Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Updated Lighted Asian Hair + Updated Hair Care Routine

Hi Everyone!

It has been requested that I do a post on my updated hair care routine since I posted about my hair lightening experience not just once, but I posted about it twice!  As a result, the contents of my last hair care routine update are out of date.  I'm using a few more hefty products to keep my hair healthy despite all the lightening with bleach.  I also don't wash my hair as much because it is drier and more prone to damage.  This means dry shampoo (which I talk about in my dry shampoo post) is my best friend more than ever!

For those who want a THIRD before and after more hair highlighting, here it is.  Again, Krystin at Groove Hair Salon is the best!  This much lighter is after 2-3 more highlighting sessions.  More blonding to come!

You know where you can see my hair as it becomes blonder in all sorts of lighting contexts? twitter! You should follow me! We can be digital buddies, whoo!  Also, you can get sneak peeks into what reviews/reports are coming next.  You can even tweet me ideas for what to do next.  You can also follow me on other social media like facebook page; or an instagram; or a bloglovin; or a google+

Side note: My after picture is at the end of a textured "beachy" hair day.  It's still quite smooth and strong like in the "before" picture.  Now that I've given you a lot of links to past hair posts, lets get started with the hair care routine:

Wash and Condition:
I know you are going to be thinking "Jeebus Ms. Sparkles, when do you have time to do all of this?!" The truth is, since dry shampoo is such a good friend, I only wash my hair fully about 2 times a week.  Yes, it sounds gross, but I do SHOWER every day.  I just don't worry about washing my hair every day.  On days inbetween wash days (when I've gotten super sweaty at the gym or something like that) I conditioner wash my hair (see my conditioner washing post).

  • TheBalm: Moisturize My Hair" Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner- My go-to shampoo and conditioner duo.  Use these at least once a week.  I use it when I wash my hair more than 2 times a week for whatever reason. 2 tbs of the shampoo works great and lathers even though it is sulfate free.  I'm also a "wash twice" person.  I don't know why washing once doesn't feel clean enough or something.
  • Paul Mitchell: Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner- I only use this once a week to clarify my hair of silicones and product build up.  It also really helps treat any scalp issues I may be having with dandruff or itchy-ness.  I also use the conditioner to co-wash.
  • Shea Moisture: Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque or Superfruit Complex 10-In 1 Renewal System Hair Masque - I will replace my TheBalm conditioner with this when I feel it needs oils and my scalp is very dry. Leave it in for 5-10 minutes if possible.
  • CHI: Deep Brilliance Moisture Shine Treatment- I will replace my TheBalm conditioner with this just from my ears down, focusing on the ends when the length of my hair is very dry. Leave it in for 5-10 minutes if possible.
  • Aphogee: Keratin-2-minute-reconstructor- I will replace my TheBalm conditioner withthis just on my color treated hair (from wherever the dye starts if my roots are grown out), focusing on the ends when the length of my hair is very brittle.  I tend to leave it in for 3-5 minutes for best results.
  • Macadamia Professional: Deep Repair Masque- I will replace my TheBalm conditioner with this all over my head if my hair is in a huge funk and I have no idea what to do.  Works every time.  I leave it in as long as possible. I'll try to get out of the shower and let it sit for 30 minutes if I can.  Otherwise, 5-10 minutes works ok as well.
After Shower Care and Styling:
I let my hair dry in a micro-fiber hair towel while I do my skin care routine.  Then I gently detangle using a wide tooth comb or my Tangle Teezer (no I didn't make up the terrible product name).  I have also used The Wet Brush, but I find the wet brush to actually just be a better replacement for a normal paddle brush to be used only on dry hair.  I'd stick with a wide tooth comb or Tangle Teezer when it is wet.  Then I will towel dry for a few more minutes before applying leave in treatment if I'm using heat then serum (which I always use).  

