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Smoothing and Thickening Cream for the Hair
8/8/2017

AG Hair BB Cream Total Benefit PrimerI've been using the AG Hair BB Cream Total Benefit Hair Primer for a few years now. I've tried several different leave-in products for the hair, but this is the best one I've ever tried. It does so many different things for the hair. It smooths, nourishes, detangles, provides sun protection, and thickens the hair.

I've used various hair serums and treatments that have weighed my hair down and made it look greasy. I've used detangling sprays that make my hair look flat or frizzy. But the AG Hair BB Cream gives me all the benefits in one product. I always make sure I put it on my hair before going outside since it has some sun protection in it. It helps decrease sun damage to the hair and color fading.

I've gotten compliments on my hair since using this. I've always had thin, stringy hair, and to receive compliments now is such a big change. I had a good friend, who has known me for a long time and even worked on my hair tell me my hair suddenly looked thicker.  She asked me what I did. And I told her it was this AG Hair BB Cream.

AG Hair BB Cream Total Benefit PrimerI've found that most hair thickening products tend to make my hair look frizzy. Not this one. It smooths as well. Some other leave-in thickening products have made my hair feel sticky and hard to get my fingers through my hair to "brush" it. But the AG Hair BB Cream keeps my hair free-flowing, detangled, smooth, and thick-looking.

It's got keratin, panthenol, silk amino acids, just to name a few nourishing ingredients for the hair. I've also tried different Perfect Hair Day products that are supposed to smooth and thicken, but this AG Hair BB Cream blows it all out of the water for me.

I actually stopped using it at one point to see if it was really doing a great job. And boy, did I miss it. After a week I had to run back and get another pump bottle of it. One bottle lasts me probably a couple of months, using about 3 pumps  almost every day. My hair has grown long, so I'm finding myself using more than before.

I run it through the lengths of my hair after washing, while it is still damp. Then I comb through my hair with a wide-tooth comb. It detangles nicely. Doesn't have much of a smell, very light fragrance, barely noticeable. It looks like a white cream when it pumps out.

I Heart this Maxi Dress
8/7/2017

Derek Heart Junior's Trista's Yummy Maxi Dress with Racerback Medallion Derek Heart Junior's Trista's Yummy Maxi Dress with Racerback Medallion I usually don't wear maxi dresses. I find them to be a tripping hazard when running after children. Plus I'm short, and most maxi dresses are too long for me.

That said, while on my Derek Heart dress kick, I came across this Derek Heart Junior's Trista's Yummy Maxi Dress with Racerback Medallion. After reading the reviews, I decided I would take a chance on it. Pleasantly surprised, it worked for me. In fact, I got some compliments on it. I had to wear the highest heels I have just so I don't trip on them. But luckily they are comfortable platform wedges.

I usually get a size Medium in Derek Heart dresses and tops. But because I wanted the best chance of this dress fitting me in the length, I got a small. And I think that was the right choice. The dress is made of synthetic fabric, which does not shrink, unlike the other Derek Heart dresses I've bought, where the Medium size shrinks down to a good size for me. I am 5ft 105lbs, and the size Small fits fine.

Strappy sundresses always pose the challenge of what bra to wear that won't muddy up the look. I didn't have a navy blue bra at the time of this photo (I've since purchased one). So I tried on a nude bra and a black one with a racerback bra converter clip for the back. But neither of them looked good.

So I opted for pasties. It did the trick, but it didn't do much for my form. It was the lesser of evils that day. Luckily the dress has a nice busy print that can distract from the lack of form.

I love the lacy racerback style of the back of this maxi dress. I loved how there were no bra straps to clutter up the look of it. I chose to wear my hair in an updo, partially to showcase the back of the dress, and also because it was a hot day. Wearing my hair down makes me sweat too much. Braids, ponies, and updos have been my hairy friends this summer.

The dress also has nice slits at the bottom on both sides. I think this adds a little extra flair to an already pretty dress. It also helps with the stride, so you're not shuffling around like a geisha. Although, I did feel a little like a geisha in this dress that day. It does seem to have an Oriental flair to it. And with my hair up, I just needed a little wisteria flower draping from the bun. But a traditional geisha would be scoffed at for the little bit of shin that shows in the slits.

BTW, If you haven't watched the drama Memoirs of a Geisha, I highly recommend it. I never really understood what a geisha truly was until watching this movie. Michelle Yeoh from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon does an amazing job at portraying the main geisha character and pulling at your heart strings.

Hiding the Thinning Hair and Bald Spots
8/6/2017

Batiste Divine Dark Dry ShampooEver since about 30, my hair started falling out. I've never had thick hair, but what little I had, I started to lose. I'm not sure to blame it on aging, or cell phones, or both. I have seen people I know very well to have thick hair begin to thin around the same time.

