Back and Blonder than Ever – Everything I Learned and Everything I Wish I Knew

Back and Blonder than Ever – Everything I Learned and Everything I Wish I Knew

So I’ve been planning on going back to blonde for about a year now (If you creep way, way, way back on my Instagram, you’ll find it), but like many of us, I was coming up with reasons why I should put it off. Mostly it was a bit of PTSD from the last time I went blonde which was an absolute disaster. I originally wanted silvery grey hair, so I went in to get it done and the hairdresser ended up just completely botching it up. There were spots with red in it, spots with my natural, mousy-brown hair color showing through, lavender, and even blue patches. After a bit of a panic attack, I went back in to get my hair corrected. It took about five hours and I still walked out with an odd-shade of silver. I was sort of happy with it…until I washed my hair and the toner washed out in the shower. Then I was left with an odd cluster of blonde highlights. From there I just kept lightening my hair and ended up trying to bleach my own roots (they turned about the same shade as a brand new penny), and finally just threw in my towel, raised the white flag, called it quits and dyed my hair back to brown. It’s been brown ever since…up until Saturday.

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 4.48.41 PMINSTAGRAM: @THESTELLAFILES

My impulsiveness showed itself once again! My mom and little sister had a hair appointment Saturday afternoon, and I woke up that morning with the urge to just go ahead and go blonde that day. It all worked out and I was able to squeeze in an appointment with my miracle-worker hairdresser. It took about three hours in a salon chair, to the sink, back to the salon chair, back to the sink, and a hair treatment worn home. In the end, I am ridiculously happy with how my hair turned out, and I am so excited to continue in the lightening process (aka my roots). Now, with going from brunette to straight blonde, there are some things that could go very, very wrong. Thankfully, I didn’t have too much trouble, but there are of course things that I wish I knew or things that I learned after going blonde.

I normally only ever wash my hair once a week, because my hair is naturally curly, very fine in texture, and I use heat on it every single day. Before bleaching your hair, if your hair texture is anything like mine, I would recommend going at least five days without washing your hair or using any sort of heat on it.  And of course…DO. YOUR. DANG. RESEARCH! Find a colorist that knows your hair type like the back of his/her hand. Thankfully, my colorist (Jessica at Anthony’s & Co.) is an actual genius and made sure to study my hair and really sit down with me before beginning the process to be sure that there was no miscommunication. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure that you and your colorist have a good understanding of the end goal, especially when it’s something as drastic as going from deep brunette to blonde in a matter of three hours.

Obviously, your hair isn’t going to get out scratch-free when you bleach it, so here are some of my favorite products to use when dealing with the aftermath of drastic lightening:

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 7.30.51 PM

 

generic value products conditioning purple shampoo

The Generic purple shampoo is honestly a gift from God Himself. The name brand purple shampoo is half the size of this bottle and twice as expensive, but it does the exact same thing. You can get this from your local Sally’s Beauty Supply store and it’s just under $7.00! I use this to combat any brassiness or yellow tones that could be in my hair. When I use this, I run my hair under luke-warm water (avoiding heat damage at all costs now) and *GENTLY lather into my bleached locks. I do this after washing my face and body as to avoid any of it rinsing out. Then, I chill in my bathroom for about 7-10 minutes while the purple tones my hair! Once time is up, I rinse, towel dry, and THEN run conditioner throughout my hair. I know, I know, I put conditioner in my hair AFTER I get out of the shower? Yes, and I leave it in overnight. Shockingly, it’s almost completely soaked into my hair and there is no greasiness.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 7.28.59 PM

ogx nourishing coconut milk anti-breakage serum

Again, this is an extremely affordable product (under $10.00!) and can be found at your local Target! When dealing with post-bleached hair, the second main concern after brassiness is breakage. I love this product because it’s specifically for fighting breakage, it’s lightweight, and it smells freaking GOOD. But seriously, this serum is great for concentrating on certain spots of the hair, specifically towards the ends. I use this on the little wispy bits that hang down when I pull my hair back, the ends of my hair, and the hairs framing my face. These are the sections that took the biggest hit and this serum has honestly made the world of a difference in the health and look of my hair.

For real though, I absolutely LOVE my hair and I am so thrilled with how it turned out! A huge thanks to my insanely talented hairdresser/colorist for making my locks slay the dang game! If you’re ever in Lynchburg and you’re looking for someone to step up your hair game, she’s the one to visit.

XOXO,

Stella

My Murad | Nightly Skincare Routine

My Murad | Nightly Skincare Routine

Hey readers!

I’m back YET AGAIN with another BOMB-AS-HECK blog post (Stella is working on consistency…and it’s working!) and this is one that I’ve been really excited to share with you all. My friends at Influenster and Murad sent me their acne skincare line with a cult following. This amazing gift from Influenster and Murad consisted of Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser which you can purchase here (also from your local Sephora or their online website), Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++, and Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment. Readers, this gift came at literally the perfect time. I’m midway through my first semester as a college student, and that means less sleep, stress through the roof, and being out with friends all the time! While this is an amazing time in my life and I wouldn’t change a thing, it means my skin is a little more irritable than normal. After trying out Murad for the past month, my skin is in the best condition it has been in months, and my acne was cleared up so quickly. I was so blessed to be able to partner up with this amazing brand through Influenster, and while this is sponsored, I will always give an extremely honest review of the product. I TRULY LOVE what these skincare items have done for my skin! So without further adieu, here’s how I use my Murad!

