Why I Choose Not To Dye My Hair

1. I get highlights without trying in the summer.

2. I can buy inexpensive and natural shampoo without worrying about maintaining my hair color.

3. Ian and I can share the same shampoo.

4. Lower hair care costs in general.

5. Healthier & shinier hair.

6. Hair color that matches my eyebrows naturally.

7. Fewer split-ends and frizziness.

8. No chemicals – good for me, good for the earth.

9. I dont have to worry about ‘roots’.

10. I discovered that my hair color subtly changes with the seasons.

In spring 2007, I decided to stop coloring my hair. I have reddish undertones and any color I tried ended up looking orange. And honestly, I think it is one of the best Lifevestments I have made. People are regularly asking me if I dye my hair and they never believe me when I say it is natural.

Have you ever made an abrupt change in your beauty routine?

Ashley

Birchbox – February 2012

My February Birchbox came and after reviewing all the products I have to say I am feeling a little… flat (pun intended). But truthfully this month’s theme seems to be “flat” beauty products, if you can believe that: eye make-up wipes, powder puffs, and eyeliner strips:

My February 2012 Birchbox Contained:

1. BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream ($22 for 30 ml). My favorite product this month! I do love this moisturizer, it is so very french in scent, is so clean and soft on the skin and lasts quite a while. I will absolutely be getting a full-size of this wonderful moisturizer.

2. Eye Rock Designer Liner ($13 for two sets of liners). I have a confession: I haven’t tried these out yet. Designer liner doesn’t feel appropriate for the office so I will have to wait for a special occasion to rock these cat-eye liner strips. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on how these turn out.

3. colorescience pro® Pressed Mineral Foundation ($50 for 0.42 oz). I brought this Puff on my road trip with Mom to see my sister at Indiana University this weekend and it was a life-saver. The little is full of about 3-4 days of mineral make-up which you can layer for additional coverage. I used this in place of my usual concealer (which I forgot) and powder and it worked really well and lasted +12 hours. Very impressed with this little puff!

4. LA FRESH® Eco Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover – Pouch of 24 ($9.99 for one pouch of 24 wipes). These were also a life-saver on my road trip when I was running around but they weren’t really a stand-out from other makeup removers I’ve tried. I still had to moisturize after using these even though the package says it will condition your skin after use.

EXTRA: I received two extras this month (1) a hot pink heart-shaped nail file board and (2) six free songs from Green River Ordinance.

Ashley

Past Birchboxes:

January 2011.

December 2011.

November 2011.

My January Birchbox

It… finally… came. Sadly my “January” box didn’t arrive until January 30th and the last few days I have been test driving the products so unfortunately this post comes a few days into February. But I have to say, it was worth the wait this month.

My January 2012 Birchbox Contained:

1. Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy – 3.4 oz. This perfume smells delicious but since I already found my signature scent, I suspect I’ll be sticking with my signature scent from Jo Malone.

2. stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. I had a lovely brown eyeliner from stila which I used all-up (and I’m not sure why I didn’t buy another). stila has a great eyeliner formula – however the color I got from Birchbox this month was ‘peacock’, a bright teal blue which I just don’t see myself wearing. But Birchbox has a neutral-looking brown on the website and I think I would really love that.

3. BORGHESE CuraForte Moisture Intensifier. This is an interesting product meant to boost your moisturizer however so far I have not experienced any real moisture boosts since using it. Maybe I’m using it wrong? Has anyone tried this?

4. Jouer Body Butter. This body butter smells divine – so mature and sophisticated and the formula is silky but not slimy. I really enjoy this stuff!

5. LÄRABAR Mini Bars. Each bar has nine ingredients max and no ‘icky’ ingredients. And this month I happened to get a flavor I would have never tried on my own but am so glad I did – Coconut Cream Pie. Confession: I am not a huge fan of coconut, especially coconut texture. But this little bar was smooth, not overly chewy and the taste took me to a beach in the tropics – so summer-y and delicious!

EXTRA: A small Birchbox magnet for the fridge (and matches my hot pink kitchen perfectly!).

Am I too scared of colored eyeliner? Does anyone have any thoughts for wearing colored eyeliner after Halloween?

Ashley

Past Birchboxes:

November 2011.

December 2011.

Discovering Your Signature Scent

There is something so intimate and personal about finding your “scent”. For a while I went through a phase where I only wore Chanel Chance, then only Calvin Klein Euphoria. And while I think these scents are fabulous, I always felt like I had never found my “scent”.

Luckily, one weekend my mother and I were running some errands in Nordstroms and I happened upon the Jo Malone fragrance counter. I remembered loving Jo Malone when I smelt it in London back in August but didn’t actually purchase anything. After a few moments playing around at the counter, we learned that you can combine Jo Malone scents to make your own ‘scent’ – there’s even a combining menu online (http://www.jomalone.com/FragranceCombining/index.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY22654 so fun)!

My fragrance combination:

Vintage Gardenia and Orange Blossom – sweet yet sophisticated, understated but still powerful.

I loved all the boxes my bottles were wrapped in too (and if you buy on Jo Malone, they do free shipping… I am a sucker for free shipping). I’ve placed my two bottles on a shelf in the bedroom with a childhood pictures of my dad and they look so sophisticated. And wasn’t my dad a little charmer with his patterned bow-tie?

But all said and done, it is very exciting to have discovered a scent I feel is truly me.

What’s your signature scent?

Ashley

What’s in My Make-Up Bag

Seeing what a woman keeps in her make-up bag is like being let into a secret back room of her personality. It’s the invisible arsenal she depends on to present her image of herself to the world. Sydney, over at The Daybook, just did this (http://www.thedaybookblog.com/2012/01/mama-beauty.html) and I couldn’t help but be inspired to do my own version.

My kit is the result of a long journey involving years of poor decisions (I used to have a thing for bronze eyeliner, oh the shame) which taught me the golden rule: less is more. Generally, I focus on highlighting one feature – either my eyes or lips and keep the rest as simple and natural as possible.

My favorite products have evolved over the years but I feel I have finally found a core set of cosmetics which I can turn to everyday. Typically I turn to products which multi-task the most and that can be layered to create a dramatic look if necessary.

Starting at the top and then moving clockwise:

1:: Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder in Pale Yellow ($35 at bobbibrowncosmetics.com). This is the best loose powder I have ever found – it helps my make-up stay put for hours and is very sheer and clean-feeling.

2:: a generic Eyebrown brush (usually under $1 at most Walgreens). Even though I have very thin and light eyebrows, I still need to keep them groomed. This little brush works like magic after I apply my eyebrow mascara – just wait a minute for the mascara to set and then swipe it through your eyebrows to soften and polish the look.

3:: blinc Mascara in Black ($24 at birchbox.com). This is the most expensive mascara I have ever tried but I really love it. All of the blinc mascaras have ‘tube technology’ which coats your lashed in a tube and which come off in the shower with a little soap and water. It’s so much less messy than normal mascara (and less harsh than waterproof mascaras) and it’s actually fun to slide off your mascara at night. Weird but worth a try if you’re looking for an innovative beauty splurge.

4:: Cargo Eyeliner in black. This isn’t actually made anymore as far as I can tell but any well-formulate black eyeliner can really emphasize your eyes. I love a demure cat-eye for work – it looks wonderful and still professional.

5:: Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Mascara in Brown. This, unfortunately, is also no longer available but a good eyebrow mascara can help you shape your brows and fill in sparse spaces without looking theatrical.

6:: Physician’s Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Fair ($6 at the Physcian’s Formula website). This concealer is a fabulous all-purpose which swipes on cleanly. I always blend this in around my under-eye area with my ring finger (gives the least amount of pressure) and it stays on all day. And let’s be honest – you can’t beat the price!

7:: Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in a shade no longer available but very similar to the #25 Pink Frosting shade (about $7 at Walgreens). A bright pink shade in a sheer formula looks so flattering on every skin-type and this formula is easy to use and blend.

8:: Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation with SPF 15 in Light ($25 at birchbox.com). I received a sample of this in my July Birchbox and have been obsessed since. This sheer formula have be built-up to cover just about anything and it lasts all day (not to mention the added SPF protection).

What do you keep in your make-up bag?

Ashley

Life Upgrade – Number Four High Performance Hair Care

Lifevesting’s First Ever Product Highlight:

Photo From Behind the Chair

Number Four High Performance Hair Care

I first learned about Number Four when a small sample of the Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque™ came with my August 2011 Birchbox (I’ll post more on Birchbox later). With its intriguing scent mixture of acai berry, hibiscus, mangosteen, oolong tea, black currant and yerba mate I was curious enough to try it that night in the shower. I applied the masque to my [thick/disobedient/ever-frizzy] long locks and waited five minutes wondering what a $60 bottle of hair masque could possibly do for me that hundreds of other products couldn’t.

When I washed off the masque and blow-dried my hair all I could think was…

Woah…

Oh…

Ah…

Woah…

I was hooked. My hair felt soft and silky. After blow-drying it had all the bounce and curl of Kate Middleton’s locks and stayed silky even after my next wash (sans masque). Birchbox was also kind enough to include a small one-use sample of Number Four’s L’eau de Mer Hydrating Shampoo™. Again, this product was hair bliss in a tube. Another favorite which I bought a full-sized bottle of without even testing first is their Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep and Protect Spray™ which I spritz on before blow-drying or straightening and which helps calm frizz in-between weekly masque treatments.

The line’s name comes from the four signature Liquid Complexes™ used in each product. The best part about these products? The entire line is 100% vegan, sulfate free, gluten free, paraben-free and never tested on animals. As someone who never spent more than $7 on a bottle of hair product before it takes a lot to convert me and I was amazingly surprised at how wonderful and well-rounded these products were. Though the hefty price tag may scare you, these are products are worth spending your hard-earned cash on.

Ashley