Category Archives: DIY Beauty Recipes & Tips

 Today’s post focuses on all the amazing DIY pins I’ve discovered on Pinterest. There really are some awesome things to be discovered on Pinterest – definitely join if you haven’t already! It’s convinced me I can make everything despite a severe handicap (no, not really) when it comes to crafts. So, here are some of my favorites; I hope you enjoy!

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DIY Bracelet From animatedknots.com via Pinterest

I’m not much for crocheting or sewing or anything that requires a lot of patience (a virtue I was not gifted with) really, but I actually love this bracelet and plan on making one (or several) for myself! It seems pretty easy.

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DIY Nail Polish Tutorial From beautylish.com via Pinterest

I’ve been wanting to try this one for ages and I really love this tutorial. Anyone tried this yet with their eye shadows? Any advice is appreciated!

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DIY Coconut Milk Shampoo From onegoodthingbyjillee.com via Pinterest

I really want to do this one as hair products can be pretty expensive, but I’m concerned about it being color safe. Again, if anyone has advice on this front!

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DIY Re-Vamped Flats From makeit-loveit.com via Pinterest

I really love this tutorial for re-vamping flats as I’m someone who tends to scuff up perfectly good flats in a month’s time. Yeah, I’m shoe-abusive and I tend to get bored easily so this is a fun way to change with the trends without going broke.

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Not sure if this actually works on nails, but I’ll try it soon and let you know!

never buy white strips again!: dip q-tip in hydrogen peroxide (the key ingredient in whitestrips) and apply to surface of teeth for 30 sec before brushing teeth) once a day for a few days. Teeth will look whiter in 2 days.

DIY Whiten Your Teeth via Pinterest

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m seriously going to pick up some hydrogen peroxide so I can test it out. Basically, you dip a Q-tip into some hydrogen peroxide and polish each tooth before brushing your teeth. Wait 30 minutes with the peroxide on your teeth before brushing regularly. People say there’s a huge difference when you do it for one week straight and it’s certainly cheaper and more eco than Crest white strips, right?

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DIY Blackhead Treatment From stylebees.com via Pinterest

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m curious to see how it will work. May try this one tonight as I finally picked up some lemons. Anyone tried this yet?

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DIY Eyelash Growth Treatment From fashionindie.com via Pinterest

I have seriously long lashes (Italians are hairy okay), but since I decided to get tweezer happy as a teen, my brows grow in bizarrely and don’t grow in at all in some places so I may try this one out on my brows.

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DIY Nail Dots Pinned from Pinterest for iPhone via Pinterest

As I’ve said, I’m nail – inferior, but the idea of making dots on my nails sounds like fun. I’m like a kid banging on a piano – I can’t actually play the damn thing, but I can pretend.

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At-Home Spa Treatments From lulus.com via Pinterest

I looove to do DIY facials in the winter for some reason. I don’t know if that’s because I’m in somewhat hibernation and leave my house less or what, but it’s fun and these are pretty easy to make. I’ve done all of these except the bath one and the anti-redness facial. Though, lately, I am getting a lot of redness (I’ve run out of my Suti Cleansing Balm & Moisturizer! 😦 ) due to the weather changes so I may try the anti-redness one soon.

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Map Nails via Pinterest [Not sure of source – if someone knows, please let me know so I can update this!] – You can get a tutorial for this here though > http://polishpedia.com/map-nails.html

This seems like a fun alternative to painting my nails and it looks cool too!

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DIY Sock Bun From beautylish.com via Pinterest

I’m trying this one tonight as I haven’t had the heart to mutilate any of my socks until now, but this one seems too good to pass up and certainly more gentle than constantly putting my hair in a bun the normal way. Maybe.

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Romantic French Braid Tutorial From abeautifulmess.typepad.com via Pinterest

I may try this come Thanksgiving. I really love the look! It’s so simple, but very romantic and it’s cold out and about that time when I get super sentimental and pull out my Pride & Prejudice and start quoting about “how ardently I admire and love you..” and my boyfriend looks at me like, WTH did you just say? with his eyebrow raised. Yes, it happens.

ANYWAY!

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend so far ❤

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Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Before I being today’s post, I just want to take a second to say I am not a doctor. If you have a specific skin condition or if you are simply unsure whether this method will work for you, please consult your physician beforehand. This is simply a method that has really worked well for me so I hope it helps some of you in your goals for clear, glowing body skin.

 

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know all about my body’s dry skin issues. That being said, I haven’t talked about the things I do to combat and keep my dry skin at bay. The main thing I’ve been doing for a few months now is oil cleansing for the body.

When people discuss oil cleansing, it’s usually referring to the face, but I’ve been using natural olive oil body oil to wash my body. This may actually turn quite a few people off, but it actually really works incredibly well for me.

