Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dandruff -Vs- Dry Scalp:
Guest Starring Kelsi!

A few weeks ago, I posted a Quick Tip on how to treat dandruff without stripping your color. In the comments, fellow blogger and professional stylist, Kelsi, of Kelsi Does Hair, mentioned that quite commonly, people who think they have dandruff actually don't. Instead, they suffer from dry scalp- and are possibly making their condition worse by treating it with dandruff shampoos.

I was intrigued, and I immediately contacted Kelsi to see if she'd like to do a guest spot here to explain to us the differences between dry scalp and dandruff. Luckily for us, she agreed! Here, Miss Kelsi answers:

We've all seen the commercials for Dandruff shampoo where a nice man or woman in a dark colored shirt is caught in an embarrassing situation with unsightly little white flakes of scalp snowing down onto their shoulders. "Oh," their friend or colleague will assure them, "try this shampoo and your flakes will be gone!" Right? No. Yes. Well, maybe. You see, it's not quite as simple as that. The flakes we see on their shoulders aren't actually dandruff; they're dry scalp, and yes there is a difference. Unfortunately these commercials cause people to misidentify their problem, and often mistreat it, possibly making it worse. Let's go over a few of the major differences between Dandruff and dry scalp. I should also make it clear before we get into the thick of it that your hairstylist may be able to give you their personal and professional opinion on what scalp condition you have, but Dandruff can only be diagnosed by a doctor.

Dry Scalp: We'll start here, since this is what the majority of people who think they have Dandruff actually have. Dry scalp is characterized by small, white flakes of scalp. It is caused by dehydration and over-shedding of the scalp and is often linked to not drinking enough water, using poor quality shampoo and conditioner which are stripping your scalp of it's natural oils, over-washing your hair, washing your hair with hot water, or change in the seasons. It may also be accompanied by itching and irritation. If you find that your lips and the rest of your skin is dry or feels tight, this is also a good indication that you have a dry scalp, and not dandruff. Here are some ways that you can combat dry scalp.

1. Make sure to drink plenty of water. I often forget to do this in the winter-time, but staying well hydrated in the winter is important for our skin because we are often moving in and out of heated buildings, which can suck moisture from your skin. If you're well hydrated on the inside, your whole body will function better and your hair and skin will look and feel better as well.

2. Switch to a professional shampoo and conditioner. Many drugstore brand shampoos have harsh cleansing agents which will strip your hair of the natural oils that it needs to stay hydrated. Beware of claims that drugstore products are "pH balanced". This means nothing. They are allowed to make this claim no matter what because everything that is water soluble has a pH, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is the same pH as your hair and skin. Most professional products ARE balanced to the pH of your skin unless they are meant to serve a certain purpose like clarifying shampoo for swimmers. A couple of good professional products are Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Shampoo and Daily Treatment, and Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner. On of my favorites for dry scalp is Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment. The tea tree is soothing for itchiness, and the treatment should be massaged into your scalp and has little beads to help exfoliate dead skin sells so that they don't fall off later, when you don't want them to. The tea tree treatment isn't necessary to use every day, and you want to make sure to rinse it out thoroughly. I should also mention that anything with tea tree oil can fade color, so if you have your hair colored, you probably won't want to use tea tree products regularly.

3. Wash your hair less often and with cooler water. Hot water strips the natural oils from your skin causing it to feel tight and dry. I know a lot of people love to take scalding hot showers, but it's really terrible for your skin and can cause all kinds of irritation and problems down the road. Also if you think you have a dry scalp, and you wash your hair every day, try to cut it down to every other day at the most; this will give your skin a chance to create the oil that you need to protect your skin and re-balance it's own natural pH.

4. Gently brush your scalp before washing your hair. Use a brush that has bristles which are close together and not too stiff. Start at your hairline and work around your head, making sure to brush all areas of your scalp. This will help loosen dead skin cells which are ready to shed off so that you can wash them out.

