Sunday, September 18, 2011

L'oreal Lash Serum

The benefit from taking some time off is that amount of time I give myself to try something. For instance, I have been using the L'oreal Lash Boosting Serum for two months, and I feel comfortable writing this review now. In a nutshell, I love this stuff. My friends and I have noticed a significant different in the length and plenitude of my lashes and brow hairs.

I decided to pick this serum up because I had noticed that my lashes were shedding more than usual, and I got a little freaked out (I attribute it to stress because I have been taking my mascara off gently before going to bed and so forth). However, before rushing to buy something crazy expensive, I decided to see what as at the drugstore price range. So, I checked online for reviews, and I found out that the L'oreal Lash Serum was quite popular. When I bought it, I didn't expect anything major. I just expected something that would help fortify my lashes and curb some falling out. Well, my lashes are holding strong, and I have noticed a little lengthening as well. The length is especially noticeable with my bottom lashes. So much so, that I have started to wear mascara on the lower lashes to mark the added length. I am thrilled.

In addition to applying the serum to my lashes, I applied the serum to my brows to see if it could fill any gaps. Today was the first day I felt confident walking out of the house without filling my brows. It is a fantastic time saver. I have noticed that my brows have looked fuller over time. It is especially noticeable near the beginning of my brow where it was really sparse.

I apply the serum every night; it is a part of my night time routine. I don't apply it during the day because it does not play well with my mascara. I just apply the serum like mascara, and spread a little along the lash line as directed. The serum doesn't irritate my eye, but if I apply too much, my lashes feel a bit heavy and gooey, and I do wake up with dried excess on my lashes. The wand is different, since it isn't a regular lash or brow brush. Instead, it is a curved smooth wand, and you just smooth the wand along your lashes.

I have finished my first tube, and I have moved onto my second. This usually retails for $10-$13, but L'oreal consistently has coupons in the Sunday paper, and drugstores always have sales.

Pics
The Left photo is about two weeks before the right photo, so progress was already starting, but when compared to previous photos, you can see that the beginning of my brows were quite sparse. Neither photo has any brow powder, just clear mascara to keep in place. In the right photo my lashes have two coats of mascara on the top, and one coat on the bottom. Again, not ground breaking, but definitely a helpful serum. You can see before brows here (from two years ago, but my brows haven't changed until I started using the serum.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moist Noodlehead

Hi! How are you doing? All is well here. Lots has been going on. I got a job, moved twice, got another job. Plus, I have been focusing on my mark. business, and I hit a wall with happy face, happy wallet, but I am feeling the urge to come back to happy face. Plus, a really good friend of mine is going to join happy face, happy wallet to share her product reviews, and so that gave me some motivation to start writing.

During my time away, I explored several products, and I will review those in time. Right now, I feel inspired to share some hair products for curly hair that I am thoroughly enjoying.

A while ago, when I was bored at work, I decided to surf some curly hair blog. I came across the tightly curly website that is loaded with great information on how to treat and style tightly curly hair. The author of the website, and book which I later bought, recommended Aussie Moist conditioner to use as a styling conditioner.

Photo from aussie.com

If you have read my previous hair entries on this blog, you know that I LOVE Aussie 3-minute miracle DEEEEP. However, the product only contains 8 ounces, and I get tired of having to buy three at a time because I need to use a lot of conditioner for my hair (I leave it in). So, when I read that Aussie Moist was like 3 minute miracle DEEEP, but a little less thick, I got really excited because it comes in a bigger container and went out and bought it. I found the 1 liter bottle at Walmart for about $7 to $8.

Well, I finally ran out of the liter, and I bought another one. I love this conditioner as a styling conditioner. In the shower, I section out my hair, then put gobs of this stuff and rake it through the sections of hair. The conditioner's weight helps clump the curls together and prevents frizz. Best part, the conditioner does not feel crispy, filmy, or leave a residue when it dries.

To further encourage the curls, I scrunch my hair, after I squeeze out the excess moisture a little with a t-shirt, with Beyond the Zone Noodle Head Curl Mousse from Sally's ($7, $6 with Sally's card). I bought this a long time ago on a whim, and I wasn't convinced. However, one day when I ran out of my favorite hair gel, mark. curl goddess, I decided to go ahead and use up this mousse and then buy the mark gel. I have now given the gel a break (I still love it), and I am hanging onto my Noodle Head Curl Mousse. The mousse doesn't flake. It combines well with the Moist conditioner I leave in my hair, and after I scrunch my hair after it has dried, the curl stays and doesn't frizz. I love it. I have back ups.

