Sunday, February 22, 2009

About PMDD

I figured I'd post a little bit about PMDD, since it's relatively unheard of to most people. If you have it, I empathize with you, if you don't, get to know what it is before you end up with someone who has it and you don't know what to do when they begin to suffer its symptoms.This is probably the worst thing I have to suffer through practically every month. I've tried not taking anything and I've tried YAZ to counter the effects of the previous BC I was coerced into taking... with not much luck. It's supposed to be the best to treat PMDD, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. My last resort is anti-depresssants... and you know how that goes...

Thanks to those unprescribed pills and a selfish, pressuring sex addict ex, I've got this seemingly permanent hormonal imbalance that nothing seems to correct. If you look at the symptoms below, I can unfortunately state that I suffer from every single one. People don't take this seriously or don't think PMDD is real (I didn't, until I remembered that I learned about it in health a couple years back, and looked it up), but it is a debilitating disorder that rules my life for a period of about 2 weeks each month. It messes up things for me and makes things exceptionally hard for the people I love the most... I've seen a few doctors about it and was informed that I had correctly diagnosed myself with this disorder which has no real cure.

Here's a little 411:

About 75 percent of menstruating women experience mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms. But up to 10 percent of menstruating women have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — a severe, sometimes disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is distinguished from PMS by the severity of its symptoms and its impact on relationships and daily activities. Symptoms of PMDD — which occur in the last week of the menstrual cycle and usually improve within a few days after menstruation begins — include:

• Persistent sadness or depression
• Marked anxiety, feelings of being "keyed up"or "on edge"
• Mood swings often marked by periods of teariness
• Persistent or marked anger or irritability• Decreased interest in usual activities
• Fatigue or lethargy
• A feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control
• Flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches, headaches and joint pain
• Breast tenderness
• Changes in sleep patterns — problems falling and staying asleep or sleeping too much
• Changes in appetite — overeating, lack of appetite or specific food cravings

The cause of PMDD isn't clear. Major depression is very common with PMDD. But PMDD can also occur in women who do not have a history of major depression.

Treatment of PMDD is directed at preventing or minimizing symptoms and may include:

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Taken before or at the onset of your period, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease cramping and breast discomfort.
• Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) reduce symptoms such as fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
• Oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives stop ovulation and stabilize hormone fluctuations, which reduces mood swings.
• Nutritional supplements. Consuming 1,000 milligrams of dietary and supplemental calcium daily may reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of PMDD. Vitamin B-6 and magnesium also may help.
• Herbal remedies. Clinical trials suggest that L-tryptophan and chasteberry may reduce irritability, mood swings, anger and headaches associated with PMDD.
• Diet and lifestyle changes. Regular exercise often reduces premenstrual symptoms. Decreasing caffeine intake can alleviate anxiety and irritability. Also, eating more carbohydrates in the week before your period may improve mood and memory.
• It's important that you review your symptoms with your doctor. A thorough medical evaluation can determine if symptoms are due to PMDD or some other condition. If you are diagnosed with PMDD, your doctor can recommend specific treatments to help minimize the impact PMDD has on the days you experience symptoms.

I don't want to continue living with this crap forever, but my hormonoes do not seem to be stabilizing. So I've got no idea how much longer I'll have to deal with this. Yes, it's great I have shorter periods, and less cramps (still have em though), but the bc hasn't accounted for the damaging side-effects that won't go away. I don't even want to go into detail besides the fact that it's just an overwhelming feeling of knowing what's going on but not being in control of it. It's pushed me so far, and not in good directions, and I'm sick of having to go through it.

Hopefully, this will enlighten others about what PMDD is all about and what you can do to help yourself if you have it. Hope you have better luck than I do.
"Sometimes we take chances, and sometimes we take pills."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cruelty-free companies

If you're a Peta2 supporter like me, or just love animals and don't want to use products that are tested on animals, these lists for kind living will come in handy:

Companies that DO NOT test on animals
Companies that DO test on animals

Friday, February 6, 2009

Neutrogena Deep Clean invigorating scrub review

So, since I've been wanting to try our some new Neutrogena products, I decided to buy their Deep Clean Invigorating Scrub (on sale :P). I've been using it for 2 days and I'd have to say, I'm pretty disappointed with it. So... review time!


Product description: Enliven your senses with Neutrogena Deep Clean® Invigorating Foaming Scrub. It deep cleans and leaves you feeling amazingly refreshed and exhilarated. Energizing microbeads gently exfoliate skin while sweeping away dead skin cells. Light gel formula lathers into bubbly foam removing surface dirt, oil and make-up. Feel the surge of invigoration as the cooling gel cleans down to pores leaving skin feeling fresh, clean and energized.

