Posts

TRANSITION TO THOUGHTFUL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

img_4225

In our transition to all things ‘thoughtful living,’ we are making an effort to ditch our normal beauty products that for a regime that is much more friendly. Out with the weird ingredients, in with natural ingredients, stuff we can pronounce, and things that help repair our skin. Ya dig?First up – charcoal…okay, okay, and a little bit of coffee.

I have been on the charcoal train for a few months now & I am obsessed with every single on of these products. The Clinique gel & scrub are a part of my daily routine and every Sunday, during my little me-time pamper session, I bust out the mask & coffee scrub. All totally affordable & products that don’t break me out..and I don’t say that lightly because we all know what shit skin I used to have. So, party people, pour that glass of wine and let’s get to at-home spa-ing!


FRANK BODY SCRUB – i.e. the most amazing scrub ever

This is, and I mean it, the best body scrub around. It’s totally affordable, lasts forever, and smells amazing. I use this every other day (I even pack a little pouch of it in my gym bag) and my skin is constantly baby’s butt smooth. Plus, it cuts down on cellulite and eczema and a bunch of other beneficial stuff. I use it because it smells amazing and does wonders for my sluffy Chicago skin. Get it, you won’t regret it!

BOSCIA CHARCOAL MASK – basically magic

Again, another product I can’t live without. While it does make you look like Darth Vader when it’s on, it’s amazing and leaves your skin feeling all silky smooth. For $8 a pop, these are a totally affordable treat once or twice a month. Boscia has a bunch of different treatments – like sake or green tea – but the charcoal is my favorite.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CLEANSING GEL 

This is a new addition to the bunch, but I am really liking it. It cleanses my skin without drying it out, gets rid of the makeup & city grim, and leaves my face feeling fresh and comfortable. Clinique is a brand I keep coming back to because their products are gentle and way less harmful then other cleansers.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CITY BLOCK MASK

Sister, if you are looking for a good mud mask, this is it. I love it, I love it, I love it. It’s a scrub and a mask and it’s so good. It is great for a weekly mask, won’t dry your skin out, and has a nice little scrub at the end. I use this puppy once a week and my skin has never felt better. Plus, the natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture. Pretty nifty!


 

CLEAN UP YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE 4 simple steps to a healthier you

Healthy living- we all strive to do it on the regular and for the most part, you’re getting pretty good at choosing whole foods and cutting the junk and you’ve got the yoga thing down, but if you’re still not feeling like a million bucks, you may be missing a piece of the puzzle. A big piece!

Healthy living is about far more than just nourishing your body with nutrients and movement – it’s about cultivating healthy relationships, joyful and mindful living, plenty of good sleep and in today’s world, creating a less toxic living environment.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

As woman, we may slather a handful or more pricey beauty products all over our bodies before we even leave the house in the morning, many of which may contain toxic ingredients that have been linked to serious health issues like hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, and even cancer. Yah, I went there.

Cleansing your beauty routine can be just as important as cleansing that beautiful bod. In fact, think about it this way- what’s the point of detoxing if you continue to put the junk in?

Here are a few simple ways to cleanse your beauty routine and really rock out the healthy life…

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

READ THE LABEL:

Just like when you’re grocery shopping, reading the labels on your skin care products can tell you a lot about what’s inside. Watch out for pthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, fragrance, and parabens, to name a few. Primally Pure is a great example of label purity. Their Deodorant, Lavender + Sage Body Butter and Fancy Face Serum are the real deal. Let’s just say you could literally eat your deodorant if it came down to it.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

CHOOSE A SAFE SKIN CARE BRAND:

Choosing a non-toxic option doesn’t mean you can only use crushed rose petals and coconut oil. Beautycounter, one of my favs, has banned over 1,500 ingredients from their makeup and skin care line and are leading the safe skincare movement. The best part- their products actually perform. Their Lip Sheer, Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Balancing Face Oil are must-haves!

Clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

DIY IT:

A super simple and affordable way to cleanse your beauty routine is by making a few products on your own (think mouthwash, body butter and deodorant for the brave!). Adding pure essential oils like lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca can up your DIY beauty game big time! They have natural cleansing and beautifying properties and smell a-mazing! Hello home spa!

STOCK UP SLOWLY:

 Depending on your current beauty routine, switching over to safe skincare products can be pricey. An easy way to make the transition more affordable is to stock up on products as you run out, one by one. But if you’re ready to take the non-toxic plunge, dive right in girl!

One of my favorite ways to check out how my current products are ranking in terms of purity is through the Environmental Working Group. Plug your fav products into their new app, “Healthy Living”, to see their safety ratings

unspecified1


 

Written by Justine Campbell, RD, NTP & Photography by Caroline Potter, NTP

AN ODE TO BARE-FACED BEAUTY

howtobeachhair_031Hey y’all! Courtney here. When it comes to makeup, I’m one of those gals who tends to think less is more, and adapts the “natural beauty is timeless and classic” sort of mentality. But besides that, and the fact that I’d much rather get a couple extra minutes of sleep or meditation in the morning than spend my time in front of a mirror, minimal makeup is – believe it or not – a fashion statement (if you want it to be). Think about it! The amount of makeup you wear is absolutely parallel to your sense of style, all you have to do is wear it with confidence. So – as an ode to bare-faced beauty – here’s three tips that are guaranteed to make your face both bold and beautiful without all the extra maquillage.

1) EXFOLIATE THE SKIN

Facial masks have been a cosmetic staple of mine for as long as I can remember. And it’s not just because I feel pampered and semi-compelled to cut up a cucumber and… well, you know the rest! It’s because they’re one of the easiest at-home solutions to achieving healthy and supple skin. Whether you use a cream, cotton sheet (my favorite! they’re portable, doused in a serum-based formula, and packed full of vitamins and amino acids) or clay mask, target one area over another, or need a deep cleanse for your whole face, one easy application provides an array of long-lasting benefits. They hydrate and detoxify the skin, remove excess oils, increase circulation, replenish nutrients, improve the appearance of your pores – the list goes on! Sit back, relax, and de-stress with a calming face mask after work or right before you go to bed, and sleep better knowing that you’re doing your skin a huge favor.

2) MAINTAIN THOSE BROWS

Maintaining a strong brow shape is key to accentuating your eyes (also, if you don’t own an eyelash curler, get one!) and making your face stand out. Science has even proved it’s your most important facial feature! So give your brows a little extra TLC, and start by avoiding waxing as it destroys the sensitive skin. Try tweezing or threading instead, but don’t forget to embrace your natural shape if you’re doing it yourself! If your brows are thin or sparse, try using a daily serum to help them grow. Now, here’s the fun part! Use an eyebrow gel to add definition and create the perfect arch, apply the right color powder or pencil, and use a spoolie brush to blend the two for a natural and symmetrical final touch. Sculpting beautiful brows are essential to getting that natural, gorgeous look! And face it: they’re trendy as hell.

3) DRINK WATER & EAT WELL

This may come off as obvious to some, but I know so many people who neglect the indispensable benefits of drinking water and eating healthy – and having great, glowing skin is one of them! After all, your appearance is a reflection of your health, right? Make sure your fridge is full of fruits and veggies, wholesome fats and proteins like seafood, eggs, and beans (to name a few), and don’t take water for granted! Buy a nalgene bottle, fill it up every day and make it a habit to never leave the house without it. They say drinking eight 8 oz glasses a day is best, but I believe the amount depends on the person, their activity level, etc. So my advice is to drink as much as you need to maintain clear urine! Leading a healthy lifestyle will get rid of toxins, emphasize your natural beauty, and make you feel more confident than ever!
Don’t get me wrong. Makeup is fun (I love bold lipsticks and enjoy playing around with different styles, colors and brands) but it shouldn’t be obligatory! Plus – the hot summer days approaching are as good an excuse as any to ditch the face paint. So if you’re thinking about cutting back, turn to these three tips for a little more organic guidance and enjoy the liberation! 