Photo from sallybeauty.com

After applying the products and smoothing out some curly. I diffuse my hair using warm heat and a high setting. As I diffuse my hair, I do not scrunch or touch my hair. I just dry sections of my hair until partially dry. Then I give my hair a final shot of cool air throughout my hair. The diffuser helps set the curl and it helps prevent frizzies. I am really enjoying the end result of this process, and I really cherish the fact that my hair lasts up to three days with just a little touch up with Pantene spray leave-in conditioner.

Here is a picture of my curls on the SECOND day. That is right, SECOND day. I did not wrap, braid, or pineapple my hair before gong to sleep. I just went to sleep. Pretty cool, huh.




Note: My hair is chemically process. I do get the roots relaxed, but it is not combed through so that I can keep my curl. I also color it at times.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Tube of Disappointment

If it sounds perfect, then *insert cliche here.* Yup, pretty much. It it sounds perfect, then expect to be disappointed because perfection, it is not. And so I present to you, Rimmel's Glam' Eyes Day 2 Night mascara (Volume and Length).

Several months ago, Rimmel released this mascara that claims to give you the option of length or volume, all in one tube. AH! PERFECT! One tube of mascara that offers two different looks?! That is crazy-talk. I immediately jumped on board. Unfortunately, I experienced lackluster results with this mascara, and I gave myself time fall in love with it, but my heart and lashes were cold.

Yes, the mascara provided length if you looked really close with a 100x magnifying glass. Sure, it also provided volume, but it also brought on clumps, which the packaging claims it doesn't do. Before I get into the details of the mascara, let me get into the gimmick behind this tube of mascara.

The tube contains one formula and one brush. However, there are two different wand handles. The handle for "length" (pink) is really the core brush. The wand isn't sturdy, and the handle is small, and it is difficult to get a good grip on it. The distinction between this and the "volume" brush is that the "length" brush goes through two stoppers to take off the excess mascara. Viola, there is your length. The first stopper is the regular stopper in the tube, and the second stopper is the hollow wand that is attached to the "volume" wand (I took pictures because it is difficult to describe).

The "volume" wand (the black handle) is just the "length" wand inside the "volume" wand, which means that the brush one goes through one stopper. Well, guess what. The stopper does a really crap job at removing the excess mascara. Here is the other catch, the formula is very thick. So, in order to use the "volume" wand, I have to remove the excess mascara with a tissue, which is what I call high maintenance.

I used this mascara for one month, and I just got more frustrated with it. I finally quit using it, and I have found a mascara that I really like, which happens to also be Rimmel (Max Volume Flash mascara. Great stuff. Review will come soon.). I got really frustrated with this mascara because neither of the claims worked. The "length" option really didn't come true. When I applied the mascara for length, it looked like I just swiped one coat of a regular, cheap mascara. I would have to swipe one a lot of coats to get noticeable length.

And Volume, I don't even want to talk about it. It was just clumpy, and the whole brush coming out with a ton of mascara was a turn off.

Let me be eloquent in describing this mascara: boo hiss. Save your money, and don't buy this mascara. Your wallet will be very happy.

Rating:
0 out of 1 Happy Wallets
Price: $7 to $8
Where: Drugstores, Walmart, Target

Pics
See the two handles. the pink one is "length," and the black one is "volume."


Regular spiral brush. Kind of reminds me of the drab Great Lash brush.


See, the "length" wand is the core wand, and the "volume" wand is hollow and serves as a stopper for the length.


And the "volume" brush. Blah, blah, blah



Sunday, March 6, 2011

But Officer, that bumper sticker was just so funny!

I have to admit, sometimes I am a distracted driver. I am driving along, and then all of the sudden I see a car in front of me, and the back is covered in bumper stickers, and I just have to read what they say. I have caught myself speeding up to get closer to the car so that I can read the bumper sticker, or I will kind of pray that the car stops in front of me at a stop light. There are some times when I have a very tiny, and thankfully resistible, desire to follow a car just to I can read how much the driver hates something, or how much they love love, or how TV is the devil, or how beds are meant to be broken, or how the car the driver has in a transformer.

Really, I love to read bumper stickers. Ironically, right now, I don't have a bumper sticker on my car. However, recently, I got the opportunity to get the best bumper sticker to display, and I hope it stops traffic without causing an accident.

Several months ago, a representative from Build-A-Sign.com emailed me and asked if I was interested in making some bumper stickers. I figured it would be a fun experience, and seriously, the best bumper sticker is the personalized bumper sticker.

The process was remarkably easy to do. I went onto the site, www.buildasign.com, and selected the bumper sticker section. Then I selected the template that I found most appealing and started to customize it (at no additional cost), and there are templates galore. I was able to alter the colors, the graphics, and the font. I liked that I could also alter the size of the graphics and font. In addition, there is an option to completely create your own bumper sticker from scratch. I liked that there was a wide variety of style and graphics options. I also liked that once I chose a style, I wasn't overwhelmed with color or font (there is a nice amount of fonts, but it isn't so much that you can't decide). It made it user-friendly for a novice like me.

