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Teeny-tiny Ulta Haul

{2 of my 3 drawers for lip products}

I started to organize some of my makeup this weekend, and posted this picture on Instagram.  My second cousin commented that I don't need anymore lipstick, so of course, I went to Ulta today to buy more...  I wanted to swatch a few eye shadow pallets, and check out the NYX Butter Glosses.  This is my new obsession.  I go and swatch something, and then sleep on it before buying...  After the Urban Decay Naked 3 fiasco, one never be too careful...

I love Urban Decay, it's no secret... LOVE them!  I can't wait for the day when I own every.single.eyeshadow.  Imagine my excitement when last December the Naked 3 eye shadow palette was released...  It was all anyone in the beauty blogosphere and on Youtube were talking about, I couldn't wait.  Of course I went out and bought it the morning it came out... Ulta hadn't even managed to get it on the display yet.  I brought it home, opened it up... and... womp womp.

The eye shadow palette as a whole, is full of warm, pinkish shades...  which I know I don't ever wear... Really warm eye shadows {think MAC Woodwinked} tend to make my skin look really sallow and sickly.  Pink, mauve, red, and most warm purples and reddish-browns make me look like I've got a case of contagious conjunctivitis, a la Bob Costas; but this is Urban Decay, so I purchased it anyway.  I owned the palette for a total of three days and then returned it after about twenty people asked if my eye was ok.  What a disappointment.

Anyway, today I went to swatch the Smashbox Full Exposure palette to see if maybe it's something I want to buy.  I also wanted to check  out the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette, and some of their other palettes.  I'll say right off the bat that the matte colors in the Smashbox palette were beautiful.  however, half of the shades are shimmery, and those were not good at all.  There was a ton of glitter {to the point of mad fallout}, but the color payoff just wasn't there... They were almost sheer.  I was so sad, because the palette is beautiful! I really loved the Too Faced Natural at Night palette and the Boudoir Eyes palette as well as three  Stilla palettes: The Natural, Not So Nude, and Dare to Bare.  I don't own any Stila products, except for a trio I purchased a few years back {and have never used}.  I loved the products when I swatched, I'm just not sure about their quality, any thoughts?

Anyway, I left feeling defeated, but not empty handed... Oh no!  I got a few little goodies.


From left to right: Maybelline Color Elixer by Color Sensational Lipgloss in Petal Push, NYX Butter Gloss Sweet Temptations Trio - Éclair, Cherry Pie & Apple Strudel, NYX round lipstick in Paparazzi, & NYX Roll-on Eye Shimmer in Pink {for a fun Valentine's Day look}, NYX Blush in Bourgeois Pig.

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L'Oreal EverCream Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

I just did a review of the L'Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner, if you haven't read it, or purchased the product yet… what are you waiting for?!  Because I love that product so much, I decided to try the L'Oreal EverCream Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner {roughly $6.00 each}, mostly to see if I could save anytime in the shower.  This system claims to be for "dry to very dry hair," they also have just a "Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner" for normal to dry hair.

Lately, I've been all about my sleep, but with work and going back to school, it feels like I'm not getting any!  I give myself roughly 30 minutes every morning to get ready, and haven't quite mastered the "shower before bed" thing yet.  I purchased my shampoo and conditioner at Walgreens and couldn't wait to get home to try them.

The Claims
Here are the claims from Ulta's website:
EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo gently cleanses and deeply restores lost moisture. The intensely nourishing formula instantly wraps each strand with rich moisture, leaving very dry hair healthy-looking and manageable without weighdown.
Introducing formulas so gentle, yet so nourishing. Free of harsh sulfates, and heavy coating waxes Evercreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System, with natural Omega-3 & 6, infuses moisture without weighdown. These triple action conditioning formulas leave hair luxuriously soft and shiny while natural botanicals invigorate the senses.
  • For dry to very dry hair
  • Triple action hydration; No harsh salts
  • Paraben-free; Sulfate-free; Natural botanicals
  • 100% vegan--formula not tested on animals, no animal byproducts
  • The claims were very similar to those made for the EverCream Cleansing Conditioner.  I was excited to try it.  All I have to say is, what a disappointment!  I won't even bother making a pro and con list, because there were no pros!

    The shampoo had the same "claiming to be vanilla" smell the cleansing conditioner has, but the conditioner did have a more pleasant scent, which was more like vanilla and less like the formaldehyde/snicker-doodle scent.  The shampoo was a typical sudsing shampoo but didn't feel as "creamy" or as thick as shampoos I'm used to using… it felt almost watery.  As every shampoo has done since I started using the Cleansing Conditioner {including my beloved but expensive Pureology Hydrate}, it made my hair feel dry, straw-like and tangled after I rinsed it.  I couldn't wait to use the conditioner.  Whenever I wash my hair with the Pureology Hydrate shampoo, I look forward to the silkifying effect of the conditioner.  It takes that tangled mess and smooths it out and makes it soft… it's like a nice moisturizing bath after a day playing in the mud…

    I slathered on the conditioner, from root to tip and let it sit for the usual two minutes…  I ran my fingers through it, and… nothing.  So I rinsed it.  My hair still felt dry and straw-like, and was still a tangled mess.  I conditioned again, for three minutes this time.  Same result.  Are you kidding me?!  Even a $2 bottle of Suave conditioner makes my hair soft and smooth, even if it is greasy and weighed down!  I conditioned a third time, for two more minutes, and then quit.

    When I got out of the shower I grabbed my tangle teaser.  I couldn't even run it through my ends!!! Anyone who has a tangle teaser knows that thing is a miracle tool, it combs through anything without breaking the hair… and it got stuck.  I grabbed my Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Conditioner, Agadir Argon Oil, and tried again… I could comb through my hair, but it was rough.

    After blow-drying, my hair felt super dry, and straw-like It looked really dull and had zero shine.  It had no volume, was flat and wouldn't hold curl.  I saturated it with oil and leave in conditioner, and left for work.  After school, I went to my brother's house so my sister-in-law could give my ends a trim.  "Wow, your hair is super dry!  Maybe use a K-Pak when you get home..."  

    Don't get me wrong, my hair is color treated, so my ends do get a little dry, but I would never describe myself as having "dry hair"… it's oily for sure.  Needless to say I was annoyed.  I went straight home after my trim, and applied my K-Pak Protein Reconstructor for five minutes, and then the Intense Moisture for another ten minutes.  I then let my hair air dry and coated the ends in coconut oil.  I left the oil all evening and all night, and rinsed it out in my shower this morning.

    I shampooed with the cleansing conditioner this morning and used my Pureology Hydrate conditioner on the ends… my hair is back to normal, smooth, soft, tangle free and shiny.  I was really disappointed, as much as I love the cleansing conditioner, the Intense Nourishing products were anything but.  The bottle claimed it was for people with "dry to very dry hair."  If it had such a terrible drying effect on my oily hair, I can only imagine what it would do to someone with "very dry" hair!  I returned them this morning and will never repurchase.  Never.

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    L'Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner

    I mentioned in a few of my YouTube videos {over a year ago!} that I was going to review L'Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner… and I still haven't.  I've been using this product for nearly two years, so I figured it's probably time!

    I, just like any beauty product junkie out there, have spent many sleepless nights watching Chaz Dean work his magic on the Wen Cleansing Conditioner informercials.  I was always curious, but never brave enough to pull the trigger and buy the $30+ non-shampoo…  Then one day my mom purchased it.  I tried it… once… and hated it.  Mostly because (1.)  I didn't really know how to use it and (2.)  It had silicone in it.  

    Us fine haired beauties can't use products with silicone, nope, not even all those Frizz-ease products.  While they're intended to make the hair look shiny… it just makes my hair look greasy.  Anyway, my mom hated Wen as well.  It's not a fair conclusion, especially because I only tried it once, but for $30 I expected it to work magic!  I still loved the idea of Wen though...

    I don't know how I even came across this L'Oreal Product, I never use "drugstore" shampoos and conditioners, so I can't imagine I was perusing the shampoo isle.  I have fine hair, but because it's color treated, so I need a lot of hydration but not something that will make my hair stringy and flat.  I've come to discover that Pureology's Hydrate line is the only system that keeps my hair from becoming too dry or damaged.  I've used it for years {5+ years}, and occasionally switched to a Biologe shampoo/conditioner.  I love Pureology products, so it was going to take a miracle for me to switch, but an inexpensive alternative would have done it.

    The Claims
    L'Oreal Paris' website has the following statement on their EverCream Cleansing Conditioner:
    "Tired of dry hair? Discover a gentle, luxurious regimen to nourish and moisturize your hair without the weighdown. EverCrème Sulfate-Free Moisture System is free of harsh sulfates and heavycoating waxes. It uses botanical ingredients with Omega- 3 & 6 and a triple action conditioning system to moisturize naturally. Hair is left completely nourished for incredible hydration, softness and shine."
    Ulta's Website makes the following statement:
    "This one-step wonder product is an ultra-gentle, yet powerful combination of 1/4 cleanser + 3/4 moisture. It's low-lather cleansing that reduces friction of the hair fiber to help minimize breakage. This innovative, ultra concentrated triple action conditioning formula, with Omega-3 and 6, leaves hair super soft and nourished without weighdown. You're one step away from luxuriously soft, manageable hair. Perfect for all dry hair types.

  • Low-lather
  • Sulfate-Free
  • Triple Action Hydration
  • No harsh salts
  • Paraben-Free
  • Natural botanicals
  • 100% vegan"
  • I purchased the cleansing conditioner at CVS for roughly $6.00.  I was skeptical to say the least, but went home immediately to try it out…  As you'll see in the claims made by manufacturers and sellers, this shampoo is "sulfate-free."  I've heard all about the sulfate-free trend for years, but didn't know much about it.  So I looked into it.  Sulfate-free shampoos don't have foam producing agents in them, while these agents aren't "dangerous" as some reports claim, they do cause hair to be dryer and color fade more quickly.  Essentially, a sulfate-free shampoo makes curls curlier, hair shiner, and color last longer.

    But even with the sulfate-free claim, I wasn't sold… My Pureology claimed to be sulfate-free and the shampoo still created glorious suds in the shower {sure to the Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate}!  EverCream Cleansing Conditioner also claimed to hydrate hair without weighing it down, minimize breakage, and leave the hair soft and shiny…

    The Process
    To test it out, I first watched a Wen video on YouTube to get instructions on how to use a cleansing conditioner…  This was SUPER helpful.  Most shampoos, I pour in my hands, create a lather, and slapt it on my hair.  I sort of just "gloss over the surface" without doing much work, and voila!  My hair was cleaned.  Cleansing conditioners however are SO different!  Because they don't later, it feels like washing your hair with conditioner…  No one conditions the same way they shampoo, they really have to work the conditioner into the scalp and hair instead of just "gloss over" it.  The process is similar with a cleansing conditioner.

    So to start, I parted my hair down the middle from forehead to scalp.  I used one pump and evenly distributed it along the part.  I then made another part 1/2 way between the center part and my hairline on the right side, and applied another pump's worth of product. Then I applied another pump  Along my hairline.  I repeated this on the left side.  I then took another full pump and worked it into my ends.  Almost immediately, I was amazed by how soft, de-tangled and manageable my ends became!  It was like I was conditioning them!

    I then started to massage my scalp along the crown, down the back, and the sides.  I spent a good few minutes on this… Again, because it didn't lather, I wasn't sure I was getting all of my hair cleaned.  I worked my scalp until I was sure I'd covered every inch.  I ran my fingers through the first inch or so of my roots to make sure they were clean as well, and then I rinsed.  

    Normally when I use shampoo, my hair becomes a big ol' tangled mess and feels a little bit dry.  It's not until I rinse the conditioner that my hair lays down normally.  After rinsing the cleansing conditioner, my hair laid flat against my neck/back and I could easily run my fingers through it without tangles or resistance!  Uh.may.zing!

    Now with this product, you don't "need" a conditioner.  It says to just use the product from the nape of your neck to you ends a second time… so I did, and rinsed again.  Another key to this product is in the rinse.  It's important to rinse the hair until the "water runs clear."  Originally the water will have a white tint to it, so really rinse and work your hands through your hair until the water is clear to make sure everything is out.  

