Tag Archive | Health

Another Great Giveaway

I just can’t help myself. Who doesn’t want the chance to win free stuff? This one is for Hair Flairs.A friend of mine recently told me about something similar – Color Bugs – but they are from Australia (Kevin Murphy) and only stylists can get them. These are basically a fun way to do temporary color, if you are not ready to fully commit to the dip dyed ends and color streak trends.




March Product Roundup – Skin Detox










I am only a quarter Irish, but St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I had a great holiday weekend, in a small town known as the Irish capital of Nebraska. After a weekend of bad habits (unhealthy food – vegetarians don’t fare well in small towns, falling asleep in makeup, too much alcohol, not enough water, no formal workouts, etc.) I looked in the mirror and saw more imperfections emerging than I’d seen in months. So, what a great time to turn to a couple old faves and try out some some new skin products.

First, I washed my face with Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Facewash. I have been pretty satisfied with this face wash. I love anything with scrubbing beads in it and I love anything that keeps acne at bay, so this is a good combo of both.

Next, and I was so looking forward to this, I did the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Love this mask. My pores feel so tight and clean after using it. The only suggestion I would make is be sure to apply it thickly in all spots because if you have any spots that are too thin they will be more difficult to peel. Some people prefer wash off masks but I am a superfan of this peel off version. I recently got a sample of the black moisturizer – I’m excited to try and you’ll  hear about it when I do 🙂

On to the new products . . .not my first date with Philosophy, so I came in a little biased. So far I had not tried on a product that I didn’t like. This one didn’t disappoint either. I purchased the Dark Spot Correcting Kit because I find the older get, the slower my skin bounces back from blackheads, whiteheads, sunburns, etc. You pour the liquid over the pads, which is nice if they dry out it’s your own fault for not sealing the cap tight enough 🙂 The kit cost about $80 for 30 days worth. They suggest doing it every night, but I’ll probably go with once or twice a week to save money. You move the pad over your face and heads. It’s odd because it felt moisturizing and stimulating at the same time. It brought a fresh rosiness to my face, so I knew it was stimulating circulation. But the oil felt soft and soothing. Then you add the brightening cream which, and I don’t know why this was shocking to me, comes out tan. Obviously, you can’t evaluate the full result after one use, but I will continue using and give an update in a few weeks.

Finally, as a result of my CVS addiction, I got a new moisturizer, Nuance AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Cream. Nuance is Salma Hayek’s line, carried exclusively by CVS (as far as I know.) I had tried a conditioner in this line, and it was fine, but didn’t really wow me. The moisturizer I did really like though. It has a nice citrusy scent, and it was heavy enough for dry skin, but light enough for daytime. I could tell it had antiaging ingredients because I could feel a little bit of a lift after using it. It cost about $20, which at first I thought might not be worth it. But then I rethought how little it took it to cover my whole face, and therefore how long the jar will last.

Feels so Funky, Works so Well

So during the failed fake eyelash experiment, I introduced to my friend to two products I can’t seem to get enough of. When I put on each, she was like wow that feels weird!! But the proof is in the results.

Both go on wet but bring an amazing finish.

1. Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder

I had heard such great things about the hydrating powder by Smashbox, but I was not ready to shell out $40-60 to find out their validity. So my search for an affordable option began. I believe I paid about $12 for the Revlon option I landed on. It feels very odd, like a light dusting of  moisture, not quite like water, but definitely wet. Once you get past that, it’s amazing – a great finish to your look. It never feels cakey like many powders do, and it perfectly complements dry to very dry skin.



2. Urban Decay All Nighter Spray

This was a see and want situation, and I just happened to be willing to splurge that day. This spray feels much like a misting fan. It drys quickly and sets your makeup for the night. I typically only use this when I go all out on the eye makeup, and it holds it from streaking and fading much better than any other option I have tried. It runs about $30, but given that I don’t use it every day and that it’s a great product, I’ve never regretted the investment.

