Well, it has been 2 years since I have visited my blog site. I have been insanely busy with me finishing my Master’s degree, securing a part time teaching job then moving into a full time teaching position while still working behind the chair and coaching middle school cheerleaders. Oh, yes, that is a lot on my plate, especially since I once again had to build my curriculum from scratch. I am back for the summer.
So the other day, it was like 99,000 degrees outside with about 90% humidity which was a recipe for a very bad hair day. Yes, my hair was beginning to grow, and all of the sudden, it was 60 feet wide. I was scurrying trying to find my never fail, tried and true, one and only ponytail holder. That little round elastic genius of an invention was my salvation to taming my nappy, fuzz wuz hair disaster.
You see, back in the 1980’s, my hair was very thick and very poker straight, and like everyone else, I wanted what I didn’t have, and that was to have curly hair, and big curly hair. I wanted my hair to look like Brett Michaels and every other hair metal band rocker, so I had to resort to “fake” curls by getting what I now refer to as the dreaded perm. And, let me tell you, I think the last perm I got really permanently curled my hair. I am not sure what happened, but today, I no longer pay for curls because I now have them for free. And of course, my straight strands didn’t transform into these beautiful soft ringlets, rather my hair is a hot, wavy, frizzy mess. Over the years, I have learned how to manage, care for and style what seems to be electrocuted hair.
Curly, wavy and typically coarse hair tends to grow in dry, therefore, lacking water and moisture which adds to the frizziness. The key to styling this type of hair is to put in the hair products, such as sea sprays, gels or mousses while the hair is sopping wet. The products should only be placed on the shaft or the ponytail part of the hair. Once you put the product throughout the hair, scrunch it into place and let it air dry. DO NOT CONTINUE TO SCRUNCH WHILE IT IS DRYING!
If you CONTINUE TO SCRUNCH, you will end up looking like the trolls in the photo above. Remember those pencils?? Rubbing and twirling the pencil in your hand instantaneously creates crazy troll hair, and the only way to make them look cute again, their crazy hair must be flattened and smoothed out. As you scrunch (same as twirling and rubbing the pencil), you are aggravating the cuticle of the hair strand, thus creating more frizz aka crazy troll hair.
In order for hair to look shiny and smooth, the cuticle (outer most layer of hair shaft) should be flat as in the photo above. When the scales are flat, light reflects off the scales therefore, creating shine and smooth hair. Not scrunching curly hair as it dries, allows the cuticle to stay more flat, thus shinier and smoother.
The hair cuticle above is lifted and not flat. This is what curly/wavy hair looks like under a microscope and when the cuticle is aggravated because of nonstop scrunching. When light hits the hair strand with a lifted cuticle, it gets trapped in those “peels”; therefore, not allowing the light to bounce back or reflect to create shine or a smooth appearance, thus making the hair appear frizzy. Once you have put your products in your hair, and you have allowed it to dry without continuously scrunching your hair, you can then scrunch to break it apart, because believe me, it WILL dry looking not so pretty and will be suctioned flat to your head. You can then use a curling iron to strengthen curls or add any oils, molding creams or hairsprays to finish your look.
I stood in line waiting for the busy teller to yell out “next” so that I can conduct my financial business, and by the way, I hate banking, when I got my inspiration. Little did I know that the bank teller would be the subject of this section of my blog post. As I approached the blonde, blue eyed and very fair skinned young woman, her terrible skin was apparent . She obviously was not blessed with a peaches and cream complexion, but the poor girl called more attention to herself than necessary.
The problem was that this young woman didn’t do a great job concealing the blemishes that if connected with a pen, you’d be creating Cassiopeia’s Chair or the Big Dipper. I couldn’t help but stare at the fact that her face was orange and the rest of her was pasty white. She failed to invest in a great concealer and liquid foundation that matched her skin color. Oh, and did I forget to mention that she did a poor job of blending the foundation in, so there was a distinctive line separating her jaw and neck. It was as if she was wearing a mask.
There is nothing wrong with big name cosmetics such as Cover Girl, L’oreal, Maybelline or Revlon; however, when it comes to foundations, I highly recommend women approach the cosmetic counter at fine department stores. The disadvantage of purchasing liquid foundation at big box mass retailers is that you can’t test it to see if it matches/blends with your skin tone. All purchases are based on a guess, thus when finally tested at home after opening a sealed package one realizes – epic fail- back to the store to try again. And, maybe after 5 tries, BINGO- a perfect match, but now you have 4 bottles of liquid foundation sitting in your makeup bag collecting dust and space and about $40 spent guessing a color when you can spend about the same amount without the guessing game going to a fine department store make up counter.
In fine department stores, beauty advisors will help with selecting the perfect foundation for your specific skin type and tone. Foundations come in various finishes and colors, and with the help of an expert, you will avoid the guessing game. The key to selecting the correct hue is to test the foundation at your jawline so that the color blends not only with the skin on your face but your neck as well. You don’t want to go lighter, otherwise you’d look like Casper the friendly ghost, and you don’t want to go too many shades darker. Sometimes, you may have to combine two shades together to get the perfect shade. Never test the foundation on the back of your hand, for it will give you an illusion of the correct color and will not compliment your face.
