Monday, May 31, 2010

Today's Sales: Memorial Day Shopping!

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I'm actually ending a long weekend trip to Atlanta, about to get in the car and drive for a nice 7 hour slag- here's the sales happening today (Monday, May 31st) so you don't miss anything! Hopefully, this will tide you over until I can get this week's extended version posted!

HauteLook has SpaChakra Spafinder, and gifts for dad with Kyoku for Men.

The Skinny is back this week with a sale on Fenix Skincare. The event started last Wednesday, so you have a few more days to take advantage of the deals!

Over at Brand Alley (for my UK readers) they're just finishing up the American Crew/MOP sale, and still have Paula Dorf and L Artisan Parfumeur available. If you want, you can CLICK HERE to contact me! and net us both a £10 voucher!

Privavistas has a Dads & Grads boutique, featuring Dolce & Gabbana The One. (They have the women's version available too, and it's about 20% off, so if you're a fan, hop over!)

Row Nine has Braun Silk-Epil starting today (that would have been nice to have before vacation!)

Have a great holiday for all celebrating it- and of course, if you're a member of our military, or have a loved one who is or was, I can't thank you enough for the special sacrifices that you make for me, my family and our country. Thank you infinitely!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ask OutInAPout:
Is it OK to Buy Makeup on eBay?

Ever hear the saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is"? I have a feeling someone's voice was naggingly repeating this in the back of my friend Erin's mind for a while before she messaged me on Facebook the other day.

Her question:
Hey there! I wanted to ask you for a long time about buying cosmetics on eBay. Do you know anything about it? I've been buying my foundation there for a year now as I only pay $25 there vs the $60 in store. Do you know if that is a bad practice? Like if I am buying expired cosmetics or possibly even stolen? Is that something people in the industry talk about?

I'm just curious and wondered if you had any perspective on it as a professional. :)

My Answer:
Well, eBay cosmetics are tricky. Believe it or not, there are actually people out there who put time and money into manufacturing knock-offs of popular beauty products. In fact, in 2007 cosmetic giant L'Oreal (the parent company that owns, among many others, Lancome, Shu Uemura, Ralph Lauren Fragrance, and Giorgio Armani Beauty) filed suit against eBay for allowing so many counterfeit sales. Another brand popular with counterfeiters is MAC. Take a peek at an item I found just today on the site:
This listing is asking $65 for 120 MAC shadows. This would be a great deal- if the shadows were authentic. Which they're not. The first clue? MAC doesn't even make a product like this! The second tip-off? A search for "120 Palette" (sans the word MAC) produces results for literally thousands of these palettes- priced as low as $3.99! In this case, the "MAC" version is virtually the same product- it's a widely available, but custom-printed, wholesale palette. Not a bad product, BTW (I have one myself) but the fake "MAC" version is overpriced and made to deceive.

So how can you tell real from fake? There are tons of clues, but counterfeiters are getting trickier by the second, so of course, the only way to know for sure that your product is authentic is by shopping in the brand's own retail outlets. Beware of anything labeled "limited edition" unless your familiar enough with the brand to know if it is truly an item that the line produced. Pay attention to packaging also; often with fakes, the font is slightly off, or the printing is spaced oddly. If the boxes in the store are matte black and the ones on eBay are shiny, they're likely fakes. Of course, if the box isn't included at all, that can be another tip-off. Make sure you check out the seller as well. Look at other items the person is selling- if one seems fake, chances are good they all are. Also, be sure to read the seller's detailed feedback, instead of just looking at the number- the seller that listed the counterfeit MAC palette shown above had 100% positive feedback, but several buyers noted that the product was not authentic MAC.

Another trick to be aware of is the sample size scam, which is a double edged sword. Of course, not all sample size jars are labeled clearly- so pay attention to make sure you're getting what you pay for. Know the amount that comes in the full sized product, and do the math to make sure you're still getting a deal. The friend that asked me this question was wondering about a specific mineral powder foundation that usually comes in a pressed form. When I checked the eBay listings for the foundation, I saw a lot of "sample" size jars for sale in loose powder form, which presents another red-flag. While these could well be authentic (and would have been a good deal if they were) I myself wouldn't trust it. Frankly, it would be entirely too simple to fill sample jars with cheap loose mineral pigment, or worse- who knows what.

