I Am Loving the Laila Ali Line of Styling Tools

Hair is a serious matter. And it really doesn’t even matter what your hair texture is. Chances are if you are a gal, you have invested some time and money into hair care products, services and treatments. I am no exception. While on a limited budget, I try very hard to pick products and tools that are fitting to my hair type and my routine. Luckily, the very talented and amazing Laila Ali has made my hair routine 1,000 times easier.

The Laila Ali line

A few months ago I was sent some very cool products from Helen Troy’s Laila Ali line. Can you say perfect timing? I feel like when the summer rolls around, I am in need of new hair care goodies. And talk about a surprise! I had no idea that Laila Ali partnered with Helen of Troy to give us those serious about good hair care tools some cool things. It’s no surprise, though. I wish I could wake up and have hair (and skills) like Laila Ali. Getting the chance to test drive the Sonic Styler Dryer and the Ceramic Curl Stick.

All reasonably priced at under under $30 for each tool, I found these to work exceptionally well on my relaxed and color treated hair. I don’t like to use heat on my hair every day, but when I do I want to use products that maintain the health and integrity of my hair. The Laila Ali line has been wonderful! First, let’s chat about the Sonic Styler Dryer.

Sonic Styler Dryer

Blow dryers have always freaked me out a little bit. Nothing says “HAIR DAMAGE” more than a blast of hot hair on your tresses. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this dryer didn’t dry my hair out like many dryers do. The setting not only has 3 heat settings but they are also giving us a cool temperature setting which is fantastic for blow drying the hair without heat. I found myself using that button more than once and even though I didn’t use hot air, my hair was still dry! Doing this made for softer and more manageable hair opposed to dry and brittle hair.


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The pik attachment was great for when I really wanted to focus on blow drying certain areas of my hair and overall I thought $22.99 is a great value for this dryer.

Ceramic Curl Stick

I’ll be honest. The Ceramic Curl Stick through me for a loop when I first laid eyes on it. Call me old fashioned but I absolutely thought my eyes were playing tricks me on me when I noticed that there wasn’t a clamp on this curling iron. My mind was blown and I had to call a hair stylist friend of mine to really get tips on how to figure this out. My hair is short and I didn’t find much use for this until I get some extensions installed. Even then things were still a little tricky so I think this Curl Stick is best suited for those with long hair and for those who have great hand control. I just had a really hard time wrapping my hair around the stick. I think it’s a pretty cool idea, though! If you can figure out how to use it, you’re left with clamp-free curls. It also comes with a Head Protective Glove which is more than useful for clumsy gals like me. The Stick retails for $24.99

I am so impressed with The Laila Ali line and I am so glad to see such amazing products at reasonable prices. Next on my list to try is the overhead Ionic Hair Dryer. I’ve been needing an new one for almost a year now and so I’m saving my pennies for The Laila Ali one. I can’t wait to get it! For more information about The Helen Troy Laila Ali Line, visit here.

About the Author:

Courtney is the younger sister of Brittany and a 2012 graduate from Florida State University. Courtney loves listening to Katy Perry, nail polish, reading, and a good work-out. She hates peas, lima beans and negativity. She also ate deodorant once because her lovely older sister made her do it. [B’s Edit] Follow her on Twitter at @CourtNichelle.

Milani Brilliant Lip Shine Lip Glosses Are Glossy. Really Glossy.

So guess who did another videooo–ooooh? Your truly. I received these lip glosses for review a looooong time ago and I hate that I am just now doing a review for them but yo…better late than never, am I right?

Lip Shine Pinterest

Simply put? I love them. Like, a lot. They are priced reasonably at less than $6 and these non-tacky glosses are actually more pigmented in the tube than they are on the lips. At least some of them.

Milani Lip Shine swatches

And how ’bout that red? And that purple? Girl yes…they are my favorite of the bunch. These are probably ideal for those who really don’t want to be bothered with a ton of reapplying.

Milani Brilliant Lip Shine purple

But hey, I didn’t come over here to WRITE a review. I really just wanted to drop the link to the video review. I almost had a breakdown in that video but I had to breathe through it. I don’t know what it is with me. I used to be so confident in front of the camera. I’m supposed to get better with time. Not revert back to that insecure 7th grader. Let’s hope I can get it together before I turn 30. Which is like in…6 months. Eeeek! But yay. No really. I think growing older is a beautiful thang. Not many people get the chance, ya know?


