My grays look obnoxious at the hair line just 2 weeks after a pro color so I'm always looking for something decent to use in between salon visits. I gave this a shot and a week later I'm less than impressed. I'll give this 2 lippies because it left my hair in good shape after coloring and conditioning and the initial color was decent and even looking although like most drug store browns, had a slight red hue that becomes more apparent with every wash. Not as bad as some but there. I left this on my gray root area for as long as the box suggested for stubborn grays and at first all looked well with the exception of the horrendous staining this left behind. I try to be careful and even apply this to my roots with a color brush but inevitably I get some on my skin. Not a big deal I can usually get it off with alcohol or wait for it to wash out of my scalp. Not this stuff. I had to use some left over color to get the worst of it off and a WEEK later I can still see traces of it and there is a small spot on the back of my neck that just will not come off even with daily exfoliation. I'm gonna have to go hunt down some color remover. I've never had this problem with a color before. I only wish this were as tenacious on my gray hairs because my root area looks just as crappy now as it did a week ago. I get longer lasting results from demi color so this product is a fail.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Mainstays Flour Sack Kitchen Towels
hwnpunch 4/28/2013 9:44:00 AM
Yes I'm reviewing a kitchen towel of all things on MUA because these are the best face cloths I've ever used and are dirt cheap. I often use the OCM or cold cream at night to remove sunscreen and was looking at buying some muslin face cloths since their supposed to work well with this method. I spotted these towels at Walmart in a package of 8 for less than $6. They might be a slightly heavier weight than some advertised muslin face cloths but I've never used one so I'm guestimating by product pics. Otherwise they look pretty similar to what I've seen. Essentially these are thin,100% cotton, white, 28"x29", low thread count, loose woven, smooth towels.The weave gives just enough texture to gently exfoliate and leave my skin nice and smooth. I can even use these around my eyes to remove my eye make up. These really help get every last bit of make up and sunscreen off without irritating my skin . I love that these are huge and give you plenty of surface area to cover your face and neck twice over. They're also super absorbant and rinse/wash up great. I have fairly sensitive skin and love these but I also use common sense and a light hand. It doesn't take much pressure for these to grab and exfoliate.
I have to use the OCM every night to make sure that all of my sunscreen comes off and prevent break outs. Even when using my clarisonic it feels like I haven't removed it all. I like OCM and it's been great for my skin but it's messy and runny. I started looking into cold cream since it's basicly the same thing and I won't have to worry about leaking bottles when I travel or spills in the bath. Ponds apparently lost their minds and changed their formula to skin irritation in a jar so I had to pass on that and couldn't find a commercial alternative that resembles the old formula. I did come across Deborah's Homemade Cold Cream recipe online (listed below by a previous poster) and love how easy it was to make and the fact that you can customize by subbing whatever oils and wax that works best for your skin. I bought some mineral oil and had candelilla wax on hand and whipped this up in less than 15 minutes. This wax is harder than beeswax though so I cut the amount to 1 heaping Tbsp and the texture came out perfect. I store it in a small clear tupperware container in the fridge. As for the cleaning process, for my combo skin the best routine I've found is after massaging this in well I wipe as much off as possible with a tissue and then wipe down with one of those cheap cotton flour sack cloths after soaking it in hot water. They have just the right texture for gentle exfoliation and are gentle enough to use around my eyes. They are also nice and big and cost about $1 at Walmart. Then do a quick wash with Dr. Bronner or a similar castille soap with cool water. This gets off all of my waterproof mascara, make up and sunscreen without stripping my skin or stinging my eyes and just enough moisture is left behind so that I don't need another moisturizer. I've also found this to be very versatile, it makes a great over night moisturizer for elbows and feet, add a little brown sugar or sea salt for a face or body scrub and I've found that it works better than regular cream or gel for shaving my legs and leaves them nice and soft. Mineral Oil is not the greenest option but I decided to use it because after researching, despite it's bad rep, it's listed as one of the least reactive oils you can use on your skin. It doesn't make me break out and I can find it for $2 a bottle at my local drug store. I usually use plant based oils like argan and passion fruit because they provide nice nutrients but didn't want to waste a 1/2 cup of expensive oils on what could have amounted to a failed experiment. Now that I know this works so well I'll have to give them a try but I'm happy with this more classic version and you really can't beat the price. All of the ingredients when purchased cost less than a jar of Ponds and probably comes out to pocket change per batch. Add in the fact that it takes less time to make than it would to to go the store and buy a jar and you really can't go wrong with this.
