Those automatic hair curlers freak me out

InstaWave-by-KissBack for another Beauty Talk Tuesday, are ya? Last week I skipped out on a beauty post because I wanted to tell you about our new huge bed. But now we’re back to talking about beauty again.

Have you seen these automatic hair curlers around? Whether it be on TV commercials, or in my case — youtube beauty channels? They had freaked me out for the longest time. Mainly because I envisioned my own hair being sucked into the vacuum-like wand and getting tangled for the rest of my life and having to get it cut out.

Just like that time I had to have my hair cut out of a swing set in my parents back yard when I was a kid. I was twirling and twirling the seat around and then boom. Hair caught. Devastation ensued.

Well, if I caught your interest, you’re going to have to read through this post to see if I like the Kiss InstaWave automatic curler, and whether or not it scared me.

Initial thoughts:

  1. It was going to burn my fingers.
  2. My hair was going to get caught.
  3. It was going to be easy to use.
  4. My hair would stay curled.

Unfortunately for 3 and 4, it was false to all, even after using the tool a number of times. Sigh.

The curler itself has two heat settings: low and high. I set it on low because my fine hair doesn’t need to go up to 420*F any any time in its hair-life. It also has two directions you can rotate the iron which makes an obnoxious noise when you use it. But that’s nothing to fret over.

Curling-my-hair

Letting-hair-goIt’s important to note that you remove your curl going in a downwards (not out/diagonal) motion. I’m not sure what happens if you break the rules and take your hair out diagonally. I decided not to try.

Curling-harCurling this side of my head (and the back side) was something I’ll definitely have to get used to. I found it quite difficult. This is my annoyed face. It took a couple of tries to get this particular piece of hair to curl without falling out. It’s my hairs problem, not the product. My hair is too silky, even as second-day-hair.

Tangled-hairI tangled my hair a couple of times, but it didn’t get stuck like I thought it would. I had to take this picture though, the curl after that little rats nest needed another moment in the automatic curler. Hoo, wee.

After-curlingAfter I curled all of my hair. It left it with more of a wave, and it didn’t take nearly as long as it would with a regular curling wand – did the trick, and if I really wanted it to stay put, I would’ve had to spray a ton of hairspray in. I just left it be, though.

Reasons why I’m pretty sure it didn’t work in my hair:

  1. My hair is difficult to curl (and hold a curl without an entire can of hair spray).
  2. My hair is silky and fine, thus making it slip out of the automatic curler and not have a strong curl from the beginning.

Who I think would benefit from this type of curling wand:

  1. Those who are lucky and have a ton of thick hair.
  2. People with longer than shoulder length hair.

With-curler-in-hand

What are your thoughts on an instant curling product? Would you use it?

Disclaimer: I received this product for review.

Making your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary

beautyrest-headerSince our last bedroom makeover, we have upgraded to a king sized mattress (from a tiny double!) and said goodbye to our beloved headboard that I so desperately loved. I’m not entirely sure if we could get a king sized headboard up the stairs, as our box spring came split into two smaller box springs. Had no idea those even existed!

Today I’m showing you our brand new bedroom. Feeling a little more grown up with some new accents added to the room, but still missing a headboard. I’ve added our Ikea 26×26 pillows to the back to replicate it somewhat. But it’s definitely no fancy tufted headboard like we had in the past. Minor problems.

Funny how I’m excited over a new house-things over a few insignificant articles of clothing. Ah, all part of growing up isn’t it. Priorities change. But when you live with an Ironman Triathlete who trains 6 to 7 days a week (that’s three sports you guys) greet him at the door when he comes home, only to realize he’s so exhausted from working long hours then leaving work to either swim, bike or run — you realize that you need an upgrade when it comes to sleeping properly.

Zebra-rugHis evening routine goes a little something like this… The garage door opens. Alfie and I run down to greet him. We talk about his day a little bit, while I make supper. The Guy puts his work bag down and stretches out onto the floor on our new rug (I have to admit, it’s very comfortable, especially that silky tan part under my feet. So smooth!) and relaxes for a minute, which turns into over an hour or more, see where I’m going with this? It’s easy to see he doesn’t get too much quality sleep as it is.

