Archive for September, 2009

Getting/Caring For Tattoos

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 11, 2009 by sbulletforever

A lot of people imagine that getting a tattoo is insanely painful. Sure, it’s obnoxious and can hurt after a couple of hours, but it isn’t like getting a shot a thousand times. The needle just doesn’t go that deep. It feels like someone rubbing the same spot on your skin for hours and hours. Your skin feels sensitive and agitated, and it’s so incredibly obnoxious, but it doesn’t develop into actual pain unless you have a long session. There is a way to avoid that pain, but I’ll bring that up later.

The first step in getting a tattoo is picking a design. Something meaningful to you. People who just get tattoos because they’re ‘pretty’ or ‘interesting’ are ostracized in body art communities. And you know it’s bad when a biker, tattooed and pierced from head to toe, has no respect for you because you don’t respect the art of tattooing. And you NEED to RESPECT the art of body modification. It’s been done since the dawn of time and is considered a religious rite of passage in many cultures. Choose something that resonates in your heart. Fads change. What you think of as ‘beautiful’ or ‘interesting’ will change with time. A tattoo is a piece of your soul that you put on your body for the world to see.

You can pick a design out of a book or off the internet, or you can have a tattoo artist work with you on the design. Choose your parlor well in advance. Look through their portfolio and see if you like the way they design, color, etc. After you’ve chosen the parlor, choose your specific tattoo artist that you want. Don’t leave it to chance- know who’s doing your tattoo and what they’re capable of. Book a consultation appointment (which is free) and come in to see the parlor. You’ll feel less nervous about getting it if you’ve been inside the parlor before. Talk to your artist about the design, color, size, placement, etc. Don’t be afraid to give them artistic freedom- if you don’t like what they suggest, keep working with them until you definitely have what you want. Give them at least a couple of weeks advance to look over your design.

Don’t drink before you go. More and more parlors are refusing to tattoo drunk people, so you might get sent home. Also, it impairs your judgement, and you might move around in your chair as the tattooist does his/her work. Don’t take Tylenol, Advil, etc. before you go because those are blood thinners, and you’ll be bleeding enough as it is from the tattoo process without adding more to the equation. The tattoo parlor I went to also suggested not eating or drinking a couple hours before getting it done. You might feel nauseous when you get the tattoo (from nerves, especially if you have a fear of needles), and a full stomach makes it worse. I DID sip on Sprite while I was getting mine done, and that really helped clear my head and settle my stomach. I have an insane fear of needles, ha ha. Anyways, there ARE numbing creams you can put on your skin before you get the tattoo, and it really does dull the pain. They take about 15 minutes to kick in, and then you’re set.

So you’re going to be sore for a few days. You’ll also bleed tattoo ink and blood for the first 24 hours. Put Vaseline and seran wrap over the tattoo and tape it down so you can keep bacteria/moisture out of the tattoo and keep the blood/ink from getting all over the place. You should keep that on for at least a day, and replace the seran wrap a couple of times. The Vaseline should only be a THIN layer. Don’t saturate your tattoo. Your skin needs to breathe, so you shouldn’t keep the tattoo wrapped up too long. Then you have to moisturize and keep it clean. DO NOT use healing ointments like Neosporin. Your body sees the tattoo as damage- it wants to heal the skin and fade the ink so your skin can return to normal. Neosporin will help your body heal the tattoo, but it’ll fade it. And care within the first month of getting your tattoo is CRUCIAL. If you screw up your tattoo within that month (especially the coloring), it’ll be screwed up for the rest of your life.

Yes, you can get in the shower with your tattoo, but you don’t want to saturate it with water. It’s okay if a few droplets get on it, but don’t let the water run directly over it. Especially not hot water. Like with clothes- you don’t wash bright colors in hot water because the colors will run. Your pores will open and your skin will be stimulated by the heat, which will encourage it to heal.

