Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cosmetic Cost Cutter Tutorial: Cleaning Your Brushes The Cost Effective Way


Did you know that not cleaning your cosmetic tools on a regular basis can cause acne and infections?
Pretty gross, huh?

There are several ways to properly clean your tools. Today I'm blogging about the cheapest one. Because let's face it, we already spend way more than we should on cosmetics anyway.

You'll need 5 things you already have in your home, how cool is that?
1.) A plate
2.) Dish Soap (antibacterial of course)
3.) Olive Oil (I use extra virgin)
4.) Hair Ties or Rubberbands
5.) Push Pins or Tacks or Nails (hooks would be even better)

Step 1: Pour even amounts of dish soap and olive oil onto plate.

Step 2: Swirl brushes in mixture. Then "paint" the plate back and forth.

Step 3: Rinse in lukewarm water using the "paint" motion on your hand as you would rinse a paintbrush.

Step 4: Squeeze dry in a towel or paper towel and rubberband the end of the paintbrush (the end you hold) nice and tight.

Step 5: Using the rubberband as a tie, hang brush UPSIDE DOWN from nail or hook.

NEVER set your wet brushes bristle side up.
This causes the water to pool inside the crimped metal which not only will become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, but will soften your glue and cause major bristle fallout.

There are brush guards you can purchase that slip over your brushes. Not only do they keep the shape of your brushes, but you can safely set your brushes upside down in a cup to dry, but today I'm going with the "things you already have" method.

Some of you are probably questioning my choice of cleanser.
Dish soap is antibacterial, killing off all the nasty dirt, oil and bacteria while being mild enough for (soft hands) the bristles.
The olive oil is a conditioning agent. Making your bristles soft yet strong without irritating your face.

How often should I clean my brushes?
It varies on your usage.
Personally, I clean my brushes once a week.
After each use I use the "paint" method on a damp towel just to keep them from being all gunked up with various colors, but that actual full cleaning I do once a week.

Unfortunately, I don't have any images for you today.
I got the idea for this blog last night AFTER I hung my brushes up to dry.
I'll have to remember to cam the next time and update this blog.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Battle of the Hair Dye: Funky Colors Semi & Demi

Anyone who knows me knows I dye my hair... a lot.
They also have heard me laugh and say, "I haven't seen my natural color since I was eleven".
It's true.
I wasn't joking guys.

I asked my mother for my first box of hair dye when I was 11 years old.
I didn't want to be a blond anymore. I wanted to be a redhead (that would be my "fall back color" for about 6 years after).
Of course, my mother got the wrong color, which started the obsession of constantly coloring, tweaking and experimenting with my hair, trying to find the "right color".
I'm 25 now.
That's a lot of experimentation.
And I'm nowhere near done yet.
(Plus, I get bored easy)

I have many people constantly asking me for advice on what products to use so I've compiled a list from my personal favorites to the one's I'm pretty pissed I wasted money on.

1.) Special Effects
SE will forever be my all time favorite and first choice.
The color selection is wide. The price is average (meaning it's the same as all the major competitors). The colors are beautiful and actually brighten as they wash out, then fade.
The only downfall for SE is you have to order online from 3rd party retailers (personally, I get mine off ebay) or call SE and place a phone order.
Hot Topic used to carry them, which is how I got hooked, but they don't any longer.

2.) Splat
This is my newest find (I'm currently rocking the above color) and I love it.
This damn near makes number 1, but it's downfall is the limited color options.
Splat offers complete kits like above for super cheap online and certain retail locations (bought mine from Rite Aid). It includes everything you need, bleach, gloves and awesome color. But very limited colors. And the bleach doesn't fry the fuck outta your hair like vol. 30 and 40 kits.
They also offer straight color in a larger (but still not a wide enough rainbow for me to add it to position 1 *sad face*) variety of colors, but so far I've only seen color only bottles (not the kits like above) available online.
Splat fades nicely. It takes awhile and it's very even and gradual. My purple went to a pretty lavender before I touched it up. It looked like it was meant to be that way, not faded that way.
Another plus is Splat doesn't stain my sink/shower/tub. My husband is quite thankful for that, but they aren't kidding when they warn you about staining skin and clothing.

3.) L'oreal Colour Rays
I know what you're thinking, but despite the serious lack of color choices, this stuff is the uber shit. Bleach your hair first and the magenta and/or red are super vivid and do NOT wash out for anything. And it's sold everywhere L'oreal is sold.

4.) Raw

Ok, I used to be strictly a Raw girl, but they've changed it.
With the new label came a new formula and it just doesn't have the hold it used to. I love the colors, I love that it's available at Hot Topic, but I'd rather wait for Special Effects to come in the mail.
There is also Raw kits that's a powder you mix with water. I've only tried it once and it's pretty neat, but not as strong a color.

5.) Beyond the Zone Color Jamz
By far the cheapest (and I mean that price-wise). Available at Sally's Beauty Supply. The colors are lovely, but it fades FAST.
If you don't mind weekly touch ups, then Color Jamz isn't too bad.

6.) Manic Panic
Yes, Manic Panic is this far down on the list. Sorry Tish and Snooky.
The vol. 30 and 40 bleach kits are too strong. As in, I loose about 3in from trimming off damaged hair every time I use them.
The color selection is wonderful, but the color itself is a bit flat.
The stay power is slightly above par, but an already flat color washes out even flatter before it fades.
There is some almost metallic or henna type ingredient in MP that is an uber bitch to get out, making switching color (which I do all too often) a huge pain in the ass.
I also find that MP dries out my hair. If I bleached two strands of hair, used MP on one and SE on the other, the strand with MP would be rough, dry, crunchy and brittle.
I just don't recommend MP at all. Which is sad, because the colors and selection are above average.

7.) 'N Rage
Probably the most pissed off I have been over spending 10.00 in my life.
The color selection is basic, but the colors are WAY OFF.
I bought the purple and it was BLUE. And not the "musta been mislabeled" blue, but the purple blue that only looks purple in a certain light and the tips fade to purple while the rest fades to blue, then green.
I have almost a full bottle in my bathroom mocking my impulse purchase.
This is also available at Sally's Beauty Supply and you should avoid it if you want your hair to be the color you actually paid for.

So there you have it. My good, bad and ugly. My favorites and my waste of money.
Happy coloring!