Cortex 4-In-1-Curler

Cortex-HeaderJust so you know, I’ll be wearing my hair like this more than a few times a week.

But before I jump into the review — I wanted to let my beauty readers know that the Sephora VIB 20% sale will be starting today and running for a few days. Is anyone picking up goodies for a discount? I have a few things I want to pick up and will be heading out around lunch time to take advantage of the sale on the products I have either wanted to try, or I know are staples in my beauty cabinet.

In reality, I’m probably going to only buy the philosophy hope in a jar moisturizer, Bobbi Brown shimmer brick and the Too Faced bronzer I’ve been dying to try. There’s plenty more on my wishlist but being on a strict budget helps me not splurge like mad when a sale comes around. But I have no moisturizer, I’m running low on my Jouer bronzer, and I want a little shimmer-shimmer on my cheeks because I love a good lookin’ glow to the cheekbones.

Onto hair!

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Cortex-Curling

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Cortex-wand

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Finished-hair

Luscious long thick locks is something I’ll never achieve without the help of  hair extensions. Prenatal vitamins with folic acid can only do so much for one’s hair and nail growth. It is what it is, and my hair will always be fine and limp.

The titanium curler heats up to the temperature you select in a matter of seconds, and you can achieve anything from a relaxed wave, to a tight curl using the Cortex 4 N One. It’s surprisingly quick to transform your entire look with a hot piece of burning metal to curl your hair. I love how bouncy, soft and fluffy my hair looks after curling it. Since I’ve had the curling wand since early September, I’ve been curling my hair multiple times per week using the 2″ and 1½” barrels for big bouncy curls though, I haven’t used the tapered [½ — 1"] nor the 1″ barrels yet). I’m instantly transformed into having mesmerizing full set of locks. My only suggestion for people who have no idea what they’re doing with their hair, like myself — is to section it off, and curl your hair the exact same way on your head. Wear the glove if you have to — thankfully only burned my fingers twice since using it. To prepare my hair, I use my tangle teezer hair brush (amazing by the way), section it into four using my too expensive yet so cute yellow Dry Bar hair clips and a heat protectant if you do so desire to keep your hair in pristine shape.

The only complaint I have with the curling iron is that it doesn’t have a mini kick stand for itself. I’d rather not put the hot iron directly on my counter, but there’s no other choice. It slides all around and I keep it in place holding the cord against my leg and the sink so it doesn’t fall off while I section my hair.

Disclaimer: Flat Iron Experts sent me the Cortex 4 N One  for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Inital thoughts on permanent hair removal

Back in July, our town house complex put on a pool party for the residents. That’s where I met our new friends — they’ve got an adorable chi-weenie pup named Penelope. We often walk our dogs nightly and finally, Alfie is starting to know little Nelly’s name.

Now, at first we sort of forced friendship with the two dogs. Nelly I’m sure loves any and all dogs she is around, she’s got that hyper personality that doesn’t understand when other dogs are angry with her. Thankfully she doesn’t mind alfie too much when he’s going at her viciously barking. Alfie on the other hand, hates anyone who even looks at him. 3 minutes into our regular walk routine, he settles down and trots along side his girlfriend while we chat about our days.

A few nights ago on our nightly walk we got to talking about hair removal. My friend was about to go to the salon to get her regular waxing done. I thought about it, and remembered when I used to do the hot waxing at home. Messy, terrifying and time consuming. So, when The Guy and I moved from Canada to California I got rid of my at-home-waxing kit, and kept the epilator to use on a regular basis. I’ve since slacked off with using the epilator under my arms (I wouldn’t dare use it anywhere else) and have resorted back to shaving.

Veet-Permanent-hair-reductiRecently, Veet reached out to me and wondered if I was interested in a more permanent hair removal product that you could use at home called Infini’Silk Pro by Veet.

Who wouldn’t want their hair permanently removed, especially from the underarms. I mean, we’re living in California now and for the love of Fall — the cooler weather still hasn’t hit us yet, and I’m still comfortably wearing tank tops all day long. I think it’s safe to say I need to groom a little more often than I’m used to.

