Tag Archives: sugar

Items In Your Pantry That Are Must Haves For Your Skin…

29 Jun

imageI know it can be an inconvenience to try and make skin and bath items yourself. Drug stores, organic body retail stores and high end department stores are all trying to get your business with up and coming anti aging products and ingredients. Some people insist they are the golden ticket. The magic potion that will stop time. It may be true, but it’s hard to say. I am definitely not the type of person who brags, but I don’t look my age at all. No one knows, and I don’t tell them. What I do tell them is all the fancy advertising and product testimonials can make some very expensive skin care lines seem inviting, but I’ve tried to stick with basic grocery store items and recipes to wash, exfoliate, pamper and moisturize my skin. And from what I’m told? I’m not doing too damn bad!

Being a skincare “mix master” does take time. You need to do a few things first:

  • Know your skin. Is your skin dry, oily, combination? Are your pores large? Do you have fine lines? If so, where? Is your skin tone uneven? Is your skin sensitive–especially to harsh chemicals, dyes and fragrances? What are you using on your skin now? Does it work? You should have an answer for ALL of these things. If you don’t? Look & touch then read & learn.
  • Know what natural ingredients do for your skin? Most people don’t know many of the benefits from certain items in each aisle of the market. Oh, and trust me when I say you can go down aisles and get just about everything you would need to make a simple, easy, inexpensive but targeted skin care routine. Just a little research is all you need to start.
  • Practice. Not every recipe has what you need. And some recipes have too much. The more you know your skin, the easier it will be to take a basic combination and tweak it just a bit to do exactly what you want it to do.

No matter what you are looking to do, there are a few things that you can purchase to keep on hand for when you want to make a skin care routine that will give you smooth, clean, soft, glowing skin. Head to toe. So if you are planning on making a skin care regimen that will give your skin what it needs and leaving out what it doesn’t–and still not feel guilty about a huge price tag–make sure you have these things to start:

  1. Raw honey: Look it up–you will see that honey has been healing cuts and wounds before we were all born. You gotta love those bees! An amazing fact about honey too is that it never spoils. It may get old, thick & concentrated but it will always be good. When wrinkles occur, it happens because the skin is dry (with minor, almost invisible cracks). Honey heals the cracks naturally with its natural healing properties. It is also a great ingredient in facial and body cleansers. It removes dirt and makeup gently and locks in natural moisture. Raw is the best because it is in its most natural form. Raw local honey is the freshest. Check small local markets or produce stands for the best.
  2. Coffee (instant and used grounds): Everyone knows that people turn to coffee for a wake-you-up fix when you need a boost. We can thank the caffeine in coffee’s oils for that. Well, that caffeine can also be useful to give your face a boost in the morning as well. Mix in a bit of instant into your regular cleanser or as an added ingredient to your homemade face wash to stimulate your cells, encourage blood circulation and wake up your skin. If you have used coffee grounds from your morning pot left over (no flavors!), let them dry out on a paper towel and grind them down a bit finer to add to your regular body wash. This awakening scent will help exfoliate you from head to toe while the caffeine gets the blood pumping. A fab waker upper!
  3. Vitamin E Capsules: This oily little vitamin is great for so many things, but at the same time it needs to be used with care. Some people can have allergies to the other chemicals in Vitamin E, so it’s better to use a few drops as an additive in your regular products to give you extra moisture from the oil and block free radicals. Combining it with vitamin C can help that as will a fight sun damage. Vitamin E is also a must have for homemade lip balms, lip scrubs, and body creams.
  4. Unsweetened Lemonade Packets: An odd one, huh? Well it is. But the benefits are worth it. Sometime coating your finger in Vitamin E and dipping it into unsweetened lemonade will lighten up dark circles (go easy on the lemonade around the eyes, though.) Adding to you grand mixture of coconut oil, Shea butter, a bit of honey and a capsule or two of vitamin e will give you your all-over body moisture moisturizing & healing properties with a fresh scent.
  5. Granulated Sugar: Ah, another it’s that might be better on your face than in your beverages! The coarseness of the sugar works as a great exfoliator from head to toe. It’s a must have for lip scrubs mad with a bit of oil, and a bit of Shea butter. Honey is a plus too. In the shower, add a packet of coffee shop sugar to a squirt of your favorite body wash to tone your skin and regenerate cells. Does white sugar seem too harsh? Not a problem–use a light brown sugar instead! You will find it a great asset to use regular sugar to keep skin smooth and fresh.
  6. Coconut Oil: Oh the oil that is changing the glamour industry. Coconut is an oil that melts as soon as I gets above body temperature. So keeping it in the fridge for long time use or in the bathroom when quickly needed is a must. Believe me when I say it is a blessing to all who want to look younger longer. Coconut oil can be used with a drop of peppermint oil to smooth & moisturize feet. It can be used straight out of the jar to remove eye makeup. It can be mixed with a little honey and some instant coffee pellets for a cleansing wake me up. And when whipped up with a little bit of honey, some Shea butter and a bit of citrus (see below) the fresh summer scent will freshen your body. In the fall/winter, replace the lemonade with cinnamon, cloves, a drop of orange extract or just a bit of pumpkin spice. Yummy!
  7. Heavy Cream: Not a common item, but I love it! This is one of my must haves for any face cleanser receive. The extra natural fat in heavy cream replenishes moisture to your skin naturally without chemicals, clogging pores, and added artificial ingredients. The sky is the limit on this. Blend with anything I’ve mentioned before. I like to was my face with heavy cream, honey, a touch of coffee, and a bit of extra fine oatmeal. Gentle, non abrasive and cleans my face gently leaving it soft and its out of my pantry.
  8. There are so many other ingredients out there that are perfect to help your skin. Check into other things like bananas & peaches (I use organic baby food–convenient and already processed!), coconut water, rose water, yogurt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, lemon juice–the options are endless. Just be a smart facial mixologist–read a lot, test everything, tweak the recipes when needed, and if its not right and doesn’t make your face feel and look the way you want…. no big deal. You’ll create your own 5 star “product”‘soon enough!!

