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got2b POWDER’ful Volumizing Styling Powder Review

2 May

I’ve been using the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play volumizing powder for a few years now. When I first discovered it, I was intrigued by it’s unique powder form initially, and later grew to love it due to it’s benefits for my hair type. The bad thing? It’s pricey, for a seemingly small amount of product. When I got the opportunity to try a new brand, especially one that retails for about half as much, I jumped at the chance! I’ve tried a few different styling products from got2b in the past, and they were always pretty decent. Beauty school taught me to try and stay away from “over-the-counter” brands of hair care products, however, sometimes that’s just not realistic financially. Especially the way I tend to go through them! I also noticed that got2b is made by Schwarzkopf, which also manufactures professional brands, so that puts me more at ease.

I have very straight, fine, thin hair. It tends to get greasy and fall limp rather quickly, and doesn’t hold volume for very long. Styling powders are perfect for someone with my hair type. They provide volume and hold without making my hair sticky, crunchy, or extra-greasy, and are lightweight enough that it doesn’t weigh my hair down more. I’ve been growing my hair out for a few years now, so my need for this product isn’t as high as it was when I had a short, layered bob cut, but I still use it pretty often just on my root area for a little extra lift. Not only does this product provide volume, but it can help add texture to layered and short hair styles. I usually will put about a quarter sized amount of powder in my hands and rub them together, then massage through my scalp right at the roots. Then I sprinkle a little bit right onto my roots in the center of my crown area and rub it in while lifting the hair up, because this is where I want the most volume and typically need the most help achieving volume. It’s a super quick and easy hair fix since it doesn’t really require any extra styling!

I still have some of my Powder Play, so I was able to compare it with the got2b POWDER’ful side by side. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference! They felt the same, melted the same way when rubbed in my hands, and most importantly they gave me the same style results! If anything, the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play may be a bit more concentrated, and therefore heavy, but for someone with my hair type that isn’t necessarily a good thing. When you have thin, fine hair, the lighter the styling product the better! I’m definitely going to continue purchasing this product, and my hair and wallet couldn’t be happier!

To maximize the results of this product I recommend drying your hair with a round brush, lifting at the roots, prior to application (or at the very least, drying your hair with your head upside down) and finishing with a mist of lightweight hair spray for extra hold. If it’s really big hair you’re after, you can apply the product and then tease your hair for huge volume that will hold all day!

Check out my results, and keep in mind my hair naturally is extremely thin and therefore very limp and flat!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

Schick Hydro Silk Razor Review

1 Apr

I found the Schick Hydro Silk razor to have both pros and cons. As someone who typically has bad luck with most razors, I was excited to have the opportunity to try this product free of charge. Let’s face it- razors aren’t cheap (at least the decent ones aren’t) and considering I’ve tried many in the past that fell far short of my expectations, I’m very hesitant on spending money on razors I’ve never used before.

Upon receiving the razor, I was pleased to discover it had multiple blades. I’ve found that anything less than three is just not enough, unless you have next to no hair to remove and want to throw it away after one or two uses. I also was intrigued by the water-activated moisturizing serum. I noticed that it had two moisture strips, one on top and one on the bottom, which already was different from most razors I’ve tried that have had just one on the top. However, they didn’t appear to be very thick, so I was curious as to just how much moisture the razor would really provide. I was pleasantly surprised when I took it into the shower with me. As soon as I wet it down the serum started pouring out. I got an incredibly close shave, no cuts, and all without using shaving cream! Even with other razors that have hydration strips, I still tend to pair them with shaving cream, just to be safe. With that said, there may be a bit too much moisture given, at least within the first couple of uses. My legs were left somewhat slimy, similarly to if I were to have used shaving cream. Even as I was shaving, there was a gooey gel being spread with each pass, which is good in terms of hydration and protection, but a bit overwhelming. I had to go back over a few missed spots that were likely skipped over due to it looking like I had already went over that area with the razor. The serum was so heavy in spots that it covered up the hair. I didn’t particularly notice any additional hydration after the fact. I do like to put lotion on my legs immediately after shaving, so I’m used to the extra help the lotion provides. I will say, though, that I did not have as much razor burn as I usually tend to get.

