Hair Products and Makeup!!

Posted by Hen on January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Yes it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I always think of things to write about but then get too lazy to type it up later :( I will try harder.

So I’ve been telling myself to not spend so much lately (after the holidays and all) but I don’t think I’m succeeding. For one thing I got my hair ombre’d last week (whooo) which was awesome but the the bleaching + dye + tip was over $100… not including the haircut I got before that! (In my defense the haircut was BADLY needed.)

Pink Ombre Hair

It looks red but it’s actually pink!

The problem with me is that once I start getting interested in something I tend not to stop. Awhile ago it was makeup videos so of course I had to go out and get makeup to try out the stuff I watched. This time it’s hair. The stylist blow-dried and flat iron my hair after my cut and it was awesome! Never in my life has my hair been so straight! So tangle free! So silky! So… so flippy! I was determined to recreate it, so I started to research. (This was my first professional cut + hairdry + flat iron by the way, please excuse the excitement).

First obviously, was flat irons. Now I have a flat iron. It’s a cheapy Conair one I got when I started college and I always thought it was good enough. It sorta straightened and it did make my hair feel smooth, but after the visit to the salon I knew what straight hair really felt like. My friend told me to get a Chi but hell, those are at least $70 bucks or so! I’m just not that ready to spend so much. So the research goes on in that department.

In the meantime, I started looking at hair products! Now from my understanding there are shampoos, conditioners, creams, serums, and oils that you can use to help straighten and defrizz you hair. Eshhh! This doesn’t look that great for me as I try to keep my hair relatively product and chemical free. My normal hair routine is using a natural shampoo by Shea Moisture followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse, blowdry, then running some jojoba oil through my hair and then sleeping on it (which helps flatten it).

Now I figure it couldn’t hurt to add a serum with heat protection it and maybe something to defrizz. I was hesitant to change shampoos though. I did no-poo for quite awhile but honestly it’s just too annoying to keep up with in this city (the water is suuuuper hard). I decided in the end that I should at least get a color safe, sulfate free shampoo and nice conditioner (to try to liven up my bleached ends). Here are the products I ended up with:

Hair Products!

Hair Products!

Let’s look at shampoo first as this was the one I was most hesitant to get. I found this bottle at TJMaxx and figure it was worth a try. They sell a huge bottle of this too for around $13 so I may get that if I really like it. It’s sulfate free and safe for color treated hair and 100% vegan. I also liked that it had protein in it as I think my hair really needs that right now!

Johnathan Weightless Smooth No-Frizz Shampoo

Johnathan Weightless Smooth No-Frizz Shampoo

Verdict? It’s pretty nice. It smells delicious (I normally hate artificial scents). It does not lather as nicely as a normal shampoo (typical of sulfate free shampoos), but it cleaned my hair and I noticed that almost no color ran out of my hair! I also didn’t lose as much hair in the shower as I normally do. Not sure if that’s due to the shampoo but I’m always happy with less hair loss. :) With the price so cheap I suppose I wouldn’t mind using this until I’m tired of my colored hair. The long ingredient list does bother me a bit though so I will probably switch back to Shea Moisture once my head is all natural again.

Next up – conditioner and hair creme. I decided on trying out John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease stuff:

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hydrating Conditioner and Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hydrating Conditioner and Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme

Verdict? Conditioner seems much like any other conditioner to me. I’m not too fond of the scent but it left my hair nice and smooth. This is for extra dry hair so I like to put a lot on my ends where they were bleached :) The smoothing creme protects my hair from heat and doesn’t look greasy. It works pretty well too. Even though I braided my hair after and ran heat over it (with my flat iron – I wanted a few waves), my hair pretty much reverted back to straight soon after. These two products along with the shampoo did leave me with somewhat softer and less poofy hair after blowdrying (I poof up like a lion usually).

And finally, hair serum! I settled on a bottle from Garnier Fructis:

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum

I actually spent a TON of time looking at different oils and serums at Walmart. I wanted to compare the ingredients on all of them and settled on this mainly because there weren’t that many ingredients and also because argan oil was pretty far up the list (I think 3rd or 4th whereas it was 5th or below for other brands). It has the signature Garnier scent (that I love) and makes my hair nice and soft. It does not leave me looking oily (jojoba does that sometimes) and seems to absorb pretty quick. I can’t say it adds more shine to my hair or controls that much frizz, but overall it seems pretty nice.

