Shampoo -L'Oreal - Hyaluronic Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo
skelterhelter 3/25/2013 11:19:00 AM
Wow, this shampoo is absolutely amazing! I was in the market for something that would quench my dry, damaged hair. My hair just hasn't been the same since I dyed it blonde, so on a recent trip to Rite Aid I immediately picked this up because it claimed to moisturize to the extreme. And by golly it does. This has to be one of the best drugstore shampoos out there! My hair feels healthy and full of moisture, but not to the point of being oily or weighed down. Also, there are virtually NO tangles when I brush my hair, and the detangled softness lasts all day. Would repurchase again and again.
Accessories -Unlisted Brand - Pandora Bead Bracelet
skelterhelter 2/23/2013 1:49:00 PM
Pandora is one of my other passions besides makeup. It's a grown up charm bracelet, a classy spin on a childhood staple. What I love most about Pandora is you can collect charms to celebrate special occasions in your life, or anything you deem memorable. Also, Pandora is completely customizable -- no two bracelets look alike. There are different types of beads you can purchase depending on your style or what you envision for your bracelet. There are sterling silver, gold, two tone, enamel, wood, and glass beads (all in varying price ranges). A lot of people use Murano glass beads to follow a particular color theme, but I personally don't. That's the best part -- it's all about what you like! It can get very pricey (I think the cheapest bead is around $30), but the trick is to build slowly and receive them as gifts. I recommended starting your bracelet with two clips when you make your first Pandora purchase. Clips literally clip over the threads and prevent your bracelet from stretching, as well as keep your charms from sliding into sections you don't want them to be in. Again, clips also come in many styles and price ranges. All in all, Pandora is a wonderful gift idea. I do wish they had more career/hobby charms, but I know Pandora comes out with new collections every year...so it might be on the horizon. My Pandora bracelet is definitely my favorite piece of jewelry -- I can look at each charm and remember a particular memory or event associated with it. What other jewelry could be so special? :)
Another fabulous drugstore find! I've been on the hunt for an inexpensive alternative to the MAC wipes (which, although removed my makeup thoroughly, are too pricey and too heavily fragranced for me). I saw these Simple wipes at Walgreens for a little less than $7 so I knew I had to give them a try. I like how each wipes is textured for exfoliation -- it helps to slough the makeup off without much effort. The wipe is also wet enough to do the job, but not so wet that my face was dripping with product. Best part of all -- no stinging or irritation! I was able to remove the makeup around my eyes (not IN my eyes, mind you) without tearing up. It did a great job removing my face makeup and eye shadow. However, I took one lippie off because I still had some mascara left behind, and because I don't care for those sticky, pull tab doors on the package -- they tend to cause the product to dry up faster. But for something that's $7 and readily available at the drugstore, I will continue to repurchase again and again.
I love my nearest Ulta -- never had any bad experiences with SAs or the overall store. The SAs never badger me or try to sell a product (which is almost always the case with Sephora); because of this reason alone I will continue shopping there. I absolutely DETEST when a sales associate won't leave me alone. I'm usually the type that knows what I want when I go in there or I just want to browse to check out all the new products or plan future purchases. If I need help I'll ask for it! Anyway, my particular store is always clean and well-organized. Prices could be better (high-end stuff is on par with Sephora, but drugstore tends to be slightly higher than, say, Walmart or CVS. However, they always have some sort of BOGO or deal, so that works out if you wanna stock up your favorites from a particular brand. I also love that they carry brands like NYX, which aren't readily available. All in all, a wonderful store -- truly a girl's playground!
