Beauty Brunch: Bath and Beyond

 

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A couple weeks ago I asked Sam to pick up a new body wash for me at the store. Here is what he came home with. I think he did pretty well, don’t you?

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Sand, water, salt and wind. Summer obviously calls for constant manis, pedis, and pampering. Detox baths are relaxing, rejuvenating and according to some, even help weight-loss. I have 4 recipes for you today, enjoy!

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Cleopatra’s Scrub and Bath

For the bath:
1/4 gallon of milk
1/2 cup of honey

For the scrub:
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sea salt

Apply scrub, keep on for 10-15 minutes, rinse. Add milk and honey mix to the tub, soak for 20-25 minutes.

Hollywood Bath

1 egg
1/2 cup bodywash
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients and add to the bath. Soak for 20-25 minutes.

Baking Soda Bath

1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Salt

No food or drink 2 hours prior/after this bath! Soak for no more than 10 minutes. Rest for 40 minutes after.

Rose Petal Bath

Few drops of Rose Essential oil
1/4 gallon of milk
Rose petals

Soak for 20-25 minutes.

And while you are taking your beauty bath, don’t forget about your hair! These are a few of the hair masks I’ve been using lately.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the L’Oreal ones ($5.99 each at Target), they both work great on my color treated hair, leaving it soft and shiny. Arvazallia product was already featured on my blog, so make sure to read the review here!

What hair products have you been using lately?

Thanks for tuning in to another beauty brunch! Have a great week!

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My Summer Look: Pretty Nails, Pretty Legs

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This #MySummerLook shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. my-summer-look It’s easy to lose yourself in the busy season known as summer. After a 6 month long winter here in Minnesota, summers are full of fun, plans, and almost no time to myself. But it’s still important to keep it pretty! Pretty nails, pretty hair, pretty legs! If you follow me on Instagram you probably know that I just got another balayage! The second one turned out even better than the first. So now that I got my hair taken care of, I decided to spend sometime on my legs and nails. When it comes to buying beauty products, Target is my top choice. Living in Minnesota has it’s perks. Target is everywhere, and it’s so conveniently located, that I can walk there, when the weather is nice (which is also dangerous ;) ). I love the beauty stands there, they are always so original and well put together, that I can get all my products in one place. target-summer-look-products   So after another successful trip to Target, I spent some me time on my deck, painting my nails, listening to Spotify and drawing inspiration from fashion magazines. This summer one of my goals is mastering nail art, and Sally Hansen products, especially their nail art kit, are perfect for that. I picked a lot of “nature” colors this time. Greens, blues, maybe because they reflect how I feel, or maybe because I want to be closer to nature, create a simple, easy look. summer-nail-trends summer-passtime And then I simply enjoyed my “me-time”, browsed social media, sipping my citrus water. how-to-be-skinny minneapolis-fashion-blogger And of course I didn’t leave the store without my favorite sunscreen products. I once got a sunburn canoeing. Can you guess where the sunburn was? On the back of my legs! Because out of all the places, I didn’t put it on there. And when sun reflected off of the canoe bottom, it burnt me pretty bed. So never again, thought I. Sunscreen has been a major essential since then. Between sailing, and being outside for work with the kids, I go through sunscreen every 2-4 weeks, and the regular kind just doesn’t do. I like the moisturizing kind, the one that leaves my legs feeling soft and smelling good. While the spray comes in very handy on the boat.

And finally I have some great news for you! There is an Instagram contest with $2,250 in Target gift cards to help you get your summer ready look. Look for the #MySummerLook hashtag and follow the conversation. How to enter (June 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM (midnight) Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on July 10, 2014 at 11:59:59 PM ET):

  • 1) SNAP – take a picture of you getting summer ready
  • 2) TAG – use #MySummerLook (and on Twitter @SummerReadyLook)
  • 3) POST – post to Instagram or Twitter

Good luck, and don’t forget to tell me what’s your summer look like?

Arvazallia Hair Products Review


arvazallia-hair-care arvazallia-hydrating-oil-mask arvazallia-premium-argan-oil-hair-treatment I have been loving my new hair cut, and the balayage I got a couple months ago, but it’s summer now, and my hair needs an extra UMPF! So in my attempts to beef it up, I have been searching for new hair products, that would help it. That’s when I came across Arvazallia (or they came across me on Brand Backer). Today I am going to share my tips and reviews on these two products: Premium Argan Oil Hair Treatment and Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask Before I even started using the products, the brand representative filled me in on how to use them. That was so helpful, since sometimes, there are many ways of using one product, but there is not enough room to list it on the packaging.

Premium Argan Oil Hair Treatment

• Makes frizzy and difficult hair Soft, Silky, and Easier to Manage
• Awakens dull hair by giving it a Magnificent Shine
• Nourishes, Restores, and Strengthens over-processed, damaged, and brittle hair
• Residue-free oil Absorbs Quickly and Leaves Hair Feeling Light and Smelling Great
• Moisturizes dry scalp and Protects from harmful UV rays
• Heat Protectant that protects your hair from damage caused by hair irons
• Enhances color treatments to ensure an even application

This is a very versatile treatment that can be used many ways. We recommend to get the maximum results for your hair that you apply it to damp or towel-dried hair and then reapplying after styling. 

Step 1: Pump 2-4 pumps of oil into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together.

Step 2: Run your fingers through your hair working the oil throughout your hair beginning from the root and working outward towards the ends. If you have naturally oily scalp or longer hair, you can apply from mid-length downward and then work your way up towards the roots.

Step 3: Allow your hair to air dry or you can blow dry your hair and style as usual. Because of the detangling effects of the oil it helps to improve drying time. It also acts as a heat protectant and helps protect your hair from heat damage when blow drying or using hair irons.

Step 4: After you’ve finished drying and styling your hair, apply another 1-2 pumps of oil using the same process to control loose out of place hair and to further condition your hair and give it a beautiful and radiant shine.

My experience: This is a great smelling product in beautiful packaging. I also feel like I don’t have to use as much of it. It’s often hard to remember to use a small amount of product for me. I tend to overuse everything.

Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask

• Deeply Conditions, Hydrates, and Moisturizes Hair Giving it a Soft and Silky Texture
• Repairs, Restores, and Strengthens weak, damaged, and over-processed hair
• Revives Dull and Dry Hair Improving its Manageability and Elasticity and giving it a Beautiful Shine
• Nourishes Hair with the Highest Quality Cosmetic Grade Argan Oil Rich in Essential Vitamins and Nutrients 
• Protects and Shields Hair from Damage Caused by Heat Styling

How to apply: Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Mask should be used in place of your hair conditioner. Apply a generous amount of the mask to clean shampooed hair that is still damp or lightly towel-dried. Comb the treatment through your hair to allow it to be evenly distributed throughout your hair. Allow it to absorb into your hair for 5 to 7 minutes and then thoroughly rinse the mask from your hair. Next style your hair as usual.
How often to use: Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Mask should only be used 1-2 times per week.

Maximizing Your Results: For deeper conditioning, restoration, and to further improve manageability and shine following the mask treatment, apply 1-3 pumps of Arvazallia Premium Argan Oil Hair Treatment to your hair after styling.

For Thick or Coarse Hair: For very thick or coarse hair you can add and mix in 2-4 Pumps of Arvazallia Premium Argan Oil Hair Treatment to the Mask prior to applying it to further improve manageability, elasticity, and shine. My experience: I love using this mask in place of my conditioner. Once again, it helps me not to overuse products. I keep a plastic wide tooth comb (I got from Gift with Purchase at Estee Lauder) in my bathroom just for that. Overall these products are definitely benefiting my hair. And if I were to pick a favorite, I wouldn’t be able to do that, because both of them are now an essential part of my hair care routine.  The biggest downside for me though is that these products are made in China. I searched my stash high and low and only found one other product (out of hundreds) that is made there as well.

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Hask Hair Care {Beautiful Friday}

Hask-Keratin-Protien-Hair-Care-Line

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How serious are you about your hair? What about your hair care? 

For a couple years I took a break from coloring, and chemically treating my hair. I was on an all-natural streak, grew out my real color. Basically all I did to my hair was get it cut every 8 weeks.

But this year the goal is to think of/treat my hair more as an accessory, while still taking good care of it. No matter how short I cut it, or what new color I choose to dye it, I want it to look healthy, shiny and rich.

I’ve been using Hask products for a while. My favorite is the Henna ‘n’ Placenta conditioning treatment. But the new lines of products they’ve recently come out with are extremely appealing. I can see a lot of new favorites being added to my stash in the nearest future.

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Hask-Hair-Care-Product-Review

I’ve been able to get my hands on Keratin and Argan Oil lines. Since I’ve already tried shampoo/conditioner with Argan oil (even though it was a different brand), I was more curious about testing the Keratin line first. Of course the results after only a couple washes aren’t that visible, but I really want to draw your attention to the oil treatments. Since hair oils are an essential part of my routine, I was extremely excited for these. And they didn’t disappoint. My hair was smooth, shiny and non-greasy!

