Sunday, December 4, 2016

Natural Oils: These three natural miracle oils will change your life!

Have you ever heard that coconut oil is the cure for everything?  See the memes claiming it will cure your heart break and transform you into Beyonce? Whereas this may be a bit of an exaggeration, these three miracle oils do have the powers to solve a number of basic beauty frustrations.

Coconut oil is extremely moisturizing.  When I first moved to the dry Western dessert from humid South Florida, my body did not hesitate to let me know it was not found of the climate change.  My throat was constantly dry, my knuckles and elbows cracked and peeled, and my lips were constantly chapped.  I bought face lotion, body lotion, and chapstick and drank tons of water trying to nurture my body.  My dry throat took 2-3 weeks to adjust, and over that time the amount of chapstick needed lessened from every 15 minutes, to maybe every couple hours.  My skin continued to chafe, especially my hands and elbows.  My regular moisturizing lotion was not strong enough for these already dry areas.  Here is where the coconut oil came to play, rubbing a small about into the
dry areas, my elbows knuckles and tops of my hands stopped the pain and the excessive cracking.  I started doing this every morning and night.  They stopped hurting and held in the moisture from the natural coconut oil.  Whenever I need a deep condition treatment, when my hair is over tangled from a day outside or feels dry and fragile, I heat coconut oil to a liquid, and apply it to my dampened hair.  Sometimes I leave it overnight, but usually ill just wait til its dried or cover it with a cap and let it sit for a couple hours before rinsing it out.  I’ll wait til the next day to give it a good shampoo and get out any excess oil, and what I’m left with is a softer less frizzy mane. 

Castor Oil: I purchased my first bottle of castor oil from the local farmers market, after a reference from a friend.  I had commented on her eyelashes, asking if she got extensions or a really good mascara, of which she replied neither.  She informed me the trick to her long lashes, was castor oil.  She had googled the trick after ripping out a good amount of her lashes, and having them grown back slowly and stubby.  She said after applying the castor oil every single night while she slept, it caused them to grow quicker, stronger, and longer.  She said everyone was commenting.  I copied her nightly regiment, and now I make sure castor oil is part of regular beauty supply.  It’s been six months since I bought my first bottle, and people constantly comment of the length of my lashes.  Although I’ve never used it for anywhere else, I’ve heard this also works great for hair loss anywhere on the body, including your head.  Filling in bald spots or boosting hard to grow baby hairs.  Castor oil can also assist in removing skin tags when applied regularly, and soothe burns and irritations to the skin.

Tea tree oil has been a long time favorite to skin care.  Tea tree oil kills bacteria, and is great for applying to cuts or burns, poison ivy, cleaning ears, and clearing up acne.  Many at home face mask will mention combining tea tree oil with various ingredients for its attributions to the skin. It has a smell much stronger than either of the other oils carry, almost has a mint flavor to the smell.  People either like it or can’t stand it, but this miracle oil is definitely another natural remedy that its benefits outweigh the con of the smell. Tea tree oil is also good for fighting internal sickness or infection.  For head aches, colds, and sinus frustrations, tea tree oil can be dabbed at points such as your temples to ease head pains, on your throat to relax tounsils, and under your nose to clear up breathing.  It can also be added to a warm cloth or boiling water to create a steam to breath in its 

Coconut oil can be found at most grocery stores, ranging in prices.  Make sure its "organic" or "raw" coconut oil without all the extra additives.  Whole foods has a good selection.  Castor oil and tree oil can sometimes be found in health food stores or all natural markets, but if you are from an area where things like this are more difficult to find they can easily be ordered online.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pamper Yourself! Episode 1: DIY Face Masks

Ladies!  You ever watch those movies or reality shows where a group of girlfriends talk trash and gossip with one another while getting there nails or hair done?  Or how about the couple that goes on a romantic getaway to the spa?  They sip champagne with strawberries before getting massages side by side on the beach to the sounds of the ocean waves and the view of the sun setting into the ocean in a whirlpool of colors.  Ever wished you were rich enough to experience these luxuries?  As luxurious as it sounds to be pampered by 5 star salons and spend $120 a week for perfect skin facials, for most of us this is far from realistic.

BUT, this doesn't mean we can't still pamper ourselves!  We can still have the smooth legs and glowing skin, minus the flight to Bermuda.  Still have glossy nails and silky hair without the credit card debt.  Still have girls night gossip without the salon environment, but in the comfort of home instead.  CLEAN YOUR APARTMENT! Search your closet or take a quick trip to Walmart, then  GATHER THE GIRLS!

Today's post is going to focus on skincare, but I will follow up with more at home routines and spa treatments that I myself use on a regular basis and have found spa worthy.    I am one for experiments, and I know what works.  I spent two years working in a spa with A-grade products and free treatments at least twice a month. Don't get me wrong, thee are definitely some issues worth seeing a professional esthetician or dermatologist for.  But, if you are past puberty and not recovering from a major break-up and ten pints of hagen daaz, these do it yourself at home tricks just might be the secret to your most flawless skin ever.

1) Anytime you perform your own facial at home, no matter if you create your own mask or use a store bought product, the first step is always to start with clean skin.  Therefore, wipe off any make-up, including eye wear so that it does not drip during the process.  Cleanse your skin with your regular face wash/scrub or personally I usually just use an all natural bar soap or African black soap. Exfoliate away any dead skin.  The scrubs exfoliate in themselves but if you are using a cram wash or soap you can use a washcloth a rub in circular motions.  Rinse. Pat Dry.

2) The second step is opening the pores.  Now at the spas they have a professional steamer and if your a normal person this is typically out of the budget.  You can create the same concept at home using your stove top and pot of water.  USE CAUTION during this step!  Fill a pot about halfway with warm water, and place on the stove over med-high heat.  Make sure to keep your eyes closed during this step, or cover with an eye mask or cloth to protect them from the heat.    Once the water begins to create a steam, hold your face directly over the pot, close enough to feel the warmth but at a safe enough distance away from accidentally touching the pot.  Let your face steam about 5-10 minutes, occasionally rotating side to side.  This opens the pores to better remove impurities and let the masks ingredients reach deeper into the skin.

3)  Extractions: removing pimples and blackheads. This step is optional.  If you are not  comfortable removing these yourself or if your skin is very acne prone, leave it to a professional.   Do not use your fingers.  Take 2 swabs of toilet paper or paper towel, sprinkle with alcohol, and gently press against the pimple.  Do not try to squeeze deep bumps, only those showing a black or white head. If it does not easily pop do not force it, leave it alone.

4)  The mask.  You can buy these from any beauty shop pre-made for different purposes, aging, redness, acne, etc. or you can make your own from natural ingredients within your own home.  Theses are my 3 favorite DIY masks.

---TIGHTENING/MOISTURIZING : 1/2 banana (the riper the better) 1 TSP honey, 1 TSP olive oil.  Mash banana and mix in honey and olive oil until you have a smooth consistency.   Apply to face and neck, and allow to dry.  Leave 12-18 minutes based on comfort level.  Rinse.  This mask not only hydrates the skin but contains fats and antioxidants to repair damages skin cells and improve elasticity.

---FOR GLOWING SKIN: 1 egg white, fresh citrus juice ( squeeze 1/2 grapefruit or 1 lemon or 1 lime) 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tsp honey.  Beat egg white.  blend in honey and citrus juice.  Add oatmeal and stir until you have a nice consistency.  Apply to face and neck and let dry 10-15 minutes. Rinse.  Citrus juices naturally brighten the skin while the protein from the egg white aid in fading scars and reducing redness and hyper pigmentation,  Oatmeal exfoliates and moisturizes while the honey adds extra moisture as the citrus can be very drying.

---ACNE: Now for this you can use baking soda or powdered clay.  I like Aztec clay mask but baking soda works just as well.  Mix with equal parts apple cidr vineger.  Apply to face and neck and let sit 10-15 minutes.  Baking soda/ clay dries up excess acne causing oils while fighting bacteria while the apple cider vineger balances ph levels

5)After rinsing off the mask always give your skin a final rinse with cold water, to assist in closing the pores.  Pat dry.  If needed apply an oil free moisturizer.

TIPS:  ALWAYS wash your face before bed.  Let your skin breathe as much as possible and limit makeup wear. When you do wear makeup make sure your foundation and skin products are oil free. Do not wear makeup to the gym, and make sure you shower or wash your face as soon as possible after sweating to avoid clogging pores.  Limit intake of sugars, fried,  and fast foods.  Drink as much water as possible.  Green tea and citrus is also great for healthy skin.  Always apply sunscreen in the summer/strong sun.  Use one of these masks, or your own on a weekly basis.  Good luck! :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

All Burgundy Everything

Burgundy, burgundy, burgundy! Burgundy hair, burgundy nails, burgundy lips!  Burgundy pants, burgundy blouse, burgundy sweater!  Burgundy socks in burgundy boots, burgundy hats to cover non-burgundy roots!  In the last post a briefly went over some of my favorites of fall fashions.  Besides the style of clothing, i also love the colors that come into play.  Summer is all about bright and fun colors to go with beach days, sunny skies, and ice cream cones.  With autumn, the classier, richer, more sophisticated colors step in motion.  Deep shades of greens and blues, neutral browns and nudes, rich shades of reds.. which brings us to my favorite- as if you couldn't have guessed already... BURGUNDY!   I love the color with anything: clothes, hair, makeup.  Sophisticated and flattering.