Lip Treatments -Maybelline - Baby Lips - Coral Crush
skelterhelter 2/6/2013 8:36:00 PM
After hearing a lot of buzz about the Maybelline Baby Lips balms, I knew I had to try at least one to see if it was worth the hype. And the verdict? They are just ok. I don't think they are absolutely mind-blowing, but I also think they're a nice addition to my purse when I want a sheer hint of color & softness to my parched lips. Baby Lips doesn't provide nearly the amount of moisture needed to soothe my lips, but merely gives the illusion of actually doing something to heal the lips -- the Chapstick effect, if you will. But they do feel incredibly smooth after applying, although the balm wears off quickly. The shade I chose -- Coral Crush -- leaves a translucent reddish-orange color; it's a shade I can swipe on without really thinking about whether it's too much. Plus, it smells like orange Starbursts! Mm. All in all, not a holy grail product by any means, but for a cheap bit of fun it serves its purpose! :)
Lotions/ Creams -Pacifica - Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter
skelterhelter 2/2/2013 11:09:00 PM
Mmm, this is a tropical, fruity drink sipped on an island near the sea. Rich, juicy grapefruit mingles with an earthier guava base note. I don't get much coconut from this but it's still amazing anyway. I love how the scent lingers too. Took one lippie off because the thickness of the product makes it hard to sink into hands, but I'd still repurchase. Love to try Tuscan Blood Orange!
I really thought this would be my holy grail foundation but alas it's not :( Rundown on my skin: Combo -- oily in the t zone and dry/sensitive on the cheeks. I'm an NC20 in MAC, so the 1.2 shade was a perfect match for me in the Studio Skin. Initially when I tried this as a sample I LOVED it. It blended into my skin flawlessly and covered my imperfections. But, now that it's winter, this stuff just looks so dry and cakey around my nose. It's a lot thicker in consistency than I remember too :/ Unfortunately, I will not be repurchasing.
Concealers -Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles
skelterhelter 1/21/2013 12:22:00 AM
Once again MakeupbyTiffanyD has come through with an excellent product recommendation! She raved so much about this undereye concealer that I kept it mind when I made my most recent trip to the drugstore. Having such a bad issue with bags/darkness under my eyes, I really wanted something GOOD. Most concealers merely highlight the problem, bringing more attention to the dark circles because it gets so cakey. So I bought the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circles in the Neutralizer. The first thing I noticed was that the concealer was very yellow-toned; normally that's not a problem because I do have warm undertones, but I hoped it wouldn't be too yellow that it wouldn't conceal my dark circles. To my surprise, it covered REALLY well. It also appeared to reduce the puffiness. My whole eye area looked fresh, young and radiant! The only quibble I have is that because it has one of those twist applicators, it has the potential to push out too much product. However, I DO like the big sponge tip despite how unhygienic it is -- it covers so much area so quickly and blends it so well. Another hit from the drugstore! Will repurchase again.
Primer/ Corrector -NYX - Studio Perfect Photo-loving Primer
skelterhelter 1/18/2013 12:53:00 PM
I bought this in the green formula, which is used to correct redness. I wanted something that was way cheaper than Smashbox but still effective in concealing the redness around my nose & cheeks. Unfortunately this was not it. Although this product is cheaper at $11 and acts as a decent primer underneath my foundation, it does nothing for the redness. All it does is leave a slippery silicone base so my foundation can be applied with minimal tugging. Other than that very basic function, it does little else. Also seems a little greasier than the Smashbox and takes a little longer to sink. Decent product but the green formula doesn't live up to my expectations.
I'm glad I picked up the NYX stick blushes before they were discontinued -- they are a fabulous and inexpensive blush! It's hard to find a good cream blush, and even harder to find a CHEAP cream blush. At around $4 a pop, they really can't be beat (I found mine at Ulta right before they phased them out, so I dunno how much they were before that). I picked up Orchid (a matte peach), Tulip (a dusty pink), and Magnolia (a brighter, more magenta pink). Each are easy to apply & blend: just one quick roll on directly from the tube, then a gentle pat with the fingers to blend. Very flattering and glowy; no chunky shimmers whatsoever. It's also very long-lasting. Disappointed NYX won't be carrying these anymore.
