Category Archives: hair

AMANDA’S TOP 2013 PICKS

Makeup

CHANEL HOLIDAY COLLECTION
Joues Contraste in Accent
Le Vernis in Rouge Rubis

Accent is the perfect blush for winter–pink with bronze to warm up paler skin tones

CLARINS
Be Long Mascara

“The main reason why I love this mascara so is the incredible brush (which I learned is really what differentiates a mascara from the pack). It has a small plastic brush so you can really get in there, and it grabs on to each lash with a bit of tension, so you get that long, defined lash, never any clumps. “ 

VICHY
Dermablend Setting Powder

I apply it before doing my eye makeup in the morning so that the two minutes of waiting time goes by without noticing it. The result is a more even and matte complexion that lasts for hours.”

LANCOME
Effacernes Concealer

It has the perfect amount of thickness and pigment for coverage but never ever clumps or gets stuck in fine lines. It just. doesn’t. budge. Just smooth it on and never worry about your makeup moving around again.”

DIOR
Airflash Foundation

The be-all and end-all of foundations. It has the ever-so-slightest pearlescent sheen to it that gives you a magic glow and watch as it erases all unevenness and blemishes.”

URBAN DECAY 
Naked Palette

I shouldn’t have been so blasé, this palette is actually amazing. Every single colour I have tried looks great. Every. Single. One. And! They are super long-lasting. The colour stays true all day long, without a primer “


Skincare

KIEHL’S
Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque

I woke up with a more younger-looking, plumped up face. The skin around my eyes looked so much better–the lines had faded, and the skin was smooth. My skin had a more even and luminous tone. “

SK-II 
Masks

If you have the money, these are really a great investment for your face, they will make a noticeable difference in your skin. “

BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE 
P50

“I must admit, at first the smell put me off, but you see the results. My chin acne is pretty much gone now, and my skin is clearer and has a more translucent, glowing quality to it.” 

NUXE
Reve de Miel Lip Balm

“The consistency is quite thick, but not sticky at all, and you barely need any of the honey and grapefruit-scented formula to save your lips from that tight, dry feeling.”

REN
Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

It decongests the pores and works well to help fade post-acne scarring, blackheads, blemishes and sun-damaged skin.”

AURELIA PROBIOTIC SKINCARE
Miracle Cleanser
Cell Repair Oil

“The aromatic cleanser throughly cleanses the skin, but leaves it feeling soft and supple. For an extra hydrating/anti-aging kick, a few drops of the Cell Repair Night Oil boosts your skin’s ability to repair your skin overnight.”

Hair

KERASTASE
Mousse Nutri-Sculpt

“It creates such a smooth, voluminous blow dry, without weighing hair down. Seriously–your hair looks like it came from a shampoo commercial.” 

MATRIX
Heat Resist

Overall, this line holds my blowout longer (3 days!), fights frizz and most importantly to me, doesn’t feel like I have any product in my hair. Winners all around, and at a great price.”



Body

KIEHL’S
Nashi Blossom and Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion
On my wedding day, I was told by 4 different people that I smelled amazing (before dancing started, mind you), all because of this product.”

Advertisements

TOP POSTS OF 2013

TOP TUTORIALS OF 2013

BAKING SODA // NOT JUST FOR YOUR FRIDGE

EVEN THOUGH I ALWAYS SHAMPOO TWICE, I found lately that my scalp had this build up that just would not leave. No matter how long I scrubbed, or switched up my shampoos.

So, I tried using some apple cider vinegar (I used it once as a rinse, and it gave me really clean, shiny, healthy-looking hair), but the effects didn’t translate to my scalp.

I was a bit defeated. I didn’t want to add yet another shampoo to my already overwhelming shower collection, so I did some quick research on build up. Turns out, adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda to your shampoo makes for a squeaky clean noggin! I grabbed the soda from my baking supplies cabinet and headed to the shower.

I did a quick massage with my Kiehl’s Amino Acid, then dropped a few spoonfuls of the white powder onto the top of my head, massaged it in, and then scrubbed down my body for a few minutes to let the baking soda do it’s work. After it has slightly foamed up, rinse it out and continue with your conditioner. Clean scalps for all, without spending an extra penny!

KERASTASE NUTRITIVE

Kerastase NutritiveHair needs all the protection it can get when it’s constantly being blowdried, straightened, curled etc. Unfortunately for me, a lot of heat protective products weigh down my fine, dry hair, or don’t hydrate it at all, resulting in crispy ends (not cute). Heat protection should start in the shower, not right before you turn on the blowdryer. This way, you are protecting your hair from root to tip, not just from midway down, with a bit of oil or leave-in conditioner.

Kérastase’s heat protective line is not only extremely hydrating, but it also manages to give my hair volume, resulting in soft, healthy, fluffy hair.

The shampoo is creamy and heat activated, so it continues hydrating your poor follicles under the duress of your styling tools.

