Blunder turned Wonder

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So I have been battling with dry skin for a few months now. Before I just thought it was the typical “dry winter skin” that comes and goes as the weather warms. But because I hadn’t been moisturizing my body properly I was noticing that my skin was lackluster and my feet were on the dry side (yuck!) I’ve always wanted to try Aquaphor as a body moisturizer but was always put off by the $15 price tag at the drugstore, so I went with the drugstore brand. This time, I was determined to get it and heal my skin.

I picked up a jar of moisturizer and completely ignoring the word “ointment” thinking I was about to indulge my skin into a heavy duty cream moisturizer. When I got home I realized I had an ointment that seemed like it would be better for tattoo care. Because I have some rare disease that prevents me from returning products to the store, I slathered it on my damp skin after the shower.

Although I felt a tad greasy after applying, after a week of use I noticed that my skin (feet especially) were softer and had appeared vibrant. I also use a bit on my cuticles to keep hangnails at bay. I am going to continue to use this after showering but I think I’ve found a more effective alternative to lotion! If you do try this, be sure to rub the ointment between your hands for a few seconds to warm the product before applying so that it spreads easier on skin.

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Weekend Reading

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I feel like God made weekends just for me. There’s nothing I love more than having two days to explore the world however I see fit, and sleeping until I naturally wake up! I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend planned. Should you choose to take some of your free time and read, I’ve listed some interesting articles I’ve come across this week. Enjoy!

1. Instagram Etiquette from etiquette expert Diane Gottsman

2. The “Non” Beauty Trend from The Everygirl – a trend that is also the new name for how I look on Sundays. 

3. Teeny Tiny Tattoo Ideas for Ink Virgins from POPSUGAR

4. Beautiful Illustrations of Beauty Products from The Palette

5. Folks in Grills in honor of the birthday of Paul Wall from The Huffington Post

6. What Beauty Looks Like to Blind Women from Refinery 29

7. So-Called Feminine Things Most Women Aren’t Good At from Madame Noire

8. Washing Your Face Without Water for the Nature Conservancy from SELF

9. Five Beauty Products Beyonce Actually Uses from Vogue India

10. A Day in the Life of a Beauty Editor from MiMi Chatter

 

A Complete Guide to Home Hair Styling

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I’m convinced the world is made up of two types of women. Women who have their hair done at a salon, and women who maintain their own hair at home.

Up until my last two years of college, I would go to the hair salon every two weeks with no wiggle room. I was determined to always have my color and relaxer touched up as well as perfectly trimmed ends every six weeks. During my junior year of college I decided to grow out my relaxer and work with my natural hair free of chemical straighteners. Because of this, I didn’t see the need to go to the salon anymore and became my own stylist…. YouTube encouraged me as well!

It has now been 8 years since then and I have been styling my own hair since. Granted, I do wear extensions to protect my hair from the horrible humidity in my area, but when my natural hair is loose, I treat it well and usually wear it in a high bun to reduce heat damage. I use a lot of heat to straighten it as is!

So here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way…enjoy!:

1. Use your shower for steam treating: I once worked a summer job as a receptionist in a hair salon where the owner specialized in scalp health. He would often give his clients deep conditioning treatments using a hooded steamer. He said the steamer helped product penetrate the hair shaft and was 100% more effective then the average plastic cap method. At home, I shampoo my hair and pile on an enormous amount of conditioner before raking through it with a wide tooth comb. I then use duck bill clips to create 6 sections and then take a nice long hot shower. As hot as I can stand it. The steam from the shower gives me the ultimate steam treatment. Once I’m done, I rinse the conditioner with cold water.

2. Invest in quality styling tools: Although I do a decent job of styling my hair at home I have to keep in mind that I am not a professional stylist. I don’t always know how much heat my hair can take without being damaged and I don’t fully understand the science of hair. Because of this, I don’t want to use any heat styling tools that don’t put the health of my hair first. When purchasing a flat iron or blow dryer, consult with a professional about which are the best for your hair type whether it be ceramic or a blow dryer that doesn’t go above 100 degrees.

