Tuesday, January 16, 2018

REVIEW: Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus

Packaging - 3 (average)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Hold - 4 (very good)
Volume - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)

Big Sexy Hair's Root Plum Plus (not to be confused with their classic root pump) is amazing. The packaging is fun, however the nozzle does get regularly "clogged" just by having product dry on it. It smells light and crisp which I love. It is an aerosol foam spray so a little goes a long way and it's easy to work through the hair. It does dry on the hair a little sticky but boy does it add volume! For the best results put a heat protectant on your hair and blow dry it. Then add Root Plump Plus to the roots and work it in. Then bend over and let your head hang so it's almost upside down and use your blow dryer on the roots again.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The TRUTH about Sulfates

Sulfates can be very confusing. We constantly here that sulfates are bad for your hair, and to opt for sulfate free shampoos and haircare. But on the flip-side some people have fine hair and don't want to use heavy products that weigh their hair down. You also don't want to use products that cause a lot of buildup and don't cleanse your hair well. So what's a person to do? Sulfates? Sulfate Free? It seems like all hair care products have some form of sulfate ingredient even when they say they don't. Who do you trust? And why are some sulfates bad, but others are okay? I hope to answer all of these questions today.

I am going to try to give you some clarity on this topic today. Sulfates are in of themselves fine. They are what we call a surfactant (which is a product that creates lather and separates dirt/oil from solid surfaces). However like everything else there are some high quality, gentle sulfates that don't strip your hair or skin, and some that are very cheap and harsh and drying.

So which sulfates are bad and why? This is a short list of sulfates I won't ever use. They are hash and drying and they harm the scalp and hair. Most of these sulfates derive from palm oil which is a cheap resource that has a lot of controversy surrounding it. You can read more about the controversy of palm oil here. Regardless they are all made from cheap ingredients and are harsh on your scalp and skin.

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

This is the reason you won't see me review a lot of inexpensive shampoos and conditioners. Some of the ones I have been asked to review include the Lush Godiva Bar (which has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate listed as it's FIRST ingredient), Pantene Pro-V (which lists Sodium Laureth Sulfate as it's second ingredient) and the Garnier Wholeblends (which listed Sodium Laureth Sulfate as it's third ingredient AND Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as it's fifth ingredient). Most shampoos have some form of sulfate in them, and they are typically within the first 5 ingredients (usually the first 3 even). But I am not going to spend my money on something that will strip my hair and dry it out.

"but Angela, I have been using Pantene for years and my hair doesn't feel dry after I get out of the shower" 

So here is the reason why - Conditioner. What cheap brands do is they have harsh surfactants in their shampoos and then you use conditioner. The conditioner usually has a lot of wax and silicone in it which creates a nice little coating on your hair that makes it look shiny and feel soft. But underneath that shiny wax coating is dry damaged hair. However this coating doesn't buildup over time usually because the shampoo is harsh enough to cut through that coating. Some conditioners don't have that wax in it, but they instead have a lot of oil. Usually these oils are a selling feature. Now don't get me wrong, I love me some hair oil. But after dousing your hair in oil it's going to feel shiny and soft, even if it's damaged underneath the oil. As the oil absorbs fully throughout the day your hair will feel more and more dry and frizzy. The only combination that works is a good quality shampoo with gentle surfactants and a wax free conditioner that won't coat the hair, but instead smooth and hydrate.

So now onto part two, good sulfates. These sulfates are higher end.
  • Sodium Cocyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • Sodium Socoyl (or lauryl/lauroyl) Sarcosinate
  • Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate
  • Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
  • Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate
  • Methyl Cocoyl or Lauryl Taurate 
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate
These sulfates are usually derived from natural plants that are known for being hydrating and nourishing such as coconuts. Others are completely man made (which costs more), and are manufactured to be gentle while effective. 

This list may explain why some things are labeled as "sulfate free" but words like "sulfoacetate" and "sulfate" still make an appearance on the ingredients list. A lot of those products are really referring to Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (which are the two most common). Now just because a brand is considered "high end" or "professional". Doesn't mean it is free of these harsh ingredients. Make sure you read your labels. A lot of brands used to use higher quality ingredients and once they established themselves switched to a cheaper option. 

