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Monthly Archives

February 2013

Professional Looking Pedicure at Home!

I’m going to cut right to the chase…

I hate going to the nail salon and spending a ton of money on a pedicure. Getting your toes done just a few times a month can really add up. I’m all for splurging every once in a while to pamper yourself, but I refuse to regularly spend money on a pedicure that can easily be done at home!

No lie, people ask me where I get my toes done all the time and are surprised when I tell them I do them myself — Further proof that you don’t have to spend money on pedicures to have great looking feet! If you invest in some quality nail tools, you’ll end up saving tons of money in the long run!

Anyway, Here’s my regimen 🙂

What I use:tools2

  • Pumice Stone: Removes dead skin from the heels and balls of feet
  • Nail Brush: Helps sweep away any debris after filing and clipping
  • Cuticle Clippers: Removes excess skin from the cuticle
  • V-Blade Cuticle Knife: Removes excess cuticle growth while pushing back cuticle
  • Cuticle Scraper: Removes cuticle that has grown onto the nail
  • Nail Clippers: Cuts the nail
  • Nail File: Shapes and smoothes the nail

You’ll also need…

  • Nail polish removerphoto 2
  • Cuticle Remover
  • Nail Polish Color (if you’d like)
  • Clear Base/Top Coat
  • Toe Separators
  • Cotton Balls/Pads
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Foot Lotion or any Thick Moisturizer
  • Basin to soak feet
  • Bath salts
  • Warm water

Here’s what to do:

Fill foot basin with warm water and add bath salts. Remove any polish from toes with nail polish remover and cotton ball/pad. Take nail clippers and trim nails to desired length, then use nail file to shape and smooth the nail.

Now, place feet in basin and soak for at least 10 minutes (longer if you feel like relaxing!).

TIP: Trimming and filing before soaking feet prevents fraying of the nail.nails

Take one foot out of basin and dab any water off. Add cuticle remover to each cuticle on that foot and take cuticle scraper to remove any excess cuticle from the toenail. Grab v-blade cuticle knife and run along cuticles to further clean the cuticle. Use cuticle clippers after this to clean up any spots you missed. Be careful with the cuticle clippers as it is very easy to cut yourself and over-clip your cuticles causing you to bleed.

TIP: Be gentle with your cuticles, you don’t want to cut yourself and risk infection. ALWAYS be sure you are working with clean tools.

Place foot back in basin to rinse off excess cuticle remover. Let this foot soak again. Take out other foot and repeat the same steps. Place second foot back in the basin to re-soak, and take first foot out again, towel it off and grab pumice stone to exfoliate heels & balls of feet until smooth. Then, take nail brush and scrub toes/nails to remove any final debris. Do the same to the other foot. Rinse both feet again and towel off. (Done with the water now.)

Next, apply cuticle oil to cuticles and massage thoroughly. Then, apply foot moisturizer and lather into feet. Feel free to give yourself a little foot massage if you want! 😉

Remove any excess oil from the nail and prep for the nail polish by taking a cotton Feetball/pad moistened with nail polish remover and running it over each toe nail. Try not to remove the cuticle oil from your actual cuticle.

If you’ll be painting your toes, grab toe separators and put them on. First apply base coat and let dry. Then apply nail polish color, as many coats until desired color is achieved. Be sure to let each coat dry before applying the next. When your done. Apply top coat and let dry. If you’re in a rush, take a can of spray oil ( I use Pam) and spray directly onto toenails. The chemical reaction between the oil and the nail polish speeds drying time.

TIP: Apply nail polish with clean strokes, making sure you don’t go over the same area repeatedly in an attempt to cover the entire nail in one coat, this will cause the nail polish to bubble and look chunky/sloppy. Be patient, wait until that coat is dry, then add another if you need to.

ALL DONE! 🙂 Give yourself a treat and try doing your own pedicure at home!

– Letisha

Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Okay so let me just say that at first I was hesitant about using castor oil for hair growth. I began using it a few years ago as a moisturizer and as a part of my deep conditioner but never solely for hair growth. The idea that one oil could actually promote growth seemed a bit absurd and impossible.

castor oil for hair growth

But…let me just say…
Castor Oil
is AMAZING!!

A month ago I overwaxed my eyebrows to the 9th degree. I love my thick brows so I was a bit bummed out. 🙁 I decided to let them grow out but was very impatient…

Fast forward a day or so and I recalled reading about Castor Oil as method for hair growth. I have a bottle of Heritage Store Castor Oil (about $9) so I thought “why not??” I lathered up my brows a few hours before bed, around 7pm. By the time I washed my face around 10pm the oil was mostly absorbed.

