What I Have Learned From Going Blonde

This post contains some associate links. That just means that if you click the link and purchase something I will receive a portion of the proceeds. 

My wonderful husband gave me a fantastic early Christmas present and funded me getting a balayage. I have wanted to dye my hair for a long time but I put it off until after the wedding. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable with my hair or unfamiliar with it on the day when my hair needed to be the lesser of my worries.

I have been blonde for just over a two weeks and I am in love with the way it looks. This is something that I had been warned before that it might wash me out but I took the chance and I absolutely love it. Sometimes I still get confused at the blonde hairs on the couch but I’ll get used to it.

To help combat the dry and sometimes frizzy hair that is super different from what I’m used to; here are a few products that I use to help it look and feel a little healthier.

Shampoos and Conditioners

When you color your hair you have to change up your hair care routine a bit. For me, I have found that I need to wash my hair a little less than I normally do and I condition my hair every single day.

Paul Mitchel Extra-Body Shampoo and Conditioner

This shampoo-conditioner set is not specifically for color treated hair so it doesn’t have some of the benefits that those shampoos do but it helps when my hair is starting to get frizzy. The shampoo doesn’t create the best suds to wash your hair but the conditioner helps the frizzy ends when the dryness starts to get to my hair.

As far as cost goes this is not the most wallet-friendly product but I get mine at JCP where they usually have a good sale going on. These ones I bought on black Friday when it was buy one get one half off so I got them for about 20$ total.

Maui Moisture Color Protection + Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner

This is a shampoo-conditioner set that is meant for colored treated hair so it has ingredients that help your hair to stay healthy with color. I like this brand a lot because it is a more natural brand that is vegan, sulfate free, and made with pure coconut water. It is also pretty kind on your wallet and works like professional salon brands.

This shampoo and conditioner have some great minerals that help to protect your hair color and bring some moisture back into it. They bring some natural shine back into my hair so that it doesn’t look dull or dry. As far as cost these are pretty good. Depending on where you get them they can be between 8 and 9 dollars. I got the ones I have right now from Ulta Beauty for 9 but I know that Walmart also carries the same product.

Matrix Total Results Brass Off Color Obsessed Shampoo and Conditioner

So if you, like me, have decide to go blonde then your hair has needed toner. However, toner fades over time and the way to keep it a little longer is to use special shampoo like this one. It is usually a deep purple/blue color that you don’t have to use very often at first but you increase frequency as you time goes on. This shampoo does make my hair really soft and it suds really well. However, if you use it too soon after ding your hair it can turn it a little blue so the general rule is to wait about two weeks.

As far as cost these shampoos and conditioners are a bit more pricy but my recommendation is to invest in something good. It is going to be less expensive than getting a touch up more often because the toner fades. Invest in your hair color and you will see results. I also got these from JCPenny for about 13$ each but I have found it to be a good investment.

Leave in Treatments

Living in as dry of a climate as I do leave in products are a must. They keep my hair soft and smooth between washes and help my hair to hold in moisture better.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

So weather or not you have colored hair I still recommend this product.  It does amazing things for your hair that you can’t really get anywhere else. It is a spray but it is the consistency of conditioner. It makes my hair so soft and also helps with being a heat protectant. It adds a lot of moisture to my hair so I have to be careful with how much I use or it will start to feel like there is a lot of product in it. It helps to detangle hair a lot so that when you brush it you aren’t ripping out enough hair to create a wig for yourself. The next time you’re running to Target or Walmart or wherever you like to run errands pick up a bottle and look at the list of things that it does for your hair on the back. They are all 100% true for me and my hair type.

The best way to use it, for me at least, is to spray 3-4 sprays on towel dry hair and use a comb to brush it through all of my hair. I usually blow dry it after because I am a morning shower person and if I leave the house with wet hair in winter it will literally freeze before I get to my car.

As far as cost this is not the most friendly to the wallet, I’m not going to lie. It is an amazing product but the next leave in product I’m talking about is just as good and I recommend just as much and it is more budget friendly if that is what you are looking for.

Wet Brush Time Release Detangler 

This is a product that the stylist recommended to me when I got my hair colored as a good leave in product to use. The first thing I noticed when I used it is how good it made my hair smell and the smell lasted all day. This is definitely something that I reach for super often because it helps my wet hair to be detangled and it also has heat protectant in it so I can blow dry my hair after using it as well. It has keratin that helps my hair to be stronger to help the wet noodle feeling that I talked about earlier. I also don’t notice the feeling of hair feeling like it has too much product in it like I do with the previous product. I think this is because it is not as thick like that one is.

