December 2013 Beauty Superheroes: Recharge Your Power

By Kimberly Roberson

All season long, you’ve been the Wonder Woman of the holidays. Tackling all the shopping, wrapping, gifting, traveling, drinking, eating, singing, and dancing, on top of everything else you already have to manage, it’s a wonder how you made it through the holidays. With all that’s said and done, it’s time to hang up your cape and recharge. It’s time to address your moisture-famished skin, dry cuticles and tootsies, malnourished hair, and check your self into the spa. Hey you deserve it!

Booking an all-inclusive treat to the spa may be pricey, but here are some affordable, d.i.y. alternatives to help you create your own, self-indulgent spa experience.

First things first, turn down the lights and fire up a stress relieving, aromatic candle. We love Bath & Body Works’ Eucalyptus Spearmint 3-Wick Candle.  Infused with notes of calming eucalyptus and basil, it’s the perfect mood setting aroma for your well-deserved spa experience. (You can check your local Bath & Body Works store weekly for any promotions or sales to get an even better deal on their candles.)

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Bath & Body Works / Eucalyptus Spearmint 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle / $20

Restore Your Bionic Eyes

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With under-eye bags, heavy lids, we understand it’s difficult to stay alert and ready when all the festivities left you drained of your stamina.  When your eyes are feeling less than perky, grab a soft wash cloth, and saturate the cloth with water. Squeeze excess water from the cloth.  Place the wash cloth in a bowl, and put the bowl with the towel in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the wash cloth from the freezer, and place cloth in a ziplock bag, and find a comfy spot and place the cloth (still in bag) on your eyes. The bag will help prevent water from running onto your face and pillow, as your body temperature naturally warms the cool cloth, creating a mess-free and soothing experience. Remove the cloth after 10 minutes, and just relax with a few deep breaths until your eyes re-adjust to the lighting in your room. The coolness of the wash cloth will help constrict blood vessels and decrease fluid accumulation. This effect will help your eyes feel more refreshed, and repel your tired and puffy eyes. Even better, using a cold compress is a good natural method to alleviate headaches, relieve clogged sinuses, and can even soothe minor burns.

If you’d like to take an extra step, you can apply a caffine-infused eye cream. We love M.A.C.’s Fast Response Eye Cream.

The super-charged, caffeinated cream with instant effects. De-puffs, erases the look of dark circles, firms, soothes and softens skin around the eye. Special optics act like magic to fade away lines. (M.A.C.)

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M.A.C. Cosmetics / Fast Response Eye Cream / $31

Re-Invigorate Your Skin Barrier

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Cold and frigid weather, dry air, and we know you like long, hot showers during the winter time, however all these factors attribute to dehydrated skin in the winter time. Your first step to re-moisturize your winter-battered skin is to lightly exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. You can opt to make your own or swing by your local drugstore and pick up an exfoliating alternative.

To make your own, follow PinkSoFoxy’s Sugar Scrub Recipe:


For the alternative, we love Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser.

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Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up! Exfoliating Cleanser 6.5 fl oz / $7.19 at Drugstore.com

Olay’s exfoliating microbeads softly scrub your skin for a beautifully fresh, healthy look. Dermatologically tested. Oil-free. (Olay)

Shortly after using your body scrub, make sure the door is closed in your bathroom and smooth on a luxurious body lotion loaded with Coconut Oil. Coconut simulates the same lipid fats that protect your skin’s natural barrier, thus replacing moisture that winter has stripped from your skin.We love Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion in Coconut.

Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion, Coconut 8 fl oz / $8.49 at Drugstore.com

Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion, Coconut 8 fl oz / $8.49 at Drugstore.com

 

Desert Essence Organics Coconut Hand and Body Lotion is an Organic Lotion, which used tropical oils and extracts to help skin refresh and renew.  After use of this pure formula, skin looks and feels silky.  It is lightly scented with tropical organic coconut oil.

Organic Extract of Hibiscus:  Hibiscus contains components that enable stimulation of skin cells and promote the healing process.

Organic Coconut Oil:  Intense moisturizing makes the skin smoother and evenly textured.  Also penetrates the skin to act as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger.

Organic Extract Passion Flower:  Lightly moisturizers the skin.

100% Vegan

No:  Parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances or colors, silicones, EDTA, Glycol or petroleum based ingredients.

Cruelty free and biodegradable:  No animal testing or raw materials or finished product.  No phosphates.  Clear skin, Clear conscience.

Made in USA (Desert Essence Organics)

Keeping your bathroom door closed helps retain much of the moisture in the air after your shower, thus while applying lotion, the moisture pulls any humectants in your body lotion, and locks it into your skin.

Repair Your Crown of Glory

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Just like your skin, your hair has suffered from the winter season, as well damage from  from frequent styling. To reverse this season’s hair misfortunes, we love L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Balm.

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L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Balm / $4.99-$6.99

Total Repair 5 Restoring Shampoo (and Conditioner) instantly and over time helps repair the five visible signs of damaged hair – split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness and dehydration – without weighing hair down.

Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm is a rinse-out reconstructing balm that repairs up to one year of damage in 1 use*. Both powerful and luxurious, the balm instantly repairs the 5 signs of damage – split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness, and dehydration. * Reverses damage to hair’s smoothness with daily use, when using the system of shampoo & balm. (L’Oreal)

Refortify Your Overworked Legs and Feet

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Shopping, decorating, holiday partying, and traveling to name a few, has left your legs and tootsies over-exhausted and barking, in need of a major pedicure.

Run warm water in your tub and add the following:

  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil (Tea tree oil is a natural anti-fungal alternative to help kill bacteria on your feet)
  • A capful of witch hazel (Witch Hazel is a natural cleanser and toner)
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salts (Epsom Salts have been proven to help soothe muscle strains, cramps, and pains)
  •   3 drops of peppermint or rosemary oil (Both are natural oils to help freshen).

Allow your feet and legs to soak for 10-15 minutes (or until water is no longer warm. Take a body scrub (like the ones listed above) and use the scrub on both legs and feet. Drain the tub, and rinse the body scrub away.

Next, grab your pedicure kit, we love Earth Therapeutics Deluxe Foot Doctor Pedicure Kit, and start scrubbing away dead skin cells and calluses on your feet with your pumice stone. Trim toenails, push cuticles back with the cuticle pusher, and buff your toe nails.

Earth Therapeutics / $24.99 at Ulta.com

Earth Therapeutics / $24.99 at Ulta.com

 This pedicure deluxe kit combines cutting-edge therapeutic formulations with ultra-fine precision grade implements.

With active ingredients tea tree oil, chamomile and aloe vera, Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm reaches deep into the dermal layers, healing and hydrating dry, damaged skin.
Tea Tree Oil Cooling Foot Scrub, formulated with naturally antiseptic tea tree oil, wild mint and pumice, sweeps away dirt and impurities, sloughing old skin cells as it deodorizes.
Natural Sierra Pumice Stick files down calluses and rough patches.
The precision Pedicure Set provides the professional grade implements for a salon style pedicure in a compact, streamlined carrying case. Each implement has been ergonomically designed and tested for exacting accuracy.

Pedicure Set includes:
toe clipper
cuticle trimmer
two-surface emery board
reusable, angled cuticle pusher

Packaged in an earth-friendly, reusable zippered bag. (Earth Therapeutics)

For the grande finale of your spa-worthy at-home pedicure, soak a large towel with hot water, and wrap the towel around your legs and feet. (You may need 2 towels depending on how large your towels are) Leave towel wrap on for 10 minutes, then remove, and slather on your favorite lotion. The warm towel wrap will help soothe tired calves and feet, while at the same time retain moisture as you apply your lotion.

Prior to painting your toenails, make sure to “dehydrate” the nail with nail polish remover on a cotton pad. This will prevent your nail polish from chipping and increase nail polish staying power.

Merry Christmas.

Every once in awhile, a girl has to indulge herself.
Sarah Jessica Parker

Cover Photo: Mike Ruiz

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