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Body Care

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Cruelty Free At Home Waxing with Parissa Wax Strips!

This weekend begins the unofficial start to Summer!!! We all know what that means…more sun, more fun and more bare skin. Many of us choose to wear dresses or shorts and don’t want a mess of long leg hair sticking out – if you don’t mind, then you do you! No judgement from me…that sounds freeing actually, but for me I prefer to keep the leg hair to a minimum. So today I thought I would share just how I keep my legs hair free for as long as possible…and with as little effort as possible! 😉 It’s actually quite simple and relatively inexpensive, though this particular option is not vegan if that’s a deal breaker for you. There are vegan options out there, just none that I know if in this exact form. What am I referring to? Well….

Smooth, Soft, Summer – Ready Skin the (mostly) Natural Way!

 

SummerSkin-Collage-0002

Though the weather here has been a bit deceiving since I didn’t see the sun for most of May, do not be fooled! Summer is on its way!!! With warmer temperatures and longer days comes more exposed skin. I don’t know about you, but I want my skin to be as soft and smooth as possible! So today I’m going to share with you all my tips and tricks for getting your softest, smoothest Summer-ready skin! And bonus, they’re pretty much all on the more natural side and definitely affordable! 😉

Lotion that Sprays?! – Kiss My Face Air Kiss Light Moisturizing Lotion – Fad or Fab?

I keep seeing spray lotions popping up all over and it’s definitely peaked my interest. I have no issue with standard lotions, body butters or even body oils so I’m not sure why I care, but it’s a shiny new object, right? 🙂 I stumbled across the Air Kiss Light Moisturizing Lotion from Kiss My Face the other day and instantly added it to my basket since it’s the first cruelty free option I’ve seen. Having tried it out, I thought I’d share my thoughts. Keep in mind that this is the only spray lotion I have ever tried so I have no basis for comparison.

Soft, Smooth Summer Ready Legs

The unofficial start of Summer is here and that means short shorts, mini skirts and flirty dresses…well for some people at least! J With all that leg baring happening, I thought I would share some of my tips…and really just general routine…for achieving perfectly smooth, soft, stubble-free legs!

The first step to getting smooth legs and also prepping for a closer shave is to exfoliate. Personally I don’t find the standard sugar scrubs to do a good enough job on my skin, though I’m sure they’re fantastic for plenty of you out there. My absolute favorite ways to remove the old and bring out the new is either with dry brushing or the more intense scrub that is frank. I have discussed both before, so I will just briefly touch on them here. Dry Brushing is basically a technique that requires brushing a somewhat stiff body brush (check out my review of the new EcoTools one here) over dry skin to exfoliate dead skin cells and improve blood circulation to the skin. It’s a fantastic way of getting soft, healthy skin without a huge fuss or mess. The epic scrub known simply as frank I actually find to be a bit more intense (to read all about frank, check out my review here). frank is a physical body scrub made with mainly coffee grounds, sea salt and various oils that you use in the shower. I find it to be a bit less convenient than dry brushing, but I really, really love frank! JIt smells so delicious and it also helps to moisturize the skin while scrubbing away the old skin. No matter what method you prefer, exfoliating the skin is key to getting the smoothest, softest skin.

