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New hair! Fireland!

Jeepers creepers what did I do!

enchanted forest

Well, since it was about 2 am in the morning when I got fed up with my hair all of a sudden yesterday, and there weren’t any hairdressers available:
I made two ponytails in my hair, took the scissors and cut them.

Then I got myself some good ol’ bleach and coated my hair:

green hair

First stage

green hair

Second stage

Green hair

Third stage.
They say to stop bleaching right before you reach the color you’d like so I stopped here, after about 55 minutes.

green hair

Aand here’s what I ended up with afterwards.
The right side (first pic) had quite some light green blended through it still.

However i’ve seen hair that was still green being covered by red just perfectly, so I took a chance and dove right in with the Naturtint dye!

vuurland

Tell me that right shade doesn’t look like a gorgeous, lucious blue toned dark red.

Well it wasn’t.

vuurland

Well that was misleading..

I LURVE redheads, they’re stunning!
However on myself.. Meh. I can’t really get into it..

As for the dye itself, my unbiased review:

Smell

Awful!!
Like decaying bell peppers.

That smell stays with you until your first good wash.

Ingredients

Naturtint I-6.66 Colorant Ingredients: Peg-2 Oleamine. Aqua Purificata (Purified Water). Cocamide Dea. Alcohol Denat (Alcohol). Propylene Glycol. Oleic Acid. Ethanolamine. 4-Hydroxypropylamino-3-Nitrophenol. 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene. Sodium Sulfite. Tetrasodium Edta. hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (Triticum Vulgare, Soy, Corn, Avena Sativa). Sodium Erythorbate. P-Aminophenol. P-Phenylenediamine. 4-Chlororesorcinol.

Formulation

Very runny, but it grabs onto the hair nicely.

On virgin or rigid hair you’d leave this on for about 40 minutes, on colored hair 20-30, that’s a whole lot less than the vegetable dyes I generally use from Manic Panic or Stargazer.
During this time it rushed into my hair like a flash!
So fast!

It spread throughout the hair nicely, and that way had colored every strand of hair evenly by the time I was ready for my rinse.
Even the green!

Staining

Nope, no staining!
My head is clear of  any pigments.

So far no transfer to my white scarf either!

Moisturizing

Very, my hair feels light and smooth like feathers!

The verdict

3

3 for now, i’ll be updating it as soon as I find out what the staying power is like!

Deducted one star for misleading packaging, how horrific!
And the smell is just awful, blergh.

fireland

To finish off I would like to add that even though I am now on the “accepted” side of the color wheel, I actually got pointed and laughed at the first day I wore this out.
Which was today. >_<

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Veggie supersandwich of the day!

You know how vegetarian dishes are often thought of as bland?
Well can’t blame anyone for that.. I used to think of them the same way.
I mean how tasty and savory can a tomato or carrot really get..

I changed my mind a while back though,
two things make veggie dishes tasty for me:

First of all, the herbs!
Getting creative and not cheaping out on herbs is so important.
they create multiple dimensions of taste explosions in your mouth!
Awyea just went sci-fi on vegetables.

And then second of all, I may be the only one that cares about this but I don’t think so: structure!
I can’t stand watery dishes, creamy is the way to go!

Not being afraid to chuck in some “high carb” veggies makes it so much more tasty!

One thing that’s really hard to do I feel is making a tasty veggie sammich.
No really.
A savory yet sweet sandwich that hits the spot and has it all is a form of art.

Howeveeeer *tum tum tuuum*
I stumbled across something great this weekend:

vegetarian sandwich

Heinz sandwich spreads!

Holy crap!
This stuff is so good!

My favorite at the moment is the red one, with tomato and spring onions.

heinz spread

It’s fresh and crunchy, but savory and sweet at the same time.
I can imagine this tasting good paired with other sandwich-toppings too, like cheese or even ham if you’re not veggie.

