MOTHER'S DAY BEAUTY

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With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking of all the beauty tips and tricks my mom taught me. Like most girls, my mom was the first to introduce me to the beauty world. From the time I had enough hair for pig tails she took special care to make sure her little girl was the cutest thing. (Including making me sleep with foam/ plastic rollers in my hair – the torture!!!) From there, I remember my mom bought me clear mascara in 6th grade because I wanted to wear makeup SO bad, but was too young for it. As a teenager she always reminded me to wash my face to get rid of zits and use moisturizer so I don’t get wrinkles when I’m old. I’ll never forget watching her get ready on Sunday mornings for church, putting on Chanel No. 5 and a sweep of lipstick.

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Growing up, I was always told “Oh my goodness, you look exactly like your mom!” Whether it was at family reunions or by the nice ladies giving us pedicures, I have always known I’m practically a carbon copy of her.

As a kid, I didn’t think much of it. Now as I’m older, it’s one of my favorite compliments. Maybe it’s because she has aged so well that I’m hoping those genes will manifest in me! Really though, I think it’s because she is my biggest role model, and I really hope that I grow up to be just like her.

With Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’ve been trying to figure out the best gift to get her. This holiday is the perfect opportunity to really spoil mom and buy her the stuff she normally wouldn’t get for herself. This year, I’m opting out of the typical flowers and card, and treating my mom with some fun products from Flora Apothecary.

IMG_3606.JPGAfter a long day, I love taking a long soak in the tub, and I’m sure most of our mothers do too! What with trying to raise decent human beings and all. A candle is a perfect gift to tell mom to take a few minutes to herself and unwind.

IMG_3607.JPGAnother product to throw in the gift basket is this all-natural body polish. Not only will it leave mom feeling like a new woman, it smells incredible too!

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Lastly, don’t forget to tell your Mother how much you love her. Let her know how grateful you are for the obvious stuff like giving you life, but also for the little things. For being understanding when you were a snotty teenager, or buying you lipgloss when you were at the cash register at Target. Mostly, tell her how lucky you are to have a built-in best friend.

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” – Abraham Lincoln


breann bowman

SKINCARE ROUTINE WITH FLORA APOTHECARY

Processed with VSCOcam with b4 presetAdmittedly, I am not the best at washing my face. The mascara stains on my pillowcase can certainly attest to that. When it comes to bedtime routines, most of the time I’d rather stay up and catch a few extra minutes of House of Cards. At any rate, cleansing your skin on a regular basis is a habit we should all incorporate into our beauty rituals.

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I think one of the reasons I tend to forego washing my face before bed is because my skin is extremely dry. It seems like no matter what cleansers, toners, and so-called moisturizers I use, my skin is left feeling extremely dried out. That was until I stumbled upon Flora Apothecary. I know you guys have heard me rant and rave about their products, but it’s because they have honestly been the best things for my skin! Today I want to share with you my simple skincare routine. All I use are two products regularly, and occasionally supplement one or two others when I feel like pampering myself.

IMG_3555I start with trying to remove most of my makeup with a hot, damp washcloth. I don’t scrub, just simply wipe away what will easily come off.

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IMG_3550.JPGNext, I follow up with any of Flora Apothecary’s soaps. I’ve been using Padma, which is a Vanilla & Vetiver scent. I’ve been particularly enjoying this one because it’s so calming. Since all of Flora’s products are natural and handmade, it’s much less harsh on my skin than store-bought cleansers. Simply run the bar under warm water, create a lather, and rub onto your skin in circular motions. Rinse off with cool water, and pat dry with a washcloth.

IMG_3550For moisture, I simply spritz any of Flora Apothecary’s Facial Elixirs all over my face, neck, and decolletage. I would also recommend doing this immediately after getting out of the shower. Lately, I’ve been using Deva Facial Elixir, which is a Lavender and Hyacinth scent. I love how fresh and uplifting it is!

One of the great things about the Facial Elixirs is that they aren’t overly moisturizing. Too often I’ve used creams and lotions that certainly hydrate my skin, but leave a residue on the surface. The elixir’s sink right in, giving your face a healthy glow, that’s easy to put make up over in the morning.

IMG_3547One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about having a simple skincare routine, is not overloading my skin with a million products. In my experience, the more I use, the more my skin depends on. So when I run out, blemishes appear quicker than usual, and I’m stuck with spending more of my hard earned money on products that I don’t necessarily need. Ever since I have began this two-product routine, my skin is happier and healthier, and so is my wallet. 🙂

Plan on trying any of these products, or a simple skincare routine? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram and Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


breann bowman

EASY AT HOME MANICURE

IMG_3501.JPGLike most women, I love having my nails done. There’s an odd satisfaction in looking down as you type on the computer or point to an item on a menu and seeing freshly lacquered nails. When I really feel like treating myself, a mani-pedi is always first on the list. However, I am still a girl on a budget. When it comes right down to it, most of the time I’d rather spend that $25 on something less frivolous. I really can’t afford to be finding myself at the nail salon every other week, so what’s a girl to do? Well my friends, we learn to do it ourselves! Today I’m going teach you how to nail the at home manicure!IMG_3487.JPG

You’ll need:

Cotton Balls

Nail Polish Remover

Nail File

Nail Buffer

Nail Polish

Masking or Washi tape

Top Coat

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FIRST:

Start with removing any polish from your nails. Putting polish over existing color will result in an uneven painted surface, and really look sloppy, even if it’s the same color.

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SECOND:

Next file and buff your nails. Feel free to use a nail clipper if your nails are long and you don’t feel like filing them down for the next 20 minutes. I like to file the tops of my nails in a natural, rounded shape, but feel free to do square or pointed if that’s your jam! I always recommend using a buffer as well. This creates a rough surface for the polish to really stick to, similar to sanding down a car or piece of wood before you paint it.

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THIRD:

Now painting, the toughest part of all. You’ll want to make sure you don’t have lacquer dripping off the brush. Trying to paint the nail in one fell sweep will typically result in a huge mess. When I was in cosmetology school, we learned that painting the nail in three strokes will result in a very clean nail, with very little possibility of it running over to the skin. Simply brush from the nail bed to the tip, up the middle, in one stroke. Repeat in the same direction on both sides. If you need a second coat, finish all your nails, then return to the first one. You’ll want to let them dry a bit between coats so the paint doesn’t clump up.

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FOUR:

Just for fun, I decided to do a little design. Since it’s spring, I want to incorporate a little color into my life, and there’s no better way to do so than through my manicure. I wanted to go for a geometric look, so after I painted my nails with the base color and let it dry completely, I used washi tape to create the pattern. I prefer masking/ washi tape over scotch because the adhesive is less strong, meaning it won’t pull up the polish from my base coat when I peel it off. When using two colors, keep in mind you always want make the lightest coat your base color. Similar to painting your walls, the base color will serve as a primer and make the second color really pop.

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FIVE:

Once both colors have dried, finish off your mani with a nice top coat to seal the deal and keep your fresh color from chipping. Now relax with some Netflix and ask your better half if they’ll whip up some dinner while your nails dry. Try to avoid putting your hands in warm water, like doing dishes or showering, for a few hours to prevent your polish from peeling up.

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Plan on trying any of these tips for an at-home manicure? Tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


breann bowman

SIMPLE BLOWOUT WITH LIVING PROOF

IMG_3438.JPGIf I were to only wash my hair and let it air dry, it looks like the photo below. Oh the frizz and curls! They are the bane of my existence! To say my hair is difficult to manage is an understatement. It is exactly why I go so long without washing, and avoid blowing it out at all costs.IMG_3439.JPGThat was until I got my hands on Night Cap by Living Proof. This miracle cream instantly smoothes and helps give you up to a week of shiny, manageable hair – all while you sleep. I start with taking a quarter size amount and applying it throughout my hair – wet or dry. I then hit the hay (don’t worry, it’s pillow safe), wash it out the next day and style as usual.

IMG_3444.JPGWhat I found is that when I wash my hair a couple days later, my hair is still easier to blowout and has a great amount of shine! Here is my easy step-by-step guide to blowing out your hair after using Night Cap.

STEP 1.

While hair is wet distribute a dime sized amount of Living Proof Primer Style Extender throughout your hair. Then begin blow drying without the brush to get rid of a lot of the moisture.

IMG_3445.JPGSTEP 2.

Next, part your hair down the middle and round brush the top section in motions away from your face.

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Brush the top section to the side and round brush the sides and bottom sections. Since my hair is so unruly, I tend to brush in all directions, ending with a motion going downward to straighten it out.

IMG_3440.JPGSTEP 4.

To add a bit of volume and texture, I take a small section and brush away from the root about 2 inches, then using the brush still, twist backward and lightly apply hot air from the dryer.

IMG_3441.JPGIMG_3442-2.JPGSTEP 5.

Part on either side or keep it down the middle. Smooth any flyaway’s as needed and enjoy smooth, shiny, manageable hair for up to one week!

IMG_3443.JPGPlan on trying out Night Cap or any of these blowdrying tips? Be sure to tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


breann bowman

STAYING SALON FRESH

oneWe all love the feeling of walking out of the salon with a fresh new style. Whether it’s getting your roots touched up, having dull hair chopped off, or the lightness of a blowout, you usually leave on cloud nine. But have you ever felt the magic of that salon visit dwindle away after just a couple of weeks? We certainly have. For some reason, that new color fades, the cut doesn’t lay right, and you can’t get the same volume your stylist gave you. Well today, I’m going to teach you three ways you can you can stay salon fresh. Pretty soon “Uptown Funk” will become your new theme song!

five1. GET REGULAR TRIMS

This is perhaps the most important way to keep your hair healthy and manageable. You should stop in about once every 5-6 weeks and ask your stylist to just dust the ends off. You can do it either wet or dry, and stylists will usually charge a fairly small amount. For those with bangs, most stylists do trims either for free or less than $10, depending on where you’re located.

IMG_3392.JPG2. GET YOUR HAIR TONED

For blondes, you may start to see those bright highlights fade into a dull brassy hue. For brunettes and red heads, you might notice that your color just isn’t as rich after a few washes. An easy solution to getting a more vibrant (and shiny) color, is to stop by for a toner or glaze from your stylist. It’s a semi-permanent color that is applied onto wet hair to freshen up your locks. Simply squeeze in an appointment at your salon – you can even leave with your hair wet! Most stylists charge less than $20 for a quick toner. Totally worth it every 3 weeks or so in between root touchups.

four3. DEEP CONDITION

When I was working as a stylist, one thing I always mentioned to clients was to deep condition at least once a week. With all the heat, color, and strain we put on our locks, they need a little TLC every once in a while. Keeping your hair moisturized will help in achieving salon-worthy results each time you get ready in the morning. Our friends at Bloke Body have recently come out with a stellar hair treatment! At only $25 you can get several deep conditioning treatments out of it, plus your hair will smell like heaven!

twoPlan on trying out any of these tips for salon worthy hair at home? Be sure to tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @LaurenKelp and #LKbeauty.


breann bowman

WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO CONTOUR

IMG_6700Open up your Pinterest account and you’re sure to find one thing every time: Contouring Tutorials. The art of defining your cheekbones, giving your nose a thinner appearance, and basically trying to look like Kim Kardashian seems to be all the rage. Given the right circumstances, I think contouring is a really cool way to apply your makeup. There are certainly a lot of benefits, but there are also a lot of reasons why I don’t do it myself. Today, I want to share 3 reasons why you really don’t need to be contouring your face.

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1. IT’S UNREALISTIC

When we think of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who is a master of contouring, we of course try to think of all the ways we can replicate her same look. The difference between Mrs. West and us is that she is constantly in front of the camera, and well, we are not. For someone who is being photographed every day and in optimal lighting, it makes sense to contour. For a gal like me who works most days in office lighting or outdoors, all you will see when you look at my face is the caked on makeup. When I meet a new person, the last thing I want them to notice is how much makeup I’m wearing.

Another thing to consider is the time it takes to apply everything. When I take the time to contour, get everything on my face, blend it in, and still put my mascara on, I’m already about 20 minutes into my makeup routine. Most of us are busy and on the go – dedicating so much time to having sharper cheekbones just isn’t going to fly.

The truth is, contouring is not realistic for every day wear. Save those tips and tricks for actual photos, or in the evening when you’ll be in dim or flattering lighting.

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2. SKIN HEALTH

Contouring requires using a lot of makeup, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. On top of the contouring products, you are usually adding a top layer of setting powder, bronzer and blush. That’s a lot of makeup sitting on your skin for extended periods of time. Putting that much on your face everyday is not only preventing your skin from being able to breathe, it’s also clogging your pores. If you’re looking for a bit of facial definition without the layers upon layers of makeup, opt for a tinted moisturize and a dusting of bronzer and blush.

IMG_67093. YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU

Perhaps the biggest reason to not contour is because once you do it, you don’t really look like yourself. Last week, I saw a master contour makeup artist take over a large beauty retailer’s Instagram account for a day. She showed several “how to contour” photos and videos. What was interesting about the takeover is in the majority of the comments readers mentioned one of two things: One – they thought she looked prettier without the contouring. Two – once the contouring was done she looked like a completely different person.

I am definitely a supporter of drawing attention to your more flattering features, but I am not a fan of changing your appearance all together. Heavy contouring gives you the nose you weren’t born with and the jawline you wish you had. To me, it’s a way of hiding behind makeup instead of embracing who you truly are.

As women, there’s already enough pressure on us to be perfect housekeepers, successful in our lines of work, and just have all our ducks in a row. The last thing we need is to change our appearances to fit the mold of what society says is beautiful. We are each unique and absolutely gorgeous in our own ways – and we don’t need heavy contouring to prove it. Makeup is such a wonderful tool we can use to play up our best features and have fun with, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of sacrificing who you really are. Keep in mind that less really is more. Beauty isn’t defined by makeup tutorials and hair how-to’s. It is found in the confident woman who holds her head up high and says, “this is me, take me as I am.”

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breann bowman

SIMPLIFY YOUR BEAUTY STASH

IMG_3269.JPGFor all of you amazing Lauren Kelp Newsletter subscribers, you may have recognized that during the month of March we are focusing on simplifying all aspects of our lives. Simplifying is such a remarkable tool, and seems so fitting during this season of Spring Cleaning. One of the challenges we issued to readers and ourselves was to clean out our makeup drawer(s). This is something I have been in major need of doing. Just check out my baskets of beauty products and hairstyling tools below.

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Yeah, I know… YIKES! Skin and hair care products are definitely items I tend to hoard and have a hard time throwing out. This last weekend, I set out to de-clutter and simplify these baskets that sit in my bathroom. Today I want to share my three rules for simplifying and tidying up your beauty supply! IMG_3272.JPG

RULE NUMBER ONE:

If you haven’t used it in 3 months, toss it.

A lot of hair care and ESPECIALLY cosmetics products have a short shelf life. For me, I love using organic products, so using them in a timely manner is key. Like regular food and liquids, products can begin growing mold (sick, right?!) or just lose their luster after a while. If you are feeling any doubts about throwing an item away, ask yourself “Will I use this tomorrow?” If the answer is no, toss it. If it’s yes, keep it, but toss it out at the end of the day if it still stays untouched.

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IMG_3271.JPGAwesome! Now that you’ve thrown out all the unnecessary it’s time to organize!IMG_3282.JPG

RULE NUMBER TWO:

Organize items by category, and pick up some organizing containers.

For me, I hate seeing boxes of q-tips in the original packaging. Having storage containers not only makes the product look more aesthetically pleasing, but makes it easily accessible instead of boxes stacked on top of each other.

I start out with organizing my products by category, then placing them in the appropriate storage. For instance, all of my skincare products go in one basket and hair care into another. I like to keep disposable items that are used on a daily basis, like cotton balls and q-tips, next to each other and in an easily accessible area. Containers don’t have to be anything fancy – I love storing items in re-purposed mason jars.

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RULE NUMBER THREE:

Leave some space for growth. 

There’s nothing worse than coming home with a shopping bag of new products, only to have them sit on the bathroom floor until you make room for them. Allow yourself a few extra square inches for your new lipstick or body scrub purchases.

Another thing to consider, is leaving space for your significant other. My husband hates it when my products take up all the space, and he has nowhere to put his stuff. Being considerate of other peoples possessions will ultimately help you in implementing simplifying habits into your life.

IMG_3286.JPGPlan on trying out any of this simplifying rules in your beauty drawer? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty


 

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3 DAYS OF NO WASH HAIRSTYLES

IMG_3236.JPGMost of us do not wash our hair everyday. There’s several reasons why, but the number one excuse seems to be: Ain’t nobody got time for that.

As much as I love having my hair blown out, I have neither the time or patience to do it every morning. It’s time consuming, and to be honest, I hold off washing my hair as long as I possibly can. I know I am not alone in my laziness. So bust out your dry shampoo and bottles of baby powder, because today I’m sharing 3 ways to rock no wash hairstyles!

IMG_3235.JPG1. THE TOUCH-UP

The first day of no washing is usually leftover from blowing it out the day before. All I need to do is spray a little dry shampoo on the roots, then touch up a few pieces with a curling iron for volume and texture.

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2. THE “IT’S NOT DIRTY” BRAID

The second day of no washing is some sort of braided style. Sometimes I’ll use my five minute french braid tutorial, or do a braided crown. Again, I spray the roots with some dry shampoo, and maybe do a bit of back combing for some lift.

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3. SUPER SLEEK BUN

The third day is typically the very last before I absolutely need to wash my hair again. I’ll start with spraying lots of dry shampoo on my roots again. After that, I round brush the top section of my hair to get a bit of volume, and also prevent the greasy-stuck-to-your-scalp look. I then part my hair on either the side or down the middle and brush back into a sleek bun. It makes me feel like Jenna Lyons!

IMG_3224.JPGPlan on trying out these styles in between washes? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram & Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty!


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SPRING BEAUTY MUST HAVES

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This time of year is when I truly appreciate living in the great state of Arizona. While our friends on the east coast and mid-west (even those in Texas!) are getting dumped on with snow, I am enjoying sunny, 75 degree days. Spring has sprung in our neighborhoods, and many of us are subsequently getting a jump on our Spring cleaning. Just before the weekend, I went through my makeup and hair care stash and tossed out anything old and un-used. It felt great to clear out and get organized. With a clean slate and plenty of extra room, I got really excited to introduce my new Spring must-haves to the collection.

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A few months ago at a local flea market, I came across an amazing organic beauty line called Flora Apothecary. I purchased a beard kit for my husband, who fell in love with the products. I decided to check the rest of the line out, and quickly found three beauty products that have turned into must-haves for my beauty regimen.

The first being the Lalita Peppermint + Eucalyptus Moisturizing Facial Elixir. As many of you know, I have very dry skin and love a dewy glow more than anything. This elixir is perfect for anyone looking to freshen up their skin after a long day in the office, or giving your skin a bit of natural sheen. I love to mist this on my face after staring at the computer screen for too long, and it’s also super refreshing after a long yoga practice. The 2 oz. bottle is the perfect size to hide in your purse or cosmetic pouch.

