Pinterest Inspired: How to create Shellac Nails

Every girl enjoys a good mani/pedi combo, but the price of nail care, especially shellac or acrylic, can be hefty for a college student’s budget. Want to know how to create your own wonderfully chic shellac nails in the comfort of your own home, at your own convenience, and for around $20 dollars? Of course! You would be crazy not to! 

The secret to fabulous, chic shellac nails is brought you courtesy of my late-night Pinterest obsessions. First, you will need to buy a bottle of Nutra Nails 5-Minute Gel Polish. You can find this at Wal-Mart or on Amazon for around $10. I know, this seems a bit expensive but this bottle will last you for a good while, even if you are an avid manicurist. Apply gel polish and wait for it to dry. Next, you will want to apply Essie’s 3-Way Glaze base coat to your nails after the Nutra Nail gel polish dries. You can find Essie’s 3-way base coat on Amazon for about $9 so a tad over the price of OPI nail polish (again it will last you awhile.) Once you have applied the base coat and let it dry for about 3-5 minutes, you are free to use the polish color of your choice for color. You will want to apply two coats of polish and make sure to wait about 3-5 minutes for each individual coat to dr I would recommend a spring-friendly pastel, to show off your spring fever! After letting the two individual coats of nail-polish dry, apply one last, final coat of Essie’s 3-way base coat to your nails, allowing an additional 3-5 minutes to dry. Sounds simple enough right? Right. Now go show off your perfectly polished nails! 

Fresh Faced: Tips for a Flawless Complextion

Hello my fellow budget-friendly beauties! Today I will be sharing some tips and tricks with you to naturally clear your face from those pesky pore problems: trouble zones, blemishes, redness, and dryness. You name it and we’ll take care of it!

Is your skin oily, dry or a combination? Do you want a facial cleanser, moisturizer,  something to exfoliate with or to ward off those dreading blemishes? No matter what your skin needs, I’ll cover all types here.

Oily Skin

- Alphahydroxy acids or  (AHAs) can greatly benefit oily skin while peeling away layers of dead skin. Many ingredients used to create  AHA masks can be found in your kitchen! Surprise, surprise! Some AHA-rich kitchen residents are milk, vinegar (apple cider vinegar is best) apple juice, lemon juice, pineapples, oranges and grapes, to names a few. Fruit acids are gentle enough not to irritate sensitive skin but strong enough to help tame oily skin. Talk about the beauty of balance!! Some recipes for oily skin can be found below.

(I recommend using a light moisturizer afterwards to prevent you skin from becoming too dry.)

Egg White and Lemon Juice Natural Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • One egg white
  • Few drops of lemon juice

Egg whites are wonderful for stripping dirt and oil off your face, making them ideal facial cleansers. Take one egg white and beat until frothy, then add a few drops of lemon juice for some AHA power. Apply the mixture to your skin for ten minutes and then coat your face with a second layer for an additional 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water and then moisturize.

Apple Cider Vinegar Natural Face Toner

Ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water

Apple cider vinegar is not only a gentle form of AHA, it also has oil-cleaning and pH-balancing benefits for your skin. Apple cider is wonderful to use as a face toner; just mix with equal parts of vinegar and water. You may want to add more water if you wish to make the mixture less strong. Apply with a cotton ball and either let the mixture dry on your face as a mask or rinse off as a scrub.

Dry/Sensitive Skin

Aloe Vera, milk, cream, honey, and green tea are all great ingredients for dry/ sensitive skin because they work to soothe the skin while moisturizing.

Milk and Honey cleanser

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of whole milk or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey for milk, 1 tablespoon for yogurt

Milk and honey facial cleansers have been around for generations as a tested and approved beauty regimen for all.  Combine a teaspoon of honey (dark honey is best) with a tablespoon of whole milk. Put the mixture into a small bottle and dip it in hot water until the mixture is warm and you can thoroughly mix the honey with milk by shaking the bottle. Make sure that the mixture is warm but will not burn the skin then apply the mixture to your face. If you do not have whole milk, you can use yogurt as a substitute. Use even amounts of milk and honey, apply the mixture to the skin for 10 minutes and then rinse.

Green Tea Toner

Ingredients

  • Green tea or green tea leaves as needed
  • Plain yogurt sufficient to cover skin

It’s not a secret that green tea is great for your skin due to its large amount of antioxidants. However, green tea can also help rejuvenate skin and is great for sensitive skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

You can use green tea directly to tone skin simply by applying cold green tea to your face with a cotton ball. Another great way to reap the benefits of green tea without applying it topically is to drink it on a regular basis.

You can also use green tea as a scrub or mask from taking the green tea out of the tea bag and to combine it with plain yogurt. Apply and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing off your skin.

Combination Skin/ Cleansers for all

One word, Oatmeal. Here is the recipe.

Oatmeal Natural Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of ground oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of warm water

Oatmeal is great for exfoliation because it has anti-inflammatory properties.

First, you will need ground oatmeal. The best way is to buy rolled oats at the grocery and grind them with a blender. If you don’t have a blender, then buy instant oatmeal without sweeteners or additives and use it out of the box.

Take the 3/4 cup of oatmeal and mix it with the 1/3 cup of warm water, forming a nice paste. Spread the paste on your face or skin,and allow to dry. Finish by rinsing the mixture off with warm water.

In addition to these facial masks, drinking lots of water, eating fruits and vegetables and non-processed foods will help to promote clarity and a true natural glow to your skin. You really are want you eat!

