Wednesday, July 3, 2013

California...Arizona...California...

Sorry I have not posted for a while. I've been burned out on life and seriously do not want to do anything.

 
Here is my life lately in pictures:


My best friend Gabby (middle bottom) left to go travel around Europe for the summer and I am totally lost without her )-: but I know she is having the time of her life!




Then I drove to Queen Creek, AZ and hung out in 110 degree heat, found a dead butterfly, caught a few horny toads, frenched a bird, fed horses, chased goats and cows and chickens and dogs...and I think that's about it.




I feel so bad for Lola right now because there's no AC in my mom's house. I was keeping her cool with ice packs in her cage until I finally brought her over to my dad's where it's way cooler. Poor bunny! Bubbles (my AZ bunny) on the other hand is loving the heat. It's like 100 degrees in my room and I find him sleeping underneath my sheets during the day. He's crazy!

I'm leaving to go camping in Pinecrest, CA on Friday morning. I'm going to start posting again though I promise! I hope all of your summers are going well. Stay cool and happy 4th.



Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Kombucha Blast Power Breakfast

This recipe, like the last kombucha recipe I posted, was invented by my father.

If you are not keen on the taste of kombucha, but want to reap its health benefits, then this recipe is definitely for you.

Ingredients:
handful of spinach
3-4 thin slices of cucumber
3-4 slices of banana
2 slices of apple
1 handful of walnut pieces
1 handful of almond slices
1 teaspoon of ground flax seed OR ground chia seeds
1 handful of blueberries
1 handful of blackberries OR raspberries
4 oz of kombucha (whatever flavor you prefer)

Blend all ingredients until liquified and then enjoy!



This recipe is a great, super healthy kick-start to your day. If you have to run off to work in the mornings (like I do!) I would recommend blending all the ingredients together and then pouring it into a water bottle and refridgerating it overnight. Then you can just grab it and go the next day! The nuts and flax/chia seeds provide tons of protein, fiber and fatty acids while the kombucha, spinach and fruit provide wonderful yummy anti-oxidants good for your over-all health (and of course, my biggest concern...your skin!!!!). Yay for getting summer-ready!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe. If you end up doing a different version of this recipe that you like please share it with us all. We always love suggestions.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

done. with. school.


 
 
It's officially time for summer break.
 
Summer means fresh fruit and clear skin. Yay!
 
Eating fresh fruit like honeydew melon and watermelon can give you skin a boost of radiance. Also drinking tons of water can help get you bikini ready as well as make your skin glow.
 
If you are like me, you have super pale skin. If you aren't like me--then lucky you! Either way, you can cut your risk of skin cancer in half by using sunscreen. For oily/acne/problem skin, there are a few sunscreen that I highly recommend getting ASAP. But even if you are lucky enough to not have problem skin, these sunscreen are packed with yummy skin ingredients that would do anyones skin some good.
 
 
 
 
I never buy a product before reading as many reviews on it as I possibly can, and apparently this is the holy grail of sunscreens for people with problem skin. I had to have it. And guess what? It is everything people said. It is definitely matte so there is no oiliness or greasiness at all. It absorbs super quick. AND it is chalk-full of awesome ingredients for your skin like green tea (which helps aid in sun protection as well) and also antioxidants and vitamins. Sephora doesn't carry Dermalogica products and Ulta didn't have this specific sunscreen in their store, so I opted to order it from Amazon. I ended up paying $40 for it.
 
 
 
 
This is genius. Powder sunscreen? Uh, yes please! This mineral sunscreen is great because it is a) so incredibly easy to put on and re-apply because it can go on top of your makeup and it fits right into your purse and b) on hot, sweaty days (and even not sweaty days) it doubles as a mineral veil. It contains willow bark which is a natural source of salicylic acid which is great for acne and it contains vitamins as well. I was afraid that this stuff would leave a white cast on my face when I applied it. I knew that something had to happen, it was just too good to be true--but no! This stuff goes on so well and doesn't cake or leave white powdery marks on your face. It blends seamlessly and makes skin look matte and refined. Some people find that the brush bristles are too stiff, but I thought they were fine. But if you have super sensitive skin, you might want to keep that in mind. I ordered this off Amazon for about $18.
 
 
Get ready for summer!
 
