How to Have a Great College Interview

 

I'm seriously not an expert at this, but I've had a couple interviews and now I'm pretty sure I know exactly what to do to prepare for my next interview, whenever that is.

First, my background story...

My first interview was the most horrible experience ever. It was for an internship (yes, it's not a college interview, but it's still an interview so it counts) and I was to meet my potential employer at the airport as he was leaving the country. So I head off early in the morning to meet him. I knew absolutely nothing at all about what to do and how to prepare for an interview. So what was the outcome of the interview? Well, it was the most awkward experience of my life. I explained very little about my background and about who I was. I didn't sell myself at all, but instead, dumbed myself down so that I would look humble. The worst part was when he asked me if I had any questions. I knew absolutely nothing about the company he was working for so I said no. The expression that crossed over his face? Is she for real? Yeah. Not such a good idea to go into an interview with no questions about anything whatsoever. Nuh uh. Needless to say, I didn't get the internship.

My second interview was actually held today. It was a phone interview with an alum at my dream college and I had to be extra prepared. Why? I have telephonophobia. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a form of social anxiety disorder where a person has an extreme fear of phone calls. Yeah. I reject every phone call that comes my way and if it's an important call that I have to pick up or make, it takes every inch of my courage to do it. My heart beats like crazy. Also, a second reason I had to be prepared is that I knew that awkward silences are worse over the phone. And I was going to do whatever I could to avoid those awkward silences. It turns out with all that crazy over-preparing, the interview went great! I talked so much my throat was all parched up and the interviewer seemed genuinely interested in me. My interviewer also said that I was a very interesting candidate. OMG.

I believe the reason my second interview went so well is that I had learned from my horrible first interview and I knew what I had to do differently. Well, now that I've learned my lesson, I'm going to prepare you guys for your upcoming interviews for college or internships so you don't end up making the same mistakes that I did in my first interview.

1. Prepare

I already said this in the bulky paragraphs above, but preparing is so very important. Over prepare if you can! Get common interview questions from the Internet and practice answering them over and over again. All that prep WILL reward you. I promise.

2. Have the right mindset

This interview will not be the end of your life. It doesn't determine your life path. Seriously. Have some peace in your mind before you take an interview. Go shopping, pat your pet, whatever. Feel good before your interview. Oh, and FYI, I went shopping right before my interviewer called so that I would be in a hyper, I-was-just-surrounded-by-clothes mood. Haha!

3. Have questions ready

This will make you seem impressive and make you look like you have an actual interest in whatever you're interviewing for. And that's a biiiiiiiig positive.

4. Sell yourself

But at the same time, don't look big-headed. Find the balance between the two and practice selling yourself while looking humble. After all, the reason you're having an interview is to get the job (internship) or get into a college.

5. Be yourself

This is very important. Especially for a college interview. Make sure you're not trying to be someone you're not because fake-ness comes through no matter how good of an actor you are. Besides, people want to talk to actual people, not robots who memorized their lines or wannabes who have no idea what they're talking about.

Well. Now that you have my tips... Good luck!


-Barista Mia-

Image: marco antonio torres

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Best Things about "The Hunger Games"

By now most of you Hunger Games fans will have seen Catching Fire, and the hype is beginning to settle down into a pile of fangirling over memes on the Internet. As it's all so exciting, I've decided to make a list of some of the best things about "The Hunger Games" as a series.

• The characters are really interesting ones and you can get attached to the them easily. (Whether or not it's advisable to become one of those girls who sobs over Peeta every day is up to you!)  Katniss manages to heroically survive the emotional washing machine she's put into by the Evil President Snow (helped by the amazing luck that you only ever find in stories, of course). Peeta, Gale and Finnick are three very hawt and yet different guys in the story. Haymitch is a wine barrel full of blood-red sarcasm. Prim is, in my eyes, the one we readers and watchers are all most like- we're still children at heart and we'd never stand a chance in the Hunger Games.


• The films are stunning. They bring the books to life so well and it's amazing to see the whole dystopia thing in detail. Plus, Effie has hairstyles like glittering fairy cakes with buttercream icing, and who doesn't love buttercream icing...? You can tell me off later.


• Jennifer Lawrence is a huge character in herself, and very relatable to many of us. She's even dubbed a "derp" online. When asked how she was recently, she replied, "I'm great- I just found two Mentos in my pocket!" The similarity between this and the kind of thing I would say is pretty startling.


• The books actually uses good writing. Unlike quite a lot of teen fiction these days, there is plenty of nice, creative language used. I'm one of those people who notices every detail in the way a book is written, keeping a lookout for good metaphors and what-have-you. Suzanne Collins uses words that stay implanted in your mind in a variety of gross, terrifying or cutesy images. So it's possible that if you're the kind of person who is either very squeamish or can get sucked into book-worlds easily, or both, that this series isn't really a good idea for you... Having said that, who doesn't love to escape for a bit of excitement now and then?



-Barista Sabita-

Images: Still from Catching Fire, Theatrical poster for The Hunger Games, Mingle MediaTV, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) Carissa Rogers

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The Ultimate Travel Plan


Dreaming can sometimes suck. It can make things seem so distant, and far into the future. But there are some things you don't have to wait too long for- like visiting your most desired locations, depending on where you want to go. With the right mindset, you could be surfing on the coast of Spain or photographing the insanely beautiful architecture in Florence.

The trick is to stay positive and be practical. Firstly, where do you want to go and realistically, would you be able to travel and survive there for a week or two? Commonly, the more popular tourist locations tend to be pretty pricey so maybe it's a good idea to choose somewhere other than a major city (I'm not suggesting somewhere entirely remote, unless you are into places like that), you're also more likely to catch a glimpse of the traditional lifestyle. Sometimes, living more like a local and being on a tighter budget actually allows you to appreciate a place on another level, and brings with it a sense of excitement, as opposed to going all-inclusive and only really seeing the hotel/resort and not much more. There are few things in this world more exciting than exploring the streets of a beautiful, foreign place.

