Hair Today, Gone in About an Hour

I'm a pretty lazy person sometimes. I HATE showering. Taking time to do it, knowing I'll be damp and cold, combing out my hair. Especially shaving. On days I feel like I need a shave, I dread the shower. It's not that it takes so very long  or that I cut myself often or anything crazy (although I do use a man's razor generally). I think maybe it's that it takes up practically a half hour of my very precious free time. To solve this, I decided to get Nair Shower Power. Bad, bad idea. I ended up with a bleeding rash from the chemicals. So, next I tried wax. The stupid stuff stuck to my hands, my dorm room floor, and everywhere else. I got about 2 strips done before I was no longer able to pick anything up and struggled to get out of my room and down to the showers. Don't get me started on trying to get the damn wax off.

So, I just went happily back to razors: hair removal I could understand. Until I recently started reading about


Sugaring is a technique that has been used for centuries in many diverse cultures because of its simplicity and effectiveness. There are no chemicals to burn the skin (Thank you!) and the "wax" doesn't stick to your fingers (Yesssssss). 

To make:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water

You're basically making caramel. Cook the ingredients in a saucepan on the stove (to 250 F using a candy thermometer OR let it boil for about 5 minutes, stir, and leave on heat) until it thickens into a syrup. Once it is honey-like in consistency, pour it into a reheatable jar. When it cools to a workable temperature, spread onto the skin like regular wax and remove hair using waxing strips, or just strips of a cut up cotton t-shirt or jeans. The leftover wax can be saved and used again at a later date by heating it up.

Any sugar left on your skin will easily melt in the warmth of your shower. Also (and this is a HUGE also) it's agreed upon that sugaring is less painful than waxing. Really, is there any reason we're ALL not sugaring?

Have any of you tried sugaring? Do you think it is/would be worth the effort of "cooking" your wax? Has Nair ever made you bleed too :(?


Go With the Glow: Pale is Fab!

I've struggled to transform my pale, somewhat freckly skin into a golden beachy glow since the tender age of 11. The first fake tan product I used was terrible! It smelled revolting and turned me an orangey color. As if I needed another reason to be made fun of in gym class. Since then, a lot has changed in the world of the "tan in a can". After trying multiple products (in an affordable price range) I settled on a gloves method of applying Jergens Natural Glow, and was quite content with the results. But it took me so many years to realize that 1. I absolutely CANNOT stick to the routine of applying sunless tanner due to the lengthy process of exfoliation, application, drying, and rinsing and 2. that pale skin is actually fricken awesome and women who choose to care for their skin instead of altering it look great in every stage of life. It wasn't until after I went from blonde to red that I realized the true potential of my white "marshmallow" (thanks, brother) skin.

Here are some tips I've found and come up with to get the maximum return on investing in your pale skin.

1. Sunscreen Obviously, daily. Everyone should be doing this. I know it's hard, but I put on my face sunscreen under my foundation and usually remember the rest of my body in the car, so I keep a bottle in my console. Don't forget important places like your hands (no age-revealing sunspots, please!) and your lips.

2. A good skin care regime Pale skin is often sensitive and a nice, gentle skin care routine is a good idea. Use a gentle acne cleanser if necessary because red spots (as well as pink, agitated areas) on pale skin stand out twice as badly. Pick a nice, paraben-free body lotion and stick to it. Fair skin isn't as resilient as other skin and needs a bit more protection and pampering. Commited moisturization is a tried and true method of holding onto youthful, dewy skin. In fact, marry your lotion if the situation seems appropriate. (*Right now I'm using & loving Nuance Rosehip body lotion. We're in a civil union.)

3. Yogurt masks & Milky baths Yogurt and milk have whitening properties that can help to even out a pale complexion. Use full-fat yogurt for dry skin and low fat for oily skin, and apply after using cleanser. You can consider adding in other skin-soothing ingredients such as oatmeal or honey (an excellent antibacterial). Lemon juice can also be added for additional skin lightening. The lactic acid content of the yogurt will leave your skin soft and your pores clarified. You will get the same results for your entire body by adding 2-4 cups of milk or buttermilk to bath water as the tub is filling up. Soak in this milk bath for at least 20 minutes, and then rinse off with clean water. Channel your inner Cleopatra.

4. Shimmer Just like Edward, but better. Use face powders and body lotions with mica for a delicious glow that will make the girls down at the Gym, Tan, Laundry jealous.

5. Angelic apples Use a pale pink or apricot blush to set your pale off right.

6. Rock glam lips Shades of red, from bright cherry to deep scarlet, look fantastic against light skin. Nothing says drama, romance, or intrigue like a solid red lip. For wonderful instructions on how to achieve this perfect red lip, check out xparkage's video.