Only since we moved to California, it clicked. The Guy hasn’t been getting enough rest ever since we started sleeping in the same bed, nightly almost 10 years ago. What can I say, I may be a slow learner but I learn from those mistakes!

We may be a small sized couple, but for those last 10 years, we have been sleeping on a double sized bed. Hardly big enough for a teenager, let alone someone who likes to sprawl out, sleep diagonally while the husband gets a few inches of room at the edge of the bed, and little blanket. Poor guy.

So what other way to win the best wife of the year award? I UPGRADE us. Yeah buddy.

striped-beddingBeautyrest allowed us to upgrade from our firm double mattresses, to a king sized Recharge mattress. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t specify the type of mattress firmness we’d like. When the delivery guys came up the stairs (folding a king sized mattress in HALF to bring it up two flights of winding stairs) I realized we received the softest mattress they make. Oops. While we completely enjoy our space and the size mattress we have, it definitely took a lot of getting used to. Hence the late review as we received it back in January.

Paintings-in-bedroomI’m pretty sure the Beautyrest is mainly for side sleepers like my husband, which is fantastic for him. I’m a back sleeper, with one hand over my head most nights, so my neck is a little crinky a couple of times throughout the week. Thankfully it doesn’t last too long after I wake up.

flowers-on-nightstandIf I were to go back and get another mattress by them, I’d definitely get a firmer one. This one I feel like it sucks you in like a big ol’ marshmallow. Super comfortable for the first while, but again — we’re the couple that prefers the opposite. Clearly, we’re used to it now, and it’s best kind.

Striped-duvetFreakin’ eh man, it’s so hard to take photos of bedspreads, duvet covers, and general bedding photography. I got out my steam cleaner and spent a good hour going over both duvet covers to get the pesky wrinkles out, and it didn’t work so well. A complete waste of time, considering they’re going to be wrinkled as we sleep in them. It’s like ironing your underwear and socks. Does anyone do that?

3-pics-in-1I love how our master bedroom looks with all the golds and whites, but it’s definitely missing a nice headboard like we had last time. My husband thinks he can simply attach our double-sized headboard to the back of this one, and it’ll look fine. Uhh.

Unison-Home-duvet-cover

Christy-Linens-duvet-coverYou might notice there’s two duvet covers shown in the photos. That’s because I have two that were sent to me. I’m still undecided as to which one should be our main one, but I really like them both so much (the striped one is more us, and the embroidered one feels more grown up and fancy to me — like being in a hotel).

Checking-phone-on-bedSide note, it’s incredibly difficult to take self-timed photographs of yourself.

Alfie-with-stripesI think once we add the final touches to our master (aka a headboard and maybe some more paintings on the wall), it’ll really start feeling like a relaxing sanctuary.

Candle-wedding-day-and-flow

Alfie-staring

Jeans-on-rug

Petting-Alfie

beautyrest-king-size

I have a question for those that own a king sized bed. Do you have king sized pillows? Because the one’s that came in the Christy Linens sheet set and duvet cover set are almost as long as I am tall. I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever seen a king sized pillow before — because holy guac the cases are enormous!

Urban Barn faux flowers & white vases | West Elm gold photo frame | Beautyrest Recharge mattress* | Rugs USA Zebra rug* | Christy Linens Chantilly duvet cover & cases*, Egyptian Platinum sheet set* & ivory candle | Unison Home Sailor + Regatta Pewter duvet cover | Paris print & painting (received in a swag bag, I’m not sure where they are from!) | O.co night tables

Disclaimer: Items marked with an * were sent for review.

How to self-tan at home (step-by-step!)

Self-tanner-headerAs much as I love the California sun, and I’ve always said to people I’ve been born to live down in the warmth — I don’t love sitting out in the sun and baking my skin all day long. For one being the obvious skin cancer, and secondly I burn easily, and I get bored of laying out.

