Friday, April 29, 2016

Laser Hair Removal - What You Need To Know

When you have hairs on your body that you don't want, your initial response is probably to shave them off. Of course, you could also wax them off. But either way the results are going to be the same. The hairs will grow back quickly, and the process of removing them will eat into your weekly schedule. On top of that, you might miss some hairs occasionally, which could be annoying or embarrassing. A better solution might be to have the hairs zapped away with laser machines.

Why the Hairs Grow Back so Fast
If you want to understand why lasers could help you get rid of unwanted hair, you first have to understand why the hairs grow back so fast after waxing or shaving. The reason is simple. You're not getting the hair out all the way down to the roots (follicles). The hair removed during shaving is only the part of the hair that pokes above the skin's surface. The rest stays right below and soon pokes its way through again. Waxing is a bit more useful because it can pull some of what lies below the surface out too, but it's not that consistent.

The great thing about removing hair with clinical skincare equipment like lasers is that they can zap every single hair in a given area of skin. So, you won't have to worry about missing any. Also, the focused beams of light and heat can follow each hair shaft down to the follicle, removing almost all of each strand, even the part that isn't visible to the naked eye.

What to Expect From Laser Hair Removal
When you have laser hair removal done, you should expect a single appointment to take about an hour. However, you will need more than one appointment. Depending on your body and where you are getting the laser hair removal at, you may need 3-7 appointments during your initial round of treatment. You might also choose to have more sessions on an ongoing basis.

You see, laser devices do keep hair from growing back as quickly as it would after waxing or shaving. However, it's a myth that a laser can permanently zap every strand of hair away. That said, you could find that some of the hairs don't grow back, and the hairs that do grow back are likely to be lighter and less noticeable. And when I say it grows back slower, I mean it grow back A LOT slower.

As for the treatment itself, the process is fairly easy. Your technician will make sure you're as comfortable as possible, but you might feel some slight discomfort during the procedure. I have never done laser hair removal myself however I have been told that it feels like you are being pricked with a very fine needle sometimes. You won't have to worry about recovery time, though. Most people continue to go about their normal daily activities right after their appointments.

Am I Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal? Even though removing lasers may sound tempting, you shouldn't sign up for the process until you talk to a clinician or dermatologist. That's because some laser devices shouldn't be used on those with oily or dark colored skin. There are also other skin conditions and issues that might make you a bad candidate for the procedure in general.

But there may also be some factors that just limit you to being treated by specific types of lasers. If that's the case, you'll just need to find a clinic that has the right laser machine and equipment for your needs. Then you can get your unwanted hair zapped away with the least possible risk.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Liquid Lipstick Brand Battle

Liquid lipsticks are hot right now. Brands are coming out with their own left and right, and the Kylie Jenner Liquid Lipsticks can't stay on the shelves! Liquid Lipsticks are loved because they have a creamy and easy to apply formula that is long lasting and usually ultra-matte. They have a creamy and silky appearance and they usually do not transfer as much when you kiss someone.

So I have gotten a million emails about liquid lipsticks, particularly the question "Which Liquid Lipstick is the Best?" Clearly there is no definitive answer. Everyone has different favorites and needs. But I am still going to compare 5 of the most requested liquid lipsticks for you in different categories. I am going to compare Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick, Kylie Cosmetics Kylie Lip Kit, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick, Tarte Tartiest Creamy Matte Lip PaintNYX Lip Lingerie (not to be confused with their liquid suede line).

Each liquid lipstick will be ranked from best to worst in different categories including availability, price, shade range, longevity, application and a few others. At the end of the comparison I will tally up the points for all 5 and you will have a winner!

NYX took first place in this deal because you can get NYX online as well as at several retailers including NYX stores, several boutiques and Ulta. Tarte and ABH would have tied here because you can find both at Sephora and Ulta, however Anastasia Beverly Hills also has their own boutiques and is found in other places such as Nordstrom, while Tarte is only in some other locations. Ofra can be found in retailers, but not in the U.S.A, and Kylie Lip Kits are online only as well. However as well know unless you pay for her app or website access to find the exact times they are coming out with a new batch of Lip Kits, they usually sell out in minutes and are hard to get otherwise. 

So this pertains to the swatches and colors that you see on the websites, and how they compare to in real life wear. So I am going to excuse that in real life most super dark plums and browns usually wear black. Yes, there is a difference slightly, but only a trained eye can tell. And 3 of these brands have black options as well. If you look at "Vamp" by Anastasia for example is a deep burgundy that looks like a deep red on the site, it wears blackish red. Every brand has one of these (except the Kylie Lip Kit) so I am for this test excusing that one misstep.

