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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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Emergency Repair For Split Ends

Combat Split Ends

Have a hot date and no time for a cut?

There’s no hair enemy as fierce and unyielding as the much-dreaded split end. No I’m not suggesting you hide behind a pair of sunglasses!

While the only way to truly rid yourself of split ends is to cut them, there are several things you can do between salon appointments to improve your look.

Here are some of our suggestions below:

Load Up on Protein
Whenever my hair is damaged, I reach for a treatment that has protein and moisture. The protein molecules in products like Number 4’s Reconstructing Masque act like spackle, filling in the holes in your split ends’ brittle cuticles. They should look less rough after just one application.

Your Blow-Dryer is Your Friend
Using a nozzle will help minimize the harm hot air causes to split ends. Dry pointing downwards and finish the process off with the coolest temperature possible—a shot of cold air will make hair super shiny, and flatten the cuticle so your ends looks less raised and brittle. Try using a product like Bumble and Bumble’s Repair Blow Dry. This serum-in-creme elixir for dry or damaged hair helps seal split ends and protects against heat, breakage and UV damage, too.

Pump Up the Volume
Nothing scientific here! Curling or tousling your hair is an excellent distraction from unsightly ends. Use your trusty wand and a spritz of finishing spray like RUSK’s Texture Spray, which acts as a texturizer and hairspray to add volume that’ll stay in place for the long haul.

A Romantic Sloppy Bun to the Rescue
A braid or bun is a no brainer, but the faux bob gives the illusion of a full-on chop and completely hides split ends. In a rush? Try the Princess Roll instead (it takes five minutes flat!). Treat hair with a leave-in conditioner like It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product before styling to prevent future damage.

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Best Self Tanners

St Tropez Whipped

What’s the best sunless tanner? Which one is the most sought-after by celebrities?

Discovering a good self tanner can be a challenge — it’s overwhelming how many different self-tanning products you can come across. Some are smelly, some turn you orange and some often fade or become spotty.

Say goodbye to winter’s pasty-looking skin and officially kick off the beginning of summer by sporting a golden glow. Here’s our list of some of the best –

Banana Boat
For an inexpensive self-tanner, Banana Boat’s Sunless Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion doesn’t streak, dries quickly and allows for a deep tan without the damaging effects of the sun. You can use it on your body or face. Pictured here is the deep dark color, but there are lighter options for people with fairer skin.

Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion, $8.50

Australian Gold
You get so much in one loud package: self-tanning cream, bronzer and sunscreen (SPF 45). Don’t let the obnoxious packaging fool you, this stuff is highly rated for providing instant glow while keeping skin from burning. Added bonus: it’s water-resistant, so you can swim and sweat with no worry. Plus, users report it smells divinely tropical.

Australian Gold Faces Sheer Coverage Kona Infused, SPF 45, $8.99

Jergens
This one is absolutely perfect for people with fair skin. The effect is more gradual, which also limits streaks.

Jergens Natural Glow, $9

Guerlain
In 1984, Guerlain of Paris created the first bronzing powder they called “Terracotta.” At $35 – $50 it’s still one of the best spray tanners on the market. Nice brown color without the hint of orange. Only downfall is it is a bit pricey.

Guerlain’s Terracotta Self-Tanning Spray for the Body, $64

Nature’s Gate
I love this self-tanner because it’s one that works well and gets rave reviews but also has no parabens, phthalates or petrolatum. It’s also super moisturizing because it contains 7 moisturizing ingredients including shea butter, apricot kernel oil, soybean oil, vitamin E and sweet almond oil.

Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion, Medium Skin Tones, $13.99

Laura Mercier
Unlike other self-tanners, Laura Mercier’s bronzing gel is meant to be used to enhance the tan on the face. The company suggests dabbing a bit on AFTER tinted moisturizer and BEFORE powders. A bit pricier than M.A.C. and other bronzers on the market, testers found it’s well worth the price. This bronzer provides a “just tanned” look with a touch of rose. Warms the skin and adds a spark of shimmer.

Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel for the Face, $32

St. Tropez
This salon brand is beloved by celebs including Elle MacPherson. You apply this and within a few hours you’ll have a deep, naturally-looking tan. This is not a gradual self-tanner. St. Tropez’s Website features applications videos, which I highly recommend watching. Testers found that Whipped Bronze had a more pleasant fragrance than other self-tanners they tried. Ideal for the entire body, including the face.

St. Tropez Whipped Bronze Self-Tanning Mousse for Face and Body, $32

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L’OCCITANE Celebrates International Women’s Day

L’OCCITANE -

All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

L’OCCITANE‘s new apricot fragranced solidarity balm will finance NGOs to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso, with the support of the L’OCCITANE Foundation.

Made with shea butter, this multi-purpose moisturizer helps nourish, soften and protect the lips, body and hair. I was lucky enough to be be given a sample and it smells AMAZING! This will be the perfect addition to my beach tote!

100%* of the profits will be donated. 100%!

L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Apricot Solidarity Balm – $6

*Sales price in store minus taxes, transport and production costs

disclosure: A complimentary sample was sent to The Beauty Stop. No compensation was received and all opinions are that of the author.

Posted in: Body, Face, Hair, Lips | No Comments

 

Must-Have Beauty Products

Boar-Hair-Brush

Beauty doesn’t have to be complicated.

To me, beauty begins with what you put inside your body. What you put on the outside simply smooths it out and gives it a graceful polish.