First of all, I still use soap to cleanse delicate lady parts (sorry, it needs to be said), but everywhere else (aside from my hair) gets cleansed with the body oil I purchased at my local farmer’s market from a company called Ambrosia Foods.

I experimented cleansing this way for the first time because cleansing with traditional soap just wasn’t doing it for me. It didn’t matter if the body wash or soap was for dry skin, it still dried my skin out and occasionally made me peel. So, I thought, why not take the principles of oil cleansing for the face and apply that to my body?

So, in order to avoid the annoying oily type feeling, here’s how I achieve soft, glowing skin through oil cleansing without feeling super oily at the end of it all.

 

I posted about these gloves I picked up at Target several months ago from Eco Tools and they’ve worked very well for me. So, when I decided to begin my experimenting with oil cleansing for the body, these were a must-have. Basically what I do is I apply body oil (the one shown above or whatever body oil I have on hand) while in the shower and I massage it into my skin while using these exfoliating shower gloves. Then I rinse off a little, turn off the shower and dry my skin. The exfoliating gloves really help the oil absorb into my skin while sloughing off dead skin cells and cleansing dirt. Just remember to be gentle around your breast, neck and under arm areas where the skin is much thinner because exfoliating too hard can irritate and inflame your skin.

Not only does my skin not feel oily after the fact, but it’s left brighter, clearer, more supple and hydrated. If I feel I still need added moisture, I’ll apply a normal body lotion once out of the shower. My two current favorites are the Skin Rescue Lotion from Max Green Alchemy and the Intrinsic Organics Body Lotion because they both absorb easily without leaving residue behind and they hydrate the skin really well without clogging pores.

So, I know it may sound weird, but try it and see for yourself; you may be surprised at the results!

Words of caution – be careful when using oil in the shower, you can slip and hurt yourself if you’re not careful. Also, make sure you rinse your shower out well after bathing because it can cause dirt to stick to the tub if you don’t rinse with hot water after the fact and may also cause the next person to shower to slip and fall as well.

Have you ever tried oil cleansing before for the face or body?

What were your experiences with this method of cleansing?

So, as you’ll know by now, I absolutely love Halloween.

One of my favorite parts about it is the costumes and, especially, the makeup.

Which brings me to today’s post – Halloween makeup!

There are so many incredible ideas out there and I actually found it difficult to choose which to put on here, but these were some that I thought were really exceptional and unique so I hope you enjoy and definitely check these out on pinterest and show the original posters some love.

[Please note – I got all the images from Pinterest; I don’t own any of them.]

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Sugar Skulls by Carla Garcia via Pinterest

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Sally Makeup via Pinterest

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TopBox Doll Makeup via Pinterest

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Vampire Makeup by SassiSamBlog.Com via Pinterest

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Masquerade Mask Makeup by SusanTabak.com via Pinterest

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Alice in Wonderland Makeup by TopBox via Pinterest

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Gothic Makeup by TopBox via Pinterest

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Skeleton Makeup by Mademoiselle Mu via Pinterest

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Comic Book Woman Makeup via Pinterest

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Avatar Neytiri Makeup by TopBox via Pinterest

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Half Skeleton Face Makeup by PinkBlush.Com via Pinterest

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Corpse Bride Makeup by TheChive.Com via Pinterest

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Sugar Skull Makeup by MeiliStyle.Com via Pinterest

What are your favorite Halloween makeup looks?

Are you planning on doing any elaborate looks like these for Halloween?

Inspired by this post  by the Classy Anarchist and you know, the utter lack of posts on this topic (that’s in my opinion), I decided to post on the fact that I absolutely hate to buy cleansers from the drugstore. There are a few that I think are okay, but for the most part, they all suck and here’s why.

Most Are Basically Glorified Hand Soap.

Many of these face wash drugstore brands, especially the ones for acne, are nearly identical to hand soap. The big differences between them and hand soap is that they include a few added plant extracts which they can then call beneficial to your skin, but what really sucks is that they use super drying foaming agents (sulfates, sulphates, etc.) that dry up the natural protective oils on your skin. While it is true that cleansers really are not on your skin long enough to have much effect, they are still on long enough to dry your skin out which leads to you having to either over-moisturize to compensate or have ridiculously dry skin or even oilier skin than you started with. You might also experience more redness, blemishes, and dry patches all at once. So, definitely save your money by buying their crappy $3 cleanser, but pay the price by having completely horrible, inflamed skin. I’m just saying.

Artificial, Preservatives, Carcinogens, Harmful, Etc.

Secondly, while they include 2-5 (on average) potentially beneficial plant extracts in the formula of their cheap cleansers, the rest of the ingredients go like this – water, sulfates, sulfates, soap, sulfates, mineral oil, artificial coloring, artificial preservatives, etc. Many of these sulfates, preservatives and artificial colors have links to cancer, skin disorders, etc. The most benefits for this cleanser really only add up for the big corporations who manufacture and distribute them – big big profits.

They Don’t Support the Economy or The Environment

Sure, the cleanser is cheap for you, but it probably costs them pennies on the dollar to make. Also, it’s unlikely to be made in your country. Pay attention next time you hear an advertisement for one of these; they like to confuse you with tricky marketing riddles such as “Bottled in the USA” or “Packaged in the …[insert country here]” when in reality it’s made very cheaply in another country (usually “third world”). Not only is this detrimental to your economy, but it can also be detrimental to the environment because since cheap ingredients are used frequently by these companies, they often end up endangering plant species. Take palm oil, for instance. It’s very cheap, but it’s also not sustainable. A lot of these ingredients being used has led to deforestation in some areas. I’m just saying.

So, with all that crap going on, what to do about it?

My best advice is to buy online. I know a lot of people associate that with being more expensive when it comes to beauty, but it doesn’t have to be. There are sooo many affordable options to choose from, especially on Etsy. Some of my favorites are Rainwater Botanicals, Naturallogic and Skin Apotheke. You can buy awesomely naturally formulated and often times organic skincare products for as low as $10. Also, you will pay for great quality, often times support your local economy, small businesses (can be local if you choose), and many of these use sustainable, cruelty free ingredients and packaging.

I know, some people love purchasing their skincare at the drugstore because it’s super convenient to do so, but my advice is to either get over that and purchase online or learn which brands you can trust and rely on and purchase those from your local drugstore instead. Some of my favorite drugstore brands include Burt’s Bees, Weleda, and Alba Botanica.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Face Cleansers:

  • Massage gentle cleansers (not scrubs!) well into your skin for 1-2 minutes.
  • Massage face scrubs into your skin for no more than 1 minute, gently.
  • Leave cleansers on your skin for 5-10 minutes to get mild face mask effects from them.

So, I hope this was helpful, not too rage-filled and yeah.

What is your opinion on drugstore brand cleansers Vs. others?

Do you care what goes into skincare formulation and manufacturing ?

Please share your opinions in the comments!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

It seems like lately I’ve been super obsessed with any and all things DIY, especially gifts and home decor items! I think with the oncoming holidays, I’m trying to think of ways to make gifts instead of buying them to avoid giving generic gifts and also save more money this year.

Here are some of my latest pins (and likes on SU) on Pinterest that I’m currently enamored with!

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[Source: http://blog.stitchawishdesigns.com/2011/06/our-lil-deck-garden/ via Pinterest]

It seems like I’m obsessed with starting a garden and also with the idea of using wine crates…for anything. So these two together, it’s no wonder I’m into it! I just love the look of wine crates. I dunno what it is. Anyone else have a love for that wine crate look?

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[Source: http://346living.com/2011/10/12/pinterest-diy-inspiration/ via Pinterest]

Aside from wine crates, I’ve developed a newfound liking for pallets. Who knew they could be so useful and multi-purpose?

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[Source:http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Garden-Fountain-Out-of-Well-Anythi/ via Pinterest]

I love fountains! Most especially, I love garden fountains, but I would compromise on a small one for my room. I just find them very relaxing and calming. This one is so artsy and lovely, no?

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[Source: http://frenchbydesign.blogspot.com/2010/10/trend-alert-recycling-wood-crates-and.html via Pinterest]

Again with the wine crates! This is just a fantastic idea! Plus, it eliminates my need to ever buy book shelves or shelving units/storage ever again..and I’m really into that idea. Plus, if I move, I have boxes already! I’m just saying, it works.

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[Source: http://thephobia.com/post/3750781935/pride-prejudice-is-my-all-time-favorite-book via Pinterest]

OMG! I love Pride and Prejudice! So lovely and romantic. I think every girl/woman likes this sort of romanticism. It’s simple, elegant and beautiful without even trying. Plus, I love coffee and tea so this is a great idea for me.

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[Source: http://laceyinloveblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/diy-smoothie-packs.html via Pinterest]

I’ve been trying to figure out ways to best make my fruits and veggies last longer. I know a lot of people freeze theirs and I’ve been doing a bit of that, but this really does take things to the next level. Plus, I love the way it simplifies healthy drink mixes. Super easy! All you have to do is pop one out, blend and go!

