at 80 grit.  At this stage you can sand in any direction.  That will take off the old finish.  Work up to 150 next (start sanding with the grain).  If you want your stain to be dark, end here.  The wood will be more open to the stain.  If you want a lighter stain, work them up to 220.

Step four: Clean & stain.  Clean off all dusk with acetone and a fine cloth.  This will get even the smallest particles up as well as dry quickly.  If you don't have acetone, use Windex or a product like it.  Then add the stain.  Use a sponge for a soft cloth for this as well.  Run in the direction of the grain as well.  This will help the stain go on evenly.  If you have excess on your wood, wipe off.  Left dry for at least 8 hours.  If it isn't dark enough, add another coat until you reach the desired color.  You have finish with polyurethane for added protection.  For a bathroom, which has a lot of moisture, this is a good idea.

Step five: Re-assemble and enjoy!!

 Now you can do whatever you want with the hardware.  Re-use old, buy new.  I didn't want to buy anything new because I wanted to keep this project very cheap.  But I didn't want the old gold hardware either.  I didn't have the exact paint that I wanted either, so I just took some black paint and sponged it over the hardware.  This changed the tone and made it look a little warn.

Friday, January 10, 2014

DIY: Winter Face Scrub

Re-hashing and oldie but a goodie!!

I have blogged about homemade sugar scrubs before but this is a little different.  It have been extremely dry here in Portland and my skin has been terrible.  I have had lots of break outs and extremely dry patches.  My normal routine just isn't cutting it in this weather.  So to get all the dead skin away and throw a ton of moisture on my skin I used by body sugar scrub for my face.

Here is the twist & how too: 

You will need sugar and extra virgin olive oil.  I know it seems crazy to put oil on your face.  But olive oil is anti-bacterial and healing so it will treat your face right.  Well it sure did for mine.

So you just mix these two ingredients together until it gets to be a consistency that you can rub onto your face and away you go.  I do this in the shower in the morning and then use my Noxema face wash afterwards.  You might not have to wash it off if you aren't going to put makeup on.  But if you were makeup, this on your skin will just melt you makeup away.

Then BOOM wonderfully moisturized skin and is clear. 

I tested this a couple weeks on and a couple weeks off to see if this was the reason my skin cleared up so nicely and it definitely was the reason.  My skin looks so smooth and clear when I use this. 

Since the sugar is so abrasive I use it two days in a row (usually Monday and Tuesday).  My skin looks great until the weekend!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Product Review: 2013 Most Used Products

Gotta be fair!!!

So yesterday I did a 2013 worst products purchased and I never thought of doing a best products since I blog about the products that I like throughout the year.  But them I got to thinking, those products that I blog about aren't always my everyday products.  There are just a handful of things that I use absolutely everyday I wear makeup.  They are the fun, colorful, sexy products that we think about when we look on a YouTube or on Google.  But they are the good old reliables.

So this is what I used without fail throughout 2013:

These are the things that live on my vanity and rightfully so:

Costco Baby Wipes:

I think I have blogged about these before but I take off my make-up at night with these as well as do a light cleaning on my brushes as I use them every morning.  This is vital for clean brushes and clean skin.

Revlon Color Stay Quads:

I actually don't use this for my eyeshadow so much.  It is awfully grey and I already have super cool skin and need some warming up.  However, I use the heck out of this for my eyebrows.  My hair is deep dark ashy brown and it is so hard to find an ashy brown eyebrow palette.  It is also crazy hard to find one that is dark enough.  My hair is next to black and if I use something super warm and light, it just looks funny.  This is perfect.  I use the dark color (bottom left) of the back of my browns for definition and the lighter color (top right)from the front of my brows for definition without looking drawn on.  It is a bummer that I don't really have a use for the other two colors.  The base color is fine, I just don't use it often.  The warm brown isn't a color that I wear, but the palette is totally worth it!

Elf High Definition Powder:

I am about to hit the bottom of the tin on this one.  It is a great finishing powder.  It is super fine and has no flashback in pictures.  Be aware, you can put too much on easily and start to look ashy, but other than that it is steller!