 



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Green Tea

Some time ago The Beauty Gypsy did a post on the many health benefits of green tea.
Today she addressed how green tea can be used topically to help with skin ailments. You can check out her post here.

Green tea to beautify skin? I have lots of that . . . I'm in!

You can find more topical recipes here. And also read about some interesting, and perhaps contradictory (but very practical) information on using green tea topically, here from the Acne Einstein.

I have been breaking out so badly lately and I am definitely going to be trying this. Hopefully it will help my poor, inflamed skin from the rapidly changing (and very unpredictable) weather!

I also came across this pretty interesting post from August Skin. There's a "right" way to wash your face? Who knew?? Perhaps this could also help my current skin woes, let's hope . . .Check it out here.

Happy brewing.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

kombucha snack

Kombucha (an ancient Chinese fermented tea with extolled health benefits) is now all the rage.

Unfortunately for my father and I, we have been making kombucha for years--about 9 to be exact. (Before it was popular and all the rage in the U.S. At the time people thought we were so weird because nobody had ever heard of it before.)



It's too bad--we could have made a fortune had we known our weird little fermented drink would take off like it did in mainstream grocery stores! We are kicking ourselves in the ass now. Oh well, too late.

This is really beside the point. We still brew our own kombucha tea and experiment with flavors.
If you are in the Contra Costa area (Pleasant Hill/Concord/Walnut Creek) and are looking to brew your own and need a scoby (a baby kombucha culture) I have way too many and would be happy to give you one.



Yesterday my dad invented a very healthy kombucha snack.
Here is his recipe.

Ingredients:
two apples, cut into bite size pieces
1/2-3/4 cup of favorite fruit flavored kombucha tea (either store bought or home made)
cinnamon
berries
yogurt
nuts or granola

Directions:
Cut apples into bite size pieces and spread on bottom of casserole or baking dish.
Pour kombucha tea over apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 295 degrees for 30 minutes.
Take out and spoon into bowls.
Add a dollop of all or one of: yogurt, berries, nuts and/or granola on top.

Enjoy!

If you want to read more about kombucha tea's supposed health benefits, I've listed some sites below for your reading pleasure. Decide for yourself if you think this stuff is a sham or a health wonder--but don't let it's "gross" looking cultures deter you.

http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/kombucha-tea-risks-and-benefits

http://www.fitsugar.com/Health-Benefits-Kombucha-Tea-377256

http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-questions-answers/

http://www.happyherbalist.com/continuous_brewing.htm

http://www.kombuchakamp.com/basic-kombucha-faq/readers-questions-answered

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the beauty gypsy

Have you all heard of The Beauty Gypsy?

If not, browse her blog--she is amazing and all of her posts are entertaining and filled to the brim with helpful tips and information.

Last week she did this post about how to deal with really huge pimples under the skin. I call them SUBMARINES. And yes, I had to write it in all-caps because that's how you have to say it. Pimples like this are not just submarines. They are SUBMARINES to the max. If you have ever had one, you know what I mean.

Anyways, last week, when The Beauty Gypsy did this post, also happened to be the week that I had a huge submarine on my chin. I barely ever get that type of cystic acne so I didn't know what to do. Needless to say, I panicked . . . and made it worse.

It wasn't until after I had made it worse that I saw The Beauty Gypsy's post. But after I read what she had to say, I wanted to make sure that if I ever got a pimple like that again, I would be prepared.

She suggests using Prid Drawing Salve on the stubborn cyst.



The cheapest I found was from WalMart for only $3. That's right . . . only three freakin dollars. Sounds like a bargain to me! The shipping costs more than the actual product. Which is why I ordered two...just to get my shippings worth! You can get a can here.

The Beauty Gypsy told me she uses this stuff all the time--keeping a can at her house, one in her car and one at her office. That was the tipping point for me. I thought this stuff must be close to magic if she relies on it that often and doesn't go anywhere without it!

I am excited to get my can in the mail. I will keep you updated and let you know how well it works for me. If you try it for yourself let me know how it works for you too! I'm curious to see how results will vary for different people.

On another note, I did something that I probably shouldn't have.


I bought these babies.
What do you think???!???! (seriously, what do you think...)
I really really like them. I know it's not everyones style, but I just love chunky boots.

