A Non-Partier’s Quick Trip to Las Vegas

I never showed any interested in going to Las Vegas. Nothing from that place appealed to me. Actually, most of what I knew about that place did just the contrary.   So… I just got back from Las Vegas, and I loved it.

My boyfriend and I had a week’s vacation from work, and had planned on taking it easy. We were going to relax, go to the beach, do some paddleboard, eat on a terrace… The basics. And then, Tuesday morning, my boyfriend decided to book us a trip to Vegas, and Wednesday morning we were off. He had been wanting to go there for a long time, so I thought, Why not. If he’s happy, I’m happy.

We arrived Wednesday morning and stayed at the Cosmopolitan until Saturday morning. The hotel was splendid. It is very modern while still being very classic and chic. The staff was polite, very nice and efficient. Our room was a terrace studio, and it was plenty of space for us. Balcony, king-size bed, two televisions, mini-bar, micro-wave, sofa, double sinks in the bathroom (Amen to that), huge shower… I realized once we were back home that I did not take any pictures of the room or the hotel. I got too caught up with snapchat … rookie mistake.

Terrace Studio View
View from terrace studio (our room).

We spent our days walking on the strip, visiting different hotels, shopping and eating. Everywhere you look, there is something to see, and a Starbucks. There’s a Starbucks everywhere you look. There was a Sephora and an Urban Outfitters right across the street from our hotel. We stopped at CVS for beer and protein bars. And the hotels … oh my. I still can’t believe how beautiful they are. Walking into the Bellagio, the Caesar Palace and the Venetian was breath taking.

Las Vegas Strip Day
Las Vegas Strip – Day time
Las Vegas Sephora
Hey there, you.

 

We wanted to go to a pool party, but just ended up relaxing at the pools in our hotel, which were pretty smooth. The weather was so unbelievably hot (my boyfriend’s sandals actually melted in the sun), but I loved it. Slather me in sunscreen and lay me out to grill at 44° Celsius. When it got too hot, we just took a dip in the pool.

The Cosmopolitan Pool
Cosmopolitan Pool
Hanging by the Pool
Selfie by the pool.

I know how lame that sounds, but we didn’t really get to experience the night life. We did do a little walking, but the day got us so exhausted that we usually ended up in bed by midnight. To be honest, I was out of my comfort zone at night. But it is still incredible to see. The city at night is beautiful. I do wish we could’ve done more exploring.

Las Vegas Strip Night
Las Vegas Strip – Night Time

On our last night. We went to see Le Cirque du Soleil. I’ve been wanting to see Le Cirque du Soleil for so long, and I was so excited that we finally got to go. We went to see “O” at the Bellagio. The orchestra was beautiful, the visual was amazing, and I was totally sucked in by the Baudelaire-ish style of it all: a strange mix of beauty and sinister. I’m still astonished by what these people can do… I have a hard time keeping my balance just standing on my two feet.

Bellagio O
Bellagio – “O” Theatre

I hate gambling. I hate putting my money in slot machines. I have absolutely no luck whatsoever when it comes to this, and I’ve made my peace with it. My boyfriend, however, loves it. Fortunately, not in a problematic, out of control, kinda way, he just likes it. And he actually wins. So, we spent a little while walking around the Casino areas, hoping to get free drinks when we sat down at a machine. Though we did not win any significant amount of money, it was still fun. (Because we were reasonable! Always be reasonable!)

Corgi Slot Machine
I had to try this one. Come on.

Three days went by so quick and we didn’t have time so see all we wanted to see. So, we decided we’d go back. Yup. This girl who wanted nothing to do with Vegas is actually thinking of going back. Who would’ve though…there’s more to Las Vegas than just crazy parties, drinking and half-naked women.

I’d love to get your recommendations for our next stay 😊

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

P.S. This wouldn’t be complete without food shots.

Henry_s Big Brioche French Toast
The Henry – Henry’s Big Brioche French Toast.
Jimmy Buffet's MargaritaVille
Go have margaritas at Jimmy Buffet’s MargaritaVille!

