Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Coconut Oil Diaries: Part XVI

I know, I know...if I write one more thing about coconut oil, one of you will jump through your screen and strangle me. But I can't help it, and because of this I must take my chances.

Coconut oil has saved my life. Again.

As the weather continues to transition from freeze-your-butt-off cold, to just slightly warmer, the one thing that's been suffering more than my mood, is my scalp. It's been so flaky in these parts that I thought I would just need to keep a hat on until June. But like any island lady, I have a head full of hair that I love to let down. This was just not going to do. I could invest in an intense head massage at my salon, or coat my head in olive oil like I've heard others do. And then someone mentioned coconut oil. Helllooooo--only my most loved product and drug of choice! I ran to the store and picked up a jar (no need to waste a whole bottle of Tongan oil on this project--besides, the scent would probably be too powerful to travel into work with, after) of organic coconut oil--which happens to be on sale at Whole Foods right now--and set it on the counter to warm up. Ten minutes later I was slathering my whole head with the stuff. I couldn't stop there, so I ran as much of it as I could through the rest of my hair as well. After, I wound all of my beauty up in a bun and fastened it with an elastic band. Popped a shower cap on top, and then scared the hell out of the fiance.

Watching tv and eating dinner with this thing on became so addictive, that I decided I must sleep with it on as well. And boy am I glad that I did. After a double dose of a morning shampoo (to remove the residue) and the regular in-shower conditioning, my hair re-emerged so shiny and silky, and with an itchless head to boot! Ah ladies, just one more amazing wonder that coconut oil provides. Genius, the mighty coconut!

Monday, March 16, 2009

aNother Brush Review: aDesign

I received a package in the mail! It's actually one of my favorite things to experience--packages in the mail that don't require a check to go along with it, or are really just overstuffed bills and the like. This time it was from my Yellow Box Beauty setup that I mentioned a month or so ago.

This month's "gift" was a set of brushes from aDesign Brushes. Now, what's crazy about this, is that I've read a ton of reviews on this line, and have had it bookmarked on my "to buy" tab for about a year now. All I've ever heard have been good things--that they are the company that supplies many high-end makeup lines with their brushes (those suckers just swap out the name on the handle, and ta-da..cha-ching..they're more expensive). Also, they were said to be super-soft, nice to animals, and just all around effective for what they are meant to do. This should go unsaid in my opinion, but the truth is, not all brushes are created equal and as we've touched on before, some can scratch the life out of your face. On the bright side, if you take good care of your brushes, you can have them for a lifetime (I have many that are a testament to this). Anyhow, I digress.

The brushes are amazing, and they're one more reason that I feel so blessed to have the Yellow Box Beauty account. Each one is everything listed above and more, and when I added the cost of each one, it became clear that Yellow Box practically gave me a $102 discount. Umm really? I already have my ideas about who this company produces for. I was about to buy an identical brush (the eye 4) from another line, that I'm now very happy I didn't shell out the money for.

On exception of a few brushes from pricier makeup lines, I may have to admit that I'm being completely sold over to some of their much more affordable dupes.

What are your favorite brushes, and why?

PS. I know that I'm overdue for an update with the Enormous Lash--if you've followed my Twitter updates at all, you're probably aware of the fact that I'm about to trade the stuff in for a more powerful beast. I'll explain soon. The review is mostly pending on my search for my camera's usb cord..still.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fairly Traded Coconuts

Sure it's March, but this weather has me feeling like I live in an igloo. I tell you, at times I swear my skin is going to just pop lock and drop off. What's my answer to the madness? You guessed it--coconut oil. Lolo niu. Whatever you like to call it. The wonder drug for women of the Pacific for...I don't know...ages. I was talking to mom a few weeks ago, and we were covering some of the basics that we could think of in terms of island skincare--do you know that each and every time we began a conversation, it somehow wrapped right back around to coconut oil? The stuff is used for everything! I know I'm preaching to the choir--but seriously...it became a game of "wildest things you can use lolo to cure".

Well tonight was just one of those cold nights. But instead of reaching for the old standby (refilled plastic Tongan sauce container of oil), I instead grabbed another beautifully packaged oil that I received as a birthday gift. Adara Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in Jasmine traps heat on the body like it's nobody's business, all the while smelling delicate yet coconutty in a non-intrusive and light way. Using high quality coconuts (what does that mean?!) from Singapore, the scents are so subtle that they also add just the right amount of sheen and slick to your hair as it does your body. Not a fan of Jasmine? There are five other scents! it's not your everyday fallback, but I tell you, you won't regret picking up a bottle as a special deviation from the norm.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Pacific Bride

As a bride-to-be, I am wincing at the fact that I didn't know of all these Pacific bridal designers ...oh, say 15 months ago. A self-confessed sucker for anything woven, Paula Chan creates beautiful dresses that are custom made to each island bride. Sarah Mules and Visesio Thomsen created the above looks, which totally blow me away. Now that's what I'm looking for when I pick up an issue of Pacific Bride magazine--not another candy lei or floating slipper candle. What do you think? Would you hire any of them for your big day?

