Saturday, July 28, 2018

Which Specific Hair Extensions Should You Purchase?

Written by a contributing writer

Hair extensions are a very popular product that have helped millions of women around the world glam up and change their hairstyle without having to commit to coloring their hair or waiting for it to grow out. You may think that it is finally time for you to make a change in the way that your hair is styled. If this is the case, you might want to consider using hair extensions to achieve your desired look. But be careful about which extensions you choose! Not all hair extensions are created equally. Here are some tips that will help you choose the hair extensions that are right for you.

1. People who style hair for a living are an invaluable resource when shopping for hair extensions.

There is nobody better to ask about hair extensions than some who has worked with them day after day. Therefore, paying a visit to your local hair salon and talking to some of the professionals who work there may be a good idea. Tell them the specific look you are going for. They should be able to pass along some very useful advice that will send you in the right direction in terms of which hair extensions are right for you. Be sure to ask which brands are the most popular. Which brands are made the best and will last the longest? You also might want to get a few lessons about how to best put in your hair extensions if you have never done it on your own before. This will help the process go much more smoothly when you are on your own at home.

2. Get the advice of people you know who wear hair extensions on a regular basis.

You might have some friends or coworkers who often wear hair extensions. If so, they may be a great resource on price point and quality of hair extensions.  Which type of extensions do they use and recommend? In what situations do they recommend not wearing extensions? Is there any last minute advice they can give you before you start looking in stores and online for hair extensions? Last but not least, you should find out where they do all of their shopping for hair extensions. For example, you can visit Eden Hair Extensions for tape in hair extensions.

3. What sort of return policy does the store or website have?

The reality is that you might not like the hair extensions that you buy once you get them home. They might look very pretty on the model who is pictured on the box. However, what you see in the mirror at home might be completely different. This is why it is always very important to verify the specific return policy of the store or online retailer where the hair extensions were purchased. How long do you have to get your money back? It is very important that you never assume how much time you will have. All stores have different return policies. The specifics of the return policy should be listed on the receipt of any store where your hair extension purchase is made. Websites are required to have a page where their return policy is spelled out very clearly for any potential customers to read.

4. Always shop around to compare prices.

You might find some hair extensions that look really great as soon as you start shopping.  But try not to be in a big hurry to make your purchase. A little looking around could very easily allow you to discover a deal that is even better than the one you found initially. It is in your best interests to shop around.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mom Hacks to Save Money with the Family Car

Written by a contributing writer  


For most families, having a car is an absolute necessity. They’re usually quicker and more reliable than public transportation. This makes it easier to get to school, work, and everywhere else in between. And, in turn, ends up massively reducing stress for you and your kids. It gives you the chance to go on road trips together (which are often deemed the best type of holiday for families). Unfortunately, as great as family cars can be, they’re not cheap and cost a lot to run each month. Thankfully, there are several ways to cut costs and save some money.


1. Ensure You Drive Sensibly

No one should be driving dangerously, especially with kids in the car, but if you’re looking to save some money, then you have even more reason to reconsider your driving style. If you tend to speed, accelerate rapidly, and brake hard, you will lower your gas mileage, which means that your fuel won’t go as far as you want it to. These behaviours could also lead to a crash, which can result in some pretty costly repairs. It’s just not worth it, so always ensure you drive safely.

2. Turn Off Your Engine

When you pick your kids up from school, do you park and turn the engine off or wait with the car turned on? Unless you get out of the vehicle to meet your children at the gates, I would imagine that you leave your engine turned on. Unfortunately, this can waste up to half a gallon of fuel every single hour. This might not seem like much at first, but it quickly builds up. It’s much more fuel efficient to turn your engine off and then drive slowly for a few minutes when you go again. 

3. Reconsider Your Car Finance

Most families can’t afford to pay for a car outright, and instead put down a deposit and pay in monthly installments. While this is more convenient and budget-friendly, you could end up with a costly deal. Because of this, you should look at your terms and think about applying for a refinance auto loan. This could save you money on your total amount and money each month, as well as lower your interest rate. Just be sure you consider your options before doing this.


4. Turn Your Teen Away

If you have a teenager that wants to start learning to drive, you should think twice before adding them to your insurance policy. Insurance companies tend to view teenagers as a risk, and, as such, charge higher rates than they do for adults and experienced drivers. This means that adding your child to your policy could result in you paying a lot more each month. Because of this, you might want to send your teen to an instructor instead of teaching them to drive yourself.

A family car is a costly, but, often, necessary expense. You can’t avoid paying for it, but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out quite so much cash. With the hacks above, you should be able to cut costs and save yourself a bit of money each month.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Skincare - Acne Skincare Update

It's my FAVORITE part of the entire beauty scene - skincare! I don't know where my genuine love of an involved skincare routine really started. I've had pretty difficult skin since my late teens. So I've become accustomed to doing much more than just washing my face. But somewhere along the way, I began to enjoy the journey of figuring out which ingredients worked for me, which didn't, and why that was.

As the hot, humid, Florida summer crept up, I knew it was time to start changing my skincare routine around. The weather was changing AND I was suddenly having skin problems. The kind of skin problems I had at 19. Yep. Pimples. Zits. Acne. Whatever you want to call it. I suddenly had a major breakout of cystic acne (that I somehow managed to contain and conceal pretty well) and had to figure out how to not only combat this breakou, but also prevent future breakouts.

Now, I'm pretty sure getting off of Yaz (that's a whole different post) is what triggered it. And at 19, the only thing that worked for me was Proactiv. But I'm trying to avoid going back onto that entire system because, while it works, it also is something that took forever to wean my skin off of. In a weird way, my skin gets addicted to it. (Anyone else?) On top of my new/old pimple problem, I still have to continue preventing sun spots and uneven skin tone. Well, this skin care challenge... I accepted.

So here are the products I've been using that have worked to keep acne at bay, heal the breakout I had, protect my skin from the Florida sunshine, and still allow me to have some anti-aging ingredients in my skincare routine.

Face Wash/Scrubs

1. Proactiv Step 1 Acne Wash

Let's get this one out of the way. Yes, I went back to the wash. It's a tried and true. The scent of the wash reminds me of my college years. It's expensive... which is the only thing I don't like about it. I only use it at night after I use the scrub below.

2. ACURE Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub

I've been using this one for awhile and, honestly, it's one of the best scrubs I've ever used. It has enough grit to really exfoliate, but not so much that it's irritating. It doesn't break me out and I love the natural ingredients. It's not bad price wise at full price. But I can usually find it for CHEAP at Marshall's/TJ Maxx.

3. Neutralyze Face Wash

I found this guy on Amazon. I tried the entire system but ended up only really liking the wash. It has mandelic acid (think brightening and skin clearing effects of Glycolic Acid but without the purging) and salicylic acid. It feels and smells like an acne wash from the dermatologist. For some reason, I like that. It feels more legit that way. I noticed a difference in my skin after using this. My skin tone was more even and there were fewer blemishes forming. The price isn't bad (about $15) but I go through it quickly even though I only use it in the morning with my Foreo Luna Mini.

4. Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

This is a brand that is completely new to me! And I have Youtuber Gothamista to thank for that.  It's a Korean skincare brand that offers high-quality products at a low price. I use this refreshing face wash on the mornings that my skin feels a little dry from using my acne spot treatments (more on those later). One bottle lasts a while, it feels nice on, and it doesn't leave behind any residue. Plus, it contains tea tree oil to help fight blemishes.

Toners & Serums

1. Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

I LOVE this toner. I started by spraying it onto a cotton ball and using it that way. But now I just mist it onto my face. It has glycolic acid in it and really helps with the overall look of my skin.

2.  Whamisa by Glow Recipe® Green Tea Serum Toner

Yes, I STILL use this serum toner. Still love it. Still love that it makes my skin look and feel so smooth. There are days when I skip this step, but I still use it most days/nights.

3.  HARISU Cosmeceuticals's AHA 15% Gel

Another new addition. Does this gel serum help with acne? I'm not sure. But it does give my skin a glow. It doesn't smell great and does not have a luxurious feel to it. But it is a quality product for under $7.

