Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sultana's Favorites!

Hey all you lovely beauty junkies! I'd like to follow in my fellow bloggers footsteps and share some of my favs with you!

Mascara- L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black.  Super long, super soft and bold black lashes. I also am a fan of Revlon Grow Luscious in Blackest Black.  I love the huge brush size and the fact that it makes your lashes a little longer.

Nail Polish- Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure.  So many shades and so many options.  Base coat, color and top coat in one! I also am a huge fan of Essie nail polishes, and more recently I am loving Butter London as well.

Nail Treatment- Nutra Nail Green Tea & Acai Berry Nail Growth.  This works, period.  You will have longer nails in no time!

Primer- Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Primer.  This will make your face smooth and flawless.  No acne and no oily messes!

Lipstain- Smashbox Limitless Lipstain in Sangria.  Great color, and a moisturizing matching balm. 

Body Wash- Bath & Body Works Charmed Life.  Its discontinued, but if you are lucky you can find some minis in the stores.  This smells like heaven in a bottle!

Lip Balm- Lipfusion Conditioning stick.  Cute, silver case and smells great.  Leaves your lips soft & so smooth.
I also love Coola & Softlips.

Lipstick- Motives Go Red lipstick.  Perfect red for just about any skin tone. This has really good staying power as well. 

Eyeshadow- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics loose color pigments.  These give you a great kick of color and the fact that its loose, allows you to control how much you want to use. I also love Motives Luxe Cream shadow and glitter shadows.  Pretty & pearly and LOTS of sparkle!

Eyeliner- Motives Precision Eyeliner in Jet Black.
This has become an everyday staple for me.  Its a must have.

Lash Growth- Jan Marini Lash.  Works super fast and leaves your lashes conditioned and healthy.

Anti-Frizz treatments- Citre Shine ant-frizz serum.  Leaves your hair smelling nice and tames frizzies.  I also LOVE Citre Shine Split End Mender!!!!! Intensive hair smoother and repairer.

Cleanser- Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.  Feels like a facial in a bottle!

Moisturizer- DDF Mattifying Oil Control Lotion.  Moisturizes without feeling too heavy.  I also love Cosmedicine Mattifying Lotion. 

Detangler- Prive Thermal Protection Spray Detangler.  I love this! Makes your hair smells so good and leaves it feeling super soft.

Dry Shampoo- Batiste Dry Shampoo.  I use this when I don't have time to wash my hair and it leaves it looking like I just did.

Shampoo & Conditioner- L'Oreal Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner. I have colored hair, so I always use sulfate free shampoos and conditioners.  Recently, L'Oreal came out with their gold collection which included a Conditioning Cleanser and I absolutely love it.  Its a cheaper alternative to some of the more expensive cleansers out there.

I hope you enjoyed my favorites and I hope to hear about some of yours as well!!!!! Smooches!

Review - Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer

Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer.  No Formaldeyhde, no toluene, No DBP.  Color, Not Carcinogens. $14

I absolutely love companies that love the earth and support natural ingredients.  Butter London is definitely one of them.  The above picture shows one of the 3 Free nail colors in Primrose Hill Pink. Which the website describes as: A happy, punchy tropical, fuschia pink that will make you want to want to take off your shoes and run barefoot through the office. 

I can say that this is a color that makes you feel exactly that way! I usually don't wear bright colors but since the summer is approaching I figured it would be nice to start experimenting. 

This polish goes on very smoothly and dries quickly which are two very important factors to me.  They also offer a variety of colors.  This color in particular, is part of a new collection where Butter London introduced "Lippy" which is a long wearing liquid lipstick to match certain shades of the lacquers.  Cutest idea ever! Its great to have the option of having your nails and toes match with your lips! Not enough companies do that.  As a matter of fact, I can't even think of one off the top of my head that does.

So the price is $14, which is a little pricey but you can also purchase them in packs and it makes them a little more affordable.  You are paying for excellent quality products as well as the name.  Butter London is in every fashion magazine that you look at. 

I am definitely excited to try more colors, especially the glitters!!! Stay tuned for my review on the matching Lippy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Favorite Beauty Products


The funnest part about experimenting with beauty products is finding out what works and doesn't quite work for us individually. I know some people who are adamantly devoted to a certain beauty product, and yet, for one reason or another, it didn't quite perform so well on others. Having said  that, some products truly do stand out on their own and remain on my list of go-to products. 

Nail Product - I'm an Essie fan.  I admit it. I know everyone has their favorite polish and for me, I can always rely on a bottle of Essie for a nice pick-me-up in color and consistency. My next honorable mention has to go to NYC Color nail polish. To me they are fun, affordable and surprisingly long-lasting!

Shampoo & Conditioner - It's true, the better the shampoo and conditioner, the better my  hair looks. I simply can't get around that. My favorite combination would have to be B. Shampoo and Conditioner Perfected. For a while there, it was nice to think that my hair naturally looked that way all the time, but the credit really goes to this lovely combination.

Styling Product - On the more expensive end, I love  Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum, it keeps my hair well-behaved and in place. Yet, when I need something more affordable for day-to-day wear, like going to the grocery store or the post-office, I resort to my usual Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Serum. I've used it for years.

Facial Cleanser - Once a dermatologist told me what her favorite facial cleanser was even compared to the more high-end products she's known and used in the past and I had to completely agree with her! We both delighted in the fact that CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser kept the wrinkles at bay and softened the skin remarkably. It really is a top secret among dermatologists and just as easily accessible in drugstores! 

Facial Toner - I'm not a huge toner fan, it just seems like an extra step to a long list of beauty-routine steps already, but when I do use toner, I'm happiest with the SpaMD results.

Facial Serum - I do have to wear facial serum though. That's a step I can't afford to skip anymore. One of my favorites is the SpaMD Oil-Free Anti-Aging serum. It's lightweight, but covers fine lines almost magically.

Facial Moisturizer - The same dermatologist from above also recommended the Olay Regenerist moisturizer to me. Since I knew that she knew what she was talking about, I gave it a try. For an affordable drugstore moisturizer, I agree the Olay Regenerist product does a nice job of promoting youthful skin.

Body soap - My sister recently gifted me with natural soaps from Wildly American and their coal soap is like nothing I've tried before. It is so deeply penetrating and cleansing, it really feels like I'm washing away all kinds of impurities on the skin. Such a clean and refreshing feeling that it makes taking a shower to a new level!

Body Scrub - I still love the Whish Sugar Scrub. Everything from the scent to the consistency and the natural oils makes for happy skin.

Foundation -  I switch around with foundation a lot. Most of the time, I prefer wearing mineral powder foundations, which my favorite would be Sheer Cover Mineral Foundation.

Primer - Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin primer is one my favorite products. Sometimes, I can skip moisturizer +  foundation as long as I can use this on my skin and I'm ready to go, with a loose dusting a powder.

Blush - Cargo is my favorite blush brand. I've gone through a couple of their blushes already and use every bit of it in the pan! However now that  the shade I love is no longer available, I've been wearing Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes. It looks very natural and pretty on.

Eyeshadow - I've used the high expensive brands, medium brands, and drugstore brands and my favorite eyeshadow palette is from Prestige Cosmetics Beauty Bar. I'm just about out of it, using every last bit of it left, and still can't quite find the right replacement for it. In single eyeshadow colors, I've used NARS Nymphea for a long time.

Mascara - I tend to switch around with mascara a lot too. Right now my go-to standard is CoverGirl's Lash Blast Mascara. If I ever do try Lancome's Definicils, I'll write back and let you know how it goes!

Eyeliner - I'm not a big eyeliner person, but I really like Smashbox's Limitless Eyeliner pencil. The shade and texture were just right and lasted all day.

That's my list. Hopefully you could agree with some and disagree with others, but feel free to let us know what makes your top list too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review - Visine Total Eye Soothing Wipes

  • Cleans eye area & removes makeup
  • Removes irritants from around the eyes
I am a big fan of eye-cleaning wipes, mostly because I tend to a) wear a lot of eye makeup and then b) not take a shower before bed and forget to take it off. At least if I have a convenient wipe, I can make an effort at being a real human who doesn't wake up the next morning with mascara crusted to her face. These Visine wipes come in a handy little tub to keep them nice and moist, and are pleasantly thick, meaning you can easily use both sides (which, when you've got a serious amount of shadow and liner on, might be necessary). The thickness does make it a bit difficult to really get in and get the lower lid liner off, but this is negligible. 

You could get a lot of the same benefits from other makeup-removal wipes, but if you have very sensitive eyes, it might be worth trying these out since they are specifically intended for use on your eyes. The drawback, of course, is that you can't really use them on the rest of your face (I tried, and it felt weird). 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Around here, we are always reviewing new products, but I think it's time we give you a rundown of some of our favorites.  These are products we'll buy again and again because they look so good/ work so well.  Here are some of my all-time favorites:

Nail Product: Duri Rejuvacote- This stuff will toughen up even the wimpiest of cracking breaking nails.

Shampoo & Conditioner: Prive Concept Vert Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner- Not only is this the best shampoo and conditioner I've tried, the bottles are fully recyclable if you take them or send them to the salon.  I mean it ALL gets recycled.

Leave-in Conditioner: It's a tie between Davines Glorifying Treatment Color Protective/Leave-in and Mane 'n Tail Detangler.  Both of these products do a great job of detangling and protecting hair from heat and the elements.  They are at two very different price points, so it's according to your budget which one you go for.

Styling Product: Aveda Light Elements Texturizing Creme- Gives you a slightly unfinished look or add more for a piecey look.  It gives the hair excellent texture.

Facial Cleanser: Make Up For Ever Extreme Cleanser- This is an oil cleanser that leaves your face totally clean and not at all tight.  Highly recommended for people with dry skin.

Toner: VMV Hypoallergenics Illuminants+ Treatment Toner- Not only does this tone the skin, it treats discolorations and brown spots.

Facial Serum: Atopalm Moisturizing Revitalizing Complex- It has evened out my skin tone more than anything else I've tried.  It also helps keep moisture in.