"So which brands can I trust then?"

I have a lot of brands that after writing this I am no longer recommending. Some of these brands I figured out as much as how long ago they made the switch, while others I can only see that they currently cut corners with harsh sulfates. However there are some brands that are more forthcoming with their ingredients, and do use higher quality ones. Some of them include:

  • Framesi
  • Joico
  • Sexy Hair
  • AG
  • Living Proof
  • Phyto
  • Alterna
This is of course not a complete list, however I feel that these brands do all have high quality products and ingredients. Some lines are iffy. For example Redken has cheap sulfates in most of their shampoos. I still love their styling products, but can't in good conscious recommend all of their shampoos like I have in the past. Although their Frizz Dismiss shampoo has been cleared by me and it is still AMAZING. Matrix and unfortunately most of Biolage by Matrix are using cheap ugly sulfates. Paul Mitchell is also another name brand perpetrator. But like I said before, this is not the end-all be-all list of who to trust. All of these brands have exceptions. READ YOUR LABELS.

But I have yet to find a label in the drugstore that doesn't include these cheap ingredients. Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essance, Dove, Garnier, these all consistently include cheap fillers. I mean, read your labels, and if you find one that is better, send it me! I'd love to know! But I haven't found any exceptions at Walmart yet. 

And if you choose not to use conditioner, your labels are even more important. As you can see in this article - I think you should ALWAYS use conditioner. But if you aren't make sure you are at the very least using a high quality and gentle shampoo. 

Now there are exceptions to the rule. Medicated shampoos often use harsher sulfates. This is because opening up the cuticle of the hair and stripping away all oils helps to deliver the medicated ingredients to the scalp better. Also some volumizing shampoos use harsher sulfates because it adds volume. But good brands are sure to have light weight ultra nourishing ingredients to counteract the damage. However I still find that Big Sexy Hair and Joico's Body Luxe are better lightweight options that are still free from harsher sulfates. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

REVIEW: American Crew Daily Moisturizing Shampoo


Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 3 (average)
Hydrating - 4 (very good)

This is one of my favorite men's shampoos. The packaging is masculine, clean and simple. It also has a masculine scent that isn't overwhelmingly strong. A little goes an okay way. It isn't a ton of lather but there isn't very little either. It is pretty average as far as how long it will last. It does hydrate very well though.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

REVIEW: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Paste

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 6 (unbelievable)
Texture - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Hold - 4 (very good)

This product is to die for if you have short hair. I'll start with the packaging which is sleek, functional and pretty. It smells divine! It is probably my favorite smelling product, ever. It has a slightly sweet scent with a fruity twist. It isn't to strong or overpowering, but it is incredible! It adds a lot of texture. All you need to do is put a little on the tips of your fingers and work it into the roots of your hair. It will lift, add texture and definition as well as create  movement. You don't need very much to get the job done (hence the high longevity score). It also holds fairly well but does not dry stiff and is workable throughout the day.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Year Crushes

A lot of people message me asking what my favorite body wash is, or what my favorite dry shampoo is, etc. I often respond telling them that what works for me may not work for them, but regardless people often want to know my top picks. So these are a few of my favorite things right now. I decided to do a fun theme of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes". This is quite possibly because I teach children at my local church and we sang this song a million times on Sunday. 

*none of these items are paid advertisements. I am not receiving any kind of kickbacks, money or product for promoting these times, they are my genuine recommendations.

This line is AMAZING. It has helped my lightened hair so much over the past two months! I love the Sexy Hair products in general but these ones are infused with Aloe Vera and Mango Butter and they smell like HEAVEN! My hair is normal to fine in texture and normal in density. So if you have thick hair this isn't the product for you. But it's nourishing and weightless, which is great for fine-haired folk! 

