Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If not now...Wen

If we were on a blind date or something, what I'm about to tell you would likely be the dealbreaker in our relationship. I love infomercials. If someone is singing the gospel about the most ridiculous product on the planet, I generally fall in love and fantasize about my life being vastly improved because 1 payment was knocked off the grand total and I waited until the end to start dialing, because there was more to come! Thankfully, I've always been able to restrain myself from doing the "dial-of-shame" and sinking to a new low with my American Express card by subjecting myself to a "shipping & handling" charge. Remember Lori Davis Hair...I was a teenager then, and even when I wore braces, I thought that a product could change my life.

So, I guess the new equivalent is this Wen Hair Care infomercial that is on...every.single.day. And I guess this Wen product is the "unshampoo". It is a super-rich conditioning cleanser, and allegedly, you can't use too much of it. And, allegedly it works for all hair types. Under normal circumstances, I'd be able to resist the pull of the television. But, you see...I'm in a bad place with my hair. I haven't had a haircut in nearly a year (note to my former salon - having no hot water in your salon is kind of unacceptable. Your scheduling difficulties are your problem, not mine!) My hair kind of resembles a rats nest. I've always had fine hair that has a tendency to need to be washed daily to look decent, but to add insult to injury...out of nowhere, I've been losing crazy amounts of hair lately. I take a biotin supplement...but, it's just not enough. I lather and rinse and shed everywhere. But the straw (aside from my hair) was Hurricane Irene that left my house without potable water, and with a constant fear of getting listeria from acccidentally ingesting shower water (gross). I needed a treat.

ANYWAY...flash forward to the Wen infomericals that are constantly bombarding the airwaves. I was tempted. I figured, what was the worst that could happen - I need to get a haircut anyway....if it kills my hair, or just plain-old sucks...I'll chop off my hair.

This being the 21st Century, I didn't have to order my Wen (secretly, of course) from an infomercial...I visited the Holy Grail of "As Seen on TV"...I hit up QVC. No fewer than 500 reviews confirmed that Wen could change my life. And, the best part of QVC...they offered a variety of different Wen cleansing conditioners, namely a Lavender Cleansing Conditioner that promised to "moisturize and invigorate and soothe and rub your feet and tell you how great you are and basically make you a better person". I ordered a small bottle. And I waited for 2 days for Wen to change my life.

Picture it. The Friday before Labor Day weekend. A clandestine UPS delivery. And my shower. With freshly-restored water.

I opened the box, and read the instructions. Yes, instructions on how to wash my freakin' hair. This was no lather/rinse/repeat. It was a detailed description of getting my hair wet with cool water (ick, because I hate a cold shower) for about 3 minutes. Then sectioning my hair off into 4 sections, and generously applying gobs of this cleansing conditioner to my hair. And letting it sit. For as long as I wanted. I'll admit that I was curious what would happen. And then, my scalp started to tingle. In an AMAZING way. I inhaled this lavendery-minty smell and let this condioner marinate on my head. And then I rinsed. And my hair felt...soft. But not greasy. And the best part...more of it actually stayed on my head this time, instead of on my fingers and hands and shower floor. I dried my hair and had...volume? And I didn't need to straighten it either...Holy Adonai, this infomercial product doesn't suck!

It's been like 2 months, and I'm officially addicted. I've actually moved on from the Lavender Cleansing Conditioner to the super-exclusive (read: impossible to find) SIXTHIRTEEN Conditioner because it's even more nourishing, and have this little rotation action going on with the two. I'll be honest, the product gets expensive because of the length of my hair and the quantity that I kinda need to use. And I do rotate my regular shampoo in on the days that I can't spend 15 minutes in the shower. And don't get me wrong...I still need a haircut desperately. But, I don't hate my hair on a daily basis. I don't even need to wash it on a daily basis. And, it looks kinda good (especially considering that I haven't cut it in nearly a year!) But the best part truly is...I'm not losing nearly as much hair as I was.

When in doubt...try Wen

image taken from www.chazdean.com

Monday, October 24, 2011


Never underestimate the power of nagging. It took several months (and a 1st Mother's Day) to score this puppy...but ever since my Clarisonic entered my life...washing my face has never been the same.

I see you out there, skeptically shaking your head (I'm a mother now...we have eyes EVERYWHERE!) in disbelief that a $225 brush cannot be anything but a a ridiculous waste of money...I solemnly swear...it's life-altering.

I do confess...for the most part...I have reasonably good skin. The occasional break-out. But overall...you'd never believe that I'm rapidly approaching 33. I'm line-free, and in the battle against the "Elevens", I'm winning the war. That being said...any good general knows how to launch a successful attack against the enemy, and my Clarisonic is the secret weapon.

