November 2017 Favorites

November 2017 FavoritesNovember 2017 Favorites
1. MiroPure Straightening Brush, $40 / 2. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, 3 for >$8 / 3. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $80 /
4. Vaseline Original, varies / 5. OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, $8

American Thanksgiving has come and gone (somehow it was already like two weeks ago, WTF). The holidays are officially here. I have yet to decorate my apartment (because I have been drowning in work, as I shared on earlier this week). This weekend, I will get the wee tree up and then I will wrap all the things. I’ve been into tying gift bows lately and have some amazing peacock ribbon that I’m excited to use. Before we get into my November 2017 Favorites, don’t forget to check out (and enter, duh) my Real Techniques Sculpting Set Giveaway; there’s only a week left!

Read moreNovember 2017 Favorites

Garnier Fructis Grow Strong

Garnier Grow Strong Shampoo and ConditionerGarnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo & Conditioner
photo from Target

Intended this for publishing on Monday, but apparently I’m awesome at WordPress and it came out a little early. Don’t worry, the schedule is correct for the rest of the week!

First things first: I received Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo and Conditioner for free to try courtesy of BzzAgent (and, of course, Garnier). I was not paid to create this content. Anyone can join BzzAgent for free and qualify for BzzCampaigns – you receive free product provided you agree to review it.

Even though my current shampoo and conditioner situation is working out, I’m open to trying products from brands I’ve had luck with. I used Garnier Fructis products with relative success for years when the brand was new-ish. Since then, the brand’s offerings have changed a lot and I’m less familiar with their landscape. Garnier Fructis Grow Strong, which is paraben free and vegan, claims to support hair by making it 10x stronger. I tried it to find out.

The two stars of the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong duo are (per Garnier’s label) Apple Extract and Ceramide.

Apple Extract

In reality, this means it contains malic acid, which is an acid produced by apples, but also all fruits (among other things). Along with glycolic, lactic, and citric acid, malic acid is a part of the alpha hydroxy acid family and is occasionally a component of skincare products.

Malic acid is part of why apple cider vinegar rinses are recommended for no- and low-‘poo regimens. Some people claim that malic acid (and ACV rinses) can stimulate hair growth. This skeptical jury of one is out on that; AHAs interact with living cells, so I suppose it is plausible that they could stimulate the scalp into doing what we want. Otherwise, applied to just the hair shaft itself, it isn’t going to promote hair growth.

Ceramide(s)

These waxy lipids help the hair (or skin, in the case of its natural presence in skin or in skincare) bind together. Think of those ultra-close-up views of what a strand of hair truly looks like: it is essentially a cascade of tiny scales. Ceramide helps them stick and lie flush to prevent damage to the hair’s cuticle. Their presence assists the hair in trapping and retaining moisture. Both of those effects result in stronger hair by:

  • directly reducing the likelihood of breakage
  • improving moisture retention (which also reduces breakage risk!)

Net result is you win because you have healthier, fuller hair. You can learn more about the interaction between ceramide and hair at Longing4Length, who has a nice article on it.

Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo & Conditioner

Read moreGarnier Fructis Grow Strong

Still Love the Wet Brush

A few years ago I discovered the joys of The Wet Brush. This inexpensive brush is great for long and/or tangle-prone hair. Since I wrote that, the line has expanded considerably! They have so many fun colors and different brush styles now. I’ve gifted a bunch of them (and plan to gift more). Their original form-factor includes the original that I wrote about as a style with mixed bristles intended for improving shine.

Pop-Fold

My silver-haired friend (who showed me The Wet Brush in the first place) alerted me to the fact that they have a fold-up version. Using a gift card (and therefore not violating my No Buy), I picked one up. I love it!

Read moreStill Love the Wet Brush

Cool Beauty Products I’ve Seen Lately

Being a blogger on a no buy is a challenging position to be in. I ought to remain at least vaguely aware of wtf is happening (ABH Subculture) and what cool beauty products are launching. ALl oh this, of course, without becoming tempted enough to make purchases.

You are cordially invited to join me in marveling at my first world problems.

Anyway, as a result of

  • trying to stay at least semi-abreast of what is coming out or
  • shopping for other things and seeing ads or seeing unrelated albeit interesting search results and
  • occasionally tagging along with a coworker to Ulta during lunch to help her with product recommendations
–I’ve seen some cool beauty products lately! I haven’t purchased any of these items, but I wanted to share what caught my eye.

Cool Beauty Products I've Seen Lately - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

I’ve tried an Hourglass mini before, but ultimately invested in the full sized product because, well, the product is fantastic. I imagine that’s no different with the Ambient Lighting Blushes, but let’s say you’re gift shopping and have a limit of $25-30. This little one, currently only available in Mood Exposure, runs $24.

Read moreCool Beauty Products I’ve Seen Lately

Costco Beauty Finds – May 2017

I’ve been a Costco member for a few years now and have shared some beauty finds in the past. Costco Beauty is a veritable treasure trove of desirable products at even-more-desirable prices. Arguably, if you have a makeup/skincare/haircare habit, the savings on some of these finds alone more than pays for the membership if you were planning to buy them anyway.

Here are some neat things I came across recently. I haven’t purchased most of these items, but either want to at some point or think they’re probably interesting enough to some people to share.

Costco Beauty Finds - May 2017 - Amope Pedi Perfect Wet & DryAmope Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry

The standard Amope Pedi Perfect is the recipient of several consumer awards as well as overwhelmingly positive reviews. Between 4.5 and 5 stars virtually everywhere, the Pedi Perfect typically retails for $30-36 for the device itself with only one head. Costco regularly carries the Wet & Dry variety, which is waterproof and therefore safe to use in the shower, for $40; the Wet & Dry variety typically goes for $50+ elsewhere. Costco’s package includes FIVE replacement rollers heads, which retail for $20 for a pack of two, plus a storage bag. Bonus: You DON’T have to be a member to order this from Costco.com, but there is a non-member surcharge of a couple dollars. This is the best value I’ve found via Costco Beauty to date.

Costco Beauty Finds - May 2017 - Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening SerumMurad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum

This popular Murad serum goes for $65 at Sephora and Ulta in the same quantity. Even with a 20% off Platinum Perk or the November VIB sale, it drops to $52…so the $43 price tag Costco has it for is a steal. People have luck fading acne scars, sun spots, and age spots with this.

Read moreCostco Beauty Finds – May 2017