  • Paul Mitchell: Super Skinny Serum- As my hair gets more damaged from the lightening process, my Suave Professionals-Moroccan Infusion Moroccan Argan Styling Oil is not quite enough to get the smooth, tangle free air dry that I do most often. If my hair seems to need even extra TLC, I will mix 3 drops of pure Argan Oil into 1.5 pumps of my Super Skinny Serum and rub the mix beween my palms before applying it below my ears and focusing on the ends.  Any remaining residue (maybe a few drops total of the mixture) I scruch/smooth into the upper part of my hair.  I'm in love with this stuff.
  • Macadamia Professional: Nourishing Leave-In Cream- Love to use this before my heat protectant if I'm going to blow dry/curl my hair.  It gives a little extra body, protection and softness. 
  • TRESemme: Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray-  Still my go-to for heat protection.  Cost effective, smells great, and never weights down hair.  It doesn't even feel like another layer of product.
  • Sebastian: Shaper Plus Hairspray-  I find this to be best to hold my curls and not make them crunchy.  No white residue either.  You can brush through the curls and there will be no icky flakes.  My curls can last days though! Hooray!

I think this just about covers it as of the date of this post.  I'm always experimenting and trying new things, so new products are always being tried.

Thank you for reading and as always,

Shine & Sparkle!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shea Moisture: Superfruit Complex 10-In 1 Renewal System Hair Masque Review (An Asian Hair Perspective)

WAZZAP Shine and Sparkle Report Readers?! (Oh yeah, I totally just used early 2000's internet slang.  I'm so hip...)

Anyway, as you know, I totally love my SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque even though the brand is marketed at coarse, super curly hair.  Even though I have coarse, straight, bleached, and dry Asian hair, I love this product for all the healthy ingredients and smoothing/shining results.  No surprise, I jumped on this equally as long named mask "Superfruit Complex 10-In 1 Renewal System Hair Masque"*.

You might have seen this picture on my twitter! You should follow me! We can be digital buddies, whoo!  Also, you can get sneak peeks into what reviews/reports are coming next.  You can even tweet me ideas for what to do next.  Social media is so cool right?  What was that? Do I have a facebook page; or an instagram; or a bloglovin; or a google+?  Of course.  #shamelessplug #IPromiseToNotOverDoHashtagsLikeThisOneUnlessIFindThemAmusingThenYouAreStuckWithIt

Like it's predecessor, I found this product to be a cheaper and healthier alternative to very expensive deep conditioners.  Found easily at Ulta or on Shea Moisture's Website, this 12oz tub retails for $12.99USD, but often can be found in a buy one, get one 1/2 off deal.

SheaMoisture Claims:
This intensive antioxidant-rich treatment helps to perfect and renew vibrancy to brittle, lackluster hair. When used weekly in our 10-IN-1 RENEWAL SYSTEM, it treats damaged hair while providing anti-aging benefits, color protection, hydration, nourishment, rejuvenation, strength, anti-stress, deep conditioning, softness and shine. Counteract signs of aging by nourishing the scalp with our SuperFruit Complex and infusing hair with ultra-moisturizing Marula Oil and Biotin. Ten Benefits Specific to our HAIR MASQUE : Age-Defy Nourish Anti-Stress Revive Body Color Protect Shine Deep Condition Strengthen Hydrate Soften.

This Conditioner Has:
No sulfates. No parabens. No phthalates. No paraffin. No gluten. No propylene glycol. No mineral oil. No synthetic fragrance. No PABA. No synthetic color. No DEA. No animal testing.  This is quite amazing and all SheaMoisture products seem committed to eliminating bad stuff ingredients/practices.

This Conditioner Features:

  • Superfruit Blend of Red Raspberry, Ketones, Goji, Acai and Guava Extracts rich in anti-aging antioxidants. 
  • Marula Oil - Contains natural plant peptides that help support hair's elasticity. 
  • Biotin - Nourishes individual strands for thicker, stronger hair. 
  • Shea Butter - Deeply moisturizes while conditioning hair and scalp.

