2017 Beauty and Health Hacks Rewind

Hey Daizies,

The year is winding on down and it’s time to take a walk down memory lane of the new things I’ve tried this year. It’s been a fun and interesting year trying new things for skin, health, and beauty.  Let’s see how it all turned out!

Oil Pulling for Teeth

  • Take about a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 5-20 minutes.
  • Brush your teeth afterwards
  • Repeat daily or as often as you want
  • Helps fight germs, cavities, whitens teeth
  • The germs stick to the oil and rinse off as it is swished around

I’ve read about oil pulling last year and tried it only a few times in 2016. Now that I have a gallon of coconut oil, I have more to spare and use for other things besides hair. I typically use oil pulling about 3-5 times a week right before bed and swish the oil in my mouth while I’m in the shower. I have a cavity that needs a filling and to postpone it getting worse, I took oil pulling a lot more serious.

Salux Exfoliating Cloths

  • Replaces your usual shower loufa
  • Dries overnight
  • Can be washed and reused
  • No damp or moldy towel smell

I first heard about Salux Exfoliating Cloths from HeyFranHey of The Friend Zone Podcast. I love listening to this weekly wellness podcast and was excited to try these Japanese exfoliating cloths. The heels of my feet were always problem spots for me and I really wanted to use a thorough exfoliating cloth that could relieve my skin of the dead cells. I previously used exfoliating gloves that from the Dollar Tree or Ross. I think using this cloth takes my exfoliating to the next level. I bought a pack of 3 from Amazon for about $12. It’s not too harsh on my skin but definitely gets the dirt off and is easier to scrub my feet without spending forever in the shower trying to soften my feet. It dries so fast so I don’t run into the problem of that wet towel smell in my bathroom anymore.

African Black Soap

  • Exfoliating scrub for skin and face
  • DIY shampoo – using a small piece to form a lather

I hadn’t quite figured out the hype of African Black Soap until this year. When I was in Ghana, I got a huge tub for about $6 USD and brought it back with me. My prior experience was that the soap made my skin feel too dry and tight. Now, I only use a small amount and leave it on my skin for about 5 minutes. I always apply shea butter afterwards. African Black Soap cleanses my skin deep down to the pores. It easily removes makeup and gets the remaining traces that other makeup removers don’t reach. I also use African Black Soap for my entire body, in congruence with the Salux cloths, about 2-3 times a week. While I was at it, I looked towards black soap as a hair shampoo. I saw it as an ingredient for Shea Moisture’s African black soap line so I wanted to try it out in its natural form. Taking a dime size piece and lathering the soap in my hands, I use the lather to gently scrub my hair. I’ve tried this about 2 times and want to try melting the soap first in hot water, and adding some oils to it next time.

LCO(Liquid, Cream,Oil) Method for Skin

  • Directly after showering apply a body butter or cream to your skin
  • Follow with a light oil

This method is often used for hair and up until this year, I never put on lotions after showering. I always thought the point of a shower was to get all of the products off your body but I was forgetting the important step of moisterizing. Like with hair, seeling the moisture after a wash is so crucial. I use shea butter each night after showering. This, combined with the Salux exfoliating cloths, have soften my feet enormously and I haven’t had dry peeling feet ever since.

DIY Oatmeal Mask 

  • Helps skin retain moisture
  • Soothes skin
  • Natural exfoliator
  • Mix 2 tsp of oats with 1 tsp of honey

I had some extra plain oats one day and thought I would give a DIY oatmeal mask a try. It was a fun little activity but in the end I felt like I was just making a mess. Didn’t really feel or see a difference. I only used it once or twice so I don’t have that much to base it on but maybe I’ll try some other concoctions in the future.

ACV for my Whole Existence

  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Ingesting

I basically tried all forms of use for apple cider vinegar. First, I continued to use it in my hair for monthly cleansing rinses. This year I added a little to my leave-in conditioning sprays or sometimes to my deep conditioners. I applied diluted ACV to my skin during breakouts but didn’t notice any changes even after over a week of using the mixture. For a while, I turned to drinking 1/4 ACV and 3/4 water to prevent colds. It tastes so nasty but before drinking 3 liters of water, drinking ACV or eating an orange helped me feel better when I felt nauseas or slight cold symptoms. Now, I mainly use ACV just for hair.

Body Waxing – Sugaring vs Hard Wax

  • Smooth Finish
  • Minimizes ingrown hairs
  • Lasts longer than shaving

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that sugaring is better or the least painful compared to hard wax. With this last appointment it was a little painful at first but was painless once I knew what to expect. My first Brazilian wax was actually in Morocco last year. Compared to the prices in the US, the price was unbeatable in Morocco. I felt like it was torture and was sure I’d never do it again. That was until spring break, when I wanted a perfect wax for the beach. In the U.S, the best deals are on Groupon and I always check when there are happy hours at waxing spas near me. For the past few months, waxing/sugaring has been my hair removal of choice and I think it’s worth it.

