Hello, Skirt Season! How to Have Smooth Legs All Summer

How to have smooth legs all summer via @poorandpretty

After a few rainy days in April, spring seems to have passed right by, and we’ve been launched into an early summer. (We’ve had at least four 80º days in Connecticut the past week!) This is just fine by me because I get to break out my skirts and shorts! I love my legs and I love showing them off, so I’m psyched to team up with Schick® and Skintimate® during their Rock Your Legs promotion to celebrate the steps we take every day as women. 

Skirt Season Leg Love - polka dot dress via @poorandpretty

When skirt season rolls around, I’m happy to make my razor work double-time. Honestly, shaving is relaxing for me. I don’t mind spending a little extra time in the shower or bath because when I get out, I’m putting my best leg forward. ;)

Here’s what I’m using to have smooth, confident legs all summer:

Summer Leg Beauty Essentials - Schick Skintimate Naked Bee via @poorandpretty

1. Skintimate® Strawberry Tangerine Twist® Women’s Shave Gel. This smells incredible! It smells like strawberry Kool-Aid, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Japanese gummy candies all rolled into one. You don’t need much and it leaves your legs feeling super smooth and smelling wonderful.

2. Schick Hydro Silk® Disposables. I like my razors without (too many) frills. As of late, I’ve mostly used Stan’s leftover Dollar Shave Club razors because I’m too lazy (and cheap) to buy my own. But this little lady is pretty awesome. It’s got five blades surrounded by a water-activated moisturizing serum made with shea butter. It curves gently and pivots in a way Stan’s razor doesn’t, plus it has a grippy handle and a cap that isn’t terrifying to put on. Seriously, does anyone else feel like they’re going to slice their fingers off any time they replace the cap on a disposable razor? Well anyway, this one has a nice, non-scary, easy-to-slip-on cap. 

 3. The Naked Bee Vitamin C Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30. I’m a mix of Danish, Swedish, Irish, Italian, and a tiny bit Native American, but my legs scream 100% Scandinavian. As soon as sunlight hits them, they start to burn. So I have to make sure I’m wearing sunscreen in the summer. This is the only one I’ll use because it’s non-toxic, doesn’t leave white streaks like most natural sunscreens, absorbs well, isn’t greasy, and smells amazing. In short: it’s perfect.

Shaving Razors from Schick via @poorandpretty

Schick also sent me a few other razors to test out — a Schick Intuition Revitalizing Moisture Razor (left, orange) and their new Schick Hydrosilk TrimStyle. I’ve used (and loved!) the Schick Intuition before, which has 4 blades surrounded by soap so it lathers while you shave, eliminating the need for shaving cream. For this reason, it’s great for traveling. The Schick Hydrosilk TrimStyle is also pretty sweet — it’s got a regular razor on one end and a bikini trimmer on the other. As I said before, I tend to prefer no-frills razors, but I know this will come in handy once our pool opens up.

Skirt Season Leg Love - stripe skirt yoga tree pose via @poorandpretty

So whether you’re doing a few tree poses in yoga class (or in the backyard), dancing the night away, soaking in some sun, or simply sitting in the grass taking photos of your legs and getting weird looks from your neighbors (that’s me!), rock your legs this summer and always. Stand tall, girl!

Embrace the Paste - Leg Love @poorandpretty

How will you #rockyourlegs?

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P.S. Schick is sponsoring Pitch Perfect 2, which I can’t wait to see! There are so many hilarious rockin’ women in that movie. Schick is currently running a promotion with Ahold (Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin’s) for a FREE movie ticket to see Pitch Perfect 2. Just purchase two Schick women’s shave items ($10 minimum value), and you’ll receive a print out at the register to redeem a code for your free movie ticket. The promotion runs through May 23, 2015.

All Pitch Perfect 2 Limited Edition Shave products will be available beginning April 2015 at drug and grocery stores nationwide.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick® . The opinions and text are all mine.

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5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder + New Chocolate Face Mask!

5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder feature via @poorandpretty

Like we needed any more reasons to love chocolate, right? You know I’m a big fan of putting my favorite kitchen ingredients into beauty products (green tea, oranges, vanilla, etc.), so it was only a matter of time before I started slathering cocoa powder all over my face. And you can too! Today, I’m introducing my all new 100% natural Chocolate Face Mask, just in time for Mother’s Day. But first, let’s talk about why cocoa powder is so awesome for your skin:

5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder via @poorandpretty

 

1. Repairs skin. Pure cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants, which fight off free radicals, heal damaged skin, and reduce lines and wrinkles. You can see why I decided to make my new Chocolate Face Mask!

