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

ACNE, AT-HOME PEEL PADS, & MY SKIN WIZARD

IMG_4489Real talk, I used to have terrible (terrible) skin. Ask any roommate I had in college. I would lather layers and layers of cover-up on and try any peel, mask, or toner. Oh, you happened to be selling the latest skin regimen? Great, I’ll take 12 bottles. My skin was so bad that when I smiled it would crack and bleed. Which is really cool and totally not embarrassing at all. It got so bad that I developed this weird way to laugh so I didn’t have to smile – I would open my mouth slightly and make this really weird robot laugh sound. It was horrible & not to mention terrifying.

Anywho, I had atrocious skin for about five years in my late teens & early twenties until I found an actual skin wizard. It was a freak run in that it resulted in me crying in her chair, but she turned my skin around, removed the scars, and continues to keep my skin in fantastic shape. If you are a) looking for a new skin guru (don’t worry, she FaceTimes) b) need an at-home treatment you can count on or c) want to empathize with having shitty skin – this post is for you.

IMG_4481This skin wizard is named Alissa & runs an amazing studio – Porespective – based in Austin, Texas, but the best part is that she FACETIMES! It’s amazing. Plus, if you can’t get yourself down to Austin (although if you are struggling to clear up your skin, she is absolutely worth the trip) she just developed these insane Peel Pads that I can’t get enough of.

It’s a clinical grade peel that contains everything you need to brighten up that skin and get rid of acne from the comfort of your own bedroom. I use mine twice a month and it makes my skin look noticeably brighter and more clear. From the comfort of my sofa, I get an at-home medical treatment for literally a fraction of the price.

Not that the price (or ease) matters, because taking care of your skin is always worth it. It’s more the fact that great skin care is available without the flashy price tag, weird storm trooper light mask, or pain.

IMG_4473As someone who takes the care of their skin very seriously, I would not lead you astray on this front. If you are looking for someone to help turn your skin around, Alissa is your gal. If you are looking for an at-home treatment that won’t break the bank but that has legit results, these Peel Pads are the way to go.

Do you have an acne story and want to share? I am all ears. I know it can sound like such a vain thing, “I have such terrible skin!” But it really can keep you back from relationships, jobs, opportunities, and cripples your self-confidence. Girl, I’ve been there.
IMG_4503


lauren and sylvia

CLEAN UP YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE

spring makeupHi friends! Joanna here & get excited – we are overhauling your beauty arsenal today. Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet, ladies! I’m going to help you dig through your trusty makeup bag to help you swap out some of your tried-and-true products for new light and airy options that will help you transition into summer without total confusion.

FIRST & FOREMOST, LET’S TALK ABOUT SKIN

The winter can do some major damage to your skin, so be sure to continue exfoliating at least every other night. If you are in need of some heavier action, add a toner to your morning routine. Apply the toner after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Now that we have your skin clean and glowing, swap out your heavy creams for a lighter moisturizer. Try a product that will quickly absorb into your skin. These type of moisturizers will allow your skin to breath easier in warmer & more humid weather conditions.

GET THAT HEALTHY GLOW

With the warmer temps and more sun exposure, we all want to let our skin shine, but not without a bit of coverage 😉  Switch out your full coverage foundation to a BB cream for a lighter application. Most of the BB creams I have found have SPF in them. You can mix the BB cream with a bronzer or highlighter to provide a more sun-kissed glow to ease your way into a bronzer summer.

PRETTY UP THAT POUT

Given the fact that you will be sporting some new sunnies most of this season, skip the four-step eyeshadow palette and grab a cream eyeshadow stick. These are super quick and easy to apply. You can even just blend them in with your finger. Use it all over your lid or just around your lash line for slight definition.

PRO TIP:  grab a color that is complementary to your eye color, that way no matter what you are wearing it will be the most flattering color on you.

Time to brighten up that pout! Don’t be afraid of testing out some new bold lip colors. With fresh and soft makeup, a pop of color on your lips is such a beautiful spring look. Ditch the tubes of lipstick which may or may not melt in your purse while at the beach… and go try a lip pencil! These products are so easy to apply, they offer a lipliner and lipstick in one product and typically are very long wearing.


joanna contributor button

image via j.crew

MAKING YOU BLUSH the best finds for any skin tone

IMG_2883I have never really been a makeup kind of gal. Truthfully, I don’t really know what I am doing. Between some moisturizer, a little mascara, & a good shade of lipstick, I feel pretty well rounded and it takes me less than 30 seconds, so you can’t really beat that. Recently, between Breann’s beauty column, our guest contributors, and the experts sharing their secrets from Stylisted, I have started to expand my daily beauty routine a bit & have found my secret weapon – blush

I know, I know this might be old news to you, but what I mean is that I actually started caring about it. By that I mean, using blush that compliments my skin tone & started applying it with an actual brush & not my fingers. So, we got our blush-guru, Christina Gauthier from Stylisted, to show us how to up our beauty game.

IMG_2860

Depending on your skin tone, these shades of blush will compliment your already radiant skin:

Gold/Olive undertones: Go for something with orange tones or slightly reddish pinks. They will help highlight your brightness.

Pink undertones: For a natural look, stick with light pink but for something a bit more dramatic try peach. It compliments your coloring and gives you a healthy glow.

So, for those of you (like me) who had no idea how to apply blush (think those pink circles dolls have on their cheeks), Christine says to sweep it along your cheekbones (if you don’t know where they are, suck in your cheeks & see what stands out) and extend the color up to your temples. 

Put on a little more than you think to give you a natural glow that goes more chic than “just came in from the gym.” So, what do you think? We are tucking away our bronzer for another season & getting back to our blushing basics!

IMG_2863


lauren and sylvia

SIMPLE BRAIDED UPSTYLE perfect for spring

image6.JPGHi friends! Breann here. Are you as excited about Spring finally being here as much as I am? There’s just something about the welcoming of warmer weather that has me itching for cold drinks, throwing the windows open, and enjoying meals on the porch. It also has me embracing loose, romantic hairstyles to accompany said outdoor meals that hopefully include candles and some slow John Mayer tunes. (Hint, hint husband!) This simple French braid upstyle is perfect for those second day curls that have fallen a bit loose and messy.
image1.JPG

STEP ONE:

Start with curled hair that’s been prepped with a texturizing spray, and tease just slightly at the back of the crown. Make sure to smooth the top.
braid_1

STEP TWO:

Begin a French braid just an inch or so south of where you teased the hair. Leave a few loose pieces surrounding your face for some soft framing.
image4.JPG

STEP THREE:

Tie off with a clear elastic, then gently pull the braided strands for the braid to appear more full.
image5.JPG

STEP FOUR:

Lastly, take the end of the braid and tuck it under to the nape of your neck. Secure with a few bobby pins as necessary, then finish off with a firm hold hairspray.

unnamed


breann button

STAR WARS INSPIRED HALLOWEEN LOOK

Processed with VSCOcam with k1 preset

I LOVE HALLOWEEN SO MUCH! Dressing up is so fun & prepping your house for Trick or Treat-ers or a fun gathering with friends. But there is a stigma out there that the older you get, the less fun it is (meaning 20s & 30s or pre-kids). I say that’s garbage! It’s fun to let loose & play dress up. Whether it’s for an office party or a neighborhood block party, not all adult costumes have to be “adult” if you know what I mean. Case in point, Princess Leia. Not sexy Princess Leia, just good, old, classic, bad-ass Princess Leia. Breann’s got the full details… – xoxo, LK


Whether you like to admit it or not, everyone likes Star Wars a little bit. We’re each a bit nerdy and can’t help but get a little excited when that theme music begins to play. Perhaps one of the most recognizable brands in the world, Star Wars themed costumes have always played a huge role in our culture. Maybe it’s the buns, bikini scene, or her love of Han Solo that made Princess Leia such a beloved character. Either way, her hair and simple makeup create one of the easiest and most adored Halloween costumes. You’re sure to be the talk of the party, and you’ll be so happy that it took you less than 15 minutes to get ready!

IMG_6305IMG_6304

STEP ONE:

To start with makeup, apply a concealer under your eyes to brighten them up, then sweep a peachy pink blush across your cheeks.

IMG_6303IMG_6302

STEP TWO:

Take a highlighting powder and lightly apply to the tops of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and just beneath your brows for a nice dewey look.

IMG_6300

STEP THREE:

Simply curl your eyelashes and add a coat of mascara for a bit of depth. Nice and simple.

IMG_6297IMG_6298

STEP FOUR:

For your hair, part all the way down the middle and tie off into pigtails just next to your ears.

star wars hair one

STEP FIVE:

Take a hair donut and slide each pigtail through. Split the pigtail in half then secure around the donut with a second hair tie/ elastic.

star wars hair two

STEP SIX:

Spread around the donut until completely covered, pining the hair into place along the way.

IMG_6293

Processed with VSCOcam with k1 preset

STEP SEVEN:

Once you are done, finish the look off with hairspray and a rosy lip balm. Don’t forget to wear a white turtleneck to complete the look! Happy Halloween!


