Monday, April 27, 2015

Hair Products and Nail Polish and Make-up, Oh My!

** The follow post contains Amazon affiliate links.For a full explanation, please see my complete   disclosure HERE!  But, NONE of the following products were sponsored.They're just things that I happened to find and really like, and 100% of the opinions are my own. Thank you!!! :) **

\(^-^)/ Hi friends!!!! 

How is everybody doing? Been up to anything good? I'm half-way finished with a long "what's been new around the How Bourgeois house" kind of post with lots of pictures, so keep an eye out for that soon. 

In the meantime, I just wanted to stop in with a quick post about a shampoo that I've been using, that I THINK has helped to reduce my white hair's brassy tones as much if not more than many of the purple shampoos that I've used in the past! I've found something that works and felt compelled to share. (Then I thought of a few more new-since-last-blogging items that I've fallen in love with  and wanted to share them too). 

If your hair is anything like mine, other than taming the texture, your next biggest gray hair concern might be all of the potential yellowing. I'm guilty of using heat styling, like hairdryers and curling irons and even sometimes a straightener. I also use styling products to help tame the frizz. These things, in addition to just being outside with any environmental dust and pollution (so I've read) can lead to our white and gray hair taking on a yellowed cast. My ends are definitely more brassy and less pure white than the top of my head. It drives me nuts!

I've talked before about hair glazes at the salon and about purple shampoos that can help with this problem, but there is one type of product that I have not talked much about- it's "Clarifying Shampoo!" Clarifying shampoo works to wash away build-up and residue from styling products and the environment. I've owned this Pantene Pro-V Weekly Deep Cleanse Purifying Shampoo for a while now, and basically passed over it because I believed that only purple shampoos would work well on my hair. But boy, was I wrong! 

For whatever reason, I came across my bottle in the cupboard again recently and decided to give it a try. Immediately, after using this shampoo and drying my hair, I noticed a difference! The best way that I could describe it is that my hair felt lighter, shinier and squeaky clean. Also though, my white hair was just brighter. At least that's what it looked like to me. My theory is, that because I use 2-3 styling products on my hair to keep the texture soft and as frizz-free as possible, some of my hair creams and serums have been building up over time, even though I'm washing my hair. This clarifying shampoo lifts anything left behind and results in lighter, brighter gray hair!

I do know that this is not a natural shampoo at all, so for my more eco conscious readers, please take note. I'm glad to know that at least there are no parabens. Also, Pantene Pro-V Weekly Deep Cleanse Purifying Shampoo is meant to only be used ONCE A WEEK.  The photo above, the shampoo I have, it's a slightly older version of the new one available. My shampoo did not say once a week, but I believe they also recommend against using it daily. So, for what it's worth, you won't be using this one all the time, just when you need a boost. I know that I will continue to keep it in my rotation. In fact, I just purchased a new bottle myself. You might like it too!

Along the lines of "clear" and "non-yellowing" for gray hair, I also pulled out a bottle of this GIOVANNI ECO HAIR, L. A. Natural Styling Gel that's been sitting in my cupboard for a bit. I bought it in a sample size at a local natural grocery store. I love Giovanni products. They're definitely on the more natural end of styling products, no parabens and little to no harsh chemicals. This gel in particular is weightless, colorless and odor-less. It says to smooth into damp hair, but I also use mine on my dry hair for a bit of frizz control and shine. Really, this gel feels like nothing. It dries right away and there is no sticky residue leftover. I love it! 

This is kind of embarrassing, but here's a picture of me with both the clarifying shampoo and the Giovanni hair gel. I look pretty tired here. "Glowsie" , Josie's nighttime alter ego came out the night before. This is the version of Josie that wakes up in the middle of the night, ready to run around outside or to eat or to just act like a crazy puppy. On this day, Glowsie came out at 1:00am, 3:00am and 5:00am. THANKFULLY the following night, Glowsie decided not to emerge. Phew! ;)

Anyway, for my hair, I think it looks pretty light here and also tame, so I'm satisfied!

