beautygrind

The Interview. Karin Rodney-Haapala

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2019 at 4:33 pm

What happens when the ladies get together for a day of makeup-art and conversation?  A wonderful time spent talking about life: careers, relationships, life lessons and of course beauty.  Ideas and laughter permeated the creative space and was the perfect backdrop for encouragement and pushing each other toward greatness.

Karin Rodney-Haapala

Social: @krhaapala, @damesativa

Hometown: Washington, D.C. (Currently residing in Silver Spring, MD)

Occupation:

  1. A/R/Tographer (artist/researcher/teacher) owner of KRH Arts & Academics and Part Time College Professor of Fine Arts at Montgomery College
  2. Depth Psychologist
  3. Cannabis Health and Wellness Educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living Experience

Describe your style in 3 words. Androgynous. Comfortable. Minimalistic.

Where does your style inspiration come from?   Playing in an orchestra from 10-19 years old, I had to wear black all the time.  I am also drawn to the style of the abstract expressionist.

You have amazing skin.  Tell us about your skincare routine and some of your favorite products.  A fragrance free skin care routine is key.  As an aesthetician, I find that people use products with copious amounts of fragrance in their skin care products.  Though they may not develop an allergy from their products at that moment, it is highly possible that they will develop one in the future.

I have very hormonal reactive skin.  To counteract this, I do the following – in the morning, I use Ceravae Face Wash.  Then I follow up with a sulfur wash.  To finish up, I use an acne cream called Aczone,  followed by a Neutrogna Gel Cream and a sunscreen.  In the evening, I oil cleanse with grape seed oil and Ceravae Face Wash.  I then use Ceravae Night Cream followed up with Retin A.  I also get monthly facials.

You mentioned that you wear a sunscreen.   It can be difficult for those of us with deeper skin tones to find the right sunscreen that doesn’t leave that horrible gray or lavender cast on our skin.  What are some of your favorite brands to use?  For sunscreens there are some unsung choices.  Neutrogna Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen is a delightful treat. I believe it comes in SPF 30 and 50.   It’s light and perfect for oily skin.  Black Girl Sunscreen says it all.  It is made for us brown girls by brown girls.  It fits along my “clean” skincare regimen.  It has no fragrance, parabens, oxybenzone or octinoxate. SuperGoop! Unseen Sunscreen is a treat.  It is gluten free and an affordable daily staple. 

I love your haircut/style.  What hair care items do you use and what does your daily/weekly routine look like?  Well thank you!  I use hemp oil to moisturize my hair and scalp daily.  I also use Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl And Shine shampoo and conditioner.  I follow up with the Ouai leave in conditioner.  I often wear protective styles like braids and twists.  After six years of growing my hair, I decided to get it trimmed.  I know…I know…Also, I shave my head every two weeks.

You are truly a multi-hyphenate. Tell us a little bit more about your career and what advice would you give to someone who might want to follow a similar path?  I guess you can say that I am an entrepreneur in many ways.  I do not have one set career field. I have many interests and skills, so I decided to create my own lane.  After ten years of service in the military and 6 degrees under my belt, I decided to never work in a cubicle or work a 9 to 5.  I encourage others to do the same.  It is scary to do but just create a lane and ride!

Tell us more about your work as a depth psychologist and as a cannabis health and wellness educator.   Depth psychology, which studies the unconscious, investigates the inner systems of the psyche and how these processes, such as dreams and/or complexes affect our life or vice versa.  Most of this exploration is visible in mythology, fairy tales, ethogenic experience (the use of psychedelics) and theology.  This work affords me to study the creative process and facilitates my students’ inner processes and, at times, reveals gems that heightens and expands their creative work.

Navigating the realm of cannabis can be overwhelming.  My initiation into using cannabis as medicine and lifestyle lacked when it came to open resources to study so I took it upon myself to do the research.  I now share that journey and knowledge with patients to teach plant based self care management.  As a cannabis health and wellness educator, I facilitate a learning environment that engages patients and helps them see the healing properties of the beautiful Cannabis sativa plant.  My business partner and I assist in the crossing of the threshold of medical marijuana patients who initially have a warped perspective of using plant based medicine (cannabis) in their times of need.  We focus on the science and individual experiences to suggest strains that may benefit the patient. We emphasize and promote a responsible healing culture for all.  Deconstructing and destigmatizing the ugly myth of exploring and consuming cannabis yields a whole new way of exploration and consumption of cannabis and thus the use of some harmful and addictive pharmaceuticals such as opioids.