Here is a little more info on the new lines from Hask:

Argan 
Also known as “liquid gold,” Argan Oil is a precious, time-honored beauty secret in its native Morocco. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, Argan Oil from Morocco repairs, strengthens and moisturizes hair, all while taming frizz and adding shine. 

Keratin
Keratin revives, restores, calms and strengthens parched, frizzy locks—wiping out the effects of heat, humidity and over-styling and helping your hair look and feel its best. 

Do you use hair oils? What are some of your favorite kinds/brands/DIY recipes? Please share, I’d love to hear what works for you!

Hask-Argan-Oil-Hair-Care-Line

Disclosure: The products shown and reviewed in this post have been provided by BrandBacker.com, the opinions are 100% my own.

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How Often Do You Wash Your Hair?

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My best friend Kat will tell you that you can wash your hair once every two weeks and get away with it! The girl lives off of dry shampoo. Other than being my best friend, she is also an editorial stylist and colorist in New York. She’s done numerous fashion week shows, photo shoots, and everything else you can think of! She is also the one who transformed my hair, and probably changed it’s fate forever.

The best advice she’s given me was washing my hair less. I’ve heard it before, and I always thought to myself – I could never do it. Well, I’ve only washed my hair twice in the past 14 days, so I can say I am doing it! I guess it was all about seeing it, and seeing is believing!

So let me show you the products that I use, and we’ll go from there!

HairCareProducts HairCareProductsAndTools

As you can see my tools and my products are anything but fancy, with an exception for maybe my Hana flat iron. And what is it that you see in the back there? That’s right – CORNSTARCH, it’s become my secret weapon (I have tried baby powder and flour, but I will definitely recommend cornstarch first, then baby powder, with flour being your last resort!)

Last week I took a picture of my hair every day. I washed my hair on Monday, and then again on Sunday (due to the St Jude Red Carpet for the Cure event, otherwise I would’ve waited another day!) And this is how it looked:

HairCareDay1 HaircareDay2 HaircareDay3 Haircareday4 HaircareDay5 HaircareDay6

After I took the last photo, I put in a deep conditioning DIY oil treatment, left it on for an hour, and then headed for the shower. I don’t use any store bought masks or treatments, coconut oil has been my go to for the past few years. I like mixing it with olive oil, which makes it easier to wash out. Plus I add a few drops of rosemary essential oil for the scent and it’s hair growth qualities.

HairOilTreatment

So what’s it like washing my hair only once a week?

  • It’s different.
  • I still shower on a regular basis!
  • It’s important to remember NOT to touch your hair or scratch your scalp.
  • I have finally found the use for cornstarch.
  • My hair is so much easier to manage and style than before.

And here are some things that I personally don’t really care about:

  • I don’t care about how much money I save on shampoo/conditioner. I am doing Project Use Up = No New Makeup/HairCare for a year – that should tell you something about me, right?
  • My hair doesn’t feel healthier. Come on – it’s been bleached and I curl or straighten it at least couple times a week.
  • I take an herbal supplement for my hair, which is rich in vitamin B, and while it’s nice, I don’t see any changes, other than it turns my pee bright yellow!

The main reason why I am doing this, is to break the habit of constantly washing my hair. Making it easier to style, and thinking about it more than an accessory. I like my hair short, I liked it long too, don’t get me wrong, but the new cut, the new look, it’s given me so much confidence! I was tired of long hair, and I found myself in a situation where it controlled me. So I took control of the situation!

So now, spill the beans – How often do you wash your hair?

Z

PS. Guess what? We made it to hump day! And tomorrow is Thrift Style Thursday! So don’t forget to tune in!

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New Season, New Shampoo, NaTu Haircare Review

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“Switch up your shampoo and conditioner with the season” – is the advice I keep hearing. And for once I have actually followed it. If you know me, you know that I like to buy in bulk, or a bottle so large, it will last me, for at least 8-9 months. That’s what happened to all these guys:

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MInd you, there is still product left in all these bottles!

So what made me switch? What did NaTu do? Well, the first thing they did was send me full size products and not samples, like I expected. And that alone made me realize that I can do a full on, complete, 360 review!

