MY ALOPECIA AREATA UPDATE | 3 YEARS LATER


A few weeks ago I asked over on Instagram if my readers would be interested in reading about an update regarding my alopecia areata. Overwhelmingly, you guys said yes, so here I am today. The last time I opened up about my hair loss was a year and a half ago, so I would recommend reading my last post on it if you want to know more about the backstory. 

For those who are unaware, alopecia comes in many forms. It is an auto-immune disease (meaning my body attacks its own cells) that is currently treatable, but not curable. Specifically, I have alopecia areata, which is sporadic hairloss that often results in bald patches although some people have alopecia areata nervosa, which is the full form of hair loss in which they do not have hair anywhere on their body. 

So here I am, three years later after learning about what my body was doing to my hair. Again, at the time I don't think I was stressed, I don't think anything majorly traumatic happened to me to trigger my hair loss. All I know is that someone noticed there was a lot of hair on the bathroom floor, and then my friends started noticing my bald spots (which I had noticed before but didn't think too much of then), and then one night I found a patch about three inches in diameter at the back of my head. This was obviously very scary, considering I have a family member who has the full form of it and my brother had lost almost all of his hair but then it grew back.


I went to the dermatologist, I got blood work done (which turned out normal), I was injected with a steroid to control my body from attacking my hair cells, and eventually my bald patches grew hair again. Every now and then, I would get small patches the size of a dime, and I would apply my topical treatment which always helped to grow my hair back. I would say that within the past three years, I have definitely come to terms with it and I've learned what to look for and how to manage it.

Now that it's been three years though, I don't know if I can truly say I have alopecia areata anymore... and the reason why is because it's been a very long time since I've noticed severe hair loss. My hair definitely isn't what it used to be; it's thinned out but for the most part, I feel like it's not even noticeable. I've been taking care of my hair in terms of treatments, hair masks, etc, but it's definitely been a while since either I or Beni, or any of my friends have seen a patch. Even when I do see a patch, it's so minor that I find it hard to apply my prescription cream and it seems to get better all on its own.


I'm not really sure what else to update you guys on other than I feel happy and content with where I am with my alopecia. If anything, the past few months have given me more stress and less time to do the things I want to do than when I started my last year of university (when all of this happened), but nothing has happened to my hair...? That's the thing with alopecia - no one knows what causes it and no one knows how to cure it. I think that's the most frustrating thing for me because if anything, I often worry about being too stressed or just wondering what might trigger it. It's a constant mind-game and it's not very pleasant. 

I know there's nothing I can do about it, but it would just be nice to not have to think about it, you know? If you guys have any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment down below, reach out to me on Instagram, or even send me an email. For those going through this, just know that I know what you're going through, and even though my case may be different from yours, I'm here for you because I know when I was going through it, I felt very alone at times because no one really understood what I was going through. So, I want to be here for you because I know it's sad, frustrating, and difficult to understand why it has to happen to you and why there are no answers.

Until next time,
Nancy

NEW IN | LIVE CLEAN FOAMING HAND WASHES | REVIEW


You guys know how much I rave about Live Clean on this blog and social media. I've been using their hand soaps for years, so I was super excited to see that they have recently released some Foaming Hand Washes to their range, available in three different scents, Lemon Mint, Vanilla Bean & Coconut, and White Tea & Cherry (not pictured). They retail for $4.99 CAD and are housed in 400mL bottles.

I love foaming hand soaps because they are so light and airy, but they also form a rich and creamy lather that cleanses so perfectly! I've been keeping one in my kitchen and it's been so nice to reach for something that not only smells great (the Vanilla Bean & Coconut is my favourite), but also cleans off grease (and cheesy popcorn fingers!) without drying out my hands. The Live Clean Foaming Hand Washes are enriched with Vitamin E and organic Aloe Vera which is probably why my hands feel nicely moisturized after using the soap. 


As always, Live Clean keeps their products natural and eco-friendly, which is another reason to love the brand. Their products are made with 98% plant based ingredients, pure vegan, never tested on animals, paraben-free, and the packaging is completely recyclable, just to name a few pluses about the brand.

You can find Live Clean Foaming Hand Washes at Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Walmart, Amazon.ca, and Well.ca.

Overall, I love these foaming hand washes. They're absolutely a pleasure to use and the price is super affordable for a natural and eco-friendly product. I gifted one of these to Beni's parents and they've been loving it as well! 

Until next time,
- Nancy

Disclaimer* Product sent for review, all opinions are my own.

THE PRETTIEST ROSE GOLD MAKEUP BRUSHES | FANCII ARIA PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP BRUSH REVIEW


Today's post is about the prettiest rose gold makeup brushes from Fancii. The set I'm featuring in this post is the Aria Professional Makeup Brush Collection. This set features 11 brushes handcrafted for precise application and blending of liquid, cream and powder products, ranging from eye to face brushes.

My favourite design aspect of the Aria Professional Makeup Brush Collection is how the brushes are made with rose gold ferrules and matte black handles that have been designed to provide maximum comfort for your hands. All eleven brushes are housed in a vegan leather roll clutch, making them ideal for travel, because they roll up very neatly. I love how the brushes are made with high quality synthetic fibres which makes them cruelty-free, antibacterial and nonporous.




The Aria Professional Makeup Brush Collection includes:
1. Big Powder Brush
2. Flat Foundation Brush
3. Sculpting Foundation Brush
4. Angled Contour Brush
5. Blush Brush
6. Blending Brush
7. Smudge Brush
8. Concealer Brush
9. All-over Eyeshadow Brush
10. Angled Eye Brush
11. Lip Brush

I've been meaning to replace/add to my makeup brushes for quite some time and thought these gorgeous brushes from Fancii would be the perfect addition. As I've featured Fancii tools before, you know how affordable their products are, and this brush set is no exception. It retails for $25.99, which is a steal if you're looking for great quality brushes on a budget.

My favourite brushes are the Big Powder Brush, the Flat Foundation Brush, the Smudge Brush, and the All-over Eyeshadow Brush. These are the brushes I've been reaching for the most, and I've really been enjoying how they've been working for me in my every day makeup routine.

In terms of washing and drying, the Aria brushes wash very easily, and I actually kept the silicone sleeves the larger brushes came with which makes a great holder for drying. They keep their shape and I haven't experienced any fallout from the brushes so overall I'm very impressed with this brush set.



I know Prime Day is coming up on Amazon, so if you're on the hunt for some new makeup brushes, I highly recommend the Aria Professional Makeup Brush Collection! You can purchase them on Amazon or on the Fancii website.

See you in the next blog post!
- Nancy


EVENT RECAP | NEUTROGENA EVERYDAY IS SUNDAY FEAT. HYDRO BOOST WATER GEL LOTION SPF 50


Hi friends! I hope everyone survived this week of extreme heat in Toronto. I for one, could not handle the heat and pretty much stayed indoors with AC all week. While the sun is nice and all, the humidity is another story. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got to enjoy the sunny weather when it was still bearable with Neutrogena, celebrating their new sunscreen, the Hydro Boost SPF 50. As I like to personally document events when I can, I thought I'd also share with you all what we got up to at the "Everyday is Sunday" event!


The Everyday is Sunday event was held in the Yorkville area of Toronto, at a super cute space complete with an outdoor pool. We were greeted with cocktails and several fun stations for us to visit during the time we were there. I met Sandra from Mom's Makeup Stash (a blogger in the CBB Network), and we were smitten with the straw bags the event organizers had lined up for us to decorate. The bag shown in these photos was the one I DIY'd with poms poms and tassels. There were also artists onsite to paint bags, which many people chose to do.



We were also able to pick from a huge selection of Neutrogena sunscreens, which means I'm officially stocked up for the next two summers. I love the Hydro Boost sunscreen, because it is more of a gel-based watery finish, and doesn't feel greasy or leave a white cast on my skin. I also picked up a few of their other sunscreens to try, including a mineral sunscreen which I've heard great things about.




I thought I'd also share some cheeky photos of some hunks we got to dunk with pool water ;). Overall, the event was so much fun, and I had a great time meeting Sandra and catching up with Stephanie, another fellow member of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers Network. I can't wait to try all of the different sunscreens out this summer!




Have you guys used any sunscreens from Neutrogena? Which ones do you like the best? 
- Nancy

NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS I'M CURRENTLY LOVING


It's been hot minute since I've shared a compilation of beauty products I'm currently loving, so today I wanted to tell you all about some of the natural beauty products that have been major superstars. Another cool thing about the products I'm featuring in this post is that they are from local, national, and international beauty brands!




MAKEUP

In terms of makeup, I have been loving two lip products from Bite Beauty. We all know how pigmented Bite Beauty products are, and these are no exceptions. I have been loving the Matte Creme Lip Crayon in the shade Glace. It's a total MLBB colour, so I've just been reaching for it every day. The second product from Bite Beauty that I've been loving lately is the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb. This is on the more nudey side, but it actually works really well with my skintone so it doesn't wash me out like most nude lipsticks. 

Another makeup product I've been using a lot is Dr. Hauschka's Brow Gel. It's the first of its kind for being all natural and clear, so major props to the brand for accomplishing that. It keeps my brow hairs in place all day and since it's translucent, it doesn't add any extra pigment to my eyebrows.




SKINCARE


In terms of skincare, spray toners have been my go-to. I've been using Rocky Mountain Soap Co.'s Calming Toner, which is perfect for hot summer nights since it contains lavender oil which is very calming. For the daytime, I've been using Dr. Hauschka's Facial Toner which helps to maintain my skin's natural pH levels and tone and refine pores.

I've also been loving LoveFresh's deodorant in the scent Eucalyptus Spearmint. While it's not something I reach for every day (because I need an antiperspirant), I do love using it midday or at the end of the work day if I have something to attend and need a refresh.

The real star of all of the products I'm currently loving is Velvette Organics' Night Facial Oil. I picked this up a few months ago at the One of a Kind Show and have been reaching for it every night since. Velvette Organics is an all natural and organic skincare company from Calgary (woo for hometown companies!). They specialize in facial, body, and hair oils and all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. I've used facial oils in the past but this one just smells so nice and I feel good about letting it soak into my skin because I know exactly what ingredients are in it.



Most of these products have been reviewed on this blog before, so I'll link them here if you want to learn more about any of these products:



I hope you're all surviving this massive heatwave we're having in Toronto right now!
- Nancy

Disclaimer* This post contains some PR samples sent for review.



NEW YORK CITY TRAVEL DIARY

A month ago Beni and I visited New York City for the long weekend. This was my first time in New York, and it's been a long time coming. I've always wanted to go to New York City, and things just fell completely in place for us to take this trip. We stayed in Manhattan at the Pod Times Square hotel, and visited so many places that have been on my bucket list for years. As with all of my trips, I like to compile a photo diary for my own personal use, but it's also fun to share my adventures with all of you!

So, please enjoy the photos! They're in no particular order as they are really just meant to be a fun little flashback to the highlights of my trip. Has anyone ever been to New York? I want to go back again and stay in Brooklyn next time :)


























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