[Valid Atom 1.0] BarbaraEllen: How To. Everyday Beauty for Everyday Luxury.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How To. Everyday Beauty for Everyday Luxury.

Everyday Beauty. Everyday Luxury.

I say everyday. But I have to admit, these are things I should do everyday. As in, I don't always. Which makes little sense. This How To combines the convenience of everyday household items with the simplicity of placing them into your already existing routines. Little money. Little time. Turn everyday beauty into everyday luxury.

Bag Balm for your Sole.
Made in VT!
How To. 


Once daily, massage the cuticle with extra virgin olive oil (evoo). Simple indulgence and much less expensive than buying fancy drugstore brand. 

1. Recycle old plastic tub or glass jar.
2. Fill with 1/4 - 1/2 inches of evoo.
3. Keep cotton swab nearby. (Or use finger.) If tub is tall enough, can even let swab sleep inside. (Bonus when it absorbs some of the oil.

4. Swab cuticles 1/day or whenever dry. In the morning when you awake or nighttime, before you get some shuteye.

Everyday Luxury: Cuticles receive more abuse than our nails because they are more often neglected. As winter approaches, the harshness of cold and brittle air cracks our delicate skin. Even as we protect with mittens & gloves, the constant contact irritates and causes skin to tear. Creating a moisturized barrier makes skin more supple and cuticles, more intact.

EVOO in a Sephora Jar.
Cotton Swab Optional.

While you sleep, let feet soak. Lather heels, arches, and toes with petroleum jelly or cold cream. Top off with a pair of socks. 

1. Use the richest, most nourishing moisturizer you already have on hand. I use bag balm, but Vaseline works just as well. Any emollient works, especially those enriched with Vitamin E. 
2. Keep it close to your bedside or near your sock drawer. (Mine is enroute from sock drawer to bed.)
3. Grab a pair of socks--probably ankle--that feel well-suited for sleeping.
4. Slather up your feet. To eliminate contamination, so that the hand that touches your foot doesn't double-dip, consider using a plastic spoon-head to dip into your jar. Especially if the moisturizer also doubles as lip balm. (Confession: I contaminate. I'm okay with it.)

Everyday Luxury: Our feet take a beating. Heels. Jogs. No Socks. No Knee Highs. I don't care who you are and how many pedicures you have, your feet are cracked if you don't do this. Or, are on the verge of it, especially as winter nears. This is a simple fix to make you feet and to make you feel simply luxurious.

Alcohol-Free Toner with Beta Hydroxy.
See Below for Homemade Recipes!

Morning and night, use a toner. (This, I do everyday. Religiously.) Fits perfectly into any morning & night routine.

1. Buy your favorite toner. If you buy, be sure it includes beta-hydroxy to slough off dead skin and is alcohol-free, so skin won't dry. Or make your own. Many homemade remedies feature ingredients like apple cider vinegar.
2. Keep cotton balls handy. Tissue or toilet paper will absorb too much of the toner and cause you to a) tug to harshly on your face and b) waste toner.
3. Wash face first if you have on make-up or if you haven't yet washed your face & you're headed to sleep. (In other words, if I wash my face the night before and wake-up the next morning senza make-up, I do not wash my face before using toner.)
4. Just a little dab will do ya'.
5. Gently swipe all over face, being sure to give attention to your pores, forehead, and jaw.
6. Smile and exhale as you feel the tingly freshness envelope your face. Enjoy the softness of your refreshed and rejuvenated skin.

Everyday Luxury: Without the harsh abrasion often suffered exfoliants, skin feels just as refreshed and even more smooth with a toner. The beauty-efficiency-factor: use it even when you "forget" to wash your face. Though, you should always wash first. (See #3 for clarification.)

Josie Maran with Argan. 
Well Loved & Well Used.

Daily, condition your eyelashes to make them both thicker and longer. There just are a few ways to do so without going out of your way.

1. Buy pure Vitamin E. Moisturize your face with this. I've yet to try, but have heard luxurious things.
2. Buy Josie Maran Argan Mascara and use it as your go-to-gal. 
3. Apply either Vitamin E and/or mascara directly to your face and/or lashes. Especially because they are all-natural, allow both to be the first products that make contact with your skin & hair. 

Everyday Luxury: I haven't yet tried the Vitamin E, but I love finding ways to naturally enhance my beauty. When beauty augments health, it is luxurious. Which is reason enough to try the V-E and 1 reason why I am over-the-moon for Josie Maran Argan Mascara in Pitch Black. Not only does it lengthen lashes and serve as a great base for a more dramatic look, but additionally, for every wand that's purchased, Josie Maran donates one to a City of Hope cancer patient/survivor. Oh yeah, and its formulated with Argan Oil (lash-lengthening powers), has all natural ingredients, is vegan!, is never tested on animals, and the list goes on. Luxury in its purest form.


At least once daily, learn basic yoga poses to elongate and align. While I won't outline the steps involved with each stretch--this is something only a yoga instructor should do--I will share a list of my most favorite, accompanied by brief description.

1. Shoulder stretch. Requires kneeling on all 4's: hips in-line with knees, palms in-line with shoulders. After looping 1 arm though the opposite knee/palm by pressing the other arm into the ground below the center of the chest, you stretch the space between the shoulder socket and the shoulder blade. Hips stay square so that only the upper-torso/rib cage twists. The bent arm, which presses down, locks to keep alignment with the heart.

2. Hip StretchTakes many forms. My most favorite is pigeon-pose. No clue how to describe that. Probably the most popular is chair-pose. Can be done standing (requires balance) or laying on one's back. Both require the same alignment. Namely, to root. Rooting means that you imagine both feet to be pushed against the ground or a wall (flexed), even if they are not. Also, it means keeping hips square. In this pose, imagine that you are outward-rotating the inner-hip of the grounded-(un-stretched)-leg and constantly pulling back on the hip-crease of the stretched-leg.

3. Hamstring Stretch. Think gym class. The standard stretch we all did with 1 leg out, the other bent, and body contorted in some haunched-sort-of-way as we struggled to reach our toes. Probably the most known stretch and also, the most improperly executed. Here the key, like hip stretch, is to stay rooted. Toe of straightened leg flexed, as though against a wall. (Better yet, get it against the wall.) Outward-rotation of inner thigh. Envision the femur locking into place. Only when aligned, begin to slowly bend. Move from the hip, keep torso straight.  Only when ceased in your movement forward, allow back to relax and bend.

Everyday Luxury: Studies have it proved. (I don't have them handy.) Science shows. Stretching invigorates. It breathes oxygen into muscles you use everyday and muscles you should probably use more everyday. Not only can stretches such a backbends (not featured here) imbue you with energy, but additionally, they change your overall shape. Stretches improve posture and elongate. Heighten your awareness of alignment in your everyday movement. Guaranteed you'll feel the luxury of everyday.



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