I started sugaring my face a few months ago. I have very fine peach fuzz on my cheeks, and it is sort of bothersome but not the end of the world. I sugar my face once a month; it doesn't take all the hair off, but I think that being totally hairless looks sort of strange, so it's ok. I just want the long unruly blond hairs to be gone; that's good enough for me. Anyway, I cut up an old pair of jeans and I use the denim to pull the wax off my face. I made a batch of sugar about 2 months ago, and I'm not even halfway through it. I keep it in a small plastic tupperware container and I heat it up for 20 seconds in the microwave when I want to use it. I apply it using a frosting knife (flat rounded pastry knife) and it works great. I apply it in long strokes to my cheeks and pull it off sideways. I don't wan to pull my face skin up or down, as I think it's probably not good for it. I also hold the skin taught when I do this. My face is red for a few hours, but I don't get ingrown hairs or a lot of irritation from sugaring, as I did from waxing and using hair removal creams in the past (I have very sensitive skin). I also think that this stimulates collagen production on my face. The sugaring pulls out a lot of hair; I hold the denim up to the light and it appears that there are MILLIONS of fine blond hairs stuck to the sugar. It's working, but it doesn't get ALL the hairs. Around my lips, I usually do it twice, and remove the denim strip in the opposite direction of the hair growth. This helps get more hair, but it also causes more irritation, so I don't do this with the rest of my face. This is a great, cheap, chemical free way of dealing with unruly peach fuzz. I have tried it on my underarms, and it also worked well.
Styling Products -TRESemme - Thermal Creations Volumizing Mousse
catherinesophia 3/15/2012 10:54:00 PM
I have been looking for a mousse for my fine curly short hair for like months. I tried two other brands, and they were sticky and gross and made me feel like I was going to break my hair if I were to brush my hair after putting them on my hair. I use a small eggs worth of this mousse and I apply it to 50% dry hair. I then use a diffuser and a large paddle brush to blow dry my hair. My hair is wavy when I use a blow dyer, but it is really curly if I let it dry naturally, at least when it's short. I love this mousse. I wasn't expecting it to work, but my curls look clean and polished and not at all crunchy. If I let my hair dry naturally, my curls don't look polished, they just look sort of crazy. This isn't a bad thing, but sometimes I want to feel like my hair is like in control or whatever. What I really like about this mousse is that I can brush my hair after using it, and it doesn't make my hair feel crunchy or stiff. I don't feel like I will break my hair if I want to style my hair after it is dry. This is really important, because I don't wash my hair everyday. I try NOT to wash it, because our hair is extremely delicate when it's wet, so I hope the limited exposure to water will help it grow longer without breaking. Anyway, I like this mousse, a little goes a long way, and it makes my hair feel thick, polished and beautiful when I want to use a blowdryer. I'm not sure if it actually protects the hair from heat, but my hair dryer isn't hot enough to cause any REAL damage to my hair, as I use a diffuser and I keep the blowdryer at least 5 inches from my hair when I do use it on my curls. I love this mousse and I'm so happy that I found it :)
Ok, so here's the deal. If you are going to go the no-poo route, I would strongly suggest that you first start by using the Low-poo, and then move onto this one. I tried to use the no-poo about a year ago, and it was a disgusting disaster. I had really dry, curly, unmanageable hair about 3 months ago. I have been trying to grow my hair out for several years, and I have been advised by my hair stylist (now fired) that relaxing/keratin treatments would help me. Well, these procedures basically destroyed my hair. I did the big chop a month ago. Anyway, I wanted to know why my hair was breaking once it got to my ears, and I figured it out. I was flat ironing my hair (which destroys curls and also makes your hair a time bomb for breaking because it literally melts the hair at high temperatures), and using harsh sodium laurel sulfate shampoos daily. I started using the low-poo every other day, and then made the jump