With Good Things

SKINCARE GAME-CHANGER: HONEY

Jun
06

It’s been a week into Crunchy Betty’s Honey Challenge, and my skin already is showing SO much improvement! In fact, when I woke up this morning, I had ZERO new blemishes! I still have several acne spots that are healing from past blemishes, but today marks probably the first day since before puberty that I have no new pimples!

(For those new to the “honey challenge,” it’s pretty straightforward: “wash” your face with honey (at least once) daily for two weeks.)

Why Honey
Honey has active enzymes with incredible cleansing, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties. Not only does it fight infection with these properties, but it aids in tissue healing, and helps reduce inflammation and scarring. But wait…there’s more! Honey is also a humectant, keeping skin moisturized without being oily (or overdrying). These benefits only scratch the surface of the wonders of honey!

Choose Raw Honey
Before we go any further, let me emphasize that these enzymatic benefits of honey are mostly destroyed in the pasteurizing process (honey heated on high to purify it). Please make sure that you are choosing honey that is RAW. Look for the words, “raw,” “unpasteurized,” “unheated,” and/or “unfiltered” on the label. (Supermarket labels with “pure” are not the same thing!) Or, if you’d like to go straight to the source, by locally farmed honey and ask the local farmer/beekeeper if they heat and/or filter their honey to ensure you are getting organic, raw honey with all the enzymatic benefits intact.

Getting Down To Business
It’s SO easy! For the honey challenge, I am applying the honey to my makeup-free face. So, if you are doing this at night, remove your makeup as you normally do (like the Oil Cleansing Method) before these steps:

  1. Get your hair off your face (I put mine in a ponytail and use a headband).
  2. Pour a small amount (1/2 teaspoon-ish) onto your palm and gently rub your hands together for a few seconds.
  3. Massage the honey onto your face for a minute or two (a drop or two of water on your hands will make the honey glide over your skin).
  4. Optional: let it sit for 5-10 minutes (let those enzymes go to work).
  5. Rinse with water (I use a warm washcloth to get it all off).

Mix It Up
Once or twice a week, try mixing in baking soda to make a gentle, exfoliating scrub out of the honey cleanse. Last night, I mixed nutmeg into the honey to make a stronger exfoliating scrub/healing mask and after massaging it in to exfoliate, let it sit for about 10 minutes.

My Routine
I have been using Y.S. Organic Bee Farms’ Organic Raw Honey (seen in the image above). Not all raw honey has a creamy, yellow consistency like this, but I’ve never tried it before, so this is the one I chose for the challenge.

At night, I use the OCM to cleanse my makeup off before applying the honey to my face like a mask. I let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with a warm washcloth. I use straight extra virgin coconut oil as a night moisturizer.

In the morning, I apply the honey in the shower and let it sit while I shampoo and condition my hair, rinsing it off at the end of my shower. I’ve been using pure aloe vera and argan oil as my daytime moisturizer.

I can definitely say that this routine has helped clear up my skin so much in the past week! I can’t wait to get through week two to see how much better this can get! Who would’ve believed that I had the best acne-fighting ingredient in my pantry this whole time?

Who else is having success in the honey challenge?

BEAUTYBLENDER FOR FLAWLESS SKIN

Mar
13

Want the look of flawless skin?BeautyBlender is the key to professional-looking makeup applications! With its elliptical shape and suede finish, BeautyBlender (latex-free & non-allergenic) is the ultimate makeup sponge.

I wet my sponge (squeezing out excess water) before use, and first dot foundation all over my face. Then, I “bounce” (a.k.a. stipple) the BB over my face to blend the foundation in without a trace of edges or cutoff lines. I use the smaller end to blend under my eyes and around my nose. It’s also great for blending concealer over blemishes to create a flawless look.

I’ve found that since using my BB, my skin does not break out as much (because I’m not using my fingers to smooth the makeup over my skin). After every use, I wash my BB with moisturizing antibacterial soap to clean the makeup away and kill any bacteria before placing it on the pedestal to dry for the next use.

The BB 2-pack is a deal, because why pay $19.95 for one, when you can get two for $25.95? With daily use and cleaning, each BB has lasted me 6+ months, so a 2-pack lasts at least a year.

Who else out there is a BeautyBlender fan?

NEW OBSESSION: HARD LOTION

Sep
05

After getting lost in a tangled web of some amazing blogs last week, I happened to stumble on three different mentions of Renee Harris’ MadeOn Skincare hard lotion. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to it, but by the third mention, I had to check it out. Hard lotion is shaped into a bar (like soap). Your body heat softens the lotion so you can rub it into your skin. Renee at MadeOn Skincare describes her hard lotion this way:

The hard lotion bar has three simple ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax. That’s it! Shea butter and coconut oil are known edible emollients. They soften and soothe dry skin and are gentle enough to rub over skin cuts and cracks. The beeswax emulsifies the other two ingredients to create a beautiful combination to smooth your skin. You’ll be surprised to learn that this is all you need to get your hands back to work.”

