Monday, September 12

My Favorite, Holy-Grail, Eyeshadows

about 2 months ago, I purchased 21 individual eyeshadows from Makeup Geek. after hearing everyone rave about them on youtube, I figured I should give them a shot even though i'm usually pretty reluctant to buy something without swatching it (which is why ulta and sephora get soooo much of my monies) but, i'm so glad I did! for only 5.00 a shadow these babies are a STEAL!

when I got the package in the mail, I filmed an unboxing video for you cause I was sooo excited. I muted the audio during the unboxing because my little girlish screams were so annoying -I truly was that excited- then, after opening them, I decided I needed to include a little tutorial, and give my first impressions to see if they were worth the hype. and they did not disappoint! watch the video, here's a link.

it's taken me 2 months, like i mentioned earlier, to get this video up onto my youtube channel, BUT... that just means I can give even more of an in-depth review for you. these shadows are officially my favorite. they have replaced all of my other eyeshadow palettes, my top 3 favorite shadows thus far are...
Peach Smoothie
Cocoa Bear

and of course, you NEED a z-palette to put them in, they have 3 sizes, small, medium, and large. i'd suggest getting a large, cause it's not that expensive and you can put any brand of shadows in them, just google de-potting that kind of eyeshadow and i'm sure there will be a tutorial online showing you how to do it. i've de-potted all of my individual mac and nyx shadows into another z-palette that i was given for christmas last year. it's awesome!

Wednesday, August 24

The Difference between Hair Types

Learning your hair type and texture is the first step to achieving your dream hair. if you don't understand your hair at it's basic level, then it's extremely hard to get your hair to do this or that style. Here's a little diagram i've created to describe the different hair types and some simple characteristics that usually follow those specific hair types. feel free to pin it as a reference for later!

Today I also posted a video all about hair types; why it is, what it is. I suggest you check it out (here) and learn more about your hair. then, with that knowledge you can better figure out how to style and color your hair in the way you want.

 as always, if you have any questions, just ask either in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, or in the comments section of my video on youtube! Thanks!

In more important news: my ALL TIME FAVORITE DRY SHAMPOO just came out in the BEST scent. seriously so amazing! it's jasmine and pomegranate and smells like the sexiest perfume ever. my husband and i cannot stop smelling my hair! check it out here:

Friday, July 15

4th of July

My brother's birthday is on the 4th. So, he always throws a pretty awesome party. It's been known have the best food ever, and to last basically the entire day. No one is complaining! thanks for getting old so we can keep celebrating you brotha!

I made a short video about his fireworks show from the end of the night, here. (watch closely and you will see the one firework that went off prematurely and almost caused some real damage. luckily only their hair was singed and ears were ringing for the rest of the night.)

Wednesday, July 13

Ways to Prevent Hair Loss

I uploaded another video to my youtube channel talking all about hair loss, why it happens, when it happens, and how to prevent it. BUT if you'd rather read than watch a 12 minute video, here ya go!

1: don't brush or finger comb your hair when it's wet in the shower. that's when your follicle is the most vulnerable/loose and hair loss is easiest at this moment. 

2. rinse your hair/scalp at the end of the shower with cold water, this will close that follicle back up tight around the hair shaft, and also benefits the ends of your hair by sealing the cuticle (which helps with preventing breakage, and locking the color molecules in, and making it shiny!)

3. clean the hair out of your brushes! this helps prevent extra snarls, tangles or knots from forming while you brush.

4. take your biotin pill or make sure you have enough of it in your daily multi-vitamin!

5. drink lots of water and eat your protein!

6. let your hair air-dry as much as possible, and don't brush it until it's 50% dry

7. don't wash your hair everyday! use a dry shampoo to extend your styles as long as possible! the less your hair is wet, the better! the process of going from wet to dry is the most damaging on your hair. (but... product build up on the scalp can lead to hair loss as well, so don't go TOO long. but that takes ALOT of product. like: a week or more's daily use of dry shampoo.)

-hair has a growth/fall out cycle. it's phases are anagen, catagen, and telogen
here's an image that describes the cycle:

-high stress, a change in medication, going under general anesthesia, and surges of hormones typically cause hair loss about 3 months after the change/event occurs. some stronger cases, such as high doses of medication will happen immediately (example: chemotherapy) but be aware that these events may cause hair loss, and will cycle back to normal once you stop the reason behind it, and give it another 3 months. (the reason why i say a three month time frame is because typically the catagen phase lasts about 3 months on most women) This is the reason why most moms after child birth experience hair loss.

