The Road to Femininity #7 – Beauty Updates

Ok, so I’m back in blogger mode now and ready to dish on the updates of my latest beauty endeavors.

First, gotta tell you, BB Cream is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  For a girl who hates hates…did I mention hates? – putting stuff all over her face, this is my solution.  It’s light, it’s easy and my skin looks and feels so incredibly refreshed!  It glows.  It evens out my skin tone and hides the tiny spider veins on my cheeks, amongst other minor blemishes.  I won’t leave the house without applying it now.  The one I use is Aurora by Tony Moly, but I bought Maybelline’s Pure BB Mineral for my mom (not available in the US) so I’m going to try that too to see if it’s any good.  The only thing I haven’t figured out is what to do about summer coming and the fact that I sweat quite a bit.  How do I dry my face from sweat without wiping it all off?  Grr.

Second, I have found mascara bliss.  I am generally a fan of 2 step mascaras because I have very thin, very blonde eyelashes and they could use all the help they can get.  However, 2 step mascaras in Korea aren’t as common as in the US and they tend to run quite expensive over here.  However, I found L’Oreal’s Double Extension mascara(at Watson’s for fellow ROK residents) at a somewhat decent price ($16 with good quality eyelash curler included) and I love it.  It works wonders.  True to its claim, it does add length and you can see its effects.  It is almost as if they use like a thread-like substance mixed in to attach to the lashes to make them longer?  Not sure, but whatever it is, it works.

Third, microfiber is the new terry cloth.  Ok, so maybe I’m the last to realize this, but I recently bought some microfiber bath towels strictly because most apartments here don’t have dryers and I’ve never seen a laundromat, so I wanted a thinner bath towel that would dry without smelling like a nasty basement in a humid climate.  I liked them so much, I got rid of all my other towels and only use those now.  They wash easier and dry faster and don’t take up as much space, but the best part is, they feel so much softer on my skin.  Also, I don’t see as much lint coming off of them.  Definitely recommend them.  (ROK ppl – I got mine at Daiso)

Fourth, I finally bought a new razor.  Decided to try Venus Breeze.  It works wonderfully and leaves my skin feeling quite soft.  It’s also easier than the standard razor with the built in gel, seems to take up less time and effort, which means less water wasted, which means I feel a little more green in the morning.  🙂  But…my only beef with Venus is how do you travel with it since the gel can stay kinda gooey when wet????  I’m going to the Philippines in 3 weeks and need to find a non-messy solution.

Next on my list of things to try

– tinted moisturizer for my ghost-like skin

– need to find a product to restore my hair, it looks and feels damaged, although I have no idea why since I’ve never permed it or dyed it and only blow dry it like 2xs a year.  :-/

– would like to find a night moisturizer, specifically one with anti-aging qualities

If you have any product suggestions or beauty items you simply can’t live without, please share in the comments, I’m open to suggestions!!

The Road to Femininity #6 – No Massage Please

English: Thai Massage

Image via Wikipedia

This concept and subsequent question applies to men as well, but I put it in the Femininity series because I know it’s usually considered a luxury by women to have a spa day with relaxing massages.  

People are always saying how wonderful it is to get a professional massage.  I’ve never gotten one.  When I state that, I get audible gasps from the women around me and they tell me I simply MUST go and have one done.  I cringe, visibly.  I do not see how that is relaxing.  There is a stranger grabbing and pulling and grinding their hands up and down your skin while you may or may not be naked under a towel.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a back rub when it’s by say…a boyfriend, but I just don’t like strangers touching me enough to want to pay someone to do it.  

I was reminded of this yesterday when I was getting my hair cut because at this particular salon, Juno Hair, the hair washer gives a scalp massage before drying your hair.  I usually tell her beforehand I don’t wish to have one, but yesterday I thought I’d try it out.  The poor girl had to tell me to relax about 10 times!  As soon as someone begins to put pressure on wherever they are massaging, such as my back, my neck, my scalp, etc, I tense up because to me it hurts.  What’s even more strange is that I tend to have a high tolerance for pain – root canal?  No problem!  2 hour tattoo, or a piercing?  No problem!  5 hour surgery?  No problem!  But someone squeezing my muscles makes me more tense, not less.

Does anyone else have this problem?  Everyone I know RAVES about massages, but I have such a hard time seeing how it helps.  Sometimes I wish I could because I know my muscles are tense, but there has to be another way to relax them without feeling like kneaded dough on a baker’s table.  Someone tell me I’m not alone in this…

 

The Road to Femininity #5 – Lather in the Shine

I came across the following video recently on Yahoo’s “The Thread.”  They sometimes bring on an expert from Herbal Essences to discuss hair issues and since my hair lately has been dull and lifeless, I totally feel like the girl from the commercial (ok not this one, I couldn’t find the one I wanted, but you get the idea)….

Most of what he said I already knew, but then he talked about how we could be adding shampoo and conditioner in the wrong way.  He says to mainly shampoo the roots and let the lather run through the ends.  Then with conditioner, focus on the tips and not so much the roots.  So, I gave his way a try.  I’ve been doing it for about a week now and I can honestly say I’ve noticed a difference!  I was focusing the products on the wrong ends of my hair!  Since it is working for me little by little, I thought I should pass on the info.

Here is the video.  No lie, I think the hostess of the video is over the top (I’m sure she is just performing the style of interview she is told to perform but still); however, I like the info.  Also, being a big fan of Herbal Essences, I’ll take any advice he wants to give me.

Are You Washing Your Hair Wrong?

Happy Lathering!

The Road to Femininity #4 – Sleep On This

English: Students need sleep in order to study.

