Jun 29, 2010

Curly Hair - Products and TIPS

Curly Hair - Products and TIPS

I have received a lot of questions regarding my curls and my hair care regimen. So here goes a requested post...

DISCLOSURE: I am not a hair care professional, cosmetologist, dermatologist or an expert. These are my tips from my personal experiences. Consult an expert for professional/medical advice. In other words, if your hair falls off it's not my fault! : )


MY HAIR BACKGROUND
I'm half Indian and half black so my hair is a weird combo of curls and waves. My natural color is black but right now I have to color the ends since they were lightened before. So we have natural color treated curly/wavy hair.


SYMPTOMS OF CURLY HAIR
If you have curly hair, then you know what the main issues are. Curly hair tends to be dry, coarse and brittle. It also has a serious case of the frizz and is usually uncontrollable. Add to that it tangles easily. The key is to treat the symptoms and cross your fingers for a cure.

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WHAT DOES A CURLY HAIRED GIRL LOOK FOR IN HAIR CARE???

Shampoo....
Stay clear of clear shampoos! Hahahaa! We need to use creamy moisturizing shampoos to minimize dryness. Seek out thick creamy shampoos or shampoo/conditioner combos. If it has moisturising in the name then it's a safer bet than a clarifying deep cleaning shampoo.

I use L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Shampoo or L'Oreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo. Both are great for cleaning my hair but leaving it soft and moisturized. The bonus is that this line is sulphate-free. This means that there is no harmful stripping of the hair follicle which leads to good color retention and healthier moisturized hair.

Conditioner....
Again, seek out thick and creamy moisturizing conditioners. Look out for words like intensive, deep, hydrating, moisturizing, etc. The more luxurious it sounds the better.

TIP: Make sure your hair is reasonably water free after shampooing....almost short of towel drying. This will allow your hair to absorb more of the conditioning product than if it is soaking wet. Also, try to keep the conditioner in your hair for a minimum of 5 minutes (or longer if you can).

I use L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Conditioner or L'Oreal EverPure Moisture Conditioner. Again no sulphates here.

Deep Conditioners or Hair Masques....
It is also good to deep condition hair as often as possible when maintaining your curls. You can get a separate product or use your regular conditioner under a heat cap or shower cap blasted with your blow dryer for a few minutes. A deep conditioner or hair masque is a super moisturizing treatment for your hair and should be left on for at least 15 minutes to get reap the benefits.

The L'Oreal EverPure line has deep conditioners as well - Smooth Deep Control Masque and Moisture Restorative Masque. I use either of these or Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream which can be found at many beauty supply stores including Sallys.


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WHAT ABOUT STYLING CURLY HAIR???

The key to styling curly hair is to combat the symptoms - frizz, dryness, tangling and coarseness.

Tools...
For curly hair there are a few essential tools for styling.

WIDE TOOTH COMB
This is must-have in the shower for de-tangling curly hair. It's best to comb through hair while the conditioner is still in. Add a bit of warm water and comb through.

PLASTIC BRISTLE PADDLE BRUSH
This has been a saver for me while styling. I use this to distribute product and de-tangle my hair after towel drying. Natural bristles can be too weak to de-tangle curly hair and can actually cause snags in the hair (i.e. pulling at your strands).

BLOW DRYER DIFFUSER
This is a must for drying curly hair while maintaining the curls and adding volume. It attaches to the end of your regular blow dryer and dries hair without disturbing the curls. You can aim it at the roots for lift and volume. Or at the ends to scrunch and dry the curls into place.

YOUR HANDS
the cheapest and easiest tool out there. Use your hands to form curls and to scrunch the product into your hair rather than using a comb and brush. This gives a much more natural look and keeps curls from breaking apart into a stringy mess.

Products...
There are three general products that I use for the best results.
MOISTURIZER
These come in all different forms but the best ones for curly hair are creams and lotions. They are thicker in consistency and tend to be much richer in moisture. You must use a moisturizer for curly hair to keep it from getting too dry and brittle.