to no-poo a month later. After my oil production naturally went down, the low-poo was too drying for my hair. I can honestly say that I now love my hair. It is beautiful, healthy and rich and dark. I still have about two inches of bad ends, but the rest of it is beautiful. I have never loved my hair in my entire life. I felt like it was a constant battle between frizzy and stringy (because of the products I would put in it to make it not frizzy). Now, I use hardly any products (if I blow dry it, I use a volume boosting mousse) and I cleanse my hair every two days with no-poo. I love my hair now. It is in a short bob, and the natural oils make my hair look shiny and it is totally manageable. I have a mason pearson brush that I use in the morning and the night to clean any lint or dust out of my hair. The no-poo is magical stuff if you can get your sebum production to adjust. I promise that you will never ever go back to regular shampoos again if you use this for a few months. I have told all my my curly friends (guys too) about this stuff, because we all suffer from the same issues with curly hair. If you have straight hair, you can basically do anything to it, and it wont break. Curly hair is very delicate, and we need the oil that our bodies produce to protect the hair strand from water, thermal and frictional damage. Without this oil, our hair has no hope of growing long. I have read a LOT of published cosmetic research, and I have concluded that anything that strips curly hair should be avoided. Anything that attempts to change the structure of the hair (relaxers and the hot flat irons) may make curly hair look good in the short term, but it will make it so weak that it will break off very easily; my brazilian blowout looked great for the first few months, and then half of my hair basically broke off. The Devacurl No-poo is rich and I feel works a lot better than using conditioner to wash my hair. I feel it nourishes my hair without weighing it down. Making the transition takes time and patience, but trust me, it's worth it. I never thought I would say that I love my hair, but I do now. THANK YOU DEVACURL :) PS- If you can make the transition, and your dye your hair, your hair dye will not fade if you use this shampoo. I use Wella Color Charm Demi, and I don't have to re-dye the ends when I do my new roots because my hair dye hasn't faded. I haven't dyed my ends in over 4 months- this means my ends are less damaged because they aren't repeatedly dyed; SCORE! PSS- try a small sample and if you like it, you can buy a HUGE bottle on Amazon for a lot cheaper than at a salon. I buy the 32 oz bottles :)
I have been doing the no-poo routine now for the past two months, as I have wavy/curly hair (depending on how I style it), and I have been using this brush to distribute the natural oils of my hair from the roots to the tips. I don't use it really to style my hair, but I use it to promote the health of my growing hair. I use it at night before bed, and in the morning when I wake up. I flip my head over and start at the nape of the neck and slowly make small whisking motions from my neck, all the way through my hair. I have read that brushing your hair is bad and it breaks it etc., but when I am finished brushing, I clean the brush, and I have never found a broken hair in the brush. All the hairs that I find have the root, which leads me to believe that this brush is not breaking my hair. I am very gentle, and I never use it to detangle my hair. I don't tug or pull using the brush. I detangle with my fingers first. What I noticed was that this brush does an excellent job cleaning your hair of lint, dust and debris. If you are not stripping the oil form your hair, the oil is basically a dust magnet, and this brush will clean your hair if you use it correctly. I have read a lot of research about hair and hair research, and this brush helps distribute our bodies natural oils to the ends of the hair, and this oil protects the cuticle from thermal and frictional damage (much like coconut oil). The brush helps your hair protect itself if you are going the no-poo route. I also really look forward to using this brush as it gives my scalp a gentle scalp massage. I have read that it helps hair grow faster. I can't comment on that yet, but I will re-post if I notice that my hair is growing faster. I love this brush, and it is a valuable tool to keep hair healthy and protected.