Image via Wikipedia

Sleep on this.

I have signed up for daily beauty and nutrition tips from Glamour.com.  One of the links I found was the following:  Lose Weight While You Sleep

Basically, the article states that those who sleep 7.5 hours a night or more are likely to shed pounds off of their weight without focusing on diet or exercise.

Now, I am not one of those women who walks around bitching to her friends, ‘I’m fat.  I’m fat.  I’m fat!!’  NO.  NO.  NO.  However, I know that I could stand to lose a few to be at my medically healthy weight, so I don’t diet because those obviously don’t work, but I do try to watch what I eat.  I also exercise in the form of walking and dancing and the many stairs I climb here in Korea.  So, in addition to all that, I have decided to try this dedication to getting 7.5 hours sleep or more a night and see where it gets me.  Not only will I shed some pounds, I can probably cut back on a cup of coffee and also be a less cranky teacher by the end of the week.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

The Road to Femininity #3 – BB Me

IMG_2533

Image by issye via Flickr

I bought my first bottle of BB cream today.  I feel so…Korean.  Perhaps this means I am rounding out Culture Shock Phase 3 by acclimating to my surrounding culture.  HA!

For my non-Korean friends you may not have heard of it yet, so let me tell you what I learned today.  My dear friend Jenny finally gave me an intro to this Asian skin care phenomenon because I was looking for something to even out my skin tones and make me look a little less tired.  I figure combined with a little concealer I could reduce the bags under my eyes that my students so kindly point out on a weekly basis.  BB stands for Blemish Balm.  It is a cream that can be applied to the face after your morning ritual and before your makeup.  Depending on which one you get it claims to help with evening out skin tone, hiding wrinkles, curing blemishes, adding collagen, getting your skin to glow and some even have whitening (which I can only assume won’t be in the western versions).  I had to do a little shopping around to find one that did not have whitening because this British/Polish/Scottish skin does NOT need to be any whiter than it already is.

I had, of course, heard of BB cream before since it is advertised everywhere and is even used by the men here to get glowing skin.  In fact, one of my favorite actors – Kim Hyun Joong – advertises it (which I am grateful for since that means there are giant posters of his beautiful face all over Seoul).

Ahhhh…so pretty.  Not to mention his skin is always flawless!

But back to the cream.  I will be trying it out for myself and see if I notice a difference.  I shall keep you posted on my progress.

Have you ever tried it?  If so, what kind of results did you have?  If you live in the western countries, have you seen BB cream hitting the shelves yet?

The Road to Femininity #2 – Are They Really Made for Walking?

Let’s talk heels.

I love to look at high heels.  They are so gorgeous and as I run my fingers across the display shelf itching to touch them I can imagine the way that they instantly lift your calves, booty and posture with every step.  They are sexy.  They are stylish.  They are all woman.

But why are they so insanely uncomfortable??

The thought of wearing heels all the time is one of the biggest aspects that held me back from being more feminine before.  Is there a secret to them that no one is telling me?  How can millions of women wear them everyday, all day and not be writhing in pain?  Every time I try to conquer them I end up with blisters in the usual spots – back of the ankle, top of the foot, toe – and very sore feet.  Do you all just grin and bear it?  Do your feet eventually become numb and you stop feeling the discomfort?  Are my feet just ultra-sensitive?

Oh, and for my fellow Seoul residents, how do you wear heels on the brick sidewalks and slippery tiles of this fine city without breaking an ankle?  I bow to you and your expert skills.

The only heels I have been comfortable in in the past have been salsa heels (Latin dance shoes) and the occasional pair of boots.  I am not sure if salsa heels are more comfortable because they are made to be danced in or if it’s just that you only wear them when you are dancing and that is easier to do in heels than to walk around or stand all night.  To me, even the open toe strappy ones tend to have softer edges than a regular shoe.  Why haven’t the manufacturers of normal shoes caught on to their techniques yet?  Here is a look at a standard Latin shoe:

 

(Side note:  I’d never heard of this website until just now when I was looking for a cute shoe pic.  Love the design!  They would be so cute with a pair of dark skinny jeans!)

Perhaps I should just start the trend of wearing salsa heels as everyday heels??  They are sometimes cheaper than a regular heel, more comfortable AND you get to choose your own heel size and width for most manufacturers.  Hmm…I may be on to something….

The Road to Femininity #1 – The Woman in Me

Glamour (magazine)

Image via Wikipedia

Ok, so I have been saying for several years now that I wish I were more ‘girly.’  I realize that ‘girly’ may be a strange term because I don’t wish to come out looking like spring break club girl since I skipped over that whole phase – so I’m going with more ‘feminine.’

I want to be more feminine.

I’m not a tomboy by stereotype, but I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to things like makeup and dressing for your body shape.  I was no makeup, ponytail, baggy shirt girl until my second year of college…and more specifically, until after my first heartbreak.  I suppose it was rebelling against the pain that made me want a new look.  But even then I had never learned much about how to apply makeup, how to do cute updo’s or how to create a stylish outfit.  Sure, I looked better and sexier in my post-heartbreak world, but I was still rockin it like an amateur.

So now I am in my 30s – loving it! – and decided it’s about time I got a handle on all this hoopla and learned how to use it all to my benefit.  With my new subscription to Glamour (via Kindle Fire) to help me along, let’s see if I can make femininity a new lifestyle choice.

You lucky readers get to come along with me on this journey of learning, frustrations and beauty, inside and out.  Maybe you will have advice for me (I will need it!), or maybe you are in the same boat.  Either way…stay tuned.  😉