How SheaMoisture Says To Use It:
Section clean, wet hair. Apply generously. Use a wide tooth comb to distribute evenly from root to ends. Leave in for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. For deep penetrating treatment, cover hair with plastic cap and apply moderate heat for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. When using hair steamer do not cover, moist heat will add to masque's hydration.

How Ms. Sparkles Uses It:
I use this deep treatment 1-2 times a week.  Sectioning hair takes too much time and is unnecessary for my straight hair.  I gently squeeze (don't be rough with it or it will cause more damage and breakage see my healthy hair care post) out water that might dilute the conditioner then apply generous amounts of product to clean wet hair in the shower from your ears down if you are worried about greasy hair.  Since I have been slowing lightening my hair as seen in my hair lightening post #1 and hair lightening post #2 (part 3 coming soon!) I haven't had to worry about that.  I apply it to my whole head and massage it into my scalp.  Then I either leave it in my hair for as long as possible when I wash my body and shave, or I put it in a shower cap and leave it in my hair for as long as I want (at least 30 minutes), do some house chores, then go rinse it out.  My hair feels instantly protein and moisture balanced.  I love this when I'm not sure if my hair needs more protein or more moisture.  It simply solves everything.

  • Deep Frying Hair Warning:  Do not use heat after using products with a lot of pure oils and no silicone!  In my silicone 101 post, I talk more in detail about how silicones help protect your hair from heat.  Without using silicones, you just have a lot of oil in your hair.  You apply a straightener/curing wand/hot blowdryer and you are essentially cooking/frying your hair in oil...eek!  You are being super nice to your hair with a deep treatment mask, lay off the hotools. If you must, make sure to apply a silicone based heat protectant before using heat.   

Overall Thoughts: I found this on to be even more effective than the SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Mask for my hair.   It is a little less heavy on the hair (I'd say suitable for anyone unless you have very thin/fine hair) and produces great smoothing and shining results without it getting greasy quickly.  It is a little more expensive than normal drug store deep conditioners, but it is well worth the price.  It works better than some $30-$50 luxury conditioners and comes with a very generous 12oz of product.   I also ADORE the smell.  All SheaMoisture products I have tried have had an earthy smell that isn't unpleasant but not wonderful.  This smells like fruit and is simply luxurious.  Since this is such a natural product, I don't suggest on stocking up too much because it will probably go bad slightly faster than products with more preservatives.  I'm definitely going to need at least 1 back up though.

Let me know if you are interested in any other SheaMoisture (or any other) hair products for me to review! I love this brand and would love an excuse to try more items!

As usual,

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter "Cookie" Power Smoothie Recipe

Hi Shine and Sparklers!

Sorry for the slightly late post.  Anyway, I'm just crazy about smoothie breakfasts.  So I keep sharing recipes with you guys.  Why is this a "power" smoothie?  Well, it is packed with tons of extra protein and even optional caffeine options!  When you really need a morning boost, after a morning work out, or just really want to super-charge your day, consider making this smoothie.  It seriously tastes like dessert!

Do you like my oh-so-high-quality paint image.  I should work for Pixar! Haha.  As usual, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit. 

The Shine and Sparkle Chocolate Peanut Butter "Cookie" Power Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup Fresh Spinach 
½ cup Non-fat Plain Greek or European Style Yogurt
¼ cup frozen banana (using frozen banana is best for this recipe because it gives it a super cold and icy texture)
2 tbs peanut or almond butter
1-2 scoops of chocolate protein powder 
¼ cup unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk
¼ cup of classic rolled oats (I prefer this ingredient only if it is my breakfast.  I find it is not really needed after a workout)
Water or Chilled Coffee until desired thickness (Use Coffee to super-charge your smoothie and make it a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mocha!).

1) Add ingredients to blender.  If storing overnight in a magic bullet* cup, make sure the wet ingredients and oats are at the bottom of the cup. Then add the fruit and spinach on top.  This prevents the spinach from wilting and lets the oats absorb some of the liquid over night and get soft and easier to blend.  If making right away, just throw everything in a blender.

2) Blend.

3) Drink.

Presto! So easy right?  The oats, nut butter and chocolate protein powder give this smoothie an indulgent cookie taste. The spinach is mild so you do not even taste it. The banana provides great vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a great sweet taste.  The yogurt provides dairy calcium, probiotics, and protein.  The almond milk adds creaminess to the smoothie.  All the fiber and nutrients really keep you full.  Lastly, because of the protein powder this is jammy jam jammed full of protein which helps rebuild your muscles, especially after a workout!

I hope you have been liking all my smoothie recipes lately.  If you don't know about them all, here they are so you can check them out.  Keep those smoothie breakfasts interesting!

As Always,

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Best Bottom Lash Mascara--"Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Mascara"

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers,

Thank you so much for tuning in!  I have a really quick mini-review/product rave for you today. I know mascaras specifically are marketing themselves for your lower lashes these days.  I think the biggest difference in these mascaras is a much smaller mascara brush. I recently purchased the Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Mascara (not waterproof) thinking that this might fit the bill and also be a great all around mascara.

I was really pleasantly surprised!  This mascara has the tiniest (but effective) brush I have ever seen.  It does a great job getting my puny lower lashes and making them really stand out.  It also doesn't smudge at all (which based on my face structure, is a reoccurring problem).  It is also small enough to use to coat my upper lashes on both sides after I use waterproof mascara on my top lashes to hold the curl.  This process gives me extra extra extra lash drama.  This is quite a feat since my lashes are naturally quite small.

Mascara Tip:
Did you know that waterproof mascaras are oil based.  This means they do not weigh down your lashes after they have been curled.  Using a non-waterproof mascara on your lashes will not hold a curl because they are water based.  Just like if you sprayed water on freshly styled hair on your head, it will not hold.  Use a water poof mascara to hold curl, you can apply your favorite non-waterproof mascara over it if you really want extra lash drama.

Overall, I highly recommend this mascara all on its own.   Add in the fact that it retails for around $8 when not on sale (you know Maybelline always has some kind of sale), and you have a completely winning product! If you have puny lashes like me, you will be very very pleased with this product.

Another Mascara Tip:
Love a mascara wand?  After you finish the product, wash it was soap and water.  You can dip it into any of your favorite mascara formulas and keep using your favorite wand.  This works especially great for the Maybelline Last Discovery Mini-Brush because the brush and wand are so small/skinny/long that they can fit into just about any mascara tube.  So once you have an extra mini-brush, I recommend trying the brush with other mascaras and see how you like it!

Let me know if you try this and love it too!

As Always,
Shine & Sparkle

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Afford Beauty Blogging

Happy Halloween Post Shine and Sparkle Readers!

I know lots of bloggers are doing scary make-up looks and costumes.  However, I could think of nothing scarier than tackling the financial aspect of having a beauty blog.  Sometimes I look at other beauty bloggers and youtubers and think "how do they afford to buy/review all that stuff?!"  This inspired this post about some tips about how I balance things support my blogging hobby and perhaps offer some advice to bloggers who are just starting out.  I also wanted to provide you with some perspective on the big name bloggers/youtubers out there.   And most of all, I want to stress that if you are passionate and dedicate time and love into what you are doing, it will be far more successful than if you simply pour tons of money into it.

Like all my images, (such as Squiggle's hat) I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.

As a quick disclaimer:  I am NOT a financial professional.  I am also NOT the world's most successful blogger (though I hope to be some day!)  I am just telling you what works for me and my opinion.  Take my advice with a grain of salt.

1. Post Smart:
Views are money.  The more views, the more likely someone will click on one of your ads (which generate revenue).  I like to think that if it is something I'm interested in, someone else might be too.  This means that other people might be searching the internet for it.  If your post closely matches what someone is looking for, search engines are more likely to display it.  Search optimization is important! Also, most of my posts about something I was going to do/buy whether or not I planned on posting about it.  There are some bloggers/youtubers that will buy lots of things, do posts on them, then return the items.  Others also stretch their budgets way too thin to buy products.  I think it is much more economic to do posts about things you actually want, rather than what you guess other people might want to see a post about.  I think that if your posts reflect who you are as a person, you will be more successful than if you are trying to be a certain mold.  Most importantly, you can blog about things that don't cost you money but that you think someone will find interesting! Be creative and think of things like DIY's, informational posts, tips, and tricks. or a post about how to afford beauty blogging...

