Miracle in a Jar

(Sigh) I recently got my haircut; it wasn’t a lot, but still. To my surprise I didn’t have a lot of split ends, my hair was just super dried out. I’ve been trying to keep up with getting my haircut at least every 2 months. I go to Supercuts because a $12 haircut is all a girl can afford nowadays. I am that girl who freaks out over getting an inch cut off. But I’m all for healthy hair, so cutting frequently is essential.

Along with frequent haircuts I try and do a weekly hair mask. Is it just me or is coconut oil the new craze? I joined Pinterest over a year ago and when I saw a pin for long, healthy, shiny hair I had to read it. An hour later I was in the car heading to the local Trader Joe’s to buy a jar of coconut oil.

coconut oil

Coconut oil is natural, organic and above all cheap! A good hair mask can cost around $30. I bought my jar over a year ago, and there is still a good amount left.

Coconut oil has an extensive list of uses. Of course, it’s good for cooking and baking. Unfortunately for my future boyfriend, I’m not one for cooking, so I keep the jar upstairs in my room and use it strictly for beauty purposes.

Coconut oil helps moisturize the hair while also rejuvenating the hair from root to tip. When I put coconut oil in my hair I spend a good ten minutes brushing and combing it thru because it feels that amazing.

There are two ways to approach a coconut oil hair mask:
1.) Apply the hair mask for thirty minutes or so and then shower.
After you apply the hair mask wrap your hair in a bun and place a shower cap or plastic bag over the scalp or your hair to seal in the moisture.

2.) Apply the hair mask before bed and shower in the morning.
If you’re thinking of doing this step, wear a shower cap and place a towel over your pillow case. Trust me, the last thing you want is oil seeping into your facial pores when you sleep.

Now this is a huge disclaimer about coconut oil. It’s best to do coconut oil on a day where you know you have extra time in the shower. Yes coconut oil is amazing, but at the end of the day it’s an oil and can leave your hair greasy and smelling greasy if not washed out extensively. The first time my roommate did a mask she took a shower, shampooed and conditioned her hair as usual, but had to wash her out again in the bathtub because she didn’t wash it all out. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

If done right, coconut oil will leave your hair super shiny and soft! There are days my hair feels too soft, but hey its better than being too dried out!

Check out this list of other coconut oil uses:


Revlon and the Fight Aganist Women’s Cancer

Every year Revlon puts on an amazing event for cancer research. The event is a 5K known as EIF’s Revlon Run Walk for Women. My family has been going every year since 2008 and the turnout is incredible. The event is held in NYC the first Saturday in May. For those on the West Coast, the event is in Los Angeles on May 10. It starts in Times Square and runs thru Central Park for three miles. My mom and I tend to walk because we love admiring all the survivors, fighters and volunteers.

Finish Line 2011

Finish Line 2011

In 1993, Revlon teamed up with The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a Hollywood based charity, and Lilly Tartikoff for the fight against women’s cancers. Flash forward 21 years, the organization has reached an astonishing $65 million for cancer research, counseling and outreach programs for women across the United States. Beneficiaries include, but are not limited to, the Actors’ Fund of America, Albert Einstein Cancer Center, CancerCare, Gilda’s Club New York City, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, EIF Women’s Cancer Programs, and Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.


In addition to EIF Revlon, a renowned makeup company, partnered with multiple organizations to help fellow females cope with their illness.

Look Good Feel Better is an inspiring program helping cancer patients cope with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Revlon has supported Look Good Feel Better since its inception in 1989. The organization has provided assistance to more than 700,000 women across the globe by helping them to look and feel beautiful and find hope & courage at a time when it is often in short supply.

Registration is just $35, but that money goes a long way for these lovely ladies. You can also join forces and create a team of your own. So far the top ten teams have an earning close to $50,000!

If you’re in the New York area I would recommend going with friends and family. And get there early! You won’t want to miss a second of this. The moment the race begins everyone’s face lights up as the air fills with red and white confetti as music blasts in the background. The event unites thousands of individuals from all walks of life and being a part of the action alongside survivors and fighters is inspirational.


So who do you walk for?

For more information check out:



Prom, Tanning and Obama?

It’s my favorite time of year. Prom season! Yes, I’m a senior in college, but I still love seeing and hearing about all the high school girls getting primped for their big day. Is it weird I still look at dresses online and in boutiques? I hope not.


Ah the memories…

Getting ready for prom is a major process. Between buying the perfect dress, deciding where you will take your photos, renting a party bus or limo, booking a hair appointment, and, of course, finding your dream date, every detail, no matter how small, is important.

However, there is another detail many girls want for their prom pictures. They want to be tan, so they buy an indoor tanning package the month leading up to prom. I see it a lot in my job around this time of year. A girl, under 18, walks in with her mom interested in buying a tanning package, but needs her mother’s permission, so her mom signs her off and sits in the waiting room as her daughter lies in a bed for ten minutes.


It’s not my place to say anything to the mothers or daughters, but I can’t help but think this is totally wrong.

