Tried & True: Remedy for a dry, itchy scalp

This time of year my scalp gets itchy…I have eczema on my scalp that is often flared up in the humid weather (lovely, right?) I know I’m not alone when it comes to an itchy and/or dry scalp…that’s why I want to share this tried & true remedy. I wrote a post over a year ago about another shampoo that also works for these same ‘ailments.’ But the one I’m sharing today is a more natural product and works WONDERS. I use it a couple times a week in the summer and it does the trick.

What: Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo

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I usually pick up at Whole Foods for ~$12. My first bottle has lasted well over six months. It has a noticeable, menthol smell. I find it cooling but it definitely stays on your hair so I typically follow with a nourishing conditioner to cover up the smell as best as possible and moisturize my hair a bit more because this shampoo doesn’t really do that. Hopefully, someome else can benefit by this dry scalp remedy! Please share any tips, tricks, or products you may have!

Product description on site: This laboratory-tested, gentle cleanser stops dandruff while controlling scalp dermatitis and mild psoriasis. Featuring our unique combination of FDA compliant dandruff-control ingredients plus nourishing essential oils of Rosemary, Olive and Jojoba, this medicated cleanser soothes, heals and moisturizes while it eliminates flakes and itchiness. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) rebalances and conditions the scalp to prevent future dandruff.

Tried & True: super cheap DRY SHAMPOO!

While visiting NYC this weekend, I realized this tried & true post is a long time coming. I’ll set the stage…I washed, blow dried, and curled my hair on Wednesday morning…it was kind of a stretch to expect it to hold up until Friday night – but it did. It was almost unheard of to allow it to go another day – but alas, I had no choice. We rolled out of bed Saturday AM, went shopping, and suddenly it was 4pm and we had to cab it back to where we were staying, change, freshen up, and then make it to dinner across town by 6pm. I had no choice but to employ the use of DRY SHAMPOO for the 3rd day in a row. I had my doubts…but again, this amazing product helped me pull through sans greasy hair. And I danced the night away with a nice do’ all-Saturday-night-long.

And this is when I realized I must share this product with EVERYONE (who cares).

I’ve tried quite a few brands – some that are $20 a bottle…after much testing, the absolute BEST is by SAUVE. Believe it or not, whether it’s the texture or how it sprays on your hair, this brand works the best. I like that Sauve doesn’t flatten my hair/weigh it down. And it’s <$3 a bottle at most stores (I’ve seen it at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart etc.)!!! For more info on Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray  <—click on the link

Sauve Dry Shampoo - the bomb

Sauve Dry Shampoo – the bomb

Direction on how to apply dry shampoo – well, at least how I do it:

When you can use:

  • You’re heading out after work and your hair is flat/potentially greasy from the day – dry shampoo moment
  • You just woke up and don’t have time to wash/dry your hair before work – dry shampoo moment
  • It’s Sunday, you’re too tired to shower, the mall closes at 6pm and you want to go shopping but not look greasy – dry shampoo moment
  • You want to create an up-do and just-washed hair is too soft for your hair to stay up – well, leave it for a day and just use the dry shampoo to freshen your locks before styling

How to apply:

  • You really don’t need to brush your hair first, but you can – especially if it’s knotted. I usually don’t brush too hard because I don’t want to spread any oils throughout my hair
  • Get your bottle of spray shampoo – and I hold a couple inches away from my head and spray along the hair line (i.e. around forehead, side-burn area, and usually all around to the back of my neck). I also spray on the very top of my head / along the part line
  • Now, tousle your hair – mix it in…sometimes I use a tissue if I feel like I need to pick up any dry shampoo residue
  • brush lightly, style, and GOOOOO!

Do you use dry shampoo? what kind? hate it or love it?

Tried & True: hall-of-fame worthy eyeliners

Awhile back I posted about two eyeliners – one considered a ‘steal’ the other a ‘splurge.’ I stand by these two as great liners – but recently, I decided there are two other liners in my ‘collection’ that deserve an upgrade to tried & true status.

With the holidays here and all those fun parties to attend – most ladies are willing to dress it up a little more than usual…this is why I want to highlight these liners. One is a liquid, the other is a pencil but goes on smooth and thicker than typical pencils. Both are awesome, stay-put (i.e. waterproof) liners that can create a more dramatic look – perfect for holiday parties or events. I will add, they’re not just for dress-up, I wear these to work – typically one swipe and I’ll stick to the top lid only or layer a nude shadow* over the line – for a more polished/professional look.

*A great shadow to layer on top of a liner to tone it down or to use as a base to brighten the eye area is:  Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in BONE ($21 Nordstrom, Sephora.com etc.) this is a matte shadow – no shimmer, which is GOOD because it doesn’t make you appear too shiny/glimmery for day-time. As much as I like shimmer (in the right places), I remind myself that too much around the eyes can create a shiny effect in photographs, which doesn’t always look good (think, greasy). Something to keep in my this time of year when people are snapping annual family/friend photos!

Liner #1:

Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($20 @ Sephora)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (featured in ‘jet black’)

If you want a liner that WILL not run or smudge…and I really mean it – get this. This is truly a wear-all-day liner…and it goes on smooth, the fine tip makes it super easy to get as thin or thick of a line as you want. I use ‘chocolate brown’ – I’ll draw a thicker line on my top lid typically making the line thicker towards the outer corner of my lid for an eye-opening effect, while I’ll sweep very lightly under my bottom lashes just to get a bit of color. Sweat, cry, get stuck (or should I say lucky?) making out in a rain storm…your liner will not run if you use this one!

Liner #2:

YSL (Yves Saint Laurent) dessin du regard waterproof – long-lasting waterproof eye pencil ($29 @ Sephora)

YSL long-lasting waterproof eye pencil (featured in ‘plum brown’)

I love this liner – it goes on thick so I usually have to apply lightly.  I was introduced to this liner by a woman who works at the Dior make-up counter – yup, that’s right, think about it… – she was using Dior EXCEPT for the liner, she pulled this out of her case and told me it is her GO TO regardless. This felt like a pretty legit endorsement! The line is super smooth and reminds me more of a liquid. It has very good staying power. I use ‘plum brown’ or ‘deep brown’ – ‘plum brown’ being my favorite because the purple hue is known to make the gold flecks in hazel eyes POP.  I feel fancy when I use this liner- perhaps because it’s a whopping $30 BUT it lasts because it needs minimal sharpening (I typically like it to have a dull tip so I can draw a thicker line and blend with my lash line). Overall, a great liner – the thickness and color of the pencil is like no other pencil I’ve ever used.

I keep both of these liners in my make-up bag. Both are on the splurge side but deliver on quality – they have strong color and staying power. Neither runs out quickly – which is huge when you’re splurging on a make-up product.

Side note: I saw a write up on this (below) liner and it looks SUPER FUN for the Holidays – NYE specifically! I’ve never tried but I’m tempted to use the ‘midnight cowboy’ color for the holidays. It’s called: Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner ($18 @ Sephora)  The sparkle looks so fun…and it comes in a bunch of bright colors -blue, green, purple etc. (that you could coordinate nicely with a NYE dress?? or cute pair of heels?!)

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Line (featured in ‘pale pink’)

Do you have a favorite liner? please share! 🙂

Tried & True: COCONUT OIL (read me!)

A few months back I was talking to my sister about ‘natural’ skin care products…she mentioned that she uses Coconut Oil every night on her face and neck. After this conversation, it seemed like Coconut Oil and its many benefits kept popping up. Finally, I gave into my curiosity and went to Whole Foods (my safe haven for truly ‘natural’ and high quality products) to get some Coconut Oil and try it out for myself. While I was there, one of the employees helped educate me on what to look for when buying Coconut Oil – she told me to look for 2 key things on the label (she also told me she uses it all over her body and for cooking!):

  • ORGANIC/Non-GMO: Organic certification lets you know the coconuts were grown as naturally as possible with no pesticides, artificial fertilizers or food additives. If you want 100% natural coconut oil, then this is what you should look for when you buy coconut oil

AND

  • COLD or EXPELLER PRESSED VIRGIN: This is also referred to as Expeller-pressed. This is one of the best ways to make virgin coconut oil since it doesn’t use solvents or chemicals to extract the oil from the coconut meat. When buying coconut oil, make sure to look for a product that’s cold-pressed

There are many different brands of Coconut Oil – and with that, many different labels and methods for production. However, if you make sure you look for these 2 key criteria, you will be buying the right quality Coconut Oil. In terms of where to buy, I’d recommend a natural food store such as Whole Foods. This is where I got mine, in the vitamin and supplement section, it is the Whole Foods 365 brand. Here is the exact one I use – I love this tub!!!:

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If you’ve read or heard anything about Coconut Oil – it seems to have many benefits and uses from hair/skin care to aiding in weight loss and proper digestion and metabolism. It can be consumed (in other words, used for cooking/as an ingredient) or used topically on the body for a variety of benefits. I have yet to cook with Coconut Oil but it can be used as a substitute for butter in some recipes and I know people who put it into smoothies or protein drinks (in small quantities!)

For me, I was most intrigued by the idea that Coconut Oil can be used on the skin…my initial thoughts were…OIL on my skin? That sounds like a break out situation. Am I going to be a shiny mess? But the more I read up on Coconut Oil – the better I felt about using it on my skin – the main benefits are linked to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid and the antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, properties of Coconut Oil.

