Monday, July 30, 2012

Adventures In Beauty - Give Yourself a PITicure

For the past few weeks, the Montgomery, Texas temperatures have been upwards of 100 degrees. The other night at 6:15pm it was still 94 outside. When the temp goes up that much, and the humidity is more than 50%, you're gonna get some sweaty pits. For someone like me, it doesn't take long either. Usually in the 2 minutes it takes me to walk from my house to my car and strap my daughter in to her carseat I am sweating in a number of places and on my way to misery. It's so hot outside that it takes my car's a/c a good 15 minutes to cool off. It's friggin hot. I'm friggin hot. I'm hot, I'm sweaty, I feel nasty.

In my new kick of beauty Googling, I found a few armpit health tips. They're working overtime out here and could use some TLC. The first, and most interesting tip I found involved black tea. Here are the instructions I have followed the past two evenings. It's super easy but can feel a little funky.

As dictated by Cosmopolitan Magazine:
Brew a super strong batch of black tea, but instead of drinking it, pour it over a washcloth, let it cool, and then place the compress under each arm for five minutes. Do this every night for two weeks and the tannic acid in the tea will permanently reduce your sweat production. 

What I have been doing is making the tea in a cup, then dunking two washcloths into it, one at a time, until all the tea has been absorbed. Then I lay down in bed and place one folded in half wash cloth under each armpit and hold them in place by closing my arms. The first night was a disaster because the washclothes were touching my sheets, so my bed got all wet. So the following night I put a towel, folded into a rectangle, under myself to catch any tea leaks. My bed was perfectly safe. I also chose this time to put the cucumbers on my eyes. Killed two beauty birds with one stone.

(Now I don't have much shame when it comes to posting personal things on here, but one thing I wont do is post a picture of my armpits. You're welcome.)

In my armpit research, I found something that talked about all the dead skin cell build up that can happen in that area. That grossed me out. Big time. Apparently it can lead to dark skin in the area and also irritation and ingrown hairs, and a simple way to clean yourself good is to exfoliate! Whoda thunk of exfoliating their armpits? Maybe I'm just slow. There are several methods of underarm exfoliating that I found, but the simplest of all was Simple. A popular brand of UK skin care products, called Simple, has recently been made available in the US. I stumbled across a huge display at my local Walmart. I got the Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes. The good thing about Simple is that they use no perfumes or dyes and their products are marketed as being "kind to skin" and their brand the "sensitive skin experts". Not that I have sensitive skin, but I know that can be a big problem with many people. I figure these wipes are a win-win, seeing as how they are facial wipes, they can also be used to clean my face! I hope that it goes without saying that I recommend using one wipe for your face, and a separate wipe for your armpits. Come on now, people.

I got this bag at Walmart for about $4.99

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adventures In Beauty - Just Call Me "Honey Face"

Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Epsom Salt
Black Tea
(Cicero, Lipschitz...)

These simple every day household items have been my good friends this weekend. I have recently become addicted to using Pinterest and Google as aides in my newly launched quest for better skin care, cheaper luxury and a more radiant complexion.

The first goals I wanted delve into were at home/DIY facials. Since moving to Texas, my face has been a never ending host to unsightly zits along my chin line and near my ears. I have no idea why Texas is attacking my face in this manor, but I've had about all I can take. I've had one facial in my life. It was an "alrighty" experience. I know they have got to be better than just "alrighty", but I've never felt inclined to spend money again to find out. Especially since money is not something that I am made of. Finally using my brain for something other than boy crazed meandering thoughts, I took to the internet to see what other ladies had to say about how to fix not only acne, but a host of other beauty issues. Now if you look at my Pinterest you can basically see everything I am about to tell you. But what kind of "reporter" would I be if I didn't try these tutorials out on myself before recommending them to others. 

The first thing I tried was simple enough. Cucumbers on my eyes. This has now become a nightly ritual for me and my five year old daughter. I can't say I see "amazing" results, but I will say it does feel very good and relaxing and in my own small way, a tee bit luxurious. Cucumbers on the eyes are supposed to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Both of which I have. I must say, I do feel slightly less puffy and my eyes seem more open, if you will, when I am done.

Then I moved on to my first facial. The simplest one I found so far. So simple, in fact, that it only has two ingredients: uncoated aspirin and honey. Here are the steps that I followed this morning:

1. Put a few ( I did four) aspirin in a bowl.
2. Add a few drops of water. Just a few.
3. Let the aspirin dissolve in the water for about 30 seconds.
4. Crush the aspirin up
5. Add about two tablespoons of honey to the aspirin mush
6. Apply the honey aspirin mixture all over your face. Scrub it in as you're applying. The aspirin gently exfoliates and has salicylic acid, which is used in acne creams. The honey helps glide it on and acts as a moisturizer.