That’s it for hair goop! I’m still iffy on the hair serum and creme – having so much product in my hair makes me feel like it’ll start looking oily sooner rather than later. I might try a lighter application of both in the future.

I did get one more thing for my hair :) New brush! Also from TJMaxx:

Earth Therapeutics Ceramic Styling Brush

Earth Therapeutics Ceramic Styling Brush

I have a rounded brush like this but it has an aluminum barrel and I read that ceramic is much better and less damaging to your hair than metals because it helps output negative ions which helps keeps frizzies away! I haven’t actually used this yet. Since it’s from TJMaxx and people rummage through there all the time, I feel like I should wash it down first before running it through my hair. So I’ll probably wipe it down with some alcohol or something tomorrow.

I got a jar of argan oil body butter as well but I am returning that since it’s also from TJMaxx and I can’t help but think about how many people might have opened and “sampled” it before I bought it… then I think about the creepy crawlies that might in that cream and I just can’t bring myself to use it. I was originally just going to mix some tea tree oil in there to kill off anything that might have come off someone’s hand… but no, that is not enough for me lol.

This post is getting a bit long but I do want to just post these last few things I got over the weekend. The Target near me finally put this bag on sale at the price I wanted:

Mossimo Satchel Bag

Mossimo Satchel Bag

I’ve wanted this bag forever but I just didn’t want to pay the $25 bucks for it. Around the holidays I saw it at the Target near my sister’s for $12.49! Unfortunately they only had one there in purple and there was a rip in it. I’ve been stalking the Target near me for ages to see if it would drop down to that price (it’s been on sale for ~$17 for ages) and finally it got marked for $12.49 so I snatched it up. I wish it was tan or pink but this lavender color is lovely too. I just love satchel style bags!

And finally: makeup. Target had a few Botanics items on sale so I grabbed some eyeshadows. I don’t really need them but there was a lovely purple and nutmeg color and a purple + pearl duo palette. Plus they were so cheap! I also finally broke out this Urban Decay Femme Palette I got during the holidays. I’ve used it one so far and it’s quite nice:



I realized I should have posted these with the palettes opened so people could actually see the color but it’s late now… maybe I will do another post on a review of them plus swatches :)


No ‘poo update + Moisturizer quest

Posted by Hen on August 18, 2012 in Health & Beauty |

So it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. A long while, I know. I’m not very good at keeping up I suppose. Who knew blogging could be so time consuming?

Anyways, first a little update on the no shampoo thing I was doing. I did find out the reason why the baking soda wasn’t working for me! It turns out that the baking soda doesn’t really dissolve that easily in hard water and the city I live in has pretty hard water :( The solution I found for this was to essentially boil the water for about 10 minutes (you will see a pool of white stuff at the bottom of the pot) then scooping out the “softened” water to use in my mix.

However this is just a HUGE hassle. Honestly showering is usually the last thing on my mind during the day. It’ll usually be maybe 10-11PM when I think, “Oh damn, I gotta shower”, so having to wait another 10 minutes to boil the water, then make my mixture, then wait for it to cool, and THEN finally shower really just isn’t ideal. I know, I could boil a giant batch one day and store it somewhere but I just haven’t really gotten around to buying a container to hold the mixture and it’s just not going to be that ideal once winter hits (who wants to rinse their head with freezing cold baking soda water?).

I also moved about 2 months ago and during that time it really was just too much trouble to bother with between packing and cleaning so I switched to trying an all natural shampoo. First I tried Alba’s Botanica Hawaiian Mango Shampoo. At first I liked it because it smelled great! But then later I realized it wasn’t a very good shampoo. For one thing I was having dandruff problems and I have never in my life had a problem with dandruff. With black hair, dandruff is just really embarrassing because it stands out so well! Another thing, it said it was sulfate free but I’m pretty sure its not as I saw the offending sodium lauryl sulfate ingredient in the list (though I cannot confirm this right now as I have long tossed the bottle).