As far as price this one is a little lighter on the wallet. And honestly I think it is amazing and I reach for it just as often as I do the It’s a 10 product.

Pharm to Table Coconut Argon Hydrating Leave-In

This was something that I picked up at TJMaxx and I have really fallen in love with it. It smells amazing and the coconut oil in it really helps my hair to have some great shine and moisture. It also has argon oil and bamboo extract in it which are things that my hair always really loves. It makes it really soft and helps to repair some damage. It doesn’t have heat protectant in it so I will use it on days when I don’t have to go to work in the morning or when I am staying home for the day and when I can let my hair air dry.

Coconut Oil

So for this one I don’t think that it really matters what brand you use. Sometimes I will use whatever I find at the grocery store in the jars with the cooking stuff but the one that I am loving at the moment is the Shea Moisture Coconut Oil.

The way that I use this is at night I will coat all of my hair in it and put it in a towel with a towel on my pillow and sleep with it in my hair. I wash it out in the morning like I would normally wash my hair and it helps give my hair so much life. I heard of this when I was watching some interview with Kim Kardashian and she mentioned that this was something that she did with blonde hair to keep it healthy. I figured why not give it a shot and it really works.

 

Products I use for a Treat Yo Self Night

I don’t know about you guys but I definitely love having a night to myself where I can just treat myself and focus on relaxing and treating myself. Usually I go for a nice bath, some skin and hair treatments, and a relaxing evening in. So here are a few things that I like to use for a treat yo self night:

(bonus points to anyone who has seen the Parks and Rec episode I am referring to)

I love starting out with a nice bath. This usually means that I like to start with candles and maybe an episode of old trash reality show reruns. My first ingredient is usually a bath bomb.

I always love to buy bath bombs from local places and farmers markets. These places always seem to have amazing products that are really unique. These ones I have gotten from a local shop and from a farmers market type booth on campus. They all smell really unique and I am super excited to use them.

dav
Local Bath Bombs

As far as commercial places to get great bath bombs I love Lush. I like to use bath bombs that are meant to calm and relax so I usually go for something with lavender or chamomile in it. So far the one I have really liked from Lush that I have repurchased is the Ickle Baby Bot. I know that this is usually meant for kids but I really like it. It really helps me calm down with the lavender and chamomile in it and I also feel like it makes my skin really soft as well. The other one I have really wanted to try is The Big Sleep. Keep your eye out for a future post about this one!

My next ingredient for a treat yo self night is some bath salts. I love ones that tend to have lavender in them because they help me relax so much. The one I have now I bought at Winco and it smells really good and goes with my bath bomb really well so I feel extra relaxed. I have found that I really like natural scents and I really love most things that contain essential oils.

mde
Petal Fresh Bath Salts

Just before I hop in my bath I like to grab either a book to read or I set up my laptop with an episode of the newest show that I’m watching. (This usually means reruns of ANTM on Hulu.)

Once I am in the bath I like to use a sugar scrub on my legs to make them extra soft. Sugar scrubs are some of my favorite products to use on my skin but I only use them when I do a treat yo self night. I dont know why I don’t do it more often but it makes them last a little longer. I use another local brand right now that I don’t really like as much as some of the commercial brands that I have used but it smells good so I haven’t felt the need to replace it yet.

dav
Local Sugar Scrubs

My favorite commercial brands for sugar scrubs are Tree Hut and Soap & Glory. For the Tree Hut one I really like the Coconut Lime scent because it isn’t too sweet and sugary. I love that I feel like it really gets the dead skin off my legs and it makes them so ridiculously soft after I shave them. If you can’t tell by the pic this one has been well loved by me.

dav
Tree Hut Sugar Scrub

 

As far as the Soap & Glory scrub I love the Sugar Crush Body Scrub. The scent of this is so unique and I fell in love with it the first time I used it. I can’t quite describe it so I just recommend going and getting some to fall in love with yourself. I love that this has a lot of moisturizing elements to it. On top of getting the dead skin off, it makes the fresh skin feel so healthy when I’m done.

After I am content with how much time I have spent in the bath I will drain the water and take a quick shower to be able to wash my hair and face. I know that this isn’t the most effective water saving technique but I never really feel like my hair can get clean in a bath.

Next comes the masks.

