Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Suave and Fashion Star.. Tuesdays on NBC!

Hey everyone! Have you been watching NBC's newest reality show Fashion Star? I watched the pilot 2 weeks ago, and I have to say that I'm seriously impressed! 

Up and coming fashion designers have to create different pieces of clothing each week for 3 buyers from H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macys. Top price wins the clothes, and they're available for sale online right after the show ends or in stores the next day! If no buyer makes an offer, the designer is up for elimination at the end of the show.

The most exciting part of the show is watching the models wear the clothes on the runway for the stylist mentors (Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie) and the buyers. I've always loved seeing how hair, makeup and fashion can come together.. and with these awesome designs, Maybelline makeup artists and Suave Professionals celebrity hair stylists.. the finished looks are amazing!

I've been loving watching Celebrity Stylist Theodore Leaf's weekly recaps and video tutorials on how to recreate the models' hair at home. Suave also sent me some great new products to try, which I'll have reviews up on soon!

In the mean time, they did send me an extra bottle of their new Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo which I absolutely LOVE (you can read my review of here), and I figured today would be a perfect day to do a flash giveaway of it.. since the third episode of Fashion Star airs tonight!

This giveaway is open to US Residents ages 18 and over and will run from 12:01 AM EST Tuesday, March 27, 2012 until 12:01 AM EST Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Anyone under the age of 18 is more than welcome to enter, with prior parent or guardian consent.

To enter, you must be a follower of MandysSecrets via GFC. I will need the name you follow me by for verification purposes. You may also gain 2 entries by following Suave on Twitter, 2 entries for "liking" Suave on Facebook, 1 entry for following NBC Fashion Star on Twitter, and 1 entry for "liking" NBC Fashion Star on Facebook. Total number of entries that can be obtained are 7.

Rafflecopter will be collecting the entries for this giveaway. Once the giveaway has ended, winners will be notified and have 48 hours to claim their prize. If they have not claimed their prize within 48 hours, they will regretfully be disqualified and another eligible winner will be selected at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Be sure to watch the newest episode of NBC's Fashion Star featuring Suave Professionals products tonight (and every Tuesday) at 10/9c and don't forget to stop by and watch celebrity stylist Theodore Leaf's "Behind the Scenes" recap after the show on Suave's Facebook page!

If you've missed any of the previous episodes, you can catch up on them at the NBC Fashion Star site! I know I definitely need to sneak last week's episode in before I tune in tonight. :)

***The product in this giveaway was provided to me by a representative of the company or their PR Firm for consideration.***

Monday, March 26, 2012

REVIEW -- Gillette Venus & Olay Razor

Hey everyone! Today I have the second review from my Love VoxBox to share with you. This one is on the new Gillette Venus and Olay Razor that hit store shelves in Mid-March. Now, I have to be honest and say that when it comes to razors.. I'm totally not girly at all. I usually just use Chris' shave gel and bum his razors. Mainly because I don't care if I use guy products (...But he will not be caught dead using women's. Go figure!) and I have stubborn body hair, so guy's razors generally work better for me anyways.

I was a little skeptical of trying this razor because I just didn't see how it would work without using additional shave gel, but.. I'm a guinea pig so you don't have to be!

The Gillette Venus and Olay razor has five blades, the standard Venus pivoting head and soft grip handle, and two Olay moisture bars: one is petrolatum and the other is glycerine. The bars release a light lather when wet, so like I mentioned above.. you don't need to use extra shave gel.

Here's the product information from Gillette:
Venus & Olay Razor
For the first time ever, Gillette Venus, a global leader in female shaving, and Olay, a global leader in skincare, are coming together to deliver a gold standard in shaving with the new Gillette Venus & Olay razor. Venus’ best shaving technology works with Olay Moisture Bars, offering women best-of-both-worlds shaving and skin expertise. Olay Moisture Bars help lock-in moisture to your skin for less dryness, and with every smoothing stroke, Venus’ five blades shave you close.

