Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Current Hair Products

Hello, it's been way too long since I last did a hair-related post so I thought I'd do one today. I'll be introducing you to all the products that I am currently using on my hair to help maintain its colour, smoothness, cleanliness (of course), texture and strength. I don't have an actual routine where I am constantly using these products or repurchasing them as my hair is quite low-maintenance which allows me to try all sorts of products without having to worry about my hair getting out of control. Also, I don't pay as much attention to my hair as I could, simply because caring/styling for my hair is not a main priority of mine, and I don't particularly enjoy it as much as say, applying skincare products and makeup to my face. However I always make sure that my hair is well-kept and looks presentable. Here's a little hair profile that I've compiled as an introduction:

Natural colour: Black
Current colour: Dark brown
Length: Medium to long
Type: Straight 
Style: V-shape at the back, long layers, side fringe
Last cut: Early June 2014
Last dye used: Revlon 'Light Ash Brown' x2 
Washing intervals: Every second day
Drying method: Only towel-dried
Use of styling products i.e. straighteners, curlers: Occasionally
Current condition: Free from split ends, smooth but slightly frizzy/static, scalp prone to oiliness, flat
Goals: To have fuller, livelier hair, less breakages/fallouts, intensified hair colour and be frizz and static-free

I've dug up some recent photos of me and my hair that I was thinking of sharing as an OOTD thing but hey, they're somewhat relevant for this post so here we go:

Dead-straight hair as a result of using my ghd. It works a little too well!

Yesstyle snood scarf, coat from China, Supre knit, Levi's jeans, Kate Spade NY bag, S5 case from eBay, Michael Kors watch, Oroton umbrella


Shampoo and conditioner

  • Alchemy Ylang Ylang Colour Care Shampoo for Colour Treated Hair*
  • Davroe Colour Senses Conditioner*

I had been using the Davroe Colour Senses shampoo but I ran out of that faster than the conditioner (isn't it usually the other way around for people?) because I brought it with me to my overseas trip last December and didn't bother bringing conditioner. Conditioning my hair isn't a crucial step for me so I was fine without it while I was away from home. I find that the scent of the Alchemy shampoo is a little overpowering however I still like to use it because it cleans my hair well and is recommend for colour treated hair like mine. I prefer the scent of he Davroe conditioner so I guess by using this conditioner after washing my hair with Alchemy, it sort of masks that overpowering scent. Although they're not from the same brand, I feel that they work well together because of their ingredients (paraben and sulfate free) and their uses to help enhance coloured hair and vibrance.


Treatments/serums/hair masks

  • Essential Nuance Airy Ultra Honey Hair Mask
  • Davroe Ends Repair Leave-in Treatment*
  • Dove Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-Oil Serum*

The Essential hair mask is my latest hair product purchase which I bought off Sasa a couple of weeks ago. It's a Japanese product that has been highly raved about online and these positive reviews have made me want to try it out so badly. Verdict? I love it! The product making my hair silky-smooth seems like an understatement because it feels even smoother than silk (if that's even possible). It works better than any ordinary hair conditioner in my opinion, and it smells wonderful. The scent straight from the jar may be a bit overpowering but once a golf ball-sized amount is used and rinsed out of your hair, it leaves a light, pleasant scent. People with dry/damaged hair can really benefit from this hair mask as it restores it and makes it feel healthy again. I don't know how it does it! This is definitely a product that I want to purchase over and over again.

Two years later and I'm still using the Dove Nourishing Oil serum which I reviewed *here* (sorry all of the pictures are gone) and also pairing it with the Davroe Ends Repair Leave-in Treatment specifically for my ends to hopefully reduce or prevent split ends. So far so good - a month and a half since my last haircut and there are still no split ends.


Spritz/sprays

  • Davroe Colour Senses Daily Protect Spray*
  • MUK Hot Muk Thermal Protector*
  • John Frieda Frizz-Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist
  • Les Stafford Poker Straight Dry Shampoo for Oily Roots

The Davroe Colour Protect spray is used to help protect and extend the life of coloured hair while adding shine and colour-fade protection. Although it's a 'daily' spray, I haven't been using it daily but I do use it at least a few times a week to give my hair some protection and refreshing scent. I like how it can be used on damp or dry hair. Another spray that I use a few times a week is the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Glossing mist to help smooth flyaways and reduce frizz which is one of my hair problems. It's very lightweight, so lightweight that it doesn't even feel like it does anything for my hair but still manages to make my hair stay together without having to use hair sprays that make my hair all hard. I absolutely love the scent of this product - it's a worthy purchase.

Between washes I occasionally use this Les Stafford dry shampoo for my oily roots. I received this in a Priceline goodie bag and I'm not much of a dry shampoo user however I do prefer this over the Batiste one that I used to have because it seems to work better and I prefer this scent.

