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Changing it Up: Smoothing Before Styling

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Changing it Up:  Smoothing Before Styling

When shopping for hair products, in the past I've always immediately reached for the volumizing version of everything. I wanted volumizing shampoo, conditioner, styling products... you get the idea. The bigger the better!

In the last 6 months or so I've really processed my hair a lot, something that has finally tipped my previously very healthy hair that could handle all sorts of abuse, over the edge. My hair is definitely drier and damaged, resulting in some frizz and it can be hard to get my hair smooth without using heat. The last thing that I want to do is add an additional heat styling step to my hair care routine each day! However, the unfortunately truth is that I do need a little smoothing now before curling my hair. Without it, my hair looks a bit frizzy and not well pulled together.

I decided to try out TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo & Conditioner collection because they are formulated for color treated hair like mine, and it has Keratin and Moroccan Argan Oil to help treat my damaged hair. I also added in the TRESemmé Keratin Heat Defense Spray, which I thought would help protect my hair from even more damage from heat styling. I spray it on my damp hair, and I've been drying my hair with warm (instead of hot) air and then finishing with cool air to lock in my style.

Since swapping out these products, my hair is definitely smoother and I've been able to skip using a flat iron. If you've damaged your hair like me, make sure you try swapping out for smoothing products! Skipping the additional heat exposure is preventing further damage and saving me time each day.

Smoothing Before StylingSmoothing Before Styling

I bought my TRESemmé from CVS, because let's face it, extrabucks® can be addicting, especially when things are on sale! Here's a look at a ton of upcoming special deals.

• $5 extrabucks® rewards when you spend $15 on participating TRESemmé®, Suave® or Dove hair care products.
• 2/$6 WITH CARD Select Suave® Hair Care.
• 2/$8 WITH CARD Select TRESemme® shampoo, conditioner (28–32 oz.) or select stylers.
• 2/$10 WITH CARD Select TRESemmé® Premium Hair Care products.
• 2/$8 WITH CARD Dove Base Hair Care products.

Additional savings can be found in most Sunday papers this week:
• Save $3.00 on any TWO (2) Dove Hair Care products (excludes trial and travel sizes, Dove DermaCare and Dove Men+Care).
• Save $2.00 on any TWO (2) Suave Professionals® Shampoo, Conditioner or Treatment products (excludes 2 oz. trial and travel sizes)
• Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Suave Professionals® Hair Care Styling product (excludes 2 oz. trial and travel sizes).
• Save $2.00 on any ONE (1) TRESemmé® Styling product (excludes trial and travel sizes)
• Buy any ONE (1) TRESemmé® Expert product and get any ONE (1) TRESemmé® Expert product FREE (excludes trial and travel sizes).

Valid 3/12 – 3/18
• $3 extrabucks® rewards when you buy any TWO (2) TRESemmé® products.
• 2/$9 WITH CARD Select TRESemmé® products.
• $3 extrabucks® rewards when you buy any TWO (2) Dove Hair Care products.
• 2/$9 WITH CARD Select Dove Hair Care products.

Valid 3/19 – 3/25
• $5 extrabucks® rewards when you spend $15 on participating TRESemmé®, Suave® or Dove Hair Care products.
• 2/$6 WITH CARD Select Suave® Hair Care.
• 2/$8 WITH CARD Select TRESemme® shampoo, conditioner (28–32 oz.) or select stylers.
• 2/$10 WITH CARD Select TRESemmé® Premium Hair Care products.
• 2/$8 WITH CARD Dove Base Hair Care products.

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Sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.
ExtraBucks® Rewards offer limit of 1 per household with card.

Makeup Wars: My Favorite Masks

Product Sent for Review, I Bought It, Affiliate Links

The Best Hair Masks

Today for Makeup Wars we're talking about our favorite masks. Usually that would make you think immediately of face masks, but since I seem to talk about those a lot, I didn't feel like I had anything new to share on that topic! I decided I'd talk about my favorite hair masks, since I seem to be doing a lot of hair masking recently.

First, I want to say the reason that I'm masking is sooooo my fault. You might remember a few years ago when I fried my hair by overusing my BeachWaver, sans heat protectant. I've since grown out all of the damage, and my hair was super, crazy healthy. Despite lots of coloring and bleaching. It was so healthy that it was really hard to get it to curl. So, I had this great idea to get a perm (and retrospectively I wish I'd picked a digital perm, but I digress). It did rough up my cuticle some, and my hair just looks kind of wavy when it is wet now, but mostly it made it so when I curl my hair now, it actually stays. I still use product, but the perm made a big difference.

