Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review: Herbal Essences Naked

Disclosure: The products tested for review were provided courtesy of Influenster.

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo and Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo; $6.29
Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner; $4.59 each (full-size)

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Before I get into my review, I would first like to mention that (of no one's fault other than my own) I only got 2 uses out of the dry shampoo, so my review is limited to just those two uses.  My bottle took an unfortunate, intense tumble across my bathroom which was so damaging that the nozzle no longer works.  Again, the brand is not to blame, it was my own butterfingers and lack of coordination (one could also blame my aversion to mornings) that caused it to fall to its death.  RIP, dry shampoo.

Now, even though I only used it twice, I'm still pretty impressed.  I only wash my hair every other day and because my roots get oily even after just one day, I rely on dry shampoo to keep the grunge at bay.

I've been using dry shampoo by Batiste and Alterna, which are OK, but they both have some flaws.  Batiste works great at getting rid of the excess oil, but leaves residue on my hair.  The Alterna Bamboo Cleanse doesn't leave a residue and controls oil, but leaves my hair looking a bit dull.

The Naked Dry Shampoo, however, gets rid of the oil, doesn't leave my hair looking dry and dull, and doesn't leave as much residue (the residue is very minimal especially when compared to Batiste).  The smell is clean and fresh, but is not overpowering and doesn't linger throughout the day.  Suffice to say, I would have loved to get more than 2 uses out of this (darn you, uncoordinated self!), but will definitely be picking up a bottle when my current stash is running low.

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo and Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Naked Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

I have fine, relatively oily hair, so I'm not the poster child for this particular set of products, but I thought I'd still let you know my thoughts on how they worked for my hair and how they might work for more dry, damaged, hair types.

I'm no stranger to moisturizing shampoos, so I do know how they have and how they do act with my hair type.  This shampoo, however, I would not even consider it to be a "moisturizing" shampoo.  After using this, my hair felt stripped down and not at all moisturized.  The moisturizing shampoos that I have used before left my hair feeling so moisturized I could have even skipped the conditioner.  This one, a conditioner is definitely needed after use.

The conditioner really is the saving grace of this duo.  It was even a little too moisturizing for my already oily, fine hair, so I definitely don't recommend this for anyone with fine or oily hair.  If you have damaged or dry hair, this could work wonders for you!  I also found that although my hair definitely felt moisturized, it also weighed my hair down and felt a little greasy.  

Again, if you have any other hair type and are in the market for a moisture-surge-level product, this one's for you!  I would just stick to the conditioner in this line and skip the shampoo.  If you're really in need of a good moisturizing shampoo, I'd recommend Suave Professional Moisturizing Shampoo.

Have any of you tried anything from the new Herbal Essences Naked line?  I'm curious to see how the Volume shampoo and conditioner have fared.  Any thoughts?  Comment below!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Closeted Couture: Paris Couture Week 2014 à la Cheap

When most people think of haute couture, they think of costume-like designs and silhouettes that either defy gravity or are so outrageous no Joe Schmoe would dare wear them in public.  Although there were some crazy pieces, there were quite a few looks from the recent Paris Haute Couture Week that were surprisingly wearable.  And, well, since I love finding affordable options for unspeakably expensive pieces, I've rounded up a few of my favorite looks from the week and turned them into something you'd be proud to wear in public.

Stripes on Stripes (on Stripes): Giambattista Valli

Image Credit: A Fashionista's Diary

À la Cheap:

Winter White: Dior

Image Credit: Vogue

À la Cheap:

Going Baroque: Chanel

Image Credit: Vogue Italia

À la Cheap:

Although haute couture is not for everyone, each look takes hundreds of hours to make so you can't help but admire the hard work and craftsmanship that go into these collections even if you aren't keen on the design.  I mean, I think hemming my pants is hard work, so can't even begin to imagine what it takes to make one of these pieces!