As far as a hair mask I have been trying a bunch but the one I always seem to go back to is the OGX Argon Oil Intense Moisturizing Treatment. I talk about this to everyone when they ask me how I get my hair so soft. For me it really has the best of all worlds when it comes to hair treatments. It smells amazing and I have never tried anything that makes my hair feel so good and so healthy and soft.

dav
My favorite hair treatment

The other hair masks that I have been trying are the Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Strength and Shine mask. Honestly I don’t really see a ton of benefit from this mask but it is one of the best smelling products that I have used. For a treat yo self night I love things that smell good so sometimes I lean toward this one.

I don’t tend to be a big face mask person because I tend to just go straight to my prescriptions after I wash my face and I kind of forget about them. When I do remember that face masks are an option I still love The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Face Mask because it makes my skin feel really good. Before I started the prescriptions that I am on, products that have tea tree oil in them seemed to be the only things that were making my skin show any kind of improvement. It really helps my skin to feel like it is clean and refreshed.

dav
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mask

 

I also have enjoyed finding local shops that have face masks just like I do with bath bombs. Right now I have one on that is from a brand called TreeBee and I am really liking it. It kind of has the consistency of yogurt but it is making my skin feel great so if you can find a local shop, try them out!

dav
dav

I also wanted to mention another mask that I put on but I usually wait until the very end to put it on because it is a sleeping mask. It is the SOO AE Donkey Milk Sleeping Mask. This is the most moisturizing product I have tried so far and every time I use it I don’t wake up with flakey spots around my eyes and mouth.

mde
Donkey Milk Sleeping Mask

 

After I have rinsed out my hair mask and taken off the face mask I get to my last few steps in treating myself. I usually like to moisturize my whole body. I don’t really like moisturizers that make my skin feel sticky or that feel like they just sit on top of my skin and stick to my PJs.

My go-to lotion has been the Vaseline Intensive Healing Moisturizer. It makes my skin feel so good and I am in love with the really light scent. I used to have really dry patches on my legs that would burn and this was the only product that would help so I have sworn by it ever since. I definitely recommend this if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by scents at this point in your evening.

dav
Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

(Chris also uses this and he loves it as well. Just a side note for any guys that happen to follow my blog.)

However if you are still really loving all the creative and new scents then try another locally made product! At the moment I am loving some body butters that I have that I have found at farmers markets and some little boutiques around that are my go-to.

If you are looking for a really commercial deep moisturizer try out the Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel. This stuff gives some of the deepest and longest lasting moisture that I have ever experienced. It also smells great and you really don’t have to use much to get a really great feeling for your skin.

My final step of the evening is tea. I love calming tea to end a really good night. I think that there are a lot of really great brands out there that I have tried. The one that I am currently obsessed with is a German brand that I can’t even really try to spell. I do know that it has lavender in it and that is one of my favorite tea components.

These are some of my favorite items that help me to have a really relaxing night. Weather I have just had a particularly tough day or if I am feeling extra anxious, I love using these to help me have a night to treat myself.

If you want to read more about what I do that also helps me relax when I am feeling anxious them check out my last blog post here.

Let me know what you guys like to use when you feel like treating or pampering yourself for an evening or if you’ve tried any of the products mentioned above!

Instagram: @kateboswelll

Twitter: @5678_kate


My Vacation Skincare

IMG_1477

 

If you guys are anything like me vacations are amazing but also a bit of a skin nightmare. Unless its a staycation I definitely have to prepare for going anywhere for anymore than a few hours.

So my parents live in California and Chris’ parents live in Boise so anytime we go visit either of them my skin has no idea what to do. In Boise it is super dry (like more dry than Rexburg which I did not previously think was possible) and where my parents live its pretty humid.

I know that when I am in Boise as soon as I wash my face my skin feels like fabric stretched over a drum. However, because of this my skin likes to overcompensate and kick oil production into overdrive.

Usually the day before we leave I make sure that I shower and wash my face earlier in the evening (I am a firm believer in showering at night because I don’t like waking up any earlier than I absolutely have to) and I make sure to use a great moisturizer or skin serum. This helps my skin to get some really good moisture without making it too over oily. The morning of departure I use a really light and water-based moisturizer. This helps my skin to retain everything from the night before and it helps it to be able to not feel so tight the next day.

First of all, generally I don’t wear foundation on a day to day basis but especially not when I am traveling and my skin is confused. I also have to be very careful with the kind of moisturizer I use. Right now I am using a pretty heavy moisturizer at night (the Shea Moisture Daily Defense Moisturizer) and something lighter in the morning (either the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Moisturizer or the Simple Moisturizing Gel Cream.)