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These next two go hand in had, the Zana Lip Collection. I love to buff my lips with the Vanilla + Honey Lip polish, and top off with the amazing lip balm. I am really picky about scents and flavors of lip products. Anything too fragrant or strong really turns me off. These products are extremely calming, and the scent isn’t overwhelming whatsoever. The scrub works well enough for me that I only use once a day, usually before bed. I carry the balm with me in it’s adorable container everywhere I go. It’s been the best replacement for chapsticks that find their way to the bottom of my bag and get mystery crumbs stuck in the lid!

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Plan on purchasing some Flora Apothecary products? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty!


breann bowman

5 WAYS TO USE EPSOM SALTS

IMG_3081.JPGAfter weeks of Lauren talking up a storm about Epsom Salts, I decided I would finally give them a whirl and see what all the fuss was about. After trying them out a few different ways, I finally understand the hype. I also discovered that I can’t live without them now! Today I’m sharing five ways you can introduce Epsom Salts into your beauty routines. So draw yourself a bath and queue up the Netflix, it’s time for a detox.

1. Detox Bath

One of the main things Epsom Salts are used for are baths. This day in age, we are constantly surrounded by toxins. They’re in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and commonly absorbed through the body’s biggest organ, our skin. Epsom salt aids in drawing out toxins, and has several other additional benefits of it’s own. When we submerge ourselves in warm water, it opens our pores, allowing the salts to draw out all the icky stuff. After taking a long soak about 3 times a week with Epsom salt, I found that many of my usual aches and pains from sitting at a desk all day gradually subsided. On top of that, I sleep a little bit deeper and feel like I can breathe a lot better. Simply draw yourself a hot bath, add 2-3 cups of Epsom salt, a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love the Serenity blend from DoTerra), and soak for about 20 minutes. Be sure to stand up slowly when getting out and drink a glass of water afterward.

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2. Hair Care

Epsom salt is great for removing build up and helping tame oily scalps. I have been pretty lazy about washing my hair this season, so when I reach that point in the week where I cannot go one more day without washing, I find myself using up a ton of shampoo. To avoid having to shampoo twice (or three times if you’re me!) simply add a dash of epsom salt to the shampoo in your hand and massage into your scalp avoiding the ends of your hair. The salt will help absorb and clean away all the excess oil, leaving you with a fresh head of hair. Be sure to follow up with a good conditioner so your ends don’t get too dried out!

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3. Foot Soak / Scrub

If you guys are anything like me, the dry winter air has really taken it’s toll on my feet. My heels have gotten pretty scaly, which my husband does not appreciate being rubbed on his feet at night trying to get warm! Simply soak your feet in a tub of warm water with one cup of Epsom salt. This will not only remove odors, but soften any callouses. You can also mix with a bit of coconut oil to use as a scrub! I recommend adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to the soak or scrub to make sure your toes stay minty fresh!

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4. Blackhead Buster

Having blackheads around my nose and chin has been something I have always struggled with. While a lot of over the counter skin care products and regular exfoliation help with the appearance of blackheads, nothing has really ever gotten rid of them… until now. I mixed a dash of epsom salt with a bit of honey and lemon juice and rubbed the solution into my problem areas. After doing this about 3 times a week I can see a huge improvement not only in the appearance of my skin, but also the texture!

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5. Buh-Bye Bloating!

Ladies, we all get a bit bloated once in a while. I absolutely hate those mornings I wake up and feel like none of my clothes look or fit right because I am a little bit more round than usual. One teaspoon of Epsom salt dissolved in a glass of water (then chugged because it tastes like crap) can help alleviate constipation by acting as a natural laxative. This will help reduce the bloated look, as well as settle your stomach. With swimsuit season coming up, you’ll be ready in no time!

Plan on incorporating Epsom salt into your daily beauty routine? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @LaurenKelp and #LKbeauty!


breann bowman