Saturday, May 19, 2018

REVIEW: Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 3 (average)
Longevity - 3 (average)

So for this product you are supposed to wash your face and then put on a fairly dense layer. You leave it on overnight for intense hydration. I use a lot of these masks so I feel I am a fairly good judge of what works and doesn't. The packaging is clean and sturdy, but it is a little cheap looking. It smells like... water? It's practically scentless. Which to me is fine, as long as it doesn't smell bad.

Onto what really matters you definitely have to use quite a bit of product to cover your face and it hydrates for sure, but it's nothing special. My skin didn't feel softer, but some of my dry spots were less flaky. It's a decent buy, but nothing out of this world.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

REVIEW: Yadah Silky Fit Concealer BB Brightening Power

Packaging - 3 (average)
Coverage - 3 (average)
Texture - 3 (average)
Shade Range - 0 (awful)
Wear - 1 (bad)

This product was true disappointment. I often review things I get in my various subscription boxes (like Ipsy, Birchbox, Boxy Charm and Sephora Play) that I particularly like or don't like. This is one of those. The packaging feels super cheap. Even once I got my hands on a full sized product it was easy to see that it felt cheap and flimsy. The applicator is impractical. 

It has a thick yet still chalky texture and you need multiple layers to get decent coverage which isn't ideal for a concealer. It has only one shade that works for light warm skin tones and it wears off within 2 hours. The worst part? It made me break out SO BAD. At first I wasn't sure that it was the culprit. I thought it was a new face mask I had tried. But my friend who is also a subscriber asked me if I had used this concealer because she was also breaking out and did not try the mask. Once I realized that was it, I threw it away and my breakout got much better. 

I am clearly not a fan of this one and I don't recommend it. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How to get my Foundation to last on Oily Skin

People with Oily Skin have some of the hardest times finding foundation that works for their face. Why? Because when your skin produces oil, that oil breaks down the makeup you are wearing. Today I am going to give you  my best tips and tricks for getting makeup that works for your oily skin.

Skin Care 

Good skin care is the bets primer for oily skin. There are SO MANY oily skin regimens out there. I love the Clinique 3-step introduction kit for Oily Skin. It's an amazing value and a great way to see if the product is the right fit for you. If you have acne too the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Solutions Kit (pictured on the left) is also a great place to start. Just make sure you are using moisturizer. It should be very light weight and oil-free, but your skin still needs moisture even though it's oily. If it's to dry your skin will produce MORE oil to compensate.

Blot It

Before Primer, after skincare, blot your skin. Using a rice paper or even tissue paper (or Klenex without lotion infused in it) to blot excess oil on your skin. I love the NYX Blotting Paper ($4 - $6) and Palladio Rice Papers ($4.50)


This may seem like a no-brainer but your here right? So let me give you my favorite primers for oily skin. If you have big pores the Benefit Porefessional Primer ($32) is amazing. If pore filling isn't a main concern to you, try the BB tinted treatment 12-hour primer SPF 30 ($37) or the Laura Geller Spackle Treatment Mattifying Makeup Primer ($32) (pictured on the left)


This is where things get tricky. A lot of people LOVE their liquid foundation, and I get it. I do. But you should really switch to powder. The myth that powder doesn't cover just isn't true. Their are a lot of full coverage powders available on the market. If you want a medium to fine coverage you have a lot of great options. But one of my favorites is the BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation ($29) and the It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation ($35). If  you need or want a more full coverage look try the BareMinerals Matte Loose Powder Foundation ($29) (pictured on the right) or the DermaBlend Intense Powder Camo Foundation ($34)

Set It Up

The last set is finishing your look. If you didn't listen to me and you used a liquid foundation on your face anyways (at least make sure it's a matte finish one) then you NEED to use a powder and into a pray to set the look. My die-hard favorite powder is the Temptu Invisible Difference Finishing Powder ($35), but some others I like are the Makeup Revolution Baking Powders ($8) and the Pur Minerals Cosmetics Translucent Loose Setting Powder. BUT if you did listen to me then you should use a non-illuminating setting spray. My favorite ever is the Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray ($31) (pictured on the left), but the TooFaced Hangover 3-in-1 Setting Spray ($32) is another option as well. 