So, I tried Coconut Oil over the course of a week and here are a few highlights:

  • You don’t need to refrigerate. It is an ‘oil’ but if kept at room temperature, it should stay in a congealed form which makes it easy to scoop up and apply. It is super smooth and spread easily
    • Beware: in warmer months, store in a cool place otherwise, it will liquefy which makes it really difficult to apply to the skin without making a mess
  • Depending on the size of the area you want to cover, you only need a small blob of Coconut Oil
    • For example, for my face, I use a dime size blob. It should sink into the skin within a few minutes, but if not, or if I accidentally apply to much, I swipe off the excess with a tissue
  • When first applied, it does leave a noticeable sheen on my skin…my technique is to give it a few minutes to sink in…then, should it still feel or look too greasy, I tissue some of it off…the key is, give it some time to sink in before applying anything else (i.e. make up/foundation or clothing)
    • If you’re scared of the sheen effect, apply at night and it’ll sink into your skin during the night
  • It has a very light, if non-existent scent. It’s natural so clearly it has no added perfume – perfumes can be really irritating to the skin
  • The brand of Coconut Oil I bought is approx. $11 and depending how often you use it/how much you use, it will last for months. My lasts about 3 months – I use it everyday all over my face and body. So, it is very affordable! This is big for me because I’ve bought $20 tubes of fancy a$$ body lotion that last 3 weeks max., BOOoo!

Overall, this is how I feel about using Coconut Oil as a skincare product –

  • Although I was nervous to put an ‘oil’ on my skin, especially my face – I found Coconut Oil actually helps me avoid break outs…you can attribute this to the antibacterial properties. I have broken out LESS since I’ve used it
  • It is an excellent moisturizer, it goes on smooth and my skin feels supple after using it. I’ve noticed a difference in my complexion over the course of a couple of weeks. I’ve never really seen such noticeable results before with other products and I’ve purchased some fancy face creams that make big promises!
  • It doesn’t irritate my skin – it actually has the opposite effect because I’ve applied to my eczema (which tends to break out right under my nose) and it calms the itching and takes away the dry, flakey skin
  • I use it on my face AND I mix a few globs with body lotion and apply it all over my body…and I love it. Adding Coconut Oil to my body lotion makes it a bit greasier when I first apply, so I tend to let myself air dry or a throw on a pair of PJs while I do my make up so that the excess can soak into my skin. My skin looks and feels healthier
  • Oh and, IT’S NATURAL! Paraben free…chemical free! Which is fantastic. It makes me feel good that I’m using something without additives…we encounter so many chemicals during the day, it’s good to know there are natural, healthier options that actually work

Point blank, I now use it every day on my face and body.

My Coconut Oil regimen in the morning is, if you’re curious – shower, towel dry, wash/tone my face – then apply a small amount of Coconut Oil to my face. Next, scoop a good chunk of Coconut Oil from the container, then pump a couple of squirts of (paraben free!) lotion into my palm and mix the two together. Then, I apply all over legs, arms, stomach, etc. Let sit…sometimes I put a comfy pair of PJs back on and eat my breakfast or start blow drying my hair (typically 10 minutes). Then, I apply my regular face moisturizer which has an SPF and do my make-up…and get dressed. Boom, done.

Overall, I would recommend Coconut Oil to anyone looking for a natural face/body moisturizer. If you have any more specific questions, just let me know! I could go on and on about this stuff 🙂

Sources: organicfacts.net; Whole Foods

Tried & True: Covergirl Lipslick

A lot of us have that one make up or product we’ve used for years…

One such item for me is: Covergirl Lipslicks Lipgloss* in Cutie

The tried & true CG...this thing has been through war with me

I have literally used this since high school…and keep it in my purse at all times. It costs less than <$5 at CVS (link below to find on drugstore.com).

Cutie is a neutral color – I use it year round. It looks good on a variety of skins tones – I know, because it has been successfully shared over the years (how many times do we borrow each other’s lip glosses at the bar? Germy or not, sometimes you have to do it)

I took the above picture of my CG Cutie gloss while out to dinner the other night…I was trying to show that I use cosmetics/products available at a variety of price points. I am willing to pay more for better quality…but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy, and continue to purchase high quality products that also happen to cost much less. My goal is to share a variety of products, at a range of price points…it all comes back to the quality. I also like to share paraben free/healthier alternative products when I find something good.

This gloss is a great go-to, and won’t break the bank.

Do you have a ‘go to’ beauty product that you’ve used for years? If so, please share!

*for reference, this gloss, it is not paraben free