They didn’t store these in the fridge at my grocery store however I do keep them chilled.
Just makes it a ton more fresh and delicious! ^_^

So far I haven’t seen these in Belgium yet, only in Holland.
I can’t imagine they only sell them there though.

I’d say definitely try some if you’re on the market for a new sandwich-topping!
Now for the all-important question:
What’s your all time favorite sandwich?? :D

(Almost) instant vegetarian ramen!

Forgive me WordPress for I have sinned, it’s been two – OKAY THREE days since my last confession.

This week I came across a fun vid on youtube on how to make veggie ramen almost instantly!
Now, Hippo just had his wisdom teeth chiseled out today, so this is my perfect excuse to eat lots of it! He needs stock to drink anyway with his hamster face!

kitteh

Here’s how easy it is apparently (oh lazy days, we will be even happier together from now on)!! You’ll need:

  • noodles
  • vegetable broth
  • chili paste
  • bit of sesame oil
  • bit of rice vinegar
  • bit of maple syrup
  • soy sauce (the thick, rich kind is the tastiest I think!)
  • any kind of veggies you like, hard boiled egg/corn/spinnage/carrots/cabbage/even frozen peas etc. (I enjoy shrooms in there! The good kind, portobellos.. or shiitake or mixed forest shrooms! NOM)
  • salt & pepper

Kay now boil yourself some tasty noodles (I don’t know how it is for you, but at my local supermarket they sell these tasty soft noodles. They’re not really fresh, they just come in an airtight packet. Way tastier than the dried noodles in my opinion. Anyway there’s a TON of noodles you can try out.)

Drain, set them aside

combine the stock, chili paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for a while

Meanwhile you can stir fry the veggies so they become tender (I enjoy mine still being crisp though)

Almost done! Take a bowl, arrange your noodles in it, make a little masterpiece on top with your veggies, poor in the broth

DONE ^_^

I’m at hippo’s place now, trying to do my best to serve as a nurse, however I brought my goodies with me to try out so I can start posting reviews! I’m excited!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for free goodies! Oehhh freee….
YES i’m Dutch.

DIY shaving help!

Ah man you know what feeling I love? Having razor burns and then showering.
NO. NO I don’t.

The main reason for razor burns is the hair being too rough, and the skin being too dry. Imagine dragging a blade over dry earth, you get stuck behind the uneven parts, and take some of the surface with you. Not healthy for your skin and not comfortable either!
Aka we need an emolient, something to soften up the skin before we shave, and to make the razor glide over or skin as we shave!

I love just getting a shaving cream sometimes, it’s handy, stays good for ages, and is easy to store. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they’re as good for your skin as their completely natural DIY counterparts. There’s tons of crap in commercial creams, plain and simple. Sorbitol for example, because natural glycerin is “too expensive”.

Well here’s some recipes to try out for yourself! Oils and creams galore, depends on what you like!
I enjoy the infused oil, and wax recipes the most. They’re easy and do their job!

Scrub

First of all, scrubbing is essential for a really close shave without razor burns! Especially for a beard! There are tons of natural DIY scrubs, or just get one at your local drugstore.

If you use something like my sugar scrub though, with oil in it, you can double it up as a lubricant for shaving as well!
Rinse your skin with water (warm if you can, that softens your skin up even more) to remove the sugar, and shave!

Normal oil

You can use grapeseed, castor, almond, sunflower, coconut, baby, extra virgin olive oil, any oil you like! Natural oils work great for softening up the skin, and making your razor glide right over.

Infused oil

There’s different ways of doing this, let’s do the “hard” one first:

  • Dried herbs (they make your oil stay fresh longer)
  • Olive oil (or any other oil, I love using olive oil though because it’s been used since early times, even in bath water in Greece!)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, pour everything into a bowl, turn off the oven and place it in there for a couple of hours.
When everything is soaked up nicely, get the oil into a jar by pushing it out of the herbs.

