Konjac Face Sponge

I am not a skin care kinda gal. I don't use toners, or expensive lotions, nor do I ever wash my face with soap. I am a simple girl when it comes to my face and for 35 years this simplicity has worked for me. My skin is a perfect balance of normal and I never break out. Like never. I have always believed less is better when it comes to your face and although my regimen consists of water and apricot oil, I have recently added a Konjac facial sponge to the mix.

The Konjac Potato or Konnyaku is a perennial plant native to Asia, and can be found growing wild at very high altitudes. A totally natural food source, Konjac is 97% water, rich in mineral goodness and low in calories. Naturally alkaline, Konjac is pH neutral which leaves skin perfectly balanced.

I like the way the Konjac sponge leaves my skin feeling after. Usually when I rinse my face with water before I apply apricot oil, my skin feels a wee bit dry. When I use the Konjac sponge my skin feels soft and pliable and when I apply the apricot oil my skin absorbs it immediately. I have only been using it a month and I really like it as a new addition to my facial regimen. 

Cleveland Nail Artist: Jessica Dingess

My GHT and Noodlecat nails...

I am a huge fan of nail art. I first became aware of the trend when I met a girl name Mayay Apple on a visit to LA in 2012. Mayay did my nails in my hotel room and hand drew our restaurants logos on my nails to celebrate a special dinner the chef was doing in California that night. Turned out Mayay was not only my nail artist but also nail artist of Miley Cyrus, Rebecca Prince, and Busy Phillips. Can you say 6 degrees?

Adventure Time Nails...

When I came home to Cleveland I searched long and hard for someone as good as Mayay. It took me nearly 2 years but I have finally found someone!  Her name is Jessica and she works at Tease Hair & Body Parlor. She is the best (and ONLY) nail artist in Cleveland. Check out her work on her Instagram and if you are in the mood for some funky or beautiful painted nails be sure to give her a ring. 

Disney Villan Nails 

 

Tease Hair & Body Parlor

15112 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

(216) 228-2440

The Amazing Bentonite Clay

Before & After the Bentonite Clay Mask 

When it comes to my face I am a product virgin. I don't do soaps or cleanser. Toners are not in my vocab. For years people have been telling me to implement a sysytem for my face care regime, but so far I think my system of au natural works pretty great. I don't break out, my skin is smooth and soft, and you couldn't find any shine even if you put me under a microscope. 

I like my skin.

I like my skin regiment. It's easy, quick, and fits my lifestyle. I wash my face with water, I use apricot oil as a moisturizer. One and done. But sometimes my simple regime needs a push. Recently I  read about Calcium Bentonite Clay, a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. In other words, when mixed with water and applied to your skin it acts as a sponge, absorbing toxins and impurities that live there. It's rad and it makes your skin feel like a zillion bucks!

 

Bentonite Clay has so many other uses as well. Here are a few from Empowered Sustanence:

  1. Detox Your Hair – Wellness Mama
  2. Homemade Clay Toothpaste – Keeper of the Home
  3. Bentonite Clay Detox Bath – Homegrown & Healthy
  4. Bentonite Clay Rose Water Face Mask - Hug A Tree With Me
  5. Homemade Calamine Lotion – Nourishing Joy
  6. DIY Mascara - Body Unburdened
  7. Homemade Deodorant – Frugally Sustainable
  8. Bentonite Clay Paste - Whey Beyond The Naked Truth
  9. Bentonite Fruit & Veggie Wash – About Clay
  10. Bentonite Clay Poultice For Rashes, Burns, & Bites - Everyday Roots
  11. Bentonite Clay for Eczema – Livestrong on YouTube
  12. Bentonite Clay in Soap – Yahoo
  13. Skin Bleaching (Tattoo Lightener) – Ehow
  14. Heavy Metal Detox - Like A Mustard Seed
  15. Shaving Soap - Blue Aspen Originals

Have you ever used Bentonite Clay for anything other than a face mask? 

Apricot Face Oil

For the Chef's birthday I made him a beard oil from a bunch of different oils and aromatic spices. It ended being really awesome and he loved it! It just so happened that I ran out of face cream at the same time. I had some leftover apricot oil so I decided use it as a substitute for my face cream. I put on every morning and night and my skin has never been better. It's not oily or dry and it could just be wishful thinking but I feel like it's making some of my happy lines disappear.  

Apricot oil is known to be well absorbed into skin without leaving a greasy residue, and can also be used on hair and nails. 

Apricot oil is my new jam. It costs way less than face creams and it contains ZERO chemicals. I think I have officially converted to face oil. 

 

Charles Scott Salon & Spa Saved My Hair

Well friends my hair has finally healed! It's been a long seven months of pretty bad hair and I am pleased to see that my hair is as healthy as it has ever been. Many of the thanks for this belong to Keri U. at Charles Scott Salon & Spa. You may remember that last summer I went from white bleach blonde to red (or as it really was orange straw).

My hair was bad.

I mean really bad. 

Healthy Hair!

Healthy Hair!

So I went to Charles Scott and met with the fabulous Chaz. He gave me a much needed haircut and then he introduced me to colorist extraordinaire Keri. Together we all came up with a plan with my eventual goal being healthy long hair and Keri has been my hair guru ever since. She got all the red out after a few times of meeting and she was very cautious about the health of my hair. We agreed to let it grow and cut the damage out with each visit. Now 7 months later my hair looks like this.

It's healthy, natural, and growing. I love it and it's all thanks to Charles Scott Salon. 

 

No-Poo is Not For Me

You may or may not have heard of the current Pinterest hair rage. It's called No-Poo and it means NO SHAMPOO. The thinking behind the No-Poo movement is that all the chemicals and bad shit used in shampoo is most damaging to your hair and the buildup it causes changes your hairs molecular makeup.

Being the natural loving girl that I am I decided to take a chance on No-Poo.  I read blog posts and pins and read about every aspect of the No-Poo experience. I read about how people's hair drastically changed for the better after no-poo'ing. I prepared myself and made a plan to start right before the Christmas holiday that way if my hair looked like shit, it would look like shit at home. 

Armed with baking powder and Tavern Vinegar I began to no-poo. The first time I did the baking soda rinse and vinegar conditioner I immediately noticed the change. My hair felt stripped of it's softness and my ends were raw. I changed the baking soda ratio to less and waited a few days for my next wash. Over the course of four weeks my hair went from soft and shiny to oily and straw-like. One day my hair would look normal, the next awful. When it looked awful I couldn't style it. Blowing it out would make it looked matted down and letting it air-dry turned my hair into an oily frizz ball. 

At week five I started to look into other ways to no-poo. The baking soda / vinegar wash wasn't working and I was miserable. I read a few people who used shampoo bars and vinegar rinse as way to no-poo.  I did a little research and found this shampoo bar :

I started using the bar as a replacement for the baking soda and continued with the vinegar rinse. I gave this a chance for approximately two more weeks. My hair was oily and dry at the same time (how does that happen????). My breaking point came when I need a haricut. My hair was crazy but in the six weeks of no-pooing it grew almost two inches. The growth gave me a reverse mullet and I knew I had to go see Keri at Charles Scott Salon. In my head I was trying to figure out a way to ask her not to wash my hair but as l looked at the oil bomb on top of my head I decided to throw in the towel. I would let Keri wash my hair with good 'ol fashion cancer causing shampoo and conditioner. 

My hair looked and felt better than it had in weeks and I knew that I would never pick up the baking soda again.  After my experiment with no-poo I did learn one thing. I didn't want the chemicals in traditional shampoo going back on my head. Since then I have been messing around with natural shampoos and conditioners and after a few try's I found this combination works for me. 

While no-poo didn't work for me I have no doubt that it may work for others. I think the key is having thick hair (which I don't). It was a cool experience and I could feel the change in the strength of my hair. I think residue that is left on your hair from traditional shampoo's most definitely affects your hair negatively and I don't think I will be going back. 

Have you no-poo'd? 

Back to Blonde at Charles Scott Salon

I've realized that at the ripe age of 34 I no longer like to color my hair. In my twenties, I colored my hair seasonally. Blonde in the summer, red in the fall, dark brown in the winter, and back to blonde in the spring. It was my thing. 

This year I have realized that I'm too old for that shit anymore. After chopping all of my hair off last winter after having a lovely nervous breakdown, I couldn't stop messing with my hair. When I get bummed, I mess with my hair. I don't drink or do drugs, I don't overeat. I cut, I dye, I bleach, I repeat. So 2013 turned into not only an awful year professionally but it was also a pretty bad hair year. 

In the summer I dyed my super white hair red. It burnt the shit out of my hair and I've been fixing ever since. 