L'Oreal Double Extend Tubes:

Now I know I have never blogged about this one and I use it everytime I put on mascara.  I don't use this for my upper lashes really.  I don't feel like I get the length that I want.  I do however use it for my bottom lashes.  A bit overkill maybe, but putting mascara on your lower lashes really helps to open small eyes.  However, my under eyes get oily throughout the day so I need something that is waterproof.  Actual waterproof mascara totally sucks.  It don't act any different that regular mascara on my bottom lashes.  However, tubing mascara is crazy good for this and I love it.  No transfer at all!!!  Oh and I don't use the primer, I just use the color straight from the wand.

Revlon Color Stay Concealer:

Stellar concealer.  I have two shades for different areas of my face.  I have a lighter shade to cover any blemishes that I might have or any redness I want to conceal.  Then I have a darker shade for my under eye.  This concealer is a liquid concealer and it works great if applied with your fingers or with a brush.  It sets so if you have dry skin no need to powder.  I have oily skin so I do still like to powder it even though it sets.  If I do that, it covers all day no touch ups!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Worst Products 2013


There is nothing clever about this post.  These are some products & brands that I have tried over the past year and these products are less than impressive.  You will see the theme, all inexpensive brands.  I am always tempted by cheap brands.  There are those jems like Wet n' Wild and the hit and miss brands like NYC and E.L.F.  

The couple of products below are just the stand out failures that I thought I would share:

So from one of my new favorite brands, Wet n Wild, I have the Mega Liner Liquid Liner.  I was totally disappointed with the color pay off and how "liquidy" it was.  You want your liquid liner to be a liquid, but this felt runny to me.  Also, I have to use multiple layers to actually make the color opaque.  It would be better to wet one of their shadows to make a great liner.  I got it in the color 864 Plum.

Second up from Wet n Wild really isn't a critique on the quality of the product, but more of a critique on the color representations.  I have two examples.  Their Creme' Lip Liner and their Perfect Pair Lip Wand.  I have used the Creme' Liner a quite a bit and it is a great product, but I have the color Berry Red 717 and it really isn't a berry color.  It is far more of a brick red. This line has been re-branded as the Color Icon Liner.  While the color names are different, they look exactly the same so I would base my color selection off of the actual pencil color and I would only purchase in person, not online. 

The Perfect Pair Wand is a newer product to me.  Seams like a nice product, but I got the color 123 Passion Plum but it doesn't look anything like the color representation on the cap.  Still seems to be a color that I can use.  I will get back to you on that.

Next brand is Covergirl.  This brand has been coming out with better products than my childhood and it still is an affordable brand but this is a huge failure.  I actually didn't buy this product, my mom gave it to me.  How nice you might think, NOPE.  The product didn't work for her so she thought I could give it a try.  Didn't work for me either.  So this product was rejected on two fronts, NanaLove & SarahDoza.  The Clump Crusher definitely doesn't clump, but it is because the formula is so thin you can't build it on your lashes at all.  The wand is a rubber wand and I usually don't mind rubber wands, but since this is so thin, I feel like it stabbed my eyes more than combed my lashes.  Big miss for me.
Clump Crusher Extensions LashBlast Mascara

Now to what I would consider an all over fail and/or a brand that is really for that 12 year old who is first buying make-up: City Color.  The products that I have used are already off of the website.  It seems to me that it is a super trendy brand.  They have very compelling packaging which is awesome but there seems to be more effort in getting an impulse buy that creating a life long client.

Maybeelline The Falsies Volume Express Flared.  No flare, need I say more.

I will wrap up with a newer brand to me: Jesse's Girl.  This seems to be a brand targeted towards young girls, but I have tried a couple of their things.  The Liquid Glass lip gloss in Mellow Drama didn't work for me.  It was the first time that I had a lip gloss bleed out of my lip line.  I even had lip liner on.

Mellow Drama

But since this is the first time that I have talked about this brand, I thought I would throw in a couple things that I like about them: Glow Stick Lip Gloss in Red Dawn & Pure Pigment Eye Dust in Sparkling Gold

Red DawnSparkle Gold

The lip gloss is nice.  Not too sticky and makes my natural rosy lip color a bit more cool toned.  The gold "pigment" is not like a pigment at all.  But it is an awesome gold glitter!!

Now this is my take on all these brands & products.  Some of it might work for you but if you are on the fence with any of these, I would pass on the purchase.