October 8, 2012

Change Must Come: Bangs and Buh-Byes!

black hair bangs

This will be my last post...ever. Don't cry! Don't wail! Be happy! Change is good!

I've come to terms with the fact that I just can't keep up this bombing-ass blog while maintaining an even more kickass full-time job. It hurts. It really does. But the truth is, I must move on. You can keep up with my budding career HERE on my semi-profesh/semi-personal bloggy blog...that I sporadically update.

This was really a hard decision because I love you all. From your emails to your comments, you've all been such wonderful fans. I never thought 10,000 of you would be tuning into my stupid bantics (beauty antics) every month.

And being that my first post was about my hair, it only felt right to close it with a hair story. So, here I go!

I recently got bangs (as you can see above). They swoop my face and are a real pain in my you-know-what. Alas, I love them. I needed a change in my hair. Ron worked his magic and va-va-voom! I feel like Aaliyah—Are you that somebody??

One last black hair lesson from my mastermind of a hairstylist, Ron:

Only shampoo your hair once a week and wash mid-week with just a conditioner. It will do WONDERS for your hair. Seriously. It's called cleansing. When you shampoo, you strip your strands of essential oils. By only conditioning, you will restore said oils (and gain bounce!!) to your hair.

Last note: I'm no longer Anemic. Between the birth control, iron supplements, and my obsession with broccoli, spinach, and flax, I rid myself of Anemia. Huzzah!

Hit me up on Twitter or email or whatever to stay in touch. Mwah!

October 1, 2012

Fall Inspired Nails

fall nails
It's the first day of October! How the eff did that happen?! 2012 is zooming by!

I decided to give my nails a touch of my favorite season: fall. The bottom coat is Riveting from China Glaze, a sparkly orange/red mix. The top coat is Rina from Zoya, a green confetti-esque polish. This combo was inspired by the autumn leaves!

What do you think?

September 11, 2012

NAILS: Still On A Press-On High

impress press on nails in stiletto

This nail color is called Stiletto. What do you think?

September 6, 2012

TMI Thursday: How I Got Rid Of My Ingrown Hairs For Good...Sort Of

How I Got Rid Of My Ingrown Hairs For Good
After my first bikini wax, my ingrown hairs returned with a vengeance! Granted, I didn't follow the beauticians advice to exfoliate my lady bits. Oops.

So during my second wax session, the girl waxing me off (insert inappropriate joke here—ha!) mentioned that a lot of my ingrown hairs were cystic meaning a possible infection. Gasp! She tried to peddle some product the spa has, but ultimately said Tend Skin would do the job as well...but I had to get into the habit of dabbing it on my girly parts daily. Not a newbie to daily beauty routines, I knew this was something I could do.

To take this new regimen a step further, I bought Skin Tight Clearing Cleanser (Skin Tight products are the shiiiiiiiiit!) and used the cleanser down thurr before I used my body wash.

I've been doing this for a month and half and the combination of Skin Tight and Tend Skin has really diminished the amount of ingrown hairs I have. It's so wonderful!

So ladies, do yourself a favor and try this routine of mine:
Use the Skin Tight Clearing Cleanser in the shower and swab some Tend Skin on as you get dressed. Your va-jay-jay will thank you.

September 4, 2012

QUICK TIP: Get A Skin Screening!

Back in July, I had a skin screening for possible traces of skin cancer. Luckily the Dermatologist didn't find any moles that I should be worried about. However, I did walk away with an interesting piece of info:

For people of color, malignant moles show up in the hands and feet first.

Thus, reiterating the importance of sunscreen for everyone—no matter your skin color. So if you spot a suspicious mole on your hands or feet, go and see a doc!

September 3, 2012

I'm Back! I'm Back!

Sorry I've been missing the past couple weeks. Like I said in my previous post, I've been sick and suffering from (but working through) extreme exhaustion.

I took the time off from blogging to get my sleeping schedule and health back on track. And I'm happy to report it's been a success! I've been getting more that five hours of sleep a night and am beginning to feel like my old self.

My lovelies, sleep is important. Nonetheless, I'M BACK!

August 16, 2012

TMI Thursday: So... Sleep Is Important

The past two weeks have been hell, or well, close to it. Last week I had literal exhaustion. This week, I got sicker than I've ever been before. Between the dizzy spells, fevers, and fatigue, I lost my mind.

As a person who exercises more than the average American, eats healthy, drinks a lot of water, and takes their vitamins, I don't understand why I keep getting sick. Or well, I don't want to admit to myself why I keep getting sick. But today is the day I admit I have a problem.

Hi, my name is Dara and I don't know how to get enough sleep at night.

You know you're a true night owl when your friends always assume you'll be up at midnight, just because. My problem isn't sleeping. I sleep like a baby. It takes me less than 10 minutes to fall asleep. Once I turn my head on the pillow, I'm out like a light. My problem is getting myself into bed because I can always find something to keep me up at night. (Can you say workaholic?)

A good friend—okay, all of my friends—flat out told me that the reason I keep getting ill is because I don't get enough rest. On a good night, I get five or six hours of sleep. On a bad night, I get three hours. It's a habit I need to curb! And as my best girlfriend shouted at me, "Vitamins do not equal sleep!"

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, slow you down, and damage your health in so many other ways.

So on that note, I'm going to bed.

