Friday, March 29, 2019

3 Makeup Brands I think are Overrated

MAC Cosmetics
This classic cosmetic giant is so overrated to me, and I rarely purchase anything from them.  The first reason is because when I look into their ingredients they use a lot of cheap fillers that are not good for your skin. For example almost all of their liquid foundation have dimethicone high on their ingredients list, which is a cheap silicone that is pore clogging. And talc is typically within the first three ingredients of any of their powders. But you are paying high dollar for these products, and typically because of the brand name. Now don't get me wrong, I like the MAC paint pots as a primer for shadow and I am not against trying new things they come out with. But their legendary lipsticks are so lack luster to me, and I am not on board with all their hype. I think most of their classic staples are overpriced for what they are, and they do not perform to my standards for print work or bridal. On top of that they are not cruelty free, and that does matter to me.

I am super over Morphe, like all the way over them. Their foundations and powders have a lot of highly comedogenic ingredients that are so bad for your skin. They are well branded and they have paid big bucks for influencer partnerships and shout outs, but the items they make are so lack luster. First of all they private label their items through Crown Brush. That means that Crown Brush makes the items and then slaps Morphe's name on them and sells them as their own. BUT that also means that all the items Morphe sells are available under other names, one of them being Crown Brush. It also begs the question of how involved the influencers they collaborate with really are? Are these palettes Crown Brush has created already that they are slapping an influencers name on? Or do they actually specially curate a collection for the influencer? Either way the items are available cheaper and identical under other names. Take for example the Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette ringing in at $38 from morphe which you can see here, while the Crown Brush 35 Color OMG eyeshadow Collection is identicle at only $15, and you can see that one here. Below I posted a video from Stephanie Nicole about Morphe and Crown Brush specifically but she also goes into the specifics of private labeling.

I also don't like supporting brands that employ shady business practices. There was a scandal with them lying about their Jaclyn Hill palette collaboration and suing another well known brand over packaging designs which Morphe came out with over a year after Becca had. You can learn more about that conflict here. Overall, I just feel like if I want their products I can spend half the amount on Crown Brushes and not support that shady company.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics

Jeffree Star has a long history of controversy with his brand. From being rude and hateful to fans, as well as racist remarks. I have used his liquid lipsticks and I did like them, but didn't love them. I also raised my eyebrow when he launched his lipstick line which you can see more about here. But what I really don't love is the hateful way he presents himself. He says he is just being "real" but if he is really that big of a hateful and hypocritical jerk? I want no part in it.

He has been a part of so many scandals I can't count, but one of the biggest was his argument with former bestie and beauty guru Kat Von D. You can read up on that here. In a nut shell, Kat Von D called him out for having stolen her friend's art work and using it as a logo for his brand without having paid him. Not cool. He was also involved last year in a lawsuit with a small indie brand for using their logo to promote a collaboration with another infulencer, Manny MUA. You can read on that here. Pretty much any major youtube influence has something unkind to say about Jeffree and his defense is that they are all jealous bitches who are making up lies to shade him. But how many influencers would really lie like that about the same person? And Star is not shy about putting others down or destroying another's career if they cross him. Not cool. This is far to Regina George for me.

He is incredibly hypocritical, ruthless and unapologetic, which I hate. When did we as a society decide that is was attractive to be unapologetic anyways? It's important to recognize your mistake and to apologize for them. We all make them. I recall him doing a live video wen Kylie Jenner released her line of glosses showing him throwing away the gloss after opening it and finding a faulty applicator.  He tweeted for ages about how she is rich enough to not let this kind of stuff happen and was taking advantage of people. Jeffree is major when it comes to flaunting his wealth, and even lives in the same hood as the Kardashian and Jenner crews in Calabasas. So if she is "rich enough" so is he. And he had a line of skin frost highlighters go out that all arrived broken. Of course he sent out new ones, and Kylie sent out new applicators too, but there is no mercy for Kylie or other brands that make mistakes, even after Star has made similar ones himself.

I just can't support people who build careers on taking others down in such a negative and disgusting way. I hope we can all strive to be better and lift one another up. The world has to much hate, be different. Be better.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: Trust Fund Beauty Give Me Good Face Primer

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Wear - 2 (not very good)
Longevity - 3 (average)
Value - 3 (average)

I so wanted to love this product, but I just didn't. I like what Trust Fund Beauty stands for, and their company as a whole, but I am not loving their primer. The packaging was disappointing. Most of their items have a pink and gold watercolor splatter on them with some metallic accents. This one is black and grey and it looks like cow spots more than water color stains. The box was cute but the actual item? Not so much. It is functional though which pulls up the score to a four.