I was sent a masque, not a conditioner, but I’m so glad I was. This uber-thick treatment is buttery and deeply conditions the hair, bringing any dry ends back to life. You’re left with silky, smooth and manageable hair. Plus, the wonderful thing about this masque being heat activated is that you can rinse your hair with warm water (rinsing my hair at the end of my shower with cold water to close the follicle and create shine always kills me).

Now, for this mousse. I am in love with it, but I am really, really scared that it has been discontinued. I’m hoping for everyone’s sake that it hasn’t because it creates such a smooth, voluminous blow dry, without weighing hair down. Seriously–your hair looks like it came from a shampoo commercial. Not only is it working to protect your hair, but it makes it look healthy, shiny, bouncy and amazing. It’s not sticky or heavy whatsoever, it really doesn’t feel like there is anything at all in your hair. If you can nab any remaining bottles of this on Amazon, go for it!

HAIR TUTORIAL // MESSY CURLS

This time of year, everyone is getting gussied up for all of their glamorous holiday fêtes with sequins, sparkles, all-out makeup, etc. So why not add a little je ne sais quoi with laidback, slightly messy hair that looks like you might have just taken a tumble in the sheets? Paired with a red lip, or sexy little dress, you will look more cool French girl than perfectly-perfect Christmas prom Barbie.

I promise you this look is incredibly easy to recreate, the point of it is to look imperfect, so definitely don’t try too hard, or it will show.

1. Start with clean, dry hair. I had second-day hair, which holds curls better for me. It would best if it was mostly straight or blown out. If you’re a smarty-pants and are planning to do this in advance, use some heat protective products.

2. Grab your wand curling iron and starting a few inches from the roots, wrap 1-inch pieces of hair around the curling iron, leaving about one inch of your ends off. This will make it look less prom-my. I used Rowenta’s Beauty Curl Active, which actually has a motor and a small clamp on it, in case you are especially inept at hairstyling. I prefer to use it without the clamp or motor function. If you have thin, fine hair like me, set it to medium heat, if you have thicker, coarser hair, set it to high heat.

3. When you’re done curling your whole head, mist your curls with some Elnett, then separate your hair into two sections and twirl your hair to create two Princess Leia buns. Clamp or pin in place and let them cool for 20 minutes.

4. Unwrap your buns and shake out your hair. Spray layers of your hair with Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Finish spray, or some more Elnett.

P.S. The Rowenta Beauty Curl Iron is on a Christmas special for $99.95 (that’s half off!) at Trade Secrets. This is an extremely affordable ceramic wand iron with two heat settings. It also has a small clamp and a motor function, but I prefer to use this as a wand! This deal ends December 24th. 

 

MATRIX // HEAT RESIST

I was a bit apprehensive about this line when it was first sent to me–I’ve never used Matrix products, and I wasn’t sure if all the “protective” products would weigh down my fine hair.

I have to say, I was totally wrong, and pretty impressed, actually.

The Heat Resist line from Matrix is meant for those who constantly abuse their hair with heat styling. I am definitely guilty of this. I blow dry my hair a few times a few and am always chasing my stubborn, curly baby hairs with my straightening iron (I know, I know). So when I saw these products, I really hoped that they would work.

The products all contain an ingredient that helps to coat the hair with a protective film. As I was washing my hair with the shampoo I was worried what this film would feel like, but it’s not bad at all. It’s definitely a different feeling than my normal Kiehl’s gives me, but it’s not bad or heavy by any means. Just different.

The conditioner is great as well–hydrating but doesn’t weigh hair down. After towel drying, I still applied some hair oil to my ends, and I let my hair air dry naturally for about 45 minutes. Then I apply a dime-sized amount of the gel to my hands, warm it up in my hands to liquify it a bit, then apply throughout the hair and blow dry as usual. The gel is not sticky or heavy. It helps to hold shape and create a smooth blowout.

I only use a straightening iron around my face, so I applied a small amount of the lotion to the hair and then ran the iron through. It might make a sizzling noise, but don’t worry, this is just the product. It doesn’t leave any residue whatsoever, and creates hold for the newly straightened pieces.

Overall, this line holds my blowout longer (3 days!), fights frizz and most importantly to me, doesn’t feel like I have any product in my hair. Winners all around, and at a great price.

KERASTASE // BOUCLES D’ART

Just before my last haircut I was feeling super blah about my hair. I know I can’t really do that much to change it since my hair is naturally very fine and curly, so no bangs, no short cuts, etc. etc.

After a few years of mostly blowing it out every time I showered, I figured, why not be a bit lazy and let my hair run wild again; get a bit curly? Well, turns out I forgot how to manage curly hair, which ended up in my first attempt looking poodle-esque, I was even called Curly Sue at work. Fun.

Anyways, while I was grilling my hairstylist for hair tips and advice (she has fine, curly hair as well), she suggested trying out either Kérastase’s Boucles d’Art mousse or their Spray à Porter sea salt spray. I opted for the Boucles d’Art because it is a very lightweight foam and my hairstylist assured my it wouldn’t feel like I had product in my hair (I absolutely HATE the feeling of product in my hair).

