Friday, January 31, 2014

Smooth As Bamboo

Lord knows I don't need another oil or serum for my hair, but I've got a nice sized sample of one that will, no doubt, find its way onto my head.  Curiosity demands it.  And so I will prolly be trying it out very soon... like, within the next washing or so.  It's a paraben-free/sulfate-free smoothing oil from Alterna called Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist.

Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist is a versatile hair oil that can be used either as a nutrient-rich treatment for dry/split ends or as a shine-enhancing, heat protectant and styler.  Certified organic bamboo extract and kendi oil are the headliners of this lightweight concoction of nourishing fruit oils and frizz fighting silicones.  It is from Alterna's Bamboo Smooth line of hair products, which are specifically geared towards strengthening as well as refining the look of overworked, frazzled strands. 

I have to tell you that I did spray some of this on my hand just to see what it was hittin' for and it smells DEEE-LICIOUS!  It's a faint, tropical smell that's as light and airy as the actual mist that disperses from the bottle.  And the oil quickly faded as I rubbed it on the back of my hand, leaving no greasy residue or slickness or even an iota of shine on the skin at all.  Not sure how all that's going to translate on my hair, but I'm willing to give it a shot as a leave-in hair/scalp treatment for starters.  And, as always, I'll let you guys know how everything turns out!

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Mist is available at Sephora, Ulta and, and retails for $25/4.2 oz.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Project Pan: Lashing Out

They've just been sitting here... tucked away... in my drawer... unused.  Encouraged by the steady stream of glamorous eye looks I saw online a couple of years ago, I grabbed a handful of these wispy embellishments during a BOGO sale at a local store with every intention of putting them to use right away.  And then I got them home.  And after pawing them for a few minutes, my enthusiasm waned and I stuffed the bag of lashes into another, bigger bag and forgot about them until their recent reassignment to my top dresser drawer.  So, in keeping with my push to round out my project pan initiative, it would be remiss of me not to add a pair (or two) of these to the list.

I'm a complete novice when it comes to applying false lashes so I'm thinking that these half lashes would be pretty good to start with.  Smaller in size and less dramatic than the rest of the pairs I own, they appear to be less cumbersome and a bit more practical for everyday wear.

These, too, seem like a good candidate for everyday use.  I like the unique layout of the hair and the spike in length towards the middle of the lash should bear an interesting effect on my eyes.  I'm curious to see how these will look on me.

Now, I had to grab a pair of demi-wispies since everybody and their momma seems to own a pair.  They're dramatic, playful and full so I can definitely see why they're a staple.  However, I'm hoping they don't clash too much with my dramatic and full pair of domestic sweepers already perched atop my lids.  My natural lashes are thick and quite curled, pretty much to the point of a capital "C".  Therefore, getting them to blend in with these (and probably all of my falsies) may be a task.  But you know I'm more than up for the challenge.

And then there are these bad boys, which I've already assessed will have to be edited down "a hair" since the lashes are extraordinarily long.  But perhaps I might be able to take advantage of their length by doing something creative to or with them.  Hmm... my creative juices will be simmering on this one, but I do like the look of the lashes.  And besides, they came with a free tube of adhesive.  Can't beat that!

And so, obviously, I cannot actually "hit pan" on a pair of lashes.  However, my goal is to pick a pair (or two), master their application and then start to wear them, period.  My understanding is that you can safely wear the same pair of falsies quite a few times before they become compromised so it will be at that point of futility that I will lay claim to reaching the goal of "hitting pan" on the lashes.

I think I will be adding one more item to the project before closing it out, but I'm not certain.  I've been doing well with the whole thing, having skipped using the assigned products for only four days since starting.  And now with the addition of faux lashes, there's a welcomed sense of frivolity that I can't help but be motivated by.  It's a boost in my project pan's arm that will help keep the momentum going.

In the meantime, I'll be sure to update you on what lashes I'll be rocking as well as my progress in picking the final item(s) that will join them on the list!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Splash of Maple Syrup

Hey, guys!  You all know how much I love color, but I definitely have a fondness for some neutrals, especially groovy browns.  Well, I have a fantabulous brown I'd like to share with you if you have a moment to spare.  It's a loose mineral eyeshadow from LA Splash called Maple Syrup.