Ingredients: Water, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Polyethylene, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Panthenol, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfoamate, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Benzotiazolyl Butylphenol sufonate, Menthol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Synthetic Wax, Ultramarines, Blue 1, Fragrance

Pros: Leaves a tingly, refreshing feeling on skin, instantly smooths and softens skin with exfoliating beads, fresh scent, nice packaging.

Cons: "Invigorating" feeling can be a little unpleasant/strong at first, non-medicated (no acne medication), smell can be a little strong, gel does not foam, dries out skin, MAY cause small breakouts.

What I thought about it: Similarly to another "foaming" Neutrogena face wash I used before, this one did NOT foam. When you rub it together in your palms, it does create a light lather, but not foam. The "invigorating" part of the scrub is quite invigorating indeed, but it was a little strong for me. It does a good job clearing your sinuses though lol.

Since I like any product with exfoliants in it, this was a plus for me. It made my skin softer and smoother, but I first noticed a lot of shine on my forehead after using it. However, my biggest turn-off with this product was that after one night's use, I noticed some small pimples around my nose and chin that weren't there before. I figured it was because I used a little "much" for my first use. So I moisturized, medicated, and went to bed. The next morning, I tried using it again, except a smaller amount. After washing, I noticed my skin was dry and flaking in the same places.

Now, I can't totally attribute my small breakout and dryness ENTIRELY to this scrub, but I'd have to say that I'm pretty sure that's what caused it. I've had little to no skin trouble using my Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle scrub once a week to soften, smooth, and exfoliate my skin. But I only used this scrub for ONE DAY and I got such adverse reactions. This seemed kind of odd to me, since this scrub contains no acne medication such as salicylic acid that would dry out my skin. Even medicated scrubs have been less harsh on my skin :S

However, I'm pretty sure that it was the menthol properties that added to the "invigorating" factor that dried out and irritated my skin (this would explain why the scrub opens your sinuses and makes it instantly easier to breathe... think Vicks vapo rub!). I read the ingredients, and not surprisingly, menthol is included. Menthol is an ingredient that often irritates skin and causes itching and inflammation. You should avoid any skin product that lists menthol as an ingredient.

All in all, although this product smoothed and softened my skin and left it feeling fresh and clean, I think this scrub is a little (or a lot) too strong for me, and I would not reccomend it to people who have sensitive or dry skin. I returned this product the next day. Since I usually love Neutrogena's products, this was really a disappointment. I would not buy this again.

Dark undereye circle tips

1; Cut slices of potato and keep them in the fridge not freezer, till they become cool and then place them on the eye for 10 minutes.

2; You can alternately use the juice of potato. After making the juice of potatoes , you can dip cotton in the juice and place the soaked cotton on the eyes. Take a potato, wash thoroughly and peel the skin off ,next take a grater and shred the potato the mass you get at the other end has to be squeezed and voila you have your potato juice ,you can also grind the potato chunks (raw) in the grinder and squeeze the juice out off it

3; You can also keep cold tea bags and then place them on the eye. Do not use the teabags you have just removed from your tea cup, keep them in the refrigerator till them become cold and then use them.

4; Make sure you protect your eyes from strong sun glare by using a good pair of sun glasses . A good quality pair of glasses should have enough protection to block out UVA and UVB rays.

5; If you use the computer continuously for a long time, use a good pair of anti computer glare glasses as there is a lot of strain on your eyes.

6; Eat healthy food like carrot sticks with a dip and top your sandwiches with cooked spinach as these are good sources of Vitamin A.

7; Do not use poor quality eye make up. Use home made kajal or herbal products like biotique kajal which is good.

8; If you use an eyeliner, it should be a good brand use . Use it for a short time only then discontinue using it, to prevent damage to the eye from continuous use.

9; Avoid sharing your mascara wand and kajal pencil with anyone as it can spread bacterial infections.

10; Cucumber slices help to clear dark circle under eye. Also, Cotton dipped in rose water helps to clear this dark circle.

11; Products with retinol (vitamin A) or vitamin K are supposed to help with dark circles.

12; Dark circles can also be caused by allergies or lack of nutrition, just not lack of sleep.

Liquid eyeliner made easy(ish)

So, lots of people seem to have trouble using liquid eyeliner, myself included :P However, it does have it's advantages against pencil liner:

Pros: great for precision lines, deeper/darker color, lasts longer, can be used for intricate designs
Cons: can be a pain to apply, has to dry first, smudges easily when still wet

Pros: great for everyday lining, smudges nicely for smokey eyes, easier to apply, can be used to make precision lines if sharpened
Cons: smudges easily, doesn't last as long, color isn't as deep/darkSo anyway, if you're not good with applying liquid eyeliner like me, you can try this method, which I've found is waaay easier than just straight-up liquid lining.