 

SHOP THE LOOK:

See more quick & easy Halloween Makeup looks here

PSL BODY SCRUB

IMG_6183

Well, if you can’t drink it, use it as a scrub? Just kidding, but seriously – we might have just completed the perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte circle with this new DIY body scrub. It’s amazing, it does an amazing job, and you basically smell like Autumn all the time. Don’t hate the PSL until you’ve tried it 😉 – xoxo, LK


Hooray! Yesterday was the first official day of Fall! I couldn’t be more excited for the season of changing leaves, sweaters, and of course hot Starbucks! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is surely the biggest hit once September arrives. It’s warm flavor mixed with just the right amount of spice is the perfect addition to the changing season. While I myself am not a coffee drinker, whenever a friend orders a PSL I can’t help but want to bury my nose in their cup and keep the scent with me all day. Of course as a beauty junkie, I had to figure out how to replicate the scent in some sort of skin product. I am a huge advocate for scrubs, and making homemade ones is one of my favorite things to do! So after a bit of experimenting in the kitchen, I finally found the perfect balance to making your very own PSL Body Scrub!

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

INGREDIENTS:

– 1/2 cup ground coffee beans

– 2 tbs coconut oil

– 1 tsp pumpkin spice

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

*Makes enough for one full body scrub use.

IMG_6178IMG_6182

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.

2. Make sure your coconut oil is room temperature. It may not look all that appealing, but it smells like heaven!

3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until use

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO USE:

1. For best results, take a hot shower so that your pores can open up and be ready for cleansing.

2. I recommend stepping out of the water or turning it off to apply the scrub. Apply in circular motions all over your body, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes so it can soak up all the goodness from the coffee and coconut oil.

3. Rinse off and pat dry.

4. There will likely be some oil on the bottom of your shower, so take caution while stepping out not to slip!

5. Feel how amazing & soft your new PSL kissed skin feels!

IMG_6181

The other great thing about this scrub is because of the amount of coconut oil, it isn’t dry, and can be easily be applied to dry skin as well! Just be sure you do it in the shower to avoid coffee grounds all over your floor. Again, apply in circular motions, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse off.

After my initial use of the PSL Body Scrub, I found myself back in the kitchen making more. Not only does it smell divine, your skin will fill silky smooth afterward. I am so excited to use this throughout the dry fall and winter seasons – I may even make some as little gifts for my girlfriends!


breann bowman

THE HAIR CARE "MUST HAVE'S" FOR WHEN YOU ARE ON THE ROAD

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

If you’ve been following our babe-town Beauty Editor on instagram, you know she has been taking the East Coast by storm on an epic road trip. This makes for some prime “beauty in a pinch” situations and I for one need all the advice I can get on travel beauty! Hope you enjoy – xoxo LK


 

When I travel, I like to pack as little as possible. The mere thought of checking bags at the airport, lugging them back and forth between hotels, and dealing with any additional weight on my weak shoulders irritates me. I tend to pride myself on the fact that I can travel with only a carry-on bag. As a beauty junkie, it took me a while to figure out what my hair care necessities are while away from home. I’ve narrowed it down to travel size shampoo and conditioner, a round brush, blow dryer, and a just few accessories and products. For the last eight days I’ve traveled to Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. with only a few beauty products in my bag.Today I’m sharing my hair travel accessories – particularly the ones that have saved my life here on the east coast.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

I know I’ve talked about it a million times, but the entire LK Team is in love with Living Proof hair products. After having been in the beauty industry for over 7 years, I can honestly say they are the best I’ve ever used, and you really do get the most bang for your buck. Anyway, their Flex Shaping Hairspray has been my go-to when trying to fight the heat, sweat, and humidity. Whether I’m going for a sleek bun, textured braids, or a basic blow out this hairspray keeps my hairstyle fresh throughout the day, without losing volume.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Another favorite that I packed are these adorable little Zodiac sign pins from Anthropologie. They’re great for adding a little sparkle, as well as distracting from all my fly-aways! I’ve loved laying these above my buns, or integrating into my braid up-do’s.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Lastly, my most recent obsession has been withe these ribbon hair ties. What’s so great about these little guys is not only do they make the most messy bun or ponytail chic, they also look pretty cute sitting on your wrist. Not to mention, they don’t leave creases in your hair! Ribbon hair ties were my best friends in NYC. I always started the day with my hair blown out, then would put it in a bun when it started to get a little too warm. Towards the evening when we were out to dinner, I’d let my hair down and it still looked great! Total game changer!

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Traveling brings forth such enriching experiences and memories, but can be easily ruined or missed by spending too much time on what you look like. When you simplify your packing, it leaves more opportunity to get out the door quickly and into great destinations!

Plan on packing any of these products on your next vacation? Snap a picture and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


 

breann bowman