Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Skin Care Breakdown

I got a question today asking me why people use toner. I knew immediately that I had to do a whole post on skin care! There are so many important parts to skin care so I'm going to break it all down for you today! I'm going to talk about the different steps that should be in yous daily skin care regimen, why we need them, and what they do. I'll also talk about the ingredients you should look for in skin care and which ones to make sure aren't in yours! I will then direct you to my favorite skin care lines for different skin types.

Daily Skin Care Regimen
You daily skin care regimen should include five things at least! Here are what those five things are (and an optional sixth) and what they do for your skin and why they are so important! 

1- Cleanser 
Cleanser is pretty self explanatory, it cleans your face. It will get rid of all of the surface dirt and oils on your skin. But what most people don't realize is that cleanser also raises the pH of your skin. It does this so the pours will open a little wider for step 2.

2- Exfoliant
A good exfoliant helps to get into pours and clean out clogs. It will also scrub away the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. There are both physical and chemical exfoliants out there. Chemical exfoliants are generally best for most skin types, although most people find physical exfoliant (like scrubs) to be more relaxing.

3- Toner 
Toner is SUPER important! People always overlook and skip this step, and if you are one of the stop! Toner will first of all help balance your skins pH back to normal. It will also dry out your skin, which kills any bacteria or left over oils from the exfoliant. It will also go down into the open pores and kill the live bacteria that could cause clogs and infections. These bacteria form when dirt and dead skin build up in a pore. The bacteria forms using moisture for the oils in your skin and they kind of camp out under all of that yucky buildup. The exfoliant will get rid of the buildup and then the toner kills the bacteria and closes the pore. 

4- Moisturizer
Toner does a lot of great things, but it does one really bad thing too, it dries out your skin. After you use a toner you need to moisturize! Use a high quality moisturizer to hydrate your skin back to life! 

5- Sunscreen
People always overlook facial sunscreen as an important part of skin care, but it is probably the most important step. %60-%80 of all skin damage including aging and spotting is done due to sun damage on the skin. Those who do not use a good facial sun screen will age up to 3X faster than someone who does. And for all of those thinking "I use sun screen in the summer" you need it in the winter too! The only time you don't is in fog and rain. If you live somewhere it snows (like me) it is even more important. The sun reflects off the snow and will hit your skin a lot harder! Make sure you are using a facial sunscreen that is broad spectrum with an SPF of at least 30

6- (optional) Anti-Aging Serum
A good anti aging serum will help tighten and brighten your skin. But it will also prevent signs of aging. It is so much less expensive to prevent aging than to repair it. I honestly suggest all women 16 and older use an anti aging serum. That may sound crazy but the younger you make it a habit, the more effective it will be. And most women begin to show signs of aging as young as 18. 

Using quality skin care is important, but it doesn't matter how high end it is unless you use it properly. So here are some important skin care rules to remeber and follow!

  • Don't over moisturize your skin
  • Don't over wash your skin, it can be just as damaging as never washing it at all
  • Use your full skin care regimen once a day
  • Don't use your full skin care regimen more than once a day
  • Use them in the proper order

What is the proper order you wonder? Well here is yet another list! But I will also include the time of day that it is best for you to do these things. 

wash face with water only

Anti-Aging Serum

It's important for us to read labels on our food right? I mean there are ingrediants that most people look out for like High Fructose Corn Syrup and for me Coconut (not my personal favorite flavor). So why aren't we looking at the labels of things we put on our skin? The answer is, we should be. Here are 2 lists of ingredients to look out for on you labels! 

cleansers and exfoliants
Salicylic Acid - this is the best chemical exfoliant safe for at home use
Retinol - Another amazing safe for at home use chemical exfoliant. 
Citric Acid - A mild and common chemical exfoliant 

Alcohol - this should be listed within the first 2 ingredients
Salicylic Acid - not necessary for a toner, but a nice bonus
Eucalyptus Leaf Oil - This will sooth the skin so that the toner is kept under control and doesn't damage the skin. It basically keeps the alcohol in check. 

Water - This should be listed within the first 2 ingredients

Dimethicone - This is the only filler product that is acceptable in a moisturizer! That is because it is the only filler product that also helps your skin. It will fill in unevenness and fine lines as well as wrinkles. 

Glycerin - This should be listed withing the first 3 ingredients. It is a humectant that works by capturing the moisture in water and then delivering it into your skin. 

cleaners, exfoliants, and toners
Synthetic Fragrances - it's not needed, and the oils used in synthetic fragrances can clog pores and can even effect your hormone balances. 
Parabens - These are frequently found in drug-store skin care. They are used to preserve other ingredients and extend shelf life, but they also have hormone disrupting effects. 
Wax - Any kind of wax ( although micocrystalline wax is the most common) is not good for your skin. It can suffocate your skin and weigh it down, and it is a filler product that you don't want on you skin! 
Apricot Seeds - You know that apricot scrub you love so much? Go throw it out! Apricot scrubs are made by taking apricot seeds and crushing them into little sand like pieces. They have a rough unrefined edges that can (and usually does) create micro fissures in the skin and can irritate it or create more acne.  They can also cause dark spots and other premature signs of aging. Instead use scrubs with gel beads in them.  

Oil- Oil is a big no-no in moisturizers. If you take a raisin and you put it in a jar of oil what will happen? Nothing. But you put a raisin in a jar of water it will start to rehydrate a little. The secret ot skin hydration isn't oil it is water! Most moisturizers have a little water in them but if it isn't in the first 2 ingredients than it is not  a good moisturizer. And you never want to put oil on your face. That is why I NEVER use or recommend Olay products! Almost all of them are chalked full of oils. 

Product Recommendations 

For those with clear skin who want to maintain it and keep it healthy:
Mary Kay Timewise Miracle Set
It comes with a 3-in-1 Cleaner that cleanses, exfoliates and tones all in one step! This is for the girl who has the usual zit or two every now and then and want to maintain her healthy skin and prevent aging. Because of this you don't need a dramatic 3 step application, and gentle cleansing with a light exfoliator to remove dead skin without changing your skins pH is just fine.  It also comes with a great Moisturizer, Broad Spectrum Facial Sunscreen with a SPF of 35 and a Night Solution Anti Aging Serum. The whole set should last you 5-8 months and costs $90

For those who want to fight acne and clear their skin:
Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System
I love this system (it's the one I use!) because it has everything you need! I comes with a cleansing chemical exfoliant, a toner, a moisturizer and a acne spot treatment gel that has benzoyl peroxide in it! This set is affordable and works wonders! A set should last you 4-7 months and costs $45

For those who have advanced signs of aging and are trying to get their youthful skin back
Mary Kay Timewise Repair Volufirm Set
This set comes with a foaming cleanser, a lifting serum, a broad spectrum day cream with SPF 30, a night treatment with retinol,  and an eye renewal cream. This whole set is designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lift the contours of the face, even skin tone and restore moisture lost in aging. Because this is for someone who has advanced signs of aging, we don't want to exfoliate aging skin, because it is more delicate. We also want to make sure that is hydrated, and although this set doesn't have a moisturizer every single item in it has a lot of moisturizing ingredients! The full set is supposed to last for 5-7 months and costs $199

So here's the thing, I am not going to act like I $99 is chump change, it's not. These prices (other than the acne system) are a little much for someone who is used to Clean & Clear from Walmart.  As far as the Clear Proof Acne System, it's $45, but it comes with 4 products. that's $10 each, which isn't that much more than you do spend at Walmart. Plus these products have a much higher quality! 

As for the Miracle a Volufirm sets, have you heard of Clinque? Estee Lauder? Lancome? Because these are the high end skin care brands that have the same quality as Mary Kay. BUT these brand usually cost around 2-4 times more than Mary Kay. That is why I am such a Mary Kay fan! Plus if the products don't work or you don't enjoy them you can get a %100 refund even if you have used the whole set! Usually you have to find a Mary Kay consultant, but you can buy the products online, although I am not sure how the garuntee works with the online purchases. BUT if you go to the Mary Kay website's Beauty Consultant Finder you can find one in your area! 

***Thanks to Shelly Simons for asking this questions***

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oily Skin Remedies

Yesterday I had had a client ask me what she should do about her oily skin. A lot of people have oily skin (especially in the T-Zone area) and I realized that I have blogged about oily hair, but not skin! SO here is a post all about fighting oily skin!

1- Foundation!
No matter what skin troubles you have, it's important for you to be using the right type of foundation for your skin type. Here is a link to my blog post all about the different types of foundation and who they are meant for. But if you are an oily skin type, I suggest using a mineral powder foundation. I prefer Mary Kay foundation, but you could also try Covergirl True Blend Mineral foundation which is a little heavier than Mary Kay, and is the ONLY foundation I will suggest you purchase from a  drugstore or Walmart. The reason I suggest a mineral foundation is because you need something that can absorb the oils on your face. But if you are a tried a true liquid foundation fan, Mary Kay also has a great line of foundations created for people with oily-combination skin types.

2- Translucent PowderIf you do choose to use a liquid foundation a good translucent powder is a MUST! It blends things together, absorbs oils, gives your skin a flawless finish, and makes all your makeup stay put! It's light weight and only $17! 

3- Green Tea Warming Masque! 
BeautiControl Green Tea Warming Masque is a great pampering treatment that is perfect for reducing shine and oil control. To use it apply a small amount to you fingers and quickly run it under a small trickle of warm water in your sink. When combined with water the masque will heat up on your skin and feel amazing! It does take a little practice, but even when it doesn't warm up it still works great! This mask dries your skin to remove moisture from bacteria which kills it, making this masque great for oil and acne control! Leave the masque on for 10-20 minutes, repeat 1-2 times a week. After you are done wash off with warm water. I prefer to take a shower because it gives my skin the most throughout clean possible.
*Sometimes during or after usage your skin will tighten and tend to feel slightly itchy. Do not be discouraged, because of the drying nature of this masque that sometimes happens. But the ingredients are all natural and this is a very safe product. But like all things check the back to make sure you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How can I train my hair to part in a new place (or not part at all)?

I have had a few clients in my chair ask me this before and the answer is kind of lame. You can, but it takes time, product, and patience. So here is a step by step break down of how you can "train you part"!

1- Buy Gel

You can get fancy professional gel, (my favorite is the TIGI Hard Head Gel)  or you can just get some cheap sauve gel at walmart for $2. For this it really doesn't matter. You just need a lot of gel.

2- Figure out where you want your New Part

This step is kind of self explanatory. So figure out where you want your new part and part you hair there (as best you can)

3- Apply Gel

When I say "apply gel" I don't mean "apply a healthy amount of gel throughout the hair" I mean apply a metric ton of gel to that one spot of hair at your new part. So if I part my hair on my left side, but now I want to part it in the middle, I will part my hair in the middle and the put gel on that middle part.

4- Wait.

You hair will look stupid. It really will. And it will feel crusty and dry, and awful. But you must wait.

5- Repeat

Yes, that's right. One go does not do what you need. You must repeat this about 3 times to get your desired results (with ethnic hair it's usually 5 times).

*Helpful Tips*
  • do this right before bed, and let the gel sit overnight and then shower in the morning. 
  • if you do choose to do this right before bed, using a little bit of professional gel product might be wise throughout the day. A professional product is less detectable than a cheap one.
  • If you are a guy trying to loose your part altogether, skip step 2, and apply the gel thoroughly. Then mess your hair up into that "no part" positioning. 

***Thanks to Gino Williams for asking this question!***

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Most Important Beauty Secret!

Why do we wear makeup? Studies have shown that women look in the mirror on average of 8-13 times a day. (Huffington Post) Most women will gladly admit that they get dressed up and put together more for their female peers than for men. You can often find memes and quotes on pinterest that say things like "Women don't dress for men, they dress for other women. If we were dressing for men then we'd run around naked!" And isn't it a little true? I mean for the most part men don't care how our scarf is tied or if our shoes match our handbag. But we do.

I decided to do a little more research and according to this post in the New York Times women who wear light and natural makeup are perceived as more trustworthy, likeable, competent and attractive. While many studies have shown women to be more likeable and attractive, this was the first show that a woman may be seen as more able than another due to her makeup. I don't want to spend this whole post going through different studies about makeup, so I am choosing to instead post the end results of the studies and a link to a website where you can read all of the details, like I have above!

It's also been shown that for women in the workplace, those who wear makeup make about %30 more than women who don't. There are several studies and sites that explain this, this one is my favorite because it is the least objective. I know it's unfair to think that society pressures women to cover up with makeup! How dare they not accept our natural beauty!? But then again we have been doing this for thousands of years!

In 3000 BC Egyptains used minerals, berries and insects to create makeup for their eyes, lips and skin. Henna was used to stain nails a rich warm red. Cleopatra started one of the very first marketed skin lines using minerals from the Dead Sea. in 1100 BC during the Chou Dynasty gold and silver were the royal colors, and only people of royal blood were allowed to wear them. If a commoner was found with gold nail paintings they were punished by death. I could go on and on for ages about the history of hair and makeup and color, but the bottom line is in many cultures from hundreds of year ago, having your hair done up, or red lips, meant that you were rich, powerful, or in a place of prestige. I know that now a days a 14 year old pot head can wear lipstick just as easily as Ivanka Trump, but we were programmed for hundreds of years to see makeup as a sign of being prestigious.