When cleaning your tattoo, you always use a clean washcloth and do not rub it. Dab at it- treat it like a priceless painting. Use hypoallergenic soap (without fragrance or dye)- lather that between your fingers and dab in on top of the tattoo, then dab it off with lukewarm water. Do not touch it with your bare fingers. In fact, avoid touching it at all. Wear loose clothes so that the cloth won’t rub against it. Use lotion that has absolutely no fragrance or dye in it. Those will irritate your skin and fade your tattoo. Use a lotion made for sensitive skin. I use Aveeno, but there are some great ones out there for sensitive/burned skin. Apply a very thin layer, and apply that a few times a day.

A lot of tattoos flake, ooze, and scab over. Mine oozed, but because I kept it so moisturized, I didn’t flake or scab at all. It’s NORMAL for those things to happen. Do not itch it. Do not touch it. Do not pick at the scab. Let it all come off on its own. Don’t try to rub it off when you’re cleaning. When your body is finished healing, it will LET YOU KNOW. Just keep it moisturized, but don’t soak it with the moisturizer. Thin, thin layers.

Avoid submerging yourself in water for two-three weeks. The longer, the better. Pools have chlorine, which will damage healing skin. The ocean is known for its healing properties- this’ll hurt and damage the color of your tattoo. Avoid sunlight. Sun fades color and toughens skin. You want to stay moisturized and unfaded.

After the healing process is over, there are still ways to keep your tattoo fresh. Always put sunblock on your tattoo (at least 30 SPF), and make sure it’s organic. Normal sunblocks contain bleach (thus their white coloring), and that will bleach your tattoo out. I use Burts Bees, which actually hardens and creates a physical layer between my tattoo and the sun. I don’t rub it in, I just let it become a thick shield. You may think it looks silly, but nobody cares. A lot of people were impressed that I took care of my tattoo so well!

Keep moisturized. I use the same moisturizer on my tattoo as I do on my face (Origins’ ‘Make a Difference’ moisturizer). Avoid fragrance and dye. I say that a lot, I know, but it’s so true. My greatest weapons in anti-fading are my KP Duty Scrub and my DDF 10% Glycolic Acid Toner. The scrub is a mix between a peel and a microdermabrasion treatment, so it wipes away the dead skin over my tattoo and brightens it. It also keeps it moisturized. The acid toner also has brightening properties and keeps that dead skin away. It makes a world of difference.

There is no limit to how much you can touch up your tattoo. It hurts more to get it retouched than it does to get a new tattoo, I will warn you. But it’s like anything you own- you have to keep it clean, healthy, and sometimes you have to bring it into the shop for repairs. It’s only been a year (to the day) since I’ve gotten my baby, but I’ve already planned out a touch up. Add some colors, maybe expand it a bit.

Your body is a canvas. Indulge in your wild side. You can have a tattoo even if you work in a professional environment. There are always ways to hide a tattoo, even if you have an entire half sleeve. Wear a thick bracelet if you have one on your wrist. Wear tall boots, high socks, or black stockings if you have one on your leg. You can easily have one on your chest, since most companies want their employees wearing high collars anyways. I have mine on my side, which means it only comes out in the open if I’m wearing a bathing suit or my skivvies. Hell, you could even have one on your face, as long as you have bangs long enough to cover it. Wearing a headband keeps your hair in place over your face- no worries!

What about a mistake? What if you want your tattoo gone? There are better options than expensive and painful laser therapy. Peels and microdermabrasion treatments will do the trick! Your tattoo is just a layer of skin, and those treatments are designed to clear away old layers of skin. A few series of intense peels will do the job. You can usually buy a series of peels/microderm treatments from a spa at a discount price, so it’ll definitely be less than laser therapy.

Happy tattooing!

Mineral Makeup

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 10, 2009 by sbulletforever

It’s my birthday today! Hooray! But enough about me, let’s talk about you, my gorgeous reader. Makeup is such an important thing- it covers up those minor imperfections and enhances our natural beauty. ENHANCES. It doesn’t make us beautiful.

You don’t want to put just any old makeup on your skin. Healthy skin is happy skin, and a happy you, which is a beautiful you. I would never recommend using anything other than mineral makeup. Put natural, healthy ingredients on your skin rather than processed powders filled with talc. NEVER USE MAKEUP WITH TALC. That’s like putting cement on your skin- fills the pores and keeps your skin from breathing.

I know CoverGirl and Maybelline make mineral powders and blushes that you can buy from Walmart and Target now, but I don’t recommend it. They contain talc and other fillers that aren’t good for your skin. The powders could make you break out, or just dull your skin so it looks lifeless and cakey. Why waste money on makeup that won’t make you look naturally gorgeous?

That’s the main draw of mineral makeups- they look more natural than your average pressed powder. Pressed powder gives you a caked look- you can’t see the pores of your skin because the makeup colors over those tiny holes. You look like a canvas, which isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t look like you just woke up that morning looking that way. People can tell with pressed powder that you’re wearing it. With mineral makeup, you can’t tell.

Bare Escentuals has a monopoly on mineral makeup. It’s the go-to company for all your makeup needs. They have gel primers (that are healthy for your skin), many different colors of foundation, many different blush colors, and even mineral eye makeup colors in dozens of shades. They also sell lipsticks, eyeliners, and award-winning lip glosses. It’s a healthy company. Applying foundation powder takes a little practice- you tap some powder into the lid of the foundation, then swirl your brush around for at least 10 seconds (so all the powder is absorbed into the brush) and then you buff your face with the brush for 20-30 seconds. The more you buff, the more powder goes from the brush to your face, and the brush will pack the powder on your skin so it doesn’t slide off. If you do it right, you shouldn’t have a problem with accidentally getting foundation stains on your collar or sleeve when they rub against your face. And mineral makeup washes easily out of clothes. You can wear the makeup to bed and not worry about waking up with breakouts. I actually recommend putting a little bit on before bed so your skin remains protected throughout the night- you’ll wake up with healthier skin.

Bare Escentuals sells amazing sets for insanely low prices- you get two shades of foundation, a cheek color, a mineral veil (goes over makeup to help set it and protect the skin), a foundation brush, a cheek brush, and a concealer brush for $60. Those are mind-blowing savings! Brushes on their own cost a fortune, so to get those three brushes in the kit is worth every cent. I also like their ‘Eye Tutorials’ that teaches you how to do certain eye techniques (like a smokey eye, rocker eye, or cat eye) with mineral shadows.

But Bare Escentuals isn’t what I use anymore. I found something better, and definitely more expensive. The company is called Jane Iredale. Their makeup was originally created for burn victims, and burned skin is extraordinarily sensitive. You can imagine how beautiful and organic their makeup is! It lets my skin breathe while it protects me from bacteria and other toxins, and the powders give such a gorgeous glow to your skin. But each compact is $50, for foundation or blush. It does last a long time. To get a super finished look, I put on the Jare Iredale Tinted Moisturizer beneath my powder, and I look insanely natural and flawless. They also sell ‘mists’ that your spray on your face during the day to hydrate your face and set your makeup. I use the anti-bacterial one that keeps my skin clean and clear.

The only other mineral makeup I recommend is sold by Urban Decay. They sell Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup, Surreal Skin Creamy Concealer, and Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder Foundation (that replaced the liquid foundation). I actually used the Surreal Skin Liquid Foundation to my school dances back in high school, and it withstood hours of dancing and sweating. The whole Surreal Skin line is mineral and good for your skin- I promise! The only problem I’ve found is that the Mineral Makeup has a built-in sponge that is the cap of the powder. After so many uses, a sponge needs to be replaced or it becomes a harbor for bacteria and dirt. Use a different brush/sponge after a couple weeks of use just to keep your makeup and your skin clean.

