When to Cut Curly Hair?


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All you curly hair ladies probably hate going to get a hair cut as much as I do. They always cut it too short, ignore the fact that I have curly hair and style it terrible. I once had someone thin my hair with feathering. Yes, it was a puff-ball for about 4 months.

As I get to that 6-8 week mark since my last haircut, I started to actually consider, “when should I really cut my hair?” Last year I went 10 months without cutting my hair [oh God, so embarrassing]. So since it is a new year, I decided I should treat my hair better and do it right. I did a little research, and this is what I found:

1) Trimming your hair will not make it grow any quicker. I always felt like this was a bullshit lie hairdressers made up for more business! Now Oprah’s website has confirmed it. It seems that your hair will look longer if you have less split ends, yet how often you cut your hair has nothing to do with your hair growth.

2) Your hair length determines the necessary cutting time frame. I guess this makes sense! If you are keeping a certain hairstyle you would need to get it cut to maintain it. From a Daily Makeover article:

The length of hair is a deciding factor on when you should schedule your trim. “Hair that is collar bone and shorter should have a trim [every] 4-6 weeks. Hair that is collar bone and longer should have a trim [every] 6-8 weeks. Anything longer on both risks having to sacrifice length due to timing.”

3) Curly hair with split ends is frizzier. I basically have added this fact from experience and this WikiHow article. I have noticed that when my hair ends are too fried my hair starts to get very tangled. No matter what I do I have a mess. The more damage to your hair, the more frizz.

To sum it all up: I will begin cutting my hair when I notice the start of split ends. Not just one split end, but a bunch of them. Maybe it will be 2 months, but I think if you have curly hair you should be following any advice that prevents frizz. If split ends make for more frizz, that is enough motivation for me to go and cut those ends off.

Now to find a good hairstylist…

love, Sarah

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Who Needs Oil Absorbing Sheets When Toilet Seat Covers Are Free?


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My besties K & L have been telling me for years that the toilet seat covers in public bathrooms are the best for absorbing the daily oil that gathers on your face. Being totally stubborn, I just said “yeah yeah… weirdos.”

They are, of course, right! I have a very oily, olive complexion and recently started using Retain A again. Retain A is a very intense ache treatment that takes extra layers of your skin off so new, healthier skin can be acne free. It’s also great for anti-aging! Obviously this is the NOT technical explanation of this prescription, but basically it makes my skin peel and look all around flaky. So I lather on the moisturizer and then look like I put my face in oil oil by lunch. I started using those toilet seat covers at every pee break and, what do you know, they suck up the oil on my face and leave my make-up in place! Sounds like a musical jingle.

I will never look at toilet seat covers the same again. And they are free!

love, Sarah

PS: I may begin documenting my Retain A use. I know some people hate it/swear by it. Thoughts?

What Curly Hair Products Does Lorde Use?


From the Interview Magazine piece with the curl hair Holy Grail.

When researching Lorde, the new 16 year old pop sensation, I couldn’t help but love that she wears her hair natural and curly. Thank God, finally curls are getting some notice. I posted about it here because looking at her curls you can tell they (a) aren’t brushed and (b) are not “fresh” curls. If any of you reading this have natural curls like me, you understand.

In my research I also found what products she used in this photo shoot – the fucking Holy Grail because us natural curly ladies are always searching for that perfect product.

In the Interview photo shoot they share she uses:

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE, INCLUDING CURL CONSCIOUS SMOOTHING SHAMPOO.

Now on my list of things to buy, you can also check out the website of Bumble & Bumble — Curl Conscious. So many amazing [and expensive] products!

love, Sarah

Beauty Secret #4: Honey is the CURE for Those Nasty Blackheads


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Image from the amazing blog Crunchy Betty.

For the first time since I was 12, my skin is starting to clear up from acne! Hallelujah! However, this clearer skin has brought an increase in those dreaded blackheads. We all know popping blackheads is wrong and a horrible habit to get into, but I could not just stare at all those blackheads and do nothing about it!