3. Experiment with products: If you have the luxury of trying different shampoos, conditioners and treatments..do so! At salons, you may find that your stylist is loyal particular brands and will not stray far from them. This means you could be missing out on other products that will work wonders for your hair! Last month I discovered the Kim Kimble Conditioning Masque at Target that changed my life forever. I’m sure I wouldn’t have found that in a salon!

4. Use scissors wisely: Now this is a subject that I am on the fence about. While I know some women that are able to cut their own hair flawlessly, I’m willing to bet they’re as rare as a blue diamond. If you are self trimming, slide your fingers down small sections of your hair until you spot the split ends and trim below your fingers, not above. This will prevent you from chopping off too much hair. Same goes for cutting bangs although I’ve botched my own bang job so many times, I wouldn’t dare try it again!

5. Maintain clean tools: If you’re at home you don’t run the risk of a health inspector popping in to grade you. This doesn’t mean you should skimp when it comes to maintaining clean tools. Clean all hair out of brushes and combs as soon as you’re done and wipe all hot tools once they’ve cooled to prevent product buildup. Dirty tools can put dandruff and dirt back into clean, styled hair..ew!

 

#empties

IMG_0865 Although I’m two posts in, you’ll see that this blog will have a lot of product reviews and product suggestions to come. I’m always trying new product because I belong to a few monthly beauty box clubs and I also can’t go a week without giving in to impulse beauty purchases. Because this blog is authentic to me, I must highlight products that I actually refill because those products in my opinion, are some of the most important. This morning I collected some of my empty containers from this month that I will replenish this weekend. 1. NYX Pore Filler – The apples of my cheeks are my huge pore zones. Although I use a toner daily and I exfoliate every other day religiously I still suffer from pores that have endured too much wear and tear. Because of this, I need a little help after I moisturize to achieve a smooth look. This pore filler is not only affordable, but works! A little goes such a long way. I use a dime size amount and really work it into my pores when I want a full coverage look. 2. Bare Minerals Buxom Lash Mascara – I’ve used this so much the label came off! This mascara was a gift, and it was love at first stroke. The brush is very prickly and separated my lashes extremely well. I would definitely recommend this mascara if you have naturally short lashes because when pulled from the base of the lash, it moves easily between lashes. 3. La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream – A few months ago, I splurged and purchased a large jar of La Mer finishing powder and I was given a ton of skincare samples to try. This soft cream sat for a while because I have so many moisturizers that they all started to seem the same. This one was NOT! If felt so good on my skin, I wanted to continue rubbing it in just to feel how soft it made my skin feel. It’s non greasy and gave me a glow in the morning. [NOTE: The price of this stuff is outrageous, so my plan is to purchase something a bit more low key to get more samples of it!] 4. CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream – My staple. I wear this every day. I use it as a day moisturizer because it provides a nice tint and SPF protection. I’ll even put some on to go to the gym! I can say if I am not putting any foundation over it, I do mix it with a slightly darker concealer to achieve my skin color. It’s a bit light, but amazing nonetheless!

Punchy Lips

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When it comes to lip color, I’m not married to any one shade. I go through phases and seasons with my lipsticks, but I always seem to gravitate toward my citrus/punchy shades when the weather gets warm. I discovered this shade by buying “Lady Danger” Lipstick from a MAC counter randomly, and when I tried it for the first time with a LBD, I HATED it.

I tried the color again when going to a spring picnic last year, and this time I was dressed more casually, and wearing gray from head to toe and using the lip as my one pop of color. This time, I was in love with the shade and realized that it may be more fit for bringing life to a casual look.

I decided to try my hand a third time and wear it to work. I can see myself experimenting with it all summer long. I found 6 beautiful shades that work for any budget. Try one and let me know what you think!

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1. Wet and Wild Mega Shield Lip Color SPF 15 in Salsa Lessons

2. NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Haute Melon

3. Revlon Moon Drops Creme Lipstick in Orange Flip

4. MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger

5. Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Juicy Melons

6. Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact in Gipsy

Don’t forget to line your lips! This color should work well with all shades in the orange/red family. [center]

7.  Make Up Forever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil in Orange Red