The truly disappointing part was the performance or lack there of. My foundation lasted longer with no primer at all than using this product. It also made me break out super bad. The item itself is TINY. It comes in this little tube that looks like a sample size, but I paid $20 for it. The ounces on the label are .67, most samples are .5, and most full sized high end primers are .75-1 ounce. So it's right in the middle, but they pack that little tiny bottle so full of product that when I opened it a TON squirt out from the pressure. I used it immediately, but a lot when down the drain.

It was intended to have that poreless cushioned effect you famously find in the Benefit Professional Primer, but it just didn't measure up. You have to use quite a bit to cover your face, a little does not go a long way. And the company doesn't accept returns at all. So disappointing.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

REVIEW: Hot Sexy Hair Flash Me Blow Dry Spray

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Protection - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Finish - 5 (excellent)

I am SO obsessed with this product! I do love the other items in the Hot Sexy Hair Line, so I was prepared to love this one too and I was not disappointed. The packaging isn't my favorite honestly. It's sturdy and functional but I am not a fan of the baby pink color or the over crowded label. I wish they would have simplified a bit. The scent is amazing though. It has this vanilla bean musk that is so subtle, warm and nice. I am a huge fan. 

All of the hot sexy hair products protect hair form up to 450 degrees of heat. That is WAY more than you should ever be putting on your hair, so it covers all of the bases. I love that it comes in a spray so it is easy to distribute and a little goes a long way. I love it because it has a weightless feel with just a small amount of natural shine that is amazing. It is smoothing but not heavy, which is a rare combination to find. The packaging also claims that it will cut down on your dry time and I think that is absolutely true! I highly recommend this product.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

REVIEW: Focallure Beauty Bomb Lashes Mascara

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Lengthening - 5 (excellent)
Thickening - 4 (very good)
Separation - 6 (incredible)
Flakiness - 4 (very good)

This mascara actually surprised me a little. The packaging is a nice matte black, with a pretty rose gold metallic lettering. I knocked a point off because it's a thin and easily cracked plastic and the lettering rubs off super quick. This mascara gave me some serious length and definition. I haven't seen a mascara that seperates my lashes with no clumps at all like this one does in a long time. The length is perfectly natural looking, but still very much there. I love that adds a little body without any clumping. There was some flakiness, but not much throughout the day. This is a mascara I am definitely going to repurchase.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Springtime Faves

with Easter, Mothers Day, Spring Break and Flip Flop season right around the corner I am going to break down some of my spring must-haves for you! These are all things that are perfectly gift-able, and items I always make sure are in stock come spring.
Fun Fact - did you know that sunflowers have natural UVA and UVB protectants in them? Sun flowers face and follow the sun all day, but they are known for their vibrant colors. How to they not crisp up like other flowers would after so much direct sunlight?  Because the oils in sun flowers reflect IVA and UVB rays, protecting their petals and color! This 100% pure Sunflower Oil is perfect to protect your tan, and your hair color this spring. Ringing in at just under $10 it's a steal too! Buy it from Shea Moisture here, or pick it up from Target here.

 I love this Tinted Lip Balm from SunBum! It has great protection and moisture for your lips as well as that perfect kiss of color that makes this the only lip product you'll need this spring. It also comes in 5 great shades and is only $6 each. You can snag it from SunBum here, or you can grab it at Ulta here.
 As we grab our sandals and head to the park, beach or barbecue we need to not forget about our toes! After months of neglect under socks and in boots, they will surely need some loving! I love these Rarity Nails polish strips. They go on kind of like a sticker and harden onto your nail. You take them off with acetone like regular polish and choose a new set! Each set costs $5 and comes with 18 double ended strips, which can do 3 manicures and 1 pedicure, or 4+ pedicures! They are also toxin free, which is a bonus. You can buy your Rarity Nails here.
 I am obsessed with this up and coming brand that is sure to take off any day now! Cosset is a bath and body care brand that implements ethical practices in the creation of their products and how they treat and pay their employees. On top of that they use pure and natural ingredients in their skin and body care that doesn't just look pretty, it actually does something for you! Their bath bombs are unrivaled in my opinion. They also do their best to promote recycling and used recycled material for their packaging and labels.  Plus this Moisturizing Hand Cream? It's AMAZING! I literally only have to put it on twice a day, and I can smell it ALL day long. Plus you know I've checked out their ingredients and they opt for high ends choices and don't have any cheap fillers. They have a wide range of scents, but the Kalahari Melon is my favorite. You can pick up your hand cream from Cosset here for $12.

This liquid luminizer is the perfect choice to give you the glow you've always dreamed of. Tap a little on your cheek bones for a sun-kissed look, add it to your moisturizer for a full body glow, or brush it onto your shoulders and clavicle for a stunning dewy statement. You can snag yours directly from Buxom Cosmetics here, or from Ulta here.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

REVIEW: IL Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

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

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)

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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)

 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)

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 ♥