Name, age, what do you do for a living
Jamie L, 26, Student – Aspiring Librarian
(Former alternative health practitioner)
Who is your beauty/fashion inspiration and why?
I really love Jennifer Aniston’s look/style, Reese Witherspoon, Victoria Beckham; they always look so put together, I also really enjoy some of Gwen Stefani’s and Kate Hudson’s more bohemian looks.
My real life style inspiration is the one and only Veronika J when we were younger and attached at the hip I loved raiding her closet, and would still jump at the chance. (Aww you are so sweet J! We had good times with the closet raids and getting ready to do out)
What do you do to stay in shape now?
Bikram yoga/hot yoga – I have been doing this for the past couple of months and I am a convert! I am more flexible, I have more energy and I definitely see the results. I have seen my body begin to tone and tighten especially in all those hard to target areas...the sweating is also really great for detox.
Running – I run sprints (on my treadmill in the winter/ outside in the summer.) The best way to burn fat and calories is to really push your body, you will get so much more benefit if you really push yourself for 20 minutes rather than running at a pace that is easy or comfortable for an hour. I do a five minute warm up at an easy jog... level 4, and then crank the treadmill to a 9 or 10 and run for one to two minutes... run until you absolutely can’t go anymore; if you can only do 30 seconds that’s fine as long as you are pushing yourself, in time it gets easier, you can run longer but always push yourself, you should be out of breath and sweating. Slow the treadmill back down to an easy jog so that you can catch your breath, should be under or around 2 minutes. Alternate 2 minutes of sprint and 2 minutes of ‘active rest’ until you reach 20 minutes. PLEASE do this at your own pace, and see what works for you – when I started; my warm up and rest periods were at a 2 and my sprints were at a 5, you can work your way up in both speed and time. Listen to your body, there is a difference between what feels difficult and what feels wrong.
Weight lifting and strength training – I lift weights and strength train once or twice a week, using five or ten pound dumbbells, I exercise my triceps, biceps and shoulders, then real push ups. Then I do squats and lunges for my legs, V-sits, leg raises and seated twists (all for abs). You can add weights to all of these to make them more challenging. Low weights and high reps tone muscles without adding bulk, and again always challenge yourself, do as many reps as you can and then when you think you can’t do any more... do 3 more.
It is always better to switch it up, vary your routines, and challenge your body, keep your exercise interesting and you won’t fall into a rut, you are much more likely to stick to your goals and get results!
Be active; in the spring and summer Matt (my boyfriend) and I ride our bikes, go jogging at the lake or walk to garden center. I also like to sign up for various charity walks, like the Terry Fox Run, Walk for the Cure etc. It is a great way to get exercise and to do something for a good cause, which makes me feel good about exercising on a different level.
What are some foods/snacks/ meals that you would recommend for women who are trying to eat healthier?
For me healthy eating is the biggest part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, my biggest tip for people who want to eat healthy... is to learn to love and appreciate food. So many of us have busy hectic lives, and very little time to cook or prepare meals, and let’s face it, the healthy options for fast food or dining out are the minority. But taking the time to plan meals means that you don’t have to settle for the easiest or quickest (most often junkiest) meal options. I find that taking the time think ahead...to pick out fresh ingredients and actually prepare all of my meals helps me to appreciate what I’m eating, to savor the taste and to eat the proper proportions. This also helps me because I don’t keep junk food or snacks around the house. If I want to eat something I have to make it, which makes me evaluate whether I’m actually hungry or if I’m just snacking because I’m bored.
My second tip would be to buy healthy alternatives and keep fresh fruit and vegetables readily available. If I am craving something sweet, I’ll grab a couple of tangerines, or slice up an apple. If I’m craving spicy I’ll mash up an avocado, some lime juice and guacamole mix. I love to eat pasta, so as a healthy alternative I buy brown rice pasta, when cooked properly, I can barely tell the difference in taste.
