Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My NuMe InVogue Straightener & Magic Wand

I do have to put a disclaimer that neither of these products were given to me for free(nor have any of the other products I've reviewed in the past), I paid out of pocket to purchase these products and no one has asked me to review them, I just enjoy either giving my opinion or complaining about something :P

OK, let's start with the straightener. The day I tried it (and yes I did film but still editing video), I had pretty curly hair, I tried a new technique, new to me anyway, of heatless curls over night, so when I brushed out my hair it was crazy frizzy and curly. It took me exactly 2 and a half songs (approx 7.5 mins) to straighten my whole head! I was in shock at how fast it straightened my hair in one go instead of having to go over the same spot over and over again as you would with a cheap straightener. My hair was left feeling soft and manageable and it didn't feel dry at all! I am impressed in so many good ways, I can't even find the words. Worth every penny sums it all up.

The Magic Wand. I have 1 curling iron and a 1 curling wand, both give their own style of curl, both very different. The reason I bought these two was because I want BIG voluminous waves, something I could never achieve with either of them. I'm not saying I don't like them, but they were definitely not what I was looking for. The 32mm Magic Wand gives me EXACTLY what I was looking for. BIG voluminous waves, they just look so natural and beautiful. I'm still a little afraid of using it because of it's high heat settings, which of course you can adjust as you can with the straightener.

I still have to fiddle around with them a bit and figure out on my own how to use both these tools because unlike your typical $20 curler or straightener, you only need these on you hair between 5 to 10 seconds max, where with cheaper tools I would have to count up to 20 seconds to get a decent curl/wave.

I am extremely pleased with this purchase and hope they both last me for years and years to come!
Also, the shipping was quite decent considering I got them both from the US online store and got them shipped to an APO in Europe. Total time was about 3 weeks wait.

2 thumbs up for me :)

Favorite Hair Products!

As you might remember from my videos, I mention that I am not a big fan of hair styling products, I like treatments, heat protection, and oils. I have been trying to grow my hair long and strong for 3 years now and am finally achieving what I want. I made the big mistake of going blonde last summer just out of curiosity and DUH my hair went dry and eternally frizzy. Keeping up the trims to make sure I get rid of any split ends and finally back to brunette.

Here are the products I use the most:

Shampoo & Conditioner: Lee Stafford's Hair Growth Shampoo & Conditioner both on the pricier side considering they are both 200ml bottles, I always make sure I buy these at Boots while there is an offer and throw in the Hair Growth Treatment. My total would be over £20 but Boots always puts out a beauty offer of 3 for the price of 2 at least once every other month and you can save up to £7! There's nothing wrong with trying to be thrifty. And because I WASH wash my hair a max of 3 times a week, I tend to use all 3 products together. First the shampoo, then I apply the treatment to my roots and the conditioner to my end and leave those 2 in until I'm done with the rest of me :P

After showering I like to put in a leave in conditioner/detangler/heat protectant. I haven't seen this one sold anywhere in the UK but I get it at Walmart.com. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner. I had read about this leave in conditioner on several blogs, read dozens of reviews on it and now that I have been using it over a month now I can give you my honest opinion. I like it and plan on repurchasing over and over again. I have to say I didn't expect it to make my hair miraculously beautiful from one day to the next or go super model shiny... However I do like the fact that it detangles, it is a heat protectant and it doesn't leave a gooey residue like some leave-in conditioners do.

After this process, I either let my hair air dry or half air dry and then go in with the blow-dryer for as little time as possible just to give me some volume and dry the rest of my hair. I could just count the leave-in conditioner as a heat protectant but I always go in with a little extra help. At the moment I use 2; Ganier's Anti-Frizz Serum which contains Morrocan oil and apricot oil. Not a hug fan of this one, it does help my hair dry even faster but if you get carried away by a little bit you end up with oily hair. My other heat protectant... well I just can't find anything negative to say about it! Redken's Smooth Lock Heat Glide. It smells delicious; I could not shut up about how sexy it smells, pretty sure my friend Helena hates me now because of it LOL. One and a half pumps is more than enough for my hair length and oh my, does it tame the frizz instantly!

And here are the products I use the least yet still would recommend:

Clear's Scalp & Hair Therapy Nourishing Oil. This I only use once every other month when I am doing the inversion method to help my hair grow. I massage it into my scalp for about 5 mins, leave it in for 2 hours and then shower. If you have straight or thin hair you might want to avoid this product, it's more for ethnic hair but I love it as a deep conditioning treatment and as a massage oil for my scalp.

