Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Value of Beauty ?

We hear this almost every day but what does it really mean in our lives?  What is the standard of beauty that we hold hostage over every girls head?  Reminding them to hate themselves 24 out of 24 hours in a day?  We start young, instilling envy with a recipe found on the cover of every magazine, telling them to be somebody because they simply aren't enough.  Why do some companies have to fight so hard to campaign for real beauty?  I've noticed that it finally took almost 60 years for women to accept being a blond truly isn't more fun nor does it imply stupidity.  They can be a redhead, brunette or have purple, pink or bright green hair and they are still beautiful, with brains to boot.

The lines on your face, the freckles that were sprinkled on your skin through a chef inspired round of DNA or the curves of your skin all encompass beauty and you.  Simply, you.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing in between - no funny business or mess.  These girls, they are dying, their spirits are missing.  Where are the detectives putting out a APB?  Return these girls their sanity, return them their favor, but for God's sake, return them their individuality!  They are cutting pieces of themselves away, with only scars that reveal a treasure map of depression that is induced by standards that are unrealistic or rejection that is unrealistic.  They are starving or over-feeding the monster that lives in the basement and it's growing over powerful to the point it is shaking and destroying their foundation. 

Soulless eyes, dark hearts with sprouts of bleached ambition on top.  I want you to sing with a heart full of gladness, and a mind full of equations.  Always ready for adventure, and ready to change the world.  Progress into the next dimension while you are at it; never stop until you hit the edge then simply keep going.  Remember that you are beauty intensified, you are a delicious morsel waiting to be devoured by life and its riches.  Form your own path because these old roads are leading nowhere fast to the edge of a cliff and dear, I hope you don't fall off.

I love you and YOU should love you! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Bowl ? Hockey? What?

I am not crazy about professional sports but everyone is buzzing about the upcoming Super Bowl.  I honestly have no clue who is playing or where it is being held.  I only remember the NFL being on lock out?  For those who are savvy to everything football, I hope your team wins or you at least have a great party to attend soon with great food.   What does a beauty blog have to do with professional sports?  Crazy. 

I do think it is possible to be a sports fan and still look cute.  I know women who have met their current boyfriends or husbands at sporting events; it's a great meet (or meat) market.  A lot of companies make different style and sized items that will look great on any figure, so don't feel as if you have to wear that over-sized sweatshirt or t-shirt and ratty jeans to the game because that's all you have.  The prices vary but it's reasonable if you are an avid sports fan. 

For those who are hoping to score, remember that less is more.  You do not need to hit the beauty salon for a trip to the game.  I know women who do this.  A simple messy bun with bangs or a side bang works wonders.  Also, go easy on the makeup.  I know women who go to different sporting events in full face makeup.  They're doing this in the midst of summer to baseball games and half way through the game their face looks as if it is melting.  It's not cute, ladies.  Also, nix the heels and don't drink too much (I don't care what you are hiding in your water bottle).  Heels are awesome but sitting for two hours and having to walk half a mile for beer or to the bathroom, it becomes painful and pointless.  Last but not least, remember to wear the brightest attraction; a smile.  It's corny yes but it makes a big difference.  You never know who will receive that smile or where it will lead. 

Remember to have fun and maintain the art and heart of sportsmanship!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Journey to the End of the Tube

"Can you paint my eyes to match my gown?"  Is a line from the movie, "Wizard of Oz."  The scene is when Dorthy and the gang are being given a makeover before seeing the wizard.  The line is sung by Dorthy and gives an implication that this makeover is futuristic where anything can happen.  As we are now aware, you can change the color of your eyes temporarily to various colors with the use of colored contacts.  They operate just like regular contacts and can be purchased online and in some stores.  Another way to give your eyes some magic is by using mascara.  It sounds simple enough but which brand do you choose?  Which works the best?  Why is there clear mascara?

Let's break down the basics:  You are standing in the makeup aisle presented with numerous choices of colors and brands that promise you the moon and it produces some anxiety.  I understand because I've been there and spent a lot of money testing and hoping this new tube would deliver on its promises.  First, you need to decide what kind of eyelashes you have.  Are they thin, short, long, thick?  For every face who chooses to use mascara, make sure your face and eyelashes are clean.  I can not stress this enough.  Do not share any form of makeup products either.  What goes on your face should only go on your face.  You don't want someone elses germs to end up in your eyes, do you?  Right.  Don't share!  I've used eyelash curlers and I have never found they do anything for my lashes.  If they work for you then by all means, keep using them.

Color:  What color are your lashes naturally?  For those with lighter lashes, stick to the light brown or brown option.  Upon application and drying, it will look more natural and less clumpy.  Also, I would suggest using clear mascara as well.  It will give you a similar effect and more natural for those who do not like to wear makeup.  Also, a good choice for sensitive eyes.  For those with darker lashes, you know the drill.  You have the choice of flat black and jet black.  The flat color, depending on the maker, may have some brown in it but if you want the jet black look, look for the option for the darkest black they make.  Products do have color numbers on them too to help guide you in finding exactly what you want.

Product:  Plump, volume, curl, lift - There are many options that these tubes claim to do for you.  The sad truth is that if your lashes aren't already long, adding mascara is not going to lengthen them; even if you are using a product that claims to make them longer.  If you don't use fake lashes, your lashes aren't going to do much with mascara but stand up a bit.  For a longer lash, try using false lashes.  They are inexpensive and found at most stores.  They usually come with the glue too. 

