Can I just say that I called the debut of this product?  I called it.  I knew it would happen.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a perfect example of a gimmick, or a trick or device used to attract attention, publicity, or business.  I literally laughed out loud when I first saw an ad for Pantene’s new Ultimate 10 BB Creme for hair (and I can’t remember exactly where I first read about it, but it was before it hit shelves, so I’ve been looking forward to this for a while).

So, if you know anything about current trends in the beauty world, you know that B.B. creams are huge right now in skincare (along with CC creams, and soon to come, DD creams … I’m not lying).  They’re do-it-all “beauty balms”, meant for hydrating, firming, soothing, providing sun protection, reducing the appearance of pores, fine lines, uneven skintone, and repairing damage.  The first B.B.’s we saw typically came in just one self-adjusting shade, and were meant to cover a bunch of skincare and makeup steps in one.  B.B.’s were unique in the fact that they were one of the first mass-marketed products that blended makeup and skincare into one item.  They made sense.

About one year ago, every big name brand came out with a B.B. of their own.  And so I remember thinking to myself, not too long ago, “Self, I don’t think it will be long before we see some other re-working of this B.B. phenomenon.  Maybe in the hair department?  Why not?  Someone, anyone really, could easily reinterpret this kind of product as one for hair, even though we have literally every product necessary to perfect our tresses by now.”  I mean it when I say that I just don’t know what they’ll think of next when it comes to hair.  We have everything to address every need for hair these days.  I mean come on, Blake Lively’s hair exists– we’ve achieved hair perfection as the human race!  Sure, everyone’s individual capability in maintaining their own hair may vary, but beyond that, hair perfection today is a potential reality, no matter what type of hair you have to begin with.

And this is just one of the reasons why, though I knew it would happen, the advent of the hair B.B. cream baffles me.  There is no need for it, like, at all.  We have products that de-frizz, give shine, repair damage, strengthen, and all the like.  We even have products that already claim, like a B.B., to do all those things at once (think items like It’s a 10, MoroccanOil, etc.).  And honestly, let’s go as bare-bones as, say, sunflower oil:  it strengthens, reduces frizz (like most any oil), imparts shine, and can ultimately prevent damage.  And what’s even better is that it’s sunflower oil, not some strange, indecipherable compilation of synthetic lab constituents that plays off the current of-the-moment B.B. trend.  Furthermore, a recent magazine review of Pantene’s B.B. that I read claimed that it was just too heavy for most hair types (and heavy products make hair very difficult to style or even air-dry nicely, despite Pantene claiming that their B.B. is a styling product, too).

So my verdict before even trying it?  Useless.  Forget about it.  Move on with your life.

HOWEVER, here’s something that you can trust as helpful to your hair, but it’s not exactly something new.


Didn’t think you’d ever give these a shot again, did you?  Now look, at least these scrunchies aren’t some awkward color or print that remind you of Jazzercise or your Osh-Kosh overalls that I seriously wore for way too long.  Oh, so it’s the shape that still scares you?  Or the fact that you can wrap one of these suckers around a ponytail on top of your head and swing your hair around like a helicopter and look like you’re straight out of a Paula Abdul music video?  Or straight out of an episode of Full House?  Did you know I’ve never even watched Full House? And that I’ve never seen more than maybe three episodes of Friends?  Yep.  That’s how relevant I am.

Anyhow, I digress.

So basically, these puppies are well on their way to becoming my new best friend in obsessing over my hair.  A lot of hair ties snag my hair (and everyone’s, I suppose), and I’ve never seemed to find one kind that I’m comfortable leaving in my hair overnight.  I put my hair up before bed frequently, but I just hate knowing that I’m rolling around in bed with a tight piece of elastic pulling and tugging at my strands.  So what’s an anxiety-riddled girl to do?  Well, the ideal hair tie is one that’s covered in soft fabric, like scrunchies!  They’re so much gentler on strands, and you can wrap your hair in one overnight and not have to worry about any tugging.  If your hair is thicker, use two!  I especially liked this set because they were still decently tight, as I recall some scrunchies just being too soft and loose (hence the falling-off-the-head side ponytail of the 80s … although that style was no accident on all too many an occasion).  Wear them to bed, wear them to the gym, wear them while running errands.  Honestly, no one’s looking at you like you’re some gymnast from the nineties.  They just look like extra-thick hair ties.  So do it.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now.  But come next week, I’ll be blogging about something super awesome- my birthday party!  It’s going to be fabulous.  I mean, I can’t quite tell you just how fabulous it’s going to be, but get ready to have your mind blown.  It’s pretty exclusive though, so, sorry, I can’t just make it some kind of free-for-all.  But don’t worry, I’ll give you the run-down.  You’ll see.  xo, MR

InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys of 2013 … and what I think of ’em.

So, May is one of my absolute favorite months for fashion magazines (I think I say that every month, right?) because this month tends to see the widest amount of beauty features in such publications.  People StyleWatch, Lucky, Marie Claire, and InStyle all proclaim their May issues as dedicated to beauty, and I’ll be honest- I’ll eye a magazine on the stand at a grocery store and I’ll quickly flip to the beauty section, and if it piques my interest in any way, I’ll buy it.  The beauty sections are always my favorite, teeming with hair how-to’s, reviews of new products and the like.  One close-up shot of Kerry Washington’s makeup at last month’s premiere complete with a break-down of what products were used, and I’m literally buying the magazine just for that one page.


My May issue of InStyle magazine came yesterday in the mail and sure enough- 2013’s Best Beauty Buys can be found on page 297!  I like lists like these because I like comparing the magazines choices to what I already have and agree with, what I’m still curious about, and what products I hate.  Additionally, I’ve begun to take these “best of” lists more and more seriously because I’ve become increasingly interested in curating the best kit possible, even if it means a little extra investment here and there.  I trust InStyle for this and can tell that their choices are honest because a lot of the “winners” don’t change from year to year (whereas I feel some publication’s praises are simply based on what’s newest to hit the market).  Now, I won’t be mentioning my thoughts on every product that InStyle lauds, but there are a few I found to be worth commenting on.

1.  Best Inexpensive Lipstick- Cover Girl Lip Perfection  Yes.  The texture of these suckers does not feel cheap, despite the drugstore price (and the pigment lasts forever).  What’s great about this line is that the color range feels expensive and a little more edgy as well, whereas drugstore lipstick in the past seemed to just offer cute variations on frosty pink for the most part.  I still proudly proclaim their shade called Spellbound as the best shade of holy-crap-that-is-no-joke-magenta for under ten bucks.

2.  Best Inexpensive Mascara- L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original  Is it just me or has this stuff sucked every time I’ve tried to give it another chance?  I’ve probably purchased this formula a total of three or four times over the years, just on the basis of knowing it’s reputation and thinking that it’ll perhaps work out differently this time.  But like Maybelline’s Great Lash (which I’ve consistently detested), this stuff is just goopy and can’t handle the pressure of a second coat (which is a bloody shame since I tend to cap things off at five coats).

3.  Best Overall Mascara- Dior Diorshow  I’ve purchased this stuff twice in my lifetime, which, in conjunction with my comments on the previous product, proves that I am certifiably insane in that I think if I do the same thing over and over I’ll somehow, at some point, land on different results.  In my little library of thoughts, Diorshow is categorized as the most overrated beauty product in existence.  The brush is too big to the point where you can’t control the product easily or put as many coats on without things getting into Shelob territory very quickly.  And what’s more, there’s fragrance in it.  For why?!

4.  Best Powder Blush- NARS  Always and forever, yes and yes.  I have three shades of NARS powder blush, and they are just the happiest, most exciting colors to wear.  Your mood just changes when you dot on one of the shades on to your cheeks.  While I love wearing their cream version in Lokoum on a regular basis, I took a dare last year in purchasing their powder formula in Exhibit A, an absolutely terrifying shade of vermilion at first glance (and I’m pretty sure the bride I most recently used it on hyperventilated when I first showed it to her).  But just a couple dots on the cheekbones and BAM!  You look like you’re glowing from the inside-out.