Coupled with something as innocent as Johnson & Johnson Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, the Clarisonic will deliver an enviable clean. Pair it up with something a little more "potent" (read: a glycolic or lactic acid to deliver the one-two punch of chemical and manufal exfoliant) and it's awe-inspiring. As a result of a more "prepared" surface, any treatment product that I put on after I wash is more effective. My dry patches in the winter that only respond to my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate stay hydrated for longer. The two pumps of my foundation are reduced to one. Your lips are chapped - give them a little brush and slather on the lip balm. You're wearing a strapless dress and want to give your arms and back a deep clean...use the Body Brush. Then there are the days that I don't need to wear any makeup at all, because my skin is just even.

There are caveats. The brush feels so good when you use it (especially in that horrible space on the sides of your nose that always itches and gets irritated when you have a cold) that it is very tempting to use the brush 2x in a row. For the sake of your skin...don't. Too much of a good thing is just too much. As much as I love my Clarisonic, our relationship thrives because we don't see each other all the time. I have to repeat - you can absolutely over-exfoliate. And the most important rule of the Clarisonic. Don't use a manual exfoliant on your face with the brush. You'll really irritate your skin (again, I'm a mother now...I'm constantly giving instruction!) and then you'll be back at square one - with unhappy skin!

But should you find yourself with a milestone event coming up...birthday, holiday, Saturday...try spending some time with a Clarisonic. It's incredible.

image of Clarisonic brush taken from www.clarisonic.com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Batting a Thousand

I confess. I'm still totally into eyelashes. I never made the splurge on the Lavish Lashes deal, although I've been seriously tempted several times. A co-worker actually got eyelash extensions done in K-Town (aka Koreatown) a few weeks ago, and I have to admit I'm totally envious of her beautiful eyelashes that make her look fantastic even when it is pouring outside and everyone else looks like a drowned rat. She gave me the address and the price, but here's the problem. Usually, eyelash extensions can cost in the HUNDREDS of dollars for an application, and the place she went to only charged $90. Now, in this economy, you'd think that a bargain would be a good thing...but do I really want to have a bargain in my eye area? She looks amazing, but I'm just nervous. If the application process didn't involve surgical glue, I'd probably feel a little better about the whole idea of it.

So, I've begun to investigate fake eyelashes. But, why on earth would I find a reasonable deal on false eyelashes at a drugstore when I can set my sights on the fabulous false eyelashes by Shu Uemura. They have this absolutely GORGEOUS black smokey eye strip lash, that I'm totally into. I actually stare in the mirror and try to envision how I'd look with a total Twiggy-esque look...thin black liquid liner, dewy complexion, retro 60's pinkish gloss on the lips...

And Mommy has this special Shu Uemura toy - it's a special, specific false eyelash applicator tool. So you don't have to worry about poking yourself in the eye with tweezers. Of course the tool is twice the price of the lashes. And the lashes don't include applicator glue. So now, in order to do it right, between the Shu Falsies, the special lash toy, and the glue, I'll be spending $88. Whereas the eyelash extensions in K-town are $90. Some bargain, right?

What to do? What would you do?

Advice, please!

image of lashes taken from http://www.shuuemura-usa.com/

The Royal Service

Seriously, have any of you seen or read about this Cor Silver Soap thing? I read about it in a Bliss catalog what feels like a million years ago. And I was definitely intrigued (although in all fairness, it is incredibly difficult to not be intrigued by many of the products in the Bliss catalog because whoever writes their copy is absolutely brilliant!). Apparently it's not even technically called "soap" because it's a "treatment for the face". But at this point in my life, I can read between the lines and I know a bar of soap when I see one. And apparently it does everything…glowier skin, rosier complexion, fewer pores, less breakouts, vacuums the carpets, anti-aging, etc. Cor says it’s because their soap has a more favorable PH level for the skin in comparison to “ordinary” cleansers. Alas, I got to the most important part of the soap…the price. And in my world $125 is just a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a bar of soap. I mean…it’s SOAP.

And then I took the plunge (actually, my debit card took the plunge), and splurged on a trial-sized bar of the famous Cor Silver Soap (for $15). Because I was having an eh day at work, and I was in a place that was willing to give me a 5% discount on the soap…but I’ve decided that I will no longer justify my impulse purchases! I got home that night, took a long, hot shower, and lathered up and quickly reached 2 very important conclusions:

1) I need to find $125 to buy a full-sized bar of this stupid soap; and
2) Husband can never ever learn that soap can cost $125 a bar.