I’m not the only who agrees. President Obama and several states are enacting laws to restrict minors from using indoor tanning facilities.

According to an FDA report, about 35% of teenagers, specifically 17-year-olds, use tanning beds. It’s a scary thought when people under the age of 30 have a higher risk of being exposed to skin cancer. A National Cancer Institute study shows the melanoma rate in young women has tripled over the past four decades.

State governments are looking to lower the risk of skin cancer in minors. Louisiana Representative Helena Moreno proposed a bill after hearing about the dangers related with indoor tanning equipment and minors, “It was absolutely clear to me then that Louisiana needs legislation like this so we can prevent cancer cases.”

States such as California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas and Vermont have already passed laws banning the use of indoor tanning facilities for teenagers under 18. Louisiana and Washington are also in the process of outlawing minors from using tanning bulbs.

I’m not going to lie I have used tanning beds in the past. My old apartment complex had a tanning bed in the club house for crying out loud! Working at a tanning salon, people assume I like using indoor tanning beds. But it’s really not for me anymore. I will swear by a spray tan until I’m old and wrinkled. If prom season is coming up for you or your daughter consider an alternative. There are other, cheaper, safer ways.


No sun. No problem!

Confession Time. I love being tan. I swear in the summer I would get a spray tan at least once a week. When it isn’t summer time, I still like a subtle glow. Not an orange glow, but a subtle glow.

Over the years I’ve tried several self-tanning products, from Jergens to L’Oreal to Neutrogena to Tan towels to Victoria’s Secret’s line. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. All these brands were nice, but didn’t give me the glow I wanted on my face.

The face is the one part on my body I want to have color without layering on foundation or bronzer. I found two facial tanning products from Sephora that I love. Both work differently and both are priced differently.


If you’re interested in buying any type of self-tanner for your face always test it on your skin to make sure it works and gives you the color you want before buying it.

Product: Faux Tan Face
By: Bare Minerals
Price at Sephora: $24.00

This product isn't fully blended

This product isn’t fully blended

Every skin type is different. For me, my skin isn’t porcelain white; I tend to notice tanning products working on my skin pretty quickly. I apply this product after I wash my face and before I apply my makeup. For others, it may make take some time to notice a difference. I read some reviews at Sephora.com and some women noted they would apply the product before bed and would notice a difference gradually or after a couple of days.

The product comes in a tube and only takes about two pumps to cover the face and neck. The product comes out pretty dark, but don’t let that intimidate you, it will blend and adjust. I apply and blend the product in with my fingers, but you can use a foam makeup wedge also. (If you use your hands, wash before and after application.)

The product doesn’t clog my pores and doesn’t feel heavy on my face. Another bonus: no annoying self-tanning smell!  Perfect for a sun kissed look.

Product: Tinted Self-Tanning Face Gel
By: Sephora
Price at Sephora: $5.00

This product isn't fully blended

This product isn’t fully blended

This product gives me instant color as well as easy application. The product comes in a tube with a brush at the end for blending. For this brand you don’t need a lot of the gel, because a tiny squeeze in this bottle goes a long way. Compared to Faux Tan Face, I find myself spending more time blending the product into my face and neck, but I get a really even coverage.

This product smells good too; it smells like summer to me! (Smell it, you’ll understand what I mean.) You’ll notice the smell going on, but it won’t linger or leave an after smell like other self-tanning products. For $5.00 this product gives you an amazing tint when you’re in need for some quick color.

As said before I love both products. I switch on and off depending on my mood. If you’re interested in self-tanning products remember to always find one that works best for your skin type! Happy safe, fake tanning!

Joining the Dark Side

Throwback Thursday Time!

Once upon a time I was blonde…


Sophomore year, September 2011

Sophomore year, September 2011

Okay, really blonde.  I started getting my hair highlighted at the tender of twelve.  Yes, I was that young.  It became an obsession.  There was a running joke in my group of friends that you couldn’t be friends with us unless you were blonde.  Blonde jokes were also an unfortunate given. 


Summer time was always my favorite.  After a day at the beach I would come home with sun kissed, bright blonde hair.  But eventually that color, like my tan, would fade. 


I loved being blonde, don’t get me wrong, but the damage it did to my hair wasn’t worth it.  I started noticing my sophomore year of college, my hair wasn’t growing.  Despite trims, the ends always looked dried out and my hair wasn’t as thick and shiny as it used to be.  I know exactly why my hair was like this.  I hate to say this, but it’s an important part to understanding my hair.  Along with retouching my highlights every three months, there were times I would use products like Sun In or John Frieda’s Go Blonder Spray.  Those products are a big no no.  I guess I was really desperate to be blonde and look “natural…”


Roots were my worst enemy.  It always looked trashy and unnatural.  Getting my hair done also put a hole in my wallet.  The ladies who get their hair colored understand.  A full head of highlights, depending on the salon, can cost up to $100.  Let’s see $100 x every 3 months. Yup, that’s $400.  I finally decided enough is enough.  I wanted to go back to my most natural hair color.


