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Soften Those Elephant Elbows!

How-To-Keep-Your-Elbows-Soft

Elbows are knobby and generally awkward-looking, so as long as they do their job properly, we rarely think about them.

Even those of us who spend considerable time and effort to groom and clean the rest of our skin can be guilty of overlooking this spot.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for neglect and bad habits to give way to thick, uncomfortable buildup. Though some of that buildup is necessary for protection, there’s no need to settle for elephant-like extremities.

Elbows Off the Table

The first step to shedding the calluses and buildup coating your elbows is to become conscious of the bad habit that causes it. If you’re constantly leaning on them (which, if you have a desk job, could be hours every day), you’re causing a lot of friction that results in dry buildup.

Keep Them Clean

When your arms are straight, your elbow skin has no choice but to bunch up, and it’s easy for dust and germs to collect, which can be dangerous. Make sure you clean them often to prevent buildup and infection. Avoid skin care products containing alcohol and harsh acids, which can make dryness worse.

Exfoliate

Regular exfoliation is a great treatment for keratosis pilaris, which is a harmless yet bothersome condition that’s responsible for the “chicken skin” texture of your upper arms and elbows. For a yummy-smelling combination that will seriously soften your skin, mix two parts brown sugar with one part olive oil, and add a bit of ground ginger. Gently massage into your elbows and wash off with a wet cloth.

Moisturize

Despite folds and creases galore, elbows are woefully lacking in the glands that keep the rest of your skin lubricated, so it’s up to you to pick up the slack.

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This Scrub Is So Yummy You’ll Want to Eat It

coconut-body-scrub

Looking for an awesome DIY Sugar Body Scrub Recipe?

Making your own sugar scrubs at home is easy and inexpensive to do, plus, it allows you to control the quality of the ingredients and avoid toxins.

This stuff is so yummy, you’ll be tempted to eat it!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basic white sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (buy this online or in a health food store and if you don’t have it, don’t sweat it, use 1/4 cup brown sugar instead)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (regular coconut oil works, too)
  • 2 tbsp jojoba, sweet almond oil, olive oil or even coconut oil (my favorite: jojoba)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • oil from 5 400 IU vitamin E capsules. Take a pin and prick the capsule to remove the oil.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (if you loathe the smell, skip it)

Many women exfoliate their faces but forget about other body parts.

body-scrub

As the weather heats up and you get bikini-ready, you should exfoliate all over. Exfoliation is also important before applying tanning products or when rejuvenating winter-weary skin.

Remember, beautiful skin takes work.

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What’s In Kim Kardashian’s Bag?

Kim-Kardashian-Without-Makeup

Now you can get Kim Kardashian‘s flawless makeup look in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you love or loathe the Kardashian trio, one thing cannot be denied; the Kardashian make up trend is one we all aspire to. Thanks to two of her go-tos: hairstylist Michael Silva and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, we’ve got the deets!

Nars Cosmetics Dual-Intensity Blush in Jubilation
Use a wet shadow brush to blend the two shades in Nars Cosmetics Dual-Intensity Blush in Jubilation ($45), and then apply to the lower lash line to give your eye makeup a little pizzazz.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown
Mario filled Kim’s brows using Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown ($21), but you can learn how to find your best brow color here. Finish by setting your brows with a clear gel.

Ardell Individual Medium Black Lashes
After Mario curled Kim’s lashes, he applied Ardell Individual Medium Black Lashes($4) for a doe-eyed look. Use dark lash glue to make the falsies blend in seamlessly to your real fringe.

L’Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
Finish your eyes with several coats of L’Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara($8).

Tom Ford Beauty Cheek Color in Love Lust
Apply the sexy flushed hue of Tom Ford Beauty Cheek Color in Love Lust ($57) to the apples of your cheeks.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Mario used the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($68) palette to add highlight to Kim’s cheekbones, nose, and Cupid’s bow. Try using a domed, fluffy eye shadow brush to do it yourself.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Dainty
Paint on the perfect neutral pucker using Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Dainty ($16).

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Set your look and add radiance with Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48).

 

Plump Your Lips Naturally

fuller-lips

Looking for a quick and easy way to make your pout look plump?

Many women dream about having fuller and more sensuous lips. Surgery is not always the best answer.

Here’s a few amazing ways that will make your lips bigger and fuller.

Peppermint oil doesn’t simply have a calming effect on your nerves, it also gives lips increased fullness. Peppermint oil irritates lips enough to cause slight swelling and add a temporary flush of color without causing serious harm.

Capsicum, the component of red peppers which gives them their spice, also comes in the form of an oil which improves blood flow and circulation. When applied sparingly to the lips, capsicum oil acts as a natural plumping serum and so your lips look extra alluring.

Exfoliating other parts of the body is considered a beneficial and glow-inducing exercise, so why not extend the practice to your lips? Exfoliating with a mixture of brown sugar and coconut oil will increase circulation to your your lips, naturally increasing their volume while giving lips a rosy glow.

For a quick method to simulate a voluminous pucker, apply highlighter to the cupid’s bow of your lips and a shimmering balm to the center of your bottom lip. The shimmer will reflect light and give lips the appearance of being much larger than they are.

You may have heard of the latest celebrity craze surrounding bee venom, but honey or beeswax are equally beneficial–especially when it comes to your lips. The honey will give your pout an enviable fullness.

Any substance which improves circulation will have the same effect on your lips, and cinnamon happens to be excellent for circulation. Apply cinnamon essential oil in a circular motion to give your lips an extra boost. As an added bonus, your lips will retain the enticing aroma of cinnamon throughout your day.

You don’t need an expensive medical procedure to make your lips rival Angelina Jolie’s, just a good lipstick, liner, and gloss combination. To create the illusion of fuller lips, apply a pink-toned lipstick, followed by a lip liner slightly darker than the lipstick, and top off with a light-reflecting gloss.

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Murad Wants To Help #ShadeAmerica

Murad-Shade-America

Are you armed and ready for summer?

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. That’s not much time!

You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.

Murad wants to help #ShadeAmerica!

Murad has partnered with the American Academy of Dermatology to build shade structures across America in parks and playgrounds and have created a special kit, the Shade America Sun Safety Kit, to help support the initiative.

It’s Murad’s hope that these shade structures will help protect a new sun smart generation from sun damage and skin cancers.

The limited edition Shade America Sun Safety Kit will be available May 2015 on Murad.com, Ulta and Massage Envy Spas nationwide.

Murad-Wants-To-Shade-America

These products are AMAZING!

I was delighted by how quickly and noticeably they changed the quality of my skin. It worked great to reduce the pigmentation on my cheeks as well as diminish the sun spots from sun damage done in my younger sunbathing days. My face looked brighter, younger!

Tip: Make sure you get your entire neck or you’ll have a bright streak!

Advanced Active Radiance Serum (0.5 FL. OZ. – Kit Size) (1.0 FL. OZ – Full Size)

Advanced Active Radiance Serum restores skin’s natural radiance, resilience and clarity with Resilient-C Complex™, a stable Vitamin C technology that delivers 50 times the collagen-building, skin-brightening and cell-protecting power of ordinary topical Vitamin C.

· Improves brightness, clarity and radiance by 60% in less than one week*

· Hexapeptide-2, a skin brightening peptide and Indian Fig boost skin clarity and encourage cell renewal to keep skin radiant

· Ectoin and Green Tea Extract jump start the cellular defense system by helping cells resist drastic environmental stresses including UV exposure and chemical aggressors

Murad_ShadeAmerica_set_MakeupUniversity_Cherelynn

Essential-C® Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA +++ (1.7 FL. OZ. – Kit Size and Full Size)

This antioxidant-rich broad spectrum sunscreen shields and restores environmentally stressed skin, prevents free radical damage and improves skin’s appearance and elasticity.

· Ectoin, a protective substance produced by organisms called extremophiles that thrive in the harshest conditions on the planet, improves skin’s barrier function by reducing trans-epidermal water loss to preserve deep hydration

· Contains MuraSol™ Antioxidant Defense, a proprietary blend of powerful antioxidants that penetrate the skin’s top layers and create a protective barrier of encapsulated free radical neutralizers

Pick up your kit HERE!

Disclosure: A complimentary sample kit was sent to The Beauty Stop for this review. No compensation was received and all opinions are that of the author.

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Braided Hairstyles For Summer

Summer-Braids

We love braids!

Braids are one of those hair trends that never quit! They are beautiful, easy to style and work with any hair type. With all the music festivals this summer, braids are the perfect way to rock the boho chic look!

French Half Pigtails

A bit on the edgier side, these French-braided pigtails are a fresh take on a classic half-up hairstyle. For extra staying power, apply styling mousse to the sections you plan to plait.

The Single Side Braid

Perfect for the plaiting novice, this braid is nothing more than a traditional three-strander skewed to one side and accentuated with an extreme side part. Start with a sleek blow out.

The Headband Braid

Looking for a fun new way to grow out your fringe? Try this trick. Start behind one ear and create a loose French braid that follows your hairline. Secure the ends behind your other ear.

headband-braid

The Plaited Ponytail

This laid-back braid is created by sweeping hair to one side and loosely weaving your strands into a French braid. The messier, the better — so don’t worry if a few pieces fall out as you tackle your ’tail.

The Fishtail

This surprisingly simple braid (click here to check out our how-to) is a music festival staple and sure to impress.

The Wraparound French Braid

If you’ve mastered the classic French braid, you’ll definitely want to try this asymmetrical style for an update on the look. Leave the ponytail low or wrap it up into a loose, textured bun for extra wow factor.

Boho-Braid-Bun

A good braid is eternally chic.

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Foods That Nourish Dry Skin

Fresh Skin

You are what you eat!

