Sleepy Time Skincare: DIY Calming Products

Products that help you sleep are all the rage.  Whether it’s Neutrogena’s Calming Towelettes, or Pond’s Evening Cleanse, bedtime themed cleansing is more popular than night caps and bed time snacks combined. 

The key to these, and similar products is simple aromatherapy. So, my DIY beauty brain has deduced, if scent is the calming bedtime influence in these products, why not make your own?

So, here you go.  

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Dark Shadows: Combating Under Eye Circles

I’ve got them, you’ve got them, hell only genetically blessed people don’t have under eye circles.  

The pesky shadows beneath your eyes are really just oxygen deficient blood–just like the bluish veins in your forearm. But, unlike other places on the body, the blood can pool beneath the think skin of the under eye, giving you the ever attractive black eye effect.  So, while dark circles can’t be permanently removed, there are a few things you can do to minimize them.

1. Massage. Massage increases circulation, and can move stagnate blood. Gently rub in a circular motion to get things moving. 

2.  Products.  There are lots of “eye brightening” and “wake up” under eye rollers.  Look for one with anti-wrinkle effects for an added bonus. 

3.  Apply cool tea bags to the eyes once a day. The tannins reduce swelling and discoloration. 

4. Cover em up.  Orange concealer will cover blue wonderfully, yellow will cancel purple.  Layer on colored concealer and cover with foundation.

5. And most importantly/unrealistically, drink less and sleep more.  I know. It’s the answer no one wants. 

 

Happy anti circling.

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

-Amy

For the Love of Handmade: Products from Etsy

Some days, man, all you want to do is surf the internet and dream about buying it all.

Like today, when I found a collection of products I’d love to (as should you) try on Etsy.

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waxAstache travel size mustache wax. Handmade in the USA!

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Halloween Nail Decals. 

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Beard oil. Now I’m gonna spend my winter growing a beard.

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Detoxifying Blue Clay from Washington state.

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Sheer mineral tint lipstick. in Pink Taffy.

What awesome etsians do you admire?

Happy hunting.

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

-Amy

 

Why High School Chemistry was the Best Class Ever

The Science of Beauty: Chem 101

Bill Nye loves it, your honors chem. teacher loves it, your pool guy can’t get enough of it, and it is about time you jump on the bandwagon of people who have a passion for pH.  Why for the love of Sephora should any beauty addict care about some obscure scientific scale measuring the amount of hydrogen atoms a product is composed of? 

The answer to this, and most serious beauty questions, is until one understands the relationship between the pH of hair, skin, and nails to the pH of products, you’re blindly navigating the cosmetics department. So, here’s a quickie chem. lesson:

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 representing neutral, distilled water.  Numbers below 7 are acidic, numbers above 7 are alkaline.

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The integumentary system (fancy-shmancy medical term for hair, skin, and nails) lands somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 acidic pH. 

Acidic substances cause hair and skin cells to harden and contract, meaning the outer layer of your hair lies flat, and the pores of your skin close (toner is a perfect example of acidic reaction of skin).

Alkaline substances have the opposite effect, resulting in open pores and an open hair shaft.

So, why should you care about pH and beauty?

If you want to remove blackheads, you’ll need an alkaline face wash to open pores. If you’re scrounging the kitchen, baking soda mixed with water is alkaline enough to do the trick.

If you’ve just used a box of haircolor, but don’t want your new luster to fade in the first few shampoos, you have to consider pH—your hair was a 5.5 when you started, the haircolor was a 9, so shampoo with some lemon juice (a 3) to help bring the pH back to normal.

It may sound crazy and scientific, but once you befriend the pH scale, not only do you start to understand how your body reacts to certain products, but you can better determine your beautification needs.

Class dismissed. 

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

The 2013 Emmy’s: How to Prep for Your Own Fall Soiree

While many find themselves watching the red carpet, and I find myself watching season 2 of Girls (while listening to the award show through my neighbor’s wall), there is not better day than today, the first day of fall, and the day that celebrates television to culminate ideas for your first fall gather.  

(Okay, so maybe you won’t be stumbling onto a red carpet in the next three months, but it’s the thought that counts.)

So, in ten steps or less, here’s the lazy girl’s guide to prepping for the red carpet.

1. Hair removal.  While gowns can have sleeves or be floor length (September is still HOT in the City of Angels) it’s important to remove hair in necessary places.  Shaving is fastest.  If you’re adventurous, try an adventure in epilating

2. Foundation garments. So you’ve got a surprise night on the town and haven’t hit the gym this week?  Spanx are like a full body hug, and every red carpet kid’s secret. 

3. Good Hair. Hair for fall is either voluminous and classically curled, or loosely tied back. Either way, a hairdryer, product, and hot rollers are your friend. 

4. Statement Makeup. The statement this fall is simple.  You’re either making one with bold odd colors (COUGH Lena Dunham COUGH) or you’re making one by being subdue.  Either way, eyeliner is the key for kicking to look from dress up fun, to seriously award worthy. 

5. Smiles. Too late for a white kit?  Grab a lemon and baking soda, mix, and brush.  Design your look around a darker lipstick that will lighten the appearance of your teeth. 

6. Nails. Keep it simple in either nudes or the deep hues of fall.  Short on time?  Top nails with oil (vitamin E, Olive, Jojoba, whatever you got) and buff for a very clean, natural look.  It screams “hella adult!”.

Well, there you have it, in 10 steps or less, you’re well on your way to an award worthy look, that takes about 1/8 the time it took anyone on the red carpet to achieve.  (and they had help).

 

Happy Fall.

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

-Amy

Escapades in Epilating: Epilation 101

When it comes to hair removal, you’ve got three options: surface removal (shaving and depilatory), root removal (waxing, tweezing, Epilating), and the forever kind (laser).

While waxing and tweezing are pretty common, epilation is a little less popular, so like a true beauty sleuth, I gave it a go.

What is Epilation?

An Epilator has dozens of rotating tweezers that tweeze many hairs at once.

I’ve committed to the epilation of my armpits. But here are the keys one needs to know to epilate:

Epilation hurts.

You have to pull the skin taught. If you’re trying to remove hair in a spot that doesn’t pull taught (like the pits) find a friend or a door jam to assist you.

Your hair must be just washed, but nicely dried.

The pain will lessen the more you used the motorized tweezing contraption.

You can get ingrown hairs, but exfoliating prevents them.

Eventually, less hair grows back, and the hair that does is downey soft.

So yeah, I may feel ultra cool with my epilator and my downy soft almost hair free armpits, but this beauty routine ain’t for everyone. If you like all the pain over with at once, or have an aversion to loud motors that cause pain, perhaps you should stick to waxing.

Happy Hair Removal!

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

-Amy

Tantilizing Tans: How to Keep your Summer Tan Through Fall

Last week, a reader asked “How do I keep this summer tan from fading?”

Well, like all good things, a good summer tan must come to an end, luckily, here are a few tips for prolonging the wear.

a. Mositurize. Your tan lives in the outer lay of your skin.  Mositurizer basically glues that skin together, preventing a tan from fading.  The fix is temporary, but can give you a couple more days of a warm glow.

b. Don’t Exfoliate.  Exfoliation removes tans. The End.

c. Fake it.  Gradual tanners are far better than they used to be. Try using the body variety on your legs, and the face variety for the rest of your body, for a less oompa loompa glow.

d. Throw caution to the wind, shirk adult responsibility, and find someplace warm and sunny to tan before winter.  Hey, I didn’t say all of these suggestions were realistic.

No matter what, enjoy the end of your summer skin, and just think, in a few short months, your pasty, white, hair legs will get to spend all their time covered up, because it will be winter, and your stems will be cold.

Happy tanning–just don’t go future of skin cancer crazy and using as tanning bed!!

Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.

xoxo

-Amy