Sunday, March 17, 2019

REVIEW: ILMakiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Shade Range - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 1 (bad)
Longevity - 1 (bad)
Overall:




I was SO excited to try this! This foundation is so well marketed with a few beauty vloggers recommending it, as well as a stunning website. I was less than impressed at the end. Let me walk you through my experience purchasing and then using the product.

That website is stunning. I learned with not much looking that they had this fantastic foundation with a free trial period of two weeks! I loved that I could try before I buy! I went ahead and decided to order it, and it asked me to take the "powermatch quiz". I have a mild issue with this, because I feel like it's unnecessary. I didn't mind the questions about my undertones or what my skin shade was. I love when they ask you what other brands and shade of foundation you use to help the perfectly  match your foundation. But They asked a lot of skin care questions that were such a waste. It didn't matter if I put that I wanted a matte full coverage look for an oily face with a lot of acne, or a dewy light coverage for a dry face with flakiness. They only have on foundation, so they will always recommend the Woke Up Like This Foundation. Regardless I liked the shade matching aspects of the quiz.

So I paid $5 for shipping and then I got my foundation in the mail after 5 days or so. The box it came in was gorgeous. It also came with a return label which I appreciated. The box had velvet lining and it was seriously pretty. The actual foundation is packaged beautifully. It looks so high end and glamours. The container is frosted glass. The lid fits on perfectly. The only issue I had with it was that the pump came off A LOT as well as the entire screw cap lid, which made quite the mess.

They have over 50 shades so I appreciate that range. I loved the texture of the makeup. It was smooth going on and settled onto my skin to mimic the natural texture which was awesome. It looked like skin, not silicone. My biggest two issues were that I had to use a lot of product to cover my face. Three pumps per layer, and I layered it twice, so that is six pumps! Typically I use 1-2 pumps per layer with other foundations. And even though they advertise this as buildable coverage a third and fourth layer did nothing, and I could not get past medium coverage. The product wore off quickly no matter how I primed or set it, which was so frustrating. And I've been using a new skin care routine so my skin is the healthiest it has been in a while and it still came off so fast. For $44, I'll choose something else.

It's also worth noting that I bought it and they had a whole "free trials" claim going. They said you pay $5 for shipping and if you don't love it, just return it! I didn't love it, so I went to return it, and I had to pay $6 for return shipping. I was so frustrated because they really made it sound like it was free return shipping. So I wasted $11 trying this foundation. Such a bummer. 



Friday, March 15, 2019

REVIEW: Kavella Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 2 (not very good)
Moisturizing - 6 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Weightlessness - 5 (excellent)
Overall:



I am so excited to be reviewing products from this fairly new brand. A little about the brand itself which is based in California. Kavella uses high quality plant based ingredients and avoids irritants like gluten, sulfates and parabens. They also are vegan which means they don't use any animal byproducts. Kavella does not test on animals and makes sure that their ingredients are not tested on animals either, plus a portion of their profits goes to different animal charities. They also use recycled plastics that are create din an eco friendly way. All of that is really awesome in my opinion.

So now to the actual product. I like the packaging a lot. It is sleek and sophisticated, but still distinguished and pretty. I like that is has the eco-friendly vibe without being over the top about it. It is SO hydrating. My hair has never felt this soft and I feel like my split ends are definitely becoming less frequent. A little goes a fairly long way but the formula is super runny, so it is hard to only put a little in your hand. This stuff its weightless I would highly recommend it for fine to normal hair types. It is so hydrating.

The only major downside I have found is the smell. I expected a kind of essential oil or earthy vibe. It has a musk to it, which I usually like. But then it has a kind of fruity undertone which is so unpleasant with the musk. It is barely a fragrance at all in the shampoo, but it stronger in the conditioner, which was kind of thick and balm like. It wasn't my favorite, but not a deal breaker. It wasn't awful.

check out Kavella.com for more info

*i do not make commissions or kickbacks off of purchases made through this post, and I do not have any kind of endorsement deal with this company.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Best Shampoos and Conditioners at Walmart

So here is the deal, there is a good, better and best for everything. While there are products and brands at Walmart that are genuinely bad for your hair, there are several that aren't bad, and some that are even good for your hair. So today I am going to break down some of my favorite options you can find at Walmart and Target for a more affordable price point. I will also mention their better counterparts, but in a pinch, these will do.