It came with it’s own holder equipped with a suction cup for easy, convenient placement right in your shower, and I would highly recommend using it to store your razor in between uses. Especially if you’re like me and tend to forget to put the shield back on! The first time I used it, I left it sitting in the shower, face down. The next day I went in, picked it up, and the moisture strip stuck to the tile, and most of it ripped right off the razor. This, unfortunately, created a hard, uneven barrier around the actual blades, and therefore ruined the entire razor cartridge. I’ve done the same thing with other razors, but since this one uses an extremely moisturizing, water-activated serum to hydrate your legs, you want to keep it covered. I did like the handle and grip of the razor. It didn’t seem extremely different or even better than others that I’ve tried, but it was nice. The cartridge and razor size was a little big and not very flexible, so it may be difficult to manipulate in smaller areas, but using it on my legs was easy as pie, and the larger size allowed it to cover more surface area making for a much quicker shave.

In the future I will likely continue using this product. I probably won’t use it daily, but it’ll be nice for quick shaving emergencies as I won’t have to get out the shaving cream! And with summer coming, this will definitely come in handy!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

Garnier Olia Hair Color Review

1 Apr

I should start out by saying that I decided to use this product on someone else. I work in a hair salon and therefore get my hair done for free, professionally, by a stylist who would’ve been none too pleased to learn that I went ahead and dyed my own hair. We’re like walking, little advertisements for the salon, after all! Luckily, my boyfriend (hesitantly) volunteered to be my guinea pig. 🙂

I’ve used several different brands of boxed hair dyes in the past. You name one, I’ve probably tried it or consistently used it at one point. The two major problems I’ve always had with over the counter hair color is the smell and the fact that it didn’t leave my hair in the best condition. My boyfriend’s hair is naturally a light, ashy brown. I didn’t want to stray too far from his natural color, despite him begging me to go darker, so I decided on the Light Chestnut Brown (Shade 6.35) so I could warm up his color without compromising his natural tone. There were a couple of small differences I immediately noticed. First of all, the developer came in a tube rather than a bottle. In my experience, the developer came pre-measured in the application bottle. This new form of packaging was neat, but not totally necessary. Secondly, the gloves were much thicker and thus more effective than the wimpy, thin, plastic bag-esque gloves that accompany most other brands. Good gloves are a must when dealing with hair color, unless you want stains on your hands!

Finally came time for the application. The formula was a bit runny, at least for a cream hair color, but not so much that it was dripping everywhere. The application bottle was uniquely shaped, and the narrow nozzle provided for easy, on-point application. The smell of the dye was probably the best part of the whole experience. Many brands that claim to be odor and ammonia-free still require you to turn the exhaust fan on in your bathroom while using them, and this one was very mild, with a light floral scent. I left the product on for the recommended time, 20-30 minutes, and had him rinse, shampoo, and condition his hair. He loved the way the provided conditioner made his hair feel, by the way! Once his hair was air-dryed I checked out the results. To be honest, I didn’t notice a real difference in the health, shine, or overall texture of his hair. This is actually a good thing, though, because at least this meant that it wasn’t damaged. And while I’m being honest, the color did not come out as I had envisioned. I didn’t take into consideration the natural undertones of his hair color, which more than likely was the reason his shade ended up being a bit too red rather than the light/medium warm brown shade indicated on the box.

Color aside, I was really pleased with this product. The oil-based formula proved to not be a “hair killer” and had a very pleasant scent, which is are key components for a pleasant, at-home, hair coloring experience. If I ever choose to go back to boxed hair coloring, I will definitely put Garnier Olia on my list of top considerations!

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

Playtex Secret Balconette Underwire Bra Review

1 Apr

Bras can be one of women’s biggest enemies. Finding one with the right fit, style, comfort, and support is unique to every woman, and not the easiest of tasks. I have had terrible luck with finding good bras. The ones that I am usually drawn to (due to color, style, etc.) are ones that either offer no support, are poorly manufactured, or both. I was very excited to try something new when my Playtex Secrets Balconette Underwire bra arrived in the mail.

Upon first glance I can honestly say that it definitely wasn’t something I’d pick up first in a store. I typically lean toward the cute, sexy, more attractive options. I did, however, like that it came in a nude color, as it can be worn under almost anything without the worry of it peeking through. I did go a little too big on the size. Like many women, I have never been formally fitted for a bra, so I pretty much always wing it while shopping. I have a few different sizes floating around in my collection, measurement and cup sizes alike, and I pretty much have always just made them work.

I didn’t really care for the cut of the bra. This could be due to it being a size too big, or the fact that I’m used to lower cuts, but it definitely felt like the cups came up too high. The comfort and overall feel, however, was excellent. No poking, pulling, or constricting anywhere, which was nice for a change. I don’t think I would wear this particular style with low-cut blouses, and due to the thicker straps it probably wouldn’t work well with most tank tops. But it is wonderful under regular shirts. I can’t get over how comfortable it is, and the back support is better than any of my previous bras. And support is something I really need not only for my bust, but for my back and shoulders as well.

All of the bras I own have underwires, as I don’t feel comfortable without them. On the downside, this means I’m getting poked quite often, sometimes within a few washes after buying a brand new bra. I do have a feeling that I won’t have that problem with this bra, at least not for a while. The materials used feel much thicker than most, and it seems to be put together really well in general. Fingers crossed! I don’t know if I will purchase another Playtex Secret Balconette Underwire bra, but it definitely is going to make me browse through other bras that Playtex has to offer. Hopefully I’ll be able to find one with the same support but in my personal style.

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

5 Favorite Fall Nail Polishes

4 Sep

Here are 5 of my favorite fall nail polish picks! They all just so happen to be OPI, because that’s what I own most of. I know there are several other great ones out there, as well as several dupes for each of these, but these are the ones that I have and plan to use a lot of this fall. I would post my own swatches and photos, but I figured it wouldn’t be fair to the polishes since I only have my web cam to work with at the moment, and it certainly wouldn’t do any of them justice. What are your favorite picks for your nails this fall?

1. You Don’t Know Jacques by OPI

Arguably one of OPI’s more recent favorites, this dark, brownish-greyish taupe is a must-have polish for any nail polish collector! It premiered several years ago with OPI’s France collection, and has been so popular that it’s stuck around in their permanent collection ever since. Not only is it a staple shade, but it’s perfect for fall wear!

2. Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI

This is definitely high up on my list of favorite nail polishes ever! It’s an extremely darkened purple, which at times can look almost black. This was one of my first favorite purchases when I was an aspiring nail polish collector, and it has remained a favorite of mine ever since! If it’s a bit too dark for your taste, try out it’s sister shade, “Lincoln Park At Midnight,” which essentially looks the same but with a little more purple showing through.

3. Russian Navy by OPI

Another one of OPI’s most popular shades! Russian Navy is a deep, dark indigo blue with purple shimmer. It appears extremely dark at first glance, but once it catches some light the blue/purple hues come alive. Truly a gorgeous, sultry color!

4. Midnight In Moscow by OPI

Continuing on with the deep, dark variety, this shade is similar in make-up as Russian Navy, but instead of blue/purple, Midnight In Moscow reflects burgundy hues on top of it’s fairly dark, blackish base color. Mixing black and red into one shade? Hello sex appeal!

