Wednesday, April 27, 2011

1-minute makeover moves from "Seventeen" magazine

For this post I wanted to branch out to do something I have not touched on yet, fitness. I have a subscription to Seventeen magazine and they offered "1-minute makeover moves" to help you get a great body! I decided that since swim suit season was upon us, I would try this workout and share it with you too.

Thanks Seventeen! :D

Warm up
Trainer Sonki Hong tells readers that they should warm up by jogging in place for 2 minutes, stretching your whole body for 5 minutes, and doing jumping jacks for 1 minute.

Jogging in place
Work Out
*The trick for this warm up is that you do each move for 60 seconds as hard as you can and then resting for 30 seconds in between.
*After you do all 5 moves, you should repeat them all two more times.

Move One: Dips
This move tones your arms and shoulders!
A. Sit on chair, hands beside your hips. Slide off the chair and extend your legs straight out.

B. Lower your body by bending arms to a 90 degree angle then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Move Two: Bicycles
This move slims your waist!
A. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and lift legs and bend them to a 90 degree angle.

B. Extend your right leg out and bring left knee into your chest and twist reaching elbow towards your knee.

C. Repeat this motion on the other side. Keep alternating B and C in a fast fluid motion.

Move Three: Duck Walks
This move tones your butt and thighs!
A. Squat keeping your back straight and place hands behind your head.

B. Stay squated and take a big step forward with your right leg.

C. Take another step forward with your left leg. Keep "duck walking" for the full 60 seconds.

Move Four: Swimmers
This move tones your back, abs, and butt!
A. Get down on your hands and knees with your back straight.

B. Lift right arm and left leg at the same time. Keep both parallel to the floor. Return to starting position. 

C. Repeat on the other side.

Move Five: Sidekicks
This move firms your hips, butt and thighs!
A. Stand with feet and hands together.

B. Lift your right leg sideways until you feel your muscles stretching. Keep your leg and upper body straight. Return to starting position.

C. Repeat motion on the other side.

NOTE: Magazine reccomended using a resistance band for this move. Sadly, I did not have one but you can still do the exercise if you do not. Just squeeze your leg when it is in the air. 

I hope that you will try out this workout. It was really easy and fun to do! Hopefully I can stick to this routine and get my body swimsuit ready...and I hope you will too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Researchers: Beauty Sleep Not a Myth

Of course healthy skin is important for beauty and make up and hair enhance our natural beauty. But what is really most important for beauty? SLEEP! ABC News covered a story about Swedish scientist conducted a study which found an important link between sleep and physical appearance.

The Study:
The study was conducted by John Axelsson and his team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The article explains that "23 healthy adults from ages 18 to 31 were first photographed after eight hours of sleep, wearing no makeup. The same adults were photographed again after sleeping only five hours and being kept awake for a full 31 hours, with the same lighting and camera settings." After this the photos were shown to 65 "untrained observers" who rated them on various topics. Ultimately the study found that "sleep-deprived individuals appear less healthy, more tired, and less attractive than those who have received a full night's worth of sleep."
What to do?
It is apparent that a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your physical appearance so it is important to get an adequate amount of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens get "9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to function best (for some, 8 1/2 hours is enough). Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights." As for adults, 7-8 hours is about average. The Foundation does recommend taking short naps during the day to improve short term alertness.

Healthy Sleep Tips
The Natural Sleep Foundation gives 10 tips for healthy sleeping on their site. Many sites and professionals recommend that you have a comfortable place for sleeping. Ultimately, try to plan your schedule around allowing yourself to get as much sleep as possible! Just ask yourself if you are getting your beauty sleep!?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Don't Die....It's Just Hair Dye!

So since I focused on hair my last post I would continue with this theme. With the season changing, I have heard a lot of my friends talking about changing their hair color. Some of them have come to me for help, unfortunately some of them came after a color disaster. My goal for this post is to keep you from experiencing a hair disaster by talking about color choice, types of dye (or color as we like to refer to it in cosmetology), how to apply your color and how to make it last to its fullest.
Hair Color Swatches

Picking your color
The main thing you need to decide when picking your hair color is if your skin tone is cool or warm. This will determine the color hue you should choose. Cool colors will have a blue or green undertone and warm colors will have red or orange undertones. If you have trouble determining this, look at the colors of your clothing that looks best on you and these colors will help you determine if your skin is cool or warm.