I fell in love with the premise, and just HAD to try it! When I received my package of MadeOn’s products (I got a couple of BeeSilk bars, an Au Chocolat bar, a Natural lip balm, and a Peppermint lip balm), I literally squealed with excitement (at the mailbox)! I haven’t had a chance to try them all out yet, but everything smells so good! I took the small BeeSilk bar to work today and have already made some hard lotion converts! I’ve even been able to convince my husband to try out the BeeSilk bar. He must like it, too, because he has started to ask me for it on a daily basis!

Update: I’ve been using the hard lotion for a little over a week now, and not only is my skin so smooth and hydrated, I’m still finding out great new uses for it! Hard lotion use #143: relieve sunburn! Hard lotion use #87: soothe bug bite itch!

How has hard lotion changed the way you moisturize?

CULT ITEM: URBAN DECAY PRIMER POTION

Jul
20

I cannot live without Urban Decay Primer Potion! I’ve used it every single day for years. It is the ONLY thing that keeps my eyeshadow from creasing during the day (even in summer humidity).

I put a dab on my eyelids before I apply foundation, and then again on top of the foundation. Then, I dust my face (including my eyelids) with loose powder to set, and then I apply eyeliner and eyeshadow.

At $20 a pop, UDPP can get a little pricey, but one tube of this seriously lasts me close to a year. I’ve even gone so far as to cut the tube open and scoop out the remaining product into a small, lidded container in order to use every last drop.

What do you use to keep your eyeshadow from straying?

**Update:  I now wear powder mineral foundation, so I only have to apply UDPP once: over foundation, but under eyeliner/eyeshadow, still with flawless results.  Either way, liquid or powder foundation, I feel like some type of powder on your eyelids before you apply UDPP helps avoid creasing.

LIQUID GOLD: ARGAN OIL

Jul
05

I was at Sephora recently, and saw a display for various moisturizers.  When I saw Josie Maran’s 100% Organic Argan Oil with claims of being able to “fade scars, heal acneic skin and smooth wrinkles,” I was intrigued. I received a healthy sample from the SA, and couldn’t wait to get home to try it out.  I have oily, acne-prone skin, so I was a little apprehensive about putting pure oil onto my face, but hey, I’ll try (almost) anything once!

That night, after washing my face, I sparingly applied a couple of drops to my face and gently smoothed it over my skin. I will admit, it did feel a tad sticky and oily at first, but it seemed to begin to sink in fairly quickly. I went to bed directly, so I can’t say for sure exactly how long it takes for it to totally sink in and not have that tacky feeling any longer…but I can proudly say that when I woke up in the morning, my face was not oily at all!

Here’s where the “miracle” aspect of argan oil comes into play: the acne that I had the night before was greatly diminished! I’ve been using this nightly for about two weeks now, and I can truly say that this lives up to its hype of fading scars and healing acneic skin!

The other night, I was at an out-of-town meeting and had to share a hotel room with a co-worker. We were washing our faces to get ready for bed, and as I was applying the argan oil to my face, I raved about it to my friend. Her mouth dropped and eyes widened, and I was like, “What’s wrong?” She said, “I’m standing here watching you put that stuff on your face and as you’re rubbing it in, the redness on your face is disappearing!” I told her, “Just wait until you see my face in the morning!” I had a couple of blemishes starting to form on my cheek (the kind that turn into red, angry cystic acne), and I told her, “See this? I’m going to apply a tad more oil onto this blemish, and I bet you $100 it will be gone in the morning.” Sure enough, when I woke up, my face was soft, smooth, and those blemishes were completely gone!

I am definitely recommending Pure Organic Argan Oil to everyone I know!

Update: I’ve been using argan oil as my facial moisturizer for over a year now, and I am loving it. I don’t really have any wrinkles yet, so I can’t speak for its “wrinkle-smoothing” properties but I feel like it has been keeping my skin wrinkle-free. My skin is no longer oily, my acne is healed, and my skin is super soft, smooth, and radiant!

MY FAVORITE EYELASH CURLER

Jun
17

One of my non-negotiable beauty items is an eyelash curler. I have pretty, long lashes but they are stick-straight–so an eyelash curler is a must!

I had been using the Shu Uemura eyelash curler for years, until 2010, when Shu came out with “upgraded” softer silicone curler pads. Sadly, these pads only lasted about a week or two until the metal from the curler started to cut into the pad, rendering them useless. For the price ($19), I expected these pads to last at least 6 months before needing replacement.

I started looking for a cheaper alternative to the Shu eyelash curler. I tried several from drugstore to other high-end brands, before finally settling on the BBeaute Beyond The Curleyelash curler. I got mine for around $11, and was pleased that they also sell refill pads for about $3 for a set of four.

The Bbeaute eyelash curler has been amazing every use! The curve of the curler itself is the perfect shape, and I have had zero pinching or tugging. The pads have lasted several months…in fact, I changed it at 6 months, but felt like I could have gotten even more out of it. This is a great alternative to the more expensive eyelash curlers out there.