Thanks for viewing and buy these lippies here.

 

Disclosure: I provided affiliate links in this post. So if you buy somethin’, I get a penny or two. Maybe three. Thanks in advance. :)

Zoya Bubbly nail polish collection

You will excuse me for just now getting this post up, won’t you? Back when I reviewed Zoya’s Tickled collection, I had a mission to get this press sample of Bubbly up soon after and yeah well…life. You know how it goes, right? *cue the violins* I think you’ll forgive me once you see the sweetness that is this collection…

Zoya Bubbly Nail polish

And you’ll have to forgive me for going font crazy because I am learning my way around PhotoShop and I basically want to do fun ‘tings to ALL THE PICTURES. How sad is it that I’ve been blogging for over 7 freaking years and I am just now playing in Photoshop? Sad stuff, girls. Saaad stuff.

Zoya Bubbly nail polish collection

But file this collection under things that make me happy. If you are a fan of a holographic jelly fizzy polish, this collection may be up your alley. They do really well when worn alone but I’ve found that they really shine when layered on top of a creme polish.

Zoya Binx up close

It’s an interesting formula that Zoya is giving us and I think it is more than fitting for summer.

Zoya Harper

Harper is a cotton candy pink with cold shimmer and when worn alone, I think she looks okay. I can’t wait to see how this baby acts aboard a baby pink.

Zoya Stassi

Staasi is a citron green with all kinds of emerald loveliness. I am also amazed at how well this one does on its own.

Zoya Alma

Alma is a warm golden peach that I think will look beautiful on the nails of women of all complexions.

Zoya Muse

Muse is a blue raspberry with a touch of gold. And the best thing about this baby? She doesn’t give you Smurf fingers! It’s a sweet blue that I can’t wait to try over a navy blue. Giiiirl, how hot would that be?

Zoya Jesy

Jesy is a firey coral orange and I usually have my issue with corals but this is just sweet and divine.

Zoya Binx

Binx is a spicy orchid purple and this shade is my favorite of the bunch. I find that it is the one shade that really does spectacular on its own.

Zoya Bubbly

Not a bad bunch, huh? Overall, I think it’s a fantastic collection and I can appreciate how Zoya always keeps us on our toes. We never know what they are going to do when it comes to nail polish formulas and colors. And trust me when I say it is hard to surprise nail polish aficionados. We think we’ve seen it all but Zoya continues to push the envelope and I’m so glad that they do. I find the formula on these to be superb and I didn’t have any application issues with them. I applied 2 coats for each polish but I’m thinking you can get away with applying 3 without any problems. And of course they will all look smashing when layered over your favorite creme nail polish. Yassss Zoya. Yasss!

You can get this collection at Zoya.com for $9 a bottle or $54 for the entire collection.

So what do you think? A fan of this formula or not so much?

The Best Black Eyeliners Ever!

Black eyeliners

So I’m not gonna lie…I am pretty boring in the eyeliner world. And it’s not because I work some professional job or that I consider myself to be Mrs. Conservative. Naw. I just really love black eyeliner. I wear it everyday and very rarely will I wear another color. Do I love emerald greens, bright blues and royal purples on my eyes? Yeeeep. But black liner is staple, girl. It just is. This edition of the Makeup Wars, us gals are sharing some of our favorite black eyeliners. I thought I’d stick with my faithful Urban Decay Zero, but really I’ve tried a TON of black eyeliners that I’ve loved.

 

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They are far from cheap but I can’t get enough of Urban Decay’s pencil eyeliners. Especially that Zero. For some reason, my eyes have gotten really sensitive over the years and the only pencil that I KNOW won’t leave me tearing up is Zero. Oh, and it doesn’t budge. At all. I’ve purchased and repurchased this pencil so many times. Like, you don’t even want to know how many times…

 

Physicians Formula trio

So they suck in the foundation diversity game, but Physicans Formula makes some realllllly nice eyeliners. Their liquid and pencil eyeliners are pretty cool, but really its their dark and smooth Kohl eyeliner pencil that just makes me go gaga. I can’t get enough of it for when I really want to smoke out my eyes.

Maybelline really gave us a gem when they put put their Eye Studio Ink Pen Eyeliner. The Black version of this liquid eyeliner pencil is spectacular.

