Wake Up & Concentrate

I just got some new oils, including Ylang Ylang, and I finally had a chance to read up a little more on it this morning. Rocky Mountain Oils describes it this wayRocky Mountain Oils’ Ylang Ylang Complete is most often used as a stress reliever, as well as to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system. It has strong antidepressant properties and it helps to bring the emotions into proper balance. It helps relieve mental fatigue, anxiety, and tension headaches.

This really surprised me because I’ve always heard of it as an aphrodisiac, but not much else. It occurred to me immediately that this would be awesome for me right now because my mind is moving super fast because of the Steroids I’m on.

After looking up a few other oils, I took a chance and created this blend:

 Let me tell you, this worked beautifully for me. I needed to focus on my Bible reading and study this morning, and within minutes of breathing this blend in, I could feel my mind focusing better on what I was reading. It allowed me to focus and get it done first thing this morning, so that I could start my day off right.

As always, I encourage you to visit Rocky Mountain Oils to purchase essential oils.

xoxo

 

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Palmarosa Oil: Benefits for Chemo Patients

Palmarosa oil is awesome. I started the first draft of this intending to give you scientific information and to explain them in detail, but then I remembered that I don’t really like to write that way. And chances are, since you’re reading my blog, that you don’t like to read stuff like that. If you would like to know the scientific awesomeness that is the Palmarosa plant, I encourage you to do a Google search. I even started it for you right there 🙂

One fact that I must share with you is that Palmarosa’s botanical name is Cymbopogon Martinii. It has the word Martini in its name. It must be good.

In all seriousness, though, Palmarosa oil is pretty amazing. It has all kinds of antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties for it. It’s even a fever-reducer. It can help with digestion, serves as a hydrating agent (great for dry skin), and promotes cell growth. The uses for it abound. It can be mixed with lotions, used in a diffuser, and added to baths.

Before my foray into the world of essential oils, I had never even heard of it, but now I consider it to be a necessity among my collection.

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Benefits of Palmarosa Oil for Chemo Patients

I’ve mentioned before that I have just resurrected my intrigue with essential oils recently. And honestly, I had to re-research why I had some of the oils I had, Palmarosa included. Boy I am glad that I did. Because in addition to the properties I mentioned above, Palmarosa has some specific benefit benefits to some of the issues Chemo recipients face.

Fatigue & Chemo Brain

To be honest, this phase of Chemo is really kicking my butt. I thought I knew what fatigue felt like before; now I realize that was a piece of cake compared to these drugs. My week now looks something like this: Monday is pretty good; Tuesday I’m tied up with Chemo, but pretty coherent; Wednesday I’m hopped up on steroids so I get a lot accomplished until the evening when I’m suddenly done; Thursday, I sleep ALL day; Friday, I can barely stay awake; Saturday I am slowly coming around; Sunday is OK, but I could totally take a nap. And then it starts all over again.

It is particularly frustrating to me, as I set high expectations for myself. As a planner, I give myself what I think should be a reasonable number of goals to achieve for the day. Some days I can accomplish all of my to-dos and then some; but entire days are having to be rescheduled. It makes me mad.

“Chemo Brain” has also set in. Those who have dealt with Chemo Brain know exactly what I am talking about. But for those of you who don’t, I will briefly explain. These symptoms are similar to effects of stress on some people, as well as symptoms of some autoimmune diseases and even the forgetfulness of “getting older.” But with Chemo Brain the symptoms can be more intense than the temporary symptoms of stress or aging.

For me, Chemo Brain means periods of time where I just can’t focus. On anything. Not Candy Crush or a Criminal Minds episode. Not on a good book. Not on Pinterest. Nothing. It also means an inability to find words, even sometimes saying a word that has nothing to do with what I am attempting to communicate. Most disturbing for me, though, is replacing words with similar-looking, but completely different meanings when I am reading (i.e. replacing “sensational” with “sexual”). It makes it hard for this Grammarian to properly edit and proofread. It also means having to re-read things constantly.

That’s where Palmarosa comes in. Used aromahtherapeutically, Palmarosa oil helps to relax while relieving fatigue. It promotes concentration and a sense of well being. Let me tell you — it really works. Here are some suggestions for how to use it to help with these symptoms.

How to Use Palmarosa Oil to Combat Fatigue & Chemo Brain

This morning, to my surprise and dismay, I slept until 10:45. Having carefully planned my day last night, I was angry that I had to sleep that long. I hurriedly grabbed my things — Erin Condren planner and accessories, laptop, iPad, and iPhone — and went downstairs. And sat, bleary-eyed on the sofa trying to mentally wake up.

Between my hands being full and my distress at oversleeping, I did not grab my aromatherapy diffuser as I had intended. The thought of going back upstairs was more than I could wrap my head around. But my oils were on the coffee table in front of me. So I took the lazy way.

I opened the bottle of Palmarosa oil and breathed deeply.

It’s that easy. Just open the bottle and breathe deeply. The simplest, laziest, easiest way to use it.

If you would like to get more benefit from it, try some of these suggestions:

  • Add 2-3 drops to your aromatherapy diffuser. You can also add Geranium oil to the diffuser. The two oils blend well together and offer similar benefits. 
  • Add 8-10 drops to your bath. 
  • Add 2-3 drops to your favorite carrier oil and massage on skin.

It’s that easy and that simple. No complicated blends to create. Nothing overwhelming about it. Which is good, because Chemo Brain makes us forgetful.

If you’re new to essential oils, and you’re not sure where to purchase, I recommend buy-ing from Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO). Their S.A.A.F.E Promise assures the highest quality oils available. But the best thing is, they aren’t an MLM. There is no kit to purchase and no pressure to sell to your friends. You can buy just one oil if you want. And if you need help, their customer service is excellent. Please note that I am not a paid sponsor, nor an affiliate with RMO. I just really believe in their quality and dedication to the essential oil community.

That’s it for tonight. I’m off to take a bath … with RMO’s Tranqulity blend. More about that soon 🙂

xoxo

New Eyeshadow Palettes

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about makeup, so I’m excited to present you with my review of a Birchbox exclusive, the Coastal Scents styleEYES Trio Palette. First of all, I need to start by saying that this trio is only $25! That’s $25 bucks for 24 different shadows. Highly pigmented, gorgeous shadows. So far, I have only used two of the three palettes, but I’m thrilled so far …

Exclusive Birchbox Palette

Overall Impression

All three of this pictures were taken at the end of the day … I’m always hurrying to get ready, so I rarely have time to post in the morning, though I do have one (with a special appearance of my latest Jamberry manicure, Little Lady. Coincidentally they match the little ladybug on my hat!) …

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Anyway, I apologize for the generally bad pics … lipstick worn off, a little pale from fatigue. But the eyeshadow has some serious staying power. The bottom picture is from today, after chemo. I looked better earlier. My social worker even said that I looked fabulous. And one of the staff said I looked like I had lost weight. Chemo probably isn’t the best way to lose weight, but for someone who can afford to shed some pounds, it made me feel pretty good. Wow … easily distracted AGAIN!

Back to these shadows. The palettes are socialEYES, glamourEYES, and formalEYES. I’ve used the first two. glamourEyes is my favorite at the moment. I’ve never been one to use intense colors, but here’s the thing. What better time is there to try something bold than when you have cancer? It’s not like someone is going to tell me that my eye makeup is hideous. I have cancer … people are going to tell me I look great, even if I look like a troll!

So I have used a gorgeous deep pink, bold teal, and a deep green. It has been super fun to try some bolder shades, and mix multiple colors to create a more multidimensional look. Before attempting the bold colors, I did watch several YouTube tutorials and Pinterest guides. That helped tremendously. And like I said, I can look like a troll and no one will mention it 🙂

Some Technical Notes

Brushes: I use these eyeshadow brushes from Sephora. They work really well. If you decide to purchase, read the included guide so you know which brush to use for which part of the eye and which eyeshadow color should be used on what part of your eye (generally speaking).

Technique: Like I said, YouTube videos and Pinterest tutorials really work. It has helped me refine my look and improve the quality of application. It can be difficult to find the right guides and tutorials, so you can try searching by experience: novice, beginner, intermediate, etc. Look for applications for your eye shape. You can also search by the brand of the eyeshadow you want o apply. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to watch some intense applications, either — bright colors that you would NEVER try. Because it still shows the expertise of the person who created the video.

Tips: In my experience, most eyeshadows (powder) I use have some sort of fallout (shadow lands on your face outside where it’s supposed to be). While I have known this for a long time, I am just now beginning to apply my eyeshadow before the rest of my makeup. This means that you can use a makeup remover wipe to clear up fallout without ruining the rest of your hard work. This will make it more difficult for you to apply concealer if you have dark circles, but you can manage with practice. If you use powder foundation, wait to apply  mascara until after you apply your foundation. That way you won’t get powder on perfect eyelashes.

In Other Beauty News

Mom gave me a Clarisonic Plus brush. She thought hers was broken, but it isn’t, so she had an extra. Yay me! I’ve only used it once so far, so it’s too early for a review, but look for one soon.

Given my renewed passion for essential oils, I have been doing research on different uses. I came across this tutorial to clean my makeup brushes (which desperately need it). To be honest, I am loosely following it. I’m lazy. I don’t feel like going out to buy Castile soap, so I will be using Dawn. And I am letting the brushes sit in the oil and the Dawn, Lavender, water blend for a bit before I wash the brushes out. I will let you know in my next beauty post how it worked 🙂

xoxo