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Beauty

Sonicblend Brush VS Beauty Blender

When I received the Michael Todd Beauty Sonicblend Brush for the holidays I was super excited to try it and see how it compares to my tried and true Beauty Blender.  Make up application is a part of my everyday routine, I have simply made it a habit to never leave the house without it.   I am always looking for new ways to speed up my routine and love seeing what new products are out there.

Sonicblend Brush VS Beauty Blender

Check out my video to see what happens when I apply foundation to half my face with the Beauty Blender and apply foundation to the other half with my new Sonicblend brush.

Although I still LOVE the Beauty Blender I dare say that the Sonicblend Brush has a more ‘done up’ finish (which I prefer!) whereas with the Beauty Blender you can still kind of see your skin through the application which creates a more natural looking finish unless you layer up!  Also the Sonicblend brush does not require water for application so your finish benefits from the full foundation coverage whereas with the Beauty Blender your foundation can get watered down.


I loved testing out this new product and lately I have been sharing my thoughts on our YouTube channel, tell us what you think and if you like what you see, hit subscribe!  For more of our other beauty hacks, click here.

Cheers,

Rina

Loreal Elvive – Your Solution For Dry And Dull Hair

Ever since hair serums hit the market a decade ago, I have seen friends multipurpose them: for weight, for styling, for texture, on dry hair, and on wet hair. Hair serums were designed to assist with hair movement and to protect against the elements of everyday styling — this means that using them arbitrarily doesn’t optimize their use. But us chicks have found the ultimate hair tool. L’oreal Paris recently released the Elvive Extraordinary Serum in the United States to set the record straight on what a hair serum is supposed to do.

Using products according to the directions and knowing what is in the products you use is easier than ever.  The Elvive serum is a versatile serum but because it is not a very heavy oil, it doesn’t work that well for weight, I found that it works best on damp and freshly shampooed hair. It is designed to provide moisture and protection therefore applying it to clean hair will make all the difference.  Without adding more than a few drops, you can avoid too much weight and enjoy full, vibrant hair texture.

Before And After
Before And After
Before And After – The picture on the left is my hair without product and looks heavier and less voluminous, whereas the photo on the right is after using the Elvive serum.  The photos only tell part of the story since you cannot feel the difference.  The hair on the right is softer and lighter to the touch.

Having used a variety of serums myself, the blended botanical extracts and oils combined with the overall feel and smell is the perfect storm for my hair. I might have a lot of hair but it quickly turns dry and dull if I don’t protect it. But don’t take my word for it, check out the amazing reviews on Amazon.


If hair loss is something you deal with or if you are looking for more natural solutions to getting #HairGoals, check our post about the no-poo and inversion method!

XOXO,

Rina

**A sample of the product was given complimentary via Inflenster to Chicks And Salsa in exchange for this review, however the opinions held herein are all our own.**

Turmeric – Why Your Body Needs It (and How to Use It)!

What is turmeric and why is it so talked about these days? Turmeric benefits are comprehensive, and most are due to its active compound, curcumin. For the last 2 years, I have probably missed a handful of days where I have not consumed turmeric. Let me tell you, it is probably the best thing I have done to my diet (Never going back!).

There are seriously so many benefits of Turmeric and I would need multiple blog posts to go through them all. Here the benefits that are most important to me! Side note: Black pepper contains piperine, which has been shown to help our bodies absorb the turmeric by 2000%. Try to use black pepper with any turmeric consumption!

Turmeric goes beyond the kitchen!
Spices that go beyond the kitchen!
ANTIOXIDANTS and IMMUNITY

Curcumin is a power antioxidant. We always hear about berries having a significant number of antioxidants and how important it is for our bodies.  Antioxidants can fight molecules known as free radicals, which negatively affect cell health, and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Winter Immunity Shot:

Juice fresh turmeric, lemon, ginger, and gooseberries. Add a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder. Every morning through the winter months to keep the viruses away!


Easy smoothie recipe:

Blend 1 cup of coconut milk with 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, the juice of one lemon and/or one orange, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, a tiny pinch of black pepper, and about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root. I don’t add any sweeteners but if you need it you can use agave nectar or stevia.

Being mindful of what goes into your body can go a long way, it can even help you have healthier hair.

SKIN BENEFITS

MY FAVORITE BENEFIT (Obviously.) Research suggests turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties make turmeric effective in treating skin conditions. It can help speed wound healing, calm the pores, and help control psoriasis flares.

