oh so shiny

If you tell me to eat a food because it’s good for me, I will probably attempt to eat more of it. Unless it doesn’t taste good, then I’ll probably not eat it.

Here’s what I have learned, if you tell me something will make my hair shinier and healthier, I will find a way to consume it regardless of taste (I usually blend up the foods I don’t particularly like into a smoothie to mask the taste). As a curly/frizzy haired lady who applies a lot of heat to her hair, I’m always looking to keep things shiny and defrizzed.

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Here are things I have consumed for shiny hair:

  • Kale
  • Fish oil (important to find the one that doesn’t give you fish burps)
  • Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Various nuts
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Skim milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Whole grain bread
  • Pregnancy vitamins

Granted, many of these foods I eat because they are tasty and I genuinely like them. And of course I want to reap the other health benefits, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I mainly wanted a natural way to make my hair shiny.

I think the weirdest one is the pregnancy vitamins (just buy your usual brand, but the ones made for expectant moms). They have more zinc and folic acid, both which help your hair become shinier. It’s a bonus if you ever find yourself pregnant unexpectedly because your kid isn’t lacking the nutrients for however long it takes for you to figure out you’re knocked up.

Bonus tip: Use coconut oil as a leave in treatment instead of buying the expensive stuff from your salon. Just apply to your hair (if you have the solid stuff just warm it up in your hands and spread on), concentrating on the ends. Leave on at least 20 minutes, I like to wrap my hair in a towel while waiting to warm it up if I’m only leaving it for 20, then shampoo and condition as usual. Depending on how much you use, you may need to shampoo twice before conditioning.

In the name of beauty I have gone to the gym with the oil in my hair (all ladies gym ftw!) and walked the dog. I also like to put it in before starting my house cleaning so when I finish hours later (I’m a fan of procrastination), it’s had a deep soak.

Any other tips for someone who may need to add a little shine to their hair?

I have no idea what is wrong with me

Every year at this time my face starts to freak out. The cold weather and wind cause my skin to get super dry, and I’m sure while many people have this problem I feel like it comes at me much worse. Because I have eczema and/or psoriasis (no doctor/dermatologist/random person I beg for answers has been able to tell me which it is) it’s really bad in this weather and over the past few years has begun to show itself on my face.

In previous years I have tried every product, home remedy and magic trick to try to get rid of this horrible rash-like thing on my face but it’s hard to find anything that works. I’ve found a few things that help and I thought I’d share because all jokes aside, having this freaky rash-thing on your face is not only embarrassing, it’s painful (I have troubled skin elsewhere on my body, but this is the most painful and obviously embarrassing).

Obviously, flaking the dry skin or scratching doesn’t help with anything. So don’t do that. And once you’re able to figure out how not to do that, tell me what to do.

Last year I was super desperate by April. Usually this flares up in December/January and keeps going, even after the cold weather is gone, until I figure out some magic potion to get rid of it. On the recommendation of a friend I read the book Wheat Belly. Let me start off by saying, I do not think I have a wheat allergy. I believe there are people who do have wheat allergies and they have been diagnosed as Celiacs. I have friends who are Celiacs. It sucks and they think people who don’t have wheat allergies are insane for cutting it out of their diet. But I was desperate, so for about two months I cut it out of my diet. And it sucked.

I’ve never detoxed off of drugs but I’m pretty sure detoxing off of wheat is a version of that kind of hell. I persevered and noticed over time my face and body eczema/psoriasis got better. Then it went away. And it was lovely.

I started adding wheat back to my diet and it didn’t come back. Using my highly educated in medicine brain I deduced that the wheat was not causing this face thing, but maybe contributed. I don’t know, there were probably other factors at play.

So now since my face is being an asshole again (not as bad as before, knock on wood) I’m cutting back on wheat again, but not completely. And I’m drinking a lot of water, as I usually do. I’ve also discovered a few other tricks, such as aspirin. I had read that crushing up aspirin, mixing it with water and putting it on your face was good for pimples and other skin ailments, so I thought I’d give it a shot. And it helps. So much. It not only helps with the pain (because this shit is painful, I cannot exercise because sweat aggravates it and makes it worse because it’s essentially open wounds on my face… I really make myself sound attractive, eh?… crying also causes pain around my eyes. Not that I’m sobbing myself to sleep but even my eyes watering because of the cold or putting in my contact lenses hurts because of the solution). So I put aspirin on my face every other day and it helps with redness and pain. It also helps heal faster.

I’ve tried three and a half million moisturizing different products. No lie. Oil of Olay Regenerist line is what’s working for me right now. Though it can change without warning, a product will be awesome (I was loving Philosophy’s Keep the Peace last year, my face now hates it) and then all the sudden cause my skin to get worse. Natural oils and even Vaseline are my go-to’s that never fail. I was using almond oil bought from Choices until recently (I ran out and haven’t had time to buy more), but recently read that most natural oils will help, so the other day I reached for the extra virgin olive oil and it has proved to be very moisturizing and soothing. I also smell Italian, so its been nice to get back to my roots.

A word about the Vaseline though, do not get that shit in your eyes. I repeat: Do. Not. Get. That. Shit. In. Your. Eyes. Especially if you apply before bed. You will wake up with eyes so swollen you’ll think that Chris Brown beat you in your sleep.

I’m sure this post is probably not of interest to most people, but I wanted to share because I’ve had my moments of desperately trolling the internet for some… ANY… reprieve or cure from this. It’s 25% for vanity reasons, because make up only aggravates and flakes off, but the other 75% is the pain and hopelessness it brings. There were plenty of tears of frustration spilled over the years, which as I mentioned before, only worsens the problem.

So if you’re dealing with similar problems, I hope this helps and please leave your best tips and tricks in the comments.

Braces

Of my favorite things about blogging is checking out my page stats and seeing what kind of searches brought people to my blog.

Monkey’s is one of them, as I’ve written about in the past.

Another is the search for braces, brace face, Katy Perry braces  and rovnátka, which Google Translate informs me is Czech for braces. I wrote about braces and how I noticed how not many kids these days seemed to be getting them.

I’m just going to go ahead and assume that people who are searching for braces are probably going to get braces soon. So instead of reading a blog post kids not getting braces, why not offer a bit of advice from someone who’s been there?

Here’s a few things I learned while wearing braces (forgive me if these tips are old or outdated, I had braces 17 years ago… yes, I’m old):

– They don’t really hurt, except for maybe the first day after you get them tightened. And get an orthodontist that likes you, mine did not. He liked my brother. My gums were poked with random dental instruments than his were and guess who got in trouble for bleeding gums?

– Remember when choosing braces colours for the month, you’ll have the colours for a full month. Orange and black seems like a good idea now, but  mid-November it looks a bit weird.

– Clear brace bands also seem like a good colour choice, but they stain easy.

– The worst part of it all is when they get caught on your cheek. It happens. Remove your cheek from your braces carefully.

– Cool people wore braces… Gwen Stefani, Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Lourdes Leon, Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez

 

– Charlie Day got them on Thursday’s episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Leave a comment… why did you search for braces and what brought you here? Any advice for future brace wearers?

Tales of a nail biter

This week I read that nail biting is considered compulsive grooming, a psychological disorder similar to OCD and is being added to the next American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

I’ve been a nail biter for as long as I can remember. Until my early twenties I was always biting my short little finger nails until they bled and were a pain to touch, but I just could not stop. It wasn’t until I started painting my nails all the time that I was able to stop the habit. I have a obsession with my nails being perfect, chips were avoided and thus my nails went unbitten. Don’t get me wrong I’d pick up the habit again from time to time, especially during stressful times like exam time in university or when work got particularly stressful.

This year I’ve relapsed once. It was a (drunken) night out with friends and I started picking at a hangnail. Which led to me picking at my now chipped nail polish, because I’d rather pick it off then deal with a small chip (hmmm… maybe that ocd label does fit me?). I then bit off all my nails. The hangnail became bloody and within a few days it was obviously infected. I’ve had gross cuticles before, but not like this…

Yes, I named him.

Gross right? Sorry but I felt the visual was needed and if you’re gross like me you can click on the photo to make it larger (I took multiple pictures to remind me to leave my cuticles alone but honestly it’s not helping). That’s Barney the Barnacle. He was on my thumb for over two weeks. He was painful and woke me up at night. I eventually went to the doctor and had to take antibiotics 4 times a day and soak him twice daily for 20 minutes in salt water.

