Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Current Hair Routine

One of my goals last year was to focus on my hair - I wanted it to grow longer and thicker (blogged about here). My hair has definitely grown a lot longer (I think it will be my goal-length by summer!) but I'm still working on getting it thicker. As I discovered last year - *some* hair-growth supplements do NOT agree with me (never take Biotin if you have acne-prone skin!!!).  Last May I reviewed some supplements and topical products here. Since it has been a while, I thought I would post an update of my current hair routine:
 Wash days (I only wash my hair twice a week, other days I wear a shower cap when I shower. My scalp does not get oily/greasy in between because it is used to this washing schedule.)

SHAMPOO:
On my scalp I use Nioxin 1 (to promote hair growth) and Burt's Bees Shampoo (to build volume). On the length of my hair, I use a tiny bit of moisturising shampoo (brand may vary - I'm currently trying to use up previously purchased products)
CONDITIONER:
I use Nioxin 1 conditioner on my scalp and Terax Crema on the length of my hair. I use my fingers and a wide-tooth comb to detangle my hair and then cover it with a shower cap for 3 minutes for a deep conditioning effect. I rinse the conditioner off and apply Nioxin 1 scalp treatment.
AFTER-CARE:
I use a microfiber towel to squeeze the water out of my hair. I apply Moroccan Oil to the length of my hair and use my Mason Pearson natural bristle brush to distribute the treatment evenly. (My hair was getting quite tangly - but this boar bristle/oil combo keeps my hair straight and sleek for days!). I take 6 jumbo Velcro rollers and position them along my crown and let my hair air-dry. The Velcro rollers keep my roots volumised (this works even better if I use my Aveda volumizing tonic and a hairdryer - but I only do that for special occasions).
Weekly Treatments
I try to apply oil twice a week to my hair (in the morning on Shampoo-days - then I shower in the evening). Of course I can only do this if I'm staying at home for the day! I used to apply oil overnight, but I ended up breaking out on my forehead and the sides of my face - even if I covered my hair with a scarf. The Castor oil is to promote hair growth and the Coconut oil is to condition and prevent split ends.
Dietary Supplements:
Silica is supposed to be good for hair, skin, and nails. I've taken the orthosilic acid form before in Biosil - my nails grew stronger and it cleared up my skin, but it didn't increase hair growth. I'm now taking the mineral form of it - it is supposed to be more effective - but it tastes like you're drinking ground up chalk - yuck! I also take Omega 3-6-9 and Multi-vitamins with Folic Acid . I make berry smoothies with Vanilla protein powder a couple of times a week (I want to start having this everyday - it is a healthier alternative to iced coffees - and it provides antioxidants too! But I'll be honest, iced coffees are much more yummy!)
So that's my current hair routine. What are your hair goals? Do you use any special products or take any special supplements for your hair?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blogger Award - 7 things about me

The lovely Nuha over at Habibi tagged me with an award:
Rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. (okay - I cheated and only tagged 7!)
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about this award.

Here are 7 random things about me:
1) I've always been obsessed with fashion and beauty. As a teen in the nineties, my bedroom walls were plastered with pictures of supermodels. My favourite was Bridget Hall in the Ralph Lauren Safari ads - I wanted to look like her so bad - but I didn't have her pouty lips, highlighted hair or dusting of freckles! Luckily, as I've gotten older, I'm happy just looking like myself :-)


2) While we're still thinking about the 90s...I love Vanessa Paradis - she's well-known for being Johnny Depp's partner - but I've loved her ever since she released "Be My Baby" when I was in high school (video below). I recently watched her movie "L'Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker)" - it's SO funny - you have to watch it!

3) Other favourite movies of mine include: Clueless, Emma and Amelie


4) I love reading books - I read every day. One of my favourite books is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (the author of Anne of Green Gables). It's a simple story, but very uplifting and always manages to cheer me up! Another firm favourite is The Story Girl (which you can read for free on Project Gutenberg here!)



5) I've lived in 6 countries, in 3 continents. I feel lucky to have lived in so many different places, but I'm also happy to have finally settled down (fingers crossed!) in one place. It is lovely to expand your outlook by experiencing different cultures when you can - especially in your twenties. (One easy way of doing this is going on an exchange program through your university. I did my undergrad in Boston but spent one year in London)
6) I am obsessed with roses - a product only has to have the word rose in it's name - and I want to buy it (i.e. Chanel's khaki rose, jade rose, rose insolent, rose confidentiel - I could go on and on!). I love the smell of pure roses (not the cheap, synthetic "old lady" smell - but the ones derived from rose oil). I have rose attar, rose perfume - and I *LOVE* rose gold. Surprisingly, I'm not a huge fan of cut roses - sure, they're pretty, but they only last a few days and then they turn brown and die :-(

7) I love Flylady. I subscribe to her email digest, and whenever I feel unmotivated, I just read some of the emails, and I feel energised and ready to tidy up! I also get motivated by watching Home to Stay and seeing the amazing makeovers. When I finally buy a house, I want Peter Fallico to help me decorate it!

I award:
-Jiye at Pearls and Green Tea
-Lilly at Lilly's Style
-Dani at Call it Beauty
-Ashley at Ashley on the go
-Sandra at 15 steps, then a beauty blog
-Kim at  Kim's Vanity
-Another Kim at Dance As If No One is Watching

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Make-Up Collection (aka Why I shouldn't buy anymore in 2011)

I've been meaning to photograph my make-up collection for a while now. Partly because I wanted to share the pictures on this blog, but mainly for personal reasons. I feel like I own TOO much make-up, and photographing it helps me see what I own too much of - and what I still have room to buy.

My whole collection: Purple box - unopened make-up; Pink Caboodle - daily make-up; Pink Ikea box - make-up I don't use, but am not ready to throw away yet. The pictures below feature ALL the make-up in these boxes - not just the make-up I currently use.
Inside my caboodle: I like having all of my current make-up in one place. The caboodle is portable (so I can do my MU in any room) and easy to stow away - important features when you have young children!
FACE:
Foundation/Base: I mainly use my Everyday Minerals base (bottom left) or Dermablend liquid foundation (top center). I still haven't found my HG product - so I'm ok with buying/trying new items in this category.
Bronzer and Highlighters: I love highlighters - but I definitely own enough for now. My most used item is my Sephora shimmer brick (top left) - once I finish that, I can get more use out of my Dior Amber Diamond highlighter (bottom left).
Blush: I like corals, pinks and berries - and I have a sufficient selection of these colours.
Finishing powder/blotting paper:
EYES:
Shadows & gel liner: I know what I like - natural looking eyes with a hint of shimmer. I definitely have enough shadow to last me a while.
Liners: I exclusively use gel liners now - so the only products I use from here are my Benefit Eye Bright and Gilded pencils (the chunky ones). Still, pencil products can last a long time and don't take up much space, so I'm keeping these around in case I want to do a colourful eye (it does happen - maybe once or twice a year, with the right outfit!)
Mascara: I think I have the right amount of mascara - one waterproof one for humid days, and 3 others to experiment and layer with. I've only ever used drugstore mascara - so I bought the Dior Mascara Duo to see if it is worth the hype. But I'll only open it once I use up some of my current stash.
LIPS:
Liners and pencils: I mainly use only 1 of these liners (the darkest brown - sixth from the left). I do need a berry coloured liner to go with my favourite Barry M lipstick, but I'm making do for now.
Lipstick: I only like 5 of these lipsticks (the 3 Barry M ones on the left, and MAC Creme d'Nude and Angel).
Glosses: I have a lot - but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Still, I want to use up what I have before buying any more.
Looking through my stuff - it's safe to say that I have enough of EVERYTHING to last me this year. So I'm officially banning myself from buying any more make-up in 2011. The only 3 things that I'm allowed to buy are: foundation, a berry lip liner and Chanel nail polish.

Since I have multiples/samples of a lot of products, I've made myself a small emergency bag, just in case I have to go somewhere in a hurry. I was inspired by this post by BUBBLEGARM. My Emergency kit is the green bag, while the Hello Kitty one stays in my purse.
And although I have TOO much make-up, here's some make-up that I was given recently - and that I'm very grateful for.
Holiday set from The Body Shop: I won this on Listen to Lena - I'm most excited about the black glitter nail polish.
Barry M samples: I received these to review after posting about the Get Barry M into Canada facebook page (totally unexpected but SO appreciated!). I was hoping to buy the Rose lipstick on my last day in England (no Barry M at the Heathrow Boots - sob!) so I was ecstatic to receive this. I'm also excited to try the purple nail polish (a dupe for Chanel's Paradoxal).


So that's ALL my make-up! Do you think I have too much? Is there any product that I need to get? (Maybe primer!) Do you have a lot of make-up?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I love making NY resolutions - I use them as a guideline to refer to throughout the year. Last year's resolutions were blogged here. I think my two major achievements from 2010 were 1) Finally losing my baby weight (around 12 lbs) and keeping it off for 9 months and counting 2) Potty-training my twins - life is so much easier when you don't have to change diapers anymore! Some of this year's resolutions will be repeats - either I didn't get to them last year (driving lessons!) or they're on-going projects.

1) Perfect my posture. I'm not a slouch by any means, but I do think there is room for improvement. Outfits look so much better when you carry yourself properly. I think Kate Middleton has great posture - head high, shoulders back - she knows the drill!
Source: Just Jared.com
2) Get my skin cleared up. I'm on antibiotics at the moment, and my skin is gradually improving - although it's very dry. Once my acne is better, I'm going to keep my routine VERY simple - no fancy face washes or anti-aging serums - experimenting is NOT worth it when you have blemish-prone skin.
3) Do facial massages and facial exercises at least once a week to keep my face looking youthful - prevention is better than cure! I follow LouLou's exercises and Tanaka's massage (blogged about here and here)
4) Apply Coconut oil and Castor oil to my hair weekly. Castor oil promotes hair growth while Coconut oil conditions existing strands - alternating these treatments should help me grow my hair long and strong!
Jamaican Black Castor Oil 8 Oz
Dabur Vatika Hair Oil 300ml (Pack of 2 Bottles)

5) Maintain my current weight - continue to do cardio twice a week and add in yoga once a week. Focus on strengthening my core and tightening my mid-section. Keep eating healthy foods.
6) Buy less but better - Save enough for my dream Balenciaga bag this year. Buy less clothes and toys for my children so that they learn to appreciate what they have, and get good use out of it.
7) Spend quality time with hubby and my kiddies. Devote special time every day to give each person  individual attention. Life passes by so quickly and I want to make sure that I devote time to appreciating my blessings rather than taking them for granted.
 8) Be disciplined. Go to bed by midnight - keep the house tidy and under control - be very organised with paperwork and finances. All of these things are beneficial and easy to do - yet somehow they are not always done - so this is something I want to be very mindful of this year. Especially since my kiddies will start school in the fall - I need routines and schedules to make sure everything runs smoothly and happily.
9) Learn how to drive. I feel like I've left this too late - I grew up in an Asian country where employing drivers was the norm - University was spent in a closed campus, and then I moved to London - where I only ever needed the Underground (and of course, hubby would drive when we went out of town or grocery shopping). But I have no excuses left now (except that I'm scared to drive in the snow...) I have to learn...maybe if I had a pink car I'd be more motivated!
10) Research houses. Another thing I've been putting off. We'll hopefully buy a house either this year or next - I should start actively going for viewings - so that we know what is out there and can narrow down what we want/need.

Well - this ought to keep me busy for the rest of the year! Do you make resolutions? What is your top resolution for this year?

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