Another thing that I think is both a blessing and a curse on vacation is sunscreen. On one hand it keeps my skin protected from the sun but on the other hand it always clogs my pores. I know that there are a lot of great sunscreens out there that are really light and not oily for your skin but I definitely have the type of skin that has very easily clogged pores. I have always used kids sunscreen for my face because it seems to be the only thing that doesn’t irritate it.

If we are traveling somewhere a little more humid then I have to change up my skincare routine. I still use the same face wash but in the morning I use a really light moisturizer because I know that my skin is going to kick into hyperdrive oil production throughout the day. At night I make sure to wash my face with really warm water so that I can get all of the sweat and oil out of it and make sure that it is squeaky clean. Then I use a moisturizer that is somewhere in the middle between light and heavy. Usually here I’ll use a baby lotion because I feel like it makes my skin feel really good in these conditions. I usually go for the Johnson & Johnson night time baby lotion.

Let me know if you guys have any other vacation skincare tips and how you take care of your skin on vacation.

 

Some Products are Worth the Splurge

I am 100% for beauty on a budget. There are a lot of drug store brands that just seem to get it when it comes to beauty products.

However, some items there just aren’t replacements for. Most of these products you can find a pretty good replacement for but it still doesn’t perform at quite the same level as higher end products. These are a few of the products that I really love (and can justify splurging on.)

  1. Better Than Sex Mascara – I think that there are definitely some other great mascaras out there, don’t get me wrong. In my experience it takes a lot more coats to get the same effect. With this mascara I spend the least amount of time trying to make sure my lashes aren’t clumped and they still look like I’m wearing fake lashes. I feel like it really stays on all day and it doesn’t flake off. I think the price is worth every cent.
  2. Shape Tape – I don’t know that I have ever tried a concealer that is quite as pigmented as this. If there are days where I am running late, I can dab this on under my eyes and over some problem areas and be ready to head out the door. It also is a great highlight for under my eyes and on the bridge of my nose when I am doing a full face. For me, that definitely constitutes the price.
  3. Primer- For me personally, primer makes all the difference. I don’t really have a specific product in mind because there are such different kinds of skin. I use a Two Faced primer because I feel like it holds my makeup in place really well and it helps the texture of my skin to be closer to the matte that I like. Honestly, finding a good primer that compliments your skin type is really key.

Also, if you don’t like to splurge on things without being sure then try out places like Sephora that will give you samples of what you’re looking for before you commit to the price. (I just learned today that Sephora gives samples so my life is forever changed.)

As far as a few other things that I will occasionally splurge on there aren’t many. Sometimes I will treat myself with a really nice face wash or a great moisturizer but for the most part I enjoy the hunt for beauty on a budget.

Haircare- Practices and Products

IMG_0519I have always had long hair. (Except the one time in second grade when I thought that I could cut my own hair and I ended up looking like a pre-pubescent boy but we don’t talk about that.) But for the most part I have always had long hair which means that I have 20 years of knowledge that I want to share.

Fair Warning: This will be a rather long post because for some reason I am just really passionate about haircare.

As far as haircare practices go I think that there are a few basic ones that have definitely made a difference for me.

  1. Don’t wash your hair everyday. I feel like this is a pretty common practice and it helps your hair to be able to retain natural oils and keep itself healthy. I generally go for every two days or every other day depending on the weather and my skin condition. I also take time to brush my hair with a really fine-tooth comb on the days that I don’t wash it. This helps to distribute the natural oils in my hair and make it a lot more shiny and soft. I notice that when I do this my hair feels a lot healthier.
  2. Condition your hair every time you shampoo it. You know those expandable pokey balls that kids play with? That’s what my hair ends up looking like if I shampoo it without conditioning it. Shampoo tends to strip hair of the natural oils so if you take them out then you have to put them back in. My hair gets greasy pretty quickly so I just condition the ends of my hair in the shower. (If your hair is already replacing the oils at the rate it needs then why should you use the extra conditioner?)
  3. Avoid using heat as much as possible. I only curl my hair once every few months and I don’t blow dry it at all. I have really long hair so the less damage I do to it the longer it will get instead of breaking off. I know that there are products that can help combat the damage that heat can do but in my personal experience the less you use the better. I also think that people’s natural hair texture looks so good on them!
  4. Deep conditioning can be your best friend. Treat yo self! Sometimes you need to treat yourself with a great hair mask, a good deep condition, or a hot oil treatment. Whatever it is, your hair will thank you for doing it.

