Monday, March 30, 2015

A Gray Hair Product Review! Make-Up and Other Fun, Girlie Things for My Silver Sisters!

** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!! :) **

Friends! Silver Sisters, not-so-silver sisters and anyone else who has stopped by to read, HELLO!!!!!!  \(^-^)/ I've missed these parts of the internets, and it's good to be back! I'm going to tell you straight-up right now, that in no way is this blog going to become only about products and reviews. I know that life isn't all about having "stuff." It'll stay the same as always with posts about our day-to -day life too. It's just that sometimes talking about "stuff" is fun and I realized that it's been a long time since I did a gray-hair specific post. So, I wanted to work on this one first, and then I have more general life posts to follow!

NONE of the following products that I talk about have been sponsored. I chose them myself, paid for them myself, and these are just my own thoughts on items that I've really liked recently and thought you might enjoy too!

Silver Sisters, are you like me? Always trying to find the "holy grail" of gray hair shampoos? The one that will take away any dull, yellow tones and make your hair bright and shiny? I know that I don't have to apologize to the world for having gray hair, but for right or wrong, I often worry about at least making it look the best it can. Do you worry about your hair looking more polished now, then when you were not gray? At least for me, I think about it sometimes. That's why I spend more energy than before, searching out good products and learning new techniques.

Here are front and back shots of my hair in recent days after using the shampoo and conditioner that I am about to tell you about. I'm glad that I took these pictures to share, but my only regret is that they weren't at times when my hair was 100% styled and combed. I'm just a real person. A mom, a busy lady, so most of the time, my hair looks like this, not perfect. (On the left I had just come in from working outside, shoveling mulch with Jon for several hours. On the right, I kind of had to stop mid-way through styling my hair when Josie seemed to really need to go out for a walk. So, I snapped this pic, put it into a ponytail and went)!

Anyway, the point of these pictures is to show you that the following shampoo and conditioner really took away a large portion of the brassy tones that I tend to get on my ends from heat styling, and products. I imagine if I continue to use this shampoo and conditioner, eventually, they'll get ride of most or all of the yellowing! I was also left with softer, less frizzy hair too. BONUS!

Please allow me to  introduce you to:

1.) A really oddly staged photo.


Basically, I've lost my mind. For me to to purchase three different "non-natural" beauty products, (all which I will tell you about here) is kind of un-heard of for me. At least in the past three, four years or so. When I bought a new shampoo and conditioner set, and started with a new wrinkle cream, and purchased some eyeshadow at Target... I couldn't believe it! The thing is, even though what drives me to seek out "natural", "organic", "eco" products is a personal fear of the synthetic ingredients, I still consider myself a moderate person. And when some of my natural silver shampoos were just not getting the job done, and they cost an arm and a leg, I figured that this was a situation in which I could practice being moderate. I could just use the conventional products SOMETIMES and stop worrying about EVERYTHING always!

Also, by not coloring my hair, I'm already avoiding a ton of monthly synthetics, and it's not like I'm replacing all of my beauty products with new ones. So, for those of you who are cool with conventional products, you probably won't even bat an eyelash at me. For my more natural-minded readers, please excuse me this time. I'm just trying to find a good balance. It's a journey! 

You guys, this stuff is GREAT!!!! I came across it when I was poking around Amazon, looking for a new silver shampoo and conditioner that was highly rated. It's funny because I have heard of the "Jhirmack" name before, but never realized that they made products for gray hair! In fact, they ONLY make products for gray! I had to give them a try, and I'm glad that I did.

My shampoo and conditioner arrived in two days. I couldn't wait to try it. Depending on how my hair looks and how er....lazy I am....I only wash my hair with brightening or bluing shampoo and conditioner about 1-4 times a month. The rest of the time I use my fabulously moisturizing, natural favorite: Renpure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo &  Conditioner .

The first thing that I noticed with the Jhirmack is that IT DID NOT SMELL STRONGLY like many of the other bluing shampoos. \(^-^)/ WOO HOO! There is nothing worse than a super strong floral scent, covering a chemical smell. I appreciated that Jhirmack had a much lighter, actually nice, powdery, floral scent. It also did not stain my hands purple or blue, so that was good too!

