Mother’s Day DIY Gifts

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By Tori Carruth

Tori is currently a Senior at Sam Houston State University and a contributing editor of the iGoPink Blog.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner (May 10th for those of you as forgetful as me), I’ve been racking my brain for what to do! If your mom is anything like mine, her answer to any question that is present related is “I already have everything I need,” which is super sweet, but in no way helpful. What do you get for the mom who has everything? Do it yourself! I guarantee that a gift made by you from the heart will mean more to her than that designer bag ever will. No matter your age or your mom’s age, these gifts are sure to please your #1 woman! My mom is the queen of thinking of things I might need, but she never stops to think about what SHE needs. So treat your selfless momma to a cute jar of goodies.

Spa in a jar: You can get a cute jar from a local retailer and line the bottom with her favorite covered tissue paper to give it some color! Next, hit up a fresh cosmetics store, like Lush, for her favorite products to unwind from all the stress you put on her daily (oh, just me?). My mom specifically loves bath bombs and scrubs! Add lotion, nail polish, a few magazines, a comforting candle, and maybe even some chocolate to complete your jar! This is such an easy and inexpensive way to put a smile on your mom’s face.

Movie night in a jar: My mom is a huge movie buff; if it’s on Netflix she’s seen it…twice. Throw together some snacks and plan a night in together! Large retailers have some great $5 movie bins to grab your favorites from. Pick up some Kettle Corn and a bottle of wine, along with her favorite sweet treats. For extra bonus points surprise her with a comfy blanket for snuggling!

Colorful jar: This one has tons of options. Choose your mom’s favorite color and fill a jar with all things orange, blue, yellow, or whatever color it may be that brightens your mom’s day! It’s easy to find gum, cute cups, post-it’s, candles, picture frames and more for this one. It’s simple, yet thoughtful.

So go find a cute jar and personalize it according to your mom’s needs and favorites and make this mother’s day one that she’ll appreciate!

Gift in a jar for mom

Turn your Shower into a Sauna

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Spa Tip Thursday!

Turn your Shower into a Sauna

“Just turn your shower on and run it at its hottest temperature for about 20 minutes. While the water is running and the steam is building, take a warm washcloth and spray with your favorite relaxing oil. (Lavender, vanilla or rosemary are all great de-stressing aromas.) When you step into your shower, put the washcloth up to your face and take a deep breath of your soothing, oil-scented steam. It’s a great way to unwind right before bed—and it also helps clear up sinuses.”

By: Aly Walanksy,eBeauty Daily


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Spa Tip Thursday!

Honey is a natural antiseptic and is used to bind the honey and yogurt. The oatmeal will absorb excess oil from acne-prone skin and serve as a gentle exfoliant.

1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons of honey

Finely grind or process the oatmeal in a blender or food processor. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together honey and yogurt, and then add ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly until a smooth paste consistency has been reached. Smooth over your face and neck, leave on for fifteen minutes, and rinse off with warm water. Can be used daily.


Protecting Your Skin From the Sun

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Spa Tip Thursday!

Protecting Your Skin From the Sun

Sun care means protecting your skin from the sun. No matter what color your skin, it’s vital that you protect yourself in the sun. Even on a cool day or when there are clouds in the sky, the sun can still cause lasting damage.

To protect your skin, you should stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s UV rays are strongest. Look for shady areas such as under trees, and use umbrellas or canopies.

Watch the UV index
The UV index describes the strength of the sun’s UV radiation. It’s usually shown as a number in a triangle on a weather map. The numbers range from one to 11+ and the higher the number, the stronger the UV radiation. If the UV index is higher than three you will need protection when you go outside.

In many countries, the UV index is reported alongside the weather forecast in newspapers, on TV and on the radio.

Cover up
You can protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved tops and trousers. Choose materials that have a close weave as these block out the most UV rays. Wet clothing stretches and lets more UV radiation through to your skin.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can halve the amount of UV radiation reaching your face.

Sunglasses help to protect your eyes and eyelids. Wraparound sunglasses will also protect the skin around your eyes.


The Key To A Better Complexion

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The Key to a Better Complexion: Know Your Skin Type

Find out how to keep your face smooth, clear, and radiant, no matter what your age or skin type.

Spa Fix: Maintain the good skin you already have and get a fresh glow. Kate Somerville, L.A. facialist to Jessica Alba, suggests an exfoliation treatment that combines a physical scrub and a chemical peel, followed by intense hydration. If you don’t need them, don’t let your facialist do extractions, which can lead to blotchiness or marks.

