Friday, September 28, 2012

Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick in Torch

Revlon has finally disappointed me you guys.

Today I'm reviewing the Smoky Shadow Stick in Torch. I purchased this one because it looked to be the most wearable of the bunch. I love the idea in theory but knew it would be hard to beat my love for the Color Tattoo cream shadows.

The idea is that you use the chubbier, light color on your lid and browbone and the pointier, dark color on your crease and lower lashline. An all-in-one cream shadow stick. Unfortunately, as soon as I opened mine the brown fell out of the tube and was broken inside. Boo.

I put it back in the tube and made it work so that I could review it. I wore mine a little differently than the directions. For me, the light shade was too light for me to wear alone on my lid. It just felt too soft. I applied the brown all over my lid and up into my crease and then used the champagne color on my browbone and inner corner. For as soft/slick as it feels, this product was difficult to blend and most of the color came off on my finger resulting in a pretty light, natural eye look. After a few hours of wear, I did have some creasing but it stayed on the whole day.

applied with no primer, after 7 hours of wear
On the whole, I don't think I would repurchase this item. I feel like I can get better results with other products. If you want awesome cream shadows, I can't say enough about the Maybelline Color Tattoo ones or also MAC paint pots. I have yet to find something comparable to either. I do like the idea of a shadow stick, but I feel like the formulation it requires to put it in stick form makes it more difficult to work with and less long wearing.

applied, 2 coats out of the tube

slightly blended with fingers
Have you tried the smokey shadow sticks?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Not Your Mother's "Way to Grow" Review

Today I'm reviewing another NYM product that has completely impressed me. I really liked that ION sulfate free shampoo and conditioner that I was using from Sally's but I'm lazy and didn't want to make a special trip there just for s&c. I decided to search for a drugstore sulfate free set and found this NYM one.

Bonus, it's an anti-breakage formula which this ombre 'do definitely needs. They felt it neccesary to note that it does not grow brand new hair, it will simply protect and keep your existing hair from breaking off which will allow it to grow longer.

photo and description from

photo and description from

I got the coordinating conditioner and have been trying it out for a while. I have to say, I really love this set. It's thick and feels luxurious in your hair. Sulfate free shampoo's can sometimes feel "less than" without all the suds and soapy action, but I don't feel that with this shampoo.

The conditioner comes out like a body butter lotion, it's so substantial. The Ion conditioner was runnier and that was my main complaint about it. One thing worth noting, the directions on the conditioner recommend gently massaging the conditioner into your thanks. I generally only apply conditioner from about my ears down to avoid looking like a greaseball all day. But, your call.

This set smells amazing. It's unlike any other product I've ever used before. I don't know how to describe it other than fresh, clean, sweet goodness. My husband even noticed the scent when I got out of the shower and he never notices anything except when I dye my hair anything other than blonde.

I am overall very impressed with this shampoo and conditioner. Both were about $4 a bottle at Walmart which is amazing for a quality sulfate free shampoo. I feel like it does leave my hair softer and well cleansed and conditioned after use without any heavy buildup or residue. I love the tube rather than a bottle because I feel like I get all the product out that way without having to have an upside down garden of bottles in my shower. I really like this set and will definitely repurchase.

Have you tried any Not Your Mother's products? Anything I should try next?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Not Your Mother's "Beach Babe" Review

This is another product I've seen pinned a million times on Pinterest.

photo and description courtesy of

Not Your Mothers "Beach Babe" texturizing sea salt spray. I have been using their Way to Grow shampoo and conditioner and am working on a review for those and then saw this and had to get it. It was about $3 at Walmart for the spray and let me tell you, for a sea salt spray, that's crazy cheap. I've used other sea salt sprays in the past and have loved the results but not the hefty price tags. One that I've purchased multiple times is the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. I really love the results but it's about $24 a bottle so I haven't purchased that in a long time.

Then I tried Not Your Mothers and not only is it an identical dupe for Surf Spray (right down to the scent)...I actually think it works better! I am always pleasantly suprised when drugstore brands live up to their claims and do it affordably. That is definitely the case with this product.

The bottle is adorable and super easy to use, it's good for use on the go because it has a nice locking feature on the spray so you can keep it from leaking in your bag. It smells exactly like Surf Spray to me, slightly coconutty but overall very "beachy" without being too much.

