Wednesday, December 30, 2015

REVIEW: Urban Decay Smoked Palette

First of all this is NOT the Urban Decay Naked Smoked Palette. I find it a little annoying that they have a naked smokey and a smoked palette that are entirely different, but that is not really a big factor here. I bought this item on an impulse from Ulta Beauty. I was surprised that I did because I really don't do the whole smokey thing, like at all. My eye shadow looks are usually very subtle and neutral using nudes, browns and sometimes purple or pink. However this palette was only $22! I had to do it!

So here is what I love:
  • The case is amazing! I depot all my eye shadows anyways, but I might not with this one, because the case is SO cute! It comes in a little zipper like clutch. The inside is pretty as well (see pictures).
  • The color go on smooth and pigmented, just like you'd expect from Urban Decay. 
  • The funky colors (a vivid purple, blue and green) are very wearable, they have and earthiness to them that is stunning and makes them very versatile.
  • The VALUE! One thing I have always had a hard time with when it comes to palettes is that I end up only using half the colors, so I have wasted that money. However with this price, it is hard to say no! On top of having the 10 shades and great packaging, this palette comes with a mini eye shadow primer and a full sized Perversion black eyeliner pencil. The pencil when bought alone is $20, so you can pay $2 more and get a palette AND mini primer! 
  • Each of the shades is sold individually. I don't know how often you buy palettes or sets of shadows or eyeliners and then realize once you have fallen in love with and run out of one of them, that you can not buy that color outside of the set. Well it happens to me a lot (I'm looking at you 24/7 Glide on Liner in the shade Trick, which was a part of the Cosmic Liner set from Urban Decay this holiday season). Well each of these shades can be bought individually! 

So here is what I didn't like:

  • .... well I guess I should say SOMETHING right? I don't love that there are three shades of grey. It is a smoked palette, so I guess that is expected, and they are all different and beautiful. I also wish palettes didn't all have black in them! I have so much black eye shadow!
  • That's it! I got nothing else!
In the end this palette is a great deal, made with great product, in a greta package. What more could you ask for? 5 out of 5 starts! I highly recommend it!

Friday, December 11, 2015

What Should I use to Contour?

There are so many ways to contour right now, and there are all kinds of items you can use to do it, however these are my favorites and why I love them, as well as what I do not recommend. With contouring there is really only two different mediums you can use, cream and powder. I love both, and with the right items you can not go wrong.

Lorac Pro Contour Palette
Why I Love It: The powder has a silky finish and almost buttery feel. It has three different dark shades for contouring and three highlight shades (a neutral and golden and a shimmer shade). I usually hate contour palettes because I only use 2-3 shades and I pay for 6-8, however with this one the shades are so bendable and versatile that I use all 6 often! I also love the instructional book it comes with. Instead of having an intimidating face chart covered in lines, it has several face charts with just a few spots each showing the different kinds of contouring and why you would use it (not just one face with all 4 diagrams on one).

What I Don't Love: The brush is high quality, but I do not much care for the shape of it in general. I prefer to use an angled cheek brush for contouring myself, however I do love the Lorac brush for highlighting.

Tyra Beauty 2 Minute Ty-Over (Light & Sculpt In A Stick)
Why I Love It: This product is fool proof. It is creamy and bendable and easy to use. It is perfect for any newbie because on single shade can be put on your face and blended until you can not see it anymore, making it mistake proof! Plus the highlighter is to die for! It my favorite cream highlighter on the market.

What I Don't Love: You can only get it online! I hate paying for shipping with a passion.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Palette 
Why I Love It: It has several shades, so you are bound to find the right one for you, and if you are a professional then you will have fundamental shades for most skin types. Plus it stays on all day long!

What I Don't Love: To many shades for the average joe! I would only use 2 in the whole palette, but they are so beautiful!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Palette
Why I Love It: You can pop out one of the powders and replace it with a new canister when you run out, as opposed to re-buying the palette.

What I Don't Love: It doesn't stay on all day like their cream counterpart. It also has a lot of weird shades that I can not use. At least with other palettes the shades are not right for me but others may love them, however this one is full of orange bronze tones, and that is not my style. I like to look natural. There is one with more natural colors but they are all super dark for fair skinned people, plus the texture is really grainy.

NYX Wonder Stick
Why I Love It: This one is similar to the Tyra Beauty sticks, however it is dual ended so it is convenient, plus it's price point is low.

What I Don't Love: In this case you get what you pay for because it doesn't stay on or blend well and it has a very oily formula.

***Thanks to Carrie Kruig for asking this question***

Friday, December 4, 2015

Organic & All Natural Beauty Lines

People ask me ALL THE TIME what organic and all natural skin care, hair care and makeup lines I recommend. First of all, I am going to say that I do not personally use very many of these lines. I have used them, but opted for something else. Just because something is natural or organic does not make it good for your skin, hair or body (for example dog crap, pig intestine, or salt) which are all organic and all natural but are not things you want on your skin.

