Monday, February 24, 2014

Lea Seydoux at the 2014 BAFTA Awards

On a night of some unusual, unkempt, and downright boring hair, Lea Seydoux showed us that sleek hollywood waves are an appropriate choice for any red carpet occasion.

You can recreate this style yourself by prepping your hair with mousse, styling wax, hairspray, and any sleek or shining products, and using a wide barrel curling iron (1 1/2") or wand to curl sections. Don't forget that dramatic side part!

Image: Under the Loupe

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Curly Hair Inspiration: Lorde

I'm a curly girl, and I love curly hair. In a world of blowdryers and flatirons, I think there's nothing so beautiful as natural, messy, super curly hair. Musical sensation Lorde happens to posses locks as untamed as her music, and right now I'm loving both of them. 

Naturally curly girls can get this look by applying some mousse or styling foam to their wet hair and letting it air dry. A lot of scrunching, teasing, and roughing up throughout the day will continue to keep your hair big and wild.

If your hair is straight, try braiding it at night in lots of little braids and taking it out the next day for a full, wavy look. You can also touch it up with rollers or a curling wand.

Three cheers for big hair! Do you wear your curls with this much attitude?

Images: Pinterest

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My New Year: Eating

I know it's February, but it's not too late to to be turning over a new leaf, making lifestyle changes, and building habits that will make you healthier and happier in 2014. Today, I'm going to be sharing my eating plan for this new year, and will also touch on my fitness and exercise regime in an upcoming post.

I began my New Year's "diet" the day after Christmas. Since starting cosmetology school in September I had been careless about what I ate, and was often too busy or too stressed to make wise dietary choices. (And sometimes so tired or depressed that I just wanted to stuff my face with anything.) It was making me feel terrible physically and mentally, and after all the sugar and desserts I'd eaten leading up to the holidays, I finally decided it was enough. I binged on candy on Christmas day, woke up the next day with a sugar hangover, and made the change.

The "diet" I have developed over the past year is not so much a strict set of rules as a balanced, healthy-eating guide that is structured specifically for my body. Ever since I was little, lots of different foods have made me feel sick, and I have to watch carefully what I eat, and how much I eat of it.

This past summer (2013), my mum read The Plan, and together with her and some other family members, I gave their eating plan a shot.

The goal of The Plan is to discover what foods do and don't work for your body, to see how they affect your weight, and to achieve a healthy, balanced diet that is right for you. For example, not all "healthy" foods are healthy for everyone. Some foods can cause inflammation in certain individuals, resulting in higher numbers on the scale; other "healthy" foods can just make some people feel sick. For example, over years of eating and feeling ill, I've discovered that sweet potatoes, beans, and yogurt (all healthy eats) are "trigger" foods that make me sick to the pit of my stomach. Yikes.

And it's different for everyone. While on The Plan, I discovered that chips, crackers, and other bagged snacks made my weight go up significantly, and yet I could eat a bowl of ice cream and not see a difference on the scale. My sister, on the other hand, could eat crackers and chips without seeing as much of a difference. (We both went up whenever we had pizza. Life is tragic.) And then my mum reacted to things that didn't affect me or my sister. It's all about figuring out what works for you. (And just to clarify, according to The Plan, going up on the scale is often a sign of inflammation or improper digestion.)

Over the course of the 3 months that I closely followed The Plan last summer, I came up with eating guidelines that work well for me. So when starting up my New Year "diet," I just transitioned back to eating along those guidelines. I'll outline them here for you, just as an example. Obviously, what your body needs may be very different.

My main diet consists of fruit, vegetables, eggs, and meat. I avoid "trigger foods," and minimize (but don't eliminate completely - it's about a balance) things that affect my weight (aforementioned chips and crackers, junk food, sweets, or too many heavy grains).

My go-to breakfasts are eggs (with goat or cheddar cheese... it's a good "brain food" combo), healthy cereals or granolas with rice or almond milk, goat yogurt and honey (sometimes with fresh fruit), and shakes (frozen fruit, goat yogurt, rice milk, honey, and protein powders or other supplements added in).

I bring lunch to school, so it's usually a salad (piled with all my favorite things: goat cheese, avocado, and dried cranberries), a whole wheat wrap (chicken salad, avocado, tomato, lettuce, goat cheese, yum), or something else simple and healthy.

I try to mainly eat fruit for snacks... an apple or a banana is my favorite (with some honey if I have a sweet tooth). This can be challenging. It's so easy to reach for a box of graham crackers when I'm in a rush!

For supper I usually try and eat whatever my family is eating, unless it's something that I know will adversely affect me. Often we'll have salad, soup, or an organic pasta, and I'm usually fine with eating any of the above, in moderation. Once again, it's all about the balance, and making healthy choices without depriving myself.

We don't have dessert very frequently, and when we do I try to exercise restraint. If there is more than one option, I try to choose the healthier one, or consider what I am taking, instead of mindlessly heaping my dessert plate, while thinking "sugar!" Of course, there's been a lot of discussion over recent years about the health benefits of chocolate. Yay for me.

I've outlined the basics of my plan above not to brag about how well I eat (trust me, every day is a challenge, and I often slip up), but to hopefully provide some ideas or get you thinking about how you fuel your own body. Like I've said multiple times, you need to figure out what works for you, and take the time to turn it into a lifestyle, not just a sporadic diet. It's all about taking baby steps towards a long-term health plan. Anyone can do it.

Although I have not read it in its entirety (my mum is the research queen, and gave me most of the details I needed to know), I heartily recommend the principles laid out in The Plan, as well as the many delicious recipes it includes. While still challenging, I think the book outlines a simpler, easier way than most to get your eating on track and turn it into a daily pattern.

Please, share with me your own eating plan! What diets have you tried, how have they affected you, and what works? I want to hear your struggles and triumphs. It's a journey, and there is so much to learn!

Just a quick clarification... my eating plan is not about losing weight or starving myself. (I'm naturally slim, and for years I've received comments and snark whenever I start talking about watching what I eat.) It's about feeling good and being healthy, so that I have more energy, higher productivity, and a better attitude about myself and my life. :)

P.S. Here's a link to my "Healthy Foodies" board, where I've pinned lots of amazing recipes. I haven't tried them all myself, but they look so good, and hopefully will give you some ideas!

Image 1 - Pinterest, Image 2 - Pinterest

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Best Hair at the 2014 Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards

There was one name at the 2014 Critics Choice Awards when it came to the perfect package: Jessica Chastain. She had all the pieces to the puzzle... a beautiful and unique hairstyle, fresh and complementary makeup, and of course a killer gown to top it all off.

Jessica's simple, yet elegant hairstyle was created with a few tight french braids, twisted and pinned behind her left ear. I loved how the earrings complemented the sweetness of the design.

At the 2014 Screen Actor's guild awards there were multiple standouts, with the crown going to another redhead, Amy Adams. She sported a structured, retro gown and enhanced it with beautifully waved hair, pinned at the nape in a roll. Vintage glamour at its finest.

Really, what more can be said about Jennifer Lawrence? She rocked her famous pixie cut, and looked unfussy and mature with it swept off to the side. Sometimes simple looks can make the most impact.

While Natalie Dormer's edgy style is not for everyone, I thought she totally pulled it off. Half of her head was shaved for her upcoming Hunger Games role, and she used the new look to make a statement on the red carpet.

Hannah Simone's twisted, lifted, and still-soft updo added the perfect touch to her look. It's an easy and sophisticated style that would be perfect for weddings, formal events, or just summertime parties. Gotta love her bangs, too.

I'll be posting more hair inspirations once the Oscars roll around... stay tuned!

Images: HJi, Our Vanity, Style Bistro, Pure People, Celeb Mafia, Cosmopolitan

Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Trinity" Dry Shampoo by SURFACE

Dry shampoo.

Never heard of it? Your world is about to be changed.

I first started hearing about dry shampoos 4 or 5 years ago, mostly from interviews with celebrities (thank you Gwyneth Paltrow), and random acquaintances who knew a thing or two about hair. Curious, I did some research.

A "dry" shampoo is just that. Dry. It allows you to get more life out of your hair without washing it, and to stretch out a hairstyle, blowout, or color. It comes in a can like hairspray (which is probably what you thought it was), and you simply spray it into your roots... or any part of the hair that looks dirty, oily, or needs some volume.

I've tried for years to stretch out the days between washing my hair, especially since it's better for the hair and the scalp, but it can be tough. And now that there's a bunch of vibrant red in my hair, washing it less is even more important.

Enter Trinity Dry Shampoo, a SURFACE product. I first picked it up at a hair show in September, after watching a fabulous demonstration by the company's founder, Wayne Grund. SURFACE products are an excellent, natural way to go, free from sulfates, gluten, parabens, animal protein, mineral oil, and phthalates. Good health is a huge party of beauty, and it's important for me to make product choices that are good for my body as well as the environment. SURFACE is also committed to that. (A bonus is that they donate a portion of their proceeds to sponsor children through World Vision.)

Cheap dry shampoos can often leave a powdery residue on your hair, so you have to be careful not to use too much. Not so with the Trinity shampoo. You can spray your roots until the cows come home, and all you'll end up with is more body and texture. I absolutely love it. (And I'm not being paid to say that.) The only con was that it didn't last me longer. Dry shampoos can go quick.

Feel free to visit the SURFACE website to learn more about their products, or purchase Trinity through my Amazon store. If you're in my area and are interested in getting SURFACE or other professional products at a discount, please contact me.

Here's to day 4 hair! ;)


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