Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

AKA Argan Oil – Is It Snake Oil? Part Two

If you haven’t already, read part one!

Last week, I talked about my initial impressions of the Argan Oil craze. I was ensnared when friends admitted to using the argan produts by Josie Maran and that it seemed to be helping with facial scarring and under-eye blahs.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, 0.5fl oz

The JCPenney in my local mall opened a Sephora in October – on my first trip there, I bought one of the small bottles of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, 0.5 fl oz. for $14. I have some pretty stubborn dark circles and had a dermatological procedure coming up that would leave me with a facial scar, so I figured the timing was good.

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Argan Oil – is it Snake Oil?

Last year, I was only just starting down the rabbit hole that is the beauty world and started hearing about beauty oils. It wasn’t gradual, it was sudden, it was frequent, and more often than not it was Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil ($49). Although some struggle with the idea that facial skin + oil = unparalled catastrophe, that was not my obstacle. My personal obstacle was wrapping my head around

  • the fact that so many people seem convinced that this is a miracle product and that
  • the purveyors of this bottled hocus-pocus were actually selling it for as much as it costs. “It fixes your hair!” they said, “It fixes your face! It soothes ragged cuticles! It feeds the hungry!”

Okay, maybe I got a little carried away there at the end. It doesn’t feed hungry people, not directly anyway.

Argan Does Feed, Though

That said, it does feed hungry goats. The Argan tree, in addition to producing fruit with nuts inside that we get our so-called magical oil from, does in fact feed hungry Moroccan goats. Evidently, these goats determined that the fruits from Argan trees are outstanding because they climb the trees to eat them. Pics, it happened:


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January 2014 Favorites

January 2014 Favorites

1. Psssst! Dry Shampoo, $6 / 2. Orly Bonder Base Coat, $6 / 3. Swisspers Nail Care Double-Tipped Swabs, $2 /
4. L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess, $6/ 5. Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss – Pink Pop, $6

Six dollars seems to be the magic amount for my January 2014 Favorites, huh? More on this after the jump.

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Beauty Oils

Beauty Oils

Beauty Oils

Beauty oils started increasing in popularity within the last couple years, but mostly among those in the beauty industry or fanatics. It seems that in the last year however, they have just exploded in popularity. Pesky waterproof makeup giving you trouble when it is time to remove? Oil can fix that. Facial cleansing that doesn’t strip your skin–squeaky clean isn’t actually a good thing, people–and leave it dry? Oil. Moisturizing without caking some awkward, likely scented goop on your face and waiting forever for it to sink in? Yeah – oils.

The problem is that many of us have been conditioned for years–hell, decades–with the understanding that oil = bad. Oil = shiny, and oil = blemishes. As it turns out, we’re in the wrong – as with many things, we should not assume that all oils are going to give us trouble simply because some do. We need to clear the cache here and start anew, because beauty oils are not going to ruin your day. Many people with oily skin (or even just combination/oily T-zone) seek oil-free everything. Cleansers, moisturizers, treatments, foundations – all for the fear that additional oil would exacerbate the problem. Not so – in fact, removing too much oil or forcing your skin to be too dry is going to cause your skin to overcompensate and produce more of what you’re fighting against. Using an oil (provided you choose the right one, please do not slap canola on your face and call it a day) can calm your skin down and make it scale back its oil production. Using an oil on waterproof makeup is a gentle and quick way to remove it. Sephora has been pushing them for a while and it really makes you wonder why they didn’t gain popularity sooner.

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WTF, Express?

Saturday’s Sass:

Express, what the actual fuck were you thinking?

Before I get into this, I’d like to point out that this is not a fashion blog. That being said, the two subjects are related so there may be some overlap. I don’t make a point of seeking things like this to write about, but I couldn’t help myself when I saw what I saw.

Backstory: I recently decided that I would like to invest in a decent blazer at some point. I have a blazer but it isn’t sturdy and isn’t versatile. I opened a few browser tabs to get an idea of what is currently available from various retailers. The Express website,, tosses you onto a landing page with some current promotional info and where you then choose if you want to shop Womens, Mens, Sale, etc. This is what I was greeted with when I clicked the, “Womens,” link:

Nopenopenope. On the left – let’s not try to pass off drawstring, elastic-waist pants worn with a crop top and stilettos as chic. Especially not when those pants have tapered legs and what really feels like an athletic stripe down the side. Protip: Contoured cheekbones do not make you stylish. Neither does simply standing in what appears to be New York City.

On the right – jumpsuits (that are not intended as an occupational uniform) are against my religion, and they should be against yours too because they flatter no one. They’re awkward on the model, and they’re ridiculous on people who do not resemble matchsticks. Can we talk about this? This specific jumpsuit is called their, “Strapless Track Pant Jumpsuit.” Hot damn, what’s more stylish than track pants? Obviously track pants with a shapeless, drapey tube top attached. Listen – I used to run competitively. Please run just 50 meters in that. Bonus points if you don’t ditch the heels. Let me know how it goes for you.

The, “About,” section of their website states the following:

Express is the must-have sexy, sophisticated fashion brand for work, the weekend, or going out. It’s what’s new and what’s now for young fashion-forward women and men.

Really? Interesting. For most people, work clothing =/= sexy. The above is neither sexy nor sophisticated. Fashion forward? Maybe – but things like this are why my eyebrow is raised near-perpetually when it comes to fashion. I swear the designers just run out of ideas every now and then and make things like this to troll people. Don’t be the guy that designs or buys this nonsense.

Until writing this final sentence, I never did check out their blazers – none of their inventory appeals to me…but I’d be lying if I said that nonsense above didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. Keep trying, Express.

Worth it? Pantene Split-Fix

I am the fortunate owner of a pretty awesome head of hair. It is long, healthy, generally cooperative, and free of processed-nonsense (color, perms, etc) that can cause it to be ornery. Although seasonal changes generally do not wreak much havoc on it, a couple months ago it started misbehaving. Split ends. Frizz. Breakage. Ridiculous tangles. Static. I hadn’t changed anything in my routine in terms of care, I hadn’t changed my diet, and I did not start heat-styling more often.

Like our skin, our hair changes as we age; I simply assumed my hair was experiencing such a change and was becoming more sensitive to the changes in humidity. My conditioner was doing a pretty good job (as far as I was concerned) and I deep-conditioned once weekly but in spite of my efforts, the situation continued to worsen. It was making me crazy; I like my hair low maintenance but because of the monstrous tangles I continued to get, I decided to toss another product in to help me out. Contrary to my usual obsessive pre-purchase research, I picked up a bottle of Pantene Split-Fix ($10 for 2 on Amazon + $3 off e-coupon, or $6 in drugstores) when I was out one day.

Pantene Split-Fix Front

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