Easy 9 Minute Day Face


I have to admit I do not wear makeup all that often.  Part of this is because there is a not lot of time to get ready most mornings; usually I am happy if I have on clean clothes and have brushed my hair and teeth.  The second part is that buying makeup regularly can get pretty expensive.  I have sensitive skin so using cheaper brands is not always an option.  On an average day the world simply has to deal with my naked, born this way kisser.

For me and my makeup skills there are three types of faces – “Day Face,” “Fancy Face,” and “Stage Face.”

Day Face

Like it sounds, this is an everyday kind of average makeup technique for me.  It’s simple, easy, and quick.  I like to use lighter colors and light coverage.  The most important part to me is the eyes.

Fancy Face

For me this means getting a little more artistic about my makeup.  Bolder colors, more coverage, and makeup techniques that take more time and more products (e.g. winged eyeliner, contouring, highlighting, etcetera).

Stage Face

I do have some experience with stage makeup as I dance ballet and have used it for a number of performances.  Stage makeup is heavy, as in do not go out in public like this lest you be mistaken for Lady Gaga heavy.  This face requires lots of contouring, highlights, thick application of everything.  It is more of a mask than a face.


So if you are like me, with limited time and resources, but would like to look a bit more presentable and less “just returned from the dead” before you go out into the world then let me share with you my fast and easy 9 minute face!

Step One – Tinted Moisturizer

I have quite dry skin so I like tinted moisturizers for everyday wear. If I have just washed my face I will also use my normal moisturizer before I put on the tinted moisturizer.  My favorite tinted moisturizer right now is the Origins® VitaZing (SPF 15).  It is a “sheer tint release” cream so there is no specific color; it adjusts to your own skin tone when you apply it – magic!  The tube is 1.7 fl. oz. for $37.00 and I usually buy mine at Macy’s.

Step Two – Concealer

I use the Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in “Light” under my eyes and over any blemishes.  I think this blends and covers quite nicely without being too thick.  The stick is 0.15oz for $5.19 and I buy mine at Target.

Step Three – Eyeliner

Right now I am using Origins® Automagically™ Eye Lining Pencil in “Jet.”  Honestly I do not care for it at all.  I think it is too waxy making it hard to apply evenly and straight.  My favorite eyeliner was a Physicians Formula simple black eyeliner, but last time I went to Target to buy one I could not find it!  Sadly, I cannot remember exactly what it was called either.  Next time I am in need of eyeliner I plan to try out something new from Physicians Formula and I hope it works as well as the other one did.  I only line my top lid for a Day Face.

Step Four – Mascara

Let me tell you, I have tried many a mascara.  In the end I have decided I much prefer mascara that is not waterproof.  This is because I can never get the waterproof crap off and I end up losing eyelashes because of it – definitely not a great thing.  I am not much of a crier and I do not typically have sweat dripping into my eyes so non-waterproof mascara works pretty well most of the time.  My favorite mascara, hands down, is Maybelline® Great Lash in “Blackest Black”.  Seriously, this stuff is the bomb diggity.  I get mine at Target for $4.49 for 0.43 fl. oz.

Step Five – Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is one of those things that can be easily played with even when doing a 9 minute face.  The color can be changed up to match my mood or whatever color I am wearing.  Yes as a brown eyed girl I get to wear pretty much any color eyeshadow I want, ha!  The color I just absolutely adore right now I think I swiped from my mom for my wedding – it just ended up in my makeup bag somehow and she has not asked for it back…yet.  It is called Shimmer & Glow Luminous Powder from Avon® in “Shimmer Plum (C) Prune Satin (F).”  It might not even be specifically an eyeshadow but oh well!  It is beautiful and I love it.

Step Six – Blush

I have two types of blush I really like.  The first one is the Origins® Pinch Your Cheeks™ Powder Blush in “01 Rose Dust.”  I use this one most of the time because it is easier to apply.  The color is absolutely lovely and looks perfectly natural.  The other one I like is the Origins® Pinch Your Cheeks™ It’s Enough to Make You Blush in “01 Raspberry.”  This is a gel so it is a little harder to apply evenly, but it looks even more natural which I love.  I buy both of these at Macy’s.  The gel is $16.00 for 0.1 fl. oz. and the powder is $25.50 for 0.14 oz.

Step Seven – Powder

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear® Airbrushing Loose Powder is pretty neat stuff.  It can be applied as a foundation, awesome for lazy days, but I use it as a finishing powder.  I like to lightly brush it all over everything except my eyes.  It provides a little more coverage as well as SPF and it is talc-free!  I buy mine at Target for $10.79 for 0.49 oz.