Burgundy and rich, deeper shades of reds in the hair are not for everyone.  They make a bolder statement, and reds are always a step more courageous than your basic shades of blondes and brunettes.  But in my opinion, the right tone along with the right style, can flatter any skin color and any face.   


There is just something sexy about red nails.  It will never go out of style.  Women young and old swear by it.  Men love it.  That little black dress every girl has hanging in her closet cries for it.  Although, I seem to have a new fondness for pastels, I know as soon as this phase is over I will gravitate back to red.  I always do.  In 2012, I lost count of the number of times I was threatened to be sent home for coming into a professional setting with my neon green or funky fushia and blue patterned nails.  However my manager never did more then threaten and I continued to rebel.  Currently i have a nudish pink on my nails with a sparkly silver accent finger, and I just purchased a new light "mint" green by Essie titaled "zip me up"  I actually didnt purshae this because it was top on my color list, but because it was the only color CVS had in stock in the starter kit for Essie new gel but not gel line of polishes and I wanted to see if it really did survive wear and tea like the reviews said.  I am putting it on tonight and will post a blog on it once I put it through the ultimate test.. surviving through my next three shifts of dishes and countless frozen mudslides and magaritas.  Anyways, back to the topic.. yes burgundy is always a winner for me.  Love a Burgundy nail with some well polished makeup, skinny black pants, and knee high boot.  Also love it with my favorite grey sweats and messy bun.  Deep red for the win.Above is a matte shade of the color. Lower right is a gloss/high shine shade and left is accented which can be fun as well.

Burgundy lips are another favorite.  I went into how stylish a dark lipstick is in my previous post back in March, so I'm not going to get into to much detail repeating myself here. It's still in style for now. But just imagine a deep burgundy lip against your natural skin tone, not flushed from the summer sun, cheeks rosy from the cold, against a beautiful background of trees covered in snow, a winter wonderland.  Yes I would love my own personal model to follow me around everywhere so I can take pictures of the image i have in my head.  But I don't, and most of my friends have real jobs. So bear with me.  Also, I am still looking for that one brand that breaks the hourly touch-up curse.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall Styles: Is it October yet?

August 30th, 10:25 pm.  Exactly 25 hours, and 35 minutes until the first day of September.  As Labor Day weekend draws closer, so comes the end of summer: barbecues, beaches, short shorts and tank tops, tan lines and day drinking.  And so begins the beginning of school semesters, cooling temperatures, pumpkin lattes, and knee high boots.   Fall is my favorite season in the fashion world.  not yet freezing enough to the point of packing on leggings with thick sweats and hoodies under jackets just to keep a bearable body temperature, but just cool enough to coat your legs with a cute pair of tights, a lacy scarf, and a face flattering hat.  I will get more onto each topic in future blogs, but for an overview, I'm going to bring up my three favorite fall accessories.  Boots.  Tights and knee highs.  Hats. Scarves.  Deep Burgundy and Olive.  The list goes on.

YESSSSS!!! You can NEVER go wrong with a good boot.  So stylish.  So flattering to any outfit.  High or low heel, ankle or thigh length: boots rock.  Plus they are so much more comfortable than stilettos and pumps.  I can walk in my favorite pair of high heeled knee length boots all day, while an hour in my pointy toed stilettos will have my feet aching for days.  Heres a few outfits paired with high boots, or check out the ankle boots paired with tights in the photos below.

Hats &  Scarves

How do you make the most simple of outfits POPPIN?  Accessorize.  Fall time?  Perfect.  All you have to do is throw on a cute hat or matching scarf.   10 seconds fix.  Some lipstick would hurt as well.  Lipstick makes everything better.  I always throw a ball cap in a summer to disguise a bad hair day, but beanies are my favorite.  You're expected to wear hats in the cooler seasons.  Its expected.  Saves the extra hour washing drying and styling when you could really use that time sleeping 30 more minutes and stopping to grab a delicious pumpkin latte before work.


Tights & Knee Highs

You cant do this is the summer.  Shorts, tank top, and flip flops?  Boring.  Ok maybe some of the dresses are cute.  But fall is so much more fun.  Take the first outfit for example, She takes a simple outfit, an over-sized sweater and black skirt.  She layers it with polka dot tights, some black knee highs, and a fedora.. and the outfit goes from basic to stylish.The long hair and oversized top give it a hippie vibe.  Tights come in so many fun patterns and designs, and allow you to wear your favorite minis all year long.   Knee highs are also a fun way to add pattern or color to your fall outfit.  Also assist very well in keeping your legs warm.  i love wearing a pair of colored knee highs under my blackboots and over my black tights, with a skirt and cute top.  Also super comfortable alone. with a comfy sweater around the house.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Natural Hair Lighteners; highlights without bleaching?

We all know bleaching has its downsides.  As beautiful as blonde is.  As much fun the light color 
has with impacting our look, the effects our damaging.  Myself, for example, had never bleached my hair,  i always hated my natural reddish brown "auburn" waves.  The color reminded me of puke.  I hated having curly hair.  When I decided to bleach my hair, it didn't come out right.  I went through two process treatments in 72 hours.  My long healthy soft and wavy hair turned to a mess of fried frizz.  But it was blonde. I kept it this way for awhile.  Trying different products to see if anything could tame the frizz, perfect my curls again.  My hair had never been this thin or fallen out this much in my whole life.  Finally I decided nothing was working.  4 months later I went to a hair dresser to blend in my roots balayage style to start growing back my natural color but blend in my roots.  She said how much should I cut?"  "The dead,"  I responded.  When she told me 5 inches I internally died.  "Ok do it" came out of my mouth instead.  Now my hair is shorter then its ever been.  As much as I love being blonde, love the way it feels, love the way the color looks, loves the sexiness it portrays.. I love having long healthy hair more.  And I miss my naturally beautiful wave.  NO  MORE BLEACHING FOR ME!!  BUT.. I would like to know... has anybody tried natural highlighters?  Theres a million out there on the internet.  Lemon juice..baking soda.. peroxide.  I know the sun eventually lightens the hair, but these additives are suppose to help.  Feedback?

From a 90's Baby

My friends always used to tell me "you always look good."  Not that I always really did look good, but I always loved to put my outfits together.  When I was younger, it was sneakers.  I had a whole collection of sneakers, mainly jordans and nikes, with a few Converse, G-unit, Adidas, and Guess thrown in there.  A pair in every color,  to match every outfit.  This was also when bell bottoms, or as we called then "flares" and "bootcuts" were in style.  Hip hugger waistlines.  When you sat down your ass crack would probably show.  Skinny jeans and waistlines that went above the hip bone or anywhere close to the bellybutton is something only our mothers and grandmothers would think about wearing.  How the times have changed.  Recently I went threw my mothers attic.  When I moved I kept 80% of my belongings here, and only took with me what would fit in my trunk at the time.  I laughed at what I found.  Neon colored sneakers. Sneakers with fur inside.  Timberland style high heels.  Extremely chunky wedges. Shorts so short my ass was hanging out from the bottom, and pants so low the crack would hang out the top."Baby doll tops" aka the shirts that make you look pregnant and belly shirts, that even girls with a little extra felt comfortable flaunting .  I would never wear any of these now.  Last year, I took a pair of my mothers high wasted jeans, and cut and sewed them into a cute pair of shorts.  i think she went into shock that i would ever wear something of hers.  Chunky wedges are now replaced with classier and much more delicate strappy and pointy toed stilletos and pumps.  Although I will admit the wedges and chunky heels were much more comfortable.  There is not a single day that I can wear a pointy toed stilletto and not come home with blisters and feet that ache for 2 days.  I can't remember the last time I wore a jean that didn't tightly fit around my ankle.  Now when I pick out shorts, if I shop at the stylish "junior" stores, it always a question of "don't they make anything longer then this?"  "What.. does everyone want their ass to show?"  "Can you see my cellulite?"  I will always prefer sneakers, however the older I get the less I feel like they can go with everyday wear.  If I wear my favorite pair of Jordans with a pair of skinny jeans, I feel like I look like I'm 17 again.  As much as i hate sandals, they look better.  Unfortunately, the climate I currently live in rarely allows boots, besides about 1 month out of the year.  Otherwise this would be my go to shoe.  Fashion is confusing, but interesting.  Everything comes and goes in rotation.  I guarantee in another 10 years, if I save everything from my mothers attic, I'll be the hippest mother on the block.  But more on that later.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dark lips

They say a red lip makes anyone sexier right? Red lips are rocked by all ages, all skin colors, all hair styles.  But what about dark lipstick?  Shades of deep maroon, purple, browns, black even have branched out to more then just the gothic style.  Although a bold statement, and difficult to perfect, a dark lip can be just the right addition to the perfect look.  It stands out, draws attention to other features, and says "yes I'm pretty but I have attitude."

Also, I'm a badass bitch.

 So don't fuck with me.

As much as I love dark lipstick, I have yet to find a brand that I can wear confidently without running to the bathroom ever hour for touch ups.  Even the long lasting stains that last in lighter colors have seemed to not work so well with the darker shades.  Anybody have any recommendations?  Theres nothing worse than applying a perfect shade of dark purple for a night out, then finding after your first margarita that pretty plum has now transformed into a "I'm drunk off red wine" tye-die.