5. Jade is the New Black by OPI

Although this shade came out with OPI’s spring Hong Kong collection a few years ago, it will be absolutely perfect this fall! Jade green is one of this season’s “it” colors, which is exactly the kind of green this polish is. Although it is a vibrant jade green, it is still deep with grayish undertones that make it wearable for fall.

Olympic-Inspired Nail Colors

30 Jul

In honor of the 2012 Olympic Games that are now underway, I decided to create a list of olympic-inspired colors to help you get in the spirit! I’ve gathered several different gold, silver, and bronze shades, as well as reds, whites, and blues because I am from America!

1. Golds

*OPI in Gold Shatter (gold crackle)
*OPI Designer Series in Classic (shimmery golden-beige)
*Essie in Good As Gold (metallic gold)
*Orly in Glitz (sparkly bright yellow-gold)
*Orly Foil FX in Luxe (metallic gold)
*Zoya in Goldie (metallic bright yellow-gold)
*Zoya in Jules (shimmery antique gold)
*China Glaze in Gold Digger (true gold glitter)
*China Glaze in Blond Bombshell (yellow-gold glitter)

2. Silvers

*OPI in Pirouette My Whistle (light grey with heavy silver glitter)
*OPI Designer Series in Radiance (shimmery, true silver)
*Essie in Silver Bullions (glittery silver)
*Orly Foil FX in Shine (metallic silver)
*Orly in Tiara (silver with heavy silver glitter)
*Zoya in Laney (metallic silver duochrome)
*China Glaze in Tinsel Town (heavy light & dark silver glitter)
*China Glaze in Platinum Silver (shimmery light silver)

3. Bronzes

*OPI Designer Series in Illuminate (shimmery bronzed brown)
*OPI in Brisbane Bronze (metallic golden brown)
*Orly Foil FX in Rage (metallic bronze)
*Orly in Flagstone Rush (metallic reddish-bronze)
*China Glaze in Your Touch (shimmery mid-tone warm brown)
*China Glaze in Goin’ My Way? (glittery brownish-bronze)

4. Reds

*OPI in OPI Red (true primary red)
*OPI in Cha-Ching Cherry (vivid red)
*OPI in Big Apple Red (true primary red)
*OPI in I’m Not Really A Waitress (deep metallic red)
*Essie in Lollipop (candy cane red)
*Essie in Jag-U-Are (vivid deepened red)
*Orly in Haute Red (bright primary red)
*Orly in Star Spangled (deep red with red glitter)
*Zoya in Haley (bright flashy red)
*Zoya in Kamilah (orange-red with red shimmer)
*China Glaze in Sacred Heart (true red)
*China Glaze in Salsa (slightly deepened red)

5. Whites

*OPI in Alpine Snow (true white)
*Essie in Blanc (true white)
*Essie in Below The Belt (bright white)
*Zoya in Purity (bright stark white)
*Zoya in Snow White (true white)
*China Glaze in White Out (true white)
*China Glaze in Oxygen (slightly off-white)

6. Blues

*OPI in Yoga-ta Get This Blue! (shimmery dark blue)
*OPI in Road House Blues (very deep dark blue)
*OPI in Blue My Mind (metallic true blue)
*Essie in Aruba Blue (frosty sapphire blue)
*Orly in Charged Up (deep navy blue)
*Zoya in Tart (metallic medium blue)
*China Glaze in Bermuda Breakaway (dark indigo-blue)
*China Glaze in Blue Paradise (shimmery darkened primary blue)

Spotlight On: Cargo Cosmetics

2 Jul

Though the brand was founded in 1996, Cargo has been gaining much deserved popularity in recent years. It’s one of the most innovative cosmetics brands in not only it’s formulas but it’s packaging, too. I was lucky enough to be given a brief, introductory training and demonstration on Cargo when the company I was working for began carrying their products, and I have fell in love with the brand ever since. I picked out a few of my favorite Cargo products to review/praise. What are your favorite Cargo products? All images are from CargoCosmetics.com.

