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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Au Natural Hair!

Hey guys!!

I thought today I would show you what products I use to style my hair naturally.

I actually have pretty curly hair, so sometimes it can be a bit of a problem with either frizz, or days it just doesn't want to curl itself properly, etc... You curly hair people know what I'm talking about here. Depending on the weather, I may let it dry naturally (usually only happens on hot summer days), or use a hair dryer to speed up the process when its colder out or I'm in a rush and don't want to look as if I just exited the shower. Having thick, curly hair means it takes hours to dry naturally unless its at least 25+ degrees outside.

To begin, here are recent pictures of my hair left alone. In these, I let my hair dry naturally (it's actually still a bit wet as you can see). At the end of this, I am going to show you guys a quick picture of how long my hair actually is when I blow-dry it straight and what I use for that - the length difference is crazy. (Click to enlarge these).

This all starts in the shower. To be honest, I've never noticed much difference between a "curl" shampoo and any other formulation, so I just use whatever I have on hand - lately thats been the Clear for Color and Damaged hair. Maybe I just haven't found any curl shampoo/conditioner combo thats great yet - but of the ones I've tried, my end results do not differ. When I'm in the shower I brush the conditioner through my hair with a wide tooth comb; when doing this, I make sure to comb my hair the way I would part it. When rinsing my hair I try not to tangle it up or anything a whole lot- Basically, my goal is to not have to brush/comb my hair once I get out of the shower. This helps my natural curls stay in together and not separate them too much.
Next, I just squeeze my hair with a towel to get any excess water out (my hair retains water really well, so this is crucial). I part my hair and depending on how I am going to dry my hair (naturally or not) depends on what goes on my hair.
Here are the products that I use.
Catwalk Curl Collection Curlesque creme
AG Re-Coil Curl Defining Creme
Pantene Mousse for curls, hold level 4
Hair Dryer Diffuser

Drying my hair naturally
Separate my hair into 4 sections (one on each side and 2 for the back). Apply very small amount of AG Recoil to hands, rub together, distribute onto section- repeat with each section. This is seriously the holy grail for naturally curly hair. It makes my curls even curlier and I can not rave about this stuff enough.
Afterwards, I apply a small (quarter sized) amount of Catwalk Curlesque to my whole head and just crunch my curls a little to encourage them to twist more. Thats it!
The reason I apply both products when letting my hair dry naturally is that I find my hair can get a little separated and frizzy without the Catwalk, but my curls are as bouncy without the AG; therefore, I feel I need both. I don't apply the mousse when I dry my hair naturally as I feel it leaves my hair hard and crunchy.

Drying my hair with a hair dryer
When drying my hair with a hair dryer I first apply the AG Recoil as I previously explained. After that is when I put a palm-full of Pantene Mousse all over my hair. Stick the Diffuser onto my hair dryer (EXTREMELY important) and flip my hair upside-down while drying it. I find flipping my hair over adds more volume to the roots. I always put my hair dryer setting to low (so yes, this can sometimes take a while) and carefully hold pieces of my hair so the blowing air doesn't cause the curls to separate too much (this is why the low setting is so important, otherwise it will end up frizzy). When its dry, I give it a shot of cold air with the hair dryer to seal it all in and voila! Done-Zo.
The Pantene Mousse doesn't leave my hair crunchy when I use a hair dryer - I can't really explain why; maybe because it's being tousled around more.

Just for fun
Here's how long my hair actually is when it is blow-dried straight (no flat iron was used in this).

All I really did for this was apply a small amount of Carols Daughters Smoothing Blow Dry Creme (smells like chocolate- yumm) and put a concentrator on my hair dryer. Section the hair off in 4 sections again, and use a paddle brush to follow the hair down the brush with the edge of the concentrator.

Well! There you have it!

If you guys have any questions about the individual products, or want to see how I "Unnaturally" curl my hair for daytime or a night out, let me know!!

Thanks for reading! Love!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June Favorites!

Hey guys!

Today I am going to tell you about the things I have been loving for the month of June. We have had pretty miserable weather here so far this month - it has been cold and rainy for the most part, but it seems to be heating up a bit so I anticipate some of these products will no longer be used next month (more on that later). For now, I'l try to do some mini reviews as I go so lets jump on in! Also, I apologize for the quality of the pictures this time; it's already the 3rd of July so I really wanted to get this post up, and its 10:00 at night here so there is no natural lighting (I'll try to do better next time- promise).

 Lots of Goodies :)

 So, As you can see, I couldn't pick just one lippy this month. All 3 are from the same line, the Maybelline vivds collection, but I absolutely could not narrow it down to 1. This entire line of lipsticks is amazing! I purchased one and have kept going back for more colors ever since. The three colors I narrowed it down to for my favorites this month are: Hot Plum, Shocking Coral, and Fuchsia Flash.

These three colors give the best of all shade choices for summer: Magenta, Coral, and a hot Pink. Although these colors may seem like they might not be wearable for daytime, I actually even wear mine to work (at a bank) and get complemented on them all the time. The lipsticks are super creamy, and I find the staying power to be much better than a glossy balm but not as drying as a stain. I do have to reapply after eating or drinking, but other than that I have had excellent success with the quality of these.
They are super bright and perfect for the summer.

Next up, we have my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in Brightener. This is a definite must have for me this month as it has been such a hectic/busy few weeks for me and I feel my eyes show my lack of sleep. This concealer has a hint of salmon in it which I find works amazing for dark circles. I apply it under my foundation so I can have a thicker layer of product, while my foundation then covers the color and helps it blend into my skin. I have actually recommended this to a few people now who have come back to tell me how much they love it.

Next we have my CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation in Medium Beige. I've been grabbing this every day for quite a while now and its definitely still on top for me in June. I like this because it offers great coverage without feeling caked on or heavy, and it doesn't melt or get oily throughout the day (definitely a plus now that the weather is improving!) The pump applicator makes this really easy to apply so you always have the right amount of foundation (no wasting, yay!) and it seems much more sanitary than sticking your hands into a bottle or pot to get the product out.

This is the Milani baked blush in Rose D'oro. I have been reaching for this mostly because it has some shimmer and gives an amazing glow to the cheeks for summer. It is almost like a light bronzer with hints of gold and rose tones into it. On the cheeks, this makes me feel glowy and dewy. I usually just apply this with a large powder brush directly to the apples of my cheeks for a bit of added color.

Ok. Here is the part where I get to my favorites for the month of June, which probably won't be favorites for next month. First, we have my beloved Benefit They're Real! Mascara.
I just raved about this a few weeks ago (see previous posts) so I won't get into much detail on that again here. However, I am now discovering that because it isn't waterproof, it actually smudges in humidity. I wore this a few times this week and ended up with black around the top of my eyelid because the heat. As much as I love this mascara, I think this next month will be different - however, for June, I was obsessed.
The last product that loved for June, but probably wont be loving much for the rest of summer is the Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid eyeliner. This has been the best liner I have found recently and I love how matte the black is. The applicator also makes this really easy to apply and get a nice wing line with. The problem I think I might have is similar to my mascara, it isn't waterproof. Although I think this is available in waterproof, I didn't purchase that type, and the non-waterproof version just starts to smudge on my lashline in the heat. That being said, I love the eyeliner enough that I will have to run out and purchase the waterproof version to try for next month. If it acts the same as this one, with the added benefit of being waterproof, I'll love it even more. :)

My favorite scent this month is Lola by Marc Jacobs. This scent just seems so light and fresh to me. I am actually terrible at describing scents, so I'm actually just going to quote what is written on the Ulta website for this particular perfume.
"A warm floral bouquet. A long-lasting fragrance that wraps the skin in sensuous florals.
Topnotes - Pink Peppercorn, Pear, Ruby Red Grapefruit
Midnotes: Rose, Fuschia Peony, Geranium
Drydown - Vanilla, Warm Tonka Bean, Creamy Musk"
Again, that was totally copy and pasted from the website. :)

The last 2 things I have are not makeup, but definitely essentials in my routine. Every single night I have been using both Ponds Cold Cream for normal to dry skin, and Olay Fresh Effects Long Live Moisture in Satin Finish moisturizer.
This stuff is seriously insane amazing, why have I not heard more about this? I know this product is pretty ancient and maybe our mothers used it, but they had a point. Ever since I began using this at night my skin has gotten so much softer! I just put a loonie size amount all over my dry face and neck, rub it in, then wipe it off with warm water on a facecloth and every last bit of makeup is gone. I don't even know what this stuff is supposed to claim to be doing, but for me it is an amazing makeup remover and moisturizer. Definitely recommend everyone getting into this. Also, if you're afraid this might clog your pores (because it is quite a thick consistency), I wouldn't worry too much as I haven't had a single breakout since I started using it. I'm not claiming it stops breakouts, just that it doesn't cause them on me.

After I use the Ponds Cold Cream, I move on to my new favorite face moisturizer. Olay Fresh Effects Long Live Moisture in Satin Finish.
This is a very light lotion for the face and neck that has a very satin/pearly finish to it. the pump is perfect for ensuring the perfect amount of product for your face and it works well at hydrating the skin. I like the little bit of added hydration this gives me after the Ponds Cold Cream, and leaves my skin feeling and smelling very fresh and clean.

So, there you have it! All of my favorites for the month of June! If you guys want to see longer reviews or have any questions or comments about how these products work just let me know!

Thanks for reading! Love!