A Guide To Happy, Healthy Hair

My hair history is a bit crazy. In high school, I never had hair longer than shoulder length, and at one point I was rocking the pixie cut (or at least I thought I was..) Because I had short hair, I always had to style it. So using heat on my hair became a habit. Senior year I decided to grow my hair out, and right before beginning my freshman year of college I began to bleach the ends of my naturally dark hair.

Since then, my hair has been ombre-d, balayage-d, lightened all over, bleached, and toned countless times. (at one point it was a nice shade of gray) My hair is now a honey brown and actually pretty healthy, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, I just cut off around 3 inches of ends that were totally damaged and dead from mistreatment and over-bleaching.

If you want to know how I maintain my color while keeping my locks happy and healthy, read on!

  • First things first.. don’t over do it with the bleaching and coloring. Your hair needs time to become strong again, and giving it time to “heal” between lightening sessions is very important. I’m no expert, but I would definitely ask your stylist how long you should wait before trying to go lighter again.
  • Since my hair is naturally black, the lightened parts of my hair tend to get “brassy” or orange-toned. I personally don’t like this, as I tend to like the more ashy brown/blonde tones on me. To avoid brassiness, I use a purple shampoo. The brand I use is Not Your Mother’s and it works wonderfully. I find that it doesn’t dry out my hair like many purple shampoos do, and it does a good job of keeping brassiness at bay. It’s important to use color-friendly shampoos and conditioners if you want your color to last longer. Try to look for sulfate free products, as they are more gentle on the hair.
  • I also don’t wash my hair every day. I know that sounds gross, but it keeps my hair from being dry and lifeless. The days that I don’t wash, I usually wear my hair “natural” (no straightening!) and put some dry shampoo in. But if it feels a little more greasy than normal, I’ll put it up in a messy bun.
  • A habit I broke to keep my hair healthy is using heat. I rarely straighten my hair anymore, and I only curl it from time to time. I shower at night, so I usually have time to let my hair air-dry mostly, and then blast it with the blow dryer for a couple minutes (after I spray some heat protectant all over my hair). But other than that, I try to stay away from using heat on my hair because it helps it stay healthy and looking shiny. Also, rinsing your hair with cool water is a good habit to form. Really hot water is not good for your hair!
  • My final tip is to use hair masks. I use L’Oreal’s Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm on my hair around 2-3 times a week. After shampooing and rinsing, I massage this into the roots of my hair and into the ends, then leave it on for around 5 minutes. Once I rinse with cool water, my hair is silky smoothy and tangle/knot free. I’ve been using this product for around two months now, and I can tell that my hair is already so much healthier and stronger than it was before.

 

I hope these tips have helped you and given you some pointers on how to get your hair back to where it’s happy and healthy. ❤

With love,
Erin ❤

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music monday flor – hold on music video

 

This is my favorite music video of the moment. From the incredible sounds that they produce in their music, to their use of visuals and fluorescent colours, Flor is definitely a band to watch this year. Their use of visuals often reminds me of the 1975, but their sound is a little softer and more ethereal.

I absolutely love the visuals used in this music video, and it kind of gives me Studio Ghibli meets Wes Anderson vibes. I really like the violet-y pink colour palette, and the nostalgic feeling that the storyline of the story gives. Plus the actress is super cute with her pixie cut and doe eyes.

Flor is set to release more new music this year, and I can’t wait. They’re also going on tour, where they will be performing some of their shows with GroupLove! I’ll be seeing them at the end of January in Cleveland and I can’t wait.

Check it more of Flor’s music on Spotify  and find more details on their upcoming shows on their website here.

when your heart is discouraged and your soul doubts

If I were to be honest, it’s been a rough kind of week. I have faced much disappointment and confusion, and hurt from certain situations and relationships. I’m left feeling a little betrayed and a little hurt, but mostly discouraged.

I’m tired. I’m tired of where I am right now, tired of the hurt and disappointment. I’m weary from fighting battle after battle, and trying to keep my head above the waves. I’m not where I want to be, my heart is straining for what’s ahead and what could be, but it’s stuck here. And my discontentment is breeding doubt. I’m doubting that this is where I’m supposed to be.

And I know I’m not the only one that’s feeling wounded from situations or relationships in their lives. I know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling so discouraged, so doubtful. I know I’m not the only one.

And I wish I had the words for those who feel the way I do, but I’m not full of wisdom or insight. I don’t know what the right things to say are.

But what I do know is that there are promises for us, ailments for our hurting hearts and sick souls in the Word.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. //
Psalm 34:18

I am an incredibly introspective person, who is perhaps a little too self-aware. I hid away inside myself when I am feeling a little too much, and I retreat to the back parts of my mind, as if I’ll find answers there to answer the “why”. I don’t like to leave questions unanswered, and I like to find those answers for myself. But sometimes (most times) I don’t have the answers to why things are the way they are. And I don’t know why things must hurt as much as they do.

But I serve a kind and just God who has a plan and a purpose for everything that I go through, all the little and big hurts I feel. I serve a God who doesn’t seek to bring pain to my life, but lets me walk through fires and storms so that I can better experience His sovereignty and faithfulness. I serve a God who promises to be a good Father, even in a world full of heartbreakingly bad situations.

The LORD is righteous in all His way and kind in all His deeds. // Psalm 145:17

Even though my heart is wrestling with discontentment and worry about what is to come, my future rests in the hands of a God who has been faithful in every season in my life, and will be faithful in every season to come. He has held me up when I was struck in my grief, and He has led me through the darkest hours of my life. When I look back at the valleys and storms and fires and mountains He’s led me through, how could I ever doubt that He will be faithful now and in the future?

In my deepest doubt and furthest wandering, still He chooses to rescue my heart and bring me home. When I didn’t want to seek Him, He sought me. When I didn’t want to love, He loved me. It amazes me how He still chooses to see me as His child, even when I’ve been more like a prodigal.

A thousand times I’ve failed, still Your mercy remains. And should I stumble again, still I’m caught in Your grace // hillsong

If your heart is filled with discouragement and you find yourself doubting, I want to encourage you to look back. Remember the difficult times that you’ve been through and the darkness that you’ve seen. Remember the storms. Remember the tragedies and the loss and the brokenness. But also remember that you are here right now. You made it. He saw you through some of the most difficult things in your life. He carried you through it all. He lead you through the darkness and through the valleys and through the storms before, and He will continue to do so. He has been faithful and He will continue to be.

I know it’s easy to settle into discouragement and doubt, because it seems (for a little while at least) comfortable. It is familiar. But you cannot stay there. We cannot stay there. We cannot let our hearts get weighed down by the hurt, we cannot let our souls start to forget His faithfulness. We cannot stay here. We must choose to remember His faithfulness and His sovereignty in our lives, for that is the only way our discouraged hearts and doubting souls can be healed.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. // Psalm 147:3

my top 5 beauty picks

You know those beauty products that you just can’t live without? That you would just be so lost without it in your normal routine?

I’m definitely a creature of habit, especially in my skincare/beauty routine. I thought I’d share my top 5 beauty picks with you, and how I incorporate them into my daily routine.

 

  1. Micellar Water by Simple5a67a022-b763-4543-9674-e75f3d5e967d-_cb312494333__sr285285_
    This stuff is amazing. I have really sensitive, dry skin that’s prone to redness and discoloration. I actually was using another cleanser by Simple before I switched over to micellar water, so I readily tried out the micellar cleanser. And my skin has honestly never been in better condition!I dampen a cotton pad with the micellar water and rub it into my skin. It removes any makeup and dirt off my face easily, without being too harsh on my skin.

    Get it here! 

  2. Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Moisturizer lbd-48234-1Again, I have really dry, sensitive skin. Lubriderm has been my go to moisturizer for years now, and this advanced therapy formula helps keep my skin soft and smooth – even in the winter!

    Get it here! 

