Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mascara lash-off: DiorShow Iconic vs. bareMinerals Flawless Definition

Today I'm putting two mascaras up against each other to pick one winner. The competition is fierce - DiorShow Iconic vs. bareMinerals Flawless Definition.
Let's get right into it.

Price
Retailing for $18, bareMinerals comes out on top in this category over DiorShow Iconic, which sells for a hefty $27.

Wand
Dior says its DiorShow Iconic mascara features an "oblique cut" brush (pictured below) with long, skinny teeth that give a lash-curling effect. The brush allows you to "precisely coat every lash ... creating a long, separated fan of lashes," Dior says. 
Meanwhile, bareMinerals says its Flawless Definition mascara features a tapered wand (pictured below) that "lengthens, darkens and lifts" and helps separate each lash.
The bareMinerals Flawless Definition wand is very basic and similar to many other mascaras I have used. DiorShow Iconic, on the other hand, has a very unique wand design and its bristles are super long. 

In this category, DiorShow Iconic definitely comes out on top for me.

Road test
Now it's time for the fun stuff. I applied DiorShow Iconic on one eye and bareMinerals on the other. Below are the before and afters. Note: I only applied the mascara to my upper eyelashes.

Diorshow Iconic

With its extremely creamy formula and unique brush, DiorShow Iconic defined each lash and did not clump at all, even with multiple coats. It also lengthened and curled my lashes very well, without the need for an eyelash curler. 

I have been using DiorShow Iconic for about six months and absolutely love it. The only negative aspect about this mascara for me is the price. Dior isn't known to be cheap, but this is one of the most expensive mascaras I have ever come across. 

bareMinerals Flawless Definition
I had never tried bareMinerals Flawless Definition mascara before this road test and received a small tube of it recently for free as part of Sephora's Beauty Insider program. I applied it three different times for this road test, and liked it more and more each time. The color was a very intense black -- darker than the DiorShow Iconic.

The bareMinerals Flawless Definition mascara defined my lashes very well, but it made them stick together a bit. When using this mascara, especially when applying multiple coats, you may want to use an eyelash comb to separate the lashes.

Overall Winner
It was a tough call, but my top pick is still DiorShow Iconic for its amazing lash-defining qualities.

Also, a fun side-note -- I asked my boyfriend to pick which one he liked better, fully thinking he wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but he pointed to the eye with DiorShow Iconic on it! He said he liked it better because it was "less clumpy."

What do you think of these mascaras? Do you agree with my assessment?

Friday, October 29, 2010

In desperate need of a haircut? Try this styling trick!

I need a haircut. Bad. 

I haven't been to the salon in months, and by now my hair is so long it's kind of bordering on obscene. My layers are so outgrown that I no longer have a style. It just hangs there. I am actually cringing right now thinking about it. 

Have you ever experienced this? 

Well, this morning, I rediscovered an old hairstyling tool that really helped improve the look of my overgrown hair. You most likely have one of these hidden away somewhere, too. What is it? None other than a set of hot rollers!
I purchased a set of Conair ION shine hot rollers (pictured above) a few years ago, but have only used them a handful of times. Desperate and determined to make my hair look halfway decent, I pulled out my trusty hot rollers this morning. 
I typically curl my hair every day with a 1.5 inch curling iron, which takes about 10 minutes. Putting in the hot rollers was even quicker, so I saved some time getting ready! I left them in for about 25 minutes while putting on my makeup and eating breakfast and took them out before I got dressed. The results were pretty good! 
Next time you're in desperate need of a haircut, try hot rollers. They're pretty quick and easy to use and the curls will help hide any dead ends!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've fallen in love... with an eyeshadow palette

Earlier this month I mentioned I was planning to take advantage of Sephora's 2010 Friends & Family sale to purchase a Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow palette but I was tossed up between a few different ones. I typically don't like to buy things online without trying them first, so today I headed over to Sephora to test out the Dior shadows.

Incidentally, there's a Sephora just blocks away from where I work -- talk about a blessing and a curse!

Anyway, as soon as I walked up to the Dior display, I zeroed in on the "Ready-to-Glow" palette.

The colors in this palette are simply gorgeous and I've completely fallen in love. I swatched them on my hand but unfortunately forgot to take a photo.

