Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Mane Choice

(click pictures to enlarge)
I’ve been on my healthy hair journey for close to two years now and in the meantime I’ve become a self-proclaimed product junkie. In the beginning like most product junkies I was terribly addicted to trying anything from the Shea Moisture brand and then I began to realize that not only were there other brands out there, but there were BETTER brands! After searching the web and being a part of the beauty community I stumbled upon The Mane Choice. At the time I only knew of them for their hair growth vitamins but after doing some research on the brand and stalking social media trying to find out more information, I decided to go ahead and make my first purchase.  

This product is the one that started it all for me. I had read claims online that this butter would not only moisturize my hair and leave it nice and soft, but it could also be used on the scalp to stimulate hair growth. When I first received this product the top layer was kind of hard and wasn't very easy to work with, but after I got into the product a little bit it turned into this magical greatness that I just can't get enough of. This product has a citrus smell, and I'm sure it's from the Orange and Grapefruit essential oils used in its mixture. This product is also jam packed with all natural butters (shea, mango, etc), and many oils (coconut, castor, etc). The smell does linger so if you're sensitive to fragrance whether it be artificial or natural you may want to keep that in mind. I use this product as the "C" in the LOC Method. (Liquid, Oil, Cream is the product layering technique that I use to retain the most moisture.) I also use this product on the scalp for head massages and growth stimulation and MAN that was when I became a believer. Trouble areas that I thought to be damaged beyond repair (hereditary issues, tension, chemical use, the list goes on) were restored to life! I mean literally, little baby hairs popping up everywhere!!! At that point I was sold and had to try more from the brand. That led me to purchase this next product.

This product is the TRUTH. Truth as in, I'm already on my second bottle and on my way to order the 3rd, 4th, & 5th!!! Once I saw how my hair responded to the butter I knew I'd made the right choice with the brand and honestly I was satisfied at that point. But then Courtney (owner and founder, but I feel like we're on a first name basis after the way she's changed my life LOL) decided to launch a whole new slew of products and in that bunch was the Growth Oil. Before purchasing I did a little research as usual but since the product was new there wasn't much out there... I then resorted to Instagram comments to see what people thought. It was then that I saw somebody ask "I already use the Doesn't Get Much Butter Than This, and I was wondering if this works the same?" Somebody responded to them simply saying "It's even better." At that point I ran to order this oil and I've been hooked ever since. This oil is also jam packed with amazing all natural ingredients, and it smells very similar to the butter in my opinion. Once again, the smell does linger so if you’re sensitive to fragrance keep that in mind. If you’re looking to grow out your hair, you NEED this oil in your life!

While a lot of Curlies are taking the "No Shampoo" route on their hair journey, I personally still love a good shampoo. I like to alternate between shampooing, co-washing, & applying a clay mask depending on my hair's needs. This shampoo lives up to its name because while it leaves my hair squeaky clean, it also doesn't leave my hair feeling stripped or dry. After using this shampoo my curls are soft, moisturized, & above all they’re still manageable! Once again, the smell on this product is amazing, but doesn't linger. This shampoo is infused with many great ingredients; Biotin and Vitamin E being two of them, and it is also paraben, sulfate, and silicone free.

I rarely use a regular conditioner in my hair because you see the way these curls and kinks are set up.... I need a deep conditioner every time I wash (once a week). Now I'm not saying that this product is bad or even unnecessary because BABY this conditioner left my hair so damn soft and hydrated that when I use it I let it sit a little longer than the recommended time (for peace of mind) and tell myself that I've deep conditioned. This is definitely great on those lazy wash days where I honestly don't feel like going through the wash day motions. The smell is very similar to the shampoo and it doesn't linger. This conditioner is infused with many great ingredients; Biotin and Vitamin E being two of them and it is also paraben, sulfate, and silicone free.

