Mascara -Maybelline - Great Lash Mascara Blackest Black
MsLove 3/11/2013 10:49:00 PM
The ratings don't lie. This is an overhyped mascara. Anytime I mistakenly try to buy again I regret it and want to throw it away or bring it back. First its not that cheap, so for $1 more its much better to get L'Oreal or even a better Maybelline line choice. For this, you have to use tons of tricks to get it to work right, when you do its hit or miss, dries out quick, melts in any warm weather or with any amount of moisture on your face, and ultimately It flakes, smudges, falls off for any length you build in a short period of time even under perfect conditions. Its heavily promoted so there is a misperception that its popular. But its just mediocre. I'm not against drugstore mascaras, I'm against this product though. f you're going to do drugstore, may as well spend $1-$2 more and get L'Oreal Voluminous, or even Maybelline Volume Express. Almay, E.L.F. anything but this I would recommend.
Lotions/ Creams -Trader Joe's - Coconut Body Butter
MsLove 2/24/2013 10:43:00 PM
This is an excellent, rich, hydrating body butter that is perfect for winter time. Has a thick whipped texture and love the packaging of a glass flip top jar. 2nd ingredient is coconut oil, also has shea butter, aloe, clary, vitamin e, grapfruit, orange, rosemary, lemongrass, marshmallow. It does have a silicone in it but no parabens. No noticeable smell and im sensitive to scents right now. Feels like a $30 cream.
Hair Styling Tools -Mason Pearson - Pure Bristle Brush
MsLove 1/11/2013 4:51:00 PM
I have owned my Mason Pearson brush for years, and its great. I have the full size and the mini for a purse. Then one day I bought a Denman (also made in England) for $12 that works exactly the same. My intent was to have one to keep in my travel bag. I can't believe how well it performs - its basically the exact same brush. Only $70 less. I like Mason Pearson but I wish I would have known about Denman because it works just as well.
Shampoo -Alberto Vo5 - Kiwi Lime Squeeze Clarifying Shampoo
MsLove 8/20/2012 9:48:00 AM
I'm 4A with natural hair and when I'm not wearing it silky straight, it is in a neat bun with rich oils, butters and conditioners/gels that are very heavy. I also used this when I was relaxed, and texlaxed. Needless to say, when its time to shampoo in cases where you have a lot of product in your hair, or oils that you want to clean off before dry styling, a clarifying shampoo is really essential before deep conditioning so that my treatment will penetrate the strands of my hair and keep it in good health. V05 Clarifying Shampoos always deliver for this cleansing requirement. I don't even always have to suds twice to get a squeaky clean slate of hair. I have yet to find a comparable one so cheap that isnt harsh, always performs regardless of water being soft/hard, and doesnt dry out hair, and leaves my scalp feeling clean. This is NOT a daily use shampoo for me (I doubt it is for most people), but it is a great shampoo to keep in the rotation. Over this years I have successfully used salon (Kenra, Kera Care, Matrix, Phyto, Ojon, etc.), organic (Natures Gate, Giovanni, Aubrey Organics, etc.), and drug store (Neutrogena, Aussie, VO5, Clairol, etc.) products, so I know quality vs. cheap, and this is actually pretty good for a cheapie. Thats why its so popular and always around, wherever you go. Everyone has different hair and scalp needs regardless of similarties, at $1 a bottle you dont have too much to lose if you try it and it doesn't work out for you. :o)
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
MsLove 8/13/2012 8:27:00 PM
I finally bought this after all the hype. What was I waiting for? I dont wear tons of eyeshadow, but it keeps my liquid eyeliner, bottom eyeliner, and eyebrows glued perfectly on my skin through rain, snow, and 110 degree days in humid Washington, DC. If you dont wear a lot of eyeshadow, you could buy the mini trial size from Sephora and it will last you forever. You dont need a bunch of it. That makes the value worth it to me.
Styling Products -Farouk CHI - Chi shine infusion thermal polishing spray
MsLove 8/13/2012 8:24:00 PM
This is basically a fancy oil sheen. It is pretty lightweight. As with any oil sheen or "shine spray", be careful not to overuse or your hair will feel too greasy and weighed down. Just the right small spray here and there and it makes it look glossy and smoothes flyaways. I like it after blow drying and before flat ironing. You can buy the knockoff of this product at Sally's Beauty Supply, it is called GVP Shine Remedy and is an EXACT formulation of the CHI brand, only $7 instead.
Great thick, rich hydrating night creme that seeps into your skin and leaves it baby soft in the AM. Its not expensive, easy to find, smells good and doesnt leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards. I love the ingredients, lots of good stuff inside for less than $10 a jar.
