Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Beauty Journal & A Letter To My Daughter

So today I took a binder and a bunch of page protectors and made a beauty journal. It's divided into categories like "hair, eyes, skin care, lips, foundation/concealer/powder, etc." Products I buy, I plan to review and assign a grade and record in this journal. That way I can remember later if I liked them, or should buy them again, or not. I can keep track of beauty tutorials, color palettes that work for me, and navigate through the crowded beauty-scape efficiently this way. I am one of those people who are burdened with a non-existent memory, so I'm particularly excited about this book. In addition to being convenient and cumulative, this beauty journal is intended to be passed to my daughter some day. She's got my skin tone and hair color already, at only one years old. I figure what works for me will work for her so long as I focus on technique with staying power and don't go crazy with trends.

And a trend-setter I am not. My goal and aim is to learn how to encapsulate a timeless beauty. I feel it on the inside, and feel brave enough again to present it on the outside. The funny thing about that is, when I was in high school I wore makeup and did my hair and played sports and was attractive. My mother once told me that I didn't have beauty in the classic sense, but that I was striking. People would notice me and think I was pretty.

At some point along the way the attention I garnered started to scare me. I was overwhelmed by the attention and opportunities it afforded me. Unsavory characters slithered into my life and I made some bad decisions. That was the start of my wall-building. If I could keep on so many extra pounds, or not be so attractive then those people wouldn't notice me. Nobody would. And I could ride this planet around the sun and do as I pleased.

I'm not sure what's woken me from this cloistered, fear-riddled lifestyle of complete avoidance of my own beautification. But I feel like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, eager to fly.

So what about this letter to my daughter? At the beginning of the journal I want to keep a letter for her. I want to tell her that she's smart, and kind, special and beautiful. That glamour isn't about how you look but instead it's a certain kind of confidence. That beauty can be like blood in the water and the sharks will circle. But to have grace and to love herself enough to see them for what they are and drive them off. It was a cruel but necessary lesson for me, to learn that not everyone is as kind as I am. I want to explain why I started the journal and how I intend to use it and what I hope it can teach her.

If she learns the basics, then the world of beauty can be artistic and explorative for her. And not intimidating and completely foreign like it is to me.

Some people may look at this and say I'm teaching her vanity, or wasting her time. In the end I think of it as one more tool in her arsenal as she learns to duck, jump and weave over the endless hurdles life will surly throw her way.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eyebrows Are An Artform

There are tips and techniques to getting the perfect brow shape. The best video I've found on the topic so far is this one from Birchbox (so LOVE them!):

How to Apply Perfume So It Lasts

I realize this girl is young, but she's got good advice. Before I saw this video I had no idea there was a "way" to apply perfume. So thank you Lexie Lombard for sharing. Everyone within three feet of me thanks you.  :)

Simple Tip For Conditioning Your Hair

I'm showing you just how from scratch this journey is for me, with this post. But if it helps even one person, it's worth sharing this tip I learned recently. I have very straight and very fine hair. I can shower at night and by the next morning my hair already looks greasy. At least, it used to. Until I learned this simple trick for conditioning my hair in the shower.

After you've shampooed and are ready to condition make sure you start with the tips of your hair. Rub the conditioner into the longest parts of your hair first, and then only superficially rub the conditioner into the hair by your scalp. This way the wax and oils that give the conditioner their oomph won't weigh down your roots and drag your hair down after it's dry.

Simple, yet effective. Three cheers for volume!

July's Favorite Thing - ICON India Oil

I'm having a love affair, nobody tell my husband. ;) Totally kidding. But I am in love, with a hair oil.  I received a sample of ICON's India Oil in my July Birchbox.  As soon as I lifted the lid of the box, I could smell it. It was deep, hypnotic, mysterious, sultry smelling amber-colored bottle. Not to mention that the oil is in an aromatherapy bottle, which is totally my thing. That night after my shower I added a few drops of the oil into my palm, smoothed them out and rubbed it into the tips of my hair. That night, I dreamed I was in India. Seriously, it was a first for me. The next day? My hair was shiny and smooth and I smelled like a bond girl. At least, how I imagine a mysterious beauty of the caliber of Bond would smell.

The verdict? LOVE this hair oil. I would and do recommend it to anyone looking for a product to help moisturize and tame their hair.
Grade: A

I.C.O.N. India Oil

How To Wear Really Bright Lipstick Tutorial

 I found this lipstick tutorial by Lisa Eldridge on Youtube and thought I'd share. I've recently ventured into the realm of bright lipsticks. It's not intuitive, deciding which shades work best with my skin tones, what to do with the rest of my face and even how to apply the lipstick so it stays put. I thought this video was well done and informative.

Hello and Welcome...

I'm not the most feminine woman that I know. My mother wasn't a big makeup wearer and everything I learned about beauty, growing up, I learned from magazines and friends. So it was easy for me, after my kids were born, to fall into the sweat-pants and tee-shirt wearing duldrum where makeup was a four-letter word and the extent of my fashion was what pony tail holder to choose.

I have a daughter now. She may only be a year old, but I worry about her future. I know how rough the road was for me always being behind the eight-ball with fashion and makeup. Does anyone remember the MC Hammer pant trend of the early 90s? Yeah, that was all me. Ugh.

So anyway, I've embarked on a journey. I'm starting all over again at the young age of 34. I'm learning about skin health and what regime works best for my skin type. I'm learning how to keep my hair healthy and how to grow it out. I'm learning makeup 101, from scratch. I've subscribed to a few monthly beauty subscriptions in order to expose myself to new products and techniques. And I'll be sharing what I learn here.

If you're young or old, and are starting out in this world of beauty and self-care, welcome along for the ride. I'm hoping it will last a lifetime.