Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Breaking the Habit: 5 Beauty Habits you need to STOP Today!

As my fiancé would say "You telling people what NOT to do, that's a first!" (he loves me, I swear! ;). You may have noticed my posts normally revolve around giving you advice on what to do rather than not. So I've decided to 'break' that habit and give you some insight on bad habits I noticed we ALL (especially us Middle Eastern chicas) tend to fall into. Some of these 5 habits can be accounted to just plain laziness (you know i'm right!) and others may be misinformation but they are definitely things you should STOP doing today and never go back to again! (I just wrote that with the sound of my mother yelling in my head! *blushing*  Apologies.)

#1 Conditioning = good. Over conditioning = BAAD! 

Let's face it our weather between the sweltering heat, sandstorms, dust and then sudden cool in the evenings can take a toll on our normally *ehm ehm* luscious locks. So conditioner is a staple in every girl's shower, maybe even a leave in conditioner after the conditioner to get extra soft 'Kim Kardashian-esque' hair. However believe it or not there is such a thing as over conditioning your hair which can leave it sticky, dull and greasy.
No one understands the need for baby soft hair more than me and if your hair is over processed or highly heat damaged you may need to use more conditioner than others but as a general rule you should condition your hair ever time you use shampoo. In my experience you should not wash your hair more than 3 times a week and if you condition in the shower I would skip the leave in condition afterwards to avoid weighing down your hair (especially if you have fine hair like me).  It is important to know (especially if you have hair that tends to get oily) that your hair produces natural oils that condition your roots and most of the hair at the top of your head so when you do use conditioner that is NOT the hair that needs the most nourishment. Instead focus on the middle and ends of your hair which do not receive as much natural oils. If you do feel like your hair is over conditioned, don't fret: the it's fixable! Just do a vinegar rinse on your hair or use a clarifying shampoo (Pantene makes them in a transparent container, it's sold at most pharmacies in Egypt) once a week and you'll hair will back to it's old 'normal conditioned' self in no time.

#2 Not using SPF

It's a no brainer that you need to use sunblock every time you are at the beach and most of us (I hope! ) slather on the SPF loaded lotions and potions during the summer months thinking that we have done our part to protect our skin. WRONG! SPF should be the first thing you look for when buying your daily moisturizer and even foundation. Especially if you live in the Middle East where we have longer sunnier months SPF is a must , it protects your skin from the harmful UV rays which  keeps it looking younger and wrinkle free longer. If you have oily or combination skin you can opt for a tinted moisturizer that has a lighter formula than liquid foundations and heavy SPF sunblock. You can even make your own tinted moisturizer at home just add a small amount of your foundation (whether it be liquid, mineral or powder) to your daily moisturizer and mix them on the back of your hand (you can use a container if you want to make the tinted moisturizer in quantities in advance) and apply the mixture to your face just like you would any moisturizer. Here's a fun and easy tutorial on this DIY project.

#3 Not cleaning your make up brushes

When I started applying make up no one had told me that the brushes I used needed to be cleaned ( don't ask! did I think make up was a self cleaning product?!). After several unexplained break outs I was told by a very wise friend (thanks Sarah wherever you are!) that the acne maybe because I didn't clean my foundation brush after using it . SOOO I did!  and the difference in my skin since then has been drastic, I've had fewer breakouts and my make up always glides on flawlessly. I'm thus passing on my accumulated wisdom to you my fellow 'acne prone, nasty makeup brush using' women of the world. A little baby shampoo and warm water rinse for your make up brushes will go a long way in helping you have better skin. Make up brushes accumulate oils and dirt from your skin, combine that with your leftover make up and you have a hot bed of bacteria that is more than happy to give you that huge red zit the next day.

#4 Going to the Nail Salon Unprepared

We have all used tools (nail clippers, cuticle trimmers, nail files, nail brushes...etc.) at the nail salon before ( if you always take your own tools, then high five to your awesomeness! ) where we've had second doubts about their cleanliness. TRUST me when you had second thoughts about that nail clipper the manicurist used on your toes you were definitely right and should have said something that instant. Nail salons are filled with nasty germs from the foot baths to the technician's hands. The range of infections you can catch from an unsanitary nail salon range from staph, fungal , bacterial to hepatitis and even herpes (Yes gross, I know but i had to)! 
I have certainly been guilty of being too embarrassed or lazy to take my own instruments to the nail salon but since I've started my visit has always been anxiety free and frankly way more pleasant. When you do go to the nail salon please make sure that:
a)  the foot baths are washed with warm water and sprayed with disinfectant before you use them
b)  the technician has washed his/her hands before starting your treatment
c) if you do not take your own tools (well shame on you!) that the tools they use are sterilized and opened from the sterile bag right in front of you
These are just a couple of tips that I have found helpful but for a flu article on nail salon safety check this article out.

#5 Not Using a Heat Protectant

I discovered heat protectant in my twenties and have never looked back since! It is just not prevalent in our culture to use it as a styling product, the hair dresser never uses it  at the hair salon (which is where 90% of Middle Eastern women get their hair done) , you've never seen your mom use it growing up and very few people actually tell you about the great difference you will see in you hair once you start using it. 
You will notice that your hair feels less 'fried' after using your straightener or curling iron and you'll notice less split ends as well as less breakage. Let us just be clear I am not condoning excessive use of heat but when you do it's always better to protect your hair from it's damaging effects.  So the next time you go to your hair salon take you heat protectant with you and ask the stylist to spray it on your hair before starting your blow out. You can thank me later ;) 

As always if you have any questions about all of the info above just let me know BELOW in the comments box and if I have the answer I'll be sure to get back to you or write a post for your specific request.

Come back for more every 'beauty tuesday'! 

Lots of Love!


  1. Love this post!! Seems easy to follow and straightforward. I wonder why I never thought of any of this stuff before?

    Waiting for more awesomeness!

    1. Thanks for the support my love! I'm so glad you liked it! xx

  2. Im in the UK so the sun and sand storms are not a problem for me!! But its kinda true about the make up brushes....I am bad at that!

    I found your blog on beautylish and am now following, check out my blog & follow me too!



  3. Well in the UK it's constantly damp and your hair does tend to get frizzy as well! So you guys are also prone to over conditioning especially with anti frizz products!
    Thanks for checking me out Kim ! I'll follow you back right now!


  4. Aha! So the vinegar rinse is common in many countries, I'm so glad! hehe

    Also, I've never been to a nail salon- it's not a popular choice where I live- so I've never thought that you could catch so many germs from a reckless technician! That was good to know! A bit scary, but definitely good to know ;)

  5. Thank you for following my blog. I followed back and I like your style :)

  6. Nice post!
    I found you through Beautylish, hope you could follow me back!


  7. Great post!i probably do four of the things on the list:L I should stop:)