Freddy My Love!

OK… I bit the bullet and gave into the hype. On an impulse, I bought a Frederic Fekkai hair care starter kit at Target and I have to say… I am so down with Freddy.  

My hair is long, straight, and though the individual strand is thin, I have a ton of it. I am a highlighting workout! I wash my hair and almost always want to cry as I painstakingly comb thru the inevitable birds nest that is my hair. I’ve tried all the tricks of the trade to get it to not be so tangled after washing… the only thing that works is a deep breath, patience and a good brush. I seethe with jealousy as I watch people comb thru their hair with a quick one’ two of their brush. My hair has been a dishevelled knot of a mess since I was old enough to have hair. 

The point of my wahh-wahh sob story, is that I’m on the expensive hair conditioner band wagon, but up until now, I’ve seen little point to expensive shampoos for me. I have to use half the bottle anyway, so why pay $25?

I saw the kit at Target and thought, for $25 for all three, why not give it a go? I can pop it in my travel beauty case for when I go out of town but still want my hair to look awesome. 

So this weekend, I tried it after coming back from the pool. I brushed thru my hair post wash with relative easy and then let it air dry for a bit so I wouldn’t have to spend 1 hr blow drying. 

And omg.. I could not stop touching my hair. I was the last to be ready because of all the caressing I HAD to do! My hair felt like crushed velvet, it dried beautifully and I quickly straightened it and it looked PERFECT all night and even the next day. I hadn’t brought the glossing product part with me, so this was my hair without even using any product, just shampoo and conditioner and Oklahoma water (yikes!). 

Sold and Sold! The hype is true! 

P.S: I only used a pebble-sized amount of each. So hopefully this lasts me quite some time! 

My First Beauty Review

Check out my first ever beauty review on my absolute favorite beauty website Beauty Banter. I’ve been reading this website since 2006! Sarah Howard is truly one of the best authorities on makeup, hair and skincare solutions! I trust and love her recommendations! 

Sunburn Solutions

Much, much, MUCH to my disappointment.. I got a sunburn this weekend. I am forgetful with many things… but putting on sunscreen is not one of them. I am so pro-sunscreen, I should enter it to win American Idol.

I remember the trauma I endured after seeing “True Life: I’m Getting Married”…

When Sabrina went to the tanning bed (again for the billionth time that day) and peeled off some sunburned skin around her chest and I not only about threw up, I also swore to myself, I would never allow such a thing to happen to myself or any of my loved ones. gewwww….

I went to “float the river” near Austin this weekend, and I put sunscreen on at the  beginning… but it was a bit cloudy for most of the float, so I didn’t think to reapply. BLAM! Sunburned City!

Hence, I came home and had red arms and the area between my arm and chest was so red I could barely wear tank top. 

But when life gives you sunburns… you can have an excuse to head to the pharmacy and buy some very important sunburn remedies… 

Immediately after sunburn remedies:

1. Aloe Vera:  if you have a aloe vera plant and you aren’t headed out that night, break off a blade of aloe vera and smear it on the most burnt parts… it’s very sticky, but it definitely will sooth the burn. Alternatively, any aloe vera gel will do, I buy generic, because really what’s the difference? The cooling type (with menthol) feels especially good! I would also pop it in the fridge or freezer for a bit for extra relief. 

2. Solarcaine: ($7.49)The spray with the cooling aloe in it is the ticket if you are truly burnt to a crisp and everywhere. A friend of mine did not put a lick of sunscreen on before heading to the beach all day… we spent the rest of the evening spraying Solarcaine directly on her so that she would be able to lie down and sleep… saved the day!

Take two aspirin, drink a lot of water, and sleep without covers and hopefully you will feel much better in the AM.

Next Day or after the pain is subsided: 

1. To hydrate and rehabilitate the skin back into health, I find that Bio Oil ($11.99) really does the trick. It smells great (because the scent is so faint and not overwhelming) and it has a ton of different oils in it. It comes in a small bottle but you really don’t need a lot to cover your sunburn. It has many purposes, most importantly to reduce scars, anti-aging and hydrating the skin. I used it the first time for a burn I got from accidentally resting my arm on the inside of my oven as I was taking out a dish… it restored my skin! I would recommend it to anyone to just have around the house. And for being a body oil, I have to say that it absorbs well and doesn’t make you feel like a slip n’ slide. Found at Walgreen’s. 