Well a few weeks ago my sister recommended a shampoo by Shea Moisture. The one I got is their coconut and hibiscus one for curls (though I don’t have any curls). It was about $8-9 bucks at target and it smells delicious. Seriously it smells like candy. Best of all? It’s all natural and organic. The label has a list of all the things it doesn’t containing, including parabens and sulfates. It lathers quite nicely and leaves my hair clean and soft. Though not as soft as when I was still using conditioner. I don’t have to use a ton of this stuff either to clean my hair which is good because it’s not the hugest bottle.

Although the Shea Moisture shampoo is great I have recently been trying to get back into the baking soda thing again. This is partly because about 3 weeks ago I started running almost everyday and was showering everyday because of it. This seriously ruined all the work I had done to condition my scalp to not overproduce oils. I found myself going from 4 days without washing my hair to barely making it to 2. And I noticed that the oiliness I was getting that the gross dirty feeling kind, whereas before, even if my hair got oily, it still didn’t look that gross. So now I would like to get back on the no ‘poo track and try to readjust my scalp to normal oil production levels. I do not think I will boil water for a full 10 minutes though. Instead I’m going to experiment with heating at different time intervals with water that I have first run through a Brita (or in my case a Pur) filter (hoping that will soften it a little but who knows). I did this a few days ago and used the apple cider vinegar rinse and my hair just felt so much cleaner and softer than it did with shampoo!

In other news, since I liked the Shea Moisture shampoo, I decided to give their lotion a try as I have been looking for a good moisturizer. I picked this up at Target for around $8 bucks:

Shea Moisture Olive and Green Tea Lotion

And it’s great!! This stuff is super thick though – more like a thick cream than a lotion. I don’t know what they were thinking using this kind of bottle for it. It literally doesn’t move and is super hard to get out with this kind of bottle. A squeeze tube or one of those pot/jar things would be much better. It’s quite worth struggling to get it out though. Its very moisturizing and it’s not super greasy the way most lotions are. It also absorbs into my skin pretty fast which is nice because that means it also absorbs into my palms easily meaning I don’t have to wash my hands after applying lotion all the time. Also, like their other products this is all natural and doesn’t contain any: parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance (nice bonus! seems hard to find fragrance free stuff nowadays), PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates. And also no animal testing.

I’m not super strict on the no paraben and all natural/organic thing. It’s especially hard with makeup (I love my Missha BB cream!) unless I want to pay a ton, but I do try to reduce the amount of stuff I have that contains it.

I was using coconut oil as a lotion for awhile and while it’s great (there’s no denying the goodness of coconut oil), it’s just too messy and too oily for me. It does not absorb very well into my skin even if I use it while my skin is still damp and it doesn’t really glide on well either. Since it doesn’t absorb very fast, that means I can’t really use it in the mornings unless I want to feel greasy for the next few hours.

I have found that coconut oil is great for removing makeup! I always have the hardest time removing eyeliner and ever since I started using Urban Decay’s primer, I feel like I’m going into battle when I try to remove eyeshadow. I’m skeptical about eye makeup remover. For one thing I’m scared of getting it in my eye even if it’s suppose to be safe lol. Hovever, one of my friends mentioned that coconut oil removes makeup very easily so I’ve been using it on my eye makeup since! Plus its great for moisturizing the delicate skin around my eyes.

So, this post is getting a bit long now. I do have to apologize because this is not the infinity dress tutorial I promised. I WILL do that one. I have the pictures loaded on my computer; it’s just I’ve been too lazy to write it all up. I will post it eventually though!


Hand scrub to get rid of nasty scents

Posted by Hen on May 28, 2012 in Health & Beauty |

So it’s been awhile. I’m not very good at keeping up with blogs as you can see. I have to admit that over the past few weeks there have been a few of those, “Oh I should blog about that!” moments but it always ended up as a, “I’ll do it later” and then later never came. Well… you know how it is.

I decided today that I would blog about a little mixture I made before it turned into a later that never came. This scrub was made to get rid of that nasty rubber glove smell that lingers on my hands after washing the dishes. You see, up until this year I have always washed dishes with bare hands because I hated that rubber smell that gets stuck on your hands afterwards. It wasn’t much of a problem but this winter my hands would get so dry and cracked that I gave in and decided to use gloves (for some reason it never occurs me to use the dishwasher until its too late). But now I have that nasty rubber smell problem to deal with. The smell just takes forever to wear off.

Well awhile ago I remember reading about a soap someone made with coffee grounds to get garlic and onion smell off their hands and I figure I could make something similar but not a soap (I’m no soap maker). So this is what I came up with and it worked great!

Coffee hand scrub

Just mix equal parts coffee grounds and brown sugar and put it into a jar by your sink. Pour a little into your palm and scrub your hands with it. I used a vanilla flavored coffee and it left a nice vanilla-y coffee scent on my hand that is not strong at all.

I also added sea salt to mine but I think it made it too rough. So I’m thinking I might add oil to my mixture to make it smoother and moisturizing. I want to go with coconut oil though I would rather use something that stays liquid. So maybe olive oil instead? I do think it’d be a great idea to use another one of those flatter mason jars I hold my deodorant in and mix the scrub with coconut oil, then I could use it like a lotion?

Also here’s a sneak peak at my next post: Infinity Dress How To (sort of)

Infinity dress


Quilt Update

Posted by Hen on March 4, 2012 in Sewing |

So it’s been awhile since I posted. I have to admit that I’ve been lazy. I tend to get bored of large projects fairly quick unless it’s a gift for someone. This explains why my Hobbes doll is still just a head.

I DID make some progress on my quilt though. I cut the smaller triangles and chain stitched them. I probably should have planned how to mix and match the pieces a bit better since I have more of some colors than others but I suppose its too late for that.

Chained pieces

I laid out my quilt today on my bedroom floor. I decided to just go with the scrappy look. I have too uneven of a number of prints to make a pattern. And since I’m a bit OCD about these things I tried very hard not to have any sort of pattern accidentally show up in the quilt (it’s either all random or not random at all, I can’t have half and half). I must be really bad at counting though since I found that I was short 7 pieces of the larger triangles. I just finished cutting them out but I’m too tired to get out the sewing machine and sew them up. I still need to cut out the white pieces as well.

Pieces laid out

I’m debating whether or not I want to add more around the sides. Maybe a white border?


Started Quilt

Posted by Hen on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized |

I started my quilt yesterday! I know – it was Valentines day – I didn’t do anything lol. In fact, I actually went to Walmart to buy a self healing mat and rotary cutter. I found this little set that came with the rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, pins, needles, AND a how to quilt book for around $15. I thought it was a pretty good deal so I got it. I picked up 3 more fat quarters as well too add a bit of color variety to the fabric I had already gotten. I found packs of cloth at Walmart for 8 bucks! You get 2 prints and 2 yards each. 4 yards for 8 bucks? I don’t think I’ve ever seen fabric that cheap. It’s not that bad either… of course the choices weren’t that great but I think the two I got were pretty nice. I particularly like the pink prints I got.

Here are all my tools together:

Quilting Materials

The checker blue is something I already had and decided to just use up the rest. I guess my quilt will be a bit scrappy but I wanted brighter colors for spring. Since those two packs each have 4 yards of fabric I actually have way more than I need for one quilt. I’m thinking I might use the rest for the back just to save me having to buy more. I still need to buy the solid color fabric though.

I started cutting the kaleidoscope triangles yesterday and got them all done (with some extra). I learned you gotta cut like you mean it with the rotary cutter though. At first I was barely even denting the fabric. Maybe the blade just isn’t sharp enough? And I don’t know if my pattern was off or if I was just moving the ruler when I was cutting, but I wasn’t able to ever cut, flip the pattern to cut again and have the edges line up like the person who wrote the instructions was able to… Thus my cuts aren’t ALL the same but I think it’s close enough?

Kaleidoscope cuts

Kaleidoscope cuts

I meant to do the 45 degree triangle cuts today but I got too distracted making dinner and… watching Youtube (oops). So I guess I will do that tomorrow.

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