Cutting Off My Hair ▸ Going from Arwen to Dana Scully

So…I cut it all off. And it was like music to my ears hearing the woman cut my hair. I’ve been wanting this for a good month now. I had my reasons. And I am on day two of my new hair. I do not regret it either. I had no nervousness. No hesitation. I just wanted it done.

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Channeling my inner Dana Scully with this shot

When my husband saw the photograph on Facebook before he came home, he was taken back and had asked me why. Especially since I wanted my Lord of the Rings like hair. And I still do. After this summer I did not have the option to keep my long hair anymore. Do I miss it? Yes. Of course. But do I hate my hair now? Absolutely not! 

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Before the Cut

Black Hair/I Do Care ▸ I’ve had very short-lived moments of wanting to go back to black hair since I had quit hair dye nearly three years ago. I agree my natural hair colour out and I genuinely loved it. My natural hair colour is a nice chocolate brown shade with warm tones to it. Not to mention those short-lived moments were really half-hearted. Unfortunately, I had given into that half-hearted moment where I wanted black hair. And I dyed my hair black. Immediately I regretted it. Not just because of the allergic reaction. But because I knew it was no longer me.

The Wrong Black ▸ I don’t think many people are aware there is just more than just black hair dye. There is brown black. Black with purple undertones, black with reddish tones, and then there is blue-black. I had decided to use a black with blue undertones. Not smart on my end. As you can see by the photograph above, my natural hair colour is very warm toned. My skin is fair. But also has warm tones as well. Between the blue black and my warm tones, it clashed in the worst way.

 

Damage ▸ My attempts to remove the black hair dye for a good month had left my hair with a bit of damage. Damage I was infuriated with having. I had given into one weak moment and I was attempting to reverse it. Only to be left with hair that had a ton of fly away’s and becoming drier. Finally, I had decided to use Color Oop’s on my hair. It successfully in the removal process. But the damage was increased just that bit more. Suddenly, that beautiful silky hair that was growing to the classical length that I wanted so badly was starting to look like Mr. Ed’s food. Three years of hard work had disappeared. None of those luxurious products could prevent what had just happened to my hair.

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Before and After

 

 

The Smell ▸ I don’t know how many of you had used Color Oop’s before. But it smells like it came out of the Bog of Eternal Stench. The Goblin King would approve! I had used coconut oil. Olive Oil. Coconut based shampoos. Canned coconut milk even. It smells so terrible when it was wet. This lasted for a month, people! A month!

The Clinger ▸ It’s not the slanderous remark you’re thinking of. It’s the hair dye that doesn’t want to leave your hair. Even after using the hair dye lifter, there was one patch of dye that was refusing to leave my damn head. My hairdresser said it most likely had to do with the mineral deposits in the water we have where I live. I kept seeing this stupid smurf blue water/suds when I washed my hair.

Focus ▸ My hair is seriously the last thing I want to think about right now. Or even invest money in. I’m saving money to travel to Ireland/England/Scotland for a period of time. And it’s costly. I felt one hundred times more comfortable chopping off all the damage and starting from scratch rather than spending a heap of money attempting to repair it. As far as I was concerned, I just don’t have time to give a damn. I had wanted to leave some of the hair to preserve some length. But I am an ‘all in or all out’ sort of girl. So…off with my hair!

◂  T H E  G O A L S  ▸

Same as it always was. Take care of it. I didn’t dye my hair after a certain point simply because I did not want to. I didn’t use heat to dry or style because I was too lazy and also did not want to. I’ve used multiple brands. And most likely will go back to using apple cider vinegar rinses for my hair in replacement for conditioner and use oils. At the moment I am currently embracing the short length and leaving some time to focus on other things. I still want that classic length hair. But I will just now know what to avoid. What really sucks for me is that I am someone who uses green/low ingredient hair care products only and I was reduced to using a strong product like Color Oop’s for the removal process. At least now I can start over.

“You look like a boy!”

Okay, I have heard this once already from someone in my town who has seen me regularly. This is only day two of me having this hair. Cutting your hair to a certain length does not mean that suddenly you will have a pork sword. I thought we were in a time where we had grown past that absurd assumption. Hair length does not determine gender. Don’t allow other people’s smart ass comments to dictate your choices when it comes to anything. I made my choice out of convenience. And I’m one hundred percent happy with it.