Speaking of "who knows what"- if you've used both versions of a product (one you know is authentic, and one you got on eBay) and they perform the same, then is it really a big deal if it's not the real McCoy? Well, maybe. One benefit to buying authentic product is the transparency in ingredients- you basically know that something you buy from the store (or an accredited online retailer) is safe to put on your face. The danger of fakes- even the ones that look and feel identical to the real product, is that you simply don't know what's in it. Products in US and EU retail markets are rigorously tested for safety, but eBay presents a loophole for fakes that aren't tested and could possibly include harmful ingredients.

So, getting past all of this...let's say it's full size product you've found, that you're reasonably sure its authentic. I'd say that unfortunately, you very well may be buying stolen goods. I worked in the retail beauty arena for a long time, and this is an issue that companies are keenly aware of. Professional shoplifters can wipe thousands of dollars of merchandise off of a shelf in literally in a minute or two- I've seen it happen. When you see a "too good to be true" deal on eBay, ask yourself how the seller could have come by the product so cheaply by honest means. The highest employee discount I've ever heard of in the beauty industry is 60%, and that's just one company- most are only 20-40%. If an item is selling for less on eBay than an employee pays with their discount, chances are, something dishonest is going on.

As far as buying old or expired product on eBay, that's also pretty high likelihood. I've seen skin care and makeup lines for sale on eBay that I know for a fact have been out of production for 3-5 years. In some cases, this may not be much of an issue. Powder based items like eye shadows, powder blush and face powder have almost infinite shelf lives, so old age isn't really a problem. However, emollient based products like moisturizers, foundations, and lipsticks will become rancid in time- expiration dates for such products usually range from 1-3 years, depending on the formulation.

I do feel like I should mention that, in a few cases, buying cosmetics on eBay is the way to go. Some increasingly popular lines, like Ben Nye and Kryolan, do sell through independent retailers. Often the easiest way for these sellers to set up an internet portal is to open an eBay shop. In this situation, eBay is often a cost-effective way of getting a hold of product that may not be widely available in your area. Likewise, if you've become hooked on a brand from another country that isn't available in the US, you may be able to access it through eBay. Keep in mind, foreign products can be counterfeit too, so all of the above rules apply. Also know that there are ingredients used in other countries that may not be deemed safe for use in America (my rule of thumb is that EU is OK- their regulations are generally stricter than ours).

So, when it comes down to it, there are good deals to be had out there, but in most cases- sad but true- if it seems too good to be true, then YES, it probably is. Have any of you bought eBay beauty before? Leave me a comment below with your experiences- we'd all love to hear! As always, if you have a question for me, press the "CLICK HERE to contact me" at the top right side of the page, leave it in the comments, or contact me on Formspring anytime!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Smashbox 2010 Friends & Family

Now through Friday, May 28th, get 20% off of your entire order. They'll even ship it to you for free (if you live in the US, anyway.) Use code FF2010 when you checkout!

Oh, and don't forget to check out the site's curtain call section which features discontinued products and shades that are already reduced up to 50%- and YES, you can use the F&F discount on top of that!

So, friends, what are you getting?

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Biotherm, Eve Pearl, SK1N Probiotics
and more...

OK, so I totally fell asleep last night, with my laptop, whilst writing this post...long weekend! In any case, if you're following me on Twitter, you didn't miss a thing, because I tweeted today's sales so that no one had to suffer for my narcolepsy. If you're not following me on Twitter...well....why not?

This week, Row Nine features Spa Specials & Luxury Skincare (feat. Sisley, Clarins & Orlane) both starting on Monday, May 24th.

Haute Look starts the week with Biotherm on Monday, with Carita Paris following on Tuesday, SK1N Probiotic Systems on Thursday, and Functionalab on Friday, May 28th.

The Skinny pops back up this week, featuring Fenix begining Wednesday, May 26th.

Beyond the Rack, would like to remind you not to forget Dad (Father's Day is June 20th) when they host their Men's Fragrance Boutique, this Tuesday, May 25th. Of course, you need to take care of yourself too right? Luckily, the site also features Dalish Cosmetics on Tuesday.

Editor's Closet has Eve Pearl this week staring on Tuesday and Soie Aroma skincare on Thrusday, May 27th. They'll also be having a Memorial Weekend Mega Sale starting on Friday. While there are no specifics as to what will be included, I can tell you from personal experience that if they do feature beauty products, they'll go fast. If you're hoping to score, head over at 10am EST & best of luck!