Here is what NaTu sent me:

Professional Colorist Shampoo, 250 ml/8.4 oz

Professional Colorist Conditioner 250 ml/8.4 oz

Volumizing Mist 90 ml/3 oz

And we all just learned how many ml per oz, didn’t we? ;)

What they also sent me was the Glossary of Ingredients and all I can say is that it’s the most informative little booklet I’ve seen in months! They really are giving us the facts here and not “faking” naturals like a lot of brands seem to do these days.

The very first time I washed my hair with the shampoo I immediately noticed that it didn’t lather up as well as my old shampoo that contains SLS. It reminded me of the Whole Foods brand shampoo that I used back when I lived in New York. But that was just the first use. I haven’t had any problems lathering it up since. The conditioner works great, and of course I am using it up faster than the shampoo, that’s my life.

The natural smell reminds me of Aveda, which Minnesota is known for. But it’s not as strong, though will stay on your hair all day, unless you use a different hair product. Since I air dry my hair most of the time, I do end up smelling like NaTu for the rest of the day, and so far, no one has complained :)

Now about the volumizing mist – I am in love! I have tried a lot of products and since I shout about my fine hair from the roof tops, let me give a shout out to this product – It is worth your buck! Have you seen my latest posts? Pay attention to my hair!

Here is my verdict – I love it, it is good for your hair and scalp. As for the wallet? The three products together are $54 so it’s up for you to decide. But I’ll be honest, I’ve tried so many products from Suave to Fekkai to Khiels, and this one definitely stands out. My final advice – if you are not sure about the shampoo/conditioner combo, at least try the volumizing mist!

Check out NaTu Website for more products, details, prices, etc.

Happy Shampooing!

Zhenya

Disclosure: The products have been provided to me at no cost by NaTu. The opinions and images are my own. 


{Bare Love Hair} Luxury Hair Fuel Review

Hair is every woman’s pride and joy! And today I’m going to share with you one of my newly discovered secrets. A product by Bare Love Hair – Luxury Hair Fuel.

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Luxury Hair Fuel is hair and scalp treatment that is supposed to help rid hair of dullness and dryness and if used on the scalp, it prevents flaking and dryness.
There are two different ways you can use this product:
- applying it to towel dry hair prior to styling,
- massaging it into the scalp prior to shampooing.
And all you need is one pump!
Since my hair has been rather dry this summer, due to spending a lot of time outside in the sun, I thought this was a perfect product for me to try!
Surprisingly, one pump is enough, and two is too much! Trust me, you don’t want to overdo it, even if you have long hair, you’ll end up with greasy locks and that never looks attractive.
The good:
- it’s an all-natural blend of skin-compatible oils,
- it moisturizers and adds shine,
- smells beautifully,
- helps control frizz and defines hair’s natural curl
- it’s made with a unique OlioLove Technology that is exclusive to the brand.
The bad:
- it’s pricey $28 for 1 oz,
- the pump spits at you when you are trying to get the product out and squirts all over the place, which leads to product waste,
- your hair will look greasy if you do two or more pumps.

PicMonkey Collage

 

Stay tuned for more “hair” posts to come!

Xx,

Z

Disclosure: This was a complimentary product sent by Lotus Leaf Communications, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

New Hair, I do Care!

Saturday I had my first experience getting my hair done at the Aveda school. It’s located in North East Minneapolis, right behind St. Anthony Main. And they have not one, but TWO parking lots!

I kind of knew what I was getting myself into. Back when I lived in New York, the woman I worked for used to get her hair done at Aveda school, it was super cheap, but took forever.

It’s also been forever since my last hair cut in September:

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So 9 am there I was at the Aveda school. Here is how it all works:

You call a number and make an appointment.

On the day when you are supposed to go you show up there wait in line.

You will also sign a waiver saying you realize that your hair is going to be treated by students. 

If you’ve signed up for any sort of color services, they do a skin test behind your ear.

Then you simply sit there and wait for your name to be called.

I loved my long hair though, and definitely didn’t want to lose more than 1 inch! I was also getting highlights. Sam has been asking me to go blond for a long time now. And I finally gave in.

So when I came home looking like this:

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… he said I wasn’t his wife :)

So what are the pros and cons of getting your hair done by a student?

Pros:

1. The price: It’s cheap, I only paid $46 for the cut, a blowout and partial foils.

2. They are very attentive. I loved the lady who did my hair, she was an older woman from Vietnam, and told me stories from when she just moved to the States in the 80′s. Plus I got a back rub and a hand massage!

Cons:

1. It takes forever, there is some paperwork they need to fill out, and show the teachers. I was in the chair for 4 hours, during which about an hour was just sitting around, and my husband kept wondering why it was taking so long!

2. You never know who you are going to get. There are a lot of students, and it’s a cat in the bag for them and for you.

3. They are kind of pushy when it comes to Aveda products. I’ve used Aveda before and it’s really not all that natural as they make it sound. Just make sure to say no, when you need to!

In the end, I was happy with my cut and color. One of the teachers came and fixed my hair, because apparently it was longer on one side, but overall I had a pretty enjoyable experience and will definitely consider going back there!

Hope you all had a great weekend! It sure snowed here a lot!

Zhenya

Essential Oils, Essential in My Life

Today I wanted to talk a little about essential oils, and how to use them in your everyday life. When you say essential oils, a lot of people think – Aromatherapy. And yes, those oils are used first and foremost in this area of body care. But being the freak of nature that I am, I can’t last through a massage session. Ask my best friend, she will tell you all about my giggles and twitches!

 

How do I use essential oils in aromatherapy? I simply add them to the water that I pour into my humidifier, so it turns into an air refreshner as well! I use peppermint or tea tree oils to increase productivity (I work from home, and we all know how lazy one can sometimes get), lemon when I want to freshen up the air in the room, and lavender when I want to sleep well at night.

This is a very safe and easy way to use essential oils, and you only need a few drops of whatever oil you choose. So for the frugal person inside of all of us – Essential oils last a very long time, definitely worth the buck. I just wanted to brag that in Russia Essential Oils are a lot a lot cheaper than in the US, so if you get a chance, or if you know someone, ask them to bring you oils from there.

How do I use Essential Oils in body care? Those of you who know me, know about my frugal side, and the fact that I don’t like spending extra, unless I have to. In my personal opinion mouthwashes are a waste of money, unless you buy in bulk, which I don’t do. Now I have nothing against the American Mouthwashes (Crest and Act will always be my favorites), but in Russia mouthwash is extremely overpriced, and honestly – not worth it! So I created my own. I saved a bottle from one of the mouthwashes, you could also use a glass jar, or a plastic water bottle (but those bottles can’t be used for over 2 weeks, so be careful!), poured some water into it (can be tap if you have clean water, or filtered, water from the fridge is good!) and added 7 drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil. The best mouthwash I’ve used in years, cheap too. A great option for those of you living in countries, where good brands aren’t available. I even got my mom hooked on it :) !

A lot of people say that Orange Essential Oil helps fight cellulite, but I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know. In my opinion the two things that fight cellulite the best are: Workouts and Healthy Food!

How do I use Essential oils in Hair care? I have recently come across some great articles on www.livestrong.com A great resource for everyone, who wants to make their life healthier and use natural products. I followed some of their advice on hair care. First one was about adding lavender oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You will need about 30 drops per bottle. I use a very big Nexxus bottle, I believe it’s 14 oz, and I have less than 1/4 left, so I used about 15 drops or so. Why lavender oil? It triggers hair growth. And I am trying to outgrow my hair for the wedding! Rosemary oil is also used for that exact same purpose. I will share a recipe that I use for my hair, a little modified from the one I read on www.livestrong.com. You will need one cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 30 drops of rosemary oil and cold water. I poured all the ingredients into a spray bottle (you can buy one or save one from a hair care treatment, or whatever you have that has a little sprayer on top) apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil first, and the rest of the bottle – filled with water. I use it every night on my roots. Spraying and rubbing in every night before bed! The mix works magically, love love love it! But the smell, oh the smell… Don’t worry it washes away just fine. Just remember – you have to do it religiously!

And finally Skin Care! I had a lot of skin problems. “My skin looks like @#$% !” was my usual expression. The problem is – I had both black heads and under skin acne or cysts. Those weren’t only ugly, but also extremely painful. The essential oils I used to treat my cysts in particular were – tea tree oil and rosemary oil. Rosemary worked better! Way better! I used Atlantic Cedar oil to treat blackheads. It worked alright, but I am not the fan of the smell!

Important Facts to Remember:

- It’s important to remember never to use pure oil directly on your skin (I wouldn’t break this rule, but I have used pure Rosemary oil on my face, and the result was outstanding. I wouldn’t use pure oils on my scalp or along the hairline.)

- Make sure you close the bottles tightly, keep them away from direct sunlight, and heat.

- Be careful when you buy essential oils, they need to come in glass jars, not plastic bottles!

- Always read the instructions!