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Thursday, June 25, 2015

One of my favourite hair tools that at this point I can't see going without is a wooden comb. If you noticed from the picture above that my comb probably used to have a handle, good job. Even though wooden combs break more easily than plastic, wooden combs are much better for your hair. My mom got me my first wooden comb in Singapore. It's a peach-wood, which supposedly makes higher-quality combs than other woods, As long as you don't have a comb made out of wood chips, it's probably fine. 

Wooden combs are awesome because they help distribute oils from the scalp through the rest of the hair. While this might sound kind of gross, the oils from you scalp can help condition the hair and help prevent split ends. The comb initially doesn't feel good on the hair because it has to absorb some oil in order for it to work properly. After using it a few times the wood will feel silky when used through the hair. Hair that falls out (not tugged out) while combing with a wood comb is nothing to worry about-- a little bit of shedding is a natural part of life. 

When choosing a wooden comb, try to find one with reasonable spaces between the teeth. Micro-spaces are not fun, but overly-wide spaces may not detangle the hair very well. I prefer combs with a handle. I also like combs that have a very wide front because it helps me part my hair. 

Two more things-- Another way to use a wood comb is to coat it with an oil and comb through. I personally like sweet almond oil on my hair because it smells amazing and makes my hair nice and shiny. You need to clean a wooden comb regularly. But, do not get it wet! Take a Q-tip and clean off any buildup from the teeth. Getting the comb wet can make it swell up which effectively ruins the comb. 

Have you ever had a wooden comb, and did you like it?
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Eggs can be used in various fantastic natural beauty remedies. There are probably a million different things to do with eggs in terms of beauty remedy, but I'm just going to share the ones my mother taught me. Sorry if it's been mentioned many times already, but sometimes the oldies are the goodies. Obviously eggs are also excellent to eat as well! I like adding soy sauce to my eggs and eating with ketchup over rice. Not the healthiest way to eat eggs, but definitely Asian-inspired!

Mom's Face Mask

Separate an egg. Put the egg white on your face in a thin layer, adding more to the nose, chin and forehead area. Wait for the egg white to dry. If you can't move your face and your face feels "frozen", it's time to wash it off. Afterwards, apply a really rich moisturiser. My mom says putting an egg white on your face can help with ageing skin and deep clean your face. I just think it's a lot of fun.

Mom's Egg Hair Mask

I don't think my mother has ever actually used this one, but she did tell me about it. Take the yolk that you didn't use from Mom's Face Mask and add some olive oil to it (about two tablespoons). Mix it up and apply from root to tip, focus on the scalp and the ends. Wait around for about an hour then wash out for stronger hair.

Mom's Egg Hair Mask Variation

Instead of just using olive oil, add a squirt of mayo to the mix as well. This will help moisturise the hair and make it shiny. This addition comes from the old mayo-conditioner in the 60s. Apparently my mom's friend swore by this, and she had the most fabulous long hippy hair.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

I had a childhood friend reach out to me recently about some blog technicalities. It doesn't seem like she's been blogging for long... and she definitely didn't know how to network with other bloggers. So, this post is for you (I hope you know who you are) and any other bloggers new at the whole networking thing. I'm only going to discuss things that are pretty straightforward-- Pinterest is a whole other conversation!

New bloggers, if you don't have a Twitter or a Bloglovin' you need to go sign up for those right now. Most of the bloggers I have met have been through Twitter. Between reaching out to your favourite bloggers (and maybe even getting some mentoring) and blogger Twitter chats, Twitter is one of the easiest ways to network. My fabulous friend Chelsea made a list of Twitter chats you can check out here. Another hint: linking to bloggers you like with a purpose, like how I've linked you Chelsea's Twitter and post here, will help you get noticed. Don't just link to random people... but giving a shoutout for a good reason is appreciated and might even earn you one.

I have found that some of my biggest readers are those who know me in real life. In order to keep them up to date with what I'm blogging, I occasionally link a new blog post on my Facebook. I have a blog Facebook page and a personal Facebook page. Most of the time I share the link using my blog Facebook page, and I don't share more often than once a week. Annoying people is a really good way to lose readers. The occasional update ensures that Auntie keeps reading your blog and sharing it with her friends... and maybe mentioning you to someone she knows that can help you out. You never know!