BedHead's Ego Boost. This too is a leave-in conditioner that protects your hair from the elements (or so it says it has little to no description as to what it is protecting you from). It's said to be a split end mender which obviously I don't believe, does it smooth them out? Yes. I use this more as a freshen up from time to time because it smells pretty and yes it does smooth out your locks a bit. It's main use on my head; tame flyaways. I stopped using this after I started using my It's a 10! Leave-in conditioner.

IF! If I ever use hairspray (has to be a super special occasion AKA a ball or wedding) I use TRESemme's Tres Two if I'm looking for an updo. And bigsexyhair's Spray & Play if I'm going for voluminous loose locks. I tend to use these products more with my customers (I freelance hair, makeup & nails) along with this other product which I have never used on myself but it gives my customers the "texturized look" with a bit of hold; got2b's Beach Trippin Waving Spray.

And the extra: Charles Worthington's Style Setter Dry Shampoo. Does what it says on the tin and smells lovely. I have used it on both myself and customers to give a little MORE volume when needed.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Youtube Channel

Don't forget to check out my videos on Youtube!

Beauty Haul Vol 1

So yesterday after a whole day of not being able to eat, a lot of napping and drinking plenty of water, I was so bored of feeling ill that I went and had a little splurge.

Half asleep I went onto sephora.com and thought it'd be a good idea to review these "tester" beauty kits I see on there all the time. The first one was LORAC Rockin' Red Hot Lip Gloss Collection; until now I had never tried a LORAC product so I'm excited to receive and review these lip glosses. This kit was on sale at sephora.com for $20 (US dollars) with originalprice tag at $27. I thought it was a good deal considering LORAC lip glosses are between $10 and $15.

Next up was Benefit Cosmetics Feelin' Dandy Lip & Cheek Kit which contains a Posetint (never tried that before), Dandelion blush (also a first time for me), Highbeam (have tried, haven't learned how to use properly), Ultra Plush Dandelion Lip Gloss (also a first). I'm looking forward to reviewing these. I do have the option to go to a shop in town and try Benefit Cosmetics products but because of import costs; the price tag tends to go way too high for my liking. This kit however was only $28.

And finally; the Smashbox Try Kit. I have tried several Smashbox products in the past and their primers are by far my favorite ones out there. This kit contains: Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Photo Finish Eyelid Primer, Limitless Eyeliner, Full Exposure Mascara, & a Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss. The kit cost a total of $19, which I also found ideal to test the whole range.

I also got a free sample of Bobbi Brown's CC Cream which I had never even heard of.

I will be reviewing all of these products individually in separate "Kit" posts that way I don't have to flood you with my ramblings.

On a completely different day a couple weeks ago I made another purchase, a gift from me to me. I have gone through quite a few flat irons and curling tongs since I moved to the UK. Either couldn't afford a higher end one before or just never got around to reading reviews or looking into what would suit me best, so finally I took the plunge and invested in a NuMe curling wand and a NuMe Hair Straightner. Fortunately one of the beauty bloggers I follow on youtube had a discount code which she shared with her followers and I got a $120 discount off my order.

This too I will be reviewing as soon as I receive the package (USPS and MPS have been a tad slow lately) but I am very much looking forward to reviewing these products for you.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Empties Vol 1

Hi! Glad to be typing again :) I was going to start doing my empties on a monthly basis but I came to realize; I don't go through products fast enough to actually do that LOL. So I will be posting empties as soon as I have at least 5 of them and you'll be getting my opinion on them.

First empty: Mac's Fluidline Gel Liner in Blacktrack. Lives up to the hype, I can only think of one negative thing to say about it and that would be that it dries out a little tiny bit sooner than other gel liners I have used. In its defense; I used it almost every day for as long as I had it unlike the ones I've been using lately which I might use once a week. For some reason I've become this "ANTI MAKEUP" makeup junkie, how? I love makeup, I love playing with it, I love to use it, but I avoid it as much as possible. During the week (when I go to work) I'll put on a full face of makeup but I avoid eye makeup and on the weekends I don't even bother with BB Cream. And I'm going off on a tangent, sorry!

Fluidline in Blacktrack
Second Empty: Soap & Glory's One Heck of a Blot. I love this pressed translucent powder, I had been using Revlon's Photoready Translucent Pressed powder prior to this and it looked great in person but I had to run away from photography, no pics for me! It does that thing some finishing powders do that contain a lot of silica (not sure if I'm right on the ingredient) but with a camera flash it lookes like you're either a ghost or you've just done cocaine, and that's not good! I would buy this one again and again if they had it at my local Boots, but sadly they don't :(

Third empty: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Pressed Powder. This has to be one of the first "high end" powders I ever bought along with MAC's Mineralize Pressed Powder Foundation, both really good, amazing finish. Estee Lauder was a bit on the cakey side if I wasn't careful with my application. I have repurchased this on several occasions but oh sadness... Since I decided to cut back on my office hours, my income has reduced in size quite considerably so higher end makeup is beginning to be out of my budget. Oh well, you win some and you loose some, I do have to admit I am way happier now that I work less hours and stress doesn't get to me as much anymore. Totally worth it. (And there goes me off on a tangent again)


Empty number four: Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation. I loved this foundation for the longest time but shortly after repurchasing I realized my face hates liquid foundations. For the longest time I thought I was just that acne prone skin kinda gal but OH SURPRISE! For some random reason I stopped using foundation and stuck to JUST my BB Cream for a month and TADAAAA! Acne gone. I still use liquid foundation on very rare occasions; the Air Force Ball was one, new year's eve, Halloween... that one doesn't count, I was a Mexican Sugar Skull.


Loved my makeup this night!

Fifth empty: Superdrug's Artificial Nail Remover (couldn't find a link). This lil guy is a life saver. On my spare time I do Shellacs, acrylic nails, makeup and hair for special occasions for girls that know me from work, friends, etc. I love this as a hobby and I enjoy myself when I do it (one more reason for me to cut back on my office hours). So I used to purchase the elegant touch nail remover at Boots for nearly £3 a bottle, one day I walked into Superdrug and stumbled upon a bottle that looked just like it and £3 for 2 bottles. I know it makes me sound cheap or stingy if you like but for someone who goes through at least a bottle every month and a half, it does save me a lot in the long run. 


Sixth empty! TheFaceShop's Green Tea Mild Body Wash. I loved this body wash, I got it as a free sample from A-Poly seller on Amazon.com. Great customer's service and always sending free samples, this was a part of a 3 piece luxury size kit. Love the smell, the texture, it doesn't dry out your skin horribly. All around lovely and perfect size for travelling around. 


Empty number seven: Laura Ashley's Shower Cream. I wish I could buy a huge tub of this all year around but it was a part of a Christmas box my mom got me at Boots. The smell is soooooooo mesmerizing.

(I forgot to take a picture of the mascara btw)

Honorary mention in the hall of shame: Pantene's Smooth Shampoo... says to fight and control frizz. 2 weeks after using this (I wash my hair twice a week) my hair was horrible!!! Frizzy, dry, dead. I needed a haircut ASAP. I know I've dyed my hair a lot, but I've always been very careful to not push my hair to those extremes EVER. I had blue hair quite a few years ago and my hair was horribly burnt and dead and dry, so I never want to put my hair through that again. 

Hope some of my comments help you in your moments of need when shopping, I know most are positive reviews but I honestly prefer to tell you about the good things in a product than to complain endlessly about the negative stuff.

:)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February Glossybox Unboxing

YAY! I actually love this month's box! I got the following products:



Maybelline ColorSensationals Stripped Nudes Lipstick. This one actually ticked me off, says so in the title "Nudes", and I as-well as all other girls subscribed to Glossy had to fill out a beauty profile where they ask you hair colour, skin tone, hair texture, etc. Yet I was sent a dark brownish plum lipstick. How is this a nude on my super light skin??? I'm pretty sure I ticked the "Fair Skin" box when I filled in my beauty profile!









ELDORA False Eyelashes. A s a person who ONLY uses false eye lashes when I go out to a proper nightclub (which is once every 4 or 5 months) I can't really say anything bad about these. They look a little too dramatic for every day wear but again I don't use falsies every day. They're perfect for going out. It's a perfect score for this one :) 

Toni&Guy Stick It Up Gum. Again... WTF Glossy? Google this product. It's meant for short hair/layered hair. I'm pretty sure in your beauty profile they ask you to describe your hair, if you prefer styling products or hair care products, the length (maybe, not sure about this one). I have LONG straight hair and I don't use styling products, I use oils, treatments, masks. I am trying to grow long healthy hair and you send me a moulding wax with hard hold. The cool thing was that it's actually a full size product... that sadly I'm never going to use. My boyfriend is deployed as-well so it's not like I can just give it to him for testing. Although now that I think about it, I might ship it to him in a care-box. 


Ciate Paint Pot in SOMTHING Chilli. The colour was lovely, this is actually my first Ciate Paint Pot. Downside; it looks like the product is old and has been in storage. I'm not saying for a very long time but nail polishes tend to have a 24 months shelf life. Now lets say it's been in storage for 10 months... it won't have the same consistency as a new Ciate nail polish yet for someone like me who had never tried Ciate before, I'm going to base my opinion on this product, I might not buy another Ciate varnish because I disliked the formula's consistency. The idea is to try new products we could very easily love and end up purchasing full sizes, right? 


NOUGAT LONDON Body Shimmer. Great smell, pretty presentation. Not so much shimmery, but I didn't mind that at all. I applied and reapplied several times to see if there was a "in your face" shimmery effect but there wasn't. I was please with this one.


Lindor Chocolate Bar. I'm not going to say anything negative about this... I love chocolate. 

The seem to have redeemed themselves this month after all the negative feedback they received. One negative thing I can say about this is the fact that unlike most companies; Glossybox takes the payment WAY ahead of time before even preparing the boxes for shipment. No w I don't know how common this is in the UK but other beauty boxes I've subscribed to in the past have never done that. Another thing was that February Glossybox was "Valentine's" themed, well guess what? I got my box on the 22 of February… nearly 10 days after Valentine's day, plus I never received my shipping confirmation email. 

The box looked beautiful, well designed, good sturdy materials but again… they just don't seem to understand that most of their customer's are getting very annoyed over the fact that you see most of their budget washing away on a cardboard box instead of the contents of it. And I too agree they should focus more on the quality of the contents than the quality of the box. 

That's my opinion on this month's Glossybox and I cannot stress enough that the company really needs to stop focusing on the pretty paper, so many year long customers are giving up and unsubscribing from Glossy due to this. 

Best of luck and keep your chin up girls :)





Friday, February 21, 2014

My Nail Polish Rack Nightmare

So for those girls out there that love nail polishes as much as I do, you know it's a dream to own one of those acrylic nail polish racks that hold something like 96 or 102 nail polishes, you mount it on the wall and you have all your lovely polishes on display.

For some reason just the thought of it make me giddy. I've seen this rack several time on amazon.com and something "similar" and waaaay smaller on amazon.co.uk which is frustrating enough as it is.

But OH! I have an APO box fortunately, and most people ship to APO because in reality they're only shipping as far as NJ after that the MPS takes care of the package.

Here comes the fun part...

I've had to purchase it twice! The first time the seller eCompleteStore, everything seemed to be going fine, my card was charged, 3 days later... the seller cancelled because they were having "shipping issues". I thought "OK, sometimes people can't ship to APO or prefer not to because it's a bit of a hassle".  I waited until I got refunded to repurchase from someone else, I really should've taken that as a sign.

This time I clicked buy from the IDEAS store on amazon.com as-well, it was a little more expensive due to shipping but still only 40 something dollars. Days went by, hmm still no shipping confirmation? I get an email the next day "Cancelled due to customer exchange"... I went ballistic. I immediately went to their store front and double checked; they shipped to APO, oh but look... they changed their mind. The exact same product $84 plus shipping.

Obviously I was more upset over the second time I tried to buy this darn rack than the first time because not only did the seller cancel and say I was the one who changed her mind but also the ridiculous new price tag! (For those wondering here is the link to the store front of this fairly unprofessional company.

However, Amazon's customer service was AMAZING, guess they felt bad for me and gave me a $5 gift card and I didn't even rant. In my email to Amazon I only explained what the original price was, that I was accused of cancelling the order, and that I understood that they could've made the mistake of putting in the wrong price for this article but they could have at least informed me of this mistake instead of using me as an excuse and I highly recommend they notify the seller that it was inappropriate.

I cannot believe my inner Latina didn't go full explosion on this guy... maybe that's just me growing older and wiser :P

Anyway! This is the beauty I've been trying to get a hold of :(
Nail Polish Rack

I shall have to build my own!!!
Wish me luck.