Natural Beauty is a big thing and something I’m keen to embrace. But do some of these DIY ingredients from your cupboard natural beauty tricks work? This week I tested adding cocoa powder to your shampoo as a way to darken brunette hair.
The biggest challange I found was finding the right container to mix your shampoo and cocoa powder in. Other than that it was business as usual. I put the cocoa powder shampoo in my hair and washed it out just like normal shampoo. Although I did leave it in for 5 minutes whereas normal shampoo I would have washed out sooner. Then I conditioned and dried my hair as usual.
I didn’t find the cocoa powder shampoo made much difference and the slight tint only lasted a couple of days. But for a very natural looking alternative, this one is subtle, doesn’t leave the hair dry or feeling clogged up and it smells great.
A quick look at some of my favourite products to wear this month.
Foundation: L’Oréal Infallible 24HR Matte
Brows: Benefit Gimme Brow
Eyeshadow: Chi Chi Palettes
Lip Balm: Hurraw
Lipstick: Chanel (high end) Rimmel (drugstore)
Product on my most wanted list: Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream
I wanted to dye my hair pink, but wanted to test the colour suited me before going for something more permanent, so this looked like a good option.
I initially hesitated because the colour they showed on the box didn’t really look that cotton candy to me, but ultimately I decided to give it a go because hey, we only live once.
On opening the bottle, I found the liquid inside was a dark pink (you can also see this when you spray the colour on your hands, so make sure to wear gloves).
I chose to apply this by standing in the shower with old black clothes on and a full length mirror leaning against the glass. The reason I did this was because it is much easier to wash down the shower walls than it is the bathroom walls.
I applied the spray to my glove and them rubbed it into my hair. I found it was hard to really get a good coverage on a couple of bits and it was very time consuming compared to a cream product to apply all over the hair.
After it was dry, I fully expected the colour on the box based on previous experience with their sprays but instead I got a dark purple/pink colour.
Day 1 Day 2
I left this in my hair for two days, but your hair gets quite strawlike so I washed it out on the second day. A bit of colour had faded on the second day and after washing it only a very light layer of colour was left. After another was three days later most of this disappeared too and the tiny bit left the wash after.
After 1 Wash After 2 Washes
I would use it again for a night out then wash it out the next morning.
We’ve all had that problem where we have the pretty but tiny clutch bag and more make up than can fit in it or that beauty problem but no product on hand to fix it. Here are 6 make up cheats to help minimize to the most useful products when you can’t take your whole make up bag.
- Have a nude eyeshadow palette in your handbag. This can act as an eyeshadow, a face contour, a concealer and with a little lip balm and lip gloss when you’re short on space in your handbag.
- Lipstick doesn’t just have to be for lips, it can also make an emergency blush/bronzer if a shade of red, pink or brown.
- Carry around pawpaw ointment, it can be lip balm, soothe skin irritations, burns and wounds and help act as a barrier to prevent things such as chafing. If you’re not a fan of pawpaw ointment, there are everything type balms which companies such as Lush and Antipodes have also released.
- Carry a clear nail polish in your handbag or even better a product such as Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails. It can act as a nail polish, nail glue and prevent holes in clothes and ladders in stocking from growing any bigger if painted over the frayed fabric.
- Tinted lip balm is useful to carry around if you want a more natural colour or don’t have space for both lip balm and lipstick in your bag.
- Eyeliner, mascara, concealer and a lipstick can become concealer/foundation, lipstick/blush, eyeliner/eyeshadow and mascara/brow mascara.
I love finding drugstore makeup that performs like high end makeup. But I also love finding ‘cheap’ makeup that lasts like good quality drugstore makeup. So here are my top 3 finds:
Miki: Miki is often found for under $5. Their top performing product would be their nail polishes, which last just as well as any drugstore nail polish but for a cheaper price. They also do a blush and bronzer that competes with the Maybelline Fit Me range. Miki’s eyeliner formula could use some work though.
Essence: I love Chi Chi eyeliners; they were my go to until I discovered Essence which does almost identical looking eyeliners for a quarter of the price. Essence does a variety of other great eye products too. However, Chi Chi’s eyeshadow range is better and Chi Chi also has a lipstick range with superior lasting powder and better foundation choices.
LA Girl: LA Girl has a fantastic range of eyeshadow palettes and gel eyeliners. They also have some great lip choices too. They are a couple of dollars dearer than Miki or Essence but still cheaper than typical drugstore brands and probably the biggest competition.
There are some things that I prefer to get from a particular brand and some things these cheaper brands have yet to try (like contouring palettes). But certain products these brands produce are already make the more expensive alternatives look unattractive.
Microfiber cloths seem to be the ‘it’ cleaning cloth these days for your kitchen bench through to your car. But a few weeks ago I came across a new way microfiber cloths are being used – as a makeup remover. They claim to be able to remove all your makeup with just the cloth and water, so naturally I had to give it a go.
I run the cloth under the tap and get the whole thing damp, then I start by rubbing the cloth around my face, removing my makeup off most of my face before targeting the eyes and the lips with a clean corner of the cloth. I do this because these areas often have more colour and product build up. And surprisingly, all the makeup came off, with possibly a tiny bit left on the closest corner to the under eye if using lots of eyeliner and mascara.