I have pretty straight hair, but it will wave if I leave it alone and don't brush the waves out. The way I use this product is to wash and condition my hair, towel dry, comb through tangles with my fingers (resist the urge to brush!) and then I let it air dry. When it's about 75% dry, I'll apply the Beach Babe all over and slightly scrunch my hair then just let it air dry 100%. If there are any pieces that fell flat, spray again and scrunch. You will end up with awesome beachy, super texturized hair that smells amazing and will last all day...with pretty much zero effort. This is the easiest hair ever and makes for amazing second day hair. All that texture helps great for sock buns, fishtail braids...whatever you can think of. And the best part, it's not crunchy. My hair still feels very "touchable" which I think only adds to the interest of beachy hair. You should be able to touch it, mess with it and get it as messy and wavy as you want it.

I will definitely be repurchasing Beach Babe spray when this bottle runs out!

Friday, September 21, 2012

St. Ives Reviews...2 Yahoos! and one big fat Boo!

Today I am reviewing 3 products from St. Ives. I've always been a big fan of St. Ives products because they are affordable and have always been great products for me. Typically, they do what they say they will do and with great results.

2 of these products lived up to that and the last one...well, it definitely did not.

I'm sure you have seen this first product pinned on at least one of your friends Pinterest boards. St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. It's the one recommended by Dr. Oz.

I found it at Fred Meyers for about $4 and thought it was worth a try. You get 10 oz of product. It's huge and will probably last over a year even with twice daily use. The basic jist is that with with twice daily use the collagen and elastin will help soften fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin's overall condition. It is very light but creamy, not greasy at all and has a lovely fresh scent. Nothing overpowering. It absorbs easily into the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and healthy. I love this moisturizer and feel like it definitely will be a staple in my skin care regime.

Next is the Timeless Skin Renew and Firm Apricot Scrub. A close cousin to the infamous Original Apricot Scrub, this works great in correlation to the moisturizer.

It contains alpha hydroxy and is a little creamier and gentler than the orignal version. I feel like this is gentle enough for every day use and can definitely see a noteable difference in my skin after use. It was about $3 for the tube and will likely last at least 6 months.

Now for the fail. Fresh Skin Makeup Remover and Facial Cleanser.

Tube says "This cleanser effortlessly removes even the heaviest make-up while cleaning the skin". Awesome, right? NOT SO FAST. The directions say to moisten face, massage product onto face and rinse off. What you are left with is all of your makeup still ON your face and a gross, greasy residue that water won't remove.

Like McKayla Maroney, I'm "not impressed".

I feel like this would work to remove eye makeup if you applied it with a cotton ball and really worked with it but that's not how you are instructed to use it. I don't understand this product at all. Maybe it's like the theory behind cold creams our grandma's used to use. Maybe you are supposed to leave it on and let it work it's magic and then wipe it off? I don't know. Maybe if I'm bored one day I will mess around with it and see how you actually get it to work but I don't feel like I should have to. Thankfully, it was only $3 for this epic failure so no love lost there, but it's always disappointing to purchase a major dud. Let me know if you have tried this product and found a way of making it work for you!

**ETA: I got bored Saturday night and decided to make this product work. I found a way. If you apply to a damp face, massage your face and eye makeup off and then wipe the product off with a warm, wet will work and will remove all of your makeup without leaving a gross residue, so...there is hope for this baby yet!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fabulous Fall Hair, Makeup and Clothes!

My Little Family

I love this time of the year. It is my absolute favorite. I am a total sweaters, jeans and boots kind of girl and I just can't wait for September/October/November weather, fashion and foods.
As the seasons change, so should our fashion, makeup and hair care routines. I am currently in the process of switching to some of my more fall appropriate products and thought I'd give you a little rundown of what all that entails.

1. Moisturizer. I am currently switching from Aveeno tinted moisturizer to the Origins VitaZing. I feel that it's a little creamier and really keeps my skin hydrated and soft without getting greasy. It also gives you a little color for a nice glow when your tan can start to fade.

For my body, I will typically switch to a thicker daily body butter rather than a lotion. I just feel that it works better in the crisper weather.

In addition to moisturizing, you should also be exfoliating. The weather changes will effect your skin and exfoliating will keep those dead skin cells at bay, will give you a healthy glow and will keep your skin at it's best. Once or twice a week is plenty.