Dandruff: Dandruff is usually characterized by larger, greasy or waxy flakes or clusters of skin cells and are usually yellowish or grey. They may come off in your hair brush or stick to your hair or scalp, and are accompanied by itching. Dandruff, unlike dry scalp, is usually associated with a fungal or bacterial infection of the scalp and can be contagious. If you have dandruff, you should not share brushes, combs, hats, towels, hair clips, or anything else that touches your head, and you should clean and disinfect brushes etc. between each use. There are different types of Dandruff and the type and cause can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Here are a few things you can try to help combat Dandruff, but be sure to check with your doctor, especially if it is accompanied by severe itching, bleeding, or oozing.

1. Shampoos and conditioners which contain Tea Tree oil can be effective against dandruff caused by infection because tea tree has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Make sure you're using a professional brand, because many drug store shampoos and conditioners contain cheap fillers that coat your hair and scalp, making dandruff worse.

2. Cut down on styling products, especially if they are greasy or waxy. Too much product and improper shampooing creates build-up on your hair and scalp, which can cause dandruff, or make it worse.

3. Don't scratch. Scratching can damage your scalp, making it vulnerable to infection. Extreme damage to your scalp and follicles can result in hair loss which may be permanent.

4. Of course, see your doctor! Your doctor will be able to properly diagnose your condition and recommend or prescribe products and routines to manage your Dandruff problem!

I hope this helped to clear up some of the misconceptions you may have had about dandruff. Please let me know if you found this piece informative! May you and your scalp live in health and harmony!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Real Charity:
An OutInAPout Editorial Opinion

For those of you that read any number of other beauty blogs, or follow certain bloggers or YouTubers on Twitter, you've no doubt heard that today Lancome is "celebrating" what they're calling "Genes Day". If you follow me on Twitter, you already know my opinion on the subject, so you have my permission to skip this post- or add your thoughts to the comments!

Today, October 22nd, Lancome is having a one day fund-raiser to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The company is donating $7 from the sale of every bottle of it's Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate to the hospital- so nice of Lancome, right?

Maybe, maybe not. Génifique retails for $78. In my experience, this means that the company pays maybe $15 cost on the item, meaning that Lancome is really only giving about 11% of ONE product's proceeds to charity. Their commitment is no less than $100,000. A lot of dough for you and me, but really, it's a pretty paltry sum for a brand who's parent company netted $1.66 billion (yes, billion with a "B") in just the first half of this year. That's like taking $16,000 out of your wallet to dig out a penny for the guy on the corner with a cup.

When it comes down to it, this "fundraiser" is merely a marketing gag. Lancome is hoping to rope in new clientele under the guise of charity and profit from it. Génifique is what many companies call a "wow product"- its instant "results" (in this case, the silky feel resulting from Génifique's high concentration of cheap, run-of-the-mill dimethicone) "wow" the client into interest without much care about the product's long term effects. In short- if they can get it on your hand, chances are good you'll buy it just because it feels nice. Add in the false sense of benevolence at the idea of "shopping for charity" and sales soar! Now, I know I have readers that love this product; if you like the product and use it anyway, stock up on your bottle today and pat yourself on the back! However, the idea of using charity as a promotional stunt kind of makes me want to gag.

If you're feeling charitable and are in the market for an anti-aging serum, I say buy Olay Regenerist Serum. For under $20 you'll get a comparable, if not more effective, treatment. Then take the $60 you saved and donate that to which ever charity you want! Remember, you can give to charity any day of the year.

Sephora Friends & Family 2010!

Sephora's 20% off Friends and Family sale is GO!!! In case you don't have bionic-sight enhancement, here's the fine print:

Now through November 3rd 2010, shop (online only, sorry!) and get 20% off when you use the code FF2010. Other stipulations: Not valid on Sephora's Canadian website or in store. Discount can't be used to buy gift cards, nor can it be combined with any other promotional codes. You CAN however, get free shipping when you spend over $50. Tough, right?

What's on your list? I'm actually on a buying hiatus for now, so unless some unexpected need pops up in the next week or so, I'd have to say I'm skipping this one (shocker, I know!) Though the Urban Decay Book of Shadow 3 is pretty tempting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Corioliss, Smashbox, Lisa Hoffman Skincare...
and more!

We've all heard the dog ate my homework excuse. How about "my kid peed on my computer"? True story. Luckily, after a thorough cleaning and time to air out, we're back on track. Hopefully y'all weren't totally lost without me on Monday, but here's the rest of this weeks sales! Oh, by the way, if you don't follow me on Twitter then you may not have seen the clue about the exciting package I got in the mail today...check back this week for a peek at OutInAPout's blogiversary giveaway!