I think the ABH colors are pretty true to their shade pictured and description. The Kylie lip kit is kind of spotty. Looking at Dolce K on the site, it looks like a rosy nude, but in real life it is an ashy coffee color (that I love), however the Candy K shade is spot on. Ofra is also pretty hit and miss, but is a little more miss than not, usually having more warmth in their pictures than in real life. NYX Liquid Lingerie is super off base. I own most of their shades, and except for Baby Doll not a single of the 6 I own look like their online swatches. Exotic is close, but still off. Tartes are all WAY off. Every color is either lighter and brighter or deeper. Take the shade TBT for example. That shade (my personal favorite) is a medium toned nude brown with a rusted red tint to it. The swatch looks like a much lighter rosy color. Not even close!

So clearly this is not how a normal ranking chart looks. However I found that the NYX, ABH and Ofra all lasted all day for the most part. The Kylie Lip Kit and the Tarte Lip Paint, lasted for a long while, but needed reapplication at least once a day even if you did not eat. I also did an eating test with all 5, where I ate a small amount of pasta and then checked to see the status of my lipstick, and then a doughnut (I took one for the team... or 5) and then I drank a smoothie. None of them were completely present after all three, however the Kylie and Tarte went away fastest while the others were still present after all three, and they just needed a touch up. I give the first three 5 stars on this and the other two 4 stars, because it really was close.

So how I measured value was I took the fluid ounces of the product and divided it by the price. I also factored in shipping costs as well as extras. The NYX obviously rang in first, since it is only $7, and has an average amount of product in it. I was surprised that Ofra came in #2. I was only factoring in shipping for Kylie's and Ofra because they are online only, but Ofra has a lot more product than the others do, and they also have shipping costs under $4! Plus you have to remember that you can buy multiple for the same cost of shipping. Tarte is next costing $81 per ounce less than ABH. You have to remember that none of these come with a full ounce of product. In fact Ofra only has .27 ounces, and it has the most! Anastasia Beverly Hills comes in next, and then Kylie in last. I actually thought Kylie would come earlier. The reason being that an average lip liner is more. However even factoring in the ounces from the lip liner and taking a few bucks off for the added value, it still rang in highest. In addition to being more per ounce, you have to pay $9 in shipping for one of these! Yikes!

So what made the application better? I have oddly shaped lips. Most people do not have symmetrical lips. This means one side has to be a little over lined. This leads me to wipe and reapply the color in one spot multiple times. So what I based this test off of was when I wipe, does it come off, or does it smear everywhere? I also based it on how many layers I needed, how quickly it would dry, as well as if it needed a primer or liner, or if it would look good alone.

NYX is my favorite. I need 1 to 2 coats, but the doe foot applicator is longer which makes application really nice and easy. It dries fast and wipes away quickly. With Ofra it only needs one coat, but is a little messier, while the Tarte is not messy at all and only needs two coats, but it will feather without a liner or primer. Neither the NYX nor the Ofra needs a liner or primer. The Kylie Lip kit needs a liner, but it comes with the color, which is nice. However two coats in necessary and the liquid lipstick isn't very creamy at all, it feels like water, so it is messy when you have to wipe it away. The ABH has a great consistency and only needs one coat, however it feathers SO BAD if you do not purchase an additional liner or primer. It also take s a bit to dry so wiping it away if you've made a mistake makes a big mess!

So none of these are particularly moisturizing. I should have labeled this "Least Drying". They are all pretty close to be fair, but I have dry skin and I live in the desert so I exfoliate my lips constantly! The Ofra doesn't dry them out at all! The Tarte and NYX barely dry them out. The ABH and Kylie do dry them out, but only a little. With these two I do get that line on the inner part of my lower lip where it gets super dry and the product almost looks crusted. I do not get that with the others unless I forget to exfoliate and my lips are already super dry.

So Ofra seriously kicked ass in this category! Ofra has 48 current shades ranging from turquoise blues to bold reds and subtle nudes. Anastasia is next up with 27 shades. Most of these are reds, roses and nudes, with a few fun ones like Admiral Blue, and a couple of purple shades. The Kylie Lip Kit only has 14 shades all in very wearable and popular colors (no blues yet) however her shade range has both glosses and metallic shades (not just Mattes) and she is constantly adding more! Tarte has 15 shades, all Matte and all pinks, nudes, reds and purples with a random black shade in there. NYX is in last because it only has 12 shades, and they are all nudes. Exotic has a rosy undertone and there are a couple of nudes that are ashier, a few warm and a few cool; but they are all very nude with the exception of Exotic.

