Friday, May 31, 2013

Gentlemen Prefer Pink

There's just something to be said about the color pink.  Found in the wardrobe of a woman, it is the ultimate statement of femininity.  In the wardrobe of a man, it is a bold statement of confidence with a possible dash of humor and whimsy.  As a natural flushing on the cheeks, it denotes health and youthfulness.  And on the lips?  Well, while reds and other hues certainly have their place... there's something to be said about a pouty pink lip.  And I've got just the lipstick to fit the bill - Gentlemen Prefer Pink from Revlon.

Gentlemen Prefer Pink is a soft, baby pink from Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick line.  It has a pearl finish with only the slightest hint of frost to it.  


This lipstick, as with most of Revlon's lippies, applied smoothly and felt moisturizing on the lips.  It is also very pigmented and offers long lasting, opaque coverage in every swipe.  And the color stayed true on my lips and did not dip down to a purplish hue as some pink products tend to do on me.  So, needless to say, I am tickled pink with this one and invite every pink enthusiast to give it a look-see.

Revlon Gentlemen Prefer Pink can be found at Target and various drugstores, and retails for $8. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feeling the Heat: Old School vs. New School

Do you use heat on your hair?  If so, what type of heat implements do you prefer to use?  I use heat on my hair about once a week and although I steadily prefer the convenience of my plug-in ceramics, I also have (and love) my old school stove irons.

Ceramic flat irons have been on the hair scene for forever now with more salons employing these tools than not and with good reason: they heat up quickly and distribute heat more evenly than traditional hair irons.  Ceramics heat hair from the inside out, thus aiding in promoting shiny, straight hair in every pass by laying and sealing the cuticles flat.  For the layperson, professional results can be had in the convenience of their own home.

There are many different sizes and versions of ceramic irons available.  Some have adjustable temperature settings, some do not.  I would opt for the former because while ceramic heat is considered a "safer" heat, you can still burn your hair off if you're not careful.

On the other side of the flat iron coin is one of my traditional thermal irons.  Anyone who has ever been to a black beauty salon should be somewhat familiar with these.  These weighty irons are made of steel and need to be heated by an outside source like a mini-stove/heater (below) or a kitchen stove top. 

(Professional Stove/Heater)
Since the irons rely on outside heat, regulating the heat of the tools is essential.  Whether using a stove/heater with an adjustable setting or not, the hair is heated from the outside in and, therefore, is easier to damage/burn than with a ceramic tool.  Heat checking by using a rag or paper towel is a MUST; if the paper towel burns or turns brown then the iron is too hot and must be cooled before using.

Another tricky thing with using thermal irons are their Marcel handles (named after Marcel Grateau, a pioneer in hair styling).  While a lot of commercial irons use the force of a spring to keep the iron closed while in use, thermals use rotating handles that must be manually opened and closed on the hair to keep it taut all while curling, straightening, etc.  As you can imagine, this requires quite a bit of dexterity on the part of the user which is why they're considered "professional" tools.

Of course, this didn't deter me from buying quite a few thermal irons, including the one above, which is my favorite because of the large barrel.

Having mastered the technique of the Marcel thermals, I decided to add a ceramic curler with the same type of handle to the mix about a year ago. 

This curling iron has a temperature control dial and an off/on button, which suits me just fine.  The smooth, black, ceramic barrel heats up very quickly and provides full, shiny curls.  Love!

So, I know a lot of people are trying to use less and less heat on their hair, which is great, but there's no need to be fearful of it.  As with all things, there's a proper way of how and when to use it.  I would recommend always starting with a clean head of hair, make sure you use a heat protectant, use a heat implement that you're comfortable with and that has temperature control.  Also, I would abstain from using heat on my hair more than once a week.  Fried hair is damaged hair and heat damaged hair cannot be salvaged.  Trust me, I know.

Years ago, a "friend" who worked at a salon did my hair with thermals.  I left the salon looking and feeling all cute only to have chunks of my hair rush down the drain when I washed it in the shower a week later.  She never heat checked the irons before she put them in my hair and basically burned my hair off.  Yeah.  Talk about devastated?  I was.

So proceed with caution, but don't be stifled by fear.  If you don't mind styling with heat, by all means, find the tool(s) that work best for you and style away.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pond's Rejuveness

Hey, guys!  I went into Walmart yesterday and saw this in the sample aisle: Pond's Rejuveness.  Has anyone heard of it or tried it yet?  I ran out of my beloved Ole Truth Creme and have just been too lazy to order more as of yet.  Too lazy to go online, click a couple of keys and order it?  Yes, I've been a lazy lima bean.  The only reason I even trudged into Walmart is because my pup needed food.  So, this skincare sample caught my fancy.

Pond's Rejuveness is an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle cream that contains collagen (good for maintaining skin's elasticity) and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (good for improving skin's appearance by removing dead skin cells and depositing moisture).  It's also supposed to be hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (i.e., it won't clog pores).  So it sounds like it might be pretty good.

BUT it also contains mineral oil, a detail I didn't uncover until I got home and actually read the ingredients, and that has me concerned.  Mineral oil, if you are not aware, is an offshoot of petroleum that a lot of companies use as a cheaper alternative to other moisturizing agents.  Some have a sensitivity to mineral oil while others have no issues with it at all.  I don't use a lot of moisturizers or lotions on my face anyway, so I don't know what category I fall into.  However, I DO have sensitive skin so I will have to mindful of any adverse reactions when using this cream.

The cream is of a medium consistency - not heavy and thick, but not runny and thin, either.  It also has a light, almost baby powder smell that fades soon after application.  I normally do NOT like the smell of baby powder (except when it's on a baby), but for some reason I am not offended by the fragrance.  It's the mineral oil that has me spooked.