IMG_1773Of course, I start with my favorite part of my day, how I know that it’s time to relax and unwind, I take my makeup off! Once my face is totally free of makeup, I put a dime-sized amount of Murad’s Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser onto my hands, lather it up, and wash my face. This cleanser is instantly cooling on contact, and it gives such a deep clean. I love using cleansers with Salicylic Acid, a) because it’s the next best thing to Benzoyl Peroxide (which I happen to be highly allergic to), and b) it’s a miracle worker for clearing up acne! I have noticed a significant difference in the quality of my skin since using this cleanser! Not kidding, guys, my skin has never looked and felt cleaner.

Once I’ve washed my face, I pat it dry gently and then prep for a good night’s sleep. FUN FACT: Getting more sleep can result in better skin health! When you are sleep deprived, your body makes more of the stress hormone Cortisol, which results in skin irritation and acne. Sleep is your skin’s time to rejuvenate and heal itself, and I love to give my skin a helping hand by using Murad’s Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment. I put this in little dots on my problem areas, which tend to be on my cheeks, my temples, and my forehead. Honestly, I put this on my blemishes and the next day, there is no swelling, and barely any redness. I’m seriously impressed and kind of hooked on this product.

IMG_1778.jpg

Good morning! It’s been a good night’s sleep (for me, just a couple scrolls down the page for you), and I’m ready to prep my face for makeup! So, when I use concentrated Salicylic Acid on my blemishes, it tends to make the area a little dry, so I exfoliate and moisturize to remove any remaining Spot Treatment. I don’t like to use setting powder when I do my makeup because it settles weird on my face, so I’ve just gotten used to dealing with the occasional blotting to control any shine that I accumulate during the day…until Murad gifted me with probably my favorite skincare item in this blog post. The Murad Oil Control Mattifier is the coolest product I have ever used on my skin. I apply my normal moisturizer on my skin, and then apply the Oil Control Mattifier on top, and let it dry before putting my BB Cream on top. It has the texture of Elmer’s Glue (for real though) and then it settles so smoothly on the skin. NO. JOKE. This kept me completely matte ALL DAY LONG. Without setting powder. Truly the trippiest and best product I have ever used and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it. 11/10, would hecka recommend.

That’s all for my current nightly routine! I want to send a huge hug and major thanks to my friends at Influenster and Murad for seriously hooking a skincare junkie up with some really incredible products! Make sure you head to their site to check it out, and let me know what you think of the products!

XOXO,
Stella

DERMAPLANING…WHAT IS IT? | BEAUTY

DERMAPLANING…WHAT IS IT? | BEAUTY

Hey readers!

Okay, so this post is all about something that I have been doing once a week for the last year or so, and I’m kind of obsessed with this little trick in my beauty routine. My not-so-secret secret is called dermaplaning – and it’s taking over the beauty world by storm. So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What the actual heck is dermaplaning?” Skininc.com defines dermaplaning as “a simple and safe procedure for exfoliating the epidermis and ridding the skin of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz). It has been used for many years, but most estheticians don’t even know it exists…” hence my not-so-secret secret. Basically, dermaplaning is shaving the skin on the face to get rid of any dead skin cells and those small, nearly invisible baby hairs that can sometimes make foundation look cakey on application. This simple trick has been known to even the skin tone, diminish the appearance of acne scarring overtime, and enhances the texture of the skin. On top of these amazing perks, dermaplaning also allows skincare products to sink deeper into the skin and prevents pores from filling up with dead skin cells or left behind makeup remnants. Dermaplaning professionally done can cost upwards of $100.00, and a broke college girl with a shopping addiction can’t swing that once a week, so I found an easy, affordable, at home hack to share with you!

But first, let’s de-bunk a few myths. I love sharing this underground beauty trick with others, and the first thing almost everyone asks is, “Doesn’t your hair grow back thicker and darker?” And the answer is: NO! Dermaplaning is simply grazing the surface of the skin and ridding the skin of peach fuzz and dead skin cells. I have been doing this for well over a year now, and if anything, I have noticed less growth of peach fuzz on my face.

So how do I perform my very own dermaplaning at home? I found these super high quality Professional Eyebrow & Hair Razors from cosmetic company The Crème Shop for just $10.00! They came in a pack of three super cute pastel colored razors, with a mega sharp blade (be careful!). If you want to order these for yourself, which I highly recommend, you can find them here!

IMG_1767

So first I just prep my skin by removing any makeup I had on that day (which is almost always a full face) by using makeup remover wipes. Right now my favorite wipes are the Say Yes to Carrots Nourishing Gentle Cleansing Wipes and I just make sure to really clean up as much as I can. Next, to remove any remaining makeup, I use a gentle cleanser to ensure a clean canvas. Now for the fun part: dermaplaning! The best way that I have found to do this is to pull the skin just slightly so that it is nice and taut, but not too much to wear it will stretch out your skin. This ensures that the blade will get precise contact with the skin and a nice, close shave. Carefully, in small, quick, downward strokes, scrape the edge of the razor while keeping away from the lips and eyes (and be careful not to knick your eyebrows in the process! Been there done that!). Once you’re all done with this step, you should already notice a slight glow in your skin and your skin will be INSANELY smooth, let me just tell you. Once I’ve done this, I go ahead with my usual skincare routine, which is centered around calming products and skin tone evening products. Here are some of my favorites to use after a dermaplaning sesh!

1. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask & Cucumber De-Tox Balancing Essence Water Mist

IMG_1768

2. Ole Henriksen Balancing Cucumber Face Mist & Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Mask

IMG_1769

3. Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb

IMG_1771

And that’s my super secret, but also not a secret at all beauty hack for this year! This has SAVED my acne-prone skin and it’s my favorite aspect of my skincare routine! Make sure you try it out and let me know in the comments what you think! Happy shaving!

XOXO,