Friday, February 22, 2013

Creative Beauty Solutions Quick Tip

Hi S+SR Readers!

Here in February, I think people have posted a lot of Spring/Valentines Day related things.  We instead of buying into a consumer culture created holiday, I want to start a whole new S+SR category: "S+SR Tips!"  Today I'm going to be talking about some creative beauty solutions that would even impress Macgyver (linked for anyone who needs a reference point).  So rather than a lengthy chit chat, lets get straight into the tips!

Squiggles the Guinea Pig is quickly becoming a mascot of the S&SR Report!

1) Printer Paper as Blotting Paper:
Blotting paper is sometimes really expensive (not if you use the E.L.F one from this post!)  And let us all admit, we sometimes leave your blotting paper in another purse, or have run out, or it fell down the rabbit hole to who-knows-where.  So you are icky and shiny (not in a Sparkle and Shine way, but a greasy way).  I suggest grabbing any while printer paper (scrap paper, post-it, junk mail, does not really matter) and tearing off a blotting paper sized piece.  Gently press (dont rub or it will take off your make up) on your face (be sure to not get a paper cut or poke yourself in the eye!) and you will see the paper absorb the oil off your face.  I have found this works great in a pinch.  Macgyver better watch out, Ms. Sparkles is in the building!

2) Lipstick/Tinted Lip Products as Blush:
This is a tip you might have gotten from your grandmother, but it is much better than the one about straightening your hair with a clothes iron.  Simply said, draw a line of your lipstick, in a color a bit darker than you want on your cheeks, along your cheek bone.  Then blend it out with your fingers.  Way to make your products do double duty!

3) Cream Eye Shadow/Eyeliner as Eyeshadow Primer:
Using Cream Eye shadows or Eyeliner as a primer is a pretty common occurrence in YouTube tutorials, but I thought I would reiterate it here.  Take whatever color cream eyeshadow or eyeliner you want as a base and build your powder shadow over it.  The stickier textured base will help your eyeshadow look last all day.  I find this works just as well as an eyeshadow primer, though it tends to be a little heavier feeling on the eyes.  Note that a white base will make your powder shadows look the truest to how it looks in the package.  All other colored bases (even your normal skin tone will affect the way the shadow looks on your eyes.  Mini Tip:  Many eye creams have a similar texture and feel to eyeshadow primer.  If you use an eye cream, try using this as your primer instead.  I find my Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream with Royal Jelly works great as a primer too!

4) Hair Conditioner as Shaving Cream:
I am in progress of becoming a certified product junkie.  In this venture I have tried quite a few more products than the average person.  Some work, and some do not.  While it is possible to return some products if you do not like them, it takes a good amount of product to fully test shampoos and conditioners.  I don't think you can return a conditioner if you used 1/3 of it.  So what do I do with conditioners I have decided don't work for my hair?  I use them as shaving cream.  It works really well and leaves my legs very soft.  I'm not particularly prone to razor burns, but I actually find that my skin is much happier using conditioner over shaving cream.  I still like to use my target brand soy shaving creme (which is supposed to slow the regrowth of the hairs) but using up my conditioner this way puts the product to good use.  (Yey not being wasteful!)

5) Shampoo as Make-Up Brush Cleaner:
In the same way I don't like to waste my conditioner duds, I also don't like to waste my shampoo duds.  Can the shampoo clean my make up brushes and body?  Yep.  Can about 1/3 a cup in the bath or 1/4 a cup in a foot soak leave you feeling soft and clean? Yep.  The best use depends on how sudsy and moisturizing the shampoo is.

6) Hair Conditioners + Water as a De-tangler:
For my last tip, You can take your favorite conditioner or leave-in cream conditioner.  Use about 1 tbs in a spray bottle with 1.5 cups of water and use as a detangler or light weight spray leave in conditioner.  If you find it weighing your hair down, add more water or less conditioner =)

Do you feel sufficiently creative?  You should!.

 Shine & Sparkle!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yes to Blueberries Shampoo (and associated products) Rant

Hi S&SR Readers,

Sometimes a girl needs to chat with her readers.  Well, in this case, more like rant.  I have an on going love hate relationship with the San Francisco based "Yes to Insert Fruit of Vegetable" brand products*.  For instance, I love the Yes To Cucumber Facial Wipes. I also like the Yes to Cucumber Shampoo (the original formula).  In general, I love how few ingreditents there are in this company's products.  I love that they try and be as paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and natural/organic as possible.  That being said, they are not perfect.