As much as you may love playing with eye shadow and lip gloss, those aspects of your beauty routine are secondary to basic skin and hair care.

Leave the house with confidence with these beauty basics.

Blow Dryer –
Unless you let your hair air dry every day or you get weekly blow outs from a salon, you’re going to use a hair dryer. We suggest an ionic one. They cut your drying time in half and won’t damage your hair like blow dryers of previous generations. If you’ve been using the same dryer for 20 years, it’s time to throw it out and invest in a decent ionic dryer.

Boar’s Hair Brush –
If you’ve been brushing your hair with a drugstore plastic hairbrush, it’s time to throw it out and invest in a boar’s hair brush because you haven’t done your hair any favors. Every stylist knows the best hairbrushes have boar bristles. But for the best results, you’ll want a brush that has BOTH synthetic (nylon) bristles AND boar bristles. The mix creates the perfect brush: The boar bristles are gentle, while the synthetic bristles help hair dry faster.

A Good Concealer or Tinted Moisturizer –
Not every woman needs foundation, but almost every woman could use a good concealer in her beauty bag. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a woman and noticed she could use a concealer around her eyes to cover up dark circles or spot cover a blemish or just even out her uneven skin tone.

Sunscreen –
every single day and use a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 40. Why? Sun damage is one of the leading causes of premature aging of the skin (along with smoking, stress and weight loss).

Mascara –
Nothing opens up the eyes and makes you look more awake than mascara. You can find a decent mascara that won’t give you Kardashian lashes.

A Good Cleanser –
Chances are, you aren’t cleansing your face correctly. Either you’re using the wrong cleanser or you are scrubbing too much, or you aren’t washing your face before bedtime, leaving all the day’s dirt and makeup to sit there on the skin, clogging up your pores. The secret to cleansing your skin is this: Buy a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type.

Posted in: Face, Hair, Lips, Tip Stop | No Comments

 

Improve Your Beauty Routine

improve-your-beauty-routine

There are some things that should just be a way of life if you’re looking to improve your health and happiness (and yes, might even make you feel a little prettier than you already are).

We’re here to help you prioritize some beauty rules that should always be on your annual checklist.

~ Always remove your makeup
Sick of hearing this one? Tough. If the goal is to look pretty in public, your responsibility doesn’t end once you get home. Ideally, you should have a P.M. skin care regimen that includes a good cleanse (to rid your skin of makeup, oil, and other impurities), and application of a rich moisturizer. However, you’re human and sometimes you slip up. Yes, we’ve all got a little lazy girl in us. Try tucking a pack of cleansing wipes under your pillow. The sound of the package crumpling when your head hits the pillow will remind you what time it is (makeup removal time!). You might want to also keep a trash can near your bed for those used towelettes…

~ See a dermatologist
Whether you’re acne-prone or consider your skin fairly normal, a visit to an all-knowing derm is worth it. You’d be surprised by what you can learn about your skin, and what’s causing those pesky breakouts or that blemish that’s practically parked itself on your chin for the past few weeks. Part nutritionist, your dermatologist can tell you the types of food that may be affecting your skin-and not to scare you, but a derm can even detect the first signs of skin cancer just by noticing a stray facial hair that you may have been poking fun of lately. (True story) Go ahead and book that appointment now!

~ Treat yourself to (at least) one beauty splurge
No questions asked, we know that you deserve some retail therapy every once in a while. Whether you’re a full-time student or a working girl, we say you’re allowed one beauty investment a year if it’ll keep that spirit (and confidence) high. Go ahead and ring up that facial cleansing brush or a brand new heat styling tool if you so choose.

~ Keep Wearing Shimmer!
For some reason, society says that glitz and glitter is reserved for special occasions like New Year’s and birthdays. But we say, keep on shining! Go for a glammed-up mani or shimmery liner any day of the year.

~ Try at least one runway trend
We get it. Sometimes catwalk makeup just doesn’t seem realistic for everyday use. But give your usual ponytail-lip gloss-repeat routine a rest and go for something that’ll get heads turning. You’ll be the trendsetter for once and we’ll be so proud!

~ Give your hot tools a rest
Easier said than done, but with a world of hairstyle options out there (hello, braids and buns!), we’re confident you can manage without your blow dryer, curling iron, and flat iron for a few days a week. Seriously, give it a try and you’ll notice a big difference in your hair. It’ll likely get longer, stronger, and all-around healthier in no time.

~ Commit to regular trims
If you find yourself complaining about split ends often, it probably means you’re not following the doctor’s orders and getting your hair cut regularly. It might be an old wives’ tale that your hair will grow faster if you go for regular trims, but it is true that a good snip every six to eight weeks will improve your hair’s health, keeping it as sleek and even as it should be.

~ Commit to regular conditioning treatments
You guessed it. The key to healthy hair is loyalty. As you should get into the habit of trimming your hair regularly, you should also set a good conditioning routine in place. Take one day a week to apply a moisture mask and run a steamy shower to let the formula really penetrate your strands. If your hair is really parched or damaged, make that moisture mask a bi-weekly treatment and alternate with a cholesterol conditioner to strengthen fragile pieces.

~ Go makeup-free once a week
We’re firm believers in letting your skin breathe as often as possible. Take one day to skip the makeup and give your pores a chance to inhale some oxygen instead of being clogged with piled-on foundation, blush, and concealer. A clearer complexion will lead to smoother makeup application for the rest of your days, we swear.

~ Wear A Mask!
We can’t stress the benefits of regularly using face masks enough.

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