Many call me a "product whore", my husband especially. This is due to the fact that at any given time my vanity looks like the cosmetic section of the local department store or CVS. Not to mention the cabinets under the sink, floor of the shower, and sides of the tub in every bathroom of our home! I should seriously contemplate buying stock in Sephora, Ulta and Target or at the very least get a part time job there to get a discount!
My poor husband gets heart palpitations everytime we enter a 2 mile radius of the aforementioned stores and my debit and credit cards start shaking!
SO in order for less people to have to shell out the exorbinate amounts of money that I have to try and hate products and services I am going to do the testing for you! ANYTHING at all from products to clothing fit! Ask and I will try and answer! In this economy every penny counts so let me help you same some pennies and get the best for money and time!
Lite, mindless reading is one of my favorite parts of summer! I love to read books that don’t entail any thinking or following of complicated plots! Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious weakness for reality TV shows and especially the ones in the Housewives Franchise on Bravo! While I was living in Hoboken and pregnant beyond belief I became addicted to The Real Housewives of New York. My all time favorite ”Housewife” was Bethenny Frankel. So when she branched out on her own show and began writing I was a tried and true follower. I always say that, given the opportunity, I think she and I would be fast friends! (Not to mention her husband is from a small town near where I grew up and attended the University of Scranton when my brother was there! All very Kismet!)
Anyway I was feeling a little reading warn out having just read all of the Hunger Games trilogy however when I came across skinnydipping by Bethenny Frankel in the aisle at my local store I knew it was the perfect book to get me excited about reading again and kick start my summer reading!
The book seems to be based loosely on Bethennny’s’ actual life, chronicling the life of Faith Brightstone an aspiring actress, who really just wants to be famous and accomplished. After a skip across the country to try her hand at the L.A. scene, Faith finds that her heart and life are still back in NYC regardless of the loves she has had and experience she has gained in L.A.
Upon returning to New York City, Faith begins her own healthy muffin line and by a true chance of fate she is approached about being a participant on a reality show under the supervision of her all time idol Sybil Hunter, the Domestic Goddess herself, who has always been a true inspiration to Faith. Throughout the filming of the show many people from Faiths past life in L.A. seem to spring up making for many comical and complicated situations!
All in all this book made me smile because it truly felt like I was sitting in my family room listening to Bethenny tell me these stories herself! It was written perfectly in her vernacular and her undeniable personality really shined through!
Was this a noble prize winner…NO! However it was a great beach read for when you are relaxing on the beach watching the kids and stealing moments here and there for yourself! And if you are a Bethenny fan, as I am, I think you will really love it!
For a non-Bethenny fan I would give it a good B- for a summer beach read.
And for the Bethenny enthusiasts I give it an A!!!!
The Review Raven
I am sure that judging from my curly hair posts you can all gather I have a, sometimes, unmanageable head of hair! It is frizzy, unruly and just sometimes plain old ugly! Being the mother of two I find that, much to my husbands hatred of my readying time, long hair just works better for me. If I blow it out straight I can get as many as 3-4 days out of one washing! (That is barring I get no syrup, yogurt or other food stuff rubbed in it! LOL) However I had hit a rut in my product use. I felt like nothing was really making my hair WOW worthy anymore. You may wonder why I don’t just break down and get a Brazilian straightening treatment and the answer really is that I still do enjoy a curly hair day every now and again! So in order to keep my hair flexibility I went on the hunt for a new hair reviving product. The hair gods led me to Moroccan Hair Oil Treatment and Frizz Control!
OMG! This stuff really works! It makes my hair thick and healthy looking with an amazing sheen and shine! The most important part is that is doesn’t weigh down my hair and make it greasy and flat! The manageability these products give me is amazing!!! The price tag did at first make me sweat but honestly the results are worth every penny.
I highly recommend both of these if the summer humidity and heat is making your mane a disaster! Take a deep breath before you hit the check out and realize that the results are worth the whack to the wallet!
The Review Raven
Moroccan Oil Treatment $42
Moroccan Frizz Control $36
I was meandering around Target the other day when I came across a bottle of nail polish that I was convinced could NEVER work. It was Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color(it included a magnet on the lid!). Sure the idea of it in theory was genius! Nails with textural looks with no “artistic” talent needed other than being able to paint ones own nails! I decided it was worth the incrimental cost to give it a whirl! (I mean $8.99 SERIOUSLY!) After applying the polish myself and seeing it actually worked I decided to head to the professionals so I could post a pic!