When I got pregnant, had babies, and breastfed, I had really strong, thicker, healthier hair. That lasted until the breastfeeding stopped. Then it started falling out again. It created a large thinning/balding area around my hair whorl that I became really self-conscious about. I started wearing my hair in a ponytail to hide the whorl.

It has only been recently in the past year or two that I've finally figured out what to do about the hair thinning and balding. I've taken a close look at my hair products and done tests to see what improved my hair situation and what made it worse. I found that using a variety of products like witch hazel, aloe, plankton, and peptides really helped to keep my hair on my head. But even with holding on to what little hair I've got, I still have the large thin/balding area around my hair whorl.

I started using dry shampoo to help build volume on days when my hair gets oily. But it gave my scalp a very unnatural white cast. Weird. So I found some dry shampoo made for different colors of hair. Hallelujah! I found my solution in Batiste Dry Shampoo with a Hint of Color Divine Dark. I've tried similar colored dry shampoos of different brands. But the Batiste brand has worked the best for me. It does so much more than just dry shampoo my hair.


Good Ole Rice Starch

This colored Batiste dry shampoo contains rice starch, which most dry shampoos don't have. I have found rice starch to be a good friend to my skin and scalp. Maybe because I'm Asian, and my genes come from a long line of rice eaters. I think that the rice starch is part of what keeps my hair on my scalp. There must be some kind of protein or something in rice that keeps my skin really healthy.


A Little Bit of Sun Protection

This dry shampoo puts a thin film of this rice starch and some iron oxides (that give it the color)  on my scalp that helps protect my scalp from UV rays. I believe that any layer of opacity (hiding the skin) helps protect against some of the sun's harmful rays. Not 100% protection, but anything helps. I feel that protecting the scalp and hair follicles from UV damage keeps them healthier and keeps more hair on your head.

I'm not saying to spray this on your head and then run out to the beach hatless for hours. I still wear a hat, which is the best protection for your scalp, when I'm going to be outside for any extended length of time. But running errands, where your are intermittently out under the sun throughout the day, I definitely feel better with this dry shampoo on then leaving my scalp completely bare and exposed. It's sort of like going out without putting at least SPF 15 or some foundation on your face to shield it from some UV. This is especially important when you have sparse hair like me and there is considerable scalp exposed.


Smooth, Silky Strands

The Batiste dry shampoo also helps my hair lay down nicely around my head and gives the strands a smooth, silky look. Again, that might be from the rice starch. It just seems to give my hair from the follicles down a really nice texture and coating.


Scalp Makeup

This last benefit that I'll mention has become the most valuable of all to me. This colored dry shampoo helps cover over some of the thinning and balding spots, especially around my hair whorl. It really helps blend the hair strands into the scalp. I am so used to going out with this dry shampoo on, that on days that I don't spray it, I'm actually shocked at how thin and balding my hair looks without it.

Here are some pictures of before and after spraying on the Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo:

Before Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo


After Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo


The Batiste Dry Shampoo with a Hint of Color Divine Dark doesn't completely cover all the balding and thinning hair areas. But it is way better than nothing. And there are other added benefits, like rice starch, some environmental protection, hair silkiness, in addition to camouflaging the exposed scalp.



Eye shadow to Match Every Outfit
8/2/2017

Urban Decay Shadow Box PaletteWhen I first got this Urban Decay Shadow Box palette, I took it on a trip to experiment with it. Turns out it was like the best palette I could bring for such a purpose. It has so many colors that complimented every outfit I had brought on the trip. And with such a broad range of colors, there are so many fun combinations you can use to create different eye shadow looks. All the colors are shimmers, so if you need a matte, you'll have to reach for a different palette.

Here is a look where I showcased the beautiful sparkly deep blue color called Moonshadow. First, I used  Smog as a crease color. Smog is a medium shimmer golden brown. Next I used a "C" eye shadow brush to pack a good layer of Moonshadow above my lash line. Last of all, I used Lancome Definicils mascara. I opted for no eyeliner this time because I thought the Moonshadow was dark enough for a daytime look.

Honestly, I didn't think I would really like this look, but every time I looked in the mirror, I was amazed at how pretty the blue looked for a daytime application.

Urban Decay Moonshadow

Urban Decay Moonshadow

Urban Decay Moonshadow

   


Moon Baked Cowboy

updated 8/5/2017

Urban Decay Shadow Box PaletteToday I used the Urban Decay Shadow Box palette again. This time, I used the color Moonshadow in the crease and outer V corner of my eye. Then I used the color Baked Cowboy, a shimmery gold, in the center of the lid and above the lash line.

For the moonshadow, I used a small amount and blended really well. It gave a fairly subtle look for the day, but the Baked Cowboy added a little shimmer to the look. I used Blackout as eyeliner again, using the e.l.f. small smudge brush. Finally, I used Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara.

