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Nature’s Gift

9 Jul

I never seem to learn . . .

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I am pretty good at styling my own hair. Yet, time and again I will pay a stylist to do my hair and each time, I usually don’t like it and have wasted money. It’s like gambling for me. I did this again last weekend when I had a wedding to attend. After work I just wanted to sit for an hour and have someone curl my hair – easy. I ended up at one of those walk-ins welcome “affordable” salons because I figured, how can a trained professional screw up curling hair? Well, not only do I not like tight curls, which I repeatedly told her, I ended up with sausage curls and singed hair with a few straight pieces in there. I had to separate my hair out when I got home so it looked more natural, and fix a few pieces with my own curling iron. $35 later to have someone burn my hair.
coconut
Instead of shaving my head, I tried deep conditioning my hair with nature’s own coconut oil. Yes, I’ve seen one million uses of coconut oil and finally tried one. To my amazement, it worked. My hair was soft and it helped soothe some of those singed pieces. I did not realize you should probably wash out the coconut oil as I just rinsed it out and had too much close to my roots, so even with my hair dry it looked wet (greasy). I tried it again a few days later and just put some on my dry ends and washed it out the next morning. The results work better than any conditioner/deep conditioning treatment/hair mask I have ever used.

It’s natural and affordable in comparison to many of those hair repair products on the market. Definitely worth a try.

-AP

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Shaving is the Pits

18 Jul

Coming from an Italian ethnicity I feel as though I spend half of my life doing some sort or hair removal on my body. Whether it is shaving, threading, depilatories, waxing or sugaring I have done all of the above.

 

 

 I even used one of those mits to “rub” hair off of your body. One area that I feel I shave quite a bit is my armpits and recently got them waxed and I don’t think I can go back to shaving. The hair removal lasted a couple of weeks, looks much smoother and no 5 ‘clock shadow under there. I didn’t even feel much pain, so much so, that I really want to look into laser hair removal . . . ahh the time and money I could save.  The only pitfall is that I probably picked the wrong season to try this out; growing the hair back can be difficult to hide in the heat, hence why I have been in so many t-shirts and light cardigans. I will refrain from posting a picture of my armpits to save myself the embarrassing jokes.

 

-AP

If You’re Going to San Francisco . . .

28 Oct

Today I left for San Francisco! I’m super excited for so many reasons (maybe too many to explain in one little blog post) but it got me thinking about travel essentials. I tend to over-pack. I’m probably the worst packer in the history of the world. I’m a “well what if I feel like wearing this/just in case/might need to change” kind of girl. Although I do over-pack with clothes and shoes I think I do a pretty good job at condensing my makeup. I really like taking palettes that can take you from day to night and with various colours.Eyeshadows that have 4 colours are usually great because you can use the lighter shades for day and the darker for night. Besides making-up my face I also think moisturizer is definitely key when travelling. You never know how your skin will react to different climates and air so it is always beneficial to keep the skin well hydrated.

Hopefully, San Francisco gives me some inspiration! Will be back next week . . .  hope everyone enjoys Halloween and the creativity that comes with it!

-AP

The Almighty Thread

23 Oct

In a previous post I discussed eyebrows and more importantly, groomed brows. I had a few people mention to me to try threading so I decided to do just that. Since I’ve been growing in my brows and I looked like Bert from Sesame Street I’ve been pretty thankful for my bangs.

This picture really doesn’t give you the full effect of the caterpillars that were above my eyes so needless to say I couldn’t wait to get them taken care of.

Threading is an ancient method of hair removal where cotton thread is used to remove the hair. It is supposed to remove the hair at the follicle level which means the hair should not grow in as fast. I also took my mother to try it because she has very sensitive skin and usually breaks out with sugaring or waxing. With threading there are no chemicals and it is also very sanitary. I’ve also read that it is safe for people on acne medications. 

I’m not going to lie, it was a little painful but not unbearable; it is just a new or different sensation and my eyes were a little watery. The practitioner just had me hold my skin taught (she guided me where to hold) and she just went to work with that thread; and let me tell you, did she go to work! It was so quick and my brows are shaped beautifully. My mother has no redness or irritation and her brows also look great. The charge was only $10 et voila . . .

 Threading is becoming more popular in North America so you may be able to find it easier than expected. If I can find it in the small town I live in, anyone can!