2. Hair. My hair needs lots of moisture. Always. I'm finding with the ombre, my ends especially need lots of extra TLC to avoid looking like straw. In addition to Moroccanoil or Dove nourishing oil, I started doing twice weekly deep conditioning treatments and trying to wash and blow-dry less. Try some interesting braids or sock buns to get it out of your face and look more "done". If it's too cold to leave the house with wet hair in the morning, try showering at night and letting your hair air dry before you go to sleep. The nicer you can be to your hair, the nicer it will be to you.

3. Makeup. This is the time to swap out your glowier, lighter foundations and go with something with a little more coverage. (NOT HEAVY!) I have been using the original ColorStay foundation by Revlon for a few weeks almost exclusively and find it to be a perfect fall foundation.

I've also pulled out my deeper blushes. Your skin will need a little more of a pop in the fall months as the cold weather tends to make our skin get a little duller. I go more for rosey, berry, or warm golden peachy shades in the fall.

As far as eyes, generally I am pretty much a neutrals kind of girl. Not in a boring way, I just find that my coloring works better with more earthy tones (think Naked Palette). I will use more plums, chocolates and dark bronzey tones in the fall. I love using a plum eyeliner rather than a harsh black in the fall and a shimmery gold on the lower lashline is very luxx this time of year.

It's also a good time to swap out those bright lip colors for something a little deeper with a little bit better staying power. While a gloss is perfect in the heat with glowy sunkissed skin, consider grabbing a lipstick or a jumbo lip pencil. Something with a little more pigmentation can really be a great statement!

4. Nails. I was major into neons this summer. The brighter the better!! I've swapped out my summer polishes for my fall/winter collection and am kind of loving the deeper hues. I currently have sparkly chocolate on my toes and a deep plum on my nails. I feel like charcoal greys, deep navy, olive greens and bordeaux colors will be huge for me this fall for nails. Be daring, try a french manicure with a gold tip or chocolate brown with burgundy glitter. Go decadent!

5. Clothes. Oh goodness, the clothes. Fall is the perfect time for dresses with boots, skirts with awesome leather jackets, long cardigans with cozy leggings. All of my favorite things. Use texture. Cable knit tights can turn a very summery jersey skirt into a fall staple. Layer that awesome summer tank top you can't stop wearing under a long cardi or wrap a scarf around your neck and that summer dress is completely transformed. Those skinny jeans you love with your summer wedges or heels would look great tucked into a killer pair of boots!

Think outside the box. You don't need to buy a whole new wardrobe or all new makeup for a new season, use what you already have in different ways. Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Drugstore Dupe for Moroccanoil?

Let me just start by saying that I really love Moroccanoil. Like, a whole bunch. I think it does amazing things for your hair, it smells fantastic and it really does live up to the claims and the hype.

According to the Moroccanoil website this treatment is supposed to do the following:

Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment 3.4 Oz Bottle with Blue Box
photo courtesy of

Moroccanoil® Treatment’s versatile, nourishing and residue-free formula can be used as a conditioning, styling and finishing tool. It blends perfectly with other products and even speeds up drying time. This treatment for hair completely transforms and repairs as its formula transports lost proteins for strength; fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins for shine; and antioxidants for protection. It absorbs instantly to fill gaps in hair created by heat, styling and environmental damage.

All of that being's expensive. Like, crazy expensive. The big bottle will run you about $42. Which, is outragous if you ask me. I have gotten the large bottle twice, once I purchased it myself with a gift card and the other time it was given to me for a birthday present. I love it so much that I can usually make the large bottle last about a year if I don't use it every day.