My Top Face Sunscreens

I used to hate putting sunscreen on my face, and I wouldn’t. I know, I know. Stupid. And then I found out that they made sunscreen specially designed for the face. Still, I was reluctant, having had issues with SPF containing products breaking me out. But over the years, I’ve found a few ones that I love and that are safe for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Therefore, I thought I’d share my findings with you.

I tend to choose a higher SPF for my face, especially at the beginning of summer when I’m still very pale. Also, I look for products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic and/or non-acnegenic.

CLINIQUE Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Cream

I talked about this one in my summer essentials. It’s a great moisturizing, non-greasy and long-lasting face sunscreen. It’s perfect for combination to dry skin. It protects against UVA and UVB rays and is said to be water and sweat resistant, as well as oil-free and non-acnegenic. As for the finish, it gives the skin a dewy look with no white cast.

Face Sunscreen - Clinique

AVÈNE Eau Thermale Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+

I recently got this in my summer FITFABFUN box. This one is perfect for oily to combination to normal skin types, since it does have mattifying properties. It absorbs quickly into the skin and offers amazing protection against UVA and UVB rays. I wore this at the beach, standing in the sun for about 4 hours, and my face was burn-free at the end of the day. It is water-resistant, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and does not leave a white cast.

 

AVÈNE Eau Thermale Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+

 

CLARINS UV 40 Sunscreen Multi-Protection

This one resembles the AVÈNE one. It is very lightweight and mattifying (even a bit drying). It absorbs quickly and offers long-lasting protection. It protects against UVA and UVB rays, and it is oil-free. However, when my skin gets a darker, it leaves a light white cast on my face and can sometimes make it feel tight. Though it’s not my favourite, it’s still a great sunscreen. Very oily skin types may love it.

CLARINS UV 40 Sunscreen Multi-Protection

Garnier Ombrelle 30 SPF Ultra-Fluid Lotion

The Ombrelle line from Garnier offers great sunscreen products. They are more expensive than typical drugstore sunscreens, but still cheaper than others. Their face sunscreen is as good as the three others, if not better. It is light, oil-free and non-comedogenic. It sinks beautifully into the skin with no white cast and the finish is not mattifying, but not greasy either. It provides UVA and UBV protection. Though it is said to be sweat and water resistant, it’s staying power is not as strong and you do have to reapply this one a few times throughout the day if you’re out in the sun. If you can manage this (preferably with clean hands), then this is a great product.

Garnier Ombrelle 30 SPF Ultra-Fluid Lotion

So, there you go. Protecting your skin is very important, don’t neglect it!

What’s your favourite face sunscreen? 😊

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

Makeup Essentials : Recommendations

(Psst! If you still haven’t figured out the whole skin type thing yet, just take a look at my post: Makeup: Figuring It Out)

This guide is based on my What do I need? post. Also, my recommendations are based on my own experience with my skin (which has had multiple identity crises), my experience with clients, as well as collected information. I tried to pick out products that should suit the widest range of skin types.

  1. Primer

The MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers is the best place to start. They offer a wide variety of options based on different needs, from matte to hydrating to radiant finishes. They set in the skin and do not have that silicone feel where it feels like the product is just sitting on the face and your makeup is just gliding over it.

Essential Recommendations - Primer
Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer
  1. Foundation

The MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation seems to remain unmatched. This foundation will suit almost any skin type and offers an incredible range of shades. It offers great coverage while still looking natural and feeling lightweight on the skin.

Essential Recommendations - Foundation
This is the old packaging. This product has been reformulated and repackaged, and is now even better than it was. Though some might disagree.