First, what exactly are blackheads? As Dr. Oz explains in this really strange segment on his show [they pop the most disgusting and gigantic fake blackheads as a demonstration] blackheads are caused by bacteria and oil getting in your pores – just like a pimple. On one hand pimples’ heads are closed which makes them swell up and get red, while blackheads have an open head which allows air to get in the pore and then appear black! Fucking disgusting! Don’t you want to pop them even more now? Well my friend, I found the cure for you — HONEY. I scoured the internet looking for a cheap and natural remedy for these blackheads and hit the jackpot on Crunch Betty with a article titled 5 Natural Ways to Remove Blackheads.

Crunchy Betty’s Honey Pat-Down

Ingredients:

  1. Honey
  2. Clean and dry face

Directions:

  1. Wash your face and allow your skin to completely dry — this includes your hands. Dry is essential for this to work properly because if your skin is moist it will just spread the honey all over your face rather than get the stickiness you want.
  2. Put a small amount of honey on your fingers and start quickly patting your face where you have blackheads. The honey will stick to your pores and pull out the blackheads like those blackhead strips. From personal trial and error, it seems skin on skin is the only thing that works. I tried toilet paper [the paper stuck to my face] and wax strips [the honey wasn’t sticky enough to grab onto the wax strips].
  3. You may need to wash your hands between areas because you will start to see little blackhead chunks on your fingers. I have even done it with the palm of my hands and back of my hands.
  4. After your feel you have yanked all the blackheads out of your pores, wash your face again.
  5. Your skin will look a little bit red from the sticky honey. This will fade but your face will feel so soft and clean – like you just had a facial!

Honey is so great for your skin. The Huffington Post shares in their article 9 Super Sweet Facts About Honey,

Honey’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties draw out impurities from the skin, thus targeting breakouts, reducing redness and calming inflammation.

This means that if there is honey left in your pores it will not quickly turn into another blackhead or an angry pimple.

Enjoy getting rid of your blackheads! It has now become a nightly ritual for me after I wash my face and I can admit it feels so awesome to know I am fighting those blackheads with something delicious. No need to buy expensive pore strips or washes, honey does the trick better than any of them [trust me, I have tried them all].

Check out more beauty secrets here.

love, Sarah

eSalon DIY Hair Dye Review


eSalonNote: This post is in no way affiliated with eSalon and they do not know I am posting it! This is a true personal experience.

Today I got a little package from eSalon with my personalized hair dye [I have it on automated mail … a good and bad thing, as you will find out]. I have now used eSalon twice to home-dye my hair. Without throwing a crazy amount of pictures of myself on this blog, I will try to explain both of my hair dying experiences with eSalon and why I recommend it. Here is a link to 50% off your first dye! For only $9.95 you can try it!

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Hair BEFORE the first time using eSalon.

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Hair AFTER the first time using eSalon.

  1. First of all, it’s pretty cheap for hair dye [$25 after shipping without a discount code] and is salon quality hair dye.  I have been pretty poor for many years and can’t remember the last time I could afford to pay a professional to dye my hair. Oh wait, a few years ago I did go to a beauty school to get highlights… I looked like I was from 2001 with chunky blond highlights. Being cheap and going to a beauty school can sometimes work out, or sometimes you end up looking like shit! At least with eSalon you have some control.
  2. They really did pick a great color for my hair. On their website they say that the color is crafted for each individual, and I believe it. The color I got was had some red hues, but didn’t turn my hair maroon but more of a chestnut. I speak from personal experience here — when I was 17 I dyed my hair auburn and it turned bright maroon. I rocked it for a while, but at 26 I don’t know if I could pull that off.
  3. They put your name on all of the orders [which is just so damn cute]!
  4. It is mailed directly to your house with all the supplies you need. Yes, it includes the dye, 2 pairs of gloves, the conditioner, everything.

