Keepin’ It Curly

I didn’t always have curly hair. As a kid, it was very straight and thick. When I was in 8th grade, I got a perm. As my hair grew out, it never lost the curl. I guess it liked being curly.

Via Indulgy.com

Via Indulgy.com

I fought the curl in my 20s. There was something about straight hair. It looked so neat and smooth but was a pain to maintain. I went to Ouidad and got a curly haircut. My life was forever changed. My holy grail gel is Ouidad’s Climate Control. Though I have long abandoned the “rake and shake” styling method, I have not abandoned the gel and my frizz free curls. Until recently.

My friend, E., started posting about her love of DevaCurl products. I was never curious about DevaCurl- the no poo shampoo gives me the creeps- but E.’s curls look amazing and I just happened to have a sample pack of DevaCurl products lying around. The pack contained three very generous samples of the No-Poo Cleanse,  One Condition, and Light Defining Gel. (And when I say generous samples, I have already gotten two uses out of the packets and think may have 2-3 more uses.)

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I wash my hair pretty much every other day but sometimes up to two days. I actually hadn’t washed in three days and decided to give the No-Poo a whirl. By the way, the products smell delightful, like jasmine tea. I squeezed some of the No-Poo into my hands and rubbed together. I really went at my scalp and worked some through the ends. I was a little afraid my head wouldn’t feel fresh but there must be some kind of tingly ingredient in that stuff because my head and scalp felt totally clean. I then worked some conditioner through the mid- section to the ends of my hair. I left it for a few minutes, combed through, and rinsed.

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I have admitted my devotion to Ouidad’s Climate Control Gel but I confess I use some kind of oil in my hair for my routine curly hair ritual. I put that in while it is soaking wet. Then I put my gel and some Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and scrunch. It isn’t time consuming and my curls stay frizz-free and are well defined. I decided to forgo the oil when trying the Deva Curl, as well as the curl cream. I followed the directions, tilted my wet head forward, and worked the gel through my hair, scrunching along the way. Then I waited for it to dry because as much as I love products, I do not love hair dryers.

What I noticed: my curls were definitely more spirally than normal. My husband did notice my hair did look different- he said it seemed curlier. I found some of my tighter curls were really tight. The next day, I still needed some product to smooth out some of the frizz. I found that it didn’t keep my frizz at bay as much as the thicker Ouidad gel.

photo 2 (1)

photo 1 (1)

What will I do? The jury is still out on that one. I have a TON of Ouidad gel to use up and I know it works for me. On the other hand, I will use up my samples and see what happens. Consistency is key with products. I’m curious to see if with time DevaCurl will hydrate my hair and it will naturally become less frizzy. I also put some of my oil in today to see if there is any difference.

Quick Update: Washed my hair Tuesday night with DevaCurl, put some oil in, and this is my hair today after some time in a ponytail.

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Are you  happy with your hair?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

 

Cleansing with Konjac- not Kojak

(Via Google Images)

(Via Google Images)

Yes, that is Telly Savalas, and no, I am not really going to write about Kojak, a show that ended before my time. I am going to give you some info on the Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($18 USD). Konjac? Kojak? Same difference. Well… not really…

 

(Via Google Images)

(Via Google Images)

Konjac sponges are gaining popularity in the US market. We usually are more into high tech rip your face off cleansing tools so the konjac sponge is a nice change. I don’t really consider myself to have sensitive skin but found my Clarisonic to be a bit harsh during cooler months and though I love my my Foreo Luna Mini, I  sometimes feel it doesn’t get really into my pores enough. Le sigh.

A konjac sponge is a little different. First off, it is a cheaper method. It is also disposable and won’t cost you an arm and a leg for a replacement head. It is also super gentle at exfoliating and just so fricken cool. Yes- fricken cool.

Konjac is native to Asia.- it is actually a type of potato It grows at high altitudes. Konjac is naturally 97% water, loaded in minerals, but not in calories. It is also pH neutral. And that is reason #139 that I love konjac potatoes- that, and their ability to exfoliate skin without stripping.

I ordered the Bosica Konjac Cleansing Sponge because I got an email about it from Sephora. I’m always looking for some kind of item in hopes that it will obliterate blackheads. I thought $18 USD was a little pricey but what was stopping me really? The sponge is half a sphere. It feels like a ball (or half a ball) of styrofoam. You immerse the sponge in warm water and it softens. Before my first use, I really let it soak up water. It softens up really well but still feels sturdy in the hands. Put cleanser directly onto the sponge and massage the skin in a circular motion. Rinse your face. Rinse the sponge out well and hang it to dry. It’s that easy.

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I’ve been using the sponge for maybe three days now and it has become the favorite part of my cleansing routine. It just is so soft and feels so refreshing yet soothing. My skin also looks more vibrant.

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The Boscia Konjac Sponge should be disposed after 2-3 months. Oh! If you don’t want to spend 18 bucks, there are a few other great options which I will most definitely be trying. Check them out:

EcoTools Pure Complexion Sponge ($5.99 US- Seriously?)

Dr. Sponge via Anthropologie ($8.50 US)

Amazon also has a few options.

Go get fresh faced!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Studio Gear Gets an A+ for Their CC Cream

Hello, hello!

I hope all is well today. I have had many trials and tribulations with face products for quite a bit. I have a decent complexion and rarely have any real issues with my face. When I was given the opportunity to try Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Color Correcting Cream, I figured what the heck?!

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

 

I have always had trouble with BB creams. I found them to be either too heavy or way too watery. My face would become an oil field and I would have to blot like crazy. I resorted to using only a face primer and that seemed to do the trick. I was intrigued by the Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream because it offers SPF 20, is oil free, lightweight, and hydrating.

This is my before. Note to self: drink coffee before phoographs.

This is my before. Note to self: drink coffee before photographs.

From Brandbacker website:

Hydrating CC Cream transforms and enhances your complexion in an incredibly light, smooth formula. This foundation simultaneously fights aging, retains moisture, and covers and treats blemishes with a non-oily, perfectly radiant finish.

Key Benefits:

Prevents fine lines and wrinkles with collagen-building ingredients
Restores skin elasticity by promoting moisture retention
Brightens and illuminates skin with a non-oily, complete coverage application

When looking the product, it almost looks like a face scrub. There are microencapsulated pigments in the CC cream that allow for hydration of up to 72 hours.

Do you see the little capsules?

Do you see the little capsules? This amount covered more than half my face.

I applied it over the very light moisturizer I use. It goes on very smoothly and I found that I do not need a lot of product to cover my face.

Napkin swatch! See how the color develops has it is smoothed over.

Napkin swatch! See how the color develops as it is smoothed over.

 

The product does not make the skin look matte. I wouldn’t say it makes it look dewy either. This CC cream gives you a slightly luminous finish.  I actually would say this made my skin look “better than” its natural state.

After application. Way too close today.

After application. Way too close today.

As for the grease factor- the Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream did not make me super oily. In fact, I felt that it actually helped keep some of the oil at bay. With that said, lasting power was pretty good but I did need to touch up with my powder here and there.

I put on some more color.

I put on some more color.

The price of Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream is $34 USD. It is available in three shades, linen, natural, and wheat,  which is a pretty limited selection. I am wearing the cream in Natural, so any skin tones lighter or darker may have some difficulty when selecting a shade.

If you are interested in trying Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Cream or any of their other products, just click here. You will receive a 10% discount on your order when using the code bloggercc.

Let me know if you try any other Studio Gear products. I’d love to hear about it!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

This post is powered by BrandBacker. Product was sent to me complimentary. All opinions are my own.

I’m Baaack! (I Hope!)

Good Morning!

After a few months of trials and tribulations, I am hoping to be back and posting more frequently. I’ll give you a rundown of the past six months:

-November, 2013- My husband and I moved out of the apartment we lived in for over four years. We really liked the apartment but agreed it was time to move to a bigger place.

-December, 2013- We soon learned that the landlord was not attentive and that our downstairs neighbor was not the type of person you’d want to share a building with. (Yes- it was that bad.)

January, 2014- We decided we needed to get the heck out of the new place so we packed up and moved into my mother-in-law’s house.

February-March, 2014: These moved along pretty quietly. We took a brief vacation, celebrated my birthday, and just settled in. The weather kind of stunk- snow and more snow but we were chugging along nicely.

April, 2014: Just as we thought things were getting back to normal, my husband learned that he had a detached retina. He had to have surgery. It was not pleasant. In the meantime, I had hit a very stressful time at work. When it rains is pours. I also was planning on going to Iceland with my mom for her birthday- a treat from the hubs and I. After waiting a few days, he sent us on our merry way. We got back this past Friday night.

And that, my friends, has  been my life the past six months. I think my husband and I learned quite a bit. It is wonderful when you have a full on support system and a family that will help you. You also can’t let this kind of junk crush you.

I hope you all are doing well. I plan on posting on a weekly basis, if I can wrap my head around it!

Until then…

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXOXO

Update!

Where have I been? If you were wondering, I have some new info…
My husband and I moved back in November. My blogging slowed down in the months before because of packing, back to work, etc. We finally got into our new place mid-November. After about a week, I noticed that our neighbor was very loud. So loud, that I could hear every word of Rihanna’s greatest hits. I asked her about it kindly and she was so nasty. The second time, I actually put in a noise complaint with NYC. We also spoke to our landlord.

Though it got a little better, I then had to worry if I would hear her screaming- at anyone or thing. One afternoon, I heard her fighting with a male- screaming back and forth. A few days later, the music started up. Again. My husband and I looked at each other and decided it was time to move. We lived in the apartment for two months.
My mother-in-law happily took us in and we moved this past Thursday.
I can only imagine the next few weeks are going to be busy between unpacking and getting settled. At this point, I will probably be taking a break and it will be for some time. As much as I love my products, I also love my sanity!

I hope to be able to back soon and miss you all!
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

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Getting Royal With Crown Brush

I have a ton of make-up brushes. Mind you, I never really bought  any good ones until I purchased a full brush set from HauteLook a few years ago by Crown Brush. These brushes were (and still are) better than other brushes I own. I also knew they were of good quality when I noticed them at an MUA event. Anyhoo, I managed to get myself their HD Brush Set, complimentary through iFabbo. Since I already enjoy Crown Brushes, this should be easy!

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A shiny white case does not make for an easy picture.

The Crown Brush HD Brush Set contains a variety of six brushes, a tweezer, and a mirror. Since my vanity room is not yet set-up (I don’t even want to talk about it right now) I need make-up brushes handy and this set makes it easy. All of the items are stored neatly in the white zip up case. Each brush has its own pocket. The bristles are made from synthetic fibers and the brushes are vegan. The handles seem nice and sturdy and I have yet to destroy the brushes, which is a good sign.

Look- size order!

Look- size order!

For the face there are three brushes: Pro Powder is nice and fluffy. It picks up just enough pigment and lets you dust your face with ease. The Tapered Brush is good for getting into those facial nooks and crannies (mmmm… nooks and crannies- I could go for an English muffin…) though it does seem to be a bit wide. In fact, the Deluxe Contour brush seems to be easier to control when getting into tight spots.

Tweeze me!

Tweeze me!

The tweezer in the set doesn’t have enough tension in my humble opinion but in a pinch would probably be okay. Onto the eye brushes- the first is the Crease Blender. I tend to use this when I am just trying to soften my eye shadow and a few swipes across your lids with this blends your colors beautifully. I use the Chisel Shadow brush for applying cream or powder shadow to my lids. This brush also has a downy feel. Last but not least is the Detail Liner. I personally think that the bristles on the liner brush could have been a bit more stiff for more precise application.

From left: Pro Powder, Tapered Brush, Deluxe Contour, Crease Blender, Chisel Shadow, Detail Liner

From left: Pro Powder, Tapered Brush, Deluxe Contour, Crease Blender, Chisel Shadow, Detail Liner

Keep in mind these are HD brushes so they can be used with highly pigmented colors but be warned- you don’t want to be too cartoonish for everyday so apply carefully! Since I feel the brushes pick up pigment well, apply with a light hand. (Trust me, I had a blush incident the other day.)

And another note: I am absolutely terrible with brushes. I never use the right brush and usually have no clue. I am actually surprised at myself since I had my first brush set at 13. The Crown Brush HD Brush Set makes it a no-brainer and while putting my make-up on 7 AM, a whole lot easier.

You can find the @CrownBrush HD Brush Set by visiting here.  It is available in three colors (purple, orange, or white) and is currently $27.95 USD. Get 20% using the code iFabboHD. The code expires 12/31/13!

Twitter: @CrownBrush

Facebook: Crown Brush Fanpage 

I hope I won’t be brushing you off for long!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I received this product complimentary from iFabbo. It had no influence on my review. If you are interested in joining iFabbo, click my affiliate link located in the sidebar.

Ringing in the Season with Studio Gear Holiday Smokey Eye Palette

studio1That’s a mouthful, no? Studio Gear’s Holiday Smokey Eye Palette is a “sultry, shimmery palette of dramatic shades perfect for creating a classic smokey eye look.” The palette contains four eye shadows and a blush to create a multitude of looks. photo 2 (18)

The palette is made of sturdy cardboard. When you open it up, there is a printed tutorial, along with the color layout of the palette. Personally, I think the names of the eye shadows and blush should have been printed below each pigment rich color but I don’t rule the world.

photo 1 (21)

Top colors are Frost & Coal, Middle is Snowy Glow Blush, and the bottom colors are Platinum and Glimmer

photo 3 (18)I tried using the tutorial but  having little patience and plans for the evening, I did what I wanted. I started by using an eye primer (NYX HD Eye Shadow Base) and brushed Platinum all over the lid. I then took my brush and added Coal into the crease. I brought the color around onto the outer part of my lid. I highlighted the brow bone with Frost. The colors were a little icy so I dipped my blender brush in Glimmer and dusted it lightly over everything, while softening the look. Using a fluffy blush brush, I applied a very small amount of Snowy Glow to my cheeks.

I didn't do this.

I didn’t do this.

I did do this.

I did do this.

I think that Studio Gear’s Holiday Smokey Eye Palette is a quality product. The eye shadows and blush are very pigmented. Using minimal amounts had big color pay-off. I had to be careful with the blush, since I am rosy. I really used very little of each color and I think they worked well. I am not sure if the palette is worth $25 on their website but if you want a no-brain smokey eye look, this palette could be for you. Studio Gear is also offering 10% for Product Hoochie readers at StudioGearCosmetics.com. Just enter SGHOLIDAY at checkout. FYI: the code doesn’t expire and is good for your entire order.

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Excellent holiday look!

Oh! And if you were wondering why I made myself up on a Wednesday night…

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Yes, that is Joe Manganiello in the flesh! He was signing his new book Evolution at my local bookstore. He was very gracious, especially when I mentioned I saw him perform in A Streetcar Named Desire. Clearly, my new eye look had something to do with this stare…

photo 2 (21)

This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

What’s In My Bag?!

I recently noticed a post on Pink Lady Beauty and figured a “What’s in My Bag?” post would be fun. I love pocketbooks. It is no secret. Some of my prize possessions are my bags. As sad as that may sound, I just can’t help myself. It started at a very young age. My grandmother worked at A & S and would manage to snag four year-old me the hippest pocketbooks that were on sale. Anyway, my obsession still continues and the wanna-be celebrity in me wants you to see what I have in my bag!

I currently am carrying an MZ Wallace bag. This bag is maybe from two seasons ago but their styles are pretty unique to the brand. I got this bag from my aunt. It sat in her closet for quite some time. It figures that it is one of my favorites and that it gets a lot of use.

Nylon with leather trim, this bag can take a beating. I am super hard on my bags and after a year of pretty frequent use, it still looks good.

Nylon with leather trim, this bag can take a beating. I am super hard on my bags and after a year of pretty frequent use, it still looks good.

The outside has two zippered pockets that are pretty generous in size. I find I don’t use them as much unless it is something I need to grab fast.

I keep things like tissues or um feminine products in the front pocket.

I keep things like tissues or um feminine products in the front pocket.

My only gripe with the bag is the top zipper to the main compartment. If you pull the zipper too far when opening it, it gets stuck and makes the bag pretty impossible to close. I do love that the attached short strap still fits under my arm and over a heavy winter coat and that there is a detachable cross-body strap, making it hands-free and shopping friendly. The inside of the bag is also roomy and there is an inside pocket with a zipper along with a few other pockets.

I use pouches in my bag. It's an OCD thing.

I use pouches in my bag. It’s an OCD thing.

Oh! There is also a back outside pocket! Hand sanitizer and lip balm are totally accessible in that pocket and I can just grab them quickly as I need them.

Sanitizer and lip balm in the back pocket. More lip product, hand cream, and blotting papers I keep in the inner zipper pocket.

Sanitizer and lip balm in the back pocket. More lip product, hand cream, and blotting papers I keep in the inner zipper pocket.

Caudalie’s Hand and Nail Cream is delightful and leaves my hands feeling silky instantly so I can use my smart phone right after applying. Jouer”s Conditioning Lip Treatment feels lovely and gives lips that pillow look. My blotting papers are from Forever21 and there is also a mirror in the compact. I am hoping to be able to reuse the compact for other blotting papers.

My teacher pencil case!

My teacher pencil case!

My mom-in-law bought me the “Stuff” pencil case a few Christamases (is that a word?) ago and it is perfect for the work items I need to have on me. There is my random gaggle of pens and pencils, a USB drive that looks like a Carress bottle, some post-its and my work key lanyard. I thought the penguins were cute. I also stuck my “Never Judge a Book By Its Movie” button on there to remind people to READ!

The wallet is by Elliot Lucca. I have a thing for keychains and the pouch is from Ipsy!

The wallet is by Elliot Lucca. I have a thing for keychains and the pouch is from Ipsy!

My husband bought me an Elliot Lucca wallet last year. It  is a big wallet and I pretty much throw everything that has to do with cash, receipts, credit cards, loyalty cards, change in it… you get the picture. I love that there are billfolds on either side to organize cash and miscellaneous paper. My keys have a Croc on them because my husband loves Crocs. I keep an Italian horn and the charm to ward off the malocchio- the evil eye.  I also carry an ipsy pouch for my make-up.

Inquiring minds want to know!

Inquiring minds want to know!

I always have a few staples in my little cosmetics bag that never come out. Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer is a necessity since I love my pigmented lipstick. This sample is perfect but I do have a full size when I finish up this guy. I also keep Too Faced Borderline Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil, which is pretty much a clear waxy lip pencil. It is smooth and terrific because it keeps pesky colors from bleeding without altering the shade. That little nub on the left is Sephora Nano Eyeliner in Pearl Beige. It is great for perking up tired eyes by adding a little to the inner corners or a quick highlight when blended on the browbone. I always have eye drops on hand if my eyes get dry or if my allergies make them itchy. I don’t use the drops too often but like them nearby. Ibuprofen Cold & Sinus clears up some congestion or those annoying sinus headaches.  Bare Minerals Ready Touch Up Tinted Mineral Veil helps me stay shine free and is great if I didn’t get a chance to do my face before leaving the house. Don’t even get me started about the three sample perfumes in the pouch. I heart Marni’s eponymous perfume and wear it pretty often, so that is pretty much a mainstay. I currently am trying out Cartier’s Baiser Vole. It is very sophisticated and I am pretty much done with this sample. The last is D’Anjou by DSH Perfumes. It is a really pretty pear scent and I received it in my October Bergamot box. In fact, I liked it so much, I bought it! Finally, the lip colors. I switch them up daily but I think Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Radiant may be another product that stays in the pouch all of the time. It is a shimmery rosy pink that is very flattering and great for throwing on in a pinch. My lipstick of the moment is Em Cosmetics by Michelle Phan in Nude. The color is fabulous- it is a nude that does not wash me out and with my primer, lasts a long time!

And that is pretty much it! What is your favorite bag? What do you lug around with you?

I know I would be lost without my pocketbook!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Update!

miss-jessies-curl-cremes

Image via google

I want to thank you all for all of your support regarding yesterday’s post. After I tweeted and posted my feelings on Facebook, I was immediately contacted by Miss Jessie’s. Miko, one of the co-founders, called me personally and was very gracious. She explained that the party was at their salon and since the space was small, they could not really accommodate New York and New Jersey. She fully realized that this was HUGE mistake and was really apologetic. I do think someone probably sent out hundreds or maybe thousands of invites that were really meant for people that are involved in the company’s business.  And, yes, Miko did extend an invitation to me but being that I live and work in Brooklyn, it really would be a bit of a challenge, especially at the start of the work week! Thank you, Miss Jessie’s, for realizing your error and Miko, for calling me personally to explain the situation.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I Guess I’m NOT Going…

I received this email today:

miss jessie inviteSounds great, right? I thought so, too, but I can’t attend. A few hours later, I got this…

miss jessie2Is it just me or is that in really bad taste? I spend a lot of money on hair products and think that Miss Jessie’s should at least do something for clients that received that email in error.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO