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Product Review: Dior Eye Makeup Remover

4 Feb

Via Sephora.com:

“What it is: A non-oily eye makeup remover that quickly and effectively removes all eye makeup, even the most stubborn, waterproof mascaras.

What it does: This eye makeup remover is able to remove even the toughest makeup formulas while remaining gentle on the eye area. It leaves the area clean and soft while leaving your lashes silky and conditioned.

What else you need to know: Ophthalmologist tested for safe use around the delicate eye area.”

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Price:            ●   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

Packaging:  1   2   3   4   ●   6   7   8   9

Efficacy:       1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   ●

Overall score: 5

      Christian Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover is available at Sephora & any department store w/ a Dior makeup counter. In the picture above you’ll notice that the product has 2 distinct parts; you have to agitate it before use (like oil & vinegar salad dressing). I purchased this 4.2 ounce bottle at Dillard’s for $30. Whatchu say girl? Yes y’all, twenty-eight dollars plus tax. The packaging is functional, but there’s nothing special about it, so I gave it a 5 in that area. This is probably the best eye makeup remover I’ve ever used (hence the efficacy score of 9 points), but it only gets a 5 overall because it’s so darn expensive. I searched all the department store brand eye makeup removers @ Dillards.com & there was only ONE that cost more than Dior. Your next question is, why’d you buy it Sham? *STORY-TIME ALERT*

      Back in October, I got a sample of this product in my birthday goodie bag from Sephora. I had no intentions of buying the full size, until… One day I wore Ruby Kisses gel liner & my regular eye makeup remover wouldn’t get it off. I typically use a baby wipe & Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover & I dip a Q-tip in the remover & run it across my lashline or waterline to remove stubborn eyeliner. Well I must’ve been wearing a gang of eyeliner or something, because that day Rimmel only smudged the eyeliner, but did not remove it. I was becoming frustrated then I remembered the Dior sample. I took another Q-tip & tried it again, this time it came off in ONE PASS! From then on I would use Rimmel to take off the majority of the makeup, then a few drops of Dior to wipe the slate clean. One day I noticed that my sample bottle had been depleted, so I bit the bullet & bought the full size. I’m happy as a clam because it takes everything off… cream shadow, cream liner, gel liner, waterproof mascara. But because it’s so expensive, I try to use it sparingly. Would I buy it again? I doubt it, maybe if I ran out of remover close to payday, LOL!

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Efficacy is paramount in a good eye makeup remover. Why? The skin around your eyes is thinner & more sensitive than any of the skin on the rest of your face & it encases your eyeballs for goodness sake! Your peepers enable you to work for a living, gaze at that handsome stranger in the coffee shop & more importantly read this blog 😉 You don’t want or need any product that requires you to scrub at this skin to get your makeup off. Not a good look! If you’re in the market for eye makeup remover, here are some products that I can personally vouch for:

  • Rimmel Gentle (oil-free) Eye Makeup Remover – This has been one of my staple products for several years now. Although it doesn’t do much for gel, cream, waterproof or liquid eyeliner, it’s a great product. You get 4.2 oz of product for $5 & it’s available at drugstores & Wal-mart.
  • Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – I used this product 2 years ago & it works like a charm. The only reason I stopped using it is because my supplier stopped selling Mary Kay. It also has a two-part formula that requires agitation before use. It’s efficacy is comparable to department store brands, but it’s a bit cheaper, 3.75 oz of product for $15.
  • Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover – Fan-friggin-tastic product (just like Dior) & it breaks the bank at $27 for 4.2 oz of product (just like Dior).
  • Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion – One word to describe this product… Buttah! It’s pretty  awesome. I received a bottle as a gift & I was amazed at how smooth a lotion remover could be. It’s not oil-free, but that aspect didn’t really bother me because it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. And it’s pretty cheap, $4 for a 2 oz bottle.

For additional recommendations check out these lists:

Speaking of eye makeup remover wipes, I recently received an email about using baby wipes to remove my makeup (Hi Shantae! *hugs*). When I used cotton pads to remove my eye makeup they left excessive lint on my face & always got caught in my eyebrows or eyelashes. I could use a washcloth to take my makeup off, but I’m anal about stained towels, so that’s a no go. Makeup remover wipes are great & I’m not knocking anyone who uses them, but come in packs of 20-30 wipes (at varying prices). My bag of Huggies Natural Care fragrance-free baby wipes (144 count) costs $6 & is available just about everywhere. It lasts me for MONTHS & the best part is that it’s multipurpose. In addition to removing eye makeup, lipstick/gloss, I use em to clean up spilled products on my bathroom sink/counter/floor, wipe product residue from my ears, neck & shoulders after styling my hair, wipe down my curling/flat irons after each use, I can use em for anything. They’re extremely efficient & cost-effective.