It always scares me to buy things online. I hope that I like them in person as much as I do in pictures.

I'll let you know what I think when I get them!

Link for where I ordered them from here.

I have a lot of packages coming in the mail to look forward to! I'll keep you all updated.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

health kick

Lately I've been on a health kick. That means health smoothies/green drinks to brighten and clear my skin, give me more energy and to look good and feel better on the inside.

 

Maybe it's the impending spring...and then summer...and the way the weather has started to warm up in the Bay Area. It just feels like swim suit season is already here when, in all reality, it is only March...we still have April showers and what-not to get through. But that's not an excuse--no matter what time of year it is, it's always the right time to be healthy.


AZ last summer--oh how I am looking forward to this summer! Baby cow is one hour old. Momma looks proud.
 

I thought I would share a green smoothie with you all that I like to make. It's not that crazy or anything and  it tastes good.

I blend it in a magic bullet but any blender will do. I like the bullet because it has individual cups with lids so I can bring my drink to work with me (-:


 

Ingredients:
1/2 apple
1/4 cucumber (with skin)
1/2 lemon (with peel)
1 TBL ground chia seeds
handful/bunch of cilantro
1 cup spinach
a few (2-3) kale stems
a little water


There are so many different ways you could customize this drink.
 
You can peel the lemon if you prefer.
You could use an orange instead of a lemon. I leave the peel on because that's where a lot of the vitamin c is.
 
You can skip the chia seeds if you don't have any--you could also replace with ground flax seed if you have that instead.
 
Last night I didn't have any cucumber, so I skipped that ingredient.

Basically--there is no reason you can't make this drink unless you are out of more than three or four of the ingredients. You could make a drink with just orange and spinach if that was all you had!

One really optional and random ingredient is the kale stems.

The reason why I add kale stems is 1) they have so many vitamins and nutriets 2) I make kale chips and I always feel bad about throwing away the stems so I am always trying to find a way to put them to good use so now I just keep them and add them to my smoothies. They are full of fiber!


 
Have a better recipe? Please share it with us!

In the mean time, if you don't like my recipe...check out this page I found from Healthy Girls Kitchen blog.

It is the biggest list of green smoothies I have ever seen in my life!

Did you click on the link yet? OMG I have NEVER seen such a HUGE variety of green smoothies! How can I possibly choose which ones to try!?

Let us all know if you try any that are particularly good....or particularly bad (-:

TGIF

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

bad news

I have bad news. Remember this post?

Well,  I saved up a little, splurged, and tried more MyChelle products . . . and they work.

Why is this bad you ask?

Because no lie, this stuff adds up! And now that I know it works . . . how could I possibly do without it!?

Here is what I got:


The Clear Skin Cleanser which you can find here.

I use this facewash at night before using toner, then the Perfect C Serum, spot treatment, then moisturizer. My intricate and time-consuming routine drives my boyfriend crazy, whoops! But anyways . . . I like this cleanser a lot. My skin is nice and clean afterwards but not dried out and so far I think it has cut down my breakouts--though it is hard to tell which product is doing the most work since I use a serum and a spot treatment too. 

One thing that bothers me: I seriously do not know why they call it "Youth Blemish Control". I would not consider myself "youth" anymore, but I still need blemish control! This is not a cleanser just for teenagers. The other cleanser I like is the White Cranberry Cleanser which you can find here.



Clear Skin Spot Treatment which you can find here.

Once again, this is not just for "youth".

I use this at night and in the morning (as needed). I always put it on after using serum but before moisturizer.

One reason I like this spot treatment is because, not only does it work to heal pimples fast, but also, unlike a lot of other spot treatments, it is quite easy to wear under makeup. Sometimes spot treatments ball up or flake off when you try to apply makeup, and sometimes moisturizer, even after it seems to have dried. If you have used spot treatments before I am sure you know what I am talking about.



Clear Skin Balancing Cream, which can be found here.

Even the people on the MyChelle website who write in reviews say they are "definitely not youth" and they "love" these blemish-controling products.

This moisturizer is an awesome, I mean, awesome, base for makeup. No primer needed. It just has a great matte finish that makes makeup look flawless. It helps control shine/oiliness through the entire day--my skin feels clean all day, not all gunked-up like it usually does by 3pm.

