Archive of ‘Bashful Beauty Blog’ category

Blog Update

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest, you may have noticed that I’ve been including more home decor related posts. When I first created this blog, my goal was to inspire others to be more receptive to natural/organic brands and to give people with curly hair the confidence they need and deserve. Although this still holds true and is something that I hold dear to my heart, I have also realized that I’m very loyal to products. I’m not high maintenance when it comes to hair and makeup, and once I find something that works for me and that I trust, I don’t continue to try and test different products. In fact, I have a pretty neutral makeup routine that is consistent from day-to-day. Believe it or not, it took me some time to realize this. This is not to say that I’ve sworn off any new brands, but for the most part, my facial, hair and makeup routines have remained the same. 

I’ve mentioned something similar in the past, but to me Bashful Beauty Blog is a place for all things beauty. Beauty in fashion, home decor, travel, makeup, hair and just life in general. The reason I’m sharing this with you is because I didn’t want you to feel like I’ve forgotten about my readers or question why I don’t post more frequent makeup and hair posts. Rest assured, those topics are still important to me and will still be featured here.

With that said, I hope you guys will enjoy the new and approved blog. 

In the coming weeks, you’ll get a peek inside my kitchen, I’ll share how I celebrated my one year wedding anniversary and I’ll show you the finished product of DIY project I’m currently working on with my husband. 

Let me know what you think about the new direction of my blog in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.

Time to grab that camera and travel bag. And remember, live life and do what you love. Until next time…

Sandy

 

My Favorite Stores

DSC_0087Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve been trying to revamp my site and in case you didn’t notice, I now have a unique web address (bashfulbeautyblog.com). So exciting – don’t forget to bookmark it! Nonetheless, sorry for my lack of new posts recently.

I thought it would be fun to jump right back into the swing of things by sharing my favorite stores and websites to buy my every day products.  Enjoy!

Ricky’s NYC:

In my opinion, a lot of people think of Ricky’s NYC as their go-to shop for Halloween costumes (perfect for this time of year), but from what I’ve seen, little attention is given to the array of hair, skincare and makeup products abundantly stocked on its store shelves.  When I’m running low on my favorite DevaCurl products, want to splurge on a Butter London nail polish, or pick up some more towelettes by Burt’s Bees, you’ll find me in one of their locations.  If you don’t have one near you, check out their website and shop away.

Vapourorganicbeauty.com:

Love their bronzer!  The best part is, it’s packaged as a cute little travel stick for easy re-application when needed.

Duane Reade, Walgreens or CVS:

Take in the beautiful SheaMoisture shrine at these local drugstores.  Recently, I’ve also been loving L’Oreal‘s Alcohol-Free Mousse.  Not as natural as other brands I adore, but the fact that it’s alcohol-free and my curls love this stuff, makes me a fan. The important message here is that more and more brands are starting to listen to their customers and exclude ingredients that aren’t beneficial to our health, hair or skin. And although I’m an advocate for natural/organic brands, it doesn’t mean that I, nor you, have to be perfect all the time. Just try your best to learn more about the ingredients and exclude what you can.

Kjaerweis.com:

Vist this website.  You’ll fall in love with their packaging alone.  My favorite is the cream blush in the shade called ‘Lovely‘.

Whole Foods:

Whole Foods expands beyond a go-to source for food. This is where I pick up new nail polish by Mineral Fusion, my Sante eyeliner, EO conditioner, Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap and so much more.

Sephora:

Tarte Cosmetics isn’t 100% natural, but they are formulated without parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. This is where I go to pick up irresistible Tarte eyeshadow palettes or new mascara.  Recently, I’ve been obsessed with Josie Maran’s Argan Oil.  I apply this at night after cleaning my face and have noticed a huge difference in the texture and appearance of my skin.

What are you favorite natural/organic stores?

 

 

Curl Friends Confession with Raffaella S. DiStefano

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. It’s definitely a go-to for home decor, makeup, and hair inspiration. A few months ago I was browsing through curly hairstyles (obviously) and came across a Pinner who was effortlessly flaunting her curls. You all know how excited I get when I see confident women letting their curly hair down. Unlike my first Curl Friends Confession, Raffaella isn’t a Youtuber or blogger, but she’s a woman who is in love with her curls in what can feel like a straight haired world at times. In addition to her beautiful mane, Raffaella is of Italian descent and loves to cook, a huge part of her culture/upbringing.

One thing that Raffaella mentioned that resonated with me the most is: When you realize and accept what you have, your life becomes so much easier. I owe a lot of this acceptance to my mother who always encouraged me to embrace who I was.

