Hair Product Swap Haul

A couple of my coworkers decided to host a hair product swap. It’s been in the works for a while now and today was the day! I was so excited. I dropped off a nearly full pot of Retread from Lush to add to the stock the other day. Now, Retread is a great conditioner, but I just didn’t think it was doing enough for me. Even when using every wash, my hair was still feeling a bit dry and looking a little damaged. And now I have Dove’s Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner, which I proclaimed my love for in my Healthy Hair post.

So, I parted with the pot and waited for the swap. When the time came, there were quite a few products to look over and lots to gab about. So, I went in with an open mind and scooped up a few things to try out.

Here’s my little haul:

hair product swap goodies

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm

Living proof. straight spray

L’Oreal EverSleek Shampoo

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum

I’m looking forward to delving into each of these and letting you all know what I think of them individually. In the meantime, what are your favorite hair care products? Do you have a go-to hair spray or serum?

Healthy Hair

On Saturday, I went to get my hair cut at glynn jones salon in Alexandria, VA. It’s in my neighborhood and was a great salon and experience. I had a junior stylist, Ella, cut my very long and very wavy hair. The first thing she said to me once I got in the chair was how healthy she thought my hair was. I credit this to a couple of choice products I’ve been using pretty religiously lately.

Lush Seanik Solid Shampoo: a round, very blue, solid bar that infuses hair with softness. Ingredients include: Irish moss seaweed,  Japanese nori seaweed, lemon oil, and sea salt, making hair shiny and soft and adding extra volume in the process. I lather it up in my hands then massage into the roots of my hair out to the tips and rinse away.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner: a lovely-smelling, extra potent conditioner that heals hair with “Nutri-oils”. After shampooing with Seanik, I put a dime-sized amount in my hair, working from tips to roots. (Since I have very long, thick hair, I would suggest using smaller amounts if you have shorter hair. You really don’t need much of this!) Rinse away for extra shine. I use both Seanik and the Dove conditioner every day or every time I wash my hair.

Maroccanoil Intense Hydration Mask: a very thick, intensive mask. I put a fairly large amount in my palm and work again from the tips back to the roots, leave it in for about 7 minutes and rinse away. I only do this every other week or when I need extra care. The product is fairly expensive (I think I paid around $35 for the jar at blue mercury), but I definitely think it’s worth it.

Since I haven’t had a haircut in months and haven’t used much else on my hair, I really must give it up to these three products for keeping my hair in such good shape. I’ll definitely be repurchasing all of them when I am out.

Which hair care products work wonders on your hair?

A Whole New (Beauty) World

To start off with, I thought I’d blog a little about my “beauty history”: I’ve been wearing makeup forever. I started wearing makeup every day in middle school. I don’t remember one particular reason why, though I can name a few: it was fun(!), I thought it made me look more grown up, it hid flaws, it was the thing to do, I was influenced by fashion magazines, I was influenced by my mother and grandmother wearing makeup, and because it made me look like a better version of myself.

I started off, as any young girl likely does, playing with my mom’s makeup at a young age, smearing on lipstick and putting on pearls to play dress-up. I remember when I was pretty young that I got a set of “play makeup” for a gift, which included three tubes of color – one for lipstick, one for cheeks, and one for eyes. I quickly graduated to drug store counter makeup.

I never found a great foundation or base, but was lucky enough that it didn’t matter much. Even as a teenager, I had few blemishes (just a few on my chin or around my nose, easily hidden with a concealer). I wore lots of eye makeup and lip gloss and went light on the blush. I experimented with tons of nail polish colors and did funky French tips with dark blue nails and sky blue tips. I learned to wear eyeliner, which made my eyes look bigger behind the huge glasses I wore.

When I was 14, I got contacts as an 8th grade graduation present. For the first time, I wore them to our graduation and celebration dance. I dressed in a beautiful silky blue dress my mother made for me and curled my hair and felt like Cinderella.

In high school, I learned more about upscale beauty supplies and started shopping in Sephora when I had extra money. In college, I started spending money on skincare and really taking care of myself. Until then, I had washed my face with Dove soap and cold water, with the occasional mask to balance out my skin. It didn’t need much, and for that, I consider myself extremely lucky.

After college and in the last few years, I really neglected my skin, defaulting back to my soap and water routine with nary a mask in sight. Finally within the last few years, I have been in a more financially stable position and have been taking care of myself and my skin a lot better. I’ve become a big fan of Lush, spent hours wandering through Sephora, Ulta, and drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, you name it) in search of the perfect products for my skin.

Things have changed since I was in college. My skin has matured and is no longer as oily. My hair has undergone lots of changes, first thinning out quite a lot, and now thickening up quite a bit. I still have very fine hair, but I’m glad to have the bulk of it back.

And, of course, the beauty world has changed quite a lot, as well. There have been so many new and exciting additions in terms of products, lines, and brands in the last few years. There’s been a lot more openness and honesty about how products are made and where the ingredients come from. And let’s not forget the addition of beauty bloggers and vloggers!

It really is a whole new world and I’m excited to explore it!

J’adore le miel

Aloha and greetings! I decided to start this blog as a sandbox for beauty, skincare, haircare, perfume, and other girly play things. Before we get started with that, here’s a little about me:

I’m a thirtysomething who loves photography, bright colors, fairy tales, early morning cups of coffee, and crisp autumn days. I like to blog as a hobby. My favorite color is purple. I commute to work via the Metro, but I love driving my Prius. I work at a non-profit and spend my free time writing, reading, and relaxing with my favorite tv shows (Being Erica is probably my favorite ever).

In regards to beauty, I have extremely sensitive skin, naturally wavy hair, and very short nails. I have hazel eyes, which change from blue to green, which makes finding the right shade of eyeshadow challenging at times. My skin prefers perfumes with notes of vanilla, amber, jasmine, rose, and apple.

If you’d like to connect with me, you’re always welcome to leave comments. I’m also on Twitter @jadorelemiel and on Instagram at jadorelemiel_.