Onward to nails! 
Look, I figure, if I'm going to have gray hair, and I want to make myself look as youthful and glowing as I can, then I need to pay some additional attention to my nails and make-up sometimes. You don't have to of course, but for me, I feel like it helps me to feel more confident in my own skin hair. And besides, make up and nails and things like that, they can be fun!

Do you remember my favorite nail polish from last spring and summer? It's Essie Nail Color, Cute as a Button . Oh I LOOOOOVE that color. I still wear it, it's on my toes right now! I found "Cute As a Button" when looking for a fun and springy retro color, kind of ala' Betty Draper from Mad Men. You can read about the color in my old blog post HERE.

I've been wearing Cute As a Button for a while now, and have been thinking of "branching out" a little, when I came across the Glamorous Housewife's instagram photo of her nails  wearing 
Opi Nail Lacquer in Cajun Shrimp. They were SO PRETTY!!!!!!!

I had to go out and try this nail polish. I'd call it a retro-looking orange-y red? It's fun and vibrant and a great choice for this summer. I rarely go out for a manicure. I just do it at home most often. I start with Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Base and Top Coat, followed by two coats of color, and then to seal and shine I use Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat.

This is what Opi's, Cajun Shrimp looks like on. Cute, right!?

One more recent favorite, it's the Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands. Oooooh I ADORE these Burt's Bees Lip Crayons! Do you remember that I blogged about the  Carolina Coast color HERE and then again in another post about the Hawaiian Smolder  HERE? Carolina Coast is a kind of pale, icy pink, and the Hawaiian Smolder is what I think is one of the most perfect, rosy tones. Not too bright, not too dark with a bit of punch! And now, because I really really like these paraben-free, mostly natural lip crayons, I've decided to add Sedona Sands to my collection! This is the PERFECT, nude, with a hint of pink to wear around town on a daily basis. I'm so so glad that I tried it. At first, after seeing the lipstick through the clear top, I was worried that it was too vibrant of a color, but on your lips, it's sheer and natural, but also polished looking.

Here it is on my lips. It's almost like no make-up, make up! Sedona Sands gives me a nice glow with a bit of color. I have a feeling that I'm going to be wearing this one everyday. :)

And finally in my new favorites category......some springtime Boden!!! I've written before about my love of Boden clothing, particularly their dresses and cardigans. Here, here and here. What I like about Boden is that they have a lot of girlie dresses in fun prints and colors. Although, in the past few years, I've felt like their textile patterns have strayed more from flowery and cute to geometric and more sophisticated. At any rate though, I was instantly drawn to this coral colored polk-a-dot dress and contrasting cardigan. The dress is their "Casual Weekend Dress in Chili Pretty Spot" and it's now on sale! (I also found these two items on sale, there is always a Boden sale or coupon if you look)! The cardigan is the "Favourite Cropped Cardigan in Tropical Blue." And now I see that their "Fifties Cardigans" are out and I am obsessed and want one in so many  of their colors! (wishful thinking). A note on their cardigans....I have several in cotton and they've always fit wonderfully and held up in the wash. The colors are great too.

I also purchased the "Casual Jersey Dress in Juniper Tulip Pop." I fell in love with this print. Just like the Weekend Dress above, the Casual Jersey Dress comes in many fun prints. I'll take a picture of it soon, when I start to wear the dress. Warmer weather, hurry up!

And that my friends is a short list of my recent favorites. I only share things that I love and that I can personally recommend. Little items that help to brighten your day and make you GLOW!!!!

Until next time, have fun and be YOU!
Lauren :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

My New Favorite Way to Add Sparkle to the Gray! - Lilla Rose Hair Accessories!

Hi blog reading friends and silver sisters! I hope that all of you are experiencing a bit of sunshine like we are here in Michigan, with our new-found warmer weather and sunny days. (Although, I don't want to jinx it, so let's just say that I'm glad winter has finally receded in this neck of the woods). 

