Hair care tips for gorgeous hair!

Hello my lovely friends!

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Most of my friends and followers know that I have PCOS and hypothyroidism, which causes my hair to act up, misbehave and occasionally go wild when my hormones kick in (or out). Ever since I started blogging on CurvyKaur, many of you had asked me how I look after the crazy mane I have on my head. One day (possibly the day the crazy hormones kicked in, yet again), it hit me – I should write a blog post on hair care!

So here it is, a more detailed version of the steps I take to ensure I keep my hair tame, frizz-free and beaut!

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I know, I know, this is a tough one to avoid for all you styling queens! Unfortunately for those who love a good blow dry and glam feels, I have bad news for ya! Blow-drying not only fries your hair by damaging the hair cuticles, it also causes breakage that leads to ugly split ends. However, if you absolutely HAVE to use a curling iron, hair straightener or any other heat tools, I suggest using a good heat protector to prevent as much damage as possible. I invested in the Schwarzkopf Guardian Angel 220°C Heat Protection Spray, used it a few times, kept it away, and forgot all about it – because I hardly ever use any styling tools on my hair. Bottom line is – Air-drying is the best!!!

Hair Serum

All of us can’t avoid using styling tools forever, but we can keep our hair as healthy as possible. An important step is to always apply serum after each hair wash, blow drying, curling, or straightening your hair. These nutrient-packed serums come in many different brands and they can be found at any pharmacy or drug store. The hair serum that was recommended to me by a dear friend and also the serum that I absolutely love is the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega Nourishing Hair Oil.

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Colour chemicals 

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I recently got my hair coloured after 3 years of dye-detox. I think I regret it a little now that my hair is a little dry and not as healthy looking as it was before. Truth is, hair dye has tons of harsh chemicals that can damage your hair (as it did mine), and if done too often it’s nearly impossible to repair that damage. If you are willing, stick to your natural hair colour. But if you insist on revamping your hair colour, don’t go crazy like the Kardashian sisters changing their hair colour to suit their OOTDs! Another important note, you should practice colour care and treatment after dyeing your hair, or you will end up with hair that looks like dried grass on your head, and we don’t want that, do we? Just consult your hairstylist on the various types of hair treatment and they will advice you to do the one that suits the nature of your hair. 

Wash when necessary

God knows how many times I have gotten the look of dismay from people when I tell them my standard hair wash protocol is twice a week, thrice when I work out and sweat like a mofo. Unless you have a naturally oily scalp or you sweat profusely after exercise, you only need to wash your hair every other day or a few times a week. Washing your hair everyday strips the natural oils that make our hair healthy and beautiful. Of course, if your hair feels like it’s greasy and needs a wash, give it a wash. You don’t need to stick to a strict schedule, just play by how your hair reacts to the weather, physical activity, hair products applied and your gross level of laziness (me) LOL! 

No hot water!

I cannot stress this point enough! Ever since I was a teenager, my mother nagged me countless times to never wash my hair using hot water. I guess this advice grew on me after all those years! See, hot water can actually strip your hair of protective oils that serve as a natural conditioner. I’ll tell you the 3 main reasons why I only wash my hair with cool or lukewarm water (on colder days): 

  • Locks in moisture and smooths out my hair – Bye-bye dull hair!
  • Shinier and softer hair – Who doesn’t love a good dose of healthy shine?
  • Reduced frizz, fly-aways, and breakage
  • Cools my head in this hot weather, kind of like a ‘de-stress’ of some sort. 

Condition the right way

A huge mistake I made for the longest time was applying conditioner all over my hair from root to tip, until I learnt that doing so creates a lot of residue buildup on your scalp, which is not very good for your hair, obviously. So, just apply conditioner from the mid-length to the ends of your hair, leave it on while you do other things like shave and sing in the shower, and then wash the conditioner off after 2-3 minutes. 

Trim away the fly-aways

Ok, I don’t have the time to trim my hair every other month. I only drag myself to the hair salon when my hair starts to drag down my face and look dead. (Please do not follow my footsteps). In humid Asian countries like Malaysia, our hair is very prone to split ends, so going long periods of time without trimming your hair can cause the hair to look damaged, out of shape and unhealthy. Try to get your hair trimmed every 2 months or so, and if you are really prone to split ends and unruly hair, trim your hair every 5-6 weeks.

Go natural!

