Beauty Brief Wednesday {Skin Savers}

Hello all!  The past few days have been rather hectic and unexpected, for which I have been unprepared for {I will get into that later}.  However, I wanted to make sure that I still stopped in to keep my Wednesday tradition going.  To recap what’s been going on the past two Wednesdays:

BBW:  {Teeth Whitening Tips/Mouth Health}

BBW:  {Unexpected Hair Care}

We covered the mouth, the teeth, the hair…now it’s time to cover the largest organ of your body…your skin!  To help organize today’s post, I decided to numerically correlate pictures with descriptions {what a novel idea}.

#1 Shave Your Face

Yes, I talked about this in September {click the link to see the full post}, but I still stand by it today.  Running your face and neck through a weekly shaving regime is a great way to exfoliate, smooth, and reawaken the skin.  Plus, your make-up even goes on better.  Nobody likes hair legs, girls, and nobody likes a hairy face.  The few friends that I have convinced to start doing this can’t get enough.

#2 Dry Brushing

Ever heard of it?  It is exactly what it sounds like…brush your skin with a dry brush.  It should be a smaller brush, made with stiff {but not overly stiff} bristles, and preferably made with natural materials {but not necessary}.  I try to dry brush every time before I take a shower…but let’s be real, sometimes we’re rushing to get in and out of the shower.  My rule of thumb?  Make sure I’m doing this at least 4 times a week {if I can hit all days that end in “Y”, great!}.

So what’s the big deal and how do you do it?  Easy.  Before you hop in the shower, simply brush your skin, starting at the ankles in sweeping motions upwards {towards your heart}.  When you get to your arms, start at your wrists, and continue to move towards your heart {make sense?}.  Brush what you can- neck, chest, arms, tummy, tushie {is that how you spell that?}, legs, of course don’t brush EVERYTHING {wink, wink} but get dang near close.  Then, shower and make sure you moisturize afterwards.  You just woke up and brushed off dead skin cells, don’t want to be ashy do you?

Aside from brushing away dead skin cells, Dry Brushing is great for a variety of other reasons.  Numero uno, it wakes up your Lymphatic System, allows your body to release toxins, and is an overall amazingly simple detoxification.  It also improves circulation, can reduce the appearance of cellulite, relieves stress, and can improve overall digestion and kidney functions.  Too good to be true?  It’s not.  I’ve seen great results from maintaining DB-ing  Want more literature?  Check out the links below-

The Dirt on Dry Brushing

Step by Step Guide to Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing Techniques

#3 Clarisonic Mia 2

Jimmy originally purchased the Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday in June {per my request…thought I should mention that only because I did ask for it.  It’s not like my bf said “Hey!  Happy Birthday, your skin sucks..love you!”}.  I have struggled with acne and scarring from such pesky pimples for my entire life.  In addition to basically completely cutting dairy out of my diet, and regularly oil pulling, the Clarisonic has absolutely helped.  Now, let me be clear, it hasn’t solved everything, and at 25 I still embarrassingly struggle with this issue.  I also found that when I initially started using the Clarisonic, I felt like I broke out more.  Not sure if it was just waking my skin, and everything in it up, but once that settled down, I saw drastic improvements in the clarity of my skin and pores.  To order the Mia 2, or at least see it online, click here.

However, like I said, I still struggle with acne and pimples from time to time…so if you guys have any tips or tricks, I’m all ears.  Some people that I know are swearing by the Rodan and Fields Skincare system.  I’m just super hesitant because it is quite pricey, and I’ve been burned by so many acne products that claim they will help me in the past.  What do you guys think?

How do you guys take care of your skin?  Any tips or tricks that you swear by?

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Beauty Brief Wednesday {Unexpected Hair Care}

Alright, back for another Beauty Brief Wednesday, this time the topic is hair care.  I know there are a lot of obvious ways to take care of your hair, but there are two rituals that I refuse to go without when it comes to my goldie locks.  Just to recap, last week, we talked about two different ways to naturally and safely whiten your teeth- Oil Pulling and Charcoal Brushing.  To see that post again, click here.

Before we get started, lets cover a few bases.  I have moderately thick hair with a lot of volume, and it has a mind of it’s own.  It doesn’t get oily very easily and is fairly manageable, so these tips {or maybe just one of them} might not work for all hair types.  However, I would also like to note that I go through all of the basic motions with my hair- shampoo, condition {Herbal Essences Naked line, heyyy}, blow dry, curl/straighten, and on occasion air dry {when it’s lucky}.  I constantly struggle with dry hair, split ends, the whole nine yards.  Yet, I still want to care for my hair without constantly loading my scalp with chemicals.  Enter, t-shirts and coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

The first ritual I go through once every one to two weeks {match it up with Charcoal Brushing}, includes none other than the usual suspect…Coconut Oil.  You know how the Earth is made of 70% water?  I’m positive I’m made of 70% coconut oil…I’ve found that I use it in virtually every aspect of my life {I cook, I clean my teeth, nourish my hair…uhh…coco for coconut oil much?}

Just to measure, I always add a Tbsp or two of coconut oil in a shot glass and then zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  After that, I apply it to my hair from root to tip the same way you would add any hair treatment, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

That’s right, walk around, do your thing, and smell like a macaroon for 30 minutes.  I always pull it up into a high bun while it absorbs because ain’t nobody like an oily head walkin around the apt.

Then hop in the shower and wash it out {depending on how much oil you put in your hair, you might have to shampoo twice}.

Every time I dry my hair after the coconut oil mask, it feels amazing between my fingers, looks more shiny, and is less frizzy.  While I don’t have any “before and after hair strand comparison images”, the last time I went to get my hair done, the stylist complimented me on how healthy my hair looked {even though I had waited a looooong time to get it cut}.  I credit coconut oil..oh…and t-shirts {effortless segway…}

T-Shirt Dry Your Hair

Ditch the towel ladies {and guys with long hair}.  My mom originally tipped me off to this idea about two months ago.  She told me how she kept seeing these articles that claimed it was better to wrap your wet hair in a cotton tee rather than a towel.  The cotton material on the t-shirt has less friction than the material in the towel, creating a “smoother” environment for your gorgeous hair.  So I looked in to it and decided to give it a try for myself.  For more info, click here, here, and here.

The only thing you need is an old cotton t-shirt and a clip.  The t-shirt size needed would obviously depend on how big your head is {five head over here} and length of hair….I use an XL.  To spruce things up for this post, let’s throw in an old Marshall t-shirt.

All you need to do is wrap the shirt around your head the same way you would a towel.  I start by wrapping one of the “pits” around the back of my head, and pinning the sleeve to the shirt portion that I wrap around my head {I’m not sure if that makes sense}.  Then wrap it around and tuck it under in the back.

Viola!

Might look a little funny, but it stays in place really well.  Since adding this to my “out of the shower routine”, the softness and smoothness of my hair has improved drastically after only a month or two, and I didn’t even have to buy any product to make that happen!

Battling frizzy, dry hair?  Add these two tricks to your routine and you’ll be sure to see almost instant results.

Do any of you use either of these techniques to improve the quality of your hair?  What are some of your hair care routines?

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Beauty Brief Wednesday {Teeth Whitening Tips/Mouth Health}

Heller there!  I’ve decided that I wanted to make today part of a one of three part series that I’m working on this month, Beauty Brief Wednesday {although, this might get to some of you on Thursday} Part of maintaining overall health is taking care of yourself from the inside, out…right?  I’m always up for learning something new, and I jump at the chance to learn holistic, alternative {and sometimes cheaper} ways to take  of yourself.  Today I’m talking teeth whitening tips.  While this post may not be anything new for my close friends and family, I wanted to share it with you all today because I want to make sure I tell everyone I possibly can!  {I’ve already gotten more than a few skeptics at work on this teeth whitening train…won’t you join us?}

I used to be big on the whole “Whitestrips” phenomenon.  You know, those icky tasting, slippery, chemically-infused bleach strips that you need to leave on your teeth {and sometimes gums} for 30 minutes at a time {never mind the taste….ack!}?  Not saying that they don’t work, but one day it occurred to me-  I work so hard to watch how I exercise and what I put into my body, why am I not paying attention to what I put ON my body?  This got me thinking…are there any better ways to whiten my teeth {because I can’t seem to put down coffee or red wine…anyone else out there}?  I have since discovered two amazing solutions, to be used separately.

NOTE:  I AM NOT A DENTIST.  If you have a cavity, tooth pain, or something more serious, consult professional help.  These are simply tips on how to make those pearly whites more b-e-a-utiful and improve the overall health of your mouth.  Any other problem?  Go see your dentist.

Numero Uno:

Oil Pulling.  My end all, be all.  I originally wrote/found out about oil pulling when I was still with the Marshall Campus Rec blog.  To see that original post, click here.  There’s a lot of great info there.  Basically, grab 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth, first thing in the morning, for as long as possible {max 20 min.}.  As gross as it may sound, you have some of the worst/most bacteria in your mouth right when you wake up in the morning {hence, doing it first thing}.  I’ve been doing this two to three times a week since March and I can’t get enough.  Check out all of the added benefits of oil pulling {from my original post…what it supposedly helps, and my impression of the claim}:

÷Whitens Teeth// check
÷Healthier gums, teeth, and mouth// check, check, I have some sensitivity issues, and this has helped greatly
÷Sinus issues// thanks to the weather, got ‘em…thanks to oil pulling, lost ‘em
÷Acne and your complexion// From a visual test standpoint, I feel like it has helped! 
÷Additional skin issues like eczema and psoriasis*
÷Overall mouth and jaw pain, including TMJ*
÷Hangovers (and migraines*)// For the sake of the blog I tested this one out (always thinking of you guys),  and I swear…it really helped, I wasn’t as dizzy and felt more balanced
÷Overall Detox// I wasn’t sure how to measure for this, but it’s improved more than a few things for me, and after all that research I can’t imagine how it isn’t an overall detox”

*I simply can’t speak to those issues because I am not suffering from them

When you’re done swishing make sure you spit this in the TRASH CAN.  No drains or anything with pipes…it will clog them and you will be in trouble.  Also, in case you didn’t know, the toilet counts as a drain.  I once watched Jimmy spit his oil pulling leftovers in the toilet {yep, he does it too from time to time}.  “Jimmy! You’re not supposed to put it down a drain!”  I exclaimed, “Yea I know, that’s why I spit it in the toilet”, he says {insert the sound of crickets chirping}…bless his heart.

Don’t like/are allergic to coconut oil?  No prob bob.  Grab some olive oil or sunflower oil instead.  I enjoy coconut so I’ve never strayed from the real thing, but the properties in the oil will do a very similar job.  Coconut oil is also full of antimicrobial properties, really setting up that one-two punch for your mouth {and your morning breath}.

Numero Dos:

Charcoal Brushing.  It is exactly what you think it is.

Slice an Activated Charcoal capsule in half {over a paper towel, it can get messy}, pour the powder over your toothbrush, and then brush your teeth with it in circular motions for 3-5 minutes {I always do 5}.  It is said that the activated charcoal is made of certain compounds that absorb the spots and stains off of your teeth.

Also important to note here, never…at any cost or for any reason…swallow the charcoal if you’re only using it whiten your teeth.  It is similar to the charcoal that is used in today’s medical field to help reduce the effects of poisoning {like alcohol, for example}.  There are also a lot of other amazing benefits of Activated Charcoal that I’ve been looking into…and the beat goes on…

This is the bottle of Activated Charcoal that I have, found at any common drug store/health section.  Sure, you’ll look like a zombie for a few minutes out of the day, but it’s worth it.

Still not sure about i?  Check out the review’s from these awesome chicks:

Wellness Mama:  How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

XOVain:  Does Activated Charcoal Really Turbo-Whiten Your Teeth?

I’ve read instances where people will do both simultaneously.  As in, pour some activated charcoal in their mouth while oil pulling.  I’m all about killing two birds with one stone, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ll ever try that.  I like to keep these two rituals separate- Oil Pull 2-3 times a week, every week, and then Charcoal Brush once maybe every one or two weeks {depends on my coffee and wine consumption}.

Overall, I feel like not only are both of these options collectively cheaper than the “store bought whitening treatments”, but they are also safer, more gentle, and better for my body.  I can’t deny their success because I always get compliments on how nice and shiny my pearly whites are {there could be worse things to be vain about}.  I say oil pulling and charcoal brushing are responsible.

Try ’em out and let me know what you think!  Got questions?  {I know that charcoal grin isn’t the most welcoming} Leave ’em below.

Happy Bicuspid Buffering!

What do you guys think?  Ever tried either of these “beauty” rituals?

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Shave Your Face, Girls {yes, girls}

I said it, and I meant it.

Ladies, time to start shaving your faces {I know, add another thing to this list why don’t ya?}

Seriously though, shaving your face is the way to go.  It’s a great exfoliant, it makes your skin glow, AND your facial hairs don’t grow back any darker or more coarse {coarser?}.  I’ve been doing it for a few months now, after I first learned about it from health and beauty blog, The Skinny Confidential {check out the video she posted in the link…totally explains everything}.  I’ve only used the Tinkle Eyebrow Shapers as razors and they work perfectly {and are super cheap}.  Click the link above to buy them on Amazon. 

I convinced my good friend, Molly, to try it, and it’s changed her life as well.  Everyone is so hesitant when we rave and tell them to shave their faces…no one believes us.  I promise, you won’t regret it.  I only shave once every one to two weeks, and my skin is glowing and as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  If any of you have been to a spa, often times they’ll shave your face there as well.  Why not bring the spa home to you? 

Still don’t believe me?  Check out these links to learn more:

Women, Shave Your Face!

Women’s Facial Shaving:  Defuzzing the Myth

For Women:  Facial Shaving Can Make Skin Glow

My name is Christine Lavery, I shave my face, and I’m proud of it. 

What are some of your beauty tips and tricks for smooth, glowing skin?  Anyone else shave their face?  I know Molly and I aren’t the only ones!

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