Over the weekend, I was walking around in Sunset Park, my largely Hispanic neighborhood deep in Brooklyn, and I wandered into one of our many local beauty supply stores.
Nothing is fancy in my neighborhood. Shelves are dusty, inventory is iffy, and at the salons you have to dry your nails with a little fan instead of a professional dryer. (A manicure only costs 6 dollars, so you don't mind.) But Melissa's Beauty turned out to be a treasure trove of beauty products I have never heard of before. Or, more precisely, products I have heard of made with ingredients I have heard of, but in combinations I am unfamiliar with.
Do I want goat milk in my hair? I don't know! Just like I don't know if I want garlic, placenta, or avacado in there. I decided to consult xoJane's crack beauty team to fill me in on what the deal is with these products. And then they were like, "Google it, asshole," so I decided to just buy all this stuff and put it on me and see what happened like a proper caveman beauty writer.
First up, LECHE DE CABRA! Speaketh the
: "In hair care, goat milk replenishes the moisture in every strand by penetrating the hair shaft. It nourishes the scalp which adds life, luster and body to the hair." Sounds good! I selected the
One of my first memories is a goat taking a bite out of my dress when I was a small child. It's probably why I became a drug addict. Talk about trauma! Anyway, I've been waiting to wear the milk of my enemy on my head ever since. Just kidding. I love goats;
was written by one.
I love olive oil. I use it instead of salad dressing, of which I have never found one I like. And if it's good enough for my salad, it's good enough for my face, that's what I always say. Plus a bunch of websites tell me olive oil is a great natural cleanser and moisturizer.
didn't get nature's memo, though, becasue the mask burns and turns my forehead red and irritated. Online, I find a faction of women who've had the same experience, and another faction dedicated to denying that experience. This product DOES NOT BURN!!!! they yell-type, like belligerent face-mask truthers.
This is why I have trouble getting involved in politics. I am so damn frustrated by deliberate refusal to consider other's experiences/points of view. The face mask forum is a microcosm! Rick Santorum DOES NOT BURN!
On the Queen Helene tip, though, I also pick up the
, which turns out to be the perfect natural, moisturizing exfoliator. (I use the
for more vigorous exfoliation.
According to the side of the tub, "
makes use of the rich Cocoa butter Extract from Theobroma cocoa tree to powerfullly restore and deeply condition dry, damaged hair."
A you can see, it also literally looks like a tub of freaking chocolate! I think it smells exactly like chocolate too, but my boyfriend says "If that's what chocolate smelled like, I would never eat it again."
Between this and
, he's been giving me the side-eye a lot lately.
I can't tell that it works any better than any other deep conditioner, but it makes me feel like I'm living in a cuckoo candy house Willy Wonka world to dip my paw in a vat of chocolate and smear it all over my head. Fun factor: 10!
COLLAGEN AND PLACENTA:
We're getting into real "potion" territory now. I would be surprised to see some eye of newt on the ingredients list.
Cat already expounded on the effects of placenta conditioner in
. And WITH collagen! It just sounds really scientific and great for you.
As a creative person, I'm really in awe of hard concepts like science and math, to the point where they've become weirdly conflated with magic for me. You could pretty much tell me anything I don't understand is "science" and I'd be like "Ohhhhhhh."
Plus, it would be great to keep
in your shower and freak out boys. I would lean an eyelash curler up next to it and let them think you are some kind of medieval baby torturer. Boys are so easy to scare! We used to throw wrapped, unused tampons at them on the school bus and they'd scatter like it was a freaking cockroach! It's just paper, you dumb boys!
My favorite of the buch, the
is green and smells slightly medicinal, but after I use it, a co-worker says to me, "Your HAIR looks GREAT! What did you DO DIFFERENT?" I swear to God, like a shampoo commercial!
I said, "blood of virgins," but inside I was like "Avocado Rinse, baby!"
Anyway, avocado is supposed to strengthen and fortify your hair, but it also made mine very soft and detangled beautifully.
I had no idea this was even a thing, but apparently
is supposed to prevent breakage and relieve dry, itchy scalp. It's deodorized (they underline that on the bottle), so I'm not sure if it can still keep vampires out of your hair.
After a long winter, my scalp is definitely dry and itchy. In fact, the other day I thought I had lice for a minute, but it was just dandruff. It didn't stop me from staring at the flakes in the mirror for 10 minutes just to make sure they weren't moving.
I can't tell the difference after a couple uses, but now that I told you that really gross dandruff story, I feel spurred into action and will keep using this one to see if it helps.
HONEY AND POLLEN:
! Not only does it smell delightful, but it makes my hair so soft and smooth that afterward my boyfriend looked at me and went, "Your hair looks like an elf."
He went on to explain that my hair looks like how the elves wear theirs in "Lord of the Rings" -- long and straight. I think that's a compliment!
Then he ruined it by peering at me and going, "Did you cut your own bangs recently?"
OK, supposedly carrot oil makes your hair grow. Back when I worked for Asylum, I also did some work for AOL's young women's site Lemondrop (with Julieanne!), and Cat wrote there about
, where a bunch of borderline obsessive long hair freaks with crazy rules about when and how you can brush your hair and whatnot. It was very funny, although I didn't edit her or know her then.
Anyway, I tried to do a search for "carrot oil" on the forum, but that shizz is locked down tight and I can only wonder what one of those Crystal Gayle-loving weirdos might say about these.
It did seem to be a nice, non-greasy
. But it was orange and smelled kind of funny.
The best part is that all this stuff is pretty cheap, and of course, confusing to boys, as previously mentioned. At this point, I think Pete would believe that pretty much anything goes on your head. What's the weirdest beauty product you've ever seen? Send us a picture and we'll try it!
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