-if you feel like you are someone that just can't get your hair to grow past a certain length, it MAY be because you simply have a shorter anagen phase than most women. (but most of the time, it is due to damage/breakage.)

Hopefully you learned something new about how to take care of your hair in order to prevent any unnecessary hair loss from occurring! and for my recommendations about hair products and for my favorite biotin pill, check out the description box below my youtube video!

Scrunched Hair: the aftermath

By now you should all know that i try to go as long as possible in-between hair washings. not only because it saves me time, but also because my hair is so much healthier when i don't wash it as much! one of the biggest reasons why i had to wash my hair so often before i started using dry shampoo was because i would wear my wavy hair "scrunched" frequently. if any of you have worn your hair scrunched with gel, or mouse, or hairspray, or freaking egg whites, or whatever other binding agent pinterest has come up with lately, then you know that day 2 hair after scrunching is A MESS. it's so dry, and so full of products, and such a weird frizzy, dread lock kind of style. well, in my latest youtube video, i show three different days worth of styles i do to prolong that scrunched look, and refrain from washing!!

it might seem like basic principles to some, (basically the video is just: brush hair, apply conditioning creams and dry shampoo, re-wet to activate curl, and scrunch again) but this is one of the more frequent questions i get asked at the salon from my clients! and because i don't do their hair on "day 2" (or 3, 4, 5 etc) then i don't ever get to teach them how it's done. so... i hope you enjoy! (the products i use are linked in the description box beneath my video!)

and honestly, unless you are someone with wavy hair, that hasn't figured out how to style it on day 2, then this video isn't for you, but hopefully it will help at least one person!

thanks as always!

here's the video:

Thursday, July 7

I Made A YouTube Video!!!

Hey Guys!

I started a new YouTube channel!!!! my first video is all about how to properly apply products at the scalp (like dry shampoo, powders, and root lifters)

here's the link if you want to watch it! (but i suggest watching it here on the official site, it's better quality there.)

I have been working on this project for about 2 months now. i'm so excited to be able to start sharing it with you and getting your feedback!! but first, a little history about how this came to be: I had been trying to figure out a way to get my enthusiasm back up about this blog, and the other social media projects i've worked on in the past. i had so much fun and was doing very well at blogging regularly when i was writing about how to re-fashion clothes, but, now with two kids, my sewing machine gets used less and less.

on the other hand... one thing i am always talking about, doing, and teaching about is hair and makeup! i do it at the salon while i'm at work. i talk about it with my friends while our kids play together, i teach my family about hair and makeup during our family events. it's just always on my mind. but... i didn't want to become another "beauty blogger" because i did not want to have that stigma following me around, i'm usually not wearing makeup, have day 5 hair loaded up with dry shampoo, and am not the skinniest girl in the world. plus, there are a million girls out there already doing hair tutorials and beauty tips. but... doing hair tutorials is honestly only one very small part about the information i feel like i could share. and that's where i feel like i can stand out, and be unique in this over-saturated world of beauty bloggers.

i want to TEACH.

not just show you how to do something. TEACH.

so, teach about what you ask?

well, i sat down and wrote out over 70 different tips and tricks i've learned as a hairstylist. some super nerdy one's like why red dye molecules are the first to fade out, but the one's that don't fade seem to hold on to the hair strand for dear life when trying to bleach them out! (hint: it's because it's the largest color molecule) and other simple ones like how to braid your hair to make it so that strands from your layers don't stick out during the day. i basically made a list of all the things i talk to my clients about in the chair at the salon. questions they have, reasons behind what i'm doing, and more.

now i am ready to spill those secrets to all of you!

i initially wanted a resource that my clients could refer to when they have questions about their hair but don't have an appointment to ask me about it for months. a refresher course of sorts for salon quality hair in-between appointments. but as i started talking with my friends, co-workers, and other bloggers. i realized that this could be a huge asset for more than just my clients, but anyone's clients! so... there you go. that's the reason i started this new side of my blog.

i hope you'll support me in this endeavor by subscribing to my channel and maybe even sharing the youtube video i made on your facebook page if you feel like the tips i shared were helpful!

