Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kevyn Aucoin Review

I am super excited to finally start reviewing some of the products I have been experimenting with over the past few months.

As always, mascara is a hot topic and I am (and probably always will be) on the search for the PERFECT mascara. The good thing about the idea of the perfect mascara is that it is usually different for everyone. For that reason, it's hard to take the advice of others, because sometimes it wasn't what you were personally looking for.

I really love Lindsey Regan Thorne's blog , she is a make up artist in North Carolina (and a native Nebraskan girl!) with a lot of awesome product reviews and beautiful make up (and style) creations. In short, check out her blog.

Anyways,  a couple months ago I read a post she had written about mascara (read here). In the post she talked about her mascara journey…. Better Than Sex, They're Real, Sephora brands, drug store brands… on and on. Same story over here, so naturally I was very intrigued when she said that she tried the Kevyn Aucoin mascara and it totally blew the previous products out of the water.

So a few weeks later I was hanging out with my sister and blabbing about make up and products and new things I want to try. Being the ever so attentive sister she is, she somehow remembered this mascara I mentioned on "some blog" I was talking about (good listening skills!) and went ahead and ordered me the mascara. She gave it to me on Christmas and I was SO pumped to try it. I've been using it since then, and I feel like I have enough data to work with at this point to talk about it.

Before I review it from my perspective, here is what I look for in an ideal mascara:

1) Length. Extreme length. 

2) Moderate volume. Thicken things up. 

3) No clumping!

4) Somewhat firm bristles on the brush for a smooth application.

5) Doesn't flake off halfway through the day.

There are a few other qualities that can be helpful, but these are the nuts and bolts of a good mascara (in my opinion).

So, here it is. I am SUPER disappointed to say I don't feel like it met my expectations. One of the things Lindsey mentioned in her blog was how long the travel size tube had lasted her. I have had the regular sized tube for just over a month and I feel like it is already drying up and really difficult to apply.

My first few applications were good. I felt like the formula was decent, application was "ok," and I got enough volume. I was unimpressed with the length (I still feel like nothing compares to the length I can get from "They're Real.")  The more I have used it (which has been almost daily) I feel like it gets harder and harder to apply, and there is not much left on my eyelashes by the end of an 8 hour workday.

I wanted this to work out SO badly… but it just didn't. Unfortunately Kevyn Aucoin and I will be ending our short affair after this tube is officially out. Bummer….

BUT, it doesn't end here. There are a million mascaras out there that I haven't tried yet! And believe me, I will keep hunting.

As always, if you have any favorite mascaras that you would like to recommend, send them this way!


Friday, January 16, 2015

How To (not) Wash Your Hair

Happy Friday everyone!
In an effort to help everyone have an effortless weekend ahead, I'm going to share my most recent method of (not) washing my hair.

For those of you with short, styled 'dos, I totally understand the need to wash and style your hair daily. But for the folks out there like me, who have a mass of long hair, it is not only extremely inconvenient, but also damaging, to wash your hair daily.

Now, that's not to say that sometimes I don't wash my hair a few days in a row. Sometimes a combination of workout schedules and life events just do not allow for it! And that's just that. But on the days when I can wake up and refresh my hair- without taking the time to wash and dry- you bet I am on board.

I have posted several times about my quest to find the perfect dry shampoo. And, in case you are wondering, I still would highly recommend Batiste Dry Shampoo ($12), or for a lower price option, TreSemme Dry Shampoo ($4) works exceptionally well.

But, apparently I am never satisfied, because here is what happened. For a couple months now, every time I have visited my Beauty First location, they have been out of Batiste. So for awhile I was using the TreSemme Dry shampoo. And it serves its purpose. But I can't help but notice how it makes my  hair a little stiff and heavy- and just generally unmanageable. If I am not going to wash my hair, then I don't want it to look weighed down with product by the end of the day, either.

In an effort to save a little money, and not have to leave my apartment, I brushed in a little cornstarch to my roots with an old kabuki brush.