I partnered up with Charles Scott Salon to journal my experiences. My journey began with a haircut from Chaz and has now led me back to blonde with Keri. I visited the salon last month with a slightly orange red tinted hair. I had seen Keri prior and she put a few highlights in to see how the damaged hair would take. After those grew out a bit I went back in hopes of going back to blonde.

And voila!

Somehow Keri, without causing anymore damage to my hair, managed to turn my Strawberry Shortcake hair into a stunning golden blonde. Honestly, I have never had color done as thoughtfully as Keri did my hair. She knew I wanted blonde but she also used to her education and knowledge  of color in determining how much or how little color my damaged hair could take. 

Charles Scott Blonde

I am obsessed with my color.

So obsessed that I think I am comfortable with it being my year round blonde. It's blonde enough to not make me look like a pale ghost and golden enough to highlight my blue eyes.

Red Lips

After I heard through the grapevine that a server had told another server "I had really let myself go," I started to question my look. 

I have always been pretty confident. I don't think I am the most beautiful, skinny, amazing woman in the world but I embrace what I've got. 

The server was right though. Bitchy as her comment was, it was true. Since the opening of the tavern and this year especially I had given up. I didn't "wear sweatpants in public give up" but I did start dressing down, lost the 4 inch heels in lieu of comfortable Toms and my face was always makeup free.  It wasn't as though I had lost the desire to look HOT, it just become less of a priority on top of all my other million priorities. 

Her comment stung but it made me get my ass in gear. My first (and only) step was quick and easy makeup. When we first opened the tavern I would wear a full face, dress, and heels every single time I went to work. Since then, my job has changed and I'm not so much on display. I don't have to be in the full dress wardrobe and frankly I don't want to be. Nowadays I have a routine that is simple consistent and makes me look like I haven't "given up."  

RED LIPS & BAD ASS MASCARA

That's it. I put lotion on my face. I apply my new favorite mascara, EYEKO, and I finish with Fiery by Stila. 

And then I go to work. Even if I wear docs, jeans, and a flannel, that pop of eyes and red lips dresses me up. 

 

So timeless, so easy, and so fast.

 

 

A Haircut from Chaz

You guys,

I hate my hair.  

I chopped it all off last year during a dark, dark period. I had wanted to chop it off for awhile and the drama going on in my professional life allowed me to do it. I liked for a bit but then got super sick of it. 

So I bleached it white. It was ok for awhile but the upkeep got annoying. So I went to a salon I had never been to before and got it dyed red. The dye burnt the shit out of my already fragile hair and ever since mid summer I have been wearing a hat.  

Until now.  

A few months back I was invited to a blogger event at Charles Scott Salon in Rocky River. After the event they emailed and asked me to be an ambassador. Because I live on the other side of town I didn't think I could completely commit to the program. So when my hair turned into a shitshow I shot them an email. that went like this:

Hi Charles Scott, 

Love the salon. Love to be an ambassador however I think we should really go on a hair adventure together. You see my hair is fried, dyed, and short. I've been wearing a hat for three months. For the first time in my life I have BAD HAIR.

PLEASE HELP ME. 

Love, 

Amelia  

Within days the owner of Charles Scott Salon, Mr. Charles Scott himself wrote me back. We set up a meeting and within a week my hair journey had begun. 

 

Pre Hair Adventure

Because of the massive damage to my hair we are taking it slow. My end goal is long natural hair with highlights. This month we started with my haircut and a little color. I sat in Chaz's chair and no doubt got the best and most thoughtful haircut of my life.  

A haircut with Chaz is like a lesson at beauty school. Chaz is thoughtful and explains everything he is doing and why he is doing it. From the shape of the cut to the angle he holds the scissors Chaz is educating whoever is sitting in his chair.

I loved it.

Chaz's Chair

I like to know what's going on with my hair especially in it's dire strait and when Chaz started explaining the cut I couldn't be happier to listen.  

Afterwards my hair felt healthier.

And shinier. And lighter.

I've noticed that I don't have to "do" it as much and I feel like it's on it's way to stating to grow again!  And it actually looks good in pictures. Hats NO MORE!

My haircut was only the first step in my hair adventure with Charles Scott Salon. I am excited for the journey and can't wait to see what kind of advice, inspiration, and hair I will come home with next!

Realtime Hair (this Saturday!)

 

Stay Tuned.