Monthly Archives: March 2012

Clinique 3 step facial “system”

I have been trying out this 3 step facial system since I got it for Christmas. I have posted individual reviews for the facial cleanser and the moisturizer, I still am not sure how to evaluate the clarifying lotion by itself.

As a set I like these products. The mild facial soap foams when you put it on which is nice, and it does the job well. The clarifying lotion leaves my face tingling, and does exfoliate my skin a bit. Finally the moisturizer, which is my favorite does a great job. The moisture seems to penetrate deeply and leaves my skin soft and smooth.

The main thing I notice with this set is that if I use it 2 times a day, and sometimes even every day, I notice that my skin tends to dry out a bit. Using this every other day has been pretty successful. Also, when I do get the occasional pimple, they seem to clear up faster when I use these products. (I also seem to get them more frequently, but that could be a hormonal coincidence and they go away so fast it doesn’t matter.)

While I am happy with these products and I would buy them again, my search for the perfect facial skin care continues. Also, if the Pevonia products were less expensive, I would choose them over the Clinique products any day – especially the Pevonia moisturizer. (I like the Clinique cleanser better because it actually looks like soap when you use it, and the Clinique clarifying lotion feels like it is doing more than the Pevonia toner did. Overall, though my skin felt AMAZING when using the Pevonia products.)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Pros: Love the moisturizer, there are different Clinique products for each of the different skin care needs and types, relatively affordable. (When you buy the 3 steps at once it is cheaper than when you buy each item singly.) a little goes a long way with each of these products, the pumps on the facial cleanser and the moisturizer dispense the perfect amount for me, fragrance free, dermatologist developed.

Cons: Drying when I use whole system daily.

Price: $62-$76 (Clinique website is cheaper than Amazon in this case.)

Where to shop: www.clinique.comwww.amazon.com, Clinique counters in department stores

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Keratosis Pilaris vs Exfoliation Experiment (Post 2)

Hello,

So, I have Keratosis Pilaris. (If you don’t know what that is check out my post “What is Keratosis Pilaris?”) Awhile ago I decided I was going to pitt my Lerosett and my Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter against my Keratosis Pilaris, (KP) for short. After following my original plan for a few days, I got lazy….Sorry guys. So instead, I started doing the following:

Every other day, or so (this experiment hasn’t been done with scientific precision) I have been using a sugar scrub on my two arms and my right leg and then moisturizing with EOS . I have been using my normal routine on my left leg. Meaning – washing it and moisturizing it occasionally.

While the KP has not completely vanished I have noticed an improvement. My arms seem smoother and less red. I will be continuing this experiment and will post pictures soon.

If you have KP, let me know what you have done to try to improve it and whether or not it helped!

Aiden

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Beauty on Broadway (Dunedin, FL)

I tried out this salon, Beauty on Broadway, yesterday.  I saw a Groupon for it, and I decided to treat myself.

Beauty on Broadway is run by two sisters and their small staff. The salon provides the following services: nails, hair, massages, facials and permanent make up.

When I walked into the place the first thing I noticed was how cute it was. There is pretty floral wall paper, and nice decor. My only complaint, is that place looked a little messy/cluttered and the place while cute, didn’t have the SUPER relaxing ambiance that I am used to at Botanica. 

One of the sisters greeted me, and immediately offered me something to drink. I chose a spiced tea and settled into the massage chair for my pedicure. There was a good selection of colors, and a lot of ZOYA nail polishes. Since I was getting a Spa manicure and pedicure, I was treated to a wonderful (housemade) sugar scrub and a super luxurious moisturizer. When it came time to do my manicure, I was treated to a wonderful paraffin wax (my first ever.)

The ladies, Dawn and Cathy, were very friendly and the service was great. Dawn, who did my nails, even helped me get into my car, so that I wouldn’t mess up my nails.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. (It might have gotten 4 stars if I was so spoiled by Botanica Day Spa.)

Pros: friendly, great manicures/pedicures, good prices, hygenic (I saw Dawn clean out the foot bath), cute place, great service!

Cons: A bit cluttered/messy. Because the 2 sisters run the whole show there was no receptionist, so they were answering the phone in the middle of my pedicure and the other client’s pedicure.

I definitely plan to go back for the manicure/pedicure services. The friendliness and personal care makes up for any other faults the place has.

FYI: Dawn is from Oregon. She used to run 2 beauty schools and a salon. She definitely knows what she is doing!

For more pictures and a sample of their “menu click here.

