Archive | May, 2012

Jonathan Green Rootine Dry Shampoo

31 May

Ah, dry shampoo. You really are the dream, aren’t you? A product a woman can apply to her hair to lengthen the life of her blowout, freshen up sagging locks, or simply make herself looked showered when she’s not. Sadly, my experience with dry shampoos has largely left me feeling like I look like this:

My normally shiny hair takes on a chalky, unhealthy appearance. In short, I feel like my hair is saying, “You’re not fooling anyone. Wash me. Now.”

I have tried a few different dry shampoos – ones recommended to me by people I trust – and had the same experience every time. To make matters worse, spraying a colored substance on my head really leaves me feeling like I am using that old school hair-in-a-can bald cover. In other words, not good.

Recently, I was presented with a new dry shampoo, Jonathan Green Rootine Dry Shampoo, to try. Because I am a sucker and still hoping to find a dry shampoo that doesn’t make me feel George Washington, I got very excited. More exciting still is the fact that Jonathan boasts “All Natural Ingredients.” (For you fellow grammar Nazis out there, the hyphen is missing on the packaging – I didn’t leave it out.)

First the bad.

It’s still a dry shampoo. I don’t know, this may just be my issue. For me, shiny hair is clean hair. Shiny hair is the ultimate for me. I baby the hell out of my hair, and use smoothing oil on it after every wash, so that it will shine like gold in the sun. The shinier my hair is, the prettier I think it looks. So basically, I think any dry shampoo is going to fail me, because their job is to soak up the excess oil in your hair and give it some texture, and those two things are totally incompatible with shiny hair. So maybe I am just not the right person to review dry shampoos, because I am asking of them something that may be scientifically impossible.

Now the good.

Well, it’s all natural, per the company, and I am always always always behind that. It makes a product so much more accessible to everyone, and shows the company really cares about their products. Second, I love the applicator. The one review on Amazon lists the applicator as the weak point, but I could not disagree more. The brush is SO much neater and more usable than the spray. You can see exactly what you’re doing and how much is coming out. The powder comes through the brush with just a gentle shake, dispensing just enough and never too much. If you’re going to go crazy with the dry shampoo, you probably won’t like it – it’s a nice soft application, and you’d have to work a long time to get a lot of powder out. But if you’re just touching up your roots, which I kind of think is what dry shampoo is for anyhow, then this applicator takes the cake. The entire package is about the size of a small powder brush including handle, too, so it’s not like there is a ton of dry shampoo in there. If you use a lot of dry shampoo each time, with Jonathan’s product, you’d probably be out within three or four uses, max. But if you’re just dusting a little on each time, I imagine this lasts quite some time.

Sigh. I don’t know. I am torn. I am not ready to give Jonathan’s Dry Shampoo the heave ho yet – I am definitely going to bring it in my carry-on for my upcoming transatlantic flight, as they always leave me looking haggard. But I am still not sold on dry shampoo, period.

So I guess put it this way: Of the four or five dry shampoos I have tried, Jonathan’s is the best, hands down. But nothing beats a good shower.

You can only choose one!

25 May

I learned some time ago – on my own, and I have read it since in fashion mags – that to pull off “sexy” (as opposed to trashy, trampy, whorey, or one of their cousins), you have to choose.

Cate Blanchett, the epitome of style and class, rocks the cleavage and covers the legs.

Do you want to show off legs? Or do you want to show off cleavage? Or – in rare instances – do you want to show off back?

Back in college, I used to go dancing at least once a week. I’d carefully choose my outfit before, and always noticed that if I paired a short skirt with a cleavage revealing top, my outfit took a very quick turn from Sexyville to Skankytown. I cannot explain the reasoning behind this, other than the obvious: a little skin is sexy, and leaves something to the imagination; too much skin looks like you’re selling a peek at what little is left to the imagination. If you want to show off your sexy upper half, wear a skirt that comes nearly to your knees or lower. (Or at LEAST reaches past your fingertips when standing with your arms straight by your sides.) If you want to display those gorgeous gams, then choose a more modest shirt that’s not too clingy or low-cut. You may put on a micro mini and a low-cut, tight-fitting top and think, “Damn, I have a smoking bod!” and hey – maybe you do! (And good work on that self-esteem, sister!) But if you’re going anywhere nicer than a dive bar or seedy nightclub with anything more in mind than scoring free drinks and lots of propositions (and I don’t mean the kind that come with a ring), then tone it down a little and you will class it up a lot. Since I came to this conclusion on my own, I have read the same advice in multiple magazines. So choose one and go with it. You can always choose the other the next night!

I’ve come to realize the same thing applies to makeup. I shy away from a bold lip, I always have. I prefer gloss to stick, I never use lip liner, and although both my birth sign (Aries) and my coloring (fair-haired blonde) are meant to wear red well and often, I rarely do. I don’t know why – I think part of it is the fact that I have a hard time finding a red I like, and part of it is that red is hard to apply – it smudges easily, stains the skin around my mouth, and since I am not a lip liner girl, bleeds into the lines around my lips. YUCK. Additionally, in the past, I have found it hard to figure out what to do with the rest of my makeup once I do the red lips – I am used to playing up my eyes, and if you go all crazy with the eye makeup and then throw on some red lipstick, guess what? You look like one of two things: a woman with WAY too much makeup on, or a clown. Neither is good.

Well, I finally realized two things. One, if I’m going to wear red, it needs to be a red with a blue base. Reds with a yellow or orange base are bad bad bad on me – it’s the yellow undertone in my skin. You can pull off a yellow- or orange-undertone red if you’re a) olive complected, or b) super fair with rose (not yellow) undertones. How do you know what color your undertone is? Do you tan or burn? If you tan easily, you’re probably yellow, like me. If you tend to burn, or can’t tan, you may be a rose. Anyhow, number two is that if you want to play up the eyes, go for a nude or understated lip. If you want to go with a bold lip, stick to a neutral eye. SO EASY!

Scar Jo knows the trick.

Now on the off times I feel like going red, I do a little brown shadow and I’m done. But if I’m feeling like being EYE-catching (get it?), I go with my old gloss standby. Just like with the top and bottom in clothes, it’s as simple as A or B – one or the other but never together!

Finally, on the off-chance you’re having a bad skin day (I am all the time, lately – thanks, fetus), steer clear of red! Or really ANY deep, dark shade. I tried to apply that Stila Lip Stick I blogged about this morning and disaster! Dark colors of lipstick will just emphasize flaws and inconsistencies in your skintone – stick to a neutral gloss to downplay any blemishes.

Hope these tips were helpful!

Korres Deep Colour Mascara

25 May

I have extolled the virtues of Korres before and now, in the half hour before I have to leave for work, I am going to do it again.

I have naturally full, curly lashes. (Don’t hate me, there are lots of other things wrong with me, I promise.) Sometimes, if I am just going out dog walking or whatnot, I don’t want to go all out in the eye makeup department, and this includes mascara. What I mean is that if I use one of my favorites – like, say, Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara – I end up with really, really full, dark, long lashes, and to me, that looks a bit overdone for walking dogs. Long black lashes are beautiful and they make my eyes look sensational, but I don’t really need to look like I am all done up for a night out on the town every day, and honestly, it makes me feel a little preposterous. Sometimes, I just want to highlight my lashes (which have blonde tips, so can be a bit invisible with no mascara at all) without making them look like I have false lashes on. It’s on these days I turn to Korres’ Deep Colour Mascara.

Here’s the scoop, from the Sephora website:

What it is:
A pigment-rich mascara containing Provitamin B5 and Rice Bran.

