Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Which Ingredients to Avoid With the Curly Girl Method

Snape's hair has product build up.
With the Curly Girl method, you don't want to put anything in your hair that cannot be removed by a conditioner wash (cowash).  The first and most important thing to avoid is silicones (often referred to as cones in the cyber hair care universe).  Some silicones are O.K. to use.

How to identify a silicone?  Silicones end in -cone, -conol, or -xane.  Don't be fooled by ingredients that end in -one, those are usually preservatives.  Silicones cannot be removed by cowashing, and should be avoided with the Curly Girl (CG) method.

Partially Water Soluble Silicones- Partially water soluble cones are easier to remove.  IMHO, if you use a non sulfate shampoo (low poo), you don't need to worry about water soluble silicones. Amodimethicone (A.K.A the A-cone) is the one most commonly seen.  I got a lot of the info in this post from this link.
                                      Behenoxy Dimethicone
                                      Stearoxy Dimethicone

Cyclo-silicones-  These evaporate off the hair.  In the process of evaporating, they may cause the cuticle to buckle.  At one point on the message boards of NaturallyCurly.com, people thought the cyclo-silicones were building up.   They weren't actually building up, the change in the way their hair felt was from the buckled cuticle.  The Curl Chemist says a low poo should restore the hair.  See this Curl Chemist article for more info.

Water Soluble silicones-  These rinse right off of your hair and are allowed in the CG method.  If your hair is fine and very prone to being weighed down, you may still want to avoid them.  Water soluble silicones weigh done some fine hair.   The first two on the list are the most common.
                       Anything with a PEG- or PPG- in the name.
                       Dimethicone Copolyol
                       Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
                       Lauryl Methicone Copolyol

Mineral Oil (A.K.A. petrolatum)-  Some people can use this without any problems.  Others, (like me) find it hard to remove.  It makes my hair oily and heavy.  If you are trying a mineral oil containing product, you may want to try it on a small section/curl first.  That way if things go wrong, you don't have a whole greasy head.

Castor Oil, PEG castor oil-  Same ruled apply as for mineral oil.  Straight castor is popular for hair care to add moisture (mostly with type 4 kinky/curly hair).  I've read there is different qualities of castor oil that make a difference.  I don't know too much about using the oil straight.  I'm more familiar with this as an ingredient.  Works for some, hard to remove for others.  PEG castor oil is easier to remove.  My hair hates castor oil in all forms.

Polyquats-  Which polyquats are likely to build up  depends on which expert you ask.  All agree that polyquat-4, common in mousse, is easy to remove.  As a general rule, the larger the number the harder the polyquat is to remove.  These links have more info on polyquats in hair products.
Curl Chemist on Polyquats
No-Poo Jillipoo talked to several experts about polyquats.

So, if you avoid everything on this list, does that you will never get build up?  Nope.  Some random things build up for some people.  Jojoba oil builds up for me.  Also cationic conditioners are meant to adsorb (cling) to the hair.  They are usually washed off.  But sometimes, some continue to cling to the hair and build up.  A low poo will remove this build up.  This link has more on how conditioners can build up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

I figured since I posted about the glitter nail polish trend, I should tell you how to remove it.  Here is the cliff notes version.  You soak a piece of a cotton ball, or cotton pad (you can cut them in quarters) in nail polish remover.  Pure acetone works best for the most stubborn glitter, but regular polish remover that contains acetone usually works fine.  I just use the acetone containing remover.  Apply the cotton ball or similar directly to the nail.  Take a piece of aluminum foil that you have previously cut/torn into small pieces. Wrap the foil around the nail and cotton ball so it stays in close contact with the nail.  Leave it a few minutes.  I only leave it 3-5 minutes (I think, I haven't worn glitter in a while).  I've never had to leave it on the full 10 minutes.  I remove the foil.  Next, I press down on the cotton ball and twist side to side.  Then pull the cotton back while pressing down on the nail.  Most or all of the glitter  should be gone.
Here is a youtube video that shows you how to do it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Testing Essie Shine of the Times

When I got my "free" (I paid shipping) Zoya polishes in the mail, they also send me nail plates with swatches of their new collections.  On one of the plates, there was a blank side.
Off topic:  Zoya, why would you do that?  You are making the plates and spending them out.  Why not just put swatches of the 6 best selling nudes or purples or blues?  You need to have your marketing department get on that.
Anyway, I decided to try to find colors to pair with Essie Shine of the Times, which is a flakie.

Click on the pics to make them larger.  I like this over the pink and the lavender.  I think I'll try this over the Rimmel Purple Rain.  I don't think it will be for me (I"m not a dark polish girl), but I'm going to try it anyway.

In the first swatch I also added a coat of Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love.  I think it looks like the rocks in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Do I want my nails to look like rocks?  Probably not, but I'll likely try it some time.  I liked it over the green and blue.  I also like it over OPI I love this color (red-brown).  That will be a nice combo in the fall.

As long as I was taking pics, I took one of the Zoya flakie samples they sent me.  The first three are the flakie polishes alone.  They look much sheerer in pictures on the internet.  The last three pics are of the respective polishes over another color.

And, if you are interested, this Square Nails blog post has a round up of all the spring 2012 nail polish collections.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zoya Noel

This is Zoya in the color Noel.  Zoya calls this a cool blue metallic with an opacity of 5 (on a scale of 1-5).  This is two coats.  I always do at least two coats, but you may be able to get by with one thick one.  This color is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I think I like it.  Zoya calls this a cool toned foil finish and compares it to faded blue denim.  Personally, I'd call this a warm or neutral toned blue, but what do I know?  I don't think this resembles denim in the least.  Zoya polishes dry very slowly for me and I usually mar the manicure before it dries.  I used Essie Good to Go quick drying top coat and it dried just fine for me.  So far so good.  As long as this mani doesn't start chipping prematurely or something, I'll be going with the Zoya/Good to Go combo from now on.
Update:  Essie Good to Go works great with my Zoya polish.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheap Thrills: ELF Studio Blush Brush

My rule for cheap thrills is that the thrills have to 1) be under 5$ or a cheap price for the product 2) I have to really like it.  I'm a bargain hunter, so I have quite a few of these and I'm always looking for the next one. 

The ELF Studio Blush Brush (black handle) is awesome for 3$.  Ideally, I'd wish this was a bit denser.  But this works really well.  It is soft.  The shape is great.  The size is great.  It is soft.  It does what you want it to do.  If the magic blush brush fairy came and brought me the perfect blush brush that was slightly denser, I'd happily accept it.  But, I won't be looking for a different blush brush any time soon.  I really like this brush and highly recommend it.

Now it is time for disclaimers and apologies.  I'm trying a new hair product and used too much, thus producty hair.  I tried to iron the sheet, but it was super wrinkled.  I'll have to wash it before I film another video.  My lighting is terrible and I'm often out of frame.  Sorry about all that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nail Polish Trend: Glitter

The first thing I want to point out is that none of these pics are my nails.  Click on the names of the polish to see the corresponding blog post.

Now that every color has taken over the nail polish world, the next logical step is glitter.  Yep, glitter for adults.  Some of these glitters are the glitter nail polishes we traditionally think of, full coverage small glitter.  If you are looking for this type of glitter, China Glaze has lots of interesting options (at Sally Beauty Supply).  Another trend that has been around a while is holographic glitter, such as China Glaze OMG (last pic, bottom right). Some of the new glitters have bigger or different shapes.  Hexagon shapes are popular, but you will also see circles, donuts, and long, thin pieces.  There are some polishes have sparse glitter that looks more like polka dots on your nails.  Essie just came out with a collection of glitter top coats (first pic) called the Lux Effects Collection.  Some of the Essie collection have tiny shimmers, others with hexagonal glitter meant to look like small stones.  I've added some pics of  drugstore glitters popular with nail polish fanatics.   First, on the right, is Revlon Facets of Fuchsia (now renamed Scandalous).  It is a dupe(licate) of Deborah Lippman's Bad Romance (more expensive). It has purple hexaganol glitter and micro glitter in a black jelly base.  Next is Revlon Whimsical which is a dupe of Deborah Lippman's Glitter in the Air.  It is blue and pink hexagonal glitter plus blue glitter in a sheer blue base.  Third is Revlon Starry Pink, now renamed Revlon Popular.  It is a light pink base with silver hexagonal glitter and silver glitter.  Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters is a sparse glitter overlay of glitters of varying size and color.

Another big trend in glitter is flakies.  In the first picture, the bottom left and center are Essie Shine of the times which is a flakie.  Flakies look like little pieces of mica.  In fact they could actually be little pieces of mica.  Who knows?? (not me, but someone knows)  These polishes remind me of the rocks with mica in the black hills of South Dakota.  As you can see with the two pictures above, flakies look quite a bit different over light or dark polishes.  Traditional flakies, like Shine of the Times, flash between green and copper, depending on the angle.  Some of the newer flakies flash blue to dark blue or green to blue.  Click for swatches of the newly released Zoya flakies or Finger Paints flakies (at Sally Beauty Supply).  I own Essie Shine of the Times, but so far I don't think it is for me, unfortunately.  I'm going to keep trying though and see if I can find a way I like it.
If  you want to ease your way into glitters, you can always do an accent nail in glitter.  An accent nail is where you paint one nail, usually the ring finger, a differently then the rest of  your nails.

See my post on how to remove glitter nail polish.

Be nice to your hair tip #5: Don't over wash.

One key to having healthy hair is to not over wash it.  If you wash your hair too often or with a shampoo (or other option) that is too harsh for your hair, here is what happens.  Your scalp is over washed, becomes dry, and sends a signal to "Send more oil!".  You get oily roots and wash more often, which in turn triggers more oil.  This give you dry ends and oily roots.  In addition, many people will add silicone containing products to combat the dry ends.  These make hair dirty even faster, which means even more shampooing. 
When you switch to milder cleansing methods, it may take a while for your hair to adjust.  Your hair may be oily at the roots to begin with.
Here are alternate ways to clean your hair, moving from least cleansing to most cleansing.  When you have done one of these methods, condition and style as usual.

Water Washing-  To water wash, you wet your hair and scrub the scalp with the pads of your fingers.  Scrub a lot.  If you usually shampoo, you will have to scrub a whole lot more then you are used to.  When you think you are done, scrub more.  Water washing is cowashing without the conditioner.  Water washing adds less moisture to your hair then cowashing.  If cowashing is weighing you hair down, swap some or all of your cowashes with water washing.  Do not use water washing as your only method of cleaning your hair.  You must also use one of the other methods listed below.

Cowashing (conditioner washing)-To cowash, you use conditioner instead of shampoo.  Scrub the roots of your hair with conditioner.  Use the pads of your fingers and not the nails.  Scrub more then you would with shampoo.  When you think you are done, scrub some more.  Continue scrubbing as you rinse your hair.  This helps the water from the shower reach the roots of your hair and makes it easier to get the conditioner rinsed out.  If you cowash exclusively, you must be careful not to put anything in your hair that cannot be removed by conditioner.  I'll do a post on what ingredients to avoid in the future.

Cleansing Conditioner-This is a conditioner with mild cleansers in it. The cleansers mean it gets your hair cleaner then cowashing.  One example is Curl Junkie Daily Fix.

Condition Wash Condition-  Coat the ends of your hair with conditioner. You can either go from the ears down, or just skip the first few inches.  Wash the roots of your hair with shampoo (sulfate free is milder).  This method helps protect the dry ends of  your hair while cleaning the roots.  Try to keep the shampoo and conditioner separate.  When you have rinsed, condition your hair.

Low Poo (non sulfate shampoo)-Sulfate free shampoo is milder then shampoos that contain sulfates.  Sulfates to avoid include:  Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate; Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, and TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate.  The list of sulfates is from Live Curly Live Free.  It is common for people with wavy hair to low poo about once a week.  This varies from person to person. Some wavies low poo daily, and others cowash exclusively.

Diluted Sulfate Shampoo- You can dilute sulfate shampoo to make it milder.  Keep in mind that when you dilute products, you also are diluting the preservatives.  Either mix up what you need every time you shampoo, or mix up about a weeks worth at a time and keep it in the refrigerator.  Science-y Hair Blog has more info on how to do this.

Sulfate shampoo (regular shampoo)-Very few people need to use a sulfate shampoo daily.  That is too often for most hair.  The people most likely to be able to use sulfate shampoo daily are 1a (very straight), coarse, non porous hair.  This hair is common among Chinese.   

Pre wash treatments-  A trick to taming shampoo or another washing method  is to oil your hair before you wash it.  This helps prevent shampoo from stripping all the natural oils from your hair.  This is most often done with coconut oil.  You can oil your hair 15 minutes to overnight before you wash.  The first time you do this you should only do it 15 minutes before washing and only do one small strip of hair.  Coconut oil washes out easily for some and is hard to remove for others.  This is why you want to test a small strip of hair first.  Many people find coconut oil cowashes out easily.  For me, it even water washes out. Using coconut oil in this manner has made a huge difference in my hair. You can use coconut oil in this way as often as you like, but weekly would be common.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sally Hansen Insta Dri Review

 I'll start with my usual nail polish disclaimer.  Nail polishes work differently for different people.  What works for me may be terrible for you and vice versa.  That said, I hate pretty much everything about this nail polish.  It is very thick.  So thick that I thought the first bottle I bought must have been opened in the store and dried out some before I bought it.  Nope.  The second bottle was just as thick.  It applies in very thick coats, but still will not cover in two coats.  The picture above is two coats, and you can see that the coverage is uneven and not opaque yet (it is also really sloppily applied and all over my skin, sorry).  This polish does not self level.  If the polish is not level when it is applied, it will dry bumpy.  It is nearly impossible to apply level.  The top surface of this polish will dry quickly, but the bulk of the nail polish takes a long time to dry.  It stays malleable for quite a while, maybe an hour or two.  I end up with dents and impressions in the manicure from where it gets bumped while it is drying.  It wears pretty well for me, 6ish days.  I'm not really a fan of either color.  I thought a Barbie pink (Fuchsia Flare) might be fun once in a while, but this color is too yellow for me.  Luckily, my preschool niece loves this color. I thought I could put a glitter over the white (Whirlwind White) and it would look like new fallen snow on a cold winter day.  It didn't look like that.  It looked like I painted my nails with white out and put some glitter on top.  I was not a fan of the formula or the colors I picked.  I will not be buying Sally Hansen Insta Dry again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Newspaper Mani with QR Codes (for Cell Phones)

This manicure looks complicated, but it is so easy to do.  It is another newspaper manicure.  First you cut out the QR codes from the newspaper, they are the things you scan with your cell phone to get coupons, etc.  Then you paint your nails.  Mine are painted with Wet N Wild Megalast in Garden Hose, three coats.  It is a limited edition color from the 2011 spring collection.  You must choose a color that is light enough for the newsprint to show up.  Then you dip the nail in rubbing alcohol, press the QR code from the newspaper against it for a few seconds, and top with a top coat.  You must use a top coat, or the newsprint will wear off.  I topped mine with Essie Pure Pearlfection from the Luxeffects collection.  This is limited edition, but in stores now.  Pure Pearlfection is a glitter overlay with very fine shimmer.  Here is the youtube tutorial from My Simple Little Pleasures that gave me the inspiration for this manicure.

Edit:  I've read that Essie Pure Pearlfection, along with the other Luxeffects finishes have been added to Essie's core line.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So What Does It All Mean?

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything?

If you are not a big geek, ignore that part.  This post explains what your all your hair properties mean.  I suggest going on the Curl Talk forum on Naturally Curly (or the Long Hair Community for straight hair since Naturally Curly doesn't have a straight hair section) and find people with the same hair properties.  You can see which products and techniques they use for their hair and try them on yours. 

Curl Pattern:
Curl pattern is the least important hair property.  In general, the curlier your hair is, the more moisture it needs.  Very curly hair will be dryer, because it has more bends, and the cuticle cannot lie flat against the bends.  When the cuticle isn't flat, moisture escapes. People with wavy (type 2) hair often find they need a gel with a harder hold then those with curly hair.  Different styling techniques will work best for each curl pattern.  Styling is probably the biggest difference between different curl patterns.  Also, the straighter your hair, the stronger cleanser you are likely to need.  Straight hair (1's) will likely need at least an occasional sulfate shampoo.  Nearly all wavies (2's) need an occasional non sulfate shampoo (low poo).  Curlies (3's and 4's) are more likely to be able to cowash (conditioner wash) exclusively.

People with thick hair will probably want heavier products to keep their hair from getting too big.  They may also prefer air drying, which produces less volume then diffusing.  On colder days, you can sit under a hard hat dryer to speed things along.
People with thin hair will probably prefer lighter products, so their hair does not get weighted down.   They may also prefer diffusing and/or clipping (I'll explain in a later post) as their styling method to add volume.
For more info:  No-poo Jillipoo:  Adjusting the Volume

Fine hair:  Fine hair usually does not like a lot of oils, butters, or products that contain them.  Heavy products will be too moisturizing and/or may weigh fine hair down.  Fine hair tends to get over moisturized easily.  Fine hair that is very prone to being weighed down may not like any silicone, even water soluble ones.  People who's hair gets weighed down very easily find them too heavy.  Many fine haired wavies find cowashing weighs their hair down.  Some fine haired wavies cannot cowash and have to use a low poo exclusively.  Fine hair tends to like protein, no matter what the porosity.  Fine hair has a small cortex, and has a hard time keeping the proper amount of protein in it.  Protein products help get the proper amount of protein inside the hair's cortex.  Fine hair should like protein in hair products and/or protein treatments as needed.  Once a week protein treatments are common for fine hair, but do protein treatments when your hair needs them.

Coarse hair:  Usually likes oils and butters and the products that contain them  These products help soften the hair so it bends easier (wavy, curly hair).  Coarse hair tends no to like protein.  (porous, coarse hair will need some protein)  Coarse hair has a large cortex that tends to have plenty of protein and doesn't need any more.

Medium hair:  Is is in the middle (duh).  It likes some oils, butter, and oil/butter products.  It needs some protein.  Medium hair may do a protein treatment more like once a month to once every few months.

Porous hair:  Porous hair needs protein.  Protein helps fix the porosity by temporarily filling in the openings and holes in the hair's cuticle. When the protein eventually washes out of your hair, you will need to fill the openings again with more protein. You will want to use protein in you products and/or do protein treatments. If your hair is porous and coarse, use caution because this hair can get too much protein easily.  I've read keratin or silk protein is the easiest for coarse hair to use.  I don't know if that is true or not.  Closing the holes in your cuticle will also help keep moisture from escaping, so it will help keep your hair moisturized as well.  Experiment with different types of protein to see which type works best.  Your hair may dislike one kind of protein and love another. 

Normal Porosity:  Good for you.  If your hair is fine you will still want protein treatments.  If your hair is medium, you may still want an occasional protein treatment.

Non Porous Hair:  Non porous hair does not need protein because the cuticle lies flat and does not need to be repaired (you still need protein for fine hair).   Non porous hair is very healthy hair in general.  If non porous hair becomes dried out, it hard to get it moisturized again.  It is hard to get moisture back into hair because there are no openings in the cuticle for the moisture to make its way into hair.

Overly Elastic Hair is a sign hair is over moisturized.  You need to use more protein and use as little conditioner as possible until your hair returns to normal.

Normal Elasticity Hair stretches up to 1/3 of its original length and returns back to its original length.  Good Job.  Carry on.

Low Elasticity Hair can be caused by several things.  Usually it is lack of moisture.  Use moisturizing conditioners, deep treatments, and leave in conditioners.  You may also need protein treatments to shore up the stretchy protein strands in your cortex.

Keep in mind that these are general rules.  Hair is individual.  My hair is very fine, but only follows about half of the general rules for fine hair.  You need to do what works for your individual hair.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Foundation Review

All good beauty bloggers know that the first thing you do when you bring make-up home is take a picture of your new pristine make-up for your blog.  I...am not a good beauty blogger.  There wasn't even a single speck left.  But I took a picture of the empty container.  That's better then nothing, right?  Sorta?  Maybe?

Product Name  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Make-up in Classic Ivory 10
What my skin type:  Normal to slightly dry in the winter.  Products with lots of lotion-y type moisture (technical term) will sometimes make it act as if it were oily.
My experience with this type of product.   I’ve tried several types of foundation formulas and different drugstore foundations.  I’ve tried several cream to powder foundations specifically.
What I look for in this product.  I usually prefer cream to powder foundations for winter.  I like a medium to full coverage.  I want a drugstore foundation that matches my very pale, warm skin (NC10 A.K.A lightest color in the drugstore).
My rating:  3 sit and spins


What I like about it.  I love, love, love that neutrogena put their helioplex sunscreen in this product (SPF 55).  Helioplex is an excellent sunscreen with great UVB protection.  The color is also a nice match for me (NC10).  One note about sunscreen in make-up, you only get an SPF 55 if you use a 1/4 teaspoon on your face.  It is unlikely you will use that much, therefore you will not get the full SPF 55 protection from this foundation.  But, every little bit helps.

What I hate about it.  I don’t really hate anything.  I wish this had more coverage.  It applies unevenly and sorts of skips as you apply it.  It is somewhat difficult to blend.  Both of these improve if I use a primer first.  Although this is not a bad formula, it is one of the worst cream to powder foundation formulas I’ve tried.  For me, cream to powder foundation is like chocolate.  Even when it is bad, it is still good.

Would you buy this again?  Probably not.  But you never know, I might.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

China Glaze Magnetix

Edit:  Since posting this, magnetic polishes have popped up in lots of places.  You can find them at Claire's, Icing, Hot Topic, and Walgreens (and I'm sure other places too).

China Glaze is coming out with a magnetic nail polish.  It was supposed to be released mid February, but it now looks like they might hit shelves as early as January 15th.  I've been eying these cool magnetic style polishes since I first saw a picture of them in Allure magazine about a year ago.  Finally there is a "drugstore" version (Sally Beauty Supply carries China Glaze).  Here is how it works.  You paint you nails with the special polish.  Then you hold one of the magnetic plates over the nail and the pattern emerges on your nail. What more could a geek who likes nail polish want?  The bad news is that these will reportedly be 10 bucks a pop and an additional 10 bucks for the three magnet design plates.  Um, yeah.  The inner geek in me doesn't want to pay 20 bucks to watch a magnet move nail polish into a cool pattern.  I'll wait until Wet N Wild decides to make their own version.  :)  I'll attach some random images I found of magnetic nail polishes on google so you can get an idea of what magnetic nail polishes look like.  None of the pictures are my nails.

Edit:  Click here to see swatches of the China Glaze Magnetix on The PolishAholic.  I plan to get one of the Icing Magnetix (at Claire's/Icing stores, jewelry stores in the mall).  Click for her swatches of those polishes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Protein for Hair: Part 1

Protein does two main things for hair.  It shores up the hair's inner structure, making it stretchy.  This makes hair stronger.  There are long chains of protein in the cortex that stretch like rubber bands and adding protein to hair helps keep the chains in good repair.  Hair that is damaged is damaged permanently.  But protein can go a long way toward temporarily repairing that damage.  Protein also temporarily fills in the openings/holes in the hair's cuticle.  This helps hair hang on to moisture, makes it shinier, and makes it act healthier.  Curls will bounce up after a protein treatment if you need one.
Protein needs to be kept in balance with moisture.  Too much of either protein or moisture will give you hard brittle hair.  Not enough moisture will give you dry, rough hair.  Not enough protein your hair will be limp.   I'll do a separate post on how to diagnose hair.
I highly suggest you read this article.  It explains protein and moisture balance in hair better then I can.
The Fine Art of Protein and Moisture Balancing for Black Hair Care.
The article is about African American hair, but the information is true for all hair.

So does this mean you should run out and put some protein in your hair?  No.  Protein isn't friends with all types of hair.  If your hair is non porous, you do not need protein (unless you have fine hair).  In non porous hair the cuticle lies flat and does non need to be repaired.  If you have coarse hair, you do not need protein (unless also porous, then proceed with caution).  Coarse hair has enough protein in its cortex already.  Adding more protein to either of these hair types will give you hard, rough, brittle hair.  Some people have bad reactions to very small amounts of protein in hair products.  These people are protein sensitive.  See the protein sensitive board on naturallycurly.com if you think this is you.

Protein is a miraculous thing for hair that needs it.  It adds bounce, shine, strength, can help with frizz, and make hair act healthier.  Porous hair needs protein.  (use caution if you have coarse, porous hair).  Protein will help temporarily fix the damage done to your hair.  Fine hair tends to like protein, no matter what the porosity.  There isn't much room inside fine hair's cortex, because it is relatively smaller then the cortex of medium or coarse hair.  Fine hair seems to always be lacking protein in its interior.  If your hair needs protein check out the Protein Lovers Forum of Naturallycurly.com.

This link has pictures of curly hair needing protein and hair with too much protein.
The Pittsburgh Curly:  Protein vs. Moisture

Protein ingredients usually have protein in their name.  Some exceptions are amino acids (very small, mild "proteins"), collagen, and keratin.  Protein can be ingredients in styling products, leave in conditioners, conditioners, etc.  It takes time for protein to make its way into the hair's cortex, so it is more effective in things that are left on the hair  (gels, leave in conditioner, etc.).  It is least effective in shampoo, which is only on the hair a minute.  The most effective way to get protein into hair is with a protein treatment.  Follow a protein treatment with a deep (moisture) treatment or a moisturizing conditioner to balance out the protein.  More on this in upcoming posts on protein.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Two Free Zoya Nail Polishes (Offer Expired)

Get two free Zoya nail polishes.  You  pay the 7$ (ish) shipping.  Use the code ZOYA2012 on zoya.com.  The offer is good now through 11:59 PM Eastern time 1/9/12.  Check out the fancy polish finding feature on the top left of the page.  You can sort by color, finish, warm/neutral/cool, and opacity.  If you want to see what a color looks like on an actual nail, do a google image search for zoya and the name of the color you are interested in.  I got Noel and Laney.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Failed Search for Dupes

A dupe (short for duplicate) is a color that is the same as a more expensive formula but costs the same or less.  I never get to search for dupes, because I don't buy colors that are similar if I can help it.  When my Aunt gave me some polishes, I had some similar colors.

Revlon Blackberry is close to OPI Bogotta Blackberry, but the OPI color is much more of a berry color.  Wet n Wild Through the Grapevine is darker and more purple then OPI My Auntie Drinks Chianti.  But, if you just want a color that is close, either of these cheaper versions could work.  As you can see, I just slopped nail polish on for the comparison.

If you have an expensive product (nail polish, eye shadow, lipstick, etc.) and would like a similar drugstore dupe, here is what I would recommend.  Do a Google search with the name of the product and you are interested in and the word dupe.  This should pull up some links with product recommendations (assuming the product actually has a dupe)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Gold Silk

This color is a cross between gold and taupe.  (Taupe is defined as a 50/50 mix of brown and gray.)  This color is sheer with a soft metallic sheen.  It took three coats to make it opaque.  I'm thinking an eye shadow this color might be nice.  :)
For more on this Rimmel nail polish formula, see my previous post.