The natural look is always in. Give your skin the gift of healthy makeup and it will love you back, I promise.

Body Scrubs

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 9, 2009 by sbulletforever

It’s important to exfoliate your body once or twice a week. Remove the dead skin cells, increase stimulation and blood flow for healthier skin.

There are millions of body scrubs out there. Some are for ‘daily exfoliation’, which means they are gentle and non-intensive. Those scrubs are good for everyday washing- in fact, using daily exfoliation scrubs are better than using regular liquid/bar soap. BAR SOAP IS A NEST FOR BACTERIA. It sits in the heat of your shower and gathers moisture while you bathe, then rests on a soap bar for hours upon hours. Liquid soap is okay, but it doesn’t do anything for your skin (unless it contains benzoyl peroxide or glycolic/salycilic acid).

A real exfoliating scrub should only be used a couple times a week since your skin will dry out from too much exfoliation. Just like with your face, right? And when you’re done with exfoliation, you should moisturize. Again, just like with your face.

Finding a good body scrub is difficult for me. Spas rarely carry body scrubs, and if they do, they are expensive as hell. All the brands on the shelves of Walmart, Target, Bath and Body Works and etc. are good for daily exfoliation, but not for a deep scrubbing. BE CAREFUL ABOUT USING SCRUBS WITH OILS. For normal skin types, it probably won’t do too much harm, but I get acne on every inch of my body, so my skin is sensitive. Most oils are like grease- they are there to make the product smell good and to make your skin slick and moisturized. Most. Some oils are organic and okay to use, but few products use those oils. I’ll bring that up again in a minute.

Sea salt body scrubs are the best you can buy. The sea is known for it’s healing properties, especially the Dead Sea which is loaded with salt. Unfortunately, 99% of sea salt scrubs are made with ridiculous amounts of aromatherapy oils. The best I’ve found is The Body Shop’s ‘African Salt Scrub’, which is loaded with healing and moisturizing benefits (and no oils!).

When it comes to a good, non-salt exfoliating scrub, I use a combination of products: Origin’s Modern Friction (the body version) and KP Duty Scrub. The Modern Friction is pure organic goodness that gives an intense scrub. THIS WORKS ON CELLULITE. You may think I’m a bit young to have it, but everyone has the stuff. Scrub the hell out of your rear end with it, particularly where the cheeks meet the legs, and it will smooth the skin and stimulate blood flow there. Of course, you also have to stretch your legs and exercise your lower half to really reduce cellulite. I stretch in the shower every day, and it’s done wonders.

The KP Duty Scrub is my holy grail. I will never, ever, ever give the stuff up. It isn’t a normal scrub- it’s a mixture between a chemical peel and a microdermabrasion, and you can pick it right up off the shelves of Sephora. It comes in an enormous tub that will last you six months. You rub it on dry skin, let it sit for a minute, then you rinse off in the shower. It’s created for people who have ‘chicken skin’, but it works for body acne, ingrown hairs, shaving bumps, skin discoloration, and dry skin. Use it twice a week on wherever you want. I rub some on my legs before I shave, and it keeps my legs from getting super dry. This clears up all my body acne and prevents ingrown hairs, which is what those odd bumps are that form on your torso, legs, and bikini area. THIS IS A MUST FOR TATTOOS. If your tattoo is fading (usually from sun exposure), this will brighten it back up. Just be sure to put lotion on afterwards (with minimal fragrance and dye).

Now, I did say there are some companies that sell scrubs with good oils. Origins is one of those companies. I’m damn paranoid about using those scrubs, so I only use them when my skin is outrageously dry (usually from over-exfoliation). But they are organic and good for your skin. Their best sellers are the Ginger Scrub and the Sea Salt Scrub, which I use on my legs, arms, and lower torso. I refuse to put it on my back or chest, since my skin loves to break out there. The Ginger Scrub smells divine and feel great- it’s the best thing in the world to rub on your legs after a shave. It makes your skin out-of-this-world soft and smooth, which will blow the mind of any guy that happens to come into contact with your lovely legs. Honest, their eyes nearly bug out of their heads.

