Five minute beauty tips that won't break the bank— Part 2

Yesterday, I shared the first two beauty tips from an article I wrote for ParentGuide Magazine last year.  Today, we’ll finish off with the final two tips!

Tip 3: Attain shower power.

Taking care of your hair and skin in the shower kills two birds with one stone. Buy a shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t leave your hair feeling greasy. This means you won’t have to wash it as often. Give Charles Worthington’s shampoo and conditioner a try.

If you think pretty feet can’t be achieved at home, think again. Invest in a pumice stone. After you use it, your feet will feel like they’ve just stepped out of a salon. Try putting some conditioner on the pumice before rubbing your feet to make your heels silky smooth. Revlon’s pumice stone works wonders.

For soft skin and an all-over glow, body scrub is the best way to go. Purchase a body scrub at a drugstore to save money, or create your own scrub at home with ingredients straight from the kitchen! (I’ll post a recipe or two for homemade scrub next week.) For a store-bought product, Neutrogena’s Energizing Sugar Body Scrub is as good as it sounds. Have dry skin? Shower at night, then gently pat yourself dry with a towel to retain moisture before applying lotion with shea butter. Suave’s Cocoa Butter with Shea feels and smells wonderful; you’ll go to bed thinking you’re on a tropical vacation.

Tip 4: Pump up your ponytail.

Practical hair doesn’t have to be boring. Update any hairstyle by investing in bobby pins and hair ties that match your hair color. Vamp up your look by taking a small section of hair from the bottom of your ponytail at the nape of the neck  and wrapping it around the circumference of your hair tie. Use a matching bobby pin to hold the strand in place. Follow up with a spritz of hair spray to complete your sleek look.

For those of you who’d rather get ready for your day the night before, here’s a great tip: After showering, brush your hair and part it to the side. French braid a small section of hair from the side part toward your ear, forming a tight braid along the front of your hairline. Secure this with a small elastic and use hair spray. When you wake up, keep the braid in and pull your hair back into a pony. This trendy look keeps your hair out of the way all day (and it’s great for humid climates!)

I hope you guys enjoyed the tips, and I’d love to hear any of your favorite on-the-go moves!  Have you tried any of the looks or products I mentioned?  What is your favorite shower product?  And stay tuned for a delicious how-to body scrub recipe next week!  Happy weekend, everyone!


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Five minute beauty tips that won't break the bank— Part 1

Last year, I wrote a beauty article that appeared in ParentGuide Magazine.  I wasn’t planning on sharing the article here, but after a quick re-read, I realized that the tips I shared don’t only apply to moms.  I don’t know about you, but I’m super busy (and on a budget) even without kids.  So, I’m going to finish off the week by sharing some fun, fast, and affordable beauty tricks with you…

Tip 1: Multi-task.

To save time during your morning routine, find beauty products that do it all.  For your face, use a tinted moisturizer with SPF instead of foundation. The moisturizer keeps your skin super soft, plus the tint gives you a healthy glow without the damage of UV rays. Try Jane’s Nearly Foundation Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30.

If wearing sunscreen leaves your body feeling oily, consider relying on a moisturizer with SPF when you can. Such a product protects your skin without leaving residue. Neutrogena’s Summer Glow Daily Moisturizer, SPF 20, builds a slow and healthy looking tan that isn’t streaky.

Stick with tinted lip balm instead of lipstick to keep your lips moisturized. This also gives your pout subtle color that is perfect for daily wear. Try Softlips’ tinted lip conditioner, SPF 15.

Tip 2: Look on the bright side.

By brightening your eyes and accentuating your features, no one will know how much sleep you actually got last night. To hide blemishes, choose a concealer with green or yellow undertones. This counteracts with the redness and makes your face instantly brighter. An amazing product is Sonia Kashuk’s Hidden Agenda Concealer Set. With four different colors and two brushes, it tackles under-eye circles and provides complete coverage.

Mascara is a great way to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. Let your first coat dry, then use an eyelash curler for a few seconds on each eye to give you that wide-awake look. (Extra Tip: Blast your curler with a blow dryer for a few seconds before using it— the heat will give you extra curl that lasts all day!) Try Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara and a Revlon eyelash curler.

