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Beauty Tips

Misadventures with Henna & An Unintended New Year's Resolution

The phrase 'A New Year, A New You' took on literal meaning for me this 2018. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you will know that I have been an avid user and fan of henna for a few years now. I have always used Henna Maiden's All Natural Red shade, meaning it is pure Lawsonia inermis. However, for a fresh start, I thought I’d try their Copper shade. This is a blend of henna, red clay, neem, etc. Now due to my general impatience and impulsiveness, I didn’t bother with a strand test. I foolishly thought that since the regular henna had always worked for me this would as well. 

For the next two hours I sat looking like the swamp thing and day dreaming of my soon to be reddish coppery locks glistening in the sunlight. Instead I soon found myself standing in front of the mirror, hair drenched, in horror. It looked black or purple, I wasn’t sure but it was definitely not copper. It couldn’t have been more opposite than what I intended. Then I did what I should have done in the beginning, read the instructions. The copper shade was a bit more tricky since it was a blend. Depending on your natural hair color, it could go more of the henna red shade or it could go the darker route. Mine clearly did the latter. There’s really no going back after you’ve henna’d your hair. Especially when it is a darker shade since you cannot lighten your hair with henna. Hence the importance of a strand test. I have definitely learned my lesson. 

It has been a couple of weeks since my misadventures with henna and I have come to terms with my dark auburn hair. What truly upset me the most about the unintended shade was the makeup implications. In my previous posts, I have discussed how the no-makeup-look has been my favorite this year. I’ve loved wearing the Genuine Ginger mascara, which gives my lashes a natural boost, along with a light gloss. It’s beautifully low maintenance. However, with dark auburn hair, I had to find a new makeup routine to match. Which, once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, was actually kind of exciting.

My current go-to routine is the True Brown Gingerlash Mascara- all day every day- paired with the Brow Love Gel in blonde, the 3-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer, a hint of the Ginger Crush Matte Blush, and, for the lips,…. Red Hot matte! I've always loved a good lipstick. When done right, you inevitably stand out in a crowd. And yet, I’ve always hesitated before putting on a red. Of course I wear one from time to time on special occasions. But never for just a regular night out. Now the new year compels me to ask: Why the hell not? What has been stopping me? And so, to list one of my 2018 resolutions: I will wear my Red Hot matte on a regular basis. Go bold or go home they say. Happy 2018!

Put together your own unique look for the new year and get 15% OFF any order of $60 or more! Just use the code: My2018 (offer expires February 1st)

Henna: A Confessional Part 2

It's been two years since my first henna tutorial post- or confessional rather. I finally admitted to you (and myself) that my hair was no longer the vibrant orange from my youth. I can remember the very moment that I became aware of the change my hair had ever so slowly made. So slowly in fact that I wasn't sure if it was my eyes playing tricks on me. They weren't. It had changed. I was having coffee with a new acquaintance and I mentioned something about being a redhead. "You're not a redhead!" he said. That was it. That was the moment. I had spent my whole life identifying as one of the 2%. I had the freckles, the skin, and up until then the hair. I had suffered through the nicknames and the jokes, and now this person had the audacity to say that I didn't have red hair! I wont relive the horror of my first dye attempt after this revelation. You can refer to the original confessional for that. However, shortly after was my foray into the all-natural world of henna. Now, two years later, I stand by my choice. 

So why henna?  Henna (Lawsomia Inermis) is a flowering plant whose leaves contain a natural orange/red pigment. Because it is such an effective dye, people have been using it to stain their skin and hair for thousands of years. While salon and drug-store hair dyes are full of nasty chemicals that damage your hair over time, henna is all-natural. In addition to depositing color, henna actually nourishes and revives your hair. After using henna, people notice more bounce and silkiness. Also, unlike other hair dyes, I find that henna fades slower and lasts up to 8 weeks before I feel the need to touch-up the roots. 