Step Eight – More Eye Business

One of the last steps is to apply Smashbox™ Photo Op Under Eye Brightener to my, you will never guess, under eye.  My friend gave me a sampler of this once and I have been hooked ever since.  I believe it could be used almost as a highlighter if you wanted to, although probably not for something heavy-duty like a Stage Face.  I put a small dab under each eye and pat it gently in.  I buy mine at Sephora for $20.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.

Step Nine – Lips

Last but not least, the lovely lips.  I like to wear a moisturizing lip product as often as possible.  If I am not just wearing chapstick then I like to use Neutrogena® MoistureSmooth Color Stick in either “Soft Raspberry 60” or “Bright Berry 40.”  These are absolutely AMAZING.  They smell SO good, they feel SO nice, and they look SO pretty.  I like to buy mine, again, at Target for $7.99 for a 0.11 oz stick.


Okay so I probably do not use all of these products “properly” and I bet I apply them “out of order” in someone’s opinion.  It works for me and I think it looks pretty dang good.

Please leave your thoughts and/or suggestions in the comments below or via the contact form and if you would like more pictures or maybe a video let me know!

Christine xoxo

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My [Long] Hair Care Routine Part Two

Greetings brave readers!  Have you returned to continue the trek through my hair-y blathering?  Welcome then and let us begin part two…

Brushing/Detangling – This is serious business. 

Oh the knots I work myself into.

I first saw the love of my life on a YouTube hair tutorial (I love you torrinpaige!).  My beloved Tangle Teezer©.  This hand-sized plastic beauty performs like no other.  Really, I have not dreaded detangling once since I started using it.

As in part one, gentle is the key.  I start detangling from top to bottom and push the tangles about ¾ of the way down my length, then I switch to working from the bottom up to get the tangles and loose strands all the way out.  Gently.

Another tool I have used for detangling and would recommend you try if it sounds like fun is a wooden comb.  Wooden combs are good for detangling because they do not have seams like other combs may have.  The seams on a comb can catch your hair and cause damage.  In addition to that wooden combs are beautiful and just nice to look at.

Products.  Cha-ching!

My hair can sometimes misbehave and be prone to frizzing.  After I detangle my hair and while it is still wet I like to apply a small amount of anti-frizz serum.  My favorite serum is the John Freida Frizz Ease.  It can be expensive but it lasts me a long time, smells good, and works well to keep my tangles and frizz away!

I  rarely use other products.  When I do it is mostly for special occasions – my wedding, ballet performances, and the like.   My goal in using many products is usually to very strictly keep my hair in a style.  If I use a product I am not messing around ya’ll!

Aussie Miraculously Smooth Gel is one that I like to use.  I have actually been using it daily on the stepdaughter for school and it is great because it gives a pretty good hold without being stiff and chunky!  There is no scent to it so that can be a plus if you are sensitive or do not want to be wearing too many different smells.

Garnier Fructis Style Full Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray Ultra Strong (4) is another one I like.  It works to keep things in place without getting crunchy.  Light but strong is how I would describe it.  At the moment I use this hairspray the most on my eyebrows actually.  This one smells nice and is not too strong or overwhelming.

Aussie Mega Hairspray is another I have used for dance performances and it holds very nicely; this one can definitely be applied to the point of HAIR DOES NOT GO ANYWHERE if you are looking for that.  Very good for dance performances.  This one has a distinctive fragrance to me.  Maybe it is just because we used SO blasted much of it during “The Nutcracker” but it is definitely there and very recognizable in my opinion.  It is not a bad scent though.

That is all I have sitting on my bathroom counter at the moment.  I will definitely continue to go through more of the products I use or have tried and write up some more thorough reviews!

Protective Styles

If you have long hair you would like to keep nice or if you are trying to grow your hair out long it can be nice to use “protective” hair styles on a daily basis.  These hairstyles keep your hair up and out of the way so it can grow without being excessively damaged along the way.  If you are using protective styles to keep your hair nice or to grow it out longer you will want to change it up from day to day and not just use one hairstyle all of the time.  If you use any hairstyle day in and day out you will be putting stress and pressure on the same parts of your hair over and over again causing damage!

Some protective hairstyles I use frequently are:

Braids – English, French, Dutch, Rope

Buns – Pencil, Cinnamon, Nautilus, Rose, Braided

Styles that keep your hair up and out of the way without too much rubbing and that do not cause excessive damage while trying to achieve the up-do are what you are going for.

Trimming and S&D

I cut the husband’s hair and anyone else’s hair who wants me to, but I will only trim mine.  I have no plans to cut or have anyone else cut my hair anytime soon.  If I did plan on having my hair cut I would probably have someone else do it because I am not confident that I could do a good job, not being able to see the back of my head and all.  I think the longer your hair is the easier it is to trim by yourself, though.  I will also cut my own bangs (because that is the front of my head!) but that is also really just a trim for me right now too.

