Rethinking Drugstore Hair Systems: L'Oreal Paris Vive Nutri Gloss Shampoo/Conditioner

I was a bit skeptical when I first tried L'Oreal Paris Vive Nutri Gloss Shampoo and Conditioner, as I've gotten used to my Paul Mitchell Super Skinny line. However, I have been using this for two weeks, and I am very, very impressed! Makes my hair super soft, shiny, and helps with the frizz factor that I am forever fighting. While it's supposed to be for medium to long damaged hair that is wavy or curly, I would think even short coarse hair will benefit from this system. It won't weigh your hair down, and it won't leave a build up that is hard to get off.

Seriously, my only complaint is that the conditioner bottle won't sit upside down in my shower, and what kind of lame complaint is that? But I like to not have to shake it up and down and fight to get product out - I like everything to be easy and handed to me on a silver platter. That's just how I roll.

But this line has made me seriously rethink how I have traditionally approached drugstore shampoos: I obviously didn't give them enough credit. My stylist will be crushed that I'm not getting my supply from him anymore!

Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion

I really, really, really wanted to like Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20. No, I wanted to fall in love with it. Anything that helps my skin look matte, I want to use every day, all the time. But I honestly cannot think of one reason why anyone should buy this product. Not a single one.

First of all, the price is absolutely outrageous. Outrageous as in $42 for 1.35 oz. This is not a moisturizer. This is not any sort of treatment for any other skin problem except oil control. This means that you are applying this over your La Mer, or whatever moisturizer you're using (which in my case is currently Bliss Steep Clean Moisture Lotion, but whatever).

Secondly, it doesn't really do what it claims to. Here are the claims from Sephora's website:

Clinical trials using state-of-the-art high resolution tools measured:
-44% reduction in sebum levels
-39% increase in mattification
-37% reduction in pore size
-35% reduction in visible shine
-19% increase in hydration

Now, let me throw a disclaimer out there: I am only one person with my own experience. You may find this product works really well for you. My skin is very oily with large pores and without any treatment at all, I can blot off a great deal of oil two hours after cleaning my face. You may not have such an extreme case, and this may do exactly as it is supposed to for you. I can really put these products to the test, however, and I did notice a bit of mattification, perhaps four hours worth. A slight reduction in sebum levels and visible shine. I don't need the hydration, so that was irrelevant. I saw no change in pore size.

I personally wouldn't recommend this for anyone. I'd recommend someone use a good moisturizer with oil control and mattifying properties already in it, and a very good primer. Those two things, plus an occasional blotting paper is all you need.

Allure Magazine Beauty Giveaways in August

Allure Magazine is giving away a ton of really great stuff in August! Clothing, shoes, bags, and lots and lots and lots of beauty products. A grand total of 34,328 items will be given away over the month, and there is no reason why you can't get your hands on some of it! Here is a fantastic slideshow that gives you a visual of everything they are giving away, and because I am a complete geek, I have made you your very own calendar! Yes! Simply click here to subscribe or download the calendar (you can use it in your Google calendar, Outlook, iCal for you absolutely awesome Mac users, and most other calendar apps), and it will give you the name of the item, the time and date it is being given away, a reminder message already programmed into it, and the URL needed to get in on the giveaway. Enjoy, and good luck!

For Your Beauty News Fix: Beauty Corral

Looking for an easy way to get the best of the beauty blogs out there on the interwebz? Check out Beauty Corral, where the best beauty stories each day are posted. You can vote on them, comment on them, and even submit your own if you have something to share. Go sign up - it's super easy - and get to sharing your own news! I'd personally love to see more "face of the day" photos. Be sure to friend me as well - I'm Retrodiva over there, just like I am everywhere else!

Meanwhile, Over at Ulta

Sephora gets all the play. I know, it really is a great store and I spend far more time in there than any person needs to. But in honor of our upcoming Ulta store here in Virginia Beach, I'm sharing some of the goings on over there. You don't have to actually visit an Ulta store, you can always shop online.

The first special is $3.50 off any $10 purchase. Just use the coupon code 94514, but be careful: this can't be used with fragrance, hair artistry brands, Pureology, prestige cosmetics, GoSMILE and T3.

Next up, you can receive a free weekender bag (which I can't seem to find a picture of online, but maybe they don't have it up yet) with any men's or women's fragrance of $30 or more. It's available in three colors, and really looks cute. Use the code WEEKENDER BAG at checkout.

To help you spend your $30 in fragrances, they have some new offerings:

  • Dirty english, 1.7 oz. $52
  • Davidoff Adventure 1.7 oz. $47.50
  • Intense Euphoria Men 3.4 oz $68
  • Ed Hardy for Women 1.7 oz $55
  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Silk Elixir 1.7 oz. $70
  • Covet Pure Bloom by Sarah Jessica Parker 3.4 oz $68
Ulta Smoothies come in 8 different scents and look pretty delicious. They are on sale 2 for $20.

Also in bath and body, you can receive a free bangle cuff watch ($40 value) with any Ulta Bath, Ulta Smoothies, Ulta Spa, Prestige Bath and Bath Accessories. Use use code WATCH at checkout.

Other bath and body products are on sale for 20% off:
  • Vitabath
  • Earth Theraputics
  • Ulta Spa
L'Oreal has some free gifts going on, and you can use the first coupon I listed for these:
  • Free eye shadow or eyeliner with any mascara purchase
  • Free blush, powder, or concealer with any foundation purchase
And some Buy One Get One Free offers:
  • Revlon cosmetics and beauty tools
  • Ulta lip, eye, and nail products
  • Garden Botanika
  • purminerals pressed mineral foundation
If you don't have a pair of Tweezerman tweezers, what is wrong with you? Get some funky animal print ones for 10% off. These don't appear to be online, but you shouldn't have any problem getting them in the store.

A whole ton of cosmetics are Buy Two Get One Free, plus your coupon above. Am I looking out for my Recessionistas or what? Seriously, this is a great time to try out some new stuff without spending a small fortune.
  • Cover Girl Cosmetics (seriously consider the Eye Enhancers 3 Kit Shadow)
  • Almay Cosmetics
  • Max Factor Cosmetics (if you don't get the Vivid Impact Eyeshadow Duos, you're crazy)
  • Japonesque Brushes and Beauty Tools
  • Jane Cosmetics
  • Sally Hansen Lip and Nail Cosmetics
  • Physicians Formula Cosmetics
  • Rimmel and Rimmel Underground Cosmetics (my love for the Rimmel Underground Liquid Eyeliner is well known - grab it if you can find it)
  • Nic's Sticks Paint and Go Lacquer (I love the portability of these)
  • Neutrogena Cosmetics
And no worries - plenty of hair care here as well. Buy Two Get One Free offers:
  • Nioxin
  • Joico
  • Alterna
  • Goldwell
  • L'Oreal Professionnel/ARTec
And finally, if you join their email list, they will send you a coupon for a free nail polish. Downside? It can only be redeemed in the stores with a future purchase. But it's there if you want it. Just hop on over and subscribe.

Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer

Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer

And even more from Make Up For Ever HD line. Primers have been an essential part of my makeup routine for awhile now. At first, i thought the whole thing was rather gimmicky, and just another step and another product that I needed to get my face on. After using a primer, however, I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference when it comes to mattifying and keeping my foundation on longer and looking better. I would love to try this in combination with the HD foundation and translucent powder that are also part of this line and see if it makes even more of a difference than a standard primer.

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I am so excited about this liquid foundation! I have the HD Translucent Powder, and I love it. It really does help with a flawless finish, especially for those who have some skin imperfections that they need to somewhat cover up. This is designed to cover up and give you a natural no-makeup look. While no one expects the impossible, makeup designed for high definition TV is a ray of hope for those of us who can't always rock the natural look without some help.

Experiments with Emerald Coast

I'm really having fun playing around with the new Max Factor Vivid Impact Eye Shadow Duos. This one is Emerald Coast, and it's a bright blue/green combo.

I started with MAC Paint Pot in Groundworks, and used the blue from the Eyeshadow Duo. In the inner corner of each eye I brushed the green in, blending it well with the blue. Then I took my blending brush and lightly went around the entire eye, going underneath to pull it all together. I decided I needed some sort of highlighter towards the brow bone, so I used my new MAC Colour Forms Richmetal Highlighter in Rose Boullion. I did a very thin black line around the entire line with Too Faced Lava Gloss Eye Liner just because my day isn't complete without some sort of actual eyeliner. And because I was just feeling this whole blue/green combo, I did one coat of Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers then added my under-used Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in a teal color that is no longer available, unfortunately. Then I finished off the eyebrows with my Urban Decay Brow Box. Love that thing.

Sephora Brand Beach Glow Melted Body Butter

Sephora Brand Beach Glow Melted Body Butter

This is a deliciously rich, jasmine scented, gold-flecked body lotion that gives you quite a beach glow after you put it on. Not content with just adding a bit of shimmer, this lotion gives you a bronze tint along with that required shimmer. I love using this after a good application of self-tanner and while wearing a sundress. And it's a very reasonably priced body lotion as well. You can grab this 5 oz. bottle for $16 at your local Sephora.

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About Me

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites and She is also known as @retrodiva on Twitter. She specializes in drinking large amounts of espresso, shopping, and enjoying social media. In all of her free time she writes for twice a week, and does various other freelance gigs involving writing, designing, and generally being awesome. While she believes that success is indeed a job in New York, she currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two cats and has hung on to her day job.