Emergency Beauty Kit

First Aid Kit

As a girl, the struggle is real when it comes to making sure you have the necessities when going on a date, or on vacation, or even out with the girls. You have made lists and set reminders to make sure you have absolutely everything you need—or may possibly need. We have all had those moments: “dang why didn’t I bring…” [insert unnecessary item that you know you don’t actually need but have totally convinced yourself that you or your friends will need it].

But there are some things you really must have. First and foremost is mouthwash. You can find mini ones in any grocery store—just go to the travel section and get the travel sizes. You also need some face powder to touch up, gum, lip gloss, bobby pins, two hair ties (someone always asks to borrow a hair tie, it’s good to have an extra), safety pins (in case of a wardrobe malfunction), tampons, mascara, and a backup phone charger.

It’s pretty amazing what you can fit into a clutch or small bag. Knowing you already have what you may need is going to help ease the anxiety of having to go somewhere.

You can also get these emergency kits at stores such as Forever 21, TJ Maxx, or the Beauty Supply Store, but it’s super affordable to just create them yourself! Who doesn’t love shopping for themselves? It could even make for a fun girls’ night, or even party favors for a bachelorette party.

Bathe for Sunburn Relief

Bathtub

If you’ve ever had a painful sunburn on your body, you know how difficult it is to get relief. While applying aloe vera gel is a great topical treatment throughout the day, taking a bath can help to completely alleviate the pain.

One of the most important things to remember about taking a bath with a sunburn is to avoid using hot water. If the water is too hot, it can make the skin hurt more.

Some amazing ingredients for a sunburn bath are oatmeal, cooled green tea and peppermint, and vinegar. The vinegar, which is a light acid, may sting at first, but it will eventually help to relieve the pain. They shouldn’t all be used together because that could overstimulate already angry skin. It is a good option to try each individually and see what works best for your skin.

Oatmeal is very soothing for sunburns and inflammation of any kind.

Green tea is a great thing to add to a bath or to use in compresses. The ingredients are soothing on the inflamed area.

Peppermint tea is a mild ingredient with a cooling effect, so long as you don’t use it on blistering or broken skin. It is great to add cooled peppermint tea directly into the bath or you can use the tea bag as a compress once it has cooled.

Vinegar is a useful ingredient to help relieve a sunburn because of the acetic acid. It is especially appropriate for sunburns that are itchy, painful, or inflamed. Apple cider vinegar is a great option because it is already very good for the skin.

Ballerina Bun

Woman with Ballerina Bun

Get your hair off your neck for these hot summer months with a ballerina bun! I’m going to explain different ways to achieve a ballerina bun depending on whether you have a hair donut, a long sock, or just bobby pins. Depending on the technique, you will also need a hair tie or elastic, brush, a comb, hairspray, and scissors.

You start by brushing your hair into a ponytail and tying it with a hair tie or elastic depending on the density of your hair. If you have thick hair, a hair tie would work best. If you have fine hair, you can use either a hair tie or an elastic, whatever you prefer. I find that the ballerina bun works best with a high ponytail on the top of your head, but you could also do a low ponytail.

If you have a hair donut, pull your ponytail through the center of the donut and place it at the base of your ponytail. If you have long hair, a larger donut would work best; with shorter hair, a smaller donut is better. For thicker hair, spread your hair all around the donut and place a second hair tie or elastic over the donut. If you have finer hair, take sections of your hair, spray it with hairspray, and backcomb before placing your second hair tie over your hair and the donut. This will help to make your hair appear fuller and conceal the donut better. The mids and ends of your hair will be left out of the donut. You can either twist that around the donut, and bobby pin it to conceal the hair tie, or you can braid the mids and ends then wrap the braid around the donut to conceal your hair tie. Then use hairspray for any fly-aways and you’re done.

If you don’t have a hair donut, you can also use a long sock or tube sock. Try to find a sock that matches the color of your hair. Simply cut the toe part off of the sock and begin rolling the sock into a donut shape. The longer the sock, the larger the donut will be. Then take the same steps from the first technique, just use the sock as your donut.

If you don’t have a hair donut or a sock, pull your hair into a ponytail and spray sections of your hair with hairspray before backcombing small sections of hair. When backcombing, backcomb the bottom side of the strand so when you lay the hair down, the top of the strand will be easier to smooth. After you backcomb, take medium-sized sections of hair and bobby pin them in a donut shape. You will bobby pin the ends of your hair to the base of your head, close to your ponytail. After all of your hair is bobby-pinned in a donut shape, use your fingers to pull and stretch the sections you bobby-pinned so there are no gaps between sections. Then use your comb to lightly smooth the top of your bun and hairspray it in place.

You can pull out some face-framing pieces of hair for a messier look or hair spray everything nice and smooth for a sleek look. You can accessorize with a headband, flower, large bow, and anything else you desire.

Benefits of Using Toner

The word Toner written by a Female Hand.

There’s more to a good skin regimen than cleansing and moisturizing. While those are definitely the most important steps, there’s another step in between which should not be omitted—toner. Why is toner important?

  1. It gives your skin the right pH balance.

    When you cleanse your face, especially if you exfoliate, you tend to make your skin more alkaline than acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, 7 being neutral. Our skin is naturally acidic, having a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. It’s important that skin be acidic so it can fight away harmful bacteria that tries to penetrate and damage the skin.

  2. It shrinks pores.

    Toner minimizes the appearance of pores. It will not shrink them permanently, but it will definitely visually minimize them.

  3. It adds a layer of protection.

    Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, thus reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin.

  4. It moisturizes the skin.

    Some toners are humectants, which means that they help to bind moisture to the skin.

  5. It refreshes your skin.

    Toner can also be used in lieu of washing your skin when it’s oily or dirt. It will leave your skin revitalized, even when you’re on-the-go. You can even spray it over your make-up!

  6. It can prevent ingrown hairs.

    Toners containing glycolic or other alpha hydroxy acids can help to prevent ingrown hairs, so it also aids in grooming.

  7. It reduces oil on the skin.

    After cleansing your face, you tend to produce more oil. Toner helps restore and balance everything out.

Welcome to Brow Tinting

Woman with Tinted Eyebrows

With celebrities like Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins leading the trend of fuller, thicker eyebrows (and sparking our brow envy), it’s time we ladies acquaint ourselves with the benefits of brow tinting.

First things first. Brow tinting can be used in conjunction with brow hair removal—waxing, tweezing, threading, etc.—but the tinting service itself does not involve removing any hair. Brow tinting uses a semi-permanent vegetable-based dye to enhance the brows shape, color, and thickness.

Brow tinting is meant to add pigmentation to your brows. Boosting the color of your brows to a richer and darker shade will make you look more groomed, provide a stronger definition of your brows and, if you have lighter eyes, help define your eyes.

While there is a wide variety of brow tinting shade options, the most common shade is dark brown. It is best to select a shade one to two shades darker than the new growth color of your hair.

Brow tinting can also help to complement a new hair color. For example, if you were to lighten your hair to blonde, adding warmth or lightening your brows to a lighter shade may provide more balance to your overall look.

The added pigmentation will typically last between two to four weeks, so there is a committed level of maintenance involved in order to keep your brows on fleek.

In addition to boosting your color, brow tinting can help your brows look fuller by grabbing on to little baby hairs and adding pigment to even the smallest of hairs. Even those with already dark brows can see added volume and density when the tint coats the “peach-fuzz” hairs.

Finally, it is important to make sure that any eyebrow tinting services are completed by a licensed professional—either a cosmetologist or an esthetician. While there are many establishments out there that offer brow tinting, it is important to do your research. Personal recommendations are an excellent way to find a place that will be a great fit for your brows.

Aromatherapy-Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are the key ingredient with Aromatherapy. They are known as pure essences from plants that are natures gift to the human body and spirit. These oils are extremely beneficial and give off scents and health giving properties.

These oils, derived from plants, are used to promote good health. The beneficial effects of essential oils are applied many ways, through baths, massage, compresses, vaporizers, and so on.

It cannot be stressed too often how important it is to use pure, natural, authentic oils as aromatherapy uses the complexity of the plants to deliver therapeutic qualities.

Caring and where you store your oils is extremely important. Oils are extremely volatile, which can easily be affected by the environment, light, temperature, air, and moisture. They must be stored in cool and dry places.

I’m going to focus on one essential oil: lavender. Lavender is one of the most valuable oils for the treatment of acne, according to aromatherapists. Here are twenty conditions that lavender can improve.

  1. Aching Muscles

    Put a few drops in your bath water for aching muscles.

  2. Acne

    Bacteria thrives on the over-secretion of sebum. Lavender rebalances this to reduce scarring. Add a few drops of lavender oil to a plain cream or lotion. It is safe to use everyday.

  3. Bacteria

    Can use lavender to help fight infection.

  4. Cuts and Wounds

    Apply oil to soothe pain, This prevents bacterial infection and aid scar-free healing.

  5. Ear ache

    Warm a bottle of lavender oil in hot water for a minute or two, then massage a few drops gently into the skin around the ears and throat.

  6. Eczema

    Stroke infused lavender oil into dry, itchy skin.

  7. Fatigue

    Add five drops of lavender oil to a hot foot bath and relax while your feet soak in it. Lavender reaches your bloodstream quickly, exerting its stimulating and soothing effects on various systems of your body.

  8. Fevers

    For babies or small children, sponge them down very gently with tepid water to which you have added a drop of lavender oil. This works for adults also.

  9. Faintness

    Make your own smelling salts—sea salt, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and basil oil.

  10. Insomnia

    To help to induce sleep, put three to four drops of lavender oil on your pillow. For babies, add one drop of lavender and geranium oil in a carrier oil and massage into a baby’s back or put a few drops in their bedtime bath.

  11. Long Travel

    Keep lavender in your hand luggage and roll it over your pulse points to help you keep a clear head during those endless hours in the air.

  12. Menstrual Cramps

    Massage a few drops of lavender into your lower abdomen or apply a hot compress onto the area.

  13. Moths, Midges, and Mosquitos

    These bugs hate the smell of lavender. To prevent bites, splash yourself with lavender oil before you go out at sunset or to bed, put three to four drops of oil on your pillow. Lavender oil is also a remedy for insect bites, soothing itching and inflammation: dab it on to the bites as soon as possible. To keep moths off your clothes, hang lavender bags on your coat hangers, or keep them among your sweaters, and refresh them with a drop or two of lavender oil from time to time.

  14. Scabies

    Rub your whole body with neat lavender oil, then following every day until better with a mixture of lavender oil and alcohol. Change and wash bedding and clothes and sprinkle lavender oil on the mattress.

  15. Shingles

    Combine a mix of lavender oil with analgesic, antiviral and scar preventing essential oils neat or on compresses on the agonizing lesions of shingles. It usually produces a cure within five to eight days.

  16. Sinusitis

    Lavender is one of several essential oils that aromatherapists recommend for inhalations to relieve sinuses.

  17. Stress and Anxiety

    Keep a spritzer of Lavender Mist—Hydrosol handy to spray on your face during the day, or apply lavender oil neat to your temples.

  18. Sunburn

    Spray pure Lavender Mist—Hydrosol directly onto the skin or pour it into a cool-to-lukewarm bath and soak for ten minutes.

  19. Headache

    Mist around your head is refreshing and soothing. Alternatively, make a compress of a piece of gauze sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil and apply to the forehead, or massage a few drops into the forehead, temples, and nape of the neck.

  20. Minor Burns

    After you have cooled the area by putting it in cold water for a few minutes, stroke on lavender oil. Pain relief is almost immediate, and burns usually heal without scarring.

Green Tea: Nature’s Healthiest Drink?

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have amazingly powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cholesterol, and many other benefits.

Green tea is loaded with polyphenols, like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These ingredients can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a big part in aging, wrinkles, and diseases.

One of the more powerful ingredients in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been studied for its effects on the treatment of many diseases and it may be one green tea’s main ingredients that give it powerful medicinal properties.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health. The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well. Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and prevent some viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.

