DIY winter beauty regimens

I can’t lie and say I don’t love waking up to a beautiful snowfall in the morning, but lets be honest… This dragging winter has left us with much larger issues than shoveling fatigue. I’m talking dry skin, dry, dull hair strands, and dry feet (ew) that hasn’t seen much… besides the inside of our winter boots. Ladies (and fabulous gents) please if your hair and body is feeling a bit parched this season, take some time out for yourself to whip up some of these DIY beauty regimens, so you’ll be sitting pretty this winter!

Body scrub for dry skin
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
15 drops peppermint essential oil
½ cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot

Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep a little over a week. Make sure to keep refrigerated! This is a treatment thats used in Thai spas and a luxurious start to any cold day.

Mask for Dry Skin
½ avocado
¼ cup honey

Mash the avocado in a bowl, then stir in honey. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse.

Eye De-Puffer
2 chamomile or green tea bags

Make a cup of tea for yourself to enjoy, while admiring the winter wonderland outside your house. Remove tea bags and place in refrigerator until chilled. Place cool tea bags on closed eyes for 10 minutes.

Smooth Dry Hands & Feet

Mix 1/4 tsp of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of sugar and massage into the backs of hands & feet. The oil will soften, while sugar removes scaly, dead skin cells.

For Dry Hair:

A quarter cup of coconut oil, two tsp of extract, one tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water. Microwave the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds then mix ingredients. Coconut oil helps seal the cuticle of the hair, also leaving the hair super shiny and packed with tons of protein! So important for healthy hair !! Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse with cool water.

 

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On another note, who watched the season premiere of syfy’s FACE OFF last night?! If you have not watched this show, and your a makeup junkie like me GO WATCH! It has some of the most beautiful and creative work on television.

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My good friend Jason competed on the last season of the show, soon after, landing a job on Saturday Night Live. Go Jason! This season, the challenges are most intense than they’ve ever been and I’m happy to say, my other friend Meagan is a contestant on the show. We attended her premiere party last night and was pleasantly (not surprised) that she won the first challenge. So excited for her and to watch the rest of the season!

niko

 

Ok! Tea & American Horror Story time.. This weekend you can find me doing makeup for the Miss New York pageant ! I am so excited that I’m key makeup artist. 🙂 I will keep you posted!

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Xoxo

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Happy holidays! Inspirational & Motivating

Hello Beauties!! Nothing better than waking up to a snow day, for me at least. Snow in the Hudson Valley is so very magical. The views here are breathtaking. National Geographic Traveler magazine named the Hudson Valley one of the best places to visit in 2013. That’s right, of the 20 places around the world the National Geographic deems most worth visiting, the Hudson Valley made the grade. We’re right up there with Kyoto, Japan, Thessaloniki, Greece, Uganda, Cape Breton Island and 15 other exotic international locales. Crazy right? I love it here. I’m writing this as I’m snuggled with with my kitten, sipping on hot tea facing the window, enjoying this view out back (with a karuna exfoliating mask on of course).

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On another note, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, & have a Happy New Year–Happy Holidays to you and your families! I spent some of my week in NYC. There really isn’t anything quiet like Christmas in New York City. The tree, the lights, the shopping, the store front windows decorated perfectly, & the energy..

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We even stopped to say hello to Kelly & Regis… at the Wax museum 😉

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Here’s some more photos from holiday parties/get togethers with friends:

Me, Ashley, Marissa & Jessica’s annual Christmas fiesta!

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Can’t forget Samantha’s house we had our cookie decorating contest!

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And the salon dinner party!

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Me & Chelsea got each other for our “Secret Ornament” which wasn’t so secret… can you guess who got who which ornament? LOL !

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I bought my grandma this adorable book. It asks her tons of questions then she fills it out, every thing about her favorite memories, and childhood favorites. Once she fills it out she’ll give it back to me to treasure forever and pass down! How freaking cute?!

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& just some other photos:

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Remember this season, it isn’t about the gifts, decor, or even food (haha JK) but being around the people you love! Good people. Friends and family! Then comes all the food and cookies– Yikes..Friends, let me confess: I’m not the best when it comes to eating clean during Nov & Dec! Somewhere between all of the holiday parties, running around like a crazy makeup artist, and shopping marathons, I have completely lost my discipline. Haha, lets just say I could go toe-to-toe with Santa in a cookie eating contest. Not cute!

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Instead of waiting until New Years to make my “healthy” resolutions, why not start early? I’m hoping to find that miraculous cleanse that will take that extra inch around my waist away to get me back in shape to look hot for NYE. But for now, here’s what’s on my grocery list,

-lemons

-green tea

-detox tea

-almond milk

-spinach (a lot!)

-plain nonfat greek yogurt

-low fat goat cheese (for my spinach salad)

-ground turkey or boneless/skinless chicken

-hummus

-honey

-eggs

-asaragus

-yams

-low-carb/low sugar cereal (gluten free options available)

-natural almond butter

-walnuts

-coconut oil

-balsamic vinegar

-salsa

-multi vitamins

-& remember A LOT of water !

After an absolutely amazing 2012, it’s time to celebrate this past historic year! Whether it’s low key or a night out, it’s still a celebration. As I always say, indulge in pampering yourself before the new year! Or start it off by booking a massage or facial! I plan on booking a trip to Cali asap to start my new year off !I also plan on hosting another charity event in 2013. I’m not sure if you know, but I used to host my own charity events. Way back when, I designed clothes. When I was 16 years old I started destroying jeans for fun. Back then, it was fun to spend my time crafting up my jeans. Girls in school started offering me money to customize their jeans and “wrecking” them. I would bleach, rip, cut, sew, spray paint all over them.

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Naturally, people started calling me “Fashion Wreck” so hmmm.. perfect name for my “label” ..no? Before I knew it I had parents from all over the area calling me offering me money to “wreck” their daughters (and son’s) jeans. With that said my Fash!onWreck brand grew without me even realizing what I was doing. I had my first charity fashion show when I was 17 years old with my friend Amanda. What better way to raise money for good cause. I had professional hair stylists and makeup artists come to beautify my models. We raised money for a fellow student of ours Steven, who had passed away terrible brain tumor. We wanted his name to be remembered and live on in a positive way so we had hundreds of people donating and attending our fashion show with a lot of help from Steve’s friends and family. We raised 8 thousand dollars and it was put into an Art Scholarship in his memory. I still keep in touch with his mother, who is very dear to me. I love her.

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Second Charity fashion show I did with 2 other of my girl friends was for St. Jude Children’s hospital, again raising 8 thousand dollars at the age of 18. 

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My last show I did last year with sponsorship from Capri Cosmetology, I raised more than my goal of 8 thousand and reached 11 thousand dollars for St. Jude. 

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My brand had grew, at that point I was designing shirts also that were being produced for me. Some of the cast members of E! & Style Networks Jerseylicious wore my designs and agreed to have the entire cast of the show, travel to my hometown to model for my event and some photoshoots!

The first two shirts I made by hand… On my kitchen floor.. lol second two I had produced in bulk which sold out immediately.

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Over 450 people attended my last fashion & had a lot of people reach out to me! It was the best feeling, I can still cry thinking about it.

Here is Tracy from Jerseylicious cat walking it with my little cousin Lindsay.

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I stopped doing the clothes thing, because, well– it just wasn’t my passion. It was just fun at the time. I love doing makeup and that’s what I will stick with. This past year, I’m so busy with work it’s hard to put another show together although I try to do makeup for as many charity fashion shows as I can. That year I won youngest, independent donator for St. Judes! I also won an award at the college I was attending. 2013 I’d love to put another event together.

haha dad’s face looks funny here!

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Another event that took place recently, has truly inspired me to be kind and do good to others. At the salon I work at, a friend was in one morning last week telling us girls about how she woke up to her apartment crumbling and collapsing. She got out safely with her dog, but lost all her personal belongings and everything important to her. Another young client (20s) that didn’t know our friend, had not said a word during her story. She paid for her color and left. She returned about 2 hours later with a gift card $100 to Victoria Secret and $50 to Sephora for us to give to our friend. Truly inspiring and humbling. So motivated to do good for others!

2013 I vow to do good, work hard and expand with my makeup jobs. In the next year you can look forward to videos! I will be doing tutorials, so if there is anything you want to see please let me know!

Remember these important factors for 2013!

-be the person that makes others feel special

-visualize daily

-meditate everyday

-learn to control your mind

-work hard at what you love

-relax!

-take great care of your skin!

-splurge on good quality makeup

-be mysterious

-stop complaining (esp on Facebook)

-appreciate the little things

-get good at something

-read something inspirational every day

-choose your friends wisely

-make an appointment with me to learn how to correctly use your makeup (haha had to throw that in there)

-LOVE LOVE LOVE! INHALE LOVE & EXHALE HATE

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Cheers!!!

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xo,

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Favorite must-have oils !

I want to quickly share with you my absolute favorite oils, that I use all the time, which are completely natural and organic. I took a bath last night and added some avocado oil to the water. Woke up this morning and my skin is still silky smooth. Slept with grape seed oil on my face, which I do once a week and ugh the results are refreshing. Woah, woah… Rubbing oil .. on your body? Eh, okay… but, on your face?! Sounds like a set up for disaster, right? Think again pretties. These natural, oil-based products help the skin stay balanced and have unbelievable results, once you try you’ll never go back. 

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Raw Coconut oil, not only good for you, but it’s one of my FAVORITE beauty treatments!

  • Great makeup remover including eye makeup
  • amazing hair conditioner… add some coconut oil to your hair after shampooing (avoiding your roots) wrap it in a small bun overnight, rise with cool water in the morning… say hi to your new beautiful, shiny, soft hair
  • Moisturizing mask for your face.. Perfect for winter time! Leave on for about 20 minutes and rise off … Instant hydration
  • Aftershave. Immediately calms and soothes skin.
  • Improves skin tone and reduced wrinkles
  • reduces appearance of stretch marks and reduces cellulite

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Grapeseed oil, found in health food stores. One of my favorite skin moisturizers. It absorbs quickly, and used a lot during professional massages/facials.

  • -High in antioxidants which helps fight free radicals from the environment that causes damage to the skin
  • -Another great eye-makeup remover. This oil breaks down mascara and moisturizes the eye at the same time.
  • -Makes eyelashes grow longer and stronger over time
  • -Protects collagen which is essential for beautiful, healthy skin.
  • -Anti-aging properties helping you fight off the aging process
  • -Helps repair scars

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Acocado Oil is such a pure, beneficial way to treat and nourish your skin effectively.

  • -Add to baths for soft skin
  • -Penetrates skin deeply making it an excellent moisturizer
  • -Protects against and reduces wrinkles
  • -Also helps heals scars
  • -Minimizes pores
  • -Contains a natural SPF
  • -Perfect use for mature skin
  • -Reduces blemishes

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Sesame seed oil is rich in antioxidants and pulls toxins from your skin.

  • -Prevents against blackheads
  • -Fades dark spots
  • -Great to leave on face overnight
  • -Antioxidant
  • -antibacterial
  • -Lather this oil onto your feet and wear clean white socks to help soften your feet
  • -natural barrier that protects skin and hair from smoke

Here is one of my favorite beauty cocktails 🙂

  1. 1/2 cup sesame seed oil
  2. 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup water

This will make your skin GLOW! 

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Dr. Alkaitis Oil a calming, holistic facial oil sent to me to try & review. In LOVE with this oil, I use it every other night on my face.

  • -Cleans up blemishes
  • -Plumps up skin
  • -Leaves skin glowing
  • -All ingredients used are edible and 100% natural and organic.
  • -Refreshes skin
  • -Helps skin maintain a healthy balance

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Couldn’t do without my tea tree oil! I like to lather my face in tea tree oil and then steam my face. It opens up my pores and cleans everything out.

  • -Kills bacteria
  • -Antibacterial product that gets rid of acne
  • -Treats sunburn
  • -Reduces inflammation
  • -Organic and natural causing no side effects
  • -Helps dry skin, one of my main products in my shampoo!

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I officially replaced shaving cream with this extra virgin olive oil. Olive oils work as an intense moisturizer. I wouldn’t use this on your face because it can clog pores (it’s thick), but it is amazing for your body. Shave your legs with olive oil and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. This can relieve and heal dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. It soothes the skin and makes your legs feel silky smooth without feeling oily after shaving 🙂

Happy Friday! Off to do makeup this weekend.. Everyone have a great weekend!

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XO!

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Go for the glow!

Ah November, you are here and creeped up on me way too quickly. I can’t believe I find myself holiday shopping already! I started buying gifts and goodies for my girls. Oh, how I will miss summer dearly but can’t say the beginning of these crisp days and nights excite me. Every year when the weather turns cold, I find myself craving hot baths, hot showers, and of course hot tea. Sure it all sounds fabulous and feels nice, but I’m trying to refrain myself from doing so (besides the tea part!).  Let me tell you why. The hot water may feel amazing when it’s cold outside, and a great way for warming you up from this chilly weather, but it is an absolute NIGHTMARE for drying out your body and scalp. I’ve mentioned before in one of my previous posts that I used to suffer from psoriasis. I have to work extra hard to keep myself hydrated to avoid any dryness that can trigger dry skin and psoriasis. Hot water can suck the hydration right out of our bodies, leaving us with dry skin and dandruff. If you absolutely love taking hot showers like me, then here is a few pointers to keep yourself hydrated this winter!

Exfoliate! Exfoliating helps the skin absorb products better, giving you a smoother appearance. The three most important things  you can do for your skin are clean it, moisturize it, and protect it from the sun. Exfoliation helps to deep cleanse your skin, which will help it retain more moisture and look fresher, younger and healthier. If exfoliating at home is just not enough then I definitely recommend having your skin polished at the spa! One of my favorite services to receive would definitely be microdermabrasion. I feel that it really improves skin texture and eliminates discoloration making your skin very even toned. Microdermabrasion also erases fine lines ! You want to make sure you go to a very reputable establishment before receiving this service. Your task should be performed by a licensed esthetician  or even a dermatologist. If you suffer from rosacea, I wouldn’t recommend getting Micro because it can leave your skin aggravated and cause redness. The micro process removes the very top layer of your skin, so some people’s skin will turn pink after for a short period of time. ( This doesn’t happen to me ) I like to get this done a couple days before a big event, leaving my skin polished and glowing. DO NOT go into the sun after getting Micro! Your skin will become easily irritated and more susceptible to sunburn. Regular removal of dead skin cells and surface impurities or exfoliation helps prevent excessive thickening of your skin which makes it look pasty and not fresh. EW! For my at home exfoliations I use Ole Hendricksen’s Walnut Complexion Scrub found at Sephora. I also LOVE Karuna’s exfoliating mask, which I use once a week. Use gentle circular strokes when exfoliating and don’t SCRUB or work on any area for too long because it will cause irritation. I exfoliate at home once a week. For your body you can use stronger scrubs and brushes. I use a loofah. I also love sugar scrubs. I exfoliate my body every time I shower and moisturize as soon as I get out so my whole body feels ultra soft. 

 Getting micro in this photo! I look like a mummy lol

Moisturize within minutes of stepping out of the shower. People think the best time to hydrate is after your skin is dried off….wrong. The best time to lather on facial moisturizers and body lotions is when your skin is still slightly damp. Your body absorbs the product better and in turn you end up using less product then you normally would!

 Simply Bee-utiful Lavender Honey lotion.. All natural.. feels so good !

-For shampoos stick to brands without sulfates. Sulfate is not good for your scalp and very drying. A LOT of shampoos have sulfate. I use Onesta shampoo & Nature’s Gate shampoo which are both natural and sulfate free. 

Argan Oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and sesame oil is my best kept secrets to smooth, soft skin…especially in the winter months. I mix a few drops into my body lotion, rub into my cuticles and layer on top of my moisturizer for added hydration.

    This oil is what I use to shave my legs 🙂 

There are many things to love about this time of year.. My birthday 😉 Thanksgiving, Christmas, crisp snowy mornings, holiday parties, festive lights, hot tea and cocoa, ice skating, jingle Ball, fireplaces with a room filled with lit candles, so much.  

 Jingle Ball’s After party last year with Redfoo

 My birthday last year.. dressed as batman lmao

 Ghetto fire place … haha we ran out of real fire wood

But unfortunately with these cold months ahead also brings on puffy eyes, headaches, runny noses, etc. So irritating to deal with, and takes a toll on your beauty routine as well. Make sure to take your vitamins, especially Vitamin C during these months, drink herbal teas, and keep warm. But here are some easy tips to help these beauty issues for the winter. 

 New tea cup 🙂

Puffy eyes? You need a soothing product to give them a quick boost. Bliss has some great eye treatments to help energize for an instant eye lift! Try fresh sliced cucumbers and frozen green tea bags for an at home remedy.  

Headache? Try an essential oil to dab on your temples, back of neck and under nose to inhale. I learned this at the spa. They usually do this before a massage. Also, eye pillows help! For an at home remedy drink apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water 😉
 
Dry, Raw nose?  Drink water! Also, Saline water is best natural remedy for dry nose. Saline nasal drops are available in pharmacy stores. Inhale steam, all you have to do is boil water in a bowl, once it has started to boil remove the vessel from the stove. Inhale the steam. The moisturizing effect of steam will help to relieve pain and dryness in the nose. It will also open the pores. 
 
Colds and sore throats? Sip on a cocktail of an immune-boosting squeezed lemon juice with warm water, ginger and raw honey (must be raw as this preserves healthful enzymes). Mix together one small tablespoon of raw honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. 
 
Increase your intake of healthy fats and oils this winter: avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseeds and oil, chia seeds, nuts, oily fish and fish oil!  Ok time to get ready for bed and catch up on my shows. Sorry for posting so late tonight, I had a surprise birthday dinner to attend for my favorite lady, Monica! Here are some photos below… Enjoy 🙂 
      
Another thank you card from one of my gorgeous brides 🙂
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Xo