Blog pic

Blog pic

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Sun Won't Always Leave You Smiling

Like most people this time of year, you probably have been sitting poolside soaking up the sun in your favorite swimsuit and sporting your wavy natural hair. It's summer, and as usual, I hear every person I know talk about how tan they are or "need" to become. I'm guilty of it too, although my pasty white self won't tan much at all no matter how hard I try.

Before I start, this isn't a blog post for me to tell you what to do. You can do whatever you want, and that's your decision. I'm no doctor either, so I did as much research as I could to simply tell you what tanning really does. From there, it is up to you what you do. 

I'm sure you've cooked some sort of meat in the oven, whether it be turkey at Thanksgiving or chicken during those cold winter months. You put it in and it's as white as snow, and when you take it out, it's a nice golden color. Sounds delicious right? Now think of yourself as that meat. That's what tanning is. 

In simple terms, tanning browns you the same way it cooks meat, so in a way, you are literally baking yourself. That probably doesn't seem so nice anymore, does it?

There are three types of rays that the sun produces: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Lucky for us, the ozone layer absorbs the UVC rays, so they don't affect us, but UVA and a little bit of UVB rays do. Here's a little bit of a science lesson for you.  UVB rays have short wavelengths which only allow them to penetrate the outer layer of the skin which is also called the epidermis. These kinds of rays cause the least harmful sunburn. In contrast, UVA rays have long wavelengths which sink into the middle layer of the skin called the dermis. Burns that are deeper are much more harmful and much more likely to cause cancer. The tan results when the UV rays oxidize (a chemical reaction) the melanin in the skin.  Everyone has a different amount of melanin which is just a pigment. The different UV rays affect the melanin in different ways which I won't get into because you've probably had enough of the school lesson especially since we are on break.

Some people may tell you that tanning beds are better than laying out...that is 100% false. They are just as harmful and since the rays are usually purely UVA rays, your chances of getting cancer just continue to increase.

So what are the risks? I know you are aware that tanning causes skin cancer even if you didn't already know that before this blog post, and that's not a myth or something to ignore. According to, about 5 million people are treated for skin cancer ever single year in the U.S. alone, which would be like the entire population of Colorado developing skin cancer. And on top of that, more people develope skin cancer than all the other cancers combined.

If that doesn't worry you, you will also age twice as fast as someone who doesn't tan.  I can promise that is true because I've seen people who grew up tanning and they look much older than someone else the same age.  No wrinkle cream can help you on that one! It also dries your skin out and can cause marks on your skin.

According to the American Cancer Society, you are more likely to develop skin cancer if you, "[have] pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much or at all, natural red or blond hair), [are exposure] to large amounts of coal tar, paraffin, arsenic compounds, or certain types of oil, you or members of your family have had skin cancers, multiple or unusual moles, [have had] severe sunburns in the past, [have a] weakened immune system, and/or [are] older aged (although melanomas can also occur in younger people)."
Cancer is very serious, and I'm not sure why no one seems to think about that risk before they tan. Laying out, tanning beds, and other forms of UV radiation are not healthy and once you've developed skin cancer, you can't get rid of it like you do with a cold or the flu. It can be very dangerous, not to mention expensive to treat, and can turn your world completely upside down. 

Just put on some sunscreen!!!

It's funny that we would be willing to bake ourselves the same way we bake chicken just to achieve that gorgeous color. But what's more ironic is that there are alternatives (take it from the girl that matches the shade of vanilla ice cream). There are so many fake tanners to chose from it is unbelievable, but the trick is to find one that doesn't make you comparable to an orange. I've tried them all, from foams to lotions to spray-on's. You can try them for yourself so they work best with your skin, but my two recommendations are:
  • Jerkins tanning lotion in medium to dark
  • Fake Bake Airbrush Instant Self-Tan
In my opinion, I would much rather use a fake tan and sunscreen, and keep my skin healthy with less wrinkles or risk cancer. But hey, you do you!

I truly hope you learned something by reading this or maybe it just made you reconsider what you are exposing yourself to. Enjoy the sun, but please stay safe!

Love Always,
Bree x

P.S. I will be going to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to visit my friends so I will be sharing my experiences and pictures in traveling blogs so stay posted for that!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Taking Life Head On

Feeling much like a college student, I got home from work very late and had not eaten, so I decided that I would attempt to make pasta sauce with no recipe. I started throwing cheese, butter, milk, flour, and an assortment of spices that I really didn't know what to do with together, and prayed that it would turn out well.  For some reason, I seemed to think this would be easy. 

