Beauty Tips

Guest Blogger, A Beautiful Whim: How to Get your Makeup to Last Longer with Aveda Botanical Kinetics

June 15, 2015
By

botanicalKinetics_600x500One of the most common questions I get asked about wearing makeup is how to get the makeup to last longer and how to achieve a flawless finish.  The answer is not to seal your face with a finishing spray or apply heavy base products.  The key to long lasting and flawless makeup lies within how you care for your skin and prepare it for the application of makeup.  Usually, makeup gets applied during the morning rush and sometimes there’s simply not enough time to incorporate steps into the morning routine that set the stage for a day where makeup still looks good by the lunch hour.  Aveda’s botanical kinetics skim firming and toning agent will consolidate more timely steps in the preparation process and also address common skin concerns including dry and oily skin.  The toning mist is a versatile, natural product that can be used regardless of skin type.

Let’s focus on the morning routine for a moment.  The necessary steps to produce the best cosmetic result are to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Typically, when using moisturizers you need to wait 10-15 minutes before proceeding with your makeup application so the skin can fully absorb the product.  Otherwise, your makeup doesn’t blend well or adhere to your skin.  This prevents you from achieving a flawless finish.  Also, do you know what’s in the moisturizers and other products you are using?   Often, they can produce superficial and temporary results from chemicals additives.  What’s the result?  Eventually, your skin produces more oil and pores becomes clogged leading to break outs.

I hear a lot of complaints from people indicating within four to five hours of applying their makeup, it appears to have worn off or it breaks up as the skin produces oil.  It’s especially problematic during warm and humid weather.  We’ve all been there!  You start applying powder to improve the coverage and reduce shine but the next thing you know, the powder is caked on and the makeup looks patchy.  What was intended to beautify has resulted in an obvious mess. Personally, I have gone as far as removing and reapplying products midday (secretly in a bathroom stall) but this an unrealistic solution.  It’s simply a matter of having the right balance of time and products and understanding what your skin really needs.

skin tonerTo achieve a flawless finish and get longer lasting wear from your makeup, adequate hydration and a good toner can be applied to cleanse the skin, minimizing the production of oil and keeping your skin healthy.  The quality of your cosmetics and the techniques used to apply them also factor in but regardless of the quality of your cosmetics, if you aren’t caring for your skin properly, you’ve set yourself up for disappointment. The Aveda botanical kinetics toning agent is a regular part of my morning and evening regimen, instead of applying a separate toner and moisturizer. You can see in these photos from one of my makeup tutorials that I achieved a flawless makeup application using the Aveda product to prepare my skin and this makeup lasted all day.  I often spray the Aveda mist on my face and neck to prepare my skin and I use a moisturizer at night.  A good toner and moisturizer are certainly beneficial and highly recommended but it’s important to know what is in those products that you are applying to your skin.  Look closely at the products you are using today.  The ingredients appearing first on the list is what the makes up a majority of the product.  Do you know what they are?  You may be using products that contain harmful additives causing you to chase cycles of dryness, breakouts, and effects of product build up on your skin.

I love the clean and refreshing feel I’m left with after using the Aveda product.  Witch hazel, white oak, and peppermint leave my skin feeling awake and revitalized and the mist contains natural moisturizing agents.  This simple spray creates the perfect canvas for makeup. Skin is hydrated, ph-balanced, and absent of unnecessary products with mystery ingredients.  While the Aveda mist is ideal for all skin types, those with oily skin will notice a reduction in oil build up with regular use.  Before applying your makeup, cleanse your face and spray your neck and face with the mist.  Gentry pat it into your skin with clean fingers and begin your normal makeup routine.  It’s as simple as that.  For best results, also apply the product after your nightly cleanse.  I’d like to know if you can resist applying it only twice daily; I keep a bottle on my nightstand and use it more frequently because I love the herbal scent and the refreshing feeling after I spray it on my skin.  By the way, you don’t have to limit the use of the product to your face.  I like to spray the mist on my chest and occasionally the back of my neck as well.  Have you used the Aveda botanical toning mist and if so, what do you love about it?