The shadows felt extremely silky and seemed highly pigmented and true to color. They are iridescent and shimmery but not glittery. When I get them I'll be sure to do a thorough post with swatches. I did snap a photo of the tester palette:

At $58, this palette is certainly pricey, even with the 20 percent off. However, I will be able to use these colors to create several different looks, so that justifies the price tag, right?

Meanwhile, I've also picked out a face and eye travel brush set as well as an anti-bacterial brush cleaning product that I plan to purchase. Oh, and I also need a new tube of Diorshow Iconic mascara. 


Have you taken advantage of the Friends & Family sale? It's only going on for a few more days! Click here to view my earlier post with all the information about the sale.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

C.O. Bigelow lip glosses - a must try!

Yesterday I had so much fun reviewing Maybelline's Color Sensational lipstick, I figured I would continue the same theme with a review of one of my favorite lip glosses ever -- C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint in Violet Mint No. 1646. I first discovered this gloss two years ago, when my friend gave it to me for Christmas. I have been stuck on it ever since. This is my go-to gloss that I put on every single day. I absolutely love it.
To me, the best thing about this gloss is the taste. It is infused with peppermint oil and designed to freshen your breath! The second you put it on, you can taste the mint and feel a cooling sensation on your lips. 

C.O. Bigelow's Mentha Lip Tint line comes in various shades of pinks, plums and nudes. The Violet Mint shade is a sheer mauve that gives just the slightest hint of color. It looks great on its own or layered over lipstick. It gives a nice shine but is not sticky on your lips.
 
Another great thing about this gloss -- it's only $7.50! 

Also, it has a pretty cool history. C.O. Bigelow is a pharmacy that has been a mainstay in New York City's West Village for more than 150 years. Story has it that Mark Twain bought his toothpaste there! These days, the store, located at 414 Sixth Avenue, sells many different beauty lines including its own, C.O. Bigelow Products. If you're in the Big Apple, you should definitely check out the store for its unique products and old school charm. 
Photo courtesy C.O. Bigelow
Fortunately, those of you who are not close to NYC can also find C.O. Bigelow products online, and at Bath & Body Works

Have you tried anything from C.O. Bigelow? I think I am going to try their Mentha shampoo and conditioner next!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review - Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick

After seeing the most amazing Maybelline ads in the New York City subway last week, then reading some good reviews of their makeup online, I high-tailed it over to the drugstore to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I couldn't even remember the last time I'd bought anything from Maybelline!

Lately, I've been wanting to branch out and try some lipstick colors that are bolder than the light pink and nude shades I generally stick to. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to test out a new color since Maybelline is relatively inexpensive.

I ended up picking up two lipsticks from Maybelline's Color Sensational line. Not that it really matters, but the packaging for this line is super cute. Check it out:
I chose Yummy Plummy, which is a deep mauve/plum color and Pearly Pink, a very light pink with loads of shimmer in it. They were about $10 each, which I thought was actually pretty pricey. I looked online though, and others said they found the Color Sensational line for around $6 each at Wal Mart. I got mine at CVS. 

Yummy Plummy is much darker than the colors I generally wear so I was unsure whether I would like it. On the other hand, I was almost positive I would love Pearly Pink because it fits into my "safe" lipstick zone of nude or light pink. Also, on display there was a photo of model, Christy Turlington wearing Pearly Pink and it looked divine on her. Here's the photo: 
To my surprise, I actually like Yummy Plummy better! I'm still getting used to it, but do think the color is very pretty. 

On the other hand, Pearly Pink, the color I thought would be a sure thing, is just okay. Since it is so light, I almost feel like it washes me out a bit. I am thinking it will look better in the summer when I get a tan. Also, I am somewhat turned off by the amount of shimmer in the lipstick. I didn't realize it would be so shimmery until I put it on. 

Both of the colors feel very nice and moisturizing, especially the Yummy Plummy. 

One thing I should mention - at first, I did not like the taste and smell of the lipsticks at all. This is weird, but you know how something can taste the way something else smells? Well, at first, I thought these lipsticks tasted (and smelled) like Play-Doh. Note: I have never eaten Play-Doh! I checked out some other reviews and many people actually like the way the Color Sensational line tastes and smells, so maybe it's just me. I think I am just used to my Aveda lipstick, which has the most amazing minty taste and smell. 

Anyway, it was a fun little experiment to try something new. Have you tried anything new lately? 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sephora's 2010 Friends & Family sale has begun!

