Fresh Starts

It’s been an exciting few months, with joining the team at Brun Body and Hair Bar to focus more on nails, I’ve been immersed in an entirely different esthetic experience; something less serine spa, more expressive boutique. It’s hard to let go of the spa space and the deep relaxation it brings clients, but what you feel when you sit down for a crisp new mani, or when you walk out of the waxing room with newly shaped brows is a different sort of zen. It feeds to your ego, your inner goddess, and  your metal well-being.

When I was in highschool and splurged on my first set of artificial nails, there was no going back, I was hooked. Nothing could make me feel better than a fresh and funky set of beautifully sculpted tips. Paired with a new pair of heels I felt like a sex-bomb! … Except for the fact that I was actually quite small, dorky and awkward, FUGGEDABOUTIT! Everyone has the right to feel sexy and confident even if you’re not T-Swift, Angelina, or Blake Lively, fresh fingers are the way to do it quickly without having to shell out hundreds on a new designer outfit. This instant pick-me-up quickly became an addiction for me, as I’m sure most of you gals know, and it seemed I had found my calling.

I am so excited to start on this path and to see where it will take me in the end. I’m also really excited to share it all with YOU!

SO I will take photos of my work and keep posting them here for you to come check back and see what’s new! If you really like something, let me know, it’s the best way for me to learn as a nail tech. If you want to see something done, as in a new technique or new design, lemme hear it!

Abba Beauty

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but something came up and urged me to let you all know.

Recently I bought some new shampoo and conditioner, branching out, I tried Abba hair products, they smell great, claim to be vegan and their tag line is “pure” so why not right? Well silly me, I purchased these without doing my research.

As I’m in the shower, I have the conditioner on and am letting it sit – as I do with all conditioners – I begin to read the ingredients and boy are there a lot! So much for being “pure”. I get almost to the bottom and I see beeswax, lactic acid and not one, not two, not three, but four paraben sources.

This is my reaction

A little dramatic, but hey, I can’t believe it! That’s false advertising! I felt tricked and bamboozled!! So, off I went to write a little email to the company.

After 11 days of waiting (I felt they could have responded a little sooner) I finally got my response. It went like this:

“Hi Kari,
Thanks for contacting regarding Abba Shine Conditioner. For your information the Shine Conditioner was discontinued last year; unfortunately I wish I had a better answer as to why those ingredients were included in the first place! I do encourage you to look for our Abba Evolution coming in July; we are focusing our efforts even more on natural, vegan ingredients to continue our commitment to purity. Thank you for continued support of our brand!
Have a great hair day!
Best Regards”

Really?! Great response Abba Team! Gold star!!

Anyway, even if they were purely vegan, I probably wouldn’t continue to buy their products, there are too many ingredients over 6 syllables long that I prefer not to put on my scalp.

I also have just caught wind of a new shampoo recipe I would like to give a go, seeing as my last one didn’t turn out to my liking at all. We’ll see how that goes.

Now, hot yoga is calling!! Be well!

Homemade After Wax Scrub

Before I let you loose to scrub away on your freshly waxed skin, I just have to tell you one thing: PLEASE WAIT 48HRS AFTER WAXING before using this scrub! For the obvious reasons, and if you scrub before your treatment, do it at least the day before your appointment to prevent excess exfoliation from the waxing process.

Also, heed your esthetician’s warnings: no intense heat treatments for a good 24hrs after as well. This includes hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, hot relaxing baths at home etc. No swimming, no intense exercise, no tanning (real sun or not) no touching!!! Got it? Good.

Now, not a lot of people exfoliate before or after being waxed even after they are told to, then they complain about ingrown hairs. I figure that it’s because they don’t want to buy a special scrub or they have early onset alzheimer’s. One or the other. So I have made life simple for you. Here is a scrub you can make at home!

Recommend for use on body parts such as your bikini area, legs, arms, and torso. Not for your eyebrows or your face especially after being waxed. The skin is a little too delicate for the harsh granules. (you never know, some people might try it!)

RECIPE
- 1 cup raw sugar or fine sea salt
- sesame/grapeseed/or if you’re adventurous: calendula oil   *I add 1 Tbsp of oil at a time until it reaches the consistency I like, it should be grainy but clumping together (about 3 or 4 tbsp), It’s all personal preference though.*
 - 6 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, promotes healing
- 4 drops German (aka Blue) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, promotes healing, 
- 3 drops Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) – anti-inflamatory, antiseptic
 
Gradually mix oil into dry ingredient mixture. Then drop in essential oils to your preference, the amount above is for max benefits. The scent is a little less than luxurious, very nutty and bold, but effective.

Scrub away darlings!

Hunting For That Perfect Bike

So I haven’t been on a bike in years. But recently I’ve become fed up with looking and paying for parking in Victoria. So the most logical solution is to buy a bike, of course! I don’t care that I’m a little wobbly off the start, with time I only hope that will correct itself. I don’t care that I’m terrified of being hit by a car, I can only keep myself safe.

SO I want to ask you what you think of this little number. It’s a Linus Mixte 3. If you have one, or know someone who has one. Or even if you have a better suggestion! I’m a little apprehensive about spending the cash, but knowing nothing about bikes, I’m keen to learn what my money gets me. I like the more upright sitting position as I’m mostly hunched over in a terrible posture all day, I wouldn’t want to continue that on my ride home! I’m also considering adding a wicker basket to the front…. and by “considering” I mean “definitely”.

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If you have any suggestions, or comments or even stories about bikes, I would love to hear! Drop me a line in the comment box! Thanks lovies!

Phytomer Review

The long awaited Phytomer review. I will post more about it in the future so you can learn and discover with me!

Cleanse, Tone, Exfoliate, Repeat.

First things first. Phytomer is a vegan brand, no doubt about it. They ensure no animal testing on any level (only human skin cultures), I was told they know us west coast folk are very aware of what is in our products. Including stem cells, collagen, retinol, and the dreaded parabens. Some of their products do say things like “seastem ciblactiv”, “retinocollagen c complex”, and “procollagen peptides” but rest assured, these are all sea-plant based.

There are no stem cells in your face cream. The “seastem complex” is derived from the laminaria brown algae, they discovered that this combination of molecules, can reactivate algae stem cells, so why not our skin’s?! One expensive, advanced, technological process later: boom! Now this cream can boost our own skin’s stem cells, in turn plumping, and making our visage wrinkle free!

As for “retinocollagen c complex”. We all know retinol, we all know collagen, but if this product was called “marine criste-chlorella complex” would the average non-marine biologist know what it did? Nah. so for convenience sake, it’s retinol-like, it’s collagen-like and it’s also animal friendly.

All this collagen talk, their collagen-like substance comes from chlorella, a tiny green algae. It actually just helps along the cells that produce collagen and elastin in your skin as well as improving quality of the fibres they send out. You can also eat this algae, it’s a super food, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chlorophyll, fibre and is a complete protein! (click on the link to learn more about chlorella)

Enough of ingredients. I’m sure you’ve got the gist of it by now; seriously no animal ingredients, they have nothing to hide.

During the training one of the girls received a full facial and signature back treatment with the self-heating marine mud which is applied just down the spine. She had a small skin rash on her side that had been there for a while, the next day after the treatment; what skin rash? This mud is so detoxifying I had a client sweat out through a sheet, bath towel and duvet! Of course it always depends how much toxin is actually in your body. Smokers beware!

With all this good, has to come some bad. Phytomer is certified organic, but only it’s final product. The seaweed and marine plant ingredients they say, are not able to be certified. I have emailed Phytomer and asked “why not?” could it be due to being almost paraben free? Likely. I’ll let you guys know when their reply comes in.

I could go on and on, I haven’t even made a dent in all the goodies I have written down about this seaweed extravaganza. I havent even mentioned “Oligomer” their pride and joy. I’m ordering some edible form, for professional use only, that will be a post all on it’s own. Here I come super-health!!!

By the way, a little aside, speaking of health, I took the veg week 2012 veg-pledge, but I pledged to go vegan since every week is veg-week. I feel so healthy already, like I need to take some measures to counteract! This Vegan thing might just stick around!

You too! Stick around! I’ll post again soon about something a little bit more fun!

Bay View Living

I’ve settled myself into a cozy suite at Pacific Shores Resort & Spa, where I’ve agreed to take part in some training with Phytomer, which I haven’t used before, but am so, so, so excited to learn about!

Phytomer is a sea water, algae and marine plant based cosmetic. Which if you know a little about seaweed, you know that sea products are a gold mine of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Seaweed based products are -in my opinion- the best your skin can get.

My absolute favourite seaweed based line is of course Sea Flora, it is harvested and manufactured right on my little home island. That is a product review for another time, they are incredibly natural, completely vegan, cruelty free and Canadian, how much better can you get?!

Unfortunately I will have to say adieu for now, I have left my laptop charger at home and it’s slowly dying. I will take lots of notes for you guys and come back with a butt load of information and a full review of this intriguing line.

I will leave you with one of the pictures I took here at Pacific Shores -which is beautiful by the way. It’s right beside a Nature Reserve, there’s a hot tub right on the point overlooking the bay, I’m looking forward to that part too!

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