Address: 310 Monroe St. Dunedin, FL

Phone Number: 727-736-1468

Facebook: Beauty on Broadway

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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

I got a small tube of this wonderful product from a friend of mine for Christmas. Soon after I bought myself this “big” bottle.

The main thing that I notice with this moisturizer is that it feels like it penetrates deeply and moisturizes more than just the top layer of my skin. I find this to be true with the Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter as well. These formulations just seem to absorb better.

My skin always feels softer after I use this product and I don’t have to use a lot of it. I am a big fan!

All though it is recommended by many that you use products 2x per day, I have not found that to be good for my face. (The 3 steps of the Clinique series used every day makes my face drier.) I use this product at night before I go to bed only.

Also, I haven’t noticed “lasting benefits” meaning while this does moisturize my face, its more of a maintenance product than a product to create vast improvement.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

Pros: fast absorbing and non-greasy, deep moisture penetration,softens skin, affordable, a little goes a long way.

Cons: not a naturally based product, small bottle. (Not really that much in the way of cons.)

Price: $24

Where to Shop: www.clinique.com, www.amazon.com, Clinique counters in department stores.

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Sabah: A Love Story

Sabah: A Love Story is about a 40 year old Muslim woman who lives in Toronto, Canada. She ends up falling in love with a non-Muslim Canadian man. This creates problems in her somewhat traditional Muslim family.

I stumbled upon this movie while browsing Netflix, it was in the romantic/ feel-good section. I am a sucker for romantic comedies, and  I love movies about various different cultures. So combine the two and I am sold. (I love the movie Bend it Like Beckham – just in case you’re wondering)

In the end, the movie was decent. The acting wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t painful either.The love story was predictable, and cute.

To me the most important part of this movie was the cultural aspect. I like to expose myself to different cultures and belief systems, even if I do not agree with those systems. While, I don’t think this movie gives a perfectly accurate view of Muslim traditions and opinions it gives us a flavor.

As we all know there are some very extremist Muslims, they go around blowing themselves up, and blowing others up and they give a very bad name to Muslims in general. (There are extremists in every religion – consider the Spanish Inquisition, the Holy Wars, etc) From all  I have seen most Muslims are basically good people, just like you and I. They are some cultural aspects I do not agree with. For example, there is a great deal of room for improvement as to the freedoms and rights given to women.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. especially the look I got into semi-modern Muslim culture.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Pros: highlighted Muslim culture, cute story, good ending, showed actual issues a Muslim family like this might face.

Cons:the movie moved a bit slowly and there wasn’t a whole lot of action.

Trailer:

Price: $5- $30

Where to shop: www.amazon.com , www.fye.com

Where to watch: www.netflix.com

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Nine West – Shoes

I got this great pair of Nine West wedges from a friend of mine for my birthday.

They are really cute and pretty comfortable, the only problem I noticed in wearing them today is that the bottoms were a bit slippery, but other than that they were great and I got compliments all day long!

I don’t usually like the cork and black look, but for some reason, these shoes really pull it off. I love wedges because you get the height of heels without the strain and uncomfortable/painful feeling.

If you want to check out more Nine West shoes you can go to: www.ninewest.com or you can checkout what is for sale on www.amazon.com.

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Nine West – Purse

First off, I love purses and bags. I have loved them since I was 5 years old. Shoes and bags are my weakness.

This weekend I went shopping and stumbled upon this great purse at Ross. I have been wanting to get a smaller purse like this for when I go out and don’t need all of the things I normally bring. The only problem is, I think a lot of purses in this style are unattractive or boring. I think that this Nine West bag nails it!

I think the two zippers may this bag look cute instead of boring. The bag is very functional too, it has the two obvious outer pockets (which are big enough for lip gloss, cell phone, etc) and there is an inner zipper pocket as well.

I am not going to bother giving this bag a rating system, or going over the pros and cons.

If you are interested in other Nine West products you can go to: www.ninewest.com or you can visit www.amazon.com.

Happy shopping!

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Groupon

I found www.groupon.com a year or two ago and I love it.

Basically groupon.com  is a website that brokers really good deals on all kinds of products, restaurants, vacations, etc. for the public. Here are some examples: I got $40 worth of food at a local oriental restaurant for $20. I got a coupon for a spa manicure, pedicure and massage upgrades for $30, when it is normally $60. I have seen 6 sessions of laser hair removal for $99, etc.