Pick of the Week

15 Oct

For me, make-up  is  just as fun as art and just like art you need some tools.  Hmm let’s see . . .  pencils, sponges, colour, pigment and of course some good brushes. This is exactly what  I have found in Quo’s line of make-up brushes. Quo is a Shoppers Drug Mart exclusive line of colour cosmetics and cosmetic accessories.  Their line of make-up brushes  are made from natural and synthetic fibers. The brushes are very soft and I have not had any issues with the hairs falling out of them. They have quite an assortment of brushes, sets and even a brush cleaner. I’m not the only one who thinks they are amazing  – even acclaimed make-up artist Dino Dilio endorses them on Cityline.

Some of my favourites include the foundation brush, blush brush, eye smudger brush and the liner/brow brush. Another thing to look out for is that sometimes Shoppers Drug Mart marks the brushes down to 40% off and they have good deals on sets too. If you are looking to get some good quality brushes sometimes getting a full set is a great investment at a great price. Also, if you have a Shoppers Optimum card, you obtain points just for shopping and if you do have enough points you may have enough for some good quality make-up brushes.

-AP

Olive Juice . . . I love You!

20 Sep

For as long as I can remember olive oil has always been apart of my life. I thought its uses were as simple as cooking and salad dressing, but little did I know all of the amazing beauty benefits it has too. Sophia Loren attests some of her famous good looks to a mediterranean diet (which includes olive oil) and is quoted as saying she takes, “the odd bath in virgin olive oil”. 

*I wonder if that’s olive oil in the tub?*

Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamin E which is why is it is so beneficial to the hair, skin and nails. Some of the many uses of olive oil include:

Eye Makeup Remover: Just add a bit of olive oil to a cotton pad and wipe over the eye area. This is  a great alternative to many products with chemicals and harmful ingredients especially if you have sensitivities.

Nails: I have put olive oil straight on my cuticles to soften them when they are really dry but I have also read to mix a small amount of warm olive oil with a tablespoon of lemon juice and soak your nails in that.

Hair: You can apply olive oil right to your scalp and hair and let this sit for 20 minutes for a deep conditioning treatment.Rinse thoroughly. You can also heat the olive oil a bit for a hot oil treatment.

Scrub: Mix olive oil and sugar or sea salt for a natural body exfoliant. This will slough away any dead skin which is much needed in the fall and winter months. I would keep the mixture about 1 parts of each. *Sorry, I do not measure, I just go by consistency*

Dry Skin: If you are extremely dry, you can apply olive oil directly to that spot. This is great for elbows and feet where the skin can become extremely dry.

So, if olive oil can make me look like Sophia Loren then I think maybe tonight I will do what the ancient Romans did and bathe in it instead of making a salad.

Tomorrow’s Post – Me Slipping in the Bath!

-AP

Beauty on a Budget

17 Sep

As a girl on a budget I know how hard it is to try to buy within my means. I still want to look good and buy decent products at affordable prices. Here are some tips for being a beauty on a budget.

DUTY FREE: Yes you read that correctly, Duty Free shopping isn’t just for cheap liquor and cigarettes. I do have the luxury of living in a border town and do lots of cross border shopping in the US and almost always stop at the Duty Free. They have perfume, skin care and makeup at a fraction of the cost of department stores charge and you also save on paying the taxes (and we all know how much our taxes are in Canada). Also, look out for travel packages of some of your favourite products that you cannot find in department stores.Some of my favourite duty free purchases have been Dior, Smashbox, Lancome,Clarins, and Calvin Klein just to name a few.  Most people think that you cannot shop at Duty Free but you can as long as you are leaving the country (it is for export only). Here is a link to duty free allowances when crossing the border.


BONUS TIME/ GIFT WITH PURCHASE: Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Elizabeth Arden and many other companies offer amazing bonuses or gift with purchase. You usually have to spend a certain amount to receive the gift but for that amount, in turn, you get so much more. Eyeshadows, lipstick, eye makeup remover, samples of moisturizer and eye creams are just a few examples of items included in bonuses. This is a great way to try some of their other products. Look out for when the stores have these events; most competing department stores will run the promotions at different times so if you can wait for this, it is a great time to do your shopping.

OUTLETS: Some outlet malls have cosmetic stores which carry leftover bonuses, discontinued colours, and overstock at huge savings to the consumers. They are worth checking out with brands like Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives and MAC.

SALES: Last but certainly not least, look out for items on sale. Most department stores do not mark down fragrance and cosmetics but stores like Shoppers Drug MartPharma Plus, Zellers, Target and Wal-Mart do. It’s always great to check out their flyers or if you happen to be in one of those stores wander over to the cosmetics aisle. You may be willing to try something new because it is on sale.

Happy Shopping! It is Friday  . . .

-AP

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