Long Hair Care Tips

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my hair has gotten long- like real long. My hair has always grown fast, but after my hair cut last year, I decided that I wanted to grow it out. Well fast forward to now and my hair falls all the way down my back. I’ve had it long for the summer which has been both fun and incredibly convenient as for me as I think long hair is the easiest to style, but a cut is in my future. I’m going to donate it to Pantene and a whole post about that will be on the blog after the big chop happens. But for those of you who are wanting to help your hair grow long, or just keep it extra healthy at the length it’s at, I’ve put together some essentials for keeping my hair healthy and looking good!

Long hair care GGGF

1. Deep Condition Weekly

I’ve always been a faithful user of a good conditioner, but it wasn’t until recently that I started deep conditioning my hair. This is great for any length of hair as it helps make it stronger and healthier but is especially essential for long hair, color-treated, or damaged hair which tends to get dry. I’ve tried a few on the market and my favorite is the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This treatment does it all as it repairs split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness and dehydration. It claims to reverse a year’s worth in damage in one wash, which I think is a slightly lofty claim, but it really does work.

2. Embrace the Tangle Teezer

Since I was a little girl I’ve had hair that was pretty tangled when I got out of the shower, no matter what types of conditioner I used. I remember my mom would spray detangler in my hair and take a long comb to get it under control. So as my hair got longer, I realized that I needed to do something about these tangles! I went to Walgreens and CVS and in the aisles of beauty hair care products, there wasn’t a single detangler on the market! (However, there are now BB Creams for your hair…) I finally checked the baby aisle and found a detangler there, but was convinced that I couldn’t be the only adult dealing with tangles. Enter the Tangle Teezer. Oh my goodness. Essentially it’s a hard brush with firm rubber bristles that somehow slides through your hair when it’s wet, no detangler needed. AKA it’s a game changer! If you have curly hair, this is an absolute must too as it glides through just as easily when hair is dry and somehow doesn’t get caught, meaning no more falling out, breaking hair!

3. Dry hair with a microfiber hair turban

I remember seeing a commercial for the hair turban years ago and my mom and I laughing at it. We thought who would need such a product and the commercial specifically cited that you could “answer the phone” while you had it on as a plus. Well years later, I’m a convert. Basically, long hair takes a while to dry when you aren’t using heat products and leaving it wet down your back is rather uncomfortable. So after I’ve detangled my hair with my Tangle Teezer, I put my hair up in the Turbie Twist. Now, essentially, this is just like a small towel, except it really is great that your hair stays put while you are moving around and yes, maybe even answering the phone. As my hair turns curly, I leave it in there for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out, brush with the Tangle Teezer again, and then put it in a braid to dry the rest of the way.

turban

Make-up free selfie (though I did add a filter- guilty) rocking my turban!

4. Apply a Treatment

After you’ve taken your hair out of your glamorous hair tuban, I like to apply a treatment. From the drugstore, I like Garnier’s Damage Eraser Split End Bandage which strengthens hair and increases your damage resistance. Just use one pump and apply it to the ends of hair, combing through after with your Tangle Teezer. If split ends aren’t an issue (lucky you!) but you still want to give your hair a little love, go for Aveda’s Smooth Infusion which makes your hair smoother and silkier! Both of these products are great and won’t weigh down your hair, while making it softer and stronger.

5. Limit heat products and when you do use them, always use heat protector spray

This one is huge as I’ve always abused my hair when it comes to heat products. Having naturally curly hair, I have been drying it straight and straightening it since 7th grade. While I may like the look, my hair doesn’t like the heat, causing split ends so over the past year, I’ve kept my hair dryer in the drawer. I always thought that my hair would never get that sleek look unless it was blow dried first, but I’ve found that with some special steps, the same look can be achieved. Which means that not only is my hair not getting that 20+ minute blast of heat, but my arm is a lot less sore too! Although I do occasionally wear my hair wavy, I straighten it pretty frequently these days and have found that using a good heat protector spray is essential. I used to stay away from heat protectors as so many of them would make my hair wet (not what you want after spending so much time drying it) or make it crispy which no one wants. But I’ve found the solution to all that- the dry heat protect spray! Oscar Blandi is one of my favorite brands for dry shampoo and their Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray is amazing and protects hair from up to 450degree heat!

Question:

-What’s your secret to keeping your hair looking good?

