Beauty Product Reviews

SURFER GIRL HAIR WITHOUT THE SALT

Dang, R+Co, I thought the Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste was the the perfect hair paste (a dry shampoo & texture creme all in one) and then WHAM! They drop this new Sand Castle Texture Creme and since I'm an absolute sucker for anything that promises surfer girl, beach texture hair, of course I had to buy it. For me, I wash my hair at night and let it air dry and then in the morning, I will grab a quarter size of Sand Castle, warm it up in my hands until the paste dissolves, then rough it through my hair starting at the roots then just spreading it out in pieces throughout my hair. It seems to give it texture, volume, and hold, all in one go. I've even been using this WITHOUT spraying my beloved Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray in my hair everyday. And believe me, that is a feat all in itself!

Between this and Badlands, the texture feels....a bit less gritty to me? Badlands tends to leave a bit of grit feeling in the palms, even after dissolving it and for some reason, I tend to feel "less" of Sand Castle in my hair after I apply it. I think a quarter sized amount on both pastes is good (otherwise, you feel "too much" product) and not more than that. For reference, my hair is about 3/4 down my back and presently with long layers throughout.

I'm going on a long vacation in the next couple months and for me when I'm planning what to bring traveling, its been a true test to see how minimal I can go with my hair styling products. I'm pleased that after testing this out for about a month, I likely will only need to bring this and my Sexy Hair Concepts Powder Play (a volumizing powder that has been my HG hair product for about 6 years now) on my trip. The Powder Play to add a bit more hold and volumizing at the crown of the head, and Sand Castle to further that hold and give texture and volume for the rest of my mane. I have always loved a product with some clay in it too so it absorbs any oil. I don't get oily in my hair often thankfully, but it makes me feel better knowing its an ingredient ;)

Lastly, the scent is really nice! Citrusy, bright, not too strong, and I don't even smell it after in my hair, so it doesn't clash with whatever fragrance I end up wearing that day. Overall, the fact that I have steadily been able to find products to minimize WHAT I use in my hair to style it to still give me that "I just rolled out of bed and woke up with my hair all over the place" without having to use my teasing comb has been the biggest win for me the past couple years!

gets the tangles out without hurting or tugging!

Oh my gosh. My life is changed. I seriously hate combing my hair ALOT and it wasn't until I picked up my Anna Sui hairbrush that I realized I didn't mind it so much. HOWEVER. When I'm out of the shower, I still, for the life of me, cannot comb my hair properly to have it not be a giant knotty mess. Maybe once a month I will actively use detangling spray and a wide tooth comb to comb my hair out.

That all changed when I saw my cousin using the Tangle Teezer during the holidays and she said it detangled quickly and painlessly and was really easy to use. ALL OF THE ABOVE! It's very inexpensive and pretty easy to find in most places and its very ergonomic in the hand. I actually enjoy combing my hair and it doesn't "catch" or snarl the hair either, it just seems to glide like absolute magic. I feel like my hair is slowly reaching its full potential these days without me having to tease it sky high these days (its my goal to love my hair the way it is without having to backcomb...as I went for that crazy Motley Crue look for a long time) and this is helping me to keep my hair knot free, healthy, and with less feeling that I'm growing weird things in the giant tangles!

REMOVES MAKEUP. CLEANSES AND HYDRATES

I've been really into anything that involves cleansing and removing makeup into one step. The older I get, the lazier I am with makeup removal in general. Most days I do use a makeup remover and remove the rest with my Bioderma but then again, there a lot of other days I just want to apply, rinse, and that's it! Since it's summer, I've been a little more oily than usual, so this cleansing oil balm from Boscia has been perfect. It even takes off my waterproof mascara when I swim! (don't judge that I wear mascara swimming, okay)

I like to scoop some out into my palms, apply to dry skin, massaging gently on and around the eye area, then splashing a bit of water so it turns milky then I just rinse it all off. Super easy and it removes the oil on my face without stripping, so my skin never feels super tight or dry.

One thing: I've had mine for a while and I noticed that after some time, the product inside looked like it was crystallizing and separating inside, which was concerning to me. I reached out to Boscia directly because I hadn't had this happen with any of my cleansers before so I wanted to make sure it hadn't expired or anything. What they told me was that this was totalllllly normal for it to happen with the makeup melter since all of their products are preservative free and that any color variances and changes will/may occur to all of their products.

