Google+

Entries Tagged as 'hair'

May 28, 2014

beauty secrets | best pixie hair styling products, part 2

It’s been nearly a year since I chopped all my hair off into a pixie cut.

In that time, I’ve tried several styling products — some clean, some conventional — and have finally arrived upon my favorite three products for keeping my short ‘do sassy and stylish.

View what I used in the beginning and see how the pixie cut has evolved.

best pixie hair styling products

1. Pre-heat Styling Aid

I like the idea of using a heat-resistant spray, but coupled with what I actually need — a pre-heat styling aid to get my hair a bit gritty before drying and styling — I have opted to only use Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.

Nope, it’s not “natural,” but it is free of sulfates, silicones and oils.

The oil-free thing is necessary for someone like me with fine hair, so I don’t mind that bit of marketing (and you guys know that I love my hair oils — for overnight use only).

I happened upon Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment via a swag bag I received during Kansas City Fashion Week back in March and have been using my trial size daily since then. It’s a repurchase for me (unless some clean beauty brand tells me it has something amazing that mimics this stuff!).

2. Texturizing Agent

After navigating the wonderful world of creams, pomades, pastes, waxes and so forth, I finally landed on one that has the perfect strength, consistency and performance for my fine, oily strands that tend to fly away and bend in funny ones: Aveda Control Paste.

I’ve gone through two tubs of this stuff (purchased at my local Aveda salon, Xiphium, and as my favorite natural spa, Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, purged its Aveda inventory in favor of cleaner hair products).

While yes, Aveda is part of big beauty now and could be a lot cleaner, I find that this sticky putty keeps my fine hair under control without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

Side note: I was inspired to try Aveda Control Paste after seeing how well it held up a faux hawk on the young man behind the counter at Miette in San Francisco. Yes, I’m that girl who asks about all your beauty products when you’re just trying to sell me a sweet treat!

3. Hairspray

In my previous post about pixie cut styling picks, I mentioned Davines N°7 Crystal Fixative Lacquer.

I still like this hairspray, but have found that Aveda’s Control Force Hairspray has a better spray mechanism; it’s more evenly distributed in a fine, wide mist.

Aveda Control Force Hairspray also has a slightly better hold (they weren’t joking with that “Control Force” naming!). Anyone with a pixie cut knows that the final spray around the head is essential to locking in a style; to have a hairspray that does this without making your hair hard / crunchy / helmet-like is an instant winner!

Do any of my readers have pixie cuts? If so, tell me what you’re using and how it works for your hair type in the comments below!

 

May 14, 2014

beauty scoop | saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

One part of my apartment that isn’t overly cluttered with beauty products is the shampoo and conditioner area of my shower.

No, the stacks of hair masks don’t count.

With a pixie cut, I don’t require much natural shampoo or natural conditioner, so it takes me quite a while to get through a bottle of product.

After finishing up my previous bottles, I was excited to move on to the prettily packaged Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner.

saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

{Saavy Naturals sent me samples of its Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner to review. Each 8-ounce plastic bottle costs $15.}

As you can see on the labels, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner is formulated for (shocker) dry hair.

If you’ve been on the blog for a while, you know I’m the oiliest person in the world.

However, I feel that it’s important to drench your locks with a great hydrating wash and rinse if you heat dry a lot (every day for me), and because my scalp can get a bit dry, I like the extra attention a formulated-for-dry-hair duo can bring to my own mane.

Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner definitely delivers hydration and a gentle cleanse to my heat-shocked hair — and does so without the help of synthetics or sulfates.

In fact, the ingredients list for both the shampoo and conditioner is so nourishing that you’d want to eat it — which makes sense, as the founders of Saavy Naturals come from epic foodie backgrounds.

