Sunday, November 23, 2014

Just a Few of My Favorite (and Not-So-Favorite) Things

I love to try new products and hot products. Newness always attracts me. Some of the products below are new and some are just new-to-me. I hope my experiences will help you figure out if theses products are right for you.

Stuff That's Great:

I jumped on the bandwagon at my last outing to Sephora and picked up some of these BeautyBlender brand make-up sponges. They are not very new, but for the longest time, I was hesitant because I thought, "How are they any better than the cheap drugstore make-up sponges?" But I now use them every day and wouldn't want to be without them. You can buy the large (or original size) in pink, black, (which is called the BeautyBlender Pro), or white, (which is called BeautyBlender Pure). You can also purchase a pair of small ones, called Micro Mini. The larger size is really all you need. It has the pointed end that fits perfectly in the corners of your eyes, nose, etc, so the small ones are really not necessary and in fact, are harder to use because they are so tiny and "fiddly." The large pink one is better than the drugstore cheapies because it is more dense and holds up better. It can be washed many times over and still retain its shape and use-ability. It's less floppy, so it's easier to handle and manipulate. Oh, and it's cuter, which to me is important in a beauty product. I don't wear make-up to please other people; I wear it because it's fun and playful and colorful, so that whole experience, and the appeal to all my senses, is important to me in making purchase decisions.

Another product I'm addicted to is Marula Oil. Face oils are all the rage, and I'm a big fan. I prefer them to face creams because, especially under the eyes, they improve the look of skin instantly, and don't contribute to puffiness. Not all face oils are created equal, of course, but Marula Oil stands out for me, for a few reasons. First, the smell is amazing! It's warm and spicy-smelling. I just love it. The consistency is lovely, as well. It absorbs very nicely, and I have not had any breakouts from it. The container holds a lot, (at least as far as face oils go), and the dispenser (like an eye dropper) works well, too. It is pricey like most face oils, at around $78 a bottle, but you only use a tiny bit at a time, so it lasts a long time, and doesn't go rancid.

Stuff to Skip:

Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Root Touch-up and Highlighting Pen is a waste of money. I am always trying to figure out a way to deal with my grey roots. There's always that period of time, about 2 weeks after my last coloring, where the roots are definitely distinct but I don't really want to color again. I mean, who wants to color their hair more than once a month? So, yeah, grey roots! Ugh. Anyway, this product is a bust. It goes on like shoe polish: dull in finish, fakey color that would fool no one, and a pasty texture. I'm also kind of bummed by how much money I spent on it ($23) and how it immediately went in the trash. So keep looking - this is not the product to save those grey roots.

And speaking of expensive, another bummer is Oribe Supershine Light Moisturing Cream. I actually purchased this from Amazon by mistake, (and then used it by mistake - so I couldn't return it!). I meant to buy more of the Conditioner for Brilliance and Shine, which you use in the shower and rinse out, and to which I am absolutely devoted. But the Moisturizing Cream is a leave-in conditioner, and while it wasn't horrible, it just wasn't anything. It did absolutely nothing for my hair: no shine added, not anymore manageable than without it; just nothing.... By contrast, the Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance and Shine and Oribe Conditioner for Brilliance and Shine are absolutely worth the money. They actually change my hair in a way that is phenomenal. They make it more silky and better behaved. They are pretty pricey, though, so I actually save them for when I really want to look my best.

On to sneakers: I have feet issues. My "issues" are that I am middle-aged, heavyset, have fallen arches, Achilles tendonitis, and heel spurs. In my effort to be active with bad feet, I buy and try a lot of sneakers. You have to buy them because just slipping them on and taking a few steps in the store tells you very little about how your feet will react to the shoes after spending all day in them. I currently have a pair of sneakers that I love: the Nike Air Pegasus 30. They are like walking on clouds! Very cushy and supportive. Of course, they are discontinued! So in a few months when I need to replace them .... well, the search goes on...

These shoes, Asics Gel-Venture 4, however, were a disappointment. This shoe was reasonably cute, with a sporty black, grey, silver and hot pink design.
And it received a respectable 4 out of 5 stars on Zappos. But they just did not work for me, and I am sending them off to Goodwill. I bought them at the end of June, and I had high hopes. They feel sturdy and heavy on my feet, and fit snugly. The shoelaces are super short though, which is always annoying. I can just barely make a bow with them. What's the deal, Asics? I have only worn these shoes for running errands, and they have always let me down. Several times, at the end of running errands, which usually only lasts 3 -4 hours, and much of it sitting in my car, my feet are invariably tired and aching. Not Good! That's not even really exercise! Imagine if I had used them for a fitness walk or sightseeing, which may last 7 - 8 hours. In short, these bad boys don't have the necessary cushioning and support. I don't really understand why that is the case. Looking at the sole, it seems plenty thick, but no luck. Buh-bye, Asics!