Review: Function of beauty



So, my personalized shampoo and conditioner from Function of Beauty have finally arrived. Yay!

I've heard about them a few months ago, but I couldn't order mine because they didn't ship to Puerto Rico. But then, a few weeks ago they emailed me with the announcement that they now ship to my lil' Island. I got so excited that I ordered them the first chance I got.

If you haven't heard of them, they are basically a company that makes personalized haircare depending on your hair type, goals, and preferences using an algorithm system to select the best ingredients for you. They are cruelty-free and they don't use sulfates nor parabens. Also, they offer free shipping and free returns, plus they deliver super fast. Mine arrived 2 days after shipping.

When you are going to order from them, you first have to take a quiz telling them about your hair and what you want to achieve. The quiz is divided in 4 parts: hair and scalp info, hair goals, formula customization, and bottle sizes. My choices were the following:

Each hair goals has a description and its key ingredients:
  • Deep condition: Moisturize and deeply condition your hair from the inside out to repair damage from heat and/or chemical processing. Key Ingredients: shea butter, sweet almond extract, dimethiconol meadowfoamate, chestnut extract, carob seed extract, baobab seed protein, quinoa protein
  • Strengthen: Increase your hair’s resilience and elasticity, stimulate healthy hair growth and protect your hair from breakage. Key Ingredients: panthenyl ethyl ether, baobab seed protein, sweet almond extract, carob seed extract, beet root extract, corn starch
  • Lengthen: Promote healthy hair growth with increased scalp circulation and follicle stimulation for longer, stronger locks. Key Ingredients: pea sprout extract, peppermint oil, ginger root, palmitoyl tripeptide-28
  • Curl definition: Enhance and define your natural curls to achieve smoother texture and improve overall manageability. Key Ingredients: argan oil, rosemary oil, flax seed extract, quinoa protein, tamarind fruit extract, beet root extract, corn starch
  • Soothe scalp: Moisturize and energize your scalp to relieve discomfort, reduce buildup and help prevent dandruff. Key Ingredients: aloe, quinoa protein, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, ginger root, algae extract, coconut milk

So, about my hair...

On the left, is my hair from ten years ago before I put it through all the damage. It was so thick and curly. On the right, is my current hair situation. My hair is now a bit thinner and more prone to breakage than before. The pink ends are part of the chemical processed hair I have left, that's why they don't curl as much.

I was born with curls and I always used to struggled to style and care for them, that's why in my high school years I started getting chemical processing treatments and applying heat to straighten it. My hair started to lose its curls and the ends were fried from so much damaged. Flash-forward to my university years, I started getting my hair bleached and coloring parts of it. I stopped getting it straighten because after the bleach my ends got really bad. Finally, I decided to transition again to my natural curly hair. My roots have grown a lot since then, but I still have parts of my hair that were previously damaged from all the treatments and heat. I know some people cut all the damaged ends in one snip, but I don't like having short hair that's why I've been cutting it slowly. During this transition period I have used Shea Moisture and Just Nutritive hair products. They have been a good option, but I still have a few issues. After all the chemical treatments I put my hair through my scalp hasn't been the same. One of the times I straighten my hair with chemicals, my scalp got burned and I had to apply Neosporin to the burned spots to get it to heal faster. It was a really bad experience. After all that damage, my scalp gets itchy when I sweat and I can't stay more than 2 days without washing my hair because of the itch. So, even though I bought a Just Nutritive shampoo to calm my scalp it didn't do much notable difference. Those products did help on the overall look of my hair, they detangled it really well and they gave it some moisture. But my hair goals right now are to relieve my itchy scalp, get more moisture, make my hair grow faster, longer and stronger. That's what I'm looking for on the Function of beauty products. 

The products:

They arrived in a pretty teal colored box with the Function -- of tatiana label outside, which I thought was nice. Inside, I got a pink shampoo and a teal colored conditioner with their pumps, and a small booklet with the options I picked in the quiz, personalized regime, hair goals described and the complete list of ingredients in both products.

The shampoo viscosity is neither watery nor creamy. To me, it's like the texture of hand soap or any Shea Moisture shampoo. The conditioner is creamy like lotion, which surprised me since I read some reviews where people said their conditioner felt watery and less like cream, I guess it might be this particular formula.

The smell is a fresh light mint in both of them. I thought the smell was going to be stronger since I picked medium strength. 

The personalized regimen they recommended is washing my hair with both shampoo and conditioner 4 to 5 times a week. I think I wash my hair around 3 to 4 times a week, which I guess is not much different. 

I don't know why I was surprised to see that the bottles were so small when I ordered the 8oz ones. I guess it must be the packaging because I once ordered another shampoo/conditioner set from another company that were the same size, but the bottles were longer. Even thought that set was a small size they lasted me a long time. I hope that is the same for the Function of beauty ones since they are $18 each ($2.25 per oz).

I will be using them for two weeks before giving my usage review. Meanwhile, if you are interested of trying it yourself and don't want to wait until I use it, you can buy your first shampoo and conditioner set with a $5 discount using my referral link: Lissome Flower Function of Beauty $5 discount. Keep in mind that this referral link only works for the first 5 people that use it. 


P.S. Wish I was paid to write this, but I wasn't. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely mine and they are from experience.


Reading Journey

Once upon a time...

a boy named Harry Potter introduced a little girl to the wonderful world of reading.

That little girl was me. Sure I used to read in school but I saw it as homework, it wasn't because I chose to read it. I never thought I would come to love reading as much as I do now.

My love for reading started because of Harry Potter. One day, I was at Walgreens with my dad and we were browsing the magazine and books aisle when my dad pointed out a Spanish version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and said that he had read in the news that it was a very popular book. I picked it up, read the excerpt, and it caught my attention. He bought it for my sister and me. I had to wait until my sister finished reading it. My turn came and I was instantly hooked on the first chapter. I used to go to sleep really late because I couldn't stop reading. I wanted to know what happened next. I was amazed how someone had the imagination to create a world filled with magic. I discovered that I could imagine the things happening in my head as I read, like it was a movie. I saw it as clear as day. I haven't experienced this before because the stories we read in school were very short and it was read in parts by classmates, which caused me to space out sometimes since I didn't hear them or understood them.

I read the first 3 books in Spanish, but then I decided to switch to English since I understood it better. My native language is Spanish, but when it comes to reading in Spanish they sometimes tend to have some words I don't necessarily know what they mean and sometimes translations may not be 100% accurate. So, since then I have preferred to read in English. Like 97% of my book collection are in English. Recently I've been trying to incorporate some local and Latin American authors. I have found a Puertorrican author that I really enjoy reading his books. He's name is J.D. Estrada. I have two books of his: Twenty Veinte and Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore. The first one is a collection of essays, poems and short stories in Spanish and English. There are some funny ones in there. The second one is a short novel about a world created in a dream. It is simply magical; one of those books that you read and you feel like there's no evil in the world.

When Borders opened stores in Puerto Rico, it was love at first sight. I used to love to buy books there. I would spend hours looking at what was new. I was up to date on what was popular or what was published recently. My sister and I used to attend midnight release parties for books. We went to 2 or 3 of them. I remember we went to a Harry Potter and then a Twilight one. Borders also had a magnificent rewards club, we used to receive like $10 coupon on our birthdays and we also accumulated points to receive more discounts. I always bought more than one book. I used to stack books I found interesting in my hands and when I had finishing browsing the entire store I started choosing which one I would keep or leave. Sadly, Borders closed all their stores and it was heartbreaking. I bought a tall bookcase from them when they were selling all their stores furniture. It has 7 shelves and it is almost full. I also have another bookcase, slightly a bit smaller, that I bought a few years ago but it is almost full too.

I have acquired books buying them in stores or online, as gifts, or free from universities and fairs. When Borders closed, I started buying online because there really wasn't any bookstores that sold books in English that could interest me. The few bookstores that did, sold the books a bit pricey. I wanted to find a way to buy books at great discounts like I did in Borders. That's when I found Thriftbooks. Thriftbooks is an online bookstore that specializes in selling second hand books, but they also sell new ones. They have everything from really old books to new releases. They have a rewards program where you get $5 for every $50 you spend, and believe me you spend $50 fast. Free shipping is also included, which is a big plus. At first I was skeptical because I thought that if they were used maybe some weren't in the best condition. I watched some YouTube videos about book hauls from real customers and I didn't hear any complaints. I was convinced and decided to buy a few books. It was legit! The prices are awesome. I have bought books in really good conditions for $3. They give you the choice on what conditions you would like to buy the book: Acceptable, Good, Really Good, and New. You get the best of both worlds: good books at an economic price and you also recycle, preventing all those books from going to landfills. Though I do not recommend choosing ones that say they come from libraries because they sometimes stick a clear plastic on all the outside of the book and after you peel it off it stays a bit sticky.