Types of hair color
There are three main types of hair color, temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Temporary colors wash out in one or two washes. Semi-permanent last a few months where the chemicals from permanent color will be in your hair forever.

How to apply your hair color
The first thing you should do when applying your hair color is separating your hair into sections so you can apply the product evenly. If you are trying a new color and a new product I would recommended doing a test strand so you know for sure how your hair will respond to the product before you put it all over your head! If you are satisfied with the test, start applying it to each section one at a time. AN IMPORTANT TIP: start applying color in the middle of your hair. Your ends are porous and suck up color faster and the heat from your scalp will cause the color to develop. Also, if you have really thick hair you may want to do the bottom half of your hair, wash it out, then do the top. Wait the full time the directions say then wash out the color.

Protecting your color
You should always use color protecting shampoo and conditioner so chemicals in regular shampoo don't strip your color. It is important to use protective styling products as well because the damaging heat can cause color to fade. Stay away from harsh chemicals like chlorine from pools and watch out for UV rays!

I hope that I have taken some of the fright out of hair coloring! Good luck and have fun with your color!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Trend to Top Those Lucious Locks

Since my last post was on hair and my wonderful friend Erin did such a good job talking to you about accessories, I figured that I would stay on these topics for this post! I thought I would share with you a fashion trend popping back up this season, the Fedora!

Classic felt Fedora
This hat is a great accessory for a couple of reasons. First it is a hat that is suitable for both men and women. Fedora's date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Originally a woman's fashion, it became a part of middle class male attire in the 1920's. The fedora is a accessory that is very classy and is not too over the top for those that are not big on over accessorizing. Secondly, the fedora is useful for protecting your face from the sun. The brim of the hat can come in different sizes and is good to protect you from that spring and summer sun! Straw fedoras are becoming increasingly popular because they are light weight and will not be too hot in the warming weather!  
Straw Fedora
Accessorizing helps out any outfit and any look. The fedora can be dressed up or down for a casual day! I hope that you will try one out and see how you like it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Beauty of Accesories: A Guest Post by Erin Kidd

Hello blog readers, this is not Amanda speaking. Actually, this is Erin Kidd, someone who loves Amanda very much :)

That's me :)
 Anyway, for those of you who do not know, I have my own blog called Becoming a Girly Girl. Basically, I am a once tomboy, no makeup wearer, who is trying to learn the ins and outs of being girly. My blog is documenting my journey to become a true woman...or at least a girlier one.

So, for this blog post, you are stuck with me instead of Amanda. Oh yeah, I know you are excited. ;)

Today, I am here to talk to you about my experience with accessories. For years, my only accessory was a cross necklace that my momma gave me for Christmas. It was simple, elegant, and represented something that I was passionate about. It was the only accessory that I felt like I needed.

You see my cross necklace?
However, I have recently began to experiment with other types of accessories because I am trying to be girly and girly girls accessorize.

  Headbands, bows, necklaces, rings, hats, bracelets, etc....they are all slowly making their way into my life. I am starting to understand how just the right accessory can bring an entire outfit together. I now own some bows for my hair, some long necklaces, and some hats. I have to say that I am proud of myself for broadening my horizons and jumping onto the accessory train.

pretty headband
So I guess the morale of the story is, girly girls accessorize. If you see a cute accessory in a store that you just have to buy, go ahead and splurge...just make sure that you have an outfit that will go with it. I am currently expanding my collection, and will continue to girly myself out with accessories.

What is hair?

Hair, it is our ultimate accessory. We carry it with us everywhere we go so we always want it to look great. But have you ever thought about what hair really is, what it’s made of? What makes our hair different colors and different types like straight or curly? Well, I am here to tell you.

What is hair? 
First off, your hair grows out of follicles on your scalp. Hair starts out as a bulb. Then the follicle grows under the skin and the shaft is the part of the hair that is seen outside the scalp. The only part of the hair that is really alive is what is under the skin. This is where the hair grows. Also under the skin around the hair follicle are the sebaceous glands which produce sebum, an oily substance that coats the hair making it semi waterproof. This is what allows water to run off hair when it is washed. This diagram shows a picture of hair under the skin. 

Hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin which gives hair its strength. The hair shaft itself is made up of three parts. The first layer is the medulla. The second layer is the cortex. This layer is the main source of the shafts strength and where the hair collects water. The top layer is the cuticle. This is the layer that provides protection thanks to the cells that make it up. This is the layer of the hair that is damaged by things such as rough brushing, heating products such as curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers, as well as chemical damage from hair color. It is important that you use protective styling products to keep you hair as damage free as possible! 

What determines hair type and color?
The secret of hair type and color lie in cortex layer of the hair. The shapes of the cells that make up this layer determine how straight or curly your hair will be. The more round the cell the straighter the hair and the more oval or abnormally shaped the more curly. As for hair color, it is determined by something called melanin. Different types of melanin and the abundance of it determine hair color. Eumelanin causes dark blonde, brunette, or black hair. Pheomelanin makes red hair. Blonde hair is not caused by a specific type of melanin but the lack of melanin. Grey hair begins to show as the melanin in your hair starts to decrease and slowly disappear. 

Now that you know a little more about what exactly your hair is I hope that you will appreciate it more. Hair is more complex than we like to think. It is very important to keep your hair healthy and protected so you will always have you best accessory!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lip color: The final step of your beaty routine

The last thing every girl needs to complete her make up routine is lip color. Even if you prefer going “nude” it is good to put some type of product on your lips such as a gloss or balm like Chap Stick so they do not look too bare against the rest of your made-up face. The #1 rule of lip color is not to play up your eyes AND your lips. This simply means that if you are putting a lot of emphasis on your eyes then down play your lips. If you are going more natural with your eye make up then play up your lips to get a dramatic effect somewhere on your face.  

STEP 1: Liner
Not all women use lip liner when applying lip color but that is fine. The point of lip liner is to correct any flaws in your lips, make them appear larger or smaller, and to give the color product a base to stick to. Lip liner does make your color last longer so it is good to use. When applying liner you should follow the natural line of your lip. If you want to make them look bigger line right outside your natural line but DO NOT go over board! You will be able to see the natural line of your lip if you make a fake line too far away from it. The same rule goes for making lips appear smaller but make your line slightly inside the natural lip line. After you have made the outside line, color in your lips with the liner.


STEP 2: Lip color
I keep using the phrase “lip color” because traditional lipsticks are not the only products you can use to get color on your lips. You can use colored glosses and balms as well. You should pick the product that feels most comfortable to you. 

When picking a lip color it is important to remember that not all colors will look the same on all people. You have to keep in mind the colors of your skin tone and feel free to try different shades before picking one that is right for you. Also keep in mind you can mix colors to create a perfect shade.

When applying your lip color you should follow the line of your natural lips or the line you created with your liner. You can use a lip brush, your finger, or the tube/wand itself, just do what is easiest for you. After you apply your color, rub your lips together to blend the color. A tip I learned works to keep lipstick off your teeth is to stick your finger in your mouth, close your lips around it and pull it out. I know this sounds funny but it will remove any color that would rub off onto your teeth!

After this step, you are finished with your lip color.  You should now have all the steps and tips necessary to complete a basic make up routine! I hope that you have are excited to try your new routine out and remember, BE CREATIVE!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This week I am going to continue the trend of make up how-to’s. Our make up routine is not complete just yet. After foundation, powder, some blush and maybe a little bronzer, it is time to shift to the eyes. Your are probably the most powerful things on your face and applying make up to them in the right ways will help them POP!

When applying make up you should always begin by applying your eye shadow. It is important that your eyelids be primed with foundation and powder so that the eye shadow will stick without wearing off. In today’s age, it really does not matter what color your eye shadow is. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MATCH YOUR EYESHADOW TO YOUR OUTFIT!! It is ok to experiment with different colors. Neutral colors like browns and tans go with every skin type and are a safe bet if you are not sure what color to pick. Many products today are geared for specific types of eye colors and come in pallets with 2-4 different shades of colors.
Eye shadow pallet
When applying the eye shadow you should start with a lighter color on the lids of your eyes. Apply some of the shadow to your brush and starting at the inside corner of your eye sweep the color to the outside corner. Next, you want to get a color a shade lighter than the lid color and apply that to your crease. To find your crease close your eye and open it again; the natural crease is where you want to apply the darker color. For an even more dramatic look, you can apply and even darker shade to the outside corner to give your eyes definition. Finally, you want to apply a translucent color to your brow bone and the inside corners of your eye near your tear ducts. The light shimmer makes your eyes look bigger. Applying shadows in this order will give your eyes amazing definition and make them pop! Make sure to do the same steps for both eyes.

The next step to eye make up is eyeliner. Eyeliner is not always necessary when applying eye make up but is another way to add definition and make your eyes stand out. It is good to stick with neutral colored eyeliner if you are applying it with colored eye shadow, but again feel free to experiment. I recommend black or brown or if you believe that these colors are too dark opt for a gray. When lining your eyes it is most important to do the top lashes. This will make your eyes appear larger. Before applying your liner, find your natural lash line, this is where your eyeliner should go. You do not want a space between your lashes and your liner. Just like with your shadow, start at the inside corner of your eye and work out. It is good to do small strokes so you can follow the natural lash line. You should stop at the outside corner of your eye or if you are feeling daring add a small wing to the end! Repeat the same steps on the other eye.

Mascara tube
In my personal opinion, mascara is the most important eye make up. You can go without shadow or liner and mascara will define your eyes by itself. Mascaras come in all forms; lengthening, plumping, waterproof, etc, you should find the one that best fits your needs. When applying mascara you should start with your bottom lashes so you do not smear the mascara on your top lashes on accident. Remove the brush from your mascara tube and gently apply the make up to your bottom lashes. Go slowly so you do not accidentally hit your skin with the brush. If this happens, simply use a wet q-tip to remove the excess make up. After the bottom lashes are done, then apply the mascara to your upper lashes. Some people find it easier to apply it on your top lashes if you slowly blink while pulling the brush upward. When all lashes on both eyes are evenly coated with mascara, you are done with your eye make up!

I hope that you find these steps easy to follow and remember eye make up is all about being creative. Use it as a tool to express yourself!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blush: The second step of your make up routine

Hello readers! Since last time I told you how to start your make up routine, applying foundation and powder, this time we are going to talk about the next step, blush. Like your foundation and powder, your blush should be applied before the rest of your make up.
Step One: Picking your shade
Picking the right shade of blush for your skin tone is the most important step. The point of blush is to give you a natural, feminine glow, NOT to make you look like Bozo the Clown! The basic rule of thumb when it comes to blush is to flatter your skin tone. Simply put, the lighter your skin the lighter shade of blush you should choose. If you do not know your skin tone, has a unique tool that can help you.
Once you have determined your skin tone next you should pick your blush color. The easiest way to determine the appropriate color is to lightly pinch your cheek and pick the shade closest to the color your cheeks turn. It is good if you bring a mirror with you when you go to buy your blush in case there isn’t one available. WARNING: sometimes the incandescent lights in department stores can alter the color of your blush. If you get it home and realize it is not the right color, TAKE IT BACK!

Step Two: Applying your blush
After you have found your perfect shade it is time to apply. You will need a blush brush to apply the powdered product. The bigger the brush, the more natural the application will look.
Blush Brush
Rub brush in circular motion over blush to get product on it. Lightly blow off excess blush. Next SMILE! The round apples of your cheeks are where you want to start applying your blush. Apply in small circular motions up towards the temples. Soften the line by doing the same motions over again until the blush is well blended. You may want to add a little blush to the bridge of your nose and forehead.

My Bronzer
Optional Step Three: Bronzer
Adding bronzer to your blush step can help give you a sun kissed look. The same rules apply with picking blush. If you have a lighter skin tone pick a lighter bronzer. You should apply bronzer to places where the sun would naturally hit your face: bridge of nose, forehead and high on your cheek bones

Now get out there and find your perfect shade of blush and bronzer. These two products can help your skin pop! Good luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Foundation: The base for your make up routine

Welcome back everyone! Since my last post talked about how to make your face healthy and clear we will talk about the next step, make up. When doing your make up routine the first thing you want to start with is your concealer, foundation and powder
Step one: Concealer
The first thing you need to do when applying make up is to add concealer. Concealer is used to cover up, or conceal, any trouble spots you may have such as acne, birthmarks and/or age spots. It is also used to cover up dark bags under the eye. Concealer typically comes in two types: solid stick or liquid.
Solid stick and Liquid Concealer

When choosing a concealer you want it to be one shade lighter than your foundation. This way the concealer will be covered by your foundation and will reflect light off of the trouble spots. Picking a concealer with a pink undertone will really help cover dark under eye circles because it contrasts with the dark color as well as reflect light making the circles appear lighter.
You should place a small amount of concealer on all trouble spots and blend in with a finger or concealer brush. Now you are free to continue to the next step.
Step two: Foundation
The next step is to apply your foundation. The first thing you need to know is what shade of foundation you will need. A good way to determine this is to match the color to the skin on the back of your wrist. Since your face gets a lot of sun it may be a different color than your body. Simply put a small amount of foundation on this area and find the closest match. It may be necessary to mix different shades to find a perfect match.
Other than selecting your shade you need to decide what type of foundation you would like to use. This will also determine how to apply the foundation. Today the make up market is full of various types of foundations. The main types are liquid and powder. Variations of these forms have arisen such as mousse and spray foundation.
Liquid foundations have been the norm for years. Many people have probably seen their mothers use liquid foundations or have used them themselves.
Liquid foundations have the reputation of being thick, cakey and heavy. With new formulas that have been developed liquid foundations are not as oily and do not have as many chemicals in them. A new twist on liquid foundations is tinted moisturizers which is healthy for your skin.
Liquid foundation should be applied with a foundation brush or your fingers. Sponges are ok to use but you should throw them away at least once every two weeks because they can gather bacteria. Place a dab of foundation on your forehead, nose, under each eye, each cheek and chin and then blend in. Make sure that you blend in well so you do not have lines and continue foundation to your neck if it is not the same color as your face and the rest of the body.
Powder foundations are becoming increasingly popular because they have a lighter feel on the face than liquid. A lot of powder foundations today are mineral foundations which are really healthy for your skin.
Mineral powder foundation
To apply this type of foundation you will need a brush. The bigger the brush the more naturally the powder will go on and the easier it will blend. You need to dip the brush in the powder then tap the access off. Next apply the powder to your face starting at your forehead. You want to apply the foundation in small, fast, circular motions. Once you have covered you entire face you are finished with this step.
Step Three: Powder
The final step of this process is applying powder. Powder is used to seal in your foundation and be a primer for the rest of your make up. You apply powder the same way as powder foundation since it is the same form. After you apply your powder you are finished with the first part of your make up routine.
I hope that these tips are easy to follow and will help you start your make up routine. In upcoming posts I will walk you through more steps that will become part of your make up routine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The first step to a beautiful you: Skin Care!

Hey everyone! Since the goal of this blog is to help you be the most beautiful you, I think that it is important to start with the foundation of your beauty regiment, YOUR SKIN! It does not matter how much makeup you try and pile on your face, if your skin is not healthy you will be able to tell! I am going to share with you the basic routine needed to keep your skin healthy, primarily that on your face.

To begin with you need to know what type of skin you have. The basic categories break down into dry, oily, normal and combination. Now a days skin care products are designed to specifically fit different skin types. Skin care is NOT one size fits all! Most cosmetic brands carry skin care products and will carry the full line of products you will need for your skin care routine. Although all your products do not have to be from the same brand, most brands have developed their line to work together to give you maximum results.

For the first step of your skin care routine, I would recommend using a makeup remover. I know what you are thinking, won't my cleanser remove my makeup? The answer generally would be yes but sometimes cleansers leave things behind. You will also get a deeper clean if there is not a layer of make up on your face. Another bonus, avoiding the "raccoon eyes" you get from trying to wash off eye make up! Most makeup removers today come in a convenient wipe, if not you will need to apply the remover to a cotton ball or round and rub the make up off with that. After you have finished this step you are free to move to step two.

The next step is to cleanse your face. For this step you want to wet your face with warm water. The warm water opens up your pores and loosens up all the dirt, germs and any debris left on your face. Next you want to apply a dime to nickel size amount of the cleansing product onto your finger tips. You will be able to tell just how much product to use after a time or two. Some products go farther with a smaller amount. Once you have your cleanser ready you want to warm it up in your finger tips and then apply it all over your face using small, circular, massaging motions. The goal is to get the cleanser deep into your pores to remove all the bad stuff in them. An exfoliating cleanser will help too get rid of dry dead skin as well. Once you have done this for about 30 seconds to a minute, you can rinse the product off with lukewarm or cool water. Now it's time to move on.

Cleansing the skin has opened up the pores of your face to remove the dirt in them. When you rinse off the cleanser, your pores start to close. It is the job of the toner to open those pores back up. It is also the job of the toner to tighten the muscle tissue in your face as well as removing any left over oils and chemicals from your cleanser as well as restoring the skins pH levels. Toners, also referred to as astringents, can help to clam skin irritations as well as prevent black heads and blemishes. To apply the toner you want to pour a small amount of the product onto a cotton round and rub it on your face focusing primarily on your "T zone" (your forehead nose and chin) where all skin types are most oily. It is best if you apply the toner in upward strokes so the product will get into the pores. Let the toner dry before moving onto the final step.

This is an important step that most people leave out of their skin care routine. No matter what skin type you have you should always moisturize after washing and toning your face. This is because all of the chemicals have removed the natural moisture from your skin and if you do not replace them your skin will become very dry, tight and even irritated. It is important however not to apply too much moisturizer. For most people you will only need a dime size amount, but as I said before this will also be determined by the product you are using. For this step all you will need to do is pour a dime sized amount of moisturizer onto your fingertips and then massage it into your skin. You should look for a moisturizer that has an SPF in it to add protection for everyday sun exposure. Once this step is complete you are done with your basic skin care routine!

I hope that you will find this step by step routine easy to do. Most people would recommend doing a skin care routine twice a day but once at bedtime is a good starting place. Also, if you have trouble with acne add an acne treatment into your routine at the end after your moisturize. And remember, you do not have to go out and buy fancy skin care products that are really expensive, you can find good brands of products at a drugstore. Now get out there, get these products and start your skin care routine today!

Image rights

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Welcome to my very first blog! I am really excited to take on this new experience and glad that you are taking this journey with me!

When trying to figure out what my blog should be about, I started racking my brain for subjects that I was interested in. It took me about a week and then I thought, why not blog about something that is a part of my everyday life, BEAUTY. And no that was not me being conceded, I am actually referring more to my beauty regiment which contains, skin care, hair, make up, health and even some fitness every now and then. You know, the things that most women go through on a daily basis not only to look, but to feel beautiful.

Now I know what you are thinking..."Who is this girl and why should I listen to any beauty tips she gives me?" Well I will tell you. When I was in high school I got the opportunity to take college classes from the local community college. A close friend and I chose to take Cosmetology classes. I was really excited to actually get to earn college credit learning how to do hair and make up! I took Cosmetology classes for two years and am certified to practice under a licensed Cosmetologist.

During these two years I have gained knowledge in the area of Beauty and have picked up some tricks I would like to pass along to you. My goal to make you the most beautiful you that you can be! I hope that you will follow along and I can't wait to start sharing!