 

Real Talk: Like A Girl

I’m excited to introduce a new series on the blog today entitled “Real Talk”. Today’s centers on beauty but you can expect these to be on a variety of topics. One of the wonderful things about having a blog is having this platform to discuss things that I find interesting at the moment and sometimes they don’t always fit in the food or beauty category. So here’s some real talk from me to you! If there are any topics you’d like me to cover be sure and comment below!

In terms of commercials, so often these days we are fast-forwarding through them or if we’re on YouTube, waiting the requisite 5 seconds before we can skip them. Except lately, a few beauty brand commercials have caught my eye and enticed me to watch the entire thing. In the past, we have become accustomed to women’s empowerment type of commercials from Dove  (and I have previously written about them here and here) but it is so wonderful to see other female brands hopping on the positive self-esteem bandwagon.

Pantene Not Sorry| Shine Strong

I don’t know about you, but when I first watched this video, all I could think was “Omg, that’s me”. I am always saying I’m sorry whether it is when someone else bumps into me or for a myriad of other reasons. In fact, previous boyfriends have told me to stop saying I’m sorry so often. (And for the record, when someone tells me to stop saying ‘sorry’, it’s extremely difficult for me to not respond with ‘ok, sorry’.) Needless to say, it’s been a bit of a problem. Now I’m not really totally on board with the whole “sorry not sorry” thing, as I think sometimes people use that as an excuse to be rude but I do think that many women are constantly apologizing for things that we don’t need to be apologizing for! As a natural people-pleaser, it’s a difficult habit to change, but I do love the idea to “be strong and shine” and I feel inspired to live that out a little more and leave some of the unnecessary sorrys behind.

Covergirl #GirlsCan

In this commercial, I love how these amazingly talented female musicians, athletes, as well as TV and movie stars are all sharing how they were told that they “couldn’t do something.” And then they went ahead and did it. Women have been breaking barriers since the beginning of time and it’s so refreshing to see the media focus attention on challenging those walls. It’s also so interesting to see these huge stars whom we associate with their talents that made them famous and think that they were once held back from doing those very things. I feel so lucky to live in a country that doesn’t put barriers on what women are capable of and so many opportunities are now afforded to us. Reminds me of a pin I had in high school that said “A women’s place is in the House… and Senate” and maybe next the White House!

Always | #LikeAGirl

This post is similar to the Covergirl campaign but it focuses on the phrase “like a girl”. It’s one that has inundated our language for so long and yet, this is the first time I really thought about what it meant. I think it’s so eye-opening watching the adults do a variety of activities “like a girl” and then to see the young girls do the same activities to their full potential. It saddens me that as we grow up, many women lose confidence in their abilities and tend to give in to that gender stereotype. But what if “like a girl” meant strong and powerful and capable? How many more things and boundaries would we be able to push? Definitely food for thought in this one.

Clean & Clear | Confidence in Yourself: See the Real Me

I just stumbled upon this video tonight but I had to include because it’s one of my favorites. I’ll be honest, I love beauty and hair and style and think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with those things. But self-confidence is something that every woman has struggled with at some point in their life, if not on a regular basis. The statistic in the beginning shocked and saddened me that 75% of teen girls want to be seen but are afraid of being judged. Little personal story: when I was in middle school my mom had to have a little talk with me because I wasn’t raising my hand in class. I remember telling her that it wasn’t because I didn’t know the answer, in fact, I often did. Rather, it was that I felt uncomfortable giving the correct answer, afraid of how I would be perceived. I was never shy and have always loved speaking in front of crowds and yet, I was worried what people would think if I was correctly answering questions. Thankfully, with my mom’s wise words and growing self-confidence, that worry went away and I became much more engaged in answering questions from then on. But I think girls need to hear the message that it is wonderful to be smart and that it is something to be celebrated, not to be downplayed.

Questions:

-What campaign resonated with you the most?

-Any topics you’d like me to cover in the new series?

4 Fashion and Beauty Trends to Try

It’s well documented that I love fashion and beauty and that’s where the Glitz and the Glam of this blog come from! But as much as I love putting outfits together and trying new beauty products, there are certain trends that I have yet to master. Here are some of my current favorite trends that I’m looking to incorporate into my style.

The Cat Eye

Subtle Cat Eye

The feline flick has always seemed so difficult to me. I am great with pencil liner, can do gel liner even on a moving train and can handle the liquid in felt tip pen. But the full-on liquid liner? It makes me a little scared! I absolutely love how liquid liner looks on the eyes and how it has such incredible staying power, so I recently purchased the Pixi Liquid Liner pen to give it a try. Lining my eyes wasn’t too difficult, but when it came time for the elusive flick, my hand practically started shaking! I have watched numerous tutorials on YouTube and read posts about it, but currently it is still out of reach. I’m determined to master it though and you can expect to see pictures when I do!

Soft Curly Waves

Perfect waves

It seems like everyone is a pro at wielding their curling irons these days and somehow I missed the memo! My hair is naturally curly but I’ve been straightening it since I was in 7th grade. But curling it? It’s another story. Much like the cat eye, I’ve watched a few tutorials on how to get that perfect soft curl, but have been unable to do it! It also doesn’t help that despite my hair having a curly texture, it does not want to hold a curl! I think the secret here might be in both the products and techniques so I’m going to start practicing!

Skinny Pant-Ankle Boot Combo

Miranda Kerr

I absolutely love the skinny jean and ankle boot combo that everyone is wearing these days, especially in the Bay Area. It’s a slight departure from my usual style but I think it looks so effortless and cool and perfect for anything from running errands to a night on the town. I think it all starts with the perfect pair of boots, so I’m currently on the hunt! And of course, Miranda Kerr (above) could make any trend look amazing!

Crop Top-High Waisted Skirt Combo

perfect crop top

At first it seemed like the crop top was going to be a fleeting trend and I’ll admit that I rejected it in the beginning because it reminded me of the 90s when we all wore belly baring shirts. But the crop top of the past few years is so chic and I love that just a sliver of skin shows due to the high waisted skirt! I especially love Reese Witherspoon’s look where it’s just a hint of skin through the cutouts and am hoping to try it before summer ends!

Questions:

-What fashion or beauty trends would you like to master?

-Have any tips for me for mastering the above?

Drugstore Mascara Showdown

Hi there, after the serious nature of my last post, I wanted to switch it up a bit, so let’s talk beauty! I’ve been a drugstore mascara girl for as long as I can remember. Although I was interested in the high-end ones, none ever compared to my bright orange container of CoverGirl Lash Blast and the cheap price tag didn’t hurt either. But lately I’ve been expanding my beauty horizons and decided to try a bunch of different drugstore mascaras out to see how they compare. The ads for them never help because they are always claiming to the most lengthening, volumizing, you name it and the picture accompanying the ad always features a model sporting fake lashes. So hear’s the real deal from me. I tried to do my make-up the same each day so that you could get a good idea of what they are really like. Also, everyone has their own lash preferences, but I’m after big, voluminous lashes that are not clumpy, so keep that in mind as you read my reviews. (Side note: It’s really hard to try and take selfies of just your eyes but I did my best! Also, sometimes when I smile, I unconsciously raise one eyebrow, so it might look higher than the other!)

Covergirl Bombshell Mascara

CoverGirl Bombshell

The Claim: This brilliant two-step Bombshell Boost System combines extreme volume with an intensifying top coat for big, sexy bombshell lashes. Step one: Apply the extreme volume base coat, Step 2: Finish with intensifying top coat.

Review: This is the mascara that you’ve seen the beautiful Sophia Vergara modeling and who wouldn’t want to look like her? Brush side 1 is very similar (if not identical) to the CoverGirl Lash Blast and side 2 is a more wiry brush. Honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference after applying side 2. I liked the look of the lashes at first, but was disappointed that they didn’t stay that way all day and by the end of the day they weren’t looking so hot and were more on the shorter, clumpy side. However, I was pleased that there wasn’t much fallout or black under my eyes by the end of the day.

Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Flared Out Mascara

Flared Lashes

The Claim: Lash glam with a flare, instantly! Patented Spoon Curler Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping. Unique flexible wand lifts and separates lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible lashes.

Review: I’m a big fan of the Maybelline Falsies line, so when I saw this special “flared” variety I thought I’d try something new. I do really like this mascara and the way my lashes look- they are long and thick but without being overly clumpy. One thing I’m not a fan of though is that the wand is flexible which actually makes it more difficult to get control over your lashes. If you wear mascara on your bottom lashes like I do, do not use this mascara on them! It causes the side ones to flare up which results in your top and bottom lashes becoming a bit tangled! It happened once and I learned my lesson after that! Also, if you are a fan of a wet mascara formula, this one is not for you as it is definitely dryer and dries out very quickly.

 Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes

falsies

The Claim: Revolutionary dual-ended mascara for 360 degree All Around Lash Glam. Two brushes specifically designed for top and bottom lashes. Special quick-dry formula holds lashes in place. The Upper brush pushes lashes over the top while the lower micro-brush grabs even tiny bottom lash for a full circle effect.

Review: This mascara was actually the first one I tried and I immediately fell for it. First of all, I love the mini brush designed for the bottom lashes! It makes it so easy to catch every lash but never clumps (an especially big no-no for bottom lashes)! The brush for top lashes is great too, and I love the way it makes my lashes look. This isn’t a formula though that works well for multiple coats so I stick to 2 quick ones!

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

millions of lashes

The Claim: This mascara has a revolutionary collagen infused formula and Millionizer Brush for amplified volume and definition. The luxurious, buildable, No Clump formula amplifies each lash instantly, glides on smoothly and lasts all day while thickening and separating each lash for a clump-free, smudge-free look.

Review: I had heard good things about this mascara and was looking for a waterproof mascara so I thought I would give it a try. I can say that it has quickly become one of my favorites! Your lashes feel natural (unlike some of the formulas containing fibers that make them feel a little hard) and it is perfect for every day. It’s definitely buildable and I usually do 2-3 coats. The other night I wore this and ended up in the hot tub later in the evening. Imagine my surprise when hours later, my make up and mascara was still holding strong! I thought for sure it would be streaking down my face, so I’ve included a picture so you can see the proof! Also, there isn’t any fallout with this mascara, so you don’t constantly need to check under your eyes for black smudges!

Proof!

Millions of lashes post

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

Butterfly

 The Claim: Stretch and extend your lashes into wings! The revolutionary Butterfly brush with asymmetrical lash line shape extends and lifts outer corner lashes to give you a winged-out effect, instantly volumizing lashes at the roots and stretching lashes outward. The unique Cocoon Fibers instantly wrap lashes in a delicate veil to create silky, spectacular lashes that flutter.

Review: This brush is amazing! I have never seen one like it and while part of it is curved like a normal mascara brush, part of it almost has a little comb on it. It sounds weird but it is so good. The little comb part makes it so that you can brush them after multiple coats to get rid of any clumps! The one thing I haven’t really noticed is any extra winged out look in my lashes, they seem to go in the same direction as usual. But overall, I’m really impressed with the formula and it’s definitely a new fave!

Question:

-What’s your favorite mascara? Drugstore or High End?

You are Beautiful

Hi lovelies. I’ve been putting off writing another post this week because it feels frivolous to talk about something else when so many are suffering. I think that after a few days the news cycles tend to move on, people start talking about other things and our focus is shifted elsewhere. That’s normal and not necessarily a bad thing- we all need to live our lives to the best of our ability. But I would be amiss not to acknowledge that when the cameras go away is when the real work begins, when it sets in for all those affected just how hard this journey is going to be. So let’s pray for them as they move forward and undergo a new set of struggles.

Since it doesn’t seem right to post about Online Shopping tips like I was planning, I wanted to post something else that would fit this somber mood. As you might know, Dove does wonderful campaigns that celebrate real women’s bodies. I actually had the pleasure in college of hearing one of their models from the underwear campaign they did a few years back and it was so enlightening and inspiring. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan of the message they work to promote. They’ve done  some fantastic videos through the years, but the one they just released is one of my favorites.

The premise is this: when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Dove asked real women to come to a studio in San Francisco and behind a sheet describe their appearance to someone. They were honest and forthcoming with their feelings and a police sketch artist drew what he heard. Then, they asked a stranger to look at the person and after the subject had left, the stranger described what they saw. The differences were astounding.

First and foremost, I have to applaud these women for taking part in this campaign. It must have been a scary experience to be so raw and honest but I think it will truly help so many people. When watching this, of course I wondered about what differences I would see in the sketches. How I view myself versus how others view me. I think that most women nitpick things in the mirror that they would like to change about themselves. In fact, according to Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. What a complete and utter travesty. I know so many beautiful women, both inside and out and yet how have we gotten to a place where so few women see it? One of the things that really struck me about the video was the reflection that the stranger’s interpretation looked much happier and more open. Not only do we not see our beauty but we also are presenting a more closed off view of ourselves. It makes sense too that when you are describing all of your faults, it’s pretty hard to see anything good or happy.

I hope that this project changes the way people perceive themselves, even if only a little. We all find ourselves looking in the mirror daily, so I challenge you to focus on all of the things you love about yourself rather than those you don’t. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. You know what I’m thinking about all of you?

You are beautiful.