As per her recommendations, I didn’t wrap a towel around my head as soon as I got out of the shower. Instead, while your hair is soaking wet, gently run a wide-toothed comb through your hair (I do this already while the conditioner is soaking in), and add a little hair oil to the ends. Then grab your mousse and apply a pump of the product per section, taking care to apply a little more around the face. Don’t be afraid of using too much and getting crunchy mousse hair à la 90’s, this stuff won’t do that. I personally just make a very voluminous half-ponytail with an embarassing yellow claw clip at this point and let it air dry until I go to bed. However, my hairstylist suggested that you could always create some curls with your fingers, secure them with a jaw clip, then go to sleep on them–I would maybe only recommend this for girls with less curly hair, it would make for an uncomfortable sleep.

BUMBLE & BUMBLE // DRYSPUN FINISH SPRAY

I have very fine hair, and not too much of it. On my first day, my hair is fluffy and has volume, but on my second day, my hair kind of bunches together and falls flat. If only one could have a wind machine that followed them around, am I right?


Unfortunately, not everyone can have a wind machine blowing in their face every day like a Beyonce music video, but you can get a wind-swept look with a few gusts of Bumble & Bumble’s Dryspun Finish Spray.

Kind of like a mix of hairspray and texturizers, a few strategic sprays to the roots and a little massaging to the scalp, and you can have perfect messy French girl hair. I apply to the crown, my bangs and to the sides, rub it in with my fingers and go. Bumble uses it in their videos as an actual finishing spray after heat styling to add more volume.

Your hair will feel like it has something it in–but–it is not sticky at all. Your hair will just have a bit more grit, making it easy to add some quick volume throughout the day by ruffling your roots.

I especially love it for adding volume for creating a quick bun à la J.Crew. It adds height and texture that lasts and doesn’t move. Spray at the roots and around the face, flip your head upside down, massage it in, and whisk it back into a bun with a few hair pins. Instantly that much more glamorous, and no one will have a clue that your hair is dirty.

This spray has replaced my dry shampoo, which I was finding too heavy for my fine hair. Plus, it is totally translucent, so you will never get that weird kind of whitened/lightened look that you can get from the dry shampoo powders. It won’t absorb oil, but it will give you back some of that oomph that hair always misses on the second day.

This is a product I would definitely set up a replenishment service for. It’s a fine-haired girl’s dream.

THE BLOWOUT

A few weeks ago, disaster came upon my household. I was told I couldn’t use my diffuser anymore. Now first off, as a girl with a soft core afro, this was hard to swallow. And you know what the worst part of it was? The diffuser wasn’t even broken, my mom just thought that it was getting too hot and that it would burn down the entire house (logical, I know). I had a new, T3 diffuser ordered and in transit (obviously!), but that left me with a few weeks without a diffuser. I know, I know, it’s not that bad. I really don’t mind my natural curls… but it’s just nice to wake up once in a while to look in the mirror, and know what to expect. With my diffuser, I can count on voluminous curls. Au natural, not so much. Self-education really is the best education, in my opinion. With practice, I can now give myself big, glamorous waves that last me up to three days with just a few tools.
Big league volume is a necessity for this look– I like the René Furterer Voumea shampoo/ conditioner combo for this. While your conditioner is soaking in, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer, being as gentle as possible. Once out of the shower and detangled, get in there with your hands with an anti-frizz product and a styling mousse of some sort. My current favourites are the Pantene BB Creme and Phomollient from Aveda. Now wait about half an hour to forty-five minutes– you want your hair to be around 70% dry.
No matter how much hair you’ve got, you’re going to need to work with 1 inch sections, bottom up. I usually do around four or five, so make sure you’ve got a big clip to help you out.
Now let’s dig in. Your tools at hand will be a one to two inch round brush and a good blowdryer. Hold the brush in your dominant hand and the dryer in your weak hand. If you have a concentrator (a attachment for your dryer that, well, concentrates the heat), all the better. Face it horizontally. Now this brush technique will take some practice to get the hang of. Work with about two or three inch long sections of the section that you’ve not got clipped up. Hair on top of the brush. Start off by drying the roots and the tops of the strands. Then, work your way down, maintaining a bit of tension with your brush so that the hair stays moderately tight to the brush.
                                               
As you get to the ends, rotate your wrist downwards so that the brush picks up the ends again, focusing the nozzle on the barrel of the brush. This rotating motion will give you those big waves. If you’re getting the rhythm, you can use the nozzle of the drier to hold the section as you reposition the brush, if you get what I’m saying. Once you’ve finished a complete section, go through again roughly with your brush, assuring that the section is completely dried (this will prevent unwanted frizz).

Once you’ve finally made it to the hair at the top of your head, you’re gonna take on a bit of a different technique. If you’re looking in the mirror, you want it so the brush is behind the section, and now face the drier towards your face (but not at it, ouch), drying the roots, then working with some brush action to curl the ends.

Grab a pump of a finishing cream, or another of the Pantene BB, massage it between your palms, and comb through your Bardot-esque waves, et voila! Big, effortless-looking (but painstaking) tresses. Try to avoid touching your baby-soft hair, I dare you. 

–Anna Raponi