2. Prevents sun damage. Polyphenols — a type of antioxidant found in cocoa powder — absorb UV rays and help ward off skin cancer. Polyphenols are best absorbed through drinking, so add a spoonful of cocoa powder to your coffee or make natural hot chocolate. But please don’t slather yourself in cocoa powder! It is not a replacement for sunscreen.

3. Firming. The caffeine and theobromine found in cocoa powder break down fats and drain fatty cells which firms skin and reduces puffiness.

4. Reduces cellulite. Caffeine and theobromine also make cocoa powder an effective natural cellulite treatment.

5. Healthy hair. The sulfur in cocoa powder promotes shinier, softer hair. It can also be used to naturally darken hair.

Chocolate Face Mask top 2

In my Chocolate Face Mask, I’ve combined the antioxidant-rich, certified organic cocoa powder with dehydrated coconut milk and kaolin clay to gently exfoliate, smooth, and hydrate your skin. Pick one up for you — or your Mom! — here.

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DIY All-Natural Body Sprays & Perfumes

Make Your Own Body Spray feature @poorandpretty

DIY Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I have been on a roll with tutorials lately! It must be the return of spring. :) As part of my ongoing partnership with Bramble Berry, I thought I’d share with you a few ways to make all-natural body sprays and perfumes. I’ve made perfume in the past, so I wanted to try a lighter body spray this time, especially now that I’ve got a few homemade infused oils! Before we dive in, let’s talk about the three main all-natural body spray bases:

Oil Base:

Water Base:

Alcohol Base:

DIY Perfume via @poorandpretty

Remember the DIY Perfume I made last year? This is an example of an alcohol-based perfume or body spray. Although it contained a man-made fragrance oil, the vodka base itself is natural and can be used with essential oils instead. In today’s post, I’ll cover the Oil and Water based body sprays. If you want a stronger perfume, check out my alcohol-based perfume tutorial here.

DIY Vanilla Sandalwood Moisturizing Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I love any excuse to slather myself in vanilla-scented goodness, so my first body spray was an oil-based one, using my vanilla-infused jojoba oil. I combined it with a few drops of sandalwood essential oil for a sensual, woodsy appeal.

Vanilla Woods Oil-Based Body Spray

This is a great after-shower spray, and can be used in place of lotion for dry skin because jojoba oil absorbs very quickly, without a greasy feeling.

DIY Citrus Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I’m also a big fan of citrusy fragrances, and I’m in love with the Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil I picked up from Bramble Berry. It’s like lemon with a little bit of pine. In this water-based body spray, I mixed it with Orange Essential Oil and Rosewater, which produced a lovely citrus-meets-bubblegum fragrance. It reminded me of lemon sherbet, tea cookies, summer carnivals, and relaxing on the porch with a good book.

Almost Summer Water-Based Body Spray

 This is a very light fragrance that won’t stick around forever, but offers a lovely light pick-me-up scent.

 DIY Body Spray - using a funnel @poorandpretty

Tips & Tricks for Making Body Spray:

  • If you can, use amber or cobalt (blue) bottles rather than clear. They filter light, preserving your fragrance for longer.
  • Use a funnel when pouring your water, oil, or alcohol into your bottle to avoid spills!
  • Optionally, you can add aloe vera, glycerin, and/or Vitamin E to your sprays for extra moisturizing benefits.

Make Your Own Body Spray via @poorandpretty

Have you ever made your own perfume or body spray? I’d love to hear what worked for you, and what fragrances you’ve mixed up!

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DIY Herbal Infused Oils for Beauty & Cooking

Infused Vanilla and Lavender Oils feature via @poorandpretty

Infused Coffee Vanilla and Lavender Oils via @poorandpretty

When I began creating products for my 100% natural Apothecary line, I realized quickly that my fragrance options were pretty limited. Because I only use essential oils, I can’t easily achieve apple pie, cucumber melon, or vanilla frosting scents. I was not willing to give up on vanilla, but Vanilla Absolute (the closest thing you get to vanilla essential oil) is CRAZY expensive — sometimes around $100/oz! I knew there had to be a less expensive alternative. That’s when I discovered I could make my own oil infusions. You can do this with all kinds of herbs and flowers, and it’s cheaper than buying essential oils. 