Then the easy way:

  • Essential oils
  • Olive oil (or again any other oils)

Mix them up, done!
Keep it in the refridgerator, and it’ll stay good for months on end! (if you used an oil that became hard in the fridge, just warm it up in your hands before using it)

Oils are so nice and economical to use, just wet the area where you need to shave, add a few drops of oil, let it sink in for a couple of minutes, shave, and rinse!
You’ll smell good too, hmmm…

Soothing lotion

Your normal moisturizer works great, one with aloe or roses in it would be even better, those soothe the skin even more. Works just the same as oils, let it soak in and ready to razor!
Another thing you can try, is hair conditioner!

Shaving cream

First of all, you can use soap. However that’s not as moisturising, this is:

  • 8 ounces grated castile soap
  • 8 ounces rose water
  • 2 ounces cocoa butter
  • 4 ounces of liquid vegetable glycerin (available at drugstores and pharmacies)

Add essential oils to this as well if you like!

Soak the soap in the rose water overnight. Heat the cocoa butter and glyerin so that they melt, then remove from the heat and add the soap mixture. Blend those all together with a mixer and done!

As with all fresh products, store in your refrigerator.

What herbs/essential oils to add

Anything you like really, but here are some suggestions:

If you have problems with acne, try adding some of these to your face-treatments:

  • Tamanu oil: heal skin damage
  • Rosehip: healing, reduce wrinkles, fights redness
  • Emu oil: healing, pain, anti-infammatory
  • Lavender: balances, great for combination skin, heals
  • Neroli oil: against scarring
  • Sage oil (don’t use when pregnant, dilute it, and look up if it’s suited for you first): anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, you name it. Extremely potent  oil.
  • Tea tree: anti-bacterial, great for face oils or underarms (no bacteria =  no smell!)
  • Olive oil: vitamin e, antioxidants
  • Peppermint oil: vitamin a, against irritation
  • Green tea: powerful antioxidant
  • Aloe vera: soothes, cooling, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial
  • Camomile oil: calm skin, tissue regeneration
  • Mandarin oil: helps heal, improves circulation (and smells great!)
  • Sandalwood oil: natural remedy for scars (expensive though)
  • Frankincense oil: disinfectant, astingent

These can be found in organic stores! You can add them to millions of things, but i’ll keep that for another post haha!

Making your own wax

One more thing, for those of us who don’t like to shave, I make my wax myself!
It’s a sugar wax, i’m sure a lot of people are familiar with this recipe:

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water

Put this on the stove and let it simmer for 45 minutes to make the sugar caramelize.

This washes off so easily as well, unlike hard wax!

Learning about essential oils is a passion of mine, tell me your favorites below! :)

Argan treasure

From the Middle East, I bring you: the awesome, the unbelievable, the wondrous, the extremely hyped: ARGAN OIL!

Argan oil

Naturelle d’orient: Argan Oil

Argan oil

What is it and what does it do?

Argan oil is obtained from the nut of the Argan tree unique to Morocco. It’s known to live up to 450 years and adapt perfectly to extreme drought. There used to be numerous trees, but the past 100 years that number got divided by 2 and now they’re endangered and protected by UNESCO.
Buying argan oil from a respectable source is fine. If it is extracted with respect, it does not harm the tree.

The nutritional value is – wait for it..! – pretty much the same as olive oil’s. However pure argan oil is a lot more expensive because it’s harder to process. One liter of argan oil takes around 12 – 20 hours of hand processing.

It contains

  • Myristic acid (will make the oil absorb very well)
  • Oleic acid (insect pheromone, haha. And helps anti-inflammatory agents penetrate the cell membrane)
  • Alpha linolenic acid (anti-aging)
  • Palmitic acid (reinforce skin’s barrier function)
  • Stearidonic acid (anti-inflammatory)
  • Vitamin E (promotes healing and strong antioxidant)
  • Carotenes (protect from UV)

All of these ingredients make the oil an anti-inflammatory moisturiser, and it apparently helps to prevent skin cancer as well (so they say, don’t know how much I believe of that, but you can decide that for yourself).

