Category Archives: hairstyles

Review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner | Restoring my hair after a long winter

As I’ve mentioned recently, it’s been a long winter up here in the Pacific Northwest. And it’s not just me! It’s officially been the coldest winter up here in 3 decades — and we’ve only had 3 mild-temperature, full days of sun since October! Although the overcast days make for good lighting for photographs, this weather has been rough on my skin and my hair, as both tend to run dry.

So when the opportunity came up to review Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, I was eager to try them out for myself.

Librarian for Life + Style | Haircare review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

I remember using Finesse shampoo and conditioner when I was a teenager, so it’s been awhile since I’ve personally used Finesse haircare products. I also remember Finesse being known for its clean scent — and for being very budget-friendly. (It’s still budget-friendly, with an under-$4 price tag.)

And come to find out, Finesse was founded over 30 years ago in 1982 and started out with a commercial featuring Sharon Stone (!). I am a librarian, so y’all KNOW I had to look that up. Enjoy:

1982 Sharon Stone Finesse Shampoo Commercial,” uploaded by TheRetroTimeMachine, Dec. 1, 2013. Standard YouTube license.

I may not have flowing locks like Sharon Stone back in the day, but that doesn’t mean we shorter-haired ladies can’t also enjoy soft, clean-smelling hair!

When the Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner bottles arrived, I tried them out right away and washed my hair twice to get a feel for the product. The bottles themselves are nice and bright, in shades of blue and pink, almost like trying to usher in spring (which cannot get here soon enough!).

Librarian for Life + Style | Haircare review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

The first time after I washed my hair with the Finesse shampoo and conditioner, I let my hair air dry. This way, I could get a sense of how my hair felt after using the products, without any additional products in my hair. And I have to say, my hair did feel super soft! The product itself states that “the active silk and soy proteins penetrate deep into the hair shaft, leaving your hair more moisturized and manageable.” As my straight hair is pretty manageable on its own, I can’t state that my hair felt more manageable after using the shampoo, but it did feel more moisturized.

Librarian for Life + Style | Haircare review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

The smell of a shampoo and conditioner is super important, and as I have short hair (and therefore cannot physically smell my own hair!), I asked my husband, Sam, how my hair smelled. His answer — and this is WORD FOR WORD what he said — was:

Clean. Not overly floral or overpowering. I like it.

I’d say that’s a good response! 😀

The second time I washed my hair with the Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, I blow-dried my hair as per usual — but, again, without any additional haircare products. I wanted to see how my hair held up without any additional volumizing or texturizing products.

Here’s the result:

Librarian for Life + Style | My hair, after using Finesse shampoo + conditioner

I was pleased at how fresh and clean my hair looked, and how much volume my hair still retained! My hair did still feel wonderfully soft. Two thumbs up — from me AND my husband! 😉

And I am budget-conscious, so the under-$4 price tag also fits the outlook of both my style and my style blog. I will continue to use my bottles of Finesse shampoo and conditioner, and you can find the brand at Walmart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and grocery chains such as Kroger, Shoprite, HEB, and Publix. You can also search for and read more reviews about Finesse products on the Home Tester Club site.

Librarian for Life + Style | Haircare review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

Have you ever used Finesse shampoo and conditioner? Please leave a comment and share!


Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post via BrandBacker, and I received two 13 oz. bottles of Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner in exchange for a review. As always, my reviews are honest and reflect my own personal views and experiences.


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Brown with bright pops of blue

A quick note that the poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit from last month!

It seems I love pairing this brown print dress with bright, solid colors; the last time I wore this dress on the blog, I paired it with a bright green button-front. This time, I paired it with a bright blue cardigan. I had first thought of wearing my rust-colored tights, as seen here, but at the last minute, I went bold with my bright blue tights.

Sam jokingly called me “Smurfette,” which I didn’t mind. Smurfette was a sassy gal. 😉 I liked the bright blue — it really pops against the brown!

