Summer Beauty Update!

haven’t done a beauty post in awhile, and I don’t really do many of them as it is far from my field of expertise, but I truly enjoy reviewing products and trying out new things for my skin/hair, so I figured why not do a “summer makeup” routine post.
If you have been reading my blog, you are well aware that I am studying abroad in Toledo, Spain for this summer. This means a lot of heat and sweatiness and sunshine, which has forced me to modify my makeup routine a bit since being here.
Foundation

Because it is so hot, I really try to avoid excessive use of concealer and powder on my face, as I would probably sweat it off quickly and it would clog up my pores and cause breakouts. Sunscreen is almost a necessity, as it is always super sunny here and I burn easily. Lately I have been combining neutrogena’s oil free moisturizer (SPF 15) with my maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream (SPF 30) to protect from harmful rays and even out my skin tone. I really really love the maybelline BB cream, this is probably the third or fourth time I’ve purchased it, as it’s a great all-season foundation for me. The titanium dioxide sunscreen component does wonders for protecting skin against ALL forms of harmful UV radiation. Many people don’t know this, but not all sunscreens protect from burning rays as well as aging rays, but titanium dioxide does!

On the far left in the above picture is my travalo. If you haven’t heard of travalo, it’s a perfume atomizer, which means a travel size spray tube that you can pump your own perfume into. It’s really awesome for traveling due to small size and it’s refillable and it sprays, which I highly prefer to purchasing rollerball versions of perfume for travel. My current scent is Vera Wang princess, a personal fave. 

 
The far right is a new one for me, it’s the European Wax Center’s baked brow powder. ($18?) I bought it after my last eyebrow wax because I wanted a product to use to shape and intensify my eyebrows for going out, and so far I have really enjoyed it. Shaping eyebrows is not an easy task, however, but I am slowly improving. Patience is key. 


I like to keep it light when it comes to lipstick colors in the summer, as being hotter can run the risk of smudging. Above is maybelline color sensational lipstick in sugared almond, my personal favorite at the moment.

 
Another product that I’m not sure if I would recommend to others (because I’m still not quite sure what it is) would be this 

Aveda’s Balancing Concentrate blue oil. I sort of got talked into buying this in a moment of money spending frenzy and didn’t pay much attention to what the stylist at the salon was saying. Basically it’s a rollerball oil to rub on temples or pressure points to relax. It is a strong minty scent, and while it is relaxing, I’m not sure I would recommend it as it is quite expensive and not really a super useful product, unless you get a lot of headaches. It is nice to relax and gently rub into temples, just a pricy item ($20 or so for this small tube) for a broke college kid like myself. 
 
A new product that I have been LOVING is the Hawaiian tropic silk hydration after sun lotion. Normally for sunburn, I use aloe gel with lidocaine but because this little bottle was so cute in the travel product section, I had to buy it. 
 

I absolutely love it!! I have always had good luck with Hawaiian tropic products, and I have been using this aloe as a normal moisturizer even when I am not burned because I love the way it hydrates my skin and smoothes out imperfections.

And that’s about it as far as new beauty products go, hope you enjoyed this post! More beauty reviews in the near future, with one being specific to Toledo, Spain!
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Natural Beauty Experiment – HENNA HAIR COLOR!

Since middle school, I’ve always been active in changing up my hair color and style. Lately however, primarily for financial reasons,  I have been removed from the hair industry and haven’t done much to upkeep my color or style. It’s too much money to spend when I know I will need to go back in to have the color fixed in a matter of weeks, so this time I opted for a more natural option to try at home. I have tried several times in the past to color my hair myself with boxed dyes from drugstores, and every time the job turned out terribly and I had to spend far more money getting it fixed professionally than I saved. Boxed dyes are the enemy, but this time I did it different. It’s called “Light Mountain” Natural hair color and conditioner. It was very inexpensive, I purchased it at the Wedge co-op in Minneapolis for $6.99. It is made from henna, a flowering plant that has been used as dye for tattoos, fabrics and hair since Ancient Egyptian times. It is all natural, with no ammonium or peroxide, and USDA certified organic. After being reassured it wouldn’t cause any dramatic change and it was very conditioning, I decided it was worth a shot.

It was a fairly easy process to set up with very clear directions, boil water in a non metal container and mix in the powdered plant mixture, stir thoroughly and let set for about 30-45 minutes. The smell was a little funky, very hippie-esque and not chemical like a boxed dye. The mixture was a bit intimidating in color, a dark green with a lumpy consistency, but vigorous stirring smoothed it out to a more desirable texture.

Applying it was a bit messier than normal boxed dyes, it is a much thicker mixture than any color I’ve worked with before and it doesn’t blend into hair strands quite the same way. Care must be taken to ensure no clumps fall out and stain carpet or clothing. My roommate Katie helped to work it through my hair to ensure even coverage.

Definitely kind of gross in appearance, but overall pretty fun to experiment with. After letting it sit in my hair for just over an hour, I hopped back in the shower to shampoo it out. This was the tricky part. It was messy, making my shower look like it was covered in mud, and it took two shampoos to fully clear all the product that caked on to strands. It was conditioning, but I still used my own conditioner to smooth out my hair. The plant smell also lingered for a few days even with shampooing. It’s not unpleasant, just different from what I am used to.

The end result: Richer hair color without a dramatic change or any catastrophe. What I would do differently next time would be to buy an even darker shade to have a bit more dramatic of results, knowing that the color isn’t damaging or extremely permanent.

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