Best Regimen: Commit to a daily routine. Doing this wards off future problems. “Start simple: a gentle cleanser and sunscreen,” says New York dermatologist Amy Wechsler. Try Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($7.10) and L’Oréal Paris Active Daily Moisture Lotion SPF 15 ($17.99). At night, use a repairing moisturizer. Try Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream (left, $7.99).

Star Product: Vichy Aqualia Antiox Fresh Serum ($45). Ready for an extra step? Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch suggests applying an antioxidant serum before your sunscreen. This one (activated with powder) helps protect stem cells from oxidative stress, which means fewer signs of aging.

Related: Supermodels Without Makeup


Spa Fix: Facials can be too irritating for sensitive skin. But if you want to deal with dullness, Olga Lorencin-Northrup, founder of L.A.’s Kinara Skin Care Clinic and Spa, suggests you go for a gentle, customized, glow-boosting treatment without exfoliation. Porcelain-skinned star January Jones stops by Kinara before she hits the red carpet.

Best Regimen: New York and Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt recommends avoiding sodium lauryl sulfates and artificial fragrances. Use a mild cleanser, like Dior Gentle Cleansing Milk (left, $32), then a physical-block sunscreen. Try Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 ($15). Moisturize A.M. and P.M. with a soothing lotion like Estée Lauder Vérité Moisture Relief Cream ($50).

Star Product: La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Anti-Redness Moisturizer ($34.90). Look for a lotion with calming ingredients like thermal spring water, green tea, licorice, or feverfew, which all help minimize even the most severe rosacea, swelling, and irritation.

Related: How Celebs Actually Get Flawless Skin



Spa Fix: Opt for a facial with moisturizing masks or a hyaluronic-acid treatment. Somerville’s Dermal Quench infuses the skin with serum to give you a glow that lasts for days. New York facialist Christine Chin, who counts Rachel Weisz as a client, also recommends monthly microdermabrasion. “Your skin will look five years younger,” she promises.

Best Regimen: In the morning, use a gentle cleanser, like Dr. Brandt Time Arrest Crème Cleanser ($50), and apply an SPF with antioxidants to prevent collagen breakdown. Try Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Lotion ($45). At night, use an antiwrinkle serum. Try Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum (left, $92), which contains collagen-stimulating bioactive peptides.

Star Product: Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Filler (left, $18.99). Retinols smooth lines, even skin tone, and fade age spots. “In six months, you’ll be amazed,” says Wechsler. Also try Christine Chin Retinol Smoothing Fluid ($79).

Related: The Best Beauty Gifts for the Holidays

Spa Fix: Get a monthly facial with extractions. This can make a world of difference for acne sufferers. Getting rid of congestion before it comes to the surface can prevent future breakouts. Exfoliation is key, but consult your skin pro on what is best for you. Chin, who cares for Zoë Saldana’s complexion, warns, “Microdermabrasion can actually make acne spread.”

Best Regimen: Twice a day, use a mild cleanser. Overwashing and harsh astringents strip the skin and exacerbate “rebound oil.” During the day, apply a mattifying SPF. Try SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 ($30). At night, use a retinoid, which will stop breakouts before they happen. “[Prescription-only] Differin is the least irritating,” says Brandt.

Star Product: Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover Glycolic Peel Kit ($24.99). Wechsler says that if used at night, glycolic acid will help control oil all day. The kit starts with a glycolic-acid-soaked pad to exfoliate, followed by a soothing pad that calms skin.

Spa Tip Thursday: Hair Lotions

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The many benefits of custom setting lotions offer are volume, hold and luminous shine, as well as control from fly-away hair while you set, blow-dry or style your hair.

Using these homemade Hair Lotion recipes, you can make your own lotions using ingredients from the kitchen.
By doing this, you can choose exactly what goes into your lotions, and make sure that your lotions do not contain anything you are allergic to. Also, for the purist, you can have preservative free lotions.

Wash your hair and let partially air dry or blow dry it until just slightly damp. Apply setting lotion sparingly yet evenly, using a spray bottle. Comb the lotion carefully through your hair, and then style as usual with the dryer.