 

  1. Concealer

The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer has been so hyped and for a while, everyone and their mom (and dad? Why not) were using it. And with good reason. Though I’ve had an on-and-off-love-hate-relationship with this concealer, I keep returning to it, and wondering why I ever stopped using it every time I do. The doe tip applicator makes it easy to apply in safe quantities, plus the coverage is right, it blends beautifully and it brightens the under-eye area. What more could one ask of a concealer. Unless you have super dry skin around your eyes, this should suit pretty much any skin type.

Essential Recommendations - Concealer
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  1. Blush

Mac blushes are my go to and it’s a great place to start. They offer so many shades, it’s impossible not to find one that suits your complexion. They also have a pro longwear formula that might better suit oilier skins, and creamblend formulas for dry skins.

 

Essential Recommendations - Blush
Tip! Buy them in pans, they are way less expensive! Same with the eye shadows. Just get a Z-palette and voilà!

 

 

  1. Brows

I was hesitating between the Anastasia Brow Wiz and the Anastasia Brow Definer on this one.  I’ve been using the Anastasia brow definer for a while now and I love it. It’s quick, easy and lasts longer than the Anastasia brow wiz does. However, I have pretty full and defined eyebrows, and all I do is fill in the sparse areas. If that is also the case for you, then the Brow Definer should be perfect. If, however, you have really sparse eyebrows and you need to fill and define them more, I think the Brow Wiz provides more of a natural effect since it is much thinner. Whichever you choose, Anastasia has a great range of shades and her products are amazing. Definitely a go to for brow products.

Essential Recommendations - Brows

  1. Mascara

As of right now, the one I’d recommend to everyone is the L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise. Whatever your needs are, this mascara answers them. Volume, length, curl? It does it all. It’s affordable and even those who have a tendency to be heavy-handed should be able to achieve a clump free application.

Essential Recommendations - Mascara

  1. Setting Powder/Translucent Powder

Being oily, I’ve been around the mill with setting powders. Even when I find one that I like, I always return to the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder. This powder is simply beautiful. It mattifies without drying, it has a light bone colour to it, so no white cast, and other powders blend seamlessly into it.

Essential Recommendations - Setting Powder

  1. Eyeshadows

There are so many beautiful palettes out there with so many beautiful eye-catching colours. It’s easy to give into them, but unless you’re someone that loves to be very creative and bold with their makeup, I suggest you restrain. I’d recommend buying either a neutral very versatile palette like the Urban Decay Naked Basics or the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics, or opting for a few single eye shadows. My favourite single eye shadows are the Mac single eye shadow in pans, and the Makeup geek single eye shadows in pans. They are quite affordable and offer amazing quality.

Essential Recommendations - Eye Shadow Palettes
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics (right)/Urban Decay Naked Basics (left)

Essential Recommendations - Single Eye Shadows

  1. Eye shadow Primer

Unless you have magical eyelids, an eye shadow primer is an absolute must if you’re applying eye shadow. I’ve tried a few of them out there, and the only one that stands the test is the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer potion. This product remains unmatched in performance. It will make you eyeshadow last all day, even through hot weather and sweating.

Essential Recommendations - Eyeshadow Primer

So here you go 😊 If you have any suggestions, please share!

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

Night Time Skin Care Routine

Night Time Skin Care Routine

My night time skin care routine differs somewhat from my morning routine. For the past 3 years, I’ve been using a prescribed topical gel to treat my acne. I’ve learned the hard way that it does not play well with others and I’ve become very careful of the products I use along with it. Therefore, my routine and the products I use basically revolve around this product.

So, let’s jump right into it.

If I’m wearing makeup, I start by removing it. Lately, I’ve been using the Neutrogena Oil-free Make-up Remover to remove my eye makeup and mascara. (Though my favourite is the Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover) Next, I dissolve my makeup with a cleansing oil. I have a few that I love, for example the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing oil and the Kopari Coconut Cleansing oil. They are very effective while still being very gentle. I apply the oil directly on my face with clean hands and rub it gently on my skin for about 30 seconds. I then add a little water, lather it up as much as it will, and rinse.

Night Time Skin Care Routine
Neutrogena Oil-Free Make-up Remover, Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cleansing Oil, Kopari Coconut Cleansing oil 

Once my makeup is removed, I cleanse my face using the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. This cleanser is perfect for sensitive skin. It is very gentle and does not strip the skin of its natural moisture. Then I rinse and pat my face dry.

Night Time Skin Care Routine
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

I follow with the Amorepacific Treatment Toner. I’ve talked about this toner in my morning skin care routine and how awesome it is. It balances my skin out and prepares it for my acne treatment. Since using this, I’ve seen amazing improvements with my skin. Though my acne treatment had cleared my skin from breakouts, it would leave my skin dry, red and irritated. This product acts like a protecting barrier and keeps my skin from being dehydrated.

Night Time Skin Care Routine
Amorepacific Treatment Toner

Then I apply the star of the show: my TactuPump topical gel. (Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Gel 0.1%, 2.5%.) This is a prescribed product that I got from my doctor and the only thing that as ever helped my skin. I apply a small amount on the tip of my fingers, rub them lightly together, and then apply a thin layer all over my face, avoiding the areas around my lips and my eyes.

Night Time Skin Care Routine
TactuPump Topical Gel (Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Gel 0.1%, 2.5%)

Once the product is absorbed and dry, I’ll leave it at that, or I’ll apply a few drops of the Kopari Sheer Oil all over my face and around my eyes and my lips. I don’t do this every day, otherwise I can see small white bumps appearing. If I only apply it every other day, it gives my skin a beautiful glow and keeps it moisturized.

From time to time, I give my skin a break and I skip my acne treatment. Instead, I’ll apply the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I lightly press a few drops all over my face and neck and I’m done. I’ve talked about this product in my Spa Evening… In the comfort of your home. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, I love this product. It is as magical as the little apothecary-like bottle that contains it.

Night Time Skin Care Routine
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

This as been my routine (give or take some products) every single evening for the past three years or so, and my skin has never looked better.

Thank you so much for reading, xo

See you soon 🙂

Jamie A.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation : Review

It’s been very humid lately. Not even an hour after washing my face in the morning, I already feel it becoming sticky. So, this week, standing in front of my mirror, I was trying to pick a foundation, but the idea of adding foundation to the mix felt suffocating. And then I remembered this guy: every summer I fall back in love with this foundation.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation – light-medium neutral

The Sephora website describes this foundation as “a talc-free, 12-hour medium-coverage, weightless powder foundation” that “delivers flawless, natural-looking coverage that lasts.” (Sephora) I don’t know about the whole 12-hour thing, but the rest is pretty accurate.

First off, the packaging is beautiful, and the mesh delivery system concept is brilliant. You just press your brush in it, swirl it around, and you’re ready to go.

Though it is a powder, it applies as smoothly as a liquid or cream foundation. It melts into the skin and does not look cakey or powdery. It feels super lightweight, and not as overwhelming as other foundations can tend to be in hot weather. It smooths out my skin, makes my pores disappear and it gives me a healthy glowing matte-ish finish. Depending on the brush you use, you can achieve a sheer coverage or build it up to a pretty decent coverage. Other powders blend well into it without looking blotchy. I get a good wear out of it, but I do need to set it with a setting powder.

Powder Foundation Brushes
Sephora Collection PRO Flawless light powder 50 (light coverage), e.l.f. Complexion Brush (medium coverage), Makeup geek Face Buffer brush (full coverage)

The colour range is nice, though I can’t seem to find the right match for my skin when I’m paler during winter (which is why I keep forgetting about it when cold weather comes around). It offers options for pink, yellow and neutral undertones, which is always great. My match right now is light-medium neutral for light to medium skin with yellow and pink undertones. The finish is very natural and luminous, and it is sensitive skin-friendly, which Tarte products are great for.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation - Before and After
Before and After

Looking up information for my post, I noticed that they changed the packaging. The product, however, seems to be the same. (or is it?)

Let me know if you’ve tried the new one! Is it any different?

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

Go to Foundations

Go To Foundations (of the moment)

I don’t have a favourite or holy grail foundation. In fact, I’ve never had a fully committed relationship with a foundation. So, standing in front of my makeup, I tried not to overthink it and simply picked out the foundations that I’ve been reaching for the most during these past months. I came up with these three foundations.

Go to Foundations

Maybelline FITme! Matte+Poreless

This is by far one of the most beautiful, long-wearing, flawless finish, and cheapest foundation I’ve ever tried. Though it is said to have a matte finish, I’d say it has more of a satin finish. It feels lightweight on the skin, it is not drying whatsoever, it does not clog my pores or break me out. Powders blend seamlessly into it without any patchiness. It has a medium to full coverage, and the colour range is pretty good. Definitely a go to when it comes to drugstore foundations.

Go to Foundations - Maybelline FITme! Matte+Poreless

Mac Face and Body Foundation

This foundation is sheer. You can build it up a little, but the best you can achieve is probably a medium-ish finish; which makes it the perfect foundation for a simple natural look. It illuminates the face, warms it up and just smooth everything out. I’d describe it as a your-skin-but-better-foundation. I also love mixing it with my other foundations to warm them up or sheer them out, or I’ll use it as a cream bronzer on the outer edges of my face. It’s amazing, plus it’s multitasking. A must in every makeup collection.

Go to Foundation - MAC Face and Body Foundation

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

A part of me wanted to not love this foundation, given the price tag. The other part of me wanted it to be freakin’ amazing, given the price tag. Well. It’s amazing. It has a medium coverage that builds up to full coverage. The finish is semi-matte yet glowing. It applies beautifully, sinks into the skin and looks natural and flawless. I’d say it has a pretty good staying power and I barely need to powder throughout the day. It’s suitable whether I’m going for a natural look or a full face of makeup. I definitely recommend giving this a try.

Go to Foundation - Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Talk to you soon,

Jamie A.

Kopari Multitasking Kit

Kopari Coconut Multitasking Kit : Review

I got Kopari crazy recently, and bought two of their kits. (Which are great if you want to give their products a try!) I wrote a post on the Face the Day & Night kit, and now I’m getting along to this one, the Coconut Multitasking Kit.

In the Kopari Coconut Multitasking Kit, you’ll find:

  • The Coconut Sheer Oil
  • The Coconut Body Glow
  • The Organic Coconut Melt, and
  • The Coconut Balm

Kopari Multitasking Kit

These products are made with 100% organic coconut oil, and they are cruelty-free. They are also silicone-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free and petroleum-free, which are all great properties for a product to have. Like I said in my review of the Face the Day & Night kit, for those of you that are afraid that these might have an overwhelming coconut smell, fear not! The coconut scent is very subtle, except maybe for the Organic Coconut melt. But I mean. It’s straight up coconut oil. So.

I’ve been obsessing over the Coconut Sheer Oil, slathering my face with it and rubbing it on the ends of my hair. I apply it over my moisturizer in the morning, and over my night treatment at night. It makes my skin looks smooth and healthy. It feels a bit greasy at first, but it sinks into the skin beautifully after a few minutes and just leaves a nice glow. This one I’m buying the full-size bottle.

Kopari Multitasking - Coconut Sheer Oil

The Coconut Body Glow will make you look like a golden goddess. It’s basically coconut oil filled with golden shimmers. It can be applied all over your body and used as a highlighter for the face. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait for an occasion to bathe myself in this. The only thing that bothers me is the smell, but it dissipates, so that’s alright.

Kopari Multitasking - Coconut Body Glow

The Organic Coconut Melt is simply organic coconut oil, which can be bought at the grocery store for way less. However. Was I totally sucked in, and a part of me feels like this one was better than the one I bought at the grocery store? Totally. I applied this on my hair, from scalp to ends, and left it on for a few hours before washing it out. My hair was so soft, strong and smooth. I didn’t have to apply any additional product to smooth them out. A part of me can’t bring itself to pay $50 for a jar of coconut oil (that sells for about $15 at the grocery store), but another part of me wants it so bad.

Kopari Multitasking - Coconut Melt

The Coconut Balm is an intensive moisturizing balm meant to “softens parched hands, soothes after sun, eases cracked heels, conditions craggy cuticles, and hydrates the heck out of any place you put it.” (www.koparibeauty.com) I haven’t had any issues with dry or irritated skin lately, so I can’t really say anything about its moisture recovery properties, but it does feel very soft and moisturizing. I see how this could be great for dry patches. Like the coconut melt, it melts when it meets the skin (because of the heat), and absorbs quickly enough. Plus, it has a lovely scent.

Kopari Multitasking - Coconut Balm

I’m really enjoying these products and I highly recommend them!  🙂

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

Summer Skin Care Products

Summer Morning Skin Care Routine

With summer finally here, my skin gets oilier. I’ve adapted my skin care routine to lightweight products with oil controlling properties. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into this.

First thing’s first, I wet my face with lukewarm water, and proceed to washing it using the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay. This face cleanser is great if you have acne-prone skin that is also sensitive; it’s super gentle, doesn’t cause irritation and cleans effectively without drying out your skin. It helps my skin with persistent black heads and texture.

 

Summer Skin Care Cleanser
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

 

Once my skin is rinsed and dried, I apply my toner. I use the Amorepacific Treatment Toner. Adding this toner to my skincare routine has made a huge improvement in my skin’s overall appearance. It has helped so much with preventing irritation and soothing redness. It is pricy, but worth every penny if you have problems with redness and sensitivity.

 

Summer Skin Care Toner
Amorepacific Treatment Toner

 

I carefully pour a few drops in the palm of my hand and press it gently into my skin. I used to use a cotton pad, but half the product was absorbed into the pad and it felt like a waste. A bottle lasts me way longer since I started doing this.

Next, I go in with moisturizer. Transitioning into warmer weather, I’ve recently changed my moisturizer changed to a more lightweight option. I’m now using the Boscia Green Tea Oil-free Moisturizer and I absolutely love it (and I’m super picky when it comes to moisturizers). It gives me just the right amount of hydration and leaves my skin feeling fresh and comfortable. Plus, it contains antioxidants that promise to naturally nourish, calm redness, and protect against free radical damage, helping skin maintain its elasticity and tone. (www.sephora.com)

 

Summer Skin Care Moisturizer
Boscia Green Tea Oil-free Moisturizer

 

To finish things off, I’ve been using the Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil. I put two or three drops in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and gently pat in on my skin. I concentrate the product around my eyes, between my eye brows and around my mouth and lips (where fine lines are most likely to appear first). It does take a few minutes to absorb, but once it has, it gives me an amazing glow. I’m absolutely loving this oil at the moment.

Summer Skin Care Face Oil
Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil

And that’s it! When it comes to skincare, I’ve come to the conclusion that less is more, and consistency is key.

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

Keeping Blonde Hair Healthy

Having blonde hair is a commitment. If you are not ready for a long-term relationship that will ask your patience, your time, your care and your money, then maybe go for a less high-maintenance option. But if you feel you can handle it, then I’ve got the guide you need.

The secret to keeping blonde hair healthy is sticking to a good hair care routine and investing in good hair care products. Of course, this applies to hair in general, but even more so with blonde hair. So, here’s what I do, and my favourite products.

Washing and Conditioning + Toning

The secret to beautiful blonde hair is optimizing your toner’s longevity. To keep those brassy-yellow tones away, you need to be using products that are right for bleached and coloured hair. I look for products that are sulfate free, thus gentler on my hair. My favourite brands of all time are Pureology, Alterna, Aveda and Morroconoil. Yes. These are expensive brands, but they are soooo worth it. Plus, they last a while since you don’t need to use a lot of product to get amazing results. If my hair is damaged, I use a shampoo and conditioner with reparative properties. Once my hair feels healthier, I transition to products with more hydrating properties. I do this because using excessive reparative products on your hair can actually be harmful, and give it a straw-like texture.

I need my blue shampoo. In my experience, I’ve found that blue shampoos work best. And I mean, blue shampoos. For some reason, shampoos who have more of a purple tone to them just don’t seem to cut it for me. Truly blue shampoos are rare though. My favourite shampoo and conditioner are the Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum shampoo and Conditioner They leave my hair feeling hydrated, smooth and strong, without weighing it down. More importantly, they do make a difference in keeping my colour beautiful. Aveda also makes a great blue shampoo and conditioner (Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo and Conditioner). Though it is less hydrating than the Pureology, it still leaves my hair feeling great.

For a more intensive toning, I love the L’Oréal Professionnel Silver. I’ll apply it either on dry hair (but that takes more product), or on wet hair, and I’ll leave it on for half an hour. It does wonders at eliminating unwanted brassy tones. I do this every time I feel like my hair looks too yellow to my liking. Having spent much time in the sun lately, my hair is actually in need of a good toning.

 

Blue shampoo - Blonde Hair
Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Shampoo Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Reconstruct repair masque (since it’s very lightweight, I use it as a conditioner), L’Oréal Professionnel Silver, Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo.

 

Treating

Bleach damages hair. Yes, even with the magic of Olaplex. Good treatment is important to help your hair recover its strength and elasticity. My first recommendation would be the No.3 Olaplex Hair Perfector. I’ll apply it in the evening, leave it overnight and then wash it out in the morning. This product is meant to be applied on wet hair BEFORE you wash it, and THEN washed out with shampoo and conditioner, which I did not know my first times trying it out. Explains why my hair was so heavy and got greasy so fast. It is designed precisely to help strengthen bleached hair, and it is amazing. The bottle is alarmingly small for the price, but you don’t need that much product.

Another great option is the Muk Intense Repair Treatment. This stuff is a real life saver; it is simply amazing for damaged and/or dry hair. I find that a lot of hair treatments make your hair feel good after application, but don’t change anything in the long term. This hair treatment, however, as truly helped at recovering my hair’s overall health and appearance.

The famous coconut oil hair mask has also done wonders in helping my hair grow long. Yes, my hair loves it when I grease up my whole head with straight up coconut oil. In the long run, I feel like it makes my hair stronger and less prone to breakage, thus helping it grow longer. I’ll mix in a few drops of the Aveda dry remedy daily moisturizing oil, and leave it on for a few hours or overnight, before washing it out with shampoo. I still use a conditioner to make sure everything is nice and sealed up.

 

Hair Treatment
Muk Intense Repair Treatment, Kopari Coconut Melt, No.3 Olaplex Hair Perfector.

 

Protecting

When I can, I avoid putting heat on my hair. But if I have to blow dry it or if I’m using a styling iron, I always use a heat protector. Heat is also a key factor in your toner’s untimely disappearance. My favourite heat protectors are the Alterna Caviar Repair X Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray ( which I need to restock on) and the Aveda damage remedy daily hair repair. Also, before using a styling iron, I’ll spray Aveda brilliant Damage Control on my dry hair; this product absorbs quickly without leaving my hair sticky or greasy, and further protects it from thermal damage.

 

Heat protection - Blonde Hair
Aveda damage remedy daily hair repair, Aveda brilliant Damage Control.

 

*Extra Care

I always apply oil to my ends after washing my hair. If I don’t take care of your ends, they break, thus creating the illusion that your hair isn’t growing. My favourite hair oils are the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega+ Nourishing Oil and the Aveda dry remedy daily moisturizing oil.

If I use styling products (volumizing, styling creams, sea sprays, etc.), I try to look for alcohol-free products.; they are gentler on the hair as well as your colour (and this applies to any coloured hair).