Product Details
  • Venus’ five-bladed razors shave you close and adjust to women’s curves for a smooth and comfortable shave, even over tricky shaving areas like knees and ankles.
  • Olay Moisture Bars contain skin-enhancing elements found in Olay products: Petrolatum helps lock in skin’s moisture for less dryness and Glycerin helps offer that goddess glow! Just wet the razor to release a light lather – no separate shave cream required.
  • As with most Venus razors, new Venus & Olay also features a rounded, pivoting head designed for women’s curves, and a soft-grip ergonomic handle for confident control, even in wet and soapy environment

Where to Buy
A refillable Venus & Olay with one replacement cartridge sells for approximately $8.99-$10.99. Packages of three replacement cartridges are available for about $14.99 - $19.49.
Venus & Olay will be available starting March 15, 2012 at food, drug, convenience and mass merchandise stores throughout the United States.  

The razor cartridge was very easy to snap on and remove. And y'all.. can I be honest? My first use of this razor changed my shaving life FOREVER. It cut my shaving time in half. Literally. It was the best thing ever! I just wet the razor under the shower and swiped it up my legs. It was so quick and effortless! My legs were SUPER smooth, and I didn't get razor burn (which I get all too frequently.) Same awesomeness with my underarms as well. Plus I was still pretty smooth the next day! That never happens!

The only thing I could see this razor not being good for would be the bikini area. The moisture bars make the head of the razor pretty big, and I think it would be very difficult to try to shave a straight line (or other details) in such a small area.

I'm impressed with how long the bars have lasted. I've probably used the razor 7-10 times for both legs AND arms, and I still have about 1/3 of the moisture bars left, but they are starting to get pretty small. Other than that, the blades are still in great condition. I've looked for the replacement cartridges at a couple of different stores when we've been out, but haven't been able to find them yet. Hopefully I can find them soon!

I am absolutely in LOVE with the Gillette Venus & Olay razor! I probably never would have tried it on my own, but now that I have.. there's no way I can live without it. I never thought I'd say this, but shaving is actually a pleasant experience for me now! I can't wait to find the replacement cartridges because I'm terrified of having to go back to using a regular razor and shave gel if my bars completely wear away. I am thrilled to give this products a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 stars!
RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MUSINGS -- Makeup with SPF.. Does It Provide Enough Protection?

Hey everyone! I recently had a discussion about makeup with SPF, and it got me thinking about how effective it really is. Actually, several of my face products have SPF in them, so does that mean that I have even more protection? I did some research to find out...

Even though many makeup products now include SPF in them, it isn't the best way to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. The problem with only relying on your makeup for coverage is that it can wear off during the day, or clump up and move around your face due to excess oil or repetitive touching/rubbing.

It's definitely best to take a minute and apply sunscreen before your makeup, but if you can't stand the thought of adding one more step to your morning routine (trust me, I know it can be overwhelming enough as it is!).. make sure you at least choose a moisturizer with SPF in it. Apply it to clean, dry skin and give it a minute to absorb into your skin before applying your makeup.

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Hopefully this was as enlightening for you as it was for me. I'd never really thought about just how much SPF protection I was getting from my makeup. I just thought "Oh, SPF.. cool." It's certainly a good reminder that you can never have too much protection when it comes to the sun!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

REVIEW -- Kiss Nail Dress Stickers

Hey everyone! Today I'm excited to share my first Love VoxBox review with you! I received the Kiss Nail Dress Stickers in KDS11.  They're kind of an abstract metallic silver and black giraffe-ish type print.

The nail stickers come in a sleek package that contains 28 stickers in various sizes that can be used on either fingers or toes, directions and nail art ideas (cutting the strips into pieces and combining with their ImPress stick on nails), and a 2-sided nail file. They are also supposed to last up to 10 days.

Here's the product information from Kiss:

Kiss Nail Dress

Fashion That Sticks
Introducing Kiss Nail Dress, ultimate nail fashion for tips and toes! Just peel, apply, and shape for a manicure that lasts up to 10 days. On in minutes, off in seconds without remover. Nail Dress is available in 18 different styles, many of them featuring 3-dimensional jeweled designs. Check out Peplum, a deep black with multi-colored gems for a pop of color, or Babydoll, for a golden and glamorous jeweled look. Skip the topcoat, Nail Dress has it built in.

With 28 strips in each package, you can cut up your extras to create designs that can be used on top of polished or artificial nails. Nail Dress doesn’t dry out the way other polish strips can, so you can save them to use on your next DIY mani. A nail design booklet is included in each package, just in case you need a little inspiration.