 


courtney button

BLUE LAGOON BEAUTY

IMG_9580You’ve probably heard about the magic of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon & you’ve probably got a whole tripped planned around visiting this particular spot (hello, dream trip to the spa!) If you have no idea what I am talking about, here is a cliff notes version: the Blue Lagoon is a spa based on unique geothermal seawater properties of the lagoon. The blue color comes from the silica and the way it reflects sunlight.

It’s basically a dream spa. It’s stunning, helps with a whole host of ails, and not to mention, it’s the namesake of a killer beauty product line – Blue Lagoon.
IMG_9616Since Taste of Iceland is here in Chicago (goes until Sunday – go, go, GO!) we decided to bring the Icelandic spa treatment to us as well. If you are in need of a little spa trip but maybe don’t have the time or are just looking for an indulgent at-home treatment to treat yourself to, this is it.

We sampled their Silica Body Scrub & it has basically transformed me into an Icelandic princess. You see that concentrated look on my face? It’s because I am a 1,000% in love with the scrub. Rub it on your neck, legs, arms, and upper body and prepare to be amazing. Goodbye winter skin, city sledge, and everyday woes, this scrub is kicking them all to the curb.

My skin is always left silky smooth & the fragrance of the scrub is ridiculously relaxing. After a nice long bath or an evening shower, it’s almost better than a trip to the spa….almost. 

IMG_9633


lauren and sylvia

SIMPLE SPRING MAKEUP so fresh & so dewy

IMG_1629Okay, so it might not be spring-time outside, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t pretend. We are breaking down another super fun makeup look that is perfect for that dewy skin look that says, “I just spent a week at the spa and my skin is glowing form the inside.” Sadly, that isn’t my life right now, but a gal can dream, right?

Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about 50 shades of contouring or breaking down strobing (because who has time for that, really?) Just three simple steps and maybe a few new tricks to get gorgeous glowing skin in under 5 minutes. Now that is a makeup routine I can get behind!

IMG_1619

STEP ONE: The Base

Start with MAC’s Strobe Cream to add a dewiness to the skin and prep the skin for makeup. Just a little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard!

Next, apply foundation (we used Makeup Forever HD) and conceal where needed. Again, just spot treat.

IMG_1609

STEP TWO: Sassy Cheekbones

Next, it’s all about those fabulous cheekbones! Define your cheekbones by brushing Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and a neutral berry blush (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure) right under the cheekbone going upward.

To highlight, we used (and are obsessed with!) the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop on the cheekbones, brow bone, center of nose, cupid’s bow, center of forehead and center of chin. Highlighting sounds much more complicated than it really is. Don’t think contouring or strobing, just lightly dust the powder on the above areas and see play around with a look that works best!

IMG_1594

STEP THREE: The Finishing Touches

Last, but certainly not least, your eyes & lips!

For the eyes, we used the  Viseart Neutral Matte palette with some Champagne Pop in the center of the lids for added light. This is a soft enough color to wear during the day, but moody enough to transition to a fun afterwork activity.

For lips, Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick in Dusty Rose is the perfect match, as it’s sheer so it can never look too harsh on the lips!

Top it off with a simple three step Dutch braid crown & you are ready for just about anything!

IMG_1588

If you are like me & not very savvy with hair or makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.

So, think you’ll try it out? Let me know below!IMG_1487
SHOP THE POST


lauren and sylvia

DUTCH BRAID CROWN because everyone needs hair goals

IMG_1358The Dutch Braid Crown seems to be on everyone’s #hairgoals list – am I right? My hair doesn’t get much action outside of a pony tail these days, so when the girls from The Stylisted said they wanted to de-mysto this look, we were all in!

So, pack some extra bobby pins in that purse & duck out to the office bathroom and give this look a go. We promise, with a good mirror & a little practice, you’ll be a Dutch princess in no time! Make sure you leave a comment below telling us what you think – we can’t wait to hear.

