Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Whipped belly butter

For anyone out there that was waiting for my simple version of DIY whipped belly butter, here it is! So this one is a little tricky since you do need to buy some of the ingredients in this recipe that are not usually just laying around the house, but the components are more or less easy to find and it's definitely a simplified and effective version of the butter I make at home. The picture above is that of a belly butter I made for myself and a friend. For the butter pictured, I did use different ingredients since I ordered a bunch of more exotic ingredients that need to be purchased at a specialty store. The basic recipe I'll list bellow will give you the same consistency and take care of your skin so you can safely and naturally keep stretch marks at bay during pregnancy. I make my own natural products and my pregnancy butter version is a little more eccentric since I have different oils I can play with that are harder to come by, but this version should do the trick!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Measuring basal body temperature to know when ovulation takes place.

So this is a post strictly for women trying to get pregnant and who would like to know when they are ovulating in their cycle. Every woman is different, some women are regular, some not so much, and some may ovulate early or later on in their cycle which usually ranges anywhere between 21-30 days (If you're regular).

How to fill in eyebrows and make them look natural and fab!

So this trick is one I started using about 9 months ago. I got rid of the old method I used to use which was using a liner pencil since this way is so much nicer and more natural looking. When using a pencil, I find it easy to end up with blotchy filled eyebrows or chunkier areas that make the brows look drawn into, not a good look... I have fairly full eyebrows, but every now and then when I want more shape or If I need to fill in any gaps from falling eyebrow hairs, I use this trick to fill in my eyebrows so they look perfect!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The perfect alternative to soft drinks!

One thing I love are carbonated drinks, and this is one habit I've had to adjust. See the problem is it's no secret that soft drinks aren't very good for us because of all the sugar they contain, and diet sodas contain  artificial sweeteners which in my opinion aren't any better, if not worse since I always kinda felt like aspartame and chemicals alike will one day be proven to be more harmful to us than sugar so I just avoid it, especially now that I'm pregnant.

Sweet almond oil for skin and hair care. Helps keep stretch marks away in pregnancy too!

(WARNING!!! If  you have any allergies to almonds or suspect you may have allergies to almonds, do not use almond oil as a natural skin care option).

The beauty of this one, is that it's great for both pregnant and non pregnant individuals out there. Now, I'm pregnant with my first child and have been looking for ways to take care of my skin using the most natural approach possible since I want to avoid stupid ingredients now that my focus is my little baby in my belly. Truthfully, I'm not one of those girls who doesn't care if I get stretch marks or not, lol, I do, I definitely want to keep them away as best I can, but not at the expense of slathering icky ingredients on my skin 2 times a day for months and months to come. It is said that most topical applications are only absorbed in traces to the blood stream and not likely to reach your baby, but the word not likely isn't too convincing to me so I really do try to cut as many corners as possible with anything I put on my skin. I figure the less chemicals I put on my skin, the better, although I have put some baby lotion on my skin from time to time and still do put on makeup when I go out to social functions (I limit my makeup application to days where i feel like looking cute but avoid it for most casual outings).

Now, why almond oil? It's natural and rich in vitamins A, E and D and well known for its anti aging properties. It is commonly used to soothe out or prevent facial wrinkles and said to be great for the hair by keeping it healthy looking and apparently promoting hair growth (I personally have not tried the almond oil in hair yet as I'm pretty happy with my hair and have not felt the need to find remedies to improve it). Another great use for almond oil is to help prevent stretch marks and it's perfectly safe and effective (unless you have almond allergies of course). 

The fight against stretch marks in pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time to focus on your health and well being first and foremost. In my case, my mommy instinct has definitely kicked in, and my absolute main priority is to make sure my baby is safe and protected. With that being said, I would be lying if I said I didn't care about getting stretch marks and gaining excessive weight, but I'm certainly not going to obsess over it since my baby comes first. Honestly, I believe heredity has a lot to do with how you're body changes in pregnancy, so for some women, it won't be as easy to avoid the unpleasant scars and the water retention or weight gain.

The main things you want to remember when doing your best to avoid stretch marks is to make sure you're eating enough of your veggies/fruits and taking care of your diet the best you can, taking care of not gaining excessive weight or gaining weight too quickly, hydrating yourself with your water, applying topical remedies to enhance hydration of the areas you worry about and continuing your care regimen after delivery until you're body finishes healing.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sorry for being MIA for quite some time!