And don’t forget about your feet! Nail Dress looks awesome on toes, too – just use the square side of the sticker for a perfect fit.

Where to Buy
Nail Dress’ suggested retail is $6.99 and is available in all major drug chains and mass retailers like WalMart, CVS and Walgreens.

Visit KissNailDress.com to learn more!

The stickers are plastic and smell like a pool float when you first open the packaging, but the smell fades quickly. If you've ever used Sally Hansen Salon Effects Strips, these are exponentially thicker (again, because they're plastic).. but that actually comes in handy if you need to re-position them. The Kiss Nail Dress stickers peel up very easily, and I was able to move them around 3 or 4 times with no trouble to get a perfect placement.

The strips were quite a bit longer than my nails, so I trimmed most of the excess back with nail clippers and then used the nail file included to file the rest off. Unfortunately, the file they give you is very coarse and I was hesitant to use it on my natural nails. However, it is necessary to use since the stickers are so thick. I tried a couple of other files and they couldn't wear through the plastic.

I know the product info says that you don't need to add top coat, but I decided to go ahead and use it (especially along the free edges of my nails) to give these the best possible chance of holding up well. I'm about 24 hours in and so far so good! I probably won't leave them on for the full 10 days, though.

Finally, enough talking! Let's see what they look like in action:

oooOOOooo... Preeeeettttyyyyy!!!!

I really like these! I've tried the ones with the 3D baubles and I didn't like those at all, but I would definitely be willing to try another pair (or two!) of the regular ones. They're easy to apply and definitely a great value.. 28 strips for $7? Uhh... #WINNING! They would be great for people who want unique and interesting nails but don't have the time or confidence to do nail art.. I would definitely use them for a girls' night out or something! I only wish I didn't have to use such a harsh nail file to get the excess product off, but other than that I have no complaints! Thus, I'm very pleased to give the Kiss Nail Dress Stickers 4.5 out of 5 stars!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 STARS

Friday, March 23, 2012


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today's Friday Favorite makes me look like an overgrown five year old.. and I'm okay with that!

I may be just a little obsessed with Timmy Time, which is an offshoot from Shaun the Sheep.. which is an offshoot from Wallace & Gromit. Actually, if I'm being totally honest.. I'm obsessed with all three. :X

My best friend recently got me a Timmy stuffed animal for my (very belated) Christmas gift, and it's so stinkin' cute! I just love little Timmy so much and I want to take him everywhere with me!

So.. yea.. Timmy's totally my favorite thing this week. He's sitting on the edge of my laptop, staring at me while I type this!

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Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Confessions from Beauty Retail...

Hey everyone! As I'm sure most of you know, I work in beauty retail. I can't say where, exactly.. but if that orange picture up there gives you any clues.. I'm sure you can figure it out.

I've been debating writing this post for a while, but I'm actually not going to shine a bad light on my employer. I see all of these "Secrets of the Makeup Counter" articles that make us out to be demon bitches and they frustrate me, because they're not accurate to my experience at all. 

I want to kind of break down that customer/employee barrier today and tell you what it's like at my work. Now remember that I can only speak for my company, and not even all stores within the same company operate the same. But based on my job experience, this is what I've learned:
  1. Upselling isn't big in my store. I'm not told to sell you the most expensive product first. Instead, I'm told to ask how much you're willing to spend and work within that range. I'm also not told to tack extra products on to your purchase, but if we're out of something you wanted then I am supposed to offer you a similar product. We want you to leave happy, not broke and with buyer's remorse.
  2. I know the all black clothing can be intimidating, but I'm not here to judge or scare you. I genuinely want to help you find products that will work for you. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to talk makeup with people all day long! I love sharing my favorite products, so please don't be scared to ask for help. It's really what I'm here for.
  3. On the flip side, please also realize that I am still human. There are days where I wake up late or have to clean up cat puke in 7 different spots while I'm trying to get ready, so I may have minimal makeup and less than stellar hair. However, I do still have feelings, too.. and your open judgments of my appearance can (and do) sometimes hurt my feelings.
  4. I'm a nice person, and I don't mind helping you out. But my store has policies that I have to abide by. Yes, half the store doesn't qualify for the coupons. I know, it sucks. But that's because those companies have it written into their contracts that allow us to sell their products. I'm not trying to screw you out of money.. the computer won't take the coupon even if I scan it.. and if I manually override it, I could get in big trouble. I'm all for helping you out, but not at the detriment of my job.
  5. I'm always going to be honest with you. If I know we get a specific product returned all the time, I'm going to tell you before you buy it. I'd rather dash your hopes and dreams than tell you it's "the bestest thing EVERRRRR!!" and know that you'll just return it in three days when it breaks.
  6. You can TOTALLY return stuff even if you've used it. Our return policy is 60 days, but you've got to have everything that came with it (free gifts included). My location requires that the product still be 3/4 of the way full when you return it, but I think that's still pretty lenient. We want you to love what you buy. If something's not working for you, let us find something else that will.
  7. I am not legally allowed to advise you on boxed hair color. There are a couple of reasons: Namely, I'm not a chemist and have no training on the chemicals. Also, there's no telling what you've done to your hair in the past, and everyone's hair is different.
  8. Unfortunately, I can't just give you samples. 99% of ours are a free gift with purchase, and they are actually a part of our inventory and have to be scanned out with the product. If not, it can fall back on us. And if the security camera footage gets pulled and we're found to be passing out product samples like candy, we would get in trouble. We're not cool like Sephora, and we don't make samples for you. I'm actually telling you the truth when I tell you I don't have any that I can give you. Want to know the BEST way to get samples? Be awesome and appreciative. If you make my day a little bit brighter, I'll definitely hook you up when I can!
  9. Items that aren't on the shelf really are out of stock 9/10 times. We have a VERY limited inventory of surplus stock in the back. If I tell you it won't come in til Tuesday, it's pointless to keep after me to "just go look in the back." I do truck every week, I know what we did and didn't get, and I'm only going to go look if I legitimately think we have it. Otherwise, I'd rather spend the time calling another store to find the product for you.
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And there you have it! Some confessions from the other side of beauty retail.. were they things that you suspected, or did some take you by surprise? I know sometimes it's easy to forget that employees of stores are actually people, too.. especially if you've never worked a retail job.

Oddly enough, I have a love/hate relationship with retail. While I could never do clothing retail again if my life depended on it, I have a strange love of working with cosmetics. Granted, I don't think I'd like working at a department store makeup counter, but I'm actually very happy with the company I work for now. I get to give great guest service, and spend all day talking about makeup and hair products! Plus, my coworkers totally appreciate my nail art every time I have a new mani.. and what blogger wouldn't love that?! ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

NOTD -- St. Patrick's Day Mani!

Hey everyone! Happy St. Patty's Day!! Are you wearing green?? :) Sorry my post is so late today, but after completing this mani last night, I was too exhausted to take pics and edit them.. so I had to wait to do it after I got off of work today.


  • Pure Ice -- Wild Thing
  • Sinful Colors -- Irish Green
  • Zoya -- Ivanka (2 coats)
  • Sinful Colors -- Call You Later

  • Sinful Colors -- Paradise
  • Sinful Colors -- Snow Me White (prep for nail art)
  • Sinful Colors -- Black on Black
  • Sinful Colors -- All About You (Copper Glitter)
  • Sinful Colors -- Irish Green
  • Color Club -- Poptastic (Pink)
  • Color Club -- Wham! Pow! (Orange)
  • Color Club -- All About You (Yellow)

:gasp: It's my elusive right hand!

  • Revlon -- Gold Coin
  • Sinful Colors -- All About You
  • Pure Ice -- Wild Thing
  • China Glaze -- Glittering Garland

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NOTD -- "Eye Popping Poppy" Glittering Half Moons

Hey everyone! Today I have a fun NOTD for you! This Spring, I'm loving anything poppy.. and Ulta is squelching all of my lemmings. They have new poppy scented bath products, poppy-colored lip gloss, and (of course) poppy nail polish! I'm loving it!

I immediately knew I wanted to pair my bright poppy polish with a neutral one to achieve one of Spring's hottest trends.. and I settled on a simple half moon mani, since I haven't done one in a while. Honestly, though, this is one of those manis that just kept evolving.. but I absolutely adore how it turned out!

I started with a base of essence Modern Romance, which is a very delicate pinky-nude. Then I applied a coat of SV and used hole reinforcers for my guides as I painted Ulta's Eye Popping Poppy on my tips. Something was still lacking, so I dabbed some essence Space Queen on top of Modern Romance for a little sparkle, and it looked better.. but there was still something missing. I applied a row of silver hex glitters on my ring fingers for some bling, and it was perfection! One more coat of SV sealed everything in and made it nice and shiny!

What do you think? I'm sad I'm going to have to take this off for my St. Patrick's Day mani.. But I've been looking forward to that one for a while! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NOTD -- Claire's Candy Shop

Hey everyone! Today, I have a very festive NOTD for you. This is three layers of Claire's Candy Shop over one coat of OPI's Pink Friday. Candy Shop is a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Candy Shop, and is basically polish plagiarism perfection. I mean, really.. How often do you see a dupe share the same name as the polish it's duping?!

Claire's Candy Shop is a sheer pink jelly packed with multi-colored glitters. It's basically like a party in a bottle and I love it. However, I am DREADING removing it. I've already got our tin foil sitting at my polish spot. I think the foil method is the only way Candy Shop is going to come off.. but look at it. It's totally worth it, right? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Have a Guest Post Up On Red Lip Gloss!


Hey everyone! I'm thrilled that my dear friend Christina from Red Lip Gloss asked me to do a guest post for her today! I decided to do another Design Seeds inspired mani just for the occasion. The palette I used this time is sugared {neon}, which is pictured above.

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Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Wow. It's hard to believe that it's been one whole YEAR since I started MandysSecrets! First and foremost, I'd like to thank each and every one of you.. whether you stop by every day, or you pop in from time to time. Your support and comments mean everything to me, and while I could technically keep posting even if no one read my stuff.. y'all really are the most important part of my blog!

On top of that, I've made fantastic friends in the blogging community, and they make me feel so normal. (What, you mean you DON'T have 500 bottles of nail polish just chilling in your room? Or you can't list every seasonal collection from every polish company by name? Pfft...)

So to thank y'all for all the love and support you show me, I've got a fun little giveaway for you! It has two prizes, which means two winners! 

Here's what's up for grabs:


  • ELF Mini Makeup Collection
    • 9 eye shadows
    • 1 cream eye shadow
    • 1 blush
    • 1 bronzer
    • 10 lip gloss shades
    • 1 brow powder
    • 1 eye liner pencil
    • 1 dual ended eye shadow applicator
    • 1 face brush
    • 1 small precision lip brush
  • ELF 4 piece Spring Nail Polish Set
    • I BELIEVE the colors are as follows:
      • Coral Dream
      • Flirty Fuchsia
      • Party Peach
      • Smokin' Hot

  • ELF 24k 15 piece Eye Shadow Palette
  • ELF 4 piece Shimmer Lip Gloss Set
    • Sorry, I can't find out the colors without opening the package!

This giveaway is open to US Residents ages 18 and over and will run from 12:01 AM EST Sunday, March 11, 2012 until 12:01 AM EST Thursday, April 12, 2012. Anyone under the age of 18 is more than welcome to enter, with prior parent or guardian consent.

To enter, you must be a follower of MandysSecrets via GFC. I will need the name you follow me by for verification purposes.

Rafflecopter will be collecting the entries for this giveaway. Once the giveaway has ended, winners will be notified and have 48 hours to claim their prize. If they have not claimed their prize within 48 hours, they will regretfully be disqualified and another eligible winner will be selected at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, March 10, 2012

NOTD -- Revlon's Charming + IMPORTANT NEWS

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend is going well! Can I just say how impressed I've been with Revlon lately? Before last year, I had no Revlon polishes, and no desire to own any. But since they've been creating great DL dupes and really upping their polish game (Royal, I'm looking at you..), I've collected quite a few bottles.

The one I'm sharing with you today is a newer shade called Charming. Charming is a cheerful, blue-toned, lilac pastel creme. It's absolutely perfect for spring and flattering on all skin tones. Application is a dream. It can even be a one-coater! Shown here is two coats, though.. because I'd rather be safe than sorry. The polish levels itself out perfectly and I can get about 6 days out of it when I pair it with a generous coat of SV.

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And now for the important news! TOMORROW IS MY FIRST BLOGIVERSARY! AHH! I'm so excited! Be sure to stop by because I'll be celebrating with a great giveaway!

Also, if you haven't "liked" me on Facebook or followed me on Twitter, be sure to do so because I have a giveaway lined up for each of those as well!

Friday, March 9, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- Ulta's Moisture Intense Body Butters

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today's Friday Favorite is something I'm sure I've talked about before: Ulta's Moisture Intense Body Butters. Gah. I love these things.

They're super rich and formulated with shea butter and sweet almond oil, and they do a great job at keeping my hands and body feeling hydrated and soft. Plus they smell amazing! My favorites are Passionberry Vanilla (pictured above), Mandarin Mint, Pomegranate Lime, and a new one called Precious Poppies (it smells similar to Coach's Poppy Flower perfume!)

I keep one in my purse, one by the bed, one at my nail station and one by my chair. They come in 6 oz tubes which will last you forever, and they retail for $9 a piece, but the Ulta brand bath products are pretty much always on sale: B2G1, B1G1, B2G2, etc.

If you haven't checked them out, I definitely suggest giving them a try! :)

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Hope everyone has a great weekend! Mine will be spent working, as usual.. but it's okay. Hubby ended up picking up an extra 12 hours at work this weekend so we won't really have time to see each other much anyways. Sad face. :(

Be sure to check in over the weekend.. It's going to be a big one for MandysSecrets!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

REVIEW -- Suave Scalp Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Suave's newest Scalp Solutions for you! They are an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner that nourish your hair with coconut and shea butter, while fighting flakes and leaving your hair healthy and shiny.

While I can't say that I currently have "flaky" dandruff (but I definitely have in the past), I've noticed that winter has been a little harsh on my scalp and I had some excess buildup that didn't really need to be on my head. Needless to say, I was really pleased when I received these in the mail!

The first thing I noticed about the products was the packaging. It's very sleek, and I like how the shampoo and conditioner bottles are flipped so that you don't accidentally confuse them in the shower. The second thing I noticed was the smell. It's AMAZING: like a rich, creamy coconut. It's strong, but not overpowering and not distinctly coconut either. I don't quite know how else to describe it. The scent also stays with my hair for most of the day, which is practically unheard of for me.

And the third thing I noticed when I went to use the shampoo for the first time was its consistency. It's rather unlike any shampoo I've used before. It's thick, but not unpleasantly so, and it's not unmanageable to work with. Instead, it's kind of like a sunblock. I think that comparison is aided by the fact that it smells like coconut.

The Suave Scalp Solutions Shampoo has a nice, rich lather, which I appreciate in my shampoo. I feel that it really cleans my hair and I don't have to wash my hair multiple times (even at its dirtiest!) to make it feel clean. The Scalp Solutions Conditioner is nice and thick as well. It detangles my hair well and makes it manageable without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

When I've used other dandruff shampoos in the past, they tend to strip all of the moisture and shine out of my hair and leave it dry and lifeless. I was thrilled to find that after using the Suave Scalp Solutions and drying and styling my hair, it is soft, shiny, and looks incredibly healthy. If I got a trim and had fewer split ends, I'd almost say that I have shampoo commercial worthy hair!

With repeated use, the excess buildup on my scalp has cleared up and I've noticed that I'm able to stretch my hair into second day hair now (!!!), most likely due to the oil that my scalp produces not getting trapped in that yuck.

However, ladies with color.. be warned. My purple and black dyes ran worse when I use the Suave Scalp Solutions Shampoo. They ran so much that my black has faded down to a much softer black, and my purple has faded out to some horrible ashy gray color... within less than a month. That could just be my hair, but I think it's worth noting. In all fairness though, the shampoo never promises to be color safe, but again.. I'd rather be upfront about everything I experience.

And now.. for the first time in the history of MandysSecrets... I HAVE A MAN-VIEW FOR YOU!

