Best Deal on Uggs!

Headlines across cyberspace are proclaiming “Uggs are back in style.”

Theses Aussie foot fashion phenom’s  were the #1 product searched for on Thanksgiving Day and #2 on Black Friday, which of course led to financial reports citing shares of the sheepskin boot maker’s parent, Deckers Outdoor, rose 6.6%.

Tell us something we didn’t know … we never stopped wearing them (in the appropriate settings, of course). But for those of you who were thinking they were just glorified hard-soled-house-slippers,  perhaps these new styles will bring you to the eternally cozy dark side. While Zappos, Nordstrom and other sites are hocking the latest sales -we found the deals vary very slightly -as in not much at all unless you’re willing to go with (gently used, yuck!) eBay purchase you’ll have to just play the clicking game.

Here are some of our favs!

At-Home Tanning: The No-Bake DIY Way

Let’s face it, these winter months can get a little dark and dreary and leave your skin looking…well…a little pale, which is why we love these no-bake tips from our resident beauty guest blogger Vanessa of BesSkincare.com.

Embrace your inner DIY diva and start raiding your cupboards for ingredients that are good for you, will give you that coveted faux-glow and enhance your tan while also nourishing and protecting your skin.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

With DIY sunless tanning you can rock a year-round tan — and beauty blogger Vanessa loves it so much she literally wrote the book on it. Her Kindle book is called “Getting Baked: Home Remedies for Tanning”.

Inside you will find body scrubs and accelerators, tanning lotions and oils, after-sun remedies and even a list of foods so you can eat your way to a better tan.

And here is where things get even more awesome – for a limited time you can download this book loaded with DIY skinsperation for free. Just for you. Because we like you!

Simply click this link to download over 50 pages of easy-to-make DIY tanning recipes that will help give your skin that sun-kissed look you have been missing.

Get your free copy here!

Don’t have a Kindle? No fret! Download the free book to your smartphone, computer, or tablet and dive right in. That’s it. That’s all you have to do!

Of course, if you like what you read, write a short review, give it a quick rating, or tell a friend so they too can download the book for free. You see that’s the beauty of a free gift – it’s free so you can pass it around, share the love, and DIY your way to a sexy faux-glow, no matter what season it is!

 

Use Tea for Tanning!

One of our fave beauty bloggers Vanessa of BesSkincare.com is back with a new take on tanning. If you’re a regular MISS reader you know we shun sun worshipping (who wants icky wrinkles or skin cancer?) which is why we love that Vanessa came up with an alternative for the winter!

Now that summer is over and the cold, gloomy weather is here, some of us sun worshippers may be looking for a way to keep that bronzed goddess glow we worked so hard to get over the summer.

Of course you could always hop into the nearest tanning bed, but they aren’t always the best option for the health of your skin.

Self tanners can work but they can also make you look like you just stepped off an episode of the Jersey Shore, and truthfully, that’s never a good look.

So what is a girl to do if she wants to maintain that summer glow in the dead of winter? Brew some tea!

Yes, tea, it’s not just for sipping anymore. And if you keep reading, I’ll explain how to tan in a way that is so easy you won’t be-leaf it!

A Safe And Natural At-Home Tanner

While I am quite the sun-baker, I don’t really love sitting out in the sun for the whole day just to get a nice glow. Especially when I can do that from home, using a natural recipe, that costs only pennies per application.

It’s a healthy, and cheap, beauty treatment! Does it get any better?

All that is required is 5 black tea bags, 2 cups of water, a clean spray bottle, and an area in your bathroom where you can get a little messy.

To begin boil the 2 cups of water, place the tea bags in, remove from the heat, and let them steep for about 20 minutes.

While the tea is steeping, hop in the shower, and have a good scrub to remove any lingering dirt, oil, sweat, or lint from your clothes that could get coated in the tea and leave an unsightly mark. By doing this you are ensuring that the tan dries evenly and won’t leave any streaks.

But before you begin spraying, make sure you are completely dry, and that the tea is cool enough to the touch so it doesn’t burn you.

Then simply remove the tea bags, pour the tea into the spray bottle, and head back into the bathroom.

Sit down in either the bathtub or shower and start spraying yourself evenly, allowing each body part to dry before moving onto the next, that way you can make sure the tan is drying evenly.