My medication causes itchy red patches on my face if I'm exposed to the sun too long so sun block with some physical ingredients is imperative and I need one that does the job without irritating my skin, breaking me out or looking greasy. Although I really like the Elta MD sunscreen I currently have it doesn't protect as long as Sheseido's old Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream (now discontinued) which was my HG sunscreen. I've yet to try the reformulated version but I've heard that they reduced the amount of physical sunscreen and that doesn't thrill me. Chemical sunscreen is more likely to irritate my face. I could put the old stuff on in the morning and go to one of my kids softball tournaments and not worry about reapplying all day. This past weekend I forgot to reapply my Elta and while I didn't burn I did break out in a rash on my chin where I tend to get oily and the Elta wore off quicker. If you've ever had this type of rash I can tell you it sucks. It itches and takes days to go away. I spotted a bottle of the Urban Environment at TJ Maxx for under $15 and liked the combination of ingredients. When I tested it on the back of my hand it blended in quickly and left a satin almost matte finish similar to the Extra Smooth maybe a bit more matte. When I got it home and did a full face application it went on really white. Not wanting to give up on it I added some Dr Hauschka's Bronzing lotion and problem solved. Once I rubbed this in well and it absorbed this left a fairly matte finish with no white residue, no greasiness or breakouts and makeup goes over it beautifully. If I want to skip the make up I can add a little extra bronzing lotion and some powder and go. I'll probably reserve this for the days that I'm outside in the sun and use Elta for day to day use. Glad I found it cheap but I won't hesitate to pay full price when it's gone. Even my kids prefer this sunscreen when playing ball because it lasts all day through profuse sweating and doesn't cause breakouts or eye irritation.
Other -Unlisted Brand - Huggies Shea Butter Baby Wipes
hwnpunch 4/4/2013 10:59:00 AM
I often make my own face wipes but I saw a jumbo refill bag of these on sale ridiculously cheap so I grabbed them. As a make up removing wipe on it's own I would only give these 2 stars and really don't see what the love is about aside from the cost and convenience factor. It will remove foundation but it takes several wipes to do so and I don't find them at all gentle after the first wipe. I don't have much luck removing mascara with these without some kind of remover or oil which is just as well since the remover gives some protection to the eye area. Unless folks are buying a different shea version that I didn't see available to me these wipes are slightly rough and actually exfoliate the skin. This made me wonder how uncomfortable and raw my poor kids must have been as babies if the baby wipes I used on them were textured this way. When used for hygiene purposes I find them a bit rough and not soft enough for sensitive areas. If I try to use these alone to remove makeup and get every last bit my face begins to get irritated from over exfoliation and sting because it takes so much rubbing to get all of my makeup off which is usually tinted sunscreen or TM and bronzer. I do find that using these to wipe away residue from cleansing oil or my Balms Away makeup remover works excellent. It removes the oil and makeup without stripping my skin and provides just enough exfoliation without irritation. This way is gentle enough even for my eye area but a wet washcloth works just as well. These also have a mild scent that I find annoying but is easily rinsed away with water. Rinsing isn't necessary as this doesn't leave any oily residue behind I just don't care for the smell. I may keep a small stash on hand for travel but I won't go out of my way to repurchase.