i'm also going to be posting here on the blog, sharing tips on my instagram more frequently, obviously snapchatting about the behind the scenes process, and even periscoping about it (my username on all of these sites is @valerijones if you want to follow) i really am so excited for all that's in store.

if you got to the end of reading this entire post. you deserve a cookie. seriously.

much love!!!
Valeri Jones

Wednesday, June 1

Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

I have been called a jack (or jackie) of all trades frequently in my life, i have MANY hobbies, and skills, and interests. i feel like i could live a thousand lifetimes, each time focusing on just one of those skills and learning ALL i could about that one subject, then pass away happily and start over again. i stay awake at night just dreaming about ways to explore and learn more about any number of my skills, and even sometimes get the crazy idea that i should start another one.

i am not alone in this.

there are many of us "jack and jackie's" out there, but sadly, i don't see jack of all trades as a job profession title, (and if so... maybe that would be a "handyman", but a "handywoman"? haha!) i feel like in order to excel and make a profit in life you really do have to focus on one or two, and just keep a few others in your arsenal to use as stress relieving hobbies, or if your previous business endeavor fails.

currently i have a job as a part time hairstylist, and am a stay at home mom the rest of the time. i have been a stylist since 2009, and a mother since 2012. i LOVE doing those jobs, but... it's safe to say i'd rather start something new to fill the time i have left in my schedule, than take on more clients at the salon (or take on more babies. haha!) but, i would love to do something that is lucrative for my family. not necessarily because we need the added income, but because then i would feel more justified with spending my time doing that thing, whatever it ends up being.

This is what keeps me awake at night; i have dreams of owning my own store or brand, i have dreams of being involved with something bigger than myself, something that actually does good in the world, i have dreams of wanting to improve other's businesses, lives, self-esteems, homes, or just improving their fun!

i would say my skills include:
hairstylist, (and everything that goes along with that... colorist, barber/"cutter", braider/updo's, and extensions.)
makeup artist
artist with watercolor, lettering, calligraphy, and sometimes acrylics.
photographer/Photoshop editor
interior designer/DIY-er
blogging/networking/social media
making friends and making people laugh.

i have the uncanny ability to see the potential in anything. be that a home, a canvas, a hairstyle, a person, a yard of fabric, a wall, or even in myself. this is both a blessing and a curse as i obviously do not have the time to do it all.

some businesses/jobs I dream about doing someday have included:
-owning a photography studio space that people rent out for personal/professional shoots. this space i've always imagined would be white and clean inside but have an amazing colorful feature wall painted on the exterior of the building so that people can stand outside the building and take selfies to spread free advertising for the studio.
-starting a subscription box company for daily/weekly inspirational scripture study prompts. i feel like so many people are subscribing to these world-ly things, beauty, makeup, shoes, work-out gear, etc, but what about the spiritual side of things? getting a clearly detailed plan for your scripture study would be amazing for me personally, and i think it would help others too.
-a company that prints your 5 most popular instagram photos for the month and sends it to you so that you can have physical copies to replace in frames through out your home.
-making baby blankets. but, realistically the reason i wanted to do this was because i would love to design my own fabrics.
-handmade braided plastic binky clips. i just needed something easier to clean than the leather/fabric ones i was using. and figured others would too.
-my friend and I came up with the idea of starting a family friendly restaurant that was made up of small individual rooms so that families could hear each other, and babies could run wild within a single small space without worry of disturbing others.
-garrison and i have talked about owning our own apartment complex in Provo that had some cool unique twists that would take too long to explain on here. haha. (but one thing is we wanted to make it out of shipping containers.)
-flip houses with my husband for a living, or manage many rental properties.
-own and run a bed and breakfast.
-being a personal assistant to someone
-when i was younger i wanted to be a motivational speaker. but, i learned as i grew that very few people just become one of those, it more like happens to them due to their life experiences.
-selling my watercolor paintings/painting custom watercolors
-i've considered going back to school to get specialized as an estitician, or becoming a consultant for rodand and fields (the skincare line) because i love that whole side of the beauty industry as well.
-turning my blog and/or instagram into something profitable
-when the girls are older and in school i'd love to go back to college and get a degree in drafting to become an architect. i truly have a passion for home design and architecture.
-opening an etsy shop to include on a smaller scale 1 or all of the products i mentioned here.
-garrison and i even talked seriously for a few days about how to make a business out of restoring vintage camping trailers.
-if we ever moved outside of Utah, i'd love to own a salon instead of building my clientele from the ground up again.
-i once wanted to make modern looking graphic t-shirts to sell at souvenir shops around the world.
-we started looking into me being the designer/seamstress for a company my brother and husband wanted to start that would have made custom gun holsters. yes. i said gun holsters.