Why would you buy argan oil if you have olive oil?

Three reasons! The first for me, is that it doesn’t smell. I can’t stand olive oil in my hair or on my face.. The second is that it absorbs into the skin way more easily. And the third one, is that it doesn’t feel heavy on the hair/face. It feels very light, doesn’t weigh your hair down.

Warning

Watch out for scams when buying this, check the ingredients on the packaging.
The 100% pure form can be used in food, but the version we can buy here often contains ingredients that should not be swallowed. There may be other ingredients in there which are good for your skin, but then be aware of the fact that you shouldn’t ingest it.

Morrocans will know the oil very well, they will know how it looks, smells etc.
But companies often try to trick us foreigners into believing we’re buying pure agran oil by putting it on the packaging in big bold letters. Then when you check the ingredients, argan oil may just be a small ingredient.
I am speaking out of experience, yes. The product you see above is not pure argan oil, because you cannot ingest it. Even though they told me to get this one in the store (because it was a little more expensive but it would be worth it since it was pure. -_-‘) after a bit of research I found out that it is not.
Which is fine, there’s no junk in there, the mix was specifically designed for use on hair and skin. But still, if I’d have the choice, i’d go for the all natural version.

Soo what do I do with it exactly?

  • daily moisturizer, you can apply it right after you shower
  • massage oil: as opposed to commercial oils, this will actually moisturise your skin
  • get rid of any inflammation on your skin (Acne, Chickenpox, Psoriasis)
  • finishing oil for your hair: use sparingly, or you’ll look like a greaseball
  • conditioning mask for your hair: massage it on your scalp and let it work its way in there, it will temporarily “fix” split ends
  • use as ingredient for face masks
  • rub it onto cuticles to strengthen nails
  • medical advantages: has been known to soothe pain in case of Arthritis and Rheuma, good source of fatty acids

The verdict

4 stars

It retails for around $40–50 for 500 ml. Which is a pretty steep price, compared to other oils. But then again think about how much pay for a general hair shine serum (that often doesn’t even have nourishing properties, it just adds shine).

All grudges put aside, I may have payed too much for my “pure argan oil”, but it does really work well for me. I mainly use it as a hair mask when my hair needs a quick fixer upper. I’ll work it into my ends, rinse it out right before I leave and blow-dry my hair.
For use as a moisturizer, this will probably do the trick on dry skin. However if you have oily skin like me an oil-free moisturiser will probably be better.

So what do you think?

Stargazer UV Turquoise

*drumroll* The fourth blue hair review! Stargazer UV Turquoise!
Pictures of all the other colors i’ve reviewed side by side can be found right here.

Feel free to click the close-ups for a GIANT awkward HD image if you like lol!

Two taken inside the house first:

 

stargazer

 

stargazer

 

Aand then two outside:

 

Stargazer

 

stargazer

Keep in mind:
my hair is a super dark shade of brown, and I bleach it before coloring it blue.
(I descibed the first bleaching process here ..)

Up until now, i’ve been reaally impressed with Stargazer. However it’s either hit or miss. On some people it washes right out but on others like me it lasts and lasts.
Here‘s another Stargazer review if you would like to see.

Once again though, i’ll be summing up the pros and cons below so that you can decide for yourself!