For the past twelve days, Noah has been on spring break and Jon was able to take some time off of work to spend together as a family. Such a change in pace is a really treat. Many years we mean well and talk about going someplace warm for spring break, but that rarely happens. This year again we started talking about what to do for spring break, and like most years, there were just a lot of springtime "to do's" that we could get done around the house and logistical issues holding us back. Like a puppy with endless energy. 

We were glad to stay home though. There was lots to do and one of my best friends from high school, who now lives in London, came to to stay for a night. Our week and a half included lots of un-rushed, easy-going days, visits with cousins, long dog walks, frozen yogurt and frequent roller blading in the park.

Also, a puppy playdate or two.

And then this morning, on Monday morning, we all got up and went back to the grind. Except for Josie. EVERYDAY is spring break for Josie.

Today I have something wonderful and fun and pretty to tell all of my silver sister readers and not-so-silver sisters about. It's........................ Lilla Rose hair accessories! 

Just for transparency's sake from the get-go, these hair accessories were simply a gift with no obligation of a blog post. All of my opinions about Lilla Rose are 100% mine and honest! I would never promote a product or service on this blog that I did not use and believe in myself, and I am not being monetarily compensated for this blog post.

Here is why the subject of hair accessories is so near and dear to my heart, especially for those of use struggling with our "silver identities"........

You may not have a choice over the fact that you're going gray or that you need to stop coloring your hair. You may not have complete over how you look during your transition or what other people say or think in response. BUT what you DO have a choice over with this whole gray thing, is the choice to be POSITIVE and make the best of it! You have control over the ways that you HELP your wonderful SELF to feel better during this huge change. And sometimes, the simplest things are the biggest ways to help! 

Like a beautiful, beaded hair clip that sparkles along with your gray for example. :)
Many a time as I was growing out my hair, I turned to a pretty barrette or clip or hair pin to pick-up my spirits, and still today I do the same. It can really make a difference.

I just recently learned about Lilla Rose from my new friend and fellow silver sister/blog reader, Kathy, and I'm so happy to meet both of them! Kathy is very sweet. She's a consultant for Lilla Rose. Kathy contacted me a couple of weeks ago, simply to thank me for the help that the blog has given her as she grows out her gray! I was touched by her email and honored that she wrote. Kathy had seen one of my recent posts and and noticed in my "hair accessory collection" picture from that post, that I didn't own any Lilla Rose! She wanted to send me a gift, just to say: "Thank you." Isn't that incredibly nice!?

I again, was honored and moved. I offered to review Kathy's hair accessories for the blog and she said that it wasn't needed, that she was just showing thanks. I have been LOVING my new Lilla Rose Flexi hair clips and Bobby Pins and felt that they instantly made me feel prettier and more confident about my gray hair. So, it was important to me to share this new find with you too.

I found this short introductory video on Lilla Rose's Youtube page. As you can see, most of the clips are based off of a silver color scheme with color accents and I personally thought this was perfect for gray hair like mine!

So, Lilla Rose....... Lilla Rose was started by a husband and wife team who have been making high quality hair accessories since 1992. At first they began selling their hair clips and other accessories at large retailers, but after many years, they realized that their unique, flag-ship product, the Flexi Clip, really needed to be demonstrated in person for people to appreciate it's ingenuity and usage! That's why they switched from a retail model to direct sales. Today, in addition to the Flexi Clip, Lilla Rose also sells gorgeous hair sticks, headbands and bobby pins to name a few.

To learn more about the whole Lilla Rose range, please hop over to Kathy's Lilla Rose page. You can find it by clicking on the link HERE and she would be more than happy to help you! Also, Kathy has a very fun Lilla Rose Facebook page with lots and lots of photos and tips on how to use her accessories. You can find that page HERE.

About a week ago, kathy's package arrived and I was super, super excited. It came adorably wrapped with the cutest black and white baker's string, and even washi tape!

What I found inside was a beautifully put together card with lots of information on how to use the Flex Clips, and three gorgeous hair accessories. What makes the Flexi Clip unique and unlike anything else out there, is that these string clips are made from PIANO WIRE and other very high quality materials. They flex and bend but won't break. You get a secure hold without any pinching or pulling!

