All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS

Chronic Illness Strikes Again

Hello Beauties,

I am now a week into dealing with strep and what I know now to be reactivated mono (Epstein Barr Virus…EBV) and CMV. I just found out yesterday, or rather got confirmation of what I strongly suspected due to my lab results, that I got sick with both of those viruses at some point in the past. And now, because of how compromised my immune system is due to stress and everything else going on with my health, both of those viruses have been reactivated.

I feel the most worn down and sick today than I did a week ago when I was hit with major sinus congestion. 6 days of antibiotics helped get rid of the strep in my throat, but my primary care believes that it has now migrated to my sinuses. yay. more antibiotics. I am doing a nasal antibiotic ointment, but I think it’s still messing with my stomach/gut. I feel a bit defeated with my health too since it’s going to take at least another 3-4 weeks of trying to rest (ha, ha, I have two kids 4 and under), and trying to bolster my immune system before we can retest my thyroid and hormone levels. AAANNND, the chances of me having chronic EBV are actually quite high.

I don’t really have the energy to do a long post today, merely because I think now that the strep is pretty much out of my system, I am feeling the effects of the mono and cmv. It makes me feel like a walking contaminate, even though I know I’m not contagious. Then, because of where I am in my ridiculously annoying consistent cycles, my endometriosis is flaring up and it feels like my body is trying to pretend I have another ovarian cyst. That ovary is gone, body! Add that endo flare up pain on top of my stomach already being ripped up from the antibiotics and let’s just say food and I are not meshing right now. Now that I can finally mostly breathe again, my taste buds are slowly waking back up, but geez, things taste so weird right now too.

So with antibiotics destroying any progress I had made with healing my gut, endo flaring up, food not sitting well with me, my poor abdomen/belly area is all swollen and sore and heaven forbid any sort of pressure from clothes be put on it. Thus a follow up from my last Curvy post; bralettes and swing/t-shirt dresses are my go-to’s right now because no tight bra straps around my ribs (yay endo pain!) and nothing touching or putting pressure on my abdomen (yay antibiotics damage and endo!).

I think I am going to take a break from posting over the weekend, but who know’s, maybe the muse will strike.

All Things Beauty · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Switching to Natural: Skincare by Rose & Abbot! Update

Hello Beauties!

I thought I’d take a break from my Curvy posts and do an update on the skincare I got from Rose & Abbot. First, here’s a little background on Rose & Abbot before I dive in to my review.

Rose & Abbot is a company that allows you to purchase customized moisturizer. As far as I can tell, it is only a facial moisturizer; facial and neck and decolletage. I really like that you can customize different skin issues you want addressed. Think beyond dry, oily, or combination skin. Things like big pores, rough texture, breakouts, redness. The only thing I didn’t like is that you can only pick two skin care concerns. Granted, the rest of the ingredients in the moisturizer have dual purposes. All in all, I don’t regret ordering a bottle of this moisturizer.

Alright, let’s start with how it arrived. I ordered my customized moisturizer on the evening of May 9th, it shipped on May 11th, and it arrived on May 14th. Honestly, I was impressed that it arrived so quickly!

My moisturizer arrived in a little purple box, and included the bottle of moisturizer, a little pamphlet with a full ingredient list on it and “instructions” on how to start your own skin care ritual. My initial impression was wow, that’s a really small bottle.

Rose & Abbot actually suggests using the moisturizer day and night. I originally started doing that, but suddenly felt like I had used more than half the bottle in only two days! The bottle is supposed to last 30 days if you’re using it for both day and night cream. Which I mean, only one product for day and night? Yes please! But, I was worried of using up the entire bottle in less than 30 days if I used it day and night. This is what I mean…

See? The bottle seems to be almost empty. That’s how it looked less than a week of getting the bottle in the mail and starting to use it. It is now what, three weeks after I got it? It’s still going strong and I use about four tiny pumps every morning. Rose & Abbot does recommend using up the moisturizer in 30 days as there are very few preservatives in the moisturizer and it can go bad. Which yay! You don’t want to use a product with a ton of preservatives in, but also ugh, I like longevity products. Products that last me longer than a month and I don’t have to reorder every month. I will say that this moisturizer is really concentrated, so I do not need much to cover my entire face and neck. I really enjoy the slight rose scent it has as well. That’s another big plus to using this company; you get to pick your own scent and how strong or light you want that scent! Or! Even better, you can pick no scent for those who are extremely sensitive to scents.

Alright so I would give this moisturizer a 4.5 out of 5.

Pros:

  • it doesn’t make my face feel oily
  • I swear it’s made my skin less red/inflamed
  • hasn’t aggravated any breakouts I have
  • Customized for your personal health concerns
  • Pick your own scent OR no scent

Cons:

  • a little bit pricey – I used a coupon code and got the one bottle for $23 shipped. Usually $29 regular, or $26 with subscription (which you can cancel at any time)
  • Only lasts 30 days
  • Can only pick *2* skin care concerns

I am going to message the company and see if I can get a coupon code for anyone who’d like one. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for a link!

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Jumpsuits, A-line, and Pencils

Hello Beauties!

Well, I think I have discovered something to keep me consistently blogging! Fashion! I adore fashion, it is something that makes me feel alive, and I love talking about it and sharing the things that have made dressing my body shape easier.

Alright, so before I jump in to some of the things I’ve recently came to a significant conclusion on, I want to share my review on the jumpsuit I just got! I purchased it off of a website called Zaful.com. I will say that the sizing is Asian sizing, so I would highly recommend paying attention to the measurements for each size.

 

 

I kept seeing this jumpsuit on my suggested pins on Pinterest. Every time I saw it pass by on my feed, I got this little starry-eyed feeling creep up in my chest. I LOVE the colors and style, but every time I went to click on the link I’d see that it was a jumpsuit. I have never owned a romper or jumpsuit, but decided to take the plunge with this one. As with several things I’ve gotten online before, this will require a few modifications, but for once I know exactly how I want to modify it and I just have to go get the extra material and things I need.

I am so thrilled with this outfit! The only thing I don’t like is that the back has this smocked elastic band at the top of the “pants.” That means it is easy to pull on, but there’s a lot of excess material there, and if it’s going to show off my butt, then it needs to be fitted! I’m planning on cutting off that elastic band, getting it fitted, putting in a zipper, and a wide black band at the top instead of the elastic. Being a seamstress, this is an “easy” project, and I know exactly what I want to do. I’m really excited because besides the extra material at the back, it fits really well and actually feels comfortable!

There is this weird stigma of sorts against women who are curvy and jumpsuits or rompers. Like for some reason, if a person has a wide butt and hips (hello, it me) and is short or wider than they are tall, then they shouldn’t wear rompers or jumpsuits. For some reason “no one wants to see your fat or cellulite.” Well, I say screw society’s ideas! Show your curves! Show your dimples! Or heck, cover them up if that makes you more comfortable. But please? Do what really makes you happy and love your own skin? Please don’t cover up if you’re only doing that because that’s what the culture around you says is best.  If there is something you have always wanted to try but have never felt brave enough to do so, here’s my hand, hold it, and you go for it! Me ordering this jumpsuit is a perfect example of just going for something I adored and have always wanted to try. You’ll hear me big a HUGE advocate for wearing whatever you want to wear.

Okay, so this space is not the place for me to talk about my past, but one of the things that still sticks with me today is having spent many years wearing long skirts and dresses. To call them fashionable would be a massive overstatement. They were long denim skirts, very a-line, swishy, and very “modest.” When I was my thinnest (thanks to constant severely high levels of stress) I had a very thin waist, but could never hide or get rid of my hips and butt. Do you know how hard it is to dress a curvaceous butt and hide its shape?! Nearly impossible to do so. Because of those years of wearing loose and non-form fitting skirts and dresses, I still find it hard to wear dresses and skirts in the present day. I went through a period of only wearing pencil skirts and sheath dresses, but even though were still triggering. I put a lot of effort into what I wear because I know that if I am comfortable, I like the garment, and it feels good, then I will feel better. So if I feel like something reminds me of the days that were my own personal hell, then I can never touch that garment again.

However! I believe I have found a work-around. But first, can we talk about something? Inner Thigh Chafing?!

This may be one of the biggest reasons I haven’t worn dresses or skirts over the past 10 years (outside of the association with my past). I would try to wear a dress or skirt in the past and would end up with painfully red and inflamed inner thighs because of that darn chafing. And let me tell you, ingrown hairs in that area are totally a thing! And chafing only makes ingrown hair and blisters even worse. So obvious solution, never wear dresses and skirts, right? Well, kind of wrong. The past two years I’ve done some experimenting with shaving and waxing and hair removal creams. I have discovered that if I wax my inner thighs, then I don’t get ingrown hairs and the chafing is significantly decreased. I purposefully don’t wax until I have plenty of hair for the wax strips to grip. Too much personal information? Oh well, it is so difficult to find solutions for this problem. Trust me, I’ve spent hours trying to find anything that would help.

I personally prefer Veet Wax strips (commissioned link).


It’s quick, easy, a little painful (not really though…but then I do have a pretty high pain tolerance…), and when the hair grows back in, it’s softer, thinner, and not prickly at all. And for something like me who has a pretty significant sensory intolerance, not being prickly or feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin as hair grows back in is a big deal.

Alright now that that is out of the way, let’s move on!

Having done the whole shapeless, unfashionable dresses and skirts, and slim fitting, form fitting skirts and dresses, I think I’ve found a middle ground; swing dresses. At least for the summer, t-shirt dresses are the perfect companion to the hotter weather. I have actually been wearing my two dresses more and more frequently. With my tip of waxing my thighs instead of shaving (because yay dark hair) I have discovered that wearing a dress or skirt that is looser around my legs and hips means that a. I don’t sweat at much and b. I have a significantly less amount of chafing. Also, big plus! The swing style dress conveniently hides my uncomfortably swollen abdomen from the antibiotics and hormonal imbalance that I’m dealing with right now.

 

Here’s the thing, I ADORE curvy beings in pencil skirts or sheath dresses. I think those styles were made for those of us with curvy bodies. But, they just aren’t very conducive for summer wear! At least that’s what I’ve found so far. So for the summer, it’ll be swing and t-shirt dresses when I want to just throw something one. Here are a few swing and t-shirt dresses on Amazon that are rated really well and decently priced!

BELAROI Womens Comfy Swing Tunic Short Sleeve Solid T-shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture)

levaca Women’s Scoop Neck Pockets High Low Pleated Loose Swing Casual Midi Dress – commissioned link click on picture – this one has pockets!!!

Viishow Women’s Swing Dress Casual Loose T-Shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture


Well, I’m going to wrap up this post and give myself a congratulatory pat on the back for having written it through an episode of antibiotics induced nausea. Gosh, I really hate that stuff.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Starting out with Undertones

Hello Beauties!

Thank you so much for the response I got on yesterday’s post! Like I said yesterday, I have gotten so tired of trying to find fashion bloggers whose style I find inspiring. Not that I find the fashion bloggers I follow uninspiring, but they aren’t even close to my size. There is nothing quite so frustrating and disappointing than adoring a certain style only to find out that it is so not a style that works with your body type.

Same goes for colors! I am a huge advocate of knowing your undertones (warm, cool, neutral) and knowing what colors compliment YOU. This is not me saying you can *only*  wear the colors that go with your physical attributes. I think there is certainly merit to wearing the colors that make you happiest and feel the most alive, even if that means a wardrobe full of grays and blacks. That is 100% okay and if that makes you feel the most like yourself, then by all means do it! But, may I put a little bug in your ear? Something to think about? Do a little research and figure out the colors that line up with your undertones. Consider it an experiment and in no way something you absolutely have to stick with.

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered something called Dressing Your Truth. Yeah, yeah, I know, sounds super cheesy. However, their approach to colors and clothes and makeup is rather different. The founder of DYT uses a method similar to personality tests and she calls them energy types. There are 4 energy types, but each type has one of the other three types as a sub type. From what I recall of the tests that I went through to find my own type, I don’t believe a lot of consideration is given to undertones. And I was a bit surprised by some of the makeovers (and not in a good way). Honestly, I think it’s because of my energy type and personality. I don’t like super bright colors, I prefer to be a bit more in the background, and some of the makeovers on the DYT website are very very bright. But I think those actually matched the person who was made over. I personally believe that one’s fashion, beauty, style is reflective of a whole person, as cliche as this is, inside and outside. How you feel about your body and yourself as a whole being includes what you wear and how you feel in your clothes.

Okay, now, let’s move in to undertones. This is important, especially if you’re into wearing any colors other neutrals. Every person’s skin has an undertone, whether those be warm, cool, or neutral*, one of those three is present. Frankly, I think undertones when it comes to fashion and ESPECIALLY makeup because if you don’t have the right undertones in your makeup then you can looked very washed out and sick. I’m sure this seems overwhelming, so here are two examples of what I mean when I reference undertones.

Here’s a better visual of the colors the pin above is referencing

The veins on my wrists are quite prominent, especially when my carpal tunnel is flaring up. The colors of my veins tend more towards neutral, but I believe I’m halfway between cool and neutral undertones. This means that I gravitate towards colors that have blue and purple-ish tones to them. Please know that matching undertones is something that gets easier over time. I’ve been matching undertones of fashion and makeup items for years and even still I have trouble at times trying to see the undertone of a certain item.

Here’s an example of cool and warm undertoned colors

See how the warm shades have a more yellow undertone to them? I know this is only a small sampling of colors, but I don’t want to get in to seasons of colors! That’s a whole other ballgame, still fits under the cool or warm undertones category, I just feel it complicates things.

I hope this is simple enough. I know it can certainly feel overwhelming trying to add color to your wardrobe. I am speaking as one who had mainly blues, blacks, and grays in my wardrobe for a long time. When I added color,  deep cool colors in particular, I discovered an entirely new love of fashion. There are a few outfits I have that make me feel refreshed and awake merely because of the colors. Colors and how the clothes fit.

Next post I’m going to review the amazing jumpsuit I just got and talk about some of the things I’ve found work best for curvy fashion bottoms (skirts, dresses, pants, shorts…).

* quick note about neutral undertones. Neutral is basically the free for all undertone. If you are neutral, you can pick and choose colors that are on the cool side AND the warm side. However, take my own undertones as an example, as I am what I’d call a cool neutral, I tend to stay away from warmer tones. 

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Fashion · Self Care

Brain Dump, Counting Spoons, Body Image, & Strep Throat

Hello Beauties!

Ugh, so life have been…a whirlwind to put it lightly. We were in Maryland two weeks ago, came back home to our A/C being broken, and the apartment complex not being able to get it fixed right way (took an entire week of 80 degree weather, no A/C, and uncomfortable children), then both my boys got sick, my spouse got sick (possibly allergies??), and then I came down with strep throat and an absolutely nasty cold (possibly sinusitis?). I have had so many fantastic blog post ideas and things that I want to do with Chronically Curly, but have just not been able to find the energy to make them happen. But, here’s a brain dump on something that has been at the back of my mind like a busy bumblebee for the past few months.

I follow several fashion insta-bloggers (women who post a lot of affiliate/commissioned links to fashion items, skin care, and makeup that they use or have been given to test) on Instagram and a few on Facebook. I have found several good deals through those women, but there is something about them that is constantly slightly irritating. It has nothing to do with the women themselves, but more so the fact that I don’t feel like I can really relate to them. Almost every single one of the fashion insta-bloggers I follow are a size 4 or smaller. Let me make something abundantly clear here though before I move on.

I AM NOT SKINNY SHAMING AT ALL. I THINK THESE WOMEN ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB LOVING THEIR BODIES AND SHARING DEALS AND FAVORITE OUTFITS AND ITEMS TO THEIR FOLLOWERS. 

But, I am not a size 4, or 2, or even 6. I am a curvy 10, sometimes 12 depending on the brand and style. I am short, I have wide hips (my hips usually measure at 41″ around at the thickest part), and I love my body and am learning to take care of it more and more with each passing day. I struggle to relate to these fashion bloggers because half the clothes or fashion items they share or find deals on, I can’t wear merely because of the shape and size of my body. I have looked around for fashion bloggers who are more my size and shape, and quite frankly, those are very difficult to find. Almost non-existent. There is something I struggle with, and it has nothing to do with body image, I’m sure of it. I struggle with constantly scanning crowds or comparing friends around me, looking for someone who looks and is shaped like me. It’s a desire to have a role-model and stems out of never having had one when I was a young girl.

I was made fun of how I was/am shaped by my mother when I was growing up. She always made me feel ashamed of my body, and like I couldn’t love my curvaceous rear end and wide hips, and thick calves. There were multiple times I was so excited about an outfit I had found at the thrift store, went in to show my mother, and she made some snide comment about how she “guess it looks okay.” I have struggled with almost daily nausea for most of my childhood through current adulthood, I have struggled with losing a ton of weight to gaining weight because I was finally “free” of my parents’ abuse, to losing weight again, to gaining weight and then not being able to lose anything. I have often felt like I’m in a battle against my body, and felt like my body has betrayed me over and over again. I have felt completely disconnected from my body and felt like my body was no longer my own. None of these things are helpful for having a “positive body image.” All of these things means I’ve had to fight that much harder just to say I even LIKED my own body.

 

This is why fashion is so important to me. On the days when I’m not feeling well, feeling comfortable in not only my own skin BUT also my clothes is crucial. When I like what I am wearing, I feel comfortable, I feel like my clothes are a second skin, then I feel like I have the mental and physical strength and energy to face the day. But if what I’m wearing does not fit well, does not encourage or strengthen the bond I have with my body, then I spend my day shifting, pulling, and tugging on my clothes, and there goes all of my spoons or energy for the day. Think of it like this, when I feel like I look good and adore the way I look on the outside, it makes the pain, illnesses, and discomfort on the inside of my body that much more manageable.

Comfortable, affordable, cute, fashionable, and complimentary colored clothes are things I am not willing to compromise on. Living with multiple chronic illnesses means that my day to day life involves daily pain and discomfort and exhaustion. If wearing things I love and I think look good on me helps, then by all means I’ll do it! And now circling back to the fashion bloggers I follow, I love using their feeds as inspiration for discovering new styles and colors that I have maybe never tried before. Such as this adorable jumpsuit that should be arriving here tomorrow.

However, if I am struggling to relate to half of the styles they share because I know those things will simply not fit on my curvy thick body, it starts becoming depressing and discouraging.
Sooo, here’s what I want to do. I want to try to incorporate more fashion ideas for those who are the short/tall/wide curvy types. I’m sure there are other beings out there feeling the same frustration I am and I’d like to use this space here to give fashion tips and share deals I find on things that fit and work better for curvy body types. Once again, I am not skinny shaming, not at all, I merely want to create a space that’s more focused for those with curves because I know that space is still lacking. Although, I’m not even sure if I can really do this. With my health right now, it is difficult to stay consistent with anything, and frankly I quite hate myself for that. But on the flip side, I am finding more patience and compassion for myself because I know that right now the focus is on my body and health and trying to get things figured out.

What do you all think? Think it’s worth it? Is this all something you could relate to and would want to read/see on here?

Please let me know what you think!

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Switching to Natural: Skincare by Rose & Abbot!

Hello Beauties!

Happy Hump Day! Truth be told, this feels more like a Monday to me than a Wednesday, but yay for the week being almost half over?!

Here’s a quick update on a new product I have decided to try! As I’m working on switching out my beauty routine products and skin care products, I opted to go for a company that makes personalized moisturizer. Yes, you read that right, they make moisturizer specific for your skin. The brand is called Rose & Abbot. As far as I can tell, they use natural ingredients and avoid toxic chemicals in their moisturizer.

I do like that they have a skin care quiz you go through before check out. The only thing I didn’t like about the quiz is that you can pick just two skin concerns. For someone who has combination skin, easily breaks out (thanks hormone imbalances…), and have uneven skin tone, I had to pick the two things that were the “biggest” concerns for my face. I picked large pores and uneven skin tone. I should receive my new moisturizer in a few days, I hope. I am going out of town in a week, and would love to get it before I leave!

In terms of how long a bottle lasts, their bottles are 1 oz in size and according to their FAQ section, using the cream morning and evening, 1 bottle should last 30 days. Sooo, if you only use it as day cream, it should last two months. There are 6 different scent options (the first being no scent) to pick from, as well as whether you want the scent to be Light – Medium – Strong. No scent, Roses, Bergamot & Lime, Plum, Neroli Flowers, and Unicorn. I picked Roses for mine.

I just got the ingredient list for my personalized moisturizer, and there is one ingredient that is not entirely preferable, but compared to the rest of the ingredients I’m not terribly upset about it. I am double checking to see what the “Rose Fragrance” consists of. I believe it’s essential oils, but I know that “fragrance” can really mean anything. (edited to add: just heard back from Rose & Abbot, all scents are created with only essential oils! yay! this makes me happy!)

Ingredients for Maeve’s Personalized Rose & Abbot Moisturizer

Water (Aqua); Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Coconut Alkanes; Coco-Caprylate/Caprate; Olive Oil Glycereth-8 Esters; Dicaprylyl Carbonate; Glycerin; Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer; Sodium Hyaluronate; Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Propanediol; Silica; Aminopropyl Kojyl Phosphate; Pureoxin; Burnet (Poterium officinale) Roots; Seaweed (Ascophyllum Nodosum) Extract; Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract; Licorice Root Extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate); Water Lily Extract; Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia) Bark Extract; Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Root Extract; Great Burnet (Sanguisorba Officinalis) Root Extract; Rose Fragrance; Disodium EDTA; Caprylyl Glycol; Chlorphenesin; Phenoxyethanol (<– this is the ingredient I’m not too thrilled about)

I’m excited about getting my new cream, especially since my current moisturizer is just about empty! I think this link will work, but try this link for an extra 10% off!

If I don’t like this moisturizer, I will be trying Christina Moss Naturals Organic and Natural facial cream. The Rose & Abbot moisturizer is roughly the same price as the Christina Moss Naturals cream – the price being $26-29 for Rose & Abbot and $26 for Christina Moss Naturals. The reviews on the Christina Moss Naturals cream say that because you don’t need a lot of the cream it lasts for several months with a shelf life of over 6 months. I really like the ingredient list for the Christiana Moss Naturals cream, but we’ll see! I am super intrigued with the whole personalized moisturizer that Rose & Abbot offers!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Curly Curls · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Switching to Natural: All Natural Dry Shampoo!

Hello Beauties!

As I’m making the shift to using more natural products, I’m researching all of the products I typically use on a daily/weekly basis. One such product is dry shampoo. Now, with curly hair, dry shampoo can either significantly increase the life of my curls, or it kills them instantly and instead of second day hair, it’s back to the shower. I have tried many brands but never really really liked any specific one. When I made the switch from long waist length hair to a short jawline brushing a-line bob, dry shampoo became something I paid more attention to. BUT! I stumbled upon several articles talking about the ill-effects of dry shampoo when used consistently. I’d rather wash my hair every day (not necessarily a good thing with curly hair) than coat my hair with dry shampoos that aren’t working or making things any better.

So I went looking for an alternative. Just something to help bring volume back to my curls after a night of smashing them flat. I found this pin on Pinterest and followed one of the links through to Amazon.

Go check out Well + Good’s article about Natural Beauty Swaps for Drugstore Prices

I browsed around Amazon and checked out the Acure dry shampoo. I was intrigued by the idea that it wasn’t an aerosol dry shampoo. I discovered that Acure has one for brunette hair as well as for all hair. Because hi, brunette here, I’d rather not have white-ish powder showing up on my roots! However, as I looked around, I stumbled upon the dry shampoo I ultimately ended up purchasing – Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo Wanderlust For Sexy Brunettes by Handmade Heroes. There is one for blondes as well as brunettes!

The ingredient list is what made me decide to get this instead of the Acure dry shampoo.

Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (brunette dry shampoo) Ingredients –

  • Rice Powder
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Charcoal
  • Rose Geranium Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Peppermint Oil

And that’s it!

I was a bit nervous about using a literal powder on my roots, but I liked that there wasn’t any extra dry shampoo residue floating in the air like when using an aerosol spray. It does take a little bit to get used to as the bottle needs to be squeezed to get any to come out. I think you could just shake it into your roots, but I’m not sure. I have used it twice so far and really like the refreshed and slightly tingly scalp feeling from the peppermint and eucalyptus oils! Besides, it’s a tiny little bottle with a large amount of powder inside! Easy to pack for travel and as far as I can tell, it does not stain clothes if it drops on your shoulders.

Let me know if you try it?

Have an awesome rest of your Monday!!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you.

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Products

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation – Review and Compare

Hello Beauties!

Today is a day for leggings and fuzzy socks as it’s rainy here in Colorado. I can’t say I mind the rain, we definitely need it. But with such a dismally gray and overcast day, what better time is there to play with makeup! That and I want to take a break from the more serious topics I’ve been writing about lately.

I grabbed one of NYX’s Total Control Drop Foundation last night and was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it closely resembles one of my favorite foundations – The Ordinary Serum Foundation from The Abnormal Beauty Company. I discovered The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation a few years ago and it’s my go to whenever I want to switch from my daily BB cream. It’s runny, I wasn’t expecting the Serum Foundation to be so liquid-y, but somehow when it is blended in, the foundation has a velvety soft powdery finish. It is buildable and blends very well, especially when using a damp beauty sponge. My only complaint about the Serum Foundation is that does not cover dry spots very well. In other words, if you already have a dry spot on your face, this foundation will only make is drier. That complaint aside, I really like the liquid nature of the foundation and how powdery it is when it dries.

Another thing I like about The Ordinary’s foundations is the selection of shades. It is disappointing there are only 3 darker shades though. The foundation does give you options for different undertones, which is what I like. I technically have almost neutral undertones, but I tend towards cooler tones than warm. I have the 1.1 P Fair with Pink Undertones foundation. It matches my skin tone very well.

When I saw the new NYX drop foundation coming out, I wasn’t all that interested. It runs at about $13.99 (The Ordinary foundation is about $11 shipped) so I wasn’t planning on getting any. But I found some on a Target clearance rack last night and since I am almost out of my Ordinary foundation, I grabbed it. I am actually glad I did!

As NYX Total Control drop foundation is a liquid-y foundation, you don’t need much. It is actually silkier than The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation, and dries even smoother. I would definitely recommend using a primer under either foundation, but with the NYX foundation, I don’t feel like it dries out my skin as much as the Ordinary’s foundation.

 

The NYX foundation on the box looks like it has yellowish undertones. But when I opened it and looked at the shade, it is almost identical to The Ordinary’s foundation. I grabbed the shade 05 Light. Usually I’m the lightest shade in a foundation line, but was surprised to find that 05 is well, the 5th shade in the Total Control line. The NYX website says that it is Light with Neutral undertones, but I would call them more pink than neutral. I am really liking this foundation and I think it will replace The Ordinary! I used my usual primer (Wet n’ Wild primer) under the NYX foundation and then applied the foundation with a damp beauty sponge. It blended very smoothly, and even went over some tiny dry spots I have very well. The NYX foundation is a touch smoother than the Ordinary foundation and I feel like it is easier to build up than the Ordinary as well. Another big difference is the top of both bottles. The Ordinary foundation has a pump top and the NYX is an actual dropper top. The NYX foundation is only 0.43 fl oz versus the Ordinary’s 1 fl oz. I’m curious to see how long the NYX foundation will last for me. I maybe only wear actual foundation 2-3 times a month, otherwise I use my Skin79 BB cream daily.

 

So long story short, I am quite pleased with NYX Total Control Drop Foundation. I think it would work for combination skin, dry skin, and oily skin. I would HIGHLY recommended using a primer under this foundation, as I would with any foundation. A primer just gives the foundation something to grip on to and it helps keep your skin moisturized.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you.

 

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Self Care

Keto, AIP, Weight Loss, and the “D” word

** Content Note! – if you have in the past wrestled, or are currently wrestling, with an eating disorder or anything along those lines, please read the following post carefully? I’m aware these are sensitive and rough topics to work through. I will not be linking to different things I’ll be talking about, because I don’t recommend those things, nor do I want to give a certain company any more business.

 

Hello Beauties!

I’m sitting here in a slightly darkened house, trying to keep it cool in here while the temps get up close to 80 degrees today. And the windows are closed because there are a few nasty fires down in Arizona and we’re getting some of the smoke.

Anyway, I’ve been wrestling with something for the past week and felt the need to write it out. About two months ago I switched how I was eating to following a fairly strict ketogenic food plan. I did this after my surgery at the beginning of March because how I was eating before was just not working. I strongly suspect Endometriosis to be on my bowels, and that is what is causing my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms. BUT, since my [mostly competent] doctor didn’t look around when she was taking out my ovary, I am not willing to go through another surgery right now to get things looked at. Thus, I turned to how I am eating to see if I could manage the symptoms of my IBS better and maybe, just maybe, get to a place where I could at the very least, like food again.

Enter Keto. I did a lot of research on diets that affect or can help manage endometriosis symptoms, IBS symptoms, as well as hypothyroidism. An AIP (autoimmune  protocol) “diet” is highly recommended for managing inflammation, but something about that irks me and I’ve had difficulty convincing myself to strictly follow AIP with my eating habits. I stumbled upon several medical studies talking about using Keto to treat and manage IBS. Ironically, how I am modifying my Keto intake is very close to an AIP diet. Which is good to know and makes sense why Keto can help inflammation.

Here’s a little bit of information about Keto – it’s HIGH fat LOW carb. With counting my macros, my calories should be about 1700, Fat 145 grams, Carbs 22 grams, and protein about 65 grams. 22 grams of carbs seems really low, but when you take out all grains and just about all sugar, it’s very doable. I thought it would be really hard to cut out grains, as I’ve sort of clung to gluten free pasta and rice as needed additions to a lot of meals. However because I had been having an increasingly uncomfortable reaction to even gluten free flours, cutting out all grains was easier than I thought it would be. Which is quite the opposite of what happened when I was told to go gluten free – I cried as I thought it would be sooooo hard to cut gluten out of my life. The thing that made it easier to do so was realizing that gluten really did make me very sick. I thought maybe if I give it a year then I can go back to eating those gluten-y comfort foods. But nope. I tried to eat gluten and it made me feel like my stomach was being shredded from the inside out. Due to this discovery, it is very easy for me to avoid gluten.

Being in pain of some sort 24/7, 365, has given me a very low tolerance for anything that causes me pain that can be avoided. I had a feeling that if I were to cut all grains out that I wouldn’t be able to add them back in. Especially with how I felt eating prior to surgery. I was willing to change how I was eating to see if it would help me feel even just a little bit better. After a month and a half of eating Keto, I tried to add plain cooked rice back in and whoa boy, my stomach felt similarly to how it feels if I eat gluten – absolutely shredded. For now, I’m going back to avoiding all grains.

Alright, here’s what I really wanted to talk about.

I hate the word “Diet.” I hate the connotations that surround that word, and the misuse it’s been through. I believe in honoring the body and feeding the body with the foods it needs and giving room to be whatever it needs to be. I have seen so many MLM consultants raving about certain “diets” and about how you could lose so much weight. I have watched people flock to the wraps, the dieting powders, the exercise programs – and I admit, they’ve appealed to me. I’ve wrestled with gaining and losing and maintaining my weight and having a positive body image of my own body for a very long time. Better understanding of how skewed my hormones are and have been for a very long time has given me more grace for my body. Not being able to lose weight now makes sense, as does gaining a lot when I was really sick. BUT! That doesn’t remove my desire to have a quick fix. My desires started shifting a year and a half ago when food turned fully into an enemy. I went from limiting how much I ate and feeling sad every time I did allow myself to eat a big meal to pretty much saying “f*ck eating, everything is making me sick!” To be honest, neither perspective is a healthy way to approach food. The first was something I was doing to myself, the second view point is what was being done to me. It felt like my body was turning against me – again. Even though I felt so helpless with my body, I instinctively knew it wouldn’t matter if I put myself on a diet, diets don’t work. At least they don’t work long term. So what was the point of dieting anyway?

Dealing with chronic illnesses took away any energy I may have had to stay active. Dealing with chronic illnesses took away any drive I had for “managing my weight.” On the okay days, it was merely a success to have gotten three meals in during the day. But I wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel good about my body, and I felt like I was barely maintaining a grip on where I was at that point in time. I love following Instagramers like BodyPosiPanda, and I love her take on loving your body and eating what you want and being comfortable with who you are. But I struggle with accepting that for myself. I, at least now, cannot eat whatever I want. I am up against significant food intolerance issues now. The other side of that is I struggle to wrap my mind around “eat whatever you want.” Clothes and how they feel and fit are deeply important to me. If I gained weight and my clothes didn’t fit comfortably, that would be more devastating to me than gaining weight. It would feel like I was wasting money on finding clothes that felt comfortable on, only to have them not fit in a few months. So how does that work? I sincerely ask. How do you maintain a good body image and yet stay practical with clothes? (just something I’ve given a lot of thought to in the past year…)

It was difficult to not getting sucked into the whole “Keto for weightloss!!” trend. I remember Keto being really big a few years ago and how it was the new trendy diet. I hesitated to tell anyone I was starting to follow Keto with my food. I felt like there was this huge unspoken thing when it comes to Keto – I’m just doing it for weight loss. I would be lying though if I said I wasn’t partially following Keto for weight loss. But it is also so much more for me. I am glad Keto is helping me at least lose some fat. But I am also glad it feels like my body isn’t struggling as hard, and I am feeling so much more satisfied and comfortable with food. I’m not reacting as much after meals, and that in and of itself is the biggest advantage of eating Keto. But every other article or recipe I read about Keto gives warnings about how you may lose a lot of weight but you will gain it all back if you switch back to how you were eating before! Which sure, I get. It’s a very different way of eating and it’s the complete opposite of almost every other diet. And that’s why after a month and a half of doing Keto, and seriously craving fresh fruit that wasn’t “allowed” on Keto, I went looking for something else. I doubted how long term Keto could be for me. And I was losing sight of the real reason I switched to Keto to begin with.

I stumbled upon and tried something for a week called IIFYM (If it Fits Your Macros). Talk about conflicting information – IIFYM is the complete opposite of Keto – HIGH carbs LOW fat. Even though Keto was making me feel better, I don’t think I really had realized just how much of a difference it was making in my body. I started researching more information and one article would say that high carbs and low fat is how you should diet. Another article would say no, it’s just the caloric intake that matters! Yet another would say that if you really wanted to lose weight, high fat and low carbs is the way to go. The deeper into the articles I went, the more I lost sight of why I had actually started Keto in the first place. Body image insecurities and doubts that I wasn’t doing things the right way starting creeping in. At the end of the week of following IIFYM protocols, I felt worse than I had at the beginning of the week. I felt so conflicted about what was best for my body (read: best for losing weight). I felt no desire to step on the scale and it felt like my body was getting really inflamed. And inflamed = water weight, bloating, achy joints, and swollen crampy abdomen for me.

When I sat down with my therapist on Saturday, I laid all my conflicted feelings out in the open. I began to see how my desire to find a way of eating that would make me feel better had turned in to how can I lose the most weight. I was scared of trying something and the end result being having gained a bunch of weight. I can accept where my body is at right now, but deep down, I still don’t feel like I am enough, or that my body is thin enough. I realized that in trying to follow IIFYM, I was close to getting obsessed with my weight and counting my macros. I knew this was not healthy and if anything, my body was starting to feel sick again. I tried to put aside all desires and confliction I felt about losing weight and compared Keto and IIFYM side by side. I needed to get back to the root reason for why I decided to start Keto in the first place. As I sat there and took stock of how my body felt and what my body was asking for, I saw that it didn’t matter what “diet” I followed, as long as my body felt comfortable and [almost] healthy. With Keto specifically, I felt fuller and more satisfied by my meals. I wasn’t having a food reaction after everything I ate or drank. When I was hungry, I was really hungry, not just oh I guess I could eat hungry. Can we take a moment to process that? I have not felt hungry hungry in a very long time. This was huge. My body hadn’t felt as inflamed and even though the amount of fresh foods “allowed” with Keto wasn’t very much, I realized I had no issues adding in a higher fruit sugar food if that’s what my body needed.