The main costs you will need to take into account are travel- initially getting there and back as well as transport once you are there; accommodation and finally; living costs (food, drink, etc). I think I'd be speaking for most here when I say it would be difficult to spend every night sleeping on a feather stuffed king sized mattress in a five star hotel close to the city centre. Some of you might be a little repelled by the idea, but youth hostels are always an option. They are extremely cheap, and you're likely to cross paths with many interesting fellow travelers. If you don't like the idea, two star hotels aren't a bad way to go either. I mean, they are no five star hotels (obviously) but most are perfectly clean and possess all of the bare essentials. They just lack the fanciness of more pricey accommodation. Anyway, if you're likely to be exploring, it shouldn't matter if your hotel room is a little plain. As for buying food and drinks, simply ensure you don't go overboard spending your stay lingering in extravagant cafés. Many locations have wonderful street food, so use it as an opportunity to expand your palate. Finally, flights. Unfortunately this requires a bit of organisation and responsibility, but it's all worth it. The best thing to do is to plan and book these beforehand, so long as you are sure you want to go and will have saved enough by then. Flights are often more expensive in the summer, and closer to the time so keep this in mind when booking. You might be able to save a little if you don't bring excessive luggage.

Hopefully your dreams of exploring the globe won't be mere dreams forever. Just remember that it's not impossible so long as you are motivated!


-Barista Ria-

Image: Latin America For Less

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Beautiful Ways to Eat Nutella

 

Ah. Nutella. It's such a wonderful creation. Literally, heaven in your mouth. Spreading it on our toast and drowning in ecstasy of that lovely chocolate taste... I thought that there was nothing better than spreading a whole heap of Nutella all over my toast, but it seems that I was so wrong. Yesterday, my sister made something with Nutella that I didn't think was possible. And it was the best thing ever. What was it, you may ask?

Well, first, let me introduce to you some other ways you could make Nutella a thousand hundred times better.

1. Ritz Cracker Nutella Sandwich

Making this is as simple as its name. Get a Ritz cracker out, spread Nutella over it, and place another cracker on top to make a good mini sandwhich. If you don't have Ritz crackers, there's no need to fear. Any salty cracker could make a good snack with Nutella.

2. Nutella-Covered Strawberries

Have you ever heard of chocolate-covered strawberries? Well, this is like that except better because, hello? Nutella. Dip those red, juicy strawberries into the Nutella jar and yum yum.

3. Spread on a piece of banana

As strange as that sounds, banana and Nutella make an awesome combination. No lie. It looks weird, but it's goooooooooooooooood. *licks lips*

And now for the grand finale!

You remember at the beginning of this blog post when I said my sister made the best thing ever?

4. Le Best Toast Ever

1. Put a loaf of bread in the toaster to make it crunchy and nice.
2. When it's perfectly cooked, get that piece of toast onto a plate.
3. Spread a nice spoonful (or knife-ful) of Nutella onto the toast.
4. Cut up pieces of a peeled banana and place them randomly on top of the Nutella.
5. Finally, sprinkle a whole heap of cereal grains on your toast.

And voila! There you go! Le best toast ever. Go and try it right now. I promise it's just oozing with awesome-sauce.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Brian Cantoni

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How To Avoid The Sigh-Worthy Hair Color Fade


We've all experienced it before. We dye our hair a beautiful color and a month later, the color's faded to some disgusting color that resembles diarrhea. It's totes gross and the only thing stopping us from dyeing our hair again is this exact result. Even highlights look horrifying. And *shudders* when you dye your hair a very special color like pink... the aftermath of dyeing your hair is not pretty, I'mma tell you that. So okay. We've established that the Hair Color Fade is the worst thing ever. But is there a way to avoid it?

PS. I'm not saying this will prevent the color fade forever, but it will extend the color's life and that's good enough IMO.

Wait To Wash Your Hair

I know. That sounds like gross advice, but if you start washing your hair right after you've dyed it, the Hair Color Fade will begin much faster than it is meant to. And no, you don't want that. You need time for the color to settle in. Wait at least 2-3 days before washing your hair.

Shampooing

Be especially careful when you're washing your hair. First, don't wash it too often 'cause shampooing will strip the color from your hair. Maybe you could wash it every other day. That's not too bad, is it? Second, buy some of that shampoo that is specifically made for your new hair color.

Conditioning

Quite the opposite from shampooing, conditioning can actually keep the color in your hair longer. This is because conditioned hair is much more ideal for color than dry hair. Anyway, you don't want to look like a horse after destroying your hair with all those chemicals, so what's to lose?

Avoid Hot Stuff And Styling

No hot water. No hot products. Nada. Try your very best to avoid heat damage on your newly colored beautiful hair. No more damaging, please. And as for styling that doesn't include burning your hair, yeah, that's not cool either. Get that hairspray out of your head. But if you insist, get one that is made for dyed hair.

Stay Far Faaaaaar Away From The Sun

This is pretty practical advice, don't ya think? Yes, vitamin D is great, but the sun isn't your dyed hair's best friend. It will dry it out and fade out the color. Yikes. So keep your hair as covered as possible and put some hair sunscreen on your hair. Especially for you who are in the middle of summer right now. I'm looking at you, my lovely New Zealand.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Andrea Rose

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How To Winter: Layering


The cold season is coming up and now we've got to bulk up on our clothes to keep ourselves warm. The problem: it's stuffy, it makes you look fat, and it's uncomfortable. So is there a good way to layer your clothes to keep warm without looking like a fat penguin?

First of all, wear innerwear to keep your body heat in. A pair of warm tights (or pantyhose. You'll see why in a sec.) and a comfortable tank top would suffice.

Now this part is the important part: you need to wear the right material for winter. Wear wool, flannel, cashmere, or some other type of warm material. Don't try to wear polyester or a thin layer of cotton. You'll just freeze to death. I happen to be a big fan of knitted sweaters. They're warm, stylish, and just oh-so-perfect for the evil winter.

The bottom half of your body is where you can get a little more creative. If you're wearing a dress or a skirt, pull up a pair of winter tights to keep your legs warm. But if you're not in the mood for a dress or a skirt, wear pantyhose. They will trap nice, warm heat in your legs to keep you warm. And on top of your pantyhose, zip up your jeans and your legs are all set to battle the cold. As for your third option, you could just wear a pair of warm tights underneath your top. (Tip: If your tights aren't warm enough, you can always sneak in a pair of pantyhose underneath.)