I have long been a Bath and Body Works junkie. Their scents are just SO fun! But my skin is dry to the max. So I decided to try out a few different brands. I am so happy I gave this one a try! It has ribbons of moisturizing lotion in it. It smells amazing but still suds up and my skin is so much softer and more hydrated now! 

I am simply in love with this product. The best way to explain it is a tanning gel. But it just adds a little non-glittery bronze to your skin without any lines or creases or inconsistency. It smells nice, it;'s hydrating, it's easy to use. It's everything I could want in a bronzer honestly and I love it. I only wish it was longer lasting, but it's perfect come spring to throw on those legs after they've been hiding all winter. 

Color Street are 100% nail polish wraps that you allow you to get cute designs in minutes. You don't need any heat to apply them and they come off with acetone and a cotton ball just like regular nail polish! you can read my full review of Color Street here

I am sure you have seen other reviews of this product on my blog, and I think it made an appearance on one of my "current favorites" lists in the past. It's one that I keep going back to. I LOVE Air Patrol. It works. It's just a solid primer that doesn't crease and you don't need much and it helps the colors of my eye shadow pop. You can read my first impressions of Benefit's Air Patrol here

I was really reaching here for this one. I was trying to keep in the theme of "head, shoulders, knees and toes" and I had no idea what to do when the song lyrics came to ears! I though about earrings, but I really don't wear earrings very often and I really want these lists to be things I use and love. So I chose to share a song I am currently listening to a million times a day. 

This is Me by Keala Settle from the film The Greatest Showman is a showstopper. It has a powerful and beautiful message and it's simply a power anthem. I have loved Keala Settle for years now and I have followed her career on Broadway for some time. Recently she was in another favorite musical of mine called Waitress where she also performed the shows best song "I didn't plan it". Her voice is strong, powerful and moving. You can listen to the studio recording here. Another favorite way for me to listen to this song is the video of her singing it during a workshop. There are no bells and no frills but you can see and feel and hear the emotion in everyone's voice and it is powerful! I recommend both, but I have this workshop version in the video below. Please read the lyrics as you listen. We are glorious ♥

As many of you know I am trying to incorporate more health and nutrition on this blog so I had to thro in my current favorite snack. Graze has a lot of options but these Kern Pops are my favorite! I actually get all of their flavors, but I have a sweet tooth and these are amazing. They are half-popped popcorn, they have crunch and are salty caramely deliciousness. Graze has tons of options in snack packs, which is nice because then they are proportioned with their calorie content and nutritional value on the package. A lot of their snacks have super foods and ingredients to help with energy and focus too. This one however is just delicious. Pick yours up here

If you are a regular reader you already know that I am in love with this foundation right now. I wanted to hate it and write the first review calling it "basic" and "over-hyped", but the Fenty Beauty liquid foundation has earned it's praise. It's amazing, lightweight, moisturizing, natural looking, pore filling, and I love it! You can read my full review here

Monday, January 8, 2018

REVIEW: American Crew Fiber Cream

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Hold - 5 (excellent)
Finish - 6 (incredible)

This product has blown me away honestly. It's one of my new favorites for men. Let me break down the ratings. I gave the packaging a 4 because it is functional and I like it personally. However I do think it could be more masculine. Some people will disagree, but I don't feel like it fits with the rest of the line and it definitely stands out on product shelves among the other American Crew product. 

Scent is high on my rating scale. It smells like their current best selling Fiber which has a very light sandal-wood scent to me. And if that scent doesn't appeal to you that's fine because it is super light and dissipates quickly. But just like Fiber with this product a little goes a LONG way. 

So for those of you who don't know, this is a cream version of the "puck product" Fiber. The puck product has no shine and a very high hold. The American Crew Fiber Cream has a high hold and fibrous texture and technology, but has a super matte natural finish. It is so easy to create the perfect pompadour or coiffed undercut style, but the hair looks soft and natural. It got a 5 for hold because it is high hold and a 6 for finish because I have never seen anything with such high hold have such a soft and natural finish. It's amazing. I highly recommend it. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Health Diary 1/7/2018

I am ready to make some changes! What's more cliche than a goal to work on your health and loose weight at the beginning of the year? My husband and I WERE going to start working out again a couple of weeks ago, but the holidays were to hectic, and then I got a tattoo on my leg, which makes it kind of painful to run, bend over, and stretch... so work outs aren't a great idea until I heal up.