Btw, I am one last step away from finding a new makeup artist for the big day. The earlier one had to go and move to Japan. Hmph.

Friday, March 06, 2009

GTL - Zeisha Fremaux

Oh how I love to see island ladies doing it big! Have we all heard of Miss Zeisha Fremaux? She is of Maori, Samoan, Chinese, German, French and English descent. Whew, how's that for a mouthful?! As an emerging recording artist, she just released her first music video, and was a finalist at the 2008 Pacific Music Awards. Although she seems to be able to pull off many looks (one day she's a brunette, the next a blonde), one that she tends to keep around, is one that resembles her above photo of bleached blonde hair with dirty roots. So just how do you get this look? Easy!

What you'll need:

*Face: MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation SPF 15 is great and not gross like the others!
*Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Brunette
*Eyes: MAC eyeshadow in Carbon and Scene
*Cheeks: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Pink Raspberry


1. Begin with a freshly washed and moisturized face. Give your skin a couple of minutes for the moisturizer to set in.

2. With a stippling brush, buff the Studio Sculpt foundation onto your skin in circular motions. Although this formula is quite dewy, if you'd like to up the moisture factor, first mix the foundation on the back of your hand with a bit of your moisturizer.

3. Fill in brows with the left side (the lighter shade) of the Brow Powder Duo, using an angled liner brush. Remember, your eyebrows don't have to match perfectly, and always use short wispy strokes to prevent the look of a dark and harsh line (no, your brows don't look like that naturally.)

4. Use Scene shadow with a shader brush to apply color to your lid. Don't stray past the crease, and always tap your brush after picking up color, to remove excess powder. For extra staying power, prime your eye first with a shadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

5. Using a fluffy blending brush, dab just a very small amount of the Carbon shadow on the outer most V of your eye. Use as little shadow as possible and then build up, creating the effect of a sideways V, which progresses into the crease. If you start with just a little shadow at a time, you eliminate the risk of having to start over. Blend blend blend, but try to keep to the area right at the crease and below. One day I promise to get to drawing a diagram on this or something, but you get it, right?

6. Next, line your upper and lower lid with your gel liner, using a liner brush that offers control (not those long wispy good-for-nothing ones). Mascara it up! I forgot to add a brand for this, but whatever suits you is just fine!

7. With the same stippling brush that was used earlier, lightly apply your pot rouge to the apples of your cheeks. Don't draw it out to the temples or anything--just ensure that it's well blended.

8. After checking that your lips are well moisturized (because if they're not, it's just sick when you slap lipstick on over some crusty lips), add a bit of lipstick in a light pink/lip tone-enhancing shade.

You're done! Remember though--all of the products and tools that I've listed are not hard and fast. It's just a general guideline for what you can use to achieve Zeisha's look. If you are hell bent on using your own savvy little gadgets, then be my guest! Want dupes for any of the above listed? Just say the word!

Have a great weekend, lovelies ;)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I Now Have a Flat Top!

I have a thing for makeup brushes. I'm always on the hunt for one that is soft (also read: doesn't feel as though you're using a steel wool pad to blend your blush), versatile (well look at that--you can use it for bronzer and regular powder), and high quality. The idea of having to buy the very same brush over and over would drive me up the wall. All I'd do is continually calculate how much money I was wasting by chasing a deal...and well, you get the picture.

For months I've walked past the Sonia Kashuk aisle at Target and marvelled at a certain brush that is constantly on her display. The Sythentic Flat Blusher Brush is possibly the softest makeup tool I've ever played with. A few weeks ago, I gave in and made the purchase--which, at $14.99 isn't a huge sacrifice, but has turned out to be a very worthwhile investment. Not only does this flat-top brush deliver totally creamy and blendable results with blush, but it can also be used to apply liquid foundation, bronzer, and regular face powders (I love it with my Iredale mineral powder). When used in a circular buffing motion, it's almost impossible to not end up with a completely airbrushed effect. The ergonomic handle sets itself apart from all of my other boring brush handles, and falls nicely into the grip of my hand.

Just one brush, you say? This is the one.
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