Pretties, just a reminder - Sephora's 2010 Friends & Family sale has begun! Use offer code FF2010 through November 3 to receive 20 percent off your entire purchase and free standard shipping on orders of $50 or more. This offer is only good online, unless you have an actual Friends & Family card.
I intend to buy a Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow palette, a new makeup brush set and a makeup brush cleaning product

I know I'm not the only one who will be taking advantage of this sale. Let me know what you pick up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nail of the day - OPI Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous

Lately I've had a thing for glittery nail polish. It's so pretty and because of the glitter, it stays on longer and doesn't chip as much! I went to the nail salon for a manicure today and picked out a color called "Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous," which is part of OPI's Swiss collection for fall/winter 2010. It's a dark gray/gunmetal color with blue undertones and silver micro glitter. This is the first time I've tried this color, and I'm loving it! Take a look:
Flash off
Flash off
Flash on
I wear glittery nail polish all the time, but if you're more conservative this would also be a great option for a party or special night out like New Year's Eve! 

What do you think of this color? Are you into glittery nail polishes?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spotted: beauty inspiration in the NYC subway

Beauty inspiration can strike anywhere, at any time. Today I spotted the most amazing, vibrant makeup looks in the oddest of places -- amidst the dirty tile walls and concrete floors of the New York City subway. Take a look: 



I got so excited when I saw these stunning Maybelline ads, which lit up the otherwise drab subway station with life and color. The last one is my absolute favorite. With Halloween coming up, it would be a perfect makeup look for anyone dressing up in a "Candyland" or fairy costume. 

After seeing these ads, I'm ready to make a beeline for the drugstore to check out the Maybelline section! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prettied Up named on Beautylish 'Best Beauty Blogs' list!

I have some amazing news to share! Prettied Up, a mere two months old, has already been named on the list of "Best Beauty Blogs" by none other than one of my favorite beauty sites ever, Beautylish!
This is truly an honor! Beautylish is more than just a site, it's like Facebook for beauty lovers. It's really an online community to discover, talk and learn about makeup and beauty products. I have spent a lot of time on Beautylish gathering inspiration and learning all about makeup artistry. Every beauty lover must check out this site!

Thanks again to Beautylish!
Click here to see the full list of the best beauty blogs. 

And, as always, stay tuned for more beauty inspiration and news right here on Prettied Up! If you love Prettied Up too, "like" us on Facebook to receive all the latest posts right to your Facebook feed! Also, follow us on Twitter

Monday, October 18, 2010

Michelle Williams transforms into Marilyn Monroe for new role

With her trademark red lips and blonde hair, Marilyn Monroe is the epitome of beauty and glamour. Years ago, I collected photos of her and hung them up all over my walls. These days, I still have a few framed Marilyn photos on display in my apartment. For me, just looking at photos of her leads to serious beauty inspiration. Quite simply, she is my favorite beauty icon of all time.

That's why I'm so excited for the upcoming film,
My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams. According to People.com, Williams, 30, is portraying the infamous blonde "during a week she spent in England when she escaped from Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of her career." The movie is set to come out in 2012.

In promos for the movie, Williams has been completely transformed into Monroe. 

Photo by Lorenzo Angius
Photo courtesy
People.com
The actress has been rocking the look off-screen as well. At the the BFI London Film Festival premiere of her new movie Blue Valentine, Williams was spotted with her new platinum blonde hair. (P.S. I love her dress in the photo below).
Photo courtesy People.com
So many people have tried the Marilyn look over the years. What do you think of Williams' transformation?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Giveaways galore!

Hey there, pretties! I need to give you all a heads up about some awesome beauty giveaways I found on the web today. I've entered them and I hope you will too!
First up, one of the beauty blogs I follow, Allure of CF Beauty, is giving away two products from MAC's Venomous Villains line -- the "Bite of an Apple" blush and "Bad Fairy" nail lacquer.

Click here to visit the Allure of CF Beauty blog for instructions on how to enter the giveaway. Make sure to enter by Wednesday, Nov. 17 at midnight PST for your chance to win!
Next up, the website Mom it Forward is having a giveaway to promote breast cancer awareness. One lucky winner will walk away with $250 in Estee Lauder products, including:

  • Aveda Hand Relief
  • Very Hollywood Michael Kors Lip Gloss and Eau de Parfum Rollerball
  • Ojon Hair Restorative Hair Treatment
  • 1 oz. La Mer Creme de la Mer
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact
  • DKNY Be Delicious and Fresh Blossom Eau de Parfum Pack
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
  • LAB SERIES Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15
  • Bumble and Bumble – BB Spray de Mode Hairspray

The giveaway ends at midnight ET on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Click here to visit the Mom it Forward website and find out how to enter.
Last but not least, I just found out on one of my favorite beauty blogs, lollipop26writes.com, that Estee Lauder is giving away 5 sets of Tommy Hilfiger's new fragrance, Loud. Each prize pack includes one women's fragrance and one mens. To enter, simply send out a tweet that includes the hashtag: #TommyHilfigerLoud. The drawing closes tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 18).