Skin Care - Juice Beauty

This is a line that is organic, all natural, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free. This is as good as it gets folks. The products are potent and they work and work fast! The only thing from them I do not like are their CC cream foundations. I have not tried any of their other cosmetics though, just the foundation and skin care. But just like most organic things this skin care line is pricey. I also am not a huge fan of the scents in most of the products (since they do not use artificial fragrance). But on the flip side their age defy and blemish control regimens are unmatched and fast acting. I will also be honest in saying that the ingredients are high quality and this line will not hurt your skin. Another brand I love for natural skin care is Eminence but one line I do not recommend is Say Yes.

Hair Care - Phyto Paris

I really didn't know much about Phyto until I talked to a rep and now I am in love with it! It is a pricey brand, but worth every penny and that it literally the only downside. This line has three selling points, they are classic, chic and botanical! The company was started by stylist Patrick Ales in the 50's and he still owns it today, making it classic. It is chic because not only is it base din paris, but all of the labs, production and packaging are done is Paris. Botanical is the most important part, because all of the products are at least 95% botanically derived. This means that the ingredients aren't just some organic something or other, they are plant based! Click here to learn more about the brand itself.

These products are potent and a little goes a very long way. I love using their Keratin leave in conditioner on my own hair, and do so often. They have many products that are to potent for daily use because of how rich the ingredients are. Their hair regrowth line for women (Phytocyane) is AMAZING! I am also in love with the protection their shampoo and conditioner for colored hair gives. Another Brand I love is DermOrganics, I do not however recommend the brand OGX.

Cosmetics - Pur Minerals

All of these products are mineral based and all natural. I love pur minerals! I actually do use a lot of their eye shadows and even a few of their skin care products. A lot of their skin care has citric in it, so if your skin is sensitive to that, this is not a good skin care line for you, but the makeup is free game, totally worth it, and amazing!

Even if you aren't looking for natural cosmetics this brand has a lot of heroes. I have noticed that their two classic eye shadow palettes (Secret Crush and Soulmates palettes) are not as good of a deal or as high quality as their others. The limited time only palettes usually have a more silky texture and high pigmentation. I love their Day and Night 2 palette set on sale right now, and their Love Your Selfie palette is a great way to introduce yourself to the brand with a few eye colors and blushes as well as a lip gloss and mascara. I also think that the Disappearing Act Concealer is one of the best concealers on the market! I am also using their Starry Eyed palette almost daily right now. While I love Pur Minerals Cosmetics I do not recommend Bare Minerals.

Bare Minerals, OGX and Say Yes do not say they are all natural, but use names and marketing to make people believe they are.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pantone Color of the Year for 2016

First of all I am going to talk about why this is a big deal! Pantone is basically the king of color. They create new shades and set the standard (and names) for all color shades (not just the basics). They choose a color every year that they predict will be infused into our culture and fashion, and they are always right on point! 2015 had the color Marsala, and I saw it EVERYWHERE! Deeper rust jeans and a rusty burgundy lip was all over the runways and hallways this last year. However this year is different, and special. For the first time ever, Pantone has announced 2 colors as the color of the year!

So there you have it folks, you can see more about the 2016 Colors in the video above, but in case you don't want to they are Rose Quartz and Serenity, each a pastel shade one in pink and one in blue shade. 

According to Pantone there are a few reasons why they selected these two shades. One of the reasons being that the world is full of stress and anxiety right now, and people are seeking something to calm them down and make them feel peaceful. These shades definitely do the trick. Pantone explained:

"Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace."

Another factor that Pantone pointed out is the importance of supporting the Gender Equality efforts made in the United States and the world this past year, that will only get stronger next year. As gender fluidity becomes more popular, apparent and visible it is important to make all genders feel included and welcome in the color of the year choices. Pantone says on their website:  
"This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage."
They also said that they derived a lot of inspiration from different words and things that they find calming and relaxing. For example the sky and the air, as well as words like peace, wellness, and balance. Whether you hate it or love it, it is coming! I will probably stick to black clothing (as that is my M.O.) but I am stoked to see these shades dominate the runways with some romantic and airy garments to match! I am also excited to see how these two tones play out in more structured and bold designs! What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Protecting Your Hair From Heat!

I wrote a similar post to this years ago, so for those that feel this is redundant, it kind of is! However I wanted to update current and new readers on this subject because it is so important to me!

First of all did you know that using a low end heat protecting product can be worse for your hair than no heat protectant at all? That is right! Most low end heat protecting products are full of oils and fragrance. What happens when you heat up oil? It fries things, you are literally frying your hair! I know no one wants this, which is really one of the reasons I wrote this post. There are some hair products you can get away with going cheap with, but heat protectants are not one of them!

My little sister is a hot tool addict, she curls, crimps or flat irons her hair 6 days a week. She used to only use a heat protectant she bought at Sally's for $10. One day a chunk of her hair fell off while she was flat ironing it (yes this happens in real life)! She told me she needed something that actually worked. I recommended a great Redken product and she has never gone back. This story was in my original post too. At that point my sister had been hooked on professional heat protectants for 6 months, it has now been over 2 years and she is still using the same pro products!

Now I am going to give you a list of my top 3 heat protectants, what they do, why i like them and who should use them! 

1- Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
I know what I said earlier about oils always frying the hair, but there are always exceptions to the rule, especially when a product uses high quality ingredients. This product smells like vanilla and gives your hair a lightweight shine and softness. It is best for medium hair, although I think any hair type can use it. However this protectant is not strong enough to defend against hot tools, and should only be used before blow drying (otherwise it is going to literally fry your hair!)

