Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unwind and Pamper

Maybe you've had a hectic schedule this holiday season or you just want to unwind, well I am going to give you some tips on what I do. Most of this might seem oh so simple but sometimes we forget that we have to take some time and take care of someone very important, ourselves. It can become so easy to get caught up in the everyday workings of others lives and all of life's stressors, which is why unwinding is perfect. I fall victim to this often and find myself increasingly stressed and tense, to help combat some of that I set aside some time for myself when I can. Sometime's that means a couple of minutes and other times that means hours just to myself. Whatever it may be here are some tips:

1. Set some time apart
This is perhaps the most important step because carving out a bit of time within the day that is reserved only for you is essential. Even if you can't do it regularly or if you only have a little bit of time, a little goes a long way. Just taking a small respite is beneficial to your mental, physical and emotional well being. Stress can take such a toll on you that it might take some time to notice it's ill effects. So taking a little time to be in your own space alone and quiet is key. A little goes a long way.

2. Soak in the Sun
Does that mean go tanning on the beach? Not necessarily. Just going outside for a couple of minutes and soaking in some sunshine is enough to help reduce stress. Not to mention you get a natural dose of Vitamin D which helps support your immune system. Just find somewhere to stand or sit or even go on a stroll and completely focus your attention on the suns rays and how you feel. Don't dwell on what's bad or wrong in the world just let the warmth of the sun rays envelop you. If you do this, you will find your mood much improved and some of the stress would have ebbed off. 

3. Slow down, live in the Now
This ties in with the previous to as well as the rest. If you have managed to carve out some time for yourself remember to slow down. Sometimes we get so caught up in being fast paced that when we have spare time we want to continue to be on the go. I always noticed how my mental state changes when I'm on holiday elsewhere and when I'm home. Taking your time to do something will help reduce any stress and improve your quality of life. Only think of the task at hand and even then don't study it, just take note of everything within stride. If you are taking a couple of minutes to yourself and happen to be outside sit down somewhere, slow down. Think of nothing but what is present at that moment, shut off all inner dialogue. Savor the feeling of sunlight on your face or take note of your surroundings. Once you learn to slow yourself down and focus on only the immediately present you will feel happier. Noticing the beauty in the small things will bring joy into your life. 

4. Laugh
The saying " Laughter is the best medicine", never rang truer. Something so simple as laughing can help you unwind immensely. Read some jokes, watch a funny movie or scene, anything that will get a smile on your face. Laughing increases your intake of oxygen which stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and helps release endorphin's. You can relieve tension, increase heart rate and lower blood pressure. If I don't have anything on hand that makes me laugh then I look for something that will make me smile. It tends to be animals for me or simply watching the wonderment of babies. On average adults don't laugh as much as children do and if we did more I think we would feel marginally better. 

4. Listen to Music
Again something that sounds obvious but maybe might be something you overlook. Music is very therapeutic and can arose different emotions in you. Of course the idea is to become relaxed but the type of music is subjective. I prefer classical music as a way to unwind but I understand some people would not agree. Basically classical music or music that elicits a mellow, calm, complacent mood in you is what you want to hear. I chose classical because it is music without any words, so I can think and then after awhile just get swept away by the melodious sounds. Put on some soft music during your "me" time and using the other steps let your thoughts adrift. Also putting on some earphones and cutting out all the sounds from around you helps greatly. 

5. Avoid Confrontations
There's nothing worse than having your mood dampened by a confrontation, so during this time avoid it. Make sure that when you carve out that time for yourself you let others know to not be disturbed. If you can't and there's a possibility to be disturbed just remember not to take it to heart. Disengage as best as you can from the confrontation and make a note to deal with it later or not at all. Find a place where you can avoid the most amount of distractions or confrontations. Even if you only have a short amount of time and are around a lot of people trying to rope you into something or other, disengage and walk it off. Go for a walk, find a bench, a bathroom, an empty room, whatever and disengage. If you only have precious moments to yourself treat them with care and ensure that you get the most out of it as you can. 

6. Breathe and Hydrate
Breathe. Regulating your breathing is something to keep in mind. Taking in full deep even breaths will do wonders for any tenseness you may feel. In conjunction with the other steps you will be on your way to relaxation. Breathing right like laughing is beneficial to your health. Also another thing to keep in mind is to stay Hydrated. Very often one might go prolonged periods without drinking anything and if you are pampering yourself I always like to drink water during. If a glass of wine is what helps you relax then so be it.

