Battle of the Blow Dryers

I have been using my trusty Conair blow dryer for YEARS. 9 years to be exact. At the time I just wanted something not too expensive and that would get the job done. I think I paid $20 for it at Walmart lol. When I went back to the gym, I had to shower and get ready for work there because my sessions are in early morning before work. I just so happened to complain to my sister that I may have to look for a second hair dryer because my current one is a bit of a pain because of the cord and because I leave the dryer in my gym bag, I’m a bit lazy to keep lugging it out on the weekends and the days I don’t go to the gym.
She was kind enough to loan me hers to use as she had bought a compact dryer with retractable cord for traveling purposes.

The day came when I got a text from sister requesting her hair dryer back because she was going on vacation to Hawaii for a week. And so I began my search for a replacement. I’m partial to Conair, only because I’ve used it for years and it’s always worked well for me.
The compact dryer I borrowed from my sister is also a Conair from their Infiniti line. I tried looking for the same one (cuz my OCD lol) but unfortunately my sister had purchased it a few years back and it was no longer part of their product line. So I did a little research on the internet and started testing some out.

Conair

This green Infiniti-Pro is actually the second dryer I bought and tested. The first one I tried out was this one. When I took it out of the box it looked and felt cheap. I also didn’t think it dried my hair any faster than my old one… and time was of the essence.
The green Infiniti-Pro worked really well. The motor wasn’t very loud and the size was perfect. It also dried my hair very quickly… possibly TOO quickly because it also turned my hair into a tangled mess. I used it a couple times and same result so I ended up picking up another one to try out as well. The other thing that was missing was a tractable cord. I really liked that option on the dryer I had borrowed from my sister and what really drove me to find a new compact dryer for the gym.

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This blue one is not part of the Infinti line. It’s slightly bigger and a touch heavier than the green one and the motor is also a bit louder. It doesn’t dry as quick as the green one but still did a better job than my old one. The best part is that my hair didn’t look like a rat’s nest after.

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Here’s a pic of the blue one out of box.

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And a pic for comparison.

I ended up returning the green one because the con’s outweighed the pro’s. The only thing about the blue dryer that annoys me from time-to-time is that the cord doesn’t retract all the way sometimes so I would have to pull on it and press the retract button a couple times before it goes all the way in.

What kind of hair dryers do you use and how do you like it?

Until next time!

Another Fad: Charcoal Face Mask

There are so many new fads and things that are trending nowadays that it’s hard to keep up and it usually takes me a LONG time to accept them and try any of them.
This particular one I’ve been thinking of trying since it was popularized a while back and then it became a thing when it went horribly wrong for some buyers: the charcoal face mask.

I’ve long had a problem with pimples and blackheads. Since I can remember they have plagued me. It went to far as my mom taking me to our family doctor and getting prescribed medications to tackle the hormonal mess that is my face. The pimples have since been banished other than the occasional monthly visit but the blackheads… oh the blackheads.
I have come to accept them. Not even the Biore strips can evict these suckers. Using my facial cleansing brush daily started to help.. until I got lazy with the regimen. Now we’re back to square one.

At the same time when I decided that I wanted to look more “presentable”, I thought I would try the charcoal face mask. I’ve used masks before but they were more clay masks and sheet masks (hubs gets a kick out of those lol). I asked a friend who is very into her skin care, what she would recommend for a charcoal mask.

This is what she suggested:

Origins

My friend swears by this Origin charcoal mask so I popped into Sephora and picked up a small bottle for $20. I thought this was the kind that you peel off, it’s not. It’s an actual mask that you have to wash off.
It actually stung a bit after application but that only lasts for about a minute. I’m not sure if that’s normal. I let it sit for about 15-20mins and then I washed it off. I used the mask at night after putting the kids to bed… so as not to traumatize them lol. The next morning when I woke up I noticed that my face was brighter and clearer. It recommends using the mask 1-2 times a week and the next application for me is this weekend so I’ll let you guys know if the pesky blackheads have started packing their bags and moving to on. I still want to try the peel-off kind though so I’ll likely be hitting up Sephora again soon.

