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DIY KNOT BRAID

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Whether you’re a new reader of LK Beauty or have been following along for a while, most of you know I’m all about effortless and simple beauty. After working in a salon and learning the in’s and out’s of hairstyling, there’s hardly anything I can’t stand more than spending an abhorrent amount of time on my hair. AKA, longer than 15 minutes! Braids are my go to, but with all the different styles, learning how to do them can get a bit tricky. Enter the knot braid. If you know how to tie your shoelaces, you can do this!

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STEP 1:

Take a section of hair and split it into two pieces. (P.S. Please pretend that you can’t see my hideous roots!)

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STEP 2:

Take the two sections and tie it into a knot like you would your shoelaces. Bobby pin into place if needed.

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STEP 3:

Grab a bit more hair to add to the two sections, similar to a french braid. Then tie into a knot.

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STEP 4:

Repeat until you reach your desired spot to stop.

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STEP 5:

Tie off with a small clear elastic, and try not to get into a fight with the wind resulting in a tangled mess as shown below! Pin the end into place, and remove any bobby pins you used to secure the knots.

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STEP 6:

Finish off with some hairspray and you’re done!

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Plan on trying out this easy DIY Knot Braid? Snap a pic and make sure to tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty!


breann bowman

DIY BATH MELTS

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July in Arizona has only two types of weather : blistering hot or monsoons. Usually towards the end of the month, we start to see some pretty crazy rain storms hit the valley. Although the days after are a bit muggy, the bit of relief from the sun is extremely welcome. During those summer showers, one of my favorite things to do is take a warm bath and listen to the thunder.

One of the best things about taking a bath is choosing which cocktail of bubbles, skincare products, and scents we want to add to it. I’m always looking for something to jazz the water up a bit, but I also need it to take care of my skin. Summertime calls for lots of hours spent in the pool. When I’ve been in the chlorine water for a long time, the effects of pool chemicals paired with being out in the sun really takes a toll on my skin. I need products that can do a bit of a detox, as well as keep it from drying out. Enter bath melts. These little guys have been my favorite things to make on weekends! The best part is they only require 3 ingredients!

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DIY Bath Melts

– 1/2 cup Baking Soda

– 1/2 cup Epsom Salts (y’all know how much we love epsom salts!)

– 1 TBS Coconut Oil

IMG_4171IMG_4173STEP ONE:

Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well blended. You want the mixture to stick together, but not be so wet that it sticks to your hands. If you find it’s too thin, just add a bit more baking soda. You’ll want to be able to pick it up in your hand and have it be mold-able.

IMG_4174IMG_4175STEP TWO:

Next, pat into the bottom of a cupcake tin – use cupcake liners to avoid an oily mess and for easy removal. Let it set for a couple hours in the fridge, or overnight on the counter to harden and take shape.

IMG_4178IMG_4177STEP THREE:

When done, simply pop out and store in a tupperware container. Use one per bath. The coconut oil will help moisturize your skin, and the baking soda with epsom salts help with a light detox!

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Plan on making some of your own bath melts? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram or 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

DIY CHOCOLATE FACE MASK

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It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day has come and gone already! I remember as a kid it was one of my favorite holidays. It was such a blast having the last bit of the day reserved for giving treats and cards to classmates. As an adult, it’s really special to spend it with my husband, taking an evening to be a little more romantic than usual. One thing has never changed in my feelings for the holiday though, and that is my adoration of CHOCOLATE. Even now that it’s over, I could still veg out on the sofa with a box of See’s Chocolates and call it one of the best nights ever. While I can definitely afford to stop eating so many sweets, I got to thinking, “chocolate can’t be bad for my skin, right?

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I did a little research to make sure I wasn’t completely insane, and there are actually a lot of studies that show dark chocolate is great for your skin! It’s packed with anti-oxidants, and when combined with the anti-inflammatory agents in honey, and the soothing components of plain yogurt, we can whip up a yummy face mask with awesome benefits!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 tbs. dark cocoa powder (at least 70% cacao or more)
  • 1 tsp. raw or organic honey
  • 1. tbs. plain yogurt

MAKE THE MASK

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a thick paste. You can add more yogurt and honey if you feel like it’s still a bit too thick. Apply to clean skin avoiding the eye area. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and a washcloth that can be stained. Follow with your daily moisturizer.

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Your skin should feel nice and smooth, with a more even skin tone afterward. Plan on tying out this mask? Snap a picture and tag us on Instagram / Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty so we can see your creations!


breann bowman

VOLUME FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

IMG_2507.JPGWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, most of us are starting to think about our ensembles and beauty looks for the most romantic day of the year. We want to look extra hot for our dates, so we pull out all the stops from our primping handbooks. Of course nothing completes our outfits and carefully selected shades of lipstick like the perfect blow out. We want volume and we want it to last throughout the night. Instead of shelling out the cash and booking an appointment with your stylist, here are a couple of tips on how to get natural volume at home, without the teasing and gobs of hairspray.

