Friday, December 1, 2017

These Deals Though!

There are SO MANY good deals right now for the holidays. I decided not to post this year about my fave finds from Black Friday, because I just assumed that every makeup lover is on the look out for great beauty finds on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However Ulta has added yet another event with great deals! They have their semi-annual 21 days of beauty and now they are doing the "Holiday Beauty Blitz" which includes 25 days of "surprise deals" to countdown to Christmas.

I wanted you all to know about it, because these deals are insane. They only have 5 revealed and the first one is today! It's the Smashbox Drawn in Decked out Palette! It normally retails for $42 and is on sale at 50% off today making it only $21! It includes a cool matte contour, bronzer and highlight, 2 blushes and 15 eye shadows. I know this sounds like a sales pitch but I am not making any kickbacks or money or sponsorship fees for this post. I just already own this palette and it was well worth the $42, so at $21 it is a STEAL! You can pick it up from Ulta here.

But whether or not this palette is your style I am impressed with the five deals Ulta Beauty has revealed so far. I guess they reveal five deals every five days during this sale. Check out all the deals here and keep coming back to make sure you don't miss one! Spoiler alert, they have 50% off a product from Becca on Tuesday! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

My take on green smoothies.

Okay so you know green smoothies? Those annoying things you spend forever making to feel healthy in the morning? So I am going to try to give you some insight on my take on these healthy staples.

I am the lazy.

I hated the time it took to measure stuff out and blend it, and its was just a hassle to be honest. I'd spend 15-20 minutes including cleanup and it was to much time. So here is my hack. I pre-measure EVERYTHING and I have a few go-to combos.

I keep little containers in my fridge with these three juice combinations in them in them:
- 1/2 C of Pomegranate Juice + 1/2 C Orange Juice (tropical berry juice)
- 1 C Pomegranate Juice (berry juice)
- 1/2 Orange Juice + 1/2 C Coconut Juice blend (tropical juice)
   I either use the pomwonderful coconut drink or the Bia lime and coconut drink

I also pre-measure frozen fruit into snack sized ziploc baggies. I buy the Walmart Great Value brand "mixed fruit" which has strawberries, pineapple, peaches and mango. I also like to buy an off brand berry mix (like the Great Value Triple Berry Mix which is Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries) and a few kiwis. I usually have some of each set of fruits in little baggies and I will cut up the kiwi and put a lot of them in several of the mixed fruit bags. Kiwi has a strong flavor that is great in these smoothies!

Then all I do is choose my combo and dump. I also usually have some sort of green powder or veggie mix too. I love the It Works Orange and Berry powders. I get the "on the go" kind because they are SUPER easy to use and already measured out for me! Yay! You can pick those up here!

My favorite combinations are:
Berry Juice + Berry Fruit Mix + Berry greens!
Tropical Juice + General Mixed Fruit (with extra kiwi) + Orange Greens!
Tropical Berry Juice + General Mixed Fruit + Orange Greens!
Tropical Juice + Berry Fruit Mix + Orange Greens

I have also had some friends freeze kale in their fruit baggies. Guys I spend like 5 minutes on these and they are GREAT!

Monday, November 13, 2017

REVIEW: Matrix Wild Boho Air Dry Cream

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Hydration - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 6 (incredible)
Body - 5 (excellent)

Texture - 5 (excellent)

This is easily my new favorite texture cream! For those who don't know my hair is normal in texture (the strands are not fine or coarse) and normal in density (I don't have a ton of hair so it's not thick, and it's not sparse/fine either). My hair has natural wave that is sometimes flat and inconsistent. Certain areas curl better than others. A good texture cream can help to make your waves beautiful and easy curls. This one also cut down on dry time and is meant for air drying!

The packaging is super cute. I casually don't love bold colors on my packaging but this has a chic bohemian vibe to it that I love. The scent is light and crisp and fresh and goes well with anything else because it isn't overpowering. It' not particularly hydrating, but it doesn't dry me out at all which is rare for air dry texture creams to be honest. My hair had a lot of body and texture and my curls looks AMAZING. But best of all? I had to use hardly any product. Usually I use two quarter sized amounts of my current favorite air dry texture cream, and with this I used less than half that! I am blown away! I highly recommend this product!

Monday, November 6, 2017

What's up with that color changing hair from the viral video?