2- TIGI S Factor Flat Iron Shine Spray
This product says Flat Iron on it, but it can be used for curling as well. It smells like an orange dreamsicle and adds a lot of shine. This product also comes in a typical spray bottle, which is my favorite for dispersing product evenly. It is best for people with thick, coarse or very damaged hair, however I do not recommend it for people with super fine hair. This is beacuse although it is lightweight it has a lot of shine that can make those with oil or fine hair look greasy.

3- Redken Iron Shape 11
This is the one my sister is hooked on, it is also the same one I recommended years ago in my original post (although Redken has tweaked it a little bit). It smells like product, but it works like magic. It will reinforce your hairspray, give a tiny bit of extra hold, and protect your hair. It sprays onto the hair like a normal heat protectant and is great for fine to normal hair. This is my go to for sure. It ads no shine and it weightless, it is good for every single hair type.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Makeup Dupes!

When buying makeup, things can get pricey! Let's be honest though, there is nothing quite like your favorite mascara, even if you have to shell out $30 per tube. We all know that a $30 foundation will have longer wear and be better for your skin than an $8 one. But there are some hidden gems out there that are really just as good as the high end products. Here are some high end items that you can truly get a similar quality, for less money.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick → NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick

These two are almost identical. I would say that Too Faced probably has longer wear, but only a little bit. They are a close match as far as consistency, look and feel. However NYX you apply like a gloss with a doe foot applicator wand, and the Too Faced is applied using a doe foot applicator squeeze tube. Too Faced's version rings in at $21 while the NYX version is only $6.99

e  (compared to Guerlain's $30) it is a steal!

Guerlain Maxilash Intense Volumizing Mascara → Revlon 3D PhotoReady Mascara

Just look at the actual wands. Now granted in the picture the Revlon Mascara wand has been used and has mascara on it while the Guerlain does not, but they are almost identical! The Revlon formula is similar as well and for only $8.79 (compared to Guerlain's $30) it is a steal!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz → NYX Micro Brow Pencil

The brow wiz pencil is super popular with the beauty vloggers because it allows you to get small hair like strokes that look natural. In addition to it's fine (but sturdy) pencil this comes with a brow spoolie on the other end to help you tame those brows and blend your makeup in for the perfect application. ABH's Brow Wiz is amazing at $21 but the NYX counterpart has the same features for only $9.99

Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt Gel-to-Oil Cleanser → Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover 

These are a little different honestly. The Bliss product is an actual gel that you massage into your eye makeup or face and then remove with water. The Mary Kay product you shake, pour a little onto a cotton ball, cotton round or piece of tissue paper, and then you wipe. They have a different consistency. However they both remove eye make wonderfully. They are the best two makeup removers I have ever used. The bliss product is $28 however, while the Mary Kay is only $15!

Monday, November 2, 2015

What is the difference between Traditional Makeup and Airbrush Makeup?

I offer two kinds of makeup applications. This is traditional (also known as regular) makeup, and airbrush makeup. Almost every bride I talk to asks what the difference is, so I am answering it here!

Airbrush Makeup
How It Works: a small amount of liquid makeup is placed in a chamber by the makeup artist. After turning on an airbrush compressor the artist pulls back a trigger on her airbrush gun and the makeup comes out in an even, light and fine mist.

I recommend this for people with acne and other skin problems. It always has a flawless finish and sets on the skin beautifully. I really recommend it for all brides because it will last all day and looks flawless on camera and in pictures. It is also sweat, water and tear resistant and does not transfer onto clothing.

Traditional Makeup
How It Works: makeup is placed on a brush or sponge and spread around and then blended into the skin. Usually it is a liquid makeup, but it can be a powder or mousse makeup as well. This is the kind of makeup that is applied traditionally and is usually what women use at home on themselves, although I use high ends brands such as RCMA and Temptu on my clients that can not be found in drugstores and that most people do not have at home.

I really only recommend this type of makeup for brides who have clear skin. Below are both examples of brides who have traditional makeup on. The one on the top (in color) has really clear skin, with only a few minor blemishes. The one on the bottom (in black and white) however, has several blemishes. You can see that in the pictures below that even after editing, the bride on the bottom's makeup looks heavier and you can still see the blemishes on her chin.

In the end the only time I recommend a bride not get airbrush makeup is if they have very clear skin and want to save some money. A lot of Brides also opt for the traditional foundation for engagement photos, and they leave the airbrush for the bridals and wedding day. I have also had brides choose traditional foundation if they are not used to wearing any makeup whatsoever. While the airbrush foundation looks light and flawless in photos, a lot of brides who never wear any kind of foundation feel it is to heavy in person. Regardless of how you look on camera I want you to FEEL beautiful and confident on your wedding day, so if the airbrush feels to heavy on you, we should switch to traditional. If you regularly wear foundation, you will not feel the airbrush is to heavy as you are used to having foundation on. If you are worried about it, then booking a trial would be ideal. However if you struggle with acne, scarring or any kind of skin inconsistencies, airbrush is a better option. While airbrush may appear heavier in person (which it doesn't to a lot of people), it looks very natural and light on the skin in photos, and those are what you will keep forever.