Pond's is known for its face products so I don't feel too defeated with this purchase.  I'll use it until I re-up on my Ole.  Besides, it was a sampler that cost only, what - $1.95?  Yeah, so if it works out that my face doesn't take well to it then I'll just use it as hand cream.  You all know how I love to repurpose products.

I'll keep ya posted on this one.

Pond's Rejuveness can be found at various drugstores, Target and Walmart.  Price varies depending on size (sample or full-size) and location.

**Update 6/19 - I've been using the cream for a few weeks straight now and while I have seen some benefits such as my skin looking bright and feeling soft, I do believe I am experiencing some sort of reaction to the cream as well.  I have NOT broken out in a rash of fine bumps nor bulbous pimples, BUT I have had a couple (literally two or three) of small, random bumps appear on my cheek and forehead.  I believe this adverse reaction may be from the mineral oil in the cream.

So all in all, I think that it would be a good cream for those who do NOT have a known aversion or sensitivity to the ingredients, mineral oil or otherwise, so please read before buying.

Friday, May 24, 2013

CoverGirl Lippies

Got a little curious about these lippies from CoverGirl.  Not really a fan of the brand (outside of the bronzer from their Queen Collection), but wanted to give them a try.  Never mind that they were on sale at my local drugstore.  All the colors were very enticing, so I grabbed four of them just to see what they were hittin' for.

First up is Brandyberry, which is a medium-dark pink color.

Next on deck is Bronzed Glow, which is a light, bronzed-brown.

The third one in the lineup is Bronzed Peach.  This lipstick is a pale, metallic peach color.

Last, but not least, is the one with the most romantic of names: Rose Cashmere.  This one is a vivid hot pink.

Brandyberry (top), Bronzed Glow (second), Bronzed Peach (third), Rose Cashmere (bottom)
All of the lipsticks were smooth and had nice pigmentation, but were semi-opaque as far as coverage went.  So, in my eyes they're just a step above wearing a lip gloss; a no-fuss, light fare of convenience to bring a little color to the lips, but no real drama.  Oh, and as you can probably tell, they all have a frost finish, too.

So while these CoverGirl lipsticks did not send me over the moon with excitement, I'll be fine using them in lieu of gloss when I want to throw on something quick on my lips.  In the meantime, I think I will stick to my drugstore favorites: Revlon and Prestige.  Although... CG's Queen Collection of lippies look pretty good.   Has anyone tried them?  Should I take the plunge?  Should I?  Help!

CoverGirl lipsticks can be found at various drugstores, Target and Walmart; prices vary depending on location.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring - Peachy Corals

The seasonal changing of the guard is practically upon us with summer ready to take the place of spring.  So, I figured now would be a good time to squeeze in one more color block of inspiration... one that can easily be carried over into the steamy months ahead - peachy corals.

For the eyes, I have a frosty option from L'Oreal.  Their HIP eyeshadow duos have long been a drugstore favorite because of the array of colors offered and overall quality.  Although some of the duos have been hit-or-miss with regard to pigmentation, this duo in Playful is definitely one of the "hits". 

Playful is a pale peach with a high-pearl finish.  It is very pigmented and soft to the touch.  It performs well on the eye and plays well with others, however, HIP duos are kinda fickle when it comes to playing with each other.  I've noticed that the two shades tend to muddy when paired together in one look... almost like they cancel each other out.  So using a shade from an outside brand as a buffer would be best to keep the colors in line and prevent fading.

Another eyeshadow option is Inglot's 366.  It is a deep, orange coral and has a matte finish.

Inglot 366 is highly pigmented, which goes without saying, and is slightly drier in texture than most of Inglot's mattes.  But this in no way impacts its appearance nor performance as it applies and blends effortlessly, and is not the least bit chalky.

Finding a flattering coral for the cheeks is all but too easy since just about every cosmetic brand, from drugstore to high-end, offers one.  This beauty was a limited edition blush from MAC and it's called Ripe Peach.

Ripe Peach's ombré design of yellow to pink-coral resembles the skin of a peach.  Each shade can be used alone or swirled together to create a lighter coral color.  It's lovely.  

In lieu of a solid twist-up, why not opt for a lighter version of lipstick this season?  Many brands, from Revlon to MAC, offer liquid lipsticks and they are perfect for warmer weather.

Slightly heavier both in pigmentation and texture than a gloss, but not as heavy wearing as a traditional lipstick, liquid lipsticks are a happy medium between the two.  This one from Kevyn Aucoin is a smooth, peach-infused coral that's imbued with a high dose of shine.

Another way to add coral to your countenance is via a fabulous pigment.  Pigments can not only be used on the eye, but can be added to lip products or on the cheek for an instant boost in color.

This bright, frosty coral with gold shimmer from MAC is called Electric Coral.  Inglot, NYX and drugstore brand Jesse's Girl offer a wide range of pigments as well.  Pigments can be a little tricky to work with, but are a lot of fun once you get the hang of them.

And finally, if you'd rather be low-key on the makeup tip or could care less about coordinating different shades of coral on your face, why not frame your face with the color instead in a pair of oversized shades?  It's a very fuss-free way to add the color to your wardrobe and injects a bit of glamour, too!

So with all the countless options out there to "coralize" your spring and summer, I really do hope you take the plunge!  It's such a pretty shade that can go from super orangey all the way to pastel pink-toned.   So, color yourself up, I say!  Let go of the bland and ordinary, and allow yourself to be inspired and captivated by the color of coral.