Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My First Experience with Monat Hair Products

Hi Makeup Maniacs! As some of you know, I am always on the hunt for new and effective products that will help maintain my long, wavy, frizzy hair.  I recently tested out some hair products by Monat and wanted to share my experience.

Monat's products are sold through the company's "Independent Market Partners". So, it's kind of like Avon or one of the various other social marketing companies that exist in this day and age.  One of the Independent Market Partners, Lisa Stubbs, was kind enough to send me some samples; however, she stressed that the samples were just so that I can get the look and feel of the products, as Monat is "a long term solution, not a short term, magical fix". These hair products are supposed to maintain moisture balance and reduce hair thinning. All of the products do have a 30 day money back guarantee, so if they do not work, you can get a refund.

BEFORE using products

AFTER using products

Well, my first experience with these samples proved to be a long one. I was instructed to shampoo several times. According to directions, the last shampoo should produce a lather.  My first 2 shampoos did not produce lather, but the 3rd one did. My first shampoo was with the "Monat Black 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner" ($38 for 8 oz).  This product is supposed to be their most clarifying shampoo product, even though it also has conditioning agents in it. I used this shampoo first to clean up any residue left behind by past hair products. I actually liked the way this shampoo smelled and it made my hair feel clean, even though my hair did not lather up upon using it.

My second and third shampoos were with the "Monat Renew Shampoo" ($35 for 8 oz). This shampoo is supposed to increase your hair's brilliance and strength.  It is free from sulfates and with long term use, the company claims this shampoo will reboost the hair's natural balance. I honestly did not like the smell of this shampoo. It had a milky consistency that felt good, but when I was done washing, my hair honestly felt straw-like even while wet.
After all of that washing, I used the "Monat Replenish Masque" ($50 for 5 oz). I left this on my hair for 5 minutes while it penetrated. This product smelled good and made my hair feel nice after using it.
And if that wasn't enough, I used a conditioner after the masque. The "Monat Revitalize Conditioner" ($47 for 6 oz) is supposed to be a gentle conditioner that helps give the hair volume. I liked it.
And finally, I put a little bit of the "Monat Rejuvenique Oil" (sold for $99 an ounce) on the ends of my hair. I usually put coconut or argan oil on the end of my hair, so I was used to this step. And the Monat oil worked similarly. However, the company's website states: "Nourish and energize your scalp with an invigorating blend of 11+ unique molecular ingredients –including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids – that replace the body’s own natural oils!" so perhaps it's worth the high price tag???? In my opinion, no.
Final thought:  I really do think you have to use these products for at least 30 days to see any changes, including improvements.

I'm very happy I had the opportunity to try these products. I am not enthused by the high price tags, but I have read many testimonies regarding these products being quite good.  If you've tried any of these products, let me know what you think in the comments section. If you're interested in Monat, check out this site at http://sweethair.mymonat.com/ .  Hope to see you here again. 'Til next time...

Monday, August 21, 2017

P.R. Haul!

Makeup Maniacs today I posted a haul showing a few items sent to me by different beauty companies. Rest assured that my video was not sponsored. I'm just giving my honest opinion about these products by Oenvy, Nudu, and VII Code. Check out my video :-)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Don't Make Yourself Look OLDER!

Makeup Maniacs today I wanted to share some tips when it comes to looking younger.  As we hit the big 4-0 and beyond, we definitely don't intend on making ourselves look older than we actually are. Unfortunately, some of us will find ourselves doing exactly that. Here are some Do's and Don'ts for our age group.

Do - shape your eyebrows as thick and naturally as possible. Natural, full eyebrows balance out the face, allowing for a fresher, more youthful appearance.

Don't - tweeze your brows so thin that they look like whiskers. Thin eyebrows bring attention to the lower part of the face, which ultimately makes the face appear droopy.

Do - use a flesh colored eyeliner in the waterline. The nude liner makes your eyes look bigger, brighter, and more vibrant.