If a darker color is desired, go for a second or third coat until you have the right shade.

Once finished, make sure you are completely dry before getting dressed so that any residual tea spray doesn’t stain your clothes.

This ‘tan’ should stay for 3-4 days and keeps in the fridge for up to a week, meaning touchups are only a few steps away.

And there you have it! A quick, safe, and affordable DIY tanning solution that looks natural, is full of antioxidants, and will keep you looking like you just stepped off the beach, even during those bleak winter months.

AUTHOR BIO:

Vanessa is the chief blogging babe for BesSkincare.com where she blogs and vlogs about all things skincare, including the best way to get rid of under eye circles, as well as providing handy DIY tips and tricks that help her readers look their very best, for less!

How to take a GOOD party photo!

Don’t be on the end! Don’t stare at the camera… don’t, don’t, don’t 😉

For most of taking a good photo is not easy! Chin up, cheeks in, smile/ don’t smile…suck in your gut! It’s overwhelming. We’ve enlisted the help of Mo De Long (behind the camera), a professional photographer who specializes in making people look good!

MO’s Tips!
1. Turn partially sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot.  
2. Pull head forward slightly to minimize any appearance of a double chin. Also try the swallow and hold method.  To do this, swallow and while holding the swallow, smile naturally.
3. Hold arms slightly away from your body or hand on the hip. This keeps upper arm flab from flattening out and therefore appearing flabbier.
4. Pull shoulders back, chest forward and gently suck stomach in.
5.  Try the look away method.  To do this, look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh, not frozen.
 

What not to do:

1. Never stand fully facing the camera and no slouching.  This makes you look boring and often wider than you are.

2. Never tilt your head back to avoid a double chin.  This just makes your neck look weird and strained.

3. Do not be the girl on the end, the people on the ends of group photos will look wider than the rest.  If you find yourself on the end, use the arms on the hip method so the elbow will appear to be the wide part of your body and not your hip.

4. Do not hold your smile for too long.   Take a break by looking  away and then turning back to the camera.

5.  Do not wear baggy clothes.  If you have to, wear a belt to accent your waist. Baggy clothing can make you look wider than you actually are.

DIY: Make Your Own Shampoo

Did you know that up until the 1930’s women never shampooed their hair? True story.

In fact, shampoo as we know it today wasn’t even invented back then, meaning that our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great-great-grandmothers actually used good old natural soap and water to clean their hair.

So then why is it that we ladies nowadays feel as though we have to shampoo, condition, pre-condition, and style our hair with different products each step of the way?

Consumerism, my friends, plain and simple.

No longer I say!

Today I put my foot down and teach my fellow shampoo-lovin’ sistahs how to train their tresses to no longer rely on store-bought shampoo just to feel as though their hair is squeaky clean.

Whether your hair is straight or full of curls, I have a DIY solution for all my girls.

But first, ever wonder what your favorite shampoo is really doing to your hair?

The Damaging Effects of Shampoo

Thanks to years of targeted marketing, we have been taught that if we don’t use this shampoo or that conditioner our hair will become a tangled mess of greasy, damaged, frizzed-out dreadlocks.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Actually, it’s the exact opposite.

In reality, store-bought shampoos actually strip your hair of it’s natural oils, or sebum, that our scalps produce.

And get this: these oils are essential to the health of your hair. Meaning you want this sebum, hell, you NEED it!

Especially you girls with curls. Speaking of that….

A Natural Shampoo For Curly Hair

Being that curly hair is usually quite dry, and shampoo only dries it out more, this quick DIY shampoo and rinse will help to restore moisture, shine, and manageability to your locks.

To start, mix 1 litre of boiling water with 1/4 cup of baking soda. Shake your mixture until your baking soda is fully dissolved, and wait for your mixture to be cool to the touch. Then apply your cleansing rinse liberally to your hair, give it a good scrub, and rinse well.

Follow up your cleanser with a mixture of:

–      3/4 cup of water

–      1/4 cup of pure apple cider vinegar

–      2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

–      1 tablespoon of honey

–      8 drops of peppermint oil

–      8 drops of tea tree oil

Make sure to shake your rinse before squirting it all throughout your hair and scalp. Let it sit in your hair for a few minutes until you feel the ‘tingle’, and then rinse well.

