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 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.