And on top of everything, of course, wear a beautiful coat or a parka or a jacket or a whatever the heck you want to wear on top so you don't freeze.

So we've covered our body, now what about our feet? This is simple: really warm socks and a cute pair of boots. Simple enough. Even if you don't really like boots (but how could you not?), as long as you have a pair of thick socks on, you'll be fine with whatever shoes you decide to wear.

Finally, accessorize! Wear a cute beanie, a warm scarf, and a pair of the cutest gloves ever. These aren't mandatory and you can be super creative with all this stuff, so if you aren't a big scarf person (like me) or a hat person or a gloves person, you can always skip it. Be mindful, though, that the part of your skin that you expose will most likely freeze to death. Just saying.

Have a warm winter, everybody!


-Barista Mia-

Image: Maria Morri

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The Le Teen Café Review Corner: 30 Seconds to Mars Concert

 
For days preceding the concert, I was too excited for words. I was going to see 30 Seconds to Mars for a second time. To make matters even better, they were going to be supported by You Me at Six. My two favourite number-related bands under one roof! Now that roof was exciting too. In October, the city's new concert venue, the Hydro, opened and I had heard stories about how good it was, how high up the seats were and how you could see well from any seat (I was really, really hoping the last one was true because I was in row V, which I later discovered was the very back row of the place!)

When I first heard about the Hydro, I was sceptical. What was the point of building a brand new concert venue directly beside the one we already have? I was also worried the very large building would block the view of some of the buildings in the Clyde Waterfront, which contains some of Glasgow's most iconic buildings. But as soon as I saw the Hydro from the train window, I knew it was going to be a very special place. I had not seen it since it was still being built, but what a transformation there had been! It glowed, flickering from green to blue. The only word to describe it is: magical! You Me at Six played brilliantly and I jumped about like I was on a trampoline despite most people in the seated section doing as the name suggests—sitting. Thanks to Scotrail (Scottish railroad)’s unreliability, I missed half their performance. But I thankfully caught all their best songs and I plan to get tickets to go see them when they return to Glasgow in April.

When 30stm started, it was one of those rare moments that is completely magical and stays with you for the rest of your life. The place went dark, the curtain dropped, the music began and there stood Jared Leto. But he wasn't standing on the stage. He was standing on the rigging above the stage! He was lowered down to stand beside his brother Shannon who began beating on his drums and Tomo who began playing his guitar, creating 30stm's amazing sound.

The whole concert was jam packed with brilliance: enormous balloons thrown into the crowd, so much confetti I couldn’t see the stage, and two acrobatic routines involving a hula hoop and a seesaw! But it was the music that I came for of course, and what amazing music it was. The real highlight was without the theatrics. Shannon and Tomo had left the stage and Jared stood there, one man and an acoustic guitar, taking requests—all the oldies like Hurricane and my old favourite: The Kill. There was also the most unenthusiastic rendition of Happy Birthday I have ever heard.

The night did have some slightly worse parts. For one, 30stm kept us waiting twenty minutes before arriving onstage. Also, they never sung This Is War, which is currently my favourite of their songs as well as From Yesterday.

All in all, it was a magical night and my only wish is that I arrived at the train station a minute earlier so I didn't have to travel on the next train (AKA the snail express). I hope the next concert I see, which will hopefully be You Me at Six, will be equally amazing.


-Barista Ellen-

Image: Kristina Cortez

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How To Stop Your Lipstick From Disappearing



The holidays are almost here and that means one thing: Lipstick.

Lipstick is gorgeous, no question about that, but it can get super annoying. Reapplying that thing hour after hour as you continually excuse yourself is just plain embarrassing. Is there any way to stop this nuisance from happening? Luckily enough, there is! Here are the steps to keeping lipstick longer on your lips so you don't look like a dead corpse who keeps going to the bathroom.

Step One--Exfoliate

An important, if not, the most important step. When you exfoliate your skin, don't miss your lips! You need to get rid of all those dead cells and let new, baby cells grow in place. This is especially important in the winter when everybody's walking around with chapped lips.

Step Two--Moisturize

Get that chapstick out and coat your lips. This will keep your lips from cracking and doing other weird winter stuff like that. It's much easier to apply lipstick on smooth, moisturized lips. While you're doing that, you should moisturize the rest of your face too.

Step Three--Prime and Line

Use a lip primer to ready your lips for the lipstick that is a-coming. And once that's dried, outline your lips with a lip liner. And finally, using that same lip liner, color in the rest of your lips with the side of your liner to make your lipstick last longer.

Step Four--Apply Le Lipstick

Now it's time to get that lipstick out of its tube and start slobbering it all over your lips. Okay. Not really. But you know what I mean. Apply it and then grab a tissue to blot it a couple times. Then, apply a second coat and blot with a tissue again!

Step Five--Powder

Yes. Put powder over your lipstick for longer-lasting lipstick. Don't use anything too thick or noticeable, though. That'll just make your lips look gross. Just dab a bit of light powder onto your lips.

Step Six--Conceal

Concealer is a life saver. They literally cover up everything and, in this case, help make your lips look flawless. With the concealer, get rid of all the jagged edges and make your lipstick look perfectly smeared on to the shape of your lips.

And voila! Now you have lips that will actually stop disappearing. No more staining everything your lips touch. You're welcome.


-Barista Mia-

Image: UrbaneWomenMag

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Freaking Out About Stuff? Yeah. Me Too. So How Exactly Do You Calm Down?

 
 
I freak out often. I freak out about homeschooling, college, SATs, and projects due. I also freak out about friends, appointments, and food. As a teenager, it's in my nature to freak out about the smallest things and to literally die of hyperventilation while freaking out over the bigger stuff in my life. With all these constant freak outs that exist in whichever life path I take, I learned valuable lessons in trying my best to calm my beating heart.

So I believe it is now time for me to bestow my accumulated wisdom of stopping freak outs onto your capable shoulders, young 'un. I now call thee a knight of trying-your-hardest-not-to-freak-out-because-now-you-have-like-wisdom-and-stuff.

