Smooth Skin: A Summer Essential

What goes best with the shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits you are sure to wear all summer long?

Hair-free skin! No one likes stubble, and many people, myself included, shave less during winter. After all, who’s really looking when you’re all bundled up? But the layers shed off with warmer weather, and so should your fuzz. Here are some tips for hair removal.

Your basic choices for hair removal are shaving, waxing, or depilatory creams. I have tried all of them, and shaving is the one I find to be easiest and best at getting the job done. Razors are not expensive and you can shave right in the shower. Use conditioner instead of shaving cream. It is cheaper, doesn’t dry out your legs, and you can spread it thin so you can actually see the area you are shaving. It is safe to use on your legs, armpits, and even bikini line.

Bikini lines are the trickiest hair to remove. While some may opt for a full brazillian wax, shaving and depilatories are less painful options. Brands such as Nair make depilatories specifically for bikini lines, but shaving is always the better option if you are in a rush. Shaving in the same direction your hair grows makes less bumps, but shaving in the opposite direction will get you a closer shave. Bikini Zone is a great product to use on bumps—use it after every time you shave and they’ll be gone in no time.

With the availability of at-home kits, waxing is possible to do without going to a salon. But speaking as someone who has tried this multiple times with multiple kits, I just don’t get the same results as I do from shaving. For girls with patience and a high pain tolerance, waxing does keep you fuzz-free longer by ripping the hair from the root.

No matter what method of hair removal you choose, always apply lotion afterwards. Try a gradual tanning lotion to give your legs some color. It will make your already-smooth legs look even better.

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A Deal Within A Deal

It is impossible for me to go to Target without finding a deal. But on my most recent trip, I found something even better: an even cheaper version of an already cheap product.

I have been looking for a cheap nail polish in this color since I saw it was Glamour blogger Petra Guglielmetti’s color of the month; it also happened to be the perfect color to go with my formal dress. But instead of buying the polish at a salon, I headed to Target.

The Essie color caught my eye first, and the price wasn’t bad at about $8. However, I decided to see if NYC had a similar color because the NYC brand is always under $2—that’s six bucks I could save for something else! And once again, Target amazed me because I found the NYC polish in almost the exact same color.

Don’t assume that because NYC polish is cheap that it is worse quality. I recently started buying the brand for its price and found that it doesn’t chip easily and comes in many vibrant colors. From now on, I will be doing my own manicures with NYC polish. Nothing beats an excuse to go to Target.

Beauty for the Earth

Earth Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop being kind to your planet. And although organic stores feature beauty products with no harmful chemicals, you don’t have to stop using your favorite brands to go green.

Even cheap brands such as Garnier Fructis, pictured above, are using less harmful chemicals to promote greener beauty. Its “Pure Clean” products contain no silicone, dyes, or paraben, which can be hard to find in hair care products.

Ingredients are not the only thing to look for when choosing environmentally-friendly products. Many products will boast that they are “green” when they are really not, so be wary of ingredients. You should aim to find products with the least amount of packaging, because packaging leads to waste and can’t always be recycled.

Remember, going green doesn’t have to be hard.

Celebrate Spring with Accessories

Amidst my struggle to get to class on time today, I decided to do something new and different with my hair and added a headband. Headbands are a must-have spring accessory, and it is safe to say the trend will stick around through summer.

Not only does putting one on take practically zero time, but it also dresses up any outfit with all the cute designs available. I like the “headwrap” style like the one pictured above because it is soft and actually holds my hair back. Headbands are perfect for hot, humid days because pulling back your hair prevents it from sticking to your sweaty forehead.

Headbands work for day and night, and you can leave your hair down or pull it up. I highly recommend buying a few— such a versatile accessory is perfect for warmer weather.

It Comes Naturally

I was getting ready to go out to dinner the other day when it happened: I looked in the mirror and felt that I did not look normal without makeup on. This is something I swore would not happen to me anytime soon; after all, I’m only 19 years old. But the constant need to appear put together to others caught up with me.

I’ve always loved makeup, but I was never one of those girls who could not live without it. I am blessed with good skin and feel fine leaving the house without makeup, but I have grown to feel more awake and confident when I am made up. And it’s become a necessity for going out with the girls. But until this week, I had never felt naked without it.

That’s all about to change though. Makeup has lead to some difficult choices in my life, such as “putting on my face” instead of eating breakfast. But from now on, I vow to go to class without makeup a few days out of the week and get by with natural beauty.

With your head held high and a big smile on your face, you will radiate beauty that no makeup can produce.