DIY Infused Lavender Oil supplies via @poorandpretty

Depending on the types of oil and herb, flower, or bean you use, your infused oils can be used in beauty products or cooking. Next week, I’m going to share how I used mine to make body sprays! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get infusing!

Basic Infused Oil Recipe

  • ¼ – ½ cup herb, flower, or bean
  • 1 cup of oil

These are approximations. For some oils, you’ll want to use more of the herb you’re working with, and some you’ll use less. See my “herbs to infuse” section below for details.

Infusing Lavender Almond Oil via @poorandpretty

Double-Boiler Infusion Method  — the fastest method!

  1. Fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with water. If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a medium saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water.
  2. Add your oil and herbs, flowers, or beans to the top pan of your double-boiler. If using a saucepan, put the oil and herbs into a heat-safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup and place gently into the saucepan.
  3. Warm on low heat for 2-4 hours, checking every so often to make sure your water hasn’t evaporated. If it starts getting low, add more in.
  4. Strain the oil/herb mixture through cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, or a coffee filter into a jar and close the lid tightly.

Infused Vanilla and Lavender Oils via @poorandpretty

Tips & Tricks for Infusing Oils

  • Use oils that have a long shelf life — Jojoba, Olive, Sweet Almond, and Avocado oils are best. You can buy them here.
  • For the most part, you’ll want to use dried herbs and flowers to prevent bacterial growth and mold.
  • Straining through a coffee filter took a long time. If you’ve got cheesecloth or a fine mesh filter, use that instead!

DIY Infused Oils via @poorandpretty

Herbs to Infuse + Where to Buy Them

  • Calendula (Marigold) – One of the best, most versatile infusions. Calendula soothes dry & damaged skin and irritations. Use it alone or in a salve or lotion to heal sunburn and rashes. It makes a great baby oil, too. Use up to 1:1 calendula to oil ratio. You can buy calendula here.
  • Chamomile – If you want something relaxing, but you’re not a fan of lavender, chamomile is a close second. It’s not as strongly scented as lavender. Use ½ cup chamomile per cup of oil. You can buy chamomile here.
  • Coffee Grounds – This oil will tighten skin, fight free radicals, stimulate blood flow, and reduce cellulite. Ever notice that eye creams tend to have coffee in them? That’s because coffee reduces puffiness and gets rid of under-eye circles. Use ¼ – ½ cup of coffee grounds to 1 cup of oil. You can buy coffee grounds at your local supermarket.
  • Lavender  – You know the drill. Lavender is great at reducing stress and inducing relaxation and sleep. (Learn more about why I love lavender here.) Use ¼ cup of lavender buds per cup of oil. You can buy lavender buds here.
  • Orange Peel – A lovely brightening, cheering scent, I love using powdered orange peel in my Orange Sugar Scrubs. Dried orange peel can also be used to make an infused oil. You can make dried orange peel yourself by peeling oranges and letting the peels cook in the oven on very low heat for a few hours or you can skip that (it’s kind of a pain) and buy dried orange peel here.
  • Peppermint – Awakens the senses and soothes sore muscles. A peppermint-infused oil would be great on its own as a sore muscle massage oil. Use fresh peppermint, which you can buy in your local supermarket. I love combining rosemary + peppermint for cold season remedies, like in this DIY Mint + Rosemary Vapor Rub or my Mint + Rosemary Bathing Salts.
  • Rosemary – This can make a great culinary or beauty oil. Use it as a rub for muscle pain or as a treatment for dry, itchy, flaky scalp. It’s also great in recipes for roasting potatoes, pasta sauce, etc. I used about 2 tbs of dried rosemary in 1 ½ cups of olive oil. Because I will primarily use this for cooking, I left the rosemary in the oil. You can buy rosemary in the spice aisle of your local supermarket.
  • Vanilla Beans – This smells incredible! I use vanilla-infused jojoba oil in my Vanilla Sugar Scrubs. Slice up 3-4 vanilla beans per cup of oil. I like the tiny seeds mixing in with my sugar scrubs, so I don’t strain this oil. You can buy vanilla beans in most supermarkets or natural food stores.

These are just a few of the oil infusions you can make! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. On Monday, I’ll share how to use these infusions to make body sprays.