As far as products go, I am going to recommend a few brands more so than specific products. I am all for beauty on a budget so all of these are brands you can get at Walmart (or your local drugstore) for relatively cheap.  Everyone has such different types of hair that its hard to just do one product. My hair isn’t particularly thick or thin but it is pretty long. It gets greasy pretty quickly and I have not dyed it since the “Scene Kid Phase” my sophomore year of high school 5 years ago. So here goes my list:

  1. OGX. I have really loved every product I have tried from OGX. It makes my hair seem so soft and so clean and so healthy. My personal favorite is the Argon Oil of Morocco line. I think that the search for a deep conditioner stops here. It smells absolutely AMAZING and nothing makes my hair feel better and more healthy. I use it 2-3 times a week and I definitely notice a difference in how soft and silky my hair is.
  2. Pantene: I think that this is one of my favorite conditioner brands. It always smells good and leaves my hair feeling really healthy. Any time I use heat on my hair I always reach for this more than I reach for other products because I feel like it nourishes my hair a lot more.
  3. Garnier Fructis: Honestly, this product is mostly on my list because I am in love with the way it smells. I usually stick to the naturals line because I can smell it on my hair all day long. The products in the naturals line have ingredients that are more natural (no surprise) and more nourishing for our hair in comparison to the regular line. (I use the Rose Hips one and I always get compliments on how good my hair smells.)
  4. Maui Moisture: This product is VERY aptly named. One thing that I don’t love about this product is the packaging and the fact that the shampoo doesn’t lather very well. For the most part I think that it is really moisturizing and super nourishing for my hair.

There are a few more expensive products that I have used and I liked them but I haven’t noticed a big difference between those and these brands. (At least not enough to justify spending that much on them.) I try to take especially good care of my hair so I am always on the lookout for new brands and products to try!

Beauty on a Budget

There are tons of beauty blogs to tell you about the best of the high end makeup rands but I don’t often see any on more affordable makeup so I’m here to help.

Don’t get me wrong I love my high end makeup and I still splurge at Sephora or Ulta more often than I like to admit. I also realize that there is a need for more affordable makeup products as well.

I would like to think that this goes along with my skincare journey (you can read more about my skincare adventures here) and finding new products and reviewing some old ones that have been favorites of mine will be really fun. For this particular post I want to focus on foundation and concealer.

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a makeup expert or a professional. These are my personal opinions and experiences.

My skin right now is in a weird limbo where the prescription I’m on is making it really dry and patchy but my skin is usually a touch on the oily side.

Foundation:

  1. Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25 hour wear liquid foundation.

This product I have repurchased again and again. It has really good coverage and I feel like the rest of my makeup goes on really well on top of it. It is a heavier foundation and it is definitely full coverage.

2. Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup

IMG_1342

I used this product a lot in high school and i purchased it quite a few times. The coverage was much lighter but it was nice for going throughout my day and knowing that my skin looked natural and clean.

3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation 

IMG_1344

I’m not going to lie, this is not my favorite foundation. There is currently a bottle in my makeup bag and I dread using it. The coverage is very light and it seems to dry my skin out more than anything. If you are looking for a light foundation then this product is definitely for you. It did not fit my personal preference but that is totally just me.

4. NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

IMG_1350

I know this foundation may not fall directly into the drugstore brand but I don’t think it falls specifically into the high end part either. I really like this foundation so far. I was really hesitant about a drop foundation but I think it has been one of my favorites.

Concealer:

  1. Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free + Balance Stick Foundation

 

I bought this concealer a lot but I feel like it was more out of habit than because I was in love with it. The coverage was good and it blended into my makeup pretty well but the coverage wasn’t phenomenal. I feel like there was definitely room for improvement but overall it was pretty good.

      2. e.l.f Concealer

IMG_1349

My biggest struggle with this concealer was that the light color was too dark for me. I think it was pretty pigmented, it blended relatively well, and the coverage was pretty good. For the price I feel like it really isn’t a bad concealer.

      3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer

IMG_1343

This concealer has been one of my favorites. The coverage wasn’t as much as others that I have tried but I feel like my skin really liked it and it blended really well. I also feel like it was a pretty good at staying in place all day.

 

Overall I think that you can get some really good products for some really good prices. These are a few that I have tried and my personal experiences with them and even if I didn’t love them they might be exactly what someone else is looking for.

P.S I went to Walmart at 10:30 p.m to take pics of these products with Chris so shoutout to him for putting up with me.