Today I went to TLC Nail Studio on Maple Avenue in Clarks Summit to my good friend Christine Verdetto to get a professional manicure using the polish and I have to say I am addicted!
The color itself is easy to apply. You apply a base coat as usual and then a first coat of color to all ten of your nails. When applying the second coat it must be a bit thicker than the first and directly after applying the second coat you hold the provided magnet over each nail one at a time! And the result is amazing!!!! A nail that looks almost marbelized! Finish with a top coat.
Now there are a few draw backs to this product. The colors are amazing I used “Red-y Response” and “Graphite Gravity” . Though I really like each of the colors, they are bit dark for the spring and summer months, they are more autumnal! Also the textural effect is amazing but the magnet in itself needs to be a bit curved because unless you rotate it a bit when using it the effect only really appears on the portion of the nail directly under the magnet, hence missing the curved sides of the nail.
All in all I think it is an amazing product for a fun manicure for a spicy night out! You can find the product at your local pharmacy or all purpose store.
I give the Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color aB+!!!
But my manicure from TLC Nail Studio gets anA+!!!! Their new space on Maple Avenue is amazing and the girls are a joy to visit with for an hour while indulging in a little TLC! Call today and make an appointment (570)586-0586
The Review Raven
So… I first have to apologize for my lengthy hiatus. After starting the blog my job as a mother of two really took over. However I can promise that I have had my eyes and ears open to the latest trends and new product launches.
I have quite a line up of things to come. I have decided to make a few changes to the blog. The posts will now cover things that effect every facet of life, from fashion to health and beauty to parenting and just everyday life experiences. I have been through a great deal in the past few years including, my husband being laid off twice (we are currently living through this), the birth of two children and all that comes with them, more moves than I care to admit and much much more! I believe that we can all learn through others experiences, be them fruitful or not, so I am willing to do my best to help in any way I can.
With all this said I hope I can entice you to follow along on this journey. If I can guarantee anything at all it would be that there will be lots to learn!
The Review Raven
So with two children under three keeping up with my writing is a challenge, however not as big a challenge as my frizzy hair in this HORRENDOUS heat and humidity! After looking like Roseann Roseanna Danna from Saturday Night Live with no product, a crunchy mess with Quidad and an oil slick with Twisted Sista I decided I needed to hit the pavement yet again for the perfect curl product.
My travels took me to Ulta where I found the dark angel of Curly Hair products! Deva Concepts has a line “Calling All Curls” and let me tell you they can call my curls anytime! I was a little leery because the daily cleanser, amusingly called Low Poo (hahaha), is sulfate free and usually my hair doesn’t feel clean after using such products, but it does lather a bit, just enough in my opinion, to make my hair feel clean. I followed the shampoo up with the One Conditioner, which is thick and really left my hair feeling clean and soft once rinsed.
After towel drying my hair (with a regular towel, they did sell a special one but I thought it was just a gimmick) I used a wide tooth comb to get all the tangles out and then I used the piece de resistance fittingly named “Deva Curl Angel”. This light-hold defining gel is absolutely amazing. Once I had used the blow dryer with a diffuser my hair felt and looked like someone else’s. I swear it was curlier than I have ever seen it, shiny, not greasy and SOFT! The curl definition was amazing and I can safely say my frizz was kept at bay all day!
As if the performance of the product wasn’t enough the smell is like heaven! I am not usually for the floral smelling shampoos, I tend to gravitate towards the fruity ones like Bed Head Products, but this is the lightest most wonderful smell, alot like gardenias!
So all my curly haired sisters RUN don’t walk to your local Ulta or other Salon store and get this line! It is well worth the mid-high price because you will look and feel amazing!
Needless to say this line gets my stamp of approval and an A+
I have to admit that I had high expectations of Ouidad. I have been hearing things about the products and salon for years but have not wanted to part with the money to take a trip to the Ouidad Salon and get an “assessment”. So I was overly excited when I stumbled across the product line on my last venture to Sephora! (Yes my husband survived without a coronary…)
So before using the products I headed out on the information highway to see if there were any videos out there of Ouidad’s particular way of applying the products, known as the” Rake and Shake Technique”. After watching a tutorial I felt confident I could make it work!
On my maiden voyage I applied the Tress Effects Styling Gel for curl definition and frizz reduction and used my diffuser attachment and hairdryer. My curls were AMAZING! HOWEVER they were crispy! Which I really DO NOT like! So I vowed to try it again and let my hair air dry. I was DETERMINED to make this work cause my curls really did look awesome. Again crispy and worst even was the fact that it got dusty when my curls would crunch! I looked awful!!! I made sure it was evenly spread and used the “suggested amount” and it was a nightmare!,
But being the crazed woman I am I went back for a third time using a different Ouidad product thinking maybe the dust and crunch were just from the gel. Well I was WRONG! I used the Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel, which was more like a serum, again I had amazing curls from afar, but get up close and they were a crunchy, dusty mess! The third time was definitely NOT the charm.
Needless to say I am out the cash from buying this apparently fabulous product! I would NOT recommend it!
I give it a D! If you don’t mind a little crunch and dust you’ll love it!
The Review Raven
Ouidad Tress Styling Gel-$15
Ouidad Humidity and Heat Control Gel-$9
So my journey to the land of perfect curls has begun! The first stop on my adventure is Twisted Sista by Urban Therapy. I found this little product while perusing the isles of my local Target!
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by its frizz fighting abilities! I started off with the Curl Activator which is formulated to “activate curls and eliminate frizz”. It was a nice cream with a wonderful fruity smell! After blow drying with a diffuser I used a small spritz here and there of the 30 Second Curl Spray, which is formulated to revitalize curls. (I used it to tame any left over frizz after styling.)
All in all I really liked this product. It left my hair with beautiful ringlets and the curls were soft not crispy.
My only one complaint was that my hair was a bit greasy the next day. I think was due to the fact that this product may be targeted for those with course hair.
I give this product a B+!
check out their website for where you can pick up your own Twisted Sista products…
Do you have unruly curyl hair?! Crazy frizz that drives you nuts?! Then my next series of posts will be FOR YOU! Having curly hair is a challenge, and nobody understands that challenge better than me. I have spent countless dollars on every curly hair product known to man. From the drugstore brand to the products the cost hundreds of dollars for the line and won’t even touch the humidity induced frizz of hot summer day.
So I have vowed to make product shopping easy. Over the next 30 days (or more) I am going to test out a handful of haircare products that cover every price point, and bring you the best for your hair and wallet! SO if you suffer from the “Summer Fro” stay tuned to the Review Raven for all the hot products and tips to wrangle the jungle locks!
In my experience of getting waxed it tends to be overpriced and never exactly what you thought not to mention excruciating! Well look no further than your nearest European Wax Center! This franchise is new to me and has proven to be worth every penny.
On average, in the Hoboken/Jersey City area, a Brazilian Bikini Wax can run anywhere from $50 to $75 dollars! And honestly up until I visited European Wax I was never thrilled with my experience. Let me give you a brief example. I recently gave birth to my second child and leading up to the “Big Delivery” I needed to get things in order down below. I made an appointment at a posh spa in the area and went into the whole thing with no thought at all assuming with “name and price came quality”. BOY WAS I WRONG! At 8 months pregnant I left the spa with a HORRENDOUS wax, with hair still all over clearly not a Brazilian, a very tired credit card AND to make matters worse my pretty panties were WAXED to me!!!! Needless to say after having to RIP them off I will never ever go back. I had reserved myself to shave for life or go native!
After hearing about European Wax Centers from a friend and realizing I could not see below my growing baby bump to shave I decided I would give them a try lest I cared to look like I had Don King in a leg lock!
WHAT A DIFFERENCE! First off the facilities are spotless and gorgeous! And the PRICE CANNOT BE BEAT!!! Let me explain… I will only delve into the Brazilians and will attach their website so you can check out the rest of their menu offerings! OK so a Brazilian Wax is an unheard of $39! AND if you are a first time guest to the company you receive half off! That means a Brazilian Wax for $19.50!!!!! ( not to mention if you are not the Brazilian Wax type of girl you can get a free Eye Brow Wax or Bikini Line Wax for FREE your first visit!) And the wax is AMAZING! It is virtually PAIN FREE!!! There are no strips, gooey wax and most importantly NO DOUBLE DIPPING! They use incredible products to prep your skin and to soothe it after! I have never had such an amazing beauty experience.
I cannot even begin to expand on all their amazing packages that make body waxing and maintence affordable for everyone!
So with summer upon us and beach and pool season here make your “landscaping” Quick, Easy, and Painless!
Check out the NEW European Wax Center in Jersey City.
389 Washington Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302