2. Budgeting:
This is really important in all facets of your life.  Look at the total amount of income you have.  This can be anything from a paycheck from your day-job to allowance from your parents.   Then come up with a list of priorities for your spending.  When I know I'm going to want to get some beauty products that are a bit more of a treat (like my recent Make-Up Geek Shadow Haul)  I make sure to save some money for that item.  All kinds of small things like bringing lunch to work/school, or skipping that extra latte in the afternoon can free up cash that you can put towards your blogging hobby.  Side note, please don't go into debt for your hobby.  It will stop being fun, and just be stressful.  It's not worth it for something that should bring you joy.

3. Promoting Your Blog Smart:
Before you spend hundreds on a custom page, custom domain name, fancy equipment or advertising,  I'd say take a look at your content.  If you were someone else, do you have enough content that would inspire you to subscribe, like, or tweet about the blog?  If not, it's not the time to advertise yet!  As far as blog design goes, before you spend buko-bucks getting a page designed, try DIY-ing it.  There are so many great resources out there for how to style your blog yourself.  Also, services like blogger make it quite easy to learn by trial and error.  I also think it is vital to connect your blog with as much online social media as possible.  It is a lot to maintain, but by using social media and hashtags, your can get a lot of viewers for free!

You can also try applying for blogger networks.  I'm super proud to be a member of Her Campus Blogger Network.  May great opportunities have come from my membership in this group.

As far as paying for advertising, I think a great first step to advertising is to get business cards.  They are relatively cheap (see how I got my business cards in this post).  You can get a bunch and leave them with your hair stylist, your manicurist, random people you meet who might be interested.  Especially make sure to give a bunch to friends and family.  You know grandma likes to brag about your accomplishments right?  Perfect!  There is nothing like personal interactions to start getting viewers.

The last promotion thing I will suggest that might be worth the money is facebook advertising.  Once you have exhausted all free/cheap promoting options, I suggest adding viewers through facebook.  It has worked well for me!  

4. Sponsored Posts:
There are many avenues by which bloggers/youtubers might come across the opportunity to try things for free.  They are given the products and asked to review them.  A disclaimer should be somewhere on that post, indicating that the review is sponsored.  This is one way that bloggers/youtubers get things to generate content.  I have only had this chance 2 times so far for Venus Embrace Sensitive Razors and Hujan Skin Care.  That being said, this normally occurs when you have a pretty substantial viewership already.

5. Ad Revenue
It is easy when using a blogging site like blogger to put ads on the side of your page.  When you are just starting out, I'd keep it to one ad or none at all.  Without viewers, you have nobody to click your ads.  I highly suggest building a fan base before trying to generate money from your blog.  While it is great if eventually you can pay for your blogging hobby with your blog itself, I think it is most important that you enjoy blogging, nurture it, and let it grow.  The less annoyingly covered in ads your blog is, the more likely you are to build your fan base.

I know, money is scary! Boooo!  Spooooky right?!  Anyway, here is my post for today, and as always,

Shine & Sparkle  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make-Up Geek Shadow Haul + Reviews

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers!

There are quite a few more of you than in the past and I wanted to give a warm welcome to all of you!  I'm very excited that over 1,550 of you have liked S+SR on facebook!  In honor of all my new potential readers, I decided to do a full report post for you!

I'm also excited to share with you my latest eye shadow haul!  I actually purchased 17 eye shadows from Make Up Geek (MUG)*.  This line was started by a YouTuber and they are absolutely outstanding quality for the money.  Each full-sized pan of shadow is only $5.99USD.  I actually go the 9-shadow starter kit ($49.99USD), the 6-shadow Vegas Lights Palette ($37.99USD), and 2 additional shadows for the regular price.

