May 31, 2012

DIY brown sugar and honey scrub

I love using body scrubs, but they are so easy to make that I can't really justify spending a lot of money on them and would rather make my own.

During summer citrus flavoured ones work well as the zing of the citrus feels cooling on the skin, but  come winter time and I like ones with sweet honey scents, like this brown sugar, honey and almond oil scrub. Here's how you can make your own.

You need...
  • Half a cup of soft brown sugar - brown sugar is gentler than white sugar so it's good even for sensitive skin. 
  • Two teaspoons of honey - honey is naturally high in antioxidants and helps skin retain moisture.
  • Two teaspoons of essential oil - I used almond oil as it contains vitamin E and is super moisturising on dry skin, but you can use other oils too like olive, rosehip and walnut. I buy my oils from Priceline or other pharmacies and they're all fairly cheap, usually less than $10.
  • Small jar or container - I used an empty Dolmio pesto sauce jar!

Step by Step instructions...

Have you ever made your own body scrubs?

May 29, 2012

Kiss goodbye to MS - wear red

You might already be aware that Wednesday 30th May is World MS Day. MS Australia has been running a campaign encouraging people to wear red lipstick and raise money for research to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Ahalya from Bug's Beauty Blog has been wearing a different red lipstick every single day and blogging about it HERE.

I'll be participating by donating to research and wearing this lipstick tomorrow.

SAX Rich Colour Lipstick in Classic Red* (rrp $14.95)
This very pigmented creamy lipstick is from Australian drugstore brand SAX. It's full of essential oils like Calendula, Jojoba and Evening Primrose oil so it doesn't feel drying on the lips. Feels velvety smooth with a creamy sheen. And best of all it doesn't bleed so you can skip the lipliner, like I have below.

So if you'd like to get involved, wear red tomorrow (lipstick, clothes, accessories) and donate to MS Research.

*PR Sample as per my disclosure statement

May 27, 2012

Weekend FOTD with SHE

On weekends I like to keep my makeup fairly simple. Unless I need to glam up for some reason, most weekends I ditch my bright lipsticks in favour of glosses, line my top lashes but leave the eyeshadows simple and go for a peachy pink cheek without contouring first.

Makeup used
A while back I was sent some PR samples from SHE Australia so I decided to use them for this weekend look as I can also give my thoughts on what I think about them.

  • SHE Pure Magic Primer - I absolutely loved the feel of this on my skin, it left it feeling velvety smooth and matte to touch. And the lovely aromatherapy smell was a bonus. 
  • Illamasqua Skinbase foundation in #8 - reviewed previously HERE
  • SHE Pure Minerals Powder foundation in Golden Medium - I used this as a blotting powder over the liquid foundation, as the colour was slightly too dark for me to use on its own. This felt very silky smooth to touch and evened out my complexion, but it did feel too matte for my dry skin. This would work better on oilier skins, or perhaps without using the matte primer first. 
  • Illamasqua Tremble Blush - reviewed previously HERE.

  • Too Faced Naked Eye Palette (Like a Virgin and In the Buff e/s) - reviewed previously HERE
  • SHE Gel Eyeliner - reviewed previously HERE
  • Australis Voluptulash Mascara in Blackest Black
  • Rimmel eyebrow pencil in Black/Brown

  • SHE Lip Pencil in Nude Beige - this is such a perfect nude shade, definitely repurchase material for me.
  • SHE Luxury Gloss in Champagne Gold - this has a sight orange and cinnamon aroma but it's not too overpowering. It's not very pigmented at all so it's best to wear this gloss over lipstick for lovely shine minus the stickiness.

SHE cosmetics are sold at selected Priceline stores and most products are less than $20 so definitely worth checking out if you haven't already.
On nails - Sally Hansen I Pink I Can (reviewed HERE). Chain and Ribbon Necklace DIY (tutorial HERE).

Do you tend to keep your makeup simple on weekends?

