Curly Girl Method Update | 9 Months

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for a solid nine months now and while the journey has definitely had its ups and downs and I’ve had my good days and bad days, I’ve gotten to a place where I can really enjoy experimenting with hair products and learning about them without it feeling like it’s taken over my life. I did cut five inches off my hair, which has definitely helped and relayered my hair. In all my trials with my hair, these are my favourite products at this point in my journey. As a frame of reference my hair is fine, I have high density hair, high porosity and hair that falls into mainly a 2c kind of pattern with the right kind of products. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, my hair always looks straighter in pictures…

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As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99 CDN | Sally’s Beauty Supply): I’ve discussed this cleansing conditioner before in a fairly recent post, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief. As someone who has fine hair (but loads of it) and a scalp that can get easily pissed off, cowashing has not been for me for the most part. However, I really like this one. It’s slightly more cleansing than the traditional cleansing conditioner and has out of this world slip. I like using it in between washes with a sulfate-free cleanser, especially in the cooler seasons. It’s also nourishing enough that I can use it as my one product to cleanse and condition when I’m feeling lazy.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Conditioner ($11.96 CDN | Walmart): Shea Moisture conditioners, shampoos and masks have been a favourite of mine for a long time but this easily accessible conditioner was an impulse purchase that I don’t regret in the slightest. It won’t be for everyone because it has a bit of weight – which is why I find it curl clumping – and doesn’t have the most slip that I’ve ever experiences. However, I like how concentrated it is, how much moisture it brings to my thirsty hair and the juicy clumps it helps bring to life without weighing my fine waves and curls down. It uses shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil and a touch of hydrolyzed silk protein.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($34 CDN | honeyfig.com): This is a deep conditioner that is both protein rich and deeply nourishing. It’s not easy to get a hold of in Canada but it has been worth the hassle in my opinion. I’ve been using it since January on a regular basis and I love how nourishing (and detangling) it is, while containing hydrolyzed keratin protein as the fourth ingredient. My hair was never in dire health or anything but it responds well to protein, being fine and porous. I don’t notice a sudden huge increase in elasticity and bounce but it’s always smooth, shiny and forms nicely clumped up curls after I’ve used it. I think it would appeal to many, especially because it’s a treatment that works but doesn’t even contain shea butter, coconut oil or any of those ingredients that are too heavy for some.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask ($47 CDN | Sephora): Honestly, I’ve only had this hyped-up deep conditioner for about a month but it’s given me such happy hair that I couldn’t compile this post without including. It has a bunch of fatty alcohols, which lend slip, panthenol, biotin, argan and avocado oils, aloe and some hydrolyzed keratin protein. The texture of it is light and fluffy whilst deeply hydrating my curls and helping them clump together. It’s a nice balance of protein and moisture, as everyone seems to say and the slip was really nice. It’s a lighter weight deep conditioner that doesn’t sacrifice on the nourishment it lends.

Devacurl Leave-In Decadence ($36 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): As someone who has finer and wavier strands and who tends to use heavier conditioners – without rinsing them completely out – I often find leave ins heavy and dismiss them as an overpriced, needless step. However, I like this newer product from Devacurl. It’s much lighter weight than the rest of the Decadence line and features coconut oil, pequi fruit oil, hydrolyzed quinoa protein, argan oil, avocado oil and aloe in the top of the ingredient list. It smells amazing, even from someone who typically does not enjoy the smell of coconuts; it’s a musky coconut and baby powder kind of scent. It helps my hair remained clumped, smooth and moisturized without compromising volume and bounce.

Devacurl B’Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper ($26.55 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): When I want to spend a bit of extra time and effort on my hair and to get my best curls and waves, I apply this protein-rich gelee before my gel. It relies on glycerin, wheat amino acids and a couple of different kinds of hydrolyzed protein to enhance curls. It really helps my fragile curls to clump together and adds additional bounce.

Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): This hot and humid summer has helped me rediscover my love of curl cream, with a little help from a Sephora 100 point perk. This curl cream is definitely intended for tighter and drier textures than mine. However, I love the curl clumping and control it provides without weighing down my hair. I find I can actually get away with using it as a standalone product but I get my best results pairing it with a gel. It provides light hold on its own and adds the right touch of moisture to my waves and curls. It’s glycerin heavy and also has coconut oil and jojoba protein in it.

Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel ($32 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): Writing this post has made me realize how much I’ve been enjoying Devacurl products this summer. I’ve been consistently pairing this gel with a curl cream either on wet or damp hair and I don’t really have any complaints. It’s a gel that’s loaded with hydrolyzed proteins, which are known to be curl enhancing, lending structure to the hair and protective in the sense that they work to block out humidity. It’s glycerin rich — my hair likes glycerin at all dew points — and offers medium-firm hold without much crunch, while being lightweight. It’s also a godsend that this gel doesn’t leave my hair wet for hours like some do.

AG Re:coil Curl Activator ($22/$38 CDN | Chatters and select salons): This cream-gel of sorts was something I had added to my collection when I started the Curly Girl Method for the first time, but it wasn’t until restarting the journey last December that I really began to enjoy the product. In fact, this is even a repurchase. It sits somewhere between a traditional cream and a gel, with more hold than a cream whilst still lending enhancement. This is a product that I find can help encourage the hair to spiral when paired with a harder hold product on day one but really shines as a product used to refresh my curls and waves combined with water. Also, it performs well for me in all dew points.

Ouidad Vitalcurl Tress Effects Styling Gel ($34.28 CDN | ulta.com): Within the first week or two of restarting the Curly Girl Method, I was lucky enough to find a litre size of the old bottle — formula is hardly any different ingredient wise — for maybe twenty dollars upon seeing it didn’t have silicones or drying alcohols in it. While it did not perform the greatest in the super humid weather this summer, I have gone back to this gel since the weather has began to simmer down and have rekindled my love of it. It’s a lightweight gel with medium hold — but can be built with a second application – that has nice slip, provides the hair with shine and moisture. I enjoy it in mild to subzero temperatures. It contains glycerin, humidity-resistant polymers, film-forming humectants and a modified form of shea butter.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Current Favourites | May & June 2019

Call me vain, but there’s something undeniably therapeutic from talking about the beauty products that I’ve been enjoying with friends, or writing about them online. Favourites posts and videos are some of my favourite content to read or watch and I kind of miss including them here. Let’s get started in remedying this:

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L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($13.99 CDN): For the most part, I’m not a terminal makeup repurchaser. One of the exceptions is this mascara. It has a large but regularly shaped natural bristle brush and a dry (right from the get-go) formula that creates loads of volume and drama with little product. Unfortunately, this mascara can get clumpy and too dry rather quickly. On the positive side, this formula  keeps me replacing my mascara tubes frequently. It’s the perfect formula that adds drama to my wimpy but long lashes that doesn’t smudge, flake, feel heavy on the eyes or require additional effort in removal.

Laneige Whitening BB Cushion ($47.80 CDN): There’s something about cushion style foundations that seem to leave my skin at its most radiant and natural-looking and this Korean offering provided on that front, whilst providing reliable broad-spectrum protection with a combination of mineral and synthetic actives and significant skincare benefits. The formula offers sheer to medium coverage but remains like a second skin and allows me to use enough product that I find I can rely on my makeup for my initial sunscreen application. Despite being sensitive to most chemical filters, I tolerate this octinoxate, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide combination well. I happily report that the formula is free of drying alcohols and offers a hefty dose of the pore normalizing and barrier repairing niacinamide and the antioxidant green tea. It’s the perfect sheerer base for the warmer weather in particular that I even find myself reaching for when I’m not grabbing other makeup.

Dior Forever Skin Glow 24H Wear Radiant Perfecting Skin-Caring Foundation ($64 CDN): I was also fortunate enough to discover a foundation formulation that I’ve been happily wearing every single day that I reach for a traditional foundation. I’m 99% sure that this is the reformulation slash replacement for Diorskin Star Foundation and I love it every bit as much. Yes it contains alcohol and fragrance – but at the very least it’s applied on top of your entire skin regimen – but it provides beautiful skin-like luminosity and medium-buildable coverage. I’m happy to say its a similar formula but slightly thinner in texture with more shade offerings.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in O1 ($50 CDN): This liquid illuminator was one of those products I had heard loads about but wasn’t excited to invest in. I ended up being really impressed with this pale golden beige liquid as an everyday highlighter. The giant doe-foot applicator makes it super easy to apply in specific areas such as the tops of the cheekbones and the formula lends that golden glow without highlighting imperfections in the slightest or reading as shimmer particles. I’m also a fan of how the formula is alcohol-free and features glycerin and squalane.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Mousse in Medium ($38 CDN): I’m all about embracing my fair skin throughout most of the year but lately, I’ve been into a bit of fake tan to even out my skin tone and add a bit of a golden glow. I’m happy that I picked up this alcohol-free one at the Sephora VIB Sale, as it is easy to apply, doesn’t irritate my eczema and applies easily and evenly. It’s a green-toned tan that isn’t overly dark but it’s enough to give my skin a golden hue and to even out marks on my legs and the like. I also find that it’s convenient to use, drying fairly quickly and not staining bedding.

Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN): Having looser curls and waves, this was not a cream that I ever would have thought to try from Devacurl. However, I received it as a point perk from Sephora. I really enjoyed using this cream underneath a gel in the rising humidity and warmer weather for helping my curls clump together nicely and minimizing frizz. The first few ingredients are fatty alcohols, glycerin and coconut oil and it has some protein thrown in as well. It definitely adds control to curls but wasn’t overly heavy in my experience.

Hada-Labo Goko-Jyun Premium Emulsion ($26.65 CDN): This emulsion is the first product of its kind that I’ve ever tried and honestly, I’m seeing the benefits of adding this to my daily routine as a pre-moisturizer step. It contains five forms of hyaluronic acid, fatty alcohol, glycerin and squalene. Using it daily before moisturizer has really helped to plump up my skin and leave it more hydrated and calmed. I will comment that it contains mineral oil, but it is more substantial than your traditional humectant as a result.

Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment ($22/$47 CDN): As a bit of an acid-exfoliant aficionado, I feel strongly that I should hate this product. The marketing reinforces the myth that tingling means that a product is working — it doesn’t by the way – and it definitely more irritating than some other chemical exfoliants. I do wish that it was formulated without the vinegar, which is what gives that tingle sensation. However, I find the combination of niacinamide, lactic acid, citric acid, polyhydroxy acid, malic acid and salicylic acid provides dramatic resurfacing of my skin without irritation.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.