I was super impressed with the shipping and packaging of the items.  A lot of love and thought clearly went into it.  I LOVE that the person packing my stuff bothered to hand write my name on the thank you card!  How adorable!  I love supporting small local-ish businesses.  That being said, they do ship internationally, so everyone can get some. Hurzah.

All of MUG shadows are cruelty-free and do not test our products on animals.  They are also Talc and Paraben-Free.  I also love how their website has tons of video tutorials done by the founder/creator of MUG, great swatches and lots of other resources.

I instagramed, facebooked, and tweeted this picture, so maybe this isn't a new picture to you.  If you follow me on these social media outlets, you will be first to see things like this!  You know you want to see this early right?  

While the Vegas Lights Palette comes with a case (and is easy to remove the pans of shadow since they are only lightly magnetized), the other shadows only come as pans of shadow.  They sit perfectly in my customizable Z-Palette*.  I have the extra-large one that holds up to 35 standard-sized, round pans.  I also labeled the other eye-shadows in my Z-Palette in the picture below because I know I would want to know that as well.   The shadows I didn't label, it's because I have no earthly clue what they are called/where I got them.  I know I pulled them out of bulky containers.  And don't worry, I'll be using the beautiful Vegas Lights container to customize my own travel palette for when I only want to bring 6 shadows.

As you can see,  I love Urban Decay shadows.  I use their Naked 1 Palette ($49.99-not shown) as well as the shadows from a Summer Palette and a few individual shadows (as seen in picture above) all the time.  I think they have bold and innovative colors with great pigmentation and blend-ability. That being said for a lot less shadow in the palettes, and full sized pans of shadow running you around $18-20USD a pan, Make Up Geek is obviously the more affordable option.

In addition, I truly think that the MUG shadows are just as high quality (if not higher in some cases) as Urban Decay.  All the MUG shadows are very unique, buttery soft, and gorgeous.  I really think it is going to take a lot to get me to buy other brands of eyeshadow now.  Not that I'm going to need it, I kind of went crazy with this haul (which totaled no more than the cost of 2 smaller quantity of shadow Urban Decay Palettes I might add).  I'm so great at justifying my purchases. 

Colors Included In The Starter Kit -The mattes and shimmers in this are all fantastic.  This really is a great starter kit.  I'm not sure if there is a look you can't do with this.  From bold smokey eyes to soft romantic purple/pink looks, I'm sure this set can get it done.  And the black "Currupt" color puts all black shadows I have to shame (This includes blacks from Urban Decay, Lorac, Too Faced, and numerous drug store shadows).
- Cocoa Bear –  Matte golden brown
- Mocha – Matte Warm medium brown
- Glamorous – Bronzy, shimmery gold
- Creme Brulee – Medium sand color with a soft matte finish
- Shimma Shimma – Shimmery highlight
- Drama Queen – Densely dark purple with a shimmery finish
- Prom Night – Pale purple with hints of grey and a shimmery finish.
- Unexpected – Light and subtle pink matte purple blend
- Corrupt – Intense matte black with small bit of sparkle

Colors Included in the Vegas Lights Palette -These super unique warm-tones are possibly my favorite out of all the shadows I got.  They add a bit of pizzazz to my starter kit.  I'm so in love with how rich and luxurious all 6 of these shadows are! Even the matte color is super creamy and soft. I suggest grabbing this ASAP since it is special edition other than "Bada Bing" and the colors might never be seen again.  
- Casino - Shimmery saturated metallic gold with orange undertones. 
- Sin City - Shimmery Golden Apricot/ Golden Medium Orange. 
- Roulette - A rosy, burnt shimmery sienna. 
- Mirage - Pale matte beige with yellow undertones and a silky finish. 
- Desert Sands - Matte, medium terra-cotta.
- Bada Bing - Deep brown with flecks of gold

Other Colors I Purchased -I chose these colors because I didn't have a good matte white and the blue was just so pretty and unique.  Both are very buttery and blend-able,
- Peacock - Matte deep teal blue
- White Lies- Matte pure white  

I hope you have enjoyed this review/haul and as always,

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How To Properly Remove, Clean, And Care For Your Fake Lashes

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers!