Detoxing with Infused Water

  • Changed the frequency of my cravings for sweetened drinks
  • Helped ease my way into increased water intake
  • Can help with weight loss
  • Good source of vitamin C (with lemon water)

My most recent blog recounted my experience with drinking 3 liters of water daily but before that challenge, I was drinking fruit infused water. During the summer months, I was very interested in the idea detoxing with lemon water. I had this really cool infused water bottle that had a little tube for fruit and I would cut up lemon slices and sometimes cucumber slices. I liked that it added a taste to water and I began to drink this over juices and the free pops at work. After a while, I really couldn’t stand drinking sweetened drinks that weren’t water. I started to notice how much sugar was in the drinks once I cut it out of my daily diet. I don’t drink infused water anymore because I got tired of the taste. It was better when I mixed up the flavors because too much lemon became unbearable and the cucumber flavor sometimes left a musty flavor in my mouth lol. Eventually, I just opted for pure water.

What beauty or health hacks did you try this year?

Thanks for checking out my blog. Have a great holiday!

-POP

5 Tips for Traveling While Natural

1.Keep your hair moisturized and protected

I have been enjoying the efficiency of head wraps. Not only are they stylish, but stayer convenient for the on-the-go traveler like myself. While on a 10 day trip across central Europe, I wore mostly head-wraps with my hair braided in a cinnamon bun type braid. I was happy to keep my ends protected, and still to apply oils and leave-in conditioners to stay on top of my moisturizing regimen. My new routine is wearing my hair in twists for 5 days, styling them with wraps or wearing them loose. Then rocking a defined twist out for 2 days.

Coming to Italy, I had my hair in twists and kept them in for about 6 weeks. Arriving to your destination with a long-term protective style is great because you won’t have to worry about styling while also adapting to a new environment. Once my marley twist style came to an end, I saved the hair for future styles. The hair came in handy for my Beyonce Formation Halloween look and the two french braids the total costume required. I still have the hair and will put it to use, for a bun or two.

While in London, I found a plethora of hair stores available and even though I didn’t know when I would use it, I purchased 4 packs of crochet braiding hair. Bundles at a great prices are hard to come buy and I knew London would be the closest place to decent priced hair and products, so I just bought them. I will probably hook up something cute for my last month abroad.

2. Bring your entire hair care system

One thing I wish I brought more of was CONDITIONER. It seemed like I would be doing too much by buying 3 bottles of conditioner as I was leaving the States, but when I really think about it, its totally realistic. Think about how much of each product you use and bring that amount for your trip. I am already savoring my last bit of Cantu leave-in conditioner. I should’ve known to bring at least 2 jars! Even though there is a store here in Milan, it just doesn’t sit well with me to purchase a $12 jar when I know I could get the same thing for half the price back home! Bring enough products to last you or you might have to pay twice as much for literally the same thing!

3. Scope out hair-stores

In an earlier post I talked about finding a hair store randomly in Rome. Coming to find out, there are a few small hair stores near central station in Milan. Ask people who live in the area where they are getting their products, and this will make the search a whole lot easier.

4. DIY with it!

On the note of overpriced natural hair products, a cost efficient solution is utilizing DIY recipes!

  • Detangler – Apple Cider Vinegar & olive oil
  • Deep Conditioner- 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of olive oil | Conditioner, water & olive oil
  • Leave-In Conditioner- Mix Conditioner, olive oil, coconut oil, water and mix into a spray bottle ( This will be the mixture I use as I am on the last scoops of leave-in conditioner)
  • Shampoo – 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water. I had to find the right proportions because the first times I used this method earlier this year, I found that my hair felt very dry afterwards. This is because I used WAY too much ACV, as I was thinking “the more the better” and that it would cleanse my hair even more. In this case “less is more” is the way to go.

5. Google Translate is Your Friend When Buying Products

If you do decide to buy hair products at regular stores or grocery stores, be sure to use google translate to read the ingredients. Even if you think you have an idea of what the product does, it is also great to double check! If I were to get the wrong product, its not like I could take it back! Refund policies are a lot different in Italy! I’m so glad I read the ingredients of a Palmer’s shampoo I was about to purchase. Right at the check-out, I translated the description to find out it was a protein based conditioner for fine and limp hair. My hair is neither fine or limp, so that particular product would have probably made my hair very hard. I saved $7 just by checking to make sure I was getting the right thing.

 

PSA: SHEA BUTTER IS WILL NOT MAKE IT PAST AIRPORT SECURITY IF IT’S OVER 3 OZ

This is a side note to prevent others from  the loss and suffering of 2 jars of shea butter. Even if the jar says “solid”, they still won’t let you get on the plane with it. I’ve lived and learned lol.

A Beginner’s Drugstore Makeup Haul!

Greetings Daizies!

My most recent experiment was playing in makeup! After months of watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, I finally took some action into learning how to beat my face. As I am not an expert in makeup yet, I wanted to start off with using drugstore makeup and then work my way up. My current makeup look consists of concealer  Maybelline SUPER STAY BETTER SKIN® CONCEALER + CORRECTOR (in deep) , filling in my eyebrows using the Elf brow kit,  Covergirl Plumping blastPRO mascara, Wet’N’Wild Au Naturale pallette, and usually a light pink Wet’N’Wild Lipstick. Using these products in my routine have allowed for a process that takes less than 10 minutes = more sleep for me!