There are a ton of hair products you can buy to improve the quality of your hair. But it is always better to use natural ingredients, and some of the best things for your hair can be found in your pantry. Personally, I oil my hair once a month and it has proven to be the best way to keep my hair healthy. Some of the oils I use are:

  • Olive oil: Great moisturiser for dry hair – Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.
  • Coconut oil: An amazing natural conditioner – Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.
  • Castor oil: Overall, the best remedy for beautiful hair in my opinion -Apply to your hair overnight, then shampoo as usual.

 

So, there you have it, my hair care tips! Do share with me your hair care routine and tips. I would love to know what you guys do to keep your hair healthy and beautiful! Happy rest of the week, beautiful people!! 

Much Love,

NB

 

12 Curvy Girl Struggles

I have been curvy/plus size most of my life and I have certainly come to love me the way I am. I secretly do at times wish I was a couple of sizes smaller (only for the sake of wearing nice clothes that fit well), but at the same time, many girls wish they had my curves! I’ll have to admit, being curvy is actually pretty darn AWESOME!

I consider myself blessed to be curvy, but living in this body comes with some struggles. So, if you are a curvy girl wanting to know if someone else shares your big girl qualms, or if you are not on the curvy side but don’t mind a little insight (and a little laugh) as to how we curvy girls do it, read on:

1. Nothing fits you well.

If it fits you well on the arms, it might be too tight at the waist. Sometimes, the pants might fit well at the waist, but it will be too short because your big ass pulled everything up! I once tried on a beautiful blouse with lovely prints but I couldn’t purchase it because it couldn’t even go down my boobs! Imagine my frustration at that time, knowing that blouse was the biggest size available in that shop!

2. Forever 21 what?

You can shop at large retails like HnM, Forever 21 and Zara only in your dreams. In Malaysia and other Asian countries, it’s like winning a lottery if you manage to snag yourself some nice clothes that fit well from these retail outlets! I mean, most of their clothes go up to size UK 16 max, how rude!

3. Online shopping is a breeze. Not.

Forget shopping online. Don’t even bother with their sizing charts because those charts tell lies. I once purchased a dress online by trusting their sizing chart and I was shocked when I received my order. The dress looked like it could only fit my neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter. So, if you are curvy/plus size and feeling adventurous to shop online, be prepared to order two sizes and return the one that least fits (that too, if they accept returns and exchanges)

4. Sexbomb all day

Instantly turn a decent outfit into something “sexy” or “slutty”. Even a basic loose dress may look like a bodycon dress on a curvy body. We are only left with two choices when it comes to outfits: Either we wear huge sweaters that make us look like 3,895 kilos OR wear a basic dress and walk around in broad daylight looking like Salma Hayek ready for a fiesta!

5. Stretch is porno

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Ask any curvy/plus size girl about stretchy jeans and jeggings and you will hear her rave on about it for hours. Trust me, non-stretchy jeans and denim are a big no-no for girls with bigger everything. Personally, I survive on stretchy jeans and comfy jeggings. Also, jeggings are god-sent for those bloated and “fat” days because they hug the extras and don’t make us feel like somebody is squeezing the life out of us!

6. Tugging is cardio

Denim shorts look like underwear on us. Not only do we show off more than what we are comfortable showing, we also suffer crazy thigh chafing caused by repetitive friction. No amount of baby powder or deodorant stick can help. oh, and dare i forget the arm workout we do to tug our shorts down a thousand times when they ride up?

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Speaking of tugging, let’s talk strapless bra.  Strapless bras and big boobs don’t get along, ever! Our boobs are too heavy for bras that don’t have any support.  Even though we buy our perfect fit and size, it never properly fits and we look idiotic trying to reposition our bra every two minutes.

7. No clothes sharing

Like one of your friend’s outfit? Feel like borrowing your friend’s clothes for a date? Forget about it. Chances are they won’t fit because none of your friends are the same size as you are. Also, you risk stretching your friend’s clothes out so just stick to your own closet and deal with it gurl!

8. Hello Jiggly Puff

Imagine running on the treadmill and with a bagful of rocks attached to your butt and boobs. That’s how we feel when we run and it is mortifying. Not only is running harder for us, we cannot help the not-so-graceful jiggle that follow. But we are absolutely cool (not) with it and will continue to try to jiggle away our coat of cellulite.

