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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Charcoal and Wellness Soup

Last week we had a nasty stomach bug hit our house (and by "we" I mean Peter and Simon - I fortunately never got it!)  I felt so bad for Simon as he wasn't quite over a cold he had from the previous week.  We pulled out our activated charcoal and I went to the store for wellness soup ingredients (thank you, Grace for the recipe!).  I didn't realize all the hoopla that would be created with my picture of our charcoal supplements along with mentioning ingredients for a wellness soup!  I was encouraged by a friend (shout out to you, Michelle!), to blog about it so here it is!

Activated Charcoal:
  This is something that I knew nothing about before knowing Peter and his family.  I honestly thought he was joking or something when he suggested taking charcoal.  I believe I joked back, "Like scrape some off of the grill?"  He then proceeded to explain that it's in capsules and you can buy it at the store or get a kit and make it yourself.  Okay then, I had been schooled! =)
  We currently buy the capsules and take them whenever there are digestive things going on.  Charcoal acts like a cleanse to clean out your gut.  It is a wonderful tool for sickness and a poison antidote.  You would probably be surprised to know that it is used in water filters and air purifiers.  It's a wonderful detox and so that's how we use it.  I have heard of people using it to whiten their teeth but have never tried it myself (maybe another blog post?).  =)  If you go buy it from the store make sure that it says ACTIVATED charcoal.

I have heard wonderful things about this brand and I love that it's a powder so it's easier to give to children.

It's on my list of things to purchase next. =)

Wellness Soup:
Usually when we are sick I make a wellness soup from homemade chicken stock (or turkey stock is fine!).  I had not thought of making one for a stomach bug until I was talking with my friend, Grace, and she told me about a soup she was making for her family (who also had the bug).  Homemade stock is incredibly helpful for your body when you are fighting something - I call it liquid gold.  =)  I make my stock by simmering the carcass along with veggies (onion, carrots, celery etc).  Once it's done simmering, I take out the bones and blend everything up so that you still have all the veggies and some meat in it.  I freeze it in bags so that I can quickly pull some out whenever we need it.  This serves as my base for every wellness soup I have ever made.  Typically I don't follow a recipe but fill the stock full of fresh veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli etc) and garlic.  I will often blend up Simon's so that he gets the veggies in more of a broth like substance.  This time, I tried using fresh ginger, lemon and roasted garlic.  My version didn't taste the greatest but I knew it had a lot of nutrients.  If i had followed a recipe I'm sure it would have been better.  =)  Here is the recipe that inspired it:

Grace's Wellness Soup: left over whole chicken carcass boiled then simmered 4-8 hrs with onions, garlic, celery, oregano, thyme, parsley...then strain broth, separate meat and add to broth, return to stove to cook on low. Chop: 6 carrots, 6 celery, bunch of kale, garlic, onion, broccoli, mushrooms then add to soup pot. Add star anise, ginger, lemon, 2 tablespoons miso paste, 1 cup wild rice (optional). Cook 1-2 hrs on low. Remove star anise. Serve, eat, enjoy!

Hope this answers all the questions.  Stay well everyone!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Foundation: What's the Big Idea?

Foundation is the one product that I have struggled with for years.  I couldn't figure out if it was a necessary product or not and most of the time didn't use it.  It seemed like no matter who I asked, I never got a straight answer about it.

"Only use foundation for your trouble areas."
"Only use foundation for a more glam look."
"Only use foundation if your skin is bad."
"Foundation is the first step in your beauty routine."
"Foundation makes you look like you are wearing too much makeup."
"Use foundation in combination with powder."
"Don't use foundation if you use powder."

Well?  What is it here?  What is the big idea with foundation?  You can see why I was so confused!

In my years of trying different looks and ways to use makeup, this is what I have recently discovered:

Foundation, when used correctly, is the anchor for the rest of your face makeup.  It's like doing your makeup with no lotion on your face - it takes way more product and doesn't stay on at all.  If you use any sort of powder or bronzer, foundation is your "lotion" to hold it on.  I truly have become a big believer in it!  It makes a world of difference for the rest of your products.  If you have great skin and don't need the extra coverage, then get a really sheer foundation.  You really don't need that much, especially if you apply it with a brush, so it won't make you look anymore "done up" but it makes such a difference!  It will also save you on products: when you have the appropriate products, you ultimately need less of them.  Having foundation on will require less powder than if you didn't have it on.

If you don't believe me about foundation (I didn't believe it for the longest time!) then try this:

The Foundation Challenge:
Wear foundation under your powder (still with lotion on your face) for a few days in a row, then try wearing your makeup without it and be amazed at the difference.

For a nice, sheer foundation, try Stila Illuminating BB Cream from Sephora

 or the MAC mineralize liquid foundation. (Works best for dry skin)

I have also heard great things about the Maybelline Fit Me foundation (drugstore)

and the Revlon Colorstay line (also drugstore). (For Oily/Combo skin)

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion with foundation because it honestly is a great product! Let me know how it goes for you guys.


