Friday, 29 May 2015

Why I'm drinking Apple Cider Vinegar and putting it on my face and hair!

Hey Blog Readers!

So for a long time my sister has drank Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water and raved about the health benefits but to be honest I didn't really listen... That was until deciding to use Apple cider vinegar as a toner! yup a toner on my face as part of my skincare routine!
I am a big believer in keeping your skin/beauty regime simple.. a lot of home remedies work and are the basis of some of the most expensive products out there so why splurge the cash when you can have equal if not better results doing it DIY style ;)
Since moving to Los Angeles my skin hasn't been as good as it was in Ireland and I believe that is because of the smog and pollution that exists in this big city compared to that fresh Galway air that I miss so much, lol, anyway while looking for a remedy to tone my skin and minimize pores I came across a bunch of videos (YouTube addict alert) on using Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic and with "the mother" ingredient) as a toner!
The videos and blog post I came across really sold me so off I went to Trader Joe's to pick some up! It was very easy to find and a lot cheaper than buying a toner on it's own + it's a big bottle so I imagine it will last me awhile! Anyway, ever since I've been applying it to my skin after washing my face and before moisturizing and I've already noticed a huge difference!
It feels refreshing! it's definitely minimizing my pores and my skin in so much clearer!!
(NB!!! Make sure you always dilute it by mixing in water to avoid it being too strong)

I'm AMAZED! :)

Benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar on the skin! 

  1. Oil control - Chronic oily skin leads to breakouts and oily patches on the face. This can make wearing makeup problematic. Apple vinegar toner can help control oil production and reduce the appearance of oiliness.
  2. Antiseptic - Beauty mavens have used apple vinegar for centuries to clean their skin. As an antiseptic, apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and yeast that may trigger breakouts.
  3. Balance pH - Enjoy good skin health by maintaining your pH level. Acids keep your skin remain elastic and youthful looking.
  4. Natural skin care - Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural skin toner that you can make yourself. Using natural products will insure the best care for sensitive skin that may react adversely to harsh chemicals.
  5. Stimulate circulation - For better looking skin, get your blood moving with an application of apple cider toner to the face and body. Natural alpha-hydroxy and acetic acids in this fluid stimulates the skin's capillaries. Improved circulation gives your skin a natural rosy flush.

Every now and then growing up I would rinse my hair in vinegar diluted in water (an old wives tale my mum told me about) and it always made my hair SO shiny!! so while I have the bottle in the house I decided to give it ago (it had been a few years) and YUP there were SUPER RESULTS! JESUS this stuff is like magic! I also felt that it really cleaned my hair and my hair seemed to stay non-oily/greasy for longer! (I got a few extra days out of it) If you plan on doing this though make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly as nobody wants to smell of vinegar!lol!

Why rinse hair in apple cider vinegar..  

  1. removes clumpy residue and gunk in hair from product buildup!
  2. Natural detangler!
  3. Leaves hair soft and smooth! 
  4. Accelerates hair growth!
  5. Closes the cuticle of the hair which makes light reflect off it - in other words... it makes your hair ridiculously shiny!! :)

So while seeing such good results from my skin & hair I decided to research and see what all the fuss is about (what my sis raves on about) when it comes to drinking Apple cider vinegear..
I have been drinking two spoonfuls mixed in a glass of water every morning for about two weeks now and I'm actually secretly (not so secretly) loving it!

These are the benefits that can be seen when you drink apple cider vinegar daily 

  1. Weight Loss! Experts believe that it may stimulate genes that help to break down fat! Another study found that it suppresses your appetite (I find this to be true for me). 
  2. Kills bad breath! It has anti-bacterial properties which helps to break down plaque and kill bacteria!
  3. This killing of bacteria can also stop infections such as halitosis and even a sore throat! 
  4. Reduces blood pressure! Therefore it's great for keeping a healthy heart <3 
  5. It keeps your blood sugar levels in check. Therefore it can help with diabetes and blood sugar regulation! Drinking it is shown to improve insulin sensitivity to high carbohydrate meals. 
  6. It's rich in polyphenols, which help fight oxidative stress. Research has shown that eating diets high in antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce your cancer risk, but don’t expect a magic panacea!
  7. It balances your PH levels! by helping to restore alkalinity in the body which can boost your metabolism, strengthen the immune system and slow the aging process to give you clearer and wrinkle free skin! 
So what are you waiting for?? get down to the supermarket and pick yourself up some of this miracle in a bottle that smells funny :) lol

Lots of Love,
Shahira Xo

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

5 of my favourite summer products

Hey Blog Readers! 

So during the summer time I like to be extra glowy and fresh faced - Especially now that I live in LA where it's super hot during the summer and the last thing I want is cakey-heavy makeup! Here are 5 of my favourite products for summer.

1) A white eyeliner: Smokey eyes are more of a winter thing for me so during the summer I love applying white eyeliner for a more natural and wide-eyed look. My favourite is 'Milk' by NYX and at $4.49/€4.00 you can't go wrong!

2) An illumination cream or good highlighter! Gerard Cosmetics BB+ Illumination cream! WOW! this product is BEAUTIFUL!x! You can use it in a variety of ways. It has an illuminating sparkly gold undertone which adds dimension and a youthful glow to any complexion. You can wear it alone as a regular BB creme, as a cream highlighter, a primer before you apply foundation or mix it in with your own foundation. BB creams are famous for their anti-aging, hydrating and brightening properties but this one has added illuminating particles that give a gorgeous glow and reflect your imperfections. I much prefer this over MAC's strobe creme which has the same idea behind it. I love to apply mine before a light layer of foundation and then again as a highlighter on my cheek bones. Coverage wise this product isn't the best to use on it's own but if your going for a "no makeup" yet beautiful look this can definitely be used on it's own - if not I would recommend using it along with foundation or tinted mosituriser. It really gives the "JLo" effect - gold, bold and beautiful!x! have the highest quality, fantastic products and code 'Barry' gives 25% off the entire site! :)


3) Mosituriser for hair and skin! Coconut oil... I've spoken about my love for coconut oil a million times on this blog and all year round it's important to keep your skin moisturized but I feel that in the summer months where there's so much more sun exposure it's extra important! and coconut oil is my favourite both as a body moisturiser and hair mask! It's natural, has an endless amount of benefits and it really works! plus you can pick it up at your local supermarket!

4) A gel manicure! Sally hansen miracle gel.. I use this nail varnish all year round - It's my fav! but it's extra handy during the summer for holidays etc.. as it lasts up to 2 weeks! it's really affordable and it comes in a gigantic array of colours! these nail varnishes are truly salon quality at home! pick out your favourite colour (or two ;) and grab a top coat and you're good to go!

5) A good Setting spray! I used to use Urban Decay 'all nighter' setting spray but recently I picked up a cheaper version in the NYX setting spray and I'm finding it to be just as good!
I like the 'matte' finish as it matifies your makeup, gets rid of any cakey-powder look and leaves your skin looking fresh and flawless while also setting your makeup to last all day! I never go to a set or on a night out without it!x!

I think it goes without saying a good SPF should also be worn daily especially during the summer months :)

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo
If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

sorry I was away for awhile... + 5 tips on staying positive in a negative situation

HEY Blog Readers! 

It's been a long time since I've posted on here so if you keep up with my blog regularly - apologies :)
April flew by for me! My mum visited me over the Easter holidays (yay) and then I moved apartment!! FINALLY!!! :)

I know some of you may have caught on to the fact that I was very unhappy in my old living situation = absolute nightmare! I had great hopes for it at the beginning... it was right by Runyon and I love to hike and do yoga so that was a huge plus! but lets just put it this way: what is having a beautiful home if you live in an absolute nightmare and ultimately a prison like situation of eating in your room to avoid negativity..but the energy would seep through anyway it could and it was ridiculously draining and horrible to live in! I would go to set happy and find myself crying on the return home and shaking with anxiety. I can honestly say I have never felt evilness towards me like I did over the past few months of being in that living space. For now I don't want to reflect on it too much because it was one of the worst experiences of my life and I'm still not fully over it.
I'm not really a believer in "everything happens for a reason"... I used to be but with time and loosing loved ones too soon etc.. it can be difficult to believe in that saying! However, what I will say, is that perhaps "some people come into your life as blessings while others come in as lessons" and for that maybe everyone who enters your life does come into it for a reason - be it good or bad! I am out of pocket thousands of dollars due to maliciousness + the move itself however I do believe that sometimes it is better to cut your losses and walk away...which is what I've done. I believe in Karma and also that the money I lost will come back to me in abundance. What I can say is that I am finally back to myself! It was only after the move that I realized I hadn't been myself in a long time as I was being drained daily with the stress of returning home. It's a difficult one to explain in writing especially when I don't want to go into it too much right now: I'm sure my posts over the past few months have been very confusing because on one hand I absolutely love LA and professionally things have been flying for me!! Actually, personally as well! Life could not be better in so many ways but I had this one negative thing in my life that was impossible to ignore because I was living in the situation! So it really was a time of Black and White!

