DRY BRUSHING FOR BETTER SKIN

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

Let’s talk about dry brushing.

Basically, dry brushing is using a specific type of body brush to brush your skin.  All you need is yourself and your brush.

The first time I heard about dry brushing was several years ago when one of George Clooney’s super hot ex girlfriends said it was the secret to her glowing skin.

Interest piqued.

AND I heard there were perks for the lymph system, which I am just all about these days.

Benefits of Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

First let’s start with the benefits:

◊  Great way to exfoliate and brighten skin

It removes dead skin cells and opens clogged pores (which can help with ingrown hairs).

So far, I am definitely seeing this.  I’ve always been pretty lucky with having soft skin, but after dry brushing, I have noticed an improvement.  My moisturizers are absorbing better and everything is feeling more silky smooth than before.  So thumbs up for this benefit.

◊  Wakes up the lymph system

“The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.” (source)

This also brings me back to my post from last week about the benefits of rebounding and the importance of stimulating the lymph system regularly.

◊  Increased energy and blood flow

I feel energized after dry brushing.  Even the process of doing it feels great.

◊  Reduces appearance of cellulite

This little bit of info has not been proven in any of the sources I have read.  Some people claim they have seen a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.  I, however, have not.  So I’m not sure if this is a bogus claim or if it just doesn’t work for me personally.   Don’t you think, if something could actually reduce cellulite, EVERYBODY would know about it?  If I’m wrong here, someone please let me know.  But I have not seen improvement in the cellulite department.

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

When to do it…

This is something that you can do daily.

You should do it right before a shower or bath on dry skin.  I like to dry brush first thing in the morning because of the little energy burst I get afterwards.  Plus, it feels like I’m waking everything up and getting ready for the day.

But, I also like to do it when I get home from work.  If I save my dry brush & shower routine for the end of the day, I think it feels even better.  Probably because my legs have been stuffed in my skinny’s all day and I have those seam imprints on them.  And it feels so good to come home, take my pants off and dry brush. TMI?  Just being real here.  But you can pretty much do it whenever.  Some people suggest against doing it before bed though so you don’t get all pumped up and then can’t fall asleep.

How to do it…

You always want to brush in the direction towards your heart and chest.  The way you brush is very important, so you can get the most benefits from it.

Here’s the video I watched when I first started dry brushing to learn the technique.

What brush to use…

The brush in the pictures is the one I started with and it’s great for beginner’s.  I don’t think it’s too hard and you can adjust the pressure easily.  I might be in the market for one that’s a little stiffer in the future, but so far, this one is still working for me.

You can also find body brushes at health food stores.  You just want to make sure the bristles are natural and not synthetic.

Also, be careful if you have any skin conditions.  Dry brushing can irritate eczema or rashes.  Be sure to ask a doctor before you do it, if that’s the case.

◊   ◊   ◊

I absolutely love dry brushing and would recommend this to everyone.  I hope this inspires you guys to give it a shot.  May as well show your skin some serious love.

Have you guys tried dry brushing?  Let me know!

♦ Stephanie

WHY YOU SHOULD ADD EYEBROW GEL TO YOUR MAKEUP GAME

Eyebrow Gel

I am alllll about the eyebrows.  I love checking out and appreciating gorgeous brows.

So I like to do little things to keep my brow game strong.

Over the past year, eyebrow gel has become a regular staple in my beauty routine that really makes an impact.

I don’t usually like to wear a full face of makeup on the reg, but I do have a few makeup steps I like to take if I want to look a little more put together for my day to day.

And it’s pretty easy…

◊  Curl my lashes and add mascara  (I pretty much refuse to wear mascara without a little curl)

◊  Eyebrow gel (!!!)

And if I have a little more time…

◊  Little under eye concealer (this one is perfect)

◊  My favorite lip crayon or a bit of gloss

I used to only use eyebrow gel when I filled in my brows because it helps to set the color.  But lately, I will use it sans color (I save the color for when I want to fancy up).  I just comb through my brows with one of those disposable mascara wands and then finish off with the eyebrow gel.  Bam. Done. That simple.

eyebrow gel brush

I feel like using brow gel opens up the whole eye area and makes me look more awake and put together.  My brows can droop on the ends throughout the day and the eyebrow gel keeps them all in place and looking fantastic.

I really like the Milani brand for this.  You can usually find Milani in a smallish section at Walgreens and CVS.  I’ve tried the Maybelline clear mascara and it is just a little too wet for my liking, but will still get the job done.  You just might have to dab at it with a tissue to remove excess gel.  You can also use a disposable mascara wand and spray hairspray on it and then use that to comb your brows into place.  I found some disposable mascara wands on amazon for about $2 for 50 of them.  It is definitely worth it.   I seem to find so many uses for them.

◊   ◊   ◊

How do you rock your brows?

♦ Stephanie

THE BEST FACIAL SPRAY

Facial Spray

This is one of my favorite products that I keep repurchasing.  When it comes to beauty and skin products I usually like to mix it up and keep trying new things.  But when I met this facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater, I knew it was meant to be.

I was initially on the hunt for a facial spray to refresh my face and hopefully moisturize it a bit during my day, especially at work when I’m feeling pretty blah.  I did a little research and found that Mario Badescu had a product for this.  I already loved a few of their other products, and for the price, there was no reason not to give it a shot.  I bought the travel size one to sample it and fell in love with it right away.  I really loved the smell and how it feels.  It did exactly what I wanted it to do.

Not only is it great for a simple refreshing spritz, I found that it has other uses as well (!!!)  I love when one product can do more than one thing.  I’m all about keeping things easy and breezy.

Rosewater Facial Spray

Here are some of the ways this product can be used:

◊  Toner

I always have issues with toners. They usually dry my face out too much and burn a little, so I tend to avoid them.  But this guy is so gentle and soothing, I will never go back to another toner again.

◊  Refresher/Moisturizer

I like to keep the travel sized one in my purse and spray my face when I want a little pick me up to give me a hit of moisturize.  It’s especially great when traveling and you need a little refreshing on the plane.

◊  Makeup setting spray   

:jazz hands:

This was an awesome bonus for this product.  Makeup setting sprays can run pretty high sometimes.  The Urban Decay setting spray is around $30.  With the Mario Badescu spray only costing $7 for the 4 ounce bottle, it seriously cannot be beat.

A little tippity tip.  I met a drag queen once who said hairspray is one of the best makeup setting sprays out there.  I was out of town for a wedding and forgot my setting spray and… I went there…and it worked beautifully.

◊  For your hair

You can spray your hair to give it a little hydration and a nice scent.

Facial Spray

◊   ◊   ◊

Give this facial spray a try and let me know what you think.  Is this the best out there, or is there something you like even better?

♦ Stephanie

PREVENTING PIMPLES WITH CORTIZONE

Preventing Pimples with Cortizone

This little secret weapon works to fight those pimples that you know are about to become monsters.  You know, the ones that you can feel forming days before they appear?

Well, I have found that this is the best for preventing pimples:

Cortizone

You know, for itchy, annoying bug bites.  On the Cortizone tube it says that it, “Reduces itching, redness, and swelling associated with many skin conditions.”  And apparently this works with the redness and swelling of a pimple.

Whenever I feel one of those painful zits forming, I apply a little bit of Cortizone to the area before I go to bed.  I will do this for a few days, and instead of the red monstrous zit that would normally appear, it is much more subdued and the whole cycle is waayyyyy shorter.

Cortizone for pimples

I don’t have nearly as many breakouts as I did in my earlier days (I guess that’s one of the benefits of getting older), but before my trip overseas I started to feel the beginning of a nasty pimple.   It was definitely a stress related breakout.  Ugh!

I had heard about this Cortizone tip a year or 2 ago but had completely forgotten about it.  So, I was washing my face one night and felt that old familiar tenderness under the skin.  Luckily, I remembered the Cortizone and applied it to that spot on my face every night.  Not only did it help with the redness and the size, the whole cycle of the pimple forming and disappearing only lasted a few days.  That was the first of about 2 or 3 more pimples in the following week (stress is a bitch), and I used the Cortizone for each and it helped amazingly well with all of them.

It pretty much saved my face big time and I thought I should share this tip in case any of you are in an emergency situation.

◊   ◊   ◊

I know this is not the most glamorous topic, but something we all need to deal with from time to time.  Hope this tip helps!  Let me know how this works for you.  Are there any other magical zit zapping products you swear by?

♦ Stephanie

MY 10 FAVORITE WAYS TO USE COCONUT OIL

My 10 Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

I’ve touched on Coconut Oil before and how I think everybody needs it in their home at all times, but I wanted go into a little more detail about my 10 favorite ways that I use coconut oil on a regular basis.

1.  Makeup Remover

This is, by far, my favorite way to remove makeup.  It takes off foundation and waterproof mascara and everything in between.  After the makeup is removed, I use it as….

2.  Face Wash

This may not work for everyone, because everybody’s skin is different, but this has been a game changer for me.  I will slather it on my face and either use my fingers to massage it in or my Clarisonic.  Then I use a baby washcloth to rinse it all off.  I use coco oil most of the time and then once or twice a week I use a gentle face cleanser.  For me, this has been pretty magical for my skin.  But definitely be sure to test it out before you’re all gung ho with it.

Coconut Oil for Beauty

3.  Hair Mask

About once a month I like to completely cover my hair with it and then leave it in for at least an hour while wearing a shower cap.  After an hour or so (some people like to sleep with it in), wash it out…like, 3 times.  I’ve done it where I only washed twice and my hair still looked greasy, so make sure it’s really clean.  No conditioner necessary.  Your hair will look and feel so silky.

4.  Cuts and Scrapes

I like to use it on any cuts or scrapes to help it heal faster.  It works like Neosporin, keeping the scrape moisturized.

5.  Tame Fly Aways

I will use it sparingly if I need to control some fly aways.

6.  Moisturizer

If you’re looking for an oil moisturizer for your body, this one is pretty great.  It definitely takes a while to dry so make sure you have some extra time when you do this….a good time to do this would be while you’re doing your hair mask.

Coconut Oil for Cooking

7.  Making eggs

With all of the health benefits that come along with consuming coconut oil, I like to add it where I can.  I found that I love to scramble or fry my eggs with it.  It gives it a sweeter taste, for sure, and I love it.

8.  In coffee

I loooovvveee adding coco oil to my coffee.  I will use a small spoonful and stir it in.  Not only do you get the health benefits, but your lips will be so soft and moisturized afterwards.

9.  As a lip scrub with brown sugar

Speaking of lips….while I’m washing my face I like to put the coconut oil on my lips and then add a little brown sugar and give them a good scrub.  I keep a cute little tub of brown sugar in my bathroom drawer.  This give my lips a great exfoliation and then I moisturize with more coconut oil or one of my favorite lip balms.  Right now I’m digging Aquafor.

10.  Soften cuticles

I like to use cuticle oil when I remember to.  When my cuticles dry out, I get the most painful hang nails.  But being a busy lady, I don’t always remember to pick up cuticle oil (i.e. never).  Coconut oil is the perfect substitute to hydrate your cuticles.

Coconut Oil for Moisturizing

Coconut oil is my #1 go to beauty product.  I always bring some with me when I travel.  It covers so many bases that I don’t need to pack as many products

What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil?  I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into my life, so please share!

♦ Stephanie