The key to feeling good in your pale skin in a world infected with tan fever, is confidence. Feel comfortable in your own skin and wear things that set it off to advantage. If you want to, go crazy and dye your hair like me! I've found that an auburn copper red sets off my shade of fair perfectly, and am sitting with a full head of henna right now. This was a personal choice due to my monochromaticism. Spell check says that isn't a word, but I've just created it so, SO THERE.

Happy Pampering! With love and paleness...

                                                        Found on: http://lohaze.tumblr.com/page/2 


Hard Shampoo for Soft Hair

So, I've seen solid shampoo at Lush and other natural markets, but I really thought to myself "that's a bar of soap for your hair...". YES. It is. And it lasts 3 times as long as an 8 oz bottle of shampoo. And it's eco-friendly. These are things that I love. So I found a $7 solid shampoo yesterday while I was out to try it and see what the buzz was all about. After hennaing a chunk of my hair (2nd round) and leaving it in all night (last time 4 hours was not enough) I used the solid shampoo this morning to wash it out. I was quite shocked. It was pretty great. This is what I bought:
Yep, it's a hair biscuit. And it comes with a little tin that I hope is big enough for Lush's, because that's what I'm getting next. This one has sodium laurel sulfate, boo. But I liked it so much that I went back out later today and got the conditioner. The shampoo smells amazing. It has oatmeal, shea butter, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, and clove leaf oil. The conditioner is also made with oatmeal and shea, but smells fruiter and sweeter than the shampoo. I can't wait to try it. The shampoo lathered pretty well, probably due to the sulfate. I would definitely still use it if it didn't, since we need to free ourselves from the idea that suds = clean. I know it's hard.

All in all I'm 90% sure I'm switching to solid haircare. Even if I recycle the bottles, I feel guilty about all the waste and oil by-products that go into making shampoos and conditioners. And since the solids will end up cheaper overall, work great, and smell delicious- I don't see how I could go wrong.

I tried to take pictures of my henna'd chunk of hair, but on camera the change is so subtle that it's hardly worthwhile. Maybe someone will get a new camera for...Halloween? Hey, it's an important holiday too.

Have you ever tried solid shampoo?


GOLDEN Thrift Accessory Finds!

Hey- how is everyone! (By everyone I mean my zero subscribers, but that's okay. It's early yet.) Today I ran to the thrift store (AGAIN) to get a cheap glass bowl for my Lush henna which is sitting on a test chunk of my hair as we speak. Of course, I found more stuff. They put the bowls in the back on purpose! You have to sift through everything else first... so I'm posting the accessories I bought in the past week. Mostly earrings, because I'm obsessed with them. I only got my ears pierced this past October so earrings are still new to me. Every day I have some exciting ear action going on. But, without further ado- Sophie's late hot/rainy summer accessory lineup!

These Native-American inspired earrings I love. They aren't new, but they still go really well with the modern tribal look that's been popular this summer.

These are a little kitschy for my taste, generally. But I think with the right outfit...

I'm in love with these! Firstly, I can't get enough of gold lately. Secondly, this is a fantastically simple translation of a hoop earring. I'm wearing these to work tomorrow, actually :). And thirdly, they look heavier than they are. I'm big on making sure my earrings are lightweight. No saggy slits for me thanks. These are about the size of a quarter.

This pair of beauties is going to take a special look. But the moment I saw them I knew we were meant to be together. Could it get much cuter than miniature lion door knockers? Rhetorical question. The hoops are about the also about the diameter of a quarter.

This, dear friends, is a bracelet turned earring. I actually got this about 6 months ago. I added the hook and wear it alone on one side or with a stud on the other side, something funky for fun days or going out or simple if I want to downplay the fact that I'm going all 80's on the world. Lengthwise it basically reaches my shoulder and sometimes gets caught in my hair, but pain is so often the price for beauty.

I rarely find necklaces that I like in thrift stores. I don't know why. Maybe they're more timeless than other jewelry and people hang onto them more often. But I love this one! The color is an earthy, organic green and it's made of lightweight wood. All the volume at the bottom gives this a lot of potential for my plain outfit days.

That's all I have right now accessory-wise. I'll show you my henna results soon and then I'll decide whether I'm doing my whole head...excited to be a Genuine Ginger!


NUANCE New Line by Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek's new line, Nuance, was just released to my store with samples. First off I must say that I LOVE the Dark Cacao and Coffee Firming Body Cream. Being a fan of both smells, I was in heaven wearing the sample all day. However, and this for me is a big however, I wouldn't pay the $15 for it. Even with an employee discount I'm not the type to spend so much on a body lotion.