I had planned on using the oil every night for a month, but lets be frank, I forgot. I ended up putting castor oil on my brows about 3 times a week for a month.

That month is now up and I am so pleased with the results!!

Castor Oil for Hair Growth Results:

Before 1/15/13 (first application of castor oil)

castor oil for hair growth

After 2/15/13

castor oil for hair growth

My brows are so much thicker now and are filled in where I struggled to grow hair before using castor oil!

I am so happy with my results that I will continue to use castor oil for hair growth on my brows and on my roots!! I am definitely going to stock up on bottles online since its much cheaper there than in stores.

I can’t wait to report on my continued results! 😀 Castor oil is a miracle hair grower in a bottle!

Note: Be sure to only use cold pressed, pure castor oil.

-Peace, Love, & Coconuts….& castor oil!! 😉

-Zeena


Skincare Guide

Get Glowing Skin…with Turmeric!

Give your skin a TREAT! Mix up a turmeric face mask at home to beat acne, breakouts, inflammation, wrinkles, dark spots, and dull/dry skin!

For 1 Application:Turmeric face mask

  1. Mix ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric & 1½ teaspoons orange juice, then apply to clean, dry, face.
  2. Leave on for 20 minutes or so, then rinse.
  3. For extra exfoliation, take a dark colored wash cloth (so that it won’t be stained by the turmeric) and gently scrub the mask into your face as you rinse. Ground turmeric has a grainy texture so this will aid in exfoliation.

Give yourself a turmeric mask 1-3 times a week!

IMPORTANT!!:

  • Wear gloves when applying the mask.
  • Turmeric will stain! Be careful with your clothing and your sink (if it is white or a light color)
  • Your face WILL be yellow after you rinse the mask off. DON’T WORRY this goes away after a second wash, but I prefer not to double wash my face (too over-drying) so I usually apply my turmeric mask at night so after I wash it off I can rock my yellow face in bed! I like to think that leftover yellow tinge is working even more magic while I sleep! When I wake up and wash my face again, I’m good to go!
  • DO NOT get turmeric mix on your hair or eyebrows! AVOID eye area altogether.
  • Water, milk, lemon juice, or water with a splash of vinegar may be used in place of orange juice if preferred. Lemon juice, orange juice and the vinegar mixture will all be slightly more exfoliating. Milk will be a more gentle exfoliation and water is great to use if your skin dries out easily or is sensitive.

tumeric

Turmeric Face Mask

 

What are you waiting for?? Get glowing! Try out this mask then come back and tell me what you think!

– Letisha

Broken

One of the most common hair issues folks deal with is breakage. You may be trying to grow your hair out or even just keep it at the same length, but for some gosh darn reason your hair is getting shorter and shorter.

Let’s talk about what causes breakage…

There are 2 types of sources: internal and external

Internal

  • Nutritional deficiencies in the following vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids can 1significantly contribute to breakage:
    1. Vitamin B
    2. Vitamin E
    3. Iron
    4. Omega 3
    5. Omega 6
  • Stress and medical conditions could be potential sources as well.

External

  • Dry hair: Weather (aka cold temperatures) and products containing alcohol and sulfates can significantly dry your hair out.
  • Over-processed: Using relaxers, hair dyes, and straighteners can put significant stress on hair follicles and can make the hair shaft more prone to breakage because it lifts the hair cuticle.
  • Overworked: Hairstyles and constant physical manipulation can literally pull the hair shaft a part. Typical culprits are braiding, weaves, daily manipulation with hands, and hair wrapping.

How to STOP or reduce breakage:

Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and if necessary, consider taking a nutritional supplement after consulting with your doctor.

Stop using products that contain alcohol and sulfates. There is a growing market for shampoos that do not contain such harsh ingredients, but still do a great job of cleansing your hair and scalp.

Some great brands are:2

  • Giovanni
  • Desert Essence
  • Avalon Organics
  • Kinky Curly
  • Beautiful Curls
  • Aubrey Organics

This may be a new opportunity for you to rethink your hair. Perhaps give your hair and scalp some time off from braids, weaves, and straightening. As an alternative, try opting for a protective style such as a bun, or gentle, loose twists. You could also just do a “wash n’ go.” A wash n’ go consists of just washing your hair, put in the styling products and let air dry (try not to touch!)

