ETA: A coworker with green hair gave me a great tip which worked perfectly for me last night - wash my hair with dandruff shampoo a few times and then poured vinegar over it, letting it sit for about 10 minutes. Then I put on my regular conditioner (Shiseido Tsubaki) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then rinsed and FINALLY no more bleeding. My hair is still vibrantly black and there was no bleeding today in the shower. I'm still not sure if I would buy it again but I'll probably use the remaining black MP dye when it's time to do my roots. Yay. I'm conflicted about this hair dye. The pros are the relatively safe ingredients and the gorgeous blue-black color I received by mixing Raven and After Midnight. The BIG con is that my hair won't stop bleeding! My bathtub looks like the scene of a smurf massacre after every shower. My pale pink manicures turn dark grey after fixing my hair. I've never experienced anything like this! I won't be buying again, as much as I loved that it wasn't tested on animals, and the color.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Now Personal Care - Cocoa Butter with Jojoba Oil
wws1980 1/10/2011 10:35:00 PM
This is my HG skin and hair product. Cocoa butter's skin softening qualities are well known, but I almost accidentally stumbled upon using it in my daily hair routine. My hair is very, very dry, processed, fine, and wavy/curly to boot so it can use all the moisturizing help it can get. I used to use Lush's henna bars to great effect until I realized that it was the cocoa butter in it that helped the most (henna is awesome too). I usually dig out a little bit of this, warm it up between my hands and use it to SOTC over my gel. The bottle itself is cumbersome and somewhat unhygienic since you're constantly dipping your fingers in it. The price is about $11-14 and you can find it at most health food stores in Toronto. Now brand cocoa butter (without jojoba oil) is also available easily.
I used this recently to dye over my dark blond hair and highlights. Even if this did nothing for my colour, I would continue to use it for what it has done for the condition of my hair. It's like I have someone else's hair on my head! It's super glossy, soft, and silky - something no conditioner has ever been able to do to my hair. I had to do the entire process thrice to get my hair as dark as i wanted it. Indigo loses efficacy when it's heated so DON'T follow the instructions on the package for best results. Skip the bain marie routine and just use hot water from the tap or brewed black coffee (still warm, just not boiling). I added a tablespoon of amla powder as well to push the colour towards brown and a teaspoon of salt to make the indigo stick. I covered my hair with a shower cap and scarf and left it on for about six hours. I washed it with a cheapie conditioner - it took ages, but it was worth it. Love, love, love this stuff!
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Plus White - 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
wws1980 10/1/2010 8:18:00 PM
I picked this up on a whim from SDM, on sale for $3.99 - it works wonders! I use it in conjunction with a boil and bite teeth whitening tray, squeezing a thin strip of gel in each tray. I keep it in for about 20 minutes and use it once a week to maintain my results. It's cheap and far more effective for me than Crest White Strips, Rembrandt 1 hour whitening and even Zoom whitening, done at the dentist's. Love it! ETA: I started getting tooth and gum sensitivity after a while. To get around the gum/lip sensitivity, I recommend putting some vitamin E oil on a qtip and using it to coat your gums and lips. I also started using sensodyne to brush with and mix a tiny bit in with the plus white. Also, if you're a coffee or tea drinker, my dentist recommends waiting a couple of hours after whitening to drink the beverage. (You can also use a straw which I do sometimes but I feel like a total dork and get comments from my co-workers. Anything to preserve my white smile, I guess!)
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Facial Hair Removal Spring
wws1980 9/15/2010 5:45:00 PM
I bought a knockoff of this on Ebay for a dollar, including shipping. It's fantastic for removing short, fine hairs on my face. The technique on the package doesn't work that well for me - I can't seem to get the grab and twist action down so I stretch it straight out and release, gently grabbing the hair I want to remove and then move up, removing the hair. It goes by really quickly this way, and I have a lot of control over which hairs are removed. For a buck, you really can't go wrong. For those of you in Toronto, I've seen it sold all over Pacific Mall as well.
I had high hopes for this one. I liked the scent and the shimmer was nice (maybe a bit much for daytime or work wear). It spread easily. However, there was absolutely NO change in my colour - it did nothing.
What was I thinking when I bought this? I bought this on a whim and learned two things that day. 1. However well meaning take the advice of a brand new (and straight haired) Lush SA with a grain of salt. 2. SLS and my hair don't do well together. After going CG, I finally decided to try being a modified CG and washing my hair with a shampoo once in a while. I hit up Lush thinking they might have milder shampoos and was talked into trying this one by a very nice, but possibly clueless SA. She recommended this and Retread and suggested that I first treat with Retread and then wash with Curly Wurly. She also said that I wouldn't need conditioner afterwards but I just laughed - my super dry hair needs conditioner after co-washing! First off, Curly Wurly is quite thick (so a little goes a long way, that's a good thing) and has bits of coconut in it. I don't understand the reasoning behind that AT ALL! It's a pita to wash it out and has no extra moisturizing benefits at all. When I rinsed it out, even soaking wet, I could tell it dried out my hair. I conditioned with Retread again and airdried as I usually do. Whoa! My hair looked dried out, stringy, and frizzy. Yuck.