  3. Maybelline “Fit Me” Concealer

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    This concealer  has been called a low price dupe for the NARS concealer. I really like this because it goes on and blends easily, and there are multiple color choices for almost every skin tone.

    Get it here!

  4. L’Oreal Total Repear 5
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    This stuff is AMAZING! I have extremely dry and damaged hair from all the bleaching and dying I’ve done to it. I use this hair balm a few times a week to keep my hair shiny, smooth, and hydrated.

    Get it here! 

  5. St. Ives Apricot Scrub

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    Making sure your skin is exfoliated is SO important! Exfoliation helps to scrub away the dead skin and dirt that’s deep in your skin, revealing the soft skin below. I’ve been using St. Ives since middle school, and it’s by far my favorite exfoliator.

    Get it here!

What are your favorite products that you incorporate to your beauty routine?

With love,

Erin ❤

StyleWe: Dress Review + Try On!

I’m so excited to share this little collaboration I got to do with the brand StyleWe. Style We is an online website that delivers “Designers At Fingertips,” meaning that their designer quality dresses are just a click away on their online shop.

In exchange for two dresses from the site, Style We asked me to review them on my blog and Instagram account.

The first dress is a gorgeous red color, with the super trendy cold shoulder detail. It has a cute high low skirt, with a peplum around the waist. This one gives me major Taylor Swift vibes, and I can’t wait to find an event to wear it to!


(You can get the dress here!)

The second one they sent me is a trendy LBD. I love the scalloped, off the shoulder neckline. It really accentuates the waist, and would look great dressed up or down. I think it would be perfect for a modern Audrey Hepburn look!


Get it here!

Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of these dresses. The fabric is thick and sturdy, and you can tell it’s quality. The workmanship of the dress is amazing too, and I have yet to find a lose thread or uneven stitching. The sizing was perfect for me (I am around 5 foot and muscular, and I got size smalls). They list measurements online, so it’s easy to find your size if you’re unsure what to order!

I definitely recommend Style We, and hope to collaborate more with them in the futures.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to give Style We a follow on Instagram: @stylewe and check out their shop online here.

With love,

Erin<3

trendy tuesday: winter trends + how to style them

The Trend: Sock Boots

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We can thank Kanye and his YEEZY brand to making sock boots so popular! For this look, I chose a pair of varsity inspired sock boots and paired them with a midi-length turtleneck dress. I wanted to keep the color palette simple, so I added a red fur coat as well as minimalist accessories. Shop the look below!

The Trend: Bomber Jackets + Wide Legs
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Bomber jackets are here to stay this season! And for this look, I wanted to pair it with wide-leg pants. So to add a bit of “edge” to the look, I picked out a metallic bomber jacket with a red turtle neck underneath. (i love this shade of red!) With some basic (but super functional!) black pumps and trendy accessories. Shop the look below!//shopsensewidget.shopstyle.com/#/?options=%7B%22widgetId%22%3A%225871a2f7e7055a3c3df96275%22%2C%22version%22%3A1%2C%22pid%22%3A%22uid16-37909996-57%22%2C%22size%22%3A200%2C%22columns%22%3A3%2C%22rows%22%3A1%2C%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fapi.shopstyle.com%2Fapi%2Fv2%22%2C%22iframeHeight%22%3A275%2C%22iframeWidth%22%3A705%7D
The Trend: Slip Dresses
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The slip dress hails from the 90s, and I am such a fan of its comeback! The black slip dress looks flattering on anyone, and to add some sparkle I layered it over a metallic top. The gray coat keeps the look warm, while the booties give the look some height. To add a little more 90s vibes, I added a choker and a velvet clutch. Shop the look below!

#CreativeCrush – Madison!

Do you follow any designers/photographers/stylists on instagram whose work you just totally ADORE? I certainly do! As a creative, I’m always looking out for inspiration in other’s work, or for a new friend who has similar (or totally different) styles as me. Iron sharpens iron, so I think it is important for we as creatives to build a strong sense of positive and encouraging community around us. We ought to stop treating the world of art and design as a competition, and rather see it as a common ground. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and we should share in those together.

