Month: February 2015

Mardi Gras Skin Recovery (or Hangover Skin Recovery)

mardi gras skin recovery

Mardi Gras is officially over, and we’ve all partied our little hearts out, while also dehydrating our bodies and angering our skin. So, I’ve devised a little plan to help you rejuvenate tired hungover skin.

before and after

1. Hydrate

We all know the importance of hydration in general, but when it comes to hangovers or multiple days of partying, it’s critical. Not just for your internal organs, but also for your skin. While there is only one bottle of water pictured here, that was my third that morning. Keeping your body hydrated helps keep your skin plump and less dry which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sallowness.

2. Cleanse

I can’t stress this one enough – cleanse and cleanse well, not harshly, but well. Removing all the dirt, sweat, and other environmental nastiness your skin absorbed is essential to giving it an opportunity to recover. I love the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. It’s a gentle, but insanely effective, cleanser that doesn’t foam. It can be used as a basic cleanser or even as an overnight mask. I’ve done a review here if you’re interested in reading more, but the basic point of Step 2 is to make sure you properly cleanse.

3. Calm

This is an essential step. Calming the angry skin is necessary. It needs soothing ingredients to reduce inflammation and absorb necessary nutrients. For this, I like the Ayesha Fresh Face Mask from Lush as its main purpose is to refresh tired dull skin. The Ayesha features a blend of kiwi (rich in Vitamin C for brightening), asparagus (to nourish and absorb excess oil), honey (for hydrating and reducing inflammation), and witch hazel (for tightening). Truth be told, this is one of my favorite masks of all time.

4. Nourish

As you might know by now, I am a huge fan of coconut oil for skincare. It’s cheap, easy to find, and provides a host of skin benefits. For this step, I do a coconut oil mask. All you need to do is liquefy about a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it into your skin. Let that absorb into the skin for 30 minutes to an hour. Gently wipe your face clean with a warm washcloth. This helps nourish the skin due to the high concentrations of lauric acid. Basically, it’s food for the skin! (For other beauty uses of coconut oil, check out this post!) You’ll begin to notice your skin reviving around this step.

5. Repair

Now that you’ve revived your skin, it’s time to repair it using a good serum. Any current serum you are using will do the trick. I like serums because they are designed to enhance the absorption of products that come after them, and are concentrated to such a degree that you’re providing your skin with high levels of vitamins and nutrients. I used the Skin & Co Truffle Oil Serum, which I reviewed here. But I also love the Skin, Inc. serums (they will custom blend one suited to your skin’s needs and issues).

6. Strengthen

Its helpful to strengthen the eye area when giving your skin recovery time. The key is finding an eye cream that contains hyalauronic acid. Hyalauronic acid is a fabulous ingredient that not only helps skin retain moisture, but also helps exfoliate without rubbing or scrubbing. I love the BeautiControl Restructuring Eye Creme, which you can read more about here. I’ve been using it for years, and  I love it.

7. Moisturize

The last step is to moisturize to restore hydration from the outside in. Any quality moisturizer will do the job, but today I used Vichy Lift Activ Nuit. I have just started using this one, so I’ll have to get back to you with a full review. Quality moisturizers are key because they help infuse moisture into the outer layers of the skin, which also helps to plump skin, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and nourish newly forming skin cells.

As you can tell from the before and after photo, there is a very noticeable difference. Skincare isn’t difficult, but with the right steps it can make a drastic change in the appearance of your skin, despite the craziness you put yourself through the night before.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you try this! I want to see your before and after pictures!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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DIY Exfoliating Face Masks

Title Photo

Welcome back to the DIY Face Mask series. This installment will cover exfoliation, which is an important part of any skincare routine to remove dead skin cells and increase natural cell turnover. Proper exfoliation helps ward off blackheads and blemishes, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As with all of these recipes, know your skin! if you are allergic to any of these ingredients when ingested, you will be allergic to them topically. If you are uncertain, do a small test patch for 15 minutes to be sure! Happy Exfoliating!

DIY Sensitive exfoliating

Ingredients

  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Mix all ingredients together fully. The consistency of this will be more liquid than a paste. Massage into skin gently for sixty seconds. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off residue with warm water.

Benefits

  • Lavender Oil — never apply essential oils directly to skin without a carrier oil (i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.); when used topically, lavender oil helps to decrease inflammation, kills bacteria, reduces scarring, soothes pain or irritation, cleanses skin, and helps prevent acne.
  • Brown Sugar — brown sugar is a great gentle exfoliant that contains glycolic acid (natural alpha hydroxyacid aiding in cell turnover) that slows the aging process; also helps with sunspots; brown sugar is also a natural humectant, which means it deposits moisture into the skin and protects skin from toxins
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey helps unclog tired or angry pores, and as a natural humectant helps retain good moisture; in this recipe it is a booster for the exfoliating ingredients
  • Olive Oil — filled with Vitamin A and Vitamin E, olive oil is a great moisturizer and environmental damage preventive; it penetrates deep into pores, so when combined with an exfoliating agent (here: brown sugar) it allows deep and thorough cleansing of bacteria, dead skin cells, and unnecessary oil; helps reduce the signs of aging leaving skin plump and glowing

Tip: This exfoliating mask works very well as a body scrub too. Just multiply the recipe accordingly. I gave these out as Christmas gifts and put them in small 8 oz jars, which allowed me to multiply the recipe times 

DIY Exfoliating sensitive 2

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds (you can use dry or used; I prefer used because they contain more antioxidants)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Mix ingredients together fully. The consistency will be quite oily. Scoop out of container used for mixing and massage into skin for 60 seconds. Let sit on skin for another 60 seconds. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Coffee Grounds — filled with antioxidants, coffee grounds are great for gentle exfoliation, making the skin appear younger, and aid in reducing the size of pores, while the caffeine helps to reduce inflammation
  • Olive Oil — filled with Vitamin A and Vitamin E, olive oil is a great moisturizer and environmental damage preventive; it penetrates deep into pores, so when combined with an exfoliating agent (here: coffee grounds) it allows deep and thorough cleansing of bacteria, dead skin cells, and unnecessary oil; helps reduce the signs of aging leaving skin plump and glowing

Tip: This can also be used as a body scrub, because coffee also helps to temporarily reduce stretch marks (for about 3-4 hours), which is great for a date night or a beach afternoon.

Normal (2)

 

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Water until it forms a paste

Directions

Mix Greek yogurt and baking soda together, adding in water as necessary until it forms a gooey paste. Massage into skin for 30 seconds, and rinse with warm water.

Benefits

  • Greek Yogurt — loaded with natural lactic acid (an alphahydroxy acid), Greek yogurt helps to exfoliate, rejuvenate, and aid in preventing wrinkles
  • Baking Soda — good as a gentle exfoliant and contains antiseptic properties, but there is a lot of information out there as to whether baking soda is good or bad for the skin because of its alkalinity. Compare these two articles: for baking soda and against baking soda if you’re interested in what people are saying. I’ve used it, but I’m no scientist, and I want to ensure you have all the information to make your own skincare decisions. That said, you can always substitute brown sugar in this recipe.

DIY exfoliating Oily

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Drections

Blend ingredients together in a blender. Scoop out mixture and massage into skin for 60 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove with warm water.

Benefits

  • Oatmeal — oatmeal is widely used as a gentle exfoliator with skin calming benefits and is one of the few skicnare ingredients given great rank by the U.S. FDA; great for moisturizing and exfoliating, oatmeal is also known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties; it helps to restore the skin’s normal pH levels and soothes irritated skin
  • Agave Nectar — very similar to raw honey, agave nectar has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it also helps to brighten skin and remove pigmentation spots
  • Cucumber — known for its calming and soothing properties, cucumber reduces inflammation and because it’s high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A it will help fight dark circles and hyper pigmentation; the B-5 in cucumbers aids in moisture retention while the silica aids in fighting wrinkles because strengthens connective tissues
  • Fresh Lemon Juice –contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil; lemon juice is a natural exfoliant and helps target and prevent acne

That concludes the exfoliating installment! If you haven’t already, check out the hydrating installment here! Please let me know if you try any of these! If you have any exfoliating DIY skincare recipes, put them in the comments below! Next up in this series, we will have a look at DIY recipes to target brightening the skin to make it appear glowing!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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DIY Hydrating Face Masks

 

Title Photo

Welcome to the DIY Face Mask Series! All of the masks you will see in this series use ingredients straight from your kitchen or pantry, and they are all super easy to make! This series will include 6 posts on different DIY masks to achieve different results — hydrating, exfoliating, brightening, pore-clearing, calming, and aging. Further, each will feature recipes for each skin type, so there will be something for everyone in this series! (Can you tell I’m excited about this one!?)

I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes with you. First, know your limitations and allergies. If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients when you eat them, you will have a reaction on your skin too. If you aren’t sure, do a small test patch on your hand or wrist before applying. I should note that I have dry sensitive skin, so my repertoire is going to be a little fuller in those areas. Plus, the sensitive skin masks will be safe for all skin types. In fact, most of these are great for any skin type, so feel free to experiment. Due to the nature of the ingredients, they are all more sensitive than chemically-driven face masks.

Keep in mind that many of these natural ingredients serve many different functions in skincare, so feel free to mix and match as you think it suits your needs. For each mask, there will be a recipe plus the reason each ingredient was included.

So, let’s get started!!

Sensitive skin avocado greek yogurt lemon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 tsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions 

Mix all ingredients into a creamy paste. You want the consistency to be something that will smooth onto the face like a thick cream. Apply to face and let sit for 15 minutes.Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Greek yogurt — loaded with natural lactic acid (an alphahydroxy acid) which helps exfoliate, rejuvenate, and aid in preventing wrinkles
  • Lemon Juice — contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil (be careful, don’t use too much lemon juice in this recipe, too much can be drying, so start with a small amount and if you need more, you can add it later)

Sensitive skin avocado banana honey

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 banana mashed
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. The consistency should be that of a very thick creamy-paste. Apply to skin for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Banana — filled with loads of Vitamins C and B6, it deposits necessary minerals into the skin for rejuvenation, and because bananas are 75% water, they are great for hydrating the skin to prevent drying and peeling
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores, but because it is a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture

Normal skin

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup steamed and mashed carrots
  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

Directions

Boil or steam carrots. (I prefer steaming so it doesn’t eliminate all the nutrients through heat). Mash carrots and allow them to cool. (Tip: on a night you’re cooking steamed carrots for dinner, reserve enough for your facemask and keep it in the refrigerator).

Mix all ingredients together well. This one is going to be thick and somewhat goopy in its consistency. Apply to face for 15 minutes. Massage as you rinse off with warm water. Wash face well to ensure egg yolk doesn’t stay on the face. You’ll know it’s time to take this one off when the egg dries to the point your face becomes tight when you smile.

Benefits

  • Carrots — rich in several vitamins and minerals, the potassium in carrots can lead to replenishing skin’s natural moisture, and the high content of Vitamin A helps to heal skin conditions (i.e. rashes, dermatitis, etc caused by Vitamin A deficiencies)
  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Egg Yolk — contains Vitamin B3 which boots circulation in the skin making it appear healthier; also helps to treat breakouts
  • Lemon Juice — contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil (be careful, don’t use too much lemon juice in this recipe, too much can be drying, so start with a small amount and if you need more, you can add it later)
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores, but because it is a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture

Oily skin

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions

Place coconut oil jar in a sink or bowl filled with very warm water for 5 minutes to liquefy. Combine liquefied coconut oil and fresh squeezed orange juice. Massage into skin. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Gently remove using warm wet washcloth.

Benefits

  • Coconut Oil — You may be concerned that oil on oily skin is NOT OK! Don’t worry, coconut oil is great on oily skin because it’s anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and actually works to pull out the bad oil production from oily skin. This helps balance oily skin while infusing naturally necessary moisture to the skin cells. Think of it this way — with natural oils, it’s Like Attracts Like! So, coconut oil on oily skin is really quite fabulous! I could go on and on about coconut oil, but I won’t! If you’re interested in all the ways coconut oil is great for skin, check out my previous post on the 8 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil for more detailed information.
  • Orange Juice — oranges have massive amounts of Vitamin C, which helps to brighten your complexion, fade dark spots, and bring a general glow to the skin.

That concludes the hydration episode! Next up is exfoliation, and I’ve got some fun ones for you! Please let me know if you try any of these. If you have a great DIY hydrating face mask, PLEASE leave it in the comments below! I want to try the ones that are working for you!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Tarte’s Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette Review

whole palette

Hey y’all! Meet the Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette! It is aptly called the Tartlette palette in honor of its fans, lovingly known as the “Tartelettes.” I saw this little palette on Instagram and instantly knew it belonged in my collection. I have a shimmer-shadow buying problem, and I really needed a neutral all matte palette. So, that’s what really drew me to this one. It’s all neutrals, but there are cool and warm neutrals within the palette, which is what makes it perfect. It is truly suited for all skin tones for that reason.

The palette is a part of Tarte’s Spring 2015 collection and contains 12 ALL NEW shadows for $44, available at Sephora or the Tarte Website. The Amazonian Clay formula is natural, contains mineral pigments (to soothe and soften skin) and vitamin E (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant).

The packaging is absolutely perfect — it’s about the size of a CD case and contains a full mirror. This mirror is spectacular for getting a great cut-crease because you can angle it and still see your whole face! I recently traveled with this palette, and it was perfect for a trip. Truly, it’s all you need! I will definitely be taking this one with me when I head to France in April.

I wanted to ensure you could see all the colors clearly, so I made sure to capture it in studio light and natural daylight.
I wanted to ensure you could see all the colors clearly, so I made sure to capture it in studio light and natural daylight.

It contains twelve (12) eye shadows including shades for lids, crease, outer corner, and liners. You can mix and match throughout the whole palette, as each color is cohesive with the rest. What I absolute LOVE about this palette is that it also takes the guess work out of your choices! Each horizontal row creates a look if you move from left to right! The first color is the lid and brow bone highlight shade, the second color is your crease/transition shade, the third is your outer corner or deep crease shade, and the last is your liner shade that you can use with a wet or dry brush. How awesome is that?!

This was my first go with the palette, and I was really excited about the coolness of those purples in the second row.
This was my first go with the palette, and I was really excited about the coolness of those purples in the second row. For the liner, I wanted more drama, so I used “fashionista” to create a contrast for the purples (natural beauty + best friend).

While I’ve used several Tarte products, I’ve never tried their eye shadows. Wow. These are so pigmented. Tarte wastes no color here, and every color applies slightly darker than it appears. This is something I love because it means they are likely to have good staying power. In addition, these shadows are super blend-able. They are so creamy that even the worst of blending brushes blends them flawlessly. (I’ve tried them with a range of shadow brushes just to see if it was the shadow or the brush creating that effect.)

tartelette swatches
I swatched these from lightest to darkest (by column rather than by row) so you could see the progression of color.

I was very surprised by the clay texture of the shadows because they are so creamy and blend-able. Each color stays put quite well throughout the day. They do not smudge or crease. And, bonus, Tarte announced that this palette will be a part of their permanent collection unlike many of their other limited edition palettes! Tarte also thought to include a small “how to” card in the packaging. I thought that was a really nice touch.

Some look ideas from Tarte.
Some look ideas from Tarte.

Matte shades are great for aging skin. They don’t sit in creases and lines to reflect light and deepen the appearance of lines like shimmer shadows do. Plus, matte everything is on trend right now. This makes the Tartelette palette a great buy for all ages, all skin tones, and all eye colors. There is something in this palette for everyone! Here are just a few more looks I’ve created. I can already tell that this will be my go-to palette for a strong smokey eye!

tartelette fotd triphoto purples
more purple play
tartelette fotd 1.28.15
tawny neutral play (first row of the palette)

Is this a palette you will try? If you already have it, share some of your favorite combinations in the comments below!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

 

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