This reminds me so much of my relationship with my mom. She showed me by example what it truly meant to love yourself every time she styled her natural curly hair in the morning, and she continues to do so today.

With that, I’m excited to bring you Curl Friends Confession with Raffaella S. DiStefano.

1. Recommended bedtime routine for taming your locks: My bedtime routine is pretty simple. I put all of my already styled and dried hair back in a loose, soft headband. Don’t tie it like a ponytail. Just slip the headband about midway down your hair. This prevents the curls from being crushed and “dented” over night and allows you to wear fresh curls again the next day.
2. Gel, mousse, cream, or all of the above (include specific product names if you’d like): I use a few different products. I think over the years, we try so many hair products, we eventually figure out what works best for us. I use Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam. It’s a lightweight mousse so it will not weigh down my curls and doesn’t give them a crispy texture. I always think big! I also use Moroccan Oil Curly Hair Mousse on the hairline around my face. This is also a lightweight mousse but its more defining for those short layers, bangs or tendrils we like around our face. And lastly, Samy Big Curls Curl Defining Crème for my layers on top. I think any curl creme would work here. This particular product is, again, lightweight so it doesn’t weigh down my curls on top. I try to avoid my hair looking flat. I like lots of height. I finish off my styling routine with a spritz of Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray. I am also a big fan of the Deva Curl Product Line

3. Describe your wash-and-go routine: Having curly hair, we all know it’s a no-no to wash your hair everyday. I wash my hair three times a week. So on the days when I don’t wash my hair, but I need to freshen up my curls and get rid of some frizz, I simply use a little water and wet only the hair around my face because my hairline is usually what gets frizzy. Water also reactivates the product that’s already there, so there is no need to add more product. This instantly gets rid of frizz and once it dries, its like freshly styled curls. However, if there is a day when I really do need to wash & go, I just use Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating mask leave in and conditioner and let my hair air-dry.

4. Go-to curly hairstyle when you’re in a rush: Depends on where I am in a rush to. If it is for work or casual, I just used a claw clip and clip the top section of my hair back in a half-up, half-down look. If want to look more polished, I’ll either just wet the hair around my face to get rid of frizz and let air dry or I wet just the top part of my hair, side part it and slick it back, leaving a big, curly pony tail.

5. Advice to girls/women who want to wear their hair naturally curly: Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to look different. You were born with his hair. Stand out and be you!

6. Hair and/or makeup tips you swear by: Layers! Lots and lots of layers. You want all of your curls to be displayed. Make-up: 1. I cannot emphasize the importance of a good oil-free daily moisturizer and night cream. Healthy, clear skin is the canvas you’re about to paint. 2. Eyebrows are a big deal because they frame your face. When done right, and of course with the right eyebrow pencil, you’ll find you will not even need that much make-up.

7. Air dry or diffuser: Diffuser of course! This dries your curls while still keeping them defined. Then about half way through, I take the diffuser off and just blow-dry my hair normally. Remember: Think big! Keeping most of your hair defined will not give you the height or volume you desire.

8. How often do you get a haircut? Dry cut or regular? I usually get a haircut every 3-4 months, which is usually when I feel like my top layers are getting too long. For years I got my hair dry cut which works great for the layers, style and shape you want, but I found it was a little harsh on my ends. I recently discovered that my hair could be cut wet while still achieving the layers, style and shape I desire, and keep my ends healthy. I highly recommend going to a stylist who specializes in curly/ethnic hair.

9. Tips for obtaining volume:  It all lies within the products you use starting with shampoo and conditioner. If you want volume, it is important to use shampoo and conditioner specifically for curly hair because they wont weigh down your hair down. Like all the products I use, my shampoo and conditioner are lightweight and not overly conditioning so my curls can be light and bouncy the way they should be. I also only do conditioning treatments about once per month. Too much over conditioning will also flatten and weigh down your curls.

Raffaella also mentioned that she’s a fan of some of the natural hair care counterparts like DevaCurl, which you all know is one of my absolute faves.  She’s particularly fond of the Light Defining Gel. But don’t fret if DevaCurl isn’t in your price range – there are also great drugstore brands like L’Oreal EverCurl Sulfate-Free Hair Care for Curly Hair shampoo and conditioner, which she loves because it doesn’t weigh her hair down.  Although conditioning is good, try not to overdue it, otherwise you run the risk of weighing down your curls.

So ladies, whenever you feel like your hair confidence is diminishing and that you’ve somehow been cursed, just remember this inspirational quote from Raffaella:  I love my hair and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than loving who you are. Rock what you were born with!

 

 

Beauty in fabric…

IMG_6769.JPGTop: Charlotte Russe (last season) | Pants: Zara | Hair: Devacurl B’Leave-In and DevaCurl Set It Free

Sunday Funday was in full effect yesterday. I enjoyed a beautiful brunch with some special people in my life.

Yes, summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the fun, outdoorsy plans should end. Enjoy the last few weeks and if you dare, break out some vibrant colors. It’s a great mood-booster.

Happy (not so) end of summer!

Your Beauty To-Do List

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I was updating my to-do list at work earlier this week and couldn’t help but notice how beneficial to-do lists are in our every day lives (outside of work and school). I don’t know about you guys, but I’m constantly jotting down things I need to do (i.e. personal goals, schedule to pay bills, and even things I’d love to experience). I prefer taking these notes on paper (nothing beats an “old-school” paper and pen), but most of the time I utilize apps on my iPhone.

Now you may be thinking, What in the world does this have to do with beauty? Well, when a person is disorganized, that can lead to stress and we know stress can effect our overall health, which in turn effects the way we look and feel. To-do lists force me to meet deadlines. It’s important to think of it as a professional/educational to-do list in order to truly reap the benefits. When you’re at work you can’t say, I’ll get to this whenever I get to it. You must meet deadlines in order to keep things flowing, receive positive feedback during annual reviews, and eventually grow within the company and/or career.

The same thing applies to your personal life. When you check things off your list, you feel a sense of accomplishment and like you have everything under control. Without constant reminders, we’re bound to forget things. This can make you feel overwhelmed as you scramble to complete a personal errand and/or task. Being overwhelmed leads to freaking out, which leads to you feeling drained, upset, and essentially a poster child of stress.

As you can see, it’s a pretty lengthy ripple effect.

So here’s my challenge to you. Make a simple to-do list for tomorrow (or one day this week) and be sure to check things off as you go. You can start with less daunting tasks like making your bed in the AM, drinking water to rehydrate in the morning, or calling a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just think about little things that will make you feel good about yourself, then work towards bigger tasks and/or goals.

Let me know how it goes!

Curl Friends Confession with HoneysCurls

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I’m so excited to announce a new section on my blog called Curl Friends Confession! I thought this would be a great way for my readers to get to know other curly girls out there in hopes of building their confidence.

Whether we like it or not, society says that straight hair exudes confidence, respect and acceptance (to name a few).  I recall feeling like I had to straighten my hair whenever I took a school picture or attended an event/party during my adolescent days. Though there’s nothing wrong with wanting to style your hair differently (and I’m not swearing off straightening my hair by any means), I think it’s important to be proud of the hair texture that you’re born with, because at the end of the day, your hair isn’t what exudes confidence, respect and acceptance — it’s you!

Now without further adieu, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you…

Curl Friends Confession with HoneysCurls. As a quick intro, HoneysCurls is a vlogger with over 9,200 subscribers on YouTube.  I personally love watching beauty and hair tutorials and couldn’t help but instantly subscribe to her channel when I saw her beautiful curls, and awesome personality.

So let’s find out what she has to say about hair, makeup and more…

1. Must-have hair product for beach/pool days: Coconut Oil! Being out in the sun or in chlorinated or salt water can be really harsh and drying on my curls. If I know I’m going to be out in the sun a lot or be in the water I will put some coconut oil on my hair. It helps to add some moisture and protect against the elements! Plus, it adds great shine!

2. Favorite natural/organic hair or beauty product (if any): I recently became a big fan of line of products I found out about through Instagram. It’s called “Anunaturals.” They are all natural and organic products that a girl makes herself. My favorite is her “3C’s Conditioner.” It makes detangling my hair in the shower a breeze (and I have extremely tangly hair) and it makes my hair feel super moisturized and hydrated. Not to mention that it smells AMAZING, like dessert!

3. DIY hair concoctions you swear by: I started doing “protein treatments” on my hair using egg and it’s literally changed my life. I like to do two egg yolks and one whole egg and scramble it with some kind of oil (usually EVOO) and leave it on my hair for at least 30 minutes, then wash it out. It takes my curls to a whole ‘nother’ level! I usually do this about once a month.

4. Your celebrity curly girl icon: I love Tamera Mowry. She recently did “the big chop” after having her hair severely heat damaged. She’s always embraced her curls, which I love, and she has amazing curls at that!

5. One beauty routine you must do before leaving your house: I rarely ever leave the house without mascara. I have what I like to call “Ombré Eyelashes.” The roots are brown, but the tips are so blonde that they are invisible unless in direct sunlight. When I’m not wearing mascara they look super short, but when I put it on they literally double in length. So, I usually feel it to be a veritable must for me.

6. Favorite fruit and vegetable: I’m obsessed with blueberries right now, they’re like natures candy; so easy to snack on. As far as vegetables go, I’ve always loved cucumbers for some reason!

7. One location in the world that makes you extremely happy: The beach. Any beach.

8. Air dry or diffuse: It depends on my patience level, but usually I go for air dry.

9: Dry cut or regular haircut: I’m a strong believer in the devacut.

10. One hair accessory you can’t live without: Hair ties. I would die if I couldn’t put my hair in a messy bun.

And with that, I leave you with a HoneysCurls quote that truly sums up what Curl Friends Confession is all about:

Wearing my hair natural is so much deeper than just having curly hair to me. It’s representative of loving and accepting myself for the things that make me uniquely me. The things that I cannot (easily) change. When I straightened my hair all the time I feel like I was subconsciously telling myself that the way I really look was not good enough or pretty enough for the world to see, that I had to change myself to be truly pretty. So going natural is a message I’m sending to myself that I can be pretty just the way I was born. I hope that through my videos I can encourage girls to find the beauty within themselves and be proud of the things that make them unique or different. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. Maybe it’s hypocritical because I have a YouTube channel devoted to beauty, but I honestly believe that outward beauty is not what’s important, it’s the inner person that really matters at the end of the day. And it’s our differences that make the world a beautiful and interesting place to live.

Singing in the shower…

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After a long day at work, school, or whatever you face on a regular basis, sometimes a shower at the end of the day is all you need to put you at ease. I personally like to throw on some tunes as well – mix it up between upbeat songs and mellow breaks, depending on my mood (and yes, sometimes I sing in the shower).

One thing that can make your bath or shower even more relaxing is a good body wash/soap. I’m currently a fan of Kiss My Face and Dr. Bronner’s. Aside from doing a superb job at making me feel fresh and clean, these brands have amazing ingredients to soothe your skin.

I also like to incorporate a vibrant loofah, like the one pictured above, to make me feel extra relaxed and cheerful. I picked that one up at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Whatever you use in your shower, just be sure to take that time to relax, and if possible, surround yourself with simple things like your favorite scent or color to make your daily showers a truly relaxing experience. We’re constantly on-the-go and fall into daily routines, but it’s important to enjoy simple pleasures. Believe it or not, showering is a true luxury. Use that time to decompress and cleanse your mind as well.

What’s your favorite way to relax?

Ask Bashful Beauty Blog

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Hi guys! Welcome to my first Q&A post. Thank you all so much for submitting your awesome questions. I hope to do many more in the near future so keep them coming.  Here we go!

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@karina8loveu asks: What’s your best eye/face makeup remover you use? DIY’S. Good deodorants that work!!!

A: I personally like to apply coconut oil or jojoba oil to a cotton ball to gently remove my eye makeup. Just don’t overdo it to avoid getting oil in your eye. A little goes a long way. My absolute favorite towelette for overall makeup removal is by Burt’s Bees. You can read more about my facial routine here. I still haven’t found my absolute favorite green/organic deodorant, but I think I’m getting close.  Stay tuned!

@rosyboop asks: What is the difference between bb and cc cream? And would you recommend using them?

A: BB means Blemish Balm, while CC stands for Color Correcting. You can think of BB Cream as a lighter form of foundation with additional benefits (depending on what brand you choose) like SPF.  CC Cream is my favorite alternative to foundation because it feels more like a moisturizer. My skin is very sensitive so I like to use this cream to reduce redness when needed.  Similar to BB Cream, there’s added benefits like SPF, in addition to antioxidants. Click here to read about my favorite brand.

@bossladyluv66 asks: No matter what I try, home remedy or foot cream still have cracked heels this time of year!

A: I’ve recently been trying a DIY foot treatment that makes my feet feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Just add some warm water to a foot bowl, then apply honey to your feet and place in the bowl for about 10-15 minutes.  Be sure to have a towel handy.  You may think that your feet will feel sticky with the honey, but rest assured, it washes right off.  This isn’t an overnight miracle, so I’d say try this at least once a week for a few weeks straight.  I don’t swear by this method yet, and don’t have anything tried and true, but I think this is a good start.

_yours_truly_jazmine asks: Summer Tips. Ex.(quick & easy out the door hairstyles for CURLY hair.) Mia has so much hair and as she gets older it’s getting longer and more difficult to manage. Also, make up trends and tips for this summer. How do we not over do the make up, and which name brands are ideal? Oh yea, one more Lol. I’m suffering from adult acne Help!! Any tips on that??

