Pantene Micellar: A Gentle Clean

I was recently very pleasantly surprised to receive an unexpected delivery from Influenster – they sent me full-sized bottles of Pantene Pro-V Blends Micellar Shampoo and Conditioner free for testing purposes. I’ve been having some serious shampoo commitment issues lately, so I was more than happy to give these a try.

The combination of this gentle cleansing wash and moisturizing rinse is meant to transform fragile hair into strands of strength. After about a month of use, I can confirm that my hair appears to be stronger. I seem to be losing fewer strands throughout the day and my hair feels generally healthy. I’m also really digging the light floral scent of these products – it reminds me of lilacs and is perfect for spring.

The shampoo leaves my scalp clean – not dry – and my hair light and bouncy. The conditioner is lightweight and a decent detangler. They make a great daily haircare duo, but I must caution you if you (like me) like to skip a day between shampoos; about halfway through the second day my hair was embarrassingly limp and greasy. Definitely do not skip a day if you’re using these products!

Overall I like the way the micellar line makes my hair look, feel and smell. Have you tried it yet?

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Beauty Quickie: Lip Rescue

Who: Trader Joe’s

What: Virtuoso Organic Lip Balm

When: Constantly

Where: In my car, at my desk, on the couch…

Why: This unbelievably silky lip balm completely rescued my severely chapped (as in cracked and bleeding) lips in just two days. It is flavorless, has an extremely fresh and pleasant spearmint scent, and broad spectrum SPF 15. Go buy yourself a three pack and share one with your best friend (or your sister, which is how I ended up with one – thanks Linds!).

New Favorite: Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon

New Favorite: Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon

  More and more these days I find myself looking for beauty products that are quick and easy to use. Of course I want to look my best, but I don’t really want to spend much time achieving it (a girl can dream, right?). That’s probably why I’m so drawn to beauty crayons – they’re easy to apply, pretty much fool proof, and you can throw them in your bag (or pocket) and take them with you for a quick and easy touch up. 

I really love eye crayons. Lip crayons are great in theory, but I find they tend to be drying. Which is why I was delighted to discover that Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon is amazingly not drying. I received the crayon in shade Glace as part of my Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift last month and I’ve been using it daily ever since. 

 

I usually apply the crayon over a thin layer of clear lip balm to tone down the color slightly.

 The creamy crayon glides on smoothly and feels silky on your lips. I was worried the color might be a little too dark or too purple for me but it turns out I was wrong – the shade is pretty and natural, adding just a bit of easy polish to my overall look. I usually apply it over a thin layer of clear lip balm, which does tone down the color a little bit. For more impact, I’d recommend applying it straight to your lips – it still feels great on and looks amazing. 

So, fellow Beauty Insiders, if your birthday is coming up and you’re on the fence about which gift to choose, I highly recommend this one. If not, you may just want to run out and buy this crayon now – it’s just too good to wait!

Better Skin in 60 Seconds 

  Do you ever wish you could take good care of your skin without having to do much of anything? I definitely do, which is why I was intrigued when I heard that Aveeno had created a product that claims to brighten and rejuvenate skin in exactly one minute: Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant 60 Second In-shower Facial. 

According to the package, the facial uses ingredients like soy, lemon peel extract and the steam from your shower to exfoliate your skin. All you have to do is get in your shower, splash a little water on your face, apply a little of the slightly gritty cream all over your face (not your eyes), massage gently for 60 seconds and you’re done. 

Is it really that easy? You bet. It did not irritate my skin at all. It has never left my skin feeling dry or tight, but after just one use my skin was exceptionally soft and smooth and after two uses it was noticeably more even. It even works on the annoying little forehead bumps I sometimes get. It also has a mild, fresh scent that makes the whole 60 seconds very pleasant. 

The only downside? It contains alpha hydroxy acid, which can increase sun sensitivity. I try to use it about once a week, preferably when it’s going to be rainy for a couple of days or when I know I won’t be spending much time in the sun. Other than that, this product is a total life win. Better skin in 60 seconds? I’ll take it!

Summer Lip Picks

I tend to switch up my go-to beauty products alongside the changes in season, so it’s no surprise that I recently placed an epic Sephora order looking for some new summer favorites. Luckily I was rewarded with not one but two new lip products that I’m sure I’ll be wearing all season long. 

  On really hot, humid days, I’m not willing to put more than sunscreen, a tinted moisturizer and tinted lip balm on my face. These days that lip balm will definitely be Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Lip Recue in Cherry. Though it looks really red in the tube, it’s more of a sheer berry on the lips, and it feels amazing. It features a light minty scent and pleasant cooling sensation, perfect for hot summer days. It’s also ultra moisturizing. I call that a summer win. Quench Lip Rescue comes in a variety of other sheer shades that you can find here

  On cooler days, or when I’m looking for something a bit more glam, I’ll be turning to Nars Lipstick in Orgasm. In case you haven’t heard, Nars finally turned their cult favorite peachy pink looks-good-on-everyone blush into a lipstick. While I find the lipstick to be more pink-brown than peach-pink, it’s still a lovely, flattering neutral with a bit of shimmer. For those with an aversion to gritty shimmer particles, fear not – the lipstick has a nice smooth texture. It’s long lasting and light, but it does highlight little lip imperfections, so I’d recommend applying some sort of lip primer first. You can find it online here

What lip colors are you wearing this summer?

How Marula Oil Helped Me Make Peace with My Hair 

  I’ve written many times about my hair battles and woes. For the last 10+ years, I’ve had more or less the same hair cut and have tried with varying degrees of success to keep it straight without making it flat. You see, my strands are fine and like to get kinda curly when left to their own devices. It’s easy to flatten them with too much product, while not enough product (or too much heat) creates a pouffy mess. Humidity leaves my hair both limp and frizzy. The fight for a good hair day is not easily won. 

I’ve spent some time cycling through several shampoos and hair serums, trying to find the right formula to make my hair do what I want it to. But every combination left me frustrated. My hair either felt heavy and greasy or looked dry and frizzy. Then one morning, desperate for a change, my eyes landed on a little vial of Marula Oil I had purchased on a whim several months ago at my hair salon. 

According to its website, Marula Oil contains antioxidants and oleic acids that hydrate, tame frizz and add shine, “completely transforming hair.” I’m generally weary of beauty oils – a little usually goes a very long way – so I dabbed 4 or 5 tiny drops into my palm before rubbing my hands together and then working the treatment through my damp hair. The oil had a very light, clean scent that reminded me of the salon. It wasn’t greasy and made my hair very easy to detangle. I flipped my hair upside down to blow it dry and hoped for the best. 

After drying and styling my hair, I instantly noticed how healthy it looked. It was shiny, frizz-free, and felt weightless. Most notably, though, it wasn’t as straight as I’d expected, but in a good way. My sometimes unruly curls had been transformed into soft, pretty waves. And I actually liked it. 

Not long after discovering this new-found appreciation for my natural texture, I concluded that my tried and true long-layers hairstyle was no longer doing it for me. I decided to jazz things up a little with some side bangs and a lot more layering. The result is a flattering cut and a mane that’s much easier to manage. The additional layers give my hair some body and let more of my natural curl show through. The oil keeps my strands sleek and soft, so that even when humidity makes my hair extra wavy, it still looks healthy and pretty and not like a hot frizzy mess. 

It feels good to make peace with my hair, especially after so many years of fighting with it. Who knew a few drops of oil could do so much?

Sensational Shaving: EOS Shave Cream

 Don’t you just love it when a cheap little impulse buy becomes your new favorite thing? That’s precisely what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I grabbed this hot pink tube of EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Shave Cream while waiting to check out at Ulta. 

My sister had already told me that she loved it, but I’ve never been all that into shaving creams – run of the mill conditioner works just fine and is fairly inexpensive. But I loved everything about this pretty little tube, including its $1.99 price tag. So into my shopping bag it went!

I’ve been using it for the past couple weeks and I am absolutely in love with it. It’s packed with skin-softening shea butter and helps prevent nicks and razor burn. The scent is mild and the cream lathers lightly. My legs haven’t looked or felt this smooth in ages!