Sunday, August 9, 2009

And it continues....

My eye condition that is. I had posted about it before, and it has been something like 3 weeks now.

Because of eye contacts that were not the right size for me and fit very tightly, a whole slew of problems ensued, and I am now on three (!) prescriptions, all topical. To avoid any further problems I haven't been wearing my contacts, makeup (no mascara?!?!), and I even contemplate going with facial moisturizers and SPF (gasp!) I am just afraid something will get in my eye and irritate it further.

People have been asking what happened, what is wrong with my eyes, etc. I am glad people care enough to ask, but I always feel the need to explain I am not contagious.

People also tell me I look tired a lot. How do you respond to that one? Thanks for letting me know?

Anyway, it is improving, albeit very slowly. And I will be back testing makeup before you know it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hair care- part 2

Yesterday I discussed at length my choices for shampoo and conditioner. I also plugged Aubrey Organics, my choice for all things hair-related. I want to continue that today because I have some other great finds from the site. What good does a good conditioner do you if you hair still needs taming from styling products, right?

I am a curly-haired girl (and I refuse to straighten it- not everyone looks good with straight hair. I just end up looking like a chubby cheeked version of Cher.) So some form of hair gel is a must. But I am very picky- I don't want crunchy or crisp hair. I don't want the wet look even when my hair has long been dry. I want soft, shiny, defined curls that look healthy. And frizz must be kept to a minimum.

Tall order, right? Well two products from Aubrey Organics deliver. B5 Design Gel is a "Styling gel and conditioner in one! Herbal gums and vitamin B-5 (a natural hair thickener) offer body and hold, and Organic Rosa Mosqueta® and other herbs deep-condition and help protect hair from sun and blow dryer damage," according to the website. Mandarin Magic Ginkgo Leaf and Ginseng Root Hair Moisturizing Jelly contains "eight hair-nourishing Chinese herbals, plus hair-thickening vitamin B-5 and herbal gums add up to one superb styling product that moisturizes as it holds. Adds body and shine without weighing down the hair."

It may sound like the Moisturizing Jelly is like a true hair gel, holding the curl, but it is the other way around, in my experience. The moisturizing jelly does just that, it moisturizes and makes my hair super soft. The B5 Design Gel provides a whole lot of hold though. In fact, at the beginning when I experimented with these products for the first time, I went overboard with the B5 Design Gel and got a mild case of helmet head, where each curl was crunchy and crisp. Not cute.

So now, I have determined the perfect combination/ratio of the two (for me and my hair, anyway.) I put a quarter size-half dollar size amount of the Moisturizing Jelly in my palm, add only a dime size amount of the B5 Design Gel, and mix together before applying to my hair. I do this a total of 2 - 3 times, depending on weather conditions, humidity, and how much time I feel like spending on my hair. I also disperse it evenly by working on SECTIONS of hair (like top/front, back/sides, and then I flip my hair over and get the bottom/underneath.) It sounds time consuming, but my hair literally only takes 5 minutes in the morning, and most days I am happy enough with it.

Curly hair is tempermental regardless of how you style it, but if you take good care of it, treat it well with good, natural products, and lay off the heat styling and straightening, it tends to behave better. Another important factor is how much you touch/play with curly hair. When styling, don't run fingers through hair- it separates the hair into smaller pieces, creating more volume. (That is, if you have problems with excess volume, like me.) Once it is styled, touch the hair as little as possible- touching will break the curls up, contributing to frizz. And any curly-haired gal will tell you that frizz is the enemy.

Oh, and Aubrey Organics offers all sorts of styling aids- from hairspray to leave in conditioner to curl activator- to style any kind of hair. And you don't have to be a curly head to use the Moisturizing Jelly, it would also work (in smaller amounts) as a leave in conditioner for other types of hair as well.

Do you have curly hair? Have you been hiding it because you just can't get it to look healthy and frizz free? What do you use (whether curly, straight or somewhere in between) to style and care for your hair?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hair care- part 1

Going natural and organic is important, but it can be so expensive. It leads you to wonder, where do I begin? I will be the first to admit, there are more inorganic/unnatural things in our cleaning regimen (for both house and body) than there are organic/natural ones. But I make it a point to try an all natural method or product if it is cheaper or comparable in price to the one I was using. I stick with it if it turns out as effective or more so than the method/product I used previously.

And that brings me to my shampoo and conditioner. There are people who buy drug store brands because price is all they care about, those that are loyal to certain brands (like Pantene, Garnier, etc) because they think they work the best, and those that only buy salon brands, convinced they are more effective. I have been all these people.

Then, sometimes those people get fed up with the poor results they are getting with all of the above. Maybe they are intrigued by claims made by people who have gone all natural. But when you get to this point, as I did, you aren't sure where to get REALLY all natural products for hair care. Oh, there are plenty of products claiming to be all natural in drugstores, but reading labels is key. Chances are, if you can't pronounce it, it isn't naturally-occurring.

Having given up on products I had tried from the store, I searched the internet. That is where I found Aubrey Organics.

I have dry, coarse, curly hair with frizzy tendencies, so I chose my shampoo and conditioner based on that. However, they do have choices for oily hair, straight hair, normal hair, etc. Every kind of hair under the sun.

I wanted the products to calm my sometimes itchy scalp, clean off any residue from styling products, moisturize and detangle, and provide daily nourishment. The ones I have tried did all that. I am a huge fan of the White Camellia line, as well as the Jojoba and Aloe Desert Herb line. Both smell clean and herbal- nothing too strong. They rinse clean but still leave my hair soft, and de-tangled. Everything on the ingredient list is recognizeable. I am also quite satisfied with the price, considering the change in results I have seen since switching my products- most of the shampoos and conditioners are $10 for an 11 oz bottle, which lasts me forever. That's another thing about all natural products- since they get the job done right, I don't have to keep masking any damage done to my hair with more conditioner, styling products, etc.

What kind of shampoo and conditioner do you use? Do you buy and use them as a matching set? Do you try to use all natural/organic products?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

If you like my thinking here....

If you like my thoughts on fashion and beauty, you should read about my thoughts on food, nutrition, vegetarian and vegan fare, raw food and much more! Visit my other blog, here!