Good luck!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nail of the day - China Glaze Ruby Pumps

I love a good red nail, don't you? So classic and sexy, it's probably my favorite nail look. Now that it's fall I'm able to wear all of my dark nail polishes that I typically don't wear during the summer -- like this beautiful red. Today, I'm starting out a regular feature here on Prettied Up called Nail of the Day (NOTD) with one of my favorite nail polish colors ever: China Glaze Ruby Pumps. 
Flash off
Flash on
I have worn this so many times, it's really my go-to color. I tried to capture the color of the polish as best as possible through these photos but really, you have to see it in person. It is so glittery, and looks exactly like Dorothy's ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Whenever wearing this color, I get so many compliments on my nails! 

Plus, I very much like China Glaze nail polish - the brush is nice and the color goes on very easily. I have had this color for about a year and the polish is not clumpy, even though I wear it all the time! 

What do you think? Do you love red nail polish as much as I do? Are your dark nail polishes coming out of hibernation or do you wear them all year round? Truth be told, I've been known to rock a dark nail in the summer, now and then. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vintage beauty inspiration

Happy Friday! In honor of the weekend I have a special source of beauty inspiration to share...
Here's a photo of my maternal grandmother Ruth Peterson, wearing a hat she made herself. Growing up, I always looked at photos of my grandmother when she was younger and admired her beauty. Her skin was porcelain and flawless and in this photo it almost looks like she wasn't wearing any makeup at all! Most of all, I love that she had the confidence to wear such statement-making hat!

Anyway, have a great weekend! xoxo

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is the first thing Hillary Clinton packs when leaving for a trip? Hint - it has to do with beauty!

In just 18 months as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has spent 158 days on the road, visited 64 countries, and traveled 361,000 miles around the globe. She's been called the most traveled woman in history. With all that traveling, Clinton clearly knows a thing or two about packing.

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts interviewed Clinton this week in Brussels, Belgium and found our how she prepares for meetings with leaders around the globe. During the interview, Roberts wanted to know the first thing Clinton puts in her luggage when packing for a trip.

What did the Secretary of State say?
"Oh my gosh, well I have a list and it includes, obviously, makeup, because when you get as little sleep and you're as jet lagged as I am, it's very hard not to scare the children in the morning."

Clinton continued, "No, it's just become a routine, you know, you get up and you get going."

Politics aside, it's nice to know that even our country's Secretary of State has such a normal routine -- and is such an advocate of makeup! Pretty cool, huh?

Click here to watch the full interview.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sephora is having a Friends & Family sale starting next week! See what I'm holding out for...

I just heard some really great news from another beauty blogger, FabDiva20 that I absolutely must share with you all! Sephora is having a Friends & Family sale from October 22 to November 3! Use offer code FF2010 to receive 20 percent off your entire purchase and free standard shipping on orders of $50 or more. 

I'm so happy about this sale because I was actually going to stop over at Sephora today to pick up some new stuff. I guess I'll have to suck it up, demonstrate some self control, and wait until I can get 20 percent off. In the meantime, I suppose I'll just have to window shop...

For starters, I've been eyeing the Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow palettes. I hear they're super pigmented and I'm loving the color combinations. I really can't decide which one to get, and I know it will be a spur of the moment decision, but here are my top picks right now:

1. 5-Colour Eyeshadow - 440 Sunset CafĂ© 
2. 5-Colour Designer All-In-One Artistry Palette - Amber Design 
3. 5-Colour Eyeshadow - Ready-to-Glow 
4. 5-Colour Eyeshadow - Mystic Smokys 004

They're all $58, which is a splurge, but I think totally worth it. I'm leaning towards #3 because I love all the colors and I think it would make some great combinations. On second thought, #4 would work perfectly with my new MUFE Aqua Cream shadow. Then again, #2 is so neutral and it comes with an eyeliner (the matte brown color on the bottom right). But actually, forget about all those others, isnt #1 just divine?