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The keys to getting soft, natural volume are good products and a bit of round brushing knowledge. The Lauren Kelp Team is a HUGE fan of Living Proof products. I always recommend using their Style Extender before blow drying. Just a quarter size amount distributed throughout damp hair is enough. To get a bit of lift I recommend using a mousse or texturizing spray at the roots. Flip your hair upside down and wave the dryer over your locks until most of the moisture is gone. Attempting to round brush from sopping wet hair is not only frustrating, but time-consuming.

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Think of your round brush as a tool for smoothing and shaping. I usually start by clipping the top half of my hair up and round brushing the bottom section under until smooth. Once done, I un-clip the top and round brush that section in the opposite direction of my part. When you part it back the usual way, your hair will create its own natural volume since it’s just been pulled in the opposite direction.

IMG_2505.JPGWhen round brushing the front section of hair, I always recommend pulling the section away from your face and back. Think Farrah Fawcett hair, but with a brush instead of curling iron. This creates a more natural looking wave instead of it hanging straight down or falling into your face.

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After you’ve finished smoothing and shaping your hair with the round brush, it’s time to bust out the old velcro rollers! While my hair is still warm from the dryer, I like to section the top half of my hair into five sections. One directly above my forehead that I like to call the “pouf” section. Remember when it was cool to pull your bangs back, poof them, and bobby pin into place? You’ll be using that same technique by taking that same section of hair and rolling back. I take the two side pieces and roll them under, as well as two additional pieces toward the back of the crown. Velcro rollers don’t hold well on their own, so make sure to secure them with clips or bobby pins. Using a medium hold hairspray, lightly dust the hair in the curlers and let them set for about 5-10 minutes until completely cool. I usually let them set while I’m doing my makeup.

IMG_2501.JPGGently pull out the rollers and finger comb your hair into the style. You can then curl your hair or straighten the ends for a sleek look. Use a light wax to create texture on the ends, and finish off with a light to medium hold hairspray if you feel like you need it. Now all that’s left is to touch up your make up, and slip on your dress and heels! IMG_2504.JPG

IMG_2506.JPGPlan on trying out any of these tips? Snap a pic and be sure to tag us on Instagram/ Twitter by using @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


breann bowman

5 MINUTE FRENCH BRAID STYLE

H1DMsJdqUrNlmE_IgxoFaSkVf2O1WWvIB0e_lYwbAvsBetween working a full-time job, blogging, being a wife and mom to two pups, I honestly don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to my hair. As much as I would love to have it blown out every day, the truth is most mornings I end up doing my hair in the office bathroom. For the past year or so, I’ve been pretty grossly obsessed with Julianne Hough. Her hair is always flirty and perfectly tousled. Even better than her cut and color are the amazing braided styles her stylist, Riawna Capri, creates. Last week on Dancing With the Stars, she had an around the world french braid that was off the chains. Here is a 5 minute version of the french braid tutorial for all you gals who are short on time, but want to look like you spent all morning primping your hair!

u3P1mMQTEuwbJyveorxmeHm3zuM7puE8ZjlFbwFbLaEMake a deep side part and begin a french braid down the side into a crown. I like to make mine really big by taking hair all the way from the back of my head.

Mc_2Rt5ANOmqbixFyQuDYFDcQzYqxeBMhKsTsXvA6KY,sO6cwd09KtutP02PD5RCUt00cfIGBjtOCR7G4Yq5LDEg-9XbNPiZ2J38yoNYmGmBuuh_MW6Osk-zkk9n7esmBYAfter you’ve completed the braid, pancake the strands by gently tugging them individually. This will make the braid appear thicker and more voluminous. Tie off the end with a small elastic or bobby pin.

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Take your hair from the opposite side of your braid, twist back and pin into place.

OeABWPAnG0HDKbwatqJ1rguHRHozE-5hkzUanQCY_SETake your hair on the opposite side – minus the braid – and twist over. Pin into place to make a low, messy, twisted bun. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

gh8ZftBRtEcQUPy2CDpL_r5cvhHv7oofhk015lFlkCELastly, bring your braid over, tuck and pin into the messy bun, and you’re done!

NMcR2AUETHF9ls22r7XZefBSPuTraHrcYfGh8NOMRdsGently pull out any loose, wispy pieces around your temples if you so desire.

pTKdq5R1cAPL2qM9x1NGCSIia6nLrZhqm4EtHNXJKgkPlan on trying out this braided look? Be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter by using @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty


breann bowman

DIY NATURAL BERRY LIP BALM

Now that fall is finally upon us here in Arizona (yes, it took THIS long), we are super excited for sweater weather and breaking out all our favorite autumn color palettes. I always look forward to sporting a berry lip this time of year. It’s such a versatile color and looks fantastic on all skin tones. While I love browsing the makeup counters and adding to my endless collection of lip color, sometimes I get a little… well, nervous about all the chemicals and additives they contain. It’s never a bad idea to periodically swap out your products for a natural alternative. Here’s a fun and easy DIY for your own berry lip balm, and it only contains TWO ingredients!

IrZf82MVsMWH-7p9ek-28aa3SHsTV183wxXJt5ulT18You’ll of course want to start with fresh berries! For two small tins of balm, I use 2 raspberries and 2 blackberries. If you want a darker color, use 3 blackberres : 1 raspberry. If you want a pinker tone, use 3 raspberries : 1 blackberry.

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The second ingredient is coconut oil. You’ll just need one teaspoon – make sure to scoop it out while still somewhat solid.

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In a small bowl, smash the berries together and mix in with the coconut oil. It’ll be pretty lumpy, don’t worry!

Next, place your small bowl in the microwave for about 10 seconds until the coconut oil is liquified. Stir it all up real good, and pour through a mesh strainer into small containers to remove the seeds. If you don’t have one, no need to worry your balm will just have some bumps in it!

EjfscnoysV1FIVwwLtNlyMBmsIsp8usBi947Ej34Cy8Place your small containers in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool the oil again until solid. The juice and the oil will separate, naturally. Simply rub your finger across the top when your ready to use. The warmth from your finger will help the ingredients mix on a top layer and you can apply as liberally as you like!

Plan on making your own natural berry lip balm? Be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram/ Twitter by using #LKBeauty and @laurenkelp so we can see your masterpiece!


 

breann bowman

BOLD BROW TUTORIAL

vPFg_c6tWwZx1DD_Zhno1kVfFqgwkhxLlNKMUkhCWIMWomen stop our Beauty Editor Breann on the street asking her how she does her eyebrows & what her secret is. Well lovely LK readers, we thought we would share this amazing, super easy secret that will only cost you $3 over the course of a year! A YEAR! See what we mean below! – xoxo, LK


What do we want? Brows! How do we want them? Bold! When do we want them? Now!

If Cara Delevinge has taught us anything, it’s that thick, bold brows are EVERYTHING. Unfortunately for most of us, those precious face accessories don’t come naturally. Learning how to master the art of filling in your brows isn’t difficult at all, and I’m here to show you how with these easy breezy eyebrow tutorial.

All you need is your favorite eyebrow filler. I personally love this Elf Eyebrow kit in “light”. You can pick it up at Target for just $3.00!

uwsTJnJqSk9j88xfoCVjW-d1NdgV5-iFZH5oilpQN3cStep One:

Start with a clean fresh face and tweeze away the unwanted hairs. Apply your base of foundation, bronzer, blush, etc. After seeing this photo, I hope we can still be friends. I would rather go outside without pants on than not have my eyebrows done.

EHYihfgYzBcYCRkONzfTy5s-1g357l1jFTvxJlm3wSUStep Two:

Starting at your arches, elongate the tail of your brow with the gel filler and fill in as thickly as you like.

aOrBW4nZc5WII_6ZUG9PW2MTbLaDU22exI3gtwWNhwgStep Three:

Line the bottom side of your brows, then fill in the tops by sweeping the gel in the same direction of growth as the natural hair.

rHE66JmGkGFBMDyhaPrzaU9JfREchUx01hyUnSyyvmIStep Four:

When you get to the inner corner, sweep the gel directly upward in small strokes to resemble hair. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect or doesn’t match the other side perfectly. Your brows are supposed to be sisters, not twins.

7914qo9SVyjU4v55l2wN1imyz75tly35w63DtpOsBdUStep Five:

Use the powder to blend in the strokes you made. You don’t need a lot, just enough to smooth things out.

W2yJV5KVbNc0zIap2Ww4V-zMk-eAPkl5U2aHm_JojukVoila! You’re done and you’ve got some fantastic full brows! All you need now is a cat eye and your favorite lip stain to complete the look. Plan on trying this tutorial? You know the drill – try it out & tag us! We (seriously!) would love to see your bold brows, so make sure to use#LKBeauty and/or tag @laurenkelp


 

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PUMPKIN SPICE SUGAR SCRUB

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The Fall Season is officially in full swing and basic girls everywhere are picking up pumpkin-spice anything to enjoy while watching Hocus Pocus. I’m not afraid to admit, I do love when pumpkin spice starts filling the stores. It’s truly the perfect Fall scent, and it just makes me feel cozy! What’s not cozy about this time of year is having itchy, dry skin due to the change in weather. This homemade scrub will slough off the dryness, and leave your skin silky smooth and smelling oh so sweet! You’ll be slipping into those leggings and knit sweaters in no time!

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Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

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Mix oil and sugar together in a bowl, then add vanilla. Mix in the pumpkin spice and cinnamon last. Next transfer into a jar you can keep in the shower/ bath. Make sure to secure the lid when not in use. To use, simply scrub onto wet skin in circular motions. Rinse completely and pat skin dry. Use a moisturizer afterwards for best results.

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