However I think we are going to be fine this time. Last time we made a goal to go to the gym regularly we went three-four times a week and loved it! I slept better, I had more energy, I was more optimistic and I was loosing weight! So what happened? Our enthusiasm didn't just peter out. We moved. When we did that we moved about 2 hours away form my work, and I decided to commute. I LOVED my salon, my boss, my clients. I didn't want to step away from that at all. So I decided to commute, 2 hours one way, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. It made it so that a "short shift" of 6 hours equated to a 10 hour day. It was awful. I hated it. I was constantly exhausted and I never saw my husband. I definitely didn't work out. I moved to a new salon that is 10 minutes away from house and I am loving it! I love the salon itself as well as the staff and owner, but I also love seeing my husband again and having time to blog and sped with family.

So with that being said some of my health related goals this year include getting back the gym. My husband and I found a nice one really close to us that offer great classes... in the morning. So that means 5 a.m. at the gym. During our last successful gym run we went after work, so I am worried that the up early factor will impede our success, but if it does we have  a plan B for a classic gym that is less expensive similar to the one we did before.

Some of my other goals include meal planning better and more often. This will save us money and help us eat healthier. Last month my husband and I ate out more than we didn't. I am so ashamed! I am ready to eat at home and cook more and get my health on track. I have prepped my house this week by cleaning out food storage and making note of all we have. And we are starting the gym this week. What are your goals for 2018? Anyone planning on getting healthy too?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

REVIEW: Redken Satinwear 02

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Effectiveness - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 3 (average)

This  used to be one of my most used products in the salon. I was actually trying to find this on my product reviews site and realized I hadn't reviewed it yet and was shocked! Oops! This product is a simple heat protecting leave in conditioner. It protects from uva/uvb rays as well as a blow dryer. The packaging is sleek and functional. It has a citrus scent but it is a super light, and you can't really smell it after a couple of minutes at all. A little goes a super long way which is always nice, and it does protect your hair very well. My only gripe is that I wish it hydrated a little more. I use it mostly on those with healthy or normal hair, but if I have someone whose hair has a lot of damage I use a different option. There are also multiple blow dry heat protectants that have multiple benefits like volume or shine or moisture. This is just a simple heat protectant that's ideal for healthy fine hair. If you want added benefits it may be wise to look elsewhere. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

REVIEW: Hikari Lipstick

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Wear - 6 (unbelievable)
Moisture - 3 (average)
Variety - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)

This is literally my new favorite lipstick. I wear it all the time! First of all the packaging is sexy, sleek and sophisticated. Its wear (how long it says on before you need to reapply) is the best I have ever had in a lipstick. It goes for up to 8 hours! I LOVE IT! However it doesn't really moisturize, which I actually love. I don't like my lips looking super matte, but I don't want them to look super wet and glossy either. Hikari lipstick has the perfect balance. It has 6 shades you can get it, all of which are fun. And a little goes a pretty long way, the color is bright and takes fast. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Oily Scalp? You STILL need conditioner.

As a hairstylist I encounter people with all different kinds of hair. Something I see often is people who have very oily scalps. Often these people don't use conditioner because they don't need any extra help. Well I am here to let you in on a secret - you still need conditioner. Here is why. 

Shampoo and conditioner work together. Shampoo strips your hair of dirt and debris as well as it's natural oils and conditioners in most cases. Now low quality products usually also lift the cuticle of the hair causing moisture loss while also drying out your scalp excessively. Some gentler shampoos may be able to rid your hair of dirt and debris while not roughing up the cuticle layer of your hair or the scalp with harsh sulfates. Super gentle co-washes or cleansing conditioners often remove dirt but they do not remove buildup and they often create more buildup themselves. This can be nice for VERY dry hair that is extremely porous (which is common in kinky hair, curly hair, and ethnic hair) but it isn't for most people.