Follow these tips and your makeup should last much longer! 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

REVIEW: Hikari Cosmetics Cream Pigment Eye Shadow

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 4 (very good)
Pigment - 3 (average)
Wear - 2 (not good)

The Hikari cream shadow was alright. It's about $13 per shadow and has a very average overall performance. I love the sturdy and luxurious feeling packaging for sure. But the texture of the shadows was a little off. It almost had a grit to it that I wasn't loving. It had some pigment but required 3-5 layers to get that really nice and bright shade. It wasn't very pigmented. With that being said it didn't last long and absolutely must be primed if you want any hope of it lasting at all.

Friday, May 11, 2018

REVIEW: BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow

Packaging - 3 (average)
Pigment - 4 (very good)
Value - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 4 (very good)

This is hands down my favorite "cheap" palette. BH Cosmetics isn't the creamiest most pigmented formula out there by any means. But when you compair it to brands with similar pricing (Covergirl, Maybelline, Wet and Wild, ELF, NYX) it's quality is unparalleled. And honestly it's even less expensive than most of those brands. It's not quite professional, but it's close. I actually use the Carli Bybel palette in my pro kit. 

The pigment isn't mind blowing, but it's great. And honestly it's mind blowing for such an inexpensive palette. The shadows aren't crumbly, and have a nice texture. The packaging is very typical. It's not sturdy or fancy looking, but it does the job. They have all kinds of shadow singles and palettes. The one pictured above is the BH Cosmetics 88 color Matte Eyeshadow Palette, which runs at $12.99. They do a lot of collabs with various instagram and youtube artists and celebrities. Some that I love are the aforementioned Carli Bybel 21 color Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette, the Shaaanxo 18 Color Shadow Palette, and the Illuminate By Ashley Tisdale 12 Color Eye and Cheek Collection.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

REVIEW: Crunchi Smart Primer

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Pore Filling - 6 (incredible)
Hydrating - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Wear - 5 (excellent)

This is hands down my new favorite primer. The packaging has a sleek and sophisticated and high end look and feel. It's made with heavy duty materials and doesn't feel cheap. The pore smoothing aspect of this product was what really blew me away. Most pore-filling primers have an almost whipped texture and don't keep your makeup on super well. They also tend to make your look cakey but poreless. This one was SUPER natural. It smoother out fine lines and wrinkles as well as my big pores and even where I get dried flaky skin. BUT it did not void my skin of texture! I just went from mega huge pores to natural and soft texture. .I loved how natural and perfecting this looked.

It was hydrating, and certainly didn't dry me out at all. A little goes a long way, but it's not jaw dropping how little you have to use or anything. About a dime sized amount which is a little less than average. As far as wear goes I noticed a HUGE difference between makeup I primed with this and makeup I didn't. Even on the day I used a different primer instead of the Crunchi brand I saw a difference. This is a must try for sure!

Crunchi is a direct sales brand that has cleaner products. As many know the USA doesn't have high standards when it comes to ingredients in beauty brands. Crunchi tries to create cleaner products that are safer, certified-organic, and EcoCert ingredients. They have a "Black List" of over 50 ingredients that they wont use in any of their skin care or cosmetics. You can learn more about Crunchi here. You can see and purchase this primer here.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Travel Beauty Tips

So it's spring! And summer is right around the corner. We all know what this means - vacations! Some of us will fly to a destination, while others may drive a few hours away and spend the night in fancy hotel and a day or two on the beach. For others this sounds like Disney Land and theme parks, while others imagine nothing outside of camping and hiking expeditions. However you vacation, one of the things that can be really difficult is keeping up your beauty regimen. How do you travel to another country and avoid the hotel shampoo and keep your skim healthy without buying a million cheap plastic bottles from Walmart or filling up a second suitcase with your product? Well I have the answers! Here are some beauty product must haves that are travel friendly. I am going to "pack your makeup bag" for you today.

Tartan + Twine's travel makeup organizer is the perfect bag for your get away. The one pictured to the left has a cute cork print with exposed gold leafing, which makes it perfect for being casual and still glam. The thing that makes this bag perfect is that it has two removable makeup bags that snap in and out of it, as well as one pocket inside the bag and brush holders on the other side. It's big enough to hold everything you need it to, but it's not big or bulky like a train case. I actually throw mine in my bag every day, and while traveling I often detach one of the smaller bags to throw in my purse for touch ups. You can get it at Ulta Beauty and learn more about it here.

