June 15, 2015

BEAUTY: St. Moriz Self Tanning Mousse

I have a love/hate relationship with self tanners. In theory, I love them because they offer a way to quickly bronze up when you just don't feel like broadcasting your it-just-got-warm-out pale calves to the world. In reality, I often hate them because they're stinky, usually turn out at least slightly orange, and are just a hassle to apply. Gotta be honest with you, though - I totally don't hate this one.

I've tried a good handful of self tanners over the years, from mists to lotions to gradual color builders, and I've found some to be acceptable and most to be a waste of time and money. I tend to embrace my paleness until I get a sometimes accidental, sometime purposeful tan in the summer, but I recently picked up St. Moriz Self Tanning Mousse in the shade Medium from Ulta, mostly because I was just really impatient for summer. We just had the longest, coldest, snowiest winter of all time (no, like, literally) and I just felt like hitting the fast forward button to summer. I figured self tanner was an easy way to do that, and if it ended up looking horrible, it's still early enough in the season that I can hide the evidence with pants and sleeves. Luckily, I didn't have to!

St. Moriz Self Tanning Mousse in Medium
The first thing I liked about this tanner is the mousse form (they also have a mist and a lotion), which is very light and easy to spread. To do so, I used a self tanner mitt, which made the job SO much easier, though I'd still recommend wearing a plastic glove on your hand in case the tanner seeps through the mitt. Just like every self tanning tutorial on the planet will tell you, make sure to exfoliate beforehand and apply lotion to dryer spots like knees and feet to get more even coverage.

A lot has changed since I first used a self tanner (a regrettable event at age 10, in which I snuck tanner from my mom's bathroom and applied in such a manner that my legs resembled an orange and brown finger-painted rendition of 'Starry Starry Night' the next morning.) For one, there's no more waiting hours and hours to see your color develop - St. Moriz colors as you go. This means that not only can you see the work you're doing - essential for an even application - you can also start enjoying your color instantly. During your next shower (wait at least 6 hours) the guide color will wash off slightly, maybe half a shade, and you'll be left with your true tanner color.

One minute after application. Don't worry, I tanned my hand too.
Another great development is that the color you get is firmly in the olive family, rather than the orange spectrum, which gives a much more natural look. For me, the color was very similar to how I naturally tan, which is something I've never found before in a tanner. The scent is also much less pungent than I recall from others, though it does still have a tinge of that self tanner odor. Once the application is complete, I toss on loose, dark clothes just to be on the safe side, though it truly feels dry in less than 10 minutes. I've had no issues with it staining any clothes or sheets, either.

My color faded evenly all over, a little bit more each day. For me, reapplying every 4-5 days works well to maintain the color. The bottle holds a good amount of product (6.76 fl oz), and it feels like I'd be able to tan my whole body at least 10 times with what I have. It also comes in a Dark shade, if you're looking for a deeper color.

So, no stink, no orange blotches, and simple, smooth application? We've come a long way, baby.

Have you ever tried a self tanner? Are you more into the pale life? What's your favorite bronzing method?

June 8, 2015

DIY: Shoe Clips Tutorial

One thing I've noticed about myself as I get older is that I've become practically obsessed with wearing only comfortable shoes. Like, I have actual opinions about arch support! This is a newer development, as I used to be the kind of person who bought shoes because they were cute and cost less than $20. I once wore a pair of studded pointy toe flats that were two sizes too big for me because they were $5 and "cool." I wore them once, and part of that evening involved dancing cheek to cheek with the pavement when I tripped over the cumbersome shoe tip and fell into the street. Who was I?

Now, I live for well crafted shoes that are comfortable, support my high arches, and won't fall apart after one season, which also means I have way fewer shoes because that stuff is expensive! It also means that sometimes my footwear is not the cutest option available. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of cute, supportive shoes, but a lot of what I see (and am willing to pay for) are kind of plain, like these very comfy, but very beige strappy sandals:

The plus side: they feel like clouds, they have mini-wedges and every strap is adjustable! The negative: they kind of look like they were a 60th birthday gift. That is to say, they're a little mature. Or maybe I'm a little immature. Oh, wait - I'm about to show you how to stick plastic daisies on your shoes, so that's probably it!

