Monday, November 29, 2010

REVIEW: Yes to Carrots! Shampoo & Conditioner

I finally decided to give YES TO CARROTS Shampoo and Conditioner a try, after it had been staring me down for MONTHS as I walked down the hair care aisle.
What first got me was its lack of SLS, that it was loaded with plant extracts and Dead Sea Mud and that it was missing Dimethicone, a silicone that gives the illusion of shine and health. It also looked like a really good value...what with that huge bottle going for $10 or less.

From the very first shampoo I have been IN LOVE!

The instructions indicate to leave the shampoo on your scalp after lathering. I thought it was weird, but figured, what the heck. So I left the shampoo on for a minute before rinsing it off. For a second I was dumbstruck... had I just shampooed my hair? Or was that conditioner? I was pretty sure it was shampoo....

Yes. My hair was THAT soft. So I placed a tiny bit of conditioner in the ends of my hair and massaged it up. I didnt leave it on...just rinsed it.

My hair was amazingly soft and shiny, right from the very first use!

Those with very fine hair might even skip the conditioner, Im not even joking!!!

If you havent tried this brand of shampoo and conditioner yet, I beg you to give it a try! This stuff is AMAZING, an awesome value for the size, and has far far far fewer chemicals than many of its counterparts in the hair care aisle where you buy your shampoo!

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Thursday, November 25, 2010

REVIEW: Shiseido The Skincare Instant Eye and Lip makeup remover

Some people don't like oily make-up removers because they worry about causing break-outs, which to a degree I find ludicrous because **NEWSFLASH** you're supposed to wash your face after you use a make-up remover...even if you have one of those non-oily ones.

Ever since I was very young and first dabbled in make-up (and therefore makeup removers), I had a minor obsession with minimizing exposure to oils. After all, thats what all the magazines said...back when I read YM and Cosmo. ha! Fast forward many years, and I love me some oils in my skincare routine.

Anyway, the one thing I discovered when I was very young, and that I've reitterated throughout the years is that non-oily make-up remover always made my lash line feel like it was on fire.

Has anyone else ever had that reaction?

And just in case you don't know me, I'm a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned gal who is allergic to pretty much... NOTHING! Having a burning reaction to make-up remover like that was mind boggling. After having experienced the same reaction to a multitude of non oily make up removers, I finally gave up on them.

The make up remover from Shiseido is a "dual-phased" product. This means that the oily mixture sits on top of the watery mixture, so you gotta give it a really good shake before you squirt some onto a cotton pad. Hold the lightly dampened cotton pad over your closed eyelid and hold for 5-10 "steamboats", then give it a gentle outward swipe.

Fold the cotton pad in half (dirty side in), look up to the ceiling, and wipe under your eye. Nobody likes that Britney-Spears-I'm-still-wearing-last-night's-makeup look.

Finish off with using your favorite cleanser, then serums/treatments and moisturizers.

I love its effectiveness and I love its scent! The fragrance is VERY mild, and if you check the ingredient list, it's actually the last ingredient. It didn't feel as intensely oily as the Lancome Bifacil (which is still one of my fave makeup removers), but it was JUST as effective.

The importance of using a good make up remover cannot be undermined. The skin around your eyes is ten times thinner than the skin anywhere else on your face, which is already much thinner than the skin on your body. Rubbing and tugging, and pulling and pushing at the delicate skin around your eyes can...AGE YOU! gah!

Price-wise, it'll run you about $30 and is well worth it, both for those of us who don't use it often, and for those of us who use it every day. A little goes a long way, so one bottle of it will you last a long time and put off your eye-lift for at least a decade.

Just kidding.

Kind of. :o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: SMASHBOX Halo Bronzer

If you havent heard of SMASHBOX's famous HALO line, then you've been living under a rock for quite a while now. They have these amazing mineral foundations that completely disappear on your skin to create the illusion that you REALLY do have perfectly incredible skin... but only if you're one of the 4 shades that it comes in - which unfortunately, 90% of the population won't fit into...

Are you listening SMASHBOX?!?! Its time to bring out another 2...or 8 shades in HALO. (says the girl who falls between Light and Medium).

All that aside... if you haven't tried their HALO Bronzer, you dont know what you're missing. It's perfectly matte, a most natural tanned-tone that suits most skin colours. My favorite part? Its utter lack of SHIMMERY SpArKlEs... My second favorite part is that under the little built-in blade, is a pretty much solid bit of mineral bronzer that you shave fresh for EVERY use! Plus the blade has a built-in anti-bacterial film so you have FRESH and CLEAN make-up everytime you use it.

It looks so natural on because YOU can decide where you will apply shimmer to highlight and define.

My favorite way to apply is to frame your face with it, blending it well into the hair line as you go. Apply a little extra at the temples, right on your cheekbones, and blend under your jaw line for a little extra definition. Make sure you finish with a tiny bit of blush on the apples of your cheeks for a most glowy finish! I recommend Smashbox's CHIFFON blush; a perfect peach tone that EVERYONE can wear!