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Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

imageIn the glamour world, very few things stand alone. Oh sure, you can have that über gorgeous red carpet dress that turns the heads of every status photographer on the runway, but the fact remains that the hair, makeup, jewels and shoes all play a part in that outfit being a front page headline.

That simple fact can also play a part in everyday looks for anyone. Whether you are a 9-5 office worker, a stay-at-home mom, an ever-scouting fad writer or an out there/have-your-own-style tattoo shop manager, layering fashions, accessories, skin care ingredients and makeup items can move a simple daytime look into the WOW! category with a couple of easy steps.

Here are a few to get you started. Following the bouncing ball:

image**Skin Care**-Washing, treating and moisturizing are, nowadays, the bare necessities. If you AT LEAST do that? You’ll hold your ground. But why not combine a few skin-loving ingredients to treat your face to an experience that will multitask with just a few natural, easy to find things. Because my face tends to be a bit dry in the winter, I tend to make my own cleanser/masks to get moisture and anti-aging properties from natural ingredients for the best results. It’s actually simple…

1. Combine 2 tbsp of a mashed overripe banana, 1 tsp raw honey (local is best), 1 tsp heavy cream, 1/2 tsp instant coffee & 1/4 tsp white sugar. (This may sound like a lot, but think ahead: you can freeze extra overripe bananas in the freezer, buy the instant coffee once to use in other things as well, and substitute powdered milk for heavy cream for longer shelf life.)

2. Mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the sugar till the consistency is a bit thick and the coffee has dissolved. Then add the sugar last.

