Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beauty Trends Around The World: Brazilian Beauty Secrets

Welcome back to week two of global beauty trends! Beauty is defined in such different ways depending on where you are. That is why I love to see the ever-changing beauty definitions and trends within each country.

Today's focus: Brazilian Beauty - Brazil

There are four things that come to mind when I think of Brazil: famous football (soccer) players, bright hued and fun carnivals, beautiful scenery, and most of all, beautiful women. Our beauty trip today takes a peek into Brazilian beauty trends.

Velaterapia. What was that? Yeah I know! I have never about this word either but I’ve heard about the process. Brazilian women are born with very full and thick hair. To sport smooth and non-frizzy tresses, the Brazilian salon industry has perfected the art of straightening, aka keratin, treatments.

Velaterapia may be better known as hair burning and is done to help fight the damage caused by chemical treatments and styling. The hair is twisted into small sections. A flame is then lightly applied to the hair, causing the damaged tips to stick out. These tips are trimmed off and a deep conditioning treatment is applied all over.

Messy Manis. Don’t let the trend fool you, Brazilians know how to get their polish on without missing part of the nail and ensuring that it lasts far longer than our typical manicure!

The messy mani begins with a traditional soak. The process then continues with a thorough cuticle clean up and maintenance. Polish is then slathered onto your nail and the skin around it and then cleaned up with cotton soaked with nail polish remover.  This non-traditional mani results in long lasting and perfectly painted nails!

Insta-sculpting and toning massage. In addition to their workout regimen to maintain a nice and tight body, Brazilians also include a Brazilian sculpting massage.

What it does: This sculpting and toning massage is suppose to reduce the circumference of your limbs, make your hips and waists more define, and help burn localized fat. Now don’t get this mixed up with your typical rest and relax massage. Your muscles and body are working throughout this whole sculpting massage!

Brazilian women have got it down pat. Talk about a perfect combination of sun kissed skin, innate sensuality, and much coveted confidence!

Try something new and definitely worth-while. Have a fun spa night with friends and get a little messy with the messy mani and marvel at the perfect painted nails for weeks. I would however leave the Velaterapia and Brazilian sculpting massage to the pros.

Interested in learning about Parisian beauty trends? Check out Beauty Trends Around the World: Take a Little Beauty Detour Into France

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Showstopper Short Hair Style Hacks

You have life hacks, kitchen hacks, DIY hacks and craft hacks, but what about hair hacks that every lady will certainly appreciate. If you're new to the 'hacks' term, it is basically a trend that shows you how to do things a thousand times easier. Hacks are like a secret treasure chest to life that has only recently been discovered, and if you're like me and don't always want to invest a lifetime (entire morning) to do your hair, you are probably craving some hacks for your hairdo. This post is specifically for the ladies who rock the shorter styles; pixie cuts, bobs and everything in between but not past.  Enjoy, ladies! Let's bring it up a notch, shall we?

Curl It
Who ever said you can't curl short hair? You want to steer clear of super tight curls because you may look like you're rocking a grandma-inspired perm, but this doesn't mean that you have to completely write off the idea of some volume and curve. Play around with different sizes of rollers, and see if you can recreate a completely new look with the same hairdo!

Bang It Out
Changing your bangs can instantly give you an entirely new look. Brush your bangs forward and sweep them to the side, pin them to the side or to the back of your head, or make a bold statement with full bangs. Explore the wonders of what bangs can do for your look.

Braids, Braids, Braids
You may only be able to wrap the pieces around the other a couple of times, but that doesn't mean braids are totally out of the question for you. Even if you have 2 inches of hair, you can still gather enough hair to start building a braid. If you find that your braid is too frizzy, use some product first and then braid in a side bang. 

Wild Child Faux Hawks
Long haired girls pull of faux hawks all the time, simply by pulling the sides of their hair back and pumping up the volume down the center. You can do the exact same thing, sans all the trouble. Plus, your hair is going to hold much better than the long haired styles. 

Crown a Queen
You are one stylish royal, so you might as well twirl your hair into a crown Twist the sides of your hair to the back (kind of like one large cornrow). With a couple of bobby pins and hair spray, and you're rocking a chic, luxurious look. 

Whoever knew that you could totally change your short hairstyle simply by doing a little bit of twists, turns, clips, pins and hairspray. 

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Beauty Trends Around the World: Take a Little Beauty Detour Into France

The clich√© “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, while overused, is actually quite true. The definition of beauty changes as you travel to new geographical areas, even within your own country! For the next few blog posts, let’s take a look at some countries that know how to set the example for beauty and allure.

Today’s Focus: Parisian Beauty – France

French women perfectly embody casual chic and nonchalance. How do they perfect such a lovely look with minimal effort? A ma chérie that is where they fool you. Parisian beauty is a perfect balance of healthy eating, activity and preparation.

