Delicious Legs 

Unfortunately ladies, until winter is in full swing, we have to shave our legs regularly. But there is a way to make it easier, more effective, and last longer!

Shaving is much better with exfoliated skin. When you shave without exfoliating, you’re simply shaving off a layer of dead skin rather than getting actual hair (this also causes ingrowns.) But if you exfoliate first and then shave, you get straight to the matter at hand, the hair, and the result is a super silky smooth “like a baby’s behind” leg. 

This easy DIY scrub takes to it a completely new level and is made with ingredients you have around the house. And it’s not just for women, men can absolutely benefit from soft exfoliated skin. 
 
Simply take 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and the juice of one lemon and mix them together in a bowl. Scrub onto to your legs, shave, and rinse. For extra smoothness, apply scrub once more after shaving and your legs will be so slippery smooth you won’t even be able to cross them! Happy exfoliating! 

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curly girl

 If you have curly hair then you have most likely, like me, tried just about every product ever made for curly hair. Literally. 

I finally found one that I think I’m going to be sticking with for a while. It’s called Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. I get mine here. It’s a bit pricey but a little goes a long way so it lasts a long time. The name says it all, this styling lotion that borrows fabric care technology and marries it to haircare. It is perfect for achieving static-free, big, soft, curly hair that we all dream about. If you don’t want ramen noodle definition and instead want a larger, expanded, fluffy curl then this is the product is for you! It’s the first “fabric softener” type styling lotion that will leave your curls light & fluffy soft. 

But why is curly hair so difficult? A large part of the problem people have with their curls is their requirement for a lot of moisture. Not all styling products help with this and some containing alcohol or sulfates actually dry out the hair even more. 

Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because of the structure of the hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp of those with curly hair are not able to travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Other problems can also exacerbate this dry state of affairs. Listed below are some common causes and solutions.

Possible Causes of Dry Hair

  • Shampooing toooften 
  • Use of shampoos with harsh sulfates 
  • Use of products with alcohol which can also be drying
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase or using a cotton scarf, which rob hair of moisture
  • Not using water based hair moisturizers
  • Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
  • Excessive use of heavy products w/out proper cleansing (build-up)
  • Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
  • Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
  • Using too much direct heat (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
  • Shower water too hot
  • Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
  • Salt (from ocean water)

Solutions

  • Increase water in-take
  • Use an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil or jojoba 
  • Don’t use shampoo! Almost all shampoos contain sulfates and other harsh drying chemicals that are detrimental to curls. Instead use a cleansing conditioner and use your fingers to massage your scalp to get your blood circulating and break up dirt and product buildup. If you must cleanse with something else then use a natural soap like the ones described here
  • Use a water based leave-in conditioner after your wash and conditioning routine, and seal it in with a butter or oil while damp or wet
  • Instead of using a rough towel to dry your hair, try an old t-shirt. The material is softer which will reduce frizz and breakage. Gently wrap the end of your hair in the shirt and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Use deep conditioners weekly. Some may need to apply indirect heat through a shower cap, steamer, hair therapy wrap, etc., while deep conditioning
  • Evaluate if your water is hard or soft and if it needs to be treated.
  • Protect your hair, when going swimming, with conditioner and a swim cap or use of a product specifically designed for sun/chlorine/salt, such as Ouidad Sun Shield. I always have a travel bottle of conditioner in my beach bag to act as a barrier between my hair and the chlorine or salt water! 
  • Avoid hear styling. If possible, allow hair to air dry most of the way then finish by diffusing your curls with a blow dryer on a low setting. If you must style it with a flat iron, curling iron, etc., always use a heat protectant when styling with heat.
  • Sleep with a satin pillow case and/or satin scarf
  • Be patient and gentle when handling your hair. Don’t touch your hair when it’s wet. Just don’t!!!

So ladies, (or gentleman for that matter) be gentle with your curls and embrace the hair God gave you, it’s beautiful!!!

Super Smooth Summer Legs

I have gotten so many comments and testimonies from my “Mascara Saver” post that I decided to do another beauty secret. In the summertime, whether we like it or not, we have to have freshly shaved legs at all times between shorts, capris, and the inevitable swimsuit. One thing that helps me bare my legs with confidence is making sure they’re tan using my favorite trusty self tanner (which I shall feature on the blog very soon). But self tanner can be tricky if your legs aren’t exfoliated properly, it will cling to every spot of dry skin or unshaven bit. In fact, shaving itself is better with exfoliated skin. When you shave without exfoliating, you’re simply shaving off a layer of dead skin rather than getting actual hair (this also causes ingrowns.) But if you exfoliate first and then shave, you get straight to the matter at hand, the hair, and the result is a super silky smooth “like a baby’s behind” leg. But this easy DIY scrub takes to it a completely new level and is made with ingredients you have around the house.

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Simply take 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and the juice of one lemon and mix them together in a bowl. Scrub onto to your legs, shave, and rinse. Repeat once more and your legs will be so slippery smooth you won’t even be able to cross them!

Puppies love coconut oil too!

Day 3 of our “30 days of coconut oil” is all about puppies!

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Since coconut oil is so good for us humans, it’s only reasonable to conclude it’s healthy for our puppies too! Try putting a spoonful in your dog’s food; it will help them keep a healthy weight, aid with digestion, and give them the shiniest coat you’ll ever see! Raven loves it!

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whip it, whip it good.

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My second tip in our 30 days of coconut oil is…body butter! In the past I felt like I was always searching for the perfect lotion. One that was moisturizing, not greasy, and had a nice but not overpowering scent. I also was searching for a face lotion for the butcher. Since he basically works in a freezer all day, his skin gets extremely chapped and dry from the cold air, especially his nose and cheeks. Who thought I could solve both problems with just three natural ingredients?!

Here’s what I did…

In my kitchen aid I put 1 cup coconut oil (in it’s natural solid state, don’t melt it or anything), 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (I get mine online here or if you’re fortunate enough to live near trader Joe’s, they have an excellent one as well), and a few drops of essential oil. (I chose lavender but this step is completely optional, the C.O. already has a nice scent on its own) Using the whisk attachment I whipped on high for about five minutes until it was a lovely, creamy, whipped delight. Put into your favorite jar and that’s it! It can be used all over your body and even your face (sparingly though, I don’t have oily skin but if you tend to then use caution). I also recommend keeping it in the fridge during the summer so it doesn’t melt and will feel oh so refreshing when you put that cool lotion on your skin!
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I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconut…oil

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Have I mentioned lately how much I LERVE coconut oil? To LERVE something is to love something so much that you say you “leeeeeerrrrve” it. It’s not a real word. Moving on. Coconut oil is amazing. And in case you haven’t yet discovered it, or maybe you have but still don’t know all it’s wonderful uses, I’d like to introduce Beauty & The Butcher’s 30 days of coconut oil! There’s way more than 30 but I feel that eventually you’ll get sick of hearing about coconut oil. It won’t be every day, maybe just once or twice a week and I can’t wait to hear your testimonies and comments! My first tip is a simple one and just for the ladies. Coconut oil is an AMAZING makeup remover! I am a fan of the cat eye which, as pretty as it is, is a real pain to wash off despite a good scrubbing. But now I keep a small dish of C.O. next to the sink and every night before I wash my face I dip a damp washcloth into it and with one quick sweep off comes eyeshadow, eyeliner, and even mascara. The added bonus? The C.O. is a natural moisturizer and cuts down on undereye circles, can’t get much better than that!