LEO WITH CANCER

INGREDIENTS FOR A BEAUTIFUL LIFE - EVEN WHEN THE KITCHEN'S BEEN BURNED DOWN

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2/6/16

VIDEO: The Best Easiest Brow Trick Ever from The Beauty Department



"Brow game on fleek." Those are the words that define eyebrows in the twenty tens. But how do you get Cara-like brows if you weren't genetically blessed with lush eye framing fringe? I've tried everything to plump up my post-chemo sparseness (with and without natural brows to work with) and I tell you this right now - nothing, NOTHING, has changed my game as hard as this simple, easy trick I just found on The Beauty Department. Using only my crappiest, cheapest eye pencil (I wont even link to it here because it is a waxy, thick unnatural nightmare which is why I have it - I never use/lose it)

and of course my beloved Glossier Boy Brow  -

I got serious, and most importantly natural looking, beefed-up brow game.

Check out the results below and then watch me work brow magic. On Fleek! On Fleek!




Get More Awesome Beauty Tutorials at The Beauty Department 

2/2/16

A New Quest: At Home Hair Game

I have a beauty routine that is pretty locked down. I've refined, tweaked and adjusted until I have a routine that makes me feel beautiful, pampered, indulged and balanced. I've calmed the post-chemo orange peel texture, figured out an emergency response when I abuse my fragile system, banish an unwanted blemish, and hacked my mask game. In the aftermath of the great Tidiness Purge of 2016 it's become apparent that I had so much to get rid of that all my good stuff was hiding, but the bathroom was actually the room that only generated a measly half a garbage bag (mostly from under the sink where I banish testers, empty bottles I used to hoard, boxes for products I like, etc.  In the absence of all that excess I can actually truly see what I am missing... And the answer shocked me.

I no longer know how to wash my own hair. I mean, physically I can do it - but in the end it's a greasy, limp mess. It looks like I have split ends (I don't - I see my mother the hairdresser every week, she would never let it happen) and even dandruff. I went through a phase (post-surgeries) where my hair was falling out by the hand ull. Most likely a combination of stress, anesthesia and not brushing or washing my hair for over a week at a time. But just in case I did a total hair product purge. I dumped everything. I replaced them with the highest rated organic products for hair loss. Lot's of ugly cream colored bottles with bright green leaves and big words like collagen and biotin.

And that's where we find ourselves. With me feeling incredibly disappointed with my shower situation and the hair that comes out of it. Since I've started exercising again my hair no longer holds up to the once a week salon trip blow dry plan that has sustained me for the last 6 months of recovery. These organic unicorn products are not giving me hair I can work with.

So I need a new shampoo and conditioner, and I'm a little bit excited about the process of finding one!  know my mother will have a lot to say about this and probably whisk me away to the Beauty Supply store when she reads this, and I hope to come back with the true unicorn of shampoo/conditioners. Amazing for the hair but minus the exorbitant price tag.
I confess to being intrigued by the new line from celeb fave Jen Atkin, which sounds amazing and just dropped yesterday. Bonus points for the amazing packaging...





 If you have any recommendations or want to weigh in let me know in the comments below... And until then, get ready for a lot of updos....


2/1/16

Bandana Stories - Recovering from KonMari cleaning our apartment



I love bandanas. I've spent the last two days doing a major overhaul, touching every single thing I own and deciding what to keep and what to let go of. I love stuff but I was starting to feel the burden of all the things, pressing in on my life and making me feel slow and heavy.

Obviously I turned to the KonMari method (more on that coming soon) which means I spent serious time sending love and energy into my objects and then deciding which ones were still giving them back to me. I thanked the ones that brought me joy but I had outgrown, hauling an SUV (including front passenger and back seats) stuffed to the brim with garbage bags to the salvation army. A second one went to the dumpster. If you're counting at home that's over 30 bags of stuff, (I finished a brand new box of garbage bags) and afterwards instead of feeling bereft I felt overwhelmed. I have so many good memories in my life, and touching the objects reconnected me with them.