One thing is that you don't get a whole lot of moisture from this "cream". If you have dry skin, this might not be the best product for you. One thing I do to balance this out is I use the Clear Skin Balancing Cream in the morning, but at night I apply a heavier moisturizer. I prefer Neutrogena's Multi-Vitamin Night Cream because it doesn't clog pores but it delivers a lot of moisture. You can find it here. You can also find that night cream in Ulta or at Target.




Apple Brightening Mist, can be found here.

I use this in the morning after I have applied moisturizer, right before I put my makeup on.

Honestly, I could do without this product. I think maybe the Fruit Enzyme Mist, which can be found here, would probably be better suited for my skin. After reading the product reviews for the Apple Brightening Mist, I just really wanted to try it.

It's kind of sticky--too sticky--even after it dries. This is very annoying, which is why I find myself skipping it a lot in the morning just because it is not convenient to apply makeup right after spraying it on my face. It's just so sticky.

I thought maybe I should spray it before I apply moisturizer, but still . . . it just doesn't feel good on my skin. I feel like I have a layer over my face which makes it harder for my skin to breathe. Although that's probably all in my head, there is something to be said for the way a product makes you feel. I do not want to start the day feeling like I have a layer of gunk stuck to my face.


I wish I could work for MyChelle--that would be my dream job! Sadly, that will probably remain in my dreams only, but I would seriously be one of their best and most truthful advocates (-:

I hope you all found this info useful!
Let me know if you try any of these products--I would love to know how well they work for others too.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quick Tips: Enlarged Pores


Hey all! I'm so sorry I have not posted in forever. I have been completely swamped with school and work. Craziness! Here are more "quick tips" for those last-minute emergencies.

Are you looking in the mirror thinking, really? Why do my pores have to be the most clogged they have been in ages today of all days? Here are some quick fixes.

 

·         Tip 1: Exfoliate, Exfoliate (as far in advance as possible...)

o    SCRUB for a full minute with...

§  Baking Soda

§  Cornmeal (Warning: very abrasive!)

§  Sugar or Brown Sugar

§  Epsom salt

§  TIP: You can mix fresh lemon juice, tea tree oil, or lavendar essential oil with any of these scrubs for added benefits.

·         Tip 2:

o    Use toner, you can find my DIY toner here.

o    Use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

§  Just pour on a cotton ball and rub all over your face, let dry, then moisturize.

·         Mask 1:

o    Egg Whites

§  Egg whites tighten pores and draw out impurities. Just whip up some egg whites and apply all over your face and let dry before you rinse it off.

§  TIP: To get an even deeper pore cleansing, add a few drop of tea tree oil to your egg whites before you apply to your face.
 
 
 
Something else that may really help is to dry brush your face. I'm sure you have heard of dry brushing for your body, but this can also really help cell turnover and exfoliation for your face as well.
 
Dry brushing is when you take a dry stiff-bristle brush and brush your whole body, in long upward strokes to help with detoxification and circulation. Dry brushing can help with cellulite and ripples in the skin. You always want to brush towards your heart. Once the skin is wet it is more sensitive and doing this while in the shower can possibly cause damage to the skin.
 
For the face, instead of a brush, I use an exfoliating glove like the one below. I rub it over my face in small circular motions.
 

 
TIP: You can also use this glove instead of a brush for dry brushing all over the body--it is a great exfoliator. I use it on my back and shoulders as well as my face. You can find these gloves at most drug stores. I found this one at a grocery store.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

beautiful skin and saving the bunnies


A few months ago a Sprouts was built near my house. So of course, I went and browsed their beauty section.

If you don't know what Sprouts is, it's like a huge indoor farmers market--it resembles Whole Foods in the kinds of food it carries, but they are cheaper and have things like homemade "Sprouts" peanutbutter.

They have a huge selection of cruelty-free, all-natural, all-organic products for any and all of your beauty needs. But this is not a post about how awesome (but sometimes over-priced) Sprouts is.
I am posting because it was in Sprouts that I discovered a line of skin care products called MyChelle.
And I am nothing short of AMAZED.

Don't worry if you read this and want to try some of the MyChelle products but don't have a Sprouts near you (I don't know any other stores that carry MyChelle, maybe Whole Foods?)--you can get everything online on their website here, or also search for their products on Amazon.