Then I came across an article about AIP and the foods recommended and I realized that how I’m eating with Keto is very very close to an AIP diet. This gave me the reassurance that my original decision to follow Keto was the right one. If I lose weight following Keto, then that’s great! But that is not my goal with Keto. I know that I need structure, even if it’s just a little bit, to feel comfortable in my day to day life. So having a title to give what and how I’m eating helps. I am counting my macros with Keto, but it is only to make sure I am actually getting enough fats and calories and eating the right amount of carbs. I know by following the macros set for my body I feel the best. Once I feel like I have a routine again, I won’t track as much. But again, for me, it’s giving myself the structure I need. I know this does not work for everyone, and those who struggle with getting obsessed with their weight and tracking things, this could be very harmful. If structure helps you, then track or follow a specific “diet.” But if structure leads you down an unhealthy path, avoid it!

My therapist asked me what my body was asking for. If I was take away all diet protocols, or “allowed” foods, what was left? What did my body say it wanted? This was a helpful way of looking at things. It gave me the space to give my body the space to tell me what it needed. And I know if I’m not listening to my body, then I’m going to end up in the weeds, feeling very sick.

I have a lot more thoughts about dieting and weight and body image that I’ll share in another post. Thank you for making it to the end of this long post!

 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Products

Let’s Talk Health and Beauty

Hello Beauties!

The theme of my life since the beginning of 2018 has been “How can I heal my body and feel better?” I got some lab results back this past week, and found out that my intuition was right; I have major estrogen dominance which feeds my Endometriosis and Hypothyroidism as well as my fibromyalgia. But I do not have PCOS. So yay? I started on a natural progesterone cream, and while I believe it’s already starting to affect my system, my estrogen dominance symptoms are rearing their ugly heads.

Along with getting answers to health issues I’ve had for at least a decade, most likely even longer, I’ve turned attention to what I’m using on my body – makeup, hair care, lotions, deodorant… – and am trying to figure out what I want to start transitioning to more natural and better for my body products. I spent an hour or so last night researching natural beauty brands and some skin care brands. Half of my skin care routine involves natural skin care (essential oils, rose water, witch hazel…) but the majority of my makeup products and hair care products do not. Now, I have no intention of going full bore with changing out all of the products I use! That would cost and arm and a leg and all of my favorite clothes, but I think it is feasible to slowly change out things purposefully. So today, I decided to switch from my spray deodorant to a Schmidt’s deodorant. I grabbed the Rose + Vanilla one. It has a delicate scent, and I’m eager to see if it will work! I’ve heard good things about Schmidt’s deodorants.

Let’s talk beauty though for a few minutes. I currently use a Korean brand for my BB cream and frankly quite love it! But I’m looking in to a few of the newer beauty brands coming to Target! I’m really excited about trying Hue Noir Foundation and HALEYS Beauty. Which, speaking of Target, I just applied to become an affiliate because I shop there frequently and am super excited about all of the new brands they’re introducing!!

I have officially been diagnosed with chronic illnesses – Endometriosis, Hypothyroidism, and Fibromyalgia. I have also been diagnosed with secondary conditions of adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, and unofficially/officially IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Not to mention depression (dysthymia) and anxiety as well. My eyesight is nearly perfect, but I have and get significant eye fatigue and now use 0.75 reading glasses when I’m using my computer. It actually does help my eyes rest and help some of the headaches and migraines I get.

With chronic illnesses, taking care of myself has become vital. It’s also been good for my mental health. Smelling, looking, and feeling good are all connected for me. My body is in such chaos and has been for a very long time that if there are even a few small things I can feel like I have control over the better I can function. There is something very validating in finally getting answers to why my body hasn’t felt good in a very very long time. I honestly can’t remember what it’s like to not be in pain of some kind, or not feel like I’m struggling against wave after wave of fatigue. This doesn’t make me as depressed as it used to though. I know how to function to the best of my ability and I’ve figured out the things that give me a little edge over the pain and fatigue. Things like doing eyeliner, eyebrows, and bronzer or a touch of blush almost every day. Things like wearing the clothes I want to that make me feel good and sexy on my short, short-waisted, and pear shaped body. Things like having to drastically remove foods from my eating-thing (I hate the word d i e t) even though it means I will most likely not be able to add those things back into my eating-thing. Now that I have gotten actual physical confirmation of what’s been going on with my body, I now have the tools to take even better steps towards getting my body to the best place I can health-wise.

What are some of the natural beauty or health-wise things you do? Have you found things that help you feel better? Or what are your comfort items/things/actions that you do when you’re having a bad day?

I’d love to hear from you!!