Check them out for yourselves. You get 15% off your first order using this link: Thriftbooks

How many books have you read? What started your reading journey? Let me know in the comments.

Hasta Luego!

P.S. Wish I was paid to write this, but I wasn't. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely mine and they are from experience.


I'm a mom

       I have been a mom of a cat for almost 5 years. He's my absolute treasure, I adore him. His mom was a stray cat that we had been feeding for a few days. We were suspicious she was pregnant because she was all warm and cuddly with us. Turns out we were right, because a few days later she came home with two little kittens. We fed them and they stayed close to home. Sadly, one Valentine's Day night we arrived home and one of the neighbors had run over one of the little kittens. I took him in my arms and cried like you can't imagine. He was still warm but it was too late, we couldn't save him. We buried him in our backyard with a little red ribbon bow tie. Since that night we were worried for the safety of the other kitten and his mom, so we decided to take them inside. Since that day the surviving little kitten has made my room his home. I named him Mota because he looked like a little white fuzz ball when he was little. He has always been the cuddly one out of the two kittens. He loves attention and when he was little he loved playing with people. He has this weird thing he does that he looks into your eyes like he's seeing your soul. Every time people talk badly about cat's behavior I tell them that they haven't met my cat. He has never been aggressive towards anyone, he's the sweetest cat.

Currently I'm working on building him a catio. A catio is basically an enclosed outdoor space for cats. It was made for cats to enjoy the outdoors without any of the dangers they can be exposed to if they are loose. It makes me sad that he has to be all the time inside my room, so I want him to enjoy some time outside. He loves staring out my window and gets excited when he sees a bird. I hope he learns to enjoy the space. I won't leave him out 24/7 because he is accustomed to sleeping with me, so at night I will bring him inside. 

P.S. Adopt animals instead of buying, there are too many animals on the street in need of a loving family. Search your local pet shelter and I promise you that at least one animal will take hold of your heart. Even though you have a perfect image of what animal you want, you may end up falling in love with another one. 



Woahh!! Has there been a lot of rain and sunshine since I last posted. A lot of things have changed. I'm officially in the most difficult part of life: the what-do-I-do-after-college life. Last month I graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. I know it is recent but I'm already feeling the pressure of finding a job. It makes me anxious every time I search online for job opportunities because I can't seem to find anything. Either everything is too damn far or they ask for 5 or so years of experience. I know I can't be too picky when choosing a job because otherwise I won't find anything, but I'm hoping for that "slightly perfect" job to appear. Regardless of the job I may get it will be temporary because honestly I don't see myself working on a pharmaceutical the rest of my life. Working in the pharmaceutical industry is basically the most job opportunities I have here. The interesting jobs like working in the cosmetics or food industries are so rare to find.

Another thing that I don't like about this whole recently-graduated-stage is that the question everyone always asks when they know I'm fresh out of college is "What are your plans? Are you going for the master's degree?". I never know what to answer to this. I would love to get a master's degree but there's nothing available in the area (island overall) that interests me, and I won't get a master's of something I don't particularly love. Later on, I plan on traveling to get another degree, but for now that's on stand by. The only answer I tell people when they make me those questions is: "I'm going to look for work". But the look on their faces makes me think that I'm disappointing them because I'm not getting another degree. I guess they think I'm selling myself short.

The dreams I have require a lot of work and time. Additionally, I know that this will have a lot of trials and errors, but I'm willing to work through it. It may not be the usual road every college graduate takes but I'm making my own path. I hope it works out. Crossing my fingers I can find a job so I can start working closer to my dream.



What's the Meaning of Marriage?

It's been ages since I last wrote here, well not ages, but you know what I mean. Happy 2014 to all my readers out there, may this year bring you good things.

It's 4:38 am right now and I just couldn't sleep. There's something that's been bothering me for awhile. First of all, I consider myself open minded, but no matter how I twist and turn around this I can't seem to find a way to accept it. I know a lot of people would disagree with me on this and will tell me that times have changed but still it isn't enough.

So here is the thing, lately I've been seeing an outbreak on young girls getting pregnant unplanned. Is not even funny anymore that when someone is going to tell me something about somebody I automatically think that she's pregnant. I know it's not my business if they get pregnant, but bare with me and just hear me out. The thing that saddens me is that the old tradition of marriages is fading. Couples are getting pregnant before making their vows. Now hold your thought right there, there is no excuse that having a wedding is expensive because there are ways to make a cheap and beautiful wedding; like: lots of d.i.y, having a small wedding with only the most important people, not spending so much on a dress you are going to use just one night, etc. Babies don't come cheap either. Do you know how expensive diapers can be and considering a baby uses like 4 or more diapers a day approximately? Anyways, for me, marriage means getting to live together, the thrill and scary experience of spending that first night together consuming their love for each other, creating a family and making that promise to stay with each other until death. I mean, how beautiful is that? It saddens me because young people are led by their sexual desires or group pressure. I don't believe the typical story of every girl that's only been in a relationship for a month and already says that he's the love of her life and blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I love my boyfriend with all my heart, but I still don't know if we are going to be together forever. A lot of things can happen in a relationship. You have to be realistic.

So what's the meaning of getting married if you are already pregnant and have lived together? In the end, after you take away all the special meaning it is left with only a "party" and parties can be done anytime.
I'm guessing that sex becomes kind of an addiction because they say that the first month or so of marriage is like being bunnies. So why try one time just to "experiment" if you just can hold yourself for the wedding night? It's easier. It's like drugs, once you've tried it once, you are hooked; or so I've been told. I mean, come on, we are human not animals that can't control themselves. I've heard of the saying "you have to test the waters before jumping in" (I think it's something like that) and I think it's bullshit, because at the end of the day you stay with a person because you love them not because of their "sexual abilities". You can find sex anywhere, but you can't find love that easy.

And ladies, if your boyfriend is pressuring you to have sex with you 99.8% of the time he isn't going to stay in the long run with you. Like we puertorricans say: "solo quiere un canto", that translates to "he just wants a piece of you" and once he got what he wanted he can leave.We women have to learn to respect ourselves so men can respect us. If you want to save yourself for marriage, it's nothing to be ashamed of and you should be proud to be a virgin. It's not a competition or a price, it's your body and you are the only one that makes the decisions. There are more important things than sex. To me, is just not worth it having sex out of marriage when a lot of things can go wrong. And if for some reason your hormones are driving you crazy and you desire to have sex but still wish to save yourself for marriage, avoid being completely alone with him and/or stop yourself, take a step back and say "no". Your hormones will eventually calm down and you can go on with life.

I don't hate kids or anything, I actually like them and in a future would like to have at least two. The things that I want to get across are:
1. Respect: we should respect ourselves by not giving something so precious as our body to someone that you don't know if they would be with you forever
2. Well-being of the baby: ensuring that the baby will have a good life and stable home
I mention the second one because I've seen so many news, programs, and in my surroundings, kids that should be having a better life but aren't because their parents weren't ready to have a baby.

Babies are something that should be planned ahead, because you need to make sure that you can provide them with all the things they need: stable home, love, care, medical, food, clothes, bed, etc. It's a big decision. One of the big things that a couple should analyze is if they are mature enough to raise a child, because when the parents still need some growing up to do and the baby isn't raised right, when he/she gets older he/she will cause problems. It should be parents raising kids not kids raising kids.

I'm getting sleepy and maybe that means I cleared out my head with all of this. I just kinda felt a need to share to the world and see if someone will agree with me on this.

I want to leave a link here on cheap beautiful wedding ideas, if you guys want to check it out -> Intimate Weddings

I want to hear your comments or perspective on marriage, maybe you guys will make me understand this phenomenon better. Don't know, I always think that with communication we can solve things.

On that note, I'm off to sleep. Goodnight readers!
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