If you could be any character from a movie, who would it be and why?  Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden from the film “Fight Club” or Tilda Swinton’s character Madame Markos in the remake of Dario Agento’s “Suspiria”.  Practically any villain or anti-hero would be my choice.  Both are flawed and exude a depth of authenticity even in their non-heroic ways.

What advice would you give to your younger self?  “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

Are you currently working on any projects?   Yes, I am working on a thousand things.  My photographic work, Incidents, is part of the National Veterans Art Museum’s triennial.  I also just came back from Chicago for the opening and gave an artist talk.

I am the curatorial Consultant for the upcoming exhibition in the Fall called “Service, Art and Passion. Six Veteran Artist.”

As Cannabis Health and Wellness educator and Co owner/Chief Creative Consultant of Greener Living, we are preparing to launch our YouTube channel and Podcast.

Photography by @rozzienecole

Makeup by @khalilahneals

Styling by @krhaapala





PIT STOP: What Happened When I Tried Natural Deodorant For 5 Months?

In beauty, clean beauty, skincare on April 29, 2019 at 8:53 am

I have been on a journey of sorts for the past 5 months or so trying to navigate the natural deoderant space.  For years, I have given the side eye to the thought of using natural deodorants (and many beauty products with the word “natural”) because I have considered these types of products to be ineffective.  That coupled with people’s account of their own testy experiences with natural deodorants was enough to make me never want to convert.

Clean Beauty

Natural beauty products and their use is nothing new as these types of products have been around for some time.  However, with greater and more recent focus on the environment and sustainability, people have also been shifting their focus to cleaner living by using products (food, beauty and cleaning products, etc) that are perceived to support better health with fewer to no toxins.  With that said, although there are some products I love that I’m not ready to part with, I decided I would begin my clean(er) journey by starting with my deoderant.  A Degree and Dove user for years, these two deoderants have NEVER let me down with profuse sweating or smelly pits. I have always been confident when raising my hand, hugging people or just being outside of my house for that matter.  In addition, the pits of my clothing have not been ruined with stains or smells and life was good.  So, before stumbling head first into this arena, I felt I needed to do some research.  I needed to be educated and ensure that I wasn’t jumping on some scare tactic bandwagon.  Why should I, or anyone for that matter, consider clean/green beauty products in general and deoderant specifically.  Why is this a good idea?  I also wanted to stop feeling guilty and worthless because I wasn’t interested in making the change – despite what everyone was saying. Cause no one has time for stinky pits.  EVER.

Back To That Research

During my research,  I learned that that one of the active ingredients of concern in traditional deoderant/antiperspirant is aluminum. Aluminum, which is responsible for blocking odor and keeping you oh so fresh and so clean is also stopping a natural process by which your body gets rid of toxins – sweating.  Sweat in and of itself doesn’t cause odor but when mixed with the naturally occurring bacteria on your skin can cause odor.   It has also been found that traditional deoderants/antiperspirants contain other ingredients that can cause skin irritations as well as can be can be linked to certain health issues.  With the application of these questionable ingredients being applied regularly so close to the breasts, there is concern of increasing estrogen related hormones as well as increasing lymph node and breast health concerns.  While organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National institutes of Health (NIH) have not concluded that not using a natural deoderant can negatively impact one’s health, switching over is definitely worth consideration so I decided to give it a try. During my research, I also learned that there can be a significant detox period with your pits as you make the transition which can result in you smelling like a 15 year old boy after gym class.

With that being said,  I decided that I would wait until the fall/winter months to give natural deodorants a try.  I figured that I would be less sweaty from the hot weather.  To me, less sweaty means less funky.  Or so I thought. Not sure what would make me think that I was exempt from the impending detox period. 