*SHE products were PR samples as per my disclosure statement

May 26, 2012

Impulse buy - Benefit Coralista

I didn't set out to buy Benefit Coralista. The reviews and swatches I'd seen online a while back did nothing for me. I thought yeah, it's pretty, but it looks nothing special. So it was on one of those days when only some kind of retail therapy will make you feel better that I happened to walk past the Benefit counter at Myer and my eyes were instantly drawn to Coralista.

One swatch and I decided this was coming home with me. I think it was the buttery texture, the subtle peachy pink shimmer, and perhaps even the slight floral smell that drew me in.

Unlike the other boxed blushes and bronzers from Benefit, the lid on this one doesn't come off completely AND has a mirror underneath so it's definitely an improvement on design.

It's much lighter than any of the blushes I own. In fact in summertime this will probably look more like a shimmer powder on me than a blush. But it's sure pretty. It's one of those blushes that goes on sheer so you can build up the intensity to some degree. It's a blush you don't have to worry about overdoing on your cheeks.

My only worry when I was getting this was that it would be too similar to Nars Orgasm but they're different enough for me to warrant the extra purchase. Nars is slightly pinker, and the glitter particles are coarser than in Coralista. Below is a comparison of Coralista to Nars Orgasm and also to Illamasqua Tremble as a reader asked me before how similar those two were to each other.

comparison of illamasqua tremble benefit coralista nars orgasm
With flash

Have you tried anything from Benefit before? Any favourites?

May 24, 2012

DIY - Super quick earring revamp

Remember THIS post where I changed the colour of my necklace with nail polish? Before I attacked that necklace with nail polish I tried the technique on some earrings I wasn't a big fan of. They were nice earrings, but I had too many really similar ones so I thought I would brighten up the colour with OPI Charged Up Cherry.

Here are the easy steps to follow to change the colour of your jewellery with nail polish. 

Simple, no?

May 22, 2012

33 Week Belly update - the one where I start whinging

The last 3 weeks have been a bit up and down for me. It seems like the pregnancy fatigue has finally caught up with me and I've been going from having absolutely no energy to feeling almost half back to normal. And on those no-energy days all I want to do is curl up on the couch and whinge and complain, but then I'll get a kick or a wiggle from the little one and I'm reminded of how lucky I am.

Reasons I want to whinge
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Dislocated ribs - after a visit to a chiropractor it turns out my left ribs have been popped out of their place requiring weekly realignment. Ouch.
  • Fuzzy brain - pregnancy brain is real!
  • Too uncomfortable to sleep - can't even toss and turn due to the extra weight and the rib pain.
  • Feeling fat and breathless all the time
  • Boy's names are hard to choose!
  • Heartburn is back
  • None of the weight gain has gone to my b00bs - seriously, would it hurt to go up a couple of sizes?

Reasons I feel lucky
  • Perfect little boy growing inside me
  • Already falling in love with his adorable little face - we had 3d scans at 32weeks and he is the spitting image of my husband 
  • He lets me know his food likes and dislikes through his kicks and movements. Ice Cream=Like! Spicy food=Dislike!
  • How easily he was conceived
  • Have had a dream of a pregnancy so far
  • Weight gain has been slow and steady
  • No fluid retention, no puffy face, hands, feet
  • Can still wear high heels - well, within limits
  • Skin has been behaving, no stretchmarks, no pigmentation
  • Wonderful, supportive husband who is an excited daddy-to-be
  • Supportive family on both sides 
  • No hormonal emotional breakdowns

Yep, I definitely have more reasons to feel lucky than to whinge :-)

May 20, 2012

My foundation stash

I remember when I first started wearing foundation long back when, I had only one in my collection - Revlon Colourstay in Ivory. It was completely the wrong colour for me, especially in summer when I had a bit of a tan. I seemed to be under some illusion that it gave me lovely porcelain skin. But instead it made me look like I was caked in plaster 3 shades too light for me.

Never mind, those days are behind me now. Now I have a mixture of different shades and textures, and in between seasons I mix up my colours to come up with the perfect shade for me. No more white face, tan body for me thank you.

My Foundation Stash
Here's what I've got, far more than I need and I might add I've put myself on a bit of a foundation ban until I finish up at least 2 bottles.
L/R: MUFE HD, Revlon New Complexion Oil Free, Illamasqua Skinbase, Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse, Maybelline Fit Me. Front: MAC Studio Sculpt

Make Up Forever HD Foundation in #120
I have a love hate relationship with this foundation. If my skin is behaving, is blemish free and smooth this is perfect. But otherwise I think this settles into fine lines and emphasizes flaky dry patches on my skin. I very nearly put this up on my blog sale but decided to keep it for those good skin days, as it does photograph really well. Full review HERE

Revlon New Complexion Oil Control in Sand Beige
This is a favourite of mine. It gives lightweight sheer but buildable coverage that lasts the whole day without going oily. And despite it being Oil Control, it didn't dry out my already dry skin. The colour was a bit light for me in summer, but now that Australia is heading into winter and my skin is getting fairer I'll be using this a lot more. Full review HERE.

Illamasqua Skinbase in #8
This is another favourite. It's meant to be Illamasqua's answer to a BB Cream but don't be fooled. This provides almost full coverage that you don't get with a traditional BB Cream. It's best applied with a brush if you want a sheerer coverage.  Full review HERE.

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in Nude
For a long time this was my HG foundation but with pregnancy hormones running havoc with my skin this now feels a bit too heavy for me. It gives full coverage and I would say is only suitable for those with dry skin as it does feel quite creamy on. I currently use it mainly as a mixer foundation, i.e. to darken a lighter colour. Full review HERE.

Maybelline Fit Me in 210
This one was a spur of the moment purchase. It's ok, it's not my favourite. I use this mainly on weekends or when on holidays as it gives a fairly sheer to medium lightweight coverage. The colour is a bit dark for me now, so I use it mixed with the Revlon one which is currently too light for me, to get the right shade.

MAC Studio Sculpt in NC25 and NW25
My skin colour is normally NC25 but when I tan I go closer to NW25 hence the two shades. I absolutely love this foundation as the gel like consistency is easy to blend, long lasting and above all doesn't emphasize flakiness on my dry skin. Full review HERE.

Foundation Swatches
Here are the swatches of the foundations currently in my stash. As you can see they are of various shades, but that's good as I can then mix them together to get the perfect shade for me no matter the season.  Oh and I'm not so organised as to mix the perfect shade in a separate container, no, I just mix them right on my face, i.e. a dot of this, 2 dots of that, etc.

Do you mix your foundation colours to get your perfect shade?

May 18, 2012

New favourite hair products by Organix

I've been using Organix shampoos and conditioners on and off for the last 2 years. I've tried most of the different varieties out there, and some haven't worked on my hair at all, but my favourites so far have been the Cocoa Butter and the Shea Butter ranges (previously blogged about HERE). That is until I discovered the Hydrating Macadamia Oil range a few months ago and have been using it exclusively ever since.

Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Shampoo & Conditioner (RRP $19.99AUD)
I don't know what I love about these more - the yummy smell, the way they seem to hydrate my parched dry hair, the way my hair feels after using it or even the mint and chocolate packaging. I find this range to be much more lightweight than the Cocoa and Shea Butter ranges, and despite the intense hydration it gives my hair, my hair never feels weighed down.

Because the Organix range is sulfate free you don't get the luxurious lather that you would get with a shampoo containing sulfates, but that's a good thing as it doesn't strip your hair of natural oils. The conditioner is quite thick and might need a couple of shakes of the bottle in order to get a decent amount out. But despite its thickness it spreads easily on wet hair. I normally leave it on for 2-3 minutes before washing it off. And once a week I replace my normal conditioner with the Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask (not by Organix... previously reviewed HERE).

I've re-purchased these several times already and have no plans to switch from them yet. 

Organix Macadamia Oil Dry Styling Oil (RRP $24.99AUD)
The last time I bought the Macadamia Oil shampoo there was a small sample sachet of the Dry Styling Oil stuck on the bottle, which was enough for about 5 uses. I was so impressed with the oil that when my beloved Moroccan Oil passed its use by date I decided to switch over to this instead especially since it's half the price of the Moroccan Oil for a 100ml bottle.

