Remedies to the Rescue!

Journal Stories: Secrets of a bored girl
Entry #8
Food Remedies

The first entry in the Flowers Journal is called “Remedies to the Rescue,” but I haven’t got the slightest idea where it came from… probably Yoga Journal or Women’s Health Magazine.

“Remedies to the Rescue” has natural healing remedies for things like sensitive, dry skin and damaged hair. These remedies are not meant for health healing, but for beauty healing. Sometimes, you have to use an au natural remedy in order to get the fix you want.

Oatmeal: for calm, soft skin

Oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that create a thin, moisturizing film of the surface of the skin. Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and secure it with a rubber band (hair ties also work). Place it in a sink-full of warm water and squeeze the bag four to five times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and air dry.

Eating oatmeal? Also good for your skin! (And the rest of  you.)

Walnuts: for exfoliating hands and feet

Blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil and one tablespoon of honey in a food processor set on a slow speed to create a fine particle scrub. Work over hands and feet and rinse with warm water.

Since I’m a poor grad student, I refused to grind expensive walnuts and rub them on my feet. If you have the extra cash, I hear this is more relaxing than one of those Pedi Scrapers.

Avocado Oil: for repair to dry, sensitive skin

Avocado oil’s abundant fatty acids help balance skin’s moisture levels, and vitamins A, C and E protect skin from further damage. Prevention is key! Combine equal parts avocado and evening primrose oils in a bottle and shake to blend. Massage five to six drops into clean skin, and then cover your face (or the area you treated) with a clean, warm wet cloth to help the oils sink in.

Eggs: for strengthening damaged hair

High protein count helps improves hair’s resilience and luster. Whisk one egg, two tablespoons coconut oil and two tablespoons sesame oil together. Apply mixture to dry hair and wrap with a hot, moist towel. Relax for 5-10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in shampoo, rinse and condition your hair.

It is never good to leave the eggs in… You might scramble on a hot day. And it’s been hot in Kansas.

Oranges: for sloughing dry skin off heels, knees and elbows

Fruit acids loosen dead cells. Halve a fresh orange and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil, and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Rub exposed orange half over dry, rough patches on skin, and then rub in the sugar mix. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Remedies like this often ask you to pat or air dry, and that is because it is bad for your skin and hair to be rubbed vigorously with a dry towel. Don’t do that. It’s no good.

Milk: for soothing and softening skin

Lactic acid is a gentle skin exfoliant, and natural fats act as a body moisturizer. Add one gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak.

This may be a little expensive. I know I don’t like spending money on a half-gallon, but if you think about it… How expensive are those bath salts and creams you can only use once anyway?

Apple-Cider Vinegar: for fighting breakouts

A cure! High acid content makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria. Place a handful of parsley into a French press and cover it with 1/2 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, and then plunge and let liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of apple-cider vinegar and four drops of tea tree oil (this stuff rocks). Shake well and spritz on a freshly cleaned face. Store in fridge.

I have to do this soon. My hormonal breakouts are making my face look like I’m 14 again. Gross.

Beer: for plumping flat, dull hair

YES! Everybody loves beer. Yeast and hops help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle (I think it does the same for your waistline), adding volume. The acidity of the beer helps remove built up product residue, which is what weighs your hair down. After you shampoo, pour a bottle of beer over your hair (it’s best if it’s cold –sorry). Rinse briefly with fresh water. A rich beer high in yeast and calories works best. None of that light stuff.

Stop using chemicals! Use food! Plus, after you scrubbed away with oatmeal, you can use the rest to make breakfast!

Happy Wednesday!

It’s been awhile…

For a beauty blog! I yap too much about diet and exercise that I forget that feeling pretty is most of the equation for women. (And when was the last time I put together a journal blog? Awhile…)

Journal Stories: Secrets of a bored girl
Entry # 7
Look 10 Years Younger

Do you ever feel like you look old, tired and worn out? Or are you just looking older than you want to look? Your face, skin and hair are not quite as young as they used to be, and it’s depressing.

While I am not at an age where my skin and hair are wrinkling and thinning (I still have zit farms cropping up on my forehead), I know many women who would rather look about 10 years younger.

Thanks to my inability to do useful things throughout the day, I found an article to help women look 10 years younger (piece by piece) in just 10 minutes and felt the need to share.