I love a good multipurpose product, and this one surely gets the job done! While I do prefer to use this as a co-wash or detangler and not so much a leave in, I still find this product to be amazing! I can easily finger or brush detangle my hair with this product and it leaves my curls soft and fluffy. When used as a co-wash my hair still feels cleansed, but obviously not as squeaky clean as it would with the shampoo. I use this on weeks where I don't add too much product to my hair and I really just need a good refresher. As far as a detangler goes.... The first thing I like to do on wash day is a "prepoo/detangle session" on my hair. (If you'd like another post on my full hair care regimen, I'd love to post that) I usually add the product to dry hair and with a mixture of oils I detangle and prepare my hair for washing. Now while this product isn't bad as a leave in, I do have other leave ins that leave my hair softer, & moisturized longer. And of course this product smells amazing, but I think that goes without being said now! This multipurpose product is infused with many great ingredients; Biotin and Tea Tree oil being two of them and it is also paraben, sulfate, and silicone free.

I've used quite a few gels in my lifetime, but never one quite like this. The consistency of this gel is more fluid and very hard to explain. The only word that comes to mind when I look at this gel is "goopy." With that being said, I don't see that as a con! I don't care for gels too much in my styling process because while they give you good definition, you can sacrifice the softness or volume of your hair. I personally prefer big fluffy hair over defined hair ANY day! This gel leaves my hair shiny, moisturized, & what it's supposed to be... defined! The only thing I will say about this product is a little goes a long way!!! If you overuse this product, which isn't hard to do, you may end up with some white flakes throughout your bomb twist out and NOBODY wants a flaky head especially right after wash day! Besides that, I find this gel to be a great styling product and it leaves my curls in place until I'm ready to restyle... whether it be mid-week or during my next wash day. Once again... the smell is great and this product gets a thumb up from me.

To be honest I can't form a valid opinion on this product for a couple reasons....Starting with I am not consistent with these pills. The suggested serving size is 2 pills per day and at best I take one pill every other day. My reasoning behind this is because of the amount of Biotin included in these pills. I'm not a scientist, cosmetologist, or a professional so I'll let YOU do your own Biotin research, but from what I've gathered too much Biotin can cause acne if it isn't flushed out of your system with water. I tried taking a Hair Skin & Nails supplement before and babyyyyy that cystic acne... I'll just say I'm still trying to get some of those scars healed. At that point I exchanged comments with the person behind The Mane Choice's Instagram account and they suggested that I start off taking the pills in the manner that I am. With that being said... sometimes I forget, other times I remember. I mostly look at this as a multivitamin instead of a hair growth aid at this point.

All in all, The Mane Choice is a phenomenal brand with a seemingly phenomenal owner and team behind it. Their customer service is very prompt and helpful, and they always let you know that you matter! Currently these products are sold online, and at select beauty supply stores across the country. I’m happy to see this brand growing and I hope to see it up there with the “Shea Moistures” of the beauty world in the near future!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty! UPDATED

Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty event is on its way!!!!
 (Click picture to enlarge, picture belongs to @whatibuy on Instagram, thank you so much for this update!!!!!!)

Starting March 13th Ulta will have 3 full weeks full of amazing beauty deals and daily steals! Anybody can partake in this sale, but quantities are always limited!

Here's a master list of the daily beauty steals!

Sunday March 13th- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Finishing Powder 12$, Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash 14$
Monday March 14th- Stila One Step Correct 18$, ONLINE ONLY-
Perricone MD All cleansers 50% off

Tuesday March 15th- Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights 16$, ONLINE ONLY- Honest Beauty Everything Makeup Palette 20$
Wednesday March 16th- BareMinerals Loose Eyeshadow 7.50$, ONLINE ONLY It Brushes for Ulta Your Face and Eye Essentials Mini 5 piece Travel Brush Set 18$ 

Thursday March 17th- Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick 11$, Exuviance AP25 Peel 37.50$ 

Friday March 18th- Tarte Tartiest Clay Paint Liner 12$, Clarisonic any White Device or Alpha Fit 30$ off 

Saturday March 19th- Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush 15$, Philosophy Purity Cleansing Cloths 30 ct 7.50$, Benefit Cosmetics Free Brow Bar Wax 

Sunday March 20th- Pur Cosmetics 4-in-1 Mineral Foundation 19.50$, Dermadoctor Kakadu C Cleanser and Serum 18-47.50$