7. Massage
It could be that you are getting a massage or giving yourself one but either way its very therapeutic. Whenever I'm stressed and I'm pampering myself I like to get a massage. More often than not I am giving myself my own massage but knowing pressure points help. Following the other steps I take my time when I have a me day, so if I'm putting some lotion on I take advantage and give myself a massage simultaneously. The process of a massage forces you to slow down and enjoy the moment which is ideal for unwinding. Nothing feels better than massaging all those kinks and worries away. 

8. Watch or read your favorite movie or book
While you are taking this time to slow down and be present, what better way than to indulge in watching that favorite movie of yours or reading that new book you own. I love to unwind by popping in my favorite feel good movies and reading books that make me content. You focus on what's happening in the movie or book and eventually get so engrossed that all that anger or stress you had earlier fades into the background. If I'm watching a movie I like putting in movies that aren't too serious, I don't want to elicit a big range of emotions only simple ones. If you keep the movie light-hearted without any complicated themes that may mimic real life it's easy to get lost and disassociate a bit. It keeps you smiling and feeling good which is what you want during this time. Same goes for reading, I tend to pick up a random romance novel and just read it for enjoyment. So pick something up that will elicit only positive emotions from you.

9. Enjoy a Hobby
If you aren't interested in watching a movie or reading then maybe a hobby is the thing for you. Engaging in an activity that gives you pleasure will enhance your life. It can even be something as mundane as counting buildings, so long as it's monotonous and fun. You feel good when you are doing something you enjoy, so why not do that when you have a respite. If it brings a smile to your face or a laugh and thoroughly relaxes you, do it. Focus entirely on the task at hand and in the enjoyment that it brings.

10. Nap
Sometimes within our hectic stressful lives, our sleep is short changed often. If you can get a bit of time to recoup why not take that time to nap. You will feel more refreshed and less tense afterwards and will have gotten some much needed sleep. Even taking little five minute naps can do a lot for your energy level and mood, it can be almost as good as ice cold water to the face. Don't feel guilty about using your time to sleep, this is the time you can be selfish and do what you want.

11. To Cook or Not
This is something that I've recently found to relax me, it ties in with what I've already said previously. Although I don't eat out much sometimes cooking can become repetitive and unenjoyable. If you always eat out maybe cooking some comfort food might be relaxing. Taking your time to cook and enjoy what you are doing will not only enhance the pleasure of the food but also the experience. It can be a great time to listen to some music and just let your thoughts wander. If I do cook to unwind I chose to make meals that although I do not make often I do know how to make, that way making a mistake is less likely. I chose to make food that will leave me feeling content. 
If cooking isn't your idea of winding down then maybe eating out is. Ordering some takeout or maybe going to a restaurant is your idea of relaxing. I've done this also and it's a nice change. Allowing yourself the right to chose whatever meal without any guilt involved is the key. If you don't want to go crazy with the allowances then maybe a mixture of cooking your meal and buying dessert is something you'd like. Basically during this time I allow myself to indulge in what I actually want. That doesn't mean go crazy and become gluttonous but just letting yourself have a little of life's pleasures. It's a way to treat myself and feel good.

12. Pamper Yourself
Remember that you are worth it. The whole idea of taking some time out for yourself is to take care of the most important person, you. This is the time that you can feel selfish and not feel badly for it. You can pamper yourself in different ways. Maybe there's this movie that you have been wanting to see but haven't or couldn't, go see it. Or maybe you have been wanting to go shopping but haven't been able to, go shop. You don't have to spend an insane amount of money, it's all in moderation and within reason. That movie you wanted to go see maybe they have early viewings for cheap if money is an issue. Or how about all those things you wanted but can't afford to buy, well get one thing. Just look for coupons or check the things on clearance and treat yourself to one thing. It could be a new book, to a new nail polish, whatever it is let yourself have something. 
If you allow yourself to get a reward or treat you will feel better, it may sound materialistic a bit but it's true. There's nothing wrong with buying yourself something that will make you happy. Let yourself say yes to something you want after saying no every other day. Remember that you deserve to be happy and feel good, you do not need to rely on others to do it when you can take steps towards it. 