Eyebrows: All hair thins with age, and that includes your eyebrows. The brow itself may also sit lower on your face –making you look tired –because of the loss of collagen and elastin, which causes sagging.

Upper lids: Decreased circulation and loss of elasticity causes your eyes to be puffy long after you’ve woken up.

Under eyes: Dark circles get darker with time. Thinning skin and missing fat pads (which sit below the eyes) are to blame.

Lashes: Become thinner, too. Sorry girls!

Skin: Wrinkles, dry skin and sun exposure leave you with dead skin cells and duller, rougher texture.

Lips: Lips lose definition due to sun damage and loss of elasticity. Some women develop vertical lines around their mouths, which I have always called the parentheses, and, yes, I have them.

Jaw and neck: Gravity plus the loss of collagen and elastin contribute to the epic loss of definition along the contours of the face. (I highly doubt that chin exerciser works.)

That is not the only news! Of course not!

Now, I, and LHJ, will tell you how to look 10 years younger in what they claim will only take 10 minutes. (I’d set aside a half hour just in case.)

For your facial skin…

  • Primer – Mature skin doesn’t hold on to color long, making primer an essential makeup step. The newest formulas create a smooth surface and have light-reflecting particles. Spread it all over your face and let it set for maximum effectiveness.
  • Light foundation – Heavy makeup will only make deeper the lines and wrinkles you want to hide. Instead, use a synthetic-bristle brush to concentrate coverage around key areas, such as on your nose, forehead and chin. This will give you a natural look.

For your eyes…

  • Concealer – Apply from the inner corner to mid-pupil to brighten up the eyes like nothing else. Start with three dots right near your tear duct and blend with your rig finger or a brush. Do not layer concealer over the lines near the corners of your eyes.
  • Eyeliner – Line your upper lash line with a richly colored liner, but not black, which is too harsh; and don’t line the lower lash line, which will make you look tired.
  • Eye shadow – Light-colored shadows attract light and dark-colored shadows absorb light. For example, pink or beige shadows on the lids direct attention to and brighten the eyes. Following with a brown or gray along the crease will firm up a saggy lid.
  • Defined brows – A well-groomed brow is essential. Fill in gaps with feathery strokes with a pencil one shade lighter than your brow. And, to lift the eyes, define along the top part of the brow, starting a bit in from the inner edge and concentrating on the peak.

For your cheeks and jaw…

  • Cream blush – Step One: Start with a cream blush in a shade that matches your skin’s natural flush; a creamy texture is ideal for older, drier skin. Blend it with your fingers, keeping the color just on the apples of the cheeks.
  • Powder blush – Step Two: Go for a shade that is brighter than you usually wear for that extra pop of color that mature skin needs. Dust it over the cream blush to make the look last for hours.
  • Darker foundation – Take a darker foundation or powder and rub it along your neck and right underneath your jaw. The goal is to have the color emulate the natural shadow that’s already there.

For your lips…

  • Lip liner – As the lip liner becomes less defined and tiny lines start to appear, lip liner can redefine the edges. To avoid the ugly ring look, use a lip pencil in a sheer gloss texture.
  • Lipstick – (Completely unnecessary. Sorry.) Brighter shades like cranberry and cherry complement fading skin tones. Go for the sheerest texture you can find and dab it on with your finger for a pouty look.

Maybe the makeup routine really only takes 10 minutes… but I would have to redo the lips at least four times because I hate lipstick so much… so I would set aside an extra 10 just for them.

Go luck girls! Women… Ladies… I don’t know. Just get your young on.

Bridal Week: Brows that Wow!

…sorry… I got busy cleaning… and studying… and cleaning… Here’s the article’s information, though, today on how to sculpt perfect eyebrows for your wedding day. (Again, I don’t think I plucked anything… :)

You’ve really got two choices when it comes to eyebrow-grooming: waxing or tweezing. (We won’t get into threading because you’re still yanking hair out and that’s just like tweezing.)

Below are a few tips for getting that perfect arch!

Tweeze Whiz
You need the right tool, one that grabs hair securely.

Before tweezing, apply some ice to the brow to numb nerve-endings and nix pain. (All this did for me was make my face cold…)

To determine where to tweeze, use an eyebrow pencil to fill in the shape you want and tweeze anything outside the lines.

If you’re unsure of where brows should begin and end, hold an eyeliner pencil straight along the side of your nose and tweeze any hairs that extend inward between the brows. Next, angle the pencil outward from the bottom of your nose toward the outside corner of your eyes and tweeze any hairs that extend outward toward your ear.

