Winter may be a memory of the past, but skin can suffer greatly in spring and summer, too. Sure, a dry, cold climate produces dehydrated, chapped skin, but hot weather creates the need for processed air (a.k.a. air conditioning), which leaves the skin just as parched and cracked, if not more. While there are plenty of amazing body butters on the market to soothe your sad skin, sometimes it’s more fun – and rewarding – to do it yourself.
This DIY whipped coconut body butter is amazing! It’s relatively simple to make at home, and the results rival the prepackaged creams. Plus, you can cater the ingredients to suit your specific skin concern, and you can’t beat the fresh and natural coconut scent that literally smells like summer in a bottle. Dispense the body butter into a mason or jelly jar or similar container, slap a homemade label on it, maybe even a pretty bow (or a strand of twine), and you’ve got yourself a lovely – and reasonably priced – homemade gift!
What You’ll Need:
2 Cups of Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil (buy it here)
1 TSP of Almond Oil (buy it here)
1 TSP of Vitamin E Oil (buy it here)
10-20 Drops of Essential Oil, like Peppermint, Lavender, or Lemon (buy them here) (optional; for fragrance)
Mason or Jelly Jar or this container
Benefits of the Ingredients:
Coconut Oil – A natural moisturizer that quickly absorbs into the skin; contains 3 fatty acids – capric , lauric, and caprylic acids which help kill certain fungal infections (read 10 Unconventional Uses For Coconut Oil, here).
Almond Oil – Contains vitamins E and B and essential minerals; aids in repairing sun damage.
Vitamin E Oil – Extremely moisturizing antioxidant that boosts collagen and cell rejuvenation.
I read online that whipping hard coconut oil (you cannot heat or melt it first) has a similar effect as doing so with shea butter, which is the base for most DIY body butters. So, this recipe makes a killer whipped body butter without any shea. Whipped is actually much easier to apply, and it has a fluffy, light consistency as opposed to the hard-as-a-rock consistency of its solid counterpart.
To whip your coconut oil, mix the solid coconut, almond, vitamin E, and essential oils into a bowl. According to Living The Nourished Life, using an electric hand mixer will get things whipped up, but a Kitchen Aid Classic Stand Mixer ($25), will really do the trick — and quickly. Whip to desire, but no more than 8 minutes, as you don’t want to completely liquify your butter. After 4 minutes, try a dollop of body butter on your hand to test for consistency and smell. If you want more scent, add additional drops of essential oil now and continue mixing.
Once you’re butter is whipped to your liking, remove and place in a mason or jelly jar. Store in a cool, dry place. This stuff will last awhile, but I suggest making a new batch every month.
*Accompany your whipped body butter with this DIY Lemon and Sugar Scrub.
The rising temperatures inevitably have you sweating more than a whore in church. Sorry… was that too much? The heat tends to go straight to our head and affect our better sense of judgment. In any event, beyond your standard ways of cooling off (jumping in a pool, taking a freezing shower, sitting directly in front of the AC), there are several beauty products that have cooling properties and can kinda, maybe, sorta cool you off like sticking your head in the freezer!
Here are our favorites:
Summer means a lot of sweating, so in all likelihood you will find yourself washing your face much more frequently. To avoid over-drying, try Fig + Yarrow Cleansing Nectar ($30) and wash without disturbing your skin’s delicate pH. It’s filled with lavender and aloe to calm and invigorate.
Sunscreen can often feel sticky and goopy. That is far from the case with La Roche-Posay Anthelios 30 Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen ($36), which has a water like texture that you will actually find refreshing.
Not only does First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist ($16) reawaken your skin, it lightly hydrates and simultaneously protects from environmental irritants. Pop the small bottle in your fridge for an added boost of refreshment.
Whether your eyes are puffy from a salt-filled summer BBQ or a long day at work, H2O+ Eye Oasis Instant Hydrating Stick ($25) has caffeine and algae to cool and nourish tired peepers. Like the spray above, this product is also fantastic in the fridge.
Although moisturizing may feel counterintuitive when your oil glands are in overdrive, it is not a step you should skip even on the hottest of days. Boscia Cool Blue Hydration Essence ($48) is impossibly lightweight, but still intensely hydrating. You’ll feel more chill than you would after a session with your shrink.
A short jog in serious heat and humidity can feel like a marathon. Soothe your tired muscles with Mio Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Gel ($33), which has a cocktail of herbs and extracts to feel like an ice pack on your skin.
You know those days when you do a full face of makeup only to have it completely melt off by the time you arrive to the office? Luckily, COOLA Suncare Classic Face Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 ($36) can prevent those dreaded occurrences. Not only will it keep you cool and refreshed, but it’ll also protect against UV rays.
Getting that gross film of dirt and sweat off your body after a long day is a serious task. C.O. Bigelow Mentha Body Vitamin Body Wash ($12) will leave you feeling downright chilly. What could possibly be better? Okay, maybe a cold glass of wine waiting for you when you’re done showering.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Rising temperatures mean a lot more skin is being shown. Unfortunately for us, this skin doesn’t always look exactly the way we would like. We already figured out how to do away with pastiness thanks to the best self-tanners, but cellulite is a whole separate beast to conquer.
We asked around to find out what girls-in-the-know are using these days to treat the dreaded dimpling. Of course, we would never give names (who wants to admit to cottage cheese thighs?!), but trust us when we say these suggestions are tried-and-tested. And just in time for bikini season…
1. Dry Brushing (from $7)
Not only does this technique help to limit toxins from your body, it can also smooth out pesky lumps and bumps. Spend extra time brushing any trouble areas with long, upward strokes.
2. Frank Body Balm ($25)
You’ve heard about the effectiveness of coffee scrubs, and this product achieves the same results but in a lotion form. The Coffee Arabica Seed Oil will stimulate blood flow to target cellulite and stretch marks (lovely combo!) while also increasing production of collagen and elastic production. This product is the creation of Australians, and judging by their bikini bods on Instagram, they know what they’re talking about.
3. Ultherapy (starting at $800)
Drastic times call for drastic measures. While Ultherapy is designed for the face and décolleté, Dr. Julie Russak finds it effective at rejuvenating any part of the body that needs help building collagen and tightening. If you’re serious about fighting cellulite, look no further.
Fake it ‘til you make it, right? This product is like your favorite Instagram filter, but for your body. In addition to providing UV protection, it has a unique formula that blurs and masks skin imperfections. So while you’re working to make your cellulite less prominent, you can conceal during these bikini-baring months.
5. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Bodylift ($45)
Not only do the 72 nodules on this device feel amazing, they also stimulate circulation to encourage lymphatic drainage. This means that muscles will be soothed, but skin will also appear noticeably smoother and less puffy. Almost as good as a deep tissue massage in a beachside cabana… almost.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Maybe it’s that beauty brands are taking note of all the #eeeeats posts on Instagram, or perhaps they are focused on the undeniable skin benefits of food, but edible ingredients are showing up everywhere in our beauty products. While we’re all for a good DIY situation, the convenience of these powerhouse foods in ready-mixed formulas is certainly worth consideration (and ingestion).
Here are some of our most-adored products that contain foodie components:
While many eye creams with active ingredients cause irritation, Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream ($85) has a proprietary complex from a salmon egg enzyme to diminish fine lines and brighten, and is much gentler than its chemical-filled counterparts.
Davines MELU Hair Shield ($34) is a must before heat-styling thanks to the protection it offers from lentil seeds.
One Love Organics Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil ($49) relies on organic chia seed oil to soothe irritated skin.
Breaking out? Look no further than Arcona Raspberry Clarifying Pads ($36). These are a must post-workout.
While it may sound like a superfood salad, Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash ($36) is a non-lathering cleanser that conditions and nourishes while cleaning your locks.
It would certainly be easy to mistake Eos Vanilla Bliss Shave Cream ($4) for yummy cupcake icing considering the consistency and smell, but it’s not. This stuff makes shaving a cinch.
To double up on the relaxation while soaking in a tub full of Fresh Sake Bath ($82), bring a class of wine in as well!
While we love carrots as a vehicle for our hummus addiction, the glow that they provide in the form of Odacite CaR Wild Carrot Facial Serum Concentrate ($55) is pretty clutch as well.
Not only does May Lindstrom Skin The Honey Mud ($80) feel and look like pudding, it utilizes naturally antibacterial and healing raw honey to soothe skin.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Today is Earth Day and to celebrate all that is Mother Earth, we’ve chosen a few of our favorite all-natural products. While you don’t need to entirely switch your beauty arsenal to one of 100% non-toxic ingredients, it’s worth easing your way into a few key products that produce the same – if not better – results with healthy formulations that’ll do you – and the world – some good.
Here, 7 of the best all-natural products to buy today:
1. Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment ($16) – Think of this as the non-toxic, 100% natural version of Aquaphor. It’ll cure chapped lips, hydrate cuticles, and even add a hint of sheen to brow bone. Obsessed!
2. Vapour Organics Trick Stick Highlighter in Star ($20) – Few highlighters are better than Vapour’s cult-favorite. And this one is good for the planet, too. The 100% natural illuminator blends seamlessly to give the face a strobe-light-effect on high points, like cheek and brow bones, cupid’s bow, and bridge of nose.
3. Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser ($78) – By now, you’re probably familiar with Tata Harper’s magical all-natural skincare line. This cleanser is certainly a favorite. It can be applied to dry skin as a gentle exfoliator, or add water for a daily cleanse for all skin types. The.Absolute.Best.
4. Shiva Rose Venus Amber Body Oil ($60) – Homemade with healthy ingredients and a whole lot of love, Shiva Rose’s body oil is unlike anything you will use on your skin. It’s silky smooth, hydrating, and scented with nature’s finest rose and amber oils. Plus, it contains a slice of rose oil crystal to give the formula its properties of love, peace, and tranquility. #Truth
5. W3ll People Expressionist Pro Mascara ($21) – It’s hard to find a natural mascara that works. But we’ve done the impossible: W3ll People has an incredible inky black formula that lengthens and volumizes, while being 100% cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben free, gluten-free, coal tar-free, fiber-free, talc-free, aluminum-free, clump-free, and made with certified organic beeswax. Oh, and that applicator? It’s legit awesome for de-clumping and coating all those tiny lower lash hairs.
6. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light ($48) – When it comes to straight-up argan oil, nobody does it better than Josie Maran. We like the light version because it can be used on acne-prone and sensitive skin, and it absorbs faster. In fact, argan oil moisturizers while controlling sebum production, so there really is no excuse not to add this smoother-skin product to your beauty routine.
7. Ilia Beauty Multi-Stick ($34) – Like the name suggests, this stick does multiple things: It gives color to eyes, cheeks, and lips, while also injecting skin with healthy ingredients – like vitamin E and shea butter – as it adds that coveted hint of hue. Layer for bolder color. Our favorite: I Put A Spell On You, a tangerine shade that is universally flattering on all skin tones from fair to deep, and all hair colors from blonde to red!
Whether you’re venturing into the desert for Coachella or simply thinking ahead to the dog days of summer, you’ll need to change up your beauty routine to avoid any sweaty mishaps. Toss aside your rich creams and thick products for lighter counterparts to avoid looking like a literal hot mess. Living through treacherously steamy days is brutal enough, so don’t make it worse with gooey and drippy formulas. East Coasters, this post is purely aspirational. West Coasters, we continue to envy you.
Hair: Even the thickest locks can look limp and flat when combined with sweat and oil. Unless you’re going for a grungy Jared Leto (pre-bleach) look, rinse your strands with Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($20) to remove any grease and product buildup. Before styling, apply a generous coating of Living Proof Prime Style Extender ($20) which actually repels dirt and sweat to extend the life of any style. Magic! If your hair needs some perking up and you don’t have time to wash it, look to Davines Hair Refresher ($28) to fake it until you make it.
Face: Makeup running down your face is not a cute look… ever. Winter’s heavier formulas will wreak absolute havoc on your skin in warm weather by clogging your pores. Let’s all agree that this is absolutely something to avoid, right?
Prepping and priming your skin for humidity is a total non-negotiable. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel ($30) has a slew of natural oil-fighters to keep the grease at bay, and absorbs quickly without over drying the skin. Warm weather is not the time for moisturizing CC Creams or dewy foundations; instead, look to Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation ($42). This medium coverage formula blends easily and leaves the skin with a matte finish. Under eye circles don’t choose their victims based on temperature, but most concealers easily crease and flake. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28) stays put all day without a crease in sight. For some extra security against the grease Gods, dust your face with Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($34). Don’t forget to throw a refreshing mist, such as L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Mist ($16), into your bag to revitalize and refresh on-the-go. Those people giving you funny looks for misting in public? They’re just jealous.
Rising temps means more color everywhere, from your clothing to your cocktails (rosé season, anyone?). Hopefully you’re taking sun protection seriously and shielding your skin. There is truly no reason not to since you can easily fake it with Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer ($30). This formula can withstand some major moisture, and is even safe to wear with a white shirt. In the heat, most powder blushes will slide right off your skin as soon as you leave the house, so stick to a gel or stain such as Becca Beach Tint ($25). Finally, let’s not even get into the sticky hazards of lip gloss. Swap your favorites for Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon ($8) and be done with it.
Eyes: Eye makeup in warm weather can be beyond messy and irritating. Anyone who has had a mascara mishap (hello raccoon eyes!) knows that the struggle is real. Waterproof mascara and liner are absolute non-negotiables, and Eyeko Sport Mascara ($24) paired with Topshop Waterproof Liner ($10) didn’t even run or flake while being tested in a Barry’s Bootcamp class. For an easy swipe of color on your lids, try Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color Pencil ($24). It’s designed for “uber oily lids” and is waterproof, sweat-proof, and tear proof. Put it to the test… we dare you.
Body: When it’s warm outside, thick lotions and creams generally feel like they’re simply sitting on top of your skin instead of being absorbed. Swap your rich winter formulas for Sunday Riley Juno Body Serum ($105), which your skin will soak up faster than a sponge. In addition to moisturizing, this concoction promotes elasticity and tone, even if you sleep through Pilates class… again. You also want to make sure your bod is seriously clean after getting hot and sweaty (get your head out of the gutter! not THAT way!). Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Shower Gel ($20) is anti-microbial to help keep you fresh all day long… use it and bask in the cooling effects coupled with the earthy scent.
Go ahead, get your sweat on. Your products can handle it.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com.
We’ve been using Johnson’s Baby Oil since we were, well…babies! Specially formulated for infants, this magic oil is mild enough to use on even the most sensitive of skin. While it was originally created to moisturize and massage babies, it has TONS of other uses as well. Before people knew about the harmful effects of the sun, baby oil was slathered on the bod to promote that crisp brown hue. These days, eye makeup remover, makeup brush cleaner, cuticle moisturizer, and shaving solution are all some of baby oil’s alter egos.
Baby oil is a star product in its own right, but there is so much more that oil can do. Dr. Dennis Gross, founder of his namesake skincare line, explains: “Oils have their own areas of expertise. For instance, they can be antioxidants or soothing agents, but an oil’s ultimate goal is to moisturize. Oils have been innovated to no longer have the side effects that are traditionally associated with oils, like sitting on skin or a leaving a residue.”
So, we know that oils are real overachievers, but which are the best ones? And for what purpose? We investigate:
If you are in the market for an all-purpose moisturizer, pick up SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Raw Shea Oil ($10). You can’t beat the price, or the multitude of uses.
To clean your body while also moisturizing, try L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil ($25). It foams into a rich lather, and can also double as a shaving cream. The scent is incredibly mild, so you may even catch your boyfriend stealing it.
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil ($65) is an indulgent and relaxing way to moisturize, leaving your skin with an intoxicating rose. For added moisturizing benefits, apply when your skin is still damp post bath or shower.
Most everyone can use a little extra vitamin D, especially this time of year. That’s where Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil ($65) comes into play. This oil-serum is great for added moisture and elasticity. It won’t congest pores, and it leaves the complexion with that radiating-from-within effect.
As far as anti-aging treatments go, Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($125) is basically the gold standard. Because it is a dry oil, it gives an amazing glow without a hint of greasiness.
Oil has proven to be one of the best ways to remove makeup. Vapour Organic Beauty Clarity Cleansing Oil ($32) takes off makeup without stripping away any moisture.
Gone are the days of using oil to maximize sun exposure. Instead, protect your skin with Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF 50 ($26).
While amazing for your skin, oil cannot be overlooked for your tresses. Philip B. Rejuvenating Oil ($30) will soothe a dry, itchy scalp. For weightless shine, try Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($38).
-Casey Sharbaugh currently resides in New York City and works in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey spinning, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone. Find her on Twitter at @caseyhshar