Whenever I use a straightener or curling iron I use this MUK Thermal Protector spray beforehand. I like the apple-like scent and it seems to be able to control my frizz and static hair quite well.

---

I'm content with my current hair routine and products but I am always willing to try new ones in case I discover something that will change my life forever! Okay, that's pretty dramatic but you know what I mean, right? There are some things out there that make you ask yourself, 'where has this been all my life?!'


New VO5 range*

  • VO5 Smoothly Does It Frizz Free Creme
  • VO5 Give Me Texture Shampoo
  • VO5 Give Me Texture Conditioner
  • VO5 Give me Texture Tousled Style Spray
 
I have used VO5 products in the past and now I've been introduced to their new range with mostly pink packaging (which is so me) and promises to 'give me texture'. Did these products manage to do that? Yes, they certainly did! I have thin hair strands but my hair as a whole is not thick nor thin (also, I don't thin-out my hair) however I had always been lacking texture and volume as my straight hair tends to just sit flat on my head and doesn't do much for me. The spray in particular really helps to add definition to my hair and the bottle states that it is particularly great for layered hair, which is what my currently hair style is. I'm a big fan of the packaging and also the fact that they already have heat defence so that you can style your hair right after washing and not have to worry about heat protection sprays/creams. This is particularly convenient if you are short for time or if you need those extra minutes to get ready :)

I've noticed that VO5 have had some of the best-smelling scents for hair products and with this range, they've introduced a 'fabulous new fragrance'. It's pleasant but I wish they had stuck with their previous one/s because personally I find this new scent to be too musky for my liking . You or others may like it though, and after all it did get the nod!

So I guess this VO5 range does include products that have made me wonder where they have been all my life, especially the frizz free creme and tousled style spray. I can use ordinary shampoos and conditioners like the VO5 ones or my current Davroe and Alchemy ones but when it comes to treatments/sprays/serums etc, ones that work specifically for my hair type and style are the ones that I benefit from the most. Plus I love it when I find products that do what I need them to do because it makes things a whole lot easier.

Questjen for you:

Which hair product is your holy grail?

For me, it's tough picking one but I'll have to say my ghd! Even if my hair is super messy and getting oily, straightening my hair gives me so much confidence :) Below is a pic that I took when my limited edition set was brand new. But it all still works and looks as good as new!

The 'Alfa Romeo' of hair stylers. Completely agree.




Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post. Products were purchased by me unless marked with a * which have been provided for consideration, with no obligation to to share or review. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest with no bias. See more at http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html for full disclaimer. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

f(x) 'Red Light' MV Inspired Look - Krystal

Hey, I love it when my favourite K-pop groups make a comeback, especially girl groups because I always look forward to seeing their concept for their 'teaser' photos and music video, and to possibly get some inspiration from those. Think of these concepts as 'cosplay' with all the different hair colours and costumes but not based on any particular character and are created by their stylists. f(x) recently came back with their 'Red Light' title track and album and their style is not overly cute nor sexy (the two concepts that many girl groups aim for these days) but instead consists of dark makeup and camo-style outfits. From seeing f(x)'s teaser photos and music video, I was immediately inspired to create one of their looks on myself and share on my blog for fun. Here's how it went:
 
 
I decided to base my look on f(Krystal) because out of all the members, hers looked the most dramatic and when it comes to inspired looks like these, the more dramatic the better! And she dyed her hair platinum blonde and then I remembered I had a blonde wig (which I rarely use) and was perfect for this :D
 
Here are more shots of Krystal from the MV:



She wore a headpiece and a crown
 
The thing that really captured my attention from the look was the one black, smokey eye and the other almost completely bare with a coloured contact lens on. This was pretty consistent with all of the members however I felt that Krystal stood out the most with her super dangle-y headpiece and ice-like crown/headband (where would I get one of those?!)
 
As I say for all of my inspired looks, my intention is not to create a replica or tutorial on how to get this look - this is just my own interpretation where I have used items that I already had, to look as close as possible to the items worn by Krystal.
 
A tick for the blonde wig, a tick for an army-green jacket but with the headpiece... that was where I had some issues. Considering that I never wear headpieces or anything on my head (if you see me with a headband a la cat ears, it means I'm wearing them for a special occasion), I wasn't thinking about buying one and thought I could just wrap some gold chains around my head... but that didn't work. 
 
I had a browse online and found this one and thought it was perfect but now it's sold out!!! And it's called 'Crystal' like Krystal too, omg. I settled for the cheapest one I could find in the store ($4, online it's still full price) to wear and draped gold chains over it. Unfortunately I only had two gold chains and I didn't have crosses but I had butterflies:

Accessories sorted!