Continuous use of masks. So you try a mask maybe once a month or every other month, just to have a little you time while reading a good book or watching a movie. Well, the women of France take this to a whole other level – once or twice a week!!! And while some may dish on store or designer brand masks, most Parisian woman have their own family ingredients for homemade masks. Ranging from lavender, seaweed, eggs, and oil, everyone has their own tricks of the trade to get their beauty glow.

Secrets of seaweed. Don’t let the strong odor scare you off. Seaweed’s beneficial properties are off the chart! Seaweed for beauty purposes, also known as thalassotherapy, has been widely used since the 1800s. Parisian women, when possible, use seaweed baths, wraps, and massages. In addition to lowering stress, reducing muscle aches, and relieving skin conditions – psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc, seaweed baths, wraps, and massages are associated with body toning, slimming, and toxin release. Hit your nearest ocean and drag that big, slimy gunk of seaweed to your home!

Mesotherapy indulgence. Am I talking about Japanese tofu soup? Mesotherapy not miso soup J Mesotherapy is a type of facial injection but nothing like Botox. Mesotherapy is the injection of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids into the middle layer of the skin, also known as the mesoderm, to stimulate metabolism and production of collagen and elastin. Sounds more natural than Botox and much healthier!

Medical…Pedicure? The French women take their beauty to a whole other level with the medical pedicure, sans the polish. The medical pedicure is a government-licensed practice where a practitioner uses instruments to groom your feet and toes. The end result includes baby-soft feet and perfectly trimmed nails. While there is no polish, your feet are absolutely lovely. Talk about a pedicure!!! You won’t even need the polish after that.

The Parisian women seem to have it right. Looks like most of their beauty routine includes natural ways to enhance their natural beauty. Maybe I’ll integrate a few of these into my beauty routine. Anyone want to meet me at the beach?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

5 Steps to Using Foam Rollers

As if hair rollers weren't complicated enough, they're about to get just a tad bit more complicated because there are different tips per the type of roller that you're using. For example, there are a set of tips for the ladies who use hot rollers which I have talked about previously in another blog post, and there are tips for those of you who like to use foam rollers. To each their own but since I have provided tips for foam rollers yet, this one is for you! 

Healthier Hair
I think the most important thing that you can know about using foam hair rollers is that you're making a healthy choice for your hair. Hot rollers are damaging due to the heat that your hair sits in, but with foam rollers, there really isn't anything detrimental bout it. 

Step One: Sectioning
Just as it is important for almost any other hairstyle that you can do, you need to section your hair. This is an essential step that you don't want to skip out on because messing up one part but not sectioning your hair could result in a very bad hair day - and a bad mood since you'd have to redo your hair all over again. 

Step Two: Rolling
When you start to wrap your hair around the foam rollers, always start at the bottom - just as you would with hot rollers. All you need to do is gently wind your hair around the roller, closer and closer to your scalp - depending on the hairstyle that you're trying to achieve. 

Step Three: Clipping
Don't forget to secure your rollers or they are 99% likely to fall out. Some foam rollers come with clips, some come with an innovative technology which allows you to twist the roller into place. Whatever your rollers came with, never go without clipping and securing your hair into place unless you want all of that hard work that you put into curling your hair to simply vanish. 

Step Four: Keep 'Em In
You need to prepare to be indoors for a while because foam rollers need several hours to set the curl. This is why it is ideal to put them in overnight, but that is only if you can sleep in them. I wrote a blog post about this last week. So, you can get some great tips there! 

Step Five: Styling
Lastly, you want to ensue that the style holds, so always use your favorite style product right after you curl, and when you let your hair loose a couple hours later or the following morning. Brushing your hair or tousling it with your fingers will give totally opposite looks, so be sure to proceed with caution. 

Once you have your hair exactly the way that you want it, spray another dose of styling product, preferably one for a finishing hold, and voila! You'll be walking outside your house looking like a hair commercial. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Benefits of Honey, Ginseng, and Kombucha

Looking to enrich your life with healthier choices? Then it’s time to include three natural and essential ingredients in your life: honey, ginseng, and kombucha. The first you probably have in your cabinet, the second sounds like an entertaining alcoholic liquor, and the third probably makes you scratch your head while repeating its name.

Ok, let’s ease into these power ingredients nice and slowly with good, familiar honey. Honey is a natural sweet yet sticky food made from flower nectar. Fun fact, did you know that honey was used as an Egyptian medicine to treat wounds and the Greeks ate honey to live longer? While science didn’t influence their decisions back then, modern study of this natural ingredient has proved numerous benefits.
 ·       Natural First Aid. The Egyptians had it right! Honey has been used for thousands of years to help treat wounds. Honey works to stop the growth of certain bacteria and acts as a sealant to protect wounds from infection. It has also been known to reduce swelling, pain, and scarring.
·       Help With Hangovers. While it may not immediately take away the consequences of heavy drinking immediately, honey acts as a gentle but effective tool to help metabolize alcohol. Honey chaser anyone?
·       Great Energy Source. Honey has 17g of carbs per tablespoon! Ready to work out? Add some honey to your bottle of water for an extra boost of energy during your workouts. Rather eat it? Snack on some honey sticks before and after.

Looking to add some entertainment to your next party? Make sure to bring some Gin that Sings…. Just kidding! Bad pun I know. Ginseng is a very popular herbal and natural remedy derived from a plant root. The history of ginseng comes from China about five thousand years ago and was used for its “rejuvenating powers”. Chinese emperors used ginseng for medicinal purposes and also included it within soap, lotion and cream mixtures. Today, ginseng is used for a variety of purposes, including:
 ·       Energy Boost. Ginseng is believed to reduce fatigue and stimulate energy: physical and mental. Feeling tired? Take some ginseng herbal supplements to pep your step.
·       Lower Blood Sugar Content. Ginseng has been used to assist in type 2 diabetes. Those who have taken ginseng has seen an improvement in blood sugar control.
·       Annoying Menstrual Symptoms. Are your cramps pretty bad? Try some Ginseng Tea to help remedy annoying menstrual symptoms.

Say what? How do you even pronounce that? All you have to know is that it is full of probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and more, making it a power ingredient for sure! Kombucha is actually a tea that is made with tea, water, sugar, and Scoby. I know, I know. I keep throwing more weird words at you. Scoby is a fermented culture that promotes good bacteria and yeast. Don’t get scared! It’s like yogurt…but better! And it’s been used since the Tsin dynasty with the nickname of “elixir of life”. Are you jumping in the bandwagon yet? No? Well here are some great reasons to sip on some kombucha:
 ·       Better Immunity. Allergies and colds bringing you down? Kombucha can help boost your immune system naturally. Bye bye, lab made pills! Why put something synthetic in your body if your can get the same if not better results with a natural remedy?
·       Detox, Detox, Detox. Have a bad habit of drinking and eating things that may not be good for your body? Drinking kombucha can help add good bacteria to your body, promoting detox.
·       Increase Metabolism.
Add beneficial enzymes and bacteria that help your body function and absorb better!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How to Sleep in Hair Rollers

Sleeping in hair rollers - it seems like such an easy thing to do but it is certainly harder than it looks, pun intended. If you are seriously picky about getting a good nights rest, than sleeping in hair rollers may not be for you because you truly have to get used to it before you can snooze with ease. However, these following tips should make sleeping in your hair rollers as comfortable and effective as possible. After all, you wouldn't want to have a bad sleep only to wake up and find that your hair rollers have done the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do.

Think About Your Sleeping Position
If you can naturally switch up your sleeping position without it affecting your comfort, then you're the ideal candidate for sleeping with rollers. The best sleeping position for a night with a head full of rollers is on your stomach with your forehead resting on your arms. Unfortunately, it isn't a common one, and you probably sleep on your side or your back. Try to switch this up if possible - at least for hair roller nights.

Extra pillows (neck travel pillow) may help to reposition your head so that the rollers aren't so jabby.

Keep 'Em Tight
Your hair rollers will have to be as tight as possible to discourage any pulling or slipping of them throughout the night. Pulling is uncomfortable and having them too loose and slipping will give you a whack-job of a hairstyle. Roll them as tight as possible and as close to your scalp as you can comfortably handle.

Use a Scarf or Shower Cap
It may sound silly at first, but having something to wrap around your hair rollers will also help them stay in place. I personally suggest getting a shower cap that is large enough to cover your head even with the largest rollers. Another option is to use a silk scarf and wrap it around your head to create a turban-style night cap. Doing so will keep your rollers in place to deter them falling out and causing discomfort and a bad hair day.

Play Around With Placement
Some hairstyles that call for hair rollers don't require you to fill your entire head with them. Thus, you have less of a chance to experience discomfort. For example, placing hair rollers in a mohawk allows you to sleep comfortably on your side but also provides some shape to your hair the following day. Play around with the placement of rollers to see what works best for you and you may even find a new favorite look.

Choose Soft Rollers
You are obviously going to experience more jabbing and lack of sleep with hard, plastic or metal rollers and tools. Try to opt for the softer styles, such as foam rollers, when sleeping in them. This will decrease the amount in which you feel them, and your sleeping pattern may not be interrupted at all.

As mentioned previously, you will eventually get used to it but there are definitely different styles that feel better than others, and tricks that help to do the same as well.

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