My Favorite Hair Diffuser

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Air drying curly hair isn’t always the preferred method for everyone. As much as I try to limit the amount of heat I apply to my tresses, most of the time, I don’t have the time or patience to let it air dry.  Luckily, diffusers are designed to help prevent heat damage, so no need to worry about affecting your curl pattern.  In fact, diffusers enhance your already beautiful curls. This is why a diffuser is my best friend, in particular the Metropolis Technology The New York Hair Dryer.

Now before you gasp at the price of this hair dryer (clears throat…$239), rest assured that I purchased this at TJ Maxx for $40!! Can you believe it? I was in diffuser bargain heaven!

Aside from the unbelievable deal, the reason I was particularly drawn to this hair dryer is because of the detoxifying properties. I try to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in everything I do, right down to my hair diffuser. For starters, it’s an eco-friendly dryer and reduces radiation by a whopping 99%. It also detoxifies germs and odors. These aren’t things we generally think about when we pick up a hair dryer, but it’s something we should truly start to think about, especially if you blowout or diffuse your hair constantly.

In addition to the diffuser, the hair dryer also comes with two concentration nozzles, which I also use since I’ve recently started blow drying my own hair. I’m not going to lie, I love a fresh blowout during the winter (but I digress).

If you’re looking for something to enhance your curls, diffusing is a great option. You’ll also notice that it gives you extra volume to get those beautiful, bouncy curls.

What’s your favorite hair diffuser?

 

2014 Highlights

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In my previous post I talked about hair highlights; now I’d love to share my 2014 highlights. Wow, two posts in one day! So much has happened this year, but we must all remember that through good experiences and bad experiences we learn a little more about ourselves. We learn to accept our flaws and grow from them. Believe it or not, that’s exudes confidence and beauty.

A Bashful Beauty Wedding
How could this not be my first highlight? Beautiful memories and a new life together with my handsome husband, William.

Nail Color
This is a great segue to my post about making your jewelry pop (specifically wedding bands and engagement rings), with a simple coat of nail polish.

10 Best Beauty Tips for Curly Hair
The more you understand you hair texture, the more confident you’ll be. So many people ask me why I don’t want to straighten my hair more often. It’s certainly a compliment when someone says I look great with a blowout, but in some ways it’s still a testament that we live in a society that frowns upon embracing curls. Love your curly hair and don’t succumb to the stereotype that curly hair isn’t professional, sexy or beautiful.

Simple Date Night Look
You can even do this look tonight if you want something pretty, yet subtle.

Semi-Heatless Hair Tool
If you need to refresh your curls or have straight/wavy hair and want to add curls to your look without applying too much heat, this is a great tool.

Natural Facial with Only Two Ingredients
If you need to freshen up your skincare routine for the new year, especially after all the NYE makeup looks, this is an affordable and effective facial.

Hope you enjoyed these highlights. Have a safe and happy new year!

Sandy

Bayalage Highlights

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Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays. I can’t believe it’s already NYE!

The crisp, cold air of winter always makes me crave a good hair blowout at least once during the season, so a few days before Christmas I decided to do just that. I also settled on defining my hair with some highlights. I’m not one to visit the hair salon every month, especially since I leave my hair in its natural state most of the time – I’m a low-maintenance kind of gal. That’s when my stylist introduced bayalage highlights to me, and I have to admit, I’m in LOVE. This has been around for a couple of years (I had no idea!) and it’s amazing because it creates the most natural looking results. Believe me when I say, it’s as if my hair was sun kissed. My stylist/colorist explained that this is more of a painting pattern where the highlights would be applied away from my roots, which is exactly what I wanted.

I washed my hair yesterday so my lovely curls have come out to play again – and I’m happy to say that it still looks great in this texture. I’m definitely a balayage convert! I especially love it because I do my best to limit the amount of chemicals in my hair. The less touch-ups I have to do, the better.

I hear that bayalage isn’t as effective on dark hair, but I wasn’t going for a bold highlight. I wanted that natural look, and if you’re interested in similar results, this is perfect for you.

What do you guys think of bayalage?

Mini Shopping Haul

IMG_7646.JPGMini Haul 411 (All from H&M)

Reindeer Socks (other cute styles) / Patterned Scarf (similar styles) / Gray & Dotted Socks / Gloves (similar styles) / Knit Hat

Happy Friday guys!

The end of the week is always greeted with extra smiles as we all wind down and welcome the weekend. I’m hoping that what I’m about to say next will make your cheeks hurt from excessive smiling. I feel like beauty not only encompasses makeup, hair and healthy living, but it also comes from enjoying life and doing what makes us happy. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that Bashful Beauty Blog is now officially a lifestyle blog. In addition to covering topics about natural/organic makeup and curly hair, I’ll cover fashion, books, travels, my favorite foods and much more. We’re surrounded by beauty and I want to share what I feel is beautiful with you in every aspect.

I consider this a sneak peak of what’s to come. Yesterday I visited a local H&M after work to pick up some new winter accessories pictured above. Who says you can’t have fun with affordable fashion and bring some color into the winter season? These aren’t all available on the H&M site, but visit your local store if you love any of these as much as I do.

What are you favorite winter accessories?

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Shine bright like a diamond…

Believe it or not, the color of your mani can do wonders to enhance your already stunning engagement ring and/or wedding band.

Here are some fun shades to make something that symbolizes your love stand out even more.

Red
Not only is this the perfect shade for fall, but a manicure covered in red emits a romantic feeling.
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Pink
I don’t have a picture of my ring with this shade, but I love polishing my nails with this color in the spring; though I’m not afraid to brighten up my look during the cold, winter months with this beautiful color either. I also love soft purple (not pictured here).IMG_7474.JPG

White
Beautiful shade for brides, but I love going for a neutral tone from time to time because it goes with anything. I think it also shows off a subtle and classic side.
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What’s your favorite shade to give your jewelry that extra sparkle?

 

 

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?

 

 

Bad hair days: A thing of the past…

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Talk to any woman with straight, wavy or curly hair, and most likely she will tell you that humidity is her worst nightmare.

I remember dreading hazy, hot and humid days a few years ago. Not to say that I jump for joy when I hear the weather man tell me that this is what I can look forward to when I walk out the door in the morning, but now I no longer fear those 3 H’s.

That’s right! I can walk out with my head held high and my hair completely loose because I feel confident in the products that I apply and know that my hair care routine will get me through the day.

Yesterday was one of those days…

I wore my hair similar to the image below and applied a dime-size of the SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir to my hair and I was good to go. This product left my hair feel shiny, soft and bouncy.

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What’s your favorite hair product for hot and humid days?

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!

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