Disclosure: I was provided some of the supplies shown in this post by Bramble Berry, because I totally love them and they love me too! This post also contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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DIY Mineral Foundation & Tinted Moisturizer

DIY Mineral Foundation + Tinted Moisturizer via @poorandpretty feat

DIY Mineral Foundation + Tinted Moisturizer via @poorandpretty

In the 5 years Poor & Pretty has been around, I’ve shared a lot of DIY hair & beauty tutorials, but I’ve shied away from makeup. Homemade makeup seemed more than a little daunting and I never used to wear much of it anyway. Lately, I’ve been wearing more makeup which naturally meant I had to learn to make my own. Enter Bramble Berry’s Mineral Makeup Foundation Kit.

Bramble Berry Mineral Makeup Kit

It’s got everything you need to make three jars of natural mineral foundation (about 4oz total), plus have leftovers for experimenting with eye shadows, bronzers, and blushes. It also comes with an instruction booklet (much needed for newbies like me!) and a super soft kabuki brush. And it’s only $40! I bet you spend more than that on your favorite store bought foundation, right? I used to!

Sami with and without makeup via @poorandpretty

Here’s a little before & after for you. The photo on the left is of my face freshly cleansed and moisturized. On the right, I’m wearing my tinted moisturizer and mineral foundation, as well as blush, eyeshadow, and lip gloss that are not homemade. (But don’t worry, I’ll be tackling those too in the next few months!) As you can see, the mineral foundation doesn’t change the color of my skin, but rather evens out my skintone and offers light coverage. It isn’t caky or flaky.

Making more mineral foundation via @poorandpretty

I will tell you: it takes a lot of patience and trial and error to find the right mix of micas, oxides, and clays that make up your perfect match. I finally found mine on the 10th batch! But it was totally worth the few hours I put into it because now I have a go-to mineral foundation that I can make at home and not have to worry about whether or not it’s got hidden toxins in it.

Making mineral foundation via @poorandpretty

The instruction booklet has basic recipes to give you a starting point, but it really is all about throwing things together, trying it on, and seeing if it works.

A few tips:

  • Have makeup remover wipes handy!
  • Keep your routine consistent for each trial. Because my skin runs on the drier side (especially after this winter), I applied moisturizer before every application, otherwise I knew the mineral makeup would be way too dry and flaky.
  • If you’re working near a porcelain sink (or maybe rinsing tools off in one), keep a bathroom cleaning spray handy. Micas and oxides tend to run wild and will stain if you don’t clean them up properly. I use Method’s Tub + Tile Cleaner.

Bramble Berry Mineral Makeup Guide

The back of the instruction book has a section to record your recipes, so be sure to take good notes while you’re mixing up batches. If a batch is too light, dark, or doesn’t offer enough coverage, write it down!

DIY Mineral Foundation via @poorandpretty

My Perfect Combination Mineral Foundation (that’s fun to say!) was this:

  • 1 tsp Sericite Mica
  • ¼ tsp Titanium Dioxide
  • ¼ tsp Kaolin
  • ¼ tsp Tapioca Flour
  • ½ mini scoop Yellow Mica – not included in the kit, but can also be purchased from Bramble Berry here.
  • ½ mini scoop Brown Oxide
  • 2 ½ mini scoops Honeyed Beige Mica

Making tinted moisturizer via @poorandpretty

I also had some of Bramble Berry’s Aloe Lotion Base on-hand, so I decided to give making a tinted moisturizer a try. The result looks very dark, but actually offers very little coverage. I wouldn’t use it on its own, but it does make a nice foundation for layering on the mineral makeup.

Tinted Moisturizer:

  • 1 4 oz jar
  • 4 oz Aloe Lotion Base
  • ¼ tsp Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil – a beautiful and uplifting sweet, citrusy scent that also treats acne!
  • 5 mini scoops Honeyed Beige Mica
  • 1 mini scoop Brown Oxide
  • 1 mini scoop Yellow Mica

DIY Tinted Moisturizer via @poorandpretty feat

Mixing the micas and oxides into the lotion was a little challenging, but I found it worked best if I mixed them into the Litsea Cubeba essential oil first, then into the lotion. Combine these with an immersion blender if you have one, or by hand if you don’t.

Homemade Mineral Foundation + Tinted Moisturizer via @poorandpretty

If you are interested in making your own mineral foundations, eyeshadows, and blushes, I highly recommend picking up Bramble Berry’s Mineral Makeup Foundation Kit. It’s perfect for beginners and has very clear, easy-to-follow instructions. I will definitely be using this kit in the near future to make blushes and eye shadows, so stay tuned!

Disclosure: I was provided many of the supplies shown in this post by Bramble Berry, because I totally love them and they love me too! This doesn’t change how I feel about the mineral makeup kit, which is awesome. This post also contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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