It’s been a process, but I’m slowly getting back to a color I’m comfortable and satisfied with.    I’m not getting my hair done as much as I used to.  Additionally, once I stopped using bleach, my hair eventually started to grow and go back to the thick, shiny mane it used to be.


If you’re thinking of going from blonde to brunette you must go to a salon. DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF.  The stylist will work with your color.  We started out slow with my hair.  My stylist added lowlights instead.  The lowlights were gorgeous and added a lot of dimension to my hair.  The color was exactly what I wanted too; it was an ashy brunette and it fit my skin tone and actually matched my eyebrows.


This is what my hair color looks like now.  There are still some hints of blonde, but like I said the amount of damage I did to my hair before there is no way I could go be a full chestnut brunette right away.  Not now at least.  It’s a process, but it’s worth it.


Senior year, March 2014

Senior year, March 2014

I can’t imagine going back to blonde.  I now feel bad for my girl friends who have to pay to get their hair retouched every couple of months.  The blonde was fun, but now I’m dedicated to keeping my hair healthy and completely bleach free.


Considering going to the dark side check out these tips:


Beauty Night In

Happy Friday!  I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long week for me.  I’m at that point in my life where I would rather stay in, relax and sleep.  And I’m 21.  Lame? I don’t think so.  I’ll just go out tomorrow night…  At the end of the week my face and skin feels tired and gross.  Between school, the gym and work I owe it to my pores to do a little extra pampering.  This is what my Friday night will consist of: a facial mask, Biore pore strips, food, Netflix, and a good night’s sleep.
Beauty Night In 2Beauty Night In 3

Beauty Night In 1

My roommate, Courtney, and I started having beauty nights in and the next morning I would wake up fully rested feeling better about my skin.

If you’re interested in having a beauty night in with your roommates and friends head to your local drug store and pick up a facial mask.  Freeman Facial clay masks always leave my skin feeling softer and they only cost $3.99.  My favorite is the Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask, it smells delicious!

For those of you who haven’t tried a pore strip I would highly recommend it.  When we wash our face we don’t always get the dirt and other impurities.  To be honest, black heads are my worst enemy, especially on my nose.


In the words of Courtney, “Biore pore strips: so powerful they don’t just get the usual dirt and gunk, they get those pesky pore smurfs and gnomes as well.

Here are a few tips for a DIY facial:
Step 1: Make sure your face is clean.
Step 2: Apply the facial mask. (Avoid the eye area)
Step 3: Let the facial mask harden.  Trust me you will be able to feel your skin tighten.  It usually takes about 7 to 10 minutes to dry.
Step 4: Once dry thoroughly wash your face with warm water.
Now the fun part; Biore pore strips work best when your skin is wet.
Step 5:  Splash a few handfuls of warm water onto your nose.  The warm water helps open your pores.
Step 6: With your skin still wet, dry your hands and apply the strip to your nose adhesive side down.
Step 7: Wait for the pore strip to harden. (It will feel like paper mâché)
Step 8: When ready CAREFULLY pull the pore strip off with both hands. (The slower you take it off the better)
Step 9: Take a look at that nasty strip and all the dirt that was lifted.  My roommate and I used to compare because we’re weird like that.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing weekend!  Don’t forget to take care of your skin and face, and always wash your makeup off at the end of the night no matter how tired you are.  You owe it to your face.

Makeup Changing the Face of Poverty

I have been blessed with an education, wonderful friends, a job and a family who provides me support both emotionally and financially.  Unfortunately, many women around the world are faced with the harsh reality of poverty.  However, there is a way for these women to feel independent, strong and beautiful all through the use of makeup. Selling cosmetics, such as Avon, and becoming entrepreneurs allows women to earn money and thrive on their own.  What Avon and these women have done is truly inspiring.

Avon sells more than beauty products.  Avon gives any woman the opportunity to earn money, work at their convenience, make connections and be their own boss.  As we all know, makeup can change our appearance drastically, but the fact it change the world is incredible.

In a three year study conducted in low-income parts of South Africa, Oxford business professors, Linda Scott and Catherine Dolan, learned poor women who started working for Avon became significantly more financially independent and secure.  Worldwide the company sold more than $11 billion in cosmetics in 2011.  The money earned for selling products we take for granted, such as lipstick, eye shadow, nail polish, helped a woman facing poverty pay for food, water and shelter.

Avon is giving women the chance to be their own person while also selling a product which makes others feel beautiful.  The stories of poverty are traumatic, but the stories of women who rise above and become their own boss is exciting and uplifting.  According to the study, women living in South Africa made about 900 rand ($110) a month.  Those working for Avon, however, made up to 1,400 rand per month after working for the company a little over a year!

Clearly makeup is a powerful tool.  Makeup provides women confidence not just physically, but financially.  Other businesses are following Avon and helping women facing poverty feel more empowered and self-sufficient.   Let’s see where else makeup can take us!

For more information on the power of makeup check out: