Welcome to rebeccalife.com! Navigating rebeccalife.com is easy and you can still find all the posts and category's you loved from EasyDress and EasyBite in the drop down menus. Click Here if you need help navigating. Happy Browsing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

MAC TENDERTONE WINNERS ANNOUNCED



I know, I know, sorry. The announcement for the winners of this competition is long overdue. I could ramble about how crazy life has been over the past month but what we really want to know is who won, so..


Evanescencessy - Purring (entered on EasyDress)

Sair - Hush Hush (entered on EasyDress)

Emilie-Jade - Tread Gently (entered on Twitter)


Congratulations to the winners, please email me at rebecca@easydress.org with your postal addresses.



Want to win more?? 
I have a 2 year anniversary competition and an awesome MAC giveaway coming up in the next few months, check back for more information!


(Evanescencessy - I will include the FOA lipstick you won previously in the parcel with the Tendertone, apologies for being so slow!)

So you bought MAC Fix+.. now what?


I'm sure you've heard of MAC Fix+ by now, you can't go past a beauty website or make up artist without hearing all about it's amazing abilities. It's a sneaky little bottle and a lot of people don't know it's real purpose.

MAC Fix+ is commonly known as a setting spray to hold your make up in place all day, this is also the reason that so many people dislike the product. It is not a setting spray and it definitely won't make you make up last longer on your skin.

Fix+ is designed to 'fix' your make up, hence the title. It is a make up correcting spray, primarily used for heavy foundation users or those who like a powder foundation. It fixes imperfections or the 'cakey' look of too much make up. It's actually a genius product if you know how to use it correctly and are expecting the right things from it.

If you're like me and you like to set your liquid foundation with powder foundation for extra coverage, this is the product for you. When you spray it on your face it completely takes away all of that 'powder' look and sets into a nice, even, dewy (not oily) coverage.

It is also great for refreshing make up, especially if you have dry skin and find that your make up can look cracked or patchy during the day. A few quick sprays will rehydrate and refresh your make up without having to reapply anything.

Another great use is to even out make up touch-ups during the day, especially for those with oily skin who find that they're powdering their t-zone throughout the day, Fix+ will take away the 'cakey' look of powder.

It is suitable for any skin tone. For oily skin, close your eyes and use 2-3 sprays all over the face after you've finished applying make up. For normal and dry skin 3-5 sprays will be fine, start off with less, add more if needed. Keep your eyes closed for about 20 second after applying the spray and your make up is instantly glowing and fresh.

It can also be used over your arms and legs to rehydrate your skin during the day, in your hair to add extra shine and as a cooling mist on hot days for your chest.

You can also buy it in a small, purse friendly size to carry with you.

I love Fix+, I think everyone should own it, it's a fantastic product.


Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own. 


Animal Testing: MAC has always maintained cruelty-free production of products and is against animal testing. There has been some controversy over the past few months but MAC is still maintaining that they do not test on animals. 
Some MAC brushes do contain animal hair. MAC maintains that the hair is is farmed ethically and cruelty-free. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things I Know.. About MASCARA!


You know that black goop you smother your eyelashes with each morning? Well, do you know where it came from? Don't worry, I'm about to let you know.

Mascara, my personal favourite beauty product, has taken many different forms over the years and it's been made from a huge (and quite disgusting) array of ingredients. Mascara is used world wide and all for the same purpose, to make eyes look larger with lashes looking thicker, longer and curved up towards the sky.

Mascara is created with a mix of oil, wax and pigmentation. Oils used vary from mascara to mascara but the most commonly used are mineral oils, castor oil, lanolin and sesame oil. Waxes used are paraffin, carnauba and beeswax. They are dyed with Carbon Black chemical for black mascaras and iron oxides are used to create brown mascaras. Ultramarine Blue pigment is added to create blue and purple mascaras. Dodecane is used in waterproof mascaras and cerasin, gum tragacanth and menthol cellulose are used to harden and dry mascaras once applied. But these are all just words really.

To get a better idea of why mascara was created in the first place, lets take a look at the phenomenon of creating larger eyes on a bigger scale.

Dating back to 4000BC both woman and men were using a lead based powder called 'kohl' to darken their eyelashes, eyebrows and around their eyes. It was first used to ward off evil spirits from entering the soul and made from a mixture of charcoal, soot, animal stool, lead, copper and water. Once the colour had been created it was thickened with honey and applied too the eyes (I know, right? And you think your make up feels heavy..).

Moving up a few eras, women in the Western world never even considered putting any form of cosmetic enhancement on their face, it was dirty and unclean (yeah.. probably because it contained animal stool..). It was looked down upon and women were punished for it. It wasn't until the Victorian era that the whole thing shifted.

All of a sudden women were spending half of their waking hours on a beauty routine and trying to enhance their natural features. The first step towards cosmetics that Western women made was an attempt at longer, darker eyelashes. Many attempts were tried, the most common being heating a mix of soot and elderberry juice and applying the warm liquid to the eyelashes.

And then along came Eugene Rimmel, a French man living in London (I picture him to look exactly like Eugene Levi). In 1913 Eugene Rimmel took the newly formulated petroleum jelly and mixed it with coal powders to make a brush on liquid that he called 'Rimmel'. In fact, 'Rimmel' is still the translation for 'Mascara' in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Serbian, Persian, Greek, Romanian, Turkish and Portuguese today.


At the same time, in New York, T. L. Williams was creating a similar product for his sister, Maybel. Four years later, after the products success with Maybel and around his home town, T. L. Williams started a mail order business for the product and called it 'Maybelline'.


Even through the success of both these products, the cosmetic still had it's issues. It was messy, it took time to apply and would slip off the eyelashes during wear. In an attempt to create an 'easier to apply' product, a black dye mixed with cake soap was produced. The user would rub a wet brush against the soap and apply it too their eyelashes. While this product was far lighter to wear than a petroleum jelly based product, it was still messy.

Helena Rubenstein

All this changed when Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden stepped into the cosmetics scene. Both women had been observing the way mascara was used in European countries, primarily in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Mascara (still known as 'Rimmel') had launched and women were going crazy over the messy, goopy product.

Elizabeth Arden

As American consumers became desperate for something new, the two women released their own line of cosmetics, both included a cake mascara. Both brands became an immediate success in America and the women became powerhouses in the American cosmetics industry.

It wasn't until years later, in 1957, that Helena Rubenstein produced lotion based cream mascara that was sold with a brush. The cream was applied to the brush and applied to lashes. A couple of years later the mascara was released in a thin tube with the brush attached to the inside of the lid, the same way mascara is sold today. Mascara was now formulated with a mix of waxes, oils and pigmentation and it's still formulated like this today.

From there on, the formulas of mascara and the shape of brushes have changed from year to year with consumers continuously wanting something more, something better than they've used before.

The biggest innovation in mascara in most recent years was in 2005 with Procter and Gamble created a mascara want that was made of thermoplastic rather than nylon. The first mascara to use the brush was the Max Factor Lash Perfection, but many brands have followed their lead and have released their own mascara with a plastic brush.


So there you go, a history lesson you weren't expecting.
Let me know what you think of articles like this one and if you have any requests for future articles let me know in the comments below or send me an email at rebecca@easydress.org.

*Comments have been disabled because of the high volume of spam traffic this post has brought in. 

New Series - 'Things I Know...'


I'm starting a new series on EasyDress!

The 'Things I Know..' series will be based on a variety of topics, mainly cosmetic, and will span across the next few months. I'll be letting you in on all the information I know on things such as health, the history of cosmetics, make up artistry and general life lessons.

I receive emails from a lot of readers asking for advice on so many topics, I thought it would be good to incorporate this into my blog to share questions and knowledge with you.

If you would like to request an article on a specific topic, send me an email at rebecca@easydress.org or leave a comment below :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara -Review


My name is Rebecca and I am a mascara addict.

Name a mascara and I've probably tried it, I probably still have it too because I move from new mascara to new mascara so quickly that I rarely finish a tube.

I love eyelashes, they are the number one thing that makes your eyes larger and more vibrant. I wasn't blessed with naturally voluminous and long lashes, they're average and mediocre.

I have found some brilliant mascaras over the past few years and I've just found another, Lancome Hypnose Drama.

It is a blacker than black mascara with an odd shaped flat, curvy brush. It took a couple of attempts to work out which brush position works best with my eye shape but once I found it I was hooked.

It grabs every lash and pulls them up with an instant lifting effect. It separates and defines without clumping. It's not a really liquid mascara, more like a soft gel. It adds amazing volume in a few strokes and stays put all day.

I don't experience any flaking (dry mascara fall out) or slipping (mascara moving away from the ends of your lashes). I am content that I won't need to carry any mascara with me during the day because this one just stays put.
With no mascara

With Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

It does take a little practice, the first time I used this mascara it was clump-central and I had to take it off completely and start again.

Lancome Hypnose Drama has quickly become a favourite for me, in fact I've already purchased a back up tube.

Animal Testing: Lancome is owned by L'Oreal who do test on animals.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Should I be using Cream, Liquid or Powder Foundation?"


I am commonly asked this question and I am always faced with the same confusing answer, it varies from person to person.

Rather than saying 'This skin type should wear powder' or 'This skin type should wear cream', I thought it would be better to break down each type of foundation and let you asses which one would be better for you.

Powder
It is commonly misinterpreted that a powder foundation is the most obvious on the skin but that isn't true. When applied properly a powder foundation can look flawless and like actual skin.

Powder foundation is commonly applied with a sponge, dry for a lesser coverage or wet for a fuller coverage. It can also be applied with a fluffy brush for a dusting of sheer powder or to buff more coverage into less-than-perfect areas.

Powder suits most skin but those with a dry/flaky skin type should avoid it. It will emphasise any dry areas - no one wants that.
The benefits of a good powder is that you can really pick and choose your coverage. The cons are that cheaper brands of powders can look 'cakey' or too powdery once they're on the skin.

If you have combination/oily skin then you may benefit from a powder, they stay matte longer than most foundations and can help with oil control.
If you're worried you'll go to heavy on the powder you can always by a glycerin based foundation fix spray to take away any powdery look, MAC Fix+ is great for this.

If powder is your thing, I recommend MAC Studio Finish Foundation and Rimmel Stay Matte Cover Powder.

Liquid
Liquid Foundation is definitely the most common for multiple reasons. It is the most versatile foundation, any skin type can find a liquid foundation that suits them, it comes in an endless amount of shades, you can find any coverage that suits you and lower end brands make some really great ones. It is also the most produced foundation, many brands may only produce one or two cream or powder foundations but six or seven liquid foundations.
Whatever your skin type, coverage requirement or budget, you can find a liquid foundation to suit your needs.

Liquid foundation can be applied in many ways from brushes to sponges or even just with your fingers. You can layer liquid foundations to build coverage or mix them with a moisturiser to sheer them out. You can find satin or matte foundations or go to the other end of the scale to luminous and glowing foundations.

The cons with a liquid foundation are that it is more likely to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, it can oxidize on your skin (change colour), and if you have acne prone skin it can cause you to break out.

Just like with any type of foundation, trial and error is needed before you find one that is right for you. If liquid is your thing I recommend Maybelline Dream Liquid Foundation, Revlon Colorstay Foundation and Chanel Pro Lumiere Liquid Foundation.

Cream
Cream foundations are the least popular foundation because not every brand will carry them. Personally, they're my favourite type of foundation. Generally they are lightweight and have a fuller coverage. They can be applied with sponges, brushes or fingers just like a liquid foundation, however they are thicker and sit for longer on the skin, rather than settling and fading by the end of the day. They're great for any skin type but they're especially great for dry skin because they're typically quite hydrating.
Generally you will find that cream foundations are either water, silicone or gel based. Water is the most light weight, gel comes in at a close second and silicone is the heaviest (and the most flawless).

Cream foundations are easy to over-apply and typically they're harder to blend than liquid foundations (practice makes perfect). They're less likely to oxidise (change colour) than a liquid foundation and they're also less likely to settle into fine lines. A typical cream foundation will help neutralize acne scars or large pores and will stay put throughout the day.

If cream is your thing I recommend Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation and MAC Studio Tech Foundation.


If you have any questions or you would like a foundation recommendation based on your skin type and foundation needs, leave me a comment below :)

Current Redken Loves


If you haven't yet read about my recent hair care nightmare, click HERE. It involves flames, panic and a whole lot of damage - a riviting read.

So I've been trying out a few new hair care products lately and have also gone back to some beloved favourites.

After I burnt the crap out of my hair, I immediately purchased Redken All Soft Shampoo and the All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment. I've used both the products before and really loved them but always like to try new things.

The shampoo is really amazing, it feels like a conditioner when it's in your hair but cleans like a shampoo. It's really hydrating and nourishing. It does contain sulphates but it takes a bit of effort to get it too lather up so I'm assuming it's lower in sulphates than most.

The Heavy Cream Treatment is one of my all time favourites and I've been using it instead of conditioner. I towel dry my hair before applying it to help it absorb like crazy and leave it in for about 10 minutes. I use far too much of it to get a good cover over my hair but it is really helping to restore my dry, brittle, burnt hair.

The All Soft range smells amazing also.

Last but not least, my new favourite product - Redken Extreme Anti Snap
Not only does it smell like fruit salad  but it works so well at hydrating and protecting the hair. It discourages snapping and heals damaged hair. It's been a miracle worker and I'll continue using it even when/if my hair is healed. It's absorbs into the hair so quickly and is weightless and not greasy, so you don't need to worry about ruining your hair style. I use 4-5 pumps on my long hair.

Animal Testing: Redken is owned by L'Oreal who do test on animals. 

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Deep Cleansing Facial Wipes - Review


The past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me but I was determined not to let my skin get out of control. I started skipping washing my face in the morning to save time so I could rush out the door but within days my skin was showing the nasty results.


In an effort to treat and protect my skin while still saving time, I turned to facial wipes.

I tried a couple but eventually settled on the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Deep Cleansing Facial Wipes and absolutely love them.

They're a chemical wipe, so they're more harsh than other facial wipes but for troublesome skin like mine those chemicals are required.
If you have read my story on life with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (HERE) you would know that over the past few years my skin has become incredibly acne prone and if I skip washing my face morning and night I'm going to have a break out for weeks.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Facial Wipes are perfect for the morning because they remove any oil and sebum your skin has produced overnight and will tighten pores. They are treated with salicylic acid (like most facial cleansers) so they help heal existing break outs and prevent new ones from appearing.

They're oil free, non-comedogenic (they won't clog pores) and are able to remove make up very easily.

When it comes too facial wipes, these ones are thicker and more durable. They're not going to tear in your hand. They're also soaked with product so you can feel like your face is getting a good clean.

While they do remove make up, I wouldn't recommend using them for such. Salicylic acid should be kept away from the eye area and because they're so harsh you may find irritation if you're scrubbing your face with them.
A gentle wipe in the morning is what these wipes are perfect for.

I'll continue repurchasing, for those days when life gets in the way and I still want to take care of my skin.

Animal Testing: Neutrogena has made great improvements in their cruelty free goal and most Neutrogena products are no longer tested on animals. This particular product however was previously tested on animals.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Hair Care Nightmare!


If you follow me on twitter, or even find me posting on various beauty forums, then you may know that my hair has recently been on the receiving end of flames, melted metal, and a whole lot of smoke. Here's how it all went down..

What happened?
Every morning I run a straightener, a GHD, through my hair just to smooth it out after sleeping, I also curl the hair around my face to add extra shape and body, also with a GHD.

This fate full morning I was in a rush so I was trying to get it done quickly and wasn’t really thinking about what was going on around me.

When I finished straightening and went to go curl the front of my hair, I noticed when I was running my fingers through my hair that it felt really dry. Then I noticed a burning smell and panicked. I spend so much time and money making sure my hair is always incredibly soft and nourished. My hair felt brittle and dry.

I grabbed my bottle of Moroccan Oil and doused it with the stuff and decided to just finish my hair with the straightener and I’d have to figure out how to fix it later tonight.

I started curling around my face and suddenly my straightener started smoking. Stupidly I thought ‘I only have one more curl to do, just do it’. I clamped the hair straightening, turned it to make the curl and then disaster struck. As I moved the straightener down my hair it snapped, taking about six inches long and 1.5 inches wide of hair. The straightener had sparked and my hair was literally on fire. I grabbed it with my hand to extinguish the flame (yeah, don’t do that either).

The metal plate on my GHD has MELTED because it overheated so much. MELTED!

The Damage
My hair was left dry, damaged and incredibly brittle. As I touched my hair it would just crumble in my hands.

I had my hairdresser evaluate the damage and she said that it looked like I had fallen into a fire. She was shocked that this could even happen from a straightener, let along a GHD.

I had the option of buying a lot of treatments with the hope of reviving my hair or I could cut 5 inches of damage off the lengths. I chose the treatment route.



Finding a Solution
A few days later I contacted GHD, I sent them a polite but strongly worded email letting them know what happened. The hair I had treated so well was now literally falling apart. The next day I had a wonderful GHD Customer Service officer by the name of Jason contact me. He asked for my postal address and sent me an express post bag to return the GHD, no other questions asked. I sent him the straightener that afternoon and at 9am the next morning he called me to let me know he was sending me a new GHD and a few complimentary hair products (heat protectant and smoothing serum - ohh the irony, Jason, ohh the irony). He was wonderful though, he deserves a raise.

You might be shocked to hear that the whole experience hasn't turned me off using GHD products, in fact, it's made me love them just a little bit more.

When this whole thing happened, I tried googling it to see if anyone else has had a similar experience and found almost nothing. Obviously this is not a common problem with GHDs. While I was without a GHD I tried using other straighteners I had in my possession (ranging from $29-$300) and they just did not even come close to comparing too a GHD straighten. There is a reason we love these straighteners - they are the best.

So, four weeks on, I am now sporting a lovely side fringe/bangs (circa 2006), have quite a few more layers in my hair and am still fighting the damage left behind. I've been trying quite a few products that you will hear more about in upcoming posts. So far I've only had to cut off about two inches of over-all length.

The moral of the story? When your straightener starts smoking, definitely don't continue with that one last little bit. Apparently I had to learn this the hard way to properly understand.

OH, HELLO!


Oh hello! Long time to see/read.

As with all of us, sometimes work gets in the way of the important things in life - blogging.

The last few weeks have been pretty crazy for me and blogging has been at the front of my mind but I just haven't had the time to actually sit down and type reviews.

Never fear - I have returned from my temporary hiatus and you can expect to see reviews, hauls, general advice and perhaps a few more videos on Easy Dress.

Thanks for sticking with me, let me know if there are any products that you are anxious to read a review on or if you have any burning beauty questions you need answered.

As always, you can follow me on twitter HERE where I update on the regular or send me an email at any time, on any topic to rebecca@easydress.org

Looking forward to chatting with you all again,

Rebecca


PS: Winners of my MAC Tendertone giveaway will be announced this week.