What do you think of haute couture?  Is it even relevant or necessary these days?  Personally, I like to watch the trends from the haute couture collections trickle their way down the fashion chain and into our closets (the power and influence of high fashion at its finest).  Well, let's hope THIS look doesn't make its way into anyone's closet.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

L.A. Colors 12-Pan Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

Hullo, there!  I'm back with a review of the brand new L.A. Colors 12 Color Eyeshadow Palettes!  I picked up two for $1.99 a piece at my local Rite Aid.  The palettes are available in six different colors, ranging from bright blues and pinks to neutral browns and grays.  I purchased the two neutral palettes Blushing Nudes and Smokey (I love my neutrals!):

L.A. Colors 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette
Blushing Nudes (L) and Smokey (R)

I can't speak for the other four palettes, but these two contain 6 matte and 6 satin/shimmer eyeshadows each.  (At least I think so.  It was a little hard to tell which shades were truly matte in the Smokey palette).  A lot of palettes include far less mattes than shimmers, which I find disappointing, so props to L.A.C. for at least keeping things even!

I've never tried L.A.C.'s eyeshadows before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but at $1.99 each I definitely had to find out!  As you can see, the packaging is pretty much on par with every other drugstore palette, so nothing to brag about there.  Although it's not much to look at, it feels sturdy enough that I imagine it will hold up just fine.

As far as pigmentation, it's hit and miss.  Much to my surprise, the shimmers seem to outshine the mattes in pigmentation (especially when used without a primer).  The mattes in the Nudes palette were the worst between the two, and although it helped to use a primer underneath, the payoff still wasn't great.

Mattes in Smokey weren't much better, especially with the lighter colors.  Overall, I did find the shadows in the Smokey palette to be slightly better in pigmentation.  I also love how they included browns and blues in with your typical smokey shades in this palette, which is something you don't see too often.  You can create tons of looks with the variety it offers, but unfortunately you'll have to look elsewhere for a decent highlighting shade.

L.A. Colors 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Obviously I didn't swatch every single color, but I just wanted to give you a peek at how they performed.  The black in the top left was surprisingly good, but it does have coarse silver glitter throughout.  I know, it's a bummer, but the glitter is so sparse you may be able to work around it if you're not a fan of the glitter.  The dark matte browns in the middle were pretty bad, but as I said before, they do perform a little better when used over a primer.

In the Smokey palette, the blues were the most pigmented of the lot while everything else was just average.  Although the highlighter looks OK in the picture, it is quite powdery and you'd have to build it up a lot to get this kind of pigmentation.

I also noticed with the darker shades in both palettes that they are extremely hard to blend.  I tried blending with my finger, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be to blend with a brush!  So if you're wanting to use any of the darker shades, you would have to work pretty hard to make a smokey, blended out look.

 - price
 - good mix of mattes and shimmers
 - variety of shades in Smokey palette
 - some were very pigmented
 - long lasting (when used with primer)
 - slim packaging

 - pigmentation was hit and miss
 - darker shades are hard to blend or did not blend evenly

Overall, although there were some pretty awful shades, I will definitely be using the Smokey palette on a regular basis.  The blues are so beautiful and you can create a multitude of neutral looks just with the Smokey palette.  Though it's only $1.99, I would still say you can skip the Blushing Nudes palette.  There were maybe one or two decent shades, so I think you can get away with just the browns included in the Smokey palette.

I'm not a fan of green or purple shadows, but with the success of the two blues in the Smokey palette I will definitely be hunting down the all-blue palette in the collection.  Have you tried any of the colored 12-pan palettes from L.A.C.?  I'd love to know your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

Annnnnd I'm back!  Today we're looking at my favorite beauty product - mascara!  More specifically, the new L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara.

Being my favorite and most-used product, I have pretty high expectations when it comes to mascara.  Unfortunately, most mascaras don't suit my long, thin lashes, and the Miss Manga mascara is no exception.

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara Review
L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara
Retail: $8

Although it did give a good amount of volume, I really didn't like that it clumped my lashes together instead of separating and defining.  If you already have thick lashes and are looking for length and a boost of volume, I think this would work great.  But if you're like me and have thin lashes, it won't do much more than lengthen and make your lashes look piece-y.