After I got out of the shower, I went through my usual routine which is to apply 
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk  (this always makes my hair so soft) and then Giovanni 2chic Avocado and Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Super Potion which tames my frizz, gives me some shine and protects my hair from heat styling and moisture loss.

I noticed once my hair was dry, that the Jhirmack really helped to make it softer than usual. It felt less "puffy" too, a bit more tame. My hair felt very clean and weightless. I loved this shampoo and conditioner duo and I think you might too! I feel like this is one of the best conventional brands that I've tried.

**As an update/aside, a kind reader commented about the sodium Lauryl sulfate or SLS in Jhirmack. You can read about SLS HERE and HERE and get the facts and information and then make the best decision for you. SLS basically makes things foamy. It's a kind of scrubbing agent and in almost all of our conventional soaps including shampoos, bar soaps, detergents and even sometimes toothpaste. It can be highly irritating and some claim even worse. That's why I said earlier in the post that I must have gone crazy when I bought these less natural products. That said, I firmly believe that life is all about choices and choosing what we believe to be best for ourselves. I debated reviewing non-natural products on the blog, but then realized that because I myself sometimes use conventional products, that including them in my reviews would be representing my truth. So you follow your truth too!**

I knew that I was going to write a post on gray shampoo, but when I was thinking about how I wanted to structure this post, I realized that there were a few more new products in my life. Things that I liked enough that and felt they were worth sharing. They also all have to do with going out into the world with gray hair and wanting to put our most vibrant foot forward!

Until recently my facial routine was pretty simple. I just used a gentle Honey and Milk bar soap from Trader Joe's on my face, and Yes to Blueberries Deep Wrinkle Night Cream in the morning and night for extra moisturizing. During the day I also wear my Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen which is a matte tint and unscented and one of the greatest products on the planet. I swear.

*Update! After writing below about retinol and the possible dangers of vitamin A in beauty products when exposed to sunlight, it dawned on me that my Yes to Blueberries NIGHT Cream might have vitamin A in it. Sure enough, I checked, and it does! I still really really like their night cream and will continue to use it, but today I am going to go back to using their Yes To Blueberries Daily Repairing Moisturizer , which was also nice, but meant for daytime use and does not contain vitamin A. If you do decide to try and use the Yes to Blueberries NIGHT cream, please don't wearing it during the day in the sunlight. Just want to let you know!

I thought that I was doing enough to combat my first signs of aging. When I decided to go gray, I promised myself that I would do my best to keep my face looking young. You can't beat aging, and that's ok, but if there was anything that I could do within reason to keep a youthful glow to my skin, I would. 

By the way, when I was 33 I started seeing my first lines. They're on my forehead. I mentioned them to my dermatologist, whom I love, and she offered me Botox before a big event! I was like: "Whaaaaaaat?" (In my head). Then I declined. Not that I think so poorly of it, but because I was scared. And because I don't have hundreds of dollars for Botox. I just think this is a funny story. ;)

Anyway, several weeks ago I was speaking with my Mom about my lines and my moisturizer or something like that. She asked me if I had ever used any wrinkle cream with retinol in it and I said: "No."
And that's when things got weird. I swear, I was suddenly transported into a 1950's Pond's Cold Cream commercial.

My Mom: "Honey, have you ever tried a wrinkle cream with retinol?"

Me: "No Mom! You know I only use natural products."

My Mom: "But have you tried "Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Cream? I love it and it works so great."

Me: "But Mom, I don't use products with parabens in them."

My Mom: "The Wrinkle Repair formula without SPF doesn't have parabens."

Me: "Really? But I still feel a little worried."

My Mom: "Honey, this is what Mother's are for. We teach our daughters about wrinkle cream."