A couple of people in person asked me how I get so dark, when I tell them I use self-tanner, they’re almost always shocked at how natural it looks. So today I’m showing you, whether or not you’re super pale or already have a nice olive skin tone how to apply self tanner, and what tanners I recommend without sitting in the sun baking your skin with all those UV rays ruining and wrinkling your skin up!

favourite-self-tannersI have a number of favourite self-tanners that I use (bareMinerals Faux Tan Body, St. Moriz mousse in dark, Fake Bake flawless darker, and finally Clarins Self-tanning instant gel + Liquid Bronze +  is what I used on my wedding day!). Everyone is different and prefers different brands. But for the sake of this review, I will be only using one self-tanner to keep things simple, the bareMinerals Faux Tan Body.

For the best and most natural looking tan you need to start off by preparing your skin before the application. I’ve been using a self-tanner for 5-ish years and I am always being complimented on how natural it looks!

Prep your skin:

Exoliating-mittsExoliate in the shower
My skin is on the normal to dry side, so I want to scrub off all the dry dead skin before applying a fresh coat of self-tanner. I would suggest hopping in the shower to shave, then exfoliate your skin with an exfoliator mitt, and a body scrub without oil in it. Oil will hydrate your skin and leave it too moisturized therefore your tan will not stick on, and it will apply patchy!
Tip: I pick up my exfoliating mitts at the dollar store! No need to spend any more than a dollar on these.

philosophy-grace-moisturizeApply moisturizer to stubborn dry areas
Once you’re dried off get out your thick moisturizer (I like to use body butters) and apply it to the tops and bottoms of your feet and in between your toes, apply more to your knee caps, and elbows.
Tip: I use either philosophy whipped body butter or lush’s dream cream

Self-tanner-and-mittBuy gloves and a tanning mitt
Since I’m scared about having the palms of my hands dyed, I like to use disposable gloves underneath the tanning mitts.
Tip: You can pick up disposable gloves anywhere, and I found that the tanning mitts are beneficial for an even tan — those can be purchased online (I get mine from eBay) or at Sephora, Ulta, Shoppers Drug Mart.

How to tan:

bareMinerals-tan

Applying-self-tanner

Self-tan-one-sideI prefer to work my way up the body in sections so I don’t miss spots. I prefer to either work in circular motions or in straight lines upwards/downwards. Use a full length mirror to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. To tan your back (it’s tough around the shoulder blades/spine area) ask someone to do it for you, or if your left arm is super flexible like mine, you’re grand. For the last picture shown above, I only did one half of my body so you can truly tell how dark it can get. I like to be extra dark, but you don’t have to apply as much tanner as I do (I do 10 pumps of bareMinerals Faux Tan Body on each segment: calf/shin then 10 pumps on thighs, 10 pumps on upper arm, then same on lower arm). What’s great about self tanners is that you can go as light or as dark as you want, depending on how much product you use.

Tip: If you want to get extra dark for a special occasion, allow your self tanner to dry for the recommended 6-8 hours, then apply a second coat of another product (for this, I prefer to use Fake Bake’s product since it has a different type of colour when applied, a more red-toned). Sometimes I just use this on my legs, or just on my chest area. But it certainly makes a difference. If you don’t wait until your first layer is dry, you’ll ruin/streak the tan.

Leave feet/hands for lastSelf-tan-handsToes/hands are the most difficult areas on the body to tan as that is where you can ultimately see what mistakes you made. Finally after a number of years, I have perfected how to apply self tanner to those areas without them looking unnatural. Here’s how!

  1. HANDS: With my rubber glove still on one hand (your left hand say), apply a bunch of hand cream to your right. Don’t rub it in the entire way. We’re going to act like the tanner is like a tinted moisturizer.
  2. You can either pump out the smallestamountofproductonto your glove (not even 1/8th of a pump!), or put the tanning mitt back on. I do either/or:
    1. With the mitt, since it already has tanner on it, lightly sweep over your hand. Make sure your hand is in a ‘claw’ shape so you don’t miss the creases.
    2. Or, with the disposable glove, I feel like I have more control and it’s like I’m using the tips of my fingers to rub it in, and get it all even.
  3. Once the tanner is applied to your hands, grab a tissue and go over the stubborn areas and wipe them off! I always wipe off my tanner on my knuckles, nail area, otherwise I feel like it gets too dark.
  4. Same goes for the wrists, make sure you don’t apply too much, and make it flow to your hand in a gradient so to speak, so it looks natural.
  5. FEET: Gosh, these are always the worst to do. I apply it the same way, but you really need to take your time doing it. And make sure you have tons of lotion on, not all the way rubbed in. I mean, coating it. It’s going to look ridiculous and you’re going to second-guess me,  but trust me on this. You don’t want orange feet. I don’t really do the back part of my ankles/heel since you’re putting so little tanner on your feet, you don’t need to put it there (as much). Follow the same steps as on your hands, but be more cautious and use a tissue to wipe a lot of it off, especially if you’re going to be wearing sandals. Damped the tissue and run it along the base/side of your foot if you’ve applied too much, again—we’re going for the gradient look here, not a stark tan. If you think you’ve applied too little, stop. You’ve applied just enough. I’ve made the mistake of going back in and re-applying thinking I was going to be too light.

Wear loose clothing and allow your tan to dry
Full-body-after-selftanStay naked for as long as you can, or until the tanner dries, about 15 minutes. I tend to do this at night time when I’m getting ready for bed.
Tip: Wear loose dark clothing – the guide may leave marks on your lighter clothes but it will wash out.

Wash the guide off in the morning
A self tanner usually has a guide so you know where you’ve applied your tan. You need to wash it off in the morning and then you’re left with a tan for about 5-7 days.

Self tanners I recommend

Faux-Tan-BodyYes, I use all the self tanners listed below on my face, with no issues. Tip: If you’re more comfortable with sunless tanner, try layering them to get a deeper colour. Once summer hits, I apply my first coat of self tanner and apply a second brand 4-6 hours later and I’m SUPER dark. If you apply too soon, the colour will streak.

bareMinerals Faux Tan Body ($26USD / $32CDN)
Pros: Although I listed this as a pro, I love how quick it dries, and I don’t feel sticky afterwards. You do have to work at a faster pace than if you were to use mousse sprays. It has a really nice smell (like a food, but I can’t put my finger on it. Apple?). It feels moisturizing when blending it into the skin.
Cons: It dries quickly, so I wouldn’t recommend this to people who are new to tanning. Although, if you’re concerned about that I would recommend you mix it with your moisturizer for a lighter glow. So don’t miss out on this product simply because of the drying time.

St. Moriz mousse in dark ($8.13USD)
Pros: The cheapest self-tanner I’ve used, and the one I reach for the most.
Cons: If this even counts as a con, it’s rarely sold at Ulta, and so I have to buy it on eBay and it takes a few weeks to get in since it comes from the United Kingdom.

Clarins self-tanning instant gel ($37USD /$37CDN)
Pros: Smells good, doesn’t leave a sticky residue and is relatively available at many stores.
Cons: If you use too much you will turn more orange, so you have to be cautious. It also applies clear so it’s easy to miss spots.

Fake Bake flawless darker ($30USD at Ulta but $13 on Amazon!)
Pros: Excellent for layering. It has a fine mist and a nice reddish undertone so it’s mimics an authentic tan.
Cons: I don’t like to use mists (I find that it’s a bit messier). Other than that, it’s definitely in my top 3 of must-buy tanners.

Prolong your tan

Simple and to the point, to prolong your tan make sure you moisturize every day. If you notice it is wearing off and want to remove the rest, hop in the shower and exfoliate and start the whole regimen all over again :)

Self-tannerDisclaimer: I asked to the PR company if I could review the bareMinerals faux tan body because I am a fan of self-tanners and wanted to try this one out.