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Beauty, Hair, Skincare

Play by Sephora – May 2016

May 25, 2016

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I love beauty subscription boxes, so imagine my delight when I finally got off the Play! by Sephora waitlist! When the subscription box service was first announced, it was only in limited markets but now they’ve started to move people off the waitlist. It’s only $10 a month and I love that all the brands/products are carried at Sephora. One of my biggest issues with beauty subscription boxes such as Glossybox and Birchbox is that sometimes the brands are unknown and it’s hard to even find product reviews so I don’t get as excited to try out those products. I’m really pleased with the products I received in my first Play box:

  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick – I already have this in 4 shades because I love the formulation! I was pleased to get this shade in Kimchi, though I won’t wear it too often since it’s a bright bright pink shade.
  • Tarteist Lip Crayon – This is a lip pencil in the shade latergram. It is gorgeous and I plan to fill in my lips completely instead of using this as a lip liner.
  • Korres Wild Rose Brightening Sleeping Facial – I’ve actually used this before. I did not see any brightening effect on uneven skin tone after using the entire container so I did not repurchase, but I love the smell and it is very moisturizing, so I was happy to receive this in the box.
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair – This is a deep conditioning hair mask. I can’t wait to try this!
  • Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask – This is an amazing product and I’ve gone through several bottles of it. I love applying this at night during the winter time because it keeps my skin well moisturized. This is also a great product to apply right before a flight!
  • Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – I’ve also used this in the past. It is a great mask for oily skin and clogged pores.
  • Origins Maskimizer – I have seen a couple YouTubers talk about this product so I was really interested to try it. This is supposed to be sprayed onto face prior to applying on mask to prep your skin for the mask. However, I did not see any difference after several usage. Make sure to close your mouth because it tastes awful!!
  • Atelier Orange Sanguine Cologne – This is a lovely scent and I like this small sample size to keep in my purse.

You can see the Sephora unboxing video and additional photos below to learn more about the products!

play by sephora may 2016

play by sephora may 2016

play by sephora may 2016

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Beauty, Hair

Dry Shampoo Saves the Day

January 23, 2016

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I used to wash my hair daily because it gets greasy after just one day, but some shampoo brands can strip away essential oil and cause damages. I started experimenting with dry shampoo a couple years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Not only is dry shampoo the lazy person’s solution to hair washing, but many are great styling tools that will add extra volume and texture. This has been a savior to my hair, which can look dull, thin and limp in the winter.

First of all, what is dry shampoo? Dry shampoo comes in spray or powder form and cleans hair without water. The ingredients absorb oil from the hair and scalp, leaving it looking and feeling clean again. It is not meant to replace hair washing, because it absorbs oil but does not clean out the dirt. It should be used to lengthen the time between washes, save time, and extend a blow out.

I have tried countless dry shampoo over the years and here are some of my favorites:

  • Best for Volume and Texture: Toni&Guy Texture Dry Shampoo and Living Proof Dry Shampoo both add tremendous amount of volume and provide a matte finish. If I had straightened my hair the day before, I will leave my hair as is and tease the roots to give it a little more volume. If my hair is a hot mess, then I will add some curls to it. The Living Proof product is my favorite dry shampoo ever, but it is pricer so the Toni&Guy is a great alternative.
  • Best Price: If you’re trying out dry shampoo for the first time, don’t spend too much money on it because there are great budget alternatives. The Batiste Dry Shampoo is a cult favorite and sold in every store (Nordstrom, Target, Walmart, Sephora, etc!) The TRESemme Fresh Start Basic Care is a new product I’ve been trying. Both products will absorb oil and make the hair look clean and fresh, but will not add as much volume and texture as the Living Proof and Toni&Guy.
  • Best for Travel: Many of the spray cans are over the TSA 3oz limit, and even the travel size have been flagged for inspection, especially during some of my international flights. Now I only travel with the Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo because it’s in powder form. Even though the bottle is already small, I always transfer the powder to a smaller travel container, and the product inside will last me a couple of weeks. It does not add any volume, but it will absorb all of the oil. Another negative is some difficulty in using it. I’m so used to the ease of spray cans, but with this product I have to put some on my palm first and then rub it all over my scalp. I always get powder on my clothes, so you need to be more careful using this.

Let me know if you have a favorite dry shampoo product! Has anyone tried the Bumble and Bumble Powder? It’s the next product I want to try!

Beauty, Hair, Skincare

October Discoveries

November 8, 2015

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I cannot believe it is already November!! Time is flying by and soon the holiday season will be here. Retailers are already coming out with lots of new sale promotions and exclusive holiday collections. I need to get my holiday shopping list going soon!

For those new to my blog, every month I talk about new product discoveries instead of monthly favorites. It’s because my favorites do not change often, and this forces me to try new products. I try to use the products for the entire month so that I’m able to provide a fair review. Here are the new products I tried the month of October!

The Unilever Simple Skincare line is very popular. It is designed for sensitive skin and the majority of its products use no harsh chemicals and have more kind-to-skin nutrients. I’ve seen many blog posts on the micellar water, so I decided to purchase it along with two other products from the Simple Skincare line. The Simple Cleansing Micellar Water contains a blend of multi-vitamins, and it is a gentle cleanser that cleanses, removes makeup and hydrates. At first I was skeptical because I did not believe micellar water could remove makeup. Well, it actually does a pretty good job! At night, I usually remove makeup with this product first, and then I follow with a gentle foaming cleanser to make sure everything is removed. In the morning I use this product exclusively since my face is already makeup free. I follow with the Simple Soothing Facial Toner, which is alcohol free, does not dry the face, and contains pro-vitamin b5. I finish with the Simple Nourishing 24HR Day/Night Cream. It is gentle and nourishing, and contains multi-vitamins. While this cream may be used for day and night, I only use it at night because I prefer a moisturizer with SPF during the day. Overall I am pleased with the Simple Skincare line because of the clean ingredient deck, affordable price, and quality product for my sensitive skin.

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I also tried some hair products from HASK. These products were sent to me from the brand, but all opinions are my own. HASK is a collection of hair care products featuring exotic oils from around the world. The products I tried contain argan oil, which strengthens and restores, and is targeted for dry hair. They are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, alcohol, and gluten. The shampoo has a citrus scent and lathers nicely. The conditioner does a great job of softening and detangling my hair. I’ve also used the healing shine hair treatment and it’s very effective but I am not a fan of the packaging. I have to pour the product on my hand and I usually get too much product out. I have noticed a difference with my hair after using these products because it’s softer and shinier. I love that it contains argan oil, which is an ingredient I’ve always used on my face but never on my hair. This brand is now sold on Ulta.com at very affordable prices, so I’d highly recommend you try it out if you’re looking for something to help with dry, damaged hair.

Beauty, Hair, Makeup, Skincare

September Discoveries

October 5, 2015

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A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about my July Discoveries. Instead of doing monthly favorites, I will do monthly discoveries instead. That’s because I know my favorites won’t change very often, but I am constantly trying new products so this will give me an opportunity to talk about new items. I try to use monthly discoveries for the entire month in order to write a fair review. Here are my discoveries from September:

Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara – I had high hopes for this mascara. It is a great volumizer and I love the brush, but it gave me terrible smudges after just a couple of hours. I won’t be repurchasing this.

unwash bio-cleansing conditioner – Even though this says “conditioner,” it actually isn’t just a conditioner. It replaces shampoo as well. I don’t shampoo my hair everyday, so I love using this product in between shampoo days. It doesn’t create a foam or lather, so sometimes it seems like my hair isn’t getting cleaned, but every time I use it my hair feels clean and silky. I also love that it’s free of harsh sulfates & parabens.

Lush Face Mask Brazen Honey – This is a refrigerated product that needs to be used up within 1-2 weeks of purchase, so it forces you to incorporate it into the skincare routine. It’s a deep exfoliating mask ideal for oily skin. I leave the mask on my face for 10 minutes, splash some water on my face and then gently rub my face in circular motion. It can be a bit abrasive for sensitive skin, but I love the deep cleanse because it unclogs my pores and leaves my face so soft and smooth!

tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Power – I always have to set my face with a setting powder, and this does a wonderful job at keeping my face matte throughout the day! My only complaint is the packaging–it doesn’t completely close and some powder came out when I traveled with it.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster – This is my favorite new discovery!! It is an antioxidant-rich brightening and nourishing serum. The vitamin C in this serum support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines. I use this a couple times a week with my nighttime skincare routine.

I loved trying these products last month, and I can’t wait to share with you my October discoveries next month!

Beauty, Hair, Makeup, Skincare

Makeup and Skincare Travel Essentials

September 3, 2015

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This morning my husband and I are flying to the West Coast to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary! We have been planning it for a while so I’m super excited it is finally here. We are spending almost 2 weeks in Seattle, Portland, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco. Packing is quite stressful and I always need to plan carefully since I never take more than a carry-on luggage and Longchamp bag when I travel. I normally pack one bag for my makeup products and brushes, and one bag for my skincare/hair products. Below are pictures of what I packed for my trip!

Please follow ditchtheheels on Instagram as I’ll be posting lots of pictures during the trip! If you’ve been to any of these places, I would love to hear your tips and suggestions!

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Beauty, Hair

Healthy Hair Tips

August 30, 2015

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If you’ve seen some of my recent posts or follows me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my hair was getting quite long! I love long hair, but it was time for a trim. Last week I had 3 inches chopped off, and even though my hair still looks long (new haircut above), I do miss those 3 inches. I take good care of my hair, so I felt inspired to provide some healthy hair tips.

  • Bleach, perms, highlights, and color are very damaging. I colored my hair once and it took over 5 years to get my hair back to a healthy state. I know these treatments can create a great look and boost confidence, but my advice is to embrace your natural hair color. I won’t risk doing any of these treatments since they lead to dry, damaged hair.
  • Limit heat. Most of the time I let my hair air dry, but when I don’t have the time, I turn my hair dryer to the lowest heat setting. I also limit using straightener and curling iron.
  • Always use heat protectant when using hot tools on your hair. Spray it all over, and then use a comb to distribute it evenly.
  • Don’t wash your hair every day. This one is hard for me because I need to wash my hair after every workout. However, on non-workout days I will skip the wash and use a dry shampoo to remove excess oil. My hair stylist only washes her hair once a week. We all have different hair types and tolerance, so just play around with dry shampoo and different types of updos so you won’t need to shampoo as often.
  • Get regular trims. I don’t like getting cuts because I like my hair long, but trims will keep your hair looking healthy and speed up hair growth.
  • Massaging your scalp in the shower will not only improve mood and reduce stress, but also stimulate hair growth and the strength of your roots. I try to do this when I condition my hair.
  • Use a deep conditioner once a week. Make sure you use the right conditioner (damaged hair, fine hair, etc).
  • Stay hydrated and eat well!

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