It is SO important to note that I have done research on each individual product recommended here, but there are so few brands out there where you can just trust 100% of the products they make. That goes for high end brands and affordable options. So please do not feel like just because I recommend one brand's product here, that I am giving you the green light on ALL their products.  For example, I spent about an hour looking into the ingredients in every single shampoo and conditioner Hask makes, and I only found 2 that were suitable for use. Those two are amazing! I will likely recommend them here, but none of their other twenty options are good choices. Why? Well for example their Monoi Coconut Oil shampoo has Isopropyl Alcohol in it. That is like crappy rubbing alcohol, it is intensely harsh on your hair and very drying. But not all their shampoos have that. So be careful.

The Process

How exactly did I come to the conclusion that some of these were good options and others were not? I read the labels on the bottles of course! I went into the stores and looked on the back of the bottles. I mention in my post How to learn about your Beauty Products Ingredients  how I used to have to references lists and guides before picking out products. Over time the same ingredients would pull up over and over warning me that those ingredients were bad for my skin or hair. Now I have them memorized simply by seeing them so much.

I was very throughout and I actually checked every single item I am going to recommend to you multiple times. I did not say "this line seems safe" after going over two or three of their options. I check both shampoos and conditioners.

What I was looking for were shampoos that had surfactants (the agent that actually separates dirt and oil in your hair and washes them out) but that they weren't to harsh. If a surfactant is to harsh it will cause dryness, frizz, breakage and color fading. Some of the most common offenders are Soduim Lauryl  Sulfate, Sodium Laurel Sultanate, Soduim Laureth Sulfate, and Sodium Laureth Sultanate. But they aren't the only ones. Alcohol is often put into products to prevent bacteria growth, but it also harms your skin and hair. I also looked for heavy waxes and silicones that are not water soluble and cause buildup. For example beeswax causes build up where emulsifying wax dissolves in water and is okay to use.


For Curly Hair

For curly hair I like the Not Your Mothers Naturals Tahitian Gardenia set best. All of the ingredients checked out and it smells divine. It is very lightweight and best for people who have permed hair or fine but curly hair. I also was impressed by the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine which was a more medium weight. I really couldn't find any drugstore smoothing shampoos meant for curly hair that weren't filled with wax and silicone. But if you need smoothing, I'd check out my recommendation for smoothing and frizz in general. If you are looking for a better choice I highly recommend the Deva Curl line.


For Hydration

One of my favorite general hydration shampoos I found was the Kristen Ess The One Signature Shampoo, which you can find at Target or online. Although I don't recommend the conditioner that goes with it. Most of the shampoos I am recommending to you on here have an ingredient or two that aren't well researched yet. They seem to do okay but we don't know enough about them to truly know if they are harsh or not yet. Based on my experiences and the experiences of my friends and clients I am recommending them to you. BUT the Kristen Ess Shampoo uses a super gentle surfactant that is known to be top notch quality. The conditioner includes a heavy wax and harsh alcohol so I do not recommend it. 

I also like the Not Your Mothers Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil set as well as their Blue Sea Kale and Pure Coconut Water set. Both have great ingredients. The Blue Seas Kale and Pure Coconut Water is a weightless formula which would be better for finer hair, although I do not feel the Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil one is heavy enough to be considered smoothing. So if you need something heavy look at the smoothing portion of this list.  I also like the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration shampoo and conditioner. For a higher quality option I'd give Joico's Moisture Recovery or Redken's Mega Allsoft a try.

Repairing

The only repairing choice I found was the Not Your Mother's Naturals Royal Honey and Kalamari Desert Melon shampoo and conditioner. But I couldn't really spot any truly healing ingredients in it. It won't hurt your hair, but I'm not sure it will repair it either. For a better choice I highly recommend the Joico KPak for thick or coarse hair that needs more weight, and the Redken Extreme for hair that is finer and needs weightless repair.