Monday March 21st- Too Faced Lip Injection Plumping Lip Gloss 11$, ONLINE ONLY- Cargo Bronzers and Beach Blush 50% off 

Tuesday March 22nd- Mally Beauty Face Defender 15$, ONLINE ONLY- Stila Eyes Are The Window Eyeshadow Palettes 29$, Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush 11$ 

Wednesday March 23rd- Butter London Nail Lacquer and Patent Shine 10x Lacquer 10$, ONLINE ONLY- Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon 8.50$
Thursday March 24th- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water 16$, Strivectin Best Sellers Starter Trio 17.50$, Philosophy Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker Moisturizer 2 oz 30$

Friday March 25th- Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil 12$, Serovital-HGH Dietary Supplement 120 ct 69.30$

Saturday March 26th- Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara 10$, Mario Badescu 25% off the entire brand

Sunday March 27th- It Brushes for Ulta Airbrush All Over Shadow Brush 7$, Dermalogica  Everyday Essentials Set 9$

Monday March 28th- Pur Cosmetics Dirty Girl Mudd Masque 18$, ONLINE ONLY- Bliss Fat Girl Six Pack 19$, Rodial Heroes Collection Kit 20$
Tuesday March 29th- Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten 15$
Benefit Stay Don't Stray Eye Shadow Primer 13$, ONLINE ONLY- Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye and Face Gels 35% off
Wednesday March 30th- Lorac (Ulta exclusive) Riesling Romance Eyeshadow Palette 15$ Lorac CC Cream 15$, ONLINE ONLY- Dermablend Setting Powder 13.50$
Thursday March 31st- Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner 11$, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti Wrinkle Booster Serum 1oz 37.50$, ONLINE ONLY- Lipstick Queen Medieval Tinted Treatment 16$
Friday April 1st- BareMinerals Blush or All Over Face Color 10-10.50$, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle 4 Piece Kit 44$, ONLINE ONLY- Per-Fekt Lash Perfection Gel and Liquid Lash Curler 14$

Saturday April 2nd- It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Primer 24$, Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser 6.75oz 14$, Benefit Cosmetics Free Brow Bar Wax 

Ulta Beauty Collection Steals!
PLUS buy 2 get 2 free on all cosmetics, brushes, and beauty tools

Sundays March 13, 20, 27- Ulta Beauty Lipstick and Lip Butter 3$
Mondays March 14, 21, 28- Ulta Beauty Foundation 5$
Tuesdays March 15, 22, 29- Ulta Beauty Lip Gloss 3$
Wednesdays March 16, 23, 30- Ulta Beauty Mascara 4$
Thrusdays March 17, 24, 31- Ulta Beauty Nail Lacquer 2$
Fridays March 18, 25, April 1- Ulta Beauty Eyeshadow Palette 12$, Ulta Beauty Shower Gel and Body Lotion 4$
Saturdays March 19, 26, April 2- Ulta Beauty Automatic and Gel Eyeliner Pencils 3$, Ulta Beauty Smoothies, Butter, and Scrubs 5$

Hot Buys
(Available throughout the duration of the event, in stores and online)

Butter London- Lippy Moisture Matte Lipsticks 10$
Lorac- Alter Ego Lip Gloss 8$
Laura Geller- Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation 20$
Smashbox- Camera Ready BB Water Broad Spectrum SPF 30 25$
Tarte- Maracuja Oil 25$
Japonesque- Luminous Foundation 18$
Algenist- Firming and Lifting Eye Gel 34$

Free Gifts with Purchase 
(Spend a certain amount on a certain brand and receive a free gift)

