Wowder Is Here!

Seen the memes yet?

You know – the memes where people call Glossier for the perfect-skinned; the memes where people coat themselves in Vaseline, saying "I love the newest Glossier highlight!"

Basically, what's been coming to pass is: Glossier's been criticized for appealing only to those with dry, clear skin. That their products don't suit those with more oily skin; that they're not being inclusive; that their "no-makeup makeup" only really works on one skin type.

Well, Glossier heard, & Glossier responded – in the best manner possible: by using a meme making fun of their own brand.

Two days ago, on Instagram:

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First: nice response! Light-hearted acknowlegment that yeah, maybe their products weren't for everyone – up til now. The link was wowder.net. This redirected to glossier.com/wowder, which claimed:

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A little information, a little video, & a waitlist. People complained that they couldn't stand the wait! That this was going to be Glossier's most unique product yet; a product that strayed from natural dewiness – & helped people with more oily skin control their shine.

Some of you into the beauty scene may have spotted "Wowder" in a video made by YouTuber Jackie Aina – you can watch it right here.

The video was titled: "Trying NEW Makeup! First Impressions and More." Jackie tried a host of products made by a host of brands, including Burberry, Natasha Denona – & a brand that Jackie said she could not reveal. In the description box, it says: "One of those products is a product I previously tested BEFORE agreeing to collaborate for this video. Today you'll get a sneak peak of that product!"

Jackie went on to test the "Wowder" – she used two shades: "Rich" & "Dark/Deep." Jackie said: "These powders are designed to set the makeup. They control oil, they are mattifying, they help with long wearing of makeup – BUT! These powders do not respond the same way some others do, & I'm going to show you what I mean by that."

Jackie went on to use this for her under-eye area, & also used a bit to dust all over her face. She mentioned that the product had a special brush – but used her beauty blender when applying Wowder on her under-eye area. She mentioned how neutral this powder was – no excess red or yellow under-tones. She seemed to be quite happy with her results, by the end.

For Glossier to send a product to Jackie Aina to test out speaks volumes. She's an extremely popular YouTuber – but she's "different." By different, I mean: She's not afraid to speak her mind about certain brands & their questionable ethics; she's not afraid to call out brands for their lack of shade diversity; she makes videos with a full face of cruelty-free makeup, or a full face of makeup made by black businesses.

Basically – Jackie is a hilarious, talented, politically correct YouTuber – & I trust her because of her unapologetic reviews. She's extremely open – so for her to say such positive things about Wowder? Again, it speaks volumes.

Right off the bat, this told me that Wowder would be good for those with oily skin, & there would be shades that would suit women of color – yes, even dark-skinned women of color. Great! I was a bit apprehensive, though – would I like Wowder? I have dry skin; I have pale skin. I love highlight & I love looking dewy. Would Wowder appeal to me?

Well, I got to find out a bit sooner than the rest of you. Full disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, & while I am not paid for this review (or giving this information) I have been sent Glossier products in the past & continue to get sent new products if I make sales quotas as a rep. I was lucky enouh to make my quota (thanks to all of you!) & I got a mysterious email a few weeks ago, from "The Wowder Team."

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't spam, so I reached out to my wonderful community director. I got a winky face, & a bit of a tongue-in-cheek confirmation. Low & behold – my Wowder arrived about 5 days ago, & I have been testing it ever since I got it (quietly, that is). Let's take a look at my first impression photos. First: a letter to me from The Wowder Team:

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Basically: identities were revealed, & there was a box that I was extremely excited to open.

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As you can see, I got "Light/Medium." I was…extremely apprehensive about getting this shade. Turns out – this is the lightest one! & it suits me beautifully. Why? Well, turns out it's actually okay to have a powder that is slightly darker (or the same shade) as your skin, as long as it's neutral. For me, in fact, choosing a powder that is my exact foundation shade could be detrimental if I happened into a paparazzi event – the flashback would be terrible. Should I say James Charles terrible?

My point is – no one's face is "HD-white" – not even me, whitest of whites. So – we start with the lightest shade, which is "Light-Medium." Then there is "Rich" & "Dark/Deep," the shades Jackie used combined. The shades are sheer, so they are adaptable. They're not necessarily universal, but these three shades will cover the whole range of skin tones – becaues of the neutral undertones the powders possess.

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I was a bit suspicious of the color of the powder – & how it would look on my skin – but I had (& still do have) faith in Jackie Aina, so I persisted.

I don't use under-eye concealer, so I don't set my undereyes. I decided to be creative – that's what Glossier's all about, right??? I decided to use it in place of a "face makeup" aside from concealer. So, basically, I used a bit of Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer in Fair or Glossier's Stretch Concealer in Light for spot coverage/coverage in the middle of my face. Then, I would lightly buff Wowder over my forhead, center of my face, & other areas I might want to cover.

Wowder is truly amazing. Take it from an oily-skinned, extremely famous YouTuber like Jackie Aina – & a quiet, dry-skinned, not-famous-at-all writer (????) like me. We both love Wowder! We use different shades, & we use it in different ways – but we both love it.

I've found that Wowder has a blurring effect. It definitely prevents flashback in photos. It's almost like a filter when you wear it. It's buildable – I could see myself wearing Wowder, & Wowder only – I like it best, however, in the way I have been using it the past few days.

What're some other fun facts about Wowder? Read away:

  • Contains diamond powder for dimension; no flat effect here! & no, don't believe the people on Reddit – diamond dust does not hurt your skin
  • It has an airy, weightless formula – it absorbs oil, but vanishes into skin (this is why it's great for all skin types)
  • The "trampoline mesh" that keeps the powder safe = no mess packaging. It's easy to shake out a little; it's equally easy to make sure you're not wasting product, either.

"Does it come with the brush?" 

According to Glossier, the Wowder Brush was "specifically designed to work with Wowder" (I would hope, anyway!!!). The bristles are very soft, but they're also dense – great for a powder like Wowder, or even for a more intense powder highlight. Its shape makes it easy to buff Wowder all over the face, or focus on smaller areas: like under-eyes. Glosser: "The Wowder Brush ($20 USD, $25 CAD) & Wowder ($22 USD, $27 CAD) were invented to work together, so we've made you The Wowder Duo PDP - this includes Wowder & the Wowder brush, which total to $35 USD or $45 CAD. In both currencies, you'll save $7 by buying the duo.

Don't want a powder, but want the brush? The Wowder Brush is available separately! Don't want the brush, but want the powder? Wowder is available separately!

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Is dewy OUT now? Is Glossier being trendy by switching things up? Will they maintain their relevance?

I'm biased – but I think Glossier's here to stay. They're reaching out to more people by releasing Wowder. Now, people with oily skin; people who enjoy a matte finish; people who retweeted or reblogged the Glossier memes (!!) will start looking at Glossier with a more serious eye. Glossier itself said:

"Fresh, real skin is what we’re known for, and Wowder is an extension of that. Still healthy and glowing, but matte where you want it—no more shiny t-zone. We aren’t backpedaling on the dewy look that’s core to our brand (dewy isn’t dead!

we love dewy!). Makeup is a choice. Choose your finish."

Choose your shade. Choose your finish. Choose the way you want to do makeup – or not! I'm here for it – & I never thought I would say that I love a powder as much as I love this one! But I really do. I might be switching my CC Creams out for Wowder & a little concelaer on extra hot, sweaty days. I think my skin will thank me. But now, I can choose a finish – & still shop with one of my favorite brands.

As I type this, Wowder is now available, & you can get it here!!! Get it! tell me what you think. I can't wait to here your opinions on Glossier's latest – & most unique (for them, anyway) product. & while you're waiting for your shipping, here's a few photos of me rocking Wowder last night:

But it comes down to this: if you follow me on social, or if you read this blog, chances are that you have dry/sensitive skin, & you might not normally wear powder. Are you worried about using a powder?

Remember this (while checking out on Glossier.com with your Wowder Duo):

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Love,
Sof ❤

#MonthlyPlaylist: June 2017

It’s officially without a doubt been a year since I’ve started making playlists for each & every month of the year! I am so glad I started doing that for myself. It’s not like I only listen to those songs on the playlist during that month; they’re songs I collect over the period of that month & feel some connection to. The goal? To make a playlist that will effectively put me into the headspace I was in & emotion(s) I felt during a specific month.

This month’s playlist has a lot of Lorde. Her album just came out, of course! I relate to a lot of Lorde’s lyrics, I love her sound, her individuality as an artist, a performer, & her talent as both a singer & songwriter. I wish I could say what my favorite off the album is – but truly, I can’t. They’re all wonderful.

I’ve also been enjoying various sound effects/striking beats; my inclusion of some of Glass Animals’ best work (in my opinion) reflects that! I’ve also been listening to a lot of Frank Ocean, particularly his song “Chanel.” On a more personal level, you might know I shaved my head at the end of June. “Chanel,” to me, is a representation of fluidity, androgyny, & being yourself while not truly knowing what or who that is. Funnily enough, there is a song called “Androgyny” on the playlist, too!

Finish up with some songs I just like to bop to (or nap to)! I call that a thorough playlist, if you ask me. I hope you enjoy.

Love,

Sof ❤

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June 17
  1. Season 2 Episode 3 – Glass Animals
  2. Androgynous – The Replacements
  3. I Love U, pt. 1 – Panthurr
  4. Feel Safe – All We Are
  5. Liability – Lorde
  6. Sweet n Sour – Waterbed
  7. The Louvre – lorde
  8. Sober – Childish Gambino
  9. Biking – Frank Ocean
  10. Mask Off: Remix – Future, Kendrick Lamar
  11. The Other Side Of Paradise – Glass Animals
  12. Sober – Lorde
  13. Chanel – Frank Ocean
  14. Perfect Places – Lorde

Shampoo Is History…Or…HairStory

*Roaring applause because of my witty puns*

Okay. Down to business. First thing: foaming shampoo is bad for your hair. Bam.

This itself isn’t exactly news – at least, not in the hair community, or the hair stylist community (that’s why your hairdresser, if you have one, may caution you not to wash your hair too often). However, if you’re kind of “just chilling” with your hair (which is how I like to describe my hair routine), you may not know – or just not care.

I mean…I’ve been told for a while that shampoo is bad for my hair, by multiple people. I just shrugged my shoulders, made sure not to wash my hair too often, & continued using drugstore brands. Shampoo foams, conditioner…conditions. I used some hair oil, didn’t use heat on my hair, & just went on with life.

I came across Hairstory a few weeks ago. Founded by Bumble & Bumble (!!!) Co-Founder Michael Gordon, Hairstory has a pretty ground-breaking message: How many products do professional hairstylists (aka, the people that should know the most about your hair & what’s best for it) use? Only about 6. Is shampoo bad for your hair? Absolutely. Should you (anyone) be using it? No.

And so, Gordon & friends came up with New Wash, described as “an exceptional, revolutionary cleanser that works on ALL types of hair versus hundreds of traditional, specialized shampoos – and transforms hair that has been ritually abused by detergent, styling, and bleach (and makes conditioners – essentially fabric softeners – obsolete).” Basically: it’s a shampoo & a conditioner in one. Except there’s no foaming involved, no “soapiness” involved. One product to rule them all, if you want to look at it that way.

I wasn’t at all skeptical of Hairstory’s message when we started contacting one another. I’ve known for a while that shampoo isn’t good for my hair – I’ve just chosen to ignore it. But when I started reading more about Hairstory’s message, their products, & seeing more & more people – of various hair types – rave about how good New Wash is, I became enthusiastic, not just “not skeptical”!

I was, of course, sent a bottle of New Wash, along with the other products Hairstory has. Here’s information about all of the products – however, the product that you’d really need from Hairstory, if you want to follow their philosophy, is the New Wash. It’s the essential product behind the line, it’s what the brand is founded on. The other products are for styling – not for cleansing.

So, without further ado – here are Hairstory’s products – & how to use them! (& here’s where to shop Hairstory – I’ll link it again at the bottom when you’ve finished reading & are over your skepticism.)

New Wash

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What the brand is built on: New Wash
What inspired Hairstory’s launch! New Wash is a hair cleanser that’s not a shampoo; not a conditioner. It’s made with naturally derived saturated cleansers & a proprietary blend of essential oils – cleansing hair without detergents or synthetic compounds. Because of the essential oils & non-foaming texture (similar to that of conditioner!), it (yes) simultaneously conditions hair, leaving it tangle-free. If your hair is wrecked by bleach, heat, or detergents, it’ll help revive that over time! Even more – if you have colored hair, your color will lat much longer. Itchy scalp? New Wash also claims to “calm troubled scalps.”

After using this only a few times, I have to say that I’m already on board. My hair feels fluffier, bouncier, & it looks shinier. The product itself has a slightly minty scent, but it doesn’t tingle on the scalp (like a lot of other minty washes do). I’ve been using the other Hairstory products as well, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, how does one use this baby? Simple:

  • Get hair wet (like always)
  • Coat all hair with New Wash (like conditioner)
  • Massage scalp vigorously with fingertips (like crazy!)
  • Do your shower routine…(for me, that entails body wash, shaving – sometimes – singing, washing my face, & sometimes even brushing my teeth)
  • Rinse, rinse, rinse! Use your hands (like squeegees)

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New Wash comes with an instruction card – just in case you’re unsure how to use it
That’s it! You’re done. Gently towel-dry, like I do (I don’t blow dry my hair – EVER) or blow dry it! That leads us to Hairstory’s next product.

Hair Balm

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Hair Balm is described as “skin care for hair.” I love skin care, so I was already behind this the moment I read the product description. Like New Wash, it has a conditioner-like texture (or a balm texture) & is meant to be used on damp hair after washing. Its moisture revives dry or over-processed hair, “makes curls perfectly imperfect,” &, if you have big, thick hair, weighs it down for a leaner, sleeker look. According to Hairstory’s site: “Work through damp hair with fingers or comb, and let it air dry.” Or: “Use on dry hair to touch up frizz or flyaways.” I’ve seen people with kinkier/curlier hair types absolutely rave about this product. I myself don’t have kinky or curly hair (I don’t have straight hair either – it’s more of a wave, depending on the weather) but have used this after New Wash on my damp hair. Currently, it’s hot & humid where I’m at. That always makes my hair super frizzy. I can’t say Hair Balm completely eradicates my frizz if I use it on my damp hair, but if I touch up before going out someplace, my frizz will be gone for at least several hours, if not more. The scent is very pleasant! It’s definitely not minty; I’d describe it more as a fresh, botanical, green scent (if that makes any sense). It’s not “too much”, & wouldn’t overpower a fragrance if you were to wear one.

Dressed Up

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First words you see when going to Dressed Up’s page on the Hairstory site: “Safe blow-drying.” Now, like I said, I don’t blow-dry my hair, but that’s okay! Dressed Up can be used on your hair whether or not you blow-dry it. According to Hairstory’s site, “this lightweight lotion is the key to stylish hair.” It controls unruly hair, but doesn’t take away the body of your natural hair – whether or not you choose to blow-dry it. It also gives texture – great for my hair, since I often like to pin it back, Bella Hadid style. This added texture helps keep hair in place. Lightweight, provides heat & UV (!!) protection, a lightweight finish, & a natural, fresh fragrance, I really, really like Dressed Up. It works even better on fly-aways for me than Hair Balm – though both work really nicely. Also…I can’t lie: the pale pink lettering on the white bottle really gets me. I’m a sucker for millennial pink – but all of you know that already!

Déshabillé (Undressed)

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If you like that “beachy, sexy look,” this is the product for you. This is a salt/surf spray without the stickiness, crunchiness, or dryness that so many other salt sprays have. I absolutely love the scent of this product – probably my favorite scent out of all of Hairstory’s products – & I love the way it feels even more. I get a wave, some body, & fluff, but I never feel like I’ve put hairspray in my hair. I hate that about a lot of salt sprays – by the end of the day, you’ve just felt like there’s just a dry coat of something gross on top of your hair. That feeling isn’t healthy, & it doesn’t do your hair any favors – that’s for sure. Like Hairstory says: “Undressed creates texture without torture.” I have to agree with them on this one.

So…final verdict? I’m in love with Hairstory! Favorite products? Probably New Wash & Dressed Up…but it’s hard to pick. They all go together extraordinarily well. &…yes! $40 for hair wash might seem expensive…but remember, you’re not paying for shampoo and conditioner. This is an all-in-one product, so in my opinion, it’s worth the money. If you have to get one product, get New Wash – & if you end up loving New Wash, Hairstory started something called “The New Wash Club” – essentially, you sign up to recieve New Wash automatically. You can choose (& change) the frequency, & your account will be charged for a delivery of a 20-ounce pouch of New Wash – to refill your complimentary aluminum dispenser included (empty) with your first shipment. Basically – if you try New Wash, love it, can’t live without it, & want to keep using it, Hairstory has your back with a cheaper long-term price – & has the environment’s back by taking advantage of reusable packaging. Win/win, if you’re a fan of New Wash (I think I’ll be joining this subscription, once my first bottle runs out).

Sorry – that was a bit of a ramble. But for real: I do love Hairstory, & I especially love the ease (& effectiveness) of New Wash. I think it’s something that has already made a difference to my hair – & hopefully will make a difference to yours, too!

Hairstory created a challenge:

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Hairstory’s challenge: “We Dare You”
I’m not sure about posting a photo after every wash (I’ve already been using it for a bit, & I haven’t remembered to take photos after every time) but I’m definitely on board with quitting my other products cold-turkey. So far, Hairstory’s done nothing but good for my hair. I have super soft, super fluffy hair – & yes, it really does feel healthier.

Let me know if you give Hairstory a try, shop it here, & if you do, tell me your thoughts on it!

Love,

Sof ❤

P.S. Yes, this is affiliate – but I never sign on to anything that I don’t enjoy myself. My hair feels healthier, bouncier, & when I find other products that make it feel the same way, I’ll share them with you as well – affiliate or not! xoxxoox

 

The Sexual Wellness Company That Keeps You Stylish, Satisfied, & Socially Aware

@unboundbox on Instagram – like so many Instagrams these days – is a mood board for sexual confidence, body positivity, political activism, & personal style.

Unbound’s site, which has been featured in Allure, Vice, Cosmo, & Teen Vogue (!!), isn’t much different. Click “shop” & you’re given a page that features “all the things!” The things are anything from cleaning supplies, to lingerie, to…cock rings???

Unbound is truly a unique company. They carry many retailers…so yes, you can purchase a vibrator for $25(or $119)bath salts for $24, & a mug that proclaims “The Future is Female” for $13 all on the same website. Not many companies can boast the same.

I started pretty tame. I went for the Twiggy Venus Earrings in Gold, & perhaps a more risqué Cleo Whip Chokerwhich, interestingly enough, is described as a “glam choker delicately encircles your neck to meet in an elegant golden pendant that draws the eye. When unhooked, this piece serves as a functional whip suited to light BDSM play.”

Both of the options I selected are simple & understated (which is what I look for in my jewelry) – but if you want something a bit more out there, you can always go for the super lux (& out there) Cleo Restraint Set – or even earrings that double as nipple clampsHey…there’s something for everyone! & let’s admit it: there’s something more than a little cool about having jewelry that is, let’s say…multi-purpose.

But if you wanna stay in your lane, that’s fine, too. Those “Nevertheless, She Persisted” mugs are there for you all, too.

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Each piece of jewelry comes in a little bag with a unique doodle or drawing

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The…multipurpose…Cleo Whip Choker 

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The Venus Earrings – only meant for ears

(The choker worn two ways…& a close-up on the lovely earrings!)

If you’d like to check out Unbound Box, use the code SOF15 for 15% off any of their products! (Not an affiliate!!!! I am not getting compensation for this code!!! I always want to be perfectly clear with all of you <3)

Stay stylish, empowered, or satisfied…or all three! That’s cool too!

Love,

Sof ❤

 

OOTD: Outfit(s) On My Birthday 

Hello hello! It’s me, your favorite! I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I did with my hair/makeup/l & what clothes/accessories  I was wearing in this Instagram & this Instagram – both outfits for my 20th birthday! Here’s some information about the things I was wearing, on my face, head, body, & ears!

Outfit #1 (before I changed my mind)

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Face

Hair

Accessories

Outfit #2

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  • Dress: Free People (bday gift from my friend!) – I searched for it high & low on the website but could not find it, I’m sorry!
  • Bodysuit (underneath the dress): Urban Outfitters from last year
  • Shoes: ???? (my mother’s shoes)
  • Scrunchie: Free People (bday gift from my friend!)
  • All accessories otherwise stayed the same (jewelry, etc.)

That’s all!!! Stay tuned for a video tutorial on how I keep my hair slick! & enjoy this video, wearing Urban Outfitters, Sunglass Museum, & Cosabella. Just a little (slippery) fun. 🍷📸

Love,

Sof ❤