How to use henna? I use Henna King in natural red, because it's good quality for a good price (about $12). It comes with gloves and a shower cap, but I recommend getting better gloves for more freedom of movement. 

Step 1: Combine the henna powder with water and mix it into something of a paste (not too thick or too watery- think pancake batter!). Everybody has their own set of recipe tricks when it comes to henna. Some add olive oil, sugar, etc. I just use as-is. 

Note: It retains it's green color until you wash it out. So don't freak out if you find yourself resembling the Swamp Thing. 

Step 2: Apply to dry hair and make sure you get the roots. I recommend putting some oil around your scalp and ears so as to not stain them in the process. If you didn't make your paste too watery, the whole process will be easier.

Step 3: Now it's time to wait. You can keep henna in for up to 3 hours but no less than 1 hour. I find that any longer than 2 hours and it comes out a little too bright for my liking. So I aim for 1.5- 2 hours.

Step 4: Wash it out and Voila! Henna has been described as smelling like hay in a barn so you will be tempted to wash with shampoo- don't! Wait at least 24 hours before your first real wash in order to allow the color to set. You will smell like a dirty hippie for a day or two. 

This is a photo of me a couple days after I touched up my hair. If you decide to give henna a try, let us know how it goes!

 

Henna: A Confessional Part 2

It's been two years since my first henna tutorial post- or confessional rather. I finally admitted to you (and myself) that my hair was no longer the vibrant orange from my youth. I can remember the very moment that I became aware of the change my hair had ever so slowly made. So slowly in fact that I wasn't sure if it was my eyes playing tricks on me. They weren't. It had changed. I was having coffee with a new acquaintance and I mentioned something about being a redhead. "You're not a redhead!" he said. That was it. That was the moment. I had spent my whole life identifying as one of the 2%. I had the freckles, the skin, and up until then the hair. I had suffered through the nicknames and the jokes, and now this person had the audacity to say that I didn't have red hair! I wont relive the horror of my first dye attempt after this revelation. You can refer to the original confessional for that. However, shortly after was my foray into the all-natural world of henna. Now, two years later, I stand by my choice. 

So why henna?  Henna (Lawsomia Inermis) is a flowering plant whose leaves contain a natural orange/red pigment. Because it is such an effective dye, people have been using it to stain their skin and hair for thousands of years. While salon and drug-store hair dyes are full of nasty chemicals that damage your hair over time, henna is all-natural. In addition to depositing color, henna actually nourishes and revives your hair. After using henna, people notice more bounce and silkiness. Also, unlike other hair dyes, I find that henna fades slower and lasts up to 8 weeks before I feel the need to touch-up the roots. 

How to use henna? I use Henna King in natural red, because it's good quality for a good price (about $12). It comes with gloves and a shower cap, but I recommend getting better gloves for more freedom of movement. 

Step 1: Combine the henna powder with water and mix it into something of a paste (not too thick or too watery- think pancake batter!). Everybody has their own set of recipe tricks when it comes to henna. Some add olive oil, sugar, etc. I just use as-is. 

Note: It retains it's green color until you wash it out. So don't freak out if you find yourself resembling the Swamp Thing. 

Step 2: Apply to dry hair and make sure you get the roots. I recommend putting some oil around your scalp and ears so as to not stain them in the process. If you didn't make your paste too watery, the whole process will be easier.

Step 3: Now it's time to wait. You can keep henna in for up to 3 hours but no less than 1 hour. I find that any longer than 2 hours and it comes out a little too bright for my liking. So I aim for 1.5- 2 hours.

Step 4: Wash it out and Voila! Henna has been described as smelling like hay in a barn so you will be tempted to wash with shampoo- don't! Wait at least 24 hours before your first real wash in order to allow the color to set. You will smell like a dirty hippie for a day or two. 

This is a photo of me a couple days after I touched up my hair. If you decide to give henna a try, let us know how it goes!