I have recently found the Cucumber-Mint Lip Balm to be about 3 of 5 stars.  It was ok, not amazing.  I have yet to try the Cucumber facial mask that also came in an on sale gift pack.

Now, for the negative perspective.  I hate that they are constantly changing their formulas.  For instance, there is the original Yes To Cucumbers Shampoo and Conditioner.  The Shampoo I love, but they have recently altered the formula and I'm not sure how it is going to go when I can't get it on amazon anymore. Also, the Yes to Blueberries Voluminzing Shampoo and Conditioners (which I know a friend of mine is liking)  have now been replaced with "repairing" blueberry formula.  WTF guys?!

There are also simply PRODUCTS I HATE:

Yes To Cucumbers Conditioner (Original Formula):  
This contained Sodium Hydroxide.  This is lye.  It is used in chemical relaxers to make curly/frizzy hair straight.  It can burn and cause permanent damage to the skin.  Though it is one of the last ingredients in this conditioner.  It made my hair feel really soft, but was damaging it to do so.  Not cool.  What do I do with it? I shave my legs with it.  I would love to see my leg hair be softer and fall out  more easily.  Is it the best for my skin? Probably not, but at least I'm not wasting money.  Plus, I will not be repurchasing, so how much damage can one bottle for shaving do anyway =P ?

On this note, I am happy that they have changed the Yest To Cucumber's Conditioner Formula.  I will be trying this soon.  It seems to contain mainly stabilized natural oil.  There are some reviews that it makes hair super greasy. I hope this isn't the case.  Otherwise, I'll be set for leg shaving for the next 2 years....

Yes to Tomatoes Facial Cleanser:
Supposedly tomatoes help fight acne.  Not in this cleaner.  It was terrible.  It made me break out and look like bees had attacked my face.  It left tons of make-up on my skin after 2 through washings.  I looked like a racoon.  Lastly, it lathered as well as water from a puddle.  If I wanted to look like nature attacked my face, I would have gone camping without a tent and covered in honey.

Yes to Blueberries Repairing Shampoo (New Formula):
I was curious about a repairing natural shampoo since I love the cucumber one.  In my obsessive label reading, I some how missed that this isn't sulfate free!  I just assumed because, it's a Yes To Editble Things brand shampoo product!  How could I have missed Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate?  Because it said "Coco Sulfate."  Aw, I love coconut oil, so how bad can coco sulfate be?  After a bit of research I found out that:

"The difference is really one of purification. Coconut oil is made up of a wide range of fatty acids. They can have as few as 8 carbon atoms and as many as 20. The majority of the fatty acids are of the 12 carbon variety. That means 45-50% of coconut oil is a fatty acid containing 12 carbons.

When manufacturers make their sulfate detergents they can take pure coconut oil and run the "sulfating" reaction to produce Sodium Coco-sulfate.

However, this material doesn't foam as well and will vary depending on the quality of the coconut crops harvested that year.

Sodium Lauryl sulfate is really just a purified version of the same material. In this case they take the coconut oil and remove most of the non-12 carbon fatty acids. Their starting material is then about 80% C-12 instead of 45-50% C-12.

Ultimately, both products are primarily C-12 or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate so they get the same CAS number. However, pure SLS is more efficient and of more reliable quality so most manufacturers use this."

While somebody's re-posting of information on their livejournal is not a very reputable source of information, I found it to be the most clearly written explanation.  Needless to say, I find this to be very disappointing.  I have to walk back to the drug store and return it.  *sigh*.  That being said, I am quite excited to try the Yes to Blueberries Conditioner.

If you can't tell, I have been on the quest for a perfect "frequent" conditioner.  I love my Aussie 3 Minute Miracle for deep conditioning.  And I still like my Paul Mitchell Thickening Conditioner as a light conditioner.  I'm still liking my leave in conditioners as well.  But I have been displeased with all of my attempts for a regular conditioner that is gentle, affordable, and effective.  My Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Conditioner seems to have a few too many silicones for someone who likes using shine serums (basically concentrated silicone.)  And other attempts have been underwheming.

Leave a comment below if you are interested in knowing of how my Yes To Cucumbers Conditioner (New Formula) and Yes to Blueberries Repairing Conditioner turn out.


*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

 Shine & Sparkle!