August 1, 2012

So Obsessed With My Press-On Nails!

Like I said, I've got an abundance amount of fake nails that I can stick on my fingers. I've gone through about 8 boxes, but here a couple of my most recent wears. You like?

impress press on nails

impress press on nails

impress press on nails


July 31, 2012

25 Pounds Down - Feeling Like My Old Self

As I power walked at 5 mph, I pushed the treadmill to 8.5 on incline.

The sweat plummeted from my head and onto my Kindle Fire. Streaks of success stained my tablet as I tried to wipe it clean. I let out a cackle in between my heavy breathes. My eyes were glued to the chuckle-worthy book I was reading, Feminista by Erica Kennedy. Kick Up The Epic Motherfucker by Dada Life echoed in my ears and I felt at peace. I was finally having the hard workout I had been craving but couldn't really do when I was 25 pounds heavier. "How did I get here?" I thought. It took a while, but I got here.

My big secret (besides Bikram Yoga) is I mainly eat three meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes I snack, and if I do, it's fruit. I tried the eat five small meals a day thing and that didn't work. That's too much food for me and I think it takes too much effort to remember to eat FIVE times a day—haha. I pretty much trained my tummy to get used to eating smaller portions and it's doing my waist line wonders! The key is that those three meals must be healthy, filled with the right amount of protein, veggies, and grains.

Eat right, workout, and the fat shall die.

Got any weight loss tips?

July 30, 2012

How To Pick The Right Scalp Oil

>BB's Super Gro

When it comes to oiling my scalp (#BlackGirlProblems), I've been a Sulfur 8 devotee for many years. It kept my crusty dandruff scalp in check...for the most part. However, I recently started noticing it wasn't doing the job (flakes, flakes, falling everywhere).

I asked Ron, my hairdresser, which type of scalp oil I should get. Never one to claim one product as the end all be all, he grabbed a jar of the stuff he uses on my hair and asked me to touch it. Ron said that it was best I feel the texture of the oil to know what I should be looking for, stating that it's important for the the product to at least contain vitamin a, e, and d.

And so, I was on the hunt for a new scalp oil. I did the touch test (should feel light, not thick) and checked the ingredients. A big fan of the yummy coconut-y smell in BB's Super Gro, I chose it. So far, so good. My scalp hasn't been that itchy or full of flakes. Apparently, it's also great at growing hair, but I'm not using it for that reason. My hair grows at a rate I love!

Do you have a scalp oil you like to use?

July 24, 2012

Been There Done That: Caviar Manicure

ciate caviar nail polish ciate caviar nail polish

I finally did it! For a while I've been meaning to try this look, and I'm happy to report it's pretty simple to execute.

All you have to do is use the polish provided to coat your nail and then pour on the caviar pearls. I did notice that you couldn't paint all your nails at once, and then dab on the tiny balls because the polish dries within a matter of seconds. Either way, the steps are as simple as this:

*Paint your nail
*Apply the pearls
*Repeat

I probably didn't wait long enough for the polish to dry, but the balls began to sprinkle off rapidly, so I removed the lacquer. The good part is that the caviar pearls come off swiftly with nail polish remover.

Have you tried a caviar manicure?

July 17, 2012

Sorry I Haven't Been Putting Up Posts

I think I have carpal tunnel. Womp. A certain muscle in my arm hurts/burns/feels sore all the way down to my middle finger. Anyone ever have carpal tunnel? Either way, I need a break from typing. I will be back next week with a Dove giveaway!!

July 9, 2012

I'm in Love: Dove VisibleCare Toning Body Wash

dove visible toning body wash
I love, love, love, loooooooooove Dove. That's no secret. I stupidly strayed away from their body wash, but um, came crawling back as my skin was cracking crying for the Dove touch.

For the past month, I have been using their new VisibleCare Toning Body Wash. It claims to restore your skin’s elasticity and strength. The body wash is enhanced with vitamin e and the highest concentration of NutriumMoisture—Dove's patent moisturizing complex that nourishes deep into the skin's surface.

I was skeptical, y'all. I seriously did not expect my already smooth skin—I've been moisturizing every. single. day since I was a kid—to look and feel better than it already does. Nonetheless, this body wash is worth a try!

July 6, 2012

How You Can Get Ziana For $20

ziana coupon

When I switched to Ziana back in October, a reader told me her insurance stopped covering the acne gel. I never ran into the issue of having to pay an arm and a leg for the topical until now.

I pulled up to the pharmacy drive thru to grab my filled prescription a couple weeks ago and the Pharmacist said, "That'll be $250."

I almost choked. How did Ziana go from costing me $50 to $250?! WHAT IN THE WHAT WHAT?! Needless to say, I didn't fork over the money. The Pharmacist was nice enough to let me know that I could get a coupon online. And she was right! Here's how you do it if you have insurance. There's a way to do it if you don't have insurance, but I'm not quite sure of that procedure.

1. Click here to sign up for Ziana's Medicis MediSAVE Program.

2. Call MediSAVE to "activate" your card, which means just giving them you and your doctor's information.

3. Call your Dermatologist and have them fax over a prescription to MediSAVE. They should have the information. If not, ask MediSAVE.

4. You will be charged $20.

5. A tube of Ziana will be dropped off at your doorstep.

6. Repeat the third step when your tube is finished.

Now that's what I call beating the system.