More bounce in your step: tips for luscious locks.

It’s Saturday morning, so naturally it’s time to unwind in front of the TV. You switch to your channel of choice to catch up with your latest guilty pleasure, only to see the infamous Pantene Pro-V commercials invading your screen. You know what I’m talking about, the commercials that bring fabulous Disney-princess tresses to life. The model’s hair is perfect, with that straight-out-of-a-magazine shine. It bounces effortlessly and shimmers flawlessly in the light. If this scene seems all to familiar to you, than you’re in luck! Today’s post is all about fun, crafty and inexpensive ways to make your hair dazzle and gleam in all it’s glory, while keeping your bank account in check. I’m excited to share healthy hair tips I have acquired from the various magazines that have been piling up on my bookshelves for years, along with “pinteresting” tips I’ve stumbled upon online.For all the girls out there that have taken heat therapy to a whole new level (as I’m also guilty of doing!) your locks will sigh in relief for the various TLC tips in this post. All-natural homemade hot oil treatments will help your locks grow longer, reduce split ends and bring much needed “heat relief” to your hair — all without spending a fortune. There are many benefits of performing once-a-week hot oil treatments, and your locks will thank you for pampering them!! This hot-oil treatment is so easy, I’m willing to bet you won’t even have to leave your home to buy the ingredients! All you need: 3 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of honey, a saucepan, spoon, comb, towel, and shower cap. ( I know what you’re thinking, shower caps are a thing of the past and a part of your grandmother’s beauty regimen, but I promise you it will come in handy for keeping messes at bay.) First, you will want to combine the olive oil and honey into the saucepan and heat the mixture until it starts to boil. After the olive oil and honey mixture cools down, stir the mixture until it is well blended. Next, you will apply the mixture onto your hair, while combing it through your hair throughly. Finally, you will wrap your hair into a towel or pile it up high into a shower cap. Leave the treatment on your hair for 15-30 minutes and then rinse it off in the shower, shampooing your hair as you normally would. If your locks are in a constant state of desert dryness do not fret! Vinegar will do the trick! As wonderful conditioner that can help to naturally improve the cleanliness and shine of dry hair, vinegar won’t damage or strip your strands like chemical-heavy salon products.

This miracle trick is simple:  add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to your hair as you rinse it, which you can store as a permanent shower resident in travel-sized plastic bottles (they can be found at any convenience store such as: Wal-Mart or CVS pharmacy.) By storing your vinegar in a travel-size bottle you can take comfort in knowing your hair will always be looking clean and moisturized on the go! Vinegar is also a miracle dandruff destroyer: by massaging full-strength vinegar into your scalp several times a week or briefly soaking hair before shampooing, flakes will stay away! Vinegar also removes dulling buildup from hair products like sprays and shampoos while providing a natural anti-frizz regimen. Such kitchen cabinet staples as olive-oil, honey and vinegar can also aid in healthy hair growth! The foods you eat also contribute to the look of your locks. Nuts and seeds are not only healthy for your hair, but promote good heart health. They contain essential fatty acids that can pop that pow right back into your hair

The bottom line, my beauties, is this: look in your kitchen cupboards and you will have a multitude of budget-friendly hair care products at your fingertips!  Happy Hair Day!

Starting the Quarter off Right: Pearly Whites

It’s spring quarter, and love is in the air. You are going on a date with your newest spring fling and want everything to go smoothy. You perfect your outfit, but no matter how much you pamper and primp, there’s a problem: you are out of crest white-strips, blew all your money on online-shopping and bar hopping, so alas, your teeth will be less than picture perfect for your date. Okay, so maybe I over glamorized and dramatized the college dating scene, but here’s the bottom line: We are college students who spend too much money on bills, groceries, online shopping, bars and other various activities. Obviously, we still want to look presentable, even if we’ve blown a little bit too much of our checking and savings. Crest white-strips and professional teeth whitening products cost an arm and a leg for the average college student, but we still want our pearly whites to shine and dazzle in all their glory, right? Right. What would you say if I told you you can whiten and brighten your smile for little to no cost? Thank me and your bank balance later.

You can easily whiten your teeth for a whopping total of $7. $7! That’s less than most restaurant meals nowadays. I made this wonderful, budget-friendly discovery while I was a senior in high school, and let me tell you; my teeth are whiter now than they have ever been, thanks to this miracle mix. This secret magical product that will help you save loads of cash for that new Lilly Pulitzer dress you have been eye-ing, is simply: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Mind = blown.

First, you’ll need to buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, any brand will do. Second, you will swish the hydrogen peroxide in your mouth for about 1 minute. Make sure not to swallow any of it, swish and spit. I personally like to brush my teeth after spitting out the hydrogen peroxide before using the baking soda. Next, you will need baking soda. If you wish to mix the baking soda with the hydrogen peroxide you may do so, but it is quite messy. I use Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda and Peroxide Mint, which can be found at CVS pharmacy and Wal-Mart.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? More like tooth decay. Veggies such as green beans, cauliflower, carrots, celery and fruits like apples, strawberries and oranges act as whiteners by gently scrubbing your teeth, massaging your gums and promoting blood flow to help keep gum tissues healthy, while also increasing flow of saliva you produce, promoting even more oral health benefits. Strawberries are the overachievers of the bunch, because they even contain an enzyme known as malic that helps to whiten teeth. Eating right and earning a whiter and brighter smile for doing so? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well fortunately, it’s not! So get to chopping and chewing those fruits and veggies. Your body and your smile will thank you!