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Category Archives: Heath & Beauty
Hello friends! As the summer solstice looms closer, our daily routines change to accommodate the higher temperature, the sunshine, and, if you live in the south, the humidity. Since Florida hits “summer” by mid April, I’ve been assembling my line up for a while now and I wanted to share some of the items that I have enthusiastically added to may daily routine.
1. Native Deodorant – a friend of mine turned me onto Native products earlier this year and so far I’ve tried their body wash and deodorant. The body wash is perfectly fine, but I am kind of obsessed with the deodorant. I’ve tried four of the different scent options so far. My current favorite is the Coconut Vanilla, which is perfect for summer. It might seem a little strange to be so into deodorant, but it’s something we use daily and finding a product that I enjoy using vs. merely tolerate? It’s really nice. I’ve actually gifted a few to friends and family. Bonus, they make small travel size deodorants so you can get a few minis to find which scent is best for you.
2. Quay Australia “My Girl” Sunglasses – these sunnies were in my spring my Fab Fit Fun box (I now have a subscription to the service) and I am kind of in love. I have never NEVER purchased sunglasses that cost more than $20 and I honestly thought that pricier frames were kind of a scam. I was wrong, so wrong. These bad boys retail for $55, more than my entire Fab Fit Fun box, and if they broke tomorrow, I would replace them without batting an eye. I have so many funky pairs of sunnies, but I have been using them less and less because these are so comfortable and pretty much everything I could ever want out of a great pair of sunglasses. I’ve let other people try them on and I think I’ve actually convinced 3(ish) people to get their own pair. I really should be getting some sort of commission at this point.
3. Dr. Brandt No More Baggage – I have had issues with undereye pretty much my entire life, but things escalated after I turned 30 and I had to start caking on the concealer and foundation just to look “normal”. This item also showed up in my spring Fab Fit Fun box and after a week there was a noticeable difference. I’ve been using it for almost two months now and I no longer use concealer on my under eyes. I still put on a bit of foundation, but only because I am putting it on the rest of my face anyway. Now I am not going to say that it has removed ALL of the discoloration and puffiness, but it is mostly gone.
4. Neutrogena Age Shield Face – my mother in law put one of these in my Christmas stocking this year and I was neither pleased nor displeased to get it. I mean, I am super pale and sunscreen is always a good idea, but I didn’t really need something like this in my daily routine. Fast forward to a couple of months ago where the skin on my face was inexplicably dry and I was trying EVERYTHING to fix it. I tried this because nothing in my drawer was working and it’s been fantastic. I put it on my face right after I shower and let it soak in for about 15 minutes before putting on makeup and my skin hasn’t looked this good in years.
5. Wet Brush Silver Swirl Detangler – I have super fine habitually color treated hair and tangles are, frankly, inevitable. I was wasting time in Ulta and I saw this brush that made the bold assertion that it magically eliminates tangles in all types of hair. I mean, it didn’t say it quite like that, but you know what I mean. I needed a new brush anyway, so I purchased this brush basically because I wanted it to not work so I could be righteously indignant and I could dramatically complain about yet another “amazing” brush that was absolute crap. You know what? The damn thing works. I would be mad if it wasn’t so nice to brush my hair without ripping half of it out.
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.
- 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.
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.
- a dozen fresh, organic roses
- a perfume atomizer or spray bottle
- a plastic pipette
- 6 inches of vintage ribbon
- a large stock pot with glass lid
- a small glass bowl
- distilled water
- a brick
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.
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.
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:
- braided crown
- chestnut bun
- three twisted buns
- messy side ponytail
- gibson roll
- mermaid tail braid
- braided top bun
- pretzel braid
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