September 29, 2011

TMI Thursday: Years of Heels Landed Me in Physical Therapy

dara adeeyo left foot in physical therapy
Some warming contraption on my foot.
Let's blame it on the concrete jungle itself, New York City. Those streets are meaaaaan, and a flat-footed girl like myself should not be stomping around town in 5" heels or poorly supported flats.

The past months have been about me putting my health first. For real. I've seen so many health specialist in the past months, it's ridiculous. The way I see it, I'm not going into my mid-20s—that sounds funny—with an unhealthy state-of-mind/body. (I'm also taking advantage of the fact I now have health insurance and I didn't for almost three years.) It's my way of taking control of my life. I felt like I let the wheels loose in college and I'm ready to tighten things up—literally.

Anyway! My journey to the Physical Therapist began with my Podiatrist. Over the summer, I was exhibiting a weird pain in my left instep that was becoming unbearable. I always knew I was flat footed and suspected this had something to do with it. I remember the first time I had my feet examined.

9th grade. I had a persistent aching pain in my shins that would later be revealed to me as shin splints. My dreams of being a track star were shot. The trainer at my high school looked at my feet and said, "WHOA! Those are some flat feet! Where are your arches?!" Just what an insecure teen wants to hear. Something else to be self-conscious about. Awesome.

Jump to many years later, I figured it was time to do something about it before it got worse. First, the Podiatrist examined my feet and he said the same thing the trainer did: "WHOA! Those are some flat feet! Where are your arches?" I laughed and nodded in agreement. He instantly had my feet molded for insoles. I was then sent to a Physical Therapist who confirmed I had Post Tendinitis. I'm not exactly clear on what it is, but the PT basically said it means that a certain muscle in the back of my leg is strained and not stretched enough, usually caused by heels. You can imagine the horror I felt when she uttered the words heels. I love my 5" heels and I also love my infamous no-dating-men-under-6-foot-rule because I love to wear heels, which has rendered me perpetually single.

Needless to say, I'll be going to Physical Therapy once a week (or every other) for the time being. I haven't been wearing my heels because I really want to get my foot pain under control. Would you believe me if I told you I turned into one of those people that wears sneakers to work and changes into appropriate shoes at their desk? Yeah. I know. Gross. Who am I? I need to find a chic alternative soon.

September 27, 2011

QOTD: When's the last time you washed your makeup brushes?

I can't remember so I KNOW it's been a long time. It's important to wash your brushes weekly (to be honest) to get out all the bacteria that builds up over the week. And as I touch a new pimple on my chin, I can't help but wonder if it's because I haven't washed my brushes in a very long, long time?

I recently washed my Clarisonic brush by pouring boiled water over the bristles. That was a tip a good friend of mine told me. Whenever I wash my brushes, I use hand soap and warm water. That same girlfriend told me I should use baby shampoo. What do you think? How do you wash your makeup brushes?

September 25, 2011

Like DARK BERRY BEAUTY on Facebook!

Like DARK BERRY BEAUTY on Facebook! I'm on Facebook y'all! I decided to create a page just because. I've had a couple instances with readers asking me if I was on Facebook, but I never really saw the point in creating a Facebook Page. However, I also don't see why I shouldn't create one. If only 3 people like it, then so be it! DBB is growing and there's more to come from this here bloggy blog and hopefully a Facebook Page will help me stay in touch with my readers. Many of you don't leave comments, but I see you trolling!! Don't be shy. Conversate with me in the comments!!! And like me on Facebook!

September 23, 2011

Benefit's They're Real! Mascara - Fiberwig 2.0?

picture of me wearing Benefit's They're Real! mascara

Anyone remember Fiberwig mascara? It was an import from Japan and was all the rage a couple years ago. I remember trekking to the local Sephora with my college roommate and elbowing ladies to get my hands on a tube of Fiberwig. I was impressed. It was a grade A mascara that actually elongated my lashes. It was a b*tch to take off, but it was worth it if you liked that long, sort of wet-spider-leg looking lashes. Our love affair was short because I thought it was possibly thinning out my lashes IT AND WAS RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE!