So now, a run down of the clean deoderant brands that I have tried thus far…

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deoderant. Because I respect Tarte as a brand and enjoy using their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes and Tarteist Clay Paint Liner, I was excited to try this deoderant.  My initial impression of this deoderant was that it smelled pleasant and applied smoothly.   As I went throughout the day, I was unable to get past the moist feeling under my arms but that was to be expected right? Right.  Then the unpleasant scent began to linger under my arms.  I was definitely uncomfortable but decided to stick to it.  I would also reapply mid day to ensure fresher smelling pits but to no avail.   I also noticed that the deoderant dried out rather quickly and became harder to apply and yes, the cap was on tightly.  My intent was to finish what I started and use the entire tube.  However after a month or so of funk, swamp like wetness and general torture, I figured this particular deoderant was not for me and decided to try a different natural deoderant.

Kopari Coconut Deoderant.  Kopari is still a fairly new brand to me and I do like their Coconut Lip Glossy so I decided to give the deoderant a try.  Let me just say it was love at first swipe.  I loved the way this deoderant smelled and was infatuated with the texture and the smooth way it applied to my armpits.  I looked forward to using this during my am and pm beauty routines.  It did feel more moist under my arm than with the previous deoderant BUT my pits smelled good.  Initially.   The good times lasted for a couple of weeks then one day I got a whiff of myself and was frightened.  How could this be?  I wasn’t going to run away and again decided to stick it out.  I made sure I reapplied throughout the day which curbed odor but I honestly couldn’t get past the fact that my armpits felt like a raging ocean during hurricane season ALL. DAY. LONG.  After almost 2 months I decided to move on.

Farmacy Freshen Up All-Natural Deoderant. Farmacy is a brand that I absolutely love. From their Green Clean Makeup Melt Away Cleansing Balm to their Honey Savior All In One Skin Repair Salve, Farmacy is definitely a brand that I will spend my money on and feel good about it.  So when this deoderant launched I was extremely excited.  I liked the cool, menthol-like scent and feel and loved the way it applied smoothly.  I felt good about the fact that my pits were dry and stayed that way throughout the day.  I felt like I was winning.  Then a few weeks in I happened to get a whiff of my pits. The scent was enough to choke a baby elephant.  Again I was going to stick it out. After a month or so, nothing changed.  NOTHING. Enough already.

So after all that, what did I do?  I went back to my regular deoderant/antiperspirant  – Degree to be exact.  I have received some recommendations for a few other clean brands that I want to try.  But not right now.  I need a break.   I will definitely give an update on this journey because I really want to change but I just can’t right now.

Have you considered switching to a natural deoderant or are you a hardcore traditional deoderant user?  If you have switched over, how has your journey been?   Leave your comments below.

8 Things You Can Do To Incorporate Self Care Practices Into Your Life

In lifestyle, productivity on March 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm
Image Courtesy of Pexels.com

 

In recent years, the term self care and all that is associated with it has become quite the buzzword.  Although not a new concept, with everything that is going on in one’s life and in the world, people are beginning to see the importance of slowing down, re-evaluating their lives, and taking inventory of their mental health and well-being.

When you hear the term self care, what comes to mind?  Going to get your hair and nails done?  Going to your favorite restaurant for a delicious meal?  A little retail therapy?  There isn’t a right or wrong answer per se as self care can mean different things to different people.  These types of activities can definitely be considered a form of self care as they can encourage one to take time for themselves as well as add some fun and beauty to their day. Keep in mind however that some of these same types of activities can be confined to physical part of one’s being and may not deal with the deeper needs and concerns that one may have.

What Exactly Is Self Care?

First, we should re-frame our mind around self care, what it is and who it is for.  Self care is for everyone and there are many ways to do it.  Because it is such a trendy buzzword, it can be easy for it’s importance to get lost in the sea of swoon-worthy Instagram posts of beautifully arranged bath photos (nothing wrong with Instagram and beautiful bath photos).  With that said, self care can be considered to be something you do frequently and intentionally to positively impact your mental, emotional and physical being.  It’s about creating health and wellness habits that will sustain you in the long run.  It’s not a once in a while occurrence – it’s about these tiny habits that you create that lead to living a better life, thus empowering and energizing you.

But I Don’t Have Time.