New bloggers, networking can seem terrifying. It often feels like there are a million bloggers out there that are all better than you, and you'll never get there. However, by making blogger friends and learning how to network you will eventually find yourself as a blogger. It's a cool feeling to realise that you're actually proud of something you're putting so much time into!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hi blog world! It's me again. I'm currently chilling out in my room in my apartment in Chengdu, China. Even though I've been posting on the blog fairly regularly, the posts were scheduled ahead of time so the blog didn't start collecting dust. Now that I've finally gotten myself a VPN I can actually post. It feels a little weird.

This photo is the most accurate photo of China I could take. 

This is considered a better photo for some reason. 

There's so much to talk about that I'm going to have to split everything up, but now that I have a VPN I can keep everyone a little more up to date. I might do some beauty-related posts while I'm here, but I'm sure no one will mind if this becomes a bit of a travel log for a couple of months.

I thought I was only going to be in China for five weeks, but decided in the middle of week two that I wanted to extend my stay. So now I'm going to be here until early August, which is crazy because it sounds like both a very long time and a very short time. I've been nineteen for a little over a month and so far it's been the best year of my life!

Red pandas are so cute. 

Current photo of the trip. 

Chengdu is a beautiful city and it feels like home. Being back in Asia feels like home and being in mainland China is such a cool experience. It's very weird to say, but this is my motherland and being part of the majority again is a comforting feeling. It's frustrating sometimes because I don't speak good Chinese, but I can generally make myself understood even if I lose a lot of face whilst doing so. I'm learning more than just the language... I'm learning a new culture, way of life, and appreciation for differences. My school is next to "Tibet Street" and a new favourite snack of mine is "Tibetan Empanadas", which is kind of amusing. It's funny how a place so far away from "home" can feel like "home" within a matter of weeks. 

More later, it's time for a nap. Had a pretty rough weekend... we're so adapted to China that an "America-Party" proved a crazy night!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and my aunt sent me a ton of adorable mini baking ware. Between the mini cake pans and the tiny ramekins was this cool Birthday Tube thing by bareMinerals. I had no idea if I would like the items inside-- my experience with bareMinerals is limited to a powder foundation I bought at Sephora once that I now use as a contour powder because it was two shades too dark. I think the tube idea is adorable and I was really impressed with the products inside!

The Birthday Tube contained a lip gloss, an eyeliner, and a mascara. In addition to the products there was a little pin that I'll probably wear next year, when I turn 20! Unfortunately there was no one around to kiss me when I turned 19... oh well. 

I like the lipgloss a lot, but I'm a little bit of a lipgloss addict. It's called "Buttercream" and it's a nice pink colour that's pretty flattering on everyone. It is a wonderfully moisturising product that lasts a reasonable amount of time without being sticky, which is a plus. My lips were noticeably shinier with it on and best of all, the product doesn't taste like death. I'm not sure if I would buy it because I'm sure it's not cheap, but it's a good product to have. 

I strongly suspect people either love or hate this eyeliner. I really like it because once it is applied, it does not budge. It's wonderful for lining the waterline or creating a dramatic smokey eye. It blends out nicely which I tried to show on my hand. This eyeliner, however, is nearly impossible to get off. To get it off my hand I had to really scrub! Getting it off my eyes was easier though it still took both cleansing oil and regular wash, plus patience, to get it off. 

The best thing in the tube was the mascara. I don't think I have ever used a mascara that both made my eyelashes look amazing and was easy to use. The wand is an interesting wavy shape that lengthened and fanned out my eyelashes with zero effort. The formula did not clump on application or flake throughout the day, which is amazing. I also did not get racoon eyes from this formula, which makes it my new favourite mascara of all time. While I'm sure some people have a hard time holding the swirly-shaped wand, I found this mascara to be excellent. Who knew bareMinerals made excellent mascara?

This Birthday Tube rocked, and was definitely an unexpected surprise. I definitely will be purchasing the mascara after this tube runs out, and the other two products are really nice to have as well. What is the best mascara you have ever tried? Would you try this one?

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If you're still doing any of these five things to your hair, you're not doing it a favour. There are several things we do to our hair that isn't very good for it! For lovely locks, cut what's below:

1) Over using the blow dryer, flat-iron and curling wand all damage the hair. Try letting hair air-dry if you can and leave heat styling tools for special occasion. If you don't, you risk fried locks!

2) Picking at your split ends is one way to bust boredom, but it also leads to even more damage. Hair splits when the ends get dry, and splitting hair further up the strand is just magnifying the problem.

3) On that note, never getting a trim is the biggest mistake most girls trying to grow their hair out make. It's important to get a trim to remove split ends. While I don't agree with getting a trim every six weeks (how will you ever get long hair that way?), I personally find every 3-4 months sufficient.

4) Having a bad diet is not only bad for your body, it's bad for your hair! Having a well-balanced diet can help your hair grow longer and faster. I found that adding nuts to my diet over time made my hair stronger, but that might just be me.

5) Throwing your hair up in a ponytail definitely gets it out of the way, but always putting the band in the same place can lead to breakage. Vary how you put your hair up and experiment with buns and braids-- both considered protective hairstyles. I love putting my hair in a side braid to get it out of my way while studying or blogging. Add a flower to make it pretty for summer!
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

I've mentioned how much I love Lush before on this blog. While I did like the Hair Doctor Mask, I think I'm more a fan of their bath products than anything else. In my latest mini Lush haul, I picked up three items. Two of them were bath bombs and one was a massage bar! 

I decided to pick up "Butterball" because I really like the cute melty snowman bath bomb that comes out around Christmas. This bath bomb smells like it and is nice and moisturising. Like all Lush bombs, "Butterball" was beautifully fizzy and scented. I actually think "Butterball" would make a good gift because it's fairly neutral and everyone would like it. It doesn't make your bath water crazy colours, but that's okay!

Avocado is quite in fashion these days, and "Avobath" is one my new favourite ever bath products. It makes your bathwater an amazing green colour and the water is wonderfully smooth. It smells like lemons, so it's like bathing in lemon curd! Okay, not really, but "Avobath" is a seriously great bomb. 

The product I wasn't sure I'd like was "Pearl" the massage bar, but I absolutely love it. The massage bar melts on the skin and leaves the skin wonderfully scented and oily. The bubble things in "Pearl" are kind of darkly coloured, which needs extra rubbing in to not be noticeable.  I'm sure some people actually use it for massage-- I just use it after I shower. My skin is incredibly soft afterwards and it soaks in pretty quickly. I would definitely recommend massage bars now that I've tried them... they aren't messy like I thought they would be. 

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

By the time you are reading this, I will officially be in China and the Great Firewall of China is preventing me from accessing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I'm also probably going through some degree of withdrawal. Anyways, I decided to bring makeup for my trip to China because I'm going to a pretty fashionable city and I didn't want to look like a slob. Deciding what makeup to bring, and how to bring it wasn't easy, but I followed my own guidelines and managed to cut down.

I decided to bring this very old Vera Bradley makeup bag I bought in middle school for like 50% off. Even though the bag is old, it has a good zipper, plenty of room, and is nice and squishy. I prefer soft makeup bags when I travel because they take up less room and pad the products inside. Some people prefer hard makeup bags because your makeup doesn't get squished that way. It's really personal preference! Since I'm not bringing many products that come in soft tubes, I felt comfortable bringing a soft makeup bag and hoping the tubes hold up in the airplane.

Here are the products I'm bringing to China. If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably recognise most of them! I try to avoid bringing makeup that requires me to use brushes because I tend to leave brushes behind in hotels. Using products that you can apply with your fingers saves time and energy anyways, and no one is expecting you to look like a supermodel while travelling anyways.

 Bringing neutral coloured eyeshadow and lipstick ensures I can wear it for any occasion, and with any outfit. Reliable products that you have used before and know work for you are better than the brand-new product you picked up before your trip-- what if you are allergic to that new mascara? Also, I will not leave home without concealer-- actually, if I could only bring one product with me while travelling, I would chose it. Concealer covers up eye bags and can brighten up dull skin after lots of flying. Bring a moisturising concealer to clear up any imperfections that come with travel. 

I plan on buying lots of Asian makeup while I'm in China... I'm 100% sure I'll do a haul when I get back. In the meantime... do you think I brought enough? Too much? What would you have done differently?
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