Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Product Review: Silicon Mix

In my quest to use up all the crap under the sink, I am again at my Silicon Mix.  I bought this product some months back whilst perusing another hair forum (some people never learn).  I heard this thing could take my dry damaged hair and turn it into fine silk like those Pantene commercials.  Sure, you don't believe everything you read, hear, etc., but these were reviews from people who have hair in ten times worse shape than mine, clearly it would make my hair at least softer?  It didn't.  I don't know what people are using on their hair that Silicon Mix would be the answer to world peace, but this stuff could be Suave humectant and would be much more impressive. 
Naturally, a fool and her money are soon parted, I bought the $8.99 plus shipping and handling size from Amazon for the 16 oz size.  I never go through all of that simply to get a small amount of product.  It makes no sense to spend the same amount in shipping and handling for a product.  That was then, this is now.  The directions state you leave the product on for 2-3 minutes and rinse depending on your hair's health.  Well, I kept the mess on for about half an hour with heat.  The mixture is less dense than pudding and has a queer scent.  It's not a scent I can put my finger on.  It's not floral, spicy, or anything significant, but it doesn't smell like chemicals either.  It doesn't have a clean, soap like scent either.  It's similar to Terax Crema, if you're familiar. 
INGREDIENTS : Water, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerine, Citric Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethycone Copolyol, Cyclomethicone, Keratin, Ceramide, Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance.
This product calls itself an "Intensive Hair Deep Treatment" huge misnomer.  An intensive deep hair treatment doesn't have the consistency of runny pudding and will coat the hair.  This stuff sat on my hair and upon combing it through my hair (best way to deep condition and coat each strand), it still didn't feel as if anything intense was happening.  I will not repurchase this product.  I'm still shocked at the reviews, or maybe I've been fortunate enough to move LeKair Cholesteral (worked at the time) type of conditioning treatments.  I will blog my favourite intensive hair conditioning/deep treatments, because I think there is a lot of misinformation which is why so many women are bamboozled into believing their hair wont grow.  I will say this may be good on synthetic hair or to maintain human hair weaves/extensions, but other than that, this product was an epic "FAIL."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't Believe the HYPE!

So....I have not been able to blog for a good long time.  I love to have a place of my own to extend positions which don't bode well on my regularly scheduled "forums" but, I'm getting really tired of the hypocrisy in the beauty industry.  I've spent the last week in the ICU with both parents.  So, I think that could be some of my frustration *disclaimer to exit now*
Well, seeing people so raw and vulnerable is heartbreaking.  My mum taught me the proper techniques with makeup for an age appropriate young adult.  I was in high school and could wear mascara, lipstick and powder.  I did what the rest of us addicts did and put on all the other crap when I got to school.  She always knew, but I felt the need to look "cute."  As I'm aging, I'm thinking of all the work it takes for one to have a full face.  Every application precedes with a "primer" that promises to enhance the product.  Why not make a mascara that lengthens or volumizes as opposed to a primer to boost my mascara?  Or, do I really need a moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, mattifier, and corrector to get my foundation right?  Seriously?  Just pause...think for a second?  Do you really think it takes all those steps to get those lashes in the adverts?  Of course not!  The falsies, mascara and boom you're done.  Makeup artists do not have time to do all those steps, believe me.  Why?  Because I don't have the billions of followers, ad revenue or endorsements.  I can't lose what I don't have.  Real talk, if you've seen some of the "commercials" on YouTube, you will see a pattern.  Do you think Hot Miami Styles (HMS) is making as much money as they are spending to promote their tacky clothes?  If you are into those looks great, but don't invest money thinking you're going to get more than a few wears.  Screw it!  Bypass HMS, who is a few paces below F21, and find an Asian owned boutique and you can get the same thing.  What's more, those clothes are ugly.  Only a few look like they fit properly, and the dresses are too short!  If you're wearing a dress that hits your thigh when you stand, you deserve to be called out and no, no one's jealous, you just look trashy.  Just because one can, doesn't mean you should. 
Embrace your flaws.  As long as we keep buying these things which are nothing more than snake oil, they will continue to saturate the market.  We, as consumers, are stupid enough to get on the bandwagon and "make it work!"  Make things work if you have it already,  but if you go buy something and it already needs work, put it back.  See Madge?  She doesn't looks so hot in the photo on the left right?  Well, she is over fifty years old, she has three children, probably runs a few businesses, not to mention her music, humanitarian efforts, work outs, events, and trying to get a social life.  Again, she's 50 and has been in the "life" for almost thirty years.  So, if you're in your twenties and living life in the fast lane, add the marriages, tabloids, extreme diets, etc. what do you think you would look like during a photo shoot that probably was early in the morning fresh from the airport, with jetlag et al?  Exactly, but since we don't want to acknowledge wrinkles, we photoshop the images, and lie and say that the person has a skin cream that Egyptian monks pray over, and is laced with real gold from the fountain of youth.  GMAFB!  Stop it!  Not because I have anything to gain, but as long as we sign up for it, and believe it, they will continue to sell this crap and leave our self worth in their accounts.  We should be appreciated for who we are as a whole, not just physically.  I find it sad George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Simon Cowell and many more, are praised as these sex gods who get the gorgeous girls, but if a woman does the same, she's "past it."  Look how desperate these housewives look in trying to stay twenty.  We age, let's live a good life, and know that we don't have to be the fairest, the thinnest, or the richest to have value.  Snap out of it, in fact, stop trying to be anyone you aren't because you are fine just as you are.  Believe it!
photo source

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Iman Cosmetics: Product Review, Orange is not Cute!

So...I know I have tried every foundation under the sun.  No pun intended, but I want my skin but a little less blotchy.  Now, that picture is from IMAN and I had watched her do an application for a girl with brown skin and gold/honey undertones such as mine.  The women in the photo are as diverse as the women in the book and who modeled on the QVC show that I got sucked into watched.  I am a huge sucker follower of Iman as she was one of the first black women who appeared in campaign ads for cosmetics long before Queen Latifah, Hallie Berry, Eva Longoria, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Gabrielle.  So, being the fool consumer I am, I ordered a few products.  (Picture not shown for fear of humiliation) Decent price and the application lighting was superb.  Now, I have to send it all back.  I read that the acidic level of oily skinned girls is quite high so I asked about the titanium dioxide, talc, and other ingredients to ensure I was stoopid wise in my selection.  Absolute.Fail.Coming.
I got my box and was happy!  I had gotten bang on matches and in the mirror I looked good, I followed my morning routine, and when I got to work all was well.  I used the blot powder in med/light throughout the day making sure I blotted my face with tissue first so all the oils were blotted and it's simply cleaner than adding another layer of cakemix powder on your face.  I didn't like that this stuff seemed to transfer A LOT, but it's dark because, I'm dark.  I'd glance in the mirror and seemed to look cute so all was well.  So, after lunch, I went to the ladies room to wash up and retouch. *insert shrill* My face was ORANGE not darker, but ORANGE !!! I was mortified.  I know shit foundation oxidizes, I covered that with the bitch woman on the phone.  So... I walked back to my office *walk of shame* and stayed in my cubicle for the rest of the day.  I prayed I didn't get called into any meetings or have to attend a hearing at the Capitol.  What's more, I work with some arrogant good looking men who are well groomed.  When you look good you have swagger feel good, so I was in everyone's face.  Well God don't like me ugly.  So, I got what I deserved.  I didn't give this the six week run before posting, this happened yesterday and my feelings are hurt in tact.  I am sending it back.  I passed the Cover Girl Queen display and they ALL had red undertones, so I passed on those, so I'll continue throwing money away my search for a foundation but this one gets an "F" from me.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Product Update: Mega-Tek Rebuilder

