Empties | December 2015

I’ve been collecting trash in the corner of my room for the past month and I need to get rid of it. I didn’t use all of these products up this month, a lot of them are from November. Also, some of these products I’m just throwing out because they’re expired or nearly used up and I can’t get anymore product out of it, like nail polish and brow gel.

Hair

Tresemme Conditioner Naturals Nourishing Moisture
I raved about this in my November Favorites and I’m nearly through a second bottle. I’m in love with this conditioner and I’m telling all the curlies about it! This in the best conditioner I’ve used to keep my curls frizz-free, moisturized, and detangled when I condition. It’s inexpensive which is great for us curlies since we tend to go through A LOT of conditioner.

Suave Naturals, Tropical Coconut Conditioner
Before discovering the previously mentioned Tresemme conditioner, I used this as my co-washing conditioner because it contains no silicones, it’s super cheap, and smells great. Since the Tresemme conditioner is silicone-free I can use that as my co-washing and regular conditioner. It too also smells great.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner
If you haven’t tried this leave-in conditioner, you haven’t lived yet. That could an exaggeration, but I much prefer this salon brand over drugstore alternatives. I’ve used a variety of salon quality hair products, and I don’t think they’re all what they’re cracked up to be. This is the exception to the rule. This is lightweight, conditions, and most of all detangles my hair after a wash. Right now, it’s one of two products in my hair care routine that’s not silicone-free (see which silicones are less accepted than other on NaturallyCurly.com). While I don’t follow the curly girl method, most of the produts I use are CG friendly and my hair has distinctly improved in health since I’ve discovered my holy grail hair products. This product is the only exception and I don’t plan on switching it out anytime soon. I love this leave-in spray and I have a backup waiting for me

L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing Leave-In Creme
Another leave-in product that I use for different results. I like my curls to be sleek and as perfect as possible so I prefer using a smoothing cream over a thicker leave-in conditioner. I discovered this product the first time I tried the curly girl method and still use it. At one point I thought it was being discontinued from L’Oreal’s Hair Expertise line, but I can still find it at Target, Walmart, and if I’m in desperate need on Amazon. The best part, other than the fact that it works great at smoothing out my hair, is that it’s silicone-free. Another win for the curlies.

OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment
This used to be my holy grail deep conditioner, but after I finished this container I repurchased it and it’s so much thinner in consistency than it used to be. I used to recommend this over anything else, but I might be switching when I finish the container I have open in my shower.

Tresemme Extra Firm Control Gel
I purchased a few of these in the travel size for my trip to San Francisco this past summer and I needed to finish it off to make room in my collection. I didn’t love this gel and wouldn’t recommend it for every day use, but it’s one of the few gels I could find under three ounces for air travel. I found mine at Target.

Skin

Murad Environmental Shield Advanced Active Repair Serum
When I turned 25 I made it a point to start taking care of my skin, and that included adding in some more effective, high end skin care. I didn’t want anything that was anti-aging per se, but I wanted something that was going to help my skin look healthy and youthful. I shopped around and used a few various products, but ultimately returned to this Murad serum and I highly recommend it. It’s pricey at $90 but it’s made a difference in how radiant my skin appears and has helped reduce some of the fine lines that were on my forehead. I repurchased this and use it every night after taking off my makeup.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream
This was a “YouTube made me buy it,” purchase. It’s definately great for moisturizing around the eye area and as you can see from the picture I cut it open to finish it off, but it doesn’t do a lot for my fine lines or have enough anti-aging benefits for me to repurchase it.

The rest of my skin empties are samples including a Murad peel that was a gift with purchase the serum I use, Clinique and Caudalie skin moisturizers, and random Kiehl’s lip treatment I’ve had for a while.

Makeup and NailsEmpties December 2015 Makeup
A lot of these items are being thrown out because they’re old or not working the best anymore.

Cover Girl Lash Blast and NYX Control Freak
I’m throwing both of these out because they’re past the time I like to keep mascara around, which is around two to three months. Lash Blast mascara is a classic volumizing mascara which is the main thing I look for in mascara, after I use my waterproof mascara to hold a curl. Control Freak is my favorite brow gel even though the wand is a little large for going through the brows, but the formula is so much better than the Milani and Maybelline clear gels in my opinion.

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer
This has been in my collection for so long and I finally used it all up. I don’t feel like it didn’t anything special for the longevity of my foundation or keeping me matte, so I wouldn’t repurchase it. Still on the search for the perfect base primer!

NYX Nude Matte Shadow
Hit pan on this so it’s time to throw it out. I’m not sure if NYX still makes this line, but the line is all matte of basic eye shadow shades.

Nail Polish
Wet N Wild Megalast nail color Haze of Love, China Glaze Twinkle Lights, and Out the Door top coat.

Sigma E50 – Large Fluff
This is a great brush for setting your eye primer or highlighting your brow bone and I’m so happy I had a back up in my collection. This brush is about three years old and the bristles starting coming out in chunks so it needs to go.

Travel Makeup Bag & Essentials

I’m going out of town this weekend in Duluth for Grandma’s Marathon. I’m not running in any of the events, but my good friends are and I’m tagging along for the ride. This is the first trip of the summer out of three planned so far, and I’ve been preparing for what I want to bring with for a bit. I’m testing out some products that are air travel friendly for the trip to San Francisco in just a few weeks. So excited!

Makeup

I definitely tend to over pack everything when I travel. I usually justify it by saying I’d rather have options than leave something behind that I needed. I usually do the same with makeup, always packing extra item in case I want to do a smokey eye or glamorous look, but I never do. I think I’ve finally found the palette that’s going to solve this problem! I saw the Tarte Showstopper Palette, which is limited edition so go get it. You need it. I saw this palette on Lipgloss Leslie’s channel and I needed it. I went out a week later to purchase it and I’ve been loving it since. It has a large mirror, full size Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Fame, a generous amount of Park Avenue Princess bronzer and the same size Champagne Shimmer, and six eye shadows. There is no matte cream/highlight or black, which is a downside here, but I don’t mind bringing a highlight color in addition to this palette or using the very, very dark brown shadow in the Tarte palette in place of black. Love this, I really do, and it’s only $38. That’s a steal! I justified the purshase by telling Jake that it’s meant to downsize my packing when we travel this summer. He’s holding me to this, I’m sure.

Here’s the rest of the makeup products I’m bringing:

Hair

While I’m not flying this weekend, I am bringing mostly air travel friendly liquid products since I’m flying to San Francisco in about three weeks to test them out before our trip. I am cheating by bringing a full size conditioner, but that’s because my hair relies on conditioner to function each day.

Skin

I don’t get too picky with my skin products when I travel. I am on the search for an air travel sunscreen, but Target has quite the selection so I’m hoping to find something there. Most of these products are in my usual rotation every day.

I feel like I’ve done a good job at packing for this trip, and I’d like to attribute most of it to my new Tarte palette, but who knows! Maybe I’m just getting better at packing. I’m super excited to be visiting Duluth again; I probably haven’t been then since I was 14 years old. I’m hoping the weather holds out to at least get a few good pictures of Lake Superior and with Jake! Will be reporting back.

My Curly Hair Routine

This post will be my current hair care routine and how I go about styling it. A little background on my hair, I have naturally curly 3B hair with low porosity. If that sounds like a lot a mumbo jumbo, you can check out this website for more information where you figure out how to classify your curly hair type, its porosity, and what products will work best in your hair for control. I’m a fan of letting my hair be natural, even if that means being a little frizzy. I don’t use any heat on my hair, not even a hair dryer, and I haven’t used a straightener on my hair in years. My hair is pretty healthy and it seems to get healthier each month. First of all, I do not follow the curly girl method. I want to put that out there as a disclaimer, because I know a lot of curlies looking for hair care routines are looking for CG methods. Sorry about it! I’ve tried the CG method in the past, but it just doesn’t do well with my hair. I went back to using products that just work on my hair and I don’t have any problems with build-up of silicones or shampoo drying out my hair hair. That brings me to my first step, cleansing. I co-wash often like most curlies, and I use the cult classic Suave Coconut Conditioner every time I get in the shower to condition. Then twice a week I’ve been using theCantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo, 13.5 fl oz“> Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo*, holy crap long name. Despite the name of this product, there are mild sulfates in this product, but I don’t think it’s as drying as other shampoos can be. I really love the smell and the consistency of this product and it works great to clean my scalp, which is what I need out of a shampoo, not necessarily to clean my hair. I run often during the week so I pretty much need to shampoo more than once a week. Next, I’ve been conditioning with the Suave Shea Butter and Almond conditioner*, which was in my April Empties. This conditioner isn’t ground breaking, but I did add this to my holy grail list because it performs wonderfully. Moisturizes, controls frizz, and detangles. I got a few bottles when they were on sale for $3 at CVS back in March and it should last me through to July. To detangle I just use a wide tooth comb while my hair has conditioner in it and then rinse. I wrap my hair up in a Turbie Twist while I dry off, moisturize, and prep my skin then I quickly comb through to get the last few tangles out. If I need I use a leave-in conditioner to help detangle, and right now I’m using the L’Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Leave-In Spray, which is OK but I really prefer the Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner. It’s a little pricey, but I love the consistency, scent, and it’s a little less heavy in my hair. To style I’ve been experimenting with new products and techniques, including plopping. Thanks to Reddit, I started plopping my hair with one of Jake’s tees I had in my apartment and I think I’m loving it. At first, I was leaving my hair in the tee for too long, but now I do it for about 20 to 25 minutes while I’m doing my makeup, then let my hair dry by air. As for products, my holy grail leave-in cream that I’ve been using for at least two years is the L’Oreal EverSleek Humidity Defying Leave-In Cream*, which I believe is being discontinued but I saw them at Target recently. I run this throughout my hair and it just smooths my hair down a bit. Some curlies may not like this if volume is your thing, but I prefer my hair to be pretty sleek so this is perfect. Then I’ve been using the Argan Magic Defining Curl Cream* and the Aussie Instant Freeze. I really like the Argan Magic, but I can already tell that the Aussie is going to be a holy grail for summer. It locks my hair in place and resists the humidity. It holds up pretty good for second day curls, but not so much as resisting humidity the second day. After plopping and letting my hair dry, I just wear it down. Sometime I pin my “bangs” back, but I’ve been loving it without pinning it, and a lot of people have been complimenting it. I hope this helps someone out there and you found some new products to try out. I definitely suggest trying out the Aussie Instant Freeze if you’re a curly looking for a new hold product.

August Beauty Favorites

Summer is coming to an end.  This Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, and to be real, I’m ok with this.  I love autumn, it’s my favorite time of the year so I’m excited to start wearing tights! First, I wanted to share my August beauty favorites.  I don’t have a lot, but it’s still worth a post.

Suave Professionals Macadamia and White Orchid Conditioner, $2.89
I purchased this after reading some really good reviews on Amazon of this product, especially for girls with curly hair.  I have tried some of the other conditioners from the Suave Professional line and I didn’t like them at all.  This one is 100% opposite.  I love it.  I’ve already repurchased it. The scent of it is a bit overwhelming, but I’ve grown used to it.  This product is very moisturizing, it combated the humidity of summer, and it detangles.

Jergen’s Natural Glow in medium to tan, $8.99
I am not a tanning or self-tanning person at all.  I have a tan skin color anyway year round.  However I had a wedding to go to and the dress I was wearing was a bright coral, midtone red color, and my legs were looking a bit less tan than my arms and chest.  I got this on a Saturday, used it twice Sunday and once Monday morning and already had a tan on my legs.   I must admit, I was starting to look a bit orange, so I used it every other day until the following Saturday and it created a wonderful glow that looked good with my dress color.  I would recommend, just choose the right color option and be careful on how often you apply it.

MAC Mineralized Skin Finished Natural – Medium Dark, $29
This is by far my favorite face powder of all time.  I’ve owned it for over a year now and I’ve always loved it, but this time of year is when I really love it.  I can’t wear this color very much in the winter because this shade is a tad dark in the winter months, but in the summer it’s great over foundation or a tinted moisturizer.  I just found out that MAC came out with more shades and there’s a new shade that’s a bit lighter that I may go pick up in a few months.

My Shampoo Dilemma

I’ve been having trouble looking for a good shampoo for my hair.  My hair is very curly, and therefore dry so shampooing isn’t something I usually do to my hair on a regular basis.  When I do, though, I want it to be good for my hair just like when I condition it.

The problem with most shampoos, drugstore or salon quality, they all have sulfates and sodium in them.  Sulfates, while they do a good job at cleansing the hair and scalp, they are also very drying and stripping on the hair.

If you have oily hair, you probably hate how your hair gets after a day or two of not washing, so you shampoo and voila it’s back to being clean.  The sulfates in the shampoo take away that oil build-up in your hair.  For those with curly hair, shampooing can take away any residue build-up (like silicones), but it makes their hair very dry and in the end, frizzy.

For the past six months or so I’ve simply been using baby shampoo.  It still has sulfate in it, but the formula is very mild since it’s made for a baby’s skin.  I use this about two times a week and I don’t really see a problem with my hair after using it.  This morning, and maybe twice a month, I use Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Shampoo to clarify and really clean my hair out.  I find that it really works,  but it leaves my hair super dry.

neutrogena shampoo

In a past couple of posts about my hair, I’ve mentioned DevaCurl which is made specifically for people with curly.  My problem with that, and other products geared towards curly hair, is the price.  Many normal sized products from that line range from $18 to $25; that’s outrageous.  However, it’s starting to look like I’m going to have to bite the bullet and buy their No Poo cleanser.  I can’t believe I’m thinking of buying this because I won’t even buy their conditioner.  I figure though that if I only use the No Poo once or twice a week, I won’t go through the bottle very quickly unlike conditioner, which I use everyday.

Other shampoos I had looked at because they were suppose to be sulfate free.  I read a lot of reviews on Makeup Alley and Amazon and came to conclusions on the following products because of them.  I also check the brands’ websites for ingredients and claims.

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
pure renewal
My problem with this shampoo is that it has dimethicone in it.  I use dimethicone in some of my styling products and I need a shampoo to remove it, not add to the problem.  So Sulfate Free, yes, but kind of counteractive in my opinion.

Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Shampooo
I read a lot of reviews that the Organix shampoos are almost as drying as a clarifying shampoo.  I had high hopes for this brand because of the many options to chose from, but they still has forms of a sulfates in their ingredients listing.  Also the Acai shampoo has dimethicone in it.

Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash Tear Free
burts bees
This is honestly still in the playing cards with me.  I might go searching for it in stores.  A lot of reviews say the scent is quite strong, same problem with DevaCurl.  The scent is likely a “natural” scent from the ingredients that most people aren’t used to smelling in beauty products.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on a shampoo I should try!  My goal is to find one in the next week or so.