Lesson: Don’t bite your nails or cuticles.

But do I think this is a psychological disorder? Eh.

Part of me loved bringing this up to my parents who loved to slap my hands out of my mouth as a child. I still hear them saying “get your fingers out of your mouth” any time I have my hand near my face. So telling them that it was a psychological disorder gave me a bit of satisfaction, regardless of whether I believe it or not.

I don’t know if it’s a compulsive thing for me though. The habit of biting isn’t  because my nails are too long, or because they hurt me when I’m scratching an itch. I prefer them shorter because I have a fear of pinching my eye when removing my contact lenses. Still, I’d rather file them rather than bite them.

I do know that I bite out of stress or nervousness, and that there makes me think it is more than simply a bad habit. I think of it more like an addiction. One that will always be a part of me and something that needs to be held at bay but will never be beaten.

I guess it’s a good thing I have an extensive nail polish collection and love creating new nail art. If that’s the only way to keep my nail biting at bay, I guess I can live my life with pretty nails.

Thoughts? Do you think nail biting is more than a bad habit… addiction… worthy of a place in the DSM?

I’m a hoarder

I like to hoard the weirdest things.

I noticed yesterday while cleaning my room and organizing all my crap that I liked to keep old mascaras. I have no clue why. It’s like I had never learned how to tell when a mascara is used up. Instead I’d realize it wasn’t performing as it should and bought a new one without throwing the old one away. Maybe I need to see that the container is empty, but with mascara that’s impossible? Oddly enough I do throw them away sometime so this isn’t every single tube I’ve bought or received as a free sample over the past little while. There are 15 tubes there and only 3 are useful.

You’ll also see a pile of hair elastics there. 14 of them. All stretched out and useless. Essentially if they don’t break while I’m trying to use it, but it’s too stretched out to be used I throw it back into the drawer and get out a new one.

Finally, there’s 10 contact lens containers. I could’ve sworn there was more in my bathroom drawer. Every time I buy new solution or order new contacts I get a new case, probably as a hint to change the old one. Yet until my mom recently bought me a cute one with tiny pig heads for caps, I was using the same case for years.

You’ll be happy to know that all 12 of the useless mascara tubes and 14 elastics were thrown away. The contact lens cases remain. Rest assured that if you’re ever at my house and need to spend the night or have a contact lens emergency, I got 9 of you covered.

Obviously, there’s no need to call for TV cameras over my hoarding, there’s no concern over it yet. That is unless they’ll pay good money, then I can become a stage 4 hoarder for some money.

Greatest cream ever? Yes

I have horribly sensitive skin. Twice a year, usually just before my birthday in April and before Christmas my face get’s really dry and breaks into a disgusting rash/dry skin combo. It’s very painful, scaly and all around bad time.

I’ve tried numerous creams, washes, oils and been to a few different dermatologists. It’ll never be cured, but every year I think I can try to fix it before it get’s too bad and fail. Instead I drop a lot of cash out of desperation to get the situation under control.

Yesterday I was at Sephora and since I had been to the gym in the morning my face was particularly bad (sweat only aggravates it) so I went wandering in search of new miracle.

Enter Philosophy’s Keep the Peace.

What sold me was the box that says it’s “a super soothing moisturizer that treats redness and sensitivity.” At the price tag of $50 it’s not much more expensive then a lot of the other moisturizers at Sephora or at  department stores so I was sold.

So did it work?

It’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever used. Within one use my face was significantly less red and the dryness had gotten a bit better. 24 hours after using it, my face has recovered and I’m going to the gym tomorrow… without make-up (I became a make-up wearing gym person due to shame of the redness).

I’m not a big product pusher, but if you’re a person with sensitive skin I really recommend giving this a shot.

Movember

Look, I love Movember as much as the next girl. That means I kind of find it endearing. Also, it shows that the guy growing the mustache is a good person raising money for a good cause, so that’s attractive. Provided that they’re actually raising money for a cause and not using it as an excuse to grow facial hair.

The month also allows me to play my favorite game Movember or Creepy Hipster? In which you essentially just guess whether the mustachioed man is doing it for the charity or he’s a hipster who sports the caterpillar above his lip all year round.

But the handelbar ‘stach, I cannot get behind that one. Nobody looks good in that.