Beauty Supply: JINsoon ‘Doux’

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No matter what your style is: from minimal and simple or classic and preppy to playful with a punk edge, there is no denying that you wear a nude/pink nail color sometime throughout the year. For me, JINsoon ‘Doux’ is the color you will find me wearing on most days. I even wore it when I got married last year. With only two coats to get full coverage and a quick dry formula, I have nothing bad to say about this polish. Not only is it 5-free*, but it is vegan friendly and not tested on animals. What is your favorite nude/pink nail color?

*5-free: means there are no toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DPB, camphor, and formaldehyde resin.

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Beauty Supply: Detoxing with Dry Brushing

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We always hear about detoxing, which usually comes in the form of juice cleanses and sweating in a sauna, but there is no need for such extreme temperatures and restrictions to detox. Skin is our largest organ, so when you pull out the toxins from your skin, it helps to detox your entire body. One way to do this is by dry brushing. The thing I like best about dry brushing is that it doesn’t involve putting another product on your skin, instead it exfoliates dead skin cells, unclogs pores and reduces cellulite (which are just toxins trapped in your fat cells). Dry brushing also stimulates the lymphatic system which helps remove toxins from your body.

Here are the simple steps for dry brushing:

1- Pick up a non-synthetic dry brush, I use this one. It helps to get one with a detachable long handle so you can use it without the handle on your front side and with the handle in your hard to reach areas.

2- Take your clothes off and stand in the shower. I usually turn the shower on but stand out of the water so my body remains dry but the bathroom is steamy and warm. While dry brushing, dead skin cells will flake off your body, so standing in the shower is best for easy clean up.

3- Start brushing at your feet in long strokes towards your heart. Always brush towards your heart because this is where the main lymphatic system drains. Be sure to brush every area of your body multiple times, take care when brushing delicate areas, like your breasts. Your skin will slowly build up a tolerance to brushing, but at first it can hurt a little.

4- After you have brushed your entire body, get in the shower. Alternate between very hot and very cold temperatures throughout your shower. This constricts and releases your blood vessels and opens and closes your pores which all aid in the detoxification process. Bonus: Rinsing your hair with cold water right before you get out of the shower closes the hair follicles and reduces frizz.

5- When you get out of the shower, slather your body in coconut, avocado, rose hip or jojoba oil. I prefer to put oil on while I am still wet, it locks in moisture and makes for easy application of the oil.

 It is recommended to dry brush twice a day for best results, but in my mind, dry brushing anytime is better than not dry brushing at all. Logical? Probably not, but that’s my school of thought on dry brushing. I dry brush every time I shower, which is usually every other day and the skin on my body is extra soft, has better circulation which results in more pigmentation. I also feel more rejuvenated after my shower.

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Beauty Supply: Natural Detangler

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Untangling my hair has been a constant battle since I was a child, my hair is thick and has a mind of its own. I brush out all of my tangles before entering the shower, but without fail, my hair is in knots when I emerge. The wet brush has prevented many tears, but has failed to completely irradiate my tangled tresses. My new cure for knotted strands comes from the kitchen: apple cider vinegar. It is a natural detangler and as an added bonus, it makes your mane extra shiny. Simply shampoo your hair and rinse with a premixed concoction consisting of 2-4 TBSP apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. I have very long hair so I added 4 TBSP to 2 cups of water. Be sure to avoid pouring the apple cider rinse over your eyes, it will sting for hours. I conditioned my hair afterwards, as usual, and my hair was unusually easy to brush upon exiting the shower. Because apple cider vinegar can be harsh on hair, I only use it once every few weeks. Be sure to buy organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

Other hair benefits of using an apple cider vinegar rinse:

-Reduces frizz

-Treats dandruff, or itchy and dry scalp

-Encourages hair growth

-Removes buildup

-Help to balance pH of scalp

It also has many uses beyond the bathtub.

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Wellness: Nettle Tea Recipe

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My husband grew up in Ireland where home remedies trumped prescription medicine and doctor visits. We’ve adopted the same school of thought even though we don’t have the fresh ingredients right outside our doorstep. It may take a google search, time spent reading reviews and a subway ride to hunt down the dried ingredients needed to make the home remedies of yesteryear, but it isn’t without cause. My mother-in-law remembers being forced to drink nettle tea as a child, but never knew why. Last year, a friend of mine told me about the women’s health benefits of drinking raspberry leaf and nettle tea. Most people assume red raspberry leaf and nettle tea is for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are already pregnant, but that isn’t the case. I don’t fall into either group, I simply want to drink a tea that has health benefits opposed to sugar and caffeine which work against me.

Red raspberry leaves and nettles are high in iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. The combination of these vitamins and minerals help aid in preventing hormonal acne, regulating mood, lessening painful and heavy periods, reduces inflammation, alleviates diarrhea, supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid and spleen.

Once I began drinking it, I couldn’t stop. The hardest part was locating the ingredients. I ended up at Flower Power in the East Village, they have been there for over 20 years. It is a bit dusty and crunchy inside, but the women who work there are very helpful and knowledgable about healing any ailments you may have.

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The simple steps to making Nettle Tea:

1/4 cup red raspberry leaves

1/4 cup nettles

Fresh Mint

4 cups of boiling water

Add ingredients to a bottle or jar, cover and steep tea for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain and store in the fridge for up to one week. If the tea tastes too strong, simply add more water. Enjoy hot or over ice. It’s safe to drink up to 3 cups a day. Feel free to add other ingredients including lemon or ginger.
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Beauty Supply: JustBe Santal Mist

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Like most things in life, you learn from your friends. My friend Elizabeth got me hooked on clean beauty and I still take her recommendations. When she told me that the JustBe Santal Face Mist reduced redness, hydrates and helps prevent blackheads, I couldn’t ignore it. I have to be honest, I bought the product a few months ago and just got around to using it within the past few weeks, but I am in love. I think it is better than my usual rose water sprays, especially for wintertime. Between the steam heat in our apartment and the brisk wind outside, my face needs all the hydration help it can get.

I use this spray between 2-4 times a day. After I wash my face in the morning or evening, I will generously spray my face with 1-2 mists. After it has absorbed and reduced the redness in my face, I apply my moisturizer. If I am going makeup free for the day, or heading to bed, I will mist my face once more to lock in the moisture. This keeps my skin supple and hydrated throughout the day/night. It’s also super refreshing when you need a mid-day pick-me-up, it’s not as strong as espresso but it might just be the next best thing.

I especially love the sprayer on this product. You have to keep it about 8-12″ from your face when spraying because it is so powerful. The smell is a bit woodsy, but perfectly pleasant. Over the past few weeks I noticed my skin has a smoother texture, reduced redness, less blackheads and breakouts in general. For the first January in years, my skin isn’t completely dehydrated and flakey.

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