Another part to eating healthy would be watching what you drink... I am not a big fan or advocate of counting calories, but I do find that most people don’t take into account how what they drink might be affecting their weight or health. Soda, juices and especially alcohol can add unnecessary sugars and calories to your daily intake, without you even realizing it. I tend to drink only water and green tea, which help to flush out fat and toxins and keep me hydrated. On special occasions I will indulge in a glass of wine or two... but I am not a big drinker. (We are two of a kind J!)
Finally, I would strongly recommend getting lean proteins in every meal, eggs, chicken, salmon etc. Protein will give you lasting energy and help to keep the mind sharp.
Where do you love to shop for clothing? Describe your personal sense of style.
I shop primarily at Forever21, my budget is really tight right now with school and renovating the house, I have become really good at restraining myself. I don’t buy anything unless I love it (another shopping strategy we have in common!) , and I have to think of at least one instance where I know I will wear it. I also shop Lulu Lemon, Winners (Canadian Version of Marshalls), Victoria’s Secret and sometimes Costa Blanca and H&M.
I would describe myself as a style chameleon; my style changes with my mood (and the temperature) In the summer I love sundresses and long breezy tunics with short shorts, in the spring I practically live in jeans and a white t-shirt or tank top with my leather motorcycle jacket, and in the fall and winter I love to cozy up in chunky knit sweaters, leggings and my Uggs. One day I can be very classic and casual and the next I’m boho chic.
What are some of your can't live without em' clothing items?
-My Lulu Lemon gym johns; essentially just really, really great leggings; warm and slimming
-A wide black belt; mine is a faux croc print with a big buckle – Forever 21
-A little black dress; I have four; easily dressed up or down, an LBD is an easy go to outfit for impromptu nights out.
-Black pumps; versatile, can be dressed up or down, and always flattering.
-My over the knee ribbon tie Uggs, I never thought I would jump on the Ugg bandwagon but I got a pair on sale for 50 dollars and wear them all the time...sooo comfortable.
-Dark wash, straight leg jeans, can be dressed up or down (starting to see a trend here?)
-White tank tops and T-shirts, great for casual wear, weekends and layering.
Since my wardrobe budget is very limited, I always look for pieces that are versatile so that I will get more wear out of them.
What are your top 5-10 makeup products?
-MAC’s stud eyebrow pencil in dark brown (I think it may be called brun); to fill in my brows
-MAC studio fix concealer
-Covergirl lash blast mascara in black; I love that they have the wands with the plastic spikes rather than the bristles, I have thick lashes so this brush gives me good separation and definition.
-Smashbox Halo Hydrating perfecting powder; I love Smashbox because they have cruelty free and environmentally friendly products.
-NARS cream bronzer in Southbeach; it’s a rosy colour with a great golden undertone that gives a radiant sun kissed glow.
-Shu Emura eyelash curler; recommended by the beautiful Veronika; I tried hers out when she was home visiting and have been hooked, it really helps me because my eyelashes brush against my glasses when I am at work and drive me crazy, so the curl I get from this prevents that from happening.
-Wet and Wild silk finish blush; I saw the bright pink of this blush from the shelf at WalMart, not even sure what the colour is, it gives a great pop of colour and is bright but sheer so it is like a natural flush on my skin colour.
-Lip balm; I really don’t enjoy lipstick or lipgloss, I just don’t like the way they feel on my lips, so for lip colour I use a tinted lip balm, I prefer Bonne Belle Lipsmackers in Dr. Pepper and for a gloss look I use Aquafina lip balm, which has a lot of shine but still manages to be really moisturizing.
What are your top 5 hair products, and how do you style your hair?
I have virgin hair; I haven’t dyed or chemically treated my hair in over 6 years, so every strand on my head is 100% natural, honestly it’s mostly because I can’t be bothered to have to go get it cut or coloured every few months, in fact I probably get my haircut two or three times a year.
My hair is also naturally very thick and wavy/borderline curly and I have a lot of it, so in keeping with my low maintenance routine, I usually either wash it and scrunch in some gel or mousse, let it air dry and I have messy curls... or I wash it and let it air dry and then straighten it with a flatiron.
As far as products go I use a Babyliss ceramic flatiron; for the straight days, and curl enhancing gel or mousse for the curly days. I’m not too stuck on the products, and I am always trying new ones out. I am still waiting for someone to make a de-volumizing, anti-frizz product so that I can become a wash and go kind of girl.
