Monday, June 26, 2017

Essential Oils and Beauty

Essential oils are EVERYWHERE. Between DoTerra, Young Living, It Works, and other direct sales brands that promote essential oils, the information about what essential oils can do has become abundant. I actually LOVE essential oils. The first time I used them I was at girls camp at age 14, and I tripped while walking to the restroom and scraped up my knee and leg really badly (I was wearing shorts, which were against camp rules for this exact reason). One of the camp leaders said that the best thing to use to help it heal quickly was lavender oil. I wan't so sure, but she cleaned me up with some warm water and then doused the area with the oil anyways. The next day the mess had healed almost completely! It took three days for the deep cuts and scrapes to become small scars which are completely gone now years later. Ever since then I have been super interested in essential oils and what they can do for your skin and their beauty purposes. Here is a list of some of my favorite oils, and what to use them for! (you can click on each oil's name to purchase it).

Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil is my absolute favorite oil ever! It is a natural antiseptic (which means it reduces the chance of infections). It also helps cell growth which heals wounds faster and reduces the appearance of the subsequent scars. I just talked about using this for cuts and scrapes, but you can also use this on your face! I am a picker. I know I shouldn't but when I feel a zit coming on I poke, prod, squeeze and pick at it until it bursts! And what's worse? I often pick the scab that forms after! However if after picking or popping a zit I put a little lavender oil on a cotton swab and then on the newly popped pimple it heals super fast and I don't get scars if I am diligent about it.

On top of this you can use it to help relieve sunburns, burns of any kind, bug bites, bee stings, chapped lips, cold sores, and I also LOVE to use it to help me sleep! Lavender has a lot of calming properties, and by putting a few drop in your hands and rubbing them together, then cupping them over your nose and deeply inhaling a few times, it can help you to relax instantly and help you to get some beauty sleep if you are feeling restless.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a hot ingredient right now in skin care and hair care. It is also has antimicrobial properties but unlike Lavender it is also drying. It is great to put on your acne with a cotton swab to help it disappear without popping or picking, A little rubbed onto your scalp can help you defeat dandruff, and spraying it on your feet will help fight fungus too!

Geranium Oil

This oil has what we call astringent properties. This means that it causes tightening and firming and can help prevent as well as get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Just be careful using it around your eyes. While it helps to tighten and firm it is very moisturizing as well. I have also heard using it on your abs to help you get more tonal definition works, but I honestly wouldn't know (I don't have abs haha). Because Geranium is an astringent it can also help to reduce the appearance of stretchmarks. It is also a natural insect repellent and can be used as a natural deodorant too.

Patchouli Oil

Patchouli Oils can also be used to firm and tighten skin while also helping to control oils (as opposed to geranium that hydrates while firming). Another common use for Patchouli Oil is doing a cupped hand method or using an oil diffuser to inhale the oil and relieve anxiety as well as stress. Patchouli is also said to be an aphrodisiac as well as to be one of the best natural deodorants around.

A lot of people associate patchouli with hippies and potheads. Not to long ago Giuliana Rancic went under major fire for saying that the stunning Zendaya looked like she smelled of patchouli oil when she sported dreadlocks on the red carpet. I wanted to address why patchouli is often associated with dreadlocks. Patchouli is a natural antiseptic and insect repellent, and it is really great at relieving psoriasis and dandruff. Since dreadlocks often pull the scalp and expose it to the elements patchouli is great at protecting the scalp. Dreadlocks are best for those with super coarse textured hair, like that typically found on people with African or Latin roots. African and Latin people are also more susceptible to psoriasis and dandruff, so patchouli is a great option for them (as well as others fighting these issues).  Patchouli does have a very earthy smell that a lot of people like to use to cover up the scent of marijuana as well, which is why it gets labeled as a hippie's fragrance. But patchouli has a lot of awesome practical applications for all kinds of people.

This is one of the most popular oils around! Ylang Ylang was originally used to treat thinning hair and alopecia. It is widely considered to help grow hair faster, stronger and thicker when massaged into the follicles. It works best as a hot oil treatment. Mix about 6 drops of ylang ylang oil into 5 tablespoons of Olive Oil and heat it up in the microwave for 10 seconds. After shampooing your hair apply the warm oil onto your scalp and massage it in. I recommend putting a clear cap or towel around your head to trap in the heat and get the benefits of the oil and treatment, leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it out and condition as normal.

Chamomile Oil

This oil is great for treating cracked dry skin, like you might see on someone with eczema. It's also awesome for people who have a lot of redness or inflammation. A few drops of this in a small travel size spray bottle of water can help reduce the look of redness on your face in just a few minutes.

Chamomile is widely known for it's calming properties and is often associate with the popular chamomile tea. consuming small amounts of chamomile can help to sooth and relax the body while also helping to support a healthy immune system. Chamomile not only soothes the mind (with relaxing properties that mimic lavender and frankincense) but it can also help to calm irritability and diffuse anger. I can't honestly say why it does this differently or more effectively than the others mentioned, but in the research I have done most sites say that chamomile is superior for those with anger problems.

Citronella Oil as well as tangerine, limelemon grasslemon, orange and other citrus oils and blends have one very powerful and important effect. They can make you happy! Multiple studies have been done where citrus oil blends have been diffused into offices and hospitals and the results are always that the workers and patients are happier. Citronella is NOT a citrus fruit but like lemon grass has a citrus scent. 

You may or may not have notices that most of my links take you to Aroma Foundry for your essential oils. This is because I LOVE Aroma Foundry! I am a customer and a fan of theirs. Why do I choose Aroma Foundry? First things first, I have had zero quality issue with their products. You can read the ingredients on the labels, and all of their oils are 100% pure oils with no fillers. They are also super transparent and proud of their sourcing. This company sources all of their oils to the countries from which they originate. So for example their citronella oil is from Vietnam. Another huge factor for me is price! You guys they are so affordable! I love it! Check out Aroma Foundry Here!

A few of the other places I like to get my essential oils includes my It Works rep, and Bulk Apothocary, however I usually go with Aroma Foundry when I can. I am hoping they expand their line to include some the oils I have to go elsewhere to get.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

REVIEW: Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 4 (very good)
Coverage - 3 (average)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Waterproof - 3 (average)


I am SO EXCITED to have gotten my hands on the Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer early! So let me break down my experience with this concealer. First of all the packaging! I LOVE this packaging, and I am usually not a fan of Benefit's packaging. Benefit pride's themselves on their fun and funky names and silly packaging, but I like packaging that feels expensive, so I am clearly not who they are trying to please. But this one is the perfect marriage. It has a chrome finished base with an on trend shade of pink and mint with black lettering for the lid. It looks expensive but is still fun.

Onto the actual product. I gave the ear portion a 4 because it does last for a long time! I do not have to apply it a lot. However I couldn't give it 5 stars because I do not like the way it settles into fine lines and wrinkles. The name "airbrush" would lead you to think it blurs those features, but it definitely exaggerates them (maybe use a pore and wrinkle blurring primer first, I had better results with that and I did use Benefit's Porefessional).

I had a hard time deciding what to do for the coverage score. The reason is because it isn't super full coverage. It is best for covering discoloration more than hiding large acne areas. However that is what they advertise. On their website they say it is sheer to medium coverage, and you can definitely build it up to a medium coverage. I gave it a 3 because people expect a lot of coverage from concealer,

Longevity means how long the product will last before you have to replace it. A little did go a long way, but not a shocking amount. However I am sure I'll have this for a decent amount of time before replacing it.

The last is waterproof. This product does boast itself as waterproof. So I put it to the test. I geared up to watch Golden Girls (which always makes me cry because of either a sweet tender moment or out of laughter) and put some of this under my eyes. It was still there after a minimal amount of tearing up (accompanied by wiping those tears away). I also put some on my hands after having freshly cleaned them and dried them. I won't lie, it didn't last super long. Then I tried again after having my hands dry for a few hours and it did well. I ran it under water and it did run a little but did not entirely come off. It did well, enough to get a score of three.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

REVIEW: TIGI Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Hold - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Dry Time - 4 (very good)

This a straightforward hairspray. It is called Hard Head because it is for those days when you don't want your hair to move. For sleek top knots, slicked back pony tails, bridal looks or performance looks, this is your hairspray. You don't need much to get the job done,  and it smells really sweet and does not have the average aerosol smell. It holds for hours and keeps every hair in place. The only drawback is it is a little sticky when you put it on and takes a minute to dry. However compared to other high hold hairsprays like this it dries pretty quickly.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tips to get Texture

Texture is IN, whether your hair is straight, curly, up, it's all about texture right now. So I have a few different tips you can use to get that effortless and easy textured look.

I am going to talk about hot tool tips, including what tools to use, what not to use, and how to use them. I am going to talk about products and how to get this textured look using products, as well as some don'ts for texture lovers.

Do you have hair that won't hold ANY texture, no curls, no backcombing, it is just FLAT? I recommend grabbing a Sam Villa Texture Iron. Now before you say "that is just a crimpper! This isn't the 80's!" I KNOW! I wouldn't recommend something that would have you looking crazy! The magic of this Sam Villa Texture Iron is that it creates a tight but super fine micro-crimp. It is so fine that you can't really see it unless you are up close. So if you use this to add texture to just your roots (I recommend leaving out a thin section right around your part) it will give you a major volume boost, that no one can see! You can also add texture to your whole head to bulk up braids and help updos hold better. When you use the texture iron if you hold it on for longer or clamp it tighter, it will create a deeper crimp than if you tap it or gently close it on the hair. It takes a little trial and error so be patient, it usually clicks after 3-5 tries!

Another hot tool tip is about curling. I recommedn using a

wand or flat iron to create textured beachy looks. Why not a classic curling iron? When you look at beachy waves or textured curls, you will see that the strands are usually barely curled or they are straight on the ends. A classic clamp curling iron doesn't allow for that. So make sure you aren't curling the ends super tight with your flat iron. Here is a great tutorial from Confessions of a Hairstylist for getting great flat iron curls.

There are so many texture products out there. I am going to show you a few of my favorites, why I love them and what they are for. 

My TEXTURE CREAM of choice is Wella EIMI Grip Cream. Creams generally work best on short hair (like pixie cuts). They are also ideal for coarse hair types. The EIMI Grip Cream smells great, holds great, and isn't stiff or sticky. It runs about $19, you can click here to find a salon that carries it near you. The best way to use grip cream it to dip your finger into it and pick up a small amount of product. Pick up a small amount of product using your thumb, middle, and pointer fingers. Rub the product around on those fingers and then pick up the pieces of hair you'd like to see stand out. It will look like you are pinching multiple pieces of your hair quickly. For longer hair I like to put product on both hands and grab those pieces at the ends, it is just a little faster when you are using both hands. Other cream products that are great for texture are Redken Rough Paste and the Kenra Texture Taffy. If you don't want any kind of curl, but still want texture
this is a great technique to get it.

Another Option is TEXTURE POWDER. I am personally in love with the Puff.Me powder from Design.Me Hair. I love this one for ALL the reasons. A little goes a super long way, its effective, it smells nice. And most powders you have to shake onto your hair, while this one has an air pump that your can almost "spray" it on with. I love it! The only other one I recommend it Sexy Hair's Powder Play. I was not a fan of the Oscar Blandi or Redken powders. With all of these hair powders you apply at the root and it adds volume and texture to the hair all over. You can sprinkle some onto the ends as well. This is perfect for ultra fine hair, but if your hair is course, it will not work well. If your hair is super dry it is fine for the roots, but I would steer clear when it comes to using it on your ends.

However my personal product of choice is a Texture Spray I love texture sprays because they work great on medium hair types (like my own) and are perfect for taking curls from flat to big, from formal to fun, and from fallen to beachy fast! My hair type is medium in texture and density so this is my go-to product personally. I do switch between a few but I usually return to the Kenra Dry Texture Spray. The way I use texture sprays is by taking a small section or two around my part and lightly spraying them with the product. After I work the product in I have a result of light texture and effortless volume. If I want to amp it up I will spray the product throughout my hair to create more textured curls and a beachy or windswept look. Texture Spray is also versatile. It can give your hair grip so it stays in braids, buns or updos for longer, which is awesome I love multitasking products! A few others that I adore are the Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, the Aloxxi Texturing Spray, and Redken Windblown Texture Hairspray.


DO be patient with yourself, it takes time to master a new skill!
DON'T give up
DO try different techniques, even if you've mastered the flat iron, try the wand! You may be surprised at how much more you like it, or vice versa!
DON'T use any hot tools without the right heat protectant. Here is a guide on those.
DO invest in high quality products
DON'T buy your salon brand products at Walmart or on Amazon. It's called diversion, read more about it here.
DO use leave in conditioners and oils on the ends of your hair after styling (but only a little)
DON'T curl your hair all the same direction.
DO make sure some go towards your face and other go away