Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How To Use Apricot Oil On Your Hair and Skin

maple holistics apricot oil

I have been using this oil for 2 weeks and my hair and my body absolutely loves it.

First Impression
maple holistics apricot oil
This little 8 oz bottle of greatness was sent to me by Maple Holistics, a vegan based company in New Jersey. The outside packaging is very similar to the Tea Tree Shampoo and Tea Tree Conditioner I reviewed a little bit ago ---> Read Here. The only element that differs is the push top that dispenses a small, even flow of the product. SURPRISE! There is no scent. I kept putting my nose close to the top hoping to smell something but it never did. I guess that is a good thing considering all of my other products have a scent to them. According to the website, “Pure Apricot Oil is the perfect way to moisturize your skin. Filled with Antioxidants, Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Vitamins A,B,C & E, our Apricot Oil absorbs fast and nourishes your skin from the inside out.” Looking more carefully at the ingredient list this time around, the ingredients were as follow 100% Apricot oil. Whew that’s a relief. Now here are a few options to use the product that has benefited me tremendously.  

I wash my hair once every 5-6 days because it is short, curly and dry. Too much water during the Fall and Winter months is a no no for a kinky hair lady like me. Immersing my hair under water or either dampening it enough to so that I can evenly distribute a quarter size amount of product to my hair, I massage it and lightly coat each strand. Once there is no longer any oil on my hands and feels just damp then I proceed to adding my Cantu Coconut Curling Cream.

The skin is just as dry as the hair so after each shower I mix about 3 pumps of my coconut, lime and shea butter moisturizer with a quarter size amount of Apricot oil, break apart the product in my hand then start to massage it onto the skin making sure that I am penetrating the first and hopefully the second layer of the skin. Once it has been absorbed into the skin, I am left feeling moisturized and my skin is beyond soft. It feels so much better than using the moisturizer without the Apricot oil. I also noticed that it has been helping my feet as well.
maple holistics apricot oil

Goodness I love this stuff. Well I love anything that can help with improving my health and beauty.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

H&M Face Palette. Swatch and Review

Semi Obsessed
H&M Face Palette $6.99

I was in H&M one day this week and was totally thinking about how I heard (I sound like such a gossiper) that L’Oreal the company that makes MAC Makeup Artistry Cosmetics products is the same company that makes their brand of makeup. Me being the budget friendly and beauty obsessed addict that I am decided to do a 10 minute stroll through the cosmetics section, followed by a 2-3 minute Q&A with a male sales associate who might I add, didn’t wear makeup, confirming and I was in. I opted in to buy one of that pretty little quad.

First Impression
H&M makeup Face Palette

The palette packaging was so purty and clean that I was immediately drawn in. The see through plastic of the quad of shades looked perfect. All I was thinking is that I could wear these for a casual date or even a first date with someone. It was perfect. There was highlighter, a pink semi-shimmery blush and then there was a bronzer and a ashy ass brown shade that can only be used on someone who is 3 shades lighter than me and I am pretty darn bright. Maybe I can use it as an eyeshadow base.

The packaging was perfect because of the see through plastic compartment. It was nice and wasn’t so cheap that if you dropped it on the floor it would break. I did drop it on the floor by accident. It did not break;-). The back of the see through container looked like it enclosed a aluminum sticker label with silver/white font that listed the type of product such as“highlighter, bronzer”, and etc rather than the color name. The ingredients was listed below each product types.

H&M Makeup Palette
The Highlighter I am in love with. The Shimmering Bronzer has a nice bronzy glow but it needs primer. The Blusher is pretty and the other Bronzer is horrific. Unfortunately this product isn't listed online however they do have it in their stores in the Milwaukee, WI area.

I love finding great stuff on a budget or even when I feel like I’m balling then again it’s “Quality over quantity. Fuck it. I’ll try both.”

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why Do You Wear Makeup Pt 3

The The Lies We Tell talks about how I really feel when I wear makeup. Some days are good with makeup and some are awful. Tracy told us how she doesn't feel great without it. Let's see how June feel with it.

Meet June, a 56 year old, German and Polish makeup advocate. 

What age did you start wearing makeup?
13 years old. Other girls in junior high were starting to wear makeup so I wanted to as well.

