I was wandering around Long’s yesterday and found that Garnier has some new skin products available for the face. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m going to pick up the Regenerating Eye Moisturizer and the Purifying Wet Cleansing Cloths when my next paycheck comes in. I’m really excited that Garnier has finally released some skin products here. I went to England in 2005 and while I was in a Boot’s store I randomly purchased a bottle of Garnier’s Body Cocoon Lotion, which isn’t available in the US. I kid you not – it was possibly the best lotion I’ve ever tried . It smelled light, absorbed easily and provided excellent moisture. I hope that they roll out body products in the future. I’ve been jonesing for this lotion for two years!!!
Product: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
Use: To exfoliate or purify acne-prone skin
Price: About $3.50 for an 8oz tube
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+++++++++++
Before I started writing this entry I slathered on a thick layer of this green, minty, clay mask and as I’m waiting for it to dry I can feel all of the gunk being sucked out of my pores. This really is the raddest mask ever, and it’s a must-have in any acne-prone person’s routine.
What it does
The tube says that Mint Julep Masque “helps dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads, and shrink enlarged pores.” And for once, I think the marketing folks weren’t just trying to sell hope in a jar (or tube), because this stuff works. Granted, I didn’t witness any miraculous skin revelation after using this once. I’ve had this in my skin routine for about two years, and I think with consistent use this product really helps to keep my skin clear. As the mask dries I can feel my skin tightening up and after I wash it off I can see all of the whiteheads that are brought to the surface. Gross, I know, but strangely fascinating.
How I use it
I use this mask once a week, right after I get out of the shower when my pores are opened up. I slather on a thick, even amount and avoid the eye area. Then I walk around the house with the scary green mask and try to scare my husband or any other person in the vicinity, ha ha ha! Actually, I’ll let the mask dry as I do other stuff like put on lotion, iron clothes, etc., and after 15-20 minutes I rinse it off with just water and follow up with a toner.
While this mask is great for oily and acne-prone faces, it might be too harsh if you tend to dry out easily. Also, the packaging is not cute at all. And I’ve noticed that if I have a tube for a few months, the mask consistency gets thicker and harder to manipulate out of the tube.
Still, you can’t be the cheap price and the effectiveness of this product for acne-control. I’ve shelled out many dollars for high-end at-home masks from Dermalogica, DDF and other brands and nothing compares to this stuff. Try it, use it, love it!
This weekend I finally picked up some MAC concealer, Select Moisturecover in NW 25.
Select Moisturecover is the latest addition to my concealer arsenal. I’m a concealer junkie, and currently I’m rotating Make Up Forever’s Lift Concealer in Dark Beige 2 with Biotherm’s Forget It Concealer in 30.
I decided to try using a pink-toned concealer because at the MAC seminar I attended a few weeks ago, the instructor told us that most people (even those with yellow undertones) should wear a pink-based concealer underneath their eyes. Also, in this month’s Allure there’s a brief feature on Bobbi Brown, and she suggests wearing a pink-based concealer underneath a yellow-based concealer.
I really like the color of Select Moisturecover concealer on my skin. I was afraid that the pink tones would make it look obvious, but the pink tones really seem to cancel out the dark circles. It has a good consistency — not too thick, not too thin — and I like the doe foot applicator. Plus, when I blend it in with the 252 Large Shader Brush it looks great!
However, the looking great part doesn’t seem to last long. Unlike Biotherm or Make Up Forever’s concealers, which don’t budge and can last throughout a sweaty dance class, within a few hours I Select Moisturecover starts to slip off my face. Ugh! My concealer quest continues.
The fact that I can make it work when I layer one of my other concealers over it saves this concealer from a lower rating. I plan on keeping it because I like the color so much.
If your skin isn’t as oily as mine you might really like this concealer. And if you’ve got dark circles then you might want to try a pink-toned concealer, I think it really works wonders.
Product: Garnier Nutrisse Permanent Color
Use: At home color to change your current color or cover up grays
Price: about $7.00 for a one application box
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A
I can justify spending $75 on a haircut because I have naturally wavy hair that’s really hard to tame — I’ve had so many bad haircuts resulting in everything from the poofy mushroom to the rats nest look at, so I never skimp on getting a good haircuts.
Throughout my 20s and early 30s, I was also willing to spend money on salon color. I went through all sorts of hair color phases, changing my naturally brown-black hair with red highlights, light brown and blonde highlights. It’s so much fun to change your hair color, but now that I’m living on a writer’s paycheck it’s really hard to part with $120 every three months to get those roots done, especially when the do-it-yourself color boxes at the store are $7.00.
During my year of living cheaply (wait, what am I talking about, I’m still living cheaply) I gave up getting my hair colored at the salon. I was a little nervous about doing it at first because the last time I did at-home hair color was in high school. I mean, what if my hair turned orange? Or what if I accidentally fried it somehow and it started breaking off? Or what if I ended up with scary too-dark Halloween hair that looked like an Elvira-Mistress-Of-The-Night wig? The mishap possibilities were endless.
I wish I could say that it all went perfectly from the get-go, but I can’t. Like with any new skill, I made a few mistakes along the way but thank god it didn’t really result in anything too horrific. One time I started from the roots because I got really freaked out about seeing gray hairs at the front of my head, so I piled on globs of dye on the roots like a crazy person and I ended up with light roots and dark ends. And another time I used a too-dark color that I left in too long which resulted in scary dark Elvira-Halloween hair for about a week until most of the color washed out. But in the grand scheme of things, these mistakes weren’t *that* bad. They weren’t noticeable to the majority of bystanders, unless I pointed it out (which of course I didn’t).
Now I color my hair every month, and it’s as easy as pie. I use Garnier Fructis Permanent Hair color. The smell is pretty strong, but in comparison to other at-home dyes, it’s not bad. It also doesn’t dry my hair out, which is one thing I hated most about Feria, the dye I used in high school. If you have dark hair like me and want to go a few shades lighter, Garnier is a good choice, because it does a pretty good job of lifting your hair color a few shades.
Here what I do to make at home hair color work for me:
- 1. I wash my hair in the morning with a clarifying shampoo. Right now I use Alberto VO5 Kiwi and Lime Squeeze shampoo. It’s cheap and gets the gunk out. I use a lot of gel so I shampoo twice to get my hair squeaky clean and don’t put any conditioner afterwards.
2. I then let my hair air dry during the day so that I can dye my hair in the evening.
3. When it’s time to dye, I put on an old t-shirt and sweatpants so I don’t ruin any nice clothing. I also grab an old wash cloth and wet it. I use this to immediately wipe any dye that accidentally gets on my face or my neck. I don’t have to use this as much now, because I’m getting less messy with practice.
4. Garnier gives an estimated time of how long you should leave the color in. I start the clock the moment I being the coloring process. If the box says 35 minutes, then I take into account total dye time from start to finish. I do not dye my hair and then wait for 35 minutes, and the one time I did, the color ended up being too dark, which resulted in the Elvira-Halloween hair mishap. Ugh!
5. If I’m using a new color, I always start from the ends and put the color on the roots last.
6. I never pile the hair on top of my head while I’m coloring. I just let it hang down (hence the wearing of the crappy t-shirt).
I know some people who will only use a certain brand for all of their makeup products, but I like to use a mix of high-end and drugstore makeup. I’m really picky about what products I spend my money on, so while I’m willing to pay more for products like powders, concealers and brushes, I’ll spend less on things like blushes, cleansers and lipliner. Ultimately whatever products are worth my hard-earned cash do the same three things: perform well for the price, complement my coloring and don’t break me out.
One makeup staple that I usually don’t spend a lot of money on is mascara. The shelf life of a tube of mascara after it’s opened is three months, so if you’re good about replacing it every three months, that’s four tubes a year at the minimum. And if you buy your mascara from Sephora or from the makeup counter chances are you’re spending from $20-40 a pop – that’s $80 worth of mascara every year, ya’ll!
Besides its short life span, another reason I don’t spend lots of money on mascara is that even though I’ve tried several high-end mascaras by Dior, MAC, Bourjois, Lancome and Clinique (just to name a few), I’ve still yet to find one that I think is worth paying a lot of money for because drugstore mascaras work just as well. (Sidenote: This weekend I’m going to pick up a tube of Benefit’s Bad Gal lash in blue, so we’ll see if that statement changes.)
The closest I’ve ever come to high-end mascara nirvana is Diorshow, but it’s $23, and I think Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie mascara works just as well (if not better) for only $6.00.
In fact, my two current favorite drugstore mascaras are all by Max Factor: 2000 Calorie and Stretch & Separate. Each provides a different look and great performance for the price. Color selection is somewhat limited, so if you like crazy colors then they might not be your cup o’ tea.
Product: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara Straight Brush in Rich Black
Price: about $6.00
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+
This mascara is my everyday, go-to mascara, and it SERIOUSLY. ROCKS. MY. WORLD. It thickens the lashes without clumping, and two coats make a dramatic difference without looking spidery. This performs similar to Diorshow, except that it’s even better than Diorshow because it doesn’t smudge. It comes in four colors: Rich Black, Soft Black, Black Brown and Deep Auburn. ROCKS!
The marketing people weren’t messing around when they named this mascara; it indeed lengthens and separates very well, and does so without clumping or smudging. Whenever I wear this mascara I feel like a ’40s film star because it makes my lashes super long. This would get an A but the blue isn’t really that blue. It shows up as black on me. Also, my lashes aren’t super thick, and this formula doesn’t provide enough volume. If you have really thick lashes then you might really love this. Comes in: Rich Black, Deep Blue, Soft Black and Black Brown.