To prevent too much damage, my stylist (I go to Tiffany at One One Nine in Ann Arbor, she's amazing) added Olaplex to the perm. And we started adding it to bleach for my hair as well. And all was well. Until a few months later when I decided I wanted more dimension to my hair. Because I can't leave well enough alone. And I had Tiffany add even lighter balayage to the front part of my hair. It was sooooo pretty.

But that last bit of bleach (even with Olaplex in it) just put my hair over the edge. I started getting breakage and split ends in the area of the blond. I was cutting off split ends left and right! And masking.... lots of masking to help repair the damage and prevent things from getting worse. I've since cut off the damage (luckily I only needed a few shorter layers in front to remove it), but the whole experience definitely renewed my love of these hair masks!

1. Olaplex

Buy it from Olaplex, I would avoid buying it elsewhere due to diversion and fake versions.

First, the biggie. I mentioned Olaplex above, and it is pretty amazing stuff. It is not "just another conditioner", it actually works to repair bonds in your hair. (Labmuffin has an amazing explanation of how Olaplex works) There are 3 "steps", though you can do any of them alone, skip steps, etc. It doesn't need to be done in a step-wise fashion.

Step 3 is the one you can buy in the salon for use at home. The directions say to apply to clean, damp hair, and then wash off about 10 minutes later. Ummm.... no. Don't do that. I've done it, it helps my hair a bit, but since this treatment isn't a conditioner, leaving it on longer (ok, a lot longer) isn't going to weigh your hair down. I do what Tiffany told me to do, I use Olaplex as an overnight treatment! I apply to dry hair (you can dampen your hair a bit to make it easier to spread if you want), I start about 2-3 inches from the roots of my hair and apply down to the tips. My hair definitely has product in it, but it isn't wet. I then put my hair up in a bun and sleep on it! You'll need a towel on your pillow, but it doesn't make my head cold. I just wash it out in the am.

Since Olaplex is going into the hair shaft to repair chemical bonds rather than adding conditioning agents to my hair, it doesn't weigh down my hair. I still have a ton of volume! But, I definitely do feel an immediate difference in my hair. It is shinier, smoother and definitely stronger. It helps a lot with damage. I use it every 1-2 weeks.

2. Darshana

Available from Darshana and Amazon (note that the seller on Amazon is the brand, so you can safely buy it here)

If my hair is dry, instead of using Olaplex I'll reach for Darshana. You can read my Darshana review, but basically this is a special blend of oils that add a ton of moisture to your hair but don't weigh it down. It smells amazing (like oranges), and I use it exactly like I use Olaplex.

3. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

Get Moist at Amazon, Target, Walmart
Buy Strong at Amazon, Walmart

Both of the two masks I've mentioned are ones that I use overnight. I have to plan ahead for a day that I'm not on call (I can't head in to the hospital for a sick patient with a hair full of Olaplex, it looks crazy), I'm planning to wash my hair first thing in the morning, etc. I definitely have days like that, but it takes planning. But, there are still days that I think my hair is a bit drier than it should be, or I need a little something beyond just my regular conditioner. On those days I use the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle that I keep in my shower. There are different versions, I like both Strong (see my 3 Minute Miracle Strong Review), and Moist. I just swap it out for my normal conditioner, and it really does make a big difference. And it costs about $3!

What are your favorite hair masks?

Product Sent for Review, I Bought It, Affiliate Links
The Aussie and Darshana were sent by PR, though I've repurchased the Aussie a lot and have been meaning to buy more Darshana (that bottle is empty, I actually keep it around just for pictures). I bought the Olaplex and have repurchased a few times!

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Weekend Beauty Reads

Phyrra has a rant to share - How Brands Should Make Foundation! She gives constructive feedback on what we need to see in 2017.

Dry winter skin needs extra TLC. Prime Beauty reviews the new limited edition Passionfruit Agave Body Collection from SpaRitual. Psst..they have a beauty box too!

Bright, beautiful, and affordable describes Julie G's nail polish in Sunset Kiss. It's one of only 100+ polishes you could get for a discount too.

When it comes to lipstick, Allison from Never Say Die Beauty never has enough! But she’s holding a giveaway to help you have a chance to increase your lipstick stash with a gorgeous new gorgeous new comfort matte grape shade, After Dark, from Runway Rogue. Check it out and enter!

This week Amber from daydreaming beauty is sharing her Jesse’s Girl must haves, and there's a 20% off coupon code for you! If you aren’t familiar with this drugstore brand, prepare to be wowed!

Given the cold weather, and the desire to wear stunning lipsticks, Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is especially happy to share the lovely
Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipsticks in Abigail and Cindy. They are moisturizing, boast gorgeous saturated shades, and they are a PureJoy to wear!