I use Tresemme Flawless Curls Curl Hydration Lotion Crème, Tresemme Touchable Curls Shaping Milk, or Matrixx Curl.Life Contouring milk.

STYLE CONTROL - MOUSSE and GEL
For a good hold and long lasting curls I use a mousse and/or a gel to define and hold the curls as well as control frizz. I use a mousse first for definition and a gel for frizz control and hold.

I use Tresemme Bouncy Curls Extra Hold Defining Gel, Tresemme Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse and/or Matrixx Curl.Life Body Shaping Foam.

You can also throw in a frizz control product but usually the moisturizer and/or mousse and/or gel will have a frizz control bonus! I don't use an additonal frizz control product and I do just fine.



TIPS:

  • Only de-tangle hair while it's still wet and preferably in the shower with conditioner.

  • Do NOT rub hair when towel drying. Just lightly squeeze hair in between the towel to get rid of excess water. Rubbing will cause frizziness.

  • Saturate hair with conditioner or moisturizer when the hair is not soaking wet. This will help the hair absorb more of the essential moisture it needs.

  • Scrunch hair with hands to get natural curls and don't over handle as this will break down the curls.

Jun 28, 2010

Denim Skirt w/ Button-down Shirt - OUTFIT

Denim Skirt w/ Button-down Shirt - OUTFIT

This outfit is a simple look for casual days at the office. It's a white button-down short sleeved shirt from Express paired with a high waisted denim skirt with a front split and gold buttons (from who knows where). And of course the shoes HAVE to make a statement when the outfit is subdued. The shoes are faux snake print open toe platforms from Guess.

'Beach Breeze' Look

'Beach Breeze' Look

I wanted to make use of my MAC Mutiny Pigment which I have never used in a look and this is what I came up with. I recommend getting MAC Parfait Amour Eyeshadow for your collection! It's a beautiful blue-violet color.


Eyes:

PRIME:
I started off with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base all over my lid up to the brow bone. I also applied MAC Layin Low Paintpot (matte creamy beige) all over my lid up to my brow bone as my primary base.

COLOR:
On the inner lid I applied MAC Haunting Eyeshadow (satin light blue).
For the lid I applied MAC Mutiny Pigment (frosty light blue).
On the outer lid I applied Inglot #58 Eyeshadow (matte vibrant green).
I used Illamasqua Dare Eyeshadow (matte light green) on the outer crease for blending.
For the inner crease I used MAC Parfait Amour Eyeshadow (frosty blue-violet).
For highlight I used MAC Ricepaper Eyeshadow (shimmery champagne).

BROWS:
My brows are filled in with MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Stud.

DEFINE:
I lined my upper lashline with Wet 'n' Wild Gel Eyeliner in Black.
I lined my lower waterline with Loreal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Black.
I smudged Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner in Peacock (cobalt blue) on my lower lashline and applied MAC Parfait Amour Eyeshadow to my inner tear duct area.
I used Covergirl Lashblast Mascara in Very Black for my lashes and added Beautee Senses SmashingLashes for effect.

 
Lips:
 
POLISH:
For my lips I used MAC Thrills Lipstick topped with MAC Kumquat Lipglass.

 
Face:
 
FINISH:
I prepped my skin with Stila One Step Primer/Corrector. I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Tahoe with MUFE Full Cover Concealer in #12 under my eyes. I set with MAC Blot Powder in Dark. I used MAC Instant Chic Blush for my cheeks topped with MAC Comfort Mineralized Skinfinish.
I highlighted and contoured my cheeks with MUFE #1 Sculpting Kit.

Jun 25, 2010

Tips for Beginners...SKIN CARE

Tips for Beginners...SKIN CARE

Now that you have determine your skin type let's go into skin care. The specific products used for your skin care routine will differ based on your skin type but the general principles are the same for any skin type.