The reason companies offer such great deals on Groupon.com is because they get exposure to a lot of people. People who buy groupons, then go to that store, etc. This can generate long term business, which in the end can turn out to be very profitable.

I love groupon.com because I have gotten some really good deals, the site is relatively easy to navigate, and if I am not sure what to do when I have available time I browse through groupon.com, which usually gives me some good ideas.

When you buy groupons they usually have a small wait period before you can use them, and they usually don’t expire for several months to a year. If for some reason you buy a groupon and don’t get to use it before the expiration date the groupon is still worth the amount you paid for it. So if you get a deal that you spent $30 to get $60 in service and you don’t use it before it expires, then the groupon is still worth $3o. The amount you paid never expires.

You can print out groupons or if you can download the groupon app and simply show your coupon with your phone.

Ratings: 4 out of 5

Pros: great deals, if you don’t use your groupon before it expires then the amount you paid never expires, you can buy groupons as gifts for others, groupons are available based on where you live – so you can discover all kinds of new places. There are all kinds of groupons, there are even groupons that give you discounts on online shopping.  The groupon site is easy to use and fun. The terms are conditions for each groupon are easy to find and easy to read.

Cons: the groupons aren’t activated instantly, there are expiration dates.

Price: membership is free, the price of groupons vary.

Where to shop: www.groupon.com

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Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

I bought this exfoliator at Botanica Day Spa (rated 5 out of 5) at the recommendation of Gen, who did my facial.

I LOVE this exfoliator. You don’t have to use very much at all, so that bottle lasts forever. (This justifies the $30 price tag.) Also, as with all Pevonia products I have used, the formula is gentle which is great for my sensitive skin. Unlike other products I have used, this does not dry out my skin.  All Pevonia products use only natural ingredients which is a big plus for me!

Note: Since this exfoliator uses little round beads to do the exfoliation work, I find it best to use this product in the shower. When I use the sink, I have a hard time getting rid of all of the little beads.

To summarize:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pros: natural ingredients, non-drying, a little goes a long way, bottle lasts forever, gentle formula which doesn’t irritate my skin in anyway (other than expected redness after exfoliation), the bottle is pretty/classy, great exfoliation for my 3x per week needs.

I will definitely buy this product again!

Cons: a bit expensive, only available online and in salons that carry Pevonia

Price: $32 – $34

Where to shop: www.amazon.com, www.pevonia.com, select spas.

(Note: Pevonia does not stand behind products sold on sites other than http://www.pevonia.com as they are not authorized sellers.)

To find spas that carry Pevonia products click here: Find a Spa

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Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (Mild)

I got this cleanser/facial soap for Christmas from a friend of mine. I have been using it since then and as you can see most of the bottle is still full. (This formula is also available in bar form – which is said to last longer.) Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (mild) is step one of  a 3 step system. The system also includes a clarifying lotion (which exfoliates as well) and a moisturizer.

In the beginning, I used this product twice a day, in the morning and at night before I went to sleep. In the beginning that was great, however, after a few weeks I noticed my skin started getting drier, even though I was using the Clinique moisturizer too. Now, I use this 3 or 4 times a week. The other nights I use Pevonia Botanica Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser .

This product is available in 3 different formulations. I use the one for Dry – Combination skin. To find out which Clinique products are best suited to your needs go to www.clinique.com and click on “My Skin Diagnostic.”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Pros: gentle formula, when you add water and clear your face suds are produced, great bottle and pump, a little goes a long way,.  All Clinique products are: dermatologist developed , fragrance free, allergy tested.

Cons: I find the formula to be slightly drying, slightly expensive (but still affordable, especially since it lasts such a long time)

Price: $16 (when bought individually)

Where to shop: www.amazon.com, www.clinique.com

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Queen Helene Cocoa Butter

I bought the big version of this cocoa butter a few years ago and liked it. After I ran out I started trying different moisturizers, but when I needed small tubes of moisturizer for my bathroom and kitchen sink areas I turned to this cocoa butter.

Queen Helene cocoa butter is cheap, smells okay, goes on nicely, and leaves my skin feeling softer. The cream absorbs really fast and does not leave my skin feeling greasy.

This is the kind of moisturizer I buy to use on the go. I would keep a tube in my purse, my car, my desk, etc. However, I would prefer something higher quality and more moisturizing for my main moisturizer. This stuff is great in a pinch though.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Pros: Cheap, moderately moisturizing, does not leave a greasy feeling, makes skin softer and smoother.

