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?

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