A few years back, NYX gave us an entire collection of black liners that I couldn’t get enough of. They were so cool to give us these because each liner has a different formula. Everything from matte to sattin and liquid, NYX had us covered on the black liners front.

When I really want some pop to my upper lashline, I love Essence’s Metallic black eyeliner. It has just a very small amount of shimmer that really makes the eyes stand out. And it’s only $1.99 and does darn good around water and sweaty situations.

Urban Decay Perversion bottle

I did a review on Urban Decay’s Perversion cream liner and I still loving that baby from the moon and back. Other runner ups are Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in Shade 27 and the cult fave MAC Blacktrack gel liner.

And let’s not forget Milani as they are always there to give us budget-friendly sturdy liners in all shapes and sizes.

 

Milani Eye Tech Liquid Liner

 

I could really go on and on, but I’ll stop here and let my girls share with you some of their favorite black eyeliners…


The best black eyeliners
 

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Add Refresh Soothing Masque to Your Summer Skincare Regimen

Refresh Natural Skincare masque shot

I already know what you’re thinking. “Oh joy. Another blog post about a mask.” Surely if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong, my friend. Wrong. This blog post is being brought to you by the brand Refresh and I had the opportunity to test drive their mask. Er…masque.

Refresh Natural Skincare masque

Retailing for a smooth ‘an easy $29.95 this masque has been a much needed addition in my skincare routine. I’ve been cool with my cleansers, moisturizers and exfoliators but a soothing treatment like this masque is very much appreciated.

Perfect for those of us with all skin types, Refresh has formulated this natural mud masque to have several uses. In addition to moisturizing the skin, it helps exfoliates and contains 100% natural ingredients. Yes girls. This product even omits synthetic fragrance which you know I’m lovin’.

Refresh Natural Skincare

I really wanted to give my skin sometime to see how well she (my skin is a she…right?) liked the masque. I took a shower and applied this bad boy to clean and damp skin. Per the instructions, I let it sit for 10 minutes. Yours truly was very happy to see that it didn’t crack and become a crummy mess. Warm water assisted me in removing it and I was left with subtle skin that felt moisturizing and soft to the touch.

I find that many facial masks suck the moisture right out of my skin but thanks to the moisturizing properties of ingredients like shea butter and cucumber, I didn’t immediately have to dive into my moisturizer and this is always a good thing.

Refresh Natural Skincare whipped mask

Having used this several times over several weeks, I find myself reaching for it time and time again. And this, ladies and gentlemen, says a lot for skincare product junkie!

Refresh Natural Skincare masque ingredients

PROS

-The masque is incredibly moisturizing and will come in great use during the warm months and during the cooler months.
-The base of this clay is bentonite clay which is known for its fantastic detoxifying properties.
-Removal is quick and easy. Slather on and rinse off. DONE!
-I’ve found that this masque feels extra nice when used after spending hours in the sun.
-A little goes a long way.

Refresh Natural Skincare swatch

CONS

-If you aren’t familiar with the smell of bentonite clay (which uh…smells like clay), the scent may throw you off.
-If you don’t ensure that the lid is placed on correctly EVERY time, you may end up with a dry masque. Ask me how I know…

Refresh Natural Skincare masque on skin

I’m a fan! I haven’t boogied with a masque in forever and a day I think this one from REFRESH will be following me for a quite some time. You can purchase it here but if you use the code 9FIOVZKR, you’ll save $5 from now until the end of August. Happy shopping, lovelies!

 

Are you a mask lover?

Festive Nails for the 4th of July!

Confession: I am not a fan of doing nail art. Not even a little bit. For one thing, doing designs take too long and never last that long. You mean it took me 20 minutes to do ONE nail and these things have the audacity to start chipping in a day? Girl no. It’s enough to make me go crazy. Do I drool over the designs of nail polish bloggers? Yep. All day and everyday. I was inspired by some of those talented girls to do a patriotic nail look.

Patriotric nails

Okay, those nail strips are impressive and all but they don’t lay down for nothin’ in the world. How obnoxious! I’ve seen so many nail bloggers use them to perfection and of course when I try, it looks like a 6-year old did it. Ha! Typical B. Don’t look too hard at the strips. Aaaaand, you can’t tell me that the blue jelly sandwich of nails aren’t some kind of gorge. My nails haven’t been this short in months so I am trying to work with the nubs.

USA nails

 
Polishes Used:
OPI Put A Coat On! (white)
Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue
Milani Teal (glitter)

I would love to rock this nail look for the 4th of July festivities however the nail strips are already starting to peel back. And this is after I’ve applied a top coat. Which, by the way, removed some of the red. Haha, I can’t win. I’ll leave the nail art to the pros. Oh…before I go, have you girls tried OPI’s Glitter Off?


OPI Glitter Off nail polish

I’m not going to act like they’ve done something so revolutionary because nail girls have been using Elmer’s glue as a base under glitter polishes for yearsssss. Years, y’all. Still. It is nice to have it housed in a nail polish bottle. But yeah, it totally looks like glue. And smells like it, too. It took me back to 2nd grade. Most importantly, it works! Very well, I might add. I love glitter polishes but hardly wear them because of the intense removal process. I will totally rock glitters more often and wear this base coat under it. I purchased it from ULTA for about $9.

OPI Glitter Off

So…are you a nail art doin’ kind of gal or would you rather join me in the “Love to see it but hate to do it” crew?

Check out some of these other sweet shades from OPI, Sally Hansen and Milani…

Milani Perfection Liquid Liner Is…Perfect!

Milani Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner

Eyeliners. They’ve been around for decades. I don’t really know the history of them but I reckon that for quite some time that pencil eyeliners have been just that…in the shape of pencils. Liquid liners come in the same boring tubes with a brush and it looks like brands are wising up and trying to be a bit more creative. I was sent this Milani Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner some months back and for the past 2 weeks I’ve been using it non-stop.

Milani Eye Tech Liquid Liner

For one thing, I think it’s groovy! No really…this is the funkiest liquid eyeliner that I have ever seen. I know within the past few years other brands have been giving us these liquid liners with the interesting designs but I am here to say that Milani does a darn good job at their version of this. You can draw thick and thin lines with ease.

Milani Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner swatches

Released in February of 2014, this liquid eyeliner and its ergonomic handle has a water resistant and non-feathering formula. It applies with ease and sure, it takes a few tries to get it to fit comfortably in your hand and when you do…you’re hooked. Honestly, I don’t think this using THIS liquid liner is better than the traditional liquid eyeliner.

Milani Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner applicator

However, in terms of control I do feel like I have a better grip on thangs because my hands have more to hold on to versus a slim tube.

Milani Eye Tech Liner

I love how rich the black is and I  really do think this is such a great eyeliner for those just getting started with liquid eyeliner. Which, by the way, has never been easy for me to use. Melody of Cosmetically Challenged says that while she loves this eyeliner, it tends to get tacky for her during these warmer months so that’s something to think about….

This baby is available at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart and you can cop it here.

The best of Milani…

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

LORAC Pro Palette 2…love, love LOVE!

LORAC Pro Palette 2

I know. That’s pretty much the craziest blog title ever but hey, sometimes keepin’ it simple is easiest. And simply put, I am so in love with LORAC’s Pro Palette 2. I did a post of their original PRO Palette back in 2012 and yes, while I still think it was great, LORAC is giving us richer shades and spectacular eyeshadow formula.

LORAC Pro Palette 2 outside

We’re seeing similar shades from the previous palettes but I am loving the the inclusion of the rich Navy and Plum. Seems simple but I don’t know, those additions alone, to me make the palette far more smokey eye friendly.

Closer looks of the shades…

LORAC Pro Palette 2 lighter shades

LORAC Pro Palette 2 shades

 

Comparisons of the 2 palettes with PRO 2 palette on top…

LORAC Pro palettes

The palette is available for purchase at Ulta.com and I’m pretty sure it will head to the physical stores soon and maybe Sephora? Either way, I think it’ll be a big hit for those that don’t have the original PRO palette. Is it a necessity for those of us that already have that one? Well, c’mon…I’m a beauty blogger.

LORAC Pro Palette 2 packaging

I can find ways to justify many purchases. But in all seriousness, I think this palette is definitely more versatile than the first PRO palette so yeah…you beautiful people can draw your own conclusions.

LORAC Pro Palette 2 on brown girl

Not a bad look using Cool Gray a base, right? I did a video of this baby. I am still so impressed with myself, y’all. Last year I think I did one…maybe TWO videos. This year already I’ve done NINE! Heyyyyy!


 

Think you’ll grab this palette or naw?