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  • Back To College Essentials

    SAMSUNG CSCWith everyone moving back into dorms and gearing up for a brand new semester, the last thing on our minds is how to take care of our hair during stressful school months. Between hitting the books, extra curricular's and managing to maintain somewhat of a social life, it's hard to find time to maintain the same beauty regimen's that we would if we had more time. There are quite a few products that'll help speed up your current routine, here are three:

    Dry Shampoo: You can read our article about dry shampoo here, but basically this is one of the most crucial hair products in your artillery. Be it in the morning before your 8 am class, or right before a spur of the moment dinner date you can so easily rely on dry shampoo to make sure your hair looks clean and refreshed.

    Makeup Wipes/Micellar Water: Have you ever used micellar water before? If you have, you'll agree with me that this is without question a holy grail makeup removal product. If you're not familiar with micellar water, it's magical water that uses science to help take your makeup off easier (in a nutshell). You can buy the water on it's own or buy makeup wipes with the water infused into them- I have both. Adding a little extra water to the wipes really douses it with the product and ensures that all the makeup is coming off. Nothing is worse than getting into bed after a long day and realizing you've gotta get up and take your makeup off- if you're willing to sacrifice washing your face that night, leave makeup wipes and micellar water next to your bed and you can take it off quick and easy. And if you don't end up washing your face, micellar water provides a deeper clean than ordinary makeup remover- so you can feel just a little less guilty about skipping out.

    Clix It Acne Eraser Pen: If you're one of the lucky people who have never experienced a breakout, must be nice. But if you're with the greater majority, odds are you've dealt with a pimple or two in your day. With college comes stress, and with stress comes acne. This product will help combat those pesky surprise breakouts and prevent ones from popping up in the future. It will heal acne, cool irritated skin, help control sebum (oil) production and work to prevent future breakouts. It's small, quick and can fit in a purse- what more do you want?

  • Back to School with Fairy Tales

    SAMSUNG CSCFairy Tales are a key component to have in the arsenal if you've got younger, school aged kids. Unfortunately, schools are a serious breeding ground for lice so it's important that you take the necessary precautions to prevent lice and worst case scenario- get rid of them. Fairy Tales has a wide array of products that are proven to work against lice, and with the back to school season being in full swing it's crucial to have at least a few of these products at your disposal.

    Rosemary Repel Shampoo: Formulated without sulfates and harsh chemicals, this shampoo is gentle and effective enough for daily use. It contains pure rosemary, citronella and tea tree oils that will gently cleanse the hair while working to prevent head lice. There is a matching conditioner that will effectively detangle and tame unruly hair while preventing head lice as well as a leave-in conditioner that will soften and moisturize the hair. This product line also features a hairspray that is light-weight and non-sticky, and a styling gel that will hold hair in place without build up or making it crunchy. All of these products are clinically proven to prevent head lice.

    Lice Good-Bye: This is your solution to head lice outbreaks. Formulated with natural enzymes, Lice Good-Bye is proven to remove and dissolve lice and their eggs to completely rid you of them. This product contains no harsh chemicals or pesticides and removes everything naturally, making it perfect for young children.

    Nit Free Terminator Comb: It goes without saying that if you've got school aged kids, you should have one of these. This is the ultimate lice and egg removal comb- the long, thin teeth make it easy to comb through the hair during head checks, and ultimately to remove any eggs or lice you may see in the process.

  • It's A 10 - Miracle Leave In's

    SAMSUNG CSCBeing a girl with curly hair, there are few products that rank as highly in my collection as a leave-in conditioner. A good leave in conditioner can transform your hair from a knotted, tangled mess into a smooth, frizzless look. It's A 10 has created a line of Miracle Leave-In's that do just that- detangle, defrizz, add moisture and more.

    Miracle Leave-In: An ideal solution for smoothing hair by eliminating frizz and detangling, this product can be used on all hair types to help make hair stronger and healthier with every use. This treatment is nourishing and moisturizing and can either be used on it's own or as a restorative styling product.

    Miracle Leave-In for Blondes: Specially formulated for blonde hair, the Miracle Leave-In for Blondes works on both natural and dyed blonde hair. It will enhance highlights and shine without dulling, while adding in moisture and defrizzing. This product will reduce fading and tone your hair color as well as protect your hair from harmful heat and UV rays. Not only does this product do all of that, but it also aids in the reversal of damage from over processing and excess heat.

    Miracle Leave-In Lite: This ultra light formula was create special for those with fine or short hair. This product has the same replenishing and detangling properties as the original while using the lightest, most effective natural ingredients. It will help prevent split ends, fading color and environmental damage.

    Miracle Silk Express Leave-In: Silky and smooth is this products specialty; strengthening and restoring moisture into dry, damaged hair while adding shine and natural body. Miracle Silk will seal in moisture to shield from frizz and infuse deep hydration to help reduce breakage. Safe for color treated hair, it protects from color fade and dryness to keep your hair looking full of life.

    Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin: This product has all the benefits of the original Miracle Leave-In while specializing in strengthening hair. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with a keratin straightening treatment to help maintain it. Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin works on all hair types to bring out natural luster and make hair stronger and healthier by replacing lost proteins. It will protect that hair's natural keratin and protect against heat, restore hydration, detangle and defrizz.

  • Sugar, Sugar - Matrix Sugar Shine

    SAMSUNG CSCMatrix Biolage has created yet another stunning hair care line with their Sugar Shine collection. The line offers a sulfate and paraben free shampoo, conditioner, spray and scrub available for consumer purchase; the combination of products, when used together, will create a lightweight finish and up to a 48 hour long shine. It's lasting effects will keep your hair looking beautiful and fresh in between washes.

    Sugar Shine Shampoo: Creates a gentle lather to remove dulling impurities. Suitable for color treated hair.

    Sugar Shine Conditioner: The Sugar Shine Conditioner will leave your hair moisturized and nourished without feeling weighed down. Suitable for color treated hair.

    Sugar Shine Illuminating Mist: Use this lightweight mist to help lock in shine following the use of the Sugar Shine Shampoo and Sugar Shine Conditioner. The Sugar Shine Illuminating Mist will help smooth hair by taming flyaways and add heat protection for up to 450 degrees, leaving your hair with a glossy, illuminated finish.

    Sugar Shine Polishing Hair Scrub: A pre-shampoo treatment formulated with real sugar crystals. The Sugar Shine Polishing Hair Scrub works directly on the surface of hair to polish away impurities and nourish the hair with humectants to add shine and slight body.

  • Summer Fun In The Sun - Alterna's Bamboo Beach

    SAMSUNG CSCWith summer in full swing, we tend to be more concerned about hitting the beach and getting a nice tan, right? While those things are fairly important during these warm months, there’s one thing that should always be on our minds- our hair. The heat and humidity of summer mixed with the sun’s harmful UV rays can be detrimental to our hair, so it’s important to take a little extra care of it during the more extreme seasons (really cold winters, really hot summers). Alterna’s Bamboo Beach hair products work with Color Hold Technology to stop color treated hair from fading due to sunlight, among other things to help style and protect your hair.

    Summer Sun Recovery Spray: This leave in conditioner will deeply penetrate your hair to help revitalize it after a long day in the sun. It infuses moisture, enhances shine and protects your hair from future sun-related damage.

    Summer Ocean Waves: This tousled texture spray is lightweight, and provides weightless volume and wavy texture to help create that ‘back from the beach’ look. Formulated with Color Hold Technology, this product will help style an effortlessly sexy look and protect your colored hair from fading in the sunlight.

    Summer Sunshine Spray: Not only will this spray protect your hair from UV rays, it will instantly add shine and prevent frizz for noticeably softer hair.

    All of the products in the Bamboo Beach line are formulated to provide hassle-free styling and hair care without worrying about sun, pool, and saltwater damage. Each part of the line contains Eco-certified bamboo and Tahitian coconut to help your hair look good and stand up to the elements.

  • Product Review: PUFF.ME

    I have very curly haSAMSUNG CSCir, naturally. In my world, volume is the absolute last thing I need. However, in recent years, I've been straightening my hair nearly every day which brings me from a bad 80's hairdo to something a little more tame. However, I oftentimes find myself missing the volume that comes alongside my unruly curly hair so I douse my hair with volumizing sprays, blow dry and flat iron in the opposite direction to build a little extra height- anything to make it look a little less lifeless. After trying numerous dry shampoos and sprays I came across a little pink bottle titled 'Puff.Me'.

    Puff.Me is a product brought to you by the brand Design.Me. It is a 'volumizing cloud mist'- something I had never heard of before. Upon spraying it, it looks a little bit like you're just spraying baby powder- it's unscented and nearly translucent once it's in your hair. However, unlike dry shampoo's or baby powder, Puff.Me creates an interesting texture once it hits your hair. Sticky is the definitely wrong term to use, however that is kind of what it feels like. It creates a unique type of stiffness- a hold, if you will, that I have never experienced using any other product which is why it's so hard for me to describe. You're supposed to direct the product at your roots, and spray about 2-4 inches away for the best results. I did that in a few areas and then flipped my head over to tousle it (in an effort to disperse it, even though that's not really in the instructions, it's simply out of habit) and then combed it through a few more times. After flipping my hair back over and styling the way I usually do (just a side part) it looked like I had teased it. It works. And plus, after combing it through and moving the product around a little bit, the interesting 'this product is not moving' feeling that it initially created mostly went away. It didn't make my hair look greasy, you could see no powder at all and it held up pretty well. After feeling it initially, I thought it would weigh my hair down which is counteractive to what it's actually supposed to do- but it was surprisingly lightweight and didn't bother me at all.

    I'm one of the lucky ones who has a really full head of hair, so volume and my hair appearing to be 'thin' has never been a worry of mine- I'm just a fan of big hair. But for those who have naturally thin hair, this is definitely a product you should consider picking up. At a price point of nearly $15, it may seem like a bit of an investment- but I can assure you that if you want volume, this product will give it to you.  Whether you're wearing your hair down, styling it for an up-do or even putting it in a braid, Puff.Me will make your hair look like you spent way longer styling it than simply pumping a product a few times.

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  • Splurge vs. Steal - What's The Big Deal?

    Let's face it. Sometimes we want to use products that'll give us great results, but the budget doesn't always agree with us. In the hair and beauty world especially, it's so easy to drop outlandish amounts of money without even realizing it. A few twenty dollar liquid lipsticks and ten dollar nail polishes doesn't seem like much, physically, but before you know it you're a hundred dollars in the can. If you're anything like me (come on people, don't leave me hanging here) you're very picky about what products you use. For YEARS I would only use OPI nail polish- where that extreme bias came from is beyond me, but these nails would not touch an Essie or Color Club if I could help it. However in recent months, my nail polish collection has expanded exponentially, and yes, that includes Essie polish. It took some time, but I found myself asking why was I so against these polishes? They're some of the best in the industry (and they're like, a dollar and fifty cents cheaper than OPI!), You think that dollar and fifty cents isn't much but when you've got 100 polishes, that's an extra hundred and fifty dollars in your pocket. Or again, if you're like me, you can head right over to Taco Bell between 2pm-5pm and take advantage of Happy Hour. Either one works, really.

    The moral of that story is even though we're accustomed to a certain product, that doesn't mean every other product similar to it sucks. In reality, there's probably at least a few other products that will give you the same results as the product you're using now- or, they might even be better! The beauty world term for this is dupe. It's just a shorter, kinda cuter version for duplicate however dupe by definition means to deceive or trick. Let's stick with my nail polish tale in regards to this. Say someone put an Essie nail polish in an empty OPI bottle- I would have been none the wiser. Looking at the polishes objectively, the formulas are very similar. They apply, dry and wear close to the same- but for some reason I was hell bent for OPI. This same principle applies for numerous other beauty and hair products (and their difference in price might be more than a Happy Hour drink at Taco Bell). As the saying goes, you'll never know unless you try.

    For example, here we have two dry shampoos. The Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Shampoo is talc free and mineral/clay based to help absorb excess oils, product build up and impurities. It also contains UV filters to help protect hair against harmful UV rays- which makes it exceptionally good for use on color treated hair as it will prolong the time between washes and protect it from lightening due to the sun. Batiste Dry Shampoo leaves your hair smelling fresh and clean, while adding some body and texture to help give your hair a quick and easy style. Batiste revitalizes greasy hair by absorbing the excess oils and adding a touch of shine to dull and lifeless hair.

    Batiste Dry Shampoo: 9.99

    Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo: 14.40

    The price difference is obviously something any shopper would note- you're getting almost double the product with Batiste for nearly five dollars less than Big Sexy Hair. Most people would opt for Batiste based solely on that. Be it cheaper, it may not be better, however. Sure, the Batiste Dry Shampoo does it's job and works perfectly fine- which is more than likely why it's deemed one of the most popular dry shampoos in the world. However, the Big Sexy Hair on the other hand is a little bit more high end which would explain the price tag. That dry shampoo goes above and beyond to protect your hair from the harmfulness of the sun, and presents itself more as an 'every other day' styling product than just a quick "I don't want to wash my hair" product.

    When it comes to hair and beauty products, the ideology that you get what you pay for is often seen. And it's true, in more cases than not the higher end product will perform better than it's more affordable counter part. However, that doesn't mean that the more affordable option isn't worth trying; because sometimes the product will do it's job, but usually not for as long, or necessarily as well as the more expensive option.

     

     

     

  • You're Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes? Me Neither. But We Should Be!

    SAMSUNG CSCAttention makeup users! If you’re like me and wear lots of makeup (I’m talking eyes, lips, face- the whole sha’bang) odds are you use a myriad of brushes to apply all those products. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t clean my brushes often, and definitely not as often as one really should. Between the actual time it takes to do my makeup and getting through the day, it’s a miracle I even take off my makeup at night, let alone take the time to clean all my brushes. However, this is a trend that we need to stop! Not only is it kind of gross, it’s unsanitary and can lead to things like eye infections and the worsening of acne.

    Shockingly enough, dermatologists recommend you wash your brushes every day. EVERY DAY. Daily brush washing would be ideal to entirely rid them of excess makeup and bacteria, but let’s be real…who has the time to deep clean their brushes every single day? It’s a goal to strive for to say the least, but in the meantime let’s shoot for a thorough wash bi weekly, with daily touch ups. You can purchase spray cleaners for your brushes to quickly clean them after use- so a quick spritz of that onto all your makeup brushes at the end of your routine will only tack on a couple extra minutes, and you’re helping yourself tenfold in the long run.

    You should view your makeup brushes the same way you view hair. All brushes are different- some more fragile and fine than others, some requiring conditioning and the list goes on. And remember that synthetic brushes are, well, synthetic. They don’t absorb makeup and oil the same way natural hair brushes do, meaning that all the product your using (plus the oils and dirt that’s inevitably on your skin) is going to build up on the bristles which can weigh them down. Now when you’re actually washing the brushes, you’ve gotta be careful with how you manipulate them. Swirl them around and move them side to side but don’t press down too hard on the bristles or bend them more than you normally would as this could lead to permanent misshape of the brush. It might not seem like a big deal but trying to get a sharp wing on your eyeliner with a brush that has stray hairs and a bent bristle is nearly impossible. Clean your brushes on something with a texture like a cleansing mat (give the Cosmat Cleaning Pad a try!) or even a towel to ensure that all the bristles are getting as clean as possible.

    The way you dry your brushes is almost as important as how you clean them. Make sure to dry your brushes in a way the water doesn’t get into the handle (which means don’t just throw them back into your makeup bag) as that can cause loosening of the bristles or the head entirely. Take a wet brush, soak up excess water by squeezing it with a wash cloth, ‘brush’ it in a way that helps it resemble its original shape and allow it to dry somewhere that it can receive air on ALL sides. If you rest it on one side, you’ll end up with a flat side to your brush.

    Makeup brushes are an investment and should be treated as such. With some brushes costing an upwards of forty or fifty dollars each, we don’t want anything in our control to ruin them. Taking the extra 20 minutes every couple weeks to really cleanse your brushes, even though you might not really want to, is crucial for sanitary reasons. And hey, you might even begin to see breakouts begin to diminish! It’s worth a shot.

  • Dry Shampoo 101

    SAMSUNG CSCOftentimes regarded as a holy grail product, dry shampoo has saved us from washing our hair when we feel, for lack of a better term, just a little too lazy. Although this somewhat 'cult' hair product is best known for banishing greasy hair, it can also be used for reviving flat hair and adding volume at the roots. Dry shampoo's duty is to bring lackluster hair back to life- and if used properly, you'll have no problems making your hair look fresh and clean (even if it's been a day...or five).

    Arguably one of the most recognizable of these products are the Batiste Dry Shampoo's, which can be identified by the colorful patterns that wrap themselves around the bottle. The brand's Clean & Classic scent will leave your hair smelling like you just showered, while their myriad of other scents including the Coconut & Exotic Tropical and Floral & Flirty Blush will provide you with a scent for nearly every day of the week.

    Unlike the Batiste dry shampoo's that will just refresh your hair, there are other products that will both refresh and add volume to your hair. The Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo is talc free, and will absorb excess oils while adding volume and texture. The Kenra Volume Dry Shampoo is a translucent spray (meaning it's great for all hair colors) that will foremost absorb oils while lifting the hair and adding body at the roots, making it an ideal pre-styling spray.

    If overused, excess dry shampoo can lead to nasty build up on the scalp, dryness and can actually worsen dandruff. It's important to note that when you do finally wash your hair, make sure to really clarify and cleanse the scalp to ensure that this saving grace of a hair product doesn't cause more trouble than it does good.

  • Wait, Why Aren't You Using A Hair Mask?

    SAMSUNG CSCHair masks are without question a Holy Grail beauty product, but we find ourselves asking- why aren’t more people using them? Although there are a lot of myths behind hair masks, such as they make your hair greasy, they’re too heavy for certain hair types or what have you- I guarantee you there is a mask out there for everybody.

    When it comes to masks, the most important thing you can do is read the packaging. Odds are if a hair mask is making your hair greasy or ‘crunchy’, it’s not for your hair type. Another reason you may be seeing less than positive effects it’s because you’re using the mask wrong. Some hair masks are designed for weekly use, daily use, monthly use and so on and so forth. If you’re using a ‘once a month’ mask once a week, there you have it. Myth debunked! However, you should be using masks fairly regularly (we’re talking once a week, ladies and gentlemen)- especially during the changing of seasons. Altered temperatures and sun exposure can wreck total havoc on all hair types, so it’s best to play it safe and throw on a moisturizing mask every now and then to prevent dry and brittle hair. When applying a hair mask, be it on wet hair or on dry hair, it is crucial that you focus on the ends of your hair. Focusing on this part of your hair with a mask mixed with regular trimming will prevent breakage and split ends, giving your hair a more sleek appearance overall.

    It’s also important to shampoo and condition your hair after applying a mask. Once the mask has done its thing, grab a gentle shampoo and conditioner and make sure to thoroughly cleanse the hair. Oil based masks especially will leave a greasy appearance towards the scalp if not properly washed out, so it is key that you spend a little extra time washing the hair to ensure a soft and shiny result.

    More so than moisturizing the hair itself, regular use of hair masks can prevent dandruff. There are some masks geared specifically towards dandruff prevention, however any mask with healing ingredients and natural oils will soothe and moisturize a dry scalp.

    Having adequately moisturized hair will also prevent fading when it comes to coloring your hair. You should start using a hair mask at least two or three weeks prior to getting color applied to the hair if you aren’t already. After coloring, you will want to keep up this routine to help retain as much moisture in the hair as possible, which will make the color look more vibrant and help protect the hair from becoming brittle.

    Any time is a great time to start using hair masks, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your hair. As much of a hassle as hair masks may seem, there’s a mask for practically everyone and anyone’s schedule. Masks are designed for all time frames- 5 minutes, overnight, 20 minutes…the list goes on. You can even throw on a mask in the shower. leave it on while you shave your legs and rinse it out when you’re done, it’s that simple and will benefit your hair tenfold in the long run.

    Here are some masks to try: Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus (Dry/Damaged Hair), It's A 10 Miracle Hair Mask (Dry/Damaged Hair), Ouidad Melt-Down (Curly Hair), Wella Age Restore (Aged/Coarse Hair), Alterna Bamboo UV+ (Damaged/Color Treated Hair), Keratin Complex Blondeshell (Blonde Hair)

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