Hair Color -Clairol - Nice 'n Easy - Root Touch Up
hwnpunch 3/21/2013 10:09:00 AM
I have a need hate relationship with this product. I get my hair colored in a salon every 4-6 weeks but without fail I desperately need a touch up at the 2 week mark and I'd be in divorce court if I was to shell out that kind of money bi-monthly. I used to use demi- perm color but over time I found the colors ran too dark even when mixing a Med brown with a dark blonde and once you go too dark with those there isn't any way to go back until you wait it out. I thought this would be a decent alternative and it is sort of. The dark brown shade is forgiving and matches my hair color well enough but you do have to leave this on 5-10 minutes longer than the box states. The gloves are cheap and rip easily and the tray used to mix this is small and prone to overflow when mixing so mix carefully. This comes with a small root brush and it works ok if you're just trying to get smaller really noticeable areas around your face or visible parts/hairline etc. If you're going to go to town and do a full root touch up though I'd suggest buying 2 boxes and an actual coloring brush from a beauty supply store. The small brush can be a real PIA and snag. This doesn't come with conditioner but I prefer Feria's anyway so that's not a problem for me and I find my Derm Organics Conditioner works just fine too. Gray coverage is decent if you leave it on longer than stated but I always notice one or two strays and I know I've applied well. My problem with this product is that two weeks after I use it my hair looks ten times worse than before. Not the oh crap my gray roots are showing terrible but really ratty. Unless you're a pro and I'm clearly not, it's almost impossible to put this solution ONLY on the roots you need touched up and not get it on any other part of your hair. The result is a faded layer of color around those areas impossible to miss that didn't need color, another faded layer of the grays that I treated 2 weeks before that are now showing through and a layer of new growth resulting in hair that looks really ratty and faded at the hairline. Yes my hair grows fast so these results may not be typical but it's frustrating. I need this or something like it for quick touch ups but I limit it to one use between pro colorings or my stylist starts swearing under his breath. On more than one occasion using this repeatedly between colorings has done bad things to my color where they overlapped.
Bronzers -LORAC - TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer
hwnpunch 3/21/2013 7:33:00 AM
I received a deluxe sample of this in the Deep shade from Sephora. It's labeled for body use but I use a very small drop mixed with physical sunscreen or foundation that's too light. Of all of the bronzers I use for this purpose this gives the prettiest result and the best color for my skin tone which is medium/ olive with some redness. This is a pretty, luminizing bronze colored lotion with a nice vanilla scent. Not an overpowering smell and no teen sparkles. This has much more of a toasty golden brown tone than most bronzers. I find that this compliments the olive tones in my skin and really cancels out any redness even when I use just this mixed with sunscreen. This is pretty dark straight out of the tube as it's meant for deeper skin tones so if I ever use this on my body I'd mix it with lotion or sunscreen there as well. Because it's pretty luminous I tend to use this less for day to day and more for special occasions, dinners out or when my skin is just looking really dull. Since I have combo skin with an oily t-zone having this on all day with foundation requires blotting or powder touch ups every couple of hours to avoid looking shiny. Less maintenance is required when I just mix with sunscreen. I have zero transfer issues when mixed with sunscreen and only as much as the foundation I mix it with is prone to. This also works great straight out of the tube for contouring or on the cheek bones as a bronzer. This sample is going to last a long while since I only use a tiny bit at a time but I'll repurchase to keep this around for the summer. My mini tube looks like a small version of the full sized and so far my only gripe is that it's easy to squeeze way too much out with hardly any pressure wasting product and making a mess but at least they're generous with their samples.
Mascara -Maybelline - Full 'N Soft Mascara Waterproof
hwnpunch 3/20/2013 12:59:00 PM
This isn't the best mascara I've ever used but good for the price and I'd pick it up again in a pinch. I bought it to tide me over until I can reorder my usual Lights Camera Splashes. It gives a nice soft fringe that's great for casual everyday wear but it took three coats for me to be satisfied with it. The brush is a little too soft and feels like it has a hard time grabbing my lashes. I wish the bristles were a bit firmer but this is a nice cheap option for casual looks and does hold a curl longer than my usual mascara. I can't comment on how this holds up in the water yet but I live in a warm humid climate so buy I WP to avoid smudging. I've had no issues with that so far. Not for someone looking for dramatic lashes for sure but for $5 it's good for everyday.
