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The Best of 2018

December 06, 2018

I'm a huge BEAUTYBLENDER fan. I've purchased all but one product in the lineup and have yet to be disappointed. The beautyblender cosmetic sponge is available in two sizes - original and micro.mini. The smaller beautyblender is one-quarter the size of the original and perfect for blending makeup in small areas. The beautyblender is also available in a variety of colors - green, black, blue, nude, white, gray and shades of pink. 

The lineup also includes innovative tools and cleansers. Liquid Blendercleanser, Blendercleanser Solid and Instaclean Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray all do a great job cleaning your cosmetic sponge. I use the solid while traveling - it comes in a plastic case and has a custom grid for drying. The liquid is my favorite. A little goes a long way and the scent is refreshing. The Instaclean Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray is for quick removal of surface stains, so you get true-to-color application. It's like dry shampoo for your beautyblender. 

BEAUTYBLENDER also has Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation (haven't tried this one yet), Blender Defender Beautyblender Protective Case (LOVE this - great for travel), Liner.Designer Pro (for perfect eye liner application) and the Power Pocket Puff (a double-sided puff used for powder formulas). I'm awarding BEAUTYBLENDER Outstanding Makeup Tools of 2018.


The Best Eye-Care Award goes to Lumify Redness Relief Eye Drops. These eye drops selectively target redness for whiter, brighter eyes. The unique formulation targets redness, while still allowing oxygen and nutrition to the eye, eliminating the risk of re-bound redness. 

This stuff is AMAZING! It starts working within one minute and last for hours. Bausch + Lomb claims it lasts up to 8 hours. It doesn't last that long for me, but I'm sure each person is unique. Albeit, the bottle is small, so you can take it everywhere and apply the drops on an as needed basis. The downside to the small bottle is that it doesn’t last long. Here's where my product hoarding, cosmetic junkie quirk benefits me - after the first application and miraculous transformation, I purchased five bottles (just in case it sells out).


Another amazing anti- redness solution - It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting cream. I have 'officially' (nothing I declare is really official) branded this product the 'anti-redness warpaint'. If you have Rosacea or hyper pigmentation, this stuff is going to change your life. 

Bye Bye Redness by IT Cosmetics deserves the Bye Bye Redness Award. It's kind of a foundation, primer and cream in one. Bye Bye Redness is thick, has a silky texture and gives you super full-coverage. This product is smooth, goes on like a primer (similar to Colorscience primers), and has a tinge of green (to combat redness). Apply to your cheeks, nose and forehead, and blend outwards. AND little goes a long way. 


I know I've exhausted the Sol de Janeiro lineup and posted too many reviews, BUT I'm addicted and had to award the BUM BUM Body Cream and Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter Best Nourishing Products of 2018

The pistachio-caramel scent of Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is delicious! The scent is strong, but sweet and intriguing. The cream is super-nourishing and has a slight shimmer that gives your skin a subtle glow. 


Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter is one of my favorite lip balms - I have one in my bathroom, one at my computer and one in my handbag! The light, creamy texture is nourishing and the tube is BIG, so it will last a long time. This super-hydrating lip balm is a must have.


I'm a Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil super-fan and have tried a ridiculous number of other shampoos and conditioners, but always go back to Bb. Not this time - Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner have landed a permanent spot in my haircare routine. 


The No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner have a subtle, delicious coconut citrus scent. The combination of these two haircare products will leave your hair feeling soft and super-nourished. Olaplex, please accept my Superior Haircare Award


This twist-up, crayon-like Bb. color stick is the perfect root touch-up product and worthy of the Quick Fix Award. I hate when my roots show, and admittedly, I have three grays (that I can see)! I dye my hair every three weeks, so my roots are maintained. I do however have very fine hair, and this color stick is great for filling in sparse areas. Just glide the twist-up pencil along your hair for perfect coverage. 


The Beauty From Within Award goes to SkinnyMint Tea. The two-step detox program is comprised of 28 day teas and 14 night teas (for every second night). The creators of SkinnyMint Tea have carefully curated all-natural ingredients that compliment each other. The 'food synergy' is potent. 

The Morning Boost contains green tea (the list of green tea benefits goes on and on..), Yurba Mate to curb your appetite and boost your metabolism, Nettle Leaves are a natural diuretic, Dandelion for digestions and Guarana fruit for cleaning. The fruity flavor is light and delicious. I'm addicted! 

The Night Cleanse Tea has anti-bloating Ginger Root, Orange Leaves to aid with sleep, Senna Leaves are a natural laxative, Peppermint for digestive and colic relief, Licorice Root as an antacid, Hawthorn Berries for anti-anxiety and the natural laxative Psyllium Husk. Each of these all-natural ingredients have additional benefits. This ingredient combination is super-cleansing. 
Print view|Tags: The Best of 2018, BEAUTYBLENDER, Liquid Blendercleanser, Blendercleanser Solid and Instaclean Sponge, Brush Cleansing Spray, Lumify Redness Relief Eye Drops, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting cream, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter, Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, Bb. color stick, SkinnyMint Tea, Best Makeup Tools of 2018, Best Eye-Care Award 2018, Best Anti-Redness Cream of 2018, cover your rosacea 2018, Best Nourishing Products of 2018, Superior Haircare Award 2018, Quick Fix Award 2018, Bloggers favorite products 2018, beauty blogger cosmetic awards 2018

The Best of 2018

December 06, 2018
I'm a huge BEAUTYBLENDER fan. I've purchased all but one product in the lineup and have yet to be disappointed. The beautyblender cosmetic sponge is available in two sizes - original and...

Olaplex Bond Maintenance

July 24, 2018

Yeah, it's been two years and I'm still goin' on about my botched hair job. I'm scarred for life!

May 17, 2017 (re-post). It's been almost a year since my traumatic and altogether unsuccessful hair transformation. They all (the many hairstylists) said it will take six months to recover my hair. I've been obsessively treating, cutting and babying my strands - Still, eleven months and counting.. Hair grows (it's a fact), but repairing severely damaged hair takes time - Oh, and lots of products. I'm embarrassed to say how much I've spent on hair repair solutions and vitamins. 

Initially, I was skeptical of Olaplex and didn't have great things to say about this preventative treatment. The stylist who took my hair from black to orange to green to greenish-gray-yellow-blonde (YUP, thats what I ended up with), said Olaplex would protect my hair from the bleach and there would be little damage. NOT TRUE! Clearly this stylist overestimated the treatment and was 'possibly' misinformed. I was still under the impression that Olaplex would repair my hair. I used Olaplex one, two and three for a few months after, but didn't feel like my hair was getting better, so I discontinued the treatments. 

Some time later my new stylist explained that Olaplex is a preventive treatment, and not a hair repair solution. She said regular applications would keep my hair from being further damaged. I got back on the Olaplex-wagon. Along with intense hydrating masks and vitamins, my hair 'slowly' started to grow. My stylist includes Olaplex step-one in my color solution. After rinsing the color, Olaplex step-two is applied. In between salon visits, I use Olaplex step-three (just once). Admittedly, I've been converted and am a fan of this hair-care product. 

I'm sure it was a combination of many hair repair products, but so many people think Olaplex is a miracle treatment, that I'm inclined to give this bond multiplier, bond protector and hair protector credit for my healthy, shiny hair.


I was excited when I saw Olaplex Shampoo & Conditioner at Sephora. I'm a Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil super-fan and have tried a ridiculous number of other shampoos and conditioners, but always go back to Bb. Not this time - Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner have landed a permanent spot in my haircare routine. 

The No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo has a refreshing citrus scent. I think I smell a slight coconut scent in there too - it reminds of Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil shampoo and conditioner. The scent is kinda strong and lingers. The shampoo lathers like crazy. I used my usual dollop and had suds running down my face, neck and back. I suggest starting with a small amount. Typically, if I go three days without washing my hair, I have to shampoo twice, but with Olaplex Bond Maintenance Shampoo, one wash is sufficient. 


The No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner has a similar scent, but less intense and kinda creamy (fitting, considering it's nourishing cream for your hair). This stuff is thick and a little goes a long way. I usually use IGK Prenup Instant Spray Hair Mask after Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, but it's not necessary with Olaplex conditioner. This creamy product is super-nourishing and leaves my hair feeling soft. After using Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, drying and styling, my hair does feel heavier than usual, but knowing that I'm repairing my hair once a week, is worth the weight. I'm a fan!


Olaplex products are kinda pricey, but you don't need a lot of shampoo or conditioner each time you wash. I think these bottles will last me months (washing once a week). I do suggest you alternate shampoo and conditioner brands. This nourishing treatment may be a little heavy for regular use.

You can purchase the Olaplex Salon Intro Kit - it includes the No.1 (step 1) Bond Multiplier, No.2 (step 2) Bond Perfector and No.3 (step 3) Hair Perfector. You an also purchase No.3 in a 100 ml bottle for more frequent use. 

If you have damaged hair, or just want to give your hair some extra love once and a while, I highly recommend Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner. The repairing shampoo and super-moisturizing conditioner will leave your hair feeling soft, shiny and healthy.
Print view|Tags: Olaplex, Olaplex Bond Maintenance, Olaplex Shampoo & Conditioner, Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Conditioner, hair repair, best shampoo for damaged hair, repair your damaged hair, healthy hair routine, best hair repair 2018

Olaplex Bond Maintenance

July 24, 2018
Yeah, it's been two years and I'm still goin' on about my botched hair job. I'm scarred for life!May 17, 2017 (re-post). It's been almost a year since my traumatic and altogether unsuccessful hair...

Gentle, Rich & Nourishing

October 02, 2017


It's been fifteen months, and I'm still recovering from my botched hair-dye job! Imma spare you the rant and just say, I tried to go from black to blonde and it was a total fail. In the process of repairing my strands, I've spent countless dollars on masks, and the famed Olaplex. In the past few months, I finally feel like my hair has come to a point where hydrating masks and repair products are no longer necessary - it's all about letting my hair grow now..  

I do however like to boost my strands moisture once a week with super nourishing Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo and Rich Conditioner. The shampoo gently cleanses, hydrates and leaves your hair silky and shiny. The Rich conditioner restores luster and bounce. These products combined leave your hair feeling super-nourished and crazy soft. 



Bumble and Bumble just released another amazing hair product -  Prêt-à-powder Très Invisible (nourishing) Dry Shampoo. If you're a Bb fan you know that the original Prêt-à-powder is equal parts dry shampoo, style extender and volumizer. The original comes in a powder format, smells nice and absorbs oil quickly. The powder is tricky though - you gotta make sure it's absorbed and not visible (especially on dark colored hair). In comes the new and improved Prêt-à-powder Dry Shampoo. It cleanses roots and extends your style. It is practically invisible and nourishes your hair. The scent is strong, but diminishes quickly. I'd rather the original powder scent in the new Prêt-à-powder dry shampoo, but Bumble and Bumble didn't consult me on the one! LOVE this product. 
Print view|Tags: Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo, Bumble and Bumble Rich Conditioner, dry hair, repair your dry hair, best hydrating shampoo, best hydrating conditioner, Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-powder Très Invisible nourishing dry shampoo

Gentle, Rich & Nourishing

October 02, 2017
It's been fifteen months, and I'm still recovering from my botched hair-dye job! Imma spare you the rant and just say, I tried to go from black to blonde and it was a total fail. In the process...

Hair Repair

May 17, 2017

It's been almost a year since my traumatic and altogether unsuccessful hair transformation. They all (the many hairstylists) said it will take six months to recover my hair. I've been obsessively treating, cutting and babying my strands - Still, eleven months and counting.. Hair grows (it's a fact), but repairing severely damaged hair takes time - Oh, and lots of products. I'm embarrassed to say how much I've spent on hair repair solutions and vitamins. 

Initially, I was skeptical of Olaplex and didn't have great things to say about this preventative treatment. The stylist who took my hair from black to orange to green to greenish-gray-yellow-blonde (YUP, thats what I ended up with), said Olaplex would protect my hair from the bleach and there would be little damage. NOT TRUE! Clearly this stylist overestimated the treatment and was 'possibly' misinformed. I was still under the impression that Olaplex would repair my hair. I used Olaplex one, two and three for a few months after, but didn't feel like my hair was getting better, so I discontinued the treatments. 

Some time later my new stylist explained that Olaplex is a preventive treatment, and not a hair repair solution. She said regular applications would keep my hair from being further damaged. I got back on the Olaplex-wagon. Along with intense hydrating masks and vitamins, my hair 'slowly' started to grow. My stylist includes Olaplex step-one in my color solution. After rinsing the color, Olaplex step-two is applied. In between salon visits, I use Olaplex step-three (just once). Admittedly, I've been converted and am a fan of this hair-care product.

  
Nutrients support hairs strength, resulting in less breakage and thus healthier strands. Vitamins you should look for in a vitamin blend - A, B, C, D, K, Biotin, Keratin (your hair is made up of keratin protein), Folic Acid, Iron, Niacin, Magnesium, Protein, Zinc.. Not to mention minerals and oils that support healthy hair. Viviscal Hair Growth Vitamins are comprised of vitamins and minerals your hair needs. This supplement gets great reviews, many dermatologists sell or recommend these vitamins, and from my experience IT WORKS! I've been taking these vitamins for about six months. I'm terrible at taking vitamins regularly, but my sporadic vitamin-popping has still made a difference. 

Viviscal vitamin supplements contain Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Niacin, Horsetail Extract, Millet Seed Extract and the exclusive marine complex AminoMar (shark cartilage and Oyster Extract Powder). there are a few essential vitamins missing, but if it works, who cares. Six months of intense hydrating masks, Olaplex treatments and Viviscal supplements has made my hair stronger, a little thicker (I have baby hairs), and healthier. 

WARNING - Don't trust a stylist that says Olaplex is a miracle treatment that will take your hair from black to blonde in weeks. Below are pics of my disastrous transformation. After days in the salon, fried strands and painful lesions on my scalp, I went back to black. I couldn't settle for greenish-gray-yellow-blonde, and further bleaching was not an option. 


Original posts - See August 2016.
 
Print view|Tags: repair damaged hair, best products for damaged hair, Olaplex, Olaplex step-one, Olaplex step-two, Olaplex step-three, Viviscal, want healthy hair, botched hair bleaching job, going blonde, things you should know about dying your hair blonde, strengthen your hair, hair vitamins, promote hair growth, healthy hair, best hair supplement

Hair Repair

May 17, 2017
It's been almost a year since my traumatic and altogether unsuccessful hair transformation. They all (the many hairstylists) said it will take six months to recover my hair. I've been obsessively...

Back to Black (again)

August 05, 2016
The damage was irreversible and getting worse, so I went back to black (again). I couldn't handle the greenish blonde, gray roots and orange ends, and another coat of bleach would've completely destroyed my hair. The first black dye job didn't take and I had to go back one week later for another. After just one wash, the color diminished and the greenish/blonde was visible again (pictured here). 

During the first month post botched, bleaching job, I lost a lot of hair in the shower, while styling my hair (I was super gentle with the blow-dryer and absolutely no straightener), and while sleeping. There was hair all over my house! My hair is broken half way and even down to one inch in length in some areas. It feels like slime when I wash it and despite the two Olaplex treatments (one, two and three), I don't see a significant improvement. 

I had to consider a new hair style, cause my straw-like do was terrible. I went to Miami to see my long-time, AMAZING stylist for treatments and a cut. The hair on the top of my head and at the front was more destroyed than the back and had to be chopped off. I was hoping for the Alexa Chung style, but it didn't work with my face, so we cut bangs. 

My stylist in Miami suggested Kérastase Bain Force Architecte shampoo, Kérastase Resistance Cement Anit-usure Strengthening Anti-breakage Cream, Bumble and Bumble Mending Complex and Bumble and Bumble Repair. 

I was harping on Olaplex bad and explained how I was loosing so much hair and saw no improvement. He says Olaplex does work and links the broken bonds in your hair, but mine was so damaged that only time and proper care would repair it. My stylist said that it may not seem like the Olaplex is helping, but maybe if I hadn't been using it, my hair would be in worse condition - I can't imagine it being worse than this! 

I'm no hair specialist, but from my experience I'm gonna say that Olaplex may work and link the broken bonds in your hair caused by chemical treatments, but there are limits. Olaplex can't immediately repair damage caused by hair bleach and will not maintain your hair through 5+ applications of bleach. Hair stylists may be able to push the envelope further, but Olaplex is not a miracle treatment and won't maintain the integrity of your hair if you push the bleaching process too far. Unfortunately, I've learned this the hard way. The stylists who bleached my hair went too far and greatly compromised the integrity of my hair. For details on my botched, bleaching job see below..
Print view|Tags: Olaplex, does Olaplex work, Kérastasse Bain Force Architecte shampoo, Kérastase Resistance Cement Anit-usure Strengthening Anti-breakage Cream, Bumble and Bumble Mending Complex and Bumble and Bumble Repair, Back to Black (again), damaged hair from bleaching, bleaching hair, black hair to blonde hair, botched bleaching job, bad hair bleaching experience, JOSS Hair and Beauty Amsterdam, JOSS hair and beauty salon, broken hair from bleach

Back to Black (again)

August 05, 2016
The damage was irreversible and getting worse, so I went back to black (again). I couldn't handle the greenish blonde, gray roots and orange ends, and another coat of bleach would've completely...

Botched Bleach Job

August 03, 2016
While laying in bed perusing the Internet for a hairstyle to mask the damage from my recent salon experience, I can feel my face heating up (rosacea - theres no hiding when I'm mad). I gotta get out of bed and tell you about my botched, bleaching experience. Imma try to keep it short, but it's been tragic watching my hair deteriorate and I have a lot to bitch about!

I wanna start by saying, I'm no stranger to bleaching my hair. I tried to go from black to blonde last year. My stylist at the time insisted we take it slow and after two rounds (four weeks apart), I decided to go back to black. I didn't like the in-between, warm shades. There was minimal damage to my hair - it was dry for a few weeks, but the integrity of my hair remained strong. My recent bleaching experience was very different..

My stylist was on vacation, so I booked an appointment with the salon owner. She started off with her thirty-second elevator pitch and I gotta say, I was impressed. She had decades of experience and was operating out of her second salon. Y'all know I have color-treated, black hair. At the time it was short, very healthy, and super shiny. The salon owner asked if I'd consider lightening my hair and I explained the experience I had one year prior (see video on the blog). She said there is a new product called 'Olaplex', that will allow a stylist to bleach the clients hair many times without comprising the integrity of the hair. She claimed that I could go from black to blonde in one day and my hair would remain healthy. 

I went home and researched Olaplex. There is not one bad review on this stuff. I bought into the hype and three weeks later was ready to bleach the shit out of my hair! I'd had black hair long enough and the trendy silver/blonde shade was a much-needed change. Eight weeks later, I realize that these reviews are not entirely true - Imma call it 'photoshopped' reviews. They ommit the 'hair drama' and 'time-lapse', to produce a dramatic hair transformation and promote their expertise. 

My stylist was back in the salon and hesitant to make me silver/blonde, but the salon owner was there to mentor and seemed confident. The first bleach was on the ends, the second bleaching went from root to ends and the third was a purple colored bleach to combat the orange. At this time, my head is burning, we're all tired and my stylist says it's enough for today. I was in shock - they expected me to walk around for one week with bright 'leeloo' hair?! To add salt to my wounds, I had a birthday dinner to attend that weekend. FUCK! 

The following morning, I woke up and felt crusty blobs in my hair. After further examination, I realized I had many burns on my scalp that had secreted and clumped in my hair throughout the night. Not pleasant. Oh and it's been eight weeks and the wound (pictured above) just healed completely. 

One week later, I went back to hopefully finalize the process and leave with silver/blonde hair. The first bleaching (fourth in total) didn't remove the orange, so we did another. Then she applied the gray color. I honestly didn't think the gray was gonna cover the orange. Now my hair is green and both stylists are panicking. The salon owner calls Wella and Olaplex for advise. This is a bad sign.. She says 'you know what we have to do' - 'go back to black'. Are you fucking kidding me?! After thirty minutes of them pondering the botched job done on my hair, speaking in Dutch (I don't speak Dutch), she suggested we apply a blonde color. I asked if there was bleach in it (it's blonde after all) and she said no, just color. The color wasn't evenly applied and my head started burning (hmm..). I told my stylist and she said 'can you go another ten minutes?' I'm desperate, so ok.. The green diminished, but I was not happy leaving the salon AGAIN with a hideous hair color. It was greenish/yellow, with gray roots and orange ends! Oh and my scalp was bright red.

While the interim greenish/blonde shade was bearable, the damage was irreversible and getting worse everyday. I couldn't get a brush through my hair and had to go back for treatments and a blow-dry twice a week. My stylist said the treatments were at her expense. Oh gee thanks. You destroyed my hair, it looks terrible, you still charged me full price and for every blow-dry, but you'll cover the cost of treatments - you're so generous (insert sarcastic tone).

I know I agreed and I have myself to blame. If something is too good to be true, it ain't true! I still can't help but feel mislead by the salon owner - she was negligent and experimented on my hair, lacked hair bleaching/Olaplex knowledge and showed no empathy for the damage caused. She didn't apologize, accept blame, say hello, or look me in the eyes during the following weeks of treatments and blow-drys. My stylist didn't apologize either. During my last blow-dry she said, 'I didn't want to do this and now it's my problem'. I could sense that she was upset with her superior and felt bad about the outcome, but still showed little compassion. It's unfortunate that she will go down with the ship, but I had to share my experience - I realize she didn't endorse this hair transformation, but she did administer it. 

You can't go from black to blonde in one day. It takes time and patients. Don't trust any stylist that claims you can go from black to blonde in hours or that Olaplex will maintain your healthy hair through five+ bleachings. It's not the fountain of youth for hair and can't instantly reverse the harsh effects of hair bleach. 
Print view|Tags: damaged hair from bleaching, bleaching hair, black hair to blonde hair, botched bleaching job, Olaplex, does Olaplex work, bad hair bleaching experience, JOSS Hair and Beauty Amsterdam Netherlands, JOSS hair and beauty salon

Botched Bleach Job

August 03, 2016
While laying in bed perusing the Internet for a hairstyle to mask the damage from my recent salon experience, I can feel my face heating up (rosacea - theres no hiding when I'm mad). I gotta get out...
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