Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is a $200 Hair Dryer Really Better Than A $20 Hair Dryer?

I have always wondered whether or not investing in a quality hair dryer is really worth it. I recently got my answer when trying out the HANAair Professional Hair Dryer:

This hair dryer, priced at $194.99 on Misikko.com is inspired by Italian design and claims to dry your hair up to 60% faster while maintaining natural shine while promoting healthy luxurious hair.

Hana Salon Air Hair Dryer Features:

  • Ion Technology- condition hair & reduces static electricity
  • Tourmaline & Titanium Oxide Technology- natural ions promote healthier hair
  • Silver Nanotechnology- for antibacterial Protection
  • Scratch Resistant Shell with black metallico finish adds durability and is easy to clean
  • Long life motor with low noise
  • Gyroscopically balanced for easy handling
  • Fiberglass concentrator
I recently compared this hair dryer to my basic $20 Conair hair dryer to see if the pricier version is worth the extra money. 

In terms of the dryer itself, they are both around the same size, the Hana has a longer cord which is great but it is slightly heavier than the Conair. Both have cold air capabilities, and they both have multiple heat and power settings:

Hana Settings

Conair Settings

One of the cool things about the Hana is that the cold air function is a button that you press once, you don't have to keep holding it down to get cold hair, which makes it easier to hold the dryer. With my Conair, the cold air button has to be held down. In terms of use, the Conair heats up right away. The Hana takes about 15 seconds to reach the appropriate heat setting, which is kind of annoying. That being said, the Hana doesn't get super hot, but still delivers the results! I really like this because the technology of the Hana allows it to dry your hair without burning your hair! Sometimes with my Conair my hair feels so hot that I think it is dry, but once I let the hair cool down, I realize it is still damp and I have to re-dry that section of hair. I don't have this issue with the Hana. 

Now for the real results. I have used both dryers without the concentrator attachment to do a quick-and-dirty dry, and I have used both with the attachment to get a smooth, straight look. Both hair dryers give me a similar look, but the experience is totally different. Here, I dried my hair the quick-and-dirty way:

Left: Conair-dried, Right: Hana dried

Visibly, you can't tell I used different hair dryers. But when I tried my hair with the Hana, my hair dried completely in half the time it took with the Conair! When I dry my hair straight with the attachment, it takes about 30 minutes with the Conair, and with the Hana it only takes me 15 minutes!! This might not be 60% faster like the company claims, but 50% faster is worth cheering for in my book!

Also, the hair dried with the Hana felt much smoother. Even my hubby noticed (and he doesn't notice much when it comes to hair). 

So to answer my question of whether the $200 hair dryer is better than the $20 hair dryer, my answer is a big, fat YES! Any product that helps me get ready faster in the morning is worth it, especially when you consider how long a product like a hair dryer will last. For me, it saves 15 minutes each time I dry my hair. Consider that times the number of times I dry my hair in a year, and if the drier last several years, thats like days of time that I am saving by using the pricier hair drier! For me, the Hana definitely is the Best Hair Dryer

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday! Practice Makes Perfect!

Hey gals and guys! So continuing my Makeup Tip Monday feature, here's another tip to help achieve makeup perfection:

Trying to perfect the winged liner look? Wondering how to wear that trendy bright blush? Well, practice the look in the evening right before you wash your face at night. If it turns out great, you're on your way to mastering the technique! If not, you are going to wash your face anyways so no one will see it!

Hope you got some rest over the weekend and your Monday is off to a great start!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My MUFE Haul!

I was in NYC this past weekend and my hubby was sweet enough to go with me to the Make Up For Ever (MUFE) boutique. The store was small and had several displays of the products....sort of like a MAC freestanding store, but there were only 2 sales assistants so it was hard to get help. Regardless, I was able to play around with several products and I picked up the following:

 Left to Right: HD Microfinish Blush Shade 7, Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick Shade 29, Pearly Waterproof Eyeshadow Pencil Shade 9 Pearly Golden Pink, and the 14S Brush

All the HD blush shades are super pigmented, and I picked one that would be suitable for all skin tones and for just about any occasion. It is a peachy pink shade that blends beautifully into the skin to make it look natural. So far I really like it and can see myself wearing it a lot.

 HD Microfinish Blush Shade 7 (One Too Many)

I have been eyeing this lipstick shade for months! Every time I go to Sephora I pick it up, swatch it, and put it back. But at the MUFE boutique I really fell in love and just had to have it. You know how people love MAC Viva Glam V? Well I can see this lipstick being my Viva Glam V!

Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick Shade 29 (Satin Rosewood)

The shadow pencil is something I haven't read about so I took a risk in getting it, but the shade was just too beautiful! I will do a full review on it once I use it a bit more...but so far I am liking it!

  Left to Right: Lipstick Shade 29, HD Blush Shade 7, Eyeshadow Pencil Shade 9 direct from pencil, Eyeshadow Pencil Shade 9 blended, and the HD blush again

Since I have never tried a MUFE brush and I LOVE brushes, I decided to try one out. This 14S brush has a small tapered head like a pencil brush, but it is more dense and not so tapered, so it will be great for blending and buffing. I don't have any other brush like it so I am excited to use this.

MUFE 14S brush

What do you think? Do you have any MUFE faves?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Introducing Makeup Tip Monday! Getting Foundation to Work On Dry Skin

I am trying out a new concept...Makeup Tip Mondays! Every Monday I will be sharing a tip with you that I have personally tried and tested.

Today's tip is all about getting a smooth skin look when using a foundation that emphasizes dry skin. Perhaps you have the perfect foundation in the spring and summer, but come winter it starts to bring out the dryness and look a bit flaky. Or maybe you bought a formula that is meant for oily skin and you have dry skin. What do you so?

Use a makeup primer with silicon. The silicon helps create a smooth barrier on top of the skin, which prevents the look of dryness, and creates a silky, even base for foundation. My personal pick? The original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Can You Believe I Did This?

I recently curled my hair. Rather, I had my hair curled. It was curled using a straightening iron. It was the first time this person used a straightening iron to curl hair. 

Didn't that turn out well? I am still amazed. This look was achieved thanks to the Sedu Revolution 1" straightening iron. =)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do Futuristic Formula's Really Work? Smashbox Bionic Mascara Review

Remember when I told you that I had picked up the following Smashbox 500 point reward from Sephora?

Well, I finally got around to trying out the Bionic mascara:

Now, I am pretty skeptical when cosmetic companies use words like "bionic," " telescopic," and "infallible," but since I have been pretty impressed with Smashbox lately, I thought this mascara might live up to its claims. This mascara formula is supposed to make lashes look longer, stronger, and more voluminous. So how did it perform? Take a look:

 Bionic mascara applied after curling lashes

Bionic mascara 3.5 hours after application

Verdict? As you can see, this was a bust. The mascara just barely held the curl. The product didn't last, it just flaked off and migrated to my under eye area. It made my dark circles appear worse than do look naturally! Forget lasting a day, this mascara couldn't make it through the morning!

Kajal Couture Rating: D-

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: The photos speak 1000 words. Pass!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thanks for Your Blush Recs!!!

Hey Lovelies! Based on your recommendations, I chose the following two blushes to take with me on my travels last week:

L-R: MAC Sunbasque and MAC Fleur Power

Sunbasque is one of my all time faves. In fact, it was my first MAC blusher! I love how it has a bit of subtle shimmer, which just barely adds a hint of lumination to the skin. Since it has more of a peachy bronze tone, I decided to also take Fleur Power with me, just to have a pinkier blush for more cool toned looks.  

L-R: MAC Sunbasque and MAC Fleur Power

Thanks again for your help! What are your go-to blush colors?

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Go-To Special Occasion Look

Why is it that when I am going to a special occasion I am always running short on time? It happens to me more often than not and when it does, I always stick to the same neutral eye look:

What I used (all MAC):

Arena shadow on the entire lid
Texture shadow on the outer lid and in the crease
Bronze and Embark shadows in the crease
Blacktrack Fluidline on the upper lash line and in the water line
Feline Kohl Power pencil in the waterline

I took these pics prematurely, as I did add a bit of texture and Embark to the lower lash line to smoke it out and make the black in the waterline less harsh. I wore this look to one of the wedding events I attended last weekend and since I was short on time I didn't get a chance to take more makeup pics. I did do a few colorful eye looks for some of the other wedding events, but again, since I kept running late, I didn't get a chance to photograph them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Traveling....I need help!

Hey darlings!!! I need help.

I am traveling for a few days and attending a couple weddings. I have decided to take only ONE blush with me and I can't decide which one! Right now my top contender is Sunbasque by MAC.

I use mostly MAC blushers, so can you help me and let me know which shade to bring? BTW I am an NC30. What is your number one MAC blush shade?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Favorites

Several of you expressed interest in a monthly favorites post, so here's my first one! Here are the products that kept me going throughout the month of February:

1. I was trying out some different moisturizers in January, which just did not work out for me, and then my skin experienced a lot of skin and different environmental conditions in Costa Rica, so I went back to using my holy grail moisturizer, the MAC Lightful Deep Ultramoisture Creme. This is the one product that brings balance back to my skin and it seriously works for ALL skin types. I use it on everyone and its amazing. I raved about this a long time ago and you can read about that here.

2. Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash. I LOVE this mascara. I reviewed this in a guest post for MakeupandBeautyBlog, but you don't even need to read about it to understand why I like this so much because the pics speak for themselves:

No mascara 

2 coats for Aqua Smoky Lash

3. Michael Kors Very Hollywood fragrance. This was a birthday gift from a dear friend and I have been wearing it nonstop! Not only is the bottle GORGEOUS, but the fragrance is a medium intensity floral blend of mandarin, gardenia, and vetiver. It really does make me feel glamorous and is a scent I enjoy wearing both day and night. I love it!

4. MAC Mystery Eyeshadow. I just did a whole post about this shade and you can read about it here.

5. MAC 226 Brush. I go through phases with brushes and I had been using a Sephora crease brush for a really long time when I rediscovered my 226 brush. I love the small tapered bristles because they apply the perfect amount of product and it fits perfectly in the crease without getting color all over the place. I know its a limited edition brush but if it gets released again I HIGHLY recommend it.

What were some of your favorites from February?


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