This is a common statement I hear from many people – women in particular.  Women have been conditioned from an early age that putting themselves first is selfish.  It is your job to take care of everyone else because that is the mark of a good woman but this is not entirely true. Whatever the case, it is important to make time specifically for yourself and not put it on the back burner until you have some sort of crisis, health scare or mental breakdown because you have been running on all cylinders.  You know when you get on a plane and before takeoff they tell you to that in the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you with their oxygen masks?  It’s the same thing in your daily life – take care of yourself and you will be able to take better care of everyone and everything else in your life.

Benefits Of Self Care.

There are many benefits of getting into the habit of taking care of yourself such as the following:

  • Focus.  You will be more focused and in tune to your needs when you take regular time for yourself.  You will also be better able to reflect on things that need to get done in your personal, professional and family life.
  • Better Self-Worth.  Having a healthy relationship with yourself will boost your confidence and self esteem.  You will be able to address those areas in your life that are not at your personal standard so you can make improvements.  You will also be empowered to set boundaries with yourself and others.
  • Stress Reduction.  Being able to step away to reduce stress and anxiety is a great way to lower your risk for things like heart disease and snapping on family, friends, co-workers.
  • Productivity.   Self care can help you set better priorities for yourself so you know what’s important such as doctor appointments, visiting loved ones and even writing that book or taking that class you’ve always wanted to take.

Activities that you can include in your self care practice:

The Art of Saying No.  Saying no can be the most loving thing that you can do for yourself.  When you know your limitations, whether it be emotional, time, or financial, saying no can prevent you from interfering with your well-being.  It may be a hard no which is final (like “no and don’t ask me that again”) or it can be a soft no, (like “not right now” or “I want to be sure that I am able to give you my undivided attention, how is Tuesday evening”)  Only you will know what kind of “no” to give.

Stop Apologizing.  Somewhat related to saying “no”, don’t feel you need to apologize for the decisions you make regarding the need to take care of yourself or anything else in your life.

Be Gentle With Yourself.  Sometimes the thing we say to and about ourselves is not very kind.  Would you speak to others the way you speak to yourself?  Probably not.  Treat yourself like your own best friend.  When you make mistakes or miss the mark, don’t berate yourself.  By making time for yourself, you can examine those areas of yourself and your life that need improvement so you will have a sense of accomplishment and feel good about yourself.

Watch Your Mouth.  Even more important, what are you thinking?  Because what you think shapes what you say.  Your words have creative power and become your reality.  You tend to nurture your reality with words and behaviors and that is what grows in your life – whatever it is.  So speak only the things you want to be true over your life.

Become Still/Incorporate Quiet Time.  Even when you are busy, you need to have quiet time.  As a matter of fact, that is when it is most important.  You might be having the craziest work day ever or you may have to care for rambunctious children and you probably only have 5 minutes to yourself.  Use them to get quiet and re-center yourself.  Quiet time is also the perfect time to pray and meditate.

Plan Time Away.  Be intentional about taking time off for vacation.  Nothing re-energizes you more than getting away from your regular grind and surroundings.  If you dont have the resources of time or money to go far away, do something local like getting a nice hotel room in the city for the weekend and act like a tourist.  Something else you can do is switch up your daily routine.  This keeps your brain healthy by strengthening your neural pathways and this will also help you discover new things.

Set Boundaries/Expectations.  Make it a common practice to let people know what you need and expect from them so that you never feel like you are being taken advantage of.  For example, if you don’t want people calling or texting you after a certain time, let them know instead of being mad about it.  If you don’t want someone borrowing your favorite scarf – ever, say so.  If it angers you when people don’t show up on time, say so.  Furthermore, don’t worry about managing their emotions around said boundaries and expectations.

Be Mindful Of Who You Spend Time With.  the truth of the matter is that some people are energy vampires and can be quite negative.  If you feel depleted instead of empowered when in the company of certain people, it may be time to re-evaluate the company you keep.

Whatever practices you choose to incorporate into your life, be intentional and consistent.  These are practices that may take time to develop and you may have to rearrange some things in your current daily practices for these things to become more permanent in your life.

What self care practice resonated with you?  Do you have some self care practices that not mentioned above that you utilize on a regular basis?  Please share your thoughts below.