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Nail Care

How the Humidity Cleared my Cystic Acne

You know those summer days where the weather is hot, sticky, and feels like a wet blanket? Yeah. My face loves it. My skin has always been fickle, which has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I can easily tell when my skin loves something, on the other hand, I can REALLY tell when my skin hates it (yeah, I’m talking to you, almond butter…).

During a recent trip to Florida, my pores got the ultimate spa day: constant warm, humid temperatures. I even stopped eating 100% paleo during my trip and still had the best skin of my life. (hello delicious Mexican fajitas, cocktails, and fried chicken wings..I’ve missed you!).

I was ready to keep this yummy food and clear skin train going!

My happy train skirted to a FULL stop, (more like derailed) the day after I returned home to Boston.

I wasn’t surprised to see one or two breakouts the next day, but the real shock came when my face was a  complete cystic war zone mid-week! Could it have been the food? No. I react very quickly to food I shouldn’t have eaten. Maybe I forgot to take some vitamins? Nope. If I forgot, I took them as soon as I remembered. Maybe I was just less stressed on my trip? Nah. I’m usually as cool as a cucumber!

The realization didn’t come until I noticed that my otherwise healthy nails were splitting and on the verge of breaking. This didn’t make much sense either since I hadn’t even bothered to do my nails during my trip and they were as strong as ever (even after being exposed to chlorinated pools all week!).

I started researching humid weather x acne and lo and behold:

Other people in the google world noticed this correlation, too! Of course, there’s plenty of people who’s skin despises the hot, humid temps, but I am not one of them!

Dry air affects that fabulous moisture-rich barrier our skin has in place. When my skin is dry, it becomes very irritated.

Ready to try anything to mimic that glorious Florida weather, I purchased a warm-mist humidifier. I woke up the next morning to a nice, cozy and warm bedroom. The eager beaver that I am, I ran to the nearest mirror and noticed my skin looked much calmer than the night before.

Humidity-1, Acne-0.

For the last week, I have been consistently running the humidifier each night, with the door cracked for fresh air. I have had zero painful, cystic acne breakouts! My nails are back to their strong, talon-like strength and I am no longer waking up with a dry throat.

Am I sold? Yes! I will continue to use the humidifier as long as we have our AC blasting cool dry air. I may not need it as much in the fall, but once the heat kicks on the Winter, I’ll have my trusty humidifier ready.

So come on Summer, bring on the 85% humidity days. I’m ready!

1 Key Reason to Listen to Your Body’s Symptoms

Recently I noticed my nails were breaking…A LOT…and I tend to have very strong nails that grow fairly quickly. So, you can imagine my surprise and frustration when my nails were peeling out of control and I had no idea what was causing my symptoms. Now before you get grossed out, when I say “peeling” I just mean any extra length that extended beyond the finger would just become brittle and peel, then break off. Annoying.

So, what did I do?……I IMMEDIATELY CALLED 9-1-1!

…Just kidding, I didn’t do that…I wouldn’t recommend it either. I should also mention that I did NOT run to the drugstore to buy Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength Nail Top Coat.

Is it just me, or does Sally Hansen have like 30 different (but secretly the same) diamond top coats?

So, here’s what I DID do…

Listen to Your Body’s Symptoms

 

After having a mini melt-down staring at my mangled nails, I thought to myself, what is my body trying to tell me?  I then examined my lifestyle and asked, what changed?

  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Diet
  • Hydration
  • Supplements
  • Products

I thought about my diet over the last few weeks and noticed I was eating a TON of fruit. I had been extremely busy for months on end and was on autopilot with my food consumption, eating a lot of fruit, some vegetables, and really nothing else. While it’s good that I was eating fruits and vegetables, I was missing out on one important macronutrient that is essential to nail health.

Cue the Jeopardy music….“What is Protein, Alex?”

Ding Ding!

Protein. My nails were falling apart because my diet was lacking protein.

The Meaning Behind Your Body’s Symptoms

All too often, we seek temporary solutions where we can simply throw a bandaid over a problem rather than get to the root of the issue and seek a solution. Long term protein deficiency, for example can do quite a bit of damage to your body. Figuring out my deficiency now, BEFORE any irreversible consequences occurred saved me a lot of future health issues, wouldn’t you agree?

If more people took this approach when dealing with their health and bodies, a lot of chronic conditions could be avoided. By not waiting until something small manifests itself into a much larger, harder to fix problem, we are saving ourselves time, money, unnecessary distress, and bodily harm.

The next time you have a headache, rather than just pop a few painkillers to mask the problem, ask yourself why you have a headache. The more knowledge you have with regard to your body and lifestyle, the smarter you’ll be when it comes to making the best choices for yourself.

If a child is crying, the mother doesn’t just tell the baby to be quiet and go about her day, she tries to figure out why, is the baby hungry, tired, need to be changed?.

Think about your body as if it were a child who can’t talk and next time your body is crying, ask it why, then give it what it needs.

~ Letisha

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DIY Fix for Broken Nails

Wait! Before you do something irrational, let’s talk about this… I know how you must feel but there is a way we can fix this!

One broken nail doesn’t have to be the end to your nail growing success! So, before you take out those nail clippers to clip, clip away, hear me out.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to preserve a broken/split nail is by way of the “tea bag method”. This method uses the cloth-like material of the tea bag as a “band-aid” for your broken nail, holding the pieces together until the nail can grow out.

So, if you’ve broken a nail just before a big day, DO NOT PANIC! This simple method takes only about 15 minutes and will have your nails looking as long and classy as before the break!

Ready? Take a deep breath. Here’s what we’re going to do:

broken nail fix

  • Start by cutting a piece of the tea bag to cover the nail split plus some extra surface area. For example, if your split is as big as a dime (then it’s time to say goodbye) you’re going to need a nickel size piece of tea bag.
  • Cover the broken nail with your favorite base coat. Mine happens to be Sally Hansen’s Triple Strong Base Coat. This acts as a glue to hold the tea bag down.
  • Apply the tea bag piece over the wet polish. Gently paint another coat over that nail.
  • Once dry, gently buff the edges so you can’t tell where the nail and tea bag meet. Make sure to gently buff the top of the tea bag, as well. This helps it look natural/non-existent. Be careful you don’t buff the tea bag so much that it actually becomes non-existent! We still need it!
  • Once the buffing is done, apply one last coat of the base coat. This seals the deal.
  • When that coat is dry, your broken nail is as good as new and ready for the big leagues!

For more tips on how to keep your nails strong and long, click here!

Have you tried the tea bag method for your broken nails? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

Cheap Long-lasting Manicure…at Home!

There is nothing like a long-lasting manicure. We have all had that feeling of joy at the end of the day after looking at our nails and seeing NO chips! I mean, who wants to spend all that time filing, cutting and painting only to see that one dreaded, awful chip! Dramatic? I think NOT!

Well, have no fear, my friends! Achieving a cheap, long-lasting manicure at home is as easy as pie! You really only need 3 products: Base Coat, Polish, Top Coat. Boom. You’re done. Okay, well there is a bit more…

The trick lies in the type of polishes you buy. Trust me, there are a lot of nail polishes that will chip without any form of topcoat. Heck, I’ve even had topcoats that chip!

My favorite brand is Essie. Yes, it does chip eventually, but it paints beautifully. With that said, I have found that Sally Hansen has the best base coat and topcoat. The base coat helps the Essie polish stick. Let’s not forget to mention it makes your nails SUPER strong. Side not—if you suffer from brittle nails, pick up a bottle! You won’t regret it.

After the base coat and polish, you’re going to need an awesome top coat. Why hello again, Sally Hansen! The Mega Shine topcoat literally leaves your nails looking like gel nails. It dries super fast and prevents chipping and those annoying bumps and lumps!

 manicure

Ready for your cheap, long-lasting manicure??

Here’s what your going to need:

  • Base Coat—Sally Hansen Triple Strong Strengthener
  • Essie Polish (or your favorite brand)
  • Top Coat—Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat

Another tip?

Think 2-2-1.

 2 Coats of Triple Strong Strengthener + 2 Coats of Essie + 1 Coat of Mega Shine

= Long-lasting Manicure

🙂

Whats your favorite way to have a long-lasting manicure??