The Macadamia Dry Styling Oil is much more lightweight than Moroccan Oil, so if you've found Moroccan Oil too heavy for you give this one a try. Not only does it smell amazing, it also claims to protect your hair from heat styling. Bonus! You can use it both on wet or dry hair. After washing and conditioning my hair I normally apply a little bit of this on my palms, rub my palms together and distribute to the ends and mid lengths of my hair. It gives incredible shine without the greasiness.
I have used flash in this photo (too dark by the time I get home from work!) which is why the colours are a bit weird and the shine is somewhat exaggerated, but you can still get an idea of the smooth effect this range has on my hair.

I normally buy my Organix products from My Chemist Warehouse where it's usually a few dollars cheaper than at other stockists, but in Australia you can also get them from Woolworths, Coles and Priceline as well.

Have you tried anything from the Organix range? 
Any favourites?

May 15, 2012

SHE Gel Liner - Review and FOTD

Of all the different eyeliner types out there, gel liners would have to be my favourite as they are easier to apply than liquid, and give a more intense line than a pencil. Up until recently I'd been using the Maybelline gel liner, but I was recently sent this SHE Gel Liner* to try and now I'm definitely ready to switch!

SHE Gel Liner in "Midnight Black" - $14.95AUD
"Super smooth gel formulation allows you to define your eyes with precision without pulling or tugging. The unique formula provides intense colour which quickly dries to a long wearing, water resistant finish."

Those of you not familiar with SHE, it is an Australian brand established in 1996 which uses natural and aromatic oils in their products, and they don't test on animals. The brand is sold at selected Priceline stores.

The liner comes with a built in applicator brush that is actually of good quality. I normally discard any brushes included with eye kits, but the one included with this is dense, small and tapered making it perfect for drawing straight lines. 

The brush is hidden in the lid, which makes it perfect for traveling as you don't have to worry about carrying an extra brush for your liner. 

What I think
The SHE gel liner is the smoothest formulation I've ever used, it seriously glides on without dragging. I think this would be perfect for people with oily lids as it's long lasting, and once applied it dries fairly quickly and won't budge. It stayed put on my top lashline all day until I was ready to wash it off. Actually truth be told, being quite lazy at the moment (call it pregnancy fatigue) I just used makeup remover wipes and it came off fairly easily despite being budge-proof while on the lids.

Would I purchase?
Absolutely! The price is very reasonable, the quality is fantastic, it's not tested on animals and it's a local brand so what more can I ask for?

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC25 // MAC MSFN Powder in Medium // Illamasqua Blush in Nymph // Too Faced e/s in Like a Virgin and Satin Sheets // SHE Gel Liner // Australis Voluptulash Mascara in Blackest Black // Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown // Rimmel Lipstick in Kiss Me.

Have you tried anything from SHE? 
What's your favourite type of eyeliner?

*PR Sample. Not affiliated with the brand or its stockists. 

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

We had a fairly quiet Mother's Day this year....

My mum came over to our place for lunch and then the husband and I took her to Coco Cubano for some hot chocolate and dessert.

The husband had the choc-nut brownie but kept it "light" by skipping the ice cream on the side. I had the, what else, cheesecake! And as for mum... well she somehow always chooses the largest meal, the largest dessert, the largest everything and this time it was no exception! She chose the churros with chocolate sauce and strawberries, and yep, it was huge!

In other news, after months of indecision I finally cut my fringe (bangs). I had been trying to grow it for a while, but while the grown out fringe looked good when I wore my hair out, when worn up I had no idea what to do with it. I don't think I can carry off having all my hair off my face and need a fringe to add some interest.

The length I have now is good as I can wear it sideswept or straight down (or have both styles in the one day, as you can see below), and if I decide to grow it out again at least it's not too short.

How did you spend Mother's Day?

May 12, 2012

DIY your own nailpolish with eyeshadow!

As you've probably figured out by now, I'm quite enjoying craft and DIY at the moment. When I have any energy left in between work (can't wait for maternity leave to start), house stuff and dragging an 8 month preggy belly around I look for quick and easy DIY projects that I can do. After seeing this post on Delighted Momma, I knew I had to give this one a go as it looked very simple and didn''t require much energy.