But in all seriousness, I do hope these points do help you to calm some loud storms in your life. 'Cause, really, who wants them?

Let it aaaawwwwwllll out

Scream. Shudder. Whatever. Just get all that stress out of your system.

Go to YouTube and watch funny videos

Laughing really is the best medicine like all those grandmas and grandpas say.

Play (or listen to) music

And dance to it too for good measure. It blocks out all that noise in your head.

Eat chocolate

I already mentioned this in my Foods That Make You Happy post, but chocolate can delete stress. Yes, really.

Call your bestie and talk for an hour

A real stress reliever right there. Freak out to your best friend and you'll feel so much better.

Do yoga or stretch or do something else that relieves tension

Get the freak out off your muscles.

Write everything down

Scream and complain in pixels. Or in pencils, if you're old-fashioned.

Watch a movie

No, no, no. Not a depressing one. A funny comedy, maybe. Or an awesome Avengers-type action movie.

Read a book

Put that confusing textbook down and read something that's actually FUN!

Play some sport

Volleyball, badminton, running, or whatever. Just do something outside to clear your mind.

Now what about you? Do you have any no-freak-outs wisdom to pass on?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Chantel Beam

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Your Color Personality

 

What's your favorite color? Pink, blue, green, black? Did you know the colors you pick hint stuff about your personality? Yup. That's cool. Take a look at the colors below and check out the personalities that are associated with your fave color. Do you see yourself somewhere?

You picked... RED

Red describes someone outgoing, extroverted, impulsive, restless and at times, aggressive. You love to be the center of attention and to be optimistic. You are very determined to reach your goals and are quick to judge and take sides.

You picked... BLUE

Blue lovers are caring, compassionate, and soft. You think before you act and are patient, sensitive, and self-controlled. Some might say you are the antithesis of a red person. Sometimes, you worry a wee bit too much.

You picked... BLACK

Introverted, dignified, independent, and you tend to keep your feelings and such inside. You like to be in control and to keep things in order. You aren't very emotional. Contrary to what a lot of people think, you have a lot of hidden depths and longings.

You picked... WHITE

You are neat, optimistic, self-controlled, and sensible. You are confident and poised, but when you're in a bad mood or something, you can become really moody and choosy. You're pretty critical and you like to be alone and at peace.

You picked... PINK

Pink is the color of love, kindness, and generousness. You tend to be very charming and a lot of people like you. You want affection and want to be loved and protected by others. I would say pink people are the girliest of people. They like to appear delicate and fragile.

You picked... GRAY 

You are indifferent, composed, and maybe a teensy bit boring. You don't like to get emotionally involved with anything and you like to take the safe road. You make fair judgments and don't like to attract attention. You want to have a peaceful life.

You picked... GREEN

You are a down-to-earth person. You are loyal, kind, sociable, but introverted at the same time. You believe community is one of the most important things in life, so you work hard to connect with people.

You picked... PURPLE

Just as vivid as the color, you like to stand out and aren't afraid to be unique. You are artistic, sarcastic, ambitious, witty, and a born leader. You have high goals and visions and love to meet different types of people.

You picked... BROWN

You are honest, reliable, confident, and supportive. Family is important to you and you don't like to let problems take over your life. You work hard to fix everything and prefer to know everything that is going on because you like to take control.

You picked... YELLOW

This comes to no surprise that yellow people are happy, funny, and love to have freedom. You are impulsive and tend to rush things. You're a good thinker, but at times, you can be a bit stubborn.

So what do you think? A bunch of cheese or do you reckon your favorite color actually describes you?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Darren Harvey

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The Ten Commandments of Shopping

 

Shopping is a way of life. We've all been doing it since we were little. But do you know the ten commandments of shopping?

1. Don't EVER shop with the opposite sex

Do I really need to explain this commandment? For men, shopping is not a pleasurable activity, as shocking as that sounds.

2. Don't freak out when you smell a sale

Sales have this power to shut off a female's logical side of the brain and change it into something maniacal. Just try to keep your cool.

3. Buy only what you need and what you want

Why? Just because. Besides, buying stuff you want makes shopping all the more fun.

4. Explore

Try new things. Buy new things. You never know whether you'll find a new soul mate for your jeans or something.

5. Never wear crazy heels

All that running and walking for, like, two hours in gigantic heels? Ouch.

6. Keep your hair down

You will be trying out hats and you will be pulling shirts over your head. And no, you do not want to mess up that nicely made bun of yours.

7. Don't shop alone

Your eyes may deceive you when you try out new clothes, so grab a friend to act as Simon Cowell for the day.

8. Don't use your parents' credit card

Or you'll be grounded. For life.

9. Don't waste time checking yourself out in the mirror

Do that at home. The dressing rooms and mirrors are for trying out clothes, not checking out your bum.

10. Sometimes, things look better on models

Sad fact of life.


-Barista Mia-

Image: anurag agnihotri

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The Le Teen Café Review Corner: Midnight Memories by One Direction


Now I know the official album release date for Midnight Memories is November 25th, but iTunes managed to muck things up and accidentally leak all the songs to One Direction's new album. Yes, that means everybody got to listen to the songs before anybody got their hands on the actual physical copy of the album.

As soon as I caught a whiff of the hysteria that was all over Twitter when everybody found out about the leak, I just had to rush over to YouTube to have a listen. Seeing as I managed to free two hours of my time, I listened intensively to each of the songs and now... here's my review:

I am a Directioner. But the problem is, I don't really like any of the boys' songs. Sure, their tunes are catchy and such, but they weren't songs I would download onto my phone to listen to while on the subway or bus. Nope. They were just bland pop songs that I couldn't care less about. Don't you glare at me, people! I still was and am a Directioner. I loved the boys, just not their music.

Anyway, when I heard that Midnight Memories is supposed to have a new sound for the boyband, I got a little curious. And the fact that the boys had more control over this new album of theirs really made me look forward to the album. I mean, considering all their interviews, the boys actually have a good taste in music! Ironic that their songs aren't as good as the bands and singers they always mention.