Easy Things to do with your Hair

After reading about these cute bun ideas, it got me thinking about how I wear my hair to class daily. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried a cute, new style, only to look at the clock mid-way through, give up, and throw my hair in a bun. These looks at the “Scream 4” premiere show simple variations to make the bun look fresh and pretty.

If my hair is not in a bun, its either been blown-dry, straightened, or left to air dry. This past weekend, I went home and discovered that I forgot to bring my hairbrush with me. I didn’t know how I was going to blow dry it, but I ended up just using my fingers. Afterwards, I was happy I forgot my brush! “Finger-drying” made my ends flippy, something that I couldn’t have created the normal way I dry my hair. I suggest all girls try it one day.

Something else I’ve been experimenting with is not washing my hair every day. I am prone to greasy hair, which makes it hard to not wash daily, but here is what it looked like one day dirty:

All I had to do to create this slightly-shiny look was flat-iron my hair both days. Look out as I try to find more easy and cute hairstyles.

Spring Cleaning… Your Makeup Bag

You may be spring cleaning your dorm, but its important not to neglect your makeup bag as well. With a new season comes new beauty trends, and girls everywhere will want to give these spring looks a try.

Winter beauty trends tend to be like the season itself: dark and dramatic. This means red lipstick, smoky eyes, and complicated, stiff hairstyles. But just like layers of clothes come off in spring, beauty seems to be more light and carefree.

Trade in dark lips for colors like coral, or go even lighter with a classic nude lip. For eyes, I have seen light purples and similar pastel colors on beauty counters.

My new obsession for spring is clear mascara. Some may wonder what clear mascara even does, but it is great for daytime. You don’t have to worry about it smudging or running and it makes your eyes look instantly wider. And even better, the award-winning Great Lash brand is only about six dollars at most drugstores.

If foundation is not a must for you, instead I would recommend a good bronzer for spring. Before the sun can make you naturally bronze, a compact is perfect for your skin-and purse. CoverGirl has great compact versions and even has a little bit of shimmer to make you feel extra pretty.

If you don’t want to buy a whole new makeup look, at least lighten up a little. Happy spring everyone!

Self-Tanning Success

For those out there like me who refuse to fake bake in a tanning bed, self-tanners are the best way to get a bronze look just in time for warmer weather.

No one wants pasty legs to be peeking out of their shorts just when its finally hot enough to wear them. But tanning beds are harmful to your skin and spray tanning is costly to keep up. Enter the self tanner. They range from many different types: instant to gradual, lotion to wipe-on moist cloths. Instant self-tanners work quickly to give you color while gradual ones are applied daily to slowly bring on a tan.

Within these types of self-tanners, prices range as well.

Sephora, for example, is filled with pricy self-tanners with brands such as Clinique. However, these are probably too pricey for the average college girl’s budget. Victoria’s Secret recently released a new type of gradual self tanner to add to their (reasonably priced) collection.

My favorite self-tanner, though, is one that many beauty experts also lover, Jergen’s Natural Glow body lotion. You can find it at any drug store for under $10 dollars and it works just as well, if not better, than the pricier options. Just a few weeks ago, I decided to try Jergen’s Natural Glow Express, which is supposed to give you color in a few days time. So far it is working, and it is perfect for someone like me who doesn’t have time every morning to put on lotion. This way, I get color fast.

I would advise every girl to invest in a self-tanner before breaking out the shorts and sundresses.

When Makeup Goes Bad

We love makeup because it enhances how we look and can add personality to your look, but it can also cause infections and wrinkles if not used the right way. Knowing when to toss makeup is crucial to looking great.

Mascara has the shortest shelf life and should be replaced every three or four months. Around this time, the mascara becomes clumpy and bad for your lashes, so it is smart to replace it. On the topic of eye makeup, never share mascara, eye shadow, or liner with your friends. You wouldn’t share your toothbrush, and makeup carries just as many germs, so just keep it to yourself.

Lastly, always remove your makeup at night. You’ve probably heard it from your mom your whole life, but keeping makeup on overnight clogs your skin, causing pimples and wrinkles later in life.

These simple beauty habits will keep you looking good for life.

Your Winter Beauty Issues, Solved

If you’re like most college students, walking to class in the winter will wear you out, literally. If you’ve ever felt dry skin or hair due to the weather, here are some quick fixes.

The reason you feel so dry in the winter is because the air is dry, which affects your appearance. The key to fixing this is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Use a hydrating moisturizer for your face (even better is one with sunscreen, because your face still gets sun damage in the winter). Applying a deep conditioner weekly to your hair will replenish your scalp as well as protect your strands from future damage. And for those seemingly always-chapped lips, apply lip balm throughout the day.

The weather impacts your beauty routine in every season. These tips should help for the bitterly cold days.