Fashion

My Hair Journey: How I Repaired My Damaged Hair!

Today, I wanted to share a little bit of my hair journey so far. I’ve had my fair share of of hair troubles and bad haircuts just like anyone else, but now I’m feeling like I have a better understanding of what my hair needs after 24 years. I’m still figuring out some things, like what products work best for my curly hair, but I think we’ve come a REALLY long way!

To start, I’ve had super curly hair my whole life and I’ve always had it pretty short. I’ve dyed it a bunch of times and spent most of my life straightening it because I really had no idea what to do with it. Growing up and being mixed race, I didn’t really have anyone to look up to for that sort of thing. No one I knew had hair like mine. It wasn’t quite kinky curly enough to resonate with the black girls, but it definitely wasn’t straight to identify with the white girls. It was something I struggled to figure out for a very long time and because of that I spent a lot of time experimenting with it.

2010: Summer after freshman year of high school
2010: Spring of freshman year of high school

Just before starting my freshman year of high school, I got probably the worst hair cut and dye job ever. It looked actually horrible and I was so frustrated with what to do with it, so I spent my whole freshman year straightening my hair. Just before my sophomore year, I finally found a new hair salon and worked with a woman who really knew what she was doing. At that point I started getting keratin treatments every 6 months and that was truly what changed my life as far as my hair goes. It took a few years, but eventually, it completely tamed my curls to a point where I could manage them. I still didn’t know what products to use on my hair, but at least I was okay with just braiding it and letting it air dry. After that, It was uphill for a while! By my senior year, my hair was finally healthy and long(ish) and I felt way better about it.

Fall 2013: Freshman Year of College
Fall 2013: Freshman Year of College (Sorry this was from snapchat when it had the absolute worst quality ever)
Spring 2014: End of my freshman year of college

After starting college, my hair was still really happy and healthy and the longest it’s ever been. That, of course, is when I made the BIGGEST mistake of my life. Literally ever. During my sophomore year of college I decided to bleach my hair because I wanted to have blonde hair so badly. At first, it was okay and my hair survived and was pretty healthy. But when I went for my 2nd touch up, was where things went really left. My hair was completely fried and broken. I didn’t realize how bad it was for a little while, so I continued to bleach it for about a year until my hair had broken off and was completely dead. It was the worst experience ever seeing huge clumps of my hair fall out in the shower because it was so weak and brittle.

Spring 2015: My first full head of blonde highlights! It looked so healthy still but just wait.
Summer 2015: Still not too bad, but definitely had a lot of fall out and shedding at this point
December 2015: When I finally realized I had to do SOMETHING

Finally, I dyed it back to brown and did my best to let it recuperate but about 8 months later, I tried it again and got another set of balayage highlights. But unfortunately, my hair just wasn’t strong enough to handle it and it was the same thing. Lots of hair falling out all the time! Finally, after another few months, I decided enough was enough and I dyed my hair back to brown and vowed to never bleach my hair ever again. This was my senior year of college. After that, I did my best to keep from putting heat on my hair by braiding it or putting it up into buns most of the time. My hair was so damaged that it never stayed straight anyway. Now once I graduated, I moved back home and had to find a new hair salon because my old lady’s shop closed down and I was honestly terrified of working with someone new. Now I went to a new salon and got a few hair cuts there, and they were not great but eventually we got into a good routine and I trust her!

2016: After dyeing my hair back to brown, attempting to start the healing process
Summer 2016: Went back to blonde cause I wanted to try it again and made the second biggest mistake of my life (aside from trying to contour my nose???)!
Fall 2017: Back to brown and finally actually trying to help my hair (like a smart girl)

In March 2018, I decided to finally chop most of my hair off and start over. I had horrible damage in the back of my hair from the bleach still so I decided to get back into getting keratin treatments and I cut my hair up to about my collar bone. After that I also started taking the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummy vitamins and held off on heat for just about 6 months. I think I only straightened or curled my hair twice in the whole 6 months. After that I got another very small trim and a keratin treatment that lasted me another 6 months and that leads us to where we are today. In June 2019 was my last hair cut and I’m proud to say this is the healthiest my hair has been since my horrible bleaching fiasco and it grew about 6 inches in the last year which is amazing. I gotta say it took A LOT of patience and a lot trial and error but I’m proud that I was able to do this.