Check out the Previous Post: Tips for Beginners - SKIN TYPE

DISCLOSURE: I am not a skin care professional. These are my personal thoughts and knowledge through research, personal and semi-personal experiences (friends and family). Consult a dermatologist for professional/medical advice. In other words, if your skin falls off it's not my fault! : )

PREVENTION
We have all probably heard the saying that "prevention is better than a cure" or some variation of that. Simply put, it's easier to prevent issues/problems that it is to correct them.
  • Stay hydrated! Drinks lots of water - 8-10 glasses a day (if you can). This will help with the natural moisture in your skin as well as flush toxins from your body (and inherently your skin).
  • Wear sun protection! One of the main causes of premature aging in sun damage. So make sure you take steps to protect your skin from sun exposure. Wear hats, sunglasses, protective clothing and SUNSCREEN (UVA and UVB protection).
  • Get lots of sleep! I love this one because I sleep a lot. LOL. Beauty sleep is not a myth. Healthy bodies require rest and sleep and guess what a healthy body leads to...yes!...healthy skin.
  • Eat healthy! No I don't mean become a vegetarian or go organic overnight. Fat and grease are obviously not the best for your body or skin. Vitamins and minerals are crucial so remember to eat your fruits and vegetables. Simple healthy eating habits won't just help your body but also your skin.
  • Moisturize! Even though I will expand this more later I still have emphasize it here. No matter what your skin type you MUST moisturize.

CLEANSING
We need to cleanse our skin to remove dirt, bacteria, pollution, makeup and just the daily grime that can build up. My personal preference is cleansing both morning and night but some people may choose to cleanse only at night. Cleansing products will depend on your skin type but no matter what try to avoid products with alcohol. Alcohol, strips the moisture from your skin which can lead to irritation or excessive oiliness (your skin is forced to over-compensate and produce more oil).
  • For Normal skin it's best to use a gentle foaming facial wash that will not strip the natural moisture away. 
  • For Dry skin use a thick creamy cleanser to melt away dirt but still retain moisture.
  • For Oily skin you should start with a gentle foaming facial wash. This will remove dirt and oil without stripping away moisture.
  • For Combination skin use a gentle foaming facial wash in the mornings to cleanse your skin. This will address the oily areas and help to prevent blackheads. In the evening use a cream cleanser to soothe your dry areas. This will keep a balance between excess dryness and excess oiliness. 
  • For Sensitive skin avoid using facial washes or soap. Instead use a light, hypoallergenic cleansing lotion.

TIP: Use lukewarm water for washing your face instead of hot or cold water. Hot water can cause irritate and dry essential oils from skin. Cold water can tighten pores and lock dirt in.


TONERS
Back in the day toners took the form of harsh astringents which I DO NOT recommend no matter what. Astringents contain high volumes of alcohol that can dry and irritate skin even more. Even if you have oily skin avoid products with alcohol. They will cause your skin to over-produce oil to compensate for the oils that were stripped away by a harsh astringent - you will be even oilier than before.

New age toners are gentler and can be used in addition to cleansing for an extra boost of clean. Toners will help to tighten up pores and remove excess residue from skin. Although it's a nice addition, this step can be skipped for the most part. I use a toner maybe once or twice a week.


EXFOLIATION/FACIAL MASKS
I group these together because they do pretty much the same thing - deep cleansing for the skin. I recommend this twice a week for normal, combo or oily skin to remove buildup from makeup or life. For none makeup wearers and dry, sensitive skin I say it's best once a week. There are various options of the market for exfoliation or facial masks. You can use a face brush or facial scrub (ensure that they are gentle - bristles or beads). A facial scrub should have tiny smooth particles rather than sharp, harsh pieces. If you can feel the particles cutting at your skin this may not be the best choice of scrub (...ehem St. Ives Scrub).


MOISTURIZING
No matter your skin type, we all need to moisturize! Use a moisturizer both during the day and at night. You can use a richer, more intensive moisturizer at night to help your skin rejuvenate and use a lightweight balancing moisturizer during the day.
  • Normal skin is naturally moisturized but be sure to use a lightweight moisturizer to maintain balance.
  • Dry skin needs more intense moisture so use a thick creamy moisturizer and let it soak into the skin. Serums and thick gel moisturizers work well too. Dry skin can lead to flaking and sensitive spots so make sure to treat you skin well.
  • Oily skin will feel dry and tight after cleansing so use a lightweight oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin balanced. If your skin is unbalanced it tends to over-compensate by producing more oil and therefore worsen your problem.
  • Combination skin should also use a lightweight oil-free moisturizer all over the face. Use a thicker cream for dry bothersome spots.
  • Sensitive skin should avoid anything scented or harsh. Also be careful when choosing products. Avoid products with your specific skin irritants (such as silicone).

