Hair Styling Tools -Revlon - Smooth Stay 1 Inch Titanium Straightener
smolderingviolet 1/23/2013 2:58:00 PM
This is the best straightener I've found for the price (it was $20 at target). I prefer titanium plates over ceramic because the titanium doesn't chip over time and it doesn't snag or break my hair. This straightener has 30 heat settings, which is nice because it can work for a variety of hair textures. It also has a "30 second heat up". I don't think it actually came up to temp in 30 seconds, but it was definitely hot enough to straighten my hair within a minute. It did smoke a little and smell when I turned it on the first time. According to Revlon this is normal and it hasn't happened since the first use. It took about 4 passes over each section to get my hair pin straight on the medium heat setting. I did have to spend a little extra time on my bangs to get them flipped the way I like. That leads me to believe that this iron might not be very good for doing curls or waves. It did take a few minutes longer than normal to get my hair as straight as I like, but not a huge difference. The plates had no "hot spots" and my hair cooled down very quickly after each section. In the end my hair was very soft and shiny. It has an auto shut off feature which I tested on my first use. After I finished straightening my hair I left the iron on while I did my makeup and got dressed. The iron did shut itself off after an hour like its supposed to. I guess that's a bonus but I've never forgotten to turn off my straightener. Its packaging is very easy to open and came with a bonus light up compact mirror. I give it 4 out of 5 simply because of the 30 second heat up claim. I do love everything about this straightener and when it dies in the future I will most likely buy another.
This is one of my go to drugstore mascaras. I generally only use it when I run out of my Too Faced Lash Injection. I have very full and long lashes to begin with, so it can be difficult for me to judge. I like this mascara a lot. I have no problems with it clumping, smearing, or taking too long to dry. It doesn't take a lot of this to get great results. I buy it in both blackest black and dark brown. I don't have to layer it over or under another product and I don't even need to curl my lashes with it. It has a rather small and unique brush which takes some time to learn to work with but once you know your way around the tiny brush you can get great results. Its pretty cheap and I buy around 4 tubes a year. I have been using it on and off since I was 14 and I will probably continue to do so forever.
Lip Treatments -Maybelline - Baby Lips lip balm in Pink Punch
smolderingviolet 1/21/2013 2:12:00 PM
I like this a lot, but not as much as I like the plain quenched. The color is very nice and when applied lightly works very well. It is no where near as moisturizing as the quenched and it doesn't last as long, but it isn't bad. I find myself reapplying every hour or so because it wears off quickly. I also don't feel like my lips absorb it as well and don't see the moisture benefits. However for the price (around $3) its not a bad option, but if you're looking for extreme moisture I would go with the quenched.
Lip Treatments -Maybelline - Baby Lips in Quenched
smolderingviolet 1/21/2013 2:09:00 PM
This is my new favorite. I've gone through two tubes now and I must say I love this stuff. It has officially replaced the eos balms. I honestly cannot think of a single thing I don't like about it. It makes my lips feel amazing. Even after it has all been absorbed or worn off my lips feel super soft. It isn't too greasy or oily. It doesn't feel heavy either. I had gotten very sick so naturally my lips became very dried out and chapped. Within 5 days my lips were back to normal, and with continued use they just keep getting better. I don't like the colored versions as much, but this plain no color or scent lip balm does the trick. I will be purchasing this over and over and over again so long as they keep making it. It only costs about $3 at target which is a total bargain for the quality of the product.
Toners -Neutrogena - Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner
smolderingviolet 1/4/2013 3:10:00 PM
I have been using this for about a month now, after switching to something a little stronger for the cold months. During winter my normal skin becomes extremely dry and breaks out. This has definitely stopped me from breaking out, but there are some downsides. First, this stuff burns like crazy. It has an extremely strong smell, which I like but it would probably bad for someone who has sensitive skin. After I use this my skin gets red and patchy for a few hours after but that goes down after awhile. I can't use this every day or it over dries my face, so on days I don't use it I just use an alcohol free ph balancing toner. It minimizes pores and really gets the gunk out. I wash my face twice a day and whenever I use this I still see makeup that my face wash didn't get. Its not very expensive, although it is a bit more expensive than competitor products. The packaging is good. Exactly what you would expect, but the angle of the cap will let you get the last few drops out. I will be buying this again, but I might not need another bottle until next winter.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Blackhead Eliminating daily Cleansing Scrub
smolderingviolet 1/4/2013 3:03:00 PM
I have been using this everyday now for about a month. I love it (mostly). I had been swearing by the simple daily cleanser which worked great for me during the summer and fall months, but I live in a cold climate. As soon as it got colder here (around 20 degrees) my skin got irritated and flaky and I was getting clogged pores/blackheads like nobody's business. I switched to this and within two weeks I no longer had any blackheads. I love that it gently exfoliates my skin and has also kept an acne that might pop up from coming through. The down side is its very drying. I have normal skin that gets dry in the winter months so I have to exfoliate constantly, but I found this to be very over drying, which is why I only gave it four out of five. I did have to switch my moisturizer to something heavier but once I made that switch I have had no problems with dryness, flaking, or blackheads. Its pretty competitively priced with other similar products. I'm not a fan of the packaging though. Its a thicker, grainier scrub and the tube it comes in seems pretty flimsy. I already have small cracks from where I've had to squeeze harder than normal to get it out, but those didn't appear until about half way through the product. I will definitely be repurchasing this product, but only during the winter/early spring months. I feel like this would destroy my face during the summer.
