It’s been awhile. Our father died unexpectedly just a few months after our grandmother died.

I can’t say I currently have the inclination to describe what we went through, and I certainly can’t find the words to describe how wonderful of a man and father he was. But I will say this: what he wanted out of life was to make me, Lyn, and our mother happy, and that he did. He taught us that laughter and happiness are a gift. We miss him everyday.

Well, that not terribly profound blog entry took me months to bring myself to write. Can we talk about beauty products again?

 

Lyn and I have been missing for awhile now. Our grandmother received a cancer diagnosis early last year, and after a hard, painful fight, died at home over the summer. We were physically exausted, and were deeply grieved by the loss of the woman who was like a third parent to us growing up. For several months after that, writing about makeup, skincare, and how to get the glossiest hair on the planet seemed, well, silly.

But at some point in struck us – our grandmother was the most elegant and dignified woman we have ever known. For her, makeup or having her hair just so wasn’t silly, it was a way of showing the world that she had the confidence to display her quiet elegance. It wasn’t vanity, it was an expression of herself – an inner fortitude. Nothing about that is silly.

So we’re back. In the past couple of months a lot of things have been happening for us workwise, so we won’t be posting several times a day until things calm down a bit. But we’ll be around, for certain.

And we want to express a big thank you for all of you who have been e-mailing to ask if we’re okay. Thank you for your concern, and thank you for your loyalty to Style Chicks!

I’m in love.

With a conditioner.

Wait, what did you think I meant?

Strong HairMy mother picked up a 12oz Ion Effective Care Treatment at Sally Beauty to make the most of a coupon she had. Given that I was low on conditioner at the time, I happily tried it out.

Wow.

 This 100% vegan product packs quite a conditioning punch. You use it for 3-5 minutes in the shower but it conditions like a deep, 20 minute conditioner. It has a very light scent which washes out completely, and it feels so good when you have it on. My hair ends up shiny, full, and vibrant after use.

It reminds me of my beloved Fekkai Ageless Creme Luxe Hair Treatment in consistency and texture. I plan on alternative the two of them off in the future, but it’s great to find a quality product at a lower price point to feather into my hair care routine.

Find Ion Effective Care Treatment at Sally Beauty for $15.49.

NYX Retractable Eyeliner in Silver

NYX Retractable Eyeliner in Silver

Lyn and I have been caring for our grandmother lately, which is why we haven’t been writing much – or getting enough sleep to have a sparkly glint in our eyes. I picked up a NYX Retractable Mechanical Pencil Eye Liner in Silver a few weeks ago and tried it out on my waterline.

I’m impressed. It adds a sparkle to the eye without being an overtly silver line, or too flashy. It covers redness well. It applies without a hint of tugging. I usually put it on and then fill in the corner of my eyes with Stila Kajal Eyeliner in Topaz – also a great, creamy, subtle waterliner. Used together, they make eyes look huge and bright.

 The first time I tried the NYX Eye Liner I was meeting with my trainer and I commented on how tired I was. He looked at me quizzically and said “I never would have guessed – and I can tell when you’ve been through the wringer.” This guy does not mince words when it comes to whether I look tired or not, and before I put on the waterliner I really looked tired especially in the eye area (I wear very little makeup to the gym – so it wasn’t a fruity hued lipstick or anything else that was coloring his view). After that, I was completely sold on this lovely and inexpensive liner to give my eyes a sparkle when I don’t naturally have one.

Find the NYX Retractable Mechanical Pencil Eye Liner in Silver at Amazon.com for $4.50.

Lyn and I have been taking a short break from StyleChicks to figure out where we want the site to go in the future. We’re pretty excited about what we’ve come up with.

We’ve always thought of ourselves as a product recommendation blog, not a review blog. True, part of the recommendation is a review of a product. But we’re now thinking that what we’d like to do with the site now is more good product curation. Basically, we will be discussing products that definitely belong in your beauty routine, the ones we see ourselves purchasing time and again.

What does this mean for you, the reader? Not much. The site will continue to look basically the same, and you get our honest and usually extremely excited opinions of the products we feature. But recommendations will be more of the products we can’t live without, rather than, “yeah, this is a good product.” We will also be developing pages devoted to individual brands we love, especially if we have used several products within the same line.

So stay tuned for good things…

Tonight at 10 PM EST HSN is featuring the PRAI Beauty line. Awhile back they sent me PRAI Creme de Luxe Face Ultimate Age Defense and PRAI Advanced Radiant Eye Repair. Based on these two products, I’m pretty impressed with the line. Ultimate Age Defense lifts and firms skin within a few days, and Advanced Radiant Eye Repair makes undereye bags disappear and gives browbones an impressive lift. I’ve found some other great uses for the products:

  • Radiant Eye Repair is fantastic on “11″ forehead lines. A couple of months ago I had an especially long week of people making me furrow my brow. It’s like everyone I came in contact with – checkout clerks, bank tellers, dry cleaner – conspired to drive me nuts. Doing that for a couple of days, along with my especially dry skin that week, led to an icky set of 11 lines. I smoothed on the thick gel of PRAI Radiant Eye Repair and my 11 lines disappeared. Impressive.
  • Radiant Eye Repair is also pretty fantastic on raw, chapped lips. Like the kind you get when the weather is as cold as it was today. Incredibly emollient and forms a great barrier.
  • PRAI Creme de Luxe Face Ultimate Age Defense is amazing on dry cuticles. It’s a bit pricey to be your regular hand moisturizer, but if you need your cuticles in shape fast, it gets the job done beautifully.
  • PRAI Creme de Luxe Face Ultimate Age Defense is also great after at-home glycolic peels. Apply while your face is still wet after washing off the formula and your skin will be incredibly smooth.

Find PRAI Beauty at HSN and HSN.com!

PRAI Creme de Luxe Face Ultimate Age Defense

Our Dad recently broke his leg. He’ll be in a cast for a few weeks and he can’t quite get the angle right to wash his hair without getting the cast wet, so he won’t be able to use any of the wonderful traditional shampoos we give him.

Now, let me describe my Dad’s hair. It’s fantastic. It’s thick, lush, dark with some super shiny grey, and full with a light wave. If he was a TV news man, you would trust him based on his hair alone. If I had his hair, his bright blue eyes, and his naturally red lips, my morning routine would take about five minutes (I don’t, and it doesn’t.)  And he’s due for a haircut, so it’s even fuller and lusher at the moment.

Of course, there is another option. We’ve talked about how much we love dry shampoo for styling, especially volumizing formulas like Neil George Refresh Dry Shampoo and Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray.  Works great for styling, and works great for times you can’t wash your hair.

Armed with Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo, Lyn showed Dad what dry shampoo can do. I’ve always been impressed with what the product can do with our long hair, but I was even more impressed at how volumizing it is on short hair like Dad’s. He was left with his hair as full and shiny as it typically gets after a regular shampoo and a use of our T3 dryer.

Find Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray at Lock & Mane.

Just noticed that Amazon offers  Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stains at 15% off (bringing them to $20.40) if you select Subscribe & Save. Using Subscribe and Save is a good way to make sure you don’t run out of your stain of choice – I end up keeping extras of a couple of the colors on hand since you can’t really tell from the tube when you are going to run out.

 

Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stain Mango Crush

Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stain in Mango Crush

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