At the end of the great purge I felt like I actually had more, better things - things I had forgotten, things that were hiding under things I didn't need anymore or that no longer brought me that spark of joy. I thanked a lot of things for teaching me what didn't suit me and then threw them mercilessly into a garbage bag. I did it with the hubs, who loves holding onto things for guilt more than he loves things and now has a closet that looks like a Hayes valley boutique.

I learned that I actually love folding, after having spent my whole life thinking I didn't - just because I didn't know how to do it right. Folding something and having it stand up on it's own is a simple, hard to explain pleasure that I hope you will all find someday.

One of the things to survive this purge was one slimmed down vintage bandana in maraschino cherry red.  The humble and brightly printed square of fabric brought me so much joy, and as it figures, continues to do so. I've worn them as bracelets recently, but yesterday for brunch I dared to venture out with one tied jauntily around my neck. I loved it.

I think it connects to the stories of the times I've worn bandanas and how it's tied into a sense of playfulness, fun and adventure  - summer camp, skiing, costumed adventures - each one a precious jewel in my memory box. 

There was the time my friends and I dressed up as the Oregon trail for Bay to Breakers - chanting proudly about manifest destiny as we trooped wear across the city towards the ocean. Our own slightly nerdy but very clever joke.

When I got my first bandana award (I think it was for picking up trash) at Camp Jones Gulch, followed shortly after by my first slow dance with a boy. I still remember the thin strapped Delia's tank top I paired it with for the dance, and how the brazeness of showing my shoulders made me feel bold and feminine.

I promise to report back honestly on if this this tidiness magic holds (if it doesn't I feel that I will have only myself to blame for not being ruthless enough in my purging) but right now I am proud to say that I eliminated THREE shelving units - drawing my clothes back into the closet from where they spilled out into the hall.

Unlike previous purges I feel completely free of an urge to replace things I shed. I don't feel deprived, or lacking in anything. I'm excited to wear my clothes and looking forward to getting my laundry back for once (instead of dread at the putting away process!)

I'm far from a capsule wardrobe, but everything in my closet now fits me, is free of rips and stains, and fills me with joy when I touch it. Even my little bandana.




1/29/16

I was bad last night...

I ate greasy, gluten-infested food and then I barely washed my face before I went to bed. I mean I used my beloved balm (see below) which is like magic and somehow zaps off all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft and amazing. But I didn't even bother going anywhere near my eye makeup (of which there was A LOT - when I don't feel well I turn to eyeliner and Pinterest smokey eye tutorials, sometimes layering on more than one) because I knew I didn't have the arm strength or the fortitude to tackle that mess.

I woke up this morning looking like a blotchy, panda bear. If panda's had pores that you could swim in and were a unpleasant shade of pink.

But fear not - because I have things. ALL THE THINGS. And I can fix this so that tonight, Friday night, a night when I want my skin to be at it's healthiest and most glowing, I will have recovered from my poor decision making.


READ THIS! IMPORTANT!

 I have done some horrible things to my skin and my skin self-awareness is master level. Beware overmasking!! If you're trying a new product do not layer it. To get to this level of insanity I slowly layered in additional products over, I kid you not, a year, so that I know that these potent ingredients all work OK together for my skin and won't cause some scary mixing reaction that ends up being even worse. Irritation and allergies are no joke. Seriously, do not try this at home kids. Pick one (maybe 2?) and then if you must descend to my level of spending an hour on a home facial, slowly add in additional products.






What I used:

They're Real Remover
Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse
Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack
Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA
NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device + 24K Gold Complex Brighten
Tony Moly Sheet Mask Multi Pack
Smart Water 6-Pack
Glossier Soothing Face Mist
June Jacobs Raspberry Recovery Serum
Kimberly Parry Organics Nourishing Serum
Glam Glow Pout Mud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment & Wet Lip Balm Treatment 
Glossier  Moisturizing Moon Mask

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