July 5, 2012

Relaxed Hair Tip: Do Not Air Dry!

Relaxed Hair Tip: Do Not Air Dry!

I got a perm over the weekend and as always it turned into a learning session with my stylist, Ron. This time he reiterated the importance of blow drying my hair.

I told him that I air dried my hair the week prior and he was not happy. He already scolded me in the past for not blow drying my hair completely, so I saw this coming. Ron said that relaxed hair looks the way it is dried. Air dry it and your hair will look frizzy and brittle. Blow dry it and your hair will look shiny and strong.

In addition, air drying permed hair doesn't allow the bonds from the chemicals to react properly. Thus, leaving you hair susceptible to breakage. We don't want broken strands, do we?

I'm Going To Be Wearing Press-Ons For Days!

im-press press-on nails

They're baaaack! I got my hands fingernails on a bunch of imPRESS press-on nails. Remember theeese?! Aaand, I will be sticking them on and off for the next couple weeks. I'm just so amazed at how real-looking they are.

I have discovered that these nails only work if you have short nail beds. Sorry long nail bed girls, you get no press-on love. :(

Been There Done That: Mattifying Gel

OC8 Mattifying Gel

I was recently introduced to mattifying gel and I am wondering (well, singing), "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, ALL MY LIIIIIFE?!"

Between my cleanser and OC8 Mattifying Gel, my face has never been more oil-free than ever. EVER. E-V-E-R. I've been using it sparingly because I am very wary about what I put on my face and I don't know if my skin will fight the mattifier by making my skin more oily. But for now, this product is doing my skin justice.

Do you use a mattifying gel?

Dara Gets Fit: 20 Lbs. Lighter

The month of June was not a good month for me in regards to yoga. I went a handful of times, instead of my normal three-days a week sessions. I got caught up with work, but this month I am putting my foot mat down. Yogi Dara is back.

In other health news, I lost 20 lbs. It's taken me almost a year of exercise and healthy eating to finally tip the scale, but it's going down and it will keep going down. I've picked up a new exercise routine with a combination of 90 minute yoga and 60 minute cardio. Not all in one day of course.

I also found that portion control when eating has seriously helped. I've gone from being the person to finish a meal fit for two, to being satisfied with a child-size plate.

I don't have a goal weight, which is bad. You're supposed to have one when dropping the pounds. Really, I just want to feel healthy and like what I see in the mirror. I'm amazed at how different I feel from just dropping 20 pounds.

Dara gets fit is doing WERK.

June 28, 2012

Anemia Tales: Iron Tablet Tummy Troubles

tmi thursday
Remember when I mentioned my wretched heavy flow made me Anemic? Well, since then I have been on iron supplements and they have been working fine. After the first month of trial, my levels came up and my doc was pretty impressed with the rapid change. That was about six months ago.

This past week my stomach started bothering me, a lot (read: loose bowel movements). And I seriously couldn't figure out why. I eat almost the same thing everyday; it's how I've been able to drop the pounds. I'm not much of a food-adventurist. I'll try something once, but I am a picky person when it comes to food. ANYWAY...

I did some research and it turns out that if the dosage of your iron supplements are too high, it can irritate your stomach and cause diarrhea. Noticing that I have been feeling exceptionally well the past couple months, I thought this might be the cause of my tummy troubles. I stopped taking the pills, loaded up on the yogurt, and changed to a lower dosage. So far, so good.

Perhaps going on birth control curbed my Anemia, causing my iron levels to go up and reducing my need for the supplements.

June 27, 2012

NAILS: Blue & Glitter Color Block

blue and glitter nails

Not sure if you want to call this a complete color block, but whatever. I really wanted to wear blue lacquer (SpaRitual Circle of Life) and decided to spruce up my finger nails a bit by painting two with OPI Spark De Triomphe.

After I was done painting, I realized the color combo pays homage to my alma mater.

Wuddup, big blue!

June 26, 2012

Orbit White Gum Does Wonders For Your Teeth

orbit white gum packs
It's no secret I love my teeth. If you had braces for a long-ass-time, you'd be freakin' obsessed too. TRUST. ME.

Often, people ask me how my teeth are so white. I usually spill a couple secrets, which you can find here and here.

You see, when it comes to having white teeth, I will try almost ANY-THING...that seems safe. Ha! Having white teeth really isn't that big of a deal, alas, I still strive to get my brightest smile. Like I said, obsessed with my chompers.

In the peak of my white teeth obsession four years ago, I discovered Orbit White gum. It claims that "chewing 2 pieces of Orbit White after eating and drinking helps remove stains and whiten teeth. Based on an 8-week clinical test." I chewed the gum for at most three months and saw an amazing difference! I'm dead serious. I was shocked, because I actually thought it wouldn't work.

Back when I was hoarding this gum like it was water in a drought, it only came in the car friendly container. I got sick of carrying that clunky case and decided to stick to the regular Orbit gum. Now it comes in an easy convertible pack and I am so excited to start chewing it again to maintain my pearly whites!

June 25, 2012

Been There Done That: BB Cream For Dark Skin

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

WTF is BB Cream ANYWAY, RIGHT?! For some reason, it is all the rage in the beauty world right now. Bottles of this stuff are flying (not literally, that would be dangerous) off shelves as ladies try to grab their hands on the best bottle of BB Cream.