For hair care you should only bring the essentials. The big kicker is to avoid the cheap and drying shampoo and conditioner from the hotel. My saving grace for this is to pick up a trial kit. My favorites are the Sexy Hair kits To-Go from Ulta. They include a shampoo and conditioner and one styling product too. The kits come in Big Sexy Hair (for volume), Strong Sexy Hair (light weight reconstruction), Healthy Sexy Hair (major hydration), and Vibrant Sexy Hair (for color protection). They are only $10-12 per set! You can pick them up here.

My Holy Grail travel hair product though is the TIGI Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray. This spray smells incredible, and comes in a 3.4 ounce bottle, which is TSA approved for a carry on. This is really a great product for everyone (vacation or not) in the summer. It protects your color and hair from UVA/UVB rays. It has natural ingredients in it to block the suns rays which can help prevent your scalp from getting burned and it protects your color from fading. It also protects your hair from getting to dry in the sun. Remember though, this is not SPF and is not to be used to replace sunscreen. You can learn more about it here or you can pick it up here.

Your next essential is skin care. It's tempting to bring everything under the sun on your vacay, but you don't need a full months worth of masks and creams when you'll likely struggle to even wipe your makeup off before hitting the sheets. Keep it simple.  There are a ton of trial and intro skin care kits out there. I mean a million! But my favorite for travel is the Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Cleanser (pick it up here) which comes individually wrapped into single use packets. This means no bulky bottles or accident prone liquids. All you do is pour the powder on your hands, add water and emulsify and then rub it on your face! It's gentle and effective. Throw in a good moisturizer too. The Philosophy Purity Made Simple comes in a travel size for only $5 and is a great light weight hydration for humid climates and oily skin. You can pick that up here. Or if you need more heavy weight and nourishing moisture (for dry skin peeps like me) try the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. You can snag a travel size here.

For foundation you wont need much. We are planning on something low maintenance, so multitasking products are a must. My go-to on vacation is the CoTZ Tinted Face SPF 40. CoTZ stands for Contains only Titanium and Zinc, which are natural sun blocking minerals. Pair it with a tinted moisturizer and you have the perfect 2-in-1 product for your beach weekend. CoTz products are hydrating, long lasting and they work. They also have body options, non-tinted options, a foundation primer and more. You can learn more about this item and purchase it here.

They last item is of course a makeup palette. There are a lot of options, but I like the BH Cosmetics Illuminate because it has some solid eye colors, as well as some blush and highlight options. It is small enough to fit in the makeup bag and it's all you need. For only $15 this is a no-brainer. Pick it up here. Of course there are other options like the Stila Perfect Me Palette ($39 - CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR $19!) or the Tarte Double Duty Shape Your Money Maker Palette ($32) or the Laura Geller Southampton Classic or Laura Geller Montauk Escape palettes ($32 each).

Now of course you will have to supplement these items with some of your own. On this list are things I didn't mention because we all already have some of these things and you don't need travel sized items for it all. But this is how I pack my makeup bag and I seriously love it every single time.

Here are some things that ALMOST made the list, but didn't quite make it. You can check these items out and pic them up to simplify travel.

Travel Mascara
If you click here you will see that there are huge variety of travel mascaras to choose from. Likely your favorite is available. But I personally favor the Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

Makeup Brushes
I didn't add this to the list because we all have a lot of brushes. The bag has multiple openings for you to throw in your favorite face brushes, eye brushes and a few extras. But if you want some for travel I love the It Brushes for Ulta Multi-Tasker Deluxe Dual-Ended Travel Brush Set ($48) or if you want something more affordable I like the EcoTools Stay Matte and Beautiful Kit ($14.99)

Lip Tint
I like products that multi-task. So something that adds color to my lips while hydrating and protecting is a win-win-win! Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($5) is the perfect addition to your kit and eliminates the need for multiple lip products.