IMG_1282STEP ONE:

The key to getting that chunky braided crown is all in the way you braid. Typically, if you are going to french braid, you’ll braid the three strands into (or over) each other. For this braid, you are going to reverse that technique, and braid the three straights outward (or under) one another. Make sense? If not, start braiding & then reverse what you normally do. If the braid is thick & stands away from the head (as opposed to that smooth french braid look) then you’ve got it!

Once you’ve got the braiding technique down, part your hair in the middle and grab a section at the nape of your neck on the left side. Start braiding (using that reverse technique you just mastered) up the side of your head, pulling in new strands with each new loop.

IMG_1319STEP TWO:

You are doing so well! Continue to braid around your head until you reach the right nape of your neck. Once you get there instead of continuing to braid around, french braid (using that same technique) at an angle.

You see how in the picture in Step One Mollie is braiding the hair out towards her but not straight out. Braiding the rest of the hair at this angle will allow you to wrap is around and tuck it under without any bumps or pockets. If you are doing this on yourself, imagine you are braiding the remainder of your hair towards the tip of your left shoulder. That should help nail the angle.

IMG_1301STEP THREE:

Once you’ve got that down, take the remaining braided hair and wrap it around (on top of the other braid) as far as it will go. Grab some sturdy bobby pins & tuck the tail under and pin away.

Spray with a good hairspray (we love Money Maker, plus it smells good!) & voila, your life as a Dutch princess awaits!

If you are like me & not very savvy with hair and makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.

So, think you’ll try it out? I would love to hear what other hair goals you’ve been coveting & maybe we can help hack them! Share below in the comments!IMG_1288

SHOP THE POST


lauren and sylvia

KISSABLE WINTER SKIN a guide to great skin in the winter

IMG_5301Winter days can be rough, especially on your skin. Since moving from Phoenix to Chicago my skin has had to seriously readjust. Between the daily weather changes and crazy temperature ranges, I am left dryer than a bone most days. And as sexy as super chapped lips are, it’s not my favorite look.

Luckily, we’ve teamed up with alligator skin saviors, Vaseline, to share our most Chicago-approved life hacks to keep your skin feeling happy & hydrated this winter.

IMG_5292DRINK WINE

Well, by wine, I mean water, but you can sneak a glass in there too. We won’t tell!

This one sounds super easy, but if you are like me & are on the go must days, drinking water throughout the day is actually kind of tricky. I pop a straw in my water bottle, throw it in my bag, and voila – hydration on-the-go at it’s finest! Keep that skin soft and smooth by staying hydrated throughout the day & treat your fabulous self with a glass (or two) of wine at night. Seems logical to me 😉

IMG_5280EXFOLIATE

Talk about the perfect excuse for an at-home spa night! Any reason to indulge in a new body scrub is a-okay in my book. Get those winter blues off by spending a little extra time in the shower and exfoliate.

Coffee scrubs are fabulous in the morning or if you are more of an evening shower gal, something soothing and lightly fragrant is wonderfully calming. Exfoliating helps kick that dry skin to the curb & let’s that new healthy (& hydrated!) skin shine.

IMG_5277LOVE THOSE LIPS

Like I said earlier, chapped lips aren’t my favorite look and, to be honest, they are a total pain. Step outside in dry, winter weather and it’s like all the moisture from you lips just disappears! I started using Vaseline’s lip tins (don’t worry, you can find them at Target) and I am a new woman. They are magic! And yes, while you might think I have to say that, but it’s true! (the part about me being obsessed with them)

They have found their way into every purse, desk drawer, and car cupholder. The tin is sneaky and small & the Rosy tint makes it look like your lips are just naturally rosy. Plus, no more gross, dry winter lips!


IMG_5260

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, EAT CAKE

But let’s get real, sometimes it’s just too dang cold to go outside. So stock up on healthy snacks & sweet treats, get that humidifier next-day shipped, and snuggle up with your fabulously hydrated skin, because sometimes you just need a day off!