So after all is said and done the winner is

*drum roll Please*







Here is how they all ranked:

I can honestly say I was not surprised to see Ofra in the lead, but I was surprised when it was truly broken down how much better NYX is. I expected it to be a close 3rd or fourth, but interestingly enough it is the one I have the most of and the one I use most often, not only because I have several shades but because it is a great product! Likewise I only use the shade Dolce K from Kylie often, because it is a unique shade that I do not have a close match for, however I rarely use my others because I have other lipsticks close to their shades and usually opt for those. Now that I look at the break down like this it definitely matches how I feel.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND - these are my top 5 favorite liquid lipsticks! Just because the Kylie Lip Kit is last doesn't mean it is bad quality, it is still in the top 5 after all!

Do you agree with me? What liquid lipsticks didn't make this comparison that you'd like me to use next time? What other products do you want me to compare this way?

REVIEW: Tyra Beauty Smack My Fat Lash Mascara

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Formula - 5 (excellent)
Clump Factor - 5 (excellent)
Lengthening - 6 (incredible)
Separation - 5 (excellent)
Flaking - 6 (incredible)

So I am a little obsessed with this mascara. Or like a lot obsessed. So I am going to start by saying that I do not LOVE the packaging. The gold seems a little loud to me, however it is fun and keeps with the spirit of the Tyra Beauty brand. I was not excited about this mascara. The Tyra Beauty line is new and I have never found a mascara that "does it all" and I just thought it would be average. Then I saw the wand. I HATE mascaras that come with the average spiral brush want. I prefer curved wands that are flexible and rubber.

Then I tried it. I won't go back. It's perfect. When you first get it and take it out of the container half of it is blue (a lengthening formula) and half of it is black (the volume formula). You are supposed to do blue first and black second. However once you pull it in and out of the container a few times it all "fuses" together to create a nice smooth black. There is no blue tint to it. I didn't like having the two sides, so I just swirled my wand around a bit to mix it well and then applied it normally.

Here is the deal, it goes on smooth, it gives volume but without the clump, it separates but without sacrificing volume, it give a lot of length and it doesn't flake, ever. I have never had it flake, literally ever. I do not love or recommend all Tyra Beauty products, however this is a must!EDIT: I also have to put this out there, because I want to support brands that do good in the world. Tyra Beauty was launched as a MLM. Tyra Bnks said she wanted to help women be empowered and earn income and be bosses, and take control of their life. She cited her mother's journey in an abusive relationship where she stayed for a long time because she couldn't get out, and Tyra said she wanted to help women like her mother become independent. I was actually selected as one of the first 200 reps for this company, but left fairly early on as I was not a fan of the way the company was run. However many women endured some of the bumps along the way and I always said "in 10 years, it'll be a great business to jump into I am sure". Well they announced the other day that they will no longer be doing direct sales and are closing the door on all of the women who have worked very hard to build this company up. They will continue selling and promoting the brand, but will no longer be an MLM. Tyra also imparted that she never wanted it to be Direct Sales in the first place (what happened to that vision you said you had, that dream?) and only did it because her business consultant said it would be more profitable. They spent MONTHS telling these women that nothing was going on, there was no consideration or talk of closing the doors to direct sales. They said DAYS before the press release that they were closing that door. Take it for what you will, but to me the integrity of a company matters. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

REVIEW: Redken Iron Shape 11

Packaging- 4 (very good)
Scent - 3 (average)
Effectiveness - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Weight - 5 (excellent)

This is one of the best hot tool heat protectants out there. It's packaging is simple, and easy to use. It has a spray pump so it's easy to evenly distribute the product and a little goes a long way. It does what it says it does, it protects your hair from the heat of a hot tool or blow dryer. It feels light, weightless and clean in your hair.  It has a little bit of a starchy quality to it that adds a little extra hold too! I do not ever need hairspray when I use this, however if you have a hard time getting your hair to hold curl this will act like a primer, reinforcing your hairspray! I love it and highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

REVIEW: Redken Curvaceous Full Swirl

Packaging - 6 (incredible)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Hold - 5 (excellent)

The Redken Full Swirl and the best of a cream and a serum, by hydrating, adding a little shine, softening, sealing, adding elasticity, and creating movement all in one step. The packaging is beautiful. The bottle is clear and you can see the two products swirled together in the package. You can also see hoe much you have left easily. When push down on the pump they emulsify together giving you a light and airy mousse-like cream to apply throughout your hair. A little goes a pretty long way. This product can help control and bring out natural curls and wave, as well as to help revitalize perms and chemical texture. It isn't stiff or sticky like a mousse and it has a faint and pleasant cumber scent.