Facial Spray
This spray is perfect for hydrating on the go, setting your makeup and keeping you cool. The Mario Bedescu Facial Spray is a must have and is affordable too! I love the Facial Setting Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea but they also have the Facial Setting Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater and for $12-$7 this is a steal!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

REVIEW: Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kits

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 5 (excellent)
Comfort - 5 (excellent)

Kylie Cosmetics is known for their Matte Liquid Lipstick "Lip Kits" which paired a matching lip liner with a liquid lipstick years ago. I got to try out their new Velvet Lip Kits and I was pretty happy with them. What's the difference between the matte lip kits and the velvet ones? The velvet lip kits are still matte, but not as matte, if that makes any sense. It's like a demi-matte. I think it is similar to the difference between Urban Dcay's Vice lipsticks, they have a Matte line and a Comfort Matte line. The velvet's are a comfort matte. 

The packaging got a 4. I dislike that the label and the writing on the product come off super quickly. Otherwise it's great. It smells amazing, like butterscotch! I love the scent. But it's a little strong which knocked it down to a 4. A little goes a long way, I didn't need more than one coat to get full coverage and pigment. As far as wear I only had to reapply after eating and when I kissed my husband there was only the faintest hint of it on his cheek. That's a 5 out of 5 in my book!  

The last one was hard for me to decide what to actually put as a category. I thought maybe moisturizing, but this isn't supposed to be moisturizing. So maybe then comfort? Anyways, I guess my question was does this dry out your lips until they feel like a crispy bacon strip, or does it feel natural and soft? For a matte liquid lipstick this feels very light and wasn't drying at all. It didn't add moisture, but ti didn't leave my lips feeling like a desert. I overall really like and recommend this product.

Friday, May 4, 2018

REVIEW: BeautyCounter Cleansing Balm

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

This product surprised me a little. I love the packaging which is simple, clean and elegant. It doesn't smell like anything at all. I gave it a 3 because it's not bad, I'd prefer no scent to a bad scent. And it did cleanse my face. It removed makeup and my skin felt refreshed.

The thing that makes this product stand out is that it's incredibly gentle and very hydrating. If you have very sensitive skin or super thirsty dry skin then this is a great choice for you. The company Beauty Counter only uses gentle and safe ingredients. They don't use any ingredients that are banned in the UK or China. So this works wonderfully for those concerned with chemicals in their skin care.

To buy the Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm click here.

*I do not receive any commissions, kickbacks or sales based on sales made through links on this article

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

About that Tonya Hennessy Video....

I love Tonya Hennessy. She is a YouTube comedian who is known for being real and imperfect. Back in December she posted the video "Thoughts All Hairdressers Have" and since I have gotten a few questions about it. I've had clients and readers alike ask if I actually have all these thoughts. I was a little bummed by this video for one reason in particular. A LOT of people said they didn't trust their stylist anymore and that now they KNEW we were judging them. I would like to start by saying this - we have hard jobs. We work directly with the public and it's emotionally, physically and mentally taxing to do what we do. Sometimes people do things that are inconsiderate and it's normal to have a little inner rage at it (I think...). Cut us a break! We LOVE our clients more than anything! I am posting the video below and you can watch it. Then I am going to go through each "thought" and be real with you all if I have ever had it and my feelings on it.

1- "Katherine you said 'do whatever' and I've done whatever and you're unhappy, and I told you that you'd be unhappy so you will live with that. And also you're going to pay extra today because you were a real bitch today and also you drank my water." 

WOWZA. I am not a fan of this opening statement at all for so many reasons. I will start out by saying that people say to me all the time "I trust you, do whatever you want" and I hate it. Especially when it's someone who I've just met. I don't know you! And likely if I just "do whatever" you WONT be happy. But that's why a good stylist  never just "does whatever".

Story time! My friend cam into town with a super damaged and dry and grown out ombre. She told me to "do whatever". I thought, if I could REALLY do what I wanted, I'd give her a super cute textured chin length fire-red coppery bob. It would have looked amazing with her blue eyes and fair skin. But I didn't. I started by posing the red and she was super apprehensive. But she didn't want highlights and she didn't want to loos much length.... So her "do whatever" turned into a trim and we retouched her balayage. I am so glad, that even with my best friend of 14 years, I didn't just "do whatever". I get the frustration of feeling like you can't make a clients happy when they wouldn't give you any direction at all.

But I have also NEVER charged someone extra for being a bitch, or for drinking my water. I literally have water at the salon FOR clients. And while I wouldn't charge someone extra because they were difficult to work with, I am not inclined to cut them a deal or give them a special.

