Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

Wonderful Weekend, Part I.


The weekend hasn’t even started yet and I am almost positive that it’s going to be one of the greatest weekends ever. I’m getting a super early start today so I can get in all the amazing events that I have planned. First and foremost, I am heading downtown to Spanish Fly at 9A to get my hair cut, styled and colored. Although I’m sure it’s difficult for the male readers to fully understand, hair appointments are an event. Really. Unlike guys’ twenty minute hair appointments, women plan for this. We schedule our appointments weeks in advance and spend hours trying to figure out what cut and color is going to be best for the given time in our lives (hair is a reflection of personality, afterall). Sometimes we keep it the same (because we’re content), but occasionally we spice it up. This time is a spice-it-up-sesh for me. If InStyle were to do a Transformation outline for me, there wouldn’t be a great deal of difference in my hair cut from about…. 2001 to 2009. My skin color would change (as I go through my tanning and non-tanning stages) and my make up and style would change, but my hair… well, my hair would be pretty predictable. I keep it the same for the most part and play with highlights and lowlights (though my color range typically only knows the span of light blonde to dark blonde… dark tends to frighten me tads.) So, today marks a fairly eventful morning when I touch up the roots and have some fun with the hair.

After that, I get to pick up my newly-hemmed trouser pants and head to the city for some shopping & cool weather! This evening I’m meeting up with my friends Alex and Jasmine (fellow future LSEers) for dinner, drinks and bonding. {Pictures will definitely follow.} It’s fun get-togethers like these that build up my excitement for England and assuage all my fears about being alone (without my family) in a foreign country. All of us American postgrad student are in the same boat; we don’t know many people and we’re all excited to make new friends and enjoy new experiences so it’s great to meet girls who have stellar personalities!

After that, I get to stay with my cousin and her family in San Carlos! It will probably be one of the last times that I see them (if not the last) before I leave, so I’m really excited to be able to see them and spend Sunday with them. I’ll keep you guys posted tomorrow with pictures and reviews!

Hope everyone else’s weekend is equally amazing!

Signature Stamp - Shannon


Oh, Hair of Mine.

Soooo… time for a serious hair update. Now, I’m not doing this in stereotypical break-up fashion to make myself a new person, but I definitely need a serious cut & color before I head overseas. The color is out of pure necessity since my roots are about four inches long at this point (14 weeks without a highlight … ahh!) and the cut… oohhh, the cut. It’s at the awkward point. You know, where you can’t really do anything with it because it’s lost it’s bounce and even when you do try to style it, you realize that it’s grown out at different rates and your hair is resembling a mullet of days past.

Well, I have scheduled an appointment for this Saturday at a salon downtown per the recommendation of a friend who swears by their work! I’m going for a pretty (relatively sustainable) color and a shorter hairstyle:


I am absolutely loving Christine Taylor’s color in the picture above! It has some lowlights that I don’t usually have (but tend to like) and I think it’ll help reduce the ugly-factor when my hair starts growing out. Too blonde = obvious root action!

I’m not entirely sure who this girl is, to be honest, but I am totally digging this cut. I’m going to try to have mine done slightly longer so I can still put it up in a mini ponytail while I’m at the gym and I’m going to opt for a side sweep versus her little elf bangs (not sure what that’s about!)

My only concern for all of this is that although the color and cut look great on the respective models, they won’t look quite that good on me! I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll look good! Everyone always says ‘It’s only hair! It grows back!’ I fully understand that it’ll grow back, but it’s the thought of that awkward period WHILE it’s growing out, in which I have to face people with awkward hair that makes me cringe.

I’m hoping for the best!
Any ideas? Is this a yay or a nay?

Hoping for the best!

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Salon & Spa Steal

Hoss Lee Academy

Fellow students and others on a budget, listen up!

