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:

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.

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