2- Montana back in my day we would sweep the floor well

I can't tell if she is insinuating that we are grammar Nazi's, or of she is talking to an assistant who is doing a poor job sweeping the floor...? I have no idea what she is actually going on about here.  

3- Tell me that story now that I am turning on my blow dryer... 

I don't do this. I actively try not to do this, because I like to get to know my clients and to learn about their lives and their stories. I make it a point to actually take notes about my new clients and their stories or upcoming trips so I can bring it up again in the second appointment. Sometimes people talk so quietly I can't hear them without the dryer on, and sometimes they talk through the dryer and I can't stop them. But I don't intentionally use the dryer to tune them out.  

4- No one likes your bangs

I have had a real love/hate with this one. I get the whole "you wanted this, I said you shouldn't, you did it and here we are" concept, but I am a very "it's just hair, it will grow back" kind of person. Maybe I feel personally attacked by this because I go through the cycle of cutting straight across bangs and loathing them as I grow them into side swept and then out to no bangs and then I cut them back again... If you want bangs, screw your stylist. Have her cut them bangs! They DO grow back after all. 

5- It wasn't traffic that made you late because here you are with your coffee...

I get this one. If a client is five minutes late it's not a big deal. But when a client strolls in 30+ minutes late and has a coffee in hand it is so frustrating because the time it took them to go to Starbucks was likely a 10 minute venture, and that 10 minutes was precious to me! We don't make hourly, so every minute of our time you waste is a major loss to us. At least bring us a drink too šŸ˜‰

6- Consultations Over the Phone

Please don't make us do these. PLEASE DON'T MAKE US DO THESE. They are awful. It is so hard to tell you how much product I will need and what steps I will have to take to get you where I think you may want go without having seen you, your hair or pictures. I can give you my base starting prices and that's it over the phone. Son't ask me a max price, I don't have one. Just come in. 

7- I have had 15 coffees because I can't leave to get any food

This is me, every.single.Saturday. All of them. Most stylists are independent contractors and are not entitled to regular lunch breaks. And even if you are, you don't make money if you don't do hair so food, or money? I always choose money. I regularly go whole days without food. I have literally left the salon to go get food to have my name called out half way across the parking lot to come do a walk in haircut before. I am not kidding. That happened like a month ago. But I don't drink coffee so I just starve.

8- Your hair grows, it didn't fade at the roots

I resonate with this one. I can't tell you how many times people call in complaining that their hair has faded at the roots in just 6-8 weeks. šŸ˜ that's what happens, you're hair has grown. I literally tell people this at least twice a week. It's crazy. 

9 - The cheap walk in

I love walk-ins. That's how a new stylists builds their clientele. But if you walk into a salon (especially for a color service) you are the one that needs to understand we may not have the time to accommodate you. That's how it goes. OH, and don't tell us your price. We will inform you of our prices and if they are to high go somewhere else. It is so rude to walk into a salon and demand a full service with a short wait and a low price point and then to act indigent when we tell you our rates or tell you you'll need to come back or recommend appointment slots. It's not our fault you didn't plan ahead.

10 - the orange phase

When going form black to blonde there is usually an orange phase, and a lot of clients say they are okay with it and understand, until their hair orange and they hate it and demand you "fix it" immediately and write you a bad review. It's so annoying. Don't do it. Just stop. Don't be that person. 

11- Get me 45 big macs because I've been standing for 15 hours and I am starving and it's Christmas

while I'm not sure I've ever wanted to stab people, it's true that while Christmas is a time of year most spend more time with their families and at company parties, most stylists make 3 months worth of income during December. We have extended hours, full lobbies, and it's like every day is a Saturday (see #7). Be nice to your stylist at Christmas you guys. It's a hard time for us. 

12- Stop Moving

This whole video could have just been clients moving and I would have been satisfied. Taking selfies, texting, touching your hair or neck, stretching, looking down - all of these things mess up your haircut. Yes, it's boring. But if you will sit still with your arms and legs uncrossed for a solid 10 minutes your cut will likely be done. Instagram can wait. And when you are at the shampoo bowl, let us support your head. Don't move unless we ask you to. It's for everyone's own good. 

13 - The Favorite Client 

It's true. If you want to be the favorite client bring me food and beverages. I will love you forever and ever.