 

Hair Oils - Blonde hair
Aveda dry remedy daily moisturizing oil, Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega+ Nourishing Oil.

 

Blonde hair "au natural"
This is what my hair looks like, freshly washed and air dried.

I hope this helps you out!

If you have any products that you love and would recommend, please share 🙂

Thank you so much for reading, xo

Jamie A.

5 Tips to get your Butt in the Gym!

Fitness is a very big part of my life. It has helped me channel my stress and my anxiety, as well as learn that I can be more, that I can always better myself and that change is possible with the right efforts, whether it be physical or mental. So that is why I decided to add this aspect of my life to my blog.

When I first started the gym, I still remember how anxious I was. Somehow, I felt like you already had to be in shape to go to the gym. I feared being looked and laughed at. Basically, I felt ridiculous. I didn’t know anything about the machines, I’d never lifted a weight, and protein shakes scared me.

Six years later, I’ve learned a very important thing: no one cares. Having come a very long way, I’ve realized that people who do care about fitness and health will respect the fact that you are showing interest in fitness and in living a healthy lifestyle. (And if not, then they do not deserve that you waste your energy on them, and they shame what this is all about.) So, if you’ve been wanting to make some changes in your life, but are still too afraid to take the big step, I have a few tips for you.

Establish a goal.

What do you want? Is it simply about living a healthier lifestyle? Or maybe you want to lose some weight? Or build some muscle? Your goal can change throughout your journey, but you need a starting point. Set yourself a realistic goal of how you want to feel, and if physic is a main factor, of what you want to look like. I say realistic, because aiming straight up for the Instagram-just-got-a-booty-pump-chick-pic isn’t realistic. You need to look at you how body, love that body, and see how you can transform that body. It is yours, and it is unique.

Determine how that goal can be achieved.

You need to learn how your own body works. There isn’t one magic formula and no one-size fit all program out there. There are several factors to consider and to customize according to your goals and needs. You need to address your lifestyle, your nutrition and the type of activity you wish to engage in. You need to understand the concepts surrounding the working of your body. (e.g. the calories you ingest and the calories you burn.) There is no quick and easy solution to this. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be critical about the information you gather. There are a lot of good and trustworthy websites out there (and a whole lot more of shitty ones). I feel like www.bodybuilding.com is a pretty safe and basic place to start.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what you’re doing. If you choose, however, to remain ignorant, whether by pride or by fear, then that’s when it becomes problematic. If you have a friend that goes to the gym, ask them to show you around. If not, then ask someone who works there to show you around. If you can afford it, try out a personal trainer to get you into things. If that still makes you uncomfortable, then show yourself around. Just show up to the gym, and look around, assess the grounds, look at what you can do, observe the machines. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? You look like an idiot because you’re trying to educate yourself? Bless the sad soul that would think so. The big buff guys intimidate you? Chances are they’ll be so taken with their training that they won’t even notice that you’re there; and you should do the same.

Be realistic.

I’m being redundant, but I feel like this is one of the main reasons why so many lose their motivation after a month or two. There are so many false advertisements out there promising immediate and miraculous results, that we believe our body should transform just by stepping into a gym and taking a protein shake once in a while. Sadly, that is not how it works. It is a process that requires work and commitment. And again, we are so used to instant gratification that we’ve come to associate those words with hassle. Never be afraid to commit to things and to working toward goals.

Have the right mindset.

This should not be an obligation, or a struggle, or a pain in the ass. This should be a positive change and it should have a positive impact on your life. Do this for you and concentrate on how good it makes you feel. If you feel tired and all this seems pointless, take a step back and focus on the bigger picture. Choose to make this a part of your life; like sleeping, eating and watching Netflix. Choose to make it a priority. You and your body deserve it.

I hope this little pep talk helps to push you further toward your goals! If a total stranger believes in you, then you deserve to give yourself a chance.

Talk to you soon, 🙂

Thank you for reading, ox

Jamie A.

5tips to get your butt in the gym