Maple Syrup is a deep, earthen brown with extra-fine gold shimmer.  Working its way up and through the small jar's pull-out sifter, it reminds me a lot of powdered cocoa both in color and texture.  The shadow is finely milled, soft to the touch and richly pigmented.

It's only after swatching it that the golden shimmer makes its presence known as it seems to shift the color slightly upwards to that of a more medium brown.

Maple Syrup blended (L), full swatch (R)
Besides rocking it on the eye, one could also successfully use it as a contouring bronzer as the color easily blends down to a virtually shimmer-free matte on the skin.  It's almost like you get two shades of brown in one, depending on how you work with it.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, with that being said, I think I'll be recruiting this little number for some eyeshadow and bronzing duties... as well as something else I have in mind.  I'm not going to say too much right now, but if it all works out I'll be sure to do an update.  But until then, if this cosmetic confection has in any way sweetened your interest then I think you should do yourself a favor and check it out.

LA Splash Maple Syrup is available at Ulta and retails for $8.99.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mauvelous - 399

I've got another one for you guys that's in the Naked 3 rosy realm of neutrals.  Again, I do not own the popular UD palette (we'll see how long that lasts), but I have a marvelous pink-hued color (in addition to #319 and some other shades) that's been quietly sating my appetite for it in the meantime.  It's from Inglot and it's #399.

#399 is a sumptuous, icy mauve that hails from Inglot's Freedom System lineup.  This single-pan eyeshadow delivers an abundance of pigmented, buttery goodness in every swipe and performs well on the eye, lasting all day on me while wearing a primer underneath.  It has a pearl finish.

You guys already know I have a lot of pinks in my cosmetic wardrobe so I'm doing my very best to abstain from new purchases that highlight the hue.  Now, if Birthday Boy or some other benevolent soul wanted to make such a purchase on my behalf then, of course, I would gladly accept.  I mean, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth, right?  But until then, I will happily play in the plethora of neutral-y/rosy/pinky eyeshadows I currently own, giving special attention to this mauve-y stunner - #399.

Inglot #399 is available at their boutique stores and select Macy's, and retails for $6.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Barbie: Winter In New York

With another round of bitter temperatures and inclement weather hitting the bulk of the states, it seems rather fitting that I introduce you to a gal who remains unfazed by it all.  In fact, I would venture to say that she kinda enjoys this "season of freezin'" as it allows her to showcase a host of chic ensembles and apropos accoutrements.  They're calling for a brutally cold winter in New York, but Barbie is more than ready to brave the harsh climate of the city... and is absolutely determined to look fierce and fab while doing it.

Decked out in a smart, full-length wool coat complete with faux fur collar and fur capped sleeves, Barbie proves that she knows how to dress for the elements.  And she does it with style.  A floppy brimmed, black fedora tops her blonde bob while a colorful, silk scarf guards her neck from the cold.  Rounding out her winter armor is a pair of scarlet red mittens, which just happen to match the red lining of her coat (but of course!).

And let's not forget the accessories!  Pinned to her collar is a snowflake-inspired, black and gold-toned brooch...

while around her waist is a slick, patent leather belt with a gold-toned buckle.

And being the street smart girl that she is, Barbie keeps her gold chained, patent leather bag firmly in her grip and close to her hip as she traverses through the busy city streets.

Warmth and comfort are the names of this game as she compromises neither while sporting a black jumpsuit underneath her coat...

along with a pair of mid-heeled, black booties.  Practical and comfy, she considers them a more sophisticated option than, say, flats or even sneakers (perish the thought!).

Not willing to allow the doldrums of winter to affect her in any way, she keeps her makeup covertly festive with a charge of gold and brown dressing her eyes while rocking an amped up lip of cherry red. 

Dressed to the nines without a number to spare, Barbie has undeniably brought her best arsenal to these unofficial winter games.  Neither winter's sleet nor snow can keep this "it" girl from donning and looking her best, especially while traversing the snowy terrain of New York City's concrete jungle.  She's taken huge bites out of the fashion driven Big Apple and is quickly working her way down to the seeded core, proving that - once again - there's nothing that this formidable fashionista can't handle.

