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Still The One :: Suave’s Keratin Infusion

I have a organizational station right outside my bathroom, dedicated solely for my hair products.   I actually think I’ve outgrown it (or maybe I just need to throw some products away… blasphemy!!) because now anything new, has to be put on the floor next to it.  Majority of the products in the station are different brands of shampoo and what’s funny is, no matter how many different shampoos I try, I always end up returning Suave’s Keratin Infusion Shampoo.

You may remember,  that almost a year ago, I did a video review on Suave’s Keratin Infusion line.  Still, to this day, I love using the line — very inexpensive (under $10 for shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner & serum) and my hair ALWAYS feels smooth, soft and full of body.

My Halloween Costume:: DIY Centaur

If you been following the blog for sometime you know how I love to create my own costume.  One of my favorite Halloween creations was my Poison Ivy costume, over 3 years ago.

This year, I wanted to make something a little more difficult, a centaur.  Centaur which represent the zodiac sign, Sagittarius, the Archer,  is a mythological half-man, half-horse.  Sagittarius is  said to represent an inner spirit to free one’s self from mankind’s animalistic nature, and enhance the purpose of the soul.

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This was a very difficult, yet fun task.  Everything, with the exception of the wig and jewelry, were either made from scratch or altered.   The form of the horse was first made out of chicken wire, then covered with paper mache (my least fave part), added foam and stuffing for dimension, metal pieces and duck tape for stability and covered with faux fur.  We added wheels to make it mobile. My pants were sown out of the same fur.   The corset was actually white, I tried to dye it brown but it didn’t turn out right, so we covered it with faux leather. I purchased the bow and arrow and quiver as a kit and sprayed parts of it gold.  The skirt was made of brown faux leather  with a gold netted material sown on top. I ran into a lot roadblocks with keeping “donk” stable, (also, cut myself with the wire, burn fingers with the glue gun and even stepped on a needle), but after a couple of tweaks we got her rolling and sitting up perfectly.

Humidity-Proof Hairstyle :: Pin Curls

I love to wear my hair straight, but with the summer’s heat and humidity, that’s nearly impossible.   Trust, I’ve tried a ton of  products, but, I have yet to come across a product that is completely frizz proof.  So, as a result, I’ve had to take matters into my own hands, by figuring out an humidity-proof hairstyle.  I decided to roll with pin curls,  because even when it’s humid out, the curls will still hold, even if if they drop  just a little.

 

Here’s what I used:

I don’t use hairspray, but if you maximum hold, you can add that as well.  Also, remember, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl.  I prefer more loose waves/big curls, so I use a larger barrel.

At night I just pin it, and wrap it up with a scarf.  In the morning, I take out the pins, use my fingers to comb through it and go.  Simple as that!

What are some of your humidity-proof hairstyles and tips?

DIY :: Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Scalp & Dandruff Treatment

I’ve spent a good amount of money of dry scalp and dandruff products and figured, there has to be a cheaper way than this, so I did some research on DIY recipes and discovered that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is great natural way to relieve dandruff, dry scalp, and buildup in your hair.   Many hair products can leave our hair lackluster and scalp clogged, and itchy and some medicated shampoos and ointments are usually effective, but they’re pretty costly and packed with unnatural ingredients that can strip the hair of vial healthy nutrients.   ACV contains enzymes and properties that act as a fungicide and cleanser, the acidity of ACV changes the pH of your scalp, so it kills of the fungus that causes reoccurring dandruff and itchy scalp.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

- Apple Cider Vinegar

- Water

- Spray Bottle

HOW TO APPLY

Mix a quarter-cup apple cider vinegar with a quarter-cup water. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spritz it on to your hair and scalp. Wrap your head in a towel. Leave on for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, then remove the towel and wash your hair.

I tried the ACV rinse yesterday, left it in for about an hour and followed up with Shea Moisture’s Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.  I deep conditioned with Carols Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask and applied a DIY leave-in conditioner of water and coconut oil.

HAVE YOU TRIED THE ACV RINSE?? LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKED FOR YOU

Product Review :: MAC’s Skin Refined Zone Treatment

A few months ago I went to MAC just to purchase a new brow pencil, but also ended up leaving with powder, eyeliner gel, moisturizer, and some stuff that the sale’s associate said would help control the shine in my t-zone (Prep+Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment).

