Green Halloween: Health and Beauty Bytes

Green is the New Black

OPI Shatter the Scales for accent over greenish gold polish.

OPI Shatter the Scales for accent over greenish gold polish.

So last week’s “Health” section of Health and Beauty Bytes went a little long so I didn’t get to include any fun manicure looks. Black would just be too predictable, right?  So here I’m showcasing 2 green-toned color schemes you can rock for Halloween without feeling like you have to remove them once the kiddies have passed out in sugar-comas.

First up is a shot of a pretty gold and green-toned chromey Gap brand nail polish (which has probably been discontinued!), with OPI Shatter the Scales layered over the accent finger.  You can get close to this same look with OPI Just Spotted the Lizard as the main polish color also — it’s just a bit darker and greener.

Superbass Shatter on accent over Butter London Wallis

Superbass Shatter on accent over Butter London Wallis

Speaking of a bit darker, here’s a shot of one of my favorite polishes ever, Butter London in Wallis, with OPI Superbass

Shatter over the accent finger.  I am especially happy with this color combo and contrast.  I’ve been wearing it for a week! I think this would also look great with the shatter over all the fingers, or maybe 3? As always, 2 coats of the main polish over a fortifying base, and under a speed dry topcoat was used for these looks.

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See actual photo below!

Little Girl Manicure

My little Miss is going to be a vampire this year, so I had planned a reverse French manicure look with Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polish in Candy Corn (bright orange) as the tip color over a dark base, with a light coat of gold glitter over the whole nail as a topper.  As I’ve said before, the textured polishes seem to last longer, so they WOULD BE especially handy for a kiddie manicure… however she insisted on plain black.  So here it is. :p

Book Update

So I’m finishing Chasing Magic tonight, and it’s (as usual with the series) really good.  It’s a gritty, painful, heart-wrenching “good” most times, but so good none-the-less. I’m going to need to clear the drug-addled literary cobwebs after this one though (Chess manages to finally overdose in this one – good thing her man keeps nasal opiate inhibitors in his car! Thoughtful, no? …eek?).  Last night the library did not cooperate as I was going to pick up Insurgent since Allegiant just came out a few days ago to wrap up the trilogy. So

Outpost, by Ann Aguirre

Outpost,
by Ann Aguirre

instead I went with Outpost by Ann Aguirre which is about zombies, and 2nd in the Razorland trilogy. Speaking of series, I also picked up the hefty Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead.  It’s the final book of the Vampire Academy series and I wasn’t super excited with the last installment, however, I’m so close to finishing the series, I can’t stop now, right? Well I could – I dropped the Black Dagger Brotherhood series – it happens. I just prefer to finish! And with that, Happy Halloween! and…

Time for a (spooky) Coffee,

Maddy

 

And here they are! Little Miss' Halloween mani. I tried to persuade her for some glitter (at least!), but no.C'est la kid!

And here they are! Little Miss’ Halloween mani. I tried to persuade her for some glitter (at least!), but no.
C’est la kid!

 

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Health & Beauty Bytes: What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Your PPIs

Pop Quiz!

Q: Which popular prescription anti-acid medication can deplete your body of magnesium thereby causing new problems like constipation, restless leg syndrome, and chronic fatigue?

A: Lots of them!

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“Et tu, tomato sauce?”
Many foods can exacerbate symptoms of GERD.

If you or anyone you know has GERD (like I do), you will have one or more of the following symptoms:

1)       Heartburn
2)       Regurgitation
3)       Difficulty in swallowing
4)       Pain with swallowing/sore throat
5)       Increased salivation
6)       Nausea
7)       Chest Pain
8)       Coughing

When I was pregnant years ago I developed really bad indigestion, which mostly disappeared after I gave birth, but then slowly came back over the next few years until I had symptoms 1, 3, 6, & 7 listed above.  Fun!  I was given an EKG about 2 years ago and was told “you have GERD”, given a long list of foods to avoid , and a prescription for pharmacy-grade Prilosec, twice a day.

What I was not told was that there are equally effective natural alternatives to prescription antacids like Prilosec, and that the prescription medications (and over the counter versions!) in question can severely deplete you of magnesium. For a full list of such medications(PPIs), click here.

What can happen when you are magnesium deficient? Fun things like the following:

“…agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.” Source: University of Maryland Medical Center

I had a few of those too — lovely! Was I told that the medicine I had been taking until last summer could do this? Of course not, that’d be too forthright.  It may have been listed in tiny print on the drug information sheet that came with my prescription, but it certainly was not told to me by a human being (i.e., my doctor).

So I have to give credit to an episode of Dr. Oz I saw this past summer that clued me into the Prilosec/magnesium issue in the first place: “The Fatigue Solution.”  Had I not seen this show I would have never realized I was magnesium-deficient in the first place. Now, most of my magnesium deficiency issues have disappeared since I began taking a magnesium citrate supplement.

So how can you treat GERD without prescription medication?

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8 Weeks to Optimum Health, by Dr. Andrew Weil

The answer for me is really simple and super-cost effective: Ginger pills. I owe credit to this discovery to Dr. Andrew Weil’s book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health that I read over the summer.

So to get off the Prilosec, first I tried the licorice pills that Dr. Oz suggested.  I tried them for maybe 3 weeks, but they were not super helpful. Then I read the chapter on ginger as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid in Dr. Weil’s book and thought I would give it a shot.

I can attest that since I started taking 500mg capsules of pure ginger I haven’t taken my prescription stomach medication since August.  Of course I am not cured, I still have GERD, but it is no longer out of control and I am not loading myself up with manufactured, magnesium depleting chemicals twice a day.  I am all in favor of taking natural, non-toxic remedies whenever possible, over side-effect-laden, unnatural, toxic pharmaceuticals any day! If you or someone you know is taking a PPI listed in the link above, you may want to try ginger capsules (or ginger tea, etc.) which are readily available at your local health food store, GNC, or online.

Ginger: Does a body good...

Ginger: Does a body good…

And for those of you paying attention, yes, coffee is on my naughty list of no-no’s for GERD!  But I get around it by having only a cup a day, and heavily diluting it with lowfat milk and chai (which also has ginger!). I’ll exchange an extra ginger pill for the caffeine if I have to! And with that….

Time for a coffee,

Maddy

Health & Beauty Bytes

Baksshi Botanicals: Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

I recently had the chance to test* the new Baksshi Botanicals Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask ($6.99 for 1 mask). Baksshi Botanicals is a relatively new brand to the U.S. but I am told has been selling in Asia for years. I was interested in trying it because the product has organic ingredients and is paraben and artificial preservative-free. It’s packed with goodies for your face like Sodium Hyaluronate (4th ingredient!!), Ascorbic Acid (aka Vitamin C), and Niacinimide.

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa...

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa…

I actually was not sure what to expect with a sheet mask as I’ve only used traditional paste/cream/clay masks before that you apply with your fingers.  As you can see from the photo, the sheet mask was super easy to apply!  It had little precut eye/nose/mouth holes making application a snap.

Before application I washed and dried my face as usual and placed the unopened pack in a bowl of warm water to warm it up.  In the meantime, I could feel my skin tightening without my usual post-wash application of moisturizer.  However I didn’t have long to wait as soon it was warm and I carefully pulled out the mask and applied it to my face, tapping it down everywhere to make as much contact as possible.  I was happy to discover that it clung well to my face and did not require me to lie down/still to keep it in place (i.e. – perfect for catching up on your favorite shows on the sofa!).

Five minutes after application, my face felt cool and tingled slightly, but not unpleasantly. I waited the full 20 minutes and then removed the mask, spritzed once with rosewater (my favorite toner) and massaged the remaining mask liquid into my face and neck as suggested.  My face felt completely hydrated and a little plumped.  I could have skipped my nightly serum but I applied it as the packaging suggests. My face felt happy all evening.

The next day my skin still felt hydrated but I didn’t notice much difference in the clarity/brightening of my face, but a rep from the company told me they suggest you use it at least once a week for a month for full effects.  If nothing else it was a pleasant little in-home spa experience I’d be happy to try again.

Bakkshi Botanicals can be found at www.bakkshibotanicals.com (coming soon), or baksshi@gmail.com.

*Note: Product was supplied free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Fun with OPI Liquid Sand  <——————————————————————————

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

Liquid Sand is just one kind of the many textured polishes out there right now.  My favorite thing about textured polishes is that they are super-forgiving when it comes to touch ups, and therefore ideal for a pedicure, which you can keep looking fresh for up to 2 months, or however long you can tolerate your toenails to be!

Here I am mani-modeling OPI’s Magazine Cover Mouse – this was 2 coats over a clear base coat, and no top coat.  After a week it was still looking good but, getting bored (as I usually do), I decided to do some color blocking with 3 other Liquid Sands colors: OPI Jinx (orange on tips), OPI Alcatraz Rocks (blue) and OPI What Wizardy is This?(bronze). I think I liked it with the blue best, but making straight lines on textured polish is kind of rough (pun intended), so it’s a little messy, as you can see.  Fun to play around with though.

Color-blocking with textured polish

Color-blocking with textured polish

Is anyone planning any exciting Halloween manicures or pedicures? I’m going dark this week, as you will see in the next Health & Beauty Bytes.  I will also be dipping into the world of vitamins and minerals in that article – with some unfortunate side effects of prescription heartburn medicine, and easy ways to combat them that your doctor (most-likely) did not tell you about.  Until then…

Time for a Coffee,

Maddy

Health and Beauty Bytes

Happy Autumn, everyone!
Now I realize the word beauty is in the title here, so men, before you click away, stay tuned, this first tip is for everyone…

DIY: World’s cheapest, non-bacteria-laden face exfoliant…

No need to buy a fancy scrubber when you can DIY!

No need to buy a fancy scrubber when you can DIY!

For those who don’t get these things hammered into their heads by 6 beauty magazines a month, like I do, exfoliation is basically any kind of scrubbing of one’s skin. Now my research tells me (see bit about the 6 magazines a month) that the best kind of exfoliation for your face is one of these fancy battery powered scrubby brushes (i.e. Clairsonic, Olay, etc.) and the accompanying fancy(read as: pricey) exfoliating gel.  I did this for about a year and my skin did look much improved – smoother, better toned.  HOWEVER, my new routine of 8+ months has the exact, same effect at a fraction of the cost liquid face soap, with a sprinkling of baking soda.  Ta da! It’s something so low-tech it will drop your WPM by at least 5.

That’s right, take your favorite basic non-medicated face wash (I use Purpose), and buy one of the plastic bottles of baking soda with the click-top lid, and sprinkle some baking soda in your hand (mix with the face soap), wash your face as usual (circular motions work best), and you have a great facial exfoliator you can use once a day and look as fresh and bump-free as someone who sadly paid $150 for their set-up. Everyone has baking soda at home (right?) so you can try this for free any time you want.  If you like it – let me know!

Now on to a decidedly girlier topic… One of my 3 addictions in life (besides books, the other addiction is pens, don’t get too excited!) – I’m talking about nail polish.

Manicure Selfies: OPI Shatter tests…

OPI shatter and it’s various spin-offs have been out for a few years now.  I got a white Avon version 2 or 3 years ago and I wasn’t super impressed and didn’t try others at the time, but have since figured out that the versions with sparkle (not glitter, but fine sparkle) are much prettier than the flat colors.  They also make your manicure last at least a week and tend to camouflage the polish wear at the end of your nails that just can’t be helped unless you have minions that do all your chores for you (and type for you as well).

Gold Shatter over red polish.

Gold Shatter over red polish.

I tried 2 color combos recently.  First — OPI Gold Shatter over OPI Innie Minnie Mighty Bow which is a pink-leaning red. I LOVED this – it was super-festive, very Christmas holidays or Chinese New Year – fun, happy, and lucky all rolled into one.  Only one coat of gold shatter is needed, and 2 coats of the red.

Magenta Shatter over pink polish.

Magenta Shatter over pink polish.

Same basic method but in different colors… Next I tried plum/magenta OPI Nicki Minaj Super Bass Shatter over OPI Chic from Ears to Tail which is a soft bubble-gum pink. This wasn’t as amazing to me at the gold/red combo, but still fun.  The sparkle in the Super Bass is much more subtle than the gold was. I used 2 coats of the pink and 1 of the shatter. I may try this over black around Halloween, who knows?  Oh!  And I always recommend using a basecoat and a speed dry clear coat to make your mani last it’s longest.

Well whether you give a hoot about beauty tips or not, I hope you have a fabulous week ahead, and keep reading! BTW, I’m half way through 50 Shades now.  I’m not very impressed so far, I’d heard there were issues with the writing style (mediocre) and I think that’s correct.  If I had a dollar for every time the heroine has said “Oh my” so far I’d have a very posh lunch out indeed!

Time for a coffee,

Maddy