Now for one last study. Sara Scott, at Hanover College did a study on the effect of makeup on a woman's confidence. The study concluded the same as several others that women who wear makeup are overall more confident than those who don't. I am not saying that women who don't wear makeup have no chance of being confident! What I am trying to show you is that the reason makeup makes a woman look more trustworthy, attractive, reliable, and influential is because makeup gives most women confidence.

So there it is! That is the most important beauty secret! Be confident! Whether you have a massive zit, you just ran out of eyeliner, or you hate wearing makeup at all, be confident! Confidence is beautiful! And we all know inner beauty is more important than outer beauty (I mean who cares if you have flawless skin if nobody can stand you!?) but confidence is a type of inner beauty that other people can actually see and feel. It radiates from beneath the skin and shines through. So be confident! You might make %30 more!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Ultimate Spa Treatment at Home!

Every Thursdayight my husband likes to go out with his friends for a guys night. While I'd like to say I go out for a g nirls night, I usually don't. I usually have a relaxing evening inside where I make super yummy food and give my skin a little TLC.  Sometimes I have friends join me, but usually I have a party with some shrimp and netflix! Then I realized, who wouldn't want to know what you could do to give yourself a little home spa treatment? So here it all is lined out!

1- Feet!
I get the WORST calluses on my feet ever! My heels are always dried and cracked! So I use Mary Kay Satin Hands pampering set, on my feet! I use it once a week and it keeps the calluses away! It's a 3 piece set where I use the hand cream (just on my feet) and then the exfoliating scrub! I then use a plastic walmart bag and i put it around my feet and I spend about the nest 20 minutes wearing them! I then rinse my feet off in the tub and use the hand lotion and voila! Soft and Beautiful feet!

2- Hot Towel

While I am waiting my 20 minutes with grocery bag slippers on, I boil some water. I grab one of my face clothes and I dip it into the water and take it out while I let my face sit over the steam. Then i place the towel over my face and soak up the warm goodness! This allows my pores to be opened!

3- Green Tea Warming Masque 
After my face is a little damp and warm, I put BeautiControl Green Tea Warming Masque all over my face. I usually apply a small amount to my fingers and quickly run it under a small trickle of warm water in my sink first. When combined with water the masque will heat up on your skin and feel amazing! It does take a little practice, but even when it doesn't warm up it still works great! This mask dries your skin to remove moisture form bacteria, which kills it. I have really dry
skin, so when I use this stuff I sometimes feel a little itcy, but it is all natural and still really safe to use. After I apply this masque I generally grab my food and sit down to enjoy and episode of whatever show I am in love with at the time! You can leave the masque on for as long as you want, but I usually wait until one show is over. 25-45 minutes depending on what I am watching.

4- Rinse!
After my dinner and show I usually  use the same towel I used to steam my face to wipe the masque off with warm water. Then I use an exfoliator and cleanser. I have a combination one from Mary Kay! The Timewise Miracle set! You can get the Timewise 3-in-1 cleanser for only $20 and it comes in combination/oily as well as dry/normal formulations. I use very warm water to rub the cleanser into my skin and wash it off thoroughly. After I feel like it is sufficiently gone, I switch gears and use cold water to rinse off my face! Cold water will close your pores to keep any bacteria or infection  you just washed away out!

5- Cucumber Mask
Yes, I use another mask! This one is made at home though! I just take a cucumber and I smash it up! Sometimes I add a small amount of honey to it, but usually I just stick with cucumber. Cucumber has tons of natural vitamins and antioxidants that makes skin look bright and radiant! I leave it on for about 10-30 minutes and then I wash it down the drain too, using cool water to wash it away and rinse my face after.

6- Moisturize
This one is simple! I use moisturizer! My favorite is Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer. Once again it comes in two different formulas to fit your skin type, and it is overall wonderful! A little goes such a long way and it's water based! A little education here! If you put a raisin in a jar of oil and another in a jar of water what happens? The one in the water re-hydrates a little, and the one in the oil does nothing. The same principal applies with our skin. Why would we want to put a bunch of oil moisturizer on our skin!? It clogs pours and is short lived. Mary Kay moisturizer is water based to keep skin moist unlike Olay products that are all oil based!

7- Fight Aging
If you don't have any anti-aging products than step 6 is your last, but I am a firm believer in preventing aging from the start! It's easier to prevent than to repair after all. I use the last step in my Timewise Miracle Set regimen which is the Night Solution. It is full of vitamins and nutrients and keratin which keeps skin firm and supple. you can actually feel it working. Also in the Timewise miracle set is the Day Solution, which has some keratin and sun protectant as well. But I usually do this whole thing in the evening, so I use the night solution. Plus with Mary Kay products if you don't love it or see results, you get a full refund every time! No strings attached!

So follow these steps and you'll have relaxing night and great skin!

here are links to all of the products mentioned above.

Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering Set
BeautiControl Green Teas Warming Masque
Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser
Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer
Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution
Mary Kay Timewise 4 Peice Miracle Set

Let's talk Straight

Straightening your hair is one of the most common things that girls do all the time. The questions I received were asking if there was a way to get "naturally straightened hair" and the answer is no. You can however get a chemical relaxer, which does chemically (and permanently) straighten the exposed hair. Just like getting a perm, a chemical relaxer uses the same process of breaking bonds and rebuilding them in a straightened state to keep the hair straight! These are usually used on people with naturally curly hair, but some women get them who have some wave and would like to get rid of it.

This can be a long process however and can often be a costly one. You can usually find these treatments offered at hair schools, but they still add up to about $50. So let's talk about some other straightening tactics and techniques! I want to talk about everything! Product (I know it's my favorite topic), tools, temperatures, all of it! 

First comes the actual straightener. While you can spend $25 on an okay one at Walmart, they really aren't the best. If you straighten your hair once every other week they're fine, but if you use them 3+ times weekly, you might want to invest in something a little more healthy and reliable. 

I recommend getting the Babyliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Flat Iron. Bablyiss Pro is a professional brand that doesn't sell in retail stores like Walmart or Sally's Beauty. The only store you can buy them at are places like Salon Centric and Cosmoprof, that only sell to licensed professionals. So if you don't have a licensed friend or family member the only other place to get them is online. Amazon has everything Babyliss at great prices! This flat iron is light weight and has a heat resistant back panel that extends over the edge of the hot plates (so it's harder to burn yourself). It has a long cord and it lasts forever! It will get up to 450 degrees as well! 

Heat Protectant, I have a lot to say about heat protectant, but I will go more in depth to that in a bit.