That's the part when I was like...."OMG, am I in a commercial from the 1950's??? Then my Mom pulled out two bottles of the wrinkle cream and gave me one. She said you're suppose to see results in one week, so I thought I'd at least try it. Here's the bottom-line:

Maybe I sound crazy, but I just remembered the whole vitamin A and skin cancer debate. READ HERE!  I also just realized that retinol seems to be a form of vitamin A. I only wear this cream at night, but just to be sure, I'm going to talk with my dermatologist when I see her in a couple of weeks.

Beyond this, I have to say that the fine lines in my forehead have diminished! I feel like my skin is definitely smoother and more even-toned. My skin is clearer. Although, this could be from going vegan for a month and now not eating dairy.....
All-in-all, I like the product a lot. I see a difference, it does what it says! I don't know if I will continue using the product when it runs out, but in an ideal world, I'd like to.

By the way, you can see my skin in the photo below. I didn't erase any lines with editing tools. (Although the lighting is a bit glow-y).  I'll be 38 in June. Not too bad. Thanks wrinkle cream!

This is what happens when you run around multi-tasking. I was cooking dinner and I thought, "Oh! I forgot to take a picture of my make-up for the blog!" I knew that I had to take the photo while there was still sunlight, so I ran upstairs, forgetting to take off my apron. LOL. So just ignore the red and white polk-a-dot fashion.

I wanted to tell you about some of my recent make-up favorites! I have a new lipstick that I just ADORE and a life-changing eyeshadow and a highlighting palette too. Here is the look that I've been wearing lately. I feel like it's light and spring-like and helps to brighten gray hair! Let me tell you how I do it!

Here it is in a nutshell. I'll go quickly over the parts that I've talked about before on the blog. I make sure to start with a clean, moisturized face. Recently my St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub has been a lifesaver. I use it before I wash my face with soap. It exfoliates, getting ride of any dry skin and leaves me with a smooth canvas! It's also sulfate and paraben free. 

Next I apply my  Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen. I love that stuff. Not only does it protect me from the sun, but it dries instantly and leaves my skin super smooth and matte. It really is also a primer! I smooth on a small amount of  jane iredale Glow Time Mineral BB Cream to even out my skin tone, cover minor imperfections and to add a bit more sun protection. I've found that using a foundation brush and a Beauty Blender help me to achieve the most sheer and natural finish. I then dot on my Origins Quick, Hide! Long-Wearing Concealer in light and top that with Origin's All and Nothing Sheer Pressed Powder. Then, I add a bit of countering and color with my Origin's Multi-Grain Pressed Bronzer. (Sweep it below your cheekbones and on the sides of your forehead. I put a bit across the bridge of my nose too). Finally I use and love my Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi Use Blush. This link is to their multi-use stick in the color Starlet and the "Radiant Formula" which is more shimmery than mine. Here in the picture above,  I used their new color "Eros" in their classic formula which is less shimmery. 

Next, for highlight my eyelids, mostly below the brow bone and the tops of my cheek bones, I use my new, super fun Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face and Eyes

I love this little box! It's talc-free and paraben free too. I really like the packaging. You open up the back and inside is a small mirror, a spongy eyeshadow applicator and a little cheek brush. This palette is super versatile. You can use any of the twelve, shimmery, natural colors on your lids, but also, the lighter shades double as a highlighter and the darker shades as blush/bronzer. Isn't that fun!? This is a great product. I've used it in so many ways. The mid-tone pinks make the prettiest eyeshadows. In fact, I use them to apply over the following product...........

Ok, this is the last new product that SCARES me (LOL) but that I REALLY like. It's Maybelline's  Eye Studio Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Inked In Pink . This stuff is AMAZING!!!!! Ok, don't tell me what's in it Maybelline eyeshadow is a beautiful, highly pigmented seashell pink, it stays on ALL DAY LONG until I wash it off, and it's never creased! Everything I dream of in a shadow, minus the synthetic stuff. Still, just wow. Up to you.
So I put my gel eyeshadow on and cover that with one of the mid-tone pinks from my palette above! 