Hair Color -Wella - Color Charm Demi-Permanent Hair Color
catherinesophia 3/15/2012 9:48:00 PM
I am in love. I have been spending thousands of dollars a year to get my hair professionaly dyed and cut and I have taken all of my hair stuff in house. I read a lot of reviews of this hair dye, and I have been using it now for about 6 months. I only dye the roots each month, as I have a number of grey hairs, and although my natural hair color is dark brown, I use the light brown shade of this dye. I also stopped using sulfate shampoos, so the color just doesn't fade. I wash my hair every other day using DevaCurl nopoo, and my hair dye never fades now. I only have to dye the roots because my hair grows so fast. I have been paying very close attention to the areas that have been dyed (1:1 ratio with the developer) and it is not broken or dry. In fact, it looks thicker and shinier than the rest of my hair. The hair dye is rather drying if you are not using sulfate shampoos (there is SLS in the dye itself), but you can protect your roots by first applying coconut oil to your hair about an hour before you dye it. I did this for the first few times, but I decided to stop, because I no longer use detergents to wash my hair, so I'm afraid that the coconut oil will make my hair look oily, and I wont be able to wash it out. If you are using regular shampoo, just oil your hair before you apply the dye. It works really really well. I dye my hair every 4 weeks (I make a calendar reminder, but I can start seeing the greys popping through after 3 weeks), and I just section it out, apply the dye, then sit in the bathtub for 20 minutes. I wash it out using a very gentle cleanser, and I swear that it never fades. My hair is rich, dark and shiny. I have very very delicate hair that breaks at the sight of any chemicals, so I was very cautious about dying my hair with anything. This does not damage my hair. I actually think it might my hair appear thicker. I only need to use 1/2 tube to dye the roots each month, so it costs me $1.50 a month to keep my greys in check. Compared to paying $100 every two months, I don't think I will ever go back to getting my hair dyed professionally. Heck, I think my hair dresser may have been using this dye on me anyway :) I have about 5% greys, but because my hair is so dark, it is really noticeable, and the roots are also very evident. The light brown makes the greys look like they are blond, and it gives the rest of my hair a beautiful dark rich brown shade. The color has a lot of dimension and it doesn't look like I dye it at all.
This is one of the best kept beauty secrets. I have been spending lots of money on expensive products from my fancy dermatologist, and who knew that an inexpensive lemon could work better than all the fancy expensive and lab tested products I have bought in the past. I have been using lemons on my face for about two weeks and I have already noticed a dramatic lightening of my acne scars and overall redness on my cheeks. I apply lemon juice with a cotton ball before bed, wait ten minutes, then apply coconut oil and then go to bed. I don't wash my face before doing this, as I feel that the makeup and oil etc creates a buffer between my sensitive skin and the lemon juice and it tends to sting a lot less. I also think the lemon juice acts as a toner, as a lot of my makeup ends up on the cotton ball. I apply more lemon juice to the areas that are especially red, like my cheeks. To say that I noticed a difference is an understatement. I can now go out without makeup on and not feel self conscious about my red patches, as they are almost entirely faded. I am so happy that I started doing this, and even happier that it is a natural solution to this problem; hurray for nature! UPDATE: I started using a AHA lotion at night instead of lemon juice. Lemons are expensive in SF ($1 each), and the lotion is less messy. Amazon sells a great one, and it is working just as well as the lemon juice. It gives me the same sting/tingle when I apply it :)
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
catherinesophia 2/13/2012 3:50:00 PM
I feel that coconut oil is the holy grail of beauty products. I started using it a few months ago, and I use it for everything. I put it on my hair, my skin, and I cook with it too. I feel it is a much better moisturizer than the petroleum products that I have been using for years. I put it on before I put my sunblock on, and my face feels hydrated and wonderful all day long. I also put it in my hair the night before I plan to shampoo, and my ends feel so much stronger and healthier than before. I cannot stress enough how amazing this single product is. I have been trying to use more natural alternatives, and this is my favorite product. I can't believe how well it works, and how cheap it is. I wish I had found this years ago. UPDATE: I stopped using this under my sunblock, but I have instead started using it on my arms and legs after my shower. This is my HG body moisturizer :) UPDATE: If you are going the no-poo route, you don't need to use coconut oil. Your natural oils will protect your hair, and you wont be able to wash the coconut oil out of your hair if you aren't using detergents. I found this out the hard way. I now just use the coconut oil as a moisturizer for my skin :)
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Homemade Vitamin C Serum
catherinesophia 2/13/2012 3:46:00 PM
I have decided to make my own Vitamin C Serum at home, as I feel that the Obagi C serum I have is very expensive, and it doesn't work by the time I am halfway through the bottle, because of the oxidation that occurs with the product. So, I recently purchased Vitamin C crystals, and I got filtered water and put it in a clean spray bottle. I plan to spray my hand once, wet my index finger, and use that to dip it into my small container of Vitamin C crystals. I then add the small amount to the palm of water, and after the C has dissolved, I apply it to my face. It stings, but my Obagi serum stings when I first get a bottle; I think the stinging indicates that the C is still active. Anyway, after about an hour, my skin is now glowing and is dewy like it used to be. I will make an update after I have done this for a few weeks. I am a big fan of vitamin C serums, but I feel they are way overpriced for how unstable they are. I like the idea of making my own fresh batch everyday for pennies; I think it works better too!
