I struggled for most of 2016 to find the perfect products and routine for my hair and I can now finally say my search is over. I have naturally wavy hair that is dry and course. I color my hair every three months and generally heat style it every day so I do have some damage and split ends. I only wash my hair every two or three days in order to eliminate some of the damage. The biggest concern I have is maintaining my volume between washes. My goal is to have thick, full hair that still has movement. Here is the routine I’ve been using the last couple of months and I’ve been having nothing but good hair days:
Pre Shampoo- I use the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo. I apply a generous amount and really massage it into my scalp. This product helps to remove any oil and product buildup.
Shampoo- I then use Living Proof Full Volume Shampoo. Because I’ve already prepooed I can get away with using only a small amount of this shampoo. This product is unique because it not only eliminates buildup but also helps to repel it.
Conditioner- The way I condition my hair really is my secret weapon. I use Aveda Pure Abundance conditioner it has the most amazing peppermint smell and gives my hair noticeable body. I gently wring much water as I can out of my hair, I then flip my head upside down and begin by applying the conditioner from the base of my head through the ends. I then tie the hair up on the top of my head with an elastic. I leave it up there while I shave and cleanse my body. Then I just rinse extra well.
Volume Boost- While my hair is still damp I spray 3-4 pumps of the Aveda Volumizing Tonic in the upper crown of my hair. This product is great because it gives me volume and texture without leaving behind a sticky residue.
Heat Protection- Because I blow dry and straighten my hair I’m always very diligent with applying a head protectant. I use the Aveda Smooth Infusion creme to protect my hair. I apply this product similarly to how I apply conditioner; I flip my head upside down and start from the bottom of my head and work it through the entire length of my hair.
I’ve never been one to carry a huge purse or a huge wallet. I like small to medium sized bags and I carry only the essentials. This makes it easier to find things when I really need them. Here are the items that I currently carry in my purse:
Wallet: A small wallet just big enough for my cards and some cash. I only carry two credit cards, my Costco card, and my ID. This way when I am at the register I’m not digging through a ton of cards looking for the right one.
Hand Sanitizer: I like to carry a hand sanitizer that contains aloe so it doesn’t dry out my hands. Hand sanitizer can also be hard on acrylic nails, but I’ve found that the Purell brand does not damage my nails.
Sunglasses: I always have a casual/versatile pair of sun glasses in my purse. They especially come in handy when I’m n0t wearing makeup. I especially love aviator style glasses. These are Michael Kors and I purchased them at Nordstrom.
Hair Brush: I brush my hair way too many times during the day. I’m that person who will brush their hair at a restaurant or while driving my car. I can’t stand the feeling of having knots in my hair so I always have a brush on hand.
Snack: I try to always keep a non-perishable, semi-healthy snack in my bag. This keeps me from wasting money on unhealthy food when I’m on the run. These Fig Bars are yummy and fill me up.
Lips: Obviously the lip products that I have in my purse depend on the look I’m wearing that day. However I do always keep Neutrogena chapstick (unscented), Buxom “White Russian” gloss, and a ColorPop Lippie stick with me at all times. All of these products are moisturizing and can be work with or without makeup.
Contact Lense Re-Wetting Drops: I used to always carry my prescription glasses with me just incase my eyes started bothering me but they were bulky and I hardly ever needed them. Re-wetting drops are so much more convenient. If my eyes get dry or scratchy during the day I can easily drop these in and I’m good to go.
I’m always interested in trying out new beauty trends and I’ll pretty much do anything at least once. So when I heard that the Esthetician at my local nail salon was offering Eyelash Lifts I was immediately intrigued. The process costs around $50, takes 45 minutes, and lasts two months.
A Lash Lift is basically semi-permanent eyelash curling. The Esthetician selects a “rod” of the correct thickness depending on the length and thickness of the eyelashes. The lashes are then rolled over the rod and the curling formula is applied. After waiting 15 minutes a neutralizer is applied and the lashes are rinsed. The result is lashes with a natural looking curl.
I am very happy with the results I have seen. The “After” picture above is right out of the shower with zero makeup applied. My lashes are noticeably lifted and they look like I am wearing a couple of coats of mascara. It adds just a little extra drama to my eyes. My eyelashes do have a natural curl to them (probably because I have curly hair) so the results on me are not extremely dramatic. As an added bonus it is more comfortable to wear my glasses because my lashes don’t hit them.
An eyelash lift would be perfect for someone who has very straight eyelashes or someone who doesn’t like to wear mascara. Additionally if you have light colored eyelashes, a Lash Lift in conjunction with dying the eyelashes would be really beautiful. It is also a great alternative to Eyelash Extensions because it is cheaper, faster, and easier to maintain than extensions.
Don’t wear your contacts to the appointment. Pressure will be applied to the eye ball as well as some rubbing which can irritate your contacts.
Don’t wear makeup to the appointment. You will not be able to get your eyes wet for 24 hours after the appointment so you won’t want to have a full face of makeup on.
Make sure the Esthetician knows what he/she is doing. If the wrong size rod is applied it will over-curl the lashes, making it hard to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner.
Exfoliation is such an important part of a skincare routine. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and increases blood circulation; both of which contribute to a healthy glow. And in the cold, dry winter months it becomes even more important. I make it a point to a full body exfoliation at least twice a week. My skin really thanks me for this, it feels smooth and polished. This is also a good routine to follow before applying self tanner. Here are the products I’m currently using:
Face:Murad- AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: The first thing I do is exfoliate my face. I always use a very gentle exfoliator on my face. This one from Murad has only small Jojoba beads instead of a rough sandy texture, which is perfect. And the AHA/BHA helps to prevent Milia, which I used to suffer from.
Body: Josie Maran- Argan Oil Body Scrub: Next, I exfoliate my entire body. I take extra time on my elbows and where my bra goes. This one by Jose Maran is great because it is very moisturizing and luxurious so it doesn’t strip my skin. However, I just looked on Sephora and it doesn’t look like they sell this anymore.
Hands:Lush- Salted Coconut Hand Scrub: I feel like hand exfoliation is a step that a lot of people skip. But it feels absolutely incredible and leaves my hands so smooth. I also think it eliminates the need to trim my cuticles as often. This one from Lush smells like a tropical vacation and of course is made with all natural ingredients.
Lips:Fresh- Sugar Lip Polish : I actually exfoliate my lips 3-4 times a week because they get so dry in the winter and I LOVE to wear lipstick. Lip exfoliation only takes 30 seconds but can make a matte lipstick look so much better. This one from Fresh is great because you get a ton of product and it tastes like brown sugar. But I do have a hard time getting the scrub out of the container because I have long nails.
Here’s my current morning skin care routine. These same steps can be used with or without makeup. Most of my products are recommended for Dry and/or sensitive skin types. Some of these products are on the high-end side; but in my opinion if you are going to splurge on anything it should be your skin care. If your skin looks great you can get away with wearing no makeup or less expensive makeup.