Smoothing

This was a hard one because smoothing is something usually done with heavy waxes and silicone. The only one that passed my test was the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuaçu Frizz Defense Shampoo and Conditioner. The Hask Beauty Keratin Protein Smoothing Shampoo was the second option I could find. I didn't put it in the repair section because it isn't good for repair at all. It does contain Ddmethicone and cyclopentasiloxane which are both heavy scilicones that cause buildup, so you want to make sure that if you use this you use a build up buster or clarifying shampoo once every 2-3 weeks. The Not Your Mothers Naturals line has an option called Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil as well. It's not as heavy weight as I'd expect from a smoothing shampoo, but it's not light either and is a cleaner choice ingredients wise.

For a the best quality options I'd recommend Living Proof's No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner, or the Smooth Sexy Hair shampoo and Conditioner.

Volume

The best choice ingredients wise is hands down the Shea Moisture Dragon's Blood & Coffee Cherry Volume Shampoo, but it doesn't have a matching conditioner, which is so annoying. But you can pair it with the brand's Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Créme Rinse which is also top notch in quality. The Not Your Mother's Naturals Linseed Chia Blend French Plum Seed Oil set it also a great choice. I am trying to give three options per section but I am struggling to find another good one. The Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration and Hibiscus Water set is as close to a third choice as I can get, but it contains alcohols in it that are very harsh. For higher end alternatives I love the Strong Sexy Hair if your hair is colored or has damage, as well as the Living Proof PHD shampoo and conditioner. I also love the Biolage R.A.W. Uplift shampoo and conditioner, which is probably my favorite choice of the three I've listed.


BONUS OPTIONS

My husband struggles HARD with Dandruff and we have tried everything on the market I swear! The best shampoo I have ever found for his dandruff is a cheap Walmart brand! I have several clients that use it too and they all do really well with it. The Nuetrogena TSal is the stuff. He pairs it with the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree conditioner. I have a friend who has kinky hair and he pairs it with the Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (which he uses every shampoo as a conditioner).

I also really like the Kristen Ess Gentle Shampoo. If you have a sensitive scalp this is going to be a great fit for you. The conditioner is awful, so I'd choose one that fits your needs from above, but the shampoo is super gentle and has top notch ingredients.

Friday, March 8, 2019

REVIEW: Focallure Beauty Eyeshadow Tropical Vacation Palette

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Pigmentation - 3 (average)
Brush - 2 (not very good)
Fall Out - 3 (average)
Texture - 5 (excellent)
Value - 2 (not very good)
Overall:


 I was simply not impressed by this palette for so many reasons. Let's just dive into it. The packaging looks and feels cheap. It has a really fun and pretty pattern o the front, but the cardboard is flimsy. You can even see in the picture how the paper covering the cardboard is cheap so it wrinkles and bubbles which creates and a messy look.

These shadows are not well pigmented. I have to layer on and pack on a lot of product to get a good look. There is so much fallout too. But I feel like ever after I prime my lids, pack it all on and set it with powder and spray, it is still gone in 3 hours.  The shadows are creamy and smooth though, which I appreciate and makes blending far easier.

The brush is also not great. The bristles came out super easily and the packing end is to diffused to pack, which the other end is to diffused to do a great job blending either. Both ends needed more bristles to do their job well. This rings in at $33, which is a more affordable choice, but is only $10 away from other palettes like Lorac Pro, Anastasia Beverly Hills and others with a far higher quality. Other brands of this quality charge far less for their products.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

REVIEW: Johnny B Fuddy Matte Styling Gel

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Finish - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Hold - 5 (excellent)
Overall:



This has become one of my hands-down favorite men's products in the salon. I have never used another men's styler like this. The packaging is simple, classic and clean. I love it. They actually recently repackaged and this is a huge upgrade from the old look. It is fragrance free and truly smells like nothing. Often scentless items have a plastic smell or chemical smell, but this doesn't.

What I love about this product is that is has a high hold, but it is matte. So it doesn't make your hair look plastic or stiff. It has a unique whipped texture that gives is an airy pudding-like cushioned feel. This makes it super easy to distribute evenly without clumping. I love how a little goes a long way and that is has a soft and natural finish, but still controls your hair with high hold. This had become by favorite men's option behind the chair, so if your looking for high hold but natural looking this is probably a perfect fit for you.

Monday, March 4, 2019

How to Style Your Bangs

Here is a video I did for my salon's Facebook page that perfectly illustrates how to style your side swept bangs. However the principals in this video apply for any bang style including straight across bangs. Enjoy ♥