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[Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2HX3X0/blog.landofnod.com/honest-to-nod/2012/02/try-this-hanging-string-balls.html via Stumbleupon]

I’ve seen this type of decor piece on several design sites and, although theirs is usually a more refined store bought piece, I really love this one. It’s simple, it looks really lovely and chic, and it looks like it’d be really easy to do!

[Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1rfPdh/www.the36thavenue.com/2011/11/25-handmade-gifts-under-5.html via StumbleUpon]

I was so into this idea I’ve already purchased everything I need to transform a few cream colored candles into a gift for someone I know! I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉

[Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1rfPdh/www.the36thavenue.com/2011/11/25-handmade-gifts-under-5.html via StumbleUpon]

I really love this idea, but I’ve no idea where to find paraffin wax nor do I think I would be particularly success in this project. It just seems like something you’d need really level hands for and that’s something I don’t have at all.

created at: 12/07/2010

[Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2x5fp2/manmadediy.com/chris/posts/639-how-to-make-typographic-gift-wrap via StumbleUpon]

Ever since I was young, my mom would always make me do all her wrapping at Christmas and, though I never hated it, I really disliked the whole name tag part! It’s such a pain, my penmanship is terrible, and writing so much makes my hands cramp. I know, I sound whiney, but whatever I hated that part. Plus, it always looked horrible with my penmanship anyway so it was all for naught! I love that this eliminates that problem for me and simplifies it into something easy and practical.

So, what do you think of these?

Are there any DIY projects you’re currently loving?

Definitely share in the comments!

Please feel free to follow me on Pinterest @StorybookBeauty!

I posted this photo yesterday on Instagram (I’m @StorybookBeauty :-)) and I thought I would post on it as well because it dawned on me that, although this is something I’ve been doing for years, it may be entirely foreign to a lot of you.

This is how I catalog, keep track of and visualize all of my goals and dreams!

I first got the idea from my mom – she’s a damn wonder woman and the source of nearly every good idea I’ve ever had, even if indirectly, but then I think we all have the same feeling about our women we look up into in our lives, no?

Anyway, so Basically Here is How it Works: 

  1. Purchase a Cork Board & Push Pins Or Some Construction Paper and a Glue Stick. You will need scissors for both of these.
  2. Magazine Cut Outs Or Print Photos From The Net. Simply pick images that will represent your goals. For instance, my goals for this month are eat healthy, whole foods, workout consistently, Find Peace of Mind, Be More Fashionable & Spend Time with Friends & Family more. For eating healthy, I’ve chosen photos of dishes that look healthy, wholesome but also delicious to me! For working out, I’ve posted Nike type ads with motivational statements as well as pictures of people being active. For being more fashionable, I’ve pinned images of styles I like, people I think are fashionable, etc. Just get creative with it and have fun! I have a blast doing this every time; it’s like doing a grade school art project!
  3. Pin or Use a Glue Stick to Collage Your Photos Together. 
  4. Post In a Notebook that you consult daily or Post Up Your Cork Board in a place you Look Every Day to stay focused on them. The Bathroom or Facing Your Bed are both great because you will see it often. This is to keep you mindful of your goals all month. If you put it away and never look at it, it defeats the purpose. Make sure you browse your notebook often or if that’s not something you can remember, the cork board is the easiest way to do things because you can mount it on a wall wherever you spend a lot of time so you can see it frequently.
  5. Refresh Your Photos Each Month or At Least Once Every 3 Months. I like to do this because my goals often change or stay the same, but evolve to a more specific idea and I like my collage to reflect that. Plus, it keeps things fresh. It can get boring or you might start ignoring your board if you see it gathering dust or looking dated. Plus, this is a great way to remember your goals and always keep them in mind if you frequently update the board to reflect your heart’s desire.

I hope you like this idea and try it for yourself! It really does make a difference in my overall focus on my goals, my positivite attitude in life and towards my goals, etc. so I hope it can help you too!

So, what are your goals?

Have you done anything like this for your goals before?

Awhile back, I read a post from Artsy Architette (can’t find her exact post on it – girl, if you’re reading this, please comment me the link so I can update the post with the link!!) about how to get the most out of your beauty products, especially products that come in tubes!

Ever since reading that, I thought, I have to try that! so when I could no longer squeeze product out of my Max Green Alchemy Skin Rescue Body Cream, I knew it was time to try it out for myself!

Following the simple steps she laid out in her post, I first cleaned a container to put all the leftover product in. I used an old night jelly jar, but whatever you have on hand will be fine. Then, after that I cut open the top of the body cream tube and scraped out all the excess into the jar and voila!

Super easy! Plus, there is a ridiculous amount of excess product left in the bottom of the tube. I actually feel like I’ve been committing a crime, leaving all my tubes with 1/8 of product in them simply because I couldn’t squeeze it out anymore!

This is a fantastic way to not only get your money’s worth out of your beauty products, but also to make sure you actually use it all up!

Thanks again to the lovely Artsy Architette for introducing me to this and I hope you all can try this yourself so that you also get the most out of your beauty products.

My Massive Guide to Achieving Clear, Acne Free Skin

I get a lot of questions asking what products are good for keeping skin clear, getting rid of acne, and all that jazz so I thought I would do a post on it (of course). If you simply want a guide on how to get rid of blemishes, blackheads and all that, check out this post I did awhile back. This post is more or less about general tips and guidelines to keeping your skin clear or clearing your skin up in general. Anyhow, on with the post!

Some Background on my Skin: My skin is like a woman on her menstrual whose chocolate has been stolen, hidden or eaten; cranky, temperamental and extremely short tempered. Acne sucks and I’m someone who knows first hand how crappy it can be to struggle with getting and maintaining clear skin, but there is a way to keep your skin under control and looking great with these few tips that are easier than you think to do. I’m not a celebrity with an on-call derm or someone with bucket loads of cash to spend on every product that may or may not work; I’m just a girl who has found the light through the ugly darkness that is acne prone, sensitive combination to oily skin and discovered tips that have worked well for me along the way and some that I swear by. I hope they work for you as well. I’m here if you have any questions so feel free to comment below if you have any!

Double Cleansing Is God. 

Straight out of the gate, I swear by double cleansing. The trick to this, in my opinion, is using the right cleansers. A lot of the time, I see people who have bad acne or breakouts, but then they use super drying cleansers as well which can irritate the skin further and aggravate break outs so they worse or take longer to calm down and heal up. When my acne was at its worst, I was no different. I used those horrid Neutrogena acne soaps that are basically just sulfates (creates the foamy lather and dries out your skin) with salicylic acid and so it’s actually no wonder my skin was a dry, red, acne ridden mess.

What I like to use for double cleansing depends on the day. If I am particularly oily or dirty, I like to use a clay based cleanser like the Tea Tree Clay Cleanser from Naruko followed by something more nourishing like the Cleanse Balm from Suti to counterbalance dryness. You can also take the opposite approach and oil cleanse first with an oil like this Olive Oil All-In-One Treatment from ONE Skincare and then use a gentle cleanser afterwards like the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (all time favorite of mine!) or the Vitalising Cleanser from Living Nature. You can also oil cleanse the cheap way by using a raw organic oil such as olive oil, evening primrose, or grapeseed oil. Check out this post to see which is right for your skin type.

If I am battling breakouts and irritation galore, I prefer to use the Triple Action Cleanser with aloe vera from Alpha-H followed by their Micro Cleanse scrub to really get a good clean and help with cell turnover. If you do use this method, though, you don’t need to exfoliate after as the scrub will be enough, but you can use a mask if you like for added cleansing. Just make sure you moisturize after or you’ll be too dry and cause more irritation. Otherwise, if I’m having a normal day or if I feel a little dry or sensitive, I might just use the Cleanse Balm or a Cleansing Oil (try the Natural Glow Cleansing Oil from Antonia Burrell)  followed by a gentle soap free cleanser (try the Organic Face Wash from Juice Beauty). If I want to be lazy and do some easy cleansing that is still effective, I like to use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish with the muslin cloth because I can get all my makeup, sunscreen, dirt and debris off my face which clears my pores, but also get a gentle exfoliation without having to do too many steps. If your skin is deathly sensitive and you can’t use too much on it, I highly recommend investing in a konjac sponge. It’s super gentle, basic, and lightly exfoliates the skin while you use it. Plus, you can’t beat that price.

If you use a facial cleansing oil, I recommend using any of these face massage methods for excellent skin cleansing benefits. Not only does it help clear pores, it also helps your skin absorb products better so you can get the benefits from what you’re putting on your skin.

Tea Tree Oil - Best Sellers

Spot Treat As Opposed to All Over Treat.

In the past when I would breakout, especially in high school, I would normally attack breakouts with benzoyl peroxide and these cringe-worthy acne pads from Oxy that burned like hell going on ( I now know it’s because they have almost 50% alcohol) and only succeeded in drying my whole face out, making me peel, more red, more irritated and had little to no effect on blemishes. Please don’t do what I did and learn from my heinous heinous mistakes! I now use tea tree oil to spot treat with a Q tip or otherwise I put a bit of mask on each of my blemishes so I can calm the redness, soreness and make them shrink quickly.

Exfoliate Like A Boss.

When I say “Like a Boss,” I do NOT mean roughly. Please be gentle with your skin! It’s a delicate mantle that needs attention and affection. I just mean that you shouldn’t slack on your weekly, bi-weekly or even tri-weekly exfoliation sessions. Most people only need once or twice a week, but if you have really oily or super clogged skin, you may need to do 3 times a week to get your skin under control. Once it’s calmed down a bit, you can take it back to 2 time or even once a week, depending on your skin’s condition, type and the season.

Also, a lot of people think that to exfoliate, you have to use a scrub, but this isn’t true at all. Exfoliation can be easy and gentle and even those with sensitive skin can do it, but you just need to use the right product or ingredient. If you have super sensitive, dry or combination to dry skin, I recommend using a thin layer of milk, yogurt or these Nourishing Facial Refreshers from Dairyface which work really well. They might make you a little red post exfoliation, but it fades within 20 minutes and the effects are worth it. If you have normal, combination to oily, oily or skin that’s broken out, you can use either a scrub like the Micro Cleanse from Alpha-H, a personal favorite, or you can use an exfoliant like this Papaya and Willow Bark Enzyme Exfoliator from Claribel Skincare that requires less work. You just apply a thin layer, wait 10 minutes and rinse. It will feel tingly, but it goes away shortly. Be careful to not overdo it.

If you’re unsure about how many times a week you should be exfoliating, start with 1 time and then work up to more if needed and no more than 3 times. If you really need the pick me up, you can use a mask directly after exfoliating for added effectiveness. ALWAYS moisturize after exfoliating, using a mask and/or cleansing no matter what. I don’t care if your skin is oily, dry, or whatever, find a moisturizer you like and use it every day twice a day. It’s optimal if you can add in some kind of nighttime treatment serum or cream for additional repair benefits, but if not, a basic gentle moisturizer with hydrating ingredients should work fine.

Mask It, But Not with Makeup!

I am pretty obsessed with using face masks. I love to make them (see Natural DIY Face Mask recipes here), use them, whatever. Pretty much any way I can enjoy the fun of using one, I will. Plus, if you prefer to avoid intense exfoliation or you don’t want to put in that much effort, a mask is a fail safe way to get the job done without thinking too hard about it. Some of my favorite face masks are the Rosehip and Mint Clay Mask from Farmaesthetics, Willa Naturals Cucumber Clay Mask, or sometimes I just leave the Micro Cleanse from Alpha-H on for 5 minutes after I’m done massaging it around my face.

Dry Skin Is Not Necessarily Acne Free Skin. Moisturize!

Again, a lot of people think if they can just dry out the whole area where acne is residing, this will make their skin clear. For instance, I used to use benzoyl peroxide or any acne gel I had on hand on my entire face. I did have a lot of breakouts, but rather than deal with them one by one, I just slathered it all over my face. Not only was my face dry, irritated and still broken out, it was also now peeling. Yay. Like I said, don’t make the same desperate mistakes as me! Even if you have breakouts, don’t be afraid to use oil serums on your face (See here for the truth about oil in skincare) because a lot of them actually help with breakouts and irritation on the skin like the Elemeni Face Oil from Max Green Alchemy that helps to balance the skin while treating breakouts. Another more nourishing option is the Radiance Face Oil from Living Nature. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to use oil on your face ( like my mom), the Balancing Moisturizer and Gentle Face Exfoliant from Alpha-H is in my holy grail of products and works really well. It has 10% glycolic acid in the formula so it exfoliates the skin as well. If you use it, you don’t need to exfoliate. It would likely be overkill. Also, sometimes I like to use it every other day so it just depends on your skin. If that seems to intense, another great option is the Extra Hydrating Toning Gel by Living Nature. If you need extra moisture and nourishment on your skin or if your skin is feeling especially red and irritated, the Purity Balm from Suti Skincare is amazing.

Stop Touching Your Face.

Seriously, I mean it. It was one of the hardest things I had to get over and I still catch myself picking sometimes, but you just have to do whatever you can to NOT touch your face. I have a tendency to lean my hand on my chin sometimes as well and that oil, dirt and debris on my hand and fingers would cause breakouts. Do whatever you have to do to not touch your face; it will thank you for it later by staying clear and smooth.

Keep Hair Products Off Your Face.

I’ve had issues in the past with heavy conditioners breaking my forehead out so this is just a heads up as some people may not think about the fact that it might be their hair products breaking them out. Just keep all hair serums, conditioners, moisturizing shampoos, etc. away from your face and be sure to wash your hands directly after applying anything to your hair. I’ve gone and applied hair serum and then caught myself touching my face in some way or another a few seconds later without thinking about it.

Use Acne Friendly Makeup, Preferably the Natural Kind.

I know a lot of people use makeup to cover up breakouts. I was no different. That’s why I created the Fairest of Them All Healing Face Powder because I wanted a powder that would help heal acne while I wore it without drying my skin out like some of the treatments that include sulfur and which tend to make me peel. Avoid liquid foundation, if you can, at least until your breakouts get more under control. If you just can’t avoid it, I recommend investing in a formula that include salicylic acid like this one from SukiColor.

Clean Your Pillows, Sheets, and Wash Cloths Frequently.

This one is something I never thought about until I read it in a blog post. I would source it if I could remember where the hell I read it, but nope. Anyhow, you want to clean AT LEAST your pillowcase once a week, your sheets every 2 weeks, and do not use the same wash cloth more than twice. I bought a small pack of washcloths at Target for like $6 USD. You can also get an organic cotton set of 8 for $11.99 on Etsy here. Otherwise, some people swear by muslin cloths. It’s your personal preference so use what you like, just make sure it’s clean. Lastly, don’t use the same washcloth you cleaned the counter top with on your face. I’ll never forget the day I realized I was doing this. My friend Aaron noticed I was cleaning sink water off my counter with the cloth. I then proceeded to wash my face and was right about to dry my face with that same cloth when he asked me what the heck I was doing. Hello! You just wiped the counter with that! Do NOT put that on your face. So now I’m passing on that advice. DO NOT PUT THAT ON YOUR FACE!

Sleep With Your Hair Up, Geisha Style.

Sometimes, especially in the Summer, my hair gets oily a whole lot faster. I have long hair at the moment and it can get dry as well so I use conditioner a lot. If I sleep with my hair down, I tend to end up sleeping on it and this can cause breakouts, either because your hair is too oily or the conditioner you use is. To solve this problem, I often sleep with a top bun like this one or braid my hair to keep it out of my face.

Stay Hydrated with Fruits + Veggies.

This is pretty basic, but in the beginning I know I never thought about mind / body connection. Actually that’s something I recently truly thought about after reading The Water Secret by Dr. Howard Murad (of Murad Skincare). I know a lot of blogs will advise you to drink a million and five cups of water a day and you should be drinking a good amount of water, but a lot of your body’s hydration (including that of your skin) gets hydrated by food as well, especially vegetables and fruits like watermelon and celery which are made up of mostly water. Plus, the added bonus is they also include vital nutrients and antioxidants to protect your body, skin and rejuvenate and heal it as well. For a list of the most hydrating foods, click here.

Workout To Unclog Pores.

Lastly, a good sweat can help clear out pores. Whenever you get your blood pumping, your cells are moving faster and your metabolism kicks in to high gear which helps with cell turnover and healing rates in your body, including in your skin. I used to dread working out when I was broken out because I felt like all the sweat caused my pores to clog, but actually exercise will help clear your skin. Just make sure to wipe your face with a washcloth instead of your inevitable dirty hands and shower and clean your face directly after working out.

So that’s it; my massive painfully long list of tips.

Sorry for the ridiculous length and the huge amount of links; I just wanted everything accessible and easy to find so yeah.

I hope you found it helpful anyway and maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine.

Good Luck & Feel free to ask me questions in the comments!

Quick Tip for Those Using Natural Sunscreens!

I have been loving this sunscreen from Vive Sana (see review for it – here!), but I actually have a special way of applying my natural sunscreens which I thought that maybe not a lot of people thought about and which I think makes using natural sunscreens a hell of a lot easier than straight out of the bottle. Though, if you can manage it and the consistency doesn’t bother you, then that’s cool too.

You see, a big issue a lot of people have with using natural sunscreens is that they often times are extremely thick, leave a white cast, and can be really difficult to spread on the skin so it’s no wonder that many avoid using them.

That being said, using a natural sunscreen is worth it in the long run to avoid unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and preservatives from causing bodily harm so what I do to counter balance the aforementioned problems with using natural sunscreens is I like to mix them with a nickel size amount of serum or natural vegetable oil to help them spread more evenly on the skin, dim the white cast and even last me longer.

Many people don’t know that there are natural vegetable oils that actually offer natural SPF protection. That’s not to say you should replace SPF with a vegetable oil because the protection of natural vegetable oils is too low to offer sufficient protection in such a hot climate, but it certainly does help and works well for spreading my sunscreen out!

Here are some favorites that I like to use either alone or sometimes mixed together:

  • Olive Oil (lower than SPF 4)
  • Jojoba Oil SPF 4
  • Macadamia Oil SPF 6
  • Soybean Oil SPF 10
  • Wheatgerm Oil SPF 15 – 20
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 28 – 50
  • Carrot Seed Oil (Essential Oil – this must be mixed with a carrier oil such as soybean or olive – DO NOT USE UNDILUTED!) SPF 38 – 40

I hope these tips help you in your quest to an all natural lifestyle!

5 Tips and Tools for Body Exfoliation

It’s easy to put huge emphasis on the skin on your face while totally neglecting the skin on your body, but your body skin still ages, dulls, dries up, and sustains damage over time with too little attention so it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your body skin in great condition just like the skin on your face.

Here are some steps I follow to keep my skin glowing, youthful and hydrated!

1. Use the Right Tools. This is super important! A lot of people never think to exfoliate the skin on their bodies, but it actually really helps to keep the skin on your body looking healthier and improves it’s ability to absorb moisture ten fold if you do it properly. What tools you use really depends on your skin type. For me, the Eco Tools Exfoliating Shower Gloves (pictured above) that I purchased in my June Target Haul work best. They are just abrasive enough, but not too harsh for my very sensitive, but very dry skin. Just don’t press down too hard otherwise you’ll do more harm than good. If you’re not someone with sensitive skin, you may want to look into using a dry brush, a method in which you use a dry brush on dry skin before showering. Otherwise, you can also use a simple wash cloth or something a little fancier, like this one from Etsy. If you own a Clarisonic and have normal skin, you can also invest in buying a Body Brush Attachment, which works well with any wash you choose to use. You can also use bath poufs, but I prefer not to given they are made of cheap plastic which attracts more bacterial than natural fibers and is too harsh for my skin.

2.Be Gentle. Remember your body is your temple! Don’t get crazy pressing down with any of your body tools because it may cause tearing, inflammation, and other damage to the skin that can onset a myriad of issues such as eczema breakouts, psoriasis, dry skin, acne breakouts and more. So just run your tools over your body with a very small amount of pressure. It should NOT hurt; it should simply feel like a nice scrub. Also, be extremely gentle on areas where the skin is typically much thinner than other parts of your body such as around your breasts, neck, under arms, and lady (or man!) parts.

3. Pick the Right Body Wash for Your Skin. First off, do NOT use drugstore bar soap. I hate this super cheap bar soap. It seriously is the worst thing for all skin, period, whether it’s on your face or body. If you absolutely insist on using a bar to cleanse, use this one from Rainwater Botanicals or another natural soap bar that avoids abrasive and irritating sulfates. For my sensitive skin, I prefer to use this one made from Olive Oil that’s hydrating and gentle; just be sure to keep it in the fridge as it’s so soft and melts at room temperature. Otherwise, most of the time I use a creamy body wash such as the amazing Seaweed Body Wash I reviewed awhile back by Astara Skincare which is incredibly gentle, hydrating and sulfate-free. If you don’t want to spend much money on a body wash, there are some really affordable ones from SoftSoap that are Soap-free. I like this one. Just be sure to read the back and make sure it says “Soap free.” These are easily found at Target or any pharmacy type drugstore. If you’re not a fan of body tools, investing in a body scrub with hydrating oils in it is a great way to combine exfoliation and cleansing. Sugar scrubs are more gentle than salt scrub, but jojoba beads are usually the most gentle even though they aren’t as natural as the former ones. Avoid scrubs that use bits and pieces of nuts or anything such as walnut or almond bits which can rip tiny holes in the skin, letting bacteria cause issues!

3. Don’t Over-Do It! This is the same concept as being gentle. Listen to your body! You don’t need to exfoliate for more than like 5 minutes maximum, and even that might be too much. Just listen to your skin and see what’s right for you.

4. Hydrate and Seal In Moisture. Remember to use a hydrating, preferably sulfate-free formula for your body wash for optimal hydration. Then, when you exit the bath / shower, pat dry yourself, but don’t worry if you’re still damp. Actually, it’s better if you are. If you really want to get intense about it, you can apply your moisturizer directly while you’re standing in the shower and before drying off. Keep in mind, you’ll need to work harder to help your moisturizer sink in because of the water, but the overall effects are worth it. Apply body moisturizer right away to seal in moisture. Be sure to use a lotion, cream or balm that includes moisturizing vegetable oils, plant and nut butters, and other beneficial extracts for nutrient and hydration. Also, spend some time massaging it into your skin to improve circulation and really let in sink into your skin rather than sitting on it. Good moisturizers include this one from Max Green Alchemy for sensitive, dry or those who have skin disorders or conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Otherwise, a nice body oil like this one from Tallulah Jane or any cream, lotion or body oil that includes beneficial oils, butters and extracts should work fine. Go with a serum or light lotion if you have oily or breakout prone body skin. I like this one from Cetaphil.

So that’s it!

It may take some time to get used to this new routine, but over time, your skin will thank you for it by looking well hydrated, firmer (less cellulite!), more glowy and smooth.

How do you keep the skin on your body in good shape?

What’s your routine or method?