How to Use eSalon

  1. Go online and order your color. It was ask for the state of your hair, last time colored, gray issues, the look you want, your skin tone, eye color, the color you like, and leaves room for an additional description.
  2. Get the dye in the mail. I love getting mail!
  3. Put on an ugly shirt. Move your bath mats out of the way. Put old rags on the bathroom counter and the floor. You will ruin anything in your path with this hair dye! One of my bathmats was already sacrificed to the hair Gods.
  4. Section off your hair into 4 sections.
  5. Mix together all of the ingredients as said in the directions.
  6. Start dying! Start with your roots. I like to use my hand [with the gloves of course] rather than a coloring brush. I just feel like I have more control over it. Be prepared to make a mess.
  7. Each person using eSalon has their own directions for the order of dying and the duration of time you need to wait. The first directions I got were amazing and I followed them to the T. The second time I was told different directions and I don’t totally buy it. The directions said to just do my roots and then add water to the remainder of the dye and “wash my hair with the dye” leaving it in for only a few minutes. I didn’t follow these directions, but now I wonder if there was some logic to it. I wish eSalon explained the timing. The directions basically say, trust us blindly.”
  8. You can now take off your gloves while you wait for it to process. I didn’t realize there were multiple pairs of gloves in the kit and tried to re-use my original gloves. It was a fucking mess!
  9. Wash out the dye. Make sure you clean the shower/tub before it dries. I feel like it would for sure stain the tub.
  10. Clean up the mess you inevitably made.
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4. Sectioning off my hair in 4 quads.

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6. Applying the dye to the first section.

Final Thoughts and Review

  • I am happy with the results. I feel like for the money the color stays well and keeps my hair healthy. Most of all, I love the color and I think it really looks natural.
  • I would much prefer to pay someone to do my hair, but unfortunately, I do not have this luxury.  This is a great alternative to buying a box at the store or going to a beauty school.
  • They have automatic shipping and payments. This had it’s benefits. I automatically got it in the mail and felt obligated to actually dye my hair since I already paid for it. My fiancee was not so happy to see it in the mail because we are really cutting back month because I am in between jobs, but this happy accident allowed me to get my hair did. I also got a email warning me of the shipment and charge with ample time to cancel if needed – I am just lazy and didn’t cancel it.
  • For the next time, I will call them ahead of time and make sure I am coloring my hair correctly post the initial dye. I am sure they will be responsive and change my directions accordingly.

ESalon was mentioned in my beauty post called Real Girl’s Beauty Must-Haves. I am constantly looking to update this list and add more beauty loves. Check it out!

love, Sarah

Curly Interview Hair: How to


Hi y’all! So, a little warning: I have had a little wine and I am feeling pretty Awesome. Awesome with a capital A (thanks, iPad). I had a fucking bomb interview today, I looked and felt amazing – so I thought I would share with you my easy and put-together hair style. If any of you actually follow the blog and read it (cuddos to you, my friends) then you know I accepted a job as a Prison Librarian. Well, job lesson #398: no job is solid until you receive a contract. In a nut shell, the job offered me a “conditional” offer that was financially exactly where I thought I would be after a graduate degree. I accepted and thought it was conditional upon me proving I was a goodie-two shoes and clean on my drug test. Well, after WEEKS of waiting, I passed all this (thank the Lord) and was officially offered a salary $12K LOWER THAN DISCUSSED. Yes, that is a shit load lower than expected and I cried for about 3 days. I had no choice but to accept as I hate turned down other opportunities and put my faith in this job, like a naive duffus. So, low and behold, I find myself accepting a job and interviewing for others. If you fuck me, my loyalty is gone. Isn’t this how job hunting is rewarded after all? Cheap tricks work and the naive, trusting, just-out-of-school peeps get the lowest offers because they have to take it.

Back to the hair. Well with curly hair, looking put together and professional can be a bit of a challenge. So, after looking on YouTube for tutorials, I came across this one from The Small Things Blog. It is called “Easier Than It Looks Updo. “And it IS! So, here is what my curly hair looks like with the updo, and the actual video tutorial.

easier than it looks updo

l will, of course, keep you updated on the job hunt. I feel like I am on a horrible roller coaster that is making me nauseous but won’t seem to stop. You get to a point where it looks like the ride is winding down, and then it shoots to an upside down flip! I actually love roller coasters, but the analogy works. Or is it an metaphor? I think analogy. Yes, the ADHD become amplified with liquor. Fun for me, hell for everyone around me. Unless they are drunk, then I am the most entertaining (and interesting) person. Speaking of drunk, I feel like throwing an adult rager. Everything is so serious with job hunting, bills, and weddings. Maybe a kegger is just the cure? 

love, Sarah 

Lip Addition: Real Girls’ Beauty Must-Haves


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Just wanted to let you know I have officially committed to a new product. It will go under “Lip Stuff” in the original post Real Girls’ Beauty Must-Haves. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Grape Vine.