  • Try an apple cider vinegar rinse after you condition your hair in order to seal the hair cuticle and increase shine.
  • Use more oils in your hair care regimen.
  • Deep condition with coconut and olive oil
  • After you style, seal the ends of your hair with a little bit of coconut oil

Hair breakage can be annoying and upsetting but try not stress about it, as that will probably only make it worse. Take your time in finding out the cause and working out potential solutions. Now take a deep breath and remember,

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

– Nalani

Tips for a Healthy Weight!

Regular physical exercise as well as a healthy diet are a big part of losing and/or maintaining a healthy weight.

Have you been trying to lose weight or maintain your healthy weight and things don’t seem to be going according to plan, despite your best efforts?

You could be sabotaging yourself without even knowing it.

I have some tips that are sure to help you cut out exrta calories where they aren’t needed and ultimately help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.

There’s a catch though. You actually have to DO these tips listed below for them to work. How many times do we listen to someones advice and say “Yeah, Yeah I know..” or “Hey, that’s a great idea!” and then never actually do a thing or make any changes to improve.

Pick 1 or 2 things on this list and work on them, then once they become habit, and a regular part of your daily life, add 2 more. Some you may already know, some maybe not. Ready?

© Photoeuphoria | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Photoeuphoria | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Here they are:

  • Choose wheat instead of white. ALWAYS
  • Use Apple Butter in place of Jelly or Jam (much less sugar & calories, but make sure its just plain apples in the ingredient list, NO added sugar or corn syrup)
  • Watch your condiment intake. The calories add up VERY quickly. Don’t overdo it.
  • Replace your cups, bowls, plates, forks, & spoons with smaller versions. Smaller plates, cups, & bowls hold less food so it automatically decreases the size of your portions. Smaller forks and spoons make you eat slower (more time to feel full/less likely to overeat)
  • Drink a glass of water before you eat. The water will take up space in your
    © Joseasreyes | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

    © Joseasreyes | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

    stomach which leaves less room for food. You feel fuller faster. Staying hydrated will also curb your cravings. (It’s True!!)

  • Get more sleep! Sleep deprivation makes you crave sugar and other junk.
  • Never eat directly out of a box or bag of food unless it is already a single serving. Otherwise you can end up not paying attention and eating way more than 1 serving
  • Lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber help you feel full & satiated. Add them to your diet.
  • Take a look at the nutrition facts label. We often consume foods that are in 1 package but are actually meant to be 2 servings. You may think that bag of chips you ate was only 140 calories but it was actually a 2-Serving bag of 280 calories.
  • Cut back on the juice or cut it out altogether. You don’t need it. Occasionally is
    © Imyme | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

    © Imyme | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

    fine, but regularly consuming 2 or 3 glasses of juice a day, those calories ADD UP FAST. And be sure to watch your serving size.

  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll end up leaving with the entire store in your shopping cart.
  • Choose fresh food over processed food as often as possible.

Happy Friday! 🙂

– Letisha

Bubble-Free Nails

Ever notice those tiny bubbles in your freshly done manicure? THEY. ARE. SO. ANNOYING. But have no fear! Bubbles are an easy fix! Try following these great tips for bubble free nailsa bubble-free paint job:

1. Before you paint, make sure your nails are clean and dry. Wipe each nail down with   nail polish remover (acetone-free, please!)

2. Let each coat of polish dry thoroughly before applying a second or third coat.

3. Don’t viciously shake the nail polish bottle before applying. Simply roll the bottle between your hands to get those nail polish juices mixed.

4. Avoid painting just one or two thick coats of polish. Instead, apply many thin coats.

So there you have it! These simple steps will have you on your way to a bubble-free manicure!

– Zeena

Brrr…It’s Cold Out There!

Cold winter time weather can be rough on the skin. Freezing temperature (for water) is at 32°F and in many areas throughout the U.S. and world, temperatures get much lower than that. In addition, you need to factor in the wind chill, snow, storms, hail, and rain! What does this mean for your skin? Eeeek!!

(That’s the sound of your skin freaking out!)

Due to treacherous weather conditions, it’s very common for your skin can become:

  • Dry 
    Cold Outside

    http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

  • Irritated 
  • Flakey
  • Cracked
  • Red
  • Sensitive 
  • More acne prone

The solution?

It is always important to maintain your healthy normal skin routine which should include lots of water, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and exercise.

