Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Tips For Growing Out Your Hair

Before I started my blog, I had very short hair.  I have had short hair most of my adult life. I cut it at 16, and I kept it short until I decided to start growing it out a few years ago.  It is so hard to grow your hair out when it is a super short cut.  It can get so frustrating, and many people end up just cutting it again, because it looks so horrible in that in between stage.  So, I would like to share with you what I did to get me through that awkward stage, and how I kept my hair healthy and growing as fast as possible.

1.  Don't Stop Getting Haircuts! - There are a few reasons for this.  1) if you have super short hair like I did, you have to get it cut regularly to keep from getting a mullet.  I let my top and sides grow while keeping the back short.  This gave me a style while growing it out, so I didn't chop it.  2)  It keeps your hair from getting split ends and looking damaged once it is longer.  I have never been someone who fantasizes about having long hair, even though I am enjoying my longer length now, but I do know women who want long hair at all costs.  Even if it means it is dry, damaged, and split.  As long as it is long they are happy.  I just don't see the point in having long hair if it looks like that.

2.  Use Quality Products! - Not all products are equal, especially when it come to shampoo and conditioner.  I was never big on professional products, until my hair started getting longer.  Not everything I have is professional, but at least half is.  The biggest difference I found in my hair is when I started using Wen Conditioning Cleanser.  I started using it over 2 years ago, and instantly saw a difference and so did other people.  My hair just looked shinier, healthier, less frizzy, and had more body.  I also use their hair mask, styling creme, volumizing spray, and replenishing treatment mist.  If I had to, I could give up some of the products, but never the cleansing conditioner.  I'm not saying you have to use Wen.  Not everyone likes it, but you do need to find a quality shampoo and conditioner.  If you are interested in Wen, you can always buy it on QVC or www.qvc.com.  They have easy pays, which makes it more affordable and many times they do auto-delivery.  They also have packages that include extra products like some I mentioned.  Sephora sells Wen Cleansing Conditioner, but you may not find a lot of the other Wen products.  QVC also has a 30 day money back guarantee.

3.  Take Supplements! - The entire time I was growing my hair out, I took biotin and iron.  I can honestly say that both have helped my hair to grow and keep it healthy in the process.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, the iron is especially important for you.

4.  Don't Wash Your Hair Too Much! - When my hair was really short, I washed it almost everyday.  I used sticky pomades and when I woke up in the morning it was unmanageable.  Since my hair has been longer, I only wash it twice a week.  Now, I don't fix my hair everyday.  I am a SAHM and also care for my elderly grandparents, so my day consists of cleaning, cooking laundry, running errands, etc.  Plus, I work out a lot.  I know, glamorous right?!!  Anyways, I don't put on makeup or do my hair probably 4 - 5 days a week.  So, I put it up and don't worry too much about washing.  The natural oils in your scalp help to protect and moisturize your hair.  You don't want to strip these out.  In between washings, I use dry shampoo.  It really helps to eliminate greasiness.  Now because I don't style my hair most days, I do not get a lot of product build up.  Depending on how much product you use and how oily your hair is, you may not be able to only wash twice a week, but wash as little as possible.

5.  Use As Little Heat As Possible! - Since I don't style my hair most days, I simply wash it and let it air dry.  I rarely use a straight iron on it either.  When I do style it it is mostly with my hair dryer.  I do use a heat protectant to try to limit the damage done.  Yesterday, I ordered a professional T3 blow dryer, which should also help with damage, but I have yet to test it out.  Maybe that could be an upcoming review post!

6.  Use A Hair Mask! - I started using these a little over 2 years ago when I started using Wen.  I do it anywhere from 2-4 times a month.  I try to do it once a week, but I miss a few.  Sometimes, I just do a five minute mask in the shower, but most of the time I leave it on overnight and rinse it out the next day.  I love the way it conditions my hair and makes it feel so smooth and healthy.  I mostly use a Wen mask, but I also have a L'Oreal one that I use in the shower.

These are my hair tips, and what I used and still follow to this day.  I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any tips of your own, I would love to hear them!!

Here is a progression of where my hair started to where it is now.  Before my blog, I never took selfies, so all my pics are with my family.











So as you can see, no matter what stage my hair was at in the growing out process, I kept a definite style to it.  Had I not done that and just let it grow, I would have quickly chopped it off.  Maintaining a style is the best advice I have to get your hair to the length you want.

Nails Of The Week


OPI - Bogota Blackberry


Last week, I found these rhinestones at icing for only $4.99.

I applied them with the pointed end of my nail stick, and topped with 2 coats of a clear top coat.  A very easy addition to make your nails just a little fancier :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quote Of The Week

Be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of someone else. - Judy Garland


Monday, October 6, 2014

Review - Urban Decay Naked Basics 2!


I recently made this purchase, and have used it pretty much everyday that I have worn makeup.  I bought mine at Ulta.  It retails for $29, but if you have the monthly Ulta coupon for $3.50 off, it's an even better value!


The packaging is small and sleek, which makes it easy for travel or to throw in your bag.  It easily fits in the palm of my hand.  It does come with a convenient full size mirror as well.  



Color swatches from top to bottom - skimp, stark, frisk, cover (my favorite), primal, and undone.

There are 6 new shades, ranging from a light skin tone color to a darker charcoal gray.  All are completely matte, except for the first color.  It has a slight sheen, like a satin finish, which works great in the inner corner or as a brow highlight.  These shadows have the same quality that you have come to know from Urban Decay.  The colors are very buttery, soft, and easy to blend.  They may have a slight fall out, if you don't tap your brush, but that too is typical of an UD shadow.  This palette lends itself toward more cool neutral shades, which is why I purchased this palette and not the first naked basics.  I have few cool shades in my collection and a lot of warm.  This palette has given me everything I need for a cooler toned look.  It is great on it's own or to enhance a more cool toned shimmery eye look.  

Here are a few looks that I have recently worn....


For this look, I added a black gel liner to the top and used shadow as liner for the bottom lashes.



For this look I used all shadows, no liner. 

My overall thoughts on this palette is that it has exceptional quality, is a great value, and is perfect for anyone looking to add some cool toned neutrals to their collection.  It is a palette that easily lends itself to daytime and evening looks, that is also great for travel.  I am very happy with my purchase!

I hope you found this review helpful.  Have a great week!

                                                                                                      -XOXO Monique

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nails Of The Week


O.P.I. - Barefoot In Barcelona 

I love this color and think it is the perfect nude.  It was hard to find, but I finally found it at Ulta!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade Review!

I had seen a lot of tutorials using this product and loved the look it was giving, so I had to try it for myself!  The pomade comes in 5 colors....blonde, auburn, chocolate, dark brown, and ebony.  I chose dark brown for myself.  I do have blue black hair, but prefer to go a shade or two lighter for my brows to avoid them looking like they have been drawn in with a sharpie.  The rule of thumb is if you have dark hair go one to two shades lighter.  If you have light hair go one to two shades darker, but of course everyone likes their brows a certain way, so go with what works best for you.




Most beauty girls that I watch change their brow routines fairly often, and I have to say I have as well.  I find new techniques or products that I like and make changes.  My brow routine is completely different now than it was a year ago, and it shows!

Here is a pic of my old brows.....



Here is a pic of my brows now......


Now, I do recognize that my photography skills have greatly improved, but so have my brows and it is all because of this product.

I have very few holy grail products, but this is definitely one that I would not be able to live without!  It has completely changed my brow game.  In the photo about I used only the dip brow pomade and nothing else.  Sometimes I do use another product, it just depends on the look I am going for.  

I was a little concerned about working with a brow pomade, because I had never used a product like this.  Just let me say that a little goes a long way!  It has the consistency of a gel liner.  I use an angled brow brush to apply and brush through with a brow spooly.  This product does set, but I find that I have plenty of time to work with it, and yes, it is WATERPROOF!!  Hallelujah, no more looking in the mirror to find your brow is sliding off of your face!!

I think there is a bit of a learning curve with this product, and it will take a few times to really find your technique, simply because there isn't another product of its kind out there, but once you do, I am certain that you will be happy with the result.  You can find Anastasia Beverly Hills products at Ulta and Sephora.  It retails for $18, and does not come with an applicator.  Anastasia does sell a double ended brow brush and spooly in one if you are interested.  I have been using what I already have in my collection.  If you have been on the fence about this product, I hope my review helps.  If you would like to see my exact brow routine, please comment below and I will get that together for you!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend!!
                                                                                                                -XOXO Monique

Saturday, September 27, 2014