Friday Finds: Favorite Self-Care Products

This month is BLOGuary, and just like last January I've been blogging every day this month (except Sundays) - and just like last January, I've been loving the challenge of balancing daily blogging with daily life.

It's stressful, yes. I'm tired, yes.

But I also think focusing on blogging is a great way to keep from stressing over Eden's next surgery (the end of this month) and all the ways this one is more complicated than the others. Focusing on growing this blog is better than sitting around wringing my hands over my worries. It builds my momentum, gives me focus, clarity, and an outlet.

Oh, and have I mentioned I have a writing partner this BLOGuary? 'Cause I do. David Elliott is a single dad, a poet, a deep thinker, a movie lover, a food enthusiast, a sometimes comic - but more to the point, he's the blogger behind the Single Dad's Guide to Life, and I'm super glad we spent so much of last year getting to be friends! David has his own story to tell and has, in his own way, become very much an Undaunted Man ... and in spite of what he's been through, David is inspiring in that he keeps himself positive, maintains his perspective, and is almost always looking to spin a circumstance into a lesson. Definitely go over and check out his BLOGuary posts, especially his post for today ...

... which will be his counter to my Favorite Self-Care Products - how being a Knott's Berry Farm Brand Ambassador has blessed David's relationship with his daughter.

The last few years haven't just been rough on my emotions and my mental health - they've also been tough on my hair. Stress changes your body in countless ways - not the least of which is your hormones - and while stress has been changing my hormones, my hormones have been changing my hair. When I was younger, I had the most thick and luxurious shining reddish-brown hair. I don't even know how to describe it other than to say that I was totally proud of my good hair.

Now, things have changed a bit - my oldest daughter has thick, beautiful curls that spill all the way down her back almost to her waist. My youngest has straight hair, but hers is no less lovely; it's almost impossibly thick and incredibly silky.

They took my hair.

Before the girls, not only did I have great hair, but I had almost effortlessly great hair. These days, I have to work a lot harder ...
  1. STEP ONE: The first thing I do when I get in the shower is massage a little of Garnier Fructis's 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment into the long ends of my hair, using just enough water to make things work. While that sets in, I'm washing my face, body, etc.
  2. STEP TWO: After rinsing the 3-Minute treatment from my hair, I go ahead and wash it - lately I've been having a pretty serious love affair with Pantene Pro-V's Micellar Revitalize Shampoo because I'm totally amazed with the way it gives my hair life again without drying it out too much or weighing it down too much. Right in the middle - it's perfect! And my hair has shine again.
  3. STEP THREE: Now that my ends are less desperate and my hair is clean, I'm onto the real work - conditioning (yes, again - there are serious consequences if I don't). While the hair close to my scalp is just fine typically, the ends of my hair are chronically DRY - even right after I have a trim. There doesn't seem to be much I can do to battle this except to condition the hell out of my ends, so now we're up to Avon Advance Techniques Reconstruction 7 Conditioner, which I bought from my cousin not only because I was searching for a conditioner that would work but also because my cousin was an Avon rep and I wanted to support her as a small business. She's not a rep anymore because she ended up going into nursing, but if you'd like to try this conditioner, you can find it (and a rep) here. It wasn't a miracle for me and I'm just using it up because I don't like wasting stuff ... but who knows? Maybe it'll be just the thing you need. I like to let this soak into my ends while I pumice my feet, etc - then I'll massage it up through my hair just before rinsing.
  4. STEP FOUR: Now that my hair is mostly under control and the other showering-type things are finished, I've still got one more thing to do - comb through with a wide-toothed comb, squeezing out the excess water from my hair as I go. Then I finish up with a treatment with Garnier Fructis's Leave-in Color Shield Conditioner- which is amazing.

How nuts is it that this is something I have to do several times a week, otherwise my hair gets totally insane?

Seriously. It gets insane.

Fortunately, other aspects of my life are easier these days - like my nails. For the last several months, I've been seriously loving how easy and beautiful Jamberry nail wraps are. They go on in moments, are incredibly easy to take off, and have just about literally infinite potential for how you can choose to wear them. Use them as accents, cut them into strips or other shapes, alternate (or layer) them with polish or gel ... the possibilities are endless. But you can always count on the product experience being amazing (as long as you follow the directions, of course), and I definitely think they kick butt when compared to discount brands. Lately my favorites have been Copacabana and Royal Bliss, but I actually have a Jamberry wish list about a mile long.

One of my favorite things about Jamberry is the way they're always changing things up, and yet you can also always count on certain classics. They even have a Style VIP service you can subscribe to, which gives you 15% discounts on every regularly-priced item all. the. time. But what I really love (even though it's something that's unfortunately still on my "someday" list) is the Stylebox - a monthly subscription service that gives you two full sheets of Jamberry wraps ($30 value) for just $25 a month (free shipping, too!). You get to customize the box to make sure you'll love what's in it, and at $25 for enough wraps for 4 pedicures AND 4 manicures PLUS a ton of accent nails ... well, it's a good deal, that's all I'm saying. Besides, I love that my love for Jamberry can help support my amazing Jamberry babe, Elizabeth Legere, who becomes just a little bit more of a hero to me every time I learn more about her.

There is no suitable explanation.

There's something about soft lips and pretty colors that makes a girl feel spoiled, so when I'm needing a little boost to my confidence or just a little extra self-love, I go the extra mile with my pout - sortof.

I mean, I know you can find a thousand beauty bloggers and vloggers and gurus out there to tell you that you just simply cannot have a beautifully kissable mouth without such-and-such $20 gloss and so-and-so's $30 lipstick - but I've got a perfectly poutable mouth and I do it using the same kind of Strawberry Lip Smacker I've loved since middle school and my same all-time favorite lip stains.

In my dreams, though. But I do love me a red lip.

Those are my most major favorites lately, but here are some others:
  • The Bored Button app on my phone. I know this isn't technically a product, but I love that it's a great way to find cheap entertainment when I'm waiting somewhere, bored, or needed to veg out if I'm stressed. I also like that I can save games I really like for later. Currently I'm loving Make 7, Flight Sim, Let's Park, and It's Raining Boxes.
  • Goetze's Caramel Creams- these things are so yummy! They've been one of my most favorite candies since I was younger, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.
  • Lotions. I usually hate lotion because I serious despise the way it ALWAYS leaves my hands feeling completely nasty. But winter is in full force right now in East Tennessee, and my skin is almost always thirsty. So I've been tolerating the lingering lotion feel on my hands in order to keep my skin touchably soft. Plus, a good smelling lotion just feels totally indulgent, doesn't it?

What are your favorite self-care products, and when's your favorite time to use them? How do you relax after a long day, prep for a long day, or otherwise make it through a long day? Tell me, how do you indulge? I'd love to interact in the comments, so if you leave a comment with your thoughts on this post, be sure to click "notify me" in the comment box so you'll know when I've answered you back!

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And as always, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here.

NOTE: I often use affiliate links in my product mentions on this site, so remember that if you choose to click my product links and end up purchasing through them, I will probably receive a (very) small commission for referring you to the merchants and products I love best. Rest assured that this is at no extra cost to you - but also know that my family and I appreciate your support! (To see a list of other companies I'm currently working with, click here.)