Bronzers -Dr. Hauschka - Translucent Bronze Concentrate
hwnpunch 3/7/2013 1:32:00 PM
Like other reviewers stated this is a very thin liquid bronzer with no shimmer that's meant to be used mixed with a lotion. It comes in a pump dispenser that dispenses way too much product and I don't think I would have bought this if I hadn't spotted it online for under $20 since the regular rate is upwards of $30. I love that it's good for your skin and it's much more subtle than others I've used. This gives a more naturaly tanned look without any orange tint or sparkles but I prefer to use a half pump with a physical sunscreen as opposed to moisturizer. When I use this with a moisturizer it's a bit too sheer and seems to emphasize any redness in my skin but with sunscreen it's a very pretty sunkissed color that lets me skip foundation and just use some concealer under my eyes. I'm not sure if I'd pay full price for this but I would repurchase if I could find it at a discounted rate again since it's less expensive than the Bronze Goddess bronzer I've been using to tint my sunscreen and skip the hassles of foundation matching. *Update* 5/17 I've been using this every day now that the weather is warming up and the rest of me is getting more color than my face. It's easy to add to my sunscreen for as little or as much color as I want and it's perfect for daytime since it has no sparkle. The pump can still be a little hard to control but I could have gotten an oddball. This has never caused me to break out but I don't wear it alone either. Even though I find the price a bit much I'm getting ready to order a second bottle.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
hwnpunch 3/7/2013 8:10:00 AM
I spent 20 minutes hunting through Sephora for a silicone free moisturizer that wasn't too heavy for my face and was about to give it up when I spotted this little gem in the check out area. This is a glycerine based product so I was a little wary since glycerine can make me break out with repeated use. I love Tarte's glycerine cheek stains but can't wear them back to back or more then a staggered few days a week without getting a break out on my cheeks. That type of glycerine just parks on top of the skin which is what I'm assuming causes the issue this product aborbs almost instantly so I'm willing to give it a shot. Out of the tube the consistency reminds me of a yellow primer but a bit more dense and it smells a little like Carmex. Not the best scent but the package comes with an insert that explains the product and that the smell evaporates quickly and it does. Within seconds. I use this for my face and have combo skin. A little goes a long way a pea sized dollop is the perfect amount to cover my face and neck and this absorbs immediately with no greasy after feel and no residue. It hasn't made my skin oily throughout the day or caused any break outs so far and my skin reacts pretty quickly to new products. If after a few days there are no issues I'm usually in the clear. This could change as the weather warms up but I can see this working just as well for me on hot summer days as it is now in cool weather. This stuff is deceptively light. Other posters mentioned the soothing benefits and to my surprise I used this after an eyebrow wax the other day and it calmed the redness and swelling right down. Normally no matter where I get a wax done or what I do or take before or after I'm red and swollen and look like a freak show for hours. This took the redness away almost immediately and left me with just some slight swelling so that I could at least carry on with my day without giant sunglasses. Great find for the silicone sensitive and a definite rebuy. ** Update** So it's that time of the month when I get one or two really painful blemishes that you just can't help but mess with no matter how bad you know it's gonna look in the morning. I applied this moisturizer after washing my face and the next morning they were gone, no under grounders waiting to resurface or redness, you could barely tell they were ever there at all. If you have the same bad habit most people do, use this after. I'm assuming it's the camphor in the formula. Great multi-purpose product and will always be in my medicine cabinet.
My overall feeling about this product is kind of meh but I'm not a huge hairspray fan/user to begin with. I think it's seriously over priced but I bought it because I was having a hard time finding a truly flexible hold hairspray that wouldn't make my hair feel like straw on days that I wanted to look a bit more polished and keep my style in place. This does give a nice light hold that brushes out easily and as long as I don't use too much my hair feels a little rough but it's wearable and I can run my fingers through it. If I use more than a very light spray (holding the can a good 16 inches away) this makes my hair look and feel coated and clumped together. I find that my daughters cheap Tresemme spray looks and feels nicer but takes forever to wash out and is drying. This washes out easily and doesn't dry my hair out. I'm on the fence about buying this again. It does it's job but I may look for a cheaper option since a few more reasonably priced brands are coming back out with flexible hold sprays. This can should last me quite a while though since it's not a product I use every day so that does take some of the sting out of the price tag.