When I saw the coconut, I wasn't thrilled because I'm not a big fan of anything coconut. I don't really care that much about shampoo and I don't have a problem with dandruff, but Mandy wanted me to try this one to get a "man's perspective".. so I did because hey, I'm a good husband. The shampoo doesn't have an overpowering coconut smell, which made it better in my book. I think the shea butter probably helped to mellow it out. The shampoo and conditioner make my hair feel soft and clean. They don't seem to weigh my hair down or feel like there is any type of residue left behind. If I did have dandruff, I would definitely give this product another try to see if it would help it.

Overall, Hubby and I really like the Suave Scalp Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner. They have a nice smell that's not overpowering, and really do a great job of cleaning and conditioning your hair without drying out your scalp. Plus they make your hair very shiny and manageable. Again, take note of the products not being color-safe, but if you're having problems with dandruff.. I definitely suggest giving these products a try!

I have to admit that I've been very impressed with Suave as of late. They're really making great efforts to bring effective, higher quality products to consumers at an affordable price. I honestly can't wait to see what they launch next!

Chris and I are pleased to give the Suave Scalp Solutions 4.5 out of 5 stars!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 STARS

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

QUICK TIP -- How to Save a Smudged Mani!

Hey everyone! Sorry that today's post is a quick one, but I feel like I'm running in approximately 900 different directions today. Blech.

Anyways, have you ever just finished painting your nails only to nick or smudge one? Yea, me too.. And it makes me all like:

Totally attractive, I know. BUT... Now I have a solution for you!

Lick one of your (hopefully clean) fingers and gently smooth out the smudge or nick in your polish. Somehow, the compounds in your saliva work with the nail polish so that you can soften and blend the surface without having to start over! There's no need to apply more polish, and your mani will be good as new!

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I've been meaning to share this tip with y'all for a while, and I always forget about it.. until I just smudged my nail in the middle of a painting session. But you'd never know it now!

Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Hey everyone! Today I have a serious post for you. Seriously.. it's serious. 

Last year, you may remember that I shared my tanning tips with you, both sunless and indoor tanning.. and while I never made any effort to pretend that indoor tanning was safe (I actually told you that it's not), I continued to risk my health to achieve that sun-kissed glow. Every time I got into a tanning bed, I literally laid there and chanted "Cancer. Cancer. Cancer.." to myself on a constant loop. My family begged me to stop going and I didn't.. but this year is different.

Here are some facts from Cosmo:

  • Skin cancer is now the most prevalent of all cancers? And Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is now the second most common cancer in women ages 20-29, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • Both UVA and UVB rays are damaging to the skin. There's no amount of "safe sun." Not even a base tan. It won't protect you from a future burn, it's actually damage on its own.
  • Skin damage is cumulative, so the more you accrue, the greater your cancer risk. 
    • Just FIVE sunburns at any time in your life double your risk of developing skin cancer.
  • 70% of all UV rays penetrate through clouds, so your chances of getting burned on a cloudy day are about equal to that of getting burned on a sunny day.
  • Skin cancer can be fast growing: a mole can appear on your skin and develop into Melanoma within 6 months.
  • African American women are at risk for skin cancer, too. However, their skin cancer turns up in areas of their body with lighter pigment: the soles of the feet, the palms, or under a finger or toenail. Because these areas aren't always in plain sight, cancer that develops there isn't always caught until it reaches a later, more dangerous state.
And the kicker...
  • If you tan indoors (in a tanning bed) before the age of 30, you increase your risk of developing skin cancer by 75%.

If that's not enough to make you stop, or at least take a step back from the tanning bed, and think.. I don't know what is. I can't honestly say that I'm thrilled to be embracing my paleness, but when faced with those odds.. I think I might as well just go ahead and buy some stock in sunless tanners. Especially since I'm kind of like the Sunless Tanning Queen. Truth be told, I've never been much of a gambler, and I've already taken entirely too many risks with my skin.

Ideally, you should be wearing sunblock with SPF every day. I don't know if I'm ready to go that far at the moment, but I do know that I will no longer be using a tanning bed at all, and I won't lay out without using a high SPF sunblock from now on.

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I thought this was something important to share with y'all, especially since Spring and Summer are practically upon us, and Spring Breaks are fast approaching.

If you have time, check out my Foolproof Sunless Tanning Guide and learn how to do a skin self-check. Be sure to report anything suspicious to your doctor immediately! It's never too late to be proactive, and you might just end up saving your own life!