Monday, June 25, 2012

Original Moxie Giveaway!

Hello Gorgeous!

First off, I would like to say congratulations to the lovely Jenny of Love Jenny XOXO on winning Backpacks and Belly Button Rings first giveaway!

While we're in the spirit of giveaways, I have an exciting one to share with you from Original Moxie. 

This giveaway will have three lucky winners. Each winner will receive one Original Moxie product from some of my reviews. 
The product will be either Featherweight Conditioner, Oasis Gel, or Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray. 

You can check what I thought of each product here and here.

To Enter:
Simply Follow Backpacks and Belly Button Rings 
(You do not have to leave a comment)


Leave this comment on their facebook page:
"Backpacks and Belly Button Rings"
(Leaving this comment on their facebook page will be your entry)

Which product are you most excited for?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Original Moxie Coupon Code!

Well hey there gorgeous! 

If you've been following along, you've seen all the lovely reviews for Original Moxie hair products. 

If you're interested, I've got a special treat for you. 
The lovely Rachel of Original Moxie has shared a coupon code with me to share with you
The code is BELLY1 and is available for use until 6/30/12
it is for 15% off an order of $35 or more! 

Even more exciting, Original Moxie will be hosting a giveaway of some of the products I reviewed right here on Backpacks and Belly Button Rings in the very near future so stay tuned!

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Original Moxie (3rd of 3)

Hey there beautiful, 

If you've been following the last couple days, you know I'm writing a set of reviews on products from an amazing natural hair care brand called Original Moxie. You can check out the previous reviews here and here.
Remember to check the disclaimer in this post! It details how I tested each product and sponsor info.

Mane Tame Weightless Frizz Control:
This is the one Original Moxie product I'm a little on the fence about. Had I tried this product having never used the others, I feel I would have liked it more. It wasn't bad, and gave me pretty good results- it just didn't wow me as the others did. 
Once again, I used the same method detailed in the first Original Moxie post. 
Here's what I got.

As you can see, the waves have just a little more frizz than they did with the other products, and aren't as uniform. However, I did like that this product have me looser waves instead of tight curls. What I didn't like was how the product felt in my hair. Once again, I think my expectations were raised by the other products, but this left my hair just a little "product-y". It didn't really feel too greasy, but it was a little stiff- not crunchy, just not as soft as usual. I could just sort of feel it when I ran my fingers through my hair. It also didn't leave me with much to work with as far as second day hair goes. When I woke up it felt dirty and I had to wash and start over. 
As for the actual product, Mane Tame is pretty thin, what I would expect from a frizz control product. As with all I tested, a little goes a long way. The scent was almost a mix between Sweet Poof and Oasis gel. It smelled earthy, but it is very subtle and once in my hair I couldn't smell it. 

Straight Up Sleek Control:
After much (much much much) back and forth, I think I've decided that for my hair, Straight Up was my favorite. 
When I first received these products, I opened the box and saw a pomade and actually thought 'I'm going to have to put that crap in my hair'. 
I've never tried a pomade I liked. Ever. They always seem to make my hair more of a disaster than any other product. I was actually dreading having to test this. Oh boy I'm glad I did. This product is fantastic! 

For those of you who don't know, a pomade is a thicker product that is often used as a finishing product. You emulsify it in your hands (put some on your hands and rub them together) before applying it to your hair. Once I rubbed this in my hands, it just looked like my hands were oily, not like their was any product on it. For being a chronic under-user of product, I was actually tempted to over do it with this one. The product smells great, kind of vanilla, kind of orange creamsicle. 

I used this product on wet hair just as the others. It made my hair so soft! This is the only product I used that I did some touch ups with heat tools after letting it air dry. (Not because it needed it, but because after nearly two weeks of all curls I was sick of having my hair curled up in my face) 
Here's what I got
As you can see, I straightened my way overgrown bangs and curled a couple pieces in the front (three to be exact). The rest was left alone. 
I loved the loose waves this product gave me, as this is the look I usually aim for. Straight Up also gave me the most "touchable" hair. It was so soft and shinny I found my self running my fingers through it all day, which is not something I do- normally they would just get caught!

Straight up also gave me what I look for most in a product, which is great second day hair. I hate styling my hair, which is why my make-or-break test for a product is second day hair. To see how this one faired I'm going to show you something that should probably never been seen. 

A no makeup, went out last night, woke up ten minutes ago, second day hair photo. 
(The results of the first day hair photo above)
Ok, I'm gonna step out there and say this hair looks pretty good for second it was third but I'm not admitting that online day hair.

I wanted to test this product against my blow dry/straightening routine, but it was nearly a hundred degrees this week, and I live in a 100 year old house with no air conditioning. I could barely handle straightening my bangs, a blow out was just not going to happen. Once the weather cools down a little I plan to, and I'll let you know how it goes!

So Original Moxie, overall?
Loved them. 
Not only are they a local (Michigan!) company, they use natural and organic ingredients, have an amazing company concept and customer service. They even try their best to foolproof the product selection process. I had great results with almost all of these products, and loved that each gave me such different yet gorgeous results. I think most of these products would be suited for many hair types but love that you can select products based on specific hair types and styles. 
 Are we thinking a giveaway, maybe? I think we are!

p.s. lovelies, tomorrow is the last day to enter backpacks and belly button rings giveaway here. It will be open until midnight tomorrow so check it out!

Which Original Moxie would you like to try?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: My Original Moxie Style (2nd of 3)

Hello Gorgeous! 
Welcome to the second of three Original Moxie hair care reviews! You can check out the first review on the brand and a lovely conditioner here and the third will be up tomorrow with two more products. 
(For review and brand info see previous post).

Original Moxie's Oasis Moisture Gel:
Moisture gel? Since my usual styling routine  consists of moisturizing, providing hold, then adding shine, this product got my hopes up. I've always searched for a product I could use to style without the assistance of a suitcase full of other products (especially for travel!) and this just might be it! The gel is pretty thin, which I love. It's not difficult to distribute through my hair and I don't get those awful pieces with way to much gel next to a section with none. As for scent, this probably is my favorite out of those I tested; it reminds me of some of the Aveda products I've used in the past. It smells fresh and happy. (I warned you I wasn't very good at describing scents). 

After showering, I applied a small amount of the gel, scrunched my hair, and let it air dry. 
This is what I got
Now I know you haven't seen my everyday hair to compare, but this is better. The waves are more defined, and it has much more volume. The waves are also much more uniform, as I usually have some curls some waves and some frizz. 
I'm pretty sure my boyfriend heard the phrase "Hey, look at my hair!" like... 400,000 times. Seriously. I started annoying myself.
My hair felt moisturized (even though I hadn't applied my fail safe, holy grail leave in conditioner!) but didn't have the nasty crunch I get with most gels. And best of all, you barely need any product! As I'm notorious for not using enough product, this was great. I've always hated the feel of too much junk in my hair, and therefore stick to the "a drop'll do it" method. Finally there's a product that can work with me on that!

Being a curly girl, I'm always concerned about "next day" hair. I loved these curls next day, they were a little softer, but I only needed to touch up one or two I had slept on funny before heading out for the day. 

On the other had, I applied this product to wet hair and went straight to bed, and I found the product provided a little too much hold and my curls were sticking out the top of my head in a not so attractive way. However, this is the result I get with any product that provides enough hold for my hair, and I tend to stick to moisture/nearly no hold products if I know I'm going to be sleeping on wet hair. (One of the products I tested was sleep on it approved- check back tomorrow to see what it was!)

All non-cellphone mirror photos graciously taken by an absolutely amazing boyfriend

Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray:
Before I started using Moxie products, I had been using Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray religiously. Sweet poof, when used on wet hair, reminds me of the surf spray. My complaint with surf spray, however, was that it dried my hair some while leaving it a little dull looking, which I actually didn't notice all that much until I started using Sweet Poof and comparing the two. This gave me the same beach-y hair I aim for in the summer months, only better. All the complains I'd had with surf spray were gone. Not only did my hair feel more moisturized, it was shinny and the waves were more defined. 

The product is pretty watery and comes in a spray bottle. I can shake the bottle (as per instructions), spray it all over, scrunch with a tshirt (towels can cause frizz- tshirts are softer) and let it be. 

My only complaint with this product is the scent. I don't know what it smells like, but it's not good. It reminds me of the awful tasting stuff they put in your mouth at the dentist, but after asking others what the scent reminded them of, no one else got that impression.  Fortunately, seconds after I apply it the scent fades and it isn't noticeable by others (I asked around). 

For the results I want, I think I can tolerate a minute or two of funky smells. 
I've almost never worn my hair out of the house without touching up sections with a curling iron. With almost all the products I tried, there was no need for touch ups! Even better was the fact that it didn't feel like there was anything in my hair at all. 
This product also gave me nice second day hair, and I believe it would work to give some nice texture to straight hair as well, but I will be testing that soon!
Ok. Lets excuse the face for a minute and focus on the waves.  

Had I been styling my hair as per usual I would have followed all the same steps (wash, towel dry, apply product, scrunch with tshirt, let air dry) but once dry, followed up with some sort of shine spray/frizz fighter/finishing product. For product testing period it was a strict one product per day rule.  

For summer, I think my favorite product was Sweet Poof. It was quick to apply, gave nice beachy waves, and I could even use it to touch up throughout the day without feeling like my hair was coated in product, but I still liked it much more on wet hair. 

Each of the products I tested gave me different curls, which is one of the qualities I loved about them. My hair has a mind of its own, and it was nice to be able to choose what would work for my hair for the day and get consistent results!

On a side note, my boyfriends favorite was Sweet Poof. Anything that can get me out the door in under a minute he's all for. He saw "volumizing spray" on the bottle and asked if it would help his hair. What do you think?
*These waves were achieved with Original Moxie's Oasis gel. 

What do you think of these products? Which would you like to try?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brand Review: Original Moxie (First of Three)

Hello Lovely Ladies! 
I have something super exciting to share with you today :) 
Recently, Rachel of Original Moxie, a local (Michigan) hair care company, was kind enough to share with me some of her products to test out on my messy curls. Care to hear (and see!) what I thought? Well your in luck! This post will be the first of three reviewing the brand and products I tested which include a conditioner, gel, volumizer spray, pomade, and a frizz control concentrate. 

I first heard about Original Moxie on Chic and Green while researching a greener hair care routine.
All it took was a couple clicks around the brands site and I was hooked. The products void of those nasty chemicals in many hair products, they're all chocked full of organic and good for you ingredients.
What really won me over was the brand's 3-D diagnostics system. Finally someone realized that just because my hair is wavy/curly it's not the same as another's wavy/curly hair!

Original Moxie provides products by hair type and/or desired style- the bottle's are even color coded for easier selection. They also have reference photos to compare your hair too. If this doesn't make it easy enough, you can head over to their contact form and describe your hair and needs, pretty soon someone will email you back with their recommendations. 
To even further ensure your choice doesn't end up in the curly girls ever present product graveyard, you can purchase sample sizes for a fraction of the full size price. Each sample size, generally 1 oz, is more than enough to fairly test the product and have some left over to save for traveling, as you need very little of each of these for great results.
(These are what I received and reviewed) 

*Disclaimer: Sample sizes of Original Moxie's Oasis, Straight up, Mane Tame, Featherweight, and Sweet Poof were kindly sent to me for review. Each of the products were tested on their own, as I did not want the effects to be attributed to another product. 
They were each applied to wet hair (washed with Trader Joe's Moisture Balance Shampoo and Original Moxie Featherweight Conditioner) "scrunched" with an old tshirt and air dried. Hair products, as with many beauty products, can be highly individualized and results may vary. As always, the opinions are my own.

Original Moxie's Featherweight Conditioner:
As the name suggests, the featherweight conditioner is extremely light, and as such it is recommended for normal to oily hair. As my hair tends to be bone dry, I was more than a little skeptical about using this product. Despite the wary, I used the product for the two weeks I tested Original Moxie. This stuff is light- and my hair drank it up! After applying, I gently comb my hair with a wide tooth comb It seemed to be much more tangled, but felt nice without the grease of some products. When I went to rinse the conditioner out, there was almost nothing there. However, it didn't feel dry. It actually felt pretty good. Even better, there wasn't a heavy conditioner weighing it down, and even before I applied product I noticed my hair was much less frizzy. 
The product is thin, but doesn't run off your hand before you can get it to your head. The scent is light, and doesn't linger. I'm notoriously bad at describing scents- the best I can come up with is earthy. It smells natural and a little orange-y.
Honestly, I took a photo of my hair right after towel drying I was so impressed- you can still see the fog on the mirror! Normally, at this point my hair would be insanely frizzy and pretty flat until I applied products to calm it down and plump it up, but no- It's lookin' pretty good! While my hair didn't feel as moisturized as usual, it did curl better, and just felt nicer overall. 
If your a moisture junkie, this may not be the choice for you, but for those with thin hair or locks that are easily weighed down, like mine, this could be for you!

Bottom line: At first, I missed the "moisturized" feeling (which I'm now realizing was probably just left over conditioner). After a couple days I realized my hair wasn't dry at all, it wasn't weighed down, and it was looking pretty good. I'd say this was a success, and may have just changed my thoughts on conditioner.

Original Moxie products are available for purchase in michigan and at one salon in georgia. You can also find them online here.

Now that you've heard a little about the brand and the conditioner,
 stay tuned for the styling products! 
Up tomorrow is the oasis gel and sweet poof. 

What's your go to conditioner?
How important are natural ingredients when choosing hair care products?
and don't forget to enter Backpacks and Belly Button Ring's first giveaway here!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gorgeous Giveaway!

You heard it right,
The first giveaway is here, and its absolutely lovely.
Would you like to see it?

This little beauty could be yours. And let's be honest here... you probably need it, right?
This necklace is 100% silver, and handmade by a local (metro-detroit/Michigan) artist. The chain is about 9 inches, (but that's a total guess). It is the same length as the item pictured below. 
Here's a photo of another necklace by the same artist on myself. 
With the question of the moment, "How would you wear it?". One of the beauties of this piece is that it fits in with jeans and a tank top just as well as a night on the town look. So how would you style yours?
Lastly, here are a couple pieces from this artist for your viewing pleasure (and extra entries! Details below). 

So how do you enter?
To enter you must be a follower of Backpacksandbellybuttonrings
Leave a comment below
(no need to say "enter me" or such, any comment will do)

For an extra entry:
In your comment, leave the number of the necklace you like best (#1 is the giveaway)
what post you would like to see from backpacksandbellybuttonrings

*I apologize, but this giveaway is only open to US residents only
If your contact info is not available through your profile, please provide it below. 
This giveaway will be open until June 23.
*The necklace was kindly provided by the artist, who happens to be my beautiful mother. 
Her work will be up for sale in the near future.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June Birchbox

Well hello there June. 

Did you know it was June? Apparently I had forgotten. I received my birchbox in the mail a couple days ago, and am here to share it with you now! 
Don't know what birchbox is? Check it out here.
This months theme was "Jet Set" and was intended to be travel-friendly items.

Comodynes: Self-tanning intensive
What they say:
"Who needs the sun when you can get a safe, buildable, and natural-looking tan with these bestselling European towelettes?"
What I say:
Now I haven't tried these yet, but I like the concept. They seem like they would be easy to use, and easy to travel with. Review?

Eyeko: Fat eye stick
What they say:
"A birchbox exclusive, this UK brand's too-cool shadow stick combines creamy color and long-lasting wear."
What I say:
Black? Wow. While I'm not so sure about the color, I'm already loving the formula. I love eye sticks, and have quite a few from different brands. This may just be my favorite. Goes on smooth and blends well. As for the staying power? I haven't tested it yet. The colors a little much for me. (swatches at the end)
Likewise: Facial moisturizer + sun protectant SPF 50 normal to oily
What they say:
"Get sun savvy with this zinc-infused cream. It acts like a hydrating toner to mattify skin while deflecting UV rays."
What I say:
I wear sunscreen on my face absolutely every day. This one is nothing to write home about, but it does smell nice and doesn't leave me with a slick face. However, I have pretty dry skin and the "normal to oily" formula isn't quite enough for me. 
theBalm cosmetics: Stainiac in beauty queen
What they say:
"We're crazy about this two-in-one lip and cheek stain: the sheer gel formula delivers a subtle, long-wearing flush."
What I say:
I can see someone who doesn't like the feel of lipgloss/stick loving this. It feels like nothings there. My complaint? After about an hour this nice pick/red color turned a dark violet shade, and purple's not really my color. 
Tili: Bags
What they say:
"Breeze through airport security with these too-cute plastic bags. They're perfectly sized for storing all your travel essentials (and beauty samples)."
What I say:
I often use plastic bags for things that need to be in one when traveling. These just make it all that cuter. 
John Varvatos: Star USA
What they say:
In honor of Father's Day, we've included this dapper cologne, a blend of ginger, juniper berries, and vetiver. Pass it on to a lucky guy friend or family member."
What I say:
I passed this on to my boyfriend, and it turns out this is the cologne he uses. Go figure. He's happy to have a little one to keep in his car, which is nice.
Swatches. I think its obvious which one's which. 

So, what do you think of this months box? 
Would you like a review of anything?
If you subscribe link your post below!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stay Cool Snack

Well hey there stranger, 
I know I haven't said much in a while, but lives gotten in the way. Also, it has been beautiful out lately, which has led to me spending more time outdoors than with my laptop. Fear not, I've got plenty in store for my lovely readers! 

While you wait, enjoy a grape. 
Really though... 
It has been sooo hot out, and I have been doing everything I can to stay cool. 
Recently, I have not been able to stop reaching for these, and thought it was only appropriate I share. 
So here are some frozen grapes for you all. 
We give our puppy ice cubes to stay cool, and he loves them!
But ice cubes were never my thing. It just seemed so... boring. Frozen grapes, on the other hand, are delicious. Throw a couple handfuls in a container and toss them in the freezer for a few hours. When it gets hot, and you're looking for something to snack on, you'll be glad you did. 

On a totally unrelated not, I've got some great things planed, including giveaways, a fabulous brand review and a great way to get this oh-so-effortless beach hair. 

What's your go to stay cool snack?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Motivation Monday: Gratitude

Good Morning Gorgeous, 
Hope you're enjoying your monday! 
It's been busy around here. Sometimes in all the chaos, its easy to forget to appreciate what is going right. 

Each day, take time to appreciate something.
Your car starts, and can take you to and from. 
The rain held off. 
You remember you have your favorite ice cream in the freezer. 
Anything works. The act of appreciating alone will brighten your day. 

Have an appreciative monday! 

What are you grateful for today?