Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zoya Jade

This is Zoya polish in the color Jade.  Why is a red polish named Jade?  All of Zoya's polishes have women's names.  So why is a red polish named Jade?  No idea.  This is a red jelly polish with red sparkles.  It took three coats to make it opaque.  The red sparkles are sort of floating within the polish itself in three different layers.  I haven't had a polish quite like this one before.  Photos just don't capture how pretty this is.  I stamped a silver snowflake on my index finger with my new nail stamping kit.   
On my nails Zoya polish wears like iron.  It grows out from the cuticle and needs to be removed before it even begins to chip.  I've had issues with getting Zoya to dry.  It has stayed wet for hours for me, and usually gets some kind of bump or dent before it dries.  It dries with no issues for my sister.  Polish is a very your mileage may vary product.  How it performs varies from person to person.  I'm still experimenting with different top coats and ways of applying Zoya.  Hopefully I will get it to work for me.  This time I waited 10 minutes between coats, and it seemed to dry faster.
Notice the green grass poking through the snow at Christmas time.  So much better then the several feet of snow and sub zero weather we have had for the past few years.
Edit:  I'm now using Essie Good to Go topcoat and this polish dries without an issue for me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be Nice to Your Hair Tip #4: Avoid Heat

Treat your hair like a cashmere sweater.  Would you set your iron on high and iron the heck out of your cashmere?  Nope.  Well cashmere and hair are both made of keratin protein and both will be damaged by high heat.  Both will be damaged permanently.

Heat is bad for hair.  Avoid blow drying on high heat, curling irons, and the dreaded flat iron.  Heat damages the cuticle by causing bubbling, cracking, and chipping.  Heat also damages the hair's natural oils.  Heat can damage your hair's color (melanin).  In addition, heat damages the stretchy protein chains inside the hair's cortex.  This makes the hair more prone to breakage.  The heat can also cause the water inside your hair's cortex to boil and damage your hair from the inside out.
If you do choose to style with heat, use a heat protectant.  This helps, but doesn't completely protect the hair from heat damage.  Avoid heat protectants with a lot of alcohol in the formula.  How hot is too hot?  Above 150 degrees, the consequences of using heat become more severe.  However, all heat will cause some damage to your hair. Keeping the heat under 130 degrees is even safer.
 If you do blow dry, remove as much water as possible from the hair first.  Gently wrap your hair in a microfiber towel, a flower sack towel, or a 100% cotton t-shirt.   Don't use terry cloth.  Terry cloth towels damage the hair.  It also helps if you don't blow dry your hair completely dry.
Remember, if you are nice to your hair, it will be nice to you.

For more info, see these links:
Hair hot iron damage
How to protect your hair from heat damage
Thermal Protection:  Do they really work

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to Figure Out Your Hair's Porosity and Elasticity

When your hair grows out of your head, it is born perfect.  The hair's cuticle lies flat and smooth.  When your hair gets damaged, the cuticle begins to open up.  Hair with a closed cuticle is non porous.  Hair with a cuticle that is open, or missing chunks is porous.  Some hair is naturally susceptible to damage.  Some hair will become porous from sun damage, wind damage, etc.  But perming, coloring, flat irons, etc. are common causes of porous hair.

Non porous hair-  Is hard to get wet.  Water runs off it like off a ducks back.  Non porous hair takes a long time to dry (8 hours-ish).  It is hard to get water in the closed cuticle, but once the water is in there, it is locked in tight.  It will sometimes squeak when you run your hands over dry hair.  Non porous hair is resistant to color, but once is is colored, it won't fade.  It is also resistant to perming or straitening.  These solutions will have to be left on the hair longer for them to be effective.  Low porosity hair is healthy hair.  It is shiny, especially if it is dark.  Hair products seem to sit on top of porous hair and do not soak in.

Normal porosity hair- Is relatively easy to deal with.  It takes perms and color treatments predictably.  If you always get the color on the box, this is a sign you are normal porosity.  It dries at an average rate (3-4 hours-ish).

Porous hair- Is easy to get wet.  Porous hair dries quickly (1-2 hours-ish) without product.  With conditioner and gel, it may take a long time to dry.  Porous hair soaks up hair products like a sponge.  Porous hair will dye darker then the box (if dying hair a darker color then your natural color).  But, the color will fade quickly.  Perms will take curlier then expected, but then relax quite a bit.  Porous hair is damaged hair.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that your were doing terrible things to your hair.  Some hair is just naturally susceptible to damage.  Porous hair tends to be dull.

