Hair Color -L'Oreal - Healthy Look Creme Color Gloss Medium Brown 5
pmburk 4/26/2013 9:55:00 AM
After 20 years of coloring my hair red, and constantly dealing with roots & fading, I decided to return to my natural medium reddish brown. I needed something to match my dark roots while they grow out so I didn't have an obvious line, and also I wanted to tone down some of the red. I picked this up at Target for around $7. I had no issues with the color being runnier than usual, although I did find the nozzle to be a bit small, so I can see it prone to clogging. My hair is chin length, but extraordinarily thick & coarse, and I had plenty of color to saturate all of my hair (whereas I ran out with 1 box of Natural Instincts). I left it on for about 23 minutes (got busy doing something & didn't keep track of the time), rinsed, shampooed & used my own deep conditioner. The color is not too dark or burgundy at all, it is a perfect medium brown to match my roots. My hair almost *always* grabs dark with brown dyes, but not with this. The color is even throughout, and my hair does not seem damaged or dry after use. I have some grown-out highlights underneath, so I am anxious to see how this fades over the next few weeks, but so far I am quite pleased.
Lip Gloss -E.L.F. - Essential jumbo lip gloss stick
pmburk 4/21/2013 6:42:00 PM
I ran across these at Target and picked up several of them - In the Nude, Pink Umbrellas, Summer Nights, and Movie Star. At $2 each, these are an incredible bargain. They're definitely more of a tinted balm rather than a gloss. They are moisturizing, easy to apply, and have a nice sweet minty flavor. The colors are sheer & lightly pigmented (for most of them, you can apply with no mirror, which is a plus for me). In the Nude is a light, slightly pearly beige. Summer Nights is a sheer, glittery bronze. Pink Umbrellas is a pretty light rose pink. Movie Star is the most highly pigmented - a sheer red that's very wearable for day, but still red enough for a glam pinup lip. The finish on most of them is creamy or slightly shimmery, not glossy or sticky at all. Also, the packaging is slim enough to toss in your cosmetic bag. Overall I am *very* impressed with these, and will definitely repurchase! For $2 each you just can't lose.
I picked this up for $10 at Ulta, in "medium." My hair is a light-medium brown with highlights, and this is a very nice match for me. The marker itself is insanely easy to use. Don't let "marker" scare you off with mental images of sharpie-drawn brows; this gives a really natural look, almost more natural than a pencil. Lasting power is pretty good, I have no problem with this lasting throughout my workday and into the evening. Overall, I am very pleased with this, and I will repurchase.
Conditioner -Matrix - Biolage Ultra Hydrating Conditioning Balm
pmburk 3/11/2013 11:04:00 AM
My hair is extremely thick, coarse, dry, color-treated, and heat-styled, so I ask a lot out of my hair products. I have used Biolage products in the past, and have always had good luck, so when I recently had my hair colored & highlighted, I picked up this balm, along with the colortherapie shampoo. Price was inexpensive for a salon brand: around $17 for a 10 oz tube regular price, and I got it on sale for $11. The balm has that typical light floral "Biolage" scent, which I personally love. The conditioner isn't super thick or waxy, it has a fairly thick consistency and a little goes a long way. I use about a quarter-sized amount for my hair (chin-length bob but extremely thick), and let it sit while I finish my shower, then rinse. My hair is soft, sleek, frizz-free, and hydrated. No feelings of being coated or weighed down, either. For my hair type, this is a definite HG product. My hair is color-treated and highlighted, and this didn't harm or fade my color at all. I am extremely pleased with this, and I will definitely repurchase when I run out.
My hair is extremely thick, coarse, dry, color-treated, and heat-styled. I have used Biolage products in the past, and have always had good luck, so when I recently had my hair colored & highlighted, I picked up this shampoo. Price was inexpensive for a salon brand: around $17 for a 16.9 oz bottle regular price, and I got it on sale for $11. The shampoo has that typical light floral "Biolage" scent, which I personally love. The shampoo is clear, but not at all drying. It lathers well and didn't leave my hair feeling at all stripped or dry - just clean and lightly hydrated. Although it does contain sulfates, which are terrible for color, somehow this works. It keeps my color looking fresh and fade-free. I am extremely pleased with this shampoo, and I will definitely repurchase when I run out.
I use this as a heat protectant spray with my flat iron, and it works miracles for that. Makes my coarse, thick, dry hair super shiny and sleek, with no weird heavy coated "hairspray" feeling, like many heat protectants. I don't have any issues with tangling, so I am not sure how it works for that, but as a heat styling spray it is amazing.
On a sidenote: I don't see any 'cones listed on this, but other users have stated it is full of them - I'm curious which ingredients are 'cones?
I'll admit, I bought this solely based on the cute packaging. However, I'm pretty pleased with it. It is a good, basic mascara. Perfect for daytime at the office. You won't get a dramatic false lash look with this, but it does lengthen & separate, doesn't flake, and lasts all day on me. I had no issues with slow drying time, clumping, smudging, or leaving dark circles, and I have very watery eyes due to seasonal allergies. The brush is a rubbery-plastic with short bristles, almost like a comb, so not your typical mascara brush at all. Overall I really do like this and will probably repurchase.