Dry skin is a very common problem, especially as we age and … it’s the first thing people see when they look at you.

Aside from using a humidifier, adding these foods to your diet will improve your dry skin from the inside out.

WATER
The most important thing you can do to keep your skin hydrated is drink a lot of water!

AVOCADO
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, and monounsaturated fats, which help your skin lock in moisture.

FISH
Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and rainbow trout are all amazing for your skin. Fish contains omega-3 fats, which strengthen skin cells, help protect skin from sun damage, can protect against cancer, and help reduce inflammation. Certain fish also contain selenium, which preserves elastin in the skin, helping your skin stay supple, smooth, and tight.

Moisture Foods

Avoid deep-fried fish (the fats in fry oil are terrible for your skin), and opt for grilled, baked, poached, or roasted.

ORANGE VEGGIES
Orange and yellow veggies contain beta-carotene, with is notoriously great for skin. It’s an antioxidant, which help fight dry skin and protect the skin from harmful sun rays and environmental damage. Most also contain vitamins A and C, which help repair body tissues and produce collagen, respectively.

Cooked veggies deliver more beta-carotene, so try roasting or sauteing them.

Yellow and orange veggies include sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, red peppers, mangoes, pumpkin, and papaya.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is chock full of vitamin E and good fats, and will moisturize skin both from the inside (eaten) and out (topical application).

SPINACH & LEAFY GREENS
Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are packed with iron, omega-4 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, and E, which protect skin and improve your immune system. Phytochemicals and folates help hydrate skin and keep it healthy.

Steam as a side veggie, or enjoy in a salad drizzled with healthy olive oil and paired with avocado. Sturdier greens, like kale, can be roasted as well.

NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are the ultimate power food. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and E, monounsaturated fats and minerals, and a host of antioxidants. These hydrate your skin, promote its elasticity, help regenerate cells, and protect against pollutants and free radicals. Flax seeds (and flax seed oil) contains omega-6 linolic acids which break down prostaglandin.

Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds all contain variations of these healthy pro-skin ingredients, and can be enjoyed plain as a snack (in moderation, as they are calorie-dense), sprinkles on yogurt or cereal, baked into muffins, or as a crunchy topping for savory dishes, like roasted fish or chicken.

Fruit

FRUIT
Fruit, especially water-dense tropical fruit, is a great way to hydrate and protect your skin. Most fruit contains high levels of vitamins A and C, powerful antioxidant that replenishes nutrients in skin, promote collagen production, and help keep your skin supple and firm.

Cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, and grapefruits all contain skin-boosters, and are a delicious snack, either alone, chopped up into a fruit salad, and as a cereal or yogurt topping. Try chopping strawberries into a spinach salad and drizzling with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for a double-punch skin-protecting meal.

EGGS
Eggs are high in protein, which helps cell regeneration, and contain sulfer and lutein, which promotes skin hydration and elasticity. Eggs also work to hydrate the skin through topical application, so try an egg mask by whipping eggs whites until frothy and then applying to the face and neck. Rinse with warm water.

As food, eggs are best poached or boiled, but scrambled and fried are delicious, too, in moderation.

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Refresh Your Beauty Routine For Spring

Spring-Beauty-Routine

Winter weather can notoriously wreak havoc on skin and hair. While waiting for spring to arrive, a few easy adjustments to your beauty routine can help you look fabulous.

Moisturize -

Warmer weather warrants new skin care. Swap out heavy moisturizers for lighter options that will keep you shine-free.

Exfoliate –

We hope you’ve been exfoliating throughout the winter months, but don’t stop once the end of March rolls around! To keep your skin in tip-top shape, exfoliate at least once a week to get rid of unwanted dead skin cells. You’ll help keep your pores clean while also brightening your skin.

Don’t Forget Your Body -

When it comes to treating your bod – hello flaky legs, rough elbows and bumpy arms – Exfoliate in the shower or bath with a body polish and a stiff-bristle body brush.

Sunscreen –

It seems obvious (and it is) that the summer months aren’t the only time you should be applying sunscreen. Since your skin has basically been in hibernation, it’s imperative that you protect it from both UVA and UVB rays with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Clean Your Brushes -

Most of us have fallen victim to skipping this important step. Not only do unclean brushes cause breakouts, but they can inhibit makeup application, too. So the next time you’re test-driving the perfect smoky eye, wash your brushes in a gentle shampoo or cleanser before grabbing your eye shadow.

Summer-Makeup

Put Down the Bronzer -

Yes, it’s getting warmer! But before you layer on the bronzer, consider using a CC cream to brighten skin and provide a more natural look at the start of the season. If you’re desperately in need of allover color, try a tanning serum to allow for more even application without the risk of sun damage.

Protect Your Hair -

When you soak your hair with water and conditioner before entering the pool or the ocean, it significantly reduces the damage that the harsh chlorine and salt can do to your hair.

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