USEFUL BLOG POSTS....
My Skin Care Regimen
MAC Oil Control Lotion
Shiseido Skincare
Stila One Step Corrector/Primer

Tips for Beginners...SKIN TYPE

Tips for Beginners...SKIN TYPE

When starting out in makeup one of the very first steps is to determine your skin type. This is will help when deciding on skincare as well as foundation since these are intertwined.

There are five main skin types - Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination and Sensitive. Acne-prone is a bonus feature to a couple of these skin types as well.

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NORMAL
Normal skin is the least problematic type. What a blessing they have! Normal skin should feel smooth, clean and elastic. This skin type with be even toned with a healthy complexion and very small pores. Normal skin is evenly balanced with oil and water and rarely may have a spot breakout. After washing Normal skin still feels smooth and supple. 

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OILY
This type of skin has over reactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands and is prone to oiliness/shine on the forehead, nose and chin areas (T-Zone). There are usually also enlarged visible pores which makes Oily skin prone to blackheads and acne. Oily skin will also feel tight and dry after cleansing but greasy by the end of the day.

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DRY
Dry skin both sebum and moisture and will feel flaky, dry, and tight. It has very tiny pores and can very tight after washing. Dry skin is lucky in that breakouts are rare to non-existent. This type of skin chaps easily and can lead to more pronounced lines and wrinkles.
 
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COMBINATION
Combination skin is just what it says -  a combination of Oily and Dry skin types. It is the most common skin type for women and requires separate treatment for each area. It is oily down the T-Zone area and dry on the cheeks. There will be enlarged pores as with Oily skin and occasional breakouts in oily areas.
 
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SENSITIVE
Sensitive skin usually becomes inflamed and irritated easily. It may be both oily and dry and is easily disturbed by skin care products and cosmetics. Sensitive can be blotchy, flushed or have reddened look and might even itch.  This is the most problematic and fragile type of skin and is prone to breakouts.

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Once you have determined what skin type you have then we can go into skin care tips and makeup for use with your specific skin type.

Jun 24, 2010

Summer Whites w/ Leopard Print Shoes - OUTFIT

Summer Whites w/ Leopard Print Shoes - OUTFIT

I haven't posted an outfit of the day for the longest so here goes. This is a simple military inspired white button-down belted shirt dress paired with beaded leopard print pumps from BAKERS (years and years ago). I added simple gold accessories to boot.


The shoes make the outfit though...

'Golden Paradise' Look

'Golden Paradise' Look

If you know me by now, then you know I'm not a fan of gold. I think that may change after this look. I absolutely LOVE the way Mac Melon Pigment looks on my lid. It's a great peachy gold for my skintone I must say. Maybe that was what was wrong...I need a peachy gold rather than a yellow gold.


Eyes:

PRIME:
I started off with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base all over my lid up to the brow bone. I also applied MAC Layin Low Paintpot (matte creamy beige) in my crease and on my brow bone as my primary base. For my lid I used MAC Indianwood Paintpot (metallic antique bronze).

COLOR:
On the inner lid and tear duct I applied MUFE #10 Eyeshadow (yellow gold shimmer).
For the lid I applied MAC Melon Pigment (frosty golden peach).
On the outer lid I applied MAC Gold Pigment (metallic gold).
I used MUFE #92 Eyeshadow (matte brilliant purple) on the crease.
For the blending on the brow bone I used Smashbox Nude Eyeshadow (matte nude).
For highlight I used MUFE #102 Eyeshadow (matte butter yellow).

BROWS:
My brows are filled in with MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Stud.

