A Brief Update and a Fun, Relaxing Recipe

I’ve had some visitors as of late (including my mom–hi Mom!) and fully exploited this opportunity to take in the beautiful sights of Seattle’s surrounding forests. Armed with gallons of sunscreen and my child-sized hiking boots, I took the tourists on a few hikes. While better bloggers consistently updated  feeds with fresh content (and readers thirsted for new bon mots courtesy of moi, no doubt) I climbed  mountains and photographed waterfalls. Even Stella joined in on the raucous good times!

Unfortunately, after all that great hiking, my feet (among other body parts that shall remain unnamed) were desperately sore. A warm, fragrant soak is just the ticket to ease my aching glutes hamstrings calves quads knees bruised pride feet, so I whipped up a batch of my bath salts (no, not that kind of bath salts) and drew myself a bath. Sure enough, I left the bathroom feeling relaxed, refreshed, and slightly less swollen. Some quick reminders before I get to the bath salt recipe:

  • Bathing in water that is too hot for too long dries the skin, causing irritation, redness, and possibly peeling. Turn down the temp, please.
  • To avoid irritation, essential oils should always be diluted before coming into contact with your skin (except in some specific cases which don’t require a carrier oil, but we won’t be getting into that today).

To make bath salts, you will need:

  • 1 cup uniodized sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate: a saline laxative, soil additive, and all-around miracle salt)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (when the pushy salespeople at LUSH talk you into buying a bath bomb and the first ingredient is Sodium Bicarbonate, it’s pretty much baking soda)
  • 2 Tbps coarse kosher salt
  • 4-8 drops of the essential oil of your choice (I used a mix of lavender and rose geranium)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care to break up any clumps. Add essential oil(s). Transfer into an air-tight container, e.g. Tupperware I accidentally forgot to return after a potluck my junior year of college and now use only for storing home beauty experiments. While filling the tub, sprinkle a handful or two of salts into the bath. Allow to dissolve completely. Keep remainder of salts in a cool, dry place for later use. Precariously set up your laptop on the lid of the toilet so you can watch Orange is the New Black while soaking in the tub. Unless you’re rich enough to have a TV in your bathroom, in which case, please adopt me.

 

New Year’s Eve Tips

Landmark moments in the passage of time make people want to take pictures. New Year’s Eve is like a double-whammy in that sense, as it is both the end of the current year and the beginning of a fresh one. There will be group shots, selfies, and candids galore tonight, so I’m laying down the major dos and don’ts for a fabulously photogenic new year. Continue reading

Contouring: The Products, The Tools, The Color Theory

So pretty much everyone has done a contouring tutorial or video. Wayne Goss has done not one, not two, but three different videos. Jane Pratt’s beauty site xovain.com has published a couple of contouring articles.  As of late, the internet has been blowing up with glam_her_booth’s impressive contouring transformation, which has been reposted on various sites about a bajillion times.

Everyone should check out Tylor Kirsten (glam_her_booth) on Instagram, because she’s crazy talented.

So why should I bother with my own tutorial? It’s not going to be as pretty as Wayne’s and it certainly won’t be as dramatic as Tylor’s. Well, I’m gonna do what I do best: throw some science in this bitch. We’re gonna talk about color theory, we’re gonna talk about product formulations, and we’re gonna have an all-around good time. Let’s dive in. Continue reading

Black Friday Beauty: Leftover DIY

Happy Black Friday! This Thanksgiving, I was grateful for elastic-waist pants. After cooking, then cleaning up the kitchen, then eating (and the meat sweats and indigestion that follow), I’m in no mood to fight the crowds and snag some Black Friday bargains. I could use a day of relaxation and pampering. For anyone who empathizes with my post-feast pain and has some leftover pumpkin lying around, you can make this mask by kickass aesthetician and YouTube guru Veronica Gorgeois.

Natural Beauty Products: The Not-Scary Version

While DIY skincare is generally messy, the formulations are inelegant, and analogs to at-home concoctions can easily (and often inexpensively) be found at your local drug or department store, I am not immune to the siren song of good old-fashioned kitchen chemistry. After my most recent post, I feel inclined to prove that not all DIY skincare ingredients are out to wreak havoc on your face. In that spirit, I’m going to share one kickass anti-inflammatory tip and one slap-yo-mama-it’s-so-good spot treatment you can make in your kitchen.  Continue reading

EYELINER WEEK: Dual-Winged Liner

We’ve reached the end, my friends! The final post of Eyeliner Week (yes, I own a calendar and I know this took a lot longer than a week, but I already apologized, so there’s no need to harp on me) is upon us. To bring this blessed event to a close, today’s post will demonstrate another option for wearing the many colored liners I recently featured. As the title would suggest, we’ll be tackling dual-winged liner today. Dual-winged liner is two lines super-imposed on top of one another (as opposed to double-winged liner, which is a different animal altogether). It’s surprisingly easy, so let’s jump right in. Make an awkwardly unphotogenic face and let’s do this. Continue reading