TPDTY: You Need a Cuticle Stone

Cuticle StoneCuticle Stone, $1.79

There are a zillion-and-one guides and tutorials out there on how to give yourself a DIY manicure. Beyond the plethora of guides, there are probably thousands of different execution methods you could employ to achieve the same results. Damn few, however, mention taming crazy cuticles and eponychium with a cuticle stone.

It’s always, “gently push them back with an orangewood stick.” That isn’t wrong – it’s a good and gentle method that prevents you from removing living tissue. Those dang cuticle nippers that professional manicurists whip around like a magic wand are SHARP – and I don’t know about you, but they’re a challenge to use. It does not, however, help you remove any dead tissue that adheres to the nail plate like a cuticle stone can.

If you do your nails even semi-regularly, for under $2, can you really afford not to try one?

Read more

Self Tanning Prep

It’s finally sunless tanning season! Maybe you bother year ’round, maybe you’ve already started for the year – but for the rest of us, here are some tips on how to achieve a great sunless tan regardless of the products you’re using.

Shower

Self Tanning Prep - Original Dove Beauty Bar

For best results, you should always apply to just-cleaned skin! When I’m showering with self tanning prep in mind, I use a mild soap like classic Dove (which is what I use in the shower most of the time anyway). Some of the richer, creamier body washes contain oils (great for ultra-moisturizing, not great for self tanning prep). While you’re at it…

Shave

remingtonshaver

…at least the areas you wish to tan with coarser hair, such as the lower legs. Don’t feel like you need to shave everywhere – for instance, I don’t shave my forearms; the hair that grows there is fine and light.. If you wax or have removed the hair via a laser device, you get to skip this – lucky you! Still, you need to…

Exfoliate

Self Tanning Prep - Eco Tools Shower Gloves

While in the shower, exfoliate your skin to remove any dry or errant patches. Sunless tanner works best when everything is smooth; otherwise you risk a patchy or muddy application. No product can prevent it – you simply have to do your due-diligence. I use a pair of scrubby shower gloves or a sugar- or salt-based scrub. If your scrub has oils (many do!), you might want to do this before you suds up to remove any oils.

Read more

Pedicures, Revisited

Tools for PedicuresImplements for Pedicures

We’ve officially hit Spring (though tell the weather in my area that). We are now closer to the start of sandal season than the start of boot season! That’s celebration-worthy. When the chill of and Winter set in, though, a lot of people relax their attitude towards certain areas of grooming – like shaving or pedicures.

Before I continue, this post is not intended to judge or slam your personal choices. At the end of the day, you should absolutely do what you’re comfortable with, what you have time for, etc. If it means taking a break from the tedium that is regular shaving with a classic razor, cool (though I recommend at least trying an electric or laser option). 

Read more

DIY Lip Scrub

In light of my post the other day about my new almost-favorite probably-too-dark-for-me matte lipstick and the fact that autumn tends to bring around more matte or matte-ish lips anyway, I figured this was timely and appropriate. Not that lip care is inappropriate at any time, but YOU KNOW.

As much as pricey lip exfoliants may entice (looking at you, Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub or Fresh Sugar Lip Polish), they really aren’t worth it unless you’re that hung-up on branding for something that just whisks away dead skin from your lips. Using chemical exfoliants isn’t a good idea for our lips, so these (just like what I’m going to show you in a moment) are sugar-based scrubs. Check out the ingredient list on both – Bite’s is a nice blend of oils…and sugar, and Fresh’s has a bunch of oils as well as some less-familiar chemical components (not to scare you – chemicals are not always bad. Do your research, as always). Why pay $18-23 for something that is basically oil and sugar? I wish I could channel Sam from Batalash Beauty when I say that it is crazy (crasy! By the way, go check out their blog and YouTube channel. They’re hilarious and damn good artists to boot).

001

You need:

  • A container with a lid
  • Coconut Oil
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil or Almond Oil (not pictured because derp)
  • White or Brown Sugar
  • bonus points if you sub it out for something grainier like Sugar in the Raw
  • Vanilla Extract (artificial is OK)
  • Mixing utensil
  • Optional mixing bowl if you want to make an unreasonably huge batch

Spoon your sugars into your container – I like to do two parts white sugar to one part brown sugar, but 1:1 would be fine, too. Combine them well.