How to make your own nail polish with eyeshadow
  • You can use a clear nail polish or even a clear top coat. I used a half full bottle of top coat which I was no longer using. 
  • Make sure you crush the eyeshadow until you get a fine powder so it mixes well in the polish. 
  • How much eyeshadow you add depends on the pigmentation of the product you're working with. Don't be afraid to mix your colours too!
  • How long the mixed polish will take to dry, or last on your nails, will depend on the quality of the clear polish base. Because mine was an old top coat that was getting gluggy, it took about 15 minutes between coats. 
  • You can even use this same technique to create your own glitter top coat, just add glittery eyeshadow to the clear base.

Hope you enjoyed this very simple and quick DIY nail polish! Let me know what you think.

PS: Have you made any of my past DIYs?
If you have, I'd love to showcase them here on Makeup and Macaroons with full credits to you of course, which means more exposure for your blog. HERE is where my previous DIYs can be found.

Just email me at lilitsblog{at}gmail{dot}com the link to your post of the DIY and I'll display them here with an active link back to your blog. If you don't have a blog but would still like to participate, feel free to send me the picture and I can still show it here with your permission.

May 10, 2012

Too Faced Natural At Night Palette review, swatches and EOTD

My love for the Too Faced eyeshadow palettes is well known.

Today I have another one that's now been added to my collection. It's the new Natural At Night* palette, which is the darker, more glam sister to the Natural Eye palette.
too faced natural at night palette

It comes in the same style of carton packaging which also includes 3 How To cards to help you create some looks using the palette. But of course you can completely ignore them and do your own thing.

The palette contains 9 complementary shades for a variety of looks.

  • Full Moon – Neutral beige base colour infused with shimmer.
  • Nightcap – Glistening tan.
  • Cocoa Star – Matte chocolate brown.

  • Night Light – Gorgeous pale dusky pink shimmer base colour.
  • After Hours – shimmering pink with mauve undertones.
  • Eclipse – Deep shimmering bronze.

  • Spotlight – Matte cream base colour.
  • Moon Stone – Glimmering dark gold.
  • Night Fever – Dark brown infused with shimmer.

And here are swatches of all the colours next to each other.

As you can see some of the colours are very similar to the original UD Naked Palette, but with stronger pigmentation. 

It seems like with each new palette Too Faced keeps improving their formulas, because lets face it, if you own the original Natural Eye then you'll know that some of the colours are a bit hard to blend and have too much fallout. But the colours in this palette are buttery soft, easy to blend, and besides the colour Night Light which has too much fallout, all the others are very nicely pigmented. Definitely a winner in my eyes.

And before I go, here's a quick EOTD using 3 of the colours in the top row.

What do you think of this palette? 

*PR Sample provided for review

    May 08, 2012

    Loving right now - Red

    Lately I've been really loving the colour red, but worn only in small accents to brighten up an outfit whether in the form of jewellery, nail polish or a great lip. Or all at once! Here are 3 of my favourites right now.

    On my lips: MAC Impassioned lipstick.
    While technically it's not a red, the warm watermelon shade is perfect to satisfy my red cravings. It's my absolute favourite lipstick of all time, and I've blogged about it a lot in the past.

    On my nails: Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Sonic Bloom.
    This is like Impassioned in a bottle. It's a bright watermelon red shade that dries in no time at all (I wouldn't say instant, but 5 minutes tops for a single coat) is fully opaque in a single thick coat and lasts about 4 days on my nails without chipping.
    mac impassioned lipstick, sally hansen sonic bloom

    On my neck: Red bib necklace by Colette Accessories.
    I'm a huge fan of Colette as they have the latest trends in accessories but at a tiny price. This fabulous bib necklace was only $16.95. I was hoping to get it in another colour too but red seems to be all they had in this style. Potential DIY maybe? {edit note: I've since found out this is a knockoff of the JCrew Bubble necklace, and guess what? I've found different colours on ebay which I'll be getting soon! Thanks for the heads up Natalie!}
    Bib necklace by Colette

    What colours are you loving lately?

