You have to be odd
to be number one.
Dr. Seuss

Friday, October 25, 2013

Everyday Haircare Routine

I always feel undeservedly lucky when it comes to my hair. Of all my girly morning rituals, I invest the least amount of time and energy into hair care, but always manage to have it looking healthy and presentable for the most part. Although half of the ease of caring for my hair is due to my Asian heritage, there are a few things I do to keep my locks healthy and happy that I think some of you struggling with damaged hair would find helpful. I often get asked questions such as what do I do to care for my hair? or how do I get my hair to grow fast? Today I'm sharing with you my everyday hair care routine, which is pretty much all I do to maintain my hair and get it to grow at the rate it's growing (but to be fair, sometimes this just comes down to the person/ethnicity).

Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm not too fussy with shampoo and conditioner. I think the most important thing to remember is just to get products for your specific hair type. In my case, I never get shampoos that say 'For Dry, Damaged Hair' because I have quite oily roots and normal ends. I made the mistake of doing this once and ended up with greasy hair just a few hours after showering - not a good look. Personally, I find shampoos and conditioners from the drugstore to be just fine for general, everyday use and I tend to mix it up and try new things. Right now I use the Live Clean Green Earth shampoo and L'oreal EverCreme nourishing conditioner. I'm on my third bottle of the Live Clean shampoo and it's been my favourite for a few years now. It smells absolutely amazing, lathers well, and gives such a deep cleanse which I find is key to keeping my roots grease-less for longer; as a bonus it is 100% organic!

Once a week I use the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (applied after shampooing, skip the conditioner) to give my hair a good pick-me-up! I did a full review on this on my blog so you can check that out if you want a detailed breakdown, but essentially this product is wonderful for hydrating and injecting life into dull, dry, lifeless hair. It smells incredible and works amazingly; I can't recommend it enough! Once again, I avoid the roots when applying this, as it can be too heavy for that area, and just concentrate the product from the mid-shaft to the ends of my hair, let that sink in for 7 minutes before rinsing off.

Post-Shower Care
After towel-drying my hair, I spritz in some detangler - my current favourite is the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Conditioning Spray - then use a wet comb to comb my hair out. I highly recommend adding this combination step if into your haircare routine if you don't already; I truly believe that it makes a tremendous difference in minimizing the breakage and split ends in my hair.

Everyday Styling
I get a lot of general questions about how to get long hair, soft hair, strong hair, etc. My number one recommendation (and this will come as no surprise to anyone) would be to cut down, minimize, or eliminate heat styling from your routine. As much as a lot of girls won't want to hear it, it is probably what will produce the biggest change in the health of your hair.

On most days, I allow my hair to air dry naturally. To be honest, half the reason I do this is because I find it a complete hassle to blow dry my hair - it's loud and noisy and it takes a while so I just can't be bothered! I also do not heat style on most days. I will typically leave my hair how it is after it has dried naturally, which is straight (but not sleek straight) with a teensy bit of volume.

The only actual "styling" I do that happens semi-often is a bit of a tousled, messy bed head look. All I do is squirt a dime-sized amount of Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine onto my palm, rub my hands together and run this through my hair. Super easy and no heat required! I have also done a full review of this product so you can look for that on my blog archive.

That is pretty much it for my everyday haircare routine. I would say my routine is very minimal and basic. I really like to give my hair breathability by not using a lot of product on it on an everyday basis, and I do think this routine facilitates healthy growth of hair. Of course, regular trims and cuts are also recommended. Anyways, I hope this post helped if you were looking for some haircare tips or just some new products to incorporate into your everyday haircare routine.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Daisies | A Nail Tutorial

It's been autumn for a while now but it wasn't until recently that the leaves started to fall and change colour, and the temperatures took a dip. Now here we are, back in the season of cozy knits and burgundy, and I'm totally ready to embrace it; but before it's gone for good here's one last goodbye to warm sunny days... in the form of these super cute daisy nails! I saw different variations of these by Lily (whatihearttoday) and Caroline (burkatron) and thought it would make the perfect first foray into real nail art with a dotting tool and all. It looks really complicated but it wasn't that difficult at all. I would just recommend having tons of time and patience. :) 

Here's how I got my daisy nails:

First off, you'll need:
A light blue nail polish | Essie Bikini So Teeny
A while nail polish | Sally Hansen White On
A yellow nail polish | Unknown

Your choice of top coat | Sally Hansen InstaDri

A dotting tool
Nail polish remover
Some cotton rounds

1. Paint on coats of your favourite light blue nail polish until you get nice, opaque colour. Let that dry for a few minutes.

2. Take some white nail polish onto a scrap piece of paper or a paper plate, and with the small end of your dotting tool, dip it into the polish and onto your fingernail to form the flowers. 

  • Start by creating the 'skeleton' of your flower: Pretend you are going to draw a star and dot on 5 dots on where the corners would be. Then add a 6th dot in the middle.
  • Then simply connect the dots and fill in your 'skeleton'.
  • You'll notice that polish will start to dry and build up on the dotting tool, so have a cotton round with nail polish remover poured on at the ready just to clean your dotting tool periodically.
This is the most challenging part but it doesn't have to be totally perfect! The overall look will still be super cute! Sporadically paint these flowers on all of your nails - you can decide how many go on one nail but I recommend really filling them in as much as you can.

3. If after painting your nails, there are a lot of weird gaps or holes, you can fill in the spaces but just dotting on a few polka dots wherever you please.

4. Take some yellow nail polish onto your scrap piece of paper, and with the same end of the dotting tool dot in the centres of your flowers. This will really complete those daisy flowers and pull the whole nail art together!

5. Whack on some top coat and you're done!

That's it! I hope you enjoyed this nail art tutorial. It's super cute and fun to do on a day when you're just chilling or watching TV. I've done this on myself twice already: once while watching an episode of Breaking Bad, and the second time reading my Plant Biology textbook (hence, the background). Anyways, s'all for now!
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