Change your Hair, Change your Life

Many of my readers will know I’m going through some massive life changes right now and what better way to celebrate all forms of change than to change my hair?

I’ve done a lot of colour changes from dark red to bright red, to purple, blue and even green. Of course putting all those colours in required bleaching my hair as they wouldn’t have shown nearly as well on my natural brown shade. Still, the last time I put blonde in my hair for any purpose other than making other colours show up was in high school. Back then I couldn’t handle the toning process – it irritated and burned my scalp. Therefore the toner came off too early and my blonde was always yellow. Yuck.

No wonder I decided blonde wasn’t for me and started only using bleach to support other colours, like purple.

Today however it seems the toning products are a bit gentler and I’m a bit tougher. I’m so happy these things are true because I’ve totally fallen in love with my blonde hair and plan to keep adding blonde and perfecting my shade.

Don’t worry, I still sneak a little pastel pink in to keep it fun.

The other change – and truly the more major change is the length. I had insanely long hair that people routinely thought was fake because they couldn’t imagine I’d actually grown it out.

It was proof of my patience. Like 8 years of patience. I cut it to a short bob before moving to University and I hadn’t cut it since. Until now.

I suppose I’ve less patience now for anything that holds me back.

And damn. It feels good.

Okay, y’all know I’m going to grow it right back out. That’s just what I do. But for so long I was seriously afraid to cut it. I cringed at the thought of a trim and flat out cried the day I actually cut it.

That poor hairdresser.

Still I am loving the freshness and having so much fun with it. Yes, it will grow long again but next time I won’t be so afraid of the change when it’s time for a cut.

Check out the before and after to see how big this change has been!

What’s been your biggest hair change? Did you love it? Hate it? I wanna hear all about it!

“Trends” that sell you Junk can F*ck Off Anytime

The Beauty Industry as a whole has a very profitable interest in convincing everyone that beauty is super complicated and that it requires a lot of different, consumable products that will keep you coming in for refills freakin’ constantly.

Truth be told – there’s a lot of misleading crap out there designed to get you to buy and to help you justify purchase decisions as necessary when they’re not.

Next week we’re going to talk about taking back control of how you engage with the industry but this week I want to focus on saying no to junk.

I’m talking about reinvented products like make up applicators or brushes, skin care tools that do the same thing as the ones you already own, and my personal fave – things that do nothing OR that do what you already do with your hands.

Let’s look at Jade Rollers, for example. Not only did these things seemingly come out of nowhere, but a lot of them appeared with huge price tags. They have Jade or some similarily valued material as a “roller” on a handle so you can massage your face with it. They allegedly have benefits such as improved circulation, reducing under eye puffy-ness and helping products absorb better into your skin.

It all sounds awesome and you can see how it makes sense if you squint at it long enough.

Here’s the thing they aren’t talking about though: You don’t need a Jade Roller to massage your face. You have…uhh, hands. Take any cleaner or moisturizer you like and spend a few extra minutes massaging it into your skin. All the Jade Roller really does is force you to take the extra time to focus on massaging your cheeks and skin. However, it’s not a necessary component in the equation of facial massage for improved circulation and all the benefits that come it.

This is what I mean when I talk about beauty trends that sell you junk. They market a product as if the product is required to achieve certain results when in reality it’s not the key to said results at all. Beauty bloggers, and beauty companies that claim they’re here to improve your beauty results could of just told you the secret was in good circulation and that facial massage would help improve your results. Then they could of offered you tools to make massaging your skin easier or to vary your routine but they didn’t. They just claimed you had to have the jade roller.

Ugh.

I hope I can keep up with the junky trends just to bring the #realbabebeauty squad real talk and get passed all the crap we’re told we need in order to be beautiful.

The other example I like is make up brushes. Someone is always reinventing the wheel in this department and claiming that their brush, which may or may not look a lot like every brush that came before it, has magically better results.

Save your money because that’s a lie. Find a way you like for putting make up on your face – make up brush, sponges, those buffer-brush things, and then ignore all the reinvented wheels. Let ’em roll on by.

Take yourself somewhere beautiful with all the money you did’n’t let the beauty industry suck out of your wallet.


Why I Invest in Sephora

We all know it’s true that most of what can be bought at Sephora can be bought elsewhere for less. Affordable brands line the aisles of any drug store and one has to wonder how different the products can really be. I mean from one concealer recipe to the next, from one mascara to another, is it worth the price jump to pick up the designer brand in a Sephora?

I think so. Today I want to share why. Many beauty bloggers share the pros and cons of products from all price ranges in specific reviews for “X brand Y product” but they don’t always share, over all, why their best looks come with a such a pricey list.

I do want to acknowledge that being able to choose a pricey product is a position of privilege. I prioritize this cost in my budget to make it work and I’m here to share why I do so.

Before you even get to the product, the service itself has a dollar value

Once upon a time I thought shops like Sephora were for girls and boys who really knew what they were doing. Like, they were maybe trained make up artists or at least more successful at learning from artists on youtube than I was. I thought Sephora was all about those make up users. I didn’t really feel I fit in.

In reality the staff at Sephora know those products and how they correspond to different needs. They aren’t trained like that for the pros who also have that knowledge. They’re trained to help us – #realbabebeauty squad. When I walk in and say I’m struggling with something like finding a full coverage foundation that doesn’t cake, or a brow product I can use blind, or a face wash to win a battle with my hormonal acne… I know I can trust the staff there.

When I ask the same questions at a drug store I usually get anecdotal answers. “My friend also struggles with… and she loves…”, “I use this and I swear by it!” and so on.

But at Sephora I hear more reassuring things like “This product line contains ingredients x, y and z which are known to help with sensitive skin.” or “This brand can be used this in this way for…”

The knowledge the staff have is reason enough to pay a little extra. When you don’t know all the answers you can place a lot of trust in the staff to help you out.

You have to find products that feel good to use

I tried to go back, okay? I thought hey – I could probably save myself some money if I just bought mascara at shoppers instead of Sephora.

Two hours later with red, itchy eyes I swore I’d never cut my budget in that way again.

If you use more affordable products and don’t have side effects like flaking make up, itchiness, redness, soreness or anything else then I salute you. However for me, this isn’t the case. I have super fair, super sensitive skin and when I sacrifice the quality of my products I feel it (and see it!)

Even some brands at Sephora cause problems for me. Sephora, though, will let you exchange products and work with you to find the right one. When I brought back an expensive foundation that reacted poorly with my skin and made me look diseased they gave me full store credit to find a better formula.

Better Products Look Better

I denied this for a long time but in recent years I’ve come around. Some girls can make anything look pro but I don’t have those skills.

What I lack in skills can be made up for with products that look good to begin with.

That’s it. This one’s pretty simple.

Sephora’s Point System is Actually Pretty Good

As every point system should be, this one is designed to recognize regular customers who are spending a lot on the business. Right from signing up you earn points and at milestones like $1000 spent in one year you get big perks.

That sounds like a lot – once upon a time I thought I’d never be that level. But I’m here. I did give my card to friends a few times so I know some of those points came from their purchases. Even without those purchases though, the side effect of shopping at expensive store is that spend-based loyalty programs are genuinely rewarding.

You can get your make up done, pick up free samples and even attend exclusive events.

It’s not worth shopping there only for the loyalty program but the loyalty program goes a very long way to making me feel appreciated for my decision to frequent the store.

Take a deep breath #realbeautybabe  You deserve a less complicated relationship with your beauty routine

At the end of the day Sephora has made my relationship with the beauty world 1000x healthier. I shop with more confidence knowing if a product doesn’t work I can come back. I get answers from staff I trust. And I get the perks of investing in myself both in my results and in the beauty rewards program.

There a lot of complicated decisions to make in life. There’s a lot of things that can’t be made easier. Why not invest in this and make this one thing a little less complicated?

One Pale Girls Beauty Faves

Okay, so it’s no secret that I’m pale. Generally, I love my skin. I’ve never been into tanning or trying to change how I look. Okay actually I do like a little tanning moisturizer in the summer months to make my legs just a couple shades less pale… but most of the time I love my skin tone.

The problem with pale skin, for me, is that every tiny mark shows. Tiny scar? tiny zit? tiny bruise? It’s all so easy to see so it only takes a couple little imperfections before the little imperfections are all that’s noticeable on my face – especially for me looking at myself!

So this week I’m sharing a few of my pale girl beauty faves! I am nowhere near the super skin and makeup pro’s out there so this is for your everyday pale girl just trying to get by!

First up – Sunscreen! The easiest way to help your skin is to protect it from damage. I swear by Neutregena because they are a skincare company first and foremost so their sunscreen will do more than protect your skin from a sunburn! It feels so much nicer than regular sunscreen and never causes me the rashes, itchiness and acne that other suncreens can.

But of course, sunburn or not, acne happens from time to time. So what’s my fave way to get it gone, and fast? I am totally hooked on the entire line of Kate Somerville products but my biggest must-have is this powerhouse acne treatment: EradiKate. I use this stuff before bed or before makeup and it immediately lessens swelling and redness.  Within a few hours I don’t even notice the zit anymore. It’s awesome!

Let’s talk makeup. I’m nowhere near as talented as some of the makeup bloggers out there.  I do have my beauty faves though. I really love Kat Von D’s products and I especially love that as a beauty icon she celebrates her pale skin and doesn’t try to change how it looks. It makes it easy to love her products and feel great as I pick up the lightest shade on the shelf. I use her primer as a base for her liquid foundation.  When I’m feeling the need for a little extra contouring or a little extra coverage I reach for the concealer and powder foundation (this helps with an extra matte look, too!)

PS. Nothing beats Urban Decay’s setting spray for serous all day all night wear!

I make my pale skin pop with a bold lip – now I know, I’ve seen the bold lip trend on every skin tone and it looks amazing on us all – but I’m here to remind pale girls to have some fun and not shy away from the bold shades that catch your eye! Personally, Too Faced Melted Matte is my line of choice and you really can’t go wrong with any of their shades.

Now outside of your everyday beauty you might want to do a little extra pampering.  What better way than a facemask? The Glamglow Multimasking set speaks to my very soul because there’s nothing this boss babe does more than multitasking so why not bring that flare into my beauty routine?

And what about the rest of my body? Girl, I got you!

Since literally like grade 8 I’ve been fighting imperfections and uneven tone all over my body using Bio Oil. It’s a classic. You’ll find a million new products released every month advertising the same stuff but honestly, I’ve never found any that work as well as bio oil. After years of use the biggest thing I can say is yes, it works but you’ve got to commit to using it. Nothing delivers results if you only do it occasionally!

I like to add a little daily feel-good with a moisturizer too.  The oil is a great way to fight uneven skin tone, scars, stretch marks and imperfections but it feels pretty utilitarian. I like to give my skin some extra love with some coconut based moisturizer like this one from the body shop!

Woo – that was a lot of links and suggestions for my fave products to show my pale skin some love and keep it looking its best. I hope you found a few ideas and maybe your own new fave product.

What are your go-to products to keep your skin looking it’s best?