I use this for many things. On my skin fter a shower, as a bath oil, add it to my conditioner in the winter time to lock in more moisture, put it on dry hair and let it soak in with heat under a hot towel, and I cook with it too. Avocado Oil is fabulous like Coconut Oil with many great benefits. Excellent value and it is good for you, 100% natural without silicones, parabens, etc.
Beautiful finish and lasts all day. I apply sunblock, then dust this over my face using an ecotools powder brush. It's wonderful, no caking, great color match and gives decent coverage for uneven spots on my face. When I don't want to wear heavy foundation but still want to look "flawless" I use this and it lasts from 7 AM until I get home around 5 or 6. Haven't had to use it in humid weather yet. Price isn't that great but as a woman of color I don't have many options for high quality makeup lines that perfectly match my skin tone and also perform to my expectations for my skin type, so it is what it is. This replaced my Bobbi Brown powder, as it looked beautiful at first but would later oxidize and melt off through the day because I don't think it was intended to be long wear.
Conditioner -Wen by Chaz Dean - Fig Cleansing Conditioner
MsLove 4/22/2012 5:15:00 PM
All this guy did was market co-washing (cleansing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo), which is ALWAYS great for hair. WEN itself is not spectacular, very much like other conditioners Ive used. As someone that has co-washed for years, I can say that its more the act of co-washing than this conditioner. A great co-wash conditioner that many people use is Suave, or VO5, no silicones, very light, suds a bit, and is cheap. You can also use richer more expensive ones to co-wash that give a much better value than Wen. I've tried so many. Anyway, you will truly see a difference in your hair if you co-wash but you don't have to use Wen to do it. Google co-washing for more info about how to do it and the benefits. By the way, when you first start co-washing your hair feels limp and greasy then beauty and glory kicks in after about 2 weeks of fighting through it. Your hair has to adjust to years of being stripped of natural lipids. Give it time and see if you like it
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - Recycled Retractable Foundation Brush
MsLove 1/5/2012 11:29:00 PM
This is the best foundation brush I have ever used. The reason is because you can dot your foundation using the tip on little cirlces in your face, then blend using the side of the brush around different contours. When you get to a smaller face, use the tip again. The circumference of the tip makes it very soft and comfortable application, that is still even. Very unique shape makes applying liquid foundation around eyes, the space b/w eyebrow and hairline, and other areas of your face that are not as much of an "open space" as your cheeks a breeze. I also love that it is retractable and you can take it with you so that you don't HAVE to clean it immediately to not create a mess. I started using about 6 months ago, and have washed weekly with soapy cleanser and water and the brush hasn't lost form, bristles, nothing. Still works great. At less than $10, it is an excellent value. Highly recommend the EcoTool brushes, also Gotta B Urban brushes are really good too (if you can find them)
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - Bamboo Foundation Brush
MsLove 1/5/2012 11:23:00 PM
I like all the ecotool brushes, and this works OK, like the avg foundation brush to me. But I prefer the retractable foundation brush to this one. The retractable found. brush in the silver tube, you can apply it better on your face, and blend better. Prob won't repurchase this type for that reason alone.
I love this kabuki, it blends perfectly, and gives good application of loose or pressed powder. I can keep it in my purse without having to get makeup spots from an exposed brush in a bag, and when its time to clean it washes very well with cleanser and dries to a beautiful soft finish. At less than $10. I can afford one for purse, home, and gym bag! I have all their brushes and highly recommend.
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - 6 Piece Eye Brush Set (5 brushes + case)
MsLove 1/5/2012 11:18:00 PM
I have many EcoTool brushes. After buying Mac brushes, bobbi brown, and a few others, I have found that this and "Gotta B Urban" brushes are equally excellent brushes in quality and value. Soft and blend wonderfully. Holds up to washing with soap cleanser and air dries without getting stiff. Highly recommended and very easy to find.I got tired of my mac brushes shedding and getting $30 brushes from other companies (Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Anastasia). These work just as well, if not better.
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Smith's Rosebud Salve
MsLove 1/5/2012 11:03:00 PM
This is basically rose scented pink vaseline in a little jar.It works great. But it is a true pain in the butt to open. I like everything about it, but hate the packaging. I keep it on my nightstand vanity now, half opened so the top doesn't get stuck, and apply to lips, hands, cuticles at night. I got this at sephora for $5. For a tin jar it should have the squeeze-pop opener or screw on/off. Would purchase again if they one day improve the packaging.