Category Archives: Beauty

Fringe Worthy

There comes a time in many a woman’s life where she contemplates getting bangs. I have found myself, once again, at this particular crossroads. To bang, or not to bang, that is the question…

Long story short: I banged. I banged harder than a Ricky Martin song. This is my life now. I have bangs.

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A couple years ago, I used some scissors from my BFF’s craft room and cut my own bangs, which my cousin fixed the next day. I liked my straight across,  blunt, Zooey Deschanel bangs, but opted for Sienna Miller curtain bangs this time around. Some more bangin’ inspiration:

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On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting in the chair at my salon and right as my stylist was lifting his shears, I panicked and awkwardly seconded guessed all of the choices I’d made in my life that lead me to think that bangs were a good idea. He then gave me a look that said “get your shit together/ hair grows, dummy/there are more important things happening in the world to think and worry about other than your hair”.

Did I regret my decision to get bangs? Oh, immediately. But I have since gone through the five stages of grief that I always go through when I cut my hair:

  1. denial “oh no I DID NOT just get bangs”
  2. anger “EFF THESE BANGS! I HATE THEM!”
  3. bargaining “okay okay I’ll pay you double if you can glue that hair on the floor back onto my head”
  4. depression “WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, GOD, WHY?!” *hysterical crying*
  5. acceptance “I’m going to save a fortune on makeup for my giant forehead”
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me, pulling off curtain bangs circa 1994
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Blunt bangs circa 2012
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No Drama Tee/Ban.do (similar), Jeans/Madewell, Sunglasses/Amazon

Now, if you all will excuse me… I have to go get to know this weirdo version of myself I keep seeing in the mirror.

It’s Only Natural

 

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photo via

There are two ways of getting into a pool: the first way, you use your big toe to check the temperature and if that feels good, you slowly lower your body in as it gets used to the water. And the second way is… AHHHH! YOU JUMP!

I like to think of this scene from Superstar as metaphor when it comes to taking the plunge into living a more “granola” lifestyle. Though, unlike Mary Catherine Ghallager, we prefer the former method and are going ever so slowly into all-natural, organic living…

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Now that we are officially closer to 30 than to 20, we’re getting to be more aware of the products and foods we are putting onto and into our bodies. Did 21 year old Sarah care about how the synthetic fragrances and aluminum in her deodorant could potentially cause breast cancer and/or kidney problems? No! I just wanted to smell nice! Did I give a crap about all the plastic I was wasting by buying the tampons with plastic applicators?! Nope. I cleaned everything with bleach and other harsh chemicals and I never really cared about the effect it had on myself or the world around me. Had Joel, at age 23, ever even heard of Whole Foods or knowingly been within 100 yards of a Farmer’s Market? Probably not, too busy eating chicken wings or whatever… Ha! Just kidding, Joel’s parents are actually two of our healthy living gurus who raised their kids on lentils. Luckily, somewhere along the line, our eyes and minds started to open (thanks a lot to all of our gurus). That old saying about how “our bodies are our temples” always struck a chord with me; and since I plan to live a long and prosperous life, I need to start treating it as such…. Plus, we all need to start caring a little more about this world we have to leave to the generations to come.

The thing is, buying organic versions of all of your beauty/bath products (shampoo, soap, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, etc), cleaning products, plus all of your food can be ungodly expensive and ridiculously overwhelming. “Whole Foods? More like ‘Whole Paycheck’ am I right?” Hence the whole “taking it slowly” thing I mentioned earlier. We are implementing holistic teachings as well as plant based meal options bit by bit. I mean, I spent the last 2 years trying to find a good replacement for my old deodorant and I just now found one that actually works. Slow and steady wins the race, doesn’t it?

Going all natural is really not as hard or as expensive as I had originally thought it’d be… I didn’t know until recently that tofu could taste so good or that I could clean the bathtub with just baking soda and white vinegar! I’m glad that that being a little more “crunchy” is the cool thing to be these days. This is a band wagon that people should want to be on and I can’t wait to talk more about it!

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SPA Day

Ahhhhh a day at the Spa! What more could one ask for after an exhausting day of traveling? When going to Reykjavik from Paris last month, we made sure to hop on a shuttle bus outside of the Keflavik airport and head straight for The Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s very own geothermal spa. A tourist trap for sure, but soooo worth it.

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I’ve never been to a spa before. Sure, I’ve had spa-like treatments such as manicures, pedicures, massages, and even a deep cleansing facial when I was in The Netherlands; but I’ve never had the luxury of dedicating an entire day to The Spa.

And as for my husband, well, his only knowledge of spas is as follows:

*”What is this word ‘spa’? I feel like you’re starting to say a word, but you’re not finishing it. Are you trying to say ‘SPAghetti’? ARE YOU TAKING ME FOR A SPAGHETTI DAY?!”

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Chances are, if you’ve looked into visiting Iceland at all, The Blue Lagoon is on your radar. Perhaps you’ve seen photos of the milky blue/green water on Instagram or Pinterest (if not, you can read more about one of the 25 Wonders of the World here and gawk at some photos here). Knowing that we were only going to be able to do one excursion with our limited time in Iceland, we chose the Blue Lagoon over the Golden Circle, the Northern Lights, Game of Thrones Film Locations, Silfra Fissure, and whale watching solely because of its convenience to get to from the airport en route to Reykjavik. Plus, we’re saving all of those awesome things for next time.

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Daisy Sunglasses/Oui Fresh, Waterproof Phone Lanyards/Amazon

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When I booked our entrance tickets (WHICH YOU HAVE TO DO IN ADVANCE!), I was sent an email that reiterated everything I’d found out about the Blue Lagoon on my own along with some added answers to questions I didn’t even have. Now that I’ve “been there done that,” I thought I’d write down some of these tips as well as a few I learned along the way. Hopefully these will be helpful to anyone wanting to visit the Blue Lagoon in the future.

BLUE LAGOON TIPS

  • the Silica/salt water combo is great for your skin, but terrible for your hair. It is recommended that you put conditioner in your hair before entering the water. I did that. I thought that because I doused my hair with the complimentary conditioner, it’d be fine if I got my hair wet in the lagoon because the conditioner would protect it. No. I ended up reapplying conditioner to my hair a couple of times, but because I dunked my whole head initially, my hair was still pretty gross for almost a week after. What you should do is apply conditioner then put your hair in a top knot and don’t get it wet at all.
  • if you wear glasses, don’t get them wet either because the water in the lagoon can ruin your lenses.
  • when I heard that it’s a rule that you have to take a communal shower before entering the lagoon, my prude self got a little nervous. It turns out, though, you don’t have to be naked in front of anyone if you don’t want to be. The locker rooms don’t have open showers, each one is in a stall so as long as you have a towel, you can keep it as private as you want to. Or not. You will still see a lot of naked people regardless.
  • DRINK WATER. No, really, do it. Grab a plastic cup from the swim up bar and regularly fill it from one of the water fountains around the lagoon. If you’re in a giant hot tub for 3+ hours and you’re not drinking water, you will get dehydrated. Joel and I didn’t realize until it was too late that we should have been drinking much more water.
  • you can buy a waterproof lanyard for your phone at the swim up bar for $30, or buy two on Amazon beforehand for $11. We also saw some people holding their iPhones in their hands with no case whatsoever while in the water. Make the right choice, dummy.
  • go to the Blue Lagoon from the airport, but not on your way to the airport. Maybe the thought of relaxing at the spa sounds like a great way to spend the hours preceding a long flight, but it might also make you rush through the experience. Plus, it took me like 20 minutes just to get my leggings back on after I got out of the water. On travel day, ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • book it all in advance- admission and transportation. It’ll make your life so much easier.
  • of the four different options, the “comfort package” is the best deal (you get a towel, your first drink free, and an algae mask- don’t need much else!)
  • wear sunscreen.
  • make friends! We met some really cool people from all over the world while swimming around the lagoon.

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Definitely don’t skip the Blue Lagoon just because it’s touristy. There’s something pleasant about being in a giant hot tub filled with strangers….

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*No spaghetti served or allowed inside of the Blue Lagoon.

Hair Extensions (For Dummies!)

Joel and I have this one friend, Ben, who is an actual real life genius. He is a neuroscientist with an IQ of, like, 160 (probably). THE ONLY time I have ever seen Ben stumped or in disbelief was when we were all hanging out around the time of our wedding last year and he saw me casually pull out my hair extensions… The “waaaait, whaaaat?!” look on his face led my to believe that if I could fool someone so unfoolable, I must be an expert… yes, an expert at clipping in hair extensions, but an expert nonetheless.

I’ve been wearing hair extensions for a longgggg time because my stupid hair won’t grow all the way down to my butt no matter how hard I will it to do so. Also, I keep cutting it on top of forgetting to take my biotin so there’s that.

Back in high school, I used to buy the hair and sew in the clips myself, but these days, ain’t nobody got time for that. My friend suggested eBay for buying extensions, which is what I did this last spring. I would definitely recommend buying these if you want to give hair extensions a try. They’re inexpensive and good quality and if you need to tweak the color to match your own hair, it’s easily accomplished (my cousin applied a toner to mine and now they blend perfectly).

Here is my tried and true method to hair extensions:

HOW TO

  1. Begin by sectioning off the very bottom two inches of you hair. Clip the rest on top of your head.
  2. Using a teasing brush, back comb your roots (I read in a magazine once that this helps the clips stay in place)
  3. Clip in a two or three clip piece of hair and curl in sections (I like to use my trusty old curling iron, since my curling rod is MIA, to curl the top of the strands first then pull the curling iron down to the bottom instead of trying to wrap all the hair around at once.)
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Sectioning, teasing, then curling. When your head feels like it’s 15 lbs heavier, you’re probably good to go.
  5. Lightly brush through all of the curls before adding hairspray and/or texturizing spray.

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Other Uses For Hair Extensions

  • Add extensions to a top knot to make it look like an avant-garde birds nest.
  • Misplaced your Groucho Marx disguise glasses? Use hair extensions to make yourself look like a sexy unibomber and go spy on your neighbors.
  • Need material to make a rope because you’re camping or on a boat or something? Braid your hair extensions and use those.

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Additional Tips

  • Brush your hair extensions both before and after every use.
  • Wash your hair extensions semi-regularly (obviously not as much as you wash your own hair, but don’t never wash them).
  • Definitely unclip and pull out your hair extensions in a public place to see peoples’ reactions.
  • If you’re wearing hair extensions when you go visit your sister and she asks in that patronizing way of hers if  “that’s all your real hair?” say “yes”. I mean, it is your hair, you paid for it.
  • Name your hair extensions. I call mine Sylvia.
  • Stop calling them hair extensions and refer to them only as your “weave” or by the name you gave them in the last tip.

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As someone who will never be able to pull off sexy, short hair, I appreciate the hell out of hair extensions (I mean “my weave”! I MEAN “SYLVIA”!). I plan to keep these luxurious locks for an unbe-weave-ably long time.

Becky With The Great Hair

img_8263Because your hair shouldn’t be just good when it could be GREAT.

Being a hairstylist for almost 7 years, I am constantly asked what are the “best” styling products out there to use on a regular basis. I attended an amazing cosmetology school and learned from some of the best educators and took pride in the culture behind the company. It wasn’t until I got out of the salon and began working for myself that I started playing with other brands and products. I very quickly had a wide spread amount of products but they all came from different companies. I couldn’t commit to 1 line because there was always something that worked better from a different company. All of that craziness ended the day I found Monat, or I guess the day Monat found me.

So why do I keep talking about Monat?

One day, scrolling on Facebook, my friend Ali posted about how she just started a new business with a hair care line. Ali is a dental hygienist, not a hairstylist, without major experience in hair care, so naturally I didn’t give it a second thought and kept scrolling. But she continued to post results and give a little insight into how much money she was making. And not just any results, I witnessed

  • her hair transform from dull to vibrant,
  • her brother-in-law’s receding hair line grow back in, and
  • her daughters’ unruly, tangled hair smooth out to angelic, tangle-free locks.

I said, “Take my money.” Fast forward 3 months and I’m where she was at, doing what I said I would do and continually blowing myself away. My absolute favorite part about this decision is helping people bring their confidence back.  It’s like I can keep being a hair stylist without being behind the chair!

Charlotte loves the Junior Line! It’s specially formulated for kids 10 and under and smells like apples!

A little backstory

Before becoming a part of the company, I was constantly battling myself about wanting to stop working and focus more energy and time into my family. About a year ago, my father was diagnosed with a very rare form of stage 3 prostate cancer, one that only affects 2% of prostate cancer patients. It has been a crazy rollercoaster of a year with highs and lows but it has opened my eyes to how precious and short life is. Do I want to be able to help support my family so we can live the life of our dreams? Of course. But I don’t want to spend many hours of each day on my feet with increased pain in my hands, feet, and lower back (hairstylists, you know what I mean). Thankfully, my husband has been extremely supportive of my decision and insanely proud of my success so far. I am so thankful for all of his help- helping me set up spreadsheets and a contact list that I would have had a hard time doing myself. With each paycheck I make, we take half and put it towards our silly 20-somethings debt that’s been part of our family since we got married. Once we pay it off, I would love to start putting that income towards our children’s future and our dream vacations! Writing this out is bringing tears of joy! I can’t express enough how thankful I am for joining this company.