Price:  I can suggest brands that will run you upwards of $35+ a tube and some as cheap as a dollar a tube - Guess which price point works better?  They are the same.  Yes. They are the same.  If you use mascara every day, your tube contents will only last about two weeks before drying out.  If you don't use it as often then it will probably last a month max but that is if you are lucky.  No other brand out preforms another and no other brand outlasts another.  In my experience, I've found that Maybeline is great but due to recent budget changes, I picked up a tube from the dollar store on a whim.  I was shocked that it works just as well and lasts the same amount of time.  With that switch, I saved about $5 a tube.  Crazy, right? 

Keeping Things Clean:  I wanted to add a section about this because I've seen first hand people spitting into a tube or adding tap water in order to resurrect their mascara to save money.  I beg anyone who does that to stop immediately!  There is bacteria in your spit and even tap water that you do not need to expose to your eyes.  Not everyone has the cleanest tap water either.  Remember, mascara sits on your eyelashes and right near your eye opening so  any nasty germ can wiggle its way into your body causing an infection.  Also, if you feel that your brand does last longer than a month, the max you should keep the same tube of mascara is 45 days from when you open it.  Don't think you can save it, just toss it and buy something new.  You will notice after 2-3 weeks the product starts to dry out.  It won't apply easily anymore, and it will clump on your lashes.  Save yourself the grief and end the affair.  Also, keep in mind any allergies you might have to specific products.  

Application:  Your mascara should glide on easily and you should go slow starting on the outside working your way in.  Going slow helps in getting each lash in line and avoids accidentally getting any product in your eye.  I've done that before and it hurts ( a lot ) ! 

All in all, remember to have fun with it and research your options.  Don't get stuck with a brand because you are used to buying it. You may find you like something else better. 

This is what I'm currently using:


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shea the Day Away

Ah, your skin.  The largest organ in your body and probably the most abused and neglected.  From the top of your forehead to the bottom of your feet, each nook and cranny deserves moisture, love and protection.  Scented, shea butter, aloe, organic lotion?  There are so many choices when it comes to products but what really suits your needs?  Walking down the aisle designated toward these products of any store can be a bit daunting and grabbing a bottle solely on price can be problematic as well.  I have spent my fair share of time and money experimenting with products.  Also, when and where to apply for the maxim result.  Hand cream, facial lotion, foot lotion - where do you start?

What does your body need?  How dry does your skin get, if at all?  Not everyone has dry skin all year round.  My skin dries out from around November until it starts to warm up again closer to summer time in June.  I don't use too much, if any lotion in the summer since it's so hot and humid where I am.  I feel like it makes my skin almost slimy.  I also don't like to put on lotion before bedtime any time in the year.  I tend to wake up in the middle of the night overheated.  Weird, right?  Yes, it is best to apply lotion after a shower that way your skin will soak up all the goodness and help stay smooth and healthy.  Who always remembers though or wants to go through the hassle of putting on lotion?  It can be a real pain and then you have to wash it off your hands when you are finished.  I understand the drill; I think we all do. 

If you are using a good body wash, keep up the good work!  What about baby oil, or body oils?  I think they work well but I would recommend using them while taking a bath, not apply to skin after a bath.  The oil can be heavy and when you go out in the cold, it will make you feel colder.  If I do use a bath oil product, I only place a few drops in very warm water, to avoid the residue on the side of the tub once you are finished.  It does work well and leaves my skin feeling soft but since I am an oily creature, I don't do it often.  I always feel like swamp thing an hour later then want to take another shower to clean it off.

Well, which products should I invest in?  Yes, invest is the key word in this sentence.  I do love a good bargain but I would not recommend buying anything too cheap (unless it's on sale).  I don't advocate dollar store brands or any weird knock off, or some store brands actually.  Finding a good lotion means you will have to put on your detectives hat and read the labels.  A lot of cheaper stuff tends to have a lot of water, which will do nothing for your skin.  Try and locate the travel section first because they will have different brands you can test out for around a dollar  before you spend the money on the large bottle.  Different skin types may have allergies to different brands.  I am allergic to most organic products like Aveeno.  I found that out the hard way and never touched the stuff since.  If you are in a finer department store, they will let you try a sample for free.  You can get a good judgement from the free sample too.  For those with stubborn, dry skin, you might find your nirvana in shea butter products.  It is a very intensive moisturizer that sticks around for a while.  It's too heavy for my skin but I highly recommend it if you are looking for something to keep the dry, cracked skin at bay. 

If you like to go the scented route, I'd recommend only using it some of the time, not all of the time.  Your skin is absorbing the fragrance into your body, through your skin, and that can't be a good thing over time.  Keep it light, and keep it fresh.  These bottles do have a shelf life as well.  Some bottles do give you a time frame on the back, usually lasting about 1-2 years max.  If you have anything older than 3 years, toss it.  Like I have mentioned in another entry, I am not a fan of putting food products on your skin.  I prefer to eat an avocado than wear one.  I'll get the health benefits through delicious guacamole instead of a mask.

Also, for anyone out there that is brand loyal to the Avon or Mary-Kay like products; if it works for you then it works for you.  Plain and simple, but if you feel like your skin is lacking, shop around.  Don't give into a sale pitch and price just to save the cash. 

Treat yourself to something new, expand a horizon, ride the lightning.  Humans are creatures of comfort and habit - don't keep doing the old stuff simply because it's what you have always done.  Break the mold by creating a new one for yourself.  Talk to your friends, ask around and get samples.  Remember, you are beautiful and deserve it!