A Comb. Is it silly that I feel the need to mention a comb? The sad part is, it isn't. If you are using a flat iron for curling, or for flipping the ends of your hair in or outward, then you are fine not to use a comb. But if you are straightening your hair all over, you need a comb.

step 1: prepare the hair by making sure it is completely dry. Brush through the hair to remove all tangles and snarls. Turn on the straightener.

step 2: spray quality heat protectant onto the hair

step 3: pick up the section you are planning on straightening. Put a comb into the hair with one hand and begin to slowly run it down the section of the hair. Have it closely followed by the flat iron. Use a comb with teeth that are close together. This creates tension in the hair so it won't fall during this process.

step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 over the whole head.

the reason I even have this section is because it is so important to comb your hair directly in front of the straightener. I know that quickly running a straightener through your hair a few times seems like it would be less work and mean less damage but it's the exact opposite! When you go nice and slow (with heat protectant!) you will have longer lasting results! Plus instead of going over the same place 6 times you are doing it once! 2 times max! Give it a try and see if it cuts time for you! 

My heart breaks when I see a woman who has her brand new straightener set on the highest level it can go! YIKES! You don't really need 450 degrees of direct heat on your hair! start by setting your straightener on 250 degrees. If that isn't working set it up by 25 degrees each time you use it. DO NOT EXCEED 350 DEGREES! After about 6 months your straightener may seem like it's lost a little of it's spark then turn up the heat another 25 degrees. That is what the 450 is for! It extends the life if your straightener by 2 years! If you turn it up 25 degrees every 6 months, that is how long you have before it hits 450! 

Yay! My favorite part! I love product, and I truly feel my success in this industry was elevated 3 fold when I invested my time into product education, and my money into quality product! So here are a few products you should use depending on you hair needs.

Redken Iron Silk 07
This is a spray starch that is my go-to heat protectant. It smells great, is cost efficient, and is overall wonderful! It acts as a hairspray as well as a heat protectant which is also a nice little bonus. Because it is a starch opposed to an oil, it has a lot of shine control. So if you have oily hair or you have a hard time controlling shine this is the way to go! Redken products are a professional brand, which does mean it is only available online, or in a salon. It is usually less online. 
TIGI S Factor Flat Iron Shine Spray
This is one of my new favorite products by TIGI. It is exactly what it says it is. It's a flat iron heat protectant, and a shine spray. So for those of you with dry hair that wants to add the shine, this will be a better option for  you! Plus it smells like a dream! Unlike other brands I have mentioned here, TIGI has decided to become more mainstream. You can find Bedhead, Catwalk and S Factor products on shelves at Target and Walmart as well as various other places. I do find that it is usually the least expensive online though.

TIGI BedHead Straighten Out
Straighten Out is another TIGI product, but by a more well known brand BedHead! This lotion will do the next step as well as this one! The next step (Add Shine!) talks about using a smoothing serum or milk to help your hair lock in moisture, repair heat damage, and add shine a smoothness. But using this straightening, heat protecting cream is going to do that and protect your hair from the heat of the straightener!

Add Shine!
For some people their hair feels dry, dull or lifeless after straightening, so here are two straightening lotions to keep hair feeling fresh and shiny after straightening. The will also keep away any pesky fly aways!
Redken Sheer Straight 06
This product is a lightweight straightening gel that will smooth fly aways and add shine without making your hair look heavy or greasy. It's best for people with short, thin or fine hair.
Redken Align 12
This is a polishing milk that will smooth fly aways and add shine as well! It is a little heavier and is optimal for people with long, thick and full hair.

Here are links to buy all of the products and items I mentioned above on amazon! 

***Thanks to Alyssa for asking me this question!***

Friday, August 30, 2013

How do I get rid of Dark Circles under my Eyes?

Dark circles appearing under your eyes can be the cause of several things. Aging, improper skin care, makeup, ect. SO here are some ways to rejuvenate that skin under your eyes and why they work!

1- Always Remove your Makeup at Night
we are always told to wash our face before bed, but most of us don't do it! If you don't remove your eye makeup it stains your skin over night and smears and just makes it look slightly darker. Always remove your eye makeup thoroughly! I suggest using Mary Kay Tear Free and Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover. It is gentle and gets all of it off, every time. ($15)

2- Fight Signs of Aging

Women who wait until the skin under their eyes have become puffy a loose have to spend a lot more money to rejuvinate than those who work at keeping skin firm at a young age! If you are older and trying to reverse the effects of aging I suggest Mary Kay Age Fighting Eye Cream ($28). It's hypo allergenic and oil free, and it is used to dramatically lessen the appearance of eye puffiness as well as fine lines and wrinkles around and under the eyes (seen on the left). For younger girls who are trying to prevent signs of aging I'd use the Mary Kay Daily Night Solution ($32 alone or $90 in a 4 piece set). It is a part of their Timewise Miracle Set, and is meant to be used over the whole face. While you can (and are certainly welcome to) use it over the whole face, if you use it under and around your eyes you will have taken care of the most important part of your face! This stuff is packed full of keratin, nutrients and antioxidants essential for the skin renewal process (seen on the right).

3- Throw a Cucumber on your Eyes!
Cucumbers are full of wet vitamins that help brighten skin and give it a healthy glow while reducing puffiness, plus it smells great! So throw on your favorite mud mask and put a couple slices of cucumbers over your eyes and soak your feet for 20 minutes on the weekends!

4-  Don't use Concealer to Cover Up
Concealer isn't really meant to cover up the darkness under your eyes. Instead go to Walmart and findcheap Creme-to-Powder foundation (I like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup, seen below) 2 - 3 shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Use a makeup sponge to dab it under and around your eyes and then apply your normal makeup.

***Thanks to Alice, Alyssa and Magic for asking this question***

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What are the different types of Hair Removal Methods and which is the Best?

There are several hair removal methods, including electrolysis, and laser hair removal. But I am not going to go over those two, they are both electric ways of permanently removing hair. They are expensive and time consuming as well. Here are the simple and inexpensive methods of hair removal.

1- Shaving
Obviously you use a razor to cut off the hair at the surface of the skin. But what I am about to share with you will change your shaving-life! Razors are SO expensive! I hate it! To get three Venus razor blades it costs $13+ dollars! SO unless you want crappy bic ones that cut you up you are out of luck! Until now! Join the Dollar Shave Club. It's amazing. There are three plans you can join. All plans come with a solid and comfortable handle. You either get 5 two blade cartridges every month for $1, 4 four blade cartridges every month for $6, or 4 six blade cartridges every month for $9. I recommend the 4 blade for leg shaving! You can also set you plan to ship these blades to you once every other month! I get a brand new razor every other week for $3 a month! (I use the 4 blade and have it set to send them to me every other month) I never have nicks or cuts and I get a smooth shave every time! Plus I am saving money! What could be better!

2- Waxing 
You can get full body waxing everywhere, but I usually have it done on the face. Hair is ripped out of the follicle by means of warm wax. This is best done professionally. Go to a salon or beauty school to have it done for $10 - $5!