Don't - use black eyeliner in your waterline if your eyes are small. This will make your eyes look smaller and draw attention to the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

Do - plump up the skin by lightly exfoliating, moisturizing , and using a face primer.  These tricks will make your skin look soft and supple. The primer will fill in pores and fine lines, which will create a smooth canvas for foundation and concealer.

Don't - forget to exfoliate and moisturize. Dry skin looks dull. Makeup products will stick to dry areas and appear "cakey".

Do - use highlighters. Highlighters and  illuminizers lift the face and give a dewy, youthful look to the skin.

Don't - skip highlighter because you feel like a disco ball. Apply highlighter at the tops of the cheeks and bridge of your nose.

Do - use lip gloss to help make lips appear fuller. As we get older, we lose collagen and our lips thin out. Lip gloss will give lips shine and fullness.

Don't - forget lip gloss.

Do - keep makeup simple. This gives you a natural look. Less is more in this time of our lives.

Don't - overdo it with makeup. Going overboard just doesn't fly.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. And remember, these tips are just part of my itty, bitty, humble opinion.

Thanks for your support and please comment, share my posts, and check out my YouTube channel - Mel's Makeup Mayhem!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Almost 3 Years...

Hi Makeup Maniacs! I just wanted to "chat" a bit today. On August 10, 2014, I uploaded my very first YouTube video. So, it's been almost 3 years since I started my YouTube journey.

I honestly thought I'd have more than 2.4 K subscribers after all this time. I am grateful for my loyal followers, as many of them never miss one of my videos; however, I feel like I haven't gotten very far considering the time and effort I put into my channel. It really sucks when, in one day, I'll lose quite a few subs. I'm like, WTF?  I have seen other beauty channels that started out at the same time as mine, grow very large. I'm talking 12 K, 35 K, 140 K!  I thought the same thing would just naturally happen to mine as well. NOPE.

Sometimes I want to give up and just go away knowing that YouTube wouldn't miss me at all, but another part of me wants to continue because the thought of giving up on yet another hobby really grinds my gears. Besides, it really is kind of fun. I enjoy thinking that I'm helping people by sharing my experiences with the beauty products I've tried.

I have a 12 year old daughter and you all know how honest kids can be at that age. She told me that I am "too boring and need to expand my YouTube horizons". LOL! What the hell does that even mean?  Well, I know what boring means. Maybe it's because I don't go on fabulous outings and vacations, go on major shopping sprees, or even do anything really exciting on my channel. Or perhaps it's because my videos aren't highly edited, sponsored or produced.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out where I fit into the grand scheme of things on YouTube. I am one of a BILLION beauty vloggers on the network.  Hell, when I first started there weren't very many beauty vloggers who were over 40 years of age, but now, there are a plethora of those as well.

So, what is a woman to do?  My plan is to stick it out another year. Let's see where this road leads me.  Thanks for "listening".

Here's my first video, in case you're interested :-)  Compare this to my latest video and give me your constructive feedback.

 My 1st YouTube Video

                                                              My Latest YouTube Video

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bio Belle Primer Mask | Does it Work?

Hi Makeup Maniacs! I was intrigued by this primer mask I saw at ULTA and figured I'd try it out. It cost me $4.99. Come watch my video and see if this thing really works! If you've tried this mask, let me know what you think of it in the comments section. And don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog so that you always know when I add a new entry! ---------------------------------------------------------->

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nudu Natural Skincare

Makeup Maniacs, today I wanted to share the experiences I've had while using a few products by Nudu Natural Skincare.

Elizabeth, who works for the company, was kind enough to contact me back at the end of March. I agreed to try some of the products and she agreed to send me some samples. The wonderful part about this exchange was that I was never obligated to do a review or give feedback. I have just decided on my own to talk about 5 out of the 6 items Elizabeth sent me. I've been using these items for the past 2 weeks and here are my thoughts: 

The "Cream Cleanser" - This is a very creamy cleanser that is supposed to be good for all skin types. (My skin is normal to combo) It contains pineapple, pomegranate, hyaluronic acid, and botanical oils. This face cleanser is good for removing makeup and it does not lather. The non-lathering part is what I didn't like about it. I also felt like it left a film on my skin after rinsing.

The  "Reviving Toner" - Again, this product is supposed to work for all skin types. It contains botanicals, glycerin, and coconut oil. Before using this, you must shake it so that the ingredients mix well. This smelled like lemons to me and I enjoyed the way it seemed to clean my pores, as well as, moisturize my skin. This toner seemed to "remove" that film left behind by the Cream Cleanser.

The "Eye Cream" - This is the product I liked the most. It contains cucumber and hyaluronic acid which really calm and moisturize the delicate under eye area.  I gently smoothed this on and it just seemed to "erase" the day's stress.

The "Gentle Moisturizer" - Contains peach, camellia and kiwi oils, as well as, hyaluronic acid. It has a light scent to it. This moisturizer is not necessarily heavy, but does seem to take long to sink into the skin. I enjoyed this moisturizer, as it seemed to soften my skin without making me look greasy. I could wear this under makeup without an issue.

The "Cleansing & Exfoliating Sponge" - This is made from 100% organic konjac vegetable and is to be used every 2nd or 3rd day for exfoliating the skin. I think this did a good job of cleaning out my pores without stripping my skin of it's natural oils. After using it, my skin did seem brighter.

Overall, my two weeks using these Nudu Natural Skincare products, went rather well. I was pleasantly surprised. My skin seemed to acclimate to the products quickly and I suffered no breakouts. I am happy with my experience.  If you're interested in any of the items I mentioned, or just want to know more about Nudu, please check them out http://www.nudu.com

Have you ever tried Nudu? If yes, let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment!

'Til next time...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Makes YOU Happy? ☺

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  I was recently having deep thoughts about what happiness actually means to me. I'd like to share with you and pose the same question to you - What Makes YOU Happy? (Tell me in the comments section below ↓)

I think some of you know what one of the biggest things that makes me happy is: MAKEUP!  Lol!  If it didn't make me happy, I wouldn't spend time writing about it on my blog or making videos to post on my YouTube channel.  But, honestly, there is more to me than just that...

My family makes me happy. Seeing them excited, doing well, and being successful are the biggest joys. I've always said that my biggest accomplishments are Liana and Dominic - my children. Growing up, I knew that I wanted to be a mom one day and they both gave me the biggest, greatest opportunity to do just that. I am honored and humbled every day to have such good-hearted kids. They truly bring me joy + happiness.

Other than family, I am most happy when I am busy. I know that is kind of a broad thing to say, but it's true. When I am busy, I have no time for complaining or negative thoughts. I'm in the moment, doing whatever it is, even if it's cleaning my bathrooms.  I'm focused on the task-at-hand and usually enjoying what I'm doing. Taking pride in my "work".  Boredom is a joy-killer for me. Like the old saying, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop" when I'm bored, I think too much and those thoughts usually end up getting negative for some reason.  My mind and/or body has to be focused on something, except when I'm sleeping of course.

So that is a little on how I operate. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to share your thoughts below. 'Til next time...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Hi Makeup Maniacs! A few weeks ago I was accepted into a BrandBacker campaign to receive free samples of Finesse shampoo & conditioner to try. In return, I was to share my experiences via social media & my blog.
Although I am not a huge Kardashian - Jenner fan, apparently, Kim K & little sis, Kendall Jenner, swear by the Finesse brand of haircare. Since there's no denying that their hair always looks fabulous, I figured I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use these products for FREE. Despite the fact that these products were sent to me free of charge, all opinions are my own, honest thoughts. And no one paid me to write them either :-P

I'm sure I've used Finesse at some point in my lifetime (the brand has been around since 1982), but it has obviously been a long time, because I don't remember liking the products or how they worked for me. This time around, I had to really pay attention to see if they'd work for my long, wavy, color-treated, somewhat coarse & frizzy locks.

