Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meera Hair Wash Powder-All Natural?

I had some time to kill at Euston so I popped over to the local indian grocery shop. I found this premixed herbal hairwash powder called Meera.

As quoted from their website:

"Meera Hair Wash Powder is a healthy and traditional method of looking after your hair. The Powder is made from natural ingredients which nurture and protect the hair making it soft and healthy. Meera powder is a blend of flowers and herbs such as shikakai, green gram, tulsi, vetiver and reetha which cleanse the hair, leaving it fresh and shiny. The powder also contains Hibiscus and Fenugreek which act as deep conditioners and strengthen each strand of hair from the root to the tip. Meera Herbal Hairwash Powder promises its consumers ”Healthy Hair for Years”.

It sounded good to me and this 100 gram jar was only £1.49 so I figured it was worth a try.

The instructions weren't detailed. It said to mix the powder with water to make a paste, apply to wet hair and wait a while and rinse thoroughly. I made a paste with 1 tablespoon of powder. Surprisingly it foamed as if it was a normal shampoo! The foam was so thick, I could feel it's resistance in my hair while massaging my scalp. There was more foam than I've ever had with a herbal shampoo so I figured there had to be surfactant in the powder. I didn't want to leave it in my hair so I rinsed it out straight away and used a light conditioner.

The powder smells like curry which I'm not a fan of. There was a faint scent lingering after I rinsed and dried my hair but it disappeared after a few hours. My hair was insanely shiny. OK, a misuse of the word "insanely" but I couldn't stop touching my hair and running my fingers through it. My hair was so soft and smooth. An amazing result for this cheap hair wash powder!

My hair was the softest I've ever felt and could only be compared with using a deep treatment conditioner with silicones. I'm pretty sure there are chemical additives besides surfactant because there was so much foam produced and my scalp felt itchy for days after. The ends of my hair felt dry (and formed ringlets-not sure what that means for the hair) so I'm sure the hair wash was stripping or maybe I used too much. There was a little dandruff but as promised by the product's claim online, I had less hairfall.

When I went to the gym and got warmed up, I noticed the curry scent returning. I was conscious of it. Thankfully after a wash with my own shikikai/alma/aritha/tulsi mix, the smell was gone for good.

I might have been mislead to believe that Meera powder is made with 100% natural ingredients. The list was prefaced with the word: "key ingredients" on the label. I added up the percentage of ingredients listed and there was a remaining 33% portion of unnamed ingredients. I tried looking for the official list of ingredients and could only find a list from an amazon review as:

Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Vigna Radiata, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Cyperus rotundus, Hedychium spicatum, Albizia amara, Vetiveria zizanioides, Madhuca longifolia, Acacia concinna, Ocimum sanctum, Guar hydroxy propyl tiammonium chloride, Hydrated aluminium silicate, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Eucalyptus globulus, Lippa nodiflora, Sapindus trifoliatus, Cinnamomum tamala, Hibiscua rosa sinnensis, Preciptated silica, Dimethicone, Glycerol.

So I've emailed the company to double check and will update this post when I receive a response. In the meantime I'll use 1 teaspoon of the powder once a week or two as a clarifying treatment. It certainly cleans and makes my hair super shiny and soft. Sulfates and dimethicone or not, it's still worth it if the itchiness goes away. I think it will also improve my hair loss. I'll just have to get over it's smell :P

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Debunking The Hype On Mineral Foundations

I've had ID Bare Mineral Foundations in Light for years and when I say years, I've had a pot that's eight years old! I bought it before my high school reunion when I foolishly did a series of chemical peels. (So painful, I'd never do it again!) Mineral foundations were had been re-marketed at that point and seemed to be the answer to my skin woes.

Then I got more tanned and tried something new so I moved onto the BB cream. I'm not a big user of makeup but now that I've hit mid thirties, I've decided to 1) use up all the foundations I've bought 2) try to look younger than my years 3) protect my skin with a physical barrier to catch air pollution and shield against UV light.

My girl friend recently gave me a makeover and used mineral foundation on me. She swears by it because she thinks it actually improves her skin. Her foundation was orange on me but I realised that my skin could certainly look more even and smoother with mineral foundation. And I wouldn't have to get my fingers dirty putting it on. So out come the ID Bare Mineral as I'm starting to use it daily now.

As I was sold into the mineral foundation hype from many years ago, let me tell you some fast truths:

1) Mineral foundation is anything but natural. Check the full list of ingredients. There will certainly be some which are dug out of the ground so to speak, however makeup manufacturers will add a slew of other ingredients which have been heavily refined and not existing in nature like bismuth oxychloride. 

2) Bismuth Oxychloride is safe and non toxic for use in mineral foundations however it cause irritation to some people. However any ingredient can cause irritation. Fortunately I haven't had a reaction to ID Bare Minerals which contains it. Having used a colour which doesn't contain it verses one that does, I actually prefer it because it gives a silky finish. 

3) You could probably sleep with it on, but really why would you? You'll get makeup on your bedlinen and you don't need sun protection at that time of day. Best to let your skin breathe without a layer of powder on top. 

4) The concept of mineral foundation is not newer than loose face powder. You simply apply as much or as little as you like for coverage. Mineral foundations can contain so many additives you might as well be using an ordinary face powder. 

5) One truth into the hype is that as mineral foundation is in powder form, there is no need for preservatives. There are less ingredients than liquid foundations and arguably has a reduced risk of skin reactions. This is beneficial for those with sensitive skin and acne sufferers because bacteria is unlikely to grow in powder.

By all means try mineral foundation but the reality is that it's another face powder product that should contain less ingredients. Its benefits are dependant on your skin's needs and tolerance. It has it downsides as well because they tend to sit in wrinkles and make pores looks huge. I prefer BB creams for the finish and mineral foundation for its dry application method. 

Cowashing With Tresseme Naturals And That Phwoar Moment

I've been co-washing mostly for two weeks now and I'm liking it. And now I've found my go-to co wash conditioner:

I picked up a huge bottle for £2.49 since it was half off at Boots. As this conditioner replaces shampoo, I needed a lot of it and this one is silicone free. The first time I used it, I had mildly dirty hair. I rinsed it with warm water and massaged a generous amount all over my roots and down to the ends. Then I sat in a steam room (as I was at the gym) for ten minutes. I rinsed it out thoroughly with warm water and then gave it a cold rinse.

The result was frizz free, soft and shiny hair. Hair which I was supposed to have! This conditioner left my hair smelling good and feeling clean. It's so good that I've now converted to cowashing most times, using the shikakai powder once a week and if needed, a monthly clarifying shampoo. 

My hair feels moisturised but my ends are still dry. I smooth on a few drops of almond oil and put my hair in a bun. At the end of the day, I unfurled my hair and revealed this!

Now that's a "phwoar" moment!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Co-washing With Flex Conditioner - I've Converted!

Do you remember Revlon Flex, the ads with Cindy Crawford and how the tubular bottles used to be sold at the front of chemists? They were cheap as chips and suddenly they disappeared. 

When I wanted to use Flex again years later, I find out the brand had been discontinued. Why oh why Revlon? I loved Flex and now the original tube bottles are selling on Ebay for USD 25 each!

But luckily there are other kinds of Flex sold on Ebay and Amazon for a more reasonable price. This bottle comes from Spain and it's current stock (expiry is 2015) so it's not discontinued worldwide. I will certainly look for it and stockpile the next time I'm in Spain. I bought of these 650ml bottles for GBP 12 including shipping. The conditioner is exactly how I remembered it.

I'm a fan of Flex since high school. I love it's clean balsam scent. It's intoxicating and the conditioner really makes hair soft! 

As an alternative to shampooing with my usual shikakai powder, I decided to try co-washing since I go to the gym almost everyday and can't stand post workout hair. Not washing isn't an option and my hair is too fine to go without for a day.

So I wet my hair, massaged the amount I would normally use to condition the lengths of my hair, into my scalp. I added a bit of water to help spread it around and the conditioner foamed a little. I massaged the roots of my hair for a minute and it actually feels like my hair is getting cleaned.

I left it on for a few minutes and progressively added more water to loosen the conditioner up and eventually it rinsed out clean. 

After my hair dried, the results were good. My hair is soft, smooth and remarkably frizzless. It smells good and I lost less hair through washing. The downside is that my hair only looked clean for half a day and then it fell flat. It was greasy the next day so co washing with Flex is only good if you're planning to wash again the next day. 

The consecutive co wash was not better. Only the top layer of my hair looked clean and it was clumpy and greasy underneath. If the conditioner was cleaning, it was still leaving build up behind so I need to alternate. Co wash and then shampoo the next time. 

I'm still a follower of the co washing movement. I realised Flex contains a non water soluble silicone which was probably contributing towards the build up. I'm now on a hunt for the perfect co washing conditioner.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

OPI Gel Nails Sparkly Manicure

I've decided the max I'll pay for a gel manicure is £15. That is whenever a deal hits my inbox from the voucher sites.

That's because my nails so grow fast the gels need to be removed after two weeks. I remove them myself. I could pay someone do it but it takes longer at the salon. Plus I hate it when people file my nails - a weird thing to hate I know.

This is my winter mani-a black green base with holographic glitter on top. The rainbow glitter transforms any colour to amazing! 

Essence Colour & Go 154 Pink & Proud Nail Polish

This is another wonderful nail polish from Essence. It's pink but could pass for lilac and it has a foil shine with a grainy shimmer. The consistency is thick. You could get away with only one coat.

And thanks to it's wide rounded tip brush, application is childs play. It was fast and easy to do this manicure, especially using Seche Vite top coat. This is my go-to mani when I'm in a hurry!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pink Leather Lanvin Ballet Pumps

I adore Lanvin ballet pumps. I love the thick luscious leather, the classic style and concealed heel. They are so comfy once the elastic relaxes and they mould to your feet. 

My first two Lanvins were bought from a designer consignment store for around £70 each pair and I've almost worn them to death. They feel amazing broken in. Because I wear them so much I bought more for rotation to help make them last longer. 

The last two pairs I bought were from Ebay. One is made from gold patent, which came from the States and the latest are these pink ones. Also roughly around £70 each which is a good deal considering they retail for almost £300! 

Boots Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream

I bought this creme in a wink after my gorgeous girlfriend recommended it. She told me it works really well to make eyes appear younger. It was on sale too, although it's already pretty darn cheap at RRP £2.50. I paid £1.64 for mine which is the cheapest eyecream I've ever bought. 

I like how it's in a tube with a thin nozzle. It takes me forever to use up an eyecream because I don't use alot of it. At this price, there wasn't much to lose if it only just turned out to be an ordinary moisturiser. Since it has SPF 15, I only use it in the daytime which is good also because it has a subtle cosmetic effect.  The cream has a pearly shimmer as seen in the picture and it makes the skin look dewy. 

The tube says it's a light non greasy formulation that help reduce appearance of fine lines puffiness and dark circles in 4 weeks. So far it's been good as I like the light texture and there is no scent. The skin around my eyes feel like they are well moisturised and the wrinkles...well they're still there but a wee bit softer. 

This is a great value eyecream. I've still yet to vouch for the 4 week promise but so far I'm liking it. Will edit this post later with my conclusion on this eyecream.

Lacura Expert Day Cream and Renew Q10 Eye Cream

Hello readers! I'm trialling a new blog name as I figure my posts are mainly reviews and about things I buy from the charity shops. Plus I've outgrown my nickname Missy Em, especially since I'm now on the hunt for eeeekk...anti-ageing products!

My eyecream of several years ago is nearly finished. I got it from Aldi in Australia and stopped using it (eyecream for that matter) for a while. Now I realise my eyes are getting wrinkly and baggy that I need to do something about it fast. After I've started using it again, I think it's helped a bit although I will need to accept that I'm no longer a spring chicken and my wrinkles are only going to get worse from now on :(

I bought another eyecream in Boots for dirt cheap while I'll post a review shortly. What I really had in mind was to buy more of the Aldi product since I think Q10 is doing good for my skin and it's really cheap for what you're getting. There's alot of good reviews for Lacura products and most people have said they are of the same quality of more expensive products.

I finally got to a Aldi to to check out their beauty products. This store had quite a few and I bought the same eyecream (now repackaged in a pump bottle) for £2.49 and in a desperate attempt to combat tired and wrinkly skin, I went straight for the Expert Wrinkle Filling day cream which is, shock-DOUBLE the price of their famous Q10 Restorative creams. I'm talking £3.99 here!

The Expert cream has a bundle of active ingredients including their trademarked Mimox X ingredient. I have no idea what it's supposed to do but the name itself sounds impressive :P The cream is packaged in a glass jar that certainly makes you feel like you're getting a much more expensive product. I will try this out for a month and edit this post with a full review.


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