DEFINE:
I lined my upper lashline with Wet 'n' Wild Gel Eyeliner in Black.
I lined my lower waterline with Loreal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Black.
I smudged Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in Lust (vibrant purple) on my lower lashline.
I used Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Mascara for my lashes and added Beautee Senses Princess Lashes for effect.

Lips:
POLISH:
For my lips I used MAC Fanfare Lipstick topped with MAC Poco Pink Lacquer.

Face:
FINISH:
I prepped my skin with Stila One Step Primer/Corrector. I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Tahoe with MUFE Full Cover Concealer in #12 under my eyes. I set with MAC Blot Powder in Dark. I used MAC Gingerly Blush for my cheeks.
I highlighted and contoured my cheeks with MUFE #1 Sculpting Kit.


Jun 23, 2010

'Seafoam Coral' Look

'Seafoam Coral' Look

Did I just do this look? LOL! Yep! I did something similar recently but with a cut crease. This look is more diffused and uses my top 2 eyeshadow brand - Inglot.

Eyes:

PRIME:
I started off with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base all over my lid up to the brow bone. I also applied MAC Layin Low Paintpot (matte creamy beige) all over my lid up to my brow bone as my primary base.

COLOR:
On the inner lid I applied MAC Blanc Type Eyeshadow (matte ivory).
For the lid I applied Inglot #361 Eyeshadow (matte coral pink).
On the outer lid and crease I applied Inglot #504 Eyeshadow (matte seafoam green).
I used MUFE #93 Eyeshadow (matte light green) on the inner crease.
For the blending on the brow bone I used Smashbox Nude Eyeshadow (matte nude).
For highlight I used MAC Ricepaper Eyeshadow (shimmery champagne).

BROWS:
My brows are filled in with MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked.

DEFINE:
I lined my upper lashline with Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner in Black.
I lined my lower waterline with Loreal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Black.
I smudged MAC Float On By Eye Kohl Pencil (satin teal) on my lower lashline.
I used Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Mascara for my lashes and added Beautee Senses Princess Lashes for effect.

Lips:

POLISH:
I used MUFE #403 Lipstick topped with Dior Addict #3 Lip Polish.

Face:

FINISH:
I prepped my skin with Stila One Step Primer/Corrector. I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Tahoe with MUFE Full Cover Concealer in #12 under my eyes. I set with MAC Blot Powder in Dark. I used MAC Instant Chic Blush for my cheeks.
I highlighted and contoured my cheeks with MUFE #1 Sculpting Kit.


Jun 21, 2010

'Barely Naked' Look

'Barely Naked' Look

This look is a naked look for me not only because of the neutral colors but also because I made use of MAC Naked Dark and Naked Deep Dark Pigments...oh and the lipglass is Naked Space.

Eyes:

PRIME:
I started off with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base all over my lid up to the brow bone. I also applied MAC Layin Low Paintpot (matte creamy beige) all over my lid up to my brow bone as my primary base.

COLOR:
On the inner lid I applied MAC Gold Dusk Pigment (shimmery light yellow gold).
For the lid I applied MAC Naked Dark Pigment (satin yellowish nude).
On the outer lid and crease I applied MAC Naked Deep Dark Pigment (satin dark nude).
I used MAC Deep Brown Pigment (matte chocolate brown) in the outer V to deepen.
On the brow bone I applied Smashbox Nude Eyeshadow (matte medium nude).
For highlight I used MAC Blanc Type Eyeshadow (matte ivory).

BROWS:
My brows are filled in with MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked.

DEFINE:
I lined my upper lashline with Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner in Black.
I lined my lower waterline with Loreal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Black.
I smudged MAC Undercurrent Pearlglide Pencil (shimmery green with gold glitter) on my lower lashline.
I used Covergirl Lashblast Mascara for my lashes and added MAC #43 Lashes for effect.

Lips:

POLISH:
I used MAC Brave New Bronze Lipstick topped with MAC Naked Space Lipglass.

Face:

FINISH:
I prepped my skin with Stila One Step Primer/Corrector. I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Tahoe with MUFE Full Cover Concealer in #12 under my eyes. I set with MAC Blot Powder in Dark. I used Illamasqua Expose Blush for my cheeks.

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