As for the concealer, you can purchase a green tone so neutralize any redness that blemishes cause, or yellow to neutralize overall skin tone, and pink for dark circles or any hyperpigmentation. If purchasing skin color concealer, you want it to be a bit lighter than your foundation. Avoid heavy and thick products because it will look cakey and as if you have too much make up on. Finally, when applying, the concealer goes on first, then the foundation followed by a loose powder. You can use your fingers, sponges or brushes to apply concealers and foundations, but make sure to blend, blend, blend until it has disappeared. When applying powder whether it be loose or pancake, ALWAYS use a big powder brush for a finished look.
My first year as a full time teacher started out to be a bit stressful, for I was trying to juggle three jobs. That’s right, three jobs. Of course, my position as a teacher was more than full time because not only was I working 40 hours a week teaching, but the after hours I put in building my classroom curriculum easily added an extra 10-15 hours a week. I also kept my part time position as a hair stylist working two nights a week and every Saturday, so, yes, I worked six days a week from August – June. And, then, who knew that my skills as a high school cheerleader would resurface later in my life as I coached middle school cheerleaders proper formations and motions.
The three jobs total put me at somewhere between 60-80 hours a week. CRAZY, I know! And, I am still not at the upper echelon of the tax bracket. Having that extra cheer coaching job really put a big dent into my workout regiment especially during the months of November/December. I seriously didn’t have time during the basketball season to work out with practices and games during the week and then having to go home to either grade papers or prepare worksheets, tests and lessons for the next day. I had to fit food somewhere in there, and who on earth wants to be going to a gym to work out at 9 pm? At that point, my bed was calling my name, and this girl hates the morning so 4:30 am wake up calls to get on the elliptical were not in my near future, so I really let myself go. I went from a 5-7 day workout program to 0-1 day a week workout, and I was really feeling it and am paying for it now. I found myself eating quick things, more processed food, the same amount of food, and the inches started to pack on as well as about nine pounds which I am having a difficult time taking off. I guess perhaps the perks of turning 47.
The thing is, I know that there is no secret to dropping weight. It is all about getting back to the basics of eating nutrient dense food, portion sizes and a daily workout regiment. In case you are not fully sure what nutrient dense foods are, they are power foods that are high in macro nutrients, micro nutrients, and lower in fat and calories. I like to refer it to getting more for your money, or in other words, more and better foods for lower calories. We all know it’s all about the calories consumed and the calories expended that determine our weight for the most part (see posts 102 and 106). Nutrient dense foods include fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, low fat proteins, beans/legumes and low fat dairy, and be sure that the
nutrient dense foods on your plate should resemble a colorful rainbow as each type of food offers different nutritional needs and can help prevent diseases and illnesses and is vital to maintaining a healthy body. By including various colors, all of your nutritional needs should be met such as your big nutrients -proteins, carbohydrates, fats, & water as well as your smaller nutrients – vitamins & minerals, . And yes, sometimes you must add some fat to the diet, but it has to be good unsaturated fats that are plant based. Information on fat is going to be saved for another blog post at a later time.
Since I have been on summer break I have increased my nutrient dense food intake, increased my activity level and as a result am down about three pounds. I have about five more to go and should be at my “happy” weight. I will admit however, that I do have my moments because I am having a rough time saying no to my favorite treat during the summer – ice cream and my occasional craving for those darn chips! I just have to keep thinking – CONTROL! As the new school year is fast approaching, I must be more conscious about my food intake as I will press on with my 3 jobs-maybe I need to try out that 4:30 wake up call couple times a week.
A long while back, while pedaling away on the elliptical machine, I was reading a Reader’s Digest to make my workout go faster and to test my intelligence with their featured and famous Word Power Challenge; my favorite section. I must say that while reading the magazine, another article caught my attention; I busted up laughing and almost flew off the elliptical machine. The article was about “best photographic sides.” The reason this was so funny to me is that every time my family members and I try to take a photo together, we are all trying to arrange ourselves so that our “best side” can be photogenically captured, and then we have discussions about it.
I have to also admit, that when I am with my friends, I secretly try to finagle myself on the left side because that is MY best side, and that my right side, well, is just not as flattering. I can assure that once you read this in my blog, you will find yourself chuckling because I can bet my last dollar that you do it too, consciously and unconsciously, and so does everyone else, especially since the inception of Facebook, Instagram and the ever so increasing popularity of the selfie. People are becoming obsessed with their photos to the point of them getting plastic surgery just so they can look better in their selfie profile pictures which I find to be just plain crazy.
I tried to research the Reader’s Digest article, but couldn’t find it, but I did manage to find another article showing that a study was done at Wake Forest University which illustrated that we as humans prefer looking at the left side of the face because it’s more pleasant and tend to favor that side in photos (Newcomb, 2012).
I did notice too, that the majority of my Facebook profile photos are poses from the left side of my face. I have posted some photos below; you be the judge.
And now for the right side profile photos. The pictures are ok, otherwise I would have never chosen them as Facebook profiles, but I personally feel that my left side photos are better. Why wouldn’t we want to showcase our best selves in a photographic profile on Facebook?
You know, as I was perusing my profile album on Facebook, I had a really difficult time even finding right side profile photos. No wonder my family pokes fun that I am always posing for the camera.