Average hair growth is about 4-6 inches per year.  So when you go to trim off “only 3 little inches,” just remember that is six months of hard-earned growth.  Sometimes though you have got to do what you have got to do, boo.  I always mourn the tiny bits I manage to trim every so often.  Honestly the frequency of my hair trims is based on my mood.  If I am feeling good about how my hair is looking I will just let it be.  If I feel like the ends are starting to look too scraggly and a good conditioning does not help I will probably opt for a wee snip.

S&D stands for Search and Destroy.  I found out about this technique, used to get rid of split ends, on a hair forum I frequent.  Basically you sit in good lighting with a pair of hair scissors and Search for split ends then snip them off (Destroy) one hair at a time.  The advantage to this technique is that you can get rid of split ends without, hopefully, losing too much length.  The disadvantages are that it can be time consuming and you need to have decent enough eyesight to accomplish the task.

How to Measure Hair

Another funny thing you might not know is that there is a “proper way” to measure your hair!  It can be fun to track the length of your hair when you are growing it out.  When I started growing out my hair it was already quite long.  My starting length was about 35 inches and as I stated in part one my current length is about 45 to 45.5 inches.  Over six years only 10 inches of growth is not a ton, but sadly I have definitely trimmed off many, many inches over this time.

To measure my hair I use a soft measuring tape like the kind used for sewing.  I brush my hair straight back and place the end of the measuring tape at the edge of my hair line in the center of my forehead.  Then I carefully align my hair and the measuring tape so neither is bunched up strange and make my way down to the bottom of my hair to read the results.  Gosh, I hope this makes sense.  Let me know in the comments on via the contact page if you need pictures or videos because writing out some of these things is questionable in my opinion!

To get comparable measurements you will want to make sure you measure your hair in the same “condition” every time.  This means if you measure your starting length when your hair is wet, you will want to measure your progress length when your hair is wet.  Or if you measure your starting length when your hair is dry, you will want to measure your progress length when your hair is dry.  Hair is a bit more stretched out, “longer,” when it is wet.

Sleeping In Style

My hairstyle while sleeping is very important to me.  This is because I do not like to have nightmares about being strangled nor do I like waking up unable to move because the husband is laying on my tangled mess of a do.

My preferred sleeping style is a braid.  I have heard of others sleeping in a bun but I do not know how they manage it.  A single braid is more comfortable to me, but I have also slept in two braids (one on either side).  English, French, Dutch, rope– any braid will do.   Because I braid it every night for sleeping I try to change the position of my hair tie on the end so I am not causing too much damage in the same spot.

 

Well my lovely friends I think that just about does it with regards to my basic long hair care routine, thank you for sticking with me!  I hope you found something fun or at least interesting along the way.  Please leave any thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comments – especially if there is anything you would like to see in the future!

Christine xoxo

My [Long] Hair Care Routine Part One

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I got about 2/3 of the way through writing about my hair care routine I realized it was getting pretty long.  This is a bit scary to me as I thought I was just writing about my “boring” basic hair care and not even any of the fun stuff!  My apology if this brings you to tears, but here I present to you part ONE!

One of my passions is long hair.  Locks of every length are beautiful and hair care is an essential part of keeping your tresses looking healthy and presentable.

My long hair journey has consisted of 6+ years of trial and error so far.  I have not come close to trying every brand of hair product let alone every product that may be appropriate for my hair.  And, unfortunately some of my favorite products have been discontinued.  However, after much time and money I feel I now have a routine that works quite well for my hair type.

Speaking of hair type, did you know there is such a thing as hair typing?  You can do an internet search and learn how to type your own hair.  This can be helpful when learning about hair care from other people, especially via the internet, as using products and techniques that work for one hair type may not necessarily work for another.  When you are figuring out your hair type make sure you are not analyzing with products in your hair as this can definitely throw you off.

My hair type is 2a/M/ii.  This means that my hair is “somewhat wavy” in texture, “medium” in individual hair diameter, and “normal” in thickness overall.  More thorough explanations/definitions can be found online and there is more than one system of hair typing that can be used.  I like to use the hair typing method I have found to be the most common where I find hair care information and such.

Today I am sharing my personal hair care routine!  I cannot say how this routine will work on different hair types, so if you would like to try it out please share your results in the comments below along with your hair type!

Deep Conditioning

If I feel like my hair needs some extra TLC with a deep conditioning treatment I like to do it the night before washing.  My favorite technique is to heavily apply virgin coconut oil all over my scalp and the entire length of my hair.  I then braid it and sleep with the oil in overnight before washing it out the next day.  Yes, the oil will get on the pillowcase during the night – it washes out very easily leaving no staining whatsoever, so do not worry about it!

My preference is to oil my hair overnight but I have heard that as little as 2 hours of oiling can work.  I do not think there is an amount of time that is “too long” to leave the oil in your hair.  Mine has sat there all oily for up to 2 full days without any issue at all.

Another option is to use olive oil if your hair is especially dry.  Olive oil is very heavy so if your hair is not too terribly dry or if you have finer hair I would recommend sticking with the coconut oil.

Washing

Washing is probably one of the trickier parts of caring for my hair because of how long it is.  My hair is 45 inches or down to the middle of my thigh when wet.

  1. Brush out all tangles before getting hair wet.  If the hair is not detangled before            washing then brushing it out afterwards will be much harder and more damaging.
  2. Wet hair thoroughly.
  3. Apply shampoo to top of scalp and also to length.
  4. Massage/gently scrub shampoo into scalp and just “squish” it down the length – no scrubbing the length unless there is something terribly nasty that will not come out otherwise! Do NOT pile the hair on top of the head for scrubbing.
  5. Thoroughly rinse hair.
  6. Apply shampoo to top of scalp and length again then flip head upside-down and apply shampoo to underside of head as well.
  7. Again, massage/gently scrub shampoo into the scalp and “squish” through the length while keeping the head upside-down.
  8. Thoroughly rinse hair again.  This can be done with the head upright.

Squeaky clean!  Because my hair is so long the weight of it, especially once it is wet, makes it difficult to get the shampoo all the way through all my hair.  This is why I wash it twice, once upright and once upside-down.  If you have significantly shorter hair you may only need to wash it once.

The shampoo I use on my hair 99% of the time is an easy homemade recipe and it works beautifully.  It keeps my family’s hair so clean and it is so easy to make.  The shampoo is a liquid, not gel-like in consistency as you may be used to, so you will want to use a bottle you can pour from and not a squeeze-y bottle.

In an approximately 16 ounce bottle combine:

1 part Dr. Bronner’s Baby (Unscented) Castile Soap

1 part warm water

1 to 2 tsp of oil (liquid) of your choice

A few drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Put on the lid and turn the bottle a few times to mix – do not shake.  Some oils I have tried that work well in this recipe are grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and apricot oil.  I would not use olive oil unless you have excessively dry hair, and even then I have not tried it so it may still be too heavy.  Some essential oils I have tried include orange, lavender, tea tree, rosemary and eucalyptus.  The essential oil is mainly for smelling yummy and therefore is optional.

Conditioning

I do not use conventional conditioner unless I am washing with conventional shampoo and I recommend that you do not either!  If I were to use conventional conditioner after washing my hair with my awesome homemade shampoo it would look greasy and tangle too easily.  Instead, I like to rebalance the pH of my hair by using a rinse.  This works so well to keep it soft and tangle-free as well as to show off the natural texture.

The rinse I use is very simple.  In a water bottle mix:

1 part apple cider vinegar (ACV)

3 parts water

After the hair has been washed:

  1. Poor prepared ACV rinse all over the hair focusing especially on the scalp, but not forgetting the ends.
  2. Let the rinse sit in the hair for about 5 minutes.  I just let it sit while I shave and wash everything else.
  3. Rinse hair thoroughly.

Using the water bottle makes it easy to pour the rinse through the hair.  The ACV does smell quite strong while being used in the shower, but once your hair is dry it should not smell at all.

Drying

When I finish washing my hair I gently squeeze the excess water out.  Never wring your hair out like an old towel or it will start to look like one. After washing my hair I do like to put it up in an old (clean) towel to absorb a bit more moisture before I detangle it.  To avoid tangles even further I like to wrap my hair like this instead of the “traditional” way:

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I never use heat to dry my hair.  I let my hair air-dry after detangling and it does not take longer than an hour as I live in a pretty dry climate.  If I did live in a very humid climate I may consider drying it on a cool setting if I really needed to.

I also will braid my hair while wet and let it dry that way instead of down.  This way I get some nice braid waves.  Again, this works great for me in the dry climate and it might not work as well if I lived somewhere really humid.

 

Well there you have it, part one of my basic hair care routine!  I hope you did not end up drooling on your keyboard before you made it to the end.  Next up will include Brushing/Detangling, Products, and Protective Styles!  I am thinking that some of this content might work better as a video or pictorial tutorial so please feel free to leave any thoughts or suggestions in the comments below.

Christine xoxo