The Pampered Posts (Blog)
Get information from a beauty industry pro about the health and beauty of your nails, skin, and hair as well as money saving home remedies and some of the best keep insider secrets! You can even have your own beauty questions answered!
|Posted on November 22, 2016 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
Happy Shopping Season everyone! In honor Black Friday, Shmall Business Saturday and Cyber Monday coming up. I wanted to give you some inside secrets about some of my Indulgence products that have more than one use.
Over the years (6 since I started the line), I’ve found, mostly by accident, that some of my products have multiple benefits, so check out this list below and see if your favorite Indulgence Product has a hidden talent…
1. Aloe and Green Tea Moisture Serum - This is by far the most versatile product in the Indulgence line. The product is meant to be an oil free facial moisturizer, but it also doubles as a Make-up Primer AND can be used as a make-up setting spray, due to the glycerin in this product. If you look at the ingredients in your own primers and make-up setting sprays, you’ll find that they’re basically just water, glycerin, and a some chemicals to preserve the product and make it smell good, but the active ingredient is glycerin. Glycerine is a humectant, which means it pulls moisture from the air, re-hydrating your skin constantly, which keeps make-up look fresh by avoiding creasing and keeping skin from looking blotchy or uneven. In addition, this product contains quite a bit of Aloe, which helps to moisturize skin as well as plump fine lines and promote cell renewal. For skincare, promoting cell renewal means keeping skin fresh and healthy, but it also makes this product very helpful in speeding up the healing process of scrapes, cuts and especially burns.
2. Whipped Body Frosting - Whipped Body Frosting is a whipped body butter that deeply moisturizes skin, but as I found out one morning about 3 years ago, when I ran out of texture cream, it also helps to define curls without making hair feel crunchy. I honestly only put it in my hair because I was desperate, and it was about the same consistency as my texture cream and it just so happened to be on my night stand at the time, and BOY was I surprised when I actually liked the results! Not to mention that my hair smelled amazing and was SUPER soft. Since it works so well as a leave-in product, I decided to try it as a moisture mask, but applying the product to my hair, wrapping it in plastic and heating it (either with the hair dryer or out in the sun during the summer months), and my hair has never been healthier or shinier.
3. Body Scrubs - Our body scrubs are great for exfoliating and moisturizing skin anywhere on your body, but they also make a GREAT substitute for shaving cream. Just apply the scrub to your legs in the shower, rub until the sugar dissolves, and then shave off the oil. It creates great "slip" and gives you a closer shave, because you're removing any dead skin buildup before shaving.
4. Dirty Work Charcoal Mask - This mask is mainly intended to remove blackheads, but it also works wonders as a drawing salve. Put it on pimples, boils, or splinters to draw them out.
5. "Made in the Shea" Sunblock - Of course this sunblock works to protect you from UV rays, but the Zinc Oxide in this product will also help to clear up skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. I actually discovered this when a friend of mine told be that it had cleared up her daughter’s Eczema. Once she told me, I had to do some addtional research on the ingredients and a link to eczema relief and learned that it was the zinc oxide. Apparently almost all antihistamine creams contain zinc oxide. That is why they’re all so white.
Now that you know about these multi-talented products, I hope you’ll shop SMALL on Saturday November 26th, and take advantage of my Small Business Saturday Sales!
|Posted on October 7, 2016 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
Ok friends, I’m writing a blog on Detoxing from commercial deodorants for a few reasons. First, because I have introduced 2 new Deodorant Products to my Bath and Body Line, but the MAIN reason is because most commercial deodorants are full of chemicals and toxins. Even worse, most commercial deodorants are also antiperspirants, which are even worse! I mean think about it… anything you can rub on your skin that is going to stop one of your body’s main functions, has got to have some seriously nasty ingredients in it, right?
Antiperspirants use Aluminum Compounds to literally plug up your sweat glands. I know what your thinking: Aluminum, that’s natural, it can’t be that bad. Your right, Aluminum is a naturally occurring substance. So is arsenic, and that shit will kill you lickity-split.
Natural does not always mean healthy. That’s why you don’t let your kids eat berries off of random bushes in the backyard. They might be mulberries, but they also might be nightlock (yes, that IS a Hunger Games Reference). The bottom line is, some things that seem harmless can be quite poisonous to us.
There have been studies linking Aluminum and it’s compounds, specifically aluminum in antiperspirants, to Breast Cancer. The idea is that the antiperspirant is applied to the under arm, the aluminum is absorbed by the skin, penetrating not only into the bloodstream, as all things that you apply to your skin will, but also into the sweat glands. We KNOW that it does this, because it works. It stops or at least slows our sweat production. Once it’s in those glands, the aluminum can alter your DNA, and interfere with estrogen production, which is the main hormone associated with breast cancer. This idea is supported by the fact a majority of breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, closest to those aluminum filled sweat glands. There is not enough research out there to prove whether or not this theory is absolutely true, but it makes sense to me. I’m no doctor, but I do have a bit of anatomy knowledge, from both my education and personal research, and it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
In addition to it’s link to Breast Cancer. Aluminum and it’s compounds are also linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Studies show that Alzheimer’s patients have a higher concentration of aluminum in their brain than those without the disease. Did that aluminum come from their Deodorant? Maybe… I have no way of knowing for sure. What I do know, is that the human body does not produce Aluminum, so if it’s in there, it had to have come from somewhere. It has also been found, by renal specialists, that dialysis patients with high levels of aluminum in the bloodstream were more likely to develop dementia. Since those suffering from Kidney failure are not able to remove the aluminum from their bloodstream fast enough, they are prescribed a medication to help control these levels. Antiperspirant labels are required by the FDA to have a warning for Patients with Kidney Disease because of this. Just as with the breast cancer evidence, there is not enough research or evidence to say that Aluminum causes or even contributes to these diseases, but there is enough evidence supporting the possibility, that I’m not willing to take a chance. Especially, when there are perfectly good alternatives readily available.
So, you might be saying OK, I shouldn’t use antiperspirants, but what’s wrong with just a regular deodorant? I challenge you to find a deodorant on the shelf of your local Wal-mart that is not also an antiperspirant. It’s not an easy task. Even if you DO manage to find one, there are likely some problematic ingredients in those as well. Most are just possible skin irritants, but a few can be pretty nasty. For example several carcinogens are popular deodorant ingredients. As a matter of fact, I’m going to list the ingredients you should stay away from below, just so you know what you’re dealing with:
Known carcinogens in your deodorant:
Suspected Carcinogens in your deodorant:
Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex
Skin Irritants in your Deodorant:
So, now that I’ve convinced you that you have Alzheimers and Breast Cancer, because you’ve been using deodorant since you were 9, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about natural deodorants. There are 2 basic types of natural deodorants.
Probiotic Deodorants, which use “good” bacteria to neutralize the “bad” odor causing bacteria on your skin, much like they do in your digestive system. These are usually longer lasting products, and cause little to no skin irritation. Some are boosted with essential oils for scent. While, Probiotic deodorants work perfectly well, and are honestly the best option IMHO, I understand that this may be a little to “crunchy” for some people. Have no fear, there is another option!
Anti-Bacterial Deodorants. These use mostly essential oils to kill bacteria on the skin. These work by creating an environment in which bacteria cannot survive. They will kill the good and bad bacteria on your skin. These also tend to be difficult for people with sensitive skin, as the essential oils can be irritating, but if you do not have a problem with EO’s this will be a perfectly good option for you.
Both types of deodorants will likely also include some kind of wax (helps to make the bar more solid), a butter and/or hard oil (as the creamy base for the bar), and some moisture absorbing ingredients like Arrowroot powder, Baking soda (can irritate skin), clays, and/or zinc oxide. Additional ingredients may include colorants, essential oils or scented oils for fragrance, vitamin E oil or other natural boosters. (If your deodorant is a lotion instead of a solid bar, there is likely no wax and additional softer oils may be listed.)
There are also some natural deodorant powders available, which are basically just any combination of the dry ingredients listed above tossed with essential oils. These are applied by rubbing the powder into your skin. I haven't had much experience with these, but I imagine they would be good for very heavy sweaters, as the powders haven't absorbed any oils in the production, and therefore can hold more moisture from sweat.
Both of the Indulgence Deodorant Products start with the same creamy skin friendly base:
Coconut Oil - Moisturizing, soothing, and fast absorbing. Melts at 76 degrees, so application is smooth.
Beeswax - To keep the bars solid. Also helps to keep your product from coming off throughout the day, as it is moisture resistant.
Arrowroot Powder - Absorbs moisture.
Zinc Oxide: Soothing to skin, helps prevent odor, absorbs moisture
Bentonite Clay - Helps to draw toxins out and is extremely moisture absorbent. Also gives the product a creamier texture.
Vitamin E oil - helps to keep product fresh, and adds and extra skin nourishing boost.
For the Probiotic formula, the only other ingredient the shelf stable Probiotic Powder, and scented oil for fragrance.
For the Anti-Bacterial Formula, I add Tea Tree essential oil, and some also include lavender essential oil.
When you make the switch to a natural deodorant, your body will have to detox from all the chemicals and toxins in your previous product. Some people notice no symptoms during this period, others get them all. It will depend on your system. The detox period could last anywhere from 5 -30 days.
Here are some things you may notice:
1. You may smell a little funky for a while. You won’t smell like BO, per se, as the natural deodorant will be preventing odor causing bacteria, but while your body is expelling the aluminum and toxins, you may notice that you have an unusual odor.
2. You may sweat more. First of all, if you're no longer using an antiperspirant, you may notice that you’re sweating more because of that, but you shouldn’t stink, and your natural deodorant does contain ingredients to help absorb some of this moisture. If you’re a heavy sweater, look for a product that contains clay. For some people, your sweat glands will go into overdrive, trying to flush out all of the aluminum. If you’re sweating WAY more than normal, just give your body some time to adjust. It will regulate itself soon.
3. You may have some tenderness in the glands under your arms. The glands could become inflamed while working to expel the toxins in your system. This should only last a short time.
4. You may notice some bumps on the skin under your arms. This is actually a good thing, it means the natural deodorant is doing it’s job to draw the toxins out. Your body is pushing them out through your pores. Again, this should only last a short time.
5. You may notice some redness or irritation under your arms. This could be a sensitivity to the product your using. Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate, is a very common irritant. If you’re using a product that contains this ingredient, you may need to switch. Also, essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, pine, various citrus oils, and clove are highly anti-bacterial, but can also cause skin irritation. Especially when used in high concentrations. If your product contains essential oils, and you get a rash, try a probiotic formula instead.
If you go more than 30 days with any of the above symptoms, you may want to consider switching products, or consulting a physician, as you may be having a reaction, or the formula may just not be working for you.
Of course, being stinky, sweaty, rashy, and having sore armpits doesn't sound like much fun, so I do have a couple suggestions to help expidite the process, if you do decide to start detoxing.
1. Drink Plenty of Water. Flushing your system will speed up the detox process
2. Break a sweat! Getting those sweat glands pumping with exercise will help to push everything out more quickly.
3. A Clean Diet. The fewer toxins you put into your body, the fewer it will have to expel. Opting for a clean diet will help you detox quickly and safely.
As I stated above, I am not a doctor. The information in this blog is based on my person research and opinion. Please, feel free to do your own research on the subject, or consult your doctor, if you want more information. Not everyone’s opinions will line up with mine. Some people may look at the exact same evidence and say “There’s no proof, I think it’s all a bunch of BS”, and that’s OK. To each their own. My main objective is to open your eyes and let you know that this concern is out there AND that you do have natural alternatives.
Thanks for Reading!
|Posted on July 1, 2015 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
I know we haven’t seen much sunshine yet this summer in Pittsburgh, but my pool and I are holding out hope that it’s coming soon! That being said, I just want to share some sunscreen/sunblock facts, because I think most people are quite uninformed about the science of sun protection. I mean, we all know that we should wear at least an SPF of 15, but do you know why? Do you know how your sunscreen protects you, or even what it’s protecting against? I would guess that the answers to these questions are a big fat “NO”. Honestly, I didn’t know most of the information I’m providing here until I started researching to make an Indulgence All Natural Sunblock, which will be available in July. I know, I know, I’m shameless, but this little plug is a small price to pay for the WEALTH of information you are about to receive, so just shut up and take it.
OK are you ready? Get out your notebooks, class. Pens at the ready….
I’m going to start with the basic question of: Why? Why do we need sunscreen or Sunblock?
The reason is protection. You need to protect your skin from:
- Sunburn – Even if you have no concern for the future or long-term damage sun exposure can cause to your skin, at least live in the moment, and protect yourself from the misery of sunburn today.
- Pre-Mature Aging – if you were to look at sunburned skin under a microscope, you would see damaged skin cells. (Don’t believe me? Google it) Repeated Damage overtime causes skin to look leathery, dry and wrinkled. (Disclaimer: I am I FIRM believer that Nature has more to do with the way your skin ages than anything else. Some people have good genes and others aren’t so lucky. My mother used to slather herself in oil and literally fry her skin for 6 hours a day, everyday, and barely had a wrinkle in sight at 60… so don’t come back for me in 30 years if you’ve sunscreened, exfoliated, and moisturized religiously, and still end up looking like a well worn leather couch)
- Cancer – Skin Cancer is currently the most common of cancers. Doctors say that almost all skin cancers can be prevented by properly protecting your skin from sun damage. Let me tell you, from someone why lived through it (as a caregiver, not a patient) you DO NOT want cancer. You DO NOT want chemo or radiation or surgery to remove a nasty melanoma. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, and you and I, we’re friends. So PLEASE, take care of your skin, OK?
Next is another Why – Why is sun exposure so damaging?
The answer is Ultraviolet Light. UV light is what causes all the above-mentioned dangers: Sunburn, Aging, and Cancer.
UV light is divided into 3 types of light: UVA, UVB, and UVC, depending on it’s wavelength.
- UVA Rays have the longest wavelength and are the waves we are most exposed to. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply, into the epidermis and are believed to be the cause of photo aging (premature aging caused by exposure to the sun). UVA rays are also responsible for tanning the skin. These rays cause injury to the skin’s DNA, and can therefore play a role in some skin cancers (especially when concentrated to up to 12 times the natural occurring doses, like in tanning beds).
- UVB Rays cannot penetrate past the top layer of skin, the epidermis, but they are responsible for painful red sunburn, as well as playing a key role in the development of skin cancer.
- UVC Rays are the strongest Rays, but have the shortest wavelength. The atmosphere absorbs UVC Rays, and therefore they do not pose a risk to us.
Now, let’s move on to the how – How do I protect my skin?
Needless to say, we need to block both UVA and UVB rays to effectively protect our skin. Ways to protect yourself include: Staying out of the sun, wearing a hat to shade yourself, cover exposed skin with clothing (try light colors to reflect the sun, rather than dark ones, which attract it), and of course sunscreen and/or Sunblock, which is what I want to talk to you about…
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is rated on a number scale from 0-100. Most dermatologists recommend at least an SPF of 15 at all times, and 30, when you’re planning on spending extended time outdoors. Obviously, everyone’s skin is different. The number in SPF shows how effective that product is at preventing sunburn (caused by UVB rays). SPF 15 allows you to stay in the sun 15 times longer without getting burned. So, essentially, if you can spend 10 minutes in the sun (unprotected) before you starting to burn, when wearing SPF 15, you could spend 150 minutes in the sun before burning.
I think we all understand that Suncreens/Sunblocks work by filtering the UV rays, but the thing that surprised me most in researching all of this was how small the difference in protection is between the different numbers of SPF.
SPF 15 Filters out 93% of UVB rays.
SPF 30 Filters out 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 Filters out 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 Filters out 99% of UVB rays
As you can see, the higher the SPF number goes, the smaller the difference in protection. Anyone who knows me has heard me say that there really isn’t anything better than SPF 30, and this is why. The minimal difference in protection, 1-3%, is nowhere near worth the added cost that you pay for those high SPF products. In all honesty, there’s no reason to use an SPF higher than 30 unless you’re going to be doing something really extreme, like mountain climbing, where you’ll be at a high altitude (closer to the harmful rays), with snow that’s reflecting the sun back at you, and your skin will totally exposed to the sun (without sleeves/pants). If that’s the case, then yes, I recommend springing for an SPF of 50+, but if you’re just going to the pool/beach or a baseball game for a couple of hours, SPF 15-30 is sufficient.
There are 2 types of Sun protection that you can use on your skin:
- Chemical Sunscreen: These are the most common products. These are the majority of the sunscreens you find in the store. There are 17 FDA approved Sunscreens/Sunblocks, and 15 of them are chemical. These products alter the chemistry of your skin to absorb the UV rays, therefore preventing them from penetrating your skin. Did you know that Chemical Sunscreens must be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure in order to be effective? I didn’t…
- Mineral Sunblock: Mineral or “Physical” Sunblocks include one or both of the other 2 FDA Approved Sun protection products: Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, which are minerals used to block and deflect UV Rays. Mineral Sunblock works immediately after application.
Both Chemical and Mineral Sun Protections Products have their pros and cons, but the FDA claims that both types are "safe". Chemical Sunscreen’s main pro is that it is “waterproof”, because once it has altered the chemistry of your skin, it will continue to work for 40-80 minutes, even after being rinsed off, where a Mineral Sunblock must remain on the surface of the skin in order to work. The main pro to mineral sunblocks is that there is no risk of the body absorbing chemicals that can be harmful and alter your body chemisty and/or hormones. It's pretty scarey to think of some of the chemicals that are soaking into our skin, but I'm not going to go into the why of that. Instead, I'm providing a link to an atricle that explains the dangers very well. It's broken down in a way that's easy to understand, and it provides a list of scientific references. Check this out if you're interested in reading more about the chemicals that are in sunscreen: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-dangerous-chemicals-in-sunscreen/
Obviously, being the natural skin care lover that I am, would recommend using a mineral sunblock instead of a chemical sunscreen. Since making the product waterproof is a main concern, when I formulated my Indulgence Sunblock, I made a solid lotion bar, containing butters, oils, and wax, that will not only moisturize skin, but be water resistant. Indulgence’s Sunblock comes in an easy-on stick for quick application, and smells divine. My Mineral Sunblock will be available online and at Boutique 208 (Downtown Pittsburgh, across from Heinz Hall) in about a week!
As always, thank you for reading, and please feel free to send your beauty questions my way!
|Posted on February 25, 2015 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
Unless you’ve spent the past 6 months on a deserted island, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I have been invited to 4 online Facebook Younique parties just this week, all of them claiming this “miracle” mascara as their biggest seller. If you’ve frequented the Pampered Posts, you may know that I’m kind of a mascara snob, and I’m OBSESSED with big fat lashes. While I may not agree with all things Kimmy K, I am definitely from the Kardashian school of make-up:
Lesson #1: You can NEVER have too much eyeliner.
Lesson #2: Contour is key
Lesson #3: the bigger the better when it comes to lashes.
That being said, I have been a devout Maybeline Falsies Black Drama user for years. I have tried other brands, but have always come back to my trusted Falsies. However, with all this fuss over this Younique miracle worker, I just HAD to give it a shot, so I accepted one of the many Facebook party invites and purchased this almighty mascara. $29 and a few days later, my 3D fiber lashes arrived. First impressions told me that was not your average mascara. It comes in a sleek case, and had 2 tubes: One slightly larger tube of “transplanting gel” and another of “Fibers”. I was sufficiently intimidated. I had to give myself a pep talk before testing it out: “You’ve got a esthetician’s license for goodness sake. You’re a trained professional, how hard can this be?” I will admit I watched at least 3 youtube videos before getting up the nerve to try it myself. I was pleasantly surprised by the results:
The Photos speak for themselves; you can see that this mascara works. However, you now me, always blowing the whistle… so I feel slightly obligated to say this is basically just the world’s easiest easy way to apply false lashes, rather than an actual mascara. I also feel like I should go on record of saying that I am totally OK with that. I was able to remove the product easily without damaging my own lashes at all, so I see no problem with using it even on a daily basis. I just want to be honest with anyone who maybe ordering it because of this review.
Now, for the process: The system comes with “transplanting gel” which is a glorified adhesive, and “Fibers”, which are basically just little hairs that will be adhered to your lashes adding length and volume. It’s really not rocket science, but it is pretty awesome, if you ask me. To apply the 3D Fiber lashes, you follow the simple steps below:
1. Transplanting Gel
3. Transplanting Gel
I did 2 coats over my full lashes for volume, and then one coat just on the tips of my lashes for added length. You can continue the pattern with as many coats as needed, as long as you make sure to end with transplanting gel to seal it all in. Otherwise you’ll end up with fuzzy looking lashes, and I imagine the fibers will shed throughout the day.
So, the bottom line is, this stuff really does work. It WILL give you long thick lashes, even if your lashes are super short. Here are some tips I discovered in my trial that may help you:
1. When applying the fibers, don’t get too close to your upper lash line. Try to aboid touching themto your lashline at all or you will get an eye full of little hairs… not so pleasant.
2. It is buildable, so you can continue to apply coats until you are happy with the results, which makes it nice for people with really short lashes.
3. I wouldn’t suggest applying more then 2 coats to your full lashes. After 2 coats, just apply the gel and fibers to the tips to add length without making it too clumpy.
4. I learned this one on one of the youtube tutorials I watched: You can use a hairdryer to curl your lashes after application. Just put the dryer on warm and low setting and hold under your eye facing the air to blow the lashes upward. This will give a nice natural curl while blowing away any stray fibers that may have fallen around your eyes. See ya later metal torture device eyelash curlers and lashes and the bend at unnatural angles… This is seriously genius.
5. It is not necessary to do multiple coats on your bottom lashes; one coat is plenty. Honestly, if you want to conserve, just use your regular mascara on the bottom lashes. If they get too long or thick, they look a little strange anyway, and this stuff is too expensive to waste!
I’m sure you all know someone who is selling this stuff, since it seems to be everywhere, but if you need a distributor, here’s link to mine:
Thanks for reading!
|Posted on January 17, 2014 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
Hello ladies, I just have to tell you about my ‘do and my new favorite hair product!
As most of you know, I got married in October. Some of you may not know that I had been growing my hair out for more than 2 years for the wedding. I was almost waist length by wedding time, and I wore it down and curled, curled a little more tightly than I had hoped, may I add… which was one of those “wedding day glitches” people always tell you about (but you never believe will happen to you). I shed a tear or 2 during the getting ready chaos, and then realized how ridiculous it was that I was crying over hair that I was going to cover with a veil anyway. So, I got it together, did a little pulling, smoothing, and finger curling, and married my best friend with a smile on my face. Oh, and guess what… I didn’t give one more thought to my hair for the rest of the night because I was having the time of my life.
ANYWAY, my plan all along was to chop off all that hair after the wedding. I mean I wanted to be a Kardashian bride, but I see myself as more of a Katie Holmes/Posh type wife. SO, the weekend after our honeymoon I went to get a haircut. The plan was to get a long stacked bob, about shoulder length in the front and an inch or 2 above the shoulder in the back, but I chickened out! I donated 2 12 inch ponytails to Pantene’s “great lengths” campaign, and came out with a slightly longer than shoulder-length new ‘do. It was healthy, and light, and cute, and I liked it for a while, but I started to get that stacked bob itch again about 2 weeks ago. Last weekend I decided to take the “plunge”, but I couldn’t get an appointment with my regular girl. Since I had worked up the nerve, and was really excited for a change, I decided to hit up my local Borics and wait in line until someone could take me. I realize that this is equivalent of Russian Roulette in the hair department, but I was feeling lucky.
My stylist’s name was Samantha, and we hit it off right away, chatting while she shampooed my hair. I showed her my 2 pictures (from Pinterest, of course). The first was of my “safe” bob choice, and the other was of my “dream” bob that I’m not sure I have the nerve for. I told her to try something in-between. Well, I guess Samantha wasn’t feeling quite as “nervy” as I had been that day, because I got the “safe” bob, which I love. I think I’ll give it a couple weeks, and then go back for the “dream” cut, but I am happy with the gradual change., and enjoying my “safe” style for now.
You know how when you get your hair done you’re so afraid to wash it the first time, because you KNOW that you will never get it to look as good as they did at the salon? Well, that’s because you’re right. My skills are far inferior in the “blowout” department. I am Blowout incapable, and I have just accepted that, so I have to come up with alternatives to achieve that same volume without looking like a frizz-ball. This is where the purpose for this particular entry comes in. My first wash/style attempt was a major failure. My previously full and flirty bob was limp and flat, so I hit the rite aid for a root lifter product to give me a little extra “oomph”. I found a product called “Samy Fat Hair 0 calorie root lifter spray”. I have to be honest; I chose it based on 2 criteria that had nothing to do with the effectiveness or reputation of the product itself. The first was price. At $8, it wasn’t the cheapest one on the shelf, which experience tells me is usually the equivalent of water-in-a-bottle. It’s the like the placebo of hair products, completely ineffective. However, $8 is not going to break the bank, and seems like a completely reasonable drug-store price. It seems outrageous to me to pay $16-$20 for hair products at Rite Aid. I mean give me a break… not going to happen. Once I narrowed my search to the middle-of-the-road $6 - $10 products, I needed a second criteria to narrow my choice to a single option. My husband’s name is Sam, and I call him Sammy. Clearly Sammy’s wife was destined to use “Samy Fat Hair’s” products, right? Well, apparently that is the case; because I love love love this stuff!
I am a nighttime shower-er, because I refuse to wake up any earlier than necessary. That being said, I took my shower before bed (which is a much quicker process with such short hair, btw). The Root lifter spray’s bottle told me to apply it to damp hair, so I dried my hair with the blow dryer for a few minutes, then applied the product just to the roots of my hair by lifting pieces and aiming the nozzle at my scalp. I then massaged the root lifter into my scalp a bit to make sure all the areas were covered. I dried my hair the rest of the way upside-down, gently pulling the hair at the crown of my head away from the scalp and aiming the blow dryer right at the roots. When my hair was dry, I flipped it over and brushed it out. Now comes the real trick… I separated my hair in half, taking the top half (the half I want to have volume), and brushing it upward to ensure the roots were all standing up, I gathered the top section of hair into a ponytail, twisted it, and secured it with a hair band on the very top of my head (using a hairclip would also work, and I slept with it pulled up like this. Pulling it up and leaving it that way for several hours trains the cuticles to stand up instead of lay flat, creating lots of volume at the roots. In the morning, I flat ironed the bottom layer of hair first, then took out the top, sectioned it off, and flat ironed it as well. I was full and bouncy and beautiful all day. I am currently on day 2, and it is still just as full of body. Let me tell you, if you think I was excited that it looked great on day 1, you should have seen how excited I was on Day 2. I mean, to have great looking hair without even having to wash it!? …Talk about a busy (lazy) girl’s dream come true!
So ladies, the bottom line is: Samy Fat Hair’s 0 calorie Root Lifter Spray, 2 thumbs up!
Thanks for reading!
Love you guys.
|Posted on December 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
OK Ladies. it's been a while since I've posted... like a LONG while, but I've been crazy busy. Since we last spoke, a few things have happened, the main one being that I got MARRIED on October 19th! You can call me Mrs. Shea...
Anyway, the wedding took over my life, but now it's over, and I am back in control just in time to give you some GREAT DIY gift ideas... I know, you love me!
Obviously, I love love love giving (and recieving, ahem) bath and body products as gifts. I think they're great indulgences (plug intended) that our friends and family deserve, but will not buy for themselves. I also understand the idea of "Christmas on a Budget", as I just came off a saving spree in the 2 years leading up to my wedding. I am the number one advocate for DIY gifts. I am a firm beliver that something you made is so much more meaningful that something you plucked off of a shelf, and anyone who prefers store bought, isn't my type of "friend". That being said, here are some DIY bath & body products that you can make at home with VERY little time and effort.
1. Bath Salts – A great gift for the bath lover OR for the one who deserves some relaxation. This is easy peasy and practically free. All you need is espom salts and packets of unsweetened koolaid to make sweet smelling & colorful bath salts. I love the idea of pairing bath salts with babysitting coupons for a busy mom so that she can get some “me” time.
-Epsom salts (usually come in bags or cartons for 2-3 each. Can be purchased at the pharmacy, grocery store, or Dollar store)
-Koolaid packets in scents of your choice (I do not recommend grape, it turns black! (about 25 cents each and can be purchased at the grocery store or dollar store)
-Place one packet of koolaid powder at the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add about a teaspoon of water and dissolve the power in the water. If the powder is still clumpy, add a little more water until all powder is dissolved, but you want the least amount of water possible.
-Add 2-3 cups Epsom salts to the dissolved powder and mix thoroughly. If you want a more faint sceny/color, you can add more epsom salts.
-Once the salts are coated in the color/scent, I suggest laying them in a pan to dry out a little before jarring, To dry them, spread them evenly in a large pan and mix occasionally until they do not feel damp anymore. If they have clumped together, break them apart before putting in your containers.
2. Sugar Scrub – Sugar scrubs are great for dry winter skin. They will slough off dead dry skin and moisturize the fresh skin that is uncovered. Sugar scrub are great for that person with dry cracked hands. They are also awesome for shaving, and they’re almost as inexpensive and easy at Bath Salts
-Sugar (either granulated or brown sugar, kosher salts will work as well for a more course scrub)
-Scented extracts/essential oils Choice of addivities (this is option but cocoa powder, coffe grounds, cinnamon, ground oatmeal, and honey all make great additives)
-Start with your sugar in a large mixing bowl. You should start with enough sugar to fill your container. If you have a 4 oz jar, half a cup of sugar. If you have an 8oz jar, 1 cup, etc..
-There is no recipe, you just have to add ingredients until the scrub is the consistency you want. Start with vegetable oil. Add a little, mix it up, add a little more, mix it up. Keep going until you have the consistency of a snow cone or a slushy. If you get too much oil, just add some sugar a little a time.
-Add your additives. If you’re adding powdered additives, you may have to follow up with more oil. If you’re adding fragrance: you will only need a few drops of essential oils. Extracts will require more. Add your fragrance until you are satisfyied with the scent.
-Once you’re happy with your scrub, spoon it into jars. Some people prefer a more oily mixture, some prefer a fluffier mixture. it's totally a matter of opinon.
3. Solid Lotion bar – The solid lotion bar is great areas that get extra dry. Elbows and heels come to mind first. Those and dry chapped hands. A solid lotion bar is great for combating that extra dry skin. Just rub it on at night before bed and let it work it’s magic overnight.
-Coconut oil, cocoa butter, and/or Shea butter.
-Cornstarch Empty lipbalm tubes/deodorant containers or a muffin tin.
-Additives (scented oils, herbs, etc) - optional
-Melt your oils. (Coconut oil is probably the easiest of these to come by. You can get it in specialty food stores and health stores like GNC. I prefer to mix my oils/butters, but if you can only get your hands on one kind, it will work fine.) Measure out the right amount of oil/butter (or just scoop some out/cut some off and hope for the best, that’s what I do). You can use a microwave or a double boiler to melt your oils. If using a microwave, go in 30 second increments, stirring between, until all the oil is melted.
-Once your oils are melted, add cornstarch and stir until it is all dissolved. I try to add one tsp cornstarch for every 8 oz of oil. This will help to cut some of the greasiness of your lotion bar.
-Once you’ve got your cornstarch mixed in, you can put in your additives if you’re using them. The additives are totally optional, but scented oils or herbs may make your lotion bar a little more special. Ground ginger and turmeric are great for arthritis pain relief, lavender is relaxing. Peppermint is stimulating and feels great on the feet.
-Once your additives are mixed in, you can go ahead and pour your lotion. If you are using lip balm tubes or deodorant containers, you may want to use a funnel to prevent mess. If you are using a muffin tin, just pour the mixture in.
-Once they’re poured, you just have to wait for them to harden again, and you will have solid lotion bars. You can let them sit over night at room temperature or you can pop them in the freezer to expedite the process.
*The muffin tin bars look great wrapped in fabric with a raffia bow.
If you’re wondering about packaging for your products, here are some suggestions:
-Mason/Canning jars (can be founf at big-lots, specialty grocery stores, and most craft stores)
-Old cosmetic containers/craft containers/food containers. You’d be surprised what you can do with an old applesauce jar!
-For a more professional look, order cosmetic jars online at Uline or SKS Bottle and Packaging. They’re less than a dollar per jar and you can get them quantities as low as 24. Uline delivers the next day!
Happy Bath & Body Product making!
|Posted on May 31, 2013 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
I’ve been researching the big nail trends for this upcoming summer. I’ve been on the dark polish train since the fall, and am ready for a change. However, my go-to-summer French manicure somehow seems to be so “out” right now, that I have to go back to the drawing board on my warm weather manicure options.
Some of the spring/summer runway nail fashions were a bit over-the-top with geometric shapes and caviar beads, but there were a few “wearable” trends that I thought I’d share with you guys.
#1: Pastel Nails:
Shades of creamy pastels were shown by Chanel, Dolce & Gabanna, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, and Gucci on the spring 2013 runways. Think rainbow sherbet, those milky pastel shades of orange, yellow, raspberry, and mint are all the rage. Creamy aqua, purple, and even grey are big too. For the less bold, neutral flesh tones, pale pinks, and eggshell shades of the same creamy variety are also popular. I have all of these colors in my Pamper Party bin, so my princesses, rock stars, and bachelorettes (friends too) will be partying in style this summer!
Metallic shades are popular this season, but I personally prefer the gold and silver metallic shades. On the runways of Nicole Miller, Monika Chang, and Katie Gallagher metallic colors were shown mixed with black in wild patters. I plan on rocking my own version of this look with an accent nail adorned with a Konad pattern. I’m thinking gold with 1 leopard print nail or silver with 1 hounds tooth or zebra print nail. I’ve got to find a bottle of that chrome silver… it’s so “The Hunger Games Capitol”.
#3 Louboutin Nails
Two-tone nails were all over the spring runways of Vivienne Westwood, Tracy Reeese, and Peter Som. I’m talking about patterned nails, half moons, nails divided in half and painted two colors, colored French tips, you name it… Some of those looks are a little over-the-top for daily wear, so I chose the Louboutin two-tone to share with you, as it’s a bit more “wearable”. How cool is this? What an awesome way to do a trendy two tone look in a classic way. If you’re more of a bold patterned kind-of-girl, more power to you! Go for the geometric shapes and the dark-to-light contracts of those bold designers listed above. For those of you who are a bit more conservative, like me, play it safe with this tamer two-tone look. This can be done with pretty much any contrasting colors, but I want to try a red glitter underneath with a black cherry polish. I think a pastel pink underneath with a burgundy/wine would look great too. This is good motivation for me to grow out my nails!
I hope this helps you plan out some of your summer time manicures, and I hope to see some of these trends in the “real world” soon!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! <3
|Posted on May 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM||comments (1)|
Summer is rapidly approaching. It's been 80 degrees for most of the week here in Pittsburgh, and I haven't broken out the flip flops yet. If you're a frequent reader, or a friend of mine, you know how I LOVE my flops! It's killing me to leave them at home, but my feet are in no way flip-flop ready. I hate to admit it, but I have been neglecting my feet. With a schedule as busy as mine has been, (working full time, 2-3 pamper parties per weekend, planning my wedding, and caring for my mom, who is undergoing cancer treatment) something's gotta give. Pedicures have have been left off of my to-do list for several months now, but it's definitely time get into my summer sandals. I did a little research, looking for a quick fix for my winter build up, as it's become quite unmanagemable, and I wouldn't dare subject a nail tech to my nasty feet. Even if I were willing to pay for a professional pedi, I'd have to do some work at home first to remove some of the rough dry skin on my heels. I'd be horrified to let these puppies out in a salon! Lucky for me (and you), I discovered a few ingredients that will work together quite nicely to give us a kitchen-cabinet dead skin removal recipe.
Here's the recipe:
1/4 Cup Listerine
1/4 Cup Vinegar (white or apple cidar, whatever you have lying around)
1/2 cup warm water
I like this recipe because the listerine gives a nice refreshing minty feeling to the soak, and a great cooling effect, which is so nice in the summer. It's also got a disinfecting property, that I love for my pamper party pedi's. You just never know what's going on in someone's shoes... the more protection I have, the better, lol.
*1 Cup may not seem like enough to soak your feet, but you really only want to cover the portions of your feet that are callused, as this will be a little harsh on your healthy skin. If you need more, just keep the ratios: 1 part listerine, 1 part vingear, 2 parts water, and you'll be good.
Soak your feet for at least 30 minutes (or longer if you can).
This will not only soften the dead skin, but penetrate the dead skin cells, and loosen the glue that holds them together, causing the build up.
After soaking, use a dry towel to rub the dead skin off. You can use a foot fille, if you want, but I like the towel. The dead skin should crumble and flake right off with a little elbow grease. Depending on how thick your build up is, you may need to soak again, and re-rub. *A little tip, keep the one foot in the water while removing the skin from the other, because if the skin dries, it will be harder to remove. While this is not exactly effortless, it's still MUCH faster and easier than soaking, fliling, soaking, fliling, soaking filing, and so on. It's also much safer than using a razor to cut away the build-up which is usualy what I end up doing, because I don't have the patience to take it off with a file. I should also mention that I usually end up bleeding when I do this, as I ALWAYS get over zealous with the foot razor! (this is why they're illeagal in salons)
This is optional, but recommended:
After you've removed your dead skin, dump your mixture, fill you tub with fresh water (with or without bath salts/soap), and give yourself a full pedicure. The mixture can be drying to skin, so I suggest finishing with sugar scrub and a nice thick cream with rich butters in it (Whipped body Frosting, perhaps). Just be sure to thouroughly clean your nails before polishing when using lotion!
Thanks for reading!
|Posted on April 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
This is for all my curly haired girls who are always looking for the perfect texture cream to give them definition and shine for curls that look healthy and natural, as opposed to crunchy scrunchy curls, circa 1998. All ladies with curls, waves (or even those of you who just heat style) know that a deep conditioner is necessary to keep your hair moisturized and shiny. What if I told you that you could use a texture cream that will give you defined natural-looking curls, and would deep condition your hair at the same time? Would you be ecstatic? I know I was when I discovered this little secret….
Here’s how it went down:
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been crazy busy over the past month or so. My mom has been sick, and spent about 4 weeks in the hospital. Between working full time, still managing the Pamper Party and product business, AND running back and forth to the hospital everyday, I was just WAY too exhausted to get up early to wash and straighten my hair everyday. Luckily for me, laziness/exhaustion is what led me to the discovery of my new favorite hair product…
One of the nights early in my mom’s hospital stay, I was really super tired around 11:00 PM, but I SO had to wash my hair, so I shampooed, conditioned, and pulled my hair into a bun on the top of my head thinking “ehh, I’ll dry and straighten it in the morning”. Then the morning came, and I slept in! I had a half wet crazy bun and about 10 minutes to figure out how to make it look acceptable. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, I would just slap on some Enjoy! (my old favorite) texture cream, blow dry, and go. The problem was, I’m all out of Enjoy!, and now I was down to 8 minutes…
In an act of sheer panic (or sheer genius as it turned out), I scanned the room for something, anything, to keep my wild wavy wet hair from turning into a frizzy mess when it dried. I spotted my jar of whipped body frosting, and thought hmm… shea butter + curls = definition and coconut oil + hair = moisture… lets give it a shot. It might look terrible, but at least my hair will smell amazing! So, I scooped out about a quarter size amount of body frosting, rubbed my hands together to melt and distribute it and scrunched it into my hair, being careful to stay away from the roots to avoid the “grease-ball” look. I made sure to get it worked in really well, and then dried it upside-down with my diffuser. When I flipped my head over, I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find full, fluffy, perfectly defined (but not frizzy) curls. Yahoo! The curls looked as good at they do with the Enjoy! Cream. I spritzed with a little flexible hold hair spray, and went to work. My curls were in tact for 2-3 days!
So, you might be thinking.. OK, so your whipped body frosting works as well as the texture cream, big whoop, what’s the difference between using it or just using the texture cream I already have? I’ll tell you what the difference is, double duty… that’s what! Using texture cream does not improve the health or appearance of hair on a permanent basis. Whipped Body Frosting does. Shea butter and coconut oil deep condition your hair while they’re on. This part of the process only really occurred to me after the first time I straightened my hair. My hair was so silky, shiny, smooth, and full of body. My style seemed to hold up better, and I looked like a freaking shampoo commercial. I am not even kidding you. I was like “Damn, I don’t know what I did differently, but I hope I keep doing it”. It wasn’t until later that day that I realized what was different… the body frosting. It had deep conditioned and nourished my hair while it was on, just like it does for my skin.
Even if you don’t need a texture cream, you can still using the Whipped Body Frosting as a deep conditioner. Just work it into hair before bed, and wash out in the morning. Use a quarter sized amount, and really work it in. This will keep it from being super greasy, but will still give you great results.
Oh, and just one more bonus… my hair totally smells like birthday cake <3
Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!
Oh BTW: Get your Whipped Body Frosting Here: http://pamperpartiespgh.webs.com/indulgenceproducts.htm
Thanks for reading.
|Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:45 PM||comments (17)|
OK ladies (and gents)… Spring is coming! I know it seems like it will never get here, but it’s coming, I promise… With the warm weather comes sandal season. I am definitely Sandal Season’s BIGGEST FAN! I cannot tell you how liberating it is to let my tootsies out in the springtime sun. The first day of flip-flop season is always one of the most exciting days of the year for me! It always reminds me of that feeling I would get on the first warm day as a kid, when I begged my mom to let me dig out my shorts. Or that feeling of the first sunny day after being buried by snow for 4 months at Slippery Rock, snow capital of the world, when we would skip class to lay in the sun and play afternoon beer pong on the back porch of the sorority house. Oh, the yester-years, how I miss those carefree days…
Now, when the sun peeks out for the first spring day the most exciting thing I get to do is put on a pair of peep-toes and head to work, but somehow that little smidge of visible painted toenail under my desk still makes me feel that happy sunshine high that I had as a kid. However, if you’re anything like me, there is quite a bit of work to be done before your feet, particularly your heels, are ready to be on flip-flop display…. I know I always seriously neglect my feet over the winter, and when mid March arrives and the sun starts to shine, I (or the poor nail tech who gets my pedi appointment) have layers of dead skin to slough off. I feel like I have extra layers of rough dry skin on my feet, like more than the average person... like a freakish amount, really. Like way too much to file off, because it would take me 3 days, which is why I’m always looking into “easy” ways to remove the dry skin. I’ve done the lotion with socks thing, which does soften the skin, but doesn’t actually remove the dead stuff, so it’s a definitely a “band-aid” type fix, rather that a cure. I’ve tried the pedi-egg, which leaves my feet looking and feeling like I got a pedi from Edward Scissor hands. Sorry, cheese grated feet isn’t exactly the look I’m going for. I’ve tried the foot razors, which honestly are the fastest, least labor intensive method, but I ALWAYS end up taking too much and having sore feet, or even worse, open wounds…
In my online searching for a better method, I’ve come across a few products that claim to peel the dry skin away with no scrubbing, filing or soaking, which sounds a little too good to be true, but could be the answer to my pedicure prayers! I have been doing a little research on products, and the two that seem the most legit, based on customer reviews and ingredients lists are “Baby Feet” and “SoftSole”. Both products come with gel-filled disposable slippers that you wear for a period of time (60-120 minutes), then wash and moisturize feet. You repeat this process daily, and after 3-5 days, the dead skin starts to peel off. The skin supposedly sheds for about a week, and then you’re left with smooth soft skin…. We'll see about that!
According to customer reviews and some youtube videos, it really works. Intrigued by the possibility of being able to wrap my feet and treat my callused skin while I watch TV, read, or craft, I decided to check out the ingredient lists to see what magic chemicals are necessary to molt your feet like a snake. Much to my satisfaction, it seems that this product isn’t all that chemically based. The main ingredients are Salicylic acid, Glycolic Acid, Castor Oil, and Vitamin E. Of course, my wheels immediately began to turn. If these easy-to-attain ingredients are all that’s used, why can’t I make my own version? Hmm… Don’t mind if I do!
Here is a basic easy peasy recipe you can try at home. I am also working on formulating a recipe with more skin healing and restoring ingredients for the indulgence line.
Acid Foot Peel Recipe:
What you need:
1 cup Epsom salts (optional)
1 large bowl filled with hot water towel
1 smaller bowl (preferable an airtight container, such as Tupperware)
1 bottle uncoated aspirin (from the dollar store)
A rich moisturizer (try Indulgence whipped body frosting)
What to do:
- Gather supplies and while you’re mixing your paste, soak your feet in the hottest water you can stand. If you have them, add about a cup of Epsom salts to your footbath. You should soak feet for at least a half hour to soften the hardened skin and allow your foot peel to penetrate the layers of dead skin.
- Empty your aspirin into your small bowl. - Slice your lemon into at least 4 wedges and squeeze juice onto aspirin one wedge at a time. You want the final product to be a paste thick enough to spread onto the effected areas yet wet enough to stick to your skin. Squeeze one wedge onto aspirin and wait for the aspirin to dissolve. The lemon juice will dissolve the aspirin pretty quickly. If the paste is too thick, squeeze another wedge onto aspirin mixture.
- Once your mixture is a good consistency, cut 2 pieces of plastic wrap large enough to completely cover your foot.
- Once you have finished soaking your feet, and skin is softened, use the towel to dry your skin. While drying your skin, rub the towel against the rough parts of your skin, this will cause any loose skin to crumble off.
- Once feet are dry, apply your paste to feet. On the first few applications, I apply the paste all over feet concentrating on heels, balls of feet, and skin around the toenails, as this is where I have the most dry skin. You should concentrate on the driest areas of your feet, whatever they may be. Once the paste has been applied thoroughly, wrap feet in plastic wrap, and then apply your socks.
- Save what paste remains in an airtight container for additional applications.
- I do this treatment in the early evening, when I get home from work, and leave it on until I go to bed (5-6 hours). I then remove the wraps, and wash feet with soap and water.
- I then apply my Whipped Body frosting to feet, and put my socks back on. I leave the moisturizer on overnight, as the lemon juice can be very drying.
This treatment is not a quick fix. You will need to apply this treatment everyday for 2 weeks. After a few treatments, you can skip the soaking first, as the skin should be softened from the treatment and the moisturizer. Using an acid based product like this has to be a step-by-step process, as anything strong enough to remove that much dead skin in one application would surely burn right through your healthy skin too… Which brings me to the reason we’re using aspirin. Aspirin is basically just salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is used in many skin care products because it breaks the bonds that hold dead skin to the live skin and kills bacteria without harming your healthy live skin. Glycolic acid is much stronger and will burn your live skin if used incorrectly. Remember that Sex and the City episode when Samantha had a chemical peel and the children where screaming as she walked by them on the street… yep, Glycolic acid! Anyway, about halfway through the process (day 5-7) you will notice that your feet are beginning to peel and shed layers of skin. (That’s why it’s called a foot peel, duh!) It will look pretty horrific
*These are not my feet, I found this picture on google*
... like something out of “The walking dead”, but trust me, it will be so worth a few days of zombie feet to get baby soft tootsies. You can pull the peeling skin off as long as it doesn’t hurt to do so. If you have any pain when pulling the dead skin, this means it is still bonded to the live skin, and is taking that healthy skin with it. You can use cuticle scissors to cut the dead skin if it’s driving you crazy. A day or two after the peeling begins, I stopped applying the paste all over my feet, and concentrated just on the bottoms of my feet, as I didn’t want to unnecessarily dry out the tops of my feet once the dry skin was off of them.
You may notice, if you’ve ever seen the other products I mentioned in this post “baby feet” and “softsole” that those products are only meant to be left on for 1-2 hours. That is because of the glycolic acid. The aspirin/lemon juice mixture could be on for 24 hours at a time without harming your skin, so don’t worry about leaving it on too long. You can help the process along with sugar scrubs and pumice stones while in the shower. Rubbing a terrycloth towel on the peeling skin also works very well.
Upkeep is pretty simple. Continue to apply a heavy moisturizer daily, and keep a pumice stone in your shower. Scrub the areas that become callused daily to avoid build up from occuring. Use a sugar srub several times per week to keep the rest of the skin on your feel soft and smooth. OR just let it get really bad again next winter and molt again!
I hope this help everyone to get flip-flip ready this spring!
Please feel free to send questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer them in my next blog!
Thanks for reading,