Sexy Hair Soya Want It All 22 in 1 Review

Sexy Hair Soya Want It All 22 in 1 Review

Sexy Hair Soya Want It All 22:1
Do It All Leave In Treatment 
Aerosol spray. 5.1 oz.

You wash it too much.  Blow dry every day.  Highlight.  Curl.  Straighten until it can be straightened no more. Whatever your favorite damage method is, this hair saving leave-in treatment can fix it all. The Sexy Hair line has great products and I use quite a few of them in my professional hair kit on clients when I am styling hair for various gigs in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

 

 

Soya Want It All 22:1 is a leave-in conditioner that is made from a soy, cocoa and argan oil blend.  What are the 22 things that it helps with you may ask? Thermal protection, humidity resistance, moisture, nourishment, bodybuilding, repair, shine, smoothness, color protection, detangling, elasticity, environmental protection, anti-static, anti-frizz, anti-aging, soothing, strength, style control, damage control, lightweight, priming and damage prevention. 

Along with the long list of benefits, it also smells divine.  Like a fruity cocktail that you drink from a coconut while lying on the beach in Hawaii. Mmmmm…..Hawaii……

If you don’t over use it, will leave your hair soft, shiny and healthy looking. Start out with a smaller amount and see how much your hair needs.  I like to use a few spritzes of Soya Want It All in my hair before blow drying or doing a blow out with my John Frieda Hot Air Brush.  I keep it in my professional hair kit for clients who have unruly hair that is damaged, frizzy or dry and they always comment on how wonderful it smells.

There’s my Sexy Hair Soya Want It All 22 in 1 review for you.  Do you use it and love it as well? 

May your hair be gorgeous and smell like the tropics!

 

All photo rights:  www.tracysotirakis.com

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review

Is it worth the hype?

Colors here L to R: NC15, NW20, NW25, NC35, NW35, NW40

It gets rave reviews online and was voted as the top high end concealer in Allure Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards for 2015. Must be awesome, right? Let’s see!

What it’s all about:

  • 16 Shades
  • Medium to full coverage
  • Natural, matte finish
  • Lasts for up to 15 hours
  • Good for under-eye circles and other discolorations
  • Comes in a glass vial with a pump dispenser
  • 0.30 US fl oz
  • $20.00 at MAC stores and www.maccosmetics.com

 

I feel like I have been on a never ending quest for the perfect concealer.  Many formulas have let me down in the past, so it’s a little frightening introducing a new one into my professional makeup kit. I decided to take the plunge and buy a range of shades of the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. What initially intrigued me about the product was that it was a long wearing formula and it was a liquid, not a thick cream.

Will it cover dark circles?  Erase blemishes and discoloration?  Will it crease horribly?  Is it worth all the hype?

After testing on myself and clients, here’s what I discovered:

What I like:

  • It has a good amount of coverage. I like it for more of a medium coverage concealer, but it can be layered or applied on top of another concealer to make it full coverage.
  • Nice range of colors.
  • The matte finish is great. Depending on how oily your skin is, you may need to set it with a translucent powder.
  • Application for under the eyes is best with clean fingers or a concealer brush.  For a larger area of coverage, use a damp Beauty Blender sponge or synthetic foundation or concealer brush.
  • It mixes well with other products. Mixed with a light weight foundation, like MAC Face and Body, it makes a lovely medium coverage foundation. Blended with face lotion, it makes a nice tinted moisturizer.
  • Stays put. Once it’s set, it holds. Even survives sweaty situations.
  • The bottle is pretty small, but only using a small amount, it will last quite a while.

As you can see, quite a lot comes out with one pump.

What I don’t like:

  • With as concentrated as this formula is, the pump dispenses way too much at a time. Great for concealing a large area, but wasteful for small areas like under the eyes. The solution to this is to use a little sample container to pump a full pump into and use that for a few days. Ask for a sample container when purchasing if you go to the MAC store. Or, you can try to dispense it very gently and slowly so only a little comes out.
  • It can look a dry on some people, especially in the eye area. If that’s you, prep with a good eye cream.
  • It may crease unless set with a light dusting of a translucent powder.

Top row L to R: NC15, NW20, NW25. Bottom row L to R: NC35, NW35, NW40

The MAC Pro Longwear Concealer can definitely stay in my makeup kit for now. I think that it has mostly lived up to all the hype. I would give it 4 stars out of 5.  I hope you like it if you decide to try it out!

CoTZ Face Natural Skin Tone Sunscreen SPF 40 Review

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Looking for a new face sunscreen?  Try my favorite!

