Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More wonderful things...

Ok, so I started this a month+ ago and I'm just getting around to finishing it.

I am a bad blogger.


i'm sorry.
i'll try to do better next time.

So lately I've tried a variety of new products/beauty tips.  Some have been fantastically successful, others not so much.  Tip: Avocado in your hair does nothing but leave a green ring around the tub.

So let's get started.  I went blond this summer.  Not a fantastic blond, more of a do-it-yourself-from-the-grocery-store-discount-cart blond.  It was...interesting.  It also left my hair dry, brittle, and moderately fried.  I read somewhere about mashed up avocado in your hair, but that didn't seem to make any difference at all.  I tried a variety of conditioner and repair products without seeing any difference at all, then I wandered into Sally Beauty Supply. 

Now I've had mixed-bag results with Sally Beauty supply in the past.  There was the time where three customers and the clerk inside the store decided to close early and stared at me as I tried to open the locked door.  There was the time when the purple hair dye turned my hair temporarily hot pink.  But this time, I don't know what it was.  Maybe the sales clerk looked particularly empathetic, maybe it was the purple in her own hair, maybe it was the fact that she followed me around the store like she thought I was going to steal something.  I don't know what it was, but I unexpectedly turned and asked:

"I tried a blond and it kinda fried my hair a little, do you have anything you'd recommend to help?"

She got this surprised look on her face like she didn't often get to be very helpful, led me to the next isle over, pulled a bottle off the shelf and handed it to me. 

Repair Solutions

"This works?"
"Is this the shampoo?" I asked, pointing.
"Should I get the shampoo too?"
"Up to you."

I got the shampoo.  It wasn't shampoo.  It was an even deeper conditioning treatment.  I went back the next day and got the shampoo.  I've been using them about a month now, but I noticed a difference after the first shampoo and condition.  My hair doesn't make near the crinkling sound that it used to.  Crinkling hair = NOT GOOD!  I would strongly recommend this to anyone who had dry crinkly hair no matter the cause.

Ah, almost done you thought.  Nope, not even close.  I'm also very cheap.  I'm so cheap that instead of buying new mascara to replace the old one every quarter, I buy sample sizes in bulk.  OK, maybe not in bulk, but I do buy it in batches.  For the last few years I've been working my way through a box I got from Sephora, one something like this.  I started a new one recently, Cargo Lash Activator.  It's fantastic! 

So let me explain how I wear mascara.  I generally don't except for special occasions.  I have long eyelashes anyway, so all I really need is something to darken them.  If it promises to make them longer and thicker looking I'll look like I'm wearing fake lashes.  I work in the tech industry.  Most guys (if they notice) will think you're a flighty bimbo if you wear to much makeup, so I rarely bother unless I'm trying to impress someone with my flighty bimbo-ness or I'm doing something outside of work. 

Generally I'm looking for something that'll just make my eyelashes dark and even looking, and something that won't smudge.  That's right, I don't know what it is about me but it's pretty common for me to come home after a day of wearing mascara and look in the mirror to find it looks like I have two black eyes.  Mascara runs down my face without me having to shed a tear, but this mascara is the exception.  I gave it a try one morning and was surprised, that's right, I looked in the mirror when I got home and was surprised at what I saw.  There was NO mascara under my eyes.  I wore it again, and again.  I had to wash my face or go swimming to get this mascara to budge.  There was next to no flaking, even after hot sweaty yard work.  I was so impressed that I googled it to find out what this stuff I was and found out it's supposed to be good for you!  Works great, good for you, I'm sold.

Lest you think I'm turning into a commercial I want to tell you about the latest beauty concoction I came up with in my own kitchen from stuff I already had.  I'd been noticing my nose was turning red from all of those pore strips that I use, and other parts of my face were dry and flaky.  I was trying to come up with a mask of some sort that would help to calm the redness and even things out, and if it did a bit of exfoliating all the better.  So I made a fantastic mask that works wonders for my skin.
Here's what to do (all measurements are approximate):

  • Put one quarter cup of oatmeal in a coffee grinder (pulls oil out of your skin and exfoliates)
  • Add one tablespoon of dried rosemary (has astringent properties)
  • Grind until fine
  • Combine in a small pot on the stove with one one half cup of water and cook on medium low until the oatmeal is cooked.  (I just followed the directions on the oatmeal packet here)
  • Add one tablespoon of oil (I've done this once with grape seed oil and another time with vitamin E oil.  Just pick something you like that's a good moisturizer for your skin.)
  • And One Tablespoon of honey (for calming)
  • Stir, mixing thoroughly, and slowly add up to a quarter cup of water.  Stop when you have an even, sticky but spreadable consistency
  • Test it to see if it's to hot for your skin (I did this like checking the temperature of baby milk on the inside of the wrist.) It may need to cool before applying it to your face.
  • Apply an thin, even layer over face, neck, whatever areas are your problems (I did my elbows too) and let dry.
I'm sure every skin is different, but this worked fantastically for me.  The oatmeal exfoliated, honey calmed, and the oil moisturized so my skin was softer than it's been since elementary school.  I kept leftovers in the fridge for later use, but be careful about keeping it to long.  I went on vacation and came back to find it sprouting a good batch of mold, so you'll probably want to use it pretty quickly.