3. Begin to rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Go over it a few times, adding a bit more each time.

4. After about 5-10 minutes, wash off with warm water & a gentle cleanser (like Aveeno’s Foaming Face Wash)

5. Pat dry.

Whala! Instant face treatment with a combo of fresh ingredients. Your skin is clean, moist, soft and treated. Easy mixing, right? Now, let’s think about what you just did: *Bananas naturally cleanses while hydrating & adding anti-aging vitamins into your skin; *Raw honey is a natural healer and will help heal fines lines due to small skin cracks and stretching; *Heavy cream is loaded with moisturizers and antibodies to fight infection and environmental skin damage; *Instant coffee has just enough caffeine to constrict blood vessels, even your skin tone and awaken tired skin; *White sugar is a gentle exfoliant that will remove dead skin cells and allow the other ingredients to work on the next active layer.

Kind of all makes sense, huh? It’s not a lot of work and if you refrigerate the leftovers you can use what is left daily for up to a week. There are so many ingredients you can add or substitute if you want other skin problems targeted. Tip: Don’t like the way the bananas turn brown in the fridge? Use Stage 1 baby food bananas. They last longer, don’t turn brown and the little bit of lemon juice that is in them helps even out your skin tone too. Baby peaches are good to soften skin. Oatmeal powder can reduce pore size. Yogurt has natural bacteria to help fight acne and breakouts. (Click here for other ingredients and recipes that can help your skin type.)

image**Mascara**-Any YouTube video will tell you that you should wear between 8-10 coats of mascara for drop dead looking eyes. Ummmm… no offense? I don’t have time for that. And it never looks like the pictures anyways. So what’s my layering trick for great, long lashes? It’s kind of simple and doesn’t need a lot stuff. But you will need 3 different mascaras:

1. Get a good mascara that has a great comb wand. This will enable you to coat each lash for length and keep them separated. Plus you can get the little innie lashes with a pointed brush. My go to brand? Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. (Sephora, $24)

2. Next, when mascara is completely dry, curl them with a eyelash curler. None specifically, just make sure you are comfortable using it and it doesn’t pinch your eyelid or pull out any lashes.

3. Another coat of mascara. This time use one that lengthens and keeps the separated but begins to add volume. Again, a good wand is important. A comb is good again but can be one whose “bristles” are tighter together. I really like Buxom Lash Mascara. It keeps them fanned with a bit of thickness. (Sephora, $19)

4. Last step? One coat of a thick foofy brushed waterproof mascara. Lock in that look and keep your butterfly eyes looking smudge-proof all day. There are always new ones on the market and I try them before mine dry out and get old, but I’ve always had great success with Lancôme’s Waterproof Hypnose Drama Mascara.

Don’t get scared away by my suggestions of department store brands. I have had great success as well with drugstore brands such as Rimmel’s Scandal’Eyes Show Off Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline, and L’Oreal Power Voluminous 24hr Mascara. Each is easy on the wallet but still layer-able to get the look you want.

image**Lips**-Maintaining a good, even lip tone with color, gloss, or both will take a little getting used to. The fact is, I don’t have time all day to constantly reapply an entire color routine on my lips. And between chatting all day and drinking coffee, it stays everywhere but on my lips. It has taken some time to get a good routine down, to maintain a lip look that will only need a touch up now and then. But you’ve got to trust me to play with this till you get the look/color you want. Ready?:

1. Exfoliate your lips with 2-3 drops of olive oil and a pinch of white sugar. Dab it on your lips then roll them back and forth so the oil penetrates and the sugar takes off any dry skin. Wipe off excess sugar with a tissue and blot excess oil.

2. Outline your lips with a neutral lip pencil. A great find is Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish Pencil Lip Liner in Nude or Avon’s Glimmersticks Lip Liners in Simply Spice or Pink Cashmere.

3. Next time you are shopping, hunt and find a packet of unsweetened Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and/or Cherry Kool-Aid (if you find other flavors, grab them. They are pennies and can be combined for great shades.) Using a Q-tip, dot a little bit of the powders on your lips, combining to achieve the color you want. If you have to add a drop of water to the other end of the Q-tip to help blend, that’s fine. Just add evenly so you don’t have one lip one color, one lip another. When done, let sit & dry for about 5 min. (If you prefer to just use one flavor, that’s fine too.)

4. Using a lip brush, apply a small amount of a good balm or gloss to keep lips soft. I prefer a balm, as glosses can get oily and transfer more easily giving your color less stay power. My fave right now? Chapstick’s Cake Batter formula. Yum! If you like a bit of frost to your shade, Nivea has a “Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care” which tops off for a nice, long-lasting sexy frosty shade while keeping lips soft & smooth.

5. Carry a gloss with you that matches today’s Kool-Aid shade in case of early fading or blotchiness or for an extra hint of colored shine.

If a stain isn’t your thing, try to find a ONE STEP lipstick with mega-stay power to keep your lips bright & soft. It won’t last as long but will buy you time in between lip breaks. A good find for me? New York Color Expert Last Lipstick. I find it lasts longer than any tube lipstick I own and the price is a steal.

So there you have it. Layering to get the look you love and the stopping the clock of aging. (Okay, not really but we can sure try to slow it down!) Good luck with these suggestions and please–PLEASE!–share if you have any of your own!

Next time? I think we will tackle eye liners, sweaters and….let me think on it.

Free, Contest, Win, Goodies…. What Else Do You Need To Know?

16 Jul

imageSo… You’re entered into my fab contest to win a Sassy Set of goodies from ForGoodnessGrape, right? This is the last week to enter! Winner is picked next Monday….

….what? You haven’t entered yet? You’re not serious.

LET’S GET MOVING PEOPLE!

Let me remind you of the fabulous prize that is up for grabs on “The Sassy Is Right”:
You have a chance to win – FREE – a set of FGG‘s top products. ONE lucky winner will receive FGG’s most popular flavor–Lemon Cupcake–in a lip candy lip balm and sugary lip scrub. And…AND… because I am such a cool blogger and you luuuuuuuuuv me, I am also adding a “Kate” Lip Tintx–a peachy-pink moisturizing lip tint with a hint of golden sparkle. Face it…. you know you want this! “Oh Sassy, this is soooo cool! And you are so awesome! How do I enter?” Well you can check out my last blogpost for details OR follow the instructions below. It’s easy-peasy:

1. FOLLOW SassyAuburn on Twitter here: https://mobile.twitter.com/sassyauburn (@sassyauburn)
2. FOLLOW ForGoodnessGrape on Twitter here: https://mobile.twitter.com/4goodnessgrape (@4GoodnessGrape)
3. LEAVE A COMMENT HERE (go ahead, click it!) answering this question: If you could create your own lip balm flavor, what would it be??

(If you DON’T have a Twitter account, you can “Contact Sassy” above and I will let you know what you can substitute that with.)

Now, maybe you already are a fan of FGG products. Maybe you already entered and just can’t wait to see if you won. You need a balm fix NOW! I feel ya. Okay, let me sweeten the tea just a little bit more:

Thanks to the fabalicious Lisa from ForGoodnessGrape, you can order your fave lip balms, scrubs, tints and then-some and get 15% OFF…. let me spell that out… FIFTEEN PERCENT OFF!…. just by using the coupon code “SASSY” at checkout. No, I’m not kidding. But I’m telling ya, you gotta get moving!

You now have less than a week. Let’s get entered in the contest then jump over to FGG’s website and use that discount code before your lips start to cry. Oh they will. Trust me. And it won’t be pretty–but they can be if you treat them right with some goodies!

If you have any problem getting entered, please “Contact Sassy” with the homepage link.

The clock is ticking….. GO!

Sassy Thinks It’s The Best Lip Balm…EV-AH!

2 Jul

imagePinterest and Etsy have become the hot media outlets where you can share your handmade products and recipes with the rest of the world. Seriously, what a fabulous idea. You post how you made that delish chocolate peanut butter banana mousse in a blender in less than 10 minutes and I’ll show you how to braid leather and glass into a couture bracelet in a day. (Please don’t ask me for the directions to either. I have no clue.) My personal DIY abilities are quite limited. I can FIX anything. I can even make the basic better. But to CREATE? I can take a top, pants, shoes, bag and accessories and CREATE an outfit. But that’s even pushing it. I have the utmost respect for those who can create. Designers, tattoo artists, builders. And if you can create something for fun that ends up being really good–like sellable good? Sweetheart, you’ve made your mark!