4.  Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

This is my tried and true! It's about $20 so I've tried to find a less expensive alternative, but I always come back to this one. I just haven't found anything that even compares to this serum.

Day Moisturizers

1. Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

To be honest, I'm still on the fence when it comes to this moisturizer. I like how it feels, I don't think it breaks me out, but I haven't been using it long enough to see any results.

2. Garnier SkinActive SPF 30 Face Moisturizer with Vitamin C

I've used this in the past and went back to it. Once my skin started breaking out I had to stop using most of the more natural based products I was using. Why? Because they all contain several different oils. And oil combats oil. However, my issue stems not so much from being oily, but from having pores that clog easily. And oil clogs my skin up! So I went back to this oil-free SPF moisturizer from my past.

Night Creams

1. Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Overnight Recharging & Refining Moisturizer

This is where things usually take a pricey turn. I have a hard time finding effective drugstore night creams that work for my skin. So I turn to higher-end brands. This one by Philosophy isn't too bad price wise. It doesn't make my skin break out, contains glycolic acid (seeing the trend?), and is moisturizing without being greasy.

2. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream

If I had to pick a skincare brand that I really trust, I'd pick Ole Henriksen. Yes, their products are pricey but I found this cream at Marshall's for about $6. Yep! It has licorice root extract and vitamin c which both brighten skin. This is another non-greasy option.

Spot Treatment

1. Mario Badescu Drying Mask

Not the drying lotion. The drying mask. It smells awful. I mean, it is probably the worst smelling skincare product I've ever used. But it works. It contains zinc and sulfur. It dries, shrinks, and reduces the redness of blemishes.  I mix this with the product below before applying them to blemishes.

2. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Spot Treatment Cream

This is a 10% benzoyl peroxide treatment. I honestly think any benzoyl peroxide treatment would work. This just happens to be the one I have.

I also use a couple of LED photon treatment products- but that is another post I will be doing soon!

My Routine (it's a lot)


1. Foreo Mini with Cosrx face wash OR Neutralyze face wash
2. Cosrx toner
3. Green tea toner serum
4. AHA Gel mixed with Derma E serum
5. Cosrx oil-free moisturizer
6. Garnier SPF moisturizer

Evening (let's be real. Like 10pm)

1. (Sometimes) LED Photon mask
2. Acure scrub
3. Proactiv face wash
4. Cosrx toner
5. Green tea toner serum
6. AHA Gel mixed with Derma E serum
7.  (Sometimes) Ole Henriksen cream
8. Hope in a Jar cream

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gifts the Moms You Know Really Want

Written by a contributing writer

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can experience. The ability to bring life into the world and nurture that life into a productive human being is an amazing superpower. Furthermore, it teaches a woman so much about herself and helps her become more selfless. However, motherhood is a challenging experience as well. Motherhood will test you in ways that you never realized it could. Between sleepless nights, tears and tantrums, it can be difficult to deal with the children in those early years. If you know a mother who is in the trenches of the terrible twos or the sleepless newborn stage, consider these ways you can show love and support.

1. Babysitting
If you're great with children, offer to come over and babysit while your friend takes a nap or catches up on other tasks. Sometimes, a mom just needs a few hours to get herself together.

2. Gifts

Think of thoughtful gifts that a mom can currently enjoy. If she has a lot of things to do, don't give her a book to read. An audiobook might be more appropriate. Candy gift baskets, gift cards to her favorite stores and luxurious bath sets are perfect options to bring a busy mom.

3. Cooking
Prepare a few dishes that are easy for a mother to freeze until she's ready to eat them. Make a huge pasta dish like lasagna or macaroni and cheese. Additionally, you can purchase a pre-packaged salad mix and bring a juice carton as well. Depending on how large a woman's family is, this can easily provide dinner for a day or two.

4. Chores
A mother who has a lot on her plate doesn't have much time to do household chores. It's not uncommon for a mother to struggle to manage all the tasks she needs to take care of in one day. In order to change this trajectory, it's nice to offer to come over and take care of a few chores. Laundry is always a big job. Offer to take the laundry to the local dry cleaner and allow them to take care of it. Even a task as simple as cleaning the kitchen will really help a mother out.