Friday, October 30, 2015

How Do I Know If I am Hiring a Good Vendor?

I have seen this posted many times from friends and family on social media. When you are getting married you spend a lot of money. You want to make sure that every penny you spend is going to a high quality item or vendor to make your big day wonderful! But with so many shady people out there how do you know if your vendor is credible or not?

For example I had a friend who was looking for her photographer. Someone approached her saying they were a family photographer and commercial photographer for 12 years and after being the second shooter at over 10 weddings they were confident they could do one as the main photographer. They said because this was their first wedding they would charge only $250 for the full day. He sent her over 50 beautiful pictures of his work (some families, some editorial and some wedding work) and she booked him. Everything here seems right, but her photos were awful! The man who showed up was only 24. Now you can have a great 24 year old photographer, but this means he started his career at 12 years old... I don't think so! The photos were poor quality, and she didn't like most of them. She ended up paying someone to do pictures of her and her husband in their wedding day gear three weeks later so she could have a few beautiful pictures for her walls. We later did a reverse google image search to make sure the pictures he showed of us his work were his, they weren't. Half the pictures he showed us belong to other photographers.
Stories like this are not uncommon by any means. So how do you not get stuck in this trap? Here are a few ways to make sure your vendor is credible.

1 - Make sure they have a Website
Here is the thing, it is the 21st century people! There is no excuse for not having a website. It costs about $80 a year for the domain name and web hosting, and if you don't want to invest that amount into your business, then you aren't a real business owner. If you want someone who is experienced and making money, then they will have a website.

Facebook Business pages don't count. While they should have one, it is not the same. What also doesn't count is a website with a surname. Something like or is not a professional way of doing things. Square Space is a great site for hosting your website, but if you won’t invest the $40 into getting a custom domain and dropping the hosting sites name in your url, then you should not expect to be taken seriously. And I will admit I did have a site that had a surname at one time, it was when I was in cosmetology school and just after. Once I got serious that changed.

2 - Make sure The Pictures They Show of their work are THEIRS.
Reverse image searching is easy, free and fast. Drop 5 photos that they send you into an image search engine and see what comes up. If you see them anywhere that seems fishy ask the vendor about it. Don't just assume you know why they are on some else’s site. The thing is I can prove to you that all of the pictures of my work are mine. If someone else stole my work, I have proof it's mine, and I would like to know if you find my work somewhere else so I can get it taken care of. However big name photographers and Vouge do not steal work. If something someone sends you ends up on a really high end site, image search a couple other photos from them (to make sure the person isn't a total fraud) and then alert the vendor. Tell them you found their photos somewhere else and that you need assurance that they are using images that are of their own work.

3 - Get Reviews!
On most sites that collect reviews, the vendor cannot take down bad reviews. Google +, Wedding Wire, Yelp and Facebook are this way. On wedding wire a vendor can dispute a bad review if they think it is fake or fraudulent, however as long as the reviewer can show a contract or proof of agreement like messages via email, Facebook or text, they will keep up the negative review up. If you cannot find reviews for this vendor ask. How did you find them in the first place? A lot of people are using wedding groups and community groups on Facebook to connect with vendors. Go to that groups and ask if people have worked with ___ and what their experience was. Ask your friends on Twitter and Facebook as well. You will get candid and real reviews from people you can trust.

4 - Make sure their Business is Legitimate
Now a days anyone with a nice camera can say they are a photographer. In order to be a real professional though, you need to make sure their business is registered to the state. Ask any Hair or Makeup Artist if they have a business or cosmetology license. If they don't, do not hire them. If a photographer doesn't have a business license move on. Once again, it's about getting a vendor who makes enough money and cares enough to invest in their company and in their success. It separates the people who do this as a hobby and those who do it as a career.

5 - Make sure They Do Business like a Professional
Some vendors are higher end than others, then you have your average pricing, and then you have those who are undercutting the industry. Make sure you are working with someone who prices themselves closely to the average pricing in the industry. If you find someone you like, but their pricing is pretty high, or even pretty low ask them why. However someone doing hair AND makeup for under $100 anywhere is undercutting their industry and are probably not the most high quality professionals out there. On top of that make sure the professional you choose has a contract. Something that states a cancellation policy, refund policy and what you should expect on the day of. When you will get your photos back by, the time the makeup artist will arrive and at what location, these details matter and if they are in a signed agreement, then all parties can and will be held accountable for what is going on. Whether it is a contract, retainer agreement, or deposit agreement, a true professional will have one.

Monday, October 26, 2015

How can I get Beach Waves?

So first things first, beachy waves means a million things to different people. If you do a google image search on "Beach Waves" you will get people with loose ringlets, curling wand looks, messy looks, tighter curls, Victoria Secret curls, and what is crazy is different readers probably picture something different then I do as they read each of these descriptions. To me a beachy wave is like the one I have pictured on the left. Messy, inconsistent, fun and casual. This is the look I will be telling you how to do in just 5 steps.

Step 1 - Gather Supplies!
For this look you will need 1 flat iron (or 1 large barrel curling iron), a set of overnight rollers, a spray bottle with water in it, heat protectant and a texture spray. I recommend Redken Iron Shape 11 (pictured on the right) for your heat protectant, because it give a little hold and really works when it comes to keeping your hair safe.

Step 2 - Before Bed Prep!
First spray your dry hair with the water. You do not need a lot, just a little to make it slightly damp. The wetter it is the harder it will be fore your hair to dry overnight. Haphazardly put in the curlers. Let's be honest, getting those perfect rows is almost impossible, so don't try. Just put them in as best you can. Do not make a pattern. Most people like to use the tighter one at the base of your neck and the larger ones on top, don't. Don't roll them all up, or down. Some should be tight, some loose, some up, some to the side. If there is left out hair that is okay. Now go to sleep. :)

Step 3 - Post Sleep Prep!
After you have woken up in the morning you need to remove the curlers. The results will not be pretty. The hair will probably look a little frizzy and jacked. That is okay. Use your fingers to lightly comb through it (not to much because you don't want to make it frizzier), and then spray your Heat Protestant on the hair.

Step 4 - Curl
Take random sections and curl them using your implement. Try and do loose curls, and make sure they do not all go back or forward. I usually recommend doing a few in the front, and then the ugliest pieces from the rollers. Why are we not just curling them all this way? Using the rollers gives an inconsistent look and texture to the hair that is key for a messy and casual look.

Step 5 - Finish
Now you should use your fingers to lightly comb through the hair again. This blends everything. Once it is the way you like it (don't let it get to pretty though), use a texture finishing spray. My favorite is Redken Wind Blown 05 (pictured on the left). This is because it actually moves your hair while giving it hold to give it a wind blown look that is perfect for this!

I can't wait to see your best beachy looks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Beat Dandruff

Dandruff seems like one of those never ending battles. There is a million different things you are told to do to help combat dandruff, and honestly, most of them seemed to work very temporarily, and then it was back to where I left off.

However, after marrying the man with the most dandruff I have ever seen, I was set on figuring out a solution. I am a hair dresser people! I focus on hair more than a normal person, and I was tired of letting those ugly flakes take my focus away from his amazing blue eyes! So we tried it all and here is what worked.

Step 1 - Make sure it is Dandruff
Psoriasis is a skin disease that leaves itchy, scaly dry patches of skin. If you want to you are welcome to look it up on google, however most of the pictures are of extreme cases and they look very gross, so if you are eating I do not recommend it. But if your flakes are very large and you can get them out by breaking up the flakes with your hands and shaking them out, it is probably dandruff. Dandruff also usually accompanies an oily scalp and skin type (but not always). However if your dandruff seems pretty extreme, if your scalp is so itchy it hurts, or if your scalp is very dry you should go see a dermatologist. They will be able to give you much better advice than I kind, I promise.

Step 2 - Get a Scalp Treatment
This is NOT a deep conditioning treatment. A scalp treatment will exfoliate the scalp, stimulate hair growth, and control dandruff. Deep Conditioning Treatments are for your ends, and while the stylist may give you a scalp massage if nothing is being directly applied to your scalp, it is probably softening and healing your hair, not helping your scalp.

Some salons (like The Salon at ULTA) have scalp treatments (like the Nioxin Scalp Treatment).This is a cream like substance with gentle micro exfoliating beads and exfoliating properties to help really cleanse the scalp. Another way of doing scalp treatments is when the stylist uses a boar bristle brush to physically exfoliate the scalp and  remove dead skin build up. After using the boar bristle brush, your stylists will probably use a stimulating conditioning treatment for your scalp. Both of these options are great and will help to prepare your skin to accept treatment and get rid of existing dandruff.
If you'd like to book a scalp treatment with me in Salt Lake City click here. 

Step 3 - Use the Right Products
You should change your shampoo and conditioner every 4-6 weeks if you have dandruff. This will help to make sure your scalp doesn't get used to the treatment in a shampoo or conditioner and that your scalp will continue to actively heal and accept treatment. I liked to get two different kinds and just switch between the two of them every 4 weeks.

There are so many great ones out there, These are my favorites though (click on any of these to learn more about them). My ultimate favorite is the Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Special Shampoo & Conditioner. I also love Kenra Dandruff Shampoo, Matrix Biolage Scalpsync, Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo.

Step 4 - Get an At-Home Treatment
Of these for dandruff I have only seen two that I love. You do
not need to buy 2, only one. I love the Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment. It is best in my opinion for those with mild to moderate dandruff. For something more intensive I love the Alterna Exfoliating Scalp Facial Treatment. This product actually has a scalp brush as well as a product to stimulate the scalp and really treat it. I recommend using either of these only once every week or two.

Doing these steps helped my husband and I with his dandruff immensely!

Some of the things that we tried that did not work at all were:
Heads and Shoulders Shampoo & Conditioner
Using an Apricot Scrub or Facial Toner on the scalp
Doing a hair mask using any of these ingredients:
Raw Egg
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Baking Soda

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NEW: Favorite Eye Primer!

I usually don't do posts on here just talking about one product I love. But this is different. I am in love with a new product and I have to tell the world! I bought this product from ULTA Beauty not to long after it launched, because honestly I was curious. I just want people to know that the company did not send me this product, they are not paying for advertising, this is real! (p.s. I do not allow companies to pay me for good reviews EVER! My opinions are always 100% honest!)

This is the Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer.
I am in heaven. Seriously.

This is what the product is advertised to do:

  • lock in color and eye shadow
  • guard your lids and protect them from smoke, sun and pollution 
  • relieve dryness, while calming and soothing the eyelid
  • correct the color on your lids for an even and smooth look
Does it? YES! With flying colors! So how does it work? This product comes in a tube, you start by twisting the product up. I absolutely hate twist up liquid products. Even lipsticks! They are always messy. I feel like I have to wait a year for the product to come up and I am a super impatient person, so I always twist way to much. Then I have a big mess of product, an uneven application and a lot of waste. However the first time you use Air Patrol ever, you need to be a little patient, but it comes up fairly quickly compared to most. After you have used it the first time you literally only need one click per eyelid, and the product comes out in even amounts and almost instantly.

The product comes out on a clear-ish/pink cushion tip that they call the CushionCalm Tip. It is super gentle and amazing. Even when you put a little more pressure on your lid it contours nicely and is flexible so you do not hurt your eye. It is one of the best applicators I have seen in a long time.

Then you put the product on (I think they recommend you put it on in dots, but I just kind of smear it all over my lids haha) and sometimes I use my finger to dab it in and really set it. Putting it on is cooling and it looks and feels amazing!

I also like to use the Air Patrol under my eyes! It isn't shimmery and gives a soft finish that brightens my eyes and makes them look natural and awake!  Plus your under eyes need protection and color correction too! I have definitely seen an improvement over the last few weeks in my under eyes, they are not as dark and my eye lids also look brighter. I actually use Air Patrol eye single day, even lazy days where I don't wear makeup. When I do dramatic looks it is my primer that locks in color really well, and when I just put on mascara and liner, it brightens and opens up my eyes.

So yeah, I guess you could say I recommend this product. Oh and so does Opera, I believe it won an O-Ward from Opera, I would win one from me too. :)

You guys can buy it here for only $29 ↓

Friday, October 2, 2015

What to use in a DIY Facial Mask?

Some people have been asking me abut ingredients for home made facial masks. Here are some grocery store ingredients that I have seen on pinterest and other DIY facial recopies that are supposed to be good for your skin (specifically the skin on your face). I discussed with an esthetician about each one to see if it did something good for your skin, bad for your skin, or nothing at all.

  • Lemon - brightening and invigorating (but only in small amounts! To much can be harmful!)
  • Lime - brightening and invigorating (not as effective as lemon though)
  • Orange - brightening and invigorating (not as effective as lemon or lime)
  • Ginger - if it is powdered it is generally ineffective, and minced won't do much, however juiced ginger provides antioxidants and improves circulation.
  • Sugar - Harsh Exfoliant that Strips the Skin! Do not use this on your face! 
  • Avocado -moisturizing 
  • Tea Tree Oil - clarifying (helps with acne) but make sure you only use 1-4 drops in your mask! To much can do more harm than good! 
  • Dry Oatmeal - Nothing
  • Cooked Oatmeal - calming, great for sensitive skin, and is a good base or filler for your mask. This however needs to be real and natural oatmeal, not Quaker Oats instant oatmeal.  
  • Coconut Oil - antibacterial and hydrating
  • Olive Oil - hydrating
  • Banana - nothing
  • Lavender - calming and reduces redness
  • Apple - nothing
  • Kale - antioxidants, can help rebuild cell wall strength and lessens the appearance of dark circles. Most effective when lightly cooked in the base of the mask
  • Cocoa Powder - some anti aging effects
  • Pomegranate - Anti-aging
  • Cucumber - Hydrating and refreshing
  • Cinnamon - Clarifying for Acne
  • Honey - Antibacterial and Pore Refining
  • Raw Eggs - the white do nothing, but the yolk has proteins in them that can be good for skin and help reinforce it. 

So what is the key for making a goo at home facial mask? You have to start by choosing the masks overall function. If you are wanting to brighten and hydrate, clarify and fighting acne, calm your skin and reduce redness, or do an anti aging mask. You need to choose a base (cooked oatmeal, coconut oil, olive oil, and mashed avocado are recommended) that lends itself to your cause. For example avocado would be a great base for something hydrating, but might not be the best choice for something clarifying. Then choose no more than 3 ingredients to add. If you have to many they may trip over each other and cancel each other out, or be to strong for the skin on your face! You also want to make sure your base and ingredients mix well together. Choosing a lot of liquid ingredients with nothing thicker, paste like or powdery  may cause you to end up with a mess at the end that is less than effective.

Here are a few of our favorite combos! The best way to combine these is with a food processor or a blender on a low speed setting.

Brighten and Hydrate
2 mashed Avocados
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbs Juiced Ginger (OR 1 tbs coconut oil)
1/4  mashed Cucumber

Clarify and Fighting Acne
1/4 cup of Honey
3 Drops of Tea Tree Oil (we like The Body Shops!)
3 tbs or Cinnamon
1 mashed Avocado

Calming to Reduce Redness
1/2 cup of Cooked Oatmeal
4 drops of Lavender Essential Oils
1 raw Egg Yolk

Anti Aging Mask
1/2 cup of Coconut Oil
Warm it on the stove (do not boil it) and then add 1/4 cup of chopped kale
Let the kale simmer in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes
Now add 1/4 cup of Cocoa Powder
and 2 tbs of Pure Pomegranate Juice
Stir together and removes from the stove before applying

***Thanks to Ayla Farmer for answering my questions, skin therapist at the ULTA Salon in Salt Lake City and to Shay, Sierra and Britt82 for asking this question***

Monday, September 28, 2015

How To Get the Most from your Purple Shampoo

I constantly have people asking me how to keep their platinum hair bright and not yellow. I usually recommend a few of my favorite purple shampoos. However I recently saw a video by WhippyCake on YouTube that showed a new way to use the purple shampoo that is more effective. It sounded good to me, and after having a platinum client test it I know that it really works! I am thrilled to share it with you now! Before I get to the step by step I am going to address some questions about this method.

Why Does This Work Better? It does because when you apply the shampoo on wet hair the water has already filled the cuticle layer of your hair and it is harder for the shampoo to really penetrate the hair. Because there is no water in your hair the product isn't fighting and can really do it's job.

What Purple Shampoo Should I Use? In the video she uses and recommends Naissant Perlabeige Shampoo and Conditioner. I personally love and recommend the shampoo and conditioner from Joico called Color Endure Violet as well as the Sterling Silver line by AG. Joico also creates color deposit shampoos called Color Balance. These come in red, purple and blue. The blue is great for someone with more gold (orange) tones than yellow. If you see more yellow go with purple. This can be used with their red shampoo to help you make your red more vibrant.

Do I Have To Do This Every Time I Wash My Hair? No. If you do you may start to see a purple tint, and if that is what you wants that if fine, but I recommend doing this once every week or two, just depending on when you start to see your color yellowing.

and now the moment you have all been waiting for the... 

Step 1 - Comb Your Dry HairThis will break up any product buildup and make your hair easier to work with.

Step 2 - Section Your HairYou do not have to get super fancy with the sectioning. This is really just to help you be able to get your roots better and make sure you are really getting all the hair. You don't want to miss spots!

Step 3 - Apply Purple Shampoo on the Roots of your HairI recommend you start at the place that is the most resistant and that you feel tends to pull the most yellow. For most people this is the nape (or the back of their head near the neck). This is where she starts in the video as well. You will go through and apply the shampoo using your hands (you can use a brush but it is unnecessary) through your whole head. She doesn't say in the video how long she waited before doing step 4,  but I would say wait about 5 minutes.

Step 4 - Pull the Shampoo Through to the Ends of your HairThat's right, we are now going to use a lot more shampoo to cover the rest of your hair. It is true that this method uses more shampoo than using it in the shower, however it is also more effective.

5 - Wait 5-10 MinutesIn the video she waits for a "generous 10 minutes" and I recommend doing the same. My lovely client who tested this out yesterday also waited about 12 minutes and had great results. Obviously the more toning you need done the longer you will let it sit.

6 - Rinse and ConditionHop in the shower and rinse that shampoo out. Follow it with your favorite color protecting conditioner or mask, or the conditioner that is recommended to be used with the shampoo you used.

Watch the video below! I loved watching WhippyCake! She is super cute and funny, and I felt like she didn't drone on and on forever! It was informative and I truly enjoyed watching her video.

***Warning! I have learned that the Color Balance Shampoos from Joico that I recommended can stain your hands a little. Use gloves or wash your hands immediately after using!*** 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Beauty Supplements

I have gotten A TON of questions about beauty supplements. Usually people are asking about Biotin, Prenatal vitamins and Hair Skin and Nails from ItWorks! Usually my response is that I have not done enough research to know the difference between the products and what is best for hair growth. However I got so many requests that I had to do the research. It took me a hot minute but I have answers for you now! I did a little online research as well as talking to an amazing doctor, an esthetician  and a dermatologist. This is what I learned!

Biotin is a B vitamin that is also commonly known as Vitamin B7. It plays a major role in cell growth as well as the metabolism of amino acids (which make up proteins). Most of the pills on the market do not have exclusively biotin in them, but also contain other kinds of vitamin B with similar functions.

The most popular Biotin supplement is Natures Bounty. these are 100% biotin capsules, however the capsules themselves are made of beeswax and gelatin. These are safe for consumption, but some people who are vegan may prefer a different option. The downsides to biotin specific capsules is that they are unsafe for pregnant women and children, and that they can cause acne. You MUST have a lot of water when on Biotin (since it is a water soluble vitamin). Health experts recommend 8 cups a day. However they are proven to improve hair growth, nail growth and skim elasticity.

Prenatal Vitamins are generally taken when a woman is trying to get or as soon as she finds out she is pregnant. These vitamins are filled with folic acids, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin c, and other vitamins and nutrients. Basically what I found is that there is no evidence that proves that prenatal vitamins help with hair growth (unlike Biotin). Your hair may appear shiny, healthier and fuller during pregnancy but this is commonly due to higher estrogen levels than anything else.

I also learned that taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant can cause some problems. A lot of the ingredients in a prenatal supplement are different form daily vitamins to make up for the blood and nutrients that go to the baby. For example the iron and folic acid in a prenatal is much higher to prevent anemia for the mother and the child and also to prevent neural tube damage. For a woman who is not pregnant getting to much iron in her diet can cause vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. While to much folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms which can have serious side effects such as dementia, memory loss and other symptoms. Experts are pretty against prenatal vitamins being for anything but pregnent women and discourage the use of them for hair growth.

Hair Skin and Nails Supplements (specifically the ones by ItWorks!) are different because unlike Biotin they have several different vitamins and supplements that directly benefit your hair, skin and nails. With vitamins like C, E, B6 and B7 (oh wait! That is biotin), as well as calcium, MSM and more, this supplement will give you healthier and longer hair as well as healthier skin. Not only is it scientifically sound, but the proof is in the pudding! Let's be honest you have a friend who sells it as has put results photos on their facebook. I don't sell ItWorks and was very skeptical, but I have seen it work first hand and after consulting with experts I can confidently say that it really does work!  If you do not know someone who sells ItWorks, here is my reps page!

Monday, September 14, 2015

What is the Best Shampoo for Oily Hair?

I was asked this gem in the comment of one of my early posts called How can I Get Rid of Grease in My Hair? First things first, I am a HIGE believer in conditioner, so I will not be recommending just shampoos, but their conditioner counterparts as well. These are the best shampoo and conditioner duos for oil hair. I am going to lay on you the best three duos to use for oily haired people, as well as three shampoos to avoid!

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day
This brand was co-founded and created by Jennifer Anniston and her stylist (Chris McMillan). They were both looking for a hair product line that was free of sulfates, parabens and silicone. While there are several sulfate free lines, finding one without silicone is hard to do. Enter Living Proof. This line is awesome! Every product in is safe for color treated hair and gentle on your hair. They boast that Living Proof product leave your hair feeling cleaning longer, and they do, especially for oily haired folk! In fact the only issue I have with the PHD (perfect hair day) line is that the lack of silicone is hard for some to adjust to. When you put on your conditioner you don't feel the immediate softness and slip you are used to so it feels as though your hair is not being conditioned. But you would be wrong, it is being nourished, and as soon as your hair is dry you will feel it (or as they say at this company, as soon as your hair dries you will become the living proof).

American Crew Anti-Dandruff + Sebum Control
American Crew is the leader is men's products. However as a stylist that works in a salon that sells American Crew, and I can tell you first hand that I know that American Crew products are loved by many women as well! This shampoo tried to address two issues that usually conflict with one another, dandruff and oily scalp. This product conditions the hair, invigorates and exfoliates the scalp and helps to control oil in one fell swoop. I do recommend using a conditioner with it though. The American Crew Daily Conditioner is a good pick, or I feel it pairs well with Redken All Soft Conditioner.

Kerastase Bain Clarifiant & Divalent System for Oily Hair
This is in my opinion the best shampoo and conditioner you could possibly get for oily hair. The Kerastase Bain Clarifiant is the shampoo and the Kerastase Bain Divalent is the conditioner. Now I know what you are thinking - Clarifiant, that sounds like a clarifying shampoo, won't that be to harsh for my hair? Well the answer is yes, it is a clarifying shampoo, but it is not to harsh for consistent use. Kerastase is the authority when it comes to high end luxury brands, and uses only the best of the best ingredients in their hair care. This clarifying treatment isn't a harsh exfoliant like most, it is a treatment for your hair. They use Lipacid and Salicylic acid to deeply cleanse the scalp and control sebum production (sebum is oil for those of your who didn't know). They also have a coolign agent to help the scalp feel refreshed as well as vitamin B6 to nourish the scalp and hair.

Things to Avoid
As promised here is a list of things to avoid when choosing 
a shampoo and conditioner for oily hair.

1- Mint and Tea Tree (or other oil bases)Things like mint and tea tree are invigorating for the scalp and help exfoliate but they also leave heavy oils and conditioners in their wake. You don't need more of that! I'd stay away from shampoos like Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree oil. Don't get me wrong I love this product, but it is not for those with oily hair. And along that same line products like the Exquisite Oils line from Biolage and Diamond Oil form Redken, are not going to work for you either. 

2- Sulfate Free ProductsNow I know that I just recommended you use Living Proof which is a sulfate free line, They key here is that it is also a silicone free line. Remember when in that same paragraph I said sulfate free products are abundant but silicone free products are few and far between? So consider Living Proof an exception to this rule. Normally sulfate free products do not strip the scalp of their natural oils and conditioners, which is a good thing, unless you have a massive excess of those oils. Two of my favorite product lines are Frizz Dismiss and Color Extend Magnetic both from Redken, both amazing, both a bad fit for oily those trying to fight oily hair and scalp.
3-  Cowashes and Cleansing Conditioners. 
These two in ones are best for those with heavy and thick hair, and provide heavy and thick two in one conditioning and cleaning. Not only are they sulfate free but they are heavy as all get out. I love the Pureology Cleansing Conditioners, but they are not a good fit for those with oily scalps.

Thanks to Anamika for asking this question!