I have very very pale skin and I used this before my trip to Las Vegas, as I didn't want to be the palest person there. This product is truly amazing. I take a shower, exfoliate, and apply it before going to bed with the mit that they sell. I wear satin pajamas that wont streak my skin and the color comes out beautifully the next day. I am so happy to have this if I go on vacation again, but I don't think I would use it everyday. It also comes off in the pool, but apparently ocean water won't do anything to it. Overall, I am very pleased that I can be pale for the entire year, and not have to worry about being embarrassed because if I want to go on a tropical vacation somewhere. My legs haven't seen sunlight in about 15 years; that is not a joke. The price is high, but not compared to getting a professional spray tan, which I have, and I can honestly say that this stuff works better than a spray tan. I have gotten several full body tans out of one container, and I have more than 3/4 left. It has changed the way I feel about going on a tropical vacation, but now I know exactly what to do to prepare :)
I bought the MIA about 2 months ago, and I have really grown to love the brush. Beforehand, I was washing my face with a washcloth, but I wasn't confident that the washcloth was doing a good job. My fancy dermatologist recommended I buy it, so I did. I use it every night before bed, and I have found that my skin is brighter, less dry, and I haven't had any breakouts. I have had some minor skin surface bumps, but none of those deep annoying terrible pimples that hurt etc. Those have entirely gone away. I think it also probably has to do with the fact that I also recently started washing my face at night (I used to wash it in the morning), and I apply a heavy moisturizer to it before bed. All of these things seem to have made a difference in my skin. I think the clarisonic is a great gentle exfoliator, and if you want proof that it's working, just take off the little brush head after a few weeks and you will find all kinds of makeup and grime under it, but they are tiny. I was shocked to find minute particles underneath the brush. The brush takes some getting used to, but my skin seems to really like it. Don't apply any pressure with the brush; it will do all the work for you. Overall, my skin feels much cleaner and brighter and I would certainly buy this brush again. Update: This is too harsh for my skin. I went back to using my fingers :) UPDATE: I gave the MIA another try, and I have tried using almost no pressure on my skin. I gently go over the surface of my skin with very little pressure as though I were sanding a surface, and it seems to be working ok. If you have sensitive skin, use this with a very light hand. Adding pressure will make your skin very angry!
I bought this color a long time ago, but I never used it as I thought it would be too dark. I gave myself a manicure the other night, and I really love this color. It is vampy in dark lights, but in sunlight its a beautiful metallic garnet color, and it is quite breathtaking on my skin tone. I have very pale skin, dark hair and darkish eyes. My coloring allows for dramatic contrasts with nail colors, and this is a very glamourus shade. I applied two coats, but I think it could cover in one. The consistncy is rather thick and I think the color istself has a higher gloss than the top coat that I applied after two coats. I noticed this when I applied the top coat to one hand, and looked at the other hand. So far, I have had no chips, and I had a day of cleaning and laundry. Chanel polishes usually are really good about not chipping, but each color has different ingredients, so sometimes the consistency and chip resistance is varied (I have found that the more metallic colors are more likely to crease, and the more opaque bold colors are more likely to chip). I love this color and will certainly buy again, but Chanel nail polishes last forever, so I don't think I will ever have to buy it again :)
I have been wearing sunblock for abut 15 years, and this is my favorite, by far. I apply this over a vitamin C serum, and then a heavy moisturizing cream, as it is rather watery. It doesn't make me look pale, and it doesn't irritate my skin like other sunblocks have in the past. I have recommended this product to family and friends and they now all use it everyday. It has also done a great job protecting my skin. It lasts about 5 months, so the price doesn't bother me so much. I apply a teaspoon of sunblock to my face and neck every morning. I tried their SPF 52 lotion and I really didn't like it. That stuff made me look like a ghost, but the liquid is brilliant and I never leave the house without applying it first.