Olive Oil Hair Lotion


• Olive oil
• Honey


1. Combine 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons honey in a glass jar with a lid
2. Shake until well blended
3. Let mixture sit for 3 to 4 days, and shake it occasionally
4. Rub mixture evenly into dry hair
5. Wrap hair in plastic wrap, letting set for at least an hour
6. Shampoo as usual.

provided by:

Homemade Honey Oatmeal Face Mask

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Spa Tip Thursday

Honey is a natural antiseptic and is used to bind the honey and yogurt. The oatmeal will absorb excess oil from acne-prone skin and serve as a gentle exfoliant.

1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons of honey

Courtesy of
Finely grind or process the oatmeal in a blender or food processor. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together honey and yogurt, and then add ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly until a smooth paste consistency has been reached. Smooth over your face and neck, leave on for fifteen minutes, and rinse off with warm water. Can be used daily.

Try these Spa Tips for Clear Skin

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Spa Tip Thursdays-

Tip: Aloe Vera, the best gift for mankind. Aloe Vera is the most amazing product to clear skin, it is best known as clearing away redness, spots, bacteria, blemishes, dry skin conditions and much more. You can get aloe vera gel from any good health shops or chemists.

Tip: Lemon Juice helps a lot when coming to blemishes, pimples and acne just apply with a cotton wool on the deserted area, leave on 15 minutes and then rinse. The citric acid in the lemon plays an important role to kill away bacteria.

Tip: Toothpaste, yes that’s right toothpaste, it has an active ingredient inside that helps to reduce the swelling of spots and redness, whenever we use to get a spot, burn, redness, bruise we always applied toothpaste it helped a lot.

1 Wash your face way before you go to bed. If you wait until you’re ready to hit the sack, you’ll be too tired to wash up, and research shows skin repairs itself best around 10 p.m. So let skin breathe easy long before you start snoozing.

2 Wear sunscreen every day, year-round. Botox bites. So use a moisturizer that has an SPF 15 or higher (try Eucerin Skin Renewal SPF 15 Day Lotion, $10, drugstores). UV rays can do their damage while you’re sitting in class, riding in the car or walking the dog.

3 Be nice to your face. Picking, poking and squeezing force bacteria deeper into the skin, resulting in scarring and further breakouts. Yuck.

4 Stop thinking that if your skin feels tight it must be clean. Tight skin isn’t clean skin–it’s dry skin. If you’re rushing to dab on moisturizer after you wash, time to find a cleanser that won’t leave you high and dry. Normal and combination skin will benefit most from a gel formula (we love Nivea Visage Refreshing Cleansing Gel, $6, drugstores). Got dry or sensitive skin? Go for a creamy cleanser. Either way, choose a low foaming formula. More lather=more drying. Less lather=less drying.

5 Banish breakouts. If you’ve got major acne, an acne face wash is for you (we like Clearesil Total Control 5-in-1 Acne Cleanser and Moisturizer, $9, drugstores). If you just get spot breakouts, avoid acne washes. They worsen skin by drying out the clear parts and allowing dead skin-cell buildup. The buildup traps oil under skin, leading to more clogged pores and breakouts. So use spot treatments (Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, $6.50, drugstores).

Questions to Ask before getting a Manicure or Pedicure

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With nail salons in every shopping center and around every corner, it is difficult sometimes to tell which ones would pass inspection. Many people assume that they are recieving safe sanitary services performed by professionals. But in truth, this is not always the case. It may be surprising but not every country in the world requires nail technicians to be licensed; many are also not required to take a professional course. Even countries with strict educational requirements still have untrained technicians working in salons. It is important to ask to see their credentials from an accredited school. Accredited courses will have covered such important theory such as anatomy, disease and disorders, and proper sanitation as well as a thorough understanding of the science behind the practical applications of acrylic or gel enhancements. People don’t realize that taking a brief medical history before your appointment can be vital to your safety. Especially if you are diabetic, your nail services will have to be altered completely. Also, what if you are allergic to the acrylic or gel? You want someone with experience in dealing with these situations.

The next question to ask is what are their sanitation proceedures?  Any qualified salon professional will be more than happy to walk you around and go into detail about their sanitation requirements by law.

Do any of the products in their services contain any banned ingredients? There have been several cosmetic ingredients that have come under fire in Europe and North America in recent months and some of the banned ingredients are present in nail products.

How do they disinfect their foot bath. This can be very serious because people have gotten terrible infections from unsanitary conditions. If in doubt, you can purchase a foot bath liner that will fit inside any footbath. This ensures that your feet wont touch any unclean surfaces.

Disposable files or buffers?  If your technician reaches in a draw full of used tools, run for the door. Nail files can be full of bacteria and should be disposed of after each customer. Furthermore, health regulations state that these items should be disposed of after one use.