Turmeric - Natural Face Mask
Natural Face Mask

My weekly Turmeric Face Mask Recipe:

Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt (I use homemade yogurt) with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of honey for a soothing and cooling face mask. I leave it on for about 5 minutes and wash off. (I’ve never had problems with it staining skin, but use an old towel just in case.)

Acne Spot Treatment:

I make a paste of honey and turmeric (2 parts honey to 1 part turmeric) and dab on to spot treat.

BRAIN

This benefit is important to me for my toddler! Curcumin has been shown to have positive effects on brain function and memory by increasing levels of the brain hormone that boosts neuron growth (and fights decay in old folks).

Ever since my toddler has been on whole milk I have added a pinch of turmeric to her milk servings every day. She is 2 and still drinks her milk with a pinch of turmeric! You can also give it to them in a smoothie!

TEETH WHITENING:

I have not tried this yet, but it is next on my list!  We are all busy and sometimes it’s hard to get around to doing some of these things that are beneficial for our bodies. To make life easy: There are Turmeric Supplements (which also include the black pepper) that you can take daily!

Let me know what works for you, comment below!

Love,

Neema

You Are The Company You Keep : Why We Blog

It was a life lesson my parents tried to teach us at a young age: if you surround yourself with go-getters and motivated individuals, it would ‘rub’ off on you and make you that way.  We didn’t always understand what they meant – or if they just didn’t like our friends growing up – but the older we got, the more we understood. Surrounding yourself with like-minded and successful people can inspire motivation.  Success, learning, and networking is like an addiction — once you get a taste of what it is like to be ‘one-of-those-people’, you become empowered to continue to learn and create.

Getting a graduate degree was step one for us. We were surrounded by colleagues who were motivated to pursue further understanding and deeper thought. We began learning the importance of not just accomplishing a task, but enjoying the process of collaborating with peers. And it may sound silly, but our lifestyles as a whole began to shift; we started spending more time in coffee shops getting to know people and their passions rather than partying at bars and nightclubs where the discussions were more superficial.

Once Upon a Dollhouse
With Dani and Caitlin of Once Upon a Dollhouse

Most recently, we discovered blogging. Once we entered this sphere, we quickly recognized that this was largely a female-dominated industry filled with creative influencers, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists.  The desire to have these women ‘rub’ off on us was real.  We have always had a strong network of women in our lives, from our Mom to our five aunts to our cousins and  to our friends, it’s hard to ignore the magnetic energy that a room full of women can produce.


We didn’t know at the time what we were bringing to the table. We did know that we had something to offer.  In this past year, we have truly grown as individuals and as bloggers.  Joining groups where women were open to listening and sharing ideas (e.g. the Windy City Collective, Chicago Grammers, and Style Collective) has been meaningful and beneficial.  Somewhere along the way in these discussions, it did ‘rub ‘ off and we caught the bug to try something new and push ourselves professionally and creatively. This infectious transfer of motivation among women helps us to enjoy the blogging process and to have fun even when things seem hectic.

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We are getting a second chance in our thirties to redefine the next fifty years of our life. Although we don’t know what we are going to do with that opportunity yet, we do know that we will continue to grow.  We are truly grateful to the people we have met along the way who have been generous with their ideas and time – shout out to Annie Spano and the dolls from Once Upon A Dollhouse to name a few.  They inspired us to see a bigger picture and talk through a path with us chicks.

Blogging is about reciprocal influence by sharing who you are with the universe and letting the universe shape you. At Chicks and Salsa, we are trying to do just that one week at a time. Thanks for hopping along for the journey. Get out there, form connections, empower yourself and inspire others. Check out our Chicks And Salsa Chick Chat podcast to hear us think out loud about other things in life that motivate us!

Until next time,

Your Chicks,

Rina and Sonia

Botox and the Indian Community      

Botox, everyone has thought about it, many of us are doing it, so why aren’t we talking about it?

Growing up as first generation Indian Americans, my sister and I had the impossible task of representing our Indian side, our American side, and our hybrid side with grace and full understanding.  This meant being respectful yet assertive and exploring our interests while not wandering too far outside of our parents understanding. It also meant looking and acting within certain cultural norms without compromising our opportunities here as Americans.