you guys, the list goes on, and on. it really does. and i'm positive i'm still missing something.

i honestly don't know what the point of this post is. i'm not trying to brag and tell the world how awesome i am, i'm not trying to prove that i should be doing something different with my life, i'm not trying to say how inventive i am. i guess this blog is -at it's core- is a journal for my girls to read when they grow up. i want them to have a peek into my brain at this age. i want them to believe that they truly can do ANYTHING that they put their mind to. and i guess that's the moral of this story. i have all of these ideas, and i haven't actually put "my mind to" any of them. i've dreampt of them, but un-realistically and without much or any action sometimes, and after the "dream" wears off, all that's left is a shell of what could have been.

That's what the point of this post is: for me to realize, that just like what i want my girls to know... I too can do ANYTHING i put my mind to. and now, all i have to do is hone in on the one idea that i can't stop thinking about, the one that keeps me up at night more than the others, and pursue it. pursue it like it's a cute boy in middle school. i was ruthless with those poor boys back then, and these ideas, just like those boys, will be sick of me before they know it!

you guys. i can do it.

i really can.

and dearest daughters, miss bay, little evers... if you're reading this. YOU CAN TOO.


i just found this blog post that helps, if you feel like you're in the same boat as me, the girls at sewcrafty put this together as a way to help you narrow your field and not spread yourself too thin as a classic jack of all trades often does.

Wednesday, May 11

A Hairstylist's Favorite...

Everyone has heard of the Wet Brush by now, and if you haven't... crawl out from under your rock and click that link and buy one right now. they are super cheap, and EVERY hairstylist at my salon uses one, not by force, but because it is truly the best. there are tons of reviews online, but i will add my review to the mix and say that the skinny long bristles help so much with detangling without pulling out hair, the bristles are long enough to brush your hair in one section, yet still flexible and soft enough not to cause any damage or scratching to the scalp. (which is crucial for us in the salon before we do any sort of chemical treatments or colorings.) plus, the biggest thing of all... my daughter loves it and if you have kids then you know that's saying something.

it's one of those brushes that you don't think or realize it's going to be as AMAZING as everyone says once you get it, and first start using it, it really looks just like a normal brush. But after you go on vacation and have to use your friends hair brush because you forgot to pack yours and put your hair through the torture you once did as a daily activity... you finally truly understand what is so amazing about it.

BUT that is not why i am here today. i'm actually here to talk about the wet brush's little sister The Shine Brush

i was at an event last night with some other bloggers and i started talking with Kayti from the BeYOUty Bureau, and as i was recommending this brush to her, a crowd slowly started to form around us and i started recommending it to all these girls that had never heard of it before. for some reason i don't hear anyone talk about the shine brush. it is just a bit more expensive than the wet brush. and while the wet brush can be used for basically any of your hair brushing needs, (detangling immediately out of the shower, daily brushing, use with blow dryer, etc) the shine brush has only one use, but by golly it's a good one. this brush was made to be paired with DRY SHAMPOO. which as we all know, is a growing trend and a passion of mine (or else i wouldn't have written this 21 product review about it. haha) so here's the deal...

dry shampoo usually has two problems: 1: sometimes it leaves a white cast, if using the wrong dry shampoo for your hair type, or over-spraying product. 2: the natural oils from your scalp don't travel down the mid-shaft and ends, and leaves your ends dry-er and more straw like as each day passes.

this brush remedies both of those problems. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