Are you using makeup to enhance or minimize features?
Both to enhance my eyes and to add color. Use it to minimize skin flaws.

Do you use makeup for emotional reasons?
Yes, without makeup I feel self-conscious of my appearance.

How do you feel when you wear makeup?
Attractive, confident and put together.

How do you feel when you are not wearing makeup?
. . .

Why do you continue to wear makeup?
To feel attractive, confident and put together.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Why Do You Wear Makeup Pt 2

The The Lies We Tell others about why we wear makeup was a real and it was honest post. Loreina told us why, now here is Tracy who gets more real women and in-depth about why she wears make.

Meet Tracy M. A 56 year old, English, German and Polish makeup advocate.

What age did you start wearing makeup?
My freshman year in high school I started to wear makeup. I wanted to fit in with my group of friends who were all wearing makeup already.I started with mascara and a little bit of blush. At sixteen I got my 1rst job at a pharmacy and someone in the makeup department told me that since I have deep set eyes I should put some eyeliner on. 40 years later and I don’t like leaving the house without it on.

Are you using makeup to enhance or minimize features?
I like makeup to enhance and bring out my features. If I don’t wear eyeliner I have had people tell me I look tired.

Do you use makeup for emotional reasons?
Well when I don’t wear makeup I’m usually sick or not going anywhere that day. I always feel better with makeup on. It has become a routine for  me.

How do you feel when you wear makeup?
I feel like me!

How do you feel when you are not wearing makeup?
Without makeup I’m usually sad.

Why do you continue to wear makeup?
Putting on makeup becomes a routine after so many years. People are just used to seeing me with makeup on. When I did I have told my kids to make sure that they put my eyeliner on!

Like many of us girls and some guys, we dibble and dabble in makeup in high school. Our friends parents are ok with us putting it on and the rest of us snuck it on. It was a joy to wear. It was a thrill and rush knowing that you were going to get the attention of your peers and friends with just that one or 2 simple enhancements thanks to makeup.
Makeup has the ability to make a shitty day better or even a great day even more rewarding or does it. Tell me your thoughts below. Better yet, tell me, why do you wear makeup?

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Microdermabrasion at East Town Spa Milwaukee

East Town Spa, 718 E. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI

A spa and salon located on the East side of downtown Milwaukee on Wells Street, kitty corner from Cass Street which turns out it was next door to Buckley’s; one of my favorite upscale corner restaurants. The salon is located inside of a 3 story, brick Victorian style home painted a bright, cloudy pink color with a rustic greenish/gray door. I found this place on Groupon (great site). One session of Microdermabrasion was $31 and the other purchase option was 1 session with a facial for $48. I am a beauty on a budget. I will not commit to a product or a service until I sample it beforehand.  Also, I don’t like facials. I never feel like my face is completely clean. Like the restaurant the spa has no designated parking for customers. Meter street parking is the only option. Good thing I keep change in my car.
First Impression
Walking up the stairs to the establishment, I opened the door to enter a small, dark entryway. Looking up and around, I immediately felt like this place hadn’t been renovated, it was however restored to keep its original charm. The floors seem to be original as well from the creaking and cracking sounds it made as my heels hit the floor when I walked in. Walking slowly towards the light and the sound of a blow dryer I found my way to the front where there was an attendant behind the front desk. After checking in and confirming the appointment with her, I stood there waiting in hopes that she would give me a tour, which she never did. She also did not ask if I wanted to have a seat in a waiting area. I presume that there was one. That is what salon staff or receptionists are known to do when a new customer enters an establishment. Remember I was and still am in this business. Taking baby steps to the right to see the main styling floor and to my left I saw a staff member sitting down doing something. I felt like the unexpected, not so welcomed guest or a Pepping Tom. Soon after the esthetician appeared. She introduced herself, asked me to follow her and led me to a door that opened to the basement. The Basement…? This is definitely different.
Hidden Away Microdermabrasion
Walking down the stairs of the spa, the stairs felt sturdy but the smell of basement was lingering along with the fact that there wasn’t much light. Walking into the facial room which wasn’t lit very well (to see all these imperfections I wanted corrected) it was a small but yet spacious enough to house a chair for the consult, a table to lie down on another chair so the esthetician can do her work, and a large horizontal desk that held products, a steam machine and tools.
We spoke about my problematic areas. Those areas are and have always been my t-zone specifically the middle of the chin, nose and around the lips. The rest of the face I am fine with. Although the forehead used to be my problem area for 1-1/2 years in high school, the faint but small marks of that awful time does exist so I always want whatever product and service to rid and lighten those areas. I am a big fan of microdermabrasion and I love how the skin glows and appears to be almost blemish-free. I got hooked last year when I make a esthetician at a salon we worked at in Chicago. She is awesome. Hi Maxine!:-)  She informed me of the service and how it was going to help take off the first layer of the skin to improve the natural glow of the skin however a chemical peel would take off more layers of those blemishes and dark spots I hated so much.
 Making sure that safety and sanitation was a go, she put on the gloves and started to work her magic. Using one wand tip for exfoliation and suction of the problematic areas and a different wand tip for exfoliation and reduction of fine lines around the eyes and around the lips. She hit every area that I needed and wanted. Finishing off the micro with a small facial to cool the skin and an oil to put a little glow back into the skin, she made some final recommendations and the service was complete.
Final Impression
Overall I really like the service that she provided however I was uncomfortable with the location of the facial room and uncomfortable with the fact that I was not treated as if I wanted another service beyond the one I purchased on Groupon. The esthetician was amazing and I’d love to book another service with her, just not at that location.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Real Women Speak About Why They Wear Makeup

