Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Product Spotlight: Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair

Today is a rare day. Seriously, RARE. I am going to recommend a drugstore hair product. THREE drugstore hair products actually, but they are all from the same line and I use them all together. Pick yourselves up off the floor and lets get into it...

I have dry, frizzy, fine hair. Quite the combo, I know. If I allow it to just air dry, I look like a hybrid Medusa-Einstein. No joke. My hair drives me crazy. So it's not often that I find a product I feel like truly CHANGES my hair. It's even less often that, that product is a drugstore product. Alas, it has happened...

I bought a sample set of the Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair (what a friggin' mouthful) products when I saw it on clearance for about $5.00 and I had a $3.00 coupon (#score). I figured for $2 bucks, it couldn't hurt. And it hasn't. The set came with the shampoo, conditioner, and the split end fuser.

Now Pantene claims this stuff "repairs two years of damage in two minutes." Ummmm... I don't think I'd agree with that. To me, "repairing" means there is no longer damage. That's not the case. My hair still has it's issues (grrrrrrr) BUT when I use all three items, there is a noticeable difference in how my hair looks, feels, and responds to styling. 

Lately, I've been trying to give my hair a break from all the heat damage, so I haven't been styling it too often. I thought I would try out this set and see what happened. I wasn't expecting much. But after just getting out of the shower (before I even used the split end fuser) I could feel a difference. My hair felt smoother and softer. However, my skepticism remained. I combed my hair, worked some of the split end fuser into my ends, and busted out my Turbie Twist (don't hate). I thought I was hallucinating... After my hair was completely dry, it still felt soft AND was less frizzy (I say less cuz, let's face it, frizz is like the fungi of the hairstyling world-it never goes away completely). 

So then I got curious... How would my hair react when I used this set and just blow-dried it? And what about if I flat-ironed?? I was very impressed both times. When using just the blow-dryer, my hair was smooth, relatively straight, and remarkably less frizzy. I didn't even need to flat-iron. But I still wanted to see those results too, so I did it anyway. My hair felt and looked great. For THREE WHOLE days (mind you, I did use dry shampoo the following mornings just to make sure the roots were clean). I couldn't believe it. I still kind of don't... Every time I do my hair now, I'm still surprised. It's like I keep waiting for it to stop working, like "Ha Ha! Gotcha!" but it doesn't. It just WORKS!

After using it for a few weeks, I got worried. I bought this stuff on clearance... Will I be able to find it in stores?!?!? And you can, for the most part. The shampoo and conditioner are easy to find. I've seen it at Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, and Target. The split end fuser... That's a little harder. I haven't seen it in stores but I did find it online (you can get it here or here or here). I even found some of the small sample size at my local Big Lots. This stuff is worth a shot, I promise.

Have you tried the Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair products before? Did they work for you? Let me know! xoxoxo
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trash Talk!!! Better Late than Never?!?!

I skipped my May and June empties (because I was in the process of moving) and I'm late with July's... Tsk tsk. But I'm going with the "Beter late than never" philosophy, so here we go!

I finally finished up my second sample of the L'oreal Youthcode Pore Vanisher. I stand by my original statement. (Check it out here!) This stuff is awesome.

INM Out the Door Topcoat, you can find it at Sally's Beauty Supply, online at Amazon, and I've even seen it in my local grocery store. You see, I have a love hate relationship with Seche Vite. So I needed to find a topcoat that would do me right, when Seche Vite does me wrong. This is it. It dries so fast. You can do your nails and walk OUT THE DOOR in less than five minutes. ANDDDD it's only $5.49 ($4.99 with your Sally's card). I'll take a savings + quality any day of the week. However, like most topcoats... It did get goopy on me two-thirds of the way through.

Bath and Body Works Espresso Bar candle. OMG. If you appreciate the smell of a coffee bar, this candle is for you! They don't have the 3-wicks anymore BUT they still have the small size AND it's on sale! (Get it here!) It has amazing scent throw, I mean I could smell it before I even lit it. Ohhh soooo gooood. But my kiddos didn't like it. Someday they will. Someday they'll "get it". ;-)

Bath and Body Works Golden Sugar Scrub (The scent happens to be Warm Vanilla Sugar-LOVE-The thoughts are about the actual scrub). I thought I loved these scrubs. I've come to realize it was not true love. True love just doesn't leave you feeling greasy and filmy. I don't love the residue that is left behind with these scrubs. I want a scrub that exfoliates, smells good, and then washes away without leaving a trace. This is not that product. I still have 3 or 4 more left, and I will use them. But they won't be repurchased. #ontothenextone.

La Fresh Oil Free Face Cleanser Wipes. I received these in my Ipsy bag and was sooooooooooo excited. I had been dying to try these. I'd seen them on YouTube. And Hautelook. And I was curious... What a disappointment. They are just so dry. And barely took off my eye makeup, which is really what I use wipes for. I'm just glad I found out before I bought some. $10 on an Ipsy bag with four other products is better than the $10 I was going to spend on just these wipes alone. So, YAY for Ipsy. BOO for these wipes.

That's all I've got for you this month! What did you use up in July? Let me know! xoxoxo...
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P.S. The Ipsy link above IS an affiliate link. I do not get paid by Ipsy. This is not a sponsored post. Should you choose to subscribe, I simply earn points. Any questions? Feel free to ask! Thanks!

Friday, August 1, 2014

To Spray Tan or Not To Spray Tan, That is the Question...

And I can tell you... I am alllllllllll about the Spray Tan. MMMMMHMMMM. I prefer my Vitamin D in pill form and if you ask any of my friends or family they will tell you, I'm part Vampire. Allergic to the sun. And the sweating from the sun. No thank you. That being said, once upon a long long time ago... I was not a Spray Tan Fan. Simply because it scared me. (That ooompa loompa orange looks good on NOONE.) So today I thought I would let you in on my thoughts on the different types of spray tanning and a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way...

Why Spray Tan?
Let us consider the options.

A. Lay out in the sun (ohhhh the sweat)... for hours ("So what did you do today?" Ummmmm)... in the hopes that you tan and not burn (for us pale-faces). Not to mention the necessity of tanning oils/lotions (coughHasslecough)... and once again, UVB rays (those are the burning ones), they just aren't good for you. Science (and those 70+ year old women at the pool) has taught us this.

B. Use a tanning bed. Ok, so here I still have all of the same concerns minus the time issue. Tanning beds can take as little as 8min.

C. Self-Tan. Ya know, like every beauty guru on YouTube does. I'm gonna be honest, I haven't ever tried... I'm scared of the unknown and the possibility of a streaky, patchy, (dare I say) WONKY tan... And also, HOW am I supposed to reach the hard-to-reach places by mySELF???

Which leaves us withhhhh...

D. Spray Tanning. You get to be indoors. It takes a few minutes. You will not get burned or turned into a crocodile. And you can customize your tan. (I'll take a lil' Snooki with my Jwoww, please...)

What is this Stuff?
When I first started spray tanning, I didn't understand the process I was putting my skin through. I didn't even think to find out what type of chemicals I was putting on my skin. So I  was a little relieved to learn that the main ingredient in most solutions is DHA, a carbohydrate compound usually derived from beets or sugar cane. The reason your skin changes color is not because it's a dye or a stain but a reaction to the amino acids in your dead skin cells (yum). And that is why the tans typically last 4-6 days, as you "shed" your dead skin cells, your tan goes with it. 

Keep in mind it can take up to 4 hours for the color from your spray to appear once it's been applied, however, waiting at least 8 hours before showering will increase the darkness of the color and the longevity of the tan. That being said, you can customize your tan. You can add bronzing drops so that you see color instantly. You can add a scent so that you smell pleasant. You can add an accelerator which cuts the developing time in half. These additives can cost extra so make sure you ask first. 

If you are a spray tan-virgin... I suggest going with the basic tan, no extras, to see how your skin reacts. Everyone is different. Even though I am extremely pale, my skin doesn't take the color easily so I have to use a dark solution and add bronzing drops. And even then, sometimes I'm still not dark enough. Also, ask what brand of solution they use and which shades they have. (My favorite brand of solution is Norvell. I like the Venetian but my Bestie is all about their Double Dark.) Keep track of what is used on you incase you don't like the finished look or in case you absolutely LOVEEE the way it turned out. And want it again. And again. And again. Yes, It's addicting. You've been warned. 

Hand-held Vs. Booth...
There are two main types of spray tan... Hand-held, where a technician will spray you front to back, head to toe using a spray gun... and a Booth, which is basically a little cubicle similar to a shower with a machine that sprays you. When trying to decide which one is right for you, take two things into consideration... How accurate do you want your tan to be? and How modest are you? If you want a more precise tan, go with the hand-held... If you are on the shy side about showing some skin, the booth may be the better option for you... At least to start with. Personally, I like the convenience of the booth. It's quick and private, but not perfect. If I want perfect, I call my spray tan technician. 

  • Shave and exfoliate THE DAY BEFORE you spray.
  • Don't put anything on your skin before going to tan. No lotions, oils, perfume, makeup, nothing. However, you can wear chapstick/lipbalm on your lips to keep them from being tanned.
  • Wear dark, loose fitting clothes to the salon. And whatever you are most comfortable with underneath. Bikini, bra and panties, your choice. Girls, if you don't want tan lines- you don't NEED to wear a top. Guys, don't get over excited- bottoms are always required. 
  • Use a barrier cream. If you don't see one, ask for it. This will help prevent the dreaded "Orange fingers/toes". It happens, so be prepared. The skin on your hands and feet are simply drier than any other parts of your body and will absorb the most color. (You also might want to use a little on your elbows and knees if you are extremely dry.)
  • Get your nails/facials/massage/wax/whatever done the day BEFORE (or AFTER your initial shower). 
  • Ask questions. Don't be scared, if you want to know something, ASK.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY... DON'T decide the day before your big event (Wedding/Prom/Etc.) to get your first spray tan. Try it out a couple weeks before to see how your skin reacts and what customizations you may need or want.
  • Don't get wet. Don't sweat. You will have water streaks or spots if you do...
  • Wait the 8 hours before showering if you can. Truthfully, I prefer to tan in the evening so that I can just sleep in the solution and shower the next morning. 
  • Stay Moisturized. The more hydrated you keep your skin, the longer your tan will last.
  • Don't exfoliate. This will literally rub your tan right off. Don't do it.
  • AVOID the pool. Chlorine will detoriorate your tan quickly. I learned this when the bestie and I went to Aquatica. We walked in, brown biscuits. We walked out, transparent...
  • Don't buy all new makeup for your "tanned look". You don't need it, the spray tan actually gives decent coverage, similar to a foundation. It hides your imperfections and evens out your skin tone. Just use a little moisturizer and bronzer and you are good to go. (I usually use a bb cream and my Benefit Hoola bronzer as a face powder)
I'm super excited right now because I am officially working with a tanning salon in town and will be spray tanning all of Saint Cloud, Fl. in the very near future. Whether they want it or not... I kid, I kid. Got any questions for me? Or maybe I left something out?? Or do you disagree and prefer a different method of tanning altogether??? Let me know in the comments!!! Xoxoxo
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