A friend of mine, Doreene, has been raving to me about these lip balms that she got from Etsy for a while now. She knows my life revolves around fashion and beauty and said I HAD to try these best lip balms ever. I didn’t want to pop her bubble, but do you KNOW how many lip balms are on the retail market? Gazillions!! So, what made these special? But Doreen pressed on. I couldn’t let it go–Doreen said I HAD to try them! Okay, okay… I am a tester at heart, and an honest one at that. So you want to know what I think? Sit down and be ready because I WILL tell you.

Let me give you a brief background of the products: “ForGoodnessGrape’s” (FGG) Philosophy is simple – This is the last stop on your quest for the BEST LIP BALM! As stated on their website, “products are made with high quality ingredients and hand blended in small batches resulting in fresh high quality beauty products. Each has a combination of at least 3-4 different highly moisturizing butters and 2-3 different superior skin softening oils.” As a victim myself of chronic chapped lips, and a strict studier of oils and butters, I knew already this company had a smart grip on what they were doing from just what I read.

With a ton of questions and a lot of curiosity about the products, I figured I would touch base with Lisa, the contact person at ForGoodnessGrape.com. I explained to her who I was, what I did, and that I was told her fabulous products needed to be exposed which is where I came in. Lisa is a doll to work with if I have a question, she is right there with an immediate answer. I asked for a couple of samples of her best selling products which she sent me… quickly and over-abundantly!

My samples came with their three favorite items (well, for me): Lip Balms, Lip Tints and Shimmers, and Sugary Lip Scrubs. The packaging was simple but “cozy” (if that makes ANY sense to you), the items arrived well protected, and in fact they didn’t seem “handmade”. I easily could see them in a drug store retail environment, but I liked the fact I could look at the ENDLESS list of goodies online, changing my mind (and shopping cart) every other second if I chose. I’ll break down my thoughts on each…

Lip Balms: FGG balms have just about every flavor imaginable. No, seriously. You usually don’t get moisturizing/healing ingredients in a flavor you like enough to use often to help your lips heal. Plus, all items are handmade to order. No stale products from shelves like many mass marketing names do. Your order was made with you in mind. They contain 3-4 different moisturizing butters and 2-3 skin softening oils to keep your lips soft and silky. Sassy’s suggestion? Buy at least 3-5, and put one everywhere! I have one in my purse, one in my makeup drawer, one in my car, one next to my bed and one I can throw in my pocket if I am on the run. If you want them all the same favor?…that’s up to you. But variety is the spice of life, so I have favorites like lemon cupcake (a must have), cake batter and kahlua and cream. Yum!
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Lip Tints & Shimmers: There are times when we want a hint of color with a lip product that keeps our lips soft and smooth at the same time. Lipsticks have a tendency to be drying, even after going on moist. That’s why FGG Lip Tints & Shimmers really caught my eye. I am so lost with lip products. Some are long-wearing but drying. Others tug and hurt my already chapped lips. Others are so focused on being “moisturizing”, that they slide off or transfer almost immediately. And this one company who had my hopes up with “baby” -feeling lips was unfortunately a fail when it came to lasting tints and softness. A lip tint–with enough “couture” color to stand out but the right formula to keep lips soft–was something that grabbed my interest right away. I was sent a sample of “Bitten” which was a soft, true red right out of the ‘old days’. “Mystery and Macabre” is a dark red tint that definitely wears more bold and dark than “Bitten”. I tend to use “Bitten” for daytime/casual wear, and “Mystery and Macabre” for evening events. I liked them so much I ordered four more in a variety of colors today. It’s also nice to know you can blend tints to come up with a shade just for you! Hooray for FGG Lip Tints–two great products in one simple tube!