In a nutshell, it's a lazy girl moisturizer aka tinted moisturizer...and then some. BB Cream is a multi-purpose face cream. Depending on the brand you get, it usually has foundation, anti-aging elements, brightening skin formula and etc.

I recently got my hands on Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, which is available in five different shades and has eight different skin improving elements in it.

While I love that it's light on my skin and leaves me oil-free all day, I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of BB Cream in general. I'm very cautious about what I put on my face and I just don't fully understand what's in BB Cream to want to wear it everyday under my foundation. I do think it's perfect for hot days. In the summer heat, I like to wear no makeup and this is a great alternative to achieve (some) coverage.

Do you use BB Cream?

June 18, 2012

Anti-Aging Nail Polish?

ALT TEXT
Dermelect ME in Above It

Y'all. I'm tripping (nail polish) bottles over here. The beauty industry really does think of everything, don't they?

This here new nail lacquer by Dermelect is called ME. A new polish of its own kind. It's infused with a peptide (pure protein) and comes in six luscious colors. The product's formula is suppose to restore your nail's health while providing protection against UV rays, water and detergent.

I think you're supposed to use it alone, but I used it with my base coat and top coat out of pure nail junkie habit. I know it's only been a day since I used it, but I can feel my nails harden. The best part about the polish is its glossy shine and fast drying time.

I say you can never have too many good nail lacquers out there to use. What do you think about this new product? Necessary?

June 14, 2012

TMI THURSDAY: My Completely Bare Bikini Wax

tmi thursday dark berry beauty bikni wax completely bare bikini wax
DO NOT READ ON if you wish to not read in detail about my first bikini wax experience. BUT, I encourage you too take a peek. It'll be educational. I did this as an attempt to tame my ingrown hairs. Jessica Coba, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of European Wax Center confirms this theory saying, "Waxing can reduce ingrown hairs and blemishes."

Alright, let's go!

"We should treat our vagina like our face," said my Aesthetician (V is her name) as she ripped off the waxing strip from my lady bits.

I didn't flinch nor scream. I continued our conversation. "Oh, really? I guess you're right."

I then thought, the skin down there is very sensitive and deserves the right tender, love, and care. (Pun intended!)

The waxing procedure I went with was the Completely Bare, which is exclusively at Completely Bare spas. This meant I was getting every piece of hair off (EV-ER-Y. PIECE.) with their painless wax.

During the entire session as I laid there spread eagle with my hoohah in the beautician's face, I was laughing. It was not out of nerves, it was out of pure enjoyment. I know. I'm sick. I mean, I told you guys last week I love getting my eyebrows wax because I find it relaxing. I just so happen to be really ticklish around my tummy area, so when she laid her hand on my stomach I roared out school girl giggles.

She was confused as to why me, a first-time waxer, was having a blast. I didn't even take any painkillers beforehand. Freak-of-nature I am.

After V was done, she informed me of the importance of exfoliating the skin and using an astringent (like Tend Skin) or acne spot cream. Both will help fight irritation and bumps.

Post-wax, I booked my next appointment. Yes. I think I am going to be a regular waxer. Ingrown hairs begone!

Do you get your bits waxed regularly?

June 13, 2012

I Put My Sally Hansen Salon Effects on My Toes!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects on toes
Last night, I gave myself a very quick mani and pedi. I used my newly acquired Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Rock N' Roar. (I'm no stranger to the power of the strip!) After all was said and done with my manicure, I realized I had two giant-sized extra lacquer stickers.

I looked down at my big toes and said, "Why not! They fit...sort of." The strips don't exactly cover my entire toenail, but I'll take it. Thus, the creation above.

No nail strip left behind, I say!

June 11, 2012

Update: Dealing With Stretch Marks

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Advanced Cream Formula

It's been over a year since I started using Mederma's Stretch Marks Therapy Advanced Cream Formula. As I mentioned last March, I have stretch marks on my arms and college-acquired love handles. The bottle is almost done and I think it's time I evaluate the formula's work!

Looking down at my arms I see a slight difference. My stretch marks are still visible, but not as noticeable as before. As for the muffin top, the Mederma made the light-brown marks fade. The darker marks are still there, but are definitely a shade lighter.

Now, I have a confession. I didn't use the product every single day for the past year. I used it on and off, skipping months. Needless to say, it still did the job. I definitely feel more comfortable wearing shoulder baring tops and dresses than I did a year ago.

Have you tried the Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Advanced Cream Formula?

June 7, 2012

TMI THURSDAY: I Love Waxing

what waxing is like
There have been many times where I've fallen asleep on the waxing table as the aesthetician was waxing and tweezing my eyebrows. I can't help it. I find waxing extremely relaxing and I don't know why. It really isn't the best experience.

A hot thick and syrup-like solution is smeared on your face, only to be followed by a notion that feels like a million tiny needles are scraping your skin. And if all the hairs have not been picked up by the wax, the sharp edges of the tweezer poke you, tugging at the stray hairs and yanking them out of their cuticles. Does that sound appealing to you?

This. Is. Heaven...to me.

During my normal bi-weekly trip to the Benefit Brow Bar, I found myself falling into a slumber in the chair and hoping my specialist would use her tweezer just one-more-time to pull the hair out of my face. It's like with every hair that is being lifted from my brows, stress is being pulled away. Does that even make sense? I sound like a crazy person.

