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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Dry skin brushing…trust me

20140729-020724-7644051.jpg Monday I posted a recipe for a diy leg exfoliatior and afterwards I got a question from one of my readers, Lolajoy12, about exfoliating before shaving. So rather than responding to the comment I decided to dedicate a whole post to answer your question Emily!

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So Emily, {and everyone else too, obviously} a loofah is of course better than nothing at all and I’m sure will do some exfoliating. Depending on the soap you’re using though, it can actually add to the dry skin problem. But what I like to do before showering? DRY SKIN BRUSHING. This one I got from the butcher’s mother. Now I admit, some of the things my health crazed mother in law says I just listen, nod, and give an internal “eye roll” to {love you ma!} but she is a successful licensed aesthetician {if you don’t know what that is then you really need this post, probably a dictionary and definitely a facial!} and so when it comes to skin, I listen. Years ago she turned me onto dry skin brushing and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Scan almost any spa menu, and you’ll likely find an offering that mentions dry brushing. The practice—which involves scrubbing down your dry skin with a scratchy brush—sounds far from pampering, if not a bit austere…{you proud, Dad?} But spa pros swear by it and sing its praises for supposedly doing everything from exfoliating to, {gasp!} reducing cellulite!
How does it work? Gentle dry brushing sloughs off dead, dry skin, improving its appearance and allowing it to hydrate more efficiently when moisturizer is applied afterward.
As for detoxifying, dry brushing is similar to massage. The light pressure against your skin and the direction in which you brush helps move fluid into the lymph nodes so this waste can be eliminated. Your body naturally does this, but dry brushing speeds up the process and at the same time boosts circulation, delivering oxygenated blood to the skin and other organs, which helps them do their jobs better. I’m telling you, you can actually feel your blood moving and circulating under the skin, like you just gave it an energy drink or something, it’s kind of invigorating.
So how do you dry brush?
First you need a proper brush. Look for firm bristles and a long handle. Here’s an affordable one from Target or a higher end brush from Dermstore.com
Because dry brushing energizes and stimulates the body, most pros suggest doing it in the morning before you shower, but you can do it any time of day you prefer. Using long, upward strokes, start brushing your skin at your feet and work up your legs one at a time. Then move up your mid-section (front and back) and across your chest. Finish by brushing up your arms toward your armpits {even though it may tickle a little here I promise it will make a world of difference in 1) whipping those stubborn underarm hairs into shape for a smoother shave and 2) getting all the deodorant residue that regular soap just can’t get} I like to do my whole body but if I’m in a hurry I at least do my legs, especially if I know I’m going to shave. If I’m really in a hurry and don’t dot it at all but end up shaving, my legs end up dry, bumpy, and much less smooth.

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Now it’s shower time and since you’ve just opened up your pores, any body treatments you apply in the shower {like my aforementioned diy sugar lemon coconut scrub} and afterward will penetrate the skin better and you’ll get the cleanest closest shave you’ve ever had! For more information on the health benefits, check out this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola and his 7 Key Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing.

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!

It’s ipsy time!

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I received some very happy mail today, my ipsy glam bag. Ipsy is a beauty sampling service which, for only $10 a month, allows you to try a variety of different beauty products tailored to your likes (based on a detailed survey you take when you sign up with questions about hair & skin type, affinity for nail art, etc etc) Each bag is usually worth between $50-$100 and the sizes are very generous for the price. This is my third month using the service and so far I have been very pleased. I think we can all say we’ve spent $10 on ONE product only to get it home, hate it, and never use it again. So for me it’s totally worth it to try out several different products before committing to full size/price, have a great variety of options, and a cute bag to boot! There’s also a forum on their website where users give helpful reviews and even trade items since like I mentioned, due to each persons survey, products vary. I haven’t tried the trading thing yet, but maybe in the future. My products came in a lovely recycled fabric bag along with the message, “It’s a month of crisp air, vibrant flowers, and fresh Glam Bag products! Getting your beauty to bloom all month long will be as easy as lying in the warm grass and basking in the sunshine.” Here’s a list of my items as well as my initial review since I haven’t tried them all yet.
1. Lulu Blossom Dreamsicle Body Balm
This adorable 2 oz. tin is a great size for your purse or cosmetic bag and since a little goes a long way with this moisturizing product, it will last a long time. Simply made of Shea butter, wax, and grape seed oil, it’s creamy and nourishing without feeling greasy and has a light but pleasant tropical scent. I plan on keeping it in my nail kit to put on my cuticles and heels (which could use all the help they can get!) The label on the back also suggests using it as a pomade or quick fix for flyaways so that’s good to know too!
2. Pacifica eyeshadow duo in purple and cream shimmer
I love Bare Minerals and MAC so I admit to being an eyeshadow snob but I don’t think it’s just me, I was not impressed with this. The label boasts a 100% vegan & cruelty free formula which is great and all but it also happens to be 100% BLA. There’s very little pigmentation and it barely shows up on the skin. Oh well, you win some you lose some. This one goes to the girl’s play makeup box!
3. eva*nyc rock-a-wave curl cream leave in cream
As any curly girl knows, we’re ALWAYS on the hunt for the perfect styling product. This one is full of Argan oil and Keravis Protein with a slight coconut scent so it should be good for my hair but the true test will be if it can tame my curls! I’ll keep you posted.
4. derma e microdermabrasion scrub
Another 100% vegan & cruelty free product, I’m excited to use this scrub. Screaming bright citrus notes as soon as you open the lid it’s sure to wake up and brighten my skin with its gentle exfoliation. My skin is pretty good but I can always use a good exfoliator, especially on my nose which seems to be the most blackhead-prone area.
5. Hang Ten water resistant natural sunscreen SPF 50
Criticize me all you want but 50 is a little high on the sunscreen spectrum for my taste. I know I know, but I’m sorry, I like a little color! Numbers aside, this natural formula goes on very nicely with a thin non-gloopy texture. It has the classic sunscreen smell and upon smelling it I was instantly reminded of the way babies smell at the beach. You know what I’m talking about? Babies already smell heavenly but with the addition of sunscreen on their chubby little arms and legs and the salt air, there’s truly nothing better. This one is going right to my beach/pool bag it’s the perfect size for a last minute trip when I may forget the giant bottle.
Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen (though I’m guessing more ladies…) I hope this review was helpful and I definitely recommend giving ipsy a try!