A couple months ago I wrote an entry about the The Lies We Tell others about why we wear makeup. It was real and it was honest and I’m not done yet. Through a series of posts, I’ll be question real women about how and why they wear makeup. I want to know. You want to know. Let’s talk about it.

Meet Loreina. A 21 year old, Puerto Rican makeup lover.

What age did you start wearing makeup?
I started wearing makeup around age 13. Just basic mascara and drug store foundation.

Are you using makeup to enhance or minimize features?
Mostly to enhance. My natural eyebrows are so light in color and I love the look of fuller and longer lashes.

Do you use makeup for emotional reasons?
I don’t really think I use makeup for emotional reasons. To me it’s more or just a reason to express myself.

How do you feel when you wear makeup?
I feel complete. I feel more put together and ready for my day.

How do you feel when you are not wearing makeup?
When I am wearing makeup, I feel like I am not ready for my day. The only time I don’t wear makeup is when I go simply grocery shopping or something simple like that.

Why do you continue to wear makeup?
I love the way it makes me feel. Like I can take on the world.

After reviewing her questions, she reminded me of how I felt once upon a time. When I was 16 years old my face had too many blemishes so I tried foundation. The foundation look great but it was too much on the young skin. Then I discovered great over the counter cleansing products and now in my 30s treatments that can make my skin look better and more flawless with or without makeup.
Eyebrows now are like WOW! They have their own cult. Seriously look at my Brow Love Pinterest page dedicated to eyebrows. The younger generation of girls and guys specifically the age group of 17-24 and of course women over the age of 25 are highly obsessed with their eyebrows and the shapes and styles are never ending. With Loreina feeling like she can take on the world with her face prepped and pretty and you feel like... well. What do you feel like with your makeup on or off? Beautiful comes in all forms and alterations. So tell me, why do you wear makeup?

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ME Spa Review at Pembroke Pines

MEspa review
My first ever spa day and it was very different from what I expected yet more predictable than I thought. Allow me introduce you to Me Spa in Pembroke Gardens, suburb in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Booked for a 2.5 turned 3 hours signature services package of a facial, pedicure and massage.

Envision this. Turning the corner into Pembroke Gardens, a shopping center in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, passing stores I only frequent when there is either a sale or I am looking to burn some time, ME Spa day was going to be a break from my normal weekend routine. Exiting the vehicle I feel the warm breeze of the hot summer sun and look up to see a slight overcast. Opening the door of the spa my long, flowy white dress blows in the wind and follows me close enough to where it doesn’t get trapped outside when the door closes. Greeted by a blonde, petite receptionist she confirms the services and hands me an iPad to sign the waiver, 5 minutes later the 4 hour spa day begins.