There was an adorable pair of silver bobby pins with hearts and pretty rhinestones in the middle. There was also an extra-small size Flexi Clip for 1/2 hair styles and the"tails up" hairstyle, and a small size clip for ponytails and French twists, which I will explain more about in a minute. 
Aren't they pretty!? And these are just three of their styles, there are dozens and dozens more for sale at their online shop.

Before I tell you a little more abut my clips and the experience that I've had with them, I wanted to suggest that you take a look at Lilla Rose's website. They have a very unique sizing system and there's a helpful sizing video, so you can choose the right size for you! I feel like this is important, so that you get a clip that is the perfect size for you. One that's not too loose or too tight.

Also, go to Lilla Rose's webpage linked HERE to watch a bunch of fun styling videos on how to use their  Flexi clip. Click on the "Hair Styles" tab in the upper right hand side. I could watch these forever! I kind of did. ;)

So far, my favorite style to wear has been the "Tails Up" style, which is basically the start of a French Twist with the tail ends of your hair flopping over. It's pretty!

Oh! I just found this style video on Youtube. It has lots and lots of ideas. If you search Youtube for "Lilla Rose Styles" so many videos will come up. Enjoy!

OK! As usually I have rambled longer than I meant to. I just have so much fun with this kind of thing. Since I've been wearing or playing with my clips and pins for a week now, I really wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts and a couple of pictures too.

First, this is me wearing my size small Flexi Clip in the "Tails Up" hairstyle. (I just wish the bottom layers of my hair were also gray. Hurry up hair, become all gray!) I can not tell you how EASY the flexi Clip makes this or French Twists to style. I am the WORST with traditional bobby pins. I never get them in right, they poke out all over and they don't hold my fairly thick, slightly coarse hair. The Flexi Clip fixed this! I just pulled back my hair, rolled and clipped. It was a piece of cake!

Here is a little clearer photo of my small size clip in a half-up hairstyle. Do you agree that the colors go so nicely with gray!? I think these clips take what could be viewed as an aging hair color to something more youthful, fun and soft!

This is a full length shot of my size small Flexi in a half-up hairstyle. As you can see, I made it a bit of a looser style. In a minute, I'll show you my extra- small Flexi clip which gave me a bit more secure hold for half-up do's. You can find lots and lots of styles in the size small Flexi HERE!

This is my size extra-small Flexi-clip. It was the perfect size to hold my hair securely back when I wanted it out of my face. I've been using the small clip for ponytails and when I want to put all of my hair up, and this extra-small for half-up styles. 
I love, love, love that they don't pull or break off my hair like many rubber bands do. That's one of the best parts!
Find ALL of the extra- small Flexis HERE!
And....did you know, that for people with thinner or thicker hair than me, these clips also come in Mini, Medium, Extra Large and Mega!? More HERE!

And here is an oddly cropped photo (sorry) of my beautiful bobby pin set! Aren't they cute!? These are not your normal bobby pins. They're beautiful and heavy duty made. I can't see them breaking and they hold my hair strongly without becoming loose. Lilla Rose has a whole slew of sweet bobby pin sets. See them HERE!

So that is Lilla Rose in a nutshell. A beautifully simple and fun way to brighten up your gray. :)
I had a great time poking around on Kathy's Facebook Page and on Kathy's Store Page and I think you will too! In fact, have you seen the "dangly" Flexi clips? They're so pretty! I might need to go back soon for one of those.  Fun, fun, fun!

Thank you so much again Kathy! Remember my friends, be kind to yourself, especially if you're struggling with having gray hair. Even I, who has had gray hair for nearly four years now, still struggles from time to time. Like just this weekend when I looked around and saw girls my age with gorgeous brown hair. It's only US who can choose to take a deep breath, remind ourselves that it's just a hair color, and then move ONWARD in positive ways. Like pretty hair clips or learning fun new hairstyles (Have you seen THESE FABULOUS hairstyle tutorials) and take each day with a brave smile on our faces. 

Until next time, I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!! \(^-^)/