 

I discovered this gem about a year ago on my quest to find a sunscreen for daily wear that would:

  1. Not make me look like a pasty white ghost, I’m pale enough, thanks.
  2. Give me a matte finish.
  3. Work well under full makeup, as I usually like to stay away from the “melted face” look.

What CoTZ Face Natural Skin Tone Sunscreen SPF 40 is all about:

  • It’s a 100% natural mineral sunscreen.
  • 100% free of oils, chemical sunscreens, preservatives, fragrances, parabens, PABA, gluten, phythalates.
  • Silky, sheer matte formula.  Glides on smoothly and does not look oily or greasy.
  • Lightly tinted, no white cast.  Good for most skin tones but they do have an un-tinted version if your skin is very fair.
  • Works well under makeup, feels similar to a makeup primer.
  • Does not sting the eyes or skin.  Great for sensitive skin.
  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
  • Water and sweat resistant. 
  • No heavy sunscreen scent.

Ingredients:  titanium dioxide (8%), zinc oxide (3.8%) ,
Alumina, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer,
Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Lauryl
PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Methicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone

I purchased it at ULTA for $19.99 and probably used a coupon because they always have coupons.  ULTA puts it on sale sometimes or will do a buy one, get one 50% off promotion as well.  Amazon also carries it for about $25.50.  The CoTZ website also sells it.  You may freak out at the price, but it’s totally worth it to save your face from the damaging rays of the sun.  The tube is 1.5 oz and may seem small but you don’t really need a ton of it to cover your face.  It spreads very easily.

The color outside in sunlight
The color outside in the shade

 

Fully rubbed in outside in sunlight
Fully rubbed in outside in the shade

As you can see, right out of the tube the color appears to be to dark for my fair/light skin tone, but when rubbed in, the color blends nicely.

I like to wear the CoTZ Face Sunscreen by itself for activities not requiring makeup (the horror!) or under makeup when I have to look presentable.  Because of the tint, you may not even need foundation, depending on how much coverage you like.  It helps to let it set for a few minutes before applying foundation over it.  At the end of the day, even with full makeup on top of the sunscreen, my skin looks great and I don’t look greasy and melted, even in the Las Vegas summer heat.  Hooray!

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John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush Review

Yes ladies, it’s totally possible to do a quality blowout at home thanks to one of these handy hot air brushes.  No need for a separate hair dryer and round brush, this guy is both tools in one.

My hair is pretty straight and I normally either wear it curly or in a knot on the top of my head.  But, being a makeup artist and hair stylist, I am sometimes asked to do a blowout on a client’s hair.  I have a full arsenal of makeup and hair supplies that I lug around on a daily basis, but any tool that makes my job easier (and looks cool) is a definite must have.

The specs on the John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush:

 

 

  • Lightweight
  • Low, High and Cool Settings
  • Professional length swivel cord
  • 500 Watts
  • Advanced ionic conditioning
  • True ceramic heater
  • Ceramic Titanium coated barrel
  • 2 sizes of bristles that comb through the hair easily
  • Available in either 1 inch or 1.5 inch barrels

I purchased the 1.5 inch at ULTA for $39.99 along with a coupon.  I was desperate and needed it that day.  It’s cheaper on Amazon.

How to use:

  • Make sure your hair is 80-90% dry (very important, it may take a while if your hair is not mostly dry)
  • Distribute your favorite heat protecting product into the hair (I like John Frieda Frizz Ease and Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray)
  • Separate your hair into sections.
  • Start with the bottom portion, begin running the brush through small sections of the hair.  It may take 3-4 passes to fully dry it.
  • Work your way through the sections toward the top of the head and around your face.
  • For volume, lift up the brush at your roots, really working it in to create lift.
  • To curl the ends, curl the hair around the hot brush, blast it with either the low or hot setting (depending on your hair) for a few seconds, then switch it to cool for 5 seconds or longer to set the curl.  Turn the hot brush off and release the hair.

     

  • Practice working the brush at different angles to create the look that you want.

My first time using this on a client made me a little nervous in the beginning.  Of course, I tested the dryer rigorously beforehand on myself, making sure that it could handle the job and not explode in my hand.  I applied product to the client’s hair and rough dried it with a regular hair dryer.  Then I dove in with the John Frieda Hot Air Brush.  My client was chatting with her producer while I was doing her hair, speaking in French the whole time so I had no idea what they were talking about.  After about ten minutes into the hot air brush styling, the producer (a lady) started making oohhing and aahhing sounds, which I took as a good sign.  As soon as I put the hot air brush down for a second to re-section the hair, the producer grabbed the hot air brush and told me how wonderful it was (in English) and asked where could she buy it.  Needless to say, the client’s hair looked great when I was finished and they both thought I was a genius with this incredible tool.