I may have used Skin Refined Zone Treatment, a couple of times, but never consistently until recently, since the weather has changed to hot and humid.  I added it in my morning regime.

So here’s my two cents:

  • I didn’t really notice a change in the visibility of my HUGE pores or any control in shine.  Monistat’s Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel actually worked better for me and much cheaper!
  • Using it consistently, made me feel like a teenager again…six HUGE zits on my face.  At first, I thought it may have been something hormonal, but then I noticed I was only breaking out in the areas I applied the treatment, my chin and cheeks.

I searched for other reviews on the product, some complained of the same problem and some were pretty happy with it.  I would suggest, USE WITH CAUTION! If you’re going to use it, test it out first, who knows, you might not have the same problem.  I would also suggest that you probably don’t want use it on a day to day basis.

DIY :: Homemade 3 Ingredient Acne Mask

If you’ve followed me for sometime, you’d know about my occasionally struggle with acne (Face Going HAM, Connect the Dots, PMS, Sugar Cravings & Acne).  I recently discovered a simple and inexpensive recipe to help fight acne, from my fellow beauty blogger, Huda Beauty.

All you’ll need is:

2 Tablespoons of honey

2 Tablespoons of nutmeg

2 Teaspoons of milk

According to Huda, the nutmeg helps fight blemishes, while the honey helps heal and the milk exfoliates.  Luckily, I had all these ingredients in my kitchen, so I mixed the ingrients together, applied them to my face and left it on for about 15 minutes.  Right now it’s too early to discuss results, but I’ll keep you posted.

$50 Drugstore Beauty Binge :: My Lastest Drugstore Beauty Products

Although I am a fan of  many high end cosmetic products, I’m no snob, there still a lot of drugstore products that can do the trick, sometimes, even better.  I’ve been on the quest for a new foundation and concealer, but didn’t want to send an arm and leg, so I did some research on reviews of drugstore products and headed to my local drugstore, CVS.   I went with the intent of only buying a new concealer and foundation, but of course ended up leaving with more.

Here’s what I picked up:

Neutrogena’s Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser ($7.99) – I have been trying out the oil cleansing method for about a month now and decided I needed a change.  I’ve tried this cleanser before and loved the way my skin felt, so I decided to purchase it.  No harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, phthalates.  So it’s gentle, and with the salicylic acid, it’s very effective for someone like myself who suffers from mild acne.

Monistat’s Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel – I know this may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually a great makeup primer (check out my review from 3 years ago).  It contains dimethicone, which is the primary ingredient in high-end primers and it was only $8! It spreads like butter and has a silky finish.

Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer ($6.99) – I researched reviews on a drugstore undereye concealer and saw a lot of good reviews on this product.  I’ve only used it for a day, but I can say that it went on smoothly and evenly and provided good coverage.  I wanted a highlight effect so the shade I purchased was “Medium 25″, which is a few shades lighter than my complexion.

Revlon’s Colorstay Foundation for Normal/Oily Skin ($13.49) – I some great reviews on this foundation as far as finish, coverage and length in wear.  I tried it this morning, it was an easy application, lightweight but great coverage.  They said it stays for 24 hours, I won’t be wearing it that long, but hopefully it does a good 9 hours.  One thing I will mention is that it has a matte finish, so if you experience dryness, you might want to mix a little with your moisturizer.

Aveeno’s Active Naturals Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes ($7.99) – I LOVE these wipes! No dryness, no icky residue and removes of my makeup.

I used all of these products last night and this morning.  Take a look:

What are your favorite drugstore beauty products?

It’s Our 4 Year Anniversary :: Top 5 Most Popular Posts Over the Years

I can hardly believe, we’ve turned 4 years old this month.  As they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, and I’ve definitely, enjoyed sharing my beauty experiences (the good, bad and ugly) and connecting with you over the years.

I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane, and go back to some of the most popular posts over the last year:

1.  My review on Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 — I still use it!

2.  Fun with Colorblocking : Hair, makeup & nails – Still one of my fave trends

3.  Beach Hair :: Shea Moisture Organic Organic Coconut & Hisbiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo & Curl Enhancing Smoothie

4.  All The Pregnant Ladies :: Pregnancy Makeup Tips from Bobbi Brown

5.  Braxton Family Makeup Faux Pas –  I got a little heat from this post, but hey everyone’s entitled to their opinion

Thank you for your continued support :)

My Hair & Skincare Routine (Oil Cleansing Method) :: Castor, Coconut & Grapeseed Oils

As a beauty addict, I’m always on the quest for new amazing products especially if I can save money.  I’ve been hearing a lot about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) and how these same oils are great for your hair, so I have been using  natural oils, such as castor oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil, in my hair care and skincare routine.

CASTOR OIL

 

 

Castor oil contains vitamin E, minerals, proteins, antibacterial and anti-fungicidal properties. Scientists attribute its healing benefits to its unusual chemical composition, which consists of a triglyceride of fatty acids with ricinoleic acid of up to 90 percent. In addition to healing benefits, castor oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties, all of which are related to healthy hair growth.

BENEFITS

  • Highly effective remedy for hair thinning and hair loss.
  • Applying to scalp prevents dry and itchy scalp.
  • The oil mends hair scales bringing back shine and strength to the dull and lifeless hair.
  • The ricinoleic acid in castor oil works to inhibit many viruses and bacteria, to cure acne.
  • The glossiness of the bean oil makes it a popular choice for lip balms.
  • Keeps the skin looking smooth, youthful and unlined.
  • Thickens eyelashes and eyebrows

REMEMBER

Castor oil isn’t a moisturizer, it’s a sealant.  So make sure you use a water based moisturizer for your hair. Castor oil can be drying, so adding olive oil or another moisturizing oil can prevent dryness of the skin.

WHERE TO BUY:  Most supermarkets or pharmacies may also sell castor oil in small bottles in the laxatives section.

COCONUT OIL


Coconut oil has numerous benefits for both hair and skin. It is nutrition for all hair types, helping hair to shine, softening hair, remedying damaged hair by helping to preserve the hair’s natural proteins  and can even providing relief from dandruff.  For the skin, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for all skin types, and especially for dry and older skin. Coconut oil is so good at smoothing out the appearance of wrinkles and helping with skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis that it’s often added to commercial skin care products.  And there’s more––the lauric acid in coconut oil has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties

BENEFITS

  • It is effective in reducing the protein loss for damaged and undamaged hair.
  • It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair.
  • Provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair.
  • Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including  dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
  • Prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its remarkable properties.
  • Great as an effective natural deodorant.

REMEMBER

Look for extra virgin, that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorized.  This form of coconut oil is the most safe and skin friendly. It has a very low melting point and does not solidify on your skin, clogging up the pores, as is the case with other coconut oils.  A small amount goes a long way.  Too much oil will leave your hair greasy and stringy.  Also, do not leave the oil in your hair for more than a day without washing it, your hair will become greasy.

WHERE TO BUY:  Health food stores like Whole Foods

 

GRAPESEED OIL

Grape seed oil contains high quantities of Vitamin E and F and also minerals like zinc potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and selenium. But most of all grape seed oil is rich in proanthocyanidins (OPC) a compound that is high in antioxidants which are 50 times more effective than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C. Antioxidants are found in grape skins and seeds and are more concentrated in red and black grapes.  These great components make grape seed extract an asset in the production of massage oils and balms, hair and hygienic products, face and body moisturizers, as well as in sunblocks and sunburn ointments.

BENEFITS

  • It contains 73% of linoleic acid which may be beneficial in the treatment of acne, dermatitis, allergic reactions, atopic eczema and dry and itchy skin.
  • Protects against UV radiation, and lightens the effects on age spots and pigmented skin caused by ultra violet rays.
  • The antioxidant activity may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and saggy skin activity may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and saggy skin.
  • The grapeseed oil for hair protects the hair from heat.
  • Because it is lightweight, it is quickly absorbed by the scalp and moisturizes the hair follicles from the roots down.

REMEMBER

When buying Grape Seed Oil, look for cold-pressed organic oil since it retains most of the natural beneficial ingredients compared to the chemically pressed oils.

WHERE TO BUY:  Grape Seed Extract is available at most herbal food and drug stores. It can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, oil and powder.

MY SKINCARE REGIME:  THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD

I have been experiencing issues with acne and redness lately, and  I’ve  heard so many great benefits of using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), that I decided to give it a try.  I know using oil to cleanse your face sounds pretty strange, but judging from the reviews I’ve read, it’s worth trying.

HOW IT WORKS

Cleansers, exfoliates, astringents, and scrubs can strip the skin from its essential oils (sebum).  Although I’ve been taught to wash my face twice a day, what that actually does is strip my skin from its natural glow and lead to an unhealthy cycle of skin irritation and acne.

Crazy as it sounds, oil dissolves oil.  So by using the OCM , you’re getting rid of the dirty oil, while replenishing it with nourishing oil.  This will eventually clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.

HERE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  • PREPARATION

Castor oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) are the most common combination of oils used in the OCM.  Castor oil is great for cleansing and dissolving, and it is also antibacterial, but it also can be drying, so depending on your skin type,  you’ll want to use more or less castor oil proportionally to the other oils.

OTHER OILS:

Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)

Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)

Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)

Avocado (dry and aging skin)

Sunflower Seed (all skin types)

Olive (all skin types)

OIL CLEANSING RATIO

Dry Skin: Blend 1 tablespoon castor oil with 3 tablespoons carrier oil.

Normal Skin: Blend 2 tablespoons castor oil with 2 tablespoons carrier oil.

Oily Skin: Blend 3 tablespoons castor oil with 1 tablespoon carrier oil.

Remember, that what may work for others, may not work for you.  So you can adjust the ratio to what suits you.  I have oily skin, so I use grapeseed oil as my carrier oil, and because I’ve noticed that the castor oil can be drying so I put a little on grapeseed oil into the mixture and/or apply olive oil as a moisturizer.

  • CLEANSE: You don’t have to remove your makeup, you can start with a dirty face.  After you’re finished mixing the oils, pour a quarter-size into your palm and begin to massage the oils into your face for about two minutes.
  • RINSE: Put a washcloth under hot water.  Adjust the heat to let it cool and it apply the warm washcloth to your face for 10-15 seconds.  Then begin to gently wipe the remaining oil from your face.

If your face is feeling tight and dry, you can apply a drop or two of the carrier oil to moisturize your skin.  Use the OCM at night and in the morning, simply just a damp washcloth to gently wipe your face.  I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, so it’s too early to give any results, but I will keep you posted.

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MY HAIR CARE ROUTINE

Castor oil is beneficial with hair thinning/loss and dry scalp, so I like to massage it in my scalp and along my hair line.

I use coconut oil as an hot oil treatment and deep conditioner.  After I wash my hair, I mix it with my hair mask, sit under my heated cap for about an hour and rinse it out.  I’ve also seen reviews of people using it as a pre-poo.  Remember that coconut oil can cause hair to be stringy and greasy so you want to rinse it out.

Because it’s lightweight and odorless, I love to to use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer for my hair.  It helps add shine and hydration without looking stringy and feeling greasy.

 

 

HAVE YOU TRIED ANY OF THESE OILS IN YOUR HAIR CARE AND/OR SKINCARE ROUTINE?  HAVE YOU TRIED OTHER OILS?

NEW Beauty Tip Video On Using Dental Picks For Lashes

I LOVE a dramatic look, without  too much fuss, so I always apply mascara on both my upper and lower lashes.  Sometimes it can get a little messy, depending on the size of the mascara wand.  If it’s too big, chances are, the mascara will usually end up under my eye.  Some beauty experts suggest using a business card or credit card, when applying mascara to avoid that problem, but I’ve found a better solution using dental picks.

Check out the video below to see how it works:

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Dentek Dental Picks have a bristled end that help with applying mascara, separating lashes and getting ride of clumps.  You can find these at your local drugstore, but I purchased a pack of 100 at the Dollar Store.

So what do you think?  Do you apply mascara on your lower lashes?  Would you use dental picks?

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