Pammy Blogs Beauty makes up some beautifully relaxing DIYs with Essential Oils from the Vitamin Shoppe!

There are so many loose setting powders to choose from, where do you start? Justina's Gems details her favoriteson her blog this week.

Camo style couldn't be more popular right now and that makes Blushing Noir VERY happy! Check out her Camo Inspired Fashion Beauty Faves!

15 Minute Beauty finally found a replacement for one of her discontinued, holy grail brow products. It's from Maybelline!

Christa from Perilously Pale has been reliving her childhood thanks to one of the coolest beauty products she's seen released in a while that is part of the Clarins Spring 2017 Collection. You have to see this!

Tired of the matte liquid lipstick trend? No, neither is Shipra of Taneja's Bride. Try the Makeup Revolution Lip Euphoria and Amplification formula.

Just Because: Disneyworld Tips and Tricks

Disneyworld Tips and Tricks

Secret confession time. Or, maybe, not so secret?

I'm a Disney Fanatic. Big time. Huge. When we lived in So Cal, I had season passes and went to Disneyland a few times a month. I was counting down the days until I could take my oldest to Disney World. I read tons of Disney World blogs (yes, they exist!) and I'm even a moderator of a Disney group on Facebook. I could talk about Disney and Disney World for hours. It is to the point that friends and family come to me for planning advice when they decide to take a trip, and I could probably easily get a second job as a Disney Travel Agent.

Since I'm so Disney Obsessed, and I'm currently on countdown for this year's trip, I thought I'd consolidate some of my longer emails and FB posts for friends into a series on the blog. Obviously this is off topic for beauty, but since it is my blog... yeah, I'm going to do it anyways! These posts will likely be just on weekends, once a week or every few weeks.

Today I'll address a few general questions that I hear a lot from friends and family.

Serum in a Solid Foundation? IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Review

Product Sent for Review, Affiliate Links

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Review

Confidence in a Compact, Confidence in a Cream and Heavenly Skin Skin Smoothing Complexion Brush #704

A couple of weeks ago on Instagram I posted a picture of a new IT Cosmetics Foundation, and you can see me talking about it in the picture comments with a friend. What is this new foundation? It's interesting. I think really, it's a solid BB Cream. Or a solid foundation with a serum in it. Or some such thing. No matter how you describe it, I like this new Confidence in a Compact stuff.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Swatch
1. Fair, 2. Light, 3. Medium, 4. Medium-Tan, 5. Tan, 6. Rich, 7. Deep

So, this is pretty much just what it sounds like. It's a solid foundation that does have a lot of slip and creaminess to it. When compared to my other solid foundations (especially the Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation I've been reaching for so much recently), this is not as thick, and it seems to almost melt on your fingertip. It comes in a compact, the top hides a sponge applicator and under that is a second lid that keeps an airtight seal for the foundation. The entire compact is well made and closes with a very satisfying click, which I love.

While you could apply this with the included sponge, I've found that's more of a medium to full coverage. I prefer to use the Heavenly Skin Skin Smoothing Complexion Brush #704 (which IT sent me with the foundation), which I also use to buff it out. The brush allows me to customize the amount of coverage a bit more, it is more of a medium coverage with the brush.

One of the best things about this product is the shade range. Previously, IT Cosmetics only offered 5 shades of each complexion product. 5 is what QVC allows them to offer, and as a small company they made shades that fit the range of the QVC viewer. Which is apparently on the white side of the US population. While I've been raving about their products, my friends of color have been complaining that the brand doesn't offer products that work for their skin tones. Which was 100% true.

However, IT Cosmetics was just bought out by L'Oreal, and I'm hopeful that this range of 7 shades is just the beginning! I think there need to be at least 2 shades deeper than #7 Deep, and I'm hoping that the new expanded shade range gets extended to their other products such as the CC Cream, which is amazing. Now that the product line is so popular in Sephora and ULTA, there's no reason to stick to the QVC 5 shade rule!

Overall this foundation is very easy to use, and it blends very well. It looks pretty flawless all day, and I do like that it is more hydrating than other solid foundations. However, because it is solid it does still settle a little into any dry spots I might have. If I super hydrate my skin before application, then I don't have an issue. The compact is also really easy to take with you for any touchups you might need. And finally, because it is solid, you don't need to add it to your TSA 3-1-1 bag, saving precious space for other liquids when you're traveling. So, it's perfect to take with you when you're trying to make it on the plane with just a carry on!

You can find Confidence in a Compact at IT Cosmetics, or ULTA.
Product Sent for Review, Affiliate Links