Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Damage Erasing Balm


This is the last in the Deep Conditioner Series and I've been more than happy to go through these with you guys to help you figure out which one serves your interest best. The thing about buying new products is that you have no clue if you'll want to keep using it after the first time or not. So, onto this one - the claims are that this is all you need to repair super damaged hair. Summer heat and humidity along with heat styling can fry your hair so after a month of being particularly rough on my hair, I decided that I would give this a try. Here are my thoughts:


Packaging

There isn't anything particularly fancy about this packaging. It's a light yellow  thick creme that comes in a transparent tub with a black screw-off top. Again, it may slip from you in the shower,( or maybe I'm just clumsy and drop everything?) and could use some grips to be more ergonomic. It travels really well without spilling all over the place so if you carry this on vacation you won't regret it. It has a ton of product in it so you definitely get a bang for your buck and unless you're literally Rapunzel this will last you quite a while.

Pricing

This was priced at $1100 JMD which is the higher end of reasonable in my book. I have noticed that products containing protein elements are usually more costly than those that are moisturizing. I'm not sure why, but this could probably explain why it's a little more costly than the other L'Oreal conditioners. Again, this is a pretty thick and creamy product so a little goes a long way. 

Application

Alright, the first thing you will notice right off the bat is that this is very very very scented. Think of if your grandmother's strongest perfume broke and you walked into her room - this is how strong this is. Maybe I'm exaggerating but the scent is very strong. The good thing is that it doesn't last past the rinse. You will need a small blob of this about half the size of a golf ball if you have shoulder length hair; more if your hair is longer. It's a tad rubbery so you will need to massage it in into your shaft. I also recommend smoothing this along the ends of your hair, pinning it up and letting it sit under a cap for about 25 minutes so it can do its job. If you use too much it can make your hair limp and a tad rubbery but just enough adds some slip to the hair to help with detangling.

Results

This isn't a moisturizing conditioner -  however it really helps with preventing breakage quite a bit. It strengthens your hair and reduces the amount of hair you lose from combing and brushing and helps your hair stand up to heat styling. I wouldn't use this every week, in fact I alternate this with a moisturizing conditioner. I would say in order to get the proper moisture you need from your conditioner I would say use your normal conditioner before using this deep conditioner or you may end up with brittle hair. Don't be alarmed, this is a normal side effect of using a protein treatment. I would give this a 6/7 out of 10.

What do you think? Have you tried this? Did you like it? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

'til later,
*Jane

Enjoyed this post? Check out more of my Reviews here

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Get Ready Quickly Post-Workout


It's #tiptuesdays here on the Jane way and today we'll be talking about how to freshen up quickly after a workout. These are quick easy tips that will let you get in and out and back to your busy life in minutes. Make it part of your routine and see how much time you shave off your post-gym recovery.

Try these tips:

  • Carry wipes with you if you don't get the chance to shower - feminine wipes and baby wipes/ wet wipes are great. If you are concerned about going green then you can carry a wash cloth and a bottle of diluted alcohol and witch hazel. wipe everywhere;
  • Brush out your hair and sprinkle the wettest parts with baking soda or a dry shampoo and let it soak for a bit;
  • Reapply deodorant and body spray once your skin has dried. You need the area to be dry in order for the deodorant to stick and stay;
  • Wipe your face, neck and chest down with astringent to get rid of bacteria that can lead to acne later on
  • Apply a gel or light moisturizer with sunscreen and re-apply lotion. Your skin is most dehydrated and vulnerable after sweating so be sure to take care of it I like this moisturizer here;
  • Clean up any stray eyeliner or mascara you may have neglected to remove pre-workout with a q-tip and apply a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. I like to soak my q-tips in makeup remover and keep in a ziplock baggie in my gym bag;
  • Make sure to wipe behind your neck, knees, elbows, armpits, behind your ears and between your toes to get rid of any lingering smells;
  • Take care of any wet strands by tucking them under with braids or a bun but maintain a loose style so your hair doesn't smell as it dries.
  • Drink plain old water!

That's it!

What are your time-saving tips? 

Thanks for reading!
*Jane




Review: Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Intense Moisturizing Conditioner


Last week, I mentioned reviewing several deep conditioners that were readily available on the shelves now and comparing them. This week, we're looking at a pretty popular deep conditioner among persons with natural or relaxed hair. The Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Intense Moisturizing Conditioner has quite a following and I was eager to see whether this would work for me or not. These are my thoughts:

Packaging

The packaging for this product seems to keep changing every few months but when I got it, it was in a squeeze tube with a grey cap. It had the trademark purple and gold branding and the same brown colour so it wasn't that hard to find but I do know more than one persons who have totally different packaging. This is a slippery sucker in the shower and there isn't anything ergonomic about it - it will slip and slide in your hands if you're using this in the shower. I wouldn't mind if the beauty industry stopped putting products for 'brown-skinned women' in brown packaging -it has understandably tiffed a number of persons.