Cons: Doesn’t moisturize as deeply, as a cocoa butter should. The formula is a bit runny, instead of thick and rich. While the smell isn’t bad, it does have a faint chemical odor mixed in with the vanilla scent.

Price: $1-$2 for small bottle like this, $3-$9 for 32 oz bottle.

Where to shop: Walgreens, CVS, www.amazon.com

 

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Waiting for “Superman” – Documentary about American Education

This is a powerful documentary on the state of education in America. It shows the current state of American education and the problems children are facing in public schools, as well as other options that have showed improvement. This documentary dissects the entire system, it covers education across America and examines the causes of the current system. It is easy to understand and very moving.

This is something all Americans, from every background, should be made aware of. Our children deserve a change!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Pros: See above

Cons: None

Price: $15-$17

Where to shop:www.amazon.com

Where to view: www.netflix.comhttp://documentaryheaven.com/waiting-for-superman

The official website for Waiting for “Superman” provides more information on what is being done and what you can do to change education in America. To visit their site go to: www.waitingforsuperman.com/action

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AVEDA – Intensive Hydrating Masque

I was wandering through my local mall when I spotted the Aveda store and I was quite excited! I spent about 45 minutes browsing, and testing practically every product before I decided on this masque.

This masque feels really nice and cooling when it is applied. Once I wash it off, my face feels softer and slightly moisturized. However, I find it necessary to apply an additional moisturizer right after, otherwise my face begins to feel drier.

Notes: I have not used this product on a regular basis, so I do not know long term/consistent use effects.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Pros: cooling/refreshing, smooths &softens my face, natural product

Cons: I have to use a lot of product for each mask – a heavy layer is required. The moisture is not lasting, at least on a single use basis (the masque may build up moisture if used on a weekly basis – I just don’t know.) A bit expensive for the results.

Price: $22 -$35

Where to Shop: www.aveda.com , www.amazon.com, select spas and retail stores.

Click here to find a store/salon  near you.

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EOS Boost Complete Care Hand and Body Lotion

I bought this at Walgreens because I needed a moisturizer. I bought it mostly because was 90% natural and paraben free, cheap and I liked the bottle. This is not a heavy moisturizer like Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter.

I usually use this at night before I go to bed, when I wake up the lotion is fully absorbed and my skin is relatively soft and moisturized. I would prefer my daily moisturizer to be a bit richer though. The main thing I don’t like is that the cream takes awhile to fully sink in/absorb and in the meantime my skin feels a bit greasy. If you are looking for a cheap moisturizer this is a decent choice.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Pros: 90% natural and paraben free, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals, no animal byproducts, cheap, pretty bottle, keeps my skin soft and pretty moisturized, easily spread formula – almost too easy.

Cons: The moisture takes awhile to fully absorb and leaves skin feeling slightly  greasy until it does absorb. The scent is nice until it is on my skin, luckily the scent is not very strong. The pump is pretty strong and I have accidentally gotten cream on my floor, etc when using this.

I may buy this again because of how natural the product is, but I will probably search for a better moisturizer.

Price: $8-$15

Where to Shop: www.amazon.com,store.evolutionofsmooth.com Walgreens, CVS

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Pro Hair Care: Salon Secrets of the Professionals by Alexandra Friend and Sheridan Ward

I bought this book because I wanted to better understand hair care and improve my ability to style my hair.

This books is AMAZING! EVERY GIRL SHOULD OWN THIS BOOK in my opinion.

irst the authors break down how to tell which type of hair you have, what problems and advantages that hair type presents, and which types of cuts work best on that hair type. The authors even go over specific foods that promote healthy hair growth.

Everything I just said is only the beginning. After that, the book covers the different types of products and tools as far as what they are, what they are used for and how to use them. The authors carefully explain and demonstrate how to curl hair, blow dry hair, straighten hair, dye hair, etc. Also included is easy to understand instructions for achieving specific looks and basic salon terminology defined. There is even a section in the book that goes over different problems that can come up and how to handle them. You name it and this book pretty much covers it!

Rating: 5 out of 5 (of course!)

Pros: (See above) & LOTS of PICTURES which makes this book really easy to understand. The wording is easily understood, not complicated. Pro Hair Care covers virtually every question you could have about hair – and just in case they didn’t answer your question they have a list of websites that you can go to for more information about hair. There is a great index at the end. The directions are relatively easy to follow. (Obviously, practice makes perfect.)

Cons: What cons?

Price: $12 – $27

Where to Shop: www.amazon.com(amazon is cheaper in this case) and www.barnesandnoble.com

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