April 2018: One month after my big chop and arguably the best photo I’ve ever taken
August 2018: Still figuring out how to have curly hair
August 2018

To be honest, I can attribute majority of my hair success thus far to my big chop in March 2018, keratin treatments, very little heat, and the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummies. Without these things, I honestly don’t know where my hair would be right now. Patience was a major key as well and I’m happy that we got here! I also have a code for for $10 off your first order of Hum Nutrition vitamins if you’d like to try! Just add in the code 15DDAD at check out!

February 2019: After getting my second hair cut for the year in October 2018
April 2019
June 2019: About week after my most recent haircut and keratin treatment
June 2019: 6 inches of growth in one year!

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’d like to see more of these posts, let me know in the comments! xx

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

Greece Vacation Makeup

Now that my trip to Greece is over, I thought I would share how I did my make up for this trip. I knew that I would be busy walking around all day, exploring so I didn’t want to wear a whole lot of makeup during this trip, but I still wanted to look fresh and put together. I kept it very simple this time! Keep reading to see what I did!

To start, after doing my regular skin care routine, I made sure to put sunscreen on every single day. The Mediterranean sun shows no mercy, so it’s super important to put at least SPF 30 on any body parts that will be exposed to the sun.

I also used my Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer Spray to prime my face for the day and keep my skin hydrated. For concealer, I used the Too Faced Born This Way Sculpting Concealer in Warm Beige. This is one shade darker than I normally use because I wanted it to match my skin after I got a little bit tan! (edit: realized I needed like 2 shades darker after I shot this, so I went and exchanged the shade before I left to accommodate for my tan!) I used this under my eyes and on my cheeks, because I have a little bit of acne scarring. I set everything with my Laura Mercier Translucent Powder.

For the rest of my face, I kept it very simple and used my Colourpop cream blush. I had a few shades, so depending on how I was feeling that day, I switched it up! My favorite is Quarters because it’s a pretty orangey shade and it compliments my skin tone really well. I also used my Becca Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector for highlighter. I brought the shades Champagne Pop and Topaz with me and just alternated which one I used depending on the day.

For my brows, depending on how I was feeling/how much time I had, I used either my Anastasia tinted brow gel or I used my Anastasia Brow Definer pencil and set it with clear mascara. Lastly, I used my Diorshow Lash Primer and Volumizing Mascara and my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black for my eyelashes and finished everything off with my trusty Carmex Chapstick. I brought a few lipglosses with me for days when we went out to a nicer dinner, but I ended up not really using any lip products on this trip.

That’s my very simple, Greek vacation make up look. I hope you enjoyed!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

May 2019 Favorites

The month of May went by so quickly, I feel like I didn’t even have time to enjoy it. I don’t have too many favorites for this month because I didn’t do very much honestly, but I have a few beauty products that I rediscovered and have really been loving.

1. Too Faced Hangover Rx 3-in 1 Primer Spray

I have had this for a few used and used it on and off but lately I’ve been really loving this. I haven’t been wearing very much makeup, so this has been a go to on the very few days that I actually do wear some. It keeps my minimal makeup look on all day and it looks dewy and light, not sweaty which is very nice.

2. Becca Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector

This has been a real favorite of mine too! Since I’m wearing only a little make up lately, I like this because it makes me look bright and dewy without the powdery look from a regular highlighter. I also like to add it to my body lotion on my legs and arms and chest to make sure I look glowy and bronze now that it’s the season for wearing less and going out more, ya know.

3. HUM Nutrition Vitamins

I’ve talked about these vitamins a few times on my blog but I wanted to share them again because I can attest to just how well they work. I had been taking these for about a year and then I stopped for 6 weeks. In that 6 weeks of not taking these, I felt absolutely horrible. I was exhausted all the time, I was breaking out badly, my digestion was all messed up. I mean, I was a mess. This month, I started taking them again, and what a world of a difference they have made. I feel so much better and it’s definitely because of these vitamins. I would HIGHLY recommend them!

