Makeup, hair, nails- oh my!

Hello long lost bloggers!

Sorry it’s taken me this long to put up a post, but it has been crazy lately. With my new job, boyfriend, friends, and only 24 hours in a day, my life has gone from 0 to 60.

So back to where I work- we have product trainings probably once every couple months and I thought maybe I could interest y’all in some firsthand experience and information about a few things.

Here are a few brands I’ll be discussing in the future:
Pureology
Dermalogica
Eminence
Too Faced
Smashbox
Jane Iredale
Bond No. 9
Moroccan Oil

To name a few…

So I’ll go ahead and put up my first one tomorrow! Hopefully I’ll be able to do this once a month.

Until then…

C

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The mystical world of fire cupping

Monday night I experienced a rather “unique” event.

You know what you’ve seen in those Asian movies where a guru or medicine man will pull out a cotton ball, soak it in alcohol, light it on fire then rub it inside a small glass jar and suction it to someone’s back?

That’s a real therapy. A real therapy that has been practiced for hundreds of years.

Before Monday night, I had only heard about fire cupping and had never put much thought into it. It always sounded kind of like rubbish.

I am here to tell you- IT’S NOT! And it actually does work.

Just in case you’re wondering, here’s the definition of fire cupping: “A fire cup is simply a cup held upside down and the air inside of it heated. Once the air is hot the cup is applied to the soft tissue of the body. As the air cools rapidly in the cup, it shrinks in size, pulling the soft tissue up into the cup with a vacuum. The rim of the cup seals against the body.”- http://naturaltherapyweb.com/what-is-fire-cupping/

Here are a few photos of my experience…forgive me for some of the photos. They were taken with iPhones!

That's me!

That’s me! During…

I know what you’re thinking. “OMG! Did it hurt?” To be honest, it didn’t exactly feel like going to a day spa, BUT the after effects are worth it. Besides the giant hickey-like circles you have on yourself for days and days later. I suggest wearing clothing that covers them up because you may get some weird looks and be asked if you’re a victim of abuse if you go out in public. In China and the Asian countries, this is a popular and very common technique used, but here- not so much.

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After

Yep, that’s what they look like when removed. I did have them on for only a couple minutes and had the cups on 3 or so different times. The longer you leave them on, the darker they can get depending on how toxic you are. I wasn’t so bad, but if you notice, the darkest spots were on my right shoulder area- that’s where I’ve had a random pain lately that I just now figured out where it came from. Work! But anyways..

The whole experience is definitely intimidating at first. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s “cool” and “feels good” or it’s “painless” because I’d be lying. It hurt like a b*tch at times- especially when a myofascial release is done on you, but I won’t go into that. Thank goodness you are heavily lathered in coconut oil before the jars are placed on you.

The whole thing kind of feels like a sunburn in certain areas when you are done. I remember my bra strap area feeling pretty raw and tender. My shoulder pain was nonexistent when it was done though which is crazy!

This is what “cups” look like NOT suctioned to someone by the way. They are glass.

They range in sizes too

They range in sizes too

The smaller the cup, the more painful it is. My teacher luckily started off using the biggest cups first so that I could ease into it and not cry haha.

Here are a few photos of my classmates getting cupped.

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Classmate #1 during…

I wasn’t able to find an “after” photo of her.

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Classmate #2 during…

After

After

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Classmate #3 during…

After

After

If you’ll notice, on some people’s backs their pores will really open up and get big, but that’s normal. Also some radiating heat from areas that have been cupped is normal as well. Classmate #3 had a lot of heat even days later so it just depends on what you’re body needs to release.

Some of us were pretty toxic and it is practically mandatory to drink gallons of water after you have this done because the body is trying to get rid of all of the stagnant chi or energy. This is a great form of pain relief and helps increase ROM (range of motion) also.

It is uncomfortable at times so I do want to point that out and if you’re afraid of fire then you probably don’t want to partake in this, but I do recommend it. You will notice a difference basically right away depending on how serious the injury is.

 

This was me a couple days ago…

Still visible

Still visible

They are still there as we speak (or blog), but each day they lighten up and are only tender the next day or so after it’s done.