Let's jump to lips for a second because of the photograph below. Ok, ready for MY FAVORITE NEW BEAUTY PRODUCT FOR MARCH!!!!???
Let's hear it for Burt's Bee's Lip Crayon in Hawaiian Smolder!!!!!
ACK! I am CRAZY for this natural lip crayon. I am OBSESSED with this lip crayon!!!!!
I would call this color a "bright rose." Perfect for spring. This lipstick goes on very smoothly. It's opaque, feels exceptionally moisturizing and is the perfect mid-point between matte and shimmer. I just LOVE it! I think Hawaiian Smolder would brighten up the face of most any Silver Sister. This is why I use it for my new make-up look.

AND....speaking of Silver Sister..... I FINALLY bought my first pack of silver bobby pins!!!! My eyes were like: "BOING!!!" when I saw them in the store. I couldn't believe it! I don't think I've ever seen gray bobby pins in person, as weird as that sounds...

I was walking through a store called "Meijer", on my way to their bird seed department and a detour through beauty.....
They are gorgeous! Half are sparkly silver and half are gray. Both perfect for my hair. I looked everywhere online for these bobby pins for you guys. I'm sorry, they are some kind of mythical Goody product, nowhere to be found. Are they even REAL!? I found them on sale, the last pack on the rack, so maybe this set isn't in production anymore. You can find other Silver Bobby Pins though, and I'll keep you posted if I find these Goody pins again!

Oh, and while we're on the topic of hair, I found this perfect ponytail tutorial and it works! She has several tips on making your ponytail look thick and bouncy and flawless. I had so much fun.

BACK TO MY MAKE-UP LOOK. Sorry! That was a tangent.
Let's see, where was I? Ok, eyes.. So, I put on my gel eyeshadow and then the powder shadow. I fill in my brows with a brow pencil and sometimes a dark brown powder. Next, I line my eyes these days with a really great pencil that I found at Target! It's the Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen in No.5 Deep Plum.

This pencil is truly unlike any other I have tried. It glides on like a liquid and gives a very opaque look like a liquid, but it's not! It's actually a super smooth gel and very very easy to apply. The Silky Eye Pen is waterproof too and barely smudges, which is great. It's also paraben, mineral oil and preservative -free. Hypoallergenic as well.

I chose the Deep Plum color because I think it compliments my blue-gray eyes and blends nicely with pink shadow, but still gives a dark and dramatic look. The Silky Eye Pen also comes in more traditional colors like brown and black and fun ones like blue and green.

For my lashes, two coats of Physician's Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara in Black. I've been using this paraben-free, cruelty free, drugstore mascara for a few years now and it's been great! I can't recommend it enough. Physician's Formula makes several different organic mascaras, this is my favorite one.

And there you have it, my make-up look for this spring! :)
One more girlie, fun thing that I wanted to touch on. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with make-up. I wanted to talk about bringing in a hint of color or sparkle with casual jewelry! Sometimes  gray can leave us looking a little washed out or feeling blue. I'm a big believer in having fun with color through make-up and accessories to just brighten our day. It's ok, treat yourself!

I can't tell you how far a little pair of $7.99 earrings from Target can go in making me feel pretty again, after feeling down or like the odd man out with my gray hair . Like these earrings right here!

I haven't bought any jewelry for quite a while and recently decided that it was ok to add a few springy pairs to my slowly growing collection. The above pair were from Target, and the rest were on sale at Kohl's, plus I had a 30% off coupon! I think I only spent $20 on all three pairs, that's half the fun!

I have been dreaming of making a jewelry organizer with Jon. You can see my Pinterest inspiration board of jewelry organizers HERE.  I hope he can make one soon for me, and I'll hang it right on the wall next to my make-up table. :)

In the meantime, after realizing that I could hang my earrings in our lace curtains to take their picture, I then got carried away! I ended up "displaying" most of my collection! Can you tell that I like girlie things?

Then I moved onto the other curtain and "organized" my barrettes and hair pins. The fun thing about all of this is that when I look at my collection, I think of so many family and friends. For example, my Mother-in-law (hi Mom)! gave me several pairs of my earrings. My Dad gave me my favorite rhinestone barrette. And an old college friend from Japan gave me a hair clip that looks like a cherry blossom flower. Just lots of memories from each little trinket. It's amazing how happy these tiny treasures can make me.