Fu** It to Foundation ✗ Freeing My Face

I’m not saying I’m choosing to stop wearing all makeup altogether. And I am not saying I will never touch it again. But I have my reasons. And they are good reasons. I am in no way passing judgement on anyone who is choosing to wear it. Our bodies. Our choices. If you are happy with wearing it then wear it. I feel like after Alicia Key’s decided to ditch the makeup, a lot of people took it personally. Why? Who knows. People don’t know how to choose their battles. Certain makeup items or makeup as a whole should not be an obligation to anyone.

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Why Am I Doing It?

  • I feel obligated ▸ I often feel like people will judge my skin if it’s less than perfect. I know that the majority just don’t have time to give a damn. But I may have come to that conclusion because I am my own harshest critic. And that often has made me feel like if I had hated my own face, others would too. So I started feeling the need to wear foundation all the time.
  • It doesn’t always help ▸ Even if I do wear foundation, sometimes I just don’t feel better wearing it. I know what is under there when I do not wear it. This feeling is mostly there when I know my skin is that bad and it’s not just my imagination. For some people, no matter how bad their skin is, makeup makes them feel much better. It’s just not the same in my case.
  • Losing my creativity ▸ My knowledge of makeup had once been terribly limited. I didn’t even know concealer existed till shortly before I became engaged.But when I was in high school, and even after I moved in with my partner when I was twenty, I felt like I could easily skip foundation. I went more than a month without wearing it sometimes. I had lot’s of fun just using eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. Maybe the occasional lipstick. I feel like I lost my desire for creativity when I got lost in insecurity. I want to get back to it.
  • I want to repair my skin ▸ I know a lot of people say that you can still wear foundation and concealer and work on repairing it. But I simply wear foundation for the purpose to covering my problems. And in general, I do not like the feel of foundation on my skin. I can wear concealer in concentrated area’s easily enough. But I don’t like a gob of shit on my face along with primer, concealer, powder, and everything else. I literally find it physically uncomfortable. I want to fix the issue with the uneven skin colour caused by sun exposure. I want to get rid of this blotchiness. And I don’t want to feel like I have to wear even a thin layer of foundation just to walk out the door.

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 I feel like my reasonings for abandoning the coverage are good ones. I was already tempted today when getting ready to pick up my brother in law. And I really had to fight it. But I want to work on loving myself without it. And, it might be annoying that I’m going against the grain with a lot of things when it comes to makeup. Wanting to be minimal. Hating contour. Loving my pale skin. Never fake tanning. I think society tends to forget that style and the area of makeup don’t require compliance from an individual when society demands it. Your body. Your choice. Your happiness. 

 

Minimalism Part II -Admitting to Bad Spending Habits

I have to confess something that is utterly embarrassing for someone at the age of twenty-nine years old. I have had horrible spending habits. What does this have to do with minimalism? I spent money on things I wanted in the heat of the moment. Something I already had enough of. Something that took up more space.  I spent money on things I already owned but did not appreciate. But yet, I added to the collection of superfluous things I already owned. That is no longer the woman I am or want to be.

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A Small Portion of My Makeup Collection in 2013

I can’t make any justifications for it. But I certain made my excuses. The brief moment of satisfaction that alleviated my misery for a brief time made me feel like it was money well spent while  constantly convinced myself that I will make good use out of it. Whether it was a foundation, concealer, powder, or otherwise. Meanwhile, these things were sitting in a dresser. Being used on rare occasions. Then it reaching past its shelf life. Not even making use of half the money I spent on it. I have to admit that it makes me feel more ashamed if anything.

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oment of satisfaction that alleviated my misery for a brief time made me feel like it was money well spent while  constantly convinced myself that I will make good use out of it. Whether it was a foundation, concealer, powder, or otherwise. Meanwhile, these things were sitting in a dresser. Being used on rare occasions. Then it reaching past its shelf life. Not even making use of half the money I spent on it. I have to admit that it makes me feel more ashamed if anything.

