Curl Your Hair In a Hurry - Without Heat

Sleep is too precious a commodity to waste tossing and turning to accommodate rollers. And days are too busy to spend hours in curlers waiting for them to dry. How, then, can we get healthy, luscious curls - without heat, and without wasting time?

Pretty Clips

\" Makeup Mirror \"

The easiest way to curl hair on the go - and look good while doing it - is to use decorative clips. These are available almost everywhere, are inexpensive, and come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors. Some clips are decorated with "pearls", some with rhinestones, some are plain. You can get colors to match your hair or your outfit. You can get plain clips and decorate them yourself - with glitter, fabric, small silk flowers.

Curl Your Hair In a Hurry - Without Heat

In purchasing decorative clips, make sure:

1. the clip closes down all the way. Look at it sideways when it's closed - do all the teeth mesh together, from front to back of the clip? This is important, because hair will fall out of the clip if only the tip of the clip closes properly.

2. to choose a variety of sizes. You'll need big clips for soft curls, and smaller clips for tighter curls. Check out the newest rage, the octopus. It's perfect for long, thick hair. Scunci makes them in all sizes.

3. Don't confuse clips with barrettes. Barrettes generally won't hold enough hair to create curls.

To use the decorative clips, wait until hair is 90% dry (this will happen naturally as you put on your makeup and do morning chores). Then roll up hair the way you would if you were pincurling it - but use the clips instead. You'll have to use fewer clips than you would pincurls, for aesthetic reasons. For instance, you might pull your hair up into a roll near the top of your head and secure it a clip. Make a second roll of the remaining hair, and secure it too. A few hours later - at work or when you go out that night - take the clips out, spritz with a light-hold hair spray, and your curls are big and lovely.

Note: If you do find your hair slipping out of a clip or an octopus, use bobby pins discreetly to keep the clip in place.


A stand-by for many centuries. If you don't like the way braids look on you, pin them up close to the head, and add a store-bought pony tail to create a more updated look.

Pony Tails

When hair is almost dry, make a pony tail and twist the hair around a number of times before securing it at the bottom. Your long hair will come out with pretty, natural-looking bed-head curls.

A pony tail, high on the head, with the bottom ends tucked under and held with bobby pins, will yield a sleeker style. Your hair will be smooth and volumized, with a sophisticated look. To keep from getting a crease where the elastic was, use a scarf or ribbon (secured with bobby pins) to hold the pony tail in place.

A bun...

is a classical style that leaves a curly head of hair when taken down.

A French twist...

will create curly hair, too, but it will be fluffier and less symmetrical than curls from a bun.


Put hair up in close-to-the-head pincurls and don a pretty, wide-brimmed summer sun hat.


Air dry hair until it's the tiniest bit damp. Then add styling mouse and scrunch with hands until hair is dry. This method works best on short hair. You'll get a casual, tousled look.

Root work

Giving the roots of your hair volume and body can make your whole hairstyle look good.

For short hair - use a strong-hold styling mousse toward the end of the air-dry time, and hold your head upside down, fluffing the hair with your fingers. Stand up and don't comb.

For medium to long hair - use a root hair spray. Spray either of 2 ways:

1. Flip your hair upside down, and gently spray the roots. Wait a few seconds for spray to dry before flipping your head back up.

2. Divide hair into sections - perhaps 4 to 6 sections, more or less depending on the length and thickness of your hair. Take one section at a time, hold the hair up, and spray the underside at the roots. Pincurl into place until the spray dries. Continue on to the next section. When letting hair loose, don't comb - just use fingers to put hair in place.

For more ideas on healthy hair care, check out

Many of us need to ease-up on the heat stylers, and let our hair get healthy again. And these methods are actually quicker and easier than blow drying!

Here's to your hair health - and beauty.

Curl Your Hair In a Hurry - Without Heat

Suzann writes for the website My Makeup Mirror - a potpourri of articles, product reviews, and how-to's on hair, cosmetics, and well-being.