I like the PhotoReady line, and decided to pick this up. I have watery eyes (seasonal allergies) so opted for the waterproof version. On application, this is a nice enough mascara. No crazy volume or length, but it does add some length, volume & separation, and gives a nice, black look. Not false lash good, but nice enough. It does make your lashes a little hard/crunchy, so be warned. They aren't messing around when they say "waterproof" - this stuff will NOT budge, even with multiple applications of eye makeup remover, makeup remover wipes, and cold cream. I wore this mascara twice before I threw it away, because removal was so awful. Each time, I spent about 15 minutes trying to remove this to little avail. Started with eye makeup remover - no dice. Tried another eye makeup remover - nope. Then cold cream - again, very little came off. Soap & water - nope. Eventually I ended up getting *most* of it off, but I could tell it still didn't come completely off my lashes, and that was after probably 8 applications of remover products. Perhaps paint stripper would do the trick. Will definitely not repurchase.
Inexpensive mascara (around $8 at Beauty Brands), but does the trick. Lengthens, doesn't flake or smudge, somewhat buildable, and lasts all day with no ill effects. Nothing "special" about it - no major false-lash length or volume, no glitter or whatever - just a good, basic mascara. I like this and will repurchase.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Renpure Ren Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner
pmburk 2/28/2013 4:12:00 PM
Let me start by saying that although I am caucasian (Irish-American), my hair is incredibly thick and very coarse. I home color it and heat-style, so it is dry and somewhat damaged. I bought this since I cannot bring myself to drop the money on Wen. This was $10.99/bottle at Walgreens, and I bought it during a buy 1 get 1 free sale. I have used Salon Grafix & L'Oreal Evercreme, and both were okay, but nothing really special. Although this contains a light 'cone (amodimethicone), it isn't loaded down with them like Hair One or the Lisa Rachel cleansing conditioners are. I have heard, from many Wen users, that Ren is the closest thing to Wen without actually buying Wen, so I was excited to try it. This morning I used the Ren, but I followed the directions for using Wen (off their website) - basically a wash, rinse & repeat cycle. I soaked my hair thoroughly with water and "washed" with Ren - pumped in plenty of product, massaged my scalp thoroughly for a couple of minutes & rinsed out, to remove all the product buildup, dirt etc. Then I added a second round of Ren as a "conditioner" - massaged it in & combed through with a widetooth comb, and let it sit on my hair while I finished my shower, probably 10-15 minutes. Rinsed thoroughly, added about 1/2 pump as a leave-in on my soaking wet hair, then towel-dried. First, the rosemary mint smells amazing, and it feels awesome on my scalp. The product itself is thick, creamy, and had plenty of "slip." I had no problems spreading it through my hair & detangling. I had NO issues whatsoever with tangling, contrary to all the online reviews stating otherwise. After the final rinse, my hair felt totally clean, even after 3 days of styling products, but also very moisturized. I could actually feel the beneficial oils, but my hair did not feel at all coated, waxy, or dirty. It just felt hydrated & soft. While wet, I could really tell a difference in my hair - it looked super shiny. After I blow-dried, my hair was nowhere near the usual poufy-frizzy mess it usually is. It is very shiny and soft. I think next time I would use a larger pump for styling/leave-in, as I do flat iron, and need a little additional product to avoid frizz/damage, but that's the fault of my styling methods, and not Ren. Overall I think this is a fantastic product for someone with hair like mine - thick, coarse, dry, and damaged. I can see this being too heavy for people with normal, thin, or fine hair. For me, it is a Godsend. I will definitely continue to use this and buy more!
Edit: Just used Ren for the 2nd time (I wash my hair about twice a week) & wanted to update. Used same method as last time, except used 1 full pump as a leave-in. My hair looks & feels amazing - even better than the last time! After blowdrying, my hair was completely smooth, sleek, & frizz-free - something that hasn't happened for me in YEARS. I barely had to use my flat iron at all. Ren has literally transformed my frizzy, dry, parched hair. It can leave your hair feeling coated, but I find that if you shampoo every few times, and use the Ren as a conditioner after, it works just as well.
Treatments -Ole Henriksen - African Red Tea See the Difference Serum
pmburk 2/26/2013 12:10:00 PM
I like this serum okay, but didn't notice anything spectacular about it. It seems lightly hydrating, but that's about it. After cleansing & toning in the mornings, I put on a thin layer and let it soak in, then apply my moisturizer. I didn't experience any tingling, but also didn't notice any real effects or changes in my skin. One thing I did notice is that this made my eyes water something fierce. I am very cautious to avoid getting any product in, or even close to, my eyes, as I fight allergies & watery eyes most of the time anyway. I can only assume this has some type of fragrance in it that my eyes don't like. Because of this, and the fact that I didn't notice any results, I won't repurchase.