Jersey Shore Style . . .Toned Down

Ok, so there is a reason people make fun of the Jersey Shore gals. They are out of control, in more ways than one. Recently, however, my friend and I had been discussing whether or not you could take a little of the crazy and tone it down. We took it slow, starting with clip in extensions and fake eyelashes. The result . . . massive fail. You should have seen how hilarious it was poking each other’s eyes with tweezers trying to get them to stay on. Eventually we gave up, learning that false eyelashes take practice and patience.

On to the clip in extensions. I took issue with spending tons, so I got a set on eBay for around $30. They were actually great, blended well, stayed in nicely (once I figured out you have open and close the clips, not just stick them in.) However, my hair is currently just above shoulder length and even after I curled it all, it was still painfully obvious that my hair was not long enough to use the extensions. I ended up doing a side pony. I got lots of compliments, but I can’t wait to see how they look once my hair gets past shoulder length.

So overall, the conclusion is yes, you can find a medium ground between glam and gory with the “fake” products – it just takes some patience and a learning curve. Watch for future testing on “tan in a can” and press on eyeliner.

Vegas Evolution – Bleaching Your Own Hair and Teeth

Are you one of those people who likes to read the last page of the book first? Well, here you go. Bleaching your own hair and teeth are doable and save a lot of money, but are not as enjoyable, so you will want to consider the tradeoff.

So back to the beginning, I have this quirk. I want to look my very, very best when I know there will be photos taken – vacation, birthdays, etc. I am not a “can’t leave the house without makeup” kind of girl (although I usually at least have foundation and mascara), but when I know my look will be recorded into photographic history, I become a little more high maintenance.

As I prepared for my trip to Vegas, I realized it was time to step it up with my hair and teeth. I have a growing relationship with bleach, but don’t worry I won’t be going Girl Next Door fake any time soon.

Bleaching Your Own Hair

First, it is important to know that if you are going platinum, it is not going to lift in one round. Mine took two rounds, and I am naturally dark blond and had already lightened it once. If you have really dark hair,  it may take many, many rounds. If your hair is any darker than light brown, I would not suggest going blond on your own.

Second, DO NOT expect platinum out of a box. You pay for what you get. Without toner you will get straight up YELLOW or GOLD, and sometimes (depending on your starting color) a funky orange.

So, here’s the financial breakdown:

Home Bleaching – about $20 – includes lightener,

developer, and toner – you will have plenty of lightener and developer left for future touch ups, but will need to buy more toner

Hair School – a high lift design with cut is about $45

Salon – this will cost you about $ 60-150

My suggestion: go to a hair school to get it lifted to the level you want, then maintain the platinum you want at home. You may need to tone it every few weeks to keep the gold down (you can apply toner without bleaching first and toner and does not damage hair like bleach does).

How I came to this conclusion – I did a round of highlights on my own and though it looked nice, it wasn’t as platinum as I wanted. Also, I wanted to add dramatic color peekaboos and I wanted to watch them to learn the technique. I chose the hair school not only because of the significant cost savings, but also because as a school, they will refund your money or redo the color free of charge if you hate the outcome.

Bleaching Your Own Teeth

I have tried various bleaching in the past – the strips (both over the counter and the super strength ones you get at the dentist’s office), custom molded trays with take home bleach from the dentist, whitening toothpaste, etc. They all worked pretty sufficiently, but nothing like getting it professionally done in an office (which I have not brought myself to splurge on yet.)

So I was very excited when I got a Groupon deal for an Elite Bright kit for $39 – regular cost is $299. This kit includes trays, bleach, and a blue light. It seems to work pretty well, but the directions on how long to leave them in are pretty vague. I planned on two hours and quit at an hour because it’s kind of inconvenient but beauty is pain, right? I am not going to lie to you. You will drool and it will be gross. And it’s a little bit of a stretch to fit the light and the trays in your mouth, but it’s not that bad, although I have a pretty big mouth.

So generally, to get this done in the dentist’s office or at  a spa it costs a couple hundred dollars and up. Sometimes you can find specials for just over $100. However, I can get multiple treatments out of the home kit, so I’d definitely say it’s worth it. I still may try an in office visit some day to see if the results are even better.