So, like I said, when the album leaked online, I took a listen to all of their songs one by one. What I heard absolutely shocked me. Almost every single song was completely different! Not only from their previous albums, but also from each other. And that's not a bad thing. The juxtaposition of pure pop to rock to folk rock was absolutely gorgeous. There's a song on the album for everyone. I guess all five of the boys have different tastes in music. The songs they wrote really bring out their individual music styles.

Louis and Liam seem to have a rock fetish. Harry seems to have a love for the most unconventional music style--folk rock. The songs Niall co-wrote were very cutesy and pop-y. As for Zayn, well, as the quiet man he is, he didn't co-write as many songs as the other boys, so I can't say much about his music taste.

Midnight Memories was a big shock for me. I was so used to listening to normal pop from these boys that I wasn't expecting much musical growth from them, but oh my. This album is amazing. Sure, there are some songs that I didn't enjoy listening to like Diana and Best Song Ever, but the majority is actually good music. Even my dad who normally hates music listened to Happily and Midnight Memories and at once asked me who sings the songs. He was absolutely flabbergasted to hear that it was co-written and sung by One Direction of all people.

I feel a little guilty writing this review before the release of the album, so I'm not going to give any more deets about the music. I'm just going to close this blog post now with a: GO BUY THE ALBUM EVERYBODY! It's good music, yo! (I'm planning on buying my own copy although I've already had a listen. Yeah. It's that good.)


-Barista Mia-

Image: awaywiththepixies

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Fairy Tale Retellings



I'm the biggest fairy tale fan. And do you know what's as wonderful as a long beloved fairy tale? Fairy tale retellings! Yeah. The stories are predictable as I know how they end in the original tales, but OMG. I don't know why, but my skin gets covered in goosebumps every time I think of fairy tale retellings! I guess it's because I'm excited to see what kind of twists would be implemented into these retellings.

Anyway, the reason I'm talking about fairy tale retellings is that the Maleficent teaser trailer has been officially released! Here, take a look.



DOESN'T IT LOOK SO FREAKING AMAZING?! Ugh. I'm tearing up just thinking about the amazing-ness of how awesome this movie would be (did that even make sense?)! And Angelina Jolie as Maleficent? Perfection.

But Maleficent isn't the only retelling that'll be released very, very soon... Take a look at Frozen.



Yeah. That looks pretty awesome as well, doesn't it? Do you see how my fairy tale retelling fan girl-ing makes logical sense?!

I can't wait for these two movies to be released. I've been keeping tabs on them for a while. Just waiting and wanting to watch them like crazy...

So! In honor of these two movies, I guess it's time for me to rewind time and take a look back at some of my favorite fairy tale retellings in movie-style.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Charlize Theron was pure perfection in this movie. And it's not only Charlize that caught my attention, but also the awesome-ness of this movie as a whole. It is a much darker version of the Snow White than I am used to (yay!) and I really loved the new role Snow took as a soldier rather than a defenseless princess.

Jack the Giant Slayer

This movie is FILLED with charismatic actors. I hated that the princess was such a (mostly) helpless girl, but the men were sensational characters. I fell in love with every single one of them (minus the bad dudes). The fighting, the courage, the wit and humor. Can someone please transport me to this movie, so I can marry one of those medieval British dudes?

Alice in Wonderland

To be honest, it's not one of my favorite movies, but due to the deficit of fairy tale retellings, I guess this movie deserves a place here. Although Alice didn't really live up to my expectations (Johnny Depp, anyone?), I did love the idea of a grown up Alice. Besides, the graphics were gorgeous.

Mirror Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman's bitter rival (I'm serious. They are both Snow White retellings and they were both released around the same time.) and, unfortunately, ultimate loser, Mirror Mirror is actually a fun movie to watch. It's hilarious and makes for a good family movie time.

Enchanted

Yeah, I guess Enchanted doesn't really qualify as a retelling, but it is a type of fairy tale. I don't even know how many times I watched this movie. The songs are cute, the characters are funny, and the story is amazing. This movie's definitely a must-watch on anybody's movie bucket list.

Hoodwinked!

The sole animation in my list of favorite fairy tale retellings, Hoodwinked! is genius. After I finished watching the movie, I could only marvel at whoever created the idea of this version of a Red Riding Hood retelling. It's just such a fresh, original and awesome idea. I can't believe someone actually managed to think of something like this.

Hook

Being years younger than the movie, I only watched Hook because my dad swore that it was a good movie. And it turns out, it's one of the best movies I've ever watched. Legendary actors star in this movie, and the story of a grown up Peter Pan going back to Neverland and meeting his old nemesis, Hook, again is just, oh my gosh. To all those who haven't watched Hook yet, go watch it right now. You won't regret it. Promise.

So now that you've seen my list of the best fairy tale retellings out there, what are your favorites?


-Barista Mia-

Image: UNE Photos

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What's Happened to Andrea Begley?

We were all a little surprised last June when Andrea- remember the partially-sighted Northern Irish contestant with the emotional, angelic songs?- won the second series of The Voice UK instead of the act who was expected to win, namely Leah McFall.

I, for one, was chuffed to bits that Andrea won- her natural, beautiful style of singing is right up my street. Apparently Will.i.am had a bit of a tantrum that Leah didn't win, though... The pressure was on for Andrea!

Last summer I almost completely forgot about Andrea. I listened to her audition song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan so many times that the words could actually influence me in hard times, but I couldn't find any other music of hers. That's because there wasn't much until a few weeks ago.

 
Andrea's debut album has come out! I officially announce, it has been released! And it's as lovely as she always has been. People have been saying it hasn't lived up to expectations.

Now, I'm no blind fan, but I don't know what they're talking about. Each song is mesmerising and pretty. Some are slow and mournful, some upbeat and lively. And her amazing voice! It's like a waterfall or a flower meadow, seriously. So pure and fluid.

So that's where she's been all summer and autumn- writing and recording her album. She has also been featured in a few newspapers and magazines, but I've always missed out on those. 

Oh, and she has published an autobiography. That was quick, wasn't it? Only in her twenties and been famous for, what, six months, and she's got down to the desk already. It's called "I Didn't See That Coming". 