Till next time!

Under Review: Maybelline BB Cream

I LOVE makeup. I don’t like the whole application process but I like wearing it. I go through periods where I would wear makeup daily… until I get too tired of waking up earlier just to put it on before work so it became a weekend thing. Then I got pregnant with my first child and I had terrible oily skin that stopped me from wearing it completely and so it grew to only wearing makeup for special occasions or the rare date night lol.

I wanted to start getting back to wearing makeup more but my daily routine really doesn’t allow for extra time spent on something like that. I have mad respect for those of you out there that dedicate however long it takes to put a skilled face on every morning before heading out the door. But with already waking up at 4am for gym time, I just can’t.

I know BB cream has been around for years now but I was never interested in it. I grew up in a household where it was instilled in me by my mother that drugstore brand ANYTHING is bad for my skin. I was told to spend a little more and buy department store brands because it’s more trustworthy and would be better made. While I still lean to some department store brands for certain things, I had started to experiment with drugstore brands when I was a teenager and the though of spending all of my hard earned weekly allowance on one bottle of foundation wasn’t something I was keen on. Moisturizers is one thing I tend to lean towards department store brands. Because of my sensitive, oily/combination skin and my general reluctance to try anything new I was very hesitant to put something different on my skin. But my love for makeup prevailed lol.

After doing some light googling (and by light I mean heavy), I decided to give BB cream a shot. I first started thinking about BB cream after seeing this makeup tutorial on Pinterest. It was quick and easy… just what I was looking for. I wanted to go to work looking like I at least put in a little effort without having to spend very much time actually doing it lol.

This is what I picked up that weekend; Maybelline Dream BB Cream Fresh

BB cream

The cream is not as thick as I thought it would be. It’s quite light which actually makes it perfect for Vancouver summers. This still provided some coverage but if you’re looking for more coverage than a thicker cream would be best. I am on the hunt now for a BB cream with more coverage.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this Maybelline BB cream. It provided just enough coverage for me. I also tend to touch my face a lot and whenever I have makeup on I would always have to be careful not wipe my hands on my clothing afterwards but I have been fine with this so far. I still use my regular moisturizer before applying the cream… it’s just a thing I have lol.

What do you guys use? And do you like it?

Until next time!

Review: L’Oreal Mousse Absolue

I have a confession. This is not my real hair colour… yes, I dye my hair lol. Actually it’s as close as I can get to my real hair colour which is a really rich dark brown. To the naked eye it’s black.

In my much younger days when I was finally free to dye my hair, I had a really bad experience and stopped dying it after that.
I asked for nice caramel highlights all over my head but ended up with blonde locks all over instead. The “stylist” had left the dye in far too long and it caused irreparable damaged resulting in my hair just breaking off. I slowly did some colour correction back to a darker colour and have since stopped dying my hair. No I will not show you any pictures!

Fast forward about 12 years, a crazy amount of stress, a baby and a new house, I found my first grey hair. Well really I found it a couple years ago after my son was born lol. What started out as one quickly multiplied. They’re all currently located at the sides of me head but are hidden beneath the top layers of hair. The only time anyone see’s them is when I have my hair in a ponytail… until now; they’ve started coming up around my face. I dyed my hair a couple times last year to hide them but have since gotten a little lazy (and busy!). I didn’t want to pay $100 at the salon so I thought I’d try the drugstore variety.

L'Oreal Mousse Absolue

L’Oreal Mousse Absolue

I forgot to take a before pic of all the nasty greys… my bad!

I was watching tv one day and the commercial for this new L’Oreal reuseable hair dye came on. The one thing I didn’t like about dying my hair at home was getting the dye all over the place. My mom and sister dye their hair at home and back when I was still living at home, there was dye ALL OVER the bathroom.
I went out to buy a box of the Mousse Absolue and decided to give it a go. At the time, their website was also offering a $3 off coupon so I printed one off, waited till it went on sale and ended up paying $10 + tax for it.
I have medium length hair and the box says for medium length you will have one application plus one touch up. Depending on how much you use you can probably make it last for 3 applications. I went with the darkest brown they had and it matched my hair perfectly. If I was only doing the greys and roots, I could have probably easily gotten 4 uses out of it.