I found the most amazing place to check out if you don’t want to discontinue your hair and skin care, but don’t have the budget to allow for fancy extras. For my sister’s birthday, I took her in for a celebratory brow wax and facial. I found a local Salon & Spa Academy where students perform the services under a professional’s supervision. I have looked into these places before, but had never actually taken the plunge and visited. However, after looking at the disparity in pricing between the academy and a normal salon, there was a major savings! Depending on the service, you can easily save 40-50% (or more if you get packages) on your services! Tiffany and I visited Hoss Lee Academy in the greater Sacramento area and she snagged a brow wax for $10 (not a huge deal, but still) and a clay facial for $45! The basic facials run at $25 per session, the upscale European facials are $35 (total steal!) and the specialty facials (clay, anti-aging, etc.) are $45. She was pampered for a good hour and a half by a knowledgeable student and raved about her experience afterwards. In addition to the skin care, they have hair care services (cuts, color, highlights, styling, etc.), make-up services and body services (body scrubs, wraps, sunless tanning, and hot stone therapies).  On top of that, the salon is absolutely gorgeous (the picture above is an actual snapshot from our visit) and the staff is great, which added to my confidence in having services done at a school.

On top of that, after perusing their list of services, I found that they have a peel package — 6 glycolic peels + a complimentary Euro facial for $250! To put that into perspective, I paid $85 for ONE glycolic peel and it’s not unreasonable to pay up to $150 per. Getting six of them plus a facial for $250… beyond a steal! With having to save like a mad woman for the upcoming year abroad, I had written off professional skin care until 2010, but now I can afford to indulge once in a while. Check out Hoss Lee (also, click here to get a $50 gift certificate for $25!) or find another reputable academy in your area to save on fun stuff. Just because we would rather spend money on travel doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate an inexpensive facial once in a while, right?

Check out Hoss Lee’s Salon & Spa Menu if you’re local — they can save you a bundle if you’re looking for occasional pampering <3.

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Not-so-Pretty Peel

This is what my face looks like!

This is what my face looks like!

Hey Everyone!

Thought I’d share a quickie update with you guys! Yesterday was my first glycolic peel ever! Amber, my esthetician used about 30% glycolic along with a few other components (Vitamin C, etc.) to help brighten my skin. I opted to add a peel to my facial as a preventative measure — I’m hoping to keep hyperpigmentation and wrinkles out of sight! She began with a lactic acid exfoliator to prep my skin to help the glycolic peel penetrate deeper. Even the lactic acid stung so I was a little worried about the glycolic! She mentioned that she typically leaves the acid on for about a minute and a half, depending on the skin. Literally as soon as she applied the glycolic acid to my face, I could feel the “tingling” sensation; tingling is definitely putting it mildly! She took it off about a minute into the peel since my skin started pinking up. Although the stinging persisted for a short period, as she began using more soothing products (moisturizers, etc.) on my skin, the stinging faded and my face felt totally fresh, although not very different. I couldn’t see an immediate effect and the texture didn’t seem to change very much. Last night, however, while I was sleeping my face would not stop itching! I could feel my face heating up (as if I had a sunburn) and it was irritatingly itchy, although incredibly smooth! After showering and putting on sufficient SPF this morning (courtesy of Dermalogica), my face was RED. It still feels quite hot and mildly itchy. All around, it looks and feels like a sunburn. After reading some articles on glycolic peels, it seems as though this is relatively normal so I’m not worrying too much. Right now, I’m just waiting for the itching to go away– I want to put my face in a bowl of ice cubes!

Hopefully it’ll be better by tonight!
Happy Friday,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Fantastic Facial <3.

Facial Prep!

Facial Prep!

Homemade Mask!

Homemade Mask!

Putting on the Mask!

Putting on the Mask!