3- Hair Removal Creams
These are okay to use on the face, but I don't recommend them anywhere else. The best to get is Sally Hansens Facial Hair Removal Cream, you can get it at WalMart. But the effects don't last as long and there are more risks involved in using it. It is more likely to clog pores and it can burn your skin and irritate it if left on for to long. 

***Thanks to Kay for asking this question***

Why is Box Color So Bad for you Hair?

Today I had this message sent to me:

"Professionals and stylists always insist that box color is bad for you hair, but I have never heard why. What's the big deal? Isn't it the same stuff as you guys use, but cheaper?"

The answer to that question is no, it isn't the same at all. I have a question for you guys. We all have different hair right? We have different hair textures, lengths, density, wave patterns, history, and damage levels. So doesn't it seem like someone with platinum blonde and damaged hair would need something different than someone with light brown virgin hair (never had a chemical texture service or a color service before)? The answer is yes!

Box companies use the most oxidation and the most pigmentation in each box to achieve the closest result every time. But this also achieves the most damage every time. And the more damaged your hair is the faster your color will fade. It will also cause you to get split ends, excessive oils or dryness, and often dandruff. A professional will asses your hair's current state and history and create a color formula using your specific hair's needs that will achieve the best result with the least amount of damage possible.

Plus the color we use has a lot of vitamins, antioxidants, and conditioners in them so we can give your hair a little TLC even during the coloring process. While box colors use a lot of cheap ingredients that leave harsh metals and alkaline deposits IN your hair even after you wash the color off! Because the color used on your hair actually stays in your hair, it is important that it is made with good and healing ingredients! Not the other way around. %75 of box color has metal in it, METAL! Do you really want metal shards in your hair. They do it because it helps open then cuticle layer of hair so that the hair color can penetrate the cortex (middle) layer and deposit the color. Professionals do lift the cuticle layer of hair using chemicals, but those chemicals will also be neutralized and then smooth the cuticle and allow it to lower down and lock in the color. Box color can't do that.

On top of that it's the know how. As stylists we go through thousands of hours of training to learn how to formulate hair color. We literally look at everything from your percentage of gray, existing tone and level, natural tone and level, and target tone and level, to your hair history, porosity, density, and more to decide what to use on your hair. And I promise you every single one of those things (and a few others) plays a massive role in how and what we formulate. You simply wont get that from a box color. If you come to me and tell me you'd like me to dye your hair exactly like another one of my client's most likely I  won't use the same formula at all to achieve the same result.

Most people who dye their hair at home do so to save money. If you are trying to save money try going to a hair school instead of a salon. They usually charge much less and all students are trained in what they are doing and are being supervised and guided by industry professionals! Is it a risk? Yes. But it is a smaller (and healthier) risk than box color. Plus if they mess it up, usually the school will fix it for little to no charge. Although when I was in school I never had a problem with it. It does take A LOT longer though. A typically 3 hour process is a 5 hour process at a school, so be prepared for that.

***Thanks to Tiffany for asking this question***

Calluses, Alligator Elbows, Shaving Cream, and Soft Skin!

So this post is going to be a combination of 4 questions I have gotten over the last few weeks, all of which I answered to the individual person but not on here!

I have had a ton of questions about and lotions and creams to get softer hands or legs. I have also been asked about shaving cream and if there is any that is better for your skin or gives you softer skin. The last question I am about to answer is about calluses. I have had tons of questions about calluses on your feet, hands, elbows, ect.

I have one product that will solve all of those problems! This is the amazing Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering Set! It costs $34 and comes with a 3 step system. Hand Softener, Exfoliating Hand Scrub and Hand Cream! You can buy it in fragrance free or peach! It has been clinically tested for irritancy and allergies and it's dermatologist tested and approved!

You just apply the hand softener (a little tiny half-penny amount will cover both hands). Then use the exfoliant and rub it into your hands for a couple minutes, then wash it off. After, apply the hand cream! Done! It's simple and easy!

As far as shaving cream goes, apply a small amount of each step onto a small sized loofah sponge. Then add some body wash and mix them together. You can use this as the best body scrub in the world, or on your legs as a killer shaving cream!

When applying it to your heels to get rid of calluses you can apply the softener and then the exfoliant, and then place your foot into a plastic walmart trash bag, I usually leave mine on for about 10-20 minutes before washing them off in the tub and then applying the hand cream.

If you are getting ride of alligator elbows or knees apply the same way you would if you were trying to soften your hands. The only place you shouldn't use this stuff, is on your face! The crystals in the exfoliant are to harsh for your face. So go to MaryKay.com and fine a consultant near you so you can order this wonderful stuff!

***Thanks to Kay, Markey, Kirra, Angela, Shantel, and Corey for asking this question***

Why is Primer and Product Important in Hair and Makeup?

I am SO glad someone asked me this question! I am a big believer and advocate of both makeup primers and hair product! BUT both have to be professional!

Makeup Primer does several things for you. Primer sets the makeup and helps it last all day long. It protects your skin from the makeup setting in the pores and causing acne. It also protects your skin from being dyed by the pigment in the makeup. Dark circles under your eyes are often a result of not washing all of your makeup off thoroughly at the end of the day and having it stain your lids and under your eyes throughout the day and while you sleep. It also creates a smooth base for your foundation to sit on, so it removes or decreases visibility of unsightly creases, wrinkles and spots. It also controls shine and prevents flaking.

Some people feel like it seems daunting or silly to spend money on yet another product or to add one more step to their routine, but it is worth it. Think of it this way- how often do you reapply your makeup throughout the day? If I am not wearing primer and I have a full day, it's usually three. If it's a normal day it's two. But if I am using primer, whether I have one errand to run or a full schedule I am good to go all day long without reapplication. So if I don't use primer I am using 2- 3 times more makeup every day than if I do. Plus the primer does make your makeup look better!

Another question I was asked was what primer is most important. There is lipstick primer (which I never use), eye makeup primer (which is a must) and foundation primer (which I use for clients but it isn't a necessity on my own skin). The reason I don't always use it on myself is because honestly, I am lazy! I don't like applying more stuff to my face! I don't have the time! So I don't do it. But if I have an interview, a day packed with clients, church or anything else like that I always use foundation primer in the morning.  So I guess the answer to that question in my opinion in the eye makeup primer.

The reason I feel eye makeup primer is a necessity is because eye makeup is usually darker than your skin, and does stain it, but primer will help prevent unwanted pigmentation on your skin. Plus I feel like eye makeup is the thing that I am always having to reapply throughout the day, it also seems like it is the one that flakes and smears easiest. And lastly we touch and rub our eyes all the time! So there is more chance of your eyemakeup smearing.

Now hair product is a little different. Hair product protects your hair from damage and aging, and it also protects your styling! I do not like crunchy hair! I have a few clients (all with perms) who like crunchy hair, but I still always try to get them to use something other than mousse for styling! Use a Mousse Wax or something like that! But anyways, my point is that everyone just automatically goes to hairspray. Did you curl your hair? Hairspray! Flat Iron maybe? Hairspray!  Or maybe you did some fun beach waves? Hairspray! What I am trying to say is STOP! Hairspray is great for pulled back looks and teasing, but that is about it! So if you have a sleek pony tail and you want to manage all fly-aways use hairspray. Or if you are in a dance recital and your hair needs to be as hard as a rock use hairspray!

For other styles though, there are better options! If you have curls (natural or permed) there are millions of products out there that are meant to help you specifically! Most likely whether you want separation, or bounce, or you are flat ironing it, or whatever there is at least one product out there that is specially meant to aid in exactly what you are trying to accomplish! And it's going to work a whole lot better than hairspray!

Heat protecants are my big thing though! You HAVE to protect you hair. You hair is constantly getting damaged. Between flat irons, blow dryers, curling irons, the sun, hot showers, being twisted up in towels, being pulled back into pony tails, clipped up and other styling methods, your hair is pretty much done! All of those things that I mentioned before cause your hair to dry out, break off, and create split ends. So it is SO important that we use quality product to care for our hair and for ALL heat applications you must protect it!

If you want to see what primers and hair product I recommend, check out my posts:
What Makeup Products Do You Use?
What Hair Products Do You Use?

***Thanks Jenny and ChickaDee63 for asking these questions!***

How do I Control my Dandruff?

Many of us fall victim to the small white flakes of dry scalp in our hair, on our pillows and on our clothes! They make us look unhygienic and gross no matter how many showers we take! Yes, I too suffer from dandruff! But luckily I also know they best way to get rid of dandruff!

1- Scalp Treatment
These are your best friends, bottom line. Not a lot of salons do them (surprisingly enough) but most hair schools do for cheap! These treatments use a mint tea-tree oil deep conditioner to soften and condition the scalp. A boar bristle round brush is used at the roots to stimulate hair growth and loosen any dried flakes already present. This removes any present dandruff and protects, moisturizes and conditions the scalp to prevent the scalp from drying and flaking in the future. Usually a scalp treatment is $10-25

2 - The Right Shampoo
There are two shampoos I recommend. The first is Heads & Shoulders at Walmart. yes, I am recommending a drugstore shampoo, shocking I know. But it works for dandruff. Although some people who have really bad dandruff need a little something more. For those unfortunate folks I recommend Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo. You can usually find this at a Salon or online. 

3 - Use Conditioner
A lot of people feel like conditioner isn't important. It's a step that is often skipped or overlooked. But your scalp needs the moisture! If you have a hard time with your hair looking greasy or oily you may want to invest in a professional conditioner (it doesn't have to be dandruff fighting conditioner) because these have less filler oils in them and focus more on vitamins and essential oils. When I say professional conditioner, or product I do not mean "Loreal Professionals" or whatever you can pick up at Sally's Beauty. In the salon world there are brands that are exclusive to salons. Aside from American Crew and TIGI, most professional product can not be found at Walmart or Sally's unless it is counterfeit or expired product. For example Redken, Paul Mitchell, Wella, Alloxi, Big Sexy, Aveda, ect. The only place you should be able to find these products are in a salon. Most salons have a retail section where you can purchase these products.

4 - Don't Wash Your Hair Every Day
This is a good rule in general but it is important that nobody who is battling dandruff over washes their hair. It dries our your scalp and causes the dandruff! My husband has the worst dandruff ever and he found that if he only washes his hair every other day (sometimes every 3 days) his dandruff is completely gone! It's like if you have a dry patch of skin on your arm, would you consistently wash it and dry it? no, you'd probably put moisturizer or lotion it often. So moisturize your scalp.

Here is a link to some of the product mentioned before
Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo
Heads & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo 

***Thanks to Jamie, Alexia, RobbieRay and PotterFan2000 for asking this question***

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's Talk About Curly Hair

Curly Hair is different! It needs more moisture and more product to be controlled and mainatianed. Some of us straight haired gals can just get up in the morning and not touch our hair, but for frizzy haired folk it's a little different. Here are my tips and tricks for handling frizzy and curly hair!

1- Diffuse

If you have curly hair and you don't know what a diffuser is shame on you! A diffueser is an attachment for your blowdryer than diffuses the heat do it doesn't dry out your coarse hair. It promotes the curls and the seperatin of them, without creating frizz. The best diffuser is the Conair Universal Diffuser, because it fits on any blowdryer!

2- Product, Product, Product! 

The use of product is so important for people with thick and dry frizzy curls! Here are the products I use on my curly clients!

To seperate curls and give definition while controlling frizz I use TIGI BedHead Hook-Up Mousse Wax
It will define your curls without feeling crunchy! But if you like a little crunch TIGI BedHead Foxy Curls is the way to go!
If you are straightening your curls use a heat protectant. I usually recommend Iron SIlk by Redken but you'll need a little more strength to tame naturally frizzy curls. So instead I suggest Redken Iron Style 11. Trust me, you'll love it! It protects your hair from the heat, while smoothing out fly aways and its a spray starch so it act like a hairspray too!
Using a leave in Conditinoer is so important for you girls! So I recommend Redken Outshine polishing Milk. It's thick creamy formula is strong enough to withstand s=curls while giving them protection from breakage and damage!

***Thanks to Kelly, Anna, and Rachelle for asking this question***

How Can I Control My Fly-Aways without making my Hair Look Greasy?

In order to answer this question first I need to explain what fly-aways are. They are damaged pieces of hair. The cuticle (which is the protective outer layer of the hair strand) has been opened making the individual hair strand lighter, and more attracted to static than the other strands. So the best way to control these pesky fly-aways is by taking really good care of your hair. I have three recommendations for those who have trouble with fly-aways.

1- Blow Dry Differently
If you blow dry your hair, blow dry it with heat (like normal). But then after you are done use the cool setting (most blow dryers have a cool shot button) on your hair. Heat opens the cuticle layer and causes damage. If you use the cool shot button it will close the cuticle layer. AND for extra fly-away resistance point the nozzle of your blow dryer down (so it's pointing towards the floor or ends of your hair) when doing this it closes the cuticle in a more smooth and compact manner allowing for more shine and less frizz.

2 - Use Heat Protectant
If you use a thermal Straightener or curling iron on your hair use heat protectant! I can not stress enough how important heat protectant is for your hair! My favorite is Redken Iron Silk. It's lightweight, smells fantastic, and has great hold!

3 - Use a Smoothing Serum
A smoothing serum is not a leave in conditioner. It serves the purpose of smoothing down fly-aways and maintaining control, but without feeling heavy. I suggest Redken Align for people with medium or thick hair, or people with dry and very damaged hair. It is a polishing milk that comes out of a pump. It allows for a lot of control and smoothing and a little goes a VERY long way! For people with thin, fine or oily hair I suggest Redken  Sheer Straight. This allows for a lot of control but is more lightweight than Align. Align also has some conditioning properties that Sheer Straight doesn't (which is better for those with oily hair)!
The first two suggestions are about conditioning and protecting your hair. The more you do these two things the less fly-aways you'll have thus the less smoothing serum you'll need.
If at first you still feel oily while using the smoothing serums, try using dry shampoo. It can be hard to find a good dry shampoo and they can be pretty pricey, so what I do is use baby powder! It works like a charm! And if you have dark hair add some cocoa powder to the baby powder to darken it. Sprinkle the mixture along your hairline and at your part. Then rub it in with the pads of your finger tips. If you need more, you can use it, just try to keep it on the roots of your hair.

If you have curly hair consider using a mousse wax. TIGI BedHead Hook-Up Mousse Wax, dispenses foamy (like a mousse) and dries light (like a wax). It will not leave your hair feeling crunchy! 

Here are some links to buy the product suggested above online direct from Redken and TIGI! Or you can find these buys at a salon near you! 

***Thanks to Annette for asking this question!***

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Mary Kay Products do you not Recommend?

I have had this question a couple of times and I have answered it to the individual people who have asked instead of on the blog. I guess I felt like if I said anything bad about Mary Kay it would make me an awful beauty consultant. Somewhere in my mind I have even felt like there would be some sort of Mary Kay Secret Service that would find out what I had said and kick me out! A little irrational maybe, but it's better safe than sorry! Then I realized that as a reader, follower or client I am more inclined to trust someone who can give me the good, the bad, and the ugly truth. All of it. So I am doing that today. I will give you my least favorite Mary Kay products that I don't use or recommend to people.

1- Medium Coverage Foundation
I just feel like their liquid foundation has a lot less coverage than most liquid foundations do already. But I love their liquid foundation! It's light and if you use it with the miracle set it's phenomenal! Where the medium coverage foundation, it feels like moisturizer to me. I don't like it at all!

2- Mary Kay Fragrances
I suppose this is personal opinion, I just don't like the scents. They are all heavy and powdery to me, and they smell like old lady. I do love most of the scents at Victoria Secret however, so I suppose if you think those smell to "young and fruity" that you might like these.

3- Satin Lips Set
I might really get in trouble for this one, considering that Satin Lips is one of Mary Kay's best selling products, but I am not a fan! The satin lips set comes with two little 3 oz tubes (one with a mask and one with a balm) to make your lips silky smooth! It's $18, which seems like a lot for a glorified chapstick. Plus they also have Satin Hands sets! These smell like peach (yum!) it's a 3 step process and you get about x10 the amount of product for $34. And if you use the defoliator and the hand cream on your lips (just a tiny baby amount!) you get the same results. In fact I think it works better!

***Thanks to Chelsea Taylor, LaurenLovesLions, and Felicia for asking me this question!***

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lip Makeup

When doing lip makeup for clients I always have a few goals.

  • I don't want to make there lipstick look flat and one dimensional
  • I want to be sure I keep the lipstick on my clients lips (not their teeth or nose)
  • I want the lips to look full
  • I want the lips to have a lot of shape (show off the cupids bow)

1- Putting dimension in the lips!
I love a bold fun lipstick! Hot pink and fire truck red! But I do NOT love having a flat and boring color on my lips! This is done with an amazing lipstick that I use on most of my clients and myself! Mary Kay Copper Star Lipstick (left) and Mary Kay Sheer Blush Lipstick (right)! Both of these lipsticks are in our Metals line. They add shine and dimension to your color as well as helping condition your lips. The Copperstar I use more often, it adds warmth to your color, while the the Sheer Blush adds cool tones. ($15)

2- Make that Lipstick Stay Put! 
This is my go-to for making ALL lipstick stay right where I want it to! I use Mary Kay Translucent Powder. If you are applying it on only the lips, use a small bristled eye makeup brush to apply. Dip the tip of the brush in the powder, then tap it on the side of the tin to remove excess powder. Then slowly cover your lips with the powder. You will probably have to re-dip and apply about 4 times. Or if you are applying this to your whole face (recommended) apply with a full sized blush brush the same way. Just close your eyes first and apply on all areas of the face.

3- Keep Lips Looking Full!
To keep your lips looking full and plump, you should use a lip plumper! My favorite is 
Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper in Clear! HERE is a link to get some off Amazon! You can also buy it in various colors. I personally use it in clear, in a light layer, then I wait about 3 minutes to let the plumper soak in and then I apply my lipstick. If you'd like to use it as a lip gloss I do not recommend using lipstick with it. I personally don't use lip gloss, I think you have dimension in your lipstick you don't need it, and it doesn't read well on camera. But it can be really great for helping you have full and plump lips without a collagen injection! 

4- Giving the Lips Shape! 
I want the lips to have a nice, even and full shape, and to show off the cupids bow! So I use highlighting and contouring around the mouth to do this. But I think that Gregg Brockington (Mary Kay Global Makeup Artist) demonstrates how to do this very well using a facial highlighting pen in the video below. He demonstrates three techniques, the first two for eyes and the third for the lips! Know that you can mimic this using the highlighting pen or by using a liquid foundation that is 3-4 shades lighter than what you are using now and an angled eye makeup brush.

***Thanks to Jasmine for sending in this question***

Eyebrow and Eyelash Tips and Tricks!

This post is kind of a culmination of a few different questions I have had!

1- What is the best mascara and eyeliner to use? 

 Revlond 3D Photo Ready Mascara $8
Mary Kay Lash Love Lash Lengthening Mascara $15 

NYX Eye Liner Pencils $2.50

Mary Kay Translucent Powder $16
I use this translucent powder on a small makeup brush. Apply a light layer on top of your eyeliner and eye shadow to make it last all day long! 

2- How can I make my eye lashes long and strong or grow my eyebrows out thicker and fuller naturally?
Take a cutip, put vaseline on the end and apply it to your lash line (on both top and bottom) at the root of the lashes. This will help them grow. Do this twice a day (in the morning and before bed).
You can also put vaseline on your eyebrows to make them grow fuller and thicker and faster! This is perfect for the times someone waxes your eyebrows a little to thin, or some over-tweezing has occurred.
If you don't want to use vaseline I recommend using Mary Kay's Lash and Brow Building Serum. It is better than Lilash, because it doesn't pigment or darken the skin around the lashes. It is lighter and not as sticky or goopy as vasaline, and is only $38! 

3- How can I fill in my eyebrows? What products should I use? 
I never outline my eyebrows using a pencil. Never. The line is to harsh and blunt looking. Use a powder that matches your hair color but one two shades lighter. Make sure it is a matte eye color that you are using and not a shimmery one! There is no need to use an expensive or special brand of eye color. Use an angled makeup brush to apply it. Or if you just have holes in your eyebrows or patchy areas you want to fill in use a pencil. I always use a pencil. BUT make sure it is VERY light! If your eyebrows look gaudy or drag-queenish then your pencil is to dark! I always use Covergirl Perfect Blend eye pencil. I have dark brown hair and I get the 4th lightest shade they have. Picking the perfect eye pencil shade is definitely a trail and error process and take practice! Don't attempt your first eyebrow filling before a big date or on picture day!

4- What application tips do you have for mascara? 
Start by dipping the brush in the bottle, and quickly pulling it out (this helps prevent clumping).
Bring the brush to the base of your eyelash line and work the brush back and forth
as you move upward spin the brush upward
Let the mascara dry before applying another coat (2-3 minutes)
I usually only apply one coat, but once it is done drying I like to take the mascara and just brush a little more onto the ends of the eyelashes (not a full coat, just on the ends) which makes them look longer!

5- How Do I Shape My Eyebrows?
The chart below shows the method that stylists and estheticians use when shaping eyebrows. You from the inner corner of the eye as a staring point. The outer Iris is where the apex of the arch should be, and the eyebrow should extend past the outer corner of the eye. As far as the actual arch it can be as high, low, dramatic, subtle, curved or pointed as you want. That is all about preference.

***Thanks to Tasha, Cowgirl930, Anna C, and Jessica for these questions!***

How can I make my Damaged Hair Healthy Again?

So you have super damaged, dry and brittle hair? Well I am here to tell you what you should do to make you locks luscious again!

1- Use Quality Products!
I talk about this in every hair-related post I swear! But it is so important to use quality and professional product on your hair! We all know that the name brand sauce tastes better than the cheaper great value one right? So why would  you use the cheap brands on your hair? I consider it an investment! HERE is a link to my blog post about what hair products I recommend to you for all hair types, styles and textures!  And PLEASE use a heat protectant!

2- Get a Deep Conditioning Treatment
There are many benefits to getting a deep conditioning treatment. But aside from the relaxing girl time, deep conditioning treatments use strong tee tree oil conditioners to penetrate the strands and condition the hair from root to porous ends. It smooths the hair and provides keratin packed treatment to help your hair stay long and strong and healthy! It also helps control frizz and rebuilds damaged hair! If you go to a Cosmetology School they only cost $5 - $10 and they are well worth it!

 You can also give yourself a deep conditioning treatment at home! Get a shower cap, and wash your hair out with professional shampoo! I suggest TIGI BedHead Reconstruct shampoo. Then use TIGI S Factor Serious Conditioner. Work thoroughly into the ends of the hair and lightly through the scalp. Then throw on the shower cap and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then rinse!

3- Give Your Hair  a Break!
Your hair goes through so much!  Everything from being dyed, curling irons, blow dryers, straighteners, sun exposure, water exposure, it's a lot for one strand to handle! I suggest doing a "hair diet"! This is where you spend a week without using ANY hot tools at all! No blow dryers and no thermals! During this week you should also not wash your hair! The natural oils in your hair are important! If you have super greasy hair wash it once in the middle of the week but that is it! Use dry Shampoo instead!
*For Dry Shampoo I make my own by using baby powder (for blonde hair) and if you have dark hair mix the baby powder with coco powder!

***Thanks to Chelsea and Erin Baker for asking this question***

How can I make my Hair Grow Faster?

This is a pretty common question and I am excited to address it! 

Hair grows at different rates for different people. Hair has a cycle that professionals call the ACT cycle. It has three phases. 
Anagen - The Growth Phase, accounts for %80 of the hair strand's life
Catagen - The Resting Phase, where the hair stays in place %20 of hair strand's life
Telogen - The Falling Phase, Where the strand falls out of the follicle and regrowth begins. 

All your hair strands are at a different stage in these three phases at all times. The key to making your hair grow longer is to elongate the anagen phase! For this I recommend five things!

1- Get a Trim! 

If you are reading this you've probably been trying to grow your hair out for a while. Often people make the mistake of not getting their hair cut. The best way for me to explain why this is a problem is with a little analogy. If you take a 2x4 (2 by 4) plank of wood and try to split it lengthwise with your hands it is super hard to do (for me it's impossible). But once there is a crack or a small split in the wood it is super easy to split it and break it down the middle. Your hair is the same. Once a split end begins it isn't long before it gets worse and splits up the hair shaft and then breaks off. That is why regular "dusting" trims every 6-8 weeks are important. 

2- Get a Scalp Treatment!
Scalp treatments are a great way to relax and unwind, while getting rid of dandruff and stimulating hair growth on your scalp! These are usually about $15-30 a salon! I highly recommend the Nioxin Scalp Treatment which is exclusive to The Salon at Ulta Beauty. It is $28 but not only does it cleanse the scalp, it was created to improve hair growth by %35 (and it does!) as well as to help your hair and scalp stay healthy. However most salons have some sort of scalp treatment that helps to exfoliate the scalp and stimulate hair growth. You can also usually find $10 options at hair schools too. These treatments slough off buildup on the scalp, stimulate the scalp and follicles, as well as providing needed nutrients to the scalp. 

3- Use a Vitamin Supplement! 
There are tons of supplements out there, but some of them are just awful! And the ones that aren't awful tend to be expensive! I suggest getting Hair, Skin and Nails by Kirkland! It is a Kirkland product which is Costco exclusive, so if you or a close friend doesn't have a membership you can still find it online for about the same price! However when you buy online you always run the risk of getting something that is fake or expired. I do not recommend using prenatal vitamins however, due to advice from doctors. You can read more about different supplements here. Other options I like include the ItWorks Global Hair Skin and Nail and the Monat supplements. Those are both direct sales brands that you likely have a friend on Facebook who sells them.

4- Use a Quality Heat Protectant!
If you are using a blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron often you are damaging your hair which causes it to break off! Make sure you are using a quality heat protectant! To learn about what protectants I recommend (and don't) click here. 

5- Hang Upside Down
I was super against the idea of hanging upside down to promote hair growth. I have known a lot of people who have said it works, but no official studies had been done. Now there have been, and it does work. You have to be careful though! The suggestion is that you sit upside down (so your head is hanging, or slightly resting on the ground) for about 5 minutes a day. If you have either had something to drink or eat recently, or if you haven't had enough to eat or drink the past 24 hours you may feel dizzy. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit back up. It is suggested that you do this every single or every other day.

The reason this works is because it promotes blood flow to the head and the hair follicles. Just like if you massage your arms by running your fist on the inside of your arm towards your hand it makes your nails grow faster. Both promote blood flow to an area of the body where you want to see the growth.

Follow these four steps and you should have longer healthier locks in no time at all!

***Thanks for asking this question: Anna C, Jessica, and BizzyLizzy!***