The Shine Brush has two types of bristles, the long skinny plastic ones we know and love from the wet brush, AND smaller boar bristle brushes that only go part way up the length of the plastic bristles. this does a few things, 1: the boar bristles absorb any extra dry shampoo, or "white cast" that is left behind,  2: using the natural oils from your scalp, as you brush your hair the boar bristles carry those oils down your hair shaft and to your ends to help hydrate and naturally adds shine to where you want it (at your mid-shaft and ends), and away from where you don't (at your root) 3. because the plastic bristles are also in this brush, it makes brushing so much easier than a typical boar bristle brush and your able to grab hold of bigger sections of hair instead of just brushing the very top of your hair like what usually happens with a normal boar bristle brush. -if you have ever used a boar bristle brush then you know what im talking about, if you haven't used one before, just be glad.-

one tip: don't use the shine brush with wet hair, it will get the boar bristles wet, which will defeat their purpose, and unlike the wet brush, it's not meant to be used with wet hair. like i said, there's really only one use, brush your hair with the shine brush before and after applying dry shampoo to both pull oils down your hair shaft, and remove excess product from your application of dry shampoo. (although i don't recommend using the shine brush with wet hair, it can be used with damp hair while you are blow drying to add even more shine)

Just so you know... Amazon has a deal where you can buy a set of each below for only 17 dollars!

Monday, May 9

Everli's First Birthday

This little cutie's birthday also happened to fall on mothers day this year. So, as a big combined celebration we hosted a family dinner at our house in lieu of a traditional party. When garrison and i were talking after bayli's first birthday we realized all you need to make a great first birthday party is: loving guests, a cake to smash, and good food. no presents, no decorations (although, bayli and i picked some flowers from our bush in the backyard after church anyway) and no fuss. it really was so simple fun and easy, and Everli had such a great time, which was all that mattered. plus, we got to celebrate all the mothers in our lives at the same time, so you know, it really was such a wonderful day.

Everli's beautiful face hasn't appeared on this blog as much as i would like, she's been here a year now and she only has 3 posts so far on the blog, that is truly pathetic. I really am going to work harder to post about her, i need to make documenting and journaling more of a priority during this busy time.

From the very beginning of this girls life she found her little niche in our family and fits in so perfectly, almost like she's always been here. Transitioning into a mother of 2 has been surprisingly easy and smooth for me. Bayli never smothered her too closely with love, or was rebellious and jealous of her. Everli was always a good sleeper, and the two girls have shared a room this entire time with no problems! I'm telling you, if i could guarantee that the next kid would be as easy as Everli, i'd get pregnant tomorrow!

Everli is such a happy baby. She smiles at anyone who looks at her, even if she's tired or sad. She's adventurous and loves getting into things. She's walking now and trying her hardest to keep up with her sister with everything she does. She's done this inhale scream thing ever since she was a baby whenever she's excited and it's so adorable, I hope she never grows out of it. In the very beginning of her life we thought she was choking when she made that noise because the inhale part sounds like she can't get enough air, but we have now gotten used to it as just an Everli-ism and find it adorable.

She loves to cuddle, and find a cozy spot to sit, preferably in grandpas lap, or by mom's feet, or in a tight space between two pieces of furniture. She isn't talking much, which we are told is very typical for 2nd kids, because Bayli does all the talking for her. She currently only knows "momma", and "dadda", and every once in a while will repeat words like "ball", 'more", "up", or "out". The same is true with sign language, we're teaching her, but she doesn't feel the need to use it because she get's waited on hand and foot by the people in her life that love her, especially her big sister.

I wish every family has the opportunity to experience a baby and now, toddler (aaahhh) like Everli. she is seriously a dream, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for her! That mothers day weekend a year ago brought me so much happiness, the delivery was quick, and recovery was even quicker. I truly couldn't have received a better present, and this year, watching her timidly eat her cake, and smile as everyone sang to her, and letting her dad teach her the oh-so important skill of blowing out a candle is all this momma could have asked for. Here's wishing a Happy Mothers day to you all!


Friday, March 25

Bayli's Party

today we had a little party celebrating Bayli's fourth birthday! we invited just a few friends and had lunch, cake, played with play-doh and opened presents. when we asked bayli a few days ago what she wanted to do for her birthday, she said have really yummy cake, make the house cute (with decorations) and play with friends. so, we tried to give her exactly that. she helped bake and decorate the cake. she was the one who told me where to put the decorations, and she came up with the guest list. we tried to do things her way, and it turned out to be really cute and fun! we will have to see if she actually remembers this one when shes older.

Everli was a champ and slept through the wholeee thing. for 5 hours.