    May 06, 2012

    Illamasqua blushes in Nymph & Tremble - photos, swatches and comparisons

    A few weeks ago the Illamasqua website had a sale on where select items were 50% off. When I saw that Nymph and Tremble powder blushes were included in the sale I just had to get them, as they were both colours I'd been eyeing off for a while but just never committed to buying.
    illamasqua blushes in nymph and tremble

    Illamasqua's powder blushes are my absolute favourite products from their range, and that's saying a lot as I love all their products. If I was allowed to wear blushes from only one brand for the rest of my life, I would choose Illamasqua blushes. Their blushes are all extra finely milled, super soft, super pigmented and very easy to blend. And they also have a faint vanilla smell which I find so lovely when applying.

    Illamasqua powder blush in Nymph
    Illamasqua describe this as warm candy pink with matte finish. I don't know about you, but I would definitely put this in the cool pink category especially seen side by side with the warmer Tremble.  This is my English Rose blush, in that if I was a character in a Jane Austen novel my cheeks would be flushed pink with Nymph. 

    Illamasqua powder blush in Tremble
    Illamasqua website describes Tremble as soft lilac pink with matte finish. I'm not sure about the lilac bit, but it's a pale warm coral pink that adds a warm flush to the cheeks. If you'd like to fake a peaches 'n' cream complexion, this is the colour for you.
    Illamasqua blush in tremble
    Wearing Illamasqua powder blush in Tremble

    Comparison swatches
    Whenever I'm looking to buy a new blush I always like to look for swatches comparing them to my existing colours just so I don't end up with dupes. Here are some comparison to ones that I thought would be similar to Nymph and Tremble, and as you can see from the swatches below none of them are even close. Tremble and MAC Dainty are the closest matches, but Dainty is shimmery with Tremble having a matte finish.

    What are your favourite products from Illamasqua?

    May 05, 2012

    Femme Fatale Cosmetics - Review & Swatches

    Femme Fatale Cosmetics is relatively new to the indie makeup sector, but that doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing.

    We specialise in hand blended mineral based cosmetics that offer not only unique and stunning finishes such as colour-shifting, but also have a high level of adhesion, pigmentation and quality. Nothing is more important to us than producing the best products possible – we do not sell anything we would not use ourselves, nor do we offer any products for sale that we are not 100% passionate about.
    Femme Fatale Cosmetics is a small business based in Brisbane, Australia, and the good news for international readers is that there is worldwide shipping.

    I was recently sent some samples of their eyeshadows for review on my blog. Normally I'm not a fan of loose powder makeup and usually decline such offers, however when I checked some swatches on the web and on their website I was very intrigued by the duochrome finish of the colours so I happily accepted. And I must say when they arrived I was not disappointed at all.


    The colours I was sent were
    • Archangel: Sparkly ivory with pink undertones
    • Sunfire: Peachy Pink duochrome
    • Wisp: Slate grey and blue duochrome
    • Shooting Star: Violet and Pink duochrome
    • Desecration: Green and Purple duochrome similar to MAC Club
    • Unholy: Sparkly black and brown duochrome

    Look, I'll be honest here. Loose mineral makeup is messy to apply. So unless you want fallout all over your cheeks it's best to do your eye makeup first so you can clean up any mess before doing the rest of your makeup. The best way to wear these eyeshadows is by wearing a primer underneath as it will make the colours adhere to your lids.

    Here is a very simple eye look I did with just two of the colours I was sent. I didn't use a primer, but I did have concealer on my lids which made the eyeshadow stick to my lids and last the whole day.

    Some of the shades said they were Lip Safe, so here is how Sunfire looks worn on the lips. In the pic on the left I just dabbed it on with my finger. In the one on the right I applied some clear lip balm on top.

    So how much can you expect to pay for these eyeshadows? Not much really. The full sized jars (5gr) are $5.00aud each. The also offer sample sizes if you can't decide, and they're $1.10aud each.

    And if you're a beauty blogger and meet the criteria then you may be eligible to get FREE samples to review on your blog. Click HERE for more info.

