*honest* Hijabi shampoo review

Phew! Cobwebs everywhere on this blog! It’s been ages since I last updated it..

So hi there! If there is still anyone reading this *krik* *krik*

Today, I would like to do a *honest* review of hijabi shampoos available in Malaysia!

I bought three brands of anti hair fall hijabi shampoos to see if they help with the reduction of hair fall in comparison to normal hair fall shampoos.

Contender no 1!! Ding ! Ding ! The oh so famous Sunsilk Hijab Recharge!

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Packed with Ginseng, “Fragrance release pearls” and Hydrolysed Wheat Protein to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage.

Rating: 7/10

Pros:  I don’t need to use conditioner with this shampoo (saves time, money and effort!). When I blow dry it, it still gives my hair a nice soft lightweight feeling.

Cons: A bit on the pricey side. The smell doesn’t last long, especially if you have your scarf on and it’s hot outside. It does not help with hair fall…at all.

The next one is, Safi Shayla!

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Safi Shayla is enriched with Habbatus Sauda (Nigella Sativa) which contains many health benefits. It’s supposed to help with improved functions of our regulatory system (Brain and Nerve function) and aids in cures for Asthma, Psoriasis, Toothpain, Flu and more.

Rating: 5.5/10

Pros:  Really affordable! Has a visible certified halal label at the back so you won’t need to feel doubtful.

Cons: It works just like normal shampoo. Does not really reduce hair fall. Sometimes (not all the time) makes my hair more oily than it needs to be which is a bit annoying.

Finally, Hijabista shampoos!

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Created by “experts” C.Michael London. Hijabista promises that it keeps hair fresh for up to 48 hours. Containing Shea Butter and Apple Stem Cell, Anti-aging, PhyToCellTec.

Rating: 7/10

Pros:  Is not tested on animals and paraben-free! It also has Shea Butter! Which is always awesome because Shea butter moisturises and reduces inflammation and has an unlimited amount of health benefits. The smell is really strong and stays on for days (2 and a half days for me, it really did!), even after I blow-dried my hair or had my scarf on through out the day.

Cons: Pricey. Makes my hair really, really frizzy when I blow dry it. I’ve heard (and read) about Apple Stem Cells, and found out that new research argues that they don’t really work! Also this  shampoo doesn’t really aid in lessening hair fall either!

So all-in-all, my verdict would be that Hijabi Shampoos are a bit of a gimmick because their effectiveness is less than or similar to shampoos you can get on the shelf at the supermarket….or maybe it’s just the Hijabi shampoos here in Malaysia.

Hmmm..I wonder if there are any Hijabi shampoos available in other countries? Give me a comment below if there are so I can check them out and give them a try!

In the mean time, you can check out my review of these shampoos here:

 

And if you would like to give these Malaysian hijabi shampoos a try (they might not work for me, but they could work for you) send me an e-mail and I would be very happy to assist you on attaining them!

Lots of love,

Lina.

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How to make home made moisturiser

Since I’ve been transitioning into healthier beauty products. I went online and searched for a few home made moisturiser ideas and formulated my own. This recipe is suitable for combination skin that have fine wrinkles and pigmentation.

It’s made from almost all natural ingredients and the best part is it’s cruelty free!

If you’re planning to go completely natural, you can use Rose water as a toner, it effectively removes impurities on the skin. My Mum uses Rose water in her Indian cooking and I recently found out the health benefits of applying it on your skin. I’ll write in detail about the benefits of Rose water in another post.

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Smells lovely

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The tools:

  • Hand Mixer
  • Double boiler (2 bowls that you can stack to act as a double boiler)
  • Stirring spoon
  • Measuring spoons

The ingredients:

  • 5ml cold pressed jojoba oil
  • 200ml filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vitamin E
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2ml) rosehip oil
  • 8-10 drops of your preferred Essential Oil
  • 20ml mango butter
  • 35ml cold pressed apricot kernel oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (22ml) emulsifying wax

Melt the butter and mix it with the apricot kernel oil and emulsifying wax, add the jojoba oil and your preferred essential oil (choose a non-phototoxic gentle to the face essential oil).

Blend at low speed into a creamy consistency.

Add vitamin e and rosehip oil.

Blend a little bit more at low speed until it become a thicker consistency and you’re done!

This will make about 250ml of product in 5 small container bottles.

Why I decided to make it:

My Mum has been complaining about how it burns when she uses commercial moisturiser and toner so I decided to whip up a batch of this for her. She has very sensitive skin and so far, has not complained about it, and is actually enjoying the product because it smells nice and works exactly like moisturiser. Just a little side note, do not skip sun block if you decide to try this and have it on. 

Storage and expiration date:

The product can last about 6 months if you keep it in a fridge. If you keep it outside with temperatures ranging from 34ºc-28ºc it will last from two weeks to a month.

If there is any discolouration or starts to smell strange, throw it out right away.

Caution when using the moisturiser:

Always apply a little bit of the product on your hand to test it out, if it burns or feels itchy. Discontinue use immediately. Maybe you have an allergic reaction to the ingredients used. That’s ok, don’t give up, you can always  find alternative ingredients.

You can check out the video tutorial here:

If you’d like me to make a bottle for you or if you want to purchase the ingredients to try for yourself. You can e-mail me at elphylina@gmail.com to make an order.

Lots of Love,

Lina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make home made lipstick

Home made lipsticks are healthy and fun to make!

The plus side is you know what you’re putting on your skin compared to store-bought products that are filled with harmful chemicals that you can’t even pronounce.

In this post, I’m gonna show you how to make creamy, home made, pigmented lipstick with these simple ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon Bees wax or Soy wax (vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon Hibiscus powder
  • 5 drops of Essential oil (of your choice)

The things you will need to mix these ingredients:

  • Double boiler or two heat proof bowls
  • Measuring spoon

Instructions:

Melt the Cocoa butter and Soy wax together and then add the Coconut oil. Stir well.

Once the products have turned into a liquid consistency, add your coloured powder.

I do not recommend putting Essential Oil in any of your facial products but if you’re confident that your skin will not have a bad reaction to it, you may do so. Put 5 drops of essential oil into your lipstick mixture before your product sets.

Before the product cools down and becomes hard, quickly pour it into a lipstick tube or small container and let it sit for a few hours.

And you’re done! Enjoy!

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Trying it on my lips

If you want a light orangey hue, apply once. If you want a darker sexy red, apply a few times until you are satisfied with the tone.

Why I decided to switch from commercial to home made lipstick:

I used to love buying MAC and Maybelline lipsticks because of their amazing colours but I realised that alot of their products have chemicals that I don’t want on my lips. Other than that, Coconut Oil and the butters you use in this home made lipstick have health benefits. It has vitamins and moisturises your lips.

Storage and expiration date:

I’ve read that the lipstick lasts from 6 months to a year. Depending on your storage. But the longest for me was 2 weeks to 30 days. The most suitable temperature for the lipstick should be from 22-27°C. In Malaysian weather, definitely do not leave it in your bag in the car during the afternoons.

If there is any discolouration or if it’s starting to look weird and moldy, throw it out right away.

Caution when using the home made lipstick:

Always apply a little bit of the product on your hand to test it out, if it burns or feels itchy. Discontinue use immediately. Maybe you have an allergic reaction to the ingredients used. That’s ok, don’t give up, you can always  find alternative ingredients.

I’ve been trying to make all my products vegan so everyone can enjoy it but I’ve been having a bit of difficulty with Soy wax as an alternative to Bees Wax. It bursts out and looks ‘moldy’ (there is definitely no mold, I make sure to be extra clean when handling my ingredients and mixing them).

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I’m always discovering new recipes to try so watch out for more.

Lots of Love,

Lina.

Do you check the labels before you buy?

Lipsticks you can get from popular make-up brands are creamy and nice, easy to apply and have beautiful shades of orange, red and pinks but do you really know what’s inside that makes it so nice and glossy?

Millions of women wear lipstick everyday (and I’m certain), a lot of us don’t check the labels and simply purchase it because of it’s gorgeous colour or the smooth texture when applied to the lips.

When you wear lipstick daily or for an event and it’s lunch time or dinner, do you ever wipe your lips or just go straight to eating?

If you’ve never wiped your lips free from the lipstick, you should know you could be ingesting very harmful chemicals with every bite of your meal.

Some of the harmful chemicals found in lipsticks are:

  • Lead – “A Poison Kiss” (is a neurotoxin and can cause learning and behavioural problems)
  • Paraben (Endocrine Disruption, Skin Cancer, Developmental and Reproductive toxicity)
  • Triclosan (Triclosan-resistant bacteria, environmental toxicity)
  • Heavy Metals (causes allergies, stomach cancer, affects nervous system, affects liver and/or lungs)

These are just a few. There are definitely more and most of us are unaware.

It might not give you health problems now, but will affect you in the long run, especially if you’re using it on a daily basis.

I believe if we cannot consume a product, we shouldn’t be putting it on other parts of our body in the first place

It’s not just lipstick. Toxic and harmful chemicals can be found in other make up products like Mascara, Eyeliner and blushes, personal care products like Shampoo, Conditioners, Toothpaste, Sunscreen, household products like Laundry Detergent, Air Freshener and even baby products like diapers and baby bottles.

We cannot produce some products on our own so we have no choice but to purchase them from supermarkets and drugstores but there is no harm in checking the labels first and making sure.

This website (Safecosmetics.org) is a really handy guide to figuring out which chemicals are ok and which are a complete ‘no-no’.

It is better for you to try and make your own household and personal care products by using the things you can find at home, it might sound hard but it really isn’t.

Check out my post on how to make home made lipstick.

Lots of love,

Lina.

Why I’m trying to quit painting my nails

We may not realise it but our daily make-up products have alot of harmful chemicals and toxins inside of them.

The amount of chemicals inside nail polish and nail polish removers is double that, added with the fumes it releases when you are applying coats of paint on your nails.

Yet some of us use it everyday.

Usually, Acetone is the common contributor of that strong fume smell we get when we paint our nails, it has a mild toxicity and can cause irritation to the skin. A definite no-no for babies and pregnant women.

You can cover it up with ‘mild’ but at the end of the day, it’s still toxic.

In Malaysia, acetone filled polishes and removers are still available in drugstores and make-up aisles, only recently getting flak after beauty addicts realised how much harm it can give.

Alot of them are switching to ‘safer paint’ but these polishes still contain harmful chemicals.

Amongst the three most common chemicals inside nail polish are:

  • Formaldehyde – this is totally familiar because Colgate puts it in their toothpaste. It is used as a preservative. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and can cause cancer. Imagine consuming and putting it on our body everyday!
  • Toluene – is used to make the polish more glossy but the after effects of inhaling it? Damage of the lungs and kidneys aswell as birth defects and developmental abnormalities.
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – used as a solvent, it can affect your reproductive system and has been linked to endocrine disruption. It is banned in Europe for use in cosmetics. Need I say more?

Popular brands like OPI and China Glaze claim that they never had or have removed ‘the big 3’ harmful chemicals.

I have read, but yet to try the following nail polish companies that claim they are safe and non-toxic:

  1. Honeybeegardens
  2. Piggy Paint

But they may be a bit pricey compared to the nail polishes you can grab and go from the drugstore.

There is no single formula for nail polish, so when you paint your nails and the smell starts to make you dizzy, that may be a warning sign that the product contains chemicals that do not go well with your body or brain.

Occasionally, for events, I can’t resist painting my nails a nice shade of pink or silver but I know if I continue with this habit, it will affect my health in the long run.

I cannot find a safe, healthy, toxic-free alternative other than Henna but the problem with that is the colour is not rich and it washes off.

So for now, I’m trying to break my nail polish addiction and swear of it until I find one that I know is completely non-toxic.

If you guys have tried any nail polishes that are completely safe, glide on nicely and gives out amazing colours. Let me know in the comments.

Lots of love,

Lina.

How to reduce dark eye circles

The things you will need:

  1. Rose water (50ml)
  2. A bowl
  3. Square cotton pad or square-folded tissue  (x2)

What you have to do:

Pour 50ml of rose water into a bowl, dip the tissue/cotton pad in it and squeeze out the excess. Place the tissue/cotton pad onto your eyes (most effective when done at night when you are ready for bed).

 

Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

The first time I went on a airplane after coming back from the UK (19 years ago) was on this trip to Terengganu . It was actually pretty nice, if the plane didn’t sound worse than a speeding bus.

Going to Terengganu by plane was ok but coming back was torture because of the 2 hour delay and there was nothing to do but wait.

The scenery, if you’re driving through the East Coast highway is alright but the journey is very, very boring and long (5 hrs if you’re an average driver) and there’s only two rest stops, if I’m not mistaken, so be prepared if you decide to take this route of traveling to ‘Pantai Timur’ (East Coast in Malay).

To summarise, I do not like long travels.

I found Terengganu locals were not warm but they can be nice if you know them personally or from connections (friends or family) .

Once you arrive in Kuala Terengganu, you’ll see this:

I thought it was pretty cool.

The ‘Batu Bersurat’ is earliest and oldest evidence of testimony to the advent of Islam as a state religion in the region (from wikipedia)

More history about the “Inscription stone of Terengganu”

We have stayed at Primula Beach Hotel and Sumai Hotels Apartment.

Primula attracts tourists from overseas more than Sumai does because of it’s outlook. The rates for both hotels are good, except during peak season. Usually, people stay at the hotels only for a nights rest before they head of to the many islands around Terengganu.

Moving on to the food! Primula and Sumai serve hotel food which will consist of omelette, bread with jam, sausages and occasionally ‘nasi lemak’ or ‘nasi dagang’ (Terengganu specialty).

But my dad, always the adventurer, went in search for more authentic Terengganu food.

So in the middle of the night, we went out and discovered Pok Nong. 

Pok Nong is famous for their sotong and udang ‘goreng tepung’ (fried with flour). The place is so famous, that some Singaporeans would come all the way just to eat there. We went at night so there was basically nothing left.

Next stop, Waterfront. People usually eat western cuisine at this place. I do not have much to say about the food there.

We dropped by Adeq Sue which is situated around housing areas. The food is really good here if you’re into rice, ikan bakar and definitely try the tom yam.

We had lunch every day at the Batu Burok ‘Medan Selera’ (Food arena), they serve real Hainanese chicken rice which is super delicious. The veggies are fresh. The portions are big and worth every single dollar.

Before leaving, we went to Losong to get Keropok Lekor. THIS IS A MUST. Keropok Lekor is delicious.

The highway overlooking Tasik Kenyir is very beautiful. Pictures cannot capture the real effect of it’s beauty, but the thing is this is man made and not natural.

Tasik Kenyir resort is beautiful as well but it is very hot and humid.

I’m pretty sure tourists from outside the country and other states of Malaysia would enjoy this special retreat.

There are a number of activities, but do note that it is harder for you to get food after 9 pm because they usually stop taking orders then. You will have to leave your car at the parking lot and travel around the area with a buggy or by foot.

Lina at Tasik Kenyir

Fascinated by the view

Tasik Kenyir, I's shot

With pool at Tasik Kenyir Resort

Restaurant view

Restaurant

The chalet

From afar view of the chalet

Inside the chalet

Inside the chalet

I don’t think I’d head to Kuala Terengganu again but I would love to visit the islands around the state! I heard (and read) they’re one of the most beautiful in the world!

Lots of Love,

Lina.