Today I have a quick tip on cleaning your fake lashes so you can re-use them.  Lashes can be quite pricey, up to $15-$30 a pair.  It's no fun to throw away something you spent money on before you have to right?!  I'll quickly start by telling you that my favorite lash brand is Ardell Lashes*.  They are super comfortable and I love that most of them are made of 100% sterilized human hair.  I also like how affordable they are (around $3-$4USD).  I learned my lesson and do not suggest the 10 pairs for less than $5 sold online from unknown sources in China.  These are epic in their lack of comfortableness.

Second, I want to tell you that my favorite lash glue is Kiss Ever EZ Lashes Strip Lash Adhesive* because I love the application wand and the easy removal of the glue from your face and the lash band. I find the oh-so-popular Duo lash glue too strong.  It cements lashes to my face and inevitably pulls out real lashes during removal.  Eek.

Like all my images, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit

Removing Lashes:

DO NOT PULL OFF THE LASH!  It will be like ripping off a band-aid...on your eye.  Eek again.

To properly remove lashes, saturate a cotton pad with good quality eye-makeup remover.  Place it over a closed eye (you don't want to get make-up remover in your eye, trust me...oh the stinging...) with false lash on it.  Let the pad sit on your eye for at least 30 seconds, then wipe the pad down towards your mouth.  If the eye-make up remover has broken down the glue sufficiently, the lash should simply slide off and be attached to the cotton pad.  If the lash is still on your eye, let the cotton pad sit on the eye longer, maybe add more eye-makeup remover.  Repeat this process for your other eye.

Cleaning Lashes:

Step 1:  Remove and Make-up/Extra Lash Glue
I place the lashes on a tissue and then pour over some eye-makeup remover onto them.  I gently use the wet tissue (a good make-up wipe could work for this as well) to remove as much excess glue and make-up on the lash as possible.  Wiping from the base of the lash to the tips.  This prevents ruining the shape of the last as much as possible.

Step 2 (optional):  Re-shape the lashes with a flat iron or curling iron.
If your lashes seem to still be a bit out of shape, you can try to quickly reshape HUMAN HAIR ONLY lashes (unless you love the smell and mess of burnt plastic) by quickly running the lash part (NOT THE BAND) through a flat iron or place the lashes on a thick dish towel and press a curling iron over the lash part in very quick movements to try and reshape them.  It might help to hold the lash with a tweezer.  If your hot tool has heat settings, the lowest setting should be sufficient.  BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself! I am not responsible if you are not careful and burn yourself or your house down.  Do this step at your own risk.

Step 3: Sterilize the Lashes
Nobody wants an eye infection, so place the cleaned lashes on a new tissue, and pour over some regular drug-store rubbing alcohol until the lash is saturated.  Let the lashes sit in the alcohol for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  You can squeeze the excess alcohol through the lashes by folding the wet tissue over the lashes and pressing gently to ensure it is sterilized as possible.

Step 4: Sterilize the lash case.  
If you put the sterilized lases back in the case without wiping the case down with alcohol as well, you might as well have not bothered sterilizing the lashes in the first place.  Make sure to rub down all surfaces of your lash case before returning your sterilized lashes.

How Many Times Can You Re-Use Lashes?

Ardell suggests that your use your lashes no longer than 3 weeks.  That being said, I'm not sure if they mean 3 weeks of everyday use or not.  Since I do not wear fake lashes every day and I'm good about cleaning them, I tend to just use judgement.  I tend to throw away my lashes as soon as any of the following things happen:

  • If the lash is falling apart or looking ratty no matter what I do to it. 
  • Make-up and glue are caked on there and won't come off easily.
  • If the lash has any sort of smell.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick tip and as always,

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.