13. Beautify Yourself
Take time to make yourself feel beautiful. When you feel good inside it radiates outwards and that is what we want for ourselves. While you take this time out for yourself, do something that makes you feel beautiful, whatever it might be. What makes one feel beautiful is different for so many people so that is up to you to figure out. There are times that I feel most beautiful without makeup and wearing sweat pants, a big shirt and a pullover. Other times I feel most beautiful when I have my hair, nails and makeup nicely done and wearing a nice outfit. Just make sure you feel comfortable. 
Take this time out to do maintenance grooming if it's fallen to the way side or just pampering yourself. You can give yourself a mani/pedi or maybe go to a salon and get your hair done. It doesn't matter so long as you are doing something that makes you feel beautiful. There's nothing better than treating yourself to a beauty filled day after not feeling so great about yourself. It's a pick me up and while it can sound superficial there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel and look good. Remember that you are doing these things for yourself to make yourself feel good. It is for no ones benefit but your own although it can be.
If you never dress up then maybe take this time to get all decked out and go somewhere even if its just to run errands. Feeling beautiful will affect your mood greatly and even how other interact with you.

14. Positivity
Lastly, think Positive. Throughout all these steps the biggest is your state of mind. Although negative thoughts might intrude into your special time try to push them away. Focus on the Now and think of the positives that are in the moment rather than all the negative that wants to consume you. It might be hard sometimes but refusing to allow any negative thoughts to seep into your present consciousness will allow you to destress. Remember, everything that was bothering and pressing on you before will still be there after you've had your time to yourself. Constantly remind yourself that it will be there after you are done taking a time out, so deal with it later.  

So these are some of my tips to Unwind and Pamper yourself no matter where you may be. The point of this post is to stress that everyone needs a time out and maximizing the allotted time is important. You have to realize that taking care of yourself is essential and just as important as anything else that might be pressing on your mind. At least when you do take time to take care of number one, you, everything else happening in your life will seem so much smaller even if only for a short time. Taking the time to recharge your batteries will do so much for your mental, emotional and physical well being. You can do a lot without having to go on holiday, unwinding is something you should be capable of doing anywhere. 

Hope this helped even if some was a little commonsense. Try it out and enjoy a happier, calmer you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Even Skin tone

Are you trying to even out your skin tone?

Ok so I have been trying something new for the past month or so for my skin. Originally it started out as a trial for acne and moisturizing my skin but it unexpectedly had another benefit. I don't know if its worked on the acne but I do have to say that I don't get any new breakouts if I use it. Okay so the product that I have been using is...Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It works as a great moisturizer and it seems to have improved my skin tone.

I've always had a pretty even skin tone and no acne but the last couple of years both have been a problem. Also I was never really consistent with using a moisturizer on my face because they could get a bit pricey. I had noticed this summer just how discolored and uneven my skin tone looked and it bothered me but I didn't know what I could do about correcting it other than getting a tan.

Anyway I decided to try olive oil as a moisturizer after hearing that it was good for helping the elasticity in your skin. I was curious and because it was such a natural product I decided to try it. I wash my face thoroughly, apply some ointment on any acne and then massage the olive oil into my face. To be fair my skin is fairly soft and I always get compliments from people commenting on how soft my hands or whatever feel. So it's not that I needed to moisturize due to dry skin but let me tell you after using olive oil my skin felt even softer. It takes some time to soak into the skin it can be like 2hrs for it to absorb into my face (which is why I like to do it after showering at night). After it absorbs into your skin it leaves it feeling soft and there's no lingering greasiness or anything. I especially love that its affordable and simple, there are no extra ingredients, just the one.

So after continued usage I started to notice that although it didn't get rid of acne there didn't seem to be any new breakouts either which was nice. I did skip the olive oil for a couple of days and did breakout but I think it's because the olive oil acted as a great barrier to any pollutants or dirt. Also my skin tone looked much more even than it did originally, where I wasn't able to determine what shade was my true shade I now have only one. I'm still going to continue usage but wanted to talk about this now.

I'd say give this a whirl if you are interested in a more even complexion or if you just want a cheap moisturizer.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

OOTN: Birthday Edition

Here's another OOTD but this one is a little bit different because it's my birthday outfit. I love getting dressed up for my birthday and going out and normally plan my outfit months before.

The dress is from H&M I bought it on Black Friday. The shoes are a couple of years old and they are from the brand Nina.