I just hope the harsh critique she's been getting (for selling only 2000 copies of "The Message" in the first week) isn't bugging her too much, and that she's coping with the stress of fame well enough.


-Barista Sabita-

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Foods That Make You Happy. For Real.

With college apps, exams, SATs and everything, it's hard to keep a smile on your face. And what's a better way to release your stress than by food? Yeah. You can actually become happier by eating. You in? Of course you are. Here are six foods that will make you happy when you're sad.

Chocolate


Credits to: Peter Pearson

You probably already knew this. Who the heck doesn't notice that once you eat chocolate, you feel instantly better? I always gravitate to a bar of chocolate when I'm feeling stressed out. Who cares about getting fat when you can relax your agitated mind with a bit of chocolate? P.S. The darker the chocolate, the better.

Walnuts


Credits to: Pauline Mak

On top of fighting stupid sad thoughts and depression, walnuts also improve your focus and memory. Do I really need to give you another reason to eat walnuts?

Chicken


Credits to: David Reber

Ah. Beautiful chicken. It tastes amazing, it fills your stomach, it is a universal language, and it helps calm you down. Who would've thought?

Berries


Credits to: Fried Dough

I'm a huge fan of berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries... you name it. Why? Because they taste good. Oh, right. And they also help relieve stress. Where art thou strawberries? Be beside me in case I go crazy with stress explosion from these college apps or something.

Greek Yogurt


Credits to: stu_spivack

Haven't tried some yet? Well, you really should. It has two times the protein of normal yogurt, so it works better as a diet food as well as a happy food.

Honey


Credits to: Vicky Brock

Instead of sugar, try some honey. It satisfies the strong need for a little something sweet and keeps you happy. Eat some with Greek yogurt for maximum effect. Ooh! And BTW, honey is super good for acne, so dab some on your face while you're at it.

But then, what are some foods to stay the heck away from? Cookies, doughnuts, candies... basically everything filled with sugar. Sure, they can make you happy and hyper for a little while, but then everything will crash down and you'll be in an even worse mood than before.

Ah... all this food is making my mouth water. Anyway, now that you've read this, go buy everything on this list right now. Have a happy, stress-free day y'all!


-Barista Mia-

Images: Peter Pearson. Pauline Mak. David Reber. Fried Dough. stu_spivack. Vicky Brock 

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Hairstyles for Different Face Shapes

You get a haircut and then you look at yourself in the mirror. You were sure it looked gorgeous on the model whose photo you took... on you, it just looks like a hair disaster. Sounds familiar? This might be a case of My-Face-Shape-Is-Different-From-Yours-Syndrome.

So what kind of hairstyles actually match your type of face?

Oval Faces


Those with oval faces are lucky. Almost literally anything suits them. The only thing you need to worry about is outdated hairstyles that no one wants. So the thing you need to work on with oval faces is highlighting a facial feature of yours that you want to show off or accetuate. This is where layers, bangs, and different hairstyles come in. Be creative!

Round Faces

 
For round faces, you need to either go short or medium to long-ish. Short hairstyles add height and medium to long-ish styles can make your face look thinner. When you go for layers, go for super long layers (but none near the face!) or else your face might look even rounder.

Heart Faces


The best thing for heart-shaped faces are chin-length hairstyles. And if you have bangs, which are actually a good idea, make sure they're side-swept or you'll suffer from looking like you have a short and wide face.

Square Faces


Side-swept bangs work really well on square faces too. One cool thing about having a square face is the ability to get away with long and wavy hair (man, I love this hairstyle). It softens your features and jawline. But if you aren't into having such long hair, bobs work just as great.

Oblong Faces


Now this is another hairstyle that suits long hair, but don't forget to add some layers near the cheekbones for emphasis. This makes your cheeks look wider so your face will look more oval than rectangular. Another thing that works is straight across bangs so that your forehead is covered up.

Doesn't it feel great knowing what kind of hairstyle your face shape needs? That's another hurdle of your life that you've jumped over. Woo hoo! No more My-Face-Shape-Is-Different-From-Yours-Syndrome!


-Barista Mia-

Images: Richard Sandoval,  Gage Skidmore, jmm, GabboT, Joella Marano

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Physiognomy of Celebrities

So guys. Physiognomy is the study of how someone's physical, especially facial, features depict their character. Most people would agree it's largely nonsense- the same sort of thing as believing in horoscopes-astrology- and using pouches full of garlic to cure deadly diseases (anthroposophy). It can be great fun, though. Lets look at some famous faces and see what speculation can do. 

Simon Cowell
Ah, Simon. We all just love Simon, don't we? 
Simon's eyebrows are rather wide apart. Apparently this represents broad-mindedness. Huh- that's one way of putting it. High eyebrows denote his controversial attitude and picky tastes.
He has a large nose- this supposedly means he is proud of his achievements (give him some love- he did create One Direction, after all!). He is also a spendthrift. What was that Jack Carroll was saying about him buying the Olympic stadium because he was looking to downsize...


Taylor Swift

 
Taylor has a lovely face. I like Taylor. Delicate blue eyes say that she is lighthearted and even flirtatious, but loving too. Down with all those multiple boyfriends rumours! She is also a perfectionist, as we can see from her small eyebrows.
Her even lips show her ability to love is equal to her need for love.
Liam Hemsworth

Liam has a bigger lower lip than upper. Which means he needs love! Ha, ha. Poor Miley. His dark blue eyes represent love, though. His wide jaw tells us he is a powerful and outgoing person. Well, he has to be, to be so famous.
Adele
According to the idea that wide lower lips signify a need to be loved, Adele is great in this need. "...I'd go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel ma love..." She still has a full upper lip, though. She has high and fairly close eyebrows, so she's particular and maybe a bit of a diva- she carries herself in her own confident style. Her greyish eyes say that she has good intellect and is creative. From her narrow chin we can see that she often gets fed up, but as it is also fairly squared at the corners, she is determined and steady too.

 
Well, that's physiognomy for you! What do you think about it- is it total rubbish or so weird that it's interesting? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Le Teen Café Review Corner: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher



Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.