Conditioner -DermOrganic - Daily Hydrating Conditioner
hwnpunch 3/1/2013 11:57:00 AM
Every time I see DermOrganic shampoo and Conditioner in TJ Maxx I buy some but usually I buy the Masque Conditioner which I love. I accidentaly picked this version up a couple of weeks ago and love it just as much. I've used many ridiculously priced shampoos and conditioners from salons and still keep coming back to DermOrganic whenever I can get my hands on the big bottles. Nothing works as well so consistantly. This formula is a panthenol conditioner with a thinner consistancy than the Masque. I've been using this daily but especially love it after keratin or protein treatments to keep my hair feeling soft and moisturized. It has great slip so I use this as a leave in by combing a tiny pea sized drop of this into wet hair before I wrap it in a towel. This keeps my hair silky soft without weighing it down and minimizes frizz which makes my blow dry easier. My hair never feels greasy the next day either. I buy the big pump bottles from TJ Maxx for around $20 and they last a long time. This brand is available in CVS but the sizes are laughable and the price ridiculous so as much as I love it I only purchase it discounted. The only thing I find irritating is that the pump has a hard time picking up product as the levels get low and I've had several fail just days after purchase making it a pain to get the product out in the shower.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Elta MD UV Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 45
hwnpunch 2/27/2013 3:35:00 PM
I love this sunscreen. It isn't heavy, has no smell and blends in easily. This doesn't leave my combo skin greasy looking, irritate my skin and eyes or break me out. I also like their clear formula for acne prone skin but this is less drying and a tad creamier although still extremely light wearing. I don't get a white cast when wearing this but I like to blend this with a drop of Bronze Goddess bronzing liquid and a drop of my regular foundation in the palm of my hand. I can adjust the color as needed and it wears like a custom TM with no transfer issues like I sometimes get with my regular TM especially in heat or humidity. If I'm wearing alone or blended with bronzer I like to set this with powder, either silica or a tinted finishing powder if I want extra coverage for a nice dewy natural look. This stays put almost as well as the old Shesido for the face but is not water proof. I always make sure I remove this thoroughly in the evenings to prevent clogged pores and break outs. Not cheap at around $24 for a 3oz squeeze tube but worth it. This is also one of the few sunscreens that qualifies as an MSA purchase so I was able to stock up at the end of the year with money I had left that wouldn't roll over.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46
hwnpunch 2/21/2013 8:01:00 PM
After my stash of HG and now dc'd Sheseido sunscreen ran out I was having a really tough time finding something comparable to replace it that wouldn't irritate my skin and eyes or cause breakouts. I actually ordered this for my daughter who plays sports, is acne prone and has similar issues with sunscreen. I gave it a try and love it. Its not cheap for sunscreen but how many of us have spent over $20 just for primer? This is a light lotion that has no sunscreen smell and dries to a matte finish. It doesn't irritate my eyes or skin but it provides some serious oil control so I sometimes add one drop of face oil to keep it from being too drying this also gives it a dewier finish. I get zero breakthrough shine when wearing this either alone or under makeup and my t-zone can get pretty oily. Because of this I don't use this with powder. That combination is way too drying and I haven't been able to skip powder since I was 15. This isnt for someone with dry skin issues but could be a big help for the oily and /or acne prone. Sun protection seems pretty good for day to day and this seems a bit easier to remove than some I've used. Glad I found it and even stocked up on a few bottles while it was on sale.
I'm rewriting my intitial review of this product because I'm not sure that I explained myself or the product well enough the first time around. This 4 Day Straight Flat Iron Spray is marketed as a touch up to be used between their 14 day Keratin treatment. I've never used their Keratin treatment and can't comment on how well it works but this is essentially a heat activated protein treatment that you bake in with a flat iron. The bottle says to dry hair completely then spray small sections of your hair, straightening each section while sealing this in with your flat iron. On the suggestion of a Drugstore.com reviewer and because I'm a bit over cautious with flat ironing I chose to use this as a blow out spray on damp hair first and then made a quick pass with my flat iron to seal it in completely after my hair was dry. It worked great and gave me shiney, straight, frizz free hair that lasted through a rainy day even though I did not follow the directions on the bottle. It doesn't recommend how often to use this and says that it lasts for 4 days or until your next shampoo. This is where I have a problem and removed a lippie. From what I understand protein when overused will make your hair brittle from overload. I can see this being an issue if this product was used all of the time. After washing my hair the first time I could feel the difference in my hair texture and needed a decent panthenol based leave in to make it feel soft. This did not wash out after my first shampoo. I'm fine with that but had I tried to use this multiple times in a week with that much heat I'm thinking my hair would have been feeling like burnt straw. I still have tons of shine, no frizz and a much faster blow dry so I'm happy to wait it out a bit. Past experience with protein treatments tells me that it will be almost two weeks before I can safely load my hair up with that much protein again. Will it keep my hair straight and frizz free no matter the weather like the day I applied it ? No but I expect it will make my life easier and my hair look healthier for a couple of weeks. If you're looking for Brazillian straight hair for a special day this will do it. Every day? Go to a professional. This is an excellent at home protein treatment that I would never use multiple times a week but well worth the ridiculously cheap $5.99.