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

 

-Zeena

5 Beauty Must-Haves for the Fall

Fall is finally here! This is one of my favorite seasons: the food, the holidays, the clothes! I mean, how can you not love the fall?! Well, not only has the season changed, but so has my beauty regimen! Keeping my regimen fresh means hair, skin and nails that are moisturized and happy. Check out my top 5 beauty must-haves for the fall to keep your regimen fresh, too!:

fall essentials

1.Nubian Heritage Lavender & Wildflowers Lotion

This lotion is a must have for the colder temps. The consistency is amazing: thick and creamy, yet not greasy. In fact, I would call it more of a butter than a lotion. It goes on smoothly and smells BEAUTIFUL. The touch of lavender provides that relaxing sensation while the hint of wildflowers transports you to a field of, well, wildflowers! If the colder weather means dry, cracked skin for you, look no further than this magical BODY BUTTER, I mean “lotion”.

2. EOS Strawberry Sorbet

Does anybody else have SUPER sensitive lips? Even a hint of colder weather means dry lips for me! With that said, I have to keep an EOS Strawberry Sorbet lip balm on hands at all times! It leaves my lips baby soft and smells just like strawberries! Yum! Plus, the round shape is just fun to use!

3. Aura Cacia Argan Oil

Argan oil aka “Liquid Gold” is my go-to facial moisturizer. It moisturizes the skin without leaving any greasy, oily residue behind. If you depise heavy, greasy creams on your skin, you’ve got to try Argan Oil! My skin feels healthy and supple after every use!

4. Sally Hansen Triple Strong Strengthener

Ever suffer from weak, brittle nails in the colder months? Yeah, me too! This Sally Hansen nail strengthener does WONDERS for those brittle nails! Within weeks you will notice stronger, healthier nails. Plus, it works amazing as a base coat!

5. Mineral Fusion Curl Care Beauty Balm

The weather isn’t quite cold enough to start using my heavier hair creams but I still like to give my hair a bit more moisture than I did in the Summer. So, what do I use? Mineral Fusion’s Curl Care Beauty Balm! This amazing leave-in not only moisturizes my hair but defines my curls while keeping them baby soft.

So there you have it! My top 5 beauty must-haves for the Fall! What are your favorite products for this season? Comment below!

-Zeena

20 Reasons I Can’t Live Without Lemons

Lemons are one of my favorite fruits. They have a unqiue flavor and can add pizazz to just about any recipe! I love lemons for everything from skin care to cooking to treating colds. Check out my list below for 20 ways you can use the lovely lemon!

lemons

1. Lemons are chalk full of Vitamin C which helps prevent and reduce the common cold. Try adding a lemon to your smoothie or mixing up a refreshing glass of water and lemon. Plus, you’ll get a burst of energy!

2. The acid in lemons does an amazing job of exfoliating dry areas like your face or elbows. It also helps to brighten your complexion!

3. Consuming lemons boosts the immune system by providing the body with a good amount of Vitamin C.

4. The pectin in lemons aides in weight loss by helping to stabilize the insulin levels and keep the body feeling full.

5. The healing properties in lemon juice helps to treat and heal acne. Try rubbing a small amount of the juice over your spots for calmer skin in the morning.

6. Treat your feet to a relaxing home pedicure! The acids in the lemons help remove the dead skin from your heels while softening your feet. Add the juice of a whole lemon to your footbath. Rub the excess lemon on your heels and between your toes!

7. Heal that annoying itch from those pestering insect bites by rubbing a wedge of one lemon on the bite! The lemon’s acids help reduce the need to scratch, scratch, scratch!

8. Adding lemons to homemade body scrubs is an excellent treat! Mix the juice of one lemon with sugar and honey for a nighttime body exfoliator that will melt the stress away.

9. Try drinking lemon juice to aid the liver in flushing out harmful toxins.

10. The antibacterial properties and refreshing scent in lemons make it a fantastic household cleaner! Simply mix the juice of one lemon with white vinegar and water. This mixture is non-toxic and great for cleaning household surfaces, chemical-free!

11. The cleansing properties of lemons make it a great remover of hair buildup! Mix a few drops of lemon juice with fresh water. Apply the mixture to a freshly washed scalp to remove product buildup.

