Thursday, April 29, 2010

PART II: Dress Code by Jezebel

Sadie Stein of Jezebel offers great advice on what is possibly one of the most nerve-wrenching outfits ever planned out: the first date outfit.
...whether you're trusting a friend, compatability points, a promising chance meeting or just fate, we all need to go on first dates sometimes, and it's generally advisable to wear clothes. I polled a lot of friends on this issue and came up with a staggering array of approaches, from "I'll wear my vintage majorette costume and if he doesn't like me for me then he's not worth it anyway!" to "I always buy a new outfit." Most of us fall somewhere between the two, wanting to look attractive but not trying too hard, hoping to balance expectation with excitement.
 Some highlights:

Be Comfortable.
This should, I hope, go without saying. Painful shoes and jeans that dig into your stomach are not sexy. You want to be able to walk, sit, and eat without thinking about it.

Look Like Yourself.
Another "duh," maybe, but a first date is not the time to try out a new persona, no matter how cool Brigitte Bardot looked in Contempt.

Bring A Sweater.
You might get cold.

Oh, and Practice Sitting Down.
Some things get really low-cut when you're sitting. This can be awkward. You'll end up tugging at your neckline. Trust me on this one.

Have a "Confidence Soundtrack."
No joke, I have a playlist on my computer entitled "Confidence Dressing." It's what I play when I'm feeling shy and apprehensive and need to amp myself up. I always play "I Touch Roses" by Book of Love last, so I feel extra-sassy when I walk out the door.
Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Personally speaking I've had my fair share of unfortunate 'first date' outfits. During one particularly ill-fated night out I decided to wear Spanx (the gold standard of "supportive undergarments") under a dress. Forgetting of course the part during the date  where, you know, you sit down. So, as I'm getting into the car I begin to realize that my dress is significantly shorter than the BEIGE-NON-SKIN-COLOUR-BUT-SUPPOSED-TO-BE-SKIN-COLOUR-OH-GOD-EVERYONE CAN SEE-spanx. So yeah, definitely do the "practice sitting down" one before leaving your house. 

Good luck on your date!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Product Review: Revlon Photo Ready Foundation

2/5 Stars

The promise: 
Revlon PhotoReady™ Makeup - for poreless, airbrushed skin in any light. Photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light to erase every flaw. Complete, yet undetectable coverage. Soft, luminous finish.

- Oil free
- Fragrance free
- SPF 20

The result:
This has distinct shimmer in it that is visible in most lights. The consistency is quite thin, which at first I liked because I figured it would create a natural finish - but I ended up looking like I wasn't wearing foundation AND had exceptionally greasy skin. I had a difficult time covering up the redness in my cheeks, and found that it sank into pores around my nose. A second layer of the foundation improves the coverage slightly but seems to disappear on skin literally within 2 hours. After a couple of hours of wear it seems that the shimmer is all that's left of this product, as well as a greasy slickness. Not good.

The good:
- Great packaging, love the pump.
The bad and the ugly:
- Colour matching is impossible as there is only one tester at the drugstore
- Colour of the bottle does not reflect the colour of the foundation
- Sinks into pores (visibly)
- Thin consistency, little to no coverage
- Has a wear-time of about an hour, after that it disappears and leaves grease behind
- Shimmer is distinct.
Overall, the concept of this product is probably all that it has going for it. It has great packaging (a pump with a lid) and the concept of a foundation that can make skin photo ready is genius, but clearly we're not there yet.  Hopefully there will be a drugstore product that mirrors the quality of the likes of MUFE's HD Foundation or NARS Sheer Glow eventually, but until then there are still some excellent choices on the market.

Monday, April 19, 2010

L'Oreal Renewal Eye Lash Serum

 0/5 Stars

I was generously sent several bottles of L'Oreal Renewal Eye Lash Serum to test and review in beautiful gold boxes, I was thrilled to receive them. I was especially excited to try this product because you can never have too big or too bold of lashes in my books. I'm sure I was among the majority who saw this product in the drugstore and was hoping and a-praying that this product would deliver the full, lustrous lashes it claims without the expense (or iris colour distortion!) associated with the 'real thing', aka Latisse. 

Unfortunately, this product is totally void of any function or benefits. It really disappoints me to have to write this review, which is possibly why I've been putting it off for so long, because I really wanted to be able to say that this stuff works. But it just doesn't.  

There are many reviews circulating on beauty blogs and YouTube at the moment, so feel free to check those out if you want more opinions on this product - I was surprised to see that quite a few reviewers saw benefits when using the lash serum, despite the small detail of not containing any ingredients that could even remotely promote growth. Which begs the question of if a placebo effect is taking place here. Paula Begoun, the "beauty cop" and honestly one of the only source for beauty advice and reviews that I trust, also says that L'Oreal Renewal Eye Lash Serum does bubkis.

L'Oreal makes the following claim about their lash serum:

Now, the lashes of your dreams are no longer an illusions! Thanks to our new Lash Boosting Serum, get visibility fuller, thicker natural lashes with less lash fall-out when removing makeup.

** The breakthrough formula contains Centella Asiatica Extract and Arginine to reinforce, condition and protect each lash. 

Developed by L'Oréal laboratories following 3 years of lash research, the Lash Boosting Serum has an intensive formula enriched with a pro keratine complex and Arginine. Lashes feel fortified and nourished.
The professional applicator is designed with a rounded end to treat the lash line whilst the curved edge is tailored to coat the length of the lashes from root to tip.
Clinically tested. Patent pending.
 Taking a look at the ingredients confirms the lack of results (as noted by Paula Begoun); water, alcohol, slip agent, thickener and preservative. So essentially, glue. Not exactly a font of nourishment and moisture, is it? This is what makes this product not only disappointing but incredibly infuriating! Why bother releasing a product that claims to improve the condition of your lashes when in actuality it not only doesn't deliver, but probably does the opposite as it contains alcohol which as we all know is incredibly drying.

Let's take a look at the directions...

Apply morning and night for the ultimate lash treatment.
1. Use rounded tip of applicator to treat the lash line.
2. Sweep curved brush along the length of lashes from root to tip.
By day, apply under your usual mascara.
By night, apply to bare lashes. 
I was definitely skeptical when I first started applying this product diligently morning and night as I realized that the gel-like consistently dried as a white crust on my lashes, not exactly inspiring for moisture and growth. After about 2 weeks and not really noticing any difference or benefits I put the tube down and did some online research, only to discover that this product is basically a non-product, there's nothing to it. This is just another lesson in consumerism and marketing; sweeping claims with vague promises of results generally isn't a good sign. So steer clear and save your $9.00 for a mascara that actually works, check out my tab here on some awesome ones. 

Oh and love this: "for the ultimate lash treatment". Actually, olive oil or Vaseline smeared on your eyelids would be better at this point.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Airing of grievances

 4/5 Stars

So it turns out I was wrong. I can admit it! I was wrong about Cover Girl's Lash Blast. I should have listened to Drew Barrymore, Whitney Port and a number of friends who all share the same consensus: Lash Blast is where it's. at. bam!

I first tried Lash Blast when it arrived on the market and I was not impressed at all. I thought the packaging was the ugliest piece of crap (still do!!), the brush felt like an allergic reaction to shellfish on my lids and the results were not volumizing at all. Read my original rant here. But I am all the wiser these days (in the realm of mascara at least). I've learned that you can make any mascara work, literally, with just a few tricks.  

Trick # 1: CURL YOUR LASHES. I swear, it works wonders. I always thought I had naturally curly lashes but a quick pass with a lash curler makes all the difference. The trick is to pump the curler as you move up the length of your lashes - one pump at the base doesn't do it.

Trick # 2: When mascara is new or extremely goopy, wipe off excess mascara on the back of your hand or a tissue.

Trick # 3: Most of the time it's better not to wait between each coat of mascara as the lashes become brittle and really difficult to work with. I like to do one pass of the mascara wand on eye # 1, then pump the wand again, and apply a second application on the same eye (instead of letting it dry) - this way the mascara doesn't have time to get brittle. Then move onto eye # 2.

So what made me give Lash Blast a second chance? Well, I was in the market for a new every-day mascara and I remembered that there were some redeeming qualities to Lash Blast, so why not give it a second shot considering a lot of friends and youtubers rave about it.  And now I LOVE IT. I think it's such a nice consistency, it lasts all day without wearing off or flaking, and it holds a curl. I would prefer a little more volume, but that's easily buildable. And what can I say, it's still as ugly a package as ever, but that orange is cheery in the morning (I guess). 

Here's what my lashes look like with 2 coats of Lash Blast (is it possible to take a sample shot without looking creepy??):

What do you think of Cover Girl Lash Blast?

Friday, April 9, 2010

How to dress

I love this new series that just started. "Dress Code: How to Shop Like a Grown-Up". Sadie, the author, walks through some excellent and surprisingly different ideas on how to shop and find clothes that you will look good, and most importantly feel good in. Not to mention the hilarious and well thought out comments that are always found on Jezebel - readers have some awesome pointers too! So go check it out. Can't wait for the next installment...

P.S. I love this comment by poster 'awinoforever'
Let go of the Juniors department and fast fashion stores! If you are over 21 or so NOTHING in your wardrobe should be odd numbered. That's for teen girls, and you are a woman. Those cuts won't do anyone who's spent sometime on the earth any favors.
Let Forever 21 go (besides cheap leggings and tees, accesories and the occasional jacket or what not). Let most of the stuff at Target go. There are women in my office who still wear Abercrombie and Aeropastel. Those clothes are made for fetuses, people, NOT grown ass ladies.

I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I can't wear cheap cotton tee shirt dresses any more, so I know it's not easy. But I think the biggest step to shopping like a grown up is admitting that you aren't a kid. 

  (Amen!! I need to let go of Forever21..who's with me?!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



Hey GLOSS SPOT readers!

I was fortunate enough to receive A TON of makeup from the new Eye Studio line from Maybelline. As a (small) thank you, I'd like to host a give away for one lucky follower/subscriber. 

A selection of eye products from the Maybelline Eye Studio line including:
- 2 Mascaras
- 2 gel eyeliners
- 4 eyeshadow quads
- 4 eyeshadow duos
The terms are simple:
1. Follow on blogger

2. Subscribe to glossspot on You tube.

3. To enter the contest: E-mail me your You Tube account name and blogger account name so I can verify both,

**Contest is open to anyone, CURRENT & NEW subscribers; however, if you win and you're under 18 I'll need a parent/guardian to e-mail me your mailing address so you can receive your goodies safely.

I'll be using to pick a winner!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Got a hankering
Despite my promotion of high-end hair care and the benefits of sulfate-free products, sometimes I just want to use something that's cheap and works. Sort of like that craving for a burger and fries that sometimes creeps up...but in cosmetics.

I'd like to try to justify my purchase by saying that I wanted to get a shampoo and conditioner that would remove buildup - often drugstore products are the best for this - but to my surprise I ended up with a genuinely excellent hair care system. 

I'm talking about Garnier Fructis. Specifically, Sleek and Shine shampoo, Triple Nutrition Dryness Reversal deep conditioner and Curl sculpting cream gel (I started out with the shampoo, then realized I liked it a lot and bought the other two later). 

All excellent and highly recommended products especially for dry, curly hair. Love how nourished my hair feels and looks, love the scent, the price, the huge bottles, love it all.

Well done, Garnier! Well done!

 Sleek & Shine Shampoo for rebellious and frizzy hairGarnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Dryness Reversal Treatment

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crazy about braids
Braids are awesome for the warmer months when you just want your hair off your face. Or if you're growing out your bangs, like me. So, I've made a tutorial video showing 2 different styles of braid: chunky french/reverse french & basket weave.  They're such a cute trend!

The basic braid:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Interview appropriate makeup

Not sure what to wear to an interview? Or what makeup is appropriate? I have some ideas, and I made a tutorial that outlines how to get ready for an interview.

The important stuff:
- keep makeup simple and natural; wear/look what you're comfortable in
- incorporate one statement piece, it could be jewelry or a bright piece of clothing
- eyebrows, eye makeup and skin should be clean and flawless. No smudgy, heavy, rock and roll makeup unless that fits with the job.
- dress up