Streptococcus mutans is the main harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque to form and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Studies show that the catechins in green tea can stop the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is linked to improved dental health. Another awesome benefit of green tea is that multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath!

Do you love that morning cup of coffee but not the jitters? One of the main active ingredients in green tea is caffeine! A known stimulant, green tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee does, so it’s less likely to give you that jittering feeling. But it’s defiantly enough caffeine to perk up the mind and body in a more gentle and healthier way.

I think that green tea is nature’s healthiest drink!

The Roots of Dreadlocks

Woman with White Dreadlocks, Four Up

Ever since I was three years old, with at least three to four inches of “long enough” hair, I was able to do these creative and exotic hairstyles. Growing up with an older brother who was a hairstylist, I was his canvas.

I continue to rock these hairstyles because I know there is so much history and artistic love put into being able to wear it. I’ve learned the history behind each hairstyle I had growing up.

The roots of dreadlocks go back all the way to the Rastafarians of Jamaica and then journeyed on to the Indian sages and yogis. It symbolizes a deeper meaning to their origin, defiance, power, and authority. There are still a lot of controversies today around dreadlocks since the hairstyle is more popular than ever. But a few of us actually understand its history and respect it enough to embrace it proudly. It’s beautiful.

To make dreadlocks, the hair is washed but not combed and is twisted while wet into tight braids or ringlets.

From the 1970s through today’s culture, a huge inspiration popularizing locks was reggae musician Bob Marley. He was a big role model for the Rastafarian movement and the wearing of dreadlocks.

It’s a proud heritage.

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion

Product - Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion definitely falls into the easy decision column. It’s best suited for fine hair; it bulks it up and gives it a nice matte texture.

The Hair Potion is actually a powder that liquefies when it hits your hair or skin. You just sprinkle it sparingly onto your hair and then use your fingers to create the style you want. The bottle claims it thickens hair up to 17%, but that actually seems to me like they may be underselling it compared to the actual effects I’ve experienced.

This product is best for textured, matte styles, as opposed to slicker styles obtained using wax or pomade.

Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion is one of Aveda’s best sellers.

  • What It Is

    It’s a volumizing and texturizing product with an unusual formula that goes from powder to liquid.

  • What It Does

    As a dry powder, it absorbs oil and adds lift at the roots. When it’s rubbed between hands, it turns wet and can be used to create tousled, beachy waves. Aveda also claims that it will temporarily bulk up the hair shaft by up to 17 percent.

  • Key Ingredients

    Acacia gum and kaolin clay (temporarily thicken hair); pullulan and honey (add hold); silica (absorbs oil).

  • How It Feels/Smells/Looks

    It starts out as a powder, but when you rub it between your hands, it turns into a wet, sticky paste. There’s no discernible scent.

  • Why I Like It

    This product acts like a dry shampoo, volumizer, and beach spray all rolled into one—what’s not to love?

Colorful Hair

Woman with Colorful Hair

This has been a colorful year in terms of hair color trends! From bright saturated colors to more light and pastel hues, unnatural hair color has become exceedingly trendy. This trend has even made its way to the mainstream with celebrities like Katy Perry and Ke$ha debuting “rainbow,” hair. With different variations of this trend popping up everywhere, it is safe to say colorful hair isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So is rainbow hair right for you? The great thing about this trend is there is a wide spectrum to choose from. There is not only color variation but also tone and saturation. For example, some skin tones might not pair well with a bright, bold, and supersaturated color like neon pink. However, a great alternative might be a subtle pastel peach or pink that appears somewhat faded.

Hair extensions are a great way to incorporate color into one’s tresses while forgoing some of the chemical damage. Many hair extensions made of genuine human hair can be dyed. The trendy cosmetics brand LimeCrime, has incorporated this colorful trend into their cosmetics line with lipsticks ranging from egg yolk-yellow to sky blue.

With the fun use of color on the rise, it is safe to say that colorful hair isn’t only a trend for teens. Many women are able to make this look work into adulthood and even in the workplace. I believe it is all about how it is presented. Pastel lavender hair can look très chic pulled back into a bun and topped off with some pearl earrings! If you are considering trying out this trend, I say, taste the rainbow!