It is sheer, yet has just enough color.

It has a sheen, yet not glossy.

It has a silly name, but not a silly price of $3!

love, Sarah

Melatonin Supplements for a Good Night’s Sleep


Sleeping.Dog_Image source.

This little post is sparked by me taking too much melatonin last night and feel like a walking zombie. Damn, it really does work! This overdose sparked me to look into what exactly melatonin is and why it works so well.

BACKGROUND OF MY MELATONIN USE

I was introduced to melatonin pills by a nurse, and best friend, who worked the night shift at a hospital. Now, this friend is very into all things health [duh… she is a nurse after all], so anything she suggests I do without question or further research. At this time in my life, my live-in-boyfriend-soon-to-be-husband was also working a night shift. For any of you that have partners who work night shift: I am so sorry. It is the shittiest thing in the world to wake up when your partner is going to bed.  I will try not to go on a bitchfest about this, but I felt like the two of us lived on different planets. I was a much bigger baby about it than he was, though he was the one working in the middle of the night while the rest of the world was sound asleep in bed.

So basically, melatonin has been a part of our lives for about 4 years now. I am terrified of becoming dependent on pills, so melatonin was a great alternative to sleeping aids.

WHAT IS MELATONIN?

Melatonin 5 mg at your local super market.

Since I have not yet explained exactly what melatonin is, let me try the best I can. Melatonin is a hormone the every person naturally produces from their pineal gland. This pineal gland is a gland in your brain that acts as your internal clock. As we get older and older, we lose the natural melatonin hormone. These supplemental pills can act as a substitute. It is non-addictive and can assist in “curing” sleep problems. There is even some studies that show melatonin can stop or slow the spread of cancer, make the immune system stronger, or slow down the aging process. This research is still debatable, but it seriously sounds like an all natural miracle pill!

There are downfalls of melatonin: grogginess, vivid dreams [this sounds like a bonus to me! I love my fucked up vivid dreams], and low blood pressure. If you take too much melatonin, like I did last night, you actually sleep worse and feel unrested, yet exhausted.

HOW TO USE MELATONIN

As a user for 4 years, I am pretty aware of what works and does not work. You cannot use melatonin daily, this will mess up your actual sleep cycle and the melatonin produced in your body. I can happily use about 3 mg of melatonin pills if I know I am going to have a rough night falling asleep [I weight about 120] and my man can do 6 mg [he weights about 185]. Last night I used 10 mg and that was way to much. Start small, and see what mg works for you. Also, buy the pressed pills – is that what they are called? Meaning, buy the pills that allow you to break them in 1/2. We made the mistake of buying the capsule pills at 10 mg. Now we can only take 10 mg or buy new ones! At least the pressed pills can be split in 1/2 and last longer. One more melatonin hint: do not fight falling asleep.  I have taken melatonin too early and, when I get tired, try to stay awake. This totally messes with your sleep cycle and you will get a shitty night sleep  – guaranteed.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS

According to the encyclopedia, here are some other interesting facts about melatonin and it’s effect on our bodies:

  1. Light affects how melatonin is produced. During the winter, you have more melatonin in your system because your retinas detect less light.
  2. Melatonin plays a large roll in the production of hormones in females. One of the locations for melatonin receptors is in the ovaries; female menstruation is slightly connected to melatonin.
  3. Mating in animals is influenced by melatonin. Melatonin production coincides with season and spring is prime time for mating!

RESOURCES

So, my nurse friend was 100% right. Melatonin works and can be good for you if used properly. Do you all use any other sleep aids?

love, Sarah

Beauty Secret #3 – Don’t Brush Your Curly Hair with Lorde


I am a curly haired girl. I battle with this often and envy my straight haired friends. Then every so often, I am reminded of how beautiful curly hair is and the flexible [and a bit wild] personality required to rock the curls. The person to remind me of the wild nature of curls is the new alternative/pop sensation Lorde. She made me fall in love with my curls again. I just downloaded her album and I love the beats, lyrics, and her voice.