I have bought every kind of nailpolish on the market, and I can honestly say that Chanel lasts the longest and it truly is worth the extra money. However, you have to apply the colors correctly. I gave myself a manicure last week, and none of my nails have chipped and they still look beautiful. I do a manicure as they would do it in a salon. Here are my steps: 1. Remove nail polish with nailpolish remover on cotton balls. They are the best to use. Get a cuticle remover gel (I use Sally Hansen as I have horrible cuticles from going to salons for years and getting acrylics-never again!), let it sit for a minute, then push the cuticles. Then soak my nails for 5 minutes in water. Then I scrub them with a nail brush. Then I cut any loose cuticles with a cuticle cutter. 2. Dry off nails and use a nail file to shape the nails. Use a nail buffer to buff the surface of the nails (one of those 4 sided block things you get at any drugstore. This step is something that is often skipped, but it is VERY important. It creates a smooth surface for the polish to adhere to. 3. Lightly soak nails again and dry nails off. Wipe the nails with alcohol soaked cotton balls (to get off any product or oil that may be on the surface). 4. Apply Base coat - wait 5 minutes - Apply Chanel color - wait 5 minutes - Apply 2nd coat of Chanel color coat - wait 5 minutes - top coat - wait 10 minutes, dip nails in cold water to set, then wait another 15 minutes. Waiting 5 minutes in between coats prevents those pesky bubbles from forming. I hate the bubbles, because they ruin the beautiful sheen of the top coat :) Maybelline Express finish is a FANTASTIC top coat and I have been using it for many years. I have tried many fancy brands, and this is my favorite; it dries fast with a glossy shine. Thats all I do, and I have beautiful nails that don't chip and I save $40 a month by doing this myself. I put on a movie and start the process. If I don't have time to do a full manicure every week (my nails grow very fast), I gently file the tips and add a clear fresh topcoat. My polish easily lasts for two weeks, but my nails grow so fast that I try to do it each week. UPDATE: I think this polish looks better without a base or a top coat. It also wears better. This shaves off 30 minutes from m manicure. I love this nailpolish :)
I am very pale with dark eyes and hair, so I usually go with buying darker colors, as the light and bright ones tend to look ridiculous on me. I am far better off with contrast colors to my very pale skin. I bought this because I thought the color was beautiful, but I found that it is almost impossible to apply without it streaking. I think that the formula is thinner than other Chanel nail polishes. I have about 12 of them, and all the rest of them are a lot thicker, especially the reds. Anyway, I will try 3 coats the next time, as I do like the shade, and I think it's nice to change things up every so often. I bought this about 2 years ago, and I have never been able to wear it. Will try again next week :)
Hair Color -Clairol - Beautiful Collection Semi-Permanent Hair Color
catherinesophia 9/26/2011 12:44:00 AM
I started dying my hair about a year ago, as my grays were starting to bother me, so my hairdresser recommended a semi permanent dye, as my hair is very fine and REALLY delicate. Anyway, I was spending $85 every two months, and I wanted to find an affordable alternative, to doing this. I really didn't want to ruin my hair either. After doing extensive research, for weeks and weeks, I decided to use this product. My hair is medium-dark brown, and I want to blend the grays, instead of dying them dark brown. Currently, when my fancy hair-dresser color fades, the grays turn into a very light blond. I'm fine with blond, in fact, I like it. Anyway, I tried this dye tonight, and I added it to about 1/4 of a cup my cheapo conditioner that I had in the bathroom. The thickening of the dye made the application a LOT easier. It was still messy, but not terrible. I applied it first to my roots, and then put some on the ends anyway. I set it under a blow dryer for 10 minutes, and then let it set for another 30 minutes. I washed it out and it looks amazing. My hair is super soft and there are no signs of gray. I only wash my hair twice per week, and I hope to do this once a month (I only used 1/2 of the $6 bottle of dye-score!), so I hope it lasts a few weeks. I can't even tell I dyed my hair, but there are no grays in sight. Yay! I hope it lasts :) My hair is super delicate and baby fine, so I am so happy that nothing appears to be damaged or broken. Yay! Update: It has been two weeks and the color has almost entirely washed out. I'm going to try Wella Color Charm next...