☺ pros

  • Not tested on animals, and vegan.
  • Vegetable based.
  • The smell is fine. Not my favorite perfume but.. it’s still hair dye!
  • You can leave it on for weeks if you like, it will only make your hair more healthy because it’s depositing nutrients and pigment in your hair.
  • It has a very nice amount of pigment. Also, it deposits color very quickly.
  • It doesn’t become too dark if you leave it in for too long! Often with the Manic Panic dyes, if you leave it in for 3 hours, it becomes such an insanely dark color, completely different from the color on hair swatches online and in the store!
    However with the Stargazer colors, they just stay nice and fresh.
  • Very good staying power. But like I said, it’s a hit or miss, you’ll have to try it out for yourself. Keep in mind that it does grab onto bleached hair the best, as with every dye.
    One extra reason why it lasts on me, is because I add some to my conditioner and let that soak in my hair every time I wash it. This Stargazer dye activates with water, your hair needs to be damp for it to work, so it’s perfect for bath-time!
    A second reason is, I wash my hair with a soft shampoo that doesn’t strip color (back awaaaay from anti-dandruff formulations!!). This organic root stimulator one I adore on my colored hair, it gets my hair clean, is luscious, and moisturizes it extremely well but does not strip the color at all. I have the feeling it freshens it up and maintains it even..
  • I LOVE the color! It’s the prettiest turqoise i’ve used so far ^_^ (feel free to check my more recent posts, from July up to September to see more pics of this color in a plethera of lighting lol!)
  • Enough dye. This is a big one, I have long hair so usually there isn’t enough dye in one tub.
    Don’t forget to cut open the tube though, there’s a HEAP of product that you can’t reach by just squeezing it.
    (I mean a HEAP.)
  • It glows under blacklight. Yes. It really is UV reactive. This effect stays up to 3 washes for me before it’s gone.

☹ cons

  • Not that nourishing, compared to the special effects dyes. It deposits color very well, fast and even but doesn’t make my hair more healthy after I feel.
  •  As with the special effects, it stains your skin and head quite a bit.
    (note to reader: wear gloves when washing your hair right after dyeing.)Should the stains bother you, just take a cotton bud and go over the stained areas with some rubbing alcohol. It’ll get the pigment right off. My toner did this for me.
    However, that all is just because there’s just so much pigment packed in there, which translates into the good staying power.


The verdict:

I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but I LOVE the Stargazer dyes. And they scored once again. ^_^

UV Turquoise is up there in my top 3. Together with the Stargazer Coral Blue and Special Effects Blue Velvet. But if you compare the price of Special Effects with this dye,  you’ll know who wins!

These can be bought for 5 euros! If you can’t find them in shops near you, try online on Bee Unique for example!
you can stock up on that!

Veggie semi-fastfood

A few days ago I made chili sin carne. SO easy! And it tastes really good. Just as good as chili con carne.
I mean, just imagine, the spices are all there, the veggies as well. It tastes so rich, you won’t miss the meat at all.

If you really do miss it though, there’s enough alternatives out there.

This Quorn one for example,is a nice choice.
You can pretty much add it to any dish that would require minced meat, and just prepare it as you would normal meat.

And the most awesome part is, you can just put it in the freezer. This way you will have instant food for when you’re lazy. YAY!
Eat it with a good piece of bread, or potatoes, whatever the heck you have laying around.

Let’s get cookin’!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 big carrots
  • one full red bell pepper
  • white/red beans in tomato sauce
  • spices: salt & pepper, paprika, pilli pilli, optional for extra spice: harissa
  • sweet chili sauce and ginger syrup

Take a cooking pot, and heat up some olive oil so that the base is covered.
Chuck in the minced garlic, and let it simmer in the oil. This way the aroma will spread throughout the oil.

After a minute, add the chopped onion. Let this glaze up. (Glaze, not fry. Don’t let them get brown. That’s a tip my grandma tought me LOL. If you just let them soften up, they’ll get nice and sweet)

When the onions are all delicious and glazed, add the chopped carrots and bell pepper to the mix. Stir a little, give it a minute, and then add a bit of water into the pot and cover it with a lid.
Now we’re going to give the veggies some time to soften up nicely, let them sit for a while on medium heat, and check back every now and then to see to it that there’s still some water in there.
(by putting the lid on there, you’re making sure all of the juices stay in there, and you’re essentially steaming the veggies)
It’ll take about 15-20 minutes, or longer, depends on how soft you like them.

After they’ve softened up nicely add the beans in tomato sauce.
THEN lastly, add the spices, chili sauce and ginger syrup to taste, give it one more minute, and done!

Bon appétit!

Do you like SPICE? ^_^

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