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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Manicure at Home II

On my first post about how to do your manicure at home, there were some videos and references in Portuguese. But today I found on Youtube, 2 very helpful videos in English, with actual new tips on different tools to do the same job explained in the Brazilian videos. I really enjoy them and will be trying those tools myself soon.

The first video is how to clean up your cuticles while applying nail polish.

The second video, is about all steps for a manicure at home that looks professionally done. Based on my own experience, it is more down to a steady hand than about techniques. I know what to do, I know how to do, but it never looks good when I do it, simply because my hand is not steady enough for anything that needs precision. Does it make sense? My manicure will look good enough, but not as perfect as I want them to look.

I enjoyed all videos I watched from aLoveTart, and highly recommend them to anyone interested in hand care.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

How to Detangle Hair

How to detangle hair? My hair doesn't tangle. Seriously.  It is not straight, or curly, just naturally wavy. It used to tangle really bad when I was a child, when I loved to wash it making a big mess all up my head, just like shown in shampoo advertisement:  lots of foam, all rubbed against the scalp, on top of my head. The final product was a child invariably crying, trying to detangle those long tresses with the help of loads of conditioner. Yes, my hair has always been long, much to my mother despair, as as a child I would never let anyone cut it anywhere near my shoulders.

I believe my hair doesn't tangle anymore due to a complete change in the way I wash it. It's not down to any product or tool, it is a shift in the mechanic act itself. All I do is to wash it without making a mess on top of my head. My hair always down, bellow my shoulders. First, I shampoo the scalp massaging it, then with my fingers I slightly pull the product down the length, finger combing it while I go, gently massaging the length of my hair. And I rinse it all off repeating the same movement. For the conditioner, all the same procedure, but starting midshaft as I don't want it anywhere near my scalp. Once finished finger combing product through hair, I make a tight bun on top of my head and finish whatever is left to do: shaving, scrubbing. This way the conditioner has time to penetrate, while keeping hair still, untangled. This is how it doesn't get fuzzy anymore. Then it is time to rinse it all off, while finger combing again. I remove all products entirely, never leave any residue whatsoever, and most importantly, rinse water should be as cold as possible. 

How To Detangle Hair

I don't even own a hair brush. For over 20 years I have been using a wide teeth wooden comb. Until  I moved into the desert, 5 years ago, I had stopped using conditioner all together. Now I use some because of the extreme dryness, but if you live in a humid area, and has an oily scalp, you can skip conditioner too and still have beautiful hair, with less hassle, less expenditure, and less time and effort while washing it.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Moisturizing Hands

Moisturizing Hands

One of my beauty obsessions is how to keep my hands moisturized. Not only for beauty purposes, but health too: Working in an office, dealing with paper, typing all day, using antibacterial gels, can ruin the delicate skin of your hands. I can tell you I've used tons of different products and followed all sorts of moisturizing routines to keep my hands in shape. Today I found this Birchbox video, which show a few tricks I do and can be handy to someone looking to improve its beautifying routine.

Moisturizing Hands

On my side, I very much like Eucerin products overnight, specially the Intensive Repair Extra-Enriched Hand Cream, with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), which will help gently exfoliate your skin. Then I slip on white cotton gloves to sleep with. I don't know why white cotton gloves are so difficult to find, mine are from The Body Shop, in London, bought some 15 years ago, and they do not carry them anymore. I recently bought some Bamboo fiber gloves, from EcoTools, but I didn't like them, funny thin texture, too short, and if they don't fit my extra-small hands, I can't see it fitting anybody else but a child. Just finally found some at Walgreens, will have to try them now - Walgreens 100% Cotton Gloves

During the day, I try to use hand creams with SPF, but again, they are difficult to find. The one I love the most is from AVON Renew line, SPF 25, but they are not reliable, as AVON is continually discontinuing good products. (Go figure their marketing plans!) Now they have a new version of it, but I can't comment on that as I haven't tried it yet, although I found a review at Beauty Reflexions blog. If you are curious, here is the link from AVON website.

If I'm travelling, or somehow my hands get neglected for a long time, I use a heavy Eucerin cream from the round jar, with some Argan Oil added to it, and double it on my feet too. Put on cotton socks and gloves, then have a good night of sleep. Everything wakes up restored and almost brand new

Of course I add some extras to my hands routine, lots of products specifically targeting nails and cuticles, as they all work together. So I have a number of Julep products on my bedside and a Cetaphil bottle at the bathroom sink. All I can say is, I have a lot of fun with all that, lots of compliments from my husband, and soft hands that don't crack or itch anymore, either summer or winter. Anything on my quest for moisturizing hands as effectively as possible.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bald Women

Bald women is a subject that really worries me, because I don't want to be one of them one day. A few years back I didn't even think it could be possible for women to be bald, let alone, common. Until my hair started to thin exponentially, daily, leaving my pillow, my bed, my floor, covered in hair. Everything changed about my hair on my initial years in London. From beautiful, long, shiny, wavy, healthy, it became dry, brittle, frizzy, lacking luster, plain ugly. Until the day I noticed I was losing it.

I did try going to the doctors in London, but the only thing they say is "You're stressed out. Take some paracetamol". Seriously, instead of receiving a Doctor title, they should be called "Paracetamol Prescribers", (but this is a post for another blog). The point is, only after arriving back in Brazil, my gynecologist ordered a complete hemogram and found out I had some hormonal imbalance. She prescribed me a particular type of anticonceptive pills and it worked! My hair stopped shedding around the house.

Then I got married, my husband and I wanted to have a baby and I had to stop the prescribed pill. After 6 months my hair started to shed again. I didn't want to be one of those bald women. What could I do now?

Although I didn't believe a shampoo could help with thinning hair, I didn't have many other options. Shampoos anti-dandruff helped a lot but not 100%. My scalp is oily, so maybe relieving the excess sebum which cause dandruff had a part on it. I used Neutrogena T-Gel, which is mild and leaves hair in a nice condition, but my favorite is Neutrogena T-Sal, which is a lot more potent and seems to have worked better for me.

My dermatologist adverted me about using 2-in-1 shampoos. A HUGE no-no. Anyone with thinning hair, dandruff or any other scalp ailments should never use a 2-in-1 because it is damaging to the scalp. Use 2 separate products, being very careful to not let any conditioner on the scalp, only at the length of the hair.

Those anti-dandruff shampoos were an improvement after I stopped the pill, but what really works, and unfortunately is only found online - at least here in the deserts of New Mexico - is the Avalon Organics Shampoo, which you can find here.  As far as thinning hair is concerned, all I want is to keep my strands on top of my head, not on the floor, the pillow, around the bathtub. If that shampoo can do that, I'm sold!

I bought this Avalon shampoo but was very skeptical of its effectiveness. And lots of reviewers complained about the smell. My own thoughts about it:
  • it has a fresh, herbal scent. I like it. I think it's a matter of taste only.
  • as it's a treatment shampoo, I prefer to leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing out. I shampoo twice: first and very quickly using a deep cleanse Neutrogena shampoo. Then I apply Avalon to my scalp, massage, wrap my hair in a bun, and go about my shower routine, soap, shaving, whatever. I only rinse it out after at least 5 minutes. It gives a nice tingling sensation while it's on. Then I rinse it really well, apply a deep conditioner only to the length of my hair, and rinse it abundantly, with tepid/cold water. 
Please, whoever has thinning hair should NEVER wash it with hot water!
The same is valid for any other scalp problems, or anyone really.

It works for me. Hair feels fuller, shinier and manageable. Use a gentle wooden comb, specially while it still damp. The difference is clearly noticeable. At least to me.


Monday, 6 May 2013

How to Use Dry Shampoo

I mean it. No, this is not a tutorial or anything like that. I don't know how to use dry shampoo. I've been trying a few formulas lately, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. So, I credit my failures to application, and not formula.

The point is, I don't like showering at the gym, I prefer at home, but most times I need to run some errands after working out, so a dry shampoo is the most practical alternative at those moments. I have 3 different ones I've been trying: John Frieda and Batiste Dry Shampoo, bought at, and Serge Normant, received in my first Birchbox.  I noticed though that when I spray totally carelessly, just throwing my head down and going crazy on the spray, it worked better. When I did at home, calmly with all the time in the world, meticulously, it looked and felt awful.

I've found those before and after pictures on the internet. Click on the picture to go to their original posts:

Gaby's BeautyBlog
Really? How does she achieve that?

Blog Tea Cups & B Cups
How do they do that???

I've managed to achieve beautiful bouncy hair with all three, but I also achieved an oily mess, gunky blob with all three. So, in search for some explanations, I've found this article at Birchbox blog that might help, and the posts from where I collected the pictures above (click at pic captions). As they say, practice makes perfect, maybe I should just try a little longer...

Any tips?


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sole Society

Do you know the website Sole Society? No?!! Here is a great opportunity for you to try it.

Sole Society is a shoes and accessories club, from where you can buy great items without breaking the bank. So on my last purchase they gave me a code to share with my friends, but it is only valid until May 8th.

Click on this link to have 20% off your first purchase

This offer is only valid until May 08, 2013 4:16am (PDT). See terms. 


Filtro Solar Sem Parar

Filtro Solar sem parar

Gente, eu sou branca. Muito branca. Imagina a pessoa mais branca que você conhece. Pois é, eu sou mais. Nasci em Niterói, no Rio, e passei os finais de semana da minha infância na praia ou na piscina. Mas eu fui criança na década de 70, filtro solar não existia. Todo mundo levava a praia uma aberração argentina chamada Rayito de Sol. É claro que isso não poderia prestar na minha pele. O resultado é que eu vivia queimada, vermelha, rosa, roxa, inchada, descascada e desidratada, porque é óbvio que eu nunca obedecia meus pais no quesito "sai do sol, menina, senão você vai se queimar".

Enfim, em 1985 ou 86, eu vi pela primeira vez o que viria a ser meu primeiro produto de beleza: o filtro solar, que ate hoje uso sem parar. Não tinha nem spf marcado no rotulo, era uma linha de praia d'O Boticário com óleo de canela, óleo de urucum, óleo de coco e filtro solar. Só de ler o nome FILTRO SOLAR, mesmo sem saber do que se tratava, sabia que foi feito pra mim. Comecei usando no meu rosto todos os dias pra ir a escola, no corpo todo para ir a praia, e continuo usando até hoje, com SPF muito mais alto que o original 8.

Nunca fui uma grande usuária de maquiagem, sempre achei que filtro solar+pó de qualquer espécie +Rio de Janeiro=Lama no meu rosto+roupa suja de pó colorido. Usava batom e lápis de olho, e tava era muito bom. Queria mesmo era garantir a integridade da minha pele. Maquiagem diaria, soh depois de morar em Londres, trabalhando como vendedora de cosmeticos nas grandes lojas de departamento da cidade. E mesmo assim, morando e trabalhando na Smoke City, usava meu filtro solar religiosamente, todos os dias, sem parar.

Hoje em dia moro no deserto, no Novo Mexico, bem abaixo do tal buraco da camada de ozonio. Preciso dizer que ainda uso filtro solar diariamente? Ateh o meu batom e o creme das maos tem spf.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Manicure at Home

Manicure at Home

This is one of my favorite videos on how to paint nails properly. I don't like the way it is usually done in the US, with a huge gap between the polish and the cuticle - it is like paying for a manicure that looks a week old as soon as I leave the salon.

Another video, very helpful is from the site Unha Bonita, it is all in Portuguese, but you don't need to understand what Daniele is saying, just pay attention to what she is doing in the video.

This is what I managed to achieve by myself, after following those instructions:

E para voces que dominam o Portugues, de tambem uma olhada nesse post da Dani, para o passo-a-passo da unha perfeita.


Friday, 3 May 2013

Beauty Bits - Straight Hair With No Heat

Beauty Bits - Straight Hair With No Heat

You don't need to listen to what the girl is saying in this video (no, that is not me). Just pay attention to how she arranges those bobby pins around her head. Start pinning the hair from the side where you have a natural part. After at least 30 min, remove them all, part your hair to the opposite side and pin it all again. It works better with humid hair - not soaking wet, or completely dry - and you should calculate how much time you have to keep your hair pinned and change the part half way. It doesn't need to be perfect or look perfect.

Golden rules are:

  • pin humid hair
  • if you live in a dry climate, it will stay put, and you can achieve good results with only 1 hour
  • if you live in a humid climate, or if you have a lot of hair, or if it's too curly, do it overnight, and set hair with spray to keep results
  • hair should look natural when you let it loose, like a bouncy naturally straight hair. 
  • don't pull it too tight, or you will have a stonking headache
  • when you turn the second side, you should use less pins than used on the first side. 
  • remember to alternate: one at the front, one from the centre of the head
  • use the longest bobby pins you can find, small ones will not work
  • it shouldn't hurt to sleep on the pins, loosen them up
  • use a silky scarf on your head or sleep on a silky pillow case. It will avoid frizz and static.
If I do that? Yes. I don't like hair drier or flat iron. Whatever I can do to keep the integrity of my hair, I do. I grow up in Rio, very humid, and my hair used to be beautifully curled over there. I got the same effect when I go to Texas. But in London and New Mexico, my hair looks flat and frizzy, it took me a long while to find out what to do, which products to use, how to style it. So I called my mother and over the phone she guided me on how to pin my hair. I know it is silly, but mothers always know best, right? ;)

Minha melhor dica de cabelo? Nao use secador e nem chapinha. Lave seu cabelo a noite e durma de touca. Nao se esqueca de virar o lado do cabelo, nao aperte muito, e nao se estresse porque nao eh uma ciencia exata. Tampouco precisa alternar um grampo por cima e outro por baixo. Eu só uso 3 por dentro, o resto vou colocando por fora mesmo, e quando vai dando volta na cabeca, eu uso o grampo que já está lá. Voce quer o cabelo natural e com balanco, certo? Quando se tenta a todo custo colocar cada fio debaixo de grampinho o resultado é um cabelo espigado e tao feio quanto uma escova mal-feita.