This is not a completely new concept to me, but last time I did it I was unimpressed with the result. So last week I found an article that talked about using cornstarch. Apparently I missed a key step-  the best way to apply is:

1) Sprinkle or brush cornstarch into roots (roots only!)
2) Let the cornstarch absorb any excess oil for a few minutes (previously missed this step!)
3) Massage into hair
4)Brush through hair until cornstarch is not visible.

And... ta da! My hair looks newly washed and there is no heavy residue. The only downside I can come up with is that you aren't getting a fresh, clean smell. However, I have no problem with a few sprays of body spray in the hair to take care of that problem. So, there.... not a problem anymore!

I would highly recommend this process as opposed to purchasing a dry shampoo. It can get expensive when you are buying a new bottle constantly. And cornstarch is typically less than a dollar. And it lasts forever.

For my brunette readers, doing half cornstarch, half cocoa powder will take care of that annoying white residue (and smells yummy!). I have heard that for red locks, cinnamon blends nicely as well.

Side note: I know a lot of people use baby powder, which is essentially the same concept. I, too, have used this method over the years. For me, the baby powder creates a ton of static that I cannot handle. I have no idea why,  but it's just not a great option for me!

Have a great weekend...not washing your hair!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Confessional Friday

It has been a minute since I linked up with Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition for a confessional!

So, here we go!

1. I confess that last night I had a variety of desserts for supper. I don't want to get into it, but it went on for hours and there was ice cream with Cookie Butter. And frosting. And PB & J....

2. I am learning to make cinnamon rolls from scratch- and I think I finally got what I wanted with trial #3 last night. Woo! Thanks to my awesome aunt and her timeless recipes!

3. I confess that I still haven't watched the premier of The Bachelor. For someone who rarely misses a season, this is upsetting. It is happening... this weekend.

4. I have been trying to get caught up on New Girl on Netflix. In the last two nights, I watched 13 episodes. That's a little embarrassing.

5. I confess that I slept in until 10:00 AM on my "cold" day home from work. It was amazing. I guess there has to be one upside to this awful weather!

6. I confess that I LOVE that so many of my girlfriends are moms and/or becoming moms. Nothing makes me happier than seeing all of their sweet little baby faces.

Alright, feeling good! Let's get this weekend rolling.. I could use a day off... after only working for 3 days this week!

And side note: those of you who are receiving the Ipsy glam box...tell me more. Has it been worth it? I almost completed my profile, but didn't go through with it quite yet. I like to think these kind of commitments through. Help!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Playing Dress Up...

It seems like lately it has been so cold that I can barely bring myself to leave my home unless it is absolutely necessary. A few days ago, it started snowing and blowing and I knew there was no way I was leaving for several hours. 

Somehow, my night turned in to me researching 40s, 50s and 60s fashion. Ahhh my heart! I love it so much. The hair, the make up, the clothes… it is so romantic.  This was also when I realized why I (like every other girl) love movies like The Notebook and Pearl Harbor. The fashion and feel of that time period is the best thing ever! 

Anyways, I ended up experimenting with 40s, 50s and 60s hair for several hours. It didn't occur to me until I was at the end of my experiment to document some of my efforts. I used various photos for inspiration. 

For my "60s" look,  I was working with a head full of curls to begin with.  I did a lot of teasing at the crown of my head and then combed it all back and secured with bobby pins. Since I have bangs right now, and so did one of the pictures, I left them down. I was playing with some make up as well- I used my regular eyeliner and winged outside of my eyes. I added my black eye shadow on top of the eyeliner for extra drama (Naked II).  I used Too Faced "Better Than False Lashes" and I did a couple of applications.  And…

I wish I would have lived in any of those eras. Since that is impossible, I will periodically continue to be inspired by these classic looks! There are a lot of fun websites that have hair tutorials for these classic 'dos. Google search your favorite looks and start playing dress up! It's okay to never outgrow that, right? Right.