Detox Your Beauty For the New Year

Whenever I clean up after Christmas, it usually spills over into a mini-house-cleanout.  The change to a new year provides the perfect opportunity to look through your cabinets, drawers, cosmetic bags, and shower (*gulp*) to do a little detox on your beauty!

0119cf1a88459a502ed7c542c0ffc6c9.jpg
  • Get rid of expired products

You've likely gotten some new goodies for Christmas, so even out the influx of stuff by getting rid of some things, too.  Almost-gone tubs of conditioner or lotion, or makeup products that you've kept because they're not quite done yet but you might want to use them later (but you haven't touched them in a year) - TIME TO TOSS!  Other culprits include old mascara (3 month shelf life), ancient eyeshadow, goopy nail polish, or items that have developed an odor like lipgloss or liquid foundation.  Anything that doesn't fit into the toss category but still doesn't need to be cluttering up your drawers, donate to friends who might enjoy trying those products.

  • Clean & organize what you have

Put loose bobby pins into a cute mini glass jar, clean out your hairbrush (because really, when was the last time you did that?), get a new toothbrush, and put like with like (all lip things together, all brushes together, etc). Any powder compacts or palettes that you have (blush, eyeshadow) - spritz with 70% Isopropyl alcohol to kill any bacteria that might be lingering around, and let dry. It'll put a little pep in your step to enjoy where you get ready, knowing that everything is clean and organized!

  • Winterize your routine

It's helpful to have a different skincare, makeup, and hair routine for the cold winter months!  The cold air outside and dry heat inside zaps our skin and hair of moisture, and our skin looks lighter!  I vary 1-2 shades in foundation from winter to summer, so I have a separate lighter foundation for winter.  Consider getting matched to your current skin tone for your winter shade. Avoid using a powder, since skin doesn't get as shiny in the winter, and the powder will pick up any dry flakes on your skin.  Use a nourishing, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and air dry whenever possible to maintain moisture.  Use a rich body cream all over, including the tops of your feet and backs of your hands, and apply as soon as you towel off after a shower, and every day between showers.  My favorite body lotion for winter is Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming.  Consider using a facial oil (my favorite is No. 3 Balancing Oil from Beautycounter - serious life changer) and a moisturizer for day (like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion) and night (Beautycounter Rejuvenating Night Cream is my favorite right now.)  

  • Purchase items free of toxic chemicals, parabens, & sulfates

If you're purchasing any new items, please consider doing a little research about the toxic chemicals that are present in many of our beauty and body care products in the US!  In the EU, over 1400 ingredients are banned from cosmetics and skincare - in the US, only 11 are banned.  The last time our Congress passed a law to ban certain ingredients from cosmetics was 1938.  Not even joking.  I am super passionate about raising awareness of this very REAL issue as a professional in this industry, so you can make informed decisions for yourselves and your families!  Consider reading these two easy-to-follow posts from HuffPost: here and here, for more info!  I have decided to partner with Beauty Counter in particular, a line that has a list of over 1500 ingredients they refuse putting in their cosmetics, hair care, and skin care - and they are fighting to have Congress update their regulations on cosmetics and personal care products for our safety. Plus, their products work beautifully!! If you want any recommendations of Beauty Counter products that would be great for you, email me at sam@lulahairandmakeup.com or leave a comment below!

  • Go with less!

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to up my skincare game, and do less everywhere else.  Airdry your hair, and avoid using heated tools.  You may also consider using a serum, such as Repair & Nourish Split End Serum.  Go as many days as you can without wearing any makeup (or at least no foundation) to let your skin breathe and rest - and just to reset on remembering what really makes you beautiful.  Let your nails get some time to breath (on your fingers and toes) without any polish on them for at least a week, focusing on filing, buffing, and oiling instead.  Try French Girl Organics cuticle oil for a luxurious treat for your nails!  

Image via Pint Sized Beauty

Here's to a happy, healthy, beautiful new year (and perpetually organized cabinets : )

Love,

Sam

Ask Sam - How to skip a hair wash post-workout

This reader has a question that many of us have probably asked ourselves - how do we style our hair after working out, without having to wash it? 

Image via Fitness Answered

Image via Fitness Answered

Hi Sam! 
I have a hair question. I used to wash my hair every other day or every third day BUT now that I work out almost every day I feel like I need to wash it daily. The result is my hair is getting really dry and crunchy despite the fact that I use conditioner every time. I also am styling with heat almost daily now so I'm sure that's not helping. Is it really necessary to wash it every time you get sweaty? Help!! 

 

First, great job in washing your hair every other/every third day!  That is a great practice for the health of your hair and actually prevents greasiness in the long run!  Also, way to go for working out every day, too!  I know that the two of these together can seem a little problematic, and lead to either a greasy, limp, or smelly hair situation, or a daily wash situation.

The good news is, they can work symbiotically.  Here's what I suggest:

  • Day 1 - Earn your wash!  What I mean is, try not to wash and dry your hair and then work out right after.  Enjoy your clean hair after you work out.  Work out first with your dirty hair, sweat it up, then go ahead and wash and style afterward.  Enjoy your day of clean hair glory!
  • Day 2 -  after you work out, refrain from brushing your hair right away.  First, spritz in a little heat protectant. Something that smells great and isn't too oily is a bonus, like R+Co One Prep Spray.  Flip your hair upside down and blow dry your hair on a low setting, focusing on the root to dry where the strands are wet from sweat.  Do not use a brush yet - just your hands.  Once you feel like your hair is not sweaty-wet anymore, flip your hair up and spray in dry shampoo at the roots in sections all over the scalp.  This Oribe purse-sized dry shampoo is a great option!  Wait at least 1 minute, and then massage in the dry shampoo as if you were "lathering" shampoo in the shower.  After that is all massaged in, you can finally brush your hair from root to tip, and style like you do normally.
  • Day 3 - repeat the steps for day 2.  If you have bangs - when you're rinsing off in the shower after working out, wash just your bangs with shampoo only.  Blow those dry before repeating the steps for Day 2.  If you have long hair - today is a great day for a braid, a top knot, or a sleek bun at the nape of your neck!
  • Day 4/Day 1 - You've earned your wash!

Hope that helps, and let me know if this works for you!  Readers, do you have any tricks for styling your hair post workout?  Let all of us know below!

With love and dry shampoo,

Sam

5 Tips for When You're Stressed Out

Simple, small, and doable - these 5 steps won't take too much time, and will have huge benefits for the heart, body, and mind when stress hits!

Take a break

A real one, before the point of no return.  You know the drill - you get into a rhythm and then fancy yourself wonder-woman with magical abilities to get it all done before the end of the day, even though you're super stressed and tense.  Then you end up curled up in a ball, staring blankly at the crossed-off to do's, frantically grasping for the "off" switch in your brain.  If you're going to get it done, get it done well.  Give your mind, eyes, and body a break, and go outside for ten minutes.  Open up the windows and sit in the sun.  Read a fun magazine.  Whatever you do, change your scenery.  When you come back, you will have a clearer mind to prioritize the remainder of your tasks with even more efficiency.

Phone a friend

Someone completely unrelated to your source of stress.  Chat over the phone (yes, actual phone call, not texting! Friendly familiar voices are awesome to hear!) or meet up for a quick coffee.  Vent a little if you need it - but don't camp out there.  Ask them how they are doing, and listen. Thinking about someone else is the quickest way I get out of a stress slump.

Hydrate

and make it fancy for optimal in-sight,  in-mind gulps.  I love using big ol' mason jars, a whole lot of ice, a straw, and will often infuse lemon, cucumber, or mint.  Dehydration is a sneaky culprit for many-a meltdown, so treat yourself with some kindness and keep the waters coming!  Find the recipe for the above infused water here, via Wholefully!

Eat a snack

one healthy and one fun - that's my recipe!  I might cut up an apple into slices, with a little PB to dip it in, and then have a few squares of dark chocolate to indulge in.    Put it on a pretty plate with a little napkin.  Make it fun to look at and eat.  This will provide a little, kind pick-me-up for a stressful day.

Reward yourself with something that feeds your soul

Love to hike?  Plan a day hike for a weekend coming up.  Love fresh blooms?  Go get some for yourself! Give yourself something to look forward to that will remind you that your current situation is temporary, life is beautiful, and you are loved!

Do you have any go-to's for when you're overwhelmed or stressed?  I'd love to hear, comment below with your faves!

With blush & bobby pins,

Sam