June 27, 2012

BEAUTY: 5 More Beauty Products I Love Right Now

I love buying and trying new beauty products (I have to reward myself somehow for running Target errands) so as a follow-up to my 5 Beauty Products I Love Right Now post, I want to share more awesome items I can't get enough of. Let's go!

1. Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
I bought this on a whim after seeing a positive review on Beauty Broadcast and, honestly, I would use this product every day even if it did nothing to stop breakage (but thankfully it does!) because the scent is AMAZING. I am admittedly a coconut fanatic (scent and flavor) so this milky, sweet scent instantly endeared me to the serum. Aside from that, it seems to actually prohibit breakage. My hair is pretty healthy, but it does fall out a lot when I comb it (although I've heard it's normal to lose 100 strands of hair per day - HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!). I put a small amount in my wet hair and run through with with my fingers and I've noticed less strand loss when I use it. One warning: don't use too much or you will have awkward greasy bangs all day.

2. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
There's a reason this stuff has been popular for way longer than I've been alive - it works SO WELL. I remember my mom using this green goop when I was little and it seems like it's made a cameo in practically every sitcom and movie in the overused 'AHHHH! They caught me in my face mask!' scene. It feels so cool and tingly when you put it on and this is probably the only face mask that has ever caused a noticeable difference in my skin. I got a big tub of it at Sally's Beauty Supply (for like $5), which I recommend because it can be a little too thick to squeeze from a tube. 

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
This isn't so much a product as it is a method, I guess. I've been occasionally substituting a vinegar/water mix for conditioner and loving the results. If you haven't heard of this I know it sounds weird, but it leaves my hair super soft without the chemicals found in most traditional conditioners. Plus, it's super cheap! You simply mix a 1:4 ratio of apple cider vinegar to water (you can adjust that as needed) in a spray bottle and after shampooing saturate your hair with the mixture and rinse. I sprayed it in my eye and mouth the first time I used it, but now it's a breeze. Yes, your hair kind of smells like vinegar when it's wet but the scent completely goes away almost immediately and you'll never smell it when it dries.

4. ELF Shimmering Facial Whip
Despite the overly fancy name, this is just a basic highlighter but it really does a great job. I have it in Lilac Petal and I use a bit on my cheekbones and brow bone to add dimension. At first I was put off by the lipgloss-esque texture, but by using a small amount and rubbing it in the sticky feeling disappears. The shimmer and shade are exactly what I was looking for and at just $1.00 I am now attached to this product.
5. EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint
If you know me, you've definitely seen me with a lip balm in hand...I literally never leave home without it. I've been a diehard Burt's Bees user for years and while I try new ones here and there I always rely on my Burt's for the heavy lifting of hydrating and smoothing my lips. This is SO not the case anymore! The EOS balms are amazing, but the Sweet Mint flavor is especially wonderful. It is really similar in scent to the Orbit gum flavor of the same name and it lasts and lasts and lasts. It's not a superficial lip balm - this baby moisturizes. It'll definitely earn a permanent place in your purse.

So I have to ask - what are your favorite beauty products right now?


June 20, 2012

STYLE: OOTD, Pants Edition

Sometimes I wear pants...sometimes. 
Although, I'm questioning why I chose the first day of summer (also the middle of a heat wave) to do so.

It looks like little kids painted all over my shirt - I love it!

I got these Moccasins for $10.00!

Nail polish is Mint Sorbet by Sally Hansen

Jeans: YMI
Shirt: Forever 21
Cardigan: Thrifted
Moccasins: Mix No. 6 (via DSW)
Tank Top: Dots
Polka Dot Bow Knuckle Ring: DIY by Me
Silver Bracelet: Vintage 
(and stolen from my sister's thrifted jewelry collection when I was in 5th grade - sorry, Jen!)

It's fun to play in Pants Land for a little while, but I'm looking forward to more skirts, dresses and everything summer!


June 13, 2012

BEAUTY: How to Fix a Broken Nail

I'm no nail fanatic, but I generally try to keep mine from being ragged and/or animal-like. I waver between intricate nail polish designs and bare nails for weeks, depending on my mood. I don't commit to one length - I let them get longer when I'm feeling lazy or shorter when they break or get in my way (am I the only one who manages to repeatedly scratch herself with her own nails?). In other words: low maintenance.

This usually works for me, but when I recently split my nail vertically (OUCH!) I had to put in a little more effort. I found a technique to deal with broken nails that I thought might me helpful so I'm sharing.

I accidentally sliced my fingernail with a razor in the shower and the cut ran a little high for my liking (so not only am I adept at scratching myself, I can also slice!). I was determined not to cut it super short because that hurts and it looks weird and I had already suffered, so I found this sort of strange, but helpful method:

Nail Glue
Nail File
Coffee Filter
Top Coat
Nail Polish

1. Cut a small piece of the coffee filter and measure against your nail. 
Trim to fit the width of your nail (you can trim length later).

2. Apply nail glue to your nail and lay the coffee filter op top. Trim the length of the filter if needed and then cover it with another layer of nail glue. Let dry and file it gently to smooth.

3. Cover the entire nail in top coat. When dry, finish with nail polish and another layer of top coat as normal. 

This method is great for those AHHHHHHH-type nail accidents or just for people growing out their nails who don't want that one little stubby one. My coffee filter splint lasted about a week before couldn't help but to pick it off (I'm also a picker...TRIPLE THREAT), but even if you need to replace it weekly until the cut grows out far enough it's way better than the alternative of a creepy little painful nail.

Do you have any nail horror stories? Gross details are fine with me ;)


June 3, 2012

DIY: Braided Bead Necklace

I seriously dig braids - braids in my hair, braids in the straps of my dresses and now braids in my jewelry. This simple DIY is easy to create and super fun to wear, plus it's a unique look that's so simple it can complement any look. It also makes a great DIY gift (this one was!) because it has a nice "finished" look. Here's how you can make one too:
What You Need
Beads, Chain Cutters, Jewelry Pliers, String, Chain, 4 Jump Rings, 
1 Clasp, 6 Crimp Beads, Scissors, Beading Needle (optional)

How To Do It
1. Cut 9 equal lengths of string for your beads and string them (using the optional beading needle if you want) until each strand is equal in length. Separate them into 3 groups of 3 strings and tie a knot at each end of the group, making sure the knot is as close to the end bead as possible.

2. Slide a crimp bead over a knot until the knot is inside the bulbous part of the crimp bead. Knot again and again over the original knot to make a larger knot, still inside the crimp bead. Shut the crimp bead with the jewelry pliers. Repeat on both ends of each strand.

3. On just one end of the necklace, curl each crimp bead around a jump ring with the pliers. 

4. Time to start the braid! It's helpful to pin the end of the necklace to a pillow to keep it steady. Separate the 3 groups of 3 strands and braid to the end. Once the braid is finished attach the crimp beads to a jump ring.

5. Attach a length of chain to each jump ring and finish each end with another jump ring. Attach your clasp.

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