Category Archives: Heath & Beauty

$20 a Month

So, this month’s $20 a Month was actually $27.95, but there was a ton of stuff plus a makeup bag, i’m a sucker for sample sizes and storage bags/containers. This month I got the Vegan Beauty Essentials Kit. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this, I’m not, but I also feel since I use things like soap/lotion/make-up everyday, why not use something that I can feel good about using. I’ve been told that every little bit helps.

Vegan Cuts 1 Vegan Cuts 2

 

  • Soapbox Black Soap – really intense smelling, but really
  • Death by Lavender All Natural Deodorant – effective, but when they say “death by lavender” they mean death by lavender. I like floral scents as much as the next girl, but DAMN.
  • Rainbow Honey in Persephone – the color is a very sweet girly candy pink with glitter, which is not really something i’ll really wear a lot, but the coverage and wear is up there with some of the most expensive brands I’ve tried. Two quick coats, no base coast or top coast and my nails were only slightly chipped at the end of a week. I’d be interested in trying out some of their less cutesy colors.
  • Pacifica Coconut Kiss Creamy Lip Butter in Lava – the lip butter went on smoothly and had a finish that was creamy instead of glossy or sticky. The smell was softly sweet and vaguely coconut-y (not a big surprise given the name), not much of a flavor, which was fine. The color wasn’t the best for me. Since I am really really pale the orangy-red kind of washed me our and clashed with my red hair, plus the color bled just a little. I will probably try out a different color.
  • Earth’s Enrichments Lemon Fresh Shea – My favorite product in the bag. It smelled like a lemon lollipop and while it didn’t have a lot of lather, it moisturized AND exfoliated. My skin was so happy. I will be getting a full sized bar.
  • Lotus Moon Hydrating Gel – This stuff is great, I used it on my face for two weeks and my skin looked a-mazing! It moisturizes without leaving any residue and your face never feels oily. The only time I had any issues was when I coupled this with my tinted BB cream since it also has a moisturizing element, it was a little to much of a good things. So I switched to using it with my tinted powder instead and everything was fine. The only things I didn’t care for was the strong herb-y smell, you get used to it, but it definitely lingers all day.
  • Concrete Minerals Eyeshadow – This is exactly like the Bare Minerals eyeshadow I was obsessed with a couple of years ago. The best part of the mineral shadow is you can control how dark you want it, the color goes on sheer and you can and additional layers until you get the desired shade. Bonus, these layers don’t get cake-y or crease. I still think I am a pressed shadow girl, but if go back to the loose powder I’ll definitely use this brand.
  • Weleda Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion – a FANTASTIC lotion. It hydrates like the name says, without leaving residue. I hate when I go to wash my hands hours after putting lotion on and they feel slimy because the lotion hasn’t really absorbed into the skin. I’ll say it again, this leaves no residue! And it smells like freshly squeezed limes and lemons. I took the sample to work with me and let one of my coworkers try it, she loved it as much as I did.
  • Molly Rose Pickles & Ice Cream Lip Balm – it really was pickles & ice cream…I….yeah….it wasn’t for me.
  • Aubrey NuStyle Organic Detangler & Shine Booster – I couldn’t use this one myself, my hair is short and baby fine; most days I don’t even use a conditioner. Something like this would leave my hair feeling and looking oily by the end of the end of the day. So instead I sent it home with one of my co-workers. She has been using it on her daughters hair and they both agree that it works really well. Better in fact, then some of the more expensive salon detanglers they’ve tried. The only issue they had was that it smelled “odd”, but not enough to stop using it.

-There was also a sunscreen and a body tonic that I haven’t tried yet.

A lot of stuff right? The items in the essentials kit are randomly selected so you may not end up with everything I had, but it’s kind of exciting to not know exactly what’s waiting for you when you open that brown box. If you try out your own kit, leave a comment to let me know what your favorite product was.


DIY Rosewater Spray

Few things are as refreshing as a cool mist on a hot summer day. Make that a cool mist with a lovely scent and restorative properties? Sign me up! Rose water is not only cooling and cleansing, it provides relief from sunburns and irritation as well as helping to balance oily skin. Here is a simple tutorial that will have you spritzing and relaxing in no time.

You’ll need:

Start by plucking the petals off all the roses. The more fragrant the roses are the more fragrant the rosewater will be.

Place the stock pot on top of a stove and put the brick inside the pot. Pack in rose petals around the brick until it fills the sides of the pot.

Pour distilled water into the pot until half of the brick is submerged in water. Place the glass bowl on top of the brick.

Invert the lid and turn the stove on high. Let everything come to a boil. Precipitation will form on the lid and sprinkle droplets of water into the bowl. This is your rosewater! To speed up the process, you can add cold water or ice to the top of the inverted lid.

The smell of roses will start to permeate the kitchen and after about 30 minutes, turn off the stove. Allow the rosewater to cool completely before using a dropper or pipette to transfer into a spray bottle or atomizer.

Wrap a piece of ribbon around the bottle and secure it with a simple straight stitch or fabric glue. Feel free to add any essential oils, such as grapefruit or lavender, to the rosewater base. It should be stored in the refrigerator and will last up to 3 weeks.

Lately, I have tried to be more conscientious about what I am putting in and on my body, and this treatment is wonderful because I not only know, but I control what goes into this product.

Tutorial from here.


Hair Trick

I never have, and will most likely never be a morning person. Growing up, my mom would wake me up by switching on the light and quickly shutting the door.  Even now Andy doesn’t usually speak to me until i’ve shuffled my way to the kitchen and eaten breakfast. Needless to say, my morning routine is pretty no-frills during the week, and more often than not i’ll just pull my hair back or give it a finger tussle and go. I am very thankful for anything that gives me a few more minutes of sleep or helps me get out the door a little faster. Enter great three step tutorial:

This tutorial is twice as awesome for me because I have hopelessly straight fine hair and without product and a hair dryer, it is really difficult to get any volume or texture.

Side note: I got braces today! This is something i’ve wanted for a long time, and I am sure in a couple of days, when the awful tight feeling and jaw pain go away. Yeah, that’ll be nice.

Images from here.


So Much Hair!

After the wedding, I decided that I wanted to let my hair grow out a bit. Almost six months later, I am at a bit of a loss on how to manage the longest locks I’ve had since middle school; and I am finding myself longing for the days where a dollop of Phomollient and a quick finger tousle were all I needed. Fortunately for me, there are kind bloggers out there who understand that some of us that need a bit of hand holding when it comes to doing something creative with our hair.

Tutorials in order of appearance:

While some of these do’s might be a bit ambitious for me to try in the 15mins I usually take to get ready before work. A messy side ponytail? Even I can accomplish that before my morning coffee. So I guess I’ll postpone my trip to the salon a bit longer.

Images and tutorials by Cup of Jo

 


Coincidence or a Sign from the Universe?

One of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog was about how badly I wanted pink hair. A year later it still hasn’t happened. Of course I am still at the same office, with the same restrictions, and while no one has commented on my wrist tattoo I feel like cotton candy hair might be pushing my luck. But I think this tutorial by The Beauty Department might be just the loophole I need.  If I only color the tips of my hair I can keep it pulled back at the office and still take baby steps towards my ultimate goal.

DIY: Rainbow Tips

TOOLS: highlighting comb, clips, foils, color brush, hair bleach with the appropriate volume (always seek a professional when using bleach), light pink color, dark pink color, light blue, dark blue, clear gloss.

Instructions:

Step 1 Highlight the tips of the hair using hair bleach with the correct volume. I lightened the bottom 3 inches of Lauren’s hair, taking it as light as possible without causing any damage. As you can see above, I like to “feather” on the bleach. Painting a jagged line makes it blend better.

Step 2 Fold up your foil and let it process until it reaches a pale blonde. Use the appropriate heat if necessary.

Step 3 Shampoo and lightly condition bleach out of the hair.

Step 4 Blow hair completely dry. If it’s still wet, it will soak up less color.

Step 5 Place the hair on a foil. Imagine the bleached out part being split into 3. You’re going to leave the top 1/3 blonde.

Step 6 Next, paint the light blue (or whatever color you choose) on the entire bottom 2/3.

Step 7 Paint the very tips (or bottom 1/3) using the darker version of that color. It should look almost feather like. Be sure to blend. Last, rinse out the color. I highly suggest washing them out one piece at a time and towel drying well so the colors don’t bleed into each other. If they do, you may see a “marbleizing” effect. I love when the colors all swirl together like that, but if you’re looking to keep them more defined, keep them away from each other when they’re wet. I like to finish up by sealing it with a clear gloss. That’s a professional use only product so if you don’t have access to it, you don’t have to do that. Blow dry and…Tah Daaah!!

*Note: Bleaching your hair at home can have varying outcomes.  When I bleached my hair in college I ended up with an orange mess and minor chemical burns on my scalp. If you haven’t tried this process before it might be a good idea to consult a professional at least for the bleaching step of this tutorial.

Original tutorial here.