Prada Candy is the sophisticated yet still fun older sister of Aquolina's Pink Sugar & Viva La Juicy. There's an overall cotton candy sweetness -- which makes it perfect for younger girls -- but it has a musky Oriental dry down with a slight hint of caramel, so older ladies can rock it too. It's a scent a girl can wear to the office or school because it's very light, girly and non-offensive. And don't be put off by the word musk -- it's just a general warmth & spice that rounds out the gourmand sweetness rather than your typical cloying musk. Beautiful scent but I took off a lippie for its disappointing longevity. I can barely smell it after about a half hour. So instead of taking the plunge & buying a full-size bottle (been working on my samples), I purchased a $5 knock-off from CVS called Party Candy. Not an exact dupe but very similar, and also in a cute bottle like the original. Lasting power sucks on the dupe too, but at least I'm only out $5 instead of $80 ;p
Sweet on Paris is the clear winner in the Paris line. I wasn't too fond of Paris in Bloom, and both Paris Amore & Paris Nights were nice but nothing special. I tend to gravitate toward gourmand scents anyway, so it's no wonder I picked up Sweet on Paris. The first note I smell is a cross between lemon and blackberry -- it's not tart enough to be a true lemon nor rich enough to be pure blackberry...it's just sort of a sweet blend of the two. It dries down softly to a flaky, delicate pastry, which gives it its sweetness. I just wish it was a tad stronger! Otherwise, beautiful scent. Wish it was a permanent.
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum' Express Colossal Cat Eyes
skelterhelter 1/1/2013 11:42:00 PM
I'm ambivalent about this mascara. While the packaging is super cute (love anything with cats) and I adore the curved brush, I think the formula is a bit dry. I'm a little confused as to how so many reviews claim this is a wet mascara -- this formula is so dry I wonder if I have any mascara on at all! However, I do see significant lengthening & a decent curl, so it is doing something. Not sure why it's marketed as a volumizing mascara either because I didn't notice any thickening of my lashes, which is what I personally look for in a mascara. But no clumping or raccoon eyes to be seen, so that's a plus. Overall, not a HG but not a bad mascara. I'm not blown away but would repurchase because it does its job. Just an average mascara.
I've heard about LUSH products for a long time now, especially their fresh face masks. So when a LUSH store opened up only 45 minutes away from me, I jumped at the chance to sample some of their goodies. Oatifix was the first one I snatched up, purely based on scent alone. Omg, this smells like banana cookie dough mixed with an oat smoothie! I'm so tempted to just stick my finger in and sneak a taste, but I've refrained ;) I leave the mask on for about fifteen minutes & wash it off with warm water once time is up. My first and one of few complaints about this product is that it is difficult to apply & remove. The mask is too thick and chunky so it doesn't spread as easily on the skin; you really have to keep your fingers closed tight as you work it in circular motions in order to prevent it from falling off in globs. Minor inconvenience but still an annoyance. Washing it off is also bit of a mess, but my skin feels sooooo smooth and hydrated once it's all off. This product is perfect for winter when the skin needs a little conditioning. (I wonder how it'll perform in the warmer months). It's so hydrating that I don't even need to use a moisturizer afterwards! I don't see much of a long lasting effect on the redness on my cheeks, which is a bummer since I'd like to correct that. But my skin feels so supple & healthy that I almost don't care, lol. Not my holy grail mask but still a great buy for $6. I love the whole "fresh" aspect of it -- nice to know I'm not loading my face with chemicals.
A new product from Tarte's ever-growing "maracuja" line, this blush claims to be lightweight and give an airbrushed look to the skin while simultaneously providing hydrating benefits. And while I can't give feedback about the long term benefits of maracuja oil in general, I must say I'm rather impressed with this product and the way it performs. Upon first touching the blush, I noticed how silky smooth it was, almost the same silky feeling of the MAC cream color bases. I dabbed a bit on the ridge of my cheekbones and blended in; application was flawless. There was no dragging or tugging along the skin -- the product simply glided on where I wanted it to go. Tarte claims this product has smooth blendability as well as an airbrushed finish, and I agree. The product virtually blended into my skin as if it were part of my own, giving me a luminous glow from within. I've tried both the Shimmering Peach and the Shimmering Poppy, and both left beautiful results. The longevity was also impressive -- lasted a good eight hours, if not more. Despite the hefty price tag, I will continue to repurchase this product as it's quite worth it.