Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Madison Reed Hair Color: Honest Review from Over 40 Woman

 Madison Reed Review:
OK, I've given several of their products a go and here is what I've found:
My hair isn't in bad shape, but it tends to go from bronde (blond/brown) to brassy. I love to wear it with some highlights but a warmer, deep base. If I choose brown of any color, it pulls very dark when I dye it, so I go with dark blonde or medium blonde.
Here's what happened:
I ordered
I wanted the light brown for roots and the Bologna Blonde (a cool, dark blonde) for rest. Venetro worked great and gave me super results. Covered the grey, left it moisturized and glossy roots. Not too dark and a good base. Loved it.

Bologna Blonde - not so much. I followed directions to a tee and it turned out dark...medium brown almost. Very disappointed. Although it was moisturized and nicely glossy, it wasn't the color I wanted. I started with a deep, carmelly (brassy) bronde and it really pulled dark.

Upon investigation, found these are 20% developers used which accounts for the fact that you cannot go super light (if dark) and they won't do much damage.  You need a developer with 30% or higher and a bleaching component to go light.

I just wanted a lighter, brighter, cooled tone.

I waited for it to tone down/wash out and then tried the gloss:

3/4 clear GLASSA + 1/4 CREMA (cool, lavender tone)

Left it on recommended time and voila! Beautiful tone, gloss, shine, etc. However, after first wash it did seem to diminish significantly.

I ordered the MIELE - honey golden for brunettes and will use this when I feel like going a bit deeper without the  permanent color.

Not sure I'm impressed enough to order more color as I can get a good quality, non chemical hair dye at my local Sprouts or Whole Foods, but I do like the glosses.

They sent me a couple TAME samples, which I haven't tried, but will.

Update soon!
 My color before coloring. Sorry, don't have an after shot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crepe Erase: An honest review after two months of use

Crepe Erase:

Does this product really work?

*I have not been paid or sent any free product for this post*

I have used this product for two months straight. Almost exclusively. I'm on vacation in Colorado and took a big jar of it with me, leaving home most of my other products, oils, butters, etc.

The water here is hard. Very mineralized and very tough and hair and skin.

I live in AZ -- very hard on skin as it is so darn dry! However, I have found a great solution that seems to work and isn't pricey (see below).

I wanted so much to like this product and while I think it helps in the immediate (any moisture will help dry, parched skin), I cannot endorse it as a "fix" for dry, wrinkled, crepey skin.

I just can't. I have to say I've slathered it on nightly after my shower, before bed, all over my hands and my hands have never looked worse!

I'm not impressed with this product.

Here's what I mean:

My hand just before applying product.
Dry, crepey, wrinkled...yuck!

My hand just after applying product.
A bit more moisturized, but not really smoothed out or less crepey, do you think?

OK, so what does work?

What I've found to work best is:

1. Microdermabrasion on my hands once a week. I use the Kelley West Microderm 360

2. Slather on oils -- not cheap drugstore hand products or pricey, mail order butters (tried them all!), but just good, quality oils.

Best oils I've found are simple: Argan or Marula

Don't overpay - you can find these online or at health food stores and they work like a charm! Use them on face, body, hands and apply often after exfoliating. Exfoliating makes all the difference!

Tough post: Breast Cancer and OTC estrogen enhancers (i.e. Estroven)

This is not an easy post to write.

I feel I must.

I took Estroven PM for four plus years straight. It helped me sleep at night during the dreaded perimenopause insomnia. It worked like a charm. Or so I thought.

Then I got diagnosed with DCIS. Breast cancer. An estrogen-dependent breast cancer. 

Caught early. Removed. No chemo.

Thank GOD.

But, since I took this OTC supplement and it most certainly (in my opinion only) made matters worse for me, I needed to speak out.

Not to not take it. Not to bash the product. But to make sure all women who are taking it or consider taking it know the risks. 

Talk to your doc. Probably not an issue, but just in case, you need to know.

As a note, I also took progesterone (bio identical) for a few years. Not sure if this had a detrimental effect, but I stopped a couple years before my diagnosis. 

Do your homework! This product and others that mess with hormones can lead to trouble. Just be aware.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Non-Surgical, No Injection Natural Lip Plumpers

Here's the thing: When we get older our lips get thinner, droopier. It's natural. It's also very demoralizing when you go to put on lipstick or gloss and see a thin line of crepey, dry skin where your lips used to be!

Three things I do to naturally plump up my lips. If you do them consistently you'll see results. It does not happen overnight, but it will help since they all increase circulation and blood flow to the area.

1. Massage your lips and the surrounding area nightly. This doesn't mean rub and tug; it's a gentle massage. You can sort of pluck/pinch your lips and the surrounding tissue to increase blood flow.

2. Exfoliate your lips weekly (at a minimum) with a nice sugar scrub. You can buy one or make one (just Google it for a million different recipes). I use the one by Suzanne Somers. It's natural/organic and I like it. This will keep your lips moist and keep lines away plus the extra manipulation helps blood flow to your lips.

3. Stretch them. Look at yourself in the mirror. I'll bet your lips are not only thinner, but shorter across? I find that when I massage them, I also take two finger and gently stretch them right above/below the lip line (towards the sides of my face). GENTLY is the keyword. This has helped them stay in their original shape and not turn into a little pucker.
 Natural lips; some lines, not too full or puffy
          Not even sort of natural. Way too full.

And here's the last thing: If you do go and get injections, please err on the side of natural to really look ageless. Nothing screams "I've had work done!" more than too-puffy lips (or cheeks for that matter).

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Makeup Expert Share Tips: Celebrity Makeup Artist & Beauty Editor Ashley Gomila


Celebrity Makeup Artist & Beauty Editor Ashley Gomila shares her tips on how to achieve the perfect glow as seen on her client Supermodel Nina Agdal. 

With three easy steps you too can have the perfect summer glow.

To follow her on Instagram search TheMakeupExpert or

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to beat the bloat: Three tips that work for getting rid of belly bloat

1. It's not rocket science, it's just water retention. I used to enjoy a nightly snack of Cheezits. You know the little buttery cheesy crackers. I went for two years eating them nearly every night (around midnight) and then wondering why in the heck I could not get rid of the pudge.
Duh! Now that I've gone (mostly) gluten free and given them up (yes, I do miss them), I don't wake with pudge that won't budge. It's not a perfect plan, but it has worked for me. What do I eat instead? Well, I try not to eat at all late at night, but when I must have something, a few rice crackers or small bowl of plain, lightly salted popcorn works.
2. Drink a smoothie a day. Not a junk-food smoothie from a place where frozen yogurt is included in most of the offerings, but a real yogurt, green powder, protein powder smoothie. Here again, I've given up whey protein or veg protein. They whey made me bloat. If you drink one a day with real yogurt (try to keep the sugar to a minimum), add a little frozen fruit, some protein and fiber powder, it's a great meal replacement and really helps keep the "system moving" if you get my drift. 
3. Water: Yes, drink plenty but don't overload yourself. I have found a drink several glasses a day plus a couple of cups of coffee and a cup of tea in the evening (decaf green). I don't obsess; I just stay hydrated and make sure to keep my water glass filled and near me.
Good luck!