    Have you heard of Femme Fatale Cosmetics? 
    How do you feel about loose mineral makeup?

    *Samples sent for review.

    May 04, 2012

    Get big fat hair instantly for under $7.00

    Whenever I go to the hairdresser, the first thing I tell them is “don’t thin out my hair”. They have a habit of going “oh you have such thick hair, here let me remove the bulk for you… snip snip snip” and my hair is thinned out before I have a chance to protest.

    Yes I know that thinning out parts of the bulk that I call my hair, will probably make it fall nicer, but I’m Armenian. We like big bouffy hair. Ok, maybe not bouffy, but we love volume. The bigger the hair, the skinnier the girl looks. (And yes, I’m totally generalising here, I’m sure there are sleek haired Armos out there too… but none in my circle of friends, or family, or in the Kardashians).
    The Kardashian sisters - lovers of voluminous hair!

    Anyway, are you still with me? This post is about this miracle product that helps me get big fat volume at the roots. And it is...

    Schwarzkopf Taft Full On Styling Powder

    I first heard about hair powders from the gorgeous Christina of Hair Romance (and if you haven’t been reading her blog you absolutely must), but for some reason I assumed they would be like dry shampoos and leave my dark hair with white powdery roots.

    Then I kept seeing these styling powders popping up everywhere, with drugstore and salon brands all bringing out their versions. 

    So one day I decided to give it a try and went with the cheapest option I could fine, the Taft Styling Powder (around $6.95) especially since Christina had written that she saw no difference between this powder (which incidentally is marketed at men), and the OSIS, powder which is also by Schwarzkopf, but is aimed at women and is 5 times the price. Hmmmm...  (NOTE: Please check the end of this post for an important update regarding the ingredients).

    How I use it
    • I style my hair as per normal (either straighten or curl it), then part my hair at the crown where I want volume and sprinkle a tiny bit of the powder straight onto it.
    • I then massage it in using my fingertips and marvel at the instant volume. The effect is similar to one you’d get if you backcombed or teased your hair, it has that matte texture, but of course it’s kinder to your hair than teasing it.
    • The powder is white but it dissolves immediately into my hair and doesn’t leave any white powdery mess around. In fact I tried to take photos of the powder itself but it kept dissolving too quickly for me to get a good shot.
    • The best thing  is, the powder is re-workable. Meaning, if at the end of the day you notice the hair is falling flat just massage the area where you'd sprinkled the powder to reactivate it.
    • If you use too much your hair will just get sticky, so use a tiny tiny amount and you can always add more later. The bottle is a bit like a salt shaker, so you need to be careful how much you sprinkle.

    These styling powders are also great for giving texture to soft hair (good for up dos), and for mattifying your hair for a rockstar tousled look. But my preference is to use it only at the roots for root lift and volume. Even though there are so many other such powders in the market, I'm extremely happy with this one and have already bought backups.

    Oh and did I mention I got a haircut? I got some layers cut around my face (but not thinned out... I've found a good hairdresser who understands my needs for volume), and a little bit taken off the length. Enough to give it some shape, but still long enough to wear it up or have it curly.

    Also in the photo above it might look like I've dyed my hair, but it's actually my natural colour coming through as I haven't dyed it in ages (normally I dye it Darkest Brown by L'Oreal Preference). In fact if you look closely you can see a stray grey hair winding its way down my fringe.

    Have you tried styling powders yet?

    UPDATE: Thanks to a reader (thanks KriSTYLES!), we compared the ingredients of Full On, Got2B Volumizing Powder and OSIS styling powders which are all made by Schwarzkopf but are all sold at different prices. Here are the ingredients. 
    • Taft Full On ($6.95) - Aqua, Silica Silylate, Sodium Benzoate, Octyl Acrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Citric Acid
    • Got2B (approx $11) - Aqua, Silica Silylate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Octyl Acrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer
    • OSIS ($25) - Aqua (Water/Eau), Silica Silylate, Sodium Benzoate, Octyl Acrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Citric Acid

    Yes, they all have exactly the same ingredients but in different packaging (same size though) and aimed at different market segments.


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