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara Review

The wand: no complaints here!  It's easy to use, and the tapered end covers every single lash.  I'm not sure you can see it in the picture, but the bristle lengths vary, which I thought was unique to any other mascara I've tried.

The only way I could see this working for me is if I used it on top of a defining mascara.  I'm low maintenance (aka lazy), so I don't see myself taking the extra step to try it, however, if you're into it, I think it could work really well!

The only other complaint I have is that the packaging is really boring and feels pretty cheap.  I own a couple of other L'Oreal mascaras and the packaging looks and feels a heck of a lot better than the lightweight, unimpressive packaging of Miss Manga.  Being a drugstore mascara, it's not a big deal, but it's worth a mention.

 - affordable and accessible
 - doesn't flake or smudge (even if you have oily skin)
 - holds a curl
 - easy application

 - makes thin lashes look more sparse
 - less-than-stellar packaging

Have you tried this mascara?  Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


OK, so when they say "challenge" for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, they really mean it.  I obviously had some major lack of motivation and determination for the past couple of weeks, and boy does it show!

Honestly, I was seriously wrapped up in a couple of books (and Candy Crush) and couldn't put them down long enough to do anything but eat and work.  My apologies to my fellow A to Z Blogging Challenge participants who may have stopped by during my hiatus; you obviously have more willpower than I do.

Anyway, I just wanted to send out a note that I haven't completely given up and should be cranking out a few reviews in the near future.  Be on the lookout for reviews including the new Maybelline Pumped Up and L'Oreal's Miss Manga mascaras!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quintessentially Festival

Every year around this time, the internet becomes inundated with pictures and articles all describing how to get the perfect festival look.  All "festival" attire is is a lot of booties, braids, and boho.  How revolutionary.

Though I may not be sold on festival wear entirely (I mean, cut-off shorts and headbands just aren't my thing), there is one aspect of this fashion phenomenon that I would like to squeeze into my wardrobe - the hat.  I don't even own a hat and I'm not sure why I'm smitten with the idea, but there's just something about those darned floppy hats.

Image Credit: E! News

After I saw this picture of Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner, I thought - I could probably pull that off.  That is, if I can get it to fit my abnormally large head.

What do you think of festival style?  Fun or overdone?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Prince of Primer

Which one of these primers is not like the other?  Let me rephrase, which of these primers actually does what it claims to do?

Is it the cult favorite Porefessional?  The ultra-affordable Baby Skin?

It's Boot's No7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base (available at Target; $10)!  Not exactly what you were expecting?  Welp, I've tried every single one of these primers and it's the only one that controls my shine ALL DAY.  Make no mistake, this does not keep me oil-free; I'm still an oily mess.  It simply keeps me shine-free and helps my makeup last longer.

Do you have a foundation you love that doesn't stand up to your oily skin?  Give this guy a try.  I love Revlon's new Age Defying Foundation (it makes my skin look awesome without being too heavy), but my oily skin tears it apart!  So, I just put a little bit of this over a light moisturizer, and it lasts all day!  I kid you not, this can take your wimpiest foundation and make it last.

I've read a few reviews online, and the main complaint others have is that it leaves a white residue.  I've never had that problem, as I only apply very little product.  I place a pea-sized portion in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together slightly, and pat, not rub, the product onto my face.  Since this product dries very quickly, if you rub the product onto your face, it will ball up (you know, like when you rub glue between your fingers?).  Sounds pretty gross, but it's so worth it.

 - keeps face shine-free all day
 - makes makeup last longer
 - works with any foundation
 - contains salicylic acid to control blemishes

 - slightly more expensive than other drugstore brands
 - only available at select stores (at least in the US)
 - tricky application

With the annoying application aside, this has become my holy grail primer.  As you can see, I've tried many a primer (even more than the picture shows), and nothing has held it's claims more than Beautifully Matte.  Looks like my days of excessive blotting are over.