Sunday, October 25, 2009

How I acheive my Braidouts!

Last week I decided to do a braidout on my hair. A braidout is a low manipulation wavy/curly style that is great for any hair whether it's relaxed, natural, or in the transitioning phase. I enjoy braidouts on my relaxed hair because it is a nice alternative to straight hair and it gives me a more "natural" look. If you are looking for a new style, the braidout is easy, non expensive, versatile, and beautiful. There are many different ways to create the "look," however, I am going to share how I like to do my braidouts and the technique that works best for me.

What you need:

  • A comb for detangling
  • A moisturizing leave-in conditioner
  • Small perm rods
  • Damp hair
The technique:
I always do my braidouts on freshly washed hair while it is still damp because I like a more defined curl. You can do your braidouts on dry hair if you desire a looser wave.

1. After rinsing out my conditioner, I detangle my hair using a shower comb and apply Silk Elements Moisturizing Leave-in conditioner.

2. Next, I part my hair with my fingers into block like sections (I avoid parting with combs because I do not desire a manufactured look. I like for my braidouts to look natural, therefore I like "messy" parts). I've found that about 10 plats is enough to acheive the look that I like...medium sized defined curls.

3. Then I proceed to plat my hair down to the ends and roll the ends with small perm rods. Some people like to cornrow their hair when doing braidouts, but I have found that plats work better for me, especially on damp hair to avoid unnecessary breakage. I leave the plats in overnight and sleep with a satin bonnet.

4. The next morning, I take my plats down and use a hair pick to pick my roots in order to get rid of the parts and to add volume to my hair.

That is all there is to it! As far as daily maintainence, I am sure to scrunch in a moisturizer and oil as a sealent in the mornings, and I sleep with a silk bonnet on at night. The braidout worn down usually lasts me 3 days before it becomes frizzy. Once the frizz begins, I start wearing my hair up in a clip with headbands for style, creating a cute crinkly updo!

This style is not only a great look, but it is also healthy for your hair because it does not require you to comb or manipulate your hair for days aiding is less breakage. I love it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Smashbox Makeup Review

After running low on my Mac sheer pressed powder and concealer that I had been noticing was becoming too dark for my complexion, I decided to give Smashbox makeup a shot and purchased the travel sized set (perfect for someone new to Smashbox) from Ulta last week for $49. The set includes the brand's Photo Finish Foundation Primer, High Definition Foundation, High Definition Concealer, and Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder. I noticed there were four sets to choose from based on complexion-- Fair, Light, Medium, and Dark. I purchased the Dark kit. I don't believe a set has been created for those with a deeper complexion just yet, however I was informed by a Smashbox Rep that they are indeed working on foundation for those with deeper skin tones.

I must say, I was impressed with this kit simply because it includes four of what I consider to be MUST HAVE products, and you are able to mix and match the products for different "looks." For an example, for a fresh and clean look, you can use the primer, foundation and concealer. If you were more interested in a complete finish, you would use all four of the products provided in the kit. If you are only wanting minimal coverage, you can use just the primer and the concealer. I love the idea of choice!

So down to the nitty gritty. About the products:

Photo Finish Primer extends makeup wear, fills in fine lines and pores, and creates smoother looking skin. I personally noticed that the primer provides me with a more "matte" finish after applying my makeup, which is something really important to me when dealing with an oily "T" zone.

High Definition Foundation provides medium to full coverage depending on how much you decide to use. It is oil free and contains SPF 15. I'm all about protecting my skin!

High Definition Concealer covers those imperfections and dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. I honestly like Mac's concealer more because it seems to cover better. This particular concealer is more of a liquid and just does not apply as well as my beloved Mac.

Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder provides a wonderful radiant finish and is not dry like other powders as it provides all-day moisturization (without leaving you oily) which is great for skin! It also is said to minimize signs of aging. I believe the powder is my favorite product in the set because I can use it with the foundation or without and it looks great either way. It is the best item in this kit for smoothing out my complexion.

Over all I give these four Smashbox products a 4 out of 5. I like that it offers full and minimal coverage, it doesn't leave me looking "ashy," and it blends well. I can enjoy a matte finish without my skin becoming overly dry. I love love LOVE the primer and powder, and I'm satisfied with the foundation. I just don't care for the concealer because I'm used to Mac's better coverage. The rest of the products however, are definitely worth trying!