Basically, all of the products I have tried have been more effective than anything else I have used and all their products are natural. Everything is non-toxic and derived from plants, extracts and plant stem cells AND they use renewable packaging. They are very eco-aware and put their knowledge about the power of nature into their products.

Also, the MyChelle packaging has the "cruelty free" symbol on it, and they say on their website that they are 100% cruelty free which I have been trying to pay more attention to. I have a bunny and it breaks my heart to think that there are bunnies out there being tested on, all for the purpose of human surface beauty. I am not going to go all righteous on you guys, but when you can, which I know isn't realistic all the time, please try to buy cruelty free products. No one can be perfect, but when we are faced with the choice between cruelty free and not, maybe trying our best to get the cruelty free product will help out at least a little.

Lola the bunny


If you want more specific details on MyChelle you can read more about them here.

I encourage you to browse their website. You can chat with a skin care professional, read every single ingredient in a product before you buy it, read customer reviews, and browse helpful articles and skin care tips. Like their products, their website is packed with good stuff and you get a lot out of it.

I have very fair, acne-prone, sensitive skin...not good combos.
This is what I use from MyChelle, though I want to try more!

White Cranberry Cleanser
I use this cleanser every night before I go to bed. This cleanser refines my pores and my skin is so much less oily but it is not dry either, which sometimes I have trouble with. I guess you could say I have combination skin--oily, but at the same time it can be dry and flaky. Yuck. I don't know how good it is at preventing blemishes, which is why I want to try the Clear Skin Cleanser to compare. You can find the White Cranberry Cleanser here. Also, the Clear Skin Cleanser that I want to try but haven't yet, you can find here.


Perfect C Serum

I use this serum every night before I go to bed and I have seen my skin do a 180. It does the most amazing things--most notably, practically rids me completely of acne. Whatever acne I do get is noticably less red and my pimples are much smaller. My skin is smooth, the texture is silky and it looks much brighter. It doesn't smell great, and I would suggest letting it dry for ten minutes before you go to bed, but the results are so so so worth it. I use it ten minutes after I wipe my face with the toner from my DIY beautiful skin toner post. You can find Perfect C Serum here. Also, with this stuff, a little goes a long way.


Clear Skin Serum

Last, but not least, I use the Clear Skin Serum every morning. I use this, then moisturize and then apply my makeup. It has made a huge difference in my skin. My skin produces significantly less oil throughout the day, and yet, at the same time, it is completely hydrated. This serum has detoxifying clay in it that helps to keep your pores from getting clogged and antioxidants to protect it from environmental stressors while simultaneously getting rid of acne. It's awesome, I just cannot say enough about it. You can find it here.

The other products I want to try are the Clear Skin Balancing Cream which moiturizes while also preventing acne, and also the Clear Skin Spot Treatment. Another one that looks enticing is the Apple Brightening Mist.
Clear Skin Spot Treatment
The only downside to MyChelle...now that I have made it all sound so wonderful...is the price.
Be prepared to spend a lot.
Is it worth the money? I can confidently say that it totally is after some consecutive months of usage. But I wanted to make sure it was worth spending the dough on before I told you guys about it.
This is also the reason why I have not tried all of the products that I want to try.
Also, Sprouts does not carry every single product, so some of these I can only get online. Some products you can get for cheaper on Amazon than the on MyChelle site.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Remedies: Breakouts

I will be doing a series of these "quick tips" to remedy different skin issues in a pinch. This week we are talking about breakouts and acne.

If you have any skin "issues" that you want me to talk about, comment below. I will do one on dry skin and also one on enlarged/clogged pores.

Party tonight? Wedding in 48...or maybe worse...24 hours?


I'm not going to lie and say there's a miracle cure, but these tips will definitely help!