Anyway, Benefit's They're Real! mascara is pretty cool. Above is a picture of me wearing it. You get the length you desire, while your lashes look pretty full. I don't wear it everyday, because, well, I do own 6 different tubes of mascaras, so I gotta spread the love. I will say that I sometimes use it with another mascara, so I get the length and width I desire. My Revlon Custom Eyes mascara has a great brush that separates the lashes. Combined with They're Real!, I get to lash out all I want.

Like Fiberwig, it's got this paint-on-lash feeling after it's been applied. It's also super expensive. $22 a pop? GTFO! At most, mascara shouldn't cost more than $12-$15! What do you think? What's your favorite mascara?

September 22, 2011

TMI Thursday: The Time I Used Nair on My Armpits

tmi thursday image
Just don't. Seriously. Just don't ever do it. Nair should only be used on your legs. A girlfriend of mine uses it on her hoohah, but I tried that and let's just say, it should not be done.

I was in middle school when I slabbed on some Nair on my underarms for the first and last time. I had used it on my legs and was fairly comfortable with the product. After about two minutes, my underarms began to burn. I immediately washed off the Nair and noticed tears in my skin. "DID THE NAIR JUST EAT AWAY MY SKIN?!?!" I thought. I screamed and my mom came rushing into the bathroom. I told her what I did and that my underarms felt like they were on fire. Her being a Nurse confirmed that the Nair burned off a layer of skin in the crevices of my armpits. For about a week I couldn't wear deodorant—this was my pre-Certain Dri days—and I had to put on Gold Bond Powder under my arms to heal the burn. From that day on I vowed I would never use Nair again. And... I haven't. Well, except for this one time I used it on my eyebrows. I couldn't resist. My mom loves Nair and it just lies around the house like a book.

The best thing about being young is that you don't really know the world of beauty too well and you are willing to do anything to achieve your result. I'll check Nair off my list as something I did and will never do again. What was your experience like with Nair?

September 21, 2011

QOTD: What's your favorite acne spot treatment?

picture of Say Yes To Tomatoes Acne Roller Ball Spot Stick picture of Say Yes To Tomatoes Acne Roller Ball Spot Stick

I recently got my hands on a box of Say Yes To Tomatoes Acne Roller Ball Spot Stick. I've never been one to use spot treatments, as I don't really think they work. But after a friend raved about the Sampar Prodigal Pen, I was curious about other spot treatments. I've only been using this one for a couple days and I can't say I'm seeing results just quite yet. However, acne also isn't a huge problem of mine, thanks to my prescribed facial topicals.

Do you have a favorite acne spot treatment?

September 20, 2011

Teeth Tales: Crest 3D White Toothpaste & My Retainer

dara's teeth with a tube of 3d white crest toothpaste
"Your teeth look like you're married to a Dentist," said my Orthodontist.

I smiled and thought to myself, "Oh, I wish." Because, I'd love to marry a Dentist. Free dental care for life? Yes, please and thank you.

I then pondered if he had talked to my mother recently and knew that her wish was to see her young 20something married or at least with a boyfriend. Anyway, that's a topic I'd probably discuss on my other blog.

Remember when I talked about my brace-face saga? Well, I had enough of the jaw pain and the gap in my two front teeth. (I know. I should accept my imperfection, but not when my shifted imperfection is causing me strife!) Right before work, I headed over to my Ortho and told him enough was enough. I told a dramatic tale about my retainer breaking and how it subdued the pain in my jaw and how I hated the gap in my teeth and blah, blah, blah.

Mr. Orthodontist, then confirmed that I was in fact grinding my teeth at night and that a mouth guard wouldn't help my problem. He said that I would not only need to get a new retainer (uh, duh), my retainer would have a bite plate to prevent my grinding teeth from breaking the retainer's wire. Some type of twisted wire is going to be placed in the middle of the retainer, so my gap closes and I am back to commercial ready teeth.

In the meantime, I've been working on my dental care. That involves flossing twice a day, using an antiseptic mouthwash and restoring my enamel while whitening my choppers with Crest's 3D White Toothpaste. I haven't really seen great results, as I've only been using it for a week. The tube claims that in 90 days my pearly whites should be multiple shades whiter! Well, we'll see...

September 19, 2011

WTF?! My Shellac Manicure Lasted 7 Days!

cnd shellac manicure chipped after 7 days cnd shellac manicure remover wraps

As you know, I got a CND Shellac manicure about a week ago. It's a Power Polish that is supposed to last 14 days. Well, my mani only lasted 7 days. In CND's defense, it's probably all my fault. I spend 40-60 hours a week typing on a computer keyboard, I obsessively wash my hands after I use the bathroom, after I get to work, after I get back home from work, so my nails didn't stand a chance. Here's what happened...

Friday I noticed that the polish on my right thumb nail was beginning to peel off. Seeing that I could easily rip it off, I couldn't resist. I took my left thumb nail and dug it under the polish and a giant strip came off. I then noticed that the rest of my fingernails also has thin layers of polish that were ready to be peeled. And being the slight nail lacquer perfectionist, I had to take it all off. (You will probably never ever see me with a chipped manicure.)

I used the remover wraps CND provided. I ultimately had to scrape the polish off because I didn't have acetone nail polish remover and the remover wraps require 100% acetone. I'm not a fan of acetone because it's extremely drying to your cuticles. (SAY NO TO HANG NAILS!) Ultimately, I don't think I'd get a Shellac manicure ever again. Well, maybe when I have the cash to get one every 7 days...

September 18, 2011

And, I'm back!

I know it's been a week since I blogged and I didn't really give you guys any notice, but last week was really hectic. I worked out with my Personal Trainer four times and sleeping, eating, and working were all I could think about when my body was not in severe pain.

Anyway, I'm back!

September 12, 2011

I Got A CND Shellac Manicure!

On Friday, I was on my way to work when I spotted a CND truck posted on 58th and 8th avenue in New York City. An obvious fan of manicures, I had to stop and see what was up. It turned out that CND was giving out free Shellac manicures. I booked an appointment for my lunch time and when 1:30pm rolled around, I jolted to the truck.

For those who don't know, Shellac is a breakthrough nail polish formula that is taking the nail world by storm. It's a Power Polish, as the nail technician described it. It goes on like a regular nail lacquer but has the durability of a gel manicure. You can get it done at a nail salon. Just check here to find the closest CND Shellac carrier near you and prepare yourself for the quickest nail session ever! It only took 20-30 minutes to do my nails!

I'm pretty impressed with my manicure so far. It still has its shine, my nails are hard and there are no chips! And as a tech girl who is glued to a computer keyboard typing her life away, a manicure usually lasts three to four days until they begin to chip. Needless to say, I think I just found my new nail addiction.

September 9, 2011

Nail To Jewelry: Whitney Stern Jewelry Design

I recently stumbled upon a lovely jewelry company. Whitney Stern Jewelry Design is based in Seattle and creates jewelry that has a young and modern feel. While exploring, I instantly became enamored with the rings. While the prices of the rings are a little (actually, A LOT) out of my price range, I think they are more than just candy for your fingers. They are pieces of art. I decided to paint my nails, inspired by two of my favorite rings. Tell me what you think!

Like them on Facebook!

September 8, 2011

TMI THURSDAY: How To Deal With A Girl 'Stache

tmi thursday
I'll keep this one short. In my mind, I have a little peach fuzz above my lip. While I know it's all in my head, waxing my upper lip twice a month makes me feel more like a woman (HAHA). To get rid of my mustache, I usually use Veet Ready-To-Use Face Wax Strips. It does the job, well. I once tried shaving--like a man--but I noticed that shaving caused more ingrown hairs.

How do you get rid of your 'stache?

September 7, 2011

QOTD: When did you start wearing makeup?

I remember the first time I dabbled with what little makeup my mother would allow me to wear. 12 years old and watching all my best friends play with eye shadow and eyeliner, I never saw the use in wearing makeup but became curious. It wasn't until I wore a little bit of eyeliner and saw some tweeny boys take a second look at my newly painted face, er, eyes, that I saw what makeup could do. I got compliments on how pretty I looked and how there was something "different about me." Did a little bit of black crayon on my waterline really make a difference? I briefly ditched the eyeliner--except for special occasions--because I super lazy about anything lady like. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I fully decided to give foundation and etc. a go. And well, I never looked back. So tell me. When did you start wearing makeup?

September 6, 2011

Teeth Tell Tales

My teeth ;B
Teeth are the window to the... something. Ha. I don't really know what, but I feel like you can tell a lot about a person by just looking at their teeth. (I will only speak for the part of the hemisphere I live in because I know dental care is a luxury and impossible to reach in other parts of the world.)

I was in third grade when I received my first set of braces. With a finger-wide gap in my two front teeth--caused by my finger-sucking addiction (CHILDHOOD WAS STRESSFUL, OK.)--my Orthodontist at the time, placed brackets onto my teeth. A couple months later, he realized that he wanted to wait for my wisdom teeth to drop, so he took all of the braces off but left a few on my top four teeth. He figured, while he waited, he'd work on closing the wide gap in my two front choppers.

September 5, 2011

Chocolate Nails on Chocolate Skin

SpaRitual Chocolate Oasis SpaRitual Chocolate Oasis
I'm no stranger to skin-colored nails. This color, SpaRitual's Chocolate Oasis, turned out to be a color I really adore. It's a redder brown when compared to OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys and is much closer to resembling the color of real chocolate!

The name is what drew me to this polish. I love chocolate and the idea of a sort-of-real Chocolate Oasis at my finger tips, er, my finger nails was enthralling!

What do you think?

September 2, 2011

NAILS: Clarity


Not so sure I'm feeling this one. The paint on my ring finger is called Clarity from SpaRitual. I know I said I wouldn't do any glitter polishes until the summer was over, but the summer is technically over for some of my college cronies. Heh.

What do you think of this mani combo?

September 1, 2011

TMI Thursday: I Got A Personal Trainer!

tmi thursday
...And it wasn't that expensive! Retro Fitness recently opened up in my town and being that the gym is literally 2 minutes away from my house, I felt compelled to join.

I need to get back into shape. Not because I want to look svelt and feel sexy, but because my extra weight is hurting my health. Seriously. I was on the fence of joining the gym, but once I saw they had a large price range for sessions with the personal trainers, I decided it was time to get serious.

My first session was with the head PT. We went over my body fat (35.8%!!) and my weight (GTFO IF YOU THINK I AM TELLING YOU). Basically, I gained close to 70lbs between now and when I graduated high school in 2007. My body fat was in the danger zone for my age and gosh damn it I just want to be able to enjoy working out again. He also informed me that once women turn 25, losing weight becomes harder than ever!

You see, I'm an athlete. Er... was one. If you wanted to label me in high school, I was a jock. I was captain of the cheerleading team and captain of the field team for track & field. I could do back flips at the drop of a hat and I was even a state champion for my division in shot put, throwing that 5 (or was it 8?) pound ball further than almost 30 other girls. I was a freaking athlete.

But somewhere between then and now, I got caught up in other things and forgot to focus on the most important thing: me. I'm picking up the pieces of myself and putting them back together. I see my trainer twice a week and told him that I want to look like Jennifer Hudson in a year. He laughed, but he doesn't know I'm not kidding.

I was forced to keep a food diary before my initial meeting with my PT Dan. I was afraid of what he would say once he saw what I ate. However, it turns out I am a rather healthy eater and as long as I put the Nutella down at night, the weight will come off. I'm big on eating fruit, veggies, whole grain and fiber—I am obsessed with Fiber One Cereal.

It's been a learning experience. I'm learning to eat better. Instead of eating three medium to big meals a day, I eat more frequently with four to six tiny meals. This is great because I love food!! But it's been torture because it doesn't mean I can snack four to six times a day, it means I have to eat real wholesome meals that are beneficial to my health.

So yeah. That's what I've been up to these past couple weeks. I think this is the best approach to dealing with my body weight and body image issues. I need to do it the correct and healthy way because really, there is no other way.
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