Bold, Bald, and Beautiful: Part 2

inked by Julia

I started this blog post in the hospital when I was anticipating my homecoming. I arrived home last Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday afternoon, the deed was done—I shaved my head.

I couldn’t take another day of looking like a balding middle-aged man. I took a before shot of my hair and sent it to my sisters and I don’t think they really knew how to respond because it was that bad. My goal of hair loss was to not reach Gollum status, which I think I succeeded in, but it’s a close call. 7

Along this hair loss journey, I feared how I’d feel buzzing my head. When the day came, the mood in the house was quiet and somber, and no one really knew what to do or say. My mom and I cried together.

Being an all-girl-plus-a-dad house, we were unsure of how to even use clippers. Luckily, my mom had not given away her mother’s (a former hairdresser) clippers, and we dusted them off to give ‘em a whirl. I have an awesome husband, like I’ve said a billion times, who offered to go first. We all laughed watching my mom shave a head for the first time. Once his head was shaved, it was my turn. It’s strange—after all the tension building up to that point, I wasn’t nervous after seeing Michael shave his head.  My head shaving went smoothly and easily.

Now I’m five days into being a bald beauty, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s really not that bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong–there are times when I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. I also feel pretty self-conscience when people see my baldhead for the first time, and I’m aware of the stares I get out in public. I don’t blame them, either, because I’ve been there! But most of the time, I embrace the new look. Getting ready takes no time at all. I do miss having the feminine look that long hair gives me, but a baldhead shows off the rest of my face. I’m ready to give bald a chance!

I searched the internet for tips from other young women who’ve battled cancer and lost hair in the process, but I couldn’t find much. Here are a few tips (I wrote them when I still had some hair) for any other women out there who might be in the same hair loss boat:

Depending on the length of your hair, it’ll shed like crazy even as you cut it shorter and shorter (which I highly recommend).  For most of the stages of hair loss, you need a lint roller. Rolling up the mess is a lot less sad than picking it up strand-by-strand, and it’s much easier.

I would also recommend a silk pillowcase. They are much most gentle on your little head, and I think they are very comfortable. I used a head wrap instead of the hospital towels after showers. In the early stages, it didn’t pull any hair out. Now, it’s a little bit different, but I still think it helps.

Accessorize! As I approached the end of the first phase of treatment, my hair was mainly thinning out on top, but the back was starting to go as well. I found the cutest headbands to cover up the top of my head and make it look super stylish! Stock up on every type of hat, scarf or headwrap that tickles your fancy. I tried not to wear anything in the hospital, because I felt like it pulled out the hair I had left, and it just littered the inside of my clean hats and headbands with hair.

Lastly, don’t leave the house without confidence. I say that as a pep talk for myself, because I want to share my new look with you. I do this with hesitation, but here I am, world!IMG_0043

Anddd here’s one to tug at your heartstrings.


Just Another Make-Up Monday

Julia Makeup  Make Up Forever Foundation // Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner // Sephora Lipstick

inked by Julia

Make Up Forever Foundation– I’ve tried several brands of liquid foundation, but this has by far been my favorite! It covers my blotchy skin with only a small amount of foundation. Although it’s not one of the cheaper options, it is definitely worth the cost.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner– I always hated the way liquid liner looked and how difficult it was to apply. This brand looks great and isn’t too difficult to put on. It is perfect for my watery eyes, but yet easy to remove!

Sephora Lipstick in Mr. Lover– This is my favorite way to accessorize any outfit! This quick pop of color can add so much sass. Sephora’s brand is a less expensive alternative to high end lipsticks.

Just Another Make-Up Monday

Emily makeup Urban Decay Naked 2 // Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner // Stila Convertible Color Cheek Stain in Rose

inked by Emily

Here are a few of my favorites!

Urban Decay Naked 2 palette:  Urban decay has some of my favorite eye makeup products, but the Naked 2 palette takes the cake. It has the perfect shades needed for everyday eye shadow. It’s perfect for traveling when you don’t want to take all of your individual eye shadows!

Urban Decay Gold Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy: Although I don’t use it daily, this glitter eyeliner adds a little extra sparkle for special occasions! I apply a small amount over my regular eyeliner at the outer corner of my eye. Perfect for an evening out!

Stila Convertible Color Cheek and Lip Stain: I was always scared to try cheek stain, but Stila’s cheek stain in rose has made me a believer! It’s easy to blend and literally lasts all day when other powdered blush seems to lose its splendor by lunch.