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Old Animal Tested Products I had Once Owned

It went again what my mother had taught me when I was growing up. Not only that. But there are times in the past where I prioritised that cosmetic item that gave me that moment of alleviation over getting a passport. Or putting money towards my trip to the UK. The spending habit was just a habit that happened to follow after quitting another bad habit. There are no justifications. Just a poor excuse to ‘take the edge off’. When I find just as amusing is that I had never been the sort of person to spend that carelessly before. Imagine moving in with your partner with just a garbage bag filled with clothes and a few plastic drawers filled with undergarments and nothing more than a six cosmetic items and the only pair of shoes you owned were the ones you wore when walking into the door. That was me. And the funny thing is, I was completely satisfied with that.

2014 cosmetic favourites

At this point, there is no point in continuing to beat myself up about my poor choices. What is done cannot be changed. I can change my current behaviour to prevent future stupidity. And I constantly remind myself fo this quote that I once heard. To spend money on experiences. Not material possessions. I wish I could remember the exact quote and who it came from. But my goal now is to look forward to my future with what I had in mind.

Does this mean I will no longer indulge? Most likely. I don’t see the need to own any more concealers or eyeshadows. I have what I enjoy using. In my attempts to save for my long stay in the UK I am currently planning if I run out of something I will be looking for inexpensive alternatives. At this moment, the best example I can give is a mascara. I could either spend $37.00 + shipping on a mascara. Or I can simply spend $9.99 on one from Physicians Formula I have used five times before and that has worked well for me. I will be applying the same logic to anything else. Like shampoo and conditioners. 

Look forward to empties video coming in the future on my youtube channel

Minimalism Journey – Travel Plans and Financial Prioritising

Minimalism is not a competition. It’s a personal journey. It’s a personal goal. For me, part of it is learning to invest my money where it matters most. For me, it’s traveling. Traveling is fun. And I am going to channel my inner Bilbo Baggins. I plan on going on an adventure. But adventures can’t be done going on foot or on the back of a pony. It’s by plane. And other things to consider to put money into. I had always known this. But when you want to indulge you always come up with excuses. Especially as a blogger. ‘People would want to know if this works!’ I had always said to justify my spending habits. But in this process of justifying these spending habit’s, I had ignored my need for shoes, pants and other proper clothing.

 

In the process of trying to minimize, I had donated a large chunk of my wardrobe. Clothing I didn’t wear anymore. Or never wore. Or that needed to be thrown out that were worn too frequently to the point where it had come undone at the seams or torn in certain areas. I finally had done it. But by the end, I realised I didn’t have many clothing items left at all. I only had one pair of sneakers left (not the ones you see in the photograph below) and only two pairs of pants that need desperately to be replaced. Despite me knowing this I chose to prioritise makeup over it. I’m aware of my age. I’m twenty-nine years old and I still shop rather recklessly. My husband had never said anything except for when he mentioned how I needed to get a new pair of sneakers. I still don’t have anything aside from the one pair.

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Today I decided to gather an example of my makeup collection for you guys to see. What I do and do not need. While this collection may not be as large as some, this is too much to me now. But having it on display only makes me more aware of what I do not need for a good while. Many of these items will last me a very long time.

I’m hoping that seeing this will make me realise that I can’t wear the same pair of sneakers non-stop for years at a time and expect never to shop for another pair. In my spending priority journey, it’s not just putting my spending into something else, it’s learning to spend money on something that I know I will use. I had a very short but bad habit of seeing something on H&M that I thought was super pretty and just buying it on the spot. Only to realise the quality wasn’t what I had hoped and that I didn’t really like it as much as I thought I would. There for ending up donating it. Now I let a piece of clothing I find interest in sit in a bookmark wishlist on my browser to see if I still hold an interest in it in the near or distant future. I also keep in mind the experience I had with certain items from certain shops. H&M to me has been a good experience with sweaters. But with shoes, bikini tops, and blouses are a no-no. Therefore I look in other shops for these items.

 

Only Necessities at This Moment

  • Canon Rebel Camera
  • Mascara (inexpensive alternative) – I don’t own one currently
  • Proper shoes that are not sneakers
  • Proper jeggings
  • SPF from La Roche Posay

There are the obvious priorities such as bills. And I only buy certain cleaning products currently from The Honest Company such as laundry detergent, surface cleaner, so on and so forth.

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Things I Own that I Certainly Do Not Need

  • Primer – 2
  • Foundation – 10 (WTF)
  • Concealer – 6
  • Blush – 6
  • Bronzer – 2
  • Highlighter – 5
  • Powder – 1
  • Eyeshadows – 4 trio’s, 2 loose mineral pigment, 3 pressed pans
  • Eyeshadow Primer – 2
  • Liquid Liner – 1
  • Eyeliner Pencils – 4
  • Mascara – 0 (Going to find an inexpensive one)
  • Lipsticks – 6
  • Lipgloss – 2
  • Lip liner –
  • Nailpolish – 3 (not counting top/base coat)
  • Eyebrow pencil – 1
  • Eyebrow gel – 1

I think you can tell by this list there is no need for me to do any kind of cosmetic shopping.

So, consider this sthe start of my blog/youtube series of “Vannie Crosses The Pond” – Series Title Courtesy of The Bestie, Alanna!

 

Luscious Lips ♡ The Best of Honest Beauty

To me, it’s not worth it to wear a lipstick that isn’t comfortable as well as beautiful. Call me old fashioned but I love the traditional form of lipstick that takes shape of a bullet. Though traditional lipstick formulations don’t carry the same longevity as liquid lipsticks, the ones I was used to were not as drying and often has a luscious shine finish rather than a matte finish.

Strawberry Kiss ║ Chestnut Kiss ║ Rose Kiss 

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I had not expected to fall so deeply in love with the Honest Beauty brand. But it was true love at first application. These are pretty much the only lipsticks and glosses I ever wear. Rose Kiss is my favourite out of them all. It’s a beautiful soft red. And shockingly enough, Strawberry Kiss is a beautiful demi-matte lip colour that is comfortable and melts into the lips like butter.

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An honorary mention goes to the two shades of Falling For You Palette. Blazed Garnet and Glazed Quartz. These shades…Oh, my! I want to personally beg Honest Beauty in this post to please (with a cherry and dark chocolate covered syrup on top) to release these as lip crayons in permanently in your line! The shades that are currently available are stunning. No doubt. But I bet by the time we enter into the winter season I will have hit pan on these shades.

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Final Thoughts :║: While I continue to indulge in Honest Beauty products, I want to encourage the Honest Beauty brand to expand their shade selection in various in not just lip products, but other products like foundation and concealer as well. I’m also hoping to see some lip pencils being released in the future. I feel like it would help with the longevity of these products. Especially since they’re so buttery and nourishing. I also hope to see some animal by-product free formulations in the future as well. I won’t be too fussy with this area. Especially I know it must be difficult to change the formulation without changing the performance. But with some encouragement, I hope to see that change at some point soon. 

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Top 3 Autumnal Must-Have’s ☾

It’s getting to that time. We enjoy drowning ourselves in pumpkin spiced everything, burgundy, and a specific colour scheme of orange, gold, and red. The entire season is basically a pretty Pinterest photograph. Even if it managed to rain and soak up our crunchy leaves, it still looks pretty. Unlike snow, that looks like turds of tyres after a few passes of a blow in the streets. No matter whether you’re interested in mainstream fashion or a part of the subculture like I am, we like to incorporate  these things into our wardrobe. Subtly or even be a walking advert for autumn collections of 2016. These are three products that are must-haves in my day to day wear. 

LVX Swatch

LVX Nail Polish in Bordeaux This is a personal favourite brand of mine. They are as trendy as well as ethical. Their nail polishes are formulated without seven most commonly used ingredients within mainstream nail polishes that could be considered harmful to your health. Bordeaux is a beautiful maroon shade with warm tones that not only makes me think of the autumn and winter. But seductive elegance. But I also automatically think of Gal Gadot in that burgundy dress in Batman Vs Superman.

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The beauty of burgundy shades is that you can easily transition it from one season to another. Even if it is a warm summer evening, you can easily wear this for nights out with the girls, and it sits well on all skin colours. Whether you have a deeper toned skin like Iman. Or whether you have rather fair skin like Sophie Turner, it’s a shade that is universal. 

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Honest Beauty Falling For You Palette – THIS! Oh, my god! This has to be my favourite palette to ever exist. I know it sounds highly exaggerated. But when you find a palette you really enjoy, you tend to squeak upon opening. Every shade is simply stunning to me.

The Texture :║: The cream product’s a very smooth and buttery upon application. Though the lip products are demi-matte, they are very comfortable and do not feel dry on the lips. The Crème Blush is just as blendable and can have various different tools that can be used to apply and blend onto the cheeks.

The Eyeshadows :║: Though I have heard a few people say that these had a powdery texture, they’re a very light formulation. Which makes it so blendable. It still keeps the pigmentation. No matter what the finish is. Or even the depth of colour. My favourite shade combinations are Blackened Burgandy and Painted Gold. I love using them to have a smoked out look these days. But if I want to go for something more wearable, I will use a tapered shadow brush with Chromed Rose through the crease and Smoked Aubergine smudged out at the lash line instead of a liquid liner or a black pencil. Even try using a light dusting of Dusted Copper or painted gold at the centre of the bottom lip when wearing Blazed Garnet.

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There is always a way to make an eyeshadow palette like this work for you. Change the base you use. Go darker. Go lighter. Change the brush you are using based on density. And you do not have to use all the shades at once. Remember, in makeup, you can get creative. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. 

Alima Lip Tint Blackberry

Alima Pure Lip Tint in Blackberry Appropriately described as a sheer merlot. Let’s say you don’t like lipstick. Or you do. And you want to wear something autumnal appropriate. But you just don’t want an opaque coverage of your traditional bullet. Alima Pure has a selection of five lip tints that provide nourishment and a sheer wash of colour that can be built. I love wearing this for when I’m keeping everything else with makeup minimal.

 

SPF Frustrations : Follow Your Instinct

I’ve had a frustration revolving around SPF as of recently. I’ve been listening to people who have the education to back up their advice to people. Estheticians who know more than I do. I trusted them. And I still do. But SPF seems like it’s such a tricky area. I’ve been told ‘SPF 30 or 35. No more. No less. And make sure it has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.” I follow this advice. Then it doesn’t work. Some people can’t tell when their SPF is working. But I can see the difference with my skin. I end up getting freckles underneath my eyes and above my lip. My skin becomes more flushed. And it becomes darker. Not tanned dark. But red dark. That’s not my natural skin! My skin is naturally very fair. The shade “Snow” from Honest Beauty is still too dark for the skin I have. I was scratching my head. I wasn’t getting these freckles or darker skin when I used a higher SPF. I’ve bought different SPF’s all from the suggestions of professionals.

Devita SPF 30

Suddenly, I look on youtube and am seeing different information from different professionals. Suddenly SPF 15 is perfect? WHAT?!  Suddenly the skin on my chest is darker as well as the tops of my arms and face. I was frustrated. And I still am. I’m listening to these professionals and nothing is working. I wasn’t having this issue when I was using SPF 60! I told this to someone over the counter who was a certified esthetician. Her response ‘It’s good to have colour in your skin.’ SERIOUSLY?! I don’t care about being tanned. I like my pale skin. SHITTY ADVICE! At this point, I’ve given on up listening to professionals in this area. Since I started going off the suggested path for skincare I stopped breaking out, I don’t have bumps on my face anymore and my inflammation has gone down significantly.

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But here is a tricky question. Is it bad not to listen to professionals? I’ve had that circulating in my head constantly. Am I saying all trained professionals are wrong or bad? No. I can’t stress that enough. I think I’m just one of those unfortunate folks that fall into that small percentage where the skin products that help a large number of people does fuck all for me. At this point, I’m going back to using high SPFs. I recently got wigged out seeing a few older individuals who had fair skin but sat in the sun a lot and had severe sun damage to their chest, shoulders, and arms. I see nothing undesirable about being pale. And I accepted my pale skin years ago. I have zero desire to be tanned.

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Word of advice, just go by your instinct if nothing is working for you. I spent…fuck. I don’t know. Must be a well over couple of hundred on trying to find the perfect SPF over the years and me having to listen to constant conflicting information. To any professionals out there who may read this, please bare in mind I really and truly tried. Inexpensive, expensive, eco-friendly, mainstream, so on and so forth. I really tried. But my skin has only been fucked in the process. I have nothing but respect for work that’s put into what you do. But I just cant follow b whats been suggested to it.

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