New Year, New Deodorant

This is kind of embarrassing to admit to the interwebs but I’ve always been a clinical strength deodorant kind of girl. I am aware of the health risks associated with anti-antiperspirants and deodorants but I’d much rather have breast cancer and lots of friends than be that weird stinky kid that everyone ignores (PS: This is coming from a girl who already has had cancer, so I can say that).

I’ve tried all types of natural deodorants and all of them left me smelling like a gym mat in the men’s wrestling room, but I am proud to say that I have finally found a contender that is awesome enough to bring me out of Suburbanette retirement.

I introduce to you Truly’s Natural Deodorant! Made with organic coconut oil, powdered sugar,  baking soda and beeswax it is not harmful to your body’s natural chemistry, is non-staining, fragrance free and does not show up white on your clothing. Oh and the cost? Only a cool, $7.95. It’s pretty much too good to be true! I have worn this through several awkward holiday dinners, Kazaxe and yoga class and have went home smelling as fresh as a bee who found herself in a sugar and coconut oil factory.

The only thing you have to remember is that this is a deodorant NOT an anti-antiperspirant so if you are an excessive sweat monster, this might not be your Holy Grail (although sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins and cooling your body so perhaps you should try it anyways).

*I was not paid to write this post. All thoughts are my own*

  

Short Wig Stories

So over seven years ago (time has passed by so fast, it feels like it was yesterday), I was diagnosed with cancer. I was a junior in college. Since I was a townie, I was able to go to school part-time as long as I avoided large crowds and kept mostly to myself to avoid picking up germs (a big fail by the way). I really didn’t want to wear a wig but my mom wanted me to be able to look normal so she insisted I get one. It ended up being a great idea because for the first time in my life, I had great, voluminous hair! Also, even though I was kept indoors for most of the time I was really tan for some reason. And because of the chemo, I was the skinniest I had ever been my whole life. I looked great, and that is something that I don’t say often. Seriously check it out:

Can you believe the skinny tan girl with great hair on the right had cancer? Is it wrong for me to want to sign up for this again?

Anyways, a few days ago I was reminiscing over my wig with an old friend and thought I’d share with you a few short memories about my old skein of hair.

#1) Only one person ever called me out on having fake hair. I was at Panera Bread grabbing some soup when the cashier looked at me and said “Nice Weave!” I was so surprised and caught off guard that I instantly lied and was like “I don’t know what you are talking about!” But he knew, and I knew the truth.

#2) In order to secure a wig to your head, you had to affix a super strong double stick tape to your scalp. Honestly, it didn’t work all the time. Once, I went to a one dollar store to pick up a bouquet of graduation balloons for my cousin. I was walking out the narrow door when the static from the balloons attracted my wig and it slid down my head like a baby on a water slide. I picked it up and kept on walking.

An example of bad wig placement

#3) A little bit of a confession, after I was finished from chemotherapy I became a little bit of a club rat / alcoholic. I’ll chalk it up to emotional issues that I never dealt with while I was sick. Anyways, once I met this guy at Modern and and after meeting a few times he started making fun of people with fake hair and took a lock of my hair and tugged on it. LUCKILY, the double stick tape gods were being good to me that night but I still can’t help but think that I was being set up for some cruel joke. I’ve seen this person several more times over the past few years and I’m even friends with him on Instagram now but I still wonder what was going on exactly in his mind during this time….

#4) Another club rat story. So once my good friend Casey and I went to a bar with my roommate Bryan. This was the night I thought it would be fun to drink half a bottle of Everclear and order double vodka tonics all night long (again, don’t judge me…I had unresolved issues and I just turned 21). Well my tiny, chemotherapy ridden body could not handle it so I ended up falling down the stairs and my wig fell off. Casey being the great friend she is picked up the wig and tucked it under her arm like it was a tiny furry purse and Bryan walked me the rest of the way home.

This hair style gave people the false impression that I was a hipster for years to come.

#5) So senior year of college, I was starting to feel comfortable with my hair growth. By March, I was starting to look like a hipster (I think back then we called it emo) girl or young boy. So I decided to get rid of the wig and rock my hair au naturale. A boy from class (you may remember him as my fiance Rob) invited me to hang out with a few of his friends at Bridges that night so I said sure and showed up. Rob had already knew about my whole cancer ordeal so he did not say anything but one of his friend’s girlfriends went up to me with the meanest, snarkiest face and said “I don’t know why you cut off your hair because you looked WAY better with long hair.” Geez, what ever happened to talking behind someone’s back like they did in the good ole’ days? I had to set her straight and basically told her it was my first time not wearing a wig since I had chemo a few months ago and I was really nervous about what other people thought. Boy that knocked that smug look off her face. Even to this day, whenever I run into her she still tells me how great my hair looks. I hope she thinks twice now about whenever she decides to be mean to random strangers.

All Cancer Kids go to Disney World

PS: If you are reading this, I will save you the time of coming to a conclusion about me. Yes I have a MAJOR chip on my shoulder about being diagnosed with cancer at age 20.

  

Base of Face

No matter what season having a flawless face is always in style! Here are the products that I rely on to fake a fresh, clean complexion.

#1. DDF Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator SPF 45 – Despite the high price, I am addicted to this moisturizer!  It absorbs almost instantly on my skin and feels amazingly light — even under makeup!  At SPF 45, this moisturizer also has major sun protection benefits as well.

#2. Clinique All About Eyes – As I entered my late twenties, I started becoming aware of “old people problems” such as eye puffiness, fine lines, and darkness.  All About Eyes promises to aid all of that! Because eye tissue is a lot thinner than other skin on your body, I trust this product to moisturize my skin without clogging my pores. Placing this cream on my eyes is like a mini spa wake me up. It feels wonderful!

#3. Evian Mineral Water Spray – A part of me is laughing at myself for dropping eleven ducks on canned aerosol water but this water spray has become a daily addiction that I can’t live without. I have very sensitive, dry skin so a little spray in the afternoon instantly refreshes my skin and makes it feel hydrated. For a full tutorial on how to use this spray to prep, prime and set your makeup visit my friend Annie’s blog.

#4. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Working long days means I need to make sure that my makeup stays put for hours at a time. Laura Mercier’s primer ensures that my makeup is working double time with no paid time off! I like the fact that this primer has added vitamins A, C, and E added to give my skin that extra nutrition boost.

#5. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - Believe the hype. This product consistently makes “Best of…” lists over and over again — and with good reason! It is a virtually foul proof way to ensure that your skin has a healthy, glowing and even looking complexion.  I apply with my hands or with MAC’s #187 Duo Fibre brush.

#6. MAC Prep + Prime Eye – This impulse buy is now my holy grail to avoiding eye makeup from sliding all over the place which is not sexy. At all.

What products do you have in your beauty arsenal?

  

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

I have spent two years lusting over the Clarisonic and it’s finally mine all mine! Check back soon for a full review.

  

Sally B Skin Yummies Winner

The winner of an natural beauty prize pack from Sally B Skin Yummies is Shannon G! Please check your inbox shortly for more details.  Thanks to all those who entered my first blog giveaway!!!

PS: As a consolation prize to those who did not win, Sally B is offering 5% off their products if you use the code BEAUTY at checkout.

 

 

  

Sally B. Skin Yummies Product Review

A little over than a month ago I made a personal vow to nourish myself with clean, whole foods that encouraged natural flushing of toxins from my body.  I hit a few rough patches but overall I am feeling happier, lighter, and more energized.  My fiance, Rob, has been seeing positive effects as well — he has lost twenty pounds (I am not going to lie, I am very jealous!).

In my continuous search for health and wellness, I found out a few frightening facts that lead me to believe that I should care not only about what goes IN my body but what goes ON my body as well.  As a self-confessed girly girl, I am a sucker for makeup.  I love all brands – – MAC, Nars, Cargo, Urban Decay, and Stila are a few of my favorite products.  However many makeup brands use harmful ingredients such as carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks).

My body is already pretty much messed up as it is.  There is NO need to pile these ingredients onto my skin — a porous surface that readily sucks up everything or my lips which I lick about 100x a day.

Luckily for me (and you!), I was able to reach out to Meghan at Sally B. Skin Yummies , a company which produces all-natural, organic cosmetics, who was nice enough to send me a bevvy of makeup samples to try.  At first I was skeptical to see if these products would work as well as my top-performing Allure rated brands but I was pleasantly surprised.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Healing Hand Butter- I have raved in the past about my love for L’Occitane’s hand cream and found this to be a great substitute.  In fact, I just slathered a bunch on my hands a few minutes ago (I am writing this en route to LA and the air is awfully dry on this plane) and it was such a welcome relief.  It is thick, rich and smooth and has a very pleasant smell.

B Glossy Lip Gloss – This is my new addiction!  This lip gloss has a wonderful sheen and left my lips with the perfect not-too-vampy red tint.  It has peppermint extract in it which gave it a nice tingle.  Nutritionist to the stars and my fitness guru Kimberly Snyder uses this tint in Ruby’s Red on a daily basis.