But you should also…

Moisturize with oils

Use a moisturizer with more and/or oils (such as: primrose oil, jojoba oil, argan oil)

Product! I’m actually using this Skin By Ann Webb Unscented Face and Body Cream, which contains more oils than my normal moisturizer. You can find it online or at whole foods.

Tone it down

Toners are great, but sometimes overuse can lead to drying the skin. You may want to consider skipping using a toner altogether during the winter or perhaps diluting it with a little bit of water.

Exfoliate

Because your skin may become excessively dry, this may result in dry patches. And when left with dead skin this can lead to clogged pores. Try gently exfoliating to keep skin clear of dry, dead skin.

Product! I use the Clarisonic Mia II  which you can use daily to scrub away dirt, and dead skin. You can purchase this item online or at Sephora and many other department stores.

– Nalani

Multivitamins: Friend or Foe

Do you currently take a daily multivitamin? How do you even know if you need to take one? Let me first start off by saying that the right decision on multivitamins is going to depend on you. What do you typically eat on a day to day basis? Do you consume a protein bar or meal bar regularly?

multivitamins

Does your diet regularly include some sort of protein bar, meal bar, protein shake, or other nutritionally enhanced drink or mix?

These foods often already have vitamins and minerals incorporated into them, so by taking a multivitamin, well, you’d be doubling up and no when it comes to our vitamins and minerals, it’s not double the fun. If you are over you are consistently over your recommended daily intake of certain vitamins and/or minerals, you could run into problems, the same way not consuming enough vitamins and mineral can have negative effects.

(Also, with protein shakes, bars, and nutritionally enhanced beverages, be careful of the added sugar and other chemicals that can come with processed foods.)

So, lets say on a daily basis, you consume a meal or protein bar, or a nutritionally enhanced beverage of some sort that contains the majority of your recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals, well you probably don’t need to take a multivitamin on top of that, just make sure you eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you look at the nutrition label on the food in question and the vitamin and mineral values seem a little on the low side, perhaps a multivitamin should be incorporated into your diet to supplement.

Now if you don’t really consume any sort of food products that contain a lot of added vitamins and minerals, then you probably should incorporate a daily multivitamin.

Picking the right multivitamin is important. When it comes to your health, try not toskimp on price because if its cheap in price then it’s probably cheap in quality.

You can get multivitamins in pill form or liquid form, however not all multivitamin

 

s are created equal. They can contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals, as well as different %DV (percent daily values) of these vitamins and minerals depending on the brand or specific type within a brand. Do some research and talk to your doctor to find out what is right for you based on your current state of health and remember that the minerals are just as important as the vitamins.

Pill/ Tablets

  • Quick and convenient
  • Can upset stomach, take with a meal
  • Pay attention to quality and % DV provided

Liquid

  • More quickly absorbed (does not have to be broken down like the pill)
  • Can upset stomach, take with a meal or mix with smoothies, shakes, or other beverages (this will also help to eliminate any unpleasant taste)
  • You measure out your own amount of liquid so its easier to mis-measure and overdose and this can be dangerous

I want to end by saying that multivitamins are a SUPPLEMENT and that is all they ever should be. They should be used to supplement your balanced diet and NOT a replacement for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, lean meats…you get the idea. There is a lot that we still do not understand about the plants that we consume and all of the benefits, including the phytonutrients that they provide. Something you can’t simply get from a pill in a bottle. Remember this, fruits and vegetables FIRST, multivitamin SECOND.

Check out this Chart of Essential Vitamins & Minerals that contains a list of vitamins, minerals, and the effects of deficiency and overdose.

Adios!

-Letisha

 

Simple Homemade Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioning is so important for our hair! It helps to restore moisture, strengthen hair, and promote shiny, healthy locks. Deep conditioners can be very expensive so I prefer to make my own with simple ingredients! Here is one of my favorite recipes that can be easily modified depending on your hair:

  • Deep ConditionerAny natural conditioner (I use EO French Lavender)
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • 2 or 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Simply mix all ingredients together. I like to use the natural conditioner as a base. The amount of oil I add varies depending on the level of deep conditioning I want.  Some days, I even choose to use purely oils.

After Deep Conditioning

My hair after deep conditioning!

After washing the deep conditioner out of my hair, I like to seal the hair cuticle with a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and spring water. Add a few tablespoons of ACV to a bottle of spring water and pour the mixture over your hair (Feel free to rinse your hair again). Don’t worry, the smell fades!

This deep conditioner combined with the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse leaves my hair feeling silky smooth! 

– Zeena