I have had a couple of these questions come in as many videos have begun to circulate again now that the product has actually released. First I want to thanks my loyal readers for sticking with me. I go through periods of craziness in my life where I don't post as often as I should. It's been a few weeks since you've head from me as I have transitioned to a new salon (as well as done some holiday prep and helped my childhood best friend move over to the state I live in) and I appreciate your patience for new content as I deal with all of the craziness that comes with that kind of change!

So now I will address these videos. Let me just answer the questions I keep getting in my inbox.

Is it real? Yes it totally is!

What is it? It is a product called Vivids Mood Color from Pravana. They are a well known brand that makes great vivid fashion hair color along with amazing professional hair care products and a full classic color line for stylists.

How does it work?  So basically it is a direct dye put on your prelightened hair. It has a base color and a "mood color". The mood color will come out when the hair comes in contact with heat. This CAN work on a hot summer day outside, but only on a very hot summer day with prolonged sun exposure. It mostly works with hot tools and hair dryers.

How long does it last? So the actual color changing aspect lasts for only one wash. I know it is a bummer. The technology lies in a color coating, so you can definitely feel the product on your hair. It is not a long effect and will literally be gone withing 48 hour or after one shampoo.

Anything else I should know? I have never used this myself, but have many stylist friends who have. It is fun for parties and festivals but you can totally feel the product in your hair, o to me it is not practical for every day or regular use.  Regardless I think it is incredible what kind of things science can do! This is an incredible innovation in the hair color industry and I am excited to see what is next! Hopefully this leads to longer lasting color changing products that don't leave your hair feeling sticky!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

REVIEW: Deva Curl Melt into Moisture

Packaging: 5 (excellent)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 3 (average)
Smoothing - 4 (very good)

So I am going to start by saying that I did not personally try this product. My beautiful sister in law Jessica did! I have naturally wavy hair, and I try to bring the waves in my hair out. Not only is my hair pretty healthy, but this is a smoothing product which insinuates there is weight to it, and that just wouldn't work for my hair. But Jessica has A LOT of heavy curly red hair (think Merida from Brave) and she recently had an unfortunate experience in a salon that left her hair frizzy, dry and sad. So I passed this product off to her and asked her to use it and share her results. I looked at her hair closely before and after she used it to gather my own conclusions too. 

It has nice packaging. I actually like the jars better than the tubes. I feel like you have more control over the amount of product you use and you can get every last drop of it out! It smelled nice, it wasn't overpowering or super strong, but it smelled clean and light, which I found pleasant. A little did not go a long way for Jessica, we got a little travel size from Ulta and she used most of it in one go. However remember that she has long, thick and curly hair that was left porous form a recent salon mishap. If you have shorter or finer hair you will have a different experience.

So here is what we did - the bottle had instructions for different kinds of uses. One instructed us to put it on in the shower after shampooing and let it sit for about 3 minutes for a "quick moisture boost". It had an option for more intense hydration by leaving it on for 20 minutes with a cap. For maximum effectiveness we were instructed to put it on damp or dry hair and leave it on overnight. We did choose the last option for this test. She put it on dry hair (which may have played a factor in the longevity) because that tends to yield the most effective results. 

Our results were amazing. Her hair is still not 100% back to normal, but the frizz was reduced by half, and what used to be a mess of straight fly aways are now light curly frizz. The softness and hydration was obvious right away. She was very pleased with how much more bounce her curl had and the reduction of frizz after one use! So I am a fan for sure, and recommend giving this one a try yourself! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

REVIEW: Lancome Monsieur Big

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Formula - 5 (excellent)
Clump Factor - 4 (very good)
Lengthening - 5 (excellent)
Separation - 4 (very good)
Flaking - 4 (very good)

 First let me apologize for the two mascara reviews in a row. There have just  been two big name brand mascara releases recently. It was important o me that I did not review this mascara based on deluxe sizes (which are often slightly different) or on first impressions. I like to use a product for at least one week before reviewing it.

So let me just go over each point. I like the packaging. It is sturdy, luxurious feeling and functional. It is sleek and doesn't have to many frills. The formula is great. It doesn't have an strong odor or any kind of oddities (such as particularly to thick or runny). You get a little bit of the clump factor with this mascar - but in a good way. It doesn't leave a clumpy look, it just sticks some lashes together which I suppose jumps down to separation too. You have that definition/separation, but some lashes stick together. I am a stickler for this, I like my lashes clump free, and I didn't mind this one at all. There were a few times it got out of hand and I was able to use a brow grooming tool or disposable mascara wand to easily maintain definition.