What you need:
• Black liquid eyeliner
• Black/gray pencil eyeliner

What to do:

• Line your lashline with your pencil liner, as you would normally, except try to make it a thin, light line (sharpen your pencil)

• Extend the line slightly past the outer corner of your lashline. Make sure it tapers off nicely to a point.

• Now that you have a "template," it'll make it MUCH EASIER to use your liquid liner to TRACE over the pencil line. This gives the line a lot more precision and also makes it darker.

• Trace over the line completely, and make sure you make the end point taper off nicely again. I usually line from the middle to the outer corner point, and then from the tip of the point back to the middle and inner corner, but you can do whatever you are comfortable with.

• If you smudge with the liquid liner, make sure to wipe it off quickly and thoroughly before it dries or else you'll have to use makeup remover to get it off. BUT you can do touchups on small smudges ones you're done using a little makeup remover on a q-tip.

And you're done! Just remember, the key with liquid eyeliner is PRACTICE & PATIENCE (: I'm looking into different kinds of liquid eyeliner (mine is from Long's Drugs, was super cheap, but creates a nice line) but the specific style that caught my attention was a pen-style applicator. It seems that it would be A LOT easier to use:

However, the ones I was looking at are hella expensive. The first one I wanted is from Shu Uemura, and you have to pay separate for the cartridge and the applicator (both ~$18). The second one I wanted is from Stila, which is ~$16 from a retailer. If I purchase later, I'll do a review on this type of applicator.

Look: basic smokey eye

I'd have to say this is one of the most frequently asked questions I've seen on Yahoo Answers. It's pretty simple to do, so I figured I'd share it. This look can be interchanged with brown tones for a more subtle effect. Also, the general application rules are the same for practically all 3-4 color palettes: ALWAYS GO FROM LIGHTEST TO DARKEST!!!


STEP 1; Line your lashline and waterline with black eyeliner. Extend the line slightly past the outer corner of your eyes. You can use liquid or pencil, whichever you prefer. Liquid will give a more accentuated look, but pencil will work with the "smokey" effect better.

STEP 2; Use a light shimmery color eyeshadow such as white, silver, gray, or some neutral color to highlight below the brow. Apply this over the entire eyelid as well.

STEP 3; Use a slightly darker color such as dark gray eyeshadow and apply it on your eyelid, slightly above the crease. Blend it in with the highlight color around the outer end of your eyelid.

STEP 4; Use an even darker color such as black eyeshadow and apply it to your eyelid, enough so that it will be above the crease, but below the color used in the previous step.

STEP 5; Blend this color with the other darker color, and sweep it slightly towards the highlight color. Make sure everything is blended well.

STEP 6; You might want to use the eyeliner again to line and define your eyes better.

*OPTIONAL; Fake eyelashes also add more effect.

I'm so disappointed that ZA has been discontinued here :( They had the greatest long lasting color palettes, for reasonable prices. This color to the left (104) was a great duo for doing a smoky eye type look. Again, SOOO disappointed. Anyway, for a little outlook on some of their other products: their foundation was very good-- it gave flawless coverage for... I think it was $8-12. I can't remember the actual price but I know it was around there. I didn't quite care for their oil blotters, or their nailpolish. I do have one of their face mask products but I don't use it too often. So I guess I'd have to say that the only products I'm really enthusiastic about is their eyeshadow and foundation. I can't stand the thought of using expensive makeup like MAC (atleast having to BUY it for myself... UGH). But I'd have to say their pigments are GREAT.

However, there's a couple drugstore brand eyeshadows that you can buy that offer the same great, vibrant color. I just shop around until I find what I want.

Here's what I use to do a smoky eye look... It's almost all drugstore chic (:

I circled the colors I used in yellow, and that's basically all you need to create a basic smoky eye! I didn't apply the foundation well (didn't care) but I used some of it. I reccommend EVERY DAY MINERALS products... they work very well for me and the coverage is great, not to mention for a pretty decent price: my usual purchases from them are around $30-40 for atleast 5+ products.

The 12 eyeshadow palette was a freebie from Seventeen magazine. Although the colors are not very pigmented, the charcoal gray worked well enough for me. It just shows what you can do with cheap stuff. You don't need to buy $30 makeup just for it to look good :P I bought the other eyeshadows, eyeliner, and falsies from Long's: LOW BUDGETS CAN WORK WONDERS!!!Again, you can see how my ZA eyeshadow palette is half empty :( boo hoo.