Must Read: Dinotopia

I don’t care how perfectly arranged one’s skincare regimen is, no one can escape the wrath of bad skin if they don’t get enough sleep. I used to suffer from moderate to severe insomnia but I’ve kept it in check by reading good books in bed. It’s a surefire way to get me started on my beauty sleep every night.

My latest obsession is the Dinotopia series. I was told about it by a balloon artist working at a colorful local restaurant. She had just finished making a balloon T-Rex for me after Boyfriend and I shamelessly gushed about my love for dinosaurs (what? They’re cool.). She asked “Have you read Dinotopia? It’s about a world where humans and dinosaurs live together in harmony”. Well, that’s all she had to say to get me squealing. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Dinotopia. Boyfriend knows that squeal well; he acquires the first book in record time (not to be gag-inducing but Boyfriend is awesome). Soon enough, I was reading that big, gorgeous book in bed. The first book took my breath away with each turning of the page as it contains out-of-this-world illustrations and an equally stunning plot.

3 Dinotopia books later, I am still amazed. I can’t decide which I like most because each book is remarkable in its own way. What they all have in common is a seamless blend of facts and fantasy that delights me to no end. Author James Gurney is genius, I can’t wait to collect more of his books. As long as he keeps writing and drawing, I’ll always have plenty of beauty sleep with fantastic dreams to match.


Farmgirl Beauty Secret #71: Use beer as a hair rinse and/or volumizing tonic.

I absolutely love beer. Nothing else goes better with bratwursts and fried chicken (hey, if you’re gonna be bad, you might as well be REALLY bad). I also keep my alcohol consumption to a minimum so imagine my delight when I discovered a way to incorporate beer into my beauty regimen. Save that half bottle of flat beer next time you grab a cold one and take it in the shower with you. After shampooing, pour the remaining beer unto scalp and rinse after 2-4 minutes. Condition as usual. The proteins in the beer provide incredible body and shine to the hair.

You can also use it as a light volumizing styling product. Store a small amount of beer in a spray bottle and spray roots with the solution. Blow dry as usual. Keep bottle refrigerated and replace beer about every 2 weeks. This is a great way to obtain fuller hair without using conventional volumizing products that build up and leave residue on your scalp.



Product Analysis: The Healing Seed Shampoo

I really take my time in test-driving my beauty products before I rave about them here. At times, it takes months in using a product to make sure it really is up to my standards. But I must confess, I just got this shampoo recently and I know it’ll be residing in my shower for a long time to come.

I first heard of
The Healing Seed in a magazine. I’m always on the hunt for new and innovative natural brands and The Healing Seed’s use of organic hempseed oil made it stand out in a cluttered sea of “natural” products. I knew I had to investigate further. As I researched the brand, I found out that they revamped the products with a cleaner (and greener) formulations to further highlight their star ingredient, virgin organic hempseed oil. As you know, I’m very impressed with companies that are always striving to better their brand and formulations, even if it means changing a thing or two. The Healing Seed Shampoo is a sulfate-free gel shampoo that leaves hair squeaky clean but nourished at the same time. I have extremely oily hair that I have to wash on a daily basis. Because of that, I never use conditioners on my scalp in fear of making my hair even oilier. This concentrated shampoo allows me to get my hair thoroughly clean. And with the addition of virgin organic hempseed oil, it moisturizes and protects my scalp without any greasiness or residue! The scent smells subtle and expensive, I was extremely happy to find that it contains no synthetic fragrances. After checking the ingredients, I’ve also used this as body wash in a pinch and it worked so well. All in all, a gold star awarded to The Healing Seed Shampoo from Brilliant Farmgirl.

Here’s my disclaimer: I write extremely researched reviews after extensive, self-conducted testing. I do not review products I dislike; it's a waste of time and typing skills. This review contains gratis sent by company due to interest in feedbacks. My first priority is to my readers; company gratis does not guarantee placement. Affiliate and non-affiliate links may be provided to inform readers of where to purchase products. All in all, you can be sure that items seen on my website are the very few products that qualify for recommendation after rigorous testing.


Brilliant Farmgirl Beauty Secret #8: Recession-proof your beauty habit!

Fellow skincare/cosmetics junkies, times are hard and it can be difficult at times to support our addictions. So many temptations; so little pocket change! This is precisely why I love brainstorming for ways to save money in other areas so I can maintain my beauty budget. That way, I don’t feel nearly as guilty the next time I give in on a must-have product. Here are some strategies I’ve been implementing to recession-proof my beauty habit:

-Saving beautiful catalogs and using the pages as wrapping paper: I find that
J.Crew and Anthropologie have the best-looking catalogs, the images looks amazing draped on gifts! Simply open to the middle of the old/used catalogs and carefully remove the staples that hold the catalog together. It’s a great way to reuse before you recycle, which is my absolute favorite method of conservation!

-Bringing lunch to work everyday: This sounds totally nerdy but I’ve been successful at this for the last year. This has saved me money and helped me avoid additional fat/calories from take-outs.

-Cutting my own hair: I don’t remember how this got started. It was about 4 years ago. Perhaps I was having a bad day and decided to vent via taking a pair of scissors to my hair. It was strangely liberating and turned out surprisingly good (which is probably why I continue to cut my hair to this day). There’s no rhyme or reason to the way I cut my hair. I literally take a strand that I want to cut and cut it. After a few mullets and uneven haircuts, I’ve pretty much got a system down. I mess up every now and then. Oh well, it’s just hair and it’ll grow back! Before you gasp at the thought of taking hair into your own hands, I admit that my farmgirl ways may have warped my thinking on this. I totally understand if this sounds too dangerous to try at home. Nonetheless, I grin every time I think of the money I save cutting my own hair.

-Sewing/duplicating expensive dresses: I love making skirts and dresses! The entire effort of sewing makes me too tired to go out and spend money *HAHA*. I also love being able to duplicate dresses that are too expensive to buy again. See below for my favorite summer dress and the copy I made! Like my haircuts, I don’t really follow a pattern when it comes to sewing. I copied this dress by simply turning the original dress inside-out and studying the pieces sewn together to make the dress. Miraculously, it worked out!

Twirling in Bycorpus Circle Dress in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Cost: $58

Twirling/skipping in Brilliant Farmgirl’s Circle Dress in Newport Beach, California. Cost: $8+hard work in front of a sewing machine.

How do you recession-proof your beauty habit?


Farmgirl Beauty Secret #136: olive oil as a hair mask

Happy Friday, everyone! I wanted to drop in and say a quick hello. Also, I wanted to share with you an olive oil beauty trick that I just experimented with last night! I drizzled extra virgin olive oil on my dry hair (avoiding the roots/concentrating on the lower body of my locks) and left it on while I caught up on my favorite shows. I shampoo'd and conditioned as usual and woke up to beautiful, soft hair that still has volume! I can't wait to do this again!

Due to summer laziness, I've let my hair get out of control and its length has grown past my elbow. Lately, I've noticed it getting dryer at the tips. While olive oil has often been touted as a great natural skin moisturizer and cleansing oil for some people, I've never really had much luck with it. I'm so glad I experimented with it last night, I think this'll be a great addition to my hair care. What really impressed me was how easily it rinsed out after shampoo and conditioner. I've experimented with other oils on my hair before and it often left residues. My hair felt clean yet nourished after the olive oil treatment.

My hair care routine is bare minimum, I can hardly remember to brush my hair sometimes! Even so, I think I can find a little time once each week to smooth olive oil on my hair. I think olive oil can also be a great thing to smooth on hair before hitting the pool or beach this long weekend! If you try it, let me know how it works out for you!