Aging is one of those unusual paradoxes where being Indian and American does not agree.  It appears that Americans embrace doing things make you feel good — from facials to chemical peels to plastic surgery to Botox. There is discussion and a sharing of experiences that is a part of the American culture.  I can’t speak to other communities and cultures but the Indian community from both the immigrant and first generation perspectives does not embrace artificial enhancement. Indo-American women will undergo a variety of procedures and services behind closed doors and lie about their genetics and diets to no end.   An acceptance of anti-aging tools that we have available to us as Indians in America has been a difficult pill to swallow for many.

Avani getting her bi annual Botox shots.I am 36 years old, I have been getting Botox for 3 years.  When I looked in the mirror after having two kids and moving homes twice, my body directly experienced the stress. My body had undergone both of those life-changing events and left me with deep wrinkles which made me feel older than I was. My friends, co-workers, and sisters were supportive when I first considered Botox (see our article here about facing judgement). We talked about it, read about it, researched it until I eventually went for it.  Some family members, on the other hand, discouraged me from doing it and hesitantly added that if I did get it, I should keep it to myself.  After seeing my results and my satisfaction, two short years later, they too went ahead and tried it out. But they have since kept their “genetic” advantages to themselves.

Before And After
Before And After

Without getting too carried away, I am grateful that I can take little steps to look the way I feel.  I am not in denial of aging or of my life circumstances; this is a personal choice and one that has left me satisfied. By not sharing ideas and privatizing our desires, we cannot lift each other up in a way that can be positive in the right context.

I hope to get the discussion started.  We are fortunate that one of our Savvy Chicks’, Avani, has a husband who is a plastic surgeon — if you have any questions please leave them in comments below and we will be happy to get you an expert’s perspective.

Cheers,

Rina

If Botox is not your thing yet, here are a few Chicks Picks from Beauty Chick, Neema (check out her take on sunscreen).


What does it look like “Behind The Scenes”

Whenever I post images or “bts” images on my social media pages, I get flooded with text messages from “hey, how can I become one of your models” or “what really happens behind the scenes?”  I thought for my next blog post it would be fun to share some of my experiences.

For the past four years I have worked with a client helping create the looks for their spring and fall bridal campaigns.  When I think back to our first campaign together, I can’t help but be reminded just how far we have come as a team.  I can’t emphasize the word “team” enough because it truly is a group effort.

There are so many preparations that go into executing a successful shoot.  A lot of creative energy and communication goes into.  One of our first steps is our creative team will send emails and photographs of inspiration.  After several meetings and inputs from everyone, they will usually confirm the mood and the process of building our sets start to take place.

While our set is starting to slowly be brought to life, the photographer will usually send his/her inspiration for lighting.  I can’t tell you how important lighting is. It’s everything. You can have the most beautiful model, on a perfect set, wearing a gorgeous gown. If the lighting is off then everything is off! No pressure, right?!

Once we have all agreed on a lighting that is appropriate for our inspiration, we start brainstorming hair, makeup and styling looks.  This can be from choosing a model with the right hair color, down to the color of their natural lips.  Does she have freckles? How will they photograph? Does she have a birth mark on her back? Can our team of editors get rid of it and will it be expensive to do so.

From there we start our search for the perfect models. This process can be a long and draining process.  They not only have to fit the image the creative team desires but they need to be the exact height and measurements as the sample sizes as they will not alter them.

These are really just a few but most important steps in bringing a vision to life.  As I mentioned it’s truly a team effort. I always look forward to these shoots because they allow me the opportunity to work with such creative people whose passion for art and excellence is contagious.

Love,

Deanna-Your Beauty Chick

Chick Picks:

Umbrella Lights
Faux Backdrop
Faux Sheepskin Rug

How To Get #HairGoals

3 months postpartum and I was losing hair in ridiculous amounts. When I say ridiculous amounts I mean constant never-ending shedding all day long. 4 months postpartum and I could tell the thickness of my hair was not what it use to be – my ponytail was skinnier, I could see bits of receding in places around my hairline. I CRIED.

After doing some research, I found out that postpartum hair loss is completely normal, and happens to most women but in different severities. It has to do with all the crazy hormones trying to go back to normal in your body (Like we don’t go through enough, right?)

Even after reading that it was normal – I was devastated and seriously thought my hair would never be the same. Fast forward to 8 months after delivering – and I saw fly always all around my head. IT WAS GROWING!! (Insert happy dance!!)

 

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I started taking things into my own hands to help my hair grow faster and better. No chemicals, no expensive medications, just a few nourishing techniques I learned while obsessing over how to get my hair back.

Please hear me — this is just what I did to grow my hair quickly. Don’t feel pressured to have to try all these things all at once. It’s like a buffet — pick a few that work for you!

No-poo

Sigh. Yeah, you heard me. For years now I had heard about no-poo, and thought it was nuts. But I was desperate and tried it. Why not? Buy a little bit of high-quality baking soda, and use a little vinegar, add my favorite essential oil (lavender oil), clean all the buildup off my hair and scalp. RESULTS: LOVE! My hair had never looked as good, ever. I did the no-poo for about 4 months, before I went back to a natural shampoo.

The Inversion Method (Major game changer!)

What’s the Inversion Method? For one week per month, once a day, you wet your fingertips with some hair-appropriate oil (I did a mix of almond oil and castor oil), flip your head over and give your scalp a good 5-minute massage with your fingertips. Like, a really good massage. The massage paired with your head being upside down MAJORLY increases blood flow to the scalp and triggers an increase in hair growth. You should only do this once a week per month (one week on, three weeks off). Your scalp quickly gets accustomed to it if you do it too often. I’ve read that this method can grow hair 4 inches in one week – I’m not sure I saw that kind of growth but I DEFINITELY saw a difference.

Biotin

This one’s an easy one, peeps. I started taking Biotin. Pairing this with all the other crazy hair things I was doing makes it hard to for me to say how effective it is, but since taking it my nails have become rock hard. So I know it’s doing something!

Eat Healthy!

This is usually a no brainer, but there are certain foods that provide the exact vitamins that your body needs. I’m a vegetarian so I did the plant version of everything but I will list the beneficial non-vegetarian options as well

Fatty acids: Avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts were my go-to. Non-vegetarian: Salmon

Antioxidant, beta-carotene, vitamin A: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Cantaloupe

Protein & Iron: Eggs for me! Non-Vegetarian: chicken, pork, and beef.

Vitamin C & Folate: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and leafy greens. I would make a smoothie!

Zinc & Biotin: Lentils, soybeans, kidney beans

Vitamin B5 & D: Greek Yogurt

Vitamin C: Blueberries, strawberries, and kiwi – Also added this to my smoothie!

Chlorine, UV, and Wind Protection:  This ones pretty obvious — Throw on a hat if you can! If you’re in the pool a lot, wet your hair before going into the pool and if possible add a conditioner to help prevent it from stripping in the chlorine.  Also check out my previous post on physical sunscreen to learn more about my recommendations on UV protection.

These are just somethings that really helped my hair! My hair if feeling the same as before and even a bit thicker than before having my baby girl. I just cut off 7-inches of my hair just to try something new so it is the perfect time for me to do a before and after in a few months to show you guys how much my hair has grown!

Think hair-growing thoughts! #hairgoals

Love,

Neema

Chick Picks:

Q & A with Model Alexandra Schafer

Being in the beauty industry has many perks. From working on exciting projects on sets to meeting the people behind the scenes that help bring everything to life. All aspects of it have been an exciting journey. However, my personal favorite thing about being in this business has been all the talent you get to meet and learn from.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some really fascinating people. And although it’s always exciting to meet your favorite celebrity or work with a high profile client, there is nothing more exciting then working with other people who share the same passion and creative energy as yourself.

Alexandra Schafer (@lamakeupalex) started her career as a model. After traveling the world to walk high fashion designer shows and working as the face of Ralph Lauren in the 90’s, Alex decided to go back to what she originally intended to do from the beginning and that’s working behind the scenes. You have probably seen her work in national campaign’s for designers/retailers such as Bebe and Guess.

I was able to ask Alex some questions about her life in the industry today and thought I would share this with our C & S readers.

Happy Reading!

Your beauty chick,

Deanna

How did you end up in the beauty industry?

Through a class I took in my late teens, which led me to modeling and then back to beauty. It was all the amazing artists I worked with over the years that inspired me to approach makeup full time.

Working with celebrity clients must leave you nervous sometimes. How do you deal with it?

I don’t really get nervous, rather excited to collaborate and meet creative’s. Creative energy is exciting and everyone is coming together; and when it really gels, it’s magical. When you have a “difficult personality” to deal with it sometimes is a challenge, but you just breathe and keep on believing in yourself and remind yourself they only want is best as well.

What’s the most common beauty mistake you see in people’s work?

They don’t enhance and frame beauty, but rather they cover it up and mask it; or the base is too heavy.

Alex doing makeup on Katie Wee of Return of the Mac

If you had to pick just one product to recommend everyone keep in their makeup bag, what would it be?

Bronzer or blush, depending on skin color.

 

Low Key Cutie

If the contents of your bag should be kept a secret, you should probably steer clear of this blog post — however, if you’re the friend in the group who is known to have accessories which show a lot of thought and detail, then you are the ideal woman to carry the see-through bag.

Gone are the days when women’s bags were the mysterious, inaccessible Pandora’s box. We put so much thought into the details of all the items we own, and it shouldn’t go to waste in the dark hole of your large tote.

The see-through bags are ironic because the bag itself is minimalist in its design but the contents of the bag are ever changing. It’s so easy to match it to your outfit using your own accessories. For instance, this all-white daytime look is most appropriate for running errands, a BBQ or taking a stroll at the park. However, this time, give the Chanel a break and play it low-key cutie with this sheer beauty. Make it your own using your own accessories. I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging and if I’m going to spend a little more cash on the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick than the drugstore brand then I’m going to want to show it off and get my money’s worth! Obviously my choice is based on quality but you can’t deny the gorgeous packaging! You can also throw in that iPhone with the confetti cover for some glimmer, a pair of reflector shades, a fancy MUJI pen (always carry a pen) and I love the Herbivore Rose Face Mist to keep you looking fresh.

You can change up the look and contents of the bag using what you already have which makes this bag on trend, and efficient! It’s also a great way to start a conversation. People will automatically be drawn to your bag and it’s likely to spark a discussion; so it’s also a great ice-breaker!

Show us how you style your outfits with your see-through bags by tagging @chicksandsalsa.

Your Trendy Chick,

Puja

 

Chick Picks:

Transparent Bag

 

zeroUV Vintage Sunnies

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Chicks and Salsa is an Amazon Associate, please support us by ordering products directly from the links provided in this post.**


Travel Friendly Beauty Products

When it comes to traveling I try to pack as minimal as possible. I mean anyone who knows me knows that I am a minimalist by nature. Too much of anything makes me nervous! This is especially true when it comes to packing my beauty products. Whether I am traveling for work, vacations or a friends wedding, I try to keep it simple.

When I’m flying with just a carry-on it’s been challenging for me to pare down my liquids to meet the requirements of TSA. This is when I decided solid makeup is my new travel companion. When I made the decision to travel with more “solid” makeup, I took a little extra time in the cosmetic department to learn, feel and work with these solids. Here are some of my favorite travel friendly products that I never leave home without.

FOUNDATION

For years I’ve sworn by Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick. I love this foundation for so many reasons. First being how compact and convenient it is. There’s no mess with this foundation! Best part? I can apply it with my fingers!  Whether I’m using it to touch up blemishes or using it as medium to full coverage foundation, this stick does the job.  It’s great in any climate too!  And for you ladies that love to take pictures….it photographs flawlessly!  I mean who doesn’t want to look flawless in a selfie, right?

CONCEALER

Cle de peau has one of the best concealer’s in the market (in my opinion). Super creamy and smooth. Less is more when it comes to this concealer.  This is a great product to brighten your eyes after a red-eye or a long day of traveling.

BLUSH AND HIGHLIGHTERS

The fabulous duo is great for obvious reasons. Two in one!  I absolutely love a great cream blush and highlighter. The advantage of cream blushes and highlighters is you have more control when applying. Whether you apply them with your fingers or a brush, the end result is a natural feel and look.

SUNSCREEN

Whether you’re final destination includes the hot scorching sun in Mexico, or the ski slopes of Colorado…protect yourself! If I’m going to be completely honest, there is not one sunscreen that I am loyal to. However, I always recommend it and I always travel with a solid one to avoid the mess. 

DRY SHAMPOO

Do you know the question “If you were ever trapped on an island what would you take with you?”  Well, ladies, this is it! Batiste, hands down, is the BEST dry shampoo around. Believe me when I say I’ve tried them all.  Yes, the full size bottle doesn’t follow TSA’s regulations but the travel size sure does.  One of the first things I do when I arrive to my final destination is spray this in my hair and immediately I forget that I was just sharing the same recycled air with 270 other people. Give it a try you won’t regret it! Chicks honor.

Happy Traveling!

Love, Your Beauty Chick-Deanna

 

 

Chick Picks:

 

Cle De Peau Concealer
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick
Wander Blush Duo
Batiste Tavel Size Dry Shampoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Chicks and Salsa is an Amazon Associate, please support us by ordering products from the links directly from this post.**