The lengthening effect was insane! My favorite thing to do with this mascara was to layer it over other brads that have a lot of definition but not a lot of length to create INSANE lashes! The length was a wow factor for me. I also was impressed by lack of flaking, especially since it is so lengthening. I am a fan of this one and I highly recommend it. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Snack Hack

One thing that I definitely struggle with is snacking. I LOVE snacks. I love to eat food in general. One of the goals I have in my health journey is to not feel like I have to "go without" so to speak. I do not want to feel hungry or limited all the time. One of the ways this is done is by having a smaller slice of cake at the birthday party, or opting for a salad over alfredo pasta at Olive Garden. But this doesn't conquer my love of snacking. So I have been trying to find replacements for my favorite snacks and go to that are still convenient but a little healthier.

***I do not receive any kind of compensation or kickbacks for any purchases made through the links posted on this article.

Oh Popcorn, my vice! I love it so much! So what do I replace these crunchy tasty snacks with? Popcorn. Now I am not talking butter basted salt covered microwave popcorn. And I also don't think you should haul out your air popper. I am woman of convenience. So this is my popcorn hack!
You can microwave popcorn kernels! I am not kidding. There are two options. You can take a glass bowl and put 3 tablespoons of kernels in it with no oil or butter at all. Then you cover the bowl with a plate and I usually put in for two minutes. What I love about this is that it is WAY less expensive, and there is no waste. Any unpopped kernels can be place back in the microwave to be popped, or back into the bag. The second method is to use a specific microwave popper. I like this one for $6  from Walmart. It's easy to use and works the same. Then your popcorn is oil and butter free. Sometimes I eat it plain or I put a little I can't Believe It's Not Butter on it with some salt. But even if you do use butter you can ditch the preservatives as well as measure the amount of butter you use and control the calories.

I am a major cookie fan. I love pretty much all kinds of cookies (as long as there are no raisins in them). I used to always make little bite sized soft and chewy snicker doodles for munchies, and I needed a sweet replacement. So I tried the Snickerdoodle Dippers from Graze. Now Graze is one of those food subscription services that send all kinds of healthy treats. I love their Kern Pops and Nut Mixes, but their Snickerdoodle Dippers are to die for! You can get them here! They remind me of those long biscut crackers you used to eat as a child with a cheese dip. Except they are a delicious whole grain cinnamon biscuit with a delicious cinnamon dip reminiscent of cookie butter. They are prepackaged so they are easy to put in lunches and to grab for snacks. They also have all nutritional info and calories on the packaging!

I love to eat pop-able candies. I love skittles, starbursts and sour patch watermelons! I love something I can throw into my mouth and chew on while watching a movie, or riding the commuter train home from work. So what so I do instead? I use frozen grapes. I will admit that I do usually sprinkle a little sugar (or stevia) on the grapes first, but you literally just freeze them in little baggies and they are so dang good! Once again, if you put them in snack baggies it helps with portion control and makes it convenient for lunches or quick snacks.

Do I need to start by saying how much I love chips? I love all these snacks, and I suppose chips is no exception. There are SO MANY healthy chip alternatives out there though, truly. But chips are usually fried in a lot of oil (including pals oil) and your fingers are coated in grease after eating. It's great to get baked chips as an alternative, but taking it one step further would be a chip that is made of healthier ingredients (because in case you didn't know - potatoes are actually not very good for you), and cooked with oils that are good for you! To the right you have pictured Jackson's Honest Sea Salt Chips. These are made with potatoes, but use simple ingredients. Their classic chips are made with only three things, potatoes, sea salt, and organic coconut oil. But I am not a fan of coconut, and you can't taste it at all on these chips. They are preservative free, gluten free, GMO free and certified organic! You can buy them online here, or click here to find out if they are in a store near you! Two other options are the Food Should Taste Good brand chips and crackers. They have whole grain tortilla style chips as well as my favorite sweet potato chips and more!

They also use simple ingredients and are all gluten free, GMO free, and certified organic. You can click here to buy them online or click here to find where they are in a store near you! The last is pictures on the left, and those are Harvest Snaps! They have lentil beans and snap peas that have been air cooked into a crispy puff of delicious and are so tasty! My favorite are the pictures tomato basil, but they are all really good! And they are super inexpensive too! Click here to buy them online and here to find them in a store near you!