For most of us, smooth legs also involves shaving. I actually prefer waxing, but it’s such a pain (no pun intended) to either have it done or to do it yourself. Not to mention, it’s difficult to do on the spur of the moment should a beach trip suddenly come up! Unless you’ve had laser hair removal or eschew the idea of hair-free legs, you’ll probably have need for shaving at some point in your life. So, I’ve found that to get the best shave without nicks, cuts or irritated red bumps (my constant problem before this trick!) is to use Coconut Oil in place of shaving cream. I written about this before too, which you can check out here. I haven’t tried other oils, but they would probably work as well. I just find that I really like using coconut oil because since it’s always solid when I begin, it literally melts onto my skin and sticks around until I pass over it with a razor. It seems to help the razor really glide over the skin while still being well controlled so I don’t end up with nicks or cuts pretty much ever. And those horrid itchy red bumps from irritation that I used to struggle with so badly have not reared their heads again since I’ve switched to coconut oil for shaving!
Now that the bulk of the work is done, it’s time to seal in some moisture with a good moisturizer. My favorite? Yet again, it’s Coconut Oil! You can use any moisturizer you like be it a body butter, lightweight lotion or some sort of body oil. Whatever works to hydrate your skin comfortably is really the important thing. What I find wonderful about coconut oil is that it is highly moisturizing (I onlyuse it after bathing) and it lasts. It doesn’t have a very strong scent and I know that some would find it way too heavy or greasy, but I just love the super soft feeling of my skin when I use it. It never feels softer! To apply it, I pat off excess water after bathing and while still standing in the shower, I grab my little baby spoon to scoop out the solid oil (yes, I really do use a baby spoon J) and apply it like any other moisturizer, rubbing it in until the oil has fully melted into my skin. Once that’s done, you can pat off a bit again if you’re feeling a bit greasy, but I usually just get out of the shower and go about my hair and skin routines. I love that I don’t really have to get out of the shower to apply the oil because I hate that instant blast of cold when I step out of the shower. This process allows me to kind of acclimate to room temperature slowly. Granted there are plenty of times that I just use a more traditional lotion or probably my all-time favorite body butter – Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter – but I find a bit of coconut oil is by far the easiest and most effective way to achieving baby soft legs. J
That’s it! Nothing special and nothing fancy, but I find that these steps have made an enormous difference in the smoothness, softness and even healthier glow to my skin. If you are a self-tanner, something that I never do because I just embrace my paleness, but that’s obviously another step that can be added as appropriate. If it’s a special day or a fancy night out and you want to just boost your skin a bit – tanned or not – check out The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil. It’s basically just a slightly shimmering body oil with a hint of tint to it. It’s not going to give you a tan by itself, but it will make your skin look healthier, more glowing and just a bit more beautiful no matter what shade you’re starting with. Be warned though – it has a pretty strong fragrance that’s kind of a fruity-floral to me…and it lasts. I like the scent, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t mind the fragrance, it also makes for a great softness boost if it’s been a while since you’ve moisturized.
I’d love to know if any of you already use any of these tips, or if you try them out, how you like them! JI used to have the worst problems with ingrown hairs and just horrible irritation on my legs before using these steps. Granted, I don’t always exfoliate and once in a while I will skip the post-shower moisturizer, but I never ever forget the coconut shaving oil if there’s a razor in my hands! That has made the biggest difference of all and I am so thankful to have finally found a way to keep my legs hair free without too much fuss and absolutely zero discomfort. I hope this has been helpful and I’d love to hear what you all think!!! As always, thank for taking the time to check out the blog and I hope to see you again soon! J

Scrub for the Sun – EcoTools Dry Body Brush

As the weather improves and the sun shines while the temperatures soar, most of us start showing a bit more skin. That means its time to get exfoliating! To some this is a tedious chore, but I kind of enjoy it. There’s something satisfying about scraping away all that old skin and feeling baby soft when you step out of the shower. Fortunately, there’s a new tool from EcoTools that is an excellent addition to anyone’s exfoliating routine! It is their new Dry Body Brush.

EcoTools’ new Dry Body Brush is very well designed. It has a round bamboo base with gentle yet firm cruelty free synthetic fiber bristles. There is also a cloth strap attached to the back to make it even easier to hold. The size is perfect in that it’s not too big to fit in your hand, nor is it too small to cover large areas of your body in one go. The bristles, though firm enough to remove dead skin, are somehow still soft on the skin. I think part of the secret is that the bristles are not too densely packed, allowing them to spread out and move a bit while in use. I would have to say it is quite possibly the perfect dry brush! Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing. J

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of dry brushing, it basically just refers to sweeping a relatively firm brush in upward motions over dry skin, typically before bathing, to help remove dead skin and improve circulation. It is best to always move towards your heart. It can actually feel quite nice and kind of invigorating. I have been dry brushing on and off for a few years now and I have definitely learned that the brush you’re using can make a world of difference!

I originally had been using a Tampico brush for dry brushing that had a handle. It was very stiff with rather inflexible bristles and was very difficult to maneuver due to its long handle. I often ended up up knocking over anything and everything in my way. It left my skin red after use and, though I didn’t mind it, it is probably way too harsh for many people.

Everything that I found fault with in my Tampico brush seems remedied by this new EcoTools brush! My skin is left looking soft and healthy, not red and irritated. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend dry brushing in general for those with highly sensitive skin, the EcoTools Dry Brush is the perfect balance of gentle and effective without being highly irritating. If you have an interest in giving dry brushing a go, definitely start by trying the new EcoTools Dry Body Brush. Retailing for only $4.99, it’s a steal and your skin will thank you for it! J

Confessing My Love…For frank.