And finally, this is a mirror that my Mom plucked out of storage in her basement. She offered it to me to paint and turn into a jewelry organizer. The mirror is old, and Jon and I love it! even though it could be perfect for my jewelry, I don't think Jon or I could bear to paint over it or remove the mirror. It just might have to hang on our wall as that....a mirror.

Well, the puppy needs a bath, so I'm off! I have a catch-up post that needs to be written and also, I hope to do a spring/summer fashion post again this year. Two of my favorites were having sales, so I jumped! Fresh Produce  was having a sale and I got a hold of a 50% off the SALE price coupon. Crazy, right!? It was awesome. And then today, Boden announced a 40% off sale, so that was fun too. 
Then I will stop shopping for a long time!

So, until next time, wear that silver like a crown!
Lauren :)
Also, what the heck? I just read that we are supposed to get 1-2" of SNOW tonight!!!!?????!!!!!!!? Hurry up and get here warmer weather! This is crazy. Maybe this video of amazing cookie decorating will help. (Her whole page is incredible). 


LoriD said...

Love all your posts! Very happy to see another grey hair post. Am almost 5 months in and could only hope to look as beautiful as you do. Love all the shades in your hair- it still looks like you have some darkness underneath? It's lovely. I really find the product posts helpful as I try to use natural products as well. Thanks for all the info!!

Sharon said...

The Jhirmack shampoo you're referring to contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) which can lead to hair loss, according to the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation. SLS also purportedly causes hair thinning because it deteriorates the follicles of the hair, and slows the growth of hair.

There are many other shampoos for all hair types which are both sulfate and paraben free. Please research this on Google searches for verification of this. I stopped using both my regular and Jhirmack shampoo for the reasons above.

Lauren said...

Hi sharon!

Thank you so much for your comment. I know!
I do know that it contains SLS. That is why I can't believe that I bought it! 90% of the time I try to stick with synthetics- free products, especially parabens. I've used and reviewed in the past more natural "silver hair" shampoos like Shikai's and Aveda's on the blog. I know that there are many more out there without SLS and other chemicals. It's just that I was looking for something that I could use infrequently and would work quite well, and not break the bank. I know what you are saying though, and really do appreciate it. I debate writing about conventional products and when I do, I always try to mention my caution. Kind of use at your own risk. I'm trying to find a balance between affording and using all-natural and occasional conventional products. Thank you again!

Lauren said...

LoriD! Hi Lori! :)

FIVE months, awesome job! You must be well on your way. I'm sure you look gorgeous. <3

I do have dark hair underneath. Sometimes it drives me crazy and I wish I was all gray! I guess you never know what your "pattern" will be until you grow it out, huh?

Thank you for your comment, it's much appreciatd and great job on the five months!

Karen said...

I can't wait to try some of this makeup! I've been, in particular, looking for a natural mascara and will go out today to buy the one you suggest. Thanks! I wanted to offer up my grey hair conditioning recommendation since it does meet your natural preferences -- I use Renpure to cleanse and then once every 10 - 14 days or so, I condition with Aveda Blue Malva conditioner. I have never had any yellowing since starting with this from the beginning. It's got a very light herbal smell. More expensive than Jhirmack, but the tube I have has lasted me for ages!

Lauren said...

Hi Karen!!! Thank you so much for your comment and for your recommendations. I really appreciate it! :)

I do like this mascara a lot and use it daily. I'm sure there are other, more "organic" mascaras out there, but this one works. I think I tried Origin's mascara once too, but I can't quite remember how I liked it.

Ah! Karen, I LOVE Blue Malva!!! In fact, I listed it on my favorites page just recently. For me, the blue Malva wasn't removing all of my yellow, but really that was my fault. I use too much heat styling and product, it's not Aveda's fault. You have inspired me though, to try another tube soon. I love the scent! It's worth another attempt. I really do get nervous when I use the convention shampoos and conditioners. Also, love my Renpure too! We sound similar. Thank you very much again Karen. Have a great week!!! xo

Fonner family memories said...