Carrot Dream Facial Cream – I really enjoyed using this because of it’s sweet vanilla smells and thick, whipped texture but Rob has found this facial cream to be a real life saver!  He has suffered from a severe case of facial psoriasis for most of his adult life and most of the ointments, lotions, and creams (prescription and non-prescription)  that he used always left him with a burning sensation on his face.  After using this product for a week he noticed an IMMEDIATE difference in the clarity of his skin.  I believe that this is a true testament to the benefit of using all natural products. I am putting a before and after photo (which may or may not be requested to be taken down after a while) so you can see his amazing results.  He is already requesting that I order him a re-fill tub of lotion!

Before

After

 

If this information is not enough to make you a believer, I am inviting you to try their products for yourself!  I am giving away a full sized B Glossy Lip Gloss and Healing Hand Butter to one of my readers.  To win, please leave a comment below.  The winner will be chosen at random on June 7th, 2012.

Good Luck!

PS: In no way was I compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own and my opinion is that Sally B Skin Yummies ROCKS!  All of their products are all natural and organic and made in America (I even made one of my biochemist scientist friends check out their ingredient list and it is a LEGIT company).

PPS: Yes that is Tia Mowry from Sister Sister.  And no I am not going to promise you that if you use Sally B Skin products that you will transform overnight from eating a corn cob to rubbing elbows with stars from the ’90s.  And don’t worry a story about that encounter will be coming up shortly.

 

 

  

Sally B Skin Yummies

I just received a shipment of all natural, organic beauty products from Sally B Skin Yummies to review!  I am still testing everything but so far getting A-MAH-ZING results with their carrot facial dream cream.  I can’t wait to share my results with you.  Stay tuned!

  

Beauty Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

A few months ago I was traveling in New York and by pure kismet my hotel maid left an unattended cart of Aveda products by my hotel door for a full 24-hours.  Rob was completely mortified but you can BET I filled my little toiletry bag full of their famous rosemary-mint shampoo and conditioner (As a beauty junkie, I know the street price for Aveda products is way high).

Unfortunately, my stash ran out a few months ago, but I NEEDED that special high of a tingly-clean scalp that could only be achieved by essential oils and expensive salon brand shampoo.  Luckily for me, Trader Joe’s saved the day (as always).

Their Tea-Tea Tingle shampoo is sulfate-free (see my previous post on the benefits of sulfate-free shampoos here), has a blend of certified organic botanicals such as peppermint and tea tree oil all for the LOW price of $3.99.

I have used this shampoo on a daily basis for two months now and it is officially going in my beauty product hall of fame.  Besides being good for the environment and my health — the results are amazing!  My hair has never felt squeaky clean, shiny, soft and manageable.  The smell is also invigoratingly delicious!

I can see this shampoo easily being drying for thin or curly hair but on my super straight, horse-like Asian hair it is perfection in a bottle.

*I was not compensated to write this review and all thoughts are my own.

  

February Birchbox

I honestly thought I would have cancelled my Birchbox account by now but the thought of missing out on my monthly beauty treats makes me sad.  So here it is…my February Birchbox!

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
WEI™ Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser
Orofluido Elixir
colorescience pro® Mineral Bronzer Face Color in Kissed By The Sun
Chuao Chocolatier  Spicy Maya Chocolate Bar

  

Banishing Winter Flakes

I am pretty sure I am half reptile.  I am cold ALL THE TIME.  I wear jackets, sweaters, snuggies, gloves, and blankets and always have the heat turned on full blast.  Unfortunately, artificial heat makes my skin all lizardy — dry, flaky and patchy.  It is gross!  Luckily, I have a few products in my arsenal that allow me to blend in with the rest of the population come wintertime….

 

Kiehl’s Abyssine Cream – This face cream is pretty pricey ($45 for a 1.69 oz jar) but a little goes a long way.  It is thick, creamy, absorbs easily, goes on smoothly under makeup and feels amazing!  My skin feels immediately rehydrated and refreshed the minute I apply.  A total must in my book.

 

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream – This non-greasy beauty balm easily glides on and absorbs to heal, protect and moisturize even the dryest of skin.  I keep this in my hand bag at all times.

Lush Oatfix Face Mask – Whenever I need an extra pop of moisture, I rely on Oatfix to remedy the situation.  This delicioius smelling, all-natural mask is handmade with a mixture of calming oats, softening mashed banana, and ground almonds to slough away flaky skin.  At $6.95 a pop, this mask does not break the bank either!

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