Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beauty Tips that Really Work

OK, let's remember this is not just a food blog, but a gardening and lifestyle blog too. So, with that in mind, I like to try out beauty tips I hear about. I enjoy listening to Eva Scrivo's 'Beauty Talk' at 4:00 pm Saturdays on the Sirius Martha Stewart channel 112. What I love about Eva is that even though she is a big name beauty person in NYC, her advice is so real. She recommends stuff from the drug store, Whole Foods, even items on our pantry shelves.
Several times I had heard her extol Neem oil and a boars hair bristle brush. 'Rub a few drops of Neem oil through your hair and then brush from scalp to ends with this bhb brush.' Now I grew up with the 100 brush strokes a night advice which was crushed in the '80s as rubbish because it would break your hair creating bigger problems. I had a hard time getting my head (pun) around the whole brushing idea. But, I have long hair, it is winter, and the fly-aways are annoying. I bought the Neem oil and brush at Whole Foods. Here is where I part ways with Eva.
The Neem oil is disgusting. It smells like rotten onions. I tried it, once. I almost tossed my dinner. I have to add, I asked my husband to sniff my hair and he didn't find it offensive. Additionally, when I washed my hair the next day, I still could smell the Neem oil afterwards. Big yuck. So, I now use a few drops of sweet almond oil which works very well. To answer your question, No, your hair does not look oily at all.
The bhb brush is wonderful. I have very thick hair so I have to brush it out in sections. It feels like thousands of lilliputians massaging my scalp. You may think this is gross, but I can actually miss a day of shampooing. I shampoo every other day and I can actually go two days, if I want. Why? Because the bhb brush distributes the almond oil and my natural oils down along the hair shaft. My hair is so shiny and it feels smoother. Eva says the brushing actually strengthens the hair. I think it does that because the entire hair shaft is being smoothed with the oil and the brushing thus, the end of the hair which typically dries out and breaks off is getting beneficial oils. All I know is that this old - fashioned notion of brushing before bed is working for me. I do want you to know, I do not do the 100 strokes thing nor has Eva ever recommended that. I probably do a couple or three strokes per section of hair.
The other beauty tip that I tried was using brown mascara on my bottom lashes. Eva says that it will look so much more natural. It does. In fact, I have always disliked mascara'ing my lower lashes because it looked so "Liza Minnelli". Using black mascara on the upper lashes, and the brown below is a soft, natural look. Here is how I achieve it: First, I use an eyelash curler on my upper lashes. Then I use Lancome Lash Extender on my upper outer lashes and my lower outer lashes. While the extender is still wet, I brush the black mascara (Aveda) on my upper lashes, slightly wiggling the brush. Eva says you get a more even look by jiggling the brush a bit, and she also says in order for the extender to do it's job you have to apply mascara immediately for the bonding to work properly. Then, I use the brown mascara on my lower lashes.
It seems to put the lower lashes in a supporting role rather than a competition for attention. I think you'll love the look.
I always joke, "the garden veggies don't care what I look like, but I do." It doesn't matter what you are doing or who you are seeing that day, take a few minutes for yourself.

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