I've tried that oraganic mascara but I wear glasses and use Latanaprost for glaucoma. One of the side effects of the medication is longer thicker eyelashes and that is NO JOKE! (I suppose I could have worse problems than longer, thicker eyelashes!) Anyway, most mascaras smudge the lenses of my glasses. If it dries really good it isn't as bad but this stuff was horrible...for me. I'm going to start using waterproof (which I hate because it's so hard to remove...I use olive oil now so maybe it won't be as bad.) I'm going to check and see if they offer a waterproof version of the organic. I'm just about done with my transition. I've been cutting it and have about 2" left. My only beef is it looks different in different light so sometimes I'm freaked out by how strange it looks and others I'm like...WOW! SO pretty. Baby only regret is not doing it sooner.

Lauren said...

Hi Lisa!

Oh, I'm just like you, I was thinking "why didn't I do this sooner!?" :)

I'm glad that you like your hair. Well, in some light. I KNOW. Just today someone said that my white hair looked blond. It might be a little yellow, but I was under a yellow-toned light that really changed the shade. Then out in the daylight, it looks 10 times whiter! It's forever changing.

I hope that you were able to find an organic, waterproof mascara. I promise to update if I find one, ok? Good luck with your long lashes. :) I used to wear glasses for a long time and with some mascara I had my lashes hitting the lenses. Sorry about that. It can be a hassle.
Thank you so much for your comment and congrats on being just 2" away from the finish-line! \(^-^)/

Our Adventures As A Family of 4.... said...

I had Jhirmack in my shopping cart on Amazon but had not bought it yet. My hair stylist is out for shoulder surgery recovery and I have not had my hair cut since November! I need to get the last of the blonde highlights out and I notice they are going yellowish. So trying to find shampoos that help it. So far I am using the Rusk one and the Joico one which lists it is sulfate free.

I like the earring holder but I know my cat would attack my jewelry if I left it on my curtains, LOL. But I think it's a pretty idea. Pretty earrings too.

I saw the Burts Bees and am thinking of getting it for my daughter, who is 13 and wants to wear makeup.

I saw the mascara reviewed on another You Tube video so I may pick it up.

Thanks again for posting your finds. I am still trying to figure out makeup as I am mostly white at the front and sides and grey on top/crown and underneath. I am never sure what goes with it but am learning. :-)


Lauren said...

Hiya Molly!!!! (>'-')>HUG!

I hope your hair stylist feels better soon. It sounds like you are basically DONE with your transition! That is AWESOME!!! :)
Thank you so much, I am going to look into Rusk and Joico. I know you mentioned one of both are sulfate-free. I can't wait to check it out. That's what I truly prefer.
I can't wait to have my "real" jewelry organizer made. I'll share when we get it done. :)
Oh! So I LOVE my Burt's Bees lip crayon! That is so sweet that you are thinking of getting it for your daughter! :) You can find the whole range of colors at Target and all over really. I also have it in "Carolina Coast" which is a lighter color than the Hawaiian Smolder. You might want to take a look at all of the colors. I would call this a highly pigment crayon. All of their other lip products, which I also love, are more sheer.
Yeah, I'm always experimenting with make up too. My gray goes from white, to salt and pepper and then lots of brown underneath. This is half the fun though, we just get to try everything! LOL. :)
Thanks Molly!!! xoxo

Unknown said...

I'm a Licensed Esthetician. Please STOP using the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It is awful for your skin over time. It has crushed walnut shells in it which can cause minute lacerations in your skin.

Lauren said...

Hi Paula,

Thank you for your comment. Wow! I had never heard of that before! Ok, I am going to read up on it right now. Microscopic tears sound horrible! Thank you again.


Unknown said...

LOVED THIS BLOG...I have a grey afro with the problem of yellow ends. I try to not use sulfates and parabens but I can try your "moderation" method...Thanks Sista!!!