There is also a tinted moisturizer, shampoos, conditioners, a body wash and body scrub, and a small selection of make-up. Although some of the shampoos look intriguing (one is honey, another quinoa *protein*, and mamey fruit), by looks I am unimpressed by the make-up. The point to the line is subtlety, and was developed with Salma's grandmother, a cosmetologist who used natural- and tribal-inspired cosmetics and remedies, in mind. The colors in the make-up are simple and unobtrusive, but I could easily find duplicates among the colors of L'oreal, Revlon, and Covergirl. This may just be a personal thing, but I also don't really like the advertising photo:

To me, for a woman of her undeniable beauty, this photo doesn't do her justice.

Now, for something I've been using for a few weeks and really love, Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless day lotion. It's full of antioxidants from pomegranate. It's completely natural and feels so soothing after my toner in the morning. It (obviously) smells amazing and works really well when I mix it with my foundation to create my own tinted moisturizer. Definitely worth the $23 I paid for it. Especially considering you get 2 oz, which is more than you usually get for the same price. Also a plus- it has a pump. No squeezing a tube to get the last bit out.

I know I'm 22, but I don't think it's ever too early to start using creams marketed for older skin. Prevention is better than Botox. I would probably not use something with Retinol, but anything that preserves the youthful glow of your skin can't be bad. The more antioxidants, the better! No more reliable way to combat free radicals that age your skin (except maybe drinking water, which matches antioxidants in potency).

Now, about my thrift finds- I can't decide how best to photograph them. I have no photographer, so modeling them would pose a challenge (haha pun NOT intended). But it's hard to get the effect of a nice jacket or a skirt without seeing them on a body. Maybe I'll find someone to model them for me...I promise to figure it out within the week. Have a loooovely day! (think Home Alone 2)


How to Thrift in 60 Minutes or Less

A few days ago I treated myself to a leisurely day of thrifting, the results of which I will post as soon as my clothes are washed and dried. I realized as I was shopping that although I really longed for a relaxed day full of bargain hunting, I am simply too skilled and efficient at thrifting due to my 11 years of experience in thrift stores. Here's how I do it:

1. Only peruse the items in your size
The Goodwill closest to my home has their clothing grouped by small, medium, and large. This makes sorting through clothes and spotting something promising, but discovering that it is twice your body circumference, a thing of the past.

2. Pull out patterns and materials that catch your eye
Skimming through racks by running your hand and eye over the bit of material showing can be as effective as pulling out each piece. Personally, I almost always stick to cotton so I can skip anything shiny or meshy. Learning to recognize the potential of clothing by a glimpse of its hem is a learned skill, so don't be too discouraged if you try this and end up with an empty cart.

3. If you don't LOVE it, don't bother
The beauty of thrifting is that there's "always more where that came from". If I'm trying on my haul at the end of a trip and I have to think about it for more than 10 seconds, it's out. Also, as my mom taught me, I ask myself- "Do I love this shirt $7 worth?". Think about what else you could do with that $7 (ahem, Chipotle) and you may realize that you don't want it so much after all.

4. Gauge by percentages
If you guess the price of the item to be more than 30% of the original price, you can do better. I don't thrift to get brand names at 50% off. This isn't TJ Maxx. I want a bargain!

NOTE: Even if we're making a quick trip of it, don't forget to take a final look at your purchases before checking out for holes, stains, and sturdiness. Case in point- I recently bought a pair of shoes that I loved but didn't examine well enough, and the sole broke apart from the shoe while I was out yesterday. Lesson learned.

My most recent thrift finds Coming Soon!


First Post in My Blog of All Things Beauty!

So, I'm really excited to share my experiences with you and for you to share with me in return. Mostly I am interested in skincare, make-up, hair, and fashion and I have been reading and writing about them for as long as I can remember. I'm a 22-year-old thrift store ADDICT and employee of a drug store, which gives me unadulterated (& discounted) access to the newest beauty products. Sometimes, when my meager income allows, I am able to purchase select products from Sephora and the like. I'm also a fan of Ulta.com and Lush.

My name is Sophie, but my nickname given by my friend's boyfriend is Little Red Thing- thus the unconventional name. I assume this is due to my reddish hair. Otherwise I'm offended.

Occasionally, I'll share other things about my life (unless you object). But only if something interesting happens. Promise that I won't bore you with stories about my Aunt Sue (purely fictional) or my carpal tunnel (mostly fictional). I'll try to include lots of pictures, because that's what makes cyber life more interesting and relatable I think. Maybe even some videos/tutorials? I'm not that high tech, but we'll see. My iPhone practically sets my life up for me...

What kinds of things do you like to read in beauty blogs? I'll read and try to apply all comments and suggestions.
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