What it does:
Korres Deep Colour Mascara provides glossy, deep color while conditioning and nourishing to promote maximum lash health. This brand favorite contains Provitamin B5 , a proven hair-strengthening agent that conditions and strengthens lashes, while Rice Bran expands (just like rice does in water) to provide maximum lash length, volume, and fullness*.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Mineral Oils
– Petrochemicals
– Propylene Glycols
– Ethanolomines
– GMOs
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes

(*asterisk mine – I love this mascara but I don’t know what they’re comparing it to – I have used a LOT of mascaras and this provides medium volume and fullness, NOT maximum.)

This mascara is a fantastic daytime mascara. It stays put, doesn’t smudge, gives me nice, beautiful length and color, doesn’t clump, and doesn’t make my lashes looks too fake or overblown. I am wearing it right now as I type this, because I have a lunch date today and want to look presentable. I just ran my finger over the ends of my lashes and they feel soft and pliable, not set and hard as the case is with some mascaras. And if it does the stuff it promises, with the Provitamin B5 and whatever, then hey, all the better!

I fully endorse Korres’ Deep Colour Mascara as a go-to daytime mascara. And now I must go-to my daytime job. Toodle-oo!

Stila Long Wear Lip Color

25 May

On that previously mentioned trip to Sephora with Dina, I of course couldn’t help browsing about for myself. I am pretty set currently in the cosmetics department (GASP!) so I haven’t been going too crazy lately, but of course there’s always room for one more fantastic lip product (see blog title). I have used and like Stila products before, so when I saw they were making a lip crayon, I was delighted. I checked every color for one I thought I could pull off on a regular basis, and settled on Serenade, a nice peachy mauve. Of course, that was the one color Sephora was sold out of – D’OH! I left Sephora that night not empty-handed (I got some makeup removing towelettes and some face wash), but not with anything new or exciting, sadly.

Naturally I went online the very next day and ordered myself a stick of Serenade. I wore it for the first time last night, and I have to tell you, it is freaking awesome! I applied it at about 5pm. It went on smooth and slightly glossy, but with a definite lipstick finish. There was no noticeable taste or smell (for me), and it made my lips feel soft and conditioned, not stiff and dry like some long-wearing lip colors. On the way home at about 8pm, after NO reapplications, a few light snacks, and a bottle of water, I flipped down the visor in the car to discover THE LIPSTICK LOOKED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS WHEN I PUT IT ON. Have I been missing the boat?!? Is this what all long-wearing lip colors are like these days??? I tried long-wearing lipsticks many moons ago and could not stand the fact that I had to apply gloss over top just to make my lips feel normal.  My lips felt completely normal last night, like I had a light coat of gloss/color on, and it really and truly stayed on for three hours!

I may have to investigate further with different colors of Stila’s Long Wear Lip Color. And can you blame me?

Two Notes!

25 May

I have two product reviews for you that I hope to publish today, but first, two quick notes!

One, I took my friend Dina, who is not a huge makeup fan, for her maiden voyage to Sephora last week. She was visibly nervous and I get it – it would be like me going to Fry’s without my husband and attempting to buy some computery thing. But she had an idea of what she wanted – a concealer and a lipgloss – and those are two things I know lots about. I recommended she get the Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer and Tarte LipSurgence Crayon. I am happy to report she is positively delighted with both, and has even gotten compliments on how fab she looks! Moral is: Listen to the product princess, she knows that of which she blogs.

Second – in spite of obstacles and set backs, it seems that my wonderful huzz and I have defied the odds and managed to create a new little person. 🙂 Due date is December 1, so far so good, and yes, we will be finding out the gender. Cross your fingers that things continue to progress normally!

Incidentally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to that same wonderful huzz, and thank you for tolerating my product addiction and supporting me always! xoxo

Target’s Beauty Bag Giveaway!

22 May

Cheers to the fabulous Candice R. for bringing this incredible steal to my attention! Target Summer Beauty Bag Giveaway! Be patient, the demand is great and it’s taking some time to load. But act fast – offer good only while supplies last, which I bet won’t be long! 

What’s Your Makeup Lying To YOU About?

21 May

7 Lies on Your Makeup Labels – special thanks to Michele C., the SassyCityGirl herself, for forwarding this along – it’s a fascinating read!