Lanolin - Should It Be In Your Skin Care Products?

Lanolin softens and protects. It's harvested without harming animals. It's quickly absorbed by the skin without clogging pores. So why are people avoiding it?

What Is Lanolin?

\" Makeup Mirror \"

A pure, natural product, lanolin is simply the wax taken from sheep's wool, after the sheep has been shorn. The sheep is not hurt. He probably does not enjoy having his fur cut off, but the people who do this are highly trained, they do it quickly, and the sheep joins his herd again in a matter of minutes.

Lanolin - Should It Be In Your Skin Care Products?

The clipped wool is naturally covered with a pale-yellow, water repellent wax. Also known as wool fat, it's purpose is to keep the sheep healthy and dry. It's extracted from the wool by a boiling process. This is crude lanolin.

Refining - the Key to Safety

The next step is to refine this wax, and remove impurities. PBS recently made a documentary on lanolin, and they purified it by mixing it with olive oil and water. The impurities dissolved into the water and oil, leaving the lanolin as an off-white wax which could be gathered up.

In commercial lanolin processing, refining is done in sterile environments and through many stages. This refining process is the key to the safety of the lanolin. Depending on the needs of the manufacturer, the lanolin can be refined crudely, in which case it may still contain impurities. Or it can be refined to medical grade - safe enough for nursing mothers to use on cracked nipples.

So Why the Bad Press?

There are two potential problems with lanolin.

1. It can be refined to acceptable cosmetic grade and still contain impurities, some of which can be allergens. People who are allergic to lanolin are probably allergic to unrelated ingredients that were not removed in the refining process. Also, some manufacturers use a chemical bleach to whiten the color. And the finished product may have been mixed with vegetable oils or soft paraffin that comes from other sources. There could be impurities in these additives.

2. Some lanolin can be tainted with DDT, dieldrin, lindane, or other toxic pesticides. It's possible for these carcinogens to make their way into our skincare products. This is because the sheep may be eating food that has been treated with these or other insecticides.

How to Make Sure Your Lanolin Is Safe

Both problems are solved by buying your lanolin-based products from a reputable company; a company you know and trust; a company with visibility - a website with contact information; a detailed label on their product. Make sure the lanolin in your lotion is labeled as pure grade, fine grade, highly refined, or medical grade. If you're unsure about the grade, email the company through their website. The well-refined lanolins will be free of pesticides and impurities.

When purchasing a finished skincare product, make sure, too, that it has not been tested on animals.

Lanolin itself is not likely to cause allergic reactions, although each individual must check with their doctor before using anything that is absorbed into the body.

Pure lanolin is obtained without harming the sheep - as opposed to emu oil, which is gathered by killing the bird. Lanolin is a near-perfect skin softener and emollient. Many lanolin-based products are non-animal tested. And by making sure the soap, lip balm, skin cream, moisturizer, or hair product you use contains only high grade or medically graded lanolin, you can breathe easy, and enjoy lanolin's benefits.

Lanolin - Should It Be In Your Skin Care Products?

Suzann writes for the website My Makeup Mirror - a potpourri of articles, product reviews, and how-to's on hair, cosmetics, and well-being.

How To Henna Your Hair

Although we use henna as a hair color, it has wonderful side benefits. It thickens hair, and leaves it silky and strong. But you have to buy pure henna (or henna mixed with plant extracts that are clearly labeled). And you must do a strand test first.

A strand test will tell you two critical things:

\" Makeup Mirror \"

1) whether you will like the final color, and

How To Henna Your Hair

2) how long to leave the henna on to get that color.

Because henna is often left on the hair for an hour or more, it would be wise to set aside a large chunk of time. Between the preparation of the henna, the strand test, the application, and the leave-in time, you might want to x out an afternoon for the project

Who Can Use Henna

The best heads for henna are brunettes and dark blonds. Hair that is naturally very dark will look smashing with red henna highlights.