12. Lighten acne scars and even your skin tone by rubbing half of lemon on your skin.

13. Spice up your traditional fish recipe by adding a few lemons! The powerful flavor in lemons really adds a nice kick. Bake your favorite kind of fish drizzled in lemon juice with a few shakes of sea salt and black pepper.

14. Boost your electrolyte levels by adding a few lemons to your favorite veggie and fruit smoothie recipe.

lemon honey

15. Soothe a sore throat by sipping on warm lemon water with a few drops of honey. The antibacterial properties in both the lemon and honey help cleanse and soothe the throat.

16. Make a homemade cuticle remover by rubbing a wedge of one lemon across your nails. The juice will gradually remove the dry skin around the cuticle leaving you with fresh, soft hands.

17.  Much like ACV, lemon juice can add the shine back to dry, dull hair. Add the juice of one lemon to fresh spring water. Pour the mix over hair for fresh smelling, shiny hair.

18. Freshen breath by eating a lemon wedge! Be careful to not do this too much since the acidity of lemon can wear down tooth enamel.

19. The Vitamin C and Limonoids in lemons are great for preventing cancer.

20. Restore the body’s natural pH by consuming lemons. A proper acid-alkaline balance in the body keeps the body functioning correctly while preventing headaches, fatigue, and even osteoporosis.

 

I’d love to hear how you use lemons! Comment below!

 

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

*These tips are not meant as a cure. Please consult your doctor to find the best treatment for you and your needs.

10 Minute Manicure

Going to the nail salon can take a lot of time and money. First you actually have to go there, sit, wait, get your manicure, wait for your nails to dry, and then go about your day. That time really adds up!

manicure

I must confess that I do like to change my nail color every week, but I don’t go to the salon AND I don’t spend hours at home doing them every time.  I actually only spend 10 minutes doing my nails! That includes, scrub, cut, file, and polish.

1. I’ve laid out:

  • My favorite nail tools: nail clipper, file, cuticle pusher, cuticle trimmer, and angled eyeliner brush (my secret weapon)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Base coat polish
  • Essie polish
  • Top Coat polish
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Salt
  • Cuticle Oil

photo (2)

2. Remove any nail polish. Take about a tablespoon of salt, combine with a little bit of water and scrub your hands with the salt. Rinse off thoroughly with warm water. This will help to make your hands smooth and soft. (~2 minutes)

photo (3)

photo (4)

3. Trim your cuticles and cut and file your nails to desired shape. Make sure to remove any nail dust or pieces before the next step. Using your angled brush, dip the edge into the petroleum jelly and paint around the nail. This will help to remove any excess nail polish you get on your skin and will help give that clean and polished look. (~3 minutes)

photo (5)

4. Apply your base coat (make sure it’s a thin coat!) and wait 30 seconds to dry. (~45 seconds)

5. Apply your color of choice. Mine is Essie First Timer. (Tip! For a quick manicure try using nail polishes that require only one maybe even two coats, but no more! This will help cut down on drying time.) (~2 minutes)

6. Wait 2 minutes to dry and apply quick drying top coat.

7. Apply 1 drop of oil per nail. Or if you have spray oil such as Pam, you can hold the can 8 inches away from hand and spray nails and wash off excess oil gently. (~15 seconds)

photo (6)

Enjoy your ten minute manicure!

Peace, Love & Coconuts

-Nalani

DIY Polka Dot Nails

For a fast and simple manicure all you need is a pencil, a pin and your favorite polishes!

photo-29

To achieve this polka dot look, start by painting on a base coat, followed by the polish color of your choice. I am wearing Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “First Kiss”.

Allow nails to dry fully before starting the dots. To create your “dotting pencil”, simply stick the pin into the eraser of the pencil. I prefer to use a long pencil to allow for better control when creating the dots.

dotting pencil

In a serapate area, apply a small amount of polish. This will be the polish you will dip the pin into. No need to apply too much because the polish dries fast!

To begin creating the dots, simply dip the dotting pencil into the pool of polish. With a steady hand, dot the pin along your nail. I find that using a bit of a template helps with spacing. I do 3 dots down the middle, then fill in the blank spots (like a brick pattern).

photo 2-14

After the dots dry, apply a topcoat and enjoy!

photo-28

Peace, love and coconuts!

-Zeena

Amazing Benefits of Castor Oil

We’ve previously talked about the ability of castor oil to aid in hair growth, but what are some other amazing benefits of castor oil? Read on…

1) Castor oil is great for the skin. It is easily absorbed which makes is a great Benefits of Castor Oilmoisturizer and if often added to skin care and cosmetic products.

2) Can fade scars with regular application and can help prevent the formation of new scars when applied to cuts and scrapes, for example. It is also great for wrinkles, stretch marks, and dark under eye circles.

3) Has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties. Can heal cystic acne and even scored low on the comedogenic scale so it isn’t extremely pore clogging.

4) Can increase lymphocyte production, detox the organs, and relieve constipation. See here.

5) Castor oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation and aid relieve arthritis symptoms.

>> Opt for cold pressed castor oil, as this process of extracting the castor oil preserves the benefits from the oil’s phytonutrients.

 

 

Click here to purchase your bottle of castor oil!

*Be sure to use castor oil in moderation and do a patch test on your skin to assure you do not have an allergy. May cause abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation. Always consult your physician before incorporating a new treatment into your lifestyle, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an existing condition, or illness.

– Letisha

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DIY Fixes for Yellowed & Stained Nails

One of the pitfalls to polishing your nails is the dreadful yellow staining. DUN DUN DUN… But, have no fear! Removing and preventing your nails from staining is super easy and cheap!

nail stains

Here are some fantastic options:

1) Lemon Juice

Soak your nails in lemon juice! Add warm water to a bowl and squirt in some fresh lemon juice. You can dilute the lemon juice with the water or you can just soak your nails in the lemon juice! I typically soak for about 5-10 minutes depending on how distracted I get.

lemon soak

But wait!! Don’t throw away that lemon squeeze! After the soak I rub the lemon squeeze over my nails for added stain removing benefits! Don’t be discouraged if you only see a small difference! Feel free to repeat if your nails are heavily stained.

2) White Vinegar

Another option is using white vinegar as your soak. You may need to wash your hands or feet a few times to get rid of the vinegar smell, but it will fade eventually! I mix equal parts warm water and vinegar and soak for about 10 minutes.

3) Baking Soda

I absolutely love using baking soda as a stain remover. Baking soda removes stains and exfoliates your cuticles! To make the paste, I mix enough water and baking to create a  paste. The mixture can be any consistency. We just need the water to help the baking soda stick to the nails. I let the paste sit on my nails for about 10 minutes (enough time for a cat-nap??) then rinse with warm water.

baking soda-001

4) Nail Buff

This method goes great coupled with one of the above soaks. After I finish soaking my nails in lemon juice, I buff (ever-so-gently) the top layer of my nail. This helps remove a small amount of the stained area. Be careful not to buff too hard or too long! Doing so will make your nails thin and brittle.

nail buff

5) Base Coat

When I don’t use a base coat I feel like a criminal! I love dark polishes so I always make sure I have a good base coat to act as a shield against staining. My favorite is Sally Hansen Triple Strong Advanced Gel Nail Fortifier. After 2 coats, my nails feel stronger and are not yellowed by the time I remove my polish a week later!

6) Go Bare

Going without nail polish for a few days allows the stains to fade naturally. Give your nails a week or so to be natural or try just using a good clear coat. My favorite clear coat is Seche Natural Matte Nail Treatment.

seche-001

This polish is only slightly matte and leaves a really nice natural finish. Plus, it has protein to strengthen nails! I prefer to use this polish only when I am not adding any color on top because it may not be heavy enough to protect against staining.

nails before and after

Here are my nails before and after using the lemon juice, baking soda, and applying a the Seche clear coat. I soaked my nails in lemon juice then applied the baking soda. I applied the clear coat after letting my bare nails breathe for 2 full days. 🙂

*If these methods do not work for you, please consult your doctor because nail yellowing may signify another medical issue.

What do you guys do to remove and prevent nail stains? Have any favorite products?

Peace, Love & Coconuts

– Zeena