Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Acne Problem

I've been one of the lucky few who had very minimal issues with acne and pimples in my teens. I only recently started getting any blemishes, and last year when a few became a little too noticeable on my cheeks, I completely freaked out because at age 23, I had no idea how to treat acne.

I drove over to my favorite store Sephora for some assistance. Sephora carries tons of make up products, but I knew they would have acne treatments for me too. After speaking with a sales clerk for a while, she pointed me out to a brand called Peter Thomas Roth and showed me that their Acne Spot And Area Treatment supposedly stops pimples from before they even appear. What? There are products for that? I was sold! I don't like acne, I didn't like it on my face, and if I can stop it from before it comes heck ya! So... I took it to the register, and found out that itcosts $32!!! For Acne Medication. I know right, what kind of a crazy person spends $32 on Acne medication? I was honestly just determined not to walk around with any zits on my face and thought this expensive product would do this trick.


At first I thought I was just thought God was out to get me and was determined to make me go through break outs at 23...but then I realized this $32 product just really sucks. It did absolutely nothing for my acne, not even after 2-3 continuous days of use. Worst of all, if I put it on in the morning before work, there was visibly white filmy residue on my face. Not at all attractive.

So I went to Target and looked through the acne aisle and found a little tube of Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel for about $8...huge savings. I took it home and used it on the same acne spots and am so grateful to have discovered this product!! I now understand why it's the dermatologists recommended brand, this little tube helped save me. As a matter of fact, I got a little pimple on my chin tonight so I used this Gel and I am confident that by tomorrow the pimple will be gone. It contains 2% salicylic Acid which apparently is one of the strongest sold OTC, so good deal Neutrogena!

Verdict: Buying expensive OTC acne treatment is not always in you best if you have mild acne stick with brands like Neutrogena. However, I'm no Dermatologist, so see one if your acne is really bad for a prescription for something stronger, or better recommendations.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodbye FRIZZY hair, hello gorgeous locks

In keeping with my hair discussion, and to give you gals more tips on hair, I’d like to share another group of fantastic products that help ease the frizzies in your hair.

So I am Pakistani, and with that comes frizzy, dry hair. In India and Pakistan they use coconut oil every night as a conditioner…but that smells awful and I am not about to put oil in my hair every night. Too much effort and no one wants to sleep with greasy hair. My mom had me do this when I was younger, and washing out the coconut oil took FOREVER, and your hair still smells like coconut. Not like tropical island fun-in-the sun coconut, but fob status coconut. Not attractive—don’t recommend it at all. (even if “Temple Hair” is only as beautiful as it is because of the coconut oil…I am still not a fan!)

I picked up Bumble & Bumble DeFrizz hair serum when I was a junior in high school after a stylist recommended it to me. It was about $16 for a 4 oz bottle then…but like all good things in life, inflation caught up and now that same 4 oz formula costs $25!! Seriously?? Yes, it lasts me 6 months (I also have very short hair), and yes it protects my hair from my Hai Flat Iron and Hair Dryer…but $25? I only had to use a small dime-sized amount because it had a thick consistency that spread evenly through my hair, and it did not cause my hair to be greasy at all. You can use this product on wet or dry hair—I usually used it right after my shower.

So then…Summer 2009 when I was on a major budget, my Bumble & Bumble DeFrizz ran out!! I swore I would never, ever use John Frieda Frizz-Ease…but I picked up a 1.67 oz. bottle at $8 for Target. This product claims to have “thermal protection” to protect your hair against heat styling. I’m not sure if my hair was protected—I don’t know how to tell, but my hair sure was less frizzy after using this product. I had to use two drops because of its thin consistency, but I really didn’t think the John Frieda Frizz-Ease was that bad. It was a good stand-in for my Bumble & Bumble Defrizz serum, and I do recommend this product to my friends. It is a 1.67 oz bottle, so it’s considerably smaller than the Bumble & Bumble Defrizz, however, it works fine and I don’t mind it.