Buenos dias, sunshines! Yesterday I told you guys about some facials for folks on a budget and last night I decided to whip one up and give it a whirl before heading out to see the Lion King at the Community Center (more about that later!) As I have been doing everything in my power to keep my skin healthy, young and glowing, I used some ingredients to help make my skin soft and bright for the evening! Seeing as how I didn’t have all of the ingredients for any of the recipes that I posted on hand (fresh out of cranberries… boo!), I concocted my own facial using some ingredients I had in my cupboards and in my fridge! Here’s my homemade recipe:

Strawberries & Cream Facial:
Strawberry (1 or 2), mashed

After I put this together, I swear I wanted to eat it; it smelled so good! I don’t have exact measurements; I pulled a Rachel Ray and eyeballed the entire recipe, mixing and mashing it into a small bowl until it was the desired consistency. My original concoction ended up being a little thin, so I poured out a tid of the milk and added more oats to thicken. After slathering the mixture all over my face, I let it sit for about 15 minutes and rinsed with warm water and a wash cloth. My skin felt great, but it wasn’t until this morning that I noticed how amazing it felt — my entire face, including my occasionally bumpy jawline was super silky smooth! I still have enough left over for round #2, and my bowl of goodness is hanging out in my fridge just waiting to be used. I think I’ve temped my boyfriend to give it a go. If that happens, I will definitely post pictures!

Love & smooth skin,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

For My Beauties on a Budget!


Sometimes it sucks being a student on a budget. Who am I kidding? Most of the time it does actually. It’s not the student part that sucks — in fact, that part is pretty sweet; it’s the budget part that tends to be problematic. Especially for students that like to spend (*ahem*)! Well, while budgeting for the coming year, there were a number of things I had to cross off my list: new clothes —goodbye Nordstrom, hello “vintage shops,” new heels, unnecessary accessories (read: all accessories), facials, massages and pretty much every other fun thing I do to break up the monotony of the school-work-life cycle. Well, ladies (and gentlemen!), I have good news. Although I’m going to have to keep many of those things crossed off of my list (no more Aldo… sigh…), facials don’t have to go! I found a bunch of fun DIY facials that we can do on the cheap! I’m going to try to test out lots of these to figure out which I like best, but they’re made primarily from foods and products you likely have lying around your house anyway! They’re cheap and they can be fun. Plus you’ll feel even better knowing that you didn’t drop $70 on an hour of pampering.

For Dry Skin:

Oatmeal Yogurt Facial
1 tsp. of olive oil
2 tsp. of honey
1 tsp. natural yogurt
1/2 cup of oats

Mix up all of the ingredients in a small bowl and pop in the fridge to cool for a bit (10 minutes perhaps!) Smooth your DIY mix over your face and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and a wash cloth and dry. The ingredients in this facial will help moisturize and brighten your skin; all for under $5! Plus, this is enough for 2 or more facials. Store it in the fridge for next week!

For Oily Skin:

Strawberry-Papaya Facial
3 strawberries
1 cup of mashed papaya
1 tsp. honey
2 slices of cucumber

As yummy as this sounds, it’s actually for your face! Pop all of these goodies (except the cuc) in a blender or mash by hand in a bowl. Spread all over your face & pop a cucumber slice over each eye.  Leave for 30 minutes and rinse with warm water and a wash cloth. The strawberries have mild acids to help clean pores & are packed with Vitamin C to help fight free-radical damage. Papaya, too, has enzymes that act as a mild exfoliant and the cucumbers will help restore your eye area by reducing redness and puffiness!

For Maturing Skin:

Cranberry-Honey Facial
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. yogurt
5 – 6 fresh cranberries, crushed
1 Tbsp. almond meal

Mix all of these goodies together and slather over your face. Rinse after 15 minutes! For those that don’t have almond meal laying around, sugar would probably be a great substitute! Not too much, just enough to scrub. The honey & yogurt will act as gentle cleansers, while the almond exfoliates and the cranberry works as a toner/astringent.

Avocado-Peanut Facial
6 Tbsp. ripe avocado, mashed
1 tsp. peanut oil

Mix together and apply to face. Rinse after 20 minutes with warm water and a wash cloth. This dynamic duo cleanses and exfoliates to help take care of fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Genius!

                          I am dying to try the oatmeal yogurt and the cranberry-honey facials! 
                                       I’ll keep you guys posted & post pictures while I test <3.

           Bye-bye Beauties,

Signature Stamp - Shannon