Now I hate makeup removers as a general rule. I find them either far too harsh or if they’re gentle enough on my skin they cost far more than they should. So being a pro-organic skincare kind of person, I’ve been using certified rosehip oil as a makeup remover/face oil/anti-aging oil. It’s a great multi-purpose oil and also does a good job of removing my makeup, but can still be a little uncomfortable at the edge of the eye.
So what I like about the microfiber cloth is that there aren’t any products that can irritate the eye. It’s also great for travelling because all you need is water. It’s also perfect for the lazy person who can’t be bothered with a night time skincare routine where you remove your makeup then cleanse, tone etc. I don’t however go along with the idea that the microfiber cloth is a replacement for cleansing and exfoliating. The microfiber cloth is essentially a flannel that works more effectively. After removing your makeup, you should still your usual skincare routine of at least cleansing and moisturising. Cleansing removes excess dirt oils and any makeup the cloth may have missed, while moisturising rehydrates the skin. Using toners, serums and exfoliators are also a good way to further look after your skin, depending on your skin type and condition.
Parabens: Parabens would be the most well-known dangerous ingredient. Parabens are a class of commonly used preservatives used to make your make up last longer. While the purpose for parabens is extremely useful. They have estrogen mimicking properties and have been found in some cancerous breast tissue, making some scientists question if there is a link between parabens and breast cancer. But no definite conclusions have been reached.
Fragrance: On the backs of cosmetic products they often state fragrance is an ingredient but don’t specify what ingredients are in the fragrance. The concern with this is that some fragrances have been found to be associated with concerns such as allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
Phthalates: Phthalates are often found in fragrance (but not always listed), nail polish, deodorants, hairsprays, lotions and moisturizers. They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
- Contouring & Highlighting
If you want to contour and highlight your face, you can use the burn tool and the dodge tool. The burn tool will add shadows while the dodge tool will create highlighting. Just make sure the opacity is under 20% to make the look more natural.
Does your eyeliner look faded in photos? Give it a boost with the burn tool.
- Washed Out
If you feel your photo looks washed out, give it a boost by increasing the temperature, saturation and contrast. Just play with the levels until you get the desired effect. You can also decrease the temperature if you feel the lighting is too yellow.
- Uneven Skin Tone/Wrinkles
If you have uneven skin tone or wrinkles, you may be able to hide these by using the cloning tool. This tool allows you to select an area of the photograph and duplicate it in another area of the photograph. It is best to use a small brush to create a more natural effect. You may also have to re-select your cloned area many times as the tool often deviates from what you have selected.
- Bigger Boobs
Did you know you can make your boobs look bigger in Photoshop? Just use the liquify tool.
I love Calvin Klein’s Reveal perfume. I first tried it in 2014 at Debenhams where they had a Calvin Klein booth set up by the door. We took photos in this photo booth with a wind machine (they looked awful and have since been hidden in the photo album cupboard, never to be seen again). Then we both got given a lovely little goodie bag that had two 1.2ml sample fragrance bottles and a 30ml body lotion.
Since then, the Reveal fragrance both in both its perfume and lotion form has become one of my go to fragrances. Whenever I smell it, it reminds me of that day in London, which was a pretty spectacular day and just makes me pretty darn happy whenever I smell it. What I don’t like about the full sized bottles is that the silver lid can get a bit brassy looking and you also have to make sure you’ve put the bottle down on the flat side not a curved side since they all look kind of the same. The full sized bottle comes in 30ml and 50ml that I’ve seen.
The fragrance itself has salt and pepper top notes, iris and ambergris as middle notes and sandalwood, cashmeran, vetiver and musk as bottom notes.
The body lotion and the perfume both smell very similar, although the lotion doesn’t have that chemical type smell that perfumes always seem to have, so the scent translates well across products. Interestingly, the perfume is made in France and the lotion in Monaco.
Usually, I prefer a fruity/floral type fragrance, but this fragrance does seem to blend particularly well into my skin and has a more sexy/sensual type fragrance than the more feminine perfumes I wear. It’s also not too heavy on the musk, which makes it appeal more to me as I’m not a huge fan of musk. But because it doesn’t have a hugely feminine feel to it, it does easily complement the Reveal cologne for Men. Calvin Klein fragrances often seem to have the complementing male and female versions and these two complement each other well.
I was asked recently what lipstick I would pick if I had to wear one lipstick for the rest of my life, and it got me to thinking, I wear so many lipsticks in a huge range of shades, from budget brands to top of the line brands. So which one would I pick if I could only pick one?
I narrowed it down to my light pink Essence lipstick, which is cute, feminine and subtle and to my bright pink/red Chi Chi lipstick. But ultimately, for me the winner had to be a classic red. I think a classic red adds drama, colour and class. And you also can wear it with a nude eye to a bold smoky eye.
I have tried a lot of red lipsticks and there are plenty of good ones out there, but my favourite would be Chanel’s Rouge Coco Lipstick in the shade Gabrielle. This is an expensive choice however, so for great cheaper option, Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick also does a lovely red.
So could you survive on only one lipstick?