Thursday, March 29, 2007

Contest Entry #7: Natalie

I just wanted to remind everyone that you have exactly one week left to e-mail me your daily beauty routine if you'd like to be entered in the contest for our fabulous prize, a $40 gift certificate to every beauty addict's crackhouse: Sephora!

One thing I've noticed about about a lot of entries is just how attached curly haired women are to their hair products. As someone who's gone both ways (my hair is naturally pin straight but I permed it for a few years in high school), I know just how hard it is to find products that keep curls frizz-free, moisturized and well-defined. And then you have a whole new set of products for straightening days, and before you know it you've got a whole drawer filled with just hair products.

Natalie, whose entry is featured today, seems to have found a good system for keeping her curls looking their best, but I'm curious to hear some of your favorite products for curly hair. Share your rec's in the comments!

Natalie, age 22

Okay, here's the rundown:

Skin: Normal to oily, prone to the occasional blemish, pores that I'd like to try and minimize. Can get quite tan in the summer but also corpse-pale in the winter.

Face: I first rinse my face with lukewarm water, then do a gentle scrub with Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser - it's creamy with larger grained "jojoba" exfoliators, so it's not too harsh for daily use, which I like. Depending on the day, I might dab on some Clean & Clear to dry blemishes. I've varied on my face lotion for awhile - I always like to try new products, but my old favorite is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle daily moisturizer. It's super light, which is great for the summer, and it really does leave your skin smooth. Lately, I've been trying Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Daily Regenerating Lotion, which is a bit denser and heavier. So I'll apply either of those, and then I'll apply my makeup over them. Probably about once a week, I apply Queen Helene Mint Julep mask, which I LOVE because it helps with my never-ending battle against blackheads on my nose, and exfoliate my lips with Smashbox Lip Exfoliator. I also do a more intense exfoliation with L'Oreal's Microdermabrasion kit.

Body: For body wash, I LOVE method creamy body wash in Lavender Thyme. Smells amazing, doesn't strip my skin of moisture. Before bed or after a long day, I like to use Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash in Sleep Lavender (okay, okay, so I like lavender a lot). When I'm sick, it's Johnson's Soothing Vapor Baby Bath. I use it like a body wash, even though I guess it's really not. The combination of the steam from the shower and the vapors really helps with congestion and relaxation. Immediately after showering, when my skin is still a bit damp, I apply Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream or Nivea Soft.

Makeup: I could probably write a dissertation on the variations of my makeup application, but I'll try my darndest to stick to the basics. For work, I usually stick to (in order of application):

Dior DiorShow mascara, two coats - the definitive "I'm wearing fake eyelashes but not really" mascara

NARS Orgasm or NARS Desire blush - I think both of these shades are pretty flattering on everyone...don't be scared by the color of Desire, a shocking pink.

Benefit Boi-ing concealer in 1 or 2, depending on level of paleness - the stuff is so creamy, and it doesn't crease (unless you spackle it on)

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm or NARS Orgasm gloss

Hair: Curly, tendency to frizz, dark brown and uncolored, tendency get a little dandruffy

Because my hair is curly, I always brush it BEFORE I get into the shower or comb it while I'm in the shower - I can't disturb the way my curls dry naturally, or my 'do would go to hell in a handbasket. I like to wash it with Biolage moisturizing shampoo and conditioner - this seems to be really moisturizing, and I really like the smell. Not gonna lie, that salon scent is probably why I like it better than other shampoos - I have yet to discover any shampoo that is life-changing; I find that it's all about the products I apply afterwards for me.

If I'm going to wear it straight, I'll towel dry, and then distribute Aveda Hang Straight through it, then blow-dry in sections and flat-iron. I don't think that Hang Straight necessarily makes my hair super straight - I think that's mostly the heat from the blow-dryer and flat-iron - but I think it protects my hair really well, and since I have curly hair, that's a big concern.

If I'm going to wear it curly, I let it air-dry for a bit, then apply John Frieda Frizz-Ease Silicone Gel and let dry. This product works better for me than anything else I've tried, and doesn't leave that gross crunchiness. Used to use Pantene Pro-V gel, but I think it has a high alcohol content and is drying.

Random products I love:

Cetaphil moisturizing cream (the kind that comes in the big tub) for body moisturizing

Nars Monoi Body Glow II (sans all the JLo/Beyonce-style body shimmer, which I just find impractical for my daily life). It smells amazing and doubles as moisturizer in the summer.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine and C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tints in 1138

Ile de Tahiti Inu Body Lotion in Tiare Flower

Essie nail polish in LimoScene

AquaTanica Spa Sea Mineral Body Wash....

as you can see, I'm a little too product-obsessed. Anyway, hopefully someone will derive something useful out of this!


sparkler said...

As a fellow owner of curly hair (I sent you my own entry under the name Tara), I take a completely different approach than Natalie. I stay away from all traditional shampoos with sulfates (I usually wash my hair with conditioner and use a non-sulfate shampoo once a week) and avoid silicones as well (the Frieda line is silicone-heavy).

This approach doesn't work for everyone, but it's saved my hair from frizzy hell. My secret weapon of choice is Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel. Great stuff for frizz-free curls that stay all day.

Toya said...

I'm in agreement, Sparkler! I avoid shampoos altogether and just do conditioner washes. My hair is much healthier and softer as a result.

Natalie said...

I think the shampoo-free approach is really good if your hair is coarser and SUPER curly...mine is very curly, but I can also make it straight pretty easily, and it's not brittle. If I went without shampooing, I know my hair would be grease-central.

Curly hair...such a conundrum!

sparkler said...

Yeah, curly hair can be hard work! I have to shampoo mine once a week or my curls get really limp and frizzy, so I definitely see where you're coming from Natalie. Everyone's hair is different!

Anonymous said...

I love Queen Helene products, especially anything labeled "Mint Julep"! You should try their exfoliating face washes, it makes you feel really refreshed in teh morning.