Good morning friends! You have no idea how much your kind messages and commiserations over Jordan starting preschool yesterday meant to me. Jordan started out having a great day, but when we walked into the school, she got scared and started crying. Which, of course, made me cry!
Luckily, she was allowed to bring a comfort item from home and her Lovey did make her feel better. We waited in line with her through assembly, then walked her to her classroom where she got to hang up her new backpack, put her new lunchbox in her special cubby, and go sit at the little table.
There were legos in the middle of the table that she immediately started playing with and then she was all good. I said a cheerful goodbye and left, only to cry some more when I got home. It’s just a hard transition for me and I’m gonna miss her terribly while she’s at school and I’m used to having her home.
I am definitely so proud of both her and James and when I picked them up from school, they couldn’t wait to tell me all about what a great day they had!
BEAUTY Q & A
Today, we’re talking beauty! I asked y’all on Instagram to send me any beauty-related questions and y’all had tons! I loved reading your questions and they are similar to the things I would want to know! Y’all submitted so many thoughtful questions that I decided to split it into multiple posts so it wouldn’t be too long.
I’ll start today with the most frequently asked questions and follow up with Part 2 next month.
TAKE CARE OF YOU
Before we dive into the questions, let’s start with the philosophy that helps guide my life: take care of you! It was my beloved Grandma Nola that instilled that sentiment into my life from a very young age. It’s helped me in my adult and child-raising years to realize that self care isn’t necessarily selfish, or if it is, that’s okay!
We do have to take care of ourselves to stay healthy and feel good about ourselves. Isn’t that what we would want for our own children?
Now onto the Q&A!
Have you ever had any botox? Your face is beautiful and wrinkle free!
Is there anything that actually fades dark spots on the face?
Dark spots and hyper-pigmentation is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. I grew up as a teen in the 90s and used to tan in tanning beds and lay out in the sun with baby oil slathered all over my skin! Not the best thing for skin that is prone to hyper-pigmentation and now that we all are aware of the risks of skin cancer.
I’ve had laser treatment on my face (IPL- Intense Pulse Light) to help remove the dark spots that were all over my face. The laser emits a light that is absorbed by the dark skin cells, the dead skin cells move to the top of your skin, then flake off within a few days.
The treatment is admittedly pretty uncomfortable, each time the laser pulses it feels like a tiny sting to your face. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes and they used a cooling gel on my face before the treatment started.
As far as products I use to keep my sun damage at bay, I use the Vitamin C Treatment Complex in the morning and the Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum in the evening. I apply the Radiance Serum with my fingertips and it sometimes feels tingly on my skin. It’s amazing though with a gentle yet highly effective alpha hydroxy acid.
I found that the combination of these two products have made a huge difference in the quality of my skin. They promote cellular turnover, which addresses photo-aging, fine lines, acne, dark spots and overall skin texture.
This mask removes all the trapped dirt and debris that can build up over time. You might look funny while it’s on (like you’re wearing mud on your face!), but it’s a good way to get a laugh out of the kids. Its activated charcoal and French Kaolin clay detox your pores and leave behind a balanced complexion. It has a blend of Vitamin C and Willowherb extract to brighten and soothe inflamed skin. It’s good stuff!
How to Use: Apply a layer to face and neck, avoiding eye area. Leave on for 10 minutes, allowing mask to dry. Rinse with tepid water then gently pat dry. Use 2-3 times a week or as a spot treatment as needed.
LASHES & BROWS
Fake eyelashes . . . yay or nay?
Oh man, I WISH I could give the lash extensions a yay, but for me they were unfortunately a nay. I absolutely love waking up and looking somewhat alive when you’re lashes are long and lush and dark black! And all of that without having to apply mascara! The downside for me is not only the expense, but the time commitment with getting refills. I bit the bullet and decided that I could commit to the money and the time, but recently my eye got red and irritated and I had to go to my eye doctor and needed drops to clear up the irritation.
I ended up pulling all of my lashes off at home. To do this, I steamed my face for a good 10 minutes. I heated up the water in a pot on the stove until it boiled, then let it simmer down. I put a towel over my head and let the steam loosen the eyelash glue. Then, I gently rubbed a tiny amount of coconut oil onto my lashes, really massaging it in until the lashes started to slide off. Most of them slid off very easily, but about 15% I had to really tug (which isn’t ideal, but I wanted them off since my eyes were so red and irritated). Not to mention – my pores really opened up and I felt very refreshed after the steam!
You can kind of tell how red they are in the photo below.
Lash serum? What’s a brand you’ve had success with?
This was a question I got multiple times! I’ve used NueLash in the past and saw a huge difference in the length of my lashes over time. Now, I’m trying Lash Boost by Rodan + Fields and bought it from my friend Jamie. Lash Boost has already grown my lashes too!
With both of these serums, you apply them at night onto your upper eyelid, along the lash line. The liquid is clear and odorless and doesn’t feel like anything other than wet when you apply it.
I’m also taking a biotin supplement daily as it’s known to support hair and nail growth.
Are you still happy with your hair shorter?
That’s a great question! At the end of April, I chopped my hair to above my shoulders. I instantly loved it (along with the brighter blonde). Everything about having shorter hair feels easier, with the exception of not being able to wear it in a top knot on my head.
I feel like shorter hair fits my face, petite frame, and lifestyle. I have since grown it out a little – my hair grows really fast especially with the biotin, but I don’t think I’ll let it get much longer than collarbone length for awhile. I am trying to let my bangs grow out though.
How often do you get your hair done?
Now that I go to Chris at M Salon in Houston, I get my hair colored about every 4-5 months. I try to extend it to 5 months because it’s so expensive. He’s been doing a ‘melting’ or biolage technique that leaves less of a solid line of demarcation between new hair growth and highlighted hair.
What products do you use in your hair?
Right now, I have several shampoos in my shower. I like Kenra for everyday, Tea Tree Peppermint when I want to feel extra alive and awake, Aveda, and a purple shampoo to help with brassy tones.
I wash my hair about every 3-4 days. This is so I don’t strip out the natural hair oils, but also because I’m trying to save time by not washing, drying and styling again. I’ve been using the Quench & Shine Restorative Mask every time I shampoo because I love how it makes my hair look and feel.
I use a regular conditioner all over my hair and use a small (half a tablespoon) amount of the Mask just on the bottom half of my hair. Then, I put my hair in a clip on top of my head and let the conditioner and Mask work their magic while I wash my body and shave.
I got the above products in a set and love to apply the Smooth & Shine Hair Serum to my hair when I’m wearing it straight. You can apply it to damp hair, and I sometimes do that, but lately I’ve been doing it this way:
I wash and condition my hair, let it air dry about 75%, then blow it dry straight using a round brush. When it’s all dry, I pump a couple of drops of the hair serum into my hand, then rub it through the ends of my hair. It smoothes all the frizz and leaves your hair looking silky and shiny!
I’ll share my styling tools and products in my next Q&A!
Day 3 hair?? How do you keep it fresh?
On day 2-3 or even 4, I usually apply dry shampoo to the roots if it looks greasy. I like Batiste for a relatively inexpensive dry shampoo. I apply it to my roots, let it sit for a few minutes, then rub it in really well with my fingers. Batiste smells good, is lightweight and always leaves my hair looking fresher without any residue.
You can get it in the original formula or specifically for your hair color.
Another trick I’ve learned is that healthy hair really starts at the scalp. When I shampoo my hair, I use that little scrub brush to really massage my scalp to help loosen any dead skin cells, promote good blood flow to the scalp, and increase circulation. I not only feel like my hair feels cleaner, the scalp massage feels so good!
Do you put your hair up when you sleep or leave it down?
I often put my hair up in a clip or loose scrunchie at the end of the day to keep it out of my face, but I usually prefer to leave it down when I sleep.
What lipstick color are you wearing in your Story?
When in doubt, this lips color combo below by Charlotte Tilbury is my current favorite. The color is a pretty fresh pink that’s perfect for everyday!
Dip nails or gel/shellac? What’s your favorite brand of polish?
I absolutely have a ‘thing’ about getting my nails done. It’s a weird quirk where I just don’t like having bare nails or toenails. Even if I’m not wearing polish on my nails, I like to have a clear coat on them.
That having been said, I’m pretty religious about getting shellac on my nails. I love that the polish lasts me easily two weeks and still looks (almost) as good as when I first got them done! I tend to keep my nails on the short side, square shape with rounded corners. These nails don’t interfere with my typing away on my computer or during a workout.
I tried ‘dip’ nails once at my salon and wasn’t a fan. They were too thick and unnatural looking, but I’ve seen other girls with dip nails that looked great. I think it depends on where you go and how experienced your nail technician is with the dip application.
I typically wear OPI polish.
Do you have any tips for going back to normal nails after doing gel for a long stretch?
I’m the worst person to ask about this because I always end up peeling my shellac off after a couple of weeks, which isn’t good for your nails. But, after I peel off the shellac, I file my nails and let them breath naturally without any polish on them for as long as I can stand it before going for another manicure (usually a day or 2).
If you want to go back to normal nails, I’d recommend using a nail/cuticle oil on them twice a day and also taking biotin to help grow and strengthen your natural nails.
I hope this post was helpful for you! I’ll start working on Part 2 soon, so if you have any questions you want me to answer, leave me a comment below!
*affiliate links used in collaboration with Colleen Rothschild