These are the products (minus tools such as brushes) that I used to achieve the inspired look:


FACE:
ELES Age Defying BB Cream 30*
Tony Moly Crystal Light Gold Beam
Rimmel Stay Matte Dual Action Concealer 
Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel

EYES:
GEO Angel Blue Lenses
Australis Eyeshadow Primer
ELES Signature Shadow Quad in Minimalist*
ELES Mineral Matte Shadow in Sand*
Australis Eye Pencil in Blackest Black
Rimmel Soft Kohl Eye Liner Pencil in 071 Pure White
Maybelline HyperSharp Liner
Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner (still trialling for review purposes)*
Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
Dolly Wink Eyelash Glue
Taiwan Bottom Lashes in 011

LIPS:
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 625 Iced Amethyst
Couleur Caramel Rouge a Levres Lipstick in 119*


I used the lightest shade of BB Cream that I had to correspond with Krystal's pale complexion and used concealer for extra coverage. I highlighted my nose bridge, brow bone, cheek bones and cupid's bow. For my brows, I kept them a natural brown like Krystal's and used my light brown brow gel to fill and lighten them up a bit. I couldn't see any blush on Krystal's cheeks so I didn't apply any.

Krystal's contact lens is a blue-green colour with no limbal ring (the black around a circle lens to give a dolly look) however I didn't have any other lenses that were blue so I used my GEO Angel Blue ones. This gave my eye a more doe-eyed look compared to Krystal's.


Left eye (no lens):

I applied eyeshadow primer all over my lid and applied black matte eyeshadow right up to the groove of my eye socket. I also applied the eyeshadow to my bottom lash line. I then used the brown matte eyeshadow and placed it right above the black eyeshadow and directly under the black used on the bottom lash line. I blended these together to create a smokey look and minimise any harsh lines. I winged my eyeliner, curled my lashes and applied a few coats of mascara. I used bottom lashes (half) that had a similar thick-thin style.

Right eye (lens):

Again, eyeshadow primer went on first and then a sand-coloured matte eyeshadow all over my eyelid and bottom lash line. Using my liquid eyeliner, I drew a thin line on top of the lashes and applied white eyeliner on my waterline. I finished it off with curling my lashes and applying mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

It all sounds pretty straight forward but it took me a few tries to get the smokey eye right and the way I wanted it to be. Perhaps it's because I hadn't done one in such a long time. Anyway I'm glad I only needed to do it on one eye or else it would've taken me even longer!

And finally to the lips:

It's so weird seeing the blonde against the bottom half of my face... doesn't even look like me o_o

I made my top lip look thinner than usual and my bottom lip slightly thicker (not like it needed to be any more thick haha). Krystal's got a dark ombre lip going on with purple matte lip products. I've only got one purple matte lipstick and it happens to be my darkest one, so I used it for the centre of my lips. The outer lipstick is a lighter purple and has a creamy consistency, hence the glossiness. I could have went for fully-matte lips but I didn't want to risk drying out my lips, plus I prefer smooth, glossy lips!

So there we go, the finished look where I had a few hiccups along the way with the accessorising and makeup application but overall I'm pleased with how it turned out :)

In the end I even added a small 'freckle' near the side of my nose, Krystal-style!

Oh and here's the full MV if you're keen to see the rest of the girls' looks and/or listen to their latest track:



Questjen for you:

Whose look did you like the best in the Red Light MV?

If you don't know their names, you can identify them by their hair colours/styles

I could say good things about each look and although I was most inspired by Krystal's, I was fangirling the most over Sulli! I wanted to recreate her look too but I didn't have brown lenses or the right accessories~


She's the youngest member of f(x) and she's all grown up looking more and more stunning

I hope to do more of these inspired looks in the near future and if there are any requests, feel free to shoot them my way!




Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies mentioned. Products marked with a * had been provided for consideration.

Friday, July 4, 2014

EOFY Sales - Accessories Haul

Hi guys, I hope you’re all well, I can’t believe that half the year is already done and dusted! My exams are also done so for the next 3 weeks I’ll be putting my feet up and making the most of this free time as I can. This is the start of a new financial year and thanks to the wonderful end-of-financial-year (EOFY) sales, I managed to pick up a few accessories that I needed – tech-related ones especially. I decided not to go crazy with the spending and having exams distracted me from making too many cheeky instore and online shopping trips!

There's more but they haven't arrived yet. The downside to online shopping :(

Basically the purpose of these stocktake sales is for retailers to clear out their excess stock, hence the massive discounts, and to increase sales to note down in their books before June 30, the last day of the financial year.

This first item isn’t part of my haul but I thought I’d include this anyway since I helped to pick it out – it’s my mum’s new Oroton handbag and it’s her first of this Australian leather goods brand. She was really excited to finally purchase one after years of contemplation. 


They had 50% off storewide plus an additional 20% off online orders for one day only. A lot of the bags that she showed interest towards were sold out before she could even add them to her cart however she managed to pick out one that she was happy to buy, and I’m happy that she did. I think it’s gorgeous.

I also made a purchase on the Oroton website where I purchased 2 umbrellas because I couldn't decide on just one. I might give one to my mum. They're on their way so I couldn't add it to my collective image above, sadly!

They were 70% off in the outlet section

I snagged a Mimco Medium Pouch which was reduced and had a further 20% off reduction on one of the days, so it was almost 50% off RRP. Mimco is another Australian leather goods brand and what I really like about the pouch is its glossy patent leather - love the feel of it.


A while ago, I wasn't that interested in this brand, particularly because a few of their styles didn’t appeal to my taste (the huge buttons, though I don’t mind the turnlock style) however I found that their pouches were really handy to use with a simplistic design. I see a lot of girls with them and it’s great that they have a wide selection of colours to choose from to suit individual personalities. I chose lilac because it’s soft and feminine and it caught my eye when it was released for the Mother’s Day collection back in May. I hope to get a pink one and/or a black one later on.

I currently use it as my casual clutch to stash the basic necessities being my phone, keys, frequently-used cards, loose change, mints and lip balm. It can also be used as a cosmetics bag.

Those cardholders in the image above are new too. I managed to buy two of them from David Jones’ sale for $25. I was intending to only buy one but for 50% off, I thought why not grab two so I did! And I’m really glad I did because I’m currently using both in my pouch and they’re so convenient to carry in your pockets etc. I’ve never had a cardholder before and seeing how often my boyfriend uses his, I was convinced that I needed one too.

These were the colours that I liked best out of the selection

They’re made from Saffiano leather, the same type of leather that’s used for designer bags such as Michael Kors, Prada, DKNY and more. I had thought about getting a Tory Burch cardholder but after seeing these ones for just a fraction of the price and made from the same material, I decided not to. I’d be paying for the brand of a product which probably has the same quality as these anyway. Never say never though, I may still give into a Tory Burch!

I love my music and nowadays I can only use in-ear buds as they fit snuggly and I think they make music sound even better than ordinary earphones. I’ve been using Samsung and Sennheiser earphones (my favourite pairs) and I ended up buying two new pairs from a brand I hadn’t heard of but had decent reviews online (and a mid-range price tag). I’m always wanting to have spare earphones in case I lose a pair or if they stop working.


These are apparently around $30 each which aren’t too pricey but are more up-there compared to some that I’ve seen around $10 and less. Electronics shop DSE had these for around 80% off that price - $5 a pair with free shipping (say whaaaat)! What makes these different to the earphones that I already have are that these are tangle-resistant due to their flat cable. It’s so annoying when earphone wires get all tangled. Another thing is that they’re fluoro so they’re easy to spot in your bag. One pair is compatible with Apple (pink) and the other is compatible with Android (blue). Of course they work on both devices but the volume control buttons will only work for the brand that they’re designed for. I use my iPod and my phone to listen to music, depending on what I feel like listening to, i.e Pandora app or my own music.

eBay had a one-day 15% off purchases which I gladly took advantage of. None of the items have arrived yet but I can share what I purchased – accessories for my favourite tech gadgets, my S5 and Sony NEX camera such as a new floral case, spare batteries and a power bank.

I hate it when my phone runs out of batteries! That's why I bought a power bank and spare batteries

I’m trying to be good by saving more than spending and only getting what I need and will definitely use. So far so good with all of my recent purchases – no impulse-buys and no regrets. EOFY sales may be over but there are definitely more sales to look out for this year – end-of-season ones and post-Christmas/Boxing Day sales! Bring them on :D

Also, you don’t have to always wait for the big sales to make your purchases as you can still benefit by using coupons and promo codes online to give you a bit of guilt-free shopping and save you some coins. Almost every time I’ve shopped online, I’ve searched for a coupon to use and have been successful a number of times. I’ve shared a few of my favourite coupon sites on my blog and there’s one that just launched in Australia recently called CupoNation, which provides deals and coupons for Australian stores such as The Iconic, ASOS and Booktopia and some of my favourite beauty and fashion retailers all in one place – BeautyBay, Urban Outfitters, Ozsale and Shopbop. Sometimes it’s difficult to find out when there are sales happening in a shop but with this site, you’ll be able to find all of the best deals that CupoNation has to offer without having to sign up for multiple E-newsletters from several stores, for example, ASOS promo codes. There are many categories to choose from and if you’re into electronics or jewellery and accessories, you can easily find great deals and coupons for those items too.

I’d love to hear if any of you did any shopping recently with the EOFY/mid-year/end of season sales, what ever you want to call them! I’m always keen to hear about the amazing bargains that get snapped up :)


Disclaimer: Products were purchased by me, unless otherwise stated. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest with no bias. See more at http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html for full disclaimer. 

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