If you get this done, DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE YOURSELF!!!!

 

C

Earthing, anyone?

You learn a lot of random and useful things at school. Some pertain to life, others to making money, and so on.

 

What I am about to share with you is pretty kick-ass…

Earthing- have you heard of it?

-I hadn’t before my instructor mentioned it.

 

***By the way- this post is just a summary of the benefits of what earthing can do for your health. If you want to learn more about it, visit www.earthing.com.

 

Earthing is when you ground yourself (on a mat I am about to tell you about or by setting your bare feet on the earth) and decrease the amount of free radicals floating around your body that we get from the electromagnetic field in objects we use on a daily basis and are surrounded by such as our electronics and those types of things. Personally, I use technology all day long and am surrounded by it all the time. My house, my job, my school- all of that has technology that’s on all the time.

So what does earthing do FOR you? Lots of things. Like:

– lower blood pressure

– better sleep

-relax you

 

Those are just a couple. The rest you can read about on the website.

We are really supposed to shut down (and by shut down I mean unplug) all of our electronics at night and when we aren’t using them to decrease the amount of electromagnetic waves flying around, but I don’t do that (hell, I can’t even turn off my phone for more than an hour at a time) so here’s a solution.

 

Now, if you are like me and don’t have $50-$200 to spend on an official earthing pad, I have a DIY project you may want to try. It costs less than $20.

I, sadly, can’t take the credit for this, but have made one with the help of my instructor and can tell you, it’s actually not a hard object to make on your own.

Here’s the instructions I wrote down in class (just makes things easier):

instructions

My notes

I love taking notes…very useful.

So here’s what my finished product actually looks like:

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Portable earthing mat!

Now, I know it doesn’t look like much, BUT it’s cheaper and works.

Here is the plug we used to ground the mat. It has no electricity passing through it and you can make sure by using a volt meter.

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Plug to ground mat

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Front view

Steps:

-Measure the amount of wire sheet you want. Mine was about 25 inches by 17 so that it is portable. Cut it carefully with scissors (nothing fancy).

-Strip the plastic coating off of each end of the copper wire about an inch to 1.5 inches and on one end you tape it to the wire screen and the other end, you slide into the plug after unscrewing it and everything.

-Apply tape around all of the edges of the screen. I used 2 kinds- one was a thicker silver tape that conducts really good then another that’s basically a conductive duct tape that’s softer and easier to use (used mostly to soften the edges). I had to be stubborn and use both!

– Use volt meter to check to see if grounded!

 

It does take a couple days of use to see the effects, but you will if you use it at least an hour a day on bare skin for best results.

Grounding!

Of course, you don’t have to pose like I am on the mat to make it work, I just wanted to look cool.

I am warning you that the edges of the wire screen are sharp and can cut you so please be careful. I noticed this when I got blood on my tape- HA!

 

So do this project if you want a cheaper alternative to buying an Earthing mat. I will most likely save up a little money to buy me an official one soon. This was just my experiment!

 

Alright, have fun!

 

C

Reversing my dating luck: step 2

desperate-women

 

When we are lonely for companionship or whatever the case may be, we tend to get desperate a.k.a. going out with that guy from your yoga class who you can’t seem to figure out if he’s straight OR meeting that guy from the bar that looks like he could be the next Ted Bundy. I could go on and on…

When I say desperate, I particularly mean:

 

a) lowering our standards

and

b) lowering our expectations.

 

Why do we do this to ourselves??? There are plenty of other fish in the sea! (I despise that saying even if it does make sense)

 

Usually when I go down this dark road, I snap out of it just in time to see the dead end looming up ahead, but not everyone is so fortunate.

I know of women who are NEVER single. Literally. They break up or get dumped by their boyfriend then a week later (if that) they have found another guy who they just KNOW is “the one”. It’s like a vicious cycle that doesn’t end. I can honestly say, I am not that type. Thank goodness.

 

It’s kind of like Shallow Hal. Hal sees what he WANTS to see, which isn’t what is actually in front of him. I think we do that.

SO WHAT if he’s a fat slob and jobless- he compliments me and will get a gym membership and a job when we start dating. SO WHAT if he’s barely 5 feet tall and I can’t wear heels around him, once I fall in love with him none of that will matter.

 

Now of course I try not to be THAT shallow, but I do have my standards.

 

Instead of getting to that stage, how can we reverse it to where it either doesn’t happen at all OR flies by with a passing glance?

 

Here’s how (according to me, not some dating guru):

1) Surround yourself with friends and/or family (people you love and have good times with)

2) Make a list of all the things you can’t do if you had a significant other (trust me, the list is long and pretty awesome)

3) Hang out with people who aren’t in relationships and/or don’t talk about how their boyfriend or girlfriend is just “so amazing” 24/7

 

I’ve realized when I’m not around people who are “taken”, I feel better about that aspect of my life and myself. It’s not a constant reminder- “hey you’re single and alone!”

But it does help with not constantly reminding you that you’re single and, dare I say it, FREE TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!

Didn’t think of that, did you?

My intentions of this post are NOT to discourage you from dating or getting a boyfriend/girlfriend in any way, it’s to help ease the pain (if there is any) of that tough in-between relationship stage.

So instead of laying around on the couch, watching romantic comedies, wishing you had a boyfriend as you desperately shovel ice cream into your mouth, you could be out having a blast with your pals and not even thinking about relationships!

It’s more healthy and less expensive since you won’t have to buy a whole new wardobe due to the weight gain from all of the ice cream and candy bars you’ve eaten.

 

 

C

All natural, baby!

Normally, I don’t blog on particular personal events anymore, but I just couldn’t help this one!

I’ve been dying my hair for years, as I’ve said before. About a couple months ago, I decided to completely stop dying it. At the time, it was red and was taking forever to go away because I started when it was really short.

Here’s the before picture…scary roots!

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I decided to get a little help from the Aveda Institute.

Here’s how it went…

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First they had to strip the red out and bleach it which ended up turning my hair a weird blondish pink color.

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Then they applied the color which they matched as perfectly to my roots as possible.

And then… The final product, which I’m definitely happy about.

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They lightened my hair but my natural color is a teeny tiny bit darker than this. I love it!

Now my hair has officially started the road to COMPLETE healthiness.

If you’ve been contemplating this big step, I suggest GO FOR IT!

C

Practice makes…er…success?

When I first started blogging, I wrote something practically every day. I would be skimming through my “Reader” and notice people would wait a week or longer to post. I thought to myself, “how can they go that long?!”

I understand why now.

Life takes you on a wild goose chase sometimes and when you get a day or an hour or even a few minutes to slow down and relax, you don’t feel like running to your computer or smartphone to write about it.

That’s how I feel nowadays. My last blog was over a week ago (not sure when exactly) and I didn’t even realize that until just now.

When you’re caught up with your responsibilities, life happens. Basically when you least expect it.

 

So I guess that means I have a life? This is a big moment for me. *applause* Nah, totally kidding.

But school sure does take up lots of your time. And job hunting. And social time.

 

So any-who…I had my first clinic Friday. For those of you who haven’t been to massage therapy school (most of you I’m sure), it’s when you start massaging paying clients that book appointments with my school for practice. It only happens on Fridays during the day for day students.

I cannot even come up with an example for how nervous I was. I starting obsessing about it Thursday. Studying the movements for the massage I would be performing, making sure I didn’t forget anything. Which by the way is hard to do without a REAL massage table. You’d be surprised that you actually need one to perform good massages.

So after doing a half ass practice on one of my friends on her couch, I went home and studied the paper till I couldn’t see straight. I even pestered all of my school friends with questions about every detail of clinic. I actually slept that night which is surprising. I was alright until I got to school. Once I walked up those stairs and realized I had never done one of these before, I started freaking out inside. I was jittery. Very jittery. Almost like I had took a few shots of espresso.

After getting a pep talk from the clinic supervisor (also a teacher) who’s awesome, I began to settle down a little. A LITTLE! Only a little…

When someone tells you to NOT be nervous, you can’t help but get a little more nervous.

Then my first client walked in. Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. I greeted him and got him on the table after looking over his intake forms and began working. For those of you who have never had a massage before, a Swedish is the most light pressure and relaxing one we do.

This guy was in his 60s. Sort of grouchy and wanted more pressure. I haven’t taken the deep tissue class yet so my pressure isn’t bone deep. Unless I put all of my body weight into it.

massage1

I ended up messing up on a few moves while I worked on him. I was sweating bullets and kept forgetting to do things.

Let’s just say after him, I was good to go. Since I was not booked with clients immediately after, I was able to work on a classmate who also didn’t have clients to work on at the same time. She gave me part of a deep tissue massage on my back. One word- OUCH! I’m still feeling it today, but from what I’ve heard, that’s normal.

For my first day, I only had 2 out of 4 paying clients. That was PLENTY. After the last guy, I felt pretty good.

Each client has to fill out an evaluation form on the massage therapist after they are through. I was afraid to know how I did on the first massage, but after all- my evaluations were actually positive! I could finally breathe. You’d be surprised at how much you don’t breathe in times of stress or anxiety.

I guess I could rate my first clinic EVER as good. Not awesome. Not perfect. Not horrible. Just good.

I am definitely sore from everything that I did yesterday. Last night, I got home and crashed on my couch. I made it to bed and ASLEEP by 10 p.m. That’s a record. I am hoping the pain subsides completely. For the most part, it has. My bad posture is to blame for it. I deserve a slap on the hand. My Swedish teacher would definitely slap my hand if she saw how I looked.

Practice makes perfect. I don’t believe in perfect though so I guess that saying doesn’t quite fit. Practice makes success. Yes, that’s better. Not as…cut throat.

Here’s to a weekend of relaxation and laziness. Well, laziness doesn’t exist in my life right now, but I’m damn sure gonna try my best.

Happy weekend. 🙂

C

You have to study

As you know, I started college again this month for massage therapy and I gotta say…I LOVE IT! For friends and family reading this, you know how long it’s taken me to find something I enjoy. No more major or college hopping for me. Woo! I’ve been learning interesting AND useful facts every day and I love that. Like today for example, I learned that 16 days after a woman is impregnated the baby inside of her is already growing a liver, pancreas, lung buds, and a few other vital organs along with skin. Or that obese people with Type 2 Diabetes and starving people in Africa (or somewhere) are dying of the same thing. Hunger.

So since this college is a 9 month long program that means tests, quizzes, midterms, and finals will be jam packed into these upcoming months. I knew this because I had went to college before and know the routine, but some of my fellow classmates do not know.

YOU HAVE TO STUDY.

It’s that simple. That’s the one word for college. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY! You can skip class, get drunk, go party every night, do drugs, do whatever you want to, but you HAVE to study.

Like right now I should be studying for a quiz I have tomorrow. Or the midterm I have Thursday. Or the chapter test I have Monday. Yes, I have already began, but even I can’t pass up a reason to write a blog.

Learning time management isn’t a bad idea either. Actually it goes hand in hand with succeeding in school. Any type of school for that matter. In order to study, you must have time management.

I hate hearing people complaining about homework or tests in class. You are an adult. Like my teacher said today “no one put a gun to your head- you chose to come here”.

AMEN.

That’s exactly right. Just suck it up and do what you gotta do. There are people out there who don’t and will never have the chance to get a college degree or any certification. There are still some countries out there that don’t allow women to even think about college.

I am thankful for living in the United States and having all of the rights (as a woman too) that I do. I do take them for granted sometimes and for that I am ashamed, but more times than not I am glad I can further my education. In 9 or so months, I will walk out with a massage therapy certificate proudly in my hands and will gladly place it on my wall.

An education shouldn’t be abandoned or scoffed at. I may not get a degree like I would’ve at the university I was attending, but I am still proud of myself and of everyone who’s out there doing this.

Give yourself a pat on the back because it is truly f’n hard work (especially for anything medical related)!

-C-