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Sugary Lip Scrubs: Oh, people…. let me tell you this is the lip scrub to end all lip scrubs. For years, I’ve been making my own lip scrubs, with exfoliating and healing ingredients. So when I saw that something that I myself had been making had been improved to store in a lip balm holder, in flavors I loved?… I was impressed. You could carry it with you as needed, as well be appealing to the eyes, nose and taste buds! (Yes, you can lick the excess off the tube!) Lisa sent me “Cherry Vanilla” and at first I was a little sad. I’m just not a big cherry-flavor fan. But it STILL was the first item I had to open and try because I had to see how it worked. And it DID! Not only do the various sugar grits rid the lips of dry skin, but its base is moisturizing and its flavor yummy!! I cannot WAIT to get more of these. Listen!—Sassy lesson coming here!–No matter WHAT you use on your lips for color or gloss (or especially if you use nothing,) you need a good lip exfoliant to use 1-2x a week! Nothing will ruin a great makeup look than blotchy, scratchie, ouchie lips. Scruff them off, then balm them up! FGG Lip Scrubs will be your new BFF.

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Okay, so if you can’t tell, I’ve found some of my new favorite lip products right here at ForGoodnessGrape. It’s nice to be discovering some of my new favorite beauty products coming from small local or home-based businesses. I won’t hesitate to pay a little more if I love what I get, it exceeds even my expectations, and helps us friends out here at home! I am happy and proud that ForGoodnessGrape has made that list for me. Welcome to my glamour-ama, Lisa!

Find ForGoodnessGrape at…
Main Shop: http://www.ForGoodnessGrape.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/4goodnessgrape
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/4GoodnessGrape
Blog: http://www.confessionsofalipbalmaddict.com/

(Flavor and Fragrance List can be found on my Blog here: http://www.forgoodnessgrape.blogspot.com/p/forgoodnessgrape-fragrance-list.html)

Sassy's Summer Sampler

Don’t miss the opportunity to get the “Sassy Summer Sampler” from ForGoodnessGrape named just for ME!
Just click the picture to go to this HOT deal!
(Pssst….check back very soon for a special treat for lip balm addicts everywhere!)

Sassy’s Quick Beauty Tip Of The Day….

13 Apr

Right now, my lips are a chapped mess. I think part of it has to do with it being so dry around here where I live (we haven’t seen a good soaking rain in over a month!) and allergy season is already going into full swing. Any balms or oils get absorbed in seconds, and lipstick looks blotchy and flaky seconds after I put it on. So, rather than covering the problem, or attempting to pick it off, I had to conquer it. How do we do that? EXFOLIATE! Believe it or not, fashionistas, the cure is as easy as 1-2-3 !!

 

  1. In a small dish, mix 1/4 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. honey and 1/4 tsp. of olive oil. Combine into a gritty paste. (The mixture fits perfect in a 5 gram makeup jar.)
  2. Using your finger tips, gently rub the mixture into your lips. Do this for about one minute.
  3. Using a soft towel or tissue, lightly wipe off any sugar that didn’t fall off or dissolve. Rub lips together to make sure all the grit is gone and the oil is getting absorbed.)

 
Once you’ve exfoliated all the dead skin cells off your lips, put on a rich balm to keep them soft. My favorites?


 
eos Lip Balm with SPF 15 in Lemon Drop
 
 

 
 
Maybelline Baby Lips in Peppermint
 
 
 
 
 

 
Korres Lip Butter in Guava
 
 

The gritties will remove the dead flaky skin from your lips, the honey will naturally remove the dead layers underneath that don’t flake off, and the olive oil will moisturize your lips while infusing antioxidants to keep them soft and safe from the elements. If you do this quick, easy exfoliating every night for one week, you’ll notice your lips will be looking and feeling better in no time. Then, once they are feeling back to normal, you only have to do this little exfoliating trick 1-2x a week.

Don’t spend a ton to look like million bucks! Just a few simple things around the house can keep you looking sexy chic without breaking the bank!!

(HINTS: Don’t have brown sugar?…White table sugar will work fine. Don’t have honey?…. Molasses or corn syrup will do the job. Don’t have any olive oil? Sweet almond oil, organic coconut oil or grapeseed oil are perfect alternatives too!!!)