The Cons:

  • The handle and settings switch can get a little slippery if you still have some serum or product still on your hands.  I may modify mine with some strips of grip tape or sand paper tape.
  • It takes a little practice flipping through the different settings with your thumb, the more you get used to it, the easier it is.
  • This particular brush does not rotate on it’s own, may be a con for some but for me, I like it better.
  • Yes, you’re going to see some hairs in the brush after you are done.  What brush doesn’t have hair in it after use?

The John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush is best for ladies who want a great looking blowout at home without the hassle of a round brush and heavy hair dryer.  It also costs way less than going to the salon on a constant basis.  Of course, keep your natural hair in mind if you are thinking about buying this hot air brush.  If you have extremely curly hair, this may not work as well for you.  It will work for pretty much all other types of hair.  The John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush will definitely be a permanent part of my hair styling kit.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Lancome Artliner Eyeliner Ice Black Review

My new best friend, Lancome Artliner in Ice Black

I used to order a lot of makeup online from a French beauty company and got completely hooked on one of their products.  I used it daily and could not find anything else to replace it.  It was a liquid eyeliner with a flexible foam tip applicator in a beautiful shade of shimmery taupe.  It looked absolutely beautiful with all shades of eye shadow and stayed on all day, even in the heat and humidity.

One fateful day, I received an email from the French beauty company saying that they no longer were going to be selling/shipping to the United States and Canada.  My heart sank.  I immediately ordered a few eyeliners and shed a tear or two.  Yes, I cried over eyeliner.

Fast forward to today and those last eyeliners are long gone.  My search has been never ending, online and in the stores.  Nothing has had the same color, consistency or applicator.

 On a recent trip to Sephora, I was wandering around in the Lancome section and low and behold, there it was.  Artliner, Precision Point Eyeliner in Ice Black.  I roll my eyes at whoever named it Ice Black.  No wonder I couldn’t find it.  The color almost perfectly matches my original French eyeliner, the lovely shade of pearly taupe.  It’s just so darned pretty.
Ice Black color swatch

The great thing about Ice Black is that it looks awesome with every eye color and works for day or night makeup.  Artliner’s foam tip applicator makes it very easy to use, even for beginner liquid eyeliner users.

The only downside to this liner is that is costs $30 USD, but it will last a long time.  That’s better than wasting a ton of money on other junk liners that don’t have the payoff that Artliner does.  I’ll pay it again and again.

If you happen to be in the market for a new liquid eyeliner, definitely check Artliner out.  It will be your new favorite too!

Favorite Skin Care Product — Aloe Vera Gel

What’s my favorite skin care product that I have been using for years that has never failed me?  Is it a $200 moisturizer?  Or, is it a top brand of eye cream?  No, it’s something that you can buy at your local drugstore and will only cost you a few dollars for a large bottle.  Aloe Vera gel.  Simple as that.

Aloe Vera plant

Here is why you should be using nature’s miracle product on your skin every day:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Promotes healing
  • Moisturizes
  • Fights bacteria
  • Reduces puffiness
  • Reduces acne and eczema
  • Mostly made of water, it absorbs quickly and can be re-applied often
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Keeps skin tight and firm and helps skin cells regenerate
Inside of an Aloe Vera plant

Aloe Vera gel can be used by women and men, any age, any skin type, any skin color.  Everyone can benefit from it.

The best Aloe Vera gel to buy should contain NO ALCOHOL.  Read the label carefully.  It can usually be found near the sunscreen section of the store.

To add Aloe Vera gel to your skincare routine, after washing your face, apply about 1/4 teaspoon and lightly massage into the face and neck area.  Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Use it daily and you will see wonderful results.
Disclaimer:  In the case that Aloe Vera gel irritates your skin, please discontinuing using it.Photos:  Wikimedia Commons

MAC Russian Red Matte Lipstick Review

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

Ever heard of this stuff?  It’s supposedly THE best red lipstick ever. What makes it so wonderful?  It can be worn by all skin tones, from light to dark.

Photo credit:  Madonna.com

Back in 1990, MAC Russian Red lipstick was Madonna’s signature color for her Blonde Ambition tour.  It has been a staple classic red lipstick for many celebrities and makeup artists since then and has a cult type of following, making it one of MAC’s best selling shades.

