Monday, March 30, 2015

When Skin Looks Good, I Must Be Doing Something Right

But the question is, what is it?

Over the past month I've noticed my skin has calmed down. I have less blackheads and pimples. My skin is radiant in the mornings. Wrinkles are still there but can't ask for too much. Finally I think I've found the winning regime!

Morning Routine:
Cleanser: Daiso Charcoal Cleansing Foam
Moisturiser: Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion (old formula, not +), Elizabeth Arden Daily Youth Restoring Serum Ceramide Capsules

Post Gym Routine:
Cleanser: Botanics All Bright Purifying Face Scrub
Moisturiser: Lacura Q10 eye cream (all over face)

Night Routine:
Cleanser: L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Water
Moisturiser: None

I've been drinking herbal and green teas daily. My favourite blend is peppermint, lemon balm and nettle.

Months before I started this regime, I have been taking 1 evening primrose tablet daily.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

L'Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner Review

I saw this in a supermarket in Buffalo and was intrigued by the idea of a cleansing conditioner. There are lots aimed at the ethnic market but this was a first from L'Oreal. The labelling and packaging looks professional and for less than $7, I had to try it! 

This one is part of a "curl care system". My hair has lost it's curliness due to repeated henna applications but I figure it basically caters for frizzy, fragile and dry hair. 

My ban from buying hair products went out the window. I'm still looking for a conditioner that cleans without leaving behind build up. This stuff is paraben-free, sulfate-free and contains natural botanicals. And the sleek pump bottle would look fab in my I clutching at excuses here?

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/ Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoamphopropionate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Parfum/Fragrance, Isopropyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil/Grape Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Hibiscus Esculentus/Hibiscus Esculentus Seed Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil/Orange Peel Oil.

Is this product better than co-washing with ordinary conditioner? The instructions say to use 8-10 pumps, which I think is too much for my fine hair. I used 6 and it foamed up nicely.  A nice plus. After washing, my hair had less frizz and felt clean.

The downsides however are the reasons why I won't buy this product after I've used it up. It has a chemical scent that's not even of orange peel oil, one of the ingredients. It lingers after my hair has dried. I think it leaves behind build up because my scalp itches a little and my hair looks greasy by the next morning.

The search for the perfect co-washing conditioner continues.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vatika Naturals Egg Protein Hair Mask Review

I'm on a new haircare spree because my split ends are driving me crazy. Seems like no matter what I do, I always get them. I guess it's a bane for people with fine hair like me. 

I've always wanted to try this hair mask. I got it from Paks and its so cheap for the amount you get. This tub is 500grams and it only cost £4.99! You can also get it from Amazon and Superdrug online. 

The mask doesn't contain silicones and uses honey and olive and fruit oil to moisturise and egg protein to help strengthen hair. 

This is what the mask looks like. The scent is like a cheap perfume or an incense stick. It smells sweet but has a chemical base note. Those with sensitive noses will probably not like the scent. The texture is very slippery and thick. I use it as a deep conditioning co-wash. I rarely use shampoo nowadays and even after a light oiling or if my hair is really dirty, it still cleans and rinses out well.

 The trick is to emulsify the conditioner with water before rinsing it out. I add water and massage my hair and keep doing that until the conditioner loosens. Then I rinse with warm water. This mask is good for detangling because it's so slippery. It will clean your hair and produce suds. As my weekly treatment, I'll rinse my hair and gently squeeze out the water. Then I'll massage a goop through the roots to the tips and put on a shower cap. I'll sit in a sauna for 10 mins and rinse out.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Parfum, Honey Extract, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Marrow Extract, Egg Powder, Olea Europaea (Olive), Fruit Oil, Magnesium Nitrate, Magnesium Chloride, Methylchloroisothiazolionone, Methylsothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Cl 19140, Cl 42080, Cl28440, Cl73015, Cl16255, Cl14720.

The final results. I'm so impressed by this mask. It feels like my hair has strengthened and it's insanely soft and shiny. A perfect balance of moisture and protein. The only thing I don't like is the scent. As my hair was air-drying, there was a faint smell of green thai curry. I kid you not! The chemical-like base note remains in my hair after it's dried for a day and then it disappears. My ends feel moisturised and soft. This is the hair I'm MEANT to have :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ayur Henna Powder Review

I bought this 200g bag of henna in Australia for AUD 2.40. It was super cheap for two applications. I couldn't wait to try this henna and it's prettiest packaging I've seen. The packaging is in foil with Rajastanti art. 

For some reason the bag says "dark brown" which is odd considering that natural henna gives a reddish brown colour. On the back (if you look closely at the top in the dark green bar), it says "100% natural henna can be used." Perhaps this is not pure henna? 

The powder itself looks like henna, a nice green colour. I made my henna mix with strong hibiscus tea (the enhance the red colour) and let it sit out to colour release for 8 hours before freezing. After thawing I added some honey. 

I should have added coconut or olive oil because my hair felt dry and crunchy when I rinsed the henna off. It was in my hair overnight. I used a deep conditioner Cholesterol Cream for 10 minutes and Suave natural apple conditioner after that. Thankfully my hair softened up.
After my hair dried, the ends still felt dry but I had very soft and shiny hair.

The resulting colour-initially a copper tint. I didn't shampoo for three days after although I rinsed my scalp after going to the gym. The tint became more red but its not as intense as results with Jamila henna. I noticed it doesn't have as strong smell as other hennas. 
Lesson learned is to add some oil to the mix and not leave the henna in my hair for longer than 4 hours. I don't think there's much benefit after that time. Although I slept with a shower cap and a towel on my pillow, I still stained my silk pillowcase!

Later I came across this website and realised that Ayur might not be 100% pure henna. There are no ingredients listed on the packet in English. According to the ingredients list in the link, additives are fullers earth, kaolin clay, calamine powder and mint extracts. With the addition of the clays and calamine, this probably explains the drying/cleansing properties on the hair.


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