What are your best beauty tips and/or secrets that you'd like to share with my readers?
I am a BIG believer that beauty starts from the inside, in more ways than one. I have struggled on and off with my skin, and I have found (finally) what works for me;
1. Eating well, lots of fresh fruits and veggies – and stay away from refined white sugars and starches.
2. Sleep; eight or nine hours a night (gives your body time to rest and repair itself, and helps to combat stress which can wreak havoc with your skin and health)
3.Getting all the right vitamins and nutrients... if you are not getting them from your food, you really should be taking supplements (disclaimer; please see your doctor or a nutritionist for an accurate assessment of what nutrients your body needs... everyone is different) I take Omega 3 supplements, Zinc supplements, Greens+, a Glutathione accelerator and antioxidants. I find that this combination has really helped to clear up my skin, help my circulation and boost my energy levels.
Beauty Tip- I love; individual false lashes; for two reasons a) the glue that you get with them is so much better than the regular false eyelash glue and b) a couple of clusters at the outer corners of the eye gives a really pretty, lush cat eye look without being over the top; it really makes your eyes stand out and is great for special occasions when you want that extra something.
Tell us about your skincare routine.
As far as my skincare routine goes, I am always on the lookout for good products, what is working really well for me now is Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Cleanser, Neutrogena’s Oil Free Anti Stress Control Power Foaming Wash (totally Holy Grail for me too!), and Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Oil Free Moisturizer. I use the pore refining cleanser in the morning; it contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid and tiny exfoliating beads. The combination of salicylic and glycolic acid is good for oily and acne prone skin, they help to unclog pores and stimulate healthy skin cell turnover and that combined with the mild exfoliation get rid of dead and dry skin and help my skin feel fresh and clean.
I use the foaming wash in the night to remove makeup; again the salicylic acid helps fight acne – I use a different face wash at night because I heard that over exfoliating the skin can make the skin overly sensitive, dry and itchy and may even cause thickening and roughness of the skin.
The Aveeno moisturizer is oil free and not too heavy, and has an active soy complex that helps to even out my skin and [slightly] fade old discolorations. (If anyone has suggestions on what really works to get rid of old acne scars I would greatly appreciate it, now that I have finally gotten my skin to clear up all I need to do is get rid of some scars/discolorations)
When I get home from work or outings etc. the first thing I do is wash my face. I spend as much time as possible with no makeup on, to let my skin breathe and so that I don’t have anything that can clog my pores.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
One of my greatest accomplishments, I think was being a homeowner at 25. My boyfriend and I bought a 1200 sf. house with 2 acres of property and have been slowly fixing it up; we have redone the roof, and are in the progress of completely redoing the bedrooms and bathrooms. The whole house has to be done and is taking a lot of time and money, but there is really a sense of pride and accomplishment in making a house into a home.
The other accomplishment that really makes me proud is the fact that I am in school doing about 40 hours a week (online) and working fulltime as well, and managing to get straight A’s. It makes me feel great (I’m a geek I know J) It takes a lot of work and dedication and my social life has really suffered [read nonexistent] but it has been and will be worth it to finally be doing what makes me happy. If anyone has doubts about a change of career or going back to school, I would have to say definitely do it... I know it’s daunting...but being able to be happy and enjoy going to work, rather than being stuck somewhere that doesn’t challenge you or makes you miserable... it’s worth it.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and even when I discovered it, I hesitated, because I wasn’t sure how people would react, if they would judge me... being a librarian is not the coolest or most exciting career, people assume it’s boring. But it is what I wanted, so I finally let go of my fear and shame and it felt like this weight was lifted off of my shoulders; sounds corny I know, but really there was just this freedom that I never had before. Freedom to be myself and that is the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Never be afraid to go after what you want... never be ashamed of who you are.
Thank you again Jamie for sharing your awesome words of wisdom, beauty tips and healthly lifestyle advice with us. If you have a question or comment for Jamie, please leave it below and I will ask her to answer them for you.
Thank you for reading!