So after you shampoo your hair and get rid of all that dirt and oil then what? You condition it. This adds back good oils and conditioners to your hair and seals the cuticle and protects your hair from future damage. Then you might think:

but those oils do more than just protect your hair. They help your scalp. Your scalp is actually the key to your greasy hair woes. The scalp has "sebaceous glands", and these glands produce oil and sweat. Your hair NEEDS sweat. It needs those oils so it doesn't dry out and to protect your skin from dirt and pollution in the air. Your scalp is actually very thin and fragile and has the important task of protecting your skull as well as blood vessels and nerve endings that are very close to your brain! Your skin reacts to it's surroundings. It drys out and may get red or patchy or itchy. It will become sensitive when it's exposed to extreme temperatures. Your skin and the glands in it are intelligent. They react to their environments to help protect you and your body.

So this brings us back to the scalp and those sebaceous glands. When you strip your hair of it's natural oils and conditioners using shampoo and then you don't condition your scalp is DRY. It needs those oil and your scalp reacts by going into production mode. Wash your hair every day with no conditioner? You scalp can't seem to make enough oils! So it goes into overdrive. It is trying to replenish those essential oils you keep washing away.

What you need to do is use the right products. Get a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. These tend to be lighter weight and have fewer heavy oils in them that make you feel "greasy". Some of my favorites are the Big Sexy Hair (pictured on the left), Framesi Color Lover Volume Boost (which is perfect for colored hair), and the Joico Body Luxe (pictured on the right). All of these are super light weight. You should also apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair (not the scalp) and let it sit for a few minutes. Then apply a small amount to the scalp area (I like to kind of "ring out" the conditioner that's on my ends onto my scalp to save on product). and gentles massage it in for only half a minute tops. Then rinse your hair out thoroughly.

What if you have dry ends though and this volume shampoo isn't cutting it, or is drying you out? Get a killer leave in conditioner I love the Revlon Unique One leave in product, the Brazilian Blowout Dry Oil, and the Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream (pictured on the Right). All of these are light wight and will hydrate and heal ends.

DISCLAIMER: this wont' work overnight. Your scalp is likely used to years of abuse at this point and you have to retrain the scalp to not work in overdrive to nourish itself. Try the Ultimate Hair Cleanse for faster relief.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all that read and follow my blog! I hope 2018 is wonderful for all of you!

Photographed by Ricardo Quintana
2017 has been one for the books. My best friend married my brother in law (pictures on the left - and YES I did her hair but not her makeup). It was an amazing day! I also enjoyed several trips to Las Vegas with my husband. His oldest brother lives there and we go for weekend trips to spend time with his family and children regularly. I have done the hair and makeup of over 50 brides this year! My work was published in one magazine and I had a big move to a new salon location! I have enjoyed my first few months at Just Your Style Salon in Spanish Fork and I am excited to learn more and grow here.

Done by Brad Snow at Kulture Shock in Salt Lake City, Utah
2017 is the first year in the last six years where I didn't move! Woo! I got all of my Christmas decorations up by November 1st (yes - I am one of "those people") and I had the most beautiful Christmas tree this year that I have ever had! This year I also got a brand new Nephew named Oliver and a brand new tattoo to commemorate my career (pictured on the right).

Photographed by Ricardo Quintana
My little sister Hannah also got married (and I did both her hair and makeup) and I got an amazing new brother in law Caleb (they are pictured on the left too)! I also enjoyed a lot of family dinners and board games, a lot of jokes and tears. I have had a wonderful year and I am excited for the prospects that 2018 brings. I have a lot of goals, and I am making my vision board tomorrow! I am a big believer in vision boards. Every time I make one there is a noticeable difference in how many of my goals I stick to and achieve. This year some of my goals include reading my scriptures more, loosing 50 pounds, and going on three trips with my husband (that AREN'T all just to see our family in Vegas). What are some of your goals and plans for 2018?