Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


visit to purchase

FHI Heat Curling Iron (1 1/4″) ($195.00) is really the creme de la creme of curling irons. FHI’s curling iron barrel sizes range from 3/4″ to 1 1/2″, and my girl Pursebuzz recommended I get a 1 1/4″ as a multi-tasking curling iron. This particular barrel size gets you larger curls, and without a curl styling product beforehand, gives you more beachy waves than tight curls. For those less hair savvy, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. Thus, larger barrels are more likely to give you waves than ringlets. Also, longer hair can tolerate larger barrels, because there is more hair to wrap around the barrel.

With my shorter hair style (although, it is rapidly growing out!), I do find the 1 1/4″ to be a little large at times, but I know it would be the perfect size on my previous, longer hair. You can definitely get your Victoria Secret’s full, sexy hair with it! I think I need to pick up a 3/4″ or 1″ barrel curling iron at some point, so that I switch as I need to. Another trick I picked up from Pursebuzz is to use those plastic rollers (they cost a few bucks, and you can find them at a beauty supply store or even your local drugstore). You can pick them up in different sizes, so after you’ve used the hot curling iron, wrap them up in these, to let the curl set and conform a bit more while you do your makeup.

Design: I really liked the handle design of this particular curling iron. It has a digital temperature display, and the temperature can adjust from 212 degrees to 410 degrees Farenheit. Although, mine displays in celsius, and I’m not sure if there’s a way to change it (and I’ve been too lazy to check the instructions manual!). Thicker hair needs higher temperatures in order to keep the curl, while thinner, finer hair requires less heat. To find a good heat setting, you shouldn’t have to hold the barrel in place for more than several seconds. If you find you can’t get a curl unless the iron is in place for a minute, you probably need to crank up the heat. The handle comes equipped with an up and down button for temperature, as well as the power button. Once you’ve found your desired temperature, you can then press the power button once to lock in your temperature. This is great, because I do find I occasionally bump the up or down buttons, and this way, the temperature doesn’t change. There is also a kickstand to allow you to prop up the curling iron on your countertop so the hot bits don’t come into contact with the surface, which is always helpful. I find it doesn’t heat up, as long as you don’t allow the metal to touch the barrel itself.

Time: This baby heats up in under five minutes. I would say just a minute or two, and it’s pretty much ready for me to use. I have thick hair, so I do keep the temperature of this quite high (300+).

Get the low-down on some more pros and cons! Continue reading →

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Elizabeth Arden offers two delectable shades for fall in Color Intrigue Effects Lipstick Cayenne Pearl and Cranberry Cream ($19.50). I like Cayenne Pearl for a great reddish coral color — almost a brick-brown red, but not at all in-your-face. Cranberry Cream is a raspberryish hue, not too intense, which makes it a nice every day shade for those looking for something less natural, more pigmented–but not over the top.

The Color Intrigue Effects Lipstick line has very subtle sheen and shimmer. Both shades I tried were well pigmented and creamy, both characteristics I look for in a good lipstick! It wore well throughout the day, and it faded after a few hours (as to be expected when worn alone and eating!), but I didn’t get left with a ring around my lips, thankfully!
See skin swatches and lip swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

OVERALL, the packaging is what sets Manish apart from some of the previous launches. The intricate design is plastered over each product, and there are no stickers to deal with–like Fafi. The eyeshadow palette is sturdy, a yellow-gold, and the front cover is decorated in pretty jewels. The colors are all stunning and worth getting if you don’t already have them. The worst part about the launch is it utilized so many permament colors rather than creating limited edition shades. With such a limited release, it almost makes sense to further add exclusivity by having those unique must-have shades. But then again, it sold out within the first day it went up online, so obviously they did something right!

Did you get your hands on Manish? What’d you get? Why’d you pass?

Find swatches here, product photos here.

See individual product reviews… Continue reading →

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Lavanila Healthy Body Wash in Vanilla Coconut ($20.00) is providing customers with a 100% natural and sulf-atefree body wash option. You can choose from four scents: Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Blossom, and Vanilla Coconut. These body washes are new products to their Healthy Body line, which already includes coordinating fragrances and body butters.

The company lists the key ingredients as: coconut oil (to cleanse), oat protein (moisturizes and adjusts skni’s pH), pomegranate (gently exfoliates), Goji berries (antioxidant), Willow Bark extract (acts as an astringent to tone), and Vanilla Planifolia Fruit extract (anti-inflammatory). You won’t find SLS, mineral oils, parabens, silicone, or phthalates in this product.

Vanilla Coconut reminds me of the beach–it’s just got that heavenly scent of coconut and the beach scene. If you liked Bobbi Brown’s Beach scent, you’ll love this, too. The scent doesn’t linger prominently once your shower is over, so if you want to smell like the beach all day, try layering the scent with the body butter. I find it lathers really well for a product tagged natural, and even against more chemically-created lathers, it lathers well. This is best used with a puff sponge, because it helps the product lather and gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin.

You can find this at www.sephora.com, or you can learn more at www.lavanila.com.

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

A few days ago, I mentioned how much I was enjoying my new shampoo/conditioner set by AG Hair Cosmetics. I also wanted to tell you a bit about my experience using their Re:new Clarifying Shampoo ($12.00). Like I said before, I’ve been using more product in my hair than I ever used to, and it is only natural that there would be more build-up. In the past few weeks, I’ve also started to swim some laps on occasion, and we all know chlorine is none too kind to hair.

Enter in Re:new, which is AG’s clarifying shampoo. It’s designed to remove discoloration from chlorine, as well as mineral deposits and dulling product build-up. Like the Colour Savour line, this product is color-safe. After using this clarifying shampoo, my hair doesn’t feel stripped or dry; it just feels incredibly clean. It feels silky and looks shiny (the good shiny!). I’m so happy to have found this, because I had no idea what to really look for in a clarifying shampoo–but now I do!

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

AG Hair Cosmetics is a family-owned company founded by John and Lotte Davis. John started his haidressing career in England back in the mid 1960s, while Lotte has a marketing and design background. Together, they created AG Hair Cosmetics, which is all about using high quailty ingredients for high quality products. And for my Canadian gals, this line is based out of Vancouver, BC; but it is available at over 10,000 salons in North America.

AG came at the perfect time for me, because I’ve only just started to style and use heat styling tools on my hair, so it’s imperative that I really make sure I turn up my hair care routine. Determined to look into better hair care products, I turned to AG, and it has been working out fantastically!

Their Colour Savour Shampoo ($20.00) is a sulfate-free shampoo that’s color-safe, as well. You get amazing lather–something I find lacking in higher end shampoos, especially ones purported to be natural/organic–and you don’t need a ton. There’s a citrusy-scent to it. I’m reminded of vitamin C powder every time I use it (or the coordinating conditioner). The shampoo also has sunflower seed extract, which is supposed to protect your hair color from UVA degradation.

Don’t forget the conditioner! Continue reading →