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Lorde image from The EveryGirl

Ok, back to the topic of curly hair. I have been styling my hair curly for my whole life and I have a few routines that work. One of them is to NEVER brush your hair outside of the shower. To explain:

Only brush your curly hair when your hair is wet, with conditioner in, while in the shower.

 

When you get out of the shower place your hair in a towel and don’t mess with your curls again. Don’t separate them, don’t brush them, don’t touch them too much. Let them do their thing! This is where the flexibility comes into play, and you must let your hair be wild – like you. When they dry you can sweep them to the side like Lorde. Here is proof that it works!

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That’s me! Rocking my natural curls.

For your listening pleasure – also some curl eye candy.

Check out the more beauty secrets here!

love, Sarah

Time to DE-BEAUTIFY


Yes, you heard me right. I need to not feel beautiful and I need to look boring, dull, and bland. It is not often in a girl’s life that they want to feel ugly. I shared in a post recently about Dustin Hoffman and his realization of the heartbreak us ladies go through. I, like a lot of women, have wanted to feel womanly and beautiful since I can remember.  Yet now, I need to not stand out in a crowd and need to not be remembered. This is because I just got a job as a librarian in a male prison.

I am actually super excited about this job and the opportunity to impact lives of a very under-served population. Books can and do change lives. I get to be that person that shows these men that reading can benefit their lives. I may even get to teach a few of them how to read. It is a proven fact that incarceration and illiteracy are tied together. Today, about 60% of inmates are illiterate. I may be a little idealistic here, but I think you have to be in a job like this.

Now to the big downfall of this job: I am a young and feminine woman. These men are in prison surrounded by other men. I may be one of the nice experiences they have in prison and I do not want to get any kind of sexual attention. I actually am not worried about in the prison setting. You always have a guard with you [and I believe the library is a privilege for many inmates]. I am worried about after the release. I really do not want to deal with a stalker situation or get contacted outside of the prison setting. Because of this, I have decided to look as boring as possible. Yep, I now need to try NOT to look pretty – a complete contradiction of what I have been doing my entire life.  A little liberating even? I hope I can document some of this in the blog — I feel like I am doing a social experiment!

My Steps to NOT Looking Pretty

  1. Hair must be up. Hair down is a little to sexy for this job. I think I can still do some cute up-dos!
  2. Very light make-up. No lip color, no eyeliner, very light blush. I think mascara is still ok and light powder. Maybe this will be a good chance for me to fight pimples by being make-up free? I feel life is unfair when you are worrying about pimples and wrinkles at the same time.
  3. Shop at Good Will for baggy slacks and big button down shirts.
  4. No more dresses and skirts. BOO.
  5. No heels and I have to hide my “dude” tattoo on my foot. This might strike up some conversation about my personal life [yes, I have a “sweet” to my dude] and make the inmates too … curious?
  6. Lots of sweaters and layers. Hide my curves at all cost!
  7. I think I can still paint my nails? I don’t think pink nails drives men wild.
  8. Basically, I need to just buy clothes that are as boring, unfashionable, and dull as possible. Yet, I need to look clean and put together. I am a little worried about falling into a frumpy rut. I need to make sure I dress up on the weekends and feel girly. If you haven’t figured out yet, I am a pretty girly person.
    My "dude" tattoo.

    My “dude” tattoo.

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    From ALLDAY Creative Inc’s Tumblr. I do not want this reaction in the prison. No dresses for me. BOO.

Does this post sound as conceited and I imagine it does? I completely realize there may not ever be an incident and that I am stereotyping these men into a horny and uncontrollable box. Nor do I think I will be a hot commodity in the prison yard. But I am aware that the prison guards call the librarians “inmate lovers” because it is our duty to help them. I also am aware  library experiences in a prison setting can be a positive interaction for inmates, compared to other experiences they may have in prison.  Knowing all this, I feel how I portray myself with my clothes will greatly impact how I am treated. Shit, sometimes I envy men and their penises. They don’t ever need to worry about looking too sexual because their top shows the shape of their breasts.

On a funny note, I did try to research “how not to look pretty” and I didn’t find anything. Shocking right? No woman has ever tried to look boring on purpose! I did find this awful country song “Try Not to Look So Pretty” by Dwight Yoakam.  I guess this is my new anthem.

love, Sarah