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The Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

If there’s one essential oil staple you’ll want in your beauty closet, it’s lavender essential oil.

Lavender has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Because it is the most versatile of all essential oils, no home should be without it.

Lavender_Essential_Oil

Lavender is steam distilled from Lavandula angustifolia, a perennial, bushy shrub with a flowery top. Historically, Greeks used lavender as a perfume. The Romans used it in their baths for washing, for its cleansing qualities, and to deter insects.

Cosmetic Uses

Beloved mostly for its distinctive scent, lavender extracts are used as fragrance in bath and body products. You can add them via drops to your own homemade face masks, scrubs, body oils and massage oils to create a wonderful luxurious, spa-like experience.

Aromatherapy Benefits

Lavender seeds and flowers are great for aiding in sleep and relaxation. This is why you see packets of seeds sold to put in your pillows. It’s also why it’s recommended when getting massages. You can put a few drops of the oil on a warm washcloth and put it near your face to relax before bedtime.

Medicinal Uses

This essential oil has the ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. It’s pretty amazing stuff!

How to Use

Unlike some essential oils, dilution of lavender oils is not required and it’s suitable for all skin types, except very sensitive skin. It’s also considered “generally safe” for children younger than 2.

    • Add a few drops to your homemade masks, massage oils and scrubs

    • Add a few drops to cotton balls or pillows and put in drawers or closets. These will scent linens and also may repel moths.

    • Put about 10 drops into a warm bath for a long soak. Add Epsom salts for optimal relaxation.

    • Put drops on used dryer sheets to recycle them. They will scent your towels and sheets as they dry.

    • Add drops to water in a spray bottle to be used as a linen spray. (I spray mine on sheets for guests).

    • Place drops on a microwaveable heating pad to be placed around the neck.

You better get an extra bottle!

Posted in: Tip Stop | 9 Comments

 

DIY Natural Hair-Lightening Spray

natural highlights

Do you wish for lighter hair, yet don’t want to dye it for fear of losing its unique tone?

Nothing says “I spent a week lounging on a fabulous beach while you were stuck in the office” more than sun streaked highlights in your hair.

Here’s how to go a few shades lighter this summer without hitting the salon!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chamomile tea left to steep until it’s strong
A spray bottle

Directions:

Pour all the ingredients into the bottle and stir gently until they’re thoroughly blended. Spritz on towel-dried hair and style however you normally would. It’ll take several uses before you see results, although if you blow-dry or heat style your hair regularly, you’ll see results faster.

Warning: If your hair is naturally dark brown or black, then this spray will give you highlights, but they’ll be brown or ginger, not blond. If you want to go more than three shades above your natural color, then it’s always best to visit a stylist. And as always, perform a strand test on an inconspicuous piece of hair before applying all over to ascertain how your hair will react.

Posted in: Hair, Tip Stop | 13 Comments

 

Banana Hair Mask For Damaged Hair

Bananas For Dry Hair

Whether your hair is dry, oily, dull or damaged, there are things you can find in your kitchen to help restore it’s condition.

Bananas are a very rich source of potassium and vitamins A, E, and C, which make them the perfect choice for homemade hair growth treatments.

Ingredients:

1 banana (the riper, the better!)
1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil (you can also use sweet almond oil)
shower cap

Preparation:

Put ingredients in a blender and blend until combined into a paste. You want the banana mashed completely, chunks of banana are hard to remove from your hair. Add a dash of flour if paste is too runny.

Separate hair into 3-5 sections.

Apply mask to each section from roots to ends.

Wind hair into a loose bun if long and place a shower cap over hair. Keep it on for 30 minutes and then rinse out, shampooing and conditioning as usual.

Posted in: Hair | 10 Comments

 

Foods That Age You

Bad Foods

If you want to retain a youthful look, avoiding certain foods could help.

It turns out that the worst dietary demons, including many sugary, fatty, refined and highly processed foods, do more than add thunder to your thighs, experts say they subtract years from your life.