Here I am at 6am with a face full of honey

7. Let the mask soak in for about 10-15 minutes, until the honey gets hard. (those were the instructions. My honey never got hard (sounds like a personal problem) so I just washed it off after about 15 minutes)
8. Use a warm washcloth to remove the mask. (This seemed too messy to do by the sink, so I just got in the shower where I could make as big a mess as I like)

My review of this facial is: definitely worth it. My face definitely looked and felt great today. Next time though I will try it a little differently. My mixture seemed a bit too runny, so next time I will try maybe 5 aspirin and a teensy bit less honey. Something else I tried was rubbing the mixture on my lips as well. It felt really great, but it was very hard not to lick myself. My mouth did start to water a bit, and after I washed everything off I noticed that my lips were tingly for a while. But in a good way. ha ha

I have tried several more beauty regimes today (tough job, but somebody's got to do it!) and I will be bringing my reviews of those to you as well. But tonight, I am all tuckered out from a day of DIY beauty treatments and I am ready to hit the hay. Good night!

For those of you interested in similar goals and not following me on Pinterest, feel free to look me up on Pinterest at My beauty board is titled "(excuse my) Beauty".

Friday, July 6, 2012

Good Weekend

I've been hating life in general these past few months. Since I started working at a place that shall remain unnamed. Crappy hours, crappy pay, crappy working conditions, crappy days off. I get little to no sleep most days, and my "weekends" are usually spent just sleeping and awaking only to feel guilty and downtrodden over missing even a minute of play time with my daughter. I feel the same way during my week days. When I come home around 7:30 in the morning, my goal is to get right to sleep and wake up around 3pm so that I can be with my daughter from then until right after 9 when I leave for work again. But that is never the case. I come home and can't help but let my daughter persuade me into playing with her for a while, or allowing her to lay in bed with me for a while to watch some tv together. That will usually keep me awake, or somewhat half conscious until 10 or 11 am. When I notice the time, I get a feeling of panic and sadness. Now I know that I must get to sleep soon, and I also realize that I will need to remain asleep until it's almost time to go to work again. And I realize that the time I've spent half alive laying in bed next to my daughter while she watches a movie is nowhere near the quality time I had hoped to spend with her.

But this weekend has left me feeling a bit more satisfied than usual. When I got home on Wednesday morning, I went to sleep from about 10am to 1pm. We were going to have some family over for the 4th of July, so I didn't want to sleep too long. Also, most times I can very easily get away with just a few hours sleep. Even a heavy power nap can carry me through a long stretch of activity. And since I knew there would be no work for me that night, I didn't fret too much about it.

I spent the whole day with family. I have missed a handful of family functions and gatherings since I began this new stupid job. So I was very happy that this holiday fell on my midweek day off. I took my daughter and a few other family kids over to the pool and spent about two hours over there with the kids and my grown up cousins. We came back to the house, ate, popped firecrackers and had a jolly good time. I was happy to be able to sleep next to my daughter that night. Sometimes I'm not sure which one of us is the others' security blanket.

The next day was the same. I felt rested enough and I got to be with my daughter mostly all day, save for a trip to the store. Again that night, I slept deep and sound.

Today she woke me up at the crack of dawn, dying to redeem some of her rewards she earns from doing chores to go and get some new nail polish. So we got in the car and sang along to some of our favorite songs, spent two hours shopping for nail polish and looking at various other items in the store. We listened to Disney music on the drive home. She doesn't know it yet, but I'm planning a surprise trip to Walt Disney World for her two weeks before she starts kindergarten. (see blog)

When we got home, she wanted to play some video games in my room, so I layed next to her and relaxed while reading The Hunger Games. About fifteen minutes later when she was done with that, it was nearing time for me to get some sleep for my shift tonight. So I turned on Barbie: A Perfect Christmas for us to watch together. Somewhere in the middle, she sensed I was falling asleep so she slipped out of the room quietly. I never did fall asleep though, try as I might. But it was enough to just lay there quietly tonight, reflecting on my weekend. This is the first time in a long time I feel satisfied and a bit fulfilled. That is, until my mother burst into my room and yelled at me for not being asleep. Oh well. Relaxed feeling gone, I must now prepare for work. Shit.