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo:

Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) Extract, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) Extract, Aqua/Purified Water, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Aspartic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caryodendron orinocense (Kahai) Nut Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Gluconolactone, Glycerol laurate, Glycine, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Quillaja saponaria Wood Extract, Quinoa Protein, Rhamnus frangula (Buckthorn) Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner:

Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Aqua/Purified Water, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Protein, Brassica Alcohol, Brassicyl lsoleucinate (Cabbage) Esylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Coffea arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Dl-Panthenol, Glucono delta lactone, Glycerin (Kosher Vegetable)*, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Quinoa Protein, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

As you can see, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner take advantage of luscious oils such as kukui seed, argan, moringa and coconut to drench your hair in a sea of moisture.

Neither the shampoo nor the conditioner, though, weigh your hair down, and the shampoo offers a nice, gentle lather and subtle scent of vanilla.

The creamy conditioner has a stronger vanilla scent that lingers a bit after rinsing, giving your head that come-hither scent (even if the only thing coming hither is your Siamese cat, whatever).

All joking aside, one thing I do want to point out in Saavy Naturals’ shampoo and conditioner is the fact that they do both use honeysuckle extract, a somewhat controversial ingredient in the green beauty community.

There’s several schools of thought out there, and I don’t have a fully formed opinion on it, but those who prefer to leave honeysuckle extract out of their clean beauty routines do so because honeysuckle extract acts as a paraben, though it is obviously a natural ingredient.

It contains para-hydroxy benzoic acid, which is readily found in nature yet is said to look structurally similar to synthetic parabens and is said to act in the same way — as an endocrine disruptor.

Those who don’t mind seeing honeysuckle extract on their ingredients lists note that it scores a “0″ on the EWG Skin Deep Database and it may not produce the same health risks as synthetic preservatives.

So, you can see why there’s some back and forth on this ingredient. I’d like to learn more about it — and see what you think, too.

And for that reason, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner are on my “maybe I will repurchase it” list.

When it comes to product performance, I loved the formulas — the scent, the moisture, the gentle cleansing and deep hydration.

When it comes to packaging, I appreciate the pretty designs and bold colors — though I was disappointed that the paper labels disintegrated in the shower.

When it comes to ingredients, we’ve got to figure out this honeysuckle thing.

Have you tried anything from Saavy Naturals? What are your thoughts on honeysuckle extract? Please do tell me in the comments section!

 

November 21, 2013

beauty secrets | the evolution of a pixie cut

I’ve been rockin’ the pixie cut for almost six months now, and as I look back at my outfit posts featuring the pixie cut, I see some highs and lows and definitely know a little more about which pixie chop is best for me.

Though I must admit that I proceeded with caution with the pixie cut (Not too short! Give me some fringe around the face to play with! I need to be able to tuck something behind my ears!), I’ve learned that with a pixie cut, you have to go short to get the best look.

You aren’t really supposed to be able to tuck anything behind your ears with a pixie! That’s what a bob is for.

long pixie cuts

The look on the left (from June 10) was the first outfit post I did post-pixie. I’m kind of floored that this cut on the left is the same as this cut — you always look better straight out of the stylist’s chair!

The look on the right (from June 24) haunts me. There’s just way too much hair on the sides and a bit of poofery happening. I’m feeling borderline helmet here. We live and learn, yes?

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Go easy on styling product, especially with fine hair. Look for low-hold, low-shine pomades or waxes, and apply a pea-sized amount to your hands and fingers.
  • Invest in a good small/medium metal round brush to use during blow-drying. This is key for volume at the crown and for shaping fringe up front.
  • You have to get your hair cut shorter in the beginning. Remember, it grows out, and even if you are going every four weeks, you will acquire some shag, especially around the ears.
  • Keeping with the point above, forget the hair around the ears! Cut it short. You will look more mushroom / crazy short bob than pixie if you keep it long.

medium length pixie cuts

As you can see from both pictures above, I’m still holding on to the side-swept bangs and glorified pixie-bob.

While I love softness in this look (particularly in the picture on the right), it’s still too long to call it a proper pixie.

What’s great to see, though, is how my shorter pixie may grow out. I’ve heard that phase gets very awkward and frustrating!

The look on the left is from July 8 and the look on the right is from July 17. This is the same haircut just aged by a week!

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • When you have a pixie-bob, play with it a bit more! Use a flat iron or curling iron to add waves, and dress up the long locks with pins.
  • With longer hairs like this — and a bold attitude — consider a fun side shave. I haven’t been able to commit to this, as I feel a little too girly to pull it off, but I admire the badass look of a side shave + long hair.

medium length pixie cut

Aw, a trim! The look on the left could be perfected with shorter hair around the ears (are we seeing a theme here), but the poofery isn’t quite there so this cut was very fun while it lasted.

The look on the right was my attempt at swooping my bangs off my face in some sort of hip fashion. My fringe was too long to spike, but with the right amount of hairspray, anything can be swooped!

The look on the left is from July 22 and the look on the right is from July 29.

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned

  • Know what shape you want your bangs / fringe to be. If you will be spiking your pixie most days, opt for shorter bangs that require less product. If you prefer to wear your bang down and soft, don’t let your stylist cut them too short or risk them not sweeping to the side the way you like.
  • Experiment with styles! So what if your hair is too long to spike? Maybe you can make a fun swoopy thing that you think is cute. Hair is all about fun and creativity; in the end, it’s just hair.

medium length pixie cuts

Here’s a basic before and after of a look from September 23 and a look from September 27.

If you can’t tell, I fancy the side-swept bang and finally went in for the shorter side hair — can you see the difference it makes in thinning out the hair around the ears? It seems to make my face appear thinner, too.

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Take pictures as you cycle through the weeks post-pixie! You can better see how your hair grows and edit your style from there.

medium length pixie cut

These two looks, from October 4 and October 11, were taken the same weekend as the post from September 27 above!

I must say that this has been my favorite cut in my pixie cut journey thus far. The bangs are soft and feminine and the perfect length; they can spike somewhat easily (hairspray becomes a good friend).

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • When you love your pixie cut, take a lot of photos!

long and very short pixie cuts

Here we go again with this swoopy hair thingy (left, from October 15). I’m going to retire that look; seeing it now, I see that it’s kind of a silly style with the longer hair, but hey, that’s hair styling for you!

The style on the right is new as of last Saturday and the debut of the style on the blog was November 18. I’m still figuring out how to style this ultra-short, buzzed-and-razored pixie.

I have extremely short, spiky layer on top that make it easier for me to — you guessed it — spike my hair.I may or may not have had a few meltdowns post-cut because I was overwhelmed by how short it was, but I’ve had some very good hair days with this style, too.

This tutorial has helped me figure out how to get the spike I wanted without sacrificing the softness in the front. I hope to get photos of that style on the blog soon!

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Get rid of the swoopy thing when you’re in need of a cut. It will only accentuate the long ear hair that is growing straight out (thanks, fine, straight locks!)
  • Don’t be afraid to go ultra short! I didn’t communicate with my stylist that I just wanted to replicate my previous cut, but I’m glad she cut me this short — it’s made me figure out how to spike without losing some girlish edge, and I know that as this cut grows out, it may be the perfect length every week (as long as those damn ear hairs don’t poof out).

That’s it, folks! If you’re interested in learning more about what products I use to style my pixie, stay tuned for an updated post to come.

For now, you can reference this post on the best pixie styling products I used during the beginning of my pixie haircut journey!

November 11, 2013

beauty scoop | acure organics 100% certified organic argan oil

Ahhh, argan oil.

This “liquid gold” oil is most people’s gateway oil. Argan oil captured the market’s attention more than five years ago and is still selling strong — but this popularity spawns opportunities for greenwashing and knockoffs.

That’s where certification and a trustworthy brand makes all the difference.

acure organics argan oil

{Acure Organics sent me a sample of its 100% Certified Organic Argan Oil for review. It retails for $14.99 for a 1-fluid ounce glass dropper bottle.}

Enter Acure Organics. Acure’s 100% Certified Organic Argan Oil has been holding strong on my favorites page since I created it (and I’ll be updating it soon), and for good reason.

Acure Organics’ 100% Certified Organic Argan Oil is USDA-certified organic, extremely accessible at most health food stores and won’t break the bank at $14.99.

It’s got that beautiful, sweet-yet-nutty smell that only pure, unadulterated argan oil delivers and a striking golden color that looks great on the vanity.

This is the oil that I constantly recommend to new-to-naturals friends and coworkers because it’s so approachable and it’s the real deal; that USDA Organic certification gets “light green” people’s attention as they make the switch to cleaner products.

acure organics argan oil

The high amount of vitamin E and essential fatty acids in argan oil works wonders on restoring hydration from head to toe.

I love Acure Organics’ 100% Certified Organic Argan Oil as a hair/scalp treatment, a nail/cuticle soother, an oil cleanser, an overnight facial hydration treatment and an all-over body moisturizer.

Most pure argan oils are going to work just fine in all of these ways, but what makes me come back to Acure’s 100% Certified Organic Argan Oil is the pricepoint.

I don’t feel stingy bad about slathering it on head to toe because I know it’s something I can easily restock as a staple item.

(Besides, you really don’t need to be heavy-handed with argan oil because it’s so thick — start small and work your way up if you feel you need more!)

No matter how popular argan oil may get thanks to an over-saturated market of companies trying to cash in on its appeal, only a few companies will continue to stand out as trusted argan oil suppliers.

Those companies will continue to hold USDA organic certification, buy from small women’s cooperatives in Morocco and ensure sustainable harvesting of the Argan tree.

Acure Organics is definitely one of those companies.

What argan oils do you use? Have you tried anything from Acure Organics? Tell me in the comments section!

 

November 4, 2013

beauty scoop | wen by chaz dean fall apple spice treatment oil

All right, everyone, October’s over. Clear out your pumpkin ‘ish and find a new fruit to obsess over.

May I suggest apples?

OK, you know I love pumpkin and am fine with them all fall long. But if you’re ready to move on to a new fall scent, Wen by Chaz Dean has a new collection of Fall Apple Spice that you may go gaga for.

wen by chaz dean fall apple spice treatment oil

{Wen sent me a sample of its Wen by Chaz Dean Fall Apple Spice Treatment Oil to review. It retails for $20 for one ounce or $45 for a 4-ounce dropper bottle.}

The Wen by Chaz Dean Fall Apple Spice Treatment Oil is a fragrant blend of warming oils — think clove, cinnamon and ginger — and the scent lingers all day, making this treatment oil (which can be used as a hair oil or body oil — I used it as a body oil) double as a perfume.

Take a look at what’s inside Wen by Chaz Dean Fall Apple Spice Treatment Oil:

jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, abyssinian seed oil, coco-caprylate/caprate, organic argan oil, apple spice fragrance blend, apple fruit extract, vanilla bean fruit extract, clove leaf oil, cinnamon oil, ginger root oil, orange oil, tocopherol

The only questionable ingredient here is the “apple spice fragrance blend,” which is a proprietary, synthetic blend (I asked the company to verify). I’m guessing this is what keeps the scent around all day! It does make me a nervous, as this is the ever-popular “fragrance” that could mean anything … le sigh.

If you’re easily disturbed by deep scents, this may not be the body oil for you. Like I said, it lasts all day — by 4 p.m. on a typical workday, the scent is going strong!

I like the scent, but have realized I need to go easy on it when slapping it on as a body oil (I usually slather body oil all over my legs, chest and arms). It can be a bit overwhelming. It’s definitely not one I reach for on a daily basis. I need to be in a mood for this.

That said, this is not on my repurchase list.

If apple spice appeals to you, order your share by November 30! This limited edition scent will be gone after that.

Have you tried anything from Wen by Chaz Dean? What fragrances are your favorite for fall/winter? Tell me in the comments section!

 



    Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie