Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review: Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo

Tea tree oil based shampoos are excellent for balancing the scalp and removing any build up from other shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. My sister loves tea tree oil based shampoos since her scalp is very tender and her hair is quite dry. I decided to test out a new shampoo she purchased, the Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo by Organix.

You'd have to be living under a rock to miss the popularity of green and organic based products on the market. This trend is even moving on to hair care, with many popular lines offering sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Organix claims that their Treatree Mint Shampoo is "sulfate free" and derived from "organic Australian tea tree oils."

Why should you care about sulfates?

Sulfates are the active ingredient in creating the lather of bubbles when you shampoo. They give a squeaky clean feeling but unfortunately, they can also strip your hair of oils, making it quite dry, and causing the color to fade faster. Even if you aren't concerned with color protection or going "green," I would add least make sure to use a smaller amount of shampoo in the shower to cut back on dryness.

Back to Organix. I have naturally light blonde wavy hair, with a oily roots and dry ends. My hair is fine but has some volume and quite prone to slipt ends. I do not color my hair. I usually alternate between a volumizing shampoo and daily/clarifying shampoo and follow up with an anti-breakage conditioner.

The Teatree Mint shampoo has a fresh, minty scent and comes in a mint green flip cap bottle of 13 fl oz. I absolutely love the scent and found it lingered long after my initial shampooing. This shampoo tingles your scalp a bit and doesn't lather much (lack of sulfate, this is a good thing). My hair felt quite clean after use and I could definitely tell that product build up had been removed. However, I was disappointed to find how "sticky" this shampoo is. By that I mean it took extra rinsing to remove any residue from my hair. I recommend following up with a deep conditioner (unless your hair is very oily) because the shampoo can by drying.

After drying, I found that my hair looked cleaner, brighter, and bouncier. Since my hair is fine, anything that creates volume ("bounce") gets an extra star in my book. However, the label "hydrating" is misleading. I did not get any extra moisture with this product--hence my use of a heavy conditioner to follow up!

I'll keep using Organix Teatree Mint Shampoo once or twice a week to remove build up. It definitely keeps my hair from being weighted down and just smells amazing.

Price: approx. $6.99
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Pros: Amazing minty scent, sulfate free, good price, volumizing, and removes build up
Cons: Drying, doesn't leave up to "hydrating" claim

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

OPI Banana Bandana Review & Pictures

So, I told you yellow is a big color for this summer, especially in regards in to nail polish...well, check out what I bought yesterday: OPI's Banana Bandana from their 2009 SUNBelievable Collection.

I did a few quick swatches to show you the color. I think it looks a bit more washed out in these pictures than in real life. It's not a color for everyone but I LOVE it! Banana Bandana is a lot more subtle in hue than many other yellow polishes.

I'm not a hand model so please excuse any silliness :)

I wrote a review of Banana Bandana on, which is duplicated below.

OPI's Banana Bandana is part of their 2009 SUNbelievable Collection. The collection features four shades, a foil sea blue (Sea? I Told You), a hot coral shade (I'm His Coral-friend), a flashy fuchsia with shimmer (If the Fuchsia Fits) and of course, our Banana Bandana.

Banana Bandana is a pale lemon yellow hue with the faintest shimmer. It dries with a shiny finish.

The color applies like a lot of yellow polishes: streaky, thin, and goopy. It took me either three thin coats (seems to work best this way) or two thick coats to achieve opacity. I will say it applied better than other yellow polishes I've tried but it's no walk in the park.

This is one yellow I can agree with. Most other yellow I've tried have been too garish for my pale, cool toned skin. I love the softer hue of this color. I just wish I could get an even finish. So far chipping and tip wear has been minimal.

I'd repurchase because this is only yellow that really flatters me and its application is better than others. I do wish yellows were easier to apply--I guess it's the nature of the pigment. Give Banana Bandana a go, just have patience.

Price: approx $8.50. Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Wax On Candles (I'm So Cheesy)

Lately, I've been on a candle kick. I don't know what prompted this obsession but I have a feeling it has to do with the fact I'm free to burn away at home--unlike at school. My mom loves candles too--they're just a great way to treat yourself and others! I'm a bit picky about my scents though. I don't care for Yankee candles, which are readily available where I live, and I think Bath and Body Works candles are overpriced for the product. My favorite candle makers would have to be Trapp and Tyler Candles. However, I'm really just getting into them so if anyone knows some good brands let me know!

Today I bought a Tyler Candle Votive in "Hippie Chick" at a local beauty store. They didn't have any larger sizes in this scent and I like it so mu
ch I'll probably order a full size online when it runs out. Votives are a great to "test drive" a certain scent and see how much you like over time without wasting a lot of money. I paid $1.90 for my Hippie Chick votive! Trapp votives run around $3.50. This little candles are a great way to add scent, warmth, and light at a party. Or grab a few different scents for a perfect gift!

Back to Tyler's "Hippie Chick"--Tyler's website describes the scent as a "
hint of vanilla bean melds with rich exotic patchouli." Honestly, that does not sound like a scent I'd like! I'm a big citrus-y person and I love floral scents. But seriously, this candle smells DIVINE! The mix of the scents is lush, green, and exotic without being over bearing.

I also recommend Tyler's High Maintenance (a very popular scent) which is described as a "floral, woody blend combined with patchouli & vanilla with a heavy musk undertone!" And Limelight for citrus lovers like me-- an "invitingly clean, fresh fusion of pure mandarin oranges with a shocking touch of lime as a top note, a slight undertone of rich vanilla bean oil gives this a unique twist."

You can find Tyler candles at many beauty stores and boutiques or online at Tyler Candle Store. Sizes range from votive to a 70 oz. jar! A 3.4 oz jar is currently $6.25 on their main website and set of 4 votives is only $8! I found slightly less expensive prices for Tyler candles at The English Rose Gifts and Decor Website and All In Good Taste's website as well.

If you're looking for a wide variety of scents, check out Candles By Victoria. Her hand poured candles have been reviewed excellently by several bloggers. Her line is incredibly cute and clever! I love the idea of "Surprise Candle" which is filled with a layer of different scents for $7.00 plus shipping and handling. Candles By Victoria currently has over 527 scents--definetly something for everyone. You can even special request a scent! Her most popular size, Country Jar Candles, run $8.25 plus S&H for 9 oz and $12.25 plus S&H for 16 oz.

Finally, my mom and I both agree on Trapp candles, even though I love floral scents and she is a green, spicey fan. Trapp Candles' tag line is "A Bottle of Perfume in Every Candle" and they were not joking. These candles are scented heavily without being overwhelming. The scents are rich with a lot of depth. I love Pink Grapefruit (and it smells exactly like a pink grapefruit), Jasmine Gardenia (ditto, smells exactly what it sounds like), and Bob's Flower Shoppe (it's that just a cute name? it smells like the mixture of greens and floral scents you'd encounter in a garden nursery). Trapp Candles does not sell their products online from their main site but you can view their products and scent descriptions here. Check out for a range of Trapp products. A votive runs at $3.25, a small 2.1 oz candle at $6.50, a medium 5.oz at $16, and a large 7 oz. comes in at $21 (plus S&H, of course).

Let me know your thoughts on these candles--your favorite and least favorite scents. Do you have another brand to recommend? Share in comments down below.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mellow Yellow

Yellow is a big color for the summer so I thought I'd highlight some recent yellow makeup items. Yellow is a color that adds brightness and fun to any out fit or style but it can be difficult to find the most flattering shade.

For me, I'm fair skinned and mostly cool toned so a lemon yellow is the most flattering. Olive and warmer skin tones may find a more golden toned yellow to be the best choice. And those with deep, dark skin tones can pull of a bright, traffic light yellow with no problem. The fairest of fair or the color shy will favor an icy light pastel yellow hue.

Yellow nail polish is popping up everywhere, from high to low end lines. Check out these options to get on the trend:

You've probably seen Sally Hansen's newest Insta-Dri nail polish at various drugstores. The shade "Lightening" (yes, that's how they spell it) is a super bright yellow creme. I definetly reccommend this color is you want to test drive the shade at a lower price or if you're looking for stop-and-stare color pay off. Retails for about $5.29.

OPI's Need Sunglasses? is a bright, mustardy yellow shade. This hue is definetly one that will favor warm toned girls. Try applying the color over a white nail polish base to intensify color-pay off. Most OPI nail polishes retail for around $8.50.

Here's a color for light skinned lovelies and those shy of the yellow polish trend. Nubar's Lemon Sorbet is aptly named for its icy pale lemon shade. This color is subtle and very wearable. Retails for around $7.50.

Now here's a polish I can't wait to get my hands on. Butter London is an incredibly popular nail line at the moment with its salons finding great success in the 3-Free Market. Cheeky Chops is a fun, banana creme perfect for cool tones. It's worth a splurge and retails for $14.00.

Yellow polish can be hard to work with and quite often streaky. Your best bet is use a strong base coat with a ridge filler, such as Seche Vite Ridgefilling, and apply the polish with patience. Most likely, you'll need at least two coats. A speedy top coat is a most and I favor Out The Door.

The yellow craze doesn't stop with nail polish. MAC just launched it's Style Warriors collection featuring the eyeshadow shade, Bright Future. The eyeshadow seems to be a standout from the collection and retails for $14.50.

(Thanks to Temptalia for the photo of MAC's Bright Future).

For a less expensive option, try L'Oreal's eyeshadow duo in Flamboyant from their HiP line. I swear by HiP duos. I think they're the best drugstore shadows I've tried in terms of selection, pigmentation, and wear. This duo comes with a yellow and purple shade which can be worn seperately or together as a complement (purple & yellow are opposites on the color wheel so they work great together). The duo retails for about $8 but places such as CVS and Walgreens often have L'Oreal products BOGOF or BOGO 1/2 off.

Hard to believe, but yellow is even turning as a popular lip color! Yellow toned lip glosses add shimmer and dimension to lips alone but have great color changing properties when paired with a lipstick. If you're looking for a subtle yellow lip gloss you can wear along or along with other lip colors, I highly recommend MAC's Goldyrocks Dazzleglass ($18.00) and Victoria Secret's Beauty Rush Lip gloss in Appletini ($7).

Have fun embracing this trend whether you go subtle or full on!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back, Back! And MAC- Attack!

There are probably cobwebs all over this blog! I have not updated in months. Not that many people read this blog but I do have a stat counter (*dun dun dun*) so I know that when I was posting often, I received at least a few hits.

But honestly, I'd probably keep this thing up or try to if only one person read it because writing about beauty and reading beauty blog is just a big hobby of mine.

Unfortunately, when I'm at school I generally don't have as much time to post. But it's summer now! I'm looking forward to re-vamping this blog.

I've already made a few summer beauty buys worth posting. They are....a Mineralized Blush from the Grand Duo Collection in 'Love Rock' ($22.50) and a LE Dazzle glass in 'Love Alert' ($18.00). Truly gorgeous. Check out some pictures of my purchases below to see.

I've already received a lot of compliments on my Love Alert lip gloss. This is my first dazzle glass and I'm very impressed! Honestly, I was not expecting much and figured the color would be too sheer to wear on it's own. Not too at all! It's a beautiful, sparkling raspberry red that is perfect for any time of year. Great color when you want some red in the summer without a full on red lip.

Here's a stock photo of the Double Dazzle collection. I might go back and get Steppin' Out or Funtablulous (purple-y toned gloss that is getting a lot of love from beauty gurus). But for now I'm enjoying Love Alert!

This photo seriously does not do the line justice. I'm going to refer you over to Temptalia's photos and descriptions---> Check out Double Dazzle photos!

Also, don't forget MAC's Style Warriors is released May 20 in stores and went live online on May 16. Very interesting collection! It's too deep and warm toned for me so I'll pass to save $$ but definetly check it out if you want some bronze-y goodness!