What to Wear Wednesday: Colored Denim & Sock Buns

Hi lovelies! I hope that you are all having a wonderful week and are enjoying all the Olympics coverage! It’s resulted in a few too many late nights for me, but it’s so amazing to see what these athletes are capable of and I am constantly in a state of awe. I also admire all the hard work and years of training that they put into their sports. Something else that I’ve been noticing in addition to their skills are the different hairstyles the athletes have been sporting. For example, although I’m pretty much obsessed with Team USA’s gymnasts, they all wear these messy ponytails turned into buns. I may not be able to teach them anything about their sport, but I could certainly teach them about the art of the sock bun.

Shirt: LOFT, Jeans: Topshop, Bangle: Forever 21, Shoes: Target

I for one, am all about the sock bun. They help make any look a little classier and put-together and they allow you to sleep in a few extra precious minutes- all wins in my book! Oh and back to the outfit. Although I sport sock buns on a semi-regular basis, I chose to style my hair this way because of this shirt. Since the shirt has so much volume and detail, I didn’t want my long hair detracting from the shirt. I then decided to make it a little more fun by pairing it with my favorite colored jeans. For more conservative work environments colored denim might be pushing the envelope a bit, but if you pair them with other classic elements and perhaps add a blazer it helps keep it more professional. Also, if colored jeans aren’t the norm at your office, stick with more classic colors and save your highlighter pink jeans for the weekends.

Questions:

-Do you wear sock buns?

-Do you like colored denim? Would you wear it to work?

 

Blow Dry Bar and the “World’s Best Chicken”?

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend! This weekend was a very special one as we had a fun family event celebration- but more on that in another post. In prepping for the event, my mom and I decided to visit the new blow-out bar in Walnut Creek- BDB.  If you’ve never been to a blow-out bar, basically the premise is this: for a set amount of money (usually around $35) stylists will wash your hair and blow dry/curl/straighten it in a desired style! They have been popping up all over the country and I was excited to give it a try. Side note: This particular blow dry bar was started by two 22 and 23 year-old girls in the bay area… Jeez, do I feel like I’m behind here!

Upon arrival we were greeted with mimosas which are a fantastic first step in my book. We were then were instructed to fill out a card with what we were looking for, and our hair type and texture. Here’s the weird thing about my hair: it is very curly and I straighten it every day which works fine but on the odd occasion that I want to curl it with a curling iron- the curl does not stay! Unfortunately, that very thing happened this weekend after my blow-out. But at least it looked like this for a little while…

All in all, it was a great experience at BDB and I will definitely be back. The stylists are able to complete blowouts super quickly and for only $35, it would be fun to do before a night out. My only suggestion would be to really know what you want going in to your appointment as they don’t have a hair menu as some other blow dry bars do and it can be difficult to describe your vision to your stylist without images.

And on a completely unrelated note, last night I made dinner using a Pinterest find. I’ve mentioned before that I usually cook only vegetarian foods. You see, my lovely best friend scared me in college because she never trusted the chicken from restaurants, fearing it was undercooked. As it turns out, this rubbed off on me when it came to cooking meat and I was always too nervous to give it a try. But last night that all changed. Finding chicken breast in the fridge, I knew it was time to give it a go. The other day I saw a recipe on Pinterest claiming to be “The World’s Best Chicken” which I thought boded well for my first chicken cooking attempt. The ingredients are super simple (dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt & pepper and red wine vinegar, though I used white since it was what I had on hand.)

After pouring the mixture over the chicken breasts, I put it in the oven and got to work on the rest of dinner. To avoid my usual uncooked fear, I decided to use a meat thermometer, which might be my new favorite tool. For once, I was able to see clearly when it got to 165 degrees, without even having to prematurely cut into it. When it came out, it looked a little like this…

“World’s best chicken”, tri-color quinoa, and roasted veggies

I think it’s because I used whole grain dijon mustard, but my chicken definitely didn’t look like Rachel’s finished product. But despite that fact, I thought the chicken was delicious. It was super quick and easy to make and the chicken was moist and flavorful. It does taste sweet with a fairly strong mustard flavor though, so it might not be for everyone. I’ll definitely make it again and it’s a great recipe to have on hand. I wouldn’t say it was the world’s best (that award goes to the amazing chicken marsala from Carmines in NYC) but it was a great dinner and the perfect way to end a fun weekend.

Questions:

-Have you been to a blow-dry bar?

-If you started your own business, what would it be?

-Do you make any Pinterest recipes?