9. Ass-ets in your face

Our bulging assets don’t usually allow for tight manoeuvring through chairs and tables. We literally say a silent prayer before walking through small spaces because we know we risk hitting something or someone. Going to the movies require some planning – like toilet visit before the movie and limited soda intake – so you don’t pull a mid-movie pee break and graze your butt into people’s faces on you way out.

10. All about the Bass

We don’t fancy being associated with “fat” girl songs. Thanks to Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj for their song contents, we get THAT look from everyone when their songs play because they expect you to dance like you own the song! Rappers are constantly trying to tell you what to do with your ass – drop it low, back that ass up and what have you these day. Thanks for the compliments but no, I don’t like “Anaconda” and I will not twerk for you dickwits.

11. Boob emergencies

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I carry safety pins in my bag and my car for boob-gap fashion emergencies. See, button-down shirts always pop open at the boob area, giving viewers a good sight of our cleavage (sometimes we walk around flashing our boobs the whole day without knowing). If we curvy girls want to avoid this problem from happening, we’ll have to get a size up. But this also means we now look like we borrowed our Grandpa’s shirt to work.

12. Spanx me silly

Almost every girl I know dislike wearing Spanx or shape wear. We curvy/plus size girls HATE them. Although shape wear works like magic to tuck in all the loose chunky bits, wearing it suffocates us, makes us uncomfortable, unexpectedly rolls out and creates a very visible line. Last but not least,  wearing Spanx require acrobatic skills when using the bathroom. But we still suck it in and do it anyway, cuz ain’t nobody got time for fat rolls!

So there you have it! The struggle is real for me and all the other curvy/ plus size girls out there but truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my body, wonderful curves and all, and ultimately I love ME.

Her curves aren’t a curse.

Her body’s a blessing.

Her thighs are thunder and her hips are heaven. 

To those of you who share the same kind of struggles or have other struggles that you want to share, do comment and we can have a chat!

 

 

 

 

 

My PCOS story

Since my blog is everything to do with living life as a plus size / curvy / in-betweenie woman, I thought I’ll be open about my journey with PCOS. This is because I know so many women out there suffer similarly as I do, and some are not even aware that they have PCOS. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

WHAT IS PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder affecting roughly 5-10% of women out there.  Symptoms of PCOS include acne, obesity, hair loss, amenorrhea (lack of periods), excessive hair in unwanted areas, infertility, erratic mood swings, ovarian cysts and trouble losing weight.  This invisible illness also causes major health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer and insulin resistance.

In my case, I struggle with almost everything mentioned above, with an added disorder – Hypothyroidism (Click to read more)

Talk about a double combo!

MY PCOS STORY

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When I was diagnosed with Polycystic-Ovarian Syndrome, I thought my life was over. I thought I would gain even more weight than I had, have a face covered in acne for the rest of my life, and never be able to bear children. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I felt trapped by this unknown “disease” determined on ruining my life, which resulted in the anxiety that I am still battling today!

Let’s rewind to when I first found out I had PCOS.

That first day I cried, and I cried and I cried even more.  My Gynae spent an hour just schooling scaring me on the drastic changes I had to make in order to regulate this disorder that was going to change my life. She mentioned scary words like ‘cancer’ and ‘IVF’ which got me thinking of the worst at that moment.

Once reality hit me, I was mad that I had to change my diet.  I’m a huge food lover and I thought it was bloody unfair that I had to cut down STOP eating food that others got to enjoy so easily. I was envious of people around me who could eat any carb and sugary food that they pleased and my “treat” was going to be greek yoghurt with sliced fruit (ew). I also found it so frustrating that my friends could lose weight so easily when I would torture myself at the gym and still not shed any weight.I was also tormented with fear – fear of not having kids, fear of my husband (then boyfriend) leaving me for my wild mood swings, fear of having those crazy diseases, and of course fear of not living the life I was comfortable with. All of this contributed to my anxiety and mild erratic attitude change.

Now that’s a load of negative emotions! But even though it sounds like it was a rough period of time for me only, but truth is, it also was a rough period for my nearest and dearest people. I am absolutely thankful that I got the support I needed from my husband, family and friends because these wonderful people re-adjusted their ‘system’ for me to make sure I knew that I was not alone fighting this battle. My mother stocked up on brown rice for the days I would eat at my parent’s house and she also made delicious healthy dishes just for me (God bless that woman). My friends knew my dietary requirements so they would opt to hang out at restaurants that catered to my diet meals. They also understood my need for ‘time-out’ moments after I explained how tough it is to deal with all the changes I was making and that I needed my solitary time to just relax. Even with all the bitch fits I was throwing, I would find random encouraging notes stuck on my door!