1. blu_ray Pressed Powder$32

Cargo’s blu_ray line is one of it’s hot sellers due to it’s exceptional formula and uniqueness. My favorite is the pressed powders. The way the Cargo representative explained it was that it creates a “blurred” appearance on your face, giving you a flawless, air-brushed look. The line was initially created for movies and television, allowing people on camera to have a natural, unmade-up appearance, even when high-definition is used. The powder formula is extremely soft and creamy, and provides pretty good coverage. Some people could get away with using it as a foundation, though I personally tend to use it over my liquid foundation when I need a full-coverage look.

2. Lash Activator$35

I haven’t tried very many lash-enhancing products, but I was able to try Cargo’s Lash Activator and I must say I like it. They have two formulas- day, and night. The day formula is black, while the night formula is clear so you’re able to sleep in it without waking up to black smears under your eyes. While the day formula is colored, I still tend to wear it under my usual mascara because the formula is a bit thin and runny. However, if you’re just looking for a little tint of color you could easily get away with wearing just the Lash Activator. Like I said, I haven’t tried many other products that are supposed to promote eye lash growth so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I can say I noticed a bit of a difference. Some of my lashes appeared to begin sprouting out longer than others. I never used it continuously, once a day, for 30 days, so I can only imagine how much more my lashes would’ve grown if I would’ve done so. You can get full-size tubes of both the day and night formulas, or you can get a mini-trial pack that comes with deluxe sizes of each!

3. Reverse Lip Liner$16

The Reverse Lip Liner is one of Cargo’s more innovative products. It’s a nude-colored lip pencil that is meant to be applied outside of your lip line, rather than tracing your actual lip line. It helps prevent bleeding of your lip stick/lip gloss without giving you that 90’s-esque traced lip look. Also, it highlights your lips, making them appear to be bigger and fuller! Who doesn’t love that?!

4. Water Resistant Bronzer$28

Cargo has a great line of bronzers, with great formulation and colors. My favorite one is their Water Resistant Bronzer. It’s the same shade as their best-selling “Medium” bronzer, only waterproof! I usually don’t like to wear make-up when I’m swimming or even when I’m going to be outdoors in hot weather for long periods of time due to sweat and other factors causing my make-up to run and rub off. With this bronzer I can at least add some color to my face without worry! I’ve used it while swimming, and though I don’t really get my face too wet most of the time, it did stay on me all day. It’s definitely a must-have for summer!

5. Swimmables$19

These eye pencils are a must-have for summer, or for anyone who often gets wet or sweats. They are waterproof eye liner, and when I say waterproof I mean it! I’ve swam wearing these multiple times, and not once has my liner budged or even faded. They’re the ultimate waterproof eye pencils, for sure! Swimmables are typically sold in sets, usually of four small ones, and contain fun, bright colors. Not only only are they very pretty, but they’re super dependable and practical.

6. Liquid Foundation$36

Cargo’s Liquid Foundation is one of my all-time favorites by far. When I say favorite, I’m talking top 3, and I’ve tried a lot of foundations in my time! It provides great coverage and is smooth and creamy for easy application. A lot of people tend to get turned off by the initial texture, as it tends to be more on the watery-wet side, however, I feel this just makes applying and blending it much easier. Not to mention it feels a lot more light-weight than most liquid foundations, but still covers great, and dries like any other foundation. I’ll be honest, one of the main reasons I fell in love with this foundation was because I found a shade that matched my skin perfectly. I mean PERFECT! Their F-30 shade fits me to a T, and if I put a glob of it on my face you can still hardly tell it’s there. During the summer, if I get a lot of sun, I use their F-40 shade. Another great thing about this foundation is it’s innovative “pouch” packaging. Gone are the days of wasting foundation because you can’t get anymore out of the glass bottle, because you’re able to squeeze out almost every ounce in this pouch (similar to a tube of tooth paste). The unique packaging is also extremely convenient for traveling.