Face Cream: Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream- It's a savior for dry, sensitive skin and a tub lasts a long time.  For a less expensive option, I recommend Cerave AM and PM creams from the drugstore.  Also very good for sensitive, dry skin, but not as moisturizing as the Atopalm.

Sunscreen: La Roche Posay Anthelios 40 with Mexoryl SX- Mexoryl SX makes this sunscreen protect better than others and last longer during sun exposure.  I'm not saying don't re-apply. DO, often.  But until more U.S. sunscreens come with Mexoryl SX in them, this one is your best bet.

Body Wash/Soap: Solise Body Wash with SPF 15/ L'Occitane Shea Butter Soaps- I like the Solise for the obvious reason, it's got SPF 15 so you are protected from the sun right out of the shower.  Remember, one is supposed to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out and very few of us do.  I like L'Occitane Shea Butter Soaps because I've never spelled one I didn't like.  I especially like the Milk and Verbena scents.

Favorite Hand Cream: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream- There are no high-tech ingredients in this hand cream, just good old-fashioned moisture.  I've been using it for years.  I love the scent and no one has ever guessed my age from my hands!

Foundation: Mehron Celebré Pro HD Make-Up- How happy was I when I discovered this fabulous foundation?  You can wear it as a light to full cover foundation as well as using it as a concealer.  It has a beautiful texture and comes in colors to suit almost everyone.  At $11 a pop, how can you go wrong?

Blush: La Femme/Make Up For Ever- La Femme is my favorite powder blush (and it's oh, so affordable) and Make Up For Ever's HD Cream blushes blow me away.  With them, a little goes a long way, so they're definitely worth the money.

Eyeshadow: Kevin Aucoin Eyeshadow- They're so pigmented with so little fall out, it's as if I designed them to do exactly what I wanted to do.  Plus all of the colors are so wearable, one can't go wrong.

Mascara: Kiss Me Mascara by Blinc- Everyone who has tried this mascara either loves or hates the fact that it forms little tubes around each individual lash that come off easily with soap and water (but not with tears).  I absolutely love it.  I think being able to take off mascara that looks good is the best thing since sliced bread.

Eyeliner: Fran Wilson Cake Eyeliner/Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner- Now I know this one is out of left field, but I adore this cake eyeliner and have been using it since high school.  It comes in black and brown.  You use it with either water or a sealant and it will stay where it's put.  Plus it costs around $4, so really, can you pass it up?  The Smashbox liner comes in an array of colors in a pot (it's a cream) and when I want my eyeliner to last through anything or I want to add some color, I turn to it.

These are my favorites, comment and tell us yours!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review - John Frieda Full Repair Perfect Ends Sheer Mist

Breakthrough mist with omega-3 rich Inca Inchi Oil absorbs into worn-out strands to smooth and protect hair.

Love. That is what I feel for the entire Full Repair line from John Frieda. In general I love everything that I have tried from him, but these products are really 100%. My hair is fine, home dyed blond. It isn't what I would call damaged, but a little bit of help never hurt anybody. This mist I would use in conjunction with the full line of other products. It is so light and leaves my hair super shiny and really healthy looking. There is really no scent so it won't interfere with your perfume. I'm going to be honest, I am a cheapo, I almost never replenish on my products, and yes I use the 99c Suave Coconut shampoo and conditioner (its the bomb y'all!) but I will most certainly be replenishing on these products. I absolutely love all of it and my happy healthy hair agrees with me!
Sultana Says: I have to say, I am not at all impressed with this line! First of all, its called Full Repair.  So you would expect that you use this and your hair looks a lot better than it did before.  I used this as directed and nothing.  It was shiny for a minute and then, nothing.  I have used many hair repair products and this is not even in comparison.  Again, I usually love John Frieda products but for some reason, this line isn't making the cut for me. 

Review- John Frieda Full Repair Protecting Root Lift Foam

Root-boosting formula with Inca Inchi Oil adds a weightless, flexible and lasting lift at the root. Gentle foam provides heat protection and helps prevent breakage from styling.

Finally, there's an (affordable) solution to my flat and lifeless hair! At first, I didn't expect too much from this body boosting foam, because most hair-care products weigh my hair down without actually trying. But, true to its form and function, this John Frieda Full Repair Protecting Root Lift Foam, really added that extra body and bounce to my hair lasting all day and well into the next! There's a lot of body for using a small amount, as I didn't need to apply too much. Typically my hair hangs flat and dull, and my fine strands are prone to being limp and frizzy. Using this root lifting foam however, added more life, body, and movement to my hair and fully held up nicely the entire time. I did need to use a light hair serum to make my hair feel silkier, but with the extra body and bounce, I really didn't mind. This Full Repair Foam also won an Allure Magazine Best of Beauty Award 2011 and I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds John Frieda's protective root-lifting foam a hair-saving and worthwhile selection!

Sultana Says: I didn't really like this product.  I used it a few times and it left parts of my hair hard and stringy.  Maybe it didn't work because I have finer hair, and my hair can't support a lot of product.  I usually like John Frieda's hair care line, but on this one I would have to pass.