4. Polaroid Camera

I’ve been taking a bunch of polaroids over the last few months because I love how they look. It’s a fun new way to make memories and hold on to them. They are some of my favorite photos that I have recently and if you love aesthetically pleasing photos, definitely get a polaroid camera.

5. Sweat Shorts

Now that it’s warm and shorts weather, I love to wear my sweat shorts during the day since it’s too hot to wear real sweatpants. I can’t get enough of them. It’s comfy and airy, and they look so cute with graphic t-shirts front tucked. It’s like a comfy chic look.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

April 2019 Favorites

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of favorites for this month but I do really like the ones that I have so I hope that counts for something.

1. New Paltz, NY

Earlier this month my boyfriend and I took a little weekend trip to New Paltz and for a small college town, I really loved it. I shared our experience in it’s own blog post, linked here. We had to best time reliving our college dreams again. We visited the campus and ate lots of good food and drank $4 rum and cokes and had ourselves a ball. It was definitely my favorite experience of the month.

2. Craft Beers

I drank a lot of craft beers this month and my body has made me fully aware of how it feels about it (not very good) but I enjoyed them nonetheless. I went to a cask ale festival earlier this month that had about 85 breweries there to sample. Needless to say, I had a great time. Now that it’s getting warmer out too, I’m really looking forward to heading back to some of my favorite breweries on long island.

3. Trousers

You may have noticed that this month I was really into trousers. I bought 3 pairs this month. They are cute and practical and can easily be dressed up for work with a button down and heels or down for a weekend brunch in a t-shirt and sandals! Highly recommend investing in at least one or two pairs for the spring and summer.

4. Zara

I rediscovered my love for Zara recently and now I want to buy all kinds of things from there. I’m definitely not into fast fashion and I will admit that not everything they sell if worth the price, but Zara is very on trend when I’m in the mood for trendy pieces. It also is moderately affordable but much better quality than Forever 21 or a similar store.

5. Santa Clarita Diet

I started watching this show back in February or March with my boyfriend and we really got into it. It’s extremely gruesome and takes some time to get used to but it’s so funny and the storyline was not predictable which I really liked. I’m not a huge Drew Barrymore fan honestly, but I do really enjoy this show! And Season 3 came out recently!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

Spring Makeup Look

There’s nothing I love more for spring than simple makeup and a bold lip color. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really into bright bold colors for spring and that applies to my make up also. So, today I’m sharing this easy winged liner and bold pink look!

For my base, I started off using my Becca Backlight Priming Filter and then my Too Faced Born This Way Foundation and Concealer. After that I used my Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit in Medium and my Laura Mercier Translucent Powder under my eyes and all over my face to set everything. To finish up with my skin, I bronzed my face with my Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and used the Becca Mineral Blush in Songbird. Finally, I used my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold on my cheekbones and nose.

For my eyes, I used my absolute favorite eyebrow product to start, my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Ebony. For eyeshadow, I used my Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadow palette. I mixed the shades Naked and Commando and placed them all over my lids. For my liner, I used my trusty Maybelline Line Stiletto and for mascara, used my new favorite Diorshow Lash Primer and Volume Mascara.

Now, the fun part was choosing my lip color. I used pinkier products for the rest of my face, so I wanted to do a bright pink lip also. I decided to go with my Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bachelorette to finish the makeup look.

I hope you enjoyed! xx

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

Valentine’s Day Make Up Look

Now that it’s February, I figured it was a good time to do some Valentine’s Day posts. I was also feeling really creative so I wanted to try something fun for my make up look this month. I have been really into bright pink eyeshadow and found this stunning palette from NYX so I knew I had to try use it for this post. Keep reading to see how I got my look from this very bare face!

I actually started using a new foundation on this day and wanted to give a little review of it while we’re here. I started with my Becca First Light Priming Filter underneath. I tried the Too Faced Born This Way foundation and concealer in the shade Warm Beige and Natural Beige, respectively. The foundation is really light actually and is definitely buildable which I’m not sure if I like. When I wear foundation, I want full coverage so I wish it was a little bit more of a fuller coverage from the start. The formula dried really soft which I did like and it lasts a few hours without needing a touch up. I tend to get oily but with this foundation it looked more dewy than oily which I did like.

