Thursday, October 18, 2018

Best Makeup Removal Products

There are SO MANY things you can use to take off your makeup. SO MANY. But I have a few of my all time favorite tips and tools, and I am excited to share them with you! I am going to go over my favorite removal wipes, travel remover, classic makeup remover, removal cloths and disposable pads. I am also going to talk about some of my favorite tip and trick for removing stubborn makeup. So let' get started.

Makeup Removal Wipes

Burts Bee's Facial Cleansing Towelettes are the best! They are affordable, they smell good, they are sturdy and they are effective. They come in several different fragrances and are infused with skin care, so not only do they take off your makeup but they heal your skin too! There are options for sensitive skin, dry skin, normal skin, oily skin as well a options that exfoliate. Plus it's accessible. You can find it at Walmart, Ulta and more! Plus it goes on sale regularly. You can read my full review on them here or pick them up here.

Traveling Makeup Removal  

When you are going away for a night, or even a week, you want to take as few things as possible. I love the Tyra Beauty Pop It Clean Makeup Removal Wipes for that reason! Each wipe is strong and sturdy and is made from a woven cloth. The cloth is compacted into a small cap sized plastic container (which is made from recycled material and is recyclable too) that houses the liquid remover a well. You press firmly on the top releasing the cloth and as it expands out of the cap it absorbs the makeup and is ready for use. Not only are these fun, but the individual wipes will easily remove your full face of glam makeup. They are perfect to pop into your purse or overnight bag. But they are also perfect to stash in your car, wallet, desk and more. You can take 7 on a trip with you, or 2.  Pick them up here.

Classic Makeup Remover   

I used to sell Mary Kay once upon a time. And while I stopped a long time ago because I couldn't get behind many of their products, I am still hooked on this remover. It's affordable, potent, a little goes along way, and I do like supporting direct sale companies. Hop onto Facebook and see if any of your friends sell Mary Kay, I bet one of them does. And trust me, you'll be hooked too. Learn more here.

Makeup Removal Cloth   
 Microfiber is great for removing makeup using nothing but water. I actually like makeup removal clothes and use them a lot while traveling, as well as while camping. I don't wear makeup when I camp, but they are great for cleaning your face and maintaining your skin care. I don't feel like they do a good job of removing waterproof or stubborn eye makeup all the way, but they do great with everything else and with light eye makeup looks. My favorite clothes are these cheap ones I picked up at Walmart. They are from the brand Always Off, and they were $3 for a set of 3. Of course you can toss them in the wash and reuse them over and over again! You can buy them here.

Disposable Pads for Removers   

When you use a classic remover like the Mary Kay one I recommended above, you need a cotton pad or round to remove it with. My skin is fragile. So when I use the equate brand rounds from the drug store that you get for a dollar, my skin isn't happy with me. I often find that the pads irritate my skin and feel like I am cutting or scratching the area around my eyes. 
I am not sure what makes these Cotton Puffs better than the classic woven ones we all see in stores on the regular, but these ones from Muji are AMAZING. They are so soft, and they never irritate my eyes or skin at all. This is an over-seas company. So if you are in the USA like me shipping is a little pricey, but the cost of the actual pads are super affordable. So I buy literally 10 packages at a time, and I only buy them once every few years. You can pick them up here.

Tips and Tricks

When removing Waterproof Mascara dip the head of a disposable mascara wand in the remover and then spin it on your lashes slowly. This will break up the clumps better and gently help to remove mascara.

Also try saturating a cotton pad with makeup remover and then placing it over your closed eyelid. Let it sit there for 5 seconds, then gently rock it back and forth for 10 seconds and remove. This will remove the makeup faster and in a more gentle manner. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

REVIEW: Fatboy Tough Guy Water Wax

So this water wax has been hard for me to rate. I will tell you why. I feel like an average water wax has a few hallmarks. They are high shine, low to medium hold, and they help keep hair looking really smooth and sleek and polished. They usually come in a small tub and are translucent. This water wax is different. It's fundamentally not what a typical water wax is. So I am going to go through the differences, and then if this product holds up to its claims.

It is in a small tub container, like most. This one is great. It's sturdy, you get a lot of product and it has a simple and sleek look. The wax itself is clear as is typical of water waxes. It has a great smell that is not super feminine, but not masculine either. The scent is super neutral and is really light.

The wax is advertised as a matte wax, which is odd. Water waxes are typically high shine products. The Tough Guy Water Wax from Fatboy is not matte as advertised. it definitely has shine, but I would say low shine. So if you like Water Waxes but don't like all the shine you get from them, this may be a better alternative. As far as the actual hold, it has that light to medium hold you can expect from a water wax.

I typically use water waxes when styling women's hair. I use it before pinning updos and I run it through after curling the hair to smooth down fly aways. I feel that this is a little heavier than your typical water wax. For example the Redken Water Wax is high shine, so to much of it can make the hair appear greasy. but I can use a lot of it and the hair won't fall. If I curl a head of hair, it will stay looking curled. But this one is denser. If I use to much it will have a nice amount of shine, but the hair will be weighed down and curls will begin to loosen.

So that is my overall break down of this product. I think this would be ideal for someone with dry, porous or coarse hair. People with frizzy kinky texture would also benefit from this a lot. But it's definitely not for everyone.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

REVIEW: L'Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Separation - 5 (excellent)
Lengthening - 4 (very good)
Flaking - 4 (very good)
Volume - 4 (very good)

I have been using a lot more inexpensive products lately, I am really trying to give them a chance! I have been biased against drug store products for so long, but I am learning that there are a lot of great drug store products as well as some crappy high end ones. Price doesn't always correlate with quality right? And this mascara is proof. It's honestly right up in my top 5!

I absolutely love the packaging of this mascara, maybe more than any other I have seen. It's classic, sleek, pretty and functional. The gold and black are timeless, and the gold isn't a super shiny plastic finish, it has a soft sheen to it that is so high end feeling. The brush itself is a classic soft bristle brush and isn't a rubber or plastic bristle, which I like. I also want to add that it doesn't have any heavy fragrances or anything like that.

Now onto the actual performance of the mascara. I love the way this works. It has a lot of volume and separation, without being clumpy at all. You do have to throw on a coat or two to get a lot of length, but once again, because it doesn't clump, an extra layer is no big deal. I didn't have to deal with hardly any flaking, and this is hands down my favorite drug store pick for mascara right now. If you haven't tried it, give it chance if you prefer mascaras that aren't clumpy, and look soft and natural.

Friday, October 12, 2018

What should I do if I don't like my hair after going to the salon?

I have been asked this more than once, and I am SUPER happy to answer this question here. I know that it can be such a hard situation when you pay all this money and you have this image in your head of what you will look like and it just doesn't turn out. But we also don't want to be rude right? So how do you get across the idea you are unhappy with the end result, without being unkind? Here are some options.

1- Figure out the Problem

Before you get upset about your hair cut or color I want you to take a good long look at it. What's wrong with it? If your answer is "I don't know, it's just not what I wanted" ask yourself the following questions:

  1. would you prefer the color to be darker? lighter?
  2. did you want the highlights more blended or maybe more defined/chunky/streaky?
  3. would you prefer more warmth in your color (gold or red tones)?
  4. would you prefer your color to be cooler (ask or grey tones)?
  5. did you want the color to be bolder or brighter?
  6. were you hoping for your cut to be shorter? longer?
  7. did you want more layers? fewer?
  8. are the layers blended well or do you want them to be more defined/choppier?

It's important to be able to define what exactly you don't love about your new do to your stylist. But once in a while our expectations aren't reasonable. If you went through that list and your answer to every questions was "no" then your stylist can't fix it. Once in a while we look at a picture of a celebrity and hope our haircut will make us feel like we look like them, when it won't. You may also be hoping that a haircut can do something it simply can't. For example are your issues any of the following:
  •  I wanted my hair to look thicker or fuller
  •  I was hoping my color would make my hair look longer
  •  I don't know my hair doesn't lay like it does in the picture
If these are the issue then it may be unrealistic expectations that are the real issue. BUT if your expectations are fair, then going through my first list will help you to know what to tell your stylist when you let them know you need an adjustment.

2- Tell Your Stylist the Day of Service

If you pay to get your hair done at a salon, and you are not happy with your look the best thing to do is to tell your stylist while you are still there, that you aren't happy with it. This way they can fix immediately or set up a time to fix it for you. Trust me, every hairstylist is in this to make people feel good and confident. Your stylist WANTS you to like your hair. So if you don't like it, you can tell your stylist and they will typically do what they can to make it right.

Try saying one of the following things:
"I am not in love with NAME SPECIFIC ISSUE HERE"
"I was hoping for something a little different than what I got, would you be willing to tweak ISSUE"

most of the time a stylist will ask you if you like the look, or how you feel about it. So if you ar honest you will get the best results. If you didn't realize you had an issue with the look until after your service is over and you are home, call and speak to your stylist about getting a fix as soon as possible.

If you are worried that maybe the stylist doesn't understand what you are wanting say something like "I am worried that we aren't connecting here. Would you mind getting another stylist to collaborate with you to see if they might understand my vision better?"

3- Call the Shop Owner After Service

In cases where you don't feel comfortable with or confident in your original stylist anymore, you may need to talk to the shop's owner or manager about your experience. It's so important not get personal. Tell the manager that you are not happy, why and when you would like the fix. If you don't want to see the same person again, tell them you are nervous that the stylist doesn't understand what you want and you'd rather someone else fix it.

4- DON'T

Don't get personal. Your stylist is not bad at their job. They likely have a lot of faithful clients who love them. They weren't a good fit for you, and that's okay.

Don't say hateful things. Not about the stylist, the owner or the salon. Saying things like "everyone here sucks" or "I can't believe you'd let someone like her work here" is not only unhelpful, it's hurtful to your cause. People are less likely to want to help you when you treat them poorly.

Don't go somewhere else for a fix, and then demand a refund. We could have probably fixed it ourselves, and now that you have gone elsewhere we have no ability to see what the stylist did, what the problem was, or how to do better. We have no idea how much you spent elsewhere, or if you even went anywhere else.

Don't threaten us. No one wants to help a bully.

Just be kind, be honest, and be reasonable.

Hopefully you wont ever need this guide, but if you do, I am glad I might be able to help.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

REVIEW: Not Your Mother's Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Ingredients - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Value - 5 (excellent)

I am actually super impressed by this product. I am excited to share it with you. The Not Your Mother's brand came out with a new "naturals" line recently. A while back I reported on their Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Weightless Mousse Foam which I seriously loved. I decided after a lot of ingredients research to use their shampoo and conditioner. I actually used the pink one (the Tahitian Gardenia Flower and Mango Butter formulas) for curly hair. But I later turned my mother onto the one pictured to the left, for volume.

I will be the first to admit that I am biased as hell against drugstore shampoo and conditioner. I often read the ingredients and won't even consider trying them. BUT I read these ingredients, and they seemed fine. No red flags. I picked up a set at Ulta and braved them after doing way more research than I typically do on shampoo and conditioner ingredients, and was happy to see that there were no major ingredients problems. So why the 4? Because there are a few to many surfactants and a little wax in it, however if you have wax in your conditioner you need more surfactants in your shampoo. But it's not an insane amount. And while there are no luxury moisturizers or incredible key ingredients like you may find in high end products, this is hands down the best drug store shampoo and conditioner out there, and the ingredients are better than in some high end brands.

Now onto packaging. The packaging is cute. I wish the script were a little easier to read, but I like it. I like the pumps, and how they made the actual pumps different colors so it's easy to tell which is which without reading the bottles. Every one of these smells amazing. They smell fresh and bright and like the ingredients on the front of the bottle.

A little goes a long way, not an insanely long way but it's decent. The major thing here is the price point. It's only $9 each for the shampoo and conditioner (which are larger than average at 16 oz each). My current favorite one that I am using is Living Proof where an 8 oz shampoo is $26. Some other brands I like are Redken (where a 10 oz in $19) and Sexy Hair ( where a 10 oz is $17). So 16 oz for $9? Sign me up! Plus at Ulta the brand is often buy one get one half off, that gives you both for $13.50, which is only $6,75 each. That's insane.

All in all if you can't afford a really good high quality shampoo and conditioner, this is an awesome choice. Or if you are in a budget period of your life where you have to cut back, this is a great choice too.

Monday, October 8, 2018

REVIEW: Sei Bella Blush

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Pigment - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 5 (excellent)
Variety - 4 (very good)

I wasn't expecting much from this cosmetics line, but I have been blown away by these blushes. First of all the packaging for the Sie Bella blushes is so nice. It's that clear plastic casing, which is sleek and functional, it also allows you to see what shade is inside, and it's small and compact. It closes tightly and has protected the product from drops (of which there have been many). Also the metal pan is magnetic, so if you depot this it will go right into your metal palettes.

This product is pigmented in the perfect way. It's not clown makeup, but it's visible. I only need to swipe my brush twice on the product and then twice on my cheek and the color payoff is perfection. This is what gave it it's high longevity score too, because a little goes a long way and one pan will last you for a long time, especially because it has very little fall out.

The wear of the blush was great too. I did not find myself retouching it all day, it lasts throughout the day with the rest of my makeup. I am a blush fanatic, I have around 30 different blushes and I wear 3-4 a day (layering them together). I find myself reaching for the two Sei Bella shades I have more than others because I know they stay on all day. I do wish the variety was better. They have 12 shades, which is honestly decent for blush. They have some neutrals, light pinks, deep pinks, roses and coppery orange tones. I wish they had more matte shades though (only 4 of their blushes are matte) and a few decent more purpley tones.

I am linking you to a spot to purchase the blush here.  I do not make any kickbacks, commissions, or sales from purchases made through this link. You can purchase these at their wholesale or become a member and get the member discount. Becoming a member requires a membership fee (like costco) but it's only $20 or $25 a year, which I get back three times just in member savings from the things I buy from them. Just for those that are curious click here for a look at Melaluca, being a member, how to do that and what that entails.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Does Cutting Your Hair Actually Help It Grow?

Today I got this email:

I have always been told cutting your hair regularly helps it to grow, all of my hairstylists have always told me that. But I have also heard that is a myth and isn't true at all. What do you think?
-Cate B.

First of all thank you Cate for writing me in with your question. For those of you who do not know you can contact me by filling out the form on the right hand side of your browser that says "Ask Me Anything". I don't get nearly enough questions from you guys and I would love to answer more! Now onto the questions at hand, this myth has been widely debated back and forth for years, and here is the answer. Yes it does help your hair grow. But also no. It's complicated, which is why it's hard to get a clear answer. I am going to tell you the science behind this claim and why pros suggest you cut your hair every 6-8 weeks. At the end I will reiterate the reason some say yes, and why others say no.

So here is how it works. Your hair grows from a follicle on your scalp (obviously). It grows in three phases, the Anagen Phase (which is where the hair is actually growing) the Catagen Phase (which is where the hair is resting, just chillin, not growing, not doing much), and the Telogen Phase (where the strand falls out of the follicle and the follicle prepares to grow a new strand). While your hair is the Catagen phase, you should try your best to take VERY good care of it.

Everyone has a difference catagen phase, just like everyone has  different metabolism. So some people might have shorter catagen phases (which may mean their hair never seems to grow very much) or someone may have a longer one (which makes their hair grow super long, like past their bum long). Some people have a fast phase and others are slower. Speeding up and elongating your catagen phase is not impossible. It takes a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.

So now to split ends. When your hair is splitting it can be a from a few things. Mal-nourishment, poor nutrition, lack of protein in the hair, dry air, damaged cuticle, heat damage, chemical damage and more. So what happens is your ends get all roughed up and begin to split. It splits up the hair shaft and breaks off, then a new split forms and begins to break upward again. This causes those straggly, uneven and yucky looking ends on someone who has not had a haircut in a very long time.

So here is the deal - cutting your hair doesn't make your hair grow faster. It has no bearing on the catagen phase of your hair, and does nothing to stimulate the scalp. BUT it can help because if your hair splits and you get regular baby trims, you keep those ends fresh and healthy and split end free. Then it doesn't break up the hair shaft and give you a "natural hair cut". This allows your hair to be longer because it's not breaking off.

So yes, haircuts help your hair to stay longer, but it doesn't help your hair to grow longer.