2. A great, sun-specific lotion that doesn’t smell like you are a walking coconut daiquiri machine, is Banana Boat Aloe After-Sun Lotion $5.99. This should be used every day, 2x a day, for at least a week or two after a sunburn and even after being in the sun a lot… it will help you avoid peeling and also it will help maintain your tan for much longer. A key staple to have. 

3. If you have burned your lips (yikes!), I would recommend Eurcerin Aquaphor Lip Repair ($4.30) for value choice, or Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream ($17) for more luxurious option.  These are two great multi-purpose products and should be staples in your beauty routine. Apply very generously before bed, and continuously reapply during the day. Then once the burn has subsided, apply daily just to keep those puckers plump and hydrated! 

Also, to avoid a sunburn, check out some of these recommendations for sunblock! 

What other products do ya’ll rely on for sunburn remedies? 

My Top 10 Favorite Neutrogena Products

Simply put, I love Neutrogena. It’s a classic brand that I trust and would recommend to every age and every skin type.

I have sensitive, breakout-prone skin, and not surprisingly, my Irish roots failed to give me gorgeous olive skin. So I love that their products are mostly oil-free, loaded with SPF, relatively inexpensive and found at the local pharmacy. 

Below are my top 10 fav. Neutrogena recommendations! Lots of these have been staples in my daily routine for years, some are new discoveries! Let me know which ones ya’ll have tried and enjoyed. 

1. MoistureShine Gloss: ($7.99) This is a new discovery! It provides a nice gloss but isn’t too sheer. What makes this gloss stand out is that it is not sticky at all. It goes on very smoothly and then doesn’t turn into a fly trap for your hair. I recommend it for work, pool, date night or nights at the clerrrbzz. Favorite Color(s):Nutri Berry: a sharp, glossy pink with cold undertones, so it’s great for gals with blonde hair and pale skin. 

2. Revitalizing Lip Balm: ($8.99) This is a great alternative to chap stick! The color is rich and the moisture is richer. It also has SPF 20! So now we can protect and decorate those smackers at the same time. Favorite Color(s):There is something for everybody! I recommend Soft Caramel for those with olive or darker skin, and Sunny Berry and Fresh Plum for those with pinkish undertones. The Sheer Shimmer color is great for everyone who wants to channel Lady Gaga.

3. MoistureShine Lip Soother: ($6.49) This is one of the first Neutrogena products I ever used. Wearing this, people can see their reflections in your lips. However, it is sticky… so perhaps don’t wear this while cruising with the top down. Does provide SPF 20, which is remarkable for a gloss like this, but I’m still not so sure about wearing it at the sandy beach. Favorite Color(s): These colors are so sheer, that I think all the colors look good.

4. Anti-Residue Shampoo: ($5.99) I only just started really using product in my hair… I used to be a cynic and think products were an industry myth trying to force you to purchase more than just shampoo and conditioner… but then I broke the seal and got some excellent de-tangler and went bananas! My point though, is that my hair has got some buildup from all the products.. so once a week I use this shampoo or just use it after using my regular shampoo and follow with a deep conditioner. My hair feels and looks great after! 

5. Oil-Free Acne Wash: ($6.49) This face wash is not just for Sir Zits-a-Lot. It’s a great daily face wash that is not very harsh on the skin. I have kept a bottle in the shower to use every morning. It’s great for all types of skin. I don’t think the formula is strong enough to get rid of acne, but it is a gentle cleanser that won’t irritate and it can keep your clear skin, clear! 

6. Oil-Free Moisturize SPF 15: ($9.99) This is a staple of mine and a classic. I know they say you should wear at least SPF 30 everyday, but honestly, I think SPF 15 is just fine in you are inside most of the day. A lot of face moisturizers claim to be light and non-greasy, but really, they end up making my face smell like coconuts and then it’s breakout city, population Moi! This moisturizer is a safe bet and smells like NOTHING! I really do use it every day! It’s great for sensitive skin too! 

7. On-the-Spot Acne Treatment: ($6.99) Another cult product! If you can’t get to the derm, this will suffice to minimize the average pimple. 

8. Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection SPF 55: ($11.99) They aren’t kidding about the Sheer. This is like putting a matte coat of moisture on your face. I know this one is more expensive, but believe me, you use so little per application. It lasted forever while poolside in the smothering Texas heat. Even better, it didn’t feel gross or run into my eyes, my makeup never smudged or budged, and overall I was able to dedicate myself to jello shot distribution! 

9. Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock SPF 45: ($8.99) I know they are coming out with all sunblocks with SPF Bazillion, but rumor has it you don’t really need much more than 30-50 SPF.. I don’t know, I’m  not a doctor or a scientist, but I do know that this product is a must-have. It sprays on cool, so even when you are baking at the pool already, it doesn’t feel miserable to apply. You don’t have to rub it in, it doesn’t leave a residue and it smells not terrible! You will not miss your Coppertone, I promise. 

10. Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes- Hydrating: ($6.99) Most of us know about the original light blue package of makeup wipes, but this teal version of the classic is my new favorite. Most of these wipes are normally too harsh for my eyes, they burn right after using. But these feel great and take my pound of eyeliner off lickety-split. 

New favorite song! Great song to pair with a glass(es) of wine while you get ready to go out. 

Greasepaint Parade is not here to change the world…just the mascara you wear in it.
I must have this hair STAT! This is rainbow ombre effect, a growing trend post-feather extensions. On gorgeous beach curls. 
My thoughts… within this Look lies a very thin line between stunning and ‘just-woke-up-day-after-halloween-allnite-rager’. I would consult a professional first.
This is one case where I don’t think winging it with drugstore color and a shaky hand will produce similar results. 
photo and trend alert via www.BeautyBanter.com 

I must have this hair STAT! This is rainbow ombre effect, a growing trend post-feather extensions. On gorgeous beach curls. 

My thoughts… within this Look lies a very thin line between stunning and ‘just-woke-up-day-after-halloween-allnite-rager’. I would consult a professional first.

This is one case where I don’t think winging it with drugstore color and a shaky hand will produce similar results. 

photo and trend alert via www.BeautyBanter.com 

"(S)he who seeks beauty shall find it" … Even at Walgreens

My goal is to try out new beauty and cosmetic products and revisit cult classics and report back with what’s worth spending your rubles. 

What qualifies me to cover such topic? A topic that surely has been covered many, many times over…

1.    RESEARCH: I’m completely certain that 70-75% of my disposable income is spent at Walgreens. My home is bare, because I have to try out new hair curlers.

2.   DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO: I used 3 suitcases and 2 baskets to move just my toiletries to my new apartment. This “bragging” should make it clear that I have a problem, and that you should join me on the dark side.

3.    EXPERIENCE: I used to walk 2 miles from my school to the local CVS, because lugging back heavy CVS bags full of goodies was about the most retail therapy/stress relief/ ragin’ times high school afforded me.  

4.    STRATEGY: I could get a facial for $100, or I can buy 20 kinds of moisturizer. You do the math. The $5 price point per item is a killer. 

5.    PASSIONATE: Beauty depts put me in a deep state of zen. I peruse the aisles with the calmness of a Yogi and the knowledge of a philosopher

My mantra: 

Just like fashion, I find purchasing a few value drugstore finds and high-end luxury items makes for a robust and versatile makeup bag. I do purchase some key staple beauty items from high-end retailers. But let’s say I’m jones’ing to try a tinted moisturizer for my face. Will I buy a $45 product just to give it a go? I don’t think so.

I want to find that hidden gem that offers similar results, but at a fraction of the cost. And thankfully I did, because I looked ill in tinted moisturizer and haven’t used it since.

Let me know if there are any products you would like me to review on here or if you have any suggestions of your own! 

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