After that I contoured with my Anastasia Beverly Hills cream contour palette, Laura Mercier Translucent Powder under my eyes and then a loose face powder all over my face. For bronzer, I used my Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil bronzer and blended it with my Becca Luminous Blush in Tigerlily. It’s a super bright shimmery orange that is so beautiful for medium to deep skin tones. For highlight, I used my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in 24K Gold which is the most beautiful yellow gold ever. For brows, I used my Anastasia Brow Definer in Ebony and set them with a clear mascara.

For my eye makeup, I used the NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in the color Phoenix. It’s got all kinds of pretty reds, pinks, and yellows to make sunset inspired looks. I started off with a mustard yellow color all over my crease and brought it down a little bit onto my lid as a transition color. Then I went a little deeper into my crease with a pretty hot pink color. For my outer corner, I used an eggplant purple color and for my lid, I used a glittery rose gold pink color and blended that with the pink in my crease. I used my Maybelline Lash Stilleto Liquid Liner to create a small wing and followed up with my Diorshow Lash Primer and Volume Mascara and finally my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black on top. For my lips, I pushed a peachy gloss by Too Faced. I set my whole face with my Urban Decay All Nighter spray and that’s it!

I hope you liked my sunset inspired Valentine’s day look! I can’t wait to experiment more with this pretty palette!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

My Skincare Routine

I wrote about my skincare routine/products back in the summer but I wanted to talk about it again because it’s getting to be winter soon! Of course, winter is drastically different than summer and therefore, you take care of your skin (and your body in general) differently. Winter tends to be a lot drier than summer so your body requires way more hydration and moisture. Surprisingly, my skincare routine has only changed slightly from summer to winter but it’s made a major difference in the look and feel of my skin.

One of the major things that  changed since the last time I talked about my skin was my birth control. I’m not going to sit here and advocate for birth control or anything because I think it’s a very personal choice and affects people differently. For some people it’s extremely helpful in many different ways and for others, it can be harmful to their physical and emotional health. In my case, I feel that I’ve found one that works very well for me but after several years of trying different ones. I switched to Kyleena, which is an IUD, back in August or September and once my body adjusted to it, I think it’s made a huge difference. My mood has definitely improved (with help from some of the other changes I’ve made in my life) but it improved my skin tremendously. It took about 3 months to really see the difference but now I just have the occasional breakout before or during my period and some scarring left. I think that if your struggle with acne, birth control is solution to consider as long as you understand the side effects that might come with it.

So now for the routine part of it, I still use mostly the same products. I start by washing my face with the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash in the morning. Then depending on what my skin is doing, I’ll either tone with the Neutrogena Pore-Refining Toner or I’ll use the Neutrogena Oil-Elimintating Astringent if I’m breaking out. After that I’ll use the OleHenriksen Truth Serum to keep my skin bright and glowy and then moisturize with the OleHenriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer. In the morning, I keep it pretty simple because I don’t usually have time to do much more. 

At night I do a little bit more with my skin because that’s when your body is recovering from the day and preparing for tomorrow. At night is when I like to exfoliate and really get all the gross stuff out of my skin, especially if I’ve worn makeup recently. I exfoliate every 3-4 days or twice a week. I usually do this in the shower so that the steam can open my pores even more and I can really get all the dirt and oil out. I’ll use the same cleanser with my cleansing brush from Ulta. If I’m exfoliating, then I’ll use my Glycolic Acid solution from the Ordinary followed by a lactic acid solution from the Ordinary. Obviously this is a really intense exfoliation but it makes my skin so soft and smooth the following morning. After that I’ll use my Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel to help with my acne scarring and my BareMinerals Eternalixir Skin Volumizing Oil Serum. This oil serum also makes my skin super soft and glowy when I wake up so I absolutely love it. After that I moisturize with my Origins Night-A-Mins moisturizer.

And that’s it! It’s not very different but trust me when I tell you it’s made a major difference in my skin. Now I want to know, what are some of your favorite skin care products?

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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