Verdict: Downgrade is ok!
(however, I will be switching back to Bumble & Bumble Defrizz since it contains silicone which protects your hair against heat styling and I do a lot of that! 4 oz of this product costs about $16, so what’s an extra $8?)
*photo credits: myself

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sulfate-Free Shampoos, Salon Style and Drugstore Brands

I’ve been dying my hair for over 4 years, and I know the importance of buying shampoo that is solely for color-treated hair. I’ve had the awful brassy hair because I used regular shampoos. So my stylist at Savoie Hair, Brenda, recommended that I use Enjoy Shampoo and Conditioner a few years back. It is a special sulfate-free formula that prevents your hair color from stripping away and turning brassy. I loved it! It came in a bottle that lasted me 2-3 months and I felt the Shampoo Conditioner combo really worked! They sell a ton of different shampoos, from hydrating, volumizing and rejuvenating. (I used the hydrating because my hair gets frizzy).

But it was super pricey! It is about $18 for a 10.5 oz bottle from the salon, so it came to be $36 for a 2-3 month supply of shampoo and conditioner. Kind of out of control, but I was very loyal to this product and my hair didn’t turn brassy, so I stuck with it. It also smelled really good! But at almost $40 for just shampoo, I had to rethink my approach to hair care.

So glad that L’Oreal caught on to the need of sulfate-free shampoos for color-treated hair!! L’Oreal last year released their Ever Pure line made especially for hair dyers like me. I couldn’t wait to go to Target and pick it up—it was only $7 a bottle! A huge savings, and it smelled really nice too. They too have different types of Sulfate Free shampoos, from the Volumizing type, Smoothing and Moisturizing.

I think this product is a great alternative to Enjoy! I’m saving a lot of money and the shampoo and conditioner combo works really well. It comes in different scents, Rosemary, Juniper, and Mint...but I could not stand the smell of the mint so I avoided that one.

Definitely recommend this as an alternative product for avid hair-dyers like myself who wanna save money on shampoo.

*photo credits: & L'Oreal Paris

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lip Gloss is Poppin'

Oh Givenchy, how I love my Givenchy Pop Gloss in Impertinent Nude. It goes on so smoothly and the colors Givenchy offers are beautiful. The cube tube is too cute, and the gloss glides on my lips perfectly.

I've been using my Givenchy Pop Gloss since my freshman year of college...but now at $25.50 a pop, I had to find a good alternative! I used to use MAC Lipgloss before I discovered the glory of Givenchy, so I took a trip to the MAC make up counter to find a suitable alternative.

I forgot how inexpensive MAC was compared to Givenchy lipgloss!! It is only $14 for a tube of lip gloss and the applicator is a lot better because it's not a brush and it helps prevent gloss coming out in big goops like Givenchy.

The new color I use is Lust (accurately described as a "soft, muted pink" on their website), and it's really pretty and smooth. I saved $10, and MAC has a ton more shades than Givenchy...and they have fun names like "Enchantress" and "Nymphette" for their glosses. SO cute and fun!

Verdict: Downgrade OK!

*note, the pictures on this post are not photos of the colors I've described.
*photo credit, MACCosmetics and

Meet Me

I was inspired to begin this a year ago, when I quit my job and had a bit of trouble landing a new one (thank you recession). My savings was depleting and I refused to go out in the world looking like a mess. I had to cut costs without cutting my beauty regimen, and I thought I might share my experiences with those who might be looking for great alternatives for otherwise overpriced products.

There are many blogs about dressing chic in this economy, but far too few about personal care in this economy.

I overheard Ryan Seacrest on KIIS FM one morning and he was suggesting we women cut down on our Sephora shopping trips. And you know what, I was absolutely appalled just like you readers probably are. But then I realized that I've been frequenting my favorite store a lot less lately, and it's because I've found comparable products with far lower price tags!

I used to be a hair care product JUNKIE! Just like I swore I would never give up my designer jeans (and still have not!), the thought of giving up Enjoy hair products and my favorite Bumble and Bumble hair serum was far too depressing that I balked at the idea of buying--gasp!!--hair care from Target. True story.

My hair still looks pretty darn good, and I've been maintaining the flawless skin I've been complimented on for ages. My blog will detail some of the things you SHOULD do, and some things I absolutely recommend leaving up to the professionals.