Everything from the condition of your skin to the quality of your bone, brain and connective tissue is determined in part by what you eat.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years OLDER than your real age (not fun!) … but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

WHITE BREADS, PASTA, CAKE

Foods with a high glycemic index are linked to acne – because when you eat a lot of this kind of food, your body experiences an increase of glucose and insulin levels. A body with a low glycemic diet has 50% fewer accounts of acne. Switch to whole grain options, instead, because they’re high in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.

SUGAR

Sugar, as much as we love it, is one of the absolute worst things for your skin. It is the most aging food that we consume, and weakens our immune system to boot! Too much of it will make your skin lackluster, and speed up your body’s production of wrinkles. This is because it damages your collagen and elastin, two things that keep your skin plump and young. So choose to satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugars like those found in fruit, instead of that candy bar!

ALCOHOL

We know, technically this is a drink rather than a food, but it’s worth mentioning. Alcohol doesn’t just give you a headache the next morning, but it severely dehydrates you. This affects your skin because your body metabolizes what little water it gets before it has the chance to reach your skin. Alcohol can also cause vasodilatation, which aggravates rosacea, and make your skin look dull. It doesn’t just damage your mental defenses when you have one too many, but also your skin’s.

CAFFEINE

A diuretic, caffeine also severely dehydrates you. Not only does that dry out your skin, but caffeine increases your production of cortisol. More cortisol than necessary accelerates the aging process, thinning your skin.

FRIED FOODS

Fried foods aren’t just an issue for your fat intake, but they can cause oil buildup in your body. They are also believed to possibly trap bacteria in your body and on your skin, causing you to break out more.

PROCESSED SNACK FOODS

In general, processed foods are bad for your health as well as your skin. The further grains get from their original state, the less they retain their natural goodness. Processed foods are often loaded with sodium and sugar, also, which we know we don’t need more of! Snack on whole grains and fresh fruit and veggies instead.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS & COLORS

Artificial colors and sweeteners are essentially science experiments that you’re putting into your body. They have no nutritional value, and can irritate your body, especially if you’re sensitive or have allergies. These artificial products often create inflammation and histamine reactions, and what’s worse, your body tends to store these chemicals in your tissues. It wasn’t made in nature, so your body has no chance of recognizing it. Just what you need, aspartame hanging out longer than you wanted it to!

SALT

Salt, especially iodized (processed with iodine) is terrible for your skin. It causes your tissues to swell, making you look puffy and even a little unhealthy. It can aggravate acne, so it’s important to reduce your intake. Note that most of the salt you consume doesn’t come from a shaker, so check the labels before buying packaged foods and snacks.

Posted in: Face, Tip Stop | 14 Comments

 

The BB Cream For Your Body

Jergens BB Body

Jergens BB cream for your body!

It’s not exactly a self-tanner, but it does contain DHA for that natural faux glow (without the funky smell).

At first, I wasn’t sure this BB measured up to my beloved self-tanning tube but now, I prefer it! And here’s why: You can actually see the tinted lotion as you apply it.

Used daily, this tinted body moisturizer gradually perfects skin over five days of use using self-adjusting tone technology. The formula hydrates dry, scaly skin (my legs have never looked better), brightens and illuminates, evens out skin tone, firms, and minimizes the appearance of imperfections.

Seriously, it’s the best drugstore BB cream for your body and I highly recommend it.

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream, $12.99

Disclosure: The Beauty Stop was sent a sample of this product for our review. We were not compensated for the post and the opinions expressed herein are that of the author alone.

Posted in: Body | 14 Comments

 

Skincare – Reduce Large Pores

Keeping Skin Fresh

Remember hearing that splashing cold water on your face will reduce pores? Turns out they were lying. One’s pores don’t open and close like the mouth of a guppy.

We all have pores, but those of us with oily or combination skin end up having more obvious pores.

You can’t shrink your pores, but you can diminish the signs of them by keeping them clean of bacteria and debris and filling them in with primer.

Foundation Primer

Primers fill in the small cracks and holes on the surface of skin creating a smooth surface for your foundation or tinted moisturizer to glide over.

