Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hair product review: Hot Buns

Hey, everyone!  It's been awhile since I did a review on a beauty product but I've been busy with my Etsy shop lately.  About a week ago, I saw this nifty looking product at a local CVS store and said to myself, "Hey, that looks pretty useful.  Large buns are in style now so why not give this a try?"  The product is called "Hot Buns" as pictured here:

(Just the name of this product is all kinds of awkward...)

I had a $2 off coupon for any beauty product at CVS so I decided to use it on this.  When I got it home, I was super excited to try it out!  My friend is getting married in the spring and felt that this thing would help me make a pretty sweet looking side bun-tail style for myself as a bridesmaid.

Then I actually took it out of the box....

This review would be a lot better if I wasn't so lazy before I returned this plastic brillopad turd to the store, right?  Well... you live and learn.

When I took the product out of the box, aside from the brillopad-like texture of the product, the first thing I noticed was the snaps for closing this thing up to make the bun.  These were some of the crappiest snaps I've seen in my life (and I make a ton of costumes for a living!).  I like to play around with my new stuff before I actually use it the way its intended to be utilized sooo... I ended up having a hard time just trying to snap the snaps together!  The snaps on the box and infomercial are nothing like the ones on the actual product!  The adverts clearly show snaps that face one another for an easy closure.  HOWEVER... the snaps on the actual product are pretty damn horrible since they face the opposite direction and you have to overlap them in order for it to shut.  Couple that fact onto it being hard to snap... you'll have a stupidly difficult time trying to close these into a bun in your hair!

But wait... there's more!

This thing is made out of such rough material its nuts.  It feels like a scratchy brillopad (you know those rough sponge pad things you use to wash hard to clean pots and pans?).  I can't imagine this being good for your hair at all... it seems pretty damaging which is another reason to avoid this thing.

So far I've covered it being a hunk of junk that doesn't close without someone else's help, the texture of the product rivals Brillo, and... oh, yeah!  This thing is terrible for layered hair!

I have long layered hair and even when I was curling it in from the top, my bun still ended up as a messy, awkward, mess rather than what's advertised on the box.  I can only see this thing possibly working for people with straight uniform length hair.

This product left me very disappointed in the end.  The advert boasts that it'll allow you to make a perfect bun in less than a minute.  Let me tell you this... that claim is simply  untrue.  I was wrestling with this thing in my hair for a good 15 minutes before I said, "Fuck it.  It's going back tomorrow!!!" because my hair is too fabulous for it anyway.  I can't remember when was the last time I was this happy about returning a product to the store but man... couldn't wait to get my $10.80 back!  I ended up buying a Hairagami set on eBay for less than $7 and let me tell you--it is easy as hell to use and it actually WORKS.  I was able to do my cute side bun-tail do in only a minute.

The moral of this story?  Just buy a Hairagami, one of those hair donuts (if you don't mind the rough texture of the product), or use the sock-bun method.  Don't buy the Hot Buns... just don't do it, man!  It's not worth the frustration!  HOT BUNS SUCKS!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Forever Flawless follow-up

Hey everyone.  Long time no update.  I've been pretty occupied with my sewing endeavors while trying to find a more stable form of employment so I haven't had much time to update this, sorry about that.  Also I've learned that this company is related to another scam-tastic company called "Oro Gold."  Don't buy from them either!!!

I've noticed that my review on those horrible Forever Flawless (shitty) diamond infused beauty treatments have been receiving a lot of hits over the past several months.  To be honest, I'm genuinely surprised that this company is still in business scamming people!  I thought for sure their Dollar Store quality cosmetics would've put them out of business by now.  Because of all the comments I've received about people finding my review which prevented them from falling for the Forever Flawless scam, I feel the need to do a follow up on why these products lie their asses off.

"You want HOW much for this!?  $2,500!?  ARE YOU CRAZY!?!?"


  • Diamonds

Firstly, they claim that the diamond powder in these products will help fight against the aging process.  Diamonds do not have that kind of power!  Diamonds are a solid carbon based mineral that can exfoliate the skin at best when ground up into a fine powder.  In addition to that, the most it'll do is make your skin shine just like what some Japanese company came out with sometime in 2006.  The lotion had a lot of vitamins and minerals in it and had about .25 carat of diamond in it.  This lotion only made your skin luminescent because of the diamond powder but other than that, it was a normal body butter like what you can buy at Victoria's Secret for $15/jar.

Diamond powder doesn't exfoliate your skin any better than the crystals in a $40 microdermabrasion kit would.  If you want to throw your money away by overpaying for it just because they're diamonds you'll wash down your sink, go right on ahead but it is a huge waste.  If you want an illuminating moisturizing body cream that feels great, give Victoria's Secret a try.  The average price for the VS stuff is about $14 so you can't really go wrong (especially if you have a $10 off coupon!).

  • Gold

Now this is a touchy subject to some cosmetologists but most studies show that gold does not have any benefit for your skin.  There are a lot of gold infused beauty products out there but they don't work worth a damn.  Your body just simply has no use for any metal but iron!  The only thing gold will do for your skin is give it a glow and make it look pretty because well... gold gives off a golden glow.  Gold will not benefit your skin and if anything, it can hurt it as it does cause an allergic reaction in some people.  All of these companies (and horribly pushy Forever Flawless sales people) cite Queen Cleopatra as being their source for how beneficial it is for the skin.  Everyone knows that Cleopatra is famous for wearing loads of gold but what evidence do they have that the ancient Egyptians used gold in their beauty products?  None.  Really though... just think about it.  Just because she wore a ton of gold doesn't mean that she was having her servants grind it up and put it on her face.

There isn't any evidence, any texts, or any historical records of any kind that say that she did this as part of her beauty regimen.  No one in the ancient world has used this.  Using gold in beauty products is purely a modern creation and is more science fiction rather than science fact.  When I was approached by a pushy Forever Flawless salesman, he tried pushing the whole "Cleopatra used this which is why she stayed so beautiful!" with his thick accent and stinky breath (that dude needed a mint and badly).  The only reason I even fell for the shit is because he lied saying that it'll treat acne.  I ended up being an easy sale since my self-esteem was in the dumps and I spent most of my trip in my hotel room crying about something.  If I had been thinking straight, I would've realized that Mr. Foul Breath was full of crap and used my scientific thinking.

I forgot to add that while this Forever Flawless crap claims to use real 24K gold in it, it most certainly does not.  Yeah, it uses gold but it is colloidal gold!!  That is some dangerous stuff to be dealing with and it even causes Chrysiasis!  That is, with long term usage.  The insane price tag of Forever Flawless is unjustified as colloidal gold is pretty much worth only a penny if that much.

  • Other Ingredients

Straight from the hunk of junk website (which I will not plug since they don't deserve anymore hits), the ingredients inside of their line of cosmetics are as follows:
  • MDI Complex - an advanced active ingredient that control and inhibits the enzymes that degrade and destroy the skin's collagen network.
  • Vitamin A - known for its age-defying properties
  • Vitamin E - known for battling free radicals and for its hydrating and moisturizing properties.
  • Vitamin C - known as a great antioxidant and for its age-defying properties.
  • Licorice Root - known as an effective antioxidant that calms irritated skin and helps reduce the appearance of discoloration.
  • Castor Seed Oil - An emollient known for maintaining soft and supple skin.
  • Sesame Seed Oil - known for its great moisturizing, soothing and emollient qualities
  • Jojoba Oil - known for enhancing skin healing (cell division and growth) within the middle layer of the epidermis. Jojoba Oil helps balance sebum excretion and helps normalize keratin sloughing off from the dermis.
  • Avocado Oil - known for its wonderfully emollient properties for correcting skin disorders and battle premature aging. 
All of this is stuff you'll find in any higher end drug store facial cosmetic!  This is not something people should be spending hundreds of dollars on just for one product.

If you're looking for high-end cosmetics that will actually work (and not rob your savings account), I highly recommend buying from brands Estee Lauder and Lancome.  I especially love Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair line because it actually does work.  I was once an Estee Lauder sales girl when I was 18 years old working at an airport's duty free shop and a company representative gave us a presentation on how certain higher end products work.  She explained to us that the Advanced Night Repair line works especially well because of the ingredients they use but what really intrigued me was the science behind the Advanced Night Repair Recovery Concentrate works!

Advanced Night Repair Recovery Concentrate has a special ingredient(s) that consist of deep sea nutrients.  Why is this impressive you may be wondering?  Well, the nutrients that you'll find in the deeper reaches of the ocean are spread throughout currents around the world.  It's very essential to sea life and very beneficial for its ecosystem.  This is a rich current that's basically a "nutrient soup."  This current is mostly made out of phytoplankton and bits of dead animal matter.  This may seem gross to you non-science nerds but this is very cool!  When the sales rep gave us samples of this cosmetic, a single drop immediately took the wrinkles out of a old woman's hands!!  After that, I was pretty much sold although I didn't need the stuff.  At the time, this product cost a whopping $219.  YOOOOW!!!  However, now the product is priced at $95.  My guess for the huge price drop would be because they have a cheaper way of obtaining the ocean nutrients required for this wonderful serum.

In conclusion... the science behind Forever Flawless makes zero sense--this coming from a proud science nerd.  Trust me on this one.  If you want an awesome product that'll moisturize your skin, help fight against aging, and won't cost you $800 (because you're not a fool), check out Estee Lauder and Lancome.  I'm not sure about those of you who live outside of the United States, but for those of you who are Americans, you can find an Estee Lauder and Lancome station inside of every Macy's and Dillards.  Go ahead and give them a shot.  In fact, every few weeks they have some kind of free gift campaign where if you spend a certain amount of money, you'll get a free cosmetic bag and some makeup.  (If for whatever reason you're unable to find these products in your country, I can run a shopping service for a fee to buy them for you.  To inquire, send me an email using the form below.)

If an aggressive Forever Flawless sales person is trying to force you into a sale, just mention my blog and give them a "Fuck you, you con artist" for me!

Edit: January 12th, 2014

I also have some new information to add!  Thanks to a well informed reader in my other Forever Flawless post, there's a few links that I recommend everyone to read.

  • Use this website to report any illegal business (such as Forever Flawless).
  • If you're concerned about safe cosmetics, check this out as it's a very good read.  Highly recommended!
  • Most importantly, check this site out.  It's a very informative page about nanomedicine and why diamond powder is dangerous!  It furthers my theory that Forever Flawless lies about what goes into their products and explains to you why using diamond powder will do more harm than good to your body.
Edit: September 8th, 2014

A reader has informed me that a TV program in the Netherlands ran a segment exposing the Forever Flawless scam!  These guys are still at it which is appalling.  If you'd like to read it, check it out here.  There is also a video, but you need to understand Dutch.  The link has the English interview though!

Edit: January 28th, 2016

My video on Forever Flawless.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sephora: Disney Jasmine collection review (The Palace Jewel compact mirror)

Continuing my review of Sephora's latest Disney princess inspired line, I come to the compact mirror called, "The Palace Jewel."

(The Palace Jewel compact mirror and its packaging)

It's a very beautiful compact!  It has a very old world Arabian feel to it which I love.  This mirror is pretty heavy but I see that as a good thing.  It has beautiful golden designs throughout the front and two lamps in the center.  The palace is behind the golden designs and although it's hard to see, there's something written in Persian around it.  Inside the mirror, it says "Shut your eyes and take a chance."  Top mirror is normal while the bottom is a magnifying one (good for plucking eyebrows).  The compact itself has a very sturdy design and I really like how it has a button to push instead of having to push two platforms apart like some cheaper mirrors.

I ended up buying two of them: one for my purse and one for collecting purposes.  I tried to order it through the Sephora website earlier in the month but they were sold out (THANK YOU, RESELLERS).  Thankfully, Sephora had them for sale at their physical stores a few weeks later.  So if you're trying to buy it through the online store and the "sold out" red text is making you sad, I suggest you head to a Sephora store as soon as possible.  These sell out quite quick!!  Go to a Sephora store near you now to get yours!  You won't be disappointed!

As for carrying this compact in your purse, I highly recommend buying a silk pouch and keeping it inside of that.  This way your compact will remain beautiful and won't get scratches!  That's what I'm doing for mine.  It really does look and feel like a compact fitted for a princess.  This thing's a keeper!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sephora: Disney Jasmine collection review (perfume)

It's spring so it's time for a new limited edition Disney princess inspired line by Sephora!  Sephora and Disney are working together to make cosmetic lines inspired by the Disney princesses and what's in right now is Princess Jasmine.  Last fall, it was Cinderella so I wonder how many of these are there going to be?  (I hope they do my most favorite character, Megara but they probably won't *sniff*)  The line includes a perfumed body shimmer, eyeliner set, perfume oil rollerball, eyeshadow pallet, mini eyeshadow pallet, compact mirror, and perfume.

I bought the perfume online through the Sephora website on a blind jump.  The notes sounded nice and Jasmine is one of my favorite characters so I went, "Why not?" and bought it.

(The bottle)

(Front of the box)

(Side of the box)

The fragrance is named "A Whole New World."  The perfume bottle itself is pretty small.  It only comes in one size which is 1.7oz and costs $58.  Pretty pricey... this is the amount of money I pay for a designer fragrance in a larger size.  That struck me as kinda odd but meh.  The perfumes notes are: Carnation, Orange Blossom, Mandarin, Gardenia, Mimosa, Musky Accord, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber, Benzoin.

I thought this would have a fresher scent since it's almost nothing but flowers.  It's better for special evening occasions rather than daytime wear.  My opinion?  I do not like it!  This is the first time I've ever bought a perfume this expensive on a blind buy and regret it.  The smell is kinda strong, not something I imagined Princess Jasmine to smell like.  The "spicy" and wood notes just plain stink.  It's not an overpowering stink, but it still stinks.  It really doesn't smell that exotic to me... nothing I'd imagine an Arabian princess to smell like.  Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible scent but I just don't feel like a princess while wearing it.  Thankfully, Sephora gave me free shipping on this purchase and it was free to ship it back.  It was returned.

Final rating: 3/5, average

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cosmetic review: Forever Flawless diamond powder facial treatments

Several months ago, I went to Primm, Nevada for a little "stay-cation" as it were.  Inside the shopping mall housed by one of the 3 Primm Valley casinos, there's this kiosk selling products by the brand "Forever Flawless."  The salesman was trying to sell it to me for an extortionate price of $179 (before tax) claiming that this was a deal since it goes for $300 elsewhere.  I pretty much said, "Yeah, no" then proceeded to talk into the Coach store.  I walked back out and the salesman tried making another pitch to me.  I told him flat out that I couldn't afford to pay that much money for some product that I never heard of.  I was very firm about this.  He lowered the price down to $50 and I decided to go on and buy it although that's still pretty high for a product I've never heard of.

Forever Flawless is advertised as being a luxury brand of beauty products that contain diamond powder and 24K gold.  They also contain botanicals and multivitamins that are supposed to be good for your skin.  They claim that the gold and diamond powder that this stuff contains is supposed to fight against aging but time will only tell.  Worst thing about this stuff is that it has no satisfaction guarantee which should be a huge red flag not to buy this shit.  I didn't find this out until a while after I bought this and did an internet search.

Now, the guy selling this pot of diamond infused gelatin to me said it'd help do things like get rid of acne, unclog pores, and eliminate blackheads.  I guess I ended up being a sucker since I was quite depressed and ended up buying it.  I wanted to improve my skin's condition so I was a pretty easy sale.  Ugh.  Let me tell you this right now... this product is shit.  SHIT.  SHIT!  I'm not even kidding here.  I bought this in hopes of it being able to cleanse my skin by peeling away all the icky dead skin cells.  It does an extremely piss poor job.

I used this stuff for about a month and saw no difference in my acne as I was still getting breakouts.  Wasn't this stuff supposed to help unclog my pores?  This stuff can't unclog a stuffed nose.  The quality of this product is pretty terrible.  It takes at least 2 uses back to back within minutes to get the dead skin off my face.  The directions on the website give you these instructions: "Over clean skin, massage in circular motions until desired exfoliation is achieved. Rinse with warm water. Use 1-2 times a week."  Either way, I don't think they meant having to use it twice in one sitting once a week.  It didn't get all the dead skin on my face so I deem this stuff to be a waste of my $50.  There's probably a reason why many people have not heard of this brand and it's probably because it's not FDA approved.  Not to mention that this crap burned my face.  There's nothing more attractive than glaring rashes on your face, am I right?  It's very much a scam.

If you're looking for a product that will buff away all your dead skin cells, help reduce the dark marks on your face, and reverse aging?  Get yourself a good microdermabrasion kit such as Susan Lucci's "Youthful Essence."  It's only $60 and the 3 month supply of refills only cost you $30.  Not only does it work, it costs a lot less than this Forever Flawless scam shit!

August 13th, 2013--UPDATE:  If you would like to read my follow-up to this, including my scientific explanation behind why these lousy products don't work, click here to see the blog entry.

Because basic reading comprehension doesn't work for everyone, let me paraphrase this entry in a few sentences.  Sellers pull people aside to make a super pushy sale, LIE TO PEOPLE SAYING IT'LL HELP TREAT THEIR ACNE JUST TO GET THEIR MONEY.  Long story short, if the sales people had actually you know... been honest with people, I'm 100% sure that no one would've bought this hoping it'd treat their skin conditions.  And if a product is so fucking good then why in the HELL do the sales people feel the need to lie about it!?

Edit: January 12th, 2014--UPDATE: Thanks to two very informed readers in the comments, I have more information to share with you all:

  • Use this website to report any illegal business (such as Forever Flawless).  Forever Flawless uses illegal undocumented Isralei workers to push their products.  These people are paid under the table and their lodging is taken out of their earnings which is highly illegal.  REPORT THEM.
  • If you're concerned about safe cosmetics, check this out as it's a very good read.  Highly recommended!
  • Most importantly, check this site out.  It's a very informative page about nanomedicine and why diamond powder is dangerous!  It furthers my theory that Forever Flawless lies about what goes into their products and explains to you why using diamond powder will do more harm than good to your body.
Edit: September 8th, 2014

A reader has informed me that a TV program in the Netherlands ran a segment exposing the Forever Flawless scam!  These guys are still at it which is appalling.  If you'd like to read it, check it out here.  There is also a video, but you need to understand Dutch.  The link has the English interview though!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Perfume review: Curious by Elizabeth Arden fragrances

As many of my friends know, I am a perfume collector.  Back in 2005, I started my collection with a bottle of Estee Lauder's Beyond Paradise.  Jump forward one year to 2006 where I bought Cruious and Curious In Control by Elizabeth Arden (you know, that line of fragrances that Britney Spears lent her image to).

I bought a 3.4oz. bottle of Curious by Elizabeth Arden.  At first, I hated it since it didn't really smell like anything special to me and eventually I kept testing out the tester at work and bought it for myself.  I grew to love this scent.  It comes in a very cute bottle too which doesn't hurt much!  It's a fragrance that I would suggest for daytime wear as it smells a little too casual for special evenings.  The staying power is moderate... I'd say about 5 hours.

Now, I've owned perfumes going back to 2001 and they're still as good as new.  Let's fast forward to 2012.  I went to check my vanity set and smell a very strong scent of alcohol, musk, and a shitload of synthetic vanilla.  Turns out, the perfume was coming out through the atomizer tube somehow!  I don't know how or why this happened, but a nasty green goo had collected at the rim of the spray nozzle.  I looked to the bottom of the bottle and it was turning into crystal!!!  I have never ever had a perfume do this!  This was an extremely disappointing find because I had a lot more use to get out of this bottle!  My mother has had perfume bottles that lasted longer than 30 years and they still smell as good as new.  Sorry, but I cannot say the same about Elizabeth Arden's products.  I will not buy again since the shelf life is so poor!