I won't even lie, this product scared me to no end, and I'm still waiting for cravings for a bale of hay, or red apples and carrots to happen.  I am floored at the things women do for hair, but I guess watching my mum iron her hair on an ironing board should have been a hint.
I heard about this product from hair boards, and posted my initial review.  It is safe for humans but I can't say I wasn't ready to lie and say I had a horse named "Swift Sally Sunday" in the stable who had bumped against the wall a few too many times and developed a bald spot.  I "borrowed" my co-workers story, so that's why I could create a story faster than you can say "what?"
I am impressed with this product so far. 
Your hair will grow
Has a nice scent
Is safe for humans
Works as a leave in or can be rinsed out
Noticeable hair growth
Hair is stronger...
Your head will itch like you have hives
It makes your hair hard albeit stronger
Price (this product isn't cheap)

Overall I would definitely recommend this product.  I hate that you will itch like a crack head when you use this as a leave in; I have never rinsed it out.  I'm not sure I'm using it properly, but for me, I have a regimen for deep condition, and this leave in is perfect if you are hiding your hair.  At first, I was thinking my hair had not grown but that this stuff was striping my hair thus the new growth.  Whilst stretching, it's quite difficult to delineate where the change begins.  Right now I've got a new perm and will be able to ascertain how much growth I've achieved.  In addition I will have photos of the start of finish as I'm using the stretch, hide and Crown and Glory method.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Best Eyebrow Tutorial Ever!

Maybe not the best, but this promises to be informative and if nothing else, this will at least make you think.  There are many things thrown out on the web these days.  Many times I hear "there are no rules in makeup..." Really?  Well I want to dissect and refute a huge trend when it comes to eyebrow shaping.  I have seen and read tutorials like this one that give really bad information on how to shape and fill brows. 
Eyebrows have made a comeback and the look is bold and not thin.  I am happy about that, but that's because I've battled the "bush brows" for years.  I can grow eyebrows the minute they are waxed.  It's not fun always having to block my brows because the hairs are forming overnight.  Well, the problem I have is, people are giving out one-size-fits-all information on tweezing.  Not everyone has a narrow nose, so those of us with wider noses, cannot follow those instructions by placing an instrument at the end of our nose and following the ___° angle format.  If so, my eyebrows would start near my pupill and end by my ear.  I exaggerate, but for some this is valid.  If this is the case for you or your client (makeup artists) please try the diagram posted above.  I took a picture of Aaliyah, who had really great eyebrows, so it seemed like a great example since I am on lunch and cannot take my own photo and use me as an example.  Plus, I had an immense facination with her face and eyebrows.  I am someone who obsesses over brows in a sick way.  I digress.  I used the same "rules" but rather than use the end of her nose as a starting base, I used the side of her nostril to demonstrate the "right" way (see the right) and the traditional way on the other.  I felt compelled to show an example of how certain "rules" don't fit the this-is-how-you-do-your-brows-to-get-the-perfect... which is flooding YouTube, blogs and forums right now.  We, as a society, get something passed down and run with it.  Another thing?  Unless you have no eyebrows whatsoever, don't use those "templates" which run in a kit for about $75.00!!!! Please don't do that.  Our face shapes vary and some of those are far too wide for those with petite faces.  I don't care that your favorite guru, makeup artist, etc. did a tutorial, reviewed them and they were brilliant, that does not mean they will suit you.  Think about it, you put something across your face, fill it in and then what?  Does your brow fit?  Mine didn't?  Do you have thin straight brows?  If so, how are you going to account for the color by number art project on your forehead?  I strongly suggest if you choose to go that route, at least buy the one's made by Ardell first.  What's more, maybe you can create your own by using similar supplies at a craft store.  Hope this has helped.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Black Hair CAN Grow!