Benefit- exclusive makeup bag with any 45$ product and/or service
Bare Minerals- deluxe 5 in 1 cream eyeshadow in "Barely Nude" with any 35$ purchase
Tarte- limited edition makeup bag and Hybrid Gel foundation sample card with any 30$ purchase
Too Faced- deluxe sizes of Better Than Sex mascara, Hangover Primer, and Love Flush Blush in "Love Hangover" with any 35$ purchase
Urban Decay- deluxe samples of Perversion mascara and All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray with any 35$ purchase
Smashbox- to go sized Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio, Photo Finish Lid Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer with any 35$ purchase
Laura Geller- full size Inkcredible Eye Liner in "Blackbird" with any 35$ purchase
Stila- deluxe size Stay All Day Liquid Lip in "Beso" with any 35$ purchase
Lorac- deluxe Porefection Mattifying Face Primer with any 25$ purchase
Honest Beauty- silver clutch with 7ct makeup wipes with any 30$ purchase
Becca- deluxe Under Eye Brightening Corrector with any 35$ purchase
Pur Cosmetics- deluxe Illuminate and Glow Primer with any 35$ purchase
It Cosmetics- Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara Mini with any 35$ purchase
Butter London- Plush Flush mini lip gloss with any 30$ purchase
 Lancome- go in for a Lancome Consultation and receive a complimentary deluxe sample of Hypnose Drama Mascara while supplies last
Clinique- go in for a Flawless Fast Consultation and take home a free sample of your custom matched foundation
Dermadoctor- free packette KP Duty Body Scrub Sample with any purchase
Dr. Brandt- Needles No More deluxe sample with any purchase
Dermalogica- Skin Reset Set with any 65$ purchase
Exuviance- deluxe samples of Triple Microdermabrasion and Bionic Oxygen Facial with any purchase
First Aid Beauty- Facial Cleanser deluxe sample and Facial Radiance Pads 10ct with any 35$ purchase
Algenist- Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel deluxe sample with any purchase
Philosophy- 6pc gift with any 2 skincare, color or fragrance purchase. Excludes trial
Mario Badescu- free packette Aloe Moisturizer sample with any purchase
Strivectin- 5pc gift with any 89$ purchase
Skyn Iceland- Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gel deluxe sample with any purchase
Peter Thomas Roth- Irish Moor Mud Mask sample with any 40$ purchase
Clarisonic- 3pc gift with any 149$ purchase
Juice Beauty- Green Apple Peel Sensitive deluxe sample with any 50$ purchase
Dermablend- mini foundation brush with any 30$ purchase
Perricone- free packette Face Finishing Moisturizer sample with any purchase
Marc Jacobs Fragrance- Marc Jacobs umbrella with any large spray purchase
Chole- free pouch with any large spray purchase
Ralph Lauren- free quilted tote with any 3.4oz or larger Ralph Lauren Romance, Midnight Romance, or Tender Romance, Eau de Parfum purchase
Covergirl- Sampler Pack with any 15$ purchase, Olay Skincare included
Neutrogena- deluxe Moisture Smooth Color Stick with any 15$ cosmetics purchase
Physician's Formula- gold cosmetics bag with any 15$ purchase
Free sunhat with any 15$ Jergens, John Freida hair care, hair color, or skincare purchase
Soap and Glory- travel size Sugar Crush Hand Food with any 20$ purchase
The Body Shop- tote bag with any 30$ purchase
Bliss- Fabulous Drench n Quench 15ml with any 30$ purchase
Ahava- Sea Get Away Mini Set with any 30$ purchase
Ultra Chi- tote with any spring flat iron or dryer purchase
Anastasia Beverly Hills- free ABH eyeshadow palette with any 4 eye single eye shadow purchase, free mini kabuki brush and bag with any 40$ purchase
OPI- free "Croc" Cuff with any 20$ lacquer purchase
Burt's Bees- free cosmetic bag with any 17$ lipstick purchase ONLINE ONLY

