Category Archives: advice

Mom

Since it’s Mother’s Day, I just had to take a moment out today and say a few words about my mom. She is a very special lady. She has taught me a great many things, from how to write a check to how to bake a pie. She taught me that I could do anything, be anything, create anything, as long as I put my mind to it.

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She has always given me the best advice, and then offered me help when I didn’t take it. She’s a tough cookie, a dedicated teacher, a great friend, a beautiful woman, and as of this year a cancer survivor.

momma

We show our true mettle in the face of fear, and this past winter my family and I witnessed how tough my mom could really be. It was a long, dark, hard winter with a lot of sadness and pain. Cancer, it really F*ing sucks. But, just when the trees started budding in early April, her first fuzz of hair started growing back on her head. She was right in tune with mother earth, coming back to life again. It had been hellish watching her in pain and feeling helpless as she suffered all winter, but watching her rejuvenation this spring has been utterly beautiful. It makes this Mother’s Day extra special, because I am extra thankful and extra proud to have her as my mom. So to her, and to all you tough, beautiful mommas (and mommas to be) out there — Happy Mother’s Day! xoxox

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Spring Cleaning

It’s officially Spring, April showers and all. Over the weekend I faced the fact that my bedroom didn’t look like it was inhabited by humans—mountain goats maybe, but definitely not rational people. Piles of dirty laundry, unpacked suitcases, and general clutter had taken over, it was time to put an end to it. So I rolled up my sleeves, opened my windows, and decided to engage in the ancient tradition of spring cleaning.

There’s something satisfying about weeding through your belongings, throwing a bunch of them out, and then rearranging what’s left. It leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and a firm resolution to keep up the cleanliness for good. My resolution usually breaks after about a week, but it’s nice while it lasts.

There are tons of articles in magazines about making your belongings easily accessible and adorably tidy. They make it look so easy with the colored containers and compartmented trays. Unfortunately I hate putting things away, I like to have all my things out so I can see them or I forget I have them. The problem is space, there just isn’t enough of it, and that’s why I end up with piles of crap everywhere.

I know there are people who keep all their stuff in good order, who don’t run around jamming things in closets when they’re expecting company or panicking that said guests might show up early and catch them in the midst of a cleaning hysteria. Sadly I’m not one of those people. I’m the person with way to many tchotchkes covered in dust who won’t let friends anywhere near my bedroom when they come visit (where do you think I throw all the junk from the rest of the house?).

I’m envious of those who keep pristine households (like the ones seen in these lovely pictures, all courtesy of that bastion of organized perfection to which I aspire, Real Simple), but maybe they miss out on the catharsis that spring cleaning can bring. You need to have a lot to organize in order to feel the sense of renewal that comes with finding a place for it. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself when my room reverts back to a mess and it’s time to clean it again.

At the moment I’m still riding a high from organizing the mound of makeup that has been piling up on my dresser for months. I took some tips from Real Simple and used a variety of containers to arrange things:

Ok, so it’s not Real Simple caliber, (I could never have that much white in my house anyway, I stain everything) but I really tried! Here’s the breakdown:

I am going to put a lot of effort into keeping things clean this time, for real—unless I’m in a rush. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyone else attempting to reorganize themselves in some way this spring? Share your tips!

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Filed under advice, cosmetics

Questions Anyone?

A while back my friend Katie suggested I open up Beauty Dart for questions, Katie is a very smart gal so I’m (finally) putting her suggestion to action. I originally created this blog because I applied for a job giving beauty advice, unfortunately I didn’t get it, but I had such a good time answering the sample questions that I thought it would be fun to start my own discussions on beauty.

I used to work as a makeup artist, I have more cosmetics than I will ever need, I am always sampling and buying new products, I enjoy doing online research, plus I love to talk to people about their beauty routines and I have a sick love/hate relationship with the glossies mostly because I enjoy looking at pictures of pretty cosmetics. If I can’t help you with your question, I’ll find someone who can. So ask away! Questions on products, beauty, life, whatever, please don’t be shy—I’ll be nice I promise! Shoot me an e-mail at justinezwiebel@gmail.com, or drop a note in the comments anytime.

As a perfect way to get started, last week in the comments Corrie asked a question:

“I started going grey as a teenager. I’m almost 30 now, and I’ve got a thin stripe at my temple, and greys all throughout. I used to dye my hair as soon as I thought they were too noticeable, but about six months ago, I decided it would be the last time I put colour in my hair. I think it can actually look refined, especially when you see a nice, shiny streak in an updo. I’ve even thought of trying to enhance the streak a bit (like that X-Men chick), but I’m not sure how. Any suggestions?”

Corrie, I think you’re definitely right about gray looking refined. Stacy London of What Not To Wear rocks that gray streak and she always looks very classy. There isn’t too much information out there about encouraging or containing gray in certain areas. I’ve always thought once I go totally white I’ll leave a streak out and dye the rest, it seems like it might be hard to section off though, so I’ll have to experiment. If you have an area that is heavily concentrated with gray already, you could peroxide the hair around it to make for a more dramatic streak. You might try stressing yourself out or shocking yourself to turn your hair whiter, but that’s apparently an old wives tale, so don’t go inflicting trauma on yourself, gray hair is actually determined by genetics.

If you’re encouraging your natural gray, there are a bunch of shampoos and conditioners formulated to help gray/white hair look shinier and keep it silver rather than yellow—just don’t use them too often (just once a week) unless you’re going for the little blue haired old lady look. Try one of these:

Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo, $8.99

Rene Furterer – Okara Mild Silver Shampoo, $23.00

Something else you can do to keep those grays in good shape is use a deep conditioner. I try to deep condition as often as possible (especially around my temples) because the grays are so much dryer than the rest of my hair, it helps keep those hairs from being wiry and gives them a smoother, glossier look. I like this one:

John Frieda Frizz Ease Deep Condition Reinforce Strengthening Triple Creme Masque,$9.95

I hope that helps a bit Corrie, thanks for the question! I will be on the constant look out for other gray encouraging/taming products for both of us.

I’m staying on this hair dyeing trend a bit longer, tomorrow I’ll be bringing you some reviews of semi-permanent dyes along with other hair dyeing tips. For those of you lucky people who are blessed enough to love your natural color and/or remain free of gray, well just think of these posts as informative—and here’s a picture of a cute fuzzy animal (a Loris?) if you were feeling neglected.

Awwww.

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