First Impression
Entering the locker room through 2 doors, one in front of the other, I walked into the a room of wood, greenery, calming music and lots of white. Towel holders and shelves made of wood, white ceramic floors and wicker green colored cosmetics. There was a wooden rack of terry cloth robes hanging and across from it was a 2 sink vanity full of scrubs, lotions and other stuff I would hopefully try much later.

Towards the back of the locker room were wooden lockers, 2 changing rooms on both sides of the lockers and also a shower. Changing into a terry cloth robe and spa flip flops as instructed by the spa employee, I locked the locker, waited outside the door and she escorted me to the relaxation.

In the relaxation room I was greeted by another attendant who poured warm to hot water on my feet, soaking them in a cucumber melon blend. As they soaked for 2 minutes, I was served hot black tea as I waited for the aesthetician to start the first service who would come and escort me 3 minutes later.

ME Spa Signature Organic Facial
A 50 minute service that included a steam cleansing, exfoliation, optional extraction and a masque. When asked if I wanted extraction I told her my problem areas are my nose and underneath my lips. You know that t-zone area but unfortunately the aesthetician decided to give me extraction on 2 areas that I did not have an issues with. Now I have a cluster of very small bumps on the right side of my cheek where she attempted to extract what didn’t exist. After that unnecessary extraction, it was then followed by a masque, toner and moisturizer. My skin did feel smooth and cleansed, a bit oily but overall it was okay however I’d rather not do a signature facial again. Me and my microdermasion and and chemical peels are my go to:-)

ME Spa Signature Pedicure
MESpa pedicure
Awaiting patiently outside the door, the nail tech escorted from the facial room to the front of the salon to choose a polish by OPI. Oh no! OPI! Of course I felt like I was betraying Scratch of Sweden but, I did pick out a color that looks similar to my fav Camoflauge, Following her to the dimly lit version of  heaven, ocean sounds and a beautiful ambiance was so calming. SPOTTED! The most comfortable chair ever! The “zero-gravity lounge chair”. It was big, it lifted, reclined, vibrated and massaged topped off with a neck pillow and a blanket. It was a pretty much the best 40 minutes of my life.
She washed my feet one by one as the other soaked in a similar tin bowl from the relaxation room. She did the usual cleaning but did't bring much attention to in between the toes, did a small buff, rinse, moisturizing massage and the most PERFECT polish application I’ve EVER had. Her polite nature allowed me to dismiss the esthetician's unnecessary extraction that would later lead to a cluster of small irritation bumps on my right cheek.  Thank you so much lady. I’d definitely recommend you to everyone for this service again.

Signature Massage
After the pedicure the nail tech walked me to the massage room and immediately I was frustrated. How are my nails dry already? The massage therapist greeted me with a smile, a loosely gripped handshake, and moments later the massage began. Making sure I was thoroughly covered up with a blanket but to the ankles, she placed a long pillow underneath my ankles so my polish could continue to dry. I felt a little at ease by this. Then she warned me that her hands were cold. Wtf. Warm them up before a client comes in the room. Duh.
Taking a deep breath, I looked at the clock hoping that the deep tissue massage was going to be that but in reality the massage reminded me of myself rubbing lotion up and down my limbs without any pressure because I was simply trying to apply it thorough yet quick enough to go to bed. She did not hit any pressure points and there were no circular massage techniques. Happy that the 50 minutes well more like 30 minutes was up, I put on the robe quickly and was escorted back to the locker room.
I didn't try the scrubs, lotion or anything on the vanity. I was too irritated, hungry and anxious to leave.

End of Services
During the checkout, the polite receptionist closed out the ticket and handed me thank notes from each person who gave me a service. 2 of them included product recommendations along with the products used. There was no note from the massage therapist. It was a nice touch to end the spa services and to make sure that the nail tech and aesthetician got a plus for selling and recommending services.

Final Impression
The layout and ambiance was purrrrect. The friendly nature of the employees, the facial, not the unnecessary extraction, loved the pedicure and hated the massage. The locker room was pretty nice seeming how I had been eyeing the scrubs and the lotions but after the massage I was ready to leave and fly back home. Overall I enjoyed the spa. Would I go back? Only to see the nail tech:-)

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