I have a love-hate relationship with Herbal Essences. See, they lure me in with their super-girly, delicious fragrances (my favorite being LTR), and the fact that their conditioners, at first use, make my hair amazing. But, as time goes on, my hair "gets used" to them- meaning the conditioner doesn't work and just makes my hair dry and yucky. However, I've figured out good use for them: Only use them once in a while in a rotation of a handful of various other conditioners. Now that you have that little fun fact embedded in your brain, enjoy this review. Price: HE products are always around $3-$4. No complaints, and sometimes they have one of those little "Extra 40% more!" deals for the same price. I always like finding those, since my thick, long hair and I can go through 12 fl. oz. pretty quickly, even when using it sparingly. Packaging: Very attractive, but a bit busy. I love HE's use of bright, engaging colors and fun little trivia on the bottles, but the flower and paint splatter pattern graphics can be a bit much. The bottles themselves are alright- the plastic isn't too tough (easy squeezin'), and they're designed upside-down as to keep the conditioner at the bottom. Always smart. Consistency: Pretty thick, but not overwhelmingly so, and has a very pretty light-medium blue color. It's actually almost the perfect consistency for a rinse-out. It's not thin or runny at all, but I can still work it through my hair and rinse it out with ease as it's not mega-thick. Scent: A SCRUMPTIOUS vanilla-coconut fragrance! I swoon every time. It lingers ALL DAY. This is also the only conditioner fragrance (besides Aussie Moist) that stays in my hair and actually gets me compliments. My boyfriend especially likes this one, as well as anyone else, like family, who might get close enough to my head to smell it. Ingredients: HE changed up their formulas and added Corn Silk amongst other things, which is probably why this conditioner works so much more effectively in my hair than when I used it a long time ago. It's for the most part a good ingredients list- fatty acids, cones for slip, coconut, orchid, corn silk, whatever. It's pretty good for a cheap drugstore condish. Performance: Like I said above, it works through my hair very, very easily, and detangles effortlessly. My motto with conditioners is, if it tries to kill me, it's my friend. If a conditioner makes everything extra slippery in the shower, I can tell it adds slip and moisture to my hair. I can add in my leave-ins and comb & detangle with ease. After my hair air-dries, I'm treated to super-soft, moist, bouncy, shiny, pleasantly fragrant curls. Overall: As I said, this conditioner is great once in a while in a rotation. I don't recommend using it repeatedly, as HE conditioners can lose effectiveness (I've heard this from plenty of others as well). This is a wonderful conditioner for any time of the year, and works wonderfully for my thick, dry hair. I've been using it for several months and will continue to repurchase and keep in my stash.
This fragrance drives me NUTS- in a good way. If a bag of garbage smelled like this perfume, I would fall in love with it. It truly lives up to its name, and to me, smells like the epitome of all things sexy and feminine. When I wear it, it gives me mad confidence, and I feel like I could just jet set wherever I need to go. Though I love their panties (oh, those sales!) and loungewear (i.e. hoodies, sweats and tees), Victoria's Secret never really hits home for me with a majority of their fragrances; the only other one I can say I truly like is Give Me Love. So, in terms of Vicky's fragrances, Incredible is a game changer for me. I have this in the body spray. I tried the actual perfume in the store, and both smell the same to me. I just bought the $12 bottle of the spray to give it a shot before committing to the actual parfum. Let me say that the body spray ACTUALLY LASTS FOR HOURS, especially on clothes. If I can still smell a fragrance on me after two hours, that's good, but almost all day? That's a winner! To my nose, Incredible isn't 100% inexplicable, but it's not easily defined, either. I guess the reviewers below me who said "soft vanilla floral" and "amber musk" are probably right (I'm still new at defining fragrance notes), but with my body chemistry, it dries down to an enigmatic, fresh, powdery scent. It's not immature, and not too mature, it's sexy, it's soft, and gets me compliments. The only problem I have with Incredible is the packaging. While the parfum's bottle design isn't hideous, it's a bit cheesy. The words on the bottle- Daring, Sexy, Beautiful, Confident, blah blah- are kind of unnecessary, as whoever designed the bottle could have come up with something a bit more sexy and subtle, like the perfume itself. And though Incredible makes me feel like some of those things, those words certainly don't appeal to me as graphics on the bottle. But that's just me. I'm 99.9% sure Incredible is my signature scent. If a fragrance makes me feel different in addition to smelling awesome, I know it's meant to be. :)
