Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hair care

I have naturally frizzy non-curly but slight wavy hair that is thick and coarse. I will never have to worry about going bald. Ever. And thanks to my genes the hair is quite resilient and strong. Albeit super dry and damaged from the coloring, straight perms and regular perms. I used to color my hair at least every 2 months until last year. I saw all the damage it had done to my hair and now I just color every four months - touching up my roots. (I use Japanese foam hair dye called Prettia). I wash my hair every 2 days and use minimal styling products. 

The go-to brand of shampoo used to be Japanese brands such as Shiseido or Essential but they were quite expensive. Early this year I found Clear range via YouTube and I have been loving the results. I have gotten all my friends to use this line LOL. Clear is made by Unilever which is the company that makes Dove and Tresemme, both of which I do like. Clear line is meant to be used on your scalp as well as the hair, even for the conditioner. Their slogan is 'Stronger, more beautiful hair in 7 days, guaranteed'. Quite a lofty goal but I have to say the line does deliver. 
The collection has Total Care, Damage & Color repair, Volumizing root boost, Strong lengths, Frizz control and Ultra Shea. Some of these collections are only available in the US. It is usually $5-7 depending on the store. The price is a little more than the typical drugstore shampoos but well worth it. 

The collection I use and love is Damage & Color repair. I have also used the Frizz control shampoo, ultra Shea conditioner and Clean & refresh shampoo (from the men's line). The ones in the picture are from Target (larger size $7 each). Not sure if the larger size with pump is available in Canada. 
After only one use I noticed a difference in my hair. The shampoo and conditions smell wonderful, fresh and sweet. It lathers very well which I love. The hair feels lighter and moisturized and does not feel like its weighed down. When I use Pantene or Dove the hair seems to 'get used' to the products and get some waxy build up. I am onto my 3rd or 4th bottle of these and haven't noticed any build up. I will continue to use this line. 

Have you heard of 'Wen'? If you watch late night TV you may have come across the infomercial for the cleansing conditioner. Cleansing conditioner is supposed to be better for your hair as it does not contain the lathering sulphate and thus more nourishing to hair that's been damaged. It is supposed to not strip the hair and make the color stay in longer and keep the hair more moisturized. But Wen is about $38 for 16oz and that's only for a 2 month supply. I did some research and found the hair one cleansing conditioner at Sally's beauty supply. This was on sake for $9.99 for 12 oz. I do like the result of using this as the hair feels extra soft and not brittle at all. This one has a slight tingle once applied and even though there are no suds, my scalp does feel clean. It's just a little tedious and weird to get used to. The instructions on how to use this product is a little crazy. To summarize, it says to pump about 10 - 15 pumps of the product and distribute and message the scalp carefully for about 5 minutes on damp hair. Then pump another 10 - 15 pumps and work the rest of the hair; then let it sit for another 5 minutes before rinsing off. I don't know how long you usually take to shower but massaging your scalp for 5 minutes is a little too long (not to mention your arms feel super tired). While I like the results (hair does seem smoother and nourished) the whole massaging for 5 plus minutes, etc deters me from using it all the time. I have noticed that my hair dries a little faster (just a little) when I use the cleansing conditioner. 

After hair has been washed and dried, I use this leave in product - it's from a Japanese line Lux. This feels like a styling cream but does not have any hold. It makes my hair smoother and also less brittle than when I don't use it. I take a dollar size and rub it into the ends of the hair before combing. The results can be seen  when the hair is dry, which is surprising because it does not feel any different when you comb it in.

What do you use for your hair care?