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

I had first thought of wearing my bronze Mary Jane pumps, but then I spied my bronze heels and my brown loafer heels. So I gathered all three pairs and asked Sam to make the final decision. He chose the brown loafer heels, a classic choice. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Bronze and brown shoe choices

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of brown loafer heels and blue tights

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

I also brought out my rope braid trick again for my bangs, to bring some texture and interest to my short hair. I got quite a few compliments on my hairstyle that day!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of rope braid in short hair, side view

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with bright pops of blue

Weather:  Chilly and a dry spot before all the rain

Where:  Work day that included multiple meetings

What:

  • Cardigan:  August Silk via Macy’s, old
  • Dress:  Thrifted in Chicago, old
  • Tights:  Kohl’s, old
  • Heels:  DSW, old
  • Tote bag:  JCPenney, old
  • Earrings:  Local boutique in Portland, old
  • Necklace:  Gift from Sam, from a Turkey trip in college
  • Wood watch:  c/o JORD, 2015

Shop my outfit:

light brown print dress  //  royal blue cardigan  //  dark brown print dress  //  brown loafer heels  //  blue opaque tights  //  dark brown tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown with pops of blue outfit collage

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Everyday faves | Dry shampoo paste

This is the fourth entry in the biweekly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation. My first post was about better bobby pins, and I’ve also written about building time into my daily schedule for reading and the miracles of travel-sized stain sticks.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves: Dry shampoo paste

This time, I wanted to highlight a hair care product I now use almost every day, dry shampoo paste. I was introduced to this product, R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste, six months ago when I got my hair cut really short. It’s a combination of dry shampoo and styling paste. It’s unlike any other dry shampoo I had used before, and it’s true love, y’all. (I also learned that R+Co creates styling products formulated without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, or petroleum.)

Note:  This post is NOT sponsored by R+Co . I simply want to share with my readers my personal thoughts and experiences and appreciation of using this dry shampoo paste and how it’s become part of my everyday hair care routine.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves: Dry shampoo paste

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves: Dry shampoo paste

This product promises to “add amazing second-day texture and absorbing oil” and has a “matte finish and reworkable hold.” And I’ve found those promises do hold up, as does my hair after using this dry shampoo paste. I prefer to wash my hair every 2 to 3 days, so second-day (or even third-day) hair is just a fact of life for me. I have thin-textured hair, but there’s a LOT of it, so adding volume to my hair has always been a struggle.

I thought it’d be fun to do a brief “here’s how I do my hair” demo as part of this post, to help illustrate how I use this dry shampoo paste as part of my regular hair care routine.

First, after a morning shower, I start with clean, damp, and towel-dried hair that I comb straight, as seen below. You can use the dry shampoo paste with damp or dry hair. I use it both ways!

Librarian for Life + Style | Hair care routine with dry shampoo paste, before

Then, I scoop out a bit of the paste. And, yes, a little goes a long way! I then roll the paste in-between my fingers on both hands, then run my hands all through my damp hair until I’ve deposited all the paste as evenly as possible throughout my hair. As the paste warms up in your hands, the white color turns clear, so no worries about having white spots in your hair.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves: Dry shampoo paste

Then it’s time to blow-dry my hair, as seen below. I sometimes let my hair air-dry, but that’s usually on weekends or on work days when I go in later. This was a week day, so I went ahead and blow-dried my hair, using a blow dryer with the diffuser attachment and a smaller round brush.

Librarian for Life + Style | Hair care routine with dry shampoo paste, blow drying

I use the round brush particularly to fluff up the back of my hair, along with my bangs. Sometimes, I blow dry my bangs back and off my face, but today, I decided to do a little side sweep with the bangs.

Librarian for Life + Style | Hair care routine with dry shampoo paste, after

I then use a little more dry shampoo paste — a very small amount — to “set” my bangs and smooth down the sides around my ears and the little short hairs on my neck. On the second (and sometimes, third) days, I basically repeat this last step, and I’m done.

Using the dry shampoo paste this way right after showering gives my hair texture, volume, and shape that lasts until I shower again. I can also “play” with my hair without worrying that I’ll mess it up, and I’ve noticed that I usually forego hairspray when I’ve used this dry shampoo paste. Less hair products for the win! (Also, I’ve never been able to find a hairspray that I really like.)

A jar of this Badlands dry shampoo paste costs $28, but I’ve been using this paste for half a year now, so this jar is going to last me awhile. Bonus:  it smells great!

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves: Dry shampoo paste

Do you use dry shampoo? If so, do you have a favorite? Please leave a comment and share.

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Everyday faves | Bobby pins

This is the first post in a new series I’m calling “Everyday faves.” I realized that sometimes, I want to have an outlet to talk about smaller items that I use and love daily or weekly, things like bobby pins or wrinkle releaser spray — things that I use and love daily or weekly, but feel awkward to insert into an outfit post. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, so I finally decided to do a series that highlights those everyday kinds of favorites in my life. Also, it’s an exercise in being more appreciative of smaller things — or common practices or habits — that make our lives (or at least, my life) easier, an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

I’m thinking of starting off this series every other week and seeing how it goes. (And yes, I’m already starting a list of what I could write about for everyday faves.) Do you like this idea of a new series? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, bobby pins

First up, bobby pins! Such a little thing yet so essential! I have had a LOT of bobby pins in my life, and that includes a lot of cheap and badly designed bobby pins. A couple of years ago, I finally skipped past the cheapie bobby pins in the drugstore aisles and walked into a Sally Beauty supply store to buy bobby pins, professional and higher-quality bobby pins.

It was worth it!

What makes these better bobby pins? For me, it boils down to the thickness of both the bobby pin itself AND the ends of the bobby pin. These don’t warp — which has happened to thinner bobby pins I’ve had — and with the thicker bulbs at the end, they don’t scrape my scalp when I get in close to slide them in. I have had to throw away so many bobby pins in the past, but I have not thrown any of these away — I’m still using the original tins I bought at Sally Beauty!

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, bobby pins

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, bobby pins

Currently, I use regular-sized bobby pins in black, as well as mini-sized bobby pins. I also have those U-shaped bobby pins, but I don’t need those right now with my shorter hair.

Even with short hair, I use these bobby pins all the time, which is why I keep them out in these pretty little lotus-shaped bowls along my bathroom window ledge. I use bobby pins to pin back my bangs, as seen here, or when I do a little twist with my bangs to add some interest, as seen here. I also use them to secure hair scarves, most recently seen here. (You can also read here about 20 amazingly creative ways to use bobby pins!)

A few years ago, I read a style blog post about a woman’s revelation upon learning that the shorter, “bumpy” side of the bobby pin goes on the underside — she had always had the bumpy side on the top side and wondered why she always had had trouble with bobby pins! I don’t remember when I learned how to use bobby pins, but I had to have been pretty young. I also have thin-textured hair (although there’s a LOT of it), so there’s no way the bobby pin would grip my hair unless the bumpy side were on the bottom. I also sometimes spray the bobby pin with hairspray before sliding it into my hair, for extra hold.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, bobby pins

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, bobby pins

If you don’t have a beauty supply store near where you are, you can also order these online here (regular length) and here (shorter length). I use black bobby pins, because of my darker hair, but they’re also available in other colors, as well.


Note:  This post is not sponsored in any way by Sally Beauty. I just wanted to share my personal love and use of these bobby pins!


Finally, I also started thinking… where did the term “bobby pin” come from? Once a librarian, always a librarian! 😉 And here’s a summary of what I found out:

Bobby pins, alternatively spelled as “bobbie pins” and also referred to as “bob pins” and “bobbing pins” in the U.S., are also called “kirby grips” or “hair grips” in the U.K. Hair pins of different variations are not new inventions, but the term “bobby pin” became popular in the 1920s, as they helped women hold their “bobbed hair” in place, as this was the new — and daring! — hairstyle of that time. The term “bobby pin” was trademarked in the U.S. by the Smith Victory Corporation for the first half of the 20th century, but the term is now in common usage. The U.K. term “kirby grip” also comes from a trademarked name, “kirbigrip” pins by Kirby, Beard & Co. Ltd., but that term has also become common usage. (By the way, those kinds of words — common words that trace back to trademarked or product names — are collectively referred to as “zipper words,” because — you guessed it! — the word “zipper” also first started out as a trademarked product name.)

Okay, history lesson over! Do you use bobby pins a lot in your everyday routine? Please leave a comment and share. 🙂

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Turquoise + tan | Scene-stealing cat

My turquoise + tan outfit is almost beside the point in today’s post, as it is ALL about Savannah, a neighborhood cat, who totally steals the show with her cutie round face. If you’re a regular reader (thank you!), then you will probably recognize Savannah, from earlier posts here and here.

I am really into super simple outfit combinations lately, as this term has just been exhausting. It’s all I can do to check the weather in the morning and pull out pieces in my closet. Thank goodness I have good basics in my closet — like cardigans and ankle pants — because you can remix them in so many ways. I am continuing with bright colors for spring with my turquoise cardigan.

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Librarian for Life + Style | Metallic braided headband collage

I added some pattern to my colorblocked outfit with my turquoise-and-brown pattern-mixing tote bag. I also added gold-and-crystal earrings, turquoise studs, and a metallic braided headband.

These pics below are my favorites. I MEAN. I cannot EVEN. Savannah is sooooooooo cute — look at that face!!!

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + tan | Cute cat

Have a scene-stealing Thursday!

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