I should note that the drying times are my guestimations.  Drying times will also vary with hair thickness and length.  Drying times are based on hair without conditioner or gel.  These can greatly increase the drying time. Drying times will also be affected by length, thickness, humidity, temperature, etc.

My porous hair will get wet from the steam when sitting in a hot bath.   My hair will dry in an hour or two without product, but will take all day to dry when I used a heavy conditioner and lots of gel.  I need lots of conditioner and gel for my hair because it soaks it up.  When I dyed my hair darker with a permanent dye, it would dye much darker then the woman on the box.  Then the color would fall right out of my hair.  All the color would be completelly gone in three weeks.  When I used to perm my hair (darn 80's) I would look like a poodle the first few days, and then my hair would relax to a normal perm.  The first day people would always say "Oh, you got your hair permed.  It"  Then I'd say "Don't worry.  It won't look like this in a few days."  The right hair products have gone a long way to help me with my porous hair.

For info, I love this curl chemist article.  All of her articles are interesting. You may also like reading The natural haven:  Porosity:  Definition and Causes 

Take a hair from you head and firmly grasp each end.  Stretch it gently.  If it breaks, it has low elasticity.

If is stretches up to 1/3 of its length and returns to its normal shape, it has normal elasticity.  Good for you.

If it streeeeeeeetches and does not return to its original shape, it is overly elastic.

Overly elastic hair is a sign of over conditioning (too much moisture).  Low elasticity is often a sign of dry hair, but can have more complex causes.  My hair used to have zero elasticity, but now has low elasticity.  I consider it progress. :)  You can do the elasticity test on dry or wet hair.  You may find it easier to take a few shed hairs and sort of twist them together and then pull on the whole wad of hair.  This is an easier way to test my super fine hair.  It is very hard to grasp just one of my hairs.

So what does all this stuff mean?  The link will explain it.

How to Classify Your Hair with the Fia System

 The Fia info was copied from this site.  The info in purple was added by me.

Fia's Hairtyping System


The straight ones
1a - stick straight
1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

The wavy ones
2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair Beachy waves, Rock star waves
2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair) Princess hair.
2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there Mix of waves, curls, and some pieces that have mixes of S and C shapesOn it is often called "wurly" hair.   

The curly ones
3a - big, loose spiral curls Like a telephone cord (anyone else old enough to know what that is)
3b - bouncy ringlets Ringlets the size of a pinky finger.
3c - tight corkscrews Ringlets the size of a pencil or straw

The really curly ones Common among African Americans.
4a - tightly coiled S-curls
4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)

What (most of) your individual strands look like

F - FineThin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or itfeels like an ultra-fine strand of silk

M - MediumStrands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

C - Coarse
Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it.

Your overall volume of hair

Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don't bother with the way it looks - the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.

Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

To measure the circumference - take a piece of string, or a soft tape measure (the kind used by dressmakers). Wrap the string or tape measure around your ponytail - just below the elastic you have in to hold the ponytail together. Read the corresponding number from the tape measure, or hold the string at the length you've measured and use a ruler to determine how much it is. The number given is the circumference of your ponytail.

i - thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
ii - normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
iii - thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

Naturally Curly link with pictures of curl patterns.

Your curl pattern (or lack of curl pattern) may not fit neatly into one category.  It is common to see a mix of curl patterns on one head.  Some hair just simply doesn't fit any description.  
Figuring out hair texture can be tricky as well.  Your hair stylist should be able to tell you what your texture is.  If you compare hair with friends, this should help you to figure out your texture. has a service where you can send in your hair and they will tell you elasticity, porosity, and texture. 

My hair is 2bFiOn a good day I'm 2cFi.

What does all of this mean? The link explains it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Revlon Photo Ready Foundation Review

When you read the reviews of pale skinned people for Revlon Photo Ready on Make Up Alley, you hear the same word over and over:  Cullen.  What is a Cullen?  Cullen is the family name of the vampires in the Twilight books/movies.  The vampires in that series are pale and sparkle in the sunlight.  I planned only to wear this in the winter when I’m mostly indoors and there is a lot of cloud cover..  My plan did not work out.  Despite not being in direct sunlight, I’m still a Cullen with this foundation.  
Revlon Photo Ready Foundation
My Skin Type:  My skin type is normal to slightly dry in the winter.  But, my skin doesn’t seem to like a lot of lotion-y/moisturizing products.  Those products will make my skin act more like oily skin.   
My experience with this type of product. I’ve tried lots of different foundations and different styles of foundations.  I’ve only tried drugstore foundations.
What I am looking for in a foundation:  Number one, I’m looking for a foundation that matches my very pale, warm toned skin (NC 10).  There aren’t many drugstore options, and I really want to stay with inexpensive foundations.  I want a medium to full coverage.  I hate light coverage foundations.  I put them on and I can’t tell that I did anything at all.  What’s the point?  I tend to prefer cream to powder formulas in winter.

My rating:

What I like about it.  This is the exact right color for me!!!  And it looks nice when I first apply it (although too sparkly).  I love that this is in a pump bottle.  It is easier to use and more hygienic that way.  I plan to keep the bottle when I finish the foundation to pour another foundation into. .

What I hate about it.  Obviously I’m not a fan of the sparkling.  The sparkles and foundation eventually settle in my wrinkles and pores.  After a few hours, this will often start to look slimy on my skin.  This is probably a better foundation formula for dryer and darker skin types then mine. (almost everyone is a darker skin type then me:)) This formula is not terrible, it just isn’t for me.

Would you buy this again?  No.  I have winter foundation options that I like better.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CVS Sale Alert

CVS is having their semi annual (I think semi annual) beauty clearance.  There are lots of things 75% off. Here is the link to the master list (scroll down for the list).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Came Early This Year

My Aunt asked me if I wanted some of her old nail polish.  I said sure.  I was expecting 3-5 bottles.  I hit the mother load.  She has decided to only use certain brands and I got the rest.  Thanks Auntie!  I sure wish I hadn't just finished painting my nails the day I got them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why is some hair curly and some straight?

Why did some hair evolve to be curly and some hair evolve to be straight?  The answer is heating and air conditioning. (That is why there is a picture of the Lennox Man on the left.)  Straight hair hangs close to your head and keeps you warm in the cold northern winters.  It is like having a blanket for your head.  Type 4 kinky-curly hair grows straight out from the head, often in an afro.  In warm climates, the hair wicks sweat away from the head.  As the sweat evaporates, it helps cool the head.  Its nature's air conditioning system.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Silver Gradient Polish

For the Gradient Silver Nails I used 3 nail polishes.  Milani in Ms. Milani, L'Oreal in Silver Star (appears to be discontinued), and Wet n Wild in Kaleidoscope 460D.  First, I added a base coat.  Then I used a make-up sponge to sponge on color.  I painted Ms. Milani directly onto the sponge.  Then I sponged the color onto the nail, about 1/3 of the way down the nail.  I sponged a second coat of this polish starting further up the nail.  Next I used Silver Star and sponged near the tips of the nails.  Then I used Kaleidoscope and painted on a coat starting halfway down the nail.  Finally, I added a second coat to the last 1/4 of the nail.   Sponging on color leaves thin coats and dries quickly.  There is no need to wait between coats of polish.
To reuse the make-up sponge for another manicure, just snip off the dried polish from the sponge with a scissors.

Your Blackheads May Not Be Blackheads

The rule of thumb is that if the black head like stuff on your nose is all a uniform size, they aren’t blackheads.  They are sebaceous filaments.  Another clue is if you remove the black head like thingys, they are back in a few days.  The good news is sebaceous filaments are normal.  The bad news is that there is nothing you can do about them.  The good news is you can stop trying to make them go away.  See this link for more info.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

3 Free Nail Polish and Why You Might Care Even if You Don't Care.

What is 3 free nail polish?  3 free nail polish is Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) free.  These chemicals are reported to have health risks and be bad for the environment.  I know there is some debate about the health risks.  I’m just a schmo who has no idea how to review the science, so I can't give an informed opinion.  There is more info in the link below.  Most nail polish formulas these days are now at least 3 free.  

Link with laymen info on the chemicals and contains links for more info
Link that lists 3 free (and more) nail polishes
In addition to the polishes listed in the link, Jordanna (at K-mart) is also 3 free.

Why you might care even if you don’t care?  Big 3 free top and base coats are not as common.  If you mix a non 3 free top or base coat with a 3 free polish, it could mean trouble.  If you use a toluene containing top coat over a 3 free polish, it may come off in large chips.  (*Light bulb appears over head .*  This may be my issue with Wet n Wild Gray’s Anatomy pealing off in sheets.)  If you use a base coat containing formeldehyde,  you may get yellow staining on your nails.  I believe this what was happening to me when I was using Rimmel Pro Top Coat/Base Coat as a base coat.  My nails looked like I was a chain smoker (I don't smoke).  The base coat didn’t react with every polish formula/color, so it took me a while to figure it out.    Essie, Zoya, Nubar and Carolyn New York top and base coats are 3 free.  
Link with info on mixing 3 free and non 3 free top/base coats and polishes.