Monday, January 20, 2014

So Fresh And So CLEAN

Deodorant.  It's a very personal thing.  What may work for one may not work for someone else and once you find one that fits your needs as well as your chemistry, it's best to stay within the borders of that brand.  However, I've been wanting to try an "all-natural", aluminum-free antiperspirant ever since hearing many moons ago of aluminum's link to various ailments and possible health issues, but just never followed through.  I'm not an alarmist, but I'm always open to a more healthful way of living.  So when I saw a CLEAN's mini version of said product while making an online purchase, I decided to take the opportunity and add it to my basket. 

CLEAN Original is an aluminum-, paraben- and sulfate-free deodorant that uses the power of corn starch, cotton seed extract as well as other ingredients to naturally absorb moisture.  Although not advertised specifically as an antiperspirant, the deodorant claims to be close in efficacy to antiperspirants when it comes to fighting wetness.  CLEAN is a company well known for its fresh, out-of-the-shower smelling fragrances and body products, and this is no exception as the deodorant boldly bears the original, signature scent, which I would liken to a fresh load of laundry.  The scent is crisp, heavy and pervasive like a perfumed dryer sheet, but also refreshing.  I didn't find it to be off-putting, however, those sensitive to scents and such may want to do a sniff-test before buying.

The deodorant is of the solid, white, glide-on variety.  It feels soft and silky to the touch without a hint of stickiness or oiliness to it.  It's also not mushy like some solids are, but a firm and steady hunk of product - a solid solid, if you will.

So, I'm ready to do this.  I'm ready to experiment and see if aluminum-free is truly for me (or at least this brand of aluminum-free).  I'm ready to see if it'll hold up under pressure and keep me smelling like the precious flower I am.  Aaannd I'll be doing this testing during the weekend when I'm home and away from folks just in case this experiment takes a left turn.  Yep, so if I end up smelling like a basket of fresh laundry for most of the day, I will update this post accordingly.  And if I end up smelling like a barrel of wild monkeys after only a few hours... well, I'll let you know that, too!


CLEAN Original Moisture-Absorbent Deodorant is available at Sephora and retails for $18/2.6 oz.

*Update on 1/31: OK, so I decided to veto my earlier plans of a sequestered weekend trial and have instead braved the general populace for a little over a week with my pits armed with nothing but this  deodorant aaannnd... it held up fabulously!  On my body and with my body's chemistry it really did the job in keeping me fairly sweat-free; it kept me dry and smelling fresh for an entire day and then some.  I really like it!  Granted, it is wintertime and it's not like I've been toiling under a hot sun, but I still feel like it would hold up well on me.  So, after finding success with this one I am extremely excited to give some more aluminum-free deodorants a go.  We shall see!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Project Pan - A Classic Shade

OK, so I've picked my next product to add to Dollymix blush for my project pan initiative.  I looked through my eyeshadows and, sure, I could have gone the safe route and chosen the typical brown or some other basic neutral to plow through and hit pan on.  But I wanted something a little more challenging.  So, again, I rummaged through my stash and - after much deliberation - decided on this single shadow that has barely seen the light of day since I bought it.  It's the classic shade Cranberry from MAC.

Cranberry looks exactly as its name denotes; it is officially described as a "red-plum with pink shimmer".  The shadow is nicely pigmented and has a frost finish.  I like it.  But after becoming more familiar with other brands and products, I know that it's far from being a one-of-a-kind shade.  In fact, I already inadvertently own a dupe or two of the color, so I'm more than OK with using this one up.

Now in order to achieve a successful run with this initiative in the shortest amount of time possible, I plan on using the designated products on my list every single day.  Allowances will be made for special situations and/or as fashion dictates, however, my main goal is to incorporate them into as many looks as possible.  And with Cranberry being the versatile shade it is, I can use it on my eyes as well as my cheeks and even my lips without essentially missing a beat!  #Winning!

So that's two products down with a few more to go.  I'm getting kinda excited as my list grows and can't wait to see how this all turns out.  Or how long it takes to hit pan on these items.  Hmm... we shall definitely see!

MAC Cranberry is available at Macy's, Nordstrom and MAC boutiques, and retails for $10.