With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to start a series called Creative Crushes where I will be posting about a fellow creative and their work. Their specialities will range from design to photography to poetry to fashion design to interior design to just about anything else. My hope in this is to bring attention to some truly amazing creatives and give them a chance to share about themselves.

This week’s creative crush is Madison Booth, who is currently a fashion design student at Kent State University.

creative_madison_b

I’ve been following Madison’s instagram for a couple years now, and I absolutely love seeing her snapshots of the behind the scenes of fashion design. I especially love how she shows a sketch of a piece she’s drawn next to the finished product. It almost seems like magic, how she is able to turn what she dreams up on paper into a reality. She has designed costumes for theater productions, as well as designed runway pieces through her studies.

I asked Madison to share a few words about herself and her inspiration and love for design.

“From a young age, I was interested in creating things. My deconstruction of Barbie clothing eventually morphed into an interest in fashion. It wasn’t until college, however, that I really became interested in style. You become hyper-aware of your style and the way you carry yourself when you’re meeting a bunch of people for the first time, like during school. Ever since freshman year, I’ve worked hard to hone my style. I love to pay attention to detail, and I think it’s reflected in my work. I also love storytelling, especially through clothing. With that love, I’m pursuing a career in costume design, to give clothing even more purpose.” – Madison Booth

These are just a few glimpses of Madison’s incredible work, so be sure to follow her instagram to check out more and send her some love!

-Erin<3

{ if you’d be interested in having your work featured as a Creative Crush, send me an email at erinmathews14@gmail.com }

January Beauty Musts!

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

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    I’ve been DYING to get my hands on this palette for months now! I personally LOVE warm tones because they really complement my skin tone and brown eyes. I’ve only heard great things about this palette, so I can’t wait to try it out!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  2. Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

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    My inner moon child loves this palette. Just from the sleek, minimalist design of the palette to the pretty highlight colors, what isn’t there to love? Kat Von D is a hot brand this year, and she’s set to release a new eyeshadow palette sometime soon, which I’m keeping my eyes peeled for!

    Get it on Amazon here! 

  3. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

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    I’ve been using the same eyeliner since middle school (hey, it’s affordable and hasn’t failed me yet!) but I want to splurge a bit and see what the Stila hype is all about! Cult followers rave about this liner’s precision and staying power.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  4. Thebalm Manizer Sisters Palette

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    Another brand that I’ve been dying to try! I’ve only heard great things about this palette, as it is a go to contour palette for many beauty mavens.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  5. Too Faced Peach Eyeshadow Palette

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    Oh look, another eyeshadow palette! I absolutely love Too Faced products, and I so want to try this one out. Peachy eye looks are super in, and this palette has the perfect colors to get that sought after look.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  6. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

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    I am a true ColourPop addict, but Kat Von D’s liquid lippies are said to have CRAZY color payoff and insane staying power. Plus there are so many colors to choose from.

    Get a set of her mini lippies on Amazon here!

  7. NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

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    I personally don’t use a lot of foundation, so I like light coverage when it comes to liquid foundation. But NARS foundation is known to have full but light coverage and lasts all day. Plus they have been praised for having a wide range of colors, so it’s easy to find one that matches your skin tone!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  8. Cover FX Enhancer Drops

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    HOLY WOW, oh man! These drops make any product turn into a highlighter, or you can use them alone for an ultimate glow effect. They’re a tad pricey, but the highlight you can get with them is amazing.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  9. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

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    I have really sparse lashes that do NOT like to curl, no matter how much I curl them! But this mascara promises curl and full lashes without the clumpy effect that most mascara has.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  10. Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit
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    I have so many ABH products on my beauty wishlist, but this one made the top 10. I’m all about highlighting and adding shine to beauty looks, so this glow kit is perfect for beauty beginners or beauty novices.

    Get it on Amazon here!

    What are some of the products on your beauty want list?

    with love,
    Erin ❤