See what I mean? I really can't make up my mind! Maybe I'll just have to get them all (I wish). 

Which one is your favorite?

P.S. I also need a new lipstick. I'm thinking a light brownish red. Have any recommendations?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The lip product I've become addicted to

I went out to dinner last week with two of my dear friends at a great Italian restaurant uptown called Uva Wine Bar. If you're looking for an incredible meal in and cute setting this place is on point.  But this blog isn't about food ... 

My new favorite thing
While out to dinner, one of my lovely friends gave me a little present that I've since become addicted to! It's the DuWop IcedTeas translucent lip treatment in White Peach

Here's what the DuWop website has to say about its IcedTeas line:
Like a tall fruity beverage on a hot summer day DuWop's latest lip innovation, IcedTeas, are a refreshing addition to any makeup collection. Translucent lip treatments that pack the punch of exotic fruit flavor, a subtle cooling effect and the slightest hint of color. IcedTeas hydrate with jojoba oil, aloe and green tea extract and also contain sunscreen to protect lips.
I got this lip product about a week ago, and I've already used half the tube!

What I really love about this product is how it tastes, smells, and feels! It has a very light, peachy smell that is just divine. And, it is so silky smooth that I just want to keep pressing my lips together when I have it on. Also, it goes on with a slight cooling sensation, which I also like very much.

Though the DuWop website says the IcedTeas line gives the "slightest hint of color" I somewhat have to disagree. To me the White Peach color goes on completely clear, which is actually fine by me.

My major qualm with this product is the price. I was lucky enough to have received this product as a gift, and while I do love it, I'm not sure that I would purchase it for the $19 price tag. I would have no problem paying that much for a lipstick with color, but I just don't think this product, which is essentially a glorified chapstick, justifies the price. I just wish it was closer to $10 rather than $20. I guess I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Have you tried the DuWop IcedTeas line?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Four festive (and easy) hairstyle ideas for your next tailgate

Football season is upon us and that means many of you will be heading out to root for your favorite teams. When going to the big game or a viewing party, us fashion-minded ladies usually pick out the perfect outfit, but taking a few extra minutes to whip up a cute new hairstyle can really add to your look! To make it a little bit easier for you, I've compiled some of my favorite hairstyles for game day. 
1. Wow the crowd with a half-up style topped off with an adorable ribbon or barrette. This is the most ambitious of all four styles, and could take some work to pull off. To achieve this look, I suggest curling your hair using my curling technique then pulling back the top layers into a half-ponytail. You may or may not want to leave a few pieces down in the front, like the cheerleader in the photo. Finish off the look with some hairspray and a cute ribbon or barrette in your team's colors. 
2. Try the hottest hairstyle of the moment: the side braid. This style has been gaining popularity over the last year and it would be perfect for a game. To prep your hair for this style, part it on the side or down the middle, then work some mousse from the roots to the ends. Gather your hair over one shoulder and braid, then secure it with a thin elastic that is the same color as your hair. It should be noted that this style may not work on those with layered hair, as some of the pieces may fall out. 
3. For a cute and quirky look with tons of personality try a bohemian-style headband. You're sure to be the coolest looking girl at the game with this hippie-inspired style. Tons of stores carry woven or elastic boho headbands in a variety of colors and styles nowadays. Keep in mind that the boho headband generally looks best on those who have long hair and no bangs. The model in the photo is wearing her hair stick straight but boho headbands also look great with loose, bedhead-y waves. 
4. The easiest hairstyle of all is the hat-and-braid combination. If your friends are rushing you out the door to get to the game or you're not sure what to do with your hair, try this foolproof style! Part your hair down the middle and loosely braid each side then secure with a thin elastic that is the same color as your hair. Top it off with your team's hat, and you're all set.  

Are you planning to go to a football game this year? If so, how do you plan to style your hair? 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I got a new accessory... for my face

Hey pretties! 

Tonight I'm busy packing up all my makeup and hair stuff (along with tons of clothes, shoes and accessories) because I'm saying goodbye to the Big Apple for a few days. I'm going on a little trip to my alma mater, West Virginia University so I'll be MIA on the blog this weekend. Not to worry though -- I'll be back on Tuesday with some fun and fabulous beauty dish for you all! I have some great stuff lined up for the blog, I promise. 

But before I go, I have to show you my latest accessory...
My new specs
My first pair of eyeglasses. I tried on about 25 different pairs but ended up picking these brown tortoise Dior frames. I don't plan on wearing them all the time -- only when driving. What do you think of them? I can change the frames one time for free if I want. I was thinking of getting Chanel but my eyeglass store doesn't carry them.

Anyway, have a great weekend and stay pretty!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check out my new beauty loot!

You know you're a true beauty junkie when you feel the need to document every trip to Sephora. Well, I am and I will! I went after work today to pick up a few things I needed and found something new to try! 

I picked up this silvery gray cream eyeshadow on a whim, and I really hope I like it. I've never tried Make Up For Ever aqua cream before, but I have been wanting a new eyeshadow and I'm hoping this one works out. The color reminds me of a similar cream eyeshadow I used to wear all the time from May Kay that has since been discontinued. I'll be sure to post photos once I've tried it out. I plan to wear this as my new fall look with black eyeliner and loads of black mascara.
Speaking of mascara, I got a free sample of bareMinerals Flawless Definition mascara as part of Sephora's Beauty Insider rewards program. I'm super excited to try this product, especially because I've never tried anything from bareMinerals before. I'm pretty loyal to my DiorShow Iconic mascara, but I am willing to give something new a try in the name of beauty experimentation! 

Finally, I'm so excited to tell you all about this awesome brand I discovered called Illamasqua. The brand makes all types of makeup products but what really caught my eye was their awesome line of nail polishes. You can't see the colors very well in the photo but they were really unique and eye-catching. I didn't get any of them but I plan to go back and pick up a few some time. Here's a little more about Illamasqua:

"Known for their intense colors and dramatic makeup, Illamasqua is your go-to brand for nighttime makeup—whether it's an evening out at the opera or the dance club. Conceived amidst the dark drama of Berlin in the 20s, Illamasqua was developed by professional makeup artists and launched in 2008 in the U.K. Embraced by celebs and alternative cultures alike, their colors allow you to express your most daring, boldest, and most intense sides with professional nighttime makeup that's richly pigmented and long lasting."


Have you heard of Illamasqua or tried any of their products? Have you purchased any new products lately?

Monday, October 4, 2010

A quick video tutorial on curling!

Hey loves! Thanks for checking in today to see what's new here on Prettied Up. I have a special surprise for you all!

I recorded a video tutorial on curling! After curling my hair every single day for many years, I have the technique down to a science. I find that a lot of my friends do not know the correct technique, and as a result, they think curling is an annoying, time-consuming task. It really only takes me about ten minutes to curl my whole head of hair and it's super easy.

Here's the secret -- the key to quick, easy and perfect curls is to curl from the top down not the bottom up!  I hope you enjoy the video!



Thanks for watching! Let me know if you have any questions at all. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Safety of the Brazilian Blowout hair smoothing treatment in question

For months I have been wanting to try the Brazilian Blowout. Celebrities such as Nicole Richie have raved about the hair treatment, which is said to leave the hair exceptionally smooth, easy to style, and best of all -- frizz free. But after hearing about a new study conducted by the Oregon division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), I'm a little concerned.
Photo courtesy http://www.brazilianblowout.com
In the study, the Oregon OSHA found that the Brazilian Blowout product contained significant amounts of formaldehyde. Several samples of the product obtained from Portland-area hair salons were tested, and formaldehyde was found in every case.

The study was conducted in response to concerns raised by Oregon hair salons after employees complained of eye irritation, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing after using the products. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that formaldehyde can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and upper respiratory tract as well as coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and wheezing. Heavy exposure could cause some kinds of cancers, according to the CDC.

Makers of the treatment, however, maintain it contains no harsh chemicals and is formaldehyde-free.

"At Brazilian Blowout, the safety of our products, stylists and consumers is our number one priority," the company said in a statement to ABC's Good Morning America. "We stand behind the integrity of our product, and affirm that our professional solution is indeed formaldehyde-free."

Obviously, if it is true that the products contain formaldehyde, salon workers are most at risk because they would face regular exposure. What this study tells us is that some salons are administering the Brazilian Blowout treatment with products that contain formaldehyde. It does not necessarily mean that all salons are.

Based on this one study, I think more analysis is needed. The Oregon CDC obtained the solutions it tested from salons -- not directly from the distributor of the product. It is unclear whether the salons obtained the products directly from the distributor or from another source.

What do you think of this study? Have you tried the Brazilian Blowout?
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