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Product Review: Fuchsia Fever by Maybelline

2 Feb

“Why you’ll love it? It has crisper color from pure pigments & a creamier feel from nourishing honey nectar & comes in 54 captivating shades.”

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color

Price:             1   2   3   4   5   6   7   ●   9

Packaging:  1   2   3   4   5   6   ●   8    9

Efficacy:       1   2   3   4   5   6   7   ●   9

        Overall score: 7.5

I purchased Fuchsia Fever at Walgreen’s for about $4 in a Post-Thanksgiving Sale. At regular price, a tube of Color Sensational will set you back about $6, which is pretty reasonable for a worthwhile drugstore brand lipstick. I hate to gas you up, but Maybelline wasn’t lying about this stuff! The color is really pigmented. My lips are kinda on the dark side, so (when I do wear colorful lipstick) I fill them in w/ a corresponding lip liner first.  You may use lip liner or primer to help your lipstick last, but with this product, you won’t need it to help the color stand out. Oh, and it’s SUPER creamy! I am in love w/ this particular aspect, because I hate that dry, cakey feeling that most lipsticks give you. Wouldn’t call it long-wearing, because it only lasted 2-3 hours, but I’m sure that’s due, to the creaminess. Hey, you can’t have it all. The packaging is a typical, square lipstick case, but I gave it a few extra points because it’s is both functional & aesthetically pleasing. I also like the fact that the cover matches the lipstick inside. Maybelline breaks down the shades into 4 different categories: Pinks, Naturals, Plums & Reds. With 54 colors to choose from surely you can find one to suit your kisser! I recommend this product & look forward to trying a few other shades. I’ve only worn Fuchsia Fever 3 times, because… well, it’s BRIGHT PINK! But I’m glad that I can finally say that I’ve found a brightly colored lipstick that’s appropriate for my complexion. Trust me, it was no small feat! 

FYI: It’s not this shiny, I’m wearing clear lip gloss on top

Post-highlight pics & other color ramblings…

31 Jan

As you know, I recently touched up my highlights…

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a cosmetologist & this post was not intended to be used a guide. If you have any doubts or fears regarding color exploration, you should see a licensed colorist. By coloring your hair at home, you assume all risks & responsibilities thereof. There are many variables that determine the outcome of a hair color (such as density/porosity, past chemical exposure) which is why you should do your research & perform a strand test before taking the plunge. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to share my process for choosing these colors…

Hair color is classified in two areas:

  •  Level – the lightness (or darkness) of a particular color. This is measured on a scale from 1-10 (1 being black & 10 being platinum blonde).
  • Pigment – the base tones of a particular color. This aspect of a hair color determines whether that color is warm or cool & is usually represented by a letter (RB for red-brown, Y for yellow, etc.).

So now we know that Honey Blonde (6G) is a level 6, dark blonde w/ golden base tones & Cherrywood (4RC) is a level 6, light brown w/ a red-copper base. 

Back in my permie days, my hair was extremely porous, so the dye always processed quickly & the color was just as vivid as the picture on the box. Why? The chemicals in a relaxer permanently destroy the several layers of cuticle. This process leaves microscopic holes in each strand of hair that enable hair color to penetrate the cortex with a quickness. Adding insult to injury, colors fade faster on overly porous hair because it escapes through those same holes. *WHOMP WHOMP*

Healthy, virgin hair, on the other hand, is resistant to change. Unless it has sustained  severe heat or mechanical damage, it has the strength to resist dye, resulting in under-processed color. I have existing highlights from March 2011, so only portions of my hair are virgin. My natural color is a level 2 (dark brown) & I was striving for a level 3 or 4 reddish-brown. I was never interested in having blonde hair, I just used it to lift some of the darkness, so that the Cherrywood could show. If you wanna see my steps in greater detail, check out this video…

Why highlight your hair at home?

  • I’m tender-headed. One time a stylist INSISTED on pulling my hair through the cap although it was clearly too long for that highlighting method. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. If you’ve ever been stabbed in the head w/ that hair-pulling hook, I know you feel my pain.
  • I’m picky. The last time I got my color professionally done, she put 7 foils in the crown of my head. Before getting started I asked her to place them off-center. Back in those days, I wore my hair parted to the side, so placing them slightly to the left would allow my color to show on both sides of the part. She ignored my request, therefore my highlights were too heavy on one side & too light on the other. *SMH*
  • I’m cheap.That 7 foil highlight job, along w/ my wash & style cost me about $60. That was several years ago, on permed, chin-length hair. Now $60 is just a base rate. They charge extra for curling/straightening/styling your hair, AS IF anyone wants to walk out of a salon w/ wet hair (but trust, I’ve done it before). They also charge more for natural hair & hair past your shoulders. It costs extra to incorporate more than 1 color (highlights & lowlights) & extra if you want color in more than just the crown of your head. Thanks, but no thanks! I used about 30 foils to distribute the color evenly around my head & spent $20 in the process. All I had to buy was the dye because I already owned the other supplies. #WINNING!

How often do you color your hair?

  • Twice a year. I typically wait 6 months in between colorings, but this time I waited 10.

How do you maintain your color?

  • I started using Clairol Textures & Tones after I went natural. I love it because my color does. not. fade. When I had a relaxer I used to use an assortment of  semi-permanent rinses, color-keeping shampoos & tinted conditioners to keep my color vibrant throughout the year.
  • If fading is an issue, then your hair is probably dry. Be sure to deep condition it often (for added moisture) & do a protein treatment every now & then (for added strength).

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My color is subtle & not very noticeable indoors…

But this is how it looks on a sunny day…

And my ends are the lightest…

Product Review: Mega Care Grape Seed Oil

30 Jan

  • Price:            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  
  • Packaging:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  
  • Efficacy:      1   2   3   4   5   6   ●   8   9
  • Overall rating: 8

Ingredients: Grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, wheat germ oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), fragrance

I paid $1 for this 1.5 ounce tube of oil. I posted the ingredient list above, so that you would know that this is not 100% grape seed oil. That fact that it’s not pure, doesn’t bother me because all of the ingredients listed are good for your hair. Although the list says there’s a fragrance, I really didn’t notice one. Mega Care Grape Seed Oil has a thinner consistency than olive oil. It’s viscosity & color are comparable to sweet almond oil (which happens to be the second ingredient). I love the packaging! It has an applicator tip, so that you can administer the product drop by drop. And this tube is slightly larger than a tube of lip gloss, so it fits in almost any bag. Unlike most oil receptacles, this tube closes securely, without any leakage (thus far), which makes it ideal for traveling.

How did I use it?

I used MCGSO to seal my ends during a (wet) roller set. And on week 2, I used it to smooth out frizzy patches before wrapping my hair at night. It left my hair shiny, but did not weigh it down, or make it feel greasy.

At 99¢ a tube it’s definitely worth trying. I recommend it & would definitely buy it again.


UPDATE! New rating system

27 Jan

It has come to my attention that my 5 Star rating system isn’t accurately conveying my feelings on all of the products I review. Some products that I love are have been lumped together w/ products I only like & some drugstore brand products receive “fluff points” for being inexpensive, although they’re not effective. #NoBueno! The whole purpose of a product review is to help other consumers make informed buying decisions. Hopefully my new & improved rating system will dispel any ambiguity in this area. Effective immediately, I will assign a score (1 thru 9) to each product in the same three categories (Price, Packaging & Efficacy). I will average these ratings to assign an overall score & round up or down as needed.

Price: 1 means it’s very expensive, 5 means it’s the average price for this sort of product & 9 means it’s dirt cheap

Packaging: 1 means it’s horribly packaged, 5 means the packaging is average & 9 means the packaging is excellent

Efficacy: 1 means it doesn’t work, 5 means it has a mediocre performance, 9 means it works wonderfully

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Let’s test drive this method…

Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Under Eye Concealer

Price:            1   2   3   4  ●   6   7   8   9

Packaging: 1   2   3   4   5   6   ●   8   9

Efficacy:      1  ●   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

Overall rating: 4.5

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Love Etc. Body Butter

Price:            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   ●   9

Packaging: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   ●

Efficacy:      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   ●   9

Overall rating: 8.5

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Hey Glams,

I’ve discussed way too many products to redo every review, but if you’d like to know how a past product would score w/ the new rating system, I will happily update it for you. Just email your request to ShamIam.Glam@gmail.com, with “Update Product Review” in the subject line. Thanks for your continued support & readership! 🙂

Love, Sham

Product Review: Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Under Eye Concealer

27 Jan

  • Price: 5 out of 5
  • Packaging: 5 out of 5
  • Efficacy: 1 out of 5
  • Overall rating: 3 stars

 This dual tipped concealer stick costs about $6 & is avaiable at most drugstores. One end is liquid concealer w/ a doe foot applicator (like a tube of lip gloss) & the other end is a retractable crème stick. It comes in four different shades, mine is Medium (CA8015). The liquid concealer is smooth & easy to apply, but the color looks SO YELLOW against my skin. The yellowness is not a big deal, since I’m wearing it under my eyes & I cover it w/ pressed powder. But that makes it un-wearable for rest of my face. The crème stick side is a lot closer to my actual complexion; so much so that it’s hard to tell I’m wearing it. Unfortunately this crème is greasy. The first time I wore it, it slid down the sides of my nose within 6 hours… darn T-zone oils! Since then I’ve been wearing eyeshadow primer underneath & that seems to help it stay put.

 Why did I give it an overall score of 3 stars? This product offers only light coverage, which suits me fine. But the purpose of a concealer is to mask blemishes, dark circles & other skin discolorations & it doesn’t really do that. I will probably use it til it’s gone, but I doubt if I’ll replace it. I would not this product unless you need light coverage. If face tends to be on the oily side, don’t bother trying this product. #SlipNSlide

INGREDIENT LIST

Creme Concealer: Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone, Decyl Oleate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Ozokerite, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Petrolatum, Beeswax, Paraffin, Nylon-12, Phenoxyethanol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Methicone, Talc, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77942, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica, Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

Liquid Concealer: Isopropyl Palmitate, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Isonanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Nylon-12, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Silica Silylate, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Methicone, Talc, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica, Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

Product Review: Love Etc. Body Butter

26 Jan

  • Price: 5 out of 5
  • Packaging: 5 out of 5
  • Efficacy: 5 out of 5
  • Overall rating: 4 stars

Before now I was an exclusive lotion/oil user, but this product made a believer out of me!  In terms of efficacy, body butter is soooo much better than lotion! In fact I think it should be called “ash be gone.” I put some on in the morning after my shower & my skin was still soft, not to mention scented, after work. That longevity is most likely attributed to the shea butter & cocoa butter it contains (see complete list of ingredients below). Body butter has a soft, creamy texture reminiscent of softened cream cheese. It feels a bit greasy upon application, but once you work it into your skin that feeling goes away (kinda like shea butter). I purchased this 6.75 ounce tub at TJ Maxx during a recent trip to Birmingham. I gave it 5 stars on the price because I only spent $6 & that’s pretty inexpensive for a perfumed moisturizer. Aside from the colorful label, there’s nothing special about the packaging. I gave it 5 stars because jars/tubs make it possible for you to use every last drop of product. They also give you more control over how much you use; you scoop out the necessary amount of product, instead of beating & squeezing a bottle of lotion. Jars/tubs are also very travel-friendly, unlike bottles of lotion, that easily come unscrewed or popped open in your luggage. Now I know what you’re thinking… If it’s so great, then why’d you give it an overall score of 4 stars?! Here’s are the negatives…

  • The REAL price. Although I paid $6, it retails for $18 a tub (or $27 for 2 tubs) on TBS’s official website. It’s good stuff & all, but there’s NO WAY in the world I’d buy it at that price.
  • Product scarcity. If I wanted to buy some from TBS, I’d have to order it online because the nearest store is 3 hours away from where I live. There’s not a single store in the entire state of Alabama. How you gon have a store in Mississippi, but none it Alabama?! SMH (Pardon my salty little rant) Obviously I’ll buy it from TJMaxx, Ross or Marshall’s, but y’all know how their inventory is: HIT & MISS! So when you get a jar, you better buy extra, because they might be out of stock next time. A PJ like me can’t subscribe to this practice because frankly I need the cabinet space. I buy most products one at a time, so I HATE to add another scarce product to my beauty regimen.
  • The fragrance. This aspect is complicated because it smells fantastic… like love in a jar (hence the name). But if you have a sensitive sense of smell (like I do) then it can be overwhelming. Love Etc. will smell up your clothes, your sheets & anything else you touch while the product is fresh on your skin. Don’t get me wrong, I get complimented every time I wear it, but sometimes I just wanna smell lowkey. Also, be mindful that it may (or may not) work well w/ your perfume. Then again, the sweet, floral fragrance makes it perfect for a DIY spa day or a hot date w/ your boo thang. NOTE: TBS Body Butter comes in a variety of scents; surely you can find one that suits you.

BOTTOM LINE: I like it, recommend it & would buy it again, but I’ll probably try another scent next time.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Fragrance, Cyclohexasiloxane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lanolin Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Sodium Hydroxide, Red 33, Red 4.

Dec 2011 & Jan 2012 Beauty Acquisitions

25 Jan

Drumroll please… For the sake of your our convenience I have combined December 2011  & January 2012 product hauls into 1 long video. Grab a snack & enjoy the show 😉 NOTE: this video also includes swatches of my new Coastal Scents HOT POTS!!!

Something new: Maybelline Color Tattoo

11 Jan

You see what had happened was… I went to Wal-mart to buy some cereal, milk, juice & bread, yet somehow I landed in the cosmetics department. I think my feet walked over there on auto-pilot, or something like that. I literally gasped when I stumbled upon this display & startled the lady standing next to me, LOL!

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Gel Shadow

• Ink technology creates 24HR wear shadow for our most intense, long-lasting color saturation
• Cream formula glides on without creasing and keeps color vibrant
• Ophthalmologist-tested.  Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers

I bought three of the ten available shades; Fierce & Tangy 10 (shimmery tangerine orange), Pomegranate Punk 30 (pinkish burgundy w/ gold glitter) & Painted Purple 20 (shimmery purple).

These are the preliminary swatches…

My first impression is that the colors are very pigmented, yet blend-able & the formula is creamy, yet non-greasy. I haven’t used them yet, so I can’t testify about their longevity. I can’t wait to try em! Stay tuned for my review.

Ode to Olive Oil

5 Jan

We spend a lot of energy looking for the next big thing to tame frizz or soften skin. However, nature often provides simple solutions to our beauty dilemmas. Let’s talk about olive oil… 

How it’s made

Olive oil is generated by grinding whole olives into a paste. Pressure is applied to the olive paste until oil separates from the paste. It takes an average of 45 pounds of olives to create 1 gallon of oil, depending on the size & type of olives used. “Extra virgin” refers to oil that is generated from the first olive press. It is the most expensive & highest quality olive oil because it has not been altered or refined. The delicate flavor of EVOO, makes it ideal for use in salad dressings, soups & stews.

Why it’s great

Olive oil is rich in vitamins & antioxidants. When used topically, it slows the aging process by defending your cells against free radicals. Studies show that replacing butter & animal fats with olive oil in your food preparation will help lower HDL (bad cholesterol) & raise LDL (good cholesterol) levels in your blood.

Beauty Uses

  • Exfoliator. Add ½ cup of brown sugar (or sea salt) to ¼ cup of EVOO. Use this all natural scrub to slough off dead skin cells.
  • Eye makeup remover. I have not personally used olive oil in this manner, but I’ve read rave reviews about the ease of makeup removal. Added bonus: EVOO will condition the sensitive skin around your eyes & with continued use, can prevent wrinkles & thicken your eyelashes.
  • Moisturize. Got scaly skin, ashy elbows, crusty cuticles or dry scalp? Don’t fret, it happens to the best of us… especially in the winter, LOL! Just rub some EVOO on any problem areas & you can kiss the dryness goodbye!
  • Pre-poo hot oil treatment. Warm desired amount of EVOO in a bowl or a cup. Massage the oil into your hair & scalp. Wrap your hair in a warm towel, or plastic bag & let it sit for up to 30 minutes before washing.
  • Deep condition. Add 1-2 ounces of EVOO to your favorite conditioner & apply to freshly washed hair. This is a cheap way to stretch out expensive conditioning treatments. The oil also provides additional slip, making detangling a breeze. Wrap your hair in a plastic bag for up to 30 minutes before rinsing w/ cold water. * NOTE: I wouldn’t do an olive oil pre poo AND an olive oil DC in the same hairwashing session.
  • Sealing ends. The tips of your hair are the oldest part, which means they’ve been exposed to the elements for the longest period of time & are more susceptible to damage than the rest of your hair. Using EVOO on the tips prior to styling gives your ends added protection against breakage.

Have you tried olive oil? How do you use it?

Sources: Choose Olive Oil as a Healthy Alternative by Laura Bofinger & The Passionate Olive by Carol Firenze