I wish I had a dollar for everytime I heard a person say that Afro textured hair doesn't grow.  It's 2010 and guess what?  Afro textured hair grows, and will continue to do so if you take proper care of it.  I have never had long hair.  My mum didn't really know how to care for my hair, and she didn't have the time to deal with it.  So, I thought I knew everything and took the wheel and anihiliated my hair for the longest.  The key to growing any texture of hair is knowing how to care for your own hair. I cannot tell you how many bandwagon products I jumped on.  They had great reviews, were all the talk on forums and/or YouTube but for me they were usually epic "fail" for me.  So, I have an arsenal of products I call my holy grails, a few essentials, and some items, I'm experimenting with.  The experiments are not because I don't have faith in my holy grails, but Creme of Nature was epic until I found KeraCare for dry itchy scalp (tingles) as was Motions CPR until Avlon and Nexxus had things which worked better.  It's difficult to let go, but the results have been learning to get products in the event my currents are either discontinued or reformulated or simply because the type of products on the market are improving (i.e. sulphate free).  In addition, don't think people who are not your ethnicity can't have products that will suit you.  Products marketed for Afro textured hair don't always equal success for me, just as many products for European/Caucasian hair work quite well.  It's all about trial and error.  Support helps also.  I am in a hide your locks, no trim in 2010 but I may have to quit because I need to cut six inches of old tired relaxed ends off.  I did buy some products from a hair trade show, and will give my 2 cents.  I can usually tell first try how a product will work for me, but I try not to give a rave review until really testing a product for some time.  To be continued...

              (awaiting testing)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Product Review: Black Opal Oil Blocking Powder

*\0/* Yay for finds that work!  I am not one who likes gimmicks.  I know enough about my skin and how it reacts to know, there are very few products which can actually block oil on my skin.  I am going through some sort of skin crisis at the moment.  I am still oily as Crisco, but the skin around my mouth is ridiculously and embarassingly dry.  It's absurd.  When Rite-Aid had a 25% off all cosmetics deal a month back, I took the liberty of trying some of the products from Black Opal.  It's a great line which is targeted to women of darker ethnicities and it's not very expensive and the products work well.  If you're a packaging and gimmick sort of lass who enjoys the pretty designs, sexy logos, etc.  You won't even flinch and will pass this by rather quickly.  For me, I need products which attempt to do what they promise.  All skin is not created equal.  For example, my skin is oily.  Nothing over the counter will slow down the production of sebum from my physiological makeup in my body.  This means, I don't purchase a product based on its sales pitch.  I look at the ingredients and see if they are compatible with my sensitive skin, and then hope that it can help me create a complimentary look for my routine.  Again, all skin is not created equal.  So, for me this product met my expectations, not that I didn't need to blot oil throughout the day, I did.  I didn't need to as often, but the oil still came.  What this product did for me was what I had hoped Make Up Forever's HD powder would do.  Unlike, MUFE, I do not get a white cast if I don't buff the crap out of my face to get the transparent finish as promised.  This product allowed me to take either my stippling, or buffing brush, tap it not the cap and lightly brush over my face for a flawless and somewhat matte finish.  It doesn't get cakey, nor does it add color.  It gives me a "finished" look. It hasn't been warm enough for me to determine if this is something to hold off on during the spring/summer months, when I like having a natural finish to my face.  The price was good, but that was due to the 25% off discount so I spent less than $5.00.  The product will last me a long time, and I would really recommend this product for all skin types.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sugarpill v MUFE Battle of the Purples, Brown Girl Re-mix

So, in my move to hurry and post pics and swatches of SugarPill, I failed to post the details on how the two purples compared.  Well, as I stated before, the purple has a gritty texture, but is a matte finish.  In addition, they aren't similar in that the MUFE #92 has more blue and SugarPill has more red.  What you can do is apply the SugarPill over a black base or try a dark blue base and that should give a similar result.  To be honest, the colors aren't so different that you would need both.  I will reiterate that for us darker skin tones, we need to build (i.e. pack) on the color a bit more than fairer complexions, but this is a good product, and I don't regret my purchase, and I'm looking forward to playing with these colors a bit more.  I'd also like to give both eyeshadows a go against Ben Nye.  I have many of their matte shades, but have put them to the side in order to try and use up the eyeshadows I have.  I really like posting my cosmetics because it reminds me that there isn't anything I cannot dupe with the items I already have.  Time to save that money for other "habits."  Especially, those things which make a great investment and return.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Makeup Brushes go High Definition!