So I would like to start by saying that I'm sorry for not writing anything for a while...The truth is, that I'm pregnant with my first child and strangely enough, all things beauty (makeup, creams, and especially natural ingredients etc...) gave me the worst nausea for quite some time which I never expected... but I'm going to get back to it and start getting some info together to share with all of you who check up my blog :) Thank you so much for your patience! Since I've been using the more natural approach lately and really avoiding using products to be as natural as possible because of the pregnancy, I'll be able to share a few regimens I've used to take care of my skin gently and safely. Also I've been using my homemade butters to keep those stretch marks at bay which has worked so far since I'm about to begin my 7th month of pregnancy without a single stretch mark in sight! (It's a mix between diet, heredity and topical care since apparently stretch marks are hard to avoid if your skin is truly susceptible to stretch marks)...So please stay tuned and I'll post some of my new faves now that I've entered this new chapter in my life!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ad Free Blog

When I decided to start blogging, I wanted to do it for fun and use it as an outlet. I use my blog to share my favourite diy'ers, reviews, experiences as well as info on some of the all natural goodies I whip up.

I have personally chosen not to have anything advertised on my blog that isn't something I believe in 100% for $$$ and I have never received any monetary compensation for any of my reviews or posts. You won't ever catch me posting links to amazon.com or any other site which gives me the opportunity to profit off of you buying something from another company because of this blog. My personal feeling is that as soon as someone starts profiting off of information posted on a blog, it muddies the waters... I'm not judging those who do, I'm just saying it's not for me... Happy to say my blog is commercial ad free!! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DIY haircut

I'm not going to lie, I have a serious control issue when it comes to my hair, my hair is my thing and I have a hard time letting new hairdressers hack it up since I expect them to ruin my hair, and my hair doesn't grow back the fastest. Either I'm really picky or just unlucky, but I've rarely left a hairdresser super happy with my color and cut together. I'm still searching for a hairdresser that will really deliver, but In the meantime, I trim my hair once a month in a fool proof manner to make sure I at least get rid of the split ends (most of the time when I ask for a trim at the salon, I lose at least 5 inches which is crazy to me).

Monday, January 30, 2012

My ultimate eyelash curler and lasting curling trick

So my ultimate eyelash curler is from Revlon and it's the only one I've had that has lasted me over 5 years now! I never really liked metal curlers since the curl looked weird to me, but this one is great! I really like the grip I get on the handle part, but you will need to eventually replace the plastic cushion part that curls the lashes, It comes with 1 replacement, and I purchased a pack of 4 for about 4$ that lasted me about 2 years (not revlon brand btw), I can't remember where I got them though, I may have gotten them at Sally Beauty. The original price was around 12-13$ and worth every penny! I used to use the plastic ones all the time since I loved the curl, but they would break every month.

Curling trick: For a beautiful long lasting curl, heat your eyelash curler with your hairdryer, wait a couple of seconds so you don't burn your eyelid lol, and curl. Voila! A beautiful long lasting curl that curls beautifully on the first shot so you don't need to curl over and over and run the risk of damaging your eyelashes.

To puncture or not to puncture, that is the question...

Ok, so this one can be used for beauty purposes, but my review focuses more on pain issues I had, but I did get some results I liked overall in terms of my skin.

So I'm a pretty skeptical person by nature and read more into facts than magical situations, I don't believe in things easily, on the other hand, my mother loves the idea of Chinese medicine and weird remedies that are said to help but that lack scientific studies to back it up. So this venture of mine all started when I was about 12 years old, my mom would get her Asian medicine man to come over and give us massages every now and then. I would get many headaches from a young age that may or may not have been related to my neck, so my mother always wanted to try different things on me to see if anything would help. He would ask me if I ever went to bed with my hair wet and that would be a cause for my headaches and I remember thinking to myself my mother and this man were nuts, and that I would go along with whatever my mom wanted me to do but that I basically didn't really believe in any of it...A couple years down the line, he became certified for acupuncture in Canada (he was certified in China but needed to go through the process here) and my mother began doing acupuncture. She praised it and started forcing me into it, she would always be paying for all this stuff for me so I figured I would try it. I HATE needles, lots of people do, so my first concern was, is this going to hurt. My mom assured me it wouldn't, so I tried it. Now, it needs to be said that most places have techniques of inserting the needles so you don't feel them, this man was not a practitioner of this method as the session was the most unpleasant thing I had gone through in a long time, he wasn't placing the needles ever so delicately into the surface of my skin, he was jamming them in there as if he was trying to wrestle a nerve to the death, needless to say, I was super upset with my mom for making it seem like it was going to be soothing and told her then and there that I didn't believe in any of her magic voodoo crap and that she wasn't going to fool me into it ever again. She kept seeing him for years and kept telling me how wonderful she felt, and I would laugh it off and tell her to enjoy her la la land visits and keep me out of it.