I know it seems a little silly to read the instructions that accompany a bar of soap, because if you’ve been showering and washing your face for your entire life, how to use soap is fairly self-explanatory. But I’m glad I read the instructions, because this soap has a serious tingle to it, especially if left on the face for an extended period of time. If you read the instructions, you’ll know in advance that it tingles. I lathered up with the soap, added a little water, and put the resultant foam on my face. Leave the foam on for a good 2-3 minutes, if not longer. I’m obsessed with my Eve Lom Facial Muslin clothes (I also love the Eve Lom cleanser, but that’s for an entirely different post), so I removed the soap with the cloth. My skin is seriously as smooth as a baby’s. With the prettiest, peachiest, rosiest complexion that doesn’t even need any makeup. I followed my soap with a good old-fashioned slathering of Bliss’ Youth As We Know It Concentrate and Cream. Usually, products take a few days to really make people notice – but I’ve been fielding comments and compliments for days about my skin. The comments about my skin started the morning after I used it, so it’s really gotta be the soap. Husband says maybe I have good genes, but…really, we all know it has to be the soap.

The only down side to the soap (besides the price) is that since I purchased a trial-sized bar of it, I’m rapidly running out. That, and I've since learned that Cor has expanded their product family into an eye cream and a wrinkle serum.

But that’s what birthdays are for, right!

Find it for yourself here or here
image of soap taken from www.blissworld.com

Beauty Full

After much pleading from my friends, mother, co-workers, etc., I've decided to take another bite of the blogging apple and start posting again...because I'm still mostly obsessed with the whole "products" thing!

Lots has changed...new house, new baby...same husband. 2 out of 3 aint bad though!

The one big thing I've learned over my hiatus from posting is that there is no product whatsoever that prevents stretch marks during pregancy...because OMG, did I get a boat load of them during my whole "knocked up" phase. But, the end result of the whole pregnancy thing is pretty awesome!

Seriously, does anyone know of a magic stretch mark cure? I've tried every scrub, cream, oil, potion, etc (or at least it seems that way), and NOTHING worked.

But I'm back...with lots to blog about.

Stay tuned.
Image of Boy taken from zisjen@aol.com. Production of Boy courtesy of Jennifer & Husband

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hello, Goodbuy

As much as I love makeup, I've never really "splurged" on brushes. I've recommended the Kevyn Aucoin brushes to numerous people because I've read the amazing press. I do admit to getting "suckered" into a Shu Uemura Kolinsky brush that was like $58, but I had to have that one. It seriously makes the most amazing smokey eyeliner eye and I just loved the brush. But overall, brushes just aren't my "thing". I appreciate the skill required in making the brush, and I even appreciate how the right brush enhances the finished product (i.e., the $58 splurge at Shu Uemura last November), but...I don't appreciate the steep price associated with the brushes.

So, mommy and I were in Target a few weeks ago, and we were only there to buy a few cards. But, seeing as it's Target, it's virtually impossible to ever get out of there only buying what you came in for. So, we stumbled through the aisles and found ourselves in the Sonia Kashuk makeup section. Strategically placed at eye-level were the most beautiful makeup brushes I'd seen in a long time. Sonia Kashuk's products have always had a very solid reputation in the press, so I'll admit that I was intrigued with this new "professional" line. The way that the bristles of the large eyeshadow brush were set was really top-notch. So, I ran the brush under the scanner to check the price, and I was stunned that it cost $12.99. I was definitely anticipating a much higher price. And, I'll be honest, now that I have the brush home, it performs far better than a $12.99 brush. What was even more intriguing was the hairbrush that looks identical to a Mason Pearson brush - but instead of $140, it's $14.99.

Hello, Goodbuy indeed!

Check out the brushes at Target as soon as possible - I fear it's one of those items that will quickly morph from Goodbuy to Goodbye.

(image taken courtesy of www.target.com)

MIBA (Missing in Beauty Action)

It's been nearly 5 months since I've had the opportunity to post on my blog, which is my self-professed "Most Favorite Hobby". I've been caught up in a myriad of activities, basically known as "life". Husband and I are in the process of buying a house, so it's been a nightmare of running up and down between our current apartment and the 75 places we thought we might be able to call home. I also have to do this other thing 5 days a week - called my actual job of doing environmental insurance coverage work (fancy title, right!)

But, I'm excited to start posting again and profess my love of my latest discoveries, re-discoveries, and things that I basically can't get enough of! Just because I haven't been posting - it doesn't mean that I haven't been shopping!

Stay tuned...