Store vs. Salon

For All Your Beauty Advice…

In a previous post, I mentioned that makeup you can  buy at Wal Mart, Target, etc. is very different quality than what you get at Nordstrom, Sephora, etc. Many studies have been done that show they are basically the same product, made with the same ingredients, you are just paying for the brand name. They may have a lot of the same ingredients, but I know they are made with different levels of all that stuff they put in there. In my personal opinion, I notice a big difference in quality. I do believe there is a huge markup on the retail price when it’s put into a high end store, but I also believe you get what you pay for. So, if that’s the take on makeup, I am wondering if it’s the same on hair care.

Having had my cosmetology license for 16 years now, I rarely buy my hair products at the grocery store. Because I can buy hair products at a wholesale price, there’s never really been a need to purchase my shampoo and conditioner from anywhere but the beauty supply. What you might be paying for Aussie or Pantene, I am paying for Biolage or Paul Mitchell. I mentioned the markup on the price of makeup, it’s the same in hair care. Think about it, if you are paying $12 at your local salon for an 8 oz. bottle of shampoo, I am able to get it for $6 at my beauty supply. Ouch! There has to be some profit they are making from the stylists purchase and it just gets better for the manufacturer when it’s purchased in a retail outlet. (Seriously, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and I want a piece of the pie!)  But, is it really better for you than the stuff you can buy anywhere? I don’t know…but I’m going to find out!

I ran out of shampoo and conditioner this week. I live right by my beauty supply store (that’s pretty dangerous!) so I stopped in there a few days ago to purchase my goods. The supply places are usually pretty small and only have one person at a time working there. The last few times I’ve been in there, I grab what I need and head to the register…only to find myself standing in line behind a salon owner who happens to be stocking her back bar…this means she has a huge purchase to make and I have to wait until they have rung it all up and recounted it to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. Given my level of patience, this has been a whole lot of fun for me when I just need to pick up one tube of haircolor! But, out of respect for a fellow stylist, I put my happy face on and mentally pull her hair! I went in on Monday to grab what I needed and, you guessed it, I had to wait…and wait…and wait…and wait (is that irritating you yet? repeat that about 40 more times and you might feel a little bit like I did then!) I realized this was going to take forever, so I put back my product and left. Note to Aerial beauty supply: this is getting really irritating and I am thinking of finding a different place to get my products…not that you really care…

I left there with the thought that I want to try new things and review them, so the next time I had to run to the grocery store, I would put shampoo and conditioner on my list and get it from there. Yesterday was the day…I actually felt a little lost wandering the shampoo aisle at Wal Mart (yes, I shop at Wal Mart sometimes, but only the one off Arapahoe, the one off Hampden makes me violent!) I saw familiar names, Pantene…what I know about that is, Vitamin E broken down to its smallest molecule is still too thick for your hair to truly absorb it, so it’s just coating your hair, weighing it down and giving the illusion of soft and shiny. Moved right on by that one. Aussie…did I want to add some ‘roo to my do? No…Dove…I like what they’re doing with their advertising with real women and not stick figures, but nothing caught my eye. I was looking for something equivalent to what I put back at the beauty supply. I was going to purchase some volumizing shampoo by Big Sexy Hair…the name is horrible, but I like their stuff and lately, I’m all about having some volume in my hair…maybe it’s a nod to the ’80’s making a comeback in fashion?

I was about to give up and just go back and get my stuff at Aerial when it caught my eye. Garnier Fructis Body Boost…I hadn’t tried it before and it was certainly eye catching in it’s neon green bottle…I think I had a purse this color in the 8th grade. It smelled pretty good and the price wasn’t too bad, either. Sarah Jessica Parker endorses their stuff and if it’s good enough for Carrie Bradshaw then it must be ok, right? Someone once told me that when a celebrity endorses a product, they are only required to use it 1 time, then they can say they are a user and then it won’t be false endorsement…don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s always interested me. I put the shampoo and conditioner in my cart and then I saw some stuff they were getting rid of from Christmas. There was a gift set (who gives shampoo for Christmas? that just seems odd…but ok, I guess) that contained not only the shampoo and conditioner I was buying, but two styling products in there as well. So, I picked it up for $8.00. Not a bad deal considering I got 4 full size products for the price I was about to pay for only the shampoo by BSH (Big Sexy Hair).

I am going to use all 4 products on a daily basis for the next two weeks and then report back on what I think of this line. Will it dry my hair out? Will it give me static? Will I truly notice a difference from store vs. salon? I have been taught since beauty school that this stuff will ruin your hair if it’s not a “professional” line. Am I nervous to try it? Honestly, no…but I am curious to see if it can impress me or not. Stay tuned…

You’ve Been Beautified!

Discontinued…

For all your beauty advice…

Why does this happen to us?? Right now I’m just wondering why it happens to me? You find a product you absolutely love and when you go to stock up on it, it’s gone! Really?? I understand that one’s treasure is another one’s trash and vice versa, but what a dark moment it is when your favorite, go-to, beauty product just up and disappears. I am really bummed out right now, I might hold a service of mourning this weekend. This seems to be happening a lot lately, and not just with makeup. I used to love those South Beach lunches that were like Lunchables for adults. Went to stock up on them one day and after searching 3 grocery stores, I finally contacted Kraft via email and asked what was going on. (Yes, I contact companies all the time. Dorky? Maybe, but they actually do like to hear from the consumer…plus sometimes they’ll send you free stuff, and I’m all over that!) They wrote back and told me they pulled all South Beach lunches from the shelves and will make them no more…there simply wasn’t enough demand for them. THEN…I go to buy my favorite yogurt. Have you ever tried White Chocolate Raspberry by Yoplait? OMG!! It’s like dessert…or it was until Yoplait decided it wasn’t popular enough to keep making it. (Yes, I contacted them and that was the email response I got!) Are you kidding me? I used to sell that stuff to strangers browsing that aisle! I would tell them how good it was and they would pick it up…Yoplait owes me a supply of White Choc. Raspberry…or commission for the products I sold, right? Ok, this isn’t about food, but I’m just trying to make a point that this happens everywhere,
all the time.

I had a woman come in our store last week looking for a certain nail file. Not a best seller, but clearly she liked it. I guess Sephora replaced it with something new and better. Guess what? She didn’t want something new and better, she wanted her freakin’ nail file! She was seriously pissed at Sephora and me, I think, for giving her the news. I hate it when customers get angry and take it out on me. But, I totally understand, sister! I would be huffy with the salesgirl that told me my favorite product was going to be put down…what a dark day. We find these items and they really make us happy. Remember when the small things in life made us happy? Well, cosmetics are small (large price, though) and they make our routine worth it when we find something that works just right…the Goldilocks of products.

The first time this happened to me was with a Christian Dior lipstick. Anyone who has tried a Dior lipstick knows that it’s nice stuff you’re putting on your lips. Makeup from the house of Dior? Ahhh…such luxury and bliss. I tend to have a hard time finding a nice shade of pink/mauve that stays the true color. I can find something I like in a tube, but much like fragrance changes with your chemistry, so can color. Most pink lipsticks turn orange on me after awhile. (Maybe I should try orange lipstick on and it will turn pink? Just a thought…) I found the perfect pink/brown/mauve lipstick by Dior years ago. I would get the most compliments on how it was just the right touch of pink, but looked really natural and nude too…Kim Kardashian didn’t invent that lip she’s so popular for, I was all over that years ago…I just don’t have a sex tape to put me in her market. Hmmm…I’ll have to talk to my hubby about a possible production… Another great thing about Dior…the lipsticks last forever. Well, not so great for me because when I was ready to replace my tube of perfect starlet pink/brown/mauve guess what? Yes! It was gone. I have yet to find that perfect shade again. I have learned to recreate it by layering different products and colors, but it was really nice to have it all in one tube. Oh well, I mourned and moved on.

That’s the thing about this industry. It’s constantly turning over and reinventing products to keep them fresh and keep the consumer interested. Great for the people who are raking in the dough in this multi-billion dollar industry…not so great for the people who come to rely on certain products. One great thing about Mary Kay is, even though they are constantly changing and keeping up with the trends, they really listen to their customers and they keep the products that we’ve come to rely on. Extra Emollient Night Cream, Raisinberry Lipstick (please tell me that one’s not gone…it rivals that Dior!) etc. They have the old classics but are still constantly changing themselves. I’ll refer to Mary Kay quite a bit. (Stop one second before you groan or roll your eyes! There’s a reason that brand is still around and didn’t die when Mary Kay Ash did in 2001. So, open your mind and check out the catalog sometime, you might be surprised).  That line has really impressed me with how far they’ve come. I’m not a snob about cosmetics…if I like a color, I don’t care if it’s from Wal Mart or Nordstrom. Is there a difference in quality? Reports you see on 20/20 and The Today Show say they’re the same, but really they’re not. I happen to notice a difference. But, it’s always fun to try new things.

When I decided to start this blog, I was thinking of the one product that blew me away that I could review. Well, I’ve noticed at work that this product has been missing and I decided to do a little research this morning. Benefit has discontinued F.Y…Eye. My life is over! This was the most amazing eye shadow primer in the world. I have really oily skin and anyone with oily skin will tell you how frustrating it is because makeup never stays on. Your skin never feels clean, so you have to find the right products that will really make your makeup last. I had found this in my F.Y…Eye. It was a mousse-textured, creamy base that you would apply and let set for a couple of minutes. You apply your eye shadow on top of it, and you’re set for the rest of the day. Seriously, even in 100 degree heat that stuff held my shadow in place. Was I the only one who loved it so much? Why are they taking it away from me? I’ve been loyal to it for 5 years. I don’t want to try something else, dammit! I want my Benefit F.Y…Eye and I want it now!! (deep breath…) I’m pretty steamed! This was going to be my number one, can’t live without product review. Guess I’ll have to learn to live without it. You know how you feel when someone breaks up with you and you don’t want that? You know that frustration?? Well, Benefit has broken up with me right now and I need to heal. Information on the memorial service for this product will follow shortly…I need a tissue…

You’ve been beautified!