The Glavanic Spa portable hand device

So this post is a review of the Galvanic Spa that I purchased from Nuskin. I purchased it 2 years ago, and I don't think they came out with a newer version yet but I could be wrong, when I purchased this device, it was an improved version from the original device. The price tag was approx. 300$ for everything you see in the image bellow, and does not include refills for the AgeLoc product you need to use this machine with. The gel supplied lasted me about 2-3 months if used once a week, then every individual box of refills would cost approx. 20-30$ and would last about 1 month if you use this device once a week. How I use this device is I usually use it once a week on a thursday or friday and what you can expect are short term results of brightened and tightened skin, and better texture. The results will fade away which is why you need to do it at least once a week. The whole thing takes me about 10-15 mins with the rinsing in between.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Enjoy drinking water by flavoring it naturally!

Every one knows how good it is to drink water for good health, and for radiant skin, but if you're like me and you're not a fan of the life sustaining substance, It isn't always easy drinking the daily required amount of H2O. Some people love the stuff and have no problems drinking it all day, but for me I really i have to force myself to drink it. If I'm eating food, and it tastes like nothing, I don't feel like eating it, same thing with a beverage, so an easy solution is to add flavour without all the sugar, artificial flavouring or aspartame some of the instant powders offer. 

Wash your jewelry with Dish soap!

This is a quick, gentle, easy and effective way to clean your jewelry at home. This works well with pieces that aren't tarnished, but basically pieces that may have stones that lost their luster because of accumulation of dirt, or gunk/grease. I use this trick for my diamond rings and earrings when they start getting a bit dirty ( I try to do this about once every two weeks on the pieces I wear on a daily basis). The reason why this works great, is dish wash soap removes grease therefore removes the dirt that gets stuck in your pieces from shedding skin cells that can also contain particles of oil (ewwwwww). It works like a charm and is gentle on your pieces so you don't have to worry about damaging it.

3 Row Styling (teasing) Comb

For anyone who is interested in adding volume to their hair, this is the perfect tool! This comb contains 3 rows of teeth making it easier to tease, but the thing I like about this comb is that it doesn't frizz up the hair as much as a small teasing brush would. I purchased this comb from sally beauty for about 3 $ so pretty crazy value.

Max 2 Eyelash growth serum review

Max2 Lash Tonic Essence Gold is made from natural herbs and is an alternative to more harshly derived chemical substances found in other products designed to enhance the growth of eyelashes.

How it works: (Product description found on the Internet)
"This tonic conditioner for eyelashes and eyebrows promotes healthy hair by stimulating blood circulation and providing nutrients to hair follicles. Made entirely of fruit, herbal and botanical extracts, this product has shown to bring definite results after 5 weeks of consistent use. The ingredients have been rigorously tested by a leading Asian Herbal Testing Lab at a top university in South Korea. For those who are interested and aware of the benefits of holistic (natural) approach to body care, the ingredients in this product have traditionally been known in Asia to contain healing and hair regeneration properties. This is a complete unique herbal formula for treatment of eyelash growth, is ideal for individuals suffering from thin, brittle eyelashes. Go from sparse to fuller looking eyelashes in just 4-8 weeks. With continual use, eyelashes will become thicker and longer."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Replacing a standard eyebrow brush for a baby toothbrush!

I have both, but I only ever use the baby toothbrush that I got for 1$ at the dollar store. I've had quite a few more pricey eyebrow brushes and I'll never go back to them. If you have very thin eyebrows it should work great, but mine are thicker then the width of the standard eyebrow brushes, so I tried using the baby toothbrush (it's smaller than an adult brush that's why I opt for this size, it's perfect!) and it brushes my brows beautifully in one swoop. This particular brush also contains 2 little suction cups at the base so sometimes I'll just stick it to the counter while I'm applying my makeup, I'm constantly using it to remove any loose powder or bronzer that may get stuck in my eyebrows, or when I want to blend any eyeshadow I may be using to fill them in nicely. Hands down I prefer this tool, most of my other eyebrow brushes have broken, this baby toothbrush has been my tool of choice for over 2 years now, I wash it regularly and it's super easy, a little bit of dish wash soap and voila! Like new.