Nao tem nenhum vídeo no Youtube exatamente do jeito que eu faco. Esse é o que eu achei mais didático e  gosto de comoque a menina apresenta, nao inventa muita frescura que nao existe. Cada um vai fazer de um jeito porque nem todas as cabeleiras sao iguais - cabelos diferentes, técnicas diferentes.

O mais importante de tudo eh saber que TEM que virar o cabelo, senao fica uma marca esquisitíssima. Para evitar essa marca, EU prefiro partir o cabelo acima da orelha (igual careca que deixa os fiapos crescerem nas laterais e joga por cima da cabeca para fingir que tem cabelo, sabe?). Um pouco para a esquerda, um pouco para a direita. Pronto. Sem stress e nem complicacao. E nem ciencia exata.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Perfume Chaneu

E nos dias de hoje ainda existem pessoas que nao sabem como usar uma fragrancia: transformam qualquer Chanel num tenebroso perfume Chaneu. Nao importa se o vidro contem o original ou uma imitacao. O pior foi descobrir na pratica que esse tipo de situacao pode acontecer de forma involuntaria.

Existem varias formas de usar perfume, conforme os treinamentos que recebi ao trabalhar com cosmeticos  em Londres: Aprendi que a "nuvem" de perfume eh a forma mais indicada para usar as fragrancias em spray: voce borrifa para o alto, no ar, e caminha por dentro da nuvem que cai. Assim tera um perfume delicado sobre os seus cabelos e a sua roupa.

A tecnica mais conhecida porem deve ser a dos "pulse points", para ser usada principalmente com Parfum ou Eau de Parfum sem spray: coloca-se uma gota atras das orelhas, uma sobre o coracao, uma em cada pulso e em cada dobra do cotovelo. Esses pontos concentram a circulacao do sangue e assim aquecem o perfume, exalando o aroma de forma mais efetiva. E algo que nunca deve ser feito eh esfregar o perfume sobre  a pele pois isso quebra as moleculas do perfume e altera o cheiro original. Por favor, nao use em todos os pulse points ao mesmo tempo, a nao ser que voce seja economica com o tamanho da "gota".

Toda essa introducao eh para contar um fato triste que aconteceu comigo em uma das lojas:
Uma cliente pediu para experimentar Allure masculino. Entreguei o vidro na mao dela, o vidro escorregou, caiu no chao, quebrou. TODO o liquido de um vidro CHEIO foi parar nas minhas calcas. Assim entao eu tive a demonstracao pratica, ao vivo, da transformacao de um perfume Chanel em Chaneu. Nao tinha quem nao me olhasse de cara feia quando eu passava.

O resto do dia eu precisei me desculpar com os clientes por causa do cheiro forte. So que o problema mesmo comecou depois que terminou o expediente e eu tive que entrar no onibus para ir para casa. Era inverno, o onibus todo fechado e o aquecedor ligado.  Eu queria sentar na frente mas ja estava tudo ocupado, tive que ir para o fundo. Pensam que eu nao sei que estava asfixiando todos os passageiros? Mas o que eu poderia fazer alem de ficar quieta no meu canto e torcer para chegar logo?

Onibus lotado, gente em pe no corredor, e o assento do meu lado vazio, alem de todo mundo me olhando meio torto. Paciencia, pelo menos eu nao viajei espremida. Mas aquele raio daquele cheiro incomodava ate a mim mesma, que detesto banho de perfume e gente sem desconfiometro.

Ate que um sujeito no banco de tras me chama:
- Voce acha bacana se encher de perfume desse jeito?
- ...
- Nao percebe que esta incomodando todo mundo? Voce acha que usar esse tanto de perfume eh atraente?
- Escuta aqui, eu estou quieta no meu canto, tive um acidente no trabalho e agora so quero chegar em casa e tomar um banho, entendeu?
O sujeito fica resmungando e algumas pessoas junto com ele.

Chego em casa e imediatamente coloco as calcas na maquina de lavar. Precisei de umas 5 lavagens para me ver livre daquele cheiro. Hoje, a simples visao de um vidro de Allure, me embrulha o estomago.

Moral da historia?
  • Menos eh mais.
  • Qualquer coisa em excesso faz mal.
  • Nao seja cafona usando metade de um vidro de perfume por dia.
  • Sai de perto de mim com esse fedor!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Best Make Up Tutorial Videos on YouTube

Just a reminder that no one should take oneself too seriously...  Gloria, you're out of this world!

De todos os tutoriais de maquiagem que habitam o YouTube, nenhum consegue ser melhor do que os dessa garota, a Gloria Shuri Nava.  

Em homenagem a todos aqueles que se levam a sério demais.  Pensam que ninguém repara?  People are watching you!

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