This is actually the first time I’ve done a home-dye but I’m pretty happy with the product and results. Application is very easy and is pretty much mess free.

Makeup Showdown: Clinique Mascara

Clinic Lash Power Mascara

Clinic Lash Power Mascara

My usual go-to mascara is Diorshow but I have a problem with oily skin and a tendency to sweat… a lot. So for my sister’s wedding back in August, which was in Kelowna… in the middle of Summer, I decided it was time to purachse my very first tube of waterproof mascara. I have long since blamed my runny makeup on my oily skin but I have now realized that it was probably not.
I hopped onto the Sephora website and decided to see what their top rated waterproof mascara was. I wasn’t looking to drop a big wad of cash because I didn’t know how much I would like it and if I would even wear it again. It just so happened that the Clinique Lash Power Long Wearing mascara was in the price range I wanted to be in at $20 CAD plus tax and it was also the first one on the list. One of the questions I had though, was what the difference was between the “Long Wearing” and “waterproof” mascaras. The very helpful salesgirl at the store told me that the Long Wearing formula was a lot easier to remove.

The tube on the site is actually not the tube I ended up buying. The one they had at the store in my location was actually the Lash Power Feathering Mascara and the brush is also a lot bushier.

Mas 2

This mascara is very easy to apply and is really light. I actually like the bushier applicator; it seperated and coated each lash with very little to no clumping. The little bit of clumping I did get was easily removed by just using running the brush over the clump a couple of times. Removal is even easier. I used my regular Biotherm Gel Eye Makeup remover and it came off as easily as regular mascara.
If you are looking for a more dramatic look, this is not the mascara for you. I found that I had to apply at least 2-3 coats to look a little less “natural”.

Butter Me Up!

So it’s been a while since my last post… A long while. Last September to be exact! A lot has happened since then. We finally moved into our new house and I’ve been super busy with Baby R and playing Suzy Homemaker lol.

I thought I would start this new year post off with a product comparison.

Hi, my name is Rita and I have dry skin. So dry that I periodically wake up to find that I have scratched myself raw. It’s not pretty. I am particular about what kind of body lotions I use. I don’t like any lotions that are too oily but the ones that aren’t do not moisturize that well so it’s basically a double edged sword.  I finally bit the bullet one day after waking up to raw legs for a week. My sister and I were in Sephora doing some shopping and the sales girl recommended Korres Body Butter. I decided to give it a shot… I mean, anything at that point was better than red raw legs.

Korres was incredibly moisturizing and smelled absolutely yummy.  But it was quite oily. During the fall and winter I didn’t mind it so much but during the summer… Yikes! After i used up that bottle, I switched over to a body butter that is made locally where I live called Phaedra, that I had picked up at a farmer’s market. I liked it just as much as the Korres and the cost was the same as well. As it turns out the scent for both body butters are discontinued and me being the OCD person that I am, I was reluctant to try something different. Until now.

I went without any moisturizer for a few months but as the weather got colder and drier I started to scratch again. I buckled and started my search again. I went to e Sephora website and had a bottle of Korres in my shopping cart when I decided I to just go to the store and check out the different scents before buying something. Before I made it to the store, I was doing some shopping with my little man at Winners when I spotted a giant bottle of  Bliss Naked Body Butter. I love the hand lotion (which is not oily) so I figured I’d give the body butter a shot. Plus the half off price helped too lol.

Bliss Naked Body Butter

Bliss Naked Body Butter

I slather it on after my shower every morning and BAM! No more scratching myself raw. It’s also scent less so another added bonus.

 

Hair-Raising… Literally!

I have shiny hair. That may not sound so bad but it’s bad. Mostly due in fact because I don’t dye or use any styling products on my hair. The only items I use on my hair is a blow dryer and flatiron and the only thing those do is give me split ends!

I used to dye my hair. It used to be brown, then caramel, then red and finally blonde. It was when I went blonde that it really did a number on my hair. The dye job was so bad that my hair started to break leaving a ton of fly-away’s. That was about 15 years ago and the last time I ever dyed my hair.

To put into context about how horribly shiny my hair is, I can’t keep elastics to stay put nor will any styling product keep my hair styled in any way. The latter is the worst part. It created such a problem that when I was getting married, I went for a consult with my hairstylist and she told me that all the mousse and hairspray she used just “melted” off my hair. The rollers she put in my hair to give me curls lasted all of 5 minutes before my hair went stick straight again. When I was leaving, she suggested that I put in some streaks so my hair wouldn’t be so shiny and hold the styling products and hairstyle better. Veto.

When I go running or go to the gym I’m constantly stopping to retie my hair so again, off to the store I went.

The first hair bands I bought were from Goody. I’ve always used Goody hair accessories and since these were advertised as “Slide Proof” I gave them a try.

Goody Slide Proof Hair Elastics

Goody Slide Proof Hair Elastics

If these weren’t an epic fail then I don’t know what is! Not only did they slide off my hair, the band itself stretched out after a week of using them every day; I would only use them for about 2 hours everyday when I went to the gym. I had to start my search all over again.

I was at the mall one day and walked into Zellers and saw some “No Slip” hair elastic bands by Scunci.

Scunci No Slip Grip

Scunci No Slip Grip

These ones worked out better. The only problem I had with these were that the grip part that holds onto my hair is only on one side so when I tied up my hair, I had to make sure that the grip part is touching my hair. I used these for a few weeks until I noticed another problem; the plastic grip would start to break into pieces and fall off rendering the elastic to be no longer “No Slip” .

I went back to Zellers to pick up another pack thinking that I would just have to deal with these Scunci ones and that it was just my lot in life to spend my entire paycheque on hair ties. That’s when I saw these:

Scunci The Evolution No Slip Hair Elastics

Scunci The Evolution No Slip Hair Elastics

They were on sale so I figured what could I lose by trying them so I picked up the coloured pack. One word… WOW. I went back for the second pack of black and white ones.

They still stretched out a bit like all elastic bands do but they held up incredibly! Pun intended lol! When I went back to get the black and white ones, I also bought their No Slip Grip Evolution Headbands and their No Slip Grip Hair Clips.

Eyelash Curler Pads

I never even knew you could replace them! And of course I never put too much thought into it before until I dropped $20 for a Shiseido Eyelash Curler about 10 years go. Don’t ask me why I did that… I’m still asking myself that question!

The curler came with 2 replacement pads and I used the crap outta those. And being the resourceful (cheap) person that am, I would flip the pads and use the unused side to get the most out of them before tossing them. And then came the inevitable… I needed to buy more. Eyelash curler pads are amazingly hard to find and when you do find them, they either don’t fit or are expensive. Shiseido wanted $6.99 for one… ONE!!!! Are you kidding me?! So I went on the hunt. Worst case scenario was that I would just have to buy a new curler (sob). Thankfully I didn’t have to.

Tweezerman eyelash curler replacement pads

Tweezerman eyelash curler replacement pads

I made a trip to my local drugstore and went in search. I saw these Tweezerman pads and asked the salesgirl if they fit all eyelash curlers. She said she didn’t know. They were regular $6.99 for the package but was on sale for $4.99 . I figured that if they didn’t fit I would only be out five bucks so I bought them. I went home and put them into my curler.. Woot woot!!! We have a winner!

These pads are made in a way that it prevents you (me) from using both sides but I’m not complaining lol. When I first put them into my curler, they were a bit small but after using it a few times it stretched out and fit perfectly. The purple colour is also a bonus; who doesn’t like a bit of colour?! Lol

Liquid Eyeliners Scare Me

They really do! One wrong move and BAM… you have to wipe it off and start all over again. Which is why I stuck with good old pencil eyeliners. Unfortunately I have really oily skin and my eye makeup always ends up creasing and I constantly find myself reapplying my eyeliner.

