Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend Tips and Tricks

EDIT: Somehow this got published early, so some of you got a sneak peak. Normally this is a Saturday morning post, sorry for the confusion.

It's the last weekend of August, can you believe it? Some of you are going back to school next week, I hope your first week of school goes smoothly. Here are some tips and tricks to help your days go by smoother.

Tip #1: Everybody knows about setting your outfit out the night before, but what about setting your makeup out the night before too? I set out everything I need the night before on the counter in the order I will use them. This has actually cut down my time by at least a third. I'm not wasting valuable time looking for that one specific lipstick or eyeshadow, everything is right there waiting for me.

Tip #2: This is actually a "DO NOT DO" tip. The tip that has been going around about defogging your bathroom mirror with a hair dryer is a VERY bad idea and please don't do it. The temperature difference, especially in winter, will make your mirror shatter. Nobody wants to clean up broken glass and explain that to their parents/significant other/apartment manager. Just use an absorbent towel to wipe away the fog.

Tip #3: If there is a product you adore and want to always have with you, see if the company offers a travel set or a "try 8 of our best products" sets, which tend to have mini versions of their best sellers. Deluxe samples and travel sized items are the perfect size to keep in your purse, makeup bag, or bag. Can't find already made minis? Sometimes you can make your own by filling small containers with your product (stay tuned for a tutorial on this in September!).

Tip #4: Q-Tips are the multitasker of the beauty world. Got mascara under your eyes? Q-Tip plus makeup remover will fix that right up. Forgot your lip or eyeshadow brush? A Q-Tip makes an acceptable substitute. A little Vaseline in one will tame those unruly eyebrows right up.

Tip #5: A messy top knot always looks chic and can be done in minutes, which is especially awesome for those days you overslept and now don't have time to shower let alone style your hair. Throw on a pretty headband to bring it up a level.

Have a tip you'd like to see posted? Or maybe have a question you're dying to have answered? Send them in!

E.L.F. Studio Blush Review

Eyes Lips Face Cosmetics (AKA ELF cosmetics) is a makeup company that specializes in not expensive products. The bulk of their items are either $1 or $3, making them a super budget friendly company. Some of their items suck, but some of them are amazing. Their studio line typically is $3, and for the most part I've liked everything I've tried (not you Makeup Removal Pen, you sucked).

My current favorite blush is the Studio line blush in Mellow Mauve, a dusty rose color that is light enough you can build it up or leave it as a light flush across your cheeks. I use this specific blush at least 4 times a week if not more, it really goes well with almost any look I want. The formula is great, though not heavily pigmented so you will need to use more of it than you would normally.

There is a slight bit of shimmer to it, but I would not label it as glittery at all. As you can tell from the picture above, I really do use this quite a bit. My mirror popped off, but normally there is a mirror in that space on the lid.

As you can see, it gives just a nice flush of color and unless you spend 10 minutes applying it you will never end up looking like a clown.

This is it on my face, just a nice and gentle bit of color. I highly recommend this particular blush, its really great.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

It's Thursday again, so you know what that means. I'm linking up with Jennifer of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts Link Up.

  • First things first, the blog his 1,000 page views over the weekend, whoohoo! I am so proud of this blog and I can't believe how much it has grown over the last 2 months. As I promised earlier this month I'll be running a giveaway in September to celebrate. I'm thinking I'll do some of my favorite items for the giveaway. Stay tuned for more details in the next few weeks.
  • I've been nominated three times for the Leibster award, which is very exciting! I'll do my post on it next week, but basically it's an award bloggers give to new blogs that they think are awesome and will go far. I'm super honored to have been nominated three times, and I can't wait to write about it.
  • In addition to the Google+ Page, the Facebook Page, and the Pinterest Board, we now have a Twitter account for this blog. The Twitter will be more of my everyday beauty musings and RTs of things I think you'll like in addition to blog updates. Wow, that is a lot of social media accounts! What do you guys think of them so far?
  • Blogger has been acting funny, so if I'm not responding to comments or a page is loading weird that's why. I'm trying to go through each post and check that everything is working OK but it is slow progress. If you see something wrong (broken link, not loading picture, comment that hasn't been responded to after a day) please contact me and let me no so I can fix the problem.
  • I'll be planning out my blog posts for September soon, is there any product you want me to review or topic you'd love to hear my opinion on? Feel free to send in suggestions, I love hearing them.
  • I can't believe it will be September next week, August went by so quickly! But I am very ready for fall colors and fashion. I've been staring lovingly at my favorite boots and plum colored lipstick for the last week. What fall trends are you ready for?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 2014 Ipsy Bag Review