For any Gucci Fragrance fans, Privatistas has both the women's and men's version of their signature Gucci by Gucci frangrance on sale this week.

Last, but not least, for my UK followers- Brand Alley has MOP and American Crew body & haircare as well as a mulit-brand Beauty Boutique (featuring MD Skincare, Suki, Lucy B and more) going on right now. I looked it up, and you have Father's Day in the old country too, so again, don't forget Da!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

SPF's: What's in a number?

To end my week-o-posts in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to refresh everyone on your best line of protection: sunscreen. This is a post I did last year, and the info is so important, I thought I'd bump it up here again for everyone who hasn't had a chance to go through Sunscreen 101.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number you see actually represents the amount of time a sunscreen will protect you. An SPF 2 actually provides the same amount of protection as an SPF 40 does, the lower SPF will just protect you for less time.

Despite all of the confusion, it's relatively easy to determine the level of protection you'll get from a sunscreen. To find out how long a sunscreen will protect your skin, start with the amount of time it would take you to burn without sunscreen, then multiply (or Factor) that number by the SPF. This means that if you normally begin to turn red after 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 15 would extend that amount of time by 15, which would be 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours). SPF 30 would give you 300 minutes (5 hours) of protection, and an SPF 90 would literally give more protection than there are hours of sunlight.

The caveat here is that sunscreen is by no means impervious to the elements. Experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours since it will likely have worn off by then. Considering the short life of sunscreen on the body, and the fact that no one needs 16 hour sun protection, an SPF 90 seems pretty absurd- which is why most dermatologists will tell you that you need not bother with anything higher than a SPF 30.

There is one thing in support of using a product with a high SPF, however. Since most people do not apply enough sunscreen, using a higher SPF provides some cushion. A full ounce of sunscreen (about a shot glass full) should be used on the body- using less will provide less protection. If you choose a lower SPF you run the risk of not getting adequate protection. On the other hand, if you were to use even half of the recommended amount of SPF 70 you'd still get a sufficient block (about an SPF 35).

To get the best protection out of your sunscreen, choose one that has both UVB and UVA protection; these protect your skin from the sun's burning and aging rays. If you're concerned after hearing rumbles that several common sunscreen ingredients can actually cause free-radical damage, it's important to remember that sunscreen is still our best defense against skin cancer. If you're concerned, choose a formula with added antioxidants which will counteract free radical damage caused by the product. In my original post, I recommended Coppertone NutraShield. I've since realized that it stains clothing, so if you choose to try it, be aware! BTW, if you are using a separate treatment or moisturizer with antioxidants, these will provide the protection as well. Most importantly, use your sunscreen daily, and apply it liberally and often.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Separating Fact from Fairy Tale:
Not By the Cancer On My Skinny Skin Skin

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer; the American Cancer Society estimates around 11,590 people died from skin cancer in 2009 alone. According to Dr. Harold Brody of the American Academy of Dermatologists, someone dies of skin cancer about every hour. Despite these facts, people (especially young adults) remain surprisingly cavalier in their attitude toward skin cancer. The common attitude seems to be "even if I get it, I'll just have it taken off- it's not like it'll kill me." In case you're wondering, I'm not making that up- I've actually had people look me in the face and say things like that!

Yes, the good news is that if caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Melanoma, the type of cancer that causes the most deaths (it can spread to other parts of the body if not identified and treated early) has a 5-year survival rate of around 91%, though it can go as high as 99% and as low as 16% depending on what stage the cancer is found in. The bad news is that the treatment can be painful, costly, and potentially disfiguring.
The photo above is of a 23-year-old woman, about a year after she discovered a dark brown spot at the base of her neck. After 2 surgeries (the cancer returned 8 months after the initial treatment) she was left with a scar almost 3 feet long.

Luckily, this is all largely avoidable. According to the American Cancer society, unprotected and/or excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun is a major risk factor, but there are a few more to be aware of:
  • having a fair complexion
  • occupational exposure to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium
  • family history
  • multiple or atypical moles
  • severe sunburns as a child
While skin cancer death rates have been dropping for those under the age of 50, it remains one of the most common forms of cancer for young adults, so be aware and protect yourself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Separating Fact from Fairy Tale:
Princess Pale & the Quest for
the Magical Golden Base Tan.

I have a confession to make, now that I've told you how dangerous tanning beds are.

::deep breath::

I myself have partaken of beds and booth. But wait-I was going to Mexico, it was just a few times...I was young, and peer-pressured, OK?

All jokes aside, the reason I did it traces back to one of the biggest tanning myths of all: that of the coveted "base tan". You know the story. Princess Pale goes on vacation, burns lobster red, and spends the entire trip in the hotel room, blistered and wallowing in pain. Of course, so the story goes, all of this could be prevented if Miss Pale had just been blessed with the coveted "base tan". The idea is that, with moderate tanning you can "build" color without damaging your skin and that this color will protect you from burning, since dark skin doesn't burn as easily.

While there may be some truth to this myth, there are two big problems with the story as it's usually told. The first is that there is no healthy tan. When skin confronts UV radiation, it releases melanin as protection- this is what darkens the skin into what we call a "tan". What this means is that by the time you see ANY color on your skin, it's already been damaged.

So, it is true that melanin helps to protect skin, and since deeper skin has more melanin present, it doesn't burn as easily. This is the root of the base tan myth, and it often lures people into a false sense of security. In reality, experts agree that the amount of protection received from a tan is equal to NO MORE than an SPF 4. Surely not enough to protect anyone out for more than an hour or so. Combine that with the fact that many people trying the base tan method are doing so for a vacation in tropical climates with stronger, more direct sun, and you have a recipe for disaster.

So how did my personal base tan experiment work out? Well, thankfully, I knew there was no way a little tan could protect me from the intense Mexican sun, so I slathered on the SPF. Right up until the last day of vacation, when I figured that, surely after a week in the beds and another on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, I could survive one day sans-sunscreen. Verdict: blisters on the tops of my thighs do not make for a comfy flight home!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Learn Your ABCDs (of Skin Cancer Prevention, Silly!)

Regular examinations are key to noticing potential areas of concern when it comes to skin cancer. While it's a good idea to have a doctor do an exam yearly, self-exams are also vital. Have your husband, mother, sister or a really good friend help you with hard to see areas, and don't forget to check "hidden" places like the soles of your feet, between your toes & fingers, and on your scalp.

So, once you're looking, how do you know what's normal and what's not? Know your ABCDs, that's how- it's an easy mnemonic to help you remember the red-flags that should send you straight to your friendly neighborhood dermatologist.

  • A is for Asymmetry- Regular moles are uniform in shape- if you notice that one half of the mole is different than the other half, have it checked.
  • B is for Border- Edges of healthy moles or nodules are smooth & well defined. Notched, uneven, or blurred edges may be cause for alarm.
  • C is for Color- "Normal" moles are composed of one shade, where as unevenly colored moles that combine different shades of tan, brown and black should be examined.
  • D is for Diameter- the size around the mole shouldn't be larger than 6 millimeters. If you don't have a metric ruler handy, that's about the size of a pencil eraser.
Now you know your ABCDs, go do a check and stay healthy! (Sing it right, folks!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Separating Fact from Fairy Tale:
Once Upon a Tanning Bed

In case you didn't know, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there has been a 350% increase in the number of new skin cancer cases in the last decade and a half. Myths still abound about the disease, So I've decided to address a few of the biggies this month.

Take for instance the idea that tanning beds are safer than the sun. If you've not yet been updated on this one, let me be the first to tell you: WRONG! Numerous studies now show that those that use tanning beds before the age of 30 are 75% more likely to develop skin cancer in their lifetimes. International experts on skin cancer have even gone so far as to compare tanning beds to mustard gas and arsenic in terms of deadliness. Yes, you read this right- tanning beds aren't just not great for you, they can actually be deadly.

If you've fallen prey to this myth, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, STOP tanning! Stop believing the lie that pale=sick and tan=healthy, and embrace who you are- that includes the skin tone you were born with. Second, be aware of the signs of skin cancer. Check yourself often, and see your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Any change on your skin, including new growths. Pay special attention to the size or color of any moles or other darkly pigmented growth or spot.
  • A bump or nodule (moles, freckles, skin tags, etc...) should be smooth and dry. Keep and eye out for bleeding, roughness, or oozing.
  • The spread of pigmentation beyond its border; dark coloring that seems to seep past the edge of a mole or mark.
  • a change in sensation, including tenderness, pain or even itchines.
Check back tomorrow for a lesson on your ABCDs (of skin cancer, of course!) For more information on skin cancer myths & prevention, stay tuned this week, or go straight to the sources by visiting the American Cancer Society, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Philosophy Friends & Family!

Enough said, right? Use the code happiness now through Thursday, May 20th and get 20% off of EVERYTHING on! Don't know where to start? I'm still a loyal fan of Purity Made Simple cleanser (the original lotion-y formula, not the foam.) You can read my review here, if you haven't yet. If cleanser's not your bag, you can't go wrong with their yummy bath and body creations- Chocolate Cake Batter shower gel, anyone? Let us know your favorites in the comments, and have fun shopping!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick Tip: Pro Trick to Longer Wearing,
Stay-in-Place Eye Liner!

This is one of my best tips, and it's so ingrained in my daily routine that I forget that it's not something everyone does! If you have problems with eye liner fading, smudging or transferring from one part of your lid to another (that's me!) you'll love this tip. This is also a great tip for beginners, since it helps to disguise any application mistakes!

Just as face powder helps to set your foundation, a powder (in the form of eyeshadow) placed over your liner can help it set and last longer. Simply draw on your liner, then take a small eyeliner or smudger brush (I like the Lancome #10 or MAC 212) and apply your choice of powder eyeshadow over where you placed the pencil. It's that simple!

For added staying powder without changing the look of your pencil line, choose a shadow shade close to your pencil, and use a thinner brush to place the powder on top of the pencil line. For a bit of added interest, try changing up the shade of your liner by layering it with different shades of shadow.

This trick is also perfect for people who aren't super-comfortable applying liner, or those that just prefer a less harsh line. Work the shadow into the liner with short, back and forth motions, which will blur the line a bit. This gives a softer, lightly smoky effect that hides the effects of a shaky, unsure hand!

Monday, May 10, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Sevin Nyne, Canyon Ranch, Sco and more...

Hi all! Hope everyone had a great weekend and a happy mother's day to all who have the fortune to be called Mommy! Here's a look at this week's sales so you can go hunting for your own Mom's day swag (not that the macaroni necklace wasn't just what you wanted!)

HauteLook is keeping the end of the week quiet, but they'll open up with Rodial Skincare on Monday, GO SMiLE on Tuesday, and Sevin Nyne Wednesday. Check back later this week for any new sales- I'll get 'em up as soon as they spill! Of course, you could also follow me on Twitter, that way you won't miss anything!

Over at Ideeli, check out Elements 5 hair tools on Monday.

At RowNine, it's apparently boutique week, with their Spa Boutique Monday, followed by a Men's Fragrance Boutique on Wednesday. Mom's day has passed, but don't forget that means Dad's special day is just a few weeks away!

Rue La La has Canyon Ranch on Tuesday- no clue if it's going to be the discount spa treatments, or actual products from the exclusive ranch's skincare line, but it's definitely worth taking a peek!

Editor's Closet has a full week planned starting on Monday, May 11th with Green Tea Botanicals. Then it's Fenix and Julie Hewett Los Angeles on Tuesday, Dianne Brill on Wednesday, Sco on Thursday and Tei Spa on Friday, May 14. Of course, you can click the link and head on over if you're already a member (or if you just need to start shopping, stat!) But if you want to net a $5 credit to the site, click here. (I get one too, yay!)

Privavistas isn't the usual multi-item sale, but just in case there are any fans, they do have Armani Code for Men and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue on sale this week for more than 25% off the retail price, so it's a good chance to stock up on a signature, or try something new if you've been curious.

Finally, for my UK readers, BrandAlley has got some fun stuff this week starting with St. Tropez and Cacharel Fragrances (they make Amor Amor, Noa, the classic Anais Anais and more) on Monday, along with Murad skincare on Wednesday. FYI, I don't think this site ships outside of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, so if you're stateside, you're out of luck- otherwise, have fun shopping! Click here for a personal invite and we'll both snag a £10 voucher to the site after you make your first purchase.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Caged Bird Sings, but the Magpie ROCKS!!!

Just in time for the weekend! Here's a drop dead stunning look that packs a major punch, but is deceptively simple. It only takes 2 shadows and 5 minutes, so it's perfect for those nights when you're running straight from work to dinner, a party, the club, Iron Man 2, whatever...

One of the great things about this look is how easily it adapts- you could essentially choose any medium depth shade for the lid- though I like the pop that a metallic gives. For the outer V, crease and inner corner, I chose a gorgeous, multifaceted blue shade (Sugarpill's Magpie Chromalust) but you could easily use a plain black (yawn!), an espresso brown, or even a deep plum. Your imagination is the only limit.

  • As always, prime your lids.
  • Using a small, dense shadow brush (or even your ring finger!) pat on a vibrant gold shadow all over the lid, up to the crease.
  • Next, using a tapered crease brush apply a deep blue pigment to the brush and place it on the outer corner of your eye, working it into the nook under your brow bone in small circles. Keep the bristles of the brush firmly planted in the corner of your eye- at this point, you want to be moving the handle of the brush, but not really manipulating the bristles. You're simply wedging the color into the corner.
  • Work the brush up into the crease, right along the top edge of where the gold stops. Move in windshield wiper like, back-and-forth movements, and slowly work to bring the blue towards the inner corner. To make sure you're blending as you go, move slowly, each time going a centimeter or so further in, until you've reached about the halfway point of your eye. You can repeat this step if you find you like the crease darker.
  • Next, take a small smudger brush, and apply some of the same deep blue pigment to the very inner corner of the eye. Use what's left on the brush to smudge some of the blue into the gold along it's upper edge, again working in a windshield wiper motion, until you've almost met up with the line of blue that you created from the outside corner.
  • To finish, use a matte skin-tone shade on a fluffy blending brush, and work it back and forth over the top edge of the deep blue.
  • Apply liner. I used my Magpie pigment wet and smudged just a little along the outside half of both my top and bottom lash lines.
  • Add mascara (or if you have time to spare, so falsies) and you're ready to party!

Product List:

Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance (or Urban Decay Primer Potion- I use them interchangeably.)
Lid: Chromalust Loose Eyeshadow in Goldilux (all shadows used are from Sugarpill Cosmetics)
Outer and Inner Corners, Crease and Top and Bottom Lash Lines: ChromaLust Loose Eyeshadow in Magpie
Mascara: Diorshow in Nior/Black
Brows: Automatic Brow Pencil Duo in Soft Brown (Estee Lauder)
Natural Brow Powder in Light Brown (Merle Norman)


MAC 239 (small dense eyeshadow)
MAC 226 (tapered crease brush. This one was limited edition, if you don't have anything similar, you could use a fluffier domed brush like MAC's 222 or a pencil brush like MAC's 219)
MAC 222 (fluffy, domed blending)
Lancome #10 (small smudger)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Product Review/Quick Tip Combo!
Batiste Dry Shampoo

I'm going to start this review with a quick tip you may not all know: you should NOT wash your hair daily. Shampooing washes away the natural oils produced by the scalp; this oil is your hair's built in conditioner that helps to protect against fraying and breaking. Experts recommend washing no more frequently than every other day. For dry, coarse, extremely curly, or chemically treated hair, that frequency drops to only 2-3 times a week.

Unfortunately, for those of us that have naturally fine hair, as well as those with overly active oil glands (if your facial skin is oily, your scalp is likely to be as well) skipping even a day can leave us with lank, dull, plain ol' nasty hair.

When I first started hearing about dry shampoos, I was hopeful I'd found the answer to this catch 22. I'd experimented with baby powder and corn starch in my youth, and while they worked to absorb the oil, they also left my hair with a whitish cast that hasn't been popular since the 18th century. Then I happened upon Bumble & Bumble's version, only to be disappointed again. Put off by the high-end product's matching high-end price tag, I decided to go in the opposite direction- start at the bottom of the price tag totem, and work my way up until I found the right stuff.

Luckily, I didn't have far to go- whilst perusing my local Sally Beauty Supply, I stumbled across Batiste Dry Shampoo. A cult (OK, not so "cult"- it's a #1 seller) favorite in the UK, I was familiar with the brand, so without hesitation, I snatched up a can at a thrifty $7.49.