Salicylic Acid Cleansers

Salicylic acid is great for acne-prone skin because it works by dissolving the dead skin cells that collect in pores. But even if you don’t suffer from breakouts, a good salicylic acid cleanser will keep your pores cleaner and therefore, less obvious.

Prescription Retinoid Creams

I have been a fan of retinoids (such as Retin-A and Renova). They work by naturally exfoliating the skin and increasing cell production, both of which inevitably minimizes the appearance of pores.

The problem is, the best retinoids come in prescription form and that can be expensive (around $150). Your insurance won’t cover it and doctors may not be up for writing the script. You can buy them over-the-counter in other countries for about $25.

Chemical Peel

A good facial will cleanse your pores, which, if you’ve read this far, you know will make them appear smaller. Opt for a chemical peel and extractions. Both are miracle workers for clogged and obvious pores.

Don’t Pick!

When your pores are clogged, there is nothing harder to fight off than the desire to pick and poke and prod. Just don’t!

 

Get Amazing Eyelashes

Great-Eyelashes

Every woman wants thick, mile-long beautiful eyelashes.

Not since the days of Sophia Loren and Faye Dunaway has it been so essential to sport lashes that create a strong breeze with a wink.

Eyelash Curlers & a Great Mascara

I would try this option before the ones below to see if you like the results. Simply use an eyelash curler paired with a thickening mascara for great results.

Always curl your lashes before applying mascara. For added effect, blast hot air for 3 seconds on your curler with a blowdryer. Test with your finger before latching onto your lashes. Follow with several coats of a thickening mascara (I like Lancome).

False Eyelashes

You can buy individual lashes or eyelash strips at any drugstore. They’re cheap, efficient and will last you an evening. The cons: they aren’t as professional-looking as your other options and they tend to fall off as the day/evening progresses.

Eyelash Lengtheners in a Bottle

I have a few friends who swear by Latisse, which is an eyelash lengthener that you place at the lash line to make your lashes grow. There are other products, but Latisse is the most popular one.

The effects are long-term, they truly work and with proper use you will have longer, more lush lashes. The cons are that putting a product on your eyelash line is a bit creepy when you consider the warnings that it “may cause your eye color to change.”

Have no fear, apparently this only happened to one person and the company now has to include a warning. Just don’t put this in your eye. Put it at the lash line.

False Lashes Applied in a Salon

My friends with eyelash extensions look absolutely amazing so I highly recommend them. Larger cities boast salons dedicated to eyelash extensions. These are individually applied and last about 3-4 weeks.

Posted in: Eyes, Tip Stop | 16 Comments

 

Has Your Makeup Expired?

Makeup Expiration Date

You probably don’t think about beauty products going bad like milk, but things like mascara and even nail polish have expiration dates.

While using old foundation won’t make you sick, it could cause break-outs or irritation. Here’s three signs your makeup has expired.

The Texture Has Changed:

Have you ever gone to use a foundation or liquid makeup and noticed that is completely separated, or the texture has changed? A great way to discern whether or not a product has gone bad is simply by looking at its texture. What once was smooth and silky, is now thick, gooey, or really thin and runny. This will happen most with liquid products, and if your makeup shows any of these signs, it’s definitely a green light to toss in the garbage.

It Smells Funky:

If your makeup has a strange odor to it, it’s a tell-tale sign that it’s way past its expiration date and needs to be thrown out. Smell is least likely to happen with eyeshadows or powder products, and most likely to happen with liquid or cream products such as lipsticks. If your lip glosses get a strong alcohol smell, or waxy smelling fragrance like a box of crayons, you definitely need to get rid of them! Smells are commonly caused by ingredients going rancid, making it the last thing that you want to put on your face.

Your Skin Reacts:

If you have been using certain products for a while, and all of a sudden your skin starts reacting to them, definitely take inventory of what might be causing the reaction. To have sensitive skin and react to something is much different than reacting to a product that is past its expiration date. If you are someone who has fairly sensitive skin, you can gauge a reaction quickly within the first 24 hours of using it. Reactions from products that have gone bad usually occur months after, sometimes making it confusing to know exactly what you’re reacting to.

Posted in: Tip Stop | 16 Comments