If I'm not drying my hair or if I'm just hanging around the house, I will use the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum instead. Here is the product description from the Dove website:

Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum
photo courtesy of

The Dove® Nourishing Oil Care Collection transforms dry, rough and frizzy hair into beautifully smooth hair that’s easier to manage and style.
Dove® Weightless Nutri-Oils, now enriched with Argan Oil, penetrate hair rapidly to deeply nourish, instantly smooth frizz and revitalize shine without weighing hair down. runs about $5 for a bottle. It smells so good and it really works. It doesn't speed up drying time like the Moroccanoil does, but I don't use it for that. It smoothes your ends, it tames flyaways, it protects your hair and it makes it crazy shiny without getting greasy. I think for the price, this is definitely comparable to Moroccanoil.
Generally I will use both on towel dried hair from about my ears down. Just 2 pumps, run it through my hair and then comb to evenly distribute. Occasionally I will use an additional pump once my hair is dry to get a really glossy finish.
Do you use either? Have you found a great drugstore dupe for Moroccanoil?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar as a Toner

I read about this on a beauty blog a while ago and thought it sounded like something I needed to try. I've been trying to be nicer to my skin in my 30's and feel like the things I used in my 20's are WAY too harsh on my skin now. Things that used to work now irritate my skin into break-outs yelling at me to KNOCK IT OFF.

I've started using Dr. Bronners Hemp Rose pure castile soap as a daily face wash with great results. It's so gentle and organic and really works wonders cleansing and removing makeup.

Dr. Bronner - Castile Soap
photo courtesy of
With that in mind, I thought it was probably silly to use nice organic cleansers and then top it off with harsh chemical toners. So...I made a batch of ACV toner.

The theory is that ACV is already a natural antiseptic and helps regulate the PH balance in your skin which is what contributes to breakouts. It's got malic and lactic acids which are supposed to exfoliate and soften your skin. The natural acids in ACV help clear your skin and improve overall complexion.

I got regular old Walmart brand ACV for 96 cents and cleaned out a small travel size Clinique toner bottle. I mixed 1 part water with 1 part ACV and apply with a cotton ball. There are differing opinions on the dilution of the ACV, some say 1:8 some say 1:4, I opted for 1:1 to start with and adjust from there if needed. There are also thoughts that organic ACV with "mother" in it is better, I don't neccesarily agree so I went the cheap route.

It does smell like vinegar. Obviously. However, this smell fades upon application and is not noticeable. If it bothers you, try only using it at night. I plan to make a new batch once a week so it doesn't go wonky and with the current dilution my little 96 cent bottle should last quite a while.

So far, I can already tell a noticeable difference in my overall complexion and it's started clearing up any existing spots on my face. It does not make my face sting or feel "tight" which is always a telltale sign of overdrying for me. It just makes my face feel really clean and healthy! I will definitely report back with any updates after more extended use.

So, for 96 cents you have an awesome gentle toner for your face. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

Clean away!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Favorites

Summer is officially over. Little man started first grade today and I'm wearing jeans so with that, here's my list of favorite items for the month of August!

1. Ion Smooth Solutions Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner. I got these with a BOGO coupon from Sally's and kind of fell in love. They are sulfate free, no sodium chloride and feel so nice in the hair. Usually sulfate free shampoos leave my hair a tangly mess, but not this one. The conditioner is a bit thinner than I'm used to but works really well!

A product thumbnail of Ion Keratin Smoothing Shampoo
photo courtesy of

2. Earthly Body Marrakesh X High Tide leave in conditioner. My girlfriend gets this for me at a real beauty supply store and I can't live without it. There are 3 different scents, I prefer the High Tide one. This spray contains hemp and argan oils and detangles, controls frizzies, seals in hair color, protects hair from the sun, prevents split ends, all the good happy things you want for your hair.

Marrakesh Marrakesh X High Tide Leave-In Treatment and Detangler with Hemp and Argan Oils, 4 Ounce
photo courtesy of
 3. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackened Brown. I was on a no eyeliner kick for most of the summer but started using this again lately and remembered why it's so awesome. It's just the easiest eyeliner ever and it stays PUT.

ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen
photo courtesy of

4. MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study. I seriously think I abandoned all other paint pots when I fell for Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, but changed it up in August and started using Bare Study again. I still think that the Color Tattoo's are more bang for your buck, but I just love the color of Bare Study. It's a peachy champagne that is so pretty under lighter eyeshadow colors.
MAC Paint Pot ~Bare Study~ Nib
photo courtesy of

5. Hair Stylers Mesh Chignon. I've been pretty obsessed with sockbuns this summer and especially in August. I've made my own at home and also use this one I got at Sally's. It is the perfect shape, weight and texture. It holds your hair in the bun without getting heavy and doesn't move. LOVE this thing!

A product thumbnail of Hair Stylers Mesh Chignon
photo courtesy of