Accentuate brow and cheekbones by using a shimmery powder or an illuminator. Use a small amount directly below your eyebrows and at the top of your cheekbones to brighten your look. You can also put some shimmery eye shadow on the inner corner of your eyes to achieve a similar effect. Check out Almay Bright Eyes Liner/Highlighter Duo.

Do you have any beauty tips you’d like to share?  Have you tried any of these techniques before?

Stay tuned… tomorrow I’ll bring you Part 2 of this article!


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Try this recipe! Delicious baked garlic at home…

Garlic may not be the most romantic food in the world (garlic breath, anyone?), but now that Valentine’s Day is over we can throw romance back out the window, right?  Ok, kidding… in all honestly, garlic is a definite staple in our house, and I’ve been dying to try baked garlic at home.

I’ve enjoyed baked garlic at a few nice restaurants, and I always love it (seriously, is there anything more delicious than baked garlic and brie?)  Lucky for me, my brother got us this awesome garlic baker for Christmas, which was just the push we needed to try it ourselves!  And let me tell you, it’s e-a-s-y!

Step 1: Soak the lid of the garlic baker in water for ten minutes. (Anyone know why this is important?  I actually have no clue, but I’m a rule follower.)

Step 2: Remove some of the papery skin from the outside of the bulb and slice off the top so that each clove of garlic is partially exposed.

Step 3: Drizzle olive oil over garlic.

Step 4: Cover with lid and place in a COLD oven.

Step 5: Set temp. to 325 degrees and bake for 45 minutes.

The final product….

Delicious success— we spread each clove on a piece of bread and scarfed it down! This seriously made me want to throw a dinner party to show off my skills!

Have you ever baked garlic at home?  I hear that it’s possible to do without the fancy clay baker… any tips?  And what favorite restaurant appetizer do you wish you could re-create in your own kitchen?


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Is it time to toss it?

A friend gave me an awesome book recently: Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution.  I highly recommend it for those of you interested in makeup techniques and skin care for all ages.  I was reading it this weekend and came across this list that I just had to share!

I’ve heard over and over again how important it is to discard makeup once it expires.  But I have yet to buy makeup with an expiration date (have you?), which makes it impossible to know when to throw it out!  Behold, a complete list of makeup and when it expires:

Foundation…………….12 to 18 months

Concealer……………….1 year

Powder…………………..2 years

Mascara…………………3 to 6 months

Lipstick………………….12 to 18 months

Lip/Eye Pencil………….1 year

Eye Shadow……………..1 year

Powder Blush……………2 years

Cream Blush…………….6 months to 1 year

Moisturizer………………12 to 18 months

Eye Cream……………….1 year

SPF Lotion………………1 year

How awesome is this?! (Thank you, Bobbi Brown!) Unfortunately, this means that I have some beauty items to get rid of, but I’m glad to finally know how long this stuff lasts.

Do any of these numbers surprise you?  (I thought mascara would last longer than 3-6 months!)  Do you have items that need tossing?  And do you usually finish a product by the time it expires, or do you tend to have extra?


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Make matte nail polish at home!

Matte nail polish has been SUPER popular lately, but of course, it can be hard for us non-celebrities to get our hands on some (at a reasonable price, I mean.)  Well, now you can make your own matte polish at home for (drumroll, please…): FREE!!

Another bonus: you have full control of the color, so you’ll get a customized nail polish at home!

Here’s what you’ll need:

-White nail polish (I’m assuming that most of you have this at home.  Otherwise, you can pick some up at the drug store for as low as $1)

-Eyeshadow in any color (I don’t know about you, but I’ve got plenty of old eyeshadow that is either too bold to go on my eyes or that is too similar to another color I own.  Your fingers are a great place to play with color… if you don’t want to look like an 80’s prom queen, go bold on your paws!)

-a piece of paper

Here’s how you do it:

1) Crush up your eyeshadow into a fine powder (if you want super dark or bold color, use all of the shadow, otherwise, start with a little at first and add more as you go.) As you can see, I wanted a grey polish, which can be hard to find in stores, so I used black shadow.

2) Pour it onto your piece of paper and create a small funnel.

3) Dump the shadow into your polish and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!

The end result?

Try this at home and let me know how it goes!  Have you ever made your own polish?  What colors are you loving right now?


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