Baking soda for exfoliating your skin and deep cleaning your hair!

This little trick is good for smoothing out skin and getting it to glow! There are different ways to go about using it.

Skinceuticals Pigment regulator Vs Hydroquinone products for lightening dark spots

Ok, so this is not all natural, but def. the safest product I've used so far for lightening dark spots on the face (freckles, sun damage, hormone related spots etc.). I purchased mine when I went to my dermatologist for approx. 100$ for 30ml, so its not cheap, but it's worth it since it has lasted me a while, I'm happy with the results and the ingredients are safer compared to other products containing hydroquinone, I will definitely be purchasing this again. When I first started getting annoyed of brown spots and decided to get rid of them, I tried a laser treatment in 2009 to remove them and it worked very nicely, but I didn't take 100% care of my skin afterwards (wearing sunblock religiously) and they came back, they always do, it's usually a question of time and how well you protect your skin.

Strangely, the best Primer I've used so far! Monistat chafing relief powder gel

Now for another not so natural find I use every now and then...lol don't laugh! This one is a bit strange, I read about this on different blogs and I just had to try it, and I was actually very impressed. I had to buy it online since I couldn't find it anywhere locally, and I got it here. The main active ingredient is dimethicone, which is the leading ingredient in almost all makeup primers. Now, I'm not even sure what chafing relief powder gel is for (apparently its for areas around the inner thighs that may get irritated with constant friction???), but many people purchase this product for makeup related purposes which is a bit weird lol, but it works! So I don't wear this too often, just on nights when I want my makeup to stay put and last, I wouldn't want to use it often since it just sits on the top of the skin and probably isn't the best for your pores if used everyday, but for sporadic use It's great. The price is unreal and the product will last you a while! I do have a bit more sensitive skin, and when I wear this, it's usually for one night and I don't wear it again for a while after that so I've never gotten blemishes from this,  so I couldn't tell you if everyday use would cause breakouts since I choose not to take the chance, plus I don't think your skin breaths enough when you wear primers so I don't use them too often. I purchased 3 of these at a time to last me a very long time. My makeup looks perfect on top of this as it smooths out my skin and my makeup is guaranteed to stay put! I just apply a large pea size amount to the surface of my skin, wait about 2 mins and apply my makeup. Bellow is the consistency of the product.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eating one banana a day will keep your skin beautiful!

This was something I kept reading about, so I decided to try it out for myself. I’ve never been a huge fan of the fruit, but I was willing to test it out, the fact that it’s a healthy regimen motivated me. So I started off eating one banana a day and just like that (after just one day!) I saw an improvement in the texture and firmness of the skin on my face. I was a bit skeptical, thinking maybe it was just a part of the month that I was due for clearer skin (we all have certain weeks of the month that our skin is at its best). Eventually I skipped a couple of days of eating my daily banana, when I figured I'd try it again, and see if it would make a difference again...And it did! So YES YES YES! One banana a day is great for the skin, and i definitely believe it’s better to find ways to brighten up your skin from the inside out instead of the outside in. I’ve learned that relying on creams and countless products are not the way to go since it's only superficial, short lived and not to mention filled with chemical crap. Try it and you’ll love it! What this did for me was I started seeing tighter, and better textured skin as well as it smoothed out some of the creases of my frown lines because of the improvement in my skin. Besides eating 1 banana a day, sometimes I'll apply it as a mask for a double effect by slicing thin pieces of the banana and sticking them to my face, leaving it on for about 30 mins while doing other things around the house.

Semi permanent Eyelash Extensions

I originally tried this in an effort to not have to worry about mascara at all for a little while. There were pros and cons to eyelash extensions and I'll break down how they turned out for me. Every one's different, so keep this in mind. I found a lovely specialised technician to do them for me, and she was really nice. The initial procedure cost me 120$ (which was actually a really good deal compared to what you find out there) and re-fills were between 60-80$ depending on how many lashes were applied. My natural eyelashes are thin and very straight, so in order to make them more dramatic, I usually have to curl/apply mascara and repeat this about 3-4 times if I want serious drama, on a regular day I just do this once.