Pricing

This was a little over $1000 JMD which was sort of expected because Pantene is considered to be a super brand and this line is supposedly specially formulated for black hair - i.e. lots of gimmicks means it can be priced higher. It's not super expensive and you do get quite a few uses out of it but in the back of my head I feel like I can get other products for better prices.

Application

When you squeeze this out the product is white and the texture reminds me of maybe a lighter lotion. It's very slippery and one friend attributed that to silicone properties - I'm not sure how true this is. When you apply it to your hair, you definitely have to give it a few minutes to soak into the hair shaft. It has a subtle scent that smells to me like a combination of musk and gardenia, and it lingers in your hair for about a day or two before it completely goes away. It is a tad difficult to work into the roots and I have had trouble trying to get it to soak into the hair at that point. 

Results

This feels like a conditioner you use when you've forgotten yours at home - the kind that your hotel provides for you. It's not thick or rich or creamy. It does reduce dryness at the ends of your hair and gives a nice slip to the hair so your hair is smoother than if you hadn't deep conditioned. The best thing about this conditioner is the fact that it makes even muddy brown hair a little shiny for about two days after application. It's a fairly decent conditioner and if you have fine hair maybe this could be an option for you. I'm not in love with it so I wouldn't repurchase but I don't hate it either. All in all I would say this is a fair choice.

Have you tried this? Did you like it or hate it? Leave me a comment or hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with your thoughts.

'til later,
*Jane

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Fix: Five Things You Should Try


This week has been a bit of a mosh pit of slow lazy unbearably hot days and super productive days when I am surprised that the sun is no longer in the sky. I did manage to carve out several moments of relaxation and pleasure and I thought I would share with you some of my favourite things you can check out for yourself.

1. Show

It isn't a full week until you've watched something on your computer or television. This week I fell in love with the movie 'All Good Things' starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. 
All Good Things (2010) Poster
Source

If you enjoy thrillers/mysteries that are a tad psychological with a slower build and cool cinematography then you will enjoy this movie. I thought the acting was really good and I was moved by the main characters emotions. I enjoyed putting all the pieces together, and yes it did make me cry. If you're alone at home one night and you want an option that isn't a comedy but won't give you nightmares - it's a love story gone awry and I think you'll enjoy it. Shirtless Ryan Gosling doesn't hurt either ;)


2. Book

I am an avid reader and thanks to my Kindle I finish a book every couple days or so. This week, I enjoyed a light, funny read 'In the Stars' by Whitney Boyd.
source

This is a quick light read, there are a few grammatical errors in there but nothing that will throw you off. I finished it in one afternoon - it's a story that's a little bit about coming of age, and follows a young woman as she goes on an embarrassing journey before being able to learn from her mistakes. It made me laugh and probably will do the same for you.

3. Beauty Pick

It was a low-key week so I barely wore makeup. Instead I found myself gravitating towards my nail polishes, specifically the cult classic from Essie - Mint Candy Apple :
source
This really is a colour that looks great on all skin tones. It's a brighter pastel that has a cream finish with absolutely no streakiness. You can wear it on toes or fingers and on short or long nails.

4. Deals

I get sucked in by deals and coupon codes ad I thoroughly research a store online before I make any purchase. Independence Day is here and this means the deals will be aplenty. Here are links to some stores I adore:





What did you enjoy this week? Leave me a comment and let me know.

til later,
*Jane



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Easily Fade Dark Spots At Home


DISCLAIMER: I am not a dermatologist, this is simply what has worked for me for years and I thought it would be fun to share with you all.

If you've ever popped a pimple or a zit, you know what it is to have a dark spot show up on your face as a reminder that you've been naughty by popping it. There are a lot of products out there that claim to fade dark spots but most of the ones I encounter use some sort of bleaching agent. This can lead to stripping, flaking, redness, ashy-ness and/or dryness which is just adding to the problem of the dark spot and to uneven skin tone.

I thought I would share some tips about what I do to fade dark spots from acne naturally. These are the products I use:

L-R: Witch Hazel; Aveeno Daily Moisturizer; Tea Tree OIl; Vitamin E Oil; Vitamin E capsules

I picked up most of these items from Earth Elements which is an excellent place to get natural beauty and health products at affordable prices. See my post on their store and contact information by clicking here. These are the steps:

  1. Calm The Skin: Zits and Pimples are really irritated skin. You need to apply something that will cool and calm the skin by getting rid of irritation. I like Witch Hazel for this because it doesn't dry out the area and works really quickly.
  2. Get rid of Bacteria : Any bacteria will prolong the life of the pimple/zit. To make sure that it's the end of the nasty beast on your skin apply Tea Tree Oil to it. The good thing about this oil is that it's a dry oil (meaning it evaporates and doesn't make you look oily) and will not clog your pores.
  3. Moisturize: The former zit/pimple is still skin and it still needs love so to encourage it regenerate/produce fresh skin you need to make sure it is moisturized, supple and healthy. I like this Aveeno Moisturizer because it doesn't have anything in it to irritate your skin and is specially formulated to help produce collagen
  4. Supplement: Because we live in a very polluted world, the vitamins and nutrients we get from regular meals have a lot of work to do. If we want to take care of a specific problem with our skin usually we need to supplement our diets. I find that Vitamin E Oil or Vitamin E capsules give me a healthier complexion when I use/take them. Another great vitamin for skin is Vitamin C which helps to brighten your skin and Vitamin A which is great for collagen production and makes your skin look fresh and plump.

And that's it! I find that if I do this maybe two/three days in a row, the dark mark fades drastically and in its place instead of dealing with a dry patch I have healthy skin. 

What has worked for you in the past? Will you be trying this out? Leave me a comment and let me know

Til later,
*Jane


DIY Cushion Covers







I'm on a mission to redecorate my house without spending a bag of money. What this really means is that I have been spending hours upon hours scouring Pinterest and Google search for inspiration and tutorials. I've become so engrossed with it, I've been actually having dreams about what I want to do so I figured that instead of just annoying my friends and family with random pics and questions about tools and installation methods, I would share my experiments here. 

If you're as into decor as I am, *high five sister!* If not, I have hundreds of other posts on other topics I promise. So now let's get into it.

I went looking for material to recover my couch cushions because I was changing the colour scheme of my living room. I am yet to find something I love, things that were similar were very expensive at over $600 a yard and for something I would be looking at everyday I didn't think that was a fair trade off.

So, I dug through my two suitcases of unused fabric I've been hoarding saving for the future and found a plain white cotton - the possibilities alone made me dizzy with joy. A few days later, this happened-


Now you can see from the close-up that there are some mistakes where the paint leaked past the stencil but that's because I kept lifting it up to see what it looked like. I'm really an excited kid at heart especially when I get to make things. Don't worry it won't happen to you if you're patient. I'll stop blabbing now and get to it:

You Will Need:


  • Fabric of your choosing -you can choose any colour. I liked cotton because it's super easy to use, durable and doesn't require special care to wash in case it gets stained.
  • Acrylic/Fabric paint in a colour you like. (I got mine at Liguanea Drug & Garden you can pick yours up here)
  • Stencil (I made mine using cartridge paper but you can download one from the internet and print it.)
  • Sponge brush or rag
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Method

  1. Measure the cushions you want to cover. Don't assume they are perfectly square. Determine whether you will need a lining for your fabric - you don't want to cover over the original fabric only to have it show through. If you need a lining you will want to double the fabric so just double your measurements.
  2. Cut the fabric for the front of the cushions only (you'll see why later) and lay them out on a flat surface, tape the edges down so they don't move and make sure they are completely flat without any ripples.
  3. Print/Make your stencil. I wanted a quatrefoil print but I couldn't bother to scale, size and print a pattern for my stencil. I kind of just figured out that I could use a square and half circles to create a similar effect so I drew that onto cartridge paper and then cut it out using an art knife.) It's far easier to print to scale I guess, but my creative side of my brain was making the math side of my brain lazy.
  4. Lay down your stencil using tape and with a pencil mark the edge/bottom of your stencil so you will know where the lay it down for the next line and have even spacing.
  5. Pour out your paint onto a plate and wet your foam brush or an old rag. It shouldn't be dripping but it needs to be moist so that it can get into the fabric properly. I was going for an almost tie-dyed effect so I didn't want it to be super clean lines but sort of faded like vintage tapestry especially since the paint was metallic.. If you want cleaner lines use the sponge brush, and for a more organic effect use cloth and dab rather than swipe on the paint.
  6. Remove the stencil carefully and keep going until all your fabric pieces are covered. You can vary the way you apply the stencil or you can stick to one method. Just get creative!
  7. Let it dry and press it so the paint is locked into the fabric

Sewing Instructions

DISCLAIMER: I did not use a pattern, I would rate myself as an Intermediate with sewing and I have a machine. This doesn't have to be done with a machine, a firm double backstitch by hand could get the job done but it will take longer.

  1. Not someone who can sew? If you are familiar with fabric glue go ahead and use that. If not, then take your actual cushion, and your newly printed fabric to your dressmaker/tailor. They won't charge you much to stitch them up.
  2. If you do sew, get some upholstery thread - you want this to be durable.
  3. Lay the front of the cushion down and measure the sides again *cut once measure twice*
  4. You will need two pieces for the back. Why? So you can slip the cover off and on to wash it, or to just change it out if you change your mind. The pieces need to overlap - so use the following example as a guide:
    1. If your front piece measures 20 x 20 then cut Piece A to measure 15 x 20 and the Piece B 13 x 20
    2. The overlap needs to be sizable enough to lay flat but not too small because this will cause it to gape
    3. Hem one 20 inch side of Piece A then a 20 inch side of Piece B
  5. Attach the un-hemmed side Piece A to the front matching the sides that measure the same together right sides facing each other. (The 20 inch side to the other 20 inch side) Then do the same with Piece B.
  6. Then lay Piece A over Piece B and sew the top and bottom to the front piece.
  7. Turn everything to the right side and check to see that everything is firmly in place. Iron and slip your cushion inside
THE END

This does not take long, but I got excited and finished one piece and stared at it for a couple days before completing the others. I also wanted to make sure I liked it enough and now I'm really happy with it. 

Will you be trying this? If you do, please tag me in your photo or tag #decoratewithjane so I can feature you on this blog. Check out my Instagram and Facebook page to stay up to date with what I'm doing.

Till next time,
*Jane




Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Evercreme Deep Nourishing Masque


By now, we should all be aware that in order to get and maintain healthy hair we need to use a deep conditioner. No? Are you still just shampooing and conditioning? Sort it out ladies, sort it out!

Now, there is more than a fair share of deep conditioners on the shelves currently and you may be confused about which one will work for you. I thought it would be useful to review a couple deep conditioners I have tried individually and then do a side-by-side comparison for you. 

The one I am currently loving is the L'Oreal Evercreme Deep Nourishing Masque that I picked up from Megamart for about $800 JMD about two months ago. Here are my thoughts:

Packaging

This comes in a standard tub/pot with a twist off lid. It's a pretty reflective gold container with about 5 fluid ounces of product inside. It's not so big that it can't fit on the ledge of the bath but it's not a small tub either. There are no grips on the container so you will definitely need to grip this properly to prevent it from scatting all over the tub *because this so didn't happen to me*. So this is pretty standard packaging, nothing out of whack. 

Pricing

This is on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes on to deep conditioners. I've seen similar products with similar ingredients for double the cost so I really like the price tag, It is also affordable enough for you to buy and use at home rather than having to wait for a salon appointment for your hairdresser to use it on you. As I said earlier, I got it for around $800 JMD which is my sweet spot for products. I have seen it elsewhere for up to $1100 JMD though and if you find it online it may run even pricier than that. Don't buy the first tub that you see however because L'Oreal is having a pretty intense campaign in the Caribbean currently so you will find their products in several places. 

Application

If you follow the instructions you should apply this to towel-dried hair after shampooing. You can use a regular conditioner before you use this but I have found that I have better results when I apply it right after shampooing. It is quite a strong scent, and you will most definitely notice it - they were pretty heavy handed with the sniffs. The scent doesn't offend me and it doesn't linger in the same strength as it is when you apply it to your hair so when you uncap it don't freak out, the scent will wash away.
Now this is where this product shines. I have relaxed, coloured hair so this means that I need all the moisture in the world. I usually take two scoops of a deep conditioner and apply to my hair in two parts. This product? Half a scoop served for my whole head - and I have a pretty big head. I started out as I normally did, a little first because I was using it for the first time, applied to the ends of my hair first then worked it into my roots massaging it so my hair would begin to detangle itself. Then I kinda realized that I was massaging my whole head and the product had melted into my hair nicely like some kind of butter. I literally stood in the shower going "Whoa....". I kid you not my friends. It absorbed beautifully without leaving that clammy feeling most conditioners leave on my fingers and I barely had to work it into my hair. Amazing. Full stop.

Results

I left the conditioner in for about twenty minutes in the shower, no heat or cap and when I rinsed it out my hair didn't feel greasy or limp but I could tell immediately that it was considerably softer. Fast forward several hours later, it was still really really really soft, shiny and bouncy. Not only could I not stop touching it, my husband kept playing in my hair too. I think the softness is due to the lack of sulfates in it and to the ceramides. As a brown-haired girl you get pretty excited when your hair looks shiny without much work especially when your hue is more mousey than anything.

I really enjoyed this conditioner and I am praying that they don't change the formula anytime soon. So, would I recommend this? If you follow me on Instagram or you've liked my Facebook page you will know that I already have! Run out and get it, it won't disappoint you. (PS I am convincing my naturalista friend to give it a run and let me know her thoughts, as soon as she does I will let you guys know.) 

((You can see my full haircare routine here and how I grew out my hair from a pixie cut here))

Thanks for reading lovelies!
Till next time,
*Jane


PS - Check out my new boutique for customized jewellery - we ship worldwide! Click here