Anyway, I'm getting my first bikini wax at Completely Bare NYC very soon and expect to leave my appointment like I left my brow session: relaxed.

June 5, 2012

Nails Inspired By Beyoncé

beyonce revel atlantic city performance
While browsing through photos of Bey's performance in Atlantic City, I noticed she was rocking my favorite nail trend: two-tone nails. Something I did back in August here, here, and here.

Being that Beyoncé is one of my favorite divas, I decided to copy her nail swag because I haven't done a creative nail post in a while. I never really wear pink nail polish because I'm not fond of the color, but for my girl Bey, I will put my dislikes aside.

Nonetheless, I'm not a fan of this. I don't think the combo goes well with my skin tone. My nails can be spotted in the lower left corner of the pic.

June 4, 2012

My Beauty Resolutions - The 6 Month Checkup

dara adeeyo

At the beginning of the year I had five beauty resolutions:

1. Clean my makeup brushes every week, not every 6 months or... never.

2. Stick to my juice cleanse/reboot for at least 30 days.

3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.

4. Drink more water.

5. Keep up with Bikram Yoga.

Now, we are halfway through 2012 (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) and I am not proud of myself. I've only stuck with TWO of the resolutions.

1. I haven't cleaned my makeup brushes since January (eeewww). I'll clean them right after this blog post.

2. I didn't stick to my juice cleanse/reboot for 30 days. It may have been an EPIC FAIL, but I figured out why.

3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Sleep. WTF is that?

4. I've been drinking a lot more water (I average 5 cups a day!) because I've been doing Bikram Yoga at least three times a week. The more yoga I do, the more water my body needs.

5. I'm a Bikram Yogi and proud of it

Anyone else create or stick to their beauty resolutions?

Bikram Yoga Challenge: And I'm Back!

I'm making my return to yoga this week. I missed the last two weeks because I was on vacation two weeks ago and last week, I was still adjusting to being back from vacation (HA!). I'm back on my grind this week Berries!

June 2, 2012

Dove Debuts 'Followers'

As a long time fan of Dove, I'm so excited about their "Followers" campaign!

Research reveals that only 4 percent of girls look to world leaders or business leaders as role models. And this is sad. The world is filled with amazing women, but unfortunately, the leaders that are most visible are those that are pop stars and celebrities.

Let me digress for a bit. When it comes to philanthropy, the one thing I care about is children/young adults. I think youngin's need to have great people to look up to that aren't in the media. Hence, why I was a Big Sister for many years. The youth are our future and I don't think we are doing enough to protect them.

With Dove's new campaign, their goal is to make real women who are doing really amazing things famous role models. Check out the video below to get a good grasp:



May 29, 2012

Brow Gel - Is It Worth It?

benefit speed brow quick set brow gel

During my most recent trip to the Benefit Brow Bar, I purchased the Speed Brow quick-set brow gel. I used it on my trip to Atlantic City and it made my brows look divine. Keeping the hairs of your brows in place really is like the cherry on top of your makeup look. The best part is that despite how effin expensive the tiny bottle is ($16?!?!), I only dip the brush once and use the gel on both my brows.

Do you use brow gel?

May 20, 2012

On Vacation This Week Doing This:

blues clues gif

See you Berries next week!

Bikram Yoga Challenge: Third Week

Third week was amazing...until I almost passed out in class from dehydration. NO. SERIOUSLY. I've been going three times a week to really get my body used to Bikram.

On my first day of class for the week, I rocked it. I was able to do almost every pose effortlessly. I was so proud of myself for kicking yoga in the arse. But then the next day I didn't drink enough water during the day. I somehow got wrapped up in my day and found myself only finishing two cups of water. I went to class and right from the start I had trouble breathing and my heart kept beating very fast. That particular day the weather was very hot and the humidity in the room was at an astronomical level. Three poses in and I had to sit down. For the rest of the class I sat there staring at myself trying to meditate, when all I could focus on was how fast my heart was beating. Needless to say, the teacher gave me an Emergen-C and I went from feeling light headed to feeling nauseous (can't a girl get a break?!). I mentioned to the instructor after class that I was fine the day before. She then told me that the more I do Bikram, the more water I have to drink because my body is adjusting to the amount of sweat I release out of my body. So basically, I'm going to up my water intake from four cups a day to six.

May 17, 2012

TMI THURSDAY: I Hate My Sleep Apnea Machine

sleep apnea machine
My CPAP all boxed up.
Stick a fork in me because I'm done...with my sleep apnea machine. By choice of course. I used the machine for two weeks and all it did was hurt my neck while I slept. I was still tired throughout the day and also just feel like I don't need it.

When I first met with my doctor, who I barely know, she basically forced me to get the machine. The expen$$$$ive ass machine. This is also the same doctor that tried to convince me that I have asthma and prescribed me an inhaler without my knowledge. At my sleep study, the technician reiterated what the witch doc already told me; that my sleep apnea was not that bad and a little weight loss would solve the problem.

I told my doctor I would rather try the lose weight option but she was all up in my face saying, "Well it could still get worse and you don't want that to happen!!"

I wanted to tell her stinky breath self, "I'm 23. I've got a long life ahead of me and trying to drop a few pounds could be worth a shot." Bottom line, I have no idea how I of all people (I'm super assertive.) allowed this doctor to push me into a treatment I did not want.