Even if your shoes aren't plain, you might want to customize them or just generally snazz them up a bit. I think everyone could stand to have a few more options, am I right? Here's how to make some fun shoe clips for when you just want to get cutesy.

Shoe Clips or Clip-On Earrings {with a flat side}
Strong Glue, like E6000
Flowers, Buttons & Other Baubles
Wire Cutters {optional}


Sometimes you can buy actual shoe clip bases at the craft store, but I definitely struck out on that mission this time around. Instead, I opted for these blank clip-on earrings. You'll probably find several kinds of clip-ons, but these ones with the flat side will work best here.

To prep your decorations, you might need to first tweak them so that the backs are as flat as possible, ensuring a more secure bond to your clip-ons. For me, this meant using some wire cutters to snip off the stems of these artificial flowers and the backs of these daisy buttons.
Kind of a lot of daisies, to be honest.
Next, you just pop some super strong glue on your clip-on and press it against your decoration. 
Hold it for about 30 seconds and leave it to dry.
It's best to leave the hinge open while they dry to avoid getting glue on it.
Now all you gotta do is clip these decorative lil' bad boys on your shoes! I added some purple daisies to my ankle strap, and then swapped them out for bright blue buttons before popping on a set of white daisies. You literally never have to decide on one look, and what is better news than never having to make a decision? Literally nothing.

This project is so simple, you can whip up a pile of shoe clips in less than 15 minutes! Any random little baubles you have around but never had a use for will now be right at home on your feet. This is also a great way to reuse old jewelry, and you could even just put actual clip-on earrings here instead of doing any DIY, but I think you know that just isn't my style.

Would you ever customize your shoes? Do you wear heels even though they hurt? What are your feelings on arch support?

June 1, 2015

BEAUTY: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth Review

Since I've started using the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth, I've recommended it to people looking for something that exfoliates so well that it almost kind of hurts. If that scares you away, then this is totally not the cloth for you, but that's okay! It just means that, for whatever reason, you don't want medium-level pain to be a part of your bathing experience, and that is your choice. I mean, it's a weird choice, but it's your choice. For those of you that scratch mosquito bites until you draw blood and enjoyed playing with your loose teeth as children, this cloth will be your new best friend.

I will, Joie, I will.
Why can't we have more semi-flirty, semi-nude cartoon mascots in America?
The Salux has a fine enough grit to scrub you like it really means it. It might look like just an unraveled loofah, but trust me - it isn't. The texture is much rougher - too rough for your face unless you're realllly careful - and comparing the two is like comparing a chef's knife to a plastic butter knife. I don't mean to make it sound like this thing will rip you to shreds; this is more of a mid-level exfoliator, much stronger than a washcloth, but more gentle than something like a Baiden Mitten, which, in addition to costing FIFTY GODDAMN DOLLARS, allows you to actually see your exfoliated skin balling up around your body. I'm not looking for quite that level of skin shedding, but when I finally complete my transition into a rattlesnake, I'll look into it.

I've heard (who am I kidding? read, not heard. who talks to other humans anymore?!) people say that they just don't feel clean enough if they don't use a Salux, and I can understand that. It gives your skin a much smoother finish and a deeper feeling clean than a traditional washcloth ever could. 

Fresh outta the package!
You could use it flat...
...or ball it up!
The Salux is pretty large - 11" x 35". It's similar in size and shape to a drapey evening wrap, so every shower is basically like attending a winter formal. It is also excellent at lathering, and I can use a lot less body wash than I'd typically need to get crazy, over the top bubbles brewing. The cloth dries remarkably quickly, so as long as you give it a good rinse, maybe wring it out, and hang it to dry, it will never get moldy or smelly. Mine never ever appears dingy or mildewy, and you can even toss it in the washing machine (probably keep it out of the dryer) every now and then for extra reassurance.

You can buy the Salux cloth (in seven different colors!) for less than $6 from the official website. One thing I'd caution is that there are several Salux sellers (say that five times fast) on places like Amazon and Ebay that might be selling knockoffs, so I'd buy it from the source (which I did, quickly and easily) or try to find it in an Asian market in your neighborhood, where it might even be a little cheaper.

Are you down with deep exfoliation? Have you ever tried a bath cloth or mitt? Don't you feel that we're ready for more semi-nude product mascots?

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