It's about $45 in Canada, and is the size of THREE bronzers, so it's not only a fabulous product, its INCREDIBLY well-priced!


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Friday, November 19, 2010

REVIEW: Bourjois Volumizer Mascara

This is the coolest little contraption! At first glance it appears there are TWO brush wands inside this little tube, but upon further investigation, you realize that the same wand is pushed through a thicker hollow wand on the inside.

Check out the pics:

You have the mascara tube with TWO twist off tops. The first option is to screw off just "Step 1", the second option being to screw off "Step 2".
Step 1 gives you black eyelashes, long, full, feathery, natural. Did I say long and thick? but definitely more on the NATURAL side (if you consider big huge fluffy feathery mascara that makes your eyelashesh look like they've multiplied, "natural") :o)
Step 2 gives you big bad black eyelashes. The kind you wear out to a bar. Or a make-up counter, if you're a make-up artist. Or to work, if you loooooove big bad eyelashes.
When you pull the "Step 1" wand out, it goes through the extra tube that's attached to the "Step 2" lid, so the brush gets an extra-thorough "cleaning" of excess product. You get a super clean mascara wand, that deposits JUST the right amount of mascara, and NEVER with clumps.
I'm amazed that no one thought of this before!
"Step 2" gives you big thick eyelashes, but I've discovered a couple of things:
a) You can get crazy thick, but natural-looking eyelashes if you apply TWO coats of "Step 1"
b) You can get crazy thick, but natural-looking eyelashes if you apply "Step 2" first, and then comb it through with "Step 1" next.
c) Even though they guarantee "No Clumps", "Step 2" might still be too much for some people. I still like to wipe the mascara wand on the lip of the tube to remove excess product.
d) This is not for the only comes in BLACK. No brown available.
For a "prestige product" this mascara has an AMAZING price-point of $20. It competes with Dior's best mascaras ($31-$35), blows Lancome's classics out of the water ($31-$35) and is just a few bucks more than the great mascaras you can get from even L'Oreal ($13-$18).
It's only available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale in Canada, so I HIGHLY recommend you try this stuff!!! You'll love it!

Goddess Jewelry on ETSY

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

REVIEW: Neostrata Intense Eye Contour All-In-One Serum

I am in love!!!

I used to be scared of Retinol, and products containing Retinol, because nobody ever told me you have to start slowly with it. The first few times I used retinol-based products, I went full-steam ahead and applied it twice a day for 2 or 3 days until my face and eyes were so dry I thought I was going to die. Okay, not die. But you know what I mean....don't you?

The extremely sensitive may never be able to use Retinol, but truthfully, very few of us fall into that category. The extremely sensitive, if feeling adventurous, should probably use a FACIAL retinol product first to determine tolerance before moving onto an EYE AREA retinol product.

To me, that's just common sense... but in case you've misplaced yours, I thought I'd just let ya know. No offense. We're still buds, right?

Seeing that I now knew to start slowly, when I first got my little bottle of NeoStrata Intense Eye Contour All-in-One Serum, I started using it every other night for about 2 weeks. Then for the next week or 10 days I used it day and night, but still only every other day. Now I'm up to twice a day, every day. I still experience a little bit of dryness, but that's probably because I just started using it twice a day every day. At night, I apply straight Shea Butter overtop of the serum, and during the day I apply my Juice Beauty organic eye cream overtop, and sometimes Clinique's All About Eyes because it's so hydrating.

I've heard some people talk about how it's fine by itself, but I definitely recommend using a rich eye cream overtop. After all, having lots of moisture in your skin is the best way to slow down the aging process (oily skinned people age far slower than dry skinned folks).

I have to say, my eye area looks amazing! The dark circles seem to have faded a little bit and the tiny fine lines have disappeared ENTIRELY. No eye cream has ever been able to do this. I've had rich eye creams soften the lines...but no cream has ever ENTIRELY ELIMINATED MY LITTLE WRINKLES.

For someone who has more advanced aging around the eye area, NeoStrata's Intense Eye Contour All-in-One Serum will definitely help, but I don't know if it will remove ALL your lines. Either way, it is DEFINITELY worth a try because of the wonderful active ingredients in it.

The active ingredients in this light serum are 0.05% Retinol and 3% Matrixyl, a powerful pentapeptide that encourages collagen production. It also has an ingredient called "Eye Regener" at 2%, which reduces puffiness and increases firmness and tone. NeoStrata has also added a 7.5% blend of MDI complex, SabiWhite, and Cytobiol Lumin-Eye which all help to reduce dark circles.

I know I absolutely adore this product and have permanently added it to my twice-daily routine. Once this bottle runs out, I will DEFINITELY pick up a second!

A half-ounce air-tight pump is $45 and well worth it!

Benefit Cosmetics LLC