Just Another Make-Up Monday: GIVEAWAY

Lindsay Makeup Nars blush // e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner // Buxom lipstick in Swinger

inked by Lindsay

I’m a recovering make-up hoarder. I used to (weekly) scour drugstore cosmetic aisles looking for something new to try.

But in the last few years, my make-up routine has become more streamlined and I find myself gravitating toward quality products instead of quantity. I love Smashbox concealer and foundation, but I’ve always had a hard time finding the right shade of blush. My pale skin needs a little color, but most blushes I found were too pink or too orange. Then I discovered Nars blush in a classic color that works on everyone. Worth the splurge!

For eyeliner, I lived and breathed by Stila’s waterproof pen, but the steep price made me cringe. I stumbled upon e.l.f. liquid eyeliner at Target for—drumroll—one dollar! And it works just as well as the expensive stuff.

And seriously, what took me so long to jump on the lipstick bandwagon?? I have a few classic reds and pale pinks from M.A.C., but my current must-have is a bright magenta by Buxom called Swinger (I might have a thing for scandalous product names?). I’ve been a faithful fan of Buxom lipgloss, and I’m so happy they launched a lipstick line! It’s the perfect pop of color and packs a lot of moisture.

I’m always trying to find a balance between high quality products like Smashbox and Nars and mixing in a few less expensive finds. Chris’ wallet appreciates it, too.

And guess what? One of our lucky readers will win all three of my favorite products! To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions below by Tuesday, June 18.
1) Like the neal ink Facebook page
2) Share this post on Facebook
3) Comment below and let us know you’ve followed steps 1 and 2

We’ll randomly select the winner this Wednesday. Good luck! ;)

Just Another Make-Up Monday

Alissa MakeUp

Benefit They’re Real mascara // Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion // Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof eye liner

inked by Alissa

Confession: I have been known to wear the same make-up for 2 days in a row, so my favorite make-up finds are all about long-lasting wear.

My absolute favorite thing in my make-up bag is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I can successfully wear my eyeshadow for 2 days in a row (ok, sometimes 3) without a single crease thanks to this miracle worker!

At my mom’s recommendation, I recently started using Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. Now that I’m pushing 30, I have these wonderful new lines under my eyes which seem to always be a magnet for eye liner, but the Stila eye liner stays in place & doesn’t fade for days!

Last, but certainly not least, is Benefit They’re Real! Mascara…it boasts that it “lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes” & it’s SO true! Due to it’s staying power, it does take a heavy duty eye make-up remover, but it’s so worth it!

Just Another Make-Up Monday

For the next few weeks, we’ll each be featuring some of our favorite make-up products. Here’s the first installment, featuring Holly’s favorites!

Mom MakeUpBlue Lizard Face sunscreen // Makeup Forever Sens’Eyes waterproof eye make-up remover // Tweezerman tweezers

inked by Holly

As the mom, I’m the queen of sunscreen. My girls know that when they’re with me, sunscreen WILL be worn!  I’ve been known to be the mom with sunscreen in her bag to pass around on field trips, water parks, etc. Can’t help it, it’s what I do. We have some family history (ok, quite a bit of family history) of melanoma.  A few years ago, our derm recommended Blue Lizard.  It is a zinc oxide formula (think that white stuff people put on their nose in old movies) which actually blocks the harmful rays of the sun.  And I, for one, love the sun. So if we’re going to be in the outside, we’ll at least be protected!  We use the faces formula and have found that the regular and sport formulas rub in a little better than the baby and sensitive options.  Use your sunscreen, people!  And don’t forget your hands. You don’t want old looking hands, right kids?

As I’m approaching my 50’s (I’m not there yet but it’s coming fast and I’m preparing by saying I’m almost 50 to start the adjustment process), my Tweezerman tweezers have become my friend.  Who knew so many stray hairs came with aging?  My friend Tam introduced me to Tweezerman a few years ago and they’re the best. They even provide a sharpening service when your tweezers become dull with use.

One of my new finds is Makeup Forever eye makeup remover.  I accidentally discovered it in the checkout line at Sephora, and I liked it so much I bought a bottle for each of the girls, too!  You see, one of the things we all can agree on is our love for They’re Real mascara by Benefit, but it’s a pain to remove.  Makeup Forever remover takes it right off!  I bought a small size for my travel bag and a large bottle for home.