002

Squeeze in some honey… I started on the conservative side with it because I didn’t want this to wind up too sticky:

003

Add your olive or almond oil. You can use both if you want, but I just went with one.

004

Then mix it up…

006

Add your vanilla extract, mix again.

007

Add a dollop of coconut oil, ideally solid.

005

GENTLY combine with the existing mixture, you don’t want to wind up with liquid.

008

Transfer it to your storage container if you didn’t mix it there, then chill for 15 minutes. Now you can use it, just scoop out a bit and apply to lips, rubbing in circles. The oils will allow to sugar to move with ease and will hydrate your lips. If you want to apply lipstick right away, pat them dry afterwards – oil isn’t the best base for a lipstick, after all.

009

The beauty of this recipe is that it is so simple and very adaptable. Hate vanilla? You’re crazy, but the good news is that you can sub in any flavoring you please. Dig orange? Go for it. Hell, zest an orange into it. Want cherry without dropping $18 on Bite’s scrub (I mean, that’s a tub of Dipbrow. More than a MAC Lipstick. Come on)? Visit your baking aisle and pick up some cherry flavoring. Very easy. Not a fan of how olive oil makes this taste? Use an oil with a subtler flavor.

Your lip scrub should be stored in the fridge and can be kept for two weeks.

Do you have any neat DIY beauty recipes?

At Home DIY Hair Glaze

I am very lucky in that my hair is pretty awesome on its own. A lot of people don’t dig long locks because many wearers leave them unkempt – my hair is long, healthy, and free of color or chemical processing (perms, whatever the straightening-treatment-du-jour is). It is shiny on its own, but I wanted to make it unreasonably shiny without weighing it down with a lot of product (cough – also, I am lazy and do not want to have to apply shine serum EVERY DAY). So, for me, for a friend, for you, and for science, I endeavored to guinea pig an at home DIY hair glaze treatment.

I have alluded to my upcoming nuptials here and there and have been inspired by how ridiculously flippin’ expensive everything associated with weddings is. Beauty is, of course, no exception – depending on the bride’s preferences, it can be one of the most costly parts of planning and prep – but it doesn’t HAVE to be. If you were planning on a salon hair gloss or glaze treatment (which costs $30 even at a beauty school’s student salon where I live!) for a wedding or just because, keep reading because learning is fun. This is a glaze/gloss-only treatment – we won’t be depositing any color today (I am happy with the natural color of my hair) so you don’t NEED a hairstylist to achieve these results.

Here’s what you need (most of which can be acquired at Sally Beauty):

At Home DIY Hair Glaze - What You NeedSupplies needed for an At Home DIY Hair Glaze
  • A Hairbrush – I just have a classic Denman here. You can use whatever you have, as long as it detangles
  • Clarifying Shampoo – this one is Deep Cleanse by Tresemme – it is inexpensive and effective. You can get it for $3-5 online for 32 fl oz. I already had mine.
  • Clairol Professional Radiance Colorgloss in Clear Shine
  • Clairol Professional Radiance Color Infuser
  • Graduated Salon Mixer/Applicator bottle. I got mine at Sally Beauty because they had the best deal, but anything like this will work
  • An awesome conditioner. I have both L’Oreal Feria Professional ($8) pictured here AND the original Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle ($3-4); pick one
    I was going to skip the Feria because 3 Minute Miracle is awesome, but my friend (who will also be doing this soon after she touches up her color) picked it up since it will be of greater use to her. She let me borrow it for the purpose of this because she is awesome. The Feria conditioner is purportedly one of the best for color stuff (but I cannot speak to this as my hair is not colored). 3 Minute Miracle will work very well and is probably my favorite conditioner out there right now.
  • Gloves – They can be vinyl, they can be latex, whatever your heart desires. I picked up this reusable latex pair at Sally Beauty.
  • Two combs – you won’t want the teeth much closer than the black one pictured, and a wide tooth one (blue, right side)
  • Section Clips – will make your life a lot easier if you, like me, channel Cousin Itt

    Read more