First this week, I want to mention that in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Billion Dollar Babes will be having a The Power of Pink: Inspire. Support. Shop. Event this Tuesday, October 19th. 5% of all proceeds will be donated to Boarding for Breast Cancer. If you ever needed a justification to shop- this is it!

Over at Beauty Story this week, Obey Your Body Dead Sea Mineral Skincare opens Monday, October 18th, followed by Red Ginger Cosmetics on Tuesday, Lisa Hoffman Skincare on Wednesday, Lotus Pure Organics this Thursday and Yu-Be Skincare on Friday.

HauteLook starts out on Monday with Smashbox Cosmetics, with a Luxury Scent Event on Tuesday, Aromachology on Wednesday and Demeter on Thursday, October 21st.

Rue La La has Corioliss on Monday and High-Tech Treatments: Spas We Love on Friday the 22nd.

Beyond the Rack features Designer Fragrances for Men beginning Tuesday, October 19th.

Brand Alley has Crabtree & Evelyn and V&A going on now. If you're not a member, we can both earn a £10 voucher when you click here for a personal invite from moi.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

e.l.f Sale!
50% Off for Your Eyes, Lips and Face!

How's this for good timing? If you were intrigued by my last review and you're itching to try out some e.l.f. for yourself, now's the time because you can get 50% off of your purchase by using the code TREASURE at checkout! Here's the silly part: the discount is only up to $7.50! A total bummer, but since the majority of e.l.f.'s products are just a buck, you can still rack up a nice little cart! Also, the 50% off deal ends 10/18, but the site is also having a "treasure hunt" with additional discounts, and that ends tomorrow.

In case anyone was wondering, I am not affiliated with e.l.f. and any products of that I own from the company were purchased with my own cold, hard plastic. I had actually planned on posting my review on the Lip Lock Pencil last week, but didn't get around to it. When I heard that e.l.f. was doing a 50% off promo, I figured now was the time!

Are you an e.l.f. fan? What are you stocking up on this time around?

Product Review:
e.l.f. Studio Lip Lock Pencil

Designed to "keep your lipstick, lip gloss and lip liner from feathering, traveling or budging" e.l.f. Studio Lip Lock Pencil is a colorless, crayon like pencil meant to be drawn around the outside of the lips, rather than on them like a traditional pencil.

The idea of reverse lip liners have intrigued me for a while. My dry skin seeks out any moisture it can find, so any slick lippie I put on is generally bound to be soaked up by the surrounding skin, creating lovely rivulets of bleeding color around my lip line (darnnit, lips, can't you tell there's color in that moisture?!) Consequently, I consider lip liner a must with any highly pigmented lipstick, and to my disdain, glosses are virtually impossible for me. Enter e.l.f's Lip Lock pencil.

For testing purposes, I grabbed the bleediest lip color in my collection- Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon. Beautiful shade with a beautiful finish, but for me, impossible to wear without looking like Mommie Dearest after a bender.

This is my lovely Dragon, applied without any liner. Sexy, no? Oh...No? After only 15 minutes of wear, the lip color had begun to pool at the corners of my mouth, giving me a slightly Joker-esque appearance. This photo was taken at the 30 minute mark; the bleeding is quite apparent and is definitely past the point of embarrassment! So, can a $3 pencil really improve a $32 lipstick? You bet:

Muuuuuch better, right? Believe it or not, this pic is not the freshly applied "before" version- this is how the same exact Dragon Lip Lacquer looked on me after over an hour of wear when applied with e.l.f. Studio Lip Lock pencil.

Lip Lock Pencil couldn't be easier to apply; you simply draw the product on around the outside of your lip line, rather than on it like a traditional liner. I appreciated that I didn't have to be ultra-careful about accidentally going up onto my lips- I had no issues with lipstick refusing to "grab" onto areas where I may have strayed a bit. The pencil is clear but not chalky, so it will work on all skin tones. It's waxy texture did leave an ever-so-slightly visible line where it clung to the fine hairs around my lips; all I had to do to remedy this was run a fingertip over it lightly to blend and all was well.

The only issue I had with this product is one with the packaging, rather than the performance. Not exactly a pencil in it's true form, the "lead" of the Lip Lock is actually encased in a crayon-like tube, and twists up rather than sharpening. No problems there, until I uncapped my pencil one day and the entire lead fell out onto my counter. Luckily, the formula is solid enough that the pencil wasn't damaged- I was able to slip it back into the crayon and have continued to use it with no problems. For the price, I don't even consider this an issue, but it's definitely something to mention.

Would I recommend this product? In a hot second! Though it is part of e.l.f.'s pricier Studio line, $3.00 is still a steal for such a great product (similar products by DuWop, Cargo and Urban Decay run more than five times the price!) This is a great option for any look, but especially for those who need the benefits of a liner but don't want the look of one. It's a great option to keep sheer glosses in place without altering the shade like a traditional liner would, and it completely eliminates the horror of "ring around the lips" that colored liners can leave.

- keeps lip color from bleeding or feathering outside of the lip line.
- clear pencil can be used on any skin tone.
- can be used with any lip product without altering the shade- especially great for hard to match lipsticks or sheer glosses.
- It's only $3.00 (kicks but in the value department compared to similar products!)
- fragrance free and vegan

- e.l.f. can be tough to find in brick-and-mortar retailers (I shop on the e.l.f. website).
- product may not be secure in the tube. My lead fell out and, while it was easily fixed, it's an issue that certainly needs to be addressed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Lava Flo, DECLÉOR, Eve Pearl...and more!

On Monday, start out the week at Ideeli when they offer up Lava flo styling products. On Tuesday, the site offers up DermaNew. If that's not your speed, jump over to Beyond the Rack on Monday for their Designer Fragrances for Women boutique.

HauteLook starts out the week with a double-feature: VIOlight and DECLÉOR both start on Monday, October 11th. Tuesday's beauty showcase is Vincent Longo, Wednesday check out Barista Body and Bath and on Thursday peruse a selection from Goldfadden.

Beauty Story starts out the week this Monday with Sea Enzyme. On Tuesday check out Evis Beauty Light Therapy and Exuberance skincare. Wednesday's daily special is ICS Skin Therapie, Thursday's is Eve Pearl Makeup. The week ends on Friday with Ultraceuticals Professional Skincare.

Rue La La has Ahava on Thursday, October 14th.

Finally, Brand Alley (UK fans only!) hosts an Anti-Ageing Skincare event beginning on Tuesday (there's also still a day to catch last week's Designer Cosmetics feature!) If you're not a member yet, click here for an invite (we can both earn a £10 voucher too!)

As always, check back soon for updates, and keep an eye out this week for a review of one of my favorite new beauty finds!

Monday, October 4, 2010

This Week's Sales:
Pop Beauty, By Lauren Luke, Luminess Air...
and (a little) more!

HauteLook is our savior this week, which, thus far looks pretty quiet. Hop over on Monday to check out Pop Beauty, YouTube guru Lauren Luke's line debuts on the site this Tuesday, Barex Italiana haircare is on Wednesday, skyn ICELAND pops up on Thursday and Crystal Peel and Belegenza haircare are what's on the menu for Friday.

Over at Beauty Story this week it's Provence Sante Skin Care on Monday, followed on Tuesday by In Fiore Bath & Body, Three Custom Color Specialists Makeup on Wednesday, Davi Napa Skin Care on Thursday and Sprayology Homeopathic Wellness Sprays on Friday, October 8th.

For my UK buddies, Brand Alley has OPI, Grace Cole, Gentlemen's Tonic and Clarins going on now, with a midweek beauty and fragrance boutiques on the horizon. Join now (it's free, of course!) and we can both earn a £10 voucher! Just click here for your invite.

Gilt Groupe has Luminess Air on Wednesday, and believe it or not, folks, that's all she wrote. Don't forget to check back later this week (or follow me on Twitter) to see what else pops up!

BTW, if you're not already a fan of Temptalia, check out her weekly sales post for tons of exclusive discounts- this week she's got codes for Becca, Bare Escentuals, Sally's Beauty Supply and tons more!
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