Batiste is available in the US in 2 scents: Original Batiste is a clean, fresh scent with a crisp floral undertone. Batiste Blush is powdery, with more prevalent (but still light) floral notes. Both versions are light enough that they simply serve to freshen the hair, but won't conflict with any other perfume you happen to wear. Several other scents, as well as two colored versions, are available in the UK, but for some reason, not stateside.

I'll admit, I was skeptical about Batiste- I searched far and wide for a tinted dry shampoo before buying this one, because I was convinced that the white powder would make my hair look dull. What a nice surprise when I found that Batiste did nothing of the sort. Though it sprays on white, once it's shaken out & brushed through, my hair looks fresh, clean and, dare I say, shiny. My hair is a medium bright red, but I also tested it on my sister, who has brown hair that's so dark most call it black. No white in sight.

So, we now know that Batiste is light on the pocketbook, and doesn't leave you looking like you've had a food fight in a bakery- but is it really an apt substitute for the suds? I'd have to give an emphatic YES!!! I usually use Batiste on my 2nd day post-wash, when my roots are showing some definite slick- the point at which I couldn't leave the house without eliciting stares. I like to apply the spray directly to my roots, parting every 2 inches or so, and then let it sit for a few minutes before shaking it out. (I usually spray it in before I dress and leave it until I'm done.) Then, I flip my hair upside down and use my fingertips to rustle the roots and work the powder out, being careful not to miss less visible spots like around my temples and behind my ears. After 15 seconds or so, I flip back over, brush through, and I'm ready to go.

I'd give Batiste a 9 out of 10. Since discovering it, I haven't been tempted by the (more expensive) alternatives- I've repurchased several times, and will continue to do so. As I've mentioned before, I doubt you'll ever see me give a perfect 10, because I'm a firm believer that there's always room for improvement. Having said that, I can't imagine what improvement Batiste needs- if I had a "desert island" bag, this would certainly be in it!

-Inexpensive; it's easily 1/2 to 1/3 of the price of comparable products.
-Readily available- even my local grocery store stocks it!
-Quick and easy alternative to traditional shampoo (great for extending time between blow-outs!)
-Doesn't look white or powdery, even in dark hair
-Hair stays relatively shiny after use- it's not a shine serum, but it doesn't dull hair like some other dry options I've tried.
-Spray goes where you want it- no errant flecks of powder all over your face, clothing or bathroom floor!
-Two scents available (more in the UK) both are clean but not overbearing.
-Compact canister is good for travel- other brands' cans are 3 times the size, yet contain LESS product!

- I really can't think of only gripe is that Batiste doesn't offer all of the scents (and the colored versions) in the US.
- Though I don't really consider it a "con", I should caution: you may not get as many uses out of a can as you'd initially expect, I'd say I get around 10 applications. I guess I was comparing it to a similarly sized can of hairspray and expecting as many uses. Then I realized that, unless you're a helmet head, you probably don't use nearly as much hairspray as dry shampoo, so it makes sense that it wouldn't last as long. When I paid $30+ for Bumble and Bumble's Hair Powder, the fact that I only got a few uses was a major con, but since Batiste is sooooo much cheaper, and I actually get more than B&B's, I personally consider it a non-issue.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Becca, DermaNew, Rock & Republic and more!

OK, so the ball has been picked back up this week- I've had a few long weekends lately, so lots of sorries to everyone. I'm gonna do my darndest to get a few posts up for y'all this week to make up for it! As for sale time, here we go...

HauteLook starts strong on Monday, May 3rd with Becca Cosmetics with KareCo and Pharmagel on Wednesday. On Thursday it's Pop Beauty- though you may want to hop over and check out Charlotte's mini review and swatches of Pop's eye cakes before you shop.

Editor's Closet has NYC beauty emporium Boyd's on Tuesday May 4th, DermaNew on Wednesday, Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Thursday, and Corioliss and Rani Spas on Friday. For a personal invite (which also nets both of us a $5 credit to the site) click here.

Gilt Groupe starts late this week- the first beauty sale doesn't pop up until Wednesday May 5th, when the site hosts Quasar. They're keeping quiet about the remainder of the week, so make sure you check back here for the lowdown/downlow on any other sales...or you could follow me on Twitter, get the scoop about sales and all sorts of other interesting things!

Privatistas has Oliver Ifergan Atelier this week. As to how long the sale will run, well...the site was being a little buggy as of press time, so your guess is as good as mine!

So, spill...anyone stocking up this week?
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