    I got out of the shower, and used my tangle teaser to comb through my hair.  Usually, after I shower, I spray my hair with a leave-in conditioner {Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In}, and my Agadir Argon oil before brushing it out.  This time I didn't use either and I was dumbfounded at how easily my hair detangled.  

    After blow-drying my hair was soft, manageable, shinier than normal, and had more volume, even without mousse!!  My ends were a little dry, so after that, I still used my Hydrate conditioner on the ends for extra moisture.

    The Pros
    It works!  All of the claims proved to be true.  My hair was shiny, soft, tangle free, my color has lasted longer, and I don't use as many moisturizing, de-taingling products as I did before.  I don't use mousse anymore because I don't need to.  I've also noticed that my hair is growing faster, probably due to the scalp stimulation from massaging, and my hair is healthier and has much less breakage than it ever has!

    The Cons
    The L'Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner is amazing… but after two years of using it, there are some "cons," however none of them, {or all of them combined for that matter} are enough for me to stop using this product.  
    • Smell.  The first time I used this product I was totally put off by the smell and figured maybe I got a bad batch.  It smells like a cross between burnt snicker doodles, and formaldehyde (remember dissecting pigs in Science lab?!).  It doesn't stay on the hair, but it's not pleasant.  I with they would use essential oils like tea-tree or lavender {like Pureology does} to improve the smell.
    • Time.  Because this isn't a "slap it on, rinse it off" product like I've found most sudsing shampoos to be, I definitely spend more time in the shower.  I HAVE TO take the time to massage my scalp and my hair to really "scrub" the dirt and oil out.  Sudsing shampoos seem to just rinse that stuff away in their bubbles.  Because it's so hydrating, I can go longer in between washes, so I take full advantage by only washing every other day or every two days to avoid all that extra time in the shower.  
    • Amount. I've discovered that I use more of the cleansing conditioner than I did shampoo.  When I'd dispense my shampoo, one pump {or a quarter size} would be fine.  However, with the cleansing conditioner, I use roughly 6+ pumps of product.  Luckily, it's inexpensive and on sale a lot, because I go through a bottle roughly every month.
    • Residue.  when I first started using this product, I lived in an apartment where my bathtub and shower were combined…  I want to preface by saying that now that I have a separate bathtub and shower, I don't notice this anymore…  Anyway, my old shower/tub drain was a little wonky, and would fill about 1/2 inch with water every time I showered.  I would notice that the cleansing conditioner would leave a pinkish-yellow spiderweb like residue on the walls of my tub once that water drained.  It wasn't a big deal, I just had to clean my shower more often.
    • WTF Factor.  The last con, I like to call the "WTF factor."  That's because about 1 out of every 10 times I use this product, after I've blow-dried my hair I say "WTF?!  My hair looks more greasy than it did before I washed it!?!"  This is 100% user error, and not a con of the product, but it's something I feel I need to mention.  I mentioned in the "process" section that this is different than using separate shampoo and conditioner.  So, the process for cleansing the hair is different.  If I don't take the time to really clean my scalp and roots, if I don't use enough product, or if I don't thoroughly rinse the product out, my hair will end up greasy.  It really does feel different even before I blow-dry.  It's tangly, stringy, and feels heavier… it looks like I put conditioner in my hair and didn't rinse it…  Ick.

    I love this product!  LOVE!  I've used it for two years and don't foresee using anything else.  Occasionally I'll shower knowing I don't have the time to use it, so I'll got back to my Pureology Hydrate.  As amazing as that shampoo is, and as expensive as it is, it now makes my hair feel straw-like and tangled!  I'm really not a fan!  I've grown used to the smell, and if I know I have a quick morning, I'll wash my hair the night before to avoid the WTF factor.  Like I said, there is nothing I mentioned in the "Cons" that will make me change my mind about it.  It's amazing… My hair has never been healthier, longer or stronger, and I know it's because of the L'Oreal EverCream Cleansing Conditioner!

    4 out of 5 stars

    Be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 where I review the  L'Oreal EverCream Intense Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner!

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