October 27, 2011

NAILS: Beyoncé - Party ft. J. Cole

It's not a secret I love Beyoncé. Homegirl and I go waaay back to when I was in middle school belting out notes to "Independent Women Part II" on stage with my best friends at our school's talent show. She made me love singing and want to be a superstar (a dream I'm still holding on to, but placed on the back burner). She's a musical artist who promotes women empowerment and isn't afraid to be her damn self.

Her latest album 4 has been on rotation in my car/computer for the past month. It's simply AMAZING! And I'm not just saying that because I luh love me some Bey, but because it truly is. I love it when musicians let you see a piece of who they are through their music. Bey finally (and subtly) addresses her relationship with Jay Z in "Countdown"; "All that gossip in 10 years, stop it."

Bey's been on a roll, releasing 5 music videos already for her album! The latest video she released was for "Party". While I'm not exactly a fan of the music video and that J. Cole is in it and not Andre 3000, I love all her beauty looks—especially her nails. She has at least 5 different designs worth noting. Take a look below:

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La di da di, we like to party.

My Night Cream is Outdated?

[picture of Ziana]
My new night cream.
For about 10 years I have been using Azelex as a night cream to ward of pesky pimples. And it worked. It really did. When I veered off to ProActiv, my skin was not happy and created the worst acne breakout I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

Anyway, I recently came into a bit of a pickle when my insurance company stopped covering Azelex. Remember my story about having to pay $125?!

I took a trip to my Dermatologist and asked if there were any recommendations for a night cream. I told her I had been using Azelex and she laughed. She told me, "Well, that's a little bit outdated." Excuse me? She explained to me that facial creams have advanced. (Like I said, 10 years with Azelex people!! That was back in 2001.) She went on and said Azelex is an old formula and there are better products on the market that work.

She prescribed Ziana and told me that it will not only kill the bacteria in my pores, it has an aspirin like agent that will prevent new zits from popping up. Also, it's covered by my insurance company, so I only had to pay like $15!

What do you use at night?

October 24, 2011

NAILS: Boo!

I rarely do seasonal nails. In fact, I never do seasonal nails. It's not my thing. However, I was laying in bed all day yesterday feeling like crap thanks to a certain friend and I felt like being cheeky with my nails this week.

Can you guess what the little critters on my nails are? One word: BOO!

October 21, 2011

In Arm & Hammer I Trust

[picture of arm & hammer toothpaste and spin brush]

So remember when I talked about using Crest's 3D White Toothpaste? Well, I can't honestly say I'm a fan. I know I was supposed to use it for 90 days straight, but 90 days is quite a while from now and I wasn't really seeing any slight improvements. In fact, my teeth looked a yellowy-white that I did not like. May be my teeth don't like Crest? All I know is I am going back to what I KNOW works, and that's Arm & Hammer. I even bought the A&H Spinbrush for extra teeth cleaning.

October 20, 2011

TMI Thursday: I Hate My Vagina!

Yep. You read that right. (Sorry if that word offends you, but it's my blog y'all.) Now, I don't literally hate my va-jay-jay (OK ONLY A LITTLE) but hear me out:

I had a Gynecology appointment tonight and well, I had a breakdown. I thought the doc could still see me even though my period unexpectedly showed up AGAIN FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME THIS PAST MONTH. But he couldn't. No big deal you say. Yeah, it really isn't a big deal but for me it is. I've been trying to see a Gyno for the past 5 months but couldn't. Why? Because I had my period for the past 5 months. My uterus aches and I'm sick of seeing blood gush through my legs. SICK. OF. IT.

I wish I was kidding.

This has been the vicious cycle (pun intended) of my life since mother nature first laid this tragedy gift on me in middle school. "Ah, you're an athlete. Irregular periods are expected," many doctors would say. And while I felt very abnormal as a growing girl, my physicians constantly reminded that is was "okay" and that irregular periods were natural. Well, F*&K THAT.

For so long I've been against taking "The Pill" to regulate my periods because I'm scared of what it could do to me. For some reason, I have it in my head that if I start taking BP, I'll never be able to get pregnant in the far future. But my brief meeting with the doc tonight also shed some light on my whole situation. He told me that if I continue to have irregular periods, that will more likely hinder me from ever having kids. He also told me that my irregular periods and unbalanced hormone levels may lead to weight gain (So, the Freshman 15 wasn't totally my fault?!).

I don't know what to do. I'm thinking of going on BP. I mean, science has come along way...

What do you ladies think? Do you have irregular periods? Are you on the pill? Which one do you take?

October 19, 2011

Treat Your Nails Like You Treat Your Hair

I recently cut my nails. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I treat my nails like my hair, always conditioning and trimming. I buff/file regularly and oil my cuticles... whenever I remember—HAHA! And sometimes, I cut 'em really short to have a fresh growing start.

How do you take care of your nails?

What's the difference between a hair mask & a conditioner?

[Picture of Redken 5th Avenue extreme strength builder plus mask]
Redken 5th Avenue NYC—the hair mask I use.


According to the peeps over at Garnier, "A mask nourishes hair thoroughly while a conditioner hydrates and detangles." A mask should really only be used once a week as a sort of therapy treatment for your hair.

Well, I've got a confession. I use a mask at least twice a week and I don't know if that's good or bad for my hair. (I'll investigate later.) I've never really had bad hair... Oh wait. There was that time in high school my braided hair extensions RIPPED OUT CHUNKS OF MY HAIR during the removal process. Anyway, I've been blessed with great hair genes. Although, I will admit I am nice to my hair. I use a pomade everyday and I lightly oil my scalp after I wash it. I also only use hot tools three times a week.

My hair has always been strong and does what I tell it to do:
Me: If I want to burn you with a a curling iron or straightener, you will endure the pain!!!
My hair: Yes. Whatever you say Diva D.
And my drastic chop a year ago, aka the best hair decision I have ever made, has allowed my hair to grow back quicker and thicker. I'm always down for doing anything that improves the texture and look of my hair, and ever since I started using a mask twice a week, I noticed my hair is softer. I use the mask as a conditioner. I don't leave it in for a long time, just until I'm done scrub-adub-dubbin away in the tub.

Do you use a hair mask?

October 18, 2011

How Bare Escentuals Made Me Love Makeup

[Picture of Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil]
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil


I was 18 when I started wearing makeup for real. As an athlete all my life, makeup was never something I liked to wear. However, when prom came along my senior year of high school, I decided it was time to man girl up. I chose Bare Escentuals Mineral Makeup because I was new to makeup and scared sh!tless. Seriously. I didn't want to look like a drag queen... by accident.

That day I got ready and slabbed on my makeup, which was surprisingly easy (slightly messy) to apply. I made sure to remember to the wear the Mineral Veil to protect my foundation as I broke-it-down on the dance floor. By the end of the night, my makeup was still intact and I was hooked. Bare Escentuals taught me that makeup should be fun and easy. And well since 2007, I've been a proud BE girl.

Peep a silly pic of me from prom below:

[Picture of Dara at Prom]

October 17, 2011

NAILS: Red Sparkle

This is the first time I used glitter nail polish ever since I vowed off sparkly nail lacquers for the summer (which is long over). I found that after my little nail experiment, I just couldn't go back to wearing polish that shimmered. I don't know why. I actually fell in love with wearing plain nail polish. It's just so clean.

The base color is Hey Sailor from China Glaze and the top is a cheap red/black/silver sparkle nail polish from Forever 21. I'm not too keen on this look. What do you think?

Why Straight Teeth Are Important

[picture of retainer]
Remember when I talked about getting a new retainer? Well, it finally happened! Sure it burned a steep whole in my wallet, but that piece of metal was worth every single penny. My jaw pain is slowly subsiding and my teeth are back to being picture perfect!

I will never be ashamed of owning a retainer. However, I only wear it at night when I'm sleeping because it can be cumbersome. Straight teeth are a luxury and I understand that! If you are ever given the opportunity to see a Dentist or Orthodontist, do it. I was so aggressive about getting a new retainer because your dental care has a great impact on your health.

And according to Dr. Sam Alkhoury's team, "Straight teeth are less prone to decay." Teeth that are straight are easier to clean, and the cleaner your teeth are the less likely you are to get gum disease aka gingivitis. Scientists have recently discovered that there is a potential connection between gum disease and other serious health conditions such as heart disease and Diabetes. Also, more women than men die from heart disease yearly. Yikes!

I think it's best we take care of our teeth ladies!

October 13, 2011

Where Have I Been You Say?

It's been about two weeks since I last blogged. Totally out of character for me since I blog at least once a day, sometimes twice a day. The truth is the past two weeks I had these excruciating headaches and other health sh!t to handle. My headaches were so bad I had to call out of work for a couple days. I never take sick days. Seriously. All my life (aside from College), I never missed a day of work/school because I was "sick." Opportunities don't come to those who sleep my friends.

However, I think the sudden ailments that came and went were a sign from above for me to take a break and slow down. I'm slowly learning to pump the breaks on life and enjoy every waking moment. But, it's hard to curtail my workaholic habit. It is something I want to get under control because I refuse to send myself to an early grave because of stress and exhaustion.

And on that note, I'm going to bed. The blog you know and love will return to its weekly schedule starting next week.
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