IMG_4461


lauren buttonsylvia buttonThis post was sponsored by Vaseline. I am obsessed with their lip tins & have them stashed in every bag, at my desk, and in my makeup bag. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

5 MINUTE VALENTINE’S DAY BEAUTY LOOK

IMG_1420Well, hello lovelies! Are y’all getting your Valentine’s Day plans in order? While it’s not a holiday we really celebrate around the Kelp household (we usually order pizza & watch movies in a fort), it is a great excuse to get all dolled up! Whether it’s for drinks with the gals, a hot date out on the town, or in your living room in a fort, it’s fun to get gussied up a bit.

Thanks to the mad skills of Stylisted, we’ve got a fabulous Valentine’s Day beauty look that will have you out the door & looking fierce in 5 minutes! Plus, this hairstyle is my current obsession. See what we mean & get the deets below. xoxo, LK

IMG_1182STEP ONE: CURL THE ENDS

For this effortless tousled look, it’s best to start by curling the ends of your hair. Ooh, if you thought we would make you spend 30 minutes in front of your mirror curling sections of your hair, you couldn’t be farther from the truth! We are all about quick, easy, and fabulous here at Lauren Kelp & this curling wand has changed our lives.

Star by pinning the front left and right section of your hair up (this will be the section we braid later). Grab medium size sections of hair (starting from the underside and working forward) and use the bubble wand to curl. It’s totally worth the trip to Target because this little guy perfectly curls hair in sections. No weird hand twisting or wonky curls – it’s super easy and crazy practical if you like the look.

IMG_1213STEP TWO: LOOSELY BRAID

Remember those front two sections we pinned up? Now it’s time to have some fun! Unpin the left section and start to loosely braid until you have about two inches of hair left. Pin across the back of the head & repeat with the right section.

PRO TIP: When you braid each section, instead of braiding down, pull the braid around the back of the head so it lays flat.

Once you are finished braiding, the braids should be sitting on top of each other. Grab the left (top) braid and tuck the end under the right (bottom) braid & pin. The goal is to have two braids sitting on top of each other & wrapped behind the crown of your head. Untuck the tails & let loose to create a full & effortless look.

IMG_1221STEP THREE: ADD A LITTLE LIP

Go ahead, go crazy, it’s Valentine’s Day! I am a huge fan of a rich red lip & now is the perfect time to play around with it. I mean, why not?! Mollie, our fabulous Stylisted stylist, used Stila’s Stay All Day liquid lipstick in Beso and we couldn’t be more obsessed.

You know that Kylie Jenner matte lip look? Well this is it but better and more fabulous because it’s on you! The color is a fabulous red and it stays on all day. But for real. You can eat, drink, and make out all night long and your lips will still stay full and lush looking. Magic, right?

IMG_1393

Look at that! Three easy steps & you are out the door on you way to something fabulous in no time. Whether it’s date night with that special someone or drinks with the girls, you are ready to knock ’em dead.

If you are like me & not very savvy with hair and makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.
IMG_1411

SHOP THE POST


lauren buttonsylvia button

COFFEE AND COCONUT SCRUB FOR FACE & BODY

IMG_0786Well howdy my little winter babes! Hopefully your skin is fairing better than mine this winter, but in case you’ve got alligator skin as badly as I do, this post is for you! Sylvia is sharing her secret to silky smooth skin all season long with her incredibly easy to make coffee and coconut scrub for your face and body. It’s easy, smells divine, and perfect for your morning showers. It’s a dream! See the full scoop below.  – xo, LK
IMG_0739

Hey friends! Sylvia here & today I am showing you how to make the most amazing scrub. This coconut and coffee scrub is absolutely perfect for your face and body when they need a little TLC this winter. Specifically, the scrub helps with the following:

– Exfoliates Skin (brown sugar)

– Diminishes appearance of cellulite and also acts as a mild exfoliant (fresh coffee grounds)

– Moisturizes, hydrates & smooths your skin (Organic raw unrefined coconut oil)

– Cleanses the skin – gets rid of dead skin and blackheads and dark circles! (Almond Oil) *optional* It’s also packed with Vitamin E (great for skin) and very high in antioxidants

IMG_0758

INGREDIENTS:

–  1 cup coffee grounds
–  1/2 cup brown sugar
–  1 cup coconut oil (microwave for 8-10 seconds)
–  2 drops of Almond Oil (optional)

IMG_0751

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix ingredients well so all the ingredients are well blended
2. Take a scoop with your hands and rub into your skin in a circular motion
3. I like to leave it on for a few minutes, but when you are ready, rinse off with warm water & pat dry
4. Voila! Alligator skin no more!
rub into skin in circular motion

IMG_0727

 I highly recommend using this scrub during your morning shower. This scrub can get messy, so make sure you use a towel you don’t mind getting dirty and expect a little clean up.
Get ready for super smooth skin & a happy little caffeine boost to kick start you day! Make sure you let us know how you like it. We would love to see your take on this coffee and coconut scrub, so tag us on Instagram!

IMG_0649


sylvia button

HONEY CINNAMON MUD MASK

9845 copy 2For all my organic beauty buffs, this post is absolutely for you! Sylvia (one of our fabulous photographers) is sharing her secret for finicky skin – a honey cinnamon mud mask. As a self-proclaimed adult acne sufferer, she swears by this masks ability to clear up junk, moisturizes, and reduce pesky scars. Plus, who doesn’t love a good pamper sesh? See the full recipe below & let us know what you think! – xoxo, LK


Hello, friends! Sylvia here & I’m a fan of using all natural ingredients (knowing what’s in the product) versus buying face masks and buying products from stores since I have very sensitive skin. Growing up, my mother would always come up with homemade remedies to fix anything! It would be anything from herbal teas to boost your immune system, to making homemade soaps & moisturizer.9619
This mask is great for 3 things:
– Moisturizing (honey)
– Exfoliating (brown sugar)
– Getting rid of acne & acne scars (cinnamon!)
I’ve suffered with adult acne and to make it even worse – acne scars! I swear that ever since I started using these masks, my scars and complexion became clearer. honey mask

Before you raid your cabinets or go out and get the ingredients, I want to explain why these ingredients are the best & why they work so well!

HONEY: I prefer using “all natural, organic, raw, unfiltered” honey vs honey that has been processed but it’s totally fine if you use either/or. I just feel that you get more benefits using raw honey. Make sure that it’s at room temperature (easier to smooth onto face). Sometimes I like to warm it up a bit and stick in the microwave for 6 seconds. It’s a natural humectant which acts as a moisturizer & has antibacterial properties that help spot treat existing pimples.

BROWN SUGAR: I like brown sugar versus cane sugar because it’s more gentle on your skin, but both will work just fine! It works great for exfoliating the skin!
CINNAMON: AMAZING smell, but because it’s such a strong spice, it might make your face tingle/burn for the first few seconds. Totally normal! 🙂 Cinnamon stimulates & revitalizes the skin by drawing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the surface of skin, leaving your skin glowing and healthy! (THIS WORKS!) It also prevents acne.
TEA TREE OIL: This oil is amazing for curing acne and acne scars. It smells and it’s a strong smell, but it works. I usually put in 2 drops, but had to ease into it since the mask is already so strong and tingly.

9728

INGREDIENTS:

– Honey (2-3 tbsp)
– Brown Sugar (2 tsp)
– Cinnamon ( 1-2 tsp)
– OPTIONAL – 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Oil

9740

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Friendly reminder, it’s best to test it on your wrist to make sure your skin responds well.
2. Rub it in, in a circular motion, for about 1 minute & let sit for 20-30
3. This is a great excuse to read, relax, or have a cup of coffee
4. Once your timer is up, wash off with warm water in circular motions. Tap face dry with clean towel & check out your glowing new skin!

9787 copy


sylvia button