Shampoo -TRESemme - Fresh Start Waterless Foam Shampoo
smolderingviolet 10/21/2012 1:43:00 PM
This might be my new favorite dry shampoo. Its a bit more "complicated" than a traditional dry shampoo, so I knocked off one lippie. It made my hair look greasier at first, but once I started working it with a towel and it completely dried it was fantastic. The smell is good, but not as strong as some other dry shampoos. I picked it up for $4 at my local grocery store so the price is pretty reasonable. It works better than any of the other drug store products I've tried but it doesn't work as well as salon brands. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who has extremely oily hair but if its normal or only slightly oily it will work fine. Products like this are great for people like my self who have extremely bright red hair and can only wash it a couple days a week. I will be repurchasing this product.
This is an incredibly versatile product. I have several of them that I use with powder, liquid or creme foundation, bronzer ... etc. At $3 its a great value and preforms well. It applies product very evenly and when used with liquid or creme foundation it blends well. Also very easy to clean I don't know about the E.L.F. brand brush cleaner but with the Sephora daily brush cleaner it doesn't really hold on to excess product. I knocked off one lippie because it does shed but if I get 6 months out of a $3 brush I'm more than thrilled.
Powder -Rimmel - Stay Matte Pressed Powder - Sandstorm
smolderingviolet 9/13/2012 2:30:00 PM
I have been buying this for years. It is the one staple that I never stray from. I wear it over my BB creams, or foundation, or all by itself for just a little bit of light coverage/shine control. I only have to buy it maybe once a year since a little goes a very long way. It doesn't make my foundation look cakey or give that weird powdery shadow that some other pressed powders do. It doesn't make my face feel or look dried out or flakey. You cannot beat it for the price.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
smolderingviolet 9/11/2012 1:07:00 PM
I am officially in love. I had a bit of a mishap with an at home chemical peel. I was supposed to wash it off after 20 minutes and I fell asleep and woke up an hour later. Needless to say my face was very red and dried out and flaky. I put it on at night before bed and it burned like hell, probably because of the chemical peel mishap. When I woke up in the morning there was still a little redness from the irritation, but my face felt better than normal. It was very soft and moisturized, it literally felt softer than my 7 month old daughters. The only thing I DON'T like about it is that it comes in a jar as opposed to a tube. I have acrylic nails so I'll lose a little bit under my nails, also tubes are just more sanitary. Other than that it smells great, it works great, it doesn't clog my pores and I can see buying this over and over and over again.
This was horrible. Its so thick that its almost impossible to get out of the bottle. My hair is about half way down my back and I used a nickle sized drop just to put on my ends and it made my hair feel weighed down and greasy. It smells good, but that's about it. I would NEVER buy this again and I plan on going and returning the remaining product today.
Shampoo -Organix - Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo
smolderingviolet 9/11/2012 12:01:00 PM
I got this along with the conditioner. They had trial sizes at target for $0.98 so I figured it was a good time to try. Let me say that I dye my hair the brightest most crazy vibrant shade of red that exists so obviously I need a gentle sulfate free shampoo. This barely lathers at all which was nice while I was using it because I figured it would be really gentle on my hair. That is until I looked down and saw how much color ran out. (The last time I dyed my hair was a little over a month ago and it had stopped bleeding with my regular shampoo). It did not clean my hair very well although it felt quite moisturized when I washed it out, so much so that I debated not conditioning my hair. It smells great, but over all its no better than any of the other drug store shampoo. For the price its just not worth it.
Cleansers -Simple - Kind to Skin Refreshing Wash Gel
smolderingviolet 9/11/2012 11:54:00 AM
I got this a little over a week ago and have used it twice a day since. I was a little nervous at first because in the past I've had acne issues and have been using an anti-acne face wash since I was a teenager, but lately it had been drying out my face way to much to continue using it. A week later I have had no issues whatsoever. I like that it comes in a tube, but I can already see that it will be difficult to get the last little bit out. I also use it with a brush which of course will have a dramatic effect on the results. Its very gentle, doesn't over dry my skin but it also doesn't make it shiny or oily. Overall I really like it and will continue purchasing it as long as it keeps working.
BB Cream -Maybelline - Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
smolderingviolet 8/26/2012 10:09:00 PM
I got this about a week ago and have used it everyday since. I love that it comes in wide variety of shades. That said the coverage is much sheerer than the garnier bb cream and its much shiner. I've found that I have to let it dry for about 10 minutes then put on a translucent powder and then I have to keep it with me as I need to reapply once or twice throughout the day. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone with oily skin or acne prone skin, but if you have dry or normal skin this can work wonders for you. I definitely notice a difference in the brightness of my complexion but I have some very small red patches and this does not cover them. I give it 4 out of 5 because its just a little bit too sheer.