I wore a simple gold bangle that I've had for years
Earrings are from Macy's I bought them last Christmas

Necklace is also from Macys and was bought last Christmas. The stone of the earrings and the necklace is a citrine color

I spaced at getting a good picture but this is the clearest I got it
Faux Fur Trim is from H&M and I bought it on Black Friday

Coat is a couple of years old and it's also from H&M

I didn't get a good picture of my bag but its a suede brown clutch with some glittery details and this was a present from Aldo's a couple of years old.

I will be uploading a Birthday Get Ready with me video soon.

Choosing Your Perfect Red Lipstick

Have you always wanted to wear a red lip but didn't know how to pick one? Do you wear red lipstick but don't know if it's the right shade for you? Well I'm going to give you some tips to help you find the right red shade for you.

A red lip is bold and sensuous, it screams stop and look at me. It's something every woman should  kijnjn at some point. I'll admit it took me a bit of time to figure out my right shade but knowing some fundamentals helps you in this endeavor.

One red lipstick isn't universal. Within red lipsticks there are underlying tones that help determine what color works best for you.

To start when picking the right shade of red lipstick you should have an understanding of undertones and which are flattering for you. If you don't know about undertones you can refer back to a previous post that helps in figuring it out.

My rule of thumb in picking out a red lipstick that's flattering is choosing one that will flatter my skintone and make my teeth appear whiter. You don't even have to put on the lipstick but holding it up against your teeth is enough to see if it is flattering for you. A lipstick in a wrong shade will pick up any kind of yellow or discoloration you have in your teeth while the right one will make them look brighter and whiter.

Lipsticks fall either into cool or warm categories. Cool toned lipsticks will have blue based shades in them. If you fall under the cool category in foundations and even hair colors then lipsticks within the same range are for you. Examples of Cool toned reds are shades of cranberry, or wine. Examples of warm toned reds are brick red, burnt red or scarlet.

A red lipstick that flatters mostly everyone would be a pure red but finding that shade can be a little difficult. To determine if it is a true pure red there should not be any blue or orange tints to it.

So the most important step in figuring out which red is the red for you is knowing what type of undertone you have in your skin. Figuring that out helps eliminate a lot of the guess work and narrows down the choices.

Here's a link to the Figuring out your undertone post, for reference:

Hope this helped you in your lipstick hunt.

HoliSeries: Look 5

Ok so to wrap up my holiday series looks I ended with a gold makeup look. I absolutely love wearing gold eye shadows for the holidays and I knew that I needed to include a look in this series. So this look was inspired by Kim Kardashian, I love how dramatic the liner is and of course the statement red lip. Here's the photo that I got my inspiration from.

The flash washes the colors a bit but tutorial will be up soon. Also I chose a pinkish red lipstick as opposed to   the shade Kim has only because it was the most flattering for me. Post on Picking a red lipstick will also be up soon.

Tutorial is up here: 

Friday, December 16, 2011

HoliSeries: Look 4

Just wanted to share the next look in my Holiday Series. It was inspired by Ciara, if you don't know who she is she's an American Singer. I changed it up with sharp edges but still with the same colors. Here is the look I was inspired by.

If you want to check out the tutorial:

Monday, December 12, 2011

OOTD: Purple Passions

So this is another OOTD but difference is that I will be putting up a Get ready with me video that corresponds to this look. I love the color purple but I don't wear it as often as I'd like so I decided to wear it this day. What was funny is that I saw more than 10 people during the night wearing the exact same shade as I was. I don't know if there was something in the air or whatever that attracted people to wear this color.

Anyhow in the meantime here are some quick pictures I got in before leaving.

Want to watch a Get Ready With Me video? Check it out here:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Split Ends

This post is related to tips in minimizing split ends. I am a sufferer of these unsightly things because I do like to heat style my hair especially in winter. There's nothing more bothersome than nice hair everywhere but the tips that look dry and damaged.

My first tip for reducing split ends is Minimize the amount of hot styling tools you use. Constantly using hot styling tools on your hair will cause damage to your ends. It fry's and breaks your ends. The easiest way to stop the amount of split ends will be to stop using so much heat on them.

2nd Tip is related to the first as well, use a heat protectant. If you must heat style your hair then it is EXTREMELY important to protect your hair beforehand. Using a heat protectant at least creates a slight barrier to coat your hair so that the heat will not be directly applied to the hair follicles.

3rd Tip, get regular trims. This is also very important to do for your hair. Trimming the ends every couple of months will get rid of any breakage you may have and so stop it from moving up the hair shaft and getting worse. Years ago I did not follow this at all but I have learned that it is important if I want healthy hair that grows. It might seem like the last thing you want to do is cut off those precious few inches if you are trying to grow your hair out, but you must. Trims about every month to 3 months is going to help keep your hair healthy. At the beginning of my hair journey it hurt me to cut any inch off but I'm glad I did consistently.

4th Tip, reduce the amount you comb your hair. Constantly brushing out your hair especially when you start from the roots will cause breakage. If you must detangle your hair start from the ends then slowly and gently work your way up to the crown. Naturally your hair looses hair every day but if you are constantly combing it you can break knots and cause split ends higher in the hair shaft. Also it's best to use a paddle brush or a wide toothed comb.
If you have curly hair it's best to skip combing your hair in general. When washing my hair with conditioner I gently finger comb my curls and that is the only time I comb through my curls. Combing dry curly hair causes frizz and since curly hair tangles you are more likely to break some hair while brushing.

5th Tip, use cold water. When washing your hair with warm water you are opening the hair shaft so to close it and lock in moisture you should also rinse it with cold water afterwards. This is something that I always do when I wash my hair. It reduces frizziness and because it's closed it isn't as delicate which will reduce breaking.

6th Tip, add moisture to your hair. Your hair is dead keratin so the problem some people may face is dry hair, there's nothing more important than making sure your hair is properly hydrated. Person's with curly hair tend to have the thirstiest hair which is why using a moisturizer is important. Anyone can benefit from moisturizing their ends with serums or olive oil (whatever you choose) especially if you heat style it often. It won't get rid of the split ends if you don't cut them but they will help make them more hydrated and a bit stronger.

*Another thing that I have also heard helps split ends (but I have not used myself) is English tea. You are supposed to soak the ends in it and it helps repair it.

Hopefully these tips were informative, give them a try and take the necessary steps to healthier hair. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HoliSeries: Look 3

So this HoliSeries Look is inspired by the beautiful Cyrine Abdelnour. If you do not know who Cyrine is, she is a lebanese singer, actress model. I was instantly drawn to this photo as it seemed a little different to pair a red lip with a blue smokey eye. Nonetheless I love the look it's different yet still Holiday appropriate.

Tutorial for this look is here:

Monday, December 5, 2011

HoliSeries: Look 2

As part of my new series on youtube I will be doing several looks for the holiday season all inspired by different people. This look is number two in the series and it is inspired by the beautiful and talented Haifa Wehbe. If you do not know who Haifa Wehbe is, she is a Lebanese Egyptian singer.
The picture I got my inspiration is included as well as mine and the video to my tutorial on it. The flash makes my makeup look lighter but it definitely is darker than it shows. Still it's such a pretty look. Very feminine and soft definitely one that I will be wearing often.

I didn't want to pair it with a darker lip only because I already did a similar color for the first look but it would still look pretty with it. I really like Haifa's hair here as well, I will be trying out her hairstyle soon.

Video on this look here:

HoliSeries Look 1

So I am starting a new series on youtube that deals with makeup looks for the holidays. Each look is inspired by a different person and are different looks in themselves. To kick off the series I started with an artist that I like, Atiye Deniz. If you don't know who she is, she is a Turkish singer. Here is the picture I was inspired by and my look.

I love her purple lipstick in this picture, I am definitely going to get one similar. Also how gorgeous is her hair in this pic?

Tutorial is here:

DIY Earring Holder

Even though I already put up a video on youtube I decided to make a blog post on it as well. Its a DIY Project to make an earring holder for your wall. Super simple and cheap you probably wont have one of the items but will have everything else. You will need:


Push Pins/ Tacks

Cardboard/Shoe Box Panel



The only thing you will most likely have to buy will be the burlap, which you can find at any fabric store. It's inexpensive.

Step one: Cut out the cardboard to the size that you want the earring holder to be

Step two: Cut the burlap to fit the size of the cardboard you cut

Step three: Put tape double-sided on the side of the cardboard that the burlap will lay on

Step four: Put the burlap on top of the side of the cardboard with the tape on it

Step five: To secure the burlap further staple all around the box to pin the burlap to the cardboard. 

Step six: Put the Earring holder wherever on the wall you wish and pin it in place with some push pins/tacks.

And you are done!

I am going to get a picture frame to put around the earring holder that way it has a nice border. As you can see I also pinned my hair flowers to it which helps keep them out the way.

If you want to check out my video you can see it here: