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Archive for October 22, 2012

Why poo when you can no-poo?

Confession:

Hi I’m Natasha and I haven’t shampooed my hair in a little over a year.

Yes.  It’s true.  I occasionally have yearnings to try shampoos with exotic ingredients that promise to make my hair silky, soft and totally frizz-free… then I look at my hair: curly, shiny, and healthy, and I step away from the shampoo aisle and start looking at conditioners.

MyHair

My hair doing what it does naturally.

I am not a total naturalista.  But I do like to use fewer sulfates, parabens, and other nasty chemicals.  And, I just got tired of fighting my hair to make it smooth and silky because it never worked and by the end of the day it was fuzzy, frazzled and frizzy, worse than when I started.

Then I started researching hair types and decided to try to see what my curls could do if I encouraged them instead of trying to control them.  I found the naturallycurly.com website and located a hairstylist who specialized in curly hair not far from my home! I booked an appointment pronto!

Candy is a DevaCurl trained stylist with a minimal approach to curly hair. She gently cleansed my hair with DevaCurl’s No-Poo, then slathered in DevaCurl’s OneCondition and left some in without rinsing for added moisture.  After layering with MY curl pattern for maximum definition, she added a healthy dose of DevaCurl’s Light Defining gel and left me to air-dry.

DC_NoPoo

DevaCurl’s No-Poo

Candy educated me about the benefits of ditching the shampoo habit… or rather, the highly-sulfated, big suds, oil-stripping detergent-based shampoo habit. DevaCurl’s No-Poo has no sulfates and no lather, but still manages to cleanse the hair.  And even more endearing, although she used all DevaCurl products in the salon, she applied no pressure for me to buy said products, but told me to read ingredient labels and come to my own conclusions. Wise woman.

When my hair dried, it was curly and gorgeous — and heavy.  I was used to light, fluffy hair, not moisturized curls.  It took some getting used to — and a lot of experimentation with products to find the routine that was the right balance of moisture and soft.

I did more reading. I learned about the no-poo method, or co-washing as it is sometimes called. I did 2 things: 1)I started using conditioner instead of shampoo and 2) I stopped washing my hair every day and only co-washed twice a week. Within 2 weeks, a miracle happened. My hair was curlier AND less frizzy. Wow! I went out and bought that DevaCurl Light Defining Gel and started using it after washing — just a dollop worked all through the hair, scrunched and then left to dry.

I started getting compliments on my hair.

I read Diane Kidman‘s Hair Gone Wild and tried the baking soda method.  Other bloggers raved about the baking soda method, but I found it too drying.

The baking soda method is: 1 tsp baking soda to 1 quart of water, mixed thoroughly and massaged through your wet hair in the shower.  This is usually followed by a vinegar rinse (1 tbl vinegar to 1 quart of water).

It does indeed cut the grease… but I discovered that the more I used high quality, non-silicone conditioners on my hair, the less greasy it actually felt… I don’t NEED to degrease my hair anymore!

But I did like the vinegar rinse, and now I have a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar in the shower so I can add vinegar to my final rinse for a little extra shine.

TJ_NourishSpa_conditioner

Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner…it’s only $3! And it has only good stuff in it!

 

So my current regimen is: conditioner massaged in and rinsed out, vinegar rinse, followed by leave-in conditioner.

BeautifulCUrls_condiditoner

Beautiful Curls Leave-in Conditioner is wonderful stuff!

The final piece of the pie is: the very old t-shirt.  I don’t towel-dry my hair anymore.  I wrap it in an old t-shirt (which is super-absorbant) and squeeze most of the moisture out. Another tip from the wise and amazing hairstylist, Candy.

Then I massage in a dollop of gel, scrunch and I’m good to go.

Every now and then I like to do a deep moisture mask, especially in the summer when I’m working outdoors most days of the week and everything gets dried out and frazzled.

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment

SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque — I found it at Target! Love this stuff!

And I sometimes use the DevaCurl No-Poo, OneCondition regimen. I got a travel set just before we went to China this summer, and was very happy that even with the crazy Beijing heat and humidity, my hair behaved beautifully.

Oh yes, I also use a next-day curl activator based on a couple of recipes in Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey and Michelle Bender.

1 16 oz spray bottle
12oz distilled water
3.5oz organic aloe vera juice, unsweeted and unflavored
smidge vegetable glycerin
7 drops lavender essential oil

Shake before using and spray all over hair to rehydrate and revive sleep-smushed curls.  Also good at the end of a long day to refresh your hair.  It’s nice to spritz on the face as well.  In the summer I like to keep this in the fridge so I can spray it all over my face and hair when I get home from a crazy hot day of slamming henna and facepaint at the park. Ahhh!

What are your thoughts on going poo-less.  Have you tried it?

I still haven’t told my mother… but now the whole world knows!

It’s a sleepover with Baviphat!

baviphat_paprika_front

Cute!

귀여워  gwi yeo weo in Korean.

可愛 kě ài in Chinese

Kawaii - Simple Japanese Phrases Kawaii in Japanese.
Any way you say it, Baviphat has got a hold of the cute factor in Korean cosmetics! And Paprika Water Up All In One Sleeping Pack is darned adorable in it’s little bell pepper (aka paprika to non-US folks).

The Baviphat website is in Korean, which, alas, I don’t really speak or read.  So I had to look around to find information about this product other than what was on the package (mostly in Korean).

baviphat_paprika_back

This blurb is from Miss Hong: Beauty Secrets from Korea which sells this product along with an excellent selection of other Korean beauties.

* Baviphat is one of the most popular Korean cosmetics brand which is launched in 2009.
Reasonable price, various functional products and beautiful case of products attract the women’s market.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

– Contents : 65g

– Descriptions :
This sleeping pack contains of Adenosine and Arbutin which helps your skin to be bright and resilient.
Paprika extracts give moisture and soothe tired skin.

– Recommended to YOU : 
Have white dead skin cells?
Have dry skin?
Have skin lacking elasticity?
– How to use : 
After applying basic cosmetics in the evening, Get appropriate amount.
Put on your face.
Sleep with it. on the next morning wash it off with tepid water.

I found this cutie at Marukai Living in San Diego, and they also ship internationally, and chose it from among a confusing array of products in apples and tomatoes and lemons because it didn’t have a very strong scent.  I wasnt’ sure I could sleep with the strong apple or lemon fragrances! I also liked that its main objective is to hydrate the skin overnight.  At my age, non-greasy hydration is something I’m always looking for.

baviphat_paprika_spoon

Look at the adorable spoon! And so practical so you don’t contaminate the product with your fingers!

baviphat_paprika_cream

It has a yogurt-like consistency and a light, cucumbery fragrance that disappears almost immediately.

baviphat_paprika_on_hand

A dab on the hand

baviphat_rubbed_in

It disappears completely after being rubbed in.

The product leaves my skin feeling very moist, but the best part is that in the morning, I still have that hydrated feeling with no greasy spots or breakouts.

I’ve also been using this on my hands as an overnight treatment and it helps combat my daily abuse (constant washing, using dyes and paints, etc.)

Do I like this product? Yes!  Although it claims to brighten, in additon to soothing and moisturizing, I didn’t notice any fading of my freckles.  But it does really do it’s job as a moisturizer!  And the next time I fly across country, I’m taking a dollop of this stuff in my carry-on to combat the dryness you get from being in a pressurized tin can.

I love you, Honey!

I was re-reading Hair Gone Wild by Diane Kidman which has so many great tips for giving up the shampoo habit — and I read the section on using honey as a conditioner.

Honey

The honey I’m using now in my shower

I’ve used honey for ages as a quickie facial mask to add moisture and help fight occasional pimples.  I also mix it half and half with a basic facial cleanser that I get at Trader Joe’s.

But it hadn’t occured to me before reading Hair Gone Wild to use it on my hair. It’s so simple!  I squeeze about 1 tablespoon or so of honey in my hand and apply it to wet hair as a conditioner.  I let it sit in my hair while I scrub my body, then I rinse everything.  A final spritz of a leave-in conditioner and my hair is soft, frizz-tamed and bouncy.

 

Why I love Korea!

Korea.  The Hermit Kingdom.  Land of char-grilled bulgogi, the tasty melange of rice, spicy bean paste, vegetables, and a fried egg called bibimbap… and BB creams.

Originally developed in Germany as a product to protect the skin of recovering dermatological patients, it was quickly adopted in Japan and Korea and became the “secret of Korean actresses.” In America, BB is often translated as Beauty Balm, but it’s original meaning was Blemish Balm, and is supposed to contain ingredients to address common skin problems — usually a lightening agent in Asia where fair skin is prized.

BB Creams are supposed to be supreme multi-taskers: moisturizing, tinted to cover blemishes, with anti-aging, anti-inflammatory ingredients and sunblock.

There are several Western BB creams on the market, but I wanted to try one from Korea.  However, I wasn’t sure where to go or what to try — until I read a post by Nouveau Cheap and discovered that there is a store in San Diego that sells Korean and Japanese beauty products, including BB Creams. So I hightailed it over to Marukai Living and was transported to a fascinating world of Asian creams, lotions, and yes, BB creams!

I chose Skin79’s Diamond The Prestige Beblesh Balm because I liked the pump dispenser and the color in the product tester was a pretty close match to my skintone.

Skin 79 Prestige BB Cream

This what the company says about this product:

“It is 3 effects function beblesh balm. By Adenosine and Arbutin ingredients which are effective in whitening wrinkles improvement cultivate more bright and elastic skin. Intercept ultraviolet rays UV A and UV B at the same time and protect your skin exposed from this sun more thoroughly. Diamond Powder and Jewel Complex Powder of Ruby, Amethyst and Pearl make skin all the more radiant. A patent ingredient containing Natural Complex extract ingredients help improvement and care of skin trouble. How to Use: Apply an appreciate amount on the area of your face like patting at the last step of skin care. “

This is the ingredient list:

Butene: It leaves skin white and translucent. * Adenogen: It smoothes away lines, leaving skin elastic. * Latin America Hadatamo: It provides skin with moisture and freshness. * Caviar: Enriched with protein, amino acid, vitamins and minerals, It conditions skin for better radiance and elasticity. * Peptide MX Complex: It hydrates skin. * EGF: It restores elasticity and moisture. * Purslane Extract: It comforts damaged skin and hydrates dehydrated skin. * Diamond: It leaves skin radiant. * Pearl: It hydrates skin. * Amethyst: It relieves fatigue skin. * Ruby: It improves skin’s softness. * Coenzyme Q10: It protects skin from environmental aggressors. * Lotus Extract: Its elegant fragrance allows spiritual enjoyment. * Green Tea Extract: It protects skin from environmental aggressors. * Aloe: It restores skin’s elasticity.

Ok. Well, I’m sure about the jewel powders and I’ve never heard of butene, but CoQ-10, Arbutin, Green Tea extract and the Peptide Mix all sound good.

Skin79_blob_on_hand

A dab of cream on my hand.

I put a dab of cream on my hand.  Initially the color match isn’t fantastic… but after I smooth it out, the color blends with mine and matches beautifully.

Skin79_Blended_on_hand

Once blended, the color matches beautifully!

And on my face, it blurs my freckles (and *gasp* age spots).  My skin looks dewey and pretty, but since I like a slightly more matte finish,  I add a quick dust of powder to tone down the shine.

Skin79_on_my_face

SKin 79’s Prestige BeBlesh Cream makes my skin look pretty!

Verdict: I’ve used this BB cream almost exclusively for the past 2 weeks and have found it to be moisturizing and long-lasting.  It evens my skintone out without looking cakey or masky.  In short, I love it!

I bought other BB creams and will test and review them in the coming weeks.  If you’ve tried this BB cream or any other Skin79 product, let me know what you think!