Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reboot Your Body (+Glam Glow Dupe)

This weekend I've decided to do a reboot on my body. I've been going through some major stress at my job (such as being fired after not even a full month of work...I'd tell the whole story, but I'd rather not bring repercussions down on my head. Needless to say, I've been reassured that it was truly not my fault), and it's been wreaking havoc on my body. Stress really does take a huge toll on your health, both mentally and physically--your hair can fall out, you can gain weight, you can feel sick, women miss their monthly curse gift, some of us either eat more or eat even less, you get depressed, feel constantly fatigued...I could go on. Either way, stress has a bad effect on you, and I can see it taking effect on me. I've had to do full body reboots several times in the past and I always feel much better afterward, so I thought I'd share what I do with anyone who reads this. 

1) The first thing I do is flush out my body. I either do this by doing a two-week cleanse or I do a fast-flush method, which is what I opted for this time. You can flush out your digestive system and your intestines by drinking a full bottle of magnesium citrate (mixed with lots of water or juice). 

You can pick up a standard size bottle at any drugstore, Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, you name it. You can find it in a variety of flavors, but I find it's easiest to stomach in lemon. "But that doesn't sound safe," you might be thinking with alarm. "Those are mineral and chemical sounding words. Is that even healthy?" The answer is yes. How do I know this? I've had a lot of digestive problems and at one point was referred to a gastroenterologist who introduced me to this process. Drinking the full bottle in one day completely flushes through your system. I don't recommend leaving the house while doing this, because things will not end well, but if you tough it out for a day when you don't need to go anywhere or do anything, you'll be fine. 

Your innards will totally flush through and you'll feel much better when everything is finished, as all of the gunk that has built up in your system will be out of you. The short explanation is thus: If you eat meat of any form, you need to realize that our intestines are not built the same way that a true carnivore's are, and stuff gets clogged inside of you, no matter how much yogurt you eat. When you flush it out, you lose the weight it gave you, your stomach will be slimmer, and you'll have more energy. This is not something you should do every day or every weekend, but it is something to be done every few months. If you prefer a longer cleanse, I recommend this one or this one.

2) The next thing I do is do a full body workout. I typically don't have time during the week to do full workouts, but I try to get my exercise in daily. There are two workouts, however, that are so intense on me that I save them for when I'm "rebooting." Everyone has different workouts that they know will totally make over their body--you know what I'm talking about. The workouts that you finish and then you can't move for the next two days, but you see immediate results immediately after finishing. For me, it turned out to be two Crunch workouts:
Crunch Fat Burning Ab Attack

Crunch: Total Resculpt 

I'm not clear just what it is about these two workouts that has such an effect on my body, since I do the same exercises in other workouts far more often than I do these. But something about these two Crunch workouts is the equivalent of the American Revolution on me. If you want to try them on your own, you can get them on Amazon Instant Video or Netflix. Either way, doing highly intense workouts leaves you feeling stronger, more energetic, and you feel better about yourself. After all, exercise releases the same amount of dopamine that drugs do. 

3) Next, I reboot my skin. Let me state that I only do this with my face; I have serious skin issues with my face, thanks to not understanding the aging effects of the sun when you live on the equator and don't wear sunscreen. (I have had wrinkles and dark spots from the sun from age 19, in addition to rough/red skin from capillaries that run close to the surface of my face.) If you'd like to reboot the rest of your skin, may I suggest this amazing brown sugar scrub? Now that I'm single I really don't care if my body is touchable, since I don't have time to "meet" guys anyway, but back when I had a boyfriend, I used this and it was incredible. My skin was so soft that I couldn't believe it was actually part of me. 

But I digress! To reboot my face, I first exfoliate. I mix baking soda and my favorite cleanser in my hand to make a paste and then rub in circles gently over my skin (and extra-gently around my eyes.) 

This gently removes all of my dead skin, for my next step, which is blackhead removal. I use simple white glue for this. I used to use Biore pore strips, but then read that Elmer's glue does the same thing for far less money. 
I put a layer around the areas I have problems with my pores--just above my eyebrows, my nose, and my chin--and then add another layer on top of the first, before it dries, in order to keep it thick enough. I wait for it to try, and slowly peel it off. It pulls out my blackheads with the same level of effectiveness as the Biore strips ever did, if not even better. 

After this step, depending on how long it's been since I did a facial, I'll exfoliate once more, using my Olay ProX system. They aren't expensive and they're good when you need to get a fast deep clean.
Next, use a pore eraser. Here is where you should love me - I found a dupe for Glam Glow that is less than $10. I've used both Glam Glow and this one, and I can testify that this has the exact same effect, but that is actually affordable (find it at Target!). It's called Boot's Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask. This stuff sucks the dirt straight out of your blackheads and captures it in the clay. It's incredible! 
Next, I use my favorite face mask. I haven't found another one that comes close to this for a face-lift effect! Freeman's Clay Mask with Avocado and Oatmeal. 

This stuff is incredible. It lasts a very long time and is like an instant face lift. It stings like heck when you put it on, but that means it's working. You let it stay on your face until it is 100% dry and you can't move any part of your skin any longer. It completely closes your pores, dries out any problem spots on your skin that you might have had, and firms up your entire face, chin, and neck (if you put it there.) 

You finish off your facial skin reboot by rinsing off the mask, using your favorite toner to further close your pores, and then apply the moisturizer of your choice. If you're not going anywhere, I recommend something with Retinol. My favorite is Vitamin World's Retinol cream. It's affordable and almost 100% pure, which is way better than more expensive brands. Disclaimer: I used to work for Vitamin World, and that's how I found out about their Retinol cream. However, I used the cream on my own, as well as other brands' Retinol creams, and I have to say that in my personal opinion (uninfluenced by anything/anyone), I prefer this brand the best and find it most effective for my skin.

4) This step is optional, but let me tell ya, you'll feel great. Treat yourself to a detox bath. You can use a bath fizzy of your choice, or use 1-2 cups of Epsom salt, but dissolve them in the hottest water you can stand and soak as much of yourself as you can submerge (I know my tub is a wee bit too short for me, and I can't lay flat) for at least 20 minutes. Rinse yourself off and, if you did the Epsom salt route, don't use any body wash or moisturizer or anything on your skin. You just purged the chemicals and germs from your body and it would negate the effects of the bath to put them straight back on.

5) What better way to finish off a reboot than with a chocolate peanut butter smoothie? I am a Smoothie Queen. My family and my ex-boyfriend used to throw their hands in the air, standing at the blender, and yell, "KIM. HELP. FIX THIS. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I DID." 

Here's my recipe for my favorite healthy smoothie that tastes like chocolate peanut butter paradise. 
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 Tbsp of Nesquick chocolate powder (or equivalent; I just prefer Nesquick)
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter of your choice
  • 2 large Tbsp scoops of yogurt (I prefer fat free Greek vanilla for more protein)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
Now blend that sucker, adding milk if you find it is too thick, and enjoy your super tasty and filling chocolate peanut butter smoothie of incredibleness. 

Happy rebooting, everyone! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Subtle Contouring for Round Faces: Look Naturally Slimmer!

Having a round face is both a blessing and a curse! I know it means that I show wrinkles and aging less easily, but I still look at the chiseled cheekbones of Angelina Jolie and weep into my mirror. Thank God for contouring! Contouring round faces is a wee bit different than contouring for those who are naturally endowed with amazing facial structure. 

I've made a tutorial video for how to do "subtle" contouring underneath your foundation (and slimming your nose) so that it isn't so obvious that you've used makeup to alter your appearance. Examples of where this might come in handy are:

  • Job interviews
  • Dates
  • Impressing a crush at the gym when you shouldn't be wearing "obvious" makeup
  • Work days
Hope this helps and apologies in advance for my voice--I was quite sick recently and my voice still hasn't recovered!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

CoverGirl Aqua Smooth Compact Foundation Review

Even though this foundation has been out for a long time, I had never tried it and it doesn't really get talked about or much hype. On a friend's tip (shout-out to Anne!), I decided to give it a whirl (since Revlon Colorstay was SUCH a disappointment.) Um, spoiler alert--I LOVE THIS STUFF. It is SO much better than Revlon Colorstay and I can't get over how long it lasts. My shade is Creamy Natural.

Isn't that SUCH a flattering still for this video?? YEESH.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

DIY Body Wash

As I am completely broke (the title of my blog is no lie, folks!), I decided today to give a DIY Body Wash tutorial I found on Pinterest a try (you can see the original pin here.) This pin appealed to me primarily because of the low-cost nature of the project. For me, it cost $0. That's right, folks. No dinero. And no, I did not steal soap or anything of that nature. Some time ago, my mother gave me a few bars of Trader Joe's Oatmeal and Honey soap. Since it's super creamy and smells absolutely terrific, I decided that I would use it to attempt this DIY. (Note: I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I have to use my phone's camera, as I don't own one myself.)

So I got my soap.

 And my large pot, since I didn't know how much this would make, really. In retrospect, I could have used a smaller saucepan. However, my saucepan is very new, and this larger pot is very old, and I'd rather junk up my older pot than my newer one. Just saying.

Since I didn't feel like adding to my carpal tunnel issues with grating the bar of soap, I decided to carve it up with a bread knife. The added benefit to using a bread knife and sawing away at the soap was that it tended to flake on its own. I can't vouch for this working with any other brand of soap, but it worked for this one. I decided to use the whole bar, since I had saved a large, empty container that previously held Sunny-D to store this stuff in (I love me some Sunny-D.)

I then added my flaked/carved soap to my pot.

I went with more water versus less, as I read comments on the original pin that noted 2 cups made their DIY body wash way too thick. I always believe that the best defense is a good offense (I follow that policy with literally every aspect of my life. FTW!), so I did a preemptive strike and used 4 cups of water. (Note, if you're following along to try this on your own: I ended up adding another 2 cups later on. So, if you are using the same or similar soap, I recommend starting with 6 or even more. This stuff congeals like crazy pants). 

Next, you put the heat on medium and cook that stuff until all of the soap dissolves. Not all of mine did. It started looking like this: 

Gah! I had to repeatedly scrape and stir this mixture, alternating from medium to low heat. It never turned "milky," the way the post originally stated. However, I think this is because the original blogger used a fairly artificial soap and I used Trader Joe's straight-up organic stuff. When I turned off the stove, in exasperation (after the soap never fully dissolved), it started to thicken up the way the blogger said it would. Whoo! Then I realized that the blogger said it would take several hours and mine was taking only about 15 minutes. Woops. So I added 2 more cups of water and put the heat back on medium. I was determined to dissolve all of the soap this time. DISSOLVE, CURSE YOU.

Finally started looking milky-ish! 

Well, it didn't turn out too horribly, although it is thick as pea soup and keeps getting thicker. The recipe didn't make a whole lot, either. I just add some hot water when I need to and shake the heck out of the container in order to get it to cooperate with me. 

My impressions upon using it works. I guess. It's incredibly congealed. Do yourself a favor if you try this and, after putting your soap into the pot you choose, FILL IT TO THE BRIM with water. But it does work rather well, though you need a LOT of it in order to cover your whole body. I have to admit that I prefer my trusty Suave body wash (cheap and best body wash I've tried yet) to this DIY beauty trick, but I'll use this until it's gone. Maybe this would work better with "normal" soap, instead of organic Trader Joe's. Perhaps I will try this again if I spot an Oil of Olay bar in Dollar Tree the next time I'm there.