My goal for this experiment was to learn new makeup skills and enhance my look even further with more coverage for my skin and adding highlight for a summer glow. I want to try new colors and have fun with eye shadow again! I’ve been sticking with nudes for the longest now and would love to try some more fun shades. My skin is usually clean with minimal breakouts, so coverage for me is about covering dark circles and small blemishes they may appear every now and then. That being said, here is my experience and what I thought of the results:

I set out to spend $30 on makeup. Lol yeah that’s funny right. Long story short, I ended up spending about $57. How could such small things add up so quickly! I jotted some things down on my list compiled from several YouTube videos and what I thought I needed. I was on a hunt for a natural looking foundation, something to use as a highlighter, new makeup tools, etc and plenty of other things ended up in my basket. There is just so much!

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At least TRIED sticking to a list lol

Primer: Maybelline Master Primer $7.99 – Idk

This was one of the things I didn’t know I needed until I got there (I went to Target btw). Still don’t see what the difference is whether I used it or not. I’m salty cuz it was the most expensive thing I bought yet I still don’t know if it was worth it. That was like 6 McChickens right there.

Julius
My face when I spent more money on makeup than I planned

 

Foundation: Covergirl Ready, Set Glow in color 315 $6.99-Loved It

Ding ding ding! That’s the sound of me picking the perfect color foundation. Woooo! This is like the most important thing I felt for this makeup haul. Previously, I bought a Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick about a year ago and it was just not working for me, the color was just too red and dark. So for this one I was happy that it didn’t turn out ashy and just blended right in with my skin tone.

I used a Maybelline foundation brush for about $4.99. Yes I use alot of Maybelline products lol! Talk about brand resonance and mere exposure*marketing terms coming into play yup I’m a marketing major* The more you see or hear about a product the more likely you are to  buy it *MKTG 460 for ya, I slayed Midterm 1*

Concealer: Maybelline Superstay Better Skin $6- Same as last time, still Love It

I ended up overwhelmed with being twice my budget and decided to use my current concealer till it runs out (update it’s run out now girl lol). It’s probably just me, but I still think my dark circles are probably darker than they really are (that’s what I’ve heard)

Eyebrows: Elf Instant Lift Brow Pencil $2- Decent

For $2 you really can’t beat that. It came with an eyebrow brush which I really enjoyed. I liked the product but probably picked the wrong color because it kind of looks a little too gray when I apply it. I have the color taupe. I would buy again but actually read what color it is before I buy it lol

Having applied these products I really couldn’t tell the difference between my everyday makeup and what I had done. So I applied more!

Highlight: NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator $7.49 – Decent

Since highlight was one of my main focus points for this project, I really wanted this one to be a hit. But tbh I felt like I could’ve achieved the glow using a bronze or gold eye shadow from my Wet’N’Wild pallette. For it’s price, I thought it would do more. It’s OKAY. But I would definitely try something else next time. Had to force it and find some good lighting to show the highlight lol.

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You can see more of the blush+highlight

All the brushes I used were from ELF… you gotta crawl before you walk!

Blush: ELF rose royalty $3- Loved It

Another product I didn’t plan on getting but I was like  ” I got it, ball out!” *Kevin Hart voice*. The color was nice and subtle which gave me the natural summer glow I was aming for.I liked it and thought it was really cute actually 🙂

Eyeshadow: LA Colors $3- Loved It

I was pleasantly surprised with this eyeshadow palette. The colors were more pigmented than I thought.My favorite part of my overall look were the eyes. Eye makeup was literally what I started with back in middle school/high school. I would literally color coordinate my eyeshadow to my outfits everyday lol. I guess that first skill is still there.

Eyeliner: NYC Liquid Liner $2.82 – Liked It

If it’s not liquid liner than what is it? Liquid liner is definitely my favorite and I enjoyed this one very much. I want to perfect my winged liner as it has been out of commission for a while. This was a nice product 🙂

Mascara: NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara $3.62- Okay

I’ve had my fair share of drugstore mascara. Just trying to take my lashes from basic to ballin. Whether I spent $9 using the Covergirl brand or $3 with this brand, they still look rather the same. Decent product, didn’t do wonders though. Might have to holla back at Maybelline mascara which is where I started off.

Lipstick: Wet’N’Wild Breeze $.94- Liked It

I pretty much know what to expect with this lipstick and for it’s price I will probably never stop buying it. I’m pretty sure I see the same color and be like” ooooooooo this one is so cute” and end up with duplicates around the house lol. I mixed this nude color, with 2 more products I already had: a velvet Lavendar matte stick from L.A.Girl and another Wet’N’Wild product- Megalast Liquid Lip Color in the iris color.

And TADA I was done! Overall I liked the look. Comparing it to my dressier makeup days it was hard to see a difference for a few minutes lol. I will still keep practicing and trying new things though.

What are your holy grail makeup products or tricks? Let ya girl know in the comments below!