Urban Decay Shadow Box Palette





A Flash of Lavender

Updated 8/7/2017

Here is another look I did with the Urban Decay Shadow Box palette.

Smog, a medium golden brown, in crease
Flash, a shimmery cool light purple, on lid
Blackout, a matte black, for liner

    

For this look, I also used Lancome Monsieur Big mascara. I've been testing this mascara out to see if I like it. It definitely seems to thicken my lashes. But I may have to try applying Lancome's Definicils mascara first for length, and then layering Monsier Big on top. I do that with Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara, and it comes out great.


Green Eye Shadow

Updated 8/15/2017

On this day I was wearing a green dress. And I know they say you don't have to or shouldn't match your eye shadow to your clothes. But its so fun to do. And with the Urban Decay Shadow Box palette, you can! So here I used the Indo (a shimmery cool green color) from the palette for the overall color. Then I used the Baked (a shimmery gold color) to add a little dimension just over the center of the top lash line. And once again, I used Blackout (a very pigmented matte black) as the liner.

   


  Blue Eye Shadow

Updated 9/12/2017

Urban Decay Shadow Box Moonshadow & Smog LookToday I went with blue again because I was wearing a blue dress, and though it might be totally cheesy, I just love matching my eye shadow to my outfits. Here I used Smog all around the crease area. Then I applied Moonshadow all over the lid and blended it into the crease. I went a little darker with both colors on the outer corners of my eyes. I got an interesting blend between the two that I really liked.




Olive this Derek Heart Dress
7/31/2017

Olive Criss-cross DressI can't say enough about these Derek Heart dresses. They are well-priced, very comfortable, and cute. This Derek Heart Women's Crisscross Front Vee Neck Cap Sleeve Shirtail Hem was actually the first Derek Heart Dress I got. I originally saw a dress very similar to this at Ross, but they didn't have my size. And one day, while searching for something, this dress popped up on Amazon. I took a gamble and got a Medium size because the reviews said it ran small. I am 5ft 105lbs, and the Medium seemed to fit fine.

I also love the way the hem is shaped at the bottom of the dress. It is called shirttail hem. It is a little rounded and gets shorter at the sides. It adds a little interest to the bottom of the dress.

The dress is a stretchy rib knit. And with the medium size, it is pretty forgiving of my access rolls, here and there. The dress did shrink a little after I washed it, but it actually fit better once it shrunk. This picture is taken after washing the dress.

Like the other Derek Heart dresses I own, this can be dressed up or down, depending on shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

I love the olive color of this dress. I feel I can wear this dress comfortably anywhere and not feel like I'm standing out like a sore thumb. I think this color is flattering on any skin tone.

Bronze Back Your Youth
7/27/2017

It Cosmetics Radiance Ombre BronzerI've probably mentioned before how I love all things peptide. I had been searching for a good bronzer. I was mostly looking to contour my cheeks. When I found It Cosmetics had a bronzer with peptides, I was sold.

it Cosmetic's CC+ Radiance Ombre Bronzer has two shades, a bronzer and a highlighter, and they gradually fade into each other in the middle. So pretty. And so good for your skin. The peptides help lift and tighten the skin. It also has silk, collagen, green tea, vitamins A and C, to name a few other anti-aging ingredients.

The bronzer color is nice. It gives a golden rosy glow. The highlighter gives a bit of sparkly shine to the top of the cheekbones. I usually apply them separately, dabbing my brush into each color one at a time.

If you haven't used a bronzer before, it is great for adding warmth to the face and some contouring to the cheek area. I feel like foundation seems to flatten out my face and make me look a little pasty. Bronzer adds back the contours of my face and gives it a warm glow.

I feel like my forehead looks really flat and wide after applying foundation. Adding a small amount of bronzer around the hairline softens the foundation line around the forehead, making it look more oval and less prominent.

Highlighting above the cheekbone is also nice. Not only does it help bring out the cheekbones, but I think it brightens the eyes. I also like it because it helps buff out the bronzer, which sometimes can form a line of demarcation on the cheekbone.

If you like to bronze and highlight, I would do it with it Cosmetic's CC+ Radiance Ombre Bronzer because of the peptides and other anti-aging ingredients. Whenever I find makeup that contains anti-aging skin care ingredients, I grab it because you are beautifying your skin today as well as in the future.

Here are some photos of me with and without the bronzer.
(All other makeup remains the same in both)

No Bronzer

No bronzer - right sideNo bronzer - front
No bronzer - left side

It Cosmetics
Radiance Ombre
Bronzer




I've always felt like I have big cheeks, and that my face is mostly cheek. I think using it Cosmetic's CC+ Radiance Ombre Bronzer slims my face a bit and breaks up the wide, flat area of my cheeks. The anti-aging peptides and collagen also help lift the cheeks over time, as well. I love it!

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