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula
MissJulie89 12/31/2011 10:47:00 PM
This isn't just going to be a review- it's gonna be a RAVE. I absolutely LOVE this serum! When I first tried it, I was a bit confused. After I rubbed it through my soaking wet hair, as it air-dried (yeah, I didn't use it with heat though it's a "Thermal Protection" serum. I'm afraid of hot tools. Hehe), my hair seemed a bit... stringy? Crunchy? I can't really explain it, but it was along those lines. HOWEVER, after my hair finished drying, the results were phenomenal. Now, every time I use this product, my hair becomes a soft, smooth, shiny, frizz-free mane of curly-wurly silk that constantly gets compliments. I have natural highlights from virgin hair growing through old dark permanent dye, and this serum makes my them stand out and look like spun gold. Oh, and my hair looks FULLER somehow. My hair is the kind of hair that responds to product and I can definitely tell when one makes a difference, and this one makes my hair look even more full, bouncy and healthy. Not to mention the fragrance is phenomenal, and I'd love a lotion or something that smells just like it. Also, the packaging is cute and small, and the pump works well and has a lock feature. Now, onto the cons... Only a couple. First, the amount of product for the price. $9.99 for 1.69 fl. oz.? Ridiculous. Worth it, but still ridiculous. Second, while other serums help speed up drying time a bit, this one extends drying time a smidge. That's only really a problem if I have somewhere to go, or need to walk out in the cold air. I'll definitely repurchase this product. It's liquid gold, and makes my hair look wonderful. Protip: My hair is thick, dry, long (a couple of inches past my bra strap), and curly. If you have this hair type, try out this serum! If you don't (i.e. thinner or finer hair), it may only work if you heat style. Either way, it's worth a shot.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Ultimate Minerals Loose Blush - 165 Barely Peach
MissJulie89 12/31/2011 3:40:00 PM
I seriously can't believe I haven't written a review for these blushes yet! I've been using them for several months (Barley Peach and Rose Shimmer) and love them to death. I have a handful of blushes that I love- my favorite being Milani Luminous- but all of them, excluding Luminous, don't last as long or give me as healthy a glow as my Wet 'n' Wild minerals blushes. The shade review is going to be for Barely Peach in particular. The color is SO modest, gorgeous, and gives me the healthiest, natural glow. This blush's formula in particular truly gives me the "glow from within" look. It brightens up my face, and consequently brightens up my mood when I see it liven up my cheeks. Wet 'n' Wild's mineral blushes are incredibly long-lasting. They blend amazingly, stay all day, and remove very easily at the end of the day. I absolutely cannot believe the product I am getting for a measly four bucks. My only issue with these blushes is the suckeggs packaging. The plastic is chinsey, the screw-on lids can get stuck, and the holes to dispense the product barely dispense any at all. It takes me ages to get the right amount of product out, but it is so worth the unnecessary effort. I'll continue to purchase these blushes, but who knows when I'll run out- you get plenty of product for the money!
Skincare - Face -Palladio - oil absorbing rice paper tissues with rice powder
MissJulie89 12/31/2011 3:00:00 PM
I've been using these for years, and am never ever ever ever without them! I always have a pack in my purse, and always have a pack or two in my bathroom. If I'm out and don't have them with me, there'd better be a Starbucks or another brown napkin supplier close by, or there's gonna be hell. Hehe. These sheets pick up excess oil from my face and leave my skin nice and matte. Though they have parabens and added fragrance, I don't smell anything, and have never had any kind of reaction to them to any degree. The only qualms I have with them are their scarcity (I can only find them at Sally Beauty, Imagebeauty, and if I get lucky, at Bed Bath and Beyond or something), and how quickly I can go through them. I had to resort to taking a sheet out and ripping it in half in order to conserve my sheets. All so worth it, though. I love Palladio Rice Paper sheets! Oh, and here's a tip. These are for blotting- so if you find yourself breaking out when you use oil blotting sheets, "swiping" might be the culprit. It's better to blot and press instead of swipe or wipe. That just transfers oils around on your face. *Starwipe* The more you know!
It's been a long, strange journey searching for the perfect concealer. What's my perfect concealer, you ask? I'll write you a list, my friends! 1. The perfect shade. 2. The perfect consistency. 3. Long-lasting wear. 4. Smooth, yet matte coverage. 5. GOOD coverage- it's a concealer, for God's sake! 6. Reasonable price. Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer is ALL of those things. It's like, finding the perfect man, but better, knowing all human beings are imperfect, and this concealer, unlike a person, is pretty much perfect. I want to find a catch, but I can't find one. I'll just stop looking before I invent one. I have this concealer in the shade Fair. I originally bought Fair/Light, but that was a bit too dark against my skin, but I wanted to give this specific concealer line another chance since I loved the consistency, coverage and lasting power so much. So, I picked it up in Fair, and cha-ching! Absolute perfect color match for my skintone! Slightly yellow-based, but not too much, and just pale enough without being chalky. But enough of the color- this is relative and only applies to others who have found a best friend in their concealer shade. Now let's get on to the coverage and consistency. It's actually pretty thick, but it spreads and blends very, very well. It hides my blemishes so much to the point that I can look in the mirror without cringing at my acne marks peeking from behind a blanket of crappy concealer. Plus, it never looks cakey! This concealer lasts ALL DAY on my skin. I may have to reapply maybe once in some areas- namely around my chin and mouth- since that's where I have to wipe after I eat. No big deal. Yes, It's kind of a small tube for $5.99, but it's definitely worth it considering the quality of the product and the tiny amounts I use every day. The brush applicator is strange, but at least it keeps me from using too much or squeezing too much out of the tube. It's small, cute, portable, and always there for me in a pinch. This concealer is a lifesaver.
Conditioner -Unlisted Brand - Generic Value Products GVP Conditioning Balm
MissJulie89 12/21/2011 12:22:00 AM
IloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveit! *cough* Yes. Herm. As you can see, I LOVE IT. Price: Sally Beauty keeps it real with their ridiculously friendly prices- not to mention $5-$6 for 16 oz. of (amazing) product (that you probably only use a relatively small amount of whenever you wash) is such an astronomically good deal that I think they were drunk when they priced this. Packaging: The packaging is so cool. Yeah, it can be difficult to get the product out of the bottle due to its thickness, but whatever. The bottle is so plain and to the point that it's almost ugly, but there's something graphically endearing about it. The plastic isn't too firm, so it's squeezable. You definitely have to shake it violently when you get down to about half the bottle, though. I just look at it as getting a free workout with my awesome conditioner. Consistency: Clearish-white in color (no added dyes- woo!), and THICK. Don't like insanely thick conditioners? You'd better not touch this one. Need something thick and EXTRA moisturizing? Grab as many bottles as you can and hoard them and call them your precious in a creepy Gollum voice. Scent: It smells almost exactly like the actual Biolage Conditioning Balm- inexplicable, yet somehow identifiable. Very unisex, unobtrusive, pleasant fragrance. Doesn't linger very much at all. Ingredients: I guess they're the same as Biolage, according to the bottle, but I don't really care. They're decent ingredients regardless, and CONE-FREE, so, jackpot. Here's Sally's website ingredients for your informational pleasure: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Myristyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Decyl Oleate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hexyl Cinnamal, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwack) Extract, Methyl-2-Octynoate Performance: When I used this as a rinse-out, it was a bit above average, but I knew there had to be more to it. After reading rave reviews on Hair Board and other internet places, I decided to push my It's a 10 to the side and try GVP as a leave-in. BEST DECISION EVER! My hair NEEDS the thickness and moisturizing capability of this conditioner, so I get some in my hands, add a little water to make it easier to apply, and slather it into my freshly washed, soaking wet hair. I don't have to whimper anymore when I detangle. Not only does it spread, detangle, moisturize, and add shine more effectively than any leave-in I've ever tried (besides Kinky-Curly, but that's a review for another time), but I save SO MUCH MONEY. Buying It's a 10, Miracle 7, and all that other nonsense even a few times a year was such a wallet-drainer. Now I have a ton of product for a measly six bucks- $5.49 with my Sally card- and just one bottle lasts FOREVER! My first bottle lasted me half a year, and it was already a quarter of the way gone from using it as a rinse-out. Absolutely bananas. Overall: See top of review. My precious.
Moisturizers -Trader Joe's - Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion
MissJulie89 12/16/2011 10:46:00 AM
I BELIEEEEVE! *Ahem* Yes. I now believe in the power of sunscreen due to this amazing little gem. If beauty and skincare crimes were actually punishable, I'd be locked up several times over. I guess my acne scars and hyperpigmentation from never wearing facial sunscreen are punishment enough, eh? In all seriousness, I just picked this product up in Trader Joe's on a whim. It was only $3.99, the bottle was adorable, and I wanted to give sunscreen a shot during the day, even though it's winter. Best. Random. Decision. Ever. I had this sitting in my medicine cabinet for a couple of weeks before I decided to restrict my Derma E Problem Skin moisturizer to nighttime and try Trader Joe's during the day. The moment I put it on, I knew it was love. It's incredibly light without being heavy, sticky or greasy, and sinks RIGHT into my skin with a modest amount of moisture. It absolutely does not break me out, and actually keeps breakouts at bay with the healthy, light moisture it delivers. It has no fragrance or parabens, which I actually prefer in a facial product- no irritating ingredients. I think the zinc-based sunscreen in this moisturizer is one of the culprits (I've been using microfiber cloths, the Olay Pro-X brush, and certain cleansers as well- check out my latest reviews!) for the improvement I'm seeing in my skin. Every day I see my scars fading and my skintone becoming more even, bright, supple, smooth and soft. I'm sure all of this is coming from my new skincare regimen, but it still wouldn't be possible without Trader Joe's Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion. I definitely plan on rebuying this when I run out, but it's possible I might need a higher SPF during the spring and summer months. For now, this moisturizer is ah-ma-zing.