Remember to moisturize after exfoliation. You don’t need to do it if you use a daily exfoliator, which is mild, or one of the Ginger or Salt scrubs that contain moisturizing oils. The less fragrance and dye in the lotion, the better it is for your skin. And remember that a healthy body is a beautiful body!

Peels Vs. Microderm

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 8, 2009 by sbulletforever

As a slave to beauty, it’s only natural that I became a spa connoisseur. I’ve done the facials and the body treatments and the laser therapy and all that jazz, but nothing works for the face and body like a peel or microdermabrasion treatment. I’ve been through the success of a good treatment and the horror of a botched one- and here’s all the juicy information for you.

A chemical peel is a layer of acid that goes on the skin and eats away the dead layers. The peel may ‘tingle’ if it’s a lighter peel, but a serious professional peel will itch and sting. It stays on there for a few minutes, depending on the strength of the acid and what kind of results you want, and then it comes off. For a light peel, you’ll see results almost  immediately and only have a little redness afterwards. For a deep, professional peel, however, your skin will be very red and sensitive, and you will have to avoid hot water and any contact with sunlight for at least a week.

 For the next two weeks after your peel, you should completely avoid the sun. Your skin is fresh and vulnerable to a good sunburn. Also, the sun will cause discoloration on your skin. It takes two weeks to heal from the peel completely, and your skin might actually peel skin (depending on the strength of the peel).  Don’t have a chemical peel done right before a major event- give yourself at least two weeks. Keep your skin hydrated with moisturizer- anything with fragrance will make your skin burn. After those two weeks, your skin will glow. Any scars, discoloration, uneven texture, and lines on your face will be significantly diminished. Spas usually recommend a series of six peels to make the results (mostly) permanent. For older clients, the peel tightens the skin and erases wrinkle lines. For younger clients, is destroys bacteria and erases the damage of previous breakouts. It COMPLETELY heals my chest acne, when I do get a break out, and I try to get a peel done when I have the money to erase the previous scarring and discoloration the breakouts leave.

Microdermabrasion is a very simple process. The spa attendant has a ‘wand’, a tube with a crystal at the top, and the wand is attached to a vacuum machine. The crystal is moved over your skin like a tiny buldozer, removing dead skin that is sucked up through the vacuum. It doesn’t hurt at all- it might feel a little like sandpaper at the worst. The process is quick and the results are instant. Like with the peel, the microderm crystal removes scars, discoloration, uneven skintone, and lines. There is no down time and no peeling- you are instantly glowing and gorgeous. You don’t have to avoid the sun, but it is recommended since sun causes skin damage. WARNING: You cannot use microdermabrasion on breakouts or on open, broken skin. The wand would only further damage your skin. If you have a lot of acne or broken skin, you simply cannot have this treatment done. Peels work better in any case for those problems.

Peels and microdermabrasion treatments usually cost between $55-$150. Spas and some dermatology offices offer the treatments. There is no difference between different microderm machines, but all chemical peels differ. There are AHA peels and fuit acid peels, which are light peels and have little downtime and redness. PCA and TCA peels give serious results and are what I consider a deep professional peel. Jessner’s and Salicylic peels are great for clearing up active acne! Be sure to follow instructions and don’t overstress your skin after a peel (your skin won’t be affected by microderm treatments). I’ve had a chemical peel that was too strong, and I used hot water afterwards to wash my face and ended up with an allergic reaction that lasted two weeks. Nasty, nasty stuff.

Peels give deeper results- they are best for people with cystic acne (red, angry zits that just won’t go away), deep scarring, and wrinkles. You won’t believe the difference. Microderms are more superficial, and they do work very well for giving your skin a glow, clearing up scars, and minimizing pore sizes.