I love a good find, but I love a good inexpensive find even more.  I have an addiction to brushes almost as much as I do eyeshadow.  The Walmart stores in my town have all been undergoing a remodel of some sort.  This means clearance!  I find almost all of my regular, low priced items, at close out prices.  It's easier for the store to get rid of their stock than have their employees move them.  Win-win situation ftw!  I saw these brushes which are approximately $6.95 at the highest, and was a bit curious since it has a whole wall which will be dedicated to makeup application tools.  These brushes are gimmicky, as I don't know that I brush can give high definition application.  The individual would really have to blend like their hair is on fire in order to get a high def result.  What I love is how incredibly soft these brushes are.  They are softer than any brush I have, and are almost too soft if you wish to pack on color.  I haven't washed them, but the company who makes this brand is affiliated with Ecotools, which also was on sale, including the limited edition Alicia Silverstone set.  I highly recommend you run to your nearest drugstore and test this brush. I see videos, blogs and giveaways in this products future!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

LUSH Sandstone-Product Review

Grr... I finally opened this soap I purchased during the Christmas sale.  I had kept it in the freezer because I was quite upset the sales assistant transposed my Honey I Washed the Kids with Sandstone.  I wanted a small slice of Sandstone, to try, and a large bit of the HIWTK.  I cannot believe I paid $15.05 plus taxes for this crap.  I was sold this as a gentle exfoliator and specifically asked if it were gentle enough for sensitive skin.  In addition, there was supposed to be a clean citrus scent.  I didn't notice it at all.    I was basically looking for something to help with dry winter skin sloughing.  Well, this soap is like a gel/glycerin bar you see in many bath product stores, BUT, the lower portion is sand.  It's not even soft sand, it's like granite.  I have felt sand on my feet and this is not like that at all, it's like sand at the ocean.  It's so hard on my skin it's painful.  I have a right mind to throw it through the store window, ugh!  What's more, I am not using it in my bath, but when I used it in the shower, it gave me a bruise, and left sand on my floor board.  Great... Sand in the shower.  I wouldn't even give this away, but I will cut the sand portion off and use the other 2/3 of the bar because it was so bl**dy expensive.  I do not recommend this for anyone under any circumstances.  I will also reiterate I buy my products on my own and am not affiliated with anyone; however, I cannot stress enough not to use this on your skin.  I use a ped egg on my feet, and I used this after and it was still to rough and my feet are dry.  I don't think LUSH should sell this to anyone, but maybe there are people who can benefit from this.  I guess if I had to remove paint, or street art from a window, this may help, but it would definitely scratch the glass.

Note to self, never let anyone try to sell you something you have not investigated thoroughly, and always cross check your purchases.
  (see the sand)


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Move over LUSH, ONE is here!

