Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dr. Brandt Flaws No More r3p Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...peptides?  Peptides, what the heck are those?  Well, from my layman's perspective, this is how I understand it.  The collagen in our skin is made up of long strings of amino acids.  When collagen breaks down, it forms shorter chains called peptides which signals the skin to "fix" the skin by producing more collagen.  By applying these manufactured peptides to the skin, the theory is that will ramp up the collagen production making your face look younger and less wrinkled.

I was lucky to try a large sample of this to really get a good feel for the product.  The first thing I noticed was the smell.  It smelled kind of metallic.  Once you put it on your face though, you could no longer detect the scent.  It is a very thick, rich cream and I like the way it went on.  I felt like it gave my face a soft, sort of matte texture while still moisturizing.  I only wash my face at night anymore so that's the only time I applied it.  In the morning I rinse my face with water, add more eye cream, and apply my Smashbox BB cream.  This was a great product for that routine.  It kept my face moisturized but not greasy.  I am beginning to think there really is no miracle cure out there.  Our skin is going to age.  We are going to have wrinkles.  But a product can help minimize the telltale signs of aging.  (Maybe they should call it Flaws But Less.)  The biggest downside is the price tag ($125).  It will keep me searching for a cheaper alternative.  However, if I do decide to splurge, this product is at the top of my list.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Undereye Primer

I really wanted to like this after my great (and continued) experience with Smashbox's BB Cream.  So much so that I ordered an additional sample when I ran out of my first one.  Unfortunately I had to face the fact that it just didn't really do much.  Lately, instead of washing my face twice a day, I only do it at night.  In the morning I splash water on my face, reapply my eye cream and then put on my BB Cream.  I though this product would be perfect.  It would still hydrate but help with my under eye circles and fairy trails.  On my second sample, I tried using the primer on one side and my eye cream on the other.  I checked it several times throughout the day and I couldn't tell a difference between the two sides.  And this was with and without concealer.  I would skip this and buy a good concealer.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Phytodefrisant botanical hair relaxing balm

I was very surprised to find out that this company, started by French hairstylist Patrick Ales, has been around since the mid 50s.  I had occasionally seen the products and liked the clinical looking packaging but had never tried them.  In my quest to tame my frizz and get rid of a few stubborn "bumps" in my hair, I got this from Sephora based on the very high reviews.  Although it is not a permanent solution, and you have to use it with a blow dryer or straightener, it says it will gradually make your hair straighter with use (at least that's what I thought it said).  I usually blow dry my hair anyway and thought that maybe I could get away with letting it air dry once in awhile.  As I've mentioned, all I really want is wash and go hair that looks like I just stepped out of a shampoo commercial.  Never give up the dream, right?

This product mostly does what it says it will do.  It helps reduce frizz and helps keep hair straighter between washings (mine would often get messed up while I slept).  However, I think calling it a relaxing balm is going a bit far.  There is a big difference between straightening and smoothing.  I would call this a smoothing product.  In the instructions it said it will make your hair "smoother with use" which was my mistake.  My hair didn't get any straighter or easier to blow dry after using this for several weeks.  I felt like it made my hair feel a little stiff but it wasn't really bad and if you normally use products in your hair it probably wouldn't bother you.

In the end, I would recommend trying this product if you already spend time styling your hair and are just looking for a better product.  Like I said, it works the way it says it will, it just doesn't work the way I wanted it to.  I went a different route and used their permanent (but still botanical) hair relaxer and that review will be coming up soon!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Organix Moraccan Oil Weightless Healing Oil and Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Mist

In August of 2011 I wrote about Argan oil (also called Moroccan oil) for the first time.  Then back in June, I wrote about Moroccan Oil's Frizz Control.  I really liked the product and although I sometimes used it as a treatment by spraying it in dry hair, it made it look greasy so it had to be shampooed out.  It helped my hair more than any other product I'd tried but it still wasn't enough to conquer the humidity of a DC summer.  I really liked the spray because I felt like it was more evenly distributed through my hair.  So I began looking into products I can use on dry hair.  On Sephora, I discovered Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Mist.  My first post ever was about my Alterna conditioner so I ordered it immediately even though I hadn't heard of Kendi oil.  It turns out to be another nut oil, this one from Indonesia.  I started using the spray in two ways.  First, I would spray it on towel dried hair.  Just like the Moroccan Oil Frizz Control, if I got to a bad tangle, I'd just give it an extra pump and my comb would glide right through.  Second, I would use it right after drying my hair and whenever it got a little unruly.  It seemed like I couldn't use too much in between washings (every 2-3 days).  However, when I realized how quickly I was going through it, I realized this was going to be pretty pricey to sustain and so I went searching again.  This time for a cheaper alternative.

I found the Organix Moroccan Oil Dry Healing Oil online and purchased it at Rite Aid where they were (luckily) having a 2 for 1 sale.  I use it in the same was as the Alterna and it works just as good.  I love this stuff!  It is like liquid gold.  Normally I wouldn't advocate a product that you use a lot of but in this case, I think how much you use depends on your hair.  I keep a bottle at home and a bottle at work.  I often just spray a little bit on my ends when they are looking frazzled.  The smell is a little stronger than the Alterna which had a very nice, mellow smell, but it isn't bad and it is milder than the Moroccan Oil brand.  I just can't say enough good things about this product.  If your hair needs moisture or frizz control, I suggest you go out and get some right away!  You can thank me later.

Liquid Gold


Monday, October 1, 2012

Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer

Jack Black has a line of beauty care products?  Considering he's not exactly at the forefront of fashion, I found that a little odd.  It turns out this company was founded in 2000 and named before the actor became widely popular.  (I'm sure they were pretty bummed when they realized people would be associating their product with the guy who was in such hits as "Johnny Skidmarks" and "Laser Fart.") 

I got a sample of this when ordering from Sephora.  I did not realize at the time it is a line for men.  All I know is that I put it on and my hands felt transformed.  They looked and felt soft without feeling greasy.  Any moisturizer will also help diminish the look of wrinkles and this one is no exception.  It is fragrance free although it does have a scent and I would say it is on the manlier side.  It doesn't smell like car oil and beer though and the smell fades quickly.  For as well as this product works, it is worth it.  And much appreciated by someone who has a sensitivity to stronger scents.  I bought the 3 oz size for $15 which is expensive but the bottle is bigger than I expected and I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted 6 months since you don't have to use a lot.  It says you can use it on your heels and elbows which I will try but that isn't such a big problem after sandal and short sleeve weather is over.  I usually use a regular body lotion on my hands and I had a tendency to not use it very often because it felt so greasy.  Now I can have soft, pretty hands anytime I want.  So, sorry boys, one more product to steal from you!


eos Lip Balm - smooth sphere

I was standing in line at Target waiting to check out when I spotted this lip balm.  The egg shape immediately peaked my curiosity as did the pink color.  It also said 95% organic and 100% natural so, being the good little impulse buyer that I am, I threw it on the conveyor belt.  I tried it as soon as I got home.  All you do is twist the top and apply the (also egg-shaped) balm to your lips.  I ended up with Strawberry Sorbet and it smells and tastes wonderful (not that I recommend eating it!).  It's a little weird to put on because it's so big.  It's fine for the middle part of your mouth but you have to open wide to get the corners.  It works fine and doesn't feel overly heavy.  They're tag line is "Can a lip balm make you smile? We think so."  And they're right.  It's cute packaging and for that alone I think it's worth it.  It also comes in a medicated version and a stick if you're not into the egg.