Remember to tweeze stray hairs creeping up your forehead and down toward you eye lids. Form the arch to peak over the outside corner of the iris, not the pupil… you’ll look really asymmetrical and bizarre.

Match Game
Now that you’ve cleaned up your brows, make them match (ish). Start with the arch: adjust by tweezing out unwanted hairs and filling in gaps with a pencil or powder. If you have a round face, you can add angularity with sharply-arched, defined brows. If your face is more angular, go for a soft, less dramatic arch. Remember to go slowly, or you might risk overtweezing.

Hue Review
Color is critical when using artificial eyebrow enhancers. Your brows should match the color of hair on your head. Brows should not be darker (unless your brunette went platinum) than the darkest shade of hair on your head.

Sorry about the delay. I meant to get to blogging yesterday, but a messy house mixed with school stress really turned me off to doing anything near a computer screen.

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: Eye Do’s and Don’t’s

Bridal Week: Your Wedding Day Beauty Kit

Emergencies and crises occur every day. Chances are, one of them will happen on your wedding day. Instead of panicking last minute as you watch your entire world fall apart, plan ahead.

We will just discuss my Evil Journal entry on beauty and what you should pack for the day of your wedding.

Wedding Day Beauty Kit

Note: Do not try to redo or overhaul your makeup between the ceremony and reception. If you have to touch up, go ahead, but changing your face will do you no good.

Find a midsized makeup or beauty bag and pack as many of the following items as you deem necessary. Dispatch one of your bridesmaids to the pharmacy a few days in advance to find travel-size products of as many of the items you might need. As for makeup, do not waver from the products you use on the big day.

  • tissues, cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • bobby pins (for more than just hair ladies…)
  • breath mints
  • concealer/coverup
  • dental floss (You have cake in your teeth!)
  • deodorant (Pack some for your man, too.)
  • eye drops
  • hair brush/comb
  • hair spray… lots and lots of hair spray
  • hand cream
  • lip gloss or balm
  • lip liner
  • lip stick
  • mascara (waterproof is usually necessary for this kind of event)
  • nail polish
  • perfume
  • toothbrush and toothpaste

This is NOT an exhaustive list.

During the day of my wedding, we got copious amounts of double-sided tape, lotion, Velcro stickies and many other things for just-in-case-ies.

Liquor and shot glasses might also be necessary! :)

Good luck ladies! Planning ahead is the best idea for any crisis-ready event, especially a wedding.

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: Brows that WOW!

Bridal Week: Countdown

When should you begin a beautifying routine? What else should be included? Evil Journal had a brilliant entry from before my wedding…

5 to 6 Months Before…

  • Begin a stress-relief regimen; and reserve one night a week for some non-wedding fun or quiet time.
  • Start experimenting with different hair (styles, colors, cuts, etc.) now. (I cut my hair around this time and really enjoyed the length it grew out to.)
  • Start a good cleansing and moisturizing regimen and consider consulting a dermatologist or making appointments for monthly facials.
  • If you don’t already, start exercising. You’ll look great, feel better and be less stressed out.
  • If you want to lose weight, consult your doctor or nutritionist to develop a nutrition and fitness plan. Set a weight loss goal and meet it before dress fittings begin. Once fittings are underway, you’ll need to stay the same size. (Or reconsider weight loss. Your guy thinks you look fab. Remember, my dress couldn’t be altered – I didn’t lose any weight for my wedding and still felt fabulous.)
  • Start paying attention to your nutrition. Bad food habits and too much caffeine mixed with wedding stress can transform you into “Bridezilla.” (Honestly, I think a number of things can turn you into a Bridezilla and coffee is not one of those things…)

3 to 4 Months Before…

  • If you don’t plan on using your regular hairdresser, make consultation appointments with potential candidates. Bring along pictures of styles you like, even a picture of your veil and headpiece. If you want to wear an up-do, discuss how long it will take to grow out your hair so it’s the proper length. (I had my friend -who is a fashionista! -do my hair and make-up in my mother’s bathroom. Cheap and awesome!”

    skinnyshae wedding hairstyle long curls and makeup
    She did a fantastic job!
  • Make consultation appointments with potential makeup artists. Be sure to take pictures and analyze them. Do your features stand out? Do you look like you’re wearing a mask?
  • Decide on a makeup artist and hairdresser and book them for the day of your wedding. Set a wedding day schedule at this point as well, including the hair and makeup times.
  • Now is the time to experiment with self-tanners. Consider the neckline of your gown and whether you have existing tan lines you’ll need to cover. (I went pasty as an uncooked pancake -never heard that one before have you? -my skin was no wear near tan. And I don’t believe in fake-bakers.)

1 to 2 Months Before…

  • Meet with your makeup artist for a trail run. If you don’t hire a pro, like I didn’t, then go get a makeover at a department store and buy anything you might need.
  • Bring your veil to your hairstylist for a trial style.
  • Now is the time to have you eyebrows professionally shaped. (I don’t actually know if I plucked my eyebrows…)

 

Those are my eyebrows the night before, and I have no recollection of plucking them... Also the white stuff is pimple cream.

 

  • Use an at-home face mask or get a facial. Don’t risk an allergic reaction any close to the wedding day.
  • Cut down on tea, coffee and red wine. Try a teeth-whitening system.

2 Weeks Before…

  • Get your final trim -just split ends -and stick with the look you love.
  • Remember to eat right: fruits, vegetables and fiber! No salt. No fat.
  • Exfoliate and moisturize. Soft and silky elbows, hands and feet are musts.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated (body, skin, hair, etc.).
  • Keep up the exercise!
  • Touch up hair color.
  • Confirm all your big day beauty appointments, as well as all of those annoying things we have to do that day…
  • Remind your man to get his final trim, too… They’re so messy.

1 Week Before…

  • Avoid overindulging in salty snacks and alcohol.
  • Get a bikini wax (OUCH!), a final eyebrow shaping and shave your legs.
  • Get a massage -from a professional or from your fiancee. You deserve it.

1 Day Before…

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Pack your emergency beauty kit. (For tomorrow!)
  • Deep condition your hair.
  • Exfoliate your skin with a familiar product.
  • Have a professional pedicure and manicure.
  • Take a long relaxing bath. You definitely deserve this.

Day of…

  • Be sure to eat something. This is not a day to operate on an empty stomach.
  • Get your hair or makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt, a color that matches your gown to get the makeup right.
  • Take a few minutes to reflect on the day before giving yourself one last look over. And remember… you’re beautiful. Get going!

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: Your Wedding Day Toolkit

Bridal Week: The 411 on Facials

Every bride wants her face to be as beautiful and radiant as her dress. In my Evil Journal, I have an entry dedicated to facials to give you the skin you want to see in your wedding photos.

The 411 on Facials

Step 1: Consultation and Cleansing

Facialists will study your skin under a bright light with a magnifying glass and ask you questions about diet, exercise, skin problems and care and sun exposure. (Thankfully no one on your wedding day will be there with a magnifying glass…)

Then, she’ll identify problem areas, such as dryness, blackheads, clogged pores, etc. Next, she’ll cleanse your face with a mild cleanser, removing any grime and makeup. (Help her out by not putting any on that day.) Then, she will exfoliate your face, either with a scrub or an AHA product or both. The alpha-hydroxy-acid has a higher percentage of acid than similar AHA products you buy in the store. It should hurt, but you’ll feel some tingling.

Step 2: Steaming and Extraction

A steamer blows gust of steam at your face, softening skin, opening pores and preparing for extraction (the deep poor cleaning process). The process can take 10 to 20 minutes. The facialist wraps her fingers in tissues or rubber gloves and squeezes your imperfections. Yes. She does the exact same thing you do in your bathroom mirror…

Step 3: Fun Stuff!

After cleaning things up with a toner made for your skin type, the facialist will apply a treatment mask to close pores, tighten the skin and get rid of any extraction leftovers (gross).

For dry skin, a rehydrating ginseng mask will be used. For oily skin, a detoxifying seaweed and aloe vera wrap will be used. When all the gunk comes off, your face should be smooth and pink. Expect your facialist to apply an SPF 15 because your face will be very sensitive, especially to the harmful sun.

The whole process can cost $50 to $250 depending on what you have done and where.

While we’ll discuss the Bridal Beauty Countdown later in the week, we’re going to focus on when you should be getting facials… and when you should not.

One week before the wedding you are allowed your final facial. Do not have one the day before or the day of because your skin will 1) react badly to makeup and 2) look funny. As with any skin treatment, you have to give it time to settle before messing with foundations and creams.

If you’ve got problem skin and can’t afford a facial, keep in mind that proper washing with a mild, oil-free soap to keep pores clean (twice a day) and exfoliation with a gentle scrub (every other day to twice a week – it can be damaging to sensitive skin) will give you close to the same professional results. If you have oily skin, use a toner or apply witchhazel to problem area (T-Zone) and apply an oil-absorbing clay mask once a week. Pat a light moisturizer on dry areas and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (you skin drinks water, too).

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: Countdown

Valentines Day and Bridal Week

In honor of the day of love and in honor of my many friends who are preparing for their weddings, I have decided to dedicate today’s post and the rest of the week to brides-to-be!

Before I was getting married, I did a lot of research on what to do with my body, hair and makeup, as well as fitness and diet plans for being the most beautiful bride ever.

I think I pulled it off…

 

skinnyshae marriage wedding dress bouquet
Sorry boys, I'm taken!

 

While I didn’t take some of my own advice (I bought my dress on the cheap, and it couldn’t be altered meaning I couldn’t lose any weight or it wouldn’t fit), I think it is still relevant to future brides.

To begin…

Head to Toe: Prep Guide
Hair
Start repairing hair from the inside out. A diet filled with vitamin B helps bring out hair’s natural shine; eat foods like fish, nuts and eggs. On the outside, a scalp massage and deep conditioning treatment (four weeks before the wedding) stimulates follicles and adds body. There is NO way to repair damaged ends. Once your hair breaks, it’s time for a trim! (which will also add to shine)

Face
Start seeing a dermatologist six weeks before the wedding – your skin will need to adjust to a new regimen and your body to new medications (if needed). If you want to bring life to a dull complexion, an aesthetician at your local spa can provide a series of facials to clear blackheads, slough off dead cells and improve circulation. Start these facials six months before the wedding and don’t dare get one 10 days before or after.

The real secret to great skin: Water. Drink tons of H2O before and on your wedding day to make your face dewy and radiant.

Eyes
Since the skin around the eyes is sensitive, be gentle. Take off makeup with a water-soluble remover and don’t scrub or scratch. Pat dry; don’t rub. A nightly application of eye cream with adequate sleep will improve the appearance of dark circles, and a cold compress once or twice a week keeps puffiness at bay. During the days before the wedding, steer clear of salty foods, which can make the eyes look bloated.

Lips
A vitamin E stick (totally bought one) can combat cracks and creases causes by weather and biting. Also, exfoliate lips once a week to clear away dead skin. Wet a toothbrush with warm water and brush lips gently. (I’m still not sure if this totally works…) Protect with sunscreen because the sun can leave lips feeling and looking parched.

Neck and Decollete
This skin is thinner with less oil glands, and it requires special care to keep it smooth and supple. Exfoliate with a gentle face scrub every other day, apply a light moisturizer daily and use sunscreen. (I started using deep wrinkle cream on my neck and chest creases – cause by excessive amounts of side-sleeping – and it really worked.)

Body
A daily multivitamin can work wonders on a range of ills. Also, they up your energy levels. On the outside, exfoliate because it makes you feel softer and look more toned. Use a loofah or gentle body scrub.

Legs
Shave only after you’ve softened your skin with warm (not hot, which dries) water and using a moisturizing shower cream. Apply a rich moisturizer while legs are still damp to keep them smooth post-shower.

Feet
Good foot care starts with a little tough love! Scrub with a pumice stone daily to get rid of dry, cracked skin on heels and toes. Feet should be damp, not wet. Slather on a thick moisturizer and slip on cotton socks before bed, which will retain body heat and seal in moisture overnight.

We will go into more detail in posts to come. However, now, I want to wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day! Husband and I don’t really celebrate; we don’t need a special day to love each other when we love each other every day (plus we just had Christmas, our anniversary and my birthday in the time span of about three months and that’s a lot of celebrating).

One of my sweet coworkers Ashley – not Ashley R., but a different one (I know so many) – brought me a flower and box of chocolates today to celebrate our friendship. She really is a great friend.

Instead of being sullen on Valentine’s Day this year, go find someone you love and give them a hug. Who ever said the day of love was only dedicated to romantic love? Well, if they did, they’re wrong!

I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day with buckets of hugs from me! Unless you’re a creeper, and, if so, you get no hug! :)

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: The 411 on Facials