Tag Archives: beauty product reviews

Beauty Test Drive: A 2-In-1 Product That Actually Works?

I’m always a little skeptical of 2-in-1 products; shampoos that are also conditioners rarely do either thing well — and leave hair feeling oily and tangled — so I didn’t have high hopes for Philip B’s lavender hair and body shampoo. But it turns out that even though it’s sodium lauryl sulfate- (SLS) free, the shampoo really lathers up nicely as both a body wash and a gentle shampoo. Why should you care if there’s SLS in your shampoos and body washes? SLS has been found to be an irritant to skin and has been known to cause problems for people with skin sensitivity, so it’s good to avoid it if you can. Plus, buying one product instead of two cuts down on environmental waste, and the pleasant and calming lavender scent doesn’t hurt, either. I might just have to learn to love the 2-in-1 thing a little more. [Philip B, $30] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Does The Smashbox Glambox Really Make You Sultry And Sweet?

Take a good look at those two faces above. That beautiful model is rocking Smashbox’s “Glambox,” a full collection of makeup that’s supposed to allow you to complete both a “sultry” and a “sweet” look, as pictured above. I am always a little wary of do-it-yourself kits that claim you can look just like a model. After all, we’re all very aware of how much Photoshopping goes into selling us every product under the sun. So we put the collection to the test. Using the handy guide provided in the kit, my friends Abby and Heidi graciously agreed to see if the Glambox really delivers. After the jump, check out their versions of “sultry” and “sweet” and get the lowdown on how their step-by-step process really went. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Treatment

One note before we begin: The picture above is not exactly the product I used. I used a loose umbrian clay powder from Fresh that can be mixed with water and used as a face mask. I believe the face treatment is exactly the same thing, but in a slightly different–and way more convenient–form. Umbrian clay is supposedly great for its purifying abilities. And ladies, my skin needed to be purified. Even though I am well beyond my teenage years, I still get zits like a high school goth working at Hot Topic. Last night, I tried my umbrian clay mix, patting my face with warm water and putting the powder mix on my face. I let it dry and harden for 10 minutes. When I washed the mask off, my skin felt soft, and most importantly, my pimply spots had noticeably decreased in redness and irritation. So yes, this umbrian clay will definitely help you feel less like a pimply teen and more like a lovely lady. [$48, Fresh] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: O.P.I. Avoplex High-Intensity Hand & Nail Cream

As the temperature drops, so does the moisture in my hands. This happens every year, but instead of complaining about my dry, cracked hands in January and trying too late to find a cure, I’m going to be proactive. I’m loving O.P.I. Avoplex High-Intensity Hand & Nail Cream and think it will be a long-term solution to keeping my hands moist, smooth, and pain-free all winter long. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: MAC Eye Brows Tool

Despite being able to grow thick hair really fast on my head, I can’t seem to grow in my eyebrows regardless of how long I wait between threading sessions. The hair always grows where I don’t want it and remains sparse where I do. So I’ve been filling in my brows with pencils and powders for almost a decade. And I think I’ve finally found the best one. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Illamasqua Pure Pigment In Static

I’ve found a miracle in a pot, and, no, I’m not talking illicit drugs. I’m basically obsessed with my latest multi-tasking makeup find. Illamasqua, a British cosmetic company that crossed the pond about a year ago, is known for its bold and vibrant makeup colors, so I was super excited when Catherine (miss ya, girl!) handed me a pot of Pure Pigment in Static, an iridescent purplish-pink. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Sarah Jessica Parker SJP NYC Solid Perfume Bracelet

Don’t you just love a multi-tasking product? The SJP NYC Solid Perfume Bracelet not only serves up Sarah Jessica Parker‘s iconic style, but also functions as a secret stash for her latest scent. SJP NYC is built around the scent of wild strawberries with hints of floral notes. The sensual fragrance reminds me a little of that fake strawberry scent that’s added to teen lip glosses, though more adult and subtle than that. The perfume smells somehow creamy, too. SJP NYC is the perfect summer perfume for day and night. And the convenient bracelet makes reapplying a cinch. [$35, Macy's] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Jemma Kidd Make Up School Stain, Flush & Gloss

I’d been wanting a new blush for the past few weeks because I’d outgrown the pink hue of the one I was wearing. Since a recent trip to Sephora didn’t yield any rewards, I decided to try the Jemma Kidd Make Up School Stain, Flush & Gloss in “Ruby Tuesday.” It’s a multipurpose product for cheeks and lips, which means I didn’t have to schlep my complete makeup bag around. Double bonus! The cheek stain looks like a dark red lipstick, but gives the apples of the cheeks a natural-looking flush. Seriously, even my brown skin looked as if I were blushing, which doesn’t happen often because I’m one of those people that never gets embarrassed. (Just kidding. Did you read this post? Those were some of my stories too.) Anyway, a little of the stain goes a long way, especially on the cheeks, but you can also use it on the lips. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: All We Want For Xmas Is A Little Bling

The holiday beauty gift sets are rolling out to stores and well, let’s just say some are better than others. This Thierry Mugler Alien combo, $75, is one of the former. There are plenty of Angel fans out there, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of smelling the lesser known Alien it’s a little tougher and, I think, chicer with a core scent of Moroccan jasmine and an effervescent (and surprising) tangerine top note rounded out with white amber and Kashmir wood. In short, it’s the perfect winter fragrance, it smells absolutely delicious, and I’ve been spritzing it on before dinner which makes me feel terribly glamorous. This season, they’re selling this limited-edition, Swarovski bedazzled, 30ml refillable container served up with a side of gold wax that’s perfect to use as a highlighter for your cheekbones and décolleté. Yum. [Thierry Mugler] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Nail And Cuticle Treatment

I have the kind of cuticles that look dry and ragged a day or two after a manicure, and my cracked knuckles sometimes look as if I walk like a gorilla. Despite my best efforts to re-apply lotion after washing my hands and sleeping with my hands slathered in Vaseline and covered with moisturizing gloves, my hands never quite achieve hand model-level beauty. Every winter I’m on a quest to find a miracle in a bottle or tube that will give me soft, weather- and life-proof hands, but spring usually rolls around before that ever happens.

This year, though, I’ve gotten a head start and I think I might have even won the race. For a week now, I’ve been using the Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Nail and Cuticle Treatment. It contains omega-3 fatty acids to lessen moisture loss, vitamins A and E to neutralize damage from free radicals, caprylic (derived from coconuts) to moisturize, and rosemary and lavender extracts as an antiseptic. I noticed smoother and more supple cuticles after the first application, and the results only improved as I applied the Nail and Cuticle Treatment at least three times a day or whenever I thought about it. I didn’t even follow-up religiously with the Night Solution for Hands, but can report that my hands now feel nourished and toned, too. While I’m happy with the results of the cuticle treatment, I’m not sure if I’d spend $22 on it and forget the $75 for the Night Solution. What do you do for dry hands? Keep reading »

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