My favorite Nail polish of all time

So here's another not so natural post, but I'll have more of those soon I promise. I just wanted to post this nail polish find since I love it so much. It's Nina Ultra Pro french ivory and it's the only polish I was able to find so far that has the color I want and the texture/application I like. Most of the time when I find a color like this one, when applying more than one coat, it gets all streaky and ugly looking, with this one, my applications are flawless every time. The only problem I have with this nail polish is that I can't find it locally, I would have to order it online.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Highlighting the cheek bones with Mac or Physicians Formula

So now it's time for a review on two not so natural products, like I said, I do indulge in some not so great  products (in terms of containing chemicals) from time to time. So since I don't party and go out as much as I used to, I only use these products on the nights that I do, and those are few and far in between ( I only use highlighting methods when I'm doing something that's not too casual).

My makeup brush essentials

Everyone has their certain brushes they absolutely need for their makeup routine, let me fill you in on mine.

From left to right:

Replace your night cream with Coconut Oil!

Coconut oil is another great natural find. I use this one almost every night (I've been experimenting with making coconut shea balms for my face too so I alternate now). Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer, and even if it's oily, it won't clog pores which was what sold me since I did tend to get blemishes here and there, it also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin. In addition to nicer skin, coconut oil can help in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema and is also used as the basic ingredient in many body care products such as soaps, lotions and creams used for skin care. 

Topical Vitamin C! You'll be impressed with the results!

Now this remedy is def. one of the best I've been using lately in terms of results, If I have something special to do in the evening, I'll almost always use this one after taking my shower, it's honestly one routine that will improve the skin over time, and gives your skin really nice results right after rinsing it off! I've used this one on a few of my friends (whenever I'm having a relaxed day at home with one of my gf's, they almost always ask me to give them a facial since they know I'm always trying out new things) so this remedy doesn't just work on me, it has worked really nicely on them too. You do want to be careful however with the concentrations you use, as it can irritate the skin if not used at a proper dilution for your particular skin.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The great benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar!

Ok, so this one is a little tricky...I started using apple cider vinegar about 4 months ago and I find it to be very beneficial for the skin on my face (this might not be true for everyone so you might want to test it before using all over the face). I'll mention the many ways it can help with different issues, but the main focus here is a review of how it worked for me on my face. I choose to use it every second day as I don't want to overdo it, and I use it at night before going to bed, the reason for this is that the one con to this beneficial trick is that if you're like me, the smell of vinegar reminds me of a very smelly foot, and this smell will most likely linger for approx. 20-30 mins, so this one is a def. no no before a hot date or a situation that might bring you close to another individual that won't know why your face smells so weird...Also, it's not the best idea to use it at 100% concentration unless you have seriously tough skin, since it can burn a little if you're more sensitive. I have used it at 100% before, and if I have an area that is a bit more sensitive because of an imperfection, it will burn, also, keep away from eyes as it will def. burn so no wiping on the eyelids or you'll be cursing out loud.

First step I made... Eliminating Talc from my daily makeup routine

The first change I made was eliminating talc from my routine. If you look at almost any makeup product, Talc is on the list of ingredients. The problem with this ingredient is that daily inhalation of this ingredient is comparable to asbestos exposure, and that equals bad in my eyes...I do indulge in one or two products from time to time that do contain talc (mostly for makeup highlighting done on special occasions or nights out) but the occasions are few and far in between, my main goal is avoiding inhaling talc EVERYDAY as the accumulation of it in your lungs from day to day is what I consider to be a problem. That being said, I also chose to eliminate talc from my regimen as it does tend to clog pores more, and dry out your skin more, and so perhaps aging the skin faster, but these are MY conclusions on talc, you're free to research it yourself and make up your own mind on what you want to use on your own face.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First thing's first, allow me to introduce myself...

My name is Karina, I'm a mom to a baby girl and graphic designer by day, the rest of the time, I'm an obsessor of many different things! This blog will focus on some of them. 

I'm a bit compulsive and a perfectionist, which I both love and hate about myself! I'm in my early thirties and was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Luckily enough for me I didn't need any radiation since It was caught super crazy early! I did however need to have a total thyroidectomy to completely get rid of it. You can find a post on the whole thing here.