That being said, I am seeing the doc next month and telling her arse I don't want to use the machine anymore. I already feel so much better in the morning after I awake from my Bikram Yoga induced slumber.

I really just have a feeling all this bitch wants is my money and doesn't really care about my health. Have you ever felt like that about a doctor?

May 16, 2012

Dove Clear Tone Made My Armpits Even Toned

dove clear tone deodorant
Remember that horrifying tale about how I burned my armpits using Nair in middle school? I also left out the fact that it left me with an uneven skin tone under my arms that was kind of embarrassing. I eventually got over it and wore tank tops as I pleased, but for a long time I was self-conscious about raising my arms when baring my shoulders.

I recently stumbled upon Dove Clear Tone Skin Renewal Deodorant and I couldn't wait to try it. For the past two months, I have been using this anti-perspirant and saw results I am so pleased about. The skin under my arm is not only baby soft, it is becoming one even skintone I love. I wish I could show a picture of my pits, but um, your homegirl is getting an armpit wax this Friday so it looks like a fun jungle under my arms.

Aside from the fact that I'm amazed at how hairy they are right now, I can't stop staring at my armpits. Once again, Dove doesn't disappoint with another great product.

May 15, 2012

Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover is Magical!

sephora instant nail polish remover sephora instant nail polish remover

All I can say is that this nail polish remover is balls-to-the-wall amazing. AMAZEWALLBALLS. It took me less than a minute to remove lacquer from all 10 finger nails. YES. LESS. THAN. A. MINUTE. I'll create a video soon to prove you wrong if you don't believe me.

It is a perfume-sized bottle with a black sponge on the inside that is filled with nail polish remover. All you have to is stick your finger in the hole at the top (*insert inappropriate joke here*), and presto-chango your nail lacquer is removed in seconds. It really is like magic! This would be the absolute perfect nail polish remover if it was unscented. Sephora, you reading? Make it unscented and you have hit nail gold.

So all my fellow lacquer addicts, go snag a bottle of this. You won't regret it.

May 14, 2012

Bikram Yoga Challenge: Second Week

I went two times during the second week, but I'm feeling a difference. I'm tipping the scale backwards and I like it. I like it A LOT. I'm starting to feel like my old grown and sexy self. Ow, ow. Aside from that, I'm really enjoying the meditation. It's nice to just have time for myself after work. My muscles are also starting to ache, which is a sign of progression. I also love that each day is a different challenge for my body. Yeah, it's the same poses but during the past week I experienced a strange cramp in my arm that relinquished me from finishing a couple poses.

Needless to say, week 3 I'm ready for ya!

I Tried The Salon Express

salon express review

I don't know what to say about this. It's currently sitting in the trash. I bought it at the store, read the directions, and it failed me. As you will see in the photo below, the scraper didn't provide a clean nail lacquer sweep off the plate. I used the stamp and while I got the design, I also got the excess polish around the decal.

Hm. Not sure what I did wrong. Either way, I'm not using this thing ever again and I'm sad about it.

salon express review

May 10, 2012

Why My Skin is Clear: My Morning Routine

how to get clear skin


Every morning I follow the 3 most important steps in skincare: cleanse, tone, moisturize. Even if your skin is more oily than a fresh-out-the-oven pizza, moisturize it with something. Your skin needs to be protected from whatever is floating around in the environment. Mother Nature, you bitch. You can always fight off excess oil with blotting sheets. Needless to say, my morning facial routine goes as follows:

Use Olay Shine Control Lathering Cleanser with my Clarisonic. But if I'm lazy, I use it without the mechanical brush. Oily skin is my big problem and this face wash is the TRUTH.

Swipe Tend Skin all over my face.

Apply Sodium Sulfacetamide Lotion, which is the generic version of Klaron. This is prescribed and I have been using it for 13 years. I highly recommend this product. No, I demand you book an appointment with a Dermatologist and force him or her to write you a prescription for this product.

Dab on StriVectin-EV Get Even Spot Repair to any dark spots.

Drink Vitamin Water Zero with my breakfast. No joke. I have been drinking this stuff for the past 6 months every single morning and I have never seen my skin more radiant than it is now. This beverage hydrates my body, while giving me a natural morning boost that's equivalent to a cup of coffee. Hydrated skin is happy skin.

Bam. There you have it. I do this every morning without skipping a beat. The key to clear skin is finding something that works and being consistent with that beauty regimen.

I bring this up because a week ago, a reader emailed me asking me about my clear skin. And lately almost everyone I know has been complimenting me on my clean complexion. This makes me proud and also very bashful.

I feel like I've told you all my skin tale, but long story short, I've been going to a Dermatologist since I was 10 years old. I'm now 23. All my products (cleanser included) were prescribed until 6 months ago. Now it's only my moisturizers that are doctor-driven. Going to a Dermatologist for 13 plus years has really taught me a lot about skincare, because I'm that annoying patient that asks 50 million questions as the doc is zapping away my moles.

Alas, going through a period of no health insurance—thus no facial meds—my acne went buck wild and I learned how to tame that sucka. Sort of.

If your acne is really bad, try a product with Benzoyl Peroxide. It's really the only acne fighting agent that will actually do something to your pimples. But be careful, it will dry out your face and a dry face is not a happy face.

A lot of trial and error will need to be done to find the right products, but I say try something for at least 2 months. Then, decide if you want to take it or leave it.

I'll share my night-time routine later.

Got any skin tips to share?

May 9, 2012

NAILS: Colorful Tips

colorful tips
Still obsessed with the colored french tip trend, I decided to spruce up my fingers a little bit by painting each nail tip a different color. What do you think?

Get more details on this here: MarieClaire.com

May 7, 2012

Bikram Yoga Challenge: First Week

I haven't been since last Thursday. In my defense, the studio is a long-ass train ride into New York City. However, I am trying to slow myself back in to the Bikram game. I've got 113 days left. I already feel better and as if I am dropping pounds (so I can drop it like it's hot even more).

How To Keep Your Cuticles Neat

nutra nail cuticle remover

When it comes to my hands, I mean business. I moisturize my hands after every time I wash them and my nails are usually perfectly polished. If they're bare, then the nails are cut and kept clean. But the one thing I always pay attention to are my cuticles. Hangnails are the worst. THE. WORST. It's like getting a mild paper cut on your hand. Well, I don't think there's a such thing as a mild paper cut. Paper cuts suck. Period.

To cut my cuticles, I use Nutra Nail Cuticle Remover to soften the skin and then I nip away with my Sally Hansen Push-n-trim. If you don't want to snag these products, soak your fingers in warm water for about a minute then use a cuticle pusher or trimmer to nix your cuticles.

How do you keep your cuticles neat?

May 3, 2012

Bikram Yoga Challenge: Day 3 - I Wrapped My Hair And It Worked!

black girl hair care for bikram yoga hot yoga

Day 2 was a little better than Day 1. I had less heart palpitations, but still needed to Shavasana most of class. Shavasana is a corpse pose where you lay on your back with your heels touching and palms up.

Day 3 was even better. I was able to participate in most of the poses, but still needed to sit out towards the end of the class. I realized that my body is pretty much saying, "WHAT THE F#CK ARE YOU DOING TO ME??!?!!" I'm getting you healthy Dara. THAT'S what I'm doing. It's a real struggle and I can't wait for the classes to stop being challenging and start being relaxing.

I almost tossed my cookies after class. I forgot to eat something a couple hours before and had to suppress the vomit feeling at the top of my stomach. I usually eat a salad beforehand, but it slipped my mind. Tomorrow I will DEFINITELY be eating a little something, something before class.

To solve my wet hair problem, a reader told me to wrap my hair. And you know what, it worked. My hair was still a little wet, but when I unwrapped it, it was straight and soft. Looks like I'll be wrapping my hair for every class. Now that I've got my hair situation out of the way, nothing can stop me.

Dara Gets Fit is in FULL EFFECT. Let's go!

May 1, 2012

Bikram Yoga Challenge: Day 1 - Um, My Hair!

dealing with hair after bikram yoga

I just had my first Bikram Yoga class in months. It basically turned into a 90 minute nap session for me. I didn't drink enough water, felt light headed, had heart palpitations and just wanted to get out of the room. When the class was over, I noticed my hair was soaked and looked like I dunked my head it a bucket of water. I mean, that was expected but now I'm wondering how I can take care of my hair, since I don't wash it every day. Looks like dry shampoo will be my new best friend. Currently using Tigi Catwalk Dry Shampoo.

Cut Your Hair And It Will Grow!

black girl hair cut

My trip to the hair salon this past weekend rendered a new hair-revelation.

I noticed I had split ends and told my stylist to give me a trim. I never really knew why having split ends were such a big faux-pas when it came to hair care (other than making your strands unsightly), so I poked the brain of my hair dresser—like I always do.

As he got scissor happy on my hair, he explained that it's important to cut your ends off if you want to have hair length that is not only long but healthy. I’m trying to grow out my hair after getting an impulse pixie cut a year and a half ago, so he suggested I come in for a trim as often as I would for a relaxer (every six to eight weeks). Your trim schedule should also be based on your hair growth cycle. I'm probably going to get a trim between relaxers or every time I get a relaxer.

Like I've said on here before, I did noticed after cutting off all that "dead" hair, my hair now grows stronger and quicker than ever. I’m trying to upkeep my new long length, so I will definitely be getting a trim as I see needed.


April 30, 2012

Attempt 2: Bikram Yoga 30-Day Challenge

yoga mats
Getty Images
A lovely reader emailed me and asked me about my Bikram Yoga 30-Day Challenge that um, never happened. Why you ask?

Well, remember when I got sick? Yeah. That happened and I basically was not doing anything for a couple weeks. But now I am back on my game and going to buy a monthly Bikram Yoga pass. I will force myself to go everyday granted I don't have a work event that night.

I have firmly decided that I am putting my health first because I absolutely hate my CPAP machine (blog post to come about why I hate that thing) and need to drop my excess weight so sleep apnea is not a problem of mine anymore.


Oh, You CAN'T Sweat Out A Perm?

sweating out a perm

I went to the salon this past weekend to get a perm since I thought I sweated it out. When I sat in the chair, I proclaimed to my stylist that I lost my silky smooth roots to the dance floor. He laughed and said, "There's no such thing."

Track stop. WHAT?!

He then explained that I just really needed a perm because of my new growth.

The real reason it might look like you lost your perm after sweating at the gym (or on the dance floor) is because the salt from the perm is making it look like your relaxer reverted, when it really didn't.

To solve this, wash your hair right after you had your sweat session and your roots should return to looking smooth.

April 25, 2012

NAILS: China Glaze Riveting Polka Dots


A closer look:



I recently got my hands on The Hunger Games China Glaze collection. While I am not a fan of the movie or books, I am a fan on the nail lacquers! I thought this fiery, yet glittery orange color would look cheap. Boy am I glad it doesn't. I added polka dots on my middle fingers so that when I give people the middle finger they'll have something cute to look at. Ha, just kidding. I thought it was a different take on polka dotting. It's like a little surprise! Try it and send me pics!

April 24, 2012

Do you take women-specific vitamins?

vitafusion womens daily multivitamins

I recently decided to switch up the multivitamins I take. Obviously, you guys know I love Vitafusion gummy vitamins. So last month on my regular grocery trip to Target, I noticed VF had new vitamins that were specifically targeted for Women and Men. The Women's Daily Multivitamin Formula offers more bone and metabolism support. Bone support is definitely something us women need because we are more likely to get Osteoporosis.

That being said, I can't help but wonder if my new choice in vitamins aided my weight loss. Hm...

Do you take women-specific vitamins?

April 23, 2012

WTF: I Sweated Out My Perm!

new growth roots after sweating out a perm

This is the first time this has ever happened to me. Before this, I have never been one of those black girls that was afraid of "sweating out her perm."

To those who don't quite understand, let me break it down for you. Women with kinky roots (mainly black women), who desire easy-to-manage or relaxed hair, get a perm (relaxer) every six to eight weeks.

I can blame this catastrophic hair situation on my friend. It was her birthday celebration earlier this month and I broke it down on the dance floor (as I always do). But, that night I was a little extra on the dance floor. The DJ was playing my divas Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé and I couldn't resist! Pouring sweating, my makeup stayed intact, thanks to my great primer. But by the end of the night, I noticed that my straight roots were kinky and I knew I sweated out my perm.

Too soon to get a relaxer, my hair has been in a high bun for the past couple weeks. I will say I do enjoy using my new growth as a way to give my bouffants a little voluminous bump.

But to my ladies who have done this before, what did you do?!

April 16, 2012

Zoya Paz - The Perfect Hot Spring Day Shade!

zoya nail polish paz

Holy hot weather! It is going to be in the 80s today and I can't believe it. Seriously. I'm not ready. I'm not a fan of hot weather...especially spring weather (ah-choo!). I have seasonal allergies. Anyway, I feel like this nail color called Paz from Zoya is perfect for today's weather. It's got such a vibrant and warm hue that screams, "BITCH, IT'S HOT!"

What's your favorite nail lacquer to wear on a hot day?

April 14, 2012

I Repaired My Dry Hair With A Deep Condition

black hair deep condition

Like I said in my previous post, I went to the salon to get a deep condition. I love my hair dresser. He always makes me look good. I only trust him when it comes to my hair. Seriously. When you find a good hair dresser, hold on to them like they are GOLD.

Anyway, my hair is looking replenished. I am now only going to use Head & Shoulders for one wash cycle the next time I shampoo.

April 13, 2012

Head & Shoulders Made My Hair Super Dry

dry hair

I've been a bad girl. I've been using Head & Shoulders shampoo without the proper conditioner. My hair dresser warned me that Head & Shoulders would dry my hair out and that I would need to use a moisture rich conditioner.

Don't get me wrong. I love Head & Shoulders. It really gets rid of my horrible dandruff. But talking to a girlfriend Wednesday night, she confirmed what my hair dresser was telling me. "It'll make your hair stick straight," she continued. "Try combining it with another shampoo, only using it for one wash and the other for the second or third." Trust your girlfriends ladies.

I am going to the salon this Saturday to get a deep condition to fix this super dry hair problem NOW. Ultimately, if you are going to use Head & Shoulders, don't use it alone. You need a moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner as well.

April 12, 2012

TMI Thursday: I Went On Birth Control & Love It!

aviane birth control

And I'm back! Turns out I had Bronchitis and didn't have energy to blog.

So as you know, I went on birth control to combat my heavy flow caused by my Polycystic Ovaries. Freakin' ovaries. Before I said how my flow was still heavy, but it's not that bad anymore. It's actually bare-able! I can predict when my period will come and it only lasts for four days. Sure beats the FIVE MONTH period I once had!

Cue church bells.

That's not all that's great about being on The Pill. Here's why I love it:

I lost 15 pounds. What?! Yeah. I didn't actually think I could lose weight. Now that the number on the scale is going down, I'm going to work to make the number decrease. You know, now that the doc says I need to lose weight because of my Sleep Apnea.

I feel balanced. The one thing all my doctors told me was that I had higher levels of testosterone (thanks to all my years of sports?) and Aviane has boosted my estrogen levels. Man, I feel like a woman!

I have bigger boobs. Ok, this really isn't that much of a plus for me. I really enjoy having small lady lumps and big ones scare me (I have friends who went through breast reduction). However, it is nice to have a front that matches my big 'ol back side.

All in all, I can't believe I didn't go on birth control sooner. My Gyno recommended it to me when I was 18 because she foresaw what was to come from my irregular periods. But hard-headed me thought I would never need it. Man, if I could go back in time.

Are you on birth control? Do you like it?

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