Although I wish I could tell you that I'm some magical chef from a movie that instantly came up with an amazing cheesy food, the sauce was nothing short of terrible. Way too much garlic. Consistency was like overbeaten mashed potatoes. There really isn't much to say about it except that it was bad. (I did do a great job of boiling noodles though, so I guess I'm not completely hopeless).

But as I was sitting there eating my noodles and awful sauce because I still can hear my mom telling me I can't waste food because kids in other countries are starving, I realized that although I did a bad job, at least I gave it a shot. I tried, and that's all I could have asked of myself.

Moral of that story, no one knows what they're doing. That includes teachers, your parents, your best friend, the old man down the one really knows how they are supposed to get through life. 

I'm always being asked what I want to do. Where am I going to college? Where am I going to live? How much money am I going to make? All those questions one is asked towards the end of high school. Lucky for me, I do have some sort of plan. It's majorly discombobulated, but a plan none the less. 

I'm not saying that having a plan isn't a great thing, but I hear so many people say they just don't know. And in my opinion, that's okay. I don't think we all have to know exactly what we are going to do. I don't think we all have to pick some "impressive" career that will give us all large houses and nice cars. The point is, we just need to be ready and open to whatever comes our way. We need to be ready to throw loads of stuff together and hope it works. Even if it doesn't work, we never really failed because we took a chance. And from all the times we take chances, we learn something new, something to improve upon. 

So to all those new high school students who are scared to death, it's not that bad. To all those new college students that don't know what they want yet, you'll figure it out when you're supposed to. To all those new parents and workers and anyone who just feels lost, you're going to be alright.  And maybe you're reading this saying, "she's too young to know anything," and maybe you think I'm wrong, but I don't think I have to be ninety to see that life works in weird ways, but it always works out for the better. I've never seen things not turn around, and I don't think that I will. 

So I will leave you with this...
Take a deep breath. Take chances. Keep your head up and your smile wide. Be nice. And whatever you do, keep going. 

Enjoy your week!

Love Always, 
Bree x

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Favorites

What time is it? Summer time! 

Sorry, that was corny. But even if you didn't understand or appreciate that High School Musical reference, the fact is, it's summer. School is finally out and the sun is too. That means doing your hair and makeup is probably the last thing you want to be doing, and I agree. So this week I'm going to tell you the products I love to use in the summer that don't take loads of time to use and aren't heavy.

Let's get right to it!

As much fun as it is sitting there with a hair tool that is about 350 degrees trying to get your hair to look perfect, the summer is more about looking the most natural as you can be. Drop the curling irons and straighteners and go for mousse and hairspray. If you have even the slightest amount of natural wave in your hair, you can scrunch your hair to give it very natural, beachy curls. 

The mousse I use is the Herbal Essence Body Envy Volumizing Mousse. It has a strength of 4 so it gives you the biggest results and not to mention it smells like oranges and sunshine...who doesn't want that? It works best when all of your hair is wet and air drying, but make sure it's not sopping wet. 

After I've scrunched my hair with the mousse, I use the Biosilk Silk Therapy Finished Spray with a Natural Hold.  I spray it in my hair and continue scrunching until I like the way it looks. It holds all day and it also smells nice. It is also amazing as a regular hair spray after you use hot tools so you don't need to go get a different hairspray for that (Saving money one step at a time).

Recently, my sister and I have found a brush that is so gentile on your hair when it is wet and gets out the tangles. It's called the Wet Brush-Pro by Wet Brush. Apparently the double-coated bristles don't wrip out your hair like normal brushes, and although I am not sure why that is, I'll take it if that means less split ends. 

I also apply the Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco by OGX to keep my hair soft and healthy after I have brushed it. I would highly recommend this product because I can't explain how good it smells and it is so hydrating on my dry hair during the summer. 

To wash my face, I've been using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in pink grapfruit. Let me just say that if I didn't know better, I would probably eat it. It smells so fresh and delicious and it makes my skin feel super clean. It exfoliates with the small bursting beads in it and I couldn't love it more. If you haven't given it a try yet, do it now. You won't regret it.

As for makeup, the less and the lighter, the better this time of year. I use the Garnier BB Cream in Light/Medium all over my face. It has an SPF in it and also covers up some unevenness.  It makes my face feel very soft as well.  As for mascara, I'm always trying out new ones, but recently I've been using the Mega Plush Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara by Maybelline in Very Black. My personal favorite is the Waterproof Lash Blast Volume by Covergirl, but I do love how natural the Maybelline one makes my lashes look. It also stays on all day which is what's most important. 

If there's something you have been using and love, please leave it in the comments below because I love trying new products out. Hopefully this helped give you a list of new things for this summer and enjoy soaking up the sun and relaxing!

Love Always,
Bree x