Enough about me, who is Monat?

Monat stands for Modern-Nature. Monat is an anti-aging, botanically based hair care company that DOES NOT LIE! It does what it says it’s going to do which is huge. It’s very hard to find a hair product that actually does what it’s supposed to do, and continues to do so while giving you the best crown of hair you’ve ever worn.

The main selling point is hair regrowth and reduction of hair loss. I’m constantly finding new baby hairs growing in and getting longer and stronger. Sarah even said her hairdresser asked if her hair was thicker, and that was only after a couple of weeks of use! Aside from hair growth, we pride ourselves in our “no’s”. In all of our products, you won’t find any phthalates, PEG, DEA/MEA, sulfates, parabens, harsh salt systems, harmful colors, or harmful fragrances. Um hello heaven! My color will forever be protected and my damage restored! I’ve hit the jackpot!

@kristinkamaile very talented make-up artist and photographer, started Monat a few weeks ago and has loved the results so far. Restored split ends, healthy scalp, and majorly reduced styling time.
My beautiful mermaid friend, @_erikaguerrero after her first wash with Monat!

 

What about me?

If all of this sounds intriguing, you can take this short quiz to help determine what products would be best for you! If you have more than one main concern, select your biggest concern first and then combat the next soon after.

If you’ve had major hair challenges or just looking for healthier, fuller hair, talk to me and I’ll get you the hook-up.
email: christinajoy16@hotmail.com
Instagram: DM me! @xtinatheunicorn

 

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My favorite 3 products: Rejuvenique Oil, Blow Out Cream, and The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo.

 

Post-use: If you use the product, I would LOVE to see your results! Document your results with progress pics and feel free to send them my way with your success story. We can be friends! 🙂
With love,
Christina ❤

Finding Neverland

This week we had professional family photos done for the first time ever! I told my photographer, Kristin from Bella de Beau Portraits that we were pretty laid back and that she should be creative and do something she normally wouldn’t. She had this magical idea of doing a woodland-neverland themed photoshoot and I almost died when she told me! I’m a huge fan of Peter Pan so my answer was an obvious yes!

For the first sitting, Kristin made her own teepee and had us gather tightly inside. Even posing for the photos felt magical. The kids even did a great job sitting and listening for these!belladebeau.ashtonfamilyportraits-31

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didn’t even have to bribe them!
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breathtaking
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Look at that handsome stud!
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I love you more every day.
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This whole photoshoot was done in Kristin’s neighborhood so for the next scene, we jumped in the car and just drove up the road to a cute wooded area for Charlotte’s fairy session.

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my little Tinkerbell
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“smell the beautiful flower, mommy!”
We finished up doing some cute shots on a bench area. We had to hardcore bribe the kids with gummy bears and ice cream by this time but they still did a great job!

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If you’re looking for a great photographer in the San Antonio area, contact Kristin Werthman at Bella de Beau Portraits and Makeup Artistry.
email: info@belladebeau.com
phone: (808) 298-9089
Instagram: @belladebeau
website: belladebeau.com

Hope you enjoyed my photo dump. The pictures were too pretty not to share! Now go into the woods and take some photos!
With love,
Christina & fam

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Look Good, Feel Good (Part 1)

Do you feel more confident when you make the time and effort to do your make-up, fix your hair, and dress up? I know I do, but getting there can be a major struggle. All I think about is how comfortable my yoga pants and oversized t-shirt is. And as long as I don’t run into anyone I know, I’m in the clear. Unfortunately, that never works out.

Anytime I decide to stay in my slums, I always without a doubt run into someone I wasn’t expecting. Not only that but anytime I don’t clean up, I don’t feel good. All I want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix or just sleep. I’ve realized it’s not healthy for me so I’ve decided to put more effort into my everyday routine.

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Go Dodgers, am I right?

Looking Good, Christina

After applying a hefty amount of dry shampoo and scraping out the rest of my “Full Coverage” foundation to cover up my hormonal breakouts, I’m finally looking and feeling better. When I feel more confident in myself, I have more energy to get out of the house and be productive. Even though it sounds like more work, it’s really not—once you’re done, you get things done.

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Dry Shampoo: Monat The Champ. Lips: Lipsense- 1 coat Purple Reign, 2 Coats Party Pink, Matte Gloss
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I’ve been obsessed with my pink frameless mirrored sunnies!

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So take on the challenge. Put in the extra effort, and look GOOD! Don’t do it for anyone other than yourself. You Go Girl!

xoxo,
Christina