Acne:

So you got a sudden breakout right before a big event? This tends to happen when you are stressed out about something. Stress hormones trigger breakouts! So, number one, try to relax. Can't do that? Ok here are some masks that you won't even have to leave your house to do (for risk of going into public with that massive pimple, maybe?). No time going to the store, because, after all, who has that kind of time in a crisis like this?
  • Mask 1:
    • One egg white
    • Ten asprin pills
    • 1 tsp baking soda
      • Whip egg whites together with a fork.
      • Add baking soda and whip in with egg whites.
      • If the asprin pills are coated, then one by one hold each pill under warm water and gently rub between your fingers until you can feel the slimy coating has mostly come off and the gritty asprin underneath is starting to be exposed.
      • Drop each one into the egg white and baking soda mixture and crush with the fork and whip together.
      • If the asprin you are using is uncoated, then hold all ten pills in the palm of your hand and run them under warm water for only about five seconds to start to break them apart so they are easy to mix in with the egg whites and baking soda.
      • Crush/mix/whip asprin in with egg whites and baking soda.
      • Smooth the mixture over you face and let sit for 20-30 mintues, then rinse off.
        • TIP: This mixture is difficult to get off your skin. I suggest using a really mild soap before applying the mask, and then using a more gritty or abrasive face scrub to remove the mask.
        • TIP: Depending on the egg you use, you may have more egg white or less egg white. Adjust the baking soda amount accordingly. Does it seem like you need more? Add a little more. The consistency should be pasty but not thick.
 Why??
Asprin naturally contains salicylic acid which kills pimples. Asprin can also greatly reduce inflammation and redness. It helps to apply asprin to painful pimples.
Egg whites have great healing abilities. They nourish, calm and also tighten the skin, restoring balace to blemishes.
Baking soda gives your skin a deep clean and gently exfoliates which can restore that natural glow to your skin.

    • Mask 2 (A spot treatment, for when you just have that one pesky/sore/inflamed pimple):
      • Three asprin pills
      • Two drops of Tea Tree Oil (OPTIONAL)
      • 1/8 tsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (also OPTIONAL...I explain below)
        • If the asprin pills are coated, then one by one hold each pill under warm water and gently rub between your fingers until you can feel the slimy coating has mostly come off and the gritty asprin underneath is starting to be exposed.
        • If the asprin you are using is uncoated, then quickly run each pill under warm water for only about two seconds to start to break them apart so they are easy to crush.
        • Add the raw apple cider vinegar.
        • Add the tea tree oil (optional).
        • Apply paste onto the pimple and leave on for as long as you can.
          • TIP: Sometimes all you have is asprin. Don't have the apple cider vinegar or the tea tree oil? No problem. Just warm the asprin up and crush them with warm water to make a paste and apply that to your pimple.
          • TIP: Don't have tea tree oil, but happen to have lavendar essential oil? Use the lavendar essential oil instead.
          • TIP: If you have a night before the event, sleep with the asprin paste on the pimple.
    Why??
    Asprin naturally contains salicylic acid which kills and dries up pimples. Asprin also greatly reduces redness and inflammation. It also helps if you have a particularly painful pimple.
    Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has great healing properties and also kills bacteria. It contains alpha hydroxy acid which can heal blemishes quickly.
    Tea Tree Oil is anti-bacterial and a great spot treatment used alone as well.
    Lavendar calms and soothes irritated and blemished skin.

    
    

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    DIY Toner, for beautiful skin of course...

    Beautiful skin is healthy skin, and this toner is healthy for your skin.
    I love expensive skin-clearing/skin beautifying products just as much as the next girl, but I won't spend the money on an expensive toner that claims to work wonders because I can make my own that works just as many wonders as the expensive stuff does.
     I know because I have been using this toner for a while now and can definitely vouch for its awesome awesome skin results. Best part is that it costs close to nothing (especially compared to those so-called miracle toners I walk past in Sephora..yikes! $75? No thanks).

    The ingredients for this toner all together cost around $20. Best part though? You can make tons and tons of batches. So one bottle of toner ends up costing you less than a dollar.
    This toner smooths, brightens and clears your skin. I used it on my shoulders when they started to break out (which they always do in the winter!) and I saw huge results in the clarity of my skin in about four days. It works way better than the drying over-the-counter creams and even better, it doesn't bleach my clothes like the store bought topical acne medication.
    This stuff works, but one warning is that your significant other or roommate might not appreciate the smell...it has apple cider vinegar in it which has a really strong and not so great smell to it. But if you can tough out the smell, it will definitely be worth it.
    Also, if you put it on before you go to bed, the smell will wear off by morning.

    Ingredients:
    1oz bottle
    3 drops lavendar essential oil
    8 drops tea tree oil
    raw apple cider vinegar
    witch hazel
    hydrogen peroxide (optional)
    four drops lemon juice (optional)

    **Note: I used a one-ounce bottle. If you are using a container that is larger, just follow the recipe but double or triple it depending on the size container you are using.**

    First I put about three or four drops of the lavendar.
    Lavendar essential oil has soothing properties and helps calm blemished skin. It also helps to dull the harsh smell of the apple cider vinegar.



    Second I put around 8-10 drops of tea tree oil.
    Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial and is good for clearing up blemishes and giving the skin a good deep-cleansing to get the grime out of those pores.


    Third, I put about a cap full of hydogen peroxide (this ends up being about 12 drops all together). You don't have to do this step. It isn't necessary and it's a great toner without the hydrogen peroxide. The reason why I put it in is because it is an antiseptic and also helps lighten sun spots and scars and it also is very effective at drying out pimples (which is why it is used in almost all over-the-counter topical acne medication).
    Some pople say it's good for acne, but some people say it wreaks havoc on your skin. It can be too drying for people with skin that has a tendency to be dry and flaky already. Don't use it if you have dry or really sensitive skin.


    Next is another optional step. I put about four or five drops of fresh lemon juice in with my toner. Lemon juice has a lot of enzymes in it so it helps to lighten acne scars and also brighten skin.
    If you are obsessed with being tan, don't use the lemon juice...or the hydrogen peroxide for that matter. Both of these ingredients will probably take away, or at least significantly lighten your tan.
    If you want to use the lemon juice, I would suggest making a small amount of toner at a time since it is a food and doesn't have a really long shelf life. If you are making a big batch, skip the lemon juice. You don't want your toner to go bad before you are finished using it.

    (Ignore the fact that the bottle is full in this picture...I took the picture with the lemon next to the bottle after I was finished making the toner.)

    Next, I fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full with raw apple cider vinegar.
    Make sure it says on the apple cider vinegar that it is raw, organic and unfiltered. Refined and pastuerized apple cider vinegar will not work the same.
    Raw apple cider vinegar is fermented and is loaded with so many great skin benefits. It helps the pH balance of your skin. It is filled with alpha hydroxy acid which helps with flaky or dry patches on skin, heals blemishes, and lightens age spots and sun spots. 
    People also claim that apple cider helps increase circulation to the skin. This is a claim that I am not 100% sure about, but if it is true, then that's awesome too! It is great to have around because it really works well as just a spot treatment if you have a pimple.
    People also drink raw apple cider vinegar to help clear up their blemishes from the inside out.

    (You can see here with a 1oz bottle about where I fill it to with the apple cider vinegar.)

    The last step is filling the bottle the rest of the way full with witch hazel.
    Witch hazel is a disinfectant, an astringent and it contains antioxidants.
    It is mild, so it doesn't dry out skin, but it is effective at cleansing and minimizing pores. It tones your skin while fighting acne-causing bacteria at the same freakin' time.


    Try it out and see how it works for your skin!

    

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    DIY Matte Lipstick



    Let's talk LIPS!

    SO what do you do if you are on a budget and you are obsessed with matte lipstick, or you just already found your perfect red shade, you just wish it came in matte as well? Well then hopefully this video below will solve all of your problems!

    Oh and something else that's great, mattifying your lipstick also makes it last much longer. It's perfect if you are going into a situation where you probably won't be able to re-apply for a while.
     
    Before you watch the video, please excuse the rampant mess and dissgusting walls...I know I know, it's gross, I'm so sorry, please just ignore it! Enjoy (-:
     
     
     
    ELF High Definition Powder here.
    Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm/Stain in Sweatheart here.
     
    If you want to make your own lip plump you can look at my post on DIY Lip Plump here.
    No time to make your own lip plump?
    I also use Salley Hansen Vita-C Lip Plump which you can get here. I got it at Walgreens for $4.
     
    Also, if you made your own Mineral Veil/Face Powder from my post here, you can also use that to mattify your lipstick.
     
    In my matte post I talked about the NARS Lip Pencil in Cruella. This is a great blue-red and looks especially nice against light skin. NARS also has other great matte colors in this same lip pencil. You can check them out here. Below is a picture of the NARS in Cruella.
     
    I know I know, I'm sooo white.
     
     
    I also love love love Tarte's LipSurgence because it's like the Revlon Just Bitten. It is a lip stain and a balm in one AND it's MATTE--at the same time!! SOO awesome!
     BUT the Revlon Just Bitten Balm/Stain is around $7 while the Tarte stains are more pricey like the NARS, both being around $24. You can check out Tarte here. WARNING: You will be tempted to buy all of the colors!
     
    
    

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    Hollywood Secrets or Aztec Secrets?

     
     
    Soo this product sounds promising.
    Supposedly it is a "super-clearing mud mask" that vacuums out everything in your pores and can also be used as a spot treatment, literally sucking out pimples. Kind of gross but it gets my attention.
    Want to see the vacuuming action? Take a look at this picture...
     
     
    All of those little bubbles are said to be the gunk being sucked out of your pores.
     
    The only problem? It's $69!
    Needless to say I am definitely on the fence when it comes to buying this product, I need to be sure it is as awesome as it sounds before shelling out that kind of cash.
     
    I have read all of the Sephora reviews, and honestly, I have never seen so many five-star reviews for one product. I think pretty much every single person gave this product five stars except for maybe one person. You can check it out for yourself here.
     
    This mask came out of Hollywood and one of the big fusses about this product is so many movie stars swear by it. It is packed with tons of good ingredients for your skin and it utilizes this new PORE-MATRIX™ technology saying:

    "NEW PORE-MATRIX™ Our Activated-X Charcoal is an Xtreme absorption carbon, attracting toxic substances into its mass up to 500 times its volume from all skin types, within the deepest & toughest areas. Our new proprietary K17-Clay™ will better extract & encapsulate excess sebum oils, bacteria & toxins in a controlled stasis state, revealing a Pore-Matrix™ of extraction dots & areas, ready to be washed away for seemingly poreless skin."
     
    If you want to read more about it, please visit Ivory and Olive's review on this product here.
    They go into even more depth about the ingredients in this mask and how it came about.
     
    Now, one reason I really really hesitate to go grab this product, even the sample which you can check out here,  (even the sample packets are a lot of mulah), is because I use this super magnetic Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask that suctions everything out of my pores. It deep cleans and detoxifies and also improves circulation to your skin. The best part? It is only about $6 for a huge 1LB jar of it! The GlamGlow at $69 per jar is not even one pound.
     
     
    I usually mix some of this clay with some raw apple cider vinegar (which works wonders for skin even on its own) and put it on my face and back until it dries completely--you will know when it is dry because the skin on your face is being pulled by the mask. It works wonders. It detoxifies and clears and heals.
     
    It does not, however, contain all of the wonderful ingredients that GlamGlow clay has, but it is natural and it works, so do I really need all that extra stuff in the GlamGlow mask?
     
    I mean, it does sound enticiing, but I am not sure that it is really necessary to drop $69 v.s. $6 if the difference in results are not going to be that huge.
     
    Most of us really have no choice--we simply cannot afford the $69 little jar of supposed skin miracles. If you are in that boat, then definitely try this Indian Healing Clay. I think that it is a great, very cheap alternative/substitution for the expensive stuff.
     
    This is the back of the jar.
     
     It is normal for your skin to be a little red or flushed for about a half hour after you use it, but a week goes by and suddenly your skin it starting to looking glowy and clear.
     
    If you have really sensitive skin, do not mix it with raw apple cider vinegar, mix it with water instead. You choose the consistency of your own mask--how thin or thick you want the mask to be, the ratio of water or vinegar you use to the clay--thin masks will be a little more gentle.
     
     
     
    You can find this Indian Healing Clay at really any health store around. I have even seen it in a few drug stores like CVS. I get mine at Sprouts but I am sure they have it at places like Whole Foods and New Leaf. If you cannot find any near you, you can order it online here. Here is also a link to the organic apple cider vinegar I use by Bragg.
     
    Don't buy this jar for more than $8 on Amazon, that would be a rip off. I bought my jar for only $4.95 at Harvest House on Monument in Concord, CA.
     
     
     
     
    Hope this helps for all you ladies on a budget, yet drooling over those little jars of GlamGlow like me!