*Some items are press samples
Today I have the second part of my 2017 beauty favourites blog posts where I’ll cover my hair care and nail product favourites from last year. Don’t forget to check out the first post where I cover all of my cruelty free skin care and makeup favourites from 2017. The products I’m sharing with you today are the ones I used the most during 2017, they weren’t necessarily released in 2017. I haven’t picked an item from every product category there is as I wanted to share just the products that stood out to me, but I am happy to go through every product category and tell you my favourites in future, let me know in a comment if you want to see that.
I know this post is late but I have had a very busy start to 2018 with a lot of medical appointments that have sapped all my energy. You can read my health updates on my youcaring fundraiser – youcaring.com/Alinta – my most recent update has some great news too.
I am very picky with hair products after the Organic Care disaster so I only use products that are SLS and silicone free. I found out later that the problem with the Organic Care shampoo and conditioner was the inclusion of Methylisothiazolinone, but I find that my hair is just a lot healthier without sulfates and silicones anyway. I do want to note that my hair is now curlier than it used to be when I was using those ingredients, but that is a sign of health, there’s lots of information out there about this if you look up the curly girl method. My favourite shampoo and conditioner come from the vegan Australian brand A’kin that does not include any parabens, sulfates, ethoxylated cleansers, silicones, mineral oil, phthalates, DEA or artificial colours or fragrances. The products I use are the Rice Aminos & Wheat Protein Shampoo and the Macadamia & Wheat Protein Conditioner. I wash my hair every 4 days now (which I could never get away with before) and I use the Alchemy Ginkgo and Jojoba Intensive Moisture Masque every fourth wash or so – It is by far the best mask I have used. Many masks on the market rely heavily on coconut oil, but I have never like it as a hair or skin product – speaking to hair professionals recently, they told me that it isn’t the best product for the hair and the Jojoba is a far better alternative. Every 6 months I switch the products I use for a few washes as that seems to be the best thing for my hair. When I do this I always use the Natural Instinct Moisture Surge Shampoo and Conditioners. They’re both great products but do contain a honey extract so I go with the vegan A’kin products for regular use. I have tried so many leave in conditioners in my life time, but I have found it really hard to find any that I love. The ones I use regularly now are the Alchemy Lavender & Anthyllis Leave-In Conditioner and the Klorane Nutri-Reparative Leave-In Cream with Desert Date. I just run a little bit of one of those through the tips of my hair when my hair has dried slightly and they work really well. Every time I see my hairdresser she is always so surprised as I never have any split ends. I used to use the MooGoo Protein Shot Leave-In Conditioner but I don’t need to extra protein while I’m using the A’kin products. A’kin products are quite expensive so I wait until the Priceline 50% off hair care sales which happen 6 monthly, and stock up then.
The highlight of 2017 for me was absolutely the Aussie Indie Con. It was so awesome to meet all the indie polish makers in person and see all the other indie fans and bloggers that I had only talked to online previously. My only regret is that I ‘worked’ the day away and didn’t really get to enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I ended up doing two hour long presentations, one on easy galaxy nail art and one on how to use nail vinyls in nail art, and then I spent the rest of the time filming the event. I still have all the footage but I haven’t been well enough to go through it, let alone edit it yet – but I really want to. I got very sick after the indie con as I pushed my body too far, I think it took about 6 months to recover and I’m still not at pre-indie con health yet – but I still loved the event. It is happening again this year under the new name of Australian Indie Beauty Exhibition 2018. I would love to go but it is in Sydney again this year, so I just don’t think I can afford to pay for the flights and accommodation to get me there, but I know it will be such an awesome day for those who do make it. Hopefully it is actually in Melbourne next year as there is such a big market for handmade items here.and then I could afford to go.
Anyway, onto my nail product favourites for 2017. My favourite collection of the year was the Grace-full Nail Polish Fruit Salad Collection. I used this collection in my Aussie Indie Con presentation and I did a blog post on it. The colours are so pretty and the formula is spot on. I am always looking for good indie creme polishes as they’re a staple i for most nail art. I also love the Pretty Serious Cosmetics Pet Names Collection, but I’ve had those since they released in 2016. I’ve heard a rumour that Pretty Serious are going to launch neon’s, if that’s true, then I will be over the moon – I’m a neon nail polish girl at heart. Pretty Serious also make my favourite white and black polishes called Absence and Presence.
Some of the individual nail polishes that I loved last year include Grace-full Rosy Glow, it was released late in the year, but it is my favourite nail polish release of the year. I wore it on Christmas Day and New Years Eve, the polish is just amazing in person, photos will never do this metallic rose gold creation justice. I actually gave this nail polish to my mum for Christmas and had it renamed to ‘You Are My Sunshine”, Theresa was lovely enough to put the custom name on two bottles for me so that mum and I had one that match. The Femme Fatale Cosmetics October Colour Of The Month was a very pretty pink to light yellow thermal called Flower Chain. The brand describes the pigment as being clear in the warm state rather than yellow, but to me it looks like a nice pale yellow-creamy colour when on the nails. The gold glitters complement both the cold and warm states so well – it’s a very ‘me’ polish. One of my favourite polishes came from Aussie Indie Con VIP bag and it’s called Miss Priss VIP Treatment. It’s a muted bubble gum pink with gold glitters in various sizes, but it will be hard to find on the second hand market because the VIP bags were limited. And yet another glitter crelly I loved last year was Moonstone Nail Polish Heartlines, It is a white crelly with pink and gold glitters, I can’t help but love glitter crellies as they are what made me notice indie nail polish in the first place. I hope we see more glitter crellies from aussie indies this year, but if not, I can always rely on Painted Polish and KB Shimmer (two USA indies) to get my fix. I posted about Painted Polishes Here’s To Three Years The Crelly earlier in the year. Femme Fatale actually just started stocking KBShimmer, which is awesome, as until now it was a pain to get them to Australia. I am actually most excited about being able to get my favourite top coat easily now. I have tried so many top coats but nothing quite compares to KB Shimmer Clearly On Top, it’s a thick, fast drying top coat that doesn’t cause shrinking like some top coats.
My favourite base coat is from Pretty Serious Cosmetics, my nails have quite deep ridges, so I need a good smoothing base coat and the Pretty Serious All Your Base Ridge Filling Base Coat works well. The other base coat I sometimes use as it’s also quite thick is the Powder Perfect Flawless Fortifying Base Coat, it’s a strengthener and base coat in one. If you’re looking for a nail hardener then I suggest you check out my Pretty Serious Rock On and Harden Up Review. Nail health also requires a good nail oil. If you have read my old Cuticle Oil Review and Comparison from way back, then you know I look for certain things in cuticle oils. Hayley from Emily de Molly read that post and did a lot of research on what oils are best for nail health and launched her new cuticle oil in time for Aussie Indie Con. I have to say, she hit it out of the park. Her cuticle oil pens are my favourite oil, I have one in every room of the house so that I always have one within reach. I like the lemongrass scent but she also makes quite a few sweet scented versions as well. I also found my favourite cuticle balm at Aussie Indie Con. It’s the Celestial By Christine Get Nourished Cuticle Balm. The bad news is that Celestial By Christine closed, however Celestial Cosmetics will be re-releasing the cuticle balm this year, and Christine has created her own brand called Herba Apotheca and she is sending me her new version of the cuticle balm to try, so I will let you know what I think of that in a review post. If you’re looking for Aussie Indie Polish brands to try then check out my Guide To Australian Indie Nail Polish. If you’re looking for vegan nail polish, check out my Is Nail Polish Vegan post, it lists brands to check out and ingredients to look for.
I think it’s pretty clear by now that my favourite sort of nail art is done with nail vinyls. My favourite nail vinyls are from What’s Up Nails, but I also like the ones from Twinkled T. I have been practising my nail stamping and my favourite stamping polishes are from Hit The Bottle. Michelle makes the most amazing stamping polishes and she has so many colours, including newly released pastels and neons, as well as every finish from creme to metallic to holographic stamping polishes. If you haven’t tried Hit The Bottle then you’re missing out. I have found a technique that works to stamp with shaky hands so I’ll share that with you when I post some stamping nail art. There is also the option of doing a stamping decal, but the hardest part of that is finding a top coat that works well with it. Through trial and error I have found two options for decals that work well with stamping and vinyl decals. They are the Hit The Bottle Totally Addicted To Base Base Coat, it is blue in the bottle and says it’s a base coat but it dries clear and works really well for decals. The other option is from Messy Mansion and it’s called the Decal Maker, I picked this up at the Indie Con, Messy Mansion also sell good quality round stamping plates if you’re looking for new ones to try.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my cruelty free hair care and nail product favourites for 2017. Before you go, don’t forget to read my previous post about my skin care and makeup favourites from 2017. I have a lot of things to write about so there will be regular new posts coming up (health permitting). You can sign up to email updates to get my future blog posts sent to your email so you don’t miss any, or follow me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. What were your favourite cruelty free hair care and nail products from 2017? Have I mentioned anything you want to try next?