I have a confession to make. I am in love. I just can’t keep it a secret any longer. My love? Well it’s a bit unconventional. His name is frank and, well…he’s a coffee scrub. That’s right. I’m in love with frank Coconut Coffee Body Scrub! I had heard a few people mention frank here and there and finally decided I should give him a try too and, well, I’m hooked! frank is just the most amazing, body smoothing, healthy-glow giving thing that I have ever found! The gushing has only just begun, so let’s count the ways that I love frank. J

Firstly, if you’re still a tiny bit confused (which I doubt since you’re all amazing and intelligent people, but my dad was lost when I tried to explain this), frank is a coffee-based body scrub that is intended to be used in the shower. The marketing around this product is sheer genius in my opinion. The scrub is made to sound like a real person and after ordering, you’ll receive updates about where frank is on “his” journey. The back of the package says:

“If you do something for me…” (and it continues with directions on how to use frank) …”I’ll do something for you:

  • like scrub away dry, flaky skin with my roasted robusta coffee and sea salt blend, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.
  • I’ll cleanse and clarify with brown sugar, coconut flakes and coconut oil.
  • Then I’ll soothe, moisturize and tone with grape seed oil and jojoba beads.
  • I’ll love every inch of your bod, because that’s just the kind of guy I am.”
And there you have the basic claims from frank (the body scrub).

frank was born in Melbourne, Australia but fear not if you live elsewhere in the world. He will travel for free to the US and will also go on international excursions! He departs from a warehouse in LA, so you won’t be waiting 60 years to greet frank on your doorstep (at least for US customers). frank is simple in not only his ingredients (they were all spelled out above), but also in his simple foil-lined paper packaging. It’s a really cute, clever design and simply states “frank“ on the front. I think it’s an unusual and appealing way of packaging a scrub. I like the rather simple, albeit rather advanced paper pouch, in that it repels water and keeps oils safely contained inside. frank seals with a standard Ziploc-type closure…he reminds you to “Store me in a cool, dry place with my fly done up.” So cute! No frills. None needed!

Unzip frank’s “fly” and you’ll find basically a bunch of oil-laced finely ground coffee with a touch of salt, sugar, coconut and jojoba beads to scrub away all of your lumps and bumps. It should be said that if you do not like the smell of coffee, you WILL NOT like this scrub at all! It smells strongly of coffee with, in the case of mine, a touch of coconut. There are 4 versions of frank, each with slightly different ingredients, which create a different addition to the coffee scent. I chose the Coconut Coffee Scrub because I absolutely adore coconut and it had so many different awesome exfoliants included! J Anyway, back to the contents. I’m not quite sure how this scrub works so well, but it not only scrubs away any traces of dead skin, but it leaves the skin soft, smooth, moisturized and just all-over healthier looking. I swear it really does help improve the appearance of cellulite as well – I’m sure it’s the caffeine. It’s so fantastic that I find moisturizer almost doesn’t make a difference in the softness of my skin! It’s that softening! You will seriously feel like buttery soft silk when you get out of the shower, after you dry off, and even days later…even if you skip the moisturizer all together! It’s incredible what frank does.

frank does require you to put a little effort into your skin softening endeavors however. As you may have figured out by now, coffee grounds do not simply dissolve or immediately rinse down the drain like a sugar or salt scrub. Fear not though! I find that if I use frank mid-shower, as I usually do, by the time I’ve finished rinsing my hair and am ready to towel off, most if not all of the grounds have found their way down the drain. You willsee a bit of brown from the ground coffee dripping down your skin while scrubbing away, but again nothing that doesn’t wash off. I find the easiest way to use frank is to put a small amount in a little jar and leave the actual package outside of the shower. That’s not necessary, I just find it easier to scoop a bit out of a little travel size jar and keep it in the shower at all times. Perhaps the most unusual part of the process comes when you are to actually start scrubbing. You are meant to turn off the water (so it doesn’t just rinse away as most scrubs do), rub the coffee all over – you can even gently use it on your face if you so choose (and it seriously softens your face too) – and wait about 5 minutes without turning the water back on. I didn’t think I could handle this step fearing I would be freezing by the end of the time, but it actually isn’t bad at all. After this 5 minute period, feel free to resume showering as usual and you will be so happy with the texture and appearance of your skin when you get out! One tip that I will add is that if your hair is long enough to pull up, you probably want to do so just to keep any oils or coffee grounds from getting trapped in your locks. Before I grab frank, I put my conditioner on my hair, twist it up and cover it with a shower cap. Then while scrubbing away, my hair is getting a nice, deep conditioning treatment with no extra time or effort on my part. Win, win! J 

That’s pretty much all I can think of to tell you about frank. He leaves me somewhat speechless. J I highly, highly recommend giving this scrub a try! I feel like frank is even more effective than other body exfoliating methods, including dry brushing! The Coconut version costs $17.95 (includingshipping) for a generous 7oz/200g and you need a pretty small quantity per shower. If you have easily irritated or highly sensitive skin, frank might be a bit harsh for you, but otherwise, this is hands down the best body scrub I have ever come across! If you want soft, smooth, silky, moisturized, touchable and just healthier looking skin that will last for days, you should definitely give franka try!  
You can purchase frank through their website here. Fear not. I gain nothing from you clicking the link! If you’re more comfortable typing it yourself, it’s simply frankbody.com.

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