Thursday, August 15, 2013


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Battle of highlighters

Highlighters are all the rage (along with bronzers/contouring powders). I was pretty late in joining the party as I only used to use blush on my cheeks. As I get older I realize how important to fake the glow of youth (aka teenage years).  Purpose of highlighter is to emphasize high points such as cheekbones, forehead, bridge of the nose and to bring subtle glow to the face. The ones I use range from $3.99 to $50.
To be honest I prefer higher end highlighters because the effect is more subtle and the shimmer particles and the powder are much finer and softer.  However my favourite isn't the $50 Hourglass powder but the mid range $34 Benefit 10.
Etude house - model face color 01 highlight
This Korean brand has so many cheek enhancing powders and they come out with a new one every year it seems. The one I have was purchased on ebay for about $7. Amongst all the highlighters this has the most sheen. The powder is a bit too loose and the shimmer tends to fall on other parts of the face which can make you look a bit like a disco ball if not careful.
Wet n wild - Reserve Your Cabana
This giant highlighter is only $3.99!!! The size of it is about 4 times the Etude one and considering the price the quality is amazing. The powder is soft and finely milled. It gives a very subtle glow and can be dusted all over the face without being too shiny. This can be a quick dupe for the Hourglass Ambient powder in Diffused Light.
Hourglass -  Diffused Light
The packaging oh my. It is a beauty to hold. The powder is almost like silk and so very soft. This is supposed to cancel the redness in the face and not specified for highlighting. There are other powders in this line that are meant more as highlighters. The only reason I bought this $50 powder was because of a gift card. Otherwise I don't think it's worth the investment. The effect of this powder is so subtle it's hard to detect with eyes in my opinion. 
Revlon - colorstay mineral finishing powder 010 brighten
This is a very good pink shimmer highlighter found at the drugstore. I think I paid about $10. There is something about pink shimmer that makes a girl feel. so. pretty. This I use to highlight my browbone and the checks the most. The effect is just gorgeous.
Benefit - 10
This is a dual product of shimmer and bronzer in one. And this is the only product I have repurchased. The highlight has a subtle pink bronze look. Using the brush it comes with I sweep over the cheek area,  voila! highlight and contour at once. Sometimes I forgo blush with this. And almost every time I wear it people ask what I am doing different with my makeup LOL. The reason I love this the most is the staying power. Unlike most of the other highlighters this one stays on for at least 4-5 hours on my combo skin.
Etude House - very powdery 
Has a yellow sheen 
Wet n Wild - Reserve your cabana 
Subtle glow 
Hourglass - Diffused Light 
Too subtle to be a highlighter 
Revlon Colostay Mineral Finishing powder 
Oh so pretty!
Benefit - 10
Love this!

Battle of mascaras

I love mascaras. I currently am rotating at least 4-5 different ones, which are all waterproof. I cannot wear regular ones because they do not keep my curls and will smudge.
The ones I am loving are YSL singulier, Stila all day waterproof volumizing, Maybelline Rocket volume and Maybelline cat eye hyper curl (only in Asia). 

My eyelashes are on the long side but are thin and sparse. They are straight without a hint of curl and cannot be coaxed to curl with just the mascara. 

Today's battle is between YSL and the Maybelline Rocket Volume.

YSL Singulier mascara was a spur of the moment buy at the duty free store in San Francisco. The tube is heavy gold and is very beautiful to hold. The bristle of the mascara wand is a spiral shape - I have not seen anything like it with other mascaras. The formula is on the drier side and does need multiple coats to give the result I like (thick, dark dramatic lashes). For $34, I expect it to be amazing. I have to say while I like it's non-clumping, non-smudging, super dark colour, I would not repurchase at this price. It feels like I have to put in more of an effort in coating my lashes than other mascaras.

Maybelline Rocket Volume has a nylon bristle, similar to Covergirl Lash Blast, but a little smaller. The bristle can be quite stiff and if not careful can poke the rim of your eyes. 
This formula is also on the drier side (especially compared to Maybelline Falsies). This also provides pretty clump free lashes with multiple coats. What I don't love is how stiff and brittle the lashes feel. Also since I like my lashes to look full and dramatic,  the look this mascara gives is not what I like so much.

Have you tried these mascaras?
Bare lashes - curled with Shu Uemura curler
YSL Singulier

Maybelline Rocket Volume
YSL Singulier - side view
Maybelline Rocket Volume side view

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Hello beautiful!

Life has been crazy hectic and I have been neglecting this blog for a long time... So sorry!
Will be doing some reviews of drugstore foundations and lip products as well as eyeliners and skincare soon!