At the beginning of the month, I decided to stop blow-drying and embrace the natural straightness of my hair. Why not? I hardly have any time to shower in the morning, left alone doing my hair. I chopped off about 3-4 inches of my locks into a simple lob (long bob). So, this month, my purchases comprise some hair products and replacement of regular products (aka this is my panic buy!!). More about that panic in a second, but first...
Oribe Conditioner for Magnificent Volume
I celebrated my new do, naturally, by purchasing the most expensive conditioner I've ever bought, a whopping $39.00 (per 6.8 fl.oz)!! To be totally fair, I received a few sachets of this conditioner a long time ago and I really love it (it has one of my most fave ingredients in hair conditioner: behentrimonium chloride. The other is cetrimonium chloride, both are essentially do the same thing on hair).
It is a natural replacement to my old Kerastase Lait Vital (now at $42.00/6.8 fl.oz -- I don't think I purchased it for that much, I think back then Lait Vital was only $35-$38/6.8 fl.oz. bottle). While in essence I may have saved a bit, the winner in regards to Oribe is the scent. Yep, if you like the fresh, fruity scent of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, you will also like this one. Nuff said, hope this bottle will last me at least two years! (o.k. maybe an exaggeration but ykwim..)
Spice Sisters Wave Style Soft Styling Wax
This wax is a bit peculiar but brilliant product. The consistency of this wax is not waxy at all, but rather of a loose, whipped cream. On my straight, flat, limp hair, it tames flyaway and frizz, making it shiny without weighing it down (like silicone serums). On curly/styled hair, it adds a bit of soft hold and shine while still feeling oh-so-bouncy. When I don't know what to finish my hair with, I just dab a bit of this on my palm and run my fingers through. My hair looks instantly polished without the least bit of crunchiness. The scent is of fresh, juicy pear that is nothing artificial, even the Tod loves it.
This beauty, sold at my local hair salon and at amazon.com, is made by Arimino -- a Japanese hair product company. The "Spice" line has with many sisters and brothers (e.g. soft wax, freeze wax, straight, shining, etc.) and all are highly recommended by my salon. I purchased this for $15/1.25 oz. Price on Amazon is all over the place (depending on where you buy this from), but I think it is still worth the money. You need only but a smidgen of this to polish your hair.
Now to the panic buy!! The panic was induced by a. the fact that my replacement, staple sunscreen Hada Labo was en route from Japan and took forever to arrive, b. a sudden streak of sunny days in the otherwise gloomy Seattle and c. my current bottle of Hada Labo was on its last drop. Cue in the killer Psycho EEK EEK EEK!! Srrrysly, don't try this at home, it was worse than an impulse buy.
|Ingredient List: top (green) for Clinique, bottom (white) for CeraVe|
Clinique Face Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
This sunscreen is actually more than half-decent. SPF above 30, check. Unscented, check. Moisturizing, check. I love that this also make for a very nice primer, I do notice my foundation goes on nicely on top. The downside is the inclusion of homosalate, one of the sunscreen ingredients that I'm not really keen on. This is also an all-chemical sunscreen that may not be suitable for those with sensitivity. Finally, the texture is quite creamy and tacky, I don't think this will go along well with ladies with normal-oily/oily/combo skin.
A note about sunscreen ingredients and stability: recently FDA has revised and mandated new testing and labeling on all sunscreens and in essence, the sunscreens that are sold as of now should be photostable -- meaning the combination of the sunscreen ingredients won't break down upon UV exposure as feared before (in case you are a follower of MUA skin board -- lots of lengthy discussions there, just peruse them at your leisure). I do plan to write a sunscreen primer, if and when I have time (I have a list going on things I'd like go blog about.. just not enough time!!).
CeraVe Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 with Invisible Zinc
This sunscreen ticks even more boxes than the Clinique one above -- the all-physical sunscreen is definitely more suitable for sensitive skin alike (although too much zinc = dryness). Even the zinc is not a problem on this one; it is balanced with the addition of titanium dioxide. Alas! What looks good on paper does not always translate well on skin -- this is why we can't judge a product just by its cover box err.. ingredient list. This sunscreen goes on white, ghost-white, and super duper tacky and draggy with very little slip. It does not mean it is useless, I just slather this on my arms and legs and on the Tod, but it is so very not suitable for the everyday, non-ghostly face.
Finally, a few samples from when I purchased staple things from Paula's Choice
Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment
Supposedly contain the highest percentage of ascorbic acid in any of PC's product. This paste, yep paste-thick product is intended to be a spot treatment. I dabbed a pinhead-size on my most prominent age spots nightly as the last step of my skin care routine. It left a slightly tingly feeling but without redness and irritation. I've been using this faithfully for a month now and have yet to see any visible improvement, but honestly, I'm not hoping for much as my spots were the result of long-term sun exposure since a very young age. It may work for you.
Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster
Silky, readily absorbed (unlike Sunday Riley Juno), unscented, and basic. This one is a great moisture-booster to any of your regular moisturizer. Definitely worth considering if you want a face oil that is moderately-priced and without a lot of frills.
BONUS: Silicone Mask from Daiso
The idea is you put this on top of your sheet mask or any other mask you have to retain moisture/prevent the mask from drying too fast. Super useful in dry, central-heated weather, not so much now. I tried this a couple of times, it actually works pretty well! Thin, washable, flexible, stretchy, it just plain works. The best $1.50 I've spent so far, available from local Daiso store or amazon.com