3 Treatments for Your Puffy Eyes

water (2)If you’re tired of looking sleepy or under the weather, there are plenty of things you can try to give your eyes a lift. Here are some quick fixes:

1) Drink several glasses of water. Eyes tend to get puffy due to water retention, which is caused by a high concentration of salt in the area around the eyes. If you ate a very salty dinner or cried before bed you might notice increased puffiness in the morning. Drinking plenty of water flushes the area and causes the swelling to go down.

•On particularly puffy days, keep drinking water all day long to keep yourself hydrated.

•Avoid substances that tend to dehydrate you, like caffeine and alcohol.

2) Apply something cold to your eyes. Eye puffiness is a buildup of fluids in the tissues around your eyes, and like other types of swelling, it can be reduced with the application of a cool compress of some kind like cucumber slices or cooled tea bags. Both work well to temporarily reduce puffiness. All you have to do is lie back and place them over your closed eyelids for 15 minutes or until they grow warm. Or you can go old school by putting 2 metal tablespoons in the fridge and apply them daily by placing the backs against your eyes.

3) Put potatoes over the puffiness. Potatoes are said to have natural astringent properties.

•Peel raw potatoes. Cut in half. Place the halves over your eyes for 10 minutes. The potato will cool your eyes and any swelling will decrease.

•Try grated potato.

Simply grate a fresh potato and apply it to your eyes for 15 minutes, then rinse.

Other possible causes of puffy eyes include:

Lying down for several hours in a horizontal position and then standing up can lead the fluid that was resting under your eyes to suddenly be pulled down by gravity. Try using an extra pillow while sleeping so that the fluid is not as drastically drawn down when you get up to reduce the puffiness. If you don’t sleep horizontally, and instead sleep on your stomach, try to move toward sleeping on your back instead. Stomach sleepers tend to have the puffiest eyes, since this position allows fluid to collect there. Determine if you have a condition associated with puffy eyes. Sometimes the swelling is a side effect of another condition. Getting treated for the condition may help cure your puffy eyes. Here are a few conditions that commonly lead to eye puffiness: pregnancy, hormonal variation in the menstrual cycle, dermatitis (sensitive skin is more likely to swell in response to irritants), allergies, mononucleosis (puffy eyes may be an early symptom of infection, medication (puffiness or water retention could be a side effect), or other more serious medical conditions.

3 DIY Recipes for Makeup Removal and Brush Cleaning

Who hates washing their makeup brushes? *Raises hand* meeee! It’s like washing dishes, but hey, it must be done! After using your brushes, your brushes can contain oil, dust, dead skin cells, and bacteria–all of which can cause you to break out the next time you use your brushes. Did you also know that if you use your brushes on clients, you could potentially give someone pink eye or herpes with dirty brushes? You can spot-clean your makeup brushes after each use or you can do a deep cleaning for all your brushes every two weeks. It really depends on how often you are using your brushes. I know some of these makeup brush cleaners can add up, especially if you’re cleaning your brushes often. Below are recipes for DIY makeup brushes spot cleaner, deep cleaning, and makeup removal.

Spot Cleaner

1) 3 ounce spray bottle

2) 1 part tea tree oil

3) 2 parts witch hazel

Pour the tea tree oil and witch hazel in the bottle. Make sure to shake the bottle before use.

Deep Cleaner

1) 1 part extra virgin olive oil

2) 1 part Dawn diswashing soap

Wet your brush and grab a little bit of oil and soap with your brush. Swirl and clean your brush, then rinse with water. Avoid having water enter the ferrule because this can loosen the bristles and ruin your brush. Lay your brush at an angle so that the water doesn’t go towards the handle of the brush.

Makeup Remover

1) Push-down bottle dispenser

2) 1 part witch hazel

3) 1 part extra virgin olive oil

I provided this recipe because you already have the ingredients if you went with the first receipe, so why not? Add the witch hazel and the oil into the dispenser. Shake the bottle before using. Use a cotton ball, dispense the solution, and remove stubborn eye makeup.

These recipes allow you to be hygienic without the cost! Your guests will thank you, and you can save the money to invest in more brushes or makeup! Enjoy!

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Blow Dryer

May 20, 2015
By

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Blow DryerChoosing the right blow dryer can make the biggest difference in how fast you can dry and style your hair. Not all blow-dryers are created equal, so here are a 3 tips to consider when investing in a good blow-dryer.

1.) Make sure you are buying something with ceramic or tourmaline technology. Tourmaline is crystal, which helps smooth the hair and fight frizz. It also helps your hair retain moisture.

2.) Wattage! Most people don’t realize the difference between a high and a low wattage blow-dryer, and how a high wattage dryer can make a difference for your hair. 1800 watts is great for thinner hair, however for thicker or frizzy hair you want to look for something with at least 3000. It will cut down the styling time in half and reduce the risk of hair damage.

3.) Attachments! If you like to style your hair at home with your blow-dryer, having a nozzle attachment will make your blow-drys give off that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look. Or if you have curly hair, a diffuser will give your curls more control and bounce than compared to letting your curls air dry.

And don’t forget, no matter which blow-dryer you end up purchasing, remember to pick one that at least has heat protection!

Food Used for Beauty

One of the most surprising things I learned while in school is how food can be used in your skincare regimen.

  • Tea: Cold compresses made out of tea bags can relieve pain and reduce redness from a sunburn and calm down allergic reactions. Earl Grey tea bags are great for the eye area. The caffeine helps to shrink blood vessels underneath the skin and eliminate darkness around the eye area. Spray cool green tea onto your face twice a day to draw out impurities, shrink large pores, and get a healthy glow.
  • Lemon: For brighter, softer skin, use fresh lemon juice on any area of your body, including the knees, elbows, and face to brighten up and soften your skin. Make a moisturizing mask for dry skin by mixing equal amounts of honey, lemon, and olive oil. Apply the mixture to dry areas on the skin and allow it to dry for about 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Take a lemon and slice it in half, rub the juice all over your face, and wait five minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.
  • Lemons have antibacterial properties, making them a perfect blackhead fix. Blackheads are caused by clogged pores, and the acid from the lemons helps to exfoliate the skin.
  • Coconut Oil: For softer, smoother, shiny hair, simple apply coconut oil throughout your hair, then go to bed and rinse out the following morning. Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer or lotion on rough spots.

Winter Nail Trends

Fingernails with Nail Tape

During winter, everything is gray damp and can be bleak. One way I love to brighten up my winter is with new nail trends. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Gray Nails—Gray nails compliment every skin tone and are neutral so they go with every look. Some of my favorite gray polishes are Forever 21’s overcast skies polish, which is a light matte gray; RGB Steel, which is a darker gray; and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Grease Lightning.
  • Pop Culture Nail Decals—These are my favorites. You can find so many quality nail decals on Etsy for under ten dollars and they liven up any plain manicure. Some of my favorite include crying Kim Kardasian, Anne Boelynn, Frida Kahlo, Marie Antoinette (both pre—and post-beheading), and Justin Timberlake through the 2000s.
  • Nail Tape—One of the simplest nail art looks to do yourself is nail tape. The tape comes in either matte or shiny and in many different colors. You simply paint your nails, let them dry, then cut and apply the tape in whatever pattern you desire: from stripes to plaid. You can even apply the tape as a colored french tip.

Ten Ways to Feel Pretty on an Off Day

We all have those “off” days now and then where your hair just doesn’t look right, or maybe you feel like you have nothing to wear and don’t wanna leave the house. Laying in bed moping all day isn’t the answer! Here are a few tips to help you turn that off day around and leave you feeling pretty!

  1. Wake Up and Put on your Favorite Song: Music has the ability to lift your mood instantly! Make a “Feel Better” playlist that includes all your favorite songs that put you in a good mood.
  2. Go Workout: Working out gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy!
  3. Eat Healthy: When you eat healthy, your body, skin, hair, and mind will thank you. You will have more energy and radiate awesome.
  4. Wash Your Face and Hair: Sometimes the best way to deal with a bad hair/makeup day is to simply start over and pamper yourself to a fabulous face mask and deep conditioner.
  5. Put on Lipstick: Adding some bright red lipstick to your usual makeup routine can just be the pick me up you need!
  6. Treat Yourself: Whether it’s going to the mall and buying a new outfit, makeup, or simply just going to get your nails done, treat yourself to something that makes you happy.
  7. Get Some Coffee: Go to a cute and cozy coffee shop and order your favorite coffee off the menu and grab a good read. Doesn’t that just sound sophisticated?
  8. Think Positive: One of the best ways to feel pretty is to think about all the positive things in your life—your health, family, friends, and accomplishments!
  9. Laugh: Sounds simple, but calling up a best friend and having a good laugh is simply the best! Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was right!
  10. It Ends: Remember every off day eventually comes to an end and tomorrow will be a fresh start!

The Benefit of Using a Primer

If you want your face makeup to last a long time without having to touch it up, a must-have is the primer.

The primer is the first step before applying either foundation, concealer, or powder foundation, and sometimes bb cream too. Then it will last a few hours with a little touch-up. Primer also helps to reduce shininess, if you have oily to combination skin; dryness; and makes it easier to apply face makeup.

There are three categories of primer:

  • Face primer: for all over the face where the primer is colorless, feels smooth, and is prevented from clogging pores. It comes in gel formed, liquid, and cream based primer. However, there are different types of face primer:

    • matted primer—for oily skin,
    • brighter primer—tinted primer to add brightness, and
    • tinted primer—for a little more coverage that’s an alternative for color.
  • Eye primer: This is the most important makeup to apply before any eye shadow product. The eye primer will help the eye look on point without the shadow smudging to a faded color, and it won’t crease up the eye’s look. It will make your eye shadow last all day and all night long. Comes in a wax or cream-based primer.

  • Lip primer: If you’re struggling keeping your lipstick on all day and you’re tired of reapplying it and your lip liner consistently, lip primer will definitely help. It can also be used for someone with dry lips and won’t show that cracked lip stained look. Comes with a tube stick that looks like chapstick or, if you have extremely dry and sensitive lips, lip butter can also be used as a lip primer with added moisture content.

Having these primers will make your makeup on point and looking fabulous.

Skin Care Tip: Wear Sunscreen

If I could emphasize one skin care tip to everyone, it would be to apply sunscreen! I come across many people who ignore this task, carefree since they are youthful and have beautiful skin.

Primarily because I love the sun, I am a huge advocate of sun protection. In order to continue enjoying the warm kisses of the sun while still slowing down the aging process, I make sure I always apply some type of broad-spectrum sunscreen on my face and my body. And don’t forget the ears!

There are two types of sunscreens: a physical sunscreen that reflects the sun’s rays, and a chemical sunscreen that absorbs the rays and scatter them. I lean more towards natural products, so my preference is to use a physical sunscreen. However, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.

For sunscreen to be effective, it should be applied at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. In addition, it should be re-applied. For many women, re-applying is difficult, since they’re already wearing makeup. However, the makeup also acts as another barrier against the sun. If you will be having prolonged sun exposure without reapplying, throw on a big, fashionable hat. Also remember to apply sun protection even on cloudy, overcast days because the UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.

I like to kill two birds with one stone, so for the last few years, I’ve been using tinted moisturizer with a minimum of 15 Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which gives me protection and light coverage. For more coverage, you can use a facial moisturizer with SPF and apply your favorite foundation over it. Protect your face and skin now, so that years from now, you’ll need to do less work to maintain your beauty!

Eyebrows: Sisters, Not Twins

Eyebrows can change everything on a person’s face. Everyone strives for the perfect pair of brows. We’re all told that facial symmetry is the most attractive, so the hope is that those perfect brows will help create that symmetry.

But your brows don’t exactly match. Notice your frustrations when doing eyeliner. Most people find it hard to get their eyeliner to match. If you look closely, your eyes just don’t match. So why would you expect that your brows would? Your brows probably look similar, but not identical. Don’t force it.

If you are battling to get the brows you want, there are a few things you can do to help get you there. If you have an esthetician and want a reshape, it can take up to 3-6 months of untouched re-growth to get a brand new shape. If you are looking for a quick fix for a night out, all you need is an angle brush and some powder.

Eyebrow Length Guide

First use a pencil or makeup brush to draw points on your brow at the inner corner—directly above the side of your nostril; at the arch—parallel to the outer side of your iris; and at the tail end—diagonally in line with the side of your nostril and the outer corner of your eye. With the three points marked out, use your angle brush and hair-matching powder to fill in the shape.

Training your brows to grow and lie the way you want also helps in creating the perfect brows. Using an empty mascara wand and Vaseline, or an aloe vera gel, brush your brows nightly to lie how they should. After a few weeks, your brows should start behaving appropriately.

If your brows are sparse, there is an old fashion trick of using castor oil on your brows nightly to help encourage the hair follicles to grow. But now, with technology on our side, there are great topical treatment serums like Revitabrow to help the process go faster.

14 Coconut Oil Beauty Tips

Coconut oil has many amazing qualities for both hair and skin. Here are 14 ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine.

  1. Whip it in your mixer (or with a whisk) to make a face moisturizer. It makes a great night cream as well that won’t clog your pores.
  2. For dry or cracked hands, take some coconut oil and rub it all over your hands like a lotion. Then put gloves on. You can do the same with your feet using socks.
  3. It makes a wonderful makeup remover and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. Gently rub it on your eyelid to easily remove makeup.
  4. Add brown sugar to make an excellent sugar scrub.
  5. Use it as a hydrating lip balm.
  6. It’s a great replacement for shaving cream; it adds moisture.
  7. Use it as a hair mask to smooth and soften and fight frizz.
  8. It can help strengthen, whiten and detoxify the teeth and gums. The lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria that causes plaque and yellowing. It’s antifungal and antibacterial properties improve gum health and freshens breath.
  9. It can be used as a face wash. Add olive oil and use to deeply clean the face.
  10. For an antibacterial face mask, mix coconut oil and honey. Apply and leave on your face for 15 minutes and then rinse.
  11. It can be used as an acne and cellulite scrub by combining it with coffee grounds. Coffee is best known to treat acne, as it is a deep exfoliant. It also helps to stimulate the circulation of blood and therefore helps with cellulite.
  12. It is used to naturally lighten age spots. Coconut oil has natural antioxidants that help fade and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  13. Make your own homemade deodorant by combining equal parts of corn flower, baking soda, and coconut oil.
  14. It can act as a great cuticle cream.

How to Match the Correct Shade Color

When it comes to makeup, one of the important things—before buying either a foundation, concealer, powder, or any face make up—is to find the correct shade for your skin. Whether you’re trying out new products, or if your skin changes tone, it has to match.

I know that some people match the skin tone using the edge of their jaw line or the back of their arm. But both of those areas have a different tone than where the makeup will be used, and where it will show if it doesn’t match.

To make a proper match on shade, first clean a strip of skin. It has to be clean or it will be infused with a different tone. Then use a q-tip, or a flat brush, and put it below the eye—next to the edge of the nose—and swatch all the way down to the nose area. This is the right location for determining tone. Then use a different brush—similar to a foundation or powder brush—or a sponge and blend it out until it becomes invisible, or reveals that it’s not the right shade.

If your skin looks pinkish-white, the shade color is too light. If the color is golden yellow, then it’s too bold. And if the color looks red-brown, then it’s too dark. When it matches, the color blends into the skin tone, making it disappear.

There you have it, a guide to indicate the correct color before buying a new product.

How to Create a Strong Brow

Brows are very important to an overall look. There are many ways to create a brow, but the more popular way right now is the “strong brow.” This brow doesn’t play games. Most people want this look but don’t quite know how to perfect it, so I am going to tell you how to get the look you’ve been wanting to learn.

Before learning the steps, you will need to start with well-groomed eyebrows. It is hard to create this look with many hairs being out of place, so removing any extra hairs will make it easy to map out your brows. You also need to have clean skin.

  1. Start with the bottom of your brow, and using an angled brow brush, make a line using short strokes from the beginning of the brow to the end.
  2. Then repeat the same step at the top of the brow. When you reach the end, the bottom line and top line should meet, creating a point.
  3. Now you need to fill in between the lines. You want the end of the brow fuller and deeper in tone. As you work towards the front, you want to use less product, while also using a lighter hand when placing the product. This will create a gradient effect.
  4. Using an angled brush, or small concealer brush, you want to conceal right underneath and above the line you mapped out in the first step. Lastly, don’t forget to use your finger to blend out the concealer.

Eyebrows

Everyone has eyebrows, and let’s face it, everyone looks at your eyebrows. So why not get them done and make them look pretty?

There have always been different eyebrow trends that involve different thinness and even color, but sometimes a trend cannot be reversed if you damage a hair follicle. Your eyebrows are in a sensitive area right above your eye, so it might be painful to remove some of the hair. But it sure can be worth it!

There are so many different ways to remove the hair. Waxing involves laying actual wax onto your skin and the hair that wants to be removed. Threading is a somewhat new technique that was brought to the United States from India. In threading, a thin thread is doubled, and then twisted. It is then rolled over areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove short lines of hair. Threading can also be used for someone who has sensitive skin because no hot products are being placed onto the skin. And there is always the tweezing method that most every woman uses. But when you tweeze you have the chance to pull the wrong hair and then you would be left with an uneven brow.

There are so many options to choose from that you just really have to find the one that you prefer.

Choosing Colors for You

With so many shades of shadows, blushes, and lipsticks, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what color suits us best. Sometimes, when I walk into a store like Sephora, I get goggly-eyed like a four year old in a candy shop, with the pretty colors and perfect packaging. I want to try on every color and have someone tell me if it looks good or not, but that is not realistic. Then how am I supposed to know which colors work with my skin tone?

An easy way to solve that question is to know a little about your face and its characteristics. Blue eyes can usually pull off golds and silvers, neutrals, and earthy tones like blue or green. Blues, purples, and pinks, as well as all neutrals look very good with brown eyes. Green eyes really pop with pinks or browns. The color wheel is a great tool for helping to determine which direction you should go in. If you want a bolder look, then choose a color opposite your eyes. But if you want to achieve a more subtle look, use colors closer to your own eye color on the wheel.

When it comes down to it, if you like the way it looks and feels on your skin, then own it! Nothing is more beautiful than being confident in what you’re wearing.

Four Ways to Dry Your Nails

One of the most frustrating parts of getting your nails done is thinking you have allowed enough time for them to dry, running out the door, getting in your car, only to find that you have smudged what moments ago was a beautiful manicure. It takes time and patience to sit in the salon after your nails are done waiting while your polish dries, and this is when times seems to pass incredibly slowly. Usually you decide to leave when your patience runs out, not when your nails are thoroughly dry. Here are four great tips to help nail polish dry faster:

  • Super cold water: Before you start painting your nails, fill a small bowl up with ice cubes and cold water. Once nails are painted, dip your hands into the bowl of freezing water. This will help set the polish. If you are at a nail salon and do not have access to ice cubes, just place your hands under cold water for about a minute.
  • Cold air: Your hairdryer works just as well as a salon’s nail dryer. All you have to do is set your hair dryer to the cool setting and blast your freshly painted nails with cold air.
  • Spray: Nail drying sprays work extremely well. They are not hard to find and can be purchased at your local drug store. But what works just as well is any type of cooking oil spray such as PAM—yes PAM! Just be sure that you wash your hands a few minutes after you spray your hands with it.
  • Thinner the better: Try doing three thin coats of polish rather than two thicker coats. Make sure you wait a few minutes in between coats. This allows the polish to dry evenly and faster.

A Step to Step Guide to Dry Brushing

Dry brushing has always been a part of Ayurveda’s cleansing beliefs. It is a form of exfoliation that sloughs away dead skin cells, unclogs pores, reduces the appearance of cellulite, and removes toxins that have been trapped beneath the skin. In addition, dry brushing is also said to stimulate the lymphatic system, essential in helping toxins flow throughout the body. This extremely simple and inexpensive beauty regimen takes only about 5 minutes. With the simple steps below, you will see results instantly.

  1. Use a natural, non synthetic, bristle brush. A long handle helps to reach areas of your body that would otherwise be hard to reach.
  2. Stand naked in your bathtub, or elsewhere if you have a towel underneath your feet to catch the dead skin that falls.
  3. You can start anywhere you like on your body, but I prefer to start at my feet with long sweeping motions towards my heart. Brush the area several times and move on to the next section of your body. Take note that certain areas of your body are more sensitive than others, so make sure you are not too heavy handed with your brush, which can cause irritation. The more you dry brush, the less sensitive your skin will be.
  4. Rinse off in the shower to get all the dead skin residue off of your skin.
  5. Pat your skin dry with a towel. Finish with a body butter or a natural moisturizing oil, such as coconut, to help seal in the moisture.