On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


Review:

(slight spoilers ahead)

I know, I know. I should've read this book a little earlier than I did, but I didn't have many chances to go to the bookstore. I finally went to one a week ago and picked up this book. I had heard about it and was super excited about the premise. Of the four amazing books I picked up, I read this one first. Everything about it was just so compelling. And when I read the book, I was not disappointed. Mostly.

Here are my thirteen reasons why:

Reason #1: The voice -- Although a man, Jay's got that teenage boy/girl voice down.
Reason #2: The premise -- Caught my eye as soon as I heard about it.
Reason #3: It's suspenseful -- I could literally feel my heart beating faster as I read the book.
Reason #4: It was original -- Very hard to find nowadays, Imma tell you that.
Reason #5: The execution -- The dual narration was confusing at first, but then it brings much more insight into Hannah.
Reason #6: It's relevant -- Many people say Hannah's reasons were unbelievable, but the reasons are relevant and many teens commit suicide for the same, if not, similar reasons. Dramatic? Yes. Unbelievable? No.
Reason #7: It's clever -- It's clever how every little thing adds together.
Reason #8: It's impossible to put down -- I just couldn't. I had to know what was going to happen next.
Reason #9: It makes me think -- Nowadays, many books are mindless. Not this one. There's actually a message Jay's trying to convey. (Read: Reason #12)
Reason #10: It's realistic -- Scarily so. I'm sure Hannah's reasons could relate to many people whether they're suicidal or not.
Reason #11: The pacing was perfect -- It was fast enough to keep me reading (I have a hard time with slow-paced novels). And it was slow enough for me to digest everything that was going on. With dual narration, it takes a little more time to sink everything in.
Reason #12: The message -- Everything impacts something, so think before you act.
Reason #13: The ending -- It was such a perfect ending and really shows what we, as people and teens, should do next.

Now, for the bad...

Hannah's whiny character annoyed me. Her voice and the language she used just made her seem overly dramatic like she was just joking around with the suicide (though, I guess, it could be just to scare the hecka out of the people the tapes were given to). The voice suits a teeange girl, that's for sure, but this girl committed suicide. I get that Jay wants to portray her as an outgoing girl, but when she did these tapes, she already decided on her suicide. Shouldn't we get a depressed Hannah as opposed to a bubbly, sarcastic one? Maybe we could have the bubbly, sarcastic one through Jay's memories, but in the suicide tapes, it sounds wrong. To me, she's a drama queen who committed suicide just as revenge to those who hurt her.

Also the reason Clay was on the list of thirteen reasons why? Just stupid. I mean, why not just make the main character guilty as well? I really, really hate Gary Stus.

Overall, I thought this was a good book. I didn't like the characters very much, but I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't emotionally invested in the story, but it kept me reading.

3.5/5 from me. What about you? What did you think of the book?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill)

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Why I Love Lorde


If you've been keeping track of the music nowadays, you might have noticed something a little different. 'Cause in the charts is a 17 year old who's been killing me with her good music and intelligent humor. Who is she and why do I like her? Well...

She's a freaking Kiwi

No, not the fruit. A New Zealander. Which, coincidentally, I am as well. If you have read my Jamie's World post, you would know that I really do like to cheer on my fellow Kiwis. Seriously. There aren't enough talented people that come from that quiet country. What fun can you expect from a country with more sheep than people, for goodness sakes? But then! Jamie Curry and Lorde just popped up with the best stuff ever. Jamie with her hilarious videos and Lorde with her amazing music.

She actually has a good taste of music

Okay, okay. I am in love with One Direction, I listen to some Taylor Swift, but that doesn't mean I think what I'm listening to is good music though they are catchy songs. I know good music when I hear it, but I have to keep on track of the trends too, you hear me? Gosh. Anyway, have a listen to this:



Yeah! Alternative music. *faints* So good. And here's another.



This girl here is a true artist, yo.

She writes

Yes, she writes her music, but she used to write short stories too (like me!). My connection with Lorde runs deeper than our origins. Haha. And it's not stupid stuff she writes like Friday or Chinese Food. She writes about stuff that really matter. It's no surprise she's such a good writer though, not with an award-winning poet as a mother.

She embraces her individuality and keeps classy at the same time

Yeah, apparently, Gaga and Miley Cyrus are embracing themselves, but what the heck? If stripping naked means being different and special, I don't want to live on this planet anymore. Thankfully, Lorde has come to rescue this fallen music industry by bringing her own individuality and keeping COVERED UP. It embarrasses me as a female when I see girls twerking on stage with nothing but latex underwear on. It's not right. But then... Lorde comes along to the stage wearing gigantic shoes and a long dress. Yay!

She can actually sing




Yes. Yes, she actually can. The ability to sing is very rare in the music industry nowadays. It makes me flinch when certain people try to sing. Lorde, on the other hand, doesn't lip sync, doesn't use playback, and uses her raw voice to bring good music to our ears. Sigh. It's about time someone like Lorde popped up. Maybe there's hope yet for our generation.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Lorde's Instagram

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How To Winter: Skincare

Winter is a season where most of us pretty much can’t be bothered to do...  anything really. Well, besides maybe snuggling up with a hot water bottle and a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream a fatal amount of marshmallows. As comforting as that can be, it’s important to not neglect your skin.

1) Face masks!


Some of the oddest, most unexpected ingredients can make your skin feel softer than a baby’s butt. Before mixing anything together, take a moment to determine your skin type- dry, oily, normal or do you maybe have a lot of blemishes? Combine certain ingredients depending on your requirements...

Dry skin *sigh*. It makes everything just ten times worse, especially applying makeup. Two great natural moisturisers (that won’t worsen your situation) are banana and yoghurt (this also tightens pores); both of these are a good base for any face mask no matter what your skin type is. Extra virgin olive oil is fab for dry skin too and works as a surprisingly effective makeup remover. Aloe vera is also extremely effective for treating flakiness.