I remember those random days I felt miserable about my situation but somehow I managed to get through it with the help of my loved ones. I stopped comparing my life with others because that was leading to more misery.  I turned my emotions around and decided to be positive.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say it’s been an easy journey and that I don’t suffer bad days.  I defo do! And sometimes that feeling of emptiness is unbearable.  At the beginning of my journey, I would even tell my husband that he should leave me and find a woman who could give him kids!  I no longer do that because, well what an idiot I was! On the upside of things, my husband and I have become a stronger and more understanding couple because of this challenge we face.

Despite those random days I have had, I can say I mostly feel proud of myself for taking care of my body. I don’t do it all the time and sometimes fail (i’m only human and humans have wants and needs!). Though I haven’t lost the weight I want to, I’ve remained stable. Every day I make choices about what is best for my health.  I no longer obsess about what I put in my mouth as I do allow myself to splurge on greasy fatty food here and there. Ultimately, my goal is to feed my body nutritious foods that will regulate insulin and prepare my body for when I want to get pregnant in the near future.

I know that it may still be hard, but with time, I know making healthy choices will become easier. So far these few years of eating healthy, mixed with some ups and downs, have done more good than harm to me. So I thought sharing some tips on how I cope with PCOS would help some of you.

Here are a few tips I use to help me kick PCOS in the butt:-

1. Green tea-licious!

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Japanese Green Tea :      a must-have in my pantry

Green tea is a must for me, and I drink it religiously after dinner. I personally prefer Japanese Green tea because of the robust flavour, but any green tea is good. Green tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants and rich in a compound called L-theanine, known to reduce anxiety and soothe the mind. Green tea is also known to help burn fats more effectively and ever since I started drinking green tea on a daily basis, I found that my digestion was better and quicker, possibly helping in the burning of carbs I eat too!

One of the most important benefit of green tea for PCOS is that it improves insulin sensitivity because insulin resistance is the key cause of this hormonal condition. So, to keep those insulin drops at bay, drink more green tea! All in all, green tea is loaded with healthy nutrients that I had to make drinking it a part of my daily night routine!

Side note:I also have started drinking lemon and ginger tea as an afternoon sip for a while now. This tea blend has done wonders for my digestion as well as improved my complexion!

2. Work that body!

Ok,ok! I’ll admit it! I hardly exercise these days and although I have a ton of reasons for skipping exercise, it is all excuses basically! However, I do substitute it with more walking. I opt to walk up and down stairs instead of taking the lift, and I sometimes would park my car further away just to walk a little extra. Oh, I also do squats when i wake up!

Anyway, exercise is very important for counteracting weight gain, a common symptom for people with PCOS. The combo of PCOS and weight gain can result in diabetes, heart diseases, sleep difficulties and all kinds of cancer, to name a few. With just 20 minutes of exercise a few times weekly, you can drastically reduce your chances of these fatal health issues.

3. Oh Sweet Sugar!

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Ice-cream solves everything!

Don’t get me started on this topic. I go through my day dreaming of indulging in endless supply of chocolate and ice cream and pudding and Stroopwafels and cakes!

But the sad reality is that people suffering from PCOS are insulin resistant, making diabetes a potential danger disease in our lives. By omitting processed sugars, we can decrease our blood sugar levels drastically, which also helps us cope with weight gain, severe acne, anxiety and depression and other annoying side effects.

What do I do to curb those sweet tooth pangs? Firstly, I use a reward system. I occasionally reward myself with an unhealthy sweet indulgence, which is a way I guilt-trip myself into refraining sugar the rest of the week. I also substitute unhealthy stuff with healthier options, such as dark chocolate, fruits and juices. At first it may be the hardest thing to do but as soon as you see results, you will be game on with the substitution trick, trust me!

4. Dude, where’s my carbs?

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How can one possibly resist Nachos and Guac?

Nasi lemak, Pizza, beer, greasy fries, KFC!!!! I want them all!

But sadly carbs can work against insulin resistance just as much as sugar does. But this doesn’t mean one has to give up on carbs altogether! Using the same substitution method to reduce sugar intake, I reduce my empty carb intake by eating brown rice, whole wheat pasta, couscous and other surprisingly delicious foods that are actually good for PCOS women.

All of these sounds so difficult to do at first, but becoming innovative with recipes is fun and when the food you cooked turns out great, it’s the greatest feeling ever! Believe me, some of my recipe innovations turned out better than using unhealthy options. Oh, and my husband who is quite fussy with food, seems to be ok with “healthier” options too, so that is a definite plus point!

You, yes, YOU!

If you are a woman with PCOS reading this, please know that you are not alone.  Educate yourself about PCOS and do what you can to look after you.  Though there is no way to get rid of it, you are able control PCOS.  If you want to lose weight or get pregnant, please don’t give up on your first few tries, instead, opt to try different methods if all else fail.

Also, talk about it! I made sure I talked about it with someone.  Though most of my dear ones didn’t understand, they sure listened. Try to lift yourself up in whatever way you know (exercise, spending quality time with family, vacations etc). Talk to your boyfriend/partner/husband about it because trust me, it is also hard for them to understand so just take the time to explain to them how they can help.

Before i end, I would like to remind my fellow cyst-ers this:

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If you are going through a similar situation, I’d love to hear about it!

So let’s talk!

Bali 2018

Our paradise island

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Coffee and Beauty

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Since our work schedule has been pretty hectic lately, we decided to take a short break from the heat, traffic and deadlines to have an ice-cold Latte at our favourite café – the Kenny Hills Bakers. Of course, we agreed on just Iced Latte and no pastries! Ain’t nobody got time for sugar 😉

When we walked in, my husband and I were overtaken by the delicious smells of freshly baked bread and brewed coffee. It smelled heavenly! There are display cases filled with beautiful cakes and all kinds of treats. However, we kept to our word and did not succumb to the lovely smells. Super proud of ourselves!

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Just Iced Latte to beat the KL heat!

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My Coffee date

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On another note, I wanted to see what all that hype was about the new Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation, so I got my hands on this cult beauty item to give it a try myself. So here I have on my face the foundation in the colour 2W2 RATTAN (warm / golden undertone). To date, I have tried this glorious foundation for about 3 times and so far, I am absolutely loving it! Here is my brief review of the product:

Claims

  • 24-hour staying power
  • Flawless. Matte. Covers imperfections with buildable medium to full coverage
  • Feels lightweight and comfortable
  • Oil-free. Controls shine
  • Non-acnegenic: won’t clog pores
  • Waterproof. Won’t run, rub off or smudge
  • Lasts in hot and humid weather
  • Won’t look grey on deeper skintones
Coverage
This product is described as a medium “buildable” foundation but personally, I think it is a full coverage foundation.  I used the foundation the first time with my beauty blender and the second time with my Zoeva Buffer Brush, and I preferred the end look using the beauty blender as my face looked more sheer and natural compared to the chalky look created by the buffer brush (below):
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Buffer brush end look. Didn’t quite like the end look 😦
Finish
This foundation is described as a matte product and this is a true fact – it actually dries down to a clean matte finish. In my opinion, I’d say this foundation is best for oily skin although all skin types could probably benefit from using it. As i am “blessed” with combination skin/oily T-zone, this foundation helps to keep all that grease from purging at bay even after a full day of humid air!
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Humid wind in my hair
Texture
When I first put the foundation on my hand before using my foundation tools, I noticed that the texture of this product is quite runny, so I had to be quick in applying it before it trickled down my hand. However, don’t let the texture discourage you as this product does not set quickly so you have some time to blend away. More importantly, with just one layer, I noticed my minor acne scars and red spots were well hidden.
“24 hours staying power” – yay or nay?
Estee Lauder claims it has a “24 hour staying power”. To be fair, KL is a humid place and I have oily skin, so I am going to weigh all those factors and review the product. The few times I used this product, I did notice a tiny bit of oil build-up at my nose and forehead area, but with just a tissue wipe, my face was as good as new.  Last weekend, I used this foundation on a (heavy) night out in town and to my pleasant surprise, my face did NOT look like a dead racoon when I got home at 5.30am (which usually happens with my other foundations – Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r, Laura Mercier Flawless Fluide & Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15).
YAY!
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Staying matte – after 6 hours

Overall rating: 
Short and sweet – I am impressed! A good 8.5/10 from me!