Monthly Archives

January 2018

in Beauty, DIY

Our Favorite Beauty Hacks

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It’s 2018, and one thing hasn’t changed – we want to look our best and not break the bank. Beauty is a multi-billion dollar industry – there is a product for anything you can dream up. We want to share with you our favorite beauty hacks that will stretch your dollar and allow you to use the products you own to their fullest potential!

  1. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of challenges when it comes to curling your eyelashes – you just want them curled and to stay curled! We got ya covered! When curling your lashes, instead of holding your eyelash curler the traditional way – lift the curler so the handle is parallel to the floor. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze for about 10 seconds for each eye and this will give your eyelashes more lift AND more curl. Follow up by using a waterproof mascara. The curl will stay all day long! In the market for an eyelash curler? The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler is our favorite!
  2. Know you are going to have a rushed morning? Apply your dry shampoo before you go to bed! Your dry shampoo will have plenty of time to absorb all of your hair’s natural oils & you’ll wake up looking like you just washed and styled your hair!
  3. So maybe you are out of dry shampoo altogether?! No worries! Grab some bronzer, your Kabuki brush and buff those roots! A blonde? Use your powder foundation instead. Just a little goes a long way!
  4. Advil & that pesky painful zit. Grab yourself a liquid Advil capsule & cut it open. Then snip the top right off with your handy dandy scissors, grab a Q-tip & apply the Advil liquid to the inflamed area. Be sure to give yourself about twenty minutes for the liquid to dry and once it does, you’ll notice the redness and the pain of the pimple has diminished. Proceed with applying make up or go bare faced because you’re a confident, beautiful woman, and no zit is going to stop you from facing the world.
  5. Suffering from ‘cake face’? For the smoothest skin, add a drop of Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu soothing oil (or any oil you have on hand) to your foundation, mix it together & then apply to your face! You’ll see the difference in your skin immediately. We love this beauty hack for the winter months!
  6. Three words: Monistat Chafing Gel. Yup – you read that correctly. Not only is this stuff AMAZING for chafing relief on areas like inner thighs (this is always in our purse during the summer months), but this is also great as a face primer for make up when you’re in a pinch. A two-in-one product! This is a significantly cheaper dupe for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. The main ingredient, dimethicone, is also often the main ingredient in other face primers. This allows for a smooth finish – filling in pores and the like. This hack is better suited for people with oily skin.
  7. Of course, you forgot shaving cream on your Target list. I mean, it had to be something, right?! Well just use your conditioner instead. Use a quarter size amount & treat it just like shaving cream, your legs have never been softer! We may even use conditioner instead of shaving cream… on the reg.
  8. Okay, so you wake up with puffiness under your eyes because you spent the whole night watching a This is Us marathon. We’ve been there. Before you start getting ready for your day, soak a couple green tea bags in hot water for about two minutes. Take the bags out, squeezing the excess water out and pop them in the fridge. Prior to applying your make up, take the green tea bags, and place them under your eyes for 10 minutes – if you have longer, even better. The caffeine and tannins will help shrink the blood vessels just under the skin which, in turn, reduces swelling and puffiness under the eyes. We hear that model use this beauty hack just before a photoshoot or runway show.
  9. Ain’t nothin’ sweeter than raw honey. You can use raw honey for two things: blemishes and dry skin. For those pesky blemishes, apply a small amount of honey onto the pimple and cover it with a bandaid. Go to sleep and when you wake the next morning, you should see that the pimple has reduced significantly – all thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of honey. Since honey is a natural humectant, a honey mask will do wonders for dry skin. Slather a thin layer of raw honey on your face, then allow it to sit on your face for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. You’ll see that your skin is plump and hydrated.
  10. Organic raw apple cider vinegar is one of those items in our pantry that we use to boost weight loss, clean with, and even settle sour stomachs. But one of our favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar is as a facial toner and is great for all skin types! Apple cider vinegar toner balances the natural pH of the skin and removes dead skin cells, exfoliating to reveal healthy, vibrant skin. For normal to dry skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts filtered water. For oily skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part filtered water. For sensitive skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar to three to four parts filtered water. Store the mixture in a glass or plastic bottle. The smell is something you may need to get used to – but the benefits to your skin are life changing!
  11. Coconut oil is another multipurpose staple in our homes – we use it for hair masks, body moisturizer, and even use it as massage oil or a lubricant during sensual moments with our men. Yes, we went there. However, our favorite way to use coconut oil is for removing makeup. Take a dime size amount of coconut oil and begin to massage on your face. The heat from your skin and fingers will melt the coconut oil if it’s in a hardened state. Coconut oil does wonders in breaking up stubborn waterproof mascara and removing the rest of your makeup. Take a warm, wet muslin cloth and wipe off the residue or simply use warm water. Coconut oil is SO versatile, and we love it so much that we could write a whole blog post about it!

And there ya have it – our F A V O R I T E beauty hacks! Let us know if you try any of these hacks.
We would love to hear your results!

xo,
Kim & Kate
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in DIY

DIY Agate Shadow Box

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After strolling through the mall & checking the price tags of these beautiful pieces of art, I was inspired & depressed all at the same time. I knew I had to have these pieces in my living room, but I couldn’t bear spending $200 to do so. SO YOU GUESSED IT!! I made them myself.

You’ll need:

Agate Stones

Patterned background paper

Shadow box

Hot glue or gel poxy

You’ll want to choose your background paper, your stones & their placement. Once you have those decisions made, mark with pencil where the stones will lay. Next, you are going to want to cut the paper where you made your marks.

Simply because I have found that hot glue works better when gluing to texture rather than gluing to flat & smooth surfaces. Within the holes that you stenciled & cut – apply your hot glue. You can also scratch hot glue altogether, especially if the backing of your shadow box is smooth & use gel epoxy instead.

Then as quick as you can, before the glue dries, lay your stones on the glue in their place.

And that’s it! You’ve made your own beautiful and unique piece of art!

How easy & fun?!

There is a chance I have about three of these in my house now…

Thankfully, my husband couldn’t care less about decor.

Let me know if you try this DIY! I’d love to see what you come up with!!

 

xo,
Kate
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Okay, so we made it through the first week of 2018 – so far, so good, right!? And like the rest of world, I’ve jumped on the “New Year, Better Me” bandwagon. A lot of our resolutions have to do with health, fitness, and overall wellbeing – all of which are attainable through better lifestyle choices. And for the last couple years, I’ve tried to stick to making working out and eating healthy a routine in my life. With that, I wanted to share with you a few tips that have helped me commit and stay motivated to working out.

  1. Set realistic goals
    When I initially started working out (again), I thought to myself, “I could totally make it to class 5x a week.” Uh, no – this didn’t happen. The truth was that I was basically sedentary when I decided to take control of my fitness routine, and what I really needed to do is evaluate my fitness level at the time, and set realistic goals. So after a week or two of not achieving the 5x a week goal, I decided for the next couple months I would make it a goal to get to class 2-3x a week and reevaluate. I did – and now I’ve doubled the appearances I make to the barre studio. Start with a small goal and build on it.
  2. Know thyself – group classes vs lone wolf
    Okay – this is actually important. I quickly found out that going to the gym and fending for myself was really counterproductive and not for me. I had no idea what I was doing with the machines or even had a proper routine and, as a result, it was really discouraging. I quickly found out that I’m very much a group class kinda gal through and through. This revelation was not a shock to anyone that knows me as I’m very much an extrovert. With that, my next thought on group classes will not come as a surprise to you: being surrounded by like-minded people help with my pursuing and achieving my goals. Plus there is an added bonus of forming friendships. This bring me to the next tip…
  3. Find your tribe
    The women I go to barre with motivate the hell out of me – we are all at different fitness levels, yet, we all inspire each other to work harder during class. It’s amazing. The best part of establishing relationships with the people I go to class with, is that we hold each other accountable. My barre babes and I ensure that we see each other at least 3x a week. It’s really hard to cancel class when you know your favorite people will be in class; but also, having someone to make funny faces with or make comments about how a certain move may kill us  makes class even better.
  4. Stick to a schedule
    This helps establish a routine. Whether scheduling gym time in your calendar or signing up for class beforehand, committing to a designated time will make you accountable and are likely less to cancel. Also, why wouldn’t schedule an extra hour of “me time” in your daily schedule?
  5. Location, location, location!
    I know what you’re thinking, “what the heck are you talking about, Kim?” Pick a gym or fitness studio that is either walkable or a less than 20 minute drive from your home. Anything further than that will only give you opportunities to make excuses. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the get-go.
  6. Sign a contract
    I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying for it, I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth. You don’t have to sign up for a whole year, but consider a three month contract (baby steps). This is ample time for you to establish a routine and actually see changes in your body (and mind – endorphins make you happy, people)!
  7. Treat yourself
    When I first started, I made mini goals; and when I reached that goal, I would treat myself. This would come in the form of a date night at my favorite restaurant or even a cute workout outfit. Honestly, I go for the latter more than anything else, because I noticed that a cute outfit makes me feel a little more confident. Cute outfits are just so motivating and empowering! If you feel strong and confident, that will definitely translate in your workout – making your workouts just as strong and confident. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from my favorite brands: Alo Yoga Moto Leggings (I own two pairs of these leggings – I’m OBSESSED!), Beyond Yoga Soft Spacedye Leggings (the SOFTEST leggings you will ever own in your life), and Zella Pace Tank.
  8. Take photos
    Okay, so you’re thinking this is cringe worthy, Kim. I get it. However, documenting how much your body changes within the first 12 weeks will seriously change your mindset. You’ll notice how your hard work is now translated into toned arms/legs and a flatter stomach. While it’s difficult to not compare yourself to others (stop doing this), these photos will allow you to compare yourself to yourself! Whenever you’re in a rut, you can reflect on these photos and see how far you’ve come.
  9. Focus on intangibles
    I just mentioned the physical changes you can see with the naked eye – but I found that the intangibles really motivated me to stick with my fitness routine. Working out really does rewire your brain. Admittedly, prior to establishing a workout routine, I felt blue – like all the time. It’s so crazy how just working out 3x a week really made me into a happier person. A couple other things I’ve noticed: I’m less tired when I wake up and my stress has reduced immensely. I know I said this before, but endorphins really do make you happy!
  10. Find healthy recipes you enjoy eating and making
    So part of committing to a fitness routine is also committing to a balanced, healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I indulge – maybe more than I should from time to time. But eating healthy was (and still is) the most difficult part for me. My initial thought for healthy foods meant, I’d be eating like a rabbit for the rest of my life – but that really isn’t the case. I’ve found a number of easy and delicious meals online that I currently keep on rotation. My favorite and go-to sites: A Cozy KitchenSkinnytasteTwo Peas and their Pod, and Honeysuckle Catering.

I hope you enjoyed these tips –

I would love to hear how you commit and stay motivated in your health and fitness journey!

xo,
Kim
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in Beauty

Current Obsessions

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2017 was an interesting year to say the least, but we survived! And to start off 2018, we wanted to share a few things we are currently obsessed with – you’ll notice that we are REALLY into skin care.

Kate's Obsessions
     

  1. Zo Skin Health ‘Offects’ Exfoliating Polish
    With my problematic & dry skin comes dead skin cells. Thankfully, there are a few estheticians from THE pearl modern spa that never let me down when I face a skin hurdle (pun intended). These lovely ladies told me that this product would do all the things and they were SO right. Pesky dead skin (as gross as it sounds), you can say goodbye to with this miracle scrub. You’ll notice a glow after one use. I have also noticed a significantly lower amount of breakouts since using the polish as it surely does prevent clogged pores. You’ll soon learn that if I ever happen to have a couple bucks in my pocket, it is spent at the spa.
  2. Nyakio Tamanu Firming Face Balm
    I might not be able to pronounce it correctly, but I sure do love it! SUCH a great nighttime moisturizer, especially in the winter. This balm is so luxurious, I’ve honestly never used a balm that comes close to this. I have problematic as well as dry skin, so learning about this product & trying it out has been a saving grace. Waking up in the morning with skin that feels moisturized & plump is SUCH a treat, this balm really does the damn thing!
  3. Mally Beauty Flawless Finish Transforming Effect Foundation
    On days when I don’t feel like doing my make up for real for real, this is what I turn to. It is such a lightweight foundation with really good coverage. I throw on some bronzer once I apply this foundation and I’m ready to go! Love the little compact it comes in too! An extra mirror on deck is always a plus.
  4. EcoBrow Defining Wax
    Like my hair, my brows are thin – thin and light. And after trying everything from pencils to powders on my brows, I was introduced to W A X & it changed the game. My eyebrows are the one thing I do every single day, otherwise, I resemble a potato so I am quite grateful for this little jar!
  5. Gold Bio-Collagen Mask
    One of my favorite bloggers, @CandyStubbs shared these masks and raved about seeing results after one use… right then & there (in my bed, on my phone), I knew I had to try them. After the first use, I actually received compliments on my skin – which doesn’t happen for me. So I now use these sheet masks every Thursday or Friday night to get ready for the weekend & I make sure not to run out, which is easy because they are available on Amazon Prime! My skin becomes so radiant after one use & it actually lasts for days, not hours. These. Are. A. Must.
Kim's Obsessions

 

  1. Jan Marini Physical Protectant
    There is one thing I NEVER leave the house without – SUNSCREEN! While I’m sure that some of you exclusively wear sunscreen during the summer months, the reality is that you should wear sunscreen everyday of the year. Let’s face it (pun intended), the sun can cause major damage – essentially accelerating the aging process of our skin. YES – this mean wrinkles and spots! No thank you. I’ve gone through a number of sunscreens and my current favorite has been the Jan Marini Physical Protectant. The formula allows the product to evenly smooth over the skin. The sunscreen also has a slight tint, so it ever-so-slightly evens your skin tone – not enough to consider it as any coverage if you have any blemishes though! Major highlights that are super important to me: it offers broad spectrum coverage, has an SPF of 45 (my minimum is SPF 30), and it’s water resistant (perfect for when I’m out and about on a hot day or even just working out).
  2. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo 
    I LIVE FOR DRY SHAMPOO. My obsession with dry shampoo is real and I have been known to hoard five bottles at a pop; for a world without dry shampoo is my one true nightmare. Okay, so maybe I’m being dramatic – but really, whoever invented this stuff is a freakin’ genius. I go 3-4 days without washing my hair – for a number of reasons: daily washing strips my hair of natural oils, my hair color fades faster, and dirty hair is so much better/easier to style! I have a number of favorites, but the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo has quickly moved to the top of my list! This stuff not only smells amazing, BUT IT WORKS… WELL! I workout nearly everyday, and this dry shampoo really does absorbs the excess dirt and oil that accumulates through the day. It’s a non-aerosol spray, and releases the perfect amount of dry shampoo per squeeze. Life changing tip: spray dry shampoo just before you sleep – it’ll absorb the oil through the night and your hair will look perfect the next day!
  3.  L’Oreal Voluminous Million Waterproof Mascara
    This mascara has been my tried and true for many years now. I’ve tried so many mascaras from drugstore to high end, and I keep running back to this baby. The L’Oreal Voluminous Million Waterproof mascara makes my super straight eyelashes look long and full, but more importantly holds the curl!! Because it’s waterproof – it doesn’t budge. Honestly, this is the best mascara I’ve tried – and for $8.99, you seriously can’t beat it.
  4. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
    I was introduced to the Drunk Elephant brand late into 2016, and no sooner incorporated many of their products into my skincare routine. Like sunscreen, the C-Firma Day Serum is also a product I use on a daily basis. Drunk Elephant has created a product with exceptionally high quality ingredients including ascorbic acid, aka vitamin C. Vitamin C does a number of things, but the reason I love layering it with my sunscreen is because it enhances the effectiveness 4x! I’ve noticed a change in skin, in that my dark spots have faded and my complexion is much brighter. This does have a hefty price point, but I tend to purchase during the Sephora VIB sales to get a few bucks off. Each bottle lasts about 6 months – the bottle pumps out the perfect amount each time. Of course, there are many brands that offer the same concept (this just happens to be my favorite), but I really believe that you should give this a try – you’ll be so amazed with how amazing your skin will look and feel.
  5. Elizabeth and James A Little Bit of Nirvana Fragrance Collection
    The Olsen twins (yes, Mary Kate and Ashley) hit it out of the park with this fragrance collection. With every scent they release, I become more and more obsessed. Each scent is different, and smell amazing on their own, but L A Y E R E D!? The scent is just so next level and so addicting. The formulation of the fragrances ring in notes that can feel airy, bright, sexy, and even masculine. I purchased this smaller set – but I definitely plan on owning the entire full size collection. If you’re in the market for a new fragrance – give this brand a try – you’re bound to find a scent that you’ll LOVE!

Have you tried any of our current obsessions? Tell us what you think! We’d also L O V E to know what you’re currently obsessed with – shoot us a note or comment below!

xo,
Kim & Kate
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