I love when I'm having a crap day, and I find a product which makes day!  I heard all the hype about LUSH so, when one opened near me, I was more than happy to give their products a proper go.  I wrote, and will reiterate, I was not impressed.  I don't know if it's because I find baths relaxing, but don't feel they make me clean.  In fact, the thought disgusts me, but ... So, I'm out looking for a sale on the MAC 188 dupe which is from Studio Tools and on sale but, no joy.  Then, I find this product by One and was curious because I'm simply nosey like that, and it had me curious.  The smell was divine.  I wish they had candles, because I love sweet, citrus scents in my home especially after cooking now that I'm going vegetarian and vegetable have a scent that's off putting.  I really love the products I purchased as well.  They were on sale, so I got them all for less than $10.00!  I was so happy, I came home and did research to read more about this company.  At first, I thought they were shady, because the email on the package didn't work, and I couldn't find anything about them.  Usually, if I like something it's been reviewed ad naseum so, I knew I was late to the game.  I called the number and it didn't seem legit, so I felt duped.   I tried a few people on Twitter, searched Target's website, and nothing.  What the french?  Then, the next day, I called and was transferred to "Mark" who was so kind.  He offered to send me a product they didn't have a Target and I declined.  I told him it would negate my credibility due to FTC disclosure rules.  I buy and review my own stuff and don't feel right accepting anything free.  It seems to always have strings and I get a sense of pride that ALL my reviews, and products have been bought by me. 
The massage bar is similar to the one at LUSH, what's more, the tin was free!  Unlike at LUSH where you have to pay extra.  The after shower relaxing bar is not my favorite since I don't care for Lavendar at all, but it does make my skin so soft.  I don't think the conditioner will be a staple for my hairtype, but it is good for wrapping your hair or as a co-wash.  The only negative I can see people taking issue with is that it's made in China and not fresh like LUSH.  There is no expiry, and you will have sulfates, so that isn't great, but I predict this product will get a lot of love soon, and I would recommend and will repurchase this

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sugarpill Review for Women of Color or Darker Skintones!

Sooo...Everyone is blogging, tweeting, vlogging about Sugarpill.  Before anyone who might read this asks, here is my disclaimer.  I watched a review by Petrilude.  His skin is dark and although not as dark as mine, I thought the swatches might give me an idea about how these products would work on my brown skin.  I asked in the comments if he felt this would work on darker skin tones and didn't get a reply.  I remembered the drama about gurus not having time to reply to comments, how many subscribers, etc and was not about to get checked.  So, I decided to just purchase this myself.  I have no affiliation with Amy, Shrinkle, or anyone on the internet.  I am pretty much non existent, but I am a makeup artist and a consumer.  I have never been so much as asked to review a product and I have no cyber connections.  So, I am not paid, I am not friends with, or am I trying to suck up to anyone this is something I did so other women of color could get an idea about how this product would work for them. That said, I live in the same proximity as the owner, in Northern California.  I won't go into all the packaging, price, etc. because it's been done and I don't want to repeat what has already been said.  I ordered the product about five mins after Petrilude's video on a Sunday and received it about a week later.  I did appreciate the thank you note because my name is quite long and she didn't have to include a handwritten note, but that made me smile.  The texture is smooth and not chalky for almost all of the colors.  The purple and red are a bit more gritty but that has to do with the ingredients and not the pigmentation.  I will say the colors do not go on as opaque for us darker tones, but as Vintage or Tacky stated, the colors are buildable.  It will take more than a swipe to get the full effect.  I think I swiped the most for the yellow "Buttercreamcupcake" than I did for any.  I have many matte yellows, and this one is better than Chrome Yellow but I won't compare and indepent  and new company to Make Up Forever, that's not really a fair comparison, but I did include photos.  I like that this girl put a lot of work and detail into this line, and it shows.  Plus, she's local and if I'm going to spend money, I'd rather it be here and for someone who is trying to start an honest business as the market is saturated with so many items from China.  I am happy for her.  The price will be something people will struggle with, which has been said.  I do agree that you get  a great value and for me, I will pay more for a shadow if it works.  I have spent loads on products I had to "make work" by using a base, primer, etc. and with these I didn't use any primer and the only difference is flash vs no flash.  I would recommend these if you want an in your face matte bold color.  She will be introducing neutrals, but I can get those without a problem.  Don't be put off in that her demographic is a bit more ecclectic, think product.  I am very please with my purchase and hope that other people are the same.