Before Finesse

I washed and conditioned my hair 3 separate times with the Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner to truly get the impact of these formulas. After washing & conditioning, I let my hair air dry, as I usually do. Here are my thoughts:

1. The scent of both the shampoo & conditioner is clean & fresh, but not overpowering, so it doesn't linger very long or clash with the perfume I wear. 
2. The shampoo lathers up quite nicely, which is a huge thing for me. Although the lather is rich, it rinses clean quickly.
3. Both the shampoo & conditioner seem like very moisturizing formulas, which is perfect for my damaged hair. They made my hair feel less dried out.
4. The price is right! You can buy 13 oz. of this stuff for $1.98 @ Walmart!

After just ONE use! 

Cons -
1. The shampoo contains sulfates, which I've been trying to avoid because the long term effects of their use include: dryness of the hair & scalp, increased hair loss, and fading hair color :-(

After 3 Uses!

As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons. I think these products are great for someone with frizzy, wavy to curly hair. They'd work even better for someone who didn't dye their hair.  Overall, my experience with the Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner was a good one. I'm happy I tried them & I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants nice looking hair at a low price!

Have you tried this particular brand of haircare?  What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments section below & thanks for stopping  by! xoxo

Buy Finesse here:  

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Beauty Memes/Quotes

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  Just wanted to have some fun today, so I leave you with these fun beauty quotes & memes:

Friday, February 17, 2017

5 Random Facts about Me

Hi Makeup Maniacs! Today, I wanted to do something a little different...I wanted to share a few random facts about me.  So, here we go!

  1. My full time job consists of working with disabled adults. I help link them to in-home services and then follow up with their progress via quarterly face-to-face visits.
  2. I started wearing makeup at approximately age 14 during my first year of high school.
  3. I got my belly button pierced at age 27. I wore a ring in it until I was 7 months pregnant with my first child (age 31). 
  4. I wore braces from 6th grade until 8th grade.  Had a new smile for high school :-)
  5. I started writing poems in 5th grade. I still have a notebook with everything I have ever written. The last thing I wrote was completed about a year ago.

Well, I hope this information helped you to get to know me a little better.  I challenge you to write/publish 5 Random Facts about YOU - whether it's via a blog, Twitter, or Facebook - just do it! It's fun.

'Til next time...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bye Bye Beauty!

In 2016, I set out to use up a lot of makeup.  I did pretty well with this challenge, although I feel as if I could have done better.  If you're interested in seeing what I used up, please watch my latest YouTube video :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Empty Beauty Products for December 2016 & January 2017!

Hi Makeup Maniacs! I haven't done an empties video since November 2016, so I thought it was about time to share the things that I've used up since then.  I hope you find my mini reviews helpful :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Time to Save Money

I recently had an epiphany and wanted to share. I have realized that in 2016 I spent way too much money trying new makeup & skincare products.  Very few items are sent to me for public relations purposes.  Sometimes when I am offered free items, I don't feel comfortable accepting because they're coming from companies I've never heard of, so I pass.  Therefore, most of the products that I use and review are bought by none other than moi. 

I realize that my obsession has taken a life of it's own and although my collection is smaller than many other women's, it is quite large for me.  I could never get through all of the makeup I have, even though I wear makeup EVERY. DAY.  There's just too much of it. 

So, today, Makeup Maniacs, I have declared that it is time for me to save my money!  In 2017, I am turning over a new leaf...I will be using makeup items from my stash and only purchasing NEEDS, not wants.  For example:  Do I need a new foundation when I have 13 foundations sitting on my vanity?  No.  Now, once all of those foundations run out, will I need ONE new foundation? Yes, one! Lol! 

Despite this change, I hope you continue to enjoy my blog posts and YouTube videos.  Stay tuned, as on January 23, 2017, I will be posting an "empties" video - showing items I have finished up and stating whether or not I would recommend them to others.