Got gray? Contrary to popular opinion, you can get good results with henna. To go brunette, choose a henna that's been mixed with brown taken from safe plant powders like walnut, clove, and even a little Indigo. (But use common sense - if you're allergic to walnuts or sensitive to clove, don't use these products.) If you'd rather turn your gray hair blond, find henna that's been mixed with rhubarb root or other natural ingredients.

Henna Color Choices

The reds are the most used, have the least amount of additives, and - if they are pure (read the label, research the Internet, join a henna forum) are completely safe. The browns and blonds are fun, too.

Henna does not lighten hair. It won't lift the color, like commercial dyes can do. So you must get a shade that somewhat matches your own, or is darker. Brunettes can easily go red, blonds can go brunette or red. But there's no way a brunette can go blond.

A Few Words of Caution

Do not use henna over commercially colored hair. It's safest to wait at least 2 months after a commercial dye job, before using henna. Some women have had no problems waiting only 1 month, but again, that's what the strand test is for.

About a week or so before you're planning to henna, use a clarifying shampoo. That will help strip out the old color.

Be sure you're buying a brand of henna that does not contain metallic salts. These are extremely unhealthy. They may be labeled on the box as compound henna dye, or they may not be listed at all.

How can you tell if your henna contains metallic salts if they're not listed in the ingredients? If your strand test leaves your hair swatch brittle or dried-out, or if the color "takes" very quickly, that probably means it contains metallic salts. Don't use it.

Black henna is alright to use as long as it's made with Indigo. Avoid PPD Black Henna, as it contains Para-Phenylenediamine - a dye - which is extremely harmful.

What to Buy

The safest henna is body-art quality henna. But there are also many well-known, well-used, safe and ethically labeled packaged hair hennas. Just use common sense: If there are ingredients listed that you are unfamiliar with, write them down, go home, and run them through your search engine.

Henna does not have a long shelf life. Don't buy it and then keep it around forever - it will lose its potency. You can seal it and freeze it, though, and it will last at least a year.

Now for the Fun

Many women consider the preparation of henna to be a ritual. The plant-based dye looks like a green powder, and has a peculiar fragrance, kind of like hay. The odor goes away in a day or so.

Assuming you have a box of pure red henna, empty it into a glass or plastic bowl. If you've bought it in bulk, use about 1 cup. Never use metal utensils, bowls, or even hairclips when mixing and applying.

Now, boil up some water. Pour the boiling water into the henna, a little at a time. Stir. Keep doing this until you get a paste consistency. Add a couple of pre-beaten eggs if you want, to keep the consistency sticky. Many women add a half cup of strong coffee to tone down the red a little. If you add coffee, use less boiling water. You don't want the mixture to end up drippy.

Put a cream or oil around your hairline to keep the henna from coloring your ears and forehead. And don't forget the gloves (or you'll also get red hands!).

Apply the paste to clean, dry hair. If it's your first henna treatment, saturate the hair completely. Then wrap it all up with either a plastic bag or some plastic wrap. On top of all that, you might want to wrap a towel, just so you don't frighten the children. Some women use a heated towel. Here's why you absolutely must have done the strand test: It's the only way to know how long to leave the henna on your head. It could be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours or more.

When the timer rings, hit the shower. The whole process is messy, so don't make neatness an issue or you'll go nuts. Rinse the henna out - no need to shampoo. Finish with an organic, non-animal tested conditioner. Your color should last for 2 or 3 months, except for root growth.

And you're done. There will be a lot of clean-up involved, but you'll have awesome, silky, strong, healthy red hair. (Or whatever color you choose.) Once you start using henna, you might find you love it so much you'll never go back to anything else.

How To Henna Your Hair

Suzann writes for the website My Makeup Mirror - a potpourri of articles, product reviews, and how-to's on hair, cosmetics, and well-being.

The Best Lighted Makeup Mirror Brands

If you are a budding makeup artist or simply find yourself in front of the makeup mirror more than normal, a lighted makeup mirror is one investment you should make.

Most professional makeup artists do their craft away from their homes. Because not all locations have well-lighted rooms or dressers, bringing your own portable, well-lighted makeup mirror should keep you away from unwanted situations.

\" Makeup Mirror \"

Portable, mirror-only makeup mirrors are sold and made by a lot of specialty manufacturers. Most of their products are available online. They also have stores and dealers scattered nationwide.

The Best Lighted Makeup Mirror Brands

A professional makeup artist should also consider using an all-in-one makeup station that has its own lighted mirror. A makeup station also has compartments; these usually fold and pack to into a hard-shell; some of these cases also have built-in trolleys which make them easier to transport. Such products are being sold by specialty manufacturers and come in a wide array of sizes and styles.

If you think such products are a little too much for personal use, there are also portable makeup mirrors that suit home and occasional use. These mirrors are generally smaller and have fewer lights. These products are relatively cheaper and should be enough when used from dressers and bathrooms.

Below are some brands and products worth having a look at if you are in the market for lighted makeup mirrors.


Makeup Artist Network

Makeup Artist Network, or simply Makeup Art, is a leading manufacturer of makeup cases. Although they also have a number of vanity products, their makeup cases and stations have been used by professionals since 1999. They have cases with lights of different sizes, styles, and colors.

Vanity Girl Hollywood

Vanity Girl Hollywood is also a specialty vanity accessories manufacturer. They have very unique makeup tables, vanity mirrors-both wall-mounted and tabletop, as well as a number of other vanity accessories. They are endorsed by celebrities such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and their products were also used in the 2010 Olympics.

Makeup Station

As their name suggests, this company provides portable makeup stations for use on location. Their products have been used in movie sets for popular Hollywood movies. Also unique about this company is that they allow they offer their products for rent.



Ask around any department store or browse through online shops and you will surely come across the brand Remington. Remington and their True-To-Light series of mirrors have been re-branded by a number of different companies because of its simple design. The Remington makeup mirror has also had several reincarnations featuring improvements every time.

The Best Lighted Makeup Mirror Brands

Read reviews and find the best deals for the aforementioned Remington makeup mirror. Visit our site for more details.

How to Color Gray Hair With Henna

Henna doesn't cover gray: It's written on the product box, and it's part of hair-coloring culture. But times have changed. And it's no longer a choice between going gray or using commercial hair dye.

There are two ways to cover gray with henna.

\" Makeup Mirror \"

1. Henna kits that are made specifically for gray hair.

How to Color Gray Hair With Henna

2. Using pure, powdered henna in a whole new way.

Henna Kits for Gray

Most henna kits for gray are 2-step processes. Your hair is first coated with a natural, non-toxic preparatory mixture. This helps the gray hair become more receptive to the henna.

There are also pre-mixed cream hennas on the market which will cover gray. Most, however, take 2 or 3 applications before the gray is covered completely. Some products, like Surya Henna Cream, are easier, 1-step processes which claim to cover gray on the first application.

Henna, as you probably know, coats the hair. It doesn't open or rough up the hair shaft like most commercial dyes do. And because gray hair tends to be coarser and slicker than pigmented hair, henna has a tendency to slip off the gray. That's why henna is categorized as a semi-permanent hair color. Even the best henna application washes out a little with each shampoo. And that's why most boxes of 1-step, powdered henna will warn against using it on gray hair.

Pure Powdered Henna

Most henna users are already familiar with this green powder. It comes in a plastic bag (some buy in bulk), and it's made from leaves of the Lawsonia tree. To create different colors, other natural ingredients are added, like walnut or clove.

If you're gray and you want to use pure henna, you can. It's a long process, but it worked for me and I'll never go back to anything else. Light Mountain Henna is good as are many other brands.

Before Beginning

Do a strand test. If you have your hair cut, save a curl to use for the strand test. Otherwise, cut a small bit of hair from underneath or in the back so the cut doesn't show. Hold the hair swatch together with a rubber band, and go through the entire coloring process with this strand. This is important because it's the only way to calculate the leave-in time. Unlike commercial hair dyes, henna varies wildly in how long you'll want to leave it on to achieve your desired color. Timing for coloring gray hair can be from 2 to 6 hours.

Another reason for the strand test: to make sure that the final color is what you want. Henna on gray hair will come out lighter than henna on pigmented hair. Henna on blond hair is unpredictable. The strand test will let you know.

A note on purchasing henna. Read the ingredients carefully before you buy. Make sure there is nothing in the list you don't understand. Any hair color containing PPD (p-Phenylenediamine, sometimes labeled as Paradiaminobenzene, Para-aminoaniline, p-aminoaniline, Paradiaminobenzene or PPDA) is off-limits for health and safety reasons. However, most hennas you find in a reputable health food store will be pure and safe. Hennas purchased over the Internet usually list their ingredients, and I encourage you to read them.

Ready, Set, Go

  • The first step is to apply a line of emollient on your forehead. This will prevent the henna from staining your face.
  • Next, mix a brown-based powdered henna in a non-metallic bowl, with just-boiled water. Add a couple of pre-beaten eggs if you like, to help keep the mixture sticky. Slowly add more hot water until the mixture is a smooth, thick paste.
  • Apply to dry, clean hair, free of styling products, conditioners, spray, or moisturizers. This is a key.
  • Apply to roots first, as you would with commercial hair dye, but use more product - at least a golf-ball sized dollop of paste each time you part your hair and apply it. Every hair strand must be completely coated with the henna. Use the plastic gloves that are included in the package, and apply with your hands to get the most coverage. Continue to part your hair in 1/4-inch rows, rubbing the henna into the hair, until all the gray is covered.
  • Yes, the henna will stain the scalp - but it's non-toxic, and will wash off the scalp itself (not the hair) in a shampoo or two.
  • After the gray is covered with the paste, apply the remaining henna to the rest of your hair if desired.
  • Cover your head with a plastic cap, and cover the cap with a towel.
  • Once an hour (or less, if you have a short leave-in time), take off the towel and plastic cap and spritz the henna pack lightly with water. Put the cap back on and manually (but gently) rub the hair to coax the moisture all the way through to the scalp and to make sure each hair strand stays covered with henna. Reapply the towel.
  • You may want to bake the color in even more, by using a heating cap or hooded hair dryer for 10 minutes each hour.
  • When the time is up, rinse the henna from your hair in warm (not hot) water. Your hair may be very tangled: that's normal for now. So be gentle - don't rub or tug. Apply a small amount of mild conditioner, like Jason's or Aveda Color Conserve, and rinse it out after about 30 seconds. Do not use shampoo at this point.

For more details and product recommendations, check out My Makeup Mirror []

How to Keep Your Henna from Fading

Wait at least 2 days before your first shampoo. After that, if you can shampoo every other day instead of every day, that will preserve your new color better. Be sure to use a color-safe shampoo. Some brands to try are Pureology, Aveda, Jason, Arbonne, and Aquage, among many others.

Note: I would not recommend too many styling products. So many of them strip color. But if you have a leave-in conditioner that you know won't take the henna out with it at your next shampoo, go ahead and use it to untangle your hair and protect it from styling heat.

Your new hair color should be gorgeous, shiny, and healthy. Because the henna coats the hair, it makes the hair look thicker. And best of all, you've colored your gray without harming yourself or the environment.

How to Color Gray Hair With Henna

Suzann writes for the website My Makeup Mirror - a potpourri of articles, product reviews, and how-to's on hair, cosmetics, and well-being.