5.  Best Inexpensive Shampoo and Conditioner- Pantene Pro-V Classic  Just deal with my rant for a moment:  When you’re paying four bucks for a ginormous bottle of shampoo, this should tell you something- that apparently there’s nothing in that bottle worth any money to raise the price over four bucks.  Seriously, read the label on the back of your Pantene shampoo or conditioner bottle and tell me if you can identify any of the ingredients other than water.  The first ingredient of Pantene’s shampoo is water, the next two are detergents that strip your hair, the next is sodium chloride (table salt), and the next is dimethicone (which, while being toted as great for reducing frizz, also saps your hair of moisture).  The list goes on, but nothing in these products can be considered nutritious for your hair.  It’ll clean, but it’ll strip.  If you’re going for a cheaper shampoo and conditioner, at least go for a sulfate-free brand.  I also find shower products like these more worrisome too because we rinse a lot of this stuff down our drains and it gets swept up into our oceans and water systems, and I can’t see dumping gallons and gallons of synthetically-derived Pantene as ultimately good for our water supply and ecosystems.

6.  Best Lipstick- Tom Ford  I honestly wouldn’t know if I agree with this choice or not, because I’ve never tried Tom Ford’s lipsticks.  My life just isn’t at the point yet where I can justify fifty dollars for one tube of lipstick.  You read that right- fifty dollars. I feel like I could possibly justify such a price for face makeup (if you were to wear it everyday) or something that would last you a very long time, but I don’t wear lipstick everyday (rarely, actually) and lipstick isn’t even meant to last for an extremely long time.  So I’d either feel compelled to use it every single day (which I wouldn’t) or make the tube last at least two years (at which point it would’ve expired anyhow).  No win.  And what’s more, I’m just convinced that there are too many quality lip colors out there for twenty and under.

7.  Best Concealer- Cle’ de Peau Beaute’  See above.  Seventy bucks for concealer?  There’s no way.  Well, then again, I at least know I probably would use this everyday, and just a little bit each time.  I’d get my money’s worth!  And it is supposed to be an absolute miracle worker on all flaws and blemishes, and … you know what … no … I can’t keep talking like this.  Just slap me.

8.  Best Curling Iron- Hot Tools Spring Iron  Yep, this is the one.  I have the 1.25″ and I love it.  I just wrap sections of my hair around it (and I skip the clamp; I just wrap and hold) and nothing works better at creating easy waves.  Don’t pay more than fifty bucks for a curling iron or curling rod.  Save your biggest hunk of change for a high-tech flat iron.

9.  Best Lip Balm- Smith’s Rosebud Salve  Sure, the tin is chic in a French-apothecary-kind of way, but there’s a little too much petrolatum in this stuff for my taste.  Petrolatum, derived from petrochemicals, is known for ultimately disabling your lips from being able to remain moist on their own (hence the legend of “ChapStick addiction”).  Petrolatum merely acts as a barrier on your skin’s surface (not an actual moisturizer), and it simply traps whatever moisture is already on your lips in place.  Your lips, over time, basically un-learn how to replenish their own moisture.  Rub a petrolatum-based product all over your body and over time, this kind of barrier will prohibit toxins in the form of sweat and sebum from escaping the skin’s surface like they’re supposed to.  This is why I try to stay away from most drugstore lotions and “moisturizers”, because they’re laden with petrochemicals that can, in a worst-case scenario, really mess up your endocrine system.  I am forever loyal to Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm because I only find myself needing to apply it perhaps twice a day, and it is free of petrochemicals.

10.  Best Eyeliner Pencil- MAC Eye Kohl  Could the name “Smolder” be more appropriate?  This stuff is black magic.  Devilish, delicious, I-am-Jack-Sparrow’s-wickedly-awesome-pirate-girlfriend magic.

So seriously, let me know what you think.  Pick up the magazine (with Emily Blunt on the cover), flip through their lists, and give me your thoughts.  But I’m convinced there is no eyeliner better than my Jack Sparrow pirate eyeliner.  xo, MR