Despite the numbingly cold weather, many people still have oily skin. Most of us have been there, I mean, it feels gross, it makes your pores look colossal and it’s just... ugh. You might be relieved to know that oily skin actually ages better than dry skin, however, you’re probably not concerned about that at this moment in time and you probably also want to get rid of the damn problem, like, now. One way to do this is to apply lemon juice to the skin, or combine it with other ingredients, as it is a natural astringent. Additionally, ground oats work wonders if you want to get glowing skin within a matter of minutes. You can also use them as often as you wish. (I’m not usually a tree hugger or anything, but this natural stuff actually works!).

Last but not least: blemished skin. Whether you have acne or have had a small constellation of zits suddenly emerge out of nowhere, you can put something together to reduce the redness and make them disappear faster. Tea tree oil is a magical substance which is helps fade blemishes and reduces pimples. In addition to this, applying a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water can also help acne prone skin, however doing this too often can cause drying, so be careful.

2) Don’t over scrub


Most of us are guilty when it comes to over-exfoliating. I mean, it makes sense; your skin gets dry so you scrub away the dead cells to make it cleaner, right? Except- that isn’t really true. Over scrubbing can actually damage your skin and dry it out even further. You see, you need to allow time for your skin to regenerate after the process. So it does work, but in moderation. You should exfoliate around twice a week, depending on your skin type. If your skin is more sensitive, it would be a better idea to give it more time to recover. A simple scrub you can make at home consists of just honey and sugar (please use it on your face. It’s edible, but not recommended...)

3) Replace caffeinated drinks with water



You’ve probably heard this a million times but water is soooo much better for your skin than things like coffee or sugary, fizzy drinks. It may be a little difficult to reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks, but when you start to see results (and you will), you’ll want to soldier on. Coffee isn’t just bad for your skin, but also your teeth and various other things that I won’t go into. You don’t necessarily have to gulp over two litres of water a day and nothing else. There are an array of different flavoured herbal teas available which can actually taste as good as any sugary, unhealthy beverage. Green tea is pretty much a magical elixir filled with antioxidants and provides us with an endless list of other health benefits. Chamomile is an ingredient which not only known for aiding relaxation but also has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce puffiness and dry skin.

Incorporating these three simple steps into your routine won’t require too much effort and I can assure you, they will save you time and money as well as preventing those all too common (and all too stressful) ‘bad skin days’. Since you can’t physically embrace your skin, show it some love by taking care of it this winter.


-Barista Ria-

Images:  UrbaneWomenMag, Greg Riegler

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Flirting: Tips From An Older Sister

Flirting's got this amazing power of attracting the opposite sex and obviously, as teens, that's exactly what we want to do. But for you newbie flirters out there. How the heck do you do it? First, it's an innate talent. But don't worry. Everyone can flirt. It's imbedded in our DNA. Everyone had this talent hidden up their sleeves from the moment they hit puberty. Ah. Puberty. It's a wonderful thing. But I'll save that up for another blog post if I feel like it.

So enough talking writing. How do you use this amazing talent?

Pick your target

He doesn't even have to be your crush. You can practice flirting with anyone you meet. At school. At parties. On the street... You need to hone your flirting skills by the time you target people who REALLY matter.

Use an opening line

"Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" "Where have you been all my life?" "Is it hot in here, or is it just you?" JUST. DON'T. Cheesy pick up lines are the worst things ever invented. Of course, if that's who you are, by all means, do that thang, but if not, don't think about going all cheese on your crush. Have an opening line that actually makes sense depending on where you are. If you are in class, ask a question about the assignment you just had. If you're at a concert, ask about music or the band you're listening to.

Speak with your eyes

Eye contact is serious business. It makes you look confident, which in turn, makes you look attractive. But at the same time, don't stare him down. You don't want to seem like Overly Attached Girlfriend.

Smile

Don't be self-conscious about your smile. Every smile is beautiful. (: :D C: In fact, smiling can speak way more than words sometimes. That'll let the guy know that you like talking to him. And as guys can get super confused about whether a girl likes him or not, a smile and a little blushing could give him the confidence he needs about your interest.

Compliment him

Compliments are amazing. They give confidence, they give a reason to talk, and they provide more tips for the clueless boy that you really do like him. Here's a tip from me to you about compliments: don't do it when there are other people around. That leads to annoying teasing. Besides, complimenting him when you're alone has more impact. *winks*

And right before I end this blog post with my name, just a couple of don't's:

Don't let awkward silences edge they way into the conversation.

Yeah, I really don't have to explain this one, do I? Keep the conversation flowing.

And don't over flirt.

Or else you'll just look creepy and desperate.

Do you have any flirting tips that you want to share?


-Barista Mia-

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Hair Care Myths. Busted

Myth #1: Trimming your hair makes your hair grow faster



Nope, it really doesn't. The only thing it does is make your hair SEEM longer as you no longer have unhealthy tips. So getting a trim isn't a bad thing, but it doesn't make hair grow like people imagine it to. I feel a little guilty saying this as I have never had a trim for the past few years. I should go to the salon, but laziness forbids me to leave the house.

Myth #2: Your natural hair texture can't be changed



Wrong. I've actually experienced this myself. I was born with super, super straight hair. It was so straight my mom had to resort to getting my hair curled 'cause my hair would annoyingly stick to my face. But as I grew older, my hair started to turn curly and now, it's so curly and dry and ugh. I WANT MY OLD HAIR BACK!

Myth #3: Washing your hair more often is good



No, it's not. This is a horrible idea. Your scalp will be stripped off their natural oils. And those natural oils on your hair doesn't mean greasy, nasty hair. They mean healthy, strong, and shiny hair. Yay!

Myth #4: Shaving makes your hair grow darker, and thicker



Both my parents warned me about this myth when I bought my first razor. I got a little worried at first, but then I asked my best friend, the Internet, to double, triple, and quadruple check. And this myth? A total fake. Shaving just makes the re-growing hairs appear thicker and darker because of the blunt bit at the tip that you shaved off.

Myth #5: To keep healthy hair, brush your hair often



I believed this myth for a long, long time. Apparently, it's the exact opposite. Brushing your hair could actually hurt your hair. Brushing your hair once gently is good, but doing it again and again could lead to breakage and split ends. Ouch.

There! Now those are five hair myths busted. Do you know any others?


-Barista Mia-

Images:  Ed L, Sodanie Chea, Desi, worak, Klaus Post

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