Wednesday, May 06, 2015

My New Favorite Dry Shampoo: MoroccanOil's Dry Shampoo

Product Sent for Review

MoroccanOil Dry Shampoo in Dark Tones Review

I've made no secret of the fact that I really love (love) Dry Shampoo. It's a huge time saver, can add volume to flat hair, add texture to hair that is too slippery to "grab", and makes my go-to pony tail actually look.... cute! Until now my favorite has been the Klorane Nettle Dry Shampoo, which is formulated for oily hair, so it does a better than average job at mopping up excess oil.

Well, there's a new amazing dry shampoo out there, and you have to try it. I promise, it is worth the $7 extra in price.

MoroccanOil Dry Shampoo is all kinds of amazing. It does go on white when you initially spray it (what?? Doesn't it say "Dark Tones" on that can??), but.... yes, it changes! Leave it in for a minute or two (or more) and then come back and move your fingers through your hair, like you are shampooing. (You can read more about it in my how to use dry shampoo post.) It turns out that the Dark Tones is made with ultra-fine rice starches, and as you massage it in to your hair, it breaks down and completely disappears. And actually absorbs a lot more oil, and adds more volume than any other dry shampoo I've used. As an added bonus, it doesn't look powdery in your hair at all. It even contains a UV protectant to protect your color. The Light Tones has a super soft violet tint to it to help combat brassiness as well.

I'm going to be stocking up. And it also comes in a travel size. I'm buying 2 of those, 1 to travel with and 1 for my desk at work.

Buy it at MoroccanOil

Product Sent for Review

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Weekend Beauty Reads from The Beauty Spotlight Team

Tom Ford Eye Color in Nude Dip has been Repromoted and is now part of the permanent line! Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has swatched & reviewed this must-have quad for you!

Curious about the new Makeup Geek Spring 2015 Foiled Eyeshadows? Check out Phyrra's Video and Review!

Lisa from Beauty Info Zone is obsessed with self tanners but this time she's found one that's totally different. Aren't you curious to learn about Bronze On The Glow?

Sunny from Mostly Sunny is celebrating her birthday with a grand Dior/Guerlain/Givenchy/Burberry... giveaway! Don't miss out !

15 Minute Beauty does finish many products, usually she's too busy testing out new things to use up old ones. But lately, something has changed! Check out all of the beauty products she's finished, and will be repurchasing!

Need a little eye lift? Don't head to the plastic surgeon yet. Prime Beauty has discovered Sudden Change, a drugstore gem that will take 10 years off your eyes for only $15! You're welcome.

Pammy Blogs Beauty is ready for some Spring decorating! Check out her virtual haul deals!

Marc Jacobs The Lover Plush Shadow Palette is going to make you drool over on Perilously Pale. See this beauty now.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Summer Shopping: Avoiding The Birk

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Best Non-Birkenstock Sandals

I graduated from high school in 1995. Which means that when I was graduating, the Birkenstock was in the middle of a revival. Why, yes, I did wear Birkenstocks to my graduation ceremony. My mom didn't say a thing, she was good that way. (Thanks, Mom!)

So, I can not get on board with the current Normcore, we all wear Birks everywhere thing. I did that in 1995, I want something cuter! But yes, I do admit that they are really comfortable. So, if you're going to go there, more power to you.

I did a little shopping for alternatives this week. I was trying to be comfy but cute, and I was drawn to these Birk alternatives. One of the keys for "cuteness" seems to be forgetting about that molded shoe bed. Which honestly, never quite hit my foot in the right spot anyways. So, this is a win-win thing in my mind! I was looking for wide leather straps and a flat (or nearly flat) heel.

best comfy summer sandals

1. Forever 21 Faux Leather Slingback Sandals: That zipper accent is actually my favorite part! This is also such an affordable pair of sandals, how can you not get a pair?

2. H&M Sandals: I love the ankle strap on this pair!

3. Gap Classic Leather Sandals: A thinner ankle strap here, and I like the combination of the black leather and the brown foot bed.

4. Tory Burch Marbella Flat Sandal: I love the criss cross of the straps.

5. Kork-Ease Myrna 2.0 Cork Wedge Sandal: This is more sole than I would normally like (it's bordering a bit too much on mid-90's here), but I think it works!

6. MICHAEL Michael Kors Sawyer Double-Band Sandal, Black: This is the closest I'll probably get to a Birk! It's streamlined and skinnier than a Birk, and the monochrome look is better.

7. UGG Australia Char Mar Ankle Cuff Wedge Sandal: Yes, it's an UGG. I KNOW. So pretty. That tiny bit of wedge makes a big difference.

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The Perfect Bend Made Foolproof: Wavy Hair Tutorial With The Kardashians

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The Perfect Bend in Hair

If you've been on Instagram or Pinterest in the last few years, chances are you've seen the perfect wavy hair. Yes, it's the perfect wavy hair that I've been lusting after. Back in January I had my hair cut for the first time in months, and I had layers cut that were "weightless" rather than more traditional. Meaning, they are there, but because I've had them thinned out quite a bit, you don't seen an obvious line. Perfect for postpartum hair loss I thought. And also for getting the look of those waves I've been really yearning for!

Since that hair cut I've perfected curling my hair with a curling iron to get a very pretty look, but it isn't that perfect wavy bend that I want. Yes, that's right, I don't really want a curl. I want a bend. And it is really hard to get the perfect bend, unless you're a celeb hair stylist.

I've found a way to get the look I've wanted, and it is because of the Kardashians. I know, I know. But those girls have some amazing hair! And they teamed up with Chi/Farouk to create their line, so you know they had some amazing help. And it turns out that this is basically foolproof.

Kardashian Hair Beauty Tutorial

To get the look, this is as much about hair prep with products as it is about using the right heat tool.

I used:
Kardashian Beauty Black Seed Dry Oil
Kardashian Beauty Take 2 Dry Shampoo
Kardashian Beauty 3-in-1 Ceramic Styling Iron
Kardashian Beauty Pure Glitz Hair Spray
Beyond The Zone Beach Head Surf Shake Sea Salt Texturizing Spray

I start with damp hair. I apply a bit of the Black Seed Dry Oil, which will smooth frizz and protect my hair from heat damage while styling. I also spray the Surf Shake Spray throughout. I've found that the added texture from a salt spray helps my hair to hold curl much longer. Then I dry my hair straight.

How to get perfect wavy hair with Kardashian Beauty

Once my hair is dry (left), you can see that my hair still is a bit frizzy at the ends. A big part of this look working is to have ends that are smoothed. So, I start using the 3 in 1 tool as a flat iron. I just grab random sections and am not very obsessive about it. I smooth the entire hair shaft on the upper layers of my hair, but just concentrate on the ends for the lower layers.

How to use the Kardashian 3 in 1 flat iron

After my hair has been flat ironed, it is time to start waving/bending! Though, I have to say that the flat iron part of this tool worked really quickly and my hair required less heat than usual (only 380 instead of 400).

Kardashian 3 in 1 styling tool

Here's where the secret is. The 3 in 1 tool has plates on the outside that heat up to work like a curling wand. Except that it isn't really a curling wand. It's oval, and there's a spot where the 2 sides meet without a heated plate. So, not all of your hair gets heated. The result is that instead of an even, perfect curl, you get a bend. A bend.

I section my hair using a clip (these Croc Clips are my favorite), and then start curling! I use randomly sized sections of hair, and wrap it around the outside of the 3 in 1. I sometimes curl toward my face (as seen in this look) and sometimes away from my face. The point is to have random waves/bends, and varying the size and direction helps a lot. I always curl away from my face right next to it, the results are prettier that way.

When wrapping my hair, I generally leave a few inches free at the roots, and I don't wrap the last inch or two of my hair. While the hair is touching the iron, I don't have it wrapped very tightly. I hold this curl for about 8 to 10 seconds before gently releasing. While I'm holding my hair onto the iron, I twist the iron slowly, just rotating it about 1/4 turn in either direction.

The result is a bit random, and while slightly curled, it really is the perfect wavy bend instead of an actual curl! To keep it in place all day I spray it with the hair spray and scrunch it up just a tiny bit as the spray is drying.

The perfect bend in tousled hair

One of my favorite things about this hairstyle is that it can last for a few days and easily survives even super windy days (check out this picture after I'd been out running errands in 30 mph winds). To revive this hair, a few drops of the hair oil are all that I need! I also add a bit of dry shampoo at my roots for second day hair, it takes care of any greasy areas and adds volume without looking powdery or white.

The perfect tousled hair

Are you going to try out the tutorial? Make sure you enter the Beaches and Waves Sweepstakes while you're at Sally Beauty!

Grand prize: Win a 5 day/4 night Luxury Included Caribbean Vacation for two at any Beaches Resort located in Jamaica or Turks & Caicos!

How to enter:
Enter online at Sally Beauty, or shop at Sally Beauty using your loyalty card and be automatically entered to win during the entire month of May! You can earn bonus entries by sharing on social media.

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Sally Beauty sent me a gift card for the products, but I bought the 3 in 1 tool myself. And I'm obsessed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beauty Blogger Empties: Loving These Things and Repurchasing Them

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Myself Affiliate Links

favorite beauty blogger products

I've been talking lately about a lot of my beauty blogger friends, and we all agreed that over the past few years, we've been cutting down on the continual product testing. Don't get me wrong, I still use a lot of new products, but I'm allowing myself longer to test them. I'm spending a lot more time with my favorite "in between" products. And while those favorites do evolve a bit over time, I'm doing a lot more repurchasing of products, and I actually have empties! I'm using products up! This was unheard of a few years ago.

So, in honor of all those discussions lately, here's a look at all of the products I've finished and am repurchasing. I'm spending my own money on all of these, despite the offers for similar (free) products. I'd rather use this salt spray than any other. I want my own eye cream, thanks!

1. iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex (at DermStore or SkinStore): This eye cream was mentioned in my Best Eye Creams from Dermatologists post, and somehow has not had it's own post though I've mentioned it a few times! It has vitamins C, E, Retinol, tons of hydration, peptides to increase collagen and it also fights dark circles. I definitely think it makes me look more awake because my concealer looks so much better over it. It is pricey, but the bottle lasted me 6 months! In my shopping cart now. (Not pregnancy safe)

2. It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream (at It Cosmetics or ULTA): This is the newest CC Cream from It, they also have a more traditional (not illuminating) version. They've sent me both kinds, in various shades. Because it is a pretty full coverage product, you do need a pretty good color match. Unfortunately for me, I'm darker than the Fair shade, but much lighter than Light. So, I've bought tubes of both (depending upon what was sent to me) and I've been mixing my own. For my perfect match I need about 75% fair, 25% light. It is hydrating but not overly so for my combination skin, and I love that it is medium to full coverage with almost no blending. I'm going to continue buying 2 tubes all summer long so I can have the perfect match! (Not pregnancy safe)

3. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment (at Sephora or Nordstrom, my Living Proof PhD review): This styling cream is in my hair pretty much every day now. I've already gone through 2 bottles! It is the only Living Proof product that combines their anti-frizz ingredient with the volumizing product, and it does a great job of protecting my hair from heat damage as well.

4. Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (at Sephora and Macy's): I have a big bottle of this in my shower and another next to my sink. I used to reserve this amazing face wash for when I travel (I would hoard bottles of it from hotels), but now I just use it pretty much every day. I do rotate in other products on occasion (like the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser), but this one is my current favorite.

5. Revitalash Advanced Lash Conditioner (from Revitalash, Nordstrom or I pre-purchased 4 of these during the summer Nordie's Anniversary Sale, so they were quite the deal! It makes my lashes so long that I have to be careful with my glasses. Yes. I will not test other lash conditioners. (Not pregnancy safe)

6. Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil (at or ULTA): I mentioned this on Monday in my Favorite Eye Makeup Removers post, I think I'm on my 4th or 5th bottle of this cleanser already. It's meant to be used just as a facial cleanser, but I use it with a cotton round to easily remove all of my eye makeup. It does leave an oily mess behind, I clean that up with the Bliss Face Wash.

7. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (at Too Faced or Sephora): I've lost track of how many tubes of this stuff I've gone through!

8. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eyeliner (at Elizabeth Arden) and the Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Pencil (at Elizabeth Arden): These are currently my 2 go-to eye liner pencils. They're well pigmented, smudge just right into my lash line and won't budge all day.

9. Kerastase Spray à Porter (at Kerastase or Birchbox): This is my go-to salt spray. Others are ok, but this one just really works for me. It adds just enough texture that my hair holds styles and it doesn't feel sticky! How did I live without this??

10. Kerastase Bain Chroma Riche Shampoo & Masque Chroma Riche (at Kerastase): Their shampoo and conditioner for color treated, dry or damaged hair. I've discovered that it really is worth it, and if you watch carefully these products come up on Rue La La about every 6-8 weeks, so you should never have to pay full price! I've found that for some reason the shampoo is really the key to a great hair day for me, I use it every other shampoo (I still get those good hair days!). I buy the big, salon size, and I use the super intense hair mask (the regular conditioner is now not so helpful... I go with the masque!)

What have you used up recently? I had a lot of empties this month. So, I'm currently filling shopping carts all over the web!

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Myself Affiliate Links
I feel the need to explain this disclosure a bit more. A few of these items were originally sent by PR, like the Revitalash (which was sent years ago, but I've repurchased so many times that I've lost count), the Kerastase spray was sent, the Living Proof and It Cosmetics sent me the CC+ Cream but I don't actually match any of it so I mix 2 together (and I like it so much that I've repurchased 2 colors a few times). So yes, stuff was sent, but I've been spending my own money!
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