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Nude Lip

I love a good, nude lip. When paired with a smoky eye, it's one of my favorite looks!  There is a big difference, though, between nude lips done correctly and incorrectly.  If not done right, you  can look like  you don't have any lips, like this:

If not done properly, you can look like you have white or barbie pink lips like this:

The key to making a nude lip work is lip liner AND lipgloss.  You still want defined, 3-D lips so always use a liner and a gloss with a nude lip.  I prefer a slightly pink gloss. 

Remember how I said that your primer would come in handy this week and that I really wanted to try new things without making purchases?  Well, here is where it all comes together! I tried a nude lip this past week and I could not find my lipstick so I used the DIY eyeshadow primer for my lips!  With my liner and gloss it really turned out well - I was impressed.  Now I have even more reason for this eyeshadow primer! 

Again, these pictures don't totally do it justice because the lighting doesn't show the true color.  So go get your eyeshadow primer that you made last weekend and give it a try!  Because it's a primer, you could also use this under your other lipsticks to make them stay longer and go on better.  It would be a really nice base.  Most likely I will eventually purchase a nude lipstick but for now, this will work!

My current lip liner that I use for everything is:  MAC Whirl
But I have heard that Maybelline Mink Eyeliner makes a great lip liner and I really want to try it next! 

Let me know how your nude lips turn out with your primer!  


Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY Eye Shadow Primer

Hey girls!

  I came across this awesome recipe for DIY eyeshadow primer and I had to share it with you all!  Now, if you are like me, eyeshadow primer won't be something that you use all the time, but for those special occasions out when you want your makeup to stay longer or you want that great smoky eye, this will be perfect!  The best part about it:  You probably already have the ingredients!  This week I have been particularly determined to try some new things with my makeup but without having to purchase anything. I was thrilled to discover this recipe and it works great!

Use a clean container and mix together:
1/2 teaspoon natural chapstick
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon liquid foundation (whatever you have!)

You might try warming up the chapstick first so that it's easier to mix.  Now, I didn't have chapstick on hand but I have aquaphor so I used that instead.  I mixed it with my finger so once I was done, I used the excess on my finger to put it on my eyelids and my face as foundation.  Aquaphor is so good for your face and it feels wonderful and smooth!

I know, it's eyeshadow primer so you can't really see it but it's all I have on my eyelids in this pic.  Trust me, you have got to try this stuff!  I think it would make a great concealer for tough areas too.  Make some up this weekend and start getting used to it because you'll need it for next week's post.  =)  (How's that for a teaser??)

Have a great weekend!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Highlighting And Contouring: The Difference

I know that I have talked before about highlighting and contouring and how amazing it is but I wanted to show you all what a difference it can make.  So, over the weekend I took the time to do my makeup different ways and take pictures so that you all could see it.  I struggled to find good lighting in my house that truly showed the makeup accurately so bear with me.


Foundation/powder plus blush

HAC (bronzer added)


I hope you guys can see the difference!  The lighting really bummed me out.  HAC really is so amazing and I can't imagine going back to how I did my makeup before!  Promise me you will try it at least once. If you don't know how, here is the link to the tutorial.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Beauty Tip: Roots and Greys

I am naturally a blonde. Technically it's been labeled "dirty blonde" which means a kind of mousy brown. Now that I am dark (for the first time ever!), my grey hairs on the top of my head show SO much more and my roots are lighter than the rest of my hair which gives the appearance of balding (gross!). So, I had to come up with a solution to help me in-between my salon visits. I found this lovely tip on a different blog and was skeptical at first but once I tried it, I was kicking myself for not doing it before!

Mascara: good for more than just eyelashes apparently! Yes, I know you are not believing me right now but just look at the before and after pic below:




Now, my mascara is black but I have brown hair so it's not a perfect match but it is amazing how much it helps!

Just put some on your finger and rub it directly onto the roots. So easy!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beauty Tip

  Here is another beauty tip of mine that is super simple but makes a huge difference:

I use this stuff regularly on my face to help give some color and reduce redness or freckles. I have found that if I put some on in the evenings after I wash my face and sleep in it, my makeup looks ten times better the following day! You can also use it as your moisturizer under your makeup. I love this stuff because it dries very quickly and soaks into my skin (unlike some lotions which sit on the surface). It also does not have a bad smell like many self tanners do. Let's be honest, we all look better with some color. It adds a youthful, healthy glow, makes eyes pop, your teeth look whiter and is amazing for evening out color spots (hello red areas!).

The best part about this stuff is that it does not overdo it - just adds a subtle change. You can always "water it down" by mixing it with your regular face lotion.  It will work with just about any skin color  and is very versatile.

You can purchase it at this link on Amazon and at $6.74 it's a steal!

I also love this stuff for all over color but I plan on talking about that another time.

Get out of your comfort zone and try this stuff! I promise you won't be disappointed.


P.s. Don't forget to wash your hands after you apply it!