What more can be said about this stuff? It's a classic. I picked this up about a few weeks ago when I was desperate to try something new for my freaked-out face (very broken-out, oily, and just plain terrible). It was only FIVE BUCKS for a 12 OZ TUB. I still can't believe how much product you get for a Lincoln. Alot of my favorite products are packaged in tubs, and the fact that this one is doesn't even register as annoying with me anymore. I LOVE the texture- very creamy and light (almost mousse-like, but a bit firmer) and easy to spread without being messy. If I don't want to dip my fingers into the tub I just use a spoon. Once I have the cream in my hands, I slather it onto my face and go to town with my Olay Pro-X brush. No, this cream doesn't lather, but it doesn't need to in order to let you know that your face is getting clean beyond clean.The menthol effect isn't intense, either. It's modestly cooling, refreshing, and makes my skin babysoft with a bit of a healthy glow. I've been using this cream every night since I purchased it (even on nights when I use a more intense scrub, I still use a bit to remove makeup before the scrub), and it hasn't failed me yet. It never dries my face out, and stays true to its functionality with each and every use. I get the feeling that my Pro-X brush might have something to do with this, but it's obviously worked for people who don't use a cleansing brush. My skin has been looking and feeling so much more healthy, bright and smooth since I started using this cream. If your skin can handle menthol and other cooling sensations, try this. It's absolutely wonderful!
This is my favorite Victoria's Secret fragrance, and the only one I've ever truly fallen in love with out of the few I can stomach. I've always had crappy experiences with VS fragrances. On me, they have no staying power, and each immediate spritz is like a slap of alcohol to my nose, or the dry-down is yucky. Plus, most VS fragrances smell too juvenile to me. Their packaging and names are cute, but most of them are just blech. Give Me Love, however, is different. It's perfect. I'm addicted. It's probably one of the most complex scents VS has ever created. Well, to my olfactories. It's impressive considering it's not one of their more expensive eau de toilettes. It's gorgeous, rich, warm, sexy, with cranberry and vanilla notes that, once settled onto the skin, are even more complex. I'm not too savvy on perfume notes, but I can tell what's a flat foody or floral smell, and what's more intriguing and vague. Give Me Love is definitely the latter. I use the lotion and body spray together, which creates more staying power and a more powerful dry-down. I've found that the lotion is more strongly scented than the spray, and overall smells more concentrated, so I like the lotion a bit more. I still love the spray to death and spray it all over myself, including my clothes and coats. No initial alcohol nose-hair-burning sting, either. Oh, and the packaging! Absolutely gorgeous deep red that, like the fragrance itself, is perfect for the holidays. I love the glamorous silver font and layout of the labels. Victoria's Secret always sucks me in with their chic graphics. As an artist (and a pretty vain one at that, hehe), I love seeing something that's visually flattering on my dresser. The only qualm I have with this fragrance is its lasting power. It doesn't linger for too long, which is disappointing. I'm a sucker and still gave it 5 lippies anyway. Hah! I love this fragrance so much that I decided to spread the love. I got a second body spray with the buy 3 for $25 deal and will give it to my friend for Christmas. Hopefully she loves it as much as I do. Way to go, Vicky. Give Me Love is a winner. Let's just hope you bring this one back next winter!