So, where can you get a peel/micro done on your body? Just about anywhere. Peels are done usually on the face, neck, chest, and back. Microderms are done on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms, and sometimes the back.

Can you do these at home? You can do peels at home without a problem, but microdermabrasions should be left to spas. You can buy the machines online (eBay), but they are of low quality. I have one of the ‘best selling’ brands on the market, but I can’t see any difference at all. Trust the professionals with micros! Peels are much easier, but you have to be CAREFUL. I bought a high strength acid that did show a difference, but I burned my skin many times. And believe you me, a chemical burn is painful. The ONLY PEEL I RECOMMEND is from the company Juice Beauty. You can find it on the shelves of Sephora or in some organic grocery stores. They sell two kinds of peels- a full strength and a sensitive peel. It comes in a jar that should last you a long time. The peel itself smells like green apples, and when it goes on your skin is does not burn or tingle at all. You can feel your skin tighten, but it does not get red or agitated. After 15 minutes the peel comes off, and the results are beautiful. I use this once a week, sometimes twice if my skin is looking ragged. I can’t live without it, honest.

So there you have it. I recommend splurging on a microdermabrasion treatment at least once, just so you can stare at yourself in the mirror and think, “Wow, is that me?” Even if your skin doesn’t have ‘problems’, the glow you get from a treatment is divine.

Bronze Goddess: Tanning

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 7, 2009 by sbulletforever

I grew up on some of the best beaches in the U.S., so even when I moved away, I wanted to keep my tan. But tanning, I’ve discovered, is a lot of hard and dangerous work.

Let’s start by reviewing tanning beds. Regular beds that you lay down in are very gross- even after they’ve been wiped down, they still contain residual sweat and bacteria from the previous user. Realistically, the attendents don’t steralize the bed like it should be steralized. Also, these beds take longer to tan in.

Stand up beds are cleaner, naturally. The bulbs are also more intensive, so you get more tan for less time. Almost all stand up beds have fans in them to keep you cool- tan without sweating! Even better are the super beds. Not a lot of tanning salons have these, but Desert Sun usually does. These “block harmful UV rays”, which actually means that they keep you from getting a sun burn. 22 minutes on each side, you are guaranteed to have a beautiful and natural tan when you step out. These beds also contain adjustable fans and aromatheraphy mist.

But beds aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. We’ve only used these commercially within the last 20-something years. New tests are showing that tanning beds don’t prevent skin disease. In fact, the tests are showing that people who regularly use tanning beds are developing cancer from it. The beds are just as hazardous as going out into the sun.

How about fake tans? Fake-N-Bake, as my friend John calls it. Mystic Tans are in a lot of tanning salons now. It delivers a natural, non-orange tan that lasts for two weeks. It IS expensive, and the machine is scary. I literally feel like I’m walking into a Nazi concentration camp. You strip, put the lotion on, step into the chamber, and press the button. The mist is ice cold, loud, and you have to stand in a really weird position to make sure your hands don’t turn odd colors. And if you don’t put on as much lotion as you should, your hands and feet do turn slightly orange.

Some spas and Salons offer services where they hand spray you. This delivers the most even, natural-looking tan, but not a lot of places do it. Also, I imagine it’s a bit pricey.

Lots of companies offer Tan-In-A-Can. These work, and they’re a helluva lot cheaper. Companies like Clarins, Bare Escentuals, Sevin Nyne (Lindsay Lohan’s company), Mystic Tan, ModelCo, LORAC, Juicy Couture, Bliss, Dior, and many more carry them. Also, lotion companies like Jerkins that you can buy in Walmart work just as well.

I still prefer tanning outside. But, I need an arsonal of products to keep me safe and healthy. First is my 30+ SPF sunscreen. 30 is pretty much the maximum SPF limit- the bottles of 45+ are just 30 SPF with more moisturizer and white dye. I ONLY use this on my tattoo. ALWAYS slap sunscreen on your tattoo. I use Burt’s Bees, which does not contain bleaches and dyes, which will fade the tattoo. ORGANIC IS BEST FOR TATTOOS. I usually only put 15 SPF on my face, or I just slap some mineral makeup on (which contains usually 15-25 SPF). This means my face is less tan than the rest of my body, but a little makeup can fix that right up. Most cancer caused by the sun grows in the face.

I have pink and white blonde hair (at the moment), and the sun will fade that color instantly. I use Pureology’s COLOURMAX with Antifade Complex- just spray some in your hair before you go out in the sun. It protects the hair from UV damage, which does more than just fade color, and the Antifade Complex takes color defense a step further. I trust Pureology more than I do Frederick Fekkai’s color defense hair sprays.

Lips can, and will, get sunburnt. Use chapstick with SPF! I use Smashbox’s lip treatment that contains honey. It tastes great and keeps my lips soft and protected.

Try not to spend more than 20 minutes on each side. You’ll get color, no worries, and you won’t be exposing yourself for too terribly long. A couple times a week, 20 minutes on each side, and you’re looking beautiful without causing too much damage.

Moisturize after sun bathing. This will prolong your tan and also replenish your skin, which should be dry after baking for a while. Try to avoid using lotions with fragrance and dye if you can- especially if you have a tattoo.

The best way to keep yourself safe from UV rays? Don’t tan at all. Use fake products, or just slap some powdered bronzer on your face like you would apply blush. Tanning is TERRIBLE for scarring, especially acne scarring. It will cause or deepen the dark circles on your face and body. Sun exposure also causes freckles, and way too much will cause ‘leather skin’.

You don’t need color to be beautiful, remember that. Pale skin is the mark of a classic beauty. And sun won’t help clear up your acne- only a good face/body regimen will. Remember- bronze or white, you’re still a goddess to me.

Get Hydrated, Get Healthy

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 6, 2009 by sbulletforever

With all the preservatives and other junk in our food these days, it’s a wonder we stay healthy at all. I used to drink three diet sodas a day! My insides didn’t appreciate it, and neither did my waistline.

Getting healthy and losing a few pounds is easier than you think. It doesn’t take some expensive diet program or outrageously priced health drinks. I eat Weight Watchers Meals, which are delicious and evenly proportioned meals, but that’s only because I’m too busy (and too lazy) to actually cook. Portion control is the key. The meat you eat should be the size of your fist. Vegetables are good, but go easy on the fruits- they are nature’s candy and contain lots of sugars. Potatoes are NOT good for you- it’s okay, but it’s still a major starch.

Choose healthy snacks. Rid your pantry of temptation, and never go grocery shopping if you’re hungry. A yogurt a day keeps the doctor away. Protein shakes are HORRIBLE for the average person, unless you’re an athlete. Sure, you get protein, but you also get plenty of protein in meats and normal dairy products. The fat, calories, and other crap in those shakes is enough to clog your arteries. Avoid Jamba Juice- if you’re than interested in the vitamins, go to the vitamin shop.

Speaking of which, take daily vitamins. I take the gummy kind (for adults) which is tasty and chock-full-o’ good stuff. If you put it on the table where you eat breakfast, you’ll pop one in your mouth as you’re eating without a problem.

The ultimate secret in getting healthy and slim? TEA. A few weeks ago I decided to give up my thrice daily soda and try to drink tea. I hate, hate, hate drinking water. Tea and Crystal Light are as close as I come to the stuff. So I picked myself up a huge supply of Arizona Teas (Green with Ginseng, Rx Stress, Southern Sweet) and some raspberry Crystal Light. I keep the huge bottles/cans by my side throughout the day and just sip on them constantly. It’s like with a bag of chips- you just want to taste it because it’s there. Within four days my body was flushing itself out. I was using the bathroom like a normal, healthy person should- the sodas had totally been blocking up my insides.

There are tons of antioxidants in tea, even in the overly sweetened and processed Arizona teas. Natural teas are even better for you, but I like my sugary drinks. In the three weeks since my ‘tea experiment’, I feel so much better. My skin looks healthier, my stomach feels less bloated, and I feel healthier. Not to mention, I’ve dropped a few pounds. It’s such a noticeable difference!

Keep hydrated. The more you drink (of water, tea, etc.), the more your body flushes itself out. And the body NEEDS to be flushed out like old pipes do. Keep portion control. Eat wheat bread instead of white (which is bleached, and bleach is bad for you), avoid too many starches (like potatoes and rice), and take your daily vitamins. If you’re out at a fastfood joint, make smart choices there too! Order a burger the way you want it, but take off the bun and wrap it in lettuce instead. Most fastfood joints will wrap it in lettuce for you if you ask for it. Pick Arbys, Chick-Fil-A and Subway over Taco Bell, McDonalds, and KFC. Get a kid’s meal, which is perfect portion size, instead of a deluxe meal.

Love your body! Watch the difference in your skin as you make healthy changes. Glow from the inside out!

First Step

Posted in Health and Beauty on September 5, 2009 by sbulletforever

When I was younger, I’d always dreamed of being a model or some beautiful actress. But I was physically AND mentally unprepared for such a thing. I was socially awkward, nervous around boys, uncomfortable with my own body, and I struggled with basic hygiene.

Like with a diet, it takes more than just products to change you. For example, you have to take out all the bad food in your pantry and fridge to keep temptation away. You have to set your alarm for some ungodly hour of the morning so you can get up and start running. Buy clothes a size too small so that you actually have a real reason for losing all that weight.

Feeling beautiful is no different. Feeling– that’s the key word. I couldn’t feel good about myself when I lived in my home town, since all my friends there were convinced I could never transform into a model. They made me feel bad about myself, and that just isn’t a healthy environment. HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT– remember that. When I went to college for my first semester, I did some wild things and broke a lot of pretty boys’ hearts. Was I proud of it? No. I felt horribly guilty of the way I’d treated people. I broke out of my nervous little shell for the first time, but I ended up hurting others around me. Sure, I’d taken a step forward, but I need more stepping room and I didn’t need to be somewhere where I felt bad about myself. In those places, I couldn’t grow. All the beauty products in the world couldn’t have made me feel beautiful if I was there.

Here’s the most important thing I learned: ALWAYS FEEL FREE. So simple. I knew my friends from home and the people I’d met at college didn’t see my true potential. They couldn’t appreciate that I wanted to change and be a better person inside and out. So I freed myself from them- I said a few goodbyes, deleted a lot of numbers out of my cell phone, and moved to another city. I took pictures off my computer and shut down my Facebook account.

When I moved to my new home, I had a clean slate. I worked hard to make sure I didn’t make the same mistakes I’d made before. I didn’t brag, I didn’t play with people’s hearts, and I learned to be a better friend. The people I was meeting had no clue of the stupid things I’d done before, or of how ugly and awkward I’d been as a kid. And they didn’t care about my past. My heart felt lighter and I felt more confident in myself.

Don’t be afraid to ‘move on’. Change doesn’t just come to you; you have to make change happen. And you can’t feel tied down by people. The people I had known almost all my life, the ones I had called my ‘friends’ were not my friends at all. When I told them my plans for the future, they laughed at me. Who needs that kind of abuse? I certainly don’t. I’m made for better things than a small home town and a small college where I don’t matter to the people around me.

So take the first step. Cut off the heavy things weighing you down like you were cutting off the split ends of your hair. Go somewhere new, meet new people, take new opportunities. Escape your past and be free to start a whole new future. I never imagined I’d be where I am now, far from my old home. I never imagined I’d be asked to do modeling. Last week I met a sexy magician and a German foreign exchange student- people I would never have met had I stayed where I was. Be free, loves. Let the wind take you to places you’ve never dreamed of.