B-BEAUTY: THE NATURAL BLACK SKIN CARE REVOLUTION


It’s time for a natural black skin care movement. A revolution that focuses on the health, hydration and treatment of uneven skin tone for black skin using all-natural products.

I Swapped My $42 Holy Grail Foundation For This $11 Drugstore Gem


Source: McKenzie Dawkins / McKenzie Dawkins

by McKenzie Dawkins via MadameNoire.com

I’ve come a long way in my makeup journey. From learning how to color-match foundations to finally understanding the importance of a good brow, it’s been a trial-and-error process from basic to beat-level application skills. I’m by no means an expert; in fact, I’m still making new discoveries every day. One of those realizations is that more expensive doesn’t always equal “better.”

Continue!>>>

The Best Black Makeup Artists on Instagram

IG @ellarie

by Sabrina of SeriouslyNatural.org

It seems like the world of makeup, hair and all things related to beauty has taken Instagram by storm. The number of hashtags, posts, and accounts dedicated to makeup and beauty is astounding. If you’re a follower of beauty and fashion, then I’m sure you know of just how large the makeup and beauty community is on Instagram.

From pics of stunning nail art designs to flawless makeup selfies, the amount of awe inspiring beauty pics is enough to have you heading out the door and to your local beauty supply store.

Despite the popularity of the makeup and beauty community, it often feels as though certain demographics are lacking in the exposure department. Women of color, especially black women, often have difficulty finding makeup and beauty accounts that represent their respective communities.

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Beauty Hack- DIY Underarm Lightening

 @lovelybryana

by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

Activated charcoal is big right now and with DIY still ideal for many women, combining the two has turned into a goldmine. For a while we've been seeing women using activated charcoal for teeth whitening and fighting acne but now it's being used for underarm lightening.

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How I Got Rid of Hyperpigmentation and Scars Naturally

results w/ DIY natural remedy 

by Ariane of BlackNaps.org

After the birth of my daughter my acne was on a whole new level. This breakout left one half of my face with a very noticeable dark patch and pitted acne scars.

It was so bad, I decided it was high time to pay a dermatologist a visit. I left that visit more frustrated than when I came in. Since I am a breastfeeding mom, the doctor I spoke with said that nothing that she would recommend to treat the hyperpigmentation would be safe (this I have no issue with it). My next question to her was, “Are there any natural at home treatments I could use”? To which she replied that she was not a holistic doctor and couldn’t give me any suggestions. Essentially I forked over a $40 copay for her to tell me absolutely nothing.

Continue!>>>

Angela Bassett Is Launching A Skin Care Line For Darker Skin Tones


By Mike Orie of TheConsciousTip.com

For years, women of color with darker skin have always had challenges finding skin care products that are designed specifically for them. Angela Bassett wants to change that. She's teamed up with Dr. Barbara Sturm to launch a skin care line specifically designed to target darker skin tones. Titled Darker Skin Tones by Barbara Sturm, the line launches in July and will contain ingredients that aim to help the skin, reduce inflammations, even the tone and minimize pores and hyper-pigmentation.
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Melanin Poppin' - 3 Tips for Your Best Summer Skin

IG @arreisierra

by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

As women of color, we're blessed with a very special gift--not only do we radiate #BlackGirlMagic, but our melanin is the stuff dreams are made of.

Whether ebony, mocha, french vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate, (even caramel sundaes is gettin' touched) and every shade in between, our rich, royal skin has women running to tanning beds and worshipping the sun, trying to get the hues we were born with.

But just because we're cocoa colored visions, doesn't mean that we don't have to protect our skin.

Winter Oil Blend- A Natural Hair and Skin Recipe


by Juli-Anne of ThreeNaturals

If you’re like me, when Winter rolls around you need all the help you can get keeping your skin moisturized and protected from the harsh, dry and cold Winter air.

This year, I’m skipping the usual frustration that I allow myself to endure with drugstore lotions and potions and opting for a much simpler and more natural approach.

This consists or two parts: Internal hydration and a natural oil blend.

Read On>>>

The Best (and Safest) Sunscreens Under $15


by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

There’s a whole lot of hoopla going on around sunscreen safety and regulation and while we’re waiting on the FDA to get their act together, the EWG has hooked us all up with great research and studies on the best and safest sunscreens.

Though black doesn’t crack, protecting our brown from harmful UVA and UVB rays that can lead to skin cancer is a serious issue ladies. You don’t have to panic. Just apply your daily layer of sunscreen and check out my list of great sunscreens that won’t break the bank.
 
Aubrey Organics SPF 30 with Green Tea
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2 

Climb On! Mineral Sunscreen
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 1


Desert Essence Organics Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 1




Jason Natural Cosmetics Pure Natural Sun: Mineral Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2



Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen, SPF 45
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2


Additional resources:
EWG’s 2012 Guide to Safer Sunscreens



Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, writer, speaker, social entrepreneur and creator of the blog OrganicBeautyVixen.com - "A Brown Girl's Guide to Eco-Glam Living". Sherrell believes that going green with your beauty routine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your fierce and fabulous style. Connect with her on twitter and facebook for all things beauty, green, eco-friendly, organic, sustainable and of course... Eco-glam.


What sunscreen do you use? How does it rank on the EWG guide?

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes



by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com 
Do You Know How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes?


Great skin starts with a fresh base. Many things can contribute to skin issues, like constantly touching your face, not washing your face at night, and even dirty makeup brushes.
Foundation and concealer brushes should be washed at least once a week to prevent buildup of product. Because these tools are used on your face regularly, the cleaner, the better. Brushes used on and around your eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month and all other brushes are safe for once a month.
Most of us are guilty of not cleaning our makeup brushes enough, but that comes to an end now. Here’s how it’s done — I'll even bet you will see a difference in your skin and the way your makeup looks once it’s applied.
What You Need:
Water
Gentle soap or brush cleaner. (I like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo)
Your makeup brushes
How You Do It:
1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water, cleaning one brush at a time.
2. Place a drop of cleanser into the palm of your hand, and gently massage the tips of the bristles in your palm. (Try one part baby shampoo and four parts water)
3. IMPORTANT: Keep the metal base of the brush head away from the soap and water. This can cause bristles to loosen and shed from the glue at the base.
4. Rinse the bristles and squeeze out the extra moisture with a clean towel.
5. Always reshape your brushes so they dry in their original form. Tip: Hang the heads of the brush off the edge of a counter for maximum air dry time, and to avoid any unnatural flat sides.
When To Get Rid Of Your Brushes:
When the bristles start to fray, shed, or loose their shape. The right tools are just as important in getting the look you want as the actual makeup itself. They just won’t do the job if they are too pinched or squashed. 


What are some of your favorite makeup brush sets?

Eyebrows to Match Your Hair...

How to Bleach Your Eyebrows


by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

Because I color my hair, and my eyebrows are naturally very dark, I have to bleach them from time to time to compliment my hair :) (the things girls go through lol) It takes me anywhere from 10-15 minutes to do, because I usually have to bleach them twice for the color to take (as you can see above).

I use the Jolen Creme Bleach Kit available at Walgreens for around $6. It’s gentle, doesn’t break out my skin and most of all, is easy to do at home! Here’s a step by step guide to bleaching your own brows at home:


**BEFORE ANYTHING: Test out the bleach on a small patch of hair on your arm & wait 24 hours to be sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

1. Wash the eyebrow area with cold water and a gentle face wash.

2. Take the spatula and measure out about one half teaspoon of creme.


3. Clean the spatula, and measure about a quarter teaspoon powder and place on the tray. Mix well.


4. Apply the mixture with the spatula and completely (& carefully) cover the area of hair you want bleached.


5. Leave on for 10 minutes.

6. Gently remove with a cool damp washcloth (one you don’t mind getting stained lol)

7. If the area isn’t as bleached as you would like, reapply the mixture and apply for another 5 to 10 minutes.

8. All done!

Have you ever bleached or colored your brows to better match your curls?

How to Pick Your Summer Bronzer


McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

If natural kisses from the sun aren’t quite your forte, then bronzer will become your new BFF! Bronzer is used just like blush, but is meant to give you a more sun-kissed, just-back-from-the-beach glow that will have the guys wondering how you look so luminous. The goal is to look exactly that … sun-kissed! Here are some helpful tips and great products to get to started with enhancing your beautiful skin :)

Picking a Bronzer

Shimmer? Matte? Highlighter? Yes, there are many options when it comes to bronzers, but take a deep breath and don’t feel overwhelmed. There are a few simple things to keep in mind.

1. Pick a bronzer that is right for your skin tone. It’s easy to go too dark and look dirty or too light and look shiny and ashy.

2. Pick a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Look for descriptions like “dark” and “deep” or higher-numbered labels. Make sure it’s pigmented.

3. Bronzers come in liquids, powders, sticks and beads. So, experiment and play around by choosing the one that makes you look your best.

TIP: If you’ve got normal-to-oily skin, try a powder formulation. For dry skin, a cream or gel bronzer is probably the way to go.



Applying Bronzer

First note, a little can go a long way. It’s better to apply less and add more as you go. You don’t want your bronzer to look like it’s just sitting on your foundation or bare skin, so blending is key!

1. Sweep your bronzer on with a big fluffy brush on areas of your face the sun would hit — the temples, cheeks, bridge of your nose, chin and along the hairline. Make sure to tap off any extra bronzer before you apply to avoid going overboard.

2. As for the rest of your makeup, keep it simple. A pretty peachy lip gloss, soft pink cheeks and warm eyes complement bronzer well. If you are comfortable without foundation, bronzer is great to wear alone on top of clean, bare skin.

TIP: If you have oily or combination skin, use oil absorbing sheets to gently blot any excess oil away. This prevents you from potentially removing your bronzer and looking splotchy.

What are some of your favorite bronzers?

The Importance of pH Balance in Beauty Products

by Dawn Michelle of MinimalistBeauty

I've used many many cosmetic products over the years. Being in the retail beauty business, I had the opportunity to try many more products for free and receive full size cosmetics as gratis. Regardless of what cosmetic company I was using, the best products overall were pH balanced and for health purposes organic and chemical free.

Once you decide that you are no longer going to use chemical laden beauty products, many of us look to what's in our kitchen to truly keep it natural and also keep the cost of our beauty regimen 75% to 80% lower than what we were spending before. We do our online research to see what others are using, and if you're like me even buy books to learn about herbs and natural beauty care. If you want to get consistent results with whatever you are using or making, the most empowering way to do this is to understand pH balance, and purchase pH testing strips.

The Problem With Many Skin Care Products

The skin is a miraculous organ, which lets us know that it is experiencing an internal imbalance with skin ailments. For many instead of looking at diet, water intake, stress levels, and prescription medicines, we turn to big selling skin care companies that may not be pH balanced, and in turn dry the skin out with high pH soap and chemical ingredients as well as overly acidic ingredients. You may at first see an improvement in your skin, then over time either notice that the product is no longer working, or that if you don't religiously use the product your skin is an absolute mess. So what just happened?

When skin is taken outside of it's natural pH levels, it no longer has its innate defenses from pollution, fungus, and other bacteria. This is also when you are more likely to experience acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, roseasca, and skin aging. Skin care products too acidic or too alkaline can throw the skin out of wack. When skin remains in it's natural pH zone of 4.5-5.5, it is able to heal itself and very well.

It is very important that if you are using a store bought skin care item, or making them yourself, that each and every products remains in this healthy skin pH range. You will then be working with your skin versus against it to improve your skins overall health and appearance. Other factors that will also help is drinking lots of purified or alkaline water, eating alkaline foods, and taking supplements balanced in omega fatty acids.

The Problem With Many Hair Care Products

The healthy pH of hair is between 4 and 7. That is a much broader range to work with than skin. I also believe that if you use a hair product that is higher in pH than a 7, and do not follow up with an acidic mixture like aloe vera juice, a tea/herbal rinse, or a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse, your hair will not be happy.

Many hair care products have so many synthetic ingredients that it is ridiculous! We rate the product based on how our hair feels not having any idea that our hair feeling soft and smooth may only be because the product that we use coated our hair strands with synthetic fillers. If you have used anything that chemically alters the hair, your hair literally won't survive without the chemical fillers since the hair dye, perm, relaxer, etc. has created tiny holes in the hair's cuticle. The synthetic fillers keep your hair "feeling" healthy.

Shampoos and other hair washes that have a high pH over 7 make our hair initially feel soft, but in turn will dry out the hair by leaving the hair cuticle too open and susceptible to the natural elements in the air. I learned this the hard way with natural shampoo bars last year. Following with an acidic hair rinse would have counteracted the problem which I later dealt with which was extreme hair dryness and breakage.

I believe not opening the hair cuticle with high pH products will in turn give you the best overall results. Using an acidic mixture no lower that the pH of 4 will keep you hair shiny strong and in beautiful condition. You will most likely experience a dry itchy scalp, dandruff, scalp eczema, psoriasis and brittle hair strands with high pH shampoos and conditioners otherwise. Instead of turning to another high pH product, store bought or natural, keeping the pH between 4 and 7 is your best bet.

pH Testing Strips

Finding out the pH of each of your beauty products will help you really understand how to maintain a consistent skin and hair care regimen that works. You can find Macherey-Nagel pH Testing Strips here. With every product that I now make or try out, I test the pH to have a better understanding of the results I will get for skin and hair care. It also gives me a better idea if the product that I'm making will give consistent results. Even testing products that I used in the past gives me a clearer understanding of why they worked, and why I did or didn't like it. Maintaining a beauty regimen with a balanced pH will overall give the best beauty results.

Minimalist Beauty-simple organic beauty with style "Peace, beauty, and creativity blossom from simplicity."


Are you mindful of pH?
What are your favorite pH balanced products for hair and skin?

Raw Honey--The Healing Face Wash


by DawnMichelle of Minimalist Beauty

I've been asked many times how to use raw honey as a face wash. Many of you may wonder why you would even consider raw honey in the first place. Raw honey is a universal beauty tonic for all skin types because of its potent yet gentle healing benefits for skin. Raw honey does wonders for acne, rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, sensitive, mature, and dull lifeless skin.

With so many beauty products on the market, we sometimes think that every product that we use must be extremely complicated and full of tons of ingredients. That notion is completely wrong. Although what we wash our face with doesn't stay on our skin that long, soap based products quickly strip the skin of its natural oils and create an imbalanced in the skin's pH which causes many skin problems and forces the skin to produce excess oil.

When you find people who have beautiful skin that claim to wash their face with only water, yes they do have good genetics, but they are also not creating any imbalance in the pH of their skin with harsh cleansers and toners. Maintaining a balanced pH in the skin consistently will allow the skin to do its job so much better. Products that dry, strip, then replenish the skin continue the cycle of skin distress. Less really is more.

Maintaining a healthy pH in your skin is an important anti-aging secret. The less the stress your skin endures from drying cleansers and toners, the more elastic it will remain over time. Any thing with a pH of 4.5-7 is usually considered pH balanced since water is a neutral pH of 7, yet skin thrives when using products with a pH of 4.5-5.5.

Raw honey has a natural pH of 4.5. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of honey make it wonderful for healing cuts and burns by killing bacteria and fungus. Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that is amazing at brightening the complexion, evening out the skin tone, and lightening scars and age spots.

Most honey contains iron, silica, copper, vitamin B, manganese, chlorine, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, aluminum and magnesium depending on where the honey is collected from. This rich mineral content makes it excellent for skin. Raw honey's intense moisturizing abilities with gentle cleansing agents makes it perfect for even very sensitive skin. When honey is mixed with water it released peroxide properties which helps heal fades and also prevent bacteria causing more acne.

Not all honey is created equal. Most of the honey found in grocery stores is "adulterated honey" meaning it literally has no nutrients. When honey is processed and refined with heat the live healing enzymes are killed. You are instead left with liquid sugar. Raw honey will give your skin the healing benefits that it needs and you will also experience the best results.

To use raw honey as a face wash simply add a quarter size amount of honey or more to wet hands and massage into your skin. Rinse your face, then tone and moisturize as usual. You can also leave honey on your skin for as long as you like as a honey mask, or combine it with other ingredients for more cleansing and brightening. My favorite ways to use raw honey is with rhassoul clay or as an exfoliating treatment with sugar and lemon juice. I've also used raw honey in place of vegetable glycerin in my DIY hair recipes. Raw honey has been used for centuries for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. There truly is such beauty in simplicity.

How have you used honey in skin or hair care?

FYI: I purchase raw honey from Trader Joe's, and for my skin care regimen go here.

________________________________

Dawn Michelle is a writer, professional dancer, choreographer, jewelry designer, and pure lover of life and the planet. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for years, and worked in one of the largest beauty retailers as a consultant. Dawn Michelle writes a lifestyle blog called Minimalist Beauty that incorporates organic beauty and cosmetics, eco-friendly fashion and extremely chic style, simple living, and pursuing creativity. She also has an Etsy shop called Azuha which has handmade fiber jewelry, earrings, natural cosmetics and more.

Soften Hyperpigmentation Naturally

by Dawn Michelle of Minimalist Beauty

Hyperpigmentation is no fun! There are natural ways to reduce dark spots or dark pigmentation in the skin without the harmful ingredient hydroquinone. You of course can also make many of the products yourself without spending a ton of money on commercial chemical products.

Hyperpigmentation can be created very quickly and then take what seems like forever to get rid of. The more melanin in your skin the darker the pigmentation can appear and be very frustrating to deal with. I’ve noticed that if I have a breakout, that even a small blemish can become a scar. Using products daily that are skin brightening and also blemish reducing has been a life savior.

10 Ingredients To Naturally Fight Hyperpigmentation

1. Raw Honey

There is a reason why I wash my face with raw honey daily. It keeps the skin glowing and free of bacteria without disrupting the moisture levels of the skin. Raw honey is antibacterial with moisturizing amino acids, and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. Raw honey also has gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid responsible for honey’s acidity. Raw honey is more nutritious to the skin still containing all of its healing properties that have not been pasteurized or eliminated with high heat temperatures.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has a high vitamin C content which brightens the skin as well as citric acid which exfoliates and speeds up the treatment of acne also lightening acne scars and blemishes. I remember during summer breaks when I was in college, I would slice a lemon and rub the lemon up and down my legs for soft even skin. It tingled and itched so much that I would just go outside and run around the block to distract myself from the ridiculous sensations. I then would come back inside and rinse it off.

I know now that lemon juice straight is too acidic for skin’s natural pH balance. I will instead mix fresh lemon juice with more soothing ingredients. Lemon juice is still a perfect ingredient for evening out the skin and brightening dark elbows and knees.

3. Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul clay has a higher ratio of silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals compared to other clays, therefore it is very nourishing to the skin. It balances skin’s natural oil production by being hydrating to dry skin and calming to oily skin. It greatly improves skin clarity and brightness, removes dead skin cells, and smooths skin’s overall texture.

I’ve raved about rhassoul clay for skin and hair because it works so well for both. I love versatile ingredients because it saves me money. Rhassoul clay is my favorite clay to use daily.

Read more about rhassoul clay here and here.

4. Yogurt

Lactic acid, lactic acid, lactic acid! Yogurt is outstanding for skin brightening and evening out the skins complexion. Using plain yogurt for skin care masks will soften, brighten, and clear up blemishes and hyperpigmentation. I believe simple yogurt masks are gentle enough for daily use and such an inexpensive easy to find remedy for clear skin.

5. Tamanu Oil

The regeneration properties that tamanu oil provides is out of this world! Tamanu oil is used to miraculously heal the skin of burn victims. Although it has a strong natural scent, it is worth every drop of natural goodness that this oil provides. I came across tamanu oil on my honeymoon in Hawaii. This oil is very rich in antioxidants and is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory.

Read more on tamanu oil here.

6. Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ oil is very high in vitamin E as well as contains vitamin A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, D, and F, essential fatty acids, lecithin, protein, and minerals. Wheat germ oil is good as a health supplement, and also amazing for skin and hair. It moisturizes and maintains moisture in skin and hair like no other oil I’ve ever tried to date. Its vitamin and mineral rich content is wonderful for healing and regenerating skin.

Read more about wheat germ oil here and also in this article.

7. Rosehips Seed Oil

Rosehips seed oil has become more popular for its use in anti-aging products. It is a more expensive carrier oil, although it is one of the best oils for skin rejuvenation. When applied daily for up to four months it has been known to reduce wrinkles and age spots almost completely. This is one oil that I have overlooked in the past, yet no longer!

8. Pure Aloe Vera Gel/Juice

Aloe vera has a natural salicylic acid perfect for keeping skin clear in the first place with a divine pH of 4.5. The healing properties in aloe vera contain over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, and amino acids. Use pure aloe vera gel or juice as a supplement to heal the body from the inside out, or as a toner/skin gel serum under your moisturizer. Aloe vera is also a wonderful pH balancer for hair which is why I use it in so many of my DIY hair care recipes.

Read more on aloe vera here and check out two simple hair recipes here and here.

9. Amla

Amla is traditionally used in Ayurvedic health and beauty care. Amla fascinates me in that it is brightening for skin, yet also keeps hair dark and lustrous. It is 20 times higher in vitamin C than an orange and full of full of proteins, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. Amla is a proven antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, yeast inhibiting, nematicidal, anabolic, anti-hepatoxic, anti-hyperhidrosis, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-spasmodic, hypolipidemic, and hypotensive relieving properties.

You can use amla in its herb or powder form. Creating a simple amla paste with amla powder with water can do wonders on the skin or even infusing the herb in a nourishing carrier oil is even better. I prefer slow herbal infusions in a mason jar in sunlight for 1-2 months or more.

Read more about amla here.

10. Raw Sugar Cane

Sugar produces a natural glycolic acid which is gentler on skin than chemically derived glycolic acid. This natural alpha hydroxy acid easily exfoliates the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are known for their anti-aging properties for stimulating collagen production while reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation.

3 DIY Skin Savor Recipes on Minimalist Beauty

1. DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask

This exfoliating mask includes lemon juice, raw honey, and raw sugar cane. It is so easy to make and so effective. Also it doesn’t burn like fresh squeezed lemon juice or rubbing lemon juice slices directly on the skin. Natural citric, gluconic, and glycolic acid work in synergy together brilliantly.

2. Raw Cacao Facial Mask

This mask includes raw cacao, rhassoul clay, and honey. It is an almost edible mask and smells divine!

3. DIY Healing Face Body & Hair Oil

This healing oil contains coconut, wheat germ, and tamanu oil. It is an amazing combination of nourishing and healing oils. Although I love coconut oil you can always use a lighter carrier oil such as jojoba oil, and even add a bit of rosehips oil.

Gaining and Maintaining Healthy Looking Skin

Some people genetically have beautiful skin, and others actually work hard for it. Regardless of which category you fall into, taking good care of your skin from head to toe will make you feel good about yourself. It is good for your health to take care of your skin because your skin is your largest organ that protects the rest of your body. You do not need to spend $100 a month or more on good skin care. I used to spend that much, yet now I am so thankful to have discovered the power of DIY skin care, herbs, and simple ingredients.

Begin your mornings drinking as much water as you can and continue drinking water throughout the day. Some days I am on this, and other days I fall off my desired water drinking routine. I usually can see a major difference in my skin either way. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily.

Develop a skin care regimen that fits your lifestyle and budget. It doesn’t have to be extensive, complicated, and definitely not expensive. Incorporating just a few of the 10 ingredients above will improve your overall brightness and clarity in your complexion. If you spend a lot of time outside or are using fruit, lactic, or sugar acids in your skin care, I suggest wearing a zinc oxide based sunscreen daily. My favorite is the DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ because it is zinc oxide based, and doesn’t look pasty on my complexion like other natural sunscreens. Read more about good natural sunscreens here. If you are not big on sunscreen, wear protective clothing and of course a fabulous sun hat whenever outdoors.

Patience, patience, patience! I’m enjoying repeating words three times as you can see. Hyperpigmentation can occur quickly, and take a long time to brighten and smooth out. Lovingly care for your skin, and speak positive affirmative words about your skin and yourself. I believe uplifting words, consistent gratitude, and positive energy helps to heal the body quicker than all the topical ointments alone on the market, DIY or not!

**Raw honey, lemons, yogurt, aloe vera, and raw sugar cane can be found at a natural grocery store of course. You can easily find tamanu oil, rhassoul clay, aloe vera, wheat germ oil, amla, and rosehips seed oil at Mountain Rose Herbs. Amla powder can also be found at an Indian grocery store.**

________________________________

Dawn Michelle is a writer, professional dancer, choreographer, jewelry designer, and pure lover of life and the planet. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for years, and worked in one of the largest beauty retailers as a consultant. Dawn Michelle writes a lifestyle blog called Minimalist Beauty that incorporates organic beauty and cosmetics, eco-friendly fashion and extremely chic style, simple living, and pursuing creativity. She also has an Etsy shop called Azuha which has handmade fiber jewelry, earrings, natural cosmetics and more.



Dealing with hyperpigmentation? What has helped you?

Are You Properly Moisturizing Your Body?

by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

After a long day the last thing I typically want to think about is hitting the shower and going through the bathing rituals to keep my skin soft, supple and radiant. It’s time consuming, tedious and just plain annoying at times although I do know that all the extra time in the shower is beneficial to my skin. If I do happen to make it through the shower, moisturizing is an entirely different issue.

How many of you have done what I like to call the “easy swipe” moisturizing method where you simply swipe on your body butter without any real regard to working it into your skin? Guilty as charged! Don’t you hate when you still wake up the next day ashy as ever?

In our attempt to rush our moisturizing game we lose in the end and our skin suffers. As a trained esthetician I understand the power of working product deep into the crevices of the skin for the best TLC. Always massage product into your skin after a warm shower or bath to reap the benefits of gorgeous skin. Cover your feet with socks, grease down those elbows with olive oil and cover your cuticles.

Want to speed up the process? Try thicker moisturizers that will work all night and penetrate your skin while you sleep. Shea butter is a great place to start followed by all-over oils like olive, grape seed and coconut oil.

Spend an extra five minutes loving on your skin and it will thank you!

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks's beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen

DIY Pore Minimizing Mask


by Briana of The Mane Source

Many woman have problems with large pores. Creams and masks to remedy this problem can be really pricey. Here’s a simple recipe for a DIY egg white mask that will instantly minimize your pores and improve the overall condition of your skin.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: One egg and small container. That’s it!

STEP 1: Take your egg and separate the yolk from the egg whites. (Instead of discarding the yolk, you can use it to condition your hair later)

STEP 2: Pour egg whites into a small container and whisk with a fork until the whites become frothy.

STEP 3: Apply the egg white to your face. Be sure to apply evenly, avoiding mouth and eye area. Allow mask to dry.

STEP 4: Gently rinse face with warm water and pat dry. Follow with a light moisturizer.

In the end, your skin will feel amazing. Your pores will be minimized and your skin will glow! Here are a few more benefits of using an egg white mask:

  • tighter/firmer skin
  • helps to control oil… which is perfect for people with oily skin
  • smooths complexion
  • conditions skin
*Do not use if you have egg allergies. Discard leftovers after use.

How do you minimize large pores?

Conquering Eczema Naturally

by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

It itches, it burns and it’s just plain unsightly when you’re trying to have fierce, fabulous and supple skin. I’ve battled with eczema my whole life and have felt empathetic to fellow sufferers who’s battle is more challenging than mine.

Don’t lose the fight with your eczema! An OBV knows that nature gives us some of the best remedies for treating even the most dreadful of skin conditions. Check out a few of my natural skin care tips for treating the side effects of eczema naturally.

  • Oatmeal and milk bath – Pamper your body with a long soak in some oatmeal and milk. Naturally hydrating with anti-itch properties, this little beauty remedy can help to relax your skin not to mention your stress levels. Add some candles and throw on Marsha Ambrosius’ Pandora station for an intimate affair with your skin.
  • Bye Bye Dairy – Outside of bathing rituals, ditch the milk. Sometimes foods can cause allergens that aggravate eczema and cause inflammation on the skin. Stick to rice, soy or almond milk for your cereal, smoothies and shakes.
  • Exfoliating and Moisturizing – It’s still important to remove dead skin and follow up with a thick moisturizer. Try a sea salt scrub and shea butter for a nice thick layer of daily hydration.
Make a commitment to taking care of your eczema on a daily basis. I promise that it will get better the more you nurture it!

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks's beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen and connect with her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OBVMedia


Hair, Complexion, I Love You Both, But....



Something’s gotta give! Since moving to Decatur, Illinois from Lakeland Florida, I have learned a lot about my skin and hair. Even though I have a strong dislike for humidity, my skin and hair LOOOOOOOVE humidity. It seems like being a Florida baby and resident for most of life has made my skin and hair more dependent on and used to constant moisture than I ever would have imagined. July through September wasn't that bad, but I had to switch up my skin care routine completely. I went from using generic, cheap stuff to Clinique Three Step and Clinique Moisture Surge just to keep my skin from going haywire. My skin seems to enjoy the summer, and as long as I kept my hair tied up (for the most part) and moisturized with glycerin packed products like Oyin Juices and Berries, I was good to go! Then came fall, and winter and my skin and hair have gone berserk. I’ve had to change my hair routine and added some oil to my water and glycerin mixes to get a bit more longevity out of moisturizing my hair. It worked for a bit, but then my skin started breaking out like crazy! I am not talking about one zit dropping by to say hello, but one zit and his/her auntie, brother, cousin, mom, and sometimes a couple of bad ass kids too! Family clusters of pimples have just been popping up all over my face and I have been sporting toothpaste to bed every night trying to dry them out. It has been working, but I have never, EVER had this problem with my skin. I have gotten to the point where I am considering chopping it off to a length that will keep it out of my face! I love my hair and I am proud of my length and texture, but I’ll be damned if I choose long, thick hair over having clear skin. AAAAAAGH!
Dolls, what do you think I should do?!?!?

Celebrity Makeup Artist Tia Dantzler is Natural!

**And the winner is... Mylah!!!
Congrats diva! Send me your contact info to [email protected]!**


Tia before...
Tia writes:

As I prepared for a girls trip to HOT New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival, it was evident, that I needed a perm to maintain my straight situation. Little did I know, July 1st 2009, would be the last time I allow someone to perm my hair. My journey has been filled with lots of ups and downs because I've had to adjust to my straight hair going completely curly. It felt like a shocker to me because I'm used to sleek & perfectly straightened hair and then suddenly I had to learn how to maintain my "birth hair". So many emotions have been stirred in the pot since I made my decision but I will not look back. Being a makeup artist has helped me create a look for myself that would help me be more comfortable with my look so I wanted to share some tips with you to help accentuate your features & to keep you encouraged along the way.


Tia after!

Often times when you big chop your skin is so much more visible to the eye so I encourage you to maintain a daily skincare regimen to keep your skin fresh & flawless.
  • Keeping your eyebrows groomed is a great way to frame your face and give it balance. If you have thinner brows, try filling them in with some brow powder for a natural defined look.
  • Adding a couple of coats of mascara to your lashes can really open up your eyes and give definition. Play around with colored mascaras as it's a great way to introduce color to your eyes.
  • If you face is a litter fuller, try contouring in the hollows of the cheeks with a slightly darker powder than your natural skin tone to help create dimension. After contouring follow up with a highlighting powder on top of your cheek bones for a soft, dewy glow.
  • Lastly, rock a BOLD lipstick. It's just something about rocking a BOLD lip color that really screams confidence.
Nothing speaks louder than knowing and believing that you are beautiful just the way you are!

About Tia:
Tia Dantzler is a celebrity makeup artist, beauty expert and brand ambassador. She has worked with notable talents in both the entertainment and political worlds. Her brushes have touched the faces of everyone from President Barack Obama (on more than one occasion), Sen. Joe Lieberman, to Maxwell, Viola Davis, Common, Loretta Devine, Magic Johnson, Sherri Shepherd, Keke Palmer, Chandra Wilson and Kanye West. Tia’s work is most recognizable on Academy & Grammy Award-winner, Jennifer Hudson. She also works with top Fashion Photographers such as Annie Liebovitz Peggy Sirota and Matthew Rolston when called upon. Her work has been seen on most red carpet events, such as the Oscar’s, Grammy’s, BET Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, NAACP Awards and many more. Tia has worked on TV/Film sets, Fashion Week, National Ad Campaigns, Commercials, Print & Music Videos. For more of Tia's tips please visit at www.thebeautyelixir.com and for updates on her work visit her at www.tiadantzler.com.

******************************************

GIVEAWAY!


Tia says play up your eyes, and what better way than with Smoke & Mirrors Beauty lashes?! The likes of Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson and Kim Kardashian rock them regularly, and here's your chance to win a full set (8 pairs $108 value)! In the comments, tell me your New Years Eve plans! That's it! And tonight, at 10pm, I'll choose a winner!

For those of you that need your lashes NOW, head over to the Smoke and Mirrors Beauty site for 30% off of 3 or more pairs with code- NYE.


Pics of S&M lashes in action!

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