ANYWAY!! I am glad to report that I am now in such a better headspace and I am back on my A-game! I moved from the Hollywood area to the Beverly Hills area and no offence at all to anyone who lives in Hollywood but I am seriously loving BHills and the West LA area so much more! My reason for this is as a young female from another country my new area feels so much safer and also a lot more community orientated which is what I am used to from home! I grew up in a small town and while I love the big city life I felt Hollywood lacked community and everything was very spread out.
I think it's easy to get stuck in one area and even one building! I had been coming to LA since 2012 and I always stayed in Hollywood - so it was what I knew! The building I moved into in October had a roof top pool with a great view and a gym so they were huge selling points for me and I thought I wouldn't find anywhere else to match but it just so happens my new place also has a rooftop with a great view + a much bigger pool, Jacuzzi and gym! not to mention my apartment is about x5 the size (as is my walk-in!) I am beyond HAPPY :) I also feel a lot stronger and wiser! perhaps I've learnt a harsh lesson about life and people that I needed to learn in order to make myself more capable at handling the big bad world that we live in! Life is good again and I'm excited for the future!x!

In other news.. 

 I'm trying to start daily meditation. A friend recently told me about an app called 'headspace' which is basically guided meditation and the idea is to start with 10 minutes a day for 10 days! I've always liked the idea of meditation but I truly had no idea how to do it as my mind is on constant over drive at all times! so I believe guided meditation is definitely the way forward for me! I will let you know how I get on with it! I told my mum about it and she's been giving it a go and seems to really like it!

I went to Vegas for my birthday at the end of April! I was invited on a comped-weekend at the SLS hotel & casino: It was AMAZING! we had a group of 35 girls and we had an absolute ball!! it was the best way to spend my birthday!x! We ate dinner at Katsuya (OMG I'm a sushi convert!mmm), partied at Life and Hyde nightclubs(at Hyde we had THE best table in the house with a backdrop of the famous Bellagio fountains(amazing) and attended the Foxtail pool party. I love going away and celebrating somewhere new for my bday! It started with London for my 21st and now I think I'll make it a yearly thing! As they say "possessions have a price but travel and experiences don't".

Last week I worked on a video for rapper Hopsin - I'm ashamed to say I didn't know his music beforehand but mannn I've had him on repeat ever since: serious talent! so If you're like me and have been living under a rock look him up ;)

Pics from life recently... (Pstttt follow meee @ShahiraBarry on instagram, facebook and twitter)

Finally to end this blog I'm going to give you guys 5 tips on staying positive in a negative situation (these really helped me when I was in negativity)
  1. Have a positive support group! 
It is so important to find a positive support group to help each other through difficult times! It doesn't matter if this is 100 people, 5 people or one person! Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you to stay positive when in a negative situation! I have made some lovely friends here in LA who I feel very fortunate to have met but three people worth an extra mention are Kelsey, Shane and Yasmin (all of whom just so happen to be Irish, lol) but when I felt I couldn't bare my old living environment anymore they took me in while my new place wasn't ready and kept a smile on my face the entire time! I was really lucky to have them and don't know what I would have done without them! of course there was(as always)also the support of my mum and sister! My mum actually flew to LA to help me get out of my old apartment! now that's love! even though this visit did slightly stir the pot and put a fire under the situation - it was ultimately a good one because it led to me getting out of there permanently!


    2. Express what you are grateful for! 
Even in the worst of times there are always things in our lives to be grateful for! Voice those blessings! Actively acknowledging what you are grateful for will help you to always have a grateful mind and heart even when bad things happen. I say at least three things I am grateful for from that day to myself every night before I go to sleep! some days it's harder to think of things but there is ALWAYS something so don't overlook it!x!

     3. Retrain your mind! 
It can be easy to let negativity consume you but the more you let that happen the more it will become a part of you! Instead practice the power of positive thinking! If a negative thought enters your mind replace it with a positive one!

      4. Exercise your body and mind! 
We all know that exercise is good for our bodies but it is also great for the mind! It's no joke that it releases the "happy hormone". It helps our body to release endorphins that make us feel better! Exercise truly has physical, emotional and mental benefits! It can be hard to find the will power to get up and do it but once you do you'll be so glad you did! I also like to add yoga to my weekly routine to help me focus and relax.

       5. Accept and find solutions
Many of us are resistant to change but we must learn to accept that change will happen. Remember "the only constant in life is change". If you are unhappy with something see it as an opportunity to make a change.

Lots of Love
Shahira Xo 
If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.

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