A: My favorite quick & easy style is a side-braid like the one I wrote about in my Summer Hair post, or in Mia’s case since she 4, two pigtail braids would be super cute. This is a great style with some coconut oil for the added moisture benefits. I’ll try to cover some more ideas in a future post, but a high bun is a quick and fun look as well.  Also, can’t forget about the classic ponytail. I think these 10 hair tips would also be great for Mia in terms of overall hair management.

As for makeup trends and tips for summer – Less is always more in the summer.  Nothing worse than sweating with tons of makeup on. I recently did a Simple Date Night Look, that can easily be done during the day as well with less eye makeup.  Check out that post here.  I cover some of my favorite brands. Of course, nothing beats the amazing deals at your local drugstore, but I like makeup brands that not only make you look good, but also have added benefits in their ingredients. I personally like Tarte Cosmetics because it’s easily accessible at places like Sephora.  Their products are not animal tested and Tarte Cosmetics does not include parabens or other harmful ingredients in any of their products.

Lastly, but certainly not least, in regards to your adult acne question. Our skin reacts differently to the environment, products, and food, so there’s not one clear answer to this, but personally, I try to do a facial masque at least once a week to remove excess oil and every day pollution from just being outside and going about our day-to-day lives. I also like to drink water with lemon in the morning and if/when possible, avoid dairy. I noticed that I easily breakout when I overdo it on cheese.  I know it’s not easy, but everything in moderation. I’ve also been doing a lot of smoothies with a combination of fruits and vegetables.  As you can see, there are a lot of different options, but the most important things are water and loading up on fruits and veggies.

@maravale asks: Tips for keeping frizz at bay for the summer!

(similar question from a comment on my blog): I have curly hair (soft curls, mostly frizzy). I moved from NY to Texas and my hair is a mess. What products can I use to stop the fizzy look (I do not like flat ironing or hair drying everyday). #helpits110degrees Sam

I’ve experienced similar “hair-ache” in different locations. I find that applying a pea-size to a dime-size of coconut oil helps. I know oil is not for everyone, so go with the pea-size first and you’ll find what works best for you. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of trial and error since not all hair types are the same. A leave-in conditioner is also helpful since moisture is key to fighting frizz. Separately, make sure you’re not using a brush, which contributes to frizz. Opt for a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to apply products and/or style.

I hope you all find these responses helpful.  Keep the questions coming.

Many thanks,

Sandy

 

Basic Wash-and-Go Hair Essentials…

Untitled-1Wide Tooth Comb (similar) | Clip: Diane Duck Bill Clips | Hair Masque: SheaMoisture | Microfiber Towel: Aquis | Shampoo & Conditioner: Acure

Whether you have straight hair, curly hair, frizzy hair, manageable hair, or whatever texture you were blessed with, you’ll be happy to hear that these products, and possibly my techniques, can be used on any hair type.

I generally use my fingers to de-tangle, but when I need a little extra help, a wide tooth comb is the way to go.  A duck bill clip is used to hold my hair in place after I apply the hair masque (post-shampoo), which I leave on for about 5-10 minutes in the shower. My final rinse (cool to cold water I might add) is used to wash out the conditioner. Lastly, I wrap my hair in a microfiber towel for less than 5 minutes.

What are your basic hair essentials?

Check out a recent post of 10 Best Tips for How to Manage Curly Hair, where some of these techniques are listed.

Summer Hair

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The first day of summer is finally here! It was an absolutely gorgeous day in NYC where I enjoyed a relaxing BBQ with family and friends.

We all know the importance of applying sunscreen to our skin to protect it from the harmful sun rays, but did you know that your hair needs protection as well?

Here are two simple ways to protect your hair from the sun during those fun, outdoor activities in the summer:

1. Rub a Small Amount of Coconut Oil to the Hair
The sun can make your hair seem/feel dry and damaged after being exposed for hours. This helps keep moisture locked in and add a little shine, especially if you’re going for a swim at the beach or pool.

A cute style when you apply coconut oil and don’t wash your hair right away is a side-braid, like the one pictured above. It’s also great for those hot days when you don’t want your hair to get in the way.

2. Wear a Hat or Cap
Similar to the note above, something as simple as a hat/cap can help keep your scalp and tresses protected.

I know it’s not always possible or practical to wear something on your head, but if you could at least apply a dime-sized or nickel-sized amount of coconut oil (you’ll learn how much to apply without giving it the greasy look), it will go a long way.

Happy Summer! Don’t forget to smile and have fun.

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