Friday, January 30, 2015

Going Blonde!

In October I decided to try going BLONDE!  I found some amazing inspiration on Pinterest and decided I wanted something similar to this.

Source (original source unknown)

So I went to this awesome lady and we set out to recreate this color.  She knew I wanted to keep my hair as damage free as possible because I like to keep it long.  So when my color pulled red (due to how my hair naturally goes when it lightens and hormones due to breast feeding) we just went with what we got.

It was actually surprisingly very flattering with my skin tone and eyes.  The only problem was that sometimes it looked very blonde-ish orange instead of blonde or red or light brown.  I went in search of an awesome purple shampoo.  

Purple shampoos help blonde hair stay more cool toned and fight orange or yellow tones by leaving a touch of blue violet in your hair.  If your hair is very light blonde you need to be careful to use it once or twice a week or else your hair will start to look purple.  If that happens just don't use the purple shampoo again until it is all washed out and has started to go back to almost looking yellow or brassy.

So I choose my favorite shampoo at Sally Beauty Supply based on ingredients and smell read the review here.  I felt like it was helping, but it is a gradual change as it builds up.  A week or two after I started using it though my husband actually said that he thought the purple shampoo was actually working and that my hair was not as orange.  :)

The two left pictures were right after I had my hair done and the right picture is a few months later (obviously they are in very different lighting but my hair looks much more blonde in the right picture).

I am just about ready to go back in and we're going to have another try for more blonde and more like the inspiration, but in the meantime I have loved my new hair color.  :)

Thanks for reading!  Do you have a fun hair coloring story?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below :)

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: One 'n Only Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo + Conditioner

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Best uses: combating yellow or orange tones in medium to light blonde hair (it works better in lighter blonde hair).

Why I picked it:  I had heard good things about Clairol's Shimmering Lights purple shampoo, but I had also read that it smelled bad and wasn't very moisturizing and might dry out your hair a bit.  So when I went to pick it up I decided to look at a few other brands at Sally's Beauty Supply.  I liked that this one had moisturizing ingredients in it and it smelled really yummy.

What I loved:  This purple shampoo was effective, did not dry out my hair and it smelled good.  My husband even noticed that it helped my hair look "less orange."

What I didn't love:  The only complaint I have is that it isn't sulfate free.  My hair, scalp and bacne (I know that's not really a word) do better with sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.

Overall:  I would highly recommend this to anyone with blonde hair.  It will make your hair look amazing!

P.S.  I'm posting my going blonde pics and story later this week and will link it here after it posts. :)

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Zit Fix! The 3 Best Spot Treatments

I have had acne off and on since I was about twelve.  Unfortunately it's been mainly "on" and very rarely "off."  I have tried so many different acne products both prescription and over the counter with little success.  There are a few products that are worth sharing though :)

If you have acne often or even if you only get a "spot" rarely, the best strategy may be just to treat each spot.  Often using a strong or drying product on your entire face will cause more harm than good.  These three use a variety of active ingredients to help you get rid of zits faster.

The first is Murad's Acne Spot Treatment.  This baby is $16 for a little tube that will last for a very long time.  It is very soothing and effective at reducing the swelling and pain of a zit while helping it heal faster.  Here are the claims straight from Sephora, "High performance ingredients, such as sulfur and salicylic acid, reduce the appearance of blemishes while supporting natural cell turnover. Zinc and licorice root extract help support natural healing. This product is dermatologist developed."  I just barely ran out of this and I will miss it.  The only downfall is that it is a little smelly due to the sulfur.

The second product is a glycolic acid acne spot treatment called the Zit Zapper from Perfectly Posh.  This is also a small tube with the same amount of product as the Murad treatment.  It also will last forever!  This acid is great for getting rid of the dead skin cell plugs and oil that causes zits, blackheads and whiteheads.  It can shrink some zits in a matter of hours!  The claim straight from Perfectly Posh "Aggressively exfoliates clogged pores to reduce duration of blemishes."

The third product is actually a mask but I liked it a lot better as a spot treatment as it was a little too drying for my entire face.  It is Proactiv's Skin Purifying Mask.  This product was great for making you feel like you were instantly shrinking and drying out your zit.  It also always made them heal up in about half the time that they would heal in without this treatment.  The mask uses sulfur, kaolin clay and tea tree oil to clarify skin and kill bacteria.  The claims from Proactiv "Containing sulfur medicine and kaolin clay, it draws out impurities, reduces excess oil, and keeps pores clear, helping prevent new breakouts. It also soothes and calms skin as it reduces redness, irritation and blotchiness."

These three have really helped me with my skin when I was desperate to fix a nasty spot or two (or three).  :)  I hope they will help you out too!

What are your favorite acne fixes?  I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life lately: Christmas with the Smiths

 We're kinda Christmas procrastinators.  I did a lot of our Christmas shopping the week of Christmas and we didn't go do Christmas-y things until about two weeks before.  We had a lot of fun seeing Jackson's reaction to everything.  Some things he really loved (like the decorations) and other things he wasn't as excited about (like opening presents).

The first Christmas thing we did this year was go to Christmas Village in Ogden.  It was so weird this year because there was absolutely no snow and no ice.  I mean, it's not Christmas Village if you're not slipping around and having to hold your date's hand right?

My favorite thing is watching these two together!  Steve is such a great dad and Jackson has so much fun with him.

I love the clouds on the mountains in this picture!  We went up to my little sister's dance recital and really enjoyed watching her dance.  She did so good!

On Christmas Eve we went to my Aunt's and visited with my cousins and we did the Nativity.  We have done this for years and it gets funner every year as we all get older.

This year my favorite part was making Jackson a sheep.  We finally got him to say "Ahhh!" (his version of Baa) right before we started and then he randomly said it throughout the Nativity (just like a real sheep would have).

I had to take the pen and shoe away from him to try to get him to open his present.  We only got him one big present and everyone else spoiled him.  We thought that would probably happen and I'm glad we just got him the dump truck.

This last picture is a very tame version of the mess our house was in for about a week post-Christmas.  Christmas is so much fun, but I am so glad it is only once a year!  We've finally got everything all put away and are back to normal life.  

I hope everyone else had a great time and has recuperated as well :)

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