Other deals

OPI- Buy 2 get 1 free
Whim- Buy 2 get 1 free
L'oreal- eye cosmetics BOGO 50% off
Almay- BOGO 50% off
Ecotools- brushes BOGO 50% off
Sally Hansen- BOGO 50% off
Revlon- BOGO 50% off,excludes beauty tools
NYX- BOGO 50% off face and eye
Japonesque- BOGO 50% off brushes
Maybelline- BOGO 50% off lip
Ardell Lashes- BOGO 50% off
Covergirl- BOGO 50% off
 Neutrogena- BOGO 50% off
Physician's Formula- BOGO 50% off
Boots NO7- BOGO 50% off skincare (excludes jumbo serums)
Ulta Brand- Buy 2 get 2 free
Mix and Match- BOGO 40% off Neutrogena Moisturizers, Aveeno, ROC, Olay, Retinol, Shea Moisture, and Pacifica skincare
Select sun care- BOGO 50% off Sun Bum, Hempz, Alba, L'Oreal, Hawaiian Tropic, Banana Boat, Neutrogena, Maui Babe, LA Express, Kardashian sun care, & Australian Gold
Select skin care- BOGO 50% off Ulta Beauty Brushes and Wipes, Cerave, Simple, and Alpha skin care
Select hair removal- BOGO 50% off Gillette (excludes cartridges), Schick, BIC, Sally Hansen, Shea Moisture, Parissa, Completely Bare and Bikini Zone
Select skin care and hair care- BOGO 50% off Jergens and John Freida
BOGO 50% off- Choose from Shea Moisture skin and bath, Pacifica bath, Tree Hut, Whish, OGX bath, Daily Concepts bath accessories, Ecotools bath accessories, Fizz and Bubble Bath Fizzies
BOGO 50% off- Hask, Shea Moisture, Tressemme, Juice Organics, Marc Anthony, OGX, Nexxus, Renpure, L'oreal hair care, Ulta Beauty, Eva NYC, Grow Gorgeous, One N Only, Pacifica
Ultra Chi- Spring Collection only 89.95$
Mix and Match- Buy 2 get 1 free select styling and finishing salon hair care

I will update my Instagram page (@budgetbeautyguru) with daily reminders for upcoming deals and steals as always!!!!!

Ruby Kisses Matte Lipstick review with swatches

Ruby Kisses Matte Lipsticks 
Click pictures to enlarge

These lippies retail for 2.99$ & can be found at local beauty supply stores, select Walmart locations, & online here. These super pigmented lippies come in 24 different shades ranging from bright blues, blushing nudes, rosy reds, & beyond. 

These matte lipsticks apply smoothly, and wear comfortably on the lips. (Can be drying if your lips are not moisturized beforehand) They are not "transfer proof," nor do they claim to be. Now with that being said, you can still get a decent wear time from these lippies (4-6 hours), but they will not last through eating, drinking, or kissing. I personally don't mind reapplying lipstick as long as it layers nicely during reapplication, and these do.
 I highly recommend these lippies for ANY beauty regardless of your budget!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ulta Soft Matte Lip Cream review w/ swatches

Click pictures to enlarge

Liquid lipsticks have taken the beauty world by storm, but you obviously didn’t need ME to tell you that though! I always read reviews about the obvious picks such as Ofra, NYX, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Milani (need I go on?), but I rarely hear anything about the Ulta Soft Matte Lip Creams! In my honest opinion the Ulta Beauty brand in itself is slept on way too much and it’s time that these babies got some much needed love!

These liquid lippies retail for 9$, but Ulta usually has some sort of discount going on within their brand so you more than likely can snag these at a discounted price. They come in 10 different shades and I own half of the collection. They have a slightly slanted doe foot applicator and the consistency is a light mousse. These lippies dry down to a fully matte finish and are transfer proof once dry. (My definition of transfer proof is I can eat or drink without these coming off) They do not have a strong scent but when you smell inside the tube they have a slight chemical smell to them, but it isn’t anything crazy in my opinion. They can become drying after hours of wear but applying a light balm underneath, or even on gloss on top when they become drying does not affect the texture or consistency on the lips. 

Some shades apply better than others (Striking, Passionate), while some can be a little streaky and need a little extra TLC (Allusive, Tender). When it’s time to wash the day away these lippies don’t require too much extra work to be removed which is something I appreciate. Am I the only person who loves getting ready but hates getting unready? Anyways… Using my regular makeup remover wipe or a little micellar water I can easily remove these lippies without hassle. These lippies are low maintenance and come in a variety of shades and I think any liquid lipstick lover should have at least one in their collection! My personal favorite shade is Striking, which also happens to be the first one I purchased! It literally stole my heart.

Next time you’re in Ulta, don’t just breeze past the Ulta Beauty Brand because there are truly some hidden gems within!