In conclusion, this article isn’t to scare you from getting a manicure or pedicure, just to inform you of how to go about doing so safely. Ask the right questions so that you don’t face dire circumstances later.

Easy Steps to Brighten a Dull Complexion.

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Did you ever notice that some people just have a glowing complexion? It is not their makeup that gives them that glow it is the canvas on which they started. A great complexion that has a natural glow starts with proper skin care and a healthy diet.

The condition of your skin can be a good indicator of your overall health. For instance a poor diet and bad habits such as smoking and too much alcohol can lead to a dull complexion, baggy eyes and even a yellowish tint. Additionally an improper skin care routine or no skin care program at all can lead to premature wrinkles, sagging skin and patches of dry skin.

So what are the steps to brighten a dull complexion? First and foremost understanding your skin type is the first step for proper skin care. By understanding your skin type, i.e. dry, combination, oily, sensitive, you can begin to select the right ingredients that are the most beneficial to your skin.

Cleansers – Get a facial cleanser specific to your skin type. Your skin care cleanser should thoroughly cleanse but not over dry the face. If after washing your face your skin is overtly dry and tight, you should consider a different skin care cleanser. Usually a dry skin type should select creamy cleansers, oily complexions should consider a foaming face wash, for sensitive skin and combination skin types consider a cleanser that has a low pH of 7 or less. Read more about Caring for Combination Skin.

Toners – are used to restore ph balance and remove the last bits of cleanser left behind. I am a firm believer in toners. If purchasing a toner be sure to select the one that is right for your skin type and has the most natural ingredients. Homemade toners are easy to make. Green tea toners are superb and are high in antioxidants. Other herbs that can be for toners are elderflower and sandalwood for dry skin, fennel or lemon balm for oily skin, and chamomile for combination skin. Apply toner with a cotton ball or pad and do not rinse.

Herb toner recipe: 2 Tablespoons dried or 1 Tablespoon fresh herb depending on your skin type (see note above), 2/3 cup distilled or purified water. Strain and refrigerate.

Green tea toner: 2 teaspoons green tea leaves and 1 cup water.
Naturally the above recipes will have to be sifted to remove the leaves. Refrigerate and it should last up to a week.

Moisturizers – should be used to hydrate and protect the skin. A daytime moisturizer should have an SPF of at least 15, and your nighttime moisturizer should be rich in emollients. Not matter what skin type you have a moisturizer is a must; dry skin needs lubrication and hydration and oily skin needs hydration.

Cleanse, tone and moisturize are the basics of a good skin care routine in order to brighten a dull complexion. Additionally there are other treatments that can be used that promote circulation, slough off dead skin cells and bring a natural glow to your face.

Exfoliation – is a method of removing the dead skin cells on the upper layer of your skin and increasing circulation to promote new skin cells. Once used only in exclusive spas at a costly amount, exfoliation is a simple technique that you can do at home. There are a couple of homemade options for an exfoliation treatment, just add one of the following ingredients to your cleanser: cornmeal, sugar, oatmeal, etc. Sugar is great if you have sensitive skin. These ingredients are inexpensive and eco-friendly and will surely brighten a dull complexion and leave your skin feeling smooth and silky.

Microderamabrasion – is a form of advance exfoliation. The actual surface layer of the skin is removed and new skin cells are exposed. The type of procedure will lessen the appearance of scars and dark spots on the skin. There are a variety of microdermabrasion products on the market that range from creams, kits, and cloths. Read more about microdermabrasion.

AHAs and BHAs known as Alpha and Beta hydroxyl acids – are very popular in anti-aging products. They work very much like a microdermabrasion treatment as they slough off the top layers of the skin thus promoting new skin cell growth. Another added benefit is that they stimulate the production of collagen and elasticity in the skin. When selecting an Alpha or Beta hydroxyl acid be sure to select the right one for your skin type. Here is an article to help you pick the right one for your skin type.

A good skin care routine and one of the exfoliation methods listed above will help promote a healthy glow; however, it is imperative that you eat healthy too. Your complexion can tell a lot about your life style and eating habits. Additionally, your diet and skin care products should contain anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A, E, C, and beta carotene to name a few.

Hope you will stop by and check out all my other posts here on Shine.

For more skin care recipes and articles visit Complete Skin Care Therapy.

For great skin care products and 15% off visit Skin Energizer! This site has an online assistant to help you select the right products for your skin type!