As I played around with the appearance of the bumper sticker, I was able to see the proof online. The proof is a larger image of the sticker, but it isn't the full size. However, you can see the details to ensure you captured everything you desired.

Once I finalized the sticker, I checked out the prices. For 1 bumper sticker, you pay $2.99 and the price for each bumper sticker goes down as the quantity increases; so if you order 10, the price per sticker drops to $2.50 (these prices are for a 3x10 sticker) and so on. The company also offers free shipping on bumper stickers. I searched around for other prices for customizable prices, these prices are really reasonable.

I had a great experience with customer service. Now, I know that my experience was different from the paying customer since I got the bumper stickers for free, but I kept this in mind before I agreed to receive the bumper stickers. So, I searched online for reviews, and I found a lot of rave reviews for the customer service, and the BBB gave the company an A. So I felt confident in trying out the company and the product.

I received the product in a week and a half, and I was pleased with the end result. I can't wait to put this sticker on my car, and I am considering putting in an another order (that I will pay for) for my mark. business.

So, why did I ultimately decide to review this company even though it isn't makeup related? Well, I know that a lot of people are interested in starting their own business and this is a great way to get the word out. I also know that a lot of people like to express their ideas, and bumper sticker are always a fun form to do so.

Oh, and if you aren't into bumper stickers, you can also get magnetic signs, banners, license plates, and so forth. Buildasign.com offers a lot of options. If you are interested, be sure to click on the link on the side bar.

And, if you are interested in scoring one of my awesome happy face, happy wallet bumper stickers, just email me at happyfacehappywallet@gmail.com. I am more than happy to share and mail one out to you.


More makeup reviews to come.


Note: I received the bumper stickers free to try out the product. I am not getting compensated for the review, nor for link clicks. My opinion is honest, and based on my experience.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That's not my toothbrush...

I can't remember who introduced me to the necessity of washing my face. Sure, I was told by my mother to clean my face ever since I was a child, but I don't know where I learned that there really are different methods, techniques, tools, and formulas to get the face clean. I imagine I picked it up from extinct magazines like YM, Jane, and so forth. I know that I continue to learn about the ever-evolving techniques that are continuously being rediscovered and released.

Actually, I have one distinct memory of a face-washing lesson. It is a little foggy, but I remember finding a face brush. It was small, fit in the palm of my hand, and had extremely soft bristles. It kind of looked like a shoe polishing brush. I believe Queen Fierce told me that it was a brush to wash the face. I tried it, and didn't really know what to do, and being a teenager, I really didn't have the patience to figure it out, or make circular motions all over my face.

Fast forward to now. After several trials with different face regimens, I have come back to the face brush, except this time batteries and power buttons are involved.

In December, while I was in Costco, I came across the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System accompanied by a full-size tube of the Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser. The pack at Costco also included a replacement brush head and batteries. Everything was $36.99. Needless to say, I was curious and enticed enough to buy it.

Unlike my first experience with the little face brush, I very much like using the Olay brush. I like the feel of the bristles; they are soft enough not to cause any redness when washing the face, but firm enough to feel like they are exfoliating the dead skin. After using the brush with the exfoliating cleanser, my face feels so much smoother and cleaner.

The brush has two speeds, a low setting, which rotates the brush head at a very low speed and feels gentle and delicate. Then there is the fast setting, which speeds up the rotation to a more aggressive sensation on the skin. When I first started using the brush, I used the low speed so that I could slowly get my skin accustomed to the brush, and now, I use the faster speed, especially around the trouble areas like my nose and chin.

The brush, really just adds another degree of exfoliation without all of the arm work. It doesn't pulsate or do anything spectacular. The brush head just spins around and around like an electric toothbrush, and I like it.

I have to say that I am very happy with the brush. After one week of using it with the exfoliating cleanser that it came with, I decided to use it with my regular face wash, mark. That's Deep, and it still delivers. I am able to move the brush around the majority of my face without awkwardness--with the exception of my hairline, the brush grabs my little hairs closest to the hairline and gets them all wet (but it doesn't pull the hair, no worries there). The brush is quite portable, and I can use it while in the shower, however, I do believe that the brush is water RESISTANT, not water proof. So, don't fully immerse it in the water.

Also, I have been using the same brush head, which is really easy to put on and take off, since I started using the brush in mid-December. The batteries haven't run out either.

Now, as for the exfoliating cleanser, it is by far my favorite cleanser. The grit is fine, but effective. It feels like I am rubbing my face with finely-milled granules of sand. It is very gentle. However, I have noticed that using it every night with the brush is too much. Instead, I use the brush and exfoliating cleanser combo once a week, and I use the brush and regular cleanser the rest of the week.

Since I have been using the brush, my face has looked and felt great. Seriously, this, in combination with the Expert Scar Serum, has really helped clear up my skin. Even the blackheads that had set up permanent residence on my nose have slowly moved out. So yes, I would definitely buy replacement heads for this brush and feed it more batteries (the renewable ones though so as to not continue throwing away used batteries). And, yes, I would buy the exfoliating cleanser again, even though the individual price is a bit high ($17), but it is a really nice exfoliating cleanser, and the tube lasts a long time.

So, if you are intrigued and would like to try it out, I suggest you go to Costco to take advantage of the combo deal, or have a Costco-card toting friend to buy it for you, because 36.99 for the full-size cleanser, brush, batteries, and replacement head is a pretty damn good deal.

Rating:
Brush: 5 out of 5 happy wallets. A simple and effective concept for the brush. It gets the job done by adding an exfoliating value to your cleanser. My face felt much cleaner and brighter, and my breakouts have diminished.

Cleanser: 5 out of 5 happy wallets. I love the way this feels. It is by far, my favorite exfoliating cleanser I have tried. One thing to note. On the tube it says that it is gentle enough for every day use with the brush, but I think that is too much. So you gauge it depending on your skin.

Price:
Brush individually: $30 at Walmart, Target
Cleanser individually: $17 at Walmart, Target

At Costco, combo: $36.99

Pics





Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boots+Expert=skincare, How's that for math, Ms. Teacher?

Everyone is asleep in the house, and now I am scrambling to type out what I had journaled several days ago. First off, life has been good and busy. I am working full-time again, and enjoying it. Going back to work has jump-started me back into wearing makeup regularly. So, things are changing and beauty is coming back into my routine full force.

Now, let's get to a review that I have been excited to share. As many of your know I have a penchant for buying skincare products that help fade hyperpigmentation. Several months ago, while walking the target aisles, I cam across a very plainly packaged product from Boots Expert. The product is called "Boots Expert Scar Care Serum." Next to the last bottle was a discounted price of $7. I grabbed it on a whim, and I am super glad I did. Before seeing the Boots serum, I considered buying Mederma because my skin was not feeling smooth, my acne scar were prominent, and my foundation wasn't going on quite well. The only thing is that I really didn't want to pay for Mederma.

Truly, my acne scars aren't bad. They aren't deep nor big. However, they are still noticeable, and I do have to use a nice amount of concealer because they are dark red and brown in hue, and they appear to be little indentations in the skin.

After purchasing the product, I used it continuously twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. I applied a very little only to the areas necessary (cheeks, chin and forehead). The serum is cloudy-white, light, and has no fragrance. It glides on the skin and leaves a matte finish. There is no stickiness or slick feeling. As a matter of fact, it feels like a light makeup primer. At the beginning of using it, I noticed that my skin was peeling a little in the areas that I applied the serum. With exfoliation, the problem ceased, and after two weeks the dryness didn't come back. After three weeks, I started to notice that my skin felt softer, looked smoother, brighter, and the marks were fading ever so slightly. The fresher hyperpigmentation marks vanished after one and a half months, and the older marks--we are talking really old marks--faded enough to notice. I don't think the old, old marks will ever fade with over the counter products, but my face looks a heck of a lot brighter. My makeup glides on better, and I don't need as much concealer. I still use concealer, but I don't feel inclined to layer it on.

I have been really impressed with the results of using this product. Since my problem areas are so small, I have barely started to make a dent in the bottle. I have used the product for more than four months, and I am in love.

Actually, before I wrote this review, I took a break from using it to see if the marks would reappear more heavily, and they have not after a three-week break. I am back to using it for some blemishes that popped up. I think the quicker to attack the marks the more effective the serum.

This serum has not make me break out at all. Oh, and one day, Queen Fierce even commented on the evenness of my skin. I wasn't wearing makeup, and she was amazed at how my problem areas had improved.

Let me be clear, my face isn't 100% flawless, but the red and brown hue has fades significantly and my face feels smoother. I think this serum played a huge role in the improvement. I have also continued to exfoliate regularly, and I still use the Garnier moisturizer.

Rating:
5 out of 5 happy wallets. Reasonable price and I got excellent results! The 1.3 oz bottle comes with a pump, very hygienic and portable. I cannot rave about it enough.

Price: $8-$9 at Target, target.com (I got mine on sale for $7)
Where: Target

Pics



The scars on my cheek have been there for quite some time. They were noticeable and difficult to cover. It doesn't appear like it, but they were also very red.


See, not flawless, but the difference is noticeable. The two larger scars have faded and look less red. Some other scars have softened. I wanted to point on the new blemish because I haven't put on any serum on that as of yet.