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Must-Have Styling Tools for Hair

By Amanda Allington, Hair Care Contributor

Amanda Allington was born in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada but her family moved to southern California when she was just five years old. She’s lived along the west coast, including Hawaii but has just moved to Washington D.C. Amanda has been married to her husband for four years and they have a two-year old son. Her husband is part of the military, so she and her family move around often, but she really enjoys it, because she can experience different places and people! Luckily, no matter where she has moved, she always finds other people who are as beauty obsessed as she is!


Photo by Tavis Leaf Glover

Must-Have Styling Tools for Hair

Make this year the year that you master your hair! Below are ten hair styling tools that I think are essential for making any air type styled and fabulous!

Blow Dryer

A good blow dryer will dry hair efficiently without overheating. Ceramic coils maintain a more even heat, which helps prevent the blow dryer from overheating and damaging your hair. Tourmaline is a semi-precious gem that aids in negative ion production. Negative ions are said to absorb water faster, thus speeding up drying time, as well as smoothing the hair follicles. Although, there is still some question to both of these claims.

Over 400 reviews on Amazon.com give the Revlon RV544 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ionic Lightweight Dryer ($25.00) an average of four stars. Self magazine says it is the fastest dryer for the money and Consumer Reports named it the best ionic dryer for the price. At around $25, it is a great purchase and better than many blow dryers twice the cost. The only negative is that this dryer does not use ceramic coils so heat damage could be an issue.

With ceramic coils, tourmaline and negative ions, the Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Styler 223X ($40.00) has it all and gets an average of four stars on Amazon.com with over 100 reviews. InStyle magazine has named this their best budget dryer for four years straight, and Self magazine recognizes this blow dryer as the best for fine/limp hair, because it reduces static. I love the bright pink color that is available and at $40, this is my pick and a fantastic mid range tool.

The T3 Featherweight ($200.00) has been reviewed in just about every beauty site and magazine out there with an average of four stars. The T3 also uses ceramic coils, tourmaline, and ionic technology. It’s named best for travel by Women’s Health, best lightweight by Self magazine, and best professional dryer by Consumer Research. Despite the reviews, some people are just not impressed with this dryer so if you decide that you want the T3, I suggest you swing by your local Sephora and try it out.

Get tips on picking a straightener, flat/curling iron, and more! 

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NARS Spring 2012 Collection


NARS Spring 2012 Collection

The Spring 2012 Collection, created by Founder and Creative Director François Nars, stars a mix of bright and playful colors balanced with rich, saturated hues. Nars chose to photograph model Ginta Lapina for the spring campaign, explaining, “Her delicate features and classic beauty made her an ideal fit for a collection that’s at once fresh and fierce.”

To achieve the makeup look in the campaign image, Ginta’s skin was made radiant with Santa Fe Sheer Glow Foundation and set with Eden Loose Powder to create an Immaculate Complexion. Next, Zen Blush was applied to the hollow of the cheek and blended toward the temple for contour; Gaiety Blush was brushed onto the apple of the cheeks for a pop of color.

After prepping with Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Lhasa Single Eyeshadow was blended onto Ginta’s lids, extending the color to the upper inner corner of the eye. Her brow bone was highlighted with Albatross Highlighting Blush before Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil was swiped across the upper lash line. It was further defined with Rue Saint-Honoré Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner; a winged effect was created in the outer corner. The lower lash was lined with the same pencil and gently smudged. Brows were defined with Blondie Single Eyeshadow; lashes were curled, then brushed with two coats of Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara. Lips were lined and filled in with Amazon Lipliner Pencil, then topped with Valparaíso Pure Matte Lipstick and Misbehave Lip Gloss for shine. The look was completed with Écume Nail Polish on the nails.

Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Douce France Shimmery icy pink, shimmery rose-petal pink, matte deep rose

Eyeshadow ($24.00)

  • Lhasa Shimmery lavender-gray

Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Paramaribo Metallic shades of brass and bronze

Blush ($28.00)

  • Gaiety Bright candy-pink

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Mexican Rose Hot pink

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Valparaiso Rich raspberry

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Bilbao Shimmering topaz

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

  • Dark Rite Navy blue

Nail Polish ($18.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Diamond Life Metallic violet

availability: January 13th, 2012 at narscosmetics.com

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Guerlain Jicky: A Life-Changing Scent

By Caitlin, Fragrance Contributor

Caitlin recently completed her master’s degree in British Literature at St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s just moved back to the U.S., currently residing in Pennsylvania, and now works for a local non-profit. She studed French during her undergraduate years and even lived in Paris for a years. She loves traveling, but now that she has to hold down a “real job” now, she travels by way of new perfumes. She says fragrance has a way of transporting you to a new place, which is one of the reasons she loves perfume! You can follow her on Twitter!


Guerlain Jicky: A Life-Changing Scent

Confusion is not an emotion I expect to feel when sampling a fragrance, but that was exactly my experience the first time I came across Guerlain Jicky (Eau de Toilette, $98; Eau de Parfum, $122; Pure Parfum, $317). I had never before experienced such enticing notes mixed with something a little strange, something a little off-putting. The thing is, that jarring note wasn’t quite off-putting enough. It was off-putting in an interesting way, in a good way, if that’s possible! Jicky was the first fragrance I found to be truly compelling precisely because of its oddness.

Making its debut in 1889, Jicky is the oldest fragrance in continuous production. Guerlain attaches a romantic history to it: Aimé Guerlain fell in love with a girl while studying in England. Her nickname was Jicky. It was an unrequited love, and Aimé was obligated to return to his family in France. Still, he wanted to memorialize his first love, and thus he created Jicky. Who can say if this is the true story? But if it is the truth, Jicky must have been a unique woman because her namesake fragrance is anything but typical.

Containing notes of bergamot, lavender, civet, and vanilla, Jicky is famously divisive. It was initially a complete flop with women. Jicky was much more successful with men during its early years, and Guerlain now classifies it as unisex. Jicky’s contentiousness comes from the sense that it smells ‘dirty’ both in the sense that people find it too reminiscent of sex and too much like actual dirt. The animalic civet note is the troublemaker here, but I actually love this note in Jicky!

To me, the civet brings much needed balance to the fragrance. Jicky’s opening is a whirlwind of lemon, bergamot, and lavender. It’s intoxicating, but it teeters on the brink of smelling too medicinal. When the civet kicks in, it anchors the fragrance with more warmth and depth. There is an undeniably ‘dirty’ aspect to the civet but, again, balance is the key to Jicky. The cool lavender top note persists well into wear time and blends effortlessly with the warmth of the civet.

The Jicky Eau de Toilette is a bright and sparkling composition that focuses more on the citrus top notes, while the Eau de Parfum is more civet-heavy, and the extrait of pure parfum emphasizes the herbal lavender note. I have worn and enjoyed all three concentrations at different times; it simply depends on your mood as to which one you would prefer.

Any and all of Guerlain’s classic fragrances are worthy of the life-changer moniker but Jicky is the one that speaks to me. Jicky is not straight-forward or easy to love. I have returned to this fragrance again and again, and each time I feel simultaneously puzzled, pleased, frustrated, and seduced. But I love Jicky in all its beautiful strangeness. Worn at the right moment, there is nothing like it.

 

NYX Orange Eyeshadow

NYX Orange Eyeshadow
NYX Orange Eyeshadow

NYX Orange Eyeshadow

NYX Orange Eyeshadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is tangerine orange with a lighter peach-orange shimmer. The finish is more of a frosted, but it doesn’t read heavy. It’s a very wearable orange because of the softness in the color. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a dupe among all of these orange eyeshadows. Givenchy Candide Garden was the closest but still darker. Most shades that were in similar in lightness had a pink-tone or really gold sheen (think MAC Melon).

The color is true-to-pan and opaque on the skin, while the texture is dense, buttery, and very soft without being powdery or loose (which is probably the most common issue of NYX’s eyeshadow line–but many shades are just fine, such as this one).  Without a base, this shade wore for seven hours, but with a base, I had no wear problems after eight hours.  This is definitely one of the better NYX eyeshadows I’ve tried, and personally, I’m always in awe when I can’t think of dupes for a shade!

NYX Eyeshadow Orange
Orange
Orange
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
92%
Total

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