February 18, 2012

products

I have three banes of my existence: my hair, my skin, and headaches.

My hair is like broom bristles, my skin still thinks I'm a teenager in the throes of acne, and if a day goes by without me getting a headache, I'm like, Dude... is something wrong? Should I go to the doc? I didn't get my headache today...
But I've found a few products and tutorials that have made me super happy the last few months, and wanted to share them.

Headaches:  I have zero pain tolerance. Seriously, on a scale on 1-10, my pain tolerance levels are like a -5.
You'll never see me trying to have a baby without an epidural. I want 3 epidurals and a morphine drip in all my major limbs. I want horse tranquilizers. I want to go to sleep pregnant and wake up three days later with a three day old baby. And when I wake up, the doctors will all tell me how great I was thru everything, how I never screamed and hollered or anything, and I'll be like, I WANT MORE MORPHINE.
So when I get a headache, I die. And no amount of Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, or Ibuprofen helps. I usually go to bed. Or stay awake and snap everybody's heads off.
But a couple months ago, a friend said something to me about Excedrin migraine and how it helped her. So I bought it. And popped one when I was dying of a headache one day. But it didn't help so I threw the bottle in my purse and was like, Those things are DUMB.
But then I got another headache another day, and while I was weeping and wailing and gnashing my teeth and threatening to slice my own throat, I suddenly got the bright idea to pop three of those Excedrin migraine things.
Three was the magic number, baby. Those things worked. Especially with a coffee.
And now I've got it down to an art. As soon as I feel that pinching behind my eyes, I take one of those blessed things with a coffee and I'm good. Catch it in time, and I don't have to take three.
Feel the pinching, pop a pill, drink a coffee, and then the headache goes away without my eyesight having the chance to go all wonky and my stomach getting all wigged out.

Excedrin migraine was invented in heaven by beatific heavenly angels. I sing their praises.

Hair:  My hair. It's retarded. It has it's own separate identity.
It's frizzy.
It's coarse.
It's super thick.
It's super puffy.
It's stiff.
It's dry.
It's dull.
Half my hair is curly, the other half is straight.
It has memory foam qualities. You know how when you get up from lying on a memory foam, the indention from your body is still there in the foam? That's how my hair is. If I wear a ponytail and then take the hair tie out, I will still have a ponytail and my hair is like, Look! No hands! If I take a nap and sleep with my head in my open hand, when I wake up... I will have a very visible handprint in my hair.
I have to wash, blow dry, and either straighten or pull my hair back everyday. Which results in dryer, duller, more broken hair. It's a vicious cycle.

But Karen introduced me to BioSilk Silk Therapy awhile back and I finally started using it on a daily basis a few months ago. It's a leave-in hair oil. It makes such a big difference. But it's not cheap. I bought it from Walmart for around $14 for a few ounces. It does last for a long time though, and since it works, it was worth it to me. I still have retarded hair, but at least it's shiny and halfway manageable when I use the BioSilk.
But then the other day a friend told me she uses Apricot Kernel Oil on her hair. So I looked it up and you can buy a 16 oz. bottle at Super Supplements for under six bucks. How cheap is that? And her hair looks great, all shiny pretty.
So apricot kernel oil is on my shopping list. Because I like getting more for cheaper.

Also, I found a DIY hot oil treatment on Pinterest that's so easy it's ridiculous. All you need is olive oil and honey. And I can make it myself which is even better because then I can be like, Oh my amazing hair? I use all my own products. That's right. Don't you wish you were me?

And that'll happen like, never. But it's fun to imagine.

Here's the link for the recipe/tutorial.

And here are the links for a few hair tutorials I've been trying out. And although my hair never looks quite like the pictures (I need longer hair), it's close enough and I'm happy.

Sock bun/curls. My hair tried staying in a bun after I took the bun down, but still... I made it work.

Photo stolen from Emily K.

Braided crown. My hair is nowhere near as long as this girl's, but I modified it a bit and loved the results.

Photo stolen from Keiko Lynn.

Side braid and bun. I really, really love braids. Really alot.

Photo stolen from Love Maegan.

Pretty hairs, right? I feel like I'm finally reaching an understanding with my retarded hair.
... Knock on wood.

Skin:  I saved the best for last. I've been making my own body/facial products for the last month or so, and I love them.
I've made a bunch of different things, but I've narrowed the list down to my three favorites.

But first, I found something that I can't make, but that I've been really impressed with the last couple months. I was a ProActive girl. Not that I love ProActive, but I need it and it works better than anything else I've found so... I bought it. But not anymore. I found this stuff called OXY Clinical at Walmart for about $8. It works just as well as ProActive, and $8 sounds alot better than $50, doesn't it?
If you're a ProActive user, you're so welcome for that tip!

And now for the homemade stuff.

If I had money to waste, I'd waste alot of it on body products. But there's no way I'm going to spend $25 on a few ounces of salt scrub at Bath and Body Works. And I'm allergic to smells so Bath and Body Works is off limits anyways, unless I want to be sick. But I gaze wistfully at that store anytime I go to the mall. I want all those jars and tubes and bottles of scrumptious stuff.
So I was on Craftgawker and Pinterest one day last month and found these three tutorials...

Salt and Honey Scrub with Grapefruit

Photo stolen from Rise and Shine.

I love grapefruit!
This is a big recipe and since the scrub is supposed to last for only two weeks, I cut it in half.
I didn't add the rosemary oil because I don't like rosemary.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of oil (If you're going to cut it in half like I did.), but that was really alot of oil so I only used about a quarter cup and it was perfect.
And I'm about to make this again, but this time I'm going to use raw sugar and almond oil. Just to see if I like that better. And because... have you ever tried shaving while using a salt scrub? Talk about ouch.
I even use the oil from this scrub to remove my eye makeup. Works great.

Skin Brightening Kiwi Mask

Photo stolen from ecokaren.

This stuff lives up to it's name. And it's so cheap and easy to make.
My skin was so bright and polished after using it. And I couldn't believe how smooth my skin felt after just one use.
It looks gross in real life though. Kinda a vomit green. But if you accidently get it in your mouth, it tastes really good so that's a plus.
I cut this recipe in half too, and even that was too much mask for me to use up in one week by myself. (You have to throw it out after a week. It goes bad.)

El Cheapo Microdermabrasion

Do you know how much microdermabrasion is? I do. Alot. I asked about it the last time I went to the dermatologist and she was like, It only costs an arm and a leg each session.
And I was like, Session? There are sessions? Like it doesn't get done all at once?
And she was like, Haha, you silly little girl! Of course you have to come back! We can't blast all your skin off in one sitting, can we?
And I was like, Do you have a little brown paper bag? I need one to breath into.

So when I found this tutorial on Pinterest, I was stoked.
Baking soda and water. You can't get any easier. And it really does work. My skin glows. It's dewy. It's wonderful. But I can't use it everyday. It's a scrubby thing, not a cleanser so using it every day dries my face out. But I use it a few times a week and that seems perfect.

One more link and I'll be done: Jessica Brown on Pinterest
I started following this girl on Pinterest. She has tons of DIY stuff, and I found some of the stuff I've made via her. And there's alot more that I haven't had the chance to try out yet. She's worth a look if this is your kind of thing.
I love making my own stuff. For one, it's cheaper and I like cheap.
But mostly, I like knowing I made it myself. Makes me happy.

I pat my own back unashamedly.