A tube of Russian Red will set you back $15.00 at the MAC counter in the USA and it is described by MAC as having an “intense bluish-red color” with a subtle vanilla scent.

Some celebrities that reportedly have worn Russian Red:  Dita Von Teese, Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Christina Hendricks, Scarlett Johannson, Christina Aguilera and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

If you are gutsy enough to wear this intense of a lipstick, make sure that your lips are not dry.  Exfoliate them with a simple scrub made of sugar and olive oil first, then apply a light layer of lip balm.  Dry, flaky lips are not friends with matte lipstick, especially red.

photo by Tracy Sotirakis

*A matching lip liner pencil may be used if you find that colors bleed on your lips.

* To make it last, apply a layer with a lip brush for precision, blot with a tissue and apply another layer.

*For a subtle color wash/stain, apply a light layer with clean fingertips and blot.  Lip balm or gloss can be added if wanted.

*Go easy on the rest of your makeup when going bold with the lips, they should be the focus.  Use lighter shades of eye shadow and keep the blush and bronzer to a minimum.  Thin winged black eye liner looks great with Russian Red lipstick.

*Take your time in applying red lipstick.  Don’t think that you can smear it all over your lips in 5 seconds and it will look fabulous.  It won’t, you’ll look like a clown, literally.  Slow down and apply it with accuracy.

What do you think?  Are you daring enough to try Russian Red?  I know you’ll get compliments if you do!

*Disclaimer:  I was not paid to review this product by anyone, I bought it with my own hard earned money.*

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Review

Yeah, sometimes I cart this much around.

We have all been hammered by the beauty and fashion magazines lately about BB Creams.  BB stands for Blemish Balm, as they are sold in Asian markets, or Beauty Balm as sold in Western markets.  They are supposed to multitask and be a primer, foundation, sunscreen, moisturizer and serum.  You can wear them alone or with your other favorite moisturizer, foundation or powder.

Are they really worth the hype or are they just another sales pitch for one more product that we can’t possibly live without.  I have so much makeup it’s frightening (or drool inducing), but that’s my job.  See picture to the right and you’ll see what I mean.  Is a BB Cream really going to change my life?  Probably not, but I had to try one anyway.  Those magazine ads really do work.  I had received samples of different brands and I liked them but they always made my skin look a little shiny after a few hours.  For my personal use, I usually like more of a matte look to my skin.  I don’t wear a full coverage foundation, maybe just a tinted moisturizer or a very light coverage foundation.  Too many freckles to cover up and then I just look weird.   BB Creams seem to be marketed to gals like me.


In a beauty magazine recently, they had an ad for Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin.  My interest sparked.  The ad came with a coupon and a handy color chart.  Most of us know what color spectrum we fall in when the cosmetic companies group us into only 3 different skin tones.  Although, light may not be light enough for you or deep is not deep enough.  Trial and error is sometimes the only way to figure out which color is appropriate for your skin tone.  I went with the Light/Medium for combination to oily skin.  I purchased it at my local gigantic one stop shop for $11.97 and used my $1.00 coupon.

Garnier’s BB Cream Skin Renew for combination to oily skin is supposed to control shine, minimize pores, even skin tone, and hydrate.  It also has SPF 20, which in my opinion is not enough for daily wear (SPF 30 is recommended), but at least it’s something.  It also has “Mineral Perlite + Mineral Pigments”.

I have been wearing it for a few days now and here’s my opinion:  OK, not a life changing “miracle”, but I kind of like it.  The color is a tad dark and a little too beige for me, so I have to use it sparingly and blend well down my neck.  Most BB Creams are supposed to be used very sparingly anyway.  I do really like the fact that it is not dewy like other BB Creams.  It does feel like more of a light coverage foundation.  My skin looks very pretty with it on and I did set it lightly with a loose translucent powder.  I wore it out one day and got caught in a rainstorm and it seemed to hold up pretty well, my hair was another story.  My only note of caution is that some users with very sensitive skin have reported that this product was irritating to them.  I haven’t experienced any blemishes or itchiness.

The texture is not thick at all, not what I would call a “cream” but more of a liquid.   You have to be careful when dispensing it from the bottle, a lot can come out at once.  The smell is alright, it doesn’t really bother me.  After it sets on the skin I can’t smell it.

While this product may not be technically a true BB Cream like the real ones sold in Korea, I will continue to use this bottle of Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream for combination/oily skin.  Are you going to be sucked in also and try a BB Cream for yourself?

** Update:  I have been using this product now for a while and I have come to completely love it.  I even put one in my professional makeup kit and intend on purchasing the darker colors as well.