I bought this in 150 Buff, I'm NW15 in MAC and Buff worked great for me. This is a liquid-creme foundation in a heavy glass jar with a screw-on black plastic lid. The packaging looks nice and is heavy; I use a small plastic spatula to scoop out what I need. The foundation itself is full coverage, and comparable to MAC Studio Fix. It will last all day, and gives a flawless, matte finish. I have somewhat dry skin with no real issues, and I typically wear light to medium coverage foundations with a more natural look. This is WAY too heavy for me, even when applied with a very light hand, and can be cakey and very mask-like. I applied it with my ELF Studio flat top brush and it blended fairly easily and did last throughout my entire workday with minimal touchups. The finish was a solid matte, and gave a very "pinup" but very unnatural doll-like appearance (think Dita von Teese). This feels & looks like heavy stage makeup. If you have skin issues that need a lot of coverage, and want something that holds up, or are looking for a full coverage matte finish (perhaps if you are on the stage), this would be a great foundation for you. I gave it 3 stars because I think it performs amazingly well and does what it claims - but I find it way too heavy and unnatural for my own use.
Hair -Unlisted Brand - Salon Grafix Citrus Creme Conditioning Cleanser, 12 oz
pmburk 2/21/2013 10:34:00 AM
I have extremely thick hair that is also very coarse and dry. It is also color-treated & heat styled (blowdry & flat iron), so I need a lot of moisture, but also color protection. I wash my hair usually twice per week to minimize damage. I have never used Wen, but have used L'Oreal EverCreme cleansing conditioner. I picked this up for $8 at Walgreens to try it, and so far I love it. My hair is fairly short (chin-length layered bob), but very thick, so I probably used 8-10 pumps. You cannot skimp with this: if you don't use enough product & water, your hair will not get clean. I soaked my hair down well with water, added the conditioner, worked it through thoroughly & massaged it in all over my head, scalp & through my hair for a good 2 minutes, then combed it through with a wide-tooth plastic comb & let it sit on my hair while I finished shaving my legs in the shower, probably 10 minutes. Longer than recommended, but as my hair is quite dry I figured it couldn't hurt. I rinsed about the same as I always do - probably 2-3 minutes under the shower, and I had no problems with it rinsing out completely & rinsing clean. It rinsed out as easily as my regular conditioner would. (Now, if you have soft water, I can see rinsing being an issue.) My hair felt completely clean, all styling product buildup removed (which shocked me, as I typically use a LOT of product), and not at all weighed-down or coated. Just clean & soft. I used 1 pump worked through the ends as a leave-in before I styled, and my regular heat-protectant spray. My hair is smooth, soft & shiny, and not at all weighed-down. It looks & feels much better than usual, doesn't look dry or fried or oily/weighed-down. The "citrus creme" scent to me is lovely & clean - reminiscent of Bath & Body Works cool citrus basil. Overall I am quite impressed with this, as someone who has always done shampoo & conditioner 2-step process, I think the cleansing conditioner method may well be a God-send for my hair type. I am going to repurchase this & continue to use it, and see if it really helps my hair overall. Edited: This didn't moisturize as much as I would have liked, and I did have itchy scalp after a day or so. I've switched to RenPure's "Ren" and it is a heavier product with more oils, and better for my specific hair type.
Foundations -Cover Girl - Natureluxe Liquid Silk Foundation
pmburk 2/21/2013 10:16:00 AM
I recently bought this on a total whim, and it may very well be my new HG. I wear a mix of drugstore & higher-end/dept store/Sephora cosmetics - everything from ELF to Guerlain & Chanel - but I honestly never would have thought my HG foundation would be Cover Girl. This reminds me very much of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It gives light coverage with a natural, satin "your skin but better" finish. I bought 305 Alabaster (I'm NW15 and it worked fine for me) and applied it with my ELF Studio flat top powder brush (my new favorite application method). It blended extremely well and left a beautiful, natural finish - not too dewy and not too matte. No cakey-ness or settling into pores at all. I will say that this is light coverage, possibly buildable to medium, so probably best for people with "good" skin, and no major issues with acne or discoloration. My skin is good overall condition, and slightly dry, and I absolutely love this. The texture is slightly thinner than Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation, and the tube shape/size is similar. Light, clean cucumber scent that fades quickly - I didn't find it overwhelming at all. Price, I gave it a 2 since it is around $10, which is a little high for drugstore IMHO. However, it is worth it. Overall I'm really surprised by how much I like this, and I will definitely repurchase. Sadly I think this is discontinued according to the Cover Girl website, so I will buy at least 1 backup!
I bought the color care shampoo, conditioner, and the shine mask. I am blown away by these. I've never in my life had good luck with any Suave products until now. I have extremely thick, coarse, dry, color-treated & heat-styled hair. My hair loves 'cones & thus Moroccan oil, and this line works really well for me. It keeps the frizz away, makes my hair sleek & shiny, and weighs it down just enough. I would say this line is best for thick, dry hair, as I can see it being too heavy for fine or thin hair. The shampoo lathers really well, but doesn't leave my hair feeling stripped. The conditioner is somewhat thick and leaves my hair feeling sleek & hydrated. The shine mask is also really nice. All of them have that typical scent that all Moroccan/Argan oil hair products have - like a heavy, musky baby powder. I don't mind it. Overall I am quite pleased with this line & will continue to purchase it. Edited: Like every other Suave shampoo/conditioner I've used, this dried my hair out.