You may notice a faint vinegar smell, but that can be easily covered by adding more peppermint oil to your mixture.

It may take a while to get used to this method, but if you stick to it you should notice your curls looking far less frizzy as well as having a nice healthy sheen to them, not to mention the money you will save!

Of course, not all of us have curls or need to go that extra step.

A Natural Shampoo For Straight Hair

Unlike our curly-haired sistahs, this DIY shampoo only requires one step, meaning you don’t even need to shower! Bonus.

All you need is a small bowl, a clean, dry spice shaker, and:

–      8 – 10 drops of your favourite essential oil

–      2 tablespoons of corn starch

–      2 tablespoons of rice flour

–      2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour

Begin by pouring your ingredients together in a small bowl, and vigorously mixing it together for a few minutes to make sure it is well combined.

Then pour your mixture into your spice shaker and shake it directly onto your roots. If you prefer a more targeted cleaning, shake some into your hands and apply it directly to your scalp, roots, and hair.

Follow that by brushing the powder through your hair to ensure it’s evenly distributed, style as you normally would, and go!

Easy. Cheap. Natural. Does it get any better than that?

So, whether you have curly hair or straight, if you can stay dedicated to your new shampoo and ride out the first few days of greasy hair, you should be able to condition your tresses to no longer depend on chemical-laden shampoo.

Can someone remind me again why I spent all those years throwing away money on store-bought shampoo?

MISS Guest Blogger Vanessa is the chief blogging babe for BesSkincare.com where she blogs and vlogs about all things skincare, including the best microdermabrasion machine, as well as handy DIY tips and tricks such as how to make your own moisturizer. The best part about her job? She gets to help her readers look and feel their very best!

Photo via Flickr: beverlyislike

EZ DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner!

We are happy to have guest blogger -the FABULOUS Vanessa Roberts of Topbeautybrands.com  help us and you with a simple solution for cleaning makeup brushes. You are cleaning your makeup brushes… right?

…………..

If I am anything, it’s a DIY’in diva! I love it, can’t get enough of it, and find joy in discovering new ways to ease any dependence on chemical-laden store bought products.

Recently I’ve been testing out a new way of cleaning my makeup brushes because girlfriend, they needed it!

Now not only is this trick oh-so-simple but it’s a cheap alternative to buying makeup remover, and should help to calm down any annoying acne. After all, it’s the bacteria that lives in makeup brushes that can get caught in our pores, ultimately causing unwanted breakouts.

So how does one go about cleaning their brushes naturally? Well, keep on reading beauty queens for a quick and easy way to clean your makeup brushes naturally!

The Recipe

Sometimes, when going to clean your makeup brushes, you may run into a few people who will say that makeup remover is all that is needed to properly clean said brushes, but in fact those chemicals can do more harm than good.

And on top of that, they cost more!

So to prolong the life of your brushes, and save some of that hard-earned cash money simply grab some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, liquid Castile soap, and some White Vinegar.

That’s it! Pretty simple, right? Now it’s time to mix it all up.

 The Process: Step 1

Begin by grabbing a clean washcloth and pouring about a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the cloth. Then dip the tip of the brush into the oil, and rub it onto the cloth.

Now it’s important to only dip the tip of the brushes into the oil to avoid the roots getting wet and possibly coming loose.

As you start to rub the brush onto the cloth you should notice a wholllllle lotta makeup coming out of the brush, so much in fact you may assume it’s clean. It’s not.

This step is essentially just a conditioning stage, used to help protect and pre-clean the fibers of the bristles.

 Step 2

Once the bristles of each brush have been conditioned, move on to mixing up the cleaning solution.

For this, simply mix a teaspoon of the liquid Castile soap with enough warm water that the bottom of the bowl is covered.

Then just dip the tips of the brushes in the soapy water, leaving them submerged, and gently rub the bristles in the water between your fingers, giving them a gentle scrub.

Again, make sure the roots of the brushes don’t get wet.

Once the brushes have been sanitized and all the residual makeup has been removed, squeeze any remaining water out of the bristles.

Step 3

Now that the brushes have been pre-conditioned and scrubbed, you are pretty much done. However, there is one final step. It’s optional but I like it because it ensures all the oil and soap have been washed away, so I suggest trying it out.

Once you have squeezed out all the water, dip the tips of the brushes into a small bowl of vinegar, gently wring out the vinegar and rinse with warm water.

Then just simply lay them on a few sheets of clean paper towel in a sunny area of your house, and let them air dry.

Once fully dry, use as you normally would and rest assured that your brushes are finally free from any pore-clogging bacteria hiding in the bristles.

Et voila! A quick, easy, and natural way to clean your makeup brushes that only costs a few pennies per cleaning. Which is great because now you will have more money to buy even more beauty products!

 AUTHOR BIO:

Vanessa is a beauty blogging babe for TopBeautyBrands.com where she writes about all things beauty including how to fix a bad fake tan, DIY lip plumping and …wait for it – best breast enhancement creams. The best part about her job? She gets to help her readers look and feel their very best!

The Cost of Looking Like Jen: The $141,037 Beauty Regimen

When Yahoo Shine reported that 40-something beauty Jennifer Aniston spends $141,037 on beauty upkeep ($450 facials and $600 hair cuts add up) we couldn’t help but start analyzing how much regular gals like us are spending each year in “maintenance” — are you spending more or less than the average woman? We checked out prices at typical San Francisco salons and beauty stops to get an annual budget for the non-celeb type.

Skin:

One Facial Per Month @$150 = $1,800 per year

New At-Home Facial Products Each Month (cleanser, moisturizer) @$55 = $660 per year

Quarterly Chemical Peel @$125 = $500 per year

Hair Care:

Color Every Two Months – Full Highlights @$165 = $990 per year

Cut Every Three Months @$90 = $360 per year

Hair Care Products Every Two Months @$46 = $276 per year

Make-Up:

New Products Every Three Months (mascara, 1 eye shadow, face powder, 1 lipstick) @$72 = $288 per year

Waxing Every Month @$60 = $720 per year

Manicure/Pedicure Two Times Per Month @$50 = $600 per year

Monthly Gym Fee @$138 = $1,656 per year

Saturday Yoga Class Each Week @$14 = $728 per year

That’s a grand total of $6,958 per year and we aren’t even adding in tips on all these services and the rogue spray tan you’ll get for the Vegas Bachelorette or the round of Botox you were talked into! The point of all this math isn’t to make you feel bad about looking good but that almost $7,000 price tag should be added in to your regular budgeting—at about $583 per month you’ll need to set aside! Have any tips for cutting costs? Leave them in the comment section below!

 

Photo Credit: Via Flickr by ✪nebcat✪

100% Mineral Sunscreens that Work

Summer is here, and so are the long sun-soaked days. Before you grab that bottle of last decade’s chemical bomb – be grateful it’s summer 2012 – and the love children of science and tree huggers, a.k.a. non-toxic, planet friendly, effective sunscreens are widely available.

Here is a list of products that use physical sun filters, either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which act like little mirrors, reflecting damaging rays. And for the most part are created using sustainable practices and recyclable packaging. We will update this list with specials and updates as we see them.  Also click here for EWG’s worst offenders – you may be surprised, we were. The biggest surprise for us were the powdered sunscreens like Go!screen, since the powder is inhaled, they are “possibly carcinogenic to humans”  … that’s all we need to know to reach for another product.

True Natural Cosmetics: Ranging from $15 – $20, this product lines appears on the EWG (environmental working group) Skin Deep Sunscreen list as a “Best Beach & Sport Sunscreen (SFP 40) and “Best Moisturizers with SPF (all natural daily moisturizer, SPF 20)

2. Kinesys– We love the planet-friendly spray on sunscreens from this Marin-based company and were not surprised by how much we really like the new-ish ointment with made with 100% mineral block which contains 25% pure Zinc Oxide, starts at $29.

Haute Protection – It is paraben and fragrance-free with skin-nourishing vitamin E (for potent antioxidant protection), $29.

SPF Roundup: Get Ready for Summer!

Make it Simple Sister has your ultimate game plan for summer skin care survival coming out in just a few short weeks…but in the meantime we couldn’t resist sharing the information our guest contributor beauty blogger Janna Mandell serves up in her SPF roundup.

Yes, it’s tough to make SPF sound glamorous, but when you think about the damage the sun does to your skin without it, it gets a lot prettier.  Now, I personally have sensitive skin so I’ve experienced every horror story (like the time when I applied SPF and my cheeks instantly felt like they were on fire, or the time I had an esthetician apply SPF after an oxygen facial and I broke out in ugly red acne-like bumps) so I only love SPFs that play nice with my angry skin.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sun Block SPF 45 ($7 on Amazon): This has been my “go to” SPF since Neutrogena introduced it.  Just like the name implies, this SPF absorbs quickly to an “ultra sheer dry touch” finish and is gentle enough for most sensitive skin.

Coola Face SPF 30 Matte Finish Cucumber ($36): This light, mineral-based SPF is chemical-free with 70 percent Certified Organic ingredients.  Not only is Coola gentle for angry skin, but it also acts like a primer, filling in pores and fine lines leaving an airbrushed finish. Added bonus: it’s made here in California!

DERMAdoctor Photodynamic Therapy SPF 30 ($85): I know $85 is pretty steep for an SPF, but you’re getting much more than just protection.  This day cream plus SPF actually simulates the proven effects of light therapy. Its patent-pending, solar-powered technology transforms UV rays into visible red light waves, an energy source for skin that elicits anti-aging effects.” I was really skeptical when I first read about this product, but then Allure Magazine had a panel of dermatologists and chemists study the lotion and deem that it really works and featured it in their “Best Beauty Breakthroughs”.  After trying it for three weeks I definitely noticed a difference in the fine lines around my eyes and general redness of my face.

No matter which SPF you use, don’t forget that you should always apply at least a quarter size dollop to your face! Have fun in the sun!

 Follow Janna on Twitter @BeautyBinge and for more beauty advice check out her blog Beauty Binge. Janna was also spotlighted in this year’s Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger Awards!

Disclosure: While we get approximately 50 percent of these products sent to us as samples we only write about the ones we like 100 percent of the time.

Does your toothpaste make the grade?

Wether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or beyond – NOW is the time to be kind to your teeth. Inspired by a recent visit to Ieneke Wassenaar a dental hygienist in Tiburon, California, who helped us with our EZ Solutions for Healthy Teeth post, we have a list to share when it comes to choosing your toothpaste.

Why does it matter?  Many toothpastes contain a gritty agent that like sandpaper gets rid of stains and plaque, unfortunately it is also wearing away your enamel, porcelain veneers and crowns.

A toothpaste’s abrasiveness, or RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasion) value, must be determined by the American Dental Association and reported to the FDA for approval of the product. The higher the RDA value, the more abrasive the toothpaste. The ADA recommends using a toothpaste with an RDA value of 250 at the very most, whereas the FDA recommends an RDA value of no more than 200.  In the interest of protecting your enamel for as long as possible, Ieneke Wassenaar says stay as low as possible….think of the limbo..”How low can you go”

The RDA table:
0-70 =low abrasive;
70-100 = medium abrasive,
110-150 = highly abrasive,
150-250 = regarded as harmful limit

Low Abrasive:

(7) Straight Baking Soda, (8) Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder, (35) Arm & Hammer Dental Care, (45) Oxyfresh,(49) Tom’s of Main Sensitive, (49) Arm & Hammer Dental Care, (53) Rembrandt Original (Whitening TP), (53) CLoSYS, (57) Tom’s of Maine Children’s, (68) Colgate Regular (70)  Colgate Total

Medium Abrasive:

(79) Sensodyne – ProNamel, (80) Aim, (83) Colgate Sensitive Max Strength (91) Aquafresh Sensitive, (93) Tom’s of Maine Regular, (95)  Crest Regular

Highly Abrasive:

(103) Mentatent, (106) Sensodyne Extra Whitening, (107) Crest Sensitivity(110) Colgate Herbal, (113) Aquafresh Whitening, (117) Arm & Hammer Tarter Control, (117) Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel, (120) Close-up with Baking Soda, (124) Colgate Whitening, (130) Colgate Extra Whitening, (133)  Ultra Brite, (144) Crest MultiCare Whitening, (145) Colgate Baking Soda Whitening, (150) Pepsodent, (165) Colgate Tarter Control, (200) Colgate 2-in-1 Tarter Control/White, (200) FDA Recommended Limit, (250) FDA Recommended

* RDA info from david l. duke