2 INGREDIENT LIP SCRUB

2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

I am all about easy tips and DIY’s.  Once it gets too complicated, I’m done.  Lost interest.  No, I will NOT run to Home Depot, Target AND Michael’s to get all of the supplies to make a floating shelf.  No, thank you.

So this brings me to my 2 ingredient lip scrub.  All you need is oil and sugar.

◊   Oil options:  coconut, olive, jojoba, almond  >>> Pick one

◊   Sugar options:  brown, white (are there others?)

I used brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil.

I prefer brown sugar, because the granules are smaller and finer, so the scrub is less abrasive, which works for my lips.  If you want a stronger exfoliation, go for white sugar.  You can even mix the 2 if you’d like.

The last lip scrub I made was with coconut oil.  It was great, but it gets solid at room temperature and I wanted to try the olive oil to see if I liked the consistency and texture better…and I do.

2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

All you do is add sugar to a bowl, and then pour in enough olive oil until it thickens and sticks together. Then, mash it together with a spoon or fork until it forms a paste.  You can add a drop of vanilla extract to make it smell fantastic.  Not necessary though.

Bam.  Done.  Finito.

I use travel containers to store the scrub in.  You can also use little mason jars to put it in for yourself or for a gift.

Benefits of scrubbing your lips:

We exfoliate our faces and bodies, why not our lips?  Lips need exfoliation too, to remove the dry, dead skin cells on the surface.  This helps to get rid of any nasty flakes on your lips, which then helps your lipsticks and glosses go on smoother and last longer.

The olive oil also helps to moisturize the lips while you’re scrubbing away.

How I scrub my lips:

I just scoop up a little bit with my finger and rub the scrub on my lips for about a minute.  Then, I rinse it off with warm water, pat dry, and add a lip balm, chapstick, or ointment to them.  I really like to do this at night and then put on Aquafor Lip Repair or those EOS balm balls to moisturize my lips.

It’s best to do it 1-2 times per week.

If I’m planning on a lipstick night, I will do the scrub and lip balm before I start doing my makeup, and then will wipe off excess lip balm and put on the lipstick at the end of the makeup process.  That way, your lips will be smooth and ready for application.

2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

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If I’m feeling crazy lazy, I do an on the spot lip scrub.  I always keep a little container with brown sugar in my bathroom drawer, along with my always present container of coconut oil to wash my face.  I will smother my lips in coconut oil and then pick up a bit of brown sugar and do a quick scrub that way.

Do you use a lip scrub?  Any other techniques you like to do to exfoliate?

♦  Stephanie

FACE SHAVING FOR WOMEN

Shaving Your Face with Tinkle Razors

Alright ladies. It’s time to get on board with face shaving.

Whaattt???  I know, I know.

I’m not talking, razor to face, like the ones you use to shave your legs and elsewhere.  I’m also not talking about the razors your guy uses on his face.  But I’m talking about these pretty pastel tinkle razors that are sold as brow shapers.

Women get their upper lip waxed and threaded, but no one ever thinks of shaving.

I first saw this on youtube a few years ago and I was intrigued.  I also remember Caroline from The Real Housewives (New Jersey edition) mentioning it once before too.  It seemed a little out there at first, but I’m loving it.

Not only is this a great way to remove hair, but it exfoliates your skin too!

Tinkle Razor for Shaving Your Face

The term I’ve been hearing salons use for this technique is dermaplaning, which sounds like it’s pretty much the same thing.

Dermaplaning is just a very simple physical or mechanical method of exfoliation, which helps to remove dead skin cells and give your face a brighter complexion,” Dr. Hale told me. “And since it removes some vellus hairs [the baby-fine hairs on your face], it can make the skin feel smoother.” (via)

Now, I am pretty fortunate to have blond hairs on my face, so I don’t really notice the hair too much.  But it’s still there and that sneaky sun of ours likes to put it on blast on those bright summer days.

After shaving, your makeup goes on smoother and the sunlight won’t be catching any peach fuzz.  And the fact that it is removing your dead skin cells is great for your face to look better and brighter, AND to absorb your quality face products even more.  It kind of reminds me of the PMD >>> I will have a post about this amazing tool and all of it’s benefits soon!

How to do it…

I first heard about this from a Michelle Money youtube video.  That girl has some great beauty tips.  And she’s a total babe.  Here’s her little video tutorial to show you the technique.  She cracks me up…

To sum it up:

◊  Put the tool at a 45 degree angle

◊  Pull your skin taut and do short strokes in the direction of hair growth

◊  AND I would wash my face before and after

She does this weekly, but I usually try to get to it quarterly.  It’s weird, but I find it kind of fun.

facial razors

BIG SIDENOTE:   I would be very, extremely, ridiculously careful if you do use these razors for your brows.  I actually would not recommend that at all!  It sounds funny since that’s what these tools say they are made for, but it is too easy to slip up.  So definitely don’t use them near your brows if you’ve had a glass of wine or 2.  I almost had a very serious misstep that would have resulted in a half brow…And that would not be cute.

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So give it a shot and let me know how it goes.  I get my tinkle razors on Amazon.  Have you tried using facial razors?

♦ Stephanie

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.

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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.

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How do you rock your brows?

♦ Stephanie

BENEFITS OF DRINKING WARM WATER WITH LEMON

Lemon Water

For the past few months, I kept coming across articles about all of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  I am huge on drinking tons of water throughout the day.  I always have a very large and in charge cup by my side at all times.  I also regularly incorporate lemons into my diet.   So drinking this in the morning was a natural step. Not only do I love the taste of lemons, but the health benefits are worth it alone.

I start all of my mornings by chugging 2 glasses of water right when I wake up.

I’ve been doing this for years and if I ever skip this, I definitely feel it later on in the day.

After seeing these articles talking about how good warm water with lemon is for you first thing in the AM, I decided to look into it.   If I can improve my morning ritual with something so easy that also packs a healthy punch, why the hell not?  I read claims for top 5 benefits…top 10 benefits…top 20 benefits!  So I looked into it a bit and found that some of these benefits aren’t proven (mainly overhyped) but there are definitely a few benefits that make this little daily ritual totally worth it.

Here are a few of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon in the morning:

◊  Helps with Digestion

This might have to do with drinking water in general and less about the lemon, but it can help flush the system and get everything running smoothly again.

Making sure to drink water when you wake up is super important because your body has gone without water for 8 hours and this helps to rehydrate and energize.

The fact that the water is already warm helps the body absorb it faster because it doesn’t need to use more energy to process the cold water.

◊  Immune System Boost

Lemons contain Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C, which are all amazing for you.  But “Vitamin C is vital to the function of a strong immune system” (via)

◊  Healthy Weight

This is more about drinking water and starting the day off right.  This won’t be a miracle cure for weight loss but there are reports “that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.” (via)

◊  Better Skin

Lemon water can benefit the skin because of the fact that it improves digestion and flushes the body.  This is also a benefit from drinking plain water.  Also, Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, which lemons have plenty of.

So these are few of the pros of drinking warm lemon water right when you wake up.  I have been trying to drink this as often as I can, and I have been feeling more energized (even before I have my morning coffee!) and it kinda sets the tone for my day.

I like to squeeze ¼ to ½ lemon into a glass of warm water.  If the seeds bother you (because they will get in there) you can use a strainer.  I also like to drink mine through a straw because I tend to have really sensitive teeth/gums.  Also, with lemon water, you should brush your teeth before drinking it, or you should wait at least 30 minutes after drinking it to brush, so you don’t mess up your enamel.

The taste can be a little strong at first, so you might want to start with a ¼ of a lemon.

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So really, my main suggestion would be to start upping your water intake in general.  Especially drinking water in the morning.  And if you want an extra boost, add in some lemon and get all of those amazing health benefits that this citrus has to offer.  If you want any more information on all of the benefits of lemons, check out this site.

Fun Extra Tip:

I like to zest the lemons I use and add it to a container in my freezer and then use that for pasta dishes or sauces.  Love getting more than one use out of something (!!!)

Any other easy tips to add some healthy extras into your diet? If you’ve tried lemon water at the start of your day, what benefits have you noticed?

♦ Stephanie