I wanted to add this product and perhaps offer some hope to the many (hormonal) acne sufferers out there. I have battled moderate but persistent acne for 22 years now, and have tried everything from antibiotics to birth control to Accutane. I know my acne is hormonal. I started with a dosage of 4 pills a day for a month and then 2 pills a day. It has worked better than anything else I've ever tried! It has also helped with my PMS symptoms. It doesn't work instantly and also not for everyone (your acne has to be hormonal), it took about 3 weeks to kick in, but I highly recommend it for hormonal acne.
Rose water makes a great toner that you can customize according to your skin type. For dry skin, you can add glycerin make it more moisturizing. It's antibacterial so it's great for acne prone skin. I use it as is in the winter and add a splash of witch hazel in the summer. I get it for $2.50 at my local IGA, in the "ethnic" section and transferred into a spray bottle, it lasts for about 2 months. Try it, if it doesn't work for you, you could always add it to your bath water or use as a pillow spray.
I bought this a while back to combat a bad breakout. The SA was very helpful and suggested a few products that I still use to this day, but even she was ambivalent about this toner. She said it wouldn't hurt and I was in a buying mood, so I got it. She was right, it doesn't hurt but it also doesn't do much - it's just water with tea tree oil (and I think grapefruit and juniper as well). It's good for people that like using toner to remove any traces of soap/dirt, but my routine is fine without it. I'm not knocking the benefits of tea tree oil - but you could just as easily add some tea tree oil to purified water and use that instead. I would even recommend the tea tree toner tab over this.
Lush is a bit hit or miss for me, but this is the one product I keep coming back for. I've been using it for years and it seems they've dropped the price recently? I have acne-prone combination skin and this is perfect for decongesting and brightening up my skin. I even use it as a spot treatment on existing zits and find that the clay in it dries up acne quickly. I agree with other posters who have said it's a lot of product to use up within the expiration date - I've been freezing it and thawing out what I need. I'm still looking into whether this is safe or if the addition of something like Optiphen would make it safer? For less than $6.00, this is a great product at any rate.
Conditioner -Trader Joe's - Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
wws1980 1/29/2010 7:17:00 PM
This is my first winter going CG, so I was unprepared for what seemed initially like dandruff. I checked the boards at NaturallyCurly.com and figured out that it's actually dry scalp - a combination of winter weather and indoor heating can dry out your scalp. (This is probably no surprise to people with dry skin.)This conditioner was recommended by a few people on the board to combat dry scalp. It worked like a charm! I put it on before I shower, focusing on my scalp. I let it sit for a few minutes, enjoying the tingling, and then rinse it out really well. As far as I know, this isn't available in Canada but I believe that Giovanni makes a similar conditioner that works just as well.
I received this as a deluxe sample at Sephora recently, and honestly didn't have high expectations for it. Clinique products have usually underwhelmed me in the past. This is fantastic though! It gives my lashes a dramatic, doll-like look which I love. No clumping or smudging, but it comes off nicely with my eye makeup remover. I'll definitely be going back to Sephora for a full size.
Conditioner -Alberto Vo5 - Strawberries & Cream smoothing conditioner
wws1980 11/22/2009 1:10:00 PM
After searching high and low for this conditioner, I finally found it labelled as "Alberto Balsam" in my local IGA, on sale for 90 cents. Not expecting much from such a cheapie condish, I used it as a cowash and then scrunched some in, along with some gel to top it off. When my hair dried, I was blown away by how soft and moisturized my hair felt. The scent is a bit synthetic smelling, but it doesn't bother me. My SO said he loves it, so that's a plus. This is my new HG conditioner!
I've had this file for two years now, so I give it points for being remarkably long lasting for a glass item. I bought this file since it was supposed to be better for the health of my nails, and also because I felt a bit guilty repeatedly chucking the sandpaper type of files in the trash. I don't see any difference at all in my nails whatsoever. I think the Essie nail file is overpriced (I paid $22 at Trade Secrets) for what it is. I have two other glass files in my procession - a $7 one from SDM, and a dollarstore one - they're just as good! A sidenote: It doesn't bother me at all, but my roommate runs screaming from the room every time I file my nails with this. He says it sounds like nails on a blackboard to him...something to keep in mind, if you're sensitive to that.