I have to be honest with you guys I’m following the rules on this packaging here, since I don’t want to mess up my body at all. The instructions state that you cannot have a tan before using the product. So, I’ve listened to that — and haven’t been able to test it out yet, even though I’ve had it sitting next to my computer for the last number of weeks.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid to start using it. Though, there’s a part of me that is really excited to be underarm hair free. I’ve already read reviews of it online and it’s FDA cleared. However it will not work with every skin type.

InfiniSilk-by-VeetWhile I wait for my skin to go all pale, I did take it out of the box and have a peek at it. The laser is small, and will take a lot of pulses, zings or zaps (whatever the laser noise is) to get your full leg, and the handle is quite a big piece — but light weight, so when you’re doing your underarms it won’t get heavy or bulky feeling. A typical full hair growth cycle may take 18-24 months. So during that time it will most definitely take multiple sessions to achieve permanent results. There is a warning that is a little spooky that says “Warning: Do not treat the same area of skin more than once per hair removal session! Treating the same area of skin more than once per session increases the likelihood of adverse effects.” Um. What kind of adverse effects?

Veet-Infini'SilkThere’s different sizes and prices on Veet’s website of their laser hair removal machines. But keep in mind I’ll be going more in depth about this product at a later date when I scrub my tan off my skin and give it a few tries. It’s not going to be permanent hair removal in one easy zap, it takes time for your hair to grow back and get zapped off again. It’ll be a slow process, but good things come to those who wait.

Detox drybar Dry Shampoo review

Detox drybar Dry ShampooI want to point out that I’m still enjoying the $20 Detox Dry Shampoo I bought at DryBar in the Stanford Shopping Centre, not knowing we had a Dry Bar location closer, in Santana Row. It’s also available at Sephora, but they seem to always be sold out.

I’m not sure how much I have left, as the can that it comes in, is lightweight and I have no way in knowing when I’ll run out. I tend to wash my hair once, then skip two days (and use the dry shampoo) and wash it again on the fourth day.

I was skeptical on using a clear aerosol spray for a dry shampoo for fear of the white cast it so commonly leaves. For the past few years I was using Principessa (dark coloured) dry shampoo powder, which suited me well, but it was messy to apply, and left gritty bits on my scalp. I was worried using the Detox that it would leave a white cast — which it does when you’re not careful with it. Apply correctly, and it should blend in with your brunette hair just fine.

Note, I did not buy the Detox for brunettes, the sales associate mentioned that it would’ve been too dark for my hair.

Detox gives me a freshly showered feel to my hair and definitely gives volume and texture which my fine, limp hair is missing. There’s no gritty bits either on my scalp. Big plus. I’ll be buying this again, and I know for sure it’s not going to last a good year or more like my Principessa, but it’s worth it.

It has a scent to it. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s not my favourite. I don’t want to say it’s floral, but if you have used it — then you’ll know the smell I’m talking about. It’s not an obnoxious scent by any means, but a different one.

Quick tips on how to use dry shampoo

  • Shake the drybar can well.
  • Lift sections of your hair and spray a good 10 inches away from each section. Sometimes I do the head flick upside down and spray everywhere quickly
  • Apply generously (my problem area is the crown area – separates and makes me look bald)
  • Massage your head to make sure everything has been blended in
  • Comb and style your hair as usual

Makin’ friends at MAKE UP FOR EVER

Tuesday morning I made my way over to Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. After being there a handful of times since moving to NorCal, I knew this would be the mall I’d probably frequent more often than the others around my area. This mall reminds me of something you’d see in Toronto’s Yorkville area. It was up scale on one end of the mall, and the other end had regular mall stores like J.Crew, Sephora, Nordstrom, and an amazing free standing MAKE UP FOR EVER store.

Since I’ve been working with the Canadian team the past few years, I was e-introduced from my Canadian contacts to the American side of things. A consultation was made for me and I headed into the store to talk a bit more, and meet my new buddies, face-to-face.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-selfieSo that’s what I did! Talk about a sweat-fest. I get intimidated easily, and then resort to being introverted and shy. I was a little nervous going in, but I did it and it wasn’t awkward, or frightening in the least. I had so much fun.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-chairI plunked my toosh down into one of these chairs and little did I realize, we had such a blast playing with make-up and learning a few new beauty tips, I was there for over two hours! I guess that’s what happens when you put a few gals interested in make up together in a room.

Make-up-used-on-meJust because I work with certain brands, doesn’t mean that I love everything they have to offer. I like to be transparent and tell you (or anyone for that matter) what I think. When I went for my consultation with Tobey, we talked about doing a complete makeup look. I notified her that I wasn’t a fan of the Mat Velvet+, or the HD foundation that everyone seems to use and love. Both are too matte looking on my already dry face, and offer full coverage which I don’t need, nor strive for. I knew the consistency of MAKE UP FOR EVER’s face and body was very water based, and had a medium coverage. Troy Jensen, told me to try that when he came to Sephora at the Toronto Eaton Centre last fall. My local Sephora in Kitchener-Waterloo didn’t carry it, so I never really got the chance to try it out.

Tobey used it on my face and I loved it immediately. You know how some foundations you really need blush, or bronzer to give your skin some depth, otherwise you’d look all flat? This foundation didn’t. Needless to say, we didn’t stop there.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-HD-blushNext up was the new HD blush. I picked out this colour because I knew already I had the universal colour in shade 410 Coral to play with when I got home. I don’t remember the name of this shade, but I can find out if anyone is interested!

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-lookThe final look (left) was definitely a lot more make up than I was used to wearing, especially with lip liner. I’m not entirely sure I’d wear a liner because quite honestly it just takes up too much time and you need to be precise. I didn’t love the look of the liner but it was sure fun to play with the make up for a while! On the right, I’m still wearing everything but the lip products. Tobey also filled in my eyebrows which I LOVED. Emphasis needed. They looked fuller, and very natural. Can you even tell they’re done? I can’t. The Guy couldn’t either. He did make one comment though which confused me. “I don’t like those hooks”. Uh. What? I had no idea what he was talking about — at first I thought he meant my eyebrows, but he was talking about the winged eyeliner. Ha ha!

eyeliner

Face:
HD Primer, MAKE UP FOR EVER
Face and Body Foundation, MAKE UP FOR EVER
(for under eye) HD Concealer, MAKE UP FOR EVER
(for face) Full Cover Concealer, MAKE UP FOR EVER

Mat Bronze, MAKE UP FOR EVER
Pro finish , MAKE UP FOR EVER

HD Blush, MAKE UP FOR EVER
Luminizer, MAKE UP FOR EVER
HD pressed powder, MAKE UP FOR EVER

  Eyes:
Mascara, Buxom
Aqua Creamliner, MAKE UP FOR EVER
Aqua Brow, MAKE UP FOR EVER

Lips:
Lipstick
, MAKE UP FOR EVER

Aqua Lip Liner, MAKE UP FOR EVER

At the moment I’m rotating and sometimes using three foundations in the run of a day: Estée Lauder Double Wear, Dior Hydra Life BB cream and DiorSkin Nude BB Cream. I’ll be adding this as my fourth in rotation (or mixing in with them all) in my make up routine.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-goody-bagI headed home with this amazing generous goody bag that the NYC head office sent down to me. Whoa! I’ve been playing with it all the last couple of days.

I can’t wait to head back there in April. They’re launching an eyebrow bar inside the MAKE UP FOR EVER store. While I do have nicely shaped brows, they could definitely use a little help to thicken them up and open my eyes a bit. MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-valley-fair

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-lash-barI don’t recall if this is the only lash bar in the USA at a MAKE UP FOR EVER boutique, or if there’s just a handful. Either way, I’m stoked that it’s at a location not terribly far from where I am. I haven’t tried my take at applying false eyelashes before. I’m a little intimidated by them because I know I’ll put them on sideways. But I did have fun playing with the wands, and seeing what ones looked fun, or just easy-to-wear natural.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-fun-stuff make-up-stationsMAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-Valley-Fair-Mall

If you’re ever in the Santa Clara area, visit the MAKE UP FOR EVER boutique in Valley Fair Mall.

Tobey-and-NancyAsk for Tobey. She definitely knows what she’s doing.