Dry Brush and Accessories

Pros & Cons of Waxing

Most women get rid of their hair with a razor. It’s painless, even if you accidently nick yourself with the blade; it’s fast if you do it while showering; and it’s a cheap method of hair removal. Yet waxing salons and spas are thriving. Why? Because waxing is able to last up to a month, it reduces in-between stubble, it is highly effective, and it removes hair right from the root. You get instant smoothness that a razor cannot deliver, even when it’s brand new.

The Cons

  • You have to wait for the hair to grow back again to a certain length. There is a re-growth cycle that hair goes through once removed.
  • Yes, it will hurt. No, do not drink first to ease the pain.
  • More susceptible to ingrown hairs if not treated with an exfoliant.
  • More pricey, but totally worth it.
  • You’re removing a layer of protection against infection. Our hair naturally protects us from outside environmental stressors and toxins.

The Pros

  • Smooth skin, no more stubble. Lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Hairless for longer, gets more hair than your razor could. Doesn’t leave bumpies.
  • It will stop growing in as thick after a while, and the re-growth cycle will get thinner.
  • Less effort, no razor cuts or burns.

There are also two types of wax used for waxing:

Soft Wax

  • Melts at higher temperature.
  • Stays soft after application.
  • Waxing strips, aka muslin, is necessary for hair removal.
  • Pulling soft wax off with a waxing strip often results in lifting and stretching of the skin along with the hair.
  • Can work only when you pull the strips in the direction opposite to the hair growth.
  • Cannot be reapplied to areas just waxed.
  • Can often cause rash, irritation, and redness.

Hard Wax

  • Melts at lower temperature.
  • Simply lift and pull the hardened wax. No strips necessary.
  • Hard wax hardens around the hair and not on the skin; only the hair is uprooted.
  • Does not require you to pull from the direction opposite the hair growth.
  • No rash, redness, irritation after.
  • Can be reapplied on the areas that are just waxed.
  • Good for waxing armpits and the bikini area.

Everyone Needs a Beauty Survival Kit

We’ve all been there, out and about, feeling great. And then we look into a mirror to find makeup issues going on. I used to never carry any makeup with me except a lip gloss. But now I think it’s essential to have a beauty survival kit that doesn’t take up too much space and has just the right touch ups that I might need. Here’s a list that I find always comes in handy when I need to reach into my purse and do a fixer upper.

Beauty Survival Kit

  1. Compact Mirror — For those times when you don’t have one around.
  2. Pressed Powder — Easy to touch up the face with either a translucent powder or foundation powder, especially for those who have oily skin and makeup which tends to slide off.
  3. Eyeliner — has the tendency to wear off or smudge throughout the day, so I carry a travel size liner.
  4. Lip Balm — I always carry a lip balm on me to keep my lips nice and moisturized.
  5. Lip liner/Lipstick — This changes depending on what lip color I’m wearing that day, but lipstick tends to bleed or fade so I always have both with me to clean up.
  6. Eyelash Glue — I usually wear false lashes and, at one point of the day, at least one of them starts to lift. So I make sure I always have glue on me to quickly fix the lashes.
  7. Hand Sanitizer — Important to use before touching your face.
  8. Perfume Sample — Apply a spritz throughout the day to smell fresh. Be careful not overdue it; too much perfume is never a good thing.
  9. Gum/Mints — Always have these handy for fresh breath.

Everyone’s survival kit will be different but it definitely comes in handy when you need a quick touch up!

The Importance of Heat Protectants

Aveda Brilliant Damage Control

Do you blow dry your hair all the time? Do you use a straightener/flat iron? A wand? A curling iron? If you do, do you also use a heat protectant? If not, you absolutely need to be!

Excessive heat can be so damaging to the hair if it isn’t prepped properly! Aveda offers some of the best style preps I’ve ever used. All of them work as heat protectants while still helping hold a style.

If you’re looking for a sleek and smooth blowout, use Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style Prep. Are you looking for a bouncy, voluminous blowout? Use Pure Abundance Style Prep. Not sure what hot tools you might want to use after blow drying? Use Brilliant Damage Control.

Brilliant Damage Control can be used even if you aren’t going to blowout your hair. It detangles hair, and dries like there isn’t anything on the hair at all. Apply it after towel drying hair. Spray liberally, and then let it air dry. This product is seriously the greatest!