Whew! So while it doesn't look pretty in the jar, I'm cool with that because it 1) takes off EVERYTHING really easily 2) It cuts down on the amount of products for me to use 3) I'm the only one who has to look at it and all my skincare jars aren't that pretty inside after a while anyways :)

HOLY GRAIL FOREVER. 4 EVER.

HOW HAVE I NEVER REVIEWED THIS ONE!! I repurchase this baby every two months, I'm serious. It makes my wallet cry but my hair so happy and gives me that crazy tousled hair that I love so much and wish I had naturally. I've tried other lesser priced ones (gimme your recs, I'm still down to try them though!) but nothing, and I mean this in the most Sinead O'Connor type of way, NOTHING compares to you....I mean, you, my beloved Dry Texturizing Spray.

It texturizes. It volumizes. It holds. It even acts like a dry shampoo spray! I use this on clean hair, throw my head upside down and spray away at the roots and all over the hair. I'll spritz on hairspray all over and tie my hair up in a bun while I get ready. By the time I remove my hair from the bun, my hair is just super wavy, big and texturized. Using this has helped me to ween off teasing my hair every single day and believe me, that was a really hard thing to stop doing. Yes, I buy the small version when I travel and the one month I was lazy and didn't replenish my bottle, my hair just did not feel or look the same. I have a weird cowlick on the back of my head where when it's matted down, looks like a bald spot and I had never noticed until I didn't have my Dry spray that this really helped it to perk up and hide it.

This and Big Sexy Hair's Powder Play (a volumizing powder) are my HG's for life and with their powers combined, my hair is never happier!!

Pro tip: All of the Oribe aerosols you have to "break the seal" when you first use them. Press really hard where the rivets are to get it spraying out as normal. Usually it only takes one finger for me to do it but sometimes I do have to use a whole hand to press down on it to get it going!

TEXTURE. GRIP. SURFER GIRL HAIR.

I've actually owned this product for over a year now and man, you don't want to know how long it took for me to find it so I'm glad I can get it at Beautylish now! For the record, I originally bought it from my hair salon (disclaimer: I get a haircut 1x a year because I'm a l-a-z-y girl) and a little goes a long way so I'll let you use your imagination to decide how long I've owned it.

ANYWAYS. This paste! I usually spoon out a about a quarter size for my halfway down the back hair, which is yes, a paste like feeling (the top layer might harden up after a while, but don't worry, it hasn't turned bad, even if the part underneath is soft), warm up in between my hands then I like to finger comb through my hair to give it separation and texture. Sometimes I do use this as dry shampoo but it would have to be when I remember to use less than I normally do, as it can leave the hair feeling a bit gritty in the roots. Hence, why I like to apply it all over my hair.

It gives great hold, texture, and helps me keeping that wild and surfer girl hair I like to have even through the 2nd day before I wash my hair. It's one of the better texturizing paste products I've used and my hair is never ever oily with it either. I did knock off a star because sometimes I do not like the gritty part but alas, I'll have to remind myself not to go as heavy handed sometimes. You really don't need much!

Which reminds me now, after writing this, that I should probably get a haircut soon....

NO SHAMPOO NEEDED. SQUEAKY CLEAN BUT NO STRIPPING!

ACV= Apple Cider Vinegar! I've been doing the ACV rinse (with just Bragg's ACV and water) for the lonnnnnngest time but I actually had been on and off purchasing actual products targeted for this purpose over the past few years. So you know, sometimes I'm fancy and sometimes I go real low key, budget friendly.

Either way, I found that I love R+Co's the best (I'm also just a HUGE fan of the line overall) and the scent is just so light, citrus-y and refreshing. I like to squirt it all over my scalp and use this in place as my shampoo. It actually suds up, which was the biggest surprise for me the first time I used it! So it gives me the act of shampooing my hair. You don't need a whole lot but be sure to really get the roots. I like to do dab some conditioner on the ends and only ACV the roots (for conditioner right now, I'm using Oribe's Gold Lust) then I will rinse the whole thing out after a few minutes and that's it.

It leaves the hair feeling clean and all of the residue build up from all my hairspray is removed but without feeling dry or straw like. One bonus is that it also helped to get out some of the gnarly tangles that build up in my hair really fast. My hair has looked shinier and has more bounce to it. I tend to only do this about 1x a week, just to get all the gunk out but no need to really do it more than that. I'm really into scalp health right now so I'm super excited to have this and their Scalp Scrub in my bathroom right now!!

Watery Feeling. Light. Magical.

Okayyyy when I first got this, I felt like Neo from the Matrix. You know, the scene where he can take either the blue pill or the red pill. Maybe just because the copper bottle was blue (the other bottle is def not red!!) LOL! Anyways, when you open it, put the activator into the copper bottle...just a pro tip so you don't lose any of that copper goodness in the bottle! Shake it for a bit then its ready to go from there on out.

And goodness, this lil thing has DEFINITELY made a difference in my skin. My friends hate that my skin is already in pretty good shape but this took it even a few steps further and got it looking reallllll good!

I use mine after cleansing then apply a few drops, usually about 4-5 to cover my face and neck, let it absorb for a minute then I apply whatever serum I'm using (usually The Ordinary's Buffet) then either my Rose Hip Seed Oil or May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon if its in the evening. That's it! It's so easy to use and my skin definitely over time has looked much more bright, even, and I don't see any new wrinkles that are forming, so that is good. Sometimes I only use it 1x a day but I try to do 2x when I remember.

I believe the difference between the 1% and the 5% is that the 5% works more like an immediate fix for skin that has more texture or skin issues but the 1% is plenty for long term use. So if your skin is fairly okay condition already, you won't see much of a difference with the 5% (unless your skin realllly needs extra extra help) but the 1% works perfectly for over time results to maintain.

Despite what other skincare I might be rotating in my collection, this is definitely going to be a permanent mainstay as the first step in my routines =)

Small. easy to use. Convenient!

I think Julia A's review says it all - how can one love a tiny spoon more than it is possible? But also....who would even think that you NEED this tiny spoon in your life? It's definitely helped me to scoop out the bits from jars that I have where my already small fingers cannot reach and helps me to ensure I'm getting every bit of product out. I've used it to scoop out other products so I can more easily mix them and even use the handle to just get the most ever so slight amount of product to use when I need it. It's not flimsy either, it's pretty sturdy and just the right size and length. Also an excellent small item to throw in your bag if you're just a hair away from the free shipping minimum for your order!

purges. cleanses without stripping

My colleague had given me a generous sample of this cleanser when she had purchased it forever ago and once we started carrying NIOD on the site, I knew I had to purchase my own tube! I like that it comes in a squeeze tube, very easy to use and allows me to control how much product I use. I use this probably about every other day, apply to dry skin, then use just a touch of water to spread all over then rinse off. This DOES NOT lather, so if you are into a foaming cleanser, this is not the one for you, its more akin to a milky cleanser. It really does help to decongest without stripping the skin of any essential oils or moisture and just leave it feeling clean and healthy.

The smell is not off putting to me, it's more sort of like...fresh earth? I will say that if you keep it for a really long time then the scent does turn into something a bit more weird but if kept and used once you pop open the seal on it, the scent is pretty nice. I took off one star because part of me wishes it had a flip top on it instead of a screwed cap but....I do like that its got that metal seal (the kind where you flip the cap to poke it open) so it stays fresh up until you break the seal!

SKIN IS CLEAR AND SMOOTH

I've never used a Lactic Acid before but being that the 5% seemed more for very dry or sensitive skin and my skin is the kind that will take anything thrown at it, I figured I'd be good with the 10%. I use this maybe 3x a week and apply everywhere on the face, neck and on the back of my hands. I just let it absorb for about 10-15 minutes then apply the Buffet and the Rose Hip Seed Oil on top afterwards. There truly has been a difference using these products! My skin was always pretty good but this leaves it looking way more smooth and even and overall radiant. I had switched over to using more acid based products to slough off dead skin cells after using the Mila Moursi Refining Lotion (which I still love, just need to alternate sometimes for the benefit of my wallet) and this one is quite cost effective and fits the bill very well.

The texture is a bit tacky but not super tacky and a bit viscous but spreads pretty easily everywhere. Does anyone else ever think of little Pacmans eating all their dead skin cells when they use things like this? Because I do haha! No tingly or redness happened for me when I first used it and I didn't peel or break out so I'd say this is a keeper!

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