Scrubs -Clean & Clear - Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub - Oil-Free
MissJulie89 12/8/2011 11:35:00 AM
Oh my goodness. This scrub is love and I'm totally enamored with it. Let me start off by saying that my skin is psychotic-oily, acne-prone, superficial acne-scarred- and I've been dealing with its nonsense for a long time. I picked up this scrub due to the awesome MUA reviews, putting my faith in it. This kind of thing usually ends poorly, especially when I get really excited about a skincare product. To my surprise, however, this scrub works amazingly for my skin type! I've been using it with my Olay Pro-X brush or a cloth every morning for two weeks so far. It's just lovely. It has a pretty strong tingle, which I adore, but if you're the kind of person who doesn't like that menthol feel, steer clear from this one. It exfoliates effectively yet gently, cleanses deeply without drying me out, and rinses clean with this AMAZING refreshing, cooling sensation. It leaves my skin bright, smooth and refreshed. Now, in the course of using this scrub, it has helped my existing acne a bit. Not due to medicine, because there's no salicylic acid or benzol peroxide in it, but due to how deeply it cleanses. My pimples dry up more quickly, without drying up my face, of course. Needless to say, I still use moisturizer daily and nightly. The only cons for this scrub I can think of are the smell and the packaging. While the scent is quite pleasant, I don't find fragrance necessary in facial products. Also, while the bottle is cool looking and easy to dispense product, it gets a teeny bit leaky at the opening. I just have to he careful that none spills out when I use it. These cons are moot compared to how awesome this scrub is. I look forward to using it every morning, and boy, does that tingle wake me up!
YESYESYES. This bodywash is ORGASMIC. The fragrance is RIGHT on point with hot chocolate, but much richer. I seriously have to talk myself out of eating it. It's incredible. As soon as I open the cap, my whole shower is filled with this amazing, delectable, warm chocolate fragrance. Olfactories aside, the bodywash itself is quite lovely. It's thick in consistency and gives skin just the right amount of moisture. It rinses clean, but unfortunately the fragrance doesn't linger too much or for too long. No biggie. It's the washing experience with this stuff that counts. ^^ The light brown color might be off-putting to some (my mom actually thought it was made of chocolate and didn't want to use it), and I kinda agree with the reviewer below that it could be a bit darker to match the scent. Again, no big. This bodywash is too amazing for me to care. One final note, I'm actually glad this is seasonal. If it weren't, I'd probably use it all the time and eventually get sick of it. I actually switch this up between a couple of bodywashes to keep the experience fresh. Trust me, you're gonna want to try this. It's absolutely delicious.
I really like this blush. This is my first NYX product in general, and I know I'll be buying more from this brand. This blush is a beautiful coral-peachy-pink with minimal goldish shimmer. It's modestly pigmented and gives my fair, warm-netural skin a gorgeous flush. I apply it with my E.L.F. blush brush and it lasts... for a while, but not as long as alot of other blushes I own. Hence the 4 lippies- I own cheaper blushes that last longer than this one. I find that mineral blushes last ALOT longer on my skin than regular powder ones. So, my $4 Wet 'n' Wild mineral blush in Rose Shimmer- a similar color to NYX Pinched- would be my first choice over this one when I reach for a blush in my makeup basket. Another gripe is the packaging. It's just awful. It's difficult to get it open, and the plastic is just pathetically flimsy. However, I do love the NYX logo. It's classy. I just wish their packaging was more similar to E.L.F.'s, which has fantastic blush and eyeshadow compacts. I can't wait for my next trip to Ulta to pick up more NYX stuff!
As I was rummaging through my hallway closet, I found a makeup bag filled with long lost Clinique lipstick samples my mom had received from a friend at work (lucky find, huh?). I got curious and decided to swatch them on myself, pick out the ones I liked best, and add them to my arsenal. When I actually tried the few I liked most on my lips, Beauty just... stood out. I cannot tell you enough how much I love, love, love this lipstick. It truly lives up to its name. My lips are pretty pigmented, so most lippies that are considered "YLBB" are a bit too light on me. However, Beauty almost matches the color of my lips- kind of a rosy nude- but doesn't match to the point that it looks boring or as if nothing is on my lips. It's definitely neutral and natural, but with a certain classiness and sophistication. It's almost as if it takes the natural color of my lips and amps it up, all the while giving off an incredible dewy look with very minimal, non-overbearing shimmer. Beauty should be decent for most skintones, though probably better for warmer ones. The consistency of this lipstick is unbelievable. It's creamy almost to the point of being moisturizing, and never bleeds or sinks into my lip cracks. This is my everyday, MLBB lipstick. I'll repurchase this at full price when I've run out of my sample. I really hope Clinique doesn't discontinue this shade.
This is a beautiful lipstick. Why? Because its color is gorgeous, but it's NOT very pigmented, hence the name "Sheer Red." You'd think that would be a turnoff, but it makes the lipstick is even better. It creates a beautiful, classy stain or wash of medium red that seems appropriate for all skintones (maybe more for wamer ones as it's slightly brickish red). Plus, it's never drying, doesn't slide around, dry into lip cracks, or settle onto outer lip lines. Over a lip balm, it looks slightly glossy (not matte) yet very mature. My only problem with this lippie is its lack of staying power, but reapplying it isn't a pain or anything. I'll definitely be repurchasing this, and for .99 cents? Yes please!