The end of the month has come upon us, so that means its time for my Ipsy review. I always seem to be one of the last people to get it every month, I'm getting a little frustrated by that to be truthful. Anywho, for those who don't know Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription box. For $10 a month (In the US) you get a new makeup bag and 4-5 deluxe sample or full sized beauty products. They can be makeup, skincare, or hair care products, just depending on the month and your personalized beauty profile. Sometimes you get a great bag and other times you get a really terrible bag, but the price is great and it lets you try brands you might never have tried otherwise.

My August Ipsy Bag
Each Month has a theme and for August the theme was "Beauty Schooled", which was fitting with people getting ready to go back to school. I received 5 items this month, 2 full sized and 3 deluxe samples. The breakdown was 4 makeup and 1 hair care this month, which was pretty exciting. I'm actually really happy with my bag this month, I'll be using everything for once and won't be swapping a thing.

The bag this month, how cute!
Let's start with the bag, which always tries to reflect the theme of the month. This month it was a cute white with orange polka dotted pencil case. While it's not long enough for brand new pencils, it was just the right length for all of the pens I keep on my desk and is roomy enough you could keep a lot of pens and whatnot in it. The only issue I had with the bag is the smell. Apparently Ipsy bags have a reputation for reeking so strongly of plastic fumes that many people just throw the bags away. I've been lucky enough that this was the first bag that smelled like plastic and it honestly wasn't that bad. You know when you get a new kiddie blow up pool and it has that smell? That's what the bag smelled like. After sitting out for a few days it really only smells if you put your nose to it. But it's plastic, so of course it will smell like plastic.

Primer! Love me some primer!
The first item I received was the Dr Brandt Pores No More pore refiner primer. I'm a big fan of primers and how nice they make my skin look under my foundation, so I was pretty excited to get this in my bag. According to the back, this will instantly mattify your skin and help refine your pores.

Swatch of Pores No More
Now the thing that surprised me the most with this primer was that it wasn't clear. I've never used a non-clear primer before, so we'll see how this goes. It is pretty close to my skin tone so I'm not worried about how it will look, but if you are super pale or super dark you might want to try a sample before you commit to buying it. The deluxe sample is 0.25 fl oz, a full size is 1 fl oz and has a price tag of $45 so I'm giving my sample a value of $11.25. That makes it worth the value of the bag, so even if I hated everything else I'd be happy. Now I have a primer open already so I will be saving this till I've finished what I have open.

Klorane Dry Shampoo
The next item was one of the ones I was most excited to try, the Klorane Extra-Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. I use dry shampoo on a pretty regular basis and I'm on a quest to find the best one out there so I'm more than pleased to get to try a high end brand. I haven't tried it yet, I'm testing a different dry shampoo right now and don't want to skew the results. I am a little bummed at how small the sample is though, it's like half the size of my travel size can of Pssst Dry Shampoo. I get that it needs to be small enough to fit in the bag, but this just seemed extra small. The deluxe sample I received is 1.06 oz, while a full sized is 3.2 oz and has a price of $19.50, making my sample $6.45. This is an expensive dry shampoo, so I hope it lives up to the hype I've heard.

Lip balm, it went straight into my pocket
Next we have the Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-aging Lip Conditioner. I received some sunscreen from this company in my May bag, so I was already familiar with this company. I have a confession, I'm a lip balm addict. I have like 5 of them open right now, and that's me being controlled. So I was super happy to get this one. It has all natural ingredients and smells/tastes great. I didn't know I needed an anti-aging product for my lips, but it leaves them so soft that I'm going to roll with it. It is Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger flavored, and you can really taste it. It smells like summer to me, bright and citrus, I love it. This was a full sized product at 0.15 oz with a price of $5.50.

So much prettier in real life

The item I was least excited for was the J.Cat Flying Solo eyeshadow in Half Naked. The picture preview that Ipsy had was kind of a muddy tan color, not one I thought I'd use at all. So I was very surprised to see that the color was this gorgeous golden tan color. I really like the color and the shadow itself applied nice and smooth with no chalkiness.

Secret compartment!
A neat thing about this shadow is the bottom opens up to reveal a secret compartment with a mirror and a little sponge applicator. I only use brushes so the sponge isn't a huge plus but I love the hidden mirror and the thinking behind the compartment

Swatch of Half Naked

Isn't this a lovely color? Really made my eyes look bright, I love it. And I heard a great suggestion to use it as a highlighter, which I'll have to try for sure. The only thing I didn't like was how hard the container was to open. I felt like I was going to break it because I was pulling so hard every time. This was a full sized item as has a value of $2.99, so very affordable. It comes in 48 colors total, so I may need to pick up a few later down the road.

And now the item I was most excited about, the brand new Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. Like if Ipsy didn't send this to me I would have cancelled I wanted this that bad. Mascara is one of those things I typically leave my house without, and after all the hype about this I knew I had to try it. And I have to say, I love it. My lashes were so think and long and soooo black after using this, I swear I showed everybody I could find how amazing my lashes looked. The formula is a little on the wetter side, which I like, so it gives you more time to smooth it out from base to tip.

The brush was very bristly, which helped to separate out all of my lashes and evenly coat it. I actually think the bristles face slightly different directions which would help keep your lashes looking full and thick. They also released a lash primer called Subversion (love the names they picked, wickedly fun), and I can't imagine how long that would make my lashes look.

I really loved this mascara, I may have to pick up a full sized at some point. I received a deluxe mini that was 0.1 fl oz, a full sized one is 0.4 fl oz and is $22, making my sample worth $5.50.

All total my bag came to $31.69! That's more than triple what the actual bag cost me, I'm very pleased. I'll be keeping my Ipsy subscription for at least another month, hoping that next month will be just as awesome as this month was. If you received an Ipsy bag this month, were you happy with it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Homemade Jelly Soap

Greetings and welcome to this week's Tutorial Tuesday! This time I took my inspiration from a certain high end soap and bath bomb company that charges an arm and a leg for stuff. I figured I could easily make 90% of it at home for a ton cheaper (I was so right), so I sprinted off to Pinterest and starting searching for copycat recipes. I came across one for a copycat jelly soap and I thought that would be a fun project to make for my son, who is three. I simplified the recipe down a bit (ick, glitter in my soap? No thank you) and used ingredients that cost pennies on the dollar. So without further ado, here's how I made my jelly soaps.

My supplies, minus the whisk and measuring cups
To make these you will need:
  • 1/2 liquid soap. Because I made these for my son I used his tears free shampoo which I get at the Dollar Store, but any liquid soap will do.
  • 2 packages of plain gelatin. I bought a giant box last year so I could make homemade gummies (so not worth the trouble), so I already had these, but I think the giant box cost like $13.
  • A silicone mold of some sort. Again I'm using my cupcake pan, but you can use anything really. I suppose you could even use a plastic container if you didn't have a silicone pan.
  • Measuring cup, large measuring cup, whisk, spatula. 
First you need to heat 3/4 of a cup of water to boiling. I used my large plastic mixing cup and microwaved it till it was boiling because I was feeling lazy. Once the water is boiling you want to dump your gelatin into it and whisk it up so there are no lumps. Be careful not to splash since it is very hot.

Water and gelatin all mixed up
Now you want to mix in your 1/2 cup of soap, using the spatula to make sure you get every drop.

Just dump it in
Now mix it up, making sure there are no lumps but do not whisk it till it foams, otherwise your finished product will have a sponge like texture. 

I let my son whisk it up for me
Once everything is mixed together pour it into your molds. I ended up filling five of the slots up almost full, which worked out pretty well I thought. You can fill them however you want, I wanted them bigger so I could cut them in half but still be thick enough to easily hold in tiny three year old hands.

The color looks weird here, but they were actually a light pink once removed from molds
Now the next step is optional though I highly recommend it if there are other people in your house. Since I know my husband, I made a large sign that said "Do NOT eat, soap NOT Jello." If It was just me in the house I wouldn't worry about it, but I'm of the better safe than sorry mentality.

No eating the soap please
You'll want to put the whole mold/container into the fridge to both set up and keep them a little firmer. I've heard of people storing them in the freezer and I may try that at some point but the fridge worked perfectly. Once they are fully set up you are free to text them out. 

All done and ready for the fridge
I have never seen my son scramble that fast to get into the bath tub as when I told him he could use a jelly soap. As a shampoo bar these worked great, they do dissolve faster in water than I originally thought they would but they were so cheap to make I'm not overly concerned. He loved washing himself with it and that's really all that mattered. On a side note, I've heard gelatin is really good for your hair and nails, so I'll keep an eyeball on his hair and I'll report back to you if I see a difference. If you want to see the recipe that inspired this post, you can do so here. I'll probably be replicated more recipes from that fancy soap store (starts with an L if you haven't guessed yet) in the future, what would you like a copycat recipe of?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mani Monday: Easy Tape Manicure

This week's Mani Monday is another simple one that has a lot of bang for not a lot of work. Like last week, this will use materials you probably already have at home or can get for very cheap. All you will need are two polish colors, a clear top coat, painters tape (scotch tape or masking tape will also work), and decorative scissors. If you don't have decorative scissors and don't want to purchase them, you can easily use regular scissors instead.

4 items is all you need
For this manicure I did my base coat in ELF cosmetic's nail polish (quick drying) in Desert Haze, which is sort of a nude mocha color. For my second color I also used an ELF nail polish, this time in Purple Drea (Dream? Spelling error on a bottle?) which is a shimmery purple. I have a large collection of decorative scissors so I let my son pick out which ones I would use and he picked Kraft Edgers LKE-25, which is a large scallop edge.

My base coat, which oddly enough matches my sink
First you want to have a nice, smooth base coat in whatever color you want as the primary color. Make sure you do enough layers (I did 3) because you won't be able to fix any mistakes once we move onto the next step. You MUST let it dry completely, otherwise the tape will pull bits up and mess up your lovely manicure. You cannot speed up this step, so do it while watching some TV or a good movie.

You want to cut your tape with the scissors and tape off the bulk of the nail so just the tip is sticking out. You can do it at an angle if you want, I just did straight across. I did one finger at a time but you can tape them all off at the same time, it doesn't really matter. Just make sure the tape is pressed down well so the polish won't seep under the edge.

 Now one finger at a time paint the tip your accent color. Make sure you get the edges and that you have enough on it that you cannot see the base color through it.

Once you paint the nail you need to pull the tape off. If you let it dry or start to dry it will not remove smoothly and your edge won't look clean. This is why you do one nail at a time, especially if you use a quick drying formula like I did.

And tada! Your manicure is complete, well for that finger at least. Repeat the process for each finger, then top with a clear top coat to help prolong the life of it. And you've got an awesome two toned manicure that took you minutes to do, and cost you nothing.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekend Tips and Tricks

Only one more weekend after this then some of you will be back to school! I've been out a school for a while now (darn you college, why do you have to be so expensive!), but I still shudder to thing of those early morning classes. This week's tips and tricks will be dedicated to school worthy beauty.

Tip #1: I've mentioned this before, but staying hydrated is incredibly important. Air conditioning in big buildings can be very drying on your skin and water can help to keep you feeling refreshed and awake. Always try to keep a bottle of water with you that you can refill as you need it.

Tip #2: Invest in a really good puffy eye gel to help combat those late night study session eyes. Store it in the fridge to get a cold compress boost as well.

Tip #3: Speaking of eyes, under eye dark circles can plague you during the school year. Sliced cucumbers can help due to their astringent nature. Just thinly slice them and place them on your eyes, leaving them there for 5-10 minutes. Chilled tea bags work well too, I like to use chamomile or green tea to get the added skin bonuses. Just brew a cup of tea like normal, then put the used tea bag in the fridge to cool them down. Place on eyes and let sit for 5-10 minutes. For a no mess solution, chilled spoons work wonders for puffy, dark under eyes as well.

Tip #4: When time is short, multi-taskers are your best friend. A good BB cream cuts out on the extra moisturizer, sunscreen, primer steps while a cheek and lip stain does double duty to get you out the door faster.

Tip #5: A white eyeliner pencil on your waterline and the corner of your eye can help you look more bright eyes and awake, a good solution when that whole pot of coffee didn't help.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Product Review: Be a Bombshell Lash Out Mascara

Sometimes I do things for this blog that I really don't want to do. Trying out the Be a Bombshell Lash Out Mascara ($15) that I got in my June Ipsy bag was pretty high on my not wanting to do list. But I powered through it for a week so I could give you guys an accurate review. This is not a good mascara, hell this isn't even a not terrible mascara. This is the sort of mascara you'd expect out of one of those giant makeup kits they sell to preteens at Christmas time for $10. To make things fair and easier to review, I'll be scoring pigmentation, waterproof, lasting power, lash volume, and other, all on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the worst and 5 being Holy Grail awesome).

First up is color pigmentation. I like my mascara black, like black hole no light can escape it black. I ignore the "no black mascara during the summer" rule, the blacker the better. This mascara is black, but I had to put waaaay to many coats on before I could see that it had darkened my lashes. Normally I do about 3 coats of mascara, maybe less if it is a really good formula, so anything that takes over three to even start to look good is a huge bust for me. I feel like I had to use so much mascara that my tube will be empty within a week.
Top swatch is two rubs across my hand, bottom is like 10 
Next up is waterproof. I personally don't wear non-waterproof mascara because of my job, I get sweaty teaching Taekwondo and the last thing I want is to have mascara running down my face. This is not a waterproof mascara, they don't bill it as one and if they did it'd be a big fat lie. I swatched it on my hand then hoped into the shower about half an hour later and at the first drop of water this swatch was running and dissolving all over the place. I feel like this would not even survive the rain, and since I live in Oregon that's not a good thing.

Lasting power is one of those things that can make up for a not awesome formula, but again it failed by a mile. I've never EVER reapplied mascara halfway through the day, it makes my lashes to spider leggy. But this mascara I always had to reapply no matter what. If I was just home doing work it'd still be gone after about 4 hours. I'd get little flakes on my cheeks or right under my eyes. I'd look like Bucky from Captain America 2 by the end of my classes. At least it was easy to remove at the end of the day, plain water would wash it away.

People wear mascara for two reasons; one is to darken their lashes and the other is to make them look longer and fuller. The Be a Bombshell Lash Out mascara didn't add anything to my lashes at all. Maybe after 8 coats I'd start to see a difference but if I need 8 coats of a mascara there's a problem. You couldn't even really tell I was wearing mascara until it flaked all over my face.

The other category is there for things that certain mascaras have, like lash boosting vitamins, a unique brush, or whatever. In this case I'm going to address the scent. This was the main reason I did not want to use this mascara. It smells like burning rubber and just smelling it made my eyes water. Putting it on and wearing it all day made my eyes feel, dry, itchy, and would sometimes turn them pink by the end of the day. We had a pinkeye scare this week as well so this was not a fun experience. I've read so many reviews of people who had such a bad reaction they had to take it off within a few minutes of putting it on. My eyes would sting for a minute or two right after putting them on and then just feel dry and itchy the rest of the day.

Here's the brush in case you were wondering, nothing special here at all
Overall, I hated this mascara, would never recommend to to anyone (I'll swat it out of your hands if I see you using it, I swear), and can't believe a company would put out such a sub par product. And they can claim it passed safety tests all they want, those fumes will mess with anybodies eyes. My final scores for this product are:
Color Pigmentation: 1
Waterproof: 1
Lasting Power: 1
Volume: 1
Other: 1, though I'd give it a -100 if that was part of my rules.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Another week has gone by, and I for one can't wait for the weekend. My 3 year old got an eye injury over the weekend (thought he had pink eye at first, that was no fun), and my husband has been working extra extra late hours so this has not been a great week for my personal life. Thursday's means its time for my weekly link up with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, who if you're not reading you should be. So here it is, my Thursday Thoughts.

  • Our scare with pink eye made me look into how to sanitize your makeup, which seems simple enough. I'll have to give it a try and report back to you guys. Have any of you tried it? Will it damage your makeup if you do it to often? I may have to ask a Makeup Artist.
  • My Ipsy bag is "suppose" to arrive today, but I'm not holding my breath. I actually got a good bag this month so I'm really anxious to get it. I'm guessing I won't get it till Monday judging by my tracker, but I could get really really lucky right? Edit: According to my tracker it is out for delivery, color me surprised!
  • I'm making way better progress with this month's empties than I originally anticipated. Some things I figured I'd use up this month and then there's been a few that I was surprised I finished, like a lotion. Man, lotion takes me forever to get through, I don't get how people can go through a bottle a month.
  • Comic Con is about a month away and I haven't even started on my costume yet. I'll probably hit the fabric store this weekend and get the stuff for part of costume #1 and actually focus on making it. I am just really unmotivated for some reason.
  • We now have a Facebook Page now, come on over and check it out! I'll try and share different content on it from the Google+ Page, but there will probably be some overlap. Now to make a Twitter account and I'll just about have everything. Not sure if there will ever be a YouTube channel, is that something you guys would be interested in?
  • My first Mani Monday was a huge success, I'm excited for the next one I've got planned. Another simple one that looks amazing. Now to just pick two colors, any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Product Review: Organix Moroccan Oil Hair Mask

I have very long hair, so I spent a fair amount of time taking care of it and researching products to keep it looking great. Long hair means I go through deep conditioner at a fast enough rate that I don't want to be spending a lot of money on a bottle. Well after much searching I found my holy grail hair mask, the Organix Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment (Wow that's a long name!), also known as the moroccan oil hair mask for simplicity. I picked this up at my local Ulta for $7.99 for a 8 fl oz tub, which is well within my budget even if I was buying a new tub a month.

This product is meant to be used in the shower after you've shampooed your hair. You take a dollop out and work it into your hair, I like to use a wide tooth comb to make sure I get it evenly distributed. If you have long hair I suggest using a banana clip or a shower cap to keep the hair up and off of your body to both keep it from getting rinsed off to early and to keep it from clogging your pores. Leave it in your hair for a bit, I like to do at least ten minutes, then rinse out and you will have the softest hair ever.

I do this about 2-3 times a week and my hair looks so nice and feels even better. As you can see my current tub is about a third of the way empty, I've been using this tub for about a month now. I figure I get about 2-2.5 months usage per tub, which I think is pretty good. If I used it more often I'd go through it faster for sure but 2-3 times a week is perfect for me. And did I mention is smells great too? There is nothing about this product that I don't love. I'm on tub number 2 and have already purchased tub number 3. I highly recommend you try this if you are in the market for a good deep conditioner for your hair.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tutorial Tuesdays: DIY Coffee Sugar Scrub

There are few things in life that I can't live without, and coffee is right up there in the top 5 for sure. So today I'm going to combine my love for coffee with my love for thrifty homemade bath goodies in this amazing coffee sugar scrub. Most of these ingredients are ones you probably already own and have in your kitchen, or if you don't own will be super easy and cheap to run out and get. You will need

  • Enough whole coffee beans that you'll have 1/4 of a cup of grounds once you grind it up. You can use pre-ground coffee, but why are you drinking coffee made with pre-ground beans? Trust me, grind your own beans.
  • 1/4 cup of sugar. I used white sugar since I was out of brown sugar but you can use either or even a mix of the two if you want.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, you can leave this out if you don't like or can't use cinnamon. I like how fall coffee shop it made the scrub but the choice is yours.
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda, this is to help with scrubbing and cleaning your skin.
  • Oil of your choice. I used the last of my almond oil, but you can use pretty much any oil you have.
  • A container to store it in. I prefer plastic since I have a toddler who likes to pick up my bottles in the shower and I'd worry he'd drop and break a glass container. This particular plastic container was a peanut butter container, so I get bonus points for recycling.

First, you want to grind your beans to a medium grind. You don't want chunks of the bean left but you don't want it espresso powder fine either. Think about how it would feel being rubbed on your skin. You only need 1/4 cup of grounds so you won't need a lot of beans for this. The coffee I used was french vanilla infused so the scrub smells extra yummy.

Now add 1/4 of your sugar, either white or brown or a mix of both. Give them a quick mix just to keep clumps from forming in between each step.

Now add your 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon if you are using it, if not then skip this step.

Give it all a quick mix again, doesn't it smell great?

Now add your 2 teaspoons of baking soda then give it a good mix, making sure there are no chunks left.

Now you want to add your oil. The amount will depend on how wet you want your scrub. I prefer mine on the drier end while I know some people prefer a soupier scrub. That's the great part of making it yourself, you can design it to your specific tastes and preferences.

Slowly drizzle it in as you stir, stopping every once in a while to check and see if it is the consistency you want. 

Tada! Your coffee sugar scrub is done! All that's left is to transfer it to your container and you're good to go.

To use just take out however much you need and massage into your skin. Try not to let water get into the jar, that will increase the rate of spoilage. Now remember, this is technically a food product so it will not last forever. Make only as much as you think you can use in a month to prevent it from going bad. Also remember that coffee grounds + hot water = coffee so this is not a great product to use while soaking in the tub unless you like sitting in a giant cup of coffee. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mani Monday: Easy Spotted Manicure

If you are on Instagram you've probably seen some of the amazing nail art that people are coming up with. Some of them are seriously amazing, like tiny works of art. Some of them however are simple enough that anybody can do them and still look amazing. I'm going to start a weekly column called Mani Mondays to help teach you how to do some of the nail art you might have seen online. Some will be super simple while some will be more difficult, but all will be doable from the comfort of your own home.

This week's mani is super simple but looks great on both toes and fingers. And the supplies are easy to come by as well, all you need is something to dot with. I have an actual dotting tool, but a bobby pin works and I've even seen people make their own dotting tools out of pins and a pencil. You could even use a really thin paintbrush if you wanted to.

Once you have that all you need are two different colors of nail polish. I like to choose colors that compliment each other but are different enough you can really see it. I've done red with white dots and pink with pale pink dots, but today I'll be doing a robin's egg blue with black dots.

First you want a nice and smooth base coat of whatever color you want the nail itself to be, in this case the blue. I like to do three coats typically, but that will just depend on what nail polish you are using. Let it dry completely before you move onto the next step, you don't want to have to start completely over because you grew impatient. Don't worry if you get some on your skin, we'll clean that up later.

Now you want to dip your dotting tool (homemade or bought) into your other nail color and gently touch it to your nails. If you want a small dot do a light tough, if you want a larger dot do a little wiggle to spread the polish out a bit. I like to randomly place them around but if you want you can do them in a pattern or evenly spaced.

Please ignore than bandage, I had a boiling water accident.
The dotting technique
Once the dots are dry put a few coats of a good top coat on and let it dry completely again. Once you are all done take either a q-tip or an old paintbrush (that's what I used) and clean up the messy edges with it.

And tada! You have lovely dotted nails! I love this look for my toes, it's such an unexpected pop of cuteness especially during sandal season.