Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MY LUSH HAIRCARE ROUTINE



Hello, my lovelies! It's that time again; another LUSH focus! Today we're going to be talking about haircare which is one of my favorite parts of LUSH. Believe it or not, Mark Constantine, LUSH's founder, is a trichologist - one who specializes in haircare, specifically the scalp and roots. LUSH is more widely known for its bath products but its foundation is in haircare. So cool, right? Now, let me tell you a little story about my hair…

I have had just about every natural hair color you can imagine. My first venture was black and wow… well that was a dark time for me (see what I did there?). Next I moved onto red and that was actually great. It was this beautiful deep velvet red and if I were to ever dye my hair again (and let's be honest, I probably will), I would go back to red. So, once the red faded and I was back to my natural color I was itching for something new that I'd never had before. Blonde. Now, for a natural brunette there is only one way to achieve Barbie blonde locks. Yup, you guessed it: bleach. Ladies, let this be a warning to you. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, bleach your hair. It is not worth it. I started off slowly with box dye from the drug store going about one shade lighter at a time. Then, when it wasn't working fast enough I took the plunge and bleached it. I was happy with it for a while, it suited me. But I can never be happy with what I have and shortly after I wanted to go lighter. So I bought more bleach. All of this took place over about a month or two which was my biggest mistake. After bleaching it the second time it was beyond all hope. It was fried, a gross fake looking yellow, and did I mention COMPLETELY fried!? I think I cried for like an hour. My hair was long enough that it reached the middle of my back and I had to cut it to shoulder length. With every snip of those scissors a little piece of my soul died. I also dyed it back to dark brown the next day and it faded to a pretty natural looking dirty blonde. My roots have grown out quite a bit since then and it almost looks like an ombré. As of two months ago my hair was still completely dead and damaged beyond repair… or so I thought. 

Then I discovered LUSH and it completely brought my hair back to life. Seriously, their products worked miracles! Okay, enough about my gross dried up hair. Let's move on to the products!


When I first began my intensive hair repair regimen I was using a shampoo called Rehab. This shampoo does exactly what the name implies; it puts your hair through a pretty intensive rehab. It's made with olive and jojoba oils to restore strength to fragile hair as well as moisture, fresh fruit juices (pineapple, papaya, kiwi, and mango) to repair fried ends and restore them back to their soft and silky beginnings, and peppermint and juniper to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. This stuff is seriously magic in a bottle. Within two weeks of using this and the conditioner I paired it with, my hair was almost completely back to normal. 
Now that my hair is mostly healthy again I don't need such an intense shampoo. I've been switching back and forth between Big and the New Shampoo Bar. Big is probably my favorite shampoo of all time. It is made with sea salt which gives the hair insane volume. The salt lifts the hair from the root while also exfoliating the slap which feels so good. Right about now you're probably thinking: salt shampoo? Won't that dry out your hair? The answer is no! The sea salt is balanced out with seaweed, coconut oil, and avocado which are all insanely moisturizing ingredients. It also has some fruit juices to give your hair mega shine. So not only will it leave you feeling squeaky clean with tons of volume, but your hair will be really moisturized, too. Did I forget to mention that it smells freaking amazing? It's basically the ocean in a little black pot. 
The New Shampoo Bar is another one I've been using a lot lately. Made with cinnamon, clove, spice, and mint this shampoo bar is ideal for promoting hair growth (which is what I want more than ANYTHING)! This shampoo literally smells like Big Red gum. It's a little overwhelming at first for people who don't like really strong scents (*raises hand*) but you get used to it quickly. It's also made with rejuvenating rosemary and nettle herbs to make your hair soft to the touch. I've heard great stories about this shampoo bar helping with hair growth so I'll have to report back in a few weeks to let you in on the results! 
Retread is LUSH's heaviest conditioner, walking into deep conditioner territory. However, my hair is so damaged I need deep conditioning on a regular basis. So I use Retread almost every time I wash my hair. Including protein rich yogurt, lanolin, avocado, seaweed and cantaloupe this conditioner is a moisturizing dream. My hair feels so soft and luxurious after I use it that I can hardly believe it. My hair hasn't been this soft in years. When I feel like I don't need as much of a deep condition and want more of an average condition and an amazing scent, I turn to American Cream. This conditioner smells so dreamy; like a strawberry vanilla milkshake. It is a pretty heavy conditioner but not nearly as heavy at Retread. I love this conditioner for its moisturizing power and the scent that lasts in my hair for days.
Other Conditioners: Happy Happy Joy Joy, Big Solid Conditioner, Veganese, Jungle Solid Conditioner, Okra (online only), Coolaulin (online only)  
After showering I like to use R&B, a leave in hair moisturizer. It is an incredible blend of olive oil, avocado butter, oatmeal, virgin coconut oil, candelilla wax, and jojoba oil that leaves your hair full of moisture and smelling like jasmine and orange blossom. The scent is just as addicting as the smooth and shiny finish it gives the hair. When I'm on the go and my ends are looking a little dry and dead I put in a little Shine So Bright. Packaged just like LUSH Lip Balms, this split end treatment is perfect to just throw in your purse and apply as needed throughout the day. Concocted with coconut and olive oils, shea butter, and fresh free range eggs this balm works to put those flyaway and split ends back in place.  Add to that, the organe flower, neroli, grapefruit, and rosewood perfume compliment the scent of R&B wonderfully. 
Once or twice a week I like to use a hair mask to give me a really good deep condition. LUSH has a range of hair masks that all have different purposes. My favorite is Roots, made with peppermint and spearmint to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth (which I want more than anything!). It also has honey and extra virgin olive oil to soften and moisturize. After using this treatment, my hair always feel completely revitalized. Also, after using it consistently for about two months now, my hair is beginning to feel thicker and has grown about half an inch!
Other Hair Treatments: Marilyn, Jasmine & Henna Fluff-Eaze, Superbalm, The Hair Doctor (in-store only), H'Suan Wen Hua, The Strokes Hair Treatment (online only)


I've always used drug store dry shampoos because the spray can was so convenient. LUSH's No Drought is a loose powder but it is so much more effective than any other dry shampoo I've tried. With its delicious grapefruit scent, this powder utilizes lemon and lime oils and talc (a naturally occurring mineral) to absorb any extra oils from the scalp and hair. I just put a little in my hands and work it into my hair where I need it the most. It gives me a lot of volume and absorbs the oil so well that I never need to reapply throughout the day like I used to do with drug store dry shampoos. This stuff is incredible!


When I want to do a hairstyle that requires a little more texture and a bit of a beachy finish, I turn to Sea Spray. I love using it to achieve perfect beachy waves (especially when my hair was long. Can you tell I'm bitter about having short hair?) but sometimes I spray it in just for the intoxicating fragrance. The gorgeous mix of rosewood, grapefruit, neroli, and orange flower is very similar to Big Shampoo. Whenever I have Sea Spray in my hair, I sit there smelling it all day like a freak. Oh well. This stuff really is great.  
Other Styling Products: Zeste, Dirty Styling Cream

That's it for hair care, beauties! Hope you liked my second LUSH post! There will be more in the very near future. Until next time!


Friday, August 15, 2014

CHANEL LES 4 OMBRÉS IN TISSÉ VENDÔME


Hello my little beauties! I recently made a venture to the Chanel counter (I know, shocking) to take a peek at the new Les 4 Ombrés baked formula eyeshadow quads that Chanel released in mid-July. After careful consideration of each quad (and by that I mean talking myself out of buying all of them) I went home with Tissé Vendôme. I tend to lean more toward neutral eyeshadows and this quad has a gorgeous champagne cream color, a light brown, a dark brown, and a louder peachy-apricot color that is absolutely gorgeous.



To start off, Chanel's packaging is always impeccable. It is so sophisticated and simple but still able to pack that punch of extreme elegance. These eyeshadows are packaged the same way the rest of Chanel's eyeshadows and blushes are. When opening the box, the actual quad was sheathed in a velvet pouch. I don't know why I was so excited over this because I have gotten Chanel products packaged like this before but it just felt like such a sophisticated way to package the product and I really appreciate that. The case that houses these beautiful shadows is a sleek and shiny black with the Chanel CC logo stamped on the front in white. Below I've pictured my go-to look with this palette step-by-step.


I usually start off by putting the lightest champagne cream shade all over my lid. This is supposed to be a highlight shade but I'm pale enough that I can wear it all over my lid.


Next, I dust a little bit of the apricot shade in my crease. Once blended out it provides an effortless transition between the cream and the light brown. The most important thing to remember, with this shade in particular, is a little bit goes a long way.


Then, I blend the light brown into my outer crease, working it in with the apricot. 


Finally, I add the dark brown shade to the outer V. These shadows are very easily blended and can quickly become a muddy looking mess if you're not careful. However, when done right, they are beautiful colors that compliment each other perfectly. 







For the finished look, I've added black winged eyeliner and mascara. I've also lined my bottom waterline with a nude pencil to brighten the overall look and filled in my bottom lashes with the dark brown shadow. 

At $61 each, these baked quads are an investment but they are so beautiful and wearable that I think they're worth it. They're so easy to blend and there is absolutely no fall-out, which I absolutely love! Find your perfect harmony here


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SUMMER LOOKBOOK 2014

Hello my lovelies! Today I bring to you a fashion filled summer post. Now that I am on break for the summer I've had a slew of post ideas swimming through my brain and, slowly but surely, I'm finally getting around to bringing them to life. I am hoping that I can bring something different to the table from other beauty bloggers, especially being that I am not a picture perfect size two. So without further ado, I bring to you my summer lookbook. My staple this year has definitely been dresses and from lazy days on the beach to blazing hot cookouts I've come up with five outfits to quench even the thirstiest of fashionistas.

LOOK ONE: Flirty Florals







I am obsessed with florals for any time of the year. For this look I kept my hair down and a little bit messy so the rest of the look came across as effortless. 
Dress: Forever 21
Sweater: Similar
Necklace: Similar
Shoes: Urban Outfitters


LOOK TWO: Girly Geometrics





The pattern on this dress is amazing and I didn't want to distract from that by doing anything too intricate with my hair. A sleek, neat sock bun gives this look a chic finish.
Dress: Forever 21
Necklace: Similar
Shoes: Just Fab 

LOOK THREE: Classy & Casual






The shirt, pearls, and shoes scream classy to me but by pairing them with jeans and leaving my hair down and relaxed it gives the look just the right touch of casual. The look is balanced between the two enough that you could wear it to any summer event and not be over or under dressed. 
Shirt: Similar
Shoes: Just Fab
Necklace: Similar, Similar

LOOK FOUR: Maxi Madness






I stayed with the sock bun for this look but I added in two little accent braids to give it an effortless boho vibe. I think it really works well with this dress.
Dress: Similar
Necklace: Similar
Shoes: Similar

LOOK FIVE: Comfy by the Campfire




This may come as a shock, but you don't need to be stick thin to wear a crop top. This one from Brandy Melville is one of my favorites. I paired it with a slouchy sweater to give it a very relaxed feel, like something you'd wear on a chilly night at the beach or by a fire. I added a chunky necklace and a Dutch crown braid to top it off.
Top: Similar, Similar
Sweater: Similar
Jeans: American Eagle
Necklace: Francesca's

This took a lot of courage for me to post because I'm not really confident when it comes to my body. However, I want everyone to know that you don't have to be a size four to be fashionable. You're beautiful no matter what size you are. Wear whatever you're comfortable in. I do! No one is going to be looking at you thinking "she shouldn't be wearing that." And if they are then that's their problem. If you're happy and comfortable in a crop top then wear it! It is no one else's business. Let me know what you all think of my summer looks and tell me what your summer fashion staples are this year in the comments!











Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SEPHORA HAUL



Hello beauties! Today I made an unplanned run to Sephora and whenever that happens… well money is spent. I got myself a few things and I figured I'd share them with you all! Enjoy!


Pago Pago Swatch

The first thing I picked up is a NARS Lipstick in Pago Pago, a "your lips but better" shade. I swatched this on my hand in the store and I fell in love with it. It is such a pretty shimmery nude. I've also never used a NARS lipstick before and I've been wanting to give them a try to I used that as my excuse to buy it. 


Intense Black Swatch

I've been hearing about this eyeliner for a while and have been meaning to pick it up. Many beauty bloggers have hailed this as the best liquid eyeliner of all time so I guess we'll see if it lives up to its reviews! When I first tried it on my hand I wasn't too excited about it bleeding out into the fine lines on my hand. But maybe with a good primer (I use NARS Smudgeproof) and eyeshadow it won't bleed. Fingers crossed for this one! 


Flush Swatch

The first thing that intrigued me about this lip product was the label "BB." I am obsessed with BB Creme because it is so lightweight and basically your skin but somehow enhanced. This is the same idea but for the lips. It's a sheer creme formula and it's so light and absolutely beautiful. Flush is a pretty coral-pink shade that tints the lips just enough to give a beautiful 'flush' of color. I want all of the other shades now! 


I've been looking for a brush with tightly packed bristles to apply liquid foundation with and the sales lady at Sephora said this one is great (even though it is designed for mineral powder). It's really soft and fluffy and the bristles are packed together nice and tightly. I'm hoping it will really buff the foundation into my skin and give me a completely flawless finish. I can't wait to use it! 



Kuala Lumpur Swatch

The last thing I picked up is a NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Kuala Lumpur. I am a sucker for pink and gold shades and this duo has a gorgeous rose gold shade that I cannot wait to wear. It's so pretty and shimmery and rose gold I can't contain myself! It's also paired with a beautiful deep plum shade that has little flecks of gold to compliment the lighter shade. I am so excited to wear these with Pago Pago!

Hope you guys enjoyed my little Sephora haul!