I used Prestige Eyeliner for years. I would buy 2-3 at a time so I wouldn’t have to keep running back to the store but because it’s a pencil, I would have to always sharpen it to get a nice thin and crisp line.

Prestige Eyeliners

Prestige Eyeliners

When I said I used this product for years, I mean YEARS. Until one day (2 years ago lol) I decided that I am now a big girl and big girls use liquid eyeliners… Gulp! So again, I made my way to the local drugstore to purchase and try the liquid sort.

After about an hour of ooking and trying to decide which one to go with I picked one out (I can’t remember which one) and went to pay. The girl behind the counter asked if I had ever used that particular one before… I think she could smell the newbie in me lol! I told her no, so she recommended that I try the Quo liquid eyeliner instead because it “dries faster and easy to use”.

Quo Liquid Eyeliner

Quo Liquid Eyeliner

image

So I paid the $16 plus tax CAD (wtf?!) Boy was she wrong! The brush itself was great but because it “dries so quick” I also had to dip it back into the bottle to get more colour. It also seemed that it only dries fast on the brush and not on your skin. I would literally need to sit with my eyes closed for about 5 minutes to make sure I didn’t smudge it and some times it still smudged! I was in a rush one time and thought I had given it enough time to dry… Nope. Imagine my embarrassment when I looked in the mirror and realized I had a nice dark black line on my eyelid!

I complained about it to a co-worker after that horrid event and after some laughter (a lot of laughter) she recommended a liquid eyeliner that is a pen and gave me one that she uses.

Kate Liquid Eyeliner

Kate Liquid Eyeliner

The brand of this liner is called Kate and it’s an Asian line. My co-worker gets her makeup sent from Asia and after the conversion, it only cost me $7 and worth every penny. The only drawback to this liner is that it’s not very dark so I would need to apply it twice in order to get a nice black line.

Top is Kate, bottom is Quo

Top is Kate, bottom is Quo

I’m not sure where you can find the Kate liner here. I actually want to try the Geisha line of liners after I use this one up.

Even with using liquid eyeliner, it still gets creased every so often if I sweat too much and would have to reapply but it’s not nearly as bad as the pencil kind. One thing for sure though, I am now converted and won’t be going back to the pencil liners!

What are your favorite liners?

Mascara

I may possibly have the worst and most stubborn eyelashes in the world! Nothing I use seems to work on them. I had a friend (who shall remain nameless) that was so cheap, she would give out the free makeup samples she gets as birthday and Christmas gifts. Fortunately I benefited from one such gift from her one year; there was a Clinique High Impact Mascara sample.

I actually really liked the Clinique High Impact Mascara. It’s purpose is to create more volume for your lashes. I’m of Asian heritage and our lashes tend to be lacking in the volume and curl department. If you’re fortunate enough, you may get long lashes lol. After I used up the sample tube, I thought I’d go and pick myself up a regular sized one since I liked it… Well as a girl who was working a retail job at minimum wage at the time, $16 plus tax was more than I was willing to pay. I ended up at Shoppers Drug Mart and picked up the Cover Girl Lashblast Volume Blasting Mascara (the orange one). That one worked out really well for me and I used it for quiet a few years. It didn’t clump and separated and lengthened my lashes really well. The one downside is that it didn’t curl… And I wanted it all! Back to the drawing board.

Around the same time I wanted to know if there really was a difference between drugstore brands and department store brands of cosmetics so I set out to do a little experiment starting with mascara.

Diorshow and Diorshow New Look

Diorshow and Diorshow New Look

I decided to try the Diorshow mascara after reading some very positive reviews. $31 plus tax CAD for mascara… “this better be damned good mascara!” I said to myself. And it didn’t disappoint